And Now, Watch a Russian Chef Shave a Frozen Hot Dog

First and foremost, I have never and will never make or eat this. I also highly advise against anyone doing so! Note, the category for this post is labeled “Not Tasty!”

Two things come to mind as I watch this video; gross and whaaaaaaaat? It’s so bad it’s kind of awesome. I’ll let you be the judge.

To view the video, click the following link:

And Now, Watch a Russian Chef Shave a Frozen Hot Dog

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Liberty’s Yarn: Knitting 101

Click here for some helpful links, videos, and resources for beginning knitters from Liberty’s Yarn.

The photo from this blog post is courtesy of Liberty’s Yarn.

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Get’m While They’re Hot – Chili Pepper Guide

If you know anything about me, you probably know how much I love spicy food. To me, food just isn’t complete without some heat. I’m Korean. So 90% of what I cook and eat is spicy. I’m sure that’s an exaggeration, or maybe not. Eat with me enough and your tolerance for spice will go up, guaranteed.

Do you know your chili pepper varieties? Saveur’s The World of Peppers will guide you through 48 kinds.

Before viewing the chili guide, here’s a little sneak peak…

Poblano peppers are some of my favorites! In our home, we love to roast these on the gas range and add them to fritattas and roasted vegetable sandwiches. They’re mild in heat and add a really nice smokey flavor to any dish. Mix these in with some pan roasted sweet corn kernels, onions, and garlic for homemade corn salsa. Yumm!

Poblano Peppers

Here is a Starfish Pepper. I’ve never tasted one, but The World of Peppers says they’re very spicy. I wanted to share this photo especially for their unique form and bright colors.

Starfish Peppers

Below are Chocolate Habanero peppers from the Caribbean. I’m sure these would add an amazing flavor to a chicken mole dish.

Chocolate Habanero Peppers

The photos from this blog post are courtesy of Saveur.

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Sew Pretty – Pleated Clutch

Several years ago I received a sewing machine for Christmas. I was so excited! I had the best intentions to hem all my pants and skirts once I learned how to use the machine. Well, I failed miserably! I used it once to make a plush toy for my brother’s dog, which was completely demolished in less than 3 minutes. I then packed my sewing machine away for another day and it stayed there until last week. I think it’s been at least 5 years since that Christmas.

I recently started getting curious to sew again. Originally, I brought my sewing machine out because I discovered yet another new obsession, fabric printing. I never got around to printing on actual fabric (yet), as I got frustrated with the set up of my machine. More or less, I was just being impatient because the needle kept jamming, creating a bird’s nest-like mess with the thread. Long story short, I screwed up! I didn’t thread the machine correctly or set the tension right. Derrrr! So basic! Fortunate for me, my boyfriend showed me the correct way to thread my machine and set the tension. He’s good like that!

Well, the other week or so, a friend and I were talking about how she received a sewing machine for Christmas this past year and wanted to learn how to sew. This peaked my interest in looking for some basic sewing classes and I came upon a sewing/yarn/craft shop here in Denver. They not only have classes at very reasonable prices, but they had the most beautiful colors of skeins of yarn and yards upon yards of soft fabric to see and touch. I was particularly interested in the fact that this shop specialized in modern fabric prints. You wont find your grandma’s floral prints here!

Needless to say, I started sewing again this weekend and I just finished my first ever legitimate sewing project. A pleated clutch. It was very easy to put together and I believe any beginner with an interest in sewing can conquer this project in just a few days. I even added a personal touch; fabric labels that I printed at home.

I’ll be happy to forward to you the instructions and pattern for this clutch if you’re interested in this project. Post a comment below or or email me at prettygoodandtasty@gmail.com.

Happy sewing!

Fabric and Interfacing


Completed Pleated Clutch

Finished Product


Pocket on the inside

Inside pocket matches the fabric on the outside


PGT label sewn on the outside of clutch

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Green Cupcakes For St. Paddy’s Day

I’m sorry for the late post everyone! I know St. Patrick’s Day was last week, but I didn’t have a chance to publish this post until now.

When there’s a holiday, you can always bet that someone in my office brings in sweets. Just a few weeks ago, on Fat Tuesday, a co-worker brought in a home-made King Cake and an array of colorful beads to celebrate Mardi Gras with everyone. That added a lot of fun and excitement to what otherwise would have been just another dull Tuesday at the office for many of us.

So I got to thinking and realized that it had been awhile since I last brought in a home-made treat to share with my friends and co-workers. I’m not much of a baker really. I haven’t got the patience for it to be perfectly honest. Large cakes and pies have never been my thing, but over the past year or so, I’ve taken a liking to baking cupcakes. I find that they’re really easy to bake and decorate and they don’t require the commitment that cakes and pies do.

To start, I decided to use a very simple white cake recipe with a reduced fat whipped cream cheese frosting. I cut the sugar a bit from the original recipes and they turned out delicious. On a side note, just about every person who ate one said some variation of “I love that these aren’t too sweet!”, which is what I was going for. I also added green food coloring to the cake batter to add to the St. Patrick’s Day Holiday and filled them in shamrock cupcake liners that I picked up from a party store. I didn’t add food coloring to the frosting because I didn’t want to walk around all day with green lips and thought others might appreciate not having a green mouth as well. To literally top it off, I also added shamrock sprinkles to every other cupcake, which aren’t shown here.

This recipe is so simple and versatile because it can be used for any holiday or just anytime you feel like eating a cupcake. Add your desired food color and sprinkles and voilà, you have an instant party smash! Or you can leave them plain and they will taste just as good. If your curious, I encourage you to try this recipe for yourself and let me know how your batch of cupcakes turn out.

    Ingredients
    Vanilla Cupcakes
    1/2 cup unsalted butter – room temperature
    2/3 cup granulated white sugar
    3 large eggs
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Zest of 1 large lemon
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup milk
    Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
    2 (8-ounce) packages 1/3 fat cream cheese – room temperature
    1/2 cup butter – room temperature
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Optional Ingredients
    2-4 drops of food color
    Cake sprinkles
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

    In the bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

    In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 17 – 20 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. If you over bake, the cupcakes will be dry. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

    In a separate bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add butter and beat to blend. Add sugar, whipping cream and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.

    Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, pipe on each cupcake top with frosting.

    Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are made, but they can be covered and refrigerated for a few days.

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Sites We Love

For resources regarding crafts, food and recipes, knitting, etc., visit my page Sites We Love by clicking here or by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Check back frequently, as this list will be updated regularly.

Thanks!
PGT

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How to Crack an Egg with One Hand

Cracking an egg one handed, they make it look so easy on television! I’m still practicing to say the least. Have you mastered this technique?

Click the video below to learn how to crack an egg with one hand.

The video in this blog post is courtesy of www.thekitchn.com.

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Sausage & Lentil Soup

When winter weather hits, I think of soup. Warm, hearty, tasty soup. Recently, the thought of making (and eating) sausage and lentil soup has crossed my mind. It’s hearty, full of flavor, and very easy to make. You can make it simple with less ingredients, or as intricate with lots of ingredients as you wish. I added a lot of vegetables to ensure it was a very healthy soup. Besides, I love vegetables! I prepared this in my new dutch oven and it turned out perfect!

On another note, I’ve been substituting different types of greens (Swiss Chard, Kale, Collard Greens) for spinach. Greens provide similar nutritional value to your meals as spinach does. Vitamin A and C, amino acids, protein, etc. However, I find that greens hold up in soups better than spinach and is less expensive for the quantity. Although, I really do love spinach as well!

Here’s the recipe and here’s to you in hopes of staying warm this winter with lots of delicious soups!

    Ingredients
    1 medium yellow onion – medium diced
    2 medium/large garlic cloves – minced
    3 stalks celery – coarsely chopped
    2 large carrots – coarsely julienned
    1 can diced or stewed tomatoes
    2 cups or 1 lbs dried lentils
    1 bunch of green – coarsely chopped: swiss chard, collard greens, kale
    1 lbs. hot Italian sausage
    2 Tbls. dried parsley
    2 Tbls. dried oregano
    1 Tbls. dried basil
    1 Tbls. fennel seeds – crushed or chopped
    2 Tbls. salt
    1 Tbls. black pepper
    2 Tbls. crushed red pepper flakes
    3 Tbls. sugar
    Extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
    Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Sauté on medium-low heat, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes until onions are opaque and cooked through. Be careful not to burn the vegetables, especially the garlic.

    In a separate pan, fold fennel seeds into sausage and cook the sausage until cooked through. Drain and discard any excess oil from the sausage.

    Add sausage, tomatoes, greens, and lentils to the vegetable mixture. Cook on medium-low until greens have wilted down. Add enough water to submerge the contents of the pot. Add sugar, salt, and black pepper to the pot. Note, you may need to adjust the salt and sugar to fit your taste. Cover the pot and allow to simmer on medium-low for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are cooked through. Note, you will need to add more water as the lentils cook because they absorb a lot of liquid.

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Enamel Coated Dutch Oven

I love watching all the cooking shows on public access television! Nearly every chef I’ve seen on T.V. uses some sort of enamel coated dutch oven to braise, brown, roast, etc. The food always looks incredible, but of course it does, it’s television.

Regardless, after watching countless hours of cooking episodes, I was convinced that I just had to get my hands on one of these dutch ovens for my kitchen. After some initial research, I found that these dutch ovens were quite expensive. Some were nearly $500. Ouch! I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money.

I continued to search for sales as the months went on and came upon this one. It was on sale and I think I got a really great deal. I never would have purchased this full price. I love the color of deep red. It accents my kitchen perfectly and it came with a life time warranty. The most impressive aspect of this kitchen tool is the shape. It’s oblong, which is perfect for roasts, chickens, etc. Everything seems to fit very well into this shape, but it heats up really well and cooks very evenly throughout as well. I’m so excited about my new dutch oven! Lots of delicious meals to come!


If you’re interested in learning more about this dutch oven or any others, please leave a comment.

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Crispy Roast Pork (Siew Yoke) Recipe: Step-by-Step

For those of you adventurous cooks out there, I ran across this recipe on www.saveur.com and thought I’d share. I will let you know how mine turns out and would like hear your feedback if/when you make this as well. Enjoy!

    Ingredients
    1 4-lb. slab pork belly (1 3/4″ thick)
    1 1/2 tbsp. baking soda
    5 tbsp. Chinese rice wine or sake
    3 tbsp. sugar
    2 tbsp. mashed red fermented bean curd
    1 tbsp. fine sea salt
    1 1/4 tsp. five spice powder

    Place pork on a work surface, skin side up. Using a pork-skin pricking tool, an ice pick, or a carving fork, prick skin all over, making hundreds of small holes that just puncture the surface; set pork aside.

    Dissolve baking soda in 5 cups boiling water. Transfer water to a measuring cup with a spout. Grasp one corner of the pork belly with tongs. Holding pork belly over a bowl or the sink, slowly pour the baking soda mixture in a thin stream over pork skin to scald it.

    Transfer pork to a work surface, skin side down. Using a knife, score the meat, making 1″-deep parallel slits spaced 1 1/2″ apart.

    Combine 3 tbsp. rice wine, sugar, bean curd, salt, and five spice powder in a small bowl and pour marinade over the meat.

    Rub marinade all over the meat, pushing it into the slits. Transfer pork skin side up to a baking dish. Wipe any moisture from skin with a paper towel. Refrigerate pork belly uncovered overnight to let marinate as the skin air-dries.

    Heat oven to 375°. Thread 3 metal skewers horizontally through the meat layer of the pork belly (to prevent the pork from curling as it cooks). Transfer pork skin side up to a rack set over a foil-lined roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Wipe skin again with a paper towel.

    Pour remaining rice wine over skin and brush to distribute. Pour hot water into pan to a depth of 1/4″. Cook pork on center oven rack until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 160°, about 1 hour. Raise heat to broil and cook until skin is blistered and browned, 5—10 minutes.

    Before serving, let pork rest 15 minutes. To serve, cut into 1″ slices.

The recipe & photos from this blog post are courtesy of Saveur.

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