Recipe 51: Pumpkin Oatmeal + A Bonus Porridge Recipe

Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup milk, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
Mix together oats and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once. Add more milk or oats to achieve the desired consistency, and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon sugar. Heat through, and serve. 
Serves 2 

Results:  I decided based on comments on the recipe to add a dash of salt and cook this on the stovetop so all the flavors would meld and tweaked the recipe directions as such from the site.  Very yummy!  Tastes like pumpkin pie!  If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & allspice.

Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk (optional) 
In a saucepan, combine the oats, water, salt, sugar, bananas and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, stirring frequently. Pour into bowls, and top each with a splash of cold milk.

Serves 1

Results: I always thought porridge sounded scary and slightly disgusting... kind of like gruel.  Then I looked at the recipe and saw it's just oatmeal with rolled oats.  I omitted the banana so really this was very simple.  I also added nutmeg and craisins.  Before we go further, SON, I love craisins!!  They're delicious!!  I'm not sure why I was so surprised to love them but I do!


Recipes 49 & 50: Grilled Wahoo in Tomato Sauce & Yukon Gold Potatoes Jacques Pepin-Style

Grilled Wahoo in Tomato Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay 
  • 4 wahoo fillets, 6 ounces each (or whatever a good size is)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing dish
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 anchovies in oil, patted dry and chopped (I used anchovy paste)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat the grill to high. Brush both sides of the fillets with canola oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until slightly charred and almost cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, (it will continue cooking in the sauce).

While the fish is grilling, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, anchovies and tomatoes and cook until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Add the capers, olives, lemon juice, oregano and parsley and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer the fish to the sauce and let cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Results: Delicious!!  I'd never had wahoo b/c it is ordinarily at least $12.99/lb. but was on sale for $6.99/lb so we got 2 filets and it was what?  WORTH IT!!  Y'all know I don't believe in cherry tomatoes so I used diced fire roasted tomatoes.  This sauce belongs on everything God has ever made!!! AWESOME.

Yukon Gold Potatoes Jacques Pepin-Style
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray 
  • 3 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
Place the potatoes in a deep skillet and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cover potatoes halfway with chicken stock, about 3 cups, add the butter and cover skillet with a lid. Cook the potatoes in the stock until almost tender, about 5 to 8 minutes, depending upon the size of the potatoes. Remove the lid and allow the stock to evaporate, about another 5 minutes. Once the stock has evaporated pop each potato using a ladle or large spoon, creating a small crack in each, but do not smash. Allow the potatoes to brown on each side, another 5 minutes, and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary or desired. Remove the browned potatoes from the skillet and place onto a serving platter, garnished with the parsley.

Results: Takes forever but worth it! You probably don't even need the butter. Extra delicious!  This meal was every single thing!  You can really never have too many potato recipes, nah mean? Also, go light on the salt b/c there's a good bit of salt in chicken stock.

Altogether?  A GREAT MEAL!!


Feed My Face, I'm on Vacay!: Day One

I went to see the McQueen exhibit at The Met and was simply amazed by that man. He was truly an artist, not just a fashion designer but an AR.TISTE. Almost scary.

Anyway, after being annoyed by everyone else who was in the museum, I was thisclose to calling the day a wrap. The rain was unrelenting, my feet were wet, my umbrella I just bought from some guy on the street had a hole in it and the day was just gray. I wanted some hot chocolate, sweats and tube socks. But I was in Manhattan. I was walking down 5th Avenue. I was walking down Madison and then Park Ave. It hit me that I am in New York City! I needed to make the most of my day cause guess what? I let the rain keep me indoors while in the DMV. Not this time!

As I made my way back to the front of the Met, I remembered I wanted a hotdog from a street vendor. For some weird reason, I ordered a jumbo one thinking that was more of a NYC move. That was dumb. It was a slightly bigger than the bun dog that tasted like any other hotdog I've ever eaten. Oh well, check it off my list.

Now I'm walking down 5th and I realize if I want something to eat, I'm going to have to get off this avenue. 5th Ave is lined with residences and then shops. An occasional boulangerie or nail spa but for the most part, golden gates and doormen.

I make my way towards Lexington where I saw more down to earth places like CVS and duane reade. I walk in city block circles, sometimes crossing the street and walking back the way I came. I didn't know where I was going and my GPS was tripping with the location of a specific restaurant I wanted. Oh well, I made a right on some street and found a Tasti-D-Lite. I think I saw C. Bradshaw eating there once so I got a sugar cone with french vanilla ice fro-yo.

It was so good. It was like eating cotton candy silk velvet. so smooth and rich and light at the same time. A whole mouth feeling in just one bite. It made my mouth feel good, a warm fuzzy feeling even though it was a frozen treat. Almost like a good red wine I guess.

Too bad he gave me a ish-ton on a tiny cone. I ended up throwing most of it away cause I just finished eating a jumbo hotdog. And I realized I didn't like cone. It doesn't get soft like cheapy-cones you get from the grocery store get.

I'm still sitting in the TDL trying to find the soft shell banh mi restaurant on my own (with GPS) and it's not working. I leave and start wandering aimlessly, looking down cross streets for something to grab my interest. I walk past a burger joint with no-one in line. OMG, this is Sha.ke Shack! It's on my list and I've heard talk on twitter abt this place! Wait, no line?!?! I'm there!

I get the Shac.kburger. What makes it a shackburger is the tangy mayo sauce they add. I think I would've liked more of the sauce but other than that, it was delish. All parts of the burger melted in my mouth. The bun was lightly toasted but still soft and almost croissant-ish; tear away gooey goodness. The hand made angus patty was to-die for. the fresh veggies were not overwhelming. And it was the perfect size. (Well, I did just eat a jumbo hotdog and a few bites of fro-yo so this statement should be taken with a grain of salt). Believe it or not, they use american cheese and guess what? IT WORKS! I would like to go back to try some of their other menu items like the frozen custard and the split hotdog. Y'all know i'm a whore for hotdogs.

If our friend B.BeyonceL-W was reading this, she knows she better take me to willie's weener- wagon before I know sumthing!!

So in the past hour, i've eaten three iconic NY foods. I'm good! I make it back to 86th and Lex and get so confused about which train to take. Uptown or Downtown? I just want to go to Brooklyn and all the signs are saying the same thing. It turns out I was supposed to cross the street to get to the BK bound trains... who knew?

I get on the right train and I hear the conductor announce "Grand Central Station". I jump up and decide to hit up the oyster bar! Why not!?!? This day will not go to waste!

I'm headed in the right direction!

It looks like a diner. But it's a raw bar. *swoon*

You seat yourself and the NYC equivalent of a wafflehouse waitress named Dottie tosses a paper menu printed that day at you. That's when I went to work.


Feed My Face!

So as you may or may not know, Z a g a t has a list of the 30 must-have foods in NYC this summer. Of that list, I chose 20 I'd like to try. Here are the ones I eliminated:

I crossed off 'a bucket of Corona's at the Frying Pan' b/c

1. I don't drink beer and
2. really? i'ma come to NY to drink something I can get ANYWHERE else?

I don't need to try the DitchPlains's mussels b/c I realize i'm not the biggest fan of them. I always get them rubbery. Send me oysters instead.

I don't want Gray's papaya drink b/c papaya may be the fruit I hate more than cantaloupe (but not more than guava).

I've decided to pass on a tiki drink from a place called Hurricane... if tiki drinks weren't invented in So.Fla, they were definitely perfected there.

I don't want ribs from anywhere above the Mason-Dixon, sorry Hill Country.

I'm not going to pay upwards of $12 for a yerbabuena ensalata which is nothing more than a dressed up caprese but instead of basil, they use mint (yech in food).

Starbux iced anything didn't make my list and neither did rosa mexicano's overpriced pom margarita (Which I happened to already have tasted whilst in DC).

I didn't add gownusyacht's 'beer and a burger' cause i already have a burger joint on my list and i'm kind of burgered out.

So what does that leave?

Black Forty's Crab Boil
The Bedford's Sangria
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck's Salty Pimp
Brookyln Farmacy's Egg Cream
Cafe Habana's Grilled Corn
CoolHaus' Ice Cream Sandwich
El Faro's Gazpacho
Grand Central Station's Oyster Bar's Oysters
Grimaldi's Pizza
Grom's Gelato
Luke's Lobster Roll
Mermaid Oyster Bar's Oyster Po Boy
Mr. Softee Ice Cream
Nathan's Hotdog
Nuela's Ceviche
People's Pops
Red Hook Ball Field's Huarache
Rouge et Blan's Soft Shell Crab Banh Mi
Shake Shack's Burger
Tacombi's Fish Taco
Zengo's Tequila Snow Cone

Also on my list is the requisite NY stuff. A hotdog from a vendor on the street and maybe a pretzel. I can live my life w/o eating pretzels so I'm not too pressed abt that one...

Stay tuned for the next episode of Feed My Face!


Recipes 47 & 48: Black Chili with Butternut Squash with Cornbread

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 cups (packed) coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves (from 1 small bunch)
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender and golden, about 9 minutes. Add squash; stir 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Stir in beans, broth, and tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in chard; simmer until chard is tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
Results: Y'all I read the recipe before going to the store and somehow missed Swiss chard!  So I made mine w/o.  Still delicious!  And vegan before I put all that cheese on top! :)  Other suggested toppings: diced red onion (YEAH RIGHT!!! Y'all know I don't do raw onion.) & cilantro (we had some... I should've done it).  We also (mom & I) squeezed some lime on top and it was quite good!

Cornbread recipe from the bag
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Combine dry ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients until smooth. Pour batter into greased (muffin for me) pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. 
Results: Meh. My mom liked it.  I added an extra 3/4 tbsp of sugar and it still wasn't sweet enough for me.  I like my cornbread sweet.

And as a bonus, the next day (aren't all stews/soups/chilis so much better the next day!!? No matter how good they were!  It's awesome!), I had this for breakfast with two eggs over medium. LOVE.  I'm a little egg obsessed so that's why I accidentally focused on those more than the chili... lol


2011, Recipe 46: Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Burger

Recipe courtesy of Flavor Diva

1.3 pounds of lean ground turkey (no leaner than 97/3)
1 shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 olive oil-soaked sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pan over medium heat; add shallot and sauté for about 1 minute or so. In a large bowl, add ground turkey, sautéed shallot, and remaining ingredients. Stir with a fork to mix well. Break off a handful (about the size of a baseball) of seasoned ground turkey at a time and form 4 to 5 burger patties. Cook over a grill or in a pan on stovetop over medium to medium-high heat.

To cook by stovetop, set patties aside and heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan. Add patties to the pan being sure not to overcrowd the pan. You may have to cook two patties at a time depending on the size of the pan. Cook on one side for about 3 – 4 minutes and then flip patties to cook on the other side for another 4 minutes. Flip once more to cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Check one patty for doneness. If it’s not done, cook a little longer. Let burgers rest for a few minutes before serving on burger buns with lettuce, tomatoes and your other favorite burger toppings.

Results: Delicious!  Nice simple recipe with a lovely outcome!


Antiquing Find: Silver Necklace

"You want some watermelon?"

"No thanks!" I say as I walk into an antique store.

"You sure? It's real sweet! And we got two big ole pieces!"

"(laughs) I'm okay."

"You sure?  One of those pieces is for you!"

"I'm okay!"

Exit guy number one.

I ask if they have any jewelery and guy number 2 says, "Not much" as he shows me the top to a cardboard box filled with assorted pieces, some broken, some whole.  I'm like, "Really???"  I find a necklace I think is pretty and ask (a bit skeptically), how much?

He says, "I don't know. Let me go ask him."  He comes back and what do you think he said?

I tried to go in there with an open mind, but I must admit, I was slightly irritated by the owner of one of the other antique stores.  Most of them don't carry much jewelry.  This lady loves to complain about EVERYTHING.  Every single time I go in there, I hear her mouth.  SHUT UP.  Just let me shop.  Anyway, these guys are friendly and I definitely want to go back.  Especially after I hear how much the necklace costs.

You want to know how much it was?


That's right.  FIVE DOLLARS!!!!!  I bought it FAST before they changed their minds!  On my way out the door I heard, "You didn't get your watermelon!"  LOLOL

I'll be back.


2011, Recipe 45: Mozzarella-Stuffed Bruschetta Burgers with Balsamic Glaze

Recipe courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • Italian seasonings (oregano, basil, chervil)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • diced tomatoes
  • balsamic vinegar
1. Combine ground turkey breast with parmesan cheese and seasonings.
2. Take a peanut butter jar lid and line it with plastic wrap.
3. Divide the turkey into 4 portions, then divide each of those portions into 2, so you have 8 mini portions. Press 1 portion into the bottom of the lid.
4. Add mozzarella cheese in a little mound in the middle.
5. Add another mini portion of turkey on top and press down to seal the sides.
7. Once you have all your patties made, pinch the sides firmly together so none of your delectable cheese will escape!
8. All I did to make the reduction was pour about a cup of balsamic vinegar into a skillet over medium heat, and let it reduce until it was the consistency of thin maple syrup.
9. Grill burgers 3 minutes per side (lid down during each cooking half).
10. Top with bruschetta mixture and balsamic vinegar reduction.

Results: She never explained what was in the bruschetta mixture, there were no measurements for anything but the ground turkey.  I really shouldn't have tried this.  I forgot the parm and didn't add enough salt to the burger so it was a bit bland.  The topping was good, though.  I added shredded spinach to the bun bottoms.

I also served them with these simple oven-roasted red potatoes which were AWESOME!