28 December 2010
22 December 2010
19 December 2010
- In a saucepan, cook turkey, drain.
- Sit in the remaining ingredients (minus the buns, of course)
- Heat to a boil
- Reduce heat
- Cover, simmer 20-40 minutes, or until it reaches your desired degree of sloppiness.
- Shlop on bun and enjoy!
17 December 2010
About once every month or two, we go on a date. We usually do things that Gas Monkey is not so interested in, such as going to the theatre. The other day we went to the traveling “King Tut” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. It was fun, although rather small. As a retired amateur Egyptologist (I studied Egypt religiously for about 9 years, read over 40 books, created 8 notebooks on different subjects including, religion, monuments and cities, pharaohs, daily life, and writings – my experience in a nutshell), I found the exhibit somewhat boring. But I took pride in my dusty knowledge, walking through with my nose held high. I can be quite the knowledge snob unfortunately. Poor dad didn't get to listen to Harrison Ford's narrated audio tour, because he had me instead.
Eggplant Parmesan. What to say? It was about how I expected it - ok. Except next time I will peel the skin first. What is the etiquette with that? Skin or no skin? I found more recipes quite vague on the subject.
Merut's Baked Eggplant Parmesan
1 medium sized eggplant, sliced into 1 inch slices
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 tsp sage
1 tbsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp powder
1 tsp onion pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3 cups spaghetti/marinara sauce - use your favorite (homemade or store-bought)
Mozzarella (couple of handfuls)
- Slice the eggplant into 1 inch slices.
- In a bowl, stir eggs.
- In a bowl, mix panko crumbs, parmesan, sage, basil, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Prepare a casserole dish. Apply nonstick, and then spread a slight layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish. Make sure you reserve 2/3 of your sauce.
- Dip the eggplant slices in the egg, then cover with the dry mixture. Place the slices in one layer in the pan.
- Spray oil over eggplant slices.
- Top with remaining sauce and top with mozzarella. Cover dish with foil.
- Place pan in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Cool slightly and serve over pasta or as a side.
15 December 2010
14 December 2010
First is the arm dilemma. I have seriously lost sleep over this. Do my arms go over yours? Do they both go under yours? How about half and half? But then which arm goes up and which one goes under? I am a stumbling mess, which usually involves injury or embarrassment. Then there is the trauma I suffer from. I either hug from the side or I stick my butt out. I have been doing this since I was about 12. While my aunt treats the butt-out hug like a secret handshake, my grandma took it as a personal offense. Grandma went in for the hug and I stuck my butt out.
Blame my mother. When I was 12, uncomfortably budding in my youth, my mother would hug me tight (so as to prevent escape) and say, “Booby to booby, honey. Booby to booby.” Like that is a form of female bonding! Gross! Is that why all women love to hug? As a subconcious demonstration of the bosom buddy? To this day I cannot hug another woman without that disturbing image in my head. Especially because now I know what my mom thinks when she hugs me (she still says it). It is just wrong. I don’t want my boobs touching another’s, thank you very much. So for now, I will maintain the side-hug or butt-out position. Until my boobs work their way down to my belly – then I will improvise.
Back to a different kind of breast. This is one of my best creations to date. The chicken cooked perfectly – not dry or undercooked. And the addition of the balsamic vinegar reduction was just right. Gas Monkey even said he could see himself ordering it at a restaurant (the liar).
Mediterranean-Inspired Stuffed Chicken Breast with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Sauce4 Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1. Pound the chicken breasts as thin as possible without breaking them. I, being clever, wrapped a rolling pin with syran wrap, and let out my aggression.
2. Season the outside of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Flip so the inside is facing up.
3. In a bowl mix all of the feta, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers. Spread the mixture on the inside of the chicken breasts.
7. Cook for 1 hour. Once the hour is up, turn the oven to broil, remove the foil, and heat for 10 more minutes. Remove from pan and top with just enough reduced balsamic vinegar (a little goes a long way). Serve!
09 December 2010
This has been eating me up inside. I just want to say that at one point, I was going to be the next Queen of England. See, it all started when I was ten. That was the age when William was still cuter than Harry (although I have recently switched my fancy. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against baldness - if you OWN it. William is not owning his baldness, so I'm all for hot, unpredictable Harry. I like a challenge. Gas Monkey, thank you for OWNING it.) Back on track. So I had a fantasy that I would play out in my room, by myself. Here is the fantasy:
La la la. . . I'm minding my own business, walking down the street. Oh NO! What is Prince William doing running my way? He's escaping the paparazzi! I will save him. Like a hero I pull William into a dark corner. Then I take him to my house and dress him in a disguise. For this, and all of my other assets and charms, he falls in love. Then he takes me to his palace to meet his family. You'd think that my age would be the huge turn-off to a future nuptial. But alas! It is because I am an "Ameracun". But William doesn't care. We marry and live happily ever after. And 15 years later I would be making him cut his hair. And somebody else would be planning my wedding. Instead he is breaking our imaginary contract, and now my heart is hurting.
I know what you are all thinking. That would have been a tragedy. While I would have made a fabulous queen, I would never have to cook for myself, and the blogosphere would be a lonely place without me. Instead I'm miserably avoiding wedding details while munching on these craptacular "bride-friendly" cookies. Damn it! Why do I have to wait until after I'm married to get fat!? At least I have Gas Monkey. Love you!
This is why I don't make cookies. Because when I do they are always mediocre. And I'm not sure that these are mediocre because they are healthy either. Maybe next time I will add less oats. Don't get me wrong - they are fine. But that's it - just fine.
"Healthier" Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 cups oats
- Mix softened butter, applesauce, honey, brown sugar, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking soda. Add to the mixture from #1.
- Slowly add the oats until you get the desired texture. I added 3 and they were somewhat dry, so I'd go with two next time.
08 December 2010
07 December 2010
I can't say that my family has much to offer in the way of holiday traditions. The only real tradition we have is the stockings. I am shocked to learn that not every family does this. Each member of our family has a stocking, and everybody is supposed to get a small something for each person. On Christmas eve, all of us crazy elves stealthily fill the stockings with goodies. The next morning we get to investigate. It is my favorite part of Christmas. It is the only thing that is truly unpredictable.
The only other tradition is from my mother. When my parents first got married, they had no Christmas decorations, and their first Christmas tree resembled Charlie Brown's. So every Christmas since I was born, she gets me a Christmas ornament so that when I get married I won't have a bare tree. There are two rules to the ornament. 1. It has to be Hallmark. 2. It has to have the date on the ornament. So mom, this is the ornament I would like this year (next year you can get me a tree topper and then you're done):
Back to the food. These quinoa burgers are the best!!!!!!! And by best I mean amazing. And by amazing I mean incredible. So funny story. I found the recipe here, and they looked delicious. I was so excited to make them. But during my first attempt I forgot to add the eggs so they kept falling apart. Imagine my frustration. Then I reviewed the recipe and realized my mistake. Instead we just ate the mixture out of a bowl, and it tasted delicious. Then I got around to trying a second time. These are the best veggie burgers I have ever had. The flavor is delicious. But even better - the texture is spot on. It is not soggy, it doesn't keep falling apart; it is perfect. Try these, just remember the eggs.
Quinoa Veggie Burgers
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 medium carrot, finely grated
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, including white parts
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Cook the quinoa however you like. I used my rice cooker and cooked it just like rice.
In a bowl, mix the cooled quinoa, shredded carrot, cheddar and cottage cheese . . . oh heck. Just throw all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix it well.
Warm up a griddle if you have one. It is flat whic makes for easy flipping and no oil needed.
Create patties and place on griddle. Fry until golden-brown, and then flip. Once they are thoroughly cooked, serve together or separate. With or without a bun.
04 December 2010
These meatballs are such a change from what I used to eat. I liken meatballs to meatloaf, just smaller (i.e. gross). But these are fantastic, and I love to make them. I'd even argue that they are hands down the best meatballs ever (although they are also the only meatballs I've tried since I was five). I would highly recommend these to anybody!!!!!
Baked Cheesy Turkey Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey - lean as can be
3 green onions, chopped
1 large egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tbsp ketchup
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan
14 cup grated romano
1/4 tbsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form small 1-2 inch balls with the mixture. Space on baking sheet evenly.
3. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning meatballs every 10 minutes.
4. Serve with pasta or as hors d'oeurves using tomato sauce for dipping.
I used these meatballs to make spaghetti and meatballs. Spaghetti and meatballs 1.0.1.
1. Cook pasta (I used some kind of delicious vegetable linguine)
2. Mix meatballs with your favorite spaghetti sauce (homemade or store bought).
3. Top pasta with meatballs and sauce. Garnish with parmesan!