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!

September 30, 2013

Special Post #6 - Pimento Cheese

I spent 1/2 my childhood in NY and the other half in FL.  In neither of these locales have I found a vast amount of pimento cheese.  But from what I hear, it's extremely popular in the South.  Pimento cheese is something I haven't eaten before, but I kept seeing it on TV and online when searching for recipes.  
After researching a few different recipes, I settled on one that contains a combination of mayo and cream cheese.  Some people make with one or the other, and after seeing a couple of recipes I decided to make it with both.
It was delicious!  Some people eat it just as a dip, but I decided to use it for grilled cheese sandwiches and boy was it ooey gooey cheesy deliciousness!  I think pimento cheese is better warm than cold, but eat it which ever way you like best.
Here is my recipe for it:

Pimento Cheese
8oz sharp cheddar, grated
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Hellmann's mayo
1 4oz jar of diced pimentos, drained well (***make sure you drain it or the pimento cheese gets too watery)

2 tsp hot sauce (I use Louisiana's Pure Crystal, always my 1st choice for hot sauce! Use your favorite.)
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Let sit in fridge for at least and hour so flavors can meld.  Use a hand mixer or food processor to combine ingredients for a smoother product.


September 24, 2013

Simply Sides 6 - Zucchini Casserole

Summer is a great time for squash.  Zucchini and yellow squash are abundant in gardens and in the supermarket.  I grew up eating squash and think it's a great vegetable.  I'm always looking for new side dishes, and with squash so prevalent I started perusing recipes to find something new to do with squash.  I came across a recipe for a cheesy squash casserole and had to try it.  I hope you like it as much as I did!

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
2 zucchini, sliced in to discs (you can also do this with yellow squash, or one yellow squash, & one zucchini)
8 oz shredded cheddar
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/3 and 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.

Saute onions and garlic in oil for 6-8 minutes until tender and translucent.
Add zucchini and saute for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper. Let mixture cool.
Add 1/4 parmesan, 1/3 cup bread crumb, and cheddar cheese to zucchini mixture.  Combine well and place in baking dish.
Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Turn oven to broiler and broil for 3-4 minutes, keeping a close eye on the casserole so bread crumbs don't burn.


September 11, 2013

Baked Croissant French Toast - Home Cooked Recipe 40

This week's recipe is for a breakfast dish.  Baked french toast with a twist, the twist being we're using croissants instead of regular bread. To make this dish even more interesting, we're making a maple cream cheese filling.  This dish is not a healthy recipe, but it is great for an indulgent breakfast or brunch!

Baked Croissant French Toast

6 croissants (or 12 mini croissants), halved
4oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups half and half
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Layer half the the halved croissants on the bottom of the baking dish.  Next, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and maple syrup with a hand mixer until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Dollop the cream cheese over the croissant halves in the pan.  Place the other half of the croissants on top.  Then beat together the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Pour on top of croissants.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Bake at 350 for 30-45 mins.
Let cool for 10 mins and then serve.

September 3, 2013

Restaurant Review 15 - Victorio's Oyster Bar & Grille

When talking about overcoming my food fears, I can safely tell you for 20+ years of my life I was TERRIFIED of raw meat and seafood.  As I became a more intense foodie, I realized I was going to have to overcome some of my food fears, and this included being able to eat raw meats/fish.  I was close to 30 before I ate raw oysters, tuna, and other seafoods for the 1st time.  I still have trouble eating some foods raw (mostly because of a texture issue, not necessarily because they're raw), but I LOVE raw tuna and oysters!
This brings me to the reason for my post... Victorio's Oyster Bar and Grille.  It's a restaurant that started in Longwood, FL and since has expanded to several locations in the metro Orlando area, including in Apopka, Titusville, and Oviedo.  My buddy Ed recently started working there, and after hearing how delicious the food is from several people, my boyfriend and I ventured over to the Apopka location.
Victorio's has an extensive menu, and if you want a sneak peak check it out at: Victorio's Menu
On my visit we started with... OYSTERS!  I prefer them raw to steamed or fried.  We got a dozen, at a fairly reasonable price of $9.95 (***disclaimer: this price can change according to current market prices).  They were HUGE!  I believe they were in from Louisiana, and I'm not going to lie, I had to cut a couple in half to eat them they were so large.  But they were fresh, cold, sweet, and juicy.  Topped with lemon, cocktail sauce, and horseradish (my condiments of choice) they were divine and a great starter.  Definitely get the oysters if you go, whether you get them raw, steamed, or fried, they are worth it.
For my entree I enjoyed the shrimp alfredo.  It was a huge portion of pasta that could have easily made two or three meals.  I brought some home and had it as my lunch the next day.  There were 6 large shrimp included, and from what I understand the sauce is made from scratch on premises everyday.  My dinner was also accompanied by garlic knots, and if you don't know, I'm a sucker for a good garlic knot.
My date ordered the unlimited fish and chips.  You can eat as much fish and chips as you like for 9.99.  The fish was fresh and flaky and fried to crisp perfection.  I tried the tarter sauce and it was scrumptious.  
Victorio's also has Italian food as well as the seafood options.  I've heard pretty good things about their pizzas and calzones.  I've also seen coupons for the restaurant so if you're on a budget, keep a look out,
For more info about the restaurant and its locations, visit their website at: