RECIPE: Paula Deen’s Spinach Gruyere Puff Pastry

Ingredients

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1 (17 1/2-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

slicing up mushrooms

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture.

draining the spinach

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, for 5 minutes. Stir together spinach, mushrooms and cheese; set aside. Roll 1 pastry sheet into a 13 by 11-inch rectangle.

mix everything

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Brush 1/2 melted butter over pastry. Spread 1/2 spinach mixture over butter. Roll-up, jellyroll fashion, starting with the long side. Repeat procedure with remaining pastry sheet, butter, and spinach mixture. (Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days, if desired.) Cut rolls into 1/4-inch thick slices.

fresh from the oven

Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

so yummy!

The Irish House in New Orleans

The Irish House
1432 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA

the restaurant

We came here because we had a groupon. I’ve driven by this place countless times and it always looked packed. So from the outside this place looked chill so I walked over (yes that’s right. i live close enough to walk) in my t-shirt, jeans, and Rainbows, only to discover shortly after taking this photo that this is actually a nicer bar than I had imagined. I had enough time to rush home, change into nice clothes and drive over and still get there to meet my friend on time. sweet.

soda bread

I believe this place opened in about August or so. The ambiance was nice, dark wooden tables and huge plasma screens all over the place. So i guess this would be a good place to watch Saints games (as if New Orleans watches anything else………maybe LSU games. but even then, someone told me that Tulane is jealous of LSU’s football team and so by default cheers whatever team is opposing LSU).

Guiness

They had a decent beer list so we went with a Guinness. Joe really enjoyed it.

cheesy fries

since I read online that the fries are good, we started off with the cheesy fries. I wouldn’t say these were amazing but they were good. Very hot (cheese was still melting on them as they came out)

fish and chips

Joe had the fish and chips. He didn’t like how the batter came off so easily from the fish. I tried a bite and thought it was good but Joe wasn’t a fan.

chicken wings

my friend ordered the chicken wings. she had had someone else’s wings at this venue a few nights ago and all she could think about were these wings. I tried one and thought they were pretty good. lots of sauce. make sure you have plenty of napkins nearby so you don’t look like a cavewoman like I did.

Bangers and mash

I had the bangers and mash and thought these were really good. The potatoes were creamy and the sausage was good. I always wondered where the term bangers and mash came from and so I looked it up and saw that in WWII, the British were rationing everything and the sausages were prepared in such a way (back then, not today) that if the sausages were left on high heat for too long, they exploded (BANG!).

chocolate tower

we ended our night with this chocolate trifle which was delish! Overall, I would say the experience was pretty solid (altho most of our food was English, not Irish) and kinda expensive for pubfare but we had a groupon.

RECIPE: Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

cake layer

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.

pumpkin filling

Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

pumpkin gooey cake!

Garden House in Lawrence, MA

 

Garden House
108 Winthrop Avenue  Lawrence, MA 01843

(978) 691-5448Being one of two restaurants in the area to get Korean food, my family has been coming here for years. there’s another Korean restaurant in Lawrence not too far from this one but it’s constantly changing owners/managers/chefs and my parents ate here recently and were terribly dissatisfied with the quality of the korean buffet. (my mom said a lot of the food was days old).

tangsooyuk

We usually get the same few dishes, the sweet and sour beef (tangsooyuk). The beef is covered in a light batter and then deep fried while a thick, sweet and sour sauce is made separately and then poured onto the meat. we usually order to go because the area isn’t the safest at night (there’s actually a sign asking customers not to park in their own parking lot any more  because of recent frequent thefts). so it’s nice that they pack the sauces separate to keep things from getting soggy. I prefer the smaller pieces cuz they’re crunchier and easier to chew.

jajangmyun

so actually a friend of the family used to own this restaurant and he went to Korea to learn how to make really good jajangmyun and then came back and gave the recipe to this restaurant so whenever we go we almost always order the Double Jajangmyun (for a few bucks more, you can get double the amount). This dish is great for sharing. I love the black bean based sauce with lots of savory veggies.

jajangmyun

Garden House on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Paula Deen’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Brown Butter Icing, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

lots of spices

Grease 1 or more cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk.

wet ingredients

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well.

dry ingredients

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

golden brown

yummy cookies

Tracey’s in New Orleans, LA

Tracey’s
2604 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA

entrance

I came here because of a Groupon but I had actually been wanting to check out this place for a while. One of my friends eats here regularly cuz of their wings and reubens so I wanted to check it out.

menu

it was fun trying to figure out how to spend $20 at Tracey’s! So many choices. I ended up asking the guy behind the counter for local favorites (whenever I go out with my big camera, ppl assume I’m a tourist and they always ask me where I’m from……….then I say I live on St. Charles Ave and hide behind my camera).

ambiance

I feel that this place is more Irish then the Irish House on St. Charles Ave. For one thing, there’s a counter on the Tracey’s website counting down to St. Patrick’s Day. True Irish!! Apparently Tracey’s is the original Irish bar in New Orleans. When I walked in, the number of TV’s in the place was astonishing. Then I looked online to see that this is the only bar with 20 TV’s!

hot sausage po boy

my friend had the hot sausage po boy which came highly recommended by the girl behind the counter. She said that this was their po boy served at the po boy fest and they sell out all the time. I sneaked a bite and it was really good. The sausage had a kick to it.

cheesy fries

we split an order of cheesy fries so that our total could be $20. these were great!

Reuben

I had the reuben which came with a side of potato salad. the reuben was delicious. The meat was juicy and the sauce was off the rocks! The potato salad wasn’t great, but not terrible either. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of potato salad.

potato salad

Tracey's on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Soondooboo Jiggae (Korean spicy soft tofu stew)

Ingredients
Soft Tofu
oil
garlic
red pepper flakes
shrimp stock
shrimp chopped
baby shrimp
onion chopped
mushroom chopped
zucchini chopped

Directions
1. Heat the soup bowls on the stove top

heating up the bowls

soft tofu from the asian market

prep the veggies

2. Once hot, pour in oil and add garlic and red pepper flakes.

add garlic, oil and red pepper flakes

3. Add shrimp stock, onions and mushroom.

add shrimp stock and veggies

4. Add the soft tofu and green onions.

letting stuff boil

5. Boil until the tofu has absorbed some of the color of the soup (cooked through).

some like it non-spicy

my parents and my brother don’t like theirs spicy, so they barely have any red pepper flakes.

this is not for the light of heart

I like mine spicy so it has a ton of red pepper flakes. But don’t add the red pepper flakes once the broth is in because it will just float (you need to add it before with the oil).

Sundubu jjigae (순두부찌개)

Pinkberry in Boston, MA

Pinkberry
288 Newbury St.
New Orleans, LA

Newbury st

I love walking down Newbury St. in Boston. It’s fun to see how many stores they try to cram into one block (there’s a downstairs, a upstairs and a regular entrance all in the same area………there really is no organization to the numbers of the addresses on the blocks (like  in Philadelphia, one block is one set of hundreds).

something new

I figured since I wasn’t payin for my dessert, I would go all out. I got to try the new pumpkin flavor the guy behind the counter suggested some cinnamon on top which totally made it amazing. So I got the pumpkin w cinnamon, some peanut butter crunch (pulling out all the stops!), mochi and heath bar bits.

joe's

Joe got something like my usual creation from Pinkberry. The regular yogurt and all fruits (altho he did personalize it with the chocolate chips). The service here was very friendly and awesome at letting us sample the various yogurt flavors.

Pinkberry (Newbury St) on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Giada’s rigatoni with creamy mushroom sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, (such as cremini, shiitake and button), cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking:

slicing up mushrooms

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes.

garlic and shallots

Add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes until all the liquid evaporates.

after the wine has cooked off

Add the stock and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until creamy.

nice and creamy

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

we only had bowtie pasta in the house

Toss well to coat pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the chopped chives. Serve immediately.

so yummy