Category Archives: Food and Recipes

Santa Cakes

Of course I made them and didn’t take any pictures.  I had to zoom into a picture I took of our table of food and print the screen.  Oops.  Anyway, here they are:

They were absolutely delicious and very easy to make.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Cake mix of your choice–I used chocolate cake

Eggs

Oil

Fresh strawberries

Vanilla

Sugar

Heavy cream

Start by mixing the cake mix.  Mine required three eggs and oil.  I split it between two round cake pans, and baked them according to the box.  I made my own whipped cream for the hats, but it’s really important that you let the cakes cool before adding the cream.  It’ll melt and turn into soup.

To make the cream, put a cup of heavy cream into a container you can close well.  Add in a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 cup of sugar.  Shake the container for about ten minutes, or until it becomes whipped cream.  You should be able to scoop it onto a spoon, turn it upside down without the cream sliding off.  You also want to make sure you don’t pass this stage and move into the butter stage.  That would be icky. Make sure to refrigerate the cream when you’re not using it.

Once the cakes are cooled, use a round something (I used a cup) to cut the individual cakes.  Add a dollop of whipped cream onto each cake, then add a strawberry (with the top cut off) flat side down.  Finally add a tiny speck of whipped cream on the top of the strawberry and you’re good to go!

If it’s going to be a while before you serve them, I’d recommend putting them in the fridge to keep the whipped cream hard.  Otherwise, they should be good to go.  Enjoy!

Asparagus Mush Recipe

Yes, it looks nasty.  I know.  But it tastes so good!  Here’s what you’ll need:

Fresh asparagus

Mushrooms (I used canned)

Feta cheese (I used reduced fat)

Garlic bread crumbs

Start by cooking the asparagus.  They’ll take the longest to cook.  I found they were best if broken into smaller pieces.  You can just snap them while raw.  And speaking of snapping them make sure you cut the tough ends off.  I learned that the hard (haha, a pun) way!

After the asparagus is done, mix in the mushrooms and feta cheese.  Here’s another lesson I learned: bread crumbs should be added last or it will get soggy and adopt the nasty mushy look (as seen in the picture).

If you’re a garlic person, you should put some fresh garlic in.  I also added crushed red pepper in there to give it a little kick.  This took me no time at all to make, but I loved it as a side.  Enjoy!

Spinach and Feta Quesadilla

This one is an easy recipe.  You’ll need:

– Baby spinach

– Feta cheese

– Tortillas

First, boil the spinach for a few minutes, and then make sure to drain them well.  I mean, smash them until all the water’s out.  Then plop a tortilla onto a pan, spread the spinach around evenly, and then dump the feta cheese on top.  Cover it with another quesadilla, and toast each side.  If you like your feta cheese melted, then make sure to watch the fire and your tortilla.  It’s easy to toast the outsides without really heating up the inside.  If you want melty inside, then keep the fire on the low side.

Finally, take your meal out and eat!

Banana Ghost Fail

Now that Halloween is over, I bet you’re already thinking about what you’ll make for next Halloween.  Here’s recipe that sounded so delicious, so extremely wonderful, that I found myself dying to make them.  The recipe is really simple:

Melt white chocolate (slowly) in a pot.  Chop some bananas in half, and dip each half into the white chocolate.  On top of the white chocolate, draw two eyes and a mouth with milk chocolate or a icing pen.  This is what it’s supposed to look like:

They’re completely adorable, right?  Right.  Now look at how mine came out:

Oh sweet Jesus, look at those things!  It looks like a kindergartener made them!  So much for having a bachelors degree, eh?

Here’s what I think I did wrong (and what you should avoid):

  • Not all white chocolates are created equal.  Spend the extra money and buy a trusty brand of melting (not baking) chocolates.
  • When dipping ghosts, don’t use a fork.  They explode when in the chocolate.  Use sticks, and make sure they’re evenly coated while you’re at it.
  • They should go in the freezer right away.  No, don’t argue with me.  Freezer.  Right away.
  • If people aren’t going to eat them immediately, keep them in the freezer.  They’ll melt.  And when they melt, they’ll look worse than the picture.  That was taken pre-melt-a-thon.

And there you have it.  Hopefully next Halloween you try this recipe out and it comes out better than mine.  If you do try it, shoot me a picture.  I’ll happily post it while pretending not to be really jealous.  Happy Halloween!

Spicy Fish

I’m getting really good at finding meals that take me about 8 seconds to make.  Here’s my favorite!  To make spicy fish, you will need:

Fish fillets (I like flounder or tilapia best)

A spicy herb mix (I use a cajun blend)

First, I buy the fillets fresh.  I rinse them, toss them onto a piece of tin foil and coat one side with my spices.  The cajun blend I use doesn’t contain salt, so I also sprinkle just a tiny pinch of salt on each fillet.  I set the oven to 325, give it a minute to heat up, and then plop the tin foiled fillets onto the top rack.

I let them cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are pleasantly white, then I take them out, toss them on a plate and serve like so:

Looks delicious, right?  I like this simple meal because it’s very filling and keeps me from being lazy and buying junky food on the way home.  Also, yes, I like to drink soda with my fish out of a Doctor Who mug.  It tastes better that way, if you must know.  I also usually toss a serving of frozen fries into the oven, though those take way longer than the fish to cook, hence why they missed the photo.

Easy Rice Bowl

Check out the super not-fancy dinner I made myself with whatever was left on the shelf after people stocked up on hurricane supplies:

You’ll need:

Shrimp (I used frozen, but fresh is probably better)

Peas (I used half of a can)

1/3 of an onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 red pepper

1/2 raw rice

Here’s the complicated directions:

Chop up the red pepper, onion, and garlic.  I used a rice cooker to make my rice while I did this, but you can use a pot like a normal person (I was hungry and impatient).  Either way, don’t forget the 2-1 ratio for rice.  For every cup of rice you decide to cook, add two cups of water.  In this case, you’ll be adding one cup of water for your half cup of rice.  Anyway, you’ll want to peel the shrimp before cooking it.  I didn’t, and that did not make for easy eating.  Once you’ve chopped everything and peeled the shrimp, throw everything in a pan and cook until the shrimp is done.  The rice should be done by now, so toss that in too.  Wah-lah!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Since it’s a holiday weekend, I decided to delay the Battle of the Libraries until next week (where it should resume and maintain a weekly posting).  Instead, I thought I’d share with you the delicious dip I made for July Fourth.  It kind of looks gross, but I promise it tastes amazing.

To make it you’ll need:

1 pound of fresh spinach

1/2 fat free (or reduced fat) sour cream

1/2 cup fat free parmesan cheese

4 oz fat free cream cheese

1 & 1/2 cups of canned artichoke hearts

3 cloves of garlic

pinch of salt

In a food processor, blend everything together until creamy and smooth.  Make sure not to cook the spinach!  If you enjoy your dip smooth, then keep everything in the food processor until it’s thoroughly chopped and blended.  If you want some texture in your dip, blend everything but the spinach.  With a knife, chop the spinach and add it to the blend.

Next, pour the mixture into a casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.  Serve with chips or use it as a spread.  Just a tip: The longer you let the dip sit after cooking, the better it tastes!  Enjoy!

Mashed Sweet Potato

I adore sweet potato fries, so I thought mashed sweet potato would be a great addition to my meal.  Wrong.  So so wrong.  But we’ll get to that later.  Here’s the recipe:

2 sweet potatoes

1 fat-free Greek yogurt (plain)

Brown sugar

Salt

Milk of your choosing

I boiled the sweet potato until it was cooked.  It took forever, even though I chopped them up into smaller pieces.  When they were (finally) done, I took them out, tossed them into a bowl and mashed them up.  After, I added the container of yogurt, and continued to mash.  I found this really thick, so I added a splash of 2% milk, which made it nice and creamy.  I added in the salt, mashed until my arm burned, then like every recipe I found said, I sprinkled brown sugar on the top.  Here’s what it looked like when I was done mashing:

The one compliment I have for this dish is that the color is magnificent.  Check out that bright orange!  In my opinion, they were way too sweet.  I prefer the salty regular potato to this sweeter version.  Even though it looked amazing, I think I’ll stick to the regular mashed potato and keep sweet potatoes for cooking up fries.

Cornflake Chicken

This recipe is totally stolen from Hilary and modified to be healthier.  To make it my way, you’ll need:

Chicken breast

Egg whites

Garlic powder

Wheat corn flakes

Making the crunchy outside is pretty easy.  Just crunch up some cornflakes either in a zip-lock bag, or by smooshing them with the bottom of a spoon.  Once they’re crumbled, mix in the garlic powder.  I love my stuff garlicy, so I dumped in tons.

I cut the chicken breast into bite-sized chunks, then dipped each into a bowl of egg whites, and then rolled each in the garlic corn flakes until it was evenly covered.  I put the pieces on a cooking tray, and baked them until the flakes get toasty and the chicken was done.

These are so delicious and take about four seconds to make.  I mean…they’re so delicious, I left to grab the camera so I could take a picture and look what I came back to:

Chicken Tacos

MmmmMmm.  These were delicious!  Look, they even make for great photos!

You can tell by the looks of the plate that I already ate one before suddenly remembering I should take a photo.  These were massively easy to make.  You’ll need:

Chicken breast

Avocado

Tomato

Your choice of shredded cheese

Onion

Taco meat seasoning

Taco-sized torillas

Reduced fat sour cream

Optional: Salsa and tortilla chips

To make them, cut the chicken breast into strips and cover them in taco meat seasoning.  I just used my finger to spread it around.  I decided I wanted a kick, so I used the hottest variety they had.  I set the chicken strips to cook on a pan (I didn’t use oil) and chopped up onion, tomato, avocado and put each in a bowl.  Margo should be cringing at this point because she knows how much I love using as many bowls as humanly possible.  Also going in a bowl: the sour cream, the shredded cheese, tortilla chips and the salsa.  When the chicken in cooked through, add it to the collection of bowls and make your taco as you see fit.  Tada!

And just to make my dearest Margo happy, here’s a snapshot of all the bowls I used:

Also note how my mom is trying really hard to get out of the shot.  Sorry mom!  The orange stuff on my plate is mashed sweet potato.  I should be writing about that one next time!