Weekend Warrior

Last weekend, I decided that the week ahead was looking tricky.  I did my weekly grocery shopping towards the beginning of the weekend, to allow myself time to prepare multiple meals that would serve as dinners and lunches for the whole week.  It also just so happened that my latest issue of Food Network Magazine had just arrived, and as usual, I had torn out some recipes I wanted to try. Over the course of two days I made 5 different meals, half of which I put in containers and froze for later on in the week.  2 of these were inspired by recipes I cut out of the magazine.

Batch cooking (as long as you are actually consuming your leftovers, not throwing a lot of them away), is both a money saver and a time saver during the week.  If you are like me, you have a well stocked pantry.  This also helps cut your grocery spending down.  I ended up only needing to purchase the meat, special cheese and fresh veggies.

My menu for the week included Chicken and Spanish Rice, Crock Pot Pork Roast and Beans, French Onion Soup,Spicy Penne with Swiss Chard, and Buffalo Chicken Salad.    I will post the recipes for all of these over the week, but today I am just doing the Chicken and Spanish Rice.

Before I get started I have to apologize.  Most of these recipes do not have photos of the finished product, just during the cooking process.  Also, Some of the pictures are not the greatest quality.  When you are juggling taking care of an infant, a husband, and cooking multiple things at the same time, compromises have to be made.

This chicken and rice meal has been slightly adapted from something my dad used to make for dinner all the time when I was young.  Smelling this as it was cooking reminded so much of home.  I love when I get to share that part of my childhood with people.  For my dad, food has always been his way of showing affection, so recreating his recipes and sharing them with my friends and family is definitely a feel good affair.

Here is what you will need.

2014-10-26 15.07.22 2014-10-26 15.34.58

Ingredients:

One Whole Chicken cut into 8 pieces (breasts, wings, legs, thighs)

2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock

1 10oz can of Red Enchilada Sauce

1 1/2 Cups White Basmati Rice

1 Celery Stalk Diced

1 Medium Yellow Onion Diced

3 Cloves of Garlic Diced

1 Red Bell Pepper Diced

1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin

1 Tsp Chili Powder

1 Tsp Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

Here is what you do.

Cut up your chicken.  I cut my chick up into 8 pieces, and then cut the breasts in half because they were really large.

Salt and Pepper all sides of the chicken pieces,

In a large stock pot, Brown the chicken on both sides over medium high heat.  This should take about 2 minutes per side.  Take the chicken out of the pot, lower the heat just a little, and add in your diced onion, diced pepper, and diced celery. After the veggies start to release some liquid, give them a stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to get up all the yummy brown flavor bits from browning the chicken.

When the onions are translucent, add the Garlic, Cumin, Chili Powder, and Oregano, and let cook for a minute, or until the garlic is fragrant in the pot. We add the herbs and spices here to let them toast a little with the veggies to help bring out their oils and flavor.

Add the rice and stir.  Let the rice toast a little until it too starts to turn translucent, then you can add the liquids.  Letting the rice toast a little adds a nice nutty flavor to the dish. Remember rice usually cooks at a two to one ration.  Two parts liquid to one part Rice is the standard. In this instance, I am including the Enchilada sauce in my liquid measurements.

2014-10-26 15.25.13

After you pour in the liquids, give everything a good stir, making sure to scrape the bottom still.  We want all that flavor to come up!

Nestle your chicken pieces back into the pot and bring it up to a boil.  Turn your heat down to a simmer and cover until the liquid is gone, your rice is tender, and the chicken is cooked through.  This usually take about 12-15 minutes.

2014-10-26 15.41.15

This is comfort cooking in one pot.  It is one of my all time favorites.  If you want to jazz it up a little more, you can serve it with a shave of cheddar cheese over the top and some green onions.  Remember, this is 8 (or 10) pieces of chicken, so it serves 6.  That is a lot of food for two people!  Needless to say, we ate this throughout the week.

Oh I forgot,I also made some brownies from the box, because you cant have all this tasty savory food with out some dessert!

So delicious!

So delicious! If you can follow directions, you can bake brownies.  Read the box.  🙂

Bon Appetite!

Stay tuned for Crock Pot Pork Roast and Beans!

Advertisements

With Winter upon us..

It has been ridiculously cold here in Portland.  Record breaking low temperatures have forced us to stay off the roads as much as possible for the past few days so we have been spending a lot of time watching movies (we just got Mary Poppins on BluRay!) and playing video games (Assassins Creed Black Flag is AWESOME).  It has also made me crave hearty hot food. Stick to your ribs, hibernation food. So that’s what I have been making.  Monday night was a hybrid of Beer Onion Soup and Beef and Barley Stew.  Yesterday was Stewed Cabbage and Chicken Tacos, and tonight’s dinner was Spaghetti Squash with a Spicy Shrimp and Cod Tomato Sauce.

Image

Ingredients:

1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

1 Medium Onion Diced

4 Cloves of Garlic Minced

1/2 inch of Ginger Grated

1 tsp Red Pepper Flake

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 Cups Beet Greens

1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms Sliced

1 14.5 OZ can of Fired Roasted Mushrooms

1 8 OZ can of Tomato Sauce

1 Cup of Chicken Stock

1 Tsp Lemon Zest

2 Tsp Lemon Juice

1/2 LB 26/30 Raw Shrimp

1 LB Pacific Cod Fillet

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

1 Tsp Dried Basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

What to do:

Bake the Spaghetti Squash at 375 for 40 minutes or until you can easily shred it with a fork.

Image

Place it in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil and salt and set aside.  I used Garlic Olive Oil, and I could have eaten a bowl of it just like that.

Image

Sautee Onions in a little Olive Oil with the Red Pepper Flakes until the onions become translucent.

Image

Add the Minced Garlic and Grated Ginger and stir until you can smell it.

Add the Fire Roasted Tomato, Italian Seasoning and Dried Basil and allow the flavors to meld at a low simmer for 4 or 5 minutes.

Next, add the Mushrooms, Beet Greens, Tomato Sauce, Lemon Zest and Balsamic Vinegar, Cayenne Pepper, and Chicken Stock and stir well to combine.

Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Add the Cod first as it takes longer to cook.

20131211_174150

Allow the Cod to cook for 3-4 minutes before adding the Shrimp.

20131211_180038

Add the Shrimp and let simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the Shrimp are cooked through.

Top the Spaghetti Squash with your sauce, feel free to add some Grated Parmesan Cheese and ENJOY!

Game Night Guinea Pigs

Over the past year or so, it has become increasingly obvious that I am the sort of person who requires lots of motivation to get most anything done. When that motivation strikes, I need to act on it immediately!
So, when the motivation to organize my kitchen and living room struck, I immediately formulated a plan that would not allow room for any excuses. I invited people over for game night, forcing us to clean up and prepare for company.
Turns out, this plan was two fold. Now that we had company coming over, I needed to feed them! This got me really excited.

My local meat guy at Cason’s Fine Meats has an excellent variety of beef and pork cuts. Every time I go in there I stare at the oxtails wondering to myself if this is an ingredient I want to play with. Well, I finally got to actually try some braised oxtail when we were in Jamaica and I was so disappointed in myself for not having tried them sooner! They are fatty, cartilaginous chunks of goodness, and while that may not sound so appealing, just look at them.

6f25d69366b68a6de2fe6301794146e9

I had the perfect reason to try them out, and get feedback as well!

Here is what I did.
I marinated them overnight in red wine. I used the Yellow Tail Shiraz since that’s what we had laying around (leftover from the wedding).
In the morning, I drained them and tossed them in a spice rub. I put them in my crockpot with one roughly chopped onion, 4 whole cloves of garlic, 2 cups of crushed tomatoes, 2 tbsps of cider vinegar, and 1 heaping tbsp of whole grain mustard. I let these bad boys cook on low for 8 – 10 hours or until the fat has mostly rendered off and the meat falls from the bone.

oxtail-4

Spice Rub:
2 tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Traditionally these are served over rice since the pot juices are equally as delicious. I served them with some mashed potatoes and some collard greens picked that day from my own garden!

Collards

I have had quite the yield of greens from my garden so I have been making them frequently. Most of the time I cook them with bacon, in bacon fat, but since the oxtails contained enough fat for the week, I decided to make them “skinny”

Ingredients:
1 lbs Collard Greens
1 Yellow Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic grated/zested right into the pan
2 Cups of Chicken Stock (Tip: Use low sodium to control the amount of salt)
2 Cups of sliced Crimini Mushrooms
1 Tbsp of Lemon Zest
1/4 Cup of Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp of Whole Grain Mustard
1 Tbsp of Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
1. Sautee onions in a bit of olive oil, on medium/high heat until they start to become translucent.
2. While the onions are sweating, cut the stems off the greens (they are fibrous and bitter) and cut the greens in to 1 inch strips.
3. Add the remainder of the ingredients and bring everything up to a boil.
4 Reduce the heat to low and put a lid on the pot.
5. Let them simmer on low for about 45 minutes, or until the leaves become a brownish green and are tender to bite through. They should not be bitter at all. If they are still bitter, continue cooking.

collard-greens-and-caramelized-onions

I received high praises from my game night buddies, and I won our rousing game of Cards Against Humanity.
All in all, a successful evening.

Ps: I have to mention that these photographs are not of my actual food. They are google searched images since I was too busy being a host and cleaning to take pictures of my food along the way. Sorry!

Enchilada Experiment

I invited my future in-laws over for dinner last night so that I could have an excuse to make food in larger quantities than two servings.  I have been in a Mexican food mood lately, so I decided to make Chicken Enchiladas.  Now, I would like to first say that I had never made enchiladas before, so I didn’t photo document the process, just in case the entire thing was a failure.  Failure enchiladas do not get documented for all to read.  It turns out they were quite successful, so I took final product pictures.

Also, during the “planning the menu” process, I really wanted to make deviled eggs as an appetizer.   Then I thought, “Deviled eggs are not really in the same theme as Enchiladas.  How can I make them more…Mexican?”  Just as I was thinking this, I scrolled down my Google search to these.  Perfect!  Guacamole Deviled Eggs, and my oh my were they good.  I didn’t follow this recipe, but I will tell you what I did.

These recipes fed 6 people with left overs.

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

10 Hard Boiled Eggs

½ Orange Bell Pepper

1 Jalapeño Pepper

1 Lime

1 Large Avocado

1 Tomato

¾ tsp Salt

¾ tsp of Spike seasoning mix

Fresh Cilantro for garnish

Here’s what you do.  Get out your handy-dandy food processor.  Trust me, it makes your life so much easier.  Actually, we just got one as a wedding gift and I used it for everything in these recipes.  I was tickled pink with it.

Slice the eggs lengthwise and put all the yokes in the food processor.  Lay the empty egg whites on a plate to be refilled with the filling you are about to make.

Next, into the food processor goes your avocado.  Pulse it until its smooth.  Add the juice of your 1 lime and mix.  Then add the bell pepper and cilantro and pulse until the pepper is barely visible in the mixture.  Do the same with the jalapeño.

NOTE:  Jalapeño peppers can be quite spicy.  If you do not want your eggs to be spicy, make sure you clean the seeds and veins out of the pepper.  If it is still an overwhelming flavor, try cooking the pepper a little to mute the flavor.  I used half of a pepper, took out the seeds but left in the veins for a bright fresh flavor with a little kick.

Taste your mixture.  If you taste too much pepper, try adding more avocado and/or lime juice. 

Next add your salt and Spike to taste.  Dice up your tomato and fold the pieces in by hand.  Your food processor will pulverize the tomato and pull out too much moisture into the filling.

Now it’s time to refill the eggs.  You can spoon the mixture back into the eggs if you so choose.  You can also make your own piping bag by taking a Ziploc Freezer back, loading your mixture into one corner, and snipping off the tip of the corner so that you can squeeze the filling out through the hole.

Fill up the eggs and top with some chopped fresh cilantro for garnish.

Image

Now for the Enchiladas.  I made my own Enchilada sauce using this recipe exactly, so I won’t go through it. 

Notes on ingredients:

Tortillas:  I used extra thin corn tortillas. After baking, they kind of lost their integrity and ended up being more like a casserole.  A tasty, tasty casserole.  If you use regular corn tortillas, they will stand up to the baking process more and you will be able to serve up individual enchiladas.

Cheese:  I used a light shredded Mexican blend.  Regular, whole fat cheese melts MUCH nicer and will actually bubble up and brown on the top.  Light cheese is missing the fat content that allows for this.

Ingredients:

Corn Tortillas

Enchilada Sauce

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Queso Fresco Cheese

Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

1 Jalepeño

½ Sweet onion

2 cloves of garlic

Tomatillo Salsa

These have a chicken and cheese filling.  I used my handy dandy food processor for both.

Cheese Filling – In the food processor, put 1 package of Queso Fresco (broken in to chunks), onion (rough chopped), garlic (whole or chopped), and jalapeño.  I cleaned the jalapeño, removed all seeds and veins and cooked them in a sauté pan for a couple of minutes to get more of a roasted pepper flavor.  Make sure you cool them down before adding them to the cheese.  Blend everything together until you have one homogenous mixture.

Chicken Filling – Cook your chicken however you want.  I cooked mine in the tomatillo salsa because I think it gives it great flavor.  Cube the cooked chicken and throw it into the food processor. (Clean your food processor between uses.  I should hope that is a given.)  Pulse it until is shredded, and put it in a bowl.  That was easy.

Now make yourself a station.  I had my fillings and steamed tortillas on my left, and enchilada sauce and tray on my right.

Note on tortillas:  You really need to soften them before attempting to roll them or they will crack.  Wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave the tortillas for 30-45 seconds or until warm.

Start by ladling a bit of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the tray.  Dip on side of the tortilla in the enchilada sauce, and lay it down on your assembly plate dry side down.  Put your fillings in, wrap them up and place them in the pan.  When your tray is full, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top and make sure everything is coated.  Sprinkle your shredded cheese over the top.

Bake in a 400° oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubble and browning on the top.

I encourage you to let it sit for a few minutes before digging in.  It will be smoldering hot.

Image

We served this with sour cream and Aardvark’s Secret Sauce at the table, but you can add any condiments you want. 

Prepare yourselves for food coma, because this was really hard to stop eating!

Baked Chicken-Stuffed Chile Rellenos

Alright people, brace yourselves. This is a long and involved process, but believe you me, it is SO worth it. Image Baked Chicken-Stuffed Chile Rellenos – with watermelon I made this for dinner tonight for Sam and myself.  Because of this, its a small batch recipe, making enough for two filled peppers.

Here’s what your going to need:

Time – about 90 minutes although some of the elements can be made ahead of time

Ingredients:

Pasilla Pepper – 2

Red Bell Pepper – 1/2

Sweet Onion – 1/2

Garlic – 3 cloves

Uncooked Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast – 5 oz

Tomatillo Salsa – 1 Cup

Tomato Sauce – 1/8 cup

Red Wine Vinegar – 1 tsp

Jasmine Rice – 1/4 cup raw

Queso Fresco – 4 oz

Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese – 1 Cup

Canola Oil – 1 tsp

Salt, Pepper, Chile Powder to taste Image

Step 1 – Peel the peppers. – In order to peel the peppers they need to either get put under the broiler until singed on all sides, grilled, or stuck over open flame on your stove like I did.  The direct heat brings the moisture from the peppers up to the skin.  You will hear it pop and sizzle and make all kinds of sounds that make you think you are doing something wrong, but don’t stop!  Wait till they looked burned on all sides, then take them off the heat and put them in a zip lock bag to steam for 5-10 minutes. Image ImageImage

Once the peppers have steamed, you can rub the charred skin off.  If your fingers get sticky, keep a bowl of water near by, or use a paper towel. Image

Now we do some pepper surgery.  We need to clean out the seeds and veins from the peppers without doing damage to the entire pepper, or else we wont be able to successfully stuff them.  So, get a sharp knife and be careful.  Make a 2 inch cut starting from about a third of an inch from the top.  Then make a 2 in cut horizontally across the top and the bottom of the vertical 2 inch cut you just made.  Open up the doors you have just created, separate the veins and seeds from the walls, and scoop them out.  This may be easier said than done.  Remember, all the heat in these peppers lie within the veins and the seeds.  If you do not want spicy food, you must be meticulous about getting all the seeds and veins out.  I like a bit of kick to my food, so I left some in.

Image

Now we can turn our attention to the filling.  The filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to two days.  There are 4 different components to the filling, one is the Queso Fresco, and the other three must be prepared separately.  These are, spanish rice, pepper/onion/garlic medley, and shredded chicken.

Lets start with the chicken.  Cook your chicken in as large of pieces as you can, or else you wont be able to shred the cooked pieces.  I took a whole chicken breast, and cut it in half to get my 5 oz.  In your pot, put the tomatillo salsa and chicken.  Bring it up to a simmer and cover the pot until the chicken easily shreds with a fork.  I cooked mine on a low heat for about 30 mins.

Now for the rice.  Soak your rice in cold water for about 8 minutes.  You probably know that rice cooks at a two to one liquid to rice ratio.  We are using 1/4 cup of uncooked rice, so we will need 1/2 cup of liquid.  In a measuring cup, at your tomato sauce, red wine vinegar and canola oil.  Then, fill the cup the rest of the way  up to the 1/2 cup line with water, so that you have a total of 1/2 cup of liquid.  Add your liquid, one clove of minced garlic and soaked rice to a pot.  Add your salt, pepper and chili powder and give it a good stir.   Bring it up to a boil, then turn it down to a low simmer and cover for about 10 -12 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is gone.

Lastly, the pepper/onion/garlic medley.  Chop your onion and pepper in the same size pieces so they cook at an even rate.  Mince the remaining two cloves of garlic and place all three ingredients in a non-stick pan that has been sprayed with oil.  Saute them on medium low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the peppers and onion start to brown.  Turn them off immediately because if the garlic browns it will be bitter.

Now we can put together our filling!  In a mixing bowl, add your shredded chicken, cooked rice, pepper medley, and cubed queso fresco.

Image

Split the filling in half and stuff those magnificently prepared peppers, each with half of the filling, or as much as your peppers can hold.

Image

Line a baking tray with foil and slide your stuffed peppers onto it.  Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the peppers.  Then, pour the left over salsa the chicken cooked in, into the peppers.  Its ok if it spills over, we just want to add some moisture to the filling so it doesn’t dry out when it bakes.

Place the tray in a 375 F oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Let them sit for a minute so the juices settle before serving.  Also, we let them sit so that people don’t bite into a pepper with scalding hot insides.

I served mine with watermelon to help even out the heat of the pepper a little bit.  It is an unusual combination, but it was great! This is a great dish to make for a dinner party, as you can peel and stuff the peppers ahead of time and bake them just before serving.  Let me know how you like them!

Also, I wanted to add one more thing.  Chile Rellenos are normally only stuffed with the queso fresco cheese, then battered and fried.  This recipe, although stuffed with chicken and rice, is fewer calories because its baked, and the recipe uses little cooking oil or fat. For those on Weight Watchers, this recipe makes two servings of 12 points plus each. I am a member of Weight Watchers, so most of my recipes will be WW friendly.  I will try to remember to post the Points Plus values with my recipes.

Roast A Chicken

Oven-roasted chicken is one of those entrees that can be appropriate to serve in a variety of situations, and as you will see after you try my recipe, its super easy.  Having the family over for dinner?  Roast some chickens.  Need a Monday night dinner with hopes of leftovers for the weeks lunches?  Roast a chicken. Have a $10 budget for a pot luck dish?  Roast a chicken. Are you seeing a trend yet?

Seriously though.  I bought a medium/large whole chicken at my local butcher for under $6. Everything else I used came out of my garden or was already a part of my pantry.  Very little planning was involved aside for taking into account how long a whole chicken takes to roast, compared to individual pieces.

Just a quick note about the seasonings and spices I chose to use in this recipe.  You can use any flavors, seasonings, spices that you prefer.  I happen to be a fan of Rosemary, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, and Smoked Paprika.  Also, those were the bottles in the front row of my spice rack, so voila.

Here’s what you need:

A Chicken… duh.   Actually, you need a whole chicken.  I buy my meat from a meat market that sells really high quality, local, organic, grass fed (blah, blah, blah, no I didn’t ask what the chicken’s name was) meat for an excellent price.  You can use the fryers they sell at the grocery store and still make a tasty bird.

Other ingredients:

Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves

Fresh Rosemary – 3 or 4 sprigs

Lemons – 2 whole

Black Pepper – to taste

Salt – to taste   (I used a specialty salt from my local spice store that was shallot flavored.  YUM!)

Cayenne Pepper – 1 tsp

Smoked Paprika – 1 tsp

Unsalted Butter – 3 Tbsp

Olive Oil – 3 Tbsp

Red Wine Vinegar – 1 Tbs

Image

Instructions:  Preheat your oven to 425° F with your rack in the middle.

Image

Line you baking pan with foil and place the bird on the tray.  Squeeze your lemons all over and inside the chicken, then stuff the squeezed lemons into the cavity of the bird.  Lift the edges of the skin covering the breast and poke your finger in so that you make a separation between the skin and the meat.  Stick some rosemary under the skin, then put the rest in the cavity of the bird.  You will also stick cloves of garlic and pieces of butter under the skin as well.  As the butter melts your bird will suck it up and keep the meat nice and juicy!

Image

Rub the bird down with the spices, cover it with foil and bake it for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for another 50 minutes.  Take the foil off and rub the chicken down with the olive oil and vinegar whisked together and bake the bird for another 20 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the inside temperature of the chicken reads 165°F.  You will need to use a thermometer for this (I hope that’s obvious) and make sure the thermometer is stuck in the chicken meat, not touching bone.

Image

If you want a side dish, try sauteing some potatoes and broccoli in some of the chicken drippings from the roasting pan.  You will need to add seasoning to the veggies since hopefully, all the seasoning from the chicken stayed on the chicken for your dining delight.

Enjoy, and let me know how your chickens turn out!

About Me

Who am I? I am a food fanatic.  If I had it my way, my days would consist solely of watching the Food Network while playing in the kitchen.  I am fortunate to live in Portland, Oregon.  I find myself surrounded by people with the same passion for food, serving up brilliant food to hungry Portlanders.  Not only am I surrounded by good food, but I am also surrounded by some of the greatest local and organic produce vendors allowing people like myself to play with the freshest ingredients.  So, after spending years to finally finish my degree in Public Health and working as an administrative assistant for 10 years or so, I had one of those WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE moments.  My amazingly patient and understanding Fiance Sam was able to calm me down from my crying hysterics and convinced me that its ok for me to not be the big bread winner in the family if it means I am doing what I love.  I want to cook, I want to cook for other people, I want to show people the infinite possibilities of healthy and fresh ways to eat, and eventually I want to be paid for doing all of these things….eventually.  In the mean-time, I have committed to studying every aspect of food and cooking as I can.

Why have I started this blog?  I could literally talk about food until I am dead.  To preserve my relationships and sanity, I have chosen a blog as my outlet for all the foodie thoughts running through my mind at all times.  For example, I probably have ten different ways to chop garlic in my kitchen.  This includes a completely illogical apparatus that holds ONE (yes only one) clove of garlic in a little cup which then screws onto a handle containing a weight and the blade.  Once the cup is screwed on, you are then supposed to shake the whole apparatus like a martini shaker which throws the weight around, pushing down and pulling up on the blade.  Five minutes of obnoxious sounds, and tired arms and you have something that almost resembles minced garlic, but it really more of a mashed garlic clove and a bunch of garlic oil and chunks that have now gotten stuck into tiny cracks and crevices in the apparatus which then become almost impossible to clean.  As you can tell, it’s not my favorite way to chop garlic.  I actually find something incredibly cathartic about cutting garlic by hand.  Something about taking a big knife, smashing garlic under it, and then pealing and cutting the garlic into tiny bits triggers that same feeling you get when you smash a printer that has decided to stop working just as you are trying to print that term paper that you stayed up all night writing because its due in an hour.  I am also shocked when I am able to avoid slicing the tip of my finger off, which has happened more than once.  Not to mention my fingers smell like garlic for the rest of the day, and who doesn’t like that?  This is what I was thinking about as I was driving home this afternoon, that and where I was going to go for lunch after I take a nap.

As you can see, I have a lot to say about almost everything, and since I have committed to studying everything about food, I NEED a way to share this knowledge with as many people as I can in hopes of beginning some sort of sustainable dialogue about food.  I hope you read my posts and feel as though you can ask questions, give suggestions, and enjoy food with me!