The Cooking Saint

My Big Fat Greek Burger

When it comes to cooking sometimes you just need to take chances. Throw away the recipe. Spaghetti doesn’t have to be just spaghetti, pizza doesn’t have to be just pizza, and burgers, well, you get it.

While grocery shopping today, I tried to keep the aforementioned in mind… And thanks to a sale on cucumbers, I decided on burgers. And you’re probably thinking

How did you get burgers from cucumbers?

But I say – think outside the box. First, I thought Tzatziki Sauce, but Gyros to go with that would be far too time consuming. I continued over to the meat section, and there it was- ground lamb! And with that, I decided on Greek Burgers.

So next time you’re making a plan of action for dinner, skip the basic, and ditch the recipe!

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It’s time. I’ve been preoccupied, busy, and there’s definitely been some procrastination involved, but I’m back! I do have to disappoint however, no food today, just a picture to portray what a mess my recipe collection is! Today, I’m working on organizing this disaster! Be back soon… with some food!

Friday Night Dinn Dinn

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Home-made Molé!

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Agave glazed pork tenderloin….

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Slaw with cilantro and avocado….

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TADA!!!

Have a good weekend! Eat up!

I L O V E Bread!

After much procrastination, I present to you: My bread adventures!!

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Let me start by saying: I don’t ever want to buy store-bought bread again. However impractical, there was an incredible difference. I made two different types of bread: Focaccia, French, Irish Soda Bread, Flat Bread + English Muffins, and, OH MAN! I served the breads with dinner, or as an appetizer, or by itself with some butter, and each time, the bread was the STAR of the meal.

I have to say that there was something extremely calming about the bread making process. Regardless of the time and labor it took to make each type of bread, the outcome was worth it! And I highly suggest eating it right out of the oven- just don’t burn yourself please! 🙂 Once you’ve made a couple different types of bread, it begins to be second nature, almost. Most breads use yeast, require kneading, and must go through the rising process twice, on average. Also, I made it all by hand and didn’t use a bread machine or food processors. I may be crazy, but I believe it made a difference. They all came out looking rustic and delectable with the perfect texture!

I will be honest, I was not thrilled with the Irish Soda bread. It was dense, and sweet, and also salty at the same time, yet it was one of the “prettier” looking breads. I wouldn’t make it again. But the focaccia- oh my, the focaccia- was so heavenly! I would eat that every day, if I could. I was in love with the little bits of savory sage throughout the bread, and it’s such a great appetizer with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

One of the easier breads to make was the English Muffins. I made mini ones and only left it to rise once. You don’t bake them in the oven like most bread you actually cook them on a cast iron skillet! Scrumptious!

To end, bread is awesome, delicious, traditional, heartwarming comfort food. Make it yourself- give it a try!

Focaccia!!!

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I’ve decided to go Italian for my 1st attempt at making bread! More to come! 🙂

The more carbs, the better!

Who am I kidding? I love bread. After several failed attempts at the “No Carb” diet, I’ve decided it’s time to embrace my affinity for starchy, yummy, and delish bread!! Whether it’s soft, crumbly, crunchy, sweet or buttery I adore it!

Where I work, bread is freshly delivered every morning by a man who goes by the name: Grampi Pat. Let me just tell you, that I am overcome with the most fab smell as soon as he walks through that door. And, oh my, the bread he makes is to die for! Sourdough, French, and Pretzel Bread- Yum, Yum!

But, wait! I’ve never made it myself, and let’s face it- what is better than warm homemade bread?

On that note, I’ve decided to give a try! Why the heck not? At my aid is: The Best- Ever Book Of Bread written by Christine Ingram & Jennie Shapter. I have skimmed through the book and I already have some yummy ideas, which I will share in my next post!! I can’t wait to make some bread, ya’ll!!! Because, the more carbs, the better!!

-Laurenza

Here Goes Nothing.

There’s no better time than now.

In a quest for happiness and fulfillment, I’ve decided to publish my best shots at making some changes. For the last eight months I’ve been working two jobs, and fifty to sixty hour weeks (yuck). The two were vastly different from each other. One being a large corporation- a very well known corporation- in which I earned the title of coffee master over a six year span.The other, a small business, that offered much room to grow.

About two months ago, I thought to myself, this isn’t working. I wasn’t seeing much of a payoff, monetarily, yes, mentally and physically, far from it. I began to weigh my options. Quitting one job was a must, but which? On one hand, there was a job that offered structure and the hope of growth, along with aggravation and an uncomfortable environment. And on the other, opportunity was in the palm of my hands. I decided to part ways with Big Corporate Man, and start welcoming happiness and self- worth. I earned a promotion after just seven months, and though I knew I was taking a bit of a pay cut, I knew that great things were waiting for me.

I’ve been working just one job for a month now, and I feel energetic and optimistic. Now that I have a little time on my side, I can focus on what really makes me happy- cooking!! When I was working sixteen hour days, the only thing that calmed my nerves and eased my frazzled brain-believe it or not- was preparing a painstakingly, tedious meal.

So, I’ve decided to fuse the therapeutic nature of writing and the wonderful world of the culinary arts together. Here goes nothing.