Archive | March, 2013

Tried and True: Baked Garlic Prawns

29 Mar

UPDATE:    I made this last weekend and I have to say, I have never been so impressed with one of my culinary creations.  This recipe was perfect!  My almost two year old, that normally despises shrimp, ate more of this than I did.  It was easily doubled and EVERYONE enjoyed this.  I will definitely make it again.  Move over Red Lobster, here I come.

I do have to admit, my creation didn’t look as good as Barb’s over at Life in the Foothills (where I happily stole this recipe from), but it tasted D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  I thought I had Panko bread crumbs, but it turned out I didn’t, so I used regular Italian Bread Crumbs that I had on hand.  I do want to try this again with Panko.  However, anyway you make it, it will be great, so hurry, gather the ingredients and make this mouth watering delicacy.

P.S. Barb suggests having a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc with dinner.  I think it’s a must :o)

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29 Mar


Staying with chiles, this is a wonderful meal, especially on a cold March evening. There is a lot of flavor and texture in this dish.

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29 Mar

Cheese Steak without the bread…sounds like a delicious change.

Chaos and Cookies

SONY DSCAre there other mothers out there who feel like they need a vacation after their kids school vacation ends?! I know I can’t be alone! We have had a fun busy week, and I thought since we were staying home and not going away that it would be an easy relaxing week, silly me! But they are only kids once and they are awesome kids! Next week I must take my eBay store off the back burner and get back to routine. I am very much a creature of habit so weeks like this tend to throw my personality type for a loop:-) I have managed to find to make some yummy things this week, I haven’t blogged them for the most part due to that time thing but I will start working on that! We did catch a few really good movies, in fact we just got home from…

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Thanksgiving Throwback–Deep Fried Turkey

29 Mar

Thanksgiving Throwback--Deep Fried Turkey

Yes, I am over four months late. For Thanksgiving, we deep fried a turkey using a Butterball indoor electric fryer. The turkey tasted great, especially since I injected it with Butterball Creole Marinade. I have to say, it was pretty scary. The fryer got super hot and melted the outlet. Needless to say, we put it back in the box and haven’t used it since….I guess it means this deep fried turkey costs us upwards of $100.

Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller (Cookbook Review)

29 Mar

Any real foodie loves food porn and I am no different!  I learned about Thomas Keller, his restaurants, and many cookIMG_0629books.  After debating with myself, I finally ordered Ad Hoc at Home.  It’s list price is $50, but Amazon currently sells it for $28.41.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was super excited and surprised when I opened my brown box.

I picked up a huge, heavy, beautiful, collector’s type cookbook.  It features tons of recipes, beautiful pictures, step-by-step instructions, and information.  Keller shares “lightbulb” tips to help you navigate the kitchen or change the way you think about food.  The back of the book features techniques and recipes such as brine, chicken stock, pork brine, etc.  At the very end of the cookbook, there is also a glossary.  I hate to call Ad Hoc at Home a cookbook because it’s more like a masterpiece.

You know how some cookbooks feature recipes that would take hours upon hours and even after spending that time, you end up with a mediocre, barely edible meal?  This cookbook features many real-life, doable recipes.  Recipes for meals which you may already make, but with Keller’s recipe, you may finally be able to perfect your techniques or add a new twist.  Amazon’s description of the book also includes his Fried Chicken Recipe, which I totally wantIMG_0633 to try.

One of the reviews on Amazon criticizes Ad Hoc because of the fat content in a lot of the recipes.  Even so, you can always substitute the fatty ingredients for something you prefer.  It is my personal belief that it is okay to indulge.  I wouldn’t recommend it for everyday eating…or maybe it would be okay as long as you don’t overeat.

Whether you like your meals hearty or healthy, you like food porn or reading, Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook is a must have for all.IMG_0632

Williams-Sonoma sells the same cookbook for the list price of $50. sells it for about $34.  If you’re in the market for a copy, search for the best deal.  Oh, you can also find Ad Hoc at Home as a part of a set of two cookbooks by Keller.  If I would have known that, I would have bought the set of two…..

Juicing My Way to Health: Cuisinart Compact Juice Maker (Review) + The Big Book of Juices (Review)

29 Mar

7 years ago, I had my first juicing experience.  I’m not sure how it came about, but I remember being pregnant with my second child.  Eating was difficult.  There wasn’t much that sounded appealing or appetizing.  Juicing helped me consume healthy food without all the “drama” surrounding food.  After my son was born, I sold my juicer on ebay.  For years, I kicked myself, but refused to invest in another.

An old friend brought juicing back to the forefront of my mind.  For $50 something, I got a Cuisinart Compact Juicer.  I couldn’t wait to make juice. So after a trip to the grocery store today, I made some juice…it was great!  My children wanted some as well, so I let them pick the fruits and/or veggies. Image

I picked up a copy of The Big Book of Juices by Natalie Savona.  I looked all over for this book and most places were OOS (out of stock) online for new copies OR the used copies being sold were priced outrageously.  Barnes and Noble lists the book for just under $12 + tax, but sadly they were OOS for shipping too.  I opted to do a store hold so I could pick it up today.  Buying it in-store cost me $20 + tax.

The high demand of this book is what drew me to it.  I even paid for it without taking one look at it.  I’m glad I got it.  The book boasts several simple juice/smoothie recipes.  The best part is that it rates each recipe on Energy, Detox, Immunity, Digestion, and Skin.  The beginning of the book starts out by describing juicing and smoothie making plus the differences between the two.  The author then lists several fruits and veggies + the benefits of them.

Now, I have to tell you that when I began today’s juicing session, I mixed several fruits and veggies randomly.  I was satisfied with all three juices that I made.  BUT, one reason why I love the Big Book of Juices is because of the simplicity of a lot of the recipes.  For example, one recipe includes just carrots and apples.  Another includes Apples and Oranges while a different recipe uses Apples and Guavas.  Many times, I think “the more the merrier”, but this book makes me feel as if “less is more”.  I believe it is a must-have, go-to book for anyone wondering about juicing or just beginning.  It’s great for those that already juice because of the ratings for each juice.

The Cuisinart Compact Juicer is awesome.  My only pet peeve is that it is compact.  Once I began going hard at juicing, I had to stop several times to empty the pulp and the 16oz juice container.  I should have thought my juicer decision through thoroughly before choosing a model.  With six people total in my household, a compact juicer may not be my best bet.  Other than that, the Cuisinart Compact Juicer is priced right at just about $100 most places.  Sam’s Club carries it for about $75.


What’s for Dinner? Fried Fish and Cabbage

29 Mar

IMG_0598Since I picked up some cabbage on sale, I knew an upcoming dinner would have to include it.  With the holidays quickly approaching, I decided we would have fried fish and cabbage.  Even though I’m on a quest to healthier eating, I gave into friend fish rather than baked or broiled since it’s what my kids like best.

I used Tony Chachere’s Cajun Fish Fry mix.  I never know whether I can trust these pre-made mixes to season my food to my liking.  Knowing how bland I find some marinades and pre-made mixes, I lightly seasoned my Tilapia after rinsing it and patting it dry.  Following the directions on the box, I mixed one cup of milk and one egg.  I emptied the mix into a ziplock bag and let my oil heat while I arranged everything.  An organized kitchen is something I MUST have while cooking.

Once the fish was ready to cook, I chopped the cabbage.  I put a few tablespoons of Olive Oil into the pan.  Once it was heated, I added the cabbage and covered it, IMG_0604stirring occasionally.

I fried the tilapia fillets in batches of three.  They were laid to drain over brown paper bags.  Paper towels can do the same job, but there’s something about brown paper bags that keeps fried foods crispy.  Once the cabbage began to wilt (maybe 10 mins or so), I added a cup of water, seasoned it with seasoned salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.  I covered and let it cook while stirring occasionally.

The fish was delicious as was the cabbage.  While my cabbage normally comes out spicy (from the black pepper and sometimes I used crushed red pepper), it didn’t this time.  It was good, but I like it better when it’s spicy.