"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." - Harriet Van Horne

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." - Harriet Van Horne

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Garden

My garden is starting to come in and I am so excited to start cooking. Today I pulled out some crooknecks and some huge zucchini that I am going to use in a pasta dish. Very excited!!! I also took a picture of the watermelon I am growing, which is teeny tiny. Can't wait until that grows. In addition I am growing a few varieties of tomatoes, which are starting to come in. I love to grow tomatoes because they remind me of my dad. He loved his garden and was always working on his tomatoes. He planned to spend a lot of time gardening in his retirement. Unfortunately, just a few weeks into his retirement he was diagnosed with stage 4 leukemia and we lost him less than a year later. So Dad this garden is for you!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cashew Chicken

We love cashew chicken around here so last night I whipped up a batch of our favorite version: Rachel Ray's Cashew! God Bless You Chicken. Fast, easy and yummy.


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
2 Tbs sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced & mashed
2 Tbs rice wine, rice wine vinegar or dry sherry
A couple of shakes crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 Red pepper, seeded and sliced
1 Green pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium onion, sliced
3 heaping tablespoons-size scoops hoisin sauce
A couple of handfuls unsalted cashews


In a large bowl, combine chicken with 1 tablespoon sesame oil, garlic, rice wine, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Set aside and let it hang out.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat until it smokes. Add red pepper, green pepper and onion and stir-fry for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the coated chicken and cook another 4 or 5 minutes. Add the hoisin and toss to coat evenly. Place chicken on a bed of jasmine rice and top with cashews.

Number of Servings: 4

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chefgirl Biscuits and Gravy

My husband loves biscuits and gravy and is somewhat of a connoisseur in the area. I decided to make him homemade biscuits and gravy for his Father's Day breakfast. They were a hit. Then we headed off to the California Automobile Museum where he spotted a Lamborghini and it was love at first sight. I felt bad dragging his from his new love but alas love is not always enough. After that we hit Funderland, and we all had a blast. I even rode on a few rides, which is a miracle for me considering they terrify me. We are going to Disneyland this summer so I thought I should start getting prepared. After the fun park we went to the best ice cream in Sacramento: Gunther's. It was so yummy and my husband ordered 2 things!!! We got him a Nintendo 3DS for Father's Day so after the ice cream run, we headed to Best Buy and Game Stop to pick up some games. That night I made pulled chicken sandwiches for dinner and then my workaholic husband headed out to take a flight to be at a case in Eureka first thing in the a.m. It was so fun spending time with him and I think he really enjoyed the day. Here is the recipe for the biscuits and gravy.

Biscuits and Gravy:

1/3 lb Jimmy Deans sage breakfast sausage(or any flavor you prefer)
2 T flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream (milk is okay too)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large nonstick skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat. DO NOT DRAIN. When sausage is cooked, sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute, continually stirring. Then add the whipping cream until the desired consistency is achieved. You can thin it out with regular milk if it gets too thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve over your favorite biscuits. I make Ina Garten's homemade biscuits from her cookbook Family Style. If you like a little heat, serve with hot sauce and Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Tacos

It's Fathers Day weekend so I want to make sure this entire weekend is great for my husband. He is such a great dad and husband. I feel so lucky everyday to have him in my life. Today he checked out early from work 4pm, which is a miracle for him because he works 24/7. We went swimming and had great fun...he did work in the car ride home though. While he relaxed and watched sports center, I made yummy chicken tacos. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/03/my-brothers-chicken-tacos/ I have been wanting to try these tacos for a while now and I am glad I did. What does everyone have planned for Fathers Day?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chefgirl's Pesto Cavatappi

The other day I was on Pioneer Woman's website and noticed that she had a recipe that sounded very similar to the Pesto Cavatappi at Noodles and Company. It's my favorite, so I decided I would attempt to create my own recipe for the dish. So without further ado, here is chefgirl's version of the Pesto Cavatappi and I must say it turned out tasty. Hope you like it too.


1 lb cavatappi pasta (or similar)

1 T olive oil

1 carton mushrooms, sliced

1 tomato, diced
2 T butter

2 T flour

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup fresh pesto (homemade or store-bought)

1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan


Prepare pasta according to directions on box. While pasta is cooking heat a nonstick skillet to medium and add olive oil. When olive oil is heated add mushrooms and saute. When the mushrooms are cooked and golden brown, remove from pan and set aside. Return pan to heat add butter and garlic. Once butter has melted add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add heavy cream and pesto. Stir until slightly thickened then add cheese. *If the mixture gets too thick you can add a little broth to thin it out. Pour cooked pasta into pan, toss and top with mushrooms and tomatoes and more cheese if desired.

Serves: 4

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kansas City Sue’s Slow Cooker Chicken

This is chicken's answer to the pulled pork sandwich and its easy to make. The recipe is for a crockpot but I don't own one. Instead I use a dutch oven. The low setting is 200F and high setting is 300F. I dont like to cook chicken so low, so I heat the oven to 300F and it cooks in about 4 - 4.5 hours. Yummy!! http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/09/kansas-city-sues-chicken-slow-cooker.html