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Crab Quesadilla


Folks, how have I neglected to mention that it's my birthday month?  I'm so excited!  I don't know what I'm doing yet.  I'd like to travel abroad to Europe for at least a few days but nothing is set in stone as of now.  I just started my new job a few weeks ago, so we'll see.

My new job is going well so far!  It doesn't hurt that there is breakfast brought in by my coworkers almost every morning.  I think they're trying to win my affection with food.  It's working.

Is it tacky to also request lunch?  Specifically, can I request this crab quesadilla?  It's fabulous and tasty and pretty much the only thing I want to eat everyday for the next week.  So yeah, if can you guys can just let me know how to approach this situation, I would appreciate that.

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Bacon Brie Avocado Sandwich


Bacon!

Did I distract you already?  I might have distracted myself.  So much so that I possibly accidentally deleted Microsoft Office on my computer.  Mmmmm.  It's back now but it took me a few days to restore, for various reasons...Let's just move on from that disaster.

As you (should) know, I went to the Bacon & Beer Classic in NYC about a week ago.  From this experience, I came away craving even more bacon.  Seriously?  Apparently there's no stopping my monster cravings.

For a few weeks earlier this summer, I was in a phase where I made bacon brie avocado sandwiches to bring to work for lunch.  I eventually stopped doing this because it required me to wake up even earlier that the ungodly hour that I was already getting up.

However, last weekend, while sitting on my couch and thinking about bacon, I realized I still had the ingredients to make this sandwich.  Since I had also not posted about this sandwich before (There shall be no photo shoot staging before 7am.  That's a rule.  At least in my apartment.), I also took advantage of this opportunity to showcase this baby on the blog!

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Baked Tostones

I'm back on track with the baked items!

I've spent a little more than a week back in the states and I've forgotten precisely how hot the Bahamas was and how averse I was to making anything baked for a while.  (On a side note, I did get the recipes for a few requested Bahamian dishes while I was down there, so I will have those up on this site as soon as I get my life together!)

I love tostones.  I can't get enough of them.  There's a Cuban restaurant, Havana, across the street from me and if I wasn't so lazy about leaving my house and walking in the completely opposite direction of the route that I usually take, I would definitely purchase tostones from there all the time!

The other day, in a moment of tostones-withdrawal weakness, I spent an hour searching for a recipe for them.  But wait!  Let's not forget that I don't like to fry anything in my apartment.  That's basically asking for a trip to the ER.  So the "baked" version it is.  I finally found a recipe, gathered all the ingredients, and then realized that what I initially thought was cilantro in the grocery store was actually parsley....Don't forget to smell your herbs people!  I ran with it anyway and I, a self-proclaimed parsley hater, actually really liked it.  Parsley people, I think I get you now.

Finally, I realize how ridiculous this is.  I spent more time, energy, and money on making these tostones than I would have if I had just purchased them from the restaurant.  I know.  I'm not delusional.  But there's something to be said for making tasty and mostly-healthy food in your own kitchen.  I'm going with that explanation.  Leave me alone and let me stuff my face with my baked tostones.

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Mashed Chickpea Sandwich

I'm giving my oven a break.  More specifically, I'm giving my air conditioning a break, since I have to turn it on every time I bake something in the kitchen.  I would also like to note that I have the distinct pleasure of having an electric air conditioning/heater unit, which basically means that I pay more than average for cooling and heating.  So maybe I should look into this no-oven business more in the future.  Just sayin'.

In other news, I've had a few cans of chickpeas hiding out in my pantry for a while.  I get into phases where I really want to make several different types of hummus.  Interestingly enough though, I usually end up making one type and stopping right there...cut to the 3 extra cans of chickpeas in my cupboard.  In the interest of switching things up from my normal chickpeas-are-used-for-hummus routine, I was inspired by The Simple Veganista to make a mashed chickpea salad.  I then threw the mixture on a slice of bread, added some greens, and somehow decided to call this a sandwich.  Obviously, you can use two slices of bread to make a more traditional sandwich, but I just wanted one the day I made this, sooooo that's what happened.

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Whipped Ricotta with Lemon and Olive Oil


If I was gifted with endless time, I would throw an elaborate cocktail party.  Then I would (literally) whip up some of this ricotta, garnish it artistically and maybe ironically, and then present it all fancy-like on a silver plate.

Alright, who am I kidding? There's no such thing as endless time.  Many days, it's just a struggle to remember what I'm supposed to be doing at any given moment.  I couldn't master all the intricacies required to pull together a grown-up cocktail party.  The size of my apartment makes it almost laughable to hold an event with more than 10 people at a time.  In reality, I don't own a fancy silver plate.  In fact, I don't own any silver plates at all.  Dreams. Crushed.

But hey, guess what?  I can't still make this whipped ricotta, smear it on some toast, and stand over the sink stuffing my face with it.  If you're into that kind of thing, you know.  No judgements.

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Pizza Hummus

I'm in the middle of thinking about cleaning out my pantry.

I tend to have great epiphanies in the grocery store and I end up purchasing canned vegetables that I just KNOW I will use within the next week because I have all these amazing recipe ideas that I want to try out.

Now let's fast forward to about 10 months later, when that same can of garbanzo beans is still staring me in the face. Hmmmm...why did I buy this again?

Interestingly enough, I was browsing my old Food Network magazines the other day (no power in the aftermath of Sandy means you look through a lot of magazines) when I stumbled upon a writeup for three variations of hummus.  Jackpot!  Though I do love hummus, there are just so many other snacks out there that I want to try.  I also want to blog and share those recipes with you.  Truth.  I honestly could only get away with blogging about plain old regular hummus once.  Once and that's it.  Let that bad boy go.  So you can see why I was so excited to find other hummus options.

I had a really hard time picking between the three recipes, but I ended up choosing the pizza-flavored dip since everyone loves pizza.  By everyone, I mean me.  I won't tell you about the other hummus flavors just yet, because I want to make and blog about them later.  It's a surprise!

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Baked Sweet Potato Chips

There are few things that I get more excited about (food-wise) than sweet potatoes.  I eat them year-round, but there's something extra special about enjoying them during the fall months.  Every bite seems that much more enjoyable.

When it came time for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I confess that I totally did a search for sweet potato recipes.  I mean, fall IS in full swing, right?  So why not take advantage of it and whip up something containing one of my favorite vegetables?

This month, I was assigned The Tasty Cheapskate's blog.  In terms of concept, this blog really reminds me of my own.  I also think it's important to have tasty, fresh, and healthy (OK, so maybe that cupcake phase I went through wasn't entirely healthy) food in your home.  I wish I could have made several of the recipes I found there, but as I said before I was pretty focused on my sweet potato quest.  And thankfully, The Tasty Cheapskate came through for me!  Sweet Potato Chips.  Winner!

I can't even handle it.  I live for sweet potato chips.  I will eat them at a moment's notice.  And yet for some reason, I've never even thought to make them.  Let's fix that, alright?

 

Baked Sweet Potato Chips
from The Tasty Cheapskate's blog

Print Recipe

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil (optional)
  • salt
  • sugar and cinnamon


Note:
This recipe is very adaptable.  You can scale up to accommodate more than 1 sweet potato, if desired.  Also, I used two different seasonings in order to have a variety of chips.  You can use as much or as little seasoning as desired.

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle and spread the oil over the parchment paper

2) Peel your potato and slice as thinly as possible.  If you're fancy, you can use an actual slicing tool.

3) Place the sweet potato rounds on the oiled paper.

4) Lightly drizzle another layer of vegetable oil over the potatoes.

5) Dust the potatoes with the salt OR cinnamon sugar mixture.  (Though I do recommend adding a pinch of salt to the cinnamon sugar mix for an unexpected sweet-salty combination!)

6) Bake the sweet potato chips for 20 - 25 minutes.  The amount of time your chips will need depends on how thinly they are sliced, so watch them closely.

(FYI - These chips aren't the same as the ones above.  This batch's chips weren't as large as the first set.)

(FYI - These chips aren't the same as the ones above.  This batch's chips weren't as large as the first set.)

7) Remove the chips from the oven when they are crispy enough for you.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before enjoying.

My favorite seasoning had to be the cinnamon sugar.  Cinnamon sugar is where it's at for the fall months too.  So...cinnamon sugar on sweet potatoes is a double whammy.  I also would have liked to have crispier chips, but it was completely my fault that the chips were thicker than they should have been.

Oh well, the taste was nothing short of amazing.  I think my favorite part was when an edge of a chip would turn dark brown, almost burnt.  Yes, I am in love with slightly burnt crispy sweet potato chips.  Can you say that three times fast?  Now that I know how to make these things myself, let me tell you that this may be a dangerous season for my waistline!

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Caramelized Onion, Chorizo & Goat Cheese Pizza

I've been running around like a maniac for the past week or three.  I seriously need a vacation like nobody's business.  But that won't happen soon.  And I was "persuaded" to take on another project that will finish up in November.  So until then, I'll once again be harried.  Story of my life.

Let's not dwell on that.  Let's dwell on something that I've never had on this blog before.  Pizza.  The main reason that I haven't made this food before has to do with the dreaded dough.  As I've mentioned in the past, I am not a fan of making dough so I don't do it.  I feel no need to challenge myself.  I'd rather get an extra workout in or grab a beer with a friend.  Facts.

After my trip to The Brooklyn Local last week, I found a package of flatbreads in my awesome gift bag.  At the event, these flatbreads were being used as wraps for cold cuts and cheeses.  I'm not such a fan of those but I decided that the bread would be excellent as a pizza crust.

Since I'm typically eating for one (or two when I'm just plain old starving), it's a pretty fair assumption that I have oodles of leftover ingredients hanging out in the kitchen.  That may be an accurate assumption.  I pulled together a few of my favorite ingredients to create this pizza.

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Sweet & Spicy Chicken Salad

Did you already know about the wonders of a rotisserie chicken?  Seriously, I only made this discovery this week!  I'm back on my high protein diet, but was feeling lazy, so what did I do?  I grabbed myself a whole chicken that somebody else roasted.  It was tender and juicy and I didn't to do a dang thing other than pick it up and pay for it.

But then I encountered a problem.  There's really only so much rotisserie chicken that one can eat just so.  After a few rounds, I was feeling the need to switch things up.  So I took this opportunity to create a recipe that I've had my eye on for a while.  This sweet and spicy chicken salad is actually an adaptation of the recipe I was really going for.  That's ok.  When you're at home on a holiday weekend, the last thing you want to do is run back to the grocery store for extra provisions.  Improvisation is your friend.  And yes, things worked out splendidly.

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Oven Roasted Corn with Honey Chili Butter

Public Service Announcement:

I'm always thinking of ways to make this blog better.  I'm also always thinking of ways to make it easier for readers to access these posts.  Recently, one of my friends said that she would read my blog more often if the posts were emailed to her.  Sooooo, I set up this snazzy new email feature which you can find in that box over to the right of the screen.  Sign up now!

OK, now on to this corn situation we seem to have here...

 

I love when I find a new way to make or serve corn.  It gets me all excited and I can't wait to share it with you!  You ready? Here we go...

  • Buy fresh corn.
  • Throw corn in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  • Done.

Why am I just finding out about this cooking methodology now?  The corn is roasted in its own husk and is slightly firm and sweet once done.

Oh, and Beth also recommended that I make a honey chili butter to go along with this corn.  Why yes, Beth, I think I shall.

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