WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Farewell… July 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — WannaBe Chef @ 7:53 pm

Hello loves!  I just wanted to stop in to say I will be abandoning blogland until probably  Monday.  Wayne and I are leaving for a whirlwind of a weekend tomorrow… at 2 AM.  Yes friends, you read correctly, I said 2 AM… meaning in approximately 6 hours.  We will be heading back to MI for Wayne’s cousin’s wedding.  Unfortunately, we will be leaving our little SON home alone for the weekend, hence why the trip will be so short.  So while you’re all dreaming of lollipops and cupcakes tonight, we will be beginning our 11-12 hour drive to the homeland (sort of).  And keep your fingers crossed that nothing comes up along the way, since we’ll be cutting it pretty close to make it to the rehearsal on time!  Eeek!  We’ll be back on Sunday, and until then, I bid thee all farewell!  🙂


Who lives in a pineapple… July 26, 2010

Filed under: Salad — WannaBe Chef @ 7:02 pm

Today I give you breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  Aren’t you excited?  I haven’t done a post like this in awhile, I think…? 

We shall start with breakfast, obviously.  I’ve been eating oatmeal and oatmeal pancakes for awhile, but today I decided I wanted eggs.  This is 1 egg + 1/4 cup whites, topped with a trio of amazing (salsa, sour cream, and TJ’s spicy black bean dip), and toast on the side.

Lunch was equally as yummy:  leftover corn chowder (tasted even better today!) and strawberries with cottage cheese on the side.

Then disaster struck 😦 Once I finished my soup, I was sitting there with the soup bowl on my lap, holding the strawberry bowl…. and I dropped it… into the soup bowl.  This is what happened…

Mom, I wish you didn’t have to see that.  I am going to try and glue it back together because, as you can see, it pretty much broke in half, and there are 2 smaller pieces underneath the cottage cheese.  *Sigh*

Onward to dinner.  I took inspiration again from my Cooking Light magazine (July 2010 issue) for this FAN-freaking-TASTIC salad. 

I won’t post the whole recipe here because it’s just a salad.  I say put whatever you want in a salad!  Just note though, this combination was EXCELLENT.  🙂  It had:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Red onions
  • Red bell peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Feta cheese
  • Sauteed chicken, seasoned with chili powder, salt and grill seasoning

The dressing is what really made this salad foodgasmic.  I followed the recipe from Cooking Light pretty much exactly…

Spicy Pineapple Dressing


  • 4 ounces fresh pineapple, cubed (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (I used more because I LOVE it.)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp habanero pepper, minced (I used 1/2 of a teeny pepper and it was perfect.)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • I added some sea salt too
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (I used 1/8 cup, or 2 tbsp)


  • Place all ingredients except oil into a blender and process until smooth.
  • Add the oil and process until well blended.

The dressing is green, you can see it in the lower left corner of the picture above, on top of that piece of lettuce.  I could drink this dressing, it was SO GOOD.  The heat is definitely there in the background and pairs perfectly with the sweet pineapple and fresh cilantro.  I will definitely be making this again, and I recommend you do too!!


Corny July 25, 2010

Filed under: One dish meal,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 6:04 pm

Hi, lovely people!  I failed at cooking much of anything this weekend.  We ate out much more than usual, including Mexican, Subway, Old Chicago, and Panera.  Eeek.  I also managed to get myself a nice chest sunburn at the lake.  Other than that, it’s been a pretty uneventful weekend.  After finally getting groceries, I whipped up a little chowda for dinner.

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
Altered from recipe in Cooking Light, August 2010 issue


  • 2 slices bacon (I used 4 slices chopped turkey bacon)
  • 3/4 cup green onions, sliced, divided
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 pound summer squash, chopped (about 2 medium squashes)
  • 1 pound frozen corn, thawed, divided (I used 4 ears of corn, cut off the cobs)
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (I used a couple dashes of dried thyme)
  • 1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • I also added some garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • shredded, extra-sharp cheddar cheese for topping


  1. Cook bacon in large soup pot, then add summer squash, 1/2 cup of green onions, and celery to the pan.  Cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Reserve 1 cup corn, set aside.  In a blender, put 1 cup of the milk and the remainder of the corn.  Puree until well blended.  Add remaining 1 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and thyme.  Blend until just combined. 
  3. Add pureed mixture, 1/8 tsp salt, and the 1 cup of corn to the pan.  Simmer until heated through, stirring frequently. 
  4. Top individual servings with reserved green onions and cheese (and hot sauce!).  Makes 4 servings.


Shrimpies and Randoms July 22, 2010

Filed under: Products,Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 6:13 pm

Hello, lovely people!  I’m still up to my ears in wedding projects today.  Well, I guess now I would say I’m up to my… waist?  It’s been frustrating at times, but for the most part, all my projects are turning out well and I can’t wait for little sister to see everything 🙂  So anyway, the other day I totally got lost in Super Target while shopping for components for said projects.  I literally had to stop in the middle of an aisle and think to myself “Which Target am I in?” and “What did I even come in here for?”  That’s what happens when I don’t have a list.  Two hours later, I emerged with many things for my sister, but also:  a cute tank top for myself, a clearance tankini top, cute metallic ballet flats, this awesome nail polish…

Kinda mango-y, no?

and this new-to-me Sabra.  I almost did a little “Squeeeee!” in the aisle because I was so excited about finding it.  It was delicious and seriously rivaled my beloved Greek Olive.  It was gone in less than 48 hours.

Also, have I told you about my recent obsession with cherries?  Gotta love in-season fruit. 

That brings us to tonight’s dinner.  I find myself, once again, in a state of minimal groceries, so I had to get pretty creative tonight. 

  • I took some cooked shrimp (about 1/2 pound) from the freezer, thawed them out, and took the tails off. 
  • Then I sauteed onions and garlic in a dab of EVOO till they were nice and brown, then stirred in the last of a jar of salsa, the last of a jar of plain spaghetti sauce (about 1/2 jar), and some water.  I seasoned it up with garlic powder and lots of Frank’s hot sauce and let it simmer for awhile while my brown rice and broccoli cooked. 
  • Just before serving, I stirred in the shrimp and let them heat through.   

This meal was ridiculously easy, surprisingly tasty, and 100% from the “pantry!”


Hump Day July 21, 2010

Filed under: Fruit,Oatmeal,Pasta,Salad — WannaBe Chef @ 4:15 pm

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I’ve been up to my ears in wedding projects for my sister.  I fully plan on blogging about all my little projects eventually, but not now since there’s a 0.1% chance that she reads my blog.  Anyway, I have some food for you all to look at.  Ready?  Mmmkay, here goes… 


Below you will see possibly the best salad I’ve ever had.  It contained:  Romaine, leftover corn on the cob, leftover reheated steak, avocado, snap peas, cucumbers, lemon juice and BBQ sauce.  So freaking good.  

This was a lovely little dinner I whipped up that same day.  First I made some couscous and sauteed up a big chicken breast that I diced and seasoned.  Then I stirred some salsa, seasonings, leftover corn on the cob, red bell peppers, and snap peas into the couscous.  Lastly, I topped it with cucumbers, avocado, feta and hot sauce.  Very easy and very tasty! 

Here’s last night’s dinner… mini turkey meatloaves (turkey, minced onions, salsa, bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt), garlic bread, and veggies with hummus.

This little gem was my breakfast this morning.  I was inspired by a tweet from Miranda to make some blueberry softserve.  So on top of my plain oatmeal with peanut butter, I put a big blob of creamy blueberries and bananas!  Yep, it’s just frozen bluberries with a couple frozen banana slices… all processed in the food processor.  Delicious.  

Lastly, it’s our first tomato harvest!!  Haha, I have been babying our little tomato plant for MONTHS now, and it has finally given us something!  We will be enjoying these in a big salad tonight… I hope they’re good!


Camera unload July 19, 2010

Filed under: Pasta,Ziggy — WannaBe Chef @ 10:01 am

Hello all!  How was your weekend?  Mine was relaxed and included a trip to the lake, a trip to the theatre to see Inception, work on some maid-of-honor projects, and an awkward grilled steak dinner.  I don’t really have an organized flow of pictures, so I’m basically gonna just unload my camera here, K? 

Delicious lunch of amazing fruits and veggies… white fleshed peach (no, I don’t eat the fuzzy skin, eww), whole mango (couldn’t eat it all though), snap peas, cukes and Sabra classic hummus.

Tasty post-lake dinner… best mixture of fruit ever (mango, peach, blueberries, strawberries), deli turkey, and random pasta salad (whole wheat pasta, banana peppers, cukes, pickles, red peppers, onions, light mayo, banana pepper juice [secret ingredient!], Salad Supreme seasoning, salt and pepper). 

Previously-mentioned awkward grilled steak dinner.  I say awkward because we went down to the apartment pavillion to grill the steaks, and we may have used someone’s personal grill that was sitting down there.  Not a big deal, except that once our coals were well on their way to getting white, an overly-tanned dude in a wifebeater came down to let us know he would be coming back shortly to use his grill. 

Son kept trying to run away with my corn cob…

After dinner cocktail… Skinny Girl Margarita… how I love your measley 37.5 calories!

Lastly, oatmeal is back in my life.  I’ve been eating it every day for like the past week or so.

That’s all for now, cupcakes!


Grocery Strike July 15, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Oatmeal,Sandwiches,Turkey,Vegetable,Ziggy — WannaBe Chef @ 8:06 pm

Hello, friends.  I have random eats for you today.  I’ll start with last night’s dinner.  I’ve kinda been on grocery strike all week (aka, I just didn’t feel like going shopping).  All I had in the fresh produce department were 3 zucchinis from the farmer’s market that needed to be used up.  I sent out a plea via Twitter for ideas, and my blog friend Jill gave me the great idea of making zucchini noodles.  All you do is scrape the zucchini with a potato peeler to get long “noodles.”  Once you hit the seeds, you stop.  Now I need an idea of what to do with the zucchini inards!  Paired with some ground turkey, onions, jarred spaghetti sauce, and freshly grated parmesan cheese (secret ingredient!), this was a pretty darn decent meal! 

So breakfast this morning was equally as creative since we had no bread, no milk, or fresh fruit.  I came up with oatmeal (made with water and leftover evaporated milk from Wayne’s bday cake!) topped with banana soft serve and PB.  Wowwww, this was really good!  The temperature contrast reminded me of that ice cream topped brownie dessert you see in restaurants everywhere.  I will definitely be eating this again. 

This little man joined me while I ate breakfast in my PJs…

Lunch was the most pathetic of all… canned soup!  I didn’t photograph it for obvious reasons.  Blech.  I finally got my butt to the store after lunch.  I didn’t have a list or any meals planned… just wandered and picked stuff that looked good.  I never do this, so it was a little anxiety-producing and I kind of feel like I got $100 worth of what??  Anyway, I decided on simple wraps for dinner.  I would say at least 50% of what I bought was produce, so I will be eating stuff like this for awhile. 

On the side are blueberries and snap peas.  The wrap, from bottom to top has: 

  • Sabra Classic Hummus
  • Yellow tomato slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • BBQ sauce
  • my first ever Sriracha <—-Holy tongue-burning
  • Chicken
  • Red bell peppers

That’s all for today, everyone!  I’m off to watch SYTYCD and nurse the pounding, splitting headache I’ve had all day.  So far, I’ve tried:  taking my contacts out, drinking a jug of water, taking a nap, laying down, and now I’m drinking a Diet Coke for a little caffiene (I didn’t have my coffee this morning).  Nothing is working.  I know I should just take some Advil… but eh.  What do you do to remedy a headache?