Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Steve watches the Olympics

I have had a bit of a crazy work week so far so instead of a "Best Thing" post I am just posting this video of my dog's reaction to the horses on the Olympics.

He is such a goof :)

Are you watching the Olympics? What are your favorite events to watch? I love diving and track and field.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Go Green Linguine

I had picked up some spinach noodles the last time I went to the Asian market and had no clue what I was going to do with them. Then I got my latest issue of Everyday With Rachael Ray and found this recipe, perfect!

recipe from rachael ray
I cut this recipe in half as all of this green stuff cooked up together would definitely not be approved by Tom. Get some water on to boil and we can begin!

You don't need much to make this delicious meal, just some salami, cabbage, spinach, garlic and some spinach noodles.

Chop up your garlic, I get giddy when I see this much garlic going into my food.

Chop up your cabbage.

salami is the greatest
Chop up your delicious salami and use every bit of will power you have not to eat a piece. OR just have some, because salami is delicious.

bubbling on a dirty stove
Get your pasta into the boiling salted water.

fried salami is so good
In another pan, get your salami frying. I have never fried salami before, have you?

salami out
Once it is nice and crispy get it out and on to some paper towel. It is probably best to taste test a piece to be sure it is perfect ;)

garlic in
Get your garlic in the vacated pan, you can imagine how awesome the kitchen is smelling at this point.

pasta out
Grab some of the pasta water and then drain your noodles.

cabbage in
Get the cabbage in the pan and stir it around, you can add some pasta water if the garlic starts to get too cooked like mine. I still have not mastered my electric stove.

spinach in
Stir in the spinach and get it moving around, it will wilt quickly.

green magic
Drop the noodles in the pan with some more of the pasta water and give it all a stir to combine.

Go Green Linguine
Plate it up and top with the salami. This was so incredibly good. The garlic and the salami give such great pops of flavor and the greens really make this dish. I will definitely be picking up more of those noodles and making this again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Favorite Things #29 - Shun Knives

One of the first things I got when I really started getting in to cooking was a Shun Chef's knife. I love that knife and also have a Shun utility knife and a paring knife. I know that the knives are expensive, but to me, they are worth it. I use a lot of different knives in my cooking but I always come back to my Shuns.
I have the best husband and Mother In Law in the world!!!

Do you have a favorite brand of knife?

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Ate - Using Chopsticks

We don't go out for sushi very often, but there is a place close to our house called Sapporo that has excellent happy hour sushi prices. When we go I love to get my favorite roll, the Las Vegas Roll.

Las Vegas Roll at Sapporo in Scottsdale
I know this is kind of cheating since it is flash fried, but I can't help it I LOVE it. It is avocado, eel, crab, cream cheese in a deep fried roll. How can it not be delicious?

Do you eat sushi? If so, what is your favorite thing to get?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Favorite Things - #28 Sweeties Candy Store

I don't know if I have mentioned on here how much I dislike baking, but I really do. But I also have a sweet tooth, so I really like candy. Like, a lot :) You can imagine my shock when I discovered there is a BIG candy store in Chandler, AZ, which is about 20 minutes from my house. The store is called Sweeties and there is one in AZ and one in Cleveland Ohio. If you click the link you can go take a look at the site, but here is the summary on the main page...

"Sweeties Candy of Arizona is Arizona's LARGEST & BEST candy store. Family owned and operated for over 60 years. Open to the public. Specializing in all the nostalgic candies of yesterday and the new classics of today, we stock over 75,000 pounds of candy, over 3,000 items filling up 5,000 square feet of pure sugar (and sugar-free!) heaven! Come be a "kid in a candy store" once again!"

My husband and I went last weekend and it was amazing!! Check out some photos...

Sweeties candy store
Tom is overwhelmed
All just gum...
Jelly belly insanity

And here are some of the things we got...

These used to be called like fizz something or another
Sending for the kids
Gum - Freshen Up!!
Tom was so excited about these
Atomic Fireballs and candy sticks
The haul!

We really were like kids in a candy store, it was so much fun! We got tons of things we remember from when we were younger. If you are ever in the Cleveland or Chandler areas, I definitely recommend you check out Sweeties.

What is your favorite candy from childhood?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Ate - Cheesy Goodness

I love cheese any way I can get it, but one of the best cheesy treats I ever had was a grilled cheese sandwich from a local place called The Kitchen. It is no longer open but sometimes I just stare at this photo and long for that gooey sandwich.

My lunch from the Kitchen in Scottsdale, AZ
The cheese is aged white cheddar and the outside was coated in truffle butter before they grilled it. On the side is some Ratatouille Pasta Salad. Someday I might try to recreate this myself.

What is your favorite way to enjoy cheese?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Roasted Pork with Cajun Coleslaw

I think I have confessed my love for pork tenderloin on here numerous times, but I will say it again that this is one of the best cuts of meat out there. I love finding new recipes that use it and the Food Network Magazine had a real winner.

recipe from Food Network Mag
When I saw the ingredients for the Cajun Slaw I knew I had to make this whole meal. I cut it in half, but the hubby ended up eating some of the slaw, I was amazed. He wouldn't touch the pork though.

Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees and lets grab some ingredients.

ingredients - forgot the horseradish
You will need some cole slaw mix, brown sugar, red pepper, horseradish (missed the photo shoot), green onion, mustard, old bay, mayo, lemon and of course some pork.

Chop up your veggies.

spice rub
Measure out your old bay, brown sugar and salt.

rubbed down
Get your hands in there and rub that pork and really press in those spices.

pork cooking
Sear the pork on all sides in a pan with olive oil over medium heat.

probed pork
Get the pork into your preheated oven and cook until it is 145 degrees, about 15-20 minutes.

While the pork is cooking mix the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, horseradish and some of the Old Bay and brown sugar. This dressing has SO much flavor, I am definitely making it again.

Get all the veggies in a bowl, doesn't that look delicious already?

getting all dressed up
Pour on the dressing.

Don't forget your pork! Get it out of the oven at 145 degrees and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Give your slaw a stir and you are ready to eat!

Roasted Pork with Cajun Cole Slaw
I wish I had this meal in front of me right now, it was so good. The slaw had such a kick and the pork was tender and delicious.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Favorite Things - #27 My Presto Popcorn Maker

Not too long ago I saw a friend post a photo of their air popcorn popper. She said she loved hers and used it all of the time. I am a popcorn fiend, but I had only ever made the microwave kind, which isn't really good for you at all. I decided to give air popping a try and I love it!

My new best friend
I got the simple Presto Poplite Air Popper that you can find most everywhere for about $20. I LOVE it. You don't need to use oil and it pops up a perfect batch every time.

all my popcorn accessories
Of course I had to get tons of fun toppings for the popcorn. I just mist it with a little olive oil and sprinkle one of these on top. My favorite so far has to be the salt and vinegar.

Do you pop your own corn at home? Do you use the microwave, a pan, or an air popper?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Best Thing I Ever Ate - Salsa

One food that Tom loves and has a passion for is salsa and hot sauce. In 1987 a restaurant opened in his neighborhood that served chips and salsa. Tom did not like the chunks in the salsa so his parents ordered him the hot sauce, and an addiction was born.

The restaurant is still open, but has changed ownership. But, the hot sauce was so popular the new owners kept it on the menu. We go here a lot during football season so I can catch the Steelers games. Tom is right there ready to eat hot sauce at 10am with me every Sunday. I admit that I love it now too and really just love going there with him because it was where we had our first date, 12 years ago!

Chips and salsa

What is the best salsa or hot sauce you have ever had?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Favorite Things #26 - My Keurig Coffee Maker

I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July! We just got together with Tom's parents and had a very casual dinner and hung out, it was perfect.

So my favorite thing today is really two in one, coffee and my Keurig that makes it. In addition to all of the food Tom won't eat, he also doesn't drink hot coffee or tea. He likes iced drinks, but not hot beverages. I only drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day, so making a pot was wasteful and using the french press was messy. I got this Keurig about a year ago and I love it! I love all of the varieties of k-cups available and definitely love the convenience.


Do you have a Keurig? How do you brew your coffee if you drink it?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Had - Fish

I know that I had already posted the best seafood I ever had, but this particular piece of fish just had to be shared with you guys.

Last September Tom and I went with his family to a wedding in Santa Barbara. The wedding was at the Four Seasons Hotel, so as you can imagine the food was spectacular. The highlight of the meal was the sea bass. I have never had this kind of fish, and I doubt I will ever have it that fresh and prepared as well.

Sea Bass
It had a sweet yet earthy sauce and the bright fresh veggies on the top just enhanced the buttery-ness (that is not really a word) of the fish. I have never had a piece of fish that literally just melted in my mouth, it was so good.

Have you ever experienced that melt in your mouth feeling with a piece of fish?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Everyday Food Pasta Salad With Broccoli and Peanuts

We are in the dog days of summer here in AZ. 112 degrees, lows of 85, and sun, sun, sun. Apparently a lot of the US is experience AZ like temperatures, so I thought I would share a simple cold salad that is filling and easy to make.

recipe from everyday food
This recipe comes from one of my favorite magazines, Everyday Food. I cut this recipe in half because Tom does not eat broccoli!

Get some water boiling and lets get this thing started.

You don't need much to make this, just some small pasta, green onion, broccoli, peanuts, peanut butter, red pepper, rice vinegar and some soy sauce.

choppin brocccoooollliiii
Chop up your broccoli. Chop your green onion too, I missed getting a photo of that.

Get your pasta in the water if it is boiling.

dressing ingredients
Mix up the oil, vinegar, peanut butter and soy sauce.

broccoli about to steam
Get the broccoli in a pan with some water, oil and the red pepper flakes. Cover and cook over medium heat until the broccoli is steamed up to your liking, about 6 minutes for me.

Drain your pasta and rinse with some cold water.

Broccoli is ready for action.

everything in
Get everything in the bowl with the peanut sauce.

Give it a stir to combine.

in the fridge to chill
Pop it in the fridge for a while, hopefully you have a cute Pyrex refrigerator dish like I have. My sister always laughs that my fridge is full of condiments and beverages.

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Peanuts
I enjoyed this with a tasty hot dog, just like you could on the 4th of July this week. I will definitely make this pasta salad again, it was something new and different and the flavors really worked together.