November 7, 2012

Spicy Shrimp Chowdah

After a long absence it is time to dust off the pots and pans, shake off the cobwebs and get back to making some tasty food!  The past 6 months have been a time of transition for me, moving from Astoria, OR back to Missoula, MT and settling back into the mountains.  It was a fun summer, filled with camping, swimming, traveling, music and whatever else we could pack into the sunny days.  Everything it seemed except cooking.  But now I am back with one of the best dishes I have eaten in a very long time - Spicy Shrimp Chowdah.

February 14, 2012

First Try at Chibatta Bread

I love fresh baked bread.  There is just something about the smell of baking bread that takes a person home.  Even though we didn’t bake bread much when I was growing up, I think the smell just makes any place feel like home.  After mastering focaccia bread, I have been feeling confident in my bread baking abilities, so I decided to move on to another, more complicated Italian bread: chibatta.

February 12, 2012

Saucy Shrimp

There has been a bottle of tequila sitting on my fridge for about 3 months now with just about 2ish shots left in it.  I am not a tequila drinker that often, and I honestly can’t remember why I bought it in the first place, but it has slowly been emptied whenever I get in the mood for a margarita.  This week though I had a coupon of $2 off a seafood purchase at the store and since $2 worth of shrimp is just right for one person, I figured it was time to make a recipe that I have been wanting to try for a long time.  I am calling this dish “Saucy Shrimp”, but it really is a tequila lime shrimp pasta, but does the title really matter?  A rose by any other name…

February 7, 2012

Chicken with Spicy Sour Cream Sauce

This is a recipe only post of a very delicious spicy chicken I made the other night.  I have been dealing with some personal issues and have not had much energy for cooking or writing about my creations so this weekend I'm playing a little catch up.  I made this chicken as a quick dinner one night and was amazed at how tasty it turned out.  The cream sauce was spicy and had a good sour cream taste to balance the kick out.  I served it over my Mexican Rice and added some corn and green onion to it for some added freshness.  It was a perfect, quick meal that took my mind off the world at large and the things that have been making my life complicated in recent days.  Enjoy!

February 5, 2012

Pizza Roll-Ups

I don't know about any of you but I love pizza pockets but I hate how heavy and greasy I feel after.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to spend a night and modify it into some kind of pizza roll-up with tasty fresh ingredients.  Apparently though, Astoria grocery stores do not believe in egg roll wrappers so I had to go with plan B: phyllo dough.  Not a big deal, nothing is better then improvising in the kitchen, some of my favorite meals have come from cooking this way.  Not only was I feeling adventurous, but it was the Civil War basketball game and I knew I wanted some kind of finger food to enjoy while watching the game.

February 4, 2012

Crispy Curry Chicken

I like curry, it is one of my favorite spices and I am always trying to find new and interesting ways to use it.  Sadly, outside of curry chicken and rice and curry stir-fry, most recipes call for a slow-cooker or ingredients that aren't readily available or within my single person budget.  In the past I had made chicken tenders with curry in the panko, but I knew there had to be a way to make that dinner a little bit more grown up.  So I did what any modern cook does to find a new recipe - I googled it.  There were quite a few recipes for basic crispy chicken with curry flavors but one stood out at AllRecipies.  It called for chicken to be marinated in a curry yogurt sauce and then breaded and fried in butter.  Sounded good but it seemed so heavy and I knew if there was a way to lighten it up I could find it.

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.