Friday, November 26, 2010

Our Turkey Day

Consisted of eating LOTS of food, relaxing on the couch, and watching t.v. We enjoyed the Macy's parade, some football, and spent the rest of the evening watching the first season of Heroes. We decided to start a new series, b/c we need a break from 24.

We thought we were going to get together with the Saunders for Thanksgiving, but we found out they were going to St. Louis to be with Aaron's family. I told Adam that I had to have all of the tradition Thanksgiving food, but I didn't want to cook everything for just two people. I knew Albertsons had Thanksgiving meals you could buy, but they served 6-8 people. Luckily, Adam looked online at Sprouts. They serve Thanksgiving meals for two, so we bought that package from them.  I made Lion House Yam Souffle (very very scrumptious), and pumpkin pie to go along with it. I have made pumpkin pie the last three years Adam and I have been together. It's my brothers favorite. Its just a tradition I am carrying out. My mom always made yams, so I had to make those this year. This was the first Thanksgiving we spent on our own!




Charlie sometimes watches the t.v. with us! haha I always wonder what he is thinking when he is staring at the television. Adam has started a bad habit of letting Charlie up on the couch with us, while we are watching t.v. He is hard to resist with that cute little face.


We let Charlie have a little piece of Turkey. That is what the video below is about.
Yes, I talk to my dog like he is a baby.
I trained him the "leave it" command sometime last month. He is a pretty smart dog.
video

Charlie is getting SO big! I can't believe it. He is no longer puppy size like in the pictures below


He got too big for his black collar, so we got him that red one the night before Thanksgiving.
We also got him a toothbrush and some toothpaste.
video

..as well as some dental Jerky. He was starting to have bad breath, so we had to do something.

He is the most loving dog EVER. He could never be an attack dog. ha. I love that he always wants to be with us. We have never had to worry about him running away. If he goes outside when we open the door, he doesn't get very far. Once he realizes we aren't coming, he runs right back inside. If we shut the door, he will paw at it. He can't stand to be alone.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going on Vacation next month!

Adam was given Dec 17th-23rd off, so we will be spending it here:

I can't wait! :)

Today I purchased tickets for the empire state building, and statue of liberty. We booked our flights and hotel stay days ago. We are thinking about seeing The Lion King. We have already seen Phantom of the Opera, and I have seen Wicked. I would see both again though. I heard the Radio City Music Hall Xmas show is legendary. I'll have to look into it.

Being a "foodie" and all, I more excited about all the good eats. Here is a list of places I want to go, based on a New Yorker's recommendations:

1) Grimaldi's- Great Pizza, arguably the best / John's Pizzeria good pizza place too
2) Stand4 - best burgers / Corner Bistro rated second / Shake Shack third / Burger Joint fourth / Pop Burger / JG Melon
3) Katz - best sandwich of your life
3) Doughnut Plant - for their creme brulee donuts
4) Sweetpie - You can dine inside a bird cage!
5) Norma's - for the Waa-za Waffle
6) Crif Dogs - Hot dogs wrapped in bacon and what not
7) West Village Magnolia- cupcakes/ Crumbs/  Billy's
8) BRGR - for best Milkshake
9) Sarabeth's - Great place for brunch ( french toast and omelets)
10) Juniors - Best cheesecake
11) Serendipity's- Frozen Hot Chocolate

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday's Dinner -A great way to sneak in more vegetables, and still have a delicious heartwarming meal.

Adam loves chicken pot pie. He stocked his freezer full of those cheap one's you buy in the store, when he used to share an apartment with 5 other guys. Now that he has a wife, who enjoys to cook, he gets to eat a healthier version of his his beloved chicken pot pie.

Notice there is no pie crust on the bottom or sides. This helps cut out some calories, by just placing pastry on top.


Chicken Pot Pie for Adam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan. Set out frozen puff pastry on counter to thaw.


Filling:

3 cooked and diced chicken breasts
1 small Onion (we are not huge onion fans, you can use a medium onion if you like)
3 diced red potatoes 
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stocks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
* add any other vegetables you might like
 
To make the filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and potato to the pan, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic, celery, and any other vegetables you want to add, and cook for about 15 minutes more, until the potatoes are tender. Once the vegetables are finished cooking, turn off the heat and mix in the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sauce:


8  tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream (use milk for less fat)
Dash of hot sauce (we use cholula)
Dash of worcestershire
Salt and pepper


To make the sauce, melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth (it will be sort of a paste). Whisk in the chicken broth and cook over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Mix in the cream, the hot sauce, the Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken and veggie mixture and stir to combine well.

 
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg white, lightly beaten


Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Lay puff pastry sheets over filling, and brush with beaten egg white. (This ensures a nice golden shiny crust.) Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet in case it bubbles over while baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Can't wait till next weekend, so I can cook some more yummy meals. We are having the missionaries over for dinner Saturday. Should be a good time. Still haven't decided what I am going to make them.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cafe Rio style pork AND rice, Patrizio, Sugaraholic, and Charlie's new bed

You probably have tried to duplicate Cafe Rio's delicious sweet pork, but have you ever tried to make their cilantro-lime rice?  I made a version of it tonight, and it turned out very similar. It really makes all of the difference.

Fresh pico de gallo also makes this salad yummy. The only thing missing is guacamole and their dressing. We used ranch. Next time I will have to try to figure out how to make their dressing. I think they use buttermilk. IDK. I will have to experiment.

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa

2 ½ lbs. pork roast
⅓ cup water
1 clove garlic, minced 

⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 cup canned salsa verde
1 cup brown sugar

 
Put pork, water, garlic, salt and pepper in crock pot on high for 4 hours. Drain, shred pork with two forks. Stir together salsa verde and brown sugar, pour over pork and stir in. Serve in burritos, tacos, salad, etc.


CILANTRO-LIME RICE

1 c. uncooked rice (long-grain, white rice)
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro


In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice. 

 My co-worker, Anthony, told me that this was the best Italian place in Texas. He said his friends from Italy agree that this place sells authentic Italian food. Every time they visit, Anthony takes them there because they consider Olive Garden and Carrabas to be a disgrace.

I had to pick up Adam from the Love Field airport yesterday evening, so I decided to call in an order. Patrizio's is located five minutes away from this Dallas airport, so I considered this my chance to try this place.

Overall, it was very good! The online prices must be wrong, because our order came out to be 30 bucks. They were listed around $8/9 dollars. I would definitely like to eat here again, but wish it was cheaper.

Okay so I have officially become a sugarholic! Totally weird, since I was the girl in high school who didn't eat sugar. I still can't believe I went on a no-sugar diet for 4 1/2 years. The first two weeks of October, I went off sugar again, b/c it was a Zumba challenge. I felt so good! Maybe I should do this regularly. My sugar intake from the last two weeks of October up until today has been ridiculous! I am embarrassed to even think about how much I have consumed.

Snickerdoodles

2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Gradually stir in flour mixture with a spoon.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 30 (1 inch) balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (If you don't have parchment paper, you'll have to get the cookies off the sheet quickly after baking or they'll stick. The bottoms of a couple of my cookies got stuck to the baking sheet.)

3. Bake cookies until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes.


For example, I ate a half dozen of these snickerdoodle cookies, shortly after I made them last night. I consumed a lot of cookie dough too. I also had milk duds, kit kats, and reeses pieces. Left over Halloween candy is hard to resist, when it is close in reach.



Are you a Sugaraholic? Take this quiz to find out

TRUE OR FALSE?
  • I don't eat refined sugar every day.
  • I can go for more than a day without eating some type of sugar-containing food.
  • I never have cravings for sugar, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, or alcohol.
  • I've never hidden candy or other sweets around my home in order to find and eat them later.
  • I can stop after one piece of candy or one bite of pastry.
  • There are times when I have no sugar of any kind in my home.
  • I can go for three or more hours without eating and not experience the shakes, fatigue, perspiration, irritability, depressions, or anxiety.
  • I can have candy and other sweets in my home and not eat them.
  • I don't eat something sweet after every meal.
  • I rarely drink coffee and eat doughnuts or sweet rolls for breakfast.
  • I can go for more than an hour after waking up in the morning without eating.
  • I can go from one day to the next without drinking a soft drink.

If you answered false to more than 4, you are sugar sensitive. (Meaning a sugaraholic like me).


Charlie absolutely LOVES his new bed. We got him a new one today, while we were out buying an office chair for our new desk, and he has been in it ever since we introduced it to him. He will come play with us, and then go straight back to it. I can't believe how much he has grown! He outgrew his other bed weeks ago. He sleeps in his kennel at night, but loves to lounge in his bed during the day. I love our puppy!! I can't believe that we have almost had him for two months now. He will be five months old in a week. We got him right when he was three months old.


hehe Adam took this picture of his tongue sticking out.

Oh, so I was asked to post the recipes for the stuff I cooked last weekend (see last post). I will do that soon. I need to find all the papers I wrote the recipes down on first. I will also post the Cafe Rio recipes, sugardoodle recipe, and lemon bar recipe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cookin Up A Storm


Chicken and Angel Hair with Lemon Cream Sauce

1/2 lb Angel Hair Spaghetti
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/8 tsp white pepper
Handful of parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining. Return pasta to the pot.
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Pound chicken breasts to even thickness. Season with salt and pepper and cook through, 5-6 minutes each side. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice or shred chicken, as desired. Add to the pasta.
Add butter to the pan and melt. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add lemon zest, cream, milk and heat through. Stir in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and white pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes, until very hot and slightly thickened.
Pour sauce over pasta and toss. Let sit 5 minutes, add parsley, and toss again, adding a splash of pasta water if the sauce has thickened too much. Divide between bowls and serve topped with additional Parmesan and parsley.
Yields 4 servings

Red Coconut Curry

Fettuccine alla Carbonara

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz pancetta, diced
1 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
1 3/4 cups Parmesan, divided
1 egg
3 egg yolks
1 lb fresh fettuccine
salt to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook pancetta until almost crispy. Add black pepper and stir, cooking two more minutes. Scrape the pancetta and oil into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk egg, yolks, and 1 1/2 cups Parmesan together. Pour over pancetta and stir vigorously, mixing thoroughly.
Cook fettuccine and drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Add pasta to the bowl and toss with the pancetta mixture, adding a few splashes of pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Salt and pepper to taste and let sit for 5 minutes. Toss again and serve topped with remaining Parmesan.
Yields: 4 servings

Coconut Shrimp



Orange Chicken
Sundried Tomato and Chicken Pasta
 
1 (16 ounce) package farfalle pasta
1/4 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbs dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in water (I used the kind bottled in oil and drained them)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic cloves and cook until garlic browns. Add the cream of mushroom soup and milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in the dried parsley, salt, and ground fresh pepper. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add bite size chicken pieces and hydrated sun dried tomatoes. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Mix in grated Parmesan cheese. Toss cooked and drained pasta with chicken sauce. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com.


Calzones (Ignore the retarded shaping of the dough. I was in a hurry and did no have anything to roll it out with )

Rhodes Texas Rolls, thawed & risen
Pepperoni
Sliced olives
Chopped green &/or red peppers
Chopped red onion
Mozzarella cheese
Heated pizza/pasta sauce
 
 Squish two rolls together and roll out flat into a 10 inch circle. Combine pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, onion, peppers and cheese, place 3/4 to 1 cup of mixture on each circle (the more filling, the better!). Fold dough over and seal edges with fork. Place on sprayed baking sheet, bake at 350 for 20-25 min. Serve with sauce for dipping. YUM!


I cooked all this over the weekend. I only really like to cook when my husband is home. Its not as exciting to cook for yourself: However, I do it on occasion. Sunday night we enjoyed a chicken divan dinner over at Rachel's house. We were spoiled with good food this weekend. I even baked some lemon bars. I ate way too many as usual. I brought the rest to work, and made my coworkers very happy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Cone

Charlie's cone gets to come off tomorrow. He is going to be one happy dog :)  He has had to wear this ridiculously large cone for two whole weeks, because we got him neutered.

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