Monday, December 13, 2010

Hotdogs In The Fireplace

     Soooo its been very cold lately down here in Atlanta and I decided to make a pot of chili.  I hate to admit it but out of all the things i know how to make, I've never made chili before in my life.  Shame on me.  I'm normally the type of cook who likes to make things from scratch.  I hate using mixes and prepackaged food so it really bothered me that I was going to have to settle for chili seasoning mix.
     Being from the Washington DC area I grew up eating chili exclusively on snow days.  Those were the days when my Mom would stay home from work and my sister and I would go sledding down our front yard hill of our house.  I remember coming in the house with my fingers nearly frozen off ready to chow down.  And after all those times I never sat and watched my Mom make it.  I always had the end result.  Over the last 10 years I've been fortunate enough to have a turkey chili made every year after Thanksgiving.  My sisters mother-in-law makes it every year and its great.  And for whatever reason Im never around when she makes her chili either....something about me and chili I guess.  This time it was my turn to make it on my own.  My boyfriend went to the store for me and we collectively pulled the ingredients together to make chili.


1 packet of McCormicks Chili Mix (follow the steps on the packet)

 I always have to add my own little spin on things so I added:

1 Medium onion chopped
1/2 large green pepper chopped
1 tsp Cumin
1 can stewed tomatoes'

     I just followed the instructions on the packets and added my other ingredients with the meat.  It came out pretty well, but I must say chili is always better the next day!!!  After all the flavors got to marinate together it was soooooo good!!
     Im blessed to have a fireplace in my apartment and since its been so cold, I decided to light the fireplace.  My boyfriend had recently purchased some hotdogs so I decided to get a little experimental and make hotdogs in the fireplace.
     Im the type of person who likes her hotdogs burned like they came off the grill at a cookout and its a little too cold outside to stand around a grill so I had to improvise. I like them a little crispy on the outside with a little mustard and some ketchup.  If available I'll take relish and some onions too!!! Lol  I know its a huge risk because onions will have your breath extra hot!! Hope you have some gum nearby for that one. Back to the hot dogs......
     So, I didn't have any of those long forks to roast the hot dogs on so I had to improvise.  Wire hangers! I know you're either thinking "who has wire hangers?' or "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!!" from Mommy Dearest.  They give you back wire hangers when you get clothes from the dry cleaners.  Everybody has some.  Just burn the end of it in the fire.  That should sterilize it enough (i think) dont quote me on that. lol.  Unbend the hanger and insert it in length wise into the hotdog. I guess you could stick it on the short way but I would be scared it would fall off into the fire.  Plus when you put it in the bun it makes it a little easier.  Cook the hot dog to your liking. I added some of the leftover chili on my hotdog for a chili dog and even went in for the raw onion.  It was great.  Im not sure how often I'll do it but it was a great experience.  I had a small flashback to my girl scout days.  I remember going on camping trips as a Brownie....or was it just Juniors?  Either way, we went camping and I remember making hotdogs. And eating not real dirt. lol   It was a dessert...I'll share that another day:)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Welcome To My World of Food

One word I would use to describe myself is Foodie. I talk about it all the time.  When I'm at work, when I get home, when I wake up in the morning, and when I go to sleep.  I think I might think about food more than sex!! Lol.  
My love for food began at a very young age.  I remember being in the kitchen with my mother snapping string beans, watching her fry chicken and making various other things for dinner.  But I believe my true love for food began when I was in the 3rd grade.  I was in Mrs. Natonicks class at Calvary Lutheran School in Silver Spring, Md.  Mrs. Natonick provided the entire class with string bean plants that we cared for in our classroom.  When the appropriate time came we all took our plants home.  I remember my mother and I planting my plant in the garden next to our house.  This plant was the beginning of that garden and the beginning of my love for food. 
             The plant grew for weeks and weeks before it was time to pick.  I remember snapping the beans with my mother in the kitchen.  I fried some bacon in the microwave, took the grease and put it in a pot with some water, salt, and pepper and added my beans.  I remember thinking those were the best beans I’d ever had in my life.  Probably because it was the first thing I ever made.  For whatever reason, it sparked a new love for food that has stuck with me to this day.
            Cooking has always been therapeutic to me.  When I’m sad, I cook.  When I’m happy, I cook.  When I entertain, I cook.  My family, friends, and co-workers all know about my love for cooking and if you meet me, within the first five minutes you’ll know about how much I love food.  I love eating it, smelling it, touching it, cooking it, tasting it, dining out, and experimenting with different foods from different cultures.
            I am a true foodie.  I’ve never had any real formal culinary training besides the food channel, but that doesn’t make my love food any less valid. 
            This blog is meant to be fun.  I intend to share with you many of my favorite recipes, things I’ve seen on TV and tried, give wine recommendations, as well as provide restaurant reviews.  I currently reside in the Atlanta area so most of my reviews will be based out of that area.  Whether it’s fine dining or a food stand, I’m going to share it. I want people to be able to come to this site and believe that the information that I am sharing with them is real.
            So now that all the formalities are out of the way I want you to sit back, relax and enjoy the food.  This first recipe is one of my favorites.  I guarantee that if you make it anybody who tastes it will be asking you for more and eventually asking you to make it again….or at least how to make it. Lol

Jerk Chicken Pasta

1/2 box Farfalle pasta cooked al dente
Fresh Spinach (1 bag)
1 14oz Jar sundried Tomatoes in Oil chopped
Mushrooms (optional)
3 tbsp. Pesto Sauce
2 tbsp. Wet Jerk Seasoning**
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1lb. Boneless Skinless chicken breast chopped into bite size pieces

**Do not use dry jerk seasoning or liquid jerk seasoning.  These do not provide the same flavor.  The jerk seasoning needs to have the consistency of a rub. It is usually found in a jar and has a dark color. I recommend using Walkerswood Traditional Jerk Seasoning.

Chop chicken into bite size pieces and marinate in jerk seasoning for 30 minutes.  In a large saucepan add olive oil to prevent chicken from sticking.  Begin cooking chicken over medium heat until chicken is ¾ cooked through.  Add Spinach, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, and mushrooms.  Cook until Spinach has cooked down and wilted. Add pesto sauce and stir.  Let simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Add Heavy cream and parmesan cheese.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add pasta and stir together.  Turn off the heat and let them rest together for 2-3 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!! Serves 4.