Thursday, May 31, 2012

Determined to become a better blogger

It's going to happen this summer. I promise. I have some big changes coming up in my life. I'm very excited. These changes will allow me to be a better blogger. I hope.

In the meantime, here are pictures of the pretty cupcakes I made & decorated for my coworkers. Dark chocolate with vanilla frosting -- my favorite! Played with my new piping bag. Very exciting. And they're "healthy" as far as cupcakes go. No oil, butter, or egg yolks and minimal sugar. Recipe to come but I'm at work now, haha. Enjoy!

Sara Mae

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Asian Kitchen Doesn't Serve Venison

Luckily, I do. This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found for tangerine beef... but now I need to find my copy of the recipe that I wrote the notes on... so, details are forthcoming. But I can tell you that it was a plate full of Wisconsiny Chinese goodness!

Pork Fried Rice

You ever notice how fried rice from those Americanized Chinese restaurants is always so greasy? This one is not! I haven't tried it with chicken or shrimp but I'm sure they'd make perfect substitutes if you don't want or can't eat pork.

You need:
EVOO (to steal from Rachel Ray)
Soy Sauce
1 Thin-cut Pork Chop
1 Egg, beaten with 1 TBSP water
1 cup Cooked Rice
Red Bell Pepper
Any other veg you see worthy of fried rice

1) Cut the pork chop into tiny pieces, about the size of the tip of your finger. Season with S&P.

2) Do the same with your veg & set aside.

3) In a skillet (or wok, if you have one) on medium heat, heat enough EVOO to lightly coat the bottom. When the oil is heated, add the pork pieces & brown them.

4) With the pork & oil still in the skillet, add the beaten egg. Continuously stir to break up the egg as it scrambles.

5) When the pork and the egg are fully cooked, add your veg. If you like a lot, add a lot; if you don't like them, don't add them. That's the glory of cooking -- all "recipes" are up to interpretation! Allow mixture to heat through, 2-4 minutes.

6) Add the cooked rice, 1/2 tsp ginger, and soy sauce to taste. Stir until heated through. 

7) Take the greasy Chinese delivery place off of speed dial & enjoy!

Try this pork fried rice with my orange venison & broccoli recipe for a healthier twist on take-out :-)

Healthy Lasagna for One?

Didn't know that was possible, did you? Well, it is. And it was so yummy!

Let me lay this out there: I make the best lasagna you'll ever taste. When I make lasagna, it's a two-day affair and I could feed my whole unit off of one giant, cheesey, hearty, saucey pan. Needless to say, my world-class lasagna doesn't get made too often. But it's soooo good... but it's soooooo much work for one person... but it's soooooooooo good... but... you can see how this goes. How to resolve the problem...

Lasagna rolls!

Instead of making a giant layered pan, I put the filling onto the individual lasagna noodles then rolled them up & smothered them with (homemade) sauce. To make it a little healthier, I used ground turkey, fresh tomatoes instead of sauce, only one-third the cheese, and I added shredded carrots & chopped broccoli. Quite yummy. I made too much filling so I threw it in the pan I cooked the rolls in.

I'm not gonna lie, they were messy. And it took until about the third roll until I got the filling amount right. But it was all worth it in the end because I just had a delicious dinner. And lunch tomorrow is going to be just as good. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day <3

I'm normally not one to celebrate this crazy, historically depressing Hallmark holiday but this year I felt festive. So I put on a cute black skirt & a red sweater & red heels & I brought cupcakes to work! Not just any cupcakes... my new (made up) chocolate covered cherry cupcakes! And they were SO GOOD! Really tasted line chocolate covered cherries!! I whipped up some chocolate cupcake batter (I did mine from scratch, but the box stuff would probably work too) and I mixed in cherry chips (I found these around Christmas with the baking stuff and they got lost in the back of the pantry until I remembered them yesterday). The frosting was just vanilla, butter, confectioners sugar, milk, marachino cherry juice, and beaten egg whites folded in.

The thing about baking is that it's a lot easier to screw up.

My cherry chips all sank to the bottom of my cupcakes and stuck to the cupcake papers when they cooled. My frosting was a bit thin bc of all the liquid but I couldn't add more sugar or it would be way too sweet so I had to deal with the melting, dripping frosting... but I think that just made it more like a chocolate covered cherry, right?

Overall, a success. And I will be making a second attempt if I ever find cherry chips again.

Thusly, I leave my nonexistant audience with this question: how do cupcake shops make that perfectly pretty & decadently delicious beautiful buttercream frosting???

Monday, February 6, 2012

It happened upon a New Year's Eve

Every year I host a NYE dinner party. It's always fun & there's alway a great deal of wine. What's better than good friend & great food? Nada.

Here's what was on the menu for NYE 2012:
>steak stuffed with brown rice, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, onion, sage, rosemary & thyme with a burgandy sauce
>twice baked potatoes
>fresh garden salad with apples & candied walnuts and a fresh basalmic vinagrette
>candied carrots
>brown & serve rolls
>loaded poatao skins
>green fluff
>caramel apple pie

It was well worth all the time I spent in the kitchen, making up recipes as I went (especially the beef roll ups). I hope everyone who was there can agree. Enjoy the photos.

nachos -- leftovers' bff

What do you do when you have leftover ground beef, random veggies, a tiny bit of cheese, and tortilla chips? Clean the fridge & make nachos, of course! That's all I really have to say about that (except that they were delicious).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rub vs. Marinade

I had some friends over for dinner the other night. I made venison steaks, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans. As I was prepping, debate ensued over whether I was going to grill or fry -- obviously the answer was grill pan (best of both worlds in February in Wisconsin). Then the marinade vs. rub debate started. I like to marinade. I feel it seals the flavor better, especially when you're going to finish off in the broiler.

My kitchen, my rules: marinade. And you know what? My friend admitted that my marinade was "on par" with his rub -- but he did it with a smirk that said I won :-)

Here's what's in my marindade:

Soy sauce
Olive oil
Garlic salt

I know what you're thinking. Ketchup? Yes. Trust me. It works. Especially with venison. My theory is that when it comes to marinades & rubs & seasoning is that you try anything, just because you can. You never know what might taste delicious.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Was Your Pizza?

My boyfriend (who lives in VA) was telling me he had pizza for dinner tonight. I had steak & pasta.

The steak I did medium in a grill pan on the stove (finally cold and snowy here in Wisconsin so I didn't bust out the grill). Little bit of pre-cooking salt; very simple.

The pasta was relatively simple as well. Linguini with diced mushrooms, onions, garlic, and spinach. Cooked the pasta with the garlic until al dente then added the rest of the veg for another 3 min or so. Strain & drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Finish with... Miller Lite? Hey, the Packers are on. Gimme a break.

**Note: The best thing about my apartment is that I can see the tv from the kitchen. This is critical when you get hungry during the play offs.