Saturday, October 10, 2009

Homemade Polenta w/ Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

I found a can of Safeway Fire-Roasted Tomatoes on sale 10/$10. What a deal! I stocked up and bought a bunch of cans. Later that night I created this yummy Italian veggie dish. The colors just pop of the plate and the fire-roasted flavors are amazing!

1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup zucchini
1/2 cup sunburst squash
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
Fresh basil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a small 6in baking dish.
  2. In a large pot, combine the milk and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it is at a rolling boil, gradually whisk in the cornmeal, making sure there are no lumps. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mozzarella cheese.
  3. Pour the polenta into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, pour the olive oil in a saucepan and saute minced garlic on medium heat.
  6. Slice zucchini & sunburst squash in 1/4 inch slices and add to the saucepan.
  7. When the vegetables have slightly browned, add the fire roasted tomatoes & some fresh basil to the saucepan and warm thoroughly.
  8. Cut polenta to any shape desired, place on a plate, and top with the tomato mixture.
  9. Garnish with more fresh basil and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Hiker's Ultimate Leftover Sandwich

For 4th of July, my family and I went camping. One morning we decided to take a hike and realized that we needed to pack a lunch. I looked in the fridge noticed that we still had some bread, tomatoes, and chicken (that my mother broiled in the oven with a bit of McCormick's Montreal Chicken Seasoning), and I created these yummy leftover sandwiches that were perfect for hungry hikers. The idea is to not go out and buy anything. Use whatever you already have and as Tim Gunn would say, "MAKE IT WORK, PEOPLE!"


Leftover seasoned chicken (i.e. Montreal Seasoning, Lemon-Pepper Seasoning, Chipotle Seasoning)
Leftover Bread (i.e. Baguette, French Bread, Focaccia)
Cheese (i.e Sharp Cheddar, Mild Cheddar, Provolone, Swiss)
Sliced tomato
Dijon Mustard


1. If bread is not already pre-sliced, slice open the bread and cut enough so that each person in your party can have a sandwich.
2. Lather one side of the bread with Dijon mustard.
3. With the other piece of bread place one slice of cheese and melt in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until the cheese is melted half-way.
4. With a knife, cut the leftover chicken into thin slices. Place chicken on top of semi-melted cheese. (This helps the chicken to stick to the bread.)
5. Place tomato & lettuce on the slice of bread with the Dijon mustard.
6. Add two slices together to create a sandwich.
7. Pack the sandwich in a lunch or enjoy as is!

"Tempted by the Fruit of Another" Ice Cream Parfait

I absolutely love the song, "Tempted By the Fruit of Another" by the British rock band Squeeze. If you don't have it, I highly recommend that you download it on iTunes.

2 Bananas
10 Strawberries
10 blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries (Berries of your choice)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Low-fat Vanilla Ice Cream

1. Cut bananas and strawberries into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Pour whipping cream, sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract into a bowl. Use a hand mixer and blend the two ingredients until the whipping cream is thick and fluffy.
3. In four bowls, add a layer of bananas, strawberries, and berries of your choice.
4. Scoop out some ice cream and place it on top of the fruit.
5. Add another layer of bananas, strawberries, and berries of you choice.
6. Place a dallop of the homemade whipped cream in each bowl.
7. Garnish with lemon slice & lemon zest.
8. Serve & Chow-down!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Clockwork Blood Orange Sauce

I recently just watched the movie Clockwork Orange. It was.....very interesting. Hehe. The 1971 film is an adaption of the novel "A Clockwork Orange," written in 1962. I would share the plot with you (if I could), but like many things in this world it's complicated. So, my inspiration for this recipe was to create something simple, less complicated, using my favorite ingredient. Blood oranges.

Blood Orange Sauce:

4 blood oranges
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest


1. Cut oranges in halves and use a juicer to retrieve as much blood orange juice as you can. (Do not throw away orange rinds.)
2. In a medium saucepan, combine blood orange juice with the sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
3. Use a grater to create zest from the orange rinds. Add to the saucepan.
4. Increase heat and boil until the sauce is reduced (about 20 minutes.) It should be thick and syrup like.

You can add the blood orange sauce as a glaze for duck, pork, brocolli or sweet potatoes. Also try pouring the sauce over a bowl of vanilla ice cream with fresh cut strawberries.

The Dirty Dozen

Those who know me personally, know that if I had to choose between designer clothing and fresh organic produce, I'd pick food over clothes anyday :) Hehe. What matters more to me is not what I put on my body, but rather what I put in it. Now thats not to say that external apperances and body care do not matter. It just reffers to how I prioritize. Prioritizing is the most imporant tip I could offer to anyone who buys organic, or is thinking about starting.

It's no secret that organic food is expensive. Priortizing can help minimize the costs. Using the dirty dozen as a reference is a good place to start. Below are the top 12 items that have the most amount of pesticide residue on them; items you don't want to buy conventionally:

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Grapes (Imported)
  10. Spinach
  11. Lettuce
  12. Potatoes

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

S'more Ice Cream Sandwiches

S'more Ice Cream Sandwiches


6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
3/4 heavy whipping cream
14 or so cinnamon graham crackers
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened

1. Break the graham crackers into halves.
2. On half of the graham crackers, spread a 1/2 inch layer of vanilla ice cream onto them. Place onto a metal pan that will fit in the freezer. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 2 hours.
3. Over medium heat, melt cream and chocolate. Whisk until both are completly mixed.
4. Line an 8-inch square metal pan with plastic wrap. Arrange the remaining graham crackers on the pan. Spread a layer of chocolate on top of the graham crackers. Freeze until chocolate is just set, 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Remove the tray from the freezer. Top the ice cream graham cracker halves with the chocolate graham cracker halves, so that it forms a sandwich.
6. Serve & enjoy.

Missy K.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hot Wing Quinoa

Quinoa is from the Andean region of South America. It's a seed that has been used in traditional recipes and is often mistaken for a grain. In fact, quinoa is a good source of protein, which is why many vegetarians & vegans include it in their diet.

I started watting quinoa as a senior in college, usually with chard and onions, but this time around I decided to cook quinoa with a little bit of a Louisiana twist. In addition to some of traditional south american ingredients, I added some spicy hot wing sausage. (If you decide not to go the hot & spicy route you can always add mango, chicken apple, or other favorite flavored sausages.)

(***Tip: Quinoa is sometimes hard to find in your grocery store. It should be located near the rice or grain asles. Trader Joes is an excellent place to find quinoa. I bought it for $2.99 a box.)

Hot Wing Quinoa


1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
1/2 hot wing or cajun sausage (sliced)
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned corn (drained)
1 cup canned black beans (drained)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir in the onion & sauage. Saute until the onion is soft and yellowish.
3. Mix quinoa & vegetable broth into the saucepan. Cover with lid. Bring the mixture to a boil.
4. Once boiling reduce heat, and simmer (~25 minutes) until the grain appears translucent and the germ ring is visible.
5. Add the corn & black beans into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about until heated through.
6. Garnish with cilantro.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grapple Pie

Have you ever had the Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Jelly Beans? You know the ones where 1/2 the time you think your getting an apple flavored jelly bean, but you end up with a grass or booger jelly bean? Gross. Well if you haven't experienced the agony of eatting them, I'm sure you've been the culprit in convincing someone else to eat one. Anyways.......... a company in Washington has produced an apple that tastes like a grape!? Grapples are Washington apples that have Concord grape flavoring added to them. For more information on the process check out: (The Food Network's "Unwrapped" even did a segment on Grapples.)

I've tried a grapple and they are incredibly tasty. They made me feel like a little kid, whose mind was boggled by what it was seeing. Hehe. And don't even get me started on it's aroma! If you hold a Grapple 4-pack to your nose, smelling them is just as contagious as sniffing those Mr. Sketch Scented Markers.

The only pitfall of a Grapple is it's price. I bought a 4-pack of Grapples for $5.99. Which converted out to be about .29 cents per oz (OR $4.64 per Lb.) Ekk! However.........I HIGHLY recommend making the investment at least once in a while. It's a sweet treat you wouldn't want to miss out on.

Grapple Pie:

6 cups thinly sliced grapples (Need to find grapples? Click here)
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pre-made refrigerated or frozen pie crusts
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Core, peel, and slice grapples.
  3. In a bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Place one pie crust in a circular baking dish. Place grapples onto of the pastry. Sprinkle grapples with sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  5. Cut butter into 1/4 inch slices. Place butter on top of the grapples.
  6. Cover the pie with the second top crust. Take the prongs of a fork and use it to press on the edges on the grapple pie, to ensure that the second top pie crust is firmly attached to the bottom pie crust.
  7. Place on lowest rack in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. Remove and let grapple pie cool for 1/2 hr.

Clarence McMillan Cheesecake

I once told a friend that you should always name what you bake. And not just any old name like "chocolate chip cheesecake." No, no, no. That name is overused & overrated. Haha. You got to give it a name that is worth remembering. The name "Clarence McMillan Cheesecake" originated from two experiences I had in college. One occurred on a street called Clarence and the other on McMillan Drive. Both involved a lot of cheesecake. :) So.....As requested here is the famous "I hate cheesecake, but LOVE your cheesecake" recipe called Clarence McMillan Cheesecake, that y'all have been asking for.

1 prepared graham cracker crust
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 (16oz) carton of whipping cream
Sliced strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk;beat well.
3. Add vanilla and eggs to the bowl and mix until smooth.
4. Toss 1/3 of the miniature chocolate chips with the 1 tea
spoon flour, and beat on medium speed. (This prevents the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cheesecake). Mix into cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips.
5. Bake in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool in the refrigerate for another 2 hrs.

7. After the cheesecake has fully cooled and is solid, remove from fridge.
6. In a bowl, Mix whipping cream, almond extract, and sugar. Use a hand mixer and blend the two ingredients until the whipping cream is thick and fluffy.
7. Use a spatula and icing the cheesecake with the whipped cream mixture.
8. Decorate the top of the cheesecake with cut strawberries and blackberries.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Cross My Heart & Kiss My Elbows" Pouched Eggs

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn): We're alike, me and cat. A couple of poor nameless slobs.Cross my heart and kiss my elbow.


Pouched Eggs w/ Artichokes hearts & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(Inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany's)

2 egg
1 teaspoon vinegar
3-4 artichoke hearts (frozen, canned, or fresh)
2 tablespoons of fresh Sun-dried tomatoes (in the produce section of most grocery stores)
1/4 teaspoon dill
1 tablespoon sour cream
salt & pepper

1. Fill a large saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the vinegar and 2 teaspoons of salt, and keep the water at a gentle simmer.

3. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Holding the bowl just above the surface of the water, gently slip the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with any remaining eggs.
4. Poach the eggs until the whites are firm and the yolks have thickened but are not hard, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water.
Refill the large saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
6. Boil artichoke hearts for 2-3 minutes.
7. In the meantime, mix sour cream, dill, and a pinch of salt & pepper.
8. Place pouched eggs in a bowl. Remove artichokes from the saucepan and place on top of the poached eggs.
9. Top with sun-dried tomatoes and a dollop of the sour cream & dill mixture.

So get creative. Get cooking.
Missy K.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

[kook kook-uh-ree] noun, plural -er⋅ies-

What is "a place equipped for cooking?" Hmmm....well it doesn't have to be your typical kitchen with a stove or a fridge. In fact, we cook all the time without even realizing it. Sometimes we slave over an open campfire and other times we have machines do hard tedious labor for us, but hey it's OK! The food didn't put itself in the microwave!

The Cook Cookery: Created from Inspiration.

The Cook Cookery is an easy and friendly guide to everyday meal solutions. You don't have to be a expert or a chef. In fact, all these recipes are created from inspirations and cooked by real people. Sweet, savory, healthy or indulgent, whatever you crave The Cook Cookery can help satisfy any of your hunger needs. Whether you are outdoors, at home, or at work
use it as a resource.

First Things First.

Here are some easy tips to follow when your navigating through The Cook Cookery:

1. Know your limits. Are you new to cooking? Or do you enjoy a challenge? Whatever level you are at, look for for key words "Novel, Intermediate, or Expert" which are listed underneath the recipes title. It will give you a good indicator as to how much time and effort you have to put into the cooking.

2. Satisify YOUR needs.
Recipes are guidelines, not laws! Don't be afraid to mess around or substitute ingredients.

3. Develop your pallet. Try new foods. Experiment and find out what flavors do or don't go well together. It will open your eyes to a new world flavors. I promise!

So get creative. Get cooking.

Missy K.