Monday, February 28, 2011

Breast milk ice cream. Yes I really just wrote that.

I'm a huge fan of Slashfood but one article this morning left me a little nauseated. So OF COURSE I had to share the details with you! Warning, this is not for the squeamish. A restaurant in Covet Garden England has created a breast milk dessert called "The baby gaga". No Joke.

The Recipe is a concoction of Madagascar vanilla, lemon zest and the breast milk generously donated by Victoria Hiley of Leeds. All the ingredients are churned into ice cream and served in a martini glass.

The Ice cream can be topped with whiskey or another cocktail upon request. Would you eat it?! Tell me below in comments. If you so desire to read more, click here! Otherwise happy Monday friends!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fooodie Friday!!

Meet Clara.

Clara is a 94 year old woman who (unlike most of us) lived to talk about the depression. Who knew that probably one of the hardest times in her life would make her a Youtube sensation years later. Clara has garnished over Three million views as she teaches her depression-era cooking techniques. Her cook-books and dvds are also available online. Happy Friday loves, and let us be thankful for what we have today! :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Obsession.

I have a pretty short list of "go-to" recipes. Weird I know. You would probably think it was lengthy but it really isn't. In all honesty, why should it be? I recommend being exceptional at a few great dishes than being mediocre at 100. I digress. . . .Anyhows, this recipe is phenomenal. This is the best frosting you will ever have in your entire life.
I say that with the up-most confidence. Being that today has been just FANTASTIC I am going to share with you the fluffiest, greatest confection of all time! I give you Fluffy White Frosting.
This frosting can be dyed any color, holds for up to 3 days just as fluffy as the day you made it (in the fridge), can be torched for a marshmallow-like effect, and tastes like heaven.
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
2.In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.

**** Little note: I let the sugar mixture cool just a little bit before adding to the eggwhites. I find it helps hold the eggwhites better.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Get Smart :)

Do you know where the word Restaurant comes from?

In 1765 a man by the name of Boulanger opened the worlds first "Restaurant". His tavern provided lodging and served alcohol but He served only one dish. It was a a stew of sheep's feet in a white sauce. (Yum.) he called his dish a "restorative" and claimed it brought health and vitality to ones being. In french The word "restaurant" is derived from the French word "restaurer" which means to restore. Later more dishes were added and thus the concept of the restaurant was born. There now don't you feel smarter? I thank Monsieur Boulanger for Restaurants and for menus! I intend to order a few of these vintage menus for my kitchen and put them in like or mismatched frames.
What a great idea for a different focal point in any room.
Have a lovely day! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Girl Can Dream. . . .

Like most women I like to shop. Okay let's get real I love to shop! These past two years my spending sprees have been put on a perma-hold but that's okay! Until then I create my own little Culinary wish-lists. I share with you this weeks below!

1. Custom kitchen-aid paint job. Un Amore Custom Designs paints beautiful designs on your kitchen-aid mixer. How Fabulous is this?! You can view plenty more on their website.

2. Food Pod. I love the design of this! This silicon tool contains all your food items in one pouch for steaming or boiling. Place your food inside and then insert the whole pod into boiling water. Makes for easy clean up too!

3. Double walled Oil/Vinager Carafe. Being A girl I do like pretty things. If my paprika oil could be suspended in its own little bubble I am SURE it would taste better!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dresses and Phyloo go so well together!

I am all about versitality. I was asked to be in a wedding a few months ago and the bride and myself got to talking about bridesmaids dresses. She told me she found one she likes that is not only one dress but can be made into 8 other dresses just by how you wrap it. THAT is my kinda dress!

Just like the dress, I love when food can be just as versitile. Phyloo cups are a staple in my life. Savory or sweet they can turn any little app. or dessert into something special. Making them is easy as pie as well! Simply cut sheets into 4"x4" squares. Layer butter in between and place 5-7 squares layered into cupcake tins. bake at 375 till' golden brown.

Below are some ideas for them!

Chocolate Mousse Cups

Crab Salad

Sauteed Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Shrimp Cups

Get creative today! Happy Monday loves! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Foodie Friday!!!

It's that time of the week! This week's featured chef is Carly Groben of Proof in De Moines Iowa.

Why is she fantastic? Well she is located in the mid-west and is somehow managing to bring North African and Mediterranean flavors to her city in a big way.

I also looove the cool modern decor of the restaurant itself!

This blurb is from her site:
Food and Wine Magazine has named Carly Groben as one of ten nominees in the Midwest for the “People’s Best New Chef.” For two weeks, YOU, the people, get to vote for your favorite chef from the list of nominees. If you like our food, if you like North African flavors, and if you like women chefs, please take a few seconds to cast your vote HERE ——–>

Happy Friday loves!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's The Little Things In Life. . .

Sooooo as you are aware yesterday was our three year anniversary. Yay for us! Being that we are celebrating this weekend, last night's dinner was more comfort food than anything else. Being in my Budget-Diva mode I opened the freezer, pantry, and spice cabinet and used only what was readily available. I love soups. Really I do. One of Husbandface's favorites is potato soup so he did not hesitate to ask for it. I had Russet Potatoes, frozen chicken stock, herbs, and milk. Here is my recipe. It can be modified to your hearts desire, but this is how we like it. Enjoy!

Begin with one glass of champagne. (This is MY recipe remember?!)
Peel 5 medium Russet Potatoes.
Boil said potatoes until soft.

Strain potatoes. One of my favorite tips regarding potatoes is to always let them sit a while after straining. Often the potatoes still have a lot of moisture in them and it can effect the constistancy of what you are cooking. Letting the steam rise will help prevent that. Once potatoes are strained place in a Cuisinart mixer with 1 cup of warm milk. You can use a blender but I find the soup needs straining afterwards and I am all about function. :) Puree until smooth. Place mixture back into pot and add about 8 cups of stock.

Add slowly while whisking. You may need more or less. This is where your chef intuition kicks in.. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Finish with any of the following: Cheese, bacon pieces, green onion, sour cream, or all of them! Pair with a game of dominoes and you have yourself a fantastic night. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Three years and it feels like yesterday. . . .

Three years ago today I married the love of my life. On a warm Mexican afternoon we took our vows and celebrated in style with those we love the most! After the ceremony ourselves and 20 of our closest dined at sunset on brazilian cuisine. What a wonderful memory for me to have and to share.

With that being said I feel it only appropriate to share with you a fantastic Brazilian drink recipe. A toast to husbandface and a toast to you loves! Enjoy!

Caju Amigo

Blend in a mixer

1.One shot of Gin;
2.One shot of concentrated cashew juice;
3.As much sugar as you want (2 tbsp, I would recommend)
4.Two ice cubes.
Pour the mixture in a long drink cup filled with cashew slices and more ice (both optional). Add a squeeze of sour lime and stir gently.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh Lala Lollipops!

Just looked out my window and baby pink buds are sprouting up on all the trees. Spring is coming quickly and what may I ask is more springy, bright and happy that a lollipop? Okay how cute are these?

They don't seem to difficult to make and look like a great project to do with kids. Even better is how Alphamom suggests making an arrangement out of them. Simply add colored jellybeans to the bottom of a vase and you have yourself a quirky sweet gift. Click on the link above to get the full recipe.
Don't feel like making them? Mihow's shop on Esty offers the most beautiful selections! Take a peek. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

In case of an emergency. . .

Recently a friend randomly asked me this question: "Lydia, are you prepared in case of an emergency?" I was kind of taken aback by the randomness of this converstion, yet it got me thinking. I'd be in a pretty tight spot if an earthquake, storm, tornado, or sasquatch (you never know) hit. If any of these occurances happened I would have to survive on last Thanksgiving's canned pumpkin puree and pickled cabbage. Not okay. So this weekend I made a CEN (Culinary Emergency Necessities) list. These are just a few that make me a little more at ease if a bigfoot warning strikes, or any other catastrophe.... :)

1. Dried meats (beef jerkey and beef sticks)

2. Water (Large bottles)

3. Nuts

4. Dried fruits ( apricots, cranberries, apple chips, bannana chips)

5. Canned tuna, beans, chilis, vegitables, fruits (Don't forget your can opener)

6. Multi-Vitamins

7. Large water- resistant containers

8. A bottle of your fav. champagne. (Okay this may not be a necessity to you but if the world is ending i'm doing it in style :)

9. propane stove ( I have three of these. They really do come in handy! Take them to the beach, camping, or save for Yetti attacks)

10. Crackers (Bread will get stale)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Foodie Friday!!!

Every Friday I am going to be profiling a fav chef of mine. Today's foodie is the AMAZING Lisa Garza. I love her. Very few woman can kick butt in a kitchen, cater for upwards of 300 VIPs, and still maintain the look of a classic 50's icon. You may remember her from "The Next Food Network Star". She did a fantastic job and now operates her own catering business in Dallas Texas. You can read more about her here. She used to sell these adorable aprons but I can't seem to find them anymore! That's where you come in. If anyone finds out what happened to Couture Caviar (That's the name of her co.) please let me know in comments. She inspires me and I hope you are inspired today as well. Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Growwwwwiiinggg your food!

I don't have a green thumb. There I said it. Don't ever ask me to water your plants while you are in Mexico unless you want them dead upon return. Always one to try to fix my flaws I have decided to attempt to "grow" in this area. Next week I will be planting my food.

So far the best way I have come across to save money on food is growing it yourself! I'm learning that having no room outdoors is no excuse either. This fantastic site offers tips and tricks on planting vegetables inside the privacy of your own home. Feeling more ambitious? Get your city involved! Urban gardens in vacant lots are popping up all over the country. It may mean going through some red tape, but meeting new people and learning a new hobby might just make it worth it. :) The city of San Diego did just that. Watch the vid below to see how it came to "fruition" haha! Happy gardening loves!  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

V-Day for me. . . D-day for the husbandface. . . . :(

My Husband hates Valentines Day. I write this knowing full well he won't care that I share his feelings with you. . . He would declare it from the mountain tops if you let him! His reasons are sincere though. He treats me like a princess everyday and feels we shouldn't have to have just one day out of the year to do it. It's commercial, It's not genuine and so forth. . . . :/ Myself on the other hand love this day! Chocloate, Champagne, chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. He doesn't know it yet, unless he reads this blog but I plan to make myself him these delightful morsels. Queen Martha's Chocolate-Champagne truffles. Have a lovey dovey day friends. Let me know if you try this recipe and how it turns out!

Ingredients Makes about 3 dozen
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Champagne
1 tablespoon Cognac
Coarse sanding sugar, for rolling
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Immediately pour hot cream over the chocolate in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Stir in the Champagne and Cognac. Refrigerate until chocolate mixture is firm enough to roll into balls, about 1 hour.
Using a small melon baller or ice-cream scoop, form 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in coarse sanding sugar, and transfer to rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate truffles at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days before serving.

Read more at Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Sparkling Sugar

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Let's Talk Portions. . .

So with the new budget kick portions have become really important. Time for a math lesson ladies and gentlemen!!

16 ounces are in a pound. . . 8 ounces is the average meat portion size which means two servings per pound. Get it? Got it? Good! With this mindset, grocery store shopping has gone to a whole notha' level. I have become the biggest nerd and now bring a calculator with me because I want the most for my money. Take for instance this pork serloin I bought on Sunday:

$10.53 for 5.57 lbs. That comes out to 11.14 servings of meat. (see math above) This means that each serving ($10.53/11.14) costs $.94. 11 servings for under a dollar. Heck yes. I understand that it takes a little effort but it is so worth it! I am making three meals with this. Buying in bulk and vacum sealing for the freezer is the way to go.

Last night we had roast pork with sweet potatoes, carrots, and potato gratin. Haven't decided what I will do with the rest but at .94 a meal I think I can do quite a bit! I won't be having pork three nights in a row but now I have cheap choices for the future. Happy cooking loves. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cooking with friends!!

So my husband and I are commited to paying off our (mostly mine) $54,000 of debt in 1 and a half years. Eww that was icky to write. . . That includes our car, student loans, credit debt and other miscilanious things. So far so good! We have been doing so well, but it does mean we had to start budgeting A LOT. One area happens to be food. No more eating out. No more pre-made ANYTHING. If we want it and it is outside the budget I have developed a few tips that do not make me feel deprived so I can still enjoy my favorite foods. For the next few blogs I will share them with you bloggy friends! :)

A few weeks ago I invaded my dear friend Karla's fridge and pantry. She asked for my help in meal planning. She is an amazing fashionista and life styleist! She helps me shop and I help her with food. It's like a private Rachel Zoe. Check out her blog!! Anyyways. . . We developed an awesome menu for the week that even included Elk! (Dad went hunting) So here are four of the tips I shared with her below.

1. A whole chicken can make three meals for two people. Cut up into eight pieces. Use Breasts cubed into pastas, or sauteed with sauces. Wings, legs, and thighs are best roasted with a little seasoning. Add a small amount of water to the bottom of a pan drizzle pieces with olive oil and roast with a foil tent at 400 degrees. The high heat seals in the mositure and gives a crispy skin to the chicken. And the bones will be used for a stock! Yay for three in one.

2. Cooked rice is always saved and used twiced. White or brown rice cooked can be eaten plain and then used later. Mix left overs with herbs, spices, or even into fried rice. Just remember to include it into at least two meals that week.

3. Frozen vegis are better than no vegis!

4. Stews freeze so well. Make a big batch and portion.

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