Thursday, January 29, 2009
is nominated for Best Overall Blog and Best Looking Blog. AND, my buddy Tasha is nominated twice for Best Culture Blog ( Check out Tasha Does Tulsa and My Life as Told by Food.)
I'm still working my way through the other nominees ( How did I just now discover Irritated Tulsan? Hilarious stuff.) Check out the noms and find your own favorites. RIGHT NOW! Okay, gotta go make money....
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
So, without further ado:
Chicken Cacciatore Stew ( Adapted from Simply Recipes, which was adapted from Food and Wine) * My changes noted in orange!
One 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into pieces ( I used 4 chicken thighs, with bone skin on)
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups peeled and chopped, firm ripe tomatoes (or canned plum tomatoes in their juice) I used a can of diced tomatoes that didn't quite reach 2 cups so I added broth to make up the difference. BEEF broth... no need to get all matchy matchy...use what you have!)
1 Rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Push the onions to the side. Add the garlic and chicken pieces, skin-side down. Cook until the chicken skin is golden brown, then turn pieces over and brown on the other side. (Ummm, apparently I don't know how to do this. All of my skin stuck. It made for nice brown bits in my new dutch oven! Thanks Mom!)
2 Season chicken with salt and pepper, on both sides. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes (and broth! Oh, the bay leaves, too!), lower the heat and cover the skillet with the lid slightly ajar.
3 Cook the chicken in the simmering liquid, turning and basting from time to time. Cook until the thighs are very tender and the meat is almost falling off the bones, about 40 minutes. If the stew ever starts to dry out, add a couple tablespoons of water.
Aubrey's comments: " Add this to the circuit!" Will do, love. Will do.
Monday, January 26, 2009
We didn't have power for a week. Eventually, I had to go to work and that was quite a lovely day having not showered for about the same amount of time... ( Kindly, a week AFTER I had power returned, my boss asked me if I was still out....no, that's just called a bad hair day, thanks for asking.)
Speaking of looking bad, Aubrey felt the need to wear my robe belt around his head for 4 days straight. ("It's for added warmth!")
Well, we're all set here with firewood, blankets, and all the fixins for chili. Stay warm.
Since, I have to thaw now ( and if I'm thinking about this sandwich I must have it RIGHT NOW), I usually pop a piece in the microwave. This equals sogginess.
Since my bread is soggy, I have to crisp it up. So, one day, I was out of swiss and only had gruyere... ( like this was some sacrifice.) I buttered up one side of the sandwich, and put ham and grated gruyere on the other side, broiled until browned and bubbly and.... PERFECTION. My new favorite sandwich! It's not like the ones in Paris but it will definitely do...especially if eaten with classic Dijon mustard and cheese souffle! Behold:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Behold, Scampi Fra Diavolo, adapted from Bon Appetit November 2008.
This dish combines the garlic of scampi with the spice of traditional Shrimp Fra Diavolo in absolute harmony. Oh, and it's super easy to make. Bonus! Serve over rice, orzo, or whatever compatable grain you may have. I used leftover Saffron Rice from French night and it was great.
Scampi Fra Diavolo- Serves 4
3 Tbsp. butter, separated
1/3 c. Panko ( japanese bread crumbs...now available at Wal-Mart, for those of us living in towns without grocery stores.)
1/2 c. chopped, flat leaf parsley
1 1/4 cup uncooked lrg, shrimp with tail on ( I used medium with tail off....I didn't want to put too much effort into this.)
2 Tbsp EVOO ( yeah, I totally forgot this part)
1 1/2 c. Thinly sliced red onion
5 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, dried. ( add more...wimps.)
2/3 c dry white wine
1. Melt 1 tbsp. butter and saute panko and parsley until lightly browned.
2. Remove, set aside. Clean out skillet.
3. Melt 2 tbsp butter and EVOO in same skillet and saute onion until almost soft.
4. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; saute 1 min.
5. Add shrimp and saute until just opaque.
6. Add wine and simmer until reduced and thickened... about 2-3 minutes.
7. Season with S/P to taste.
Serve over rice, or whatever, and top with panko mix and lemon wedges.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Okay, the time has come and the votes are in.......
I'm pleased to report that the Obama Family Chili recipe will definitely be re-elected! It was delicious! Not spicy, exactly ( which gives some insight to the whole Latino vote issue), but satisfyingly unique (I'm thinking it has something to do with the turmeric and vinegar.)
I'd also like to honor this day as a very special occasion...
Our household ushered in a new era of eating brown rice. I've seriously never made brown rice before, always sticking with conventional white. In light of swearing in our first African-American president, I was feeling rather progressive.... AND, for once in my life, I stuck to the recipe exactly, adding only grated cheese and Louisiana Hot Sauce... hey Barack does it, too!
See the recipe in full below ( in the previous post.)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Let’s kick off the next four years with some spice…. with The Obama Family Chili Recipe, to be exact.
Reportedly, Obama’s favorite thing to make is this chili and he provided the “how-to” himself on Good Morning America. Let’s see if his culinary skills are as promising as his political prowess.
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground basil
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Several tomatoes, depending on size, chopped
1 can red kidney beans
1.Saute onions, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft.
2.Add ground meat and brown.
3.Combine spices together into a mixture, then add to ground meat.
4. Add red wine vinegar.
5. Add tomatoes and let simmer, until tomatoes cook down.
6. Add kidney beans and cook for a few more minutes.
7. Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions and sour cream.
I’ll be making this tomorrow night so check back to see if Obama gets my vote ( again!)
Image of sandals from www.maclife.com/forums/post/1617452
For those of you who only hear that the French are snobs and hate America, I have another story to tell you. Though, I can’t speak for the whole of France and all it’s citizens, I can attest to the warmth and welcome we experienced throughout Normandy. We drove for 2 ½ days from Bayeux to St. Mere Eglise, making stops at every beach, including Omaha and Utah, and cities of significance to the 101st Airborne along the way (we’re sorta history buffs as well as foodies.) Everywhere we went, we were treated with respect and kindness…we even walked out on private property to stand at the tree lines of Brecourt Manor where the 101st overtook a German Battery on D-Day and were greeted with smiles and waves.
The point is, in Normandy, we could let our guard down. It was okay to be American….I’m not a closet patriot, by any means, but in Normandy, I felt proud to show it. Following the election, I felt proud everywhere we went. In 2005 and 2006, this was not the case. We actually shoveled in our doner kabob as fast as we could to boogie out of a restaurant when the waiter wanted to start talking about Bush…. (This woman behind the door REALLY wanted to talk to us but only in French... all we could understand was her muttering..."Obama, Obama, Obama....")
Press coverage showed gatherings of people cheering, comics circled around with the Statue of Liberty hugging Obama for dear life, and it was literally like night and day in the way America was portrayed in the global eye… like I said, stuff to remember. I can believe in THAT change (cue campaign theme music.)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Our latest themed dinner party was French night and hosted at our house. We couldn't wait for this opportunity to play french music, drink all our french wine we literally carried on our backs through France, and feel thoroughly fancy...see that new dinnerware? Oh yeah.
Our menu was served in rounds and consisted of:
French Cheeses ( which made my house smell like a fart for a week) with fruit and bread.
Escargot ( provided by me and Aubrey- RECIPE BELOW)
French Onion Soup ( provided by me and Aubrey, too....recipe coming later)
Open Face Steak Sandwiches and garlic bread ( Tammy and John)
Coq a Vin ( Laura and Tanner)
Saffron Rice ( Mikaela)
Mashed Potatoes with Lemon and Rosemary ( April and Steven)
Apple Tarte ( April and Steven)
Blueberry Merlot Sorbet ( Mikaela)
Forgive me for my horrible pic but I was too busy devouring to snap a decent one:
Have you ever tried to make anyone eat Escargot? It's not easy. You have to rely on many tactics, not the least of which is peer pressure and the old line, "You'll never be able to say you had escargot!" Why does this work? Who ever tells their grandkids stories about the day they ate escargot? Well, we were successful in getting 8 out of 9 to try our version and got all around approval ( once, they stop thinking of it as a snail, of course.)
Escargot a La Bourginonne ( Adapted from Julesong at Recipezaar.com- as prepared by 13 Coins in Seattle)
1 cup of softened butter
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced well
2 garlic cloves, minced well ( I used 3)
2 tablespoons brandy
32 canned French Snails ( available at Reasors for a low price of $2.89 per 2 dozen, seriously)
32 snail shells ( we got 18 shells-also at Reasors- and prepared the rest in escargot dishes)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine butter, parsley, shallots, garlic, and brandy in a bowl and blend well. ( a food processor was really handy for all the mincing...this took all of 3 minutes.)
3. Place a snail in each shell cavity and fill the cavity with a good amount of the seasoned butter. ( If preparing in an escargot dish, fill each hole with butter and a snail...genius. We preffered the quality and texture of the snail prepared in the dish.)
4. Place on a baking pan and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the butter is bubbly.
5. Serve hot with bread!
All in all, these were definitely on par with any escargot I've ever had in France or out. I will totally make them again ( and find some victims to force them upon.) Who knew escargot was actually so inexpensive and easy? Go forth and impress everyone at your next dinner party!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The BAD news is that I accidentally read the nutritional information on their website after I ate it. I mean, yeah, I went there looking for it, but I tried not to read it...I really tried.
So, it looks like I'll have to limit my intake to every other meal.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I have lots of great childhood memories in this little joint, however only ONE of these memories can save me from my misery in pining after a burrito at this very moment.
I believe a loss of appetite is called for...
So, this one day, my dad, Steve (my cousin), and I are eating breakfast at the Basket. My Grandpa is at another table with all of his buddies drinking their morning coffee and proceeding in their ritual of whatever it is that Grandpa's talk about. This crusty guy comes in and says hi to all the guys at my Grandpa's table and starts looking around for a place to sit. My dad offers him a seat with us since he's a friend of Gramps and it's fairly common to be spread out between tables amongst friends here. We order our food and make small talk with the guy...well, my dad does, anyway. I was probably making fun of Stevie ( he didn't call me a terrorist from hell for nothing.) We receive our food and all is silent while we inhale the perfection that is breakfast at the basket.
Then, it happens.....
Out of nowhere, this guy full on throws up on his plate in a fit of heaves and hurls. My dad yells, "Look out the window, Mandy! Steve! Don't LOOK!" "Man, are you okay????" *Grumbles something* "Um, sir, can I help you????"
Guy says, "Nah, I'm fine..." AND CONTINUES TO EAT!! He just picked around his puke.
To this day, I don't know why we sat there and just endured this.... out of respect for my Grandpa and his friends, we just kinda took it. The guy left and my Grandpa comes over to join us....
Dad: "Merv, your friend just puked all over us!"
Grandpa: "My friend? I've never seen that guy in my whole life."
Yeah..... well, I'm good. See ya.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Natasha's Fettuccine Alfredo from http://www.mylifeastoldbyfood.blogspot.com/
Click here for a printable version
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
3 large cloves garlic, pressed
12 oz. fettuccine
Put some water on to boil in a large pot.
Melt butter slowly in a medium saucepan. Whisk in cream and bring mixture to a slow boil.
Simmer for five minutes, whisking constantly. Whisk in Parmesan incrementally, making sure cheese is melted before adding more.Add salt, freshly ground pepper and garlic to taste.
If using dry pasta, cook according to package directions, being careful not to overcook.
If using fresh, drop pasta the boiling pot of water all at once. Quickly bring the water back to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta 2-3 minutes, being careful not to overcook, and drain well.
Add sauce to noodles and toss until noodles are thoroughly coated. Serve immediately, with extra cheese and red pepper flakes handed around at the table.
Friday, January 2, 2009
We ushered in 2009 with a rockin' karaoke party filled with an abundance of booze, chips, dip, and all the Judds and Queen you can handle. It's become sort of a tradition by popular demand since last year's bash was such a hit. "We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout...." Can you name that tune?
Actually, this is just my friend. We didn't get married in a fever or any other state.
THIS is my husband. He was in a fever due to the fact that he ate approximately 23 jalepenos for lunch. He was a New Years champ right to the end...
I feel sort of guilty because I got him the offenders for Christmas...
Don't feel too bad for him....he's punishing me with a day filled with football. Yuck.
Have a great one!!