Friday, February 29, 2008

adaptation nation

sorry for the silence, I had to take a brief trip for work in which I ate dinner and slept in another city. Unfortunately the dinner was unremarkable but the sleeping (king bed at an embassy suites) was rather nice.

Before I left made a chicken noodle soup to help heal my friends of their stuffy heads and also attempted to make some homemade naan bread to appease my recent frequent craving for Indian food. At my neighborhood Indian restaurant last Friday I had the most delicious Vegetable Korma and I spent a bit of time searching for a recipe that seemed like it might approximate it. I did find one but due to my travels I have not had a chance to attempt the recipe yet.

Chicken soup -
I used a Deb's chicken stock recipe and a mishmash of Adam and Elise's chicken soup recipes. I used chicken wings for the stock and then shredded some of the meat off the bone for the soup. I also couldn't resist dropping in a few egg noodles although i was careful not to overdo it so it didn't turn into noodle risotto.

for the Naan I used this recipe which tastes delicious. However, I think I need to work on my rolling and cooking technique. Also, if you make this keep the dough balls covered with a damp cloth -- i uncovered mine and before i finished rolling and cooking them all the dough started drying out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Playing catch up (Ketchup)

After being sick last week I've been on a spate of eating out (I know --bad). I did make a pizza bianca with carmelized onions and gruyere. It wasn't exactly how I envisioned it but it was pretty good. Unfortunately a portion of it went to waste b/c it didn't seem like it would reheat well so I threw it away.

I attempted a barley rice salad which was good but not the sort of thing I wanted to eat more than once which leaves me again with a lot of waste -- which I hate.
I also made quick baked pasta casserole. I used elbow macaroni instead of spaghetti.
Quick baked spaghetti
1 pound spaghetti
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and reserve.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a large skillet, brown ground beef until no longer pink; drain reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Set beef aside. In skillet saute onion, green bell pepper and garlic until just soft. Combine browned beef, ketchup, oregano, salt and pepper with onion mixture; mix well.
Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. On top of mixture, layer pasta and then sprinkle on cheese. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted.
(recipe from

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Plagued by the plague

I've got some kind of creepy crawly crud. I thought I had escaped...its been going around my office.

I haven't felt like posting about the "quick" lasagna bolognese I made from Cook's Illustrated. It only took a mere 3 hours to make using no-boil noodles....

hopefully I'll be feeling more "posty" later.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Going off the rails.

Tuesday I did manage to eat out of the pantry/freezer.
Here is my Tuesday dinner:
  • 2 morningstar farms spicy black bean patties garnished with some of the leftover date-chipotle chutney --- suprisingly delicious.
  • Steam fresh sugar snap peas, one of my favorite quick vegetables however I was disappointed at the number of sugar snaps that were "stringy", I hope this isn't a harbinger of a reduction in quality as the sugar snaps being already stringed and ends snapped off is one of the main reasons I buy the steamfresh.
  • Garlic fries from Trader Joes- disappointing. I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like these --- possibly because the fries didn't crisp up enough or perhaps it was the slight metallic tinge I got from the garlic-herb garnish. also, these don't really work that well for a 1-person meal because you have to cook the whole bag at once. I ended up throwing the leftovers away.

Last night, I think I was fixated on ribs because I had read this earlier in the day. So I veered off the eat at home path to a local BBQ place that also has ribs. they satisfied my craving but I'm still dying to make the vietnamese version from the link!

Today for lunch -its chinese in honor of the Chinese New Year. Dinner is uncertain as I once again forgot to pull anything out of the freezer to thaw. D'oh!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

At last the pictures!

I feel kind of crappy today. I slept in a bit and came into work late. I did however remember my camera so I can show you pictures of my superbowl party offering.

Chicken for the bold. Chicken basted and coated in Chipotle-Date Chutney. It was very yummy.

Francesco Clemente’s Amazing Hot Sauce (Chipotle and Date Chutney)


  • 10 fresh or dried dates, pitted, cut into chunks
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded, with the juice squeezed from them
  • 13 ounces pickled chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions:In a blender or processor, combine all the ingredients and
blend until they make a thick paste. Pour into a deep saucepan, and cook over
medium-low heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, adding 1/4 cup of water halfway though
and stirring. Cool and then store in an airtight glass jar.

This condiment will keep nicely in the fridge for a couple of months.

Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 cups

From Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, published by Weinstein Books (October 2007).

Note: when I made the chutney I halved the recipe and I still had quite a bit left over after making the chicken below. So just wanted you to note that you will not use all the chutney on the chicken. Also I added a couple of additional dates to the mixture because I wanted my sauce a little sweeter and I used Kosher salt in place of sea salt.

Chicken for the Bold
1 -2 lbs of chicken drumsticks, thighs, drummettes or an assortment of any of these
¼ cup olive oil
About 1 cup of chipotle and date chutney (or to taste)

Heat oil in oven-proof skillet, brown chicken pieces, add chutney and cook until
chicken is done continuing to baste and turn chicken with chutney. Chicken should be well-coated with chutney. Once chicken is done, transfer to oven in
pan or on broiler pan and broil until skin/outside of chicken pieces is slightly
charred (5-6 minutes) on all sides (turn once). You can also baste chicken
with juices from pan again when you turn them.

Serve warm.

Note: I think I used too much oil (because I tried to halve
the recipe) to brown my chicken and therefore my chicken pieces may not have
been as saucy/sticky as they should have been. You can more chutney from
recipe above as add’l dipping sauce if you like.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

it's that kind of week...

The kind where my camera is still sitting on my kitchen counter. My dinner last night consisted of a leftover chicken-chipolte-date chutney drumstick, about 2 tablespoons of leftover tuna salad and some bugles and a cup of cereal(cinnamon life) with milk.

Today on the way to work I stopped at the grocery store and bought the following:

-1 cara cara navel orange
-1 minneola tangelo
-1 strawberry stonyfield farm smoothie
-1 south beach wrap pack (sesame chicken)
-box of 100 calorie ritz snack mix packs
-Healthy choice french bread frozen pizza
-pack of crystal light on-the-go wild strawberry

I think these are all better options than just stopping at Chik-fil-a for breakfast but I was tempted to do just that!

For breakfast I had the smoothie and a small piece of King cake (someone brought in a king cake for Fat tuesday). Just now for a snack I had a 100-calorie pack.

Who knows what I'll have for dinner tonight since there is a basketball game to go to at 7. I'm not looking forward to having arena food and its so expensive! Maybe I'll eat my french bread pizza before I leave work.

Monday, February 4, 2008

it's soooo Monday

I started out the day by oversleeping, then promptly spilling diet coke on my laptop. also i forgot my camera so all the lovely pictures I took of my "chicken for the bold with date-chipolte chutney" are trapped inside my camera which is on my kitchen counter.

in an act of desperation running out the door i ended up having 3 Kashi TLC Oatmeal Dark chocolate chip cookies for breakfast....

In more positive and exciting news I got my first recipe from America's Test Kitchen this morning to test! Yippee. It is Stuffed Portabellos. Bad news, is that all the ingredients will have to be purchased as I don't really have many of them on hand. This sets back my eating out of the pantry/freezer project a day or two but hey ---I'm testing a recipe for America's Test Kitchen!

I'll let you know how it turns out....

Friday, February 1, 2008


Here I plan to blog about what I really eat day to day. What I cook, the ingredients I use, the places I go and the perils and pitfalls of cooking/eating for one.

In general you probably won't see many gourmet recipes and although I don't endorese Sandra Lee (at all) you may see things appear here that are "semi-homemade". Frequently you may find mention of beautiful food found at other sites since I am an avid foodie blog follower.

One of the first challenges I plan to undertake with this blog is to make meals out of the things I have at home - you know the stuff --the things that languish in cans and bottles and the freezer. Perhaps they were bought on a whim or because they were on sale or with the intention of making a fabuloous dish that never came to fruition. In the next month I hope to to do some spring cleaning and create some meals out of my pantry with minimal purchases of new items. We'll see how it goes.

Your ideas and comments are always welcome.