Browsing Category: Guest Blogs

Guest Vid by K: Espresso & Tonic!

Inspired by our neighborhood coffee shop Neptune’s Espresso Tonic (as mentioned in Bon Appetit), K___ tried his hand at making one himself, using our favored tonic water of choice, Fever Tree*. Presenting: espresso tonic, the Wongson way!

Today’s Trial Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
 5 of 5 stars.
Well, that is certainly novel.
Likelihood of Repeat: 35%
The first couple sips are always a little startling, after that it starts to grow on you..I think…maybe..
Don’t worry folks, if this is not enough cold refreshment for you this summer, I’ve got at least two more in my back pocket coming, on top of last year’s frozen coconut limeade.
Lesson Learned: Even when you’re feeling unsuspectingly casual and lazy-looking without a stitch of makeup on a Sunday afternoon, you might still concede to post a video that includes your mug in it, in the interest of telling the world about the DIY espresso tonic your household experienced..shrug.
But seriously, next time I might try muddling the rosemary** a little, and maybe adding a few crushed berries for a sweet, tart flavor.

*I actually drink tonic water on its own sometimes, no gin.   On the advice of one of my docs, the quinine in it supposedly helps with nocturnal leg cramps -so painful they wake me up. The internet, however, indicates that docs no longer prescribe quinine for anything besides malaria due to strong side effects (beyond the crazy dreams, I’m guessing). I have to assume that tonic water has much lower amounts of it than a prescription, though. However, if you are after quinine in tonic water, read the bottle labels carefully. Sometimes it’s just sugar water without any actual tonic-ness.

**From the garden out back! Hooray!

Guest Blog: 
Lasagna Cupcakes!

Mmmm, cupcakes.
Mmmm, cupcakes.

Do you ever say, ‘I’m just looking’ and then you find something? I was cruising around Pinterest to find a new recipe for cooking Valentine’s Day dinner for my husband. I was intrigued with the notion of taking traditional lasagna into a cupcake shape. It was well worth it – each cupcake had it’s own crispness (much like the corners of a traditional lasagna) and wonton wrappers felt less filling than pasta noodles. Overall a fun spin on an original that I will make again!
-Jenni L.

Recipes source from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

 

 

 

Lasagna Cupcakes

Ingredients
1/3 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper
24 wonton wrappers
1 ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup ricotta cheese
1 cup pasta sauce
Basil for garnish

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray
3. Brown beef, season with salt and pepper
4. Drain beef
5. Return pan to heat and add tomato sauce
6. Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes (using the top of a drinking glass)
7. Start layering; wonton wrapper, tomato sauce, ricotta
8. Repeat layers until add about 2-3 wonton wrapper layers are added per cupcake
9. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
10. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown
11. Let cool for 5 minutes
12. Use a knife to loosen edges, then pop each lasagna out
13. Garnish with basil and serve

Buon appetito!

Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
3.8 of 5 stars
Likelihood of Repeat: 75%
The taste of melted cheese is like gelato on a warm day and that’s lasagna; however, lasagna in a cupcake shape is phenomenal. I don’t think I could ever go back to making lasagna in a rectangular pan. My cupcake tin is now reserved for lasagna!

Lesson Learned: Use cooking spray and let the lasagna sit for 5 minutes after removed from the oven. Removing the lasagna cupcake from the tin is delicate and letting the lasagna rest for 5 minutes after removed from the oven is key (reserve a little cheese to munch on in the meantime). ☺

So easy to eat!
So easy to eat!

Guest Blog: General Tso’s Chicken!

I was inspired by a documentary and couldn’t shake my need to visit the General. Fairly quick, kinda tasty, really fried, and sweet. Je suis Tso.
-Kris J.

The General

Ingredients:
1 pound of chicken (I prefer thighs)
Some mayonnaise for coating chicken*

Dry Coating (inspired/copied from Serious Eats):
½ cup of flour
½ cup of corn starch
½ teaspoon of baking powder
some salt/pepper to taste (I personally prefer it on the salty side)

General Sauce
1 bottle of general or orange chicken sauce
Orange zest to taste (less is better)

Oil
Lots of high heat safe oil

Chop, mix, bread, fry.
Chop, mix, bread, fry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions:

  1. Cut your chicken into small little pieces and coat in mayonnaise. *Mayonnaise was my egg bath substitute due to my lack of eggs in the fridge and worked well. Good thing because I don’t support abortion.
  2. Combine the dry coating ingredients in a separate bowl.
you can see the sieve in the foreground for draining some oil off.
you can see the sieve in the foreground for draining some oil off.
  1. Place coated chicken in dry bath and toss like a deflated football.
  2. Fill a pot with oil, you don’t need as much as you think and heat to 350 degrees. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Try to maintain oil temperature at 350 degrees (ie you need to increase heat after you add the chicken).
  3. Remove chicken and place in a pan.
  4. Add General sauce and toss at mediumish heat and add orange zest to taste.
    I’m too poor to have a wok, but my non-stick pan worked OK. I went easy on the sauce, but add as much as you like.
  5. Heat until your desired caramelization.

And there you have it.

sauce from Whole Foods, try applying it lightly first and see.
sauce from Whole Foods, try applying it lightly first and see.
it.
it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
3 of 5 stars.
Likelihood of Repeat: 100% (still have most of the bottle left and chicken is cheap)
Lesson Learned: Don’t listen to spouse when she insists on adding more and more orange zest.