Thursday, August 26, 2010

And The Winner Is.........

First off, thank you to all who enter. It's been a great and crazy year and I apreciate every single one of you. I hope to continue to bring you great recipes in the future and that the site continues to grow. So now for what you've all been waiting for!

The winner of my blogiversary giveaway is Myra! 

Her comment was chosen by to be the winner. I hope you enjoy all these great kitchen gadgets as much as I do! Congratulations!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A New Direction

Hi everyone!

I want to announce a new direction fore the Goddess of Cooking website. Don't worry, you're still going to get all the yummy recipes I have to offer but some of them are going to have a little twist. I'd like to introduce you all to my three new taste testers! These three wonderful girls are giving up their time to create the recipes I post for you all. This means that not only will you have my point of view but three others as well. I pride myself on creating easy to follow recipes for great food that anyone can do with success, however sometimes I wonder what seems easy to me, might not be so easy for some one else. With these new testers, I can be assured that anyone really can have success. They won't test every recipe, at least not in the beginning, but at least one a week will have their comments and maybe even some of their pictures. So lets meet these three wonderful women!

First is Jessica. She is a college student who, right now, runs a very successful blog design website. Some of you may even know her as she is the creative mastermind behind The Frilly Coconut Design Shoppe. In fact Jessica is the one that created the designs for both the Goddess of Cooking and my personal blog. She is one of the sweetest person you will ever know and is very dedicated not only to her design services but to her friends and family as well.
The Frilly Coconut

My Simply Complicated

The next is Loni, a wife and working mother of the cutest little boy you will ever know. Seriously I love all his curly hair! She is another great person in my life who is always willing to help out a friend in need. She's sweet and caring and will always take the time to lend her shoulder if you should need it.

Land of Loni

The last is Jenn B. Watch out if you ever cross this momma! She is so out spoken that she needs a disclaimer on her website! I love her tell it like it is attitude and know that if I ever create a sucky dish, she'll be the one to let me know!!

She Says...

So those are my testers. Because of this new direction, and because I'm going on vacation for a bit, there will not be any new recipes until after my blogiversary. I'm sorry if this upsets anyone. I know some of you really look forward to the new recipes I post, but this will be an exciting change to the website that I hope you all enjoy! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway!!!!

August 25th marks my first anniversary. It was one year ago on that date that I started Goddess of Cooking. Since then I have shared over 100 recipes and how to's with you. What better way to celebrate then to give away a couple of my favorite kitchen tools??? I have five tools that I absolutely love to use in my kitchen and now you get the chance to own them too! So first let me show you what you could win, then I'll tell you just how you can win them!

First is a salt cellar:
This is acutally a new item for me. I was using just a regular spice container and every time I needed salt I would dump some into the lid so that I could grab a pinch or two. The salt cellar has made that so much easier! I just open the lid and my salt is right there, letting grab just what I need. Not a salt person? Use it for any spice you want!

Next item is a Mandoline:

I've had a mandoline for quite some time now. I use it for thinly slicing all sorts of veggies. It's grate for when you need thin sliced potato's for a gratan. This one has three different slice thickness as well as three different juliene thickness. 

Next up is a Potato Ricer:

If you have never used a ricer to make mashed potatos then you are going to fall in love with this tool! Not only does it mash cooked potatoes quickly but it creates a fine, smooth, silky texture that you can't get with an old fashion potato masher or even a hand mixer. It's great for making gnocchi too. I've also heard from people that use it to press the water out of frozen spinach that was thawed and even to evenly distribute ricotta cheese over lasagna!

A Citrus Squeezer:

This handly little tool works so much better then a juicer. With a juicer your really need some elbow grease to get the juice out plus they're a pain to clean. With this juicer, you just place your citrus fruit inside and give a squeeze. It keeps in all the pulp and seeds and gets every last drop of flavorful juice!

And the last tool in this great set is a micro-plane/grater:

One of my favorite kitchen tools by far. I have a thinner one that is more true of a micro-plane but I love these wider ones too. You can use these for grating chocolate, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, zesting citrus fruits and even finely mincing garlic cloves. I use mine almost every night when making supper. 

So do you want to know how to win this prize pack??? Of course you do!!! Here's how you can get entries to win. 

Mandatory Entry:

- Leave a comment telling me what your favorite kitchen gadget is

Extra Entries: leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH entry.

-Follow Goddess of Cooking via Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
-Follow Goddess of Cooking via twitter @GoddessCooking (1 entry)
-"Like" Goddess of Cooking on Facebook (1 entry)
- Tweet the following: (1 tweet/day, 1 entry/tweet)

Enter #giveaway @GoddessCooking and win some awesome kitchen tools!


- Give away ends at midnight EST on August 24th 2010
- All entries must include your email address in the comment unless linked to your profile
- One winner will be chosen by
- Only VALID entries will be counted

Thursday, August 5, 2010

NY Strip Steak with Wild Mushroom Risotto

Beef is my favorite protein. The best beef, of course, is a good steak. Strip Steaks come from the short loin of a cow which is located along the back of the cow, right behind the ribs. This part of the cow see's very little muscle work which is what gives strip steaks the flavor and characteristics it has. A T-bone steak contains the both the strip steak (larger pieces) and a piece of the tenderloin or filet mignon. This makes the strip steak a more costly piece of meat and is why I usually only purchase it on sale, or for a special occasion.
Wild mushroom risotto is the perfect side dish for steak. It's hearty and full of flavor itself so it complements steak nicely. I buy dried mushrooms when I make this for a couple reasons. First, I'm in a small area and finding any fresh mushrooms besides the button kind and portabellos just isn't possible. Second, they last a long time so I can use part of the package and save the rest for another time or dish. You can use whatever mushrooms you like too. I used Morels, Oyster and Chanterelles this time around, and just an ounce of dried mushrooms gave me plenty for the risotto.  I also decided to mix in a little marscapone cheese at the end of making the dish. It didn't do much for the flavor of the finished dish but gave it an incredibly silky, creamy taste. The marscapone is completely optional and I only put it in because I had a little left over from making Tiramisu.

What You Need:

4 NY Strip Steaks
Salt and Pepper
1 c aborio rice
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ounce dried mushrooms
3 cups beef stock
1/2 c white wine
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1/4 c marscapone cheese (optional)

What To Do:

Place the dried mushrooms into a bowl and pour boiling water over the top to rehydrate them. It only takes a few minutes. Remove from the liquid and give them a chop before setting them aside. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter or cheese cloth to remove the grit that the mushrooms leave behind. You want about two cups of mushroom liquid. If you don't have two cups, use beef stock to make up the rest. Combine the mushroom liquid in a pot with the beef stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the liquid is just barely simmering. Keep hot while you make the risotto.
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter together. Add in the onion and the garlic and sauté until fragrant and soft. Add in the mushrooms and  rice and stir so that the fat coats the rice. Let it cook for about 5 minutes so that the rice gets a little toasty. Add in the white wine and give it a stir. Once most of the wine has been absorb, pour two ladles full of the hot beef/mushroom stock into the rice. Cook the rice, over medium heat, stirring occasionally until almost all the stock is absorbed. You want to be cooking the rice between a simmer and a boil. If you you boil it to quickly, the rice won't cook and it will be crunchy. If you doing boil it enough, it will end up mushy. It takes about 30 minutes to makes risotto. On my stove top, I set it to medium and that works well for me. Continue ladling in the stock, two ladles at a time until the rice is soft and the dish is creamy. Stir in the thyme, Parmesan and marscapone to finish the dish.
To cook the steaks, preheat your grill on the highest setting for about 10 minutes. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper and drizzle a little veg oil on each side. Turn the heat to low and grill the steaks to your desired done-ness. If you like the cross grill marks, grill the steak for two minutes, then give the steaks a 90 degree turn and grill another two minutes. I cooked my steaks a total of 6 minutes and they came out medium rare.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Parmesan Zucchini Straws

One of my favorite summer time veggies is zucchini. You can find it every where and chances are, if your neighbor has a garden, they'll be more then happy to share the abundance of zucchini the crop normally produces. Like most squash, zucchini is very versatile. It can be grilled, sautéed, put into baked goods or even fried. In fact, growing up my father loved fried zucchini and honestly so did I. This recipe is reminiscent of the fried version but is baked and has much more flavor. What's even better is that my daughter loved it too!!

What You Need:

1 lrg zucchini
2 eggs
2 tbs milk
1 c flour
3/4 c panko bread crumbs
3/4 c Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 tbs garlic powder
Cooking Spray

What To Do:

Preheat your oven to 450 degree

Slice the zucchini into sticks that are 4 or 5 inches in long. I cut the zucchini in half and then into sticks.
Set up 3 dishes. In the first dish, place the flour and season it with some salt and pepper. In the second dish, whisk together the eggs and milk and in the last dish combined the panko with the Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
All you do is coat the sticks with flour, tapping of the excess before dipping them into the egg and finally into the bread crumbs.Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Give the tops a spray with the cooking spray as well and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
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