Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Search of a Good Donut

On Saturday my kids and I went to a screening of the movie Funsize.  If you haven't heard of it, it's  a teen comedy that stars Victoria Justice of Nickelodeon's Victorious and Suburgatory's Jane Levy.  The screening took place on 34th St where there happens to be a Krispy Kreme donut.  Now donuts weren't initially a part of  the days' activities.  I happened to see a guy headed to the train with a box of Krispy Kremes and suddenly I had an epiphany.  I have to admit that thought of Krispy Kreme donuts made my mouth water right there on the street. 

So I told the kids about the donuts and of course they were excited thinking this was a treat for them when it was actually a treat for me.  I called home to see if the Mr knew exactly where the ONLY Krispy Kreme in New York City was.  He had no clue.  It wasn't very far from where we were and yet somehow we had the hardest time finding it.  I googled it and it seemed that since we were on the corner of 34th St and 8th Ave it was right there.   Up 33rd Street we went and then back down 33rd we went.  We dipped into the alley where the Kmart was and it wasn't there.   Then we dipped into another alley behind Garretts Popcorn and it wasn't there either.  We asked a couple of workmen if they knew where 2 Penn Plaza was and they didn't know either. How can you be doing construction and not know anything about the area was my thought.  I guess that's not a requirement to get work done.  So after a several 2yr old tantrums and several arguments with my 10yr old I was just about to give up on the donuts all together.  I decided to google it again and this time I used the phone number for that location to call and ask exactly where they were.  A nice young lady named Ursala informed me that they were inside Penn Station on the Amtrak level.  You mean the level we were just on and left because my 2 yr old was biting her 16 yr old sister in the chest and face as she was carrying her, I thought to myself.  So we decided to give it one more shot and we all agreed if we didn't find it right away we were headed home. I knew they had to be tired if they were giving up on donuts.  Well we found it!  My kids were literally laying on the glass.  1 dozen  glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.  Of course I had to give the 2 yr old one before we even got on the train. 

Now I know what you're thinking, really all that for some donuts.  Yep.  If you've never had Krispy Kreme, seen that hot donut sign on and tasted the warm deliciousness before, well you just wouldn't understand.  I grew up on Krispy Kreme donuts.  It was the stuff  good church fundraisers was made of.  That was in the south though.  New York City has plenty of Dunkin Donuts and they are definitely not bad at all.  In outer boroughs there are Twin Donuts that I would pretty much pass on all together.  And if you are in the mood for a fancy donut the Chelsea has Donut Planet they are great but expensive.  To me nothing beats a Krispy Kreme Donut and that is just my opinion. They are light and fluffy with a thin layer of sweet glaze. Yum.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I am always reminiscing about different dishes that remind me of growing up in Louisiana, and trying to make them into my own .  Seafood is a major staple in the gulf but the Mr. is allergic to shellfish so I can't always make dishes just as I remember them, so I usually put my own spin on them.
Jambalaya is a creole dish.  It has a mix of both French and Spanish origins.  It's a dish that originated in the French Quarter, and was actually an attempt to make the Spanish dish paella.  Since they didn't have saffron they used tomatoes instead. 
Jambalaya is usually made in three parts which are the vegetables, the famous holy trinity,  the meats, the stock and rice.  There are many different variations, there is a Cajun version which doesn't not have and tomatoes.  It's more of a brown Jambalaya. 
What I chose to make for my family was a simple chicken jambalaya.  It was very easy to make and it didn't include anything my picky eaters would object to.
serves: 8
prep time: 20mins
cook: 55mins
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast cubed
  • green bell pepper diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • onion diced
  • 2 tbl minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbl oregano
  • 1/2 tbl salt
  • 1 tbl basil
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 4 cups of cooked brown rice

Preheat over to 350.
Heat oil in a large dutch oven .  Brown chicken on both sides.  Set aside in a plate.  Add onion, celery, bell peppers, garlic, oregano, salt and tomatoes paste to the pot.  Cook for about five minutes until onions are tender. 
Add tomatoes and chicken stock, bring mixture to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add chicken to mixture cover and bake for 40 minutes at 350.  Remove from oven and serve over rice.   



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Mac and Cheese

I don't think that I've ever met anyone who didn't love macaroni and cheese.  In my house it is definately a hit.  I wanted to see if there was a way that I could take a classic and make it even better. I ran across this recipe from family circle for Chicken Parm Mac that I couldn't wait to try.

Chicken Parmesan Mac and Cheese
makes 8 servings
prep: 25 mins
cook time 17 mins

Rotini noodles
3 T butter
1 t minced garlic
3 T all purpose flour
2 C 2% milk
1 pkg italian cheese blend
1/2 C shredded parmesan
1 can diced tomatoes
1 C marinara
3/4 C seasoned breadcrumbs
4  chicken breast
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425

Cut chicken breasts into bite sizw peices.  Whisk together 1/2 cup of milk and the egg.  Dip chicken into mixture then into breadcrumbs.  Place coated breadcrumbs on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.  Turn them once.  Remove and set aside.

While chicken is in the oven boil pasta as per directions on the box.  Drain.

Set oven to boil.  Melt butter, add garlic and let cook for a minute.  Add milk, whisk well.  Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove and whisk in 1 1/4 cups of the italian blend cheese and 1/4 cup of the parmeasan cheese. 

Mix cheese sauce and tomatoes with pasta.  Add chicken.  Put in a boiler safe dish.  Put marinara and the rest of cheese on top.  Put in broiler for 3 mins.  Cheese will be lightly browned.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meatless Monday: Bean and Cheese Burrito Casserole

Meatless Mondays are always a challenge for me.  Being a southern girl I'm all about meat and potatoes.  Being a New Yorker means that there is always a new food trend everyone is trying.  Meatless Mondays aren't a new thing but it's something that my kids actually like to do.  Some of their friends and classmates are vegans or vegetarians so they try it.  Other than chicken and turkey bacon my two year old doesn't meat.  So Meatless Mondays is something that I do for them and it's a great way to take a break from meat. 
Beef & Cheese Burrito Casserole
makes 6 servings
4  c brown rice (cooked)
1  16 oz jar salsa
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 16oz can refried beans
1 10 oz package frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 1/2 c taco cheese
1 1/4 c frozen spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine rice, oregano, and salsa in a large bowl.  In another bowl mix refried beans, corn, cumin, and chili powder.
Spray casserole dish with non stick spray.  Cover the bottom of the dish with half of the rice.  Follow with a layer of refried beans.  Cover with half of the cheese.  Sprinkle with half of the spinach.  Repeat steps.  Top with cheese. 
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Serve.