Dec 10

Meringue Cookies – Easy or Hard?

It rained in Florida today and I really wanted to make something without leaving the apartment. I keep typical cooking staples in the apartment, sugar, flour, eggs and a few spices for baking. So after searching, I couldn’t find anything that required minimal ingredients. I remembered how few ingredients meringue cookies require, so I went for that. I found a bunch of recipes but they all called for cream of tartar… what the hell is cream of tartar? My goal now was to find a substitute for cream of tartar… after checking a few sites, a bunch mentioned substituting the cream of tartar with white vinegar. Alright, sweet I have that and my mission to conquer Meringue Cookies continued on…

Long story short…

I started to realize as I was mixing, that the mixture was not hardening. I ended up just pouring the mixture into a pyrex bowl and let it cook and see what happened. Well, I think it would of turned out ok but I took it out too early. I would upload a picture but it would just be a picture of the trash, because that is where the meringue concoction went.

Whoever said Meringue Cookies was easy to make was lying! Any tips on perfecting Meringue Cookies is much appreciated.

Baking Fail

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Dec 10

Spanish Garlic Shrimp Gambas al Ajillo

So a couple of months ago, I went to Publix Apron’s Cooking School with my friend Kim.  This was actually my first experience going to a cooking class and was excited to find out that it was hands on, to only later find out that it was demonstration.  We made the most of the demonstration class, it was only $45 dollars plus we get to eat everything they make and enjoy wine while we have chefs cook for us.

They demonstrated the following:

Spanish Garlic Shrimp Gambas al Ajillo
Pinchos Mixtos with Saffron Alioli
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Medallions (Solomillo De Cerda)
Vanilla Flan

Now while I was at this cooking class, I did not have a blog or a camera on me.  This won’t happen again.  However, I did try to make one of the dishes at home.

The Spanish Garlic Shrimp Gambas al Ajillo


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 ounces of dry sherry
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon for juice
1 Baguette


In a saute pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for about one minute or until they begin to brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry or cognac and paprika. Stir well, then saute, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink curl – about 3 minutes

Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with Parsley. Serve with fresh crusty bread.


Now these pictures below are actually my 3rd attempt at making them.  I was so excited from the class that I actually tried to make this meal with items that I had in the house the next day.  Let’s just say that did not go over well.  The 3rd attempt I actually follow the recipe exactly, it came out a bit too spicy.  It had to be the red pepper flakes.  Either there was too much or the level of how spicy these flakes were … were over-powering. However, it was actually “edible” and and could handle the spiciness.

Please note these pictures were taken with my blackberry, I plan on starting to use my Nikon D60 moving forward, except when I’m at restaurants.


Spice in Pan

Frozen Shrimp In Pan

Shrimp in broth

Final Dish

Next Stop – Lenore Nolan Ryan’s Cooking School
I was able to buy a session through living social for half off. $22 not a bad deal! I’ll be sure to report about my class when I go.

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Dec 10

Late on the food bandwagon

Damn… since I have started this blog, I have been on the Food Blog hunt day and night.  It reminds me of a secret society that I, of course, knew nothing about. I should of done this years ago, what I was thinking procrastinating all these years. There is so much to know to get ramped up and I am so behind. So far from all the food blogs I have visited, I learned I need to do the following:

  • Start Posting on FoodBuzz.com
  • Start Posting on FoodGawker.com
  • Get on Foodblogs.com
  • Start a Facebook devoted to my blog
  • Get on Foodieblogroll.com – Check
  • Need to hire a graphic designer to design a real website for me
  • Start baking, cooking, and eating!
  • Come up with a direction I want to take this blog.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

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Dec 10

The Recipe Exchange

recipe card

I just received the greatest email from my friend. I remember when I was little, we use to do this with socks, underwear or even cash. This time it was for recipes. I had to post this immediately as it was so perfect for my blog.
Dear Friends,

Happy, happy holiday season to each of you!

You are being invited to be a part of a recipe exchange :) Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don’t know them) and it should be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients. Actually, the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. Don’t agonize over it – this is the one you make when you are short on time…one that is quick and delicious! (Or complicated and amazing)
After you’ve sent your recipe to the person in position 1 below and only to that person, copy this e-mail into a new e-mail, move my name to the top and put your name in position 2. Only mine and your name should show when you send your e-mail. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this within 5 days, let me know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It’s fun to see where they come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas! The turnaround is fast, as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do this once.

1. Email #1 (the person who you will send the recipe to)
2. Email #2 (the person who sent the email to you)

(for privacy reasons I did not list the email addresses above)

I’m excited to see what recipes I receive and will be sure to post them on here

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Dec 10

Reese’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies

About 4 years ago, my sister made these yummy cookies.  I’ve never been a fan of cookies, I’ve always been a cupcake kinda gal.  Once I had her cookie, I was hooked.  Now besides making the ready to bake cookies from Pillsbury or Tollhouse(how embarrassing) … these are my go to cookies that I make from scratch. I get requests to make these cookies for work or parties. They really do melt in your mouth and you can never just have one. You can find the recipe on the back of the Reese’s peanut butter chips, and if you bake a lot you should have most of the ingredients in your pantry already.  I stocked up on the peanut butter chips for a rainy day which has come in handy many times.

The picture I took of the cookies does not do it justice

Reese’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies

chewy chocolate cookies


2 cupes all purpose flour
3/4 Hershey’s Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4cups (2 -1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2cups of sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-2/3 (10-oz pkg.) REESES Peanut Butter Chips


1. Heat oven to 350 F

2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluff. Add Eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture. beating well.  Stir in peanut butter chips.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. ( Do not overbake; cookies will be soft.  They will puff while baking and flatten while cookin.) Cool Slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool Completely. About 4- 1/2 dozen cookies.

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Dec 10

Lunch to go

Bringing your lunch to work has gotten a lot easier thanks to The Container Store. I love eating salad for lunch but it would get messy when I would bring it in from home.  I never had a small enough container for the dressing or when I did the dressing container managed to burst open in the bag.  If I put Salad Bowl the dressing on beforehand, the salad would just get all soggy.  Now with the salad blaster bowl, you can separate your dressing from your lettuce all in one container.

1. Fill it

2. Press it

3. Shake it


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Nov 10

Tilapia With Lemon Butter Sauce

Occasionally, I like to try to cook something new to eat for dinner instead of cooking the same old boring meal, unless its Taco Night. Taco Night never gets old. Now when I’m lazy which happens a lot after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is spend time trying to master a dish I’ve never made before. However, today I was walking through Publix, and they happen to making a dish. I was actually in shock because the Publix that I buy my groceries from never has anyone at the Simple Meals Station cooking anything. So I sampled the dish, Tilapia With Lemon Butter Sauce and Angel Hair Fresca. (Sidenote: Tilapia happens to be my favorite fish right now, so I will be talking about Tilapia in future posts.) My taste buds liked it and the fact that the recipe was easy won me over.  I also happen to have a few of the ingredients at home already. Publix sells prepackaged frozen Tilapia, this is always good to have around the house when you don’t feel like getting groceries. I do this with frozen shrimp as well.  Most fish are frozen and then thawed out anyways, so it doesn’t make a difference unless you fish for you dinner that day. Good luck with that one, well unless you’re a fisherman of course. Publix definitely has quite a collection of recipes to browse through although it helps that they let you sample it there and decide if you like it before you actually cook it.

Tilapia With Lemon Butter Sauce    


2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 lemon
1 1/2 lb tilapia fillets (thawed)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 teaspoons flour, divided
Large zip-top bag
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup white wine

  • Chop parsley; cut lemon in half. Set both aside.
  • Check fish for bones (wash hands).


  1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place seasoned salt and 3 teaspoons flour in zip-top bag; shake to mix. Add fish to zip-top bag; seal tightly and shake to coat.

2. Place 1 tablespoon butter in pan, then add fish; cook 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter to center of pan. Turn fillets, using spatula, and distribute butter under each fillet. Cook 3 more minutes or until fish is golden and flakes easily. Transfer fish to serving plates.

grilled tilapia

Add wine, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon flour to pan; squeeze juice of lemon into pan. Heat and stir 1–2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and serve butter sauce over fish.

Angel Hair Fresca

8 oz angel hair pasta
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto


  1. Fill large saucepan half full of water. Cover and bring to a boil on high for pasta.
  2. Stir pasta into boiling water; boil 1 minute. Stir in broccoli; boil and stir 4 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain pasta mixture. Add butter to saucepan, using residual heat to melt butter. Stir in tomato pesto and pasta mixture; toss to mix and serve.

tilapia simple recipes

I dedicate this post to Publix Apron’s Simple Meals — thanks for din tonight! Muy delicioso!

Tilapia on Foodista

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Nov 10

Food in Paris

My First Meal

This summer I went to Paris to visit my friend Holly in Paris. The first thing that I wanted to do was eat of course. Holly brought me to a local cafe/restaurant and I sadly don’t remember the name of it. However, I have to say it was probably the best meal I had while I was there.

It was eggplant with shells.

My BreakFast

My breakfast consisted of croissants with chocolate.  Make sure not to go to any bakery.  It has to have a sign that says “boulangerie.”  This means that they bake everything at the bakery fresh that day.  Of course, if you are in a rush while your travelling, its ok to make some exceptions as I had to do a few times while I was visiting.

I found this website with a list of the best breads in Paris.

Authentic Parisian Food

Holly wanted to bring me to Authentic Parisian Restaurant… and by that she means one where it does not draw in tourists and the menu has no English on it.

A blend of different cured meats.

Onto the 2nd part of the meal.  I believe this was a cocottes.  According the free dictionary, a cocottes is

1. (Cookery) a small fireproof dish in which individual portions of food are cooked and served

2.a prostitute or promiscuous woman

It was like a beef Bouillabaisse; the dish not the prostitute.  There were no prostitutes on the premises.

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Nov 10

Pumpkin… how yummy you are

I found the best recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread last year and I have gotten so many compliments on it.  Just make sure you give the loafs away otherwise you’ll get stuck eating the bread ( which may or may not be a bad thing)

This year I stocked up on Libby’s Pumpkin


  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin pureelibby Pumpkin
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 1 pound size coffee cans, or three 9×5 inch loaf pans.
    2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill cans 1/2 to 3/4 full.
    3. Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.

    You can find this recipe on Allrecipes.com

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    Nov 10

    Welcome to the food chow down!

    I have come a long way from being a youngster who was such a fickle eater. I seriously would only eat pasta and ketchup. pastaketchup I would like to say now my taste buds have grown enormously.  But there are of course so limitations on foods that just don’t sit right with me still.

    I know this blog is just one of tens of thousands of food blogs, but this one is different…. its all mine.

    I like to dedicate my first blog post to Pasta and Ketchup.  Thank you for all your dedicated years to my stomach.

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