Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Quite as Fancy as Lobster Mac and Cheese

Last weekend, I watched the Neelys make their Lobster Mac and Cheese and was literally drooling by the time I finished the show. I tried but failed to find lobster meat except for frozen or canned online, which I didn't think would taste all that great. Instead, I bought a package of Imitation Crabmeat (which we LOVE) and substituted that instead. It came out REALLY yummy and the cayenne really added a kick to the rich and creamy sauce. I also loved the combination of Gruyere and Cheddar! The Neelys have yet to fail me with their awesome southern cooking! (They're such a cute couple too!)

Minty Mini Mocha Muffins!

I know I'm a total dork when it comes to naming my food but it's fun and I love it! I wanted to make something different for Cookie Fridays this week and came across these Mini Chocolate Muffins that look super yummy! Instead of chocolate chips, I used a combination of butterscotch and mint-swirl chips (which are only available during the holidays). They came out tasting just like Junior Mints and were a total hit at the office!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yummy Coconut Curry Pork!

Coconut and Curry are seriously a match made in heaven and it never fails me no matter what else goes in it. Tonight, I made this Creamy Coconut Pork Curry and it was GOOD! I left out the green beans and substituted parsley for the coriander (which is another name for cilantro) cuz hubby's not a fan of either. I also added a sprinkle of brown sugar to balance out the spicy curry. Such a yummy dish and quick for a weeknight!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shrimp with a Dollop of Daisy!

(Ok, maybe a lil more than a dollop!) I found this recipe for Sauteed Shrimp with Sour Cream Sauce on the Daisy website and knew I wanted to make it. We LOVE sour cream at our house and always keep a big tub around. This recipe was simple and really quick to put together. I ended up with a lot of sauce (probably cuz I was a lil too generous with the sour cream) so I served the shrimp with some Cheesy Grits to soak it all up. I also added garlic cuz what do I make without garlic right? YUMMY!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another Winner from The Pioneer Woman!

I am totally HOOKED on The Pioneer Woman and made another of her "scrumptious" recipe, Cajun Chicken Pasta. The Cajun Seasoning I used was Emeril's Essence, which I always keep around cuz it's just good in everything. I used a yellow bell pepper for additional color since the tomatoes are red and the parsley is green. For the pasta, I decided to go with Wide Noodles instead of Fettuccine since I can never seem to get long pasta to not stick together. The seasoning gave the dish a nice kick and the heavy cream made such a yummy rich sauce. We both loved it and I can't wait to try more Pioneer Woman recipes!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Time with Japanese Curry!

We LOVE curry at our house so it's surprising that we've never tried Japanese Curry before. I randomly came across this recipe and decided to try it out. Luckily, I was able to find a box of Golden Curry Sauce at my grocery store so I didn't have to order it online (and it was MUCH cheaper). It came out really good and a bit sweeter and not as spicy as Thai or Indian curries. It was also very creamy without having to add coconut milk or cream. We loved it and I'm so happy to add another curry recipe to my repertoire!

Football Sundays Have Returned!

I think I'm one of the few wives that don't mind losing my hubby to football on Sundays. I think it's mostly cuz I get an excuse to make snacks for munching in front of the TV. This afternoon I made more Cheesy Garlic Toasts with Fig Balsamic Vinegar for dipping. YUMMY! Go 9ers!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lamb Shanks Don't Photo Well...But They Sure Are YUMMY!

Lamb Shanks went on sale again so I picked some up to make these Lamb with Tomatoes and Garlic Yogurt. Marinating the meat in yogurt really helped tenderize and keep them moist. It also made them so flavorful and of course, cooking them for 2 hours made the meat just fall off the bones. (Which is why they didn't photo well!) I LOVE the yogurt with the lamb and the tomatoes made a great addition to the flavor. I served the shanks with Orzo to keep with the Greek theme. Definitely a winner on a Saturday night!

Cookies By Request

One of my coworkers requested White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies and I'm always ready to please. I usually go with my trusty Mrs. Field's recipe but I thought I'd try something different this time. I found this recipe and thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did cuz the cookies turned out amazing and everyone at the office raved about them!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Loving The Cubed Steaks!

I bought a family-size package of Cubed Steaks to make my Chicken Fried Steak so I was looking for more recipes to use them in. I came across these Cubed Steaks Parmigiana and knew I found a winner! How can you go wrong with beef covered in Marinara and cheese right? They were super easy to make too and came out even better than I'd imagined! I served them over some pasta shells and it was just the perfect way to start the weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yummy Coconut Curry Shrimp!

I've been saving this Coconut Curry Shrimp for a while now and finally made it tonight and OMG was it yummy! (How can you go wrong with coconut, curry and pineapple right?) I omitted the coconut flakes cuz they freak my hubby out (don't ask) and substituted about 6 dried red chilies for the fresh. The flavor combination was amazing and our entire place smelled like the best Thai restaurant ever!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Pear Straight From the Tree!

Greg's boss, John, offered him a pear fresh off his tree so of course, I had to incorporate it into our dinner right away to show our appreciation! Tonight, I made these Beer-Braised Pork Chops and boy, were they yummy! Nothing beats the freshness of fruit straight from someone's tree! I also added some Balsamic Vinegar for some tangy flavor since I love it with fruit. I served the chops with our favorite Cheesey Grits and it was the perfect weeknight meal. Thanks John!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wishing I Was a Pioneer Woman!

Ok, so I probably won't survive a day on a ranch but ever since I read Ree's (AKA The Pioneer Woman) love story, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, I'm totally dreaming of a simpler lifestyle. Since moving out of the city isn't happening any time soon, I figured I could at least cook like a Pioneer Woman. So tonight, I made her Chicken-Fried Steak and it turned out SO "scrumptious"! The Cubed Steak was so tender and the golden crust tasted like the best Fried Chicken ever! I served the steaks with Buttery Mashed Potatoes and it was a meal that would please any cowboy!

It's Our Anniversary!

Time has totally flown by and I can't believe we're celebrating our 1-year anniversary already! We decided to spend a night in Half Moon Bay at the Ritz and had the most wonderful time! The room was amazing and had a wonderful view of the ocean. We even lucked out with not too much fog during our stay! We were greeted by a glass of wine as we checked into our room so can't beat the customer service there! You can learn a lot about great hospitality management from this place.

After settling in our room, we decided to head down to the wine bar for some wine and cheese tasting. I went with the Champagne flight and hubby went for the red. We also got a platter of cheese and another of charcuterie. WAY too much food for an in-between lunch and dinner snack but it was a day of celebration so calories didn't count!

The next day we decided to check out a local favorite, Sam's Chowder House, which has been featured on The Today Shows. They're known for their seafood so we ordered the Maine Lobster Ceviche to start. It came in a cute taco shell and was marinated in passionfruit vinaigrette. SO incredibly good! After such a decadent appetizer, we settled on the regular hamburger for the hubby and salad for me. I'm sad that our celebration is over but I have something REALLY yummy planned for dinner!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Epic, 1 of our Favorite Outdoor Spots!

We LOVE Epic Roasthouse for it's yummy food, wonderful outdoor seating and total convenience (5 min from our house). We go there quite often and usually end up ordering the exact same things. Here's 3 of our favorites: Oysters, HUGE Onion Rings and hubby's favorite, Steak Tartare (which I refuse to touch!).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Philly Cooking Creme, My New BF!

Ever since I discovered Philadelphia Cooking Creme, I've been totally hooked! I've tried all the flavors and they're all incredibly yummy! Tonight, I made Creamy Marsala Meatballs using the Italian Cheese and Herb flavor and it came out SO good! Creamy and rich and just perfect with pasta. What a great way to start the weekend!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

A while back, I picked up a new Morsel Flavor, Peanut Butter and Chocolate and totally forgot about them. I wanted to make Oatmeal Scotches for Cookie Friday but mistakened these chips for the Butterscotch. Best mistake EVER! The PB and Chocolate Chips were amazing with the Oatmeal and everyone at the office raved about them! Yea for the careless cookie baker!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Impulse Purchase Turned into a Yummy Meal!

My hubby is known for his impulse snack purchases, whether it be a new potato chip flavor, beef jerky, or the latest, Wasabi Peas. The problem is, he's not much of a snacker so he'll take a few bites and I'm usually the one finishing the rest. (Not that I'm complaining!) Since I'm not a big fan of Wasabi Peas, I decided to find something to make with it and came across this recipe for Wasabi-Crusted Fish. Tt turned out really good! The Wasabi Peas made such a flavorful and crunchy topping for the mild Tilapia and I also added a few drops of lime juice for freshness. I served my fish with rice since Wasabi is such an Asian ingredient instead of mashed potatoes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Going to Morocco Once Again!

I've been saving this recipe for Moroccan Chicken Thighs for a while now and finally made it tonight. The only thing I changed was using raisins instead of dates cuz I didn't have any. We LOVED the exotic flavors from all the spices and the chicken came out so tender and juicy! What a great trip to Morocco on a weeknight!

Unexpected Gifts from New Zealand!

Most of the time, when my hubby travels for business, he brings me back some souvenier. It's usually a shot and keychain since I collect them. Sometimes he'll bring something else unexpected like these cute stuffed animals from New Zealand! Have you ever heard of Kiwi? No, not the fruit but the bird that's the national symbol of New Zealand. (Obviously, the real thing looks nothing as cute as this stuffed animal!) My Kiwi is also a Rugby World Cup T-shirt since it just started on Friday. How sweet and how cute right? Love you honey!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Best Burger in The Country?

My hubby LOVES hamburgers so I've done a lot of research to find the best burgers in the city. I've heard great things about Zuni Cafe and after reading this article from Epicurious declaring it one of THE BEST burgers in the country, I knew we had to check it out. The verdict? My hubby liked it but wish he had ordered it medium-rare instead of medium. Would we come back? Maybe but maybe not since it's a bit out of the way for us. I did really enjoy watching the open kitchen while waiting for our food though and it's definitely a popular place since we could only get a bar seat at 3pm on a Sunday.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Steak Dinner for My Hubby!

Since my hubby's been gone all week, I wanted to make him a manly steak dinner on his first night home. I found this recipe for Savory Garlic-Marinated Steak and decided to give it a try. It turned out AMAZING! The Liquid Smoke made the steaks taste fresh off the grill even though I cooked them in my cast iron and finished them off in the oven. It was the perfect combination of sweet, savory, tangy and spicy! I served my steaks over some mashed potatoes and my hubby was REALLY happy to be home!

Welcoming My Hubby Back with Eggs Benedict!

I've become somewhat of a pro when it comes to Eggs Benedict since it's my hubby's favorite brunch item. He's been traveling overseas all week and requested it as his "Welcome Home Meal", so of course, I was happy to make it for him! This time, since Avocados were in season, I added a few slices and he loved it! The creamy texture went so well with the salty Canadia Bacon and runny egg yolks. Of course, my go-to Blender Hollandaise Recipe never fails me!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cheesecake Brownie Bites are a Guaranteed Hit!

I've made Cheesecake Brownie Bites at least a dozen times now and they're a guaranteed ever single time! I mean, how can you go wrong with cheesecake AND brownie together right? I made them for the first time at this new job and people couldn't stop raving about them! Yup and 5 dozen gone within an hour! Maybe I should attend an online class on baking and pastry arts so I can make more fabulous treats like these.

Easiest Recipe EVER!

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line mini muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Mix brownies according to package directions. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.
3. Mix an 8oz block of cream cheese (softened) with 2/3 cup sugar and 1 egg. Add about 1/2 tsp to the middle of each muffin cup.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
5. Enjoy all by yourself or share, it's up to you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar, the PERFECT Combination!

Remember the Fruit-Flavored Balsamic Vinegar I used on my Yogurt-Marinated Chicken? We really gave them a taste test this weekend as dips for Garlic Bread. Can you believe I've NEVER made Roasted Garlic before? I've totally been missing out! I followed Simply Recipe's method and it was so easy! I mixed a few cloves with some softened butter and Italian Seasoning and spread it on sliced French Bread. Then I baked them in the oven for about 10 minutes and sprinkled them with Parmesan while they were still warm. The Garlic Bread came out so good that my hubby asked for it again the very next day! The first platter was from Sunday with Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar and the second was from Monday with Pomegranate. Both tasted amazing and was just PERFECT with my Garlic Bread!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pork! Be Inspired!

Have you seen the Pork! Be Inspired ads? Apparently, not every loves pork as much as we do so the Pork People feel the need to advertise about "The Other White Meat". In our house, we eat them just as often as ANY other meat, if not more. Anyway, I came across this recipe for Pineapple Curried Pork Chops and couldn't wait to try them. I mean, pineapple and curry, how can you go wrong? It was sweet and spicy and the meat came out perfectly tender. I used bone-in chops and served them over some couscous. A VERY yummy dinner to end our long weekend!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Relaxing Saturday Afternoon

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon so we decided to relax outdoors with some appies and drinks at Epic Roasthouse. We love that place cuz it's not only close by but also has the yummiest Oysters and Steak Fries! Hubby also says they have the best Steak Tartare but I refuse to touch anything that resembles uncooked meatloaf! There's something about rare meat and raw eggs that totally freaks me out. Anyway, we had a great time and enjoyed some sunshine, which is rare in SF!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Using More of the Ras el Hanout!

Remembering how yummy my last Ras el Hanout experience had been, I couldn't wait to try this Moroccan Lamb Shank Tagine with Ras el Hanout and Apricots. Simmered for 2 hours, the meat was just falling off the bones. (I only kept the bones on the plate so it didn't look like a pile of mush, which it kinda does anyway!) Not the prettiest lamb meal I've ever made but definitely one of the tastiest!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Couldn't Wait for More Nutella!

Ever since I discovered the magic of Nutella, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some more! I picked up a jar over the weekend and decided to make Nutella Cookies. They turned out crispy and thin and were gobbled up in no time flat! Happy Labor Day everyone!

Ingredients: (5 dozen cookies)

2-2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
1 c light brown sugar
1 (13 oz) jar Nutella
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

3. Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in eggs.

4. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

5. Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove to cooling racks.

Just Call Me the Creative Chicken!

We love the combination of sweet and spicy so I thought I'd get really creative with some chicken. We had some Strawberry Yogurt in the fridge so I used that as a marinade base. I also picked up a set of Flavored Balsamic Vinegar from Costco and thought the Cranberry would be a perfect match. The yogurt really tenderized the chicken and it came out so flavorful and moist! I also added hot sauce (Tabasco) for heat and my creative dinner was just perfect!


1 (8 oz) containers strawberry yogurt
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
Fresh parsley, for garnish


1. In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, balsamic vinegar, pepper, cinnamon and salt. Place chicken breast halves in a resealable bag and pour the sauce over them. Refrigerate overnight, turning chicken occasionally.

2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Take the chicken out of the marinade and reserve marinade. Brown chicken 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic and hot sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add lemon juice and reserved marinade. Bring to a boil.

4. Add chicken back and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked though, about 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
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