Bacon Mashed Potatoes With Dill

I absolutely LOVE mashed potatoes. Yet, I usually stray away from making them as a result of the copious amounts of fattening substances that are used in its making. But, since Christmas only comes once a year, I figured I could use that as my excuse to make unhealthy foods.

This recipe for Bacon Mashed Potatoes With Dill adds to the unhealthiness factor with the addition of bacon; however, the bacon adds a nice twist, especially when paired with dill (a spice I would have previously never thought to use!).

Step 1: Peel Potatoes and Slice Into
Two Inch Chunks

Step 2: Cook Bacon; Reserve Liquid

Step 3: Add Salt, Sugar, Pepper
and Cider Vinegar to Liquid

Step 4: Cook Potatoes; Mash Them and
Add Fat Mixture, Cooked Bacon and Dill

This was definitely an indulgent mashed potato recipe. Although I felt exceptionally full after, I would consider making this recipe again and perhaps adding garlic and a few other spices for additional flavor (in another 365 days of course!).

Cheers!

Poached Eggs in Marinara Sauce


Usually, breakfast is one of the most simple meals of the day. After all, shouldn’t it be? Unless it is a weekend, most individuals opt for cereal or something that requires little effort in the morning.

However, this past weekend, a friend and I decided to try a recipe from The New York Times health section: Eggs Poached in Marinara Sauce. At first glance from the picture in the article, this recipe just looked pretty, well, interesting. All the more reason to try it, right? Well, at least our ambitious cooking minds convinced us so.

Basically, in theory, this recipe is quite simple, but the perfect egg execution is essential to this dish’s success. It took a few rounds of botched poached egg plates before we got it just right. The key in all of this? After heating up sauce in a small saucepan, use a ladle to make a “pouch” in the center of the pan to pour the eggs into and make sure to pour the egg in very, very slowly while making sure the yolk plops into the saucepan last.

In addition to the eggs and sauce combo, we totally negated the healthy aspects of this meal by adding green onions, cheese and avocado slices and  toasted bread with a mixture of olive oil, garlic and oregano beneath melted mozzarella cheese. Oh, and what breakfast meal wouldn’t be complete without bacon?

Although this did take a lot more effort than the standard breakfast, the end result tasted delicious. And, even though to some it may not look the most appetizing, I promise that it is — I completely recommend it!

Cheers!

Cooking Light: Shrimp Cobb Salad


This past weekend, we stumbled upon the new issue of Cooking Light. The cover featured a gorgeous salad (yes, gorgeous). The reason why I use that description is a result of the medley of colors and flavors that this salad uses. Without looking into the exact ingredients, we were all completely sold by the picture. So, after a quick trip to the store to grab some items, we were set to make this fabulous salad.

So, what do you think? Does our representation look like the cover of this issue’s Cooking Light? I’ll let you be the judge. Nonetheless, I would feel confident to say that it is pretty hard to mess up a salad (especially this salad). The only “real” manual labor results in the cooking of bacon and shrimp. Next, chop the vegetables and combine the liquid ingredients to make the salad dressing. Combine and enjoy!

I will totally look forward to making this salad again on a perfect summer evening. Plus, with a low calorie and fat count, you can’t go wrong!

Cheers!

P.S. Check out the current issue of Cooking Light for other interesting recipes!

Happy 2011! New Year’s Sunday Brunch

 This year my friends and I decided to host a New Year’s Sunday Brunch. We thought this would be a perfect time to get together, catch up on each other’s lives, and cheers to a Happy New Year.

Naturally, I awoke too early on a Sunday and had plenty of time to mosey around the house before everyone arrived. With the extra time, I conjured up a few items that I think no casual Sunday brunch should be without.

Sunday Morning Paper

Different Coffee Mugs

Vanilla Candles

Flowers 

Non-Traditional Holder for Utensils

New Year’s Sunday Brunch included a Spinach and Bacon Quiche and Belgian Buttermilk Waffles with Glazed Bananas.

I chose to make a quiche for several reasons:

1. Can easily alter/modify/add ingredients

2. Option to pre-buy the crust or make from scratch

3. Simple and I have never made one before!

That being said, for this quiche, I altered the ingredients to cater to certain food preferences and allergies of my friends (I substituted cheddar cheese for swiss cheese (on one-half of the quiche only), nixed the bacon, and added mushrooms and roasted red peppers). I also chose to make the dough/crust the day before in order to avoid waking up too early to make it the day of brunch. Despite the fact that I had to bake the quiche for 20 minutes longer than the recipe suggested, the quiche turned out well and next time I’d like to experiment with other ingredients such as chicken, asparagus, and gruyere!

Step 1: Use a Blender/Food Processor
to  Make Dough; Fill 9-inch Pan with Dough

Step 2: Chop Dry Ingredients; Place in Crust


Step 3: Blend Liquid Ingredients;
Pour Onto Crust

Step 4: Bake, Cut, Serve!

The waffles seemed like the easy, go-to choice to complement a savory dish for this brunch. Plus, I couldn’t remember the last time I actually ate waffles and almost had forgotten what they taste like. That fact by itself solidified this choice as a done deal. These were very crunchy and the bananas provided a great flavorful kick in combination with maple syrup!

Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients Together; Mix
Liquid Ingredients Together; Combine


Step 2: Preheat Waffle Iron and Pour
Batter (3 minutes each round)

Step 3: Heat Butter Until Foam Subsides;
Place Bananas on Pan for 1 Minute Each Side

Step 4: Add to Waffles, Drizzle Syrup, Enjoy!

I’m hoping that we can make New Year’s Sunday Brunch a tradition for next year too!
Cheers to a Happy 2011!