Wanting some takeout, but not feeling like spending the money? Have a kitchen decently stocked with ingredients for Asian cooking, or a cheap Asian grocery store within an easy walk? Then go with this recipe. All I really had to do for this recipe was throw a thing of rice in the rice cooker the day before, and spend maybe a half hour tops getting everything going the day of. Simple, quick, and makes a regular shitton (though I might have to double the recipe next time as the boything really liked it). 

Ginger Fried Rice
Lasted two of us one meal and a bit leftover, will probably double next time

Ingredients

  • 4 c day-old cooked rice
  • .5 c peanut oil
  • 2 T minced garlic 
  • 2 T minced ginger (mine was grated, as I freeze mine) 
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 large leek, white and light green bits sliced thin
  • egg, if you want one on yours (do the thing if you do eggs, it’s great)
  • sesame oil 
  • soy sauce (I used the aged soy that I have from ) 

First, your rice. If you have leftover rice from other takeout that’s still good, use that. Otherwise, do what I did – throw a bunch of rice in your rice cooker the day before, cook it, and keep the warm function off. 

In a large pan, heat .25 c of peanut oil over medium heat, and then add in the minced garlic and ginger, cooking until crisp and lightly browned (see picture 3). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl or on paper towels, and salt lightly. 

Reduce heat to medium low, add another 2 T of peanut oil, and add in your sliced leeks. Cook them for about 10 minutes, until they’re tender (but not browned; see the difference between pictures 4 and 5). Salt them lightly. 

Then, raise the heat back to medium, and add in your rice. Stir well, and cook until the rice is heated fully through (about eightish minutes), maybe a bit longer if you want the rice to have a bit of color and crunch to it. Pics six and seven are the rice just added to the pan, and after being fully heated. Again, add a small bit of salt. 

If you want to add an egg, heat the remaining peanut oil in a small nonstick pan over high, break an egg into it, and then cook until the whites have just set, but the yolk is still wobbly (call it two minutes). 

Then, scoop out the rice into your serving bowls, drizzle with a bit of sesame and a bigger bit of soy sauce, sprinkle the crisped garlic and ginger over it all, and, if you feel so inclined, put your egg on top, and enjoy!

So, our DM was down in Florida the last two weeks, and they accidentally bought too many strawberries back on the way home. TLDR we had a session on Friday night, and I am now the proud owner of 2 lbs of super ripe Florida strawberries. Have some ideas for the rest (strawberry lemon cake here I come), but the boy and I haven’t done waffles in a bit, and this was lurking in my to-make pile, so I decided to push this up and make these Sunday night.

Good life choice, that. Browned butter plus roasted strawberries = holy yes. This was originally a pancake recipe, and I think they may have been a bit thicker than I was expecting when I cooked them – any tips for thinning out the batter?

Roasted Strawberry Browned Butter Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c sliced strawberries
  • (original recipe recommended roasting with olive oil, I think I’ll just let them roast in their own juices next time)
  • half a stick (.25 c) unsalted butter
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • .5 t cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1.25 c milk

Preheat your oven to 375. Take your sliced strawberries, spread them in an even layer in a baking dish, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until juicy and caramelly. 

While the strawberries finish, heat a small pot to medium high heat and brown your butter, melting it and whisking it until small brown bits start to form in the bottom (see pic 2 and 3 for what that looks like). Remove the butter from heat and set aside for later.

Meanwhile, mix together all your dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, egg, and milk, before pouring it into the dry ingredients and mixing until just barely combined. Then, pour in your browned butter, and a quarter of the strawberries and their juices. (The recipe recommends thinning with additional milk, but I tried that, and I think I may have thickened it somehow??)

Preheat your waffle iron, cook according to directions, and then top with the remaining roasted strawberries. 

I made these cookies because they sounded awesome on principle, and because back in December, the boy was finally okayed to have caffeine and sweets again, so this seemed like a nice way to combine the two. There’s an additional white chocolate dip with crushed candy canes for these, but these were ridiculously indulgent enough for now. I’ll try the dip another day. 

Peppermint Mocha Cookies
Makes appx 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (.5 c) butter, softened to room temperature
  • .5 c sugar
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t peppermint extract
  • 1 c flour
  • .5 c plus 2 T extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 package Starbucks Via Peppermint Mocha (or 1 T espresso powder if you have it)
  • 1 c mini or semi sweet chocolate chips (I used a type that included mint chips because winter and it fit the cookies)
  • (8 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped)
  • (3 candy canes, smashed)

In a large bowl, cream your butter with an electric mixer until smooth, and then add in your sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Then add your vanilla and peppermint extracts, and egg. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, Starbucks Via, and salt. Then, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the larger bowl, until you have a nice coherent dough. Then, add in the chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap, and then chill it for three hours at minimum (up to 3 days, if you’re working real far ahead), to help the flavors develop and to make the dough easier to work with. 

Once you’re ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 375, and bring your cookies to room temperature to make them easier to work with (takes about 20 minutes if you left them in 3 hours, any longer and it’s closer to 30). Take bits of the dough and roll them into small balls, and place them on your baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, and then remove and let cool.

(If you decide to do the dip and candy cane coating, take your chopped white chocolate and put it in the microwave, melting in 30 second increments. Once your cookies are cooled, take your cookies, dip half them in the white chocolate, and then sprinkle the smashed candy canes on top of them. Let them sit on parchment paper of some kind to set, and place into the fridge to assist this. Once the white chocolate is set, remove and enjoy!)

So, this right here? I’m not gonna lie, this is a bit more complex than I usually do my dinners. You’re gonna be doing a lot of stuff in order to get it to work. However, the end result is pretty fucking spectacular, so, if you need to impress someone? This is the meal to make.

Made a few alterations – I’m not that big of a fan of nuts, so I took out the walnuts in the brie stuffing. And yours truly picked up boneless skinless chicken breasts for this, because they were what was on sale – and the recipe needed skinned. If this happens to you, no worries! There’s a workaround from the pepperoni stuffed chicken that I make that works here. The end result is still tremendous.

One Pan Apricot-Glazed, Brie Stuffed Chicken with Potatoes
Lasted for a week’s worth of meals with the breasts split in half

Ingredients

Potatoes:

  • 1.5 lbs mix of roasting potatoes, halved (one of the stalls at the local farmer’s market sells a roasting mix of various potatoes, I just used that)
  • 3-4 T olive oil
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • zest of 1 lemon

Chicken, Stuffing, and Glaze:

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts (accidentally got skinless? there’s a work around)
  • 1 c fresh basil (got it from the plant in my garden, hee)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • 2 T olive oil (may need to increase to better blend depending on your basil)
  • 6 oz brie, cubed and rind removed
  • 2 T cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 3 T apricot preserves (if you can find some at your farmers market, great)
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400 F. In a large glass pan, combine your potatoes, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon zest, and toss to coat and combine thoroughly. Roast for ten minutes, or until you’re ready to add the chicken to the pan. 

To make the stuffing, combine the basil, olive oil, egg, brie, garlic, and cream cheese in a blender, and blend until combined into a thick cheesy mixture. If you need to add more olive oil to make it blend better, do so!

If you have skin-on chicken breasts, pull up the skin and stuff 1-2 T of cheese mixture underneath. If you’re like me and got skinless breasts, all is not lost. What you do is take your knife, slice the breast in half diagonally, so you have two diamondish looking shapes, and then cut a pocket in the middle of the breast, but not all the way through, so you can stuff the chicken with the mixture (see pics three and four for what this looks like).

At this point, take the pan out of the oven and slide the potatoes around so that you can nestle the breasts in them in the pan (see pic 6). Sprinkle your sea salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper over the chicken breasts. Mix together your apricot preserves, balsamic vinegar and an additional T of olive oil, and then brush the resulting glaze over the chicken breasts (see pic 7). Put the pan back in the oven and roast for another 30 to 40 mins, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden (I went 35, and the final picture resulted).

(If the potatoes are cooking faster than the chicken, feel free to remove them early.) And then? Impress the fuck out of someone with this really delicious one pan meal. 

Looking for a simple, quick, delicious breakfast? I recommend this. This takes five minutes tops to throw together, and then just throw it in a container, and take it to work with you, and you’ve got a perfect breakfast, carbs and protein and a bit of sweetness.

Pro tip: be sure to use real thick bread – I picked up a loaf of thick-cut shokupan (a Japanese sandwich bread made with milk, fantastic stuff) from Mitsuwa in IL when I was down there the other week for C2E2, and it was the perfect size. And in terms of getting the perfect sized hole, I used a beer flight cup that I had from a local beer festival, and it got the perfect size. 

Eggs in a Hole
Makes one slice

Ingredients

  • 1ish T butter
  • 1 slice thick bread (I used shokupan)
  • 1 egg
  • brown sugar and sea salt to taste

Melt your butter in a small pan, let it get bubbly, but don’t let it brown. While the butter melts, take a slice of thick bread and make a two inch or so hole in it (I used a beer flight cup to make mine).  As soon as the butter starts to bubble, take one side of the bread and cook until golden brown (a minute or two tops). Then, flip the toast, take your egg, crack it into the hole, and let it cook on the stovetop until the white sets, and sprinkle with brown sugar and sea salt. 

As soon as the white sets, take it off, and enjoy! The yolk will still be perfectly runny in the center. 

This cake is my crowning glory. mithingthepoint​ originally made this back in the days of yore as a FFXII dessert for Balthier, and it pretty much had me from the initial list of ingredients. I’ve made it three times in my life, and none of them has been perfect, but this is pretty damn close. Time one, I didn’t have a springform and I’m 99% sure I screwed up the second layer pretty badly. Time two, I had the springform, but opened it too early, and it got all over everything.

And now, time 3. I got pretty much everything right this time around, except for the second layer – that still ended up a bit on the liquid side, likely because I didn’t beat the merengue/whipped cream bit of it for long enough.  The result is still amazing.  

This will take you several days to make. This has been sitting in my fridge for about a week now due to needing to pick up extra whipping cream and Kahlua for the final stage.  It is worth every minute you put into it.

Kahlua Mousse Cake
Lasts 2 weeks worth of desserts

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1 c white sugar
  • .25 c special dark cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c hot brewed coffee (I used a leftover Pumpkin Spice Via I had from last year’s batch, this year’s is shit)
  • 1/3 c hot melted butter
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • liberal amounts of Kahlua

Mousse Layer

  • 16 oz white baking chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 4 T white sugar
  • 1.5 c heavy whipping cream

Kahlua Whipped Cream

  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c powdered sugar
  • .5 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T Kahlua

Kahlua Glaze

  • 1.5 c powdered sugar
  • 6 T Kahlua

Preheat your oven to 350. If your springform pan is not nonstick, grease and flour it, or put parchment paper in.  In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt), and form a small well in the middle. Add the hot brewed coffee directly in the center of the well, followed by the melted butter, vanilla extract, and egg, like so:

image

 Mix together, and pour into your springform.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Then, take your Kahlua, and pour it all over the cake. Trust me. Just do it.  The amount in picture two was about a quarter of a 750 ml bottle.  Chill for at minimum an hour in the fridge.  Longer is better here.

To make the mousse layer, melt together your stick of butter and your white chocolate over medium heat.  (I started with the butter, and added the chocolate in small chunks, and that was honestly the best way to get it to the lovely smoothness in picture 3.)  Then stir in the salt and vanilla, and whisk in the egg yolks (see picture 4 for what that looks like), and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy (see picture five), and slowly add the sugar in, beating until you get stiff peaks and the sugar is disolved, giving you a nice merengue.  I probably didn’t do the eggs long enough here to get that.  Fold into the white chocolate mixture.  Then beat your heavy whipping cream until thick and firm, and then fold that into the mixture as well.  

Pour the resulting confection over the soaked cake, and let it sit for one to two days. Mine sat for about five. 

On the day you’re ready to serve the cake, make the Kahlua whipped cream and the glaze.  For the whipped cream, work with all ingredients except the sugar cold, and start by using an electric mixer to beat the cream.  Slowly add the sugar, followed by the vanilla, and finally the Kahlua, and beat until thick (see pictures 7 and 8 for what that should look like).  If you properly did the confection layer, you will be able to safely open the springform and pour the whipped cream over the cake. If not, no worries, you can still pour the whipped cream on top of the cake in the springform and it’ll still work well.

For the glaze, work with the Kahlua cold, and mix it together with the powdered sugar (see picture 9).  Pipe it over the edges of the cake and/or in an abstract fashion. If you’re like me and using this as an exercise in spite baking, you might, say write this:

image

Before glazing it over to be a bit more socially acceptable (see final picture).

Either way? Enjoy your ridiculously boozy decadent ass cake.  You deserve it. Yes, you.

Risottos are always a fantastic thing. This is the first time I’ve made this one, and it has a nice breakfasty twist to it. It could probably use a bit more wine and chicken stock to absorb into the risotto, so I’ll remember that for next time. Poaching the eggs didn’t work so well this time around, but there’s always next time. But otherwise? A wonderful, cheesy risotto. 

Bacon and Poached Egg Risotto
Lasts 2 to 3 meals as a main

Ingredients

  • 3 c chicken stock
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced (original recommends shallot)
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • .5 c white wine (I used Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food wine, as is my standard for risottos)
  • .5 c freshly grated gruyere (original recommends Comte)
  • .25 c shredded parmesan
  • 4 slices thick sliced bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T butter
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Bring your chicken stock to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer in a separate pot. In a pan over medium high heat, heat your olive oil, and add your minced onion. Saute until translucent (about two minutes). Add your rice, toast until it smells nutty (about two minutes), and then add your white wine, stirring until it’s completely absorbed.  Then, drink the rest of the bottle of wine as you’re cooking the risotto.  Yes, this is absolutely necessary to the success of the recipe. Because science.

Now, take your heated chicken stock, and add a few ladlefuls at a time to the risotto, stirring constantly until it’s absorbed, and then adding a few more, until your quart of chicken stock is used up.  It’s going to take almost constant effort, but the result will be worth it, especially in how creamy it makes it, trust me.  After the chicken stock is used up, taste the risotto to see where it’s at – it should be creamy, but not at all mushy.  Keep drinking the wine.  It totally helps.  (This is the area where I think I may need to add more chicken stock next time.)

While you’re adding in the chicken stock, cook your bacon to its desired doneness and set aside. To poach your eggs, fill a small pot with water, a splash of white vinegar, and salt.  Crack your eggs into separate holders (ie ramekin, small bowl, whatever) while the water comes to a simmer.  Once simmering, stir the water with a whisk in one direction until it’s spinning around like a small whirlpool. Then, add your eggs into the center of the whirlpool one at a time, and turn off the heat.  (This method works for up to four eggs.) Let sit for five minutes, and then remove from the water with a slotted spoon.  Your eggs will be nice and soft in the center, and quite yummy besides. (I didn’t have the salt and vinegar this time, so this is likely why they did not turn out as well.)

Once the stock has been absorbed, remove from heat, add your butter, gruyere, and parmesan, and stir. Add your bacon and poached eggs on top, and then enjoy!

Deb posted this recipe over on Smitten Kitchen right as I was starting to plan Christmas meals and such, and really, this was utterly perfect timing. My da has a waffle iron (I don’t yet but that may be changing), and the idea of her Gramercy Tavern gingerbread in waffle form is utterly amazing. (Only used buttermilk in these, but next time? Absolutely using stout.) Not really sure how accurate the output on this was, as I split the batter to make a less gingerbready version for some of my sisters. Regardless, this was the perfect way to wake up Christmas morning. 

Deep Dark Gingerbread Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 c flour
  • .75 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • dash ground cloves
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1.5 t baking powder
  • .5 t baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • .5 c (really, shitton of options here – I used buttermilk, apple cider, yogurt thinned with milk, and even stout beer)
  • .5 c molasses
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • .25 c white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 T butter, melted

Whisk together your flour, spices, salt, and baking sugar and powder.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the molasses, dark brown and white sugar, egg, butter, and your additional wet ingredient of choice, until mixed together. (If the butter cools a bit and makes little white splotches in the batter, this is okay.) Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined.

Heat your waffle iron to medium, and then use a rubber spatula to spoon the batter into the iron until the individual waffle molds are about ¾ths full. Be sure you have it greased, or these WILL stick. Cook according to your waffle iron’s directions, maybe a minute or two more if the batter is particularly moist. 

To remove, open, let rest for about 30 seconds, and use a tong and spatula to lift the corners out and wiggle it gently out of the mold. Let cool a little further, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar (and syrup if you really want to, but they likely won’t need them). 

This is the first meatloaf I’ve ever made, and I can honestly say it’s a pretty damn good meatloaf to start out with. Would probably substitute panko for oats in the future, but otherwise? Get a good gouda, good bacon, and ground meat, all from your local farmers market if you can, and enjoy the awesomeness of this meatloaf.

Bacon and Gouda Stuffed Meatloaf with Tomato Marmalade
Lasts an incredibly long time (about two weeks’ worth of lunches, minimum)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • .75 lb ground pork
  • 2 t grated onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • .25 c oats
  • .5 t garlic salt
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 1 c grated Gouda (I used smoked gouda, you could also use cheddar)

Tomato Marmalade

  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you can find them for a reasonable price)
  • 1.5 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • .25 t crushed red pepper

Cook your bacon to its desired doneness, and while it cooks, grate your Gouda. As soon as the bacon is done, remove it to a paper towel. Combine all ingredients for the loaf except for the bacon and gouda in a large bowl, using your hands if necessary to mash it together.

Ideally, for the loaf, you have a bread pan, but if you don’t, use a cake pan, and shape the loaf in the bottom of the pan with half the meat. Lay down half the gouda, then the bacon, then the other half of the gouda on top, and form the top part of the loaf with the other half of the meat, sealing in the bacon and cheese. Preheat your oven to 350 (325 on my oven), and put the loaf in.

Immediately after the loaf is in the oven, put your tomatoes, balsamic, dark brown sugar, and crushed red pepper in a pot and stir to combine, bringing it to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes, until reduced by about half.

Once the marmalade is done, remove the loaf from heat and pour the marmalade on top of it. After that, it should cook for about ten minutes more. I actually set mine for an additional half hour, so that it was closer to an hour in the oven instead of the overall 40 minutes the recipe recommends. My loaf is likely more well done as a result (I haven’t cut far enough in to confirm).

And then, enjoy the noms!

The weekend is one of the few times I will do anything that requires any sort of effort for breakfast, as during the weekday, breakfast mostly doesn’t happen.  My wakeup time is timed so that I have enough time to wake up all the way, make myself look decent, and get out the door on time, and unless I have something breakfasty that I can eat at work, I usually don’t eat till a midmoring snack.  Breakfast has become a weekend thing exclusively for me, which means I’m willing to put a bit more effort into making it.

This was a fun little exercise, as I’ve never poached an egg before, but I can say that it didn’t turn out half bad.  Might not have the bread under teh broiler as long as I did next time, and I forgot the cheese, but otherwise, this is definitely something I’d think of making again.

Garlic and Tomato Rubbed Toast with Poached Egg
Makes 1

Ingredients

  • slice roasted garlic bread
  • peeled garlic clove
  • tomato
  • 2 eggs
  • shredded cheese of some sort (original recommends parmesan, I didn’t add any, will likely experiment with what I have in the fridge next time)
  • basil (didn’t use this as fresh basil is fuckass expensive right now)

Take your slice of bread and throw it under the broiler until it gets to your desired doneness for toast.  As soon as it’s done, take it out of the oven, and rub it with your garlic clove. Slice your tomato in half, and then rub half of it against the still warm toast.  

While this is happening, poach your eggs – the trick I used was to put vinegar in teh water, bring it to almost boiling, and put the rings of two mason jars in and crack the eggs directly into the mason rings.  The eggs mostly turned out (see pic 2), though getting them out was a bit difficult.  I recommend a spoon of some sort, and sliding it under the mason jar rings for next time.

Put your eggs on top of the toast, add the cheese and basil if you have it on hand, and boom; utensil free breakfast that’s relatively easy to make, filling, and looks pretty besides.