Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Misadventures of a Non-Cook: Chicken Pineapple Quesadilla

After my foray into raspberry cream pie deliciousness, I decided to try another one of Ree's fabulous recipes. I love Mexican food and her chicken pineapple quesadillas looked amazing. So I met up with my darling friend Regan, who is a wonderful cook, and we made plans to make this dish. In a strange twist of irony, Regan had never been to a farmer's market.
I love farmer's markets because I love fresh fruit and veggies. And a friend of mine earlier this summer introduced me to the wonders of Soulard Farmer's Market, which is like a normal farmer's market on steroids. It's huuuuge. So of course, to start our epic cooking adventure, we headed off to Soulard Farmer's Market!

Here we are, about to enter!

Regan also painted her toes and they looked all pretty and sparkly. Yay for sparkly toes!

Soulard Farmer's Market comprises of four distinct aisles each selling a medley of fruits, vegetables, herbal soaps, incense, all sorts of stuff. Different stalls have different prices for fruits.

And in the middle of the whole shebang, is this lovely little spice shop. Regan and I bought cumin here.
Regan loves spices.
This shop's been around for forty years.

One of the owners. She looks really crabby in this pic but she was actually as sweet as can be. She just refused to smile for my camera.

We bought avacados.

A pineapple, which took a bit to pick out. One stall was selling them for 95 cents which we thought was a fantastic deal. It would be, but the pineapples had unidentified ickiness on them so we decided to suck it up and buy the 1.75 pineapple at a different stall, which looked a lot nicer.
And a green pepper. Note Regan's cute ring.
Roma tomatoes and a red onion.
Fresh monterey jack cheese! I love fresh cheese! 8D
Once we were done, Regan bought a pretezel dog and I bought a coke. Though I did sample said pretzel dog. It was quite delicious.
We decided to buy tortilla shells and chicken breasts at a local grocery store. So we crossed back into our side of the river!
Regan with the chicken.
The lovely tortillas.
And Regan felt it prudent to buy a fake moustache from one of the supermarket vending machines.
I don't know this woman.

But I can't resist singing along to Journey with her.

So we first washed our lovely pineapple.

(Here's all of our Farmer's Market ingredients together, minus the cheese.)

Oh yeah. We rock these aprons.

Then we had to chop up the pineapple.

And chop it again.

And chop it again. Chop.

Then I had to flavor ze chicken with our yummy cumin. Rub all that goodness in, plus with some salt and pepper.

Then we had to grill the pineapples. I have to admit, I had my reservations about grilling pineapples. I mean, I love pineapple on pizza and everything...

Then we began to cook the chicken.

And yes, Regan made me do this cooking. She remembers my previous meltdown with a chicken. I had to face my fears.

Regan pats me on the head, says I'm doing a good job with the chicken. Then she gets me and her a coke.
Isn't she a good best friend?
We toast.

Regan starts the guacamole. Mmm, avacados.

Now for barbecuing the chicken. Regan has a very special delicious barbecue sauce for the job.

That's Regan's dog. He has three legs! I had to carry him across stage our sophomore year of high school. He was the star of the play.

Us slathering on barbecue sauce on ze chicken. Good lord that looks good.

Regan's punk little brother.

Regan continues to make the guacamole. But she has to stop, overcome with emotion and empathy for her vegetable friends.
Plus the onions made her eyes water.
Regan grows her own cilantro. So we snip snipped a little. Fun fact about cilantro: a small percentage of people find cilantro to have a bit of a soapy taste. My mother and I are in that small percentage. This by no means makes cilantro taste BAD to us, I still like it in my salsa and quesadillas. But it still has that strangely soapy taste.

Then I chopped up the delicious barbecued chicken into quesadilla sizes.

Regan's finished guacamole and pico. YUM. Not to mention our grilled pineapple slices. Which do in fact, taste like heaven. Oh my lord and creator did they taste good.

I also shredded ze monterey jack cheese.

Regan and I snuck a couple bites of this chopped chicken. We couldn't resist.

Then it came time to make the quesadillas!!!

Geez, just seeing this in photographs makes me hungry.

Now let me tell you. This tasted AMAZING. You wouldn't think barbecue sauce, chicken, pineapple, and monterey jack would make such an unbelievable combination but it truly does. Next time I make these, I'm going to go a little lighter on the pineapple. Mine still tasted heavenly, but the pineapple almost overpowered the chicken. I want them all to be in balanced harmony.
For serious, check out this recipe at www.thepioneerwoman.com. You will not regret it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Misadventures of a Non-Cook: Raspberry Cream Pie Edition

First off, you should know that I am not a cook. Nope. There's a reason why this is called Misadventures of a Non-Cook. The Non-Cook is me. I once had a meltdown defrosting a chicken. I called my mother crying about it. I survived my first two years of college by using a mealplan and ordering a heck of a lot of takeout. And of course, frozen meals.
Then along came Ree. I discovered www.thepioneerwoman.com and is in the process of changing my non-cooking life. The story of how she met her husband made me cry and laugh, sometimes in conjunction. And her recipes...
Well, her recipes looked like something I could do. ME! The non-cook! Who could barely make a poptart without burning it! With each recipes, she took step-by-step photographs so that if I was messing up, I could tell. And so I decided to start my own Non-cooking section of my blog. And this is the second recipe I tried, with help from my handy-dandy mother. And for this one, I took pics.
Now all credit for this pie goes to the Pioneer Woman. Go to her website for way clearer directions on how to make this. I'm just documenting my process.
Okay, so for raspberry cream pie, my mother and I had to make a shopping trip. First we bought oreos.

Then we bought raspberries. I wish we could've gotten them at a farmer's market or the roadside stand that sells fresh fruit in my town, but after a little inspection, we found a nice bunch of raspberries.
Then we bought vanilla jello mixture. This stuff is important!
Don't judge me.
And raspberry yogurt.
And whipping cream. My mom and I are hardcore whole cream fans. And we ain't afraid of butter or 2% milk either!
Then we drove home quite cheerfully and trotted up to the kitchen to begin our deliciousness!
By the way, this is my beautiful puppy. Isn't she sweet?

So you put 25 oreos into a food processor to make the crust.
Ree then instructs you to take one out, eat it, and replace it. I am very attentive to recipe directions.

You saw nothing.
Then after you get it all crumbled up and yummy, you mix it with butter. This will make the pie crust.
Then you put it in a pie pan and you smush it all down to form the crust. FYI: the crust mixture will get ALL OVER your hands and fingers. It tastes freaking amazing.

Then you take your raspberries and mix it with the proper amount of sugar. And smush those raspberries all together!

This is my punk brother eying our pie crust. Back off punk!

Then we start the actual cream pie mixture. We splop in the raspberry yogurt.

My dad was curious to see our goings on. WE'RE MAKING PIE!!!
We mix that with the jello mix.
Punk little brother will not go away. He's taller than me. This is so unfair.

Ree's recipe then demands to know if we're serious about this whole cream business in raspberry cream pie. Here's my mom's response:
Oh yeah, this woman is serious about her whole cream. We add the cream.

This is my punk brother's puppy. She's cute. But my puppy is cuter and prettier and smarter. And I'm not biased. It's just a fact.

This is my punk OLDER brother who is wanting to know why I'm taking a picture of everything and ripping off my favorite blogger.
Shut up, punk older brother.

So then it comes out like this.

And we put it in the oreo pie crust like this.
Oh lord. My mom and I kept saying, "Oh lord. Oh goodness. Oh God."

Then you must freeze it for a while. Like for an hour. Then put plastic wrap over and freeze it for another hour.
But after my mom waited 45 minutes, she gave me this look.

And we decided it best to eat the pie now.

Yum. Freaking. Yum. My mom and I nearly died of happiness over this pie.
Now like I said, this isn't a directional. Go to Ree's website, follow her recipe, and try the pie out for yourself. Heck, if a non-cook like me can make such glorious-ness, so can you.
I'm going to make another pie now. I'll be back!