Thursday, January 7, 2010

When He Fends for Himself - Taco Town!

Recently the wife was away for 5 days and I had to scrounge together some meals in order to survive. I started off slowly. For the first two days I snacked on granola bars, ice cream, fruit, and gummy bears. I felt like I could indulge a little bit because I had lost 5 pounds during the Fall. Eventually though, I wanted some real meals so I ordered out for a Greek salad and a calzone. It was good and hit the spot, but it's nothing worth writing about. The next day I went to Whole Foods for a little grocery shopping and decided to get dinner from their taco and burrito bar.

Whole Foods offers 3 tacos for the low low price of $4.99 so it looked like a good deal. They actually have a lot of options for filling your taco and I decided on one chicken, one beef, and one fish taco. They use soft corn shells for the outside of the taco and fill it with a good amount of protein. I had them add a little lettuce, some salsa (which had some good spice to it), cheese, guacamole, and cilantro. My only complaint about my experience was that there was a weird guy who was standing way to close to me who was fascinated by the sight of a taco bar at Whole Foods. I actually couldn't see all the options clearly because he was in my way. I kept waiting for him to lose interest but I guess filling tacos tops the entertainment options in my town.

I checked out with my groceries and tacos and headed home. Once home, I unwrapped, took a quick picture (action shot!), and had my dinner. All three proteins tasted very good in the tacos. I think I made a good choice for my dinner. It was tasty, had vegetables (lettuce, cilantro, salsa), and was a good portion size. I didn't overeat. I didn't under-eat. I just survived. Next time the wife goes away, I'll hit up the taco bar again. But until then there is no need. I have a good cook at home that feeds me very well. And I rarely have to fend for myself....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One Year of Recording Delicious Meals!

It's hard to believe that it has been one year since my first post on GoodCookDoris.  What started as a way to record our meals and never be without an idea for dinner has become quite an adventure!  The hubby joined in the fun with his own feature (When He Fends for Himself), my family has contributed some guest posts, and I have been cooking up a storm!  I've reconnected with old friends and met fellow food bloggers and foodies from around the world.  What a blast! 

In honor of this momentous occasion, the hubby suggested I post a picture of my meatloaf cupcake with mashed potato icing, green bean candle, and parsley sprinkles.   This year I'll work on some sweet dessert cupcakes.

I'd love to hear what your favorite post has been. Leave a note and let me know! Thanks for being a part of the fun.

I'm excited to start another year of trips to the farmer's market, trying new recipes, cranking out old favorites, and sharing delicious food with family and friends.

Happy cooking!

When I was home recently, I found my old apron. Funny that my apron from when I was 3 is almost identical to my apron now (red polka dots!).  It doesn't quite fit, but the sentiment was right.  It reads, "Kiss the Cook".

Here are few stats from my first year of blogging:
Number of Posts: 120
Number of Labels: 42

Number of Visitors: 1,054
Visitors came from 55 countries, and all 50 states!

The most popular post, fittingly, was the meatloaf muffins!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A little overdue...Latkes!

Now that you've passed Chanukah and the rest of the holiday season, you might be able to think about eating latkes again. Or, if you are like my regular reader Tim, you've been waiting for this write-up since 12/21 when it was mentioned it in the previous post. Here you go Tim!

This year I was swamped with homework and a busy schedule around the holidays. Usually I like to try out new latke recipes, but this year I was luck to find time to grate the potatoes. I picked up some sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, onions, scallions, and pulled out the mandolin. Grating potatoes is a labor of love and the results are always delicious. Don't forget to squeeze out the excess moisture before mixing! Thanks to a tip from my brother, I used just a little olive oil in the pan instead of a few inches of vegetable oil. The result was a crunchy and somewhat healthier latke.

An important note is that if you grate your white potatoes too early, they will turn gray and your latkes won't be very pretty. I don't know all the food science, but this can be slowed by grating your onions into the bowl first and then tossing the shredded potatoes with the onion juice.

We enjoyed these with the pot roast for dinner. As a special treat, we also had them for Chanukah breakfast with poached eggs on top. A 'kosher eggs benedict'! I haven't mastered a Hollandaise sauce yet (or even tried), but that would definitely finish this off nicely. Of course we had leftover cheddar scallion biscuits on the side too because you can never have too many carbs.

Happy latke eating! Perfect for Chanukah or anytime of the year! I'll do my best to write up my recipe - I did these from memory - so tweak as you see fit! The cooking instructions are the same for both

Potato Latkes

Traditional Latkes
1 russet potato, peeled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 - 1/2 of a yellow onion
1 scallion, chopped into small pieces (add to taste)
1 tablespoon-ish flour
Salt and Pepper

Sweet Potato Latkes
1 sweet potato, peeled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 scallion, chopped into small pieces (add to taste)
1 tablespoon-ish flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and Pepper

Olive oil for frying

For each respective potato, follow these instructions
Using a mandolin or box grater, grate the potato into a large bowl
Using a colander, cheese cloth, or just your hands, squeeze out the excess moisture and return the potato to the bowl
Add the onion, and any seasonings and toss
Add a small amount of egg (about half the beaten egg) and about a tablespoon of flour, mix until the flour and egg are evenly distributed
If the mixture seems really wet, add a little more flour

Cooking for both
Place a wire baking rack over a baking sheet in your oven and heat to 200 degrees
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat
When a small piece of shredded potato sizzles in the oil, its ready!
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, add the latkes into the pan in batches
Cook for 2-3 minutes per side (until golden brown)
If they are browning too quickly, reduce the heat slightly
Place the cooked latkes in the heated oven while you finish frying all the latkes
Serve warm

For leftover latkes, let them cook completely
If you plan to eat them the next day, wrap them tightly in foil and refrigerate
If you plan to keep them longer than a day or two, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer
When they are frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and then foil (to prevent freezer burn)
Either way, reheat in a 350 degree oven before serving

Serve with chunky applesauce, sour cream, or horseradish!


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