Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hawaiian Veggie Stir Fry

As promised, the veggie stir fry that I made to go with the crockpot pineapple chicken recipe. This was a perfect addition to the meal-we all loved it. I'll be making this again very soon.
Photo from Hub Pages

sliced onions
sliced green peppers
sliced carrots
broccoli flowerets
1 small can water chestnuts
1 small can sliced mushrooms
sauce ingredients:
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Get Cookin'

Combine all sauce ingredients together, mixing until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
In a large frying pan (or wok)  heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers and carrots. After 3-4 minutes add broccoli, cauliflower and water chestnuts. In another 2 or 3 minutes add the mushrooms. Pour in the sauce, stirring, until it is thickened and the veggies are glazed (about a minute).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Polka Dot Cheesecake

My mother scored a legitimate Italian cheesecake recipe from an Italian woman that's in her TOPS chapter. The coveted recipe is rich, creamy and delicious. However, I might have to cheat on that recipe and try this polka dot cheesecake on The Baker's Daughter. It's so prep cool and well, my style!

Photo from The Baker's Daughter

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kitchen Art

I daydream about my future kitchen a lot. And shop for it, a lot. I'm tired of dorm kitchens and hand-me-down pots and pans. But, I think of it as motivation to keep on track for graduation and starting my career.
My newest obsession: this art print.

How many of the books in this print do you own? Me: three.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pita Jungle

Jesse and I met in Tempe for an early dinner date this afternoon since I'll be staying at my dorm over the weekend. Since we're not in Tempe for dinner very often, I was so excited to go back to Pita Jungle, an Arizona treasure.

I wanted to be back at the dorms early, so we ate at 4pm, which ended up being great because we got to hit up their happy hour. (They also have reverse happy hour, 9pm-close). Beers were $2, wine $3. Their tapas were amazing, too. We got the hummus trio (only $1), but there's a large selection of other great starters like baba ganoosh, dolmades (my favorite) and garlic sauce for pita.

Jesse got the gyro and I ordered the lentil fetoosh salad (what's a fetoosh?). Lentils and rice cooked with carmelized onions, over mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, sumac, toasted pita chips and lemon vinaigrette. It was superb. And, did you know that lentils + rice = complete vegetarian protein?

Another location just opened up in downtown Phoenix, walking distance from the downtown ASU campus (eek!). I have a feeling I'll be eating more than my fare share of dolmades and hummus with a closer location.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pineapple Chicken

Have you ever seen the Broadway show Caberet? It's a beautiful show about Germany in WWII. One song from the show is when a produce vendor brings his sweetheart a fresh pineapple, virtually impossible to find during the war. The seranade about the pineapple is precious and sweet and I always sing it when my dad brings home a fresh pineapple from the store. :) Which, brings us to tonight's dinner: pineapple chicken.

Here's a video of the pineapple song, featuring the Broadway revival cast. I couldn't help but share.

Back to dinner...

enough chicken for 4
20 oz can of pineapple chunks
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 t red pepper flakes

Get Cookin'

Throw everything in the crockpot, (pineapple juice, too). My chicken was completely frozen and it still cooked super fast. I suggest cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 3-4.

I served this with brown rice and a vegetable stir fry.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lucky Black Eyed Peas

We usually make the same recipe for black eyed peas every New Years Day. None of us especially enjoy it, but it was tradition, so we continued to make them annually. This year, the Early Show on CBS had a segment featuring "lucky foods" to cook on New Years Day that included this recipe. Its the  best version of Hoppin' John we've ever made. It's lucky, too, since (so far) 2011 has been a great year.

Tip: Be sure not to cook the black eyed peas too long--they'll get mushy and soggy and make the dish more like baby food than a lucky meal to kick off the new year!

1 tablespoon EVOO
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
Cooked rice
Hot sauce (we used Frank's brand)

Get Cookin'
1. Heat EVOO in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in black-eyed peas, broth, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook 10 more minutes. Stir in green onions and parsley.

3. Serve on top of cooked rice and add hot sauce.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

During the winter my family always makes noodles from scratch, it's a tradition. It's a lot of extra work, but the flavor is so worth the labor. We still had some ready to cook and I wanted to make something that would really feature the noodles: chicken noodle soup (from scratch!).

2 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 quarts chicken stock
1 1/2 cup of chicken (shredded or chopped)
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped (don't substitute dried parsley in this recipe, the fresh stuff really makes it great)
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon thyme

8 ounces of noodles (homemade or from the store)

Get Cookin'

Add everything except for the noodles into the crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until dinner time. About 30 minutes before eating, add in noodles, if store bought. If using homemade noodles, add the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Yesterday I finally went to the Hotel Valley Ho Spa in Scottsdale to redeem my massage gift certificate that I got from my birthday. I was saving it as a reward for finishing up the semester--so worth it. When I arrived I was offered a cup of white tea to help me relax. When I was given the tea, I fell in love with the tea bags--look at how unique they are!