Archive for the 'Keep me out of the kitchen' Category

Published by admin on 23 Nov 2007

And I’m so thankful for my friends

I might never cook a turkey again. It took forever. My only thought was it wasn’t completely thawed before I started cooking it. That or there was a bit of confusion as to where the thermometer actually was supposed to go.

Breast down

It looked pretty. We started with it breast down, but the breast wasn’t getting to the right temp, so I flipped it.

Turkey - Breast down

The gravy came out so ridiculously salty that it was almost inedible. We soldiered on.

Champagne cures all ills

The successes were the easy dishes, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the rolls and the cranberries. Oh, and the champagne, definitely the champagne. One must always remember to have several bottles of champagne at the ready, no one will remember the turkey or the gravy after that.

Funny turkey

After dinner we went to the weird festival of lights in Griffith Park. We walked down there and almost gave up, but if we had, we would have missed the awesomeness of the artists interpretation of the awesomeness of LAX, which is almost an identical representation of LAX.


My hangover is just fierce enough to make me regret all of those damned dishes. But it was a great night. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

DWP light festival

Published by admin on 22 Oct 2007

White Sangria Recipe

The fruit for the deadly sangria

If something happens two years in a row, does that equal a tradition?

I made sangria again for Louie’s birthday BBQ in the park and it is a hit every year. This year I added a new recipe to my arsenal and people thought it was tasty. I found it a bit on the sweet side, so if you like that kind of thing, by all means, sweeten it up. Next time I’ll probably take back the white grape juice a touch and add more club soda.

White Sangria Recipe – Inspired by Malo restaurant

  • 2 bottles dry white wine (I used a Chenin Blanc from Trader Joe’s $3.99 a bottle)
  • 1 1/4 cups Limoncello
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple – cored and sliced thinly
  • 2 nectarines – sliced thinly
  • 1 peach – sliced thinly
  • A couple of handfuls of red grapes – halved
  • White Grape Juice
  • 1 bottle Club Soda

Directions: Cut up fruit and put in the pitcher, add the white wine and Limoncello, chill for at least 2 hours.

Right before serving fill the pitcher with one part grape juice to one part club soda. Serve and watch your friends get nice and toasty.

It’s so easy, and such a nice summer drink. Too bad it’s not summer anymore.

Tara’s Red Sangria Recipe can be found here.

Published by admin on 09 Oct 2006

Updated Chicken Tortilla recipe

The recipe I posted here is doctored a little from the one I ended up using for dinner last night. I was a little concerned about having people over for dinner and serving them casserole. It feels kind of like a cheat, or maybe a little too white trash, but they asked for the recipe, so I’m guessing it was OK.

1 whole roasted chicken (fryer size, bake at 400 for one hour or buy it roasted from the store)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup of milk
1 can diced green chiles (it’s the little can)
1/4 of finely chopped onion
one dozen quartered corn tortillas
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese

Bone the chicken (heh, gets me every time)
Mix all the ingredients except cheese and tortillas together
Grease a casserole pan (I used butter flavored Pam) and line with one layer of corn tortillas.
Pour one third of mixture in, put another layer of corn tortillas, more chicken mix, another layer of corn tortillas, top with remaining chicken mix and refrigerate (covered) for 4-6 hours.
Bake on 350-400 for 40 minutes, then add the cheese on top, bake for 15 more minutes.

Be prepared to be sad that you won’t have many leftovers. This casserole is delicious.

Published by Tamara on 26 Aug 2006

“Bone the chicken”

I’ve been threatening my mom and sister about putting together a family cookbook, one that encompasses Dad’s side and Mom’s side of the culinary spectrum.  It all started because my mom told me about an old recipe book she found in her mom’s stuff, and one of the entries was for Dandelion Wine, another for soap.  I am so far removed from a culture in which you have to make your own wine (with weeds no less) and your own soap (with lye…which, coincidentally, is an ingredient in Lutefisk, a meal so disgusting, you’ll wish you were dead.) that I thought it would be fun to try out the recipes.  I don’t know if you guys remember, but I am super lazy.  I have done exactly zero of the things it would take to make either of those items and really the only thing that I have done is continue to think about where in the hell one finds a plethora of dandelions, because, come on, my lawn is alternately brown and full of clover, and really, I don’t want to make wine out of weeds that my neighbors dogs pissed and shat on.

Today I was going through my finances and realized that after dinner tomorrow night for a close friend’s birthday (heavy drinking!) I will have exactly $12.00 in the bank (I’m only exagerating a little, I’ll have $12.92) until payday.  Payday was Friday.  So $12.92 for two weeks.  (Ok, I have more than $12.92… but seriously it feels like $12.92.)  The point of this exaggeration is that I decided to see what the cookbooks suggest for times like this.  I have three cookbooks that aren’t vegetarian, and fuck if I’m going to eat vegetarian by choice for two weeks.  So I pulled out the Hendrickson Cookbook, and my Betty Crocker “New Choices” Cookbook (which means it’s lame butter free recipes) and the “New Dieter’s Cookbook.”  It became very, very clear that I have a some serious food issues.  Someone please buy me the Mark Bittman book.  God.

I cracked open the Hendrickson Cookbook (this is Dad’s side) and flipped to Chicken Manyana (which made me giggle, because I’m fairly certain they put the ‘y’ in there to make it clear that this is a “Mexican” recipe.  Ole!  Or as the Norweigan’s say, “Uff da!”  Actually ‘ole’ and ‘uff da’ are very different representations of exclamatory remarks.  I feel like ‘ole’ is like ‘ta da’ or ‘yippee’, whereas ‘uff da’ is like ‘oh boy, here we go,’ or ‘fuck.’ ) Anyway, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for this recipe my mom used to make called “Chicken Tortilla” which is a casserole that includes not only cream of chicken soup, but also green chiles.  Mexican and Norweigan unite!

I think I’ll save making it until the weather cools just a touch, but here it is for your dining pleasure.

Chicken Tortilla

1 whole chicken (fryer)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 onion (it says grated, but how do you grate an onion, do you use a cheese grater? I’m confused)
1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese (I do, however, know how to grate cheese.  You buy the bag that says, “grated”)
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 cup milk
1 can green chiles, diced (heh.  Here it says, ‘not hot’, but I say, if you want to, go for the hot!)

Wrap chicken in foil and bake 1 hour at 400 degrees.  (or just buy a pre-cooked fryer from the deli section.  Jesus, no wonder I’m so poor.) Bone chicken, leaving in large pieces (I’m assuming they mean take the meat off the bones, not, ‘put your penis in the chicken’).  Cut tortillas into quarters.  Mix soup, milk, onion, and chiles.  Butter a large casserole dish (yeah, take that “New Choices cookbook!”) fill with repeating layers of tortillas, chicken, and soup mix.  Finish with soup layer on top.  Store in refrigerator over night.  Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes.  Cover with grated cheese and bake until cheese is melted.

My mouth is watering right now.  Enjoy!

Published by Tamara on 01 Jul 2006

Chicken salad

My mom finally called me to give me the recipes I requested. She’s so like me. She had the e-mail. She made a copy of the recipe. And then just couldn’t finish the last steps. It cracks me up, because when I procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by too many steps, I just freeze up and can’t finish, or answer the e-mail, or pretty much stop thinking about how I need to get it done. Now I know where I get it from.

So my mom and I are talking on the phone and she’s giving me the ingredients. 1 cup of mayonnaise, she reads out. I stop her.

“No, mom. I wanted the whipped cream recipe.”
“Oh, it’s coming.”
“Wait. This recipe has mayonnaise and whipped cream? And we ate it?”
“Everyone loves it. I’ve never had a complaint about this recipe.”
“That’s because it has 10,000 calories and 50 grams of fat per serving. This pasta salad is worse for you than fudge covered in a cup of butter.”
“I know. I only make it once a year.”
“Once a year? You should only make it once a lifetime.”

So she continues reading me the instructions. One of them is – Right before serving, whip the cream and fold into the salad.

“Mom, can I do that before hand?”
“well… how long before they’ll eat it?”
“I don’t know.”
“You should do it right before, or it won’t look as nice or taste as good.”
“Mom. This is LA. No one will eat it if they see me adding whipped cream to a salad that already has mayonnaise.”
“Oh. Well you should just bring the tortellini salad then, everyone likes that too.”

So I’m torn. On the one hand, nothing can beat that whipped cream salad. Nothing. On the other hand, whipping cream on ‘location’ can be a bit tough, and jeopordize the popularity of the salad. On one hand, the tortellini salad is delicious, but then I’ll have to toast almonds and for some reason that seems really hard to me. On the other hand, this salad is very good.

I’m starting to think I’ll chicken out and bring salt, tequila and margarita mix. Those are steps I know I can complete.

Published by Tamara on 07 Dec 2005

Bourbon Balls – Recipe for disass

1 Package Chocolate chips
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup bourbon (my mom wrote “or Orange Juice”…I guess for the alcoholic Future Me)
2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped nuts

Melt chocolate chips in double boiler. Add bourbon and corn syrup. Pour liquid over pre-mixed dry ingredients. (Then mix it? I don’t know, she doesn’t say, but I guess, yes.) Let stand in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Roll into balls and then roll in granulated sugar. Store in covered container (or eat immediately) several days to 3 weeks. (Apparently 3 weeks is as long as they can stand being not in your belly, though I cannot imagine they would ever last that long.)

UPDATE: When I made these I accidentally forgot/intentionally ignored the powdered sugar and they came out fine. For some reason I thought it was a misprint, but apparently, after talking to my mom, I learned that it was an ingredient I was supposed to add. I’m guessing you could leave it out if you wanted to save on calories, but at a certain point, you’re eating chocolate… so you might as well go for it.