The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

The Perks of Being a Teacher/Food Person

See this gorgeous cake?  This beautiful, amazing chocolate piece of art? Someone made this for me.

Unbelievable, huh?

I think so.

One of my students and I have a food bond, I guess you could say.  We talk food a lot, and think about food a lot, and eat food a lot.  At the end of the year last school year, she made me bacon.  While I was out of town recently, I found a bacon cookbook I thought she just had to have.  Then, she and her mom made me this cake.  It is as if we are playing a game of food tag.  I am enjoying it for sure.

The recipe for this amazing cake came from Pinterest.  I tried to navigate the vast world that is Pinterest to find the recipe, but I couldn’t.  It would be worth it.  The cake was soft and lightly chocolatey while the inside was creamy with a touch of Oreos.

I didn’t eat the whole thing by myself, but I could have.  I actually shared, believe it or not.  I gave her and her family a nice part for them to enjoy, I gave part to the staff in our school’s office, and then I shared with my own family.

Chocolate cake like this is one of the best parts of my job.


When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Make Tacos
September 15, 2012, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: , , , , ,

In our home, food is a thing. We take it pretty seriously, ya know? There are times when I hit a home run, and times when I strike out.

The fam is getting tired of my attempts at gourmet. Mr. Picky doesn’t want anything that looks or sounds or smells weird or isn’t made of cheese.

Mr. Opinionated is happy some of the time, but he would eat chili from a can every meal if I would fix it.

Miss Helper lately just wants fish sticks.

When the fam is looking a little weak or grouchy or hungry, I have only a few sure-fire ways to fix the situation.

We can go to the Mexican restaurant. We can eat pizza. We can eat chicken again.

Or, as I have recently found out, I can make the humble, no-frills taco.

I had no idea that something so simple would be so great.  For our family of four, a box of twelve taco shells doesn’t last long.

Mr. Picky eats a taco shell stuffed with shredded cheese. Miss Helper likes cheese too with a little meat. Mr. Opinionated and I eat anything and everything on ours. I am particularly fond of avocado slices with sour cream.

We all eat, and it takes me less than twenty minutes.  Easy peasy.

And we live happily ever after. Or, at least until the tacos wear off.

Strawberry Cakes
December 1, 2011, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Food I Make, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: , , ,

The Morning After


Breakfast this am-leftover turkey and gravy on a biscuit.

I hope I don’t overdose on turkey this week…

A First: Our Little Family’s Thanksgiving





I am thankful for so much this Thanksgiving. Family. Friends. Our jobs. Our home. My foodie friends who check out my blog and make me feel loved.

And the fact that the people who live with me let me try weird foods on them all the time. 

Today, it was my first attempt to make a Thanksgiving dinner for four people that had to be totally different from what we’ll be having on Thursday.

It was actually very fun for me.

I started by brining a three -pound turkey breast for an hour in salt, water, and sugar. When it was done, I dried off the turkey, salt and peppered it, and wrapped in prosciutto.  I roasted it for an hour and a half.

My first turkey was tender and so juicy. The prosciutto was salty enough to add a great flavor.

I also made a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and caramelized pecans. We had oyster dressing (which was really Stove Top) with a red wine turkey gravy.

Dessert was a pumpkin pie.

I didn’t have any cranberries or anything green, but it was still a delicious feast beyond anything we normally eat on Tuesdays. It was also very different from what we’ll eat for the actual Turkey Day.

I am thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving, Foodies!

Cashew Chicken and the Kitchen Time Warp

I do believe there is some sort of time warp in my kitchen.  Every time I set out to make a recipe, and that recipe has a time suggestion on it for how long it will take to make a dish, it always takes me much, much longer than it says it should. 

Thirty minute meals? My foot.

And, yes, I know Rachael Ray has help on her set and all of her ingredients are prepared ahead of time.  But I am telling you, if I had the same setup with the same help and the same pre-prepared ingredients, it would still take me forever to make whatever she does in thirty minutes. 

Seriously.  Time warp. 

I got this recipe from a magazine which declared that it should-should being the key word here-take thirty minutes of work time and one hour total. 

I never should have even started.

It took for stinking ever the first time I made this, but it was delish and different.  It was worth it even is the recipe list is a mile long. 

Tonight I made it for the second time.  I was a little faster, but I wasn’t terribly hungry so I was fine with that.  On a hungry girl night? No way.  Someone would get hurt if I had to wait so long. 

Plan ahead, my friends. 

Cashew Chicken

2 good size chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 T dry sherry, although I was out, so I used red wine.
2 tsp. ginger-I used dried.  I am not a fan of ginger. Nothing personal, Ginger.
2 cloves of garlic, peeled then smashed with the blade of your knife. 
4 ½ tsp. cornstarch
¾ c.  chicken stock
2 T soy sauce
3 T Hoisin sauce
1 T white wine vinegar
2 tsp.  brown sugar
Vegetable oil
½ c. cashews-I used two handfuls which is probably more that this calls for.  I want a crunch in every bite.
Red pepper flakes for garnish
Cooked rice

In a bowl, combine the sherry, ginger, garlic, and 2 t. of the cornstarch.  Add the chicken and toss.  Set aside for thirty minutes to marinade.

In another bowl, combine the stock, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and the rest of the cornstarch.  Wisk well and set aside. 
 Using two tablespoons of the vegetable oil, sauté the chicken in small batches until the chicken is slightly brown, about five minutes.  Remove each finished batch to a small platter then return it all to the pan when all the chicken is done.

Stir in the soy sauce mixture and allow to simmer for about four minutes.  It should thicken right up to the consistency of thin gravy.  When it is thick, add your cashews. 

To serve, plate your rice, add the cashew chicken on top in a pretty formation, and top with the red pepper flakes to taste. 

Eat away.

Cashew Chicken

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