Category Archives: Cooking

Call It Whatever You Want, It’s Delicious Sauce

Lately there have been a lot of things worth celebrating in our house and we’ve just been so busy that we haven’t had the chance. Last night I made the chance and decided to surprise the boyfriend with some awesome top sirloin steaks (that he got to cook, which he was happy about) and some mashed potatoes, green beans, and some friggin’ delicious sauce. I literally wanted to lick my plate but I ate so much that I just didn’t have the room. The green beans were the easy part, I just put some kosher salt on them and sauteed them with a little olive oil and thyme for a few minutes so they were crispy. Everyone likes mashed potatoes their own way (and as you can see we like them dirty which most people don’t) so I’m not gonna tell you how to make those, and the boyfriend pan seared the steak which is easy enough so I’m not going to bore you with the details of that. What I will share with you is the recipe for the sauce. And if you still have room after you eat whatever you put it on, go ahead and lick your plate, I won’t judge.

Cabernet Sauvignon Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound Mushrooms (use whatever you like, I just used the rest of the pound I bought when I made the alfredo)
  • 2 Cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  •  1 Small Shallot
  • 1/2 Pint Heavy cream
  • 1/4 Cup Beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Dash Rosemary
  • Pinch of flour

Directions:

  1. In small sauce pan melt 2 Tbsp butter. Saute mushrooms over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and shallot and cook until slightly browned. Add rosemary.
  2. Reduce heat and add wine. Let the alcohol cook out of the wine. You will be able to tell when this is happening because it will produce a lot of steam and smell like a drunk.
  3. Slowly mix in heavy cream and beef broth. When completely combined turn heat up to med/high and bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes. Keep mixing the whole time so you don’t burn the cream in the sauce.
  4. Reduce heat back to low and add flour. Allow to simmer for about three or four minutes. Bring back to a rapid boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a few more minutes and then serve immediately.

This was incredible over the steaks and potatoes but I can definitely see it going over chicken as well. I don’t know how well it would go with pork but if someone wants to try it please let me know. Actually, if you try it in general let me know. Who doesn’t love feedback? Also if you really want my recipe for dirty mashed potatoes (and it’s a tasty one) just shoot me an email and I would be more than happy to give it to you!

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Ahhhmazing Bacon and Mushroom Alfredo

Om nom nom.

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, between work and getting ready for the holidays I have had NO time to cook, make any crafts, take a nap, or blog. I know, excuses, excuses. Last night I finally got the opportunity to cook though. I set my goals high and was going to make homemade pasta and alfredo however the pasta turned out to be a complete bust. Because I don’t have a pasta machine it started drying out on me before I even got the chance to cut it into noodles and it ended up sticking everywhere. I finally got pissed off enough to just throw it away but still make the sauce and noodles in a box. The sauce was so incredible that I didn’t even care I had failed at noodle making (for now anyways).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 1 Cup mushrooms of your choice (I used a blend of portobello, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 Pint heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley (I think I have mentioned before that I like the herbs in a tube because they last much longer than fresh, if you are using fresh then I’m not positive what the equivalent is but I would say no more than about 4 sprigs)
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 Box of whatever kind of pasta you have laying around, or if you want to really impress someone, make your own, just make sure you have a pasta maker.

Directions:

  1. Rinse and cut mushrooms. Place in bowl to the side and pour the balsamic vinegar on them to marinate them a little bit.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 for the bacon. Place bacon on baking pan and cook until desired crispness. I like mine just barely crunchy but that’s all up to you.
  3. In a saucepan sautee the garlic in the olive oil until fragrant and a little brown. Add mushrooms (and balsamic vinegar) and parsley. Cook until mushrooms are soft.
  4. Remove bacon from oven and shred into small pieces, add to saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes to let all the flavors blend together.
  5. Add heavy cream and bring to a slow rolling boil.
  6. Pour over pasta and sprinkle a little Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over top. Actually, who am I kidding, load up on the shit. This is not a calorie counting recipe anyways and if you’re gonna go all out might as well go all the way.

I’ve always loved alfredo and this is probably my favorite recipe I’ve ever made. It’s also really easy and would be a great meal if you’re pressed for time. As always, if you make it (or any variation) let me know how it turns out!

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Stoner Food is the Best.

Have you ever heard someone talk about the weird stuff they eat when they’re high? Or seen someone eat while they were high? Sometimes it’s because they’re too lazy to drive to Taco Bell, but sometimes it’s really inventive. If it weren’t for the college I went to I would’ve never known Caesar dressing goes pretty well on waffles. Or potato chips crumbled on brownies with ice cream and whipped cream is awesome. Or that cranberries and salt and pepper chips are pretty damn good together. I used the knowledge of that last one to make some of the best cranberry sauce I have ever had one year. I’ve eaten the potato chip brownie combo a lot, until Ben and Jerry’s just straight up made an ice cream with chocolate covered potato chips, which is the best ice cream out there right now except their peach cobbler. That particular one is made out of heaven or something. I’ve only tried that waffles with Caesar dressing one once, but that’s only because those two foods aren’t normally around at the same time.

My all time favorite “stoner food” though? Guacamole. I am addicted/obsessed with avocados. I can’t get enough of ’em, no matter how they’re prepared. I haven’t tried them with chocolate though, although I’m pretty sure if done right it would be epic. One of the coolest things about guacamole is beyond it’s main ingredient being avocados it’s really up to you what’s in it, and like I’ve said before one of my favorite things about cooking is experimenting with flavors and customizing to suit your tastebuds or just whatever happens to be in your kitchen. Hell, I’ve even put Chick-Fil-A sauce in guacamole before because it sounded good at the time and it ended up being amazing. My best friend and I ate it all in about 5 minutes and the whole time kept arguing that the other one was eating too much of it. She also shares an avocado problem.

Anyway, to the moral of this post, recently I combined two of my biggest food loves and had such a mouthgasm that I’ve been eating it at least once a week since then; guacamole pasta. It’s pretty much the ultimate dish in my book. It’s delicious warm but would probably still be kick ass cold, I’m trying that next. Below is my tried and true basic guacamole recipe. Try it with pasta. Try it on chips. Try it on anything, and let me know how it works out. It’s the least you could do since I’m saving you that trip to Taco Bell.

Megan’s Addictive Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 1 Avocado, size depends on how big of a batch you’re making. You don’t want to make more than you can eat though because the guac will turn brown and not be so yummy after a while.
  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream (makes it super creamy)
  • 1 Tbsp Minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped cilantro, I use the squeeze tube of chopped cilantro and I love the stuff. I can tell a little difference on flavor but it’s such a small difference that I am willing to over look it if it means I don’t have to toss a bunch of cilantro every few days because I didn’t use it fast enough.
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Dash salt
  • Whatever the hell else you feel like tossing in there. I’ve put tequila in it before, basil, pine nuts, the Chik-Fil-A sauce, it’s really up to you.

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until you are satisfied. Some people like chunks, some people don’t. If you’re making guacamole pasta I recommend blending until creamy.

And while you’re reading this post you might as well hop over to the Stoner Food and check out all the delicious looking/sounding stoner food they have!

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Rosemary Merlot and Shallot Beef Stew

With all the updating I’ve been doing trying to get my cruise pictures on here I haven’t been able to tell y’all some of the most exciting news I’ve gotten all year! I applied, and got accepted, into Johnson and Wale’s Culinary School here in Charlotte!!! I was afraid I wasn’t going to get in thanks to a not so impressive college and high school track record but I guess they saw I’ve had a few years to reconsider my options and they’re giving me a chance! I am over the moon excited about it and to celebrate I’ve been practicing my cooking skills, not that I need much practice though since my boyfriend says he’s about 80% sure I could make mud taste good. Today I decided to surprise him with a cold weather favorite, my spin on beef stew. He was in charge of surprising me with desert which I told him to make sure it was chocolate and gooey, I guess his mud comment got in my head. Anyways, click through for a not so traditional beef stew! Continue reading

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My Christmas Vow

This year you will not find me in a store. This year I will not have boxes and boxes coming in the mail to me all through December. This year I’m making everything. I am going to get hard core crafty. I am going to bake until I am sick of baking. I am going to make sure that each present means something. And most importantly, I’m not going to go broke. I am still going to see the joy on people’s faces when they open their gifts. I am still going to be able to participate in whatever gift giving ritual. I am going to use my talents to make sure that every single person on my list gets something that they truly love from me. Who is with me?

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Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Casserole

We couldn't wait to eat it!

The other night while I was waiting for the boyfriend to get home I got hungry, like really, really hungry. I was also really, really broke so my options where kind of limited. I knew that the grocery had chicken breasts on sale so I decided to just raid my kitchen and make a casserole, because you can throw almost anything in a dish and call it a casserole. I went to the grocery and bought the chicken and also some low sodium cream of mushroom soup. I always keep quinoa on hand and if you haven’t discovered the joys of quinoa yet, I highly recommend that you do. This delicious grain can be substituted in almost any dish for rice and it packs a nutritious punch. It’s a complete protein which means it is high in essential amino acids, it’s also a good source of fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron. It’s also fairly cheap, especially if you buy it in bulk, and it expands like crazy so you don’t have to use much. As you can see from the picture, the boyfriend and I chowed down so fast I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture before!  Continue reading

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RIP Hetty Virginia Price 1913-2011

My great-grandmother on my mother’s side (my maternal grandmother’s mom) passed away on Monday. She was an amazing woman and I am very lucky that I got to know her. Not many people I know ever actually get to meet any of their great-grandparents but I am incredibly blessed to have known 3 of my great-grandmothers. In honor of my Mama Hetty I decided to make a cake from one of her recipes for her funeral tomorrow and let me tell ya, she was definitely looking down on me and laughing. I guess she had to do something to let me know she was there and not happy about me deviating from the original recipe. It took way longer to cook than it should have and I won’t really know if it cooked all the way through until tomorrow. I’m giving you the non-me-edited version so that she doesn’t look down on you and laugh, enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

Continue reading

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The Secret to Sauce

I am addicted to pasta. Like 100% I have a problem. I could probably eat (different) pasta everyday and never get tired of it, even now I probably eat spaghetti at least 3-4 times a month. There are so many different sauces and pasta shapes that it’s hard for it to get boring. I also love making my own sauce, because like I mentioned in an earlier post one of my favorite things about cooking is customizing it to your liking, and it’s also so friggin’ EASY. There are some store bought sauces I think are awesome, however my budget sometimes determines my tastebuds. The great thing about making your own sauce is it’s really easy to feed a lot of people for fairly cheap. By the grace of some scheduling God both the boyfriend and I were off last Thursday and my mom and his parents were also in town. I really wanted them to meet but I didn’t want the hassle of going out to dinner and figuring out who buys what etc., etc., so I just decided to make pasta. Well, chicken parmigiana, but the star of the show was the sauce. Unfortunately I do not have pictures to go with this recipe (I was busy talking, imagine that!) but my mom raved about it all weekend and my boyfriend ate the rest of it before I got home from being gone at the beach for 2 days.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Big cans of tomatoes (whatever your preference is, I used diced tomatoes with basil already in it)
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2-3 Cloves of garlic (ok, I used like 4 but I LOVE garlic and I knew everyone else did too)
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Capers
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • Dash rosemary
  • Dash oregano
  • Dash dried chives
  • Basil oil (I bought mine in the store but one of my favorite blogs BrokeAss Gourmet has a great recipe on how to make your own here)
  • Olive oil
1. Empty cans of tomato into a huge pot. Dice onion and garlic. Saute in a combo of the basil oil and olive oil. The basil oil came in a small bottle so I wanted to be conservative, but if you’re making your own then go for broke baby.
2. Add the cooked onion, garlic, and the oil to the tomatoes. Add all the other ingredients. Especially the balsamic vinegar, it’s my “secret ingredient” that is really not so secret now. It adds a distinct flavor but blends really well with all the other flavors.
3. Bring to a boil and of course stir occasionally. Reduce heat to 2 or 3 and continue to stir occasionally. Seriously, that’s it.
It will be ready to serve when you are ready to serve it. The longer you let it simmer though the tastier it’s going to be. You can serve it and pasta by itself or you can brown some ground beef to make it a meat sauce, or you can do what I did and oven fry some chicken to make chicken parmigiana. It’s so easy and will impress almost anyone that you make it for, plus if you have a lot of people over you can still socialize while making this because most of the magic is done inside the pot while it’s simmering.
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Stuffed Acorn Squash

I’m not big on precise measurement cooking. Being a good cook is not necessarily about following a recipe to the T but more about blending flavors together until you come up with a perfect one that suits YOU. That’s why so many people have lamented over not being able to perfectly copy grandma’s pie, because grandma probably didn’t measure, she just threw it in there. This is a recipe my mom came up with a few years back and when I saw acorn squash on sale I immediately called her to get it, all I got out of her though was that I needed squash, sausage, and stuffing. At first I was thought to myself, “Well, gee, that was helpful.” But then I realized it was, because I could blend my own flavors. This dish is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy and absolutely perfect for a cool fall day.

Ingredients:

  • An acorn squash per person
  • You choice of sausage, I used one and a half links per person and mine was Italian Chicken
  • Package of your favorite stuffing
  • Half an onion chopped
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey plus more to drizzle on top
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1. Preheat oven to 375. Chop onion and set aside in a mixing bowl. Cut up sausage (or to save time get sausage that hasn’t already been linked, I can get it back home but they didn’t have it where I shop here) and toss in bowl with onion.
2. Put squash in microwave to make it easier to cut, I did 2 one minute cycles. Chop top of squash off and scrape out seeds and other squash gunk. Cut pieces of squash up and toss into bowl with sausage and onion. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.
3. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. While stuffing sits pour olive oil into a saute pan and saute the sausage mixture.
4. Once both of those things are completed combine stuffing with sausage mixture in a mixing bowl and stir the honey into it. Spoon the mixture into your squash bowls. Place in oven and bake for around 45 minutes (or if you’re like me get distracted and leave them in a while longer, both ways work).
The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the squash and I wish I had some presto magic hint to give you, but really the only thing that helps is putting them in the microwave first to soften them up. Also, if you’re into squash seeds, the seeds are excellent when baked with a cinnamon, sugar, and cocoa powder mix!
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