Monday, October 31, 2011

My latest adventure!

Well life here has been busy and I've added something crazy to the mix.  I'm working on an infomercial. Now, I can't tell you which one right now, but it has been quite an adventure so far.   I've been given the product, supplements and I work out for at least an hour a day.  I also changed my diet according to the one we've been given.    So it's been a week of this "non-sense" and I've survived my first weigh in.  OK, yes, I feel awesome that I kicked everyone elses flabby ass by losing the most in class.  But, these people are ridiculous.  I'm sorry skinny girl who weighs 130 lbs, do you really have 8 lbs to lose?  I think your general everyday living needs everything it can get.  So don't look at me like I'm someone to beat.  I just kept to the basic principles of the diet and quit eating and living how I had been.  Common sense people!  That and you're the size of my thigh, so did you fail science in school?  Come on!  I have more to lose than you.  What does make feel like crap in class though, is the fact that I can barely touch my toes or do a sit-up.  Instead of looking like someone who used to be in shape and has suffered injury, I look like a fat ass who can barely keep up.  I want to just crawl up in a ball and bawl.  Well.  On to week 2!

Halloween - Bacon Deviled Eggs

One last minute Halloween appetizer. Try these spooky spiders.
Ingredients:
3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
8 hard-cooked large eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper
16 large pitted black olives
Directions:
Cook bacon until browned on both sides and crisp.
Drain on a paper towel until cool enough to handle.
Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl.
Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon or pipe about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half.
Cut each olive in half lengthwise and place on top of egg for the body.
Then cut the other half of the olive crosswise into thin slices to form creepy spider legs.
Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Stay hungry my friend!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween - Monster Mouths

In case you're tired of sugary snacks, try this healthy snack of apples and peanut butter from Better Homes and Gardens.

Stay Hungry my friend!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween - Making Bones

This recipe requires a little more finesse than I'm up for, after all it is from Martha Stewart, but they do look fun and easy.  Maybe after a few trial runs they'll look these.
Stay hungry my friend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween - Cocktails

While getting ready for your Halloween party, try making one of these cocktails.  Visit Not Martha her Halloween cocktail experiments.

Stay hungry my friend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween - Popcorn

Need a sweet and salty fix?  Try this Monster Mash Popcorn from In Katrina's Kitchen.


Stay hungry my friend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween - Wicked Witch Cupcakes

Look at these wicked little cupcakes. Yup, these are cupcakes. I don't know if I have the patience to make them, the recipe says 1h 30 minutes. Check out how to makes these beauties from Better Homes and Gardens

Stay hungry my friend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween - How to preserve your pumpkin

Every year I want to carve a pumpkin.  But it's not to make a pretty design, I just want the seeds.  This year I am going to try and be artistic and carve one out.  Check out this blog post on how to preserve your pumpkin from My Science Project.



Stay Hungry my friend! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween - Pumpkin Rice Pudding

With it 100 degrees here in October, it doesn't really feel like fall.  I'm hoping by finding some comfort food recipes that I'll be in a more Halloweeny / Fall spirit. 
Check out this Pumpkin Rice Pudding recipe from Real Simple.

Stay Hungry my friend!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween - Candy Apples

If only I had this much patience to make these.  Yup, under all that goodness is an apple.  So go out and try to make this.  Check out the Distracted Homemaker.

Stay hungry my friend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Cooking - Meat Hand

With the year going by so quickly, I'm missing my favourite holiday.  Halloween!  So I'll be sharing some recipes I've found for the occasion.  I haven't made them, but they look so delicious, I may have to make some time.   If you do end up making them, I'd love to see how they turned out for you.

This one comes from the talented Not Martha.  It's a meat hand!  Check out the detail of the nails and the cross section of where the "hand" was severed.  Be sure to go to Not Martha for more pics of the details and how to make it.  Break out the ketchup!



Stay Hungry my friend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sweet and Sour Pork

I love me some sweet and sour chicken.  That nuclear orange goodness that covers those fluffy deep fried chicken balls and makes plain rice edible, is heaven sent.  I knew this recipe couldn't be that gooey sweet, but I decided to try it anyway. 
Aside from the lack of neon colour, what did make me skeptical was the ketchup (ketchup it only for frenchfries and hashbrowns), it certainly added something to the mix. 

After the sauce came together, I decided that next time, the recipe would need a bit of heat, so if you're adventurous, add some chili flakes to balance things out.

Once the kitchen was clean, the dishes done and the leftovers put away overnight,   I was pleasantly surprised in the morning that this tasted almost like leftover chinese takeout, best served cold.  Try it!

Ingredients:
2 boneless pork chops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tablespoons of prepared garlic)
1 red onion sliced
2 green peppers
Sesame Seeds

Directions:
Place pork chops between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound until half it's original size.
Toss pork with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, the soy sauce, cornstarch, ketchup, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/3 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in another bowl.
Heat oil in a large pan over high heat.
Add the pork and cook about 2 minutes, until the meat is almost opaque.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in skillet, then add garlic, onion and green peppers.  Stir-fry until still firm.
Add a touch of water if the garlic starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add pork and soy sauce mixture, stir until the pork is cooked through and the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.
Stay hungry my friend.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wine lingo

Acidity:  Describes a tart or sour taste in the mouth when total acidity of the wine is high.
A component of wine generally consisting of tartaric acid.  Very important in wine, this gives the wine that crisp taste.

Appellation:  The place in which the dominant grapes used in the wines were grown.  This place can be an American Viticulture Area (AVA), a defined grape-growing region, which means 85 percent of the more of the wine was produced from grapes grown in the named area.

Aftertaste:   The taste or flavors that linger in the mouth after the wine is tasted. May be "harsh", "hot", "soft", "lingering", "short", "smooth", or nonexistent. See also "Finish".

Aroma:   Refers to the particular smell of the grape variety, i.e. "appley", "raisiny", "fresh" or "floral".

Balance:   The relationship linking the four basic components in a wine: sweetness, acidity, tannins and alcohol. Fruit softens a wine’s balance, while acidity, alcohol and tannins firm up at the wine.

Body:   The weight or viscosity of wine in your mouth, commonly expressed as full-bodied, medium-bodied or light-bodied.

Bouquet:   A tasting term used to describe the smell of the wine as it matures in the bottle.

Complexity:   These are the different flavors and textures that you taste in a wine. In most cases, the more complex, the better the quality.

Finish:   The taste that remains in the mouth after swallowing. A long finish indicates a wine of good quality.

Legs:  The viscous droplets that form and ease down the sides of the glass when the wine is swirled. This is an indication of the alcohol present in the wine.

Length:   The amount of time the sensations of taste and aroma persist after swallowing.

Mouth feel:   The texture of the wine, how it feels in the mouth and against the tongue.

Nose:   See "Aroma"

Palate:   The feel and taste of wine in the mouth.

Terms about a wine's character

Acrid:  Describes a wine with overly pronounced acidity. This is often apparent in cheap red wines.

Assertive:  Upfront, forward.

Attractive:  A lighter style. Fresh, easy to drink wine.

Balanced:  Indicates that the fruit, acid, and wood flavors are in the right proportion. A wine is well balanced when none of those characteristics dominates. Wine not in balance may be "acidic", "cloying", "flat", or "harsh".

Big:  A wine that is full-bodied, rich and slightly alcoholic tasting.

Character:  A wine with top-notch distinguishing qualities.

Crisp:   Denotes a fresh, young wine with good acidity.

Closed:   Describes wines that are concentrated and have character, but are shy in aroma or flavor.

Complete:   A full-bodied wine rich in extracts with a pronounced finish.

Complex: Describes a wine that combines all flavor and taste components in harmony.

Delicate: Used to describe light-to-medium weight wines with good flavors.

Dense: Describes a wine that has concentrated aromas on the nose and palate, desirable in young wines.

Depth: Describes the complexity and concentration of flavors in a wine. Generally refers to a quality wine with subtle layers of flavor that go "deep". Opposite of "Shallow".

Developed: Refers to the maturity of a wine.

Elegant: Describes a wine of grace, balance and beauty.

Empty: Flavorless and uninteresting.

Fading: Describes a wine that is losing color, fruit, or flavor, usually as a result of age.

Flabby: Lacking acidity on the palate.

Flat: Having low acidity; the next stage after flabby; or refers to a sparkling wine that has lost its
bubbles.

Full-Bodied: Fills the mouth. Opposite of "thin-bodied".

Graceful: Describes a wine that is subtly harmonious and pleasing.

Neutral: Describes a wine without outstanding characteristics, good or bad.

Potent: Describes a strong, intense, powerful wine.

Robust: Describes a full-bodied, intense and vigorous wine.

Round: Describes a well-balanced wine in fruit, tannins and body.

Seductive: A wine that is appealing.

Short: Describes a wine that does not remain on the palate after swallowing. Common in inexpensive wines, but not necessarily a fault.

Simple: Describes a wine with few characteristics that follow the initial impression. Not necessarily unfavorable; often describes an inexpensive, young wine.

Soft: Describes a wine with low acid/tannin, or alcohol content with little impact on the palate.
Supple: Describes a wine with well-balanced tannins and fruit characteristics.

Thin: Lacking body and depth.

Terms about the wine's taste

Barn-yardy: Smell of earth, truffle, and wet leaves.

Bite: A marked degree of acidity or tannin. An acid grip in the finish should be more like a zestful tang and is tolerable only in a rich, full-bodied wine.

Bitter: Considered a fault if the bitterness dominates the flavor or aftertaste. A trace in sweet wines may complement the flavors. A fine, mature wine should not be bitter on the palate.

Buttery: It refers to both flavor and texture or mouth feel. Common among chardonnay, especially new world.

Chewy: Describes rich, heavy, tannic wines that are full-bodied.

Corked: The wine smells of cork, it is unpleasant to smell and taste, slightly musty. The flavor of the wine will typically be flat and dull.

Dirty: Covers any and all foul, rank, off-putting smells that can occur in a wine, including those caused by bad barrels or corks. A sign of poor winemaking.

Earthy: Describes a wine that tastes of soil, most common in red wines. Can be used both positively (pleasant, clean quality adding complexity to aroma and flavor) and negatively (barnyardy character bordering on dirtiness).

Flinty: Describe the aroma or taste of some white wines; like the odor of flint striking steel. Often used to describe Riesling.

Fruity: Describes any quality referring to the body and richness of a wine, i.e. "appley," "berrylike," or "herbaceous." Usually implies a little extra sweetness.

Grapey: Describes simple flavors and aromas associated with fresh table grapes.

Green: Tasting of un-ripe fruit. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially in a Riesling.

Heady: Used to describe the smell of a wine high in alcohol.

Herbaceous: The taste and smell of herbs.

Murky: Lacking brightness; turbid or swampy.

Musty: Having a moldy smell.

Oaky: Describes the aroma and taste of oak.

Peppery: Describes the taste of pepper in a wine; sharper than 'Spicy.' Good zinfandel often has a black pepper aroma, while Rhone Valley Syrah can have white pepper aromas.

Perfumed: Refers to a delicate bouquet.

Smoky: Describes a subtle wood-smoke aroma. Attributable to barrel fermenting or aging.

Spicy: Describes the presence of spice flavors such as anise, cinnamon, cloves, mint and pepper,
often present in complex wines.

Sweet: One of the four basic tastes. Describes the presence of residual sugar and/or glycerin.

Tannin: Describes a dry sensation, with flavors of leather and tea.

Tart: Sharp-tasting because of acidity. See also 'Acidic.'

Toasty: Describes a hint of the wooden barrel. Usually associated with dry white wines.

Velvety: Having rich flavor and a silky texture.

Zesty: A wine that's invigorating.

Red varietals from full to light-bodied

Cabernet Sauvignon:
Is the noble red wine grape that has made the wines of Bordeaux renowned and is on the world’s most recognized and loved varieties?  Today this stately grape is grown is nearly every major wine-producing region from California to France.

Syrah
Is a dark-skinned variety of grape?  Syrah is grown in many countries through the world and is used to create powerful red wines or blended into other wines, where it can be either the major or minor component.

Merlot:
Is known in its native France as merlot noir, for the dark, blue-black color of its berries.  Now planted widely in California, the grape yields a soft supple wine and is also used for blending with other wines.

Zinfandel
Red wine grape whose origin is believed to come from an obscure Croatian grape. Winemakers agree that the American variety has unique qualities and makes better wine than does its European ancestors. This grape gives complex, well-balanced wine that age as well as the best French clarets.

Sangiovese
Is the main red grape of Italy’s Chianti district and of much of central Italy, it can be made into light-bodied to medium-bodied wines, as well as into long-lived complex reds. Sangiovese is creating a new reputation of excellence in the wine growning regions of California.

Pinot Noir
Is an ancient French grape that under perfect conditions makes some of the best red wine in the world? Recent wines made from new plantings in the cooler growing regions of California are making Pinot Noir a favorite through the world.

Colcetto
Is a black wine grape variety primarily grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, but brought to California by expatriate Italians. The name means “little sweet one” and produces wines of equal delight.

Whites from full to light-bodies

Chardonnay
Is a green-skinned grape variety used to make America’s number one selling wine? Originating as the noble French grape variety used to create white Burgundies and Chablis, its vines adapt well to a variety of climates worldwide.

Viognier
Seemed literally an endangered varietal only a few years ago, but is being rediscovered worldwide. Its homeland is the northern Rhone region of France, but is newest realm is California.

Sauvignon Blanc
The wild grape of the Bordeaux region of France is now planted in many wine regions of the world and does particularly well in California vineyards.


Semillon
Relatively easy to cultivate, although it is best suited to areas with sunny days and cool nights such as California.

Gewurztraminer
 A german-Alstian grape variety that makes excellent aromatic, almost spice, white wine.  Today the grapes are found through California and the wines are particularly enjoyed with Asian cuisine.

Pinot Grigio
Is the classic white gape of Alsace, Italy and Germany.  Its skins can yield full-bodies, full-flavored and complex white, or pinkish, wine in cool growing regions through California.

***not my descriptions

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crunchy Pork Chops

If you're new to reading my blog, you'll find that I'm very fond of boneless pork chops (when they're boneless you can pound then down and make the thin enough so they cook up quickly and beating around the bone is too much work) 

Always in search of a new way to cook pork chops, this one is similar to others I've tried, with the exception of the Dijon mustard.
Ingredients:
From Original Recipe @FoodNetwork.com
2 pork chops approximately 8 ounces each
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash (or similar no-salt product)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

Trim the thick white fat off the pork chops.
Lay the chops between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and using a mallet beat them until the meaty part of the chop is half as thick.
Beat the egg in a shallow wide bowl with the mustard and no-salt.
On a large plate or platter, combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan.
Coat the chops into the egg mixture, being sure to coat both sides.
Then dip the eggy chops into the bread crumbs, covering them evenly.
Place each chop on a cooling rack to dry slightly, while the oil heats.
Cook the chops until they are a deep golden color, about 5 to 7 minutes a side (depending on how thin you've managed to get them and how cold they were before going in the oil).

Stay hungry my friend.