Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pizza Pepperoni Pasta

Last night, I took a cue from Healthy Cooking magazine and decided to make their "pizza pepperoni pasta,"  with my own twist, of course.  I browned ground beef with onion, then mixed in one jar (24 oz) pre-made pasta sauce, 1/2 tsp. worcestershire, 1/2 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. red pepper, and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder.  I poured the mixture over 3 cups of whole wheat rotini (sprinkled with parmesan) in a 9x13 pan, then popped it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.

That, peeps, is a gratuitous oven shot.  Pasta on the right with a little store-bought garlic texas toast on the left.  Oh!  I forgot to mention that the pasta is topped with turkey pepperoni and mozzarella.  Hence the pizza pepperoni pasta name, I suppose!

If I make this again, I'll definitely mix some spinach into the dish to get my vegetables for the evening.  But overall, very tasty and definitely a keeper!

And now, the moment we've ALL been waiting for:

TA DA!  Aren't they GORGEOUS?!  Charles David makes a hot shoe, does he not?  I just got these on Tuesday and I can't get enough.  They're super comfortable because of all of the straps, and the color is perfection.  *sigh* 

I have some tasty treats in store for the weekend, so make like Arnie:

Snuggle in and get ready!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spin Chicken

My (pretend) Food Network BFF, Giada, has an amazing recipe for chicken scallopine that the BF and I enjoy VERY much.  I found myself, yesterday evening, craving the dish but fresh out of fontina cheese, so I decided to do a spin off that rivals the original . . . if I do say so myself.

Instead of the San Marzano tomatoes, I took a can of petite diced tomatoes and mixed them with red pepper and Italian seasoning to create a sauce, of sorts (the BF loves a good sauce).

I sliced into a couple of chicken breasts (the last time I tried to pound them into thin cutlets, I launched a chicken breast across my kitchen and the wee Arnie had a hay-day!) and layered the insides with spinach, leftover mozzarella from the weekend's caprese, and sage.  I used bamboo skewers to hold my chicken breasts closed, salted and peppered the outside, and fried them in a pan lightly coated with olive oil.

After the chicken was nicely browned, I dumped the tomato mixture over them, covered the pan, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  When all was said and done, I topped it all with a little parmesan:

I thought the flavor was great, although if I whip this dish up again, I'll probably drain the tomatoes and add some tomato paste to the sauce to thicken it up a bit.  Otherwise, my spin off chicken was a success!

Today I wore another favorite pair of shoes (Who am I kidding, I can't pick a favorite.  My shoes are like children who don't cry, whine, or talk back.  And for that I love them.)

Dolce Vita, circa 2008.  A heel that high never goes out of style.  And yes, I'm still working on figuring out how to best take these pics . . . all in due time, peeps.


I just realized how absolutely TERRIBLE the picture of my fab shoes was in the last post!  Shame on me!  First my ugly feet, then horrible photos where my feet aren't even included!  I promise better pics in days to come, peeps!  Time to work on my photography skillz . . .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hot, Spicy (pork) Loins

In an effort to make something new and different this week, without taking up too much of my valuable time (modest, aren't I?) I whipped up these breaded slices of pork loin, which turned out awesome.  I was quite pleased with myself!  And it took four easy steps:
  1. dip pork loin slices in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  2. dip pork loin slices in a mixture of one beaten egg, Frank's hot sauce, and Tabasco. (Peeps, lemme tell ya, the BF and I like our food SPICY and if you don't, you're not going to like this step.  Or the next.  Adjust accordingly.)
  3. coat pork loin slices in a mixture of bread crumbs, chipotle seasoning, white pepper, onion powder, salt, and chili powder
  4. grill away!

After I was done getting my grill on, I drizzled more hot sauce and Tabasco over the pork.  Lemme tell ya, these lit a fire in my mouth, in the best way possible.  They were crispy, spicy, and totally delicious!

And guess what?!  I finally wore GORGEOUS shoes today!  Last week was a rough week, filled with too much dramz (in the LBC, as they say) and a shot of some sort of cold/flu situation that was just too much for me to handle, and necessitated accessorizing my feet primarily with socks and/or keds.  Snoooooozefest.  SO today, back on my feet and feeling fab, I rocked these bad boys:

Michael Kors Berkeley T-Straps.  I love these shoes.  They are uber-comfortable, the heel isn't too high, and they're a little edgy, but not too over-the-top so they're still work-appropriate.  The worst thing about them is that Arnie thinks they'rechew toys!  She's even cuter when chewing on things made for puppy teeth, if I do say so myself!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cubed, Hacked, and Delicious

My absolute FAVORITE foodie blog (I have absolute FAVORITE other blogs, usually that relate to fashion and interior design) is Smitten Kitchen.  The author, Deb, is absolutely charming and endearing in her delivery, she has an adorable child whom she sometimes shares photos of, and she cooks and bakes things that I could only dream of making.

I decided to try her cubed, hacked caprese today, for our Saturday football appetizer, and it did not disappoint.  I love all things related to tomatoes and cheese (especially fresh mozzarella) and this recipe is no exception.

That's the salad all mixed up.  YUM.  I decided to toast some french bread, then drizzle it with olive oil and rub it with garlic, before piling the amazing mixture on top.

The BF informed me that, while he found this treat to be tasty, he couldn't feel it clogging his arteries and, therefore, it doesn't count as football food.  Fair enough.  The BF also informed me that I spent too much money on cheese for this recipe ($15 is hardly too much for fresh mozzarella, I say).  Those opinions aside, the BF loved it as much as I did and this recipe will definitely be kept in my ever-growing recipe collection.  Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for introducing me to such an amazing recipe!

Shoes!  Well, it's Saturday.  Which means two things:  slippers and football, so . . .

GO IRISH!  And how stinkin' cute is Arnie, seriously?  She is the commander of cute.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Bread is Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Another thing that I hate:  Bananas.  But a thing that I love:  banana bread (also, banana runts and banana popsicles).  For whatever reason, the thought of eating an actual banana makes my skin crawl, but eating a nice, warm, butter-smeared slice of banana bread gives me a warm fuzzy feeling deep in the pit of my stomach.

I use a banana bread recipe that joined my collection in college, I believe from my then-roommate, Lisa.  It is delicious and super simple, which makes me like it that much more.  (If anybody has seen this recipe somewhere else, please let me know so I can credit accordingly.)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2-3 overripe bananas

Combine them all with a mixer (stand or hand, your call [although I am partial to my FABULOUS Kitchenaid stand mixer, given to me by the BF]) and pour into a loaf pan that has been greased and floured (mine is stoneware, from Pampered Chef).

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes.  I will let it be known that this is a VERY long time to wait, particularly when the delicious smells are wafting through your apartment and you have been craving banana bread since you bought your bananas at the grocery store a week and a half ago and all you want is a slice.  Not that I would know or anything.  But the wait is soooooo worth it:

Gorgeous!  Nothing is prettier than a nice loaf of bread, I say, banana or otherwise.

I am totally slacking on the shoes AGAIN today, but I promise some seriously amazing shoes in the near future!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mozzarella Madness

After a fun, quick weekend trip to Miami, Arnie, the BF and I are glad to be back at home, relaxing, watching football, enjoying some adult beverages (not Arnie, she's enjoying some Purina and water) and eating food that is less-than-healthy.  I decided to take a stab at making Giada De Laurentiis's mozzarella sticks.  I made a couple of adjustments, like deep-frying instead of pan-frying and cutting the recipe in half (because no two people, not even the BF and I, need 56 pieces of deep-fried cheese), and I think they turned out great!

First, I took a 16 oz. block of mozzarella and cut it into sticks that were approximately 1/4" square and 3-4 inches long.

Yes, I realize they look more rectangular than square.  Geometry was never my strong suit.  After slicing my cheese into pieces, I set up an assembly line with eggs in a bowl, and the bread crumb and parmesan mixture in another bowl. 

Then, I followed the recipe's directions and dipped the cheese in the egg, shook the egg off as much as possible, then rolled the sticks in the bread crumbs, patting the crumbs in so they would stick.  Once my sticks were all rolled and breaded, they looked like this, and were ready for . . .

 . . . the freezer.  Boo.  I hate waiting for food.  But, since I'd never made this recipe before I figured I had better follow the directions, so I covered my cheese sticks and stuck them in the freezer for TWO HOURS.

And I waited.

and waited.

and waited.

Rather impatiently.  But then!  It was time, time to deep-fry.  Now, Giada doesn't deep fry her mozzarella sticks, my guess is because she needs to maintain her physique to be on national television.  Which is fair (although I, myself, have been on national television twice in the last year and a half and have no qualms about deep frying anything and everything . . . I'm just sayin').  But I decided to deep-fry mine, both because deep-frying makes everything taste better, and because the BF and I have a deep fryer that doesn't get used very often (although you probably wouldn't guess that, based on these blog posts).  So, after about three minutes in the fryer (and a quick heating of some store-bought marinara) I had my final product:

And hot damn, they tasted GOOD.  In the future, I might add a few things (like garlic powder to my breadcrumb mixture) but I thought they turned out awesome.

No shoes today.  Truth be told, I got a huge blister walking around South Beach and my tootsies would be agitated if I put them back in shoes when they can be lounging in socks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beef and Bean Wraps

This recipe is both totally delicious and completely disgusting-looking when you combine it all together.  If you can get past the visual, the taste is awesome and, to top it off, it's healthy!  Yay!  (The BF and I try to eat healthy meals during the week, so we can make room for deep fried yummies on the weekend.)

First, I combine 3/4 of a pound of ground beef, one small yellow onion, white pepper, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a pan and brown it all up.  Once the beef is browned and the onions are translucent, I add one cup of fat free refried beans.

Looks gross, right?  I agree.  While that is heating through, I slice up avocado and combine it with 1/2 a cup of spicy, chunky salsa, which looks like this . . .

 . . . Until I mush it all together, with some garlic powder, at which point it looks like this . . .

Yuck again!  That does not look appetizing at all.  I then combine the two on a whole wheat tortilla, with a little bit of cheese (we used colby jack tonight, but I prefer pepper jack for extra spiciness), for the final product:

Roll it up and enjoy!  Once you taste it, you'll totally forget what it looks like - I promise!

Today I rocked my Sam Edelman "Irina" flats.  I love these shoes.

I am just now realizing that this is an unflattering angle for my already unfortunately hideous feet.  I promise a better shoe-photo-delivery method in the next post!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog Lovin!

I'm in the big time, now!

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Monday, September 13, 2010

Saturday Night Chicken

For Christmas, 2009, I received the CFDA American Fashion Cookbook.  It is absolutely one of the most beautiful cookbooks I have ever seen (and certainly the fanciest cookbook in my arsenal), and includes sketches from designers like Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenberg.  While the cookbook has been in my kitchen for almost a year, I didn't venture to try any of its recipes until this evening.

I decided to go with Diane's "Saturday Night Chicken" (now that we cook the same recipes, I feel like DvF and I are on a first name basis).  The recipe was SO SIMPLE and, with a tweak to eliminate potatoes from the line-up (anybody who knows me knows that I HATE potatoes!  Yuck!) I was pleased with the results.

I dried the chicken off, salted it liberally, and filled the inside with sage leaves, lemon juice, spicy brown mustard and sour cream.  Instead of surrounding the chicken with potatoes, like the recipe calls for, I sliced up some red onions and sprinkled them around the chicken.  It was topped with a good drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of rosemary, before getting into a hot hot oven!

After about an hour, I turned the heat down to 350 and uncovered the dish, so the skin would have a chance to brown (and so that I could bake a DELICIOUS Crusty French Loaf.  Thank you, Pilsbury).  And, after another half an hour . . . VOILA!!!

Brown, moist, and totally delicious.  I was disappointed with the color that was lost from the red onions during the cooking process; they don't look nearly as pretty on the plate when they're all translucent, but the flavor of the onions was still great so I have no complaints!

When I make this recipe again, I'm going to try separating the skin from the chicken and putting everything that I put inside the chicken under the skin, between the skin and the meat.  I think it will be that much better and the flavor will infuse even better.

Today's shoes:  my  Reebok Easy Tones.

I put the chicken together right after taking my beloved, adorable Arnie for a walk, and these shoes are as comfortable to cook in as they are to walk in!  Arnie hates waiting for me to get supper in the oven . . .

. . . and I can't argue with that face.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I figured that my first post for this blog should be something delicious, simple, and not-even-a-little-bit-healthy.  Chicken wings seemed like the appropriate choice!  I've always loved wings, and when my mom (Pampered Chef Director Extraordinaire) sent me a deep-covered baker, along with a recipe for wings that I could make in the MICROWAVE (YAY!) I decided to finally make them myself.  I combined the microwave techniques of the P/C recipe with part of this Jamaican Jerk Wing recipe from Food & Wine magazine and was very pleased with the results.

First, I combined onion powder, garlic powder, flour, and salt together in a bowl and tossed my wings in the mixture.

Then I put my wings, in two layers, into my deep-covered baker.  (I just looked on the P/C website to try and find a link to put here, because this baker is awesome, but I can't find it on the site!  Mom!  What's up with that?!)  I microwaved the wings for 7 minutes, then flipped them over and cooked them for another 7 minutes.  ALL IN THE MICROWAVE!  Amazing.

THEN I deep-fried them.  Now, I know that not everybody cares for deep-fried food, but it makes these wings taste SO MUCH BETTER.  The flour and the skin just get nice and crisp and golden, and the sauce just sticks to them that much better.  SO!  I deep-fried them in small batches, at 340 degree vegetable oil, for five minutes.  When they were done, I shook them off and tossed them in a combination of 4 tablespoons of Frank's hot sauce and 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (this is for 3 pounds of wings, guess I should've said that up front).

It took all of my energy not to eat them right away, but I gave them a minute to cool before I plated them.  And this is what they looked like:

TA DA!  The BF and I gobbled them up with a little Light Hidden Valley Ranch (because Light Ranch goes with deep fried wings.  Obviously).

And for the shoes.  I made these on Labor Day so . . .

That's right, peeps.  Socks and sweatpants.  There is no better wing-eating footwear or legwear.  Period.