Tag Archives: My Kitchen

A new kind of resolution…

21 Dec

I went out last night. (yay!!) It’s a simple joy for me since I graduated from Kendall’s Culinary Arts program and I finally have free time at night. One thing my group was talking about between our sips of beer and tearing into chicken wings was the topic of resolutions. What changes do you plan to make in 2012?

I’ve never been much of a resolution person. Sure, I’ve done the “I’m gonna lose weight” or “I promise to go to the gym every night after work” thing, but just like most people, I had excuses for every thing that kept me from obtaining those goals. Life is busy and it’s hard to make changes to yourself.

And let’s be honest, if you want to start hitting up the gym on a regular basis, January is NOT the time to want to start this goal. All gyms are packed at every hour of the day.

Having the resolution discussion with my friends last night got me to thinking, why should I make a commitment to change something about me?? Why can’t there be a fun resolution and something I look forward to doing?

Of course I’d like to make the resolution to take more vacations and shop for perfect shoes for every season, but the harsh reality of whats in my checking account every month would shut down these frivolous resolutions in a blink of an eye.

I can’t help I’m naturally a problem solver. I kept thinking to myself there must be other avenues you can take in regards to New Year Resolutions….. and after a new minutes of thinking about it, I came up with a great idea. Creat a Bucket List of food. Dishes I want to make by Dec 31, 2012. This was something I know I could do, look forward to accomplishing and I have to overcome my “mental road blocks” with recipes I’ve found intimidating.

Once I started my Cooking Bucket List, I couldn’t stop. There are so many things I want to commit to myself to making. I want to make international dishes I love to eat when I go out to dinner. I want to make family recipes which I’ve always relied on someone else to make. I want to bake at home.

So here it is….My Cooking Bucket List 2012

* Gnocchi

* Tom Kha Gai

* My Dad’s French Toast

* Croissants ( I made these in class but I want to do it again. One time in class isn’t enough.)

* Short Ribs

* Tamales

* Flourless Chocolate Cake

* Marshmallows

* Fried Chicken

* Pizza Dough

* Pickles

* Jam

* Biscuits (from scratch) & Sausage Gravy

* Spaghetti Carbonara

* Juice Cleanse

* Bean Veggie Burger

* Beef Wellington (so old school, I love it!)

* Eggs Benedict

* Beignets

By putting this list in writing (and on the internet), I’m officially committing myself to this Bucket List. I encourage you to think of your own Bucket List. It doesn’t have to be food related, just somethings you want to accomplish by the end of the year. I think New Year Resolutions would be much more successful if everyone went into it with this kind of mentality.

Of course I will share my Bucket List recipes, sucesses & failures with you. Expect some posts soon!


Snowpocalypse Breakfast

2 Feb

Waking up in Chicago today was like waking up in  a real life snow globe. I was in awe of all of the snow we got. Sometimes the wind was so strong, all I could see was white. I was very happy to have the day off because the only thing that was getting me outside on a day like this was to walk Riley… and that was an experience, too!  Little dogs and snow drifts over a foot tall don’t go well together.

Luckily work let us out early on Tuesday, so I was able to run to the store and get some grub to make some Snowpocalypse meals. I had promised Jim a black bean omelet on Sunday, but silly me, I only had kidney beans in my fridge. DOH! But how quickly I redeemed myself on this snowy morning since I was prepared… before Jim could even turn on SportsCenter, I had my black beans in the blender to make my own spin on refried beans. Once the beans were done, this omelet was on my plate in about 5 minutes. I can see myself making this any day of the week since it came together so easily.

It's like an egg burrito!

Black Bean & Avocado Omelet


1 14-ounce can black beans,rinsed &  drained
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tabasco
Nonstick cooking spray
8 eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese, plus more for garnish

Diced or sliced avocado


  1. Pulse the black beans, lime juice, cumin and a few shakes of hot sauce in a food processor until it has the consistency of refried beans, adding a bit of water to help if necessary.
  2. Coat a small nonstick pan with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Crack two eggs into a bowl and beat with a bit of salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the pan, then use a spatula to stir and then lift the cooked egg on the bottom to allow raw egg to slide under. When the eggs have all but set, spoon a quarter of the black bean mixture and 2 tablespoons feta down the middle of the omelet. Use the spatula to fold over a third of the egg to cover the mixture in the center, then carefully slide the omelet onto a plate, using the spatula to flip it over at the last second to form one fully rolled omelet.
  3. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make up to four omelets. Garnish with pico de gallo, diced or sliced avocado if you like, and a bit more crumbled feta.