Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

This morning Jesus took my grandfather back to glory with him.If you read this blog at all (thank you,hehe) you would know that my grandfather or pop-pop as we called him was one of my biggest inspirations in cooking. That's why its important to me and therapeutic that I do this post in honor of him. I used to love being able to call him and say "Pop-pop guess what I made today" . He really loved to hear about all my food trials and triumphs.

He had been in about 3 different hospitals since December and he had a few health problems so his passing comes as now surprise to me.Anyhoo enough about the sad stuff, I wanna talk about some of the things I love about him:

1)He had been on oxygen for about 10yrs now, he & my grandmother still managed to come to all high school concerts,graduation and alll of that good stuff,nothing got in their way.
2) I didn't grow up going to church regularly,so I looked forward to easter sunday w/my grandparents. Getting up early,taking our dish to church for the breakfast after sermon. When we were little they would make an easter egg hunt just for us,it was such fun!
3) I was 18 yrs old in my very first apartment when I made my very own cake from scratch. That night I must have called him at least 5 times that night and he literally walked me thru that cake,and it was pure yumness!
4)The way that he laughed at me the very first time I'd made a corninsh hen and I'd told him I had washed it with soap & water. He and my grandma got a kick outta that.
5) When I switched my major in college and everybody just about hated me for it he said and I'll paraphrase cause this was a while ago " It doesn't matter what you do,I just want you to be happy and like what you do. He asked me was I happy and I said yes,he said "then thats what matters."

I am really gonna miss,never being able to bounce recipes off of him...but he didn't suffer and for that I'm grateful. I am so happy I was able to see him the last time I went home he will rest in peace. If I don't blog for a while please don't be concerned we should be back to our regularly scheduled program soon.

Good bye pop-pop, I miss you already and I'll always love you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chicken Calzone

I'm bringing ya'll some church this morning with our song of the day. It's I believe by Debbie & Angie Winans. Yes that's bebe & Cece's younger sisters,all from Detroit. This is such an amazing song about the power of belief, and how when things are not how you'd prefer them to be you must continue to believe.This song came out close to about 15 yrs ago and has seen me thru many a dark night & day.

I"ll tell you the first time I had a calzone I was in high school. There was this place on he southwest side of Detroit called Amicci's and they were forever delivering to my HS.They had the best calzone's all slatheres in garlic butter yummers. Not to healthy but thats what HS is about,eating badly.When I went to college my love for calzones grew even more at this place called Bells and they had like whopper calzones. They're huge! Last night I made my own,here's what you'll need:


~Blk olives,half a can, 1/2 c mozz, 1/2 c feta, 8 mushrooms sliced in half (oh yea the olives are in half to) 1 chicken breast.

1)Clearly you will need to wash the shrooms and dry them,cut them in half. Drain the olives and cut them in half.Pour 1/2 c of feta and just give a few more chops.

2) On a different cutting board cut up the chicken breast.

3) On low high heat put down enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan.Begin to cook the chicken,after its been in for about 7 mins in go the shrooms.

3.a)After they begin to brown you can pour in the sauce,and olives. Let them all make love together on low heat for about 12mins...or however long it takes you to get the dough together.

Ok the dough said to use 1/2 c of warm water.You wont be needing a 1/2 cup a lil under that.Besides that is was business as usual.

Load up the calzone , you know I forgot to spray butter in the pan,but I didnt really have any problems getting out. After you have folded over the other side,this goes in the oven on 400 for 15mins. This gives you time to clean up the kitchen and watch some of The Office. Also gives you time to make a mixture of leftover feta,garlic pepper & olive oil to brush on the calzone when it comes out,looking like this.

and when you cut it open...

I know I'm working on my food photography,but this was pure yumness.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Curried sweet potato & chicken,wellington maybe??

This title has you a little thrown doesn't it?Yeah me too. This is it in a nut shell: I have filo dough in my freezer thats been there since like December. I wanted to used it but I wanted to try to experiment and make a meal that is not typical for me. I decided I would make chicken wellington, even printed of a recipe. Then I was laying in bed watching Aarti party on the food channel and she was making curried lamb, and all of a sudden I wanted to do curried chicken, so thats what I did. Its curried sweet potato & chicken wrapped in filo dough, hott damn it was good!

Here's what you'll need..... and cayenne pepper.

1. Slice up a quarter of the onion, cube the sweet potato, cube the chicken. Cut off the tail end of the ginger peel it and grate a healthy tbspn.

2. Get out the filo and be careful. Get a towel,that you dry dishes with and dampen it. Take a big cookie sheet and turn ot over. Lay the filo down and cover it with the damp towel.

3. I never get this step right,I always have to go back for more butter. Get about 1/2 c of butter and melt it.It's for the filo,dont be hasty I'll tell you what to do with it soon!

4. Turn pan on high heat and pour in enough olive oil to coat then dump in the potatoes,after they've cooked about 6 mins in go the onions.I'm a big fan of layering flavor, so just season the potatoes & onions with 2 good pinches salt & cayenne.( sorry guys i really hardly measure anything)

5. After the onions begin to brown,turn the heat to low.In goes the chicken,ginger & curry powder. Pour in 1/2 c of chicken stock(can you believe its organic aannndd it was only like $3.oo)

put the top on and let simmer on low for about 12 mins.

6. This is filo time. Layer 4 sheets of filo w/butter between each sheet. If the filo rips dont split your wig, it will all bake together.

7. By this time the chicken is done cooking so you pour the curried mixture onto 1 side of the filo. Not to the very edge tho. Now you just wrap it up and fold the edges under,it looks like this:

It goes in the oven on 375 for approx 22mins and it comes out looking like this!!

It was really good yall, just the right amount of cayenne pepper gave it a nice edge. Looking back I should have but the onions and potatoes in at the same time...a few of the potatoes were a little over cooked. I enjoyed it though!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I like to drink!!

Yeah there I've said it! Now it's out there. It occurred to me few days ago as I was looking thru my list of posts that I've never written anything about alcohol. Well there's no time like the present so today I'll tell you my 3 favorite drinks,starting with a shot...

3.Kamikaze...I love a good shot of kamikaze. I didnt start drinking until I was 21. I remember it was the first shot I had, and its been my shot of choice ever since. It's sweet and girlish but it gets where you need to go...if you know what I mean,hehehe.You can find the recipe here:
Kamikaze Shooter recipe

2. The amaretto sour, I like sweet drinks;I know I seem like a sugarholic but I'm really not.I love this because its kinda tangy,still sweet so you don't quite taste all the liquor your drinking and if its done right it will have a cherry in it!You can find the recipe here: How to make an Amaretto Sour: Cocktail Recipe |

1.A white russian, I looove it and I always get it with no ice. Whenever I drink it I feel almost nutritious because it has milk in it,crazy right? This drink is a kicker because the buzz of the kahlua and the vodka creeps right up on you. It's the best! Here's the recipe:
White Russian Cocktail Recipe - How to Make a White Russian Mixed Drink

Thursday, April 14, 2011

State St. Pizza Co.

I had a living social deal for state street pizza. I paid $10 for $20 worth of pizza,being the pizza whore that I am this was a no brainer of course I purchased the deal. Here's the menu ( This place definitely reminds me of a college hang out. Very little seating tiny place they even have a window that you can walk up to and order from. It's really kinda cute. I ordered the Q pizza which looks like this:
Yes I bite it..I had to it smelled sooo good.Now I have several pet peeves I mean I really could go on for days with that list, but lucky for yall I won't. This place hit 2 of my pet peeves: the first one, after I place my order I ask about how long will it take. The cashier says no more than 10mins. WTH?? We all know that any good pizza even with already prepped ingredients takes at least 20mins. Don't lie to me, I already paid,I'm not gonna walk out! The pizza took 22mins, luckily I carry a novel and my blogging notebook damn near everywhere I go.

The 2nd peeve: The crust was soooo bland. It honestly tasted like a cracker,seriously, no flavour. Crust is a big part of pie right? It should be seasoned as such, it was not. The actual pizza was quite good, I felt that the onions should have been grilled as opposed to raw, but it was good. I could see myself grabbing a slice or so down there if I'm just hanging out. That's about it tho.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sangria!!! A guest blog

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but yesterday was 82 degrees and I had to have lunch at the beach and soak that day up. Then The Kennedy's mini series was on which I still haven't seen all of I had to TV'R it ( I can never remember if I have tivo or DV'R so there); no I didn't do muck work this wknd,forgive me. In other exciting news we have a guest blog post today! It's my sister Erin who has a thriving career as a model in Virgina.

Now lemme give you some background info on Miss Missy. I am solely and completely responsible for the fact that she's kind of a foodie. This gal didn't grow up really into food at all. Yea yea she eats but her love for food didn't develop till a few yrs ago. I don't actually remember her defining moment but I do recall something like this. She was leaving for Brazil in a matter of days??weeks??( this was summer of 05, I barely remember 5 days ago) and she had come to visit me and the food network was on.What else is new? We were watching The Barefoot Contessa and I remember her being really into her show, and even wanting to look for her recipes online. I remember thinking WTF?? this girl don't cook! Her and I have both become big fans of Ina Garten. You know what Erin says to me and I just looove when she says it " Domestic Diva you really make me wanna eat, you have such a zest for food". This is coming from a model ya'll, I make model want eat! That just tickles me. If you like her post,which I know you will, please leave ur sweet lil comments so that she will delight us with more guest blogs...maybe she will teach us how to make her paella, or smoked salmon & eggs....

Bloggers & Bloggettes, please enjoy this special post from my sister the foodie in training:

I adore shoes. I’ve always been a clothes horse, and purses are pretty nice, but shoes can make or break an outfit. In fact, an entire ensemble can be built around a pair of heels. Happens all the time. So when I see a pair that looks like it belongs on my feet, I do not let simple obstacles such as size, price or availability stand in my way. Case in point: about a month ago, I was out shopping for clothes in one of my favorite women’s stores, when I spied the cutest pink and white classic ballet flats. Visions of Sunday brunch along the harbor, or taking in the Cherry Blossoms in April while wearing those flats filled my head. I needed them. But alas, the store did not currently possess a pair in my size. No matter. I quickly called the other location in Washington, DC and they did not have them either, but they were expecting more shipments of them and gave me specific days to call back. It took about two weeks of checking both stores every few days until I hit jackpot with the downtown location and had the lovely salesgirl hold them for me until I could retrieve them that evening after work. Mission accomplished!

But now, there was the question of dinner. It had been a long day, it was getting fairly late in the evening, and I was becoming hungry. I decided to pop into the Qdoba a few blocks away from where I’d rescued the shoes, and ordered a chicken queso burrito. On the drive home, I began to imagine what type of beverage I could consume along with my hot burrito. I had some Corona at home, but I don’t like beer and just kept those for company. I love wine, but I was bored by the thought of it accompanying my spicy meal. Then I thought , “Sangria!” But I never trust the bottled Sangria one may find on the shelves of the local wine shop, and the only other alternative was to go to my favorite tapas restaurant and ask for a pitcher of wine to go, which I’m pretty sure is illegal, so I was left with having to make the Sangria myself. I remembered I did have some Pomegranate Vodka left over from a girls get together a few weeks prior, in addition to this yummy blueberry pomegranate juice in the refrigerator. Now all I had to do was find a good solid wine that could hold its own with those ingredients. I stopped at a Safeway grocery store (in Chicago it’s called Dominic’s) on my way home, and pored over the red wines. I knew I wanted something on the heavier side, a cabernet or merlot-which are two reds that I seldom partake of- but also something that had good fruits in the finish. And that wasn’t too expensive. This was an experiment after all, and if it turned out badly, I did not want to be stuck with a $50 bottle of wine if I did not even like the taste. After reading many labels and finding one Merlot by the name of Fish Eye produced out of New Zealand that promised the flavors of plum and other dark fruits, I promptly selected the bottle and went home to my lab.

Over ice, I poured slightly more Merlot than pomegranate vodka, then a generous splash of the blueberry pomegranate juice. The result: instantly gratifying. A warning to the readers: I like my drinks strong, and I am not fond of measuring, so you will most likely have to do some tweaking of the measurements according to your own preferences. But this particular Merlot was the perfect wine to go with the pomegranate and blueberry flavors, and while the vodka added the extra kick of alcohol that most Sangrias lack, it was not very pronounced at all and goes down very smoothly. The perfect Sangria in my eyes! Your guests will be so happy with the drink, they won’t even care if dinner is taking a little longer to come out the kitchen. For serving purposes, I would add some fruit. Of course how you garnish it is up to you, but I chose red grapes, blueberries and cubed a bright green apple to add a slice of contrast. I have pictures and the actual ingredients listed below.

Now, on another note, I’d like to offer you a variation if you’re not so interested in Sangria and would prefer more of a traditional cocktail. I call it Erin’s Sparkling Blueberry Pometini. This was conjured up after I had some champagne left over after a brunch and wanted to use it before it went flat. Two of the ingredients from the first recipe are the same; this time you’re just using champagne instead of Merlot, and you want to make sure all the ingredients have been well chilled. In a martini glass, I poured about 6 ounces of champagne, 1 ounce of pomegranate vodka, and 3 ounces of blueberry pomegranate juice. Et voila. A wonderful, and most importantly, easy martini to whip up in a matter of seconds for guests stopping by at your house before you all venture out for a night on the town.

Erin’s Moonlit Sangria™Tropicana Blueberry Pomegranate juice

Fish Eye Merlot

Smirnoff Pomegranate Vodka

Erin’s Sparkling Blueberry Pometini™

Tropicana Blueberry Pomegranate juice

Smirnoff Pomegranate Vodka

Korbel Brut Champagne
Author’s note: I am not endorsing any of the brands listed above. They are simply the brands I used in the recipes and they are the only ones that I would be able to recommend for like results.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Frozen bananas

You already I know why I'm posting song of the day here. Let's get on with it. April 7th 2011 today's song is Sailing by Avant. This was originally a Christopher Cross song in the 80's and beautiful song it is, but this song is Avant's, he simply owns it. I feel like Avant is one of our vocalists who happens to get slept on alot. But he really stretches out and shows his vocal ability's on this tune. It's really just a pretty, laid back relaxed song. Christopher Cross may have written this and sang it first, but this is Avant's song now.Here it is

I made frozen banans ya'll. I don't actually like bananas very much but let me quickly tell you where this idea stems from. One of fav shows is Arrested Development, the show has been CANCELED BY FOX(clearly there's some anger there) for about 5 yrs now. That doesn't stop me from catching old re- runs on tv tho. Anyhoo one of the main components of this show was the banana stand the the Bluth family owned. They sold (obviously) frozen bananas dipped in all types of treats. Here are a few funny clips:

One more:

Here is what your going to need:


So we've got red sprinkles, hazlenuts, white choc chips,whipping cream, milk choc bars(2),behind them are the craft sticks, and powdered sugar. The bananas have been cut in half and will go in the freezer for 1.5 hrs.

Whilst the bananas are in the freezer you will use that time to take a hammer to the hazlenuts, melt down your choc's, then get the powdered sugar & nuts ready for banana rolling.

I melt my choc' s down on a double broiler on medium heat. I had less white choc than dark so I used about half a cup of cream on the drk choc. You really have to eyeball it and see whats what. This only takes about 15mins.Then....

Now we are ready to dip. There are no pics of me dipping cause it's kinda hard to dip & take a picture of youself w/out spilling choc,ugh!

It's very simple I ust dipped the banana in which ever choc I desired then rolled it in the toppings. Here's what I got.

You knw whats weird? I don't like nuts,ever at all,unless its baklava.However my fav banana is the one with nuts & drk choc. They're really good. I still have a few left.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Best damn turkey burger ever!

I have been looking forwar to this blog for many moons now. On saturday I made the best burger ever in life that you will ever have! Yes!! I don't eat red meat so this turkey burger w/ garlic & cilantro is my ultimate burger. Growing up turkey burgers were one of my fav meals that my grandfather would make.He never kicked it up quite like this though.

If I recall correctly a few yrs ago i was fiddlin faddlin around in the kitchen wondering how I could make a fresher,more intensely packed with flavor burger (can you tell how much I love this thing?) that's how it came to be that I would chop up garlic & cilantro(my fav herb,it even goes in my eggs) and put it into the burger. So lets get to business kiddies.

Here's what you'll need:

1)First you make the burger, the only things you'll need is well clearly the turkey,hand full cilantro, 2sm garlic cloves and a dash of salt and pepper. Do it with your hands,do it!

2) Pour some olive oil down on the grill and put the burger down. I put a sm frying pan on top to keep the burger from puffing up. You could also make a tiny well in the middle os the burger but that never works as well.

I let that cook for 25min flipping only once. Yes I know you thing 25mins is a long time but this grill does not heat like a frying pan therefore taking longer to cook. Trust me the burger was not dry, and just like my meat cooked really well. Meanwhile..... I made some sweet potato fries, here what you'll need for those.

Don't use canola oil use olive oil, i dont know why I just grabbed this and put this in the shot. Oh and clearly you will need a sweet potato

1)After said potato has been peeled you will cut it up into fry like...well fries. Toss & coat them in all seasonings.

2)Go easy on the chili powder,the fries should not be spicy...unless you want them to.

3) Put them onto a baking pan lined with foil & sparayed with butter.

4) They go in the oven, yes the oven on 400 for about 15mins.

Over yonder its time to get the bacon,b peppers & onion on the grill.

The bacon will cook fast so its the first to be taken off the grill. I like to let the onions get a lil brown,and the peppers kinda cooked but I dont want them to loose their crunch. After about 8 mins they're ready to come off as well, and now its time to assemble the most awesome burger in the world.Wait I almost forgot to tell you,tost the bun! It needs to be toasted for about 8 mins. When it comes of smear on some sweet & tangy mustard( only 3 bucks @ World Market) on both sides. No we shall assemble:

From bottom up the order is this: bun,provolone cheese, peppers & onion, burger, cheese, bun!

Here's the finished product

I don't brag on myself or toot my own horn because I am a firm believer that there's always someone out there who can do what you do and do it better. I also believe that as far as I go in life, I'm always in a position to learn more. But is this not the best burger ever. Bobby Flay where are you? I hear a challenge...


Friday, April 1, 2011

White Chocolate truffles

Happy April Fools day! Did you know that today marks the 27th year of Marvin Gaye's death? Sad because I believe he was one of the most prohpetic singers & lyricist's of our time. Sadder because it was his father who killed him. I certainly miss Marvin but his music will live on thru my itunes.

I was making room for new groceries yesterday when I realized I had a fair amount of the white choc. left in a bowl. I decided to make truffles. A very lazy version of truffles. The recipe for the white choc. drizzle is in the link above. I'll give you a few tips:

~Don't touch the chocolate tomuch with your hands because your body heat will break it down.

~Use a very small ice cream scoop the kind w/ the lever on it to scoop out the chocolate.

Now Please give me some tips. How do you get yours to stay in a perfect ball? I always have like a crack down the bottom. I'm open to any suggestions. Now this was very simple and took all of 10mins. For dusting I got out some, pumpkin spice, granulated sugar, powdered sugar and cinnamon. You just use your ice cream scoop put the truffle down on a plate and dust with whatever you'd like. I always like to have at least one truffle dusted with everything! Pure yumness.

They are really good and so sweet. They remind me of fudge, because they're thick, they are quite tasty. Make sure to stay tuned this wknd for the best turkey burger, you unfortunately will only be able to see!!