Monday, November 16, 2009

One Big Can of Pureed Pumpkin

I may be alone in doing this, but when seasons change, I start convincing myself I need things I don't really need. Fuzzy boots, intensive care lotion, two pairs of rain boots, a plaid jacket, hats with matching scarves and gloves, you get the idea. This list totally spread its way into my pantry and kitchen in the form of one super huge can of pureed pumpkin. I had been hoping to make pumpkin cookies, because a super awesome patient brought in pumpkin cookies to our office, but they were so good that I knew if mine didn't come out as amazing, I'd be kind of bummed. I totally need to get the recipe. Those cookie, you don't understand, they were heaven in bite size form. Anywhozers. I made pumpkin bread. I read several recipes and the general gist, most had a lot of white sugar, so mine is a little different than what you're probably used to seeing. I also think I used more pumpkin than most recipes. Either way, it came out super delicious and moist and I came home from work tonight and I made it yesterday and only about a quarter of it is left. I only got one good picture of it though, and it's not even a good picture, and that's because I totally pulled a Varta and found a way to deep fry pumpkin pie filling after I baked the bread. I'll go in order:

Pumpkin Bread, Cake, Whatever
20 ounces canned pumpkin 
4 eggs
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
sprinkling of salt 
teaspoon-ish cinnamon
1 teaspoon-ish nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon-ish cloves
*I say -ish, because honestly, whatever crinkles your socks

- Mix all the wet ingredients together
- Stir in the sugars until everything is smooth
- Add the spices 
- Add the flour and mix until all even, stick your finger in a lick regularly to make sure it tastes as awesome as you want it to
- Pour in a cake pan, should be fairly big, it's a lot of batter
- bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until you can poke it with a knife and it doesn't come out with goop

If you bought a really big can of pumpkin like I did (which is like 30 ounces or so) you're going to have a very awkward amount of leftover pumpkin in the can. 

Don't take it out, instead crack an egg into it, add some sugar, spices, and flour. Mix all that goodness until even. 

Then, as per usual, take a won ton wrapper and plop and nice size helping of pumpkin pie filling on there. Only don't fold it into a won ton like usual, make a ravioli by just laying another won ton wrapper on top, sealing with water, deep fry like you (or I) would normally do. 

Yea, these babies didn't last very long at allllll

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

East Coast vs. West Coast

I went to California this past weekend and got to see dear friends that I love and watch one get married. I've been to California a few times, but never paid too much attention to the food there, but I figured I better start. Since when it comes to big parties I don't believe in eating or breathing in my dresses before and during the festivities, I ordered a salad at Habit, which I found out was pretty much sacrilegious, and I apologize for that. I also ate salad at the wedding which I really got some heat for. They were chugging on the haterade, I swear. Anyways. After the wedding, my dear friend Payman and his amazing wife, Farah, were so sweet and took me to In-N-Out. 

The Strawberry Shake. Not going to lie. That was amazing. 

The burger (don't I look awesome?), while good, don't get me wrong, I'd eat it again, was not, in my opinion, as good as Five Guys. Let me explain. I ordered a double double animal style with animal fries, just to make sure I got the full In-N-Out experience. I was told that the fries weren't supposed to be as crunchy as they were, and I'll factor in the fact that it was around 1:30a.m. or so when we got the food. So ignore the fries, back to the burger. 

Generally speaking, I like my burgers with lettuce, tomato, ketchup, and bacon. No random sauces. And the bread is super important. As big as my burger was, I thought it was a little too bread-y, and the sauce, I was expecting more than Thousand Island dressing. 

As I said, being as that it was about to close, I'm taking that into consideration and I'll hold off on my final verdict for In-N-Out, but as it stands now. Five Guys is whopping its butt. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dessert Nachos

As many of you are aware, I've been going though a massive brain fart recently. Last night, I finally had a stroke of genius come to me and I feel reenergized to keep on going (in the little free time I have!) with the greasy concoctions. 

First off, I cut some won ton wrappers diagonally, fried them, and laid them flat on wax paper to cool. 

Then drizzled with melted milk chocolate. 

Then I sprinkled them toasted coconut. I used regular grocery store sweetened coconut and just put them in the oven for 10-ish minutes on 350. 

Then drizzled with melted white chocolate. 

I then threw some more toasted coconut and some sliced almonds on. It looks like a super huge blob, I know. I let it cool overnight, but that's an overkill, I only gave it that much time because I started making kind of late and wanted to be in bed by midnight. I also hid them in the microwave since no one uses it. HA! I'm smart cookie. 

In the morning I separated the "chips" and plated it to look like nachos which I learned, is very hard to photograph. 

But super yummy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quick Question...

Ever wonder what happiness tastes like?

I'll tell you. A rice crispie treat cut in half and smeared with Nutella. Oh baby, baby. 

And while we're on the topic of questions, let me ask you all for some help, any requests for stuff to make? I'm running out of things to deep fry and wrap in bacon!!! Oh no!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cinnabon Ice Cream Awesomeness

Sooooooo, I'm going to California in a few weeks for a wedding and I totally need to get my body back in tip top shape which is only 4 pounds away but I keep doing things like this which really interfere with my mission. 

Seriously, what kind of evil genius builds a Cinnabon and a Carvel Ice Cream together? It's like those Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts and the KFC/Taco Bell hybrids. Some of us are really indecisive and will order from both. And when we're feeling creative, we'll ask if they can layer it on top of each other. 

Who's a happy chunky monkey?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More S'mores

Remember the super duper big Hershey bar? Well, I'm proud to announce I'm at the "R". That's a pretty big deal. Tonight, my little endeavor kind of failed on me, but was still delicious. I had a few egg roll wrappers left and figured since I finally had a little free time I better put them to use. I also had about 1/3 of a bag of miniature marshmallows left. Do you smell what he skinny fat girl is cooking? Both of my previous s'mores related posts were ice creamy. This is of the deep fried variety. 

Putting it together. 

How funny is that??? I totally forgot that marshmallows expand when hot.

Totally started oozing out. Unfortunately, this created a very airy egg roll. But fortunately, they tasted like awesome. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Still being lazy.

So this weekend I went to the Frederick County Fair. A bit of a drive, but totally worth it. Where else will they charge you an extra 50 cents for lettuce and tomato but give you all the extra cheese you want for free? Plus, they deep fry things I never thought of. For example:

That's right you guys, deep fried FRUIT.
On the the top you have the deep fried strawberries, on the bottom, what you see is a deep fried pickle. Let's start with the strawberries. To be honest, I was disappointed. There was still gooey batter in the middle which when I first bit into it I thought was some sort of cream and got prematurely excited, but when I realized it was just the batter I got sad. So much potential. Now the pickle. That was awesome.

The candy apples were very impressive. But most impressive and deliciously awesome of them all, was the giant mozzarella stick. I walked by it at first thinking, hmmmm, that looks like a fancy corn dog. Then I asked what was the deal with the corn dog and the girl told me it was a cheese stick. It was seriously bigger than a corn dog. Check it out.

Pardon my blurry cell phone pics, I hadn't originally planned on going to the fair but I got a flat tire and my awesome sister in law picked me up and I tagged along. 


(Side note, I made the brownies again for an event at work, along with oatmeal cookies, and my yummies got finished before the store bought yummies)

Monday, September 14, 2009


So you know that five pound chocolate bar? Here it is compared to a normal sized Hershey bar. Massive, isn't it? Even storing it has been hard. It's been living in the microwave since we never use the microwave and it's one of the few places it will fit. Every so often I'll cut off a chunk and dip something in chocolate. 

I've been going through a cooking brain fart recently, but I think I've finally gotten back in the groove. I've got a few baking ideas in my head, however, the greasy bacon/sausage/cheesy/fried part of my brain is still slightly lost. I'm open to requests to work with! Back to the baking (I totally typo'd that originally as bacon), what does one make with an nearly endless supply of chocolate? Brownies! I love brownies. The gooey kind, not the cakey kind, but not heavy, I don't like to feel gross after eating one. Not to toot my own horn here, but I think I think I came up with the most perfect brownie recipe. What differs from most others is that I used melted chocolate and good amount of olive oil instead of regular. 

Awesome Brownies
- 1/2 stick plus a little bit more butter
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 ounces chocolate 
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar 
- 1 good glug of vanilla
- 1 flour 

Melt the chocolate with the butter and olive oil using the double boiler method, stir a bit to make it all smooth and pretty. 

Beat the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together with a fork until uniform. 

When the chocolate is cooled off enough to not cook the eggs, mix the chocolate into the eggs and mix in the flour. Box mixes always say to make sure not to over-mix the batter, so I used that advice and you probably should too. Don't over-mix the batter. 

How cool does that look?

I then baked it at 350 in a lined and greased 9 by 13 pan. I tend to like my brownies slightly undercooked. So depending on how you like them, the baking time could vary from 50 minutes (which is what I did) to an hour (I would assume). As long as a toothpick comes out clean when you poke it, I think you're in the clear. Allow to cool a little bit before cutting. 

My dad wanted a piece before I got a picture. 

I also took some with me went I went to see my brother and his boys yesterday, my nephew ate two and asked for more, and then my brother called me this morning and called them a 10. Made my day. 

Now, if the Redskins win their next game. I will be an all around happy monkey. 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Breakfast Egg Roll

What is it with guys and breakfast burritos? Such a man food. I fend them to be too sloppy for my liking. The wrap usually gets soggy or is too limp. But since it's the outer portion I have an issue with and we all know I love breakfast food (even though I eat it at lunch or dinner), there has to be a way around this, right? Oh yes, there is. 
There you have all the fixings of a yummy breakfast, minus the french toast. But don't worry, I have a carb in mind. 

Look! My square buddy! Oh yes, another stuffed breakfast item. I think I have found my calling. 

(two were already being fried)

Happy Sunday everyone! I am BACK. Now excuse me while I go squeeze in a workout before the Redskins beat the Giants. Oooooh snap. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I know I've been slow. I made normal shrimp egg rolls and I'll post that soon, but I want to get back to my greasy fatty roots. Honestly, it's the 5 pound chocolate bar. It taunts me. Mocking me for not knowing how to put a severe enough dent in its perfect rectangular shape. I need suggestions! I've got a few general ideas to get me started, but this is FIVE pounds. I need a whole list of things to do with it!!! 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Persian Rice

(Before I start I just need to mention that the final picture of the rice isn't from this weekend, it's from a friends party because while I remembered to take pictures of the steps, I forgot to take a picture of the final product) 

When I turned 18, I got really sassy for a minute and told my dad that he couldn't tell me what to do anymore because I was now an adult. Without even looking up from what he was doing he told me "Persian girls don't become women until they learn how to make rice and make it well". 


The main difference between the Persian style of making rice and pretty much all other non-middle eastern countries is that our method is kind of a hassle. Although, I have to admit, tastes a million times better. We start off by rinsing basmati rice several times. Basically what you do is put however many cups of rice you want to make in a big bowl and pour water in it and drain until the water goes from opaque to as clear as you can make it. The you dump it gently into a big pot full of water and add salt. You'll want about one inch of water above the rice, cook until it boils gently. 

You can't really go by times because it's all a matter of how much rice, how hot the water is, how much water, etc. That, and Persians are notorious for ambiguous answers. One time I asked how much salt to add and I was given the answer "yeh chosaki". Do you know what a "chosaki" is??? A little silent fart. Yes, ladies and gentleman, thousands of years of culture and we add a silent little fart's worth of salt. I don't what's funnier, that we do that or the fact that we have a separate word for silent farts as opposed to just calling them regular farts. 

Back to the rice. 

Good girl

Stir it VERY gently, occasionally. Once it rumbles a little bit and the rice tastes like it's almost cooked but still has a bit of a bite in the middle, it's time to drain it. 

Rice that's ready to be drained

Drained rice

One of the best things about Persian rice is the "tah-deegh" which literally translates to "bottom of the pot". There are various kinds of this, rice, bread, rice and yogurt, or potato. It serves as a buffer I guess, to keep the rice from sticking/burning to the pot. Before putting the rice back into the pot to steam, you pour a nice layer of oil in the pot. Then add what you want to use for the tahdeegh. I used potato. 

Tastes even better than a french fry 

Then you GENTLY scoop the rice over the potatoes into a dome shape and let it steam on low heat until it's cooked all the way through. 

Rice about to be covered and let to steam.

It's after this point I forgot to take pictures. My bad! But once the rice is cooked, what people generally do is take some ground saffron, dissolve it a small amount of water, then mix that with butter and add that to a small portion of rice to use on top of the final platter of rice. It makes it look very pretty and it tastes amazing. 

That's actually from Thanksgiving because we Persians serve rice and stew along with our turkey.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ice Cream S'mores Cake

See my lovebug in the middle? She got married just over a month ago (infamous twice worn purple dress, sssshhh) and her wedding was absolutely gorgeous and an amazing time. Great food, good music, danced until 2 am, and met some wonderful new people. After dinner, when the dancing started up again before dessert, there were servers walking around with little ice cream cones that had to have been on freshly made cones because the smell took over the ballroom, and it was a huge ballroom. 

Ever since that night I've been wanting to make something ice cream related and this week I finally got my chance. Bikini season is on its way out so I feel a little less guilty about this one. I had made ice cream s'mores in the past, but it was time to one up that little endeavor with an ice cream cake. 

Ladies and gentleman what you are looking at (from bottom to top) is graham cracker cake, ice cream, brownie, more ice cream, another graham cracker cake, and toasted marshmallow fluff. That's quite a bit to take in, I know. It also took 2 days to complete. Let me break it down for you:
- On the first night I baked the graham cracker cakes. I'm sure there are real recipes out there for this, but this genius idea came to me at 11pm and I have to wake up at 7am, so modified Betty Crocker was called for. I used a normal box of yellow cake mix, only I scooped out one cup of the dry mix and added almost 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs for the flavor and a bit over a teaspoon of baking powder to lighten things up, everything else including the baking times I went according to the directions. I also baked the brownie layer this night. I used the same cake pan for all three of these parts to ensure equal size. 
- On the second day (I woke up extra early to put it together) I spread ice cream over one of the graham cracker cake layers and the brownie layer and put them back in the freezer. I spread marshmallow fluff over the other graham cracker cake and placed it under the broiler to make it toasty. I then layered them, filled in any gaps with ice cream, smoothed the edges, and put it back in the freezer until nighttime. 

It was perfect. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stuffed Banana

I'm still pretty bummed I can't buy one of these:

Lord knows I love stuffing one food with another food. I'd go crazy if I had one of these things and it would be delicious. But I don't, so I improvise. 

Yup, that's one ripe banana. I left the skin on while I made the tunnel so it wouldn't mush everywhere while I piped Nutella into it. 

Of course I egg rolled it. 

I am officially back in the groove.

Seriously, without me, it'd just be aweso.