Friday, December 24, 2010

New Home, New Features

Hi folks! Welcome to my blog's new home on! You'll notice that now I have links to my favorite sites and other blogs, as well as other features, like pictures. I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

You are what you eat... or is it the other way round?

Stolen from Michael Procopio at Bay Area Bites:

"Let's pretend for a moment you were asked to translate yourself into a plate of food.

If you were to turn the phrase "You are what you eat" on its ear and attempt to eat what you are, what exactly would you be eating? What would it look like if you laid bare all those little bits of yourself-- your own, personal ingredients, I suppose-- and put them on a plate for all the world to see?

And what would you taste like? Would everyone want a piece of you? Would you wind up as bland and dry as Zweiback toast? Or would you be so off-putting that you'd just sit there, scorned, like a half-melted aspic on a cruise ship buffet table? It's a little unnerving to think about.

Unnerving, but interesting."

I wonder what I would be? Maybe a nice hearty beef stew? or a frilly sort of strawberry tart? Maybe something rich and diet busting, like Chocolate Stuff?

This definitely will take some more pondering...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Potato and Fish Soup with Cheese

This particular recipe came about as I was trying desperately to think of something to do with the last piece of fish in the freezer. Preferably something that would stretch it out for a few days, right? I did a search and found this recipe at Allrecipes. With a few modifications (like less fish, milk instead of cream and Parmesan instead of Muenster), this turned out pretty darn good.

  • 4 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 10 potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 pound cod fillets, cubed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Muenster cheese
  • salt to taste

Melt the butter or margarine in a large saucepan, and add the paprika. Saute the onions in this mixture until they are soft. Add the water, bring it to the boil, and add the potatoes. Simmer gently until the potatoes are almost done. Depending on the size of the potatoes it may be necessary to add more water during cooking.

Add cream or milk and the fish; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until potatoes begin to fall apart. If they remain very firm, mash them gently in the pan with a masher or wooden spoon.
Add a little of the potato mixture to the beaten eggs, and then stir eggs into the soup. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese. Correct the seasoning, and serve at once.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Zucchini Hummus

I ran across this recipe in Relish Magazine while trying to use up some leftover zucchini in my fridge. This stuff was really, really good--make sure you add the right amount of spices for best results.I made a second batch to take to a party full of folks with various food issues, and it disappeared like a bankroll in Vegas.

Zucchini Hummus

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained
1 cup coarsely chopped zucchini
2 garlic cloves (or more)
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 cup basil
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a creamy paste is reached. Add more seasonings to taste.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Baked Eggs with Bacon and Swiss Chard

I usually try to make a big meal for my husband on weekends, since I actually have time; his favorite is waffles with bacon and eggs. Since it's the holiday weekend, and I decided to do something a little different for breakfast. I altered this recipe from my issue of Bon Appetit; you can use spinach instead of swiss chard.

Baked Eggs with Bacon and Swiss Chard

1 ovenproof skillet
4 slices bacon
1 bunch swiss chard
2 Sara Lee Sandwich Thins (or English muffins), toasted
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons milk or cream

Preheat oven to 400. Cook bacon in large skillet until done; remove from skillet and chop coarsely. Set aside. Saute swiss chard in pan, in drippings, seasoning with pepper. Remove. Wipe skillet clean.
Place toasted sandwich thins in skillet. Mound chard on each sandwich slice. Using back of spoon, make a shallow indentation in each mound. Carefully crack egg into each indentation. Sprinkle eggs with bacon, then bake in oven till whites are set but yolks are still slightly runny, 14-16 minutes. Serves two hungry newlyweds or four regular people.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oxtail Soup

This was a pretty easy recipe. I dumped some oxtails into my crockpot with some spices and vegetables. It tasted a little bland to me, but that was fine--next time, I'm doubling the amount of spices. I happened to have a loaf of olive bread in the freezer, and this on the side made it fabulous.

1 package oxtails
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 bell peppers
3 potatoes
2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp dried onion

Put everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 10-12 hours. Serve hot with bread on the side.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quick Chicken Salad

"Hey, honey, I'm coming home for lunch. Do we have anything to eat?"

I looked at the chicken salad I'd just made five minutes ago. "Yeah. I think you'll be fine."

Served over spinach and basil leaves, this was the perfect light lunch (especially with my bruschetta on the side). Use whatever spices you have handy and will taste good with chicken. Oh, and he cleaned his plate; you may want to double this recipe just to be safe. It tastes even better the next day.

Chicken Salad

1 cup chicken, chopped or shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/4 cup green onions
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp garlic flakes
1 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

2 slices of bacon, browned and crumbled

Mix all the ingredients together in a container except bacon (chicken should be coated with mayonnaise, but not swimming in it). Add more seasonings to taste. Serve immediately, topped with bacon, or refrigerate for a day. Serves two diet minded people or one very hungry spouse.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10 Most Useful Kitchen Implements

After The Big Wedding (tm), I went on a shopping spree with the gift cards I was so generously given by friends and family. ( I LOVE shopping with other people's money.) I was thrilled to finally have a chance to buy the things I'd been drooling over for months. So in the spirit of kitchen cameraderie, I give you...

10 Most Useful Kitchen Implements

  1. Tongs, one long, one short. Because trying to flip over fried foods with your fingers and a fork is ALL BAD.
  2.   Food processor. Ever tried shredding a block of Parmesan by hand? Trust me, you don't want to. And that stuff in the green container can be nasty.
  3. Microplane. You'll wonder how you got zest off a lemon without it. Nuff said.
  4. Sharp chef's knife It's big enough to cut up a chicken, and sharp enough to do it in seconds. Believe it or not, you're more likely to hurt yourself with a DULL knife than with a sharp one, because you're pressing harder.
  5. Dishwasher. Read the directions, load it correctly, and multitasking will get a whole lot simpler.Or just make your spouse/roomie/child do 'em.
  6. Sturdy cutting board. Get a wooden one for veggies, plastic for meat. Whichever you use, make sure it's thick and fairly heavy. Your cutting board should not resemble your pet's place mat.
  7. Upright mixer. You can beat everything from eggs to batter, and it beats the heck out of a fork (sorry, bad pun)
  8. Spatulas. Sometimes you just need to get the last 1/2 cup of batter out of a bowl. Get the good ones without the wooden stick handle, they won't fall apart.
  9. Vertical chicken roaster. This allows the fat to drain off the chicken into the bottom of the pan. the chicken skin gets crispier, the chicken cooks faster, and you can put vegetables around the base before it roasts. Mmmm, potatoes and onions a la schmaltz...)
  10. Storage containers. Whether you buy Tupperware or recycle yogurt tubs, you should have a place to put your leftovers. And taking them to work the next day saves you money and time! Cha ching!
  11. Lemme know what your favorites are!

Coconut Rum and Tea...I mean Coke

I met up with my friend at a local coffee shop earlier this evening to do some writing (OK, blogging). I forgot, however, that there are negative consequences to drinking coffee at nine at night. So after cleaning the kitchen and washing, putting away and starting a new load of dishes, as well as fixing the broken spice rack, I decided I needed some additional help to get to sleep. So I experimented with what we had left in the house.

Apparently, rum and cinnamon spiced tea was a really crappy combination. So I went with a classic, with a slight alteration.

Coconut Rum and Coke

2 ounces coconut rum
2 ounces Coke (Coke Zero, in this case)

Pour ingredients into a glass. Mix, and drink. Serves one hyperactive blogger.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Basil and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

A dear friend invited me over to hang out for a while, and his wife (an absolutely FABULOUS woman) made dinner. Among other things, she made another "refrigerator velcro" dish--quesadillas. "I love basil," she said as she put the plate down. "We always run out." As you can see, I wasn't sure if she was talking about the basil or the quesadillas. After I tasted her version, I had to go and make one of my own.

Basil and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

1/4 cup goat cheese
4-6 Italian basil leaves
4 corn tortillas

Warm a tortilla in a pan until slightly crunchy on one side. Remove it and spread the goat cheese onto the tortilla. Add half the basil leaves, and spread more goat cheese on another tortilla. Put the two tortillas together and toast the uncooked side. Repeat with the other two tortillas. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves two as a dinner or four good friends as a snack.

Monday, August 23, 2010

American Style Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki was created in Japan. It's basically a Japanese pancake consisting of a basic batter with various meats and vegetables added, and traditionally served with mayonnaise and oko sauce. It is, as Alton Brown would say, "refrigerator velcro" since you can use just about anything in it. I used cabbage, bacon and chicken in mine, but I purposely made this recipe non specific to encourage you to use your own ingredients. Most of the toppings, in particular, can be found at your local Asian section, or better, a local Asian store.

My version of oko isn't standard; it's a basic pancake mix with fillings. A more traditional one can be found here. There are two schools of thought concerning the making of oko--you can either mix the vegetables and batter up in a bowl and then pour it on top of the meat, or you can pour the batter on top of the meat and then add the veggies--but either way, it's quick and delicious, especially if you have everything cut up beforehand.

Shavon's American Style Okonomiyaki

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk

1-2 cups total chopped veggies
1-2 cups total chopped meats

Okonomiyaki sauce (a recipe can be found in the link above)
Bonito flakes
Hoisin sauce

Combine batter ingredients, using enough milk to bring the batter to a runny consistency. Put 1/4 cup meats in nonstick pan on medium heat. Place 1/4 cup vegetables in a separate bowl and add 1/2 cup batter, mixing until ingredients are covered in batter. Pour over meats and let cook for 3-4 minutes (or until meats are done--if using cooked meat, till batter is set. Flip oko over and cook the other side. Serve with bonito flakes, oko sauce, hoisin sauce and/or mayonnaise. Serves four.

New Home For My Blog

Hey folks! I've decided to move my blog over to You'll get a chance to see a few changes around here, such as favorite fellow blogs, links to foodie websites, photos of my recipes, and so on. You can still follow me on Twitter (foodrinkandlife) and I have an active RSS feed too. If anyone has any other suggestions to make this blog better, I'm all ears. In the meantime, enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beef Short Rib and Barley Stew

When I went grocery shopping the other day, I stumbled across some beef short ribs. I immediately called my mom, the Beef Short Rib Queen, to ask for advice. She gave me a simple recipe:"Brown them, add some onions, and then add water. Cook them till they're done." OK, not very specific. But I managed to figure it out on my own.

Beef Short Rib and Barley Stew

1 package beef short ribs

1/2 red onion, sliced

Water to cover

1 cup barley

2 tablespoons thyme

2 tablespoons salt, pepper

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oil

Brown the short ribs in a large pot. Add the onion and brown. Add water to cover, then add the barley. Includehalf the spices and cook over medium heat until the meat falls off the bone (about an hour or so). Heat oil in a separate pan. When hot, add the flour and cook, stirring, until it becomes a paste. Add the other half of the spices and stir those in. Pour the paste into the rib pot and stir to thicken. If you need more seasoning, add it now. Serves four or five people.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Elvis Special, modified

A friend of mine tagged me in a Facebook entry regarding a frozen banana recipe. Seems when they're frozen and blended with other ingredients (not alcohol, no daquiris here), they match the consistency of soft serve ice cream. The original recipe called for bananas, peanut butter, and honey--the Elvis special--but I added cocoa powder to mine. I call it...

The James Brown Special (HAY!)

2 frozen bananas

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Place all ingredients in a powerful blender or food processor. Blend till consistency is smooth. Serve, or freeze for later. Serves roughly three.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Corn and Vidalia Onion Soup

Here's another tasty recipe I whipped up after cleaning out the fridge. This was pretty darn good, even though my roommate talked me into going to Sweet Tomatoes that night. :p

Corn and Vidalia Onion Soup

1 Vidalia onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
6 ears of corn
1/2 gallon milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion finely and add to large pot. Saute over medium heat in vegetable oil and butter until translucent. Cut the kernels off the ears and add them as well. Pour in milk, add salt and pepper, and cook till corn and onions are tender (about 15-30 minutes). Milk level will have dropped, which is fine. Serve by itself or with sandwiches.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oyster Soup

So I'd said something about being veggie for about a month, right? Well, that was before a dear friend gave me a copy of M.F.K. Fisher's "Art of Eating". One chapter is called "Consider the Oyster", which left me drooling for big, fat, fresh ones. So as soon as I got some money, I went to the store and bought a dozen for six bucks (an absolute steal, since a few years ago they were $1.50 each). I brought them home, and made the soup below. I'd forgotten that my roommate hates oysters, so she ended up with something else for dinner--and there was more for myself and my husband.

Oyster Soup

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons flour

4 cups milk

one dozen oysters

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes

1 tablespoon onion flakes

Shell the oysters over a bowl to catch the juices. Take a few of the smallest oysters and chop them up. Set the oysters and juice aside. Melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a roux. Add the milk slowly, then the garlic and onion. and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens slightly. Add the oysters, turn off the heat, and call everyone to dinner (by the time they're seated and ready to go, the oysters will be done. Otherwise, wait ten minutes.)Serve, if you can, with French bread and white wine, or throw some potatoes in after the milk is hot, cook them for 10 minutes, and drink the wine anyway.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Grilled Portobellos and Grilled Corn

Hey, folks. It's been a while--haven't really had too many interesting food adventures to post about, plus it's been a harrowing year. At any rate, we've been having a problem with running out of groceries during the last two weeks of the month. I decided to take charge of the finances and our nutrition, at least for a while, and go veggie. After all, vegetables are cheaper than meat, and all of us are supposed to be on a diet anyway (SUPPOSED to be, mind you.) The first run of the black eyed pea burgers didn't go so well, but I'll post about that later. To make these, make sure you spray the everlovin' snot out of your grill. Remember, mushrooms have no fat, and the marinade WILL make them stick.

Grilled Portobellos

4 portobello mushroom caps

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 hamburger buns

Cheese and condiments (optional)

Combine the portobello mushrooms and spices in a ziploc bag and let them marinate for an hour or so. Heat up the grill (and oil it THOROUGHLY), then place the mushrooms on it. Grill for five minutes on each side. Place mushrooms on buns and add condiments. Serves four.

Grilled Corn

3 ears of corn

1/4 stick of butter, softened

salt and pepper and garlic flakes to taste

Mix the butter, salt and pepper into a paste. Peel down (but don't remove) the husk from each ear of corn. Rub the silk off each ear, then rub the seasoned butter onto the ears. Carefully pull the husk back over the ear, rubbing into place (the butter will help the inner husk stick). Grill on medium heat for about five minutes per side, or until tender. Serves three hungry people, or six as as side dish.