Ray’s Chili

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All-American

My friend Rochelle got ahold of me one evening to ask about possibly doing a photoshoot with food.  She was looking to beef up her portfolio, and I like taking pictures of tasties.  Sounds like a win-win, no?  So we set up a photography play-date.

But what should we make?  I ran through several ideas, but I wanted to do something a little different.  While strolling through the grocery store, my boyfriend mentioned in passing that he wanted to make some chili sometime soon.  Lightbulb moment!  I decided to not only take pictures of the chili, but to feature Ray’s recipe here in my blog.  A guest feature of sorts.  So we grabbed our ingredients and ran home with them, and I sat back to watch Ray work.

Recipe behind the jump.

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Back After My Break

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I ended up taking a couple month break at the beginning of March.  I have been cooking as normal, but I’ve not taken much in the way of pictures.  This post, however, is a catch-up of sorts.

First, I’d like to discuss the recipes I plan on making in the next month or two.

The first, is bokumbop.

Image courtesy of Trifood.com  

Many moons ago, Mat and I regularly made trips to Ogawa Sushi Restaurant on University Ave in Morgantown.  Alongside sushi, they also served some Korean food.  The bokumbop was particularly tasty.  I stumbled on a recipe for it, and decided that I would like to try my hand at it, so wee if I can make it for a fraction of what it would cost to buy it at Ogawa (who neither Mat nor I patronize anymore, due to a shift in management and an overhaul of the menu).

Another dish I’d like to make is Banana “Soft-serve” Ice Cream.

Image courtesy of Glamour.com

Now, this sounds tasty as a summer treat.  Even better for someone who has trouble with milk and lactose, such as myself.  Toss in some semi-sweet chocolate chips, and it’s dessert!  Even better, it’s good for you.  Bonuses all around.

Laster, but not least, I want to make…macarons.

Image courtesy of VintageMint.com 

Macarons are the be-all-end-all of food challenges.  if you don’t believe me, look at the food blogs across the internet.  Take five minutes and look at FoodGawker.  Macarons are fickle and challenging.  They can flop, depending on a variety of factors.  Bloggers excitedly tell of the moment they saw their macaron shells getting their “feet.”  Making them is an event that requires much skill and patience.  If you can successfully make macarons, you can make anything.

Hence why I want to make them.  I’m thinking more of a savory, sweet macaron.  Maybe chocolate coffee shell with vanilla filling.  That sounds tasty to me.   I’ve never made them, nor eaten them before, but damn do I want to try my hand at them.

However, recently I did take a few photos of some tasties I made.  I re-shot my Spanish Rice  and I must say it came out much better.  My skills with a camera are improving.

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

Then one day I made myself a little oatmeal with some strawberries and bananas.  It was a very vibrant dish, to be sure, so I decided to snap a few shots of it, too!

Strawberry

Strawberry banana oatmeal

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal

Strawberry

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal

So lovely!

I also had a chance to toy with a dSLR, specifically a Nikon D5000.  I picked it up, toyed with the lens for a moment, turned around, and shot a few pictures.  I was more than impressed.  I nearly ruined the camera from drooling all over it.  I’ve decided I want this camera some day, or something like it.  Either the D5000, or a Canon Rebel.  We shall see!

Anyway, that’s my update.  Hopefully I’ll be back to shooting lots of tasties soon!

Lemon Cloud Tea Cookies

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Lemon Cloud Tea Cookies

 

I was perusing Joy the Baker’s website a while back when I stumbled on these beauties.  They looked so light and delicate.  Perfect for nibbling on while enjoying a nice cup of herbal tea.  So, I made them.  Let me tell you, they are amazing.  They are everything you’d dream them to be.  Light, airy, with just enough lemon flavor.  I didn’t put a cross-hatch pattern into the top of my cookies, rather I just let them puff up, but I can’t imagine it would affect the flavor if you do.

You can find the recipes here, over on Joy’s website.

Potato Leek Soup

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Potato Leek Soup

It’s the tail end of Winter.  It’s late February, and here in grand West Virginia, it’s not quite snow temperatures, but still cold.  Spring is just outside of our grasp, taunting us with little flashes of warm weather.  Birds chirping.  Snow melting.

It doesn’t change the fact that it’s still freaking cold, yet I wanted a quick taste of spring while still warming the bones.  A hearty soup with a quick zip of fresh vegetables.  That is where potato leek soup comes in.  Read on!

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Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies

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Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve mentioned in the “About Me” section that one of the things I got after my grandmother’s passing was her hand-written recipes, most of which are for cookies and bread.  It’s the cookie recipes I cherish the most, but for as long as I’ve had them, I’ve not made anything out of them.

I decided to change that.  Recipe to follow.

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Grilled Chicken

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Grilled Chicken

Today was the first really nice day of the season.  It was 66°F here, in the middle of February.  Unheard of, for sure, but I certainly wasn’t complaining.  I threw on my favorite flowy skirt, a pastel beater (since this is spring weather and all), and my comfy flats and proceeded to clean, cook, and take pictures.

I also decided to GRILL.  My grill is my best friend.  My grill and I have logged many an hour making piles of tasty food.  I simply couldn’t neglect my faithful grill on this uncharacteristically warm day.  So, I decided to grill chicken.

But the big question when grilling chicken is HOW you want to grill it.  Chicken breast can be kind of bland if grilled alone, so I decided to marinate it.  But marinate it in what?  The marinade I have isn’t that great, so I decided to make my own.  Yet I’ve never made a marinade before.  I decided to just start throwing things in a bag and see how it came out.  Some of the best recipes happen that way.  So I grabbed some stuff from my fridge, pantry, and spice rack, marinated the chicken in it, then grilled it up.

It was divine.  Read on!

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Cottage Pie

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Cottage Pie

I live in West Virginia.  It’s February.  It is COLD out.  (Okay, I’m lying.  It was 50 degrees Fahrenheit today.  But it WAS cold.)  When it’s chilly, you tend to crave hearty food.  Stuff that sticks to your bones and warms the belly.  And carbs.  Lots of carbs.  Anyone who lives in areas that regularly get dumped on come Winter knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Cottage pie is the perfect meal for the freezing cold months of Winter.  It has everything you could ever want in a warm, savory dish.  And it is, by definition, man-friendly.  This is meat and potatoes at it’s finest.  It may even be proposal-inducing.  Read on.

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