Gourmet Ramen

nights-in:

Card catalogs

Now I feel obligated to find an old card catalog for my place. 

(via england-bound)

Roasted Savory Candied Almonds

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Quick and healthy (ehem… healthier than the usual) snacks are always welcome in my arsenal of easy recipes to whip out on a Cooking Day (a day when I make meals and food for the week). So when I found a recipe for candied almonds, I knew this one would lend itself perfectly! 

2 cups of raw almonds found themselves in a mixing bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup, a handful of sugar (you be the judge!), the juice from half of a navel orange, ground cinnamon, rosemary, and chili powder to taste. I know, a strange combination. Trust me, it works. 

Mix all of this together and put it on a GREASED baking sheet. Do not use parchment paper, it will stick and you’ll have almond brittle, not individual almonds. Just go butter happy on the pan. Into a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take them out, stir, make sure they’re not sticking, and back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes. 

When you take them out of the oven, stir them on the pan until the candy coating hardens. Otherwise, they’ll stick together. They can be eaten warm and are delicious eaten as such or they can be stored in baggies for future snacking purposes. These would be great warm at a bonfire or fall party, for sure! 

The combination of sweet and spicy means they can satisfy any craving. Neither taste overpowers the other unless your amount of spices forces it to. And they’re crunchy! So that potato chip craving you have can be kicked in the rear end with them, too. 

Happy snacking! 

Dannie

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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Being a person who is inherently busy and always in need to a quick breakfast I can have on the go, I saw this recipe on the side of a box for Pumpkin Bread and knew it would quickly become next week’s breakfast. Now, I usually don’t make from a box so this was a peculiar and awkward experience for me but I toughed it out to delicious results. 

Oven at 350, muffin tin either sprayed with cooking spray or outfitted with muffin paper, the first task with the food is to make the cream cheese filling. an 8 ox package, 1 egg, and orange zest went into a mixer on medium speed until smooth, around 2 minutes of solid mixing. 

While that happened, 3 tablespoons of butter melted in the microwave and met 3/4c of the pumpkin break mix. In retrospect, I would have done 2 tbs and only half a cup of the mix. But this still worked. 

Mix the rest of the bread mix in a bowl with 3/4 c milk, 2 tbsp applesauce (used in place of oil), and one egg. Just mix until combined. You don’t want tough muffins! 

Fill each muffin cup around half way with the batter. If you get 12 muffins out of this, you get an award for stretching your batter. I got 11. On top of that, a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese. On top of the cream cheese, put the crumbly delicious crumble you made. Into that oven for 20-23 minutes. 

I cannot wait for morning now so I can take one of these and eat it on the way to work. They smell amazing and, upon nibbling the test muffin, taste so delicious. I would probably find a way to make these from scratch next time instead of using a box but for a first run, the boxed stuff worked just as well. I declare these a success. 

Happy Eating!

Dannie

Warm Apple Topping

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I realize when I made those Pumpkin Waffles, I never told you about the delicious topping featured in that photo. I left you all to drool at them without a clue in the world how to make them, floundering sadly, your sweet tooth screaming in protest that it did not have warm apples on top of the waffles. 

Fear not! I come to correct my mistake. You will need: 1 apple chopped, 1/4 c sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lots of butter. 

Heat a pan to medium heat with enough butter inside to coat the pan. Add the apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook for 3 minutes, until the apples are starting to soften and maybe take on a touch of color. Add in the sugar and more butter and mix that all together. Leave it to cook for another 3 or so minutes until the sugar and butter have combined into a delicious syrup speckled with your spices and just heavenly. 

Essentially, you’re just taking the filling out of the apple pie and putting it into a pan. Use this on top of waffles, pancakes, or anything! They taste good on their own (if you’re feeling extra indulgent) or even tasty on top of some ice cream. However you make them, they will be delicious. Tell us what you would top with these apples in our Ask Box! 

Happy Eating!

-Dannie

Sausage-Stuffed Baked Apples

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If Fall could create its own dish to serve to everyone forever, this would be it. A result of some improvisational cooking and a desire to cook with apples in a savory way, this simple lunch turned out splendidly. 

First, preheat your oven to 375. Take a breakfast sausage patty. One of the big ones, not a tiny one. This one was probably 4 inches across? Think breakfast sandwich sized. Anyway, cook that up according to the package and then, when cooked, remove from heat, let it cool, and crumble it. To the crumble add a few tablespoons of oats, some ground cinnamon, and a little nutmeg. Finally, add 1 egg white, which will act as a binder, and mix it all together. 

Now take your apples. You have enough filling for two. Cut the core out and use a spoon to dig a cavity both there the core used to be and slightly around. Enough room to stuff the apple with half of your filling. Now, fill the cavity. Really pack the filling in there as it will shrink when it cooks. On top, put a small sprinkle of some more oats, for added crunch after they toast up in the oven. Into the hot box for 25 minutes or so.. Dig in with a fork and enjoy! 

This is great for those chilly fall days when you want something simple, hearty, warming, and just a touch refreshing. This definitely won’t weigh you down but it will keep you full until dinner. For an added level of delicious, go to an apple orchard and pick your own apples to stuff! 

Happy eating!

Dannie

French Onion Soup

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With fall right around the corner, it is fast becoming time to make tons of different soups, as I’m sure you have noticed with the last few posts. French onion is pretty classic and, with the onions looking pretty magnificent at my farmers market, I couldn’t resist making this great recipe. 

The cook book has since disappeared from my kitchen and, naturally, i cannot remember for the life of me exactly how I made it. Thus, this recipe may not be entirely accurate. Six sweet onions get halved and sliced thin into a pot with 3 tablespoons salted butter and cooked for 40 minutes. Ass 1/4 c sugar and cook until golden. The recipe here called for 6 cups of beef broth. I used 4 beef and 2 chicken. Put half of the broth into the onions and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the broth plus two tablespoons of red wine. I used a Merlot. You know the rule: Don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink. Let that heat through for a few minutes and viola, soup! 

For the crouton on top, I took a slice of freshly baked beer bread and two slices of Swiss cheese. Put that under a broiler set to low for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown. Enjoy! 

Happy Eating!

-Dannie

Steam-Fried Eggs

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Inspired by Erin’s Scrambled Egg post, I decided to share with you guys how I like to do breakfast. 

I will start off by stating I’m not a huge fan of scrambled eggs. I’ll eat them if I’m forced to but I won’t go out of my way to make them. I prefer fried eggs. I heat a pan to medium heat and melt in some butter. Crack the egg into the butter and let it go. I’ll sprinkle on some onion powder and oregano or some garlic powder. If I use any salt, it’s a very tiny amount. 

Here’s where the steam comes in. Grab a plate which is either the same size or larger than your frying pan and approximately 1/8 of a cup of water. Pour the water into the pan around the egg and quickly place the plate on top of the pan. This will allow the egg to steam gently and cook a little quicker without getting rubbery and nasty. 

After 2-3 minutes, take a peek under the plate to see how it’s looking, if it’s as done as you like it. Be careful removing the plate, it will be hot. Give the egg a quick and careful flip, let it cook on the other side for no more than 30 seconds and plate it up. This is extra delicious served with a piece of toasted beer bread and a hot mug of tea. 

Happy eating!

-Dannie

Pumpkin Waffles

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Apparently everything I am cooking lately is fall related to some extent. And somehow, I don’t care in the slightest. It all tastes so good and matches the weather and the colors outside and just makes me feel all warm and cozy in the best way possible. I love fall. 

The recipe is fairly straight forward. Click here to view it. I would strongly recommend reducing the cook time in that recipe, however, to 6 minutes. My waffles came out a little crispier than they should have but I’m okay with that for the time being. 

The waffles turned out incredibly fluffy and so delicious. I even had enough batter left to put some in a jar for use later. And may I just say how fantastic homemade waffles are cut into uarters and eaten on the drive to work in the morning? If I could do that every single day for the rest of forever, I would. 

Happy eating! 

Dannie

Oven Hot Dogs

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Happy Football Season, lovely followers! This fantastic dish works perfectly for your football parties or even for a vastly unhealthy but oh-so-delicious dinner to break up the work week. These hot dogs have everything you want and nothing you don’t. And the recipe is so flexible, you can alter it just about any way you want! Click here to view the blog where I originally found the idea. 

You will need: 

  • an entire package of hot dogs (8) 
  • an entire package of buns (8) 
  • greek yoghurt (in place of mayo)
  • sweet or dill relish
  • yellow mustard (or any other you prefer)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can sloppy joe sauce
  • your favorite shredded melty cheese
  • frying pan for the ground beef
  • 9x13” pan
  • foil
  • oven set to 350

Before you can assemble the hot dogs, you’ll need to prep the Sloppy Joe’s. Brown the ground beef in a pan, add the sauce, etc. BTo add some additional flavor to the meat, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. It really makes a difference for me, especially when I use the left over meat for lunch the next day! 

So your meat is done. Now it’s time to assemble hot dogs. First, spread the greek yoghurt to both sides of the inside of each hot dog bun. Repeat with mustard and relish.

A NOTE ABOUT THE RELISH: If you’re using sweet, use caution. It can overpower the dish. 

Add hot dogs to the buns and squish them into the pan. You’re going to have to really pack them in. I promise, 8 will fit. It will, however, require some effort. Top with Sloppy Joe’s and cheese. Cover the pan with foil and send those puppies into the oven for 45 minutes. 

A warning: These hot dogs are dangerously delicious as well as dangerously messy. Serve on proper plates with forks and knives and make lots of them! 

Happy Eating!

-Dannie

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

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Any recipe that begins with “fry a pound of bacon until crisp” must be awesome. That being said, this recipe is exactly that. Awesome. Seriously. 

Once again, using the magnificent resource that is Pintrest, I found this gem in an article about a restaurant at Disneyland closing. Click here for the blog post as well as the recipe. 

So anyway. This soup took a bit of time in the area of prep work with chopping all of the vegetables but it was worth it in the end. The final result tasted even better than the suual canned stuff I tend to gravitate towards. And it was much healthier since I could control the amount of salt that went into the dish. 

Within the soup itself, potatoes and bacon are the main flavors. But the add-ins you can put on top are endless! The photo above features bacon bits, chives, and sour cream. I would also strongly recommend adding some cheese. And Goldfish. I love this with Goldfish! And everyone else who tried it loved it. 

Definitely a great one for those chilly days that are going to arrive soon enough. 

Happy Eating!

-Dannie

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Chips

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Fall is truly a magnificent season. Chilly days, warm drinks, and the food. Oh the food. Among some of my favorite foods of fall are various root vegetables. Among them, parsnips and sweet potatoes. 

For these delicious chips, I took a vegetable peeler to slice these veggies thin without having a mandolin to properly cut them. Into some heated oil, i fried them until they looked done. I know that isn’t helpful at all but, honestly, it’s the best I can say. If the edges of the veggies start to darken beyond a golden brown, take them out of the oil. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper for a delicious snack that’s at least a little bit healthier than regular potato chips. 

This crispy snack medley went almost immediately in my house. I almost didn’t have time to take a picture! Definitely going to be making these again as fall continues. 

Happy Eating! 

-Dannie

Refrigerator Oatmeal

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Ah, Pintrest. You spark my cooking creativity and make me want to try so many new things. What’s a girl to do? Try as many of them as possible, of course! This has definitely become one of my all time favorites. Refrigerator Oatmeal, also referred to as Summer Porridge, is a great way to get your busy day off to a great start and have it taste good, too! Gone are the days of nasty energy bars that you’ve convinced yourself taste good. This stuff is actually delicious and super good for you! Here is a link to the blog Pintrest led me to.

When I made it the first time, I didn’t have any adorable mason jars to put the breakfast into. So I used a Tupperware with a lid that didn’t match up with the container. Oops. I eventually caved and got the jars. They’re dead useful for other stuff, too. 

Anyway. So 1/4 c whole grain rolled oats. Not steel cut, not instant, not oatmeal. Oats. 1/4 c of that with 1/3c skim milk, 1/4 c plain greek yogurt (if you like really sweet stuff, swap that for Vanilla), a tablespoon of honey or some other kind of sweetener. That’s the base for all of these delicious guys. If you’re doing something with cocoa, now is the time to add a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Working with Peanutbutter? Add a tablespoon of that now. Put the lid on your container and shake! Have a dance around the kitchen, get out some pent up anger, go crazy! The oats tend to get caught in the honey so you really need to go to town to make sure it all gets incorporated. It gets even stickier when peanut butter joins the party. 

Open your container back up and add your fruit. This can be a diced half of a banana, a bunch of diced mango, some berries, cherries, or just about anything else you can come up with. The possibilites are endless and not just limited to the flavors in the recipe! Put the fruit in, stir/shake it up again, close the container, and put it in the fridge.

My favorite part comes next. 

Go to sleep, wake up, remove container from the fridge, enjoy a delicious breakfast of refrigerator oatmeal. This stuff is delicious. In the photo above, I made chocolate banana raspberry. I felt like I was having dessert for breakfast! Since then, I have also made: plain chocolate and banana, peanut butter and banana, chocolate mango almond, cherry vanilla, and mango cinnamon. They are all absolutely delicious! I love each and every one. 

Mornings are so much easier now. All I do is take it out of the fridge and eat! More time to do… well, whatever I feel! 

As you will notice in the post on that blog, the recipe calls for chia seeds. They’re apparently these little seeds packed with a serious nutritional punch. That’s all fine and dandy but they’re expensive. Try again next time. 

Happy Eating! 

-Dannie

Beer Bread

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To go along with the pasta sauce, onion soup, and cookies, I threw in a loaf of some homemade beer bread for my friends to enjoy. Because what’s better when packing a lunch to go than some homemade bread to compliment your ham and cheese? 

For those of you who have discovered Pintrest, you know of its magnificent recipe ideas, how you can be scrolling happily and then out of nowhere, an excellent recipe is in your face and you just have to try it. That’s how I found this recipe and it’s so incredibly easy! (For those interested, I am danniemoore on Pintrest) 

Here is the link to the recipe but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. 3 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 twelve oz can or bottle of beer (more on that later) and 1 tablespoon melted butter for brushing. 

Before we get to how to make the bread, let’s talk beer a little bit. Now, my entire beer education happened in England. As a direct result, cheap American beers just don’t fit my tastes. They’re… kinda nasty (unpopular opinion. Forgive me). Blue Moon is my preference. I also follow the same rules cooking with beer as one should cooking with wine. Don’t cook with what you wouldn’t drink. Thus, I used Blue Moon in my bread. Use whichever beer you’d like but don’t say I didn’t warn you if you don’t like your bread. 

So anyway! Preheat the oven to 375, grease and flour a 9x5 bread pan, and go. All of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix them up a bit with your hands to get everything evenly distributed throughout. Pour the beer on top of the dry ingredients and get your hands a little dirty. This can be achieved with only one hand if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like touching your food as you make it. Brush the melted butter on top. The recipe says this is optional. I’m going to tell you it isn’t. You’re making beer bread for goodness sake. There’s nothing low cal about this. The butter won’t kill you. And it tastes good. 

Into the oven for around 40 minutes. The time will be different based on your beer. Check it every so often. When a toothpick comes out clean, it’d done. Serve warm or room temp alongside soups, stews, or basically anything. It’s so delicious, you won’t know what to do with yourself! 

Happy Eating!

-Dannie

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Everybody and their grandma seems to have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that they default to, that they remember from their childhood, or that they crave. While this may not be my own recipe, these cookies are still magnificent and are now requested of me by a number of people. 

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Food Network. the only thing I do differently than the recipe is I let the dough hang out in the fridge for a few days. It lets everything meld together and created a different cookie texture than letting it sit for an hour. I’m a crispy cookie fan but I still like my cookies a touch cakey. This makes them more crispy than cakey and extra delicious. 

Happy eating!

-Dannie

Mrs. Weasley’s Creamy Onion Soup

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So I’m the “mom friend” meaning that when I go places or if I haven’t seen you for a long time or, frankly, if you are in my immediate area when I am cooking, I am going to bring you some delicious food. Visiting a few friends from college, I’ve been preparing some care packages for them consisting of a container of that tomato sauce, some cookies (in the next post!) beer bread (the post after that!) and some of this. Creamy Onion Soup. 

This stuff is so popular in my home that I had to make it in secret to bring it to them. Otherwise it would have gotten eaten before they had a chance to enjoy it! As soon as the weather turns chilly, or even pretends that it’s going to turn chilly, I start getting requests for this soup. It’s that good. 

The recipe comes from that Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook I keep mentioning. For those who are kepeing track, this recipe comes from Halfblood Prince when Harry shows up at the Weasley household around 4 in the morning and Mrs. Weasley starts feeding him immediately. I think I take after her in my feeding people. 

1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) butter

2 large onions (i use sweet) cut lengthwise 1/8 inch thick

4 cups chicken broth 

salt & pepper & garlic powder

2 cups milk divided (the recipe says whole. i use skim and it comes out magnificent every time)

1/3 cup flour

Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed relatively large pot on low heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown. The recipe says 30 minutes. I usually let them go for closer to an hour. They get so pretty and yummy. To the cooking onions, i add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This is all to taste and will depend on the saltiness of the butter as well as the sodium content in your chicken broth. Proceed with caution on salt. 

Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let it hang out there for… oh, around 25 minutes. 

Combine 1/3c of the milk with the flour in a cup, bowl, what have you, and mix until all of the lumps are out. I promise, we’re not doing paper mache. Whisking constantly, pour the mixture into the soup SLOWLY and cook until thickened. Finally, add the rest of the milk and heat through. Do not boil. Viola, delicious soup! Serve with warm homemade bread or just about anything else. This will really warm you up on a cold day or take you to your favorite fall spot if it’s the middle of summer. Such a crowd pleaser! You could even make this vegetarian by using veggie broth instead of chicken. 

Happy Eating!

-Dannie

Source: Bucholz, Dinah. The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory—more than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-wizards Alike. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2010. Print.