September 24, 2009

What to do with this blog?

Posted in Rambling at 12:54 pm by jenniec00ks

So, I haven’t posted in a long time because I haven’t cooked much in a long time.  Grad school is less time consuming than crazy hard classes @ UT ECE / last semester of undergrad, but too difficult to handle by myself.  The last time I had this much schoolwork to do, I had a *fabulous* roommate who did the dishes and (sort of) cooked with me and apparently that made things manageable.

FYI to any UT ECE, I don’t recommend 360N, 360R, 379K, and 440 in one semester.  440 is only time consuming if someone in your session sucks up the spin-dry.  You know who you are.

So I think this blog is going to have to migrate to a  ‘weekly food survival’ blog.  First up, I haven’t been to the grocery store in a while (couple weeks) but was quite hungry last night around midnight.  I had some delicious egg noodles I had bought in bulk and decided to resort to mom’s chow mein method.

I chopped up 3 cloves of garlic, half a vidialia onion, and some asparagus bottoms that needed to be used up.  Tossed them in a pan with canola oil on high heat and added some preshredded carrots I had lying around.  I found some canned corn in my pantry and thew that in with the softened noodles (2-3 minutes in boiling water), since they both needed only a little time in the hot pan.  Seasonings were simple, a dark mushroom soy sauce and salt.  Pulled that out the pan and looked in the freezer.  I had some extra seafood blend from that spicy seafood soup I made, so I stir fried about 1/3 of the bag and topped the noodles off.  Voila, I had my next 3.5 meals!

More grad school (cheap and efficient) survival posts to come!


July 27, 2009

Ugh – so many recipes, so little time

Posted in Rambling at 11:40 pm by jenniec00ks

I’m cooking but not blogging, I’m so sorry. I will hop to it, just FYI, here’s what I’ve got backlogged…again.

Spring Veggies in Mascarpone cheese
Roasted Red Pepper pasta sauce
Spinach mushroom alfredo lasagna
Oatmeal raisin cookies
Red velvet cupcakes
Arugala salad on endive
Macaroni and beef bake

May 14, 2009

Backlogged… -_-

Posted in Rambling at 11:13 pm by jenniec00ks

I’ve been busy cooking lately, so I haven’t seemed to blog much this week.  =(  I was in a hurry (again) tonight so I made the Red Onion Pasta again, but left out the feta cheese since I didn’t have it.  Although, I did saute some shrimp with ground sage (for 1 min each side) on high heat in some EVOO, turned off the heat, and added a couple tablespoons of lemon juice to deglaze the pan.  Then I just poured it over the soft onions and pasta, and it was fantastic.  This just goes to show you can swap out the meat/herbs in this dish to what you like or have on hand.  I imagine parsley and basil would also be delish.  Try it out and let me know!

I’ve got a guacamole recipe (Ellie Krieger’s), chicken corn chowder, and tofu/broccoli saute with rice to post…so those are coming soon.  What should I blog first?

May 7, 2009

Vegetarian? No problem.

Posted in Rambling tagged at 8:39 pm by jenniec00ks

I just wanted to remind y’all that most of my recipes you can turn vegetarian, and I try to address that in each recipe.  If I forget, please holler in the comments!  Also, I started using “tags” I assume so that you guys can search for recipes/posts easier.  So I’ll start tagging anything that is or *can* be vegetarian as such.

And before I forget again, you can leave the shrimp out of last night’s Shrimp and Feta Penne and I assure you it will still be fantastic.  A extra infusion of flavor for those who don’t eat meat would be thickly sliced cremini mushrooms (even quartered would be okay!), added in just after the garlic has sizzled a bit.  I’d cook them for just a minute or two to brown them, and then add the wine and continue the recipe as usual.  You can go for chunky pieces because when they simmer in the wine and tomatoes, they’ll soften up.

Tonight I had enough leftovers so I didn’t need to cook, but I did need to use up the milk in the fridge so a receipe involving 2 cups of milk is coming up soon! 🙂

April 21, 2009

Receipe recommendation: Using up that Ricotta

Posted in Pasta: stovetop, Rambling tagged , , at 9:05 pm by jenniec00ks



So the first dish only used about 1/2 to 3/4 of the typical 15oz. tub of ricotta cheese.  You could make a super-mini lasagna or Giada’s whole-wheat linguine with green beans, ricotta, and lemon.  I guess her lengthy title just about sums up that dish.  It’s fast, healthy, and you can’t taste the whole-wheat in the pasta.  I’ve made twice but didn’t quite capture it on camera – so I’ll do it in photos some other time.  I just couldn’t let that bit of ricotta left in your fridge spoil.

PS, this recipe is also in her latest cookbook, Giada’s Kitchen, in case the link above stops working.

April 6, 2009 whoami

Posted in Rambling at 11:47 pm by jenniec00ks

The point of this blog is to share recipes that I’ve tried at home.  I’ll post the recipe, where I got it from, any modifications I made of it, pictures I take while I’m cooking it, how it came out, and what I’ll (or hopefully, you’ll) do differently.  As an engineer, I try to do things efficiently, including in the kitchen. For instance, it’s far easier to feed a crowd with lasagna than with meatballs, but they can be equally tasty. I try to explore how to cook for multiple meals (what will taste good reheated?) and if you’re cooking for only 1 or 2, how to make sure you don’t end the week with a half container of ricotta and 2/3 of a bell pepper.

I want to inspire others to try cooking when they’re feeling stretched for cash, or when they’ve got a craving that restaurants just can’t satisfy.  I’m looking for new recipes to try and improvements to be made on current ones.  I hate doing dishes (who doesn’t?), so the recipe has to be absolutely delectable if it uses a lot of pots and pans (or I’ve recruited someone to do the dishes for me).

My current repetiore is made up of mostly Italian, American, and my Mama’s cooking.  My mama cooks some resemblance American food twisted with Chinese and Guyanese influences (read about Guyana some other time).  I’ve been interested in French food as of late, but haven’t gotten around to trying anything yet.  And being from Texas I’ve tried a little Tex-Mex as well; so long as it’s flavorful and not too spicy or expensive, I’m game.

Like my first programming assignment 8 years ago, hello world!

Posted in Rambling at 11:11 pm by jenniec00ks

A few years ago, I lived in a kitchen-less dorm called Jester West which had an all-you-can-eat cafeteria affectionately called J2.  While I survived 6 long semesters of this “food,” it struck me during the summer months in 2006 that perhaps I should take advantage of my temporary summer apartment and learn to cook!  I considered myself a rather picky eater then; I was not quite accustomed to the taste of onion and garlic, unexposed to many wonderful vegetables, and truly could not stand black pepper or anything remotely spicy.

So I turned on the Food Network that summer, and have not turned it off since.  I’ve learned to love garlic as much as Rachael, put together pastas as effortlessly as Giada, and appreciate fresh ingredients as much as Emeril – you’ll see influences of those 3 the most in my cooking.  While investigating my culinary talent, I also completed my bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering; therefore leaving me little time and money to cook.  Aside from an occasional weekend venture, most of my food can be made quickly, easily, and on a college student’s budget.  Also, I’ve found few recipes proportioned for 2 servings, so I often wound up with half a bell pepper or 2/3 a can of chicken broth leftover.  Engineers are just not ones for inefficiency, at least this one isn’t, so I’ve tried to group recipes in such a way that uses up all the ingredients in a traditional grocery store packaging.

So to begin, here’s a few yummy dishes that’ve remembered to photograph:

Mashed potato stuffed chicken breasts

Mashed potato stuffed chicken breasts

Saffron orzo with shrimp

Saffron orzo with shrimp

Veggie flat noodle

Veggie flat noodle