Sweet Cooking

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Those were the days….

In Baby food, Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on October 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I took a little blog trip back in time to see what I was cooking last fall. Wow. We ate well back then. Wow.

Apple Pie

Vegetable Soup

Pumpkin Bread

Halloween Bark

Now, it’s a struggle to get dinner on the table. I must admit we’re eating pretty simple these days. Think roasted chicken, steamed broccoli and rice. Pork tenderloin, quinoa and a salad. It’s not bad food, it’s just not that interesting. Not blog worthy. I’m going to have to get organized if I want to spice things up. I need to make weekly meal plans, shop once (okay, twice), and use the weekends to make something that I can freeze. I recently made a batch of My Dad’s Turkey Chili, and it’s been lunch all week. It’s so nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer. I really need to do more of that.

I’ve also been busy cooking for the baby. She is eating pureed fruits and vegetables now, and I’ve been making some of her food.

This is butternut squash. You halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, and roast it in a pan of shallow water until it's soft.

Then you puree it and freeze it in these little trays. It's kind of fun and really easy to make her food.

Apples. They are her favorite.

Enough baby food…I do believe that butternut squash is too often overlooked. It’s such a nice side dish. I can’t remember what I had with this, but I remember loving the squash.

Peel the squash and then cut it into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Then roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir occasionally. It will be tender (you can easily pierce it with a fork) when it's done.

My next post is going to be about the world’s largest veal chop and then I’ll be bringing you a super chocolate chip cookie and pumpkin swirl brownies!


Asian Rice with Shrimp and Snow Peas

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on October 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

The babe and I have been on a world tour. Four days after we came home from California, we went to Alabama. It was wonderful to see family and friends. And it was fantastic to see Auburn beat Florida! However, all the traveling has meant not much cooking.

But I did manage to bust this dish out for dinner recently.

You can find the recipe here. It’s simple and tasty. Not the most exciting dish, but if you like Asian flavors it’s worth a try. It makes great leftovers too. Have a great weekend everyone!

Pistachio Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

In Fruit, Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 14, 2011 at 7:58 am

I’ve been doing a lot of “crusted” dishes lately. I really like this one! The original recipe was actually for a peanut-crusted chicken, but I had pistachios and used them instead.

I suggest using a food processor or mini-prep to finely chop the pistachios. There is also one slice of whole wheat bread in there. This literally takes less than 30 seconds.

Once that is done, simply dredge the chicken in the pistachio mixture.

Make the pineapple salsa. I didn't use a red onion in my salsa because I forgot to buy one. I hate it when that happens.

Cook the chicken and you're done! Tasty, easy and not a lot of clean-up. The perfect weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Cajun Style Peel and Eat Shrimp

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

This is a great recipe. I doubt you’ll find any true Southerner who doesn’t like this one. I know some people don’t like to peel shrimp and get their hands all dirty. Boo hoo. Believe me, there are some diapers that are a lot worse than shrimp peels. Just suck it up and get in there. No reason to let a little shrimp peel stand in your way of a delicious dinner. Put a roll of paper towels on the table and peel your little heart out.

Here are the ingredients. Please note I used fresh thyme instead of dried thyme. I also used fake garlic instead of real garlic (which was what was on hand - gasp).

Mix all that up with the shrimp.


Bake in individual foil packets. Soooooo easy!

Serve this dish with a loaf of bread (the juices are great for dipping), a green salad and some cold beers. This is a spicy dish….you might want to scale back on the red pepper and tabasco if you are spice averse. Enjoy!

Hello Again!

In Miscellaneous on August 4, 2011 at 9:53 am

I’m back (sort of)! In the past 8 months, I lived through an apartment renovation where our kitchen was taped up for almost 2 months.

Oh, and I had a baby!

Now I have an almost 4 month old.

She does not like swimsuits. Otherwise, she is fairly agreeable.

Motherhood is an amazing, frustrating, emotional, happy, overwhelming, time consuming, fun, and rewarding experience. Hopefully I’ll be able to balance blogging, being a mom and wife, and having a life! My posts will not be daily…I’m aiming for 2 a week (but I’ll settle for one). And I’ll probably be using fewer photographs. The photos are really time consuming (getting the right shot, editing and uploading – it takes forever).  So without further delay….I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to in the kitchen!

I made Lemon Grilled Chicken Breasts recently. I cooked 4 breasts and had enough for dinner for me and Dan plus 2 lunches. The recipe is from Cooking Light and it’s pretty straightforward and simple.

I am in love with this side salad. It’s “Walnut-Green Bean Salad“. It’s really delicious and it’s a great side for almost any summer meal. It has bulgur in it. I bought a little bit of bulgur from Whole Foods (just enough for this recipe) and it costs $.65. What else can you buy for $.65? And one cup of bulgur goes a long way! I ate on this salad for several days. I think it’s even better when it’s a day old.

In case you are wondering...Chance loves Anna, but he was a little shocked when we brought her home from the hospital. Frankly, we all were.

Ummm, yeah, so that’s what I’ve been up to. Pretty boring. I have spent a lot of the last four months feeding the baby. While I was doing that I read some really good books. And I watched the Auburn/Oregon game at least 3 times.

I highly recommend Tina Fey's book, Bossy Pants. It is hysterical and there is a chapter entitled "There is a drunk midget living in my house" that really spoke to me.

I also read Ruth Reichl’s books. I really enjoyed them. Ruth is a former food critique, cook and editor of Gourmet Magazine. She’s also a great writer and her memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples are both great reads. They are lighthearted and emotional at the same time. Perfect for a vacation (not that I’ve been on one of those) or a new mom who is up all night nursing a baby.

Baby is waking up – not sure why she decided to shorten her morning nap today! Next time I promise some food pics and less baby talk. Hope you come back!






Bun in the Oven

In Miscellaneous on November 5, 2010 at 10:51 am

And I’m not talking about the kind made with yeast and flour. That’s right folks, I am pregnant. Really pregnant. As in 16 weeks pregnant.

That’s why my blog has suffered a bit of late.

Being pregnant is exhausting work.

Really exhausting. As in you stayed up all night and took a red eye home and didn’t sleep and went to work and then did it all again the next night.

And honestly, I haven’t been that jazzed about food. About 6 weeks ago, I had no interest in food at all. I ate an english muffin topped with cheese and jalapenos for dinner 8 days in a row. I didn’t think that meal was blog worthy. Dan was disgusted and his diet suffered greatly during that time.

I’m feeling better now. I’m eating like a horse and having fun in the kitchen again. So the blog should be a little more regular.

Here are the answers to the common questions:

1. When is the baby due? Middle of April.
2. How are you feeling? Excited, petrified, exhausted. And I have acne and killer headaches. This is odd because I’ve never had bad skin or migraines before.
3. How is Dan? He is fine and seems to be handling pregnancy well. He’s not showing at all.

4. Do you miss wine?

Yes, but not as much as I would have thought. I’ve actually had fun trying non-alcoholic cocktails. Alcohol free mojitos are great.
5. Are you going to find out the gender? Yes, I have an ultra sound scheduled at the beginning of December. We are going to ask the tech to write down the gender and we’re going to read it for the first time on Christmas morning.
6. Would you consider naming the baby after Cam Newton.

Yes, most definitely.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Help! Need a Great Recipe for Pulled Pork

In Miscellaneous on October 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I am all nervous about the Auburn game this weekend. I am just petrified of Arkansas. I don’t know why, but I have a bad, bad feeling. I’m resorting to some voodoo to try to help my team. I am going to make pulled pork sandwiches for the first time ever. I figure eating the opponent has to warrant some type of good luck.

I wish someone from Alexander City would Fed Ex me some Sho' Nuff BBQ!

It’s just going to be me and Dan, so I don’t need a recipe that takes 12 hours to cook and feeds an entire tailgate. Any thoughts? I’ll even settle for a great BBQ sauce recipe. I don’t even have one of those that I like. Thanks and War Eagle!!

Sweet Potato Fries

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

There is really nothing better than a burger and fries. I actually crave hamburgers sometimes. It’s not that bad for you as long as the patty isn’t the size of your plate. At some restaurants, the burger is so big, I only eat half. At home, I make smaller burgers. Easier to eat, better for you and just as satisfying!

Fries are the perfect companion to a burger, but unfortunately, traditional french fries are loaded with fat and sodium. They are definitely to be saved for special occasions or when you’ve just run 5 miles. Since it was neither a special occasion or the day of a long run, I just couldn’t justify french fries on Saturday night! I chose to make sweet potato fries instead. They are baked not fried – that’s a huge calorie savings right there. And sweet potatoes are loaded with goodness: Fiber. Vitamin A. Vitamin C. (just to name a few).

Making sweet potato fries is easy.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Then peel the potato and chop it into fries.

Toss the fries in just a little bit of olive oil. This should not be a big oil bath...just enough to coat the fries. Then make a mixture of kosher salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Toss the fries in the spice mixture. If you don't like spice, just use some salt and regular black pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes flipping the fries halfway through.

Now, don’t think that these fries are going to be as crispy and addictive as real french fries. It’s just not gonna happen. They are tasty and good for you, though. Give them a shot!

Stuffed Tomatoes

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 8, 2010 at 7:44 am

You wouldn't know it from the photo, but there is something yummy in here!

I purchased two New Jersey beef steak tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market this week. We are still getting lots of tomatoes up here. They have been so delicious. I will be so sad when the tomatoes are gone.

I decided to stuff the tomatoes with cheese and herbs. I used a Food & Wine recipe for inspiration. I altered things quite a bit…this is my version:

Herb and Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

2 Tomatoes

3/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

6-8 Leaves of Fresh Basil

1 Clove Garlic

1 Egg White

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

1. Cut the tops off of each tomato and reserve. Scoop out the core and seeds of each tomato.

2. In a food processor (I used the mini prep), chop the garlic clove and basil. Add in chunks of the feta cheese and process everything together. Season mixture with salt and pepper and process another second.

3. Add an egg white and a tablespoon of olive oil to the cheese mixture and stir well.

4. Spoon the cheese mixture into the tomatoes.

Let the cheese mixture come out of the tomato some.

5. Put the tomato tops back on the tomato and drizzle with olive oil. The oil should run down the sides of the tomatoes slightly.

6. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes.

The tomato will be wrinkly and slightly browned when it's ready.

Enjoy with a piece of grilled bread and mixed greens. Delicious!

A Recipe to Kickoff Your Tailgate

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 3, 2010 at 10:38 am

Happy Football Season! I absolutely LOVE college football. I am getting chill bumps just thinking about it! May Auburn the best team win. As you are planning to watch the game at home or to attend a game, surely you are considering what type of snacks you’d like to have. This is an oldie but a goodie: Texas Caviar. It’s a great dish that should be present at every tailgate!

Texas Caviar is sort of a salsa, sort of a salad. Call it what you like!

Recipe for Texas Caviar


3 cans (16 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained (I only used 2)

1 can (8 oz) white shoepeg corn, drained

2 cans (8 0z) yellow corn, drained (I used one large can)

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cans (16 oz)  Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained

1 cup jalapenos, seeded and chopped (you may also use jalapenos from the jar)

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/2 large bunch of cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Juice of one lemon

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1. Whisk together the last 7 ingredients (red wine vinegar through salt) in a very large bowl. Seriously, use the largest bowl you have, this makes a ton of salsa/salad.

2. Add all the other ingredients and stir.

3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator. If you can, stir or shake it up every few hours.

This salsa/dip is best the day after it’s made and will last almost a week in the fridge. It’s also a nice accompaniment to grilled chicken or pork.

This salsa/salad is best served with "Scoops". They are less messy than regular tortilla chips.

Have fun cheering on your team this weekend! See you on Monday!