Friday, December 31, 2010

Hi, my name is Hannah...

and I'm addicted to Cookie Dough Dip.

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I'm addicted to regular chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and soon to be double fudge, and peanut butter chocolate.

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My addiction is beginning to affect my life because I won't let anyone else touch my bowls or spatula, my future bro-in-law caught me singing to my cookie dough dip laden spatula, and I have become violent when they try to take it from me.

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Cookie dough dip is a gateway drug. And I am here to remedy my addiction....

by passing it along. Head on over to How Sweet It Is, and make the Cookie Dough Dip.

Make it.

Eat it.

Love it.

Neglect your loved ones for it.

The next Cookie Dough Dipaholics Anonymous meeting will be held here, same day, same time, next week.

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What to do in 2011


True story: I hate making new year's resolutions. I feel like it is a cop out. Waiting until the new year to set a goal for yourself, that chances are you should have done yesterday annoys me to no end.

I think it also annoys me because I have always sucked at making resolutions.

But, this week I have read so many blogger write posts about their resolutions, goals, etc. that it's got me thinking.
There are tons of things that I find I want to accomplish on a daily basis (i.e. Look to the left and find my list of things to complete by the time I'm 23 24) that maybe I need to look at resolutions as something to work toward that will aid in me achieving all of my daily/weekly/monthly goals. So, instead of putting, "lose weight" on my list, I'll add, "eat cleaner."

So, here goes nothing...
To Do: 2011 Edition

1. Believe in myself. This is probably the biggest of my

goals. There are so many times that I second guess myself, and my abilities. Which, inevitably

means that I am not fulfilling my greatest potential. This blog for instance, I signed up for

blogger almost 2 years ago, and it took me over a year to really decide what I could write about that people would want to read.

And then I came to the conclusion that I wanted to blog for myself, I wanted a

place to put all of my thoughts and ideas, and if people enjoyed them it was just a bonus!
2. Take more leaps of faith. This goes hand-in-hand with #1. I need to learn to let go, and just go for it! I tend to be over

analytical, and a planner. Which is why I love baking, because it is so precise, and methodical. But it is also the

reason I love cooking because I am not controlled by the fear of the outcome of the dish. Once a cake is done, it is done, you

can't do much to fix it. But if your shrimp is under seasoned you can add salt... I'm on a tangent, sorry. Bottom line, I

need to trust that sometimes the universe is working in my favor, and not plan so much. I need to just do it!
2. Stop drinking pop. Yeah, yeah, I know. I said I wasn't going to make definitive goals. I

lied. It's a girls prerogative to change her mind. I need something measurable. I'm not going to drink pop this year,

because it is bad for me. And I need to be good to me.

4. Stop being scared of

failing. When I was in the 6th grade, at the tender age of 11, I was given and assignment to write a paper about our greatest

fear. While my classmates wrote about spiders, snakes, and being burned alive, I said my biggest fear was failing.

Profound, no? I would say it still is my greatest fear (along with losing my parents). But I need to learn that failing is not

the end all be all. That you have to fail to find success. Fall down 7 times, get up 8, right?
5. Treat myself better. To me this means stopping fat-talk, which is an ever present,

daily thing in my head. This also means that I need to eat cleaner, and get more active. I

committed to running my first race (a 5K in February), but when I registered, I failed to

realize that it is the same day as a dance competition that I will be at alllll day. So I will be finding a new race to run in the

spring. I'm taking the 80/80 approach. I'm going to eat 80% clean, 80% of the time. I think that this could work for me
6. Be a better blogger. I am still very new to the blogosphere, and I am still

feeling my way around the Internet, and my own blog. I want to think that Hannah Lives is evolving along with me

, and that whoever finds me here is ok with that. I want to focus more on developing my own recipes, sharing more

about the goings on in my life, my journey to a balanced lifestyle, being funny. I want to work on my photography, and

writing, and like I said, recipe development.
So that's all I got. I could add more. Things I can measure. Because I like measuring things. I could say take X

amount of photo classes, save up for a DSLR, lose 100 lbs, graduate college, brush my hair everyday, and shave my legs at

least once a month between October and March, but lets not get carried away.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a safe, happy, and hopeful New Year!


source

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seafood Stuffed Tilapia

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So, this recipe is a little unseasonal, and untimely. It is just a few days before the new year and I should be sharing recipes for appetizers, cocktails, and black eyed peas but, I'm feeling naughty.

I made this for Boom-diggity and I a couple weeks ago. Mostly because I wanted Red Lobster. Because if you didn't know Red Lobster is the poor man's Le Bernadin. Almost. It has decent seafood, and is moderately priced, and while I am sure someone can think of some reason for me not to love it, I don't want to hear it. Because, R.L. has some BANGIN' seafood, and some BALLER cheddar bay biscuits.

I've just used up all the cool and hip slang I've learned from my high schoolers.

And now I've negated that by saying, "hip."

Irregardless (which I am well aware is not a real word, but that has never stopped me before), this was one of those restaurant recipes that I wanted to recreate so that I can enjoy R.L. even when my checking account balance is .26 cents (true story).

P.s. Cheddar Bay Biscuits will be coming soon. The recipe isn't quite perfect yet, more work needs to be done, but I need to buy more cheese first.

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Seafood Stuffed Tilapia
4 tilapia filets
8 small (51-60) count raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can lump crabmeat, drained
4 Tblsp butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp paprika, divded
1 whole lemon
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375*
- Melt 2 Tblsp butter in a skillet, add shrimp and cook until pink, and slightly opaque. This will take no more than 2 minutes per side over medium high heat. Remove from pan. Let cool, and chop into small-ish pieces.
- Add remaining butter to pan, and melt over medium low heat.
- Add onion, garlic, parsley, 1 tsp paprika, and juice of half a lemon to pan, sweat onions until soft
- Add in heavy cream, and simmer until thick and reduced by half
- Put shrimp back into the pan, and season with salt and pepper
- Put shrimp mixture in a large bowl with crab, and breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper again
- Season both sides of tilapia with salt and pepper, and then take 1/4 of the stuffing and place on half of the filet, fold the other half over the stuffing, and secure with toothpicks, repeat with 3 other filets
- Place stuffed filets in buttered baking dish, squeeze juice of the other half of the lemon over the filets, and sprinkle with remaining paprika
- Place in over and bake for about 25 minutes, until fish is firm, slightly browned, and stuffing is hot throughout.
- Remove toothpicks, serve, and enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Four Things... I stole

Just Kidding!

I didn't steal four things. If I did my mother would surely bring me back to where ever I stole it from, make me return it, and apologize.

And there would definitely be a swift slap to the bottom.

What I did steal is this Four Things post from Jessica over at How Sweet It Is.

Who stole it from Caitlin over at The Twenty Fifth Year.

Don't judge me. Caitilin told me to do it.


1. Four T.V. shows that I watch
- Dexter
- Glee
- Leverage
- Gossip Girl

2. Four things that I'm passionate about:
- Food
- Writing
- Shoes
- Family

3. Four words/phrases I use a lot:
- "Don't judge me" (insecure much?)
- "I know, right?!"
- "I mean, really."
- "I'm Busy."

4. Four things I've learned from the past:
- If it's worth having, it's worth fighting for
- Mistakes are inevitable, what you learn from them isn't
- Always say you're sorry
- Bacon makes it better

5. Four places I would like to go:
- Santorini (a la Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)
- Paris
- Jamaica (the motherland)
- Spain

6. Four things I did yesterday:
- Went to lunch at Chili's for the first time ever
- Shopped at Target and bought absolutely nothing, for the first time ever
- Took a nap
- Did laundry

7. Four things I am looking forward to:
- Making 2011 even better than 2010
- Running my first race
- Not having to wear closed toe shoes everyday
- Burgers on the grill

8. Four things I love about winter:
- Mittens
- Having the urge to drink hot coffee, and hot cocoa
- Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes (uh... sorry, I watched The Sound of Music today)
- Not having to carry deodorant in my purse because I break into a nasty sweat every time I leave the house


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things I've learned... Over the Christmas Holiday


It takes approximately 7 hours, 1 yogurt, 2 helpings of tater tot hotdish, 3 dishwasher cycles, and 3 cups of coffee, to bake 50 biscotti, 300 cookies, 60 chocolate dipped pretzels, and a 13"X9" pan of peppermint marshmallows.

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And I'm not counting the bottle of tequila it took me to get through a week of cutting, baking, decorating, and cooling sugar cookies.

I'm kidding.... about it taking a week to get through a bottle of tequila, it only took me 4 days.

I'm only kidding...

I can scoop and pan 25 chocolate chip cookies in 6 minutes.

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I can scoop, form, sugar, and pan 20 gingersnaps in 4 minutes.

I can unwrap 22 Hershey's milk chocolate kisses in 1 minute.

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I am stonger than I think..... AND I will never buy plastic handled utensils ever again.

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This is one, of TWO plastic spatulas I broke.

If a recipe calls for a small saucepan to boil sugar, cornsyrup, and water in... use a large saucepan.

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4 bottles of wine, 1 bottle of tequila, and Boomer's "3-pack" is not enough alcohol to help you cope with 5 Family Christmas' in 3 days. But it is enough to almost keep you from 1 Christmas morning brunch.

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My classy pants, love monkey, proceeded to steal procure 3 different beers in 2 different sizes, from 3 different christmas parties, and stick them in a plastic 6 pack holder, and borrow my camera to take a picture. This is what love looks like.

I'm really bad at remembering to take pictures at parties. So, I'm sharing Boomer's butter igloo.

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My baby is an arteest!

I also wanted to show you some of my uber cute Christmas decorations before they come down. I don't really like showing you pictures of my house because I live in a dark cave, with artificial lighting, and wood paneling, but if you promise not to judge my wood-paneled, sans chair-rail walls, dirty dishes, and pile o' junk. I'll show you. Because this place was hecka cute like 3 days ago before my family had an outrageous party and trashed the place.

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There are 4 bottles of wine missing from that wine rack -- Don't mind the beer signs, I live in a bar ... or the dirty dishes.


I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, full of food, fun, family, and laughter, and is easing back into your regularly scheduled programming. I am taking a cue from my neighbors to the north, and enjoying today off by celebrating Boxing Day. Those Canooks are smart cookies.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry [Day After] Christmas

This is undoubtably the worst time of year.....

This is when I fall into a sad state of depression, because most of the people in my life want the decorations to come down immediately, the music to stop, and they want the regularly dinner menu back....

How can anyone be sick of holiday leftovers, yet?! I realize you probably had a good week or two after Thanksgiving, and you have been eating christmas sweets for the last 1-2 weeks. But, I mean, really... quitch'ur complainin'!

I'm headed back to work today.... (bleh)

But I had fresh from the freezer Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Biscotti with Coffee and Eggnog for breakfast


For lunch I'm having mashed potato cakes. Which are probably better than you can imagine. And I will be sharing the recipe this week. This is usually something I make after Thanksgiving, but I didn't have any leftover mashed potatoes after T-giving... I was sure hell froze over.

Breakfast tomorrow will be Shirred Eggs. Because believe it or not the amount of heavy cream left in my fridge is giving me convulsions. I am almost positive I cooked something wrong because there should be no reason for my to have 2 pints of heavy cream in my fridge on the 26th of December.

You may have noticed the lack of tonight's dinner on the above menu, but that is because I am looking forward to a 5th Christmas dinner (in 3 days) tonight with my another branch of my family tree. I have never been so full, and so hungry all at the same time.

But after Shirred eggs tomorrow, I will only be eating lettuce for the next month, and changing the name of this blog to, "Rabbit Food."

I'm only kidding. I'll be eating bacon to.

E(a)ternally hungry,

Hannah L.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup


Disclaimer: It has taken me almost a week to post this because it has taken me almost a week to get a picture of the final product. Life has gotten away from me. And as I sit here at a dance competition listening to teenage girls squeel, and sing Justin Beiber songs, while inhaling massive amounts of AquaNet, I feel myself losing my mind. And decided to post it without the final photo, and instead, a few randoms of the weather, and the process. Enjoy, and maybe I will post a photo tonight... If i don't pass out from  the fumes first!


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Last Saturday when I was trying to survive #SnowMG 2010, I decided it was a good idea to make some soup.

I mean, the boys and Boomer were out shoveling, and snow-blowing (including digging my car out from being parked on the street, and moving it to the driveway), Laura was at work, and I figured the least I could do was feed them something hot and comforting when they got home. Aren't I sweet?

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I have my moments.

Now everyone has their own version of Chicken Tortilla soup. And to be honest I was totally winging it as I went along. The final product ended up being completely different than what I was initially going for, but this soup turned out to be delicious, comforting, hearty, and a little spicy. And it's easy, chances are, if you have a well stocked pantry, you could go make this right now!

But, as good as this soup is, I have to be honest, the star of the show is the toppings!

Who doesn't love a good topping?! The fixings are what make the dish solely yours. They make that particular serving uniquely you. And everyone likes knowing that they are an individual, and I am giving you that opportunity! I care about your feelings, and your self-esteem, and I want you to feel like this soup was made just for you! The options are endless!

So the next time it's cold out, or there is a blizzard outside your window, or it's Tuesday, make this soup.

You won't regret it.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup
A Hannah Lives Original Recipe

1 lb chicken (skinless boneless chicken breasts)
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Onion diced
3 Garlic cloves minced
2 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Paprika
Pinch Cayenne
2- 4 oz cans of roasted green chiles
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
19 oz. can your favorite enchilada sauce
15 oz. can Black Beans
15 oz. can Whole Kernel Corn
Salt
Pepper

Toppings:
Crispy tortilla strips (recipe below)
Sour Cream
Shredded cheese (I like Monterey jack for this)
diced onion
salsa
diced or sliced jalapeno
diced avocado
lime wedges
tortilla chips

- Open cans of black beans, and corn. Drain and rinse, set aside
- In a large soup pot melt butter over low heat, add in onion and saute until soft
- When the onions are soft add in the garlic, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes
- Add in all of the dried spices, mix around until they are completely incorporated into the fat
- Add in green chiles, diced tomatoes, and enchilada sauce, then fill the enchilada sauce can with water and add to pot (~1 1/2 Cups) season with salt and pepper to taste
- Place chicken breasts in poot, and bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 20 minutes)
-Once the chicken is cooked remove from liquid, allow to cool, shred, continue simmering liquid while the chicken cools
- Stir in beans, corn, and shredded chicken, simmer for another 5 minutes just to warm up the beans and corn
-Taste, and adjust salt and pepper, ladle into bowls and serve with toppings!

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(the secret ingredient)

Crispy Tortilla Strips
A Hannah Lives Original Recipe

5-6 Flour Tortilla (I used the small taco sized tortillas)
1 Tbsp Canola or Vegetable oil (Or non-stick spray- olive oil flavored)
1 tsp salt
-Preheat oven to 400*
- Cut tortillas into thin strips, about 1/2" wide
- Cut strips in half
-Place tortilla strips on baking sheet and toss with oil and salt
-Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown, and crispy


Notes:
1. To make this go even faster you could use leftover chicken that has been shredded, or a rotisserie chicken, and then use store bought chicken stock, or broth for the liquid.
2. I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, because that is what I usually have in my freezer, but I think it would be even better with bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces. Once cooked discard skin and bones (but save the bones for homemade stock).
3. The enchilada sauce is my secret ingredient. I love the stuff. Any Tex-Mex dish can be improved by enchilada sauce. And I have yet to concoct a recipe for homemade that is better than the canned stuff. It gives the soup a flavor that gives the impression that it has been simmering all day. I don't judge canned foods. But if you don't like it, leave it out, it'll still taste great... just not as good as mine. :)
4. Some people hate when recipes say, salt and pepper to taste. I believe that recipes are more guidelines than anything. And I have a very hard time even writing recipes with specific measurements, because everyone's taste buds are different. I looooooove cumin, that is why I have 2 full tablespoons in this, but if you don't like, add 1 tablespoon, or heck, even just a teaspoon. My sister, for instance, is a salt fiend. Her taste buds are decidedly half dead so she has to add 2, or 3 times as much salt as a normal person. This has taught me to not get offended when I feed people, and they feel the need to salt their plates. What my wonderful older sister thinks is perfectly seasoned, I find inedible. It's a matter of taste, and your prerogative. But my advice is to start out slow. Salt, and pepper it, taste it, salt and pepper it again, taste it again. A little at a time. It's easy to add more, but it is nearly impossible to take it out.



Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Dice an Onion

During all the madness that was #snowmageddon, #snowpocalypes, and #SnowMG this weekend, I decided it was a very appropriate time to get some cooking done. Standing over a hot stove, stirring a pot made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

And when anyone so much as looked at me with a shovel I was able to avert my gaze, and quickly retort, "Sorry, can't, I'm making soup! Someone has to feed you when you come in from the cold!"

And they would walk away cursing me under their breath.

And I would beam them in the back of the head with a snowball.

Kidding,

I would only think about beaming them in the back of the head.

But only think.

To make a long story longer, this is not a recipe for soup.

What I am about to show you is one of the most important skills you will ever learn.

It's right up there with wiping your own behind, and knowing throwing wrinkled clothes back into the dryer with a dryer sheet for a few minutes allows you to avoid learning how to iron.

I am going to show you how to dice an onion. I do this every day. And while, any way you choose to cut an onion is really fine with me. I'm not the onion police. But I can't promise that I won't turn you into them.

This is the true, and proper way. The way I learned in culinary school. The way that I paid about $10,000 to learn. And I am teaching you for free.


You can thank me later.

First get an onion and a sharp knife.

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Cut off the root, and stem ends.

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Then stand your onion up on one of the cut ends...

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and cut the onion in half vertically. If the onion were the world you would cut it in half along the prime meridian, or from the north to south poles.

Here on Hannah Lives I offer all kinds of free services, cooking, laughing, and geography.

Again, thank me later.

I missed a picture... or two. But at this point you will peel off the papery outer layers. Depending on the onion, the day, and whether aquarius is in the 7th house, the layers you remove could be 1 , 2, or 3. Just go with your gut.

Then you're gonna lay it flat on the last cut you made.

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You are going to make horizontal slices in the onion. You will want to lay your palm flat on top of the onion, keeping your fingers out of the way. The pressure will help keep the layers intact.

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My hand isn't there because I'm taking the picture. It's hard to believe that this is a one-woman operation with all of the epic photography, fantastic lighting, and unbelievable writing (please note the sarcasm). Make several horizontal slices in the onion without going all the way through.

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(Remember what I said about epic photography? I am so proud!-and did the orientation change make you a little dizzy to? Sorry about that, one-woman operation... remember?)

Now you make vertical slices, evenly spaced, across the onion, without going all the way through.

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So at this point the end of the onion looks like this. You see all off the itty bitty squares that will make a very nice dice? But notice that I am holding the onion at the end and it isn't falling apart? That is because I didn't cut all the way throught the onion! It's Genius!!

Take a moment and feel overwhelmed with pride by what you have just done.

Aaaannnnd.... That's enough.


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Now, you can't see my fingers but they are tucked up, like a little claw. I need all 10 of my digits, you see, so I do that so I don't lose one while I dice like a crazy person.

Oh, and it you are crying at this point it is ok, it happens. Let it out. The only surefire way to avoid onion tears is to use a very sharp knife, grow your own onions, ensuring they are fresh as can be, and wear goggles.

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Keep the tip of your knife on the board, slice the onion moving toward your fingers. These slices should be perpendicular to your vertical slices.

I offer geometry tutoring also. But not algebra. Bleh. Definetly not algebra. Don't ask me what X equals.... But I'm pretty sure it's 3.14123998373... Pie. No, Pi. But I prefer Key Lime.

Whoops, tangent.

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See? Look! You are dicing an onion!

Now, this is where it gets dicey... badda bump!

Sorry, moving on...

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This is what you are left with. A beautiful dice of onion, and a little nub of an onion. This is the piece that you didn't make cuts in.


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So, at this point I lay it flat on my board, and make slices the long way.

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Give it a little quarter turn, and slice again, into a psuedo dice.

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And there you have it. A perfect (almost), flawless (nearly), dice. This is pretty much the foundation for everything that is good and right in the world. That is savory, that is.

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Now that you know how to make a perfect dice let me suggest some recipes from some of my favorite blogs to allow you to hone your skills:

The Pioneer Woman's Sloppy Joes

Jenna's Mom's Homestyle Turkey Chili

Jaden's Creamy Whiskey Mushroom Sauce


Oh, and if you are planning on thanking me, you can make and freeze some of that Creamy Whiskey Mushroom sauce and send it to me... or just send the bottle of whiskey.

You're Welcome,
Your friendly bloggerhood educator

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

#SnowMG

It's been snowing for about 18 hours here in good ol' Mini-Apple!

Judging from my very technical measuring abilities.... were at about 13" of snow.....and counting.
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Now, let me tell you something about this city that I live in. We are not afraid of snow. We relish in the opportunity to show up any city in the nation with out ability to handle an avalanche of snow. MN department of transportation has many flaws, but plowing, salting, and sanding the roads is not one of them.

Mail is always delivered. Public transportation is always running. Airport never closes. Stores never close. Public school never closes. Nothing is ever cancelled.

But today, Minneapolis needs to collectively buy a diaper, because this snowmageddon has made us shit our collective pants.

I didn't get mail today. Metro Transit has suspended buses (trains are still running). Many of the stores in the Mall of America never opened, are closing, or will close early. Things that normally happen on Saturdays like ACT, and SAT testing, extra-curriculars, and concerts are cancelled. The airport is closed, and the New York Giants are not in MN yet, so they may not be playing my beloved MN Vikings tomorrow... I smell a forfeit.

But it isn't just the snow that is hindering our ability to... live.

Winds are at about 30 MPH. Which means that as soon as you shovel, snow-blow, or plow, a gust of wind comes along and blows that big pile of snow you made on the side of the sidewalk/road back in your path.

So for now I am in my PJ's, thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner and getting "chocolate wasted" (name that movie)!

Have a good day! I hope yours is less snowy than mine. Food will be posted tomorrow. Once I dig my car out of the driveway.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: 2 for 1

I spent the last week doing the school thing (finals week), cleaning my house, putting up Christmas decorations, making Christmas lists, Christmas baking, and dying.

Don't worry about me though. I will be fine. Because on Tuesday, even though I really didn't want to. Because I was in a bad mood, and tired, and I just wanted to be a hermit, sit on my couch and eat ice cream, I had friends over for dinner. It was all Boomer's idea, so, I didn't have to clean.

Since I failed to make Ina's Lemon Chicken last week for Barefoot Bloggers, I decided that this was as good a time as any to make it, AND this weeks recipe: Roasted Summer Vegetables.


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The chicken was bright lemony, and juicy. I love the combination of lemon, thyme with chicken. It is a classic, and every whole chicken I have ever roasted is done this way. And every roast chicken I have ever made was divine. Not to toot my own horn but, toot toot (hehe).


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And the vegetables were soft, and sweet. I had never roasted fennel before, but I love it raw on a crudite platter, sauteed and layered in dauphinoise potatoes, and the previous BB recipe French Onion Soup. There was zucchini too but these are photos of leftovers, and my friends are real classy and picked it out of the medley.


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The only changes I made were using dried thyme instead of fresh, and boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of bone-in, skin on because that is what I had, and I am not trying to make it a habit of going to the grocery store 5 times in one week. So my suggestion to you is this: make this for someone you love, or someone you want to love you.


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Lemon Chicken Breasts

Adapted From Ina Garten's How Easy is That?!

1/4 C olive oil

3 Tbls minced garlic

1/3 C dry white wine

1 Tbls grated lemon zest (~2 lemons)

2 Tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 whole lemon

Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Warm olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add garlic, and cook for just 1 minute, don't allow garlic to brown. Off the heat, add wine, zest, juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp salt. Pour mixture into a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.

Pat chicken breasts dry and nestle in sauce. Brush tops with sauce and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cut lemon into wedges and tuck in among chicken pieces.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through, cooking time will vary depending on size of chicken breasts. Remove from oven, and cover pan tightly with tin foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with pan juices, an roasted summer vegetables.


Roasted Summer Vegetables

Adapted from How Easy is That?!


2 medium zucchinis

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 fennel bulb

1 small red onion

2 Tbls olive oil

1 Tbls minced garlic (~3 cloves)

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp dried thyme


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Trim ends off of zucchinis and cut them diagonally in 1/4-inch thick slices (the slices may seem large but they will shrink while they cook). Cut the peppers lengthwise in 1 1/2-inch wide slices, discarding the stem, and core. Trim the fennel stalks, and cut the bulb through the core into 1-inch wedges. Peel the onion and slice it in 1/4-inch-thick rounds, leaving the slices intact.

Toss the vegetables with oil, thyme, salt and pepper and spread them out over 2 sheet pans. You don't want them to be crowded, otherwise they will steam, instead of roast. Roast for 10 minutes, turn the vegetables over, and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until all the vegetables are browned, and tender, but still crisp. Serve hot.


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I served the chicken and veggies with my roasted garlic mashed potatoes. And what you see above is the beauty of a salad I had for lunch the next day. It was glorious. I chopped up the leftover chicken, and vegetables, and added cucumbers, and avocado to spring mix, and dressed with a lemon vinaigrette, and of course, a little bit of mashed taters on the side.


Make more than you think you will need of the above two dishes. They make fantastic leftovers! ;-)


Monday, December 6, 2010

I told you I was famous.


If you don't already know this about me, I am a giganto nerd.

Not the uncool kind.

The cool kind. The kind that writes a food-ish blog, and likes reading other food-ish blogs.

The kind that wishes they were good at math.

The kind that thinks a great weekend involves baking a sweet treat, cooking up something spectacular, sweating my face off, a sugar-free vanilla soy latte from Star-Bizzle, and a good book.

.... OK maybe I am not so cool.

But my mother tells me I am, and she would never lie.

.... would she?

Don't answer that.

In this instance I am a giganto nerd because I love Joy the Baker.

She is all kinds of cool, that I am not.

She lives in L.A.

She went to the school of hard-knocks to learn how to bake.

She is funny.

And writes a kick ass blog.

And if you read her blog today, you might have seen a not-so-familiar face.

Mine.
Word.


Go check me out!

I'll have my people call your people,
Hannah "Tinsle-Town" Lue

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today is Apple Pie Day!!

Did you know today is Apple Pie Day here in the U.S. of A.?

Well it is. And in honor of that I am sharing with you a disgustingly good recipe for apple pie.

I have to give all of the credit to Pioneer Woman on this one. It has been a very long time since I have made a pie from scratch. In culinary school we spent about 3 weeks on pies. I was on pie overload for a year. And so was my family, considering over those 3 weeks I brought home approximately 9 different pies. From apple, and blueberry, to french silk and lemon meringue, to buttermilk and quiche. Crumb topping, two-crust, lattice crust, whipped cream, meringue. You name it, I baked it. These days I am content with Sara Lee. But at this years Thanksgiving dinner, after finishing our meal we got so engrossed in playing Taboo (it is me and my siblings favorite pseudo-board game, but Scrabble is King), that we forgot to put the pie in the oven. As a result, here I was a week later, still waiting to complete my Thanksgiving meal. So, I took the plunge.
Imperfection at it's best. Notice the tear and patch technique.
I never said it was health food.

You are about to take a peek into the underbelly of my kitchen. Do no adjust your screen.
Oh, the HORROR!!!! To deal with this mess....

and my overflowing pie (thank god for tin foil and smoke alarms-Notice the butter started to turn black on the foil)...
I drank about 13hundred10008thousand cups of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee with eggnog. I've never been to a Dunkin' Donuts, but their coffee is dee-licious! And it is National Egg Nog Month!

The result was a tart, sweet, spicy, filling with a crunchy sweet topping, and a flaky, somehow buttery crust! My filling was almost to tart, because I am a rebel and used the juice of a whole lemon. I would not advise you to do the same. But trust me, it is still friggin' good!

Now I wont be bossy and tell you to go bake this pie, like usual. But I will tell you to bake A pie this weekend. And have a giant cup of egg nog! It's December, it's what you should do.

I may or may not have also made a batch of hard sauce using almost a quarter cup of whiskey, and slathered some over a third of this pie, and ate it in 3 bites before sharing.

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman
Make It Your Own (MIYO):
+1 tsp cinnamon to apples
+1 tsp nutmeg to apples
+1 tsp cinnamon to crumb topping
Omit pecans and caramel sauce
When adding apples to crust do not add in all of the juice that will collect in the bottom of the bowl.
Do Not Overfill Crust

MIYO:
It really is perfect. In fact I have two more crusts in my freezer awaiting filling. And I am not a girl that condones the use of shortening. But I'd make an exception in this instance.

Love, Granny Smiths, and buttah,
Hannah