Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Ill just put it out there right now.
"Southern food" aint my thing. Now, Im aware that I live in the "south"... ok, maybe not the South in the sense that I live in Georgia and talk with a cute little twang, but Florida is by all means... the south. My soul relies on country music for soothing, and in my single days, I loved to kick up my heels and do some good scoot bootin boogie. Ive seen a gazillion country concerts, and sometimes I make people laugh, because as non-country as I may look, I say a few words a little funny, even kinda twangish.
Anywho, Country food is not my thang. Ya, ya.. fried chicken and mashed potatos are pretty fabulous. But when I recieved the challange to a chicken pot pie.. I was floored. What in Gods name was I going to do?
Chicken and dumplings? Chicken Fried Steak? Collard Greens?
Umm.. what? Never in my life.
And a Chicken Pot Pie is no exception. My mama just didnt cook that kind of stuff when I was growing up.
But, I NEVER turn down a challange.
(Disclaimer- Yes, I do. But only if its going to make me look like an idiot or make me break a sweat)
Chicken Pot Pie.
What makes it a Chicken Pot Pie?
It was my quest to figure it out.

And my quest starts with this. Chicken. A whole freakin chicken. In a pot. Are we done yet? I mean.. its Chicken, a pot.. and oh crap. I guess that "pie" part is pretty important, huh?

1 whole fryer chicken. Stuck it in a big pot full of water, and brought that baby to a boil.
When the meat was cooked, I stuck it on a dinner plate so that it could cool. In the mean time, I made baked doughnuts. Ill get to that soon enough!

When the chicken was cooled, I pulled that sucker apart. From what I have found, having a nice mix of white and dark meat is ideal. I pulled the chicken apart until I was left with a heaping pile of meat, and a stack of bones.
I then cut the chicken up into bite size peices.
Then it was time for the veggies.

1 medium onion, diced.
3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks of celery, diced

Melt some butter in a deep pot, and throw these veggies in there with a few handfuls of frozen peas.
Stir around until the onions start getting that clear look about 'em
Next throw in your cut up chicken chunks, and mix in about 1/4 cup of flour to thicken up those veggie juices.
Stir until the flour is mixed in good, then stir in 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth and a splash of white wine.

Then add 1 cup of heavy cream

Oh, sweet Jesus!!

Now, its time for the spices!

3 tablespoons of Thyme, salt and pepper.

Mix that all up nice and good, and taste taste taste. Make sure its salted pretty good.

Pour the yumminess into a dish, and cover with pie crust.

Stick in the oven, ON a baking sheet. Just trust me. This thing leaked like crazy!

Make sure to cut slits into the top to allow the steam to come out.
And what we have here is a finished, super filling, wonderful,

Im guessing that if you know and love Chicken Pot Pie, you will be able to see the yumminess of my final product.

Chicken Pot Pie is just one of those things, that just doesnt know how to sit still and smile pretty.

No matter how I couldve served it up, it was always going to look... well, messy.

But you Chicken Pot Pie lovers know the truth.

Mmmmm Mmmm mmmm... Southern goodness.

Ya'll come back now!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stupid Easter Egg Cake Truffles

Dear Readers,

I promise that everything I post in this blog will taste phenomenal. I refuse to post a recipe that doesn’t make me say "wow".
What I cant promise is that everything is going to be pretty. I will spend hours trying. But patience is not a virtue I was blessed with.
And this leaves me sitting here dumbfounded as I have just spent half my day making Cake Truffles. Now, I have made Cake Truffles before and they were amazing. And today’s were amazing too. They just weren’t pretty.
HOURS. HOURS. H O U R S. Spent on these "Cake truffle pops" as I have dubbed them. In the shape of Easter eggs. Covered in colored chocolate. And then decorated. What in God’s name was I thinking? As I write this, my kitchen table is a hurricane of melted chocolate, messed up cake pops, and madness.
But what’s even more annoying then all of this?
My failed cake pops.

They taste wonderful, but as I said before... patience is not my thing. And neither are things that make me concentrate too hard.
Ill give myself an A for effort though!
Beware- The following images are NOT pretty.

Are you impressed? Because I feel like these little eggs of non-cuteness have just slapped me, pushed me down to the ground, and then laughed in my face.

Stupid Easter Egg Cake Truffles.

I would yell a few explicates right now, if this wasn’t a "family friendly" blog.

&*^#&*^#*#(&!! (There!)

Now, if you want to see my inspiration, you can go here.
And if you want to check out the true cake pop queen, you can take yourself there.

I have failed you, my readers.

Please forgive me. Just this once. =)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cultures collide

Red sauce and black beans are a huge part of my being. They are as important to my genetic make up as my X and Y chromosomes. Italian and Cuban. A tantalizing combo that makes me who I am. It gives me my louder than life persona, my amazing hair, the olive in my skin, and my hips! Oh, these hips!

Back to red sauce and black beans....

Last weekend, I decided to make a big batch of each. At the same time.

Hard work I tell ya.
Hours and hours of stirring, and boiling, reducing to a simmer, tasting, adding, dashing, and chopping onions and garlic to really make things amazing.

My house smelt... different. But so unbelievably deliciously wonderful.
Onion, garlic, basil, green pepper, Italian sausage, ground beef, tomato, beans...
I can’t explain the smell, but it was decadent.

My Italian grandmother passed 4 years before I was born. And my Cuban grandmother passed when I was just 3 years old. I would do anything to have the opportunity to cook right alongside them. Watching their techniques, learning their tricks, and taking in their personalities to see where I might have gotten some of my traits. I would ask them how they fell in love with my grandfathers. How they migrated to this city, that I call home. What’s their favourite colors? What’s their favourite songs?

And I would ask them the secret.
The secret to a marriage that followed their vows
And raising a family of 5 healthy children.

I would then thank them.
For my olive skin, my wonderful hair, and these hips... ohhhh these hips!
And for black beans and red sauce.
Because I love black beans and red sauce with every inch of my  heart.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This is where I spent the long summer days of my childhood.

Romping around, exploring, and getting dirty.

And this is where I would tie string to a stick, and then tie the string to half a hotdog bun, and wait for hours... hoping to catch the big one.

And this is where I would stare up at the sky, and watch the clouds go by as they changed shapes from a dinosaur eating pasta to a puppy playing ball.

And this is where I would beg springs newly hatched ducklings to come to shore and say hello.

And this is where I would jump as high as I could on my trampoline to see if I could touch the tippy tops.

And this is where I would be when mom would yell for me to come inside and get cleaned up, because dinner was almost ready.

And while all the fishing, jumping, cloud watching, and getting dirty was going on...
All I wanted, was to grow up.

Boy, was I nuts or what.
It feels good to look at these pictures and remember how easy life was.

It feels just like home to me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Not so girly but girly chicken salad

Once upon a time...
A bunch of girlfriends decided to get together for a girly dinner. Good times were to be had by all.
And on the menu? Arbor mist and chicken salad. but of course!!! Somehow boys got into this equation, and our girls dinner was no more. Surely, they would not eat any of our girly chicken salad, right??
Wrong. Mouthfuls of chicken salad was devoured in record speed, and seconds were requested. By boys.
"Hey, when are you going to make that chicken mayo stuff again?" I guess my chicken salad ended up not being so... girly. Boys. They not only make us crazy, and forgot to bring their dirty socks to the laundry room, but they eat everything. EVERYTHING!

Start off my chopping half of a red onion, half a green pepper, and as many red globe grapes as your little heart desires!!
Boil chicken breast. ON THE BONE. I usually cook about 3. This is enough for a dinner for 2, and lunch the next day. Remove all meat from bones once it has been cooked, and cut into bite size chunks.

Toss onions, grapes, peppers, and chicken in a big ole bowl.

Now here is the tricky part, and it totally depends on what YOU like. But this is the master mix, a little of each and you are good to go! Oh, and a tiny little itty bitty spoon of sugar. Do it, it’s good.
Mix it all up nice and good, and take a few sneaky bites here and there. Its the law.

Bake up some yummy croissants.

And pile on a bunch of this mix of ohhhhh myyyy goddd!

And sit back, and watch grown men moan and groan as they stuff their face with girl food.

And smile in silent satisfaction.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Hello faithful readers,

I have decided to take my blogging into a different direction.

Instead of just cooking and baking, I will be sharing my life, past and present. Stories will be shared that have made me smile, and Im hoping they will do the same for you.

On that note, my site manager has informed me that I had a whopping 300+ readers last week! As soon as I reach my first 100 followers, you will be entered into a drawing to win a prize plus my all time favorite cookbook. But, you have to formally FOLLOW me for this to happen!

Thanks for keeping up with my changes! I promise, this will be the final!

Forever Honeymooner

Marlena and Mary

2 weeks ago, I decided to make a very big decision. It was time to put in my 2 weeks at work. I decided it was time to move on, and I am very happy with my decision.

I had the oppertunity to work with some wonderful people. They have made me laugh, and helped to brighten the dreary days of corporate America!

On my last day of work, my 2 favorites decided to play pay back. Pay back for what?? Pay back for making them experiment every single thing I have made in my kitchen for the past 6 months. They have tried and scrutinized all of my creations, and have given me great feedback (Nothing better then a constant thumbs up!) Last friday, I arrived to my last day of work to find 2 things.

Chocolate cupcakes with creamcheese frosting, adorned with grasshappers!
Grasshopper explanation: Marlena was amazing at helping me keep my cool when I wanted to fly off the handle. With the words "Patience grasshopper" I was transformed to a cool, calm and collective grasshopper. And this is where Marlena got her nickname "Wise Owl". Our nicknames stuck and put a smile on my face daily.

And HUGE kisses, filled with an Oreo concoction from Bakerella! Complete with a paper tucked inside saying "We are going to miss you!"

So sweet I tell ya! I love those girls!!

Marlena (Owl) and Mary,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the super yummy goodies. But more than just that, thank you for being AWESOME!
 Otherwise known as Grasshopper.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bacon Fritatta = Fabulous!

Ever wake up and think to yourself.. "I want breakfast, but not JUST breakfast."???  For me this means, I want something for breakfast but I dont want the usual eggs and toast kind of breakfast. I want something different.

And this is where I got the idea for a bacon frittata.

But before I start with that, lets just talk about how wonderful breakfast is. Eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, veggies, cheese, bagels, toast, strawberry jam, orange juice, Champagne and orange juice (makes my brain happy).
The world of breakfast food is fabulous.

On to the bacon frittata.

Chop up some yummy fresh onion and green peppers. I LOVE onions and green peppers. It makes my world go 'round!

Fry up some good 'ole bacon!

Make sure you drain the bacon on a paper towel. This is pretty important.

You dont want your Fritatta to not look as fancy as it sounds. Extra bacon fat = no good.

Chop the bacon into bite size peices

And cook up the onions and peppers in a little bit of butter. and ok, a spoon full of bacon fat for flavor.
Just do it.

In a prett pink bowl, combine the drained cooked onion and peppers, 6 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, half of the chopped bacon and 1 cup of shredded cheeder cheese.

Im aware that this doesnt look beautiful yet. But hold on. And yes, if you have a pretty pink bowl, use it!

Im convinced pink makes the world a better place. Just like breakfast food and champagne.

Pour into a baking dish, and smother the sucker with MORE cheese. I used colby jack for the top.

And the rest of the chopped bacon. Mmmmmm...

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and you have yourself a wonderful, fancy fritatta.

I love saying the word, Fritatta.


Cute, aint it?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daddy and his pineapple cupcakes

There is something you should know about me; I’m a daddy’s girl. 100%, all the way, never gonna be any other way...

Daddy’s girl.
My daddy is my hero. The kinda guy who knows how to be a dad AND a father. I think that’s very important. He’s worked his fingers to the bone to provide myself and my brothers everything we ever wanted. At 61 years old, he still gets up every morning at 6 o'clock AM, to go to work. And when he comes home, he works. And on the weekends, he works. And when he’s not working, he’s thinking about work. Because he enjoys providing for his wife and his kids. His kids are now grown, and providing for ourselves... but he still works. All day, every day. I don’t know how he does it, but he does.

One day, I’m going to provide for my dad. I’m going to give him back everything he has ever given me. I’m going to be super successful, and make him swell with pride for his only daughter. And then I’m going to give him a huge wad of cash, and tell him to sell his business. And to find a bunch of hobbies, because now its on me. Everything he will do will be on my tab. I don’t know how I will do it, but Ill figure that out soon.

My wheels are turning.

My dad is a very hard man to please. If he eats something, and its not wonderful... he will by all means, let you know! So, I knew that when his 61st birthday rolled around last week, I had to pull out all the stops. I had to make him something that he was going to enjoy. Because everyone should enjoy their birthday treats. Even more so, when you’re 61 and you still get up at the crack of dawn and work until sunset.
Daddy likes pineapple and daddy like coconut. He also likes cherries. Therefore, he LOVES pineapple upside down cake.
So what did I come up with? How about Pineapple cake, with a maraschino cherry tucked inside? Topped with a light whipped frosting, and dipped into candied coconut...

Wanna know whats sweeter then this cupcake? The fact that my daddy LIKED it. He REALLY liked it.

Mission Accomplished.


Tomorrow is my very best friends 25th birthday. Twenty-Five. I'm aware that 25 is not at all anything close to old. 25 is nothing but the start of real life. The life we ached for at a younger age. Real money, real school, real jobs, real LIFE. But the best part, by 25 you have figured out who your real friends are. You know who you can call at 3 o'clock in the morning, just to say your having some sort of hormonal fit, and you know you're being crazy and unreasonable. and the person on the other end is supposed to convince you that they in fact, were not sleeping, but waiting on your call, and that you're not crazy and that everything will be okay, and if its not okay, you will bury whoever it is that has caused this outrage in your backyard. Best friends honor.

We have been through it all. Heartaches galore. A few really bad ones. Gut wrenching, horrible, soul crushing heart aches. She felt my pain, and I felt hers.. all the way down to our cores. And we were there to cry into each others shoulder as we slurped up tears and sniffed our runny noses. And when our faces were all red and wet and our eyes swollen, we reminded each other that we were beautiful and worth so much more then that stupid boy who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

We were there for each other, when we found the right one too. We were there for each other, calming nerves on first dates... assuring each other we aren't hallucinating. "Lauren, I really love him, He's the one".... "Good, because I love him too." Music to my ears. Nothing is better then your best friends approval.

All of a sudden everything changed. When I called Lauren to tell her how God awful Ryan was, because he forgot to take out the garbage or fold a load of laundry. She stopped taking MY side. "Awe ya, guys are forgetful sometimes.. but he loves you Ang, go give him a big kiss and make up with him!' But, but, but!!! She was supposed to be on MY side. "ughhh... Lauren, you don't get it! He's an ASS!"... She had to understand. "Ok, maybe so.. But Ang, He loves you so much. Go give him that kiss!"... Ummmm what? "Wait, but.. Lauren, you have to understand me!!!!" and the response I got? "I understand that your a sensitive maniac. Now go make nice!" Geezz.. She didn't have to be so.... right! That's the hard part about having a best friend. She sees right through all the bull, yanks you by your ears, and tells you to stop being a spastic reject. Wanna know why? Because I am a spastic reject, but she loves me anyway.

Loves me anyway. Loves me even though I did that one thing, that one time, that was just not cool. And because I said that one thing, that was just so uncalled for. And because I made that one mistake, that shouldn't have been made. And because I talked to that one guy, that just shouldn't even have been mentioned to begin with, and because I have weird habits.. like touching backyard cactuses, or well.... I wont even go there. Just know that that thing is weird, crazy, and shouldn't be mentioned. End of story.

Our 5 am trips to McDonalds after partying all night. Attack of the seagull. Monthly ice-cream beach dates. Caramel Machiatos. Wisdom teeth. Birthday parties. Moving. "Who broke that table and didnt pick up that glass?" Totaling cars. Sneaking out. Sneaking in. Sneaking way too much of everything. Did that really happen or was I dreaming? Trips to Gainesville. Boston. Palm Island. Starbucks.Sandwich castles. Food in general. Hot tubs. Vomit.Club Malibu. Club Sunfire. Black. On the inside. Gangsta rap made me do it. Falling into holes. Spring break. Fire house Club on a Sub. "I'm rich, My daddy's a lawyer!!!" .. Ok, I'm done. I'm crying, and laughing, and wiping snot on my sleeve.

Happy Birthday, Ms. Lauren Marie. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for loving me when you didn't want to. Thank you for being beautiful. Thank you for being you. May your 25th year bring too much happiness and too many laugh until we ache moments. I love you. My Sistah.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I forgot to take something out for dinner tonight. All my meat was frozen. What’s a girl to do???
Detour to the grocery store and figure out something quick style for my ever so hungry husband to consume So that he’s happy and loves me again, thats what!!

So.... what’s a girl to make?
BBQ Chicken Pizza

I started by cooking up some chicken in olive oil and minced garlic. Just to add a little flavor, because lets face it... plain cooked chicken tastes... boring.

Once the chicken cooled, I used a knife and fork to shred it all up in yummy little chunks of boring chicken.

...cooked up some sliced red onion..

Laid out some pizza dough. Slathered it with BBQ Sauce. I like Jack Daniels brand in brown sugar. I think it has the perfect sweetness to it. Try it! After spreading the BBQ sauce, I sprinkled just a little bit of Mozzarella cheese. Just enough to make the toppings stick real good.

Sprinkled on the shredded chicken and onion...
Then piled on the cheese! This is my favorite part... Shredded mozzarella and smoked Gouda. Seriously? Doesn’t that sound illegal? A little bit of chopped cilantro finished off this masterpiece.

And voila! Baked for 13 minutes at 475 degrees... and we have ourselves an amazing, bubbly, BBQ chicken pizza.

Make it for dinner tonight.

Trust me.

You will be glad you did.