Can do it all. And modest to boot.

A little fruity

Posted: August 31st, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

Today was the first day of school.  Those of you that know me, know that I love my job, however I do have some frustrations with it.  Today, all of those frustrations seemed to be in the forefront for some reason, particularly during volleyball practice.  So after practice, I did what I normally do when I’m angry, and served up 4 baskets of balls, then decided what I was going to do for dinner.  At that point I was torn…after I work out I am in the mood for super healthy food, but when I’m in a mood like that I really want comfort food.  So I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  Luckily for me there is one kind of food that serves both purposes….FRUIT!  I love all fruit, usually just cut up and thrown in a bowl, but sometimes prepared in other forms.  Tonight was just mango and kiwi cut up.  One thing I like about fruit is that it can be for any meal of the day and prepared in a crazy amount of ways.  Cut up raw, baked, grilled, marinated, mashed, juiced….etc.  When I want to splurge a little, I add some whipped cream, or put it over ice cream.  When I want to be a little more fun I soak it in mint infused white wine.  And when you want to get really fun, you can always soak it in straight liquer (one of my favorites :) ).  The point is, fruit is a food that I can always get comfort from, and never have to feel guilty about( except when I get drunk off it, of course), which makes it even more comforting.  So my question to you, my lovely readers, is this:  What is your not-so-guilty guilty pleasure?

Chicken makes me happy

Posted: August 26th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

It truly does.  Not just because it has good flavor, but because you can do ANYTHING with it.  Fried, baked, sauteed, grilled…breakfast, lunch, dinner…all of it.  It is also fairly easy to work with, although I have had some of my biggest culinary tankings with chicken, so I’m not going to be a big enough punk to say that its ‘impossible to screw up’, which by the way is the stupidest phrase ever.  If you know, you know that I can screw anything up (see pizza post).

Anyway, my life has been crazy lately.  As a volleyball coach, I am in precamp right now, and we have 3 practices a day as well as team activities, dorm duty, and OH YEAH…prepping for school which starts Monday!!.  Hence my lack of posting, for which I apologize.  So last night, I finally had the time and energy to cook, and for some reason had a strong urge to roast a chicken.  Now, that probably sounds like a strange urge, but for me its more normal than you would think :) .  So I figured I would go with it and roast a chicken.   I decided to go with my basic recipe rather than mess with it.  Luckily, living in Ohio we are surrounded by the Amish, so I actually got a pretty fresh chicken, which is nice…and free range/organic :) .  All I do it rinse the chicken inside and out, dry it off then salt and pepper the inside cavity.  Then I take a medium onion (white, yellow, red…whichever you prefer)  quartered, and about 3 large cloves of garlic and stuff them into the cavity.  Then I coat the outside in butter salt and pepper.  This was about a 4 lb chicken, so I roasted it at 375 for about an hour and a half (until it reaches 160 degrees).  Usually for about the last 10-15 minutes I turn it up to 425 to make sure the skin is extra crispy…because its just so good!  It turned out beautiful, golden brown, juicy and tender….so delicious.  However, my FAVORITE part of roasting a chicken is the leftovers.    From one chicken, I can get almost a weeks worth of meals.  I am currently using the bones of the chicken to make soup, and tonight some of the left over meat is going into a casserole with peas, corn, mushrooms, and onions all in a white wine garlic sauce and topped with super thin potato slices and parmesan that will get all brown and delicious in the oven.  Tomorrow it will go into a frittata or quiche with spinach and some sort of cheese that has yet to be determined (suggestions?).  Not to mention the lunches/wraps that I can make for lunch on the run between meetings and practice.

With my crazy schedule I love anything that I can make once and serve 4 times, so this is one of my constant fall backs.

Thats all for now, but I promise not to go so long without a post…thanks for reading!


Idiocy in the kitchen

Posted: August 6th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Sorry its been a while, but I have been in the process of moving, so cooking hasn’t really been an option.  In fact, it still isn’t since all of my utensils are still in boxes.  However I thought I would share a lovely story with you all tonight.  Since I still have to eat despite my lack of kitchen function, tonight I decided to make a frozen pizza and crack a beer, because who doesn’t like pizza and beer after a long and terrible week.  For me, frozen pizza means Freschetta or Digiorno supreme pizza with extra mozzarella and pepperoni thrown on top.  Easy as cake right?  FALSE.  First, as I’m waiting for the oven to preheat I decide to crack open my first beer (Sam summer sampler was on sale…Glory).  Around that time I realize that I have no flipping clue where my bottle opener is…crap.  So I try several different implements of destruction, to no avail, then I see it: my flathead screwdriver.  This could work.  After a minute of prying and a close call with losing a thumb, I finally get the top to pop, with about 1/4 of the beer spilling on me and my new floors.  Awesome.  About 12 seconds later, while looking for a cookie sheet for the pizza, I find one of my bottle openers, of course

Anyway, back to the cooking (if you can really call it that)…So I preheat the oven, and prep the pizza with the extra toppings.  I put it on the only cookie sheet it fits on and put it in the over.  Wait. No. That cookie sheet apparently doesn’t fit in my new oven.  So I have to fish around through boxes for ANOTHER cookie sheet that is smaller.  I finally find one, put the pizza on it and I’m ready to do this.  After the requisite 30 min, I take it out and notice it has started to curl up on the edges.  Now, being both a foodie and a scientist, I realize this is NOT normal.  Until I notice that in my brilliant hurry for cheap food, I completely overlooked the cardboard that the frozen pizza rests on in its box.  Of course the dough has baked onto the cardboard so I ahve to do major surgery to remove it and hope that it is still edible because the only other thing I have in the house is rice noodles and booze.  Luckily it was still edible and pretty delicious.  However this experience has made me come to two major realizations.

1.  I can cook complex meals for a lot of people…but I can’t cook a freaking frozen pizza.  Can anyone say idiot savant?

2.  This move has turned me into a complete and total spaz, and I hope that I get my mind back before I have to enter another year of teaching America’s youth

I promise I will cook a real meal soon :)