Something Fishy-Part One

Housekeeping: If you want more CookingCrownunder in your daily life, follow me on twitter!

I’ve always had a fascination with fish. When I was little I used to run up to the seafood display at the grocery store and have intense staring contests with the halibut and salmon. I’d stand there while my Mom shopped and give all of them very elaborate names, like “April Showers” or “Bucket.” I don’t think it ever occurred to me that they were dead- I just thought they’d be low maintenance pets.
A few weeks ago I found myself at the seafood counter in Whole Foods, with the distinct advantage of being able to see over the top. They had red snapper on sale, and I was feeling guilty about not blogging for a while. Maybe it was the guilt, maybe it was the lack of sleep, or maybe I’ve just been watching too much Game of Thrones, but I decided to pull a fisherman’s wife and clean it myself.

This was a really bad idea.
If you’re easily grossed out, I would suggest maybe skipping this post. I would too, if I didn’t have to write it.
I decided to make Martha Stewart’s salt baked fish, which calls for one whole fish scaled and cleaned. After some internet research and a lot of kicking myself I found out how to do this.

To scale a fish, you use the blunt edge of a knife and scrape from the tail to the head. Easy, right?

Nothing to it!

So far so good.

Maybe I should get in there a little more.


It turns out that as you scrape them off, these suckers fly everywhere.

Like in your hair.

Or on your arms.

Or in your eye, again.

I later found several down my shirt. Sneaky devils.

Next I had to trim off all the fins, which were wicked sharp.

Yeah. Try high fiving that.

This was less gross, and more just difficult.

After a lot of muscle and some dull scissors, he was fin free.

Pro status, right here.

Without fins or scales in the way, I was able to remove the guts
To access the fishy pouch of nasty parts, I had to make a cut along the belly.

I learned how to do that from watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Then I had to reach inside, and remove everything.




I never wanted to know a fish on this level.
I have a few pictures of actually removing the guts, but I feel like you guys have suffered enough. Stick around for the next post, and I’ll show you how I actually cooked this thing.

Until next time!


August 15, 2012. Tags: , , . Cooking. 4 comments.


I have a problem when it comes to cupcakes. I’m pretty sure that cupcakes are the reason I’ll never be an Olympian. At least that’s what I tell myself.

There are times when I’ll be sitting in my room, minding my own business, and the cupcake craving will attack. It’s unstoppable. I’m the reason cupcake vending machine exist.

So when I found out that you can make a cupcake in a mug, you can imagine it was a pretty good day.


The recipe for mug cake is super straightforward. I used this one ( by Zurie, but there are lots of options out there.


4 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons oil

2 -3 drops vanilla

First, I mixed all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. It looked super artistic, and I had one of those ‘why yes, I am a food blogger’ moments, until I realized I had added 4 tablespoons of cocoa instead of 2.

Don’t bake when you’re sleepy, folks.

Next I added the egg. I continued my streak of swell baking moves when I realized that I was supposed to beat the egg before adding it to the dry mix.



Seriously. Cooking is for the awake.

I added the rest of the wet ingredients, and realized that it’s finals week. Finals week means no clean spoons in the house. So I found a plastic one. They really don’t work very well.

Also, pre-mixed, this looked disgusting.

The word snart comes to mind. *


Next I attacked a tall mug with pam.

You’ve been PAMMED.

Too much Pam.

I poured the mix into the mug, and had a stroke of brilliance.


Carmel center. Oh boy.

I microwaved the mix for two minutes and thirty seconds.

I’m going to go blind from this.

That thing climbed like spiderman (who is in the wash, and will return shortly). I tried to take a picture to show you how tall it got, but it’s a little hard to see through the microwave.

It deflated quite a bit when I took it out.

I had a second good idea.

I really don’t know why I make this face all the time.

I think it’s to keep people away from stealing my food.

This is where things got weird. Remember good idea number 1? The caramel center? I definitely put in a square of caramel. But it disappeared in the baking process.

Can has?

Other than this rather large disappointment, the cake was delicious. I highly recommend trying it out at home, and please send me your results!

Happy Monday.

P.S. There is a girl who takes all the pictures for my blogs, who I could not function without. It was her birthday this past weekend, and she looked like a princess. For all the times I’ve kept you from your homework, Caitlyn, I thank you. You’re the tops.

P.P.S. My brother graduated college this weekend, and that was kind of cool too.

Read more:

May 14, 2012. Tags: , . Cooking. 1 comment.

Uncomfortable cooking- Episode 1: Meatloaf

Some housekeeping before we begin:

1. Last week, I checked my stats and realized that we’ve hit 1,000 views. I try not to get to wrapped up in readership and numbers, but it’s nice to know that I’m not just sending these posts out into the internet abyss. So thanks for coming back everyone, it’s been my pleasure to cook for you.

2. You can now expect a new post every Monday!

I’ve been trying to branch out recently and cook things that intimidate me or make me uncomfortable. The list is long, and includes things like whole fish, souffle, cake from scratch, anything incorporating meringue, anything that costs more than ten dollars, and anything with eyes. I also really dislike raw meat in general.

My first plan was to cook an entire fish, including the head and tail. As it turns out, most people don’t like it when their food stares back, and therefore most grocery stores don’t sell whole fish. So I’m working on that.

I decided instead to tackle something that really grosses me out; raw meat. And what dish uses more raw meat than meatloaf?

The Rough Recipe for Meatloaf:

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground pork

1 package bacon

3 eggs

1 clove garlic (optional)

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

Several squirts of ketchup

Several dashes worcestershire sauce. (Did I look up how to spell that? Maybe.)

Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste.

I began by preheating the oven to 375 degrees, and beating three eggs. For future reference, this is the right way to crack an egg:


This is the wrong way:


To the eggs I added the Italian season, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. If you wanted to add garlic or onion, this would be the time. This yielded a mixture that looked either like the sunrise or cat puke, depending on your artistic preference.

One man's sunrise is another man's sick.

Enter the raw meat. If you have rubber gloves, I highly suggest you wear them for this part. If you’re a broke writer like me, you’ll just have to suck it up. You’re going to put both packages of meat into the mix, then squish it through your hands until it’s fully broken up and coated in egg. Yes, it’s as gross as it sounds.

Love me?



I regret everything.

Raw meat is exceptionally cold.
Bouncing doesn't help.

Hot water does.

Once I added the cup of bread crumbs, the temperature became much more manageable. I worked these through with the knowledge that the worst had passed.

Next I got out my 9×13 baking pan and formed the mixture into loaf in the center. I surrounded it with frozen vegetables, which turned out to not be the best idea. I coated the top of the loaf in ketchup, which reminded me a great deal of finger painting.

This maybe lasted a little too long.

Next, I draped that sucker in bacon, because everything is better with bacon.

I don't always eat bacon...
wait, yes I do.

Once the loaf reached maximum bacon capacity, I baked it at 35o degrees for about 40 minutes. Here is the finished result:

It smells like happiness.

As I mentioned, the vegetables were a mistake. The amount of time it took to cook the meatloaf crisped the hell out of them.

Did we eat them anyway?


Thanks for stopping by, see you next week!


P.S. Meatloaf sandwiches are absolutely delicious.

P.P.S. “Meatloaf” sounds so much more appetizing than “loaf of meat.”




April 23, 2012. Tags: , , , . Cooking. 3 comments.

Mamma Mia!

Hey friends! Do you remember in my first post when I talked about my Mom, the very talented ex-caterer?

If not, here you go:

Anyway, there’s very little my Mom can’t accomplish in the kitchen. I once saw her make dinner with nothing but chicken broth and rice. She’s not afraid of live seafood, and she knows exactly how long to microwave things.

For my fifth birthday she made me a cake in the shape of a castle, which really drove home the point “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Or more appropriately, “you can’t reenact cinderella inside your cake and let your guests eat it too.”

The point is, my Mom has some skills in the kitchen. I found out a few days ago that she’s coming down to visit me in Orange, which is great (aside from having to actually pick my laundry up off the floor and PUT IT AWAY. WHAT IS THIS??)

And I’m going to cook dinner for her.

My first reaction was something like this:

And then I remembered that I have all of you! I’m eager to show off the things I’ve learned over the past few weeks, but I don’t know what to serve for dinner. I was hoping that you could help me figure that out. This poll will be open for the next few days. Once I have enough feedback from you guys, I’ll get to work. Thanks, and happy Monday!

Since this post was lacking my usual embarrassing pictures, here’s one of me licking my elbow:

And you thought my cooking was impressive.

March 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cooking, Uncategorized. 4 comments.