Tuesday, October 24, 2006


These chocolate cookies were amazing. Click here for the recipe on joyofbaking.com. I didn't use white chocolate chunks, though. I just made plain chocolate cookies. They were amazing. In fact, they are so good that I am making them with Reese's Pieces for my nieces birthday/Halloween party this weekend. YUM.

My friend Heather and I are going to the restaurant Trattoria Roma tonight for a fun Italian dinner. We have been there once before, and LOVED their simple garlic bread, and delish pasta. I was just cruising the menu online, trying to decide what I was going to order tonight. When I emailed her and said that is what I was doing, I got this response, "OMG SO AM I LMAO". We are such geeks.

On a different note, my newish Rosemary plant that I just brought indoors because of the cold weather, is not doing so well. I trimmed it back a lot the other night, and I have been trying to give it as much light as possible, but it just isn't responding. I have a smaller Rosemary plant in a seperate pot that is very healthy. I have researched it online, of course, and have been doing all I can, but I don't know if it's going to survive. I hope it does! Any tips anyone has, (if anyone reads this site) I would appreciate very much.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm making a transition..

To stainless steel pots and pans. I have one stainless steel Dutch oven from Cuisinart that I LOVE. So, I decided, after reading reviews in Cooks Illustrated magazine, and on Amazon, that I want more stainless steel pans from Cuisinart. I have just noticed how much better the dutch oven works when I use it to sautee onions for different soups and stews and sauces. I'm sure my non-stick pans will still have a purpose, but I'm definitely ready to move on. Check out my wish list for what I have picked out. I am such a geek.

So, I have been cooking, but nothing worthy of pics or a real post. I am basically awaiting Christmas, when I will get my food processor and hopefully some new pans to cook with. I can't really afford to buy them myself. I am making some simple easy food this week. Here is my menu:

Sunday: Jule's perfect marinara sauce, pasta, Barefoot Contessa Garlic Bread
Monday: Leftovers from Sunday
Tuesday: Roasted Split Chicken Breasts, just with some Olive Oil, salt and pepper, red potatoes roasted with Herbs de Provence, fried corn.
Wednesday: One piece of leftover chicken from the night before, cut into chunks, basmati rice with red pepper.
Thursday: Some kind of Ribs, baked potato, peas
Friday: Take out
Saturday: Take out again. I will be at the Circleville pumpkin show, so I am sure my dinner will have some kind of pumpkin in it.

Keep eating!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Comforting Beef Stew

This was good, although Geoff wasn't crazy about all the red wine in the sauce. I also forgot to put the peas in until after I ate. But, I had the leftovers today with the peas, and it was really really good with the addition. Recipe:

2 1/2 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 (750-ml bottle) good red wine
2 whole garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 pound white mushrooms, stems discarded and cut in 1/2
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 cups or 1 (14 1/2-ounce can) chicken stock or broth
1 large (or 2 small) branch fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, garlic, and bay leaves. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Combine the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon and discard the bay leaves and garlic, saving the marinade. In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mixture and then shake off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Place the beef in a large oven-proof Dutch oven and continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary. (If the beef is very lean, you'll need more oil.) Place all the beef in the Dutch oven.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil to the large pot and add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Place all the vegetables in the Dutch oven over the beef. Add 2 1/2 cups of the reserved marinade to the empty pot and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove. Cover the pot and place it in the oven to bake it for about 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250 or 275 degrees F.

Before serving, stir in the frozen peas, season to taste, and serve hot.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Starts with....

and ends up looking like...

Probably one of the best things I have ever eaten. Specifically, the sauce was so good, I could have eaten it BY ITSELF out of the pan with a spoon. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Here is the recipe:

Barefoot Contessa Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

The only difference between this recipe and the one I made was that I used no wine or cognac. I used all chicken broth instead. It was absolutely amazing. I don't know if the heavy cream is needed at the end, but it sure tasted good. Oh, and I just used 3 split chicken breasts instead of 2 whole chickens cut up. It made a lot of sauce for only 3 pieces of chicken, but since the sauce was so good, we didn't mind. =)

I made couscous with it, but I wasn't so crazy about that part of the meal. I don't know if it was what I did, or what. I think I might make some wild rice with it next time.

I have been trying to figure out what kind of food mill to buy. I don't know anything about them, other than I want one, so if anyone has any advice, feel free to share with me!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Loin of Pork with Green Peppercorns

Original Post date 10/02/06 12:26 PM


Okay, I had just typed out probably one of my longest posts ever, and when I went to publish, Blogger messed up and the post is gone. This hasn't happened to me in a long time. I am very upset! LOL. I am soo not in the mood to re-type everything, so all I am going to do now is to give you this recipe and then tell you what I am cooking this week. Here goes:

1 pork loin, bone in, Frenched and tied (about 5 pounds, 10 bones)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard, divided
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup good white wine
3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned broth
1/4 cup green peppercorns in brine, drained

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Allow the pork to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Place the pork, fat side up, in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of each mustard, the fennel seed, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Rub the mixture on top of the pork and roast for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, and cover tightly with aluminum foil for 20 minutes.

For the sauce, remove all but 1/4 cup of fat from the roasting pan. If there isn't 1/4 cup, add enough butter to the pan to make 1/4 cup total. Over medium heat, whisk the flour into the fat in the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock, the remaining 2 teaspoons of each mustard, the green peppercorns, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened.

Remove the strings from the roast pork, slice between the bones, and serve warm with the hot sauce.

I didn't use a loin of pork roast, just a regular boneless pork roast that cost around $4.50 (and was suprisingly good). I also didn't use white wine, I just used another cup of canned chicken broth. I have made this recipe once before using white wine, and it was good, but I didn't really miss it. I made mashed potatoes the first night, and when we had the leftovers the next night (which were amazing, btw), I made roasted red potatoes, and it was much better with the roasted potatoes.

Okay, dinner this week is as follows:

*Sunday: Jule's Perfect Marinara sauce, Whole Wheat Linguine, Barefoot Contessa Garlic Bread
*Monday: Boneless pork loin chops sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, roasted red potatoes with rosemary, fresh green beans tossed with sauteed shallots.
*Tuesday: Leftovers or Takeout (I know, I am bad)
*Wednesday: Barefoot Contessa recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, couscous
*Thursday: Leftover chicken from Wednesday
*Friday: Probably take out pizza.

Okay, back to work for now!(I copied and pasted this, in case it doesn't post..lol).
Actual Recipe for Rosemary Sage Marinade

Original Post Date 09/26/06 12:37 PM

Rosemary Sage Marinade
1/2 Shallot, minced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
3 minced garlic cloves

Mix all ingredients together and marinate pork or chicken overnight.

Cook in the grill, then serve with roasted red rosemary potatoes and fresh green beans sauteed with shallots in a little butter.
Pork loin chops w/Rosemary Sage Marinade

Original Post Date: 09/25/06 11:35 AM

I still haven't come up with a good name for that marinade. It has fresh Rosemary, Sage, Dijon and whole grain mustard, Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic and Shallots. That is a lot of ingredients, isn't it? The funny thing is, even though it has that many ingredients, it isn't a really strong marinade. It is very mild, but delish. You have to marinade overnight, too. Okay, so I made those pork loin chops with the marinade, and with that I also made some roasted red potatoes with herbs de provence and green beans tossed with some shallots sauteed in butter. OMG so delish. That has to be the best way to eat green beans. Here is a pic:

Yummm. =) I don't have the exact recipe for the marinade here at work, but I will post it later from home.Okay, bye for now.
My first Post, and Chicken!

Original Post Date: 09/20/2006 12:06 PM

Okay, since all I have wanted to talk about is food for the past year, I thought I would create a new blog so I can go on and on and on..and give my boyfriend, Geoff, a break from hearing about it. He enjoys eating the food, but not knowing every detail about it. So, I will start off with the most recent recipe I tried, Indonesian Ginger Chicken by The Barefoot Contessa. I worship this woman and all of her recipes. Well, except the ones involving fish, since, I don't eat seafood. Okay, so here are some pics of what I did:

Yumm. And then I had the leftovers for lunch yesterday. DELISH!Tonight Sara is coming over and I am making my new Marinara Sauce recipe and we will be watching the Grey's Anatomy premier. I might share the exact recipe for the sauce with you tomorrow. I am also making the Barefoot Contessa Garlic Bread, which is so delicious I could eat it every single day. I will post some pics of that on my next post.

Okay, time for lunch!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Even though I don't actually have a food mill yet, it is my goal to buy one in the next few months. Anyway, this is the third food blog title I have had, and I am NOT changing it again. I will post all of the previous posts from the other blogs on here tomorrow. Then I will work on some nice little custom food mill picture for my title. Tired now. Will update tomorrow.