Adventures In Food and Wine

Join me in my kitchen while I embark on a journey of cooking and enjoying food and wine.

Monday, February 27, 2006

ARF Tuesday (early)-Edamame

First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of posts over the last week or so. There is just so much going on in my life right now that blogging has gone to the back burner. I foresee not posting everyday for a while, but I will post when I can.

For dinner tonight I went back to the Meatless Monday theme and prepared a very nutritious soup from the March issue of Everyday Food. This is a Martha Stewart publication that I really enjoy. It has some simple yet tasty recipes every month. Edamame Corn Chowder is quick, tasty, and very healthy. For those of you not familiar with edemame, it is young or immature soybeans. It can be purchased shelled or in the pod and in the frozen food section of your supermarket. All that is available here is the "in the pod" version which can be shelled before (as for this recipe) or after cooking. It has a nutty/beany taste and is kind of sweet. Very good, and very good for you also.

This is an under 30 minute dish ( if you can find shelled edamame, otherwise you have about 20 minutes of shelling to do). You begin by browning and crisping some bacon, remove to drain and saute some chopped onion until soft. Add broth, potato, and seasoning, simmer then add corn, edamame, and half-and-half. Simmer until all veggies are tender and you are good to go! Of course, I could eat soup every night and I would not complain!

I will be submitting this dish for Sweetnicks ARF Tuesday feature. Be sure to check it out tomorrow evening.

That is it for tonight. I will be cooking from various magazine sources this week. Check back in to see what's cookin'.

Edemame Corn Chowder
Adapted from Everyday Food, March 2006, page 141

Friday, February 24, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Life has gotten in the way of blogging. Be back soon.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Crabby Pasta!

Have you ever just had a craving for something so bad you just had to stop and get it? I had a craving after work today for grapes (at least it was something healthy!). I stopped at the local grocery and it was fate since they had them on sale! I picked up some beautiful black grapes. I know I will be taking some to work with me tomorrow.

For dinner tonight I wanted to use some of the canned crab I bought recently so I decided on a new recipe I got from CopyCat Recipes for Crab Alfredo. It is supposed to be a clone of a famous chain seafood restaurant's dish. This was good, but it was very thick. I added some pasta water to thin it some, but as it cooled it became thicker. I used Fat Free Half and Half instead of cream so I cannot imagine how thick it would be if you used regular cream or half and half! I will make this again, only add more liquid or reduce the butter/flour mixture. The flavor was very good and the crabmeat really came through. It was not overpowered by the Parmesan cheese in the sauce. I served this over Barilla Plus spaghetti and we had a salad along with it. I did make a Basic Vinaigrette to serve on the salad that is very simple and very good that I copied from a cookbook I picked up at the library.

Tomorrow after work I have a mandatory meeting to attend so I won't be home until late. The big wigs at work are feeding us at the meeting so the boys will be on their own tomorrow unless I feel really generous and rambunctious after work. Until then.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Update for the week, VRC, WDB.

WOW, what a busy and stressful week! I am so glad the Nephology Exam is over. I will not know the results for 4 to 6 weeks. I have taken this test before...and did not pass. That time I walked away knowing I did not pass. I feel better about this time. It is a tough test.

I really did not follow a specific plan this past week. Cooking was sort of hit or miss. Wednesday evening we had a Cooking Light recipe, Border-Style Shrimp.
Border-Style Shrimp
adapted from Cooking Light

This was quite flavorful. I held back on the cumin only using 1 teaspoon while the original recipe called for 2 teaspoons. I should have went with the 2 teaspoons. I served this over brown rice, but there was not quite enough sauce to make the rice more moist.

Thursday evening brought the Cheese Sandwich and Potato Soup. Alysha at The Savory Notebook has a Virtual Recipe Club, and the theme this week is potatoes! I am submitting the soup for the VRC round-up this week. Biscuit Girl is doing the hosting this week over at You Gonna Eat All That?. Be sure to check it out.

Friday evening we had a Martha Stewart recipe I got off the Martha Stewart Living web site.
Pork Chops with Herb Stuffing
adapted from Martha Stewart

This were very good and very simple to prepare. Perfect for a busy weeknight meal. I did make my slits in the chops a little too big and I had to tie them with butchers twine to keep the stuffing in! I will know not to do that the next time! We had these with a simple salad and steamed broccoli with lemon. These were a big hit with the men of the family, including Buster who enjoyed a bone from DH afterward.
Weekend Dog Blogging #22, Buster enjoys a bone!

Buster ALWAYS takes any treat to the ugly carpet in the bedroom to chew it or eat it. I had to sneak up on him to get a photo! Alicat from Something So Clever is hosting WDB this weekend as Sweetnicks is in the hospital! Be sure to stop by her site and wish her well. We miss you Sweetnicks! Take care of yourself and get better soon!

Saturday evening I was wiped out after that test.

For dinner this evening we had a favorite dish from the Cooking Light Bulletin Boards, Oven Beef Stew.

Oven Beef Stew
adapted from the Cooking Light Bulletin Board

This is a hearty and filling stew. You brown the stew beef, add some flour and seasonings, beef stock and red wine(which I omitted this time, just add an equal amount of stock). Bring to a simmer and add the vegetables. Cover and braise in the oven for 2 hours. The end product is a thick, rich stew. Very comforting with the frigid weather we are having here in central Indiana today. Thursday when I left work the car thermometer registered 62 degrees. When I got up this morning it was 6 degrees! Crazy weather for sure!

That is it for tonight. I have not been able to enjoy any of the Olympics this last week so I think I will go watch some for the evening. I still have not made my menu for this week, but I will be cooking from the net this week with recipes I have gleaned from the Internet. Check back in to see what's cookin'.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cheese Sandwich & Soup

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I am still furiously studying for the Certified Nephrology Nurse exam. I will post a roundup this weekend after the test.

For dinner tonight it was soup and sandwich night, CHEESE SANDWICHES to be exact! I used some homemade bread I made yesterday and some wonderful Vermont White Cheddar Cheese. Buttered the outside of the bread slices and grilled them up in the skillet. Wonderful, yet simple food. Along with these we had Potato Soup. I never really follow a recipe for Potato Soup, I usually just wing it as I go. You start with chopped carrot, onion, celery, and cubed potatoes. Preheat a soup pot with a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the veggies and saute for a couple minutes. Then add about 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper to taste, and cook just enough so the flour doesn't taste raw. Add 1 quart of chicken stock and simmer until veggies are tender. Then add some milk, about 2 cups or so. Heat through and serve with grated cheddar cheese and/or bacon bits if desired. Good SIMPLE stuff!

Back to the studying. At least I am off work tomorrow and I can study all day a (sounds like a fun way to spend your day off doesn't it). Check in over the weekend to see what's cookin'.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Blues with BB

The man still has it at 80 years young. BB, you put on a fantastic show. Nuff said.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

The show at Beef and Boards last night was fantastic. For a small stage production of Phantom, it was very well done and all the performers were superb. Tony Lawson played the role of Erik, or The Phantom with passion. His voice was very powerful and haunting. Krista Severeid as Christina demonstrated a magnificent range with her singing voice. Other performers included Peter Kevoian, Timothy Ford, and Beef and Boards regulars Ty Stover, Suzanne Stark, and Jeff Stockberger. Phantom will be playing at Beef and Boards until the first week in April. If you are in the Indianapolis area, this is one show not to miss.

The menu on the buffet included Carved Roast Beef, Sesame Chicken, Blazing Red Fish, Noodles Alfredo, Mixed Vegetable Blend, Roasted Potatoes, Braised Red Cabbage, and the salad and fruit bar. The fish and the cabbage were very good. I did not have any of the beef but DH declared it excellent. We had a bottle of Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz with the meal. I have had this wine there before and it is a fruity and spicy shiraz with a bit of creaminess on the tongue. We choose to have our dessert at intermission. DH and I both had Creamsicle Cheesecake and Zac had Chocolate Moose with a Phantom mask iced on top. The cheesecake was very rich and creamy and Zac said the same about the moose. A very fun evening indeed.

After the show we went further south to Bloomington to spend the night with DH's brother and his wife, Roger and Cindy. We stayed up late catching up and making plans for our summer houseboat trip. We headed home this morning making another stop in Indianapolis at Costco to pick up a few needed items.

I will not be posting much this week as I need to spend much time studying for the Certified Nephrology Exam next Saturday. I have to present a topic at the review session Tuesday and I have not even read that section yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Enjoy the photos from the buffet. Cameras during the performances are prohibited, but I could photo as much of the food as I wanted!

Remember to check out Weekend Cat Blogging at Eat Stuff, Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen, and Weekend Dog Blogging at Sweetnicks.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Got the weekend off OH YEAH! Tomorrow evening we go to Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis for dinner and to see Phantom of The Opera. We have been to Beef and Boards several times and the shows have always been excellent. Dinner is buffet style with generally always prime rib, chicken, and fish along with numerous sides, salads, and fresh fruit. I will take my camera and shoot some pics of the food if they allow it. If you are ever staying in the Indianapolis area, Beef and Boards is a fun evening.

No recipes to review tonight but I do have some product reviews.

Great Range Ground Buffalo

For dinner we had Bison Burgers and fries. We have not had burgers and fries for a long time and this is one of Zac's favorite meals (typical teenager). Bison meat is very lean, 90% lean to be exact. This meat has much more flavor than 90% lean ground beef. This is the brand that our local Marsh Supermarket has available about every 6 weeks. In addition to the ground meat, they also have steaks available. At $4.99 per pound for the ground bison, it compares in price to extra lean ground beef.

For the fries we had Alexia brand frozen gourmet Sweet Potato Fries. I am not a big fan of convenience foods, but I think these are really good. No trans fats and all natural ingredients. They come in a variety of styles and flavors. We like the sweet potato fries and the Rosemary and Olive Oil Potatoes the best. These are definitely not greasy as some frozen fries are and they have pretty good flavor. Every once in a while, convenience foods do come in handy. When I do resort to them, I always try to feed my family the highest quality I can find.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Taking a Break

Taking a break from the cookin' and bloggin' tonight! It is frigid here and I just want to curl up and veg out for the evening. Be back tomorrow. Have a good night.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Dinner Tonight - Greek Chicken with Feta and Tomatoes

This has been a lazy day. Since I had the day off work I had planned to get a lot of little things done, instead I just took it easy most of the day and relaxed. Good to do every now and then (although I should have studied for that dang test).

Dinner tonight was another winner from Fresh Everyday. Greek Chicken with Feta and Tomatoes combines all the wonderful flavors common in a Greek Salad. Greek olives, tomatoes, oregano, and feta cheese. You begin by marinating the chicken breasts in a mixture of lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine, salt, pepper, and oregano. The original recipe calls for fresh oregano, but I subbed Penzey's dried. This summer when my oregano is abundant in the herb garden I will definitely make this with fresh. I marinated this in my FoodSaver marinating dish which claims to marinate in just a short time what in a normal dish would take overnight. I think this works well and you can taste the flavors in the food. One of the best things I love my FoodSaver for.

After the marinating, you simply cook the chicken in the skillet until browned, remove, cook up the sauce, and add the chicken back. Add some olives and top with crumbled feta cheese before serving. This is a very good dish and after all the chopping is done it is quick to cook.

On the side we had another dish from Fresh Everyday, Winter Rice Pilaf. This has leek, carrot, long grain and wild rice blend, orange, and quinoa. This was very good and a definite repeater. The original recipe also has golden raisins added at the end. I did not want to push too much on the family at once with the quinoa added, so I skipped the raisins. But next time...And there will be a next time for sure. This had excellent flavor and the quinoa added a bit of nuttiness to the finished dish. We rounded the meal out with a tossed salad.

Tomorrow is a long day at work and I really do not have any dinner plans. I may spring for a Take and Bake pizza, which would please Zac to no end. Check back in to see what's cookin'. Until then.

Greek Chicken with Feta and Tomatoes
adapted from Fresh Everyday by Sara Foster

Winter Rice Pilaf
adapted from Fresh Everyday by Sara Foster

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Busy Week Ahead!

Hello all! Wow, I was thinking today about all I have going on over the next 10 days or so. First of all, we have been thinking about a move to a different house. That has been occupying my thoughts a lot. Can we afford it? Do I really want to clean a 3000 square foot house? On the other hand, the price would be right, I would be living in the house with a big kitchen, it is a historic home that is being restored so it should not require any repairs right away. Decisions, decisions.
On Saturday evening we are going to see Phantom of The Opera at a dinner theatre in Indianapolis. Valentines day we go see B.B. King (Oh Yeah!). Then on the 18th I take the big Nephology Exam. I have to study more and I hate studying. Oh well, enough about that. Suffice it to say, I have a lot on my plate right now!

On our plates tonight was some good old-fashioned Hoosier pork chops. I simply rubbed the chops with a small amount of olive oil and seasoned with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and marjoram. Then they were seared in a hot cast-iron skillet. Simple fare. I served Lemon Roasted Asparagus on the side. Very good and quick to get to the table, under 30 minutes actually (Take that Rachael!)

Be sure to check out Dispensing Happiness tonight as Stephanie is hosting ARF Tuesday for Sweetnicks who is on vacation someplace warm and tropical! Must be nice, I could use something warm and tropical about now! Have a good night and check in tomorrow to see what's cookin'.

Monday, February 06, 2006

California Dreamin'

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I went for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day

Remember that old song by The Mamas & The Papas? That song kept running through my head as I prepared dinner. California Cobb Salad is a refreshing and summery treat on such a winter's day here in Indiana. This tasty salad comes from Fresh Everyday by Sara Foster. It begins with a bed of two greens, lettuce (I used red leaf) and arugula. Arugula is also known as Rocket. This peppery flavored herb is a favorite of mine to use in salads.

Topping the greens are eggs, bacon, cucumber, grape tomatoes, avocado (another favorite) and blue cheese. Dressed with a homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette and you have a salad that is hard to beat. You can also add some cooked shredded chicken if desired. Yum.

That is all for tonight. Be sure to check in tomorrow to see what's cooking. Until then.

California Cobb Salad
adapted from Fresh Everday by Sara Foster

Sunday, February 05, 2006


The cookbook I will be using this week is another by Sara Foster. Fresh Everyday has gotten many a good review on the Cooking Light Bulletin Board and it is one I have used many times in the past. There are recipes for all seasons in this lovely cookbook.

Dinner tonight was Navy Bean Soup with Rosemary and Smoky Ham Hocks served with Skillet Cornbread and potatoes. I thought everything was very good and had lots of flavor. I love bean soups so it doesn't take much to please me in that respect. DH did not care for the rosemary in the soup however. Beans and Ham Hocks are sort of a Hoosier tradition. Around here it is always served with cornbread and potatoes.

After an overnight soak, the beans are cooked with onions, garlic, celery, ham hocks, and seasonings in chicken stock until tender. Remove the hocks and shred the meat before returning to the soup pot. Very good and full of fiber.

The cornbread is cooked in a cast-iron skillet in a hot oven. While you mix the cornbread, the skillet pre-heats in the oven with the oil. When you add the mix, it sizzles and helps to make the crust brown and crispy. This was a very good cornbread with just a small amount of sugar added. Many southerners frown on sugar in their cornbread.

I even prepared a dessert from this book today. Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake is a flourless chocolate cake that is very rich and decadent. I love dark chocolate, but this was a bit too dark for DH. I really struck out in the cooking department with him today! I thought everything was excellent however.

That is it for tonight. Off to watch the half-time show. Until tomorrow.

WDB # 20

Where does the snow end and the dog begin?

Head over to Something So Clever to check out the other pups!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Kid Friendly and Easy

Fortunately we did not get all the snow predicted...yet. We got about 2 inches but another 2 could fall overnight. Here in central Indiana the winter has been pretty mild so far. I noticed yesterday that I have many of my herbs coming up in the herb garden. I hope this recent snow and cold snap doesn't do them in.

Sloppy Joes from Cooking Light magazine were for dinner tonight and a snap to prepare. Brown up some ground sirloin with onions and bell pepper, add your seasonings and tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Being able to get dinner on the table quickly is great on the days I work late. I served this on homemade burger buns (that I made yesterday while I was home) and with a tossed salad on the side. Filling and satisfying.

Moomie's Beautiful Burger Buns comes from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. This particular recipe has made the rounds on the internet as well. The recipe first appeared on the King Arthur Flour message circle where it was posted by Ellen Dill. It quickly gained in popularity. These are very easy to make by hand, with a stand mixer, or in a bread machine. The original recipe uses all-purpose flour which I changed to my favorite White Whole Wheat Flour.

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow I will be planning for the next week. I have not chosen a source for the recipes next week, so I will be perusing the cookbooks tonight. Be sure to check all the kitties for Weekend Cat Blogging at Eat Stuff, the pups tomorrow for Weekend Dog Blogging at Something So Clever. Sweetnicks is on vacation to someplace warm and sunny so Alicat will be hosting this weekend. And check out Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen. Until tomorrow.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Make My Own Asian Take-Out

I generally do not sit down and watch Emeril Live on The Food Network very often, but last night he had a guest chef with him cooking. Martin Yan. I always enjoyed watching his old show Yan Can Cook when it was on PBS and The Food Network. Zac always loved to watch also and he remembered who it was as soon as the name was mentioned last night. So it was destined that we watch. Mr. Yan and Emeril proceeded to prepare various Asian dishes throughout the show, but the one that got my attention was Sesame-Orange Beef.

This dish was fairly simple and quick to prepare. You begin with tri-tip sliced thinly and marinated briefly in soy sauce and cornstarch. Cook it up with some ginger, add the orange sauce, orange segments, and pineapple. Garnish and serve. Very easy and very tasty. I did think it was just a tad too salty so next time I will cut back on either the soy or the oyster sauce.

I made two side dishes from the May 2005 issue of Cooking Light that are by Mark Bittman. Ginger Fried Rice and Hot and Sour Soup. DH loves Hot and Sour Soup and I have never made it before. I thougth both of these dishes were good and quick to prepare. I cannot say if the soup compares to what you get in a Chinese restaurant as I have never ordered it before. It sure was tasty though. Just the right combination of sour, not overpowering at all. The fried rice was very flavorful from the large amount of ginger in the recipe.

That is all for tonight. We are expecting a significant amount of snowfall tomorrow so things may get ugly on the roads here by the time I get off work. Until then.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Multigrain Bread and Yankee Pot Roast

Today was a day off work and I really wanted to make this bread I saw in the March/April issue of Cooks Illustrated. The author stated they were hoping to make a flavorful multigrain bread that is not hard as a rock, but with a soft sandwich bread texture. This fits the bill. This bread reminds me of bakery style multigrain bread. It takes a little planning because the multigrain cereal needs to soak for 1 hour before you start mixing the dough. There is a 20 minute rest period after it is mixed before you knead the dough. The recipe makes 2 loaves.

For dinner tonight we had a Traditional Yankee Pot Roast from August 2002 issue of Cooking Light. This was good. Not WOW, but good. The meat was very tender and had good flavor. There seemed to be a lot of cooking liquid by the time the dish was finished, much more than I started with. I cooked this in my LeCreuset and maybe it formed more condensation. The 2 cups of chopped onions contributed much to the finished flavor of the dish. Very similar to the method I have always used to make pot roast. I usually add a sprig or two of rosemary or thyme, but I followed this recipe exactly.

That is all for tonight. I am thinking of changing up the menu for tomorrow to cook something I saw on FoodTV tonight. Until then.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Soup Night!

Alysha at The Savory Notebook hosts a blogging event known as The Virtual Recipe Club. The theme for this week is SOUP. Tonight's dinner from Cooking Light, Chunky Potato-Crab Chowder definitely fits the soup theme. Despite this being a light soup, it did have a nice creamy texture. The flavor of the crab meat shines in this soup. Crab meat tends to be somewhat sweet. One of the ingredients of this soup is canned cream-style corn. According to Cooking Light, this is added to enhance the creamy texture. However, combined with the crab meat we thought it made it just a little too sweet. I will definitely make this again, but I think the addition of a little bit of cayenne pepper will help offset some of the sweetness and enhance the flavor.

Michele of Chef Michele's Adventures posted a cute foodie quiz today

What Kind of Food are You?
You Are French Food

Snobby yet ubiquitous.
People act like they understand you more than they actually do.

So I am French Food. Pretty cool. What are you?

Day off from work tomorrow so I will be making a comfort food dinner from Cooking Light. I also checked out the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated and found a new bread recipe I wish to try. Until then.

Chunky Potato-Crab Chowder
adapted from Cooking Light, October 2003