[back to the kitchen]
I like to make things... Cooking lets me do that... One of my favorite things to do, is make things that I eat at restaurants... that way I don't have to pay so much.
I am going to start with some of my basics... need to have some quick standards to keep you from eating out all the time.

Inspired by: The Yard

As I began doing more and more work on the house, I started to realize that it would be great to pay people back for all that they have done for me. One of the best received forms of payback turned out to be something quite simple, desert. It's funny how much people like desert, and how something like a milkshake has become a rare choice. Blizzards, smoothies, frapaccinos and frostys have taken over the market for drinkable desserts.

Name: Peanut Butter Milkshake

Time: 5 minutes

chocolate syrup
4 small scoops vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup milk

Other: Blender

Serves: 1

Mix the chocolate syrup and peanut butter milk in the blender. Dump in the ice cream a scoop at a time un till it is milkshake consistency. Cry softly as you drink the best milkshake ever.

Warning: Do not attempt to drink the biggest milkshake ever, after a meal that you had thirds of. A full tummy of milk rarely is a good thing.


Inspired by: Pike Street (Seattle)

Lots of places have good crab dip. The best I have had was in Seattle on my big road trip. They served theirs with toasted french bread or something like that. Lots of people around here like The Cellar's cajun shrimp dip. I would argue that it is inconsistent there. Often too runny or too spicy.

For Liza's birthday I got creative and busted out a crab dip of my own. She had a little, the rest was devoured by all the guests at her 10th birthday party. Enjoy! It's mighty tasty.


Name: Dang that's good dip

Time: 7 minutes

She crab soup (or any cream based crab soup)
1 box of philly cream cheese
1 tsp Old Bay

Other: Microwave

Serves: 4

Dump half the can of crab soup and the cream cheese into a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes on medium/high. Remove from microwave and mix with in Old Bay seasoning with a spoon.

Serve with bread (pitas, or toasted rounds of baguette are great)

Inspired by: Laziness

One night I decided to use this fajita marinade that I had sitting around for a long time. I went and got peppers, steak, tortillas, sour cream and shredded cheese and made some dinner up for Jul, Lindy and myself. It was really good... the next day I wanted to get back to eating fajitas, but it was just to complicated and lunch is a lazy meal. So i did some adjusting and substituted the meat with black beans. I love me some black beans. I eat these all the time.


Name: Black Tacos

Time: 2 minutes

Canned black beans (cheaper the better)
Small flour tortillas
Shredded cheese

Sour cream
Bell Peppers (red and green)

Other: Microwave

Serves: as many as you want

Drain the can of beans. Put the beans and cheese on a tortilla, as many as you want. Microwave the tortillas on a plate for 30 seconds per taco.

Add peppers, and sour cream when cooked.

Store the beans buy putting the whole can in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate.


Inspired by: Ben Hansford

I think Ben got this recipe from his dad. It was pretty much the first thing I learned to make with actual ingredients. I used to make this for days on end. I would stink up the house.. I think anyone in the house at the time would feel as though they had already ate it. It gets in through your nose mouth, even your tear ducts. Mmm.

I made this for lots of big events. And have tried to come up with something good as a side dish. I used to make some spicy potatoes. It just seemed to be too much. So stick with the bread and cheese. Oh dear I do love this chili.

I made it one time completely in my room when I was in the dorm. People knocked on the door at one point with bowls asking for chili. I knew them so I did share. But not much. I am actually smelling it cook now. I am going to get a bowl.

Name: Chili

Time: 10 minutes prep a day or so cook time... (at least 3 hours)

1 large onion
1 lb ground beef
1 can Kidney beans
1 12oz can tomato paste
Chili Powder - keep away from super hot chili powder. Just the regular stuff. I make this to be food, not a contest entry.
1 tsp minced garlic

Other: Crock pot

Serves: Oh well I suppose it should serve about 6

Start the browning the ground beef. Turn the crock pot to low. Put the beans , garlic and tomato paste in the crock pot. I always put something random in at this point. So you should too ! Cover the top with chili powder. Just a thin layer will do. Add in water so that it reaches the top of the ingredients. Mix the ingredients.
Drain the ground beef and flip it over. Cut up the onion. I leave it big enough to be picked out. It's one of the big things removed from food, some people like the taste of onions, but don't like to actually be aware they are eating them. (dig up some onion juice for your pantry its the best for getting the flavor without the onion) Add the onions to the crock pot. Drain the beef again and break it into smaller pieces.Add another layer of chili powder.
Add the beef into the crock pot. Add another layer of chili powder. Mix everything until it all looks the same. Add water until it covers the mix.
Cook the chili with the lid on. Allow it to cook for a couple of hours every time you mix it add more chili powder. I used about hmm half the container. I have used less before and it ended up tasting too much like tomato paste. So don't be afraid of it. As long as you don't get something that is super hot, chili powder is tame. Cook it until the water is gone. I like to be able to stand the mixing spoon in it with it only in a half inch.

Serve with cheese if you like, and bread is always good too :)


Inspired by: Sub Station

If you've ever had a Sub Station cheese steak, you will know that they keep the meat soaking in something that can only me considered the juice from a pot roast. The meat itself, tastes like pot roast. I totally dig it. Anyhow, the other day I decided to make a pot roast so that Bree could have something tasty for dinner. I ended up checking out recipezaar and getting some good ideas on what makes a pot roast work. I broke it down to what you see here. Jul, Liz and Bree helped me try it out. Everyone seemed pretty happy with it.
I liked it and was especially happy with how easy it was to make and clean up. Just wash the crock pot and you're done!

Name: Pot Roast

Time: 10 hours or so

5 large carrots
1 medium onion
1 large potato
1.5 lb pot roast
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
1 packet Lipton onion soup mix

Other: Crock pot

Serves: 4 (if you want to serve more, get a bigger pot roast, and more veggies... and you'll need a bigger crock pot)

Put the wine, water and onion soup mix in the crock pot on low. Add pot roast to the middle of the crock pot. Peel the carrots and potatoes. Cut all vegetables into large chunks (1/3 the carrots, 1/8 the potato and onion). Flip over the roast. Put the vegetables around the roast. fit as many vegetables as possible. Add enough water to cover the roast and vegetables. Cook with the lid on for 6-10 hours.
Remove the roast and vegetables.
Cut the roast to make sure that it is cooked all the way. Serve the meat and vegetables with as much of the 'juices' as desired.


Inspired by: insane stomach pain

During a period of my life when all food seemed to make me feel horrible, I was misdiagnosed as being gluten intolerant. Anything that has ever come into contact with flour or similar products. Gluten is everywhere. Rice crispies, yogurt, salad dressing, ice cream. One of the only things I could eat was corn pops and certain types of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It was no fun

This recipe is one that my mom found for me and came from 'Mom Mom French' according to the recipe card. I don't know who that is. The oddest part about this fact that the recipe has nothing in it. I mean really.. how does this make a cookie??? I still can't figure it out.


Name: No really they're peanut butter cookies

Time: 15 minutes or so

1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 large egg
1 t. Baking Soda

Other: large bowl, small bowl, electric mixer, baking sheets

Serves: 1 (if you can eat 70 cookies)

Preheat oven to350 degrees and grease baking sheets. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together peanut butter and sugar until combined well. In a small bowl lightly beat the egg and beat into peanut butter mixture with baking soda until well combined.

Roll level teaspoons of dough into balls and arrange about one inch apart on baking sheets. With tines of a fork flatten balls (dip fork in [rice] flour to keep it from sticking) about 1 1/2 inch in diameter, making a crosshatch pattern. Bake cookies in batches in the middle of the oven about ten minutes until puffed and pale golden. Cool cookies on baking sheets to minutes and transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Makes about 70 cookies


Inspired by: a hodgepodge of web recipes:
I have a lot of other wing sauce recipes... this is my favorite.

Oh good grief, I eat a lot of wings. In fact the other day I was out with some friends and I proposed the question, how many wings have I eaten in my life. Going off of previous weeks numbers we decided I eat an average of 30 a week. This is rather tough to establish since some weeks I eat nearly 50 in one sitting, and other times I eat wings several times a week. I hadn't really started the whole mass wing consumption thing until relatively recently.
So the total number? Somewhere between 6 and 7 thousand.

I am pretty sure I will need a heart transplant at some point in the near future.


Name: Spicy Barbeque Garlic Wing Sauce

Time: 5 minute

4 T fresh garlic, crushed
4 T Paprika
1/2 T salt
4 T Chili powder (can be reduced by half)
4 T Cayenne pepper (can be reduced by half)
4 T Tomato puree'
4 T olive oil
4 T honey
4 T Vinegar
--save till last--
-coating- black pepper
-coating- Crushed red pepper
Cooked Chicken Wings (as much as you can eat )

Other: Large Bowl

Serves: lots

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry measured ingredients and the garlic. Mix in the the tomato puree, olive oil, honey, and vinegar (in that order). Once completely mixed scrape all the sauce down off the sides of the bowl into a 'pile of sauce'

Cover the top of the sauce with a sparse coating of black pepper. Mix in the pepper. Do the same with the red pepper. Use the red pepper to reach the desired level of heat you want.
I bottled mine in a squeeze ketchup bottle. Flower or corn starch (1-3T) can be added to thicken.

add a 4 T (approx) to a large bowl add 6-10 wings (fried in peanut oil for 10 minutes on high in a big pot), stir to coat.

Inspired by: Hood

I had to find the best way to make wings, so I went to my man Bill "Hood" Spicer. See in order to know how to cook things like wings or ribs, you really have to be in food service at some point. Lots of people can cook, and come up with cool recipies. Wings, are a pretty ugly food and don't lend themselves to being something you prepare for a dinner party.

Actually I take that back. I was recently at a house of a friends who was cooking lots of ritzy stuff and yes there were wings, baked. she said aren't they great? They're so much better for you than fried wings. Totally missed the point. Sheesh.

Bill told me all about the ways of flash frying. I am going to hit him up for some rib stylin later. I have a good sauce now .

Name: Wings!

Time: 10 minute per dozen or so

Frozen Chicken Wings (as much as you can eat )
Biggest thing of Peanut oil you can find

Other: Some big pot you really don't like, make sure its thick enough, this stuff can go right through some of the old ones I have.

Serves: lots

Prep: Cover the stove with foil, this will prevent splattering oil from burning your house down, and make cleaning soooo much easier. Also, disengage any smoke detectors. It's a good idea to turn on any ventilation fans over the stove. I also put a fan in the window of the kitchen blowing out. I know this seems like overkill, but most of my wingfest-guests sat on the porch until I got the fan going.

Fill the pot with about an inch or two (for bit pots) of oil. Turn the heat to high. You won't notice it boiling. Dip the end of a wing in to check if it is hot enough. When the oil explodes in a madness of icy wing atrocities, its ready. Did you catch that? You put the wings in while they are still frozen.

Put in about 10 wings. Watch your hands, or you'll get burned... cook them 10 minutes. Pull them out with some good tongs. Shake the extra oil off the wings back into the pot. Mix them up in the sauce of your choice.

Need to make lots? Run two big pots with abut 15 wings at a time. 5 minutes apart. It will let you make them much faster. (about 200% more )

Serve with celery and my Blue Chi's Dip


Inspired by: Evie

I don't know which is better. My wing sauces, or this dressing. You just can't understand how good this is till you try it.

This is one of the few recipes I will put up that is straight out not mine. It's so good though. only difference is I chop the parsley to dust with my cool japanese cooks knife and put it right in the dip instead of using it as a garnish. I also used extra lemon juice and garlic.


Name: Blue Chi's Dip

Time: 5 minutes

6 ounces blue cheese
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 cloves crushed garlic
7 1/2 fluid ounces mayonnaise
1/4 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley (as small as you can chop it)

Serves: lots

Place the blue cheese in a bowl and mash with a fork.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix in bowl

Inspired by: -none-

When I was little I could always count on having Crystal Light Lemonade in the fridge. When I got an apartment of my own I started making it but wanted to try something new. I tried making raspberry ice tea, but I really don't like drinking caffeine. Then I tried Raspberry Ice, but it tasted like I was drinking Jello. This combo drink is a common request at my place. I don't know why it is so good. Just works. Anyhow the only problem with it, is the raspberry mix gets everything red (stains worse than red wine). I swear that my lungs are all healthy and pink looking just because I breath in the dust from this stuff. I know, its a lame recipe but hey it's great!


Name: "juice"

Time: 1 minute

Raspberry Ice Crystal Light
Lemonade Crystal Light

Other: Reserve a special spoon for this one
a one gallon pitcher

Serves: lots

Add one package of each Crystal light to the pitcher and fill with water. Refrigerate.

Bree: I like this juice recipe of yours
me: thanks
me:  it's good stuff
Bree: I know
Bree: I make it too
me:  with the lemonade?
Bree: Yeah
me:   i didn't realize you did that... i thought your pitcher was too small for it
Bree: I have bigger pitchers
me:   neato
me:   what made you decide to make it like that?
Bree: I don't know
Bree: I always have
me:   how odd
Bree: I think I had raspberry lemonade somewhere and figured I could make it myself
me:  nod

Inspired by: Steak Escape

I used to get cheesesteaks at this one place on campus. They were so good. This guy Mohamed ran the place. He was super nice. I started watching what they put on the steaks and I started trying it at home. I got it down pretty well This recipe gets the benefit of onion flavor without having to have fresh onions on hand. The other trick was getting cheese that was good. I can't stand that provolone stuff. When I was in Philly on a trip they used American cheese. So I do too.

Get yourself a 12 pack of cheese, a 12 back of steakums, and a 6 rolls, and you got a weeks worth of lunch done.

Name: Damn Fine Cheese steak

Time: 7 minutes

crushed red pepper
garlic powder
black pepper
minced onions
2 steak ums
2 pieces of american cheese
sourdough subroll (unsplit)

Other: two spatulas, and a pan that you don't mind scraping up

Serves: 1

Put two seakums in the pan side by side (4 thin steak things). Turn the heat to medium. Add about equal amounts of spices.. Sometimes I tone down the red pepper, depending on who I am cooking for. Set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, flip the steaks over, and use the two spatulas to cut the steaks. Use one spatula to hold the steak down and pull the meat apart with the other. Add the cheese on the meat. and turn off the heat. Cut the roll open and set it on a plate. In the time it takes to get the roll out and cut it, the cheese will have melted just right. use a spatula to put the cheesesteak into the roll and serve.


[back to the kitchen]