News about Nathan and Heather Straz

Monday, 2 June, 2008
Subscribing to Cereal
by nate

Even in my thirties, I still eat a couple bowls of cereal every morning. It's an easy, filling breakfast that I enjoy. But it is expensive. If you check the unit pricing, many breakfast cereals are over $5 per pound. To save money I started buying my cereal by subscription through Amazon. For instance, I subscribed to a package of 6 18-ounce boxes of Kix every three months. I get 15% off and free shipping for subscribing. That puts the price per pound at $3.38. The price at Shaws this weekend was $5.50 per pound for their largest box which was only 13 ounces.

12:32 | Tags: Cooking | 0 Comments

Sunday, 27 January, 2008
Southwest White Chili
by nate

One of our favorite recipes is Southwest White Chili which I found in the spice aisle on a McCormick recipe card. I'm making a double batch this weekend with the remnants of a whole chicken we roasted.

14:21 | Tags: Cooking | 0 Comments

Sunday, 2 September, 2007
Corey's Burrito Mix
by nate

Last night we impressed our friends Kenny and Kristi with a recipe I've been cooking since college. My friend Corey cooked this for the guys one Sunday evening sophomore year, when we weren't supposed to be cooking in the dorms. We served it last night on homemade corn tortillas with hot sauce, sour cream, and cheese.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 16 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 8.25oz can corn, drained.
  1. Cook rice (w/ 1 cup of water).
  2. Brown beef, pepper, and onion in a skillet.
  3. Add chili powder and salt, cook for another minute.
  4. Add rice, beans, tomatoes, and corn. Heat through.

This recipe will easily fill a 10-inch skillet. If you double the recipe, find a bigger skillet, or a wide pot. The mix is great left over and also freezes well.

14:13 | Tags: Cooking | 2 Comments

Monday, 9 April, 2007
Easter Bread
by heather

We had a nice Easter. We went to a neighbor's house for dinner and had some great food. I love to bake, but have not attempted bread much. I think I've made bread from scratch less than a dozen times - ever, and never Yeast bread. When I was growing up, my mom made wonderful bread and so I'm familiar with how much work goes into it. I was searching my favorite website for cooking a few weeks before Easter looking for something new to try. I found a great looking bread that I wanted to try, but it was a yeast bread, and I was afraid it wouldn't come out well. So, I made a 'practice' loaf on Thursday and it came out well. So, I made another one on Sunday to take for Easter dinner. Here is a picture of it.


10:09 | Tags: Happenings Sites Cooking Social | 0 Comments

Wednesday, 4 April, 2007
Chiles Rellenos
by nate

We tried a new recipe tonight, chiles rellenos. We used red and yellow bell peppers which were on sale this week for $1.99/lb. We usually use them for stir fries and beans and rice, but we weren't really in the mood for either. We love roasted peppers so we decided to try our hands at chiles rellenos.

Most times when you order chiles rellenos, at least around here, you get cheese filled peppers. We're not from Wisconsin so that's just too much cheese. We chose a more traditional stuffed pepper filling with ground beef, onions, tomatoes, rice, and a little bit of pepper jack cheese. We tried to fry the peppers using the whipped egg white batter in the linked recipe, but it really didn't go well. It might be easier with the smaller poblano peppers, but the bell peppers we used were too big and fell apart too easily. We didn't have any catastrophic collapses, but we couldn't get a good even coating either.

Were they good? Of course they were! We're talking about roasted sweet peppers filled with meat! I do want to try the recipe again with more traditional peppers. I hope they will be easier to fry.

20:38 | Tags: Cooking | 0 Comments

Sunday, 18 March, 2007
Green Potato Pancakes
by nate

On Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, we had Mark and Ilene over for dinner. We made the traditional corned beef and cabbage, with one addition. I also made green potato pancakes. That's right, green potato pancakes and no, I didn't use food coloring. That would be cheating.

Green Potato Pancakes

  • A few large potatoes
  • One Egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 scallions
  • Salt to taste

I've been using our smoothie maker to mix up the batter. I don't use the spout, but the stick is a must. Peel, wash, and dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Add the potatoes, egg, and flour to the blender. Blend on low until the chunks are gone. Chop the scallions into inch long bits and add to the blender until they're well blended.

Fry in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Grease the pan with some butter then pour in about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Cook until golden brown on the bottom then flip and brown the other side.

9:40 | Tags: Cooking Social | 0 Comments

Monday, 12 March, 2007
I want a cupcake!
by heather

I've been reading that certain foods can increase pain. I decided to cut some of the common foods that can make pain worse. My plan is to try it for a couple months, then slowly add things one at a time to see if I notice it making my pain worse. The following foods are on my list to stay away from:

  • Refined Sugar
  • White flour
  • Milk
  • Caffeine
  • White rice
  • Gluten

I've followed this for 9 days now. I stopped coffee cold turkey and it went surprisingly well. I've switched to green tea for my morning pick-me-up. It has been pretty easy to stick to this for breakfast and lunch. Dinner is a bit harder. The hardest though, is staying away from sweets. I'm eating lots of fruit, so I'm getting plenty of 'natural sugar', but its not the same as a cupcake. I keep bringing up the cupcake, because I just baked some to take to a friend who just had a baby. Its really hard to sit here and not eat one!

16:03 | Tags: Happenings Chiari Cooking | 1 Comment

Sunday, 28 January, 2007
Herb Roasted Pork
by nate

Often times when we buy a roast, we cut it into smaller roasts and freeze them separately. This weekend we pulled out one of them and tried a new recipe. It's an Herb Roasted Pork with a sweet glaze from our favorite cooking site, It was an instant hit. It smelled great cooking and tasted great. Since the primary flavor in the glaze is soy sauce I used rice wine vinegar. We also roasted some potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, sage, and salt in with the pork.

17:43 | Tags: Cooking | 0 Comments

Sunday, 21 January, 2007
Thai Red Curry Soup with Shrimp
by nate

This is one of our favorite soup recipes. We first had it at a dinner party while we were home for Christmas in 2003. The original recipe calls for green beans, but we always use broccoli.

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 12 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 8 oz broccoli florets
  • 1 can chicken broth (14 1/2 oz)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, stir fry shrimp with curry paste until shrimp is cooked through. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  2. Add broccoli and a little more oil to the pan and stir fry broccoli, allowing it to brown slightly.
  3. Add chicken broth and scrape up and bit on the bottom of the pan. Add fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  4. Add coconut milk and return shrimp to the pan. Heat through.

The original recipe used 1 Tbsp of red curry paste, but that's too hot for Heather. 1 tsp is enough for some background heat, 1 Tbsp will make your nose run.

20:09 | Tags: Cooking | 1 Comment

Monday, 15 January, 2007
Baked Potato Skins
by nate

One of the things that I want to blog more about is cooking. Heather and I love to cook and we want to share with everyone our favorite recipes. We found a great recipe for Baked Potato Skins this weekend. We've never cooked them from scratch before, but we had a bunch of small potatoes left from a 10lb bag. I used about 10 small potatoes instead of the four large potatoes in the recipe and I doubled the amount of seasoning and oil. I wasn't sure what the recipe meant by "turn" so I flipped the potatoes over. I'm glad I did because the excess oil made a nice fried ring around the edge.

22:30 | Tags: Cooking | 0 Comments