Friday, November 26, 2010

Omelet, with a French accent

If you think you know how to make a perfect omelet, you're wrong. And so was I. I tend to end up with half-moon shaped omelet, where the edges always end up crunchy and stuck to the pan, even though I fry them on lower heat to ensure that the middle is cooked. But friends don't let friends cook wrong...
Some time ago Jeffrey received an message from his friend with a video of a French cook teaching the technique to a perfect omelet. Apart from his AWESOME accent, the video features very entertaining and much different methods to making country style or classic omelets that are soft and creamy inside and NOT crusty on the outside. The above picture is the delectable classic version of an omelet. Love it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gobble goodness

Due to recent weather conditions we did not make it to Jackson Hole for Thanksgiving. Instead, we got together with all the friends stuck in Grand Forks, ND for a delicious dinner followed by long hours PS3 Rock Band and my favorite Catch Phrase. The appetizers included squash soup and delicious lobster ravioli.

Jeffrey made Paula Deen's sweet potato balls. They did not contain large quantities of butter, instead there was a marshmallow hidden inside.
Joe's very moist turkey waiting to be devoured. The feast also featured two other turkeys, one of which was smoked!Other yummies included a cheesy potato bake, perfect mashed potatoes with gravy, asparagus, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole prepared from scratch and my favorite creation - corn bread bake.
Desserts included a home made from scratch cheesecake (which I devoured about a half of) and a spin on a traditional pumpkin pie - with cream cheese bottom!
Since I don't have a recipe for my favorite Corn Bread Bake by Boyd, I will enterain you with a very simple yet delicious recipe for Cranberry Sauce. You will need:
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cur brown sugar
1 teaspoon of each: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger
Heat the orange juice and dissolve the sugar in it. Once dissolved, add the cranberries and the spices. Take away from heat once cranberries start to pop. Leave in a pot for couple of minutes and stir occasionally to help the breakdown process. You can skip the spices if you don't want the sauce to taste a little Christmassy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Best medicine for blizzard conditions

Although the weather conditions in ND and closed roads in ID warned us against taking a road trip to Jackson Hole for Thanksgiving, we thought we would beat the odds and get there safely. After a long and miserable drive we found ourselves only in Bismarck, ND and decided to turn around. Seeing my pouty face Jeffrey did the only thing he could to turn my frown upside down - he invited me to lunch at The Bistro, a restaurant recommended by our friend Boyd, a fellow foodie.

Lobster bisque warmed us up pretty quickly! The best soup hands down I have ever had. Creamy goodness with pieces of lobster floating around the bacon bits.
When my salad arrived, I was mesmerized. Scallops, shrimp and tuna on a bed of spring greens, zucchini and green beans with a balsamic-anchovies dressing. But it gets better, because...

The tuna was prepared perfectly. Oh yes. If the above description didn't do it for you, you must be drooling now.
PS This fabulous salad was only $12.50!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Indian Cook off

Can we have those EVERY week, please? A plate filled to edges with Indian dishes is a way to fill any heart with happiness! Add a mango lassi and a ginger drink to the mix and you got yourself a very happy bunch of friends! For this special occasion I took advantage of a brand new Food Network show - the Aarti Party, and baked some delicious chicken samosas with mint chutney. I won't lie to you, it did require some work in the kitchen but judging from my friends comments - it was well worth it!

Filling made with chicken, potato, bunch of spices and ginger almost ready to go in the oven.
Baked and ready samosas. It cost me a lot of self control not to munch on them before we got over to Joe's...
Big thanks to Nick for making this delicious Naan bread. It was still warm when it got there... I know you're drooling as you're imagining me scooping Tikka Masala sauce with the bread...
Mango Lassi made by Kelly. Boyd generously let me take a photo of his plate.

Jeff is always ready for seconds and thirds with a fork in his pocket. Joe prepared a mango ginger beverage. Yum!

Special thanks to Lisa and Kelly for cleaning up the dishes!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Orange vests and chili

Hunting time in North Dakota has arrived and with it- chili cook-offs! This time the stakes were serious: a set of spices for the first place, southern BBQ sauce for the second and a jar of southern spices for the third. Taking into consideration the hunting crowd and their probable liking, after careful consideration I chose the recipe that I just KNEW would steal those northern Minnesota hearts. Thank you The Neely's for providing me with a hearty and meaty chili recipe! I only received a third place, but my cooking pot was completely empty, which is more of a compliment than the award itself!

Lets feed those hungry hunters!
In line for the best bowl of chili.
Chris's spicy chicken chili was my favorite! Except my own, of course.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beet it

I love salads, but honestly, sometimes even the good old Caprese needs a face lift to spark my interest. A good friend known for her interesting salads recommended a curious addition - beets! The bold and sour flavor of marinated beets binds amazingly well with either mild cheeses, such as fresh mozzarella, or strongly flavored cheeses, such as Danish Havarti or Brie. For an extra kick add sliced Cubanelle peppers. Place on a bed of greens and dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and voila! I may even skip that spinning class tonight after such a healthy dinner!