Category Archives: Cooking

Back when we had cable…

…we were big fans of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Guy Fieri is ridiculously funny (soo much better on DD&D than he is on Minute to Win It), the places the show profiled¬†always resulted in us sitting on the couch saying to each other, “We totally have to go there!” There wasn’t often near us geographically, so we also spent a lot of time saying, “We should plan a trip so we can eat that food!” (Umm…I should disclose here that we like to experience good food. Experience good food? That sounds pretentious. But I think it sounds better than “We like to eat! NOM NOM NOM.” Anyway….)

And then! One day a place I had grown up eating at was on the show. NO WAY. Yes way!

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Falafel’s Drive-In – it’s not glamorous, or cozy, heck, there aren’t even tables inside. There are two walk-up windows, and for the longest time all they served were falafel. (The menu has expanded in the last 10 years to include burgers, etc. – I have no idea why you wouldn’t get falafel…maybe you’re suffering from a head injury and can’t make good decisions. Or it’s possible that you don’t like falafel. You should try these falafel though…they’re the best you’ll ever have. For realz.)

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I, of course, failed to take a pictures of the actual food (good thing I’m not a food blogger!), but you can watch Guy Fieri show you how they’re made instead. (He’s way better at showing you this stuff than I am.) And if you’re ever in San Jose, California – go get you some falafel!

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No menu Monday.

It’s very avant garde, don’t you think?

Okay, so I thought having Menu Plan Monday would be great for me. It would be a place for me to put our menu (duh!) but also a place to talk about the food we eat. Turns out, I don’t want to talk about the food after it’s been posted as a menu.

So I’m going to try posting about what we eat after we eat it. Novel, no? This way I can talk about what we eat, how we modified it, what we ate with it, whether we’ll eat it again…the sorts of things that are useful when considering whether or not to make and eat something.

I’m going to start with a recipe that has become my absolute favorite chicken and guacamole tostadas. Seriously ya’ll, we’ve had these once a week for the last month. They’re THAT good.

The recipe is incredibly basic – some tostadas, guacamole, shredded chicken and pico de gallo. Layer it all together and wait for the yummy to roll over your tongue.

I fry my own tostadas because our grocery store doesn’t seem to sell them, and we add a layer of refried beans. I also use a lot of chopped garlic in the pico de gallo because that’s how we roll in this house. GARLIC MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER. (I also go heavy on the lime.)

If I could take better pictures of my food it would look stunning, but since I can’t…

crunchy fried corn tortilla, layered with refried beans, guacamole, shredded chicken, topped with pico de gallo

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Pesto!

In a fit of MUST-HAVE-IT-NOW I made pesto Thursday night to go on our pizza. I’ve never made pesto before, despite planting several basil plants every year, while saying, “I’m going to make and freeze pesto with these!” HAHAHAHA. It’s okay though, because I really like the way they leave the dog smelling after she wanders through the garden foraging for tomatoes.

Anyway. Pesto is surprisingly easy to make. I’d heard this before, but wasn’t convinced because all the recipes required a food processor, and until I got married, I’d never owned a food processor. For realz.

Thursday night I asked the internet for recipes for pesto and picked the one with pictures. Then I ignored most of what it said because I have trouble measuring when I cook. I’m more a “pinch of this, dash of that” type cook. (Which is why I don’t bake. ‘Cuz you can get by with that attitude for a casserole, but not a cake.) And, I forget to put all the ingredients in ALL THE TIME. This pesto, for instance, called for lemon juice, which I’m JUST NOW remembering.

Essentially, I threw a pile of this:

In with a bunch of this:

Added some toasted walnuts (I didn’t have pine nuts), and some olive oil (which I sadly ran out of, so augmented with canola oil – I’m sure this is heresy, but it was all I had) to produce this:

I don’t recommend that you use my recipe because I’m pretty sure I STILL smell like garlic, but here it is if you’re feeling daring:

About 3 cups packed basil leaves. (Wash it first. And maybe blot it dry with a towel, or salad spinner.)

Probably about 2 tbsp. chopped garlic. (I used all those cloves you see. Maybe 6?)

Half a cup toasted walnuts. (I toasted them in a skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. I didn’t chop them first, just threw them in the processor.)

And somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 cup olive oil. (Or in my case some olive oil, some canola oil.)

Put the garlic, nuts, and oil in the food processor and chop. Once it’s mostly blended add the basil a bit at a time until blended. Then puree for 30 seconds or so. (Maybe longer – the baby wasn’t pleased with the noise while he was trying to eat, so I stopped when the yelling got loud.)

I’m not sure I’d put it on pasta as the garlic is VERY strong, but it worked well on the pizza. Which I’ll tell you more about on Monday.

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Menu Plan Monday

Okay, let’s see what we’re gonna eat!

MondayChicken and Guacamole Tostadas from the August 2010 issue of Cooking Light.

Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas

TuesdayCilantro Shrimp, also from the August 2010 issue of Cooking Light.

Cilantro Shrimp

Wednesday Chicken and Rice Casserole, again from August 2010 Cooking Light. (It’s not supposed to be a million degrees on Wednesday. If it turns out to be a million degrees this will probably get scrapped.)

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Thursday – Pizza. We have a store-bought crust that we’ll top with whatever is in the fridge.

Friday – Eat out night. Woohoo!

SaturdaySweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia (can you guess where it’s from?) August 2010 Cooking Light.

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia

I’m think I’ll try to post a review/recap sometime next week. I’ve never tried these recipes, so it’s probably worth it to give them a thumbs up/down and talk about any modifications.

What are you eating this week?

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