Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I was doing so well!

Without setting a real goal of how much I wanted to increase my blogging in the new year, I knew I wanted to do a little better. So far, I thought I was doing really well. Then the finger incident happened. I pushed through, making homemade pizza dough, muffins, and a few other delicious dinners.

But then! The one thing not conducive to blogging... computer problems. I have to replace the fan in my laptop. The noises it makes are so awful that I'm really afraid it's going to explode.

So bear with me while that gets updated. This weekend will be full of yummy tailgating food to share as we attend the NHL All Star game and cheer on some of our favorite players! So here's to a great sports weekend, a fixed computer, and a healed finger!

Stick around, it will be worth it!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.6

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thanks to the Hubs

Well, Hubby gets credit for this post. With only nine fingers in use I am out of commission, at least for things like mixing ingredients into ground meat. Also, I've been placed on restriction from using sharp objects until further notice. But we plowed ahead and the hubs helped me get  got dinner under control.

Meatloaf is something it took me a long time to try. It always carried a sort of negative connotation. Ewww, meatloaf! (Ok, that's hard to convey in type.) Then when I got around to trying it, what I had was really good. I had one barbecue beef meatloaf and then I had a turkey meatloaf. In our effort to eat (somewhat) healthier, we attacked the turkey meatloaf first. So thanks to my wifey Jen for sending the estimated measurements on this my way!

Jen and Cory's Meatloaf

1 lb. ground turkey meat
1 small onion, chopped
1 small (or one half) red bell pepper, chopped
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 - 1 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
black pepper, to taste
ketchup, on top
4 - 5 slices bacon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. This is quite the easy one... mix all ingredients together except for the ketchup and bacon. This is easiest to just do with your hands. When all ingredients are well-mixed, form into a loaf shape. Place on a lightly greased or non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle a few strips of ketchup across the top. Lay a few slices of bacon across the top cross-wise. You can leave the bacon off or opt for turkey bacon for healthier options. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half.

Although I love recipe that can be converted into vegetarian versions, I think this one has to stay all meat. Sorry about that! However, if you are an omnivore, enjoy this classic and comforting dish!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Epic Fail and Salmon

Sigh. I don't even know where to begin. Remember me talking about not having had a major kitchen failure in a while? I think I jinxed myself. Only this was worse than having to order pizza or throwing everything out. I had a glorious dinner planned last night. Sweet and spicy salmon. Balsamic-glazed broccoli. And the kicker... blue cheese potato cakes, which I've wanted to make for years.

So what happened? Well, I needed to mash the potatoes and get them really fine, so I pulled out the immersion blender (probably still not the right tool). Let me just tell you that I know who wins in immersion blender vs. finger. It's not finger. Ten stitches (and I'll spare you the bloody pictures) later, dinner was scrapped. It will be at least a couple weeks before I have another go of the potatoes.

We did manage to save the salmon and cook it tonight. And in spite of it all (because of it all?), the fish was delicious! In a way, it's sort of a no-brainer of a recipe. It's also just not a combination I had thought about before. I will eat Old Bay on nearly anything. Old Bay plus brown sugar? Salty/spicy plus sweet? Yes, please! This is a winner of a salmon dish that we will be enjoying again, hopefully with less drama.

Sweet and Spicy Salmon
slightly adapted from Taste of the South magazine

1 salmon filet (about 1 lb.) or 4 filets of 4 oz. each
1 tbsp. Old Bay
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 - 2 tbsp. olive oil

Mix the Old Bay and brown sugar. Brush olive oil on the top and sides of filet(s). Rub the oil-coated fish with the spice mixture. Let the fish rest for approximately 10 minutes, or longer in the fridge. Grill the fish until cooked through. The time of this varies, depending on thickness. You'll know it's done when the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Savour this, it's easy to do so!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reason One of Two Why I Never Order Enchiladas

I love Mexican food. I love homemade, wholesome Mexican food. I love greasy restaurant Mexican food. Also, I love everything in between. Most of my friends and family members are in agreement, so I often have the opportunity to indulge. At Mexican restaurants, it's always a tough decision about what to order. Tacos, chimichangas, quesadillas: I could go on and on. One thing I almost never order is an enchilada. I do, however, have great reasons for this... two of them.

The first I will be sharing with you is a little more classic of an enchilada. Cheese and onion are combined in corn tortillas and covered with a red sauce. This often ends up being a little bit more like enchilada casserole, but is delicious, all the same. The flavors are bright and warm. This is a fantastic dish to enjoy all year long, but I believe it's perfect at this time of year, when all I want to do is come home to a nice, hot dinner that will leave me feeling cozy all night long.

Cheese and Onion Enchiladas
adapted from some international cookbook of my mom's

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 - 3 tbsp. chili powder
4 c. tomato juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 clove of garlic, minced

12 6-inch corn tortillas
3 cups shredded cheese (I use monterey jack and colby jack)
1 medium onion, chopped
scallions, chopped
sliced jalapenos

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a pan. Over medium heat (not too hot!) add the flour. Cook for one minute, until this is well-blended. Add the chili powder. Stir in the tomato juice, tomato puree, oregano, cumin, and garlic. Simmer this mixture for about 15 minutes. It will bubble and splatter, so don't turn the heat up too high.

Let the tomato mixture cool until you are able to touch it. Reserve 1 cup of the cheese. Using tongs, place the tortilla in the salsa until it becomes pliable (this only happens so much). Place some of the remaining cheese down the middle of the tortilla. Add some of the chopped onion as well. Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in a medium to large baking dish (I use a 9 x 13 glass dish). Continue with the remaining tortillas until you run out of tortillas, sauce, cheese, or onion! Or space in the dish, for that matter. At the end, pour any remaining sauce over the top. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Garnish with green onions and jalapenos, if desired. Understand that you may need multiple utensils (including spoons!) to serve, but that it will be well worth it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well, I suppose by January 12 the holidays are officially over and I can get back to this. I'm not going to make any real resolutions this year. Actually, I did make one - remember to freeze my leftover veggie parts so I can make my own veggie stock. Awesome, huh? But seriously, I've been pretty pleased with my kitchen escapades over the last year. I think I'd just like to keep up more of the same. I will try to do a little better posting regularly, I think I'm finally getting a rhythym.

But ok, I think have a problem. I haven't truly failed in the kitchen in a while. Sure, there have been accidents. And often when I taste something I make a mental note (oft forgotten) to add something or change something the next time I make it. There seems to be something I just can't conquer, and I figured now was as good a time as any to finally figure it out.

I can't make a good roast in the crock pot! I know, right?! We made an amazing pulled pork and I can do a pretty good chili. Why can't I throw a hunk of meat in there and make it tender? I Swear everytime I cook it the roast is not tender at all and the flavor is... well... bland. I've had two phenomenal roasts recently made by friends (Michelle and Meg - help?), but I can't seem to figure this out on my own.

So, any suggestions? Thought? Tips? I will take any and all help I can get! So thanks in advance - from me and the hubs!