Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gluten Free Dinner Number 2

I have really been trying to cook at least one Gluten free dinner a week, but it is hard to find recipes that I think will taste good or my husband will eat. So instead of looking for specific recipes I have been looking for Gluten free products and trying to work those into our diet. I found some awesome Pad Thai noodles at Whole Foods that are Gluten Free and my husband loves them. I made a sauce out of rice vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch (to thicken) and a couple of other spices and ingredients and put it over top beef (from Whole Foods) and pea pods and my husband loved it. I was surprised when he told me he loved it. AND imagine my surprise when after I told him it was Gluten Free he asked if we could make more Gluten Free recipes. He is too cute sometimes. I do have to agree this was an awesome recipes and if anyone has any other suggestions for some Gluten Free recipes please let me know.

This is a great recipe to turn up the heat with.

Next time I am going to add some more veggies. Prob. some peppers, onions maybe some mushrooms.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Braised Short Ribs

With guests last weekend I wanted to try out a new recipe. I knew the recipe would make a lot and I wanted to make sure me and my husband did not have to eat it all ourselves. So I made braised shot ribs and mashed potatoes. The ribs were great. I made sure to reserve the sauce and added some flour to it. This gave me a ton of gravy for both the ribs and the mashed potatoes. The only problem was I almost killed my brother-in-law. Apparently my brother – in- law is allergic to red wine or the sulfite in red wine. His throat got red and I of course started to freak out because as we all know, I don’t deal well in situation like that. Thank god my husband has a level head and gave him some Benadryl and he was fine. He was fine and everyone was laughing about it (but me).

It did turn out great. I will make it again and make sure that I go to total wine first and get some sulfite free wine.

This was the only picuture I took. Everyone was so hungry and no one wanted to wait for me take pictures. They tasted great.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cookie Dough Cheesecake

My brother - in - law and one of my husband’s friend from high school came down to visit us last weekend, and last time that he was down here he requested cheesecake. His favorite cheesecake is cookie dough. I went onto the internet and found a recipe. I had left work early so that I could get and start cooking. I had a couple of other goodies up my sleeve for this weekend so I wanted to sure that I had enough time to make everything.

So I begin to make my cheesecake and other dessert and I received a phone call. It was a surprise call from one of my partners on a project I had complete. When a partner calls you drop whatever you are doing and take that call. The call lasted for an hour which meant my cheesecake was in the oven the entire time and my sugar I was trying to caramelize had to stop in the middle of the process.

Once the phone call was completed the timer for the cheesecake had already gone off so my cheesecake was sitting in the oven. I checked on my cheesecake and it CRACKED, which means the edges cooked faster than the middle. The edges pulled away causing the center to crack. UGH I get so upset when a recipe does not turn out like I envisioned it, but you live and you learn. The next time I make it I will make use to cook the cheesecake at a lower temperature to ensure it will not crack.

The cheesecake still tasted great but I was still upset about the crack!!

Ugh the crack. It shows me I still have a long way to go before I call myself a "cook"

Top viewe of the crack.

Side view of the cheescake. I made the crust out of teddy grams. How fun is that!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

I was in the office most of the weekend, well all of it, so I wanted to make sure that I could make something for my husband and the other guests to eat in the morning because I did not have time to cook. So I made blueberry muffins. My mother would make them for us all the time when my brother and I were young. Like I have said in past blogs I am always trying to find ways to sneak fruits and veggies into my husband’s diet. I add flax seed and wheat germ to these muffins and no one can even taste it.
The muffins are simple and remind me of my childhood; they are east to whip up and are a crowd pleaser. I use organic blueberries from Whole Foods. The best thing to do is to buy them when they are on sale and freeze them. That way you can have fresh blueberries all year.

The blueberries from the freezor. I love haveing fresh berries all year long.

The finished muffins. They are so good!!

Monday, August 23, 2010


This was a recipe that I was really excited to make but it did not turn out exactly the way I wanted it to. I didn’t have any 6inch pie pans so I improvised and used muffin tins. Maybe I should have went out and bought them and it might have turned out a bit better they still tasted great but not as pretty as I would have liked.

First I should explain what a Brookie is. It is half brownie and half chocolate chip cookie. The recipe tasted great but the presentation not so much. They looked like bran muffins and before I could convenience my husband to try he made me give a little piece to my dog. My husband knew that if it was a bran muffin the dog would have never eaten it haha. He liked the way it tasted but like I said the presentation had a lot to be desired. I will try them again and see what happens once when I have the correct the cooking equipment.
A few of the Brookie, I guess they kind of look like bran muffins.

This picture you can really see the difference between the cookie and the brownie.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gluten-Free Pizza

My husband and I are a pizza couple. Does not matter if it is frozen, homemade or order out my husband and I have pizza at least once a week. So in an attempt to eat healthier and to save money I decided to make my own pizza, and not only did I make my own pizza I also make gluten free pizza. I was a little worried when I first started to make the dough because it was very thin. However, once the crust started to cook in the oven the whole house started to smell like a bakery. The best part about the crust was it was super thin. My husband and I love thin pizza crust so this was perfect. If you are not a fan of thin pizza than this is not for you. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is trying to have less gluten in their diet. The best part is there is enought in the package for two pizzas.

The brand of mix I used. I did not want to try and make gluten free pizza dough, so I cheated and bought a mix.

You bake the crust first and than put on your topping.

I used the sauce I made a couple of weeks ago, just make the pizza taste extra great.

Top view of the pizza.

Putting s a little extra cheese on the pizza.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Corn and Crab Chowder

My husband was still talking about the crab legs I made for him a couple of weeks ago and about how much he loved soup. After about the third hint from my husband I decided to make a soup I had been saving for the winter. Plus this weekend was really cold and rainy and I was in the library for most of it so I figured this would keep my husband nice and warm.

The recipe was originally just corn chowder but crab meat was on sale and my husband loves crab so it was perfect for him. The recipe was pretty simple to make a little messy because there was a lot of chopping that needed to be done. One of my favorites parts of this recipe is all the veggies. The soup has potatoes, corn, onion and celery. The more veggies I can get into my husband without him knowing the better. This is a great soup and I plan to make different verities of this once winter comes.

Haha so I know it looks like baby food but it was really good.

This picture does not look any better, but it really was good.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


These are a household favorite. They are a very simple cookie to make and the flavor is very simple. A light sugar and cinnamon taste to them. I made them because I knew my brother-in-law liked cinnamon and sugar toast so I felt this would be a good cookie for him. They turned out perfect (I have made them probably over a dozen times) and we made sure there were enough left for my brother-in-law to take some back with him home. All together it was perfect.

The cookies before I put them in the oven

The cookes after I took them out of the oven. They just melt in your mouth.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Tart

I enjoy making cakes and pies but very seldom bake them because it is just me and my husband. So the only time I make cakes or pies is when we have guests coming over. With my brother –in- law in town I decided to make a peanut butter tart. I have made this tart in the past and it is very rich, smooth and delicious. It is an easy tart to make just a little bit time consuming. You make the crust, chocolate ganache and peanut butter moose all from scratch. My husband was very excited when I told him I would be making this tart. I don’t use a tart pan, I don’t have one and I don’t really want to spend the money on another pan so I just use my round spring form pan. It works just as well as a tart pan. The only difference is the tart looks more like a pie, but it still tastes great.

Picture of the gram cracker crust, I use this crust in my banana cream pie (will be in a future blog)

This is the gram cracker crust with the chocolate ganache. I stir in a teaspoon of corn syrup to make the ganache shinier. It does not alter the taste just makes it glisten

I love this picture because you can see my dog Dexter in the lower right hand cornor. He is always at my feet when I am cooking. He loves it.

The tart with the peanut butter moose filling. I made it a bit thicker because the moose is his favorite part.

The finished product. I make my own whip cream so I usually keep it separate from the pie because it does tend to separate, it is better for you than the canned stuff.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dads Sauce

My brother-in-law (still feel really weird saying that) visited my husband and I this weekend. I love it when people come and visit I see it as an opportunity to make something that normally would be too much food for my husband and I. So I decided to make my fathers sauce, I knew it was one of my husband’s favorites and had a feeling my brother-in-law would like it to. I have very fond memories of smelling my father cooking his sauce as I was walking home from school. It is one of our families’ favorites. My father’s sauce had feed me and college roommates for years.
This is the first time that someone other than my father was making the sauce. I was nervous the sauce would not live up to what I remember, especially because the recipe my father gave me had no measurements in it. It was a can of this, a spoonful of that etc. So a lot of the sauce making is done by the eye and the taste. However, I have to say even to my own amazement the sauce turned out great. Did it taste exactly like my father’s no, (I think I added too much wine) but it was sure close. I did make some of my meatballs too large which lead to them breaking up in the sauce but what can you do. It was my fist attempt and I have learned a lot and can’t wait until I get to try it again. I forgot how much it really does make my husband and I will be eating some variation of meatballs and sauce every day this week. Good thing he likes it.

Finished product. It is so good.

Love my pasta bowls. I recieved these as a bridal shower present. It has a little indentation on the side that you can trill your fork in.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Waffle Iron

So I had posted before about how my husband took to Rodger and Hammerstein night for my birthday but he also gave me one more birthday present a WAFFLE IRON. I have been wanting a waffle iron for probably about a year. I think my husband wanted the waffle iron as much as I did. Waffles are his favorite breakfast food, so I was more than eager to begin cooking. We had to wait a little while before I could actually make the waffles because my husband has been traveling a lot for work and we are having some work done on our house. So it was in everyone’s best interest for me to wait to make the waffles until I knew that I could be alone without workers in our house. I have a tendency to get very upset when I try a new recipe and it does not work out the way I envisioned it. This weekend was D day. I made sure that I had all the ingredients need and made the waffle batter the night before. I was surprised at how complex the batter was. I have not worked a lot with yeast so I hope it will become easier as I become more comfortable with it.

The first batch of waffles did not come out as nice as I wanted. They were a little burnt around the edges so I turned the heat down and made a second batch, and they came out great. I can’t wait to try different batters. I found an awesome pumpkin batter for October and a gingerbread one for the holidays. I love my birthday present and the great husband who gave it to me. He is too good to me.

So good so good Looking forward to making these again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Special Goodbye Dinner

My husband is gone again this week for travel so as always I was racking my brain to think of a good meal to make for him. I was coming to a dead end until I saw the Giant circular last Thursday night. I saw that Crab Legs were on sale for $3.99 a pound. Normally, they are around 7.99-8.99 a pound so I knew that this was going to be perfect. I left the office early on Friday and went straight to Giant and bought some crab legs, sweet corn and red potatoes. I knew I had plenty of Old Bay Seasoning in the pantry (it is my husband’s favorite) so I was ready to cook. As soon as I got home I went straight to work on the potatoes I knew those were going to take the most time because I have to cut them and roast them in the oven (with rosemary from my herb box in the backyard). It was pretty much perfect timing everything was just about done when my husband walked in the door. He was able to go upstairs and get out of his suit and then we sat down to an amazing meal together.
I love crab it just reminds me of summer, the corn was perfect and sweet and the potatoes were great. It was a great meal to share with my husband before he left for work AGAIN. I hope that he won’t have to travel so much in the future. But as long as he keeps traveling I will keep thinking about different recipes to use to welcome him and send him off.

The crab legs.Another view of the crab legs. The rosemary potatoes. One of our favs.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Soft Pretzels

My husband loves soft pretzels. He has been asking me to buy the frozen soft pretzels from the store for weeks now. When I went to look at them the other day I saw not only were they 5 dollars for 4 rather small pretzels but when I read the box I could not pronounce half the words in it. I try to make as much as I can from scratch. This way I can control what is added, the quality and how much. So what did I do? I went straight to the internet to look up recipes. My husband was going away AGAIN on one of his business trips so I always like to send him off with a special meal for him to remember how much I love him and miss him. So I set to work on the pretzels.
I was a little worried when I started working with the dough because it was tougher than I expected. I was worried that I might have overworked the dough but I just keep pushing forward with making the pretzels. I decided to make both sweet and savory pretzels. Some were just salt and some had cinnamon and sugar. I have to say when they came out of the oven and my husband and I took our first bites we both knew this was a recipe to keep. They were so good. They tasted better than any soft pretzels I have ever had. I made some melted chocolate and some cheese sauce to dip the pretzels in. They were out of this world. The only thing that I would change is making more sweet pretzels. I am definitely going to be making these again once when football season starts. They are the perfect sports food.

My first one, not too bad.

The pretzels were sooo good right out of the oven when they were still warm.

The finished product. The three on the right are cinnamon and sugar, and the others are salt. SOOO GOOD. Next time I am going to try to make them gluten free. We will see how it works out.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Birthday

Last week was my birthday and because of the wedding and the upcoming Hawaii honeymoon my husband and I wanted to keep it low key and just do something small and intimate. We went to Wolf Trap the local outdoor concert hall for Roger and Hammerstein night. Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rogers were songwriters who wrote and composed music for some of my favorite musicals. Including Oklahoma!, South Pacific and one of my personal favorites The King and I. The National Orchestra performed over 10 songs from there musicals. As I sang along with all the different songs my husband cringed (I CAN’T sing AT all). I was, however in good company. There were people all around me singing along and having a great time listening. I was so happy it was a nice night out and not too hot so my husband was not complaining about the heat. I have to say I think he might be starting to like the musicals, especially when he sees how happy it makes me to sing along.