A place for a young lady to cook, eat, and share her yummy adventures.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cranberry "Pie"

I don't think that there is much to be said about my love of all things pie. I love pie. I love desserts. I love pie. So so much.

Pie is easy once you know what you're doing, and the real variation comes in for the filling. I mean, the perfect pie crust needs no variation... other than how many I make in a week. Except, when I discovered this pie that wasn't really a pie at all. Because, well, no crust. At all.

If you like cranberries you'll love this pie. It's more like a cobbler, but since you can slice is I guess that's why it's considered a pie.

You'll Need:

Softened Butter, For Greasing
2 cups (heaping) Cranberries
¾ cups Pecans, Chopped (measure, Then Chop) (or just use less because I bought pre-chopped)
⅔ cups Sugar
1 cup Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
2 whole Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar For Sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Start by buttering a standard size cake pan. Please use butter, not any sort of spray thing. You're cooking here, not being lazy. Butter the pan. Next you'll add the cranberries and smooth them out so they are in a single layer on the bottom. Oh, I forgot to mention something, this is the easiest pie/whatever you'll ever make. It tastes wonderful though, so people will think you're awesome.

Next, add the nuts. If you don't like nuts don't worry, you can't taste them really. Pecans are pretty good as far as nuts go. I really only like peanuts and pecans. Or candied walnuts. But not regular walnuts.

 This is where if I was one of those annoying bloggers who had music accompanying their sup par writing you'd be hearing "pour some sugar on me! In the name of love..." however I am not annoying and just write the words letting your inner voice sing it to you. You're welcome. Here you use the 2/3 cups of sugar, pour it on and you can shake it down or not, just try to get it everywhere.
 Time for the top part. Combine flour, 1 cup of sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.

 Pour it over the filling and smooth it out.

yup, that's my marching band sweatshirt. be jealous
Next you can either sprinkle it with the remaining sugar like I did or follow the directions and wait till there are only five minutes of cooking left  to do it. Either way finish it off with the sugar.
 Bake it for 45 to 50 minutes

Or until it looks like this! Hello lover, get in my mouth!

Eat this with nothing, whipped cream, ice cream, or whatever you think would be good. I suggest if you're bringing it to a family event hoard your can of boozy whipped cream and smother it. Boozy whipped cream is from heaven.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Zucchini Cakes

Food blog, you live?

How funny... I figured you'd have died from all my neglect. Please forgive me.

Today, I am sharing my favorite appetizer type dish. Zucchini cakes, from The Pioneer Woman and Pastor Ryan. I feel that if you use this basic form for any vegetable really you'll have good "cakes" and therefore happy eaters.

You will need:

1 or 2 Zucchini
2 cloves of minced garlic (1 tbsp)
1/2 cup (seasoned) bread crumbs
3 eggs
1/2 cup of Cheese (Romano, Parmesan, Italian blend, whatever)
salt and peppa to taste
enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a skillet

This makes enough for 4 people.
Start by grating the Zucchini. If, you were to say, be doing this for potato pancakes, I'd vote using frozen hash browns because that's just easier and you're frying it so does it really matter if it's fresh?

Well, I am the one who cuts potatoes when I am making chili cheese fries.. so I don't know what I'm talking about. Normally fresh is best, but grating this takes a long time. I don't think I would if it were potatoes.

 Grate the zucchini (after you've cut off the ends thankyouverymuch) and put it in a towel.

This stuff is wet, you need to basically ring out the towel with the zucchini in there. Use a not white towel, because the liquid is green. Once it's drained throw all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix it till it's thick enough to form cakes. Start out with two eggs, and, if things aren't getting together like they ought to then add the third. I've always needed the third egg, but, you never know.

The cheese choice is sort of important. I used pre grated and the crap Parmesan in the green tube because I get too tired after grating all that zucchini to bother with doing the same for cheese. Fresh cheese is always better, but, I'm not super in love with grating so I won't get mad (for this recipe only) if you use the stuff from the store. Here, this time I used Romano and Parmesan and I love what Romano does to it. It's good with the Italian seasoning in the bread crumbs.    

Once the mixture looks like this you're set.

Make the patties about two inches in diameter and a centimeter thick.
Heat the oil over medium high heat. Using olive oil makes this healthy.. and counter acts the cheese or something. Basically it's calorie free and you can eat it on all those diets we're all about to start come January one.

When everything is hot and bothered add the cakes to the oil, and let them cook on each side for about 5-8 minutes

Till they look about like this. On each side of course.

Serve them with ranch. If you like things with a bit of a kick you can sprinkle red pepper flakes over the top, I, however, hate red pepper flakes so I don't do it. But, that doesn't mean I won't encourage you to do so, I'm all about adversity here in my Kitchen. As long as you clean up when you're done.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorite things to eat. And it's really easy to make too. This was by far the best I've ever had, and I think it was the sauce (Ragu... who'd-a thunk?).

So, to make the dish you'll need:
2 eggs, whisked
5 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about a pound and a half)
3/4 cup of bread crumbs (Italian seasoned is good)
1/3 cup (or as much as you need to cover the bottom of a skillet) canola oil
1 1/2 cup pasta (I used bow tie which also was an excellent choice, but you can use whatever as long as it's not whole wheat, I do not condone cooking with whole wheat pasta. Ever. Thank you)
2 cups of spaghetti sauce. I used a Ragu kind that I know had garlic and onions in it, which I think made the dish, you should use whatever kind you love.
Provolone or Parmesan Cheese (technically you can use (6) slices, or ( about a cup) grated cheese)

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Start by making sure all the chicken is about the same thickness through, if you put it in a large plastic bag you can pound the heck out of it without fear of coating your kitchen in a  thin layer of germs and grossness. I haven't got one of those meat pounder things... so I used a rolling pin and beat them into submission. Do whatever you think is best ;)

After they are about uniform thickness dunk them in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs and set aside till they are all done.
Next heat your oil over medium to medium high and cook them on both sides.

Most recipes say you're just browning, but the idea of uncooked chicken scares me, so I think the best thing to do is cook them for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side till nice and brown, and cooked most (or all) of the way through.
Cook your pasta like regular (al dente please, its better) and warm your sauce in a sauce pan.

In a casserole dish put the pasta, then the sauce, then the chicken, then the cheese.  I didn't stir the pasta in the sauce because I thought it would be more delicious if I just let it all figure it out on it's own, and like I said this was the best chicken parm I've ever had.

bake for 15 minutes or till cheese is melted and brownish but not burnt. Serve directly out of the oven, but make sure to blow on it or you'll burn your tongue. Makes 5 servings.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Via facebook the other day I was completely put in my place. As you can see, everyone and their mother knew about chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, except me, and now I look like a boob. I have a cooking blog for someones sake. So, out of the goodness of her heart my dear friend Ellen has offered to not only make them for me but to do a guest post while I recuperate from having my ego crushed.

Lets all give her our undivided attention.

1/2 shortening (a.k.a.- butter!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats (uncooked oatmeal)
1 package of chocolate chips (8 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup coconut

Ok, heat your lovely little oven to 350 degrees while you are mixing up your cookie dough. Mix each ingredient in order until smooth. 

On a cookie sheet, place a dollop of dough on the sheet about an inch apart. (You don't need to grease the sheet or put anything on them. These cookies don't stick!!) 12 should fit on each cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. When done, place on a cooling rack. I usually double the batch, and that makes about 4 dozen cookies.

These will be delicious!!! Enjoy them!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

individual chicken pot pies

Chicken pot pie, my one true love... 
The 'gredients you will need are:
2 whole Chicken Breasts (frozen or not)
1 Onion, chopped
1 Potato, cubed
2 Carrots, sliced
1/2 cup of pees
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of flower 
1 pie crust

This makes 5 individual pies. I used 10 oz custard cups, any small oven safe safe dish will work.

The first step is cooking the chicken, and although we'll be putting it in the filling and into the oven after, cooking it all the way through is important. Frozen this takes about 15 minutes, fresh about 8. I boil it in the broth (water and some bullion cubes works spectacularly as well) and once it's cooked I pull it out and let it cool for a bit so I don't burn my hands when I chop it up.

 The next step is making the filling. Use a little of the broth (or some olive oil, or a table spoon of butter) to start cooking the chopped onions and garlic. Add the carrots and potatoes after about 5 minutes and then the rest of the broth. I just used the broth I cooked the chicken in because is as already warm and it was already chicken(y). Add the peas and cook for about 10 more minutes the potatoes and carrots, those are the tellers is it's done. You'll want them to be soft and almost done.

Dice the chicken into bite sized pieces. The best part of chicken pot pie is the fact that you only need a fork. Make sure that all your chops for everything is small.  
Next add the flour. You're technically making chicken gravy. I did it by handful because Its my flour and I know where my hands have been. I suggest starting with less and adding till you get the thickness you want. Throw the flour in, stir it all around, add some pepper and salt. if you use fresh ingredients the broth alone isn't enough to salt it all. I made that mistake. I also made the mistake of cooking this on a 90 degree day... ugh.

Get your gravy to where you want it and let it simmer on low heat while you get the pie crusts ready. Oh, and you could preheat the oven to 375 or something like that if you'd like. :)

  Cover a baking sheet with foil, makes clean up as easy as throwing it away... and ladle equal amounts into the dishes. You can add a little more pepper at this point if you'd like, and cover with small pie crusts. Cut breathing holes into the tops and bake for 15 minutes or till crust is golden.

I didn't, but I think that if you were to brush the crusts with melted butter I bet it would be delicious. 

Variations on this are endless, since no one but me likes peas you can always omit them, I've got a picky friend who doesn't like carrots either so I've made his with broccoli and green beans and cauliflower. If you don't feel like cutting anything a bag of microwave veggies works fine too. Microwave them and then go from there. If you don't want pie crust using biscuits are also delicious, although I suppose it becomes more of a dumpling thing but who really cares? Not I said the chicken, not I said the duck.


Monday, September 20, 2010


Hello, my name is worst food blogger ever, it's nice of you to join me considering I'm never around and I only cook things, take pictures, than stop there and never post... I'm so sorry. Please don't hate me. I'm making something tonight that should be awesome, and it involves my brain and another recipe I found so it should be good, since my brain really is smart.

Today, however, since it's been far too long since I've posted you're going to get a second hand post from my regular blog that I posted before I ever decided I was a good enough to cook to have a whole separate blog for it.

Love me:


I can't tell you how awesome it feels to be posting my own (adapted) recipe. And it's for something as versatile as granola, which has uses in the health food world, as well in the dessert world.

This version is deliciously nutty, and I pretty much don't like any nut other than those of the peanut variety.

So go forth people, and whip up some granola, its fibery goodness that your colon will thank you for.

Ingredients:3 and 1/4 cup of quick oats
1/2 cup of chopped (crushed, I used the bottom of a glass) unsalted peanuts
1/3 cup of honey
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:1. preheat oven to 250 F, lightly grease baking sheet
2. in a large bowl combine and stir together all dry ingredients
3. in a separate bowl combine everything else and stir together really well; then pour over the oat mixture and mix till evenly coated
4. spread out evenly on the baking sheet and cook for one hour stirring every 15 minutes for even cooking

This is delicious as cereal, but really filling. I'd go as far as saying better than Honey Bunches of Oats, which we all know is the best healthy cereal ever (best unhealthy cereal being rice crispy treats cereal). Plus making your own granola is fun, and it makes your house smell all wonderful and comfortable. Plus, since mother nature thinks it's funny to make it cold again, this will warm your heart and your kitchen.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Lets get real: hummus is not only entirely delicious, it's become a huge staple in the diets of people our age because of it's versatility. And it's delicious. Humus is easy enough to make, which is why once I made it I thought I'd share the basics with you so you can make it yourself and never have a dry bit of pita again.

1 can (14.5 Oz.) Garbanzo Beans, Rinsed And Drained
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1 cloves Garlic, Chopped, Or More To Taste
½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
Sprinkle Ground Cumin, Or More To Taste
Salt To Taste
herb of choice, or none
1-3 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Things you could add to make it awesome: cheese, bacon, jalapeno (probably a half per can I think might be enough) glitter, bubbles, or smiley faces.

Okay, kidding. I think the next time I go to the store I'm going to check out the varieties and test em' out for you.

Easiest way to make these is in the blender I have in my kitchen. If you have your own I suggest using that one, but you can also use a food processor or a potato masher if you have lots of time and your elbows are naturally greasy.

I made like tree batches of these and I found they blended better if you smashed the up a little first with a fork. So do that. During this part you may find the skins of the chickpeas are coming off and feel free to throw them away. They also contribute to the difficulty in blending.

And chop some garlic. Waring: if you eat garlic no vampire will ever love you again. I warned you.

Once you are done mashing add the chick peas to the blender, squeeze a bit of lemon juice in, add the garlic, salt, cumin, tahini (the more you add the nuttier the flavor. Tahini is yummy, but don't lick the spoon) and any herb you think would be lovely. Suggestions are Parsley or Basil, but I would go out on a limb saying that Rosemary would be fresh too. If you're feeling sweet maybe some coco powder, cinnamon and sugar. If that last one doesn't taste good don't hate me, I haven't tried it, it's just in my head. Dry herbs work fine, just make sure to smash them u pa bit to release the flavor properly.

Blendy blend blend. The hardest part of this is getting everything nice and smooth. My last batch was pretty chunky because I got lazy. It tasted fine, but it felt weird going in (heyo!) Based on the consistency add a little water to smooth things out. You know what hummus looks like, use your best judgement.
When you feel like everything is smooth to your liking separate it into dishes, put it in the refrigerator for later or eat it with a spoon... To serve sprinkle a bit of olive oil over the top and you can garnish it with things like chopped scallions, paprika for color, or olives. It'll stay good in the fridge for about a week or so.

Happy Hummusing people. Happy hummusing.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Apple Pie

Apple Pie. Love. A good book. Lazy Sundays. What do all of these things have in common? They are the best things ever, that's what. And I am going to show you how to make one of them.

Start with the dry ingredients put them all in a bowl.

¾ cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Stir them up. This recipe is actually easier than another (note, the only other) pie I've made because it doesn't require an egg. Adding an egg to anything will make it more doughy (?). It'll give it the consistency of custard. Because apples are really juicy you don't actually need an egg or any other liquid whatsoever.

Next cut up your apples. The recipe I used called for 6 cups, I figured 7 small apples would do it, and I was totally right. This large measuring bowl is perfect for measuring large amounts of things you can't use a small cup for. My sister uses it when she mashes bananas for banana bread. It has a spout and a handle and it's plastic and huge. So, 6 cups of apples.

Most of the time people will tell you to use granny smith apples for pie, I am not most people. I used Macintosh because I wanted it to be delicious and they were on sale. I'm not a fan of granny smith, she shanked my granny Potter in the jail yard... kidding. But I don't like GSmith apples.

Once cut mix the apples with the sugar mixture and get them completely covered. Sugar does weird stuff to fruit. That jelly like substance that falls out of pie and makes your heart warm is the result of the chemical reaction between fruit and sugar.

TIP:Sugar also tenderizes meat, so if you use a tablespoon or so in a marinade it'll not only be flavorful, but totally tender.
Do this part with a wooden spoon, wooden spoons are fun and you don't have to get your hands dirty. I'm all for getting your hands dirty, but sticky is another thing. I don't like sticky.

Time to use your frozen pie crust. If you left it in the freezer for more than an hour then it'll probably need to thaw a bit before you can roll it out. If you flower your cutting board and rolling pin (note: I've used a large cup when I forgot my pin) it'll be easy. I only floured my pin. I'm an idiot. Don't be like me.

Roll it out slightly larger than your pie pan and put it in.

If you sprinkle a bit of flower on the bottom of your crust before you put the filling in it'll prevent the bottom crust from getting all sorts of soggy. No one likes soggy crust. Here is where I actually messed up. After you put the filling in the pie (I had about a cereal bowl full of left over, my pie pan is small, save at least a little of the sugary stuff for later, eat the rest) you need to put little squares of butter on it. 2 tablespoons is what the recipe called for, and I didn't measure till I was done but that's exactly what I used.

I accidentally put the top crust on first and had to peel it away. Sorry. I'm not perfect.

After the butter put the top crust on and squeeze the edges of the two crusts together with your fingers.

Use A sharp knife to cut slits in the top crust for steam to escape. This will make the inside so delicious you'll have to fight yourself to not eat it the second it comes out of the oven. It doesn't have to be intricate, I was feeling cute. I was thinking of doing a swirling design, but I decided not to be a tool and did it regular like.
Some recipes say you shouled coat the crust with milk or an egg wash at this point but I didn't and I wouldn't either. However, the part that you do need to do is sprinkle the left over sugar cinnamon mix over the top. Not too much, but just enough to sort of melt and glaze.

If you're a good chef you've already preheated the oven to 375°, if you're me you haven't. But this will give you plenty of time to make a foil crust protector. I also forgot this step but it's easy. Cut a piece of foil that is as long as the circumference of your pie pan plus two inches (2πr+2)... haha, kidding. You don't have to do it exact. However, make sure it goes all the way around and fold it till it's about an inch and a half wide. Wrap it all the way around the pie and hook it to protect the crust from burning while it cooks. It's supposed to cook for 45-55 minutes, but I told you mine was a small pan and I have an oven with a mind of it's own so it only took me 35 minutes. If you remember to put the foil proctor on pull it off when there is about 20 minutes left (more than half way through if you end up cooking for less time like I did) and let it cook the rest of the way uncovered.

You'll know it's done when your tongue is literally dragging on the floor behind you to check on it because of the intensely seductive aroma.