Brilliant iPad Application: AllRecipe

So I know I have mentioned my AllRecipe app on my iPad.  It’s a keeper and officially my favorite app.  It will inspire you, bring you new ideas, or will provide you a recipe if you ever need one in a pinch.   Unfortunately, another descriptor for it is TIME SUCK.

I was recently in Boston at the riveting B2B Marketing Forum when I discovered the app.  It was actually the very weekend I started this blog.

Of late, I’ve become acquainted with the  public transit system, specifically the trains, on the east coast since my parents relocated from God’s land (Boulder) to Providence earlier this year.  Seems simple enough, once you get past the disappointing fact that you’re not actually getting aboard Hogwarts Express when you hear the train’s loud horn (sigh).  Where are you platform 9 3/4?

But, let me tell you, it’s tricky.  I purchased a fancy-pants, feed-me-cocktails-and-wipe-my-ass-for-me train ticket to Providence from Boston.  While waiting in the train station, I was literally sucked into the AllRecipe app.  It was all, “Do you want inspiration, m’lady?” … “Yes, app, feed me more!”  I look up once the haze released me and realize I had missed my train.  (Insert loud explicative)

I walked up to the attendant and announced sheepishly that I had missed my train.

“Wow, yes you did.  How did you miss it?”

“None of your business, clown.  Get me to Providence.”   Actually, I didn’t say that.  I was thinking that.  I said, “I wasn’t paying attention.  Is there another train available, please?”  Gosh, the woman in my head is so rude.

He books me on the next, much lesser wipe-your-own-ass train.  I huff as I sit down and loudly shut the stupid iPad and its alluring quicksand of cooking wonders.

I get my happy ass on the next train and sit by myself with my iPad.  Watching the east coast fly by outside the window, I fall into one of my ADD-induced day dreams about my blog while flipping through AllRecipe.  I feel something, though, as a cute young boy sits down next to me.  No, he didn’t touch me or anything, not that kind of feel (sicko). It’s silence.  I feel silence.  I realize they haven’t been announcing the stops.  Hmm,  I’ve been on this train for a hot minute. And I don’t recognize anything outside the window. I wonder where the hell I am.  So, I talk to the boy next to me.

“Hey, what station did you just board at?”

“Providence.”

“Fahk.”

I highly recommend that you download the AllRecipe app.

It’s amazing.

It will help you with recipes and ideas.

It will cause you to lose three hours of perfectly good Friday time.

And it will introduce you to places like Kingston, Rhode Island, population 13, where they SERIOUSLY need to open a bar at the train station.

How to Win a Chili Cook-Off

Or perhaps I should say, “How to tie for first place in a chili cook-off.” It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This is the second year that I have entered into a chili cook-off, which is hosted by my classically trained culinary friend. She’s all together a sneaky jezebel:

“Oh, is that a 15 pound pork shoulder that you have been slow cooking in your green egg for five long days? Yes.”

“Are you really placing a quality over-easy egg atop your steaming chili? Yes.”

“Are you really going around giving all the judges shoulder rubs paired with warm whispers of compliment? Yes. HUSSY!”

Last year, she CHEATED into winning over my lovely white chili, which I will post soon as it’s a crowd pleaser. So this year, I decided to go back to the basics and swoop in dark-knight style. I found a STELLAR recipe on my AllRecipe app on my iPad. It has 2,742 reviews of five stars. I’m not too proud to admit it… I used that recipe with very little changes! Whoever MIGHTYPURDUE22 is deserves serious kudos.

My advice to the chili cook-off contestants? Don’t underestimate PRESENTATION. Nevermind the fact that all the chili-cook off attendees now know that I have enough time on my hands to painstakingly hollow out rolls to create pretty little bowls. It’s worth it. Don’t judge.

The bacon is always an awesome touch. Bake your bacon (Aeeyyoo!) at 350 until it’s browned and to your desired crispiness. Place it on top next to some cheese and sour cream. BOOM.

Here is the link to the original recipe.

  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo
  • 3 15 oz. cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz. can chili bean in spicy sauce
  • 2 28 oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 healthy T bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 C chilli powder
  • 1 T Worcestershire
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 2 t Tabasco
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1 t cayenne (I added more cayenne for some kick)
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t white sugar

In a large pot, brown all meat together and drain the excess fat. Add all other ingredients together and simmer for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust your salt, pepper, cayenne and chili powder to your liking. Remember, the longer it cooks, the better it tastes. And it’s even better as a left over! You should also try to serve it Cincinnati style over noodles. It’s Wehrly Good.

Butternut Squash Soup

Pumpkins, or all gourd-like squash, and I get along in general.  They’re Tennessee orange (Go VOLS!), a canvas for inspirational porch art and, coincidentally, can create the most delicious microbrews.  I can totally see why the headless huntsman chose a pumpkin as his head replacement.  How ridiculous would another veggie be atop his creepy bod?

Before experimenting with this zuppa recipe, my interactions with pumpkins lived in the carve-and-consume genre … pumpkin ale drinking and carving the hell out of some gourds.

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Little did I know I was neglecting the pumpkin’s brother, the squash.  Butternut squash is such a yummy veggie, especially grilled or baked.   My new obsession, though, is butternut squash soup.  I’ve recently made over five batches of this soup to get it just right.  This soup will warm you to your toes and is another great fall-time treat.

Butternut Squash Soup

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  • 6 cups worth of squash, baked, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 t dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (You can mess with the amounts of cayenne and paprika depending on your spice tolerance.  The recipe as is has a great kick)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese (I’ve used 1/3 less fat kind and it does just as well)

Before you begin … cut your squash into large chunks and clean out the muck.  Coat with EVOO, salt, pepper and some garlic.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.  Let it cool, then peel and cube for the 6 cups of squash.

In a large pot, saute the onions in the butter until softened.  Add the squash, apple, stock, water, bouillon, marjoram, cayenne and paprika.  Bring to a boil and cook for around 10 minutes.  Make sure your squash is cooked thoroughly or your soup won’t be smooth.

Puree the squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor until smooth.  If you’re using a food processor like I do, you can blend in batches.  Make sure you portion out your cream cheese into each of the batches.

Return to the pot and heat through.  Serve with some crusty bread and wait for the ooo’s and ahh’s.

Shoremore Stew

Ah, fall.  It’s a great season, really.  The leaves change, the air gets brisk, football is back in action (thank GOD) and it’s finally acceptable to serve a warm bowl of soup or stew. All is good in the world as you’re acclimating from the hot summer to a snowy winter.  I like it.

You know what kind of fall I don’t like?  The kind that lands you in public with your ass in the air, face on the ground.  Before I get into my yummy recipe, I would like to tell you of my embarrassing moment for the week.

Picture it … I land in Denver after a short business trip. I’m wearing a suit, paired with the cutest pair of Tori Birch wedges.  These shoes are important to me, not only because they behold the beautiful Tori emblem on the toe, but because I practically had to arm wrestle a disgruntled girl at the Nordy Rack in order to call them my own.  And then I had to find my ever-buried maturity and hold back laughter when she was visibly shaken at her loss.  Wehrly: 1, whiny shopper girl: 0.

So I’m feeling good, walking with that telltale business woman clip, because dammit, I am a business woman.  I wear suits and fly for day trips and have status on United.  I HAVE STATUS.

But, something goes wrong.  My bags are evenly balanced but my feet are slipping and suddenly I’m skating on the floor. I’m trying to course correct, but it’s not working.  I feel like the world is in slow motion as I fall.  Bags are all over the place as I’m spread eagle on the ground.  Great.  And of course, the guy behind me plays the gentleman and asks if I’m “ok.”  No, not ok.  And that asshole Harry Potter hasn’t returned my invisibility cloak, so there no chance of this going unnoticed by the busy population around me.

As I pick myself up off the floor and look down to my shoes, it hits me.  Karma is a bitch.  Slippery airport linoleum: 1, Wehrly: 0.  Somewhere, whiny shopper girl is smiling.

On to the recipe! Want more stew? Shore!

I found the original recipe from a cook book called “A New Turn in the South.”  I’ve modified it quite a bit, so I don’t feel too bad about posting it as my own.  It’s a delicious addition to any fall evening and one I’m happy to share.  Enjoy!

Shoremore Stew

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  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1 leek, white part only, cleaned and cut into thin slices
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 9 new potatoes, or fingerling potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage
  • 1 T Old Bay seasoning (or a Cajun seasoning of your liking)
  • 1 1/2 kosher salt
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp
  • 1/2 lb. bay scallops
  • 2 cans lump crab meat, drained until dry
  • 1 cup arugula, chopped
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 lemon rounds, 1/8 inch thick, seeds removed

In a medium to large pot, cook the leeks in the EVOO until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the tomatoes, celery, garlic and thyme and saute for another 3-4 minutes.  Add the white wine and reduce by half.  Then add the tomato juice, tomato paste, chicken stock, potatoes and sausage.  Cook for 5 minutes (or until the potatoes are tender) and add the Old Bay seasoning and 1/2 t of the salt.

Season the shrimp with 1/2 t of the salt and add it to the pot.  Cook for 2 minutes or so and add the crab and bay scallops and continue to cook for another 3 minutes, until the shrimp are shiny white.

Add the arugula, butter, parsley and lemon rounds with the remaining 1/2 t of salt.  Cook for another few minutes and serve with some yummy crusty bread.

Want some more stew?  Shore!  It’s a Wehrly Good Time.

Pasta Pedro

After the unfortunate fish flop incident, I’ve decided to recover from wallowing in self-deprivation and  go back to my foodie roots.  Or my foodie past.  Whatever the proper colloquialism would be in this instance…
Introducing my first recipe… drum roll please! Pasta Pedro
This pasta dish is one that my family, particularly my father, has been making for many moons.  We found it in a recipe book, long forgotten, and have renamed it after my dad because it’s coincidentally the only thing he will tackle solo in the kitchen.  This recipe is also special because it’s the first dish containing more than two ingredients that my sister would willingly eat growing up.  She is a simpleton when it comes to sustenance.  Two ingredients is plenty.  Mac n’ Cheese.  Fluffer Nutter.  Bagel Bites.  See what I mean?
I digress.  Back to Pasta Pedro.  It’s a fool-proof meal and will bring consistent smiles and fully bellies.  Enjoy.

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Pasta Pedro
Four heaping servings

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3-4 links sausage (hot Italian if you like spice)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can fire roasted, crushed tomatoes
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • Pasta noodle of preference, Penne works nicely

In a medium pan or wok, cook chicken and sausage thoroughly with garlic and ¼ cup of the chicken broth.  Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining chicken broth, pepper, oregano, salt and parsley.  Bring to simmer.  Add in the thawed peas and simmer until the peas heat up (nobody likes a mushy pea… don’t overcook it).
Toss pasta noodles with the sauce and the  mozzarella until it’s nice and ooey gooey.  Serve and enjoy… then go back for seconds.

Blog Post No. 1

You know that face you make when you have just finished applying mascara and you feel a sneeze coming on?  The pure panic of impending disaster?  I doubt a gentleman would understand this phenomena, but imagine spending a healthy amount of time ensuring each of your lashes is reaching it’s full potential with an expensive by-product of guano, only to realize that it will soon cover your entire face post-sneeze.  It’s a real problem, believe me.  And a sure-fire way of ruining your morning.

I was wearing this expression on Friday night in my parent’s Rhode Island kitchen as soon as I realized my first blogable dinner was a flop.  It’s funny to me, really.  I was all I’m-a-great-cook-cos-I-just-started-a-foodie-blog.  Notsomuch.  I made fish tacos.  Let me correct that…  I made boring fish tacos.  Also funny, is that I chose fish tacos to make because the last time I served them, my friends made glorious love to them.  There were orgasmic groans and eye rolling… you get the picture.    

So I have two options here; either blame my friends for being alcoholics (which coincidentally could very well be the case), or point this one to the non-disputable excuse.  The altitude.  For those of you not from Colorado, you never argue with a cook who blames shitty food on the altitude.

Yep, that’ll be it.  I need to get back to my mile-high city, out of this sea-level rubbish, where the fish tacos taste good and cause spontaneous combustion.