Thursday, January 20, 2011

PMS Risotto

Yes, ladies, you heard me right. Men, don't run away just one's going to make you run to the store to buy anything "embarrassing", but you may get sent to pick up these few ingredients for the following recipe- which, I may add, is not embarrassing at all and completely manly.

Most women I talk to seriously crave chocolate that time of the month and I am definitely one of them. I mow through chocolate bars, while drinking hot chocolate. Suddenly, I will have visions of a plate of brownies hovering right in front of me. Sometimes I will, even with cramps and a cranky disposition, break out the mixer at 8 p.m. and whip up some chocolate chip cookies. All of which, the Hubs is happy to help me consume. So for all my snippy comments, waves of emotion and frustrated murmurings, he does get some tasty desserts out of the whole deal.

I saw this recipe on the Cooking Channel the other day and was, of course, whisked away into a chocolate fantasy. I mean, why not turn your favorite comforting savory dish into a chocolate-laden, luscious dessert? Thanks to David Rocco, it was.

It truly is fantastic. So creamy, so rich and the perfect amount of sweetness. Its so comforting that it will, for a moment, whisk away those crabby feelings.

If you are a menu planner, you know where to put this on the calendar...

I'm feeling lazy today. Here's the link to the recipe:

Love ya, Foodies!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Green Monster Pizza

Do you ever have this happen, where you see just the tail end of a recipe on a cooking show and you find yourself "winging it" in the kitchen to recreate what you think you saw? That's sorta how this came about...

I had seen Giada making what I thought was a pizza with some sort of green cheese mixture for the base. I couldn't get it out of my head and rather than Google it, I decided to just try and make up my own. Besides, it's so much more fun than following a recipe, right?

Problem is, when you "wing it" it tends to be more experimentation than getting it right the first time. And sometimes it means that things happen that you don't expect. It can also mean that you end up with a giant mess in your oven of burnt, molten cheese mixture. Yum.

I should have photographed the oven after this venture. Actually, it's probably still there...ehm. I don't clean my oven. I just wait for it to burn away. Sad but true.

Although, the mess was so bad I had to scrape the pizza stone of some of the bigger bits, so I didn't set the smoke alarm off. You know it's bad when you are opening your windows in 10 degree F weather to air out the kitchen. My poor little children were shivering like Oliver Twist in an alley way.

So anyways, the problem was that this cheese mixture, although thick and dense when cold, turned into a river of cheese pouring over the sides of the crust when hot. Part of the messy problem was that I applied way to much. When I put less, it was much better.

The cheese mix

Strewn pizza dough awaiting rolling and baking in a 550 degree oven. Looks a little scared.

Delicious little bits of chicken Italian sausage, also awaiting searing hot oven heat.

I think this was the third pizza that Bubba and I made. It grew a tumor of sorts while baking and of course, it's grotesque physique found it's way into Bubba's heart and stomach.

Proud owner of the pizza tumor.

Tackling it...

Boo is on an anti-pizza run. She used to like it. None of us know where it all went wrong. So she was eating a turkey sandwich- a dismembered turkey sandwich that is.

Who needs teething toys? In this family our babies cut their teeth on stainless steel mixing bowls, guaranteeing a foodie future.

Tiny's transferring all his cubed pizza bits into the bowl and back onto his plate and not eating much of anything...ah, toddlers.

Either the last one or first one of anything you make seems to be the best. This was the last of 4 pizzas and it turned out pretty nice.  How I love making pizzas...I could make pizza all day long.

Green Cheese Mixture

*Note: Since, like most foodies, we are in the business of "winging it" these are approximate measurements, so use your best judgement. Taste and taste again, until it's how you like.

1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup low-moisture mozzarella
1 good fistful of fresh basil leaves
3 roasted garlic cloves
Salt and pepper

Throw it all in the food processor and make into a paste.


Go wild, but I used the browned chicken Italian sausage bits and fresh tomato. Use the cheese mixture as the "sauce" and don't use too much, if you know what's good 'fer ya.

For the pizza dough recipe and video, CLICK HERE! Its super duper easy. I know the recipe says it makes enough for 2 pizzas, but I got 4 smaller ones out of it as well. My oven is smaller than my last one, so I had to adjust it.

Love ya, Foodies!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Drinking It Up

Coming home means lots of things. One of those things is revisiting places near and dear to my heart. Places where childhood dreams were born, creative whims were inspired and waves of comfort come in the form of a perfectly poured latte- and not one from Starbucks.

I squealed with delight when the barista handed this to me...

and I think he thought me a little strange for doing so, but I didn't care. This was a Latte Land latte. I only know of them in K.C. You must know by now, my love for small, non-corporate coffeehouses. They also had wonderful molasses ginger cookies that went perfectly with my luscious, milky drink.

Last weekend, mom and I took a little jaunt down to the Plaza, here in Kansas City. If you haven't heard, it's one of the most beautiful places in K.C. It's over 75 years old, with fabulous architecture, shopping and an overall sense of beauty everywhere you look.

Kansas City is second to Rome in the fountains department (sorry no pictures of any, as they are all shut off for the winter. When they come back on I will do a post on the fountains- they truly are spectacular.) There are breathtaking sculptures which are studded in and around the entire Plaza. They pop up where you least expect, like 'ol Benjamin Franklin there. I took the time to interrupt his reading of the Declaration of Independence by sitting on his knee in my "Buffalo Coat"- as the Hubs likes to call it. The coat makes me feel lumpy- not quite sure if that's a good thing.

Isn't Ben cute? Notice the store that is directly behind him? Yes.

Mom had to pose with the birds. I really like this picture of her. She's so cute.

I mean really...this gorgeous sculpture was at the entrance of the parking garage! So beautiful.
I could say something about "buns of bronze". Okay, so I did. They are really nice buns.

 Now a visit to the Plaza just wouldn't be complete without an in-depth browsing of my absolute favorite store, Anthropologie. I walk into that store and get inspired from the top of my dish-water blond rooted head down to my un-pedicured toenails. The colors of the dishware to the styling of an apron (which I have a penchant for) simply sends me. I must smell every available candle and touch every fabric. I try on all hats regardless of price. I purposely comment every time that when I am rich someday, I will wear all clothes from Anthropologie and decorate my house to look like one of the stores...every time.

Teacups...another "penchant" item.


Who wouldn't want a set of these?

I needed a little drool trough for the saliva that came rolling over my lip and onto my shoe. I can't stop thinking about these little glasses.

So my dear Foodies, that's a mini tour. We've merely scratched the surface on the Plaza and I will surely be doing more posts on it. The Hubs and I had many dates there and he proposed to me at an adorable little restaurant called the Classic Cup there. I feel a Valentine's post coming on....hmmm.

Love Ya, Foodies!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

Dips are a great way to celebrate. They're fatty and full of calories. They pair nicely with crunchy, also fatty, fried dipping devices. That's why this Artichoke Dip was apart of last night's subdued New Year's celebration.

I'm not much for going out on New Years. One, it's too cold and two, to many drunk maniacs out. I prefer to live and celebrate with a bunch of snacks, family and a board game or three.

After a truly lame attempt at Monopoly, which included me labeling my father as the "mean banker" (which he really wasn't, just gloating over his ridiculously high rents that put me out of the game and into bankruptcy) and the Hubs also finding ways to make Mom and me feel like total that a word?, I turned in all I had an dug out an old issue of Food and Wine to graze over until they were done.

We then moved on to Bingo, which only made us feel like dinner was going to be at 4 o'clock and bedtime at 7:30 pm. The next game, which is my personal favorite, was Scrabble. The Hubs reluctantly played, as it is not his favorite, but suddenly was semi-interested when he started sipping on a glass of Arak - a Middle Eastern licorice liquor...then stuff got really interesting, because he gave a glass to my dad. Now, that's fun Scrabble. Basically, any board game + alcohol= fun.

Back to the dip...

I came up with this dip because I was feeling very creative and weirdly moved to use the can of artichokes in my pantry. It was a strange compulsion. I MUST use these artichokes. So I did and the result was much better than I expected. So I thought you may enjoy it.

It may not go well with new year's resolutions, unless one of your new year resolutions is to enjoy yourself by eating a fattening, luscious dip - then all I have to say is, "BINGO!"

Artichoke Dip

by Yours Truly, a Foodie House original recipe

1 clove garlic, very thinly sliced (think Goodfellas)
1 sweet onion, diced
2-3 sprigs thyme, minced
1 small sprig rosemary, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Caramelize all the above ingredients down slowly for a good 20-30 minutes. Then add:

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup heavy cream

Bring that too a simmer and thicken. Then add

1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup grated Swiss
1 can artichokes, diced
1 tsp. lemon zest (added right at end)

If you like, pour dip into a oven proof dish and top with 1/2 cup panko mixed with 1 tsp. olive oil. Put under a low broiler and toast until golden. We served it with pita chips. Lush.

Happy New Year, Foodies!!!
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