October 31, 2012

Lobster Bisque @ Home

As I was at Philly's good ole Chickie's and Pete's the other night-
among the goodies ordered...
I ordered the Lobster Roll and after consuming too many crab fries
and shrimp, I brought half the lobster roll home.

So what did I do....?
I decided to make simple Lobster Bisque. I diced up 1 red bell pepper,
4 stalks of celery and 1 small zucchini. I sauteed them until they were super soft.
Once they were super soft, I added a sprinkle of salt,
about a 1/4 cup of chicken stock and about 3 TBSP of Frank's Hot Sauce
and lastly a small can of tomato sauce.

I took a hand-held blender and blended the veggies right in the pot.
I then microwaved the left-over lobster for about 40 seconds and topped the soup.


1 red bell pepper, 
4 stalks of celery,
1 small zucchini.
sprinkle of salt, 
1/4 cup of chicken stock, 
3 TBSP of Frank's Hot Sauce
small can of tomato sauce (6 or 8oz)

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food

October 26, 2012

Caramel Apple..........Bites

Take a granny smith apple.... it's best to use an apple that is on
the tart side because the caramel is going to be super sweet.
You can use a spoon or a small knife and slice them but
it's also quite easy to use a melon baller to get as many
small bite-size pieces as you can.

Melt some caramel (Worther's Original) about 30 candies in
a small pan on LOW HEAT. Remember to put it on LOW!
Don't add any water, butter or anything else!

Dip the apple pieces (with tooth picks on them-
you can use as a holder) in the melted caramel and
twist and turn to make a nest-looking shell.
Place it on wax or parchment paper and the
room temperature will "set" it very quickly!

These are basically candy apples in skewer style bite-size pieces!
Enjoy them during the Autumn-apple season. Slight tart from
Granny Smith apples with sweet caramel equals ===== SWEET!

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food

October 19, 2012

How many animal crackers are there?

Do you know how many animal crackers there have been over the years?

Since 1902.... there have been 37 different types of animals in animal crackers.
You might think they are random shapes or the same 4-5 shapes... but nope,
they have been made with careful consideration.

Here is a picture of the common ones "trending" now.
Yes, I said trending animal crackers. That's what food nerds say.

October 17, 2012

Pickled Cold Mac Salad

I learned an interesting way to make chilled macaroni salad last weekend
and of course I made it a few days later.

It came out pretty tasty. Often foods that are simple are good just for their
flavors.  I usually associated chilled macaroni or any pasta salad to be on
the sweet side but this one has a little sweet but more of a salty tang to it as well.

I took some Ditalini ...

Boiled it, rinsed it, chilled it..........

and added 2 cut up hard boiled eggs, a TBSP of dijon mustard,
3 pickle wedges diced up small and mayo to mix it all up.
I then added the pasta/ Ditalini and added a little more mayo
to blend everything together.

It's best served after being chilled in the refrigerator. It was kind of like lasagna in the
way that it tasted even better the next day after all the flavors settled together.

The tangy and saltiness of the pickles give it that great deli-style taste while being
home-made which is even better!  This mac salad is good enough to eat even if/when you're not on a picnic! with a sandwich, without a sandwich... anyway you want... even by itself was good!

What's your favorite chilled salad? Potato? Egg Salad? Tuna Salad?

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food

Who owns and sells that product?

Have you ever wondered who owns, sells, acquired, merged with or distributes this or that?

Here is a picture of some of the big name brands and who owns them.
Many of them have part stake in the company rather than owning the whole company.

October 15, 2012

sharing Jack........

Due to preparing for some upcoming cooking classes...

I decided to share some things I've come across... that caught my eye
and are quite "pinteresting" on---- yes, Pinterest.... aka: my addiction...
especially with a little less time to create new foods in the kitchen right now.

I also wanted to share that I finally created a Facebook page for my food blog.
It's been long over due and I finally gave into creating a fan page.

Please feel free to click a like here and there when something might be interesting!


ok, on to some pinteresting Jack..... o lanterns now.

Starting off with clementine pumpkins for the Autumn, October--Halloween season.

This is from  princessandthefrogblog.com

Then we have the cheese burger cheese jack-o-lanterns.
This was found through Reddit.com

The next jack-o-lantern item is.........
Pumpkin puree added pumpkin pancakes with chocolate syrup for the face.
This is from smuckers.com on Pinterest.

I then found a simple cheese sandwich but jack-o-lantern style to smile during lunch.
This picture is from ediblearticles.com

Making shapes with Rice Krispies can be endless which brings us to jack-o-lantern
Rice Krispies Treats! 
From foodfamilyfinds.com through Pinterest.

The last item I discovered tonight was the stuffed pepper.

These stuffed peppers were found on Pinterest through foodallergies.realfoodmedia.com

Food art is really combining 2 favorites of mine. Art & Food.
Being creative with everyday simple food not only makes it fun while making but
quite interesting when it comes to eating the items as well!

Please feel free to leave me a comment , a like, or share with me if you have ever made the
items through my blog!  I would love to see or hear your experience from the blog!

October 11, 2012

Late Thursday----- 15 minute Jambalaya

Most Thursdays... after working late...
it's something quick, and often whatever is left from the frig from the week.
Tonight I decided to throw the quickest veggie jambalaya together in 15
or so minutes.

The ingredients are simply...

a cup of rice (left over Chinese take out)
a can of diced tomatoes
1/2 a red bell pepper diced
1/2 a green bell pepper diced
1/2 of a medium onion diced
1/2 cup of stock (any kind- I used chicken broth)

I made it veggie because I'm slightly tired of meat especially chicken.
I sauteed the onions first, then 2-3 minutes later-
I added the peppers to the frying pan.
I tossed them together with olive oil
and added black pepper, garlic powder rather than fresh grated
simply because I was tired and it was a long day.
I also added a pinch of coriander, cumin, hot pepper powder and paprika.
I added 1/2 cup of stock (you can add water as well)

That was my simple veggie jambalaya tonight.
I almost always have cilantro on hand so I used a few cilantro leaves as a garnish
and chopped a green pepper that I grew in my container garden.

And that's what was for dinner tonight!

October 7, 2012

Pizza balls, bites or whatever you want to call them

You can make your own pizza dough or simply buy already made pizza dough
from the refrigerator section in the super market.

break the dough into how every many pieces of pizza bites you would like

 Add a sprinkle of salt, garlic powder and some oregano or Italian seasoning.

Add some cheese and pepperoni into the little balls and then roll them --
like the way you would with meatballs.

Place them in the oven on 400 degrees until they get golden brown.
It's best served with a marinara sauce.  You can also add your favorite toppings
like the way you would on normal pizza whether it's mushrooms, peppers, sausage etc...

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie with Bacon

What do you get when you take some graham crackers, marshmallows,
Hershey chocolate,...............

 and then you layer those items....

 while adding chocolate chip cookie dough to the top and to the bottom...

while combining it all together into a HUGE cookie shape...

 (picture of 3 steps)

 You get a huge ooey, gooey chocolate chip Smores cookie.

When you add some bacon in the middle... it's really something!
You have the sweet with the salty bacon.... it's REALLY worth making!
I assure you, you will not be disappointed.

October 5, 2012

BLT basket

So, at this point you might realize that I enjoy making food that is not the norm.
The artist in me enjoys taking everyday ingredients and making it a little
different that the typical way or expected way. "the norm"

Making fun food inspires me to make MORE food and slightly giddy inside-
now, only if I could somehow incorporate that into working out, SIGH!

Even though  BLTs are typically known as a summer sandwich...
who doesn't want to eat bacon all year round right!?

So I love when something is double duty but when it comes to the muffin tin---
I think I could come up with 100 different things that the muffin tin
can be used for. Making mini bacon baskets is yet, another way to use the tin.

To make these, it's easiest to microwave the bacon in paper towels first
so that they aren't completely raw. Once they are about half way cooked-
the bacon strips are a little more pliable to form in your muffin tin to be
baked in the oven on 400 degrees. Basically when they are crisp... they are done!

Once they are out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin
and once they are not steaming hot anymore- add your chopped lettuce
(Romaine works best) and tomatoes any way or kind that
you want...small salad tomatoes, plum tomatoes, Israeli vine tomatoes.... whichever!

Surprise your family and friends with a BLT side salad!  
(Each basket is made of 5 bacon pieces.)

October 3, 2012

Substitutions when you're BAKING

I'm not much of a baker except when it comes to making a cake colorful especially
rainbow colors... especially when it is someone's birthday!

I am a self pronounced Princess of organization but when it comes to memorizing
something... all of a sudden black clouds and fog come upon my head and
it's hard to memorize things... I can remember detailed things from long ago tho...
I wonder what this condition is called... hmmm

either way- when it comes to cooking- especially baking,
I wonder what can be substituted for this or that.

I've done a little researching and now I want to share it with you all!

You can substitute.....

black beans for flour
Using a black bean puree helps cut the extra carbs and adds fiber

apple sauce for  sugar
For the sugar to apple sauce substitution: use a heaping but 1/2 of what the recipe
calls for ----- eg: if the recipe says 1 cup sugar: use a heaping 1/2 cup of apple sauce

mashed avocados for butter
This measurement stays the same but what you're making will be extremely healthier

evaporated milk for cream
The measurement for the cream to evaporated milk substitution is the same but cuts the fat

Greek yogurt for oil
For the oil to yogurt substitution: cut the oil amount in half ----- eg: 1 cup oil : use 1/2 cup yogurt