Friday, September 2, 2011

We Finally Made it To the Big Leagues!!!

Thank you for reading everyone!!! Come join the fun, Peas has been moved to its new FOREVER HOME!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gesundheit and Spaetzle! Look how German I am...

You ever get in a spaetzle-type mood? The kinda mood where nothing will satisfy but a nice plate of spaetzle?! Well, neither have I. I didn't even really know what it was until I ran into a recipe by Guy Fieri on the other day. Naturally, I proceeded overwhelm myself with spazt-y info. Turns out-for those who are not enlightened in the Deutschland way of doing things-spaetzle is a dish of very simple egg noodles. They're served countless ways and can be thin noodles, or thicker dumplings. The noodles are easiest to make with a "spaetzle-maker" that presses the dough through narrow holes into the boiling water-resulting in a thin noodle after they're boiled. Well of course everyone shooould have a spaetzle-maker..? Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to find mine...So I went with the dumpling method! I McGrubered a pastry bag out of a ziplock bag, by cutting a hole in the corner of the bag-then put the batter in the bag and squeezed it out a little at a time into the boiling water. This is great as a side dish and would really complement red meat. I ate it as a main dish, next time I'll want to add some caramelized onions, but it was very tasty! Anyway...down to the nitty gritty...

Givin' Spaetzle a Go... 
4 servings as a side, 2 as a main dish

       1 1/2c All Purpose Flour
      5 large eggs
      1/4c milk
      1/2 tsp cumin
      2c chicken broth
      2 Tbsp butter
      1 clove garlic, minced
      1c shredded parmesan cheese
      freshly ground black pepper 

In a medium bowl, combine flour, 3 eggs (beaten), milk, and cumin to make a thick batter. Place about 1/2c of batter into ziploc bag and snip off a corner, or use a pastry bag.

Prepare a medium bowl full of ice water to hold dumplings after they have cooked.

Bring chicken broth and 2c water to a boil in saucepan over high heat. When boiling, begin dropping batter into the hot water-each dumpling should be about 1" long. Cook each batch of dumplings for 2-3 min, until the spaetzle are floating. After they are cooked, transfer the dumplings to the ice water bath.

Heat butter in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the spaetzle and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown, 3-5 min. Reduce heat to low. Beat the remaining two eggs and add them to the spaetzle along with the Parmesan cheese. Stir and heat until the eggs are set, 2-3 min. Season with pepper. Serve immediately.

A simple saute of egg dumplings, butter, garlic, and Parmesan cheese - I'd call it comfort food in any language!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting hit with The Bird and Squashing Dinner!

I got hit by a bird today...

...Nope, I don't mean that as any kind of metaphor for the direction my life is going. I literally had a bird fly into my arm as I was walking into work. I didn't know they did that! But who am I to judge? Clearly the little dude had far too much to drink last night and was attempting a "wing of shame" when I stepped directly in his path and made him look ridiculous in front of the rest of the flock! On that note, I am blaming the fact that I haven't posted a recipe I made Monday until today on being a victim of bird-on-human makes sense, just go with it.

Anyway, on Monday The Roommate found an interesting recipe on iVillage for sausage links simmered in a "stew" of pumpkin and other veggies. Well, I was in the mood for some soup and had cajun sausage left over from the shrimp and grits so I thought I'd try it out.

It was super easy, relatively fast, and absolutely delicious. The broth was much more flavorful than I anticipated! Obviously ya can't find pumpkin as easily in August, so I used a butternut squash, which added a depth and sweetness I definitely didn't expect. The Roommate and I both agreed that we instinctively knew we preferred the squash to pumpkin!

I also used Emril's Essence, but you can also use half a teaspoon of each of the ingredients in Essence as well-paprika, garlic powder, italian seasoning (or oregano and thyme), black pepper, onion powder, and 1/8tsp of cayenne pepper-these should give you a similar taste. Anyway, enough talk. Let's Cook....

Squash that Stew! 4-6 servings

      2 Tbsp olive oil
      4 italian sausage links (any kind of sausage links work here-I used cajun), chopped
      1 medium onion, chopped  
      3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces
      1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped in 1" squares
      1 potato, chopped
      8 oz mushrooms, sliced
      1 tsp ground cumin (I went out and bought cumin for this!)
      1 can white beans, drained
      4c chicken broth
      2 bay leaves
      1/2 Tbsp Emril's Essence (or 1/2tsp of each ingredient)

In a dutch oven-or heavy-bottom 6 qt pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, 4-5 min, stirring continuously-set aside on a plate.

Add the onions and cook until translucent, 4-5 min. Add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil and return sausage to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cook for 20-25 min until squash and potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

Remember to remove bay leaves before serving! Serve with bread for dipping.

This soup was light and fresh, just what you want in an end-of-summer evening meal! My favorite part-it reheats in the microwave really well and made everyone at the office jealous because it had an incredible aroma! Don't ask questions, you just need to Squash It!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip, Cheese, and Bread? Um Yes Please?!

Ok, friends! This past week I had promised The Roommate that I'd try an idea she saw on Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese, so this weekend it was obvs time to pay up! Of course, she doesn't like she just wanted bread and buffalo chicken...but I still love the enthusiasm. And I definitely love having someone to bounce my ideas off of! This recipe can be done with any shredded cooked chicken, just as buffalo chicken dip. I didn't have any cooked chicken so I dusted 7 chicken tenders with Emril's Essence (because I have some pre-made all the time. Good.Decisions!) and pan seared them in olive oil for about 3 min a side. Then, because I'm far too impatient to wait for them to cool and shred the chicken, I diced it. I came out with about 2c of shredded chicken. With that in mind....

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Sandwich 3-4 servings

     2c shredded chicken
     2 1/2 Tbsp hot sauce
     1/4c Mayonnaise
     1 1/2 Tbsp Ranch Dressing
     1/2c celery, diced
     2 Tbsp red onion, diced finely
     blue cheese crumbles
     shredded (or sliced) cheddar cheese
     sliced bread

In medium bowl, mix chicken, hot sauce, mayo, ranch, celery, and red onion. I, of course, used a broiler to melt my shredded cheddar and blue cheese, but you could easily make a grilled cheese on the stove-especially with slices. I used about 1/4c shredded cheddar and 2 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles for my broiler sandwich. It would probably be equivalent to two 1/4" slices of cheddar and the same amount of crumbles. Just toast as you would a regular grilled cheese with the buffalo chicken "dip" in the middle. 

I also devoured the quick-make dip on celery sticks, trying my best to keep my fingers out of the bowl. The roommate seemed to be quite thrilled with the outcome, I mean she tore herself away from the seat-gripping episode of Teen Mom she was watching. So I can only assume I met expectations...

I also had a thought that this would probably be tasty as a dressing/topping on a salad of fresh greens if you wanted to fake some healthy...I'll definitely be trying this plan...

Friday, August 26, 2011

An Epic Send-off and the Journey to

 Ok, I have NOT been keeping up...well it seems like that, but really I've been cooking up a storm and photographing like mad! Lies, you say?! Clearly you're asking for a breakdown of My Life in Cooking since Wednesday...right? Well that's what I heard so here we go..

On Wednesday, I had the little sister over, she tweeted me afterward actually, but I didn't have anything new posted embarrassing!! Well, she only had a little bit of time before she and my dad went boating on her laser-aka mini sailboat-so I made her the Smokin' Golden Apple grilled cheese from Tuesday night's post...she KILLED it! I made it up and slapped it down in front of her, she stopped mid-inhale to announce that "there's apple in this sandwich! Ohmygod, how'd you get the apple to taste so good in a ham and cheese sandwich?!" ...Magic little's magic...
Later that night, I discovered that anyone can submit pictures to, naturally it has become the driving force to my life. I eat, dream, and live Foodgawker! I'm sure it goes without saying, at this point, that I am literally driving The Roommate and Work Friend crazy with my new obsession. However, they're taking the progressive madness very well and Work Friend even suggested I get a variety of Fancy plates at Good Will...I have done so and would like to say Thank You to both The Work Friend annnd Good Will! Credits aside, let's continue our adventure on to Thursday...

Thursday was The Going Away Party of the century!! One of my closest friends is in school to be a Physician Assistant and she's headed back to school this weekend. Naturally, Foodie Friend, The Roommate, and I had a meeting of the minds to design the ultimate going-away dinner for our PA Friend. It's only fair, as one day she'll be making bank and we'll all be her charity cases. After much deliberation, we decided on;

Shrimp and Grits (my contribution)-and yes, the picture is seriously weak...
Greek Salad (a regular of Foodie Friend)
Raspberry Mojitos (The Roommate bringin on the party)
Angel Food Cake Roll-filled with whipped cream and strawberry slices (Foodie Friend is a baking genius!)

Let's get down to the di-rections, shall we?

Shrimp n' Grits 5-8 servings
Adapted from

            2c chicken stock
            1c white cornmeal
            1c heavy cream
            1Tbsp butter (if salted, no need to add additional salt)
            Salt and Freshly-ground Pepper
            2 Tbsp olive oil
            1 medium white onion, minced
            1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
            1 lb Andouille sausage, chopped into chunks (any spicy sausage works)
            2 Tbsp All-purpose flour
            2c chicken stock
            2 bay leaves
            2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined-tails off
            Salt and Pepper

To make grits, bring chicken stock to boil in med saucepan over med-high heat. Slowly, whisk in cornmeal. When the grits begin to bubble, turn heat down to med-low and simmer-stirring with wooden spoon. If you have any trouble with grits becoming too dry, adding water to maintain their smooth texture won't hurt anything. Allow to cook 10-15 min, until mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and butter, season with S&P.

To make the shrimp, heat olive oil in deep frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 2 min. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until brown and there is a noticeable amount of fat in the pan. Stir in flour, stirring to avoid lumps, to form a roux. Slowly pour in chicken broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Drop in bay leaves. When liquid begins to simmer, add the shrimp. Allow shrimp to cook in simmering gravy, about 2-3 mins, until firm and pink-feel free to stir shrimp around every so often so they pink evenly.

To serve, put grits in serving bowl, then mix in shrimp and gravy. Serve immediately.

Lettuce-Free Greek Salad 

     1 large cucumber, chopped
     4 roma tomatoes, chopped
     3/4c Kalamata olives
     1/2c peperocini rings
     1 red onion, sliced thinly
     1/2 - 3/4c Feta cheese, crumbled
     3/4c extra virgin olive oil

Toss all ingredients together, for best flavor allow salad to chill for 30-60mins before serving. It's even more delicious the next day for leftovers as all the flavors get a chance to meet and mingle. Good.Situation.

Raspberry Mojito 2 quarts
     1/2c lime juice
     1 packet Crystal Light Raspberry Ice drink mix (enough for 2qts of fluid)
     1/2c fresh mint leaves
     1c white rum (we used Bacardi)
     ice cubes

In 2 qt pitcher, add drink mix to lime juice and stir until dissolved. Muddle mint leaves into lime juice mixture. Add rum and finish with enough seltzer to hit 2 qts of fluid. Serve over ice, serve immediately. 

Ok, I know you're all dying to see the angel food cake roll, but as everyone knows-you always have to leave em wanting more...and that's just what I'm about to do! I mean why buy the cow if you get the milk for free?! Stay tuned for the delicious update!!

I have submitted another picture to Foodgawker and have no doubt it will be rejected, so to give you a preview...this is my next submission...

I think I've done almost everything I could, it's not artsy, it's in a pretty bowl, it's cropped perfectly squarely...what more could they possibly want from me?!