Author Archives: bonniemaisen

Week 3: Korean – Beef Kimbap


No step-by-step pictures this time, as my kitchen was horribly messy when I prepared this.  Also, the roll in the picture is not beautiful, but I’m okay with that.

For Korean week, I was at a bit of a loss for what to prepare.  The only Korean thing I knew about was kimchi, and that tastes like sweat.  So I looked up Korean street food, and found this delightful recipe for Beef Kimbap.   We really liked it!

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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in 52weeksofcooking, Good


Week 2: Mint – Chicken Roulade with Mint Pesto

This was a recipe full of firsts for me.  My first time to use fresh mint.  My first time to use shallots. My first time to make pesto.  My first time to pound chicken with a meat hammer.  My first time to use one of my Christmas presents.  Unfortunately, all these firsts made for some ugly chicken.  Oh well.  Here’s the recipe.


First, here’s my mise en place.  The ingredients, at least.  The cooking utensils are elsewhere.  As you probably can’t tell from the picture, I couldn’t find any pecorino cheese, so I substituted romano.  I had no idea how much mint I would get out of these store-bought packages; I only ended up needing one package for the pesto.  Looks like we’ll be having mojitos later this week!


So I needed to measure out 1 ounce of blanched almonds (couldn’t find whole, so I had to go with slivered).  To do this I got to use an awesome Christmas present from my sister Melissa!  This measuring cup has digital readout that measures weight and temperature, as well as having the markings to measure volume.  The cup detaches from the handle for easy cleaning!


This is Adam trying to make sure that I had exactly 1 ounce of almonds.


He started breaking an almond into pieces to get it exactly right.  He might have been able to get it perfect, but I chased him out of my kitchen.


Toast up your almonds for about 6 minutes over medium heat, until they’re golden and fragrant.


This is a shallot.  They’ve never carried these at my local grocery store that I’ve found, but they just happened to have them the one time I needed it for a recipe.  I chopped it much like I would an onion.


Throw the almonds and the shallots into your food processor until it becomes a coarse paste.  I broke my food processor a few weeks back so I used the chopper attachment on the new immersion blender that Adam got me for Christmas!


Here’s the coarse paste.


Add your mint, cheese, and olive oil and pulse it a bit in the food processor.  Mine doesn’t look exactly right; probably because I didn’t use a real food processor.


Put your chicken breasts one at a time between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Then take them out of the plastic wrap when you realize that you forgot to trim them.  Trim them, then put them back.  Pound them flat, about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.  Then sprinkly both sides with salt and pepper.


As you can probably tell (though I couldn’t at the time) I didn’t really get my chicken pounded flat enough.  You really need to pound it very thin, or else your roulade will become a chicken pita instead.


Spread your pesto on the chicken.  Roll it and secure with skewers.  Make certain that the skewers are somewhat short, as it will make browning your chicken easier.


See how the skewers really stick out?  I chopped them shorter with my kitchen shears after I took this picture.  Brown the chicken on all sides on medium heat.


After you’ve browned them, reduce the heat to medium low and cook about 20-25 more minutes, or until the chicken is done through.


Remove the chicken from the pan and slice each breast into about 5 slices.  Notice how my chicken doesn’t really look like a roulade?  That’s because I didn’t pound it thin enough!

I really did not care for the taste of this recipe.  I think that pesto should really be made with basil.  The mint tasted too cold to me, and so I didn’t think it went well with the chicken.  Adam liked it though, so don’t be scared by my picky palate.

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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


Another year…another 52 weeks. Week 1 – Appetizers: Whiskey BBQ Sliders

So I did not make it through the entire 52 weeks of cooking last year.  I’ll blame the fact that I was pregnant when the year started and gave birth to my beautiful baby girl in May.  I’m starting over this year with Reddit’s 52 weeks of cooking.  I will not be doing the baking challenges; I think it would just be a little too much for me.

The first challenge this year was pretty simple:  Appetizers.  My choice for this challenge is Whiskey BBQ Sliders, a la Pioneer Woman.  She calls hers Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders and puts jarred jalapenos in them.  I don’t mind spicy, but jarred jalapenos make me want to yack.  So I substituted a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper.


If I’ve learned anything from watching Food Network (which I only do at hotels now…no more dish), it’s the virtue of the mise en place.  That’s basically French for getting your shtuff together ahead of time.  Here are the ingredients!


Looks simple, right?  This was not a difficult recipe in the least.  So the first thing I did was to shape my slider patties from the ground beef.


I’ve heard that if you put a dimple in the middle of the patties, they don’t shrink up as much.  It worked somewhat well!  Also, it’s best practice to shape the beef at room temperature (I didn’t do this), and to work the beef as little as possible to prevent it from getting too tough.  Season your patties on both sides with salt and pepper.


Cook your patties for 3-4 minutes on each side in 4 tablespoons of butter.  (Mine could have used more cooking…they were a bit rarer than I usually like.) I had to brown mine a few at a time…my stove top has hot spots and cold spots.


Chop up an onion.  I like white onions best for most things, but you can use whatever floats your boat.  If chopping up an onion makes you nervous, check out P-dub’s guide here. It will help you take a whole onion…


…and turn it into this!  When the meat is done cooking, drain off all but a couple of tablespoons of the butter/grease.  Add the onions to the pan and cook for a few more minutes.


Add whiskey and cook for a few more minutes.


Add a couple shakes of cayenne pepper and a cup of BBQ sauce.


Some of my pictures won’t load right, so I don’t have any more, but add your burgers back to the sauce and cook them for a few more minutes.    Split the dinner rolls and grill them with butter until golden brown.  Put a patty on a half-roll, and top it with some sauce and the other half.  Enjoy!


Edit:  Here is the Pioneer Woman recipe.

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


Week 15: One-Pot – Emeril’s Three Cheese Risotto

Not realizing that a “rice” week was on the horizon, I prepared this yummy risotto for my one-pot meal. I used Emeril’s recipe.

This could have cooked a little longer.  But it was still delicious!

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in 52weeksofcooking, Try Again


Week 14: Sanwiches – Avocado, Cheddar, and Caramelized Onions

For this week, my inspiration came from a restaurant that Adam and I went to on our babymoon in Eureka Springs called Local Flavor Cafe.  This sandwich was much more delicious there, but still quite good to make at home.  Do not be deterred by the fact that there is no meat on the sandwich.  I love meat, but this sandwich does not need it.

Les made some awesome potatoes to go with this sandwich. You don’t really need a recipe for this sandwich. Just get a hoagie, spread it with your favorite condiment (I recommend something white, like mayo or sour cream), put some sliced onions, cheddar cheese and caramelized onions on it, and chow down.  You could add tomatoes if you like or anything else really.  Use your imagination!

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in 52weeksofcooking, Good


Week 13: Russian – Beef Stroganoff

I’ve made stroganoff before, but it’s been a very long time.  My purpose this week was to try a new stroganoff recipe that I could possibly add to our regular dinner rotation. I decided to go with this recipe from Tyler Florence.

I thought that the mushrooms could have cooked a little longer, but I really hate the texture of mushrooms in general.  The more they cook down, the less squishy they are.  Adam liked it a bit, but it wasn’t fantastic.

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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in 52weeksofcooking


Week 12: Cheese – Queso Blanco Dip

I love cheese.  I remember a certain encounter retreat that our church had several years back.  There was a young man from Cameroon with us who commented on the meals we prepared for the retreat, saying that Americans seem to put cheese on everything.  Appropriately, we passed a billboard on the way home that said, “Ah, the power of cheese.”

So for cheese week, I decided to prepare this Queso Blanco Dip recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.

It was easy and quite tasty. I don’t usually like American cheese, but there is enough good stuff in this dip to make up for it.

Rankings: Heck if we know!  I made this a LOOOOOOONG time ago!

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in 52weeksofcooking, Good