Thursday, September 23, 2010

"'Sup?" "Not Much..."

Any particular reason why I haven't posted many recipes lately? Well, I'm going to pass blame on to someone else. Actually, something else.

The dishwasher in our apartment.

And, what, you may ask, does the dishwasher have to do with my cooking lull? Well, I'll not only tell you, I'll show you.

Okay, so maybe you can't tell, but our cheap dishwasher stops working (right where the knob is stopped in the first picture) and a bunch of stinky, dirty dishwater is left in the bottom of my dishwasher. It also likes to emit a scent that is reminiscent of despair. Also known as a burned out motor.

We have asked maintenance to correct this problem three times now. They have finally decided to replace the dishwasher. NEXT WEEK. I. hate. dishes. HATE. Like, I even hate loading and unloading the dishes, but now I have to hand wash my dishes, which I have done enough in my lifetime. Ugh. I'd rather vacuum, dust, make the bed, wash the floors, and do laundry than hand wash ALL of our dishes.

Anyway, all these dirty dishes that seem to be constantly piled up on my counter because maintenance has failed to correct the problem three times now have kind of put a damper on my desire to cook in my kitchen. So there you have it. Tonight I am making a delicious little Disney World Recipe from the Polynesian Resort that you'll have to look for, but don't be surprised if you see it plated on paper plates... so I don't have to do as many dishes later.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am ashamed...

I've been a bad blogger. Really when have I been a good blogger? ;-) I've been cooking a lot of fun meals lately, but I've been apathetic about photographing my meals. I do have a few recipes for you all, though.

Not a whole lot has been happening around the house lately. DH hasn't had as many weddings to photograph this fall, which has been nice because it means we can spend more lazy weekends around the apartment. One miracle is that I've been a little better about staying on top of the chores around the house, which is nice. Now our dishwasher's being annoying, so we'll have to get one of the maintenance people out here to fix it. I cook too much not to have a working dishwasher.

We recently had the fall kickoff for our Youth Ministry at church, which was awesome. I am so looking forward to the things that God will do this year in our Lower (and Upper) School Ministry! A few favourite photos...

One of my favourite friends ever!

Two beautiful girls in my lifegroup!

Gonna miss these girls! (They are going up to Upper School) :-(

Two more girls in my lifegroup doing motions for Mercy is Falling

Worship led by Aaron and Jordan (and others)

I haven't been able to get in much substitute teaching so far this year, so I spend most of my days watching country music videos, Desperate Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy, planning meals, and playing games on the internet. Oh what an exciting life I lead. I made a commitment to start running for real when September hit and I've been good so far about getting to the gym or on the road (it all depends on the weather). I've run just over 13 miles so far this month, which is not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but it's pretty darn good for me just starting out again. I plan on doing at least 3 miles tonight on the treadmill (it's a hot one today).

Anyway... Some eats...

Basil Chicken in a Coconut-Curry Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 16 oz chicken breast
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 of a large red onion, cut into thin wedges (1 cup)
  • 2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 13.5- or 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, low fat fine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 servings hot cooked rice

  1. In a medium bowl combine curry powder, black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the chili powder. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Add to spice mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours to allow spices to penetrate meat. 
  2. Spray oil into a wok or large nonstick skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeno peppers, and garlic to wok; cook and stir about 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove onion mixture from wok. Add half of the chicken to wok. Cook and stir for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from wok. Repeat with remaining chicken. (I have a huge wok, so I cooked it all at once)
  3. Stir together coconut milk, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Carefully add to wok. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Return chicken and the onion mixture to wok. Stir in basil and ginger. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve over hot rice. Makes 4 servings.

Review: More like Curry Chicken in Coconut-Basil Sauce, but you can't taste the sweetness of the coconut... or the basil. Maybe my curry is too spicy. I still LOVED the recipe though. It was DELICIOUS. I can't wait to eat the leftovers in a couple of minutes.

Beef and Chipotle Burritos

no photo available

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless beef round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 9- to 10-inch tomato-flavored or plain flour tortillas, warmed
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  • 1 recipe Pico de Gallo Salsa
  • Shredded jicama or radishes (optional)
  • Dairy sour cream (optional)

  1. Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 6 pieces. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker place meat, undrained tomatoes, onion, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, and garlic.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Remove meat from cooker. Using 2 forks, pull meat apart into shreds. Place meat in a large bowl. Stir in enough cooking liquid to reach desired consistency. Divide meat among warm tortillas, spooning it just below the centers. Top with cheese, Pico de Gallo Salsa, and, if desired, jicama and sour cream. Roll up tortillas. Makes 6 servings.
Pico de Gallo Salsa: In a medium bowl combine 2 finely chopped medium tomatoes; 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion; 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro; 1 fresh serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (see tip); and dash sugar. Cover; chill several hours.

Review: This was my second attempt at a slow-cooker meal after a miserable fail about a year ago. I LOVE this recipe. This will have to be a regular recipe. It was SO good. Very spicy, but not too spicy. We didn't use the jicama or the sour cream. It was sooooooooo good though. Yum.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We are two-thirds of the way through this year, already! That is SO hard to believe.

I spend the "summer" (who really considers September summer?) doing my own little challenge. It was called the Sans Soda Summer. I went three months without soda. This was one of my 101 in 1001, though according to the list, I was not required to make the three months consecutive, so I feel even cooler that I did make them consecutive. So... this was a good challenge. Most of the time, I didn't really feel the desire to have soda, but there were a few times when I could have really enjoyed a good ol' Boylan Black Cherry soda. I mean, I like soda, it's good, but I've never been "addicted" to it. Before I did this, I had a soda maybe every 10 days or so. I plan on keeping the habit up, but I will probably indulge in sodas like Boylan or Curiosity Cola, not Coke or Barq's.

So... the eats.

Flank Steak Rollup, Clean Eating Magazine

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cups whole-wheat panko
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 flank steak about a pound, trimmed of visible fat
  • 3 oz spinach leaves
  • kitchen string or skewers
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange a rack in a baking dish and coat with cooking spray
  2. In a small bowl, combine panko, nuts, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes. Set aside.
  3.  Place steak on a work surface. Holding a sharp knife, parallel to the work surface and positioned along 1 of the longer sides, cut the steak almost in half horizontally so it opens like a book. Spread steak open with “spine of book” parallel to you.
  4. Sprinkle panko mixture over steak leaving a one inch border along the farthest edge. Arrange spinach on top. Beginning with the closest edge roll steak up, gently pressing down on the spinach. Tie up with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals. Place steak in prepared pan and bake unto the meat thermometer reads 150 for medium and 130 for rare. Remove from oven, transfer to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil to rest 10 mins.
  5. Remove foil and string and carefully cut steak crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Serve drizzled with any juices that accumulated on the cutting board.


Homemade Pizza

I used my normal pizza dough recipe, and then I added red and green peppers, onions, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and some Jennie-O's Hot Italian Turkey Sausage that I removed from the casings and then cooked in my cast iron skillet.

Chicken Parmesan Burgers, Elly Says Opa


  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce
  • 4 slices mozzarella or provolone (or 1/2 cup shredded)
  • sauteed mushrooms (optional)
  • 4 buns (brushed with a little garlic butter, they are even better)
  1. Lightly mix together all the ingredients for the burgers. Form into 4 patties. I like to make them about 30-40 minutes ahead of time, to let the flavors meld a little bit.
  2. Preheat & spray the broiler with a little oil (or use the grill, or a pan). Broil the burgers for about 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and broil for 3 minutes. Top each chicken burger with 2 Tbsp. pasta sauce and a slice (or about 2T) of cheese. Place back under the broiler for 30-60 seconds, until cheese in melted and burger is cooked through. Top with mushrooms, if desired. Place the buns in the broiler for about 10 seconds, just until toasted.
I actually sauteed the mushrooms, then melted the cheese over them, then topped the burgers with the mushroom/cheese mixture, then added heated sauce to the tops of the burgers.

In other news, I tried my first green monster. It looked gross (thus no photos), but tasted delicious.

The recipe I used:
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Two handfuls of spinach
  • Ice to make smoothie of good consistency (10 for me)

 I enjoyed it thoroughly! :-) Well, I think I am going to go off to the gym... time to get some running done. It's September and it's time to run!