Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Christmas

I love Christmas, its the time of year that I get to make super yummy stuff for all of my friends. I try to make something new every year and a few things that I pretty much have to make because every one loves them so much. This year I am making my usual homemade marshmallows and cream cheese mints, But I am also making cinnamon roasted almonds which I will will show you today! The picture above is my homemade marshmallows firming up I was going to show you that one but I just got to excited and forgot to take pictures sorry, maybe next time though!

First beat 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until its frothy

Then toss you almonds in to coat

Sprinkle on 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Toss to coat evenly.

Place on a greased cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 250 for about a hour stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

Until they are golden brown, I can tell you your house is going to smell so good after making these, and you won't want to give them away! I just wanted to send out the best holiday wishes to every one who takes the time to read this, and say thank you And may you have a fabulous New Year!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

even make simple things special

 I am a big believer in making simple things special and my favorite tool for that has to be my bread machine. There is something about the smell of yeast and bread baking that can make any house a home. And honestly a bread machine with a dough cycle makes just about anything possible and super easy, just dump and listen for the beep! The sky is the limit with a dough cycle french bread, baguette, dinner rolls, buns you name it can make it. So today I am sharing my caramelized onion, garlic and sharp cheddar hamburger buns with my blue cheese burgers, and for dessert super easy peanut butter fudge that recipe I got from Alton Brown. Here's the link http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/peanut-butter-fudge-recipe/index.html it is super creamy and oh so rich and yummy.

This is a normal dinner roll dough I got the recipe from the book that came with the bread machine.Water, egg, oil, sugar, flour and yeast that has rose twice. I spread it out on a well floured surface.

I sauteed onions and garlic in butter until they are caramelized wait till the onions are almost done before adding the garlic, it cooks very fast and burned garlic is yuck! Drain on a paper towel.

shred some sharp cheddar cheese and add the onions and garlic, knead to combine.

Form into small round disks and let rise for about 30 min. in a warm place.

Bake at 375 for about 20 min. or until golden brown.

You can make these smaller and put them in a cake pan closer together to make dinner rolls also. Doesn't it look good, man I am making myself hungry.

Split in half, I had my burger with sauteed mushrooms and onions, dijon mustard, and homemade dill pickles. Talk about making something special! This is one of the best burgers I have ever had. The only thing that would have been better is if it had been warm enough to grill.  

Now for the fudge, 1cup of butter and 1 cup of peanut butter, microwave on high for 2 min..  Remove and stir, then back in the microwave for 2 more min..

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 pound of powdered sugar. Add the vanilla first cause when you add the sugar it gets thick. It's best to use a sturdy wood spoon for this.

Like I said it gets thick, good for the arm muscles lol. Keep mixing until its all combined.

the press into a 8x8 pan lined in wax paper that has been greased with butter.

Refrigerate until firm, then cut into pieces and enjoy, word of warning its really rich so cut it into small pieces.
           So I hope as always that this inspires someone out there to try something new. Be brave and if it flops learn from it but don't let it stop you. Oh and I wanted to give a shout out to witchywomen thanks for the comments you are inspiring as always and always leave me waiting for more. Please any one who reads this feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think or would like to see me cook, or just say hi.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I can taste again woohoo

New ideas are flowing into your life now, but you must be ready to receive them. That is what my horoscope said today I thought it was kind of fitting to start with and I can tell you I am so ready to receive them. Well I can happily say that I can taste again Woo Hoo, and because of that I made another one of my favorite chicken dishes again that I thought I would share. I got the base of this recipe from a freebie cost-co cookbook with my changes of course.

Balsamic chicken with baby spinach and couscous,
as always I cook for 2
1/4 cup olive oil divided
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
5 garlic cloves, minced
about 8 cups of baby spinach
1 small zucchini
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 to 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar ( to your own taste)
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 can of diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups of cooked couscous
salt and pepper to taste and any other herbs you would like

Season your chicken to taste I used salt, pepper, and thyme.

Brown your chicken in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook until the juices run clear or a thermometer reaches 165, take out and set aside.

Add the rest of the olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic starts to brown, then add mushrooms and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, and the mushrooms are slightly browned. Take out and set aside.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and cook until slightly thickened. While that cooks prepare couscous according to package instructions.

Divide up the couscous to 2 plates, add a layer of spinach and mushrooms, then chicken, sauce and top with some grated parmesan. It is just so good and really easy. I hope this inspires someone, sorry I haven't made the tamales yet but they will be coming I promise, they are a lot of work and I wanted to wait until I was healthy again. But my next blog will probably be fudge I have a hankerin for some peanut butter fudge that just can't be ignored. Until then have fun and keep cooking. Always,
Oh and I leave you with this beautiful sunset I had the pleasure of seeing a few nights ago it almost took my breath way it was so pretty.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Yep its so big that you can walk around inside the tree!

There is really no describing the beauty here.

This is outside Yosemite national park 10,080 feet above sea level, its is a amazing glacier fed lake that is about 3miles deep.

More Yosemite, I have never seen the sky more blue.

Mountains majesty

If you want to see the edge of the world you can go to the beach.

What can I say besides beautiful.

Well I am sick, it stinks. So given that I can't really taste anything I thought I would share some pics of where I live. I love California, we have mountains, deserts, grass land and coast. My favorite being coast of course. I personally live in the Santa Cruz mountains, under the redwoods. It is so beautiful here all you can do is look up in wonder at how big and how old the trees are here its very humbling.

Monday, November 8, 2010

mmm mmm mexican

the beginning of guacamole on steroids, cut avocodo and lots of lime juice

add corn, tomatoes, onion, black beans, cilatro  and if you really want to give it a boast add chopped chicken and or queso fresca. Didn't have any for this time but it is wonderful either way.

Its great on chips, tacos, burritos or even for wraps when you add the chicken and cheese

Homemade taco seasoning, I just won't buy the packaged stuff its to easy to make. I like to use the copycat recipe of lawerys taco seasoning with extras of course, I always add chipotle powder and extra chili powder( my man likes it spicy but not hot)lots of cumin, coriander and garlic and onions.

Put it all together and what a dinner its really a great way to stretch the budget also.The corn and black beans can make 2 avocados go really far, But I always have to make extra because its even better the next day. I love recipes that really just give you the base to start with and give you a chance to go wild and make it how you love it. So Coming soon I will be doing my very favorite mexican food, tamales, I love those corn husks filled with yummy goodness, So stay tuned people always good things to come and to any new people who give this a read, Its a pleasure to meet you and I hope to see more of you soon.
Always, Jodi

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yep thats me in all my cheesy glory. I figured I should tell you a little about me before you decide to read more.I love many things but at the top of the list is food. its the one thing in life that you have to have, and thats remained constant. And honestly its what most of my favorite memories in life center around. The different places I have been all have different flavors. So when I recreate those flavors it always takes me back.
I have cooked most of my life, a lot with my mother and and grandmother, those are the moments that are special in life. Making christmas cookies with my grandma, or helping her and my mother can veggies from the garden that I actually had a hand in growing. Seriously how can you beat moments like that?
    Now that I am grown and on my own  I take pride in my food and love to can fruit, jams,jellies and pie filling. And I am also know for my wonderful candies and confections which if all goes well you will see more of, as the holiday season is coming up soon.
           But as always I like to ramble, I just wanted to let you know you can expect a pretty cool mix of mid-west meets west coast cooking. And a pretty good sense of humor(if I do say so my self), I hope to see more of you folks and maybe make some friends along the way.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It can't hurt to try

I suppose people say that alot but I'm bored so why not. It seems kind of weird sitting here talking to a computer but I see so many people willing to share their life, and I'm all ways actually eager to read it, why should my life be any different? So I sit here and it all started with a yum that sounds good.
     First let me say I love to cook, and can cook anything if I put my mind to it. And it helps a lot that I have a great man who loves to eat just about anything I make and who is quite a cook himself. Oh and my name is Jodi it's very nice to meet you.

So today was a very normal day I trolled around my favorite recipe exchange looking at questions people was asking and seen one I HAD to answer. Not sure why, just did. Probably because I have been there, what for dinner, well I have chicken thawed what should I do with it? And I HAve my favorite thing to do with it and I want to share.
Jodi's Beautiful breasts, chicken breast that is.
Serves 2
2 Bone in chicken breasts with skin
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground thyme plus 6 or 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder divided
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
3 medium potatoes cubed
1 onion quartered
6 white or crimeni mushrooms cut in half
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 Tablespoons basalmic vinegar
          Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place chicken skin side up, drizzle 1 Tablespoons of olive oil on each chicken breast. Sprinkle with thyme, sage, garlic powder , chipotle, and 1 teaspoon onion powder. Heat a large cast Iron or oven proof skillet on high heat, When it really hot lay the chicken in skin side down leave alone for about 2 min then flip to the other side and turn off heat.You want the skin to be golden brown.
        Mean while combine all other ingredients in a ziplock bag shake to coat. Pour into skillet around the chicken. Place it all in the oven for 40 to 45 min or until chicken juices run clear and potatoes are brown.

Well like I said its a start hope to be able to add pics here soon and I really hope to have some awesome recipes coming soon sot stay tuned for more. And please comment good or bad I need to hear them all, and maybe learn a little bit along the way. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again here real soon.