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Archive for the ‘Pat’s Favorite’ Category

I saw this gorgeous plum and Gorgolzola pizza at Mango Tomato and was inspired to do something similar.

I bought whole wheat pizza dough at Trader Joe’s along with the other ingredients.

I cooked the pizza dough in a cast iron pan on the stove-it’s hot and I didn’t want to heat up my non-central air conditioned apartment. After I flipped the crust so it was done on both sides, I added a little olive oil, sliced apples, crumbled blue cheese, and arugla. I carefully placed the whole thing in the toaster oven and broiled it until the cheese began to melt and the arugla started to wilt.

apple, Gorgonzola, and arugula pizza

apple, Gorgonzola, and arugula pizza

It wasn’t too pretty but it tasted great!

A nice feature of personal pizzas is that everyone can have their favorite toppings. I made Pat one with tomato sauce, pepperoni, mozarella, and roasted yellow and red bell peppers. (The toppings barelt fit!)

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ramen alternative

ramen alternative

So I despair of Pat’s love of ramen. We were out of it the other day so I offered to make him dinner with the udon noodles I had leftover and some chicken stock hoping to convince him he didn’t need to buy it.

I pulled a cup of chicken stock, broccoli, and spinach out of the freezer and began heating them with a little water. I threw in some red pepper flakes, a little soy sauce, and red chili paste, too.

After everything was brought to a boil, I added the noodles and let them cook for 4 min.

Pat said he liked this a lot but he still loved ramen…I didn’t quite succeed in replacing ramen with regular food but I am headed there.

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lemon broccoli and snap pea raman

lemon broccoli and snap pea ramen

No matter how many delicious groceries I stock the kitchen with- produce from Farmer’s Market, Celtic sea salt, free-range chicken-Pat insists on buying chicken ramen. To me this is really salty college student food. I argue and make great meals but whenever I am not home for dinner Pat makes ramen.

If you can’t beat them, join them. So I raided Pat’s stash of ramen, took the noodle and threw out the flavor packet.

I made stir fry of broccoli and snap peas with chicken. I added chicken stock while the ramen noodles cooked for 2 minutes in boiling water. The noodles were drained and added to the stir fry pan with a little lemon zest and fresh parsley.

Pat even agreed with me that it was a better use for the noodles.

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I know it seems like I am forever making pork loin…but this is really only the third one since November.

I was reading the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics and, loving pork loin, a recipe for herb marinated loin of pork caught my eye. It seemed relatively simple except that it called for the pork to be grilled. Living in an apartment in Chicago, I do not own a grill and it’s still a little cold. Instead I planned to sear it on the stove top and then roast it in the oven. At the last minute I deglazed the pan with lemon juice and cooked it down with chicken stock and a little mustard until the sauce was syrupy.

Herb Marinated Loin of Pork

adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics.

grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 lb pork loin
salt and pepper

Combine first 6 ingredients to make marinade.

marinade

marinade

Cover pork in marinade and let sit in fridge overnight.

marinating pork loin

marinating pork loin

Preheat oven to 375F. Heat saute pan on medium to high heat. Sear pork loin on all sides. Transfer pork to oven safe pan and roast for about 45 min until pork is done.

herb marinated pork loin

herb marinated pork loin

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I am a stress baker-when I get stressed out, I start making cookies, cake, bread, cupcakes…anything that involves baking from scratch.

Right now there is wedding planning going, car accidents (yes, plural, and yes everyone is ok), work is crazy, and so on. So what do I do? I make cake, caramel, and ganache from scratch. I also make triple chocolate cookies from Baked.

Except in Baked they are Black Forest Cookies. They mention leaving out dried cherries  and white chocolate (I don’t like dried fruit) and adding semi-sweet chocolate. I decidide to leave out the cherries, keep the white chocolate and add pecan pieces and semi-sweet chips. I feel better already.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

adapted from Baked
makes 20 cookies

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
8 oz chopped dark chocolate
5 tbsp butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Melt chocolate and mix in butter.Allow to cool while beating together eggs and sugars for 5 min. Slowly add chocolate and butter mixture, mix. Add flour mixture and mix.

Fold in chips and pecans.

chocolate and pecans

chocolate and pecans

Refrigerate over night-or a few hrs, I could only make it 3.

Preheat oven to 375F.

drop cookies pre-drop

drop cookies pre-drop

Drop cookies onto baking sheet with tablespoon.

mmmm....stress cookies...

mmmm....stress cookies...

Bake for 10-15 min until the top begins to crack.

triple chocolate cookies

triple chocolate cookies

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A couple years ago I got the book The Good Home Cookbook: More Than 1000 Classic American Recipes. It describes itself as having the recipes you would have learned from your grandmother. I think that it has a lot of recipes you would imagine your grandmother would have made. (One of my grandmother’s made a hambruger and mashed potato casserole with ketchup that I never tried-her cheesecake was phenomenal though.)

One of the quicker recipes is an oven fried chicken that uses mustard to coat the chicken. I get home earlier than Pat and usually have dinner done shortly after he gets home. I was going to make it after I did a couple quick sets of strength training exercises when Pat came home early. He kept asking about dinner so I handed him the cookbook. He did a great job (while asking many questions).

The oven is preheated to 400F. It’s best to start by putting grain mustard into a bowl. Panko crumbs, salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice (oregano this time) go into a different bowl. A sheet pan should be oiled or sprayed with oven spray. For 2, one large chicken breast cut into chunks works.

prep work

prep work

The chicken is dipped into the mustard and coated, then transferred to the bread mixture, and finally placed on the pan.

ready to go into the oven

ready to go into the oven

The pan goes into the oven for 20-25 min (really depends on the size of the chicken). The chicken should be flipped half-way though.

delicious and quick

delicious and quick

Dinner was done just as I was finishing my work-out. Delicious and I only had to yell suggestions out in between sets.

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It turns out Pat had never made cookies from scratch before this week. Last weekend at my parents’ house, my mom and I made chocolate chip cookies for her students. These were not normal chocolate chips we used though, they were peanutbutter and chocolate swirled chips.

Swirled Morsels

Swirled Morsels

Pat loves Reeses so he was quite impressed. My mom gave him a spare bag. He came home and made his first batch of Nestle Tollhouse Swirled Peanutbutter and Chocolate Chip Cookies (subsituting the swirled chips for chocolate chips).

It was pretty successful (except for not listening to me and making his cookies too big and they baked together…the second sheet were fine).

Peanutbutter and Chocolate Swirled Chip Cookies

Peanutbutter and Chocolate Swirled Chip Cookies

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