Archive | June, 2009

Fantastic Lighting…I mean, yummy cookies!

28 Jun

Alas, a lot of people seriously think that. And if it’s in a magazine, or a blog, pfft, who cares! No one’s gonna eat it that’s reading it! But I have to have this food stick around in my kitchen, or at work, so it’s gotta taste good. Sometimes that means it has to be dipped in straight up Hershey’s milk chocolate. Ok, screw that, I really just wanted to post these photos because the lighting is ridiculously warm and fantastic.

Mmm, can my mouth be a camera?

Mmm, can my mouth be a camera?

Chocolate Dipped Cinnamon Cookies

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix (and eggs/oil to prep)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I like dark)
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract (only Adam’s will do here in Texas)
  • Cinnamon to taste (Yep, you have permission to taste)
  • 6 oz melted milk chocolate (Hershey’s is best)
  • Roasted almonds, chopped (optional)
Undipped little friends - needs cropping

Undipped little friends - needs cropping

Pretty self explanatory – mix up the dough according to the directions, and add the brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Maybe even some salt, if you’re feeling it, but you could save that for the chocolate instead. Mmm chocolate with a little salt – I bet some salted peanuts would work well on top too…Ok, roll them into perfect little tablespoon balls and bake, and once they cool, introduce them to the melted chocolate and almonds(I just heated it up a few seconds at a time in my microwave – my microwave with no settings under 1 minute. Thanks Bulldog). Some I dipped for a half and half thing, other I just smothered the chocolate on top. Mmm. These were ok, if I did it again, I’d do it from scratch and just make them snickerdoodles (why didn’t I just do that in the first place). But I had some random ingredients (cookie mix, Easter chocolate – I’m a salad monster, not a chocoholic), so I whipped these up and they liked them at work.

But mostly, I took photos. Just let your eyes feast on the 5:00 sun coming in the back window.

Ooh they are so pretty!

Ooh they are so pretty!

Oh yeah, all these photos are from my Flickr, and done with just a little Canon point and shoot from let’s say 2006? Yeah, no manual focus. Sucks. My only other camera is a Canon AE-1 and I can’t get to close with it because I only have a 50 mm lens. I ♡ good depth of field.

Best Spaghetti Dinner Ever

20 Jun

I’m reinstating this blog…for a third time. Yeah, apparently having a non-purpose blog gives me no reason to waste hours typing away and perfectly formatting a nice, pretty, insightful entry that really no one gives a shit about. That’s why I’ve decided to turn it into a foods blogs. Yes. Foods. Blogs. Imagine Toki saying it, then it makes way more sense.

See when I’m bored, I like to cook. Because it gives me something to do, and other people can enjoy it, and I can experiment, and unlike art, it doesn’t just sit around. Hell, I don’t even care if anyone eats it, I just like to make it and look at it and take pictures, but if someone actually likes it I’m stoked.

I went home and wanted to hang out with Sarita, so we decided to cook and get drunk and be new sisters with each other. She asked me if I had a specialty and I was like, well, spaghetti, but that sounds kinda lame – but she told me that was awesome, so we went to the store and picked up some food and $50 of booze to get us through the night. Yeah…we drank most of it…But this is what came out before we got to tipsy!

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage Meat Sauce and Steamed Asparagus with Butter-Lime Sauce

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage Meat Sauce and Steamed Asparagus with Butter-Lime Sauce

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage Meat Sauce and Steamed Asparagus with Butter-Lime Sauce

Italian Sausage Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press
  • 3 links sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 handful  fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  1. Put the crushed tomatoes in a pot, along with the tablespoon of sugar on low-medium heat.
  2. While that is heating up, start cooking the Italian sausage in another pan. Once some of the fat starts dripping out, toss in the crushed red pepper, shallots and garlic. Cook until Italian sausage is cooked all the way through and shallots and garlic look delicious.
  3. Stir the meat and shallot/garlic pan contents into the tomato sauce, and add half the can of tomato paste and some of the basil and oregano, taste, and add more tomato paste, basil, or oregano to taste. Save some to put on top for garnish!
  4. Don’t forget about your spaghetti noodles! But really, I could eat this sauce by itself, tricking myself into thinking it’s some sort of thick soup. It also works on lasagna!

This works well if you don’t cut the veggies and herbs beforehand, but rather put the tomatoes on the heat, then toss on the meats, and then cut the shallots and press the garlic, because by then, some of the juices will have come out of the meat to cook the shallots and garlic in. The tomato sauce will have already been simmering for a while once you add the meat and shallots to it, and then chop the herbs and toss them in, and everything will be decently simmered and delicious without having to sit around and wait for hours like with dad’s sauce. That’s why there are no times included.

I had never made a sauce so delicious and Bulldog ate two whole heaping plates of it (after we made him wait for 10 minutes while we set up mini photo-shoots around the kitchen/dining room). I thought he only ate fish and chicken! The Italian sausage was way better than ground beef, and the crushed red pepper gave it a little spice. The fresh herbs (from Sarita’s garden!) made it so flavorful, I’m never using dried herbs ever again! Even my parents thought it was amazing!

Fresh oregano changed my life.

I don’t have a recipe for the Steamed Asparagus, Sarita made it, but it was cut in half, steamed, and put into a butter sauce of butter, lime, and pepper in a little saucepan on the stove. The butter sauce wasn’t heavy and gave it just the right amount of flavor, and the lime gave it some tang! Mmm first asparagus adventure.

Now, on to the booze! We got some of this beer made by monks, something that started with an “M” I wanna say, and it was good and alcoholic. Red I think. We also got some Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale, and it tasted like chocolate. Seriously drinking chocolate. That smooth. We also got some Maker’s Mark, but we’ve all had that.

But best of all I picked up what could be my greatest alcoholic beverage decision ever. Michael’s White Chocolate Irish Cream. AND it was on key special for only $11!!!

I want this to be injected into my veins!

I want this to be injected into my veins!

It was so delicious. I could drink it straight from the bottle, but it would get a little rich and tasted better poured over a couple of ice cubes. They cool it down and break up the richness and take away the alcohol flavor so that it literally tastes like you’re eating a slice of chocolate birthday cake with a scoop of Blue Bell. It’s FANTASTIC. Go buy some. SERIOUSLY. It will be the best decision of your life.

That’s it! First blog done. Ninight!