Making it up as I go along

Thanksgiving our way November 26, 2010

Filed under: New Recipes,Poultry,Remix Recipes — stardust @ 2:26 am

This year, I cooked my very first Thanksgiving meal.  I thought about doing the traditional turkey, dressing and gravy, etc.  Nick and I are not super traditional people.  We like to be a little different.  Plus, I DESPISE dressing/stuffing.  I know you think I’m crazy, but dressing generally makes me want to vom.

I decided to put a twist on tradition.  We had some delicious turkey breast, seared then slow cooked in roasted red pepper soup with carrots and peppers.  It was delicious!  I love my crock pot.  It is low maintenance and the meat is fall off the bone tender.


We also had garlic roasted mashed potatoes.  I love mashed potatoes, and I love roasted potatoes.  I think roasting rather than boiling potatoes for mashers is delicious.  I used a mixed bag of small potatoes–no cutting, no peeling!


The end result tasted great, despite the appearance.  I mistakenly forget fresh herbs for these potatoes.  Next time, I will also process them less for more texture.

I love a good pan of roasted broccoli with almonds!  I simply use a little extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and kosher salt.  I had some fresh pineapple.  It was a lovely addition.


Even though Roland only ate crescent rolls, I declare Thanksgiving a success!


Peppers September 3, 2010

Filed under: Tips — stardust @ 2:44 am

How do you guys cut peppers?  I have tried so many different ways over the years, but this is the best and fastest I have tried:

I stand them up and slice between each rib:

They make small almost heart-shaped pieces that can easily be cut into strips or diced.  When I think about all the work I used to do by cutting the top and bottom off and then slicing and pulling out the seeds…it makes me laugh.


Gorditas! September 2, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Classics — stardust @ 4:20 am

I think I’m back guys!  I am going to try to do some catching up and then keep up.  The move has been awesome, a very nice transition.

The first meal I cooked in our new house was nothing fancy at all.  It is, however, a favorite in our house.  Gorditas!  I love to buy those kits and then add my own ingredients to it.  As a working mother, I don’t always have time to cook a great start-to-finish meal from scratch.  I love opportunities to get in the kitchen and create.  But to be honest, even if I did not work, I would still cook things like this!  Nick appreciates it, and he always shows that!

I added some chopped peppers and a little garlic to my box meal, top with lettuce and tomatoes, and, voila!  Dinner in no time at all.


Peach and Pepper Relish August 29, 2010

Filed under: Farm Fresh,New Recipes,Pork — stardust @ 5:01 am

Please excuse my lack of posting this week.  We have been busy, busy, busy moving!  Roland loves our new house.  He laughs and smiles and explores.  He has even adjusted to sleeping in his new room.  Now, if we can just get him to consistently sleep past 6:15!

This was the last meal I cooked in the first house Roland ever lived in.  We had some great times at that house.  The kitchen at the new house has much more cabinet space and counter space.  I think I will enjoy cooking even more here!  We also have an awesome new refrigerator courtesy of my sweet Granny.

There’s a restaurant here in Murfreesboro that has a sandwich with peach and pepper relish. I am in love with this sandwich, so you can imagine my delight when Granny brought me several peaches last weekend. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them. I searched the internet and found this recipe to try:

Peach and Pepper Relish

It did not disappoint.  We put it on bone-in pork chops, but this relish would be great on chicken or fish as well.  One tip:  this recipe makes A LOT.

Time for some rest.  I’ll be back to cooking tomorrow night.  It will be so good not to eat fast food every night, as cooking brings me and my family such joy!


Meat N’ Potatoes August 23, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Classics — stardust @ 4:07 am

We all love a good steak and potato, right?  I know I do.  We had this classic for our Sunday dinner.  Sundays are one of my favorite days.  After dinner and putting Roland down, Nick and I settle down to watch our favorite show, True Blood followed by my other favorite shows, Mad Men.  I also use Sundays to finish up chores.  My favorite part is catching what I like to call my “Sunday feeling.”  This is when I look around and everything in my house is in order, at least for fifteen minutes out of the week.  🙂

When I am cooking steak, I like to go really simple.  I like to use a simple sprinkling of some nice Montreal Grill Seasoning and leave it at that.  The meat is really good and does not need a lot of doctoring, in my opinion.  When cooking potatoes, I do not like to wrap mine in foil.  This steams the potato.  I prefer to roast my potatoes.  I wash them and poke holes all around with a fork.  Then I simply rub the potatoes with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and add a little Kosher salt.  I roast them on a baking sheet in a 450º oven for around forty-five minutes (until fork tender).



Filed under: Farm Fresh,vegetarian — stardust @ 3:56 am

My Granny came to visit this weekend.  Of course she brought some vegetables from her garden!  I decided to make salsa from the tomatoes she brought.  Thanks, Granny!

Of course there are so many ways to make salsa.  The other times this summer I have made salsa, I added corn.  I had no corn on hand, so I decided to leave it out.  I simply use a dressing mix I had in the pantry.  It was garlic herb.  My secret to great salsa is roasting the tomatoes.  I love this step!  I cut and seed the tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet with a little EVOO and kosher salt in a 400º oven for twenty to thirty minutes.  I added some EVOO and apple cider vinegar to my mix, smashed in the tomatoes, and simmered it for about an hour.

The photos I took are not great, but I cannot have a post with no photos.


Birthday Treat

Filed under: Dessert,Remix Recipes — stardust @ 3:46 am

I have made the regular version of the strawberry refrigerator cake for a friend’s birthday at the office tomorrow.  It looks delicious sitting in my refrigerator.  I hope he likes it!