Friday, March 30, 2012

50 Ways to Cook Chicken: From Men's Health

My friend, Sean, passed this one onto me. I LOVE Chicken! Low in fat, high in protein -- just make sure you cook it all the way through! I usually put it on this itty-bitty grill I have, or cut it into cubes to have over pasta with veggies, but I'm definitely going to be trying some of these recipes.

Click HERE for a link to the Men's Health article. It's a really well written article, and walks the potential home-cook through the basic steps for various methods of preparation: Stir-fry, Baking (with or without a list of yummy sauce combos), Spice-rubbed, Crusted, Stuffed, and Grilling/Searing with a bunch of recommended marinades.

Which will you be trying?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Foods to Try Before You Die?

My friend and former co-worker, Sara, posted this Food List Challenge on her Facebook, and I thought it'd be fun to share. The list has been circulating the Internet for a while, it seems. The basic idea is to see how many of these "bucket list" foods you have eaten, and how many more you have to try.


My number's actually pretty low, but I'm going to blame my relatively severe shellfish allergy.
  1. Abalone
  2. Absinthe
  3. Alligator
  4. Baba Ghanoush
  5. Bagel & Lox
  6. Baklava
  7. BBQ Ribs
  8. Bellini
  9. Bird's Nest Soup
  10. Biscuits & Gravy
  11. Black Pudding
  12. Black Truffle
  13. Borscht
  14. Calamari
  15. Carp
  16. Caviar
  17. Cheese Fondue
  18. Chicken & Waffles
  19. Chicken Tikka Masala
  20. Chila Relleno
  21. Chitlins
  22. Churros
  23. Clam Chowder
  24. Cognac
  25. Crab Cakes
  26. Crickets
  27. Currywurst
  28. Dandelion Wine
  29. Dulce De Leche
  30. Durian
  31. Eel
  32. Eggs Benedict
  33. Fish Tacos
  34. Foie Gras
  35. Fresh Spring Rolls
  36. Fried Catfish
  37. Fried Green Tomatoes
  38. Fried Plantains
  39. Frito Pie
  40. Frogs' Legs
  41. Fugu
  42. Funnel Cake
  43. Gazpacho
  44. Goat
  45. Goat's milk
  46. Goulash
  47. Gumbo
  48. Haggis
  49. Head Cheese
  50. Heirloom Tomatoes
  51. Honeycomb
  52. Hostess Fruit Pie
  53. Huevos Rancheros
  54. Jerk Chicken
  55. Kangaroo
  56. Key Lime Pie
  57. Kobe Beef
  58. Lassi
  59. Lobster
  60. Mimosa
  61. MoonPie
  62. Morel Mushrooms
  63. Nettle Tea
  64. Octopus
  65. Oxtail Soup
  66. Paella
  67. Paneer
  68. Pastrami on Rye
  69. Pavlova
  70. Phaal
  71. Philly Cheese Steak
  72. Pho
  73. Pineapple & Cottage Cheese
  74. Pistachio Ice Cream
  75. Po'Boy
  76. Pocky
  77. Polenta
  78. Prickly Pear
  79. Rabbit Stew
  80. Raw Oysters
  81. Root Bear Float
  82. S'mores
  83. Sauerkraut
  84. Sea Urchin
  85. Shark
  86. Snail
  87. Snake
  88. Soft Shell Crab
  89. Som Tam
  90. Spaetzle
  91. Spam
  92. Squirrel
  93. Steak Tartare
  94. Sweet Potato Fries
  95. Sweetbreads
  96. Tom Yum
  97. Umeboshi
  98. Venison
  99. Wasabi Peas
  100. Zucchini Blossoms
What's your number? Any you're dying to try? Would you add anything to this list? Personally, I think you haven't lived until you've tried a good flour-less chocolate cake. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recipe: Birthday Cupcakes

Today, I turn 22! I'm one of those adorable freaks who still makes a big deal out of her birthday, so I baked cupcakes for my creative writing class: Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes, with Strawberry "Curd" and Vanilla Glaze.


My cooking philosophy tends to be very Sandra Lee. That is, there's no shame in store bought shortcuts, but make them your own. So, this recipe has three parts. The cake itself, the 'curd', and the icing.


For the cake, I used a Betty Crocker Fat Free Angel Food mix. I am a huge fan of Angel food cake. Not only is it much healthier than other cakes, it's light and fluffy, and takes other flavors very well. 

To this cake mix, I added the zest of two lemons. I don't have a grater in my college apartment, so I improvised and carefully used the edge of a serrated knife. Careful when you're zesting to not go down to the white of the lemon rind. That's the bitter part.

The box recipe calls for 1 and 1/4 cup of cold water. To add extra lemon flavor, I juiced my two lemons -- and then used water for the remaining liquid that was necessary.
 This is a trick I learned from Iron Chef - use a pair of tongs to juice the lemon. It really helps!




Combine the dry mix and zest with the juice and mix. Spoon into lined cupcake tins. The cups should be filled about 3/4 of the way. (I was able to get 33 cupcakes)

Bake at 375 degrees for 12- 20 minutes. My oven (as you can see from my steak tips video) is a bit ghetto, so I had to turn my baking pans to get a nice even bake on my cupcakes. Let the cupcakes go a little longer than you would normal cupcakes -- because they are Angel Food. They will still be light and fluffy, don't worry.

Once they're out of the oven, let them rest for awhile. I only had 24 cup cake "molds" so I needed to make another batch. If this is the case for you, make sure you put the extra batter in the fridge while you wait for the first cupcakes to cook.
Two of my favorite things in the world: cupcakes and Chopped!


Step Two: the  Strawberry "Curd", or 'filling' if you will. I am sorry to say I did not take as many pictures on this step. It was an original recipe so my hands were a little full. My bad.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Frozen (let thaw) unsweetened Strawberries
  • 1/8 cup White Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. Water
To Make:
  • Blend the thawed strawberries until smooth, and pour into saucepan. Add the sugar and heat over a medium flame, stirring more frequently as the mixture gets hotter. 
  • Combine cornstarch and water in a separate dish to create a 'slurry' that will thicken your strawberry mixture. 
  • Pour slurry into strawberry puree, and stir to combine. Allow mixture to boil for five minutes, or until visibly thickened. This should not be more than 5 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and cool in refrigerator.
Alright, here's the fun part. Now that the Strawberry curd mixture is cool, you can pipe it into the cupcakes! My homemade piping bag is just a Ziploc bag with one of the corners snipped off. 

Cut a slit into each of the cupcakes (they should be cool by now) and pipe strawberry filling into the center. Just enough to taste, you don't want to overpower the light lemon flavor of the cake, itself.

 They should look like this when you're done

Step Three: ICING!

Everyone loves store-bought icing. It's practically programmed in our DNA since those third-grade birthday parties. But, make it your own. Instead of a hunk of vanilla frosting, which would overpower my fluffy angel food cupcakes, I decided to use a trick my Mom taught me when I was little.

When store-bought icing (I'm using Betty Crocker) is microwaved, it melts into this delicious glaze, that you can artfully pour over cakes and cupcakes, for a different kind of texture, and taste experience. To do this, Put a dollop of icing into a microwave safe container. Microwave for 10-15 seconds. It should come out like the second picture below.

Beautiful! Now, drizzle over cupcakes, and serve! Delicious!



BUT WAIT!


Not only are these cupcakes sure to wow your friends and family, and not only are they incredibly simple AND delicious, but they are also EXTREMELY healthy, compared to other cupcakes.


A normal lemon cupcake with vanilla icing will set you back: 270 calories, 13 g Fat, 36 g carbs, and 2 g protein.


However, because we used angel food cake, and drizzled the icing in a glaze, these cupcakes are only: 111 calories, 2 g Fat, 21 g carbs, and 1 g protein!!!



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Strawberry Center and Vanilla Glaze

I'm making these right now for my Birthday tomorrow. Recipe and pictures to follow -- they smell DELICIOUS!

Monday, March 26, 2012

First Vlog: Cooking Steak Tips

Join me as I cook steak tips in the broiler for the first time! 

While I've been baking for quite a long time, (My parents have pictures of my siblings and I with cake batter-covered faces), my passion for cooking really started with a solo trip to Paris last May, where I took several classes at a school there called Cook'n with Class

Since then, I've tried to expand my repertoire, but meat is one thing I still struggle with. Join me as I experience a number of firsts: First vlog, first experiences filming myself (total newb, can't you tell), first time using my broiler to cook steak.


video

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Found this: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n' Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar

My 22nd Birthday is on Wednesday -- How crazy would it be if I treated myself to THIS!

My friend, Ethan, gave me the link to Kevin & Amanda's Blog -- I recommend it for delicious looking recipes and easy reading.

Doesn't this look delicious!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sickness: Home Remedies?

Hello all,

I haven't been feeling well for the last few days, and my symptoms seemed to triple overnight, so I took a trip to Student Health this morning. An hour and a trip to CVS later, and I'm on penicillin for the week. As long as I feel better, I'm happy, but I figured it might be nice to make a post where we can discuss home remedies. Click on my suggestions if you want a more in depth explanation about how these scientifically work.

  • Gargling with salt water. Mom, I want you to know that I listened when you told me this would work, and have been gargling all week long
  • Chicken noodle soup. The Jewish Penicillin. 
  • Keep drinking. While you can't "flush out" a sickness, your immune system will operate much more efficiently and effectively to fight back if your body is hydrated.
  • Put honey in your tea. Tastes good, and has benefits, too.
 
    What are some of your home remedies? Any I've forgotten? 


    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Thoughts While Watching Chopped and Sweet Genius

    I love Chopped. Three Courses, Four Competitors, Secret Ingredients: I just love it. So after a long week, I tend to be very content to spend my Thursday nights with the Food Network watching Chopped (followed by Sweet Genius).

    I've come to the conclusion that not only are the Food Networks programs amazing, but the commercials that play on the network are incredibly entertaining. 

    Thus, I present to you a list of thoughts that are going through my mind at the moment. I invite you to comment on them, answer my rhetorical questions, or add a few of your own.

    • Announcing that you have no chance of getting eliminated during your chef intro often results in you getting chopped within the first two rounds.
    • The most common ways to trip the competing chefs: including an 'Asian' ingredient, including multiple proteins, including savory ingredients in the dessert baskets, or including an already prepared/cooked/or processed commercial ingredient. 
    • If I was going to compete in Chopped, I think that I would have my friends help me practice-- you know, give me mystery ingredients and a time limit. 
    • I wonder if any chefs have every tried this ^^
    • A McCormick seasoning commercial claimed "Life is a pulled pork sandwich." I have never eaten pulled pork, but I have to belief it's not? Do we agree or disagree?
    • Another McCormick seasoning commercial claimed “Life is a Fajita” – well which is it, McCormick?
    • It seems that every Chopped competitor believes in the notion: "When in doubt, find the blender."
    • Chefs: Why would you not taste your food while cooking??
    • Chefs: Why would you keep cooking and ignore blood if you cut yourself??
    • In a different commercial, Velveeta is branding itself as "Liquid Gold". Oh, good Lord. 
    • Are French Chefs not whimsical enough for Food Network competition shows?
    • Good dishes should have the following elements: a texture contrast, a kick of flavor, and a sour/sweet, bitter/sweet, savory/sweet, or salty/sweet contrast.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Recipe: Parmesan and Parsley Crusted Cod

    At the request of one of my readers, Louise, I am posting this recipe for the parmesan and parsley crusted cod that I referenced in my Seasonal Foods of March post. I often pair fish dishes with rice and a side salad because it is so much lighter than chicken or beef, but that’s a personal choice.

    I buy individually packaged frozen fish from Ocean Market, so for this, and other fish recipes, I’ll be referencing a single serving, but feel free to double at your discretion.

    Also, I’ve used both dry and fresh parsley when making this dish. I think fresh parsley tastes better, but if you can’t get it, it’s really not a problem – using dry parsley tastes good as well. Just remember:



    1 tsp. dry Parsley = 1 TBS Fresh Chopped Parsley = 2 sprigs of Parsley

    Happy Cooking, Fellow Foodies!

    Ingredients:
    • 4 oz. portion of cod
    • ½ TBS Light Miracle Whip
    • 1 ½ TBS grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 TBS Fresh Chopped Parsley
    To Make:
    • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees
    • Lightly spray a baking pan with non-stick spray
    • Combine 1 TBS Parmesan cheese, parsley, and Miracle Whip and spread over the top of the cod filet
    • Place cod on baking pan and sprinkle the remaining ½ TBS Parmesan on top of Parmesan/parsley paste
    • Bake 6-8 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork
    Per Serving: 123 Calories, 1 grams carbs, 6 grams fat, 17 grams protein

    This Parmesan crust works very nicely on most white fish because of their mild flavor. Try it on flounder, tilapia, or haddock! 

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    My Weight Loss Technique

    I’ve mentioned before that I’ve lost 20 pounds by becoming a member of the free weight loss/social media community Myfitnesspal.com. Today’s forum discussions on MFP have centered on what number of calories a person should eat when dieting, how to determine that number, and why a person should not go below a certain number.

    Now, I am not a doctor. I have had no medical training. However, I am a recovering eating disorder patient, who has seen multiple nutritionists, dietitians, and doctors over the years. I am sharing with you the science that I have learned by multiple medical sources.

    The reason why diets tend to fail is that the dieter assumes that if he or she simply eats less and exercises more, than the weight will come off. This thinking is only a few steps away from dieting extremes. Let me explain: If eating less calories results in weight loss, than the unhealthy extreme would be to eat the bare minimum – an eating disorder behavior which will force your body into ‘starvation mode’.  In the same vein, if exercising more results in weight loss, than the unhealthy extreme would be to burn all the calories that you have eaten – another behavior associated with the eating disorder exercise bulimia.

    To lose weight in a healthy way, you need to EAT. And eat ENOUGH. It’s a hard concept to wrap ones head around. I remember the shock I had when I realized that after swimming laps, I actually needed to eat a second dinner to meet my calorie and nutrient requirements for the day.

    Try thinking of it this way: in order to lose weight, the body needs to be in peak condition so that it can ‘streamline’ itself. To be in peak condition, you need to hydrate it, feed it, and feed it the right nutrients.

    So how many calories do you need to net? There are two important numbers to calculate when determining how many calories you need to eat when starting a weight loss plan: Your BMR, and TDEE.

    BMR -- the Basal Metabolic Rate – is how many calories you burn if you just sit and breathe all day -- you should NET at least this number.  (Total Calories Eaten – Total Calories Burned = Total Calories Netted)

    I found this great website which calculates your BMR: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

    TDEE -- Total Daily Energy Expenditure –This is how many calories you should eat to stay at your same weight:
    http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/

    When you deduct the recommended 250 – 500 calories each day (for a half a pound, to a pound of healthy weight loss each week), you should do so from your TDEE – as long as deducting those calories keeps you eating at a calorie level between your BMR and TDEE.

    Of course, losing weight is not as easy as simple math – sodium and water also affect the number on the scale. (Too much sodium causes water retention, so make sure you’re getting enough water to ‘flush out’ sodium).


    As I said, I’m not a medical professional. But this approach has been approved by medical professionals and has worked for me.
     



    Before                               After

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    The Cinnamon Challenge: Today's Example of Stupid

    Dear Readers and Fellow Foodies,

    It has come to my attention that our generation's latest idea of fun is to videotape yourself/your friend/your enemy doing the Cinnamon Challenge. Technically, the challenge has been around since 2006, but thanks to social media and digital technology, the trend is experiencing record popularity.

    To accomplish the Cinnamon Challenge, a person need only swallow a rounded teaspoon of cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking anything, and of course, post the video on Youtube.

    I'm sorry, why? Just: WHY?

    Let's just talk about this for a second:

    In the Youtube videos, (please watch at your own discretion), many attempts end in the person vomiting -- or worse.

    While this challenge is stupid, it's also potentially very dangerous. Failed attempts can potentially result in choking, or inhaling the cinnamon -- which can lead to lung and throat damage. There have even been reports of people being hospitalized after participating in the challenge.

    I'm including the Wall Street Journal's feature about the trend, which continues to grow in popularity each day.

    Where do these trends come from? Should we blame similar "handle the heat" challenges in restaurants? I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this and similar issues.

    St. Patrick's Day

    My roommate and I are taking a road trip up to Boston with a bunch of our girlfriends to celebrate St. Patty's in style. Our planned activities include corn beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and the traditional Boston pub crawl.






    What are your plans? Doing anything fun?

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Recipe: Breakfast Egg "Cupcakes"

    Eggs are protein powerhouses! But it takes time to cook them in the morning -- time that I often don't have. That's why I created this recipe to bake ahead, and pop in the microwave as I'm running out the door. Enjoy!

    Breakfast Egg "Cupcakes"

    Ingredients:

    • 12 Eggs
    • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
    • 1 cup chopped green pepper
    • 1/3 cup 2% cheddar cheese
    • 1 tsp. Morton's Salt Substitute
    • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
    • nonstick spray
    To Make:
    • Preheat oven at 350 degrees
    • In a bowl, beat the eggs together and add mushrooms, peppers, and cheese. ***You can use whatever vegetables or meats you'd like -- just keep in mind that the calorie counts provided will be different if you do.
    • Season egg and vegetable mixture with salt substitute and pepper.
    • Spray a 12-count cupcake pan with nonstick spray, and distribute the egg mixture evenly.
    • Cook 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture is no longer runny. 
    • Pull egg cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool. As they cool, the eggs will finish cooking completely. 
    From here, I usually put them in a Ziploc and freeze them, so that I can grab them as I need them. If you want to beef up the recipe, feel free to add liquid egg whites to the mix, or additional vegetables. And they're so healthy, so you can easily grab two!


    Serves: 12

    Per Serving: 100 calories, 2g carbs, 6g fat, 8g protein, 392 mg potassium, and 122 mg sodium


    Skinny Chef

    I took a spontaneous trip to DC with my sister, and she gave me March 2011's issue of Health, which features an article entitled, "Secrets to Super Willpower". In the article, chefs, cupcake makers, and other interview food fiends gave their tips on resisting munching while working. This seemed to piggyback off of my last post, "Fat Chef", so I figured I'd share their tips.


    • Fill up with breakfast: a high protein start will keep you full and away from snacking until lunch.
    • Plan a lunch that you look forward to
    • Savor your sips (of alcohol) because those add up quickly
    • Freshen up: minty breathe doesn't taste good with sweets. Brush your teeth during the day or chew gum to avoid snacking
    • Downsize your utensils: smaller spoon, smaller bite
    • Fill up on water or carbonated water
    • Snack smart -- Goat cheese on it's own or on an apple wedge is better than goat cheese on bread -- and nuts are always a good option
    • Make plans to indulge -- if you're looking forward to a treat, you'll have an easier time 'behaving' throughout the day
    • Store baked goods in the freezer so you won't eat them all at once
    • Stay busy, and move!
    • Think afternoon delight: try not to snack until after 1 p.m. If you're still craving then, than have just one
    • Ask if it's worth the calories: A French-style nougat dipped in dark chocolate is, a handful of chips is not
    • Do a doggie bag at restaurants to savor the flavor later on

    What do you think? Anything to add? Anything you disagree with? Would you trust a skinny chef?

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Fat Chef

    The Food Network has recently added a new show to their line-up: Fat Chef. I caught an episode earlier this week.

    First of all, kudos to the Food Network for creating an original programming concept. I love competition shows as much as the next person, but there's only so many times a chef can travel around the country tasting food (Triple D, Sugar Rush, Heat Seekers, etc.).


    Secondly, the premise of the show is particularly poignant in today's more health conscious world. The show, for those who haven't seen it, is a weightloss journey for obese chefs. For them, conquering a food addiction is particularly difficult, as they must be surrounded by food in order to make a living. "It's like an alcoholic working in a liquor store," said one chef in the show's promo.

    Needless to say, as both a fitness fanatic and a foodie, I am in favor of Fat Chef. Has anyone else caught an episode? What did you think of the new series? 




    Monday, March 12, 2012

    What's Your Pizza Personality?

    Last week's issue of Parade was pizza themed. One of the articles inside featured the following pizza-eating personality chart:
    • The Folder: You're a multitasker who is always on the go, and you believe in eating to live rather than living to eat. Food just isn't a top priority for you.
    • The Pizza Surgeon: You are a bit of a martyr -- you don't mind suffering first if it means enjoying a treat later. This is why you carefully cur away the edges of the crust and scrape off the cheese, which you then savor last.
    • The Hands-on Eater: You consume pizza the traditional way: with your hands, cheese side up. You're non-judgmental, you always go with the flow, and you enjoy taking life slowly.
    • The Knife-and-Fork Holder: You like order and organization, keep your emotions in check and scrupulously clean, and tend to focus on one task at a time. 
    I think this list is pretty lacking, though -- I mean, what if you eat your pizza backwards? And the article doesn't even touch what your toppings preferences say about you?

    I decided to add to Parade's list:
    • Crust-discarder: You are a minimalist who pares life to the essentials: You've already gotten the taste of pizza, you don't need anymore.
    • Backwards-eater: You exemplify America's subculture underbelly that goes against the grain. You, hipster, you!
    • The Glutton: By taking two pieces, and "double fisting", you display your enthusiasm when eating.  Careful, this can also be perceived as greed.
    • The Calzoner: As someone who takes two pieces, and then stacks them cheese side together, you illustrate that you are not only flexible, but have a deep appreciation for other cultures.
    Toppings Choices:
    • Pineapple: You're a natural leader who's not afraid to take charge and try something new. Or you're really hankering for that island vacation. Take your pick.
    • Multiple Veggies: You may be one to get swept up in culture trends and fads. By adding veggies, you think you're making the pizza healthier, but in reality, it's still pizza.
    • Multiple Meats: You have animalistic urges and tendencies. Not the best companion in a zombie apocalypse. 
    • Everything Imaginable: You want it all. By trying to appease all your different taste buds, you run the risk of muddling flavors. 

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    The Doritos Taco Bell Creation

    Hi Foodies! A friend showed me this hysterical play by play of a man trying Taco Bell's new Doritos Taco Loco,  and I had to share!


    I'm not a fast-food lover myself, but I'd be interested to hear any other reviews of the Taco Loco, KFC's Double Down, Jack in the Box's Bacon Shake, or any other fast food creation we've seen in the past few years. Have you tried them?






    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Foods That Smell Good, But Would Make Bad Perfumes

    For those who haven’t caught on yet, I am a girl. Shocking, I know. This means, that over the past 21 years of my life, I have owned approximately 300 bottles of body lotion, body spray, body butter, body salve, butter bath salts, bubble bath, bath gel, shower gel, and perfume. Most of those are “food” scented: raspberry, strawberry, cucumber melon, cherry blossom/fig, cotton candy, vanilla – Ladies, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

    Recently, I made a quip to my parents about wearing Eau de Bacon to my religious sister’s upcoming nuptials.  My mom cracked up; my father was less amused – but we shouldn’t fault him. He didn’t get the Brussels Sprouts pregnancy joke, either. 

    This got me thinking, though. Why exactly have girls been “taught” that smelling like food is a good thing? I mean, we wear the aforementioned lotions and potions to attract a mate, no? Long story short, I’ve decided to compile a list of the top 10 foods that smell delicious, but would make AWFUL perfumes.

    10) Cinnamon Rolls – I’ve actually owned Cinnabon lip balm. It was delicious, but I was also 10 at the time.

    9) Coffee – For only the die-hard Starbucks fans.

    8) Freshly baked bread – Great idea for scented candles, not perfume.

    7) Anything Alcoholic –I don’t think anyone needs to advertise they’re a cheap drunk.

    6) Pizza – I’m just waiting for Papa John’s to roll out their beauty line.

    5) Popcorn – Subliminal messaging to a potential date that there’s a Friday movie you’d like to see?

    4) Lasagna (Or any Italian dish) -- Snooki's favorite?

    3) Pot Roast -- Tastes great, wouldn’t want to wear it.

    2) Sautéed Garlic and Onions – I don’t think this needs an explanation.

    1) BACON – Even as a Jew, I think it smells great. Taco Bell makes a good argument in the commercial below, though!



    Well, Foodies, what do you think of my picks? Anything to add to my list?


    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    I Crave Brussels Sprouts like a Pregnant Woman

    I’m coming clean: I love Brussels sprouts. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. I have cravings for Brussels sprouts. I eat them 4-5 times a week. I know, I am a nutter.

    That being said, I am CONVINCED that the reason people don’t like Brussels sprouts, (or think they don’t) is because they have never had the opportunity to try Brussels sprouts that have been cooked CORRECTLY!

    Michael Symon serves a fried Brussels sprout salad at his restaurant, Lolita, in Cleveland, and they are [apparently] a must-try! I’ve also tried caramelized Brussels sprouts on pizza with portabella mushrooms, and a roasted red pepper pesto at VeggiePlanet, in Cambridge, MA – that was easily one of the best vegetarian meals I’ve ever had. Personally, I roast my Brussels sprouts, because it’s easy, and I can cook them while I do homework. Here’s how I prep them:
    • Preheat oven to 350°F
    • Toss clean Brussels sprouts in olive oil, and add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
    As you all know, I’m very health conscious –instead of olive oil, I lightly spray my sprouts with Pam, and toss them in a salt substitute to cut down on the fat and sodium content of this dish. I also buy them frozen, because it’s cheaper and easier than buying fresh.
    • Place sprouts (and additional vegetables, if you feel so inclined) in roasting pan and put into oven
    • Turn frequently until the sides of the sprouts are golden brown and crispy. (Between 40-50 minutes)
    • ENJOY!
    Maybe I’m just a freak with weird cravings, but I’ll stand on my soapbox until I’m blue in the face. Brussels sprouts aren’t inherently those over-boiled, mushy horror stories from our childhoods! They can be delicious – and a great way to change up mealtimes. And don’t even get me STARTED on the health benefits!

    So give Brussels sprouts another try! Sautee them whole in some Balsamic vinegar. Or break off individual leaves to cook up with bacon, leeks, and garlic.

    Who knows – you might even become an addict like me!

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Recipe: National Pound Cake Day

    Happy National Pound Cake day, Fellow Foodies! Pound cake is traditionally made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, but I’ve included a healthier alternative below in honor of the holiday!

    Enjoy!

    Won’t Make You Gain a “Pound” Cake

    Ingredients:
    • 1 ½ cups whole wheat cake flour
    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt (Or salt substitute)
    • 3 large eggs
    • ½ cup nonfat buttermilk
    • 1/3 cup canola oil
    • 2 TBS light corn syrup
    • 1 TBS vanilla extract
    • 6 large egg whites
    • 2 cups sugar divided
    • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
    To Make:
    1. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
    2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all purpose-flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk whole eggs, buttermilk, oil, corn syrup, and vanilla in another medium bowl until well-blended.
    3. Beat egg whites in a third bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until stiff glossy peaks form.
    4. Beat butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy. Add the remaining sugar and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until pale and fluffy, approximately 4 minutes. Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the blended butter and cream cheese – until smooth. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites with a rubber spatula until just smooth (and no white streaks remain). Fold in the remaining egg whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
    5. Bake pound cake 1 hour to 1 hour and ten minutes – until a skewer inserted into it comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes; loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto the rack to finish cooling. Let cool at least an hour before slicing.
    Serves: 20

    Per serving: 261 calories, 12g fat, 35 g carbs, 5g protein, 167 mg sodium (if using regular salt), 73 mg potassium

    For comparison,traditional pound cake serving using 1:1:1:1 ratio : 355 calories, 21g fat, 27g carbs, 4g protein, 162mg sodium, 39g potassium