Archive for the 'Deliciousness' Category


Delicious Friday: Foods We Crave

Alrighty. Earlier this week, I told y’all about my odd, cycle-driven cravings, and asked y’all what foods you love or would like a recipe for.

I can’t tell y’all how tickled I was when y’all told me you wanted a recipe for biscuits and gravy, veggie style.

So, when I was looking for my sausage gravy recipe, I ran across a vegetarian version. It actually looks pretty tasty:

mmm. gravy!

mmm. gravy!

Photo credit goes to Karry Hosford. Click the pic for the recipe. Now, there’s one problem with this recipe: it has milk and butter and all kinds of animal products used in it, which will make IntellectualFeminist unhappy as she’s vegan. So, I put my search skills to work, and found that there is a Vegetarian Journal. (Was anyone else aware of this? I must be getting way too behind in my foodie reading pursuits.) Click this sentence to see a vegan take on biscuits and gravy.  Oh, and here is the recipe I used for my biscuits, and here is the recipe I used for my sausage gravy (I substituted turkey sausage for the pork; it was yummy!)

Now, this next recipe will make BuddingStarlet very happy. She’s always asking me about my pizza dough, because she never can remember what I put into it. This recipe comes from my favorite vegetarian cookbook: The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook. It’s actually a recipe for a specific pizza, Ricotta and Fontina Pizza, but the dough is so delicious I use it for just about anything concerning yeasty bready goodness. I’ll type up just the dough making part; if y’all want the rest of the recipe, let me know and I’ll put it in comments.


1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

pinch of sugar

4 cups white bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

To make the dough, put 1 1/4 cups warm water in a measuring cup. Add the yeast and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until frothy. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Gradually pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Mix to make a smooth dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth, springy, and elastic. Place the dough in a floured bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

As a side note: every time I make this pizza dough, I usually need a little more water or oil to get my dough to come together properly. It may be because I use my stand mixer and a dough hook instead of the spoon and bowl method. Just a bit of warning: you may want some extra liquid on hand. Now, this dough will make 4 10-inch pizza dough rounds. I usually just halve the dough and make two big pizzas. When you’re ready to bake it, the temp is 425 (f) and the time is about 15 minutes for the small rounds, it’s about 20 for my bigger pizza. Of course, everyone’s oven is different, so adjust times accordingly.

Next up: chicken pot pie. In the comments, The Bald Soprano requested a good recipe, as she hasn’t had it since she left the States. Poor thing. Well, since I wasn’t sure how you preferred your crust part of the pie, I’m giving you two recipes: the original, and then an alternate crust you can use if you don’t do biscuits.

A few posts back, I wrote about a pot pie I wanted. Click this sentence for the recipe. Yes, I know, that says turkey. I substituted some leftover rotisserie chicken for the turkey, and it tasted just as wonderful. Now, I usually make a pot pie with, well, pie crust. This one has biscuits, but let me tell y’all. Those biscuits meld so good with the filling, it’s worth a try. Seriously. But, if you’re someone who prefers pie crust, here’s a great recipe for a 9 inch pie crust courtesy of The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook.


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plus one tablespoon chilled shortening (if you’re vegetarian/vegan, use veggie shortening. I use butter.)

3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour and salt; cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle ice water, one tablespoon at a time, evenly over surface; stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Shape into a ball; cover and chill until ready to use.

Roll pastry to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface, place in pie plate; trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under and crimp. Chill.

For baked pastry shell, prick bottom and sides of pastry shell with a fork. Chill pastry until ready to bake. Bake at 450(F) for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

I included how to do a bottom crust in case you prefer crust on top and bottom. I prefer just the top.

Finally, what would a good meal be without a good drink to go along with it? Piffle came by and offered a great recipe for limeade. As the limes I saw in the market last night looked as if they’d been battered, I haven’t had a chance to try it. But I want to, because it sounds SO refreshing (damn this 101 degree weather!) Here y’all go:

Limeade is good. Take 5 limes, squeeze dry. I have a juicer that’s a little plastic dome screwed on over a glass catcher jar, so I use some cold water (from the fridge cold, not tap cold) and rinse the pulpy bits for maximum liminess. Pour into a jug. Then add 1 cup of sugar syrup (dissolve three cups sugar in 5 cups water in a pan over the heat, store in fridge for instant use and no undissolved sugar). You could probably substitute a half to three-quarters cup of light corn syrup instead. Add a pinch of salt. Add about a half liter of cold water, stir, add another liter of water, stir again. If you stored the water in the fridge you can drink it right off, otherwise cool in the fridge and enjoy!

I hope y’all enjoy these recipes. If y’all have a favorite recipe you want to add, or you want to let us know how the recipes I put up today went for you, just leave us a comment! As for me, I’m gonna grab some water and figure out what I’m making for my own supper. Have a great weekend!


Intuitive Eating and Me

Ugh. So, I’ve been having more technical problems. *shakes fist at Internet provider* But since I’m back for now, I’m gonna post before it conks out on me again.

I’ve spoken a bit about intuitive eating in some of my past posts. And I wish I could now say “It’s SO easy to do!”

But I’d be lyin’ to y’all.

What I’ve found (and naturally, YMMV), is that it’s hardest for me to listen to my body’s cues when I’m on my cycle. Ok, I’m about to get REAL personal, so if y’all aren’t quite ready to know me like that, you may want to navigate away.

Still here? Great! Ok. My eating habits pre-cycle are pretty average. But during? I’m tellin’ y’all, if you were to meet me, and not realize my cycle was the issue, you’d think I was pregnant. I want the most RANDOM foods ever at the most RANDOM times ever.

Case in point: Sunday morning (and I’m talking midnight, Sunday morning), I had a craving for…biscuits and gravy (maybe my last post was still ringing in my head?). Now, my approach to intuitive eating is as follows: I want said food, if said food is available, I eat said food. I tend to not ponder over the whys and such of wanting the food, cause I can talk myself right out of EATING sometimes. But all I could think when the craving hit was “Who in the hell wants biscuits and gravy at 12:20 am?!” Apparently, this woman, ’cause I paused my movie and rolled right out of bed to make those biscuits and gravy.

Now, we won’t talk about how gravy is one of those condiments I cannot make to save my life. Totally moot. But it turned out ok. And I was full and satiated. (Look for a recipe post Friday, provided the damned ‘net doesn’t die before then.)

All that to say: intuitive eating isn’t gonna be easy. I’ve been in convos about intuitive eating where women have said “If I ate what my body wanted, all I would eat is ____________!” My argument is: since you keep telling your body you can’t have ________, it’s gonna want _____. And the first thing that’s gonna happen when you actually listen to your body instead of ordering it about is it’s gonna want all that __________ you wouldn’t let it have before. That stops after awhile. What’s harder to stop is the need to rationalize why you’re eating what you’re eating (which also goes to the little anecdote above). When my little bro came wandering in the kitchen, to see me sprinkling parsley on my plate of biscuits, gravy, and scrambled eggs, he says “I wanted some breakfast too!” Ordinarily, I’d be all: “But I’m hormonal!” which involves an overshare that no 17-year old boy wants to know about, but instead I said:

Me: “Oh, yeah? Why didn’t you ask me to make you something?”

Him: *stares at my plate with disdain* (he doesn’t eat scrambled eggs without pork sausage–I don’t eat pork–and he’s not so fond of gravy…or biscuits.)

Me: “Oh, yeah. Right. Well, there’s pancake mix in there. Have at it.”

Him: *as he makes his meal* “I used to always wonder why you ate breakfast in the middle of the night.”

Me: *eyebrow raise*

Him: *carrying plate to his room* “But I know now. It just tastes better.”

And you know what else tastes good? Not having to keep my body from what it wants. Mmm, happy body moments. Goes great with Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk!

Editor’s Note: Littlem, check your inbox, darling. I finally got a chance to reply to you. Sorry for the lateness!


My Original Career

Yay! Swedish Chef!

 Before I decided I wanted to do the literary thing, I wanted to be a chef. I say this now because in the last few weeks, I have been revisiting that dream. Full disclosure: I almost went to culinary school instead of university. Really. And I don’t regret going to university first, because it’s given me the platform I’m gonna need if my latest career move is to come to fruition.

I’d like to be a food writer. And a pastry chef. Only because I couldn’t bring myself to make soup of a turtle. Espcially if he was still looking at me when I was gonna cook him. Well, that and my grandmother (on mom’s side) used to be a pastry chef. She worked in the grocery store, I think. And her pies and cakes? Were some of the best around. And so beautiful! My mother says I got the baking gene from her. And I ain’t half bad when it comes to taste. Aesthetics? Well, I’m gonna need some help on that.

I’m feeling a little more comfortable putting that out there now, after so many years of saying I want to be a lawyer. And what’s important for me to remember is that one’s initial dreams don’t fade simply because another path is taken. They’re always there, and I have all the time in the world to do other things as they strike me.

But I think I’m gonna follow this path first and see where it leads me. But, culinary school is NOT cheap. Neither is the move I’m gonna have to make. So, I’m still on that job search grind, because money must be saved.

And maybe, with the added boost of degree number 1, I can bring about the first career plan I had in mind.


Thanksgiving Cooking Debachles

Ok, so yesterday in my comments I alluded that my cooking did not exactly go as planned.

That’s a pretty mild understatement. I shall, as they say, begin at the beginning.

Tuesday night, the family and I were having a discussion about the sweets to be had at the feast. Sweets typically fall to me, as my mother is more fond of cooking than baking. Ok, so as I told y’all Tuesday, I was just gonna make the pie.

No. I made the pie, a cake, and tea cakes(I’ll explain these in a bit).

Ok. No big deal. I’ve made these before, so this will be…a piece of cake, right? Eh. Kinda. We’ll start with the pie…and then move on to the main course.

So, I dig up my Pyrex pie pan and grab my refrigerated crust. As much as I love to cook, I can be a bit of a lazy cook. And I just don’t see making pie crust when it comes ready to go in a box. I follow the directions and carefully press the dough into my pan, and do a blind-bake (you pre-cook the crust) like my recipe called for. I pull out the crust and….it’s ballooned in the middle. I go into a mild panic…until I see (in both the recipe and the box) that this is normal, and to just press the crust back down with a spoon. I do, and life goes on. Pie completed! And it looks good! Until I cut into it, that is. Apparently, my mashing with the spoon tore the dough(and I didn’t notice) so some of the pie juices sank underneath my crust. Now, my crust was cooked, but it was stuck to the pan. So when you cut a piece, half of you pie slice stays right in the pan, and must be scooped out with a spoon. But, it’s quite tasty, so I count it as a minor setback for my first pumpkin pie.

On to the cake. Now, this was at lil’ bro’s request. He wanted a caramel cake. No prob, I know how to make those. But we didn’t have the sour cream required for the cake. So, I made a plain cake and decided to put some caramel frosting over (the original has both a caramel flavored cake and icing). The cake making was awesome…it came out moist and dense. Just wonderful. I used a buttermilk cake recipe, because it’s so lightly flavored any type of icing will take center stage. What was the problem? T’was the icing, folks. Oh, boy. That icing.

OK, I have nothing to say in my defense here. I didn’t thoroughly read my recipe and I didn’t separate the sugar properly. What’s that? How do you separate sugar? Well, the recipe will give you a set amount of sugar you need (here, 3 1/4 cups) and you’ll need to put a certain amount to the side (here, 3/4 cup) for use elsewhere. However, I didn’t read my directions, and I assumed 1/4 of the sugar needed to be set aside. I’m thinking that here was the beginning of the end. I figured I’d be able to resolve the problem because I continued with the recipe, and it looked like it was supposed to look….and when all was said and done and I’d iced the cake, it was beautiful! Just lovely. So I continued with my other recipe (the forthcoming tea cakes). Once I’d put that dough in the fridge to chill…I looked over at my lovely cake. And the icing had POOLED AROUND THE BASE. I mean…just a lake of my icing all around the cake. Now, this happens when the cake has not cooled before icing is applied. That cake was ice cold. My icing just didn’t set up like it was supposed to. Ok, so now I’m pissed. But lil’ bro thought it was both cool (the whole icing melting thing was awesome to him. Did I mention he’s almost 17? That might have something to do with it) and delicious (he promptly cut into that cake and took down a slice). So yeah. All’s well that ends well, right?

But the good times continued with the aforementioned tea cakes. For those who never heard of tea cakes, no, tea cakes don’t have tea in them (like lil bro assumed), even though if you do a search for them on Food Network you’d see some recipes that do. Those recipes that do are not true southern tea cakes (you’ll want Paula Deen’s version for the tea cakes I’m referring to). So, why are they tea cakes, then, you wonder? Simple. They’re intended to be eaten with your tea. They’re lightly sweetened, so you can enjoy your cake (it’s actually a cookie) and your tea without that dreaded sweet-cancels-sweet thing your mouth tends to do. I don’t care for them, because a cookie without chocolate is blasphemy to me, but since Mom isn’t a real sweets kind of person, they work for her. So I made her some.

Since it had been a while, I’d forgotten how squishy and sticky the dough gets. So once all the flour was mixed into the butter (simplest recipe ever, y’all: flour, baking soda, salt, butter, vanilla, sugar) it was all runny. And I’m thinking, dammit, I’m battin’ a thousand with these here desserts today. But I slapped it in the fridge, it firmed up, and the recipe was saved. Crisis averted. And Mom was impressed and happy: since me and lil’ bro don’t care for tea cakes, she had them all to herself.

Whew. Are y’all still giggling? Good. Because it just gets funnier. I still have to cook my lil’ chickens Cornish game hens. So, Thursday morning I roll over and “feel up” my hens (Mom’s terminology). I’d marinated them in a herb and garlic marinade, and I then rubbed em down with an herbed butter. I tossed them in a baking bag with some onions and a splash of chicken broth. And I’m exhausted, because my “monthly issue” is upon me. So, I go take some ibuprofen and lie down.

And sit straight up 2 hours later. OMG. O. M. G! My chicken! I forgot about it! It’s burned!

No. It isn’t. Lil’ bro and Moms kept watch. It was perfectly done on the counter. Whew. I should mention I’m shaking like a leaf now, because I scared myself so badly.

And I finished my dinner with my wild rice, and it was good. Yeah.

So, all in all, dinner went well. Even with the missteps, everything turned out lovely, and nobody was concerned about the state of the desserts but me.

And since talking about yesterday’s dinner has made me hungry, I’m gonna go grab something to eat now.


Change of Plans

Y’all, I’d originally intended to give a whole rant about how my folks tended to treat me at Thanksgiving. As mentioned in the post before, I also intended to write said rant on Wednesday.

Yeah. Not so much.

Why not? Truthfully, I’m tired of giving my family the reins to my enjoyable turkey day. I’m tired of dwelling on how I felt cornered during holiday gatherings because it felt like EVERYONE was eyeballin’ my plate. My mother fell victim to this too. So, every Christmas and Thanksgiving, moms would cook a meal at home. This way, she and I would be able to eat without being scrutinized.

But I don’t feel like ranting (ahem, anymore) because I won’t be around the, um, “concerned” part of my family this year. ‘Cause it’s just me, moms, and little bro, with visits to the always awesome Godmama, g-bro, and g-sis. And this part of my family is more concerned with if they cooked all the things we kids love to eat and the always popular “Well, didja get enough?” as opposed to “Ain’t that enough yet?” Since I won’t be going there physically, I sure ain’t bout to go there mentally.

So, instead, I’m gonna talk about the dinner I’m helping to cook. As I’ve mention before, I love to cook. In another life, I was gonna be a gourmet chef. Actually…I might try out for The Next Food Network Star. But we’ll have to see. Anyhow, since all us kids are home, I get to help with the meal. Part of this is because I have certain foods I don’t eat (no beef nor pork, or as I put it , “all things that go oink or moo”) which pretty much takes down half the treats included in a traditional southern feast. For those of y’all not familiar, southern folks have a tendency to put pork fat, pork parts, cow parts…and so on in their meal. It’s not just the ham and roast. These meats get cooked in the veggies, too. Let’s just say any kind of meat in general ain’t got a chance in hell around these parts. Especially in Texas, where I am now.

So, since I do enjoy poultry every now and again, I’m baking up some lil’ chickensCornish game hens, making some wild rice with portobello mushrooms, curried butternut squash soup, and my first pumpkin pie from scratch. Mmmm. I feel the need to indicate that the soup is mine. Nobody else eats squash but me. Heh. I’m okay with that. The pie? Well, lil’ bro may give it a taste, but he has let me know in no uncertain terms he’s pissed I opted not to make sweet potato pie. Eh. I make it every year. He’ll get it for Christmas.

I also get to try my hand at the greens this year. For my non-southern (and international readers), greens is not a reference to salad greens. Greens are big bunches of leafy veggies that I DO NOT recommend eating raw. I learned this the hard way, folks. You boil them up in a broth (veggie, chicken, beef, or hell, just plain water, if you want) and a meat (smoked turkey since I don’t eat hamhocks) until deliciously tender. It’s simple enough, but I’m a woman who CAN’T make something as simple as a gravy to save my life. So, I get a cooking lesson from the master cook in the house: mama.

So, this Thanksgiving will be awesome. Because I’ll be around family I love and that loves me, and because I get to experiment with food. Now, before I leave y’all to finish watchin’ Paula Deen fry her entire Thanksgiving supper (seriously, folks. She’s fryin’ layer cake, for goodness’ sake!) I figure I’d share another gem from Blogthings. I’ve now learned what kind of pie I am. I’m excited because it’s my second favorite pie (behind sweet potato) and the pie I always ask BuddingStarlet to make, ’cause she can make the hell out of some pie.

You Are Apple Pie

You’re the perfect combo of comforting and traditional.You prefer things the way you’ve always known them.You’ll admit that you’re old fashioned, and you don’t see anything wrong with that.Your tastes and preferences are classic. And classic never goes out of style.Those who like you crave security.

People can rely on you to be true to yourself – and true to them.

You’re loyal, trustworthy, and comfortable in your own skin.

And because of these qualities, you’ve definitely earned a lot of respect.

What Kind of Pie Are You?

Well, this will most likely be it until Friday (I gotta prep the lil’ chickensCornish game hens, roast my squash…yeah. Y’all know what I mean.) So, till I post again, y’all have a wonderful, delicious, stress-free Thanksgiving!


Delicious Friday: Mexican, Anyone?

Today I have a taste for wonderful spicy food. So, today’s deliciousness is dedicated to Mexican fare. Now, since I haven’t pinpointed exactly what it is I want for supper, I figured I’d post everything I was considering. Since I don’t just cook for myself, maybe I’ll make them all…but since everyone in my house isn’t as adventurous as I, I may just make a little something for myself. We’ll have to see. Today’s recipes are from Food Network.

Chicken Enchiladas


Chicken Empanadas


Roasted Corn


Mexican Caramel Sundaes


And finally, for the grown folks:

Double Apple Mojito


Oh, boy. Actually, this little spread makes me want to call a few folks over for a party. I mean, I’ll look for whatever reason I can to make all this great food. Yum. Ok, folks, as always, if any one out there makes these dishes, let me know in the comments! I’m leaning towards the empanadas, myself. Have a great weekend and Happy Cooking!


Delicious Fridays: Pasta Tonight!

Ok. I’ve decided that I’m gonna take a break twice a week from being all serious and stuff, and incorporate a bit more of  me into this blog. So today, I’m introducing you to a favorite pastime of mine: cooking!

 Well, at least once a week I pick a random recipe I see on any website (Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food Network, etc.) and try it. Even if it’s something I wouldn’t in a million years eat (or maybe something I have to google so I can pronounce it properly), I cook it up and try it. I think that I’ll share my adventures with you all so that you too can be bold about eating delicious things. Now I suppose I should warn folks that everything I’ll post isn’t gonna always be healthy (indulgence is lovely, and needed!). But we don’t need a license to eat tasty, indulgent food.

Wait, you do? Ok, go here and print you out one. Then come back here and enjoy. This week’s recipe comes from Bon Appetit. It’s a vegetarian dish, but I’m sure you could add chicken if you wanted.

Rigatoni with Red peppers, Wild Mushrooms, and Fontina


Photo credit goes to Leo Gong.

Now, this will be my supper tonight! If any of you choose to make this your supper, drop me a line in the comments and let me know how it went, what modifications you made, etc. Or, feel free to share anything else you’re making for supper (I am always looking for new ideas). Happy cooking!

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