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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Steak and Avocado Fajitas

I don’t have steak all that often. As a result, I find myself encountering an intense craving for it every now and then. To my delight, I stumbled upon this recipe for Beef and Avocado Fajitas this past weekend (But for this post, I’d rather refer to it as steak!). I wouldn’t have thought to highlight avocado and steak as the two main ingredients for fajitas; however, I was intrigued and figured I needed to take advantage of an opportunity to eat flank steak!

Step 1: Chop Onions, Carmelize Onions
and Slice Avocados
Step 2: Mix Spices Together and Rub
Them Onto Flank Steak

Step 3: Cook Flank Steak in Pan,
Let Cool and Then Slice
Step 4: Assemble Ingredients Together
Into Warmed Tortilla and Eat!

At first glance, you would think this recipe would need more heat, perhaps in the form of salsas or peppers. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the strength of heat from the spices. Aside from spicy flavors, the avocado and carmelized onions provided a nice splash of cooler flavors. All in all, I really liked this recipe and will look forward to making it again in the summertime!

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!

Christmas Dinner

This year, I wanted to experiment with a few new and non-traditional recipes (for example: berry pie instead of pumpkin pie). The following highlights some interesting recipes I made from Real Simple and Epicurious.

Caramelized Onion Tart With Apples: I chose to make this because I liked the fact that this recipe was a mix of a savory and sweet flavors. Specifically, caramelized onions add a perfect flair to any recipe. Plus, this recipe called for Pastry Sheets which means I didn’t have to make the dough! Simple, easy, few ingredients, and delicious! What’s not to love?

Step 1: Chop Onions and Apples

Step 2: Caramelize Onions;
Add Apples and Other Spices

Step 3: Thaw Pastry Sheets, Add
Sour Cream, Apples and
Caramelized Onions, Bake!

Mustard-Crusted Pork Roasted With Shallots and Wine Sauce: This recipe just LOOKED amazing from it’s picture so I decided on a whim to make it. Good thing I wasn’t dissappointed! The addition of mustard made the pork juicy and very flavorful.

Step 1: Toss Shallots in Olive Oil

Step 2: Mix Mustards and Chopped
Sage; Add to Pork

Step 3: Bake at 400 Degrees for 95
Minutes, Cut, Serve!

Now, this next concoction was a mix of two recipes: Classic Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust (crust) and Mixed Berry Pie With Ginger, Orange, and Almond Streusel (filling). Every time I make pie, I always end up with too many leftovers that do not get eaten in time. So, this time, I opted to make individualized berry pies. Plus, I found a super good deal at Kitchen Kaboodle ($2.95 each for Ramekins!).

Step 1: Make Dough With Flour, Butter,
and Other Ingredients; Chill Slightly

Step 2: Use Rolling Pin to Roll Out
Dough, Spread onto Ramekins,
Cut Off Border

Step 3: Use Pastry Wheel to Cut Lattices

Step 4: Stir Filling with Berries,
Sugar, Cornstarch, and Lemon Juice

Step 5: Fill Dough, Place Lattices, Bake!

The dessert definitely took the longest hands-on time to make, but it was definitely worth it. I hope your Christmas was fabulous!

Cheers!

5 Things Thanksgiving Style

Within the past few months, I have truly learned to appreciate the small things in life and to be thankful for normal, everyday things most people take for granted. That being said, I am thankful (again) for Thanksgiving because it serves as a perfect reminder to remember what you are thankful for and count your blessings!

Don’t forget to tell your family and friends this Thanksgiving season that you are thankful for them — just a few words can make such a significant difference!

All right, it is time to move onto other Thanksgiving festivities a.k.a FOOD. It is definitely a good thing that Thanksgiving comes only once a year for according to the NYDailyNews.com, the average Thanksgiving meal rakes in a whopping 3,500 calories! Despite learning that terrifying fact, I still wanted to cook the usual Thanksgiving foods; however, I tried to make some of these foods a tad bit healthier (key words being “tried” and “some”)!

Now, it’s no myth that the reason why Thanksgiving foods are so unhealthy lies in the ingredients with butter, cream, sugar, and nuts as the prime culprits. And, vegetables dishes are usually sparse at Thanksgiving, but even when they are present, they are often laden with plenty of cream, cheese, and fried goodness. Nevertheless, the following pictures highlight a few of the side dishes I made for Thanksgiving as well as my Mom’s Turkey (side dish recipes taken from Epicurious.com and all contain a link to the original recipe):

1. Potato Gratin with White Cheddar Cheese

2. Italian Sausage and Bread Stuffing

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product… oops!

3. Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Garlic Oil and Fried Sage

4. Turkey

5. Lemon Pear Croustade

All of these side dishes actually turned out pretty well considering these were first-time recipes! Although only one of these recipes is a little bit healthier (Roasted Sweet Potatoes), I would totally recommend to make any of these dishes again. The Pear Croustade was a bit hit with the family and I will continue to use its pasty recipe for other future baked goods!

Cheers!