Caramelized Onion and Arugula & Regular Sliders


I’m not sure if any of you are like me on this one… but I absolutely love food items in miniature form. “Bite-size” or in some case, “two-to-three bites” items are perfect for sampling and give the opportunity to try many different things without feeling too full.

Sliders are a great example of this concept. Just think about it… have you ever been torn between which toppings you want to use on a burger? Realistically, it’s not like you’d put half a slice of pepper jack cheese and roasted poblanos on one side of the burger and then put cheddar cheese and ketchup on the other lonely half of the burger. Right?

Therefore, this little problem is cleverly solved with Sliders.

I chose to put carmelized onions, arugula and garlic mayonnaise on one of the Sliders while putting cheddar cheese and ketchup for a plain ole fashioned getup for the other Slider.

Simple to make, enjoyable to put together, and food in miniature form is just so much more fun anyway!

Cheers!

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Farfelle With Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream


As a child, I grew up spending my Saturdays and Sundays playing soccer. And, believe me, after spending so many years becoming acquainted with mud, dirt, sweat and camaraderie, I have really come to enjoy and love the sport.

Euro 2012 started this past weekend and, as a result, I found a perfect opportunity to watch a few games. Although soccer is popular in the States, it is much more popular in Europe. It is nice to see a change of pace and see how utterly ecstatic and passionate the European fans are and how much they truly love their teams. At the weekend’s end, I am lucky to say that I had watched two games, Germany vs. Portugal and Spain vs. Italy, both of which were great games!

However, after watching Italy play, I became quite hungry and thought of Italian food (naturally). Plus, I had just purchased a basil plant so I wanted to welcome the first opportunity to use some fresh basil in an Italian dish. So, after a little bout of searching, I found a perfect recipe: Farfelle With Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream.

Step 1: Chop Onion and Garlic;
Saute Italian Sausage;
Add Onions and Garlic 

Step 2: Add Pureed Tomatoes
and Touch of Cream; Add Peas 

Step 3: Boil Pasta, Drain; Add Sauce
to Pasta; Toss Extra Basil on Top; Eat! 

After a jam-packed weekend, I was not too utterly inspired to make something uber complex or intricate. As a result, I was very pleased with this recipe because it was simple, yet flavorful and did not feel “heavy” despite the use of a little cream. Plus, the addition of some peas (to add some color and sneak a vegetable serving in) and a sprinkle of Parmesan made this into a delicious meal!

Cheers!

Meatloaf

So, I’m  not going to lie, the whole thought of meatloaf is not that appetizing to me. I’m not sure why not – the ingredients that comprise it are pretty much the same ingredients for meatballs. So, in essence, meatloaf is just like an expanded version (a much expanded version) of meatballs. But, I think perhaps it is the thought of the meat looking like a “loaf” that makes me feel oddly about it.

Regardless, my boyfriend suggested making meatloaf the other night. I was a bit skeptical; however, we at least chose a recipe from a very, very legitimate source (Bobby Flay’s cookbook titled Bobby Flay’s Throwdown!). I must say, I was pretty pleased with the results. Although I didn’t include the recipe from his cookbook, I would highly encourage you to buy this book. It has great recipes and I’ve enjoyed choosing a recipe from there every now and then!

Cheers! 

Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs

For most last minute or large gatherings, spaghetti is often the menu item of choice. Naturally, it depends on which way you decide to make it — but, it is extremely easy (especially if not making the sauce from scratch!). Personally, I love spaghetti. It’s extremely simple, requires few ingredients, and serves as a perfect comfort food. But, lately, I’ve been becoming bored of my usual rotation of spaghetti for evening dinners. I’ve tried adding chicken or other types of vegetables to help alleviate my taste bud boredom. Unfortunately, those additions did not result in any success.

It wasn’t until I was surfing through Netflix that I saw the movie Lady and the Tramp pop up. Whenever I think of that movie, I always revert to the scene where the two dogs eat eat spaghetti and meatballs together. Instantly, this movie provided the perfect inspiration in order to spice up my boring pasta dinners. So, it was decided: Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs it is!

Step 1: Chop Garlic, Onions, Basil
Currants, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Step 2: Let Bread Crumbs and
Milk Sit for Five Minutes

[I accidentally threw the onions on top for this step… oops!]

Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients With
Wet Ingredients; Add Meat Mixture

Step 4: Form Meat Balls
(Key: Make Sure Hands are Wet); Bake

Step 5: Add Meatballs to Sauce
and Spaghetti and Enjoy! 

Prior to this meal, I had never made meatballs from scratch. It was surprisingly simple and easy. Let’s just say I’m glad that I happened to stumble upon Lady and the Tramp or else I would have made another simple pasta dish.

Cheers!

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie, That’s Amore! (Part 2)

This past weekend, I met up with a friend and her boyfriend at Grand Central Bakery in the Sellwood area of Southeast Portland. Although we ate at Grand Central Bakery for lunch, I fully intent to revisit this cozy, neighborhood establishment for a morning pasty and daily Cup-of-Joe. Besides being totally smitten by a delicious sandwich, I was also ecstatic to discover that Grand Central Bakery has a “U-Bake Menu.” This means that they sell “U-Bake” pie, pizza, puff pastry, and cookie doughs. Don’t get me wrong, I love making dough from scratch; however, sometimes it is just too time consuming.

With the “U-Bake” menu staring me in the face and tempting me greatly, I decided that the $2.95 purchase of pizza dough was definitely worth the price and would save me tremendous time. For a Sunday dinner with the generous help of Grand Central Bakery, I decided to make: Cheese Pizza with Feta, Sundried Tomatoes, and Pesto and Cheese Pizza with Carmelized Onions and Prosciutto.

Step 1: Chop Garlic and Prepare Olive Oil Base;
Chop Prosciutto and Sundried Tomatoes;
Caramelize Onions; Add Olive Oil Base to
One Half and Tomato Sauce to Other Half

Step 2: Place Mozzarella Over Top; Spread
Pesto, Feta, and Sundried Tomatoes Over
One Half; Spread Prosciutto and Caramelized
Onions Over the Other Half

Step 3: Bake, Cut, Serve!

Every now and then, I have enjoyed making a pizza on a Sunday afternoon. I’m glad that I improvised for this pizza as compared to a previous post (as seen here). I still have much room to improve including getting the temperature just right and the amount of ingredients used. But, that is part of the fun with experimenting!

Cheers!