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December 2009 Archives

Stuffed Shrimp


My family has eaten this dish for at least 5 years on Christmas. It's a simple thing to make, but its really tasty. The way the shrimp is cooked with the stuffing inside it keeps it nice and tender. The funny thing is, I didn't eat seafood when i was younger, and I haven't been at Christmas with my family for the past 4 or so years. This was the first year I really could taste and appreciate the shrimp! I was really impressed because the roast took a bit longer than expected and we grossly overcooked these shrimp. You couldn't even tell, they still came out amazing. They even tasted great reheated as leftovers, something you can't say for most seafood.

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Sweet Potatoes with Jack Daniels


Cooking Christmas dinner this past weekend, my mom remembered that she had meant to make a sweet potato dish, but we didn't have much time left. We quickly found this Paula Deen recipe online and decided to make it. Jack Daniels is one of my favorite drinks after all. I sped it up by peeling and cutting the potatoes raw, and doing some microwaving. More on this later. The final result was amazing and actually caused multiple sweet potato skeptics to convert! Tomorrow I will be posting my Mom's stuffed shrimp recipe that she makes every year.



My quest to turn sandwiches into dips continues. I have actually had BLT dips in the past, but most were over mayoed and used the wrong dipping devices. I cut the mayo with some avocado(I love BLAT, but don't like the name BLAT), and left the dip super chunky. I served it with some toasted bread and it was a very popular app at Christmas with my family.

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Merry Christmas!


Recipe for my snowman:

Lots of snow
Cilantro hair
Cuke eyes
Carrot nose
Jalapeno smile
Basil tie

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5 Spice Pork and Crispy Rice Casserole


This was the last dish I made during my 2 week stay in Manhattan. Nick had two of his cousins up visiting and they drove me home the next morning. Thanks for the ride guys! I have never really heard of a Chinese casserole, but recently Chow has linked me on a thread complaining about the fact that casseroles are crap, so I feel the need to keep making new and innovative ones! This dish would NOT been as good if it was not in a casserole form. Take that food snobs!

Curried Squash Soup


I feel like every time I make something even slightly curry, you guys run and hide. Just check out my last two curry posts! You can hear the tumbleweed in the comment sections. I have spoken at length about how much I want you guys to like curry. Canadians, Australians, and people from the U.K. all love curry, why can't Americans get on board? Let me tell you guys a story. Back when I used to think that curry smelled like BO and that I would never like it, back way before I had a food blog (I wrote this blog a long time agooooo), I went over to a friends for a dinner party. Dinner was great, a maple salmon and some asparagus, followed by a tasty carrot cake for dessert. But the reason I will never forget that night was the appetizer. Valerie served a beautiful silky squash soup as the first course. Something about it tasted funny to me, but funny in a great way. I asked what the wonderful flavor was that paired so well with the squash. Curry was the answer. I have been wanting to make this soup since that night, almost exactly 2 years ago to the week, and I finally had the chance a few days ago.

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Sundried Tomato and Sausage Mac and Cheese


I think that sundried tomatoes are a great match for cheesy pasta. For some reason, this idea popped into my head a few weeks back and it was the perfect thing to cook for some of nicks friends when I was staying in his apartment last week. This is the best time of the year to use sundried tomatoes, when tomatoes at the store are pretty gross tasting and nothing is fresh and local. Sundried tomatoes pack such an awesome deep tomato flavor.

Christmas Party and Warm Cider

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I have been showing you the food from this party all week, but no pictures of people enjoying the party! Well here they are today, along with some of the other stuff I made. But it wasn't something that I made that was the most talked about thing at the party. Aric made a warm cider that everyone loved. It was a very simple recipe that paid off big time and really warmed everyone up on that cold night.

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Savory Cheesecake


This didn't really photograph well being all white, but it actually came out really good. It sort of blew people minds having a cheesecake as an appetizer instead of a dessert, but it didn't seem that weird to me. Honestly if you think about it, cheese seems weirder as a dessert, doesn't it? I stole this recipe from Giada, but I added some spinach to it, to make it red and green for Christmas.

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Curried Spinach Yogurt Dip

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The day of the party, Aric asked me to make an extra dip at the last minute. I didn't really have time to go to the store, so I whipped this one up with what was in the fridge. Professor dips over here (shout out to Videogum, see you guys tonight!) It wasn't as popular as the rest of the food, but I thought it was really tasty. People might not have really known what it was because it was in a random place on the table and could have been closer to the pita chips. All of the posts this week are kind of short, but I decided to split them over the days instead of grouping them together.

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Pulled Pork Sushi


My friend Nick had a Christmas party this past Saturday, so I made a ton of food for the event. During the week when I was talking about what I would make, Aric kept telling me to add stuff to the menu. I thought he was crazy and that it would be way too much food, but in the end of the night, pretty much everything was gone! These sushi rolls were a big hit and I think surprised most of the people at the party.  I am just posting a quick overview of how to make them, but if you want more sushi specifics, you can check out these older posts.

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Creamy Fenugreek Curry with Lamb


Sorry everything was super ethnic, labor intensive, and spiced out this week guys. Next week I have some awesome app type stuff lined up for all your Christmas party needs. Even though it takes a few hours of simmer, this recipe is actually pretty easy. I am staying with my friend in NYC, and he lives a block away from the curry capitol of the city. Every time I leave his apartment I get blasted with the best smells that make me sooo hungry. I finally was able to grab fenugreek leaves that I have always wanted to find, so I made this curry that uses them as the main flavor.

Mole Poblano with Shredded Turkey Enchiladas


I made mole once awhile back, and once you make it, it is always in the back of your head. The taste of homemade mole is really something special. The problem is it is tough to make. Rich was recently introduced to mole and he really wanted to try his hand at making it, so we cooked some up this past weekend. Last time I did mole, it was a Rick Bayless recipe for rich red mole with chicken, but this time we did a mole poblano and used if for turkey enchiladas. We were having a fun time making jokes about the history of mole, and somehow decided that if we made something wrong, the ghost of Ponce De Leon would come after us! This is completely historically INaccurate since Ponce the explorer didn't even go to Mexico. He was more of a Florida guy, but it was fun to joke about. I hope he doesn't show up again today...

Plantain Chili


When I get together with Kim and Rich, it is common for us to make chili. The 3 of us really like chili and are often trying to find new ways to make it. Last year, they made a vanilla chili when I wasn't around so I never got to taste it! Today's batch uses plantains as a thickener and it really added a neat flavor to the overall bowl! I think this is the best chili I have ever made and I will definitely repeat this recipe in the future.

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Vietnamese Vermicelli with Tofu and Lemongrass


I was so happy to cook this meal last week. Generally at home I have to cook pretty safe because my family and friends are particular about certain spices, veggies and cuisines. I can't throw down with crazy flavor ideas like I used to and just make pasta if it didn't work. With my sister Allie in town for Thanksgiving, we had more of a majority for exotic food. She went to college in Worcester MA and got takeout about 3 times a week from a Vietnamese place called Dalat. Her favorite meal was Bun Tofu Xao Xa, a fried noodle dish with lemongrass and tofu. She has tried to make it several times, but hasn't gotten it right, so she thought my help would come in handy. The first thing we did was call up Dalat. Hello. I was thinking about ordering Bun Tofu Xoa Xa, but I have tons of allergies... Can you tell me what is in the sauce? They even named the specific brand of fish sauce which I think helped a lot with the flavors.

Bags Packed


I am couch hopping for a few weeks, so I had to pack a lot. I wasn't going to make a post tonight, but I was cracking up when I looked at my backpack. Apparently, this is how I travel now.

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Failure: Horchata


"In December drinking horchata, I'd look psychotic in a balaclava"

Vampire Weekend's new song Horchata got me wanting to brew some up. Unfortunately, I hated it. The main question is, did I fail, or do I just dislike horchata? I am going to be in NY next week, so I will seek some out and get to the bottom of this! Have any of my readers tried horchata? Did you like it?

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