Jul 29, 2010


So today's post isn't even about a recipe. This post is about my new job! I recently got a job at a bakery in San Carlos called Zest Bakery. Zest speciallizes in gluten free food, which is of course AWESOME! I'm actually writing this as I'm sitting in the bakery. It smells amazing in here and I'm drooling looking at the loaves of freshly made bread. My job here is the afternoon cashier/backup baker, although I haven't been trained as a baker yet. We sell bread, muffins, cookies, ice cream sandwiches, baguettes... SO many things! Anyway the point of this post is: Come visit me! Spread the word! Be converted to Gluten free!

Jul 28, 2010

Mushroom Marinara Sauce

So this is the follow up to the garlic bread recipe posted the other day. This recipe probably should have been first, but oh well! So here is what you should eat that tasty tasty garlic bread with: tasty tasty mushroom marinara sauce. Now I actually hate mushrooms. They have a weird texture that I just can't get over. But I love this sauce! I don't know why, but it's just so freaking tasty!

Mushroom Marinara Sauce
Adapted from Allrecipes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
merlot wine
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup white sugar

heat olive oil in a large pot over med high heat, add garlic and onions and cook until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and basil and cook until the mushrooms are done (about 10 minutes). Pour in the whole tomatoes, bring the mixture to a boil while crushing the tomatoes with a spoon. I suppose you could use a can of crushed tomatoes, but where's the fun in that? Pour in the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer until thick and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste then fill the empty can with the merlot wine and add to sauce. Bring to a simmer, then add salt, pepper, oregano, and sugar. Let cook a few minutes longer until heated through. Serve over spaghetti noodles and garlic bread.


Jul 25, 2010

Garlic Bread

This garlic bread post is part 1 in a series; tomorrows recipe will be mushroom marinara sauce. This is one of my favorite pasta sauces (which is weird, since I hate mushrooms) and it goes perfectly with garlic bread. Since today I don't feel like typing an incredibly long pasta recipe, I'm just going to give you the galric bread one. Yes, I know, I'm super lazy.

Garlic Bread
1 loaf of nice bread, we used french bread
1/2 stick butter, melted
garlic powder
onion powder

Cut the bread into slices, but don't cut all the way through. Leave about 1/2 inch of the bread still together at the bottom. Liberally brush the melted butter between the slices. If you need more butter, go ahead and melt some more. This is not the time to be stingy people. Then sprinkle on plenty of garlic powder anywhere you put the butter. I like to sprinkle on a little bit of onion powder too, but hey that's totally optional. Put the bread in a 350F oven for about 10 min, checking on it after 5 minutes. If you like it crispier, leave it in for the full ten. Then turn the broiler on and let it crisp up for about a minute. Keep an eye on it! Don't want super burned garlic bread, just golden brown and crispy. Oh this would also be the time to sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, if you so desire. When it's done just put it in a basket and people will rip off the slices themselves.


Jul 22, 2010

New Pizza Crusts

So this post is not so much a recipe as a product review/recreation. I've recently fallen in love with Kinnikinnick gluten free foods. It used to be that Kinnikinnick had nuts in all their products, but recently they've done a complete overhaul of their production lines and now all of their products are nut free! They have the most amazing frozen pizza crusts I've ever experienced. They're small, individual sizes and they always come out perfectly. Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, with a delicious sprinkling of corn meal on the bottom for extra crunch.
And now for the recreation part of this post: Some of you may have seen my ecstatic ranting about an amazing gluten free pizza place called Zpizza. We had pizza for dinner the other night and, with Zpizza in mind, I tried to recreate their mexican pizza; with a few twists of course. I used the frozen pizza crusts and topped it with: tomato basil sauce, shredded mexican cheese, red and green onion, and corn. Then I sprinkled on a bit of garlic powder, cumin, and ground oregano.
After baking, I added a couple slices of avocado. What I intended to do, but forgot in my rush to eat the entire pizza, was to put a bit of sour cream on as well.

Try this pizza out! This would also be really tasty with some leftover meat on top. I didn't have any, but chicken or gorund beef would have been really tasty.

Jul 21, 2010

Roast Chicken and Veggies

So I have a huge long list of things to post here, however I'm letting one particular meal cut in line. This is a great simple meal that is so amazingly satisfying. This is also a really great meal if you have a local farmers market. I've taken to wandering around the farmers market, grabbing veggies and fruits that look the freshest and making some kick ass food out of it. While I was at the farmers market this week, I already had roasted chicken and veggies in mind so all I had to do was find the nicest looking veggies. I ended up getting a BUNCH of stuff, but for this meal I used potatoes, carrots, squash, zucchini, and onions. Unfortunately, they don't sell whole chickens, dead or otherwise, at the farmers market so I went to Safeway for that. So here is how to make a whole roasted chicken and veggies to go along with it.

Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Chicken adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks
1 whole chicken
Fresh herbs (I used sage, thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
Canola oil
1 lemon
1 onion
Vegetables for roasting, cut into uniform pieces
new potatoes

Remove the insides from the chicken if this hasn't already been done for you and pat the outside with a paper towel. If the chicken isn't dry before putting on the herbs, it won't get deliciously brown and crispy. Chop up the herbs and combine them with oil. Depending on how many chickens you are doing you will need to change the amounts but here is the basic rule for one chicken:
2 Tbsp chopped herbs
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp canola oil
If you are doing two chickens (like I did) then you would double that. Rub the oil/herb mixture all over the chicken. Then cut the lemon and onion in half and put them in the chicken. My two chickens were kind of small so I did half of each in each chicken. You can also throw in a couple cloves of garlic if you so desire. Also feel free to pin the back of the chicken so that the lemon/onions don't fall out. I used those long metal pointy things. I really don't even know what to call them.

Cook the chicken in 450F oven for an hour to an hour 15 min until the juices run clear. Let rest for 15 min before serving. I thought the chickens were done, but the legs weren't quite as cooked as the breasts were. But we were starving so we carved up the breasts then put the chickens back in the oven to cook the legs through.

Now for the roasted veggies! Make sure all the veggies are all chopped to approximatly the same size, otherwise they won't cook evenly. I cooked my veggies in batches because I wanted to make sure everything was cooked properly. First I did the potatoes and carrots. This is also where you would roast the onions if you chose to do so. Toss the carrots and potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and any fresh herbs you have on hand. You can put the potatoes and carrots in the oven with the chicken at 450F for 30 min.

After they're done, put them in a bowl, cover it with foil and just wait till everything else is ready. The squash and zichunni are next. The same goes for them: toss with oil, salt, pepper, and herbs and throw it in the oven. These only cook for 10-15 min. Check on them every now and then to see when they're done to your liking.
So there you go! A delicious (and super healthy) roasted dinner.

Jul 18, 2010

Curried Chicken

Here is the part two of the Daring cooks challenge. My previous post was the actual challenge item itself: Almond butter. This post is about how to use it. Of course, you could use almond butter any number of ways, but I used one of the Daring Cooks recipes. This is a semi-indian dish in that it has Indian spices and vaguely resembles chicken tikka masala. I really love this dish and I'm debating making this dish again this week. You should all try it!Tomato Chicken Curry
Adapted from Daring Cooks
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt to taste
Spice Blend
1 1/2 Tbsp garam masala seasoning
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, half chopped, half sliced in thick chunks
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup milk
1/2-3/4 cup water
1 cup frozen peas

Pound the chicken to 1/4 inch thikness so that it will cook faster. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook chicken, 3-5 minutes on both sides. When the chicken is done cooking, cut it into bite size pieces and set aside.
In a small bowl prepare the spice blend, combine all the seasoning together and mix well.
Melt the butter in a non stick skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion and cook for several minutes. To clarfiy about the onion: The onions are semi optional. The recipe says that the onion should be cut into 4 large chunks and cooked in the butter to infuse the butter with onioney flavor. However, I think that's garbage. I cut up half the onion into large chunks and finely chopped the other half. What can I say, I like onions.
Anyway, after the onion has cooked for a few minutes, add teh spice blend and garlic and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, stir well and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and add the water until desired consistencey. Stir in the frozen peas and cut up chicken and remove the large onion chunks. Simmer for a few minutes until the peas and chicken are cooked through. Serve over warm basmati rice.


Jul 15, 2010

Almond Butter- Daring Cooks July Challenge

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

So I am officially a Daring Cook! I have participated in my very first Daring Cooks challenge and it was awesome! For those of you not in the know, Daring Cooks is a foodie challenge; every month a new challenge is posted and the participants all create some dish using the challenge item. This month's challenge was "nut butters." (Isn't that just so ironic? My first one is all about nuts.) Luckily for me, I'm not allergic to almonds and so I was still able to participate in this challenge. I made an almond butter then used the almond butter in a curried chicken dish. The recipes were given by Daring Cooks, so they aren't original for anything, but everyone should really try it. This is one of my new favorite chicken dishes and I'm sure it's going to become a weeknight go-to meal.
So for today's post I will explain the process of making a nut butter, then the next post will be about using it in the curried chicken dish. Honestly, it's 12 am and I am just not in the mood for typing.

Nut Butters (Almond Butter)
1 cup almonds
canola/vegetable oil

Grind the almonds in a food processor until they start to form together into a sort of paste. This will go faster if the almonds don't have the skins, but that's kind of a personal preference thing. Then drizzle in the oil until the almond butter reaches the desired consistency and salt to taste. Again with the personal preferences, but you can make it chunky or smooth here. This will give you about 1/2 cup of almond butter, in general the amount of original almonds is divided by two to make the butter.
A potential variation is to roast the almonds. I did this and I thought that the butter had a richer flavor because of it. Roasting the almonds is very easy, so I definitely recommend trying it. Preheat the oven to 350F and lay the almonds out on a baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let the almonds cool before grinding. Also at this point I took the skins off the almonds. I left a few on for the hell of it, but I tried to get the majority of the skin off.
So there you go! Almond butter!

Jul 11, 2010

roasted asparagus

Hey everybody! I promised a roasted asparagus recipe so here you go! I don't really like asparagus that much; I don't hate it, it's just not my favorite veggie. This is my favorite way to make it because it's easy and tasty. Basically you throw it in the oven until it's done to your liking. I think that we had it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Toss the asparagus, with the bottoms trimmed off please, with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss it in a 350F oven, testing them every 5 minutes or so. I don't think you would want to cook it more than 20 minutes because that would mean they would be soggy and that is gross. So please please please, for the love of all that is good, please don't over cook your asparagus.
That is all.
Eat up!

Jul 9, 2010

garlic parmesan potatoes

The other day I had two things: a bag of potatoes and an idea. TA DAH! I was put in charge of the potatoes for dinner the other night and, remembering a recipe I saw earlier, I made some really tasty parmesan and garlic potatoes. This is a really nice side dish and it went really well with the main course, salmon. I also made some roasted asparagus, so today I'll be posting the recipes for the potatoes, but I'll put up the asparagus tomorrow. OK! Let's do this thing!

Adapted from Naturally Ella
3-4 cups red potatoes, sliced
Olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
fresh basil
1/2 cup parmesan

In a large skillet (I had to use two) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and garlic and cook until the potatoes are softened. Then add the basil and parmesan and fry the potatoes until they have a crunch to them. I didn't cook mine long enough before I added the parmesan, so make sure they actually are soft. Also, feel free to replace the basil with any fresh herbs you have around. The original recipe called for oregano, but I didn't have any. So basil it was!
Hope you like it!

Jul 5, 2010


Hopefully some of you are seeing this post from my brand new fan page on facebook. If you are, welcome! Tell your friends! Subscribe to my blog! Hope you all like what you see and will try out some of my recipes. If you've been here before: welcome back! Tell your friends! Subscribe to my blog!
End of shameless promotion. On to the food.
At Alayna's request:
I love avocado. I can't get enough of it. When I come home from school for breaks, my dad prepares by buying 5-10 avocados just for me. They're so weird! Green, mushy fruits that are sooooo amazing. I'm probably not making any sense right now, but don't worry about it. Just know that the avocados are so so so good. So here is my/my dad's recipe for guacamole, the best ever!
note: sorry all the measurements are "dash of" but I really don't know how to quantify them. I'm going to work on that over the course of this week. If you really really really need measurements, I'm going to guesstimate them at about 1/8 tsp. I realize that's a small amount, but this is just one avocado and dried spices are pretty strong.
note 2: Sorry there aren't pics, but honestly, its just a bowl of green mush. You can picture it.

1 avocado, cored, peeled, and mushed
dash of cumin
dash of dried oregano
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder
salt to taste
finely chopped jicama (chopped into tiny cubes)

Mush the avocado with a fork; if the avocado isn't quite ripe enough and isn't mushing add a tiny bit of a neutral oil like canola or vegetable. Don't add too much, just a drop or two will soften the avocado and make it easier to mush. Mix in the seasonings and jicama and serve with chips!

Jul 2, 2010

Taco mac and cheese

Ok as many of you have noticed, I usually just post recipes I'm interested in trying or have never had before. But occasionally I invent something random. Today is one of those days! This afternoon I went into the kitchen to see what needed to be used up and I found some leftover green chili chicken from Wednesday and leftover taco fixings from my family's dinner last night. I also found a can of corn and a can of fire roasted green chilis. I also really really wanted to eat pasta so when I put that all together I got: Taco mac and cheese! I know that sounds really weird, but I thought it was really good! Stephen was weirded out by it at first, but he's since changed his mind! He likes it! Try it! See what you think! I think I can make this better, so I'm going to try making it again and changing things up a bit.
note: proportions are small because I only had half a bag of pasta. Feel free to adjust as necessary.

1/2 lb pasta
Leftover meat (I had about a half cup of green chili chicken)
1/2 cup canned corn
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1-2 tsp green chilis (the kind in a can)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp butter
1/4 cup milk
2-3 handfuls shredded cheese (I used Mexican cheese)

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, strain and set aside. Throw the leftover meat into a skillet and add the corn. Once the corn and meat are warm, add the cilantro, green chilis, onion powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Let it cook, stirring ocassionaly so that it doesn't burn.

Once everythings hot and delicious, set it aside. After you have drained the pasta, melt the butter in the empty pasta pot over low heat. Add the milk and stir in the shredded cheese. Stir continually so that it doesn't burn. Once the cheese sauce has come together, add the pasta and stir to combine. Add the meat mixture and stir. Pour it in a bowl and eat up! I topped mine with a bit of shredded lettuce and tomatoes which really added a nice cool crunch. I definitely recommend adding lettuce, but if you don't have any, it'll still taste like a taco on pasta!