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Sweet Little Chef

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Granola anyone? [Mar. 11th, 2007|07:06 pm]
Sweet Little Chef
I decided to make granola this weekend. It came out pretty good, but next time I'm going to try and make bars instead. It does make some very tasty and filling cereal, though!


5 cups regular oats, uncooked
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup coconut
3/4 cup unprocessed bran
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, stir together oatmeal, brown sugar, wheat germ, nuts, coconut, and bran. In small saucepan, mix together oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir and heat on medium heat until bubbly. Pour over dry oat mixture and stir until well mixed. Spread onto foil-lined pan. Bake at 325 degrees F until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven. Stir to prevent sticking. Cool completely. Stir in dried cranberries after cooled.

Makes about 8 cups.
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Fresh Salsa [Mar. 11th, 2007|10:48 am]
Sweet Little Chef
Yesterday I went to Finley Market in downtown Cincinnati. They have a pretty good Farmer's Market on the weekend and I scooped up some good deals on produce. I bought a pineapple (YUM!), tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, onion, limes, and zucchini. While I was there I decided that I wanted to make salsa, so I tried to get as much there as I could. Here's what I did to make the salsa....


10 - 15 plum tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 small onion
5 cloves of garlic
1 Hungarian hot pepper
2 jalapeños
juice from 2 limes
a splash of vinegar

Dice the plum tomatoes, onion, garlic, and peppers. I like dice the peppers really small which helps to distribute the hotness evenly. Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic and peppers in a bowl. Finely chop the cilantro. I uses almost the whole bunch, but I like a lot of cilantro! Add to the bowl with other ingredients. Squeeze the juice from the two limes into the bowl and add a splash of vinegar. Mix well. Serve right away or refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld better.

This came out just right for my taste in salsa. If I'd have had a food processor, I'd probably have used it to give it a little more juice, but overall I'm happy with how it came out and my family loved it!

Here's a bonus photo of what it looked like after sitting in the fridge overnight. There was a bit more juice in the bottom compared to how much there was at first.

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Thyme-Marinated Grilled Asparagus [Feb. 12th, 2006|04:49 pm]
Sweet Little Chef
[Current Mood |hungryhungry]

2 pounds asparagus, tough stems trimmed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon orange juce concentrate (or 1/2 fresh squeezed orange juice or 1 teaspoon orange juice)
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Bring 2 quarts of salted (kosher salt works best) water to a boil in a large pot. Add asparagus and cook until it is crisp-tender, 3 to 4 mins depending on size. Drain and shock in ice cold water ensuring it is completely cooled off. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, garlic, thyme, orange juice concentrate, and mustard. Slowly whisk in oil to blend well. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture over asparagus. Let marinate while you light the coals or start the grill. (I like to marinade the asparagus 30 mins to an hour.)

Grill the asparagus on each side just to mark it, 1 to 2 mins per side. Remove from grill. Serve warm or at room temperature.


This is my absolute favorite recipe for asparagus. This recipe made me LOVE asparagus (I used to not touch the stuff with a ten foot pole). This marainade can be used on other veggies - my favorite being squash (green or yellow).

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Fresh from the garden [Aug. 9th, 2005|11:37 am]
Sweet Little Chef
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

This year I made my first attempt at a vegetable garden and here are some photos of what I picked today:

The yellow tomatoes are the first ones picked of what we planted! We've got so many cucumbers and tomatoes we don't know what to do with them all! The peppers we planted are just about ready to be picked and they look so pretty on the plant right now. Food that you grow yourself seems to taste so much better than anything you could buy in the store (plus it's a heck of a lot cheaper too!).

The parsley, basil, and thyme we planted seems to have died. The heat wave we got recently really did them in... and I know it's partly our fault for not having watered them every night like we should have been. Maybe tonight when we water them they'll come back to life a bit... they aren't completely dead yet, but on their way. The cucumbers need water too because some of their leaves are turning brown. Ah well... at least everything is growing quite well still :o)
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I finally broke down and bought it. [Apr. 5th, 2005|09:06 pm]
Sweet Little Chef
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

For the longest time I've wanted some nice knife guards for my Wusthof knives. I've also wanted a smaller case to carry them in because the one I got from school is rather large and not really that portable. Because I am now starting my internship and have to bring my own knives (just my chef's knife and paring knife), I need some way to transport them with me to work. Since I'll be working at the casino (well Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, but it's in the casino), I don't want to just carry my knives in broad view of everyone, plus I think security would lock me up and take my knives. So, I find myself really needing something that is easier to carry them in and some knife guards.

I chose to go with the Wusthof 8-pocket knife roll and some lovely knife guards - two 4 inch pairing, one 8 inch chef's, one 6 inch chef's, and one 10 inch slicing knife guards. All in all only $45.00 including shipping. Not as bad as I thought it would be!
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From shann [Apr. 1st, 2005|09:34 am]
Sweet Little Chef
Tortellini Salad

1 (9 ounce) package Tortellini, prepared according to pkg. directions, chilled
1 (10 ounce) package ready-to-use spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 cup sliced ripe olives, drained
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup red wine salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. COMBINE pasta, spinach, mozzarella cheese, artichokes, olives and roasted peppers in medium bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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Rice cooker and cook book [Feb. 24th, 2005|12:40 pm]
Sweet Little Chef
[Current Mood |ecstaticecstatic]

Amazon.com is my friend :o)

I've been wanting a rice cooker for quite some time and I was really hoping for a 3-cup Hello Kitty one that I found on eBay which ended up going for way too much money. Anyhow, after some shopping around, I found one on Amazon that I like.

On it's way to me is the Zojirushi NS-KCC05 Micom Programmable 3-Cup Rice Cooker & Warmer (which in reality is only about a 2 1/4 cup rice cooker, but that's fine by me!). It's got great reviews and a not too bad price, so I figured I'd go with it. After I ordered it I sorta wish I'd have gone with the the 5-cup model, but what's done is done! If I find a real NEED for one later down the line I'll get one. This one should do just fine for now.

Along with the machine, I got a cook book: The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook: 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker

I'm actually really anxious to make some sweet rice since I've got 2 fairly large bags of it at home. I can hardly wait for it to arrive!!
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Interesting [Feb. 8th, 2005|01:21 pm]
Sweet Little Chef
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
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Chocolate Chip Muffins [Feb. 7th, 2005|11:51 am]
Sweet Little Chef
[Current Mood |hungryhungry]

I got this in email today and I'm anxious to try it out!

Chocolate Chip Muffins


2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup each mini semisweet and nonpareil chocolate chips

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 20 minutes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1. For cupcakes, preheat oven to 325F. Line 24 standard-size muffin pan cups with paper liners. In top of double boiler set over simmering water, melt chocolate; remove top of pan and set aside to cool.

2. In small bowl, mix 1 cup flour, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Alternately beat flour mixture and buttermilk into sugar mixture. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. In a small bowl, toss chocolate chips with remaining 1 tablespoon flour; stir into batter.

4. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes or until tops are firm. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool. Remove from pans.

5. For frosting, in a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder; blend in milk and butter until smooth. Spread frosting over cupcakes then sprinkle with chocolate chips.
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Oatmeal Molasses Bread [Jan. 8th, 2005|01:57 pm]
Sweet Little Chef
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Oatmeal Molasses Bread

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 2/3 cup flour (of choice - I use half whole wheat half unbleached for good density)
  • 2 cups boiling water

  • Directions and picturesCollapse )
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