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February Charm City Cookbooking: Diana Kennedy

February 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Cookbooks, Dinner | 7 Comments

So I hosted this month, and surprise surprise- I chose Mexican again!!! I really wanted a reason to make tamales from scratch and so I found this book of Diana’s that had a bunch of tamale recipes and a lot of good solid Mexican cooking knowledge! I put some of her tamale expertise to use, but really I took the recipe from abuelita. ๐Ÿ˜€ She bought me a bunch of things I would need at the Mexican market and then I put them to use on Saturday night and what resulted?? Only the best tamales abuelita has had in a long time!!! Go me!!!

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Here is a shot of some of my tamales, they were awesome (and I don’t care one bit how much I am bragging about it!) They took about 3 hours to make from start to finish and I can’t wait until I have another big get together so I can make them for the rest of my friends!! Now go over to our CBC blogsite and see the rest of our great Mexican fare.

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Gathering of Friends at Iggie’s

February 23, 2010 at 8:17 am | Posted in Dinner, Entertainment | 10 Comments

The Friday night after the snowflakes stopped falling and the roads were starting to be “cleared” Ned and I ventured out with some of our friends to one of our favorite Friday night hangouts. Iggie’s! I have been to Iggie’s about 4 times now and it never dissapoints. First off, it is BYOB and they supply wine openers and a nice lot of wine glasses and water glasses/fresh cold water to be able to get whatever you need for your meal. Secondly, (and which is probably most important) is that they have awesome creative and delicious pizzas!

DSC_0065We always get the pizza of the year 2008 – the cipolla (red onion confit, mozzerella, pancetta and ricotta) and it is just to die for! We also got some salads and three other pizzas so go for the jump and check it out!

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Neddy hits the big 2-8!!!

February 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Posted in Dinner | 8 Comments

My darling boyfriend turned 28 this past Sunday. It’s so cute that he’s a Valentine’s Day baby and coincidentally has red hair! He is the reason I haveย a passion for cooking. Back in 2004 when we started dating, I used to cook a marinated chicken breast for myself on the foreman grill and steam frozen veggies for my meal every night. Can you believe that?? I can’t! And on our first unofficial date, he brought over 5 bags of groceries and we cooked for three hours and had the most amazing meal. I tear up right now thinking about how wonderful it was (salad with roasted pears and champagne grapes, salmon with pistou, and chocolate mousse made from scratch with justย a whisk and paired with homemade raspberry sorbet.) I should have dropped to my knees right then and said yes! – I want this man to makeย me thisย food for the rest of my life! But I was difficult and made him chase me. ๐Ÿ˜› A couple of months later I realized this man was my best friend and there was no way I wanted him to leave my side and we started officially dating.

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He continued cooking the cool stuff cause he loved it and so he would in that teeny kitchen in the Broadview and I would sit on my computer and read Perez Hilton,etc and then I would complain about how this or that tasted weird… But then we went to Paris and my whole vision of good food changed. I realized I should open my eyes and be excited about anything and everything that is presented to me on a plate. When we got back I got several cookbooks (Ina, Tyler Florence, and the new best recipe) and so my cooking started to improve because of being inspired by those recipes.

But then we took a nice long break about two years ago andย I realized I could entertain my girlfriends and family by spending endless awesome hours in the kitchen concocting delicious things to bring smiles to their faces. And this is how my blog got started- as a way to document my trials and tribulations with baking and cooking. So now that he’sย back and hereย for good- spending endless hours in the kitchen with him is something I absolutely love. I remember that first year of cooking together we made osso bucco and the marrow freaked me out. I was trying to think of something decadent and complicated to make him for his birthday and came back to that idea- so here we go Round 2 Osso Bucco!

Continue Reading Neddy hits the big 2-8!!!…

More chicken from TK!

February 11, 2010 at 12:00 am | Posted in Cookbooks, Dinner | 8 Comments

Ned hates that I call Thomas Keller, TK, but I think its kinda cool. We went searching again for a healthy recipe that would last all week and we landed upon this reallllly simple one in Ad Hoc! It uses a healthy dose of curry powder and paprika for the rub on the chicken and the delicious sauce is comprised of tarragon, shallots, white wine, chicken stock, and butter! Glorious butter and glorious sauce!

DSC_0036We bought some nice free range chicken breasts (it felt weird not getting the ones with skin- cause I feel like skinless boneless breasts are just a little too easy for TK!) and paired them with our standard sauteed spinach with a roasted garlic head. We have been eating that side now for about 3 weeks straight and have not tired from it! Healthy – fast – and delicious– what more could you ask? Go for the jump and see the recipe for the chicken.

Continue Reading More chicken from TK!…

We Baked for Bob’s Birthday!

February 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Posted in Cookbooks, Dessert | 4 Comments

Last Wednesday/Thursday night before the big ol storm came, Jen was pondering what to make as a surprise for Bob’s (her fiance!) birthday! I asked him what kind of cookies/ingredients he liked and she said peanut butter/oats. I went searching in my favorite new baking cookbook and lo and behold, what did we find?? The most perfect boy cookie that Bobby would surely enjoy!!! The Monster Cookie!

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And whattdyaaaa know? He very much enjoyed them! And Ned had a couple of them too over the weekend and he liked them also! (and Ned is not the one to search out sweets at all!) I think this Baked cookbook is finding the way to their hearts via sugar!ย  The decision to make these was made before we discovered that we only had 1.75 cups of oats left in the cupboard!? I used the whole lot making Baked granola (that recipe to come soon!) So us nerdy math/science geeks figured out how to divide the recipe in 3 which can certainly be risky when it comes to baking, but hallelujah- they turned out great! And to up the ante a bit, we got Reese’s Pieces to give some extra peanut butter deliciousness.

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Auntie Helen’s Weight Loss Soup!

February 6, 2010 at 11:21 am | Posted in Dinner | 9 Comments

Two Sunday’s ago I met Auntie Helen to give her something for her birthday! Last year I made her these, but this year I wanted to do something non-edible! Remember?? We gots to drop some pounds! So she’s going to get her nails done at About Faces at some point and from that conversation we had that day I decided to make this soup! It’s comprised of chicken, chicken stock, black beans, celery, tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, red cabbage, cilantro, low fat sour cream, peppers and chiles in adobo. So in my quest to keep losing weight I decided to make this for a whole week’s dinner for Ned, Laurita and myself! Well I would have to say that it worked, because I lost two pounds last week! But of course, the snowstorm and being cooped up all weekend led to a bunch of pointless snacking and we’ll see how this week turns out… And I lost two pounds again somehow! My weird body sure surprises me sometimes- and 10 pounds in 5 weeks?! I’m a weight loss professional now! ahhahaha….

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This soup is very tasty and very satisfying, and makes a ton! Wonder if it would work for freezing and reheating when needed?!? The chiles in adobo give it really good deep flavor, the red cabbage (added right before you eat it) gives a nice texture contrast, and the tons of vegetables and lean proteins make it uber healthy! God I love Mexican flavors! Can’t wait for this Saturday when I am hosting cookbook club and we are cooking Diana Kennedy’s food! Tamales here we come! Well cookbook club did not happen today, but a lot of other tasty things are being made in the kitchen during the snowpocalypse II! Hope everyone has something nice and warm like this soup to chow on today. ๐Ÿ˜€

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A Winter Irish Feast

February 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Posted in Cookbooks, Dessert, Dinner | 4 Comments

When my friend Erica from Alexandria, VA told me that one of her favorite Irish bands was playing at Mick Oshea’s in Baltimore, I instantly decided that we had to have a little dinner party before seeing them play! Last year my girls came over at we ate this and then headed down to Federal Hill for some dancing! Because of the proximity of the bar to my buddy Jesica’s apartment, she agreed to host the dinner party at her abode! We had a lovely jaunt to Wegman’s in the morning and then cooked all afternoon. The results were great!

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Here is our Company Pot Roast stewing on the stovetop and getting ready to go into the oven! We used Ina’s recipe and it was pretty good. We also had some caramelized onion toasts, a nice salad with blue cheese, pears, and walnuts, and finished it off with the nanaimo bars + some Breyer’s vanilla with reduced sugared Guinness!
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