Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Look Ma, I'm Famous!!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled "Eating Thru the Alphabet" post to bring you the following important announcement. I've been published!!!

Now that I have your attention, I am going let you in on a great little secret. Some of you may be awesome enough to already know, but here it is, Nadia G. She just got a New Now Next Award for Most Addictive Reality Star. Don't think reality star as in Jersey Shore, think reality star as in this chick is gonna rock your face off. If you haven't seen Bitchin' Kitchen yet, scour your cable provider until you find the Cooking Channel and then find Bitchin' Kitchen. Below you will see her latest cookbook Cookin' for Trouble. I am going to recommend you either click and buy or run to your local bookstore (if you can still find one) and get this book and then find her first one Bitchin' Kitchen Cookbook: Rock Your Kitchen...And Let the Boys Clean Up the Mess. If you love great food and crazy fun women, oh and super hot, don't forget super hot, you will love the show and the books as much as I do. Check Bitchinlifestyle.tv for all things Bitchin'!!

 I had to make sure not to spoil the best part before you got to get exposed to this Bitchin' story, so click the "READ MORE" button for the "meat and potatoes".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It Begins With... A

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first installment of "Eating Thru the Alphabet." Let's get started on this adventure with the letter A. We chose artichoke as our ingredient since we could not recall anything specific we had eaten with artichoke in it. The recipes for these dishes can be found at the end of this post.

The side dish we made was an asparagus, artichoke and mushroom saute with a tarragon vinaigrette. It started off with sauteing shallot, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus and artichoke hearts. After everything was nice and tender it was removed from the heat and the tomatoes were added to just let them warm through. We made the vinaigrette with olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh tarragon and salt and pepper.
Shallot, garlic and sliced mushrooms.
All heated through, just waiting for vinaigrette.

The vinaigrette was amazingly fragrant. The fresh tarragon added so much flavor to the vinaigrette. I highly recommend using fresh herbs any chance you get. Until you cook with fresh, you will never know what you are missing. 

Click the "Read More" link for the remainder of the post.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eating thru the alphabet!!

Hey everyone, so it has been fun posting and discussing the foods we are trying and making, but we thought we should take it to a new level and go interactive for a bit. So without further ado, I give you...Eating thru the Alphabet!

Eating Thru the Alphabet Banner
We are going to blaze our own little culinary trail from A to Z but with a little finesse. We are going to use ingredients that aren't staples, so no chicken for C. We also aren't going to take avocado and turn it into guacamole, we will be trying for something a little more creative. There will be at least two dishes created from the current letter, maybe more if we feel frisky.

ArtichokeA good place to start off this quest seemed to be the letter "A" so we opted for using artichoke as the first ingredient. This is the part where you get to help guide this project. In the comments section we want you to pick a letter and an ingredient. Keep in mind it should be something that isn't impossible to find. I am all about doing a little searching, but can't really hop a plane to buy something. We will fill in any gaps in letters as we reach them but feel free to keep suggesting ingredients in all the posts that follow. Start thinking extra had on those pesky letters like Q, X and Z. I know someone out there will come up with some great options. Plus we will give you credit for your ingredient if we choose it. (Who wouldn't love to see their name plastered all over the internet?) Don't be afraid to pick something unusual, we are always up for trying something totally new.

Now we reach the part where I'm going to ask for your help in promoting this for us as well as participating in the project. Please give us "likes" and "shares" on Facebook and some good old fashioned retweets on Twitter. It is greatly appreciated. We look forward to hearing your suggestions and comments as this project begins next week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Latest Dishes!

Hey everyone, I figured it was time again to show off some of our latest creations and hopefully inspire you to try something new. If you want recipes for anything you see here leave a message in the comments and I will give you the info as best I can. Most of our creations now are things we don't use an actual recipe for which is exciting. There is something rewarding about creating a meal from you imagination. Now obviously they are all grounded in some sort of reality but it is all the little additions and things you like in your food that make the dish your own. So let's get started.

First off is an asparagus and bell pepper stir fry. This was super simple, just asparagus with garlic, red and yellow bell peppers and seasonings. Cooked in a little bit of mirin and sesame oil. Finished off with some grated Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cutting Board 101

Hey everyone, I decided after purchasing a new wooden cutting board that a great topic would be a beginners guide to cutting boards. The most common materials being plastic, rubber or wood. They also make glass and steel. Things to consider when choosing a cutting board include, the types of foods you will be cutting, the cleanup and maintenance of the board and the damage they can do to your knives. As you use your cutting boards, the knives will over time create cuts and grooves in your board which are a haven for bacteria. We don't want bacteria growing on surfaces we use for food preparation. I will discuss my opinions on the main types of boards, upkeep and the pros and cons of each.

Glass and Steel: These materials are very durable and can handle more caustic cleaners than the other materials, however they are also the most damaging to your knives. They can cause rolls, dents and even chips in your knives. Plus when chopping on glass you could break it and contaminate your food.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Some Recent Creations!

Hello fellow foodies, it has been a little too long since my last post so I decided I would just do a mashup of several of the new things we have tried lately. If you want any info on anything you see here, leave a comment with your requests.

 Homemade pizza!! Some friends of ours had us over for homemade pizza and gave us the leftover dough so we made our own a few nights later. Nothing beats the freshness of making your own pizza, plus you get to have exactly what you want on it. Try fresh dough and fresh ingredients next time you want pizza. I highly recommend fresh basil and mozzarella. You will be glad you tried it. Oh and get the good canned tomatoes, not the cheap  kind you use for day to day cooking.

 This on was an asparagus overload meal. Rotini pasta with orange bell pepper, asparagus, water chestnuts and shrimp. Also included was a side of steamed asparagus. I could eat asparagus all day every day so the double dip here doesn't bother me at all. I swore by canned asparagus most of my life, then I tried steaming fresh asparagus and realized how stupid I had been. If you are using canned asparagus in life, STOP IT NOW!!

 This beauty was a double whammy of habanero dishes.The first being a habanero lime chicken with a side of red bean and habanero curry rice. I was surprised at how not hot it was until the slow burn crept up on me. It was a fiery treat and surprisingly enough I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. I just like seeing the orange pieces of habanero floating around in all the cooking. You can see the chicken sitting in its marinade and then the stages of the rice and then finally a couple shots of the finished meal.

 This was another creative concoction using what we had left in the pantry. Whole wheat pasta, frozen corn, red and orange peppers and spicy sausage. There is nothing better than creating something out of leftover bits and pieces. Sure beats throwing stuff away. Top it with a little parmesan and you are set, leftover surprise. LOL

 This meal tested a new skill set so it was fun to try something new. This was a crab stuffed manicotti which baked in a bechamel sauce. Before this meal, the only sauces I had made came in packets. It wasn't hard, just required constant monitoring and whisking. It was a very rich meal and we paired it with steamed vegetables. You can see the sauce being created, the filling for the manicotti and then the finished results.

This was our most recent dinner creation, a lentil soup. The new and exciting part was that it was created without any recipe. Up until now, we had either used a recipe directly or added a thing or two to a recipe we found online. This however, was created purely on the fly. This was probably my favorite meal to make since it didn't have any rules on it. I just sauteed some celery, carrots and onion with a little bit of leftover salt pork. Then deglazed the pot with some dry white wine. Then I added the lentils, chicken stock and lots of spices. No real measurements just sort of eyeballed it. It turned out to be amazing if I do say so myself.

Finally this was something I saw on a friends Facebook post that looked incredible so I decided to make it too. Sopapilla cheesecake with apples. So thanks Eric from OKC!! Waiting until after dinner tonight to try it because I think if I tried a bite now, I would probably eat the whole thing in one sitting.
Ok everyone, I hope you enjoyed this quick rundown of what we have been making. I am still looking for new things to try, so if you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment and I will give it my best shot!! Thanks again for reading and I hope you found something that inspired your inner chef.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Food from our San Franciso trip

Hey everyone, I know I promised to blog all about or San Fran trip and I'm finally getting around to doing it. I decided to separate out our food journey to help decrease the massive size of the trip blog, so here it goes. Sorry again for the delay!!!

The first day we ate at this great Mexican place in the Embarcadero that had these amazing taco salads. Everything tasted so fresh, gotta love Cali for that. Then after that, as if we weren't completely full, we stopped at Bi-Rite and had some amazing ice cream. They make it all in house and have constantly revolving flavors which is nice. I had a scoop of salted caramel and a scoop of honey lavender. Honey lavender wouldn't be a normal choice of mine, but I figured I would probably never see a combination like that again so I went for it.

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Ok so the funny part about this picture isn't the lovely face that Jai is making, or the fact that we did in fact stop to eat inside CostCo,  check out the lady in the background. She bought a huge CostCo sized cobbler and was devouring it like it was her last meal. I can only guess that maybe she doesn't have the luxury of eating cobbler at home so she has to sneak to the snack bar in CostCo to get her sweets on.

Next on the list was The Yellow Submarine. It was a great little sandwich shop with tons of sandwich choices and lots of sides. I opted for the Philly cheesesteak with coleslaw and thinly sliced potatoes which were just thick enough to maintain the french fry texture but still look like a potato chip of sorts. There were only about 5 or 6 tables inside to eat at and there was a constant line at the counter so I can only assume we picked a winner. Once we got our food, that assumption was proven to be true. And come on who doesn't want to be able to say they were on the Yellow Submarine?

On our last full day we went walking yet again, because that's what you do there and found a greasy little Mexican restaurant called El Burrito Express, with 6 bar stools and a broke down counter to eat on. Once again they offered a million choices and I think we at them all. I had a quesadilla and Richard had a burrito and we split a bowl of carne asada fries smothered in anything you might ever put on a taco. Little did we know when we ordered that we would end up with 15 pounds of food. Being the professionals we are, we ate until we wanted to puke and then hauled the leftovers up the hill to consume later. 
  Our final morning  in town we were taken to Jim's Restaurant in the Mission District. Gotta get refueled for the flight home. Gotta love the size of this omelette and definitely love a place who understands what I mean by "make the hashbrows CRISPY". Great color on the toast too. I am convinced great diner food is a dying art  form, but Jim's restored my faith. AMEN!!
We ate so much food on this trip and had so many great meals prepared by our gracious hosts. I only wish I had planned better and took pictures of all of that as well. Oh well I guess there is always next time. Hopefully you enjoyed this brief culinary romp through San Fran as much as we did.