Archive for July, 2008

stummy

July 23, 2008

I had a great plan. I had an idea to make delicious grilled chicken in my grill pan. Mother Nature did not agree. I have a tummy ache. i am eating oatmeal for dinner tonight.

BOO.

the recipe for above mentioned chicken will follow when I can hold down food.

Dinner Party

July 18, 2008
This is Cat. See Cat cook.

Hello foodies!

Last night I hosted the first of what I hope will be MANY dinner parties at my new apartment. This one was for my friend Cat, who is leaving for two weeks to have enforced family bonding time. Fun?

Anyway, in attendance were Cat and her boyfriend Phil, our friend Cami (another MBC grad), my bf, and myself. Nice small group and thank goodness, because I realized after agreeing to host that we only had 4 actual dining room chairs! oops. I ended up on a desk chair. No worries.

Here’s the Boyfriend. He was feeling handy and
built me an Ikea shelf. Thank goodness for handy boyfriends.

Cat LOVES when I cook for her, and I have a suspicion that if I were a guy, she would leave Phil for me. She has two favorite meals so far: first is homemade macaroni and cheese, and second is clam sauce with linguine. Both are, as boyfriend puts it, “mom food”, meaning my mom’s recipes. 🙂 So I can see why she loves them so much! My mom is an amazing cook. So while I toyed with the idea of a super impressive veggie lasagna for last night, I ended up making mac and cheese, salad, and strawberries with balsamic reduction. Mmm. Low effort. Maximum impact.

Below is a quick look at the progression of a basic white sauce, which is the base of many wonderful and not healthy things that I love making. This mac and cheese, however, was as healthy as it gets. I used low carb elbow macaroni and low fat cheese. I also used skim condensed milk because I wanted to make this a little creamier.

Melt one stick of margarine


Add 5 tablespoons of flour

Whisk together until it forms a paste

Add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 2 cups
of condensed skim milk or 2 cups of 1% milk.

This is your white sauce. Pour it over cooked macaroni (2 cups uncooked) and stir in 2-3 cups low-fat cheese. Top with a little extra cheese and back at 350 for 40 minutes.

Strawberries with a Blackberry Balsamic Reduction
Serves 6

2 clamshell containers of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1 tsp. Splenda
1/2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Blackberry jam

Toss the strawberries in a bowl with the Splenda (or sugar, whatever. I’m on a diet.) Let them sit out on the counter for approximately 25-30 minutes. This will draw out the juices and make them soft and lovely.

Simmer the balsamic vinegar and jam in a small frying pan or sauce pan over medium high heat. You will notice as it goes on that it will start to reduce in volume, which is what you are trying to do. This will intensify the flavors and take out all the vinegar taste, leaving it surprisingly sweet. Reduce it by about half, which will take approximately 5-8 minutes. Just keep and eye on it and don’t let it get tooooo thick! Taste it and if you like the taste, take it off the heat. If not, let it reduce a little more.

You can either toss this with the strawberries or serve it seperately. I chose to serve it seperately because my guests were a tad apprehensive when they found out that the sauce was made of vinegar. Silly kids. Obviously it’s going to be delicious if the Italians invented it. 🙂 This was a HUGE hit and everyone asked me to make it again next time! Unfortunately it disappeared too quickly to take pictures of, but maybe next time.

A Mushroom, if you please

July 15, 2008


Hello blog readers! I apologize for my very very very long hiatus. Moving is a pain in the you-know-what. I have done some random cooking in the new place but hadn’t completely unpacked yet, so my camera/internet abilities were hindered. I now have both (yay!) so I will begin regular postings again 🙂

I have been doing a poor job of getting to the gym on a regular basis because of a sprain that occurred when I rolled my ankle in a hot pair of black Steve Madden stilettos. Seriously. So I’ve been trying very hard to keep up my healthy eating to compensate for being a couch slug. Seems to be working…the boyfriend informed me that I will “waste away” if I lose any more weight. I told him I loved him more in that moment than any other since we’ve been together. 😉 Seriously, I’ve gone from a size 14ish to a size 10, and am still losing!


My first “new apartment” dinner that I will share with you is a Marinated Portabello Mushroom Burger that I made last night. It is DELISH and ridiculously good for you. I used a cast iron grill pan to grill mine because apartments apparently are averse to letting you grill on decks if there is another deck right above you. Hmph. Fine. GRILL PAN. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where a grill is acceptable, please do chargrill these puppies. You’ll thank me. And yes, I will admit to cheating and using a bottled dressing to marinate this, but I am not ashamed. Brianna’s Fine Salad Dressings are delicious and I will not apologize for my affection towards them.

Marinated Portabello Mushroom Burger

Two large portabello mushroom caps, lightly brushed to remove dirt
One bottle of Rich Santa Fe Blend Dressing (see above link)
Fresh whole basil leaves
Roasted red peppers, cut into strips
Sourdough rolls

1) After removing any dirt from the mushrooms, place them in a shallow baking dish side by side and pour dressing over them. Cover and put in fridge for 25 minutes, flipping once.
2) Heat cast iron skillet or grill while you’re waiting. You want them to go into a VERY hot pan.
3) Throw them onto your grill/pan and cook for about 5 minutes per side.
4) Build your burger: Roll, mushroom, basil, peppers, some extra dressing…Fini. You’ll love it. **Make this gluten free by using a gluten free roll or none at all! I love this over a green salad.

I had this with my new favorite fruit combo of green seedless grapes and blueberries. No french fries. Trust me…your thighs will thank you later.