Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Food Answers

I was asked what my answers would be to my Fellow Foodie Fun questions. So I thought I'd go ahead and post them here. :)

#1 Spinach
1. What food did you once hate (as a child or even more recently) that you have found an appreciate for and now enjoy? The first thing that came to mind was spinach. I hated spinach growing up, but mostly because of HOW my mother would prepare it. She loves it sauteed and wilted with no life left in it and bathed in butter and salt. I remember just swallowing it whole to get it down. Now, however, as an adult I've realized I like FRESH spinach. Spinach salads, on sandwiches, even slightly wilted in pastas. I still can't do the "creamed" spinach my mother loves though.

#2 Eggs Benedict
2. What do you normally order when going out to breakfast/brunch?That's an easy one. Eggs Benedict. I'm a sucker for properly poached eggs and you can bet if Eggs Benedict is on the menu I'll order it.

3. What is your favorite late-night snack? It really depends on if I am craving something sweet or salty? But if it's just a matter of not full from dinner and want a little something it'd either be peanut butter toast or a bowl of cereal.

#4 Pasta
4. What is the one dish you wish you could cook, but haven't yet mastered? I'd love to learn how to make fresh pasta. Right now though I have such a tiny kitchen and no real counter space it's kind of difficult.

5. What is your favorite restaurant? Where is it located and what is your favorite dish on their menu? I'm not sure if I have one ultimate favorite....I have favorites based on where I am/was living. When I lived in San Diego my go-to place was Spread, in North Park, they had a savory french toast that was killer. When I was in school it was Cuca's and their chicken rice burritos; I am still such a fan that when my aunt came up last summer we made her bring some with her. Now, living in Portland, I don't know if I have a "favorite"...I have a couple places...Departure and Ping would be the two if I had to pick (and I've blogged about Ping before).

#5 Ping
6. Who taught you how to cook? My mother (mostly) and both my grandmothers. The women in my family can cook and ever since I could stand on a chair to reach the counters they put a spoon in my hand to help. Best way to learn.

7. What is the worst cooking disaster you've ever caused? I remember once, I was maybe thirteen, I was asked to make jello and didn't put nearly enough water in. The whole thing was maybe an inch think and way gross. As an adult...nothing I would consider a disaster just things that didn't come out right. Like the Honey Cupcakes.
#8 Fish Tacos

8. What did you have for dinner last night? Homemade fish tacos.

9. What restaurant do you want to eat at and haven't? Okay, if we're talking dream meal I'd have to say I'd love to go to the French Laundry and eat anything Thomas Keller put in front of me. ::drooool::

#10 Gorgonzola Fries
10. What is your guilty-pleasure food item? Oh, normally I'd probably say "chocolate" in any shape or form. But the other night my mother and I had dinner at the Portland Seafood Company and we ordered their Gorgonzola Fries...HOLY CRAP! I wanted to LICK. THE. PLATE. Amazing. I've even gone out and bought fries to make my own at home (of course though I forgot the Gorgonzola.)

#11 Dim Sum
11. What food item/dish do you just love that your family/friends can't/won't try? Either sushi or dim sum. When I'm craving sushi I have to go out with coworkers because I can't get my family to eat it at all (although I did find out my sister's boyfriend is a fan, so we're going to find a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and or teriyaki something for the haters). And then there's dim sum. I've taken my mother once and she hated everything we got - except the sticky rice and fried spring rolls.

#12 & 13 Chocolate Cream Pie
12. Cake or Pie? What kind? I think I'm going to have to go pie....but I like cream pies mostly. Chocolate cream. French silk. My favorite cake is Boston Cream "Pie" haha.

13. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would be your last meal? Probably my grandmother's fried chicken, a side order of biscuits with gravy and a slice of chocolate cream pie for dessert.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fellow Foodie Fun

Recently there has been a wave of "Getting to Know You" type blog-chains going around. And I thought, even though I did one on my other blog, that it'd be fun to do a Food-Themed one here and tag my favorite food bloggers (some are DIY bloggers or just foodies but it'll still be fun). 

The idea is come up with 13 (a baker's dozen) questions and then tag 13 fellow foodies to answer these questions. They post the answers on their blog, come up with a new 13 questions and tag 13 foodie-friends. Simple. (Just don't forget to tell the tagged people they've been tagged).

So the 13 Fellow Foodies I'm going to tag are:

Gorgonzola Fries -
My latest guilty pleasure

Now for some food-fun questions.

1. What food did you once hate (as a child or even more recently) that you have found an appreciate for and now enjoy?

2. What do you normally order when going out to breakfast/brunch? 

3. What is your favorite late-night snack?

4. What is the one dish you wish you could cook, but haven't yet mastered?

5. What is your favorite restaurant? Where is it located and what is your favorite dish on their menu?

6. Who taught you how to cook?

7. What is the worst cooking disaster you've ever caused?

8. What did you have for dinner last night?

9. What restaurant do you want to eat at and haven't?

10. What is your guilty-pleasure food item?

11. What food item/dish do you just love that your family/friends can't/won't try?

12. Cake or Pie? What kind?

13. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would be your last meal?*

Don't feel like because you weren't tagged you can't play along....

*Thank you Anthony Bourdain for this fun food question.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shrimp Chorizo Tapas: Pictures


Cook chorizo

Chop an onion

Saute together

Add garlic and shrimp

Add lemon juice and saute until shrimp cooked

Meanwhile, prepare sopitas

Prepare the veggies

When done - assemble.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Garlic Wine Pork Chops: Pictures

On Thursday I stumbled across a Pinterest pin for a Garlic Wine Pork Chop that just looked delicious! So last night I made it for the family and it was a huge hit. Here's the pictures I took while cooking.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Southern Apple Crisp

I came across this Betty Crocker recipe when looking for something to make as a dessert for last night's Family Board Game night. 

As with most recipes I find, I altered the recipe some... such as, three apples I knew would not be enough to feed the eight of us (two of which are hungry teenage boys). 

So instead I doubled the recipe + some. I used a 9x13 pan and probably 9 apples. The other ingredients I doubled. Here's the amounts I used.

Ingredients/Directions for Filling:
9 medium apples (I used fuji)
1 C granulated white sugar
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

Peel, core and dice up apples - place right into 9x13 nonstick cake pan. Sprinkles sugars and cinnamon on top and mix well.  Begin to preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Ingredients/Directions for Topping:
2 pouches Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie mix
1 C butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon

Melt butter. Add cookie mix and cinnamon to butter - mix well. Add half of topping (squeeze between hands to create larger "crumble" like top) to top of apples.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Add remaining topping and put back in oven for another 20 minutes. Crisp should be bubbling and topping browned. Let cool slightly before serving (Also good cold the next morning)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Garlic Wine Pork Chops

Thursday = Menu Brainstorming. 

I typically go grocery shopping on the weekend (because really there's just no time during the week) so as the week progresses and the closer to the weekend it gets the question of "What to have for dinner next week?" comes into play.

And I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm tired of the same old things. Doesn't matter if it's usually your favorite dish... after a while you just get B-O-R-E-D with it.

My new love and addiction.

There have been a few recipes I've found on Pinterest that just makes my mouth water (Nutella Pudding anyone?) and others that have totally saved my drab dinner plans (Chicken, Chorizo and Green Chile Hash).

This upcoming week I plan on trying out two more Pinterest recipes. The first I posted yesterday (Shrimp and Chorizo tapas) and then this one....

Photo from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Pork Chops with Garlic and Wine

6 whole pork chops, medium-to-thin
2 TB olive oil
2 TB butter + 1 additional TB
salt & pepper
1 1/2 C red wine
1/2 C beef broth (more if needed)
1 whole bay leaf
1 TB balsamic vinegar
18 whole, peeled, cloves


Heat oil and butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops and sear them on both sides until they're nice and golden, about 2 minutes per side. (No need to completely cook the chops at this point.) Remove the chops from the skillet and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-high, then throw in the whole garlic cloves. Stir them around and cook them for several minutes, or until they get nice and golden brown.

Pour in the red wine, then add the bay leaf. Stir around and let it reduce, raising the heat if necessary. Cook the sauce for several minutes, or until it's nice and reduced and thick.

Stir in the beef broth (you can add more if it needs the liquid) and add the chops back into the cooking liquid, arranging them so that they're swimming in the sauce. Allow the chops to cook in the liquid for a few minutes, then pour in the balsamic. Shake the pan to get it to distribute, then cook for a couple more minutes, or until the pork chops are done.

Remove the chops from the pan once more, then let the sauce reduce a little more if needed until it's very thick and rich and the garlic is soft. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper.

Arrange pork chops on a platter, then pour the whole skillet of sauce (including garlic) over the top.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fabulous Flatbread

I'm not sure what it is about the combination of goat cheese, figs and bacon that just sounds so amazing. But when I saw this I started to drool. Thank you Chef Jenna.

Goat Cheese, Fig and Bacon Flat bread

Jenna has her own pizza dough recipe - but if you're like me, you don't have time to make your own pizza dough on a busy Wednesday night. I've found that Tandoori Naan makes for great flat bread pizza crust. So when I finally get around to make this that's what I'll be using.

Pizza Dough (Or premade flat bread)
4 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1 small log of soft goat cheese (I think I'll pick an garlic cheese)
10 fresh figs, sliced in half (If you're like me make sure to buy extra because of "accidental" eating)
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch of arugula
Sprinkle of sea salt


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Prepare pizza dough (if you are using precooked flatbread skip down to *)

After preparing the dough, divide it into four parts on a floured surface. Then divide those four parts in half so you have eight little balls of dough.

Roll each small dough ball out to a circle (you can probably just stretch the dough) and * top with goat cheese crumbles, bacon crumbles and two sliced figs.

Drizzle a little olive oil over each.

Place flat breads on a lined baking sheet, reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 12-15 minutes. After baking, top with arugula, another drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.


30 minutes (not including time to prepare dough)

Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas

Oh my. I was on Pinterest and came across this pin of a Shrimp and Chorizo Tapas...turns out to be an Emeril Lagasse recipe.

I'm a big Chorizo fan - so spicy and rich - and love shrimp with spanish spices... so this is very exciting. So much I had to share.

Shrimp & Chorizo Tapas


1 tablespoon, plus 1/4 cup Spanish olive oil
1 pound chorizo, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry (fino) sherry
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
Crusty bread, for serving


In a large skillet or cazuela, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and saute the sliced chorizo until it begins to brown around the edges, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized around the edges and softened somewhat, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of the sherry and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sherry and 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and remainder of the salt and pepper; stir to combine and remove from the heat. Serve immediately, on small plates with any accumulated cooking juices spooned over the top. Pass the bread at the table.

le Bistro Montage

Went to le Bistro Montage for the first time a few weeks ago and it was DE-LIC-IOUS. They are a fine-dining Cajun style restaurant who happens to be famous for their Alligator Jambalaya and their creative To-Go containers. Here are the pictures I took (it was a very dark restaurant so the pictures came out a bit grainy):

Montage is located in the East side Industrial area of Portland

Large family-style dinner tables set up throughout the restaurant

Large murals and paintings on the walls

Tables lit with candles and a full dining layout -
down to the dessert spoon you see in the picture

Appetizers: Hush puppies (Front Left)
Fried Frog Legs (Back Left) & Fried Alligator (Front Right)

Mac & Cheese with Garlic and Parmesan cheese
Alligator Linguine in the back.

Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage

Pecan glazed pork medallions with garlic mashed potatoes and corn bread

Crawfish etouffee and corn bread

Rock Shrimp Jambalaya and corn bread (my dinner)

Are are the To-Go containers!!

Aren't they cute? Too bad they smash the food to make it fit.
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