Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’
When I first started this food blogging thing, I submitted several pictures to websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker only to be consistently rejected. Honestly I cannot blame them as my pictures during those times weren’t that wonderful (as many food bloggers can relate to with their first photos). Now that I have a nice camera and a little more experience, I decided it was time to try them out again. And guess what? I got my first submissions onto both sites yesterday! The Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies made it onto both Foodgawker and Tastespotting, and the Cookie Dough Oreo Cake made it onto Tastespotting. Of course several others were rejected but that seems to be pretty typical and I still have plenty of learning to do when it comes to food photography.
Most of the time when my pictures don’t come out perfectly it is because I am in a hurry or don’t have the best lighting. It is especially difficult when you have hungry eaters anxiously waiting to eat the item you are photographing. Take these spaghetti squash lasagna boats for example: the lighting was not ideal but three other people were ready to dig in. I love cooking for more than just myself, but always feel bad making people wait until the photoshoot is done. It is a tricky thing to balance! Lighting aside, these lasagna boats were a delicious, low carb alternative to traditional lasagna with a fun presentation.
One year ago: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Gluten-Free Bananas Foster Muffins
If I could eat avocados in every meal of the day, I’d be one happy camper. Which means I was super excited to have a double dose in just one meal with this salad – fresh sliced avocado in a salad topped with avocado dressing. The dressing is definitely the star of this dish, but along for the ride is some oven-fried chicken which has taco seasoning mixed into the breadcrumb coating. Crunchy, creamy, fresh and zesty. What more could you want?
Have you heard this nonsense that TN may no longer observe daylight savings time? It has been proposed that after the clocks advance this spring, to never change them again in the state of Tennessee. At first I heard that the entire state was going to be in Eastern time which made absolutely zero sense since most of the state resides in Central time – thankfully that was wrong information. But either way I don’t like the idea. TN borders so many states that it undoubtedly would cause problems for cities (such as Memphis) on the edges. However I would be okay with a nation-wide end to daylight savings. No more winters with 4:30 pm sunsets? Sounds fantastic to me.
This quiche was actually made the morning after all that snow hit east TN. I figured it was a good opportunity to make my parents breakfast and actually beat my dad to the punch because he had the same idea, but I woke up earlier. I decided to let him cook breakfast on Valentine’s Day instead.
Two years ago: Crispy Parmesan Green Beans
Awhile back I shared my dad’s chili which he and I have both entered into several chili cook-offs and either won or came in second place. For the a recent cook-off with his pickleball crew, he entered a slightly altered version and won again (and hence the name of this version)! He is a master of his recipes, even when it comes to making changes and improvements, and as a result I trust his recipes/modifications before all others. Yet he claims that I am the cook and he just follows recipes. Such modesty!
But anywho. My dad shared his newest chili recipe with me and I decided that the perfect time to make it was when my friends came to visit this past weekend. It helped that everyone was in a chili mood with fall all around us. So while lounging around and just spending quality time together on Saturday, this simmered away on the stove top until we couldn’t bear the teasing aromas any longer. Crammed around my dining room table, it pleased and satisfied everyone’s taste buds! A couple people added a little hot sauce to theirs but that’s to be expected as everyone has different spicy preferences.
It was so great to have 5 of my favorite people in town for the weekend and was very sad to see them all leave yesterday. We had crazy conversations and nerdy-intellectual conversations, played games, watched movies, ate and cooked a lot of great food, went out to Beale street and just did what friends do best. Now back to the stinky norm of living 8+ hours away from them. Beware Memphis friends, I may be extra needy this week.
One year ago: Sweet Potato Pie Dip with Pie Crust Dippers
Even though it was warm here yesterday, it rained most of the day (poor trick-or-treaters) and rain definitely puts me in a soup mood. Specifically tomato soup with grilled cheese to dip into it. And even better when it’s a slow cooker recipe, filling your home with wonderful aromas to come home to at the end of the day. Granted you cannot eat it immediately as it requires an additional step at the end, but you won’t hear me complaining.
Despite the 70-degree weather, I made this soup earlier this week and have been enjoying it ever since. However I do wish I would start to feel like fall for more than 2 days. I was so excited to finally bust out my jackets and boots last weekend but they have been put on hold once again. It’s difficult for me to get into the holiday spirit when I am still wearing short sleeves and flats! Alas, I just have to continue preparing meals as if it were a brisk fall day outside.
P.S. Stayed tuned for Monday’s post to hear about the fat-kid-friendly grilled cheese I served with this soup!
One year ago: Pecan-Crusted Chicken with Roasted Broccoli
Mini meatloaves return! After discovering that I actually like meatloaf if prepared in a miniature form (and therefore less squishy), I wondered if it was only due to the texture of if it had something to do with the flavor variations I have tried. So this time I tried out a more classic flavor.
And the verdict? I gobbled these up too! After an entire life of shunning meatloaf, it’s as if a whole new world has been opened up. Sure enough it’s the size that matters.
What’s your favorite kind of meatloaf? I want to try other variations in mini form!
When people find out how much I pay for my gym membership at Life Time Fitness, they gawk. To make it worse, my fee is going up an additional $2 starting November 1st (totaling $64/month). Yes I know it’s expensive, that my apartment has a basic gym, that I have workout DVDs at home, and that I could have internet or cable at home instead of paying for a gym membership – but I think it’s worth it.
I go to at least 3-4 group fitness classes a week which obviously my apartment gym does not have, it’s open 24/7, never has a wait for cardio or weight equipment, has a fantastic cafe which is surprisingly inexpensive, and it just makes me happy which is obviously important (not to mention the water slides!!).
Sure I could have internet at home, but after working out, showering, cooking dinner, and doing whatever else I need to do, I don’t have much time to even notice I don’t have internet. Even less for cable. And I’m not even going to get into my lacking desire for a smart phone - at least not today.
Besides, I have to work off all the food I cook for this blog somehow!
P.S. I served this with easy garlic knots and crispy gnocchi (coming tomorrow).
One year ago: Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Ah it feels good to be back in the swing of this on the blog. Just in time to participate in this month’s Pass the Cook Book Club. Samantha of Little Ferraro Kitchen picked the cookbook Seoultown Kitchen: Korean Pub Grub to Share with Family and Friends by Debbie Lee, for us to cook from this month. I went with the kebab recipe because even though the rest of the country is experiencing fall-like weather, it’s still short sleeve season here in Memphis.
The original recipe used larger chunks of steak and only tomatoes, but I prefer more veggies on my kebabs so I added green bell pepper and cut up the steak a little more to even out the ratio of meat to veggie pieces. There was no need to increase the amount of marinade or seasoning, because there was plenty to go around. Speaking of seasoning, these kebabs were the most flavorful I’ve ever had. I was actually a bit worried when I dumped the full tablespoon of chile powder that it would be too much but it wasn’t at all. It went really well with some brown rice with some extra marinade (not the portion that had the raw meat in it).
One year ago: Crunchy Oven-Fried Ravioli
When I made these potato nachos, they made me think of my friend Christina because she believes that a potato is the best food on the planet. In fact, when I texted her to inform her of this and of what I was making for dinner she thought it sounded incredible. Now that I am posting the recipe I hope she makes it, because it’s also relatively quick and easy to prepare. Maybe she will cook it as the inaugural meal in her new apartment, since her kitchen will finally be bigger than a closet O:-)?
How is it that I cannot remember the details of a memory long ago or things of importance, yet when a song comes on the radio that I haven’t heard in over 5 years I can sign along as if I never stopped listening? Funny thing, the brain. Random thought of the day… on to this pizza!
Since my revival of pizza night last week I’ve been toying with the idea of other kinds of pizza crust. So take a wild guess as to what is my new favorite way to use Greek yogurt? In pizza dough! Its addition results in a fluffy interior with the perfect amount of crustiness on the exterior. I cannot believe how long it took me to put Greek yogurt into dough, but I foresee many Greek yogurt-bread products in my future.
This brilliant brain-child of a pizza dough was also topped off with some special ingredients to create a Greek pizza: artichokes, tomatoes, red onion, red pepper, olives, garlic, feta mozzarella, and tahini. Have I ever told you that I don’t even like olives? Or at least I used to, but lately I don’t seem to mind their presence. Either my taste buds are going numb or I’m growing up. But I don’t wanna grow up!! ::cue ToysRUs theme song::