Mar 31, 2010

poached eggs!

I know that I promised to post a video yesterday, but I have literally spent all yesterday and today tryung to ge the video going. I have it! It's all edited! But the website won't let me post it....
SO! I'm going to keep trying and see if I can't make it work eventually. So stay tuned!

Mar 28, 2010

eggs benedict

So one of my mom and stepdad's favorite breakfasts is eggs benedict. But they don't get to eat it very often because they don't usually eat breakfast and when they do, they don't have time to make it. So while I was visiting over spring break, I thought it would be fun to make it for them! This was kind of a scary thing to do because I had never poached an egg before! But I was surprised at how easy it was. After a little trial and error, I managed to make some beautiful eggs. In fact, for my next post, I will be putting up a video (GASP!) of how to poach an egg! But before I do that, here is the recipe for eggs benedict. The ingredient list is just for two eggs benedict. Just change the proportions for however many you want.

1 toasted english muffin
2 slices of canadian bacon
2 poached eggs
hollandaise sauce
2 egg yolks
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup melted butter
pinch cayenne
pinch salt

First make the hollandaise sauce. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon in a stainless steel bowl until they are have doubled in volume. Now here's where it gets interesting cause I didn't have a double boiler. It's ok if you don't, it's just a little more complicated cause you have to do everything one handed. Get a saucepan and fill it with about an inch of water. Make sure that if you put the bowl on top of the water, it doesn't actually touch the water. Put the water over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, turn the heat down a bit. Set the bowl on the saucepan and VOILA! make-shift double boiler. Once you have it all set up, whisk whisk whisk whisk whisk! don't stop whisking! Oh also, don't let the water get too hot or the eggs will scramble. Now the bowl might start tipping over, so you're going to need to hold onto it with one hand while you whisk with the other. Now it gets tricky cause the next step is to pour in the melted butter. So let go and slowly drizzle in the butter, while still whisking like mad. Keep on whisking until the sauce doubles in volume. Then take it off the heat and add the cayenne and salt. The sauce can just chill out while you put together the eggs, but when you need it, just add a little bit of hot water and whisk it.
So to make the eggs! poach the eggs (check out the video on wednesday!), toast the english muffin, and fry the canadian bacon. You don't need to fry it for too long, just heat them up a bit. Then put it together! 1. toasted english muffin. 2. slice of ham. 3. poached egg. 4. hollandaise sauce.
Top with fresh chopped chives and dig in!

Mar 27, 2010


Sorry this post is a day late! It's been a hectic couple of days! As my spring break comes to a close I can safely say that it has been awesome. Got to hang out with my friends and my family and had stuff to do everyday. For the last few days I mostly hung out with dan. On thursday I ran errands and then made my family fettucini alfredo for dinner. Then on Friday me and dan went to the tech museum in San Jose. It was really fun (and nerdy). We left home early so that we could spend the whole day there, but then we only ended up staying until 2! It seems that we already knew the science stuff and we mostly ended up pushing buttons and playing with all the games. Which was awesome. We designed roller coasters and then rode on a simulator to see what it would look like (my roller coaster was better, for the record) and we played with computer chips and learned all about genetics. We even got to turn bacteria green with jellyfish genes! super fun. he other reason we went there was because there was a temporary star trek exhibit. Now, I'm not a trekie, but Dan kind of is. So I thought it might be fun to check it out. Let me tell you something, I didn't realize how intense Star trek can be. There's like a hundred different alien races, and they all have these crazy backgrounds, and there's so many bad guys! It's insane. Still, I don't think I'm going to be watching Star Trek or anything. But it was an interesting exhibit, I'll give it that.
But anyway! Today I don't really have a recipe. I just have a picture of something I made. But first: background information. My brother is going through the super fun process of applying to colleges and is starting to get letters back from them. A couple days ago he got accepted into Harvey Mudd, which is his top choice school! Yay for Stephen! So I was really happy and decided to make him cupcakes. And what could be more fun than funfetti?! So I made him funfetti cupcakes and decorated them in Harvey Mudd's colors. The writing on them is pretty terrible, but hey, I'm ok with it.

Stephen really wanted one right then.

Mar 24, 2010

One Pot Salmon!

So I really love easy dinners, and I think I hit the jackpot with this one. this is a really healthy (and super tasty) one pot meal. It's really easy because the oven basically does all the work for you, and there's only one pot to clean afterward! Lately I've been trying to eat more fish because it's light and healthy. This dinner features salmon, but I'm sure you could use any fish you like. I was going to try it with tilapia as well. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of it, because my dad took a picture on his camera. But here's how you make it!

Juice of one lime
zest of one lime
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
4 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped shallots (you could use onions, but shallots are better)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice (I used Jasmine, which worked fine)
3 1/4 cup chicken broth
4 5-6 oz salmon fillets
1 bunch of broccolini, with the last inch trimmed off

First preheat your oven to 450F and make the sauce: whisk together the lime juice and zest, honey, cilantro, and soy sauce. Then set it aside for later. Heat up the tablespoon of oil over medium heat, and when your pot is nice and warm, throw in the shallots. I had never cooked with shallots before, but I love them. I'm definitely gonna use them more often! Anyway, sorry for the shallot product placement. After the shallots have softened for a few minutes, throw in the basmati rice and chicken broth. Stir it around a little bit so that the rice settles, and then bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, put the lid on the pot and put it in the oven for 10 minutes. (Oh yeah, make sure the pot is oven proof please!) After ten minutes, the rice should be almost cooked and have absorbed most of the chicken broth. If it's a little on the dry side, you can add more broth by 1/4 cup fulls. Add a little bit of salt to the rice, but don't stir it. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides (yes, that means you need to take the skin off!) then lay them on top of the rice. Then take the broccolini and put them all around the salmon, with the stems tucked into the rice. Remember that sauce you made earlier? Pour that over the salmon fillets. You might need to use a spoon to spread it out, so all the salmon gets some. Then, put the lid back on and cook it for 8-10 minutes until the salmon is done. Since I'm home, I get to play with all my dad's cool kitchen toys, including his instant thermometer! he told me that for salmon, you want it to be at 135. So if you have a thermometer, that's what you're going for. If not, just make sure it looks cooked at the thickest part of the fillet.
Then serve it up! I loved this dish so much. The salmon is light and flakey, the broccolini is still slightly crisp, and the rice is so flavorful! And it almost has the texture of risotto, which I love. So eat this for dinner tonight!

Mar 21, 2010


So I don't have a recipe for you today. Instead, I want to review a pizza place I went to on Friday night. But first, some background info: when I was first diagnosed with celiac, we went to a celiac conference at Stanford. They're usually yearly events where vendors sell their gluten free food, the grown ups learn about new developments in treatment and research, and the kids go play games and hang out with other celiacs. So at the first celiac conference I went to, there were only a few kids. Me, Molly, and Adi became good friends really fast. Later we were also part of the same ROCK group (raising our celiac kids) and we would have sleepovers with awesome gluten free food. But that was when I was about 10, and now that the years have gone by, we've kind of gotten out of touch. I haven't seen Adi in I don't know how long. And I hadn't seen Molly for three years before Friday.
But on Friday, we decided to go get some gluten free pizza at this place called zpizza. They're a chain pizza joint that's all over the world. They focus on using organic and fresh ingredients on their pizzas, which in itself is awesome. But on top of that, they also cater to celiacs! They have a thin crust gluten free pizza that you can get just about anything on. (except for the toppings with gluten of course) So me and Molly went to zpizza and ordered two different kinds: A sausage/pepperoni/onion pizza and a mexican pizza. Now I had never heard of a mexican pizza before, but it was so good! It was salsa, lime chicken, mozzarella, red and green onions, sour cream, avocados, and cilantro. It was delicious and had a touch of spicyness to it.
More importantly though, the gluten free crust is fantastic! It's not gummy or weird like some crusts, it's crispy, light, and awesome. Even the next morning when I was eating the leftover slices, the crust was still great. The only complaint I had, was that the gluten free crust only comes in 10" sizes. But that's more than enough for one person.
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the pizza because my I took pictures with my phone and now it wont sync to my computer. super fantastic. But hopefully, I'll be getting a new sync cable for it soon and maybe I'll put up pictures after that.
I would highly recomend zpizza for anyone looking for good gluten free pizza. Heck! If you want pizza, go check out zpizza!
Here's their website, and hopefully you can find a place near you!

Mar 19, 2010

secret family recipes? AWESOME

So guess who's on spring break?! MEEEEE! I am so glad that winter quarter is over and I'm excited to get to spring quarter. But here's a scary thought: I'm basically half way through college. ...what the hell? How did that happen? It feels like no time has gone by at all! AH!
whew. sorry.
Anyway, I have an awesome recipe for you today. This is one of my favorite things in the world, and it's super easy, and it's healthy! (well reasonably healthy, cause it doesn't have any butter in it.)
I got this recipe from my stepmom, Becky. When I graduated highschool, she gave me a recipe book with three recipes already filled in. One of them was tuna pasta (which I will share with you all later), one was a cure for nausea (she thought it might come in handy in college), and that last one was CHILI! The best part is, this chili has a secret ingredient, but Becky has kindly agreed to let me post it here. So you are now in the circle of trust. welcome.

1-2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, chopped
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 med can tomato sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar (this is the secret one!)
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
1 can black beans, drained
1 bag of frozen corn
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt to taste

So first chop up the onions and carrots. Then add a tiny bit of oil to the pot and heat it up on medium heat. When it's hot, add the onions and carrots and let them cook until soft.
Now the thing about these carrots is that you can do them anyway you want. Becky usually grates them, but I like to chop them into rounds. So do with the carrots as you please! As the onions and carrots cook, stir them occasionally so that they don't burn. When the onions are soft, add the ground beef. Let the ground beef get really brown, stirring it every now and then.

Once the meat is browned, add everything else! That's right, just throw it all in there! (heehee, the brown sugar looks like pacman)
Stir it up really, really well and let it come to a simmer. Once it comes to a simmer, put the lid on it and turn the heat down to low. I mean it when I say turn it down to low. If you don't the bottom will get all burned and sad. Unfortunately, my crappy stove doesn't really have a low setting. It has medium and what you think is low. but then you come back and the room smells like gas and the flame is out. Sooooo I got some burned chili yesterday. But that's ok! Cause a little burned chili is way better than no chili!
Let the chili cook on LOW for at least an hour, but the longer you cook it the better it tastes! But if you do let it cook for a long time, you might want to go back and add more tomato sauce later because it can dry out a bit. Just check on it every now and then and see if it needs it.
Serve it up with some grated cheese and plenty of chips!

Mar 17, 2010

healthy is tough

So I've been talking a lot about being healthier lately. And now I'm starting to get really frustrated with it. Well, ok so background information first. In high school I maintained my weight. I didn't really like it, but I was the same weight for all four years. When I got to school last year, I lost about ten pounds because I was unintentionally anorexic. I really didn't want to be, but I just couldn't eat anything in the dining hall except rice and salad. Now I have a kitchen, and I've gone back to the weight I was in high school. I'm not really sure if that's a good thing because on the one hand, If I'm eating like a normal person now and I'm back to that weight, is that the weight I'm supposed to be? But on the other hand, I hate this weight! I want to be skinnier again!
And now I'm starting to get frustrated. I know I only started to eat healthier recently, but I haven't lost any weight. In fact, I've gained weight! Which just doesn't seem fair at all.I'm not really sure what to do next. I'm going to start going to the gym, and try eating less. But I don't know if that will make a difference. I mean, last year I worked out for a while, but it was so aggravating that I just stopped. And I don't know how I can eat less, because I think that I eat pretty normal portions, and I don't want to feel hungry all the time. Sorry that this is such a girly rant, but I've been really bothered by
that lately.Ugh and now I'm going to give you a recipe that goes against that whole rant entirely. I had never had chicken and dumplings before because they don't usually make them gluten free. So when I had the chance to make chicken and dumplings with gluten free flour, I decided that I just had to try it. but I promise I didn't eat a lot. Cause that would be bad.

6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
5 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp heavy cream
4 cups cooked chicken meat, chopped
4 carrots, diced
1/2 onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 tsp chicken base
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
1 cup milk
4 tbsp butter, melted

Melt the butter in a big pot. Then sprinkle in the flour. Do you remember how we made a roux in the macaroni and cheese? We're doing that again! Whisk it together to get rid of any lumps and let it cook for a few minutes until it turns golden. Add the chicken stock and the cream and continue stirring. Bring it to a simmer, stirring it every now and then, so that the flour doesn't lump together. When it comes to a simmer, add the chicken, vegetables, and chicken base.

Stir it and then try the broth. Add salt and pepper as you see fit. I added a lot, cause that's how I roll. Let it continue cooking while you make the dumplings. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Shake it together, then add the milk and melted butter. Stir it together until just combined.

Using two spoons (or your hands) form dumplings into a ball and drop into the broth. Once all the dumpling dough is in the pot, cover it, turn down the heat and let it cook for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes test the dumplings for done-ness with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, it's time to eat! So dig in!

Mar 15, 2010

Hi I'm Natalie and I'm a chip addict

I would like to announce to the world that I am DONE WITH MY FEMINIST THEORY CLASS! yayyyyyyy! Seriously, I could not be happier. Not the worst class I've taken, but it is definitely up there on the list. (Econ 2 takes the cake, if you were wondering) Yesterday I handed in my final paper and I was done with that class for good. The worst part of it is, I only took that class in order to stay in school. The system requires that we have at least 14 credits, or we are not a full time student. If you're not a full time student, you cant live on campus, and you could be kicked out for a quarter or more. So basically, when I only had two classes this quarter I was forced to find a third class and feminist theory was literally the only thing left. And it ended up being my most difficult class! But that doesn't matter now, because I am never taking a fem class again. No offense to all the fem studies majors out there. I'm sure you're all great at what you do. But your major blows.
Anyway, onto the food!
Last weeks winner at the poll was eggs benedict, so I will be making those over my spring break. I'm sure my parents will be very happy, because my mom has been asking me to make them forever.
I have a super, super, SUPER simple recipe for y'all today. I actually wasn't going to post it, but they ended up so tasty, I just have to share it. We (me and my roomies) were having another kitchen adventure and we decided to make ground beef with taco seasoning and guacamole. But we didn't have any chips! ...but we did have tortillas. And oil. So I made tortilla chips!
Tortilla chips are really good, but homemade ones are like exponentially better. Basically what you do is grab a fat stack of tortillas, cut them into wedges (a pizza cutter is an excellent tool here) and then start heating up about a 1/2 inch of oil in a pot. When the oil is hot, maybe about 350F, throw a couple of wedges in the oil. After about a 30 seconds to a minute, grab some tongs and flip them over.

Use your discretion here, because some people like their chips super crispy, and some don't. I did a mix of the two. Anyway, these chips are great with homemade guacamole, and I'm sure they would make great nachos too!


Mar 13, 2010

Baked Salmon

So as I've said before, I am on a healthy kick lately. This blog is not helping me stay healthy, because I mostly like to cook foods that include cheese, sugar, heavy cream, and icing. Just in general. So Andy and I went grocery shopping the other day and decided that we were going to only buy healthy things. Because if I only buy healthy, then I can only eat healthy! One of the things that we got was salmon. Wayyyyy healthier than ground beef, that's for sure! I hadn't had baked salmon in a really long time, so I was excited to try some new recipes. I got two salmon fillets, and I made each one differently. One was a lemon-lime salmon with butter, and the other was just seasonings and olive oil. I thought that the lemon-lime one was going to be better (because there was butter in it...I can't help it. I love butter) but I actually like the seasoning one more! Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for that because it's just pappy spice. (Pappy spice is the spice mix Dan's dad made for us) But if you would like to try something similar, just lightly coat the salmon in olive oil and then season with your favorite seasoning mix. I would recommend lawrys if you have it. And don't skip on the seasoning! Add plenty of it, wrap the salmon in foil, and then bake it in 350F oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.And now, here's the recipe for the lemon-lime salmon

1 lemon
1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic, minced (about one clove of garlic)
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter, melted
salmon fillets

Zest the lemon and lime, being careful not to go into the pith. (thats the white layer under the zest)

Then thinly slice half of each. Juice the other halfs into a small bowl. To the juice, add the cumin, garlic, olive oil, and butter. (I would say that the butter is optional. If you prefer to make this
healthier, go ahead and skip it) Put the salmon onto a square of foil and pour the sauce over it. Then layer the lemon and lime slices on top.
If you want, throw some of the zest on there too. The zest is really optional, it looks good on the salmon when you serve it, and adds a little extra flavor. Wrap the salmon in the foil and bake
in 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. I had to bake mine for about 30 minutes because my oven is really old and apparently lies to me about how hot it actually is. Just check on it after 10 minutes and see if the thickest part is cooked through.
The lemon-lime one was really really tasty, but I did like the simplicity of the seasoned salmon more. Serve the salmon with a side of white rice, and you got yourself a tasty meal!


Mar 11, 2010


This quarter, Dan was in a writing class about food. It wasn't his first choice (his first choice was a writing class about the internet) but he did it anyway, and rocked it! I think he wrote some really good stuff, and I'm proud of him. His last assignment was a restaurant review, so we went out to I Love Sushi for dinner. I got a philidelphia roll (my new fav) and an avocado roll. Dan got a california roll and the teriyaki salmon. The salmon was beautiful, like perfectly grilled and delicious. If any of you readers are ever in Santa Cruz, go to I Love Sushi. It's awesome!
Anyway, the last day of his writing class was this week and they had a potluck. Dan had suggested brownies in his class and everyone was really enthusiastic, so I volunteered to help out. I ended up making, after much debate, brownies with mint frosting. Dan loved them, and apparently so did his classmates! I think you guys will really like these, so give them a try!

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butter
4 oz baking chocolate
1 cup flour
4 tbsp butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1-1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
3-4 tbsp cream
green food coloring

Preheat oven to 375F. With a mixer, beat eggs until fluffy. Then beat in the sugar and vanilla. In a saucepan, melt the butter then add the chocolate. Ok so here's what I did, which worked really well. I got the bakers chocolate squares (semi-sweet) and then I kind of shaved them with a knife. I just chopped them up really small. I melted the butter in the saucepan, took it off the heat, and stirred in the chocolate. That way, the chocolate melts just through the heat of the butter and doesn't get burned or anything.

Anyway, after you have a delicious chocolatey sauce, add it to the eggs and sugar mixture. Remember when we made mac and cheese and we tempered the eggs? I did that this time too, just in case.
I didn't want scrambled egg brownies, ya know? So just put a bit of the hot chocolate in the egg and sugar mixture and mix it up so that the eggs are a little bit warmer. Then you can dump in the rest of the chocolate. Mix it up really well, then add the flour. Continue mixing and then you can pour it into a baking dish!

Put them in the oven for 25 minutes. I actually had to put it in for about 40 because my oven is ridiculously old and doesn't cook anything right. You can see in this picture that the edges got a little burned, but like I said, my oven is stupid and by the time the inside was cooked through, the outside was burned. But anyway, while you're waiting for the brownies, you should lick the spoon/bowl. You know you want to.

And here's how to make the frosting: Beat the butter (preferably softened butter) with the sugar until smooth. Then add the cream and peppermint extract. Remember that peppermint extract is really strong, so you might not want to use 1 1/2 tsp, just do 1 tsp and then see if you like it. Beat it all up again, and then add the green food coloring. I used about three drops, but use however much you want to get the right shade you want. Let the brownies cool completely before frosting and oce frosted, put them in the fridge for at least an hour.
So now you have green brownies! Just in time for St.Patty's day!


Mar 9, 2010

Stupid school makes me eat beans and frags

UGH school is not fun sometimes. Yesterday I had a freak out moment because I don't know if I will be able to graduate in four years because of the UC budget system. Basically, I came to UCSC to get a film degree, but it's suddenly become really popular and now the classes are impacted beyond belief. Because I'm a second year and I don't have priority enrollment, I can't get into any of the classes I need. I decided that film was impossible to do in four years, so I switched to a history major with a film minor. But now, that seems to be impossible as well. I calculated how many classes I need to take and I have to take 18 classes within a space of 21 classes. So basically, I have to get into every class I need perfectly and never get blocked out of classes. That doesn't work at all because, with the budget problem, the UCs have cut thousands of seats from classes and now the classes are significantly smaller--but I'm still paying more. THIS SYSTEM SUCKS. Lately there have been strikes all over California over the education cuts, but I admit that I didn't go to any of them. The last few have turned out not so great in that some (stupid) people have veered off from the strike lines and occupied buildings, vandalized private property etc. Which seems like it completely defeats the purpose of a peaceful strike. So basically, I'm angry and the government/UC system need to get their act together. Sorry for the rant, but that was my entire day yesterday, and I thought you all should know.
Last week, you all said that I should make more breakfast foods, so this week, the poll is all about breakfast foods! So vote for your favs!
Also! My cousin Erin just started a blog and you should all go check it out! She has a lot of cool stuff to say, so go read it!
I have a funny food post for you today. Some of you who are on facebook may have seen my status a couple days ago that said: "The best meals are the ones where you and your roommates realize your hungry at 1am and the only things you have are ground beef, baked beans, hotdogs, and onions. OMNOM"
And so that's exactly what happened. We were hungry and had no groceries. And that is how Beans and Frags was invented. Beans and Frags is a play off of beans and franks, but frags are not franks at all. frag is another word for grenade in gamer-speak. (we mostly talk in gamer-speak here, especially the boys)
Now, if you aren't in college, you will probably never want to eat this ever. I think this is one of those things that college kids think is awesome and delicious (and cheap) but anyone else in their right mind would rather just order a pizza.
Andy had recently bought some onions and he wanted to try making an onion frag. So he put the entire onion in the oven on a baking sheet and cranked up the oven. He was hoping to get a sweet delicious onion and, surprisingly, he did!
While the onion was cooking, we cooked up some ground beef. We were hunting around for other things to add, when Dan came across a can of baked beans leftover from last weekend. And I came across some hot dogs in the fridge. Then I shouted: "CHILI DOG! put the baked beans with the ground beef, you get chili. Put it on a hot dog, wrap it in a tortilla and you're good!" BUT by then, andy had taken the onion out and was peeling layers off. He filled one layer with ground beef and started making yummy noises. And then I did that too, but I added some baked beans on top. After we had all tried the baked beans/ground beef combo, we just decided to dump the beans in with the ground beef and make chili. Then we filled the onion layers with the chili and it was soooooo good.
Dan came up with the name: Beans and Frags
This is Andy. He's a weirdo.
And now this is our go-to meal for when we run out of groceries.
Dan also made a chili dog, jsut for funsies.

The other thing we did, was use the chili as dip for nacho chips and jalapeno chips. OMNOMNOM indeed!

Mar 8, 2010

Beans are healthy too, right?

ALLLLLRIGHTY I've got a delicious and unhealthy recipe for you today. And yes, I do remember that like two posts ago I said that I was going to be healthier. But this is an exception. There are beans (a lot of beans) in this, and beans have protein. so....HA! These baked beans are now healthy!I actually have two baked bean recipes, this one is from pioneer woman and is the more complicated one of the two. It's probably better for like parties and family gatherings. The other one I have (which I will post at some point) is more like a quick thing to throw together as a side. Anyway, here's how you do it!

8 slices of bacon
1 med onion, cut into a small dice
1/2 med green pepper, cut into a small dice (optional)
3 large cans of baked beans (with pork please)
3/4 cup bbq sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard or 2 tbsp dijon

Preheat the oven to 325F. Then crack open a thing of bacon and get frying! Fry the pieces of bacon until almost crispy.
They're gonna cook in the oven, so you don't want them to be completely cooked. Take the bacon out and put it on a plate with paper towels. Then add the onions and peppers if you use them.
And now I would like to tell you what usually happens when I make this at home. Around this point, my brother comes into the kitchen and the conversation goes like this:
Stephen: Hey.
Natalie: Hey.
Stephen: Whatcha makin?
Natalie: Baked beans.
Natalie: yes I am!
Stephen: OH MY GOD! WHY?!
Natalie: Are you going to eat it?
Natalie: Then shut up and pretend you didn't see it.
Then he leaves and I assume forgets about it, because he ends up eating them anyway.
Anyhoo! Next step! Cook the onions and peppers for about 5 minutes until they're tender. Then dump the beans and all the other ingredients into the pot and bring it to a simmer.

Pour the beans into a greased casserole dish and put the bacon on top. Bake them for about 2 hours, or until they don't look liquidy anymore.

I only baked these for about an hour because I had quartered the recipe. So if you aren't using the whole recipe, just check on it every now and then and see how it's doing.
We had these baked beans with (semi) bbq chicken. It was raining, so I couldn't actually grill the chicken. So instead, I just fried it up in a pan with some bbq sauce! yummy.

And that's how you make delicious baked beans!

Mar 6, 2010


Hi everybody! Sorry I didn't put up a post yesterday. I'm afraid that posts might be pretty rare for these next two weeks. I have finals coming up and so these next couple weeks will be pretty hectic. This week is "review week" which means that they will teach us all new material and then call it review. AWWWWESOME. So yea, I'm goin to be doing a lot of studying and sleeping. But I will be putting up posts soon!

Mar 3, 2010


Ok so I'm proud of myself for two reasons and I'm going to share them with all of you.
1. IIIIII wrote a two page paper in half an hour. And it was probably the most concise paper that I have ever written. My point is clear, my thesis is awesome, and I even threw in a few large words suitable for a fem paper.
(perpetuated...oppression...interpretation of gender roles. hell yea.)
2. I have made a resolution to be healthier and last night I found a way to make pasta healthy. The random jar of ragu I grabbed off of the safeway shelf apparently has a full serving of veggies in half a cup of sauce. And I used like a cup of sauce! Anddddd I threw in some carrots. go me.I'm also going to try going to the gym, which I never do. But we'll see how that works out. WILLPOWER! I must find it.
Today I would like to introduce you to my new favorite macaroni and cheese recipe. I found it on pioneer woman's blog (of course), it's not fast and easy, but oh. my. god. is it worth it. SO DELICIOUS. This recipe is also the reason for my new healthy kick. Have to offset the effects of the mac and cheese somehow. Anyway, it's really really good. Dan was my photographer and he went photo craaaaaazy. So there are a lot of awesome photos today! Alright people, lets get ready to rummmmmmble!

4 cups macaroni (thats about a pound of noodles)
8 tbsp butter
2 medium onions, sliced thinly
10 slices of bacon
1 tbsp bacon grease (from the cooked bacon)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half
2 whole egg yolks, beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups cheese, grated (you can choose, I went with 3/4 cup cheddar and 3/4 cup mozzarella)
4 oz cream cheese (or another smooth cheese of your choosing)

First preheat the oven to 350F and set the water for the pasta boiling. You want to cook the pasta for about hald of the time your supposed to. We want it very aldente. When the pasta's done, just drain it and set aside.
In one pan, cook the bacon to slightly less than crispy. When they're done, set them aside onto a paper towel lined plate, then chop them up roughly.

In another pan, melt 4 tbsp butter. Yes I know it's a lot, but this is mac and cheese. Throw caution to the wind people! Melt that butter! Anyway, once the butter is melted, add the onions and let them cook on med-low heat until they are soft and golden, then take them off the heat.

In a pot, you're going to make a roux. A roux is a way to thicken sauce, and is usually the bane of my existence because it is made with flour. But in my kitchen, I'm the boss. And this is gluten free flour time! So anyway, the point is, we want a thick cheese sauce and the best way to do that is with a roux. Melt 4 tbsp butter and then add the flour. Whisk it up really fast so that it all combines together. Keep whisking, but let it cook for about a minute to really thicken up. Then add the milk and half and half and let that cook for about 3-5 minutes. Stir it every now and then, but you don't need to stir constantly this time.

When it thickens up, turn the heat to low and add salt and pepper.
Here's another cool cooking trick: tempering eggs. We're going to add eggs to the sauce, but if you just throw them in there, they'll basically instantly scramble. And that would make crappy mac and cheese! So we're going to temper them by slowly stirring in a bit of the hot sauce. So take your beaten egg yolks and slowly pour in about 1/4 cup of the sauce, whisking as you go. When the egg and sauce are combined, you can pour the egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the sauce. Whisk it all up and let it cook for another minute.

Add the grated cheese and mix it into the sauce so that it melts and gets all delicious.

When the shredded cheese is melted add the cream cheese. I didn't use all 4 oz, I think I used about 2. So I would say add about 2, try it, see if you like it, and add more if needed. Next add about 3/4 of the bacon and
onions. Don't add all of it, because you want to put some on top of the mac and cheese.

Now pour the macaroni into the pan and get all the noodles cheesy and delicious.

Then pour it into a baking dish and top with the rest of the onions and bacon. Bake it for 15-20 minutes, then pig out. you know you want to.