Category Archives: Food

Sprinkled with Flour: Cheesy Orzo

Going to make this delicious treat tonight, will try to post pictures first thing tomorrow.  It has been a while since I have posted my eats on the blog so I am long overdue to share what has been going on in my kitchen!

Sprinkled with Flour: Cheese.

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Sausage and Hash Brown Pie

Breakfast for dinner is always a great experience for me.  There is nothing like the indulgent ingredients of the morning. Spicy sausage, velvety eggs, silky cheeses, fried potatoes, mmmmmm! When I decided that BFD was the mission I did have to consider the fact that any meal I cook in the evening needs to provide at least one serving the next day; so traditional scrambled or fried eggs were out (re-heating creates a rubber nightmare). Another element is my need to use these flavor burst peppers, I went to the Chesterfield Berry Farm Market and for them for FREE! Then I needed it to be easy to prepare because I am lazy after work. Finally I wanted to try and use as many “healthy” alternatives as I could to kind of cut out some of the guilt factor.
Ingredients.

1 ½ lbs red potatoes

1 lb sausage (I used bratwurst)

1/2 medium vidalia onion, chopped

1 flavor burst pepper (regular bell pepper is fine, red or orange), chopped

3 eggs, beaten

Handful sunburst tomatoes, halved

2 tsp. homemade ranch seasoning

salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup whipped feta

The first thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees, since I am using raw potatoes, I am going to let the pie pan heat up in the oven as well.  This way when you put the potatoes in you can get a nice crust on them.

I thoroughly rinsed my potatoes, but opted not to peel them. If you do not want to use red potatoes/don’t have them handy, regular russets are fine.  I shredded them in my food processor and used tea towels to push out the extra moisture.  You are going to want to squeeze as much water out of the potatoes as you can in order to avoid a soggy pie.

I then mix my ranch seasoning, salt and coconut oil into my shredded potatoes.  I would not use more than a teaspoon of salt since the ranch mix has so much flavor, but it is necessary to help push moisture out of the potatoes. However, if you are on a low sodium diet feel free to omit salting here.

Tip: put the coconut oil in the microwave for about 10 seconds to make it a liquid and easy to mix into the potatoes.

photo 1 20140902_182850 - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack the potatoes into the pie pan and line them nicely over the rim of the dish.  Put it in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the edges start to get a little crisp.

Remove your sausage from the casing and add it to a screaming hot cast iron, once some of the liquid cooks out add the onions and peppers.  Cook until the sausage is no longer pink.  It is important not to overcook here as you will be putting this mixture into the oven to cook more and unless you like your meat rubber textured you don’t want it SUPER DONE going in.

Flavor burst peppers!
Flavor burst peppers!
YAS.
YAS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine the meat mixture, eggs, and feta. Once well mixed add it to your potato pan.  Top with the cherry tomatoes and slide it into the oven for another 35 minutes or until eggs have set.

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Look at that. DAMN. One nice thing about the super sweet tomatoes is they impart a ketchup like quality when you get one in a bite without having to slather your meal with Americas favorite red high fructose corn syrup.

BOOM.
BOOM.

Noms

It has been a while since I have posted a real recipe, but here are some of the things I have been munching on lately!

Baked turkey cutlets Milanese atop aruglua and spaghetti tossed in EVOO and a lemon caper cream sauce.
Baked turkey cutlets Milanese atop arugula and spaghetti tossed in EVOO and a lemon caper cream sauce.
A hwole chicken before it hits the oven for roasting.  In the cavity you will find lemon, mirepoix (celery, onions, carrots), and garlic.  It roasted on top of mirepoix and sweet potatoes.
A whole chicken before it hits the oven for roasting. In the cavity you will find lemon, mirepoix (celery, onions, carrots), and garlic. It roasted on top of mirepoix and sweet potatoes.
The fixings for a bruschetta bar for dinner :)
The fixings for a bruschetta bar for dinner 🙂
Last but not least, a cilantro pesto pizza with queso fresco, cumin roasted chicken, and fresh veggies.
Last but not least, a cilantro pesto pizza with queso fresco, cumin roasted chicken, and fresh veggies.

My Weekend Was Great, Possibly Better Than Yours

First of all I had to beat this face. No one get alarmed! For those not in the know, it means apply make up flawlessly.
First of all I had to beat this face. No one get alarmed! For those not in the know, it means apply make up flawlessly. Mission Accomplished!
Then I had to get my snack on! Fresh Hanover tomatoes with queso fresco, dill, s&p, EVOO, and red wine vinegar.
Then I had to get my snack on! Fresh Hanover tomatoes with queso fresco, dill, s&p, EVOO, and red wine vinegar.
I also ate a burger made out of ground filet mignon and truffles from the Brux'l Cafe here in RVA.
I also ate a burger made out of ground filet mignon and truffles from the Brux’l Cafe here in RVA. Look at that adorable slate plate!
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Of course there were mimosas! Every expense was spared on the bubble but I am glad I splurged on these two mixers. The rose lemonade was my absolute favorite. It would also be a great addition to other cocktails or to drink alone.
I also saw some racist beer. To those not in the know, coupling the word "voodoo" with a screaming black doll is never acceptable.
I also saw some racist beer. To those not in the know, coupling the word “voodoo” with a screaming black doll is never acceptable.
Last but not least, my favorite candy had a limited edition out. It tasted exactly like Neapolitan ice cream and was heavenly.  I would highly recommend a purchase.
Last but not least, my favorite candy had a limited edition out. It tasted exactly like Neapolitan ice cream and was heavenly. I would highly recommend a purchase.

If ever anyone wants to know more details about a product, recipe, or a process, just let me know in the comments and I will gladly oblige.  Cheers!

The Essential Pantry List To End All Essential Pantry Lists

If you are starting out in the world of cooking then this list may be a great help to you.  I have been putting it together for quite a while now and wanted to share it once I felt like it had really come together.  With this list to end all pantry lists I believe you have the base to prepare more meals than one can count. Now everything on my list may not work for you, but you can tweak and fix as needed.

  1. Herbs and spices: The temptation to buy everything they sell can be real but there is not a need for that, especially since you do not want to keep them for longer than a year.  Just make note of what you end up replacing the most often. Sea salt, kosher salt, black pepper, whole black peppercorns, thyme, oregano, basil, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, Goya Sazon are some that I keep on hand and use frequently.
  2. Flours: all purpose, whole wheat
  3. Sugars: granulated and brown sugar
  4. Vanilla Extract
  5. Evaporated Milk: you never know when you will not want to run out to the store to pick up the milk that you forgot the other 3473984 previous times you were there.
  6. Dry Pastas: buy your favorite sizes and shapes
  7. Grains: quinoa, rice
  8. Baking soda, baking powder, corn starch
  9. Oils: olive oil, some sort of inexpensive vegetable oil, and sesame oil
  10. Soy sauce
  11. Chicken stock/Veggie Stock/Bouillon
  12. Honey
  13. Hot Sauce: I love Sriracha but I also keep a bottle of Texas Pete or Franks hot sauce on hand just in case
  14. Dijon mustard: never underestimate the power that this condiment has to transform a bland dish into something gourmet, keep it on hand and once opened it lasts for months in the fridge.
  15. Vinegars: balsamic, apple cider, white, and red wine are the ones I get the most use out of but if you do not have a strong affinity for vinegar then you can keep it to the basics of just white and apple cider.
  16. Tomatoes: diced, crushed, tomato sauce, and tomato paste are all good things to keep on hand for a last minute sauce or soup base.
  17. Beans: canned and dry (black, pinto, white, garbanzo)
  18. Jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  19. Peanut Butter
  20. Nuts: whatever your favorites are, they are great for snacking and baking
  21.  Oatmeal: great for a cold weather breakfast, as a binder in your meatloaf, or for baking
  22. Maple syrup: A little on the expensive side to buy the real deal, but the flavor is worth it

 

Salmon Cakes with Cucumber-Squash Salad

For this posting I am coming with salmon cakes from Artisan Cuts which I ordered from Relay Foods, they were so fresh and wonderful smelling I wanted to eat them raw.  I opted to cook them in the cast iron with some coconut oil and got them nice and crispy on the outsides.  For the salad I chopped up cucumber and yellow squash, threw in a few halved cherry tomatoes and some red onion and salted.  I ccovered that and let it set in the fridge so the flavors could marry up.  For the dressing I mixed 1 mashed clove of garlic with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and EVOO. The corn was simple, I brought a large pot of water to a boil, shucked the corn (those little silks are a pain), and dropped them in the water for five minutes.

 

Presto. Dinner.

Sazon Chicken with Fresh Salsa Verde and Fried Papas

20140731-094249-34969784.jpg     The finished product did not look as delicious as it tasted but this experiment turned out just right. I walked in and pre-heated the oven to roast the veggies for the salsa verde. Set the chicken to defrost and chopped up my veggies.  After veggie prep I put them in the oven to roast, had time to take a shower and pour myself some wine before I returned to the kitchen. I don’t know if you know this but a glass of wine is IMPERATIVE for the success of any meal. So I plop the roasted veggies into the food processor, add lime juice and salt and then pulverize them to smithereens, set aside. Now I seasoned the chicken with one sazon packet, olive oil, about 3 cloves of crushed garlic, and 1/4 of a vidalia onion.  I also sliced up a yellow squash and threw it in the pan to roast with the chicken because, why not? I pan fry the potatoes because I give zero fucks about fats/cholesterol/calories/cardiac arrest today.  I pull them out of the oil and let them drain on a paper towel, I season with a blend of salt, cumin, and smoked paprika.  Once the chicken is cooked thorough I plate up the dish and serve it with some fresh tomato since they are so abundant and delicious this time of year.

Bada bing, bada boom. Dinner is served!