Tag Archives: Dinner

A Foodie Christmas Story

25 Dec

MarketIn my family, food defines holidays. Butcher-made hot dogs reign on the Fourth of July. Red beat eggs take over Easter. And Thanksgiving’s solidified by Nana and Pop Pop’s home-made mashed potatoes. But no holiday compares to the food fest known as Christmas.

Christmas isn’t marked by a single food or even a traditional dish. Instead, it’s comprised of all of the favorites, no matter how strangely they pair together.

Christmas Eve breakfast — 9:00 a.m.

It all starts with Christmas Eve breakfast. Every Christmas Eve my family wakes up and heads down to Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. If you haven’t been there, it’s a mecca for food lovers, boasting everything from Amish shoofly pie to an oyster bar.

While the market houses to two diners and a hand-rolled doughnut shop, my family loves to start the morning right with a warm rotisserie chicken, washed down with fresh-squeezed orange juice. The combination has no right making sense, but it does.

Next, we divide and conquer, scouring the market for our yearly stands. I typically head up collecting gyros (pronounced YEE-rows for those non-Greeks) and an assortment of cheeses mostly consisting of Gouda.

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Halloween Dinner: Spooky Mummy Dogs

30 Oct

Mummy DogsI redeemed myself! After posting my last horribly embarrassing miniature caramel apple fail, I managed to prepare an adorable fall themed dish without it looking like melting intestines.

This time I veered away from the lie machine known as Pinterest and settled for a corporate site. Pillsbury’s website to be exact. It’s full of cute and creepy crescent roll creations, plus each recipe has been meticulously measured in a test kitchen to ensure happy customers and future Pillsbury purchases, unlike Pinterest.

My latest Halloween inspired creations were mummy dogs! I made them while babysitting my elementary school-aged neighbors and they turned out to be a fun and easy dinner project. Plus, you only need five ingredients!

Pillsbury Mummy Dogs recipe

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • 1 package of hot dogs
  • 1 container of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 6 slices of American cheese
  • cooking spray
  • mustard (for eyes and dipping)

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Alton Brown’s Mushroom Stroganoff

22 Sep

StroganoffI was watching Best Thing I Ever Made the other day — the Food Network show that forces famous chefs to tell you them most delicious food they’ve ever eaten while all you have in your refrigerator is expired Greek yogurt and brown bananas. Without fail, the show always leaves me hungry, jealous, and ready to cook.

In this particular episode, Alton Brown described a mushroom stroganoff recipe that sounded like heaven. In that instant, I decided the dish would be my next cooking endeavor. Here’s the recipe.

Alton Brown’s Mushroom Stroganoff with Goat CheeseStroganoff Ingredients

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 bag wide egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 portabella mushrooms (cubed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 scallions (sliced and green and white ends separated)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 14 oz can of beef broth
  • 8 oz container non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

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Centre County Pennsylvania Farm Tour

18 Aug

Rabbit CacciatoreHappy belated farm week! In celebration, I spent the other weekend touring farms in Centre County Pennsylvania. I’m extremely interest in local agriculture.

My dad’s an avid gardener and supplies my family’s kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables all summer. Eating out of my backyard taught me the difference between store-bought flavors and local food. For that reason, I take an interest in where my food comes from.

During the day-long tour, I visited four local farms in the central, PA area. I received behind-the-scenes tours of two, Amish-run farms, an inside look at the life of a dairy farmer, and a tour of an organic animal farm. In those four stops, I learned a lot about the farming community, and better yet, bought a lot of delicious food.

After collecting fresh and local cheese, meat, and veggies from each of the farms, I made it my mission to cook a hearty, locally sourced meal. Here’s what I came up with.

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Poached Mahi-Mahi with Tomato Caper Sauce

10 Aug

I love trying new cooking techniques. Most recently, I attempted poaching. Not the endangering elephants kind, but the cooking something by simmering it in broth kind.

The poaching protein of choice: mahi-mahi. The poaching liquid: chicken broth, white wine, and rosemary. The outcome: delicious.

Poached Mahi-Mahi with Tomato Caper SauceMahiIngredients

Ingredients for fish: (Serves 2)

  • 2 mahi-mahi filets
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary

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Melissa d’Arabian Pasta Pescatore

29 May

Melissa d'Arabian Pasta PescatoreMy boyfriend and I recently celebrated our four year anniversary. We’re not a big anniversary couple, considering we both almost forget every year, but this year we wanted to do something special.

Since we’re both food obsessed, we thought it would be fun to celebrate by making a nice dinner, more specifically, a seafood dinner.

I don’t cook seafood often, so I turned to a Melissa d’Arabian recipe for some help. I chose to make pasta pescatore, which was surprisingly simple and delicious.

Melissa d’Arabian’s Pasta Pescatore

I made a few modifications. In the original recipe, the seafood consists of flounder and shrimp. This is a great seafood combination to use to keep the price down. Since it was our anniversary, we decided to use mussels, shrimp and scallops. Mussels are surprisingly cheap, but scallops can get a little pricey. If you’re cooking on a budget, feel free to use whatever is on sale.

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Baked Buffalo Drumsticks

16 May

Baked Buffalo WingsDon, my roommate’s live-in boyfriend, loves buffalo wings. He is also slightly health conscious, so he asked me to make him a healthier version.

I love cooking for Don because he always compliments my food, so obviously I said yes.

After some research, I pulled together a few recipes. The baked version does save some deep-fried calories, but considering wing sauce is a mixture of butter and hot sauce, you’re not doing your waist a huge favor.

With that said, if you’re going to eat buffalo wings, why not make them baked? Here’s the recipe I came up with.Buffalo Drumstick Ingredients

Baked Buffalo Drumsticks

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce

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