Fool Me Once, Shame on Me. Fool Me Twice, Your Name is Probably Rachael Ray.

It's happened again

I fell for another Rachael Ray recipe.

Last weekend I got sucked into an episode of Rachael Ray's Week in a Day. It was "Diner Lovers' Week", so naturally I was like a moth to a flame.

Boyfriend and I decided to go with the Cheeseburger Chili. It was essentially chili cheese fries- what's not to love? And since it looked so good, WE HAD TO MAKE IT THAT NIGHT.

Well, I should have known something was amiss when her chili recipe involved ketchup and mustard. And it wasn't a typo either because I ended up coming across another chili recipe of hers that used the same ingredients. Ketchup and mustard?? That's not my bag, baby.

By this point, we were too far invested and quickly approaching the hunger games. Only these games are set in my kitchen, not the future.

Here's the condensed version of the recipe:

Chili with beans.

Cheese sauce.

Serve over oven fries.

Even though my photo makes it look pretty dreamy, it wasn't that great. I mean, it was edible. But I don't think I'll be making it again. The chili lacked flavor and, at all times, the cheese sauce was on the verge of turning gritty. (Anyone who's made homemade Mac N Cheese knows what I'm talking about.)

Anyway, I like the idea of this recipe. But I think next time I'll stick with my tried and true recipe for chili served over fries and just melt some cheese straight on top.

Have you ever tried Rachael Ray's recipes? Have you had any luck?

Read More


Recipe: Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Last Friday, I decided to make some cookies to take to Boyfriend's office. I had been wanting to use up the remainder of some butterscotch and chocolate chips that were sitting in the cupboard and this seemed like the perfect excuse.

I remembered my friend Danielle mentioning something called an Oatmeal Scotchie and I thought that might be a good way to use up the chips. After a quick Google search, I decided to go with this recipe from VeryBestBaking.com.

Unfortunately, I didn't exactly have a ton of butterscotch or chocolate left, so they came out a little sparse in the chip department. And they also seemed a *tad* dry. But these issues could totally be user errors. It's been known to happen.

Anyway, they were still totally edible. And great for a "Round #2" dessert. (You'll see at the end...)


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C).

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture.

Stir in oats and chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Note: I always use parchment lined baking sheets. I've read they prevent cookies from flattening out and sticking. Also, if you have Silpat, use those. Word on the street is, they are "the bomb."

4. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies, or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Remember the Round #2 dessert? 

Here it is, in all its glory...

Ice Cream Sandwiches.


Read More


Recipe: Turkey and Bacon Turnovers

These turnovers make the perfect dinner for football night. They're kind of like pub food because they're heavy and hearty, but the flakiness of the puff pastry makes them seem much more civilized.

Found in Cuisine Fast & Fresh magazine (Fall 2012)

4 strips thick-sliced bacon
1 sheet frozen puff pasty, slightly thawed
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
8 oz. deli-sliced turkey breast
4 slices Cheddar cheese
1 egg, blended

1. Preheat oven to 400F (204C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cook bacon in a skillet until it's reached desired crispiness. I don't like my bacon too crunchy, and I thought it might continue to cook a bit more when placed in the oven, so I went slightly under. When it's done cooking, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

3. Flour a smooth working surface. Roll puff pastry out into an 11-inch square on the floured surface. Use a pizza slicer to divide into four even squares. Spread with 1 tsp. Dijon (or more if you like). I just eyeballed it.

4. Arrange turkey, bacon, and cheese on half of each pastry square.

5. Brush edges of each square with the egg wash, and fold in half so each square is now a triangle. Gently press the tines of a fork all along the open edges to seal shut. In order to make everything fit, you may have to move your filling around.

Note: When I did this step, I accidentally poked a few holes through my pastry. If this happens to you, gently pinch the holes to stick them back together.

6. Brush the tops of the triangles with more egg wash and bake until golden and crisp, approximately 25 minutes.

These turnovers can easily be great for both adults and children. If your kids don't like an ingredient, just omit or substitute. Maybe use ham or roast beef instead of the other meats. 

Made according to the recipe, they can be a little on the salty side (probably because I packed mine with bacon), so if at all possible, I would not omit the Dijon mustard. It acts as a tangy balance to the saltiness of the meats.

I served these handheld-treats with an heirloom tomato salad from The Barefoot Contessa. It seemed like a good idea for "healthy'ing" the meal up. Unfortunately, it got four thumbs down in this house and we will not be making that salad again. 

Whether you're hosting a sporting event, going to the beach for the day, or packing a picnic, these turnovers are perfect because they're self-contained and don't require any silverware.


Read More


Photo Montage: The Evolution of the iPhone5

I'd like to preface this montage by saying this shiny new iPhone5 is not mine. The crummy old iPhone4 with the sand stuck in the crevices is mine. So for those of you who think I'm a hypocrite for crying poor: Don't worry. I'm still poor.


Read More


I'm Complaining.

Let's get down to business: I'm going to complain about my life. 

"What is there to complain about?" you might say.

Allow me to refresh your memory...

Within the past few months:

-I was going through a ton of pain on a regular basis. Turns out, there were plenty of good reasons for being in pain. Basically, endometriosis sank my colon and the Titanic.

-I've had to face the facts that I might not be able to have kids. Something that I probably would have been cool with in my twenties. But now, in my thirties? When everyone around me is slowly, but surely passing me by? It's a different story. And if you're even thinking about making a comment like "Just keep trying!" or "Enjoy the freedom while you have it!", I strongly suggest you keep it to yourself.

-I had major surgery that left me on medical leave for six weeks. Long story short, it takes a surprising amount of time for a bowel resection to heal. Also, I'm single-handedly keeping the stool softener business alive.

-The state of California put an auditing hold on my disability pay due to a "clerical error" made by a previous employer (and anyone who knows that employer, knows what a tax-evading cheat he was, making this delay all the more rage inducing). Which is four weeks of pay I still haven't received.

-Three days after I went back to work, I got laid off. My second time within the year.

-I have no health insurance. Unless I can manage to magically spin gold out of split ends and pay $500/ month for COBRA coverage. Which obviously I don't have because I'M UNEMPLOYED. So, fingers crossed I don't have any (more) issues with the monsters inside me.

-I've applied for over 27 positions within the past 16 days. Not one interview.

-Unemployment pay hasn't made its way to my house yet either. I'm sure there will be a delay with that, too, due to the same error mentioned above. 

-I have medical bills rolling in like Hurricane Katrina. Big ones. Like the kind you have nightmares about, that chase you with venomous teeth and bloodshot eyes and corporate suits. 

...And since we're on the complain-train, I haven't taken a vacation in a LONG time. And the last "vacation" I took was just a weekend in Las Vegas. As in, the place where people go all the time without even needing to save up any money first. 

It really sets my hair ablaze to think that most people my age are either taking the "family" route or the "living lavishly" route, and I'm doing neither. Not by choice. Don't even get me started on those that can afford to do both.

I'm about this close to losing my shit, like Clark W. Griswold when he got his Jelly of the Month bonus.

Read More


Tavi Gevinson: One Smart Cookie.

I'm probably on the late train here, but I just became familiar with the underage genius known as Tavi Gevinson. If you're even later than me, and you don't know who she is, allow me to provide you with a quick recap.

She's the blogger behind Style Rookie.

She's the Editor-in-Chief of the online publication, Rookie Magazine.

She spoke at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference.

Oh. And she's also just 16 years old.

Thanks to a status my friend Marika posted on Facebook, I was graced with Gevinson's cyber presence and was able to see what exactly makes this teen star shine.

Holy smokes! This girl is smart for my her age!

The part where she's talking about women who play up their sexuality in an attempt to make it seem like they're "powerful"?? I LOVED ALL OVER IT. Having worked for several companies over the past few years, I've seen that desperate shit firsthand. "Have nothing to contribute? Just make-out with the boss!" I hate that kind of stuff. It's degrading to women and sets an unfair standard for those around them.

I was blown away by Gevinson's speech. She doesn't think like any teenagers I know. Plus, she's a little awkward. Which I probably like because I'm a little awkward. In fact, just the other day I was in a job interview where I made jazz hands and did a pretend tap dance. Two talents every Copywriter should have, by the way. (I'll let you know when they send the offer letter.)

On a totally unrelated note, I love that she shops vintage. When I was in high school, I pretty much only shopped at thrift and vintage stores. The only difference is that I didn't have a style blog and people may or may not have thought I was a carnie.

Anyway. Whether you like her style or not, you can't deny this girl has a good head on her shoulders. Hopefully, more teenagers take this intellectual-powerhouse route and do something constructive with their lives.

(Tavi, if you're reading this- next time you're in southern California, I'll take you out for potato skins. Unless you're a vegetarian. In which case, I'll eat your bacon.)

Read More


What to Bring to a Dinner Party When Your Host Doesn't Drink.

The alternate title for this post is "Gifts I Like to Get, by TILTE."

The other day I was thinking about gifts that you take when you're invited over to someone's house. You know, like for a dinner party or something. Boyfriend is an alcohol-lover, so when asked by his friends/ family what to bring, he usually goes with the standard beer/ wine response. I, however, am not a big alcohol drinker. But that's not to say I don't have my own unhealthy obsessions. It's dessert, by the way.

So that got me thinking about "thank you" gifts for the non-drinker. And this is what I came up with.

TILTE'S Top 5 Non-Alcoholic Gifts (for Dinner Parties and the Like)

5. Flowers
Flowers are great because they liven up the room. They're festive and colorful and they show appreciation to the owner of the house (who probably spent hours slaving away and has the disheveled, wild-eyed look to show for it). Note: Don't take flowers if your host is allergic. Nothing makes a dinner party go downhill faster than someone sneezing all over the food. (With the exception of your dog getting too excited and expressing its anal glands in front of your guests. That makes a party go downhill at record speed.)

4. Games
I LOVE playing games at house parties. If your hosts are rich and fancy, they probably have some kind of video game console. My favorite group-approved video game is Rock Band. It's pretty much always a crowd pleaser. If your host does not have the essential tools for Rock Band (I.e. the instruments), just stop by Blockbuster and rent a game that only requires the standard controllers. Mario Party is a great one. And I'm pretty sure you only need the regular remotes. But don't quote me on that.

If you're not into video games, there are plenty of board game options. My favorites are Loaded Questions (which always turns into a foul-mouthed, X-rated trainwreck with my friends/ family), Cranium, Trivial Pursuit: Totally 80's, and Apples to Apples. These games are all available at Target for around $20-30.

3. Pet Toy
Now this suggestion might sound a little out there, but as a pet owner, I'd love it if you brought over a pet toy as a thank-you. Pets are part of the family! And if they're anything like mine, those family members are usually locked away in the dungeon when guests are over. It would be super thoughtful if the cat or dog received a new toy to keep it busy while being banished. It doesn't have to be one of a kind or from the Martha Stewart collection. PetSmart and Petco have $1 and $5 bins near the register. And if there's no pet store on the way to your host's house, just stop at Rite-Aid or nearest grocery store. Both of these places have pet aisles.

Make sure to find out what size and type of pet your host has. If you get a soft, puppy toy for a Great Dane, that thing will be gone in two second flat. And it's best to steer clear of edible treats unless you know for sure that the pet in question already eats that particular treat. Pet owners can be picky about the types of treats their "family members" eat and I'm sure you'd be less than thrilled to see your $15 bully stick go straight into the trash.

2. Appetizers/ Side Dish
Now we're getting to the good stuff. You don't have to be Julia Child or make a secret family recipe that involves imported truffles and caviar. It can be as easy as potato chips and onion dip, or 7-layer Mexican dip, or quiches from the freezer section, or a pot of fondue and vegetables, or olive tapenade and a baguette, or garlic bread, or pita and hummus. The list is endless! The point here is, people like food, especially at parties. The more of it, the better.

Another great option that's simple and useful, is flavored olive oil. We use garlic O.O. and lemon O.O. on a regular basis. They've become staples in our cooking. 

1. Dessert
This is my favorite of all time everything. I love desserts. Most people would probably fall over themselves in excitement if you showed up at their front door with a chocolate cake on hand. So, for the most part, that's usually a safe bet. 

I, however, don't like chocolate. For the non-chocolate lover I'd suggest pie, fruit cobbler, an array of cupcakes or cookies, cheesecake, fruit tart, supplies for sundaes or root beer floats. 

The only precaution on this category: find out if your host is on a diet or diabetic. The last thing you want to do is make your host rage out in carb-free jealousy. Or worse yet, kill them.

As a host, what would you think if you received one of the items listed above? What would YOU like to receive as a thank-you gift?

Read More


Make a Smoothie.

I've been enjoying the company of smoothies lately. Not necessarily because they're "healthy" (because, trust me, mine aren't all that healthy), but because they're quick and easy. They're the perfect balance to hold me over until lunch: More substance than tea, less greasy than bacon and eggs.

Also, they're a great way to sneak fruits into your diet. And making them at home is not only cheaper than going to the local juice shack, but you don't have to get out of your pajamas to enjoy one. It's a win-win!

My staple ingredients are: Ice, milk, sugar, yogurt (these are my favorite).

From there, I usually throw in whatever fruits I have laying around. Today was strawberries, blueberries, and half of a banana. I've also added peach, fresh and in syrup, and both work great.

Toss in the blender and enjoy your day.


Read More


Recipe: Best Enchiladas Suizas.

Growing up in southern California, I've had my fair share of enchiladas. My mouth had come to know and love the sight of that rolled up corn tortilla, stuffed with cheese and onion, and drenched in red sauce. Sure, the raw onions gave me heartburn, but that's the price you pay for good food, right?

It wasn't until I was in high school when I first saw a green chile enchilada. I was at my friend Melody's house and her mom asked if I wanted some enchiladas. She pulled out a baking dish that was stacked high with casserole-style enchiladas. IN GREEN SAUCE. 

This was not something I was prepared for.

Not wanting to be rude- and also because I was hungry- I said I would like some.

Long story short: They were delicious.

And completely different from what I'd always known as "enchiladas."

Flash forward many years. I was at lunch with a couple of girlfriends. My friend Chrystal ordered something called Enchiladas Suizas. She was raving about how good they are and how she always orders them at that particular restaurant.

When the plate arrived, it was like Melody's mom's enchiladas all over again. 

Green sauce.

Again, delicious.


This past Friday, while sitting at the computer, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I knew I wanted to use chicken breasts, but wasn't sure what to do with them. I spent some time Googling recipes and looking at Pinterest images. Nothing was catching my eye.

Then I thought about those green enchiladas.

After some researching, I settled on two recipes that I wanted to combine for one super ultimo enchilada.

Here are the recipes I used:

Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Green Sauce
Enchiladas Suizas

And here's what I came up with...


2 skinless chicken breasts
Olive oil
Garlic salt
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
12 corn tortillas
24 oz. green chile enchilada sauce
1/2 cup (or a little more) heavy cream
6 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Crumbled Cotija cheese, to taste
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
9x9 baking dish

1. Heat oven to 400 Fahrenheit (204 Celsius).

2. Place chicken into a baking dish and baste with olive oil. Sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt to taste. Add garlic cloves to the dish and bake until chicken juices run clear, approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on the oven). When the chicken is done, set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine heavy cream and enchilada sauce. We used Frontera Green Chile Enchilada Sauce with Roasted Tomatillo and Garlic. I'm sure any green chile sauce would work just fine, but if you can find the Frontera stuff, I'd strongly suggest using it. I found this one at my local grocer (Vons) in the "Mexican food" aisle.

4. Once the chicken has cooled, shred to your preferred consistency. I like mine pulverized. 

5. Use a large knife to flatten garlic cloves, squeezing the insides out. Discard peels.

6. In a medium sized bowl, combine shredded chicken, baked garlic, and 1/3 of the enchilada sauce. This will be your enchilada stuffing. Set aside.

7. In a small frying pan, heat oil. There should be enough oil to fully submerge a tortilla. One tortilla at a time, flash fry for about 5-10 seconds. You want them to be in long enough to become soft and pliable. If it starts to get crispy, toss and start over. As each one is complete, set aside on a paper towel.

Important: Make sure the oil is fully heated before you start frying- if it's not, your tortilla will just soak it up and turn into a grease pit.

8. Once the tortilla has cooled enough to handle, dredge in enchilada sauce and place on a "working station". This area will get messy. Add a small amount, roughly 2 tablespoons, of chicken mixture to the sauced tortilla. Top with a light sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese.  Roll up tightly and place, seam down, onto your baking dish. 

When the first layer of enchiladas is done, top with half of the remaining enchilada sauce, Monterey Jack, and Cotija. 

Repeat steps 7 and 8 until done. Top with remainder sauce and cheese.

9. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit (177 Celsius) until heated through and cheese is melted, roughly 30 minutes. Makes 12 enchiladas.

Dinner is served!

Since we were eager and starving, we didn't do any fancy plating. But if you're looking to razzle dazzle your guests, combine sour cream with a little water and whisk. This thins it out, similar to Salsa Crema. Drizzle over each serving and top with a handful of chopped tomato.

I'd LOVE if you tried this recipe yourself and let me know what you think! Please feel free to post in the comments or email me at TILTE at live dot com.


Read More


Recipe: Coffee Cake

Joy of all joys, it's Friday!

I mean I've heard it's Friday. I don't really know for sure because when you're unemployed, all of the days just meld into one rockin' beach party extravaganza. And by "rockin' beach party extravaganza," I mean sitting at the computer for 10 hours straight while obsessing over your LinkedIn connections.

Speaking of unemployed...

I figured I'd put my free time to good use this morning and surprise Boyfriend at work with a homemade coffee cake. Do you know how much restraint it takes to not eat a freshly baked, hot out of the oven, cinnamon'y delicious coffee cake? The answer is ALL OF THE RESTRAINTS.

The recipe I used can be found HERE. It's nothing special, just the good old Bisquick one. Although, the online version I use has doubled the streusel topping. Supposedly. My taste buds call bullshit. Either that, or I end up eating the equivalent of 1/2 before it's even reached the cake. The world will never know.

NOTES: I used a hand mixer on the batter. Even though the recipe says to stir, I thought smoother batter would result in a fluffier cake. I could be wrong. But I'm pretty sure that's why it rose the way it did- with a craggy topography. I've used this recipe several times before and it's usually much flatter.

I also used a spatula to pat down the streusel topping before baking. The butter was pretty soft and the consistency looked more like turdlets than crumbles. Rather than showing up at Boyfriend's work with a steaming plate of shit, I patted them all together in the hopes of saving face.

By the way, Boyfriend texted me shortly after I returned from the surprise delivery. The cake was a hit! And it was also all gone. 


This recipe is super easy, requires only seven ingredients, and bakes in 22 minutes. Try it this weekend. Your chins will thank me.


Read More

© Things I Like to Eat (...and Other Nonsense), AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena