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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Teriyaki Chicken and Homemade Fried Rice

Found myself once again slaving away over a hot stove on a hot humid day. What am I making this time you ask? Homemade fried rice and teriyaki chicken thighs. 

I read from a fellow pinner on pinterest that a good way to make brown rice or any rice for that matter is to cook it in a lot of water. Meaning like you would pasta. Then when it’s done drain it. It really helps with preventing the sticky rice syndrome, unless you want sticky rice. 

I marinated the chicken in teriyaki sauce for roughly four hours. I added my own twist on to the store bought sauce, a little seasoned rice vinegar, onion powder and garlic powder go along way. 

I placed the chicken in my dutch oven and in the oven at 350 for about forty- five minutes. Meanwhile I cooked the rice, drained it and added dried onion since I didn’t have fresh onion. When the chicken was just about done I drained off the fat and browned it a bit on the stove top. 

In my wok I heated olive oil and beat six eggs. I added them to the wok to scramble. You can’t have fried rice without egg right? After the egg was cooked I removed it from the wok and placed in a bowl. I wiped out the wok and heated vegetable oil. I  added the rice, I used brown rice, I don’t really like white rice. I  coated the rice in the oil so as not to burn it or have it stick to the wok. I love my wok, I bought it in Boston’s Chinatown about 7 years ago. I had to carry it on the subways to get it back to my car before returning home to CT at the time. Best $10.00 investment yet. 

Next I added peas and carrots, mixed them in and added a bit of soy sauce for color and flavor. When I felt it was “fried” enough I added the egg back in and tasted it for additional needed ingredients. 

It was good, not the same as the chinese restaurants but pretty darn good. most likely better for you too. 

Paired with the chicken it made for a delicious “take out” made at home meal.

Happy “Home Take Out”!!

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Chicken, Rice

 

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What would yooOOoo do…….

 

  for a Klondike bar??

While food shopping the other day my hubby decided that he wanted ice cream bars of some sort. He asked me what kind I would like, after putting the regular vanilla ice cream bar covered in chocolate in the cart. I told him I’m not really a fan of ice cream bars, or ice cream in general. I get a craving for it once in a while but not normally. So he said well we can get you something you would like.

Then he saw Klondike bars, on sale. They have like ten flavors, I have a decision making problem. He picks up the mint, we both like mint but I wasn’t in the mood for mint. He looked at me funny, I’m always in the mood for mint, just not today. So he puts them back. He LOVES crunch bars so…he got the krunch ones. He starts naming them off to me, as if I am not looking right at them. The caramel pretzel ones catch my eye, salty and sweet!! What could be better. Then he said, look they have rocky road. You loved those last year when we got them. Sadly yes I did. Now we have a problem. Too many to choose from and not enough exercise in the world for me to justify what happened next. He went through and all the ones I said yeah they sound good, he put them in the cart. 

Hence the four, count them, FOUR flavors we got. That night he had his krunch and I had the oh so sinful caramel pretzel. 

Ladies, whether or not you are craving, this is for you. A delicious blend of sweet caramel ice cream blanketed by chocolate and covered in salty, crunchy, pretzel pieces. TO. DIE. FOR.

The rocky road are good as well, chocolate/vanilla ice cream, covered in chocolate and almonds. YUM.

The Reese ones are ok. Not enough peanut butter flavor for me, but I’m sure they will be devoured.

So if you are looking for a cold freezer treat I suggest picking up some of these. Just make sure to have plenty of napkins since I don’t know where you live but here in PA it’s down right hot. 

Happy “Tr”eating!!

 

Byblos Restaurant and Hookah Bar

In the summer of 2010, while trying to save my now none existent marriage, my ex and I stumbled upon this hookah lounge in Providence, RI called Byblos. It’s on a side street in the shopping district of Providence. 

Neither one of us smoke but we sure do love Lebanese food. We decided to check it out.

We were greeted by the owner/chef, who informed us of the special lunch/hookah deal of the day. After we finished our meal and hookah and saw the bill, we found that it wasn’t all that special of a deal at all but it was a nice day.

We started our meal with a couple of appetizers, I had the hummus plate and he had the grape leaves. For our main meal I had this delicious chicken panini which consisted of  chicken marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, za’atar and then slowly grilled to tender juicy perfection, lettuce, feta  and this magnificent garlic spread. Then the whole thing is pressed on a panini maker and served with a small mixed greens salad tossed with lemon juice, olive oil and za’atar. He had the fattoush. A hearty helping of mixed lettuce, cucumbers, tomotoes,  red onions, feta and olives and tossed with the traditional lemon juice, olive oil and za’atar dressing. 

After lunch we were given a menu of the different flavors of hookah tobacco to choose from, the list had close to fifty different choices ranging from bubblegum to orange to mint. We opted for the blueberry since I love blueberries and he wanted to make me happy. The owner brings over this hookah with one pipe, and all the needed accessories to provide us with an enjoyable smoking experience. He set it up on our table and explained every step in setting it up and then showed us how to properly use the pipe. We were each provided with a mouthpiece and told that after taking a hit you then place the one part of the hose over the other and then pass it to the next person, its a sign of respect. We then spend the next hour and a half to two hours smoking our blueberry hookah and really relaxing. 

Now I would definitely recommend this place to anyone 18+ (no one under 18 allowed). Just beware of a couple of things, it is not cheap by any means. Hookahs are roughly 20 bucks to start but be prepared to spend more on just one. Plus if you have more than two people they recommend more than one hookah because they only have hookahs with one pipe. This makes sharing difficult and timely unless you don’t care about that. 

It is a great place with a wonderful atmosphere, yummy food and great people. So if you find yourself in Providence, RI and looking for fun, check them out. providencebyblos.com they are also on facebook and twitter. 

Happy Eating!! Get your smoke on 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Chicken, Hookah, Restaurants, Veggies

 

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To sugar or not to sugar?

If any day can be considered lazy, it was yesterday.

What is more fun then spending the day in and around an in-ground pool, hanging with family and eating food? That was my Sunday.

We packed ourselves, hubby, his daughter and I, into my truck and drove up to the Poconos area to visit his aunt and cousin. The two girls played in the pool while the adults lounged around catching some sun. Next thing I know I’m in the pool in my shorts and sports bra (I don’t have a suit) cause the girls decided it would be fun to splash and squirt water at us. Since I was already wet I figured it was the only thing left to do. 

Soon it was time for lunch. 

It was a feast of grilled sausage with sauce and peppers, hot dogs, beans, tortilla chips and potato salad. For a second I had loss of brain and said yes I would love some potato salad. Forgetting that I am in PA, land of the dreaded sugar induced potato and macaroni salad. 

Don’t get me wrong, if you grew up here or were raised on the sweetened cook out must haves then it is ok but if you are like me, I am from CT, we do not use sugar in our salads.

I made this mistake when I first moved here roughly a year and a half ago. We went grocery shopping and hubby wanted macaroni salad, he went in search of some. He brings back this delicious looking salad with elbow mac, carrots, a bit of green pepper all encased in this velvety looking mayonnaise with a hint of yellow, which is fine by me because it means a touch of mustard. I like that, it adds a nice flavor. We get home, make lunch and he puts a scoop of the salad on my plate, I can’t wait to dig in. I am a carb whore. I put a forkful in my mouth and before I even started to chew I excused myself and spit it out. I tell him I think someone played a mean joke on the maker of the salad, they switched the mayo or salt with sugar. It was horrible. He took a bite and was very much in love with it. He has lived here his whole life. He is used to the sugared salads. GROSS!!! I found out that if something is labeled Amish or Dutch it is sweet, and if it looks shiny it most likely has sugar in it. I now always ask to try some before buying or I read the ingredients first. 

So back to the potato salad for lunch, I put a small fork full to my mouth, hoping and praying it wasn’t overly sugared. Surprise!!! No sugar. I was in heaven. It was almost like my gram used to make. Perfectly cooked potatoes, fresh parsley, celery, a hint of s+p, a tad bit of onion and mayo. Delicious. That made my day. 

Later on we stopped by a good friends parents house, who also happens to be my hubby’s “adopted” parents house. The gang was all there, mom, dad, Mike his wife and kids and his brother. Hubby made it through the house and out to the back yard but before I could make it out the door mom came in and asked if i would like some potato salad. I said yes please, I love your potato salad. It too is not sweet, she uses a  mix of mayo and sour cream, celery, onion and egg. Yum. I was in heaven yet again. 

I love my new family and will gladly eat their unsweetened salads anytime of the year. so when the hubby gets a craving for macaroni or potato salad, unless I taste it first, I buy the the ingredients, and whip up my own, this way there is no sugar. Sometimes he gives me a break and buys a small dish of his salad and jokingly asks me if I’d like a bite, to which he knows my answer. Absolutely no thank you. 

To all of you picnickers, hope you have a wonderful time but if you invite me please, please, please do not add sugar to your salads if you want me to try them. Sugar is for desserts not salad.

Happy Eating!!!!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Grill, Pasta, Veggies

 

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Rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

This was my mom’s birthday cake a couple of years ago. She LOVES peanut butter and what goes best with peanut butter? Other than jelly of course. Chocolate. So I put on my thinking cap to come up with something so decadent for her that it would blow most of my other cakes out of the water.

This cake is so rich, so moist, so luscious that just a thin slice will cover your craving.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. ( note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating.) ( note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle, or other candy if desired. I opted for reeses pieces and peanut butter cups

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Cakes, Sinful Dessert

 

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My First Confession- Blue Cheese

I HATE blue cheese. I know hate is a strong word but it’s the only one I can use for my feeling towards this repulsive cheese. So far there are only two foods that I will never like and this is one of them. I have tried it many times and in many different forms. I love cheese but there is something about the pungent aroma that just kills it even before it reaches my mouth and then if oh goodness I happen to consume some…ick!! To me it just has this taste creamy yes but spoiled. Yes I know it’s mold and mold is considered spoiled. I mean really, your not supposed to eat spoiled food right? I eat with my nose and my eyes first and it not only does NOT look appealing but the smell is to me not a pleasant one. I know many of you love this cheese and I have no problem cooking with it don’t get me wrong, but I am not going to eat it myself. The older I get the more foods I keep trying like various seafood, no I don’t like seafood either and I’m originally from New England. There’s just something about blue cheese. I will never like it. 

Next rant will be another food I will never like…Tuna.

Happy Eating!!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Cheese, Rants

 

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Foil Pack Potatoes

Foil pack potatoes are so delicious they should be illegal!!! My hubby makes these for me upon request.

You take potatoes whether they be Yukon gold, red bliss, Idaho, whatever your choice may be slice them up into roughly 1/4inch thick slices, try to keep them uniform, use a mandolin if you have one. Take an onion and cut in half. Slice one half up into roughly 1/4inch thick slices as well. Save the remaining half for another use. 

Take foil large enough to fully wrap around the potatoes to create a package. Place potatoes still in a line in the foil and wrap the foil up around them to hold them in place. Section out the onion slices and portion between the potato slices, does not have to be one for one, it is used for flavor mainly. Do the same with the slices of butter. You do not need a lot of butter, maybe a tablespoon per pack. Close the foil up around the potatoes so the ends are folded up and so is the top. There might be a slight opening on the top, this is ok. 

Place potato packs on a cookie sheet, this is recommended for oven cooking because you will need to pull them out to check them and if you are like me you will probably make a whole in the oil and all the butter will leak out and create a greasy mess and maybe a fire in your oven. Yes this has happened to me. So now I use the cookie sheet! Bake at 350 for roughly 45 minutes, check them and adjust cooking as needed. If cooking on a grill basically the same thing, place on the grates and cook until done, cover grill for best results. Just make sure that you start these first so they are fully cooked to be ready for meal time.

Happy Eating!!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Grill, Veggies

 

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