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Category Archives: My cooking/baking attempts

A Recipe From My Boyfriend, Jamie Oliver.

I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

Pardon the long absence. Jamie and I have been just SO busy jetting around the world, saving kids from shitty school lunches and such that I just haven’t had time to do a review…. or a recipe.

How’s my boyfriend, Jamie Oliver you ask? Well… he’s super hot of course, cool and funny. We’ve been jetting here and there over the world.. interview, cooking demo’s.. etc. The media keep wanting to interview me but I just tell them no – I just can’t possibly stomach the paparazzi. They make up lies! They fabricate stories! They spread un-truths!

**blink** **blink**

Not like me at all.

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh ok ok ok.

So Jamie Oliver is NOT my boyfriend.. and I haven’t been jetting all around the world ok?? I’ve been at home, enjoying the quality half hour or so we spend together. Well, maybe not TOGETHER, together… and maybe it’s just me WISHING Jamie was my boyfriend. Can’t blame a girl, can ya?  I mean, look at him! ‘Nuff said.

Ok.. soooo… my REAL boyfriend, being all sweet and understanding, fulfilled my wishes and bought me a couple of Jamie’s cookbooks. Can I just say I was thrilled???

I looked and looked over those cookbooks, trying to decide which one of his recipes I’d attempt first.  Because I couldn’t really decide… I did the “open the book and make what you see”… method. (Remember this method? It was the same method I used choosing the recipe for dauphine potatoes from Anthony Burdain, here. )

Ok.. so the book is this one.

cookbook

and the recipe is:

Grilled Filet Steak with the Creamiest White Beans and Leeks
(*linked at the bottom)

photorecipe

I was a little let down by the Recipe Choosing Gods because truth be told… I’m not a fan of lima beans. They’re “ok”, but really, they rank pretty low on my favorites list. But… choose me this recipe it did, so cook it I must. (Like that resolve?? lol)

Here we go.

So you slice up 4 leeks, nice and thin. My question that the recipe didn’t state was HOW MUCH of the leek did I cut? The whole white and green part? Because I have to say… the upper portion of the green parts on those leeks were like barn boards. TOUUUUGGGHH!!! I was going to call my brother who is a chef and ask him as he would most likely know. However.. I thought I should follow the recipe as it states, and figure this out on my own. That way, any mistakes I make, I can report to you – my illustrious, amazing readers – and you’d just think I’m amazing for saving you making the same mistakes! I’m so cool sometimes, it’s hard for me to stand it.

Leeks

Ok.. so I didn’t slice the woody ends. ONLY to the portion where it started to go thick and tough. After chopping, sweat them in a pan with garlic and a “knob” ( “Knob”.. funny word for a measurement. “knob” is probably a tablespoon or something – I’m guessing. Who knows? I wouldn’t mistake it for a stick of butter or anything………………… orrrr would I????? ).

Anyway, after they’re nice and soft, add a cup of white wine (any that you like to drink is fine.). Leave enough wine for you to enjoy after with the meal. Be it a glass, or the whole damn bottle.

Hey… I don’t judge.

Turn the heat up and bring this to a boil. At this point, the lima beans can join the party. Please be sure to rinse them from the can because you don’t want any mushy grossness from the bottom of the can being a party crasher.

beans

Add them to pot with a “splash” of water (I added about a 1/3 cup of water). Turn the heat to simmer and let it do its thing for about 5 – 10 minutes.

mixture

In the meantime…….

Season your steaks. I used just top sirloin cuts. Nothing fancy. Place them in a screaming hot pan and fry those lovelies on both sides for a few minutes a piece. You don’t want to over cook them. Take them out and let them rest.

Back to your beans, add the crème fraiche, give it a stir. The recipe says to add a glug of olive oil but I left it out, as I didn’t think it was needed really, but that’s my thing. If you want to , go ahead and glug away!

Slice your steaks into thick strips. Divide the bean mixture between the plates and add the steak strips on top.  Here’s my final masterpiece:

dish

My review? Considering I’m not crazy about recipes with beans and leeks, this was quite good. The leeks were sweet and tender, and the beans were nice and soft and creamy. Surprisingly, they really showed off the flavor of the wine. Combined with the PERFECTLY cooked steak (If I say so myself!) I thought overall, the dish was quite nice. Easy to make and VERY filling. Who thought??

Did it blow me away? No. Would I make it again? Maybe….. and only if I knew the people I was making it for liked leeks and lima beans. If you met people like that, make this for them!

You’ll be a rock star :)

If you decide to try the dish, please let me know what you think of my boyfriend’s recipe.

Ok, ok… my PRETEND boyfriend!

Don’t judge.

Just go make the recipe. ;)

Recipe:

http://www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/jamie-oliver-s-grilled-steak-with-white-beans-and-leeks

A Chocolately, Pumpkiny TWO Ingredient HUG

Who doesn’t like two ingredients recipes? Seriously, I’m always curious about these ideas. I read the “recipe” and ask myself………. “really?”

Like, “Could it BE just that easy??”

Ok, I didn’t actually ask myself that. I just thought “Hey, seems like a cool idea that I need to try”.

I’ve tried other minimal recipe desserts before like THIS one. Oh, and  remember the CHEATER COBBLER? That one as was a two ingredient recipe as well. Both of those recipes turned out pretty damn well, I have to say. ESPECIALLY the Cherry Chocolate Cake. Oh lawdy, was it good!

So in the spirit everything pumpkin this season, I bring you another two ingredient, Thanksgiving/fall/pumpkin themed type recipe that seriously makes you want break out the sweat pants and fuzzy slippers, and get ready for the coming hibernation.

Alright! First up, here’s your ingredients!

One Chocolate Brownie Mix (any brand you prefer)
One 15 ounce can of Canned Pumpkin (or Pumpkin Pie Filling)

That’s it! I know, it’s easy isn’t it? I love easy!
(don’t go there.)

Moving on, here’s the photo of the ingredients:

pumpkin brownies 3

*NOTE: In the photo above, you’ll see that I bought the 540ml (18 ounce) can because that’s all they had. I weighed 15 ounces and it came to roughly 3/4 of the can.  Please keep this in mind when making your own, and adjust according to the can you buy.

Here’s how you do it!!

1. Preheat your oven to 350!

2. Empty the box of brownie mix and about 15 ounces of the pumpkin pie filling into the cake mix and mix together.

I know, pretty difficult so far, right?

pumpkin brownies 4

3. Now, you don’t need it, but I happen to seriously love anything pumpkin spice.

So you can add up to a teaspoon of pumpkin spice to the mix to “make it sing”

( I DESPISE that term, but it’s really the only word I thought appropriate to explain what I”m trying get across).

So I added 1/2 a teaspoon.

Twice. :)

pumpkin brownies 5

4. Next, pour the mixture into a parchment lined 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 pan. No parchment?

No problem!

Grease the hell outta the pan, and you’ll be fine.

pumpkin brownies 6

So the recipe that I followed which is here, calls for baking the brownies for 25-30 minutes until set. I found that I had to double that time to make it work, so you might wanna keep an eyeball  on the pan just to make sure it’s baked thoroughly. No one likes raw brownie dough…… I think anyway. Maybe it’s like a raw cookie dough concept?  Meh, not for this chick – I like my baked desserts… BAKED.

When a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean, you’re good to go.

Let cool COMPLETELY before you decide to frost or sugar these babies.

pumpkin brownies 7

Ok. So let me tell you, this isn’t your typical brownie. It’s more dense, and has a soft pumpkin flavor mixed with the chocolately goodness of the brownie. Be warned though, my gorgeous reader. If you like the flavor of chocolate, this chocolate brownie with the chocolate frosting can quell any chocolate craving you might have. HOWEVER, the denseness of these brownies from the pumpkin seem to almost intensify the chocolatey taste to the point that well,… it’s teetering on craziness.

I ADORE chocolate, and ONE small brownie with the frosting was enough to lull me into sweet, dreamy chocolate land, where one might be tucked into their chocolate bed and given chocolate kisses and yummy chocolate hugs sprinkled with warm pumpkin spices.

Yes. It’s like that.

JUST like that.

Yeaaahhhh.

It honestly seemed like a good idea at the time…….

So in the whole spirit of low carbing, sometimes I get these……..um…… “brilliant” ideas. Yes my dear readers, let me introduce you to “breaded” low carb mozza sticks!!

Yummmmy!
Easy Peasy, right?
Let me show you how!!

In one container large enough to fit your average mozza stick, place a few tablespoons of almond flour.

mozzasticks1
In another container, one beaten egg.

mozzasticks2

In the last container, place a few tablespoons of coconut flour, and season it really, really well. I used seasoning salt, pepper, and other seasoning that suited my fancy at the time…. cuz I AM fancy.

mozzasticks4

In a nice, super hot pan with oil (don’t let it smoke), place your “breaded” mozza stick and keep an eye on it. Keep flipping OFTEN, so it can brown nicely on all sides.

mozzasticks6

Yep. Goooooooooood idea on paper folks.

But really?………………………..

BIG FAT FAIL.

mozzasticks7
JUST DON’T DO IT..
Back to the drawing board.

This Happened.. with a Tomato.

TOMATO PATTIES
(pictures below)

“Tooooo many tomatoes!!!!!!!”,  said you.

Is that what you’ve been saying lately as you survey your garden? A little over zealous when you planted your little starlet seedlings, hmm? I can hear it now ” Ooohh, I’m going to can/freeze/dehydrate tons of tomatoes, and I’m gonna make stewed tomatoes, salsa, and TONS of healthy sauce!”.

I know, because I said the same thing.

While the tomato plants on my side of the world aren’t quite ruby-red globes yet, (and I can see I have a shitload coming), I know in other spots of the world they are screaming to come off the vine. What do to with all of them is what’s playing on every well-intentioned gardeners mind.

So when you’re all salsa’d out,  you can’t stand the thought of ANOTHER can of tomato sauce, and every neighbor in a mile radius of you pretends not to see you when you offer them a basket like a Price is Right model,…….. try this recipe.

Oooh I’m telling you, this recipe is fanfreakintastic! If you like the combination of bacon and tomato………. wait… what am  I saying.. “IF”???? EVERYONE likes that combo and if you don’t, well, I’m breaking up with you, because I can’t be friends with people who don’t like a bacon tomato combo, I mean come on!!!

In an effort to eat less carbs lately, (namely anything starchy and white) I skipped the BLT sandwich idea. Here’s the better plan:

A good size tomato.

Slice thickly (3 slices).

Dredge the slices first in coconut flour, then egg, then in seasoned almond flour mixed with shredded parmesan cheese. You can choose any seasoning your beautiful heart desires. I chose a bit of seasoning salt, rosemary, lemon pepper seasoning and some garlic powder.

3

Fry till golden on each side.

2

Plate.

Dollop on a bit of sour cream, bacon and then finish with chopped chives (I used dill, because I didn’t have any chives).

1

Oh sweet momma. The rich, tomato-y freshness that contrasts off the salty bite of the bacon, mixed with the creaminess of the sour cream, is a combination that could make the heavens open  and harps play Queen’s “We are the champions”. … Ok, maybe not THAT song, but something just as triumphant. Seriously my lovies, this recipe is amazing.

I’ve seen a different version of this miracleness made by what has to be one of the hottest chefs in Canada. Like.. SUPER hot. If you’re thinking Chef Chuck Hughes, you’d be right. Clean the drool off your lip, I know.. I know….. he’s so sexy right?  His version was to dredge the tomato in your standard flour egg and panko mix, and instead of bacon, he used pancetta.  So yeah… pancetta, shmancetta!!! Bacon works just as well if you’re not feeling fancy.

You could serve these as the headliner on your plate with a side salad, or they can easily play co-star as the side dish. This is a fresh, cheap, SUPER TASTY way to enjoy your summer bounty.  If you brought these to a barbecue in the neighborhood, I’m pretty sure you’d be the one most talked about…………………………………….. in a good way.

What are some of the ways you’re going to use your summer tomatoes? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Welcome to the PUFFIN.

I successfully married Pork and Stove Top Stuffing into a cute little … muffin.

I know, right?

Pork – meaty, savory, porky, protein rich.
Muffin – bready, sweet, moist, and good with strong coffee.

Separate, they are wonderful. Together? Initially, a conceptually difficult union to wrap your sweet pretty head around. OK.. I’ll speak for myself. It took me a bit to wrap MY sweet head around it. I mean, come on’ – What do you call it?

A Pork Muffin?

A Porkfin?

A Puffin?

Regardless of what one might call it, – it’s strange. But hey, how can you go wrong? Pork, and stuffing. Who doesn’t like that combination, and besides, we ALLL know what strange means to me.

It mean’s I gotta try it.

Plus, they said it was easy, and I like easy.

So… without further adieu, I give you………. a porffin?

Whatever.

Here’s what you need to make this wildly creative, culinary masterpiece:

muffin2
That’s right. A muffin tin, two eggs (three, actually. I’ll explain later), ground pork, and a box of good ole’ Stove Top Stuffin’. Try and match the flavors people, k? I mean, if you get ground pork.. use Stove Top Stuffing for pork. If you get ground turkey, (which is perfectly acceptable protein choice in this situation for all you skinny-minnies), use the Stove Top for turkey.

Yessssssssssssssssss, you don’t have to point out the obvious fact that I combined ground pork and turkey Stove Top Stuffing – but ground pork was what my freezer had, and turkey Stove Top was what the store had. No big deal. I’m comfortable flying that kind of flag out there for everyone to see.

You know, the REBEL flag.

So, because I can’t just be normal and go along with direction, I like to “doctor” things up. That would the Stove Top Stuffing that I’m talking about. If you have extra “aromatics” in your fridge folks, doctor that crap up. I started sauteing celery (and lots of it because celery and I have had an intense love / love relationship for many years), and onion with a touch of garlic.

muffin3

That particular day, I decided to live on the edge and add some hot chili flakes to the party. I added about a tablespoon and half.

It turns out I’m not as edgy as I thought.

Dial down the chili flakes folks.

Learn by my mistakes. Especially if you’re not too adventurous on the whole spicy thing. Start with half a teaspoon.. you can always add more (One of Mom’s favorite expressions)

muffin4

So at this point, when the aromatics are soft, make the Stove Top Stuffing according to the box instructions. Easy Peasy right? Once that’s finished, and slightly cooled, add your pound of ground pork (or chicken, or turkey) and THREE eggs. I realize I had previously said two, and I actually did only use two, but I found the finished product SLIGHTLY crumbly, so an extra egg would hug up all those ingredients and make them stick together much better.

muffin1

When the mixture is thoroughly mixed, spoon it into your greased muffin pans. My muffin pan has muffin cups for giants so I got six from the whole lot. However, if you are of the regular human race, I can say that normal muffin pans are acceptable, if not desired over the bigger ones.

Spoon them into the tins at the fullness that you want, as they don’t puff up, obviously, like a cake muffin would.

muffin5

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. (All depending on what size of muffin tin you used. I used a longer cook time because of the muffins for Giants that I was making.) Use your logic okay? We are dealing with ground pork (or any ground meat), so it’s imperative that it’s thoroughly cooked. If in doubt, use a thermometer and cook them till you have an internal temperature of 160 degrees for pork and 165 for turkey or chicken.

FYI – At the very end of cooking time, turn on your blast broiler for a  minute or two. It creates this mildly crunchy top that is FANFRICKENSTASTIC!

I highly suggest you try that.

muffin6

These bubba’s are awesome with a side salad for a lunch, or even for a quick breakfast heated up in the microwave. Ok, listen, you can have them for ANY meal because they’re just that good. The batch I made are at the TOP of my spice tolerance so next time, I’ll go a bit kinder on the chilies. Lastly, these freeze like champions!!

muffin7
Give them a try and tell me what you think! What changes did you make to “doctor” them up?

If you thought this recipe was incredibly cool and made of awesomeness, please press the subscribe/follow button to always know what’s happening in the Forkin’ Foodie World!

Easy! Moist! Cherry! Chocolate!……..Yes!

Slice2

Wait… what???

I’m talking CAKE people. CAAAKE!!
I can see most male readers exiting right at the word cake. It’s all good.
We women understand the power that those words hold in that title.
Sounds sexy though, doesn’t it?

That’s because it is.

What more can you want? Luscious chocolatey Devils Food cake, dotted throughout with juicy cherries, all topped with a rich, chocolatey glaze that adds a moist denseness to the cake that you would make you run, arms flailing and screaming gibberish, naked in the streets for.

Well, maybe the naked part’s just me.

Moving on, this is an impressive cake that’s one of the most simplest “hacks” I’ve made yet. I actually laugh out loud, all jolly-like, at how easy this recipe is.

Three super simple ingredients: Devil’s Food Cake mix – now, this could be any chocolate cake mix you wanted to use folks, but I like to get all “gourmet” on things, so I sprung for the fancy box. I know, you’re impressed, no need to be coy. Three (3) eggs, and a can of cherry pie filling finishes the list.

I know, crazy simple right?

*laugh out loud all jolly-like with me now*

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 pan . I used my fancy Pampered Chef Stoneware Bunt Pan. Oh btw… Pampered Chef didn’t pay me to say that…. or use even use it. I came up with the idea ALL on my own….. Ok, not really, I actually read it somewhere but it rolls with the whole gourmet theme I had going on.

Now comes the hardest part of the whole recipe.
Ready???

cakehack2

Open that crazy cake mix box. Open the bag inside. Pour the contents in a bowl. (Put the empty box in your recycle bin. Think of the kids.) Crack in your eggs over the cake mix. Open the can of pie filling. Scoop it in the cake mixture. Miiiiiiiiiiiiix it all around. Don’t do a cyclone type mix… just gently incorporate it all together really well. Sing a song, maybe.

Really hard to do, isn’t it?

Pour the contents into the pan and throw it in the oven.

DONE.

cakehack3

Bake it for 35 – 40 minutes or until a tester of some sort comes out clean. I used a wooden skewer. If you’re using a bundt pan, it may take a few minutes longer but just babysit the bundt for a bit near the end of the cooking time.

While it’s baking, melt 1/2 cup of butter in a sauce pan. Add 5 tablespoons of cocoa, 6 tablespoons of milk, and a dash of vanilla, and bring to a boil. Combine that mixture into 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar and mix together. You want the consistency of thick syrup. Add a bit more milk by the tablespoon if you need to loosen the glaze.

This is the lusciousness that will top your sexy cake.

cakehack4

I turned out the cake onto a stand and poked holes all over that beauty with that same wooden skewer used earlier for testing. Slowly drip the glaze over the cake’s chocolatey goodness, letting it ooze into the inner depths of it to keep it even moister. Put some love into the whole process.

If you’re a foodie like me, you may need moment at this point. Its sheer beauty may make you shed a tear. It’s OK honey, revel in all its super sexy splendor.

CAKEHACK5

After the glaze sets, you can slice it. (That is, if you can wait that long.). Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely sure there are other cake recipes out there that will rival this one. HOWEVER. This recipe has the EASY factor pulling it ahead of all others. You can whip up this gorgeousness in less than five minutes for the oven, and have an impressive dessert finished in about an hour.

G’head. Make it. You’ll see.

This cake will impress all your friends, you’ll be the talk of the town at the church picnic, local PTA meeting, or potluck. (Also, keep in mind, that always special PMS mood would partner fantastically with this cake as well….. Just sayin’).

Lastly, you can always enjoy that moment alone with just you and the cake piece of cake, feeling that special “feel good” power of  The Cherry Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake…….. just for the hell of it.

Speaking of just for the hell of it, why not click to follow/subscribe link to my blog? You’ll get a notification every time (no spam) there’s a new cool recipe or review that I’d love to share with you!!

Million Dollar Thighs. Oh Yeah!

Yep….. I got’em.

Million Dollar Thighs!

Creamy white and juicy.

Meaty with that nice caramelized crust on top.

Huh?… What?…. Sigh.

Get your head out of the gutter, you perverted puppies! I”m not talking about MY thighs…..

…although I kinda wish I was.

NO no, my lovely readers. I’m talking about a recipe that I found on YOUTUBE, called Million Dollar Chicken, done by Chef John on his Food Wishes channel. (link below). I LOVE this man’s recipes, but his sing-song-happity-hap voice makes me want to drive rusty nails into my ears with a ball peen hammer for relief.

ANYWAYYY… he uses a whole chicken, but I had only thighs on hand, and you know how cool I am, I just subbed thighs instead. I’m sure you could use whatever chicken pieces struck your fancy, but be sure to adjust cooking time.

What makes it worth the Million Dollar name? Chicken, cream, lemon, fried bread… need I say more?

Trust me beauties, this little dish will literally blow your whole daily caloric/fat allowance to cholesterol hell in one little sitting… but it will be sooooo worth it.

Here we go!

bread

Use an old bagette or any other stale, day old bread. It MUST be day old, and kinda hard and crusty, or you will cry at the mushy, gross pablum-ness of it all. Oil your dish before placing a few pieces down. According the recipe, it asked to oil the top of the bread as well, but really, don’t. I did, but found you don’t need it.

Save the calories, honey.

rawchicken

The recipe asked to stuff the bird with thyme, garlic and lemon and then season with salt and pepper. I sprinkled a few pinches of thyme  and the zest from one lemon, garlic and S&P on top of the thighs to achieve the same taste. My way is soo much easier I think.

He puts the bird in a super hot oven (450) for an hour. I put my thighs in at 350 with an idea to roast them for 45 minutes or so.

While your waiting, make your sauce to smother those little cute thighs.

sauce

I used 1/2 cup of creme fraiche, lemon zest, the juice of one lemon, one GRATED shallot (that’s what the weird thing is that you see floating around in the cream), salt and pepper. The recipe called for one teaspoon of Aleppo pepper, that I COMPLETELY FORGOT to add in. And.. truth be told, I didn’t have any fancy shmancy Aleppo pepper anyway. But, assuming you won’t be a moron like myself, you’ll want to add the Aleppo pepper into the cream mixture at this point. If you don’t have Aleppo pepper on hand (who does, really?), an alternative to use is 3 parts sweet paprika to one part cayenne. Thanks Friend Kim and Chef Simon for the alternative pepper recipe!

At the 20 minute mark, move the chicken out of the way, and tong those little pieces of toasty love over to brown on the other side, and replace the chicken on top the bread……..

toasted bread

…..and then baste the living crap out of your chicken. Go overboard on the basting. If, while you’re basting, you think ‘oh that’s enough’, no, it’s not. Baste some more. Throw it back in the oven for ten minutes.

firstbaste

Ten minutes later, baste again and return for another 10 minutes.

At the last five-minute mark, throw on your flame thrower. If you are not skilled at using a flame thrower on your food – your broiler will do as well. Watch it like a hawk people, burnt bird is just so wrong.  When it gets all crusty and caramelized on top, take it out, and let it sit for a few minutes.

finished

Plate it up!!!

If there is extra sauce left over, slice the thighs a bit and arrange them on the bread, and pour the remaining sauce over the thighs.

plated
Sweet Mother of baby Jesus. The way this tastes is nothing short of beautiful, if it can be described that way. The thighs are super nice and juicy with a crunchy skin, and it loves up it’s best friend, the crunchy toasted bread. Salty tings from the seasoning and lemony twangs from the zest-infused sauce on a crunchy, but soft toasted bread that’s saturated with a chickeny-cream goodness, is delectable. It might even make your inner fattie, or I mean foodie, scream with glee.

So, if after eating this little bundle of everything right in the world,  you haven’t passed out in a creamy caloric induced snooze,
be sure to comment below or click the button to follow my blog! You’ll get a fan’freakin’tastic email ever single time I post something new!

Come on now,.. don’t be chicken! (haha……………….ha.)

Youtube link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHw67wim0Vk