Monday, February 6, 2012


So I'm trying to be good and watch what I eat, but who can resist a piping hot pancake every once in a blue moon?  I say that because I'm not really one who goes for a pancake.  I'm usually more inclined to bust out the waffle maker, but since Rocky, my one year old can eat more foods,  I decided today was a pancake day for our little family.  He liked them; I'm glad.  I gave him little silver dollar pancakes. 
What I would love is to make my own pancake batter from scratch. Nigella Lawson has a recipe that I should try.  Maybe you can try it too....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beerocks....delicousness baked to perfection!

One of my true achievements in baking are my Beerocks.  As a kid, I remember going to a little Beerock shop and my aunt and I would always buy a whole dozen because if we didn't, we always regretted it.  Steamy hot, and buttery good, they're a balanced meal of meat and vegetable and bread.
But what IS a Beerock, you might ask?  It's origins are German, and Russian. Originally it's spelled Bierock, but while the years have passed and spelling becomes more relaxed, we have Beerocks.  Little buns made from yeast bread, rolled out and filled with a cooked mixture of ground beef, cabbage, onion and garlic, and oh yeah, LOTS of butter.  And as you all know, butter makes everything better.
My recipe is fairly simple with only a handful of ingredients, but there's a bit of work involved to achieve the best results.

My Beerocks:
Makes up to 24, but you can make them smaller if you'd like

Set oven to 375

Equipment Corner:
You'll need a stock pot with a lid
2 cookie sheets
parchment paper (or PAM baking spray)
Food Processor

1 head of regular cabbage
1 large yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic (or however much you like)
2.5 lbs. ground beef (around 15% fat)
One package of frozen bread rolls, or loaves
(or homemade yeast bread, if you're feeling fancy)
2 sticks of unsalted butter
Salt and Pepper, to taste

First off, if you're using frozen bread dough, put it out the night before, according to the instructions on the packaging.
Cut Cabbage into small wedges for the food processor, or chop very small if not using processor.
put the cabbage in a bowl, and then puree the garlic and onion to a paste-like consistency in the processor.  add that to the bowl with the cabbage.
In stockpot, toss in ground beef and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until just browned and then add the vegetables, a little more seasoning and a tablespoon of butter.
 brown your meat and then add the vegetables and put the lid on and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
Let this mixture cool before you fill your dough.
Roll out your dough into a circle of about 6 inches across, and place 1/2 a cup of meat filling in the middle.
Brush the edges with water and seal.  place on a parchment lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray and brush with melted butter.  you can let them sit for 10 minutes if you like to let the Beerocks rise slightly. 
Place in the oven in batches and bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.  When done, brush with more butter, and eat your Beerock hot out of the oven!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

'Leftovers' is a dirty word

For some reason, I just don't really like eating leftovers.  I know there are some people who have a day in the week set aside just to clean out their fridge and eat all the old stuff in there, and I'm definitely not one of those.  I'm not against taking last night's dinner for lunch at work, but to try and present last nights, or TUESDAY night's dinner AS dinner, I'm out of there and I'm looking for some Chef Boyardee!
I'm sure that most leftovers taste great, but I think for me, what it really is, is that I just want to be able to make something fresh and new.
Some things do taste better after a day, like homemade Chili beans, and Beef Stew.  But something like Macaroni and Cheese, it's better served right out of the oven.
I confess though that Chinese food and pizza are the BEST leftovers, and I wont turn my nose up to those.  When it comes to both, I love crouching in front of the open refrigerator and eating cold Chinese food with my fingers. I like my pizza cold too.  No warming for me, thank you.  My mom always yells at me that I'm going to get heartburn eating cold food, but I'm willing to take the risk.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Perfect Bite

Ode to The Perfect Bite

Oh Perfect Bite!
How you elude me every breakfast lunch and dinner!
My fork yearns to spear tender meat and vegetables
Piled harmoniously upon the tines,
homing in on it's final destination
My mouth recieves this greatest gift and I rejoice!
Satiated, Exultant!
Oh Perfect Bite, you've found me once again!

Yes, I just wrote an Ode to food piled on my fork.  This is serious business.
In the movie A Mirror Has Two Faces, with Barbara Streisand, her character describes The Perfect Bite. 
This was like a light bulb turning on over my head, or inside my mouth, rather. 
She takes a small piece of steak, then a roasted carrot, a little mashed potato, and then a tiny dip in gravy, and voila!  The Perfect Bite! 
Eating should be more than shoveling food into your gullet.  You should take your time, and savor the flavor, people!  Food should look as good as it tastes.  When getting ready to make dinner I always think of the colors that I'm getting together.  I love a chicken wing glazed and dark with sauce or bright orange with spices.  I love the red and green of bell peppers, and the bright whiteness of steamed rice.  All together it's a melody of deliciousness.  And it makes The Perfect Bite ever more enjoyable. 
Next time you get ready to make dinner, just think of how all the things you're making will taste together, and know that you're the conductor of a symphony of flavors all getting ready to play a beautiful song on your tongue! 
Mmmmm, I'm starving!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Culinary Curiosities

So my new obsession is cooking meats that I'm not really familiar with.
I've had a traumatic experience once with Salmon (cooked it and it was stinky and too fishy), but recently at work I've been able to cook it for samples, and you know what?  It's really good!  I was totally surprised, and just yesterday I bought some for dinner, so that's one down, and a million other things to go.
Duck, and Rabbit, and Lamb are also curiosities to me.  I've had them once, maybe twice, but I've never had the chance to cook them at home. 
Lamb is one of those meats that I've heard a lot about but personally haven't had it enough to really form an opinion about it. Smelling it raw is...well you have to be ready for it.  It's a bit stinky I've been looking for a recipe and now that I have several, I have to get brave enough to actually buy it and cook it.  It doesn't help either that it's expensive, but hey, I work at a grocery store, I know how to get a deal.
Now with Duck, I've only had it from an Asian bakery, and it was VERY fatty and had a lot of bones.  I know I can do better than that.  I've seen duck breast and it looks amazing, so I'm a little scared but I know that I can find a good recipe.
Rabbit.  Oh Rabbit!  I had it at a very nice Italian restaurant and it was an epiphany.  It tasted so strange and delicious at the same time that my "taste" from my husband's plate became his whole serving of the rabbit (he had a variety of meats, I'm not starving the poor man).  The meat itself was dark, like a chicken thigh, but far more flavorful.  It was kind of minty and moist, and almost exotic, at least for me.  I've even found a website where I can buy the meat.  And not just rabbit either, but other meats as well.

so hopefully I will be writing another blog about the Salmon, and Lamb and Rabbit and Duck that I've cooked.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Indian food at home...Don't be scared!

I love a nice burger and fries, but every now and then my taste buds need a kick in the pants.

And Indian food does the trick!  My husband and I fell in love a few years ago with Indian food. 
I remember the first time we went to eat at our favorite restaurant, Star.  We ordered Tandoori chicken, Aloo Gobi, Shahi Paneer, and rice, and naan.  Oh my god that sounds like an assload of food.  And it IS!  LOL, but when you go, you can't help it.  Anyway, we ordered all this food, because it was new and we wanted to try out different dishes.  WELL-that was it.  we were hooked.  It was the best lunch of our lives.  It was funny though because we didn't finish all of the saucy gravy that the shahi paneer is in, and the owners asked us if we liked it, and we felt bad for accidentally insulting them.  It was just such a flavor explosion that our poor little inexperienced taste buds couldn't handle all that flavor.  But now, we wipe the bowl clean with our naan. 

So I went to YouTube, and I found the sweetest man called TheVahChef who makes indian food look so easy to make.  he never uses measuring utensils, and he giggles and shakes for his food when he's tasting it, it's hilarious. 
So I learned from him how to make Aloo Gobi.  It's a really easy dish to make with Potatoes and Cauliflower.  The spices are not too intimidating and most grocery stores accommodate Indian spices, so the ingredients are easy to access.  .  
When  I made my Indian dinner the other night I bought a packet seasonging for Tandoori Chicken, and roasted chicken leg quarters in the oven tossed in the seasoning with some sliced bell pepper and onion.  After an hour, it was nice and happy and ready to go with some steamed rice, Aloo Gobi, and a flour tortilla, that I was fantasizing as Naan.  
If you've never tasted Indian food, there are so many places now that have lunch buffets, and are VERY affordable.  My husband and I are lucky to have found such a place that feels like you're inside someone's home, and they're feeding you like an honored guest. 
Check out the VahChef on youtube. 
My next Indian dinner/lunch will be country chicken with chana dal curry.  mmmmmmmhmmmm!  can't wait!

Adventures in Baby food!

So I've been making Rocky's baby food lately.  And I love it!
I'm on a quest for the perfect rainbow blend, of a different fruit and vegetable from each color of the rainbow.  I get hung up on the vegetables though.  I've given Rocky Peas and Green beans, but what about Spinach and Kale?  I need a cookbook. 
Lately it's been a yam, an apple, a peach, peas, a pear, and carrots.  And he really likes it.

What I really want is a Jack Lalaine Juicer!!!  You throw a whole apple in there and BLAM! Apple juice in seconds!  It's just so big I don't know where I would put the thing.  A girl can dream, I guess.