Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Awesome appetizer for the holidays. Everyone will love them! Expect for the vegetarians, but don't worry I'm eating enough meat for us both.

To perform this cooking task successfully:
1 glass baking dish
1 Knife
1/4 cup measuring cup
1 Small mixing bowl

For the food part:
1 package bacon
2 cans whole water chestnuts
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chili sauce

Prepare by draining the 2 cans of water chestnuts. Cut the uncooked bacon slices in half. Take one bacon piece and wrapped it around one water chestnut. Secure with a toothpick through the middle. Repeat...

Place bacon wrapped chestnuts into a 350 degree oven. Bake until bacon is brown and crispy (about 15-20 minutes). At this point you may want to drain the grease out of the bottom and set up wrapped water chestnuts on a paper towel and blot them off a bit.

Mix the 1/4 cup mayo, brown sugar, and chili sauce until smooth. Pour the mixture over the cooked bacon wrapped water chestnuts and put them back in the oven at 350 for up to 40 more minutes, but they should stay in for at least another 20-25. Check on them every once in awhile. Depends on how crispy you like you bacon.



Monday, December 22, 2008

Freezing, Being Poor, and Loving Food...

Winter has officially hit. For those of you out West and below (aka the South), believe me, I feel your pain. However, my pain sounds a little like 13 below, not 30 something...30 something is basically shorts weather in Minnesota. So, to all of you midwesterns out there - what the hell are we still doing here??? If I lived in Hawaii I would not miss seasons.

...On that note, HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! It's a home cookin', green bean casserole kind of season. If you can't get out (and believe me, if you didn't make reservations in July, the only place you're getting out to is Denny's...and there will still be a 20 minute wait) the best plan is to take advantage of home cooking with the family whether it be extended or small. Stay in and make dishes that can cook all day and taste better the longer they stay in the pot. I'll be posting some good recipes to help you cope with winter SOON! (I may have temporarily forgot about you little blog so now I have to play catch up and get my act together).

In addition to this winter wonderland that prevents many of us from venturing out our economy is, how do you say, in le shitter. I won't go into the dynamics of it (you've heard more than you can bear I'm sure and I'm not one to give lectures). I know I'm lucky to have a job, but when 'salary freeze' and 'downsizing' is the phrase on every corporate lip, it's safe to assume this wannabe foodie will be blogging a lot about cup o' noodle. Let's just hope it's from the comfort of a warm cubicle and not on a napkin in a cardboard box down by the river.

So we've covered freezing and being poor...what about my undying love for food and my inability to not blog about it?!?! (careful of those double negatives...did I mention I almost went to college for engligh?).

When I started this blog I had high hopes and expectations, none of which have actually materialized at this point. I wanted to get out and all over this city, at least the food and drink part of it. But it seems that my dreams of becoming a known blogger and more official foodie will have to join the list of new years resolutions (that probably won't be kept anyhow). Also, since I'm fully aware that no one (except for Mr. B and my sister) probably reads this yet consider this post just a record of one blogger's self-reflection at a time where eating may be just a survival tactic.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Try Fish Sauce...

Scary? Maybe.

Delicious? Yes!

Considering my fridge is filled with condiments you would be surprised to know that I never owned a bottle of fish sauce until about a month ago. I do a ton of stir-fry, noodle dishes, and dipping sauces, but never included this amazing sauce. I will warn you, it's sauce (a very watery one) made from fermented fish, so yes, it is quite pungent. However, there are many pros. First of all a little goes a long way, secondly the fishiness is not so strong when included in a dish, and it tastes delicious. You cannot make a good pad thai without it. Try fish sauce...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Quick and easy!

You'll need...
To perform this cooking task successfully:
1 baking sheet
1 mixing bowl
1 large skillet
1 cup measuring cup
Tbsp and tsp measuring spoons

For the Biscuits:
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup heavy cream

A little side note: if you don't have self-rising flour, add 1 Tbsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt to 2 cups all-purpose flour. Or if you don't have the time use a pre-made biscuit (find these in the dairy section of your grocery store).

To prepare combine flour and cream in mixing bowl. Once the ingredients are combined turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until no longer sticky. On a floured surface, roll dough to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch biscuits. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

For the Gravy:
1 lb ground spicy pork sausage (I like the spicy sausage because it adds extra seasoning. You can add just regular pork sausage if you're a wimp).
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour

To prepare brown the sausage in the skillet. Once fully cooked reduce heat to medium and begin spinkling the all purpose flour into the skillet over the sausage. Go about 1 Tbsp at a time until the sausage is coated and the grease is soaked up. Add 1 cup whole milk. It will take a little bit to thicken up so don't add more flour immediately. However, depending on your feelings towards viscosity, you can add more milk for a thin sauce and more flour for a thicker sauce... just go slow, add about a Tbsp each time until you reach your desired thickness. I recommend making it a little bit thick so it doesn't make your biscuits soggy. Add cracked black pepper to taste!

If you want to make this even more delicious add a sunnyside or poached egg on the top. Runny (gross word, I know) yoke + gravy = amazing!