Friday, August 3, 2012

My cat my muse


Ok so it's not like I have problem or anything. I promise I don't have like a million cats at my house. I have ONE cat! One awesome cat named Niko. I think he is two years old. I recently painted a picture of him. When I thought I was done, I thought it looked kind of sad and boring, so I jazzed it up by drawing a keyboard under his paws. What cat doesn't want to play the piano right? This was the end result. I litterally have no idea what to do with this. Where am I gonna put this this? Haha. If you have any suggestions I would be glad to hear them. In the meantime...enjoy my Niko concert pianist.

Mycathasswag

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cindy's Awesome Mini Sliders

Who doesn't like a burger? Or who doesn't like Hawaiian Sweet Rolls? So I thought, "what if, I use my favorite sweet rolls to make awesome hamburger sliders?" THEN I DID IT. The result was so epic I was forced to share.

 To make these heavenly creations you will need:

16 HAWAIIAN SWEET ROLLS! (don't buy any other brand)
4 slices American cheese (or cheddar)
2 lbs ground beef
1 bag of breaded crispy onions
a couple of strips of bacon chopped about 2 in pieces
salt n peppa
your choice of fixins'
(I like mayo on mine)


Yield: 16 mini burgers

This is super simple. First start cooking your bacon because you want that sucker crispy.

Photobucket

Take your ground beef, evenly divide it into 16 equal parts. If you have two 1 pound packages divide each package into eight equal parts. Then to make pretty uniform mini-patties, stuff them in cupcake pans and flip them upside down to take the patties out of the pan. 

Photobucket

Next sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of each patty. I used garlic salt because garlic rocks.
You can cook these in a pan or grill em or even in the oven if you want. 
I've done all three and I like using this griddle the best. 
Oil It lightly before putting your burgers on there and keep the flame low.

Photobucket

Check on that bacon.

 Photobucket

So now that you have your potatoes sliced and ready...

 new

Pour a ridiculous amount of oil in a pot and attempt a dangerous deep frying maneuver. Make sure that sucker is bubbling.

Photobucket

Make sure they are decently browned. This needs a more time.

Unfortunately I was too excited about getting these suckers in my belly that I forgot to take more pictures of the procedure here.

In a nut shell once you have all components ready, you assemble you burgers and you lock your doors so that your mooching friends can't have any of these delicious heavenly bites.

I really hope you are less confused now than at the beginning of this post! ;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

McDonalds Shamrock Shake (review)

OK,

shamrock shake

Lately I've heard a lot of buzz about the limited time Mc Donald's "shamrock shake." Let me tell you I usually don't buy into dumb promotions like this (I've never even had a mc rib) but I heard a lot of good feedback so I made it my mission to try one. Why would it be bad?

I called up my local Mc Donald's and I asked if they still carried the shake due to St. Patrick's Day being over. Once they confirmed that they indeed carried said minty beverage I raced over there as fast as I could....the next day. I'm kind of glad I did.

So the husband and I caught an "In n Out" burger before driving a few feet to the adjacent Mc Donald's. When the drive thru guy showed us our shakes the presentation was decent. It was basically a plain vanilla shake with some mint flavored syrup topped with whipped cream and a red maraschino cherry. We handed him $4 and some odd cents for two small shakes and he handed them to us....

I took the first sip, and got a straw full of whipped cream. Yuck. Ok, lets give it a second try. Then I got a straw full of mint sugar syrup which was at the bottom of the cup. BARF. It was like some terrible, minty, store brand, cough syrup! Ok, maybe the shake without the syrup will taste better (it was the plain vanilla at the top). Twas, simply mediocre at best. Finally I thought, OK what if it just needs to be stired?! Nope. Nope. Nope! It was still just terrible. I wish I had just bought four chocolate sundaes instead. But I just HAD to try the talked about "shamrock shake." It makes perfect sense why Mc Donalds still had the promotional St. Patricks Day beverage three days after it was over.

Lesson learned. Maybe Mc Donald's just sucks at mint shakes? Maybe if I made a homemade version it would taste better? Sounds like an experiment waiting to happen...



Monday, March 19, 2012

Broccoli and Cheddah Soup


  broco ched soup

Many moons ago I worked at a small popular sandwich shop and one of the most cherished items on the menu was the broccoli and cheddar soup. I never really gave this soup much thought until recently I decided that I DO love this cheesy concoction. Before I start, let me give you my disclaimer. If you are looking for a light and health soup, do not make this one. This soup is rich, creamy and loaded with TONS of delicious calories :)

If you want healthy, go eat a piece of celery.

So gather up:

  • 1/2 an onion finely chopped
  • 2/3 stick of butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 finely chopped broccoli
  • 8 oz grated mild cheddar

Make a roux by sauteing your onions with the butter then adding the flour and cooking for about 2-3 min. Stir constantly. Add all your liquids, spices and whisk to dissolve the flour bits. Cook until sauce is thickened, whisking often. 

Zap your veggies in the microwave for about 5 min or until soft (cover your microwave dish with a plate to keep the steam in).

Gradually whisk in cheese until your soup is smooth, then stir in your veggies.



enjoy




Saturday, March 10, 2012

Simple Flat Iron Pouch

One day browsing at World Market something pretty caught my eye. A stunning place mat that was calling my name. I didn't know what I would use it for but I knew I had to get it. Two passes through my sewing machine later a tutorial was born...

 Photobucket

Start with your choice of place mat...

Photobucket

Then fold about 1/3 of the mat and pin to secure...

 Photobucket

Zigzag along the pinned edge...

Photobucket

Should look like this...

Photobucket

Put your flat iron ...

Photobucket

Finally, admire what you did in a matter of minutes.

Photobucket

Now YOU give a try!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cindy's Bolognese


 Yummy pasta alert!

The first time I tried this was at my brother's house and I thought it was SO good. I asked him where he got the recipe and he said he got it from one of his coworkers who are mostly Italians. He gave me the gist of how you make it then I made it for myself. Because this takes some time to make, I tend to make a large pot. I will use half right away and then freeze the other half for future use. It is up to you if you want to double the recipe or not. I suggest you do because this stuff goes fast! I made it for a friend's birthday dinner and got rave reviews and now I pass it on to you! :)

 serve

To make Cindy's Bolognese you will need:

3 strips of bacon thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and minced
2 celery stalks minced
1/2 large onion minced
1 pound LEAN ground beef (no more than 10% fat)
1/2 can tomato paste
1-18oz can stewed tomatoes
garlic salt, pepper, sugar to taste (you will use a lot of them)
1 pound penne rigate (or your choice of pasta)
Water to boil the pasta with


The first thing you are going to do is cook your bacon to render some of it's fat. You need this fat to cook your veggies, and to make it taste awesome. You see those brown bits = FLAVOR!

 bacon cook

Add your minced carrots, celery, and onions. Stir, and cook until the carrots are soft.

add veggies

While your veggies are going open your can of tomatoes and pulse them in a blender to break them up. Don't blend too long because you want texture in your sauce. 

blend

After a few min your veggies will be ready. Do not under cook the carrots. If you do they will be hard and noticeable in your sauce. Make sure they are thoroughly cooked :)

veggies ready

Next add your ground beef and use your spoon to break it up. 

add meat

 Cook it until brown and juices from the meat have evaporated. See this? Not ready.

cook meat

Then add your can tomato, and tomato paste. 
Now would be a good time to cook your pasta...just sayin'

with sauce

Simmer until some of the moisture has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.
Remember to season as you go...

simmer

Serve over pasta and top with some cheese!

serve


Let me know how it worked out !

 





Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lazy Saturday

Today I woke up unmentionably late today and ran a few errands. Then I bought some adorable half pint mason jars. Now I have to decide what to do with them. An ice cube tray to freeze liquids (extra whipping cream, extra egg yolks from making macarons...that kind of thing). Also, a few sewing supplies. Now I'm hanging out with my cat Niko. It is about time we give him a bath. Yes, we bathe him...well, my husband does. Just to show I'm not lying here he is at one of his scheduled baths. Yes, he doesn't like it but we can't have fleas in the house. He is an indoor cat after all.





We love Niko <3








Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Easy Mac and Cheese


Hi Again,

Here is a recipe I adapted from one I got from Martha Stewart for Mac and Cheese. Very yummy and way better than the kind from a box.



serve

To make this Easy Mac and Cheese you will need:

2/3 stick REAL butter
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound cheddar (I prefer extra sharp or white)
1 pound elbow macaroni
water to cook macaroni with
salt to taste


Start by melting your butter in a large pot.

melting butter

Then add your chopped onions.

onion saute

When your onions are soft and translucent, add the flour. 
The flour is what helps thicken the sauce.

flour

Stir this on a low flame for about 2-3 min.

roux mix

Now it is time to add the milk and cream.

whisk milk/cream

Whisk thoroughly to get rid of any flour lumps.

whisk

Add your salt and choice of seasonings 
(I sometimes add some garlic powder or use garlic salt)
Do not use too much salt because there is plenty in the cheese and you don't want to over do it!

spice it up

At this point do two things: shred your cheese if it is not ready now...

 cheese grate

...and cook your macaroni according to the instructions on the package.

macaroni boil

Between everything you are doing whisk your sauce often. If you don't you will end up with lumps. The sauce will thicken as it boils. When the sauce coats the back of a spoon its ready. This is knows as "nape."
At this point, congrats you have made a "roux."  Turn off the flame.

nape

When your macaroni is ready drain it and put it to the side for now. 
Shake well to remove any excess water.

macaroni drain

 In three parts gradually add your shredded cheese. Whisk after every addition.

 add cheese

Season if needed and add your cooked macaroni.

mix macaroni

Stir it and you are done!

done

Enjoy :)