Monday, December 27, 2010

New GMail

I just finished creating a gmail account that is just for this blog! I'm super excited to get my viewers involved in the cooking fun too. So, if you have a recipe suggestion, some tips on how to make Eastern European food, or want help making your own recipes, send an email to with your question. I'll be happy to answer it!

Okay, so now you figured out that I'm not a teen. I'm a tween going on the teenage years. But does that really matter?! ;)

Some things that I want to learn from my viewers include:

1. Tips on making food from Indonesia, Malaysia, and countries around there
2. Tips on making French food
3. Tips on making foods with the staple ingredients of an Eastern European diet. Food from countries such as Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, etc.

Some things that you, my viewers, can ask me include:
1. The types of flavors in a dish. For example: What should I put in my Indian curry?
2. A recipe that you want me to make. For example: I want you to post a recipe for a dairy free dessert.
3. One of your original recipes that you want me to try. It just might make it to my cookbook if it's really good!

Do NOT hesitate to email me! I am completely willing to answer any of your questions. Also, please tell your friends and family about this blog! I want to share my cooking experiences with everyone, and hopefully make a small portion of the world healthier and more excited about cooking.

How Christmas Dinner Actually Turned Out...

So, Christmas dinner kind of got split up into two parts instead of eating seven bajillion things al in one night. On Christmas Day, we made flank steak roulade, gruyere potatoes, and Christmas salad. The salad wasn't served in mushroom bowls because my cousin was there, and he hates mushrooms. The day after Christmas, my mom made a ham, and I made quinoa and peas. Here's the recipe for the quinoa:

1½ cups whole-grain quinoa
2 roma tomatoes, diced
¾ cup finely chopped chives
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 – 1½ tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pine nuts, to garnish

1.      Boil 3 cups of water. Add quinoa and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, or until water has been absorbed by the quinoa.
2.      Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Mix well.
3.      Garnish with pine nuts. Serve.

Make sure you eat this no later than 20 minutes after it has been mixed together. We waited around 40, and the cheese flavor and texture that it added wasn't as prominent. It's better when it's warm and cheesy. Yummmmmmmmm.

We didn't make dessert. We just ate oatmeal raisin cookies and the stuff in our stockings. I might make dessert tonight... or tomorrow... or in 2011.... Well, I have to do it soon, because I won't be able to eat apples after I get my braces on in mid-January.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Menu

I'm so excited for Christmas! I get to make Christmas dinner. My menu includes:

Prime Rib Roast (my mom's making that one)
Portabello Mushroom Bowl Salad
Christmas Quinoa
Gruyere Potatoes
Peas of Yumminess
Cran-Apple Tart

The mushroom bowl salad sounds weird, I know. It's basically roasted portabello mushroom caps that become the "bowl" for the rest of the salad. The rest of the salad will have avocados, pomegranate seeds, spinach, walnuts, and a dressing with cranberry juice and walnut oil. Yum! The Christmas Quinoa will have green and red in it (bell peppers and chives). Gruyere Potatoes is basically a scalloped potatoes casserole that is much healthier that regular scalloped potatoes. Peas of Yumminess... I couldn't think of a name for that one. It's just peas, bell peppers, onions, and basil. And of course, olive oil and butter. Gotta have that stuff! Cran-Apple Tart will probably be another fail baking endeavor, but it's worth a shot. I will follow a pie crust recipe exactly for this one!

I'll let you people reading this know how my Christmas dinner went. Maybe you can make it on New Year's Eve!

Baking Gone Wrong

I am so NOT a baker. When my cookbook comes out, it probably won't have a dessert section. Oh well.

I can bake if I have a recipe. If I'm trying to make my own recipe, well, let's just say that what I make is almost inedible. I tried making oatmeal-cranberry cookies last night. Bad idea, Madison. Bad idea. I tried making them chewy by using 2 egg yolks instead of 1 whole egg. The cookies turned out to be way too dry because the egg whites were gone, so I had to melt some extra butter and put it in. That still didn't work. So, my dad and I squeezed the heck out of the cookies just so they would hold. They were tiny, too. Then, when I put them in the oven, the all slid to the edge of my cookie sheet. So I tried re-arranging them WHILE THEY WERE IN THE OVEN. Whoops. A great example of why baking cookies at 10:00pm is not a good idea. So I took the cookies out of the oven, re-arranged them, and carefully slid them into the oven. And then I almost burned them.

Two lessons I have learned from this experience: 1, follow the recipe when baking. 2, don't trust Betty Crocker to give you the foundations of a cookie recipe. She may have delicious Thanksgiving stuffing, but that certainly doesn't mean that her cookies will taste good.
So that's my baking fail story of December. Look at how small those are! That plate is a small plate, and those cookies are about half the size of my fist. Sad.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Thanks a lot to my first follower! (You know who you are) Go take a look at his blog "The Tremedous Theater." It's got his opinions on books, movies, and more.

So, anonymous follower (do you want your name used?), I will keep advertising your blog for you. And, other viewers, go check it out!

Christmas Time is Here!!!

What to do for Christmas dinner? Never fear... Madison is here!!! I have a great idea for a super delicious side. I haven't made it yet, but I will soon. I'm going to try it tonight, and you guys should try it within the next week and tell me what you think.

My mom has this recie for "Glorious Garlicky Greens" that I made a couple of nights ago. It's really good. I thought I might change it by adding lemon juice, shallots, and onions. Make a bed of it and put some sauteed chicken strips over it if you'd like. I haven't made this yet, but I'm going to make it for dinner tonight. It might be a total flop, but whatever. Anyway, we'll see how it goes!


1 large bunch of kale
1 tbsp fresh (or in a bottle, since it's winter right now) lemon juice
Lemon zest (if using a fresh lemon)
1/2 cup shallots, minced or diced
1/2 of a large onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a large steamer pot, boil some water.
2. Add the kale. The pot will be really full! Once the kale is wilted and has changed to a more vibrant green color, turn off the stove. Do NOT let the kale turn olive green. It will be over cooked.
3. Drain the kale.
4. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Sautee the garlic, onions, and shallots until the garlic looks carmelized and the onions begin to look transparent and start to carmelize.
5. Add the kale to the skillet. Stir until add the ingredients are mixed together. Add the lemon juice and the optional lemon zest and stir well. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Let's hope this is a good one! Please comment on this recipe! If you make it within the next week or so, please rate it on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being the worst, 10 being amazing). I would REALLY appreciate your feedback!