Monday, April 30, 2007

25 Hours You Say...

"Worky-work; busy-bee." (Watch "Overwhelmed") Has anyone else seen that commercial? This is me for over a week now, except I really am busy - really, really busy.

I vaguely remember watching a video in middle school about a man that lived in a cave for over one year to study human circadian rhythms - our natural clock - and discovered that without the influence of the sun, we have 25 hours in a day. Don't believe me? This past week, I have been contemplating moving into a cave. I could really use the extra hour.

Please feel free to make requests or to comment on my ideas - I really would like to know if something I post sounds like it could taste like gym socks. I hope to have time to create something this week and tell you all about it, but for now I must get back to my hive.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Experimenting with Quiche

Monday night turned into a much longer experiment than I thought. While at work, during lunch, of course, I had a brilliant idea: "Make a quiche for dinner! It is inexpensive (a huge consideration at this point in my life) and I have the ingredients in the fridge. I would use milk, so it was lower in fat, sauteed onions, spinach, crimini mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. Perfect!" So, I told Todd my plan, promising a delicious, cheep and quick dinner, to which he agreed.

I set to work at about 5:15 p.m. I was so convinced that I had oodles of time that I chose to photograph my progress. According to the recipe I had chosen (which I did not follow, except for the volume of milk) it baked in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes. I was so close to dinner!

At 25 minutes, I had egg puddle.

At 30 minutes, I had egg puddle.

At 40 minutes, I had egg goo.

At 50 minutes, I was starving to death and trying to keep Todd out of the fridge.

At 65 minutes, I had quiche!

(Did I mention that it is now 7:15 p.m., and the moment I got home from work I took Benedryl because my allergies were so bad that I couldn't take it any more. So, at this point I am ready for bed, doped up on Benedryl, and could give a damn about the @*&!^%$* quiche.)

The moral of the story is, the quiche was good. We decided not as good as it could be, but a solid first try. I am going to try it again, seasoned more aggressively. I hope you'll stay tuned to the Adventures in Quiche.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Last night I made quiche; I am exhausted. More later.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Tribute to Nonnie and Meat Grinders

I have had a craving for this egg salad, the only egg salad I will eat (ever), since Easter. I love this recipe beacuse Nonnie and I would make it on Sunday afternoon out of leftover dyed eggs and eat mass quantities on white bread. Yum.

I finally made Nonnie write the recipe down, apparently on April 20th, 2003. When she refers to the eggs being ground, it MUST be done in a meat grinder. This recipe is when I fell in love with meat grinders. Strange, yes - but oh so fun! I believe the grinder we used was my Great Grandma Kessie's - Nonnie still won't let me have it. So until she does, I will remember this recipe because it does not taste as good without the meat grinder.

[My Nonnie is my grandma - she hates the 'g' word]

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thank you summer weather - where have you been for the past month?

In anticipation of the beautiful weekend in Wisconsin, I am posting this recipe, intended for the grill*. Todd and I invented this dish on Tuesday, and are still VERY impressed with ourselves. We hope you enjoy the weekend and the food!

Grilled Pork Chops with Glazed Onions

2 Boneless pork chops, 1 – 1 ½ inches thick
¼ c. Jack Daniel’s Spicy Southwestern Mustard **
1/3 c. Balsamic Vinegar
2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lg. Yellow Onion

Combine the balsamic vinegar, mustard and olive oil until well combined. In a separate container (ziplock bags work well) add the chops and the marinade. Allow to sit as long as possible – between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

While you wait, slice the onion into rounds. Sauté over medium heat until they are golden brown and squishy (i.e. carmelized: this process may take a while, up to 20 minutes. Make sure you keep them from charring around the edges – if so, you’ll want to turn down the heat.) You can feel free to cook the onions ahead of time, and finish the cooking when you add the marinade.

When the chops are ready to grill, remove them and season with salt and pepper, saving as much of the marinade as possible. Grill to desired doneness (duh). Once the onions are to the proper golden brown squishiness, add the marinade to the pan of onions. Allow to bubble and reduce over medium heat until the pork chops are done. (You do not need to worry about using the marinade in the sauce because it is being cooked and will be safe to eat.)

Serve the onions on top of the chops with a salad or good bread.
* If you do not have a badass grill like Todd, with a grill grate on one half and a griddle on the other, you may want to do the onions in a sauté pan.

** You can find this any supermarket; if you do not feel the need to rush out and buy this, I recommend Grey Poupon Country Dijon.

P.S. This is really healthy too: just 1 T. of oil per serving.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Minestrone Soup

I have made this a few times, most recently for dinner on Easter (very festive, I know). I realize that this is not a traditional minestrone, mostly because Dad and I debated the finer points and as it turns out, I am wrong. However, Todd and I are pretty sure its perfect!

I wanted to post this before the last of the chilly days are gone. On a cold afternoon this soup is great because it is hearty and fast. Best of all, the only fat in the whole pot is the extra virgin olive oil, so you can feel better about sitting on your butt all day. I hope that you try this one out - feel free to cut the recipe in half, it makes a ton.

Minestrone Soup
Serves 5-6

1 large yellow onion, large dice
1 lb. whole carrots, peeled and sliced
1 c. Dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
3 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
3 15 oz. cans cannellini beans
3 medium zucchinis, diced
¾ bag of baby spinach (or 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped)
1 c. Pastina (small soup pasta – I use DaVinci brand)
4 T. oregano
3 T. basil
1 t. garlic powder
½ t. Freshly grated nutmeg
½ Leftover roasted chicken, diced
chicken stock to cover by 2 inchs

In an large soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, carrot, salt and pepper. Sauté until onion is soft and translucent, but not browned. Raise the heat to med-high and add the wine to deglaze the pan; allow to cook for 1-3 minutes (just until the alcohol is gone). Then add the tomatoes, beans, garlic powder, nutmeg, and half of the oregano and basil. Cover vegetables with chicken stock, cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow soup to simmer until you are ready to eat – I recommend not more than 1 hour – this is a quick cooking soup.

Return to a slow/low boil; add the zucchini, pastina, and rest of the basil and oregano. Simmer until pastina is al dente (check package directions). Stir in the spinach and it’s done. Serve topped with a dollop of pesto (if you have some), grated parmesan cheese and fresh bread.
Remember this is a rustic Italian soup; you can substitute whatever vegetables you have or like. This recipe happens to be the way I like mine. When substituting, keep in mind that you are trying to keep all of the vegetables the same or similar size so that they cook evenly.

** If you don’t have left over chicken, you could use fresh chicken and add it to the soup after you lower it to a simmer, after most of the vegetables have been added. If you boil raw meat, it will become tough, not tender – so make sure you keep the heat low.

Also, when you reheat this soup (it’s even better), you may have to add some stock or water to bring it back to the proper consistency.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Piccata Pesto

Ok, so on my lunch break, I am contemplating the finer points of a piccata dish and how I can convert that into a pesto sauce. Piccata is a sauce served with meat, made of lemon, wine, capers, and parsley. Pesto is comprised of basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

Obviously, the parsley would replace the basil, but does anyone have an opinion on the nut? I thought toasted almonds. I'd love some thoughts on this since I have an urge to make it for dinner tonight.

The Beginning

I have newly discovered, and become obsessed with, food blogs. I realize that I am a late bloomer, but they have nonetheless inspired me to start my own. In this saturated environment of fantastic writers and supremely talented photographers, I do not believe that mine will standout, but that it will be an outlet for someone overly charged by food.

I hope to begin posting this week, so check back and let me know what you think.