Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken w. Cherry Tomato Pan Sauce

Last week I was trying to eat some of the veggies in the fridge before they went bad....but I was out and about so much that I didn't get a chance to do I made the sauce and froze it until today when I used in this recipe. The recipe is rather simple and is my take on a recipe inspiration that came from one of my favorite cooking/recipe blogs: Big Girls, Small Kitchens. It took me about 15 minutes to make the sauce last week and another 15 min this week to cook the chicken and assemble--all in all a pretty quickie chicken dinner.

The Big Girls Small Kitchen recipe was slightly different...I added black and green olives to the sauce (because I had them in the fridge) and 1/4 tsp of chili flakes. I also used olive oil instead of and water instead of chicken stock.

This turned out sooo good, tart and slightly acidic sweet from the tomatoes, briny from the olives, a slight kick from the chili flakes, and the sauce is sooo good on the chicken and the slightly melted mozzarella.

1 container of small cherry tomatoes
Olives (sliced, optional)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Dried basil
1/4 tsp of chili flakes
1 cup of water (or olive oil)
2 clove garlic (minced)
2-3 Chicken breast cut up into about 1.5 in pieces (I used chicken cutlets cuz its what I had)


  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry.
  2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  3. Heat ~1 tablespoon of olive oil and the chili flakes and 1 minced garlic.
  4. Add chicken to the pan and brown ~ 3 min on each side.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  6. Add the tomatoes (I cut them in half to shorten the cooking time) to the pan and the cup of water.
  7. Bring to a boil and let simmer about 10 min, the tomatoes will start to break down.
  8. Add the sliced olives and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt, pepper, dried basil (or you can use fresh basil. I only had the dried kind).
  10. Place the chicken back into the sauce.
  11. Add a couple of balls of mozzarella (I used the Ciliegine sized balls, but if you have a bigger piece just cut it into medium sized cubes) directly into the pan
  12. Let simmer another 5 mins, until the mozzarella just starts to melt
  13. Serve. Enjoy !

Sooooo delicious!! *drools* 

Remember ...stay consumed! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One "Pot" Wednesdays: Tomato Feta Tart

A couple of weeks ago, I made this delicious heirloom tomato tart. I'm posting it for One Pot Wednesday since this was so easy....but technically there is no "pot" involved.

All you need is:
2 sheets of Puff Pastry
~15-20 cherry tomatoes, sliced (i used heirloom tomatoes)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of crumbled feta (guesstimate amount to our liking)
~ 10 leaves of fresh basil, sliced thin
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly flour your working surface.
  3. Make an egg wash with 1 beaten egg and about a tablespoon of water. 
  4. Take one sheet of puff pastry and cut strips about 1 inch wide. 
  5. Build a box like shown below with the strips around the edge of the 2nd sheet. Place each sheet on the side and brush each layer with the egg wash to make it stick better.
  6. Use a fork to poke holes all over the bottom of sheet so it doesn't puff up. 
  7. Place the slices of tomato on the bottom, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil. 
  8. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 min, the pastry will be just starting to puff and brown. 
  9. Remove from oven, sprinkle with feta.
  10. Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes and remove once the pastry has puffed and browned and the feta is slightly melted.
  11. Sprinkle with basil, drizzle with a little olive oil. 
  12. Enjoy!

This tart was super easy to make and soooo delicious and a perfect use for the box of heirloom cherry tomatoes I had sitting in the fridge....give this a try and stay consumed! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tomato Garlic Chicken Wings

It has been a while since I have posted in this poor neglected blog...but I plan on being better about it....summer got in the way and then I was studying for this work thing....but thats all done now so I am back to posting...yay!

Today's post is for Tomato Garlic Chicken Wings.....random idea I had that just turned out absolutely deeeee-licious!

So....for the last 5 weeks or so, I have been eating some type of baked chicken wings for dinner every started with me trying to eat some of the things in the pantry and i found a box of BBQ  Glaze Shake and Bake...I havent had Shake and Bake in lord knows how many I thought what the heck....they turned out pretty good and I been experimenting with different wing flavors since.

Tonight I made Tomato Garlic Chicken Wings. They were super easy to make!! Instead of using whole wings, I used the wing sections (which is just what I had in the house).
I used this Lee Kum Kee Sauce for the marinade. Its technically a sauce for shrimp....but I saw it Sunday at the grocery store and had the brilliant idea that it would make a great sauce for wings. Most Asian Grocery stores will carry this so it should be fairly easy to find. The wings have a tangy, tomato-y garlicy flavor....Super YUM!

I had 14 wing parts and used 2 bags of this sauce (I really only need 1.5 bags...but what was I going to do with the remaining 1/2 bag??). Instructions below:

  1. Rinse wings and pat dry
  2. Sprinkle with pepper to taste (you won't need salt as the sauce is already salted, unless you have gi-ganta-normous wings!)
  3. Sprinkle with garlic powder
  4. Put the chicken in a ziploc bag (or a bowl...I like to marinade in ziploc bags so I can just throw the bag in the fridge).
  5. Add the tomato garlic sauce
  6. Add a couple of dashes of sesame oil
  7. Marinade overnight
  8. Bake in the oven at 350 (30 minutes for wing parts, 45 for large whole wings)
That's it....way easy! Stay tuned for more recipes! As always.....stay consumed! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Recipes: An Update!

I know, I know I have been neglecting the blog...but there are sooo many things going on right now. Work is crazy hectic, I am doing a second blog now with a bunch of friends called Brunchaholics DC, busy with Source Theater Festival, getting ready for Capital Fringe Fest, studying for a certification exam at work, and trying to enjoy the summer! So this poor blog is getting a little neglected....and I havent really been cooking at home...I've been eating out alot. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to try to make more of an effort to pay some attention to my poor little blog--so keep an eye out for some new summer-y recipes as well as several restaurant reviews!!

For today,  I wanted to do a quick update on some of the recipes I have shared....I have made a couple of them again....with some variations....

So a couple of weeks ago I made this Heaven on a Slice of Toast sandwich--bread brushed with artisan olive oil, delicious guacamole from trader joes, eggs with a little bit of creme fraiche, scrambled in a little bit of butter until it just sets, topped with salmon....well I've done this sandwich 3 more times....1 just like the first time, then I did one with egg and proscuitto, then one with just egg and guacamole....I cant get enough of this sandwich....I have no idea why I'm so obsessed with it!

I also took a second stab at the Spring Pasta. I was mad that I couldnt afford the avocado (lols) so I went to the Asian grocery store (where they were only $1.49 each, rather than $2.49 each!) and got some and re-tried the pasta....and I also got some pea shoots, but then I get home and realized I didnt have any this version is slightly different:  pea shoots, peas, and some avocado and parmesan on top--super fresh, super delicious! Yum! Yum!

I hope you give these recipes a try--they turned out super much so that I have repeated them a bunch of times....stay consumed!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Pot Wednesday: Papaya Chicken

I know, I know...I've skipped this for 2 weeks...but it was a busy week at work...I think I worked like 60+ hours......and today isnt Wednesday...but I forgot yesterday was Wednesday cuz the work week started on Tuesday this week....lols.

So here is the one pot recipe for this week. I have thinking about making this for a while now....I think it came from the Cooking Channel....cant remember where I saw it now...

So I bought the papaya like over a week started to get pretty fact, the 2nd papaya i bought was molding and kinda started to ummmm....eeeeeeeew.

The papaya I ended up using for this was pretty big...1 papaya was actually closer to 2 cups so I ended up making a double batch of this. The papaya are pretty easy to work with....Use a peeler to peel the skin, cut it into 4 pieces and scoop out the seeds and then cut the papaya into chunks.

The dish turned out pretty good.....I added a little bit of chili pepper flakes to give it a little bit of extra kick. The smoky-ness of the herbs (cumin, paprika, etc.) goes really well with the sweetness of the papaya and the tartness from the yogurt. I definitely would make this one again.

2 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
2 lb chicken breast
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup papaya chunks.


  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin seeds, coriander, fenugreek seeds, and paprika and toast for 10 seconds
  4. Add the chicken pieces and cook until it is nearly done, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add the yogurt and finish cooking the chicken, about 2 more minutes
  6. Stir in the papaya chunks.

See how easy that was! I would suggest serving it with roti, naan, or rice. Give it a try and let me know what you think...and as always....stay consumed!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pasta Salad

Every time I make this pasta salad it comes out a little really just depends on what I'm in the mood for mostly....I have been having this weird craving for super fresh, sweet veggies....I say its weird because I'm really a carnivore...I mean CARNIVORE (lols)....but I have been totally craving veggies lately.

This pasta salad is always a hit at parties, and sooo easy to make! I usually use penne or rotini, this time I used Trottole. I really liked this shape, it was really good at catching the dressing.  This recipe is pretty simple. Basically boil the pasta, add the veggies, and other stuff, add the dressing and mix.
For this pasta salad I used some fresh mozzarella that I added a little salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar to, black and green olives, cucumbers, red peppers, and green peppers. For the dressing, I usually use some sort of Italian dressing--usually the Kraft Italian, this time I used the Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing. Put it all in a bowl and mixed it well. You dont want too much dressing, so start with about 1/4 of the bottle and keep adding a little more as you should be just enough to coat the pasta and veggies.

Alternatives: Sometimes I get a 1lb slab of ham, or turkey, or salami (get the deli to cut it in one big slice, rather than thing slices) and I cut it into chunks and throw it in the salad. Give this recipe a try, let me know what you think, and as always stay consumed!

After I was done, put it away in the fridge, then realized i forgot the tomatoes :P

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Pot Wednesday: Pasta Risotto

This week's recipe comes from another one of my fav blogs. Dorie Greenspan calls this dish a pasta risotto, but even she admits that this isn't really a risotto--no need to stand at the stove for 20+ minutes stirring, stirring, stirring to achieve this distinctive "creaminess" of risotto. I of course, played with the recipe a little....added some green veggies (asparagus and spinach in this case since I had it left over from the pasta on Monday night).

As with most of the recipes for One Pot Wednesday, this is another easy one--pretty much stir fry some chopped onions, add broth, add pasta, boil, add cream and cheese, eat :) .....As I said before, this isn't really a risotto, its more of a cheesey pasta. In addition to the addition of the veggies, I replaced the marscapone cheese with an equal amount of creme fraiche that I already had (you can also replace it with 1/2 cream cheese + 1/2 whipping cream).....I also used Ditalani pasta, cuz they had them at the store, but any small pasta will do....

The variations of this are endless: bacon and leeks, mushrooms, chicken, many will seem like new each time you try enjoy and stay consumed!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3¾ cups chicken broth (or 3¾ cups water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes)
1 1/3 cups tubetti (my preference) or elbow macaroni (traditional)
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
3½ tablespoons mascarpone

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  2. Toss in onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3.  Pour in chicken broth or water and bring to a boil; if you're using bouillon cubes, drop them in now and stir to dissolve. 
  4. Add pasta, stir it around, and let it cook at a steady simmer until it has absorbed almost all the broth, 20 to 25 minutes. (There should be just ¼ inch or less of liquid bubbling at the bottom of the pan.)
  5. Pour in cream and allow it to simmer for about 3 minutes, until it thickens slightly. 
  6. Stir in Parmesan and mascarpone, cook for 1 minute, and taste for salt and pepper (it should be generously peppered). 
  7. Pull the pan from the heat, cover, and let rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Think its Spring!

I have been having a weird craving for asparagus, green leafy veggies, and peas....I think its mostly because the weather here has been so wacky....warm one day, c-c-c-cold the next and I am soooo ready for it to be warm and sunny so I thought this recipe might help spring to come quicker :)

This easy, delicious recipe is inspired by 101 cookbooks. This is my ABSOLUTE ALL TIME favorite cooking/food blog.....her recipes are always delicious and she focuses on natural, whole foods so its even healthier for you :)

This one was quick and easy to do...I think it took me 5 minutes to prep and about 5 minute to cook it....and it came out delicious and so "fresh" tasting. Instead of using pea shoots I used spinach because that was what was available at the store....I also added some peas. I had that leftover chives from last week's salmon sandwich so i added it to the eggs. I didn't add the avocado on top because its apparently now too expensive for me to buy avocado (well it was $2.49 for ONE avocado...which is ridiculous!!). I think next week I am going to go to the Chinese grocery store where fresh veggies are like 1/3 of the price as the regular American grocery stores and try this again with some rapini or pea shoots and DEFINITELY w/ some the meantime....this was pretty delicious.....give it a try and stay consumed!


8 ounces / 225 g cooked, leftover pasta
2 eggs
fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 big handfuls of sliced asparagus, and/or pea shoots, or tiny broccoli trees, or shredded greens - anything quick cooking and fresh

chopped avocado
chopped herbs

  1. Use your fingers to fluff up the leftover pasta a bit, so its not clumpy or stuck together. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl crack the eggs and beat them really well with a pinch of salt.
  3. In a big skillet melt the oil and butter over medium high heat. 
  4. If you're using a vegetable that might take longer to cook than others, add those to the pan - for example, asparagus or broccoli. 
  5. Add a couple pinches of salt, stir, cover, and cook for a couple minutes. Until the vegetables are bright, and just cooked. 
  6. Now stir in anything that just needs a quick flash of cooking - in this case pea greens, but chopped greens would go in at this point if you're using those. 
  7. Stir, and cook just until tender - a minute or so. 
  8. Pull about 1/3 of the vegetables out of the pan and set them aside.
  9. Now, add the pasta to the skillet, and toss well. 
  10. Once the pasta is hot, turn down the heat, wait a moment, then quickly stir in the eggs. 
  11. Stir well, then cover the pan, remove from heat, and let everything sit for a minute. 
  12. Uncover, give everything another toss, the egg should be cooked through. 
  13. Taste, and adjust the seasoning before serving. 
  14. Top with the reserved vegetables, and some chopped avocado.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Pot Wednesday: Coconut Chicken Casserole

Sorry for missing Wednesday last week.....I am trying really hard to post at least one recipe a week....but alas! Life gets in the way some times....This week I have an easy thai coconut chicken casserole. Its delicious and super easy--rich, chicken, and veggies all get cooked in one pot!

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 Chicken legs (I ended up using boneless skinless chicken breasts ~3 lbs)
1 can light coconut milk
1.5 cups of chicken stock
1-2 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste (depends on how spicy you want it)
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 red bell peppers (cut into 1 in pieces)
8 oz of fresh green beans

  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. 
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate (chicken will cook more in step 2).
  3. To pot, add coconut milk, broth, 1/2 cup water, and curry paste; bring to a boil, and stir in rice. 
  4. Add chicken (with any juices), arranging pieces in a single layer. 
  5. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, without stirring, until rice is almost tender, 15 minutes.
  6. Scatter bell peppers and green beans on top of chicken mixture; cover, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. 
Easy and Delicious! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Heaven on a Slice of Toast....

Actually....I think the toast is part of the heaven.....maybe I need a new title for this post...LOLS. Since I saw this recipe on the Bon Appetit site 3 weeks ago, I have been thinking about making just looked so amazing and delicious...and sure did live up to expectations!

The toast was crunchy and I brushed it with the Lime Olive Oil I bought in Pittsburgh and popped it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  The oil gave it a delicious delicate lime flavor (without the tartness) and aroma.

I "cheated" a little and I bought the guacamole from Trader Joes and it was delicious!!

The eggs were buttery and creamy...I didnt cook them quite all the way so they are a little tiny bit runny, but really good.

The salmon adds that smoky savory flavor to the sandwich....This is definitely one of the best sandwiches I have had in a looooong time!

The eggs and guacamole and toast were soooo good by iteself, I think next time I might do it without the smoked salmon (since smoked salmon is a little bit expensive). Give this a try and stay consumed! :)


3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives, divided
2 Tbsp. crème fraîche (optional, but it really does add to the creaminess of the eggs)
6 large eggs
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large or 8 small slices sourdough, whole wheat, or pumpernickel bread, toasted
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon

  1. Whisk 2 Tbsp. chives, crème fraîche (if using), and eggs in a large bowl. 
  2. Melt butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. 
  3. Add egg mixture and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Cook, occasionally scraping bottom of skillet with a heatproof spatula to form large, soft curds, until just barely set, 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Place 2 slices toast on each plate. 
  6. Put avocado into a bowl, mash with a fork, and season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 
  7. Spread mashed avocado over each slice of toast. 
  8. Spoon eggs over avocado. 
  9. Drape salmon slices over eggs
  10. Garnish with remaining 1 Tbsp. chives, and season to taste with pepper.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Pot Wednesday: Crockpot Sundried Tomato Risotto

When I saw this recipe for making risotto in the crockpot on the Year of Slowing Cooking blog , I was rather intrigued....can you really make risotto in the crockpot??! I figured I would test it.

The recipe seems simple enough....4 ingredients:

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (to add later) {I couldnt help it...I used Parmesan instead...I mean its risotto!)


  1. Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Put the sundried tomatoes into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Add the rice and swirl it around in the oil, until the rice is well-coated. 
  3. Add the chicken broth. 
  4. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 4 hours, or until the rice is tender (if you're out of the house, set the timer for 2 hours, then check when you get home so you don't end up with gummy rice--you can always flip it to high if the rice is still crunchy).
  5. Remove the lid of your cooker and stir in the cheese. Turn off the cooker and let the risotto sit for 10 minutes with the lid off before serving.

You know I cant leave well enough alone i sliced up 2 portabello caps and drops those in about 10 minutes before the rice was done.  You have to watch it.....because it will get gloppy pretty fast. I really liked the way this tasted....but both my mom and my brother said they thought it was too sour...i guess there are a couple of ways to make it less sour: 
  1. Use less sundried tomato....but that means less flavor...
  2. Add some chicken (you could use rotisserie chicken so you dont have to cook it separately)
  3. Add a little bit of sugar
  4. Ive also read that you could add alternating pinches of baking soda and sugar until its not so sour, but you cant taste the baking soda (Sounds interesting...but I'm curious if it will work)
Or you could just cook it this way....I liked it...but then again....I like really tart things. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

1AM trip to Walmart = Chili?!?!!?

I was at my parent's house on saturday night and I knew that I was planning on making the Sundried Tomato Risotto (recipe to come later this week!) on Sunday and I wanted to run to the 24hour Giant to grab some sundried mom said she didnt want to go, but for me to bring her back an popsicle. Me and my big mouth....I said "No popsicle unless you come with me!" So of course my mom comes with me, Giant turns out not to be 24 hours anymore, my mom has the bright idea that Walmart is 24 hours, we roam around the aisles of Walmart at 1am, my mom gets the bright idea that she wants me to make her chili,  and $100 worth of crap I don't need later.....I'm making Chili

This is some rocking chili--my brother and my best friend's brother once ate like 10lbs of meat of it in one make alot if you are feeding people who like to eat lols. I use turkey, rather than beef cuz my brother doesnt eat beef and so its less fattening :) I think the original recipe came from Cooking Light....but I adjust it whenever I make it is:


6  ounces  hot turkey Italian sausage
2  cups  chopped onion
1  cup  chopped green bell pepper
8  garlic cloves, minced
1  pound  ground sirloin (I replace this with ground turkey)
1  jalapeño pepper, chopped (I usually dont add this, but i will add about a teaspoon of     ground chipotle and or cayenne pepper
2  tablespoons chili powder
2  tablespoons  brown sugar
1  tablespoon  ground cumin
3  tablespoons  tomato paste
1  teaspoon  dried oregano
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt
2  bay leaves
1 1/4  cups  Merlot or other fruity red wine
2  (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
2  (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Heat a large dutch oven/pot over medium-high heat. 
  2. Remove casings from sausage. 
  3. Add sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño) to pan; cook 8 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring to crumble.
  4. Add chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
  5. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil. 
  6. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Discard the bay leaves. 
  9. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One Pot Wednesday: Chicken with Potato and Kale

I have some interesting things in the works for this blog.....the first being: One Pot Wednesdays.....every Wednesday I am going to post a 1 pot/pan/dish recipe.....first up this week: Chicken w/ Potato and Kale. Hopefully these recipes will give be easy enough that it inspires you to try them in your own kitchen.....and as always...stay consumed!

This Chicken with Potato and Kale is simple but flavorful.  You basically throw everything in a roasting pan and pop it in the oven. The veggies help keep the chicken moist. Give this a wont be disappointed!

8 chicken legs (I used the thighs....but you can also use whole chicken legs or chicken breasts. If you use the whole chicken leg or big chicken breasts, make a cut at the joint so the chicken will cook all the way through )
1.5 lb kale (I "cheated" and used the ones from the grocery store that have already been stemmed, cut, and washed)
1 medium onion sliced very thinly
1.5 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4in thick
Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Pepper
Lemon wedges (optional, for serving)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. In a large roasting pan toss the kale, potatoes, and onions with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make sure that the kale, potatoes, and onions are well coated with the olive oil. 
  3. Sprinkle the chicken (top and bottom) with salt and pepper and paprika. I didn't really measure how much salt and pepper I used...just kind of guesstimated. Sprinkle generously with the salt and the paprika. 
  4. Set the chicken in the pan on top of the vegetables (nestle them in a little bit)
  5. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 25 minutes
  6. Remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes
  7. Serve the chicken and veggies with a lemon wedge for extra flavor. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


I know that I have been writing a lot about eating out lately.....but I haven't had much time to cook at home....but I will try to post some recipes this week. In the meantime, here is another restaurant review.  

Ever since a friend of mine mentioned this place...I have been wanting to check out Assaggi Mozzarella Bar in Bethesda....I mean......the name itself is a huge attraction....."mozzarella bar" implies there are different types of that was enough of a draw.....the website describes it as a "variety of Italian and US made mozzarellas, homemade pastas, and fresh seafood"....I was super excited.

The meal was EXCELLENT.....totally lived up to expectations....and it was gorgeous out so we got to sit outside.

We started with the mozzarella tasting--Buffalo Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Burrata. The Buffalo Mozzarella was good, but pretty standard for that type of mozzarella. Burrata is one of my favorite cheeses, nice and creamy and  mild. The star/surprise of the night though was the ricotta. It was delicious--strong ricotta flavor, refreshing, light, and creamy. I was surprised.....I think I liked it more than the burrata because it had such a great flavor. The mozzarella tasting came with 4 homemade condiments: green tomato marmalade, roasted eggplant, organic roasted peppers, basil marinated zucchini. While the other three were good, the green tomato marmalade was the best--sweet, yet tart with the tomato still firm (not mushy like a lot of pickled veggies get)--and paired well with the mild mozzarellas.


Next I had the baked arancini and beth had the carrot, roasted beet, and celery root salad. The baked arancini was interesting, but not as good as some real arancini I have had before. Beth's beet salad was good, but she was a little disappointed in it because the beets didnt taste as "roasted" sweet and smoky as other roasted beets we have had. 

For entrees I got the bigoli pasta with duck and porcini ragu. Bigoli is like a spaghetti noodle only really big/thick. The ragu was amazing, the porcini was very flavorful. The homemade bigoli was my favorite thing of the night. The pasta was al dente, soft, but not mushy, chewy but not tough.....probably some of the best home made pasta Ive ever had. I took the leftovers home with me and it was even better the next day. I have been devising a way I can get more of this without having to "hike" to Bethesda all the time. (Sorry about the blurry pic. I was really hungry and my hand wouldnt stay still and I tried to take this pic like 5 times already and finally gave up!) 

Beth got the Cavatelli with herb pesto. The herb pesto wasnt quite what I would normally expect from a was basil-y but you could taste there were other herbs in there, slight hint of garlic, a little bit of saltiness from the Parmesan cheese, not very oily. It was very light and refreshing (light isnt a word you would normally use with pesto....).

For dessert we got the Almond was only OK. Nothing to write home about.

Rating: Excellent, loved it! Definately worth a 2nd trip! 
Cost: Average....around $20-$25 for the entree. 
Insider Tip: If you love home made pastas.....this is the place! 

As always....stay consumed! :P

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Tea, A Scavenger Hunt, 32 Hidden Doors!

Angela and I went to a Sunday afternoon dessert tea at the Mansion on O Street. I had a LivingSocial coupon. Regularly....the Dessert tea is $25 and the Treasure Hunt is an extra $ $70 for 2 people...but I got it for $25! Score! :)

The House is about 1.5 blocks from the Dupont Circle easy walk....or if you want to double park outside and go in the mansion and give the keys to the butler (yes...the butler! :P). The house definitely does not look like anything special on the outside....but inside....its a sight that is rather hard to explain....

I guess I'll start with the house. There are over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors, built into bookcases, or behind painting, etc. Each room is filled with artwork, statutes, many of the walls, floors, or ceilings are painted.....There is a secret wine cellar that can only be found if you figure out where the hidden door is. A room with a jukebox, a room with a pool table, a kitchen and dining room space decorated like a 60s diner, a  chess table inside of a bathroom.....everything in the house is fun and eclectic!

The dessert tea was great....the tea itself was OK....not a great brand (If you do a private get better tea cuz I saw the waiters walking around with Tea Forte teas....)....The dessert offering was great! Delicious Tiramisu, cookies, whoopie pies, lemon bar, 5 different scones, regular & cinnamon clotted cream, candy, chocolates, and a bunch of other things I cant even remember. There is also a giant cheese platter with like 10 different types of cheese and crackers.
The room where we had our tea--Museum 5
Part of the Spread
Ginger scone, Cranberry scone, lemon bar, tiramisu (delish!), chocolate cake, orange creme pudding (good!), pistachio pudding (not so good!), brie, some other type of white cheese.

After stuffing ourselves it was time to start the scavenger hunt. We were told that there were 32 secret doors....and that if we found 3 we were having a really good day....we found 5 + 2 that were labeled (lols)....we rocked the hunt! :P We had to look for things like a bear wearing a top hot carrying a basket of berries, a butterfly playing a french horn flying, and a chess table inside a bathroom. Ang and I played a quick game of chess in the bathroom--I mean come on! when would we get another chance to play chess inside a bathroom.....lols :P 

Rating: Excellent, loved it!
Cost: a bit expensive ....but worth it for the experience 
Insider Tip: Great for a girls brunch or a mother/daughter day ....they also have rooms for renting out at reasonable prices! Many of the rooms can be rented as a hotel room too. Go and try to beat my score of 5 secret doors! 

As always....stay consumed! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Apple and Brown Sugar Corned Beef and Cabbage

I made this last week for St. Patty's day--thought I'd share in the festivities even though I didn't go out and drink like a red-headed Irish man :P . The recipe came from the The Crock Pot Blog

It was really easy....just take all the ingredients and throw into the crock pot and 8 hours later.....come home to dinner! This isn't the traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage. It was a little on the sweet side for me. I'd cut down some of the brown sugar....or add a little malt vinegar to it.....

1 corned beef brisket
1 qt apple juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp prepared mustard
8 small potatoes
2 medium carrots, pared and cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into eights
1/2 head cabbage, cut into chunk

1. Place all ingredients in large (6 – 7 qt.) crock pot.
2. If necessary, cut the beef brisket in half.
3. Stir to mix.
4. Cover and cook 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.
5. Remove meat and vegetables and some of the cooking liquid.
6. Slice meat thinly across the grain.
7. Serve with the vegetables and some of the liquid. 

Any leftover corned beef makes a great lunch sandwich.
And always....share what you are consumed by :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Bunch of Amateurs!

Friday my friend Vivienne invited me over to make Takoyaki....and I have to say....for a bunch of amateurs we did really well! The first batch were kinda misshapen and rather ugly.....but tasted the time we started the 2nd batch we had a plan and by the third batch on....they were coming out beautiful.....just like the ones you get in the night markets of Taiwan and HK. For those of you who don't know what Takoyaki is.....

Here is the recipe....there are a lot of ingredients for these little balls of yummy-ness.

50g Boiled Octopus
50g Cabbage (diced very small)
30g Green Onion (cut very small and thin)
250g Flour
2.5 eggs (I used 3 cuz I don't know how to do 2.5 eggs, lol)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Roasted Seaweed, crushed
Bonito flakes
Japanese Mayo
Teriyaki sauce (you can make your own: Soy sauce, mirin, sugar,1:1:1 ratio cook....)
(there were some other ingredients on the list, but we couldnt find it so we made do without it)
Takoyaki plate/maker

  1. Cut octopus into very small pieces
  2. Beat egg
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mix
  4. Pour the batter into a water carafe or even a condiment squirt bottle....this will make it much easier to control and pour
  5. Heat Takoyaki plate/maker
  6. Brush with oil (make sure you give it a good brushing so the takoyaki dont stick to the pan)
  7. Fill each mold about 1/2 way with the batter
  8. Add octopus, cabbage, green onion, and picked ginger to your liking
  9. Once the batter browns on the bottom, use the stick to flip it sideways
  10. Pour extra batter into the mold
  11. Flip the cooked piece on top of the newly poured batter to get the 2 halves to "stick" together
  12. Once the bottom half forms and the 2 halves are sticking together, you want to continue to rotate the each ball until it gets brown and to ensure even cooking. 
  13. Once they are done, drizzle with terriyaki sauce and japanese mayo
  14. Add crushed seaweed and bonito flakes
  15. Enjoy!
And as always....stay consumed! 


Friday, March 18, 2011

Pittsburgh--The Steel City

I know....its been a long time since I've actually posted on here....but with the hard drive crash and other things going on in my life right now...I haven't had a chance to post....but really...I'm going to try to be better about it. So this is a long one....hope you enjoy!

Well....this is my first travel post! How exciting. This past weekend I went to Pittsburgh with 2 friends. Pittsburgh is know as the Steel City  because it is one of the major producers of steel until about the 1980s and its also known as The City of Brdiges....and there were alot of bridges. I think we were on 5 different ones just traveling between the downtown areas we stayed in for the weekend.

Fun Things to Do:

National Aviary:
Adults: $13
There are alot of species of birds and many of them are free flying.....and you can take part in feeding sessions too....not so much fun if you are afraid of birds.....

Mattress Factory :
Adults: $10 (w/ $1 discount if you check in on Foursquare)
An art museum in an old mattress factory featuring contemporary art. I dont really know much about art...but this was a fun little place to visit. They had this one where you walked in and the first room was all mirrors and multi-colored dots on the ground and blue lights then you walked through a door and it was bright white, with mannequins and red dots. They had an exhibit where the artist cut a hole in the 4th floor and built a "tunnel" to the third floor and out the third floor window.....weird/neat stuff.

Monongahela Incline & Duquesne Incline: 
$3.50 & $4.50 roundtrip
Its a little wooden car that takes you up to the Mount Washington area. The view was voted by USA Today as one of the Top 10 Sites in the World for viewing a cityscape. The Monongahela is the oldest funicular railway still in operation. The inclines are not only a tourist attraction....they are still used by many Mt. Washington residents to get to work and entertainment in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Phipps Conservatory:
Adults: $12
All sorts of neat flowers, trees, herbs, and fruit. I think for this one its better to visit in the summer or fall. Many of the fruit trees did not have any fruit and we didnt get to see the Butterfly forest and the Outdoor Gardens :( But the things that we did get to see and explore were beautiful.

The Food of Pittsburgh:
Breakfast: DeLuca's Tavern
Food was good. If you like diner food (and I definately do....this place is yummy). I had the corned beef hash. Eric got the eggs w/ bacon and Steve got the Eggs Benedict
Rating: Good
Cost: Cheap--tea and breakfast was < $10
Insider Tip: Go early or late...especially on the weekends the line can get to over an hour. 

Lunch: Primanti Bros.
We decided to go here since like everyone I talked to mentioned this place. The sandwich might have been big....but it was delicious! Basically you get a sandwich stuffed with meat (they did have some vegetarian options), french fries, and house made coleslaw. I got the Pastrami. The meat was well flavored, the fries were good, but not as crunchy as I normally like them--although I guess for stuffing into a dont want them too crunchy....The coleslaw was really good too...not too mayonnaise-y, crunchy cabbage, good flavor.
Rating: Good
Cost: Cheap--$6.95 for the sandwich! 
Insider Tip: Sit at the bar for faster service! 

Dinner: Legume Bistro
Farm-to-table restaurant run by a husband and wife pair, named one of Pittsburgh's Top 25 restaurants for 2010....and boy was it well deserved. We started with the Pork and Duck was good but not the best I'd ever had. The accompanying pickled string beans were yummy. Eric being his weird self....decided he wanted dessert first. He got the Apple Caramel Cinnamon Rice Pudding. I would never had prob ordered this even though I loooove rice pudding, I don't like caramel and I'm allergic to apples.....but dear god this was the BEST rice pudding I have ever had! I dont even know how to describe it...I have no idea why it was soooo good...but yum-o! I'm pretty sure the world stopped for about 10 seconds after I had the first bite! Thank goodness for Eric and his weird-ness! LOLs

We all got the Bibb lettuce, bacon, and roasted beet salad. It was good. Nothing earth shattering or time stopping...but the lettuce was fresh, the eggs were delicious (I am definately starting to see the difference between fresh eggs and the regular old ones we get at the supermarket), bacon was super crunchy, beets were sweet. For the entree I got the Chicken Cooked Under a Skillet w/ Garlic and Roasted Potatoes (I'm serious....thats what it was called :P). This is the restaurant's signature dish and this was DELICIOUS! Skin was a little crispy, well flavored. Simple but soooo good. I think this is the BEST chicken I have ever had. 
For dessert I got the Chocolate Torte. It was good--not as good as the one at Carmine's but still very good. 

The stars of the night were definitely the rice pudding and the chicken.....I've been thinking about them randomly all week and almost wanting to cry cuz Pittsburgh is 4.5 hours away :( The service was really good also....attentive and friendly :) 
Rating: Excellent
Cost: Average (actually, might be below average for this type of restaurant): Entrées were $12-$25 
Insider Tip: Reserve electronic reservation system so you send them an email and they call you back the next day to let you know if they have availability. Menu posted each day by 5PM. BYOB.

Breakfast/Snack: Pittsburgh Public Market
We were going to go to Deluca's again but this time, the line was out the door so we decided to explore the market. I didnt take many pics...but lets see...there was Duck Proscuitto, Beef Patty, Cheese, Artisan Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars, Maple cookies, pizzelle,  Pierogies made by a little Polish lady
Rating: Good
Cost: Cheap--$6.95 for the sandwich! 
Insider Tip: Sit at the bar for faster service! 

Lunch: BRGR
We probably didn't really need lunch after eating our way thru the market (lols) but the salted caramel milkshake was calling my name.....I heard these girls talking about it the day before when we were waiting in line to see the exhibit that was completely in the dark at the mattress factory....and plus apparently...Im IN LOVE with salted caramels (even though I dont like caramel by itself at all!). So I got the Kobe burger and the salted caramel milksake w/ bourbon (even though she did try to tempt me with a "special" house made bloody mary). 

I was kind of disappointed...the salted caramel milkshake tasted mostly like a vanilla milkshake w/ hint of salted caramel at all??? The burger which should have been super juicy and delicious was   too done (even though I'd asked for medium) and kind of dry....all in all a disappointment...and I'm glad I didnt splurge for the $25 Foie Gras Kobe burger. This probably was not the worst burger I have ever had...but it was still kind of disappointing. 

Eric and Steve both said they thought their burgers were really good.....
Rating: Thumbs Down
Cost: Average--Burgers were mostly $8-$12....which is average for gourmet burgers but I was unimpressed.  
Insider Tip: The fries were good....and the homemade condiments were good too. 

One for the Road: Milkshake Factory
55+ flavors of homemade ice cream from a almost 100 year old ice cream parlor ...need i say more? 

  • Toasted Almond Fudge Java Milkshake w/ Toffee for me
  • Strawberry for Eric
  • Moosetracks + something??? else for Steve. 
Rating: Yummy
Cost: Cheap--$5 
Insider Tip: The ice cream girl was super friendly....ask her for suggestions and different combos from the ones that are listed. 

Well....I know this was a long post! But hope you enjoy the pics and as always stay consumed!



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stay Tuned For Your Regularly Scheduled Program

I know its been a long minute since Ive written in here...but I am committed to trying to make this blog work! So....sooon...I shall have some new posts....For now....I've updated the design of the blog....what do you guys think? Its a little less "busy" than the previous layout.......more to come soon!