Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Local farm fresh breakfast

My mother has been visiting this week for an enjoyable girls' stay-cation.  With a girls' adventure comes shopping, and great food!  Because we went to my favorite breakfast spot for lunch yesterday, I wanted to try something new this morning.  I did some google searching and found The Knight Farm, only 10 minutes from my home...serving breakfast 7 days a week.  

Special: Blueberry lemon pancakes

My mother ordered these pancakes, a special offered today.  When they arrived at the table, I was surprised to see the lemon on top...I thought that the lemon would have been integrated into the batter.  Despite the wrong assumption, the pancakes were light, fluffy and not too buttery or sweet.  I usually like savory breakfast because I don't really like desert for breakfast but I could have easily demolished a plate of these.

My choice: Corned beef hash and scrambled eggs

I had high hopes for this but sadly I was let down.  Nothing can surpass my grandmother's corned beef hash.  The potatoes were good, standard homefries, the rye toast was great.  Nothing was wrong with the hash, it was browned well on both sides and not overly greasy but it simply wasn't what I had in mind.  It didn't seem like they mixed the scrambled eggs with milk or water before cooking but rather, just scrambled eggs.  The texture left something to be desired.  

Overall, I was satisfied  by our experience.  I always say I will give a place two tries before I make a generally negative judgement.  I look forward to trying something different here and maybe will stop in on the weekend when they tend to have more customers.  

Spicy Polenta

Last week I didn't plan my groceries too well due to being out of town.  One night I stood staring at the pantry, the fridge, the pantry, the fridge and finally thought of a new polenta dish to try.  I am very happy with the result!  The spice of the cheese was evened out by the subtleness of the polenta.  The sour cream was a nice cooling element to the plate as every other ingredient is hot and spicy.  

Jalapeno cheddar polenta with spicy chicken, and fried avocado

Slacking Off...

Here's a whole mess of things I've made in the past few weeks.  I've been very busy and had a lot on my mind so I have not updated this blog at all.  Hopefully after some vacation and our honeymoon in the next few weeks, I'll be back in good spirits!
Pesto, sundried tomato, chicken and mozzarella pizza

Lazy dinner, only thing mentionable on this plate is the pepper and olive salad I made.
I simply sauteed black olives and the peppers I had in olive oil, salt and pepper; taste was simply and wonderful!

Squash towers.  Sauteed squash and fried onion breaded with panko.  Stacked sqaush with mozz cheese in between each layer with the onion on top!

Spanish rice with chicken enchiladas!
Cooked chicken in the slow cooker in enchilada sauce with peppers. 

Sausage, peppers, potatoes and onion in olive oil and spices

Squash o gratin with ham, celery and onions


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jerk Chicken Pizza

Every year we have a SHG BBQ and some awesome friends of ours bring jerk chicken.  I thought to myself, this would be awesome on a pizza.  That idea came last year and I finally got around to making a pizza tonight! I planned most of the ingredients Sunday and then threw in a crazy one today, sweet potato.  This pizza is one of the best foods I have ever made.

A crazy mix of ingredients that resulted in one awesome pizza.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rhubarb Crisp: The First Attempt by a Terrible Baker

Okay, so let me preface this by saying that my terrible history with baking goes back to my days of cooking class in middle school.  Somehow I was able to mess up the recipes, even if they only had 5 ingredients because my chef self decided to mess with the recipe and then completely messed up the result.
My worst memory of baking was my first attempt at brownies in high school.  My dad soaked his in milk for about 10 minutes for taking a bite because he felt so bad that I tried so hard to make them yummy.  He later admitted they were terrible, threw them outside for the birds and said that he hoped they didn't "break their beaks on the brownies" hahaha.
My best memory associated with baking was an experimental bake also in high school.  I took a beer bread mix and instead of using beer I used ginger ale.  I followed the recipe exactly except the beer and the bread was awesome; I was no longer afraid of mixes.

Baking when you're calorie conscience is challenging.  The predictable combination of a large amount of flour combined with a crazy amount of sugar and some butter thrown in is discouraging.  I tried to take what I knew about flavors and function and make something a little bit less terrible for me.

Tonight I got gutsy, I decided to make up something myself and here is the result:
No recipe is getting posted for this because it needs refining, that being said:
Crust on bottom crisped up even with less butter
Filling was awesome, sweet enough and good texture, despite only having about half the sugar suggested
Overall good texture after the topping
156 calories a piece

Topping did not crisp up 
Bottom didn't have much flavor...needs something

I'll probably make this again next week, tighten up the crust a little bit and get rid of the topping all together.  I am overall happy with my attempt because I was honestly afraid it was going to be terrible and in fact, it is very much edible (just not 100% up to my standards)!  Phew!

Spinach, Sausage and Feta Mini-Quiche with Potato Crust

The owner of my company had an awesome spinach, cilantro and parsley torte a few months ago for lunch...it inspired some new recipes on my part.  This is one of the variations I have come up with; I would post a link to the original recipe but she hand wrote it for me so I don't know who it belonged to first. This recipe is so incredibly different than the original, I'm not sure it's necessary to reference the initial recipe anyway.
This recipe also gave me the opportunity to use one of my favorite kitchen things, my silicone muffin cups from Williams Sonoma!  They work perfectly for this recipe because you can bend the muffin cup away and maintain the shape of the quiche!  Easy to clean and reusable, that's what I love!  Who cares if they're Christmas colors?? I got them for 75% off so as far as I'm concerned it can be Christmas year round!
Fresh out of the oven!

On my breakfast plate this morning

and cut open

Taste was great!  This is probably my favorite mini quiche yet!  The recipe made 12 so I eat 2 every morning for breakfast.  I microwave them for 30 seconds, then put them in the toaster for 4 minutes.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I have one fan!

Had to post this: one of my supporters with this blog, Clauds, sent me this yesterday.

Another night out in Providence

If you haven't realized it yet, we tend to go out a bit in Providence.  It's only a five minute drive to an awesome city, so we take full advantage.  Our friend Jalal came to visit this weekend so we took him to our favorite spot, Union Station Brewery.  The food is consistently yummy and reasonably, the service is consistently great, and the beer is awesome.  It's a great location, close to the mall and waterfire.  We try different restaurants but we always end up at the brewery because it never lets us down.

Started the meal off with a beer, I chose the buster brown ale and it was exactly as described, very smooth with hints of chocolate and toffee.  I'm not a huge hops fan so this was perfect for me

Next we had nachos with guacamole, I love the fresh salsa they use.

Sorry the picture is sideways...photobucket is being weird but anyways!!  I was debating what to get yesterday, I narrowed it down to Buffalo chicken pizza, BBQ meatloaf and Farfalle.  
1.Buffalo chicken pizza worried me, could see that being too much or making my picky stomach sick
2.Farfalle is something I could easily make at home.
3.I would never make BBQ meatloaf since I usually only buy beef in the form of steak: decision made.

It was very good, the BBQ sauce was a perfect addition.  The mashed potatoes were different than the last time I had them, they had chives mixed in and had a great flavor and texture.  The grilled veggies were a nice addition to the heavy base of the dish.  I wasn't a huge fan of the onion ring but I'm not generally a fried foods person; they use to serve this dish with a series of very thing onion rings that were breaded and lightly fried, those I enjoyed more.

Overall we had an awesome meal as usual.  The rest of my clan ordered different types of burgers: (Info directly take from website) CHIPOTLE BBQ bacon, cheddar cheese, house BBQ 
sauce and SMOKEHOUSE ale-braised onions, smoked gouda cheese, bacon, smoked tomato aioli, crisp onion ring.  Both really enjoyed their burgers and had difficultly eating them due to the size.  Clauds cut his burger in half (fail) and Jalal went all in and made a mess.  

We will continue to go to this place over and over again! One of my favorite shows is How I Met Your Mother, a group of friends live above/frequent a bar called MacLaren's Pub...Union station is our Maclaren's.  We only wish we could live above it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spinach , Peppers and Pasta

So, I was originally planning on making breaded chicken on a bed of creamed spinach but after beginning to wilt my spinach I realized I didn't have enough.  I grabbed some peppers and egg noodles to bulk up the spinach and finished off with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Smoothie Time

I am typically not a huge smoothie fan, simply due to the fact that they are calorie dense and I usually want to be able to bite into my dessert...not sip it through a straw.  Tonight I had a brief change of heart...maybe due to the fact that it is 90 degrees outside and a baked good just wasn't going to do it for me.  Then I hit my next boundary when I realized that I did not have a  standard blender (thew it out when we moved this last time)...I used my immersion blender and it worked just fine!  I stuck to fruit and yogurt with no added sugar or honey.  You could add additional sugar if you think it's necessary but I thought it was sweet enough the way it was.
Strawberry, watermelon and kiwi smoothie

Me and the rediscovered love of my life,watermelon!

Quinoa with a Sausage and Squash Cream Sauce

Again, mission of the week...must use cream cheese!  Having only cooked with quinoa once in my life, I know it was only last week but still...I was inspired to do something with it again.  I decided to use up the squash in my fridge and the extra spinach I had from lunch in a sauce with the cream cheese.  Who doesn't love a creamy sauce?
Sauce was very simple but tasted better than I had expected

Porterhouse Pasta?!

This week, I have cream cheese that I have to use up so a lot of my recipes will involve it.  Since I only cook for one, I tend to end up with at least one of these ingredients a week...forces me to figure out difference uses.  I enjoy the challenge.  Tuesday night I needed something I could cook fast, since we had to leave to get to the movies.
I had gotten a porterhouse at the store this weekend because it was on sale...I thought to myself..porterhouse, on pasta? With sour cream and horseradish?  Yes please!  Now some steak fans may shiver at the thought of making a porterhouse into strips...but I assure you it was wonderful!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

So, looking at the recipe for spaghetti squash jalapeño cream also inspired me to use some jalapeños in my dinner for this week.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Watermelon Kiwi Dessert

Found this recipe this week and thought it was interesting.  I do not really like to use a lot of granola so I picked another cereal that did not pack as well, I also did not have any yogurt I thought would go in the house so I ate without.  The overall flavor combination was good but I certainly need to switch it up a bit next time!

and from the side

Don't mind the honey spots all over the plate...my circle mold was not very good

Epic Mac and Cheese (without the mac)

So making a cheese-based baked dish starting brewing in my brain two weeks ago when I had made spaghetti squash.  I had found a recipe for jalapeno cream spaghetti squash (which I still plan on trying), then I began to research some more and found a whole series of dishes made with quinoa.  After reading Around the TableMonica Nelson Fitness, and Food for the Fresh I made my own recipe up and tried it tonight.  The result was epic and came in just under 500 calories a serving...making it a dinner that has awesome taste but is easy on the waist.

Fresh out of the oven


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Irish Cuisine in Providence

Last night we had a double date withs ome friends.  This week is restaurant week so we decided to try a new restaurant we'd never been to Whiskey Republic. This place is known for the Irish cuisine and wide array of whiskey.  It is owned by members of the Dropkick Murphys and there are bands featured frequently throughout the week on the indoor stage.
The setting was very nice, we sat outside and had a view of a bridge and water.  

Friend Amy and I decided to take advantage of the restaurant week special:
2 appetizers
2 entrees
1 dessert

Started off with tomato basil-soup.  The texture was great and the taste was good but there was a little too much spice in it, I think someone simply overdid the red papper flakes.

Went with the bangers and mash for dinner...one of my favorite dishes.  The restaurants take on it was okay.  Due to utilizing the restaurant week menu, the dish was smaller than normal...it shocked me at first (other restaurants I'd been to had not done this) but it ended up being the perfect portion.  The sausage was fairly average and inconsistant different bites of it were missing or had gained different spices and textures.  The gravy had great flavor but a little too much salt for me, I barely use salt in my cooking so I tend to sense too much salt often when we go out to eat.  The mashed potatoes were excellent, as well as the fried onion.  I thought it was very creative for the restaurant to include horseradish cream; it truly tied the dish together and was a great addition to the plate.

We ordered a Whiskey brownie for desert, it came surrounded in 2 layers of whipped cream and topped with bacon and carmel.  The brownie had great flavor, it wasn't too sweet and went well with the crispy bacon and carmel.  We attacked it so I didn't manage to get a picture.

Overall, our experience was neutral.  The bill came and we spent 110$ for 4 people, we all felt it was slightly expensive for what we got and the food was nothing to write home about.  We may go again, but nothing has topped our favorite spot the Union Station Brewery, as of yet.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pork Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

I was extremely lazy all week with meals so I finally decided to cook something good (after running 5 miles).  I decided to spice up a pork chop that I defrosted.
I absolutely love peanut sauce and it worked really well with the pork chop.  The rice helped to lesson the spice a bit.  Very filling but light at the same time.  Pay attention to the directions on your sushi rice, some has to be rinsed before it is cooked.

Utilizing Leftovers

So, I have been very lazy this week and ended up with some scraps that I hate to throw out.  I used what I had to create a quick Thursday night appetizer/dinner.
4 homemade tortilla chips (we cut up flour tortillas and deep fry them then toss with salt)
1 Slice cabot Sharp Cheddar
2 tablespoons salsa
2 ounces of avocado 
1tbs sour cream

Tortilla-less Chicken Quesadilla

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Easy Lazy Dinner

My hair is now red and I LOVE it!
I know it's completely unrelated but I'm super excited about it!

So anyways... I went for a brief run tonight when I got home and was completely unmotivated to spend more than 10 minutes to make anything.  Tomorrow I will do better :)
Pasta with Garlic Chicken Sausage

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ate out all day. Healthy for sure hahha

So I'm visiting my parents in Ct for a few days and due to our busy schedule, I ate every meal out today. Started off the day with a ham, egg and cheese from Jo-Jo's deli...awesome!
Next came a vegetarian rice bowl from Desert Moon. It wasn't bad for food court food.
Next meal took place at a golf tournament in honor of my uncle. This was the tournaments 19th year. My sister-in-law and I
Dinner, wide array of food on the buffet.
Dessert was great,lemon shortcake with fruit

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fourth of July feast

For the Fourth of July we decided to spend a quiet day at home with out friend Clauds. We ended up making an awesome dinner for ourselves.
Home made French fries with a grass fed bacon and cheddar stuffed burger with more cheddar on top! I can't take credit for the burger, all I did was cook it and my wonderful husband prepared the fries. After being cut, we sat them in an ice water bath for approximately 30 minutes. We then fried the potatoes at a low temperature for about 10 minutes and at a higher temperature until crispy. I'd have to double check with my husband as to what temperatures and exact time, I was too busy enjoying my Peak beer and cooking the burgers!

Out to the drive in

Went out tonight to a drive-in in the Litchfield hills of CT with my parents, brother and sister in law. Enjoyed some birch beer with food shown below! Fries were great!

Night out in the City

Last night my husband and I went out for Providence Water Fire, quite possibly the coolest event that our city offers.  Streets are shut down, music, fire dancers, food and bonfires in the water!  Before the festivities started, we decided to grab a bite at our favorite restaurant Union Station Brewery.   The rain held out so we were able to eat outside, perfect evening.

Pepperoni pizza was fantastic, also ordered their brown ale on tap for the night.
We had a brownie sundae for dessert but it was so hot (melting) and we wanted it so bad I forgot to take a picture before it was all gone!

No picture of Water Fire can do it justice so I won't even try,  
it is something you have to see for yourself!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vegetable Pancake

Woke up this morning and got to work on the house, before I knew it I had missed breakfast.  Here is what I made for brunch:


Okay, so I have been absolutely terrible at updating this...but after reading another food blog I was inspired to get back on track.  Here is a large array of food pictures I've taken over the last month.  The updates from now on will be more detailed again.
Mexican omelet with salsa and avocado

Orange slices cooked in cinnamon and sugar 

Lemon pepper chicken kabob

Broccoli, carmelized onion and feta mini quiche

Chicken enchiladas

Ginger chicken kabob with mexican rice and sauteed squash/garlic

 Chicken tortilla soup

Chicken and bean quesadilla-  Whole Foods

Smoked gouda, bacon and tomato grilled cheese on Bread Alone Rye 

Chicken sausage and squash in an Alfredo sauce over pasta

Chicken fried rice

 Macaroni and cheese with salsa and avacado

Steak, broccoli and mashed potatoes

Spaghetti and turkey meatballs

Chipotle ranch pork chop with gluten free stuffing

Chicken enchiladas at Union Station Brewery- Providence, RI

Breaded chicken with pesto and parmesan, 
roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes with rosemary and garlic

Pepper stuffed with hamburger, rice and squash

We made chocolate!
Dark chocolate with bacon and Himalayan salt
White chocolate with pineapple and rum infused coconut
White chocolate with cayenne pepper and toffee almonds 

Spaghetti squash in a five cheese sauce with kielbasa and bacon

Same sauce over a polenta and squash lasagna

Same sauce made into a soup with squash and eggplant
served along side a tomato, cheddar and southwest turkey panini

Spaghetti squash with broccoli, tomato and parmesan cheese

Vegetable stir fry with sushi rice and pork dumplings

Quick "pizza"  Tortilla with salsa, avocado, monterey jack and cheddar cheese

Discovered a new beer for my top 10!