Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Carrot Coriander Soup

I have never tried coriander before I made this soup so I had no idea how it would taste, but I will have to admit that coriander is now my new favorite smell. When I crushed the spice, this citrus-y smell perfumed my kitchen that was so wonderful. I am definitely looking for more recipes with coriander in them to make in the future.

By the way, coriander is the seed of Coriandrum sativum. The leaves are known as cilantro. So technically this soup is a carrot coriander cilantro soup, but that's too much of an alliteration. I know some people (like Tim) don't like cilantro, but don't worry! Coriander tastes nothing like cilantro and you can leave the cilantro out if you would prefer.

It's the tastiest of carrot soups I've ever had. I really love curried carrot soup, so that means a lot. This soup would be great chilled in summer, but it would is a great warm winter soup. Really, it can be enjoyed any time of year.

Carrot Coriander Soup
adapted from Le Cordon Bleu Classic Light

Serves 4

1 lb carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tbsp coriander, crushed with a mortar and pestle
1/4 stick of butter
4 1/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onions and cover; let onions sweat for 5 minutes. Add carrots and coriander; cover and continue to sweat for another 5 minutes. 
2. Add the stock, salt and pepper to taste. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes, until carrots are very soft (to test, use a fork to pierce carrot. If fork goes through like going through butter, you're good).
3. Let cool for 10 minutes, then using a blender or food processor, puree until smooth. This will need to be done in 2-3 batches in order to prevent splashing everywhere. Return soup to a rinsed pan and reheat over low.
4. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.



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Monday, March 28, 2011

Fish Sticks

Ok so this isn't a post about fish sticks. It is a post about fish, though. A fish dish that didn't work out well. I made halibut with a dijon mustard sauce. I'll still post the picture because I think it looks pretty, but it didn't taste that great, so I won't post the recipe until I tweak it a little more.

On another note, I made a really good soup over the weekend that I'm going to share tomorrow. The sad part of it all was that I accidentally left the pot over a med-low heat for a couple of hours and the soup evaporated and burned. I was so sad! It was so good and I was really looking forward to eating it over the next few days. Oh well. I can always make more.

And on another another note, my work was canceled today. Wahoo! Not really. They lost power on Saturday and haven't been able to fix it. I drove all the way to work (30 miles!) only to find out the site was closed and my lead had called me at about 6 am and told me not to go to work. If only I had checked my phone before I left! Oh well. I'm happy to be home, making lots and lots of food! Apricot muffins, taleggio and marjoram pasta and a black bean dip. I promise to post recipes if they don't need some tweaking.

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Steak a la Alton Brown

Tim is very much a steak man. He would eat some form of beef every single day if I let him. I love steak too, but I only like to have it once every two weeks. I'd rather have chicken, pork, sausages, seafood, fish or just veggies for the other days of the week. But last night, I felt like having steak.

I used to make really terrible steaks. I could never get them to cook right until I decided to watch Good Eats from the beginning and saw the first episode, which covers steak. Alton Brown's way of cooking steak is a little odd and at first, I wasn't sold on it. But I gave in and decided to try it. I will not make steak any other way now.

Trust me, try it and it will change your life!

Steak, gnocchi with Spanish-style tomato sauce and salad.. yum!

Steak a la Alton Brown

Serves 2

1 boneless rib eye steak, 1 1/2-inch thick
Canola oil to coat
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1. Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature. When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste.

2. Immediately place steak in the middle of hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)

3. Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto plate.



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Friday, March 25, 2011

Salad with Lemon-Dill Dressing

I really love eating salads as a side dish or as a snack, especially in spring and summer. I always grew up eating a salad of pepperjack cheese, salami and onion with Italian dressing whenever I was hungry for a snack. I usually use a lemon dressing that is pretty basic (lemon juice and olive oil) whenever I have salad for a side dish. I decided to spice it up for dinner last night, and I think it turned out pretty good. Tim thought it was a little spicy because of the garlic, so if you don't want it to be as spicy just cut the garlic in larger chunks. Also, if the dressing is a little too sour, add a pinch of sugar to balance it out. I think this has now become my favorite dressing.

Salad with Lemon-Dill Dressing

Serves 4

4 c. salad leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper

Blend together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and dill until an emulsion forms. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad leaves.



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spicy Shrimp Salad

Yay! It's spring! I love spring for many reasons:

1. Spring skiing! Sun, snow and groomed runs; there is nothing better in the world!
2. Spring flowers! I love daffodils, tulips and crocuses. They are my favorite flowers.
3. Spring produce! Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, but it only is available locally from about mid-April to late June here. I also love that it's still chilly enough to enjoy a nice, comforting stew but warm enough to indulge in a salad.

Like this spicy shrimp salad. I've made it lots of times, and it's seriously one of my favorite salads. Tim isn't good on the spicy part so I divided the amount of cayenne in half and left out the chili pepper. I like to cook the shrimp at home, but pre-cooked frozen shrimp work in a jiffy. Just put a few in a microwave safe bowl, add a little bit of water and microwave 1 minute at a time until thawed, but not hot.

Seriously, you need to make this salad right now because it's so good!

Spicy Shrimp Salad
adapted from Seasonal Kitchen by Michele Cranston

20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 green onions, sliced on bias
2 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp olive oil
Cilantro, chopped
Avocado, diced

1. Cook shrimp in a saute pan with 1 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat until curled, and just barely pink. Set aside to cool slightly.
2.  Mix together cayenne, cumin, ginger, green onions, lime juice and olive oil. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Add in cilantro and diced avocado; toss. Serve over a bed of arugula.



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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cranberry Walnut Bread

I absolutely adore quick breads and muffins. They are do easy to make, but so delicious. I used to make a different recipe every Sunday and then we would eat half and freeze the rest. Since ski season started, I hadn't been home before 5 pm so I didn't have the energy to make anything.

Today I skied with only my brother today, so we had a lot fewer bathroom and/or beer runs. My dad likes to take breaks, but he is away skiing at Big White this weekend (not fair!) so we skied till we were tired, which was about 1 pm. So I got home earlier and I decided to make a quick bread.

My favorite quick bread is a cranberry walnut bread. Normally I use orange juice and zest, but I didn't have any. I substituted milk for the juice and added lemon zest. It turned out really tasty.

My dream is to open my own bakery/cafe where I sell muffins and quick bread for breakfast, and then serve soup, salad and sandwiches with savory muffins for lunch. Ahhh someday.

Cranberry Walnut Bread
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Makes 1 loaf

2 c. all-purpose flour*
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/4 c. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. lemon zest (half a lemon)
1 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 c. chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3 in. pan with Crisco. Cut a piece of parchment paper that is the same width as the bottom of the pan, but keep long. Lay paper into pan, pressing into place with hands. This is used to help pull the bread out of the pan after baking.
2. Combine egg, milk, oil and lemon zest in a bowl. Beat with whisk until well mixed.
3. In another bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to mix and remove clumps. Stir in cranberries and walnuts to coat. Add in wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Pour into pan and bake for 45 min. Check with a toothpick. Continue baking if crumbs are on toothpick.
5. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan using parchment paper as handles. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.


*Can substitute 1/2 c. whole wheat flour for 1/2 c. all-purpose for extra whole grains. If you add much more than that, the bread dries out too much.


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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sloppy Joes

I absolutely love sloppy joes (who doesn't?) and I've been making them since I was little with my grandma, but last night I wanted to try something different. The only problem I have with my sloppy joe recipe is that there aren't any vegetables. So I changed it up and added in diced onions, carrots and celery while keeping the sauce the same.

I also changed the meat. I know, I know, sloppy joes are supposed to be ground beef. But as I was at the grocery store, I saw they had ground turkey so I bought some of that, but then I also saw they had ground buffalo. I've only have a buffalo burger once, but it was delicious, so I thought I would try it.

Turkey Sloppy Joe

Both the turkey and the buffalo were delicious. Tim said he thought he would prefer the turkey, but after eating both, he couldn't decide! I encourage you to expand your ground meat horizons when you make sloppy joes. Beef is good, but buffalo (and turkey!) are better.

Buffalo Sloppy Joe

Turkey or Buffalo Sloppy Joes (with vegetables!)

Serves 4

1 lb ground light meat turkey or 1 lb ground buffalo*
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 1/2 c. ketchup
2 tbsp yellow mustard
2 dashes of Worchestershire sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
Hamburger buns, toasted

1. Mix ketchup, mustard, Worchestershire and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over low, stirring occasionally.
2. Heat a saute pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add vegetables and cook until onion is translucent and the carrot is beginning to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add vegetables to sauce and keep warm (but don't let boil!).
3. Heat same saute pan over medium heat and brown meat, 8-9 minutes. When no more pink is visible, add sauce to saute pan and stir to mix. Serve on top of toasted hamburger buns.

*Ground pork, ground chicken or ground beef can be substiuted also.



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Friday, March 18, 2011

How to Cook Seasonally

I’ve been cooking seasonally for a few years now. I’ll admit, it’s not so easy, especially in the dead of winter when I’m craving a juicy, ripe tomato or some bright red, sugar sweet raspberries. With the exception of March and April, seasonal cooking isn’t so hard. And it saves me a lot of money because the produce that is usually on sale is the produce that is in season locally and doesn’t need to be shipped from halfway across the country (or world!).

I’ve searched high and low for the best seasonal produce guide and finally I’ve found one. Actually, I found several. This one is an alphabetical list of produce with their typical harvest season listed. It’s great if you want just a general overview and if you don’t mind getting produce from Florida or California. If your pickier (like me!) and would rather shop even more locally, here is a website that has a list of seasonal produce for every state!

Of course, it’s not always the easiest to get your produce in-state sometimes. I usually go with California or Canada produce over anything else, but someone on the east coast might rather go for Florida. Any way you pick it is fine; you are the one in charge of cooking, so you decide what’s ok.

When I first started cooking seasonally, I had no idea where to get any recipes. I tried to figure out a way to sort all my recipes by month, then by the main ingredients, then by general season and it turned out to be way too much work. It was fun, but now it’s grown into too big of a monster. Instead, I’ve searched for recipe collections focusing on a single ingredient. Martha Stewart’s website has the best that I’ve found. The meals look amazing and the produce list is long-ish. It’s a great starting block for those interesting in seasonal cooking.

If you would like to search for other recipes, put the ingredient in the search along with “recipes.” Most of the time, recipes with that ingredient as the major ingredient will pop up. 

And of course, if you really get into it, you can always make up your own recipes. But beware, sometimes they will be a hit, but most of the time they will just be ok and will need tweaking. I sometimes cook my own recipes 3 or 4 times before I consider them perfected.

I think everyone would benefit from cooking seasonally, health and budget-wise. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but in the long run, it’s definitely worth it.

Have a great day!


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Buying Our First House

Tim and I are debating whether or not we should buy a house. Currently, we live in a 2 bedroom apartment that I'm not really too fond of (except for the stove.. it's gas and I loooooooooooooove it!). Our lease is up in June and we want to move about 15 miles south. The only problem is that in the area where we want to move to, there are only like 3 apartment complexes (and about 3 more for seniors only.. darn if only I was 30 years older!). Two of them are not very nice and the third is nice, but I'd want a 3 bedroom apartment for all of our stuff and I'm not sure if they will have one available when we need it. So all of that kinda cramps our style, ifyaknowwhatImean.

We have been looking at houses online and there are a lot for sale in our price range. And by a lot I mean like 313, according to Zillow. We'd like to have at least half an acre for a veggie garden and room for a dog to run around, so that narrows it down to 238. Whew. That’s a lot of choose from.

Pretty much right now is the best time for us (or anyone really) to buy a house. We don’t have to try to sell anything, we both have stable jobs and we have a good amount of money saved up.

There are just a lot of other issues going on that kinda dampen the excitement of buying a house. Like the fact that we only have 2.5 months until we have to be out of our current apartment, which is not a whole lot of time to spend looking for a house. And the apartments we are looking at have a minimum lease of 6 months, which would cost us a lot of money if we found the right house soon after we moved into the apartment.

And we would have to move all our stuff twice. Which would not be fun, since we have a few really heavy things so we would need some pretty buff guys to help out.

I’m checking out a bunch of books from the library to help guide us on what to do when we finally decide to buy, but until then I am pretty lost.

If you have any pointers, please please leave me a comment!! I’d love to hear some advice.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Israeli Couscous with Lime and Tomatoes

Here is the recipe for the Israeli Couscous. I’d never had it before, but I heard lots of great things about this type of couscous. I decided to buy some on a whim one day, and I’m sure glad I did. I like it a lot better than regular couscous, because the “grains” (or rather pasta) are a lot bigger and I feel like you can taste the flavor a lot better.

Personally, I avoid cooking couscous in water because it turns out very bland. It would be like eating pasta straight from the boiling water, with no sauce, no butter, nothing. Yuck! Instead, I always use some sort of stock. This time I used chicken, but vegetable would work just as good.

Israeli Couscous with Lime and Tomatoes

Serves 4

1 c. Israeli couscous
1 ½ c. chicken stock
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tomato, diced
Salt and pepper

  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add couscous and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Stir in lime zest and juice and diced tomato. Season with salt and pepper.



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Monday, March 14, 2011

Lime Roasted Salmon and Broccolini

I love salmon. Love love love love salmon! I try to eat it at least once a week, so I've tried to come up with new recipes in order to fit it in. I had a whole nice plan for dinner last Thursday; I was going to make roasted salmon and cauliflower with a citrus wild rice. I bought all the right ingredients (and then some), and got all ready to cook when....

I found bugs in my cauliflower.

Gross! I tried to chop through it to find some bug-less parts to save, but none were to be found. So I had to throw the whole thing out and come up with some thing new for dinner. I still did the roasted salmon, but added lime slices and roasted some broccolini I had bought because it looked really good, and I replaced the wild rice with an israeli couscous because I lost too much time trying to find bug-less cauliflower. And here is the result:


I'll post the recipe for the salmon and broccolini today, and the recipe for israeli couscous will be posted later this week.

Roasted Lime Salmon with Broccolini

Serves 4

1 lb. salmon fillet (one large, not 4 small)
1 lb. broccolini, ends trimmed
2 limes
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, rinse salmon under cold water and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and juice from one lime. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut other lime in thin slices and lay on top of salmon. Bake in oven for about 7-8 minutes, until fish begins to flake, but is not cooked through. 
2. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil to rest.
3. Add brococlini to cookie sheet and drizzle with some more oil, salt and pepper. Add to oven and roast, tossing once, for 5 minutes. Remove from oven when leaves begin to get crispy. Serve hot.


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Disaster Preparedness

With all that is going on in Japan and all the stuff they are predicting is going to happen in the next few weeks, I have been freaking out a little. It's so amazing how one minute, your life is normal, you do your everyday stuff, but then in the next minutes, your whole life is upside down and you don't know what to do. I'm kinda the person that freaks out a lot when bad things happen, so I'm trying to prepare myself, mentally and physically.

My mom should really be considered the disaster preparedness queen. She's got every supply you could think that you would need in case of an earthquake. She's totally prepared, physically. Mentally, I don't think anyone is ever prepared fully. I would love to be as prepped as she is, but in a little tiny apartment that is already stuffed to the gills, I don't think I can store a tent, a tarp, a week's worth of food, a bazillion gallons of water, and all the other stuff we would need. So pretty much my plan is to get to my parents house as quick as I can.

Even though I feel slightly better with a plan, it's still really unnerving with all the possibilites they are talking about. An earthquake so huge it sets of Mt. Rainier and creates a tsunami in Puget Sound. Yikes! I'm praying that none of them ever come true, but I know that we are due for an earthquake and Mt. Rainier is due for an eruption. I just hope they don't happen at the same time!

Sorry for this random (and a little somber) post. It's just been gnawing at me for a while now. Especially since I was really scared of volcanoes and earthquakes when I was little (thanks so much to Dante's Peak and all those disaster movies...).

Keep praying for the Japanese, and maybe throw a quick prayer for the west coast that we don't have an earth quake too.

Thanks, have a great day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Disaster Dinners

Do you ever have one of those night when hardly anything goes right in the kitchen? That was last night for me.

I was planning on making pan-seared chili-rubbed chicken with skillet potatoes and sauteed spinach. The chicken turned out fantastic, although I could have used some more heat on mine. The potatoes turned out really mushy instead of crispy and I discovered that I really really really don't like wilted spinach.

There is some compound in it that comes out when it's wilted and it has a really weird taste. Has any one else experience this or am I just crazy?

So instead of having the spinach as the recipe I'm sharing, instead I'll share the chicken. Because it was really juicy and flavorful and probably the best chicken I've ever made.

Pan-Seared Chili-Rubbed Chicken

Serves 4
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp (or more if you like it spicy!) chili powder
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut chicken into 3 equal pieces lengthwise. Using a mallet, hammer away on the chicken pieces until each are uniformly 1/3 in. thick. 
2. Mix together flour and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken lightly, shaking off excess.
3. Heat oil in large saute pan over med-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides, removing from pan before completely cooked, setting on a cookie sheet.
4. Put cookie sheet with chicken in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn off the oven and let sit for 10 minutes to finish cooking. Serve hot.



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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

Growing up my mom would make me “kitchen sink” soup whenever I was sick, but it always ended up being chicken with noodles and whatever leftover veggies we had in the fridge. My poor honey caught a cold and has been sick for the past day or two so I decided to make chicken soup for him. I didn’t have all day to make it (poach the chicken, then simmer vegetables, then cook noodles and combine) so I made my quick version that is still just as tasty.

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

1 whole roasted chicken from your local supermarket
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ in. coins
2 stalks celery, cut in ¼ in. slices
½ bag of dried egg noodles
4 c. chicken broth
4 c. water
Parsley, optional

  1. Heat water and broth in a large stock pot until boiling. Add carrots, celery and noodles and cook 8 minutes, or until noodles are close to being done.
  2. Meanwhile, pick apart the chicken and tear or cut into small bite-sized chunks.
  3. When noodles are done, add chicken and heat until warmed through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle chopped parsley on top, if desired.


* I like to sometimes add in onions, which I cut into ¾ in. wedges, but Tim doesn’t like onions so I usually leave them out. 

** I also like to add in chopped chicken livers, but it really grosses Tim out so I cook them separately in a sauté pan with a little butter and then just add them to my bowl of soup. I know, it sounds gross, but I grew up eating them. Brussels sprout and chicken liver soup.. YUM!


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Monday, March 7, 2011

Which way?

I’ve been really torn with which direction to take my blog. Should I exclusively do food, or should I venture into my personal life? Should I stick with seasonal cooking (which I’ve got down pretty well, I’d say), or should I venture out into the (kinda sorta) unknown of Slavic cuisine?

Well, I’m about to find out. I’ve decided to start a(nother!) blog about Slavic cuisine because I’ve begun translating my grandmother’s cookbook. It’s going to take me a long time since 1) it’s all in Czech, 2) everything is weighed and most ingredients are in decagrams (?!?) and 3) it’s really old and falling apart and my mom won’t let it out of her sight so I have to photocopy every single page very carefully. Sounds like fun, huh?

I don’t want to just purely translate the recipes and make them as they are. I want to put my spin on them, update them, bring them into the 21st century! Which is going to take a lot of work and a lot of trial and error. And a lot of time. So I won’t be able to follow the cardinal rule of posting every single day. Silly full-time job that's takes up all my time away from cooking!

Hopefully this will be unique enough to draw people in. Then again, it might push them away since it’s such a foreign topic. I’m not really sure what will happen. But I’m gonna go for it. And hey, even if no one reads it, I’ll still enjoy the learning process and I’ll have something to look back on later.

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pennsylvania Dutch Pizza

Who doesn't love pizza? I sure love it. My favorite pizza place was Fondi's pizza, but unfortunately both of the places near me have closed. Their pizza was so light and crispy, covered in delicious toppings. Tim's favorite was the proscuitto and arugula, which was mighty tasty.

I had always wanted to make pizza at home, so I bought this book. All of the recipes look so delicious and over the years I've been making them. I've made the Chicagoan with steak and potatoes, the Buffalo Chicken with celery and blue cheese and the Trattorian with sausage, pepperoni and bacon. Tonight I made the Pennsylvanian pizza with smoked sausage and coleslaw. It may sound like the weirdest pizza ever, but it is sooooooo good. It's definitely my second-favorite of the pizzas I've made (my favorite is the Chicagoan).

I use a store-bought pizza shell instead of making homemade dough because I didn't have any pre-made dough in my freezer. It's still just as good, especially if you get the thin crust. Seriously, you need to make this for dinner. It took me only 45 minutes from start to finish.

Pennsylvanian Pizza
adapted from Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas by Craig Priebe

1/2 bag coleslaw mix
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar

Honey Mustard Glaze:
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. honey

3-4 bratwurst sausages
1 thin crust pizza shell
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
1/2 c. each shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses
1/2 c. diced red onions

1. For coleslaw, mix together oil, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. Add in coleslaw, toss to combine, and let sit at room temperature until pizza is done.
2. For glaze, mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Put a cooling rack on a large cookie pan and space sausages out evenly. Prick each twice with a knife. Cook sausages in oven for 10-12 minutes until sausages are almost done. Let rest for 2 minutes after pulling out of the oven, then cut into chunks.
4. Brush crust with oil, then sprinkle with cheeses. Top with sausage chunks and red onions. Drizzle mustard glaze over whole pizza.
5. Increase oven temp to 450 F and bake for 8 minutes. Just before serving, spoon coleslaw on top of pizza.


*If you have leftover coleslaw mix and mustard glaze, make honey-mustard coleslaw!
Mix some olive oil and a little white wine vinegar into the leftover glaze to form an emulsion. Add to coleslaw mix and eat!


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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Short Post

I just have a little bit of time before getting back to work to post something really quick. Yesterday, I went skiing with my dad at Alpental for the first time in two years. I haven't been there in so long because that's where I tore my ACL and I have been rather hesitant to go back. But I got over my fear and skiied down over the same place where I fell.

I was suprised. I thought I would freeze up and wouldn't be able to go past it, but I did it. And I'm glad I did. Recovering from that injury has been one of the hardest things to do. It kept me from getting an internship, kept me from doing the activity I love the most and made life that much harder. But I made it through. And I will keep pushing through.

Have you ever surprised yourself by doing something you never thought you'd be able to? I'd like to hear about those stories!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stir Fried Beef with Green Beans and Corn

I absolutely love stir fries. There are so many possibilities and they always come together rather quickly. Last night, Tim beat me home so I asked him to go to the grocery. Now he’s ok when it comes to buying bread or milk or other basic staples, but when it comes to produce, he’s absolutely lost. I asked him to buy me some baby bok choy, which he has had many times before, but he called me in a panic because he couldn’t remember what they looked like. He finally found them, and I told him I needed three, so he said ok see you at home. I get home and I go to start cooking and I notice that instead of three heads of bok choy, he got me three leaves! I love him dearly, but sometimes I wonder..

Anyways, so out of desperation I dug through the freezer to find something to eat. I found some frozen green beans and corn, which isn’t usually in a stir-fry, but I thought why not! I made up a quick marinade for the meat, then stir-fried it and dinner was ready in a flash.

Stir Fried Beef with Green Beans and Corn

Serves 4

2 c. frozen green beans
2 c. frozen corn
¾ lb. sliced beef for stir fry (flank or skirt steak)
1 tbsp cornstarch in 2 tbsp water
Vegetable oil
Rice, for serving

3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine (mirin)
¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder

  1. Mix all ingredients in a shallow dish (I use a glass pie pan) and stir in beef. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. When ready to stir-fry, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in wok (or large sauté pan) over med-high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add beef with marinade. Stir constantly until there is no more pink. Remove beef and sauce from pan, add a little more oil and stir-fry vegetables until heated through.
  3. Add beef and sauce back to the pan, along with the cornstarch mixture. Continue to heat until sauce has thickened. Serve over warm rice.



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Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It’s been snowing on the passes around here for almost a week now, and yesterday Snoqualmie Pass (where I go skiing most of the time) was closed most of the day because of avalanches. I love spring skiing, and the more snow we get, the longer the season will last! So that makes me very very happy!

On another note, I haven’t been cooking much lately because I’ve been skiing and doing other stuff, like trying on my wedding dress! And it fits! Well, almost. It’s a little too snug, but I plan on losing 10-15 lbs. before my wedding and then it’s fit a lot better. It’s so pretty and I love it, but I’m gonna keep looking to see if I find something I like more (I doubt it!).

But really what I wanted to tell you all about is my Meetup group I started. Let me give some background first. All my life, I’ve been really shy and have had a hard time getting to know new people because I’m really reluctant to put myself out there. I had lots of friends in high school, but we all went to different colleges, so it was hard to keep in touch. In college, I made some really great friends, but I graduated and got a job and moved while they were still finishing their last year, so I have pretty much lost touch with most of them.

For a long time, it was really painful to lose so many good friends, but then one day I read a magazine article about how to manage your time better. I don’t really have time management issues, but I felt like I should read it. One of the things they suggested in order to have more time in a day was to only pick a few friends to keep in contact with and to let the rest go. The part that really struck me was when the author said (and I’m paraphrasing from memory), “People will float in and out of your life. It’s just happens, and you can’t get stuck trying to hold onto them. You have to eventually let them go and just enjoy the friends you have now.”

I just sat back and thought, “Wow. That’s what I need to do.”

So, slowly, I’ve been letting people go. I still remember all the good times we had, but I don’t guilt myself over losing contact with them. The only problem is that I haven’t made many new friends. I really don’t have any close girlfriends, and I’d really like to, which is why I started a new Meetup group called Shy Gals of Seattle.

Basically, it’s for any women in the Seattle area who are shy and have a hard time making friends. I was really nervous about starting it, because I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to join. In the first week, I had 20 women join! I was so excited! It’s tapered off a little, but I’m not too concerned. The best thing was hearing from several women that they thought the idea was great.

I’ve come to realize that I’m not alone; there are a lot of women out there who like the same things I do, but are too shy to meet others who enjoy the same activities. So if you live in the Seattle area and want to meet new and totally awesome women, join us!

Here is our website!

Have a great day!

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