Friday, July 29, 2011

Eggplant Enchiladas

Uggghhh song if the day will be discontinued for a while...did you guys even read it tho? I think it was something I kinda did for myself,LOL. Anyhoo today I go to add a song and I click save as a draft and guess what it did?? It deleted all of my songs of the day since the middle of june!!!!!

I am fed-up with song of the day problems so until I figure out how to incorporate it.....blah...

Onto happier things I recently made some eggplant enchiladas.Originally i wanted to use the eggplant like the tortilla but then I realized I'd have to bake it first then it would get thinner and it would rip as I wrapped it. So out with that,I decided instead of using rice like most folk would I'd use some eggplant.Not to much,it should complement not over power. So here's what you'll need:

1) Rinse and chop your onions & cilantro as well as the eggplant.I used less than a half of eggplant and I cut them into large matchsticks.

2) Get a saute pan on med heat and pour sesame oil,enough to coat,first in goes the meat put half the seasoning mix in as well.Remember chorizo is already seasoned so you dont need alot of spices for this.

3)After the meat has been cooking for about 6 mins drizzle a little more oil in the pan,then dump on the onions,eggplant & black beans,then towards the end put the cilantro in.

4) Turn the oven onto 400.It's time to assemble the enchiladas!! Spoon the mixture into the tortillas,not too much.You dont want it to rip or the mixture to fall out.Add a little bit of both cheese's to the inside roll it up and lay it in the pyrex seam down.(Oops I forgot to tell you that i coated the pyrex with olive oil).

5)Repeat the same process for all 4 then put remaining cheese on top and pour on enchilada sauce.I used only half can,don't know why I bought 2...In the oven the go on 400 for about 8 mins.

6) While this happening you will realize how nice it will be to have cilantro as garnish on top of the enchiladas.You will cut a few sprigs of cilantro,you will be happy.

7) 8 mins has come and gone take the enchiladas out the oven and be excited,its gonna be delish!

I wonder why it never dawned on me to put eggplant in an enchilada before.It was really tasty,gave it a real full taste.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zapatista (Lincoln Park)

I was reading the red eye one morning last week,because I had finished my library books and I dont like to twiggle my thumbs on the train. I read an ad for Zapatista and was instantly intrigued. So me,myself & I made a date to have brunch their after church and befor our nail appointment. Let me tell you've it was the best date we've been on in a while! I sat outside and enjoyed the Clark street breeze then the lovely waiter brought me this

The salsa was crazy spicy make sure you've got a nice glass of water by your side and perhaps one of these as well

This was called the mamacita Margarita and it was $7.75 it was refreshing,sweet but still had a punch to it.You won't be tipsy after it but it ain't watered down either!Now for the main course....

I ordered the chimichanga w/chicken,no sour cream,I despise it.I also chose the tomatillo cruda salsa.It's a green salsa and not to spicy but full of flavor. Now the chimichanga was out of this world.I didn't think I was going to eat the whole thing but minus a few pieces of tortilla..and I'd do it again! It wasn't heavy on the eggs it had more chicken and just the right amount of beans.I can't wait to go back.If your ever in Chicago and in Lincoln Park,you might want to plan a trip here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bananas Foster

I came to the conclusion that I don't have enough potassium in my diet,so I decided to eat more bananas. One morning in a rush I grabbed at a banana a bit to hard and ripped the top of the last 2. Whatever am I to do with bananas that are going brown? I fostered them,w/out rum!!Yea its possible. The cheapest rum I could find was$17.00 and I don't drink rum but maybe 2 er 3 times a I couldn't justify buying it. Are you intrigued? Here's what you'll need:

1) I cut a banana and a half on the bias then on low heat 1/3th c butter and about a 1/4th c brown sugar.Keep it on low and stir slowly.
2) when it begins to curdle up pour in the fruit. After you've got the bananas nicely coated turn the heat off.

3)Pure yumness. Pour in 2 cap fulls of rum extract and stir softly.Then let the games begin!!
Everyone has a different way of serving the dish but I layered mine with chocolate cake and ice cream.

It was truly delectable and I can't wait to make it again,so how do you foster your bananas??

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Taste Of River North

This wknd was the Taste Of River North,alot like the taste of Chicago but thank Jesus not as crowded.This gives alot of the restaurants in the river north area a chance to show off their food.Tickets were only a dollar a piece,which was really great but you had to buy either 5 or 10 of them(theres the catch) and you really couldn't get very far with 5 so I got $10.It was soo hot that day the first thing I did when i got there was get a cup of Pinot Grigio(turtle time) which cost me 4 tickets.

So I walked around,tried not to sweat too much and decide what I wanted to taste

Boy did I wish I had tickets leftover for Sangria..which I couldv'e gotten but I would have needed more tickets.I finally settle on 2 chicken sliders from Maxwell's

Twas a tasty slider,a little on the blah and lackluster side when it comes to appearances but still tasty.

Then I saw this incredible show of acrobatic stunts but on by...I don't know the name of the troupe but it was really amazing and I wish I could have gotten some better pictures.These kids were all black and it makes me so happy to see them doing something positive that could pay their way thru college.It's so refreshing because 8 ppl I went to HS with are dead(that I know of)and I know how hard it can be to separate,fly above,and do better than the lifestyle you grew up in.

He jumped over this banner.At the very end of the show one kid would run up to a flip,land and stand in line,then the next kid flipped over him and stands in line so on and so forth.At the end there were about 8 kids in line! Can you believe that? That means somebody flipped over,5,6,7,8 maybe 9 kids and no one got kicked in the head.These kids were truly amazing they were doing some seriously high flipping & jumping.

Like I said I would have taken more pics but I was too busy being in awe.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

BBQ Chicken wraps

So this weekend was our neighborhood block party and I wanted to do my part,be neighborly and bring a dish so I settled on BBQ chicken wraps.The inspiration for the dis comes from this adorable site:
Guess what I even bought a brand new crock pot!! It was on sell at Target for $19.00,anyway here's what you'll need:

1) I mixed together about 2 tblespn's of cajun seasoning & garlic powder,then about 3 tblespn's of tagine spice,oh and thats 6 lg chicken breast.Just rub the seasonings really well into the meat,cover and sit it in the fride overnight.

2)Get up bright & early the next morning and chop up one red onion.Here's what you'll need for the actual wraps:

3) Now you cut the chicken into halves or thirds depending upon how big the breast is,but it,the onions and BBQ sauce into the crock pot and turn it on high.I cooked it on high for 2 hrs and 15 mins and it came out lovely.

4) Thus begins the pulling process,which I really dont enjoy at all!! You gotta hunker down and do it.It took a while but in the end I had plenty.

5) From here all you have to do is wrap..Cut the tortillas in half,then wrap a small portion of the chicken then sprinkle in some queso fresco cheese,wrap it up and insert a festive toothpick to keep them in place.

If I must say so myself they went over pretty well!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Loyola Farmers Market

Did you check out the song of the day? which rendition did you like the most,yea go back and check it out!

I went to another farmers mrkt and it was hot! I mean it it was about 92 degrees here on monday.Seriously tho it was completely worth it. It's much smaller than the Glenwood mrkt,Loyola only had about 6 vendors and i wish it was in a better location. I say this because its really hard to miss,if your not looking for it your not going to find it.They've got some good stuff going on there and I wish more folks knew about it.I took a few pics w/my camera from my phone because I had forgotten my actual camera.

Well you already know if there's cheese to be found I will find it.He had a pretty good variety of herbed cheeses. I didn't buy any...I went cheese crazy a few weeks ago at Trader joes...we won't go there.

I'm so sorry I don't remember/didn't take a pic of this guys shop name. I had to snap this because this may have been the best focaccia I have ever tasted,so soft and with soo much flavor. I have to go back this coming monday to find out where is shop is,oh and to buy carbs,I mean focaccia.

This another reason I have to go back this monday,these cookies were amazing! It's a family business working out of a commercial kitchen in Evanston and they sure can bake.They just might give Bennisons a run for their money. I got a dark chocolate chewy cookie and a regular chocolate chip and they were both so good.I have to get back!

These were just a few of the vendors but this mrkt is really worth checking out.The vendors are really knowledgeable and its very easy to navigate.I will be back!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summertime Desserts

Today I will share with you some of my favorite summertime dessert recipes. The first one is the only one thats vaguely healthy so if your on a apologies.

1)Stuffed cantaloupe: I like to buy a nice sized cantaloupe and about 4 lunch sized containers of fruit cocktail.After I cut the melon in half, open I scoop out all the seeds and a few large slabs of the cantaloupe. You cut these up in chunks and put them back into the melon along w/the fruit cocktail.After both halves have been filled you put them on a sheet pan and into the fridge for about an hour & 45. Make sure it has set firm before you cut and serve it.This isnt my recipe but its pretty close to what i do.

2)Mango sundae:I think we've discussed my love for mango's befor...This dessert is not for everyone but boy do I love it.This is what I do: Get a martini glass(if ur gonna eat like this portion control is important) Line the glass with 6 slices of mango,then get about 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream in the glass. Then pour on some chocolate syrup,crunch up some teddy grahms and put them on top.Yea,yea don't worry about your diet just eat it.

3)Pound Cake sandwich: I feel guilty just admitting to you that I eat this...Oh well here goes.
I like to get 2 slices if the sweetest lb cake sandwiches I can find ( no icing) and pop them in the microwave for about 10 secs.At this point the ice cream should've been sitting out for about 7 mins so that it spreads easier(I'm spreading ice cream,Lord help) I prefer cookies n' cream but you use what works for you. Assemble like a sandwich,lay down one peice of lb cake scoop out the ice cream kinda spread it like you would on any other sandwich,then put the other slice on top,then get some carmel syrup drizzle on top and enjoy.Pretty messy but totally worth it.
Please don't tell anyone you got this from me,LOL.

PS don't eat it like a sandwich, just don't ok!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Salmon Croquettes

DISCLAIMER: If you read my song of the day (which I hope you did and do on a regular bases,plug!) you would know that I have no internet on my home computer and truthfully I don't know when I will.Something is going on with my domain name server and it won't connect.Whats that about? anyway most of the pics you see for a while will be on my cell phone.Now lets get to gettin while the gettin is good!!

I love salmon croquettes,but I can't make them too often cause they're messy and way too delish.I might make them twice a year but I always make them for the 4th July,its just my thing.It's a really simple recipe but prepare to get your hands dirrttty.Here's what you'll need:

2 eggs

2 boxes bread crumbs with 2 packets of crumbs in them each

2 cans canned salmon

olive oil to coat

cayenne pepper

1)You need to get a big plate (I use a large charger) and dump 2 packets of the bread crumbs on the charger.

2)Now crack the eggs,beat them really well then in goes the 2 cans of salmon and a tablespn of cayenne pepper.At this point your hands are really messy but oh well its worth it.

3)Start forming them into patties,I got 10 but had they'd been smaller patties I could've gotten up to 15.After they've been pattied(is that word?) wash your hands,get a nice big frying pan,pour in about 1.5 c olive oil.Salmon croquettes absorb alot of oil,you may have to put more down.

4)Turn the pan on medium heat these dont take long to cook.I put five in at a time and cooked them on each side for about 5 about delectable.

Yes you counted and you only see 9..I had to taste one while it was hot.Whats that in the martini glass? thats remoulade sauce a very important component in this dish. Here is the recipe for that.It's from the food network but I've made my tweaks

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise (Thats to much 4th a c is fine)
1 tablespoon capers ( I just dont use these)
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic (no garlic)
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 scallion, finely chopped

2 tbl spns dill
1.5 tbl spns garlic pepper

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Pt.2

So who saw the season finale? such a short season.Tsk,tsk,tsk. Well I feel for Mr. Oliver I really do,he was never really allowed into the LA school lunchroom,and the season was only 6 episodes long.WTH?? The school systems main gripe was "we don't want his camera's in here making our schools look bad." I kind of understand that its hard to recruit students when your school was on tv for having horrible lunches. On the other hand Mr. Oliver is trying to save lives;obesity is running rampid. It's not abnormal anymore it has become the norm,and as an administrator in a city full of obese kids shouldn't they want to something about that?

Unfortunately for Jamie his saving grace didn't come until the very end.It was the superintendent that kept Jamie out of the schools and told him this to his face at a board meeting.
The nerve!! Anyway guess what, that guy stepped down,retired or something and the LAUSD got a new superintendent,one who was on board with the changes.Unfortunately Jamie's time had expired,he had been already banned from LA schools.During his time there he was able to touch a few lives and instill some of his healthy cooking methods on a few people here and there.I for one am a bit disappointed in LAUSD,Jamie was there to help and implement a better lifestyle for the students (you know..our future) and they wanted nothing of it.It makes me wonder:1)whats going on in the LAUSD lunches? 2)Why aren't more of us brown bagging it? The schools clearly will serve our kids whatever,so what are we going to do about it?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicken Chorizo burgers

DISCLAIMER:You guys know I'm horrible at measuring things right?? Ok well umm... I didn't measure any of this recipe...sorry guys.I will to better next time.

Now that I've gotten that out the way...I looove chicken chorizo.Love it,love it,love it. So I made a burger out of it. I remember being in DC a few yrs ago and somehow some dish I ordered had chorizo in it,the real kind. I didn't realize this until the plate got to my table and I'm like "what is this amazing yet un-familiar flavor" my meat eating friend was like oh that chorizo girl.So fast forward 2 yrs later and I see the chicken kind in my grocery store,I stock up! This is really an awesome burger and doesn't take to long to cook.Here's what you'll need:
Yesss I discovered and I love it! I wish the words were bigger. In case your wondering thats 2 links & about 1/4th c ground turkey. It was enough for to burgers,oh and I used an egg to.

~So you crack the egg,whisk it well,then in goes the meat and seasonings:garlic pepper,salt & chili powder.Pour the olive oil on the grill and let it get hott.

~ I formed my meat into 2 patties and set them on the grill. While they cook I sliced my onions and cut a peice of bacon in half.

~This is after they had been flipped and I was toasting the bun,the bacon cooked shortly after. As I said they dont take long to cook. I only cooked mine for about 8 mins on each side.

~ This was my favorite step! Pile the cheese high, about 2mins before you take the burger of pile.the.cheese.high! Then the burger is ready to assemble.

Spread honey mustard on the bottom bun,then bacon,burger,onions,top bun. It will look like this, and you will drool:

Yeah I'm bad at plating,dont look at the plate focus on the food,doesn't it look delectable? well it was, I really can't wait to make this again.The sweetness if the honey mustard works well with the sausage;and the onions while optional really give it a crunch.This would be the perfect quick and easy 4th of July Burger!