Category Archives: food

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Yes, I made a casserole. In fact, I was craving a casserole. Go figure. Anyway, finding a recipe that does not have condensed cream of mushroom soup is the key. I searched the interwebs and here is my recipe based on one that I found. It is surprisingly tasty, and I am really looking forward to the leftovers!

Tuna Noodle Casserole

  1. Boil 8 oz. of fusilli pasta and drain.
  2. Saute in 3 T. of butter 1/2 an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and two stalks of celery till tender. Add salt and pepper.
  3. To the veggies, add 3 T. of flour and cook for a few minutes. Add two cups of whole milk and cook until thick.
  4. To the sauce, add the pasta, 1 cup thawed peas, and 1 can drained tuna. Pour into a greased baking dish.
  5. On top of the casserole, sprinkle about 1/2 cup jack cheese, 3 T. panko mixed with 2 T. melted butter, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for a half hour, and finish by browning under the broiler for a few minutes.
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Lazy girl’s chicken

Since I am eating a little bit of meat these days (although mostly fish), I picked up a chicken at Trader Joe’s, and I am cooking it up on this quiet Sunday evening.

People are always impressed when I pull out the homemade stock, but really, it is just a bonus when I make chicken. I like cooking it this way because it is easy and hard to screw up, and then I have chicken broth to freeze and use later for soups, and shredding chicken to use for salads/lunches/whatever throughout the week. If you don’t care about fancy presentation or the skin, this is the way to go. Oh, and it makes the house smell sooo good!

I learned how to do this from Michael Chiarello back when he was on PBS, before he moved to Food Network. I really loved his old show because it was really about easy techniques and not specific recipes. It was a nice balance to America’s Test Kitchen.

Lazy girl’s chicken

In a big dutch oven, add and cover with water:

* 1 whole chicken, rinsed
* a few carrots, chopped coarsely
* a few celery stalks, chopped coarsely
* an onion or two, chopped coarsely
* a few bay leaves
* some salt

Simmer for about an hour. Turn off heat and let chicken sit in the broth for about another hour (keeps the meat from being dry).

For the meat: Remove chicken, cool, and shred meat.

For the broth: Strain the broth and put it in a big bowl in the fridge. The next day or whenever you get a chance, scoop off the hardened fat and the broth is ready to go. I usually freeze some of all of it.

I cook the most random things…

…like what I made tonight. I went to the store twice to buy things (including the missing 9×13 pan) that I forgot for the Blondies I promised to bring to the guys at work tomorrow. Then I realized that I needed something to eat other than the yam I microwaved when I got home from the gym. So this is what I came up with, given the random stuff I had in my fridge:

Tofu and cauliflower with curry peanut sauce

  • 3 oz. high-protein firm tofu (from TJ’s. love it!)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerettes
  • 1 t. oil
  • 1 t. fish sauce
  • 1/2 t. green curry paste
  • 2 T chunky peanut butter
  • 1 T soy milk
  1. Slice tofu int 1/4″ slices, sprinkle with salt, and brown on both sides in non-stick pan with oil over medium high heat. Drain tofu on paper towels.
  2. Add cauliflower to empty pan and brown slightly. Add fish sauce and a few tablespoons of water, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender.
  3. Mix together soy milk, curry, and peanut butter (microwave to soften PB if necessary). Return tofu to pan with caulifolower and add curry sauce. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary, cover, and cook for a few minutes. Serves 1.

It’s pretty good, I must say. I am munching on it as I type. At first, I wasn’t sure, but it is growing on me, and tastes even better as it cools a bit.

It is much better than the creation from last night that started ok: tofu and farmer’s market veggies (onion, sweet red peppers, and summer squash). I added honey based on a recipe, and then it went downhill when I added lime juice, paprika, red chili powder, and finally way too much tumeric. They can’t all be winners.

(I just checked the blondies, by the way, and they are way overcooked after only 40 minutes! I am so upset. I think it must be the fancy New Zealand butter that I bought at Milk Pail.)

New stuff

Been a busy (biz-AY) week (isn’t that everyone’s excuse?), so haven’t been posting as much this week. I am trying to get back to a normal routine again, especially with going to the gym, now that I am officially over my cold.

Highlight of the week, so far, was cooking Indian food for the first time. It wasn’t as good as a restaurant, but the cooking adventure was quite fun.

Lots going on this next week that I hope to write about soon. One item on the to-do list: make a pumpkin pie for “practice Thanksgiving” on Sunday. Mmm….pie….

New blog: Food Fight!

Just wanted to let you know that I have started a new blog here on WordPress.com: Food Fight!

Check out my post about what is Food Fight, and today’s post about fiber, and let me know what you think.

I am off on vacation for about a week, so things will be pretty quite around here for a while. I’d say to keep an eye on Flickr for vacation pics, but my camera isn’t doing so well. I found out that I have to send it into Sony to get it fixed for $181! I haven’t decided if I am going to spend the money to do that yet, but no matter what, I won’t be taking pictures this week.

Recipe: my awesome spicy chunky guacamole

This guacamole is a guaranteed hit at any party, drinking event, dinner, or picnic. This recipe is roughly based on one I saw on America’s Test Kitchen, which is a great cooking show brought to you on PBS by the good folks at Cook’s Illustrated magazine. So once again I am going to give them a plug and say that I highly recommend getting a subscription to the bimonthly magazine. It is fabulous. Everything that I have made from the magazine has turned out wonderfully, and I am always entertained by the article format and sciency explanations that accompany the recipes.

Awesome spicy chunky guacamole

This guacamole is nice and spicy, but still creamy and delicious. Cut back on the jalapenos if you don’t want it as spicy, but trust me, you don’t want to do that. Proportions are approximate and can be adjusted. Don’t worry about measuring things too much because it is hard to screw up.

Avacado yumminess

4 ripe avocados, diced
1/3 c. red onion, minced
juice from one lime
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed and minced
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
salt

Cut the onions first and put them in a bowl with the lime juice to mellow out the onions while you chop up everything else. Mix everything together and add salt to taste. Don’t worry about mashing up the avocado too much. If they are ripe, they’ll get mushy on their own, and besides, this is supposed to be chunky guacamole.

Note: You can also use this recipe to make super-fresh-tasting salsa. Just replace the avocados with drained canned diced tomatoes. I like to make both for a party. I just chop up twice as much as everything, and then mix half of the ingredients into the avocado and the other half in the tomatoes. People, even foodies, have a hard time believing that the salsa is made with canned tomotoes.

All my favs

Just LazizGood food, good alcohol, and good people: another great weekend. Sad news is that my camera broke Saturday night, so I only have pictures from the first half of the weekend. I really really really hope I can get it fixed. You know how sad I am without my camera.

Friday night, I tried Lebanese food for the first time in the Burbank area of San Jose. Pretty good stuff, but I won’t be rushing back. Maybe if I was eating meat I’d be into it more. It hasn’t replaced Ethiopian as my latest ethnic food obession. But I am really liking West San Carlos Street more and more. I wrote more about it on metblogs.

I picked Mandy up from the airport that night, and dude, that place is a nightmare. I am dreading my flight in a few days. It also isn’t a good sign that two friends both had their luggage lost on the same day on different flights.

I like the red oneSaturday night was Gabe’s Tequilaugust, which I had been hearing about ever since Keith’s Scotchoberfest last year. Ginuary was pretty fun, but I have to admit that Tequilaugust was even better (and yes, even better than my own Tequila de Mayo). The amount of tequila was overwhelming. I must have tried at least 20 different ones. Good good times.

Then my camera broke. I have been taking pictures, often while drinking, with my adorable Sony T7 for well over a year without incident. Then Saturday night, I dropped it on the hard kitchen floor. But it was fine! …until I dropped it the second time. Now it seems to take pictures and the screen turns on, but the screen is blank. I am hoping that it is just a lose connection that can be easily fixed.

I would have taken pictures all day today. I went up to the city (it had been 9 whole days since I’d been there!) and met up with Normen and Tom to bake croissants (aka hoernchens aka hoernleins) for Dave’s birthday. Normen has claimed for some time to be an expert croissant-maker, and since I have a slight croissant obession, I had been wanting to see how to make homemade ones. Oh, I love Tom’s house. He has the most amazing view of the city. It was a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. So, since the recipe was in German and Normen was the expert, I pretty must just watched him make the croissants. My contribution was mostly helping with the metric conversions in the recipe. They turned out more like flakey biscuits than traditional French croissants, but Normen claimed that’s how they are in Germany.

With our bag of fresh hoernchens for Dave, we headed to the Mission Bernal Heights to Zante for Indian pizza. Indian pizza is sort of interesting. It has regular crust and cheese, but instead of regular sauce and toppings, it has Indian sauces and vegetables. I don’t know if I like it as much as traditional Indian food, but it was fun to try. Oh! more pizza: earlier in the afternoon, we took a break from baking and got pizza at Escape from New York in the Haight (way better than Pizza My Heart, but same idea). My slice with pesto, potatoes, and roasted garlic was greasy but oh, so good. Not that I feel hung over today, but the greasy food hit the spot.

So after dinner we walked to Mitchell’s for ice cream. The wait was insane (this place is famous in the SF ice cream scene), but it was a nice night, so we didn’t mind waiting. My ice cream was full of tropical fruits and beans. It was good, but it didn’t have a very distictive flavor, which was surprising. Also disappointing was that the toppings are just Smuckers like you get at the grocery store, so nothing special. I am really wanting to try the Indian ice cream place now–and all of the yummy-smelling Central American restaurants that we passed on Mission.

Full of pizza and ice cream, Normen and I decided to walk back to his apartment (almost three miles away) instead of taking MUNI. Walking in the city is the best, especially at night. We walked through the quite neighborhoods along Church, looking in to the little restaurants, closed stores, and people’s windows. Once again, I find that the best conversations happen during long walks.

I love San Francisco more and more every time that I am there. With each restaurant that I try, pretty house that I see, and new neighborhood that I discover, I fall in love more. I am thinking more seriously about finding a way to move up there, even with my school plans. Tonight I so wanted to be able to walk back to an apartment in the city instead of having to drive an hour back to San Jose. I’ll be back soon for the metrblogging meetup.