Thursday, May 31, 2012

I have noticed two things about cooking that determine the outcome of a meal: creativity and laziness., Last night, I experienced a little bit of both.
My dad had brought home some steak from Fairway, along with some other foods that included sun dried tomatoes in oil. My dad threw on a pan put some oil on the bottom and set the stove to heat up. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me he was cooking the steaks. “Plain?” I asked. He replied yes and continued to cook.
For me, the best part of my dads steak is the marinade he makes. If he wasn’t going to use the marinade, then what is the point of eating steak?
I asked if he could make some of his steak for me, which he had no problem doing.
I noticed the sun dried tomatoes on the table, and I got an idea.
I have been the grilled cheese queen lately, so I went up to the fridge and pulled out the fresh mozzarella. I proceeded to make a sandwich, with sliced mozzarella and the sun dried tomatoes- Yum.
My dad offered to cook it for me, and unfortunately, the grilled cheese burnt. Thank god we have more mozzarella and tomatoes or I would have been pretty upset.
When I finished with the sandwich, I was content. It wasn’t cooked as much as I would have liked, but it was still very tasty from the spices and garlic on the tomatoes and the fresh mozzarella.
My dads steak was phenomenal. He put them in the broiler until they were done. They weren’t dry at all. The end result consisted of crispiness, but moist and juicy at the same time. The flavor of the marinade makes the steaks taste so much better than some that have nothing on them at all.
See? There really is a difference when you use some creativity, and not just throwing some steaks onto pan.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

    There is nothing like the summer. Warm days, poolside, BBQ, and baseball games of course. Last night, I attended my first Mets game of the season, and it was great-they won!
    Whenever I go to the ballpark, I get really excited about the food I am going to eat. Even since Citi Field opened, the food options are endless. Tacos, French fries, pizza, sushi, it just doesn’t stop. Every time I go, I always end up getting the same thing.. A hot dog.
    Last night, I decided to start off with Nachos. Yes, the choice is a bit boring, but it is delicious. The warmness of the cheese with the fresh chips. After finishing them off, I was still hungry,
    When I went down to the first level, my friend and I were searching for something else to eat. She opted for fried dough, but I was feeling more food. When I saw the grilled sausage stand, I knew what I wanted. I ordered the sweet Italian sausage with the works. The meat was huge! I swear it seemed over a foot long.
    I am not sure how I feel about my choice. Although the sausage was good, I wasn’t completely satisfied. It was chewy, and had a bit of a crunch to it. It did pair well with the cooked peppers and onions. I went over to the toppings bar, and added some braised onions to the mix. I ended up not eating a lot of the bread, but after soaking in the sauce from the braised onions, I had to give it a bite. It was good, sweet from the sauce, and it bursted with flavor.
    Now I am not upset about what I decided to eat last night, the cost however, seemed to irk me. I spent over $20 for sausage, nachos, and hot chocolate. (Yes, even though it was warm out, we got stuck sitting on top under the air.) Next time, I am going with a budget!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Even if it means waiting around an extra half hour, so be it. I would rather heat anything in the oven over the microwave any day.
    Today, I searched throughout the freezer to see what I could dig up. All I found was a lean cuisine. Done. I set the oven for 350 and proceeded to gallivant throughout the house.
    Although it took thirty five minutes to heat up, it was worth it. The dish was delicious, cooked through and tasted homemade. I am not usually a fan of tomato sauce, but this one was up there on the list. I love the tomato chunks that run through the pasta sauce, it really enhances the tomato flavor. The texture isn’t so bad either. The only complaint I have is that the angel hair doesn’t hold the sauce as well as other pastas do.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Whenever I go to the movies, I always order the same thing. Nachos. I do enjoy popcorn, but there is nothing like a good salty crunch mixed with the warm cheese dip. Last night a couple of my friends and I went to see What to Expect When Expecting, and of course, I made sure to get my chips and cheesy bite.
    I never understood why they jack up the prices at the movie theatres. I do however, notice a significant difference between the movie theatre at home and the theatre up at school. Nachos here are double the price, and if you want more cheese, they charge you extra. Whenever I got to the movies with my roommate, the vendor always throws in extra cheese, no matter how many piggish times I go up there, at no cost.
    It was disappointing for me to see the chips served last night in a bag. That just means there is a limited amount, and they aren’t getting warmed up first. The cheese was good, but it did have a kick to it. Although I did enjoy the $6.25 snack I purchased, I wish they would serve a larger portion of cheese, more chips, and cut the cost in half.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    If you enjoy mashed potatoes, and are a fan of honey mustard, my simple yet delicious creation is one I recommend. Since buying the bag of potatoes, I felt the need to come up with different ways I can create mashed potatoes. We don’t have too much in the house, but I felt there was something that could be done. I don’t know about you, but I am very picky about my honey mustard. Some have too strong of a mustard flavor, while others over do it on the honey. In Shop Rite a couple years ago, I finally found my perfect honey mustard.
    Since we have two bottles of it, I decided that I should possibly use some on mashed potatoes. At first when my dad tried the dish, he wasn’t sure how he felt. But after heating it up for 55 seconds, he had a different perspective. “I love the potatoes Linds,” he said, and I knew I had a winner.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    I have a love for bacon. It is such a versatile food, and I could eat it with almost anything. Well, not almost anything.. I have heard people put bacon in their ice cream. If it was up to me, I would save it for something I really enjoy and not have it in a dessert I do not care for.
    Cooking bacon is very difficult. When I put it on the skillet, I end up standing their the entire time, constantly checking to see if it burns. Not only that, but you have to keep flipping it. Not to mention the oil and grease flying everywhere.
    When I went home with my friend to Easter weekend, I saw her mom cooking bacon in a way I never thought about. She set the oven for 350, and after five minutes, she took the bacon out and flipped it. The bacon ended up coming out really good. It was crispy, but fatty as well. Plus she didn’t have to stand their the whole time making sure it wouldn’t burn.
    So today, I did the same. I placed the bacon in the oven, and then went upstairs to watch TV. The bacon did take a little while longer than I thought, but when I took it out, I couldn’t ask for a better outcome. The bacon was crispy and delicious. It wasn’t too fatty, but I do enjoy it that way. I proceeded to put the bacon in the grilled cheese I was making. The sandwich came out delicious. However, next time I go to cook grilled cheese, I definitely will be adding more bacon than I did today.
    I love sides. Whenever I am out for a meal, I hope the dish I order comes with at least one side. I don’t know what is so special about them, but I always am satisfied with a side of broccoli or rice.
    Last night I decided to make chicken. The chicken came out alright, after I dipped it in honey mustard. But the kicker was the side. I made mashed potatoes, and they were delicious.
    After boiling the potatoes, I drained them and placed the starch in a bowl. I added some half and half and cheese. This wasn’t just ordinary cheese, it was boursin cheese garlic and fine herbs. This soft cheese adds a real depth of flavor to the dish, and it is just what the potatoes needed.
    Not only did I enjoy it, but my dad and brother found the side tasty as well. I thew some cooked bacon pieces on top. I was very content with what I had cooked up, and I can’t wait to make them again.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Mothers Day is not a big event at the Ross household. Passover and Hannukah are our holidays, while the rest are held usually at our cousins.. Although we were supposed to make our way to another set of cousins today, it didn’t work out. Instead, we stayed home.
    My dad and I did our food shopping today, after he mentioned to me he wanted to cook up a pot roast. Ironically, I have just received a gift from my cousin that contained pot roast seasoning that I have been eagerly awaiting to use. When we arrived at the store, we scanned the vegetables looking for the ones we wanted to include. We picked out carrots, onions, celery, and mushrooms. As we were looking for the meat, we couldn’t seem to find what we needed. We asked around and the butcher informed us the store was out. So, we headed over to the other grocery store in town.
    When we arrived, we knew exactly what we were buying, so we didn’t waste any time. Well, my dad didn’t, I found myself wandering the aisles for Jimmy Dean sausage. (I will explain at a later time). After my dad found what we were looking for, along with some other items we picked up along the way, we headed out. After paying of course.
    I was excited to use my crock-pot. I haven’t used it since December break I believe, and it has been a long time coming. A couple hours ago,, we prepped tomorrow nights dinner. My dad took the liberty of peeling the potatoes and carrots, and quartering the onion. I was in charge of handling the meat, so I started to season.
    What I did with the meat is the same as I would be doing for any brisket. I mixed all the seasonings together. (These included onion powder, garlic powder, Emeril’s steak rub, and a few Mrs. Dash spices.) Afterwards, I took the meat and placed it on the plate, hoping to cover the entire thing. I then placed the meat into the crock-pot, and tossed in all of our vegetables. Next, I poured the sauce on top, and placed on the lid. We set it on low for 8 hours, and checked in for the night.
    I cannot wait to try the dish tomorrow, hoping it does not disappoint. I was thinking about making mashed potatoes to go alongside, but since I will be making them the night after, maybe I will find something else to go with it. Or maybe not. Our family doesn’t often do sides, we are a one dish type of clan.

Friday, May 11, 2012

    I don’t care what people say, I love Rachel Ray. She has a love for food, as do I and I enjoy watching her on TV. I have learned a great deal from her ranging from different spices to different cooking techniques. I can’t say I am as good as her, but I try my best.
    The other day, I was looking through a cookbook I made. When I say cookbook, I mean recipes I have gathered from various places and put them into a binder. Many of these recipes are Rachael Ray originals. I noticed I have made many of her dishes, and they don’t fail to impress.
    Although I am not as efficient as her, and I still have ways to go, with time, I hope to be half as good as her. But for now, her thirty minute meals will still be my hour and a half.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

You know, I never minded hanging out. I could sit in my house all day and watch TV with no complaints. But after going on day 5 you start to get kind of antsy.

I lounged around all today without a care in the world, and plopped myself in front of the TV for endless amounts of hours. When 3:00 rolled around, I realized I hadn’t eaten yet and I started to grow hungry. I put up a pot of water to boil and reached in the cabinet for a box of pasta. After pouring the pasta in, and putting the timer on, I started to notice something. The expiration date on the box read May 2010. Whoops. I turned the stove off, threw the pasta in the colander, and proceeded to move it to the garbage.

So I was stuck. I had my heart set on the tri-colored rotini that I was going to dip in buffalo sauce. So I searched the refrigerator, and then the freezer. I saw we had a box of pizza rolls, and decided why not. I haven’t had pizza rolls in years., They were never my favorite. But these caught my eye. Not only did they have pepperoni in them, but they included sausage as well. When I took them out of the over I was ready to eat.

As I started to eat them, I was satisfied. They weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible either. They were crispy on the outside, and spicy in the middle. There was a lot of sauce, so I couldn’t necessarily taste the sausage, which is my favorite part. I finished half a box, and I was still hungry. Instead of making the rest, I grabbed a thing of Pringles and went back to the den to watch Friends.

Although it was a lazy day, I have no complaints. It will be better once my friends start coming home from college and start to face the real world with me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I was excited to finally be able to go to the grocery store yesterday after three days of sitting around in my house. This is the first time though that I went without an idea of what I was going to buy. Usually I head over to the store with a list of foods that I want to purchase for that week. Yesterday, I decided to wing it.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling that great for the past couple of days. Yesterday I was feeling rather sluggish, and didn’t have all too much energy. When I went to the store, nothing seemed that appealing. I headed to the deli counter and ordered a selection of cheeses. I chose gouda and Vermont cheddar. I also picked up American cheese and honey maple ham for my dad. Then I started to browse through the aisles.

I wasn’t hungry, It was strange. Usually when I am at a grocery store, everything looks delicious and I can’t stop putting items in the cart. Yesterday, however, I seemed lost. I headed straight for the aisle that had drinks. Often, I stock up so I have multiple different beverages to choose from. I started off with the teas. I picked up 2 peach iced teas and one sweet tea. I love the peach teas. I love the flavor of peach, the drink is sweet and refreshing.

Next, I went to the seltzers. Polar Seltzers are my favorite brand. They have a wide variety of different flavors to choose from. I saw online a couple months ago they came out with an orange vanilla. When I saw that was in stock, I jumped at the opportunity and pulled on off the shelf. Then I picked two grapefruit seltzers (my favorite), and an orange mango. I love fruity drinks, and these seltzers seem to do the trick. I don’t have to feel guilty after drinking them either, which is always a plus.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    My next couple of days are going to consist of the following: laundry, watching TV, relaxing, more laundry, eating, oh and did I mention laundry? I always complain to my mom that I do not have enough clothing. However, when it comes time to do the wash after the end of every school year, the laundry seems endless. I already have a pile of clothes building downstairs and that is only from a couple of loads.
    Although I am stuck doing chores for the next couple of days, there are many upsides to being home. One of them is the food that I get to eat. My dad is no Emeril Lagasse, but his effort doesn’t go unnoticed. He seems to be cooking often recently, and the meals he makes are very good. Last night, he made sushi.
    I have been anticipating going to the grocery store for days now. Even before I come home, I tend to think about what I want to pick up when I head over to Shoprite or Fairway in the next week. Yesterday I thought I would be heading over there, until my dead came home with some groceries of his own. “I’m making sushi,” he said. Now, I have heard that his sushi was impressive, but I never was able to experience the cuisine.
    After an hour of waiting for the meal to be finished, I happily made my way over to the dinner table for the meal. There on the table, was a plate of sushi. He cut it into six pieces, and it looked like it came out of a restaurant. Tuna and crunchy pieces were wrapped inside rice and seaweed. The roll looked awesome, if I must say so myself, and it tasted just as great.
    He also made shrimp tempura, and I felt as if I had gone out for a nice Japanese cuisine. The tempura was great, it was crunchy, and it tasted like tempura should. It had a buttery kick to it, but I am not complaining. Who needs to go out for dinner when I have my own Japanese chef right here in my own home.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I haven’t blogged in over a week and apologize deeply for that. It has been a crazy couple of days and I am looking to get back in the swing of things. Two days ago I graduated college, and now I am back home and not sure which direction I am heading. It’s scary to think about, but it is something I am going to have to face soon whether I want to or not.

Food wise, however, I have eaten a lot, and I mean a lot. I have gone out to more meals in the past couple of days than I have in awhile and I have taken full advantage of it.

My roommate and I have been saving change since last September. We agreed that at the end of the year, we would cash it in and order a big fancy pizza from Dominos online. Forty one dollars later, we changed our minds.

There is a new hibachi place that opened a couple of weeks ago in town and we tried it out a few weekends ago. I was very impressed and my roommate and I decided that we should venture back there one last time. On Thursday, we took our savings and headed over to the Wal-Mart shopping center.

Usually lunch time is the more ideal time to go out for meals. They are always running specials, and you generally get more for your dollar. My roommate and I followed through on that.

We started off with sushi, and I was impressed right off the bat. The waitress brought over a big white plate, and on top, were three rolls that were nicely presented. Presentation is key. When food is presented nicely, it is more often times more appealing. We ordered spicy tuna, a California roll, and a shrimp tempura roll.

I have to say, there is nothing like fresh shrimp tempura. The crunchiness paired with the warmness of the outside pairs beautifully with the shrimp. With the rice wrapped around outside of that, it is perfection. Spicy tuna is always a good choice, the softness of the tuna is the way to go. When it is mixed with the crunchy fried pieces, you know you are getting a great meal. I am not a fan of California rolls, mostly because I do not like avocado. My roommate seemed to enjoy it greatly, and was sad we finished off the plate.

Next, we ordered a side of hibachi fried rice, and a side of hibachi lobster. I know lobster is a rather pricy fish, but when you saved up your money, you go for the best. We didn’t get a lot of lobster, but it was just enough. It tasted a little fishy, but cooked with sauce, and then cut up into bite size pieces, it was a nice accompaniment to the side of fried rice.

Fried rice is one of my favorite foods when I am eating either Chinese or Japanese food. The rice was cooked up with an egg, and some soy sauce. It sounds simple, but that is generally all you need. We finished off our plates, and I was content. My roommate was still hungry and wanted to order dessert. She decided on the cheesecake, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I was very happy with our decision to have hibachi. It was one of our last meals together and we wanted to make it special. Not only was it that, but it came out to $38.00. I can’t think of a better way we could have spent our money.