Category Archives: Food Friday

Food Friday: Feta Cherry Meatloaf with Dilled Sweet Peas

My friend Russell is the best gift giver I know. Every time I get something from him, it’s nothing I even knew about yet exactly what I’ve always wanted. For instance, this Christmas he got me this, which really delighted me as a fan of the series and a blossoming artist. Oh, and a poster of the Handsomest Man Alive. One year, however, I feel like I really got him something awesome, too. Not because I think he particularly enjoyed it, but because it has benefited me at least once every week since then. It was a cookbook, and it had the recipe for the best meatloaf I had ever tried. I tweaked it ever so slightly, and now it suits my tastes even more. Here’s my version. Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

Food Friday: Cilantro Apple Salsa

I was going to post about this much earlier, but lost my phone with all the pictures on it. The same week I washed my iPod with the rest of the laundry. It was a bad week for my electronics, but aren’t they all? Fortunately, I found it again, so now I can tell you all about this dish. It’s my new favorite salsa. That’s saying a lot, because my old favorite salsa is really spectacular. I’ll share it with you one of these days.

This one is super easy to make, not terribly expensive, and tastes fresh and crisp and complex. Also, since it’s not tomato-based, your guests will be dazzled at how creative a chef you are, and we all know that’s what appetizers are for. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Food Friday: Vietnamese Egg Rolls

My cousin’s mom is Vietnamese. I haven’t seen her in a billion and twenty years, but I remember some of the food she used to make and man, was it ever delicious. She made the best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever had, but the only ingredient I can remember (title vegetable aside) is fish sauce.

My mom and I used to constantly make this chicken she showed us, and it was the simplest thing in the world. You just cook some chicken somehow (no seasoning necessary), then cut it into chunks. Wrap each chunk in a baby spinach leaf, then dunk the whole thing in a mixture of soy sauce and lemon juice. It’s the simplest recipe I know, but the flavor was so intense. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Look at you guys, squeezing a bonus dish out of me!

The real reason I bring her up, however, is because of these egg rolls. She used to make the best egg rolls. They’re not like what you find in the local Chinese restaurant, all crammed with cabbage and whatnot. They don’t even look the same. These are mostly whitish, unless you get the special burny ones. Mmmmm. My mom asked her for a copy of the recipe a long time ago, but what she received was a list of ingredients that only vaguely resembled what actually went into them. In fact, nobody got an accurate recipe from her, ever. Fortunately, someone wrote down what she did as she did it one time, and because of that person’s bravery and my friend Sara’s willingness to actually go through all the ass pain of making 90+ egg rolls, my cousin and I get to enjoy them once or twice a year. Delightful!

Sara was gracious enough to write up the whole procedure for me to share with you. This is almost certainly because she knows that none of the rest of our friends will go to all the trouble to make these and steal her thunder if she’s willing to do it twice a year herself.  Her very own recipe and method is after the jump. Thanks, Sara! Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Food Friday – Sunday evening edition: Cilantro lemon tuna salad

I just made the best tuna salad of my life and ate it all without taking a single picture. I didn’t make it to be all fancy and blog about ot. I made it because I hadn’t eaten in eight hours and needed something in my tummy immediately and hadn’t been to the store in a while, but had some decent odds and ends to throw together. I’ll tell you guys, it was incredible. This is kind of how it went. Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Food Friday (Tuesday Edition): Raspberry Ladybug Cake

I know, I promised you pictures of my daughter’s birthday cake nearly a month ago, but I have some good excuses. For instance, all the good pictures were on Katie’s camera. And then, last week I forgot entirely that I have a blog. But now I have my head back on straight and Katie gave me the good photos, so there will be no further delay. In fact, I am writing this post a day early so that I will not space on it tomorrow. Because I care about you, friend.

Pretty, pretty cakes

I found a recipe for raspberry cake with cream cheese icing in one of my mom’s old cookbooks. It was basically just a box of white cake mix, some frozen raspberries and half a pack of raspberry Jell-O. I hadn’t tried it before making it for this party, so I was a bit nervous about it all while it was baking. Fortunately, it looked and smelled great coming out of the oven, and the cakes turned out of the pan more easily than any other cake I have ever made. No exaggeration. They were lovely.

My little darling had said for months that she wanted ladybug cake for her birthday this year. And since I am a good mommy, I spent some time planning. I thought I would bake a cake in one of those big, glass mix-and-measure type bowls and then it would be rounded and the cake itself would be a ladybug. Cute, right? But then I remembered that one of my favorite things in life is writing in icing, and an actual ladybug wouldn’t have a great place to write “Happy Birthday, Abigail!” without looking weird. So I went with plan B, a ladybug inspired cake.

All that food coloring...

The icing was more or less standard cream cheese icing with the other half of the Jell-O mixed in. Oh, and an entire little bottle of red gel food coloring. And a smidge of black, of course.

I have to tell you, it was delicious. This is a cake I will make again. But it got me thinking, I bet I could make ANY flavor of cake as long as there’s a frozen fruit and matching Jell-O. If you think I’m correct, leave me your suggestions in the comments. I’ve seen similar strawberry cakes, so I’m hoping for something different. Maybe peach?

Ta da!

Tagged , , , ,

Food Friday: La Sabrozita

Sauceome!

I had intended to tell you all about the enormous vat of soup I made this week, but then I had lunch with SophistiKatie and she showed me something that changed my life forever, I assume. I mean, it’s still a little early to tell, since it’s only been about 3 hours since we ate, but can’t imagine I will ever be the same.

We just had bean burritos. No big deal, right? Just tortillas, refried black beans and shredded cheddar. How can this be so exciting? I’ll tell you how. We added sauce.

I’ve heard people say things like, “This is a big pile of awesome drizzled with awesomesauce!” I still don’t know what is in the pile, but you can bet this is the drizzle. It’s called La Sabrozita Limon Salsa. It’s a tomatoey, vinegary, limey sauce that you can use to spice up things like tacos, enchiladas, chicken breasts, or even your empty Big Gulp cup. It’s really mild, so you can pour it on everything if you’re a wimp (like I am) but still love big flavors (like I do). You don’t even have to go to a special store to get some. Katie found hers at Walmart. I will probably find some there tonight.

Tagged ,

Food Friday: Curried Lentils

You know that's right.

This is what I had for dinner tonight. I’m not kidding you. I can cook things like this now. About two years ago, it would have been off the table, but thanks to a few friends, I have leveled up.

There are so many things I love about this dish. It’s healthy with all of its lentils and vegetables, it’s easy to make and, most importantly, it is loaded with flavor. I hope some of you try this. It’s so simple but really impressive if you are cooking for friends, and we all know how good it feels to get unwarranted praise.

Here’s a kind of rough how-to guide. None of the measurements are exact. If you get the spices right (which is, like, totally the easiest thing) you can put nearly any vegetable you like in it. Play with it to find out what suits you. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Food Friday: Cucumber Limeade

Ahhhhhh.... refreshing

You make and drink this. I'll work on getting a better picture of it.

Summer is miserable. It’s hot and sticky and awful and I hate it. Here are somethings I hate about summer, in no particular order:

1. Being hot
2. Bugs
3. Not having air conditioning
4. Sunburn
5. Unflattering summer clothes
6. Not getting to wear my cute socks because they are too hot
7. Not getting to eat soup for every meal because it is too hot
8. Being hot

I am not good at being uncomfortable and, since I live in a place where “you don’t need air conditioning” I wind up uncomfortable most of the time. But before you think I am a negative Nancy, I’ll tell you about the things I will miss when fall, which is the best, comes back around.

1. Drinking cucumber limeade until I am sick

I found this recipe online a while ago and have consumed it nonstop since then. I don’t know that I’ve ever had anything more refreshing. It tastes like going swimming with your friends while your parents stand around the grill and talk about politics. If I were a tacky mid-century housewife, I would use it to seduce servicemen. It’s that refreshing. Not only is it amazing, it’s super easy to make. You should give it a go.

Cucumber Limeade
adapted from BacktoHerRoots.com
This makes one big pitcher, but can easily be expanded.

1 large cucumber
3-4 limes (I like mine extra limey, so I use at least 4)
simple syrup to taste (about a cup)

Start by making your simple syrup. Put equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat it until the sugar dissolves. Set it aside until it is cool.

Juice your limes into a blender. If you are making a lot, you might consider buying the lime juice instead of squeezing it. I’ve never tried the bottled kind, but squeezing limes is work, and this is a drink for relaxing. Each lime should yield about 2 tablespoons of juice, if you’re planning to use store bought.

Peel your cucumber, cut it into chunks, then toss them in the blender, too.

Add your simple syrup. Start with about a half a cup. You can always add more if it’s not sweet enough. I usually wind up using about a cup. If you have too much simple syrup on hand, store it in the fridge. You can use it for lots of things, like mojitos or pretending you’re a humming bird.

Fill the blender the rest of the way up with water and whiz it all around until the cucumber is unrecognizeable.

Pour it through a strainer and serve iced.

Pro tip: The flavor really grows the longer it sits, so you can make this the day before a party and it’s lovely.

Enjoy!

Tagged , ,