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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

NEW SITE!!

Movin' on uppppp!!!! For the blog, now just go to

www.thewifewithaknife.com

caroline

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Grilled Cheeses Rule.


In reality, I chopped up the grilled cheese and used as croutons in a bigger bowl of soup.
Just a warning. Neither of these soups look super appetizing color wise. In fact, they probably would remind you of both ends of an upset tummy. To far? Don’t care—you were thinking it anyways. So here are the recipes (ish) below….I didn’t really pay super close attention, I just tasted as I went.
“Cream” of Mushroom Soup **really any shrooms will do, about a pound, but below is what I used

·         1 package dried shitake mushrooms (reconstitute them in boiling water for 5 minutes)

·         ½ small package baby portabella mushrooms

·         Handful of porcini mushrooms

·         1 shallot, minced

·         3 cloves of garlic, minced

·         2 tbs butter

·         ¼ white onion, chopped

·         32 oz. low sodium chicken broth

·         1 sprig of thyme (if you hate thyme, leave it out)

So I melted the butter in my le crueset braiser, and sautéed the shallots, onion and garlic until translucent. At the same time, I was cleaning my shrooms and reconstituting the dry shrooms. Once the onions and garlic have softened, add all the mushrooms. I used about 2 cups of the liquid that my dried mushrooms soaked in, which just adds more flavor. Add in the chicken broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, tasting the broth as you go. Once the shrooms have softened, transfer everything to a vitamix. Blend on setting 1 for about 30 seconds, then setting 8 for 30. Taste the soup. It should have a little texture but not be chunky. If it’s chunky, don’t be an idiot, just blend a little longer until it’s a good consistency. If you don’t have a vitamix, then you must be poor, and I suggest walking the streets for the next few nights to gather some dolla dolla bills. Vitamix’s rule, and regular blenders have no place in my kitchen anymore. Also, if it tastes like it needs salt and pepper, add it, you dolt.
Roasted red pepper and tomato soup

·         3 hothouse (or regular) tomatoes

·         1 heirloom tomato

·         10-12 roasted cherry tomatoes (rub a little olive oil on them and broil for 5 minutes—watch anything that you broil)

·         1 roasted red pepper, charred skin removed. If you don’t know how to roast a pepper-here is a handy tutorial: http://www.thekitchn.com/quick-tip-how-to-roast-peppers-60699

·         1 cube vegetable stock cube (Knorr Home-style is the kind I used)

·         1 shallot, minced

·         3 garlic cloves, minced

·         ¼ onion, chopped

·         5 cups water

·         5 basil leaves

·         2 tbs. butter

Sauté the onions, shallots and garlic in the butter until translucent (See a pattern with soups??) In a large pot, bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil. Cored the 3 regular tomatoes, and then make an “X” with your knife at the bottom of each (This helps to peel them). Boil the tomatoes for 5-10 minutes, until you can easily peel the skin off. Remove the tomatoes from the water, peel them and add them to the onion and butter mixture. Add most of the water that you had boiled your tomatoes in, and add in the vegetable stock and roasted red pepper at this point. I also added in some regular chopped tomatoes that I had sitting in the fridge, and the roasted cherry tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add basil at the end. When the broth tastes yummy to you, (10 minutes), transfer to your vitamix and blend the same way as the mushroom soup. Now, if you like a creamier soup, add a few tbs of heavy cream. Just remember that a teeny tiny tbs of cream has a ton of fat and calories, so if you’re going to go fatty mcfat with the grilled cheese, don’t add the cream.

For the grilled cheeses, the only thing that makes them fancy is finding a delish bread—I found an English Muffin loaf at HEB and it made the perfect grilled cheese. Also, don’t cook on high heat—cook on medium, it will take forever but make your cheese melt at the same time as getting a crispy crust.
 
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chocolate Cake recipe, and things that make you wish I was your wife....aka grilled cheeses.


Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Bundt cake

Ingredients

·         Duncan Hines moist yellow cake mix (the one that calls for vegetable oil)

·         3 eggs

·         1/3 cup of vegetable oil

·         1 cup water

·         ¾ cup sour cream (I used the daisy light kind, but really doesn’t matter)

·         Package of instant chocolate pudding (use sugar free)

·         Mini chocolate chips (1/2 bag)


In a kitchen aid mixer, mix the cake according to the directions on the box, adding the pudding mix (don’t make pudding, just use the powder). After it looks pretty mixed, add in the sour cream and chocolate chips. Bake in a 350 degree oven for at least 45 minutes, testing with a toothpick after that to see if it’s done. Wait at least an hour before flipping it on to a large plate. Once the cake has cooled completely, sift powdered sugar over the top. Eat alone, in the dark, where no one can judge.

 
 
And tonight, since Mondays suck so badly, and because my better half is sick, I'll be making fancy grilled cheeses with three dipping soups: tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup (sans cream), and poblano soup. Don't you wish your wife was making this for you tonight? She's probably sitting on the couch right now thinking of ways not to make dinner for you. She's also probably not as bat sh*t crazy as I am, so I guess you'll have to count your blessings and appreciate a sane wife/girlfriend rather than a snazzy grilled cheese with dipping soups. Crawdad will have to settle for the latter.  
 
Fresh veggies for my soups!
 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

gettin fancy....

Well, I know I said I was going to post the recipes for the BBQ and the chicken with butternut squash, but I actually don't really remember what all I did, and didn't take notes. So, tough shit to the four people who read this blog and wanted the recipe. Now, on the bigger and better things: I got a badass camera. Well. Not so much got as found, but it was at my house, and I'm claiming it.* It's a canon rebel XT and looks like a total mom camera. So for all of you idiots asking me when I want to pop out a Crawdad, the answer is not now, but at least I have the mom cam to fill in for the time being. Also, I'm not a huge fan of babies, but that is a story for another day, and a few more glasses of cab.

So, tonight I am having a few hoes over for dinner, so I've got to be on my A-game. Even though I have an incredibly demanding job where I work in a high stress office from 8-5 (ha), I have managed to waste half my day prepping for the night ahead. For most people, a girls dinner would consist of a light salad, probably something with Quinoa, and fish. Well, the fish in Midland smells weird, and I'm fresh out of quinoa, so I guess the girls will have to settle for:

Starters
-Phyllo wrapped baked brie with a glazed mustard
-Assorted cheeses
-Fresh made bruschetta
Left to right:
Basil from my garden, heirloom tomatoes (the uglier the better),
 parmesan, garlic, toasted pine nuts, store bought basil


Dinner
-Toasted orecchiette with fresh pesto (basil from my garden), with Italian sausage
-Hatch chili cheese bread
-Chop salad with a light Greek vinaigrette, diced tomatoes, peppers, peppered salami and shaved parmesan
Close up of the tastiest pesto


Dessert
-Sour cream chocolate chip Bundt cake sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Once I write the recipe down, I will show you how to go from THIS

TO THIS

TO THIS



And a little set up for the dinner tonight...getting fancy with my new camera. Someone will need to teach me some tricks though.


My new garden, with the most awesome gardening partner ever.


PEACe
 
**I wouldn't actually steal something as nice as a camera-it's my husbands. Don't get me wrong, love a good getaway, but only would steal something dumb like a bouncy ball or magnetic earrings.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I hope everyone gets the Sunday Fear....also, Midland Restaurants

One of my biggest pet peeves (besides people who bring more than 2 children to grocery stores and those who ride around grocery stores in the scooters with baskets), is not being able to look up a menu online before I go to a restaurant....I get SEVERE menu anxiety. So bad, in fact, that I have passed my anxiety along to many of my friends (read: 2 friends, since I have about 4). It's gotten to the point that unless I go to some place like Chili's, I pretty much consider popping a xanax before dining.

Anyways--my point is, that last weekend, since people were in town visiting, I ventured out to two Midland restaurants--one with a menu online, one without. Neither of them sucked, and I've been to both before, so this time, there was no need to roofie myself. (SORRY MOM).

First off, Romie's Mexican Restaurant--or what Siri would like to pronounce Romeo's Michigan Ristrant.
Go on a Friday, and get the Viernes. Better yet, go hungover on a Friday, and get the Viernes. Downfall-they don't serve alcohol, and some of our guests had just gotten off a bumpy flight and were sad not to have a little brewski. Pretty sure we/they made up for it about 30 minutes later. Viernes is some sort of combo plate that has a mini chili relleno, enchilada and chalupas. I actually didn't really like it, but then again, I don't like chili rellenos, and all I really wanted was flour tortillas and queso. Their queso is legit, and their salsa rivals Jorge's. If you don't know what Jorge's is, then it rivals your version of MiCocina or Escalantes. If you don't know what any of those are, then why are you reading my blog--or you live in Odessa. Either way, shoo.
Romie's Viernes-just get chalupas next time. 


Friday night, we went to Venezia, which is the best Italian (besides Maberry Street) you can find. Everything is pretty good, and everything is even better when you are white trash and bring a waterbottle full of Grey Goose and Crystal Light to serve with your noodles. It's BYOLiquor, and they have a pretty good wine list. If you want to go full fat and unbotton your jeans, get the carbonara. It's creamy and delish, but would be hard to go out after eating more than a few bites. I got the veggie and shrimp penne, but got chicken instead of shrimp since right now I'm scared of most shrimp that I don't buy myself. Venezia is great for big groups, but bring cash and then have someone pay all on their cc--it's just easier.
Penne Mediterranea…$13.95
Sauteed vegetables & shrimp finished with white wine sauce. I got without Shrimp added chicken. I'd do no protein next time.  
Rigatoni Carbonara...$11.95
Pancetta, proscuitto, eggs, parmigiano
A new post coming soon on stuff I've cooked, but my Sunday Fear has turned in to Manic Monday, which is now a Terrifying Tuesday, so I am going to try and spin this weekend out of my body, and post my bbq this afternoon. In other news, for my birthday, Crawford got me a raised bed garden. Pilar (aka my hero and husband of the world's greatest Sylvia) put it together, and now I've planted a garden. So now, to add to my list of MANY MANY wonderful assets, I now have a green thumb. I've planted a semi-salsa and herb garden with jalepenos, red bell peps, tomatoes, okra, mesclun, rosemary and basil.




Sunday, August 11, 2013

Will someone pay for me to go to Fat Camp?

Holy mother of elastic waistbands. My fat pants are two sizes too small, and there is no end in sight. I've been living out of a suitcase for two weeks, which means there's been nothing but binge eating (and drinking) since the end of July. If there's a rehab for carb/cheese addicts, sign me up for the longest session available. I've been in La Jolla and Dallas, and haven't been cooking much, but I've been eating at some of the most legit restaurants. I've gotten the fortune of spending time with both my Shuford fam and the Smith fam, and if there's one thing the two have in common, it's red wine and meals that end with the meat sweats. I'm pretty sure even my double chin has cellulite at his point, but f*ck it, I'm married and have plenty of stretchy pants to wear in the next few weeks. Anyways, until I do some sort of body shock/cleanse, I'll continue to enjoy Cali and the delish foods....some of which are pictured below.
Osteria Romantica, La Jolla- gnocchi gratin, raviolo, seafood linguine 
Dinner on da beach- wine, cheese, grapes, lots of meat
Breakfast with an awfullllll view.... Soft poached eggs over grilled asparagus, chiliquilies
Wet lunch at the Crab Catcher- crabby Mary, sav b, shrimp and grits, crab bisque, crab blt
Breakfast at Harry's- best pancake ever, sucky omelette, breakfast burrito
Dinner at Herringbone- basil gimlet, seared albacore with egg, halibut with corn relish, whole striped bass with a citrus gremolata 
 
This is what I do with my free time. 8 times out of 9, Craw won't take a pic with me. My cellphone is full of selfies, food pics and pics of my dog. Or selfies with my dog.,,,

That's all I got for now...I smell something grilling so obviously I have to go check it out.

Peace, love and XL Nike shorts,
Caroline 




Wednesday, July 31, 2013

steak skillz



Final product-2 pan seared ribeyes, tempura-ish baked green beans, fauxtatoes with flash fried basil




Guys do the grilling, I get it. Me have balls, me make meat. However, I have a different opinion. I cook a better steak than most men. In my past life, it’s possible that I was a short haired butcher who liked the ladiezzzzz. Imagine a mix between Rosie O’Donnell and Rosie from the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

sorry for partying Rosie style circa 4th grade...
 

But seriously, I make the best steak, no grill required. Steak should be cooked medium rare always. Unless you’d like it less cooked, and that is perfectly acceptable. I don’t mind if my steak is still mooing, and I’d be lying if I hadn’t imagined what it would be like to take a bite out of a freshly deceased cow. Too much? Nah-I’ve also considered cooking my chicken under temperature just to get food poisoning to shed a few lbs. Like I’ve said, I’m batshit crazy. Just ask Crawford. If you are going to eat steak, which shouldn’t be too often, go for a steak steak. I’d rather have a few bites of a well-marbled steak than an entire filet. I usually get ribeyes, and trim them a bit more than the butcher does. I can butcher a steak—must be a talent I learned in that past life. Trim most of the excess fat, but leave a little on the edges—when you sear it (if you do it right), the fat will melt into the pan and keep the steak delish.  Now, I am all for a steakhouse meal where you get the mushrooms in butter, truffle mac and creamed spinach—but I don’t want to have to request an extra seat on my next flight for my side fupa. If you’re making a fatty steak, go as carbless as you can stand, and add some greens—maybe something along the lines of our meal last night: Pan seared ribeyes with cauliflower mash, panko baked green beans, and flash fried basil leaves.  Side note: the steak and cauliflower mash were delightful. The cauliflower mash is better than most because I partially steam then roast my cauliflower. The only problem is that I have to make this wayyyyyy before my husband gets home because he hates the smell of cauliflower and broccoli. In my opinion, roasting cauli and broccoli makes your house smell like a stripper farted in your oven then baked her toot. I’m not apologizing for saying that—you’ve all thought it when you’ve walked in to a house where broccoli has been roasted. If you haven’t experienced that, then next time you’re at the Spearmint Rhino, kindly ask one of the dancers to pass wind your way, and you’ll know what I mean. And yes, I did just go to thesaurus.com to look up synonyms for fart, as to not offend my audience. The green beans tasted like crunchy dead lady’s fingers. I forgot to drizzle them with olive oil, and they sucked.
heating oil for steaks-heavy bottomed pan

Searing steaks-side one (2 minutes
Ingredients

·         2 (or however many people you have) prime boneless ribeye steaks. In general, the more expensive the better. I just get whatever is freshest or nicest at the meat counter. Don’t get ones that are already packaged

·         Tbs of butter

·         Seasonings for steak: I mix a coffee rub with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

·         Olive oil

·         French green beans, trimmed (enough for two)

·         Panko bread crumbs

·         Grated parmesan

·         Egg wash (whisk 2 eggs w/ 2 tbs of water)

·         Head of cauliflower

·         2 small red or white potatoes

·         Nonfat milk

·         Plain nonfat Greek yogurt

·         Basil

Go ahead and preheat 2 ovens—1 at 425, 1 at 400. If you only have one, do 425.

For the steak: 1 hour before you want to cook it, take it out of the fridge, and season both sides liberally and rub the seasoning in. Let it sit til you want to cook.  Take a heavy bottomed pan (cast iron preferably, but stainless is fine—just make sure it is oven safe and doesn’t have a coated handle). Heat a tbs of olive oil over medium high heat til the pan starts to smoke. (Don’t let it catch fire, but watch to see if you can see steam). Put both steaks in pan, don’t touch for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, flip and sear for 2 more minutes. Put into the 400 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, and put the steaks on a cutting board to rest for at least 10 minutes. I like to take the pan drippings and pour it on the steak and loosely cover with foil. Once you’re ready to serve, slice however you’d like. here's how to make it look pretty....
 

For the green beans: Take 4-5 beans at a time and dip into the egg wash and then into the panko-parm mixture (half panko half parm), and place them on a nonstick baking sheet. Once they are all ready to go, drizzle with olive oil and salt them. Don’t forget this, or they will suck. Bake at 425 for 10ish and then serve with a wedge of lemon or sauce of choice.

For the fauxtatoes: I partially steamed a head of cauliflower then roasted it in a 400 oven for about 15 minutes. I think all veggies taste better roasted. I boiled the 2 potatoes and the pureed that with butter, probably a half cup of nonfat Greek yogurt and a splash of chicken stock and seasoned to taste. Combine together in a food processor or hand mash, but don't overwork them or they will get gummy. To make it even better, put the mixture in ramekins and sprinkle with shaved parmesan and put in the oven til the cheese gets a little browned.
 

For the basil-it not only looks cool, but it tastes awesome to. Everyone I know (minus Crawford) likes it. See video.
video
 
PS- This dinner was prepared while I was wearing a Mayweather v. Canelo Vegas fight night shirt...as if I didn't feel butch enough making steaks.