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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back 2 School

Hello all. Sorry I have been SO remiss on the blogging front. I'm not sure about you, but I was extremely busy over the summer break and it left very little time for blogging. I promise to put forth a much better effort from here on out!

The Fall will be bringing many changes. I'm super excited (and a little nervous) to be starting Junior High School this week. There are a lot of new learning experiences and opportunities for me there that I am really looking forward to. On the other hand, I do not share any classes with my friends from my old elementary school.  I tend to be a bit shy, and having to make new friends kind of intimidates me. I will just have to do my best and see what happens.

Going back to school, brings up something very important to a foodie like me: school lunches. As you can imagine, I am not entirely thrilled with  packing the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day. I like to mix things up. Here's some Faith's A Foodie ideas and recommendations for a great school lunch:

* Tri-color tortellini salad with  an Italian vinaigrette dressing. This is one of my favorites. Fill it up with lots of red pepper, broccoli, black olives and tiny bits of pepperoni. Delicious, filling and nutritious. Love it.
*Sliced pita bread filled with a chunky apple and walnut chicken salad. YUM.
*Greek yogurt with granola and blueberries. Light and healthy.
And when the weather turns a bit colder- why not rock out your thermos with:
*+A nice butternut squash bisque and a big chunk of baguette on the side or
*Penne pasta with a hearty Bolognese sauce.

It's always fun to mix things up and get creative when it comes to school lunch. Repetition gets boring!  And remember, if it's not yum, don't eat some!

*+ Butternut squash bisque is my mom's favorite soup. I have a great homemade version I like to make for her. When the weather gets a little colder, I'll be posting it. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Guess Who's In the Kitchen?

Hey Guys! Guess what? My parents took me back down to my favorite place to eat and stay- The Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant, in Cape May and it was E-P-I-C!
Check me out- how cool is that?
Chef Carl Messick, as usual, turned out a simply fantastic dinner and remains my culinary HERO! Can't say enough about his amazing food or his awesome personality.  If you are vacationing in Cape May or live anywhere near the tri-state area, (NY, NJ, PA) you really must go down to the PSI and sample it for yourself!
I'm so excited in this picture I could barely contain myself!
 This time, I chose to start with the Truffle Potato Leek Bisque with smoked Trout. The bisque is creamy and thick, without being too heavy. The smoked trout is a wonderful addition, but the little hit of thyme surprised my palette and made it super happy. What great flavor!

Next came a beautiful Scottish salmon over cous cous with an English Pea Puree. I actually wanted to lick my dish it was so good! (Don't wory, I would never really do something low budget like that in the PSI dining room, no matter how tempted I am to do it! LOL)

 My little sister said, "Well, it's official. I'm in love with my salmon and cous cous!" LOL
And then, the time came for one serious entree: The Wagyu steak! Chef Carl serves it with braised short ribs over a truffle risotto with baby carrots, which was just about the most outrageously delicous combo someone could think of. Everyone at my table hounded me until I gave them a little taste- and they loved it just as much as I did!  There was not one bite left. I devoured it.

For desert I ordered the Chocolate Pana Cotta,  Cocoa Nibs White Chocolate Ice Cream, pecan Dried Fruit  Bark and Rasberry Coulis.  Wow. It was as impressive as it's name.Seriously- fabulous!

If I had to sum it all up in just a few thoughts,  after the last dinner service  and experience prepared for me by Chef Carl,  (on my birthday, back in July) I really didn't think it could get any better. But I was WRONG. The spring menu is something you simply don't want to miss!! Special thanks to our server Amy, who was super sweet and very attentive!

Again, just when I didn't think my stay could get any better, when I woke up the next morning, Ms. Bridget Fowler, the Inn Manager at the PSI hooked me up! Miss Bridget is amazing and allowed me to help her out in the kitchen- Thank you so much Miss Bridget. And I  have to give a great big shout out and thanks to Mr. Jeff (the owner) who couldn't be more gracious or welcoming to this little fanatical foodie.

Check me out everyone! Disney is right, dreams do come true-

I had the BEST time ever in the kitchen with Miss Bridget (and Kyra) in the kitchen. Those are chocolate muffins I am spooning out in this picture.  My Dad said they taste like "Little bites of  chocolate heaven that melt in your mouth." 

Doesn't this look inviting? It snowed the weekend we stayed. We made lots of new friends and the fireplace sitting area was a great gathering spot for all the guests to mingle.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shepard's Pie, Faith Style

I know it's been awhile since I last posted, sorry. I've been working really hard to maintain my grades. School is really important to me. Good news, I've been accepted in the Advanced Placement Program! Woot Woot.  But enough about that for now, let's talk  food :)

Shepard's Pie. I made up this quick and easy version for my family and we ate it a lot this winter. They gobbled it up every time. Hope you like it too. Here are the ingredients you will need:

1 lb ground beef or turkey
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or one of the large cans)
one cup of cream (you can substitute here- fat free milk or half and half)
1 can of peas
1 can of carrots
mushrooms, you can use either 1 can or fresh (I prefer canned because they cook faster)
1 large onion, diced
dash of salt and pepper
1-2 tbls Worshechire sauce
2 cups left over mashed potatoes  or you can use a ready made crust for more of a pot pie flavor, just roll out the pre-made dough according to the directions and place in the bottom of pie plate, like I did in the picture below. We prefer the mashed potatoes, but either way is yum.

Cook the chopped onion in a large skillet until it's translucent, then add the ground meat. Brown the chop meat, then drain off any excess fat.

Mix in the cream of mushroom soup then add the vegetables and spices to taste. Mix together on medium to low heat  and then add the cream (or milk). Add in only a couple of the ingredients at a time because you want it to be mixed thoroughly.

cook the mixture until it's creamy and bubbly like this
Pour mixture into 9 inch pie dish. Scoop mashed potatoes over entire top of pie. Or place 1/2 inch stips of dough down over top. Cook  in 350 oven for approximately twenty minutes or until all ingredients are bubbly and aromatic.
I like to melt a little butter and brush it across the top of the crust to make it nice and brown

There will be extra mixture-this yields enough to make two pies. I make two at once for our family of five to eat but you can freeze the other and save it for another night.

This is a quick, inexpensive and very filling family meal. Hope you enjoy!