weekend salad

This salad is in my top 3 favorite salads of all time. You have to be a fan of blue cheese, which is something I didn't like until I was in my late twenties. And that's what makes this so good....lot's of blue cheese.

I got the idea from what used to be a favorite local restaurant of mine (Glacier Brewhouse) until I received some pretty sh*tty service a few years back which was unusual but still, I'll never go back. So when I crave their famous blue cheese salad, I make it myself for half the cost.

Here's how I make it.

I buy romain hearts, wash and cut into bite sized pieces. (bagged romain will do just fine) Dry it off well if you wash so the dressing doesn't get all watery. (the worst in my opinion) Dress the lettuce with your favorite blue cheese and be generous. (I like Marie's) Place into a bowl, add some sweet seedless red grapes, a palm full of crumbled blue cheese and candied pecans. Now you can buy candied pecans already made but I always keep raw pecans in my freezer (something I picked up from my grandmother) and candy my own. I just melt a few tablespoons of butter and add a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar. Mix well and add your pecans. I just crush them in my hand. Put it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for maybe 10 mins in a 375 oven. I just wait until I smell the pecans, then I know they're done. Don't burn them! I'm usually in a hurry to eat so I throw the candied pecans in the freezer to let them cool, then top off your salad and enjoy!

It's the combination of sweet and savory that I love. So good. xot.

Homemade tortillas yo.

Don't ask me what spurred the sudden interest of making my own tortillas but it seemed like a good idea since I had forgotten them from my shopping trip the day before and did not want to go back to the store. I repeat, I DID NOT WANT TO GO BACK TO THE STORE. I'm wearing what could be the ugliest sweatpants I own, no make up and hair that could not be tamed. I already had chicken in the crockpot that I had planned on shredding and was craving mexican so homemade it was. I found this pin to a recipe from the Taste of Home site for tortillas that did not require lard. (didn't have any of that either) The ingredients were incredibly simple but it was more time consuming than I had planned. But now I know what I'm doing so the next round should go a little better. One issue I had was that I could not roll out my tortillas in perfect circles. Screw perfect, I just wanted a somewhat traditional shaped tortilla but kept getting misshapen ovals. I swear one looked like the profile of Shrek. They did taste good. That was the important thing.


Pin to Action//Cheap Korean Beef

I tested this recipe tonight with good results. It is indeed "cheap" like the title suggests using ground beef instead of the ribs or steak I would normally use in this type of recipe.  I love that it calls for ingredients I always have on hand and I'm always on the lookout for a tasty ground beef recipe which personally are very few as I'm not a huge fan of ground beef.It came together quickly and guys devoured it. I served it with some stir-fried carrots and zucinni and added some toasted sesame seeds and of course, sriracha sauce. I held back the red pepper flakes the original recipe called for. I don't think Tyler's quite ready for that kind of spice. Definitly going in the Aszmus recipe book. xot

I spent the last few months scratching my head at what to feed Tyler. He's been eating pretty chunky foods for awhile now but it was the same old thing. Roasted chicken breast, sweet potatoes, peas, squash...pretty plain. I really wasn't sure what he could or should be eating at this point. My goal for Tyler and his eating is to enjoy different foods, not feel like he has to eat them because I say so. After doing some research, I invested in a few cookbooks specifically for babies. This recipe comes from Tyler Florence's cookbook, Start Fresh. So far I've made several dishes with great results. This one in particular was good being that I have several fillets of salmon in my freezer. Something almost every Alaskan has in their freezer along with their go to salmon recipe.  I subbed risotto for long grain rice. Although I love risotto, I simply did not have time to keep an eye on it and constanly stir. The meal was quick to prepare and that was key. Tyler gets pretty impatient when he knows dinner time is rolling around. I wasn't sure how he would react to the taste of salmon. I was pretty excited to watch him take his first bite (oh, the things that excite you when you're a new mom). This kid could not get it in his mouth fast enough. He loved and devoured it. It made me so happy to be able to add something new to his dinner menu. I highly recommend this book for any new mom whose at a loss on what to feed their baby.


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It's been awhile since we've had chinese food. Honestly I have yet to find really..I mean really good chinese food in Anchorage. The last time I had mongolian beef was from New Sagaya. I would only describe it as more mongolian onions than beef. So when I came across this recipe and read the ingredients, I thought "cool, doesn't need 15 items that I need to purchase and have sit in my fridge/cabinet for a year."  The only thing I didn't have was a wok but my large skillet worked fine. It was really delicious and easy and the best thing....quick. Oh how I love a quick meal. And if you have a rice cooker that keeps rice warm, extra bonus. I was able to get the rice done when I got home and it stayed warm by the time dinner rolled around. The only thing was that my sauce/meat wasn't the rich brown color in the original photo. I'm pretty sure this was because 1. I didn't brown my meat enough and 2. I didn't follow her detailed instructions on shaking off excess cornstarch. This in turn made my sauce thick. Too thick...like paste. I had to add additional water to thin it out and I still didn't like the consistency but it didn't effect the taste. The chili flakes added just enough spice for our taste. We're not heat seekers.

Notes for next time: easy on the cornstarch add a few more onions. (I felt the onion to meat ratio was a little off)

Another recipe added to the bo