Welcome to my food blog! I am your average home cook and I want to share my love of food with the world. I'll divulge my recipes as often as possible. Feel free to comment or to email me at nodessertpodcast@gmail.com! Don' forget to come by often for new posts... I love having you visit me!

October 27, 2011

Picture View - Chocolate Zabaglione

Chocolate Zabaglione - We Made Room For Dessert 1

While the title of this blog is No Room For Dessert, occasionally we do make room for something sweet.  I do like sweets, especially in moderation.  But I am more of a cook then a pastry/dessert maker, hence the name of the blog.  A friend recently made dinner for us, and served fresh berries with zabaglione for dessert.  I liked the sauce so much that I decided to make it myself, but add a chocolate twist.  Here is the recipe!

Chocolate Zabaglione

1/2 cup chocolate chips (use your favorite kind... I used milk chocolate - dark chocolate would be delish)
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 egg yolks (yolks only, save the whites for breakfast the next day)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup champagne or sweet dessert wine
pinch of salt
1 lb of your favorite berries (I used raspberries, but any kind will work)

Add cream and chips to a small saucepan and heat over low, stirring, until chocolate is melted.  Keep warm over very low heat or a warmer.
Whisk yolks, sugar, salt, and champagne in a large glass bowl until well blended.  Put bowl on a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water.  Whisk yolk mixture over heat for about 4 minutes, until the mixture is thick and creamy.  Remove from heat. 
Fold chocolate mixture in to yolk mixture. 
Divide berries between 6 dishes.  Pour warm zabaglione over berries and serve.

October 24, 2011

Picture View - Black Beans and Rice

Black Beans and Rice - Home Cooked Recipe 17

In becoming more adventurous in my eating, I decided to make something that I've never made before.  Black beans.  In the past few months I've had them at a party and a restaurant and thought they were absolutely delicious.  Not much of a bean eater the majority of my life, it was something new for me.  I thought I would try my hand at making my own.  They came out well.  They were not as delicious as I've had at restaurants or made by other people, but it was a good recipe that was filling and full of protein. 

Black Beans (and Rice)

16 ounces dried black beans
8 cups water
1/4 lb bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, mixed
dash of cayenne
2 bay leaves
1 packet of Sazon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 package of yellow rice

Soak black beans for at least 6 hours in water to cover.  Drain in colander.
Cook bacon over medium heat until cripsy.  Remove bacon pieces, leaving bacon drippings in pan.  Saute onion and garlic together until translucent and fragrant.  Add beans and water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, covered.  Add spices, stir well, and cook for 1 more hour, uncovered.  Stir in bacon.
Prepare yellow rice according to package directions.
Serve black beans over yellow rice.  

***You can also add peppers when you add the onion and garlic (either bell or spicy).  I like to serve my beans and rice with a side of fresh salsa.  You can serve this is as a side or a main dish.

October 21, 2011

Additional Pictures From The Apopka Food Truck Round Up

Walking in to the Round Up

Treehouse Truck

Treehouse menu

Treehouse's special menu

Fish Out Of Water menu

Fish Out Of Water Truck

Back of the Fish Out Of Water truck

Monsta Lobsta menu

Monsta Lobsta truck

Pierogies with bacon and herbed sour cream

Lobsta Roll

Spicy Tuna Roll in back, Hot Apopka Roll in front

Better view of the Lobsta Roll

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip cookie from Treehouse

Food Truck Adventures 8 - Apopka Food Truck Round Up

At Kit Land Nelson Park in Apopka there is a monthly food truck even that they call the Apopka Food Truck Round Up.  Started in August of 2011, this event is on the first Thursday of every month from 5:30pm to 9pm.  Over 10 trucks are present, providing a smorgasbord of culinary delights for people who attend to try. 
I had wanted to go since I heard what a large crowd this event attracted.  It seemed like a lot of people were really enjoying themselves when they attended.  From what I had researched the Winter Park Fish Co, The Crooked Spoon, The Crepe Company, Gator Country BBQ, The Flattery, The Yum Yum Truck, Gastro Truck, Fish Out Of Water, Treehouse Truck, Monsta Lobsta, Korean BBQ Taco Box would be there.  I am sure there were more that I'm forgetting.
I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived.  There were plenty of tables and chairs set up so that people could sit down and enjoy their purchases.  There was also live music, provided by musician Wade Williams who was a wonderful singer, and engaged the crowd.  He did covers of some country and rock songs while we were there, and I liked the fact that there was entertainment provided.
It was a gorgeous evening.  I had intended to arrive right at 5:30pm.  However, I seriously underestimated the amount of traffic between my house and the park.  I ended up arriving just after 6pm, but much to my delight, the lines for the food trucks were not that bad.  In fact, the longest line by far was for the Yum Yum Truck a cupcake truck that I've talked about in previous posts (for the two Oviedo Food Truck Bazaars I attended.
I had planned to try at least two trucks while I was there, both trucks I had not previously eaten at.  The first was the Treehouse Truck.  The second was one of the newer trucks, Fish Out Of Water.
At the Treehouse Truck, they has a special on pierogies.  I grew up with pierogies because my mom's side of the family is Polish, and they are something we ate often. Basically, a pierogi is a dumpling.  It's pasta (traditionally an unleavened dough) that is filled with potato, ground meat, sauerkraut, fruit, or cheese.  I have always preferred the potato filled variety.  It's basically mashed potatoes (and often the potatoes have cheese, like cheddar) in a pasta pocket.  It sounds a little strange to have one starch stuffed inside more starch, but believe me, it's incredible. 
The pierogies at Treehouse were delectable.  They tasted just like ones I ate when I was younger.  Stuffed with potatoes, these were topped with bacon bits and had an herbed sour cream to dip them in.  I believe these were boiled (which is traditional) and then put on the flat top for a bit to crisp up the bottoms.  When I make them (out of a package!), I boil mine, and then will usually fry them for a minute in butter, so Treehouse's method was similar.  However, when I prepare mine I drown them in butter.  These were definitely not drowning in butter. 
The herbed sour cream was delicious.  I don't normally eat mine with sour cream, but I have before and it's a good addition when you're eating the potato filled pierogies.  I also liked that Treehouse added bacon.  As I've said before, who doesn't love bacon?  I don't think that the pierogies are normally on the menu, but if you see them on special, get them!
Also from the Treehouse Truck we tried a Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie.  It was a delightful cookie and made a nice sweet treat at the end of our savory sampling.  A large chocolate chip cookie with sea salt sprinkled on top, the salt really cut the sweetness, but amplified the chocolate flavor.  Very good.
The companion who came with me and I both like sushi and we were interested in seeing how sushi from a food truck would come out.  Plus, the Fish Out Of Water Truck is right now Florida's only sushi truck, and only debuted in September.  I had heard good things from other bloggers who had tried it, including Droolius, which is linked on this website.
The Fish Out Of Water menu had three rolls on it, and two appetizers.  We tried two of the rolls, the Spicy Tuna Roll and the Hot Apopka Roll.  The tuna roll was indeed spicy!!!  I love spicy tuna rolls, but this one had more of a kick than the ones I normally eat.  It was Yellowtail tuna, cucumber, scallions, masago (fish roe, also known as tobiko), and sriracha.  What I really liked was that they serve all the rolls with wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce (and chopsticks!), just like you would get in a sushi restaurant.  And honestly?  Had you just given me the roll, and not told me that it was from a truck I would have assumed it was from a restaurant.  These rolls are high quality products.

Before I go on with my food truck adventure in Apopka, I would like to say that eating at food trucks has definitely made me a more adventurous eater.  Would I have tried sushi from a truck two years ago?  Probably not.  Would I have eaten pierogies from a truck?  Very doubtful.  But embracing the food truck revolution has prompted me to learn that it's not the location that makes the food, it's the people preparing it.  It doesn't matter if it's a chain, a five star location, or a truck.  You can find good food in a lot of different places if you open your mind, and your mouth.

Ok, back to the food trucks!  As I mentioned, we also tried the Hot Apopka Roll.  This roll had spicy krab, goat cheese, and cucumber and was topped with avocado, tobiko, eel sauce, and a chili garlic mayo.  I really enjoyed this roll.  It had spice and flavor, but didn't seem as spicy as the tuna roll.
The sushi truck also had a California Roll, which we did not try, but I will on my next visit.  They also had edamame which we saw someone else receive and that looked amazing.  And there was a seaweed salad as well. 
As far as pricing, the pierogies were $5 for 3 pierogies and the cookie was $2 at the Treehouse Truck.  At Fish Out Of Water, the Spicy Tuna Roll was $7 and the Hot Apopka Roll was $10. 
We also were lucky enough to get to try another truck.  The Monsta Lobsta truck was there, and I had not tried them yet.  Since the lines were not long while we were there, we decide to go ahead and try the Lobsta Roll.  It was different from other lobster rolls I have eaten, but it was good.  It was not doused in mayo, it was more light than rich.  That sandwich was $10.
I really enjoyed my time at the Apopka Food Truck Round Up.  The weather was beautiful for the October 6th date.  The music was pleasant and I enjoyed that we didn't have to lug our own chairs and/or table.  The lines were very reasonable and the food was delicious.  I will definitely return again, because I found it to be a nice experience.  Plus, while we didn't imbibe, they also had beer for sale from I believe Shipyard Brewing.  This is a great family event where people can get together and enjoy food.

October 17, 2011

Picture View - Lasagna

Beef browning
Garlic and onions for sauce

Ricotta mixture

Homemade meat sauce

1st cheese layers of lasagna

1st meat sauce layer

Store-bought sauce topping lasagna

Finished lasagna

Slice of the ready-to-eat lasagna

Lasagna - Home Cooked Recipe 16

Lasagna is a family favorite in many households, including mine.  My recipe is somewhat eclectic, because I make my own sauce for the filling but use jarred sauce for the top and bottom.  This is a lasagna recipe that is not runny (I hate when sauce is watery!), and full of yummy cheese.  I have recently started using the oven-ready lasagna noodles, because it cuts down on the prep time significantly. 


12 oven-ready lasagna noodles
olive oil
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
3 cups store-bought sauce (I use Ragu Traditional)
2 lbs shredded mozzarella
1 egg
16 ounces ricotta (or 15 ounces, depending on which size your store sells)
1 cup Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 1 is to make your sauce.  Drizzle olive oil in a sauce pot to lightly coat the bottom.  Heat over medium and add half your onions.  Cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add in your garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add some salt and pepper.  Then add your canned tomatoes and let simmer on low until you are ready to add your beef.
Step 2 is to brown your ground beef over medium heat.  Add the rest of your onions after the first 3 minutes and let cook with the beef until there is no pink in the beef left.  Season with salt and pepper.  When your beef has finished browning, drain and add to your tomato sauce.  Turn off heat and let sauce meld flavors until you are ready to assemble your lasagna.
Step 3.  Mix your ricotta with the egg.  Stir in 1/2 a cup of Parmesan.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Prepare your baking dish.  I use a 9x13 glass dish.  Put 1 cup of your store-bought sauce on the bottom of the pan and spread til bottom is evenly coated.  Lay down 4 of your lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.  Spread half of your ricotta on top of the noodles.  Sprinkle 1/2 a lb of mozzarella over ricotta.  Top with 1/2 of your homemade meat sauce.  Add another layer of noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, and meat sauce.  Cover with last 4 noodles.  Spread remaining store-bought sauce on top.  Sprinkle with 1 lb of mozzarella and then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.  Bake for one hour.  Let cool slightly before serving.  Enjoy!

October 12, 2011

Picture View - Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients for meatballs

Rolled out meatballs

Ingredients fro cream sauce

Flour and butter (roux)

Finished sauce

Finished meatballs

Swedish Meatballs - Home Cooked Recipe 15

Eating at the SwedeDish food truck inspired me to make this meal.  As you may have read, I have previously posted about meatballs, with a great Asian meatball recipe.  But Swedish meatballs are something I have always enjoyed.  The creamy sauce they can be served with goes so well with a tender. beefy meatball.  So I scoured the internet looking for something that would be feasible for me to make.  After perusing a bunch of recipes, I came up with my own version based on a collaboration from several of the recipes I viewed.  Here is MY version of Swedish meatballs.  They came out great, although I still think the SwedeDish food truck's were even better.

Swedish Meatballs

For the meatballs:
1lb ground beef
1 quarter of an onion, grated
3 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces
1/8 cup of milk
1 egg
1 tsp chopped parsley (fresh or dried, I had dried on hand)
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
dash of paprika (smoked or unsmoked, I used smoked)
dash of cayenne
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put bread pieces in a mixing bowl.  Toss with the milk, and let soak for 5 minutes.  Add in beef and egg and mix well.  Add spices, and mix until combine.  Roll out golf ball sized meatballs.  Place on a baking rack on a baking sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Should produce between 20 and 25 meatballs.

For the sauce:
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
6 ounces beef broth (or stock)
2 ounces heavy cream
salt & pepper

Place butter in saucepan and let melt.  Over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes to cook out the flour taste.  Whisk in the beef broth slowly.  Stir well to prevent lumps.  Let cook for 5 minutes, then whisk in heavy cream.  Bring to a boil, reduce to low, and let simmer for a few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place meatballs on plates (5 to 6 per person).  Cover with cream sauce.  Traditionally you can serve these with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.  I did not have lingonberries so I served mine with cranberry sauce.  The sweet and tart cranberry sauce cuts the richness of the meatballs and their cream sauce.  You could also put these in a crockpot and keep them warm at a party.  Enjoy!!!

October 10, 2011

Additional Pictures From the SwedeDish Truck

View of the truck from the parking lot

The lunch menu

Helmet with horns on the dash

Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, pickled gherkins