Monday, May 24, 2010

pork chop tostada! ole, ole, ole!

So in addition to no bread, I had no veggies in my apartment.  So I stopped at a local market to pick up a few (limited) supplies since it can run a tad expensive there.

Oh, and by the way, these tomatoes?  TO DIE FOR, OH GAWWWWD.  You have got to believe me.  I haven't tasted a tomato like this in years!  I think I could have eaten the entire container. Nom nom nom.

Next on the menu?  Avocados!  I just love the look of an avocado right after you open it up.  Gets me every time. :)

Then I mashed 'er up, threw in some leftover salsa that had been camping out in the fridge, chopped up a few of the grape tomatoes, sprinkled some garlic pepper, and guacamole was born.

Have I told you lately, guacamole, that I love you?  Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness....

Okay, okay, you get the picture. ;)

Mmmm, before and after pics.  So I had a leftover pork chop, and I chopped that puppy up and layered it like this:

Pork chop
Cucs and tomato deliciousness

And then heated it up until the cheese had melted.

And the result was quite delicious. :)

the quest for bread

Yes, my friends, it is a sad, sad kitchen here.

But behold, this is when wicked creativity is born.

Do not fear.

Enter: bread.  There is none of it in my apartment!  And I've been feeling extremely cheap lately, thanks to my unpaid (yet amazing, might I add!) internship.  Oh well.  The problem with bread-making at 11pm with limited ingredients?  No yeast.  No milk.  Which means that no tortilla, nor English muffins, nor a normal bread loaf could be made.

What do I say?  The hell with yeast!  Who needs it?!  I made up my own "tortilla" recipe using olive oil, and a little sugar, salt, and water.  Voila!  You has dough!

Ohhhh, see that rolling action?  Now, no yeast means that these puppies won't rise.  But that's alright.  So what did we do?  Fry 'em in a pan!

They were lifted from the plate....

And put in a pan. :)  Now, I thought they would need a decent amount of oil to cook, so I proceeded to put a decent amount of oil in the pan, thinking I'd use it for multiple tortillas.  Wrong.  The one tortilla ended up soaking up allllll the oil I had put in the pan.  Yum.  Artery-cloggin' yum.

Needless to say, that tortilla was a little more delicious than the others.

Actually, the tortillas need very little oil to cook, and if I had cooking spray here, that would've been just fine to use.  You can literally watch the tortilla go from a dark to light color, which means it's getting cooked-up.

And there they are!  They are definitely more tough than tortillas and are not so soft, but they have a pretty good wheat, nutty taste.
And what will happen with them will come in the very near future....

Monday, May 10, 2010

brunch for my mom!

I love my mom!!  Aren't we cute? A lot of people say we look like sisters.....I mean, I guess we do a bit.  My mom certainly likes hearing that from people.  Hmm, I wonder whyyy? :)

When I was little, I started a tradition of making my mom breakfast in bed for Mother's Day.  No gifts, just breakfast.  Needless to say, my breakfast-making abilities have definitely gotten much much better over the years.  I'm pretty sure the first breakfast I made her was your basic scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit placed in a parfait glass because it looks fancier that way, of course. :)  Not exactly sure how old I was when these breakfast traditions began, but it was somewhere around age 10-12.

About 10 years later, now my mom gets....

Eggs benedict! With crab!

I now have much more respect for those chefs who make eggs benedict because it is slightly complicated,  It was a bit hard to time everything...the English muffin being toasted, the crab meat and hollandaise sauce being heated, and the egg being poached.

However, it was definitely well worth the work.  And it was my first time making both hollandaise sauce AND a poached egg!  I was kinda afraid of the poaching part, and I imagined that the whites of the egg would just float away or something in the water and end up to be a big blob of grossness.  But...look how pretty the egg looked while it was cooking!

A good hint on poaching your first egg....try to get the whites that are escaping to land near the yolk.  You can do this once the egg is in the (near) boiling water with a slotted spoon...just kind of spoon the white over the top of the yolk.  I promise you poaching is really not that hard. :)

Along with the eggs benedict, we also had...MIMOSAS!  I got the idea for this from my trip to California to visit my Dad and Lisa.  We went to this AMAZING hotel for a brunch with a bunch of the firemen that my dad works with.  Not only was the food absolutely out of this world, but there were bottomless mimosas.  Yes.  BOTTOMLESS.  The champagne and OJ was kept a-flowin' all morning long!

So I rassled up some pink champagne and OJ.  50% less-sugar-and-calories-OJ for mom...I knew she'd like that. ;)

And look how cute the top of the OJ carton is!  It's an itty-bitty orange!

And then...I thought it'd look pretty to float some of the blackberries in the mimosa.  Pretty AND delicious.

One word.  Yum.

And thank you mom for EVERYTHING!  You're the best. :)

cookie dough monstrosity cheesecake

Look at this beautiful monstrosity.  Damnnnnnnn.

Just look at it.  Oh, dear God, I think I get heart palpitations just gazing lovingly into its cookie dough goodness.

 Are you sucked into a trance by its beauty?  Its symmetric chocolate swirly lovelyness?  Its layered yummines?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Let's just say that this puppy was a hit at tonight's Mom's Day dinner.  Even my uncle loved it, and he isn't exactly the sweets-lover!  I'd say that means that this cheesecake was a success. :)

The recipe came from here, but I made a few alterations...a few on purpose and a few by accident.  I actually forgot that there was supposed to be chocolate ganche under the cheesecake layer, but I seriously think my entire fam and I would be in a diabetic coma if I would've included that.  I intentionally left out the coffee, but I'm sure that would've been a super delicious addition.  I also didn't do the whole frilly icing thing...I'm more of a rustic baker, so anything that involves piping frosting makes me a tad anxious. ;)

You must make this cheesecake.  It's just that good.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

now ain't he a cutie?

Isn't he a cutie?? Marianne got my mom assorted pastries from this Japanese bakery for her birthday, and this guy was one of 'em. I don't know if there's something delicious in him be determined after dinner.

However. I did eat one of his ears. Whoops. Sorry, panda.

AHHHHhhhh! I ate his other ear. And now he can't hear...poor dude.

Current song obsession? I'm sad to admit that it's Kesha's Your Love Is My Drug. Oh. Sorry, I mean KE$HA. Clearly, the dollar sign makes all the difference. Anyway, the lyrics are a bit obnoxious, but I'm in love with the beat. It's just super addicting....proven by the fact that it's been in my head on and off for the past week, haha.

I can't stand her giggling at the end. Also, what is with the "I like your beard" part?! Way confusing people, but then again, she does: 1. Include a dollar sign in her name, and 2. Look like a starving child on the front of her album. Soooo, that being said, I suppose the beard comment isn't all that out of character. Someone commented on YouTube that she's a hot mess. Umm, seriously? She looks like she just rolled out of a grave!

Tomorrow is Mother's Day! Which means a delicious post is on its way. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

because I'm feeling introspective thanks to urban meditation pandora station

Let's just say it's been a roller coaster of a few weeks and leave it at that. Actually, a roller coaster of a school year...of both not so good and good things, mind you. It's been a rough eight months emotionally, mentally, and academically in a number of different circumstances....but I made it out alive. :) I've recently discovered this great site. It combines two of my loves: pictures and quotes....what more could I need :) I'm linking some of my recent favorites to this post.
I've finished one year of grad school! Do you know how much that excites me?! And do you know how much that scares the bejeebers out of me??? It's hard to believe that I only have one more year left at UM. I've been there for six years....that's a big chunk of a critical part of my life, and it's wild to think that it is all going to come to an end.

This school year, I am so thankful for the people I have met, gotten closer to, and those who have pulled me up to get through it and non-school related things. Where would we be without those that we love in our lives? I just don't know. But I can tell you one thing, we're so much better off with them than without them. :) I've learned a lot this year, and thank you to all of you who have helped me along the way.

And just remember this. It's so so true. :)

chicken adventure 1.0

I tried, people, I really did. You have got to believe me.

I really did try to make chicken myself.

I got out my cookbook. I found a decent recipe that seemed doable and not to hard. Too bad I started following the recipe after I realized that I didn't have about half the ingredients on hand. Whoops. Enter recipe interpretations. However, baking interpretations are much different than cooking interpretations, and I realized that I have yet to master this technique. But they say that wisdom comes with age, so I'm not gonna get too down on myself just yet.

Ummm. If that container hadn't been positioned there, one might think that someone was peeing on my chicken.....HOW DARE THEY!

Anyway. :) I threw together some spices, rubbed it on the (raw....ew ew ew) chicken, and tossed it in the oven and hoped that it would turn out.

And surprisingly, it did! However, for some reason, I didn't eat my prepared chicken once I made it. Sure, I ate about half of it, but here I am, I have a FULLY COOKED PROTEIN SOURCE at my very hands, and then I suddenly get cravings for cereal for dinner.

I really don't understand it, either. But...I will try meat-cooking again, no worries. Please don't lose faith in me just yet.