Monthly Archives: August 2012

Hold It Right There… Now, Spread ‘Em!


I want to tell you about my new food love, which I totally forgot about until I walked into the pantry yesterday to inspect my food and was reunited with this:

 

Cocoa almond spread from Trader Joe’s. I spotted this while shopping and knew I had to have it. I thought, this will be like Nutella, but better! And I was right.

I used to really LOVE Nutella, back when I hardly ever got to have it, but a few years ago I sort of hopped off the Nutella train. I don’t have a problem with it at all, but I just found myself not caring that much once it was around all the time. That, of course, makes me sound like a hipster. Maybe I never loved Nutella as much as I thought I did… I still like it, mind you. Just not as much as everyone else seems to.

Almonds are my favorite nut. I like them a lot more than hazelnuts. And they make marzipan (right? They’re in that?) and awesome cookies and amaretto. So, yeah. Almonds.

Almonds

 

I’m eating some of this right now on a piece of standard grocery store multigrain bread. I’d prefer it on a croissant, or maybe a sweet bread, like challah… or I could put it on COOKIES. Wow, that would be delicious. Or fruit slices. I could dip pretzel sticks in it. I don’t have pretzel sticks, nor do I particularly like pretzels, but I could. I could just eat it off my fingers. No one else is eating from this jar. Go. Nuts.

 

Ha. Get it? That wasn’t even intentional.

Successes and Misfires!


The title here could apply to many aspects of my life, but in this case I’m only talking about cooking. Before I get into that, hi! It’s been a while, but I figure that this blog hasn’t been around long enough to gain any regular readers who would be disappointed at the lack of posts. Therefore, I’m only disappointing myself, and that’s just par for the course… I hate that phrase. Remind me never to use it again.

I need to get myself going, move on to the present projects and not make you dwell on past anti-recipes and waiting longer for the more recent ones. So I’ll just recap the various successes and misfires I’ve had lately, the more notable ones, anyway, in vaguely chronological order.

Number 1: Cheesy Biscuits – Misfire. Read the rest of this entry

Baked Mac N Cheese with Breadcrumbs and Red Onions


Mmmm, looks delicious! I’m reblogging this because I need a homemade mac and cheese recipe I can come back to. Don’t you just want to eat that whole pan? I do.

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If we took a survey and asked people to name their favorite comfort food, I’d bet mac n cheese would be at the top of the list.  (That or maybe ice cream.)  And there really is just something homey about gooey, cheesy, unhealthy goodness.

Now for me, I grew up on the Kraft blue box mac n cheese.  It was my absolutely favorite thing to eat at dinner.  When I was little, my mom wanted to really surprise me and make me some homemade mac n cheese (ya know, the kind that doesn’t come from a powder).  And guess what…I didn’t like it.  I mean…I liked it….just not as much as the blue box.  The real cheese just didn’t have as much delicious artificial flavor as the powder!  And I’m sure I loudly expressed my opinions and made her feel real great about spending all that extra time on a…

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Homemade Tandoori!


I should apologize for the lack of a picture, because it is so beautifully orange, but I don’t have a camera that would show it.

Tonight I was preparing chicken so I would have something to make lunches with. I wanted flavor and simplicity of preparation (my two favorite things in a non-recipe) I decided to go with tandoori chicken with garlic and basil. That sounds fancy. How did I do that? Well, actually it’s the opposite of fancy and was very easy.

At some point I acquired a little tin of tandoori seasoning. I think it came from T.J. Maxx. Anyway, it’s a nice thing to have for when I want to make my rice bright corally orange, or add an interesting twist to dinner.

Surya, the best Indian restaurant EVER, which is located in my semi-hometown of Worcester, MA, makes deep red tandoori chicken. No other restaurant has ever made it half as good. So I tend to get something else. At other restaurants, the tandoori chicken just barely has a dusting of orange on it, and I wonder why it doesn’t stick.

I discovered, most likely by accident (but I can’t remember now), that if I stir it in with a little bit of cream (half and half is usually what I have available) the seasoning will stick to the chicken and make it nice and colorful. Raise your hand if you knew this trick. …Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So, anyway, if you’re interested in how I prepared tonight’s no-recipe chicken, it’s very basically like this:

Slice or chop two cloves of garlic and toss into vegetable/canola/olive oil, cook on a low-medium heat. If your stove is anything like mine, watch out for a spitting pan and you should probably wear pants, or you’ll end up with hot oil sprayed on your leg. It wasn’t scalding, so I’m ok.

Prepare boneless chicken meat to your preference. I like to cut it into strips, usually, as it cooks faster that way. Put chicken in oil, watching out for spitting again. I mean, really. Is it that the pan doesn’t like me?

Add cream. You don’t need much. I’d approximate three tablespoons or so. If you’re into the no-measuring style, just pour a small amount in, but enough that it can get around the whole pan.

Add tandoori! This is really don’t measure at all. maybe 1/2 tablespoon? It depends how strong you want it. And you can always add a little more if it’s not orange enough…

So, once you’ve put the cream and seasoning in the pan, mix that stuff up stir-fry style. Make sure all the chicken gets coated. Then let it simmer for a little while.

Last minute addition: if you suddenly get a desire to add a little more flavor, find an herb or something to toss in and mix that around at the end of the cooking. If your extra thing is onions, you might want to cook them a little more first. Just saying… my extra bit was dried basil.

Note: This anti-recipe would probably have best results with fresh basil and garlic that was purchased more recently than six months ago. I’m serious, I think that’s how long it was. Can you tell how often I cook with garlic?

Even though this was a dish I was making for later, I had to try a bite. It turned out great, if I do say so myself.

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