Friday, October 29, 2010

Fried Green Tomato Salad w/ Lump Crab & Remoulade Dressing

 Happy Friday everyone!  Hope everyone has had a good week and that you've got some good plans for Halloween weekend! 

We don't really know what we'll be doing quite yet.  A guy from my softball team is having a Halloween party tonight, but I've got to work until 9:30 tonight so I don't know if I'll feel up to going (and I don't really have a costume, so if I go, I may just end up wearing my scrubs!)  And tomorrow, we may just get dinner with friends and play board games.  Lame, huh?  I don't know, the older I get, the more just staying in and playing simple games sounds more fun than anything!

So when I was telling Andy our dinners for the week last Saturday, when I got to telling him that we'd be having a "Fried Green Tomato Salad," he seemed less than enthused.  So that just gave me more motivation to make it out of this world and delicious from the get-go.  Hope you guys enjoy this one!

Adapted from Closet Cooking's recipe

Fried Green Tomatoes:

2 green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup corn flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup corn meal
olive oil for frying

Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, and paprika in a shallow dish.  Dredge the tomatoes slices in the flour, then dip them in the egg, and finally dredge them in the corn meal.

Add enough oil to a large skillet to coat the pan.  Heat under high heat and add tomato slices.  Cook for about 2 minutes per side or until tomatoes are golden brown.  Let dry on paper-towel lined plate.

Remoulade Dressing:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
1 small clove garlic, minced
juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon capers
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sriracha 

Place all ingredients in a deep bowl or tupperware and blend with an immersion blender until you reach desired consistency (I like it pretty smooth).


2 cups spinach
6 sliced fried green tomatoes

1/2 lb. lump crab meat
remoulade dressing (optional... but HIGHLY recommended)

 Divide the spinach among two plates. Top with the tomato slices.  Add desired amount of lump crab meat and drizzle on remoulade dressing.

The first thing that came out of Andy's mouth after his first bite - "Wow, I never thought this would actually be good."  And my response to that... "Did you ever doubt me?"  And I knew it was a success.  It really was THAT good.  It will turn non-believers into believers.  And you could definitely make it vegetarian by not adding the crab meat and utilizing other vegetables, of course!  Enjoy the weekend guys and be safe!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Club Success and Ask Peggy

I'm pretty excited to say that the first meeting of Book Club was quite a success.  We discussed more of the book than I thought we would, which shouldn't really surprise me because, after all... it is a book club.  Next month's read is "Running With Scissors," which I'm pretty sure is a movie too???  But before I look that up, I'm definitely going to start with the book.  More often than not, the book is almost ALWAYS better than the movie, anyway.  Just my opinion.  I can't wait until I get a chance to pick the book, I've got a few in mind, and of course, most of them have to deal with food or food-related topics!  What about you guys?  Do you read often?  If so, what are you reading now?  Any suggestions for Book Club books?

And so to the "Ask Peggy" portion of this post title.  Inspired by a couple of questions posted by Sommer from A Mama With Flavor (check out her blog, she's really awesome!) in a little "tagging" going around right now, I figured... maybe you guys do need/want to know a little more about little old me.

So Sommer's questions were as follows:

What's your favorite pizza topping?
- I'd have to say, that when dealing with pizza... the simpler the better.  I love a good white pizza, and probably my favorite part of it is the fact that ricotta cheese is sporatically on the pie!
Mayonnaise? Yay or ick?
- I'm definitely on the "ick" side on it.  Yes, I  use mayonnaise in things (I don't completely avoid it), but if asked if I want it as a condiment on things... I definitely pass.
Which cuisine inspires you the most?
- I'd have to say I lean towards Pan-Asian dishes, but really... all dishes inspire me in some aspect.
What's your staple dessert?
 - I don't think I have a "staple," but something Andy does wish I made more of is probably cheesecake.  But that's only when he's been good. =)

What is your best kitchen triumph?
- Actually sticking with it!  I'm one of those people that has tried every single hobby in the book, and at some point, just give up because I'm unamused or uninterested.  But cooking, is my exception.  I'm not bored, and I don't ever think I will be, so just sticking with it, and continuing to learn in the kitchen is a great triumph to me!

What are your favorite staple ingredients?
- Can't live without kosher salt, soy sauce, olive oil, hoisin sauce, and lemons.  With all or some of those things, you can always make something spectacular no matter what else you have!

Did you always cook or did it come to you later in life?
- I definitely thought of cooking later in life.  If you were to ask me in high school what kind of person I would be today, I would laugh at you if you told me I'd be a domesticated fiancee living with 2 dogs.  We even talked about this at Book Club last night, that out of all of my friends, I'm the most domesticated and they never would have guessed it.  I was always the girl doing weird things, making up stupid routines during softball practice (the Ostrich walk and the Spiderman), getting down in the middle of math class and licking the floor just because someone told me too (yeah, not my finest moment)... so yeah, cooking has definitely come to me later in life... but I am SO glad to have it.  It's brought me closer to people I love and really given me a creative outlet to share with others!

Who's your favorite chef? TV or restaurant.
- Hands down... John Varanese.  He's a local chef, here in Louisville, and by far is the most consistent.  I have never had a bad experience at his restaurant and I love the fact that every time I have gone there, he comes out and makes his rounds to make sure every table is enjoying their meal and to just chat a little with his patrons.  I like it because he doesn't just talk to the tables that look like they're full of big spenders or "important" people.  Young or old... he makes sure you're enjoying yourself, and I love that.

Varanese also has a local cable show about different local food ingredients that's pretty awesome, too!
So thanks to Sommer for "tagging" me!  Hope you guys enjoyed my answers, and I know the proper thing to do is "tag" other bloggers, but instead, I'm just going to let you guys share something about yourself in my comments (if you want to, that is!)
Enjoy the day guys... I'll be crossing my fingers that my softball team advances to the next round of the City Tournament tonight!  Be back tomorrow with a recipe!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chicken Curry Pot Pie

I'm glad to report that today's weather was a complete 180 from yesterday's... just sayin'. 

Anyway, today is pretty exciting because in about an hour or two, I have my first book club meeting!  Yeah, I joined a book club last month.  It's basically just a few of my girl friends getting together to eat and talk about a book of the month, but I'm hoping it'll give me a chance to do a little more reading (that's not school-based!).  

This month's book was "Water For Elephants" by Sara Gruen.  I must say, it was a pretty good read.  It's basically the story of an elderly man, now in an assisted-living home, who has flashbacks of when we was a "vet" for the circus.  Pretty good story, so if you're interested in a new read, I definitely recommend it!

And I posted on my Facebook and at the end of yesterday's post that I was making a chicken curry pot pie, and I got texts, blog comments, and facebook replies that I needed to share that a.s.a.p.  So, you asked for it, you got it!

Adapted from Ravenous Couple's recipe


4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk of lemongrass, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons red curry paste, divided in half
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup coconut milk
3 cups chicken stock
1 large sweet potato (I used white fleshed), peeled, cut into about 1 inch pieces
1 & 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 onion, peeled, cut in wedges
¼ cup frozen peas
¼ cup frozen corn
1 green onion, thinly chopped

Pot Pie:
1 sheet store bought puff pastry
1 egg
1 tbs water

First marinate the cut pieces of chicken with garlic, minced lemongrass, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of curry paste. Marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, and onion. If you're going to make the pot pie, allow puff pastry to thaw slightly at room temperature. Place your baking dish on top of puff pastry and cut around the container with a pizza cutter leaving about 1 inch margin. Return the puff pastry back to the freezer until ready for use.

In a large pot on medium high heat, add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and sautee the chicken along with remaining 2 tablespoons of curry paste. Cook chicken for about 3-5 minutes, then add coconut milk.  Stir and meld together for another minute and then add chicken stock.

Add potatoes first, and cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Then stir in carrots, onions, peas, and corn just when mixture is about to boil.  Bring to boil and reduce to low heat and simmer until vegetables are just soft but not too mushy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if needed. 

Transfer mixture to a large glass baking dish and preheat oven to 400 F.

Make a egg wash with 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water and generously brush the edges of the puff pastry.  Place the puff pastry, egg wash side down over the baking dish. Seal by pressing pastry edges tightly onto the glass dish. Brush another layer of egg wash on top of the puff pastry and make a small "x" in the center to let out steam. Bake until crust is golden and flaky, about 10-15 minutes.  

Ladle into deep plates and serve with a big bowl of rice!

Seriously, I'm so glad I stumbled upon this recipe!  I tweaked it a little bit, to be a perfect mixture of chicken curry and a classic chicken pot pie and it was just absolutely amazing.  Quite spicy, but I like the heat!  Definitely give this a go guys!  Enjoy! 

Oh and don't forget that Wednesday is our CSA day... here's our goodies:
 1 French baguette
2 butternut squashes
1 bunch of radish (I've got radish out the wazoo, so any recipe suggestions would be greatly appreciated!)
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
2 lbs. apples, 1 bunch bok choy,
1 bunch greens (forgot the name, oops!) 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dreary Fall Day...

Today was just downright depressing.  The meteorologists all said there was a storm front coming in, but I didn't realize it was going to be a depressing one!

This tree must be a Packers fan... I must chop it down immediately! =)
Louisville has needed rain for quite some time now, and I'm pretty sure we're getting our fair share.  Seeing that is hasn't stopped raining since about 10:45 this morning!  And it's bloody windy out too!

It got really dark, really quick!
Oh yeah, not to mention I spent about 30-45 minutes on the bottom floor of the Life Sciences building at school today... crammed with other students from all 3 floors!  That's not a lot of personal space, if you're trying to imagine yourself a picture.  Why, you ask?  Because of a severe tornado warning!  The only good thing about that, is that we got saved from having to take a pop quiz!  But seriously, the midwest is nuts.  It wasn't even that bad outside.  Well... 80 mph winds are kinda bad, and seeing as thought I don't weigh all that much, it was good to be prevented from going outside and being blown away.

And the storm clouds are still out there... greenish clouds are no good (or so I'm told!)
Anyway, I just wanted to vent about today's crazy weather escapades... and I took a few pictures outside when I got home... wish I had a wide angle lens to capture the scenery properly, but oh well... you get the gist! 

I don't think that tree was THAT bent this morning!

I'm gonna go finish this Powerpoint presentation that I've got due on Thursday (almost done, just need to add my resources!) and make some Chicken Curry Pot Pie because it just sounds great on a day like today!  Be back tomorrow with a delicious recipe!

Looks like we have some potential casualties

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peach Crisp

Hello Monday!   It's been a whirlwind week already, and it's only Monday.  I decided to play hookie from Spanish class today (I mean, I've got the highest grade in there, so what's one day off) because I've got a big presentation in one of my biology classes on Thursday and I've yet to put the Powerpoint together.  Yes, I've been a procrastinator, but who hasn't been?  More power to you if you can get things done ahead of time!

This weekend was pretty great.  Andy and I went to dinner at Limestone Restaurant and I must say, I was pretty impressed with everything.  We did a 3-course tasting menu paired with wine and it was excellent!  I love seeing tasting menus on a restaurant's menu.  For one, it allows newbies like us, who are indecisive, but open-minded, to try out some of the best things on the menu.  And I love the element of surprise, not knowing what we're eating until it hits the table.  Call me weird, but I love the "adventure"!

Sunday was even somewhat productive.  We headed downtown and perused the Asian market!  It's always fun going in there because I've got to make out what and where everything is, but I always find something new and interesting!  And plus, you can't beat the prices of the Asian market!

Anyway, I'm back with a dessert option!  I didn't give up posting baked goods, after all!  This one is from the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook (which I love!) and it's definitely going to be made again... and again... and again!

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks "Peach Crisp With Maple Cream Sauce"

Maple Cream Sauce:

1 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Peach Crisp:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
3 cups frozen peach slices
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons maple syrup

You can start off with the maple cream sauce. 

Pour the cream, maple syrup, and corn syrup into a medium saucepan under medium heat.  Stirring frequently, heat mixture for about 20 minutes or so.  It should be thickened and slightly reduced.

Chill mixture in fridge for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the crisp.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Cut the chilled butter into pieces and add to flour mixture.  Using a fork, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles a moist, coarse meal.

In a shallow baking dish, add peaches, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Toss well and stir in maple syrup.  Toss one more time.

Top peaches with butter/flour mixture and tightly cover dish with foil.  Place in oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for about 30-40 more minutes, or until topping is crisp and golden brown.

Place heaping scoop of peach crisp on a plate and top with maple cream!

This was absolutely sensational!  In fact, I'm eating some right now!  We had this after dinner last night and it was probably one of the first times Andy hasn't complained that I gave him a dessert with fruit in it!  Score!  And I forgot to add ice cream to the warm peach crisp, but Andy said that was okay too, because the maple cream sauce kind of gave the effect of melted ice cream!  So all in all, this is a fantastic, easy, and delicious dessert!  Enjoy guys!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pan Seared Salmon With Zucchini Relish

It's been an eventful week.  Of course, my birthday, work, and school kept me busy as a bee.  Nonetheless, I'm ready for the weekend. 

I'm majorly excited because, just like last year, we're going to be taking our own Christmas card pictures again.  I know what you're thinking, it's not even Halloween and I'm already thinking about Christmas cards!  But I've got a great theme this year and the weather is just right for taking the pictures!  So what is my fabulous idea you ask?  Well... perusing in Target the other day, we found some cheap "ugly" dog sweaters!  And so we bought them, of course!  Well... I bought them, Andy just went along with it.  So me and Andy are going to find some "ugly" Christmas sweaters and take some shots with us and the dogs!  Genius, huh?  Maybe not as cool to you, but trust me... when you see the finished product in a month or two, you'll be impressed.  Or at least laugh at us for being so dorky!

What about you guys?  Do you ever make your own Christmas cards?  What crazy themes do you all come up with?

Anyway, I figured to end the week, I'd do a really elegant salmon dish that I prepared last Sunday.  Enjoy the weekend guys!


Adapted from Bon Appetit's recipe

For Relish:

1 zucchini, peeled and diced
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
6 tablespoons olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
zest from 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

For Salmon:

2 6 oz. salmon fillets, skin on
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

To put together relish, in a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, feta, onion, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Mix well, and season with salt and pepper, if needed.  Set mixture aside.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet under high heat.  Place salmon, skin side down, in skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until skin is nicely browned.  Carefully turn salmon over and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until flesh is opaque in the center.

To plate, mound a nice scoop of the relish and top with salmon fillet.  We also made the jalapeno goat cheese hush puppies to have with our meal, also! 

Andy definitely made the comment that the salmon wouldn't have been as good without the relish underneath.  It kind of made itself into it's own "tartar sauce," if you will.  It was quick and easy to prepare and definitely a beautiful site to look at!  Enjoy guys!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Birthday Thanks!

I really feel special.  Much love goes out to everyone who wished me happy birthday and thought of me on that day.  It's really just another day, but I had so many people do so many kind things for me yesterday that I'm utterly shocked.

At work, they had cake and brownies!  It was actually a non-stressful day.  I don't know if it just seemed that way because I was in a good mood because it was my birthday, or if it was actually a slow day.  Either way, I didn't get yelled at by any irate customers, so that's a score!

Then my mom fixed me dinner.  The whole family even showed up (my grandma, my uncle and his wife, my sisters, etc.)  My mom really surprised me and made me steak AND lobster!  And she only bought lobster for me (because I'm the favorite daughter, DUH).  And of course, there was cake there, as well!

Andy was kinda bummed because he had class that night, he had to go because they were taking a mid-term.  I can't blame him for that anyway.  But a few weeks ago he bought me a little laptop (so that I could blog anywhere!)  And to top it all off... he went to our favorite bakery, Sweet Surrender, and had a cake made, of my favorite flavor... Tiramisu.  Isn't he sweet?  And of course, we'll go out to eat this weekend.  Where, I don't know, but I'm sure you all will hear about it soon!

So, it's really good to know that I haven't been such a terrible person, that people don't think of me on my birthday.  I think if that were the case, I'd be really depressed.  But instead, I'm quite happy to know that much love comes my way! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sauteed Bok Choy

Today is a special day.  Why, you ask?  It's only Wednesday, what could be so special about this day?  Well... 25 years ago, on some island of the Philippines... I was born.  Yep, I've reached my "quarter of a century" mark.  I don't exactly know how to feel about that.  What exactly have I done in that 25 years?  Have I wasted it?  Have I lived it up?

I just don't know, really.  There's nothing in those 25 years I would take back, or do over.  I've always been a kind of person that's thought of life as a never ending journey.  Certain things get us to where we are in the present, and certain things get us to our future.  I'd like to think that I'm pretty satisfied with my 25 years of life.  I mean, let's take a look at some things:

- I fully support myself, and my expensive eating habits.
- I'm engaged to an amazing, although sometimes immature, man.
- I have a job that I, for the most part, enjoy.
- I'm in college (for a tad bit longer than I had hoped, but I'm getting there)
- I've never broken any bones or had any major health problems.
- I have 2 dogs (which growing up practically petrified of animals, I find this a major accomplishment)
- I have family that, although downright crazy in every way possible, I know that I can rely on.
- I've never been robbed or had my identity stolen (which is a constant fear of mine).
- I'm 25 years old and I can cook like no other 25 year old that I, personally, know (of course, out in the blog-o-sphere, that's quite different)
- I've experienced practically every emotion, been through ups and downs, and still remain a strong person.

I know those are just simple things, that most of us take for granted, but I can't forget how thankful I am to be in the position I'm in.  Doing what I love, and having a positive support circle around me!  I hope that my next quarter of a century, I can add plenty more to that list.

So because I'm taking it easy today, after all... it is my birthday... I have a simple, yet delicious recipe!  I'm going to let my mother cook me dinner and Andy apparently has a phenomenal cake up his sleeve for dessert... I'm sure I'll fill you guys in tomorrow!


1 bunch bok choy
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste

Clean and chop the bok choy to medium sized pieces.

Heat olive oil under medium high heat and add garlic.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Turn the heat on high and add the bok choy and give it a quick stir. Then add the oyster sauce, chicken stock or water and season with sea salt.  Mix well and cook for a couple more minutes.  Serve immediately.

I decided to one up myself, and instead of serving this a side, I used it as a topping!  For an awesome turkey sandwich...

But you can definitely have this as a side to practically any dish!  It's so delicious and simple!  Comes together really fast too!  Enjoy guys!

And here's the CSA goodies:

1 baguette
1 bunch of radishes
2 lbs. apples
1 bunch mustard green
1 pumpkin
2 lbs. red potatoes
1 acorn squash

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Best. Ice. Cream. Flavor. EVER.

It's my guilty pleasure
So in accordance with my new blogging schedule, I've got a little tid bit today.

I'm not normally a dessert eater.  I can make them, but I don't usually eat them.  Not because I don't want to, but because Andy usually eats them all.  Just joking.  But seriously, I like watching other people eat desserts more than I like eating them myself.  I know, I'm weird.

So anyway, a few months ago, I had never tried Boston Cream Pie before.  Mainly because I don't like things with cream in them (i.e. cream filled donuts) and so I guess I associated that with how Boston Cream Pie was supposed to taste.  Well... until a few months ago, when our good friends Ike & Becca had us over for dinner.  For dessert, Becca had bought a Boston Cream Pie and some vanilla ice cream.  I thought, what the heck, everyone else is eating this (and I'm sure I'd had a few drinks by then too), so I indulged in something new.  AND I LOVED IT.  I think Boston Cream Pie has got to be my favorite dessert ever.

So good we bought two!

Well... until a few weeks ago when I stumbled into the ice cream section at Whole Foods.  I was perusing the case to see if any new flavors had come through, and much to my amazement, after glancing at the Ben & Jerry's section... BOSTON CREAM PIE FLAVORED BEN & JERRY'S.  My jaw literally dropped.  So of course, I threw a pint into my basket and went on my merry way.

So that night, after dinner, I told Andy I had bought a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor... the Boston Cream Pie.  So we carefully opened the bad boy up, stuck a spoon in there, and grabbed ourselves a bite.  And it was pure bliss.  EVERY BITE.... was pure bliss.  I don't even know how to convey how much I love this ice cream. (And no, Ben & Jerry's did not pay me to say all this... although if they want to send some Boston Cream Pie ice cream my way, I would not complain)

This is my dorky, ice cream changed my life face
 Moral of the story... find yourself some Boston Cream Pie Ben & Jerry's.  It will change your life.

What about you guys?  What's your favorite ice cream flavor?  Have you had the pleasure of trying the Boston Cream Pie Ben & Jerry's?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fried Chicken Spinach Salad

Phew that weekend just flew by, didn't it?!  It seems like there's never enough time to catch up!  But here Monday is, again, without fail.  It's been a hectic day, that's for sure.  The one thing that put a smile on my face, is that the local radio station I listen to on the way home, 91.9 WFPK, played a song from a band that Andy used to be in, Clyde.  I was mad at Andy today, for Lord knows what (something trivial I'm sure), but I couldn't help but smile when I heard the song playing.  Of course, I am no longer mad, and realize it was stupid to be mad in the first place.

Anyway, I've got a fancy for salads lately, and adding fried chicken strips is just the icing on the cake for me (of course, you could definitely be healthier than I, and go with grilled chicken strips, but there's no fun in that, now is there)

Adapted from How Sweet It Is Blog - Roasted Apple, Pecan, and Chicken Spinach Salad

Fried Chicken Spinach Salad

 2 cups baby spinach
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 apple, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ounce pecans
2 chicken thighs, deboned
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet under high heat, add vegetable oil. 

On a small plate, combine the flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and salt & pepper.  Dredge chicken thighs in flour mixture, shaking off excess. 

Add thighs to skillet and fry for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.  Let rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes. Slice chicken into small pieces and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F.

Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Spread in an even layer on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until caramelized.

Combine spinach, chicken, pecans, cucumbers, and apples together. Top with dressing (recipe below). 

Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together and whisk well. Top salads with desired amount of dressing.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bratwurst "Stirfry"

It's Friday!  Once again, I've got to work until 10:30, so no going out.  Bummer, but I guess in a way, it saves us a little bit of money.  Especially after the expensive vacation we just endured.  Don't really have much planned for the weekend either.  I'm just working a couple hours in the morning tomorrow and the rest of the weekend will be spent studying for a Molecular Biology exam that I have on Tuesday!  Sunday, of course, is football day, and might possibly have a few friends over for some dinner (we owe them for watching out dogs, so what better way to thank them than by feeding them?!)
I had some leftover bratwursts from the Currywurst recipe and couldn't just let them go to waste.  I saw this side dish on Guilty Kitchen's blog and decided to use up a few veggies we had lying around!

Bratwurst Stir Fry
Adapted from Guilty Kitchen's Sweet Potato, Kale, & Sausage

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic
2 sweet potatoes, left unpeeled and diced
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 bratwursts, sliced into rounds
8 oz kale, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
sea salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste

Heat a large dutch oven under medium high heat and add oil.  Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until starting to soften.
Add in sweet potatoes, garlic, squash, green pepper, and thyme. Sauté for another 5 minutes, or until garlic softens.

Mix mustard and water and add to sweet potatoes. Stir, cover, lower heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

Add in sliced bratwursts and cook for 10 more minutes, or until bratwurst are almost done.

Stir in kale, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes.  Serve immediately!

I know it's kind of misleading saying that this is a "stir-fry," but I guess to me, a stir fry is more of a culmination of a bunch of ingredients into one dish, rather than something just pan fried quickly.  This was definitely a great use of some of our leftover squash and green peppers.  There were major layers of flavor in this dish and would definitely be a great side, but even better main course!

Enjoy the weekend guys and I'll be back Monday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Destination Weddings... Bringing Families Together... Literally.

Well, I figure my first non-fooded related post should have to be about our vacation.  I mean, I hardly talked about it in yesterday's post, so it's only fair, right?!  And especially since I can't resist showing you all how HOT I looked at the wedding... but not hotter than the bride, of course.  That would just be rude, right?  Right.

He's such a goober, but I love him =)
Anyway, we traveled 30+ hours roundtrip for this little shindig... that's more than 1 day's worth of driving!  Not fun... definitely next time we head to Florida, it will be via airplane... or teleport.  Whichever is cheaper.

But we went to Jensen Beach, Florida.  You don't know where that is, do you?  Nobody really did when I told them that that was where we were headed.  But basically, it's by Port St. Lucie, which is on the Atlantic coast and the practically the whole family rented out every condo from the River Palms Cottages.  Yeah, we owned the place for 3 days.  Labors and Farleys only.  It was sweet. 
The fishing dock that was basically right outside our condo
The property had starfruit growing in the trees!

Our first day there, we spent exploring our sights.  We ate at a little Cajun restaurant near the river and ventured over to the actual beach.  I'm a little weary of beaches sometimes, especially when there are high waves around.  It's kind of a personal issue, so maybe I won't talk about why just quite yet... maybe on November 13th.  We'll see.  Anyway... I digress.
the waves rolling in
So we went to the beach, built sandcastles, and headed out to a family dinner.  Not too shabby.

My sister Frances and her boyfriend Lonnie (who looks pretty goofy here)
Next day, the rehearsal day.  It was just about a 10 minute rehearsal, just to make sure everybody knew what they were doing for the big day.  Then for about 30 people, my brother did a 'Low Country Boil'... which is basically boiling a bunch of crab legs, corn cobs, potatoes, and shrimp and serving it on an open table.  Unique idea, and quite popular in Savannah, Georgia and coastal cities.   I love me some crab legs, so you know I was all for it!

I really only like this picture because it shows my tattoo =)
I knew where my spot was
And then, the big day.  10-10-10.  The Labor/Farley Wedding.  It was amazing.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect, I actually felt and looked like a girl (I clean up pretty nicely, I might add), and the bride and groom were all smiles all day.  And my family didn't act ridiculous or obnoxious.  Score, score, and score!

They're so perfect!
I like this because everybody is anxiously awaiting the bride!

I'm definitely ready for a drink at this point

Me, my sisters, my neice, and the bride & groom!

Their first dance... you can tell they're extremely happy!

Andy and I (this is the first time I've ever seen him in a tie in the 3 years we've been together!)

My cooky parents and my sisters!

Me and the bride

My brother!
I do!

Well, hope you guys enjoyed my vacation pictures!  And hope you like my new doses of something different!  Tomorrow's Friday so it'll be a recipe day and I've got a good one lined up!!


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