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Showing posts from 2010

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie!

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I'll be the first to admit it:  I'm obsessed with all thingsMartha.  How can you not be-- she's THE female version of MacGuyver. Instead of saving people from dangerous car explosions at just the opportune time using creative genius, she is saving us from ourselves in our kitchens.  Pie crust flat? Chicken too dry? Missing a key ingredient? Martha to the RESCUE. 

I've mentioned it before, but I'm a bit of a Sirius satellite radio addict.  And there is just the ONE station I listen to:  yep. Martha Stewart Living Radio.  I recently participated in another of Mario's weekend cooking challenges (he's the host of Living Today on MSLR radio station).  This time the challenge:  The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Now, I consider myself more of a cook than a baker.  Basically because I cook more than I bake.  Why is this? 
A) I'm a messy, messy cook, and a baking mess is exponentially worse. 
B) I may be scarred for life from making a wedding cake 7 years ago, …

Fancy Birthday

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I just celebrated a birthday, it was the 6th anniversary of my 29th birthday!  How about that?!  Well, I'm not feeling too bad about being smack in the middle of my mid-thirties, especially since the oh-so-sweet 19 year old worker girl at "Game Stop" informed my husband and I yesterday that we are going to be "hot" old people.  YEEEESSSS!  Life is full of little victories...... 

Another victory is that I have an amazing husband that totally gets me, and my obsession/fascination/appreciation for really really good food.  He surprised me with dinner at the..... drum roll please.... Salish Lodge!  For those of you unfamiliar with the Salish, it is a beautiful northwest lodge that sits just above Snoqualmie Falls, in Snoqualmie, WA and it is very fancy (in the style of "northwest fancy", not like NY fancy).  He reserved a window table, and arranged for rose petals, and a rose to be placed at the table upon our arrival.  So sweet. 

There was a newly engage…

For the Love of Cooking

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Listening to my favorite radio program recently, this question was posed: 

Where does your love of cooking come from?

Callers were citing their moms, grandmas, aunts....  Telling stories of learning family dishes from homelands far away, passing on tricks and tips through generations, preserving hand written recipes by great great so-and-so to keep traditions alive.  It was all so romantic.

So I was digging deep, trying to remember that moment, the meal, the person. Visions of hamburger helper, instant mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and TV dinners popped in my head.  As a child of the 70's, and 80's, and a mother who, bless her heart, just doesn't have a passion for the kitchen, I concur that my love of cooking has just come from within.  

I am basically an entirely self taught home cook.  There is a cooking "gene" in the family, it's just that the other gene-carriers live at least 2 states away, and always have.  But being free from the confines of culinary tradit…

Spring Has Sprung!

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Is it me, or does this year feel like it's flying by?!! No complaints here, other than the weather in Seattle. I think our January and February were actually nicer than April and May! It may be cold, a little rainy, and way too windy, but it is light out until 8:30 pm. This makes it acceptable to grill and eat spring fare, even if we are bundled up in down coats, and that extra pair of gloves is still in the car!

The farmer's market in my neighborhood of Edmonds, WA just opened a couple of Saturday's ago. After perusing my latest copies of Cooking Light, Everyday Food, and Coastal Living, I was inspired to put together menus for the next couple of dinners.

Yesterday, I headed to the farmer's market first, with my list of ingredients. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the produce was less expensive than the grocery store, locally grown, and mostly organic. I picked up asparagus, arugula, tarragon, green onion, and basil. It is so fresh and fragrant, I can&#…

American Pie

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“I would never let a woman kick my a**. If she tried something, I'd be like, HEY! You get your b**ch a** back in the kitchen and make me some pie!"” Eric Cartman


For those of you unfamiliar with South Park humor, you:


A) Have been living under a rock
B) Have no social contact with anyone under the age of 50
C) Have some semblance of class
D) Probably thought watching The Simspons was "crossing the line"

I did make pie last weekend, not because I unsuccessfully kicked Cartman's a**, but because my mother requested it as her gift for mother's day. She knows I don't know how to knit a sweater, or anything else for that matter, so, pie it was.
In 8th grade Home Ec, I "sewed" a rad Ghetto Blaster pillow. Not good.

My Grandma, Janet Parker, just turned the big 9-3 on Friday. She is the one that taught me to make apple pie. She came to visit from California every year, and I am sure formed some opinion of me based on the Ghetto Blaster pillow, circa 1988. I …

Use It Up, part Deux, Trois, and Quatre

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To catch you up in case you missed last week's episode of "disastrous cleanse diet", Laurie went on a 7 day cleanse diet, and lasted 2 days. Laurie stocked up on 7 days worth of cleanse diet produce, and needed to put this to good use in other recipes. Laurie was so sick of plain fruits and veggies (and "wonder soup") after two days, that creativity was a must. Here is what she is featuring in this week's episode:

Chicken Parmesan:

This incorporated the marinara sauce made just after falling off the cleanse diet wagon. (loosely based on Ellie Krieger's recipe from Food Network)

Ingredients


4 slices bread (I used 2 bagel thins because that is what I had on hand and it worked great)1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 4 teaspoons paprika 1/4 cup parmesan cheese1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 2 eggs1/2 cup non fat milk1/2 cup all-purpose flour 4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness 3 1/2 cu…

Use It Up Part 1

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We've all been there. Or maybe not. In any case, I was there recently, and it didn't work out. Where was I? OUT OF MY MIND. A co-worker of mine decided she was going to do a 7 day cleanse diet. I thought, wow that sounds like a great idea, I'll do it too! Lose 5-12 pounds in a week, get pumped full of vitamins, clean out the system, feel better than ever. My supportive other half decided he should do it too, even better!

So this is how it was meant to go down: Day 1: Only eat fruit. That sounds great, I love fruit! Day 2: Only eat vegetables. You can stir fry them, eat them in a salad with oil and vinegar,and you get to eat a baked potato for breakfast! Day 3: Eat only fruits and vegetables. Day 4: Eat bananas and drink milk. huh. This is going to be a tough one for me-- I don't even like bananas, but I'll make smoothies! Day 5: Tomatoes and lean protien. Day 6: Vegetables and protien and a cup of brown rice.Yay- rice! Day 7: Fruit and vegetables only. Oh, and you …

Weekend Cooking Challenge #2, and the great Cilantro debate!

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Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge #2 was a great success, thanks to a wonderful host, Mario Bosquez, and a fabulous recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew Wild, chef and instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.  The recipe chosen was: shrimp in a cilantro cream sauce.  Some of you are going:  "eeeeewww, cilantro", and some of you are like: "that sounds divine"!  There has always been a great debate over cilantro, with very strong feelings one way or another.  Either it tastes like soap to you, or you love it! 

Ironically, the New York Times published an article on this just last week.  You can read it online at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html?scp=2&sq=cilantro&st=cse.

The good news for both lovers and haters of this contraversial herb is that it imparts such a mellow flavor in this dish, you hardly know it is there.  Of course, if you are so against it that you lie and tell people you are allergic to it to avoid it,…