Category Archives: Food

Creative in the Kitchen

In my last post, I mentioned how I have recently had a bit of a cooking renaissance. I had been in bit of an imaginative funk and didn’t realize it. Some days, cooking dinner seemed like such a daunting task! And baking? I saw it more of a chore than a much loved hobby.

Thankfully, I’m over it and slowly waking up my culinary senses! What helped me dust off the cobwebs is a food delivery service called Blue Apron. Our friends so graciously gifted us 2 4 person meals for Christmas. In a package, you receive all the perfectly portioned out ingredients for two gourmet meals. All you have to do is prep and cook. First up was a traditional Japanese ramen:

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Aside from my sad looking soft boiled egg, that soup was legit! I had never made anything like it before. Was definitely a new cooking adventure that I was happy to make and consume.

The second meal was a blood orange salmon with Israeli couscous:

IMG_3224Again, something I had never attempted before but I can’t wait to make again if only just for the presentation factor alone! After making such a fun and pretty meals, I’ve kinda rethought my meal planning! Nowadays, I might buy extra ingredients I usually wouldn’t bother with like fresh herbs or green onions, just to add that extra oomph and pizzaz to my dishes. Heck I’ve even stepped up my dessert game! Whereas before I never thought too hard on dessert and would fix myself the occasional bowl of ice cream, I now find myself thinking of fun, fancier ways to make the ordinary extraordinary. Like for instance, instead of just ice cream, I made peanut butter cookie vanilla ice cream sandwiches rolled in chocolate sprinkles: IMG_3255And not to be outdone, after tonight’s dinner, I made little individual chocolate cakes in ramekins garnished with sliced strawberries. Clearly I’m on a mission to not lose any more baby weight. So much for fit mom, haha! She’ll appreciate my culinary ventures more later on than my athletic abilities any way, right? Let’s hope so!

Three Little Birds

…or the time I ate 3 rotisserie chickens in one week.

Last week I had lots of visits and rather than spend all my time in the kitchen preparing a meal, I decided to forgo the nonsense for something quick, easy, and delicious.

On Tuesday, I made the Neelys’ white chicken chili.

On Wednesday, I made nectarine, brie, and chicken flatbreads from Better Homes and Gardens:

image from bhg

But rather than making the dainty dish seen above, I altered the recipe a little by first piling each flatbread with a boat load of chicken and  then serving the salad on the side because y’all know that serving suggestion right there is not going to satisfy anyone for dinner. I should also mention that even when deconstructed, the flat bread still manages to look pretty so yay for that!

On Thursday, I made How Sweet Eats bbq chicken enchiladas which is a staple ’round these parts. I make those enchiladas at least once a month without fail. If you don’t follow Jessica from How Sweet Eats, you’re totally missing out! She has to be my most favorite food bloggers as she comes up with such creative and incredibly delicious dishes! She’s got a book coming out in a few short weeks and I cannot wait to devour it (pun intended of course).

You’d think I’d stop there once the chickens were consumed but no. With the last chicken, I threw the bones along with some carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper, into my crockpot to make a stock that I used to flavor Emeril’s jambalaya.

It’s a surprise we haven’t sprouted wings from all the chicken we consumed! But whatever, at least I vary the flavors and “cuisines” so it’s always something different. And before you go thinking that every night means bird in our house, lemme tell ya otherwise! One week, I made three dinners using a bag of chickpeas I cooked up myself: we had chickpea burgers, chickpea stew, and couscous salad featuring chickpeas. This summer has been the season of “the special ingredient.” It’s like I’m hosting my own Food Network Channel up in this piece!

So tell me, what’s your favorite way to eat rotisserie chicken?

P.S. I don’t like eating the rotisserie chicken straight up. I clearly love using it in things but served as is? No thanks. Funny, huh?

Summer Vacation

As of Monday, I’ve been at home for two months. And guess what? It’s been awesome! As soon as I came home from the hospital, I’ve felt energized and have been cooking and baking up a storm! I’m sure my husband has appreciated my return to the kitchen as the last 4 months (or more) of pregnancy meant sad meals and lots of take out/frozen dinners.

I’ve managed to make blackberry, cherry, peach, lemon meringue, chocolate, strawberry, rhubarb, all while wearing a certain little someone. We’re certainly a fan of baby wearing around these parts. I registered and received the boba wrap which is one of those giant pieces of cloth that you wrap around you and slip the baby in. It’s like the moby wrap but the fabric has spandex in it which makes it pretty foolproof.

pie making

I’ve also made lots of cookies, my favorite being chocolate chip pretzel (so good). Hmmm, should I be attributing my stall in weight loss to my baking? Nah…that couldn’t be it 😛

Some of the new recipes we’ve had for dinner include: fajita enchiladas, herb smothered salmon, stuffed french toast, and lemony mushroom chicken.

As you can see, I’ve definitely been having fun getting acquainted with my kitchen again! I missed being up to my elbows in flour and sugar!

What new recipes have you tried this summer?