hotel/casino restaurants.

Keep in mind, I have never been to Vegas. Why do all hotel restaurants have the same feel to them? Same caliber food, same cheesy deco, same “trying to be upscale” feel. Usually ones in casinos are slightly better, but I’ve never been blown away by one. This is just a random thought… I am going to go try a “upscale” place tonight at the Silver Legacy in Reno, NV (slight barf, hey we had free rooms!) It has great Yelp reviews, so that is a plus. But now I have very high expectations. I will report back and let you know if my opinion on the hotel/casino restaurant scene has changed for the better!


jambalaya made easy.

Have you ever thought of making jambalaya but then been a little scared? All the spices? All the work? How will it turn out? Mushy? Oh no! Don’t worry, we’ve all been there once. 🙂 I am about to make it a whole lot scarier for you. Drum roll please… PASTA! Jambalaya pasta is one of the most genius way to get the jambalaya taste you want without having to worry about the seasoned techniques you made need to make the real thing. It’s super easy to make a big batch and serve a bunch of people as well! Thanks Emeril!

Ingredients (4 large servings)

  • 1/4 cup plus 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound dry penne rigate
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Essence, divided, recipe follows
  • 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1-inch diced
  • 3/4 pound andouille sausage, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Fill a large, 1-gallon stock pot with a pasta insert, 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add 1/4 cup of the salt as it boils. Place the penne in the salted water and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta until nearly al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta cooks, set a 14-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, swirl the pan to evenly coat with the oil. Season the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the Essence and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the shrimp in the pan and sear for 1 minute per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of the olive oil to the saute pan and season the chicken breast with 2 teaspoons of the Essence and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Place the chicken breast in the pan and sear for 3 minutes, turning to ensure even browning. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside with the seared shrimp.

Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the saute pan and add the sausage, onions and bell peppers. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is lightly caramelized and the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock to the pan and scrape with a spoon to remove any browned bits that have formed in the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. Add the dicedtomatoes, fresh thyme, the remaining tablespoon of Essence and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the pan and cook an additional 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and chicken to the pan, as well as the nearly al dente pasta and the reserved 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Continue to cook the sauceand pasta, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp and chicken are cooked through, the pasta is al dente and most of the pasta cooking water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the basil and Parmesan. Toss to combine and serve while hot.


Hope you enjoy this short cut as much as my household did!

Recipe: Emeril Lagasse via


Sooooo sorry I haven’t been blogging. I really need to make a better effort. Sometimes life can get crazy and I am sure you all know this. I will be back very soon with lots of foodie stuff to chat about. Thank you for hanging in there. 🙂


According to chefs and people all over, so I’ve heard, say it’s always better to freshly grind your spices. I used the sea salt grinder and the fresh cracked black pepper and can only really tell the difference with the pepper. Salt, not so much. I ever feel like I have to add more salt sometimes. I can taste the difference with fresh nutmeg, definitely. I haven’t tried grinding any other spices fresh though. Do you think it is worth it? Does is make a difference? My Nana, gave me a grinder… not sure why I haven’t used it yet. 🙂 I’ll try and check back!

tweet my food porn?

Ahh yes, I’ve fallen into the dark depths of twitter. You can only find food info/pics and yelpness. No trash about how I just had a bad day… 🙂 Holler!
Follow me (hope that’s the correct terminology) @MakeYouFungry

beef wellington. first attempt.

Okay, I decided to take on the challenge. I am confident in my culinary skills and I felt up for the task. No joke, got this recipe on my fabulous Gordon Ramsay iPad app. This chef always talks about how beef wellington is his absolute favorite dish. I thought, okay if this is his fave, I am going to try his recipe! It turned out pretty well! Very tasty. The one thing I couldn’t get right was the pastry puff on the bottom wasn’t cooking fast enough…. maybe I needed to make it more thin when rolling it out. I would NEVER overcook my meat though, in order to try and cook the pastry on the bottom! That’s one step too far. All the juices were soaking in the pastry puff so it wasn’t getting crisp. Haha, so I just cut it off. Next time I will roll it out thinner.

Don’t mind the metric system, dang UK.

  • 400g flat cap mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 750g piece of prime beef fillet
  • 1-2 tbsp English mustard
  • 6-8 slices of Parma ham
  • 500g ready-made puff pastry
  • Flour, to dust
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten


  1. Put the mushrooms into a food processor with some seasoning and pulse to a rough paste. Scrape the paste into a pan and cook over a high heat for about 10 mins, tossing frequently, to cook out the moisture from the mushrooms. Spread out on a plate to cool.
  2. Heat in a frying pan and add a little olive oil. Season the beef and sear in the hot pan for 30 secs only on each side. (You don’t want to cook it at this stage, just colour it.) Remove the beef from the pan and leave to cool, then brush all over with the mustard.
  3. Lay a sheet of cling film on a work surface and arrange the Parma ham slices on it, in slightly overlapping rows. With a palette knife, spread the mushroom paste over the ham, then place the seared beef fillet in the middle. Keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the edge, neatly roll the Parma ham and mushrooms around the beef to form a tight barrel shape. Twit the ends of the cling film to secure. Chill for 15-20 mins to allow the beef to set and keep its shape.
  4. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a large rectangle, the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the cling film from the beef, then lay in the centre. Brush the surrounding pastry with egg yolk. Fold the ends over, the wrap the pastry around the beef, cutting off any excess. Turn over, so the seam is underneath, and place on a baking sheet. Brush over all the pastry with egg and chill for about 15 mins to let the pastry rest.
  5. Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
  6. Lightly score the pastry at 1cm intervals and glaze again with beaten egg yolk. Bake for 20 minutes , then lower the oven setting to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and cook for another 15 mins. Allow to rest for 10-15 mins before slicing and serving with the accompaniments. The beef should still be pink in the centre when you serve it.




red velvet out of a handbag.

This darling little Christmas present was put to the test a couple nights ago and let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised! (Shout out Aunt Ruthie!) Thank you very much. Ok, so I get this adorable cupcake mix shaped in a little handbag! Love it already. But come on… how good can pre made mix turn out? Well this was moist and fabulous. Fairly simple and with a tiny bit of effort you can make mix into master piece!

All I had to do was:

Add 2/3 cup of milk, 2/3 cup of oil and 1 egg to the cupcake mix.

Pour and bake at 350F for 25-30min.

The frosting had a mix as well. I added 1 8oz package of softened cream cheese and 1/4c. softened butter. It whipped right up to a delicious cream cheese frosting that had a smooth and creamy texture.

Here is where my little extra effort came in: I used a neat little homemade pastry bag to pipe the frosting on. That’s it! Key is to definitely let them cool and take your time, if you are new. They look adorable and I think it made all the difference in the world. 🙂 Thanks again and it was for sure a success!

About Me

Est. Aug 21, 1989. Fascination: the state of feeling an intense interest in something. Mine is for food. Chewing, tasting, preparing, chopping, grilling, researching, photographing, licking, picking, baking, touching, watching, sharing, loving. I do it all.

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