Monday Munchies! – 1/23/2017

Life is Yum this week with the Monday Munchies
all organic edition

A versatile main course or good for some yummin’ on the side,
this simple pasta dish is a recipe for good clean eating that won’t break the bank

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This isn’t so much of a recipe as it is a guided suggestion–
I concocted this dish as something to tie together a roasted chicken dinner, using mostly staple ingredients, topped with a crumbling of feta cheese and Mediterranean herbs.

There isn’t a single ingredient in this dish that cannot be substituted or simply left out, season to taste, switch it up to keep it interesting.

Following up on Life is Yum, we will explore different variations with similar ingredients. This tortellini dish is hott and steamy, but for those of you who like it cold, we’ll be tossing together a corkscrew pasta salad.

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Tortellini Noodles
pictured here we used pesto filled, cheese filled is more common and also makes for a delish dish, or while it is in season, butternut squash tortellini would fit the flavor profile perfectly

Bring a pot of water to a hard boil then add the tortellini.
Do NOT undercook– you want the inside to be soft, it will take longer than most noodles, bite into one to test it

While the noodles cook, prepare the produce for your sauce.
I used my Oster 1200 Food Processor,
but finely chopping works too.

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Bell Peppers
Onions or Shallots
Squash
Garlic
Ginger

I prefer the sweeter variety of bell peppers
they come in orange, yellow, or red
Green bell peppers could also work, especially with the pesto filled tortellini, but for green peppers I would suggest adding spinach, heavy on the garlic, hold the squash.
For those of you who like a hint of food
with that burning sensation in your mouth,
you could spice it up with jalapeno or other hot peppers.

Finely Chop with sharp knives or a food processor
To serve raw, reduce cooking time, or for a smoother texture– blend until creamy

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When your tortellini is fully cooked,
drain the water, return noodles to pot
Toss your chopped produce with noodles, or pour in blended sauce

Sour Cream
Chicken roast drippings

We were roasting a chicken at the time,
so I used the drippings for this side-dish
I only used a couple large dollops of sour cream
To serve as a main course, substitute chicken bouillon, or chicken broth and butter/oil.
Can also thin sauce with milk or water if necessary, I used a dash of milk, or using more sour cream works just as well
Cheese would be an excellent addition, but isn’t it always?

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Cook on LOW until desired consistency
I processed my produce into a fine chop, started with a slightly thin sauce, and cooked it down into a thick, creamy, and very flavorful side-dish that took a bit longer than I had originally intended.

To reduce the cooking time, you can mix all your sauce ingredients, and blend until creamy.
Pour into pot with noodles, heat until warm.

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

What I made here served a party of 4 adults with some leftovers

Follow up with Zu-Zu Lee on Life is Yum, check back weekly for more Monday Munchies, or Follow Me for new content on The Daily Star!

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Monday Munchies! – 1/16/2017

On a cold January night like this one, it is important to remember that your little piggies could be screaming brr brr brrrrr all night long. Bring them in from the cold, wrap them up good and toasty with Zu-Zu Lee’s recipe for Pigs in a Blanket. A classic childhood favorite done cheap, from scratch–

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Preheat oven to 400°
Bake 20-25 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour
season to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter (cubed)
1 cup bacon bits, onions, garlic (chopped)
⅔ cup milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar

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mix milk and vinegar, let sit about 5 minutes

For biscuits, nothing beats buttermilk.
But contrary to what the name may lead you to believe…
You cannot just whisk some butter into your milk and presto, butter-milk.

You can, however, whisk some vinegar into your milk

Buttermilk is acidic, this reacts with the baking soda, releasing air-bubbles in the dough during cooking.
Air rises through the dough, and that’s how breads get fluffy.

For this recipe, we use more common household ingredients:
vinegar for an acid, and regular milk for a liquid.

Measure ⅔ cup milk
Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Let sit for about 5 minutes

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nice crispy bacon, saved some for you Mr. Frodo

While your buttermilk substitute sets, prepare the bacon.
You will want it crispy for shredding into bits.

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In a mixing bowl, sift together your dry ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Season to taste
If you want to spice up your life a bit, add it here.
I skipped the seasoning step, but these biscuits come loaded with:

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chop bacon, onions, and garlic

It was easier for me to shred the bacon by hand, let the puppy lick them clean… whatever works for you. Dice onions and garlic.

1 cup chopped yummy bits

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Cube 4 tablespoons butter

Toss butter cubes and yummy bits with dry ingredients until coated
Mash with a pastry tool or potato masher until crumbly

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Add your buttermilk substitute.
Stir well– it will thicken into a ball of dough.

Let sit for a few minutes.
Clean the dishes. Cue hipster food photoshoot–

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Pat or roll your dough out flat
Cut into rectangular sections

Roll your pigs up in their blankets
Pop in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes

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Monday Munchies! – 1/09/2017

Listening to: Do You Like Waffles? by Parry Gripp

Zu-Zu Lee on location in this domestic American kitchen with a special edition of the Monday Mun-Cheeze!

We are seeing here the elusive Pizza Waffle in its natural environment. Crikey! What a beauty this is mates:

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Smothered in marinara, oozing with mozzarella, peppered with -ronis… these majestic creatures grace our world for but an instant before embarking on their journey to the great stomach pit of mine.

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For a Daily Star exclusive, this reporter got up close and personal with not one, but TWO– that’s right folks, TWIN Pizza Waffles, in their infancy:

A rare breed, the Snausage & Onion Pizza Waffle packs on twice the weight, an extra cheesy exo-waffleton, and a sense of humor.

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Doot do do do– can’t wait to get a mouth full!

How-To, Recipes, and munch munch more
— coming soon to Life Is Yum

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A zu-zu for You-yoo!

Ode to Cake | | Listening to: Cake – “Open Book”

Sugar rush, baker’s blush
The original candy crush
Cocoa kisses, coo-coo crazy
Batter-up a yum yum
Birthday wishes, wedding dishes
congratulations to the misses
–or there’s plenty of other fishes!
Piece of cake, slice of heaven
Here’s to the servicemen from 7-11
Moissst and tenderly
Rich as I’ll ever be
Whip it up, whip it up baby
Whip those layers, back and forth
Please buy something from my store
Can’t resist, that or this
A desperate peddle, a decadent dish
Grumble Grumble that, chew it over with this–

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Preheat oven to 3500
Yields: 2 layers in 9-inch round cake pans

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Sift dry ingredients thoroughly in mixer bowl

1 cup coconut oil or butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups milk, water, or brewed coffee

Mix wet ingredients into dry, beat until combined
Batter will be thin (it will rise)
Pour evenly into prepped pans, yields TWO 9-inch rounds

Bake at 3500 for 25-30 minutes
Toothpick inserted in center of cake should come out clean
Remove from oven (caution: hot)
When pans are cool to touch, gently flip cake from pan to cool on rack or plate.

While cake bakes, mix your frosting in same mixer–

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or half coconut oil – softened, but not liquid
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons brewed coffee

Beat thoroughly

Confectioner’s Sugar (to taste)

Sift confectioner’s sugar mixing with addition
Need at least a couple cups, depending how sweet you want your frosting
Beat Thoroughly

Chill before frosting and serving– enjoy (or else!)

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Alas, for I cannot have my cake and eat it to, this photograph shall stand for Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and the Mocha Way in all its neutral pronoun glory

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