Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CEIMB: Crab Cakes w/ Tarter Sauce

I was hesitant about making this recipe because I have mixed feelings about crab cakes. Sometimes I love them -- sometimes I hate them. But in the spirit of the holidays I decided to give them a go (since I didn't have the excuse of not being able to find crab meat!)

I thought these crab cakes turned out great! I made the tarter sauce substituting Wickles for the pickles and I left out the capers. If you have never tried Wickles you should order some. They are sweet/ spicy pickles and are delish! Plus, I added a bit of lemon juice and some fresh dill to the tarter sauce. I will definitely be making these crab cakes again. Thanks to Bella Baker for choosing the recipe this week.

On a side note - yesterday was almost the perfect mail day. What, you don't know what a perfect mail day is! Well its a day when you get nothing in the mail other than Christmas cards! See, I am slightly obsessed with Christmas cards. I wish I was creative enough to come up with a cute picture for the Christmas cards. Last year, some people got cards of the cats in their Christmas outfits. However, I was afraid that the cat Christmas card was possibly crossing into crazy cat lady territory. So, this year I went back to holiday themed cards. Anyways, I digress. Yesterday I got 6 Christmas cards and 1 piece of junk mail in the mail. See -- almost the perfect mail day.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kitchen Picture post (sorry it took so long!)

OK, so I know I promised pictures of my new kitchen forever ago, but I have been impatiently waiting for my cabinet folks (who shall go unnamed) to finish some of the cabinetry. Yes, it took them over three weeks, but who's counting anyways.

So, here are some before pictures (I know, it was hideous!)

Wait for it........

Here is the after. There are still little things that need finished but the big stuff is done! Yay for a "new" kitchen! I also have lots of in process pictures, but those are for another post.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

CEIMB: Maple Mustard Chicken

The recipe this week was chosen by Tessa of Handle The Heat. Instead of using chicken thighs I used whole bone in breasts to keep the chicken moist. Then for serving, I cut the chicken off the bone. I thought the chicken turned out well and flavorful.

However, I violated one of my cooking cardinal rules and bought the chicken at walmart -- something I normally refuse to do. It was late last night and cold and I really didn't have the energy to stop at the grocery store after fighting the ridiculous lines at walmart! And they. were. ridiculous!

Nonetheless, the chicken was pretty good and I will definitely make this recipe again. Thanks for a great pick! (Ignore the messy plate, it was 8:30 and I was ready for dinner!)

Happy Holidays to all. May your family have a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous new year! (Oh, and the cats weren't cooperating for their christmas picture by the tree!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

CEIMB: Stuffed Potato Skins with Avacado Cream

I'm Back! And I have really missed cooking! I know I am a little late on this post but with trying to get the house cleaned up from the kitchen and get the house decorated for Christmas, I haven't had a lot of extra time. ...and I haven't even started wrapping presents! I've got so much to do over the next 2 weeks. I do love this time of year though.

I made these potato skins last night and thought they were really good! They were tasty and not heavy and greasy like normal potato skins. And I really loved the avocado cream. The avocado cream would be a great dip with tortilla chips and other toppings like tomato and cheese!
While these were a little time consuming since I baked the potatoes in the oven, I will definitely be making them again!

Thanks Anne for picking this recipe!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This Thanksgiving I am thankful for finally having a working kitchen! My new appliances were delivered this morning -- just in time for turkey day!

When I started the process of renovating my kitchen (pics coming soon), I just didn't realize how hard it would be to live without a kitchen. Fortunately, the old fridge was in the laundry room and I had a cozy little "kitchen" set up in the dining room. Granted this set up consisted of corner of the dining room table (which I tried in vain to keep clear of sawdust) and a microwave/ coffee maker sitting on the floor (don't judge) behind the dining room table. Yep, that's been my kitchen for the last month. If I never eat a frozen dinner again its too soon!

During this whole process I realized how much I appreciate the little things -- like not having to put on shoes to get something out of the fridge, not having to wash dishes in the bathroom sink, brewed (as opposed to instant) coffee, being able to do laundry at home, and coming home to a working kitchen sink and water!

I think my next renovation is a ways down the road!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 2, 2009

CEIMB: Pumpkin Pie Muffins

This was a fabulous "fall" recipe which was very easy to make. Plus, the muffins turned out fabulous (even though I left the pumpkin seeds off the top). I thought the muffins were very "gingerbready." In the future I will definitely add more cloves and nutmeg to bring out the pumpkin pie flavor.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

CEIMB - Catch up picture post

So, still crazy at work but here is at least proof that I have been cooking! These were all great recipes that I will definitely be making again.
Chicken BBQ Sandwiches
Mexican Pizza with guacamole
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicken BBQ and Mexican Pizzas

Hello all. Just a quick update. Work has been so busy that I have not had time to post. I made the Chicken BBQ last week and the Mexican Pizzas this week. I even took pictures that are on my iPhone somewhere! I promise I will post more soon. Hope everyone out there in the food blogging world is well.

These recipes were great! Try them!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chicken Sate with spicy peanut dipping sauce

The recipe this week was chosen by Cathy of The Tortfeasor. Check out her blog and not only will you see that she may be the wittiest person you will ever meet, like me, you may just believe she is superwoman! You see, Cathy's office is 2 doors down from mine (read, she has a very demanding job and isn't just one of those ladies who lunch (if you know what I mean!)) Cathy also has three of the cutest children ever. Plus, she is a member of at least 12 different blogging groups -- even going so far to make HOMEMADE bread! The closest thing to homemade bread I have ever made is (1) "whop-um" cinnamon rolls (you know the can ones that you have to whop against the counter to open) and (2) pizza dough. Neither of which are remotely close to the tedious knead, rise, punch down, rest, watch, wait 5 hours, rest, wait, rest, bake, etc. process of homemade bread.
So, all of this combined could mean only one thing -- this week's recipe of Chicken Sate with spicy peanut dipping sauce had to be super easy to throw together!! How else would Cathy have time to make it (ignoring the fact that I believe she has figured out how to have about 40 hours in each day!).

I changed up the recipe a little bit - mostly just leaving the coconut milk out of the marinade and I added more soy sauce to the dipping sauce than called for because I thought the sauce was a bit too thick (and peanutty for my taste). Also, I used ground ginger in place of the fresh ginger in both the marinade and the sauce. I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours then grilled on an indoor grill pan. I served the chicken sate with brown rice and some spicy sauteed broccoli.

Overall, I thought this dish was fabulous. It was very flavorful and relatively easy to throw together (despite the daunting list of ingredients). Plus, the sauce was so good with the brown rice.
Thanks Cathy for a great pick! I will definitely be making this again!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CEIMB: Grilled Thai Beed Salad

The recipe this week was chosen by none other than myself! Yay for my recipe pick week! I was really excited about this salad and diligently put the steak in the marinade Sunday afternoon so that I could put the salad together quickly on Monday night. Well little did I know how crazy my Monday would be. By the time I got home after an extremely long day 12+ hour day at the office and a 2 hour meeting after work, I had one thing in mind -- eat as quickly as possible so I could go to sleep! Afterall, it was quickly approaching 9pm!
Luckily this salad was quick to put together (although washing and drying lettuce isn't my idea of a good time). I really liked the mix of the lettuce, cilantro and basil in the salad dressing. I didn't love the steak -- because even though it marinated for a good 30 hours - it still really did not have any flavor. I think the salad needed something - maybe a fruit or a nut or maybe some toasted ramen noodles??? What do y'all think?

I will definitely be making this salad again. I absolutely loved the dressing. I think it would be very tasty on noodles too!
Thanks for cooking with me this week everyone!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CEIMB: Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Well after a few week hiatus I am so happy to be back in a routine of cooking somewhat healthy meals instead of eating out constantly! Plus, I was so excited to make the stuffed turkey burgers this week because the recipe was chosen by my dear friend Peggy of Pantry Revisited. Peggy is about to set off on a trip to Italy and I am so jealous! I hope you have a blast Peggy and drink lots of wine for me! I can't wait to hear all about your trip when you get back!
As for the turkey burgers, I thought they were really good. Typically I find ground turkey to be very bland, so I added a dash of Worcestershire sauce, some garlic powder, a shallot and a dash of red pepper flakes, along with the called for salt and pepper to the ground turkey mixture. I stuffed the burgers with sliced red peppers and mozzarella cheese and grilled the burgers. I served the turkey burger on a baked french bread roll with some tomatoes and arugula. These burgers were so very moist and flavorful. I will definitely be making them again. Thanks for picking a great recipe this week Peggy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

CEIMB: Impossible!

Despite my best efforts, it was Impossible to get around to making the carrot cake muffins this week! They sound fabulous so I will definitely try to make them this weekend. My excuse, albeit a poor one- I was out of town all last week (struggling through some bankruptcy continuing legal education at the beach!) and I'm still playing catch up. Plus, I haven't been to the grocery in 2 weeks!
But, for a fun story to make this post a little less dull --last Friday night I had the privilege of meeting Robert Irvine of the Food Network's show Dinner Impossible! ...And while it was not Ellie (which would have been far more fitting for this blog) it was fun to meet Robert.
Robert owns and runs the restaurant EAT! in Hilton Head Island, SC in the Village at Wexford). Its mostly a tapas-style restaurant and it was fabulous! Check it out if you are ever in the area!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CEIMB: Oven Baked Onion Rings

The recipe this week was chosen by Meet me in the Kitchen. These onion rings were FABULOUS! Think bloomin onion without the sick greasy feeling you have after eating it! Seriously, these were so good and I will definitely be making them again. The recipe can be found here. Give them a try. I think you will love them too!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CEIMB: Aromatic Noodles with Peanut Lime Sauce

The recipe this week was chosen by Supplicious. Head on over to Ms. Bethorama's blog to check out what she and the other CEIMB'ers thought about this dish!

As for me, I am a sucker for Asian noodle dishes. I LOVE THEM! Seriously, love them! This one was no exception, however I think it would be better cold -- and it was definitely better the next day.

I followed the recipe for the sauce -- adding slightly more soy sauce than called for as well as a couple of shakes of sesame oil. Next time around, I may reduce the peanut butter because I thought it was a little too peanut buttery.
I played a little substitution game on the vegetables. I used broccoli, carrots, edamame and snow peas. I tossed in some green onions along with the peanuts at the end. I added some grilled chicken and served it with wheat linguine and thought it was great! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for picking a great recipe this week!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

CEIMB: Shrimp Rolls

The recipe this week was chosen by MacDuff of Lonely Sidecar. I really wasn't very excited about this recipe because shrimp salad typically is not my favorite. But I decided to give the recipe a go nonetheless.

I used shrimp and had the seafood guy steam them with lots and lots of Old Bay seasoning. The shrimp were pretty darn good! I diced the shrimp up for the salad and added fresh dill, cilantro and garlic to the recipe. I also only used about 1 TBS of mayo.

I served the shrimp salad on a toasted french bread roll (the hot dog bun just isn't up my alley when I think of good bread!)
Overall, the salad was okay. I'm very glad I added the fresh herbs, otherwise it would have been really bland. But after this recipe, I think I am sticking with chicken salad being the only meat salad that I like.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

CEIMB: Breakfast Cookies a/k/a The Substitution Game

The recipe this week was chasen by Natalie of Whats for Supper. I have been so busy lately that I was planning to skip this recipe. But, after some last minute convincing, I decided to give it a go. Besides, its a holiday weekend and cookies are acceptable...right???

However, I really didn't have a number of the ingredients called for in the recipe and I really refused to buy them! I mean after all -- is pastry flour that different from regular flour? I think not! So I took a gamble and substituted a number of the ingredients. I substituted:

wheat flour for the pastry flour
light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar
instant oats instead of regular oats (oh crap, as I am typing this I am realizing that I completely forgot the oats!) Oh well!
Vanilla Almond Special K for the bran cereal
craisins instead of the nuts (since i already had almonds from the cereal)

Overall, I thought the cookies turned out really well. Granted, I have no idea what they are supposed to taste like given all the substitutions and the forgetting of the oats! I am just glad I have some cookies -- because making these cookies was really a disaster.
How was making cookies a disaster you say. Well -- in digging for the nutmeg, I knocked a number of other spices out of the cabinet and the glass bottles they were in broke (mess # 1). I then managed to spill just about an entire bottle of vanilla down the front and corner of my lower kitchen cabinets (mess # 2). Then there was the whole baby food debacle. I bought the smallest jar of carrot baby food I could find. Yes, there were smaller jars, but they were all some horrific combination of fruits and veggies like: carrots and bananas; carrots and green beans; carrots and sweet potatoes. YUCK! Now I know why babies are always spitting their food out. Those combinations sound just plain gross.

Anyways - back to the small jar of baby food. The recipe said 1/4 cup (1 small jar) of baby food. Well the jar of baby food I bought was 4 oz. Is it just me or is that 1/2 a cup? So I debated for a long time whether to use the entire jar of baby food as the recipe said or just half of it which would have been 1/4 cup or 2 oz. Finally, I just said screw it and dumped the entire jar of baby food in the bowl. I don't understand anything "baby"!!!

But, I did finally manage to make the cookies. Here they are. They were yummy -- however I don't know how I feel about eating them for breakfast. They did make a nice after dinner dessert though!

Thanks Natalie for picking this recipe this week. I will definitely be making my substituted version of these cookies again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CEIMB: Jambalaya

This week the recipe was chosen by Anonymous New York. I'll be honest -- until now the only jambalaya I had ever made was out of a Zattaran's box. And, as you all probably guessed, its not very good. So, I went into to this recipe with slightly mixed feelings. Do I like jambalaya -??? Well maybe, but I definitely didn't really like the kind I have eaten my whole life.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. I had read some of the comments which said the jambalaya was a little bland, so I decided to replace the ham with andoille sausage. Also, I added a bit more chicken stock than the recipe called for as I didn't want the jambalaya to get too dry.

The verdict - I loved this recipe (and the cats loved the shrimp!). I thought it was very flavorful and nice and spicy (thanks to the andoille sausage). I liked the jambalaya so much that I brought some to work for lunch and even offered some to Peggy (of Pantry Revisited) to taste because she seemed a little skeptical of the recipe. The tasting didn't go quite as I thought it would! Head on over to Peggy's blog to read what happened. Sorry, Pegs.

Thanks Anonymous New York for picking a great recipe this week! I will definitely be making it again.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CEIMB: Double Chocolate Pudding Pie

The recipe this week was chosen by Tessa of Handle the Heat. Head on over to Tessa's blog to see how this pie turned out!

As for my pie, I was all set to make it last night. Then I remembered I had work "junk" after work. So, but the time I got home at 8:30 the pudding pie had become just pudding. So, as I am getting everything together I realized that I failed miserably at getting all of the things I needed at the grocery store. There was no gelatin and all the baking chocolate that's normally in the cabinet was GONE! I guess the cats decided they needed an afternoon snack one day and ate it! So, needless to say, despite my best efforts, neither the pudding or the pie got made last night. I am hopefully going to make this this weekend and will post about it then. I can't wait to see how all the other pies turned out.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CEIMB: Thai-style halibut with coconut curry broth

The recipe this week was chosen by Liz of The Not So Skinny Kitchen. Sorry to all, but this is going to be a super quick post as this week is super-hectic. I pretty much followed the recipe completely - used frozen halibut and the curry powder. Also, only had about 2-3 TBS of cilantro because I had to cut it out of my herb garden (which has just finally started growing!) Yay for me - I grew something!

I was actually excited about this recipe because I really love Thai food and I thought it was going to be an ode to it. However, in my opinion the result was very disappointing. I thought the dish was really bland and fishy (I hate fishiness!) Maybe it was the curry powder instead of the curry paste. Maybe it was the lite coconut milk or the lack of the entire called-for amount of cilantro. The one thing I know is that the cats definitely liked this recipe more than I did!

I hope everyone else's dish turned out better than mine. Check out all of the CEIMB blogs to see what other thought.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

CEIMB: Jerk Chicken with Cool Pineapple Salsa

The recipe this week was chosen by Jen B of Notes from the Table. Let me first say this recipe was fabulous! It was a huge hit at my house. Plus, it was super easy! I was somewhat skeptical about the pineapple and cucumber mixture -- but it was really good!

I substituted a serrano pepper and some cayenne powder for the habanero pepper. I once experimented with a habanero, but it didn't play nice. So, habaneros don't get invited to play group at my house anymore! I think the substitution still provided a nice level of heat, but it wasn't too hot (like the chipotles in adobo sauce were!) Also, I left the mint out of the salsa.

The chicken had a great spicy flavor and the pineapple salsa made the dish absolutely perfect. I loved this recipe and will definitely be making it again.

Great pick this week Jen B. Hope your vacation was great!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

CEIMB: Garden Risotto

The recipe this week was chosen by Jessica of A Singleton in the Kitchen. The recipe sounded easy enough -- granted by now you think I would have learned that if the recipe says it will take 18 minutes to cook - it will take no less than 45 minutes! Why is it that every time I make risotto it takes so long to cook?

Well I stopped off at the Western on my way home from work to pick up some asparagus for this recipe. Also grabbed a little fish as I was struggling with what to eat with the risotto.

As for the risotto, I followed the recipe for the most part. I cheated and used pre-made stock (after all -- who has time to make their own stock???). Also, I added a shallot along with an onion at the beginning and then some red pepper flakes to the risotto along with some salt and pepper while it was cooking. Also, I substituted Romano cheese for the Parmesan.

Overall, I thought the Risotto turned out great. I really liked the combination of veggies. The risotto paired nicely with baked fish and some crusty bread. Thanks Jessica for picking a great recipe this week.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ode to Friday

There really is nothing better on a Friday morning that a good cup of coffee! Well, having the day off would be nice too -- but that is wishful thinking!

Happy Friday ya'll!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

CEIMB: Turkey Meatballs with Quick and Spicy Tomato Sauce and Linguine

The recipe this week was chosen by Oddball Oven Mitt. I thought this was a great recipe that was really simple to make.

I used ground turkey breast which was somewhat of a mistake because it made the meatballs a bit dry. Also, I used one 28oz can of crushed tomatoes - they weren't fire roasted because such combination did not exist at the Publix. I also used one small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Also, in place of the chipotle, I used cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. I pretty much followed the remaining parts of the recipe!

Notwithstanding all of the chopping, this was a really easy recipe to make. It was very flavorful and very filling. I served it over linguine. I wish I liked wheat pasta, but I just don't. It always turns out gummy -- like overcooked pasta. Yuck!

Thanks for choosing a great recipe this week! I will definitely be making this sauce again. Next time though, I will probably skip the meatballs and just put the meat in the sauce.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CEIMB: Balsamic Chicken with Spinach and Couscous

The recipe this week was chosen by Marthe of Culinary Delights. I was really excited about this recipe because (1) it sounded great; (2) it looked incredibly easy (which it was); and (3) I have not eaten or cooked couscous so I was excited to give it a go.

I followed the recipe for the most part. I added more garlic than the recipe called for. Also I used regular spinach because I'm frugal and didn't want to fork out the extra dollar for baby spinach. Besides is there really a difference between spinach and baby spincach (other than the size of the leaves?) Also, I used the entire can of tomatoes in the balsamic sauce, doubled the balsamic vinegar, and added a bit of red pepper, salt and pepper to the sauce as it was cooking. Ok, so maybe I didn't follow the recipe at all!
With respect to the couscous, I used the extra chicken broth to make the couscous and I thought it turned out great (granted, I assume I majorly cheated by using 5 minute couscous!) But once again, having never eaten real couscous, I really didn't figure I would be able to tell the difference!

The result -- I loved the couscous. Its definitely something I will make regularly as a side dish for dinner. The balsamic chicken was just so-so for me. I thought it really lacked flavor. In fact, the only flavor I got from the dish was in the spinach. So, the recipe as a whole was somewhat of a disappointment. I can't wait to see what everyone else thought and what people did to jazz the recipe up a bit.

Thanks Marthe for picking the recipe this week and introducing me to couscous!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CEIMB: No Post this week :(

This week's recipe of Lamb Stew with Orange was chosen by Confessions of a Novice Baker. While, I am sure this dish is lovely, I just couldn't force myself to make it - mostly because I am just not a lamb eater! Check out all the CEIMB blogs to see what others thought of this recipe.
And for the record, I have not been completely lazy this week. Last night I cooked filets with blue cheese butter. The blue cheese butter made the steaks (which I just seared on the stove, and then finished them off in the oven/ broiler). No pictures of the steak because by the time it was ready I was starving... literally. For dessert, I made a pear tarte...crisp...giant danish?? I have no idea what to call this creation. And, it really was a creation as there was no recipe involved.
For the filling, I used cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, vanilla powder, orange marmalade and a dash of sugar. I topped a piece of puff pastry with the filling, covered with slices of fresh pears, and then topped with a sprinkle of sugar and some more orange marmalade. It was delicious!
Pre-baking (and also pre-marmalade and sugar topping)

A slice of the finished product!

Friday, April 10, 2009

CEIMB: Salmon with Sweet and Spicy (burned brown sugar) Rub

I'm very late posting this week due to a hectic week of birthday celebrations (happy birthday to me!), travel and going to see Wicked (again)! But, I finally had time to cook last night!

This week's recipe of salmon with sweet and spicy rub was chosen by Pam of Lobsters and Fishsticks. This was the first time I have ever cooked salmon. Salmon is one of those fish that I always thought was too fishy and therefore, would never order it out, much less cook it! Well, after reading what everyone had to say about the recipe and how this fish was not fishy with the rub, I decided to give it a go! Besides, who doesn't love when dinner is ready in about 5 minutes flat! Granted, the quick cooking time was a result of letting my pan get WAY TOO HOT! Hence, the slightly (ok, very charred) sugar on top of the fish. I definitely lost some of the rub's flavor with the charring, but thought that the fish turned out great! It was a very satisfying meal and definitely felt healthy! I really liked the flavor of the rub and I will definitely make this again. Next time will try to refrain from burning the heck out of the poor piece of fish!

Thanks Pam for picking a great weeknight recipe! Oh, and side note -- if you have never seen Wicked, you should definitely try to catch the show while its on its second national tour! I saw it 3 years ago in Atlanta and it was even better the second time around!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CEIMB: Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

This week's recipe was chosen by You Eat Now and it was so good! I guess I first have to admit that I LOVE hot wings! I love hot wings so much that once my friend Laura and I went to Hooters one Friday after work to get wings! Seriously, its an obsession. I used to make hot wings all the time. Not so much anymore though because they are SO UNHEALTHY, plus I really have to stay away from fried food.

So, this recipe was the perfect thing to satisfy the void in my life left by the loss of my dear friend Hot Wings.
I followed the recipe except for substituting red wine vinegar in place of champagne vinegar. I must admit, I was a little bit skeptical about the blue cheese dressing. Not only am I a lover of hot wings, but I also love blue cheese dressing. Every now and again I splurge and get blue cheese on a salad or can even be found eating strait blue cheese!
After mixing up the dressing, I thought it was very "yogurty". All that yummy blue cheese and all I could taste was the durn yogurt. Side note, have you all bought more plain yogurt since joining the CEIMB blog than you had previously bought in your whole life?? Maybe its just me. I love yogurt, but I always buy flavored yogurt. Plain yogurt = blah!
Anyways, back to the dressing. I was skeptical. Well once the chicken was marinated in hot sauce (yum), broiled and added to the delish salad with lots of celery, I definitely couldn't taste as much of the yogurt in the dressing. In fact, I thought the combination was just plain fabulous! I will definitely be making this recipe again!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

CEIMB: Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce

This week's chicken with mango barbecue sauce was chosen by Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen. I was super excited about this recipe because I love barbecue sauce and I was so excited to make my own! This sauce was very different than I imagined it would be at the outset but it was really good. The sauce was much thicker than I thought it would be. I substituted a green pepper for the red pepper and I used about a tablespoon of tomato paste and a splash of water in place of the tomato sauce. Otherwise, I pretty much stuck to the recipe. Maybe the changes resulted in a very thick sauce? I cant wait to see how everyone's sauce turned out!

I baked my chicken instead of grilling it. I was too tired to tackle cleaning the grill pan after cooking the chicken so I opted for the easy way. I baked the chicken in a covered dish for about 40 minutes and then finished it off under the broiler! It was excellent! The cats loved it!

Plus, I am using the extra barbecue sauce today to make barbecue pork. I left the pork and sauce cooking in the crock pot today. I can't wait to get home and see how it turned out!

Aggie, thanks for picking a fabulous recipe this week!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CEIMB: Greek Style Stuffed Peppers or Cooking be the judge

The recipe this week was chosen by Ali of The Healthy Hostess. I was excited about a stuffed peppers recipe because the stuffed peppers I usually make tend to be very boring ...onions, ground turkey breast, squash, zucchini, salt pepper, red pepper flakes, and a little melted Swiss or mozzarella cheese. They are good, but not very exciting.

So, needless to say, I was excited about a new recipe that changed things up a bit. I even went out on a limb and bought bulger wheat. I still don't know what it is, but I am the proud owner of virtually an entire box of it!!

As for the recipe -- I used ground chicken because Publix was all out of ground turkey breast. I also substituted diced tomatoes for stewed tomatoes. I didn't even realize this was a substitution until my dear friend Peggy explained the difference to me the other day. Thanks Peggy! So come to find out I use and will continue using diced tomatoes in everything I make. Really, the diced v. stewed thing is something I just don't have time for! So, other than these 2 changes, I think I followed the recipe to a T. I made the peppers on Sunday night and got them all ready to go for baking on Monday night. Monday night I rushed home and added the tomatoes and feta and threw the tomatoes in the oven. 70 minutes passed, 90 minutes passed and at the 2 hour mark, I finally decided to call them done. They were brown on top and looked very delicious. Granted, cat food was starting to sound pretty good by that point too. So, I sliced into the pepper and started eating it. My first impression was that it was very bland -- nothing that some salt and pepper couldn't fix. I also thought that the meat mixture turned out a little dry and dense. So, even though it wasn't not my favorite stuffed pepper, it would fill a hollow space and I wasn't going to complain too much. That is until I realized that the meat mixture in the peppers was no where close to being cooked -- in fact it was still raw ground chicken! Great, I thought -- just what I need...salmonella. So, into the trash the peppers went.

I think I will stick to my boring old stuffed peppers recipe, because there was way too much disaster involved with this one for me to ever think about making it again. Plus, I usually cook everything before stuffing the peppers which eliminates the "still raw in the middle" possibility.

Thanks Ali for picking this recipe. I hope everyone else had more luck with their stuffed peppers than I did!

Luckily, for desert I had one last lava cake to eat! I will have to post a picture of this creation later! Oh, and no sickness to report after eating not just raw chicken, but raw ground chicken. Im counting my lucky stars!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CEIMB - Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cream

This week's recipe of fish tacos with chipotle cream was chosen by Nick, Sarah and Geoff from Imafoodblog. I have always been somewhat skeptical of fish tacos. I am not sure why, but I am. I'm somewhat picky about maybe that leads to not so much wanting to order a fish taco. People always say they are good, but eh, if they are...I have always decided that I would just have to miss out. The cats are much more a fan of fish than I am. They were super excited about another seafood pick!
Well in the spirit of being a good food blogger, I decided to give the fish tacos a go. And I must say, maybe fish tacos aren't so bad. In fact, they are really good. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are SPICY!!!! I mean wow...who knew??? I slapped a tablespoon or so of sauce on the taco (in an attempt to cover up the fishiness) and I wanted to cry my mouth was so on fire!!! Note to self...a small amount of sauce will do.

I used tillapia and added some avocado and tomatoes to the mix of veggies decorations for the tacos. While they are somewhat different, I am glad I decided to make them. I can't wait to see what everyone else has to say about the tacos!
Now I just have to figure out what to do with 28 more corn tortillas!! Enchiladas??? Any other suggestions?

Thanks to Imafoodblog for picking fish tacos this week. Maybe I will actually go out on a limb and order them at a restaurant sometime soon!