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Holy Late Post!

Goodness guys I’m sorry,

I didn’t forget to cook the meal, I did that in a timely fashion.  But writing has been a little bit of a struggle because my roommate works for EA and they have released like 5 games lately – so I’ve been playing video games in all of my spare time.  It’s getting gross actually (but, if you play, go for Far Cry 3 – IT IS AMAZING).

On to the meal!

BACKSTORY: This was the first time I have cooked in the house I currently reside in – and on February 15th I will have lived there for an entire year.  So when I started pulling out pots and pans two of my roommates actually pulled up stools and watched me cook because they were positive that I couldn’t.  They’re also convinced I can’t make a mixed drink either – but that’s because they drink wine called Jam Jar and enjoy dissolving Jolly Ranchers into already fruit flavored vodka.  Remind me not to send them the link to this blog.

There was another first with this recipe, I followed it almost to the letter, on the ingredients, not the preparation.  Which means I had to go to the grocery store because I did not own any of the ingredients.  This was the longest part of the process because the only thing I have bought at the Lucky’s across the street from my house is alcohol and BBQ flavored sunflower seeds – to say the least there was a lot of wandering and looking lost. 

But knowing where the produce was I headed there first, and having worked with butternut squash previously I knew well enough to grab the pre-diced stuff because those suckers are hard to dissect.  And I felt a little sketchy about using the same chicken broth for cooking the chicken and then using the broth to water down the quinoa afterwards so I went for one of the pre-roasted chickens.

I made it home after what seemed like 2 hours in the store and started to cook, much to my roommates’ amusement.  With all my ingredients that were like totally ready to use I really only had some chopping and boiling to do – then a little bit of adding and waiting. 

So once it was all done, and the quinoa had been fluffed and the kalamata olives had been added I served myself up some.  I had read from Kelsey’s that sriracha was a good add but I wanted to try it first in all of its glory.  And it was delicious!  Obviously I switched out the parsley for cilantro.  Then I immediately scarfed down two bowls. One with sriracha and one without.  And honestly, I liked it better without.  I ate it for the next week – just adding a little more chicken broth and heating it up again. 

I loved it.  I impressed my roommates.  I had a delicious meal. And I would make it again in a heartbeat.

Bring on more!

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Dinner is Served!

Hello Ladies! I am so happy to be back in the game however, I fear I may not be as clever as I once was. It has been quite some time since I’ve written more than a work email ekk. But with that said, here I go…

First, Jenna…welcome and congratulations for having a successful first run at things. I was a big fan of Wednesday night’s healthy chicken stew. Quinoa has been all the rave for a while now, which is why I bought a bag of it about a year ago.  Lucky for me, I had not had the desire to cook it yet so I had a full bag in the pantry just waiting to be used.  The rest of the ingredients were pretty standard, making this recipe not only tasty but also affordable (big plus!!). Callie and I ran to the store after work to pick up any last minute essentials. We opted for a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken ourselves, and we left out the olives (nImageot my favorite ingredient) otherwise, we stuck pretty close to the recipe.

Once we were set to go with our ingredients and game plan, Cal and I quickly assumed our positions in the kitchen. She, with her onion goggles chopping away and me tackling the butternut squash. Once we each completed our tasks, we threw it all in a pot and watched with anticipation while the flavors melded together!

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With the commencement of K1tchenB1tchens, we felt there couldn’t be a better opportunity to break in Callie’s new dining chairs. So, for the first time since we moved into 1712 Oliver Ave, Cal, Andy and I sat down at the table for a grown up meal! Immediately after diving in we all agreed that this recipe was a keeper however, we couldn’t help but throw out a few changes we would make for next time:

1 – Siaracha is a must! A spicy element was much needed next to the sweet butternut squash.

2 – We agreed that if you are a fan of cilantro, do a little switcheroo with the parsley.

3 – Lastly, the stew could definitely use an extra can of tomatoes!  

I feel it is fair to give this recipe a rating of A- with the potential for an A+

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And with that, I come to the closing of my first 2013 K1tchenB1tches recipe review. Hope you all enjoyed the meal as much as I did. Can’t wait for the next round 🙂

Sam!

Better a Butternut than a Butter Face

Jenna Schurmeier, your body may have beaten your taste buds through puberty by about 16 years, but I, for one, am sure glad that your palate finally caught up to those ginormous tits of yours.  Now, if you could just develop some hand eye coordination and digital dexterity, you’d be the whole package.  Speaking of the whole package – that soup!!  I woke up this morning feeling energized, happy, and ready to take on the day, and I’d like to believe that it was that soup that gave me the will to finish out the work week.  But let me not get ahead of myself.

Like the plan-aheader that I am (yeah right), I got the ingredients earlier in the week on what turned out to be a very expensive Trader Joe’s trip.  Not because the soup ingredients were particularly expensive, but because I hadn’t be grocery shopping since before Christmas and I was starving and thirsty during the shopping trip.  A lethal combination, I assure you.  The plan was to cook on Wednesday night and my intended guinea pig was my friend Dan.  Dan is the quintessential bachelor who never has groceries, and when he cooks, only eats meat and potatoes.  I thought I would treat him to a nourishing and wholesome meal (yes my maternal instincts are definitely kicking in).  We also planned to enjoy some wine and several rounds of Jeopardy in the course of the evening.  What I didn’t know what that Kimberly was planning on infiltrating cooking night and asked Dan and I if we wanted to do trivia instead and cook on Thursday.  True to my “I Guess I Can Be Convinced” moniker, it didn’t take much for me to cave.  Needless to say, the evening went in a totally different direction then I intended – we played a horrible game of trivia and ordered two rounds of Fireball shots to celebrate our stupidity, then ate pizza, drank fancy cocktails, and Dan and I stayed up until 2 playing Jeopardy.  Anyway, let’s just say that I was more than happy to spend a quiet evening cooking the next night.

I think my only complaint about the recipe is that peeling and cubing a butternut squash is about as hard as trying to train a tiger while stranded at sea (guess what I’ve been reading).  Next time, I think I’ll buy the package that’s already cubed.

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In the interest of time and laziness, I opted for rotisserie chicken instead of using frozen thighs.  I’m happy with this decision for numerous reasons, including the fact that I weirdly enjoy pulling all the meat off and also, sampling the pieces of juicy chicken is SO GOOD.  Other than that, there’s not much to report on the cooking process besides that the onion I chose was so potent; I literally had tears rolling down my face as I cursed its name.

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Before I even served up the soup, I knew I was going to love it.  The mashed squash gave the broth such a thick and hearty texture, the quinoa added a subtle, grainy crunch, and the chicken was moist and tender and floated happily in the concoction.  My diners (roommates Taylor and Mary + Mary’s friend) all said that they loved the soup too and finished their bowls to prove it.  If I wasn’t so full from snacking on the ingredients while cooking, I think it would have been nice to serve this with a piece of nice crusty bread and butter.  However, it was definitely robust enough to stand on its own.  Oh, and how could I forget!  Of course, Sriracha was added, and Taylor commented that it complemented the soup so well that it would be included in the original recipe.

 

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I had about a serving leftover which I’m so excited to eat.  I think next time, I’ll double the recipe and freezing the leftovers so it can be the gift that keeps on giving.  To Kim and Juj – get on this because it’s bomb.com.  Jenna, I think you surprised us all on this one.  Keep up the good work,

Love you all with a degree equal to the difficulty of cutting a butternut squash.

-Kelsey “I Guess I Can Be Convinced” Lee

Hell has Frozen over.

Hell has definitely frozen over or there’s something weird in the San Diego water… I’m posting my first Kitchen Bitches recipe and wait for it…. It’s a SOUP!! To be honest i’m not sure I’ll even like it but I know that you guys will, so here’s another example of me being selfless and sacrificing my needs for the good of the majority. I picked this soup because a dear friend highly recommended it and it has a couple of key ingredients I have been really into as of late: Butternut squash and Quinoa. Both of these ingredients are staples of the Aussie diet, yum.

Butternut Quinoa Collage 2

So here it is:

http://www.cookincanuck.com/2011/11/hearty-chicken-stew-with-butternut-squash-quinoa-recipe/

So not sure what everyone’s January schedule is but Kelsey Lee and I have already confirmed that our schedules are wide open, we were thinking of making this recipe sometime next week if that works for everyone? It would be awesome if we could all make it the same day, you know how the saying goes… Misery Loves Company!! Anywho, I am excited to make my first dish, hopefully the first of many successful Kitchen Bitches dishes!!!

Peace. Love. Happy Cooking.

JSCHURM

 

Ragin’ Cajun Loaf of Meat

Along with Jesus Christ, flowers, and baby animals everywhere, the k1tchenb1tches blog is risen this Spring.  And what better way to celebrate a the start of warm weather, swimsuits, and sunshine than with an extremely heavy hunk of ground beef infused with even more meat?  I can’t think of anything.  So Callie, first off a round of applause to your bold and hearty choice.  I can’t wait to hear your first review as an official member, and I hope you enjoyed your choice as much as I did. 

Let’s begin, shall we?  The shopping list for the dish was by far the easiest – Bill and Betty had most of the ingredients at their house and everything else was obtained at the nearby Safeway.  When I got home, the meat was defrosted and I was ready to rock and roll.  Now, as disgusting as I find raw chicken and turkey, for some reason I am not grossed out by ground beef and in this case, it actually smelled delicious.  Spoiler alert – I did manage to refrain from eating any of it raw.  This is one of those “everyone in the pool” recipes (a term I used from my paramour, Guy Fieri…sigh…)  So a pool party it was – a meaty, egg-y, pecan-y, sausage-y, cheesy shindig that I thoroughly molested with my hands.  The result was a fantastic smelling meat paste that I fashioned into a long, low, log (which I believe may be verbatim from the recipe)

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While the loaf roasted, I got to work on the caramelized onions.  These are so frickin’ easy to make and such a wonderful addition to almost any carnivorous dish, I need to remind myself to use them more often.  As the onions simmered away, I concocted the succulent cajun mayonnaise sauce (I think I’ve pretty much secured this as the least sexy-sounding blog post yet – “succulent”, “meat log” and talking about eating raw ground beef have not been known to get anyone’s blood flowing).  While we waited for the meal to culminate, Betty and I downloaded the Of Monsters and Men album and sampled the tracks, which led us to dancing around the kitchen to proactively burn some of the calories we were inevitably going to ingest.  As a side note, I HIGHLY recommend that album, it’s lovely.  

The dancing subsided as the oven beeped, and the meat thermometer informed me that the loaf was ready to be consumed.  I sliced it up, doused it with the remoulade-ish sauce, and served up my side dish and a Bill salad.  It was glorious.  It may have been my imagination, but I could have sworn I saw tiny angels formed in the wisps of steam from the meatloaf. 

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This dish was freaking amazing.  The pecans added a welcomed crunch, the sausage was flavorful and spicy and lent its flavor to the ground beef (which barely needed to be seasoned).  Needless to say, the blue cheese was almost too good to be true, because nothing goes together quite like red meat and blue cheese.  Very patriotic, if you ask me.  There was a general consensus of yummy noises at the table as the Lee family enjoyed this elusive comfort food, so rarely seen at the kitchen table.  Bill even commented that it “tastes like steak!” As you can see from the photo, I offset the rich meatloaf with roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower, which I seasoned with the same Cajun seasoning that was used in the sauce. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m going to give this dish an 8.75.  I deducted some points because it was heavier than I’m used to eating and did punish me afterward (and again after eating the leftovers).  There’s a possibility that this was a result of me having only eaten Cheese-Its and wine at Coachella for the 4 days prior and then jumping straight into meatloaf, so I’ll take some of the blame.  But overall, spectacular flavor, hearty texture, and let’s face it, it’s hard to go wrong with a log of meat 🙂

To those of you who haven’t made the dish yet, happy cooking!  To those who have – write that shit up!

Love,

Kelsey

Fact: Canucks dig lamb.

…I don’t know if that’s true, but this one does. I am sick and tired of these veg [read: vag] recipes, although they have been de-rish-us! Bottom line: time for some animal. Who doesn’t love a little meat now and again? I know I have been MIA on the blog for weeks, maybe even months, but my Vancouver relocation and resulting lack of friends/social life is very conducive to both cooking and blogging. Although, food here costs an arm and a leg and my laptop sucks. But hey, whoever said living in a third world country was easy? For my next pick, I will choose something very meaty despite the fact that Callie and Jenna won’t try it.

Lamb and Eggplant Potpie with Feta Potato Crust

Think of those savory lamb juices bubbling under the browning, feta-laced potato shell. The succulent eggplant (gag) melting into a velvety sauce of tomatoes and “exotic”, aromatic Greek spices. I say “gag” because I am not a huge fan of eggplant, but I will sacrifice in the name of K1B1 and because it will be encased by lamby goodness.

You’re probably thinking oh, shit, this is expensive. But really, the only thing that is expensive is the lamb (but it’s ground, so cheaper vs. a rack of lamb, or something), and the spices, which make me wish I was back in SD so I could steal them from my parents’ pantry. The changing weather (it’s raining here already) makes me want to eat things that are baked and comfort-foody, but since this has vegetables, I don’t have to feel terrible about it. I think I picked a gem! Time to harness your inner Julia Child-on-a-Grecian-vacation, ladies!

Late night cooking makes for good meals.

So I must say that much cheese has never crossed my threshold at the same time.  Actually the more that I think about it I only ever buy cheese for these recipes.  But really, that’s neither here nor there.  On to the adventure!

The Starting Point

So I, much like Kelsey, did not really take note of the fact that this was a time intensive recipe.  I printed it out, took note that there were not a ton of ingredients and thought, “hell! I’ll go for a run, finish it at Safeway and then walk my groceries home! I’m a genius!”  So I head out for a run around six, get into a mad groove and don’t realize that it’s after seven when I get to Safeway.  Also, upon entering Safeway I genuinely forget that I did not in fact drive there and decide that now is the perfect time t! o peruse every aisle and buy everything I need for the next two weeks.  I spend another hour in the store, mostly because it’s terrible, things aren’t where they should be, and also at this point I’m starving, so I’m really just oogling food.

However I make it to checkout counter and I have just tons of stuff.  It gets packed up by the sub-par checker and as soon as I get out to the foggy air, it hits me, YOU DIDN’T DRIVE HERE! Don’t get me wrong, Safeway isn’t far, but it’s far enough.  The walk felt like some kind of Chinese torture, if I let my arms hang, my trapezium muscles begin to burn, so I curl the groceries up, pretend I’m at the gym and start counting steps.  After 45 steps, I let my arms fall again until I can’t take the burn… I’m in a rinse and repeat until home situation.  I get home, put my key in the door, drop the groceries, pull out the recipe again  and I cannot even read it my hands are shaking so bad.  (This was Thursday night, and I decided it was enough of a workout that I didn’t need to work out at all for the rest of the weekend).

Browning Cauliflower

Now it is past eight and I have decided to start the recipe, I still have not taken note of all the places in the instructions that say things such as “let cool completely” or “you can do this at least 4 hours beforehand”.  I start with the browning of cauliflower and it smells pretty damn good and just looks beautiful! While it’s making my kitchen/entire house smell lovely I measure out the cheese mixture and just cannot believe the amount of cheese.  This is the first time I read “let the cauliflower cool completely” which I kind of expected but it caught me a little off guard.  So because of my limited amount of cooking supplies I just throw the cauliflower on top of the cheese and start in on the sauce.

Here is the only place that I changed the recipe, I chose prosciutto instead of pancetta, mainly because it was cheaper and because I was feeling a bit health conscious as I stared at the packages I went for the prosciutto.  I ripped the pieces up with my fingers because whenever I try to cut bacon or anything like that it just gets all stuck together.  (Cool story Hansel — thanks Kelsey).   I get that all sizzling, and pour the butter and chicken broth and let it start cooking down.   By this time I have decided the cauliflower is cool enough, and still not owning a food processor, I mash the hell of it, using a masher I purchased at the store and it worked pretty well.

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The Mashing

I begin to read my roadmap to dinner again which at this point is starting to take the equivalent of drive to Tahoe.  It’s getting close to ten, I haven’t even begun to assemble a ravioli and I begin thanking the Lord that I purchased pre-made dough squares.  I pull those out, grab a tiny dish of water and begin making my ravioli, but try as I might I cannot get the correct proportion of filling to square to fold it in half.  I give up, figuring the ugly ones probably taste just as good as the pretty ones (which is true in life too girls).

ravioli workstation

Ravioli Workstation

I make the decision that the sauce has cooked down enough and I start to heat up my salted water.   I’m now literally watching and waiting for the water to start boiling, and like they say, that takes a long, long time.  It begins a little bit of a rolling boil and I toss the five I have prepared in.  I heat the sauce up to scalding (an accident), gently remove the delicate pockets of love I have put so much time into, pour myself some Pinot Grigio and dig in.

Clouds part, angels are singing and I actually start crying (I’ve been emotional lately).  But these things are so damn good! The sauce tastes like only melted butter, the big strips of pancetta add just the right amount of salt.  And my goodnass the raviolis them selves are perfect.  Since I still do not have a food processor, and I only mashed, I can still get just a little bit of the crunch of the cauliflower and the cheese trifecta is so tantalizingly good a tear rolls off my chin to my carpeted ground and a tiny flower sprouts right then and there.

The road was hard, but the reward was absolutely worth it. I give it an A.  I do not have a final picture because unlike Kelsey I did not have a balanced meal and my raviolis were ugly, but oh so good.  I would certainly make this again, but I would do it on a Saturday when I had the whole day to do it.

On Sunday my brother came over and we made a few more raviolis but then we heated up the filling and dipped Triscuits in it… DAMN GINA! Suffice it to say, it was good.

Shine on | Kimburrrr