January 30, 2012

Enchilada Lasagna

I'll say right off that this was not going to be the meal I wrote about over the weekend (sorry for the Monday post - was internet-less all weekend) but the dish I was so excited to make and try turned out to be a huge flop. I had intended to write about making this, but it turned out terrible.  I have no idea what went wrong, but my meat was tough and the marinade was like getting punched in the face by a drunk orange.  Needless to say I tossed Thursday's dinner and settled for a Ramen stir-fry.  My ego was bruised still the next day so I decided to go with a stand-by with ingredients I had in my pay-day-is-still-4-days-away fridge.  While this isn't a single person meal, it will provide about 5 meals after dinner and is one of those dishes that gets more flavorful the longer it is in the fridge.

January 26, 2012

Whiskey Steak with Roasted Mushroom and Asparagus

All photos by Holliday

I wanted to challenge myself last night and try to make a complete meal from scratch.  Since I live alone I am constantly on the lookout for meals that can be tailored down to serve one without many leftovers.  I am burnt out on chicken so I headed out to the store to find a small steak to cook up and a small bunch of asparagus.  Well, there really isn't such thing around these parts - most food is sold in portions for at the very least two people... two people with mammoth appetites.  Maybe I just never noticed it before, but a small packet of sirloin steak (1 lb) is enough to make 4 single meals out of.  And since the meat was on sale for about $4/lb I went for it.  My initial plan was to buy a single small steak at the butchers, but the packaged 2-pack (of the same cut) was a better price - don't as me why, I just grabbed the smallest packet before I got cornered by the expansive family of 5 following me around the store.

January 24, 2012

Pan Seared Chicken with Mushroom Wine Sauce

Photos by Holliday
I am a huge fan of cream of mushroom soup.  It is versatile, easy to make and inexpensive - whats not to like?  Well the nutritional content for one and two, when cooking for just one person leaves quite a bit left over.  Unless you want to be eating cream of mushroom based meals for the next 3 days, cracking open a can may be a little wasteful.  Granted, a can of condensed soup doesn't cost very much, but I just can't bring myself to throw out half a can and putting leftovers in my fridge seem to just turn into mush.  There are times that cream of mushroom is ideal, even for leftovers: tuna casserole, chicken and rice casserole, Mexican casserole... I'm sure you can see a pattern here.  Well, I've been on a mushroom kick this past week and last night was no exception.  I had been craving chicken with mushrooms all day so as soon as I got home I pulled out my notebook and started figuring out a game plan to make a healthier and smaller version of a favorite dinner.

January 20, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner: Mushroom Carbonara

All photos by Holliday
 Wednesday was one of those days you wish you were curled up on the couch watching trashy day-time TV and eating breakfast at 1 in the afternoon.  It just seemed to drag on and on...  I like my job and I like what I do, but once in a while I find my mind on Sunday morning breakfast knowing I have nothing to do all day but relax and watch football.  Then I snap back to reality and am sad because I really could use a fried egg and some bacon.  Well, when I got home Wednesday night I decided to treat myself to breakfast but quickly realized I was out of bread and potatoes so I had to come up with a Plan B: a meal that was like breakfast, but in fact was dinner.

January 19, 2012

My Apologies Friends...

I had planned on writing about my tasty Breakfast Carbonara I had for dinner last night but ended up sewing until way past my bedtime and I just didn't have enough time this morning to write before leaving for work!  Please accept this picture of a guy watching Old Faithful erupt at 6am as consolation and check back tomorrow for my post!

Sketch by Holliday 2010

January 18, 2012

Kitchen Sink Tomato Soup and Tuna Cheddar Quesadillas

It is only Tuesday night and I'm already wishing it was Friday!  I'm not sure why but I've just been dragging like crazy and been somewhat out of sorts.  Maybe it is because winter finally decided to come to the coast and all the wonderful snow has been replaced by muddy slush.  Or maybe it is the damp grayness that is everywhere.  Or maybe I'm just having one of those weeks.  Whatever the case, I was in serious need of some comfort last night and I knew exactly how to make that happen.  A bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Only problem was, all I had of that combination was cheese and I had absolutely no energy to dig through my change and head to the store for a can of tomato soup and a loaf of bread.  Good thing I did have enough energy to put on cozy sweats and thick socks and throw together a healthy and delicious tomato soup from what I had left in my empty fridge (and I only opened one can!).

January 17, 2012

Mushroom Chowdah

It started really snowing here in Astoria sometime on Saturday night.  I woke up Sunday morning to a blanket, well, more like a sheet of wet snow outside.  My heart jumped and I was instantly back in Montana, getting ready to head out and meet friends for some play off football action.  Then it started drizzling and I was back in Oregon, with wet hems and a broken windshield wiper.  I still was heading out to watch football and grab a bite to eat, but there was something missing.  I spent most of Sunday and Monday thinking about a way to feel right at home and take advantage of these snowy days when it hit me…. I needed to make a hearty soup to warm my soul.

January 14, 2012

Cast Iron Breakfast: Baked Farmhouse Eggs

The best thing about the weekend is sleeping in late and eating breakfast for lunch.  I have been spoiled lately and been going out to Buoy 9 or the Labor Temple for a plate loaded high with potatoes, bacon and fried eggs... oh - and grease.  I guess that is what makes it a special weekend treat, but that got me thinking... how can make something just as wonderful, but at home with half the weight...

January 11, 2012

Snow Ghosts, Yellow Snow and Powder Hounds

This is my first winter away from Montana snow and ice, but I'm not letting that stop me from enjoying some of my favorite winter traditions here in Astoria.  To me, winter is a time to cozy under warm blankets in front of a toasty stove and enjoy a good movie, or bundling up with scarves, gloves, jackets, sweater, wool socks, boots and knitted hats to brave the cold from the car to the brewery in order to enjoy some good times with friends while snow gently falls outside.  I have fond memories of laying under layers of blankets listening to the steam pipes knock and the radiator hiss while people crunch by in the snow below my apartment window and snow plows scrape by in the road.  There is a certain crispness to everything, from speaking to the taste of a hot mocha, when there is snow on the ground and somehow 616 miles from Missoula MT I have been able to capture winter, sip by sip, in some of my favorite brews.

January 9, 2012

Spicy Turkey Croquettes with Avocado Sauce

We are into week 2 of 2012 and I think I'm ready to start the new-year-self-overhaul.  I did not do any resolutions this year because I think they are a way to set yourself up for disappointment later in the year (I didn't lose 20 pounds by my birthday? I haven't run 3 miles each day? booo me), therefore I have made myself a Feel Better Commitment.  I am not going to measure my success by pounds lost or miles run but by how I feel, physically and emotionally.  I knew I was on the right path when I started singing in the shower yesterday morning and forgoing my usual cup of Friday morning coffee last week.  With this new found spring in my step I tackled the pile of recipes to find something that wasn't fried or swimming in cream sauce.  And, with a little tweaking I found the perfect dinner to celebrate my Feel Better Commitment jump-off.

January 5, 2012

Avocado Fries

It's Thursday way-too-early morning (anyone else up at 5:30 today?) and I've hit my working week wall.  Tonight I'll be going down to Corvallis to the OSU Beavers basketball game and then sleeping in the car all the way back to Astoria, getting up again tomorrow and finishing off my week.  Needless to say I'm low on energy.  Good thing I was planning on posting my Avocado Fries on a low energy day!  I made these the other night and was hooked.  I'm not sure if it was the warm outside with smooth avocado on the inside, or just making a sinfully decadent treat that I didn't have to share with anybody, but they were amazing.

January 4, 2012

Dearest Friends and Followers,

I, like everyone else I'm sure, can't stand self-promotion or friends asking friends to "check out my site!" or "add me to your home page!" or "follow meeeee!!".  However, trying to gently promote myself around the hundreds? thousands? of food blogs in order to expand and reach more people has yielded little success.  Many blog forums require either a minimum number of published months or a minimum number of subscribed followers to be eligible to share posts.  Therefore I am asking those of you who visit my blog regularly, or occasionally give me a hand with my minimums.

Crispy Jack Chicken

I like Chicken Parmesan. It is so easy to make and a perfect combination of crisp and cheese and tomato is hard to pass up. So why change what is a tried and true recipe? To try something new but still familiar. Also, with the holidays past us, now is a good time to start lightening up what is made in the kitchen so last night I decided to tweak an old standby with some new, lighter flavors. Let's face it - Chicken Parm isn't the leanest dish out there.

January 2, 2012

Southwest Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder

There is something about a hearty soup that makes a person feel all warm and cozy. Who doesn't like to curl up on a Sunday night with a hot bowl of soup and watch a movie (sorry Giants/Cowboys). One of my favorite soups to make is Southwest Corn Chowder. It has chunks of red pepper and sweet potato and a generous helping of corn and spices to make this a well rounded and delicious soup.