Sunday, May 8, 2011

I have moved...

I am playing around with a new blog and have moved my entire blog to it.  Please check it out.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Key Lime Pie

I apologize for my lack of entries recently.  I haven't stopped baking...don't worry.  I just haven't had time to blog about it.  Lately,  I have been experimenting with different types of pies.  I made Pecan pie at Christmas which I will talk about on another occasion.  I made an apple pie in November that wasn't really worthy of the blog (Yeah that bad) and then yesterday I made a Peanut butter torte which I plan to blog about in the near future.  Now to discuss Key Lime pie.  This recipe comes to you straight from Southern Living.  Of note, I don't eat Key Lime pie very often... so my knowledge of this pie is limited but now growing.  :)      

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Paella Night

  Last month, Mitchell surprised me by coming in town.  For a date night, we went to a cooking class where we learned how to make Paella  See below...

For those of you who don't know, paella is a traditional Spanish dish.   Historically speaking, the dish originated in the region of Valencia, Spain where people began cooking rice with various meats over an open fire.  The word paella itself is the word Valencians use for all pans.  The term paella is more commonly known as the items that are made in a special shallow pan.  It typically consists of rice, saffron, seafood, chicken and other various spices.  In 1800s, poorer Spainards were known to put snails in the dish due to lack of access to other various meats.  Lucky for you... we skipped on the snails when we made the dish. 

--> This recipe serves 6 (we made 1.5 times this recipe)
1/4 cup extra-virign olive oil
6 jumbo shrimps, unpeeled
12 medium shrimp, unpeeled
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and grated
3 cloves garrlic, peeled and minced
1 large pinch saffron threads
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 lb fresh Italian style broad green beans, cut into 2" inch pieces
Freshly ground Black Pepper
3 cups Spanish Paella rice or short grain Italian rice
12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
6 Chicken Thighs (with skin)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Heat oil in a 16" or 18" paella pan or large skillet over medium heat.  Pan will span two burners; rotate occasionally for even cooking.  Add all shrimp, saute for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside. 
3. Take chicken and cover with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in paella pan and cook until brown on each side.  (Approximately 4 minutes on each side).  Then take chicken off the paella pan and place chicken in a preheated oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes. (Until completely cooked through)
4. In the meantime, while the chicken cooks, reduce the heat of the oil on the paella pan and add garlic and tomatoes t oil in pan.  Cook for 3-5 minutes
5. Place saffron in foil.  Then toast saffron in a small skillet over medium heat for 1 minute.  Crumble into 5-6 cups of water.  (You will need more water...add as needed later)
6. Add water to the pan.  Stir rice into pan, then add mussels and press down to submerge in liquid as much as possible.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whout stirring, until rice begins to swell, about 10 minutes.  Discard mussels that do not open. 
7. Place chicken, shrimp and green beans on top of rice, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover with a clean dish towl, and let cool for 20 minutes.  Serve from pan at room temperature.

Overall, the cooking class we took was a success.  I highly recommend Urban Chef here in Houston where we took the class.  It was a very fun experience where I learned a lot of cooking tips and some new techniques.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

It has been over a month since I last blogged and I am sorry for the delay in blogging.  The Christmas season took over and I was busy working and  traveling.  In the midst of the holiday season, I wanted to make a Christmas gift to take to the hospital.  Mitchell came up with the idea to make White Chocolate Peppermint Bark which he made the previous year for Christmas.  I found this recipe on the food network website and this recipe is from Paula Deen. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak

I watched the episode of Bobby Flay's Throwdown! for Chicken Fried steak several months ago.  In the episode, Bobby challenged Paula Deen to making the best Chicken Fried Steak.  As usual, the show was full of drama, but in the end, Paula Deen came out victorious with the following Chicken Fried Steak recipe.  Now, I am no expert on making Southern food (I am actually must better at desserts) but in honor of the southern cooking, I decided to try my hand at this recipe. 


  • 1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 (4-ounce) tenderized beef round steak (have butcher run them through cubing machine)
  • 1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (optional)
  • 1 bunch green onions, or 1 medium yellow onion, sliced


Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 side of the meat with the House Seasoning and the other side with the seasoning salt, and then dredge the meat in the flour mixture. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 or 4 of the steaks to the hot oil, and fry until browned, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove each steak to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining steaks, adding up to 1/4 cup more oil, as needed.
Make the gravy by adding the 2 tablespoons remaining flour to the pan drippings, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the flour is medium brown and the mixture is bubbly. Slowly add the water and the MSG, if using, stirring constantly. Return the steaks to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and place the onions on top of the steaks. Cover the pan, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups 

I think I need to practice cooking more.  When I originally started this blog, one of my goals was to become a better cook, but somehow it morphed into me baking A TON.  Anyways, I had the bf over and we made this meal together.  He made the Mac and Cheese (which turned out fantastic btw) and I made the Chicken Fried Steak.  Being my usual self, this recipe took me two attempts to achieve success.  I bought the wrong cut of meat initially.  I thought that cubing meant actual cubes of meat and I tried to make actual steak using cubes.  This failed miserably.  Thinking back on it, it is actually quite amusing that I thought it would somehow conglomerate and work.  Lol.  At the time though, I was a little upset that I bought the wrong cut.  Cubed steak actually is as follows: Round Cube Steak.  Once I bought the correct meat, the recipe went swimmingly.  It was surprisingly easy to make. 

Overall, I give this recipe 3.75 out of 5 stars.  I made the recipe without MSG.  One of my complaints with the recipe was the amount of House seasoning you make above.  It is a ridiculous amount.  Cut it down by at least one fourth of that and that is how much is actually necessary for this recipe.  However, despite my complaints, the steaks tasted pretty good.  The breading managed to stay on and the brown gravy was an excellent addition in small quantities to the steaks.  I hope to try my hand at more cooking in the near future.  :)