Pantry Party May 2013 Announcement


Welcome to a round up featuring recipes you cook with ingredients found in your pantry. On the 1st of each month (well, this post is going up early because I got excited) I’ll announce the pantry party challenge of the month.  All you need to do is cook something based on the theme with at least one ingredient found in your pantry. Have some pasta? Some jelly? Some sauce? Flour? Sugar? Canned foods? We all have stuff pushed in our pantries that get forgotten about, so now is the time to make use of these otherwise forgotten foods.

On the 29th of each month I will post the round-up, with all the recipes and links to your blogs showcasing your contribution to the party.

I hope you’ll join me and explore your pantries!

How to Participate:

1. Visit The Law Student’s Cookbook on the 1st of each month to find out the Pantry Challenge Theme of the month.

2. Cook up something delicious based on the theme for the month with at least one ingredient found in your pantry.

3. Post the recipe on your blog. You can submit more than one recipe in a month if you wish, but all recipes must be current. If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate! Just send me an email with a write-up of your recipe, a picture, and any other information. I’ll make a post with recipes from readers who participated.

4. You must link to the announcement post for the given month in your blog post. If you wish, you can also use the graphic above in your post or sidebar (which you can find here.)

5. Email your recipes to no later than the 28th of each month. In the email include:

* Your name
* Your blog name
* Permalink to the blog post
* A photo of your recipe or permission to pull one from the post

6. On the 29th of each month visit The Law Student’s Cookbook for the recipe round up!

The theme for May is STUFFED.
You decide what you’re going to stuff and what you’ll stuff it with. Stuffed pork chops for instance? Let your imagination run wild! Just utilize your pantry!

Announcing Food n’ Flix for May: Delicatessen

This month’s movie was a strange pick. I actually hadn’t seen it before this weekend and was mildly confused at my movie choice (this is what I get for picking randomly off a list) but at the same time, I am intrigued about the types of dishes this movie will inspire.



Delicatessen is a post-apocalyptic movie entirely in French. Subtitles definitely help understanding what exactly is going on. 😉

In this movie, food is rare – so rare in fact it is used as currency. And some of the food choices are.. well.. maybe not what you should be sharing for your Food n’ Flix submission.


1. Watch the chosen film (Delicatessen). Using the film as your inspiration, use your culinary skills to create something.

2. Post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and post a link to Food ‘n Flix. You can use the Food ‘n Flix logo if you wish!

3. Your post must be current (during the month of May). The post may be linked to other events. The more the merrier!

4. Have fun with it!

5. Email me at by the deadline and include the following:
a. Your Name
b. Your Blog’s Name an URL
c. The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you’re submitting
d. Attach a photo of your dish (or give me permission to pull one from your post)
e. Indicate “Food ‘n Flix” in the subject line of your email

I will try to have the post up on May 31st!

Foodie Pen Pals: April


This month my FPP buddy was a lovely lady named Haley. Haley is from Arizona and sent me a very heavy box of local foods. She also included a recipe, which I made (and will share in this post!) I loved getting a recipe (hint hint hint, next FPP: send me recipes!) At this point, if you haven’t heard about Foodie Pen Pals, you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about.

  • On the 5th of the month you receive an email pairing you with information about who you’re paired with. You email that person to get information pertaining to allergies and dietary restriction.
  • By the 15th you put together a box of treats and mail them to your partner.
  • On the last day of the month you post a blog post about your box of treat

Easy, yeah?



Like I said, this was a heavy box of food! I was actually surprised when I picked it up to carry it in the house. This is by far the heaviest package I’ve received. I was so excited to dig in and see what was in there. And needless to say, I was not disappointed!



First things first, chili mango. This is something I never have had and I was hesitant to try it. While the idea of sweet and spicy seems so great, I took the first bite like a little bird. I’m still not really sure what I think about this. It’s probably not something I’d buy again, but at the same time it was good and a lot of fun to get to try something new.



Haley included this strawberry jelly on the request of her child. I ate it in one swift swoop. I used to get these as a kid, so it was a nice journey back.



I haven’t tried this cactus jelly yet. But the color of it is beautiful! I haven’t taken the time to look up recipes I could use this with, so I should do that.



Haley also included this Mango Jalapeno Jelly, along with a recipe for a grilled cheese using this jelly. I haven’t made the sandwich yet, but I do intend to soon!



Next were these little hot sauces. They are so cute – I love miniatures! I haven’t cracked open any of them yet though – I think the Hot Sauce from Hell will be first.



This was Matt’s choice from the box to steal from me (it seems with every FPP box, he has to grab something and claim it for his own.) This jerky is made different from the traditional beef jerky. First you cook the meat and then you dehydrate it.



Next (and the heaviest thing in the box) was the Nopalitos, or tender cactus. I haven’t tried this yet either. Ideas on how to use it?



These cans of hominy and green chile peppers provided the base for a delicious dinner, which Haley provided me the recipe. She had sent me an email and asked if I used my slow cooker; do I ever! I made the crcokpot pozole before class one day and it provided a great  meal for several days. The first day I just had a bowl of it. The next two days I used it over french fries, sort of similar to chili cheese fries, but pozole cheese fries instead. I’d had hominy before, but I’ve never actually used it myself. It was a super easy recipe with a lot of flavor!



Crockpot Pozole

1 tbsp canola oil
2 lb boneless pork loin, cubed
2 14.5 oz cans red enchilada sauce
1 30 oz can hominy
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 can diced green chilies, drained
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water


1. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add meat and cook, browning the sides.

2. Place the meat in a crock pot. Cover with enchilada sauce. Top with hominy, onions, chilies, garlic, cayenne, and oregano. Add the water.

3. Cook on high for 6-7 hours. Add salt and cilantro and cook on low for 30 more minutes.

(serve with lime wedges, shredded cheese,s our cream, green onions, and flour tortillas)

* serves about 8
* sharing this recipe with Tempt My Tummy

Pantry Party April Round Up


Though I usually spend more time putting together my round ups, I am in my last bout of final exams ever and will be through the first week of May. I wanted to get the cookie party up before I forget to actually do it, so sorry there isn’t any commentary on each cookie recipe!


Lori of A Bright And Beautiful Life shared these Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies.

Molasses Cookies

Kristen of Baby Giveaways Galore shared Molasses Cookies.

sugar cookie 2

Barbara of The Big Giant Food Basket shared The Best Sugar Cookie Ever!!


Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise shared her Lemonhead Cookies.


Marlys from This and That shares Meyer Lemon Shortbread Cookies.


I shared Sweet and Salty Popcorn Cookies.

A Little Bit Of Everything Cookie

Raven from True Blue Baking shared two cookies this month, the first is the A Little Bit of Everything Cookie.


Raven also shared these Classic Peanut Butter Cookies.

Sorry I couldn’t write more! I need to study and get to bed.

Ricotta Sponge Cake



This month Dom and his Random Recipes challenged food bloggers to use a random number generator to pick a random cookbook off the shelf and open it randomly to a page and cook the first recipe seen when the book is opened. The random number generator landed on number 23 for me, which coincidentally was the newest book on my shelf: Stephanie Alexander & Maggie Beer’s Tuscan Cookbook.

I actually had to open the book twice before I even got a recipe to make. The book is filled to the brim with beautiful pictures of food and culture. The first two times I opened the book I was face to face with beautiful pictures, but no recipes to accompany them. On the third flip open, I was presented by the Ricotta Sponge Cake.

Unfortunately, I had to end up throwing my cake away. I’m not blaming the cookbook though, because everything in the cookbook was perfect. The problem lays with my own decision making skills in the kitchen. Rather than just buying a premade sponge cake, I decided to make my own. The problem is, I am notoriously a failure at whipping up egg whites. I don’t know why I fail as bad as I do with this, but I can try to blame it on the fact that right now it’s pretty hot out and the whites just weren’t at the right temperature. Whatever it is, my stupid sponge cake ended up tasting similar to scrambled eggs and that just turned me off horribly, so I scraped the ricotta cream into my mouth and threw the eggy cake away.

Had I just surrendered and bought the sponge cake from the grocery store to begin with, this would have been a wonderful dessert. The cream was cheesy but sweet, silky, creamy, and just utterly delicious. It was especially delicious with the blueberries I had layered on top of the cream. I ruined it though with my stupid scrambled egg failure of a cake.

I need a lesson in beating egg whites.

Ricotta Sponge Cake

1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup plain  yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
sugar, to taste
sponge cake


1. In a food processor, blend the ricotta until smooth. Add the yogurt and blend until well combined with the ricotta.

2. In a mixer, beat the heavy cream until whipped cream is formed. Add sugar to taste. Fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture.

3. Slice a sponge cake in half. Spread the ricotta mixture on the bottom half of the cake. Place blueberries on top. Replace the top half of the cake.


Mediterranean Mac and Cheese


This was a yummy and easy dish – besides that there isn’t much to say! This is my study break from finals studying tonight. 🙂

Mediterranean Mac and Cheese

3/4 cup dry elbow noodle
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup feta cheese
1 cup milk
2 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp black olives
1/2 cup canned fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook to package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. In a heavy pan over medium-high heat, melt  the butter and mix in the flour. Whisk together and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup milk and whisk together. Cook for several minutes, whisking continuously, allowing the mixture to thicken.

4. Add the cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the feta.  Stir well, allowing the cheese to melt. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, the remaining milk, fire roasted tomatoes, and olives. Stir together well.

5. Once the sauce is smooth, pour of the noodles and mix together well. Pour into a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes.

* serves 3
* Shared with Full Plate Thursday, Catch A Glimpse Thursday, The Busy’s Bee’s Blog Hop, & Showcase Your Talent Thursday

Roasted Artichokes


Until recently I hadn’t had artichokes in a very long time. I remember being a little girl fascinated by this strange food. Eating it is a process – a fun process! You get to use your hands. You eat it in a way I don’t think any other food is eaten. As a little girl, artichoke with dinner was a huge thing. But I don’t know what’s happened since then. I can’t even recall the last time I ate an artichoke (before this time of course.)

Artichokes right now are everywhere at the farmer’s market. There are several vendors with just piles and piles of artichokes. Since alphabakes this month is on the letter A (hosted by The More Than Occasional Baker with co-host Caroline Bakes) it seemed perfect to get myself some artichokes!

AlphaBakes Logo

Making the artichoke is easy. It’s so easy in fact, that I’m not posting a real recipe. But here are some instructions:

– Cut the top of the artichoke off and the bottom of the artichoke’s stem off (about 1/2 inch on the top)
– Drizzle artichoke with olive oil and lemon juice
– Put a smashed garlic clove in the center of the leaves
– Wrap in foil
– Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 425

* besides alphabakes, this recipe has been shared with Tasteful Tuesday Party & Tempt My Tummy 

Kuku Paka



As part of my Eating Around The World journey, I spun the globe and got Kenya. After googling around the web I found references to this dish, which demonstrates the melding of cultures. Quite literally, kuku paka translates to “chicken cat?” Paka must have another meaning that I can’t find, because this coconut chicken curry hardly has reference to felines. From what I’ve read, the etymology of paka in this context is unclear.

I have a love of curries. I don’t have a huge knowledge of African curries, but if this is what African curries are generally like – it was nice and I like it! Not only was it delicious, it was easy to make.

Now.. The next stop for the Around The World challenge looks like it will be Costa Rica!

Kuku Paka

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
salt, to taste
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
6 small red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 tomato, diced
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
cilantro, chopped for garnish


1. Place the chicken and the ginger, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and lemon juice in a ziplock bag. Set aside.

2. In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Fry the onions until golden. Add the chicken mixture and mix, cooking for 10 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and mix in. Then add the potatoes and mix in, cooking for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric and cook for several more minutes.

4. Add the water and cook for 15 minutes.

5. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Garnish with cilantro.

* serves 2
* This recipe is being shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese



This month’s Pasta Please theme was chilies and was hosted by Shaheen.

I’m looking at the picture of this dish, and I’m realizing there is way too many breadcrumbs on the dish. Once scooped out of the dish, they obviously got lost in the noodles – but oh my goodness – this picture looks like a breadcrumb dish.

Anyway, after poking around different corners of the internet and looking for something that would work for this challenge, I found a delicious looking mac and cheese. I didn’t venture out as much as I could have with this challenge. I should have bought a red chili to substitute the crushed red chili flakes – but alas, I did not. I like spicy food. I just really hate cutting chilies. Without a doubt, for as careful as I try to be, I touch my eyes or rub my nose or get the chili juices somewhere that just doesn’t feel great – and oh my goodness, it’s hard to get rid of it once you do it. Even when I wear gloves, I somehow manage to just create so much pain for myself. I love the taste, I just hate the process.

Because of this, I rely on red chili flakes to add the heat from a fresh chili (though.. obviously not the same, I know.)

Anyway, this was a yummy mac and cheese. It created a lot of dirty dishes, but was delicious!

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

1 cup broccoli florets, cut into pieces
1 yellow squash, diced
1 orange bellow pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups elbow pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tbsp bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 400. Set a medium pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil covering it. Toss the broccoli, squash, bell pepper, and carrots on a baking sheet. Coat with half the olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar, allowing to melt. Add the red chili flakes and cayenne. Add the macaroni and vegetables.

4. Place the mixture in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler for 4 minutes.

* serves 6
* Besides Pasta Please, this recipe is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Cookies



This month for Pantry Party our theme is cookies. I’d love to see more people enter recipes, by the way. This month, I opened my cabinet and grabbed out the first thing I saw and decided I’d make cookies with the first thing I grabbed. The first thing I grabbed was a bag of unpopped popcorn kernels. We don’t have a microwave, so a bag of kernels is the easiest way for us to get popcorn. Pour it in a pan, put it over heat, let it do it’s thing. But put a lid on the pan . . . or else there will be popcorn popped all over the kitchen.

Anyway – I pulled out the popcorn and began searching for the perfect popcorn cookie recipe. I guess I could have just been creative and made a chocolate chip cookie and threw popcorn in it, but I decided to copy Katrina’s recipe instead.

These cookies were super easy and really fun. I mean, popcorn in cookies. Can you really say no to it?


Sweet and Salty Popcorn Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups popped popcorn, coarsely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat together with the butter and sugar.

3. In a large bowl sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Beat into the wet mixture until combined.

4. Using a wooden spoon fold the popcorn into the dough.

5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spoon teaspoons of the dough on the sheet, an inch apart.

6. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

* makes about a dozen cookies
* Besides Pantry Party, this recipe is shared with Weekend Cooking