Recipe Maverick

Showing category "entrees" (Show all posts)

Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, August 16, 2011, In : entrees 


Lately, I've been up to a whole lot of nothin'. Being unemployed was kind of relaxing at first, but now I feel about ready to have some structure in my life. At the moment, my job is finding a job. Hopefully I'll be promoted soon to the position of having a job. Until then, I get to enjoy having lots of time to make myself lunch.
 
Barbecue sauce is weird, because it's made out of things that seem like they shouldn't go together but actually totally should: tomato sauce, vinegar, and molasses...
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Noodles with Bacon and Avocado

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, In : entrees 


I love me some noodles. I've mentioned this a few times before, but I'll reiterate. Noodles are good. Noodles make me happy. Noodles with bacon? And avocado?– Make me even happier. 

I used chow mein noodles, but this isn't Chinese food. I used avocado, but this isn't Mexican or even Tex-Mex. I used bacon, but this isn't... wherever bacon originally hails from. Wikipedia says either Germany or Hungary. This is what I would call Californian food, because California is a place where good food...
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Simple Marinara

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, October 9, 2010, In : entrees 


    I think it's time I added cayenne pepper to my list of favorite things, which includes pesto sauce and this song. If overused, cayenne just makes you reach for a glass of milk to neutralize the spiciness. However, if added judiciosly to vegetables, it brings out their natural sweetness. Lately, whenever I'm deciding what spices to add to a dish, my first thought tends to be cayenne pepper. For me, it gives just the right amount of heat to a dish without overpowering the other ingredients....

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Spicy Mustard Chicken

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, October 6, 2010, In : entrees 


    Classes have started once again. This is my last year of college, which means I'm both eager to get out of here and terrified of ceasing to be a student. I've invested so much of myself in my education, it's a big part of who I am. When I was a kid, there were a lot of things I thought I'd have figured out by now. Reality is so different from what I expected! I keep wondering how I can be done when I still haven't got a real plan for the future. Although I love the idea of never writing a...

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Soy Marinated Mushroom Chicken

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, July 25, 2010, In : entrees 


    I've been meaning to try marinating mushrooms for a while now. There were just too many questions, like "What will I marinate them in?" and "What will I do with the extra marinade?"

    Finally, I just decided to marinate them in soy sauce and use the marinade as a braising liquid for a chicken thigh. It worked out well, with the mushrooms absorbing tons of flavor and the chicken coming out tender and moist. I'm already thinking about what I want to try marinating mushrooms in next.

Ingred...

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Pulled Pork Taco

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, July 10, 2010, In : entrees 


    When cooking meat, less is more and more is more. To achieve tenderness, you want to either cook the meat as little as possible, or cook it for a longer period of time at a lower temperature. With pork, it isn't safe to serve it rare, so the best option is to slow cook it, allowing the meat to tenderize while simmering in a flavorful sauce.

    Slow cooking is the key to making tender, juicy pulled pork that falls apart with just a little help from two forks. Although it isn't the quickes...

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Potato Mushroom Curry

Posted by Emma Barker on Monday, June 7, 2010, In : entrees 


    Finals week has come again. With two down and two to go, I'm looking forward to this Friday when I can stop studying and start enjoying the hot weather that has finally arrived. In the meantime, I'm going to be doing lots of reading and sitting around indoors scribbling frantically in blue books. At least I have curry to keep me company... and a fine curry it is, with potatoes, mushrooms, and tomatoes melding together into a spicy stew that'll make your tastebuds do a little dance.

Ingred...

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Spicy Garlic Chicken

Posted by Emma Barker on Friday, May 28, 2010, In : entrees 


    Last week, Dan Gordon (of Gordon Biersch) came to give a guest lecture to my brewing class. To me the most remarkable thing about him was that although he is a big-time business owner who doubtless deals with all kinds of stress, he still had a lot of youthful exuberance. His excitement about expanding overseas was endearing, as was his humor while sharing anecdotes about his brewing and his business. One particularly interesting story concerned a late-night snack he made himself while st...

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Cod with Spicy Pea Sauce

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, May 16, 2010, In : entrees 


    When I said I was making a pea sauce, my roommates said "What!?"
Then I explained that I was going to use frozen peas, not urine, to make a sauce for a cod fillet. Although they were still skeptical, my roommates were at least satisfied that I was making something edible.

Once it was pureed, the sauce had a nice creamy consistency and didn't immediately seem like something that had been made with peas. It tasted a little sweet and a little spicy, with a fresh tang. The cod I cooked in it w...

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Rosemary Shrimp Spaghetti

Posted by Emma Barker on Monday, April 26, 2010, In : entrees 


    When I moved into my apartment in September, I quickly figured out how to get to all the places I needed to go: school, work, and the grocery store. Once I knew the fastest way to get to each of those places, I stopped exploring. It's really a shame, because in the 8 months I've lived in this apartment, I didn't know until a few days ago that there is a huge, HUGE park just a few blocks away. I found it while I was running, something I've started doing again now that the weather is gettin...

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Oven-Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Posted by Emma Barker on Thursday, April 8, 2010, In : entrees 


    Something that never fails to frustrate me is when food looks great but tastes terrible. This morning, I discovered that goat cheese and zucchini are two things that should never, ever go together in an omelet. I had an idea that the flavors of the cheese and the squash would compliment one another, but nooooo... Although the omelet looked very nice, it was so disgusting I actually had to throw it away without eating more than a few bites.
    The whole affair brought to mind a memory of ...

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Onion and Goat Cheese Tart

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, In : entrees 


    I wish I could write about this tart, but I can't. It's not because the tart is indescribable; it's got tart goat cheese and caramelized onion-y goodness in every bite, cradled by a simple, buttery crust. And it's not because somebody is holding a gun to my head and telling me not to write about this tart. No, it's more because I'm trying to hold back a massive wave of stress that's about to crush me, and I'm losing. I made this tart a few days ago and meant to write about it then, but di...

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Eggplant Marinara

Posted by Emma Barker on Monday, March 29, 2010, In : entrees 
     

    Just as abruptly as it began, spring break is over and I'm back in Davis. The break was so short that it hardly feels like a new quarter could be starting, but it's beginning to sink in now that I've bought my textbooks and sat through a couple of classes. So far it looks like I'm going to be reading a lot of Moliere; eight of his plays are on my reading lists for my two French classes. My other two classes are food-related: Introduction to Brewing and Beer, and Introduction to Nutr...
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Peanut Noodles with Prawns

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, In : entrees 


    I discovered the noodle aisle at SaveMart a while back, and almost went into paroxysms of joy. Since then, I've been returning to that aisle at every opportunity, snatching up packets of udon noodles of all diffrerent widths and massive quantities of rice noodles, the latest darling of my pantry. It's been a very exciting time for me, noodle-wise.
   
    Growing up, Italian-style pasta was what we cooked at home, and asian noodles were left up to restaurants. I always thought there must ...

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Fajitas

Posted by Emma Barker on Monday, March 15, 2010, In : entrees 


    We all know the adage: waste not, want not. Sometimes, people can take this a bit too far and wind up with a house full of junk. My room is definitely looking like it's about ready for a purge as soon as finals are over. (siiiiigh, yes, it's finals week again).
    It was the desire not to waste that led me to freeze the extra lime juice I had after making chili lime shrimp, and today I put it to excellent use as a marinade for some steak fajitas. The acidic lime juice did a really nice jo...

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Chili Lime Shrimp

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, March 13, 2010, In : entrees 


    Last Friday, I suddenly got knocked off the face of the planet by a horrible cold. In the days that followed, I missed class, I missed work, and most of all I missed being able to do anything other than sleep and sneeze. Empty chicken noodle soup cans rapidly filled my recycling bin, which is why I haven't posted in a whole week; I've had nothing to post about and no energy for posting.
    Thankfully, I seem to be past the worst of it, and I returned to class and work yesterday. Then I c...

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Noodle Mushroom Stir-Fry

Posted by Emma Barker on Friday, March 5, 2010, In : entrees 


    I would never survive a low-carb diet, because I love all things carbohydrate: bread, pasta, cereal, legumes, to name a few of my favorites. My parents once tried putting me on a diet of beans and oatmeal for a week to combat my pickiness. Their plan backfired, though; I was perfectly happy to eat carbs, carbs, and more carbs for a week.
    Given that I am a bit of a carb freak, it makes sense that noodles would be up on my list of favorite foods. They're just very satisfying to eat, esp...

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Chana Masala

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, February 27, 2010, In : entrees 


    Vegetarian. Spicy. Filling. Made from ingredients I already had lying around. Did I just fall in love with a recipe? Yes, I b'lieve I did.

    A weird thing I noticed after moving to Davis three years ago is that the dirt here smells different from the dirt in Albany after a rain. The smell of dirt is one of those things you take for granted until it changes on you, and then you suddenly realize what a  complicated bouquet of smells dirt really is.
  
    I mention this because I've been g...

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Chicken Enchiladas

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, February 20, 2010, In : entrees 


    After a week of beautiful weather that got everyone's hopes up for spring, the fog rolled in and the temperature dropped today. It's gotten to that point in winter where I've grown so accustomed to wearing heavy jackets that I feel almost naked without the added layer of puff. I just can't wait for the sun to come back! Until it does, I decided to heat things up with some chicken enchiladas. The recipe I used is adapted from Annie's Eats, which attributes it to America's Test Kitchen. The...

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Jaeger Schnitzel

Posted by Emma Barker on Thursday, February 11, 2010, In : entrees 


    In the Sound of Music, Maria sings about her favorite things-raindrops on roses and whiskers on kitttens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, crisp apple strudel and... schnitzel with noodles. I was always a little curious about why this particular dish made it onto her list of favorites, but when I actually tried jaeger schnitzel with spatzle at the Tyrolean Inn in Ben Lomond, I got it. German food is stereotyped as being bland, so I hadn't been expecting much when my parents took...

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Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Lemon Chicken

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, February 6, 2010, In : entrees 


    I don't think I'm alone in saying that Gordon Ramsay scares me a little. His famous temper is well-documented on Hell's Kitchen, where botched risottos and undercooked Wellingtons send him into towering rages. Although I wouldn't ever want to cook with him yelling in my ear, there's no denying that he knows food. This recipe for sticky lemon chicken is adapted from the TV series Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food, and the couscous pilaf I served with it is my own recipe. The chicken turned out bea...

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Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, February 6, 2010, In : entrees 


    Because my dad works full time, my mom does most of the cooking from day to day in our family. However, when he has the time to do it, my dad really likes to cook. I don't always agree with his methods (or his erm, unusual substitutions), but one thing that he makes that I do like is spaghetti alla carbonara. The whole idea that one could eat spaghetti with anything other than tomato sauce and meatballs always seemed pretty revolutionary to me. On the other hand, it's hardly surprising th...

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Noodle Stir-Fry with Zucchini and Mint

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, January 30, 2010, In : entrees 


    The sun has returned from its lengthy vacation, making things considerably more cheerful here in Davis. While I still catch myself daydreaming about sandy beaches and turquoise waters in class, I am also reminded of the many charms of Davis in winter- like the somber beauty of rain-soaked olive trees under a gray sky, and the millions of creative ways in which people wear scarves.  Now that the sun is actually sticking around past 5 pm, it's starting to feel like spring isn't so far away....

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Chicken and Dumplings

Posted by Emma Barker on Thursday, January 21, 2010, In : entrees 



    I have noticed that if you have a facebook profile, you never need to look out the window or go outside to know what the weather's like. If it's raining, you'll read in your newsfeed all about how your friends need new rain gear, got soaked on the way to class, can't believe how hard it's pouring, or are afraid to get onto one of the packed busses. To say it was raining today doesn't  express how it was raining today. It was raining hard, with strong winds that drove the rain in your face...

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Orange Soda Pork Chops

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, January 16, 2010, In : entrees 


    So. After yesterday's post, in which I extolled the virtues of healthy eating, I'm going to tell you about the pork chops I had for lunch today. The pork chops that I braised in, of all things, sodie pop.

    I'm not sure who first got the idea to cook meat in coke, but it's something you run across from time to time in cooking blogs and magazines. That's why, when they were giving away free sodas at work the other day, I took one home with me instead of just explaining that I don't drink...

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Lentil Stew

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, January 16, 2010, In : entrees 


    After spending most of fall quarter being sick, one of my goals this quarter is to try to stay healthy. It can be hard to prevent illness when you're interacting with hundreds of people every day, and when you are dealing with stress from school and work. That's why I'm trying to give my immune system as much help as I can by eating right.  Sugar is out (well, maybe not completely), and veggies are in.

    I think there's a lot of anti-new-years-resolution backlash in mid-January, because ...

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Chicken and Goat Cheese Rolls

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, In : entrees 


       Yesterday was Monday, and I think most people will know what I mean when I say it felt like a Monday. According to my mom, my grandma calls it Junk Mail Day, because it's the day when you get the most junk mail. It's just that day when all the stuff you were supposed to take care of over the weekend catches up with you, when all the junk mail catches up with you, when all the junk catches up with you.

    This particular Monday, I got home from class and started calling up people who w...

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Stuffed Baby Portabellos

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, December 23, 2009, In : entrees 


    I am a bigtime proponent of stuffing. At Thanksgiving dinner, I happily bypass the turkey for a big serving of stuffing with gravy. I am also a fan of mushrooms. I understand why some people are grossed out by mushrooms, but I am not one of those people. The word "savory" for me is perfectly embodied in a mildly pungent, intensely flavorful sauteed mushroom. It makes sense, then, that I would eventually come to stuff mushrooms. The only surprise here is that I didn't do it sooner-and beli...

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On Top of Spaghetti...

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, In : entrees 


    Meatballs are definitely up there on the list of Classic Foods Cooked By American Moms; my mom makes them from time to time and so do the moms of most of my friends (we'll just temporarily forget about the vegetarians, shall we?). It is completely understandable that this is the case. Spaghetti with meatballs is a meal that nourishes, plain and simple. You've got your meat, your carbs, and even some vitamins and minerals in the hot tomato sauce. On a day like today, when I had a couple of...

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Chicken Curry

Posted by Emma Barker on Monday, December 7, 2009, In : entrees 


    Baby, it's cold outside! The weather forecast generated a lot of excitement among me and my fellow Davis-ites when it predicted "rain/snow" last night. Sadly, all the hopeful speculation ("Will we be able to snowboard to campus?", "Will they cancel my final?") was for naught, because it didn't snow. What it did do is get really freaking cold.
    When the weather gets cold like this, sometimes the entire town seems to get sick. Sitting for an hour in a lecture hall full of coughing, sniff...

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Mini Southwestern Quiches

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, December 5, 2009, In : entrees 

   
    What is it about little things that makes them so darling? I guess it's probably wired into us to think small versions of things are cute so that we'll pay enough attention to our offspring to ensure their survival. Of course I don't really believe that two big quiches got together and produced these baby quiches, but I still think these little quiches are really cute! That's why I made mini quiches in the first place, instead of one big quiche. Food should always be adorable if at al...
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Croque Monsieur, California Style

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, In : entrees 


    A popular quick snack in France, the Croque Monsieur is a delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwich. In Paris, the Croque Monsieurs I had were covered with grated cheese, resulting in a ridiculously cheesy sandwich-dare I say, too cheesy? To lighten the sandwich up a little bit I left off the extra grated cheese, and added some cilantro to give it a fresher flavor. This is a Croque Monsieur, California style.

Ingredients:
* serves 1
2 slices of sourdough bread
sliced cooked ham, enough to co...

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Soy Ginger Chicken

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, November 14, 2009, In : entrees 


    This weekend I didn't have to work Friday or Saturday, making it feel like my first "real" weekend in weeks. I celebrated yesterday after class by getting into my cozy flannel pajamas at a ridiculously early hour of the afternoon, cooking up a storm, and watching Boondock Saints with two of my housemates. It was a quiet, relaxing evening and just what I needed to wind down from a busy week full of little frustrations (getting stuck in the dishroom at the end of every shift, bombing my Phy...

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Fettuccine Alfredo (or, as I like to call it, Pasta with Green Flecks)

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, In : entrees 
  

     It has been an eventful couple of days: my blog finally became google-searchable (yaaaay!!!), I seem to be getting over my cold (excuse me while I run outside and knock vigorously on nearest tree!), and the weather suddenly went from mild and summery to cool and crisp. It was perhaps this chain of events that emboldened me to attempt, one more time, a recipe I have always failed at in the past: Fettuccine Alfredo. I capitalize it here because that's the way I think of it. That's the w...
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Beef Stew

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, November 8, 2009, In : entrees 
  

         I am so fed up with being sick. Even while I'm coughing and sniffling, a large and stubborn part of me is insisting: "No. I can't afford to be sick again this quarter. I already missed too much class when I had the (swine?) flu!" Nevertheless, I am sick, and I am realizing as this stupid cold persists that if I want to get better, I need to do some serious self-pampering.
    Food, of course, is one of the most important elements of my cold treatment regimen. (After all-"Starve a ...
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Lazy Chicken Pot Pie

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, In : entrees 


    Allow me to clarify: it is me who is lazy, and not the chicken pot pie. Usually I'm so lazy when it comes to making chicken pot pies that I just buy the ones in the frozen section of the grocery store. Well, not this time! After discovering just last week who Nigella Lawson is and that she is a proponent of using real butter, I had been dying to try making her chicken pot pie. On the show where she made the pie, she happily declared that it took only half an hour to make ("We'll see about...

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Pizza Margherita

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, October 28, 2009, In : entrees 


    Last night, I had pulled the pizza dough I'd been waiting to use all weekend out of the fridge and started preheating the oven when the phone rang.

It was one of the managers at the dining hall calling to ask if I could possibly come into work that evening. (I cursed myself for answering the phone). I could have said no, and I seriously considered it...I mean, c'mon! Who hasn't thought about blowing off work to stay home and make pizza?

But I didn't. I put the pizza dough back in the fridge...

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Herbed Macaroni and Cheese

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, October 24, 2009, In : entrees 


         Macaroni and Cheese from a box has its place in my diet; it's comforting, it's easy, and it comes in Spiderman shapes.  However, when it comes to taste, texture, and actually knowing what went into what you are eating, you can't beat homemade.

This recipe is similar to the one my mom makes, which she got from the fine folks at America's Test Kitchen. I added basil to mine and baked it in small, individual size ramekins. I was really pleased with the way it turned out-as cheesy and co...
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(Inspired by) Philly Cheese Steak

Posted by Emma Barker on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, In : entrees 


Not being a native of Philadelphia, I hesitate to call this a Philly cheese steak. Rest assured, however, it is a cheese steak and it is definitely something you should make for yourself.

I was not in a very good mood today. It was the sort of day that people think of when they say they hate Mondays, the sort of day that feels like pushing needles through rubber bands just trying to get through it, the sort of day where the sky is overcast and you wind up biking against the wind because you m...
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Chicken Mole

Posted by Emma Barker on Saturday, October 10, 2009, In : entrees 


Last weekend when I was at the grocery store, I bought chili powder. All week, I've been chuckling gleefully to myself at odd moments just thinking of what I was going to make with it: mole sauce. Teehee, mole sauce. I remember the first time I ordered chicken mole at a restaurant, I thought putting chocolate on meat was just about the craziest thing ever. I still feel giddy and silly when I think about the combination of chocolate and spices and chicken. Today, after waiting all week in anti...

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Pesto Pizza

Posted by Emma Barker on Wednesday, October 7, 2009, In : entrees 


At the dining hall where I work, there is a station devoted entirely to making pizza. They have a pizza oven, pizza trays, pizza paddles, and a machine that presses the dough into pizza shape for you. As nifty as all this equipment is, you don't actually need any of it to make good pizza. This pizza recipe will leave you with just one question: is it easy, or is it simple?

You can buy premade pizza dough at some grocery stores, however if you would like to make your own, it's not too difficult...
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Chili-Cheese Skillet Fries

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, October 4, 2009, In : entrees 


What is there to say about this, except "Yum!"? I'm thrilled that this recipe turned out successfully, because I wasn't at all sure that it would. The usual method of making french fries (No, I will NOT call them freedom fries) is to deep-fry pieces of potato. I didn't want to make mine that way because it uses so much oil, and leaves you with a pot full of nasty, potato-ey oil when you're done that you have to get rid of somehow. I wanted my fries to have the soft interior and crisp exterior...

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Beef Stir-Fry

Posted by Emma Barker on Monday, September 28, 2009, In : entrees 


    I have a little confession to make about this recipe: I was so hungry when I started making it that I didn't bother to marinate the beef. As a result, although it still tasted great, the beef could've been more tender. You don't have to learn the hard (or shall I say slightly tougher and less moist) way like I did: marinate the beef. You won't regret it. Just putting the beef and the marinade in the fridge a few hours before cooking, as I failed to do, will suffice.

Stir frying is a quick...
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Steak Quesadillas

Posted by Emma Barker on Sunday, September 27, 2009, In : entrees 

    Tonight, I felt like making something cheesy, meaty, and flavorful for dinner. I also wanted it to be easy to make, since classes started today and I have things other than cooking to deal with. So I dug some steak out of the freezer to thaw and quickly threw together a tasty Mexican-style meal. A steak quesadilla is a great dinner when you’re busy, and it’s also a great dinner when you’re not busy at all. It’s all about taking simple ingredients and classing them up into a meal t...
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About Me


Welcome to my blog! I'm Emma, a recent college graduate with a BA in French. I am passionate about cooking and writing, among other things. Come share in my love of food!
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