Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Shepards Pie

After a day and a half of eating the same Thanksgiving meal, I decided to make a Shepard's pie with the leftovers.

Cranberry Pancakes

Cranberry Sauce Leftovers = Cranberry Pancake

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

There was a trip to Spain and starting a new job, hence the lack of blogging. I'm overdue for a post, and what better time to post a cooking entry than Thanksgiving? This year, I decided to tackle all the cooking (mostly) on my own. I also decided to cook healthy (where possible) using recipes from Clean Eating and Real Simple Magazines.

The spread (my brothers dug in before I got a chance to take good pics). Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cornbread, salad:

Sweet potato casserole (picked up from BM)

Baked macaroni & cheese:

Green Beans with roasted chestnuts:

Garlicky Mashed Potatoes:

Behind the scenes fact: I got tired from mashing the potatoes by hand, so I threw a batch in the blender. I broke the blender. Oh well...

Here was the menu:

Main Course
Pomegranate Glazed Turkey

Garlicky Mashed Potatoes with Thyme
Stuffing with Sausage and Raisins
Cranberry Sauce with Apple and Ginger
Green Beans with Roasted Chestnuts
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Organic Salad with Baby Bell Peppers, Grapes & Almonds
Sweet Potato Casserole


Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie

This year, I brined the turkey and it turned out to be the star of the show as it should (whew!) DELICIOUS - moist, tender and juicy!

Lost a shelf in the fridge to store the turkey:

The brine:

The cooler I brined the turkey in overnight (in the fridge, of course):

The turkey, clean of brine and dried off:

My herb rub:

My herb-rubbed turkey:

The aromatics (apple, onion, cinnamon stick cooked in the microwave and inserted in the turkey while it roasts):

After 30 minutes at 500 degrees, this is when I turned the temp down until it hit the correct temperature (another 1.5 hours):

Cooking the leeks & carrots for stuffing:

Turkey Sausage & Bread Crumb mixture for the stuffing:

I was running low on time, so I didn't take pics making the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

All in all, the meal was a hit and I wasn't even worried about the turkey or cooking all that food alone! The cooking was actually a stress reliever for me.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hog Island Oysters

Day trip to Tomales Bay for a feast of fresh oysters. It was devine!

If you're considering a trip to Hog Island for fresh oysters, I highly recommend it. Although I have to warn you the road to get there is extremely curvy with dips and it can cause nausea. So, take Dramamine if you get motion sickness. However, the views on Highway 1 are gorgeous, so it's worth the drive out there.

I made reservations about a month in advance. I heard reservations were required months in advance, but we lucked out and was able to get a spot during Labor Day weekend. However, the traffic getting out of SF was horrible, and we arrived an hour late. When we arrived, they had given our table to another party. We tried calling them to let them know that we were late, but no one answered. Anyway, we ended up setting up at the bar, and then a group left so we settled at their table.

I planned our menu a few days prior to the picnic. I made skewers of beef & vegetables, as well as shrimp and I also brought some giant prawns to grill. I also made hogwash, which was a hit with everyone. You must bring the condiments (horseradish, hot sauce, cocktail sauce, salt, pepper) for the oysters. Note: although the site says they will give you lemon with the oysters, they didn't. I'm glad I brought some "in case" so we were covered with the lemons. Also, don't forget ice! They sell ice up there, but it's a good idea to pack ice in your cooler to keep your food cold during the trek out to the farm. And of course you should bring cheese, crackers/bread and wine.

It's also a good idea to pack a table cover, plates, napkins, water, and wine glasses, tongs, charcoal, and a lighter. We had everything we needed. (They were sold out of water when we were there, so I'm glad I brought water).

Also, make sure at least one person in the group can/is willing to shuck the oysters. I had no prior experience and neither did my bf. Luckily my brother and his girlfriend were both good shuckers. I can imagine the experience would be a sour one if no one in the group is able to shuck any of the oysters.

All in all, it was a great day trip and quite relaxing. There really is nothing better than eating fresh oysters from the source. The key is to plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beef Ribs

I marinated these in a dry rub overnight and roasted in the oven for 2.5 hours, basting with the sauce every half hour. It was juicy and tender (the meat falling off the bone). I could have roasted it longer, but I was really hungry.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Organic Baby Romain Salad with Roasted Garden Veggies & Almonds

I scored some organic grown vegetables, so I roasted them and made a simple salad:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lunch at The Counter

Gourmet burgers for lunch. Turkey for me, beef for him. Complimented with a side of fries and onion strings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Loco Moco

I was lazy, so I whipped up a fast and easy meal for dinner. This was a staple meal back in the college days.

Rice, eggs, and spam. I like my spam crispy and brown.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rotini alla Caprese

I've been uninspired lately, so there wasn't much cooking this week. However, today I scored lots of fruits and some veggies from my sweet auntie. In this bounty were some ripe tomatoes. So, I searched for a recipe and I found it in Giada's Kitchen.

Giada's recipe calls for fusilli, but I only had tri-colored rotini. I have to say, it turned out pretty good, and I could have eaten a second bowl. But, I didn't want to over eat.

What do you think? Looks the same?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tacos 4 for $5

From the taqueria down the street...delish!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Today's Lunch

Ham & egg sandwich on toasted asiago cheese bread

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Caprese Salad

Nothing special about my caprese salad. EXCEPT, the basil I used here is from my basil plant I've been growing in my kitchen! (I took this pic with my camera phone, so quality is bad)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Roasted Sweet Potato

1 Sweet Potato
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Dash of Salt
* You can add nutmeg if you wish

Baked in oven for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bruschetta & Chicken Parmesan


2 Tomatoes Diced
2 Cloves of minced garlic
Fresh Basil Chopped
Balsamic Vinegar
Bread Sliced Diagonally
Olive Oil

Toast bread with drizzled olive oil in oven for about 8 minutes (longer depending on how you like your toast. I don't like mine too dark). Combine tomatoes, 1 clove of garlic, basil, salt, and balsamic vinegar. Place the other clove of minced garlic on top of the toasted bread and add the tomato mixture. Enjoy!

Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
seasoned bread crumbs
mozzarella cheese
1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
Parmesan cheese

Whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs. Brown the chicken in hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in a baking dish.

Place mozzarella cheese on each chicken breast. Pour 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti, garlic bread and a nice green salad.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Favorite & A First

I've been out of town for 3 weeks, and my cooking has been limited. I was happy to get back in my kitchen and cook again.

Shakey Beef (Favorite)


I love all things personalized/miniature, so I made the perfect size cheesecakes using my cupcake pan. They turned out pretty good for a first attempt. I like my cheesecake plain, so I didn't add any toppings.

8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
1 egg
Tablespoon Vanilla (I'm going to use a bit less the next time I make this)

Crushed Cinnamon Graham Crackers (I used Teddy Grahams because they're so cute)
3 tablespoons melted butter

In a blender, pulse the graham crackers and add melted butter until the texture resembles wet sand. Lightly grease the pan with butter. Add the graham cracker mixture and pack in the bottom of the pan.

Mix the softened cream cheese and egg and blend until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla until thoroughly mixed. Fill the cream cheese mixture into the pan. Bake for about 30 minutes (or until top is no longer shiny). Remove the baking pan from oven, and allow the cakes to set and cool. Remove the cheesecake from pan and refrigerate for an hour. Top with fruits if you like. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pineapple Fried Rice

(Round 2 from yesterday's shrimp kabobs)

Rice, pineapple, bell peppers, raisins, egg, soy sauce, curry, almonds (I didn't have any cashews), zucchini, shrimp

Wednesday, June 17, 2009