Monthly Archives: December 2009

2009 Favorites: The Rest

A few of my favorite things from How to Cook Everything:

1. Stock! I am obsessed with making my own stock now. I seem to use a lot more of it than I did before when I wasn’t making my own. Maybe its because I know how delicious it is and secretly want to use up my stash so I can make my house smell so good again and again and again.

2. cooking in packets. I love how easy cooking in packets is. Choose your meat, throw in any veggies that suit you (or that you have on hand), add your seasonings and cook. I’d love to host a dinner party at some point with a spread on that Today Show segment where everyone makes their own packet.

2010 Goals:

– Branch out into other, less explored categories like: desserts, soups, and beans.
– Consistency in posting.
– Try things I don’t like.

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2009 Favorites: Animal (Poultry and Meat)

Continuing with the theme, today I’ll list my favorite poultry and meat recipes:

1. Broiled Skirt Steak. This was the first recipe I posted. It’s been a while, but I still think about that deicious skirt steak. I plan on trying it again soon to find out if it was the meat, the local vendor, or the marinade that made it so

2. Steak Au Poivre. Another one I want to try again. The first round I could tell it would be delicious if not for the funky meat. Mark Bittman even made some on the Today Show this morning as an idea for an easy entree when entertaining.

3. Simplest Whole Roast Chicken. 2009 is the year of the roast chicken in our house. I love a roasted chicken. Its so easy and produces the most tender and juiciest meat. It also makes the house smell nice. And then I get to make a chicken stock (I’m seriously obsessed with making my own stock now)!

4. Pan Grilled/Oven Roasted Steaks. This is a recipe I’ve used several times since the initial posting. There is nothing more decadent to me than a nice steak. I never order steaks when eating out because I know I can perfectly cook a delicious steak at home. And I’d rather be at home than in a restaurant.

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2009 Favorites: Veggies

Bryan and I both love our vegetables… Okay, so I love all vegetables, and Bryan loves anything that isn’t and/or touching: onions, peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes. But other than that, we really love our veggies.

Here are the favorite dishes we tried this year from How to Cook Everything:

1. Creamed corn with cheese. Bryan’s favorite vegetable is corn. And this is our favorite way to eat it. What’s not to love: butter, cheese, and corn?! Its so good I may even make it again tonight.

2.Mashed Cauliflower with cheese. Oops, beginning to see a theme here. We need our cheese! Oh dear, this was the most delicious thing I ever made. Bryan was not happy when he discovered I had brought cauliflower into our home. I was even a bit skeptical myself. It only took one bite for both of us to fall in love. I think I actually made proclamations that what wasn’t on his plate was all mine. I savored that cauliflower, like cauliflower has never been savored before.

3. Sweet Potato Gratin. This is dish is a double whammy: easy and scrumptious. Great for people who don’t even like sweet potatoes, like me.

Overall I’ve attempted approximately 36 vegetable recipes. Pretty decent, but still have a ways to go.

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2009 Recap: Appetizers

For this last week of 2009, I thought I’d look back at the dishes I’ve completed and list which were my favorites. While I still have a long way to go before completing this project, I am proud of myself for sticking with this so far and trying a bunch of new things.

So for today we’ll start with starters, appetizers:

1. Marinated Celery and Carrots, Chinese style. I had never had anything like this before, but have since made it twice. Bryan and I both really enjoy the flavors. Its a departure from regular crudities and still healthy.

2. Hummus. Hummus is not really something I typically like. I’ll take a bite or two out of politeness at parties or gatherings. Homemade hummus is about two steps ahead of the store bought stuff. I’ve made it for several parties and received many compliments. Not only is it delicious, but its easy!

So far I’ve completed 8 appetizers. Which is pretty low, will definately being doing more appetizer posts in 2010.

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Potato and Leek Soup p. 131

Ingredients: butter, potatoes, leeks, stock.

This is a super easy and super delicious soup to make. Start off by prepping the veggies. Peel the potatoes and cute into small cubes. Then prep the leeks (if you do not know how to do so, like me a few months ago, please visit page 310 which shoes how to trim and wash leeks).

To cook, melt your butter (you can use olive oil if you wish), then add the veggies. After a few minutes, when they start to soften, add stock or water if you don’t have stock. Let cook until your potatoes are soft.

One variation suggests pureeing the soup in a blender or immersion blender. One of the things that I’ve asked for Christmas is an immersion blender. I have a list of things to make once I have it. But this time I decided to use the blender. Did you know that you can’t fill a blender up too close to the top and then turn it on? I learned the hard way last night. Oh well… Bryan asked for it lightly pureed… meaning with a few chunks.

The soup was hearty and delicious. Perfect for cuddling up to your significant other or cuddly pet on the couch to watch a movie.

BONUS: I finished off the leftovers and didn’t heat them up, which qualifies this as the second variation: Vichyssoise. I’m not even going to try to pronounce that. It was just as delicious cold as it was warm.

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Fried Rice with Shrimp p. 468-470

Ingredients: endless possibilities

I’ve been on an oriental theme kick lately. I’m not sure why exactly. Bryan loves anything with rice, maybe thats why we’ve had rice with what feels like the last twenty meals. Oh well… all have been delicious.

Mark Bittman goes into great length with various tips, additions, and variations to make your own fried rice.

One great tip is to make your rice ahead of time. I only had time to cook mine about an hour before “frying” it. Which worked okay, but leftover rice is really the best.

We used rice, frozen peas, garlic, ginger, eggs, soy, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and seasame oil.

Bryan was impressed that I had made it myself and I thought it was a great, easy, fast comfort meal. Perfect for a weak night. The best part is that you can probably make this without even having to go to the store. You can use whatever you happen to have in your freezer, fridge, or pantry.

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Edamame with Stock p. 424

I’m back! Although, if our busy holiday schedule doesn’t settle down soon, I’m going to be out of posts… again. Yikes.

Ingredients:ginger, stock, carrot, snow peas, shelled edamame.

I just love edamame. Not only is it yummy, but it also just feels healthy as you eat it. Sometimes I just eat edamame for lunch.

For this recipe however, you sautee your ginger and scallion (I didn’t use either because a) my grocery was out of ginger! and b) we don’t like scallions). Then add your stock, carrots (I finely chopped it), snow peas, and edamame. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until everything is tender, mine took around 10 minutes.

I served it over rice. It was delicious. However, since we didn’t have the ginger we tossed ours with some Hoisin sauce, its my new love. I would like to thank Mark Bittman for introducing us. After opening the bottle last week we’re halfway through the bottle… and we only ate at home two nights last week.

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