Monthly Archives: November 2009

Georgie Porgie Pudding and…well, really just pudding, I guess

Josh likes pudding.  And I like chocolate.  So chocolate pudding is a nice compromise for the both of us.  Plus, it was great to make this as a trial run since I’m sure I’m going to have to make it again at the end of the week….since Josh is getting his wisdom teeth out.  All four of them.  At once.

Chocolate pudding is the least I can do.

Well, no, bringing him home and leaving him on the couch to wallow in pain medication is the least I can do.  But then what kind of wife would I be?  And then there’d be no pudding. Continue reading

Pomegranate-braised ancho-chocolate beef: it's what's for dinner. And maybe dessert. No, just dinner. Maybe dessert.

I got a notice that POM Wonderful was having a recipe contest and I thought, “Self, we’ve never entered a recipe contest before. We should give it a shot.”  Self said, “We’ll never win.”  And I replied, “Way to be defeatist, Self.  The point is that it’s an excuse to be creative.”  Self: “Since when do we need an excuse?”  Me: “Since you started screwing with my chi.”  Self: “Oh okay.”  So we shook on it.  Mentally.

So now that Self and I were in agreement (which happens much less often than you might imagine), I started thinking about various winter meals we could make with pomegranate.  I considered roasting a chicken basted with a pomegranate compound butter.  Iactually did that one, too.  It wasn’t bad.  But it didn’t make me go, “Mmmmmmmmmmmm” with my head tilted back and my mouth wide open slouched in a chair like Homer Simpson.  I also thought about stuffing a pork tenderloin with spinach and goat cheese and cooking it in a pomegranate glaze.  Haven’t done that yet…but probably will, because thinking about it now has me drooling a little bit, I’ll admit it. Continue reading

Turkey….cake….not as odd as it sounds


If you peruse food sites as much as I do, you’ve probably already seen hundreds of Thanksgiving recipes already.  Turkeys, side-dishes, pie after pie after pie.  Well I’m going to jump ahead a bit with recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Leftovers?!? you say.  How can you possibly think about leftovers when I’ve yet to even set my deck on fire while frying my first bird?  Well, I’ve already had one Thanksgiving so far—yesterday, in fact, at my inlaws.  It was delicious.  And it gave me plenty of leftover turkey to take home to experiment with.

Now, there’s one thing I tend to want the day after a good holiday meal: something light.  I love rich food but it only loves me for so long before it brings out the claws (rawr).  So tonight when looking for a good light meal and considering the bag of turkey goodness I had in the fridge, I thought….turkey cakes.

As is well known, I don’t eat seafood.  I don’t eat anything that swims at all.  In fact, if a cow has so much as wandered across a stream, I don’t want anything to do with it.  I don’t know why, it’s just a thing I have.  But I am entranced by crab cakes.  I partially blame one of my old roommates, Steph, who was from Maryland; I think she was a bad influence.  But mostly it’s because crab cakes just look so freaking good.  And I’ve thought, I could easily do these and just replace them with chicken.  But I never got around to it because hey, there’s so many dishes and so little time.  But now I’ve got all this turkey…turkey’s kind of like chicken.  It’s like a bigger chicken. Continue reading

The UnBaked

I know what you’re thinking: oh geez.  Here we go again.  Yet another post where she tells us about how she hates to bake but then bakes (delicious, delectable, decadent) desserts anyway.  I just can’t take it anymore.  I just can’t handle this gastronomical rollercoaster!

Well, never fear.  Because this time it’s different.  I promise.  I’ve changed.  I’m a new person.  And I’ve done that for you.  I promise that I will be everything a baking-hating person should be.  In fact, not only do I hate baking but I, in fact, did not bake last night.

Oh sure, I mean, there’s an image of a deliciously rich dessert attached to this post.  But I didn’t bake it.  Honest.  Would I lie to you?  I told you, I’m a whole new person.  No baking and I mean it.  These bars are actually unbaked.  For all you Twilight fans, that means this dish is like the Edward of the dessert world.  But healthier looking. Continue reading

Veggie Carbonara: it's mostly healthy. And tasty. I swear.

The first time I had a pasta carbonara was at a cooking class at Hollanders in Kerrytown.  I’ve long been interested in the whole “bacon and egg pasta” idea, but only in philosophy, because after all…I don’t eat breakfast.  I know, I know, just one more of my weird culinary idiosyncrasies.  Still, I wanted to try making carbonara on my own, particularly seeing how easy it was to do.  I wanted something a bit lighter and healthier tonight though (something about eating crushed lentil soup from Pita Kabob Grill makes me crave healthy things…at least until someone offers me something chocolate).  So I opted to throw together a healthier vegetarian version of the dish. Continue reading

It rubs the lotion on its skin: chocolate salt body scrub

Chocolate is truly the food of the gods.  You can eat it plain or with nuts, in cookies and cakes, drizzled over scones, and  melted with whipped cream on top.  You can also rub it on your skin, for various reasons (hey, whatever you do as a consenting adult in your own time is none of my business), and one of those reasons might be skin exfoliating.

It’s no secret that I happen to love the benefits that good food gives you from the inside and the outside.  I mean, this blog even has a whole page of foodie skin care tips utilizing home made concoctions of various foodstuffs.  Well here is one more: a chocolate body scrub.

When I found this recipe on Betty Confidential, I was pretty excited (I mean, it’s chocolate!) and I also thought it would be nice to make some up as gifts for the rapidly approaching holiday season (they are playing Christmas music already, did you know that?!).  It was also an interesting recipe because it called for an ingredient that I knew about but never had much cause to actually experiment with: chocolate nibs.  These little bites are the center of the cacao bean and the epitome of chocolate; the outer shell is removed and the nibs are roasted.  Continue reading

My Favorite Frijoles

I have been inspired.  By a delicious, delectable, delightful dish from Edible Aria: frijoles rojas.  Now, this wasn’t by a long shot the first time I’d seen this dish but the pictures looked soooo good I could not resist.  I know what you’re thinking: Lauren, dear, you are so magnificent.  How do you ever find all of these tempting treasures?  Oh, I shrug with a nonchalant sweep of the hand, I just stumble upon them.  I love Stumble.  I find so many fantastic things there.  The internet is my vast, giant cookbook and Stumble is my faithful page-turner.  Or something like that.

Anyway, what were we talking about?  Oh, right.  Beans.

So I needed something to make for dinner.  We had some tortilla chips leftover from Saturday…or Sunday…or one of those.  It’s all kind of blurred together now.  Anyway, I also had cheese, tomatoes, rice and some Spanish chorizo in the freezer, leftover from a trip to Eastern Market.  I’d found the frijoles recipe a few days earlier and figured…that’ll work.  Continue reading

Cinnamon Chocolate Bundt Cake: So Easy a Caveman Could Do It

My love of chocolate, as you know, knows no bounds.  This is a super easy and very fast recipe for a chocolate bundt cake, although I actually made a regular cake because I have a bundt cake pan but my bundt cake pan is…um…a castle.  Yeah.  So it seemed a bit…grand….for this.  But don’t fear: while this is a small cake, comparatively, it’s big on flavor and happiness.  Delicious delicious happiness.

Cinnamon Chocolate Cake
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. soft butter
2 large egg whites plus 1 large egg
1/2 c. lowfat milk
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp chocolate extract (or use vanilla if you can’t find chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat butter and sugar together; add eggs one at a time, then chocolate extract, cinnamon and milk.  Add in the flour, baking soda, salt and unsweetened cocoa.  Mix until well blended.  Spray a bundt pan or 9″ round pan with cooking spray.  Fold batter into the pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes depending on your oven.

Top with chocolate ganache.  Eat.  Smile.  Be happy.  Share.

Lemon Pepper Garlic Pork Chops…in Pictures

I came across this blog post for the Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon Pepper Chicken and… all right, I’ll admit it: I drooled a little bit.  But whatever.  Who wouldn’t?  Click on the link and I dare you not to.

So I figured…yeah that’ll do for an end of the weekend dinner.  Only, of course, I more or less just did my own riff on it and because I haven’t had them in awhile, I figured I’d substitute a good couple of porkchops in place of the chicken.  So this is more or less what I did.  If you want to try your own version, I highly suggest visiting the link up there and trying it out for yourself. Continue reading

Friday Foodie Finds, Nov 6: The Make Your Own Edition


With Vegan Highlights :-)

Make Your Own…

Random Fun Stuff:

  • Jello Architecture…I’ll admit, I’m not one for jello, but this is pretty awesome
  • What People Eat Around the World..I keep running into this again and again and it never ceases to fascinate and amaze me.  If you haven’t seen it before, definitely take a look.
  • Search for “bento” on Flickr….it’s pretty amazing

Chocolate ganache is like an angel in edible chocolate food form

I got a bit bored tonight and as usual when I’m bored, I started itching to bake something.  I was too lazy to go to the store, though, so I had to make do with what I had in my kitchen.  Not enough butter for cookies (shock and awe!).  Not enough cocoa powder or unsweetenened chocolate for cake.  No dried fruit for bars.  No cream cheese for frosting.  No chocolate bars for les petit pains.  No yeast for bread.  Clearly I need to go shopping.  Okay, so what did I have besides a messy, empty kitchen?  Semisweet chocolate chips (it will be a dark forsaken day when I don’t have a bag of these in my fridge.  I buy them in bulk from By the Pound), a stick and a half of butter.  Flour.  Sugar.  Chocolate extract.  Milk.  Eggs.  Salt.  That was pretty much it.  However, lucky for me that’s just enough to make my usual brownies and a nice ganache topping.

I heart ganache.  If you’ve read my blog before, you know that in addition to my amazing culinary skill and incredible wit, I have a lot of scientifically supported, rational opinions on food (fish is icky, tomatoes are squishy, recipes are guidelines, good barbecue takes at least three days, white chocolate is an abomination against God, etc and so on).  You can add a new one to my list of completely indisputable* positions: frosting has no place on a brownie.  But you can smother that sucker in all the ganache you want and it is nothing short of heaven on earth. Continue reading

Sorry Charlie, Peanuts are for eating, not for reading: Peanut Chicken Stirfry

Oh bother.

Since I was on my own tonight while Josh was out at a super exciting computer society meeting, I figured I’d make myself a very easy one pot Asian-inspired dish that Josh actually loves but never wants: peanut chicken stirfry.

Consider this less of a recipe, more of a guideline.  Actually, consider everything I write a guideline.  In fact, consider everything I don’t write a guideline too.  Just in case.

Anyway, I love this dish because it’s fast and delicious and only really requires one pot.  And you can swap all sorts of things in and out.  Basically what it is is a pasta dish with vegetables and meat and a creamy peanut butter sauce.  Let me tell you, it might sound odd, but if there’s one way to get your kids (and yourself) to eat vegetables, it’s to smother them in peanut butter.  Trust me. Continue reading

My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard

I want you to read this next part as if you were William Shatner:

My.  Milkshake brings.  All the boys. To. The. Yard.
And they’re like.  It’s better.  Than yours.
Damn.  Right.  It’s better.  Than yours.
I can.  Teach you.  But I.  Have. To. Charge.

And the charge for this, of course, is that I do actually expect you to read that part above like William Shatner.  Bonus points if you do it out loud.  And then you will have truly earned this milkshake knowledge that I am about to drop on you. Continue reading