Monday, May 24, 2010

The Finale

Contrary to my typical style, I made way too much food. However, the results were delicious and worthy of the lost finale. I got all my recipes online so I will just put hyperlinks since there are so many. The coconut shrimp were amazing! And I would make the Dharma cookies again.

The Island Mixed Drink

This is really based on the PF chang's poolside drink. I renamed it the island, because I can do that.

Coconut Shrimp with an Orange Marmalade Sauce

I think these were the best things of the night. Yum. And I am pretty sure I saw Hurley eating prepared coconut shrimp throughout the season on the island.

Dharma Beer

OK- I didn't make the beer or the labels, but I printed them off my computer. They are really funny though. The UPC is based on the numbers Desmond has to enter and the warning about drinking if you are pregnant is Dharma related.

Mr. Clucks Mini Bucket of Smokey Chicken
and Zucchini Boats

I didn't make the chicken- it is just frozen chicken. But it does have smokey in the title so I get bonus points for that. This was my least favorite but I wanted to make a mini bucket of chicken :)

The zucchini boats were good but I was getting really full by this point because I made things in shifts and not all at once. I didn't follow the recipe really at all, but I go the idea from there and just added my own stuff for the filling of the zucchini.

Pineapple-Plane Upside Down Cake

This was good. The plane is a toy I bought for my dissertation task. It is so realistic, I know.

And last but not least...

Fish Biscuits and Lost Island Drink of Choice

These cookies were really good- they were citrus and I used food coloring to make them look like the fish biscuits on lost. When I made them I spelled Dharma wrong, I kept leaving out the R so it was a fish biscuit from the Dhama initiative. I did it multiple times despite making a conscious effort to spell it correctly.

Alby played the part of the polar bear for this shot. I made him press a lever and everything before he got a biscuit.

My last e-guest for the lost party. No recipe for her.

Lost Challenge: Throwing Down the Guantlet

Giving me a challenge of creating food at a themed party related around tv might just be combining my favorite things in the world.... food, tv, and the dorky creativity required to plan a themed party. After some of our previous themed parties, I am surprised you even bothered to call it a challenge. :)
My approach was less elaborate food splendor and more in your face Lost... so it may be less food blog worthy, but it was oh so fun to do.

Read below for recipes, stories of kitchen mishaps, and pictures of the food and party!

The Menu Brandon and I made:
Pig A La Lost (pig cooked on a spit) Dharma Macaroni and Cheese Supper (As seen with Desmond in Season 3 Episode 8)
Beach Scene Diorama (dirt cake and blue jello)
Smoke Monster Swimming in the Ocean (Blue Curacao with Dry Ice)

The Menu Provided by my Co-Party Planner
Mango Daiquiri's in coconut glass (made with fresh mangos)
Jacob and Smokey's Rocks O' Fun (Chocolate Macadamia Coconut Cream Candies)
Tropical Fruit Salad
Sweet Potato Fries

Pig A La Lost

Pork Shoulder (16 pounds in picture)
handful of Brown Sugar
handful of White Sugar
4 cups Water
Fire Pit
100 lbs of charcoal

Day Before
24 - 48 hours prior to cooking the pork rub with all dry ingredients except the sugar (you could do the sugar now as well, but we didn't)
Pour 2 cups of water in each 2 gallon zip lock baggie.
Place pork in baggie and store in fridge until an hour or two before cooking.

Day of Cooking
1 - 2 hours prior to cooking take pork out of water mixture and pat dry

Rub with sugar on both sides

1 hour prior to cooking start fire (start with wood and slowly switch to charcoal). Use about 30 lbs of charcoal at start of cooking pork, and add about 10 pounds every hour. You may need to add some wood at time to keep the fire warm enough.

You want the fire to burn about 225 F degrees. (We hooked our oven thermometer to the pole)

Insert pork on stick (we had to add another stick to help with the turning)

Turn the pork about every hour. We had to pull it off a few times to change angles.

The pork will be 170 F degrees when it is ready.

Let sit for 20 minutes. you can then slice it or pull. (You can also do a BBQ brine and rub to make BBQ pork).

The guests said it was the best pork they ever ate... I do not know if it was the best, but it was very good and moist.

Dharma Macaroni and Cheese Supper

I just made up this recipe, and I had utter chaos while doing it. The worst was when I accidentally dumped the macaroni noodles in the cream mixture instead of the boiling water, and I had to fish it all out with a slotted spoon. As I was fishing my onions burned and I lost a lot of the cream mixture to the sink.

8 oz - 16 oz of elbow macaroni noodles
12 oz of sharp cheddar cheese (I used 1/2 extra sharp white cheddar and 1/2 sharp yellow cheddar)
Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper
1 T mustard powder (I used dijon mustard because I had no powder)
Sprinkle garlic powder
Sprinkle onion powder
3 c milk
3 T flour
3 T butter
1/2 onion
Bay leaf
bread crumbs


Start cooking noodles

Melt butter on medium heat
Add flour and cook for a few minutes
Add mustard (if it is not the powder it will clump fast, so stir it really fast and then add the milk quickly)
Add Milk (stir the whole time
Add everything but the cheese and noodles
Cook for about 10 minutes (quick boil and then simmer)
Keep stirring

Remove bay leaf
Either remove from heat or turn to low and slowly add most of the cheese.
Add the noodles

Pour into 8 x 8 pan. Top with rest of cheese and put thin layer of bread crumbs.
Cook for about 30 minutes at 350 F degrees.

Lost Diorama Cake

2 3.4 oz vanilla pudding
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 tub cool whip
1 package of vanilla oreos
1 package of chocolate oreos
1 cup powdered sugar
1 box blue jello
2 T butter
3 1/3 cups milk


Grind vanilla oreos in blender (set in bowl)
Grind chocolate oreos in blender (set in different bowl)

Blend cream cheese, butter, and sugar
Mix pudding and milk, whisk for 2 minutes
Mix pudding into cream cheese mixture
Fold in cool whip

Make a foil divider to help keep the ocean and sand separate. I have the foil on the bottom of the beach and then it bends up to make the barrier.

Layer 1/2 chocolate oreos and then 1/2 cream in a 9 X 13 pan. Then repeat.
Top with vanilla oreos (for beach).

Make jello according to box in a bowl.
Important, do not pour into cake until after it sets for 4 hours in the bowl. I tried pouring first this time so I could have a smooth ocean, and I thought my barrier would hold. It did not, and I had to yank the cream cake out of the pan as ocean started seeping through... talk about beach erosion. While yanking my cake I got cream and jello ALL OVER the kitchen. I also almost ruined the cake!

Keep cake and jello in fridge, until jello is ready. Stir the jello to make it easier to put in cake, and then spoon it into the side of the cake pan.

Then decorate as you wish.

I thought this picture was fitting... the only thing left on the cake as I put everything away after the episode was the burnt plane on the beach.

Smoke Monster Swimming in the Ocean

Spiced rum
Coconut rum
Blue Curacao
Orange Juice
Pineapple Juice
Dry Ice


I got this from Stephie, so you can get the proportions from her, but for extra fun you need to add dry ice. This was our best way to represent the smoke monster. It is pretty spooky drinking a beverage that is smoking. When it melts it leaves a slushie at the bottom of the glass.

I know you can't eat most of these decorations, but for me the biggest part of a themed party is the decor! So I couldn't end my post without showing you some of the decorations!

This is a view of the dharma food, our posters of Lost characters, some tropical flowers, and a plane.

Check out the scale to weigh good and evil! Our scale held tastier treats than the one on lost!

Drinking out coconuts!

We even had a lego village! If you look closely you will see the hatch, temple, black rock, a polar bear in a cage, the raft, swans, and much more!

Bonus points if you find the ping pong paddle played in Season 1, the Virgin Mary statue full of heroin, the lei all guests wore, dharma peanut butter, beer, and soda, and the swans all seen in pictures posted earlier!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Third Place - Lost Challenge

Without even seeing the posts of my fellow competitors, I feel confident in saying that I will be in third place.

My food is dual-inspired. First, it is in honor of Sayid, the Iraqi interrogator. Second, I am reading about Muhammad. Technically, one of the dishes is Kuwaiti, but it's close enough for me.

Kuwaiti Chicken and Rice With Daqoos - Garlic Tomato Sauce

  1. Rinse chicken inside and out.
  2. Place in a stockpot with enough water to cover. Add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, juice of 1/2 lemon and salt to taste.
  3. Bring to a boil skimming as required, continue to simmer partially covered until chicken is done (approximately 40 minutes).
  4. Remove and drain the chicken, reserving broth though a strainer.
  5. Prepare basmati rice according to it's package directions, using broth from chicken instead of water. Add turmeric for colour and salt to taste.
  6. While the rice is cooking, cook the onions in a skillet over medium heat, with 2 tablespoons olive oil, until soft.
  7. Sprinkle with a little water and stir quickly until onions are brown and the water has evaporated. Stir in drained raisins, pine nuts, sliced blanched almonds if using, ½ teaspoons bahrat and loomi powder. Cook for one minute. Remove mixture from skillet and set aside.
  8. Lightly dust the boiled, drained chicken with flour. In a clean skillet over medium-high heat, brown the chicken in 1 Tbs. olive oil, turning, until the outside is crispy and brown.
  9. For the tomato sauce, add water, chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, tomato paste, salt, sugar and the rest of bahrat in a small saucepan, sauté until tomatoes are soft and the sauce is well blended.
  10. When the rice is done, spread it on a serving platter. Sprinkle the onion mixture over the rice, and place the chicken on top. Pass the tomato garlic sauce to spoon onto individual plates.

Iraqi Cardamom Cookies (Hadgi Badah)


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 1/3 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 2 cups ground blanched almonds (about 10 oz.)
* rose water (optional) or orange blossom water (optional)
* 6 dozen whole almonds

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with a light coating of cooking spray, oil or butter. (Looks like parchment paper would also work well with these cookies.).
  2. Sift together the flour, cardamom, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until light and creamy. Stir in the flour mixture, then the ground almonds.
  4. Pinch off a small piece of dough and hand form into 1-inch balls, moistening your hands with rose water or orange blossom water, if desired. Place on the prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly. Press a whole almond into the center of each cookie.
  5. Bake until lightly browned about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  7. ***I added Nutella on top. =)

I don't have cable, so I came to school. We have a TV with cable in the kitchen in my department. Yes, I'm that big of a dork.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Challenge...

The first official Gracewood Eats Challenge

In honor of the series finale of Lost, a challenge has been posed: the creation of a Lost themed cuisine.

Three roommates will battle it out to determine whose cuisine will reign supreme (OK I stole that one from Iron Chef but I really like it). Our thousands of readers out there can decide our fate... or at least the winner of the challenge.

I may not have a homemade apron, but I plan to take the title of the first gracewood eats challenge.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stuff I Made/Grew

Irises from my yard.

Lettuce from my garden.

An apron I made! =) Miss Nina Garcia would not be impressed with the construction of this particular garment. I'm pretty proud of myself though.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crawfish Pie

OK, last post for this guest visit food extravaganza.


1 stick butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 pound crawfish (**We used frozen, and they were fine.)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup parsley flakes
2 unbaked pie crusts, thawed if frozen


Melt butter. Add flour and brown. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, celery, and tomato sauce. Cover and cook about 1/2 hour on low heat, stirring frequently. Add water and simmer until thick. Season. When mixture is thick and creamy, add crawfish and cook 15 minutes or until tender. If mixture is thin, add 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water until consistency of cream. Add green onions and parsley. Pour into 1 pie crust and cover with second cruse. Cut slits in the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned.

Lasagna with Asparagus, Leeks, and Morels

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound thick asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (**We forgot these or didn't have them or something. Whatever the case -- we didn't have them.)
  • 4 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, rinsed, coarsely chopped, or 5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, coarsely chopped (**I was not aware of this, but morel mushrooms are REALLY expensive. $60 a pound expensive. SIXTY DOLLARS A POUND! That is nuts.)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 9-ounce package no-cook lasagna noodles (12 noodles)
  • 1 1/4 cups (about) finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook until wilted, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet. Add asparagus, mushrooms, and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add to bowl with leeks and toss to distribute evenly. Add broth, cream, and bay leaf to same skillet and boil over high heat until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and whisk to blend. Boil until sauce thickens, about 1 minute, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg; discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Vegetables and sauce can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat four 2-cup shallow oval or round baking dishes with nonstick spray. Break off corners of noodles to fit flatly into dishes. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce into each dish. Place 1 noodle atop sauce. Scatter 1/4 cup vegetable mixture over, spreading in even layer. Drizzle 2 tablespoons sauce over. Sprinkle rounded tablespoonful cheese over each. Repeat layering 2 more times with noodles, vegetables, sauce, and cheese. Drizzle remaining sauce over lasagnas. (**We used one big dish. We really didn't have enough, but that was partly because we forgot we were supposed to have a pound of asparagus.)
  • Cover each dish tightly with foil. Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake until noodles are tender, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese begins to brown, about 6 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving.


Here was our final product. Deviled quail eggs, Quail-Toad-in-the-Hole in Flat French Bread, Lasagna with Leeks & Shiitakes, and a fanned strawberry on balsamic reduction.

Burrata & Caprese Salad

I found burrata cheese!!! I got it at Jungle Jim's, but I have heard reports that Whole Foods has it too. Burrata is the most amazing cheese. I really recommend finding some for yourself. It's heavenly.

This isn't the best picture in the world, but this was really tasty. We used a balsamic reduction on it. Yum. Yum. Yum.


A scone. There's no recipe for this. It came from a box mix. Remember, domestic goddesses -- there's no shame in using prepared and semi-prepared foods. The taste is all that matters.

I tried to make french baguettes from scratch, which I've done successfully before. Here we have french dough. We took a picture, because it looks like a butt. Domestic goddesses, if you make your food from scratch, do not fear comparing it to body parts. Giggling is also encouraged.

Anyway, like I said, I've successfully made baguettes before. Beautiful baguettes. This time, though, I used a different recipe, and I may have been distracted. I think I let it over-rise by a couple of hours. When I touched the loaves, they deflated. We ended up with a kind of french flat bread. It was tasty, but different. I used it to make the toad in the hole in the post below. And finally, goddesses, do not be afraid if the final product does not resemble what you meant to make. If it's edible, it's a success! If it's not edible, it's a learning experience!

Quail Eggs

For size comparison purposes. Quail egg, pheasant egg, & chicken egg (and a dog.)

Our odd purchases from Jungle Jim's this time were quail eggs & pheasant eggs. I was very excited to use quail eggs -- they're always making fun quail egg stuff on Top Chef. It turns out that quail egg recipes, at least online, are few and far between. (Well, there were some with caviar, but I don't have any, and I didn't think my guests would appreciate it.) My mother owns the Top Chef cookbooks, but she couldn't find any there either. The recipes we wound up with were decidedly uninspired: deviled eggs and toad in the hole. Despite the lack of inspiration and the fact that quail eggs taste just like chicken eggs, we made some tasty hors d'oeuvres.


6 quail eggs
Dry mustard
Cayenne pepper


1. Rinse the eggs under warm water. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and peel. Pat dry.

2. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks with a very small spoon into a bowl; mash. Mix with remaining ingredients to taste. Carefully fill the whites with the yolk mixture. Sprinkle with chives and arrange on a decorative cocktail tray.

This plate is actually a saucer, not a full-sized plate. The eggs are really quite tiny. In the middle is a poached (very nicely poached, I might add) pheasant egg.

  • Balsamic Braised Bacon
  • 1 ounce olive oil
  • ½ pound slab bacon
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves, garlic, sliced
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons SIMI Sauvignon Blanc (or SIMI Chardonnay)
  • 3 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 18 quail eggs
  • 1 French baguette cut into 1/3" diagonal slices
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 small cello container of micro arugula or baby arugula cut into a chiffonade
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a small non-reactive saucepan, sear the bacon on all sides until golden brown.

  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the next five ingredients and cook covered over low heat until very tender, about 2-3 hours.

  3. Turn as needed. Let cool and store in the braising liquid. When cold, remove the fat that has solidified at the top and discard.

  4. Gently remove the bacon from the liquid. Cut into small lardoons. Sauté over medium low heat in a nonstick pan until slightly crisp.

  5. Using an egg cutter or paring knife, gently cut off the tops of the quail eggs so you can get the eggs out quickly. Set aside. Using a 1" round cutter, cut out the center of each bread slice.

  6. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Spread one side of each bread slice lightly with butter and place as many bread slices as will fit on the griddle, butter side down.

  7. Remove when golden brown. Spread some more butter on the griddle and place the slices golden side up. Quickly empty each egg into the holes and cook until over medium. Remove and place onto platters. Top with bacon.

  8. Toss the micro arugula with a touch of the extra virgin olive oil and place atop the eggs and bacon. Serve immediately.

Here is the mini-toad-in-the-hole cooking.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, & Pancetta

OK, really we made Fettuccine with Peas & Bacon.

  • 12 ounces fettuccine or penne
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped (*We used regular bacon.)
  • 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (*Didn't have it!)
  • 2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)(*Frozen peas were fine)
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts (*We used shallots.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel (*Didn't use it.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided (*Didn't have it.)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
  • Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
  • Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.

This gets two forks up from me. (Also, note the cameo by my foot & house shoe.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Campanelle with Lamb Ragù

This meal was quite tasty, and not especially hard to make. It's technically supposed to be Pappardelle with Lamb Ragù, but we couldn't find Pappardelle, so we used Campanelle. It looked like a fun shape.

  • PREP: 50 minutes
  • TOTAL: 50 minutes
May 2010

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds round-bone lamb shoulder chops, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (*Lamb is expesnive...we used about 1/3 of this. It would be better with more lamb.)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 cups chopped leeks (about 3 medium; white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 8-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen peas with pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 8.8- to 9-ounce package pappardelle or other wide egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle lamb with salt, pepper, and flour. Add lamb to skillet and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Add leeks; sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add wine and boil until slightly thickened, scraping up browned bits, about 3 minutes. Add broth and oregano; bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered until lamb is tender, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Add artichokes and peas with onions. Simmer until heated through, about 4 minutes. (*We raised the heat and boiled it some more to reduce it. We ended up adding a little more flour to thicken the sauce, although it might have been OK without that step.)
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain.
  • Place pasta in large bowl. Spoon ragù over and sprinkle with parsley.

Another delightful little hint. We purchased some imported butter (Celles sur Belles), which is traditional churn butter with little sea salt crystals. My aunt had some of the butter on her bread melt into the ragù and discovered it was quite tasty. Indeed, a little pat of butter kicked the taste up a nice little notch.