Archive for the ‘Cooking’ category

8-Ball Zucchini, stuffed

September 23, 2011
8-Ball Zucchini, stuffed (made by my fiance!)

 Have you ever heard of 8-Ball Zucchini? Don’t worry– I hadn’t heard of it either. Until our friend brought one over from his garden. This is what they look like before you cook them:

flickr.com/photos/krossbow/4882371688/

According to this farm website, it’s a hybrid variety of zucchini squash that’s become much more popular over the last several years; the size and shape make it ideal for stuffing. We had no idea how to cook this thing, so my fiance went to Google. He came across this Soupbelly.com recipe, and gave it a whirl.

First he  hollowed out the zucchini; then he mixed the guts, chopped tomato, chopped onion and cooked ground turkey (a replacement for bacon). He sauteed the mixture for a few minutes, removed it from the heat and added bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper. He spooned the stuffing into the zucchini, covered it with cheese and baked it for 40 minutes.

The result: fantastic. Such a perfect blend of flavors. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone!

My fiance is the best

September 5, 2011

He cooks for me often. Check out these recent meals:

Shrimp and spaghetti with a white wine, garlic and butter sauce and garden-fresh corn on the cob

Chicken with herbs and a lemon sauce, Spanish rice and garden-fresh squash with cinnamon

Chicken, rice, beans and spinach with salt and pepper

New water pitcher

July 18, 2011

I just found out one of my friends can’t come to my wedding, but she did send me this lovely water pitcher.

I absolutely love it, and even used it for dinner tonight. My fiance and I attempted to make meatballs with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, breadcrumbs, and anchovies, but we forgot to add the breadcrumbs and accidentally bought sardines instead of anchovies. So yeah, they weren’t as good as they could have been. But they were still pretty tasty (guess mozzarella will do that!).

 

 

 

Bell pepper and onion quiche

May 22, 2011

My bell pepper and onion quiche

I made this Food.com recipe last week, and it turned out really great. You can use a refrigerated pie crust if you’d like (as opposed to one from scratch). Just bake the crust for five minutes, and then add your filling. The filling includes a cheese mixture (cheddar cheese and flour), sauteed bell peppers and onions, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Bake the quiche for 35 to 45 minutes and voila, you have a tasty treat to last you all week!

Some food notes from my brother’s graduation weekend

May 9, 2011

My brother just earned his MBA from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. After the ceremony on Saturday, we helped ourselves to complimentary finger foods. I especially liked these skewers of sausage bits, green olives, cheddar cheese, and cherry tomatoes. The appetizer is colorful, tasty, and seemingly easy to make.

Here’s the cake my mom bought for my brother.

The cake was made by Connie Decker, the same woman who’s going to make my wedding cake (I mentioned her in this earlier post). I am so happy we’re going with her for the wedding, as the cake was incredibly moist and the filling and frosting were also quite good.

I made dinner yesterday for Mother’s Day. It was so nice walking through the aisles of a grocery store and not having people all around you.

Tops supermarket in Fayetteville, New York

Normally I shop at a Shaw’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts and it’s always so crowded.

Yummy banana bread

May 3, 2011

I made some last night. I didn’t have a regular bread pan so I used this square pan.

The pan worked just fine. Here’s what two of the bread slices looked like.

I got my recipe from the Food Network’s website. It’s really quite easy. You cream together sugar and butter, and then beat in two eggs. In another bowl you mash up three bananas and add milk and cinnamon. In a third bowl you mix together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). You add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture, followed by the the dry ingredients. After mixing everything up, you pour the batter into a buttered pan, and bake it for an hour or so.

The recipe calls for a stick of butter, but I only had a half-stick. Surprisingly, the banana bread still tasted great. In the future, I may continue to leave out the extra half-stick of butter.

A successful trip to Syracuse

April 25, 2011

Not only did I take care of some wedding planning, but I brought back some awesome stuff.

A Chevrolet shirt in honor of my Chevy Cavalier

A mixer from some friends of the family (they had an extra one lying around)

An orchid from my mom

A haworthia cactus (also known as a zebra plant) from my mom

Easter chocolate

An old painting of mine

A week of wedding planning

April 21, 2011

The "ladies room" of the Wellington House

Since Wednesday my fiance and I have been in Syracuse, taking care of wedding business. Here’s what we’ve done:

  • We met with the florist. We are having Nino Gagliano of the Backyard Garden Florist do our flowers. He’s so nice and accommodating. We arrived at our appointment with several ideas of what we wanted, which made things easy. When we showed Nino our pictures (I found them online), he immediately knew which flowers were in each arrangement. Based on our preferences and his advice, he helped us pick out the perfect flowers and color combinations. We will be using a mixture of white roses, calla lillies, green hydrangeas, snapdragons, stock flowers, and hypernicum berries.
  • We checked out the rehearsal dinner venue. My fiance’s parents are hosting the rehearsal dinner at the Wellington House in Fayetteville. Wow, what a unique and charming abode! Built in the early-1920s, the home is split up into themed rooms. For example, there’s a “wicker room,” “men’s lounge,” and “bride’s room.” Thomas Thomas, the current owner, has filled the residence with furniture and antiques he’s purchased from local auctions. The estate includes a garden and a bar area, both of which we’ll be using for the rehearsal dinner (we’ll actually have free reign of the whole property).
  • We discussed some wedding details over a delicious dinner. My fiance’s parents were in town for a couple of days as well, so my family (my dad, mom, brother and I) went out to dinner with them and my fiance. We dined at the Brewster Inn, a wonderful bed and breakfast overlooking Cazenovia Lake. Not only was the view lovely, but dinner was amazing. Almost everyone had something different. I had the pan seared tournedos of beef (it came with chantilly potatoes, asparagus, and burgundy cream sauce), and my fiance indulged in the pork tenderloin au poivre (it was served with chantilly potatoes, asparagus, and a green peppercorn cream sauce).
  • We met with the baker. Connie Decker of The Chocolate Truffle will be making our wedding cake. I can’t find her website, but here’s a newspaper article about her. She’s been in business for more than 20 years, so she seems to really knows her stuff. We were a little disappointed she doesn’t do cake tastings (to help you figure out what cake flavor and filling to choose), but were willing to sacrifice that perk for her expertise. We decided on a chocolate cake with white frosting and raspberry filling. White roses, green hydrangeas, stock flowers, and hunter green leaves will decorate the cake.

Tomorrow we’re finalizing the guest list with my mom; on Saturday, we’re sampling food at the reception venue. I’m especially excited for that task!

Some random gastronomical musings

March 6, 2011
  • The Flour Bakery + Cafe’s cookbook rocks. I’ve never actually made anything from the book (nor do I own it), but I’ve sampled two desserts from it. One was a chocolate cupcake with white butter frosting, and the other was a lemon square. A friend of ours brought over some of the lemon squares the other night, and I can’t stop thinking about how good they are.

The remaining lemon squares

  • Wegmans rocks. You’ve all heard of this amazing grocery store right? Each year, the Rochester, NY-based supermarket makes Fortune magazine’s list of best places to work. Not to mention the store has an excellent selection of produce, baked goods, meat, and much more. Well this past week, when I was in Syracuse for some wedding planning, my mom made veal and spaghetti with Wegmans’ vodka sauce.

The sauce is unbelievably tasty. Its ingredients include diced tomatoes, tomato puree, diced onions, cream, olive oil, vodka, Romano cheese, roasted garlic, and basil. She mixed the sauce with cooked mushrooms, put the mixture atop spaghetti, and served it with Wegmans-brand veal.

My mom bought some of the Wegmans-brand veal for me to bring back to Boston.

I love how the veal is nice and skinny. My mom basically dipped the veal pieces into an egg and flour mixture; then covered them with breadcrumbs. She cooked the veal in some olive oil for a couple of minutes, put mozzarella on top of the veal pieces, and microwaved them for a minute. So the cheese was nice and melted atop the crispy veal. Oh my gosh I was in heaven eating this meal. It was of restaurant quality (a good restaurant, that is)!

I stopped by the local wine store, looking for a decent boxed wine. As I was reading the back of this one, a lady giving out samples of another wine told me a couple of customers had just recommended this one. So I went with it. It was pretty reasonably priced ($15 for 1.5 liters, which is two bottles-worth), and it is organic/contains no sulfites. I’m no oenophile; I just like a smooth, decent-tasting wine. Well, this one fits the bill. I mean, it’s a little spicier than the wines I’m used to, but by no means is that a negative thing. I would surely purchase this brand of wine again.

I can be pretty low-maintenance when it comes to food

March 6, 2011

I look in my fridge, take out some Tupperware containers, and make up a plate like this:

Triscuit crackers, nicoise olives, cheddar cheese, asparagus, and dried fruit

 


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