Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Food Update

I had taken a break from posting to my food blog, but I find that I miss the first person perspective. I like to write like I am talking to people, because that is my favorite thing to do: tell people about food.

I have also taken a break from my Examiner online writing job. Graduate school started to take up a lot of my time. School always comes first for me, so that's how that went. I hope to write more for my Examiner.com page as well now that the semester is winding down. How perfect that it is the holiday season and i will be cooking a lot anyways. Such a fun time of year. Apples, pumpkins, holiday spices, turkey, cranberries...and then on into candy, cookies, fudge, chocolate of every kind, along with my family's Christmas crab dinner. Such a plethora of food!

Hopefully I can find a balance between the first person blog writing and article writing so I still continue to enjoy sharing food ideas with others.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Macon Cooking Examiner

I was recently accepted as an online writer for the Macon Examiner.
I am the Macon Cooking Examiner.
Please check out my website and subscribe to my articles.
If you have any recipes you would like me to test out for your, or questions you would like to ask, please feel free to comment on my Examiner web page or here on my blog.
I would love to hear from you!

Here is the website.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Almond Milk

I have recently discovered almond milk. My mom told me about it because she saw a special on a morning news show talking about how it is good for runners because of the anti-oxidants. She knew I had recently taken up running/cycling as a hobby so she suggested it to me.
I got the Silk brand from the store and boy was I surprised...in a good way! It tasted awesome. I got the sweetened almond milk, and it tastes just like almonds but sweet and creamy. It is so good. I have started to use it in my cooking as well. I made my normal batch of muffins this morning, and substituted the almond milk for the cow's milk, and they turned out great!
Here is a link talking about almond milk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almond_milk
I hope you try it soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beef and Noodle

This is a quick supper I made with the leftovers from my French Onion Soup and Mushroom Roast. It turned out so yummy I had to blog it so I do not forget the recipe.

leftover french onion soup roast (has onions, mushrooms and beef roast)
A can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (with one can of milk)
Dried or fresh parsley
Egg noodles (I used no-yolks)

What I did:
I first started to bowl the egg noodles.
At the same time, in a large pot I added the cream of mushroom soup with a can of milk and started to stir over medium heat. Once the mushroom soup was completely dissolved in the milk I added the left over roast. This included some leftover portobello mushrooms, Campbell's french onion soup onions and beef (Yum!). I stirred this all together until heated through.

Once the noodles were done, I added some butter to the noodles and then poured them into the mushroom/beef mixture. I then topped with dried parsley. I wanted fresh parsley to add some green to the dish to brighten it up, but all I had was dried. I'm hoping to start an herb garden this Spring, so hopefully I won't have that problem anymore.

I hope you enjoy this double duty dish of beef roast and beef and noodle. This is a real crowd pleaser.

French Onion Soup and Mushroom Roast

I forgot to get a picture of the beautiful roast that I created in the slow cooker. That really irks me. However, I am going to blog it anyways so you can try it and see it for yourself. It turned out so good that I'm sure I'll make it again. When I do, hopefully I will remember to take a picture! lol

Large beef roast
three cans of Campbell's french onion soup (and two cans of water)
two sliced porobello mushrooms
Tablespoon garlic powder
three bay leaves
two small potato's, peeled, cut in half
fresh cracked pepper

What to do:
I placed the beef roast in the slow cooker along with the three cans of Campbell's french onion soup and two cans of water. The roast was completely covered. I then added the mushrooms, bay leaves, garlic powder, potato's and pepper. The potato's were only added to suck out any extra salt the onion soup gives off. I did not want it to be too salty so I added those just in case. I think next time if I just use low sodium soup, it should be fine.
I placed this on low heat for 8 hours (my slow cooker cooks hot, so if yours does not, then put on medium or high depending on size of roast).

The roast turned out so good. I had a side of stir fry vegetable blend with cheese and the dish was complete. The mushrooms soaked up all the onion soup flavor and the roast was fork tender. Once again, the house smelt awesome.

Irish Coffee


This is my Dad’s Irish coffee. This has been a St. Patrick’s day tradition as far back as I can remember. I really do think my dad was a bar tender in a second life. So here is the recipe for everyone to enjoy on St. Patrick’s day, along with their green beer of course!

In Cup add as follows:

1 shot Irish Whiskey

1 shot Kahlua

Pour coffee in mug to about ¾ full

Put whipped cream on top of coffee

Drizzle a few drops of Crème De Menthe

Add Maraschino cherry (optional)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

My mom made this for Valentine's Day for my Dad. It was amazing! The white chocolate adds so much to the flavor of the cheesecake. The raspberry adds just enough tangy contrast to make this dessert over the top. You must make this recipe for your sweetheart.

Oreo Cookie Crust:
13 Oreo cookies
1/4 cup melted butter

Cheesecake filling:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temp (that's three 8 ounce packages)
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp unbleached white flour
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white gourmet chocolate like Ghirardelli, melted with 2 Tbsp half and half
3/4 cup raspberry preserves, seedless

What to do:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven. This will steam during the baking process and provide a more stable environment for the cheesecake to cook in; one with a more constant temperature.

Prepare a 9 inch spring form pan with foil and spray. Just place foil over the base of the spring form pan with the foil overlapping the base. Then place the spring rim over the foil and close. then fold the foil up the sides of the rim; this is to make sure the filling stays in the pan.
Mix crust ingredients and pat on the bottom of the prepared pan, making a nice even layer of crust, even if you need to push some of the cookie up the sides of the pan, that is ok.
Using a high-speed mixer beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
Add eggs and beat until fluffy, scraping sides of the bowl a few times and mixing after.
Add flour, almond extract, vanilla and salt, beat again and scrape down the sides.

In a double boiler (basically a sauce pan with water boiling and a glass bowl sitting over top the pan, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water), melt the white chocolate with half and half until creamy.
Then, with the mixer on medium speed, add melted white chocolate. Beat on medium just until mixed and creamy.

Pour half the batter into the pan on top of the crust. Then carefully and evenly spoon half the raspberry preserves on top of the batter. It helps if you nuke the raspberry preserves first, couple of seconds, makes it more pliable. Do not let any preserves touch the sides of the pan.
Then, gently pour the remaining batter on top, being careful not to disturb the preserves.
Place small amounts of remaining preserves around the top of the cheesecake. And using a sharp knife or toothpick cut through the preserves and into the cheesecake to produce a swirled design. You can also drag the toothpick out a bit and make a star like symbol. That is what is on the top of the cheesecake pictured.

Bake at 325 for 60 -70 minutes. Its ok if the middle is still a little jiggly, as long as the cheesecake is mostly firm. If you see hints of brown on the top of the cheesecake, its definitely done.
Place in refrigerator to firm up.

I really hope you make this recipe for your special someone.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pork loin with Plum Sauce

This is another dish made by my mom. She saw this recipe on FoodNetwork, by Sandra Lee. She tried it the very next day. I think it looks great, and I will definitely have to try it. She said it was very good, and her and Dad could not stop eating it.

½ cup Chardonnay
2 tsp corn starch
½ cup Plum Sauce
Small pork loin

How to:
Mix Chardonnay & cornstarch in crock pot until dissolved.
Season pork with salt, pepper, & minced garlic
Pour Plum sauce in the crock, mix then add pork
Cook on high 4 hours, low 6 hours.

I'm wondering if this could be used as a base recipe for a Chinese like pork dish. Maybe add some ginger while cooking, and then a dash of soy sauce when finished. I will have to experiment and see what happens.

Rosemary Thyme White Wine Pork

This is another pork dish I tried in the slow cooker. It turned out pretty good. I made sure to have plenty of onions this time. I love slow cooked onions, they absorb all the juices and flavor an can be just as yummy as the main dish.


Pork loin
2 medium onions, quartered
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon oregano
teaspoon thyme
teaspoon Rosemary
2 bay leaves
bottle of white wine

How to:
I put the pork loin, onions, seasonings, and the bottle of wine in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours. The house smelled heavenly when I got home. The white wine really added a great taste to the pork, and made it very tender. And the onions burst with flavor!

I hope you try a pork loin in the slow cooker, experiment with the spices you like, make sure you have enough liquid to keep it moist and they always turn out so good.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

These shrimp were amazing! I do not have a picture but I had to blog the recipe anyways. My mom tried this recipe and the shrimp tasted like they were from Outback! You have to try this wonderful recipe.

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled & de-veined

How to:
In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and
Red wine vinegar. Season with the basil, salt, & cayenne pepper. Add
Shrimp to bowl and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for
30 minutes to 1 hour….stirring once or twice.

Thread the shrimp onto the skewers, piercing near tail and near head. Discard remaining marinade.

Lightly oil grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

I suggest a big piece of garlic bread and a nice juicy steak to go along with this wonderful shrimp fish.

Memphis Rubbed Pork Loin

This is a slow cooker recipe I tried because I started to eat pork again, and I simply love it! I have a new found respect for the pig. My mom's favorite rub for pork is her Memphis rub. I have included the recipe for it as well as what i did to create this yummy pork dish.

pork loin
2 or 3 medium onions (pictured above I only had a small onion, but the more onions the better)
handful sized sprinkle of Memphis rub (recipe to follow)
teaspoon oregano
teaspoon garlic powder
water to come half way up the pork
2 bay leaves

What I did:
I put the pork loin in the slow cooker, along with the onions and all seasonings, water and bay leaves. I let it cook on low for 7 hours. Make sure you have enough water or some sort of stock in your slow cooker if it cooks hot, or the meat will be dry at the end. I learned this the hard way, lol.

Memphis rub:
¼ cup paprika
1 ½ tbsp black pepper
1 ½ tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 ½ tsp celery salt
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp dry mustard
1 ½ tsp ground cumin

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kim's Ice Cream Sandwich Oreo Cake

I didn't get a picture because this was a work birthday lunch, but my friend Kim made this wonderful ice cream sandwich Oreo cake. She gave us all the recipe, and I wanted to blog it so everyone could try and make this wonderful dessert.

24 Ice cream Sandwiches
1 package of INSTANT Pudding (your choice flavor) Can’t remember the size package but it was the big one, NOT 4-serving size)
1 package of Oreos
1 16Oz Cool Whip
2 tsp powder sugar

What to do:
Crush Oreos (I put them into a Ziploc and let my[Kim's] son hit them with the toy hammer)
Mix entire contents of the Cool Whip and Pudding and powder sugar together (powder sugar makes it thin out a bit which is good for spreading the icing)

Use 12 ice cream sandwiches for the bottom (2 rows)
Put a layer of Icing
Put a layer of crushed Oreos

Put in the freezer for about 30 minutes to harden again. If not it will be too soft for you to continue and it will move around.
Repeat process for the 2nd layer

This turned out amazing!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup and Salad

I made this soup because all I had in the freezer was butternut squash. I didn't quite have enough so what I didn't have in squash I made up for in parsnips. This soup turned out spicy and very yummy.

This recipe came from Gourmet Made Simple, by Gena Knox. Her name is spelled different but she pronounces it just like my name. She is local to middle Georgia as well, I met her at the GA national fair grounds during the mistletoe market. I also made a salad that was inspired by a salad recipe in the cookbook.

What I used:
1 frozen box of butternut squash,
1 bag of parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove elephant garlic (or 3 regular cloves of garlic) chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups of chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
Sour cream or cream cheese for garnish

What I did:
The recipe called for roasting a butternut squash in the oven, but I had frozen squash so I defrosted it in the microwave (took about 5 minutes).

To a large soup pot I added the olive oil, onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes over medium high heat. This cooked for about 4 minutes until just browned. Then added the cayenne pepper and ginger, and cooked for a minute more.

After all the spices are combined I added the squash, parsnips, brown sugar, and stock. I brought this to a boil, then covered and simmered about 12 minutes until parsnips were soft. The squash was already pureed.
I then used my immersion blender and pureed the rest of the soup.

It turned out very good; spicy and creamy. I didn't have any sour cream to top the soup, but I did have cream cheese so I used that. You will need something to balance the spice, so a creamy topping of some kind is very important. The topping just melted in my mouth, yum!

I also made a mixed green salad topped with salted cashews, almonds and pecans (from a Mr. Peanut mixed nuts jar) and shaved Parmesan cheese.
I made a homemade salad dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey. It was awesome! I am never buying salad dressing again. I used about tablespoon of honey, tablespoon and a half of vinegar and then streamed in the olive oil until I like the consistency of the dressing.
All in all, it was a nice dinner. I think I'll have the soup for lunch
the next day, maybe with a big piece of bread. Can't wait!