Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crispy Sautéed Duck Breast with Cherry Quinoa

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And now for my favorite bird – duck! Chicken is alright, but it just doesn’t have the natural flavor or richness of a bird that can fly. If you’ve never had duck, my advice is: HAVE DUCK. It’s all dark meat, it’s fatty, and it’s delicious. This first duck dish is a relatively easy one, with only a few components to worry about. You can sauté using clarified butter, but I opted to use duck fat instead. Sweet, sweet, versatile duck fat. I found a little tub of it at Whole Foods, so that’s where I’d start looking if you’re not sure where to purchase it.

Speaking of purchasing things, you’ll likely need to buy a whole duck and cut the breasts off for this. I couldn’t find any place selling just duck breasts, but if you can, go for it. If you buy a whole duck, don’t worry – the next recipe will tell you how best to prepare the legs and thighs, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sautéed Chicken with Mushroom Risotto and Asparagus

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Next up, we’ve got a sautéed chicken airline breast (a boneless breast, skin on, with the drumette still attached), some mushroom risotto, sautéed asparagus, and pan reduction sauce. With so many different parts, this recipe is going to get fairly in depth. In fact, this dish was actually my entry into a cooking contest recently, and although I didn’t win, it came out pretty great.

My point is, it’s pretty labor intensive and you’ll use a lot of pots and pans to make it happen. Its individual components are not especially difficult on their own, it’s just the combination of them and timing it all out that can be tricky. In fact, I’m going to be laying this one out a little differently than normal. Instead of trying to fit all the parts together for you, I’m going to list the preparation methods for each component in their own separate sections. That way you can coordinate it however you see fit, since my order of operations may or may not have been ideal for most. Do feel free to leave your feedback regarding this layout – let me know what works and what doesn’t.

It might also help to have another cook in the kitchen to assist on this recipe – if no one is available, you may want to swap the risotto for mashed potatoes, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. Included below will be tutorials for clarified butter and pan reduction sauce, both of which are necessary components of this dish. So if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, this is one dish that’s sure to impress.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Grilled Chicken With Rice Pilaf and Glazed Vegetables

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We might as well start at the beginning of my most recent class, and it began with chicken. This particular dish is a grilled chicken breast de supreme (a boneless breast with the skin on), with rice pilaf and glazed carrots and turnips. It’s a fairly basic meal for one or two (though the recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, etc., depending on how many you need to feed) and takes less than an hour to prepare.

Unfortunately, as I made this in class, I didn’t have the time to take pictures of the process. It is, however, fairly straightforward, so I’ll just do my best to make the description as detailed as possible. This won’t be an issue for ALL of the upcoming recipes here, but it will be for some of them. There is also the possibility that I’ll make these at home and update the recipes with pictures after the fact.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Coming Soon to Screw Your Diet!

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Hello everyone, and happy holidays! It’s been about a month now since I’ve really been able to update Screw Your Diet with new recipes, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to post. Quite the contrary, in fact – I’ve been so busy cooking and learning, that I’m backlogged with delicious recipes! For the next 2 weeks, I’ve got a well deserved break from school, and I’ll use that time to post up as many of the dishes I’ve been working on as possible (the dish above is roasted rack of lamb with creamy polenta and ratatouille, by the way).

Also, I will soon be adding a new page to the site called “The Basics”. Here you’ll find basic recipes and techniques to help you get started. Lessons on stock making, how to clarify butter, mother sauces, vinaigrette, pan reduction sauce, knife cuts, etc., just to name a few. A lot of the upcoming recipes feature these techniques, and rather than detailing them every time they’re needed, I felt it’d be easier to be able to simply refer to the basics page. It should be up and running before too long, so check back soon!

In the meantime, enjoy previews and descriptions of all the recipes you’ll be seeing here over the next 2 weeks! (Note: they will not necessarily appear on the site in the order they’re listed below.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Perfect Rustic Mashed Potatoes

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Of course, that has everything to do with the food, and nothing to do with being symbolically thankful for all the help the native Americans gave the first white settlers (who then showed their appreciation by slaughtering most of them). In any case, this was my first time actually contributing to the feast – I didn’t make the turkey, but I did make the mashed potatoes, as well as Crack Pie for dessert (which was a huge hit, by the way).

I’ve had mashed potatoes as a side dish for a number of meals that I’ve posted here on Screw Your Diet, but I usually don’t include a recipe since everyone likes to make them their own way. So I figured it was time to show you how I make them. Unfortunately, there won’t be any visual aides in this recipe, but mashed potatoes are pretty straightforward, so hopefully you won’t need them. If you do find yourself having trouble, feel free to shoot me an email!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Panna Cotta with Berry-Wine Sauce

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I feel like I have to do this more and more lately, but I do apologize that my updates to this site have been so infrequent these past couple of months. I really do wish I had more time, but I think you’ll find that this recipe was worth waiting for!

This past weekend, to celebrate the finish of my second Culinary Foundations class, I decided to prepare something that is not covered as part of my school curriculum: panna cotta. This rich and delicious mixture of cream, sugar, and gelatin hails from Northern Italy, and is actually extremely simple to make. If you’ve never tried it, think of panna cotta as a kind of cream-based Jell-O, only a bit more firm. Served with a mixed berry and wine sauce, it’s a dessert you’ll be sure to never forget!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lobster Bisque

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Alright, we’ve made it – it’s the final soup! I saved the absolute best for last, so today we’ve got lobster bisque. This rich delicacy has a smooth, creamy texture and a flavor profile that’s both sweet and savory. For the best results, I recommend using a whole, live lobster, rather than one which has been frozen since I’ll be writing the recipe out as though you have a whole one.

If you do choose to go the route of whole, live lobster, don’t boil it alive! The lobster will make an unpleasant sound, and it’s just not particularly humane. Instead, you should simply force your chef’s knife through the back of its head – that sounds even less humane, but it’s actually quick and painless. But that is the price of fine cuisine, is it not? Something has to die to become delicious food for us. And I promise you, your lobster’s sacrifice will not have been in vain, because there’s nothing quite like lobster bisque.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Potage Mulligatawny

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Okay everyone, this one is quite an undertaking – but it also happens to be one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever tasted. Potage Mulligatawny is a thick, hearty offspring of Indian and British influences. It’s got a delicious curry base and comes loaded with rice, diced apple, and a garnish of poached chicken breast and crispy bacon lardons for a symphony of flavors that must be experienced to be believed. But make no mistake – this is literally one of the most labor intensive dishes I’ve ever prepared. It employs multiple cooking techniques and loads of ingredients, so be prepared to set aside the better part of your day to make it. Even so, I can not recommend it enough, and once you taste it, you’ll be a believer as well.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Potage Cultivateur

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Sorry it’s taken so long for me to get to the next recipe. Between school and work, I don’t have a ton of time for posting these days! I’ll do my best to make more regular updates, but this is kind of the nature of the beast right now.

Anyway, Potage Cultivateur is a hearty vegetable soup and would normally not exactly belong on a site called Screw Your Diet. It’s actually quite good, and good for you. It’s not an especially difficult soup to make either, though it can be time consuming due to the type of knife cut it calls for. The cut is called paysanne, and basically that means you’re looking for relatively flat squares, about ½” x ½”. While you don’t have to cut your vegetables in this way, it certainly makes for a nice presentation and helps to ensure that they’ll all be cooked evenly - it’s worth the extra bit of effort.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Consommé Macédoine

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For the 3rd soup in what I’ve dubbed “Soup Madness 2012”, I made a consommé macédoine (or as a friend of mine referred to it, Minecraft Soup). Consommé means “completed” or “concentrated” in French, which is a pretty accurate way to describe this one. The flavor of it is very rich and concentrated in a remarkably clear broth. Macédoine refers to the cut of the garnish vegetables that go into the soup – leek, carrot, and celery, all cut into 4mm x 4mm x 4mm cubes (or in the leek’s case, just 4mm x 4mm).

There are a lot of elements to work with in this soup, but if you’re careful and patient, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

French Onion Soup

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After a very successful New England clam chowder, I decided it was time to make a French onion soup. It’s flavorful and extremely popular, though I found my first couple of attempts to be lacking. I initially tried to make it earlier in the week, and was not pleased with my results. When I made it in class later in the week, I was still not entirely pleased with how it turned out. Not satisfied with my results so far, I gave it another shot - the third time proved to be the charm, as this batch came out pretty close to perfect. The key is simple: take your time. Don’t rush it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

New England Clam Chowder

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The start of the fall season also happens to be the start of soup season. After all, what’s better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold or rainy day? It’s just as well then that my schooling has taken a turn toward soups in the past week, and there are a number of fantastic recipes I’m excited to share with my readers here. So over the next week or so, I’ll be posting all soup, all the time.

First up is a creamy, flavorful, New England clam chowder. It’s always been one of my favorite soups, and I was surprised to learn how easy it is to make.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate Pudding


Chocolate pudding used to be a childhood favorite of mine. As I got older, my love for pudding gave way to more, “sophisticated” chocolate offerings, but I knew a small part of me would always love it. That part of me took control of me this past weekend and demanded that I produce something rich and chocolatey, the likes of which I had not tasted in a long time. And so I did!

This was my first time making pudding, but I found the process to be a lot easier than I expected. Granted, there is a stretch of about 10 – 15 minutes where you’ll be stirring and whisking constantly, but aside from that, it’s really not too much of a hassle to make.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pepper and Herb Crusted Pork Roast


I love the other white meat. More flavorful on its own than chicken, and with just as wide a variety of ways to prepare it, pork shows up in my diet fairly regularly. Some of you may remember he last pork roast I posted here was a stuffed pork loin, and kind of tricky to prepare. This roast, by contrast, requires very little effort or prep time and is quite delicious. Try it for yourselves and see!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Caramel Cake


This past week has not left me with a lot of time for cooking or baking at home, a fact you’ve no doubt noticed since I went 7 days without updating Screw Your Diet. Well, Saturday’s veal chops were the first step to getting things back on track here, and now I have something sweeter for your baking pleasure – caramel cake.

This is not an especially difficult recipe, and it isn’t as overpoweringly sweet as it looks. You will, however, be making caramel from scratch and that can be a tricky process. Just be sure you have a candy thermometer and that you use a small or medium sized sauce pan instead of a large one like I did. Kind of defeats the purpose of the thermometer if the liquid is too shallow to measure! I eyeballed it and got lucky, but I wouldn’t advise you take that risk yourselves.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Veal Loin Chops with Tarragon and White Wine Reduction Sauce


Veal is one of those rich, delicious delicacies that PETA would have you believe is morally reprehensible to consume. And you know what? Maybe it is, but I’ll be damned if that’s going to stop me. So with some thick and succulent veal loin chops on hand, I decided to go with a relatively simple recipe that produces some pretty complex and interesting flavors, mostly due to the use of tarragon. On the side, I steamed some broccoli and made a simple risotto to round out this delicious gourmet meal. The risotto recipe is the same one I used for my seafood risotto, and you can make whichever sides you like, so I’ll only be detailing the process for cooking the veal below.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apple Crumbles


Crumble desserts are great for any occasion. They’re quick and easy to make, and you can use pretty much any fruit you want. I chose granny smith apples for my crumbles because, well, I haven’t done a lot of baking with apples – my baked goods tend to deal in bread, chocolate, or berries. These turned out to be the perfect dessert for a recent family dinner, and I’m looking forward to trying them again with other fruit in the future.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Braised Chicken Breast (Or Chicken Stew)


I know what you’re thinking – “Braised chicken breast? What kind of sense does that make?” Admittedly, not a whole lot, at least not until you try it. If you think of it as a chicken stew instead, the concept becomes a little easier to grasp. It’s a technique I recently learned in class and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make some at home. That opportunity finally arrived in the form of a family gathering, and I’m pleased to report that this flavorful dish was a big hit!

It’s got a decent handful of steps to it, but in general it’s not all that difficult, so check out the recipe and give it a try!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dauphinoise Potatoes

I've been cooking with potatoes quite a bit these days. That's no accident - potatoes are what we've all been using in class to practice our knife skills. Rather than tossing away perfectly good potato, why not put it to good use? And speaking of class, that's where I learned about dauphinoise potatoes, the delicious dish you see here. It's similar to scalloped or au gratin potatoes, but a bit richer and made specifically using Gruyere cheese. It's fairly simple, doesn't use a ton of ingredients, and is incredibly tasty, so give it a shot!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's been a few weeks since I did any hardcore baking. Between school and work, I just don't have the necessary prep time anymore most days. This past weekend, however, I decided it was time to bake something blog-worthy - something extravagant and complex. As you can see, I opted to bake profiteroles, a challenge in an of themselves, and something I've never attempted before.

Those of you who have been following SYD might have noticed I'm generally not content doing just one thing - and to that end, I also made the ice cream myself, even without an ice cream maker. It's a chocolate chip and Nutella swirled vanilla ice cream, and it was well worth the effort. You can find the recipes for the profiteroles themselves, as well as the ice cream, and the chocolate ganache topping below. Obviously, you don't have to make your own ice cream for this, as doing so extends the prep time considerably. I'll leave that up to you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Honey Soy Sauce Chicken

Boneless chicken breasts kind of stress me out. They're so versatile, and there are so many different ways they can be prepared that I always have a very difficult time just figuring out which way to cook them. This time, I ultimately chose to adapt a recipe I'd used previously but never posted here on SYD. It uses a sweet and spicy honey soy sauce marinade, only the original recipe called for drumsticks, whereas I chose to cube some breasts instead and make a simple, delicious Asian-style dinner. Serve it with sticky rice and a vegetable of your choosing for a complete dinner that will blow your mind!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cornbread Muffins

This past weekend was my cousin's birthday party, and a good opportunity for me to cater to a group of 20 or so people. Most of what I provided is straight from this blog already - Smokin' Scovilles chili, dulce de leche brownies, and homemade pickles are among them. I also made a big batch of buttery and delicious cornbread muffins, because chili is never truly complete without cornbread. And these were, indeed, the perfect compliment to a steaming hot bowl of Smokin' Scovilles, so try them out!

As a quick side note before we get to the recipe, I made a double batch for the purposes of a decent sized crowd, but I'll be posting the recipe for a single batch since that will likely be more practical for most of you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Homemade Pickles

As someone who grew up in a Jewish family, the 83% of my blood that should be water is actually pickle juice. I've loved pickles since I was very young, and a jar of them never lasts very long in my presence. Ever since I discovered my love of cooking, I've wanted to make my own pickles, but could never find a good time to start them.

I was finally inspired to make my own pickles by a very dear friend of mine named Jessie, from whom I also acquired this recipe. If you like your pickles crunchy, tart, and garlicy, this is the recipe for you!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shrimp and Lobster Risotto

If there's one thing I am sure of in life these days, it's the fact that I'm making good use of the education I've been receiving at Le Cordon Bleu for the past 2 weeks. After witnessing a demonstration in class on how to make perfect risotto, I knew it was something I'd have to try on my own time. Not only had I never tried making risotto myself, but I was already quite fond of risotto's particular texture and creaminess.

Of course, this wouldn't be Screw Your Diet if I didn't add some extra flair to the dish. To that end, I added half a pound of grilled shrimp, lobster tail, and broccoli into the mix. The result was as delicious and rich as you might expect. One thing to note, however, is that exact measurement were not used, so many of them will be approximate measurements rather than being more precise. Savory cooking is mostly done "to taste", so the exact proportions for spices and the like will pretty much be left to your own discretion.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Potato Soup

In my previous post, I demonstrated how to make julienne potatoes. The problem with julienne potatoes is that they leave a lot of excess potato, and there's no sense letting it go to waste, right? Rather than toss it out, I put the excess potato to good use in a creamy, cheesy, potato soup. It was my first time making soup from scratch, and it's not an especially difficult recipe either, so follow along and you'll have yourself some delicious soup in no time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Parmesan Julienne Potatoes

A Julienne cut is defined as being 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch x 2 inches. It's a very specific measurement, and only one of a staggering number of ways to cut a potato (or pretty much any vegetable for that matter). How to properly julienne a potato is one of the first things I learned at culinary school, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's easy. To julienne by hand is a pretty laborious process, but the resulting matchstick fries, as they are more commonly called, are crispy and delicious.

In this post, I'll walk you through how to properly julienne a potato, and in my next post, I'll be detailing a creamy potato soup that I made using the left over potato trimmings. So stay tuned!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Strawberry Hand Pies

The first time I attempted to make a pie, the results were a little mixed. As good as the berry pie tasted, the filling came out a bit runny and the crust was not at all flaky. But with company coming for dinner, I decided to give pie another shot, but with a twist this time. Rather than make one large pie, I opted for more conveniently sized strawberry hand pies, with a nutella cream dipping sauce on the side.

This time, things turned out very differently than my first pie attempt. These came out perfectly crispy and flaky, and the strawberry filling was sufficiently thick rather than runny. You can practically SEE how flaky they are just by looking at them! I won't lie to you, though, this perfect flakiness comes at a cost - this is not an easy recipe to prepare, with many steps to perform and long periods of waiting for things to freeze or chill. Of course, I'll walk you through it step by step as always, but just know that it isn't for the lazy or faint of heart. They are, however, well worth the effort, and I consider them one of my most resounding dessert success stories to date.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brown Butter Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins

These days, my days start bright and early. Well, not really bright, since the sun is not out yet when I wake up at 4:15 am to start getting ready for school every day. My point is, I never have the time to sit and eat breakfast on weekdays, so I needed something I could make in advance and simply take with me. These muffins were just the ticket! They're very simple to make, and you really can't go wrong with the sweet, delicious combination of brown butter and cinnamon sugar.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beef Milanese

Milanese style is one of my favorite ways to prepare meat. I've loved the turkey version of this breaded and fried entree for many years, but this time, I decided to give it a shot with beef instead. It's a relatively easy, if somewhat labor intensive, means to prepare meat, but it is well worth the effort. Serve with garlic fettuccine and a vegetable of your choice for a complete, and completely delicious dinner.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chocolate Pavlova

And now for something completely different! That picturesque beauty you see above is a Pavlova, a dessert created in either New Zealand or Australia (there has been some debate as to the actual country of origin) in honor of the Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavolva. It's a meringue-based cake with a crispy shell and a soft, airy interior, and I topped mine with homemade whipped cream, nectarine puree, strawberry, kiwi, and mini chocolate chips.

If you're going to attempt this recipe, you absolutely MUST have a stand mixer, otherwise whipping up meringue could take an exceedingly long time. It also turns out that I'm a bit on the clumsy side when it comes to separating egg whites from their yolk, and I wasted more than a few eggs in failed attempts here. What I'm saying is, make sure you've got some spare eggs available just in case.

As a side note, I've been having some computer issues lately, so I'm posting this from my tablet. There could be some formatting issues, so just bear with me while I get it all ironed out.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip S’mores Brownies

S'mores Brownie

If the mention of s’mores doesn’t conjure up fond memories of campfires and roasted marshmallows, well, you’ve led a more sheltered life than most. But it’s never too late to create new memories, and let me tell you, you’ll never forget these s’mores brownies. They’re adapted from a fudge-like brownie recipe that’s been in my family for longer than I’ve been alive, and what better way to preserve their legacy than to share them with the world so that everyone can love them as much as I do? They’re quick, they’re moist, they’re easy, they’ll change your freakin’ life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Baked Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Is there anything more delicious than meat which has been stuffed with more meat? Of course not, don't be silly. With that simple philosophy in mind, I set out to find a stuffed chicken recipe that would be sure to blow my mind. Well, I found one. Just imagine the makings of a jalapeno popper stuffed inside a chicken breast - jalapenos, cream cheese, cheddar, green onions, and ground sausage, all wrapped inside. It tastes just as great as it looks and sounds, so get ready for one spicy dinner!

On a side note, I’ve begun working a new job, and next week I’ll be starting classes at Le Cordon Bleu to earn my culinary arts diploma. As exciting as all of this is for me, it means I probably won’t have the time to update the blog quite as often anymore. But don’t despair, I’ll still be making updates as often as possible!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Burning Dinghy – A Spicy Baked Egg Boat

Spicy baked Egg Boat
The first time I made baked egg boats, it was for a family brunch and I hadn’t yet started this blog. They were a hit with the family, praised for the combination of a toasty bread shell with a soft, egg and cheese center. I kept it mild, however, as not everyone in my family is as much a fan of spicy foods as I am. This time, I had no such restrictions chose to do what I always do – made it spicy as hell. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Burning Dinghy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mini Molten Lava Cakes

Lava Cake

Lava cake is one of those extraordinarily rich and decadent desserts that you often see on the menu of a fancy restaurant. The truth of the matter, however, is that there’s really nothing all that fancy about lava cake. It can be made quickly and easily, and with pretty basic ingredients. When done correctly, what you get is less like an actual cake and almost more like hot pudding that’s wearing a cakey hat. It’s creamy and delicious, and the perfect dessert to top off that impending food coma.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella Cookie

If you’ve never tried Nutella, that rich, sweet spread made of chocolate and hazelnuts, do yourself a favor and go buy some. There’s a reason Nutella is so popular these days – it’s delicious. Having never actually baked with it before, I decided it was time to jump on the Nutella train and whip something up. Cookies are often the least labor intensive choice when it comes to baking, so I went with a simple and tasty sounding Nutella chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’m pleased to report that they're every bit as good as they look, so check it out and bake up a batch of your own!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mac & Cheese Pies

Mac and Cheese Pie

Macaroni and cheese is one of those old standbys that pretty much everyone with taste buds can love. I’ve had it so many different ways that when it was suggested to me that I make some as a side dish, I really had to dig to find something interesting to do with it. My digging yielded some tasty treasure in the form of baked mac & cheese pies – I’ve definitely never had mac & cheese like this before!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

100% Bacon Burger – The Bacon Lucy

Bacon Burger-Header

So last night I found myself craving a burger, but was disappointed to find that there was no ground meat in the house. I’d almost resigned myself to making something else when I discovered a nearly full package of bacon in the fridge. “I don’t have any ground meat” I thought, “but I could certainly do something crazy and grind up that bacon”. And what better way to say screw your diet than with a burger patty made entirely out of bacon?

The fact that I served this on my spicy cheddar beer bread instead of a normal bun made for a staggeringly rich and filling meal. I basically couldn't move at all for about half an hour afterward.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Spicy Vodka Sauce

Vodka Sauce

Pasta is something I eat pretty often, but mostly I’ve been content using store-bought sauces. This time, I decided to try to make one of my favorite kinds of sauce from scratch – Vodka Sauce. I was mostly inspired by the fact that I had a huge, mostly full bottle of vodka sitting in the fridge. I wanted to put some of it to a use that wouldn't actually be damaging to my liver, and I was quite pleased with the final result.

Spicy, flavorful, and creamy, vodka sauce goes great with almost any pasta dish, and it’s not even particularly difficult to prepare. I made mine with spaghetti rigati and Juicy Lucy meatballs, and boy was it good!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Egg in the Clouds – Cloudy with a Chance of Bacon


So here’s a method I’m willing to bet most of you have never used to prepare an egg. It’s called Egg in the Clouds, and that name carries more meaning than just referencing the obvious visual similarities between this and actual clouds. The fluffy meringue also has an incredibly airy texture – one might go so far as to call it cloud-like. Just be sure you have a nice, powerful, electric mixer to form the meringue, otherwise you’re going to have one sore arm when this is all over.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Crack Pie

Yes, this is called Crack Pie. You may be wondering why it’s called Crack Pie, but you won’t once you try it - it’s bad for you and you won’t want to stop once you start. It’s got a sweet, but slightly salty oatmeal cookie crust, and a rich, thick, sugary filling. Until today, pecan pie was my favorite kind of pie, but that honor now belongs to Crack Pie. That’s how much this thing rocked my world.
Oh, and as an added bonus, it’s not especially difficult to prepare.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Breaded Chicken with Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Sauce


My latest chicken adventure was one that didn’t even begin with chicken. I’ve been dabbling in sauces a bit lately, and upon discovering a tasty sounding recipe for roasted garlic peppercorn sauce, the next task was to find something to pour it on. Chicken seemed appropriate to me, so I opted for a breaded chicken recipe, using Panko to create a satisfying crunch.

I served the chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed cauliflower, but I’m only going to list recipes for the chicken and sauce here. Mashed potatoes can be made any number of ways and there’s nothing particularly special about the way I do them, and steamed vegetables are easy. Plus, who am I to tell you what to serve as your side dish? Go nuts!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Dulce de Leche Brownies


Over the weekend, I hosted a pretty successful barbeque. I arranged a tostada bar with carne asada, steak, chicken, and pork, honey sesame chicken drumsticks, and some Smokin’ Scovilles elk chili. Unfortunately, in my rush to have everything done on time, I didn’t get to take a lot of pictures. However, I did manage to document one of the desserts I featured - dulce de leche brownies.

The original recipe actually calls for these brownies to be salted, but I chose not to since the salted dulce de leche on the inside already provides the necessary contrast in flavors. It also calls for a box of brownie mix, but that’s not how I roll – I made the mix from scratch. While not an especially tough recipe, it does take a while from start to finish, so be sure to set aside an afternoon to make them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kickin’ Crinkles – Crinkle Cookies With Attitude


Rich, chocolatey, and coated with powdered sugar, Crinkle cookies are chewy, decadent piles of goodness whose surface looks like a delicious reenactment of continental drift. I’d been meaning to make myself a batch of crinkle cookies for some time now, but was always off put by the fact that most crinkle cookie recipes require the dough to sit in the refrigerator for hours before it’s ready to use. Not this recipe!

You also may be wondering why I say these crinkle cookies have got attitude. You see, back before I started this blog, I made a batch of cookies called Aztec cookies. These featured a spicy aftertaste, thanks to the additions of ginger and cayenne pepper. Well, I decided crinkle cookies could benefit from a little bit of that kick, so each cookie comes with a slightly spicy aftertaste to really wake up your taste buds.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Steak Fajitas


Steak. Who doesn’t love steak? Well, vegetarians and vegans, I guess, but I can’t be bothered with those who deny their human nature. For this steak adventure, I decided to make fajitas, with peppers, onions, spicy sour cream, and Spanish rice made from scratch. The meat comes out with a citrusy flavor which, to be honest, is a flavor I don’t necessarily prefer when it comes to meat. Everyone else seemed to love it though, so that’s good enough for me to recommend this recipe.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Skyrim Sweet Rolls


If you’ve played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you’ve probably heard the line “Let me guess, somebody stole your sweet roll”. Well, if the sweet rolls could taste as good in game as they do in real life, I would not blame someone for attempting to do so. Those who know me are well aware that my other passion in life is video games. I’ve been working in that industry for years, and even write for a video game website in addition to maintaining this blog. So come with me as my worlds collide in this fairly labor intensive but still relatively easy and very tasty recipe.

Also, be sure to check the “Additional details” section at the bottom of this post, as there were a few extra steps I needed to take which may be of use to some of you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Eye of Round Roast


Going into my first roast was a bit intimidating. A big chunk of meat and instructions that call for the oven to remain closed for nearly 3 hours? “What have I gotten myself into?”, I wondered. Turns out my worries were mostly unfounded, as the recipe calls for little preparation and a lot of anxious sitting around. Follow this recipe and you too can enjoy a delicious roast that requires almost zero actual effort.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Easy Chocolate Soufflé


My hunt for great desserts leads me to all kinds of interesting ideas. Most of my recent desserts use chocolate as a base, and in my attempt to branch out and diversify this time, I….made another chocolate dessert. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “easy” and “soufflé” don’t belong in the same sentence together. Normally, you’d be right. But this was my first attempt to bake a soufflé, and I assure you – it was easy and the results were perfect. Nevermind that I found this recipe in a cookbook even older than I am, this recipe works just as well today.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baked Pesto Chicken


If I spent the rest of my life preparing only chicken, I still would not see every method the world has to offer. With so many options, I spend a few minutes feeling a little overwhelmed before I can come to a decision about how to prepare it. This time, I decided to go with pesto. I made the pesto from scratch and found a pretty simple recipe with which to use it, so give it a shot! You won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Juicy Lucy Meatballs


The Juicy Lucy. For those who have never heard of it, a Juicy Lucy is a burger that’s stuffed with cheese and any number of other ingredients, such as jalapenos or bacon. It’s my personal favorite way to make a burger, by far. But this time, I decided to change things up a bit. I took the basic premise of the Juicy Lucy and applied it to meatballs – to great success, I might add! I used ground turkey for these, but you can substitute it for pretty much any kind of ground meat, so go nuts!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spicy, Meaty, Everything Pasta


So there I was thinking to myself “what the hell should I have for dinner?”. Almost everything I had was frozen and, unfortunately, I didn’t realize that early enough in the day to let anything thaw. “Pasta!” I thought. Pasta is quick and easy, but then came the question of what to put IN the pasta. That was when it hit me – sausage. Sausage and bacon and whatever else I can find laying about.

The resulting meal was delicious and spicy. Lacking a proper name for it, I’m just going to call it Everything Pasta, and here’s how to make it.