Week 13: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

The family that cooks together…

Like many families, food is a centralized part of my family. We eat when we are happy, sad, because it is Tuesday; we love food. And this week is no different. My cousin Mike has been trying to make many of his mom’s recipes for the last couple of weeks including salsa, carne asada, and other fine recipes. For this week’s blog Mikey talks about cooking his mom’s chile verde in the video and pictures below. We don’t have a recipe because most of this was done through hear say like “a pinch of this” and you make this with your hand, but if you really want to make it, you can google your own.

Chile Verde

Chile Verde

Just so you know, I decided to end this portion of the blog. If I find recipes I like, I will still post them, but not every week. I will still keep up my blog, but not just with cooking. Thank you to those that followed and sent recipes. I really enjoyed learning to cook, and have found a new love for it. It has helped me during a crazy semester, and couple months.So thank you for reading, enjoying, and whatever else.

Week 11: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

Red Comfort

It has been a few weeks since I last updated my blog. I know. But life sometimes get in the way, like oh I don’t know a thesis to graduate from grad school. Let me tell you, not the easiest thing to write. Not that I ever thought it was, but thinking about it, and then actually doing it are two very, very different things. So the next couple of blog posts maybe centered around sugar,comfort food, and basically whatever else I want.

This week I baked some red velvet cupcakes.The problem with cupcakes is you can’t have just one. They seem small and not so dangerous. Now, you know it is not at all healthy to make some cupcakes, and eat it yourself. It would be good, don’t get me wrong, however unless you want to gain 500 pounds and have a bad tummy ache, would not recommend it. Therefore, the best solution is to make red velvet cupcakes for someone’s birthday, perhaps a red head if you got one. One of my favorites is my good friend Ginger; ironic I know. I made about 2 dozen red velvet cupcakes for her birthday recently, and although I didn’t get her review on video, as quickly as those went, I am going to assume people may have liked them.

Outside view

Outside view

Inside view

Inside view

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cream Cheese Frosting…yummy
  • Sprinkles because you can

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy( I need to buy one of these. Although, a spoon does work my arms out). Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting.( I find if you watch a bad reality television show, and then put the frosting on, works the same)

I think they turned out very well. I loved them, but probably should only bake them on special occasions. And you don’t always need a red head, but if you do it helps.

Ginger

Ginger

Week 10: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

When You Can’t Find Lamb…

Lamb Curry was suppose to be this week’s recipe, however doing shopping at the last minute will not always work for you especially if you can’t find a little thing called Lamb. I am not sure why, but I can’t find lamb shanks in all the city of Mesa. Okay so I didn’t look in many places, but let’s just say it is not that easy. I am not sure why or perhaps I never noticed, but I never realized how hard it was, therefore lamb curry is going to have to wait. So when you can’t find lamb, what to do? Steak Fajitas. I mean really, how can you go wrong? (this is not one of those where something does go wrong, just a question) It’s not like how my mom and aunts make it, but we were in a pinch. Still good and juicy. Found at simplyrecipes.com

Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb of flank steak, skirt steak or carne asada (carne asada was used manly because it was easier to find)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced with the grain, not against the grain as one would normally slice an onion. Slice first in half, and then slice off sections a half inch wide at widest point.
  • 2-3 bell peppers of various colors, stemmed, seeded, de-ribbed, sliced lengthwise into strips
  • Salt

Marinade:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 fresh Jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped (just use it all)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, including stems

METHOD

1 Mix all marinade ingredients. Coat the steak with the marinade and let it sit at room temperature for an hour, or longer in the fridge. Before you cook the meat, wipe off most of the marinade and sprinkle the steak with salt.(Or pour the whole thing in the pan. Put some pepper in this as well.)

2 Set a large cast iron pan or griddle over high heat and let this heat up for 1-2 minutes. Add the tablespoon of oil to the pan and let this heat up for 1 minute. Add the steak, frying on each side for 3 minutes, or to desired doneness. 3 minutes per side will yield approximately medium rare doneness for an average cut of flank steak. Carne asada and skirt steak will need less time. If the pan starts to smoke too much, reduce the heat to medium-high. You want the steak browned, not burned. Remove from pan and let sit, tented with foil, for 5 minutes.

3 Cook the vegetables while the meat is resting. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, then add the onions and bell peppers. Let these sear for 1 minute before stirring, then stir every 90 seconds or so as the veggies sear. Cook for 5-6 minutes total.

4 Slice the meat against the grain into thin slices. If you slice the meat at an angle, you will be able to get your slices pretty thin. These cuts of steak are flavorful but can be a little tough, so thin slices will really help make it easier to eat.

5 Serve immediately with shredded cheese, salsa shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream(gross), and warm flour tortillas.

Pretty simple if you ask me. Yea does it take time to marinate, but it is quick after that. Below is a review from Jin, Karli, and Mike. Until next week…


Week 9: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

West Coast Girls Become a Little Southern

How I understand Fat Tuesday goes a little something like this: Day before Ash Wednesday, therefore you indulge is one of the seven deadly sins. Actually that is not the story, however it is a great set up for why we indulge in the sin of eating way too much and celebrating a Fat Tuesday with some of my girls

Now I know on the west coast we have our own dishes like Mexican Food. In fact I was prepared to cook some Mexican food this week because really where can you go wrong, when I saw a little story on the news about celebrating Fat Tuesday with some traditional New Orleans Cuisine. One of the dishes they were preparing was BBQ Shrimp(which is not actually made of BBQ thank you Man vs. Food). I decided that Mexican can be good anytime, and decided that some BBQ Shrimp, Cornbread, and Asparagus (you know to keep it healthier) screamed New Orleans at least to this west coast girl, no beads needed. All recipes can be found at allreciepes.com. And please beware of the butter content. We are not trying to be Ms. Childs here

 

BBQ Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds medium shrimp, with shells( If you are feeding four women, you only need a pound and a half of the extra large ones)
  • 2 pounds butter(maybe it is a Southern thing, but listen. We do not need anyone dying of a heart attack. A pound does the same work, and you will get less of a heart burn)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in as many baking dishes as you need. Set aside.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, parsley, Creole seasoning and rosemary. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until onion is tender. Add the rest of the butter and cook until melted over low heat. Stir in the pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the shrimp so that the shrimp are completely submerged.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until shrimp are pink, 15 to 20 minutes.(for me it took about 16 minutes, and then I put them in a crock pot for more flavor)
Although good, this dish is muy muy greasy, but that didn’t stop us from this:
And this was just Karli's Dish

And this was just Karli's Dish

And now to the sides:

Asparagus

Asparagus

Directions:

  1. Grill in a large pan with some butter. If you screw this up, give up on cooking
  2. No further instructions
Corn Bread

Corn Bread

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Combine the eggs and milk. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
  2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm.

Let me end by saying this. If you are not use to greasy foods, have a sensitive tummy, or are not from the South, eat this meal with precaution. You may develop a slight stomach ache and/or a southern accent as demonstrated by Karli, Cristalle, and Aubrey below. Wear stretchy pants. Thanks for the recipes, and keep them coming!

Week 6:From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

Family is all around, even across the country

If you have been around me for at least a day, you know I am a huge sports nut. You can probably blame that on my dad sitting my brother and I in front of the television during major holidays like Super Bowl Sunday, Start of March Madness, End of March Madness, when the Suns play the Lakers…you know the big ones, and being so passionate about the game. From his loud roars on a huge three pointer to yelling at the television (side note: my dad, to my knowledge, has never cursed. One time he yelled at my brother and I for saying suck in a non-sport related context. I am not sure where he went wrong with my sailor mouth), my dad’s love for sports laid the ground work for my love of sports.

Which brings us to this week’s recipe for the big game: Chicago Chili. No that the Bears were not in the Super Bowl this week, a hurtful fact my brother is still mad about, however can you really go wrong with anything Chicago food related? Hotdogs, pizza, and anything with that Chicago twist is amazing plus it is where some of my family is from. Ironically, actually not,  I got this recipe from my Chicago Native cousin Lindsey. While I was cooking this, other members of the family across the country were making their own Chili. It was kind of like a large family dinner we all ate together. You got to love it.

Chicago Chili

Chicago Chili

Writing Note: words that look like this are Lindsey’s commentary and words that look like this are mine

Chicago Chili (feeds 6-ish)

Need:
Large skillet
Large pot (6 quarts at least or 8 quarts if you can, otherwise things can get messy)
Cutting board
Knife
Large sturdy spoon

Ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey or beef (if use beef go for lean (less fat))
1 can black beans (16oz)
1 can chili beans (16oz) *if you can’t find chili beans sub in kidney
1 can diced tomatoes (16oz)
1 packet chili seasoning *it’s like the packets for taco seasoning, but for chili
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon italian seasoning (if you don’t have use equal parts dry basil and oregano…its basically the same thing)(I can’t find seem to remember to buy Italian seasoning to save my life, but luckily I had basil and oregano)
2 tablespoons chili powder (maybe, depending how spicy you’re going for)(put in like 3 to give it some more flavor)
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato(another fun, well not really, fact about me is I hate tomatoes. Lindsey quickly sent me back and an email telling me it is alright for me to avoid this, and as you should too)
1 large green pepper
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 jalapeño
3 cloves fresh garlic
oil
shredded cheese (optional topping)(cheese is always a must in my opinion)
diced onion (optional topping) (of you want, buy a large onion and use most for the chili but keep some for the topping)
sour cream (optional topping)
crackers/ sliced french bread (optional accompaniment)(I bought some, but didn’t end up using it)

Prep:

  • In large skillet place turkey (or beef), sprinkle with garlic powder and italian seasoning, brown.
  • While meat is browning (though remember to check on it so as not to burn):

o   Chop onion and green pepper into large chunks

o   Mince garlic.

o   Heat oil on medium in bottom of large pot; add garlic. Let cook 2 min.

o   Add onion and green pepper

o   Chop tomatoes, and mushrooms into chunks

o   Slice jalapeño into thick pieces (so people can see them if they don’t want to eat them)

  • When meat is browned add 2 tablespoons of water and packet of chili seasoning, stir well.
(TIP: put contents of seasoning in a small bowl and add boiling water, mix until dissolved then add to meat. its easy to make sure that the seasoning is dissolved and completely mixed into the meat) ( I read this after the fact, but still tasted good)
  • Add meat to large pot, stir.
  • Add all beans and diced tomatoes, stir. Add jalapeño, mushrooms, and tomatoes, stir.
  • Let cook on medium heat for at least 30 minutes, and up to an hour.
  • Taste. If you would like it spicier add chili powder, add slowly and taste often. You can add more, but you can’t remove it.(Beyond the three I did, I added another three every ten minutes, and I didn’t think it was too spicy)

I still had some leftover, but still good after a day. And hey had a little taste of Chicago. The video review is a quick one from Drew and Little Biggie, well a sleeping Biggie.  Thank you, and keep sending recipes!

Week 4: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

Can’t Go Wrong

Going to the Arizona State University for the last six years, I have had my fair share of pizza. While most of it has been after a few dozen adult beverages, pizza, because of it cheapness and greasiness( who knows if that’s a word), just screams college. Don’t forget the part of 4 am delivery. So why not learn to make it well the more adult way. This week I turn to my Aunt Norma’s baked from fresh pizza with pepperoni and olives. For those who have not met my aunt is not only missing out, but have missed some of the best meals of their life. Throughout college, Norma has feed me and some of my friends with her amazing cooking on days we probably would have starve. So who better to not only learn how to cook from, but have her recipe feed my friends than my Aunt Norma.

Pepperoni and Olive Pizza

Pepperoni and Olive Pizza

Before you start this…it will take you awhile. My aunt’s recipe is more of a estimation from her. If you feel the need to add more of whatever you chose, do it.

Ingredients

3 Cups of Flour
2 Packages of Yeast
1 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
2 tsp of olive oil
Bottle of Rago (Classic)
1 lb Mozzarella
A lot of pepperoni
Canish of Olives

How to make the Dough:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Take the two packages of yeast and put them in a luke warm cup of water for 10 minutes until it appears milky.
  • You then take all the ingredients except  your toppings and mix it into a large bowl.
  • When the mixture is mixed into a smooth  dough you will then knead the dough. If the dough is sticky, pat more flour onto it and mix it up. Your dough should not look like this:

    How your dough shouldn't look

    How your dough shouldn't look

it should look more like this:

how dough should look

how dough should look

  • As you knead the dough, start spreading it out into the shape of pizza you would like. A rolling pin will do wonders for you. Do not be discourage if/when the dough doesn’t stick in the position. Rome was not built in a day, your dough will not take a minute. Be patient.
  • After you get the dough in the shape you want, cake it with sauce cheese, pepperoni, and olives. Make sure to spread evenly.
  • Put in oven for about 35 minutes. Look back every 5 minutes because sometimes it takes shorter longer and what have you.

And there you have it. Somewhat grown up pizza. Serve with salad and fruit, and it may keep you away from the doctor

Pizza, fruit, and salad

Pizza, fruit, and salad

Watch Jessi’s review of the meal below, and for the record I was not sucking up to her lol. Thank you for all those sending in recipes, and keep them coming

Week 3: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

A Convo with My Mom

I turn to the woman who gave birth to me, my mother, for this week’s cooking recipe. For those who have never had the pleasure of meeting my mother, she is one one of the most beautiful, caring and amazing women I have ever known. Now that we have that out of the way, she also says some off the wall things because well she can. So who better than to have as this weeks tester of one of her favorite baked goods then my mom from her recipe.

This week I cooked Mini Vanillia Scones. They are sort of like Starbuck’s scones without the lines and extra charges. We are using a recipe she found on a site because as she puts it, its sort of like hers just not as good. Tanslation: Not everything should be exactly as measured. Word to the wise: Make sure you understand a little bit of geometry before attempting. I barely passed that class, and explains the odd shapes.

Mini Vanillia Scones

Mini Vanillia Scones

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces (like extra tiny tiny pieces because if you don’t have an eletric bowl and/or mixer, it becomes a bitch to mix)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup regular full-fat sour cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract(my mom says to use fresh vanilla. Of course after the fact)

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • water, as needed

Directions:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Using any method you prefer, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until flour resembles coarse meal,(pretty much ignore this part, but for those fancy people out there you can try this) The “grate” method: I grate a block of cold butter against the large holes of a box grater and weigh the butter ribbons to get the amount I need  Toss the butter ribbons with the flour mixture, and then use two knives to cut the flour-coated ribbons into 1/4-inch pieces.(for the record a knife works just as fine.)
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg yolk and vanilla extract until blended. Add this to the flour-butter mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms a cohesive ball. Use a spatula to get the dry bits fully incorporated.
  5. Place the sticky dough onto a parchment-lined (or ungreased) baking sheet and pat into a disk about 1-inch in height. Cut the dough into wedges but do not separate. Or scoop dough into a mini scone pan if available.

A break from the recipe….this is where geometry became a problem for me. I understood disks like this:

disks

Squared

When infact a disk is well a circle which you then cut like a pizza as shown here:

Me with a pizza cutter

Me with a pizza cutter

Or in my case the squares. However you choose to do it, it doesn’t affect the taste.  I say this because maybe there are others out there who didn’t do too well in geometry like me, and on top of it being it late, gets shapes confused. Moving on…

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.(for me it took like 13 minutes)

While it is baking

GLAZE

  1. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl, and add water one teaspoon at a time, mixing vigorously until smooth and runny.(don’t skip out on the sugar. Use extra. And don’t forget to add vanillia to the mix. It doesn’t say, but trust me. With all the extra sugar it took me about 1/4 of water)
  2. Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of glaze over the hot scones. Brushing rather than drizzling gives a smoother appearance and requires less glaze.(The only brush I have is a make up and hair brushes, and no one wants the scones a shade of purple eye shadow. A knife or spoon still does the the job fine)
  3. Serve immediately. Store cooled scones in an airtight contanier (they honestly taste better cold. eat a couple fresh then store them)

Another week where my kitchen sort of survived.Thank you to those who have sent reciepes. Keep them coming. Below is my mom’s video response. Did she say when I am old and grey?