Monday, November 18, 2013

Ginger Kabocha 

I haven't posted anything in a while, but there has been a lot of buzz going around my house now that thanksgiving is right around the corner. Now a lot of these questions are more like demanding statements. They go something like,

"You're making that orange-y cranberry stuff right?"
"You mean orange cranberry sauce?"
"Yes. Make That"

'You're making those rolls, right?"
"Your use of 'those' is redundant."
"Good, make that."

"Hey, you're making that stuffing with the cranberries and walnuts in it, right?"
"You mean cranberry walnut stuffing?"
"Make it!"

But number one on my family's list is my (not really mine, but mine as far as the family is concerned) famous Ginger Kabocha.

It is amazing. Seriously. If you can't find Kobocha (What, your local grocery store doesn't carry Japanese pumpkins?! What is this, the moon?) I use butternut squash. You can also use pureed ginger if you don't think you can handle juicing one, but I recommend the juicing myself. Here it is! Heaven on earth! Happy Thanksgiving!

Kabocha Purée with Ginger

INGREDIENTS

  • One 2 to 2 1/2 pound kabocha squash, halved, seeded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 6' piece of ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (or more) heavy cream

    Preparation 

  • Preheat oven to 375 °. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Season inside of squash with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast until tender, 1–1 1/4 hours. Let cool slightly.
  • Line a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth; set over a small bowl. Pulse ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to prepared strainer. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; squeeze tightly to release ginger juice into bowl.
  • Scoop squash flesh into a food processor. Add sugar and 1 Tbsp. ginger juice. With machine running, gradually add 1 1/2 cups cream and purée until smooth, adding more cream by the spoonful if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and more ginger juice, if desired. Gently warm in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until heated through. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Gently rewarm purée in a saucepan, adding a little more cream if necessary.

    For step by step instructions visit: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kabocha-puree-with-ginger. Yum!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How To Make Freakin Amazing Pizza Crust

Hello All! So Glad I could give that inspiring speech on weight loss. Now, here is how I take my own advice and throw it in the trash.

Sage Garlic Cheesy Bread

Oh, being a good cook is a curse to your thighs and a blessing to your pallet. Thank heavens my husband ate almost all of it!

Any who! If you have ever been to one of my famed pizza parties you are probably wondering how I make the crust so amazing. Well friends, I will tell you my secret.

Jiffy Pizza Crust & Honey
Really.

Honey Pizza Crust

Preheat the oven to 425
Replace half the warm water with warm honey and add a little more flour till it's the perfect consistency.
Roll it out and stab it quite a bit with a fork
Bake for three to four minutes (This keeps your pizza from getting soggy when you add your sauce)
Take it out and top then place it back in till cheese is bubbly (About four to five minutes more)

And that's it!

Now for a truly exceptional pizza experience here are three things to try:

Mexican Pizza

Get some tomatillo sauce from Costa Vida or Cafe Rio and use that instead of tomato sauce.
Replace your traditional peperoni with pork barbacoa.
Sprinkle some pico de gallo or mango salsa over the pizza (just go for more chunky less watery)
Replace your traditional mozzarella with Queso Fresco. Yum!
Feel free to also throw some fresh cilantro or chopped green onions on there before you bake it!

Caprese Pizza

Replace your tomato sauce with extra virgin olive oil. (This is a lot of fun with a basting brush)
Slice up red and yellow cherry tomatoes and throw them on!
Add fresh basil leaves (make a pesto with the rest! If you want a recipe just comment below :P)
Top with slices of fresh mozzarella

Sage Garlic Cheese Sticks

(Be forewarned this is the most unhealthy thing ever.)

Microwave a half a stick of butter in a bowl until half to three quarters melted through.
Add one to two tablespoons garlic paste (that's basically mashed garlic).
Add one tablespoon shredded fresh sage leaves.
Salt to taste and use a basting brush to spread over pre-made crust.
Absolutely cover in shredded mozzarella.
When golden bubbly remove from oven and pepper to taste.
Serve hot!

I hope you enjoyed these recipes! If you would like more or have any questions on these just comment below! Have a great night everyone!

http://cupcakepedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Caprese-Pizza-Recipe-by-cupcakepedia.jpg

Thursday, November 7, 2013

On Losing Weight (or just change in general)

First off:

Ghost Lights-Woodkid. 
You're Welcome.

Secondly!

I have, over the last three days, been having a nice conversation with my brother. We've talked about things that have been getting us down lately and, it's funny, I will say something that has gotten me down and bam, he tells me why I shouldn't be down. He then turns around and tells me something thats getting him down and I feel this urge to tell him its all gonna be okay and figure out a way to help him see that. It's really cemented my standing on how we all need to communicate. I feel that people in general are good and kind and want to do what they can for others. When we open up to others they will naturally feel the urge to help and uplift us. So, talk. To anyone.

Anyway, one of the things we both were down about was our weight. We are both heavier individuals. Which beings me to another thing. We are both super attractive, talented, awesome people who also happen to be overweight. I feel it's important to mention this. Anyway, he was telling me his frustrations and I was telling him mine and how I had had an epiphany. Lemme tell ya'll about it.

I decided I needed to actually get serious about losing weight. I recently have undergone some treatments which have caused me to gain twenty pounds. I decided I want to lose these twenty pounds. I have been trying diet and exercise plans but gave up on them.... oh, about a month ago. Well yesterday I decided I need to get my crap together and do it. I popped in a jillian micheals twenty minute work out video, got three minutes into it and collapsed to the floor. Yep, I just about died. My muscles weren't tired per say. Sure, they were shaking like a mother when I tired to do more pushups after more weight lifting, but that wasn't why I collapsed. I was pretty sure my heart was gonna explode. I was just gonna die. My cats would find me in my sweat pants, dead of a work out dvd. I decided I didn't want to snuff out my life with that so I just stopped. While lying on the floor contemplating my failure, I realized something. This is not gonna lose me my twenty pounds. This is not going to help me. I AM going to fail at this, give up hope and eat a buttered roll to feel better.  That is when it hit me.

What am I doing?

I can't just start exercising like I have been doing it for months. I can't just start eating 1200 calories a day like its no big thing. I can't lose twenty pounds as quickly as I want to. And then it hit me again. It's not that I can't.

I don't need to.

This is what I basically told my brother. You need to start small. Like, so small it almost makes no difference. ALMOST. Instead of making your exercise goal trying to do crazy circuit training everyday, just commit to go jogging for twenty minutes a day for one whole week. Instead of trying to eat 1000 calroies a day, try to just make healthy choices. Actually take time to look at what you're eating and decide if this is good for you or not. Just for one week. Then, after a week, try jogging for 25-30 minutes. Maybe try keeping a food journal. Then the week after that, maybe do some crunches and run for a half hour. Maybe try counting you calories. Then, after a month of this, try actually restricting your calroies and doing a half hour of cardio and a half hour of strength training. Is this going to get you results fast? No. Are you gonna get back into those jeans you wore in high school? No. What this IS going to do for you is help you not quit. Help you actually say, hey, I did this and I CAN do more. This brings me to my favorite quote. I actually had it hanging in my office for awhile:

"A year from now, you will wish you had started today."

That blows my mind. I feel like that all the time. You see, the key to weight loss isn't the diet you're on or the crazy workouts you do, its actually sticking to something for a long period of time. This is just my epiphany of the day, and hey it may just be from a dizzy, sweaty, blurry, and oxygen-deprived moment of my life, but I think it's the truth. This is at least my own advice and I am gonna try to stick to it. We'll see how I do. I just wanted to put out there that if you really want to suceed at something, you have to start small.

And the very last thing I want to share:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Dq982XZG2Mo/UhNzIqdnlmI/AAAAAAAAA3o/89BKLPK8yeQ/s320/it+takes+4+weeks.jpg

Don't give up.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hello!

Hello everyone!

I decided to start a blog! Feel free to follow :)

Well, how about a reason to follow?

I would like to share the greatest roasted chicken recipe I have ever experienced. It's from my all time favorite cooking magazine Bon Appetit.

Here are some tips!

Tip One! Always, ALWAYS, remember to read the recipie in its entirety before you make it!

Tip Two!  It usually hard to find Mustard greens ( I did find them at Harmons once) so I like to go half and half with kale and spinach. Or even just kale.

Tip Three! I  like to saute the shallots and kale for a bit. They won't be wilted enough from the heat of the veggies and chicken alone. I would say saute the shallots on medium heat for one to two minutes then add chopped kale and continue to saute till mostly wilted, but not entirely wilted, another three to five minutes. If using spinach add that in for the last one to two minutes of sauteing.

Now this is more of an aside than an actual tip but I strongly recommend not omitting the white wine, it's divine! If you are concerned with your alcohol intake, don't worry it all cooks out! I had this marvelous white wine I used but I lost the bottle in a moving debacle so I'll have to tell you what it was later. In the meantime just ask your local liquor store what they recommend.
Alright, I hope you enjoy it!





Special Sunday Roast Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 12-ounce unpeeled russet potato, well scrubbed, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 12-ounce yam (red-skinned sweet potato), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 4-pound organic chicken
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 8 cups coarsely torn red or green mustard greens
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup water

    PREPARATION

    • Toss first 5 ingredients in large roasting pan. Mix butter, sage, and garlic in small bowl. Place chicken in center of vegetables. Using fingertips, loosen skin from breast. Spread 1 tablespoon sage butter under skin. Rub 1 tablespoon sage butter over entire chicken. Dot vegetables with remaining sage butter. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over vegetables and chicken. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
    • Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast chicken and vegetables 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F; continue roasting until instant-read thermometer inserted into chicken thigh registers 165°F and vegetables are tender, stirring vegetables once, about 1 hour.
    • Place greens and shallot on large deep platter. Spoon 3 tablespoons fat from juices in pan and drizzle over greens; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Using slotted spoon, transfer roasted vegetables to platter, placing atop greens. Tilt chicken, allowing juices to flow from cavity into pan. Transfer chicken to work surface. Cut into serving pieces and arrange with vegetables atop greens.
    • Add wine and 1/4 cup water to roasting pan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to small pitcher. Serve chicken, passing pan juices alongside. 
      Enjoy!
      Love,
      The Jane of All Trades!
      P.S. If you haven't become familiarized with Bon Appetit then get ready! I just have to say, if you have an ipad, get the app! It's to die for! He is the original link for this recipe: