Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Corn Cakes

With hurricanes going on it's really hard for me to concentrate on actually making food when I can be watching footage of the wind and rain or looking at amazing satellite imagery. Currently it's very hard to do any work because I'm slightly preoccupied looking at awesome pictures like this one of Isaac at night.
I don't know about you but if that doesn't make you all giddy you must have some issues. This makes me want to jump and scream I LOVE WEATHER. It also makes me want my own hurricane in Maryland. I've already discussed my morbid obsession for severe weather (which is expected). I mean it's not like I want anyone to get hurt or someones home to be destroyed but I just want to see it with my own eyes. I want to pull a stupid Jim Cantore and stand in between two tall buildings and be pelted by the funnel of wind and rain which could lead me into another subject involving him and weather television but I'll save that for another day. All I'm trying to say is, there better be a hurricane for the East Coast before this season is over.

Corn Cakes
Yield ~16 cakes

1/2 cup flour
chili powder
red pepper flakes
dried minced onion
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups corn
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix the flour, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, onion, salt, and pepper. Then add in the egg, milk, and oil. Last fold in the corn. Take large spoonfuls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Brownies

I can't even wait long enough to take a picture of my food before I dig in. Definition of fat kid. As I write this I may have just had a few more bites of those brownies just because they're only a room away. Normally I would be safe from myself and those brownies but I am teleworking today because a lovely dump truck decided to dump some stuff off in the middle of the interstate unbeknownst to him. Yes... when it happened I was driving by and it just seemed a little extra rattly compared to normal dump trucks and I got a bad feeling. I decided to speed up to pass it but right then something flew off of it. It was fate, and inevitable that I was going to hit it. Whatever it was hit the underneath of my car and I heard metal scraping sounds the whole drive home. Thankfully my dad came to the rescue today for me and has saved me possibly hundreds of dollars. A huge metal scrap flew off the truck and hit the undercarriage of my car and lodged itself in there. I guess it's a good thing there's a protective covering under there or it could have been a lot worse. So I bring you the recipe for these brownies, one of my favorite desserts in the world as I snack on them all morning. Now I really  have to go for a run later...

Chocolate Chip Brownies
Yield ~12 servings

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix the cocoa powder and water, then add in the bittersweet chocolate chips until fully melted. Next mix in the butter and vegetable oil, then the eggs and vanilla. Last add the sugar, flour, and salt until thoroughly mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into a greased pan. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Moroccan Chicken

Quite happy today is Friday. This week at work has been quite a bit more trying than usual resulting in less sleep than usual. This led me to wake up today feeling a little flu-ish. Cold chills, body aches, blah. Looking at this dish though makes me feel like getting all cozy on the couch with a big ol' plate of this and going to sleep. Although it is an ethnic dish I totally feel like this is comfort food to the max. It was just so good especially with a side of couscous. This would be fantastic on a cool autumn night especially now that the weather is going to start cooling down. Not quite yet though, here in Maryland we still have about another month. So if you'd rather wait for this recipe, keep it in the books for October!

Moroccan Chicken
Yield ~12 servings

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 chicken (3-4 pounds)
1 lemon, sliced into 8 slices
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry spices and rub them all over the whole chicken. Place the chicken in a casserole dish. Take your garlic and half the onions and stuff the inside of the chicken with them. Then take the other half of onions, lemon slices, carrots, olives, raisins, and water and mix them together in a bowl. Then spread it all around the chicken in the dish. Place in the oven and bake until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. This took us almost 2 hours so make sure you have plenty of time. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pork Souvlaki

It's Wednesday and I have been up since 3:55 AM. Why, you ask? Well it's a little thing called work. A team I joined where we make postings when there are hurricanes and tropical storms. So I was up and waiting patiently for the data to come in so I could make this map. Except the data didn't come in when it always seems to, about 10-15 before the hour. The hour came and I still had no data, panic mode begin. I almost woke up my boyfriend to make him help me, (like he would have had any idea how to make the data come) but I thought better of it because a) he would have gotten mad and b) he can't do anything. So I kept waiting and finally it came and left me with 25 minutes less than normal to make the map. Somehow I forged on and finished on time. I feel much better now. All I need is some coffee and I might start to feel normal.
Anyway, I'm finally bringing the recipe for Pork Souvlaki! It's only 2 weeks later than I had originally planned for. YAY. Make this today so you can have it for dinner tomorrow and you will be happy. I promise. This is what I had for my birthday dinner last year and that's my birthday dinner, not just regular dinner so imagine how amazing it must be. Thank you very much.

Pork Souvlaki
Yield ~6 servings

1 pound of pork tenderloin/chop/etc, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh oregano
dash salt and pepper

Tzatziki Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cucumber, diced small
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced

First start with the tzatziki sauce. Mix together sour cream, cucumber, mint, garlic, and lemon juice. Next you prepare the meat. In a bowl mix together the garlic, mint, salt, and pepper with the pork. Cover it and let it sit for a day to marinate in refrigerator. After that place them on skewers, then transfer to a grill until cooked to your liking. Serve the meat in a pita with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Peach Tea Cake

The entire time I was in Jersey I baked once. I let everyone else do most of the cooking or we just ate out. The one night we planned an amazing homemade feast I decided to contribute a dessert for it. I had gotten a big container of peaches and thought a peach cake would be great, considering all we'd eaten til then were chocolate cookies. A light dessert sounded perfect. I went about making my cake and took it out after 30 minutes figuring it was done just because the top was starting to brown. It sat out waiting patiently for us to attack it after dinner. My sister decides to dig in 5 hours later and the entire center was batter still! UGH. I never make big cooking boo-boos like that. As stupid as it is I was so embarrassed. Back in the oven it went for another 30 minutes almost! Then it was scrumptious. So now I'm finally sharing it with you.

In other words though, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I spent Saturday evening on our boat which was super fun. Sunday morning I was woken up with this! It was quite the welcomed surprise. I was like... "a mimosa!?! It's only 8 o'clock!" Boyfriend says... "I figured you might need a little hair of the dog" He was right. 
Peach Tea Cake
Yield ~8-10 servings

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
5 peaches, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream the room temperature butter and sugar together. Next add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Put the batter in the fridge for about an hour to make it thicker. After that grease a ~10 inch pan and put half the batter in. Then place all your sliced peaches on top of that batter. Next take spoonfuls of the batter and just drop them on top of the peaches until they are mostly covered as you can see in the picture below. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oreo PB Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm back! Sadly though... but at least I only had a 2 day work week. I might even go as far as to say I was ready to be back only because I needed a break from all the partying. Some members of our friends and family like to a party a little more than me though which may have sucked me in but it was a blast. Here is a picture of me and one of my best friends Jessica at the Jersey Shore D'Jais. We were fortunate not to see any of the members. This was the same evening I proceeded to speak as Theresa, my alter Staton Island ego. Let's just say it was one of the most hilarious walks back to the house. We got to spend 3 of the 5 days at the beach too so I was pretty happy with that.
Every evening around 4 or 5 the cocktails started flowing and this was our view on the porch. It was seriously the best porch sitting of my life. One of the nights we just stayed there the whole time and played catch phrase. 
Let's be serious though, you're here for food not pictures of my vacation. So here it is. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies insde an Oreo. Yea... I made them Friday night planning to pack them up instantly to take the beach except that didn't happen. All 30 definitely did not make it into the tupper ware. 

Oreo PB Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield ~ 30 cookies

30 Oreo cookies
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Add in vanilla and egg. Next mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Last fold in the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Using a knife slice the Oreos in half so that all the cream is on one side then place the non cream side on a greased cookie sheet. Take about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and place it on top of each Oreo half. Bake for 10 minutes then immediately place the creamed Oreo side on top and let cool.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Out of the Office

I did it again! I don't know how I'm ever going to remember to pack everything for my vacation tonight. Now I am going to have to wait until Friday to give you all the pork souvlaki recipe. This is really sad, I've been slacking big time in August. I have to wait to post it because I'm going to the Jersey Shore. I know you all are instantly thinking I might come back looking like this but do not fret!
There are actually normal people on the beach in New Jersey, at least I hope so. Otherwise I won't be coming back just as I left. Guess we'll have to wait until Wednesday to find out. 

In other news, as many of my facebook friends may have already seen today, I learned I can not cut a grapefruit. My dreams of ever enjoying a grapefruit just as my Mom has always prepared it were shattered. I was so excited to buy one at the grocery store and bring it for breakfast today. I cut it up last night so it would be perfectly prepared when I ate it at work today. No. Not happening. Instead I ended up with the most mutilated grapefruit half I've ever seen.
With that being said, it's quite obvious how my day is going to go today. Messily. So I'm going to try and salvage as much of my workday left as possible, if it's even possible. Probably not, instead I'll be awaiting my Menchie's date tonight. It only took 3 days to convince my boyfriend to finally come with me. I guess me chanting it while sitting on the couch Wednesday night wasn't quite enough. Menchie's... Menchie's... Menchie'ssssss 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So Forgetful

Yesterday was Wednesday, the day I always make a posting but I forgot my camera. I was super excited to put up the recipe for our Pork Souvlaki too. I made a mental note not to forget my camera today. It's Thursday, I forgot it... again. I had written part of my post already for the souvlaki so I figured I'd at least give you that. I was sitting at my desk longing for those last crumbs of my cheesecake from last Thursday. Exhibit A.

I just wanted to share with you all a prime example of my unbelievable and undying desire for sweets. Last week I had the personal dilemma of choosing. Making choices is not one of my fortes. Every time I go anywhere I request someone else to make my choice for me between two things I've narrowed it down to because it's that hard for me to make choices. Last Thursday I had to choose between cupcakes and cheesecake. It was supposed to be cupcake Thursday, then Sweetz threw me one out of left field and showed up! I didn't even know there was a cheesecake truck. Instantly as you can imagine I became distraught. I came with 3 others, both girls picked cheesecake, the boy picked cupcakes. I stood there and kept debating even after they'd all started eating. I had to flip a coin to make a choice! As you can see above I got cheesecake and ever since that fateful day I have been craving more but won't make my own because I might turn into cream cheese. I have the desperate desire for it now, so much that I'm itching for it... possibly in an addict type of way. So I post on their facebook wall and they write back 2-3 weeks. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! HOWWWW can I wait this long? At least I'm going to the beach Saturday, maybe that will keep my mind off of it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mac and Cheese Carbonara with Broccoli

Happy Monday! WOOOOOO! I know you're all not really that excited cause I'm not either. I figure I might as well pretend though. Pass the good vibes through, you know? Apparently there was a study though that said Tuesday is really the worst day of the week. They say it's because you still have 4 days of work left and you're no longer reminiscing the good memories and feelings of the weekend. I can totally buy that. This weekend I had lots of good food, good views, and good times with my family and friends. Saturday I had this awesome view on Kent Island as I ate my portobello panini which I will be trying to recreate sometime soon with gorgonzola, onions, tomato, balsamic... yum yum! And ate my sweet West Virginia cake
Then Sunday we got an antique chest (which I'm super excited about) to take the place of our falling apart coffee table and the day ended with this view out our front door.
Mac and Cheese Carbonara with Broccoli
Yield ~6 servings

1/2 box Macaroni noodles
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound bacon, chopped 1/2 inch
1/2 pint light cream 
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese 
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 teasoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Boil water and cook noodles until almost fully cooked, a few minutes before done add frozen broccoli chunks, then drain. Cook bacon in frying pan on medium heat for 10 minutes but don't stir it too frequently. Cook the onions in the residual bacon fat with bacon another 10 min until it gets crispy. Add garlic and thyme and cook that for a couple more minutes. Next add the light cream and cook until everything emulsifies (still on medium heat). Add dijon mustard, stir together and take off heat. Put it in a bowl and mix in the cheeses (1/4 cup parm and 1/2 cup moz), salt, and pepper. Let it cool and add 2 egg yolks and the pasta and broccoli, then pour into a casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and 1/2 cup parmesan, then bake on low broil until bread crumbs are slightly browned. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini Salad

It's Thursday which means it's almost Friday which also means I'm that much happier. Except for the fact I didn't sleep last night. Around 7:45 boyfriend says "Let's go see Dark Knight" for an 8 o'clock showing. I'm like are you serious, my bed time is 9:15. Reluctantly I tagged along but I will say that the movie was very good and I was hanging on my seat a lot. We didn't get home until 11:10 though which means Ashley = Grumpy. I tried to go to sleep instantly but all I could see when I closed my eyes was this... RAWR
Let's just say my night resulted in 2 1/2 hours of sleep. Surprisingly I didn't have nightmares, I just couldn't fall asleep cause it was giving me anxiety of all things. At least I know I couldn't sleep because of a silly movie and not my dinner or its side dish. I can honestly say this one surprised me. I kind of was just like oh, we have eggplant and zucchini so I'll just make something up. This ended up being fantastic. I almost ate the entire bowl it was so good. 

Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini Salad
Yield ~6 servings

1 eggplant, sliced
1/2 zucchini, sliced 
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant and zucchini slices on an oiled cookie sheet and sprinkle some salt and pepper all over. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Let cool, then dice the eggplant and zucchini. Place in a bowl and mix with the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, and garlic powder. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. Then mix in the lemon juice, soy sauce, parsley, and goat cheese. Serve cool.