Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

My mom and I on Thanksgiving
 Thanksgiving was full of delicious food. And amazing friends. Hopefully your Thanksgiving was just as amazing.I still have a ton of leftovers to eat. Here is a mini recap of my weekend :)

My Cheese platter that was devoured while we cooked. I also made mulled wine, which my friend Janene just showed me how to do. It is so good. Silly of me to make this not for the actual meal but to eat beforehand? I thought what better way to cook food with love than feed yourself with what makes you happy. For some tips on how to make an amazing cheese platter, Click Here!
Natalie's dog Willie was there to pick up the scraps from making Apple Pie.

Leftover Reinvention: Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Tartlette

I hate when I have leftovers that go to waste. Especially when I have gone out to eat and spent money on something delicious, but then forget about it in my fridge. Talk about a waste of good money and good food!

A week ago I went to Doughboys on 3rd Street in Los Angeles. I grew up in the Fairfax area of LA, eating at Doughboys all the time, and going especially for their Red Velvet Cake which is by far the most moist, delicious, and satisfying Red Velvet in LA. Sprinkles Cupcakes pales in comparison. But their baked good, since they started out as a bakery, compliment their ever so diverse and delicious menu. You can get a 4 cheese grilled cheese sandwich and a giant bowl of tomato soup for 10 dollars. It is the best sure for a rainy day, and a perfect way to fuel up before you explore the fashion stores and one of a kind shops in that area.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mom's Perfect Pie Crust

Whenever I have a baking question, I go to my mom. And when it comes to pie crust, she has the best! Use this crust for any fruit pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, cream pie chocolate pie, etc. It is just so good. If you know you have holiday baking coming up, you can also make this in advance, freeze it, and then give it a day to thaw in the fridge. This will save you time, and taste better than anything store bought!

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 heaping tbs of sugar
1 egg
Ice water (6 to 10 tbs)
3/4 cup shortening (my mom uses 1/4 cup Crisco, 1/2 cup butter)
Take the flour, salt, and granulated sugar and sift all the ingredients together over a large bowl. Cut 3/4 cup shortening into cubes, or if using Crisco drop in small portions. Place shortening into the flour mixture, a little at a time, working it slowly with a fork into the flour.

Mom's Homemade Apple Pie

This Thanksgiving, my mom, my sister, and I are in charge of bringing 2 pies, stuffing, wild rice, and sweet potatoes. I think I am going to also make a Roasted Garlic Mushroom Tart... we'll see if I have time. For the pies, my dad has an amazing pumpkin tart at his restaurant, Cafe Midi. We decided we would just bring one of those and then leave the apple pie making to me. And who better to lend her expertise then my mamma.
8 Granny Smith or Galveston apples (you want a tart, firm apple)  
                            NOTE: I usually buy 10 as they vary in size
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 tbs cornstarch (if your apple mixture doesn't look a bit sticky, add another one before you bake it)

First start by peeling all the apples. Slice each apple into 1/4 inch slices. You want to make sure you are accurate with the size of the apple pieces, so they all cook at the same time. It would be terrible to have some really mushy apples and some hard ones.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Go Bruins

With the hard losses the past two games, I just wanted to send some love to my Bruins! Tomorrow is the GRE, so one more day till freedom! Then its focus focus focus on this Basketball game... Let's get it!

Sophie and I at the UCLA vs MTU game

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cookie-Brownies with Pumpkin

Today was one of those days where chocolate is in order. And butter.

Thinking of something sweet to make, and not being able to decide between brownies and cookies, I went for both. Cookie-Pumpkin Brownies. So easy, so good, and they so hit the spot. The best part is, these can be made with pre-packaged mixes to save on time, which is what I did, making it a 3 ingredient desert.

1 package brownie mix
1 package sugar cookie mix
1 10 ounce jar Pumpkin Butter
9 x 13 cake pan
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Do not grease the pan. Make the brownie mix per the directions on the box. I chose the Ghiradehlli Triple Brownie mix, which is by far the best and richest brownie mix I have tasted. Next, make the sugar cookie dough per directions on the box. For this recipe, I used Krusteaz mix, which calls for lots of butter, so it's rich and moist.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rosemary Steak Fries

I went against my previous post and instead of baking a cake, I baked fries. And I am so happy with that decision. Usually, I like thin fries, crispy, delicious, oily... bad for you. For tonight, I chose to do steak fries. With rosemary. And they are were so good.

This recipe makes a heaping pile of fries for two people. It was only me and my honey for dinner tonight.

2 Russet Potatoes (about 5 inches long)
4 tbs olive oil
1tbs dried rosemary
1 tbs garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

9 Days till the GRE...

Maybe this means cake baking tonight for procrastination... or making paper snowflakes... like this one....

Darth Vader Snowflake! Template:
How amazing is that. The boys in my office will be really excited to learn that I plan on making a number of these for Christmas time as decorations. But back to the main point of this post...its getting down to the wire! November 17th is the date, and I couldn't wait for this to be over!

Just as a reminder, if you aren't following me on Facebook, make sure to click the LIKE button to the right of the page. You can also find me here: Things I Make in My Kitchen on Facebook! I post exclusive photos from me, recipe ideas and more on Facebook. I also have an album dedicated to my amazing fans who make something special from their kitchens. And I always make sure to respond to your comments and answer your questions.

If you are more of a Twitter fan, you can follow my latest posts here, Things I Make in My Kitchen on Twitter

Now back to studying :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Arugula and Garlic Pesto

There are a 3 girls I work with who have some uncommon allergies. Unfortunately, when I bring stuff to work, they sometimes can't partake in my snacks for the office. One of them is allergic to basil, which puts a damper on many Italian foods. Today's dinner recipe is inspired by her and my want for pasta tonight. I also didn't want my leftover arugula to go to waste from my Arugula and Pear salad, so this was the perfect Sunday night dinner pesto!

2 cups, packed Arugula
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded mozarella
10 cloves garlic
1tbs dry thyme
1tbs dry oregano
1/4 cup dry chopped onions
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
salt and pepper to taste

Pack 2 cups of arugula into a measuring cup. Make sure the arugula is packed; you want a full amount of the greens. Next, measure 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Place the arugula into a blender or food processor. Pour the olive oil over the top.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Waffle French Toast

It's game day... and I have to study. So I wanted to make myself something to feel better, make me feel like I wasn't missing out on tailgating and delicious food. Like waffles or french toast... How about both!?

4 large waffles
3 eggs
2tbs whole milk
4 tbs butter
Spices (optional)

This recipe is simple. Instead of using bread for French Toast, use your favorite waffle. This time of year, Trader Joe's has a great Pumpkin Pancake Mix. This was my weapon of choice today. But you can make any kind of waffle you prefer, like my recipe for the perfect waffle.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Arugula and Pear Salad

Today was filled with snacking... too much snacking! 
Halloween candy
Bagel chips dipped in pumpkin cream cheese
Brie cheese
Sounds enough for a meal, but no.... just my snacks. 

GRE stress is kicking in as I have 2 weeks till my test, but I was still feeling a little guilty. For dinner, I wanted to eat something light. Remembering the leftover pear I had from dinner 2 nights ago in my grilled brie cheese sandwich with pear, I immediately thought of this salad. Its something like the salad I love at one of my favorite Los Angeles gastropubs, Bar Food. If you live on the westside, you need to eat there and have a good beer or glass of whiskey. They have an amazing selection. Sorry... I get carried away. On to the salad!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Weeknight Dinner: Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwich with Pear

Its that time again. Time to help you make a delicious decision for what to make yourself after a long day of working hard...

How about a grilled cheese?

This isn't your ordinary grilled cheese, with white bread and Kraft orange slices. This grilled cheese has pears, red onion, and brie, all enveloped by 2 delicious slices of cinnamon swirl bread. Oh. Ya.

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 pear
1/3 red onion
6 pieces cinnamon swirl bread
6 ounces Double Cream Brie cheese
1 bag arugala (optional)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What my Doctor is Telling Me....

Well.... what my health insurance is telling me. It's really important... REALLY important...

My health insurance is telling me to make Pumpkin- Spice Muffins. No joke, this was on the back of my monthly newsletter they send me every month. THRILLED!

I have been skeptical of some healthy recipes in the past because the taste is just not comparable. This doesn't mean I am open to trying new things, though. Seeing as this recipe has only 174 calories per muffin and contains buttermilk, I am down with that.

Bagel Chips

Some food that is "bad" in your pantry/ fridge isn't actually unusable. This doesn't mean to drink chunky milk... that will make you sick. But take most bread products, for example, that have gone stale. If they don't have mold on them, rolls, bread slices, bagels, etc can fluff up a number of recipes. Or they can be the star of a snack, dish, or desert. I have posted before about my Bread Pudding, which requires you to use stale bread. Why? Because with the addition of a large amount of liquid, the bread needs to be stale to soak up the pudding's delicious custard. Or how about croutons? You don't want a soft crouton in your salad; it's got to be crispy. Stale bread is perfect for adding spices and making croutons.

Today's snack is inspired by... well leftovers. This past Sunday, the basketball team didn't eat all the bagels we provided them for breakfast, so I snagged them. And now, its time to make bagel chips!

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