food – thegrammariansreviews.com

photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: cooking tips

Cooking tips don’t always pertain to the actual cooking of things. Sometimes tips are also essential for prep work. Here are two quick tips to make your cooking experiences just a little bit better.

 

ONION WOES

Ever go to cut an onion, only to be reduced to tears and burning eyes? (It’s all right. It happens to all of us.)

Did you know there’s a way to prevent that, though? That’s right. You don’t have to cry!

Here’s what you can do:

1. Put the onion in the fridge or freezer at least 20-30 minutes before planning to cut it.

2. Quickly rinse the onion (peeled) in water, then chop.

 

SMELLY HANDS

Garlic is amazing, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to smell like it for quite some time.

Here’s how to get the potent smell off your hands:

1. After chopping the garlic, rub your hands on a stainless steel utensil.

2. After chopping the garlic, wash your hands with lemon soap or lemon juice.

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: veggie burgers

Hello, I’m Alissa and I may be turning into a vegetarian.

All right – that’s not necessarily true. But I do love my vegetables, and lately I’ve been a severe quinoa junky. (That stuff is SO good!) So naturally if you put quinoa and veggies together, I’m going to start drooling. …Although technically I planned to post about another food find, after stumbling upon this recipe and giving it a go, I couldn’t resist; I had to share.

Do you see these beauties sizzling?

I had my reservations about making these, though. Years ago, when I’d decided to try going vegetarian, it was veggie burgers that stopped me from continuing a meatless path. Those premade, hard-as-rock patties were beyond unappetizing and finding this recipe brought back the memories of eating what might as well have been cardboard. But then I saw that they called for quinoa and I thought, How bad could they really be?

Not. Bad. At. All. (Of course this one looks way more picture-perfect than mine!)

INGREDIENTS

veggie burgers

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 15 ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small pot, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, scallions, garlic, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, salt, and pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.
  3. Form mixture into four patties. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned, about 8 minutes per side. [note: I found that this made too much of the mixture for only four patties (I didn’t want them that thick), so I ended up with six instead.]

 

In the end, these were absolutely delicious. And hey – I didn’t have to feel guilty for eating two because they’re packed with protein!

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: doughnuts

(Yes, I spell it “doughnuts.” It really, really bugs me when I see it spelled as “donuts.”)

So, I’ve been on a bit of a doughnut kick. And in this kick I’ve learned a new trick. (Oh man, I rhymed.) Check this out:

Talk about easy!

Thank you, Pinterest!

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: whoopie pies

Please look at these delectable pictures and try to tell me you don’t want one.

 When it comes to desserts, I’m sold on anything containing cream. (Note: do not put a container of Cool Whip in front of me.) I prefer cream to icing. So whoopie pies were practically made for me – a liiiiiiittle bit of cake (or cookie) and a lot of cream. They’re light, they’re sweet, they can even be bite-sized. And I love them.

Unfortunately I’m still looking for an easy recipe so I can make my own. Until I find one that’s worthwhile, I’ll just keep drooling over these.

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Whip it Up Mondays! {12} – truffles.

Jul
16

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Memes, Whip it Up Mondays

photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: truffles

Raise your hand if, when I say “truffles,” you think of these:

But I’m not talking about these tiny, delectable chocolates. I’m talking about these:

By definition, a truffle is the “fruiting body of a subterranean mushroom.” There are various types, the most popular being white and black truffles. Oh, and did I mention they’re the most expensive food in the world? They can sell for $3,600 per pound!

Unfortunately for my wallet, I love truffles – white or black. Of course, it’s difficult to get (and afford) the real thing. So I go for the cheaper routes, like truffle oil and truffle butter. Throw those on pizza, pasta, mashed potatoes, french fries, salad, ANYTHING, and it’s pretty darn delicious.

But not everyone is going to like truffles. In fact, I’d be willing to bet there are more people that dislike truffles than those that like them. Their flavor, while reminiscent of a mushroom’s, is very earthy and fragrant. I guess you could call it an acquired taste. But I know that just the smell can be a real turn-off, going by my family’s reactions.

Truffles are slowly edging into our everyday eating experiences, though. More restaurants are offering “truffle fries” or flatbreads drizzled with truffle oil. Obviously this is good news to me, but I also think it’s good news for everyone. I think it’s good to be exposed to new food finds, and if you haven’t yet tried anything truffle-related, I say go for it.

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: blueberry streusel muffins

In my attempts to bake more, I’ve found that I’m making a LOT of cupcakes. Like, A LOT a lot. But baking isn’t all about cakes and pies. Case and point: muffins! Took me long enough to separate from my beloved cupcake recipes, but I’m glad I did. This new blueberry muffin recipe I found totally rocked my socks and my family’s appreciation of my baking skills. These muffins are unbelievably moist and flavorful. Once they’re out of the oven, but not entirely cooled, bite into one and savor the melted blueberry goodness.

 

INGREDIENTS

blueberry muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Streusel topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
  2. To prepare streusel topping mix with sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon with a fork. Sometimes I use my hands to get it fully incorporated so that it has the texture of wet sand. This makes a generous amount of streusel topping which probably could be halved but I like a lot on my muffins.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins with streusel topping.
  7. Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 min, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 12 jumbo muffins.

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: Greek yogurt

In the past few months I’ve not only discovered Greek yogurt, but also grown to love it. Sounds strange, I know – but for me, it’s been a big help. As someone who will choose vegetables over meat any day, I began to realize I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet (especially while living off dining hall food). And although Greek yogurt is no substitute for meat, it’s still chock full of protein and is a nice change from eating other protein-packed foods, like peanut butter and quinoa.

What I didn’t know is that Greek yogurt can be used for so many other things, aside from being eaten on its own! I’ve only just started experimenting with it, but these are the three things I’ve so far found to be really helpful and, of course, tasty:

  • Smoothies. Yep, instead of dumping a scoop or two of ice cream into your smoothie, try Greek yogurt. Same thick texture, but much healthier.
  • Dips. This one really surprised me. Yogurt… dip? The two didn’t seem related at all. But plain Greek yogurt has all the taste of sour cream. So if you take some plain Greek yogurt and throw in some seasoning, you’ve got an awesome personal-sized cup of dip. It makes for a really good snack.
  • Sour cream replacement. Like I just said, plain Greek yogurt is similar to sour cream. So if you happen to be out of sour cream, or want a slightly healthier alternative, Greek yogurt is the way to go. (However, the yogurt is a bit thicker.)

Do you know of any other uses of Greek yogurt? Please share!

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: Sushi vs. Sashimi

Ah, sushi. What ever would I do without you?

You all probably don’t know this, but I love sushi. Don’t get me wrong: it took me a while to get into it. I’m a bit late to the sushi-loving bandwagon, you could say. I’ve only been eating it for a few (okay, more like five) years. And even now, I’m still not as adventurous with it as I’d like to be. coughcough Can’t go wrong with a California roll, right? coughsushinovicecough.

I’m kidding. I don’t eat only California rolls. I’ve tried eel and salmon and tuna and octopus and sea urchin, too. But while I’ve tried all these different rolls and all these different flavors, for the longest time I was ignorant to the difference between sushi and sashimi.

I knew that what I ordered was – and is always – sushi, because I ordered under the sushi menu headings. But every time I’m out, I hesitate, scanning the sashimi list, wishing I knew what in the hell it entailed. Thankfully, now I do.

Sushi uses cooked vinegared rice. So your normal rolls – which do have their own technical terms (like nigiri and maki) – typically fall under “sushi.” Perfect example is the above picture.

Sashimi is raw meat (usually fish) served on its own. Like the picture to the right.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of eating a slab (even if it’s thin) of raw fish kind of terrifies me, for several reasons. I don’t think I’d like the slimy texture or the flavor, and need I mention the health risk? Call me paranoid, but I don’t think even if I wanted to eat sashimi I’d be willing to eat it just anywhere. I do still hope to someday try it, but for now I’m perfectly content with ordering those heavenly little squares.

Although, now that I think about it, I’ve had raw tuna in rolls before. But that hardly counts. It’s so tiny!

Have you ever had sashimi? Any tips for a sushi/sashimi novice?

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: Twinkie cupcakes

I’ve got a confession: I love Twinkies. It’s true. Those stuffed, golden Hostess cakes get me drooling every time. I know they’re awful for you, and I know I’m otherwise more of a proponent of eating healthier alternatives. But these are childhood favorites for me – even moreso, I think, because I grew up not being allowed to eat them very often.

So it’s really no surprise that when I found this recipe for Twinkie cupcakes, I made it my mission to make them ASAP.

And let me tell you: they taste SO. GOOD. These cupcakes do Twinkies every bit of justice and then some. And there’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and then… right?

Just promise me you won’t run away when you see how much butter goes into these things.

INGREDIENTS

twinkie cupcakes

  • 1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 1 small box sugar free/fat free instant French vanilla pudding mix (note: I used regular because my grocery store didn’t have the sugar free/fat free kind, and it was fine.)
  • 1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons very hot water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with about 20 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, stirring the box of pudding mix into the cake batter to blend. Portion batter evenly among muffin cups, about 2/3 full, and bake for approx. 15-18 mins or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, then core out the cupcakes’ middles with a sharp, small paring knife, careful not to cut through the entire cupcake. Eat or discard centers. (note: I ended up saving the centers, or at least the tops of the centers, to plug/cover the filling.)
  3. First, dissolve the salt into the hot water and allow to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the marshmallow cream, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy. Beat in the salt water. Mixture should be light but not as stiff as frosting.
  4. Scoop filling into a resealable plastic bag, seal tight, and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into each cored cupcake, filling just to the top. Refrigerate cupcakes while you prepare the frosting. (note: I’m going to stop right here. Yes, these cupcakes are also meant to be frosted with an icing similar to their filling. But it requires another stick of butter, and another jar of Fluff, and more powdered sugar. I just couldn’t do it. It seemed like overkill. And while I’m sure they taste good with the icing, they’re delicious even without it. Plus, the way I rationalized it for myself is that Twinkies don’t have any icing outside either. So hah! But if you want to go ahead with the icing, you can find the recipe for it at the above link.)

So what’s the final result look like?

Well, as I tweeted the other day, it looks like this:

I stuffed my Twinkie cupcakes and then re-capped them so they weren’t just open pockets of filling. When I started having less and less of the filling, I simply stopped coring the cupcakes and spread the filling on top, as icing.

And then I dove in. The good thing is you can eat these cupcakes two ways: right after you fill them, ’cause then they’re all full of gooey goodness, ready to burst, and after you chill them in your fridge, ’cause then they’re like your traditional Twinkie. Total win-win.

If my picture isn’t exactly making your mouth water, then you might want to look at this picture from The Domestic Rebel’s site. Cue drooling ………. now:

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Whip it Up Mondays! {7}

Jun
11

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Memes, Whip it Up Mondays

photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: Popcorn

It used to be that I’d rarely ever eat popcorn. Movie theater popcorn? Pass. Too greasy. Microwaveable popcorn? Pass. Extra Loaded Butter? More like Is There Butter at All? Plus, I always hated having kernels stuck in my teeth.

And then I got a wok and everything changed. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that woks are meant for cooking Asian cuisine. While that’s true, it’s not the only truth. Woks are good for many things (a list that would need its own post), including making popcorn. BUT. There’s also another way to make homemade popcorn: in a regular pot.

Are you doubting me yet? Stick with me!

First, the benefits. Making your own popcorn isn’t only tastier, but healthier. Microwaveable popcorn brands contain preservatives, nasty chemicals and unneeded sodium. Oh, and let’s not forget the entirely fake butter. Homemade popcorn simply has oil, salt (to taste) and real butter. That’s it. And it’s cheaper. Microwaveable popcorn can cost $5+ for a mere 3-5 packs, whereas buying a bag of kernels to pop at home (which ultimately yields like 10x the amount of popcorn) can be as cheap as $2. The other good news is it’s just as easy to make as it is to pop it in the microwave.

The typical popcorn kernels are yellow and white kernels. (Yellow is the kind they use at theaters.) But am I the only one that hates those annoying hulls that get stuck in your teeth? I’d like to think I’m not! Well, guess what? There’s a way to avoid them: black kernels, which have fewer hulls. When I discovered this I ran out and bought some, and to my surprise, they really do have very little hulls! The one downside is that they don’t pop as big as yellow and white kernels. So it comes down to a matter of preference. Either way, it tastes so much better, and that’s what matters.

So, what do you do?

INGREDIENTS

homemade popcorn

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable/canola oil
  • 1/3 – 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels (serves up to 4)
  • a few pinches of salt (to taste)
  • butter, melted (depends how buttery you want your popcorn; start with 1 tbsp and melt more if needed)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pour 3 tbsp. of vegetable/canola oil and popcorn kernels into a deep pot. Stir the kernels to make sure they’re all coated with some of the oil, then flatten them out so most of the kernels aren’t atop others.
  2. Turn the heat on high and cover with a lid. The kernels will start popping in a few minutes.
  3. In the meantime, melt your butter!
  4. When the popping tapers off, turn off the heat and transfer popcorn to a bowl and sprinkle with a bit of salt and the melted butter. Toss to coat as many pieces as possible.

And ta-da!

 

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