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!

August 18, 2012

Picture View-Spaghetti Carbonara

Starting the bacon


Pasta tossed with egg mixture

Adding peas to pasta

Adding bacon to peas and pasta

boiling water for pasta

Pasta cooking

Beating eggs

rendered bacon

Peas added to bacon drippings

Cooked spaghetti

Spaghetti Carbonara - Home Cooked Recipe 33

Searching for new pasta recipes is something I do often.  I am a pasta junkie and always want to spice up my weekly meals.  I came across a recipe for pasta carbonara and decided to make my own version.  Below is the recipe.


  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • 1/2 lb bacon, diced
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1 tbs garlic salt

Boil spaghetti according to package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, fry up the bacon until it is crispy. Drain bacon on paper towels, and then add peas to pan with bacon drippings.  Saute peas for 5 mins, or until no longer frozen.  Add cayenne and garlic salt to peas, stir well.  In a large separate bowl, beat 3 eggs together.  Drain pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water.  Slowly add pasta water to eggs, whisking constantly.  Add pasta, using tongs to make sure eggs coat pasta evenly.  Add peas to pasta, then bacon, again stirring well.  Next, add in 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and mix well.  Plate pasta and garnish with more grated parmesan.

August 15, 2012

Special Post #1 - My Pantry

I have a few different post subtitles, and if you're a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed these.  If I am posting a non-dessert recipe, I title them under "Home Cooked Recipe", if it's dessert recipe I use "We Made Room For Dessert".  For my non-recipe posts I have the subtitles "Restaurant Review" and "Food Truck Adventures", which are used to describe my experiences at restaurants and food trucks.  I have a fifth subtitle, which is "Reader Recipes".  I have not gotten to use that yet because I have yet to have a reader contribute (although I am always interested in those so please feel free to submit your recipes!!! I will give you full credit, and include any pictures of you and/or the food).
I was thinking today about something new I could do to add some spice to the blog and came up with the idea to have special posts.  I personally am always interested in hearing about other people's favorite kitchen gadgets, panty staples, cooking techniques, cuisines, etc and thought it would be fun to start posting about my own.  So in addition to this week's recipe (which will be posted tomorrow), I am starting my new "Special Post" subtitle, and it will be about my favorite food staples.

***My Pantry***
There are several things I always must have on hand in my kitchen, whether it's a certain spice, condiment, canned item, boxed item, or something that lives in my refrigerator/freezer.  I will try to give my favorites, listed within a few different categories.  I am also listing my favorite brand if I have one for that particular item.  This is not to say that other brands are not perfectly fine, these just are brands I grew up with or prefer the taste of.

  • Cayenne
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt (I try to keep table, sea, and kosher salts on hand)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Paprika (smoked and unsmoked)
  • Oregano
  • Bay Leaves
  • McCormick's Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese spice blend)
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Vanilla extract

  • Heinz Ketchup
  • Hellmann's Mayonnaise
  • Crystal Hot Sauce
  • Kikoman Lite Soy Sauce
  • French's Yellow Mustard
  • Gulden's Mustard (spicy brown)
  • Pace Chunky Salsa (mild)
  • Lee & Perrins Worcesterershire Sauce

  • Milk
  • Cheddar Cheese (sharp)
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Breakstone's Sour Cream
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Lemons
  • Vlassic Sweet Relish
  • Vlassic Dill Pickles
  • Green Olives w/Pimento

  • Pie Crusts
  • Puff Pastry
  • Veggies (corn, peas, carrots, broccoli, stir fry blend)
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Bacon

Pantry Basics:
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable (or Canola) Oil
  • PAM Cooking Spray
  • Flour
  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Spaghetti
  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Rotini
  • Ramen
  • White Rice
  • Couscous
  • Breadcrumbs (unseasoned)
  • Black Olives
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Heinz Homestyle Savory Beef Gravy (jar)
  • Heinz Homestyle Roasted Turkey Gravy (jar)
  • McCormick's Brown Gravy (packet)
  • McCormick's Peppered Country Gravy (packet)
  • Ragu Tradional Pasta Sauce
  • Hunt's Tomato Sauce
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Canned Black Beans
  • Dry Black Beans (these also make good pie weights)
  • Baked Beans
  • Old El Paso Refried Beans (Traditional)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Caroll Shelby's Original Texas Brand Chili Kit
  • Chicken Broth
  • Beef Broth
  • Tomato Soup
  • Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (cans)

Those are all the staples that I can think of.  Check back every couple of months, I will update the list and mark the additions.  I'll also try to notate in current posts if I've added anything to this list.  I hope you enjoye this special post, I look forward to doing more in the future!

August 9, 2012

Additional Pictures - Athena Cafe

Athena Cafe - Restaurant Review 6

Greek cuisine is by far one of my favorites.  I have always been drawn to Mediterranean flavors; olives, oregano, feta cheese, lemons... These are a few of my favorite things.  I adore pita, and the combination of cucumbers and tomatoes.  Greek yogurt is versatile and the base of one of my favorite sauces.  I am constantly on the hunt for new Greek restaurants.
Last week I was in the mood for a Gyro, and I also wanted to try a new place.  I have some great apps on my iPhone that help me find restaurants in the area, complete with pictures, recommended dishes, and directions.  Using this technology I was able to find Athena Cafe, located in Altamonte Springs, FL.  There were some very good reviews posted online, so off I went.
I was warmly greeted, and I thought the service was fast, and friendly.  My waitress, Crystal, was on top of things, and gave me ample time to peruse the menu but what was ready to take my order as soon as I decided.  I ended up choosing one of their dinner combos, which in my case was a traditional gyro with a Greek side salad.
My salad came out first.  It had fresh romaine, white onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, pepperoncinis, olives, feta cheese, and the best thing ever about Greek salads, potato salad.  It may sound odd to have potato salad with a green salad but there is something about the combination that is absolutely magical.  The only ingredients missing that would have completed this for me would have been beets and chickpeas, which are in my favorite Greek salad ever at Mr. Souvlaki in Tarpon Springs, FL.  The great thing about the salad here at Athena Cafe was that every table had a bottle of the dressing.  To me this is great, because you can put as much or as little as you like.
My gyro came out next.  I am picky when it comes to my gyros, traditionally they come on a fresh warm pita with meat, sauce, onions, and tomatoes, and some places also add lettuce.  I prefer my gyro with only the meat and sauce, sometimes with onion as well.  On this visit I did opt for onions to be added to my meat and sauce.  By the way, the meat on gyros is traditionally a lamb and beef mixture, cooked on a spit and then the meat is shaved off.  Yum!  My gyro was good, but not great.  I would leave off the onion next time, because it was in big chunks which is not my favorite thing.  Also, the meat seemed to be one of those prepackaged gyro meats as opposed to the fresh, just shaved off the spit meat I adore at Mr, Souvlaki.  But the pita on the sandwich was delicious, and I did enjoy the tzatziki (the traditional cucumber yogurt sauce).  
Overall, my experience at Athena Cafe was a decent one.  The food was good (although next time I'm hoping for something a little better, I'll probably try a new dish), the service was excellent, the prices were reasonable, and I thought the restaurant was clean and bright.