Opinions on food, drink and articles/TV shows involving them

Posts tagged ‘snack’

Fried Cheese Snack

Oh Costco, how I love thee. On two separate trips to Costco, I had the same food sample of fried cheese. The first time, I thought it was really tasty, but was buying a lot of other things and didn’t think I would use all the cheese and the other perishables I was buying.

The second visit, when they had the same sample, I knew it was a sign that I needed it. Making this snack is really simple. The person making the samples at Costco had a griddle and the cheese. I noticed some oily residue on the griddle and asked if she was using butter or oil. She said it was just the cheese…so easy!


Here’s the cheese packaging, in case you feel obliged to get some after I tell you again how easy this is!


I heated up the skillet to medium heat for a few minutes before putting in the cheese slices. When the cheese is in the pan, don’t touch it for the first few minutes. You’ll notice the edges start to brown when they are also brown underneath. Cook them for a few minutes on each side.


I served mine on some multi-grain sourdough bread from Trader Joe’s, mainly because it was all I had. The cheese seemed to take away from the flavor of the sourdough a bit, but it was still tasty. The lady making the samples at Costco was saying that this makes an excellent grilled cheese sandwich, so maybe next time, I’ll have to try that! I give the fried cheese an ecstatic 5 stars!


Quesadillas and Bacon Lasagna

Lately, I’ve focused on some simple, quick and easy recipes, as well as the occasional more complex one. In this post, I’ll address both of these categories.

We’ll start with quick and easy. One night, after a hard workout, I was very hungry and didn’t have a lot of time to make dinner. So, I checked the fridge and thought: quesadillas. I sautéed some peppers and onions with a little salt and pepper. I used whole wheat tortillas, but any tortilla of your choice will do. Put the tortilla in a pan that has been sprayed with a little cooking spray. On top, add the peppers, onions, and other vegetables of your choice, along with cheese (I used a Mexican cheese blend), pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Place another tortilla on top. Heat on medium low until tortilla browns slightly, then flip and heat again. Slice into wedges and serve with salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, guacamole, cheese, or any of these you have in your refrigerator.

I’ll give this recipe 3 stars. It’s quick and easy and can be tailored to your likes and dislikes. The cumin gives it a nice Mexican flavor. Meat, such as chicken or steak, or beans can also be added to made a heartier quesadilla. Enjoy!

Carla Hall, from Top Chef, recently appeared at the White House Easter Egg roll and made quesadillas. She mentions that quesadillas should be the new peanut butter and jelly and I agree. They are nice and easy, have less carbs and sugar and are packed with veggies. Here is a link to her blog where she makes quesadillas in the first video: http://www.carlahall.com/2011/04/25/white-house-easter-egg-roll/

Now, on to something a little more complex. The other day, I had some friends over for dinner. I made a couple of types of lasagna and I’m going to talk about the one containing bacon.

The past couple of times I’ve made lasagna, I’ve made lasagna rolls instead of a pan of lasagna. They are slightly more time intensive because instead of putting layers in the pan, you have to roll each one individually; however, in my opinion, they are easier to serve. They are a little messy to make, but you simply add the ingredients spread out on a cooked piece of lasagna and roll them up. Then, add them to a lightly sauced and greased pan or casserole dish, add sauce and cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered.

For this recipe, I used whole wheat lasagna noodles and balanced out the healthiness with a velvety cream sauce. For the base of the sauce, I used Mario Batali’s bechamel sauce recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe/index.html. Bechamel is basically a fancy way of saying cream sauce.  Start by using a frying pan to sauté finely chopped shallots and mushrooms (about 1/2 cup and 1 cup respectively) until almost cooked, then add 1 small bag of spinach and cook until the spinach is cooked. While that is cooking, chop about 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomato and 1/3 cup of roasted red peppers. Cooked about 10 pieces of bacon until crispy and chopped them into small pieces (reserve some of the bacon grease and add it to the cream sauce for an extra bacon kick). Then I add all the vegetables to the sauce. I used about 1/3 cup of sauce per piece of lasagna and added a small slice of goat cheese before rolling it up. I also added some extra goat cheese and sauce to the pan on top of the rolls and cooked them as directed above.

Here is a picture of the sauce just as I added the bacon:

I don’t have a picture of the finished product, but I can tell you that it was very popular and went very quickly. I’ll give it 4 stars. I’m not sure that the goat cheese was able to shine through amongst all of the other flavors, but it might have been more prominent if I had used more of it or if it was used with a tomato sauce instead of a cream sauce.

S’mores and homemade flavored vodka!

Sometimes, all you need is a few simple ingredients to make a wonderful snack. A gas stove is great to roast marshmallows over while making s’mores and that’s just what a friend and I did one night after a stressful day at work.

It’s so easy and can bring so much happiness. These pictures are making me drool as I’m writing this, so I hope they are doing the same for you! Sometimes it’s best to make something simple and delectable that can bring a lot of happiness to your taste buds.

Now it’s time to shift gears from a great snack to a great drink! I like to get creative with alcoholic beverages and sometimes regret the fact that I have never been a bartender. I think it would be an interesting profession for a period of time because I’d be able to use my creative energy and talk to a lot of different people in the process. Maybe someday I’ll go to bartending school just for kicks if I have some extra time.

When I was in college, I’d mix up drinks for my friends and I using whatever ingredients us poor college students had on hand. There was the drink with gin and iced tea, the signature drink I created for our apartment, as well as many others.

Several weekends ago, a friend of mine came to visit and we somehow came up with the idea to make our own bubble gum vodka. “Three Olives” makes a flavor called bubble, which goes well mixed with sprite. It’s so close in flavor to actual bubble gum that it makes me want to blow a bubble! We attempted to recreate it by soaking “dubble bubble” brand bubble gum in vodka and it came out really well. I was so intrigued by the idea that I started dreaming up other vodka infusions. My friend and I also soaked some gummy bears in vodka. Below is a photo of the soaking vodkas:

After the vodka was infused, of course I had to make a tasty concoction! First, I wet the rim of my martini glass and covered it in rainbow sprinkles because well, I like rainbows! I also haven’t really seen drinks at bars decorated with rainbow sprinkles, so I thought, why not?! I mixed the gummy bear vodka with some pomegranate blueberry juice and a little bit of sparkling white grape juice for a tasty adult beverage! It was slightly sweet, fruity, and was reminiscent of gummy bears! See for yourself:

These infusions are an easy way to add extra flavor to a drink. That same friend of mine made some pomegranate lime vodka that was very tasty. Another friend of mine mentioned infusing fresh herbs, such as mint, basil, or rosemary in liquor. Just be creative if you want to infuse your alcohol: you can do lime and lime zest in tequila, mint in rum, or any other creation you can think of. Cheers!