Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wahlberg’s American Chop Suey

Speaking of Wahlburgers and all of my favorite TV shows, this week I decided to make a Wahlberg family classic. On Wahlburgers, the mom of all of the boys (Alma) had to make budget friendly meals every night for the kids. The chef in charge of the Wahlburgers restaurant (Paul Wahlberg) always says in the intro to the show that they were very poor people when he was growing up. In order be able to eat food every night, Alma had to cook simple and cheap recipes. On the Wahlburgers show, the Wahlberg boys always talk about their mom’s American Chop Suey. I had never had chop suey before in my life… so I thought that it was just some crazy mixture of meats and whatever the heck suey is. And oh, how terribly wrong I was!

Wahlberg's American Chop Suey Recipe

So that’s what “chopped suey” is! American Chop Suey is a bunch of meats and noodles and vegetables thrown into a dish. Although the dish tasted AMAZING… I wondered f I could create a better name for it. I pondered the thought for almost an hour, when an idea struck me. I knew the answer. I should call it: Beef with Bacon and Vegetables with Noodles. Great name right?

American Chop Suey Prep 1

I had just watched an episode of the Walking Dead (the newest addition to my favorite current TV shows) prior to making the American Chop Suey, so cutting the bacon up and tearing the beef felt so much like zombie guts! I was so disgusted. It was not a fun experience. Not fun at ALL!

American Chop Suey Prep 2

What would life be like without pasta? Thank you Italians! Merci. Wait no that’s French. Oops. It’s grazie in Italian. And no, I did NOT have to look that up. :)

American Chop Suey

My oh my. What could get better than this? This American Chop Suey is amazing (no matter what type of budget you have). This summer when my family goes to Massachusetts for our usual vacation, I’m definitely going to Wahlburgers Burger Restaurant. Maybe I can even get an interview set up with Paul Wahlberg (the head chef)! That would be the best if I could actually tour the facility and interview Paul Wahlberg! Meeting the Wahlbergs would just be such a cool experience. These guys went from nothing in their youth to practically everything nowadays! Read more…

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Grammy’s Irish Soda Bread

My 100% Irish Grammy has been making her outstanding Irish Soda Bread for me for years! Now I am finally able to share this recipe with you guys for St. Patrick’s Day. There are a lot of people in the world with Irish roots. St. Patrick’s Day brings the luck of the Irish to everyone. Wear green, or your day won’t be very lucky considering that you will be covered with red spots from where people pinch you. This Irish Soda Bread brings out the luck of the Irish in everyone! Even if you’re not Irish! :)

Grammy's Irish Soda Bread

At first I tried to cut this bread sideways, diagonal, and even on the edge… but it didn’t work. I feel so stupid now knowing that you cut it like a pie. Speaking of pie, Friday  (yesterday) was Pi Day! Not the yummy pie, the 3.1415926535897932 pi. I’ve only memorized 17 digits currently, but I’m working my way up to 25!

Grammy's Irish Soda Bread Prep 1

The dough for the Irish Soda Bread is really dry and thick. It takes some real effort to mix it the old fashioned way (with a wooden spoon). In order to not overstir the dough, you have to keep adding the buttermilk to the dry ingredients slowly until the mixture has just enough buttermilk to work. It’s much easier to pour buttermilk onto the dry ingredients in small quantities than to add too much or too little.

Grammy's Irish Soda Bread in the pan

I baked the Irish Soda Bread just right. I took it out when it was a perfect golden color on top. It wasn’t too dry, but wasn’t super moist either. The golden raisins were starting to burn on the top during baking, so I covered the top of the bread with foil for a while.

Grammy's Irish Soda Bread Recipe -

I know for sure that my Grammy’s Irish Soda Bread is good, but how does my version compare to it? I modified her recipe just a little bit.  I thought that my bread was more moist than hers, but everyone likes a different style. My Grammy usually adds more caraway seeds and baking powder than I do, so that could have changed the taste and texture of the Irish Soda Bread a little bit. Read more…

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

This week I made Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. I was feeling like something sweet, so I made a simple batch of buttery thumbprint cookies and filled them with yummy chocolate.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

I’ve been so busy watching my 3 favorite shows that I almost forgot to blog! What TV shows do you like? I absolutely LOVE Modern Family, Wahlburgers, and Wicked Tuna. Wahlburgers and Wicked Tuna are both filmed near where my family and I stay every summer in Massachusetts, so we love to see familiar sights. Modern Family is just hilarious! If you guys haven’t seen these shows, record them NOW! I wouldn’t watch TV at all if it wasn’t for these shows.

So… back to my cookies! These cookies tasted even BETTER than they look! The chocolate balanced out the cookie well. I personally would add a little bit more chocolate, but that’s just me.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies Prep 1

The cookies aren’t that hot when they come out of the oven. The original recipe said to dip your thumb into cold water before pressing each cookie (to cool them off), but it’s not necessary.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies Prep 2

Originally I used milk chocolate chips in the chocolate mixture, but it turned out really grainy. We tried the chocolate mixture with milk chocolate again, and it was still grainy. Then we discovered that it was the chocolate that was causing the problem. The next day I made the same mixture but with semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate. It worked! I think that milk chocolate would have tasted better, but you have to cook with what works. Read more…