Archive for ‘Cooking’

June 3, 2011

Drop Cupcakes, Not Bombs

“Make Love, Not War”,  “War is expensive, Peace is priceless”, Drop Beats, Not Bombs”, “Go Solar, not Ballistic”…..As clever has these anti-war slogans are, I think they’ve been trumped….

Hackers working for U.K. intelligence agency MI6 recently modified an online al-Qaeda magazine and replaced the bomb recipes inside with cake recipes.When followers went to download 67 pages of instructions for how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” from Inspire Magazine, al-Qaeda’s first English-language magazine, the terrorists were instead greeted with garbled code that was a page of recipes from the Ellen Degeneres Show’s Best Cupcakes in America. MI6 dubbed the cyberattack operation “Operation Cupcake”. – Source

 

I may not have been interested before, but knowing that file is loaded with delicious cupcake recipes makes me want to go download it right this instant. Unfortunately for me the file is no longer available, but fortunately for you I took the time to scour the net for some of the most “Yuuummm” inducing cupcake recipes.

You can thank me later:

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March 22, 2011

The Chili That Almost Caused Me to Get A Face Transplant…

I couldn’t wait to post this. I wanted to wait. I wanted to go to sleep. But my mind wouldn’t let me be until I shared the flavor nirvana that is the Chili and Platano Fritos I had for dinner.

But first: Never, I repeat, NEVER, touch your eyes after handling Habanero peppers. Even if 30 minutes have passed and you’ve washed your hands 6 times since.

It will just cause you crippling, seemingly unendurable pain. It will cause you to run through your house half-blind as you trip over your mess until you reach the bathroom sink. It will cause you to question whether you will ever see again as you try to rip your contacts out of your burning, watering eyes with your Habanero contaminated fingers. It will cause you to stand over your sink for 10 minutes blinking into a handful of cold water that seems to be doing nothing to ease your pain.

This is all hypothetical of course. Someone told me this could, y’know, possibly happen if you weren’t careful.  I obviously am always careful when I cook.

This would never happen to me.

Nope.

Anyway…..

Spicy Chili with Goat Cheese & Avocado

2 cans spicy chili beans

1 can black beans

1  can (28 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz?) tomato paste

4 cloves garlic (roasted)

2 Habanero peppers (roasted and chopped)

1/4 (or so) onion

Spices of your choosing. MY choosing: Cumin, paprika, black pepper, salt (of course), oregano, and 2 bay leaves

OPTIONAL (but highly recommended):

1 avocado, sliced

goat cheese

In a pot add your beans, onions, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and roasted garlic and habenero peppers. I had every intention of posting a picture of the preparation stage with all of my beautiful and colorful ingredients, but I got really excited about this chili and completely forgot. Here’s a picture of some beans.

 

Beans, Beans, they're good for the heart....

Add your spices to taste. I added what I thought I would like, then after letting simmer for a bit came back to taste how it was melding together. I then adjusted accordingly. Set your pot of chili on low, cover, and let simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Don’t forget to walk to the kitchen every 15 minutes to eat a spoonful (or 2 or 3) of the delicious chili as it cooks. This part is crucial. Because I said so.

When it’s done slice up some avocado and crumble some goat cheese on top to garnish. The goat cheese adds a depth and richness that I haven’t experienced with regular ol’ chedda. While Cheddar is a chili go to topping, I would definitely encourage you to forgo the obvious and go for the goat!

 

I want this in my belly.

Now for the Platanos….

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March 21, 2011

TSA, Tea, & Kimchi

Last week representatives from the Transportation Security Administration – more commonly known as the TSA – testified in front of a House Oversight subcommittee hearing on body imaging technology. Other witnesses included health and security experts, and first-hand accounts from travelers. The goal of the hearing was to help lawmakers assess the effectiveness, health risks, and privacy issues involved with the full body scanners, which have caused quite a stir from travelers. (source)(source)

While some travelers were testifying about their less than comfortable experiences with the TSA, I was gallivanting about Philadelphia and Boston, having left my full body scan on some unknown computer at the Orlando International Airport (my philosophy being I just won’t think about the fact that a picture of me is out there floating around in some computer and rather I’ll just act like I’m going through a regular ol’ metal detector. Whatever helps me sleep at night, man).

I had delicious vegetarian food and flavor packed Korean cuisine, and of course I documented every last bite. Along the way I also ran into some political signs and statements….Here you go!

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January 31, 2011

Orange Chicken

I’ve been wanting to make this dish for months now, and finally got around to it! It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had anticipated; for some reason anything requiring me to fry food sends up the red flags. A pot of  near-boiling oil on the stove makes me little bit nervous – and not without reason.

Have you ever had a pot of near-boiling oil and a pot of boiling water on the stove at the same time? Then have you gone to put the rice into the boiling pot of water just to get distracted and dump it into the pot of practically boiling oil? No? You haven’t? Well that makes one of us.

But after I scooped the now black white rice out of the pot of oil, detached the screaming fire alarm from my ceiling, and opened both the front and back doors, it was back to business!

Hey. Nobody’s perfect.

Despite that little…adventure, the dish really was simple to make. The prep work is a little time consuming, but with a little planning it doesn’t take long at all!

Crepes of Wrath: Orange Chicken

And here are some pictures of my own adventure creating this delicious dish!

For the fried rice, it’s recipe from my abuelita. She’s Lebanese, but raised in the Dominican Republic…there isn’t an ounce of Chinese in her, yet she makes better fried rice than any I’ve had at any Chinese restaurant.

Usually she starts off with pork, ham, or bacon. Since I was making a chicken dish I skipped the meat.

First make your rice, then throw some oil or butter in a pan. Stir in the rice with a healthy dose of soy sauce to taste and color. In a separate pan (or the same pan depending on how you’re feeling) fry an egg. Stir the egg in with the rice. Add garlic powder to taste, then add thinly sliced scallions. Enjoy!

January 25, 2011

The State of the Macaroni Address

The State of the Union address is tonight! Are you excited? I’m excited.
Unfortunately, I’m going to be at the gym working off this next delicious dish while the president speaks, but after I break a sweat I’ll be back here with an update on all the action! Highlights of President Obama’s speech and the Republican response. These types of annual political events get me excited about America and voting and the whole game that is the political system. It’s like watching a great sports game – it can be passionate, surprising, and sometimes you get angry over bad calls.

So, while we wait for the speeches, let’s play a word association game.

America –> The 4th of July

The 4th of July –> Hamburgers!

 

Which leads me to this: What do you do with a leftover half a hamburger???

Usually I’d just nuke it in the microwave for a minute until the bread was leathery and the cheese was sizzling, then dip it in what most people would probably believe to be a disgusting amount of barbecue sauce. However, tonight I decided to get fancy…sort of.

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January 20, 2011

Unexpected Harmony

According to the latest Pew Research Center Poll, the majority of Americans want President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans to work together.

Even among this majority there is a sharp partisan divide. According to the poll, Republicans who agree with the Tea Party believe 3-to-1 that they need to stand up to the president.

But, in lieu of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’m feeling the need for some unity.

So here is a recipe that combines two ingredients that would seem a very unlikely match…yet can meld together in perfect harmony under the right conditions: Pineapple and….wait for it…Cheddar Cheese.

It’s a recipe courtesy of my abuelita. She makes it for me at every family function and church potluck. It is divine. Trust me. Divine. Sweet and Salty: my favorite flavor combination. To top it all off, it’s quick and requires only 6 ingredients.

Abuelita's Pineapple Casserole

Pineapple Casserole

20 oz can pineapple chunks (in juice)

1/2 c. sugar

3 tbsp flour

half a stick margarine, melted

1 c. Ritz crackers, crushed

1 c. Cheddar cheese, grated

Drain and save 3 tbsp pineapple juice. Mix juice, flour, and sugar. Add pineapple and mix to coat, put in a small baking dish. Spread grated cheese on top. Combine crackers and margarine, spread over cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Then Dig in!

Mmm!

January 13, 2011

Life Changing BBQ Nachos

You may read the title of this post and think “Unless there’s a million dollars hidden under all that queso, I’m don’t see how nachos could change my life!” In which case I would have to concede that they aren’t life changing. However, I think nachos that keep me salivating for a whole 24 hours after consumption are pretty life changing. It’s pretty difficult to go about daily tasks when all you can think about are a plate of bbq nachos. Consequently, I’ve told almost every person I’ve spoken to about them!

I have to admit, the idea is not original to me. I frequent and got the craving from this wonderful blog: The Pioneer Woman

The inspiration:

Cowboy Nachos

These Nachos. I craved these nachos. Finally after pacing in the kitchen trying to decide what to eat, I eyed my bag of tortilla chips and it all clicked.

I improvised, though, which was definitely not a bad thing!

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Freshly grated cheese (I used Monterey and Colby Jack)
  • Lloyd’s Shredded BBQ Chicken(This made the dish).
  • Canned diced tomatoes.
  • Sour Cream

I simply layered the first three ingredients twice on an oven safe plate, popped it in the oven at 450 degrees F until properly melted

I then topped it with the diced tomatoes and a generous dollop of sour cream and ate. No, I’m lying to you. I didn’t eat them. I devoured them. With gusto. Much, much, much gusto.

It created a lot for one person so it was my lunch and dinner. It isn’t the healthiest of dishes, but you won’t be able to get it off your mind for days to come.

I’m already trying to find excuses to make it again as soon as possible….

 

 

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