Friday, May 30, 2008

I guess it was good...

Can I just say that this was one of the most frustrating meals I have made in a long time? First off, Adam generously gave me his cold that he caught at work, and when I made this meal, it was in full swing. I couldn't taste or smell anything. Not really the best thing when you're trying to cook.

Then, I didn't prep well for this at all. Well, I prepped just fine for the first step, but after that... it all went downhill.

I forgot to cook the bacon, so there ended up being less in the final product than was supposed to be since I got impatient. I didn't grate enough cheese, forgot to chop the parsley, blah blah blah... just not good overall.

Well, I guess it turned out alright. According to Adam. And he apparently finished it off the following night (I had left for Kentucky by that point) and said it was super good. Looks like I'll be making it again soon -- maybe when I don't have a cold.

Fettuccine Carbonara with Gorgonzola Cheese
From: (Bon Appetit, November 2000)

1 pound fettuccine

1/4 cup olive oil2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, quartered (I used broccoli)
1 1/2 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, beaten to blend
8 slices cooked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta in heavy large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add artichoke hearts; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, cream, half and half, crushed red pepper, black pepper and salt and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add hot pasta to sauce and toss to coat. Remove from heat. Add eggs to pasta and toss well. Add bacon, 1/2 cup Gorgonzola, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss to incorporate. Add reserved pasta cooking liquid to thin sauce, if desired. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Gorgonzola and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over pasta and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 687Calories from fat 384
% Daily Value
Total Fat 42.6g66%
Saturated Fat 18.9g94%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 221mg74%
Sodium 1520mg63%
Total Carbs 43.9g15%
Dietary Fiber 5.0g20%
Sugars 1.1g
Protein 34.8g
Vitamin A 22%Vitamin C 19%
Calcium 39%Iron 22%

Happy Birthday Adam!

Yes, I do realize that Adam's birthday was five days ago, but I honestly haven't had a chance yet to post this.

A couple weeks ago, I saw a post about this amazing dessert called "Cake Balls." It had all kind of great reviews, 245 of them to be exact with a 4.5 star rating. So I figured they couldn't be all that bad. Of course I wanted to make them right away, but I really didn't have the time or a good reason, so the recipe sat for a while, beggine me to try it.

Well, lo and behold, Adam turned 23 last Sunday. My perfect excuse. I already had given in to making him spaghetti for his birthday, I wanted to try something a little bit different for the dessert.

As I led him down the cake mix aisle and said, "What kind of cake would you like?" his face lit up and he got this goofy little kid grin on his face.

"Funfetti. Oh definitely funfetti."

So Funfetti cake balls with vanilla icing it was. And since I couldn't decide which would taster better with it, white chocolate or dark, I just decided to do both.

The recipe is actually fairly simple, and super versatile. Here's my version:

Cake Balls

1 package funfetti cake mix
3/4 container whipped vanilla frosting
1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate chips
1 (12 oz.) bag dark chocolate chips

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, allow to cool, then crumble into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.

Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture. Place balls on cookie sheet, then in freezer for at least 3 hours.

Melt white chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Dip half of each ball in the chocolate, place ball back on tray. Once all balls are half coated, place in fridge for about 5 minutes to set the chocolate.

Repeat with the dark chocolate.

Eat and enjoy!

Makes: 36
I have to admit. These were pretty amazing. Based on some of the reviews, I froze the balls and also used less frosting than the original recipe called for.

I ended up making these last night as well with red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, and almond bark coating. Definitely just as good, and so much easier to eat than cake (which may or may not be a good thing....)!

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 191Calories from fat 78
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8.7g13%
Saturated Fat 4.1g20%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 115mg5%
Total Carbs 27.9g9%
Sugars 22.6g
Protein 1.9g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 5%Iron 3%

Monday, May 26, 2008

On Top of Spaghetti...

On top of spaghetti,
All covered in cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled right out the door...

I can't help it. Everytime I make spaghetti, I think of that song. Did we even have meatballs? No.

Anyway, so it was Adam's birthday yesterday, and I asked him what he wanted me to make. "Spaghetti."
Spaghetti, you're serious?
"My mom always makes me spaghetti for my birthday."
If you say spaghetti, I'm going to make you something else.
"No, it's a tradition! I always have spaghetti on my birthday!"
You're serious?

So I made him spaghetti -- for his birthday. However, I felt bad enough making him spaghetti, that I didn't want to add to that by throwing some noodles and Prego together. So I made my first homemade marinara sauce.

I slightly altered the recipe, using 1 can whole tomatoes, 1 can diced, and 1 can crushed -- and I think it made the consistency much better than had I used 3 cans of whole tomatoes. It was definitely much chunkier than Prego, and it was definitely better (more tomatoey, but better). :)

It's a good thing that marinara is designed to simmer for a while to capture all the flavors... I was just about to start making the spaghetti noodles when I realized I forgot to add the ground beef -- and it was still in the freezer. Like I said, I'm glad marinara is supposed to simmer for a while, because it definitely took almost another 1/2 hour longer than supposed to, to finish the meal. Oops. It still tasted good.

Quick Marinara Sauce

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tbsp.)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 (28 oz.) cans whole, peeled, tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium (no, make that large) saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with about half of their juices (discarding the rest), the herb sprigs and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 25-30 minutes or until thickened.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste. Serve or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze up to 2 months.

Serves: 12 (about 1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Facts - Marinara Sauce ONLY
Amount per serving
Calories 79Calories from fat 44
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4.9g8%
Saturated Fat 0.7g3%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 398mg17%
Total Carbs 8.5g3%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugars 5.3g
Protein 1.9g
Vitamin A 34%Vitamin C 43%
Calcium 3%Iron 5%

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's Mexican Night Again!

One of the biggest complaints I hear from Adam is that there aren't any truly good authentic Mexican restaurants in Pittsburgh. Or at least out towards where he lives. On occasion, I love Mexican. Back in college, me and TBell were best friends (although many will argue that TBell isn't real Mexican food).

Of course, when I asked him what he wanted to eat this week, he says Mexican. Now, for as much as I do enjoy some queso and chips... I am no guru when it comes to cooking authentic, much less good, Mexican.

I kind of put it out of my mind when I was searching through some recipes, until I randomly decided I wanted to try prosciutto. Why I thought of that I'll never know. But I am so glad I did, because I came across this amazing quesadilla recipe. I will admit, smoked Gouda and caramelized onions don't exactly scream "Mexican Dish!" to me, but you know, I figured the whole "quesadilla" part would carry it through.

Despite whatever ethnic-type dish I was trying to make -- it was freakin' amazing. I'm not exactly a lover of onions, but I believe the words "I really like these onions" actually came out of my mouth tonight.

The sweetness from the caramelization really offsets the salty prosciutto and gouda. Mmm so tasty! Once again, I made an appetizer/first dish into a main course by adding my mom's bean dip to the menu, but it definitely filled us up. And Adam voted that this recipe goes "for sure" into the keeper pile.

Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas
From: Bon Appetit, September 1995

2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. golden brown sugar
1/4 tsp. white wine vinegar

1 1/2 c. grated smoked Gouda cheese
4 10-inch-diameter flour tortillas (I only used 3)
2 ounces sliced prosciutto, chopped
2 tbsp. butter, melted

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, brown sugar and vinegar; saute until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes (definitely did not take 25 min over medium heat). Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle cheese over half of each tortilla, dividing equally. Sprinkle prosciutto and sauteed onion over cheese. Season with pepper. Fold other half of each tortilla over cheese mixture. Brush tortilla with some of melted butter.

Brush heavy large skillet with some of melted butter. Place over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook quesadillas just until brown spots appear, brushing skillet with butter between batches, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer quesadillas to heavy large baking sheet.

Bake until tortillas are golden and cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Transfer quesadillas to work surface. Cut each into 6 triangles (I did three). Arrange on platter and serve hot.

Makes: 6 appetizer servings
I really don't care if these were true "Mexican quesadillas" or not. They were good enough to be whatever they wanted. :)
And if anyone knows where a good Mexican restaurant is in Pittsburgh... let me know.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 299Calories from fat 156
% Daily Value
Total Fat 17.4g27%
Saturated Fat 10.2g51%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 423mg18%
Total Carbs 25.1g8%
Dietary Fiber 3.3g13%
Sugars 3.3g
Protein 12.0g
Vitamin A 8%Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 25%Iron 5%

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My First Risotto

If you had asked me 6 months ago what "risotto" was, I probably would have given you a blank stare. Then asked why you expected me to know what it was. After finding out what risotto was, and how you made it, I would have rolled my eyes and told you to make it for me sometime.

That was 6 months ago. Now here I am, in love with the Food Network, Top Chef, and Hell's Kitchen. My, how things change.

Oh, and risotto is a rich and creamy, traditional Italian dish made with a high-starch such as arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano. At least according to Wikipedia anyways. And delicous. Did I mention that part yet?

I was a little worried after searching through different recipes, risotto is creamy rice -- one that could be, and often is, used for a first dish, or a side dish. But here I am trying to make it a main dish. For a guy.

I finally settled on a tasty version from epicurious, which came from Bon Appetit. "Risotto Con Parmigiano-Reggiano." I love cheese. Sounded good to me. Thinking about Adam though, I knew I had to incorporate some sort of meat into the dish. And we had just had chicken last night. What to do?


I decided to throw a little bit of bacon and some sun-dried tomatoes into the mix to see what would happen. And surprisingly, it worked. The bacon and tomatoes didn't have an overpowering presence in the dish, mostly just when you had a bite of one. Which was alright with me -- the Parmesan-flavored rice was simply great on its own.

It was actually much easier to make than I had anticipated. It was just a little tricky trying to cook bacon, grate some cheese, and stir risotto all at once. That's what Adam's for though... :)

I would definitely make this again, or at least another variation of it.

Risotto Con Parmigiano-Reggiano
From: Bon Appetit, May 1997

5 c. (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 c. arborio rice
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
Shaved Parmesan cheese

Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover saucepan.

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion; saute until very tender but not brown, about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 c. warm broth. Boil gently until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add another 1 c. broth; stir until broth is absorbed. Add remaining 2 1/2 c. broth, 1/2 c. at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is tender and amixture is creamy, about 25 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp. butter and 1 c. grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and shaved Parmesan.

There are so many variations you can use with this recipe, or just simply make it as is. Either way, it's so good (as shown by Adam's plate below)!

Nutrition Facts - Entrée Portion
Amount per serving
Calories 503Calories from fat 172
% Daily Value
Total Fat 19.1g29%
Saturated Fat 11.7g59%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 559mg23%
Total Carbs 63.1g21%
Dietary Fiber 2.7g11%
Sugars 2.1g
Protein 17.5g
Vitamin A 13%Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 30%Iron 11%

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mama Mia! Two in a row!

As stated before, I am very sorry that this blog seems to have been neglected over the past couple weeks. Not without good reason, however. This past Sunday I packed up my entire D.C. existence and made my way up to Pittsburgh.

Very sad. Especially having to leave little Michael behind. Who, by the way, happened to turn a whole month old today! Although I am excited, now that I found out my sister and Marion are coming home next week -- the same time I'll be getting there. Yay!

As you may notice, there are quite a few more pictures in today's post than usual. I actually had the time for once to pick and choose my shots, and Adam even help me set one or two up. It's amazing what happens when I'm not rushing around trying to get things on the table all at the same time and all in a hurry.

So now that I am up in Pittsburgh for a few days, I figured it would be a good time to try out a couple new recipes -- especially since I have a garbage disposal (a.k.a. Adam) to eat them. I was super pressed for time, between working, Marion's graduation, and packing this past weekend, so I had to give the good ol' cooking magazine a quick flip to see what all I had starred in them.

I don't really know what caught my eye about this recipe as I flipped through this month's issue of Bon Appetit. I mean, it's originally made with clams, of all things. And I hate seafood.

Maybe it was that the entire background of the page was a close up of pasta and tomatoes, all looking scrumptious, despite the nasty protein nestled within. I'm not really sure. Either way, I skimmed through the ingredients, and everything looked really good, minus the clams. But, chicken... clams... what's the difference? I was going to make it anyway.

And let me just say, I am SO glad that I did.

While on a grocery outing the other day with Adam, he was stumped at why I insisted on getting fresh herbs and veggies, rather than using the dried version. "Oh you just wait..." I told him. Hoping that I would be right, and that he really would be able to tell a difference.

And of course, I was right... ;)

This dish was absolutely awesome! I may or may not have added a tidge bit too many red pepper flakes, but it was still an excellent dish. I actually couldn't find any fresh parsley at the grocery store (seriously, who doesn't have fresh parsley??) so I just skipped it. It all still came together really well, despite that omission.

However, the dish did take some time to prepare -- between chopping 2 onions, 2 tomatoes, and smashing 6 cloves of garlic (although that was kind of fun), then having to simmer everything together for 20 min. I did substitute out the clams for chicken instead, and it worked out just fine. I cooked the chicken in the remaining white wine, some oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. It probably could have used a little extra salt and pepper, but it was still really good in the dish.

I will definitely have to make this dish again. Soon.

Linguine with Herb Broth and Chicken
From: Bon Appetit, June 2008
Click here for their version with clams

1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
2 medium tomatoes, cored, chopped
3 cups dry white wine (Start with a 750ml bottle, the rest you can use for the chicken)
1 cup (or more) water
2 chicken breasts
1/3 c. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
8 oz. linguine

Melt butter with olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add white wine and 1 cup water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Do Ahead: Broth can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate.

While broth is simmering, cube 2 chicken breasts. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Heat a little bit of olive oil in the pan. Add the chicken. Pour the remaining bottle of white wine into pan. Add 2 leaves of basil, some oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the pan. Let chicken cook until there is no pink remaining, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon, place in small bowl. Keep warm.

Bring broth to a boil. Stir basil, parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper into broth in pot. Add linguine. Boil until pasta is almost tender but still very firm to bite, stirring often and adding water by tbsp. if too dry. Add chicken to pot. Cover and simmer until chicken is heated through and pasta is tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer linguine and chicken mixture to large shallow platter and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 621Calories from fat 216
% Daily Value
Total Fat 24.0g37%
Saturated Fat 9.6g48%
Cholesterol 122mg41%
Sodium 164mg7%
Total Carbs 45.2g15%
Dietary Fiber 1.9g8%
Sugars 5.5g
Protein 24.7g
Vitamin A 28%Vitamin C 31%
Calcium 7%Iron 22%

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's a Keeper!

About a week ago, Jen mentioned that she was craving my ginger rice. Of course, as she was making the menu this week, she gives me the puppy dog eyes that are just begging for that rice. Actually, she really didn't have to twist my arm that much -- I wanted it again too. But what to put with it?

While the Ginger Teriyaki Burgers I made last time to go with it were pretty amazing -- I was not about ready to make them again. The grill pan never full recovered from that endeavor either. It may or may not still have burnt on carbon from them... It's a good thing I'm leaving on Sunday, I'm not sure my sister's appliances could handle me much longer. (The grill pan, the blender, who knows what's next.)

So of course, what do I do when I'm in search of a recipe? Turn to my handy-dandy magazines which I had so lovingly poured over on my flight to St. Louis, meticulously starring all the delicious-looking recipes. Or maybe I was just bored. I'm pretty sure it was the latter.

I remembered having an Asian-flavored chicken recipe, which after much searching, I eventually found in the May 2008 issue. I was a little nervous at first, seeing as I've never caramelized sugar before, but hey, there's a first for everything, right?

Overall, the recipe was fairly easy to make, maybe a 3.5 out of 5 (with 5 being the hardest). You definitely need to keep an eye on the sugar during the first step. I literally stepped away for 30 seconds and it went from white to on-its-way-to dark brown.

After a quick stir, the sugar congealed into a stiff sticky glob in the pan, which kind of freaked me out a bit. However, after throwing in the chicken and cooking a bit, it dissipated and was reabsorbed by the sauce and chicken. The recipe says that after removing the chicken from the pan (after cooking for 5 min) you need to let it reduce for another 10. Well, my chicken took about 7-8 minutes, and I definitely did not let it reduce another 7-8 minutes -- more like 3. I wouldn't have let it gone any further as I thought it might start to burn.
In the end, every turned out pretty good and I would probably make it again.

Just don't serve it mixed into the ginger rice, as the rice overpowers the chicken's more subtle and sweeter flavor.

Chicken Saute with Caramelized Ginger Sauce
From: Cooking Light, May 2008

1 tbsp. canola oil (I used vegetable)
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce (I used regular, can't stand the low-sodium)
1 tsp. chile paste with garlic
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3/4 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. sesame oil
4 (6 0z) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sugar to pan; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves and is lightly browned. Combine soy sauce, chile paste, and ginger in a small bowl; add to pan. Add chicken broth, sesame oil, and chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon. Simmer sauce 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Yields: 4 servings

And of course...

Baby picture time!

I finally caught him smiling!

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 237Calories from fat 76
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8.5g13%
Saturated Fat 1.2g6%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 770mg32%
Total Carbs 7.1g2%
Sugars 6.7g
Protein 35.6g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 0%Iron 1%

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Those potatoes are Fierce!

I can't believe that baby Michael has only been around for just over 2 weeks. He's still so super cute, although starting to get rather fussy. I feel bad for my sister -- I don't think she's getting much sleep at all, the poor thing. So I decided that I'd make dinner again, since I was home anyways.

A couple weekends ago, my mom was in town visiting to see Michael and wanted to make twice baked potatoes for dinner. Well, I jumped right in all eager to show off my new cooking skills, and said I had a recipe for potatoes that I wanted to try. However, Patatas Bravas (or "fierce potatoes") really don't go so well with Bourbon Pork. So I waited.

A couple days later, I tried making them again. And once more, it didn't really fit with the entree, so I waited. Finally, I just hunted for a recipe that would go with the dang potatoes so I could actually try them out. No waiting this time -- I busted out the Chicken with Cream Cheese Sauce I had made up in Pittsburgh for Adam a couple months ago.

It went nicely together, as they were both a little spicey, although the potatoes may have overwhelmed the cream cheese sauce just a tidge.

But it doesn't matter. I made my potatoes. And my sister and brother-in-law just laughed at me.

Patatas Bravas
From: Cooking Light, April 2008

4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled baking potato (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 tbsp butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp olive oil
1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced green bell pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
Parsley sprigs (optional)

To prepare potatoes, place potato in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until crisp-tender; drain well.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and 2 tsp. oil to pan, swirling to coat bottom of pan; heat 30 seconds or until foam subsides. Add potato to pan; saute 8 minutes or until browned, stirring twice. Stir in 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. red pepper, and garlic; saute 1 minute. Remove potato mixture from pan; keep warm.

To prepare sauce, heat pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. oil to pan, swirling to coat; heat 15 seconds. Add onion and bell pepper; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp red pepper, and tomato sauce; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute. Pour onion mixture into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Serve sauce with potato mixture. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Okay, so everything worked out pretty well. I just really need to work on timing the entree to finish the same time as the side dish -- they were WAY off tonight.

But I am happy -- I got my sister to eat both onions AND green pepper, something she never does. :)

And I forgot to mention last night, that my sister was craving cookies... and me being the nice person I am, made them for her.

I am such a sucker for the plain ol' TollHouse Chocolate Chip cookies. I can remember making these and eating the dough when I was so young. Usually, if we make these with my mom, sister, and I all around... we're lucky if we get two pans to the oven. I was lucky and got 3 in there last night, but not without a valiant dough-eating effort by Jen and I.

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
From: The back of the bag

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 c. Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes: 60

I heart cookies. I really do.

And of course, time for...

Baby picture!
Mommy and Michael

Nutrition Facts - Patatas Bravas
Amount per serving
Calories 221Calories from fat 60
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.6g10%
Saturated Fat 2.4g12%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 625mg26%
Total Carbs 37.4g12%
Dietary Fiber 5.6g23%
Sugars 6.0g
Protein 4.9g
Vitamin A 21%Vitamin C 116%
Calcium 4%Iron 12%

Nutrition Facts - Chocolate Chip Cookies
Amount per serving
Calories 93Calories from fat 45
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4.9g8%
Saturated Fat 3.2g16%
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 90mg4%
Total Carbs 11.2g4%
Sugars 7.2g
Protein 1.1g
Vitamin A 2%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1%Iron 2%


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