Sweet n Sour Chicken

I finished watching the entire Prison Break series last night. Being without cable for the last 2 years has really kept me out of the loop! But probably for the better. Besides, there’s nothing better than show bingeing on Netflix and Hulu. 🙂

Like many Americans, I eat dinner in front of the TV. Good or bad, I just need that mindless stimulation. But not until I have a plate of fresh food in front of me. No Chinese takeout on this TV tray.

I don’t know why but it seems like an impossible task to find really delicious cooked veggies at a restaurant around here. They’re always this gray, shriveled afterthought that you kind of push around your plate so it looks like you ate some. Truthfully, I’ve given up ordering them…which is sad because I really do enjoy them. American cooks just don’t seem to put any care into them.

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Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not a professional. I cook for the pure joy of it. I know nothing. I buy premade sauce.

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Everything I know about cooking came from Google. I just see it and try it. Sometimes I get lucky.

In all this experimentation, I’ve discovered some things. For example, you can save yourself some valuable counter space and dishes by always preparing your vegetables first. Even if they’re going to need the least time to cook, just get them set first. Then rinse off your cutting board and prepare your meat. It might not seem like a novel idea but realizing this was huge for me.

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Savory French Toast

I love french toast, but I’m not always up for all that powdered sugar and syrup. It’s too early for all that sweetness!

So a few years ago, I asked myself, why not make a savory type of french toast? Could it be possible? Oh yes.

For today’s french toast, I used roasted garlic sourdough bread from my local grocery store’s bakery. So yummy.

I cracked 1 egg in a bowl and beat it as you would for scrambled eggs.

Then I layed one slice of bread in the bowl, pressing it down gently to absorb the egg. Be sure the entire side has a nice, thin egg layer. Flip and do the same to the other side.

Hold the bread above the bowl, letting any excess egg drip back into the bowl.

I just got a griddle for Christmas, so I used that to cook my french toast, but a pan works just as well. Butter the griddle or pan, then toast each side until the bread is golden brown.

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Serve with a little sea salt and goat cheese or feta.

Enjoy!

New Year’s Resolutions for the Kitchen

Eat Less Sugar

The holidays have made it easy to fall off the healthy train. Time to get back on track.

Make a Grocery Budget

In an effort to save some cash, I’m going to try sticking to a monthly grocery budget. As part of this goal, I am going to look for coupons, coupon apps, and other frugal tips.

Plan Week Night Meals

When I get home from work, I don’t need to worry about what I’m going to make and whether we have all the necessary ingredients. I’m going to be more prepared this year.

Less fries

When I do go out to eat, I want to start avoiding fries. Really, I need to avoid all fried foods. They’re delicious. But I can do with less.

Try new recipes

I’ve owned a few cookbooks for years and have barely cracked them open! It’s  time to change that. I’m also looking forward to new finds on Pinterest and of course from fellow bloggers.

More fish

Fish is a much leaner, healthier option for meat and I want to try to go for this option more often.

Meatless Mondays

I want to cut down the amount of meat I’m eating. Especially red meat. So in order to reach this goal, I will institute Meatless Mondays in my kitchen…maybe Meatless Wednesday too.

Throw Away Kitchen Junk

I have a lot of kitchen supplies from freshman year of college. Everything is rusted, broken, and unmatching– not classy. So this year, I resolve to give away or throw away crap and replace them when the budget allows.

Perfect Cupcake Decorating

What I mean to say is…I want to keep practicing, keep learning. My cupcake decorating skills are miles away from what they once were but I want to get even better in 2014.

Eat At Least 1 Serving of Veggies Per Meal

I pretty much do this anyway, but I want to be more strict about this when I eat out. I want to make sure I am getting enough vegetables in my diet.

Eat breakfast more often

I am not a morning person. I make it to work on time, but I usually don’t leave enough time for breakfast. I’m going to make homemade granola bars on the weekends and prepare sandwich bags with instant oatmeal to keep at my desk.

Replace candy with fruits

I do love my chocolate bars but it’s time to cut back a bit. Less processed sugar and more natural, healthy sugar.

No Soda

As a rule of thumb, I don’t drink soda. I don’t like drinking my sugar. But I do have a soda every once in a while. I think I want to cut that down to I almost never drink soda.

Organize cabinets

Over 2013, I’ve accumulated a bunch of new decorating supplies. I think it’s time that I get organized. Note to self: research organizing ideas.

What are your kitchen resolutions for 2014?

Carousel Restaurant – St. Nicholas Day

I don’t plan to blog much about my experiences dining out, but this is a special occasion. Today is St. Nicholas Day or for me and my sisters, it’s Shoe Day. 🙂 It’s tradition in my family to receive small gifts, chocolate, and coins in our shoes on St. Nicholas Day. It’s a Northern European holiday and is where the stocking concept and Santa Claus originate from. Why we celebrate it? Not sure. But I want to keep the tradition alive in my household.

So I bought my boyfriend a few small gifts and chocolate poker chips and left them in his shoes before leaving for work. 🙂 In return, my boyfriend took me out to Carousel. When we’re craving Turkish style cuisine, Carousel is the closest you can get.

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We order a lot of mezzes (small plates) so we can enjoy lots of different tastes. There’s some things I can’t quite replicate in the kitchen to my satisfaction. Some things are better left to the professionals.

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Feta cheese. How did I go most of my life before tasting this glory?

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Hummus. Nothing better.

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Turkish name is börek. Carousel called it fatayer. It’s basically fried cheese. Heaven!

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Crispy manti. I wrote about manti in a previous post. It is better than any ravioli you’ve ever had. I wish I could rewind and eat it all over again.

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Sucuk (soujuk) Flambe. Delicious seasoned beef sausage.

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The restaurant was all decked out for Christmas. So pretty!

It was a great, great night. We had to drive pretty far just for dinner, but it was so worth it! This place is a must try if you live in the area.