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Local Plate: Get Your Garlic Breath on…

25 Apr

…at Mediterranean Kitchen.

Mediterranean Kitchen_Chicken.JPG

Ba-cock! This spicy chicken dish with saffron rice and whipped hummus is a home run smothered in heavenly yogurt sauce. Yes please!

Remember how in college you were turned on to something really, really bad for you, like deep-fried Oreos or midnight drunk fries (that’d be fries dipped in a vanilla shake at a drive through after closing time)? You would gorge yourself on this tasty treat until your face started to resemble it, much the same way dogs and their owners do after year ten? And then some other hot new craze (Four Loko anyone?) would come along and replace the old addiction. We should bring that back, and start with garlic. If you’re on board, as you should be, then stop off for a healthy hit at Mediterranean Kitchen in Bellevue (103 Bellevue Way N.E.). Continue reading

Food Frame Friday: Tots. Duh!

15 Apr

If I don’t talk about how long it’s been since I last blogged (over a month), and just pretend no one noticed (since there are literally only 5 readers which includes family members and myself) would anyone really care?

I’m going with a big fat NO.

Continue reading

DIY Dinner: Hunt’s Brings prizes AND recipes to the table!

7 Jan

I was entering this fun little contest today, for a chance to Host the Ultimate Chef Party with Celebrity chef George Duran and after I didn’t win, they gave me a fun little recipe.  I was actually pretty impressed, because even though I didn’t win, the recipe they gave me (above, for Pizza Pockets) is super easy!

Not only did this remind me that I LOVE pita pockets, it also reminded me of when my mom would make me tuna pockets for lunch (not gross, even though it probably sounds like it).

Continue reading

One small step for Siiri, one large leap of faith for the Food Network?

15 Jul

There’s been an obvious lull in activity on the blog over the past few weeks, and for that I do apologize!  I was made aware of a challenge that had been issued by the Food Network through their YouTube channel by my good friend, Kim (of DoIhaveLipstickonmyTeeth.com and KimWhiteMakeUp.com fame) who insisted that I throw my hat in the ring!  Little did Kim know, I have been working for months on some short video ideas I wanted to put together into a food video portfolio.  This was the perfect opportunity to actually develop a NEW video idea and attempt to make something happen!

I approached my talented group of friends to volunteer their time, energy and resources to help me produce what I feel is a pretty good “first stab” at how I might approach a cooking show. (this is the first of a handful of still shots I grabbed from the video. Not sure this “Freeze-frame” look on my face is the best, but it is real – and funny).

Mmmm, yam fries! *Don't get me started on yams vs. sweet potatoes. I feel like no one knows the difference!

My overarching plans for where I’d like to go with food are much more far-reaching than a cooking show alone, but of course there’s a huge market there as well.  Whether it’s through the Food Network, my blog, local events and grass-roots efforts (shout out to the Delridge Co-op effort!), or continuing to troubleshoot and teach in my friends and families’ kitchens, I will continue to pursue this love of mine!

Prepping the BEST crispy baked chicken (I swear people think I fried it when they bite in!)

While I continue to plot my multi-media approach to ensuring parents, professionals, students and everyone else has accessible tools to get back in their kitchens and cook to their heart’s delight, please enjoy my video! (I am really bummed there was a time limit, as I had to cut out the part where I make this awesome summer salad. But I’ll highlight that in a future post, so don’t worry, I’ll still share my secret!

 

So, you’re asking, “Siir’, the video’s great and all, but what does this all mean? Why are you doing this?”  Here’s the breakdown:  the submission window closes Friday morning and the “judges panel” will choose up to 15 finalists who will then be turned back to the public for final voting. From there it’s a basic voting process: the person with the most votes after two weeks wins.

What do they win? A one on one meeting with the Food Network Executives.

The summer salad, which sadly didn't make the video due to time constraints.

For a home cook/ food enthusiast/foodie/former industry work horse like myself, who wants to share their cooking and joy of food with the world, this is a fantastic (once in a lifetime) opportunity.

If I am blessed enough to make it as a finalist, I’ll be sure to scream from the rooftops to let you know! Of course you can’t hear me from up there and you can see my smoke signals from the blogosphere, so I’ll make sure I tell you here as well, so (if you like my video) you can vote for me!

The ultimate test! (trying your own cooking, that is...)

In the meantime, feel free to let me know what you think, I welcome all feedback, after all, cooking for others, especially on TV and video is all about how well my work serves others!  Let me know how I can be better for you all!

What you want – Baaaaaaaaby I got it! What you need? Ya’ know I got it!

21 Apr

I’m in a singin’ mood today kids! It’s nasty outside in Seattle today, big fatty fatterson rain drops and they were LITERALLY plopping on my head, rolling down my face as I was walking into the office this morning. Awesome, I know.

Now, I know I said in the title that I’ve got what you need. Do not mistake this to mean that I have all the answers, because I don’t….but I know some one who does! Can you guess?  That’s right, the number one site I stalk: www.BHG.com!

Today I opened my Gmail account only to find a perfectly crafted email from BHG (Better Homes and Gardens) that had two really interesting links I had to share:

  1. 26 One-Dish Chicken Dinners
  2. 34 Dinners in under 20 minutes each

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!! Fo reals, you guys.

Here’s one thing to remember as you look those over: You don’t have to follow directions! This isn’t elementary school.  If you see something you kind of like, but don’t like an ingredient or don’t want to bother with a recipe, then just go home, look at what you’ve got in the fridge and pantry that are sort of similar and if you like those flavors, then trust your instinct!

Here’s two that I think are perfect for this time of year without any fuss:

Chunky Bean and Chicken Chili

Chunky Bean and Chicken Chili

and

Turkey Steaks with Spinach, Pears, & Blue Cheese

Turkey Steaks with Spinach, Pears and Blue Cheese

Main Event: Quail Egg Breakfast Sandwich

19 Apr

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….. I love a lazy Sunday morning. And that’s exactly what I had yesterday!

I had purchased a pack of quail eggs a while back and wanted to do something simple and fun with them, so I decided to go with the old standby that always puts a smile on my face: breakfast sammich.

You can see (from my spazzy cell phone camera picture above) I started with a ripe roma tommy, some sharp cheddar and the quail eggs in all their speckled glory.

I toasted the english muffin in the pan and that’s why you see all that black nasty stuff in my pan. When they were toasted I put them on a plate, added the cheese (so it could start melting) and slapped the roma slices on top.

Then, as the above picture shows, I cooked my Barbie sized eggs, next time I’ll have to turn the heat down even further, because even though I left them all in tact, the yolks ended up completely cooked!

Then I added the eggs and put a little avocado on top.  Finish with salt, pepper and a little basil! MWUAH! De-lish!

I still have 6 quail eggs left…..any suggestions?

You Are What You Eat: Artichokes

9 Apr

YUM!!

Who doesn’t love a good artichoke? If you’ve never tried one, then read the tips below to buying and cooking a great one, then go to the store immediately, buy one (or four and invite your friends over, after all, it’s FRIDAY PEOPLE!) and enjoy them tonight.

Last night we had dinner with our dear friend, Mike, who is a fascinating guy from Montreal.  He’s Itialian by heritage, but speaks a ton of languages having grown up in French-speaking Montreal, and having friends from every walk of life.

Over dinner he said, “remember last time we had dinner and you cooked artichokes?  I’ve been craving them, I’m going to have them tomorrow night.”  So I shared with him some simple tips that will create a fool proof result:

Buying:

  • You want a tightly packed leaf choke (see above).  If the leaves are loose and open, they’re likely to be tough, mealy, and icky!
  • The rounder the better.

Cooking:

  • The best and healthiest way to cook them is by steaming them. 
  • Get a huge pot and steamer basket (if you don’t have a steamer basket, don’t worry, you can use a trivet or cooling rack, or even in a pinch take a couple coffee mugs and place them open end up in the bottom.  This will prevent the chokes from sitting on the bottom of the pot in water).
  • Put about an inch to an inch and a half of water in the bottom of the pot.
  • Cut the stems to about an inch long.
  • Put the artichokes “face down” so the leaves point down into the pot, this way when they steam and relax, any debris comes out, and it cooks faster.
  • Put the heat on 8-9 (basically high), put the lid on and set your timer for about 15-20 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off, you’ll want to check your water leve, make sure you always have water in there!
  • You want to cook them for a total of about 40-45 minutes.
  • You know it’s done by inserting a steak or paring knife into the bottom most leaf, and if it goes through a few leaf layers, you’re good to go.

Eating:

  • Serve each choke in it’s own bowl, and get a big bowl for the center of the table for “used” leaves.
  • As a tasty condiment, you can melt some butter, or (cringe, I seriously still do this) use straight up MAYO. WHAT?!?!?!?! I know, I know, it’s SO BAD! (then why does it taste so good????)
  • You can also strain a little non fat plain yogurt and stir in some roasted garlic, or just garlic powder and salt.
  • Any way you enjoy them, make sure to eat all the leaves down till you see the “Hair” (after the leaves with purple tips).
  • Use a spoon to scrape the hair out, and what you’re left with is the heart:
(curtosey of http://timeinthekitchen.com/2008/12/king-crab-stuffed-artichoke-leaves/)

Dip that mother in some MORE melted butter or dare I say it, MAYO, and die of happiness.

So, what time should I come over?

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