Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh My Pecan Pie

I liked pecan pie growing up, didnt eat much of it as my father didnt believe in celebrating most holidays, (now he's been fishing for an invite for our christmas party for years) Back when i was first learning how to bake pies i did try my hand at pecan. Turned out great, but i now knew what the ingredients were. Including lots of corn syrup and butter, i just couldnt make it again, and in fact hadnt until last year. I then came across the concept of subing out some of the butter for dark chocolate and not only using less syrup, but maple syrup. Though I was proud of having found a pecan solution, i was disappointed when it came to taste. It just wasnt up to par, looked great though, It wasnt a disaster, but it was a little below average, and thats just not good enough. I was thinking of trying my hand at a chocolate hazelnut pie, but i have decided to focus on finding a great (no corn syrup, low on butter) pecan pie. If anyone has anything out there, please send it my way, Ill update as to what i end up doing.
UPDATE Just did this, turned out great! Was another walnut chocolate, only much much better

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Product review: Fiber One

I tried two products, the two they send when you sign up for a free sample on their website.

Cereal

The first was FiberOne cereal, it looked like a bran based cereal, and it was heavy on the bran, the flakes were thick and took over all the other flavors and so at the end while i did not eat the box for the fiber, it tasted like i had.

Bars

I wasnt expecting much, most bars are disappointing to me, especially when they try to disguise the taste by smothering it in chocolate, but while the bar was called chocolate and oats it didnt seem to be over burdened by it. It tasted nice, it had lots of oats (probably my favorite whole grain), didnt taste like soy, some chocolate, that didnt taste like really cheap quality stuff with a bit of wax mixed in for shine, and even had a bit of a caramel undertone. It didnt break your teeth, nor did it stick to them, and didnt leave sticky residue on my hands. As for  the ingredients, although not overwhelmed by soy products, it does fall into the sin of HFCS, something i avoid. the fact that its 7th on the list of ingredients is a plus, that fact that theres 3 other sweeteners in bar is a bit shocking. And the first ingredient is... you have to see it for yourself, id like to see what people would guess. next time youre in the store check it out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

THink outside the box for company

There are 3 types of meal you usually get when you go to someone's house for dinner.
1) Pasta people, this can range from mac and cheese to shrimp scampi to lasagna to spaggetti and bottled sauce. But there are many people out there who almost always serve some kind of pasta for company. Its understandable, its easy to make, fast, and a crowd pleaser. Even we've been guilty of serving some friends so much pasta over the years they think thats all we ever make.

2) Grillers - Everyone has been to a party where the entire meal is pretty much prepared after you get there on the grill, for many this is strictly a summer time activity, but for others it year round. Theres such a surge in the summer by september grilled anything is usually unappealing to many.

3) What's a meal without a roast? people. Something roast be it beef, chicken, pork or turkey. Theres a roast, usually with some kind of potatoes and some other green veg. The sides can increase dramatically though thanksgiving or christmas dinners are usually the most extreme version.

I am guilty of falling into all categories and many times over, but i have been trying to rebel against the norm and this last weekend decided to feed the crowd something a little more outside the box. So i bought some cooked chicken breast at the store and went for chinese chicken salad instead.

5 chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2 in. cubes
i can water chestnuts, drained
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 bag coleslaw salad mix
1/2 cup cashews
2 tortilla, cut into strips
oil for frying

1/2 cup sugar (i went down the dark path it seems)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup veg oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sesame seeds
mix up the dressing, fry up the tortilla strips and drain on a paper towel. Arrange in a large bowl, cabbage mix, sugar snaps, chicken, water chestnuts, cashews and tortilla strips. Add the dressing before serving and enjoy a different kind of night for company. Oh and dont forget to get them to bring dessert.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Perfect Hot Fudge Sundae - a quick and easy ice cream fix

The trick to the ultimate hot fudge sundae is completely dependant on the quality of ingredients. For ice cream, I like Double Rainbow's vanilla, (by the way the fresher the ice cream the better the flavor) and for chocolate, there are many great brands out there, but basically the silkier the texture the better the fudge. The three little bars that come wrapped from trader joes are great. Personally im a milk chocolate fan, and normally use Cadbury's, but there's something about hot fudge sundaes that calls for dark.
I have found that simple is best.
For the fudge, i make a simple ganache with a one to one ratio.
1 cup cream
2 cups chocolate, bars are better than chips, unless you have GREAT chips


heat the cream until small bubbles form on the sides of the pot, (or microwave in jar) pour over a bowl filled with broken up bits of chocolate.
Wait a couple of minutes and then stir together til melted. its best served in large glasses (vs. bowls) pour some into the bottom of the glass, add ice cream (I do two scoops per person), and then pour more over the top, reserve some chocolate sauce and serve on the side, (round half way through chocolate lovers need a refill)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To Seitan or not to Seitan

I'm sorry but given the choice between eating plain veg, and eating seitan with it, seitan is so boring and has so much gluten, i rather stick to just the veg.

Prefect Bacon

This is the best way for cooking bacon, crispy, flatish, and with little clean up.
Cover a baking sheet with foil, curling the edges up so the grease doesn't drip. Lay the bacon flat on top, crack a little pepper on, if you like and bake at 425, its perfect for us in 9 minutes, but id start checking after 7, it could take as long as 15, if you into extra crispy.
Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel, dont attempt to toss the grease til it's cooled.
Once youve found the perfect timing, Grease splattered counter tops will be a distant memory.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Curried Cashew Chicken Salad

Leftover Chicken around a cups worth

couple of tbsps mayo

a little fresh ginger, grated (ginger can be stored in the freezer in a little zip bag, will last you a long time)

1/4 cup cilatr, chopped

1/4 cup cashew butter (you can sub with peanut butter)

half a celery stick, chopped

1 tsp curry paste or powder

pinch of brown sugar

and a handful of cashews if you like

Mix it all together, if its too thick, try thinning it out with some yogurt.

Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

Takes just a couple minutes to assemble.

Whip 2 containers mascarpone with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.Clean and cut the stems off a carton of strawberries. Fill a store bought graham cracker crust with mascarpone, top with strawberries, placed cut side down.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cheap Green Gift Ideas for Mother's Day: Herb Cuttings

The best gifts give you something as well, (and im not talking about the thanks)

First off start collecting glass bottles and jars.

Then go visit a friend with an herb garden, and ask if you can get cutting of their herbs (if you don't grow your own).

Then place all the herbs in glass jars with water, indoors, and wait, they should start growing, if the jar is clean (no soapy residue that counts as well)

Once theres quite a bit of roots, at least 3 inches long, plant them.  Once you have a decent bunch growing you can cut again and start a second to give away, but let's face it. That's not happening, not if you're a true zombie.

Instead, when you're going to go, get cuttings, put them in old jars, label the jars with tape and a sharpe, and then place them in an old shoe box, or other sort of box. (If it's a really ugly box, wrap it with gift wrap or the funnies, or just newspaper.) Include instructions on how to grow the herbs.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


1 1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp honey

1 egg

1 cup chocolate chips

1/4 tsp salt

Mix the sugars and butter, add egg, van., and honey. Add remaining ingredients. Now for the great secrete to really good cookies, put the dough in the fridge for a couple of days. Bring them back up to room temp before baking (unless you like thick cookies) and bake at 400 for 7 minutes.

These suckers burn quickly, take the 7 minutes seriously, more than 9 minutes and youll be busy scraping bottoms.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kitchen Sink Gucamole for Instant Gratification

3 ripened avocados, shell-less

1 little tomato, chopped

1 onion, chopped fine

1 jalapeno, chopped really small

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced

3 garlic cloves, mashed

1 tsp cumin

salt

Mix it all together, if you under mix the avocados will be chunky, over mix and it will be  smoother.

Eat with chips, or make a quesadilla, top with guc and then sour cream, then slice.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I lika a lotta Lime Cheesecake

The improvement of key lime pie is key lime cheesecake.

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 cup  sugar

3− 8oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened

2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)

1 tsp lime zest

3 eggs

whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350*. Coat all the crumbs with butter  in a bowl.  Press the crumbs onto the bottom and half way up the sides of a springform pan. (If you dont have a springform, you can try a cheesecake pie.) Bake crust for 5 mins.and set aside. In large bowl mix cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla. Add the lime juice and eggs and beat till smooth and creamy. Bang the filling on the counter to disturb neighbors and get air bubbles out. Pour filling into crust. Bake for 60 mins. if you have a habit of grand canyon cheesecakes, there are all sorts of tricks to help avoid them, none of which work. The best solution follows.

You're looking for a light brown it's done. Remove from oven and allow to cool till room temperature. Put into fridge. When chilled, remove the pan sides and cut.

If you have a grand canyon down the middle top with whipped cream.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

BLT - Zombie Style

BLTs are great, but add a little avocado and they may be the ultimate sandwich.

4 strips bacon

2 leaves roman lettuce

2 slices of a large heirloom tomato

1/2 an avocado, sliced

1 tbsp mayo

a couple leaves basil, sliced thin (or a little frozen cube, they sell them in supermarks)

a little garlic clove, crushed

4 pieces of sandwich bread, toasty

a wee bit of oil.

Mix the mayo in a small bowl with basil and garlic. Heat up a pan with a little oil, place bacon in the pan slowy and in a zig zag fashion, folding it over itself where it zags. Once you get the desired color on the bacon, remove the bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Spread mayo on all slices of bread, then layer with lettuce, then bacon, then avocado, then tomato, cover with the second slice, do all this twice for two sandwiches. Wrap up and take with you for picnic dinner, starting just before sunset. Then drive over to your favorite ice cream/frozen yogurt place, cause BLT should always be followed with frozen goodness.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chicken Curry Salad Sandwich

Every Zombie needs a little kick in their lunch sometimes, if you can get away this is great as picnic fair. A short picnic is a great way to break up the day.

1 cup chicken chunks

2 tbsp mayo

a celery stick, chopped

1 green onion, sliced

a small handful of raisins

a small handful sunflower seeds

a few springs parsely, chopped

2 tsp curry powder, (or 1 tsp paste)

Some bread

Mix all the ingredients together, tasts and see if you need to season. Spread on bread, and wrap in wax paper, (for easy transport).

With a little mango juice, carrot slaw and oatmeal raisin cookies youll have a little picnic to share with someone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Honey Pass by the Mustard Sauce

Easy Honey Mustard Sauce

1 tbsp Mustard of choice, (jalopeno mustard is divine in this)

2 tsp Honey (preferably with a nice dark color)

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tsp butter

1 tsp white wine vinegar

a little hot sauce (if your mustard isnt hot)

Combine this all together in a small bowl. Make a cup of tea, place the bowl on top, after a couple of minutes give it a little stir, if the butter has mixed in you're done.

This is great with chicken or pork chops.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

April is Grilled Cheese Month

Three ingredients

Bread

Cheese

Butter

That's all you need, but for the ultimate try,

Baguette

Gruyere

Take a 5 inch piece of baguette, slice in half almost all the way. Flip the bread inside out, so the soft white is now outside, with the crusty inside. Fill the inside with slices of gruyere.Spread butter on the white outside. Heat up the Foreman grill or your two heaviest pans. Place the bread inside the forman or between the two pans (with the heavy pan on top), If using pans, you have to flip after you get a nice color on the bottom.

There are plenty of extras that can also go in as you grill

a little tomato

some ham or salami or turkey or a combination

sliced onion

After grilling

cucumbers

tomato

avocado

ketchup

mayo

If you have a sweet tooth, drizzle in some honey

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easy Sparkly Sangria

A true Zombie Style Drink, easy, quick and lots of fun, with just one bottle.
1 bottle Spanish Wine
1 bottle Orangina
1 apple, peeled and sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
Place fruit in a large pitcher, top with wine, just before serving stir in Orangina.

Hummus with a Lime Twist

Hummus with lime instead of lemon juice has an extra kick, best hummus on the block.

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)

4 tbsp tahini (try the mid east section of the supermark)

2 tbsp lime juice

a little bit of cumin

Put the garlic in the food processor, and pulse til finely chopped. Puree the rest all together. Taste, you may need to add salt.

To garnish have fun with toasted pine nuts, chili oil, a little chopped parsley in the center, and pomegranate kernels along the rim.

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a bundt.


Shift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.


Cream the butter and add the sugar, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy (longer than you think about 5 minutes).  Add beaten eggs, one at a time, mix after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream.


With the mixer on low speed alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.


After preparing the batter, pour half of the batter into a separate bowl.  Stir the melted chocolate into one half of the batter, mixing well.  Place the batter into the prepared pan by alternating spoons of vanilla batter and chocolate batter.  Then, with the end of a wooden spoon, gently draw swirls through the batter to marbleize it.  Don't over mix or you won't have that wonderful marble affect.


Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan to cool completely.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped


1 tbsp coffee


2 1/4 cups flour


1 tbsp baking powder


1/2 tsp baking soda


1/4 tsp salt


1/2 cup unsalted butter


1 1/4 cups granulated whitesugar



2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla


3/4 cup sour cream


1/3 cup milk

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cream of Asparagus

One of the main problems with sould is that it ususally makes enough to last a good week, which if your not a "let's have leftovers" person can get tiresome. Asparagus soup can be made with only 1 bunch of asparagus.

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 shallot (or half an onion), chopped

2 cups broth of choice (I usually use chicken)

1/2 a cup milk (or cream if youre feeling extravigant)

1 tbsp butter

white pepper

Saute shallot in butter til you get a nice golden color, add asapargus cook a couple more minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil, boil for 15 minutes. Scoop out the veg and put in the blender with a little water, til smooth. Pour back into the pot, add white pepper to taste, but be careful a little goes a long way.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicken Schnitzel for One.

(Have the butcher) Butterfly and Pound one chicken breast until its half an inch thick at most. Beat an egg in mid sized bowl, add chicken make sure its well covered with egg. Place chicken in a plate with a couple of tbsps bread crumbs, mix in some parm if you like. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a frying pan, while the oil heats up the chicks get a chance to rest. Cook the chicken for at least a couple of minutes a side (depending on the thickness) shouldnt take more than 15 minutes at most.

Serve with any mashed veg. Such as Mashed Cauliflower. or with stemed veg and some Honey Mustard Sauce.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cauliflower Mash, Looks like Potatoes, Tastes like Zombies couldn't pull it off

Peel two potatoes, and cut into 1 inch pieces. Seperate a head of cauliflower into florets. Let's get dangerous. Place veg in pot with two cups of cream, a couple springs of thyme, salt and black pepper, (and a clove of garlic if you like). Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Mash it all with tool of your choice, (if you want to reduce the fat remove some cream, before you mash, youll get a thicker texture.) Cauliflower mash isnt as picky as mashed potatoes and can be reheated. This dish will make a cauliflower lover out of anyone.

Using Up Leftovers - Ham

Well hopefully you didn't get a really really big one, here's a few ideas for using up the remains of the ham.

Spaghetti Carbonate - the Original Zombie Food

Zucchini and Ham Omelet

Homemade egg mcmuffin

Quiche lorraine

Leftovers Zombie Style Pizza

Pressed Sandwich (not to be confused with paninis)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Zombie's Greek Salad

So so good, full of veg

Half a large cucumber, hothouse, and chopped (amazing, they only come around in the spring, look for them)

2 tomatoes, halved, once you buy an heirloom tomato, youll question the sanity of people who buy anything else, i like the dark ones that look like plums

1 pepper, sliced (or three small so you can have all the colors)

half a red onion, chopped

4 thick slices of feta

handful of kalamata olives

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

4 tbsps olive oil, (best to use a golden colored one)

no lettuce, no lettuce and no cabbage either, youre selling out if you use them

Veg in bottom of a salad bowl, mix. Place feta on top, and olives on top of that. Drizzle with vinegar, olive oil, and oregano. (Makes the feta look nice.)

Using up Leftovers - Easter Eggs

This time of year, breakfast is pretty much predestined to be eggs all week long, but if youre looking for

a few other ideas...


Egg Salad sandwich, try mixing in a little sprouts for some extra crunch, or add some curry

Deviled Eggs, you could always try no piping bag zombie style deviled eggs.

Salad Nicoise you can go for the traditional tuna packed in oil, or change it up with some salmon

Salad Russe - Potato Salad with semi mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, eggs, pickles, mayo, lemon and white pepper

Try something new


Egg casserole

Moroccan Egg Sandwich

Vitello tonnato - which only uses the yolks


Doro Wat is an Ethiopian Dish, Check here again for my grandmother's recipe

The North African Egg Salad Sandwich

This is Moroccan Street Food.

Half a pita

Boiled egg

onion (white or green)

olive oil

Cumin

Salt

Pepper

Open up the pite, smush a boiled egg with a fork into it. Add some onion, a little olive oil, some cumin, salt and pepper, and mix it all together in the bread. Enjoy simple street food from Morocco, without the airfare.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Using up leftover easter eggs: zombie style deviled eggs

Peel and and slice in half 6 eggs,

pop all the yolks out into small dish,

mix in

1/4 cup mayo,

a couple of teaspoons of chopped chives,

1 tsp dry mustard (or prepered if you dont have dry),

a couple (well 6 would be most devilish) sprinkles of hot sauce,

a little salt and pepper.

Spoon yolk mixture into whites,

top with a little paprika,

or more chives,

or little bits of ham,

or caviar,

whatever you crave/have.

Serve a few with leftover asparagus as a fancy appitizer, and follow with egg salad sandwich, if youre really devilish.
This is the time of year for egg salads and deviled eggs, if you find you went a little over board in how many eggs you dyed this year, that combo can get a little old. Why not try something a little more adventurous this year, and make an Ethiopian dish?

  • 1 large chicken, cut into pieces, skin removed

  • olive oil

  • 1 stick butter

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 6 cloves glaric

  • 1 can tomato paste

  • 3 tbsp ethiopian pepper

  • salt

  • 5 hard boiled eggs, peeled



Directions



  1. Make slits in the meat. If you're using tofu, cut it into 2-inch cubes, then boil the cubes in a covered pot for 5 to 10 minutes until they puff up and become spongy; this enables the tofu to absorb the sauce. Rinse in cold water and drain.

  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or skillet. Add butter or margarine, melt, then add the onions. Cook over medium heat until somewhat soft, then add garlic. When onions are translucent, stir in tomato paste and about 1/4 cup of water. Strain the berbere and add it to the mixture. Add salt. Put the Chicken or tofu in the pot, coat with the sauce, and cover. Simmer, stirring often to make sure the sauce doesn't stick or burn; add water as necessary to keep the sauce the consistency of thick ketchup. If you're using eggs (traditional in doro wat), add them whole to the mixture after 30 minutes.

  3. Simmer on the stove top about one hour. The sauce should be a rich, deep red. When the dish is done, hold in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Ice Cream Float Zombies Worship

The Best Ice Cream Float ever devised.

The promise of this float will give you power over any Zombie.

The great ratio

1 cup of Pepsi

1/2 caramel ice cream

For a single serving, pour the soda into a large drinking glass, reserving just a little. Add the ice cream and mix untill mostly dissolved. Top with remaining soda for extra head and serve.

You can also make an entire punch bowl, for a dangerously additive attraction.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Top Tips for Grocery Shopping Like a Cheap Ass Zombie

Living like a zombie its easier to toss into a cart then to give it all much thought, but follow the tips below for a month, and you can become a cheap ass zombie.


  • Figure out your budget - What would you like to spend, say $70/wk, or $315/mo. then think of it as daily amount, which is $5/day per person, doesnt sound like much, but the next step can get you there.

  • Create a threshold amount, if its over $3.50, think about before you buy it.

  • Figure out what actually needs to be organic, and what you can get away with,

  • Stop going to Whole Foods, and if you don't like the Trader Joes near you, try another one.

  • Eat Soup, really cheap if you make it yourself, fills you up, and it lasts for days, African Zombie Peanut Soup is really easy to make

  • Be a veggie a few days a week, eat an egg dish once a week, and try a turkey meatloaf with lots of worcestershire, you may find yourself really liking it

  • Have leftover carrots, a couple baby potatoes, some peppers, make Zombie Style Leftovers Pizza.

  • Buy not just seasonably but reasonably (priced) A blueberry in California never has a forgiving price tag unless frozen

  • You have a blender, use it, try frozen fruit, with water, honey and some lime juice, very refreshing, and you can make just a single serving

  • Get cuttings of herbs from your friends' herb garden, put them in water til they sprout and then plant them (even cheaper and faster than seeds)

  • Make eating out a really treat, if you spend a $1.50 less on food a day, you'll have $45 at the end of the month to go out.

  • When you have company coming over and you want to go all out, stuff a turkey breast instead of making a roast.

  • Don't eat cold cereal, if you cant live without it, take leftover nuts (from your days as a splurger) and coconut and oats and make your own granola.

  • Think cafeteria food desserts, there's a reason they serve what they serve, it fits in their budget. Rice pudding, fruit salad, and jello


Try this for a month, then compare the contents of your cart (or your reciepts) before and after, you'll be surprised at how much you've changed, in fact you may never be the same again. The colors of your cart will be of the products and not the packaging, the cart will be fuller, but cost less, and you may even find that you don't feel like a cheap ass zombie, but more like a smart one.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Zombie Style Rice Krispy Easter Eggs - Kid Friendly and No Dyes on grout, hands, countertops, floor, sink, sponges, mop, kids, husband, cat...

You could make your own Rice Krispy Treats, but if youre making only a few, its Zombie code to buy them premade.

1 box individually wrapped Rice Krispy Treats

1 small box Trix cereal (you can get the small 1 serving each 8 small box combo thing)

Separate colored cereal pieces and crush them. Reshape treats into egg shapes, dip into crumbles you want the egg to be, you can use more than one color to create patterns. Youre Done! Clean up is a matter of vaccuming.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Zombie Monkey's Bread Pudding - A two part dessert for the social zombie

Night 1- Act Like a Monkey

Monkey Bread

2 tubes biscuit dough

2 tbsps cinnamon

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

half a stick butter

Mix sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. Cut all the biscuits into fourths. Roll up each fourth of a biscuit and roll it in the sugar mix. Fill a bundt pan with sugared balls. Melt the butter and remaining sugar together, pour on top of the biscuits. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Its best served warm, people pick it apart and eat with their hands as all good monkeys.

Night 2 - Put the Zombie into the Monkey

Left over monkey bread

Some milk

an egg or two

Cut the Monkey bread up into 1 in cubes. Put into a small oven proof dish. Mix egg and milk together, and pour on the bread, bake at 350 for 20 minutes. The sugar turns into a slightly spicy caramel, oh yes.

Pavlova meets Zombies

I love this dessert, but making a meringue is just not a regular zombie activity. Buying meringues, thats the zombie version.

Trader Joes tub of vanilla meringues
1 bag frozen strawberrys, defrosted, drained and chopped
2 cups sweetened whipped cream (can be from a can)

Well you can make this into a parfait, if you like a lot, but if youre going for the classy look, get out the small dessert bowls.
In a large bowl combine cream, most of the strawberrys and crumbled meringues. Scoop out small roundish amounts put into bowls, top with remaining berrys.

Friday, April 3, 2009

TV Zombies... What to eat while watching... Seinfield.

The great thing about Seinfield was that food was a big part of nothing. So many ideas spring to mind, marble rye, 100 year old cake, a big salad, fresh fruit, italian ice, but I believe the trumpt card is cerel. There is so much cerel consumed on that show it may have even started a night time cerel consuming trend.

If Popeye was a Zombie Pasta

1 package Spinach Pasta
1 bag fresh spinach
1 garlic clove, sliced thin
1/3 cup pine seeds
Parmesan
ricotta
Ricotta
olive oil
lemon juice
chili flakes
salt and pepper

Boil the pasta using package direction, add spinach the last couple of minutes, drain the pasta and spinach, put it back in the pot, add a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic clove, a bit of lemon juice, a pinch of chili flakes, salt and pepper. Before serving top with parm, pine nuts, and a dollop of ricotta. A dish that would do Popeye proud.

Zombie Style Asparagus - Simple and Easy

1 bunch Asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp black pepper
Line a tray with foil. put the asparagus on top, add oil cheese, and pepper and toss. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, (or more if you like them charred, which they are fantasic charred) Eat them as is, or instead of fries, or cut them up and add them to a pasta dish. You may have noticed no salt is needed, the parm does its thing.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Modern Chopped Salad - No Zombie Babies Will not eat this salad, but you'll love it

2 raw beets, chopped

1 fennel, stems removed and chopped

1 gala apple, chopped

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbled (or anything blueish you care for)

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

White Balsamic dressing

Combine it all together, the beets will eventually dye everything pink, so if you like pink then make ahead of time, if pink food affends, then its going to be a last minute mix. Either way though the modern chopped salsd is so much more fun than its ancestor.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cast Iron Apple Pie, for zombies who hate that uncooked dough on the bottom

I spent years not making apple pie cause I knew my oven would cook the top too quickly and leave the gummy dough on the bottom. Then one day I was all out of aluminium pie tins and most of my neighbors were out, so i went through all my pots and pans trying to find something that i could cook a pie in. I decided the cast iron would surely burn the pie, but I took a risk. The result, I had a pie that was golden top and bottom, a first!
2 round fridge pie crust
6 granny smith apples
3/4 brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cin.
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
Peel and thinly slice apples, place in bowl mix in sugar, cin., and flour. cover bottom of pie with 1 crust, fill with apple mix, dab with bits of butter, cover with second crust, and seal well, tuck in dough as much as possible. Cut a few air vents on top, and if you want cover in egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. (though ive never cared for either, i prefer the rustic look of the unglazed pie) Bake at 400 for around 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream. Think about using something other than vanilla, like chocolate of caramel ice cream. Or if you're more adventurous strawberry.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reducing your Cough Naturally

I spent all last week at home with bronchitis. Not a pleasant experience, fortunately I suspected I could have it, and went to my doctor early on enough to be diagnosed. While I dont believe in taking cold suppressants (I want the bug to come out, not nest within me) Sometimes I do rely on western medicine to help. As decongestant we had a pot of eucalyptus branches boiling away. But what I really need was something for my cough. While on cherry bark syrup, I also found a few other solutions helpful, aside from chicken soup. One was almond paste, i found a site that recommended almonds pureed with sugar. While the concept of eating marzipan instead of taking cold medicine greatly appealed to me, I had used up my remaining marzipan while making a buche de noel last christmas. I then discovered a site that recommended mixing it with honey. I happily took out the almond butter and spread a thin layer of it on pita bread, drizzled a bit of honey, and happily ate something other than chicken soup. The other solution I would recommend I could really only used while sick, when my taste buds don't have the sensitivity they normally do. A glass of grape juice with a tbsp of honey mixed. Even in my reduced flavor sensing rate, I uselessly plugged my nose and drank the sickly sweet stuff, that helped damnit. Now when my cough is on its way out I have restocked marzipan, while will probably be first used to make little mini easter eggs to go on cake next month. Oh well, life will continue zombie like til then.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Being respondsable about money at 26 is damn boring

Sometimes i think i wish i could just be laid off and go spend some time with me boyfriend, though that would easy lead to the disposal of my savings, and after all the years of saving that money, and doing without, it would be senseless on spending it on nothing but time together, wouldnt it?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Attention and Kicking

Why is it when guys want my attention they tend to nudge me with their foot?

Monday Mornings, The best morning of the week for goofing off

I tried to get away with rushing out my door this morning right around the time I'm "supposed" to leave, i was having fun upstairs, following up pn my facebook applications, with an old episode of "Yes, Minister" playing in the background.

I just discovered "Yes, Minister" I had recently taken to watching all the "Good Life" eps and quickly looked up the actors' bios. I had heard of Yes, Minister, I thought, what the hell, as long as its not completely screwball comedy, I tend to like most successful sitcoms. Now I have high hopes of having a better understanding of British Politics. Having had the scattering education I had, I have a simple grasp of American and European politics, but not enough to follow a really intensive conversation, with people that actually had a class in high school where they covered the workings.

But little things add up and my rush for the door gets more and more complicated. Espeically since i notice the apricot cake I left out last night, and think, I should take some to work with me. One more thing to slow me down. At least I got to hear more of the morning radio morons than usually driving to work. I use that term to discribe all of morning entertainment folk, not because they lack intelligence, they have to have some brains to get and stay on the air. But the topic of conversation, which is now so light and full of fluff, i start thinking of all the uppers these people could be on. I do still listen to them though, I guess they keep better company than NPR, which is too serious for a Monday.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sundays and Furniture

Apricot Cake
Apricot Cake
We spent the entire weekend dealing with the new sideboard, from empting the old one (half of which is becoming the new telephone console, so we also emptied the old telephone console) to restocking, spring cleaning, and trying to logically rearrange our kitchen and dinning room. It sounds like a lot and honestly, it wasnt that labor intensive.  Though my grandmother managed to get on my nerves again. She came to help, which is almost immpossible for her to do, in reality her favorite grandson who lives with her was out of town, doing his uncharacteristic survival training, and she was lonely and wanted to hang out with us. She drove me nuts saying that we needed men around to help us move furniture, while the two other females in the room were moving it all. Meanwhile her favorite grandson, I suppose one of the absent men she was talking about, once refused to change the water cooler's bottle "cause it would hurt his back", which left it to me, his younger female cousin to do it, like i do on a regular basis. Needless to say there was a lot of eye rolling going on that day.

I ended up baking a quick cake on Sunday, as a reward of all the work we had put into the last few days. I wasnt a box cake fan till I came across this recipe. But I love moist cake and this holds a huge amount of moisture.

Apricot cake

1 box of lemon cake mix

1 can apricot juice

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup oil

4 eggs

Mix it all together, and pour it into a greased bundt, bake at 350 for an hour. Cover while still warm with lemon glaze.

Lemon glaze is just a mix of lemon juice and powdered sugar, Start off with like a cup of sugar and take it easy with the lemon juice, cause a little bit goes a long way.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Me Valentine and Me

Stole this from Farmer's Daughter, who stole it from Dooce, I know I don't usually post personal things in my blogs, but I've been thinking of changing my ways.

Me and My Valentine

What are your middle names?
My parents felt my name was too long already and never gave me a middle name, but Octav's middle name is Adrian, after his father.

How long have you been together?
It will be eight years in May, seems so long.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We were in the same french class for 6 months, although I don't remember him. And then we worked together on our high school paper, he did the layout of my section, so we became fast friends, and within a few months became inseparable.

Who asked whom out?
Well he asked me, but we had been a couple for a month at that point, so I'm pretty sure he knew he wouldnt get rejected.

How old are each of you?
I'm 26, and Octav is 24.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Octav only has a half sister, I have never met, and he's never met my half sister, so my sister would be the front runner.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
The distance, we're apart most of the time, because he's usually at university.

Did you go to the same school?
The same high school, but different universities, I went in California, whereas he went in the UK.

Are you from the same home town?
Not even the same country.

Who is smarter?
He's smarter, I like em really smart.

Who is the most sensitive?
I don't think one of us can really claim that title, we're both pretty sensitive.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We're one of those annoying people that have been to Hard Rock Cafe in almost every city we've been to, and I think its safe to say that is the front runner.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
We have done a lot of traveling, the furthest north we've been together is Scotland, the furthest south is Cyprus (where we were going to boarding school when we meet, though we did visit it this summer so it counts.)

Who has the worst temper?
I do, though I'm mostly pretty mellow

Who does the cooking?
I do, but he pushes me aside if meat is involved.

Who is the neat-freak?
He is, I try for his sake, but he naturally is neat, whereas I'm naturally a tornado.

Who is more stubborn?
He is, I thought I was stubborn, til I met him.

Who hogs the bed?
Well since I'm writing this I get to say he is, though he would probably disagree. He hogs the covers, but he says I only sleep in the center of the bed. (I do not.)

Who wakes up earlier?
I do, I have the ability to fall asleep again, but after I have moved to the center of the bed. (oh, that may be why he thinks I sleep in the center.)

Where was your first date? Pizza Inn, and then a walk in the park that used to be a river in old town Nicosia.

Who is more jealous?
I am, I dont like any of his friends who are girls.

How long did it take to get serious?
A couple of years, we broke up for a while, and his request and after 6 months suddenly asked me to tour Italy with him, even if we were just going to be friends. We havent been just anything since that day.

Who eats more?
Well he's been a starving student longer periods of time than I have, so I do.

Who does the laundry?
He doesnt let me do his, but I have a couple of times.

Who’s better with the computer?
He is. (Though I'm better with websites.)

Who drives when you are together?
We're not really driving people, and in fact have never driven each other, unless you count some rides at Euro Disney with fake wheels. Though we are both licensed, and I even own an old beat up thing that was once a car. He's a walker and loves trains, and I'm somewhat obessed with public transport.

I don't have a photo with me. :( We didnt own digital cameras back then. But if I ever find myself in front of scanner that works...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Better than Sex Cake for Discussing a Zombie Love Affair

i box Trader Joe's Madagascar Vanilla Box Cake, make according to instructions

1 small can crushed pineapple in juice

2 individual vanilla pudding cups

1 cup whipped cream, with a tablespoon of powered sugar

1/3 cup of coconut flakes, toasted til golden brown

Place cake on pedestal, top with pineapple and allow it to soak for an hour, top with pudding, then whipped cream, and toasted coconut. Taste and discuss.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Easy and Healthy Apricot Chicken: Part of the Zombie Love Affair Saga

Two chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

Handful of dried Apricots

Some hot water

a tablespoon od mustard

Boil the dried apricots in water, til partially rehydrated, drain and process them with small food processor, add the mustard. Spread mixture on chicken breasts and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stuffed Shells for a slow Zombie Love Affair

i package Pasta Shells, boiled, drained and tossed with a little olive oil

marinara sauce

mix what follows

1 cup ricotta

1/4 cup parmesan

half a package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained

i egg

1 garlic clove, chopped

salt and pepper

save as garnish

mozzarella

pour some sauce on the bottom of baking dish, stuff shells with mixture, line up in dish, and top with more sauce. Bake at 350 for half an hour and serve warm, with a little mozzarella on top

To be a little different, add some mushrooms to the sauce.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Marmalade and a Zombie Affair

This dessert hails from the arab world, on a large glass platter the oranges sparkle.

Orange marmalade

Qranges

Remove peel and pith (skin) of oranges with a knife, cut into 1/4 in. circles. Warm marmalade in a small pot on medium heat till warm. Place orange circles on serving plate.  Top with marmalade.

This dish is light and very refreshing, plue naturally fat free. You can do this with any fruit you like, but oranges are traditional, you can use the peel to make your own marmalade, but eh.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Zombie Love Affair with Kids and Chocolate

A valentines treat kids can help with, no bake chocolate truffles

1 bar cream cheese(room temp)

1/4 cup powered sugar

1/4 cup coco

chocolate jimmies

Have kids measure and pour cheese, sugar, and coco into a bowl, then have them mix it, (first with spoons, then with hands and finally with feet, rinse child off in sick afterwards.) Then roll into small balls, the size will vary, but no bigger than a tablespoon in general. You can refrigerated for an hour or so if they're too soft. But the great thing about this is you can eat it straight up, instant gratification.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hearts Over Eggs: Continuing the Zombie Love Affair

Eggs in a Basket for Valentines

Two slices of bread

Two eggs

Butter

jam

Heart shaped cookie cutter

Salt and pepper

Use the heart shaped cookie cutter on the slices of bread, heat a tbsp of butter in a frying pan, add bread, and crack the egg in the heart shaped center. Salt and pepper the egg. Flip after a couple minutes and cook another minute on the other side. Add more butter if needed and repeat with second slice of bread. Take the heart shaped centers and cover with a thin layer of butter, cook them quickly in the frying pan. Spread a thin layer of jam on egg/bread, and garnish with the buttery center.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Zombie Love Affair with California Coffee

Honestly I don't drink coffee. I told my bf years ago that if he gave up alcohol, (which I dont drink), I'd give up coffee, (which he doesn't drink.) Well if you know anything about couple only half the arrangement worked out, my half although once in a while I make an exception, once every few months or so. This recipe combines the two and is my favorite exception.

For lovers who are also friends.

2 cups strong coffee

2 scoops chocolate ice cream (or white chocolate ice cream)

2 tbsp kahula

Divide everything into your favorite coffee cups, and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Zombie Love Affair, Turkey Paninis and an indoor Picnic

a long crusty bread, cut in half and split

some deli turkey meat

a few slices provolone

Sun dried tomato pesto

an avocado, sliced

some arugula

mayo

Spread mayo and pesto on opposing sides of the bread, fill with turkey and provolone. Grill, (use the Foreman, if you hve one) if you sont you may need to get creative, with brick and frying pans.) Once the cheese has melted, force open fill with avocado, (its in season, yay) and arugula. Slice in half and serve on picnic ware by your favorite window.

Arugula and mushroom salad on the side

Arugula

porcini mushrooms, sliced

Balsamic dressing

shredded asiago

Toss all together before serving

Monday, February 2, 2009

Part Deux: A Zombie Love Affair, a series of recipes for valentines

Fall in Love Cookies - For the couple that has yet to be

3 egg whites

3/4 cup  sugar

i tsp Zest lemon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp Lavender

i cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Beat egg whites with electric mixter until stiff.
Add sugar in small increments, mixing after each spoonful, add the lemon juice at the end.
Show the love by stirring in by hand the Lavender and the coconut.

Bake at 325  for around 15 minutes. they will still be light in color.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Zombie Love Affair, a series of recipes for valentines

Nutella Crescents - Oozing nutella in a bit of dough, the perfect bite of goodness for valentines morning, plus easy enough to manage by getting up a half hour earlier.

i package Crescent dough

some nutella

Preheat the oven to 350, line a baking sheet (lighter color one is best). Seperate the crescant dough from one another, place a half a tsp of nutella at the base of the triangular pieces of dough, and roll the dough and form a crescant shape, you want the tip to be underneath. Bake for around 20 minutes, until you get a nice golden color, (be adventurous take it a minute further). Use the scent to tempt others, but don't bite into right away, wait for it to cool a little.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower Soup for Cold Zombies

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

olive oil

2 cups broth

2 cups water

1 tbsp cream

salt and pepper

cashews, for garnish

Place cauliflower on a lined baking sheet drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap onion and garlic in a little foil, and place in the corner of the baking sheet with califlower. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a large pot, add water, broth, potatoes and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes or so, til the potato cooks. Take off the heat, and puree the mixture, and add the bit of difference with cream. you can also season this with red pepper, but cashews are a nice touch. Tastes even better the second day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Healthy Baked Chicken with Smashed Peas for the Hard Working Zombie

! 1/2 lbs chicken tenders

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp spicy spice mix, no salt added (I prefer trader joe's bqq spice mix)

2 tbsp paprika, for daring red color

salt and pepper

1 bag frozen peas

a dab of butter

Line a baking sheetwith foil, (a dark baking sheet is best) toss chicken, spices, salt and olive oil together. Spread chicken out on the baking sheet and bake for 15 min, in a 425 oven. (Or til done if you have an oven that likes to take its time).

Heat up the frozen peas with a dab of butter, and a little salt and pepper. When warm, smash with a potato masher.

Leftover chicken can also be served on salad the next day with a vinaigrette, avocados, lettuce and tomatoes.

Leftover smashed peas can be served on pasta with pine nuts, parmesan, and extra pepper.

The Ultra Lazy Zombie's Avocado Salad

1 avocado for two people

your favorite vingrette (or lemon based salad dressing)

Slice avocado in half length wise (leave skin on), remove seed (i use a knife to remove the seed but this can be hazardous to your health) and fill cavity with dressing, eat with a spoon.

Although this is a very easy dish, it make a nice presentation and can served as a first course in little bowls at a sit down dinner.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Zombie style - Cocoa a la Mode

1 1/2 milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 coco powder (unsweetened)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup dulce de leche ice cream

For the microwave unenthusiastic: cook on medium heat, milk, water, coco powder, and sugar, til bubbles form on the sides, stirring a little now and then. Once warm add vanilla and pour into serving cups (not too full) Top with some nice ice cream. If you're a microwave person, zap the whole thing all together in a bowl and ladle into serving mugs. This is great for rainy days when you feel like being a quiet stay at home type of zombie.



Monday, January 26, 2009

African Zombie Peanut Soup

2 Potatoes, peeled and chunked (or yams or squash)

1 Bell Pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces (or 1 apple, cored and chopped)

2 slices of peeled ginger (i keep fresh ginger stored in the freezer)

2 onions, 1 inch pieces

2 carrots, 1 inch slices

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp Ethiopian pepper (or more if you like it spicy)

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup tomato juice, (or sauce, or some paste mixed in hot water, some tomatoey)

1 tbsp brown sugar

i tbsp oil

Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in large pot, add bell peppers, onions, carrots, ginger and Ethiopian pepper. Cook a couple of minutes, then add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer around 25 minutes (til potatoes are cooked). Puree soup with either a handheld or upright blender. Return to large pot. Add peanut butter, tomato juice and brown sugar. Reheat and add salt and pepper according to taste. You can garnish with some peanuts (or just use chunky peanut butter).

Great for that peanut butter fix you just can't get anywhere else.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grilled Haloumi for the Cheese Loving Zombie

1 package Haloumi (a rubbery Cypriot cheese)

2 tbsp flour

remove haloumi from packaging and if you dont like things salty wash it. Slice the haloumi into 1/4 in slices and toss on a thin layer of flour. Shake off any excess, heat up cast iron (or other dark and heavy pan) on high heat. When really hot put haloumi on top and cook til you have a nice golden (or darker) color, then flip and cook other side. Serve with grapes for a dessert, or as part of a Mediterranean appetizer.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oven French Toast For Zombie Sundays

1 loaf challah bread, (unsliced, Trader Joes sells them, yay)

2 eggs

around a cup of milk

a dash of cinnamon

heaping spoon of sugar

canola oil

maple syrup, to serve with

Pre heat oven to 425. Line a dark baking sheet with silicon pad and a bit of oil. Cut the Challah into large slices. just under an inch thick. Mix in a large bowl eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon. Add bread one slice at a time covering both sides with mixture, and place on baking sheet, they can be close to one another, but not touching. Bake for 12 minutes, take them out and flip them, (you want a nice color on the bottom, if not bake them on original side till you get color) Bake another 5 minutes and serve.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Killer Pasta Salad, for Zombie Bragging Rights

I eggplant, 1 in pieces

2 bell peppers, 1 in pieces

1 red onion, 1 in pieces

Some olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 box pasta (any kind you like in pasta salad)

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

a basil leaves, all rolled up together and sliced,

1/3 pine nuts

red wine vinegar dressing, (say 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 olive oil, 1 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp pepper)

Place veg on a dark rimmed cookie sheet, top with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 min, mixing half way through cooking time. Meanwhile boil pasta according to box instructions. Add veg and dressing, mix. Taste to see if it needs salt.  Garnish with basil, feta and pine nuts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Pot Stroganoff for the Zombie who Doesnt like Clean Up

I huge onion

1 package sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)

2 or 3 nice steaks

1/4 cup sour cream, eyeball it

corn strach

Some butter, more if youre not shy

Some canola oil, if you are shy

salt and lots of pepper

Slice the steaks nice and thin, and start cooking on med high heat, (rub a bit a of butter on the wide side if you're not shy first). Take them out and put them aside. Add onions and some butter and oil (if youre shy) to pot reduce to medium low and let them cook nice and slow, round 15 min should be fine. Add mushrooms, wait for them to reduce and give off their water. Put the meat back in. In a little bowl put in some cooking juices, a teaspoon or two corn starch and sour cream. Mix til its no longer lumpy and add to the whole. If you don't like the color add more sour cream. Add pepper and salt to taste.

Usually served with egg noodles, but also great on its own with a bit of toasty white bread.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dealing with Leftovers - Zombie Style Pizza

I Package pizza dough (I like Trader Joe's Garlic and Herbs), you can store more brands in the freezer

Some pesto (Sun dried tomato pesto if you have some works well)

Sherded motzerella (I just keep a bag in the freezer)

Leftover luncheon meats, diced (they just disappear into the pizza, its amazing really)

Leftover veg, like a bit of onion, half a pepper, some potato (thinly sliced if raw), spinach, some olives, frozen veg, garlic, artichoke heart, jarred roasted peppers, whatever you have really

A bit of goat cheese, i like to add a good 3 oz. and keep small vacuum packs for just this purpose, but a bit of creamy cheese makes this pizza

dried oregano, just sprinkle some on

olive oil, dizzle on a bit,(unless youre using pepperoni, in which case ommit)

open up dough as thin as it gets before it tears too much, i make it the shape of the tray it will gone on, who ever said they had to been round? Place on a dark cookie sheet (so it gets nice and brown on the bottom), top with pesto, (not too much, a little bit goes a long way) and then modzerella, then meat (except pepperoni, that goes on top to crisp), then veg, then goat cheese crumbled (nice big chunkc are yum) a bit of olive oil and a bit of oregano. Bake according to dough instructions, and then cook it some more, check the bottom of the dough for color, and dont let the top turn to charcoal. Slice into squares and enjoy, when i make this, there is so much topping its nothing like delived pizza, and it bursts with flavor.

This isnt really a nice half hour no clean up recipe (its not bad) but it is the best way to avoid chucked all this stuff out in a cuple days cause what are you going to do with scraps?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Warm and Spicy Watercress Soup for Cold Zombies, also a Really Easy Starter for Fancy Company who like Fancy Sounding Food

4 cups chicken broth

a couple potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/4 of an onion, peeled and chopped

1 bunch watercress

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste, depending on how salty the broth is)

1/2 tsp white pepper, less if you dont like spicy, more if you live dangerously (although taste it cause watercress is pretty spicy on its own)

1 cup milk

Bring to boil a large pot of broth with potatoes, onion, and watercress (attempt to just add the leaves with a pair of scissors standing over the pot, but dont put it too much effort, its not a picky soup), reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 min. Place the veg and a little broth into a blander til you get a nice even color, (you may want to strain it if its for fancy company). Pour it back into pot add milk, salt and white pepper. Reheat, but dont let it boil. This tastes even better the second day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bypass the Fries, cause the Asparagus is Better?


A collection of Asparagus for those of us who love them.


1 bunch Asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp black pepper


Turn on the toaster oven to 425. Asparagus has a natural break point near the bottom, the drier the aspargus the higher the breaking point. You can wrap a wet paper towel round the tips of asparagus when you buy them. Line a little cookie tray with foil, spread out the asparagus, litter it parmesan, black pepper and olive oil. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until charred (or not charred) to your liking. Charred asparagus, oh yeah.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bash the life out Chicken Tenders, for the frustrated Zombie.

A pack of chicken tenders

Bread crumbs (Panko crumbs are nice)

An egg or two

salt pepper

oil

Preheat over to 425. Fun part take a mallet (if you have one with spikes use it sideways), or rolling pin, or frying pan or blunt object and hit the chicken bits (which you wrap in cling film for easy clean up, yay) unless they are flatter. The good news, tenders are freaking easy to flatten. Two bowls, one with egg, slightly beatten, the other bread crumbs. Line a cookie tray, black sheets are better, cause it browns the outside more (with foil or silicon sheet) and oil a little. Salt and pepper each chicken piece, then put in the egg. then in the bread then on the tray. Put in the oven, cook for around 10 to 12 (15 for some slow ovens) mintutes. Serve with Pasta and chopped tomatoes, parmesan, and a bit of basil, OR mashed potatoes (or any other veggie mash you prefer).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dessert in a Vase, wait what? For Zombies who dont own trifle bowls.


2 packages beligum chocolate Pudding (from trader joe's, cause nothing else comes close)

1 box lady fingers

1 pint cream

couple tablespoons powdered sugar

bit of vanillia

1 package frozen fruit, whatever you like, but raspberrys are damn good

Whip the cream till stiff, with a couple tablespoons sugar and a bit of vanilla (a tsp at most) Take out a large glass bowl or vase (you want to be able to see all the layers) and put a little bit of cream on the bottom to help stablize the next layer. Then layer some lady finger sideways on the edges so you can see all the layers. Then a bit of pudding, then fruit, then cream, each layer should show on the side and look around an inch thick (cause that's what ladyfingers are sideways) Keep going but make sure you end with cream. If you have a bar of choclate, hold it in your hand to get it a bit wamer, and use a veg peeler to curls. Don't worry though, if it looks odd, doesnt really matter its choclate. Assemble this a few hours before you serve it, so the fruit runs (this is why raspberries are best they give off great color and run like crazy) This will feed a crowd, and if you freeze the leftovers, you can scoop it out later like trifle ice cream. Leftovers Good.

Other trifle bowl ideas in case your vases are just not the right shape...

  • glass pitcher

  • punch bowl

  • goldfish bowl, sans goldfish

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Lazy zombie's Roasted Butternut Squash Soup



1 bag of cut butternut squash in bag from TJ's (cause it wouldnt be a lazy zombie if you had to slice it)

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 clove garlic (skin on)

drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper

a few sage leaves

a little more oil (canola)

Set toaster oven on to bake at 400, put foil on tray, spread an even layer of butternut and onion, place the garlic in a corner, drizzle with olive oil and salt and papper. Roast for around 25 min (you may want to rotate the tray once half way through if your toasted oven is really uneven) Remove from oven, and peel garlic, plop it all into a blender and blend. Add a little stock or water if its too thick. Heat up the canola oil in a little pan, toss in a few sage leaves (dont crowd the pan) remove after around 30 seconds (youre looking for a crisp leave) drain on a paper towel and use to garnish the soup.

Monday, January 12, 2009

what to eat with various tv shows

Company's coming, and the fridge is empty - serve shrimp and pasta

one bag shell on developed frozen shrimp (always keep this on hand, quick so quick you can prepare it in zombie mode)

1 clove garlic

i tbsp chopped basil(fresh of frozen or anything else you have on hand)

Garlic Basil Pasta

3 tbsp sun dried tomato pesto

Defrost the shrimp in the fridge for the day. Cook on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes with a bit of olive oil (til pink and opaque) toss in chopped garlic, basil and pesto. Serve communal style in a large bowl filled with pasta. If you're in a rush you can flow cold water over shrimp till its mostly defrosted.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Peachy Iced Tea

I love a glass of anything I made at home, at work, looks so fancy, and it so simple, sometimes a week goes by and this is the only thing I brought to work from home, but it's still homemade ice tea. 11 tbsp loose leaf tea (Black, green, white, no discrimination of colors)

One bag frozen peaches

10 cups water

1/2 cup sugar or honey (or to taste)

Ice Cubes

Bring to boil half the water with sugar (or honey) and peaches in a mid sized pot, then simmer for 10 minutes, pour into pitcher. (discard peaches if they are really falling apart). Boil rest of the water in kettle, (except if using green tea, then don't let the water actually boil, green tea is picky) pour water into the pot add tea and let hang out till you get the right flavor. Pour the tea into pitcher, add cubes, mix.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stewing with Zucchinis










There are few dishes that are from childhood that can never leave you, this is one of them. It also has the added benefit of using up zucchinis, a summer plague for some.

Half a dozen zucchini, cut in half length-wise then sliced into 1/4 inch slices

14 oz can of tomatoes, or three fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp tomato paste or pepper paste

1 large onion, chopped

2 clove garlic, chopped

1 tbsp dried mint

1 tbsp oil

Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a mid sized pot,
add onions,
cook til transparent,
add garlic,
stir it till it smells fabulous (garlicky, maybe 30 sec)
add zucchini,
stir it a bit and cook for a couple minutes,
add tomatoes,
tomato paste,
and salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer covered for half an hour or so (I like mine cook til really soggy, takes longer)
Add mint and cook a couple more minutes.
Serve with rice or bulgur and yogurt. (For yogurt people)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Spicy Chicken and Rice to Feed the Invading Army

This can feed a small family for a week, all your cousins for a couple of days and an invading army for dinner. Its very addictive, the leftovers taste better and better as they last, and teenagers have even been known to heat it up and feed themselves rather than sticking with grab and go food.

6 Chicken thighs

Jar of spicy salsa (TJ's has a great one, very liquidy with a yellow cap)

1.5 cups rice

3 tbsp butter (to make it better)

Yogurt, to serve with (oh yeah) or Sour Cream, if you're sour cream people

Place thighs in a large pot, pour salsa on top, use the empty salsa jar and fill it with water and pour it in. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 to 60 min. Take out the chicken (dont toss the water) shred it all up with either forks or your hands (when you lose patience with the forks). Put it back in the pot, if you marinate it overnight it will be even better. Top it with the rice, mix it all up, cover it with more water if you need to (you're looking for 1 in of water on top of the rice. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for around 30 minutes. Cut the butter into chucks and mix it in. Serve with yogurt.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Omelet For When the Kitchen is Bare

Eggs, two per person

Cheese, (almost any kind will do, I went Dubliner last)

Herbs, dry or fresh (plant a lot of seeds in a small pot, and see what grows, I used my chives last)

Salt and pepper

A bit of butter

OK so there's a lot you can do with an omelet, but sometimes simple is best. Heat the bit of butter in a frying pan on med heat till melted. Meanwhile beat the eggs in a mid sized bowl a little (the more you beat, the more eggy flavor you lose) Add the salt (not too much if your cheese is salty, and none if you re using Parmesan), pepper and herbs. Pour it on to the frying pan. Arm yourself with a spatula, and gently push the cooked edges inward so the uncooked parts reach the edge. When done to your liking cover with shredded (or crumbled) cheese. Fold it in half for full effect, slice into wedges and serve with toast.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Roast with the Most

one pork tenderloin

one onion, peeled, wedged

one potato, scrubed and cut into large chunks

olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

grilling spice mix, no Salt or MSG (i like TJ's)

Salt

Preheat the oven to 425, spread veg on roasting pan, place tenderloin on top, dizzle on olive oil, grill mix, garlic and salt and roast for around half an hour, til the

A White Fishy World


I'm usually for simply prepared fish, my go to, for white fish, is a little mayo on top before baking. But the best upclass is some pesto (homemade pesto lasts forever and tastes heavenly) You can also simply use your favorite fresh or frozen herbs.

4 White Fish Fillets, I usually use Tilapia

1/4 cup Mayo

1/4 cup Pesto

OR  Herbs (optional)

Black pepper

Alright this sounds a little odd, and it take time and usually a meal to convince others I actually do do this, but I have been for years. To cook any sort of white fish, I smear on a little mayo mixed evenly with pesto on the fillets, top with fresh cracked pepper, and place them on an ungreased foil lined baking dish.
In a 425 oven it takes around 15 mins (it depends on the thickness of your fillets). Just test it flakes and if it does, it's done. Serve immediately with carb of choice.