Friday, January 15, 2010

What's for dinner?

"What's for dinner?" my grandma asked me via voice mail this week. Being a bad return caller, I haven't called back yet (tomorrow!) but I'll post here instead.
Last night was a fun filled evening with pesto salmon! I made my own pesto, baked the salmon with the pesto on top (thanks Jess!) with roasted potatoes and super salty green beans (thanks Jason!) and the best ever brownies (thanks Zach!)

I was a little nervous about the salmon and potatoes ALWAYS take at least twice as long as I think (and I never learn!) but it was DE-LISH.

Happy weekend everybody! What are you doing tomorrow? I'm going to SF!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Much Messier Cooking Adventures

Not everything I make is as easy as grilled cheese. I got a rolling pin for Christmas!!! Finally - after several instances of using glasses and nalgene bottles for rolling out pastas and doughs. I also got some other pasta making stuff so I can give it a try. It definitely takes longer to make, but I love the taste. For the price of 2 cups of flour and 2 eggs, Zach and I can eat our fill of pasta. When noodles are actually on sale they are pretty cheap, so, aside from getting the joy of DIY (do it yourself), I'm not sure if this is much "cheaper," I do like making this stuff.

Check out this dangerous bad boy: It is an adjustable dough cutter. Pretty cool!
My first day of pasta making (using my pasta drying rack!)
I tried bowties an twisties this day too, and was thrilled when they kept their shape after being cooked!
Lastly, yesterday I tried homemade ravioli. I don't really follow recipes for this kind of thing, but I finely chopped a cooked chicken strip, a slice of cheese, and some spinach with a little butter and garlic powder for the filling. Then I rolled out the dough as THIN as I could get it (despite using all my strength, it still pops right back up! These were like the thickest ravioli's ever). I made squares using my handi-dandy dough slicer and then used a fork to mash the edges together. I figured with this type of thing it is better to cook the ravioli's right away and eat up! (Which we did. Yum.)

I'd still like to figure out how to make the pasta a little thinner...mostly because I am extremely impatient and the thicker pasta takes way longer to cook.

Easiest Grilled Cheese, ever

It is actually more work for me to write this post than it is to make this sandwhich.

Don't get me wrong, I love a lovingly prepared grilled cheese sandwhich, buttered, parmesean encrusted bread slices with deliciously cheesy filling...maybe some tomatoes or lunchmeat added...grilled over the stove...mmm.

This is not that sandwhich. Here's how to make it:

1) Toast bread in toaster
2) Spray a little "spray butter" on one side of each piece.
3) Slap on pre-sliced cheese*
4) Microwave on a folded paper towel for 30 seconds

The resulting sandwhich is toasty and melty, without dirtying a single dish!!!

I made these while babysitting often and a boy (who is now in college) proclaimed joyfully, "These are even better than when mom makes them!"

This is how industrial engineers do it!
*Note: In my picture, I used 2 slices of different cheeses, and folded them (to break them) and staggered the distribution evenly across the bread. This is as fancy as I get with this type of grilled cheese.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I found a late crop of a specific apple type and whipped up some applesauce tonight. And by "whipped up," I mean "painstakingly peeled and cored 9 apples by hand" because I was too annoyed with my Pampered Chef peeler last time to get it out again. Then, I double checked my recipe, KNOWING I had 3.5 pounds of apples. The recipe (that I never follow anyhow) reads:
3-4 lbs apples
1 cup water
then a bunch of sugar and stuff that I never add because it doesn't need it. (Although I put in a giant spoonful - probably 1/4c unpacked - of brown sugar)

Despite KNOWING I had 3 pounds of apples I insisted on putting a lot closer to 2 cups of water in. As a result (and taking it off the burner when I was bored of it after 30 minutes instead of giving it a little more time) the applesauce is a little runny but at the same time, a little hearty.

I dunno. I spooned it out, 1/2 cup at a time, into a muffin tin for freezing. Once it freezes in that shape I'll stick each snack-sized treat into one giant bag. Knowing that they are exactly 1/2 cup will also aid me in using one as a oil substitute in my next brownie batch!

Also coming up this week: stuffed mushrooms, homemade chicken and spinach ravioli, pesto (for freezing...I am on a "freeze now use later" kick), and...well, tht's it. :)