Friday, January 30, 2009

Home Fries

Does anything say Sunday morning like homemade breakfast with home fries and the Sunday paper? For me no...I don't know if I love home fries because I'm Irish and potatoes are in my blood or of they are just comfort food for everyone? I could eat about 4 potatoes worth of home fries at each sitting. Maybe this is why I was fat growing up, because we had home fries every weekend.

Well, before I get back to the home fries I have two little things to talk about. The other day in the train station there was a man dressed as a mosquito. He had a whole outfit, which included what looked like, ballet tights. I couldn't stop myself, you just have to, when a man wears ballet tights, you have to check out his package. It was an unconscious action, this is exactly what happened in my brain; man dressed as mosquito, outfit contains ballet tights, immediately look at crotch. Oh Malaria Awareness. There were other women on the platform talking about the human sized mosquito...I asked them if they looked at his crotch. They had...I'm normal people.

Second. If you work downtown and you need a snack I'm going to share my super secret (recession tactic) snack attack trick. I walk into one of the local hotels like I'm staying there, go straight to the check-in desk and grab an apple or an orange out of the bowl of fruit that is always, inevitably sitting on the counter. "May I have an orange?" I ask and they always reply in their super happy toothy smile. "Of course." Bam. Snack attack conquered.

And then the homefries again. This is how I did them. So easy a caveman could do it.

3 potatoes (I used good old Idaho potatoes)
1 onion cut into 3/4 inch pieces (whatever, cut it how you want)
olive oil
salt and pepper

I cut the potatoes and boiled them until they were just not as hard anymore, I don't know maybe five minutes. While the potatoes were boiling I added the butter and olive oil to the pan and added the onion and a few shakes of paprika. I let this cook until the onions were soft and translucent. When the I could almost stick a fork in the potatoes I added them to the onions, added more paprika and salt and pepper and cooked them for a good 15 minutes so that they were crunchy on the outside and cooked perfectly on the inside.

Rating = Damn Good

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lemony Green Beans | WW 0pts

So, the goal moves forward, this recipe is out of my new Weight Watchers recipe book. A simple tasty side dish for any night. I made these last week, I haven't made anything this week because our boiler shit the sheets this weekend and we've been without heat since Monday. The house has not gotten above 52 degrees and I'm going to work early and staying late just to be in a place that has heat. It is teeth chattering...holy fuck cold in the house and because of this I haven't fingers simply don't wield a knife very well when I can't feel them, especially the tips...they might as well have fallen off. The plumber said he would be finished by Friday, great 5 days and $6K later.


Question? What's the cheapest food you can buy? Pasta? I think I remember seeing an article on about the sales of pasta on the rise because it's so cheap. Well, look forward to pasta recipes, I'm sure weight watchers won't approve that at all - but, you know what they say about desperate times.

Any-whoo. I really liked this recipe. If you eat meat it would go great with a steak with holandaise sauce, or as a side to pork chops. We had it as a side to monk fish and it was very good.

Lemon Sauteed Green Beans with Parsley | Weight Watchers
Makes 4 (1) cup servings | 0 points

1 tsp olive oil
1 lb green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs water

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Saute the beans until bright green, approx 3 minutes, add the parsley. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and water. Reduce heat, cook, covered 2-3 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently until the beans are crisp, 2-3 minutes.

(JB Note: I added the zest of the lemon to the recipe during the last 2 minutes of cooking)

Rating = Good

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year New Goal and Roasted Cauliflower Poppers | WW 0pts

I don't really have a new years resolution this year, but I do have a goal. My goal is to make at least one recipe per week out of of one of the cajillion cook books that I own. Every time I go to a book store I am drawn to the cookbook aisle and no doubt find a new book that I somehow justify buying, even though I have stacks of cookbooks at home that haven't been cracked open in years. So, my goal, is to put those cookbooks to better use this year, to use them at least once a week. I may still ask for cookbooks for my birthday, but I will not buy another cookbook this year until I do justice to the plethora of books I already have. In order to make this goal achievable I did buy a weight watchers cookbook before the new year - it's justified because only one of my cookbooks is termed "light recipes" and I definitely needed recipes to help me stay on track with my points. Also included in this new goal is the bazillion cooking magazines that I own, those count, I'm allowed to source those for recipes too - but I will not buy another cooking magazine this year. Let's see how it goes.

This is a Weight Watchers recipe and I love it. The cauliflower had a good crunch and the spices made it really tasty. What I didn't eat straight I added to my salad and it was awesome.

Cauliflower Poppers
1/2 cup serving = 0 WW points
1 spray cooking spray
1 small head cauliflower
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

NOTE: I added the zest and juice of one lemon - next time, I'd just add the zest.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cut cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces (there should be about 4 cups). Place cauliflower in a medium bowl and add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper; toss well to coat.

Spread cauliflower on prepared baking sheet and bake until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy, stirring halfway through, about 10 minutes. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Rating = Good

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rum Cake...Oh My God!

Because vicodin just isn't enough when you've broken tour back in two places. Just kidding, I made this cake for the Feast of the Seven Fishes at CB's aunt's house on Christmas Eve and let me tell was a hit. His cousin had three pieces, I don't know how because it's so rich. I will most definitely be making this every Christmas, it was so easy and so awesome. Thank you AM for giving me the recipe. I'm not usually into recipes that call for boxed cake mix, but I was already making so many from scratch treats that this was just what I needed to, something easy and quick. I made the cake on four days in advance so that the rum really had time to soak into the cake. I also topped the cake with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries, which really gave it a festive red and green color.

Try it. You'll like it.

Rating = So Damn Good

On another note, the back is getting better and better...still sucks, just not as much as last week.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Apricots w/ Pistachios and Dried Cranberries

At the same time I made the figs I also made these, it was just too easy not to. I took dried apricots, dipped them in melted chocolate and then sprinkled them with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. I also made a batch that was sprinkled with coconut, but they just didn't photograph as well. If you love apricots this dessert is for you, although when I served these on Christmas everyone said..."oh, apricots give me wicked gas". But they must have been good, because gas be damned people ate all of them.

I'm feeling a bit better since the fall, I'm sure that's in part to the vicodin that I take every four hours, but seriously, I'm feeling better. I'm supposed to get the results from my MRI today, so I've got my fingers crossed that it was a favorable reading and that my recovery time doesn't look too bleak.

Make these...they're super easy, delicious, and you can laugh at your guest when they start crop dusting a few hours after they eat them.

Rating = Damn Good

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ringing In 2009 with a Bang!....Yeah and Chocolate Dipped Figs

2008 was terrible right? 2009 has to be better, doesn't it? Well, I'm not exactly starting off 2009 in proper fashion. Yesterday, I slipped and fell while I was walking to work. As soon as I hit the pavement I knew that there was something very wrong...something was broken..I heard a snap. I assumed it was my tailbone because...isn't that what people always break when they have a slip and fall accident. CB rushed me to the doctor's office, I've never gone to the doctor accompanied by CB, but I couldn't move, and I was going to need to get into a surgical gown for the spine test, so CB joined me in the doctors office for the consultation. Well, let me tell you, I wasn't aware of the fact that in order to determine the extent of nerve damage that I may have suffered during the fall, that a rectal exam was needed. Yes, you have just not rung in the new year properly until you have had a rectal exam in front of your husband...dear God that man loves me, he has to, there is just no question now.

Anyway, yes, the tailbone is broken, but in addition I've also fractured my sacrum. I have a doctor's appointment with a spine specialist today to determine the severity of the fracture and where we go from here. I'm not sure what to say...I'm just very..scared and upset...but at the same time thankful for a strong body that no doubt will help me recover from this. Please let me recover quickly from this.

I'm supposed to eat a lot of fiber...(listen I get it, this is a food blog, but it's also my stream of consciousness blog and if you don't want to hear about why I need to eat a lot of fiber...there are plenty of other blogs for you to enjoy...go to one of them) so, because the fractures are around the bowel area...a diet rich in fiber should help with making sure that going to the bathroom isn't too painful. TMI. Maybe, but you were warned.

Figs are a great source of fiber, and this dessert was so elegant and so super super easy to make. It's one of those desserts that looks like it should take forever, but is actually easier than chocolate chip cookies. Here's what I did.

I took about 10 black mission figs and 10 yellow figs (whatever they are called) I stuffed half the yellow figs with candied ginger and the other half with pecans. I stuffed half the black mission figs with almonds and the other half with coconut. Stuffing the figs is simple, just take a sharp knife and make a slit in the bottom of the fig, stuff the fig with whatever you want, and then simply pinch the seam together. The figs are so sticky that they seal back together without much effort.

After I stuffed all the figs I simply dipped them in a bowl of dark chocolate candy melts (the kind you buy at Michael's Arts and Crafts) then placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper until the chocolate set, which wasn't too long.

Please try this recipe, it's my own, and I think it's super easy and elegant.

Rating = So Damn Good

Friday, January 02, 2009

checking in

Hey Y'all. Just wanted to check in, I've been running all over the place with holiday festivities. I've got a ton of recipes to post, and must get back on weight watchers because that has definitely fallen by the way side over the past few weeks, it's amazing how quickly you can forget the point values of rum balls...lots of rum balls. 

Anyway, I'll be back in full effect on Monday. Happy 2009 to everyone.