Saturday, January 21, 2012

Warm your cold nights with home made pizza

Snowy and long days means time to turn on your ovens and make something sexy. I am eternally searching for mouth watering pizza without all the extra grease. I thought to myself why not try to make my own mouth watering pizza!  I thought it would be a long and arduous process, but gathering all your ingredients and using a few store brought items makes it easy. You're on your way to a satiating meal.  First, I made the dough and sauce from scratch. Patience is a virtue though because home made pizza dough needs a couple of hours to rise; but the joy of molding the dough and watching it slowly rise is a pleasure all in its own. Then, I assembled the pizza and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. 
Variations on how to make:
You can get the recipe for home made pizza dough from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and use your own bottled sauce.
Make your own sauce using peeled, canned tomatoes and your home made dough.
Even quicker, use pita bread as the dough and add sauce, cheese and toppings.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shake it up with Mr. Smooth

The smooth, charming bachelor can sweep us off our feet, well, if  we let him. Reading his mind and actions can take a life time but making a healthy, mixed fruit smoothie for breakfast only takes ten minutes. I usually eat the same thing for breakfast but wanted to spice it up with ingredients that I have on hand. I gathered up my honey, frozen fruit, vanilla yogurt and two percent milk and put it in my blender on the smoothie setting. I let the blender work for about seven minutes with all the ingredients and what came out was a satisfying and filling breakfast in under ten minutes. You can go about your day feeling energized and care free!

On another note, went to doctor for a check up and found out that I am no longer anemic. Yeah! for me. just wanted to share this with you guys because it took me a couple years to be anemia free. Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Single and Cooking in Chelsea Market: NYC, with a top chef surprise!

New York is a culinary adventure, I'm discovering. There are so many different restaurants, food shops, delis, food trucks that your palette may need to be cleansed and re-cleansed to enjoy every single one of these places.  So, at first I decided that Little Italy would be a great place to
My friend Keisha standing below
the Chelsea market sign.
explore but the rain poured heavily and a walking tour of Little Italy would leave my friend and I drenched to the bone.  I needed a quick change of plan so that we could explore indoors. After watching food network star and saw the episode featuring Chelsea Market, I had to go! Chelsea Market was the indoor alternative. Even though it was pouring rain, my friend convinced me that we should still go. We walked in the pouring to take the bus and two trains to 23rd and 7th where Chelsea Market was supposed to be; its actually located at 17th and 3rd.  When we got off the subway the sun shone brigtly; I said to my friend with enthusiasm, It stopped raining!  We walked another couple blocks and arrived at Chelsea market with our stomachs ready to be filled. We browsed around the browery, a kitchen supply store, looked at some strange fruit in the fruit exchange which I can't remember the name but the store owner told us that it did not taste very good.
 We also stopped at Amy's bakery and took pictures of her creative designs, like the purse shown on the right.

I was starving at this point and had to get something to eat, since seafood is a weakness of mine, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Lobster Place. They had a lobster club for $16.95 which was a little pricey for me, so I went with the crab roll with bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato for about $10.  My crab roll was rich, creamy and succulent. It came with a side of coleslaw and chips. The coleslaw was smothered in mayonnaise and I didn't really enjoy it. My friend kept raving about her shrimp salad about the freshness and the light sweetness of the dressing that did not overpower the salad.  

While eating lunch, I saw a familiar looking face standing in the Lobster place and I was like that's Carla Hall from Top Chef! My friend, not a shy person, went inside and introduced herself. I then came in and asked if I could take a picture with her and she said yes! I was so excited and she was nice enough to hold all my stuff for me while taking the picture. That was pretty cool.
Top chef Carla Hall and I
We browsed around a few more stores, got some bread and decided to leave before it got too late.  We were looking for more to do but the market was smaller than I expected. I thought it would be bigger for some reason. The trip was definitely had a few mini obstacles but it was worth everyone of them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Curried chicken made easy

Aaah, the sweet and tangy taste of curry chicken brings me back home to Jamaica. The all consuming smell is a tradition in my family for everyday cooking and special occassions. Curried chicken, pork, goat, beef never tasted so good. I remember my dad leaving the meat to soak in the refridgerator overnight then taking it out and letting it slow cook in the oven for hours. I would marvel when the meat was done, how tender and juicy it tasted. However, I wanted to recreate this same meal and all the pleasures it brings being single and cooking. I tried numerous times to master this but never quite got it right but my patience has paid off. My curried chicken recipe is full of the same love and mouth watering taste.

1 pack skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon curry
2 sprigs of thyme
a dash of Mrs. Dash
1/2 of an whole onion
1 Roma tomato


1. Rinse chicken with vinegar over running water to clean. Cut chicken into medium sized cubes.
2. Season meat with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, thyme and curry.
3. Use hands to combine seasonings and meat. If desired, leave in refridegerator to soak in seasonings.
4. If not at room temperature, bring meat to room temperature. While waiting for meat to come to room temperature; finely dice the onion and tomato.
5. Prepare a skillet with about 2 tablespoon of oil. Sear chicken on both sides then cover pot to make the steam partially cook the meat.
6. When partially cooked, add a tip of water with the onions and tomatotes.
7. Cover pot and bring to a medium boil.
8. Reduce heat and then cook until desired amount of gravy is reached.
9. Serve over steamed rice.
Jamaican curry is available at some local grocery stores.
These are not exact measurements. Please use your own judgment.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Top 9 reasons why cooking for one at home is a blast!

Originally uploaded by Tracy Frayne

9.  You can cook whatever you feel like eating. If you want to have a feast you can have one; if you don't and feel like a sandwich then that's fine too.

8.  If a recipe or dish does not come out exactly the way you intended; you can still eat it.

7.  You have left overs for lunch and you can save money by not eating out for lunch and have your coworkers marvel at your lunch. :-)

6.You don't have to deal with a picky eater, which is not fun, trust me.

5.Yes, you have to wash the dishes but you can do it when you feel like it.

4. You don't have to feel guilty about eating dessert. There's nothing like sitting in front of the television with some Ben and Jerrys.

3.Your house will smell like good home cooking and we all love that smell.

2.Your cooking anxiety disappears because there is no one to impress.

1.You really learn how to cook based on your taste, likes and dislikes.

Why is cooking at home for yourself a blast?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feature/Guest posts

Hi Everyone,

Just letting you know that I have an upcoming guest post on the Stay tuned-July 5th. So excited!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Single and Cooking in China Town, NYC

China Town is a culinary adventure because there are so many different herbs, fruits, drinks, teas and foods that I have never tried before so a day trip was definitely in order. My twin brother joined me for the day trip and made me laugh the whole time, singles need company too! I did a search on google for the best dumplings in China town and Prosperity Dumplings was one of the favorites so I had to have a taste of these dumplings. While looking for the restaurant, we passed a Buddhist temple which I thought was the Mahayan Buddhist temple  but it was not. All Buddhas are not the same, I learned.
Then, we passed a few bountiful street markets that had vegetables and fruits abound such as papaya, bunches of scallions, ginger just to name a few. We didn't stop to take any pictures of these because I was hungry for those dumplings. We reached Eldridge St. and thought Oh No!, this place is a hole in the wall but we went in anyway and the dumplings were super cheap.  I looked around and saw a lot of Asian customers so I thought to myself this place must have good dumplings.  Five freshly steamed and fried dumplings for only a dollar! My brother got the fried and I waited fifteen minutes for the steamed pork and vegetable dumplings. Must I say, that these dumplings were such a treat that I was literally shoving them in my mouth. I couldn't help myself. They were really good; the pictures are not so great because we were too busy eating.The pork and vegetables inside the dumplings were tender and cooked all the way through. The dough of the dumplings were soft yet chewy enough to give them a bite. I added some soy sauce and sriracha which gave added flavor. We left Prosperity Dumplings with our bellies full and looking ahead to a prosperous future.
We wandered  around Mott and Canal St. and stumbled upon The Donut Place which my brother told me was on Man vs. Food on the Food Network. I never heard of this place but my brother stopped to get a coconut creme donut which was too rich for my taste. I was very curious about Bubble Tea but I was very hesistant to have some. This was an adventure so I decided to take adventure by the reins and try this tea. The clerk was encouraging me to try it so I went ahead and got the coconut milk bubble tea. It was mildly sweet but the bubbles are actually balls made of tapioca. The tea was refreshing but the tapioca balls were
something new for my tastebuds. When my brother tried the bubble tea, he spat it out, myself and people on the street were laughing. This was a funny site.

We roamed around a few more streets and stores but our parking meter was about to run out. We hurried back to the car and prayed that we didn't get a ticket. We did not get a ticket and put more money in the meter to continue exploring but we had a surprise when we got back to the car to leave.

What do you think the surprise was?