Category Archives: Cooking

Chicken Tostada

A wannabe tostada

A wannabe tostada

The past two recipes I’ve shared have been pretty successful, so it’s time to come clean about a failure. This next recipe was a bit of a dud, so if anyone has the heart to try it out and let me know where I went wrong, I’d certainly appreciate it.

This Chicken Tostada recipe is from the Food Network website, and includes a Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette dressing. If you check out the reviews of this recipe, you’ll notice that most of them praise said dressing as the best part of the dish.  This will become especially important in a minute.

As a fan of all things Mexican food, I figured I would totally love this recipe. Until I tried the Cilantro-Lime dressing. It was revolting. Not quite sure what I did wrong, but whatever I did made it a disaster. No matter how much I mixed the dressing ingredients, they still tasted like all their individual parts put together in the same bowl. And when the individual parts involve mustard and olive oil and lime juice…let’s just say it it was pretty gross.

The picture is misleadingly appetizing. Once the dressing was a disaster, I basically aborted the mission and went with my standard chicken fajitas. Which I guess means that my cooking has come full circle.

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Honey Balsamic Chicken

Finished product looking good. I even made some vegetables and rice to go along with it.

Finished product looking good.

Brace yourselves, people. I actually had to use the oven for this recipe. And shockingly enough, it turned out pretty well! It got two thumbs up from both parents…and they promised they weren’t just being nice to me.

I got this Honey Balsamic Chicken recipe from my SparkRecipes app, which I found by searching “healthy recipes” in the App Store on my iPhone (I know, I know, this is practically rocket science here). It was a relatively quick dish to make, though I am still working on coordinating all the components of my meals so that they finish cooking at the same time. I usually end up forgetting the vegetables and not timing the rice properly. But when you use those frozen microwaveable bags of green beans (sorry…still a rookie here), it doesn’t matter too much that you forgot the vegetable. God bless the microwave oven.

No modifications to the recipe this time around; I followed the directions the whole way. Ignore the photo in the recipe link above, because that doesn’t seem to be matching up with what the dish actually looks like, for some reason. Instead enjoy the pictures of my attempt at the recipe above and below. It was Italian-esque with a touch of sweet from the honey. If anyone tries the recipe out, let me know how it goes!

Overdid it a bit with the thyme on that piece of chicken in the front. Whoops.

Overdid it a bit with the thyme on that piece of chicken in the front. Whoops.

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Back in the Kitchen

About two weeks ago, I decided to chronicle my kitchen adventures on this blog. I put the recipe sharing on hold and had a more somber tone on here recently in light of the events in Boston, but I think its time to get back in the kitchen (Figuratively speaking. My mom is the one cooking dinner tonight, probably while I am writing this post. Thanks, Mom!).

The first new recipe I tried is from a cookbook that I bought my Dad for Christmas: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip…with Recipes! Because who doesn’t love Guy Fieri and his red convertible?

The recipe I decided to try is Pete’s Rubbed and Almost Fried Turkey Sandwich, from Panini Pete’s in Fairhope, Alabama. I’d like to extend my apologies to Panini Pete himself, because I majorly modified this recipe. I made the changes partially to make it a bit healthier, partially because I didn’t have anything to deep-fry a turkey in, and partially because I made it while I was snowed in during the February Blizzard in MA and was missing a few ingredients (sadly, the garlic mayo, which I bet was delish).

Here’s the full recipe from Guy’s page on the Food Network site. My version is pictured above right. My modification confessions:

  • I didn’t fry the turkey. I just used deli meat. This may or may not make this not actual cooking, but rather, sandwich making.
  • I also didn’t have the Garlic Mayonnaise. See: Blizzard of February 2013, below.
This used to be my driveway and backyard. Hence, being unable to go get the missing ingredients.

This used to be my driveway and backyard. Hence, being unable to go get the missing ingredients.

Overall verdict: a pretty yummy panini! It went well with Downtown Abbey Season 1 on Netflix and the roaring wind and snow outside.

Next time: Honey Balsamic Chicken (I actually used the oven for this one!)

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Chef Maura

As a part of my continual quest to be a competent adult, I have been trying to cook more.  Which is an interesting endeavor, considering I got ZERO of the cooking genes in my family.  My sister has been at home in the kitchen since she was little, often cooking up recipes from Emeril’s kids’ cookbook.  I handled the eating in that situation.  And the dishes.  That’s about all I was capable of.

I once made “slice-and-bake” cookies for my boyfriend and he secretly threw them out on his way home, because they tasted so bad (props to him for being kind enough to pretend he liked them in front of me, ha).  I didn’t realize it was possible to mess up cookies of the slice-and-bake variety (perhaps I should just stick to eating the dough, like I usually do…).

Fajitas is a dish I can safely say I've mastered: cooking chicken and chopping vegetables isn't exactly rocket science.

Fajitas is a dish I can safely say I’ve mastered: cooking chicken and chopping vegetables isn’t exactly rocket science.

But I figure that practice makes perfect, so I have been venturing into the kitchen more often (with some assistance from my mom, who is a great cook).  Though I am no Julia Child,  I’ve pretty much mastered your standard boxed ravioli/tortellini/spaghetti, since that really only involves boiling water.  And I can handle chopping vegetables, so I have been able to make a good fajita dinner as well…except for that one time I forgot about the rice and burned it (see below. It took forever to clean that pot…).  Remember that practice makes perfect, people.

Burned Rice

Burned rice, exhibit A. Yes, all of it was stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Since I’ve been having some kitchen adventures, I thought I’d share some recipes here on the blog. So stay tuned for my “wannabe chef” series, featuring not-that-difficult meals that I have attempted to make with some successes and some failures.  Recipes and photos to come throughout the rest of the week!

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