Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Satay Skewers with Cilantro Cream

Saturday it was 90 degrees here in the Northeast! I didn't feel like cooking or eating anything heavy, so the author of the cooking blog Proceed with Caution recommended this Martha Stewart recipe for Chicken Satay Skewers.

I made a few changes to the recipe (of course!) as the recipe didn't leave any time for marinating, and I love marinating chicken. So instead of just tossing the chicken with the ingredients, I marinated the chicken in them for 8 hours. Also, I didn't care for the peanut butter sauce, so I made my own cilantro cream for dipping. My adaptation of the recipe is below.

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced lengthwise into 12 strips
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Marinate chicken in the above ingredients. Thread onto skewers and grill (about 12-15 minutes).
Be sure to soak your skewers for at least 30 minutes before putting the chicken onto them...I didn't soak them long enough and my skewers burned pretty badly! Luckily the chicken was still delicious. I could really taste all of the flavors from the marinade, and am glad I changed that part of the recipe.

Cilantro Cream
This is an easy one - mix one handful of thoroughly washed, chopped fresh cilantro with approximately 3 tablespoons sour cream.
This is a very refreshing dip, and I loved how it went with the flavors in the chicken. I even like this dip for veggies.

Grilled Romaine

Lettuce, on the grill? Absolutely.

Grilled salads have become very popular recently. Or maybe they have always been popular and I'm just noticing them more. Either way, I have come to love grilled salads.

Last summer I made these grilled salad skewers. And a few months ago our friend made this grilled ciabatta bread salad for us.

On Saturday night I took a head of romaine lettuce, cleaned it, and cut it in half lengthwise. I trimmed off a bit of the bottom, being careful not to take too much off causing the leaves to fall off.

When I was ready to grill, I put some oil on the grill and threw the lettuce on for about 3 minutes on each side. I probably could have left it on just a touch longer.
I could have made a creamy dressing, but instead seasoned the grilled romaine with only salt, freshly ground black pepper, and balsamic vinegar. It tasted like summer! I will definitely make this again, but next time maybe with a Caesar-like dressing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spicy Taco Soup

This makes three posts in a row that start with the word "spicy." I think I officially have a problem!

I have been battling a cold all week and felt that something spicy was just what I needed. I don't know if there is any scientific evidence, but there is something about spicy food that seems to make you feel better, or like you are doing something to help show the cold its way to the door. Ok, so it may all be in my head, but that's fine because the spicy soup I created tonight turned out to be just what I was craving.

I have heard of "taco soup" but never made it. I looked at a few recipes and didn't like them - cans of rotel or spicy tomatoes, and beans are what turned me off. I'd rather spice up my own soup, and I'm not the biggest black bean fan. Instead, I took my favorite flavors and ingredients and created my own soup.


  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 each red and green pepper, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp adobo seasoning (I had it so I threw it in!)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • Toppings: sliced green onions, shredded cheese (I used cheddar-jack), and sour cream


  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a soup pot. Add meat and cook until browned.
  • Add onions, saute 1 min
  • Add all of the peppers and garlic, saute 2 min
  • Add spices and mix
  • Add tomatoes and mix
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes
  • Add lime juice and let simmer just a few more minutes before serving

I've got to say, I did a pretty good job with this one! I tasted it before and after adding the lime juice, and am so glad I made the decision to add it. It brightened up the flavors, and gave it the familiar taste from a good tortilla soup.

Now this may not be the most authentic Mexican recipe, but I'm giving it a Mexican tag because of the flavors. I'm also submitting this Mexican inspired dish to Joelen's Foodie Films Event, where this month's film is Tortilla Soup. Definitely appropriate! You can check out her blog here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spicy Shrimp with Peppers

Last night I decided to make shrimp for Jon and tofu for myself. I came up with this recipe for my spicy tofu with peppers, and used it as the inspiration for Jon's shrimp.

For this dish I used less liquid than I did with the tofu and added sesame oil.

  • 3/4 lb shrimp
  • Thinly sliced onion - about 3 slices off 1 small onion.
  • Sliced peppers - I used about 1/4 each of a red, green, and yellow pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • Optional: chopped green onions


  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat
  • Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chili-garlic paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Stir everything together and bring to a simmer.
  • Add shrimp and cook until done - about 6 minutes.
  • Serve over rice or noodles and top with green onions

This dish is even quicker and easier than the tofu version, but both versions are spicy and delicious!

Spicy Tofu with Peppers

Whenever I make shrimp for Jon, I usually cook up some tofu for myself. Last night I had some peppers to use up, and felt like something spicy, so I came up with this quick and easy tofu dish - (Click here for the shrimp version)


  • 1 block tofu, pressed (to get the extra liquid out) and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Thinly sliced onion - about 3 slices off 1 small onion.
  • Sliced peppers - I used about 1/4 each of a red, green, and yellow pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • Optional: chopped green onions


  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat
  • Add tofu and cook about 5 minutes until starting to lightly brown
  • Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chili-garlic paste, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Stir everything together and bring to a simmer. Let simmer 10 minutes - sauce will slightly thicken
  • Serve over rice or noodles and top with green onions

Monday, April 20, 2009

Grilled Marinated Chicken

Another nice day, let's grill! On the menu - grilled, marinated chicken. The marinade was my own creation.

The Marinade

Amounts are approximate

  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • Handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp coriander
  • Juice of one lime.

Mix all ingredients except the lime juice and pour over chicken. Marinate in the fridge all day, and at least 4 hours. Add the lime juice 30 minutes before you are ready to cook.

Mmm, so fresh and flavorful. This marinade was delicious. I'm glad I grilled an extra piece of chicken as I'll be making chicken salad with it.

I served the chicken over sauteed spinach and with my Mexican Risotto.

Argentinian Grilled Steak with Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce and Grilled Scallions

Saturday's weather was amazing - low 70s, light breezes, and sunny. We grill year-round, but something felt different about grilling on the first day of great weather this spring. To celebrate I wanted to make something new.

I browsed through a few Bobby Flay recipes and bookmarked this recipe for Argentinian Skewers with Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce and Grilled Scallions. Instead of making skewered beef, we grilled sirloin steaks. My changes are noted below.


The marinade...

  • 1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled, halved horizontally
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, tops trimmed
  • 1/2 cup canola oil I used olive oil
The steak...
  • 18 ounces sirloin, cut into 1-inch dice I used three small sirloin steaks and did not dice them for skewering

The green onions...

  • 12 green onions, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil I used olive oil
Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce...
  • 4 piquillo peppers, drained and chopped or 2 roasted red peppers, drained and chopped I used roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup aged sherry vinegar I couldn't find aged sherry vinegar, so I did some research and combined 1/3 c sherry cooking wine with 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses I omitted this
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Marinate the beef: Combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, peppers and oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish, add the beef and toss to coat in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
  • Make the steak sauce: Place the peppers, vinegar, mustard, horseradish, honey, molasses, Worcestershire, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

  • Cook the steak: Heat the grill to high. Skewer 2 pieces of the beef onto 2 skewers so that the meat lays flat on the grill. Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper and grill until golden brown, slightly charred on both sides and cooked to medium-rare doneness, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Cook the green onions: Brush the green onions with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred and just cooked through.

  • Serve beef with with grilled scallions and Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce.

Wow - what great flavor! The steak was even great and full of flavor without the sauce. The sauce added an extra punch, but it definitely wasn't necessary.

I served the steak and green onions with some roasted potatoes.

I took 5 red potatoes, slice them in half and then into slices (semi-circles). I tossed them with sliced onions, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. They baked for 40 minutes on 425.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hearty Vegetarian Vegetable Stew

I know what you are thinking - stew is supposed to have beef or some other kind of meat in it, otherwise it wouldn't be a hearty stew. I'm going to prove you wrong, but I think you'll be happy about that once you have a bowl.

My vegetarian days are long over, but this is one of the dishes I still make. I first started making this stew about 12 years ago, and honestly couldn't even tell you where I found it. Over the years I made many changes to it, so I consider this recipe my own. (I even searched high and low for a similar recipe before posting that statement and couldn't find one).

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 2 14.5-oz cans vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (measurement is approximate, I season directly from the jar)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black pepper (also approximate, season to taste)
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes (no juice)
  • 1 14 oz can creamed corn
  • 1/2 c frozen peas


  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat
  • Add onions and garlic, saute 3-4 minutes
  • Add carrots, celery, and potatoes; stir to mix everything together
  • Add broth, thyme, bay leaf, and black pepper
  • Let simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes are mostly done
  • Add tomatoes (I crush them slightly with my hands) and corn
  • Cover and let simmer 20 minutes
  • Add the peas and continue to simmer 10 minutes
  • Remove bay leaf and serve

Like a meat stew, this one also gets better the next day. It is so delicious, comforting, and satisfying, and now that I'm totally craving another bowl, I'm going to stop writing to eat an early dinner. I hope you try this one soon!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Foil Pouch Cooking - Ramen and Broccoli

I love noodles and veggies as a side with Asian flavored meats, or on their own as a vegetarian meal. At the supermarket today I picked up 2 packets of ramen noodles thinking I could do something with them. Jon remembered seeing Alton Brown cooking them in a foil packet. I looked online and found this recipe by Alton Brown for Ramen Shrimp Pouch. I used the idea for a noodle and broccoli side.

I served this side with these
Chinese-Barbecue Pork Chops.

  • 2 packets ramen noodles (no seasoning, only the noodles)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz vegetable broth
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil


  • Layer ingredients in this order either on foil (for a foil packet) or in a small foil roasting pan - noodles, onions, green onions, garlic, broccoli
  • Pour liquid ingredients over the noodle mixture and tightly seal foil packet, or tightly cover foil pan with foil.
  • Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

That's it!! I think this is the cheapest side dish ever! And if you don't have all of the liquid ingredients, you could easily just use the broth and soy sauce. We both loved this, and I'm looking forward to trying other variations for a quick, easy, and cheap side.

Chinese-Barbecue Pork Chops

Pork is the traditional Easter dinner, right? Why settle for plain old roasted pork? I was inspired by this recipe for Chinese Barbecued Pork with Garlic Sauce on the Epicurious web site.

I used pork chops instead of a pork loin, and used the glaze as a marinade instead of a glaze. I changed several things, so my version of the recipe is below.

Marinade (for 2 pork chops)
  • 1.5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients and pour over pork. Marinate in the fridge for several hours.


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • A few dashes Tabasco

Mix all ingredients to serve over cooked pork.

NOTE: I made this again on 2/27/10 and changed the sauce recipe - I thought it would be good cooked and used it to deglaze my pan. In a small bowl, I mixed the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sesame oil, and tabasco and added approximately 1 tbsp mirin. When the pork chops came out of the oven, I transferred them to a covered dish. I put the used pan over medium heat and added the garlic and sauteed it for 1-2 minutes. I then added the liquid mixture, as well as apprxoximatley 1/4 c water (the sauce looked way too rich from the drippings in the pan) and brought it a boil while scraping up the bottom of the pan. I then reduced it to a simmer and let it reduce for about 5 minutes. I liked this method much better.

Cook the pork

  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saute pan over high heat
  • Remove pork chops from marinade and place in pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Cover with foil and transfer pan to a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until pork is cooked through.
  • Serve with the sauce.

Jon and I both can't believe how good this was! The marinade tenderized the meat and added a lot of flavor, and the sauce we poured over the chops was sweet and spicy at the same time. This one makes it to the list of things to make again.

I served the pork chops with a great side dish - ramen-broccoli foil pouch.

Sauteed Curried Beef and Broccoli

Last week I found this recipe for Sauteed Curried Beef and Broccoli on the Epicurious web site. I have a jar of curry powder, but Jon is the only one who has ever used it (his curried meatballs). I decided to try this one and was very pleased. I made a few changes to the recipe, so my adaptation is below.

  • 1 pound broccoli, stems and heads cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • Coarse-grained salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 pound steak strips for stir fry (or thinly sliced flank steak)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 red pepper, sliced


  • Cook rice according to package directions
  • Heat oil in a large saute pan
  • Add onions and cook 3 minutes
  • Add beef and cook approximately 6-7 minutes, until browned
  • Add garlic, brown sugar, curry powder, broth, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.
  • Add broccoli and red peppers; cover and let simmer 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve over rice

Delicious, quick, and easy. I'll definitely make this one again. It would be good with any veggies that you would use in stir fry, so I'll experiment with others next time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Just a simple mushroom soup..."

That's what I replied to my mom when she asked what kind of soup I made. Then when I was telling her how I made it she laughed and told me I had to name this blog post "Just a simple little soup." I guess it sounded fancier than I made it out to be!

I made soup last night because I had some things I wanted to use up - carrots, celery, onions, and mushrooms. I wanted to highlight the mushrooms, but didn't want your typical cream of mushroom soup. So I started to brainstorm...

The other night I made chicken pot pie for the first time, and really liked the way I created a richer stock out of plain old chicken broth, so I decided to use a similar process to start this soup. I also wanted something a touch creamy, so I decided to puree the soup as well as add a touch of cream. Finally, I needed something to give it a punch and brandy sounded and smelled like the right ingredient. The recipe below is my own creation.

* some ingredients note "chopped and separated" - this is so half can be used when simmering the broth, and the other half can be used when starting the veggies for the soup.
  • 2 carrots, chopped and separated
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped and separated
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and separated
  • Approximately 12 white mushrooms, stems removed and saved, tops chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp thyme, separated
  • 3 14 oz cans broth; by accident I grabbed 2 cans chicken broth and 1 can beef broth, but all chicken, all beef, or all veggie would work fine
  • 2 c water
  • 1 tbsp butter plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 c brandy
  • 1/2 c light cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine broth, water, mushroom stems, 1/2 of the carrots/celery/onions, a few of the porcini mushrooms, bay leaf, peppercorns, and half of the thyme. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove solids and reserve broth. You can re-use the porcini mushrooms in the soup (add to soup when you add the broth).
  • In a soup pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat
  • Add the raw carrots, celery, and onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring
  • Add chopped mushroom tops. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Add brandy and stir until absorbed
  • Add reserved broth, porcini mushrooms, and thyme; bring to a steady simmer. Simmer 20 minutes
  • Remove from heat and puree using a handheld immersion blender, or transfer to a blender.
  • Return to heat and add cream, stirring. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

This soup was exactly what I had imagined. Full of mushroom flavor, but not too woody or overpowering. The celery and carrots helped to round out the flavors, and it had just the right amount of cream to make it smooth without being terribly creamy (or fatty!).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

I have always wanted to make chicken pot pie. Nothing with cream of chicken soup as the base, but a good, homemade chicken pot pie. Ok, so I didn't make the crust from scratch, but as you know I don't bake, and making dough qualifies as baking in my book.

I looked at several recipes and decided to make some changes to this recipe for Chicken Potpie by Martha Stewart. The original recipe can be found in the above link. I changed many things, so my adaptation is below.

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into large chunks
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dried thyme plus 1/2 tsp
  • 1 rib celery, cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp butter plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large potato cut into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-rounds
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 c frozen peas
  • 1/3 c frozen corn
  • 3 large white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Approximately 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes (or fresh)
  • 1 can pie dough, biscuits, or crescent rolls. I bought a can of biscuits and they were already cut, so I had to flatten and stretch them a bit to make my crust...but it worked!


  • Combine chicken, chicken stock, yellow onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, 3 thyme sprigs, and celery in a stockpot, and add enough water just to cover the chicken. Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 1/2 hour.
  • Drain chicken, and reserve the stock. Chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks, and set aside. Strain the stock, and set aside 2 cups. Reserve the remaining stock for another use.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes become translucent in the center, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add carrots, peppers, and onions, and cook 4 to 5 minutes
  • Add mushrooms, peas, and corn, and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Stir in reserved chicken stock and cream, and bring to a simmer. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add reserved chicken pieces, parsley, remaining thyme, lemon zest, salt, and the ground pepper; transfer to a large casserole dish. (I used a round and deep glass baking dish)
  • Roll out the dough and place over the top of the chicken mixture, and tuck extra dough around the edges. Since I used biscuits I had small spaces between each biscuit. If you use one sheet of dough, cut slits so the steam can escape.
  • Bake until crust is golden, 25-30 (make sure you have foil or a baking sheet under the dish as it may bubble over. Serve hot.

I love color when I'm cooking, so I have to share this beautiful picture of the veggies in the pan -

And here it is, the finished product. It doesn't look too bad with the biscuits on top, right?

This was better than I expected. So comforting and flavorful - it hit the spot, especially on a cool and rainy day.

Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic

I love cauliflower but wanted to do something new with it. I liked this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic found on the Epicurious web site, so included it in tonight's dinner.

Ingredients (original recipe was for 10 servings; I scaled it back to 4 as noted below)
  • 1 head cauliflower, washed and chopped into florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Toss all ingredients and bake on 450 for 20-25 minutes.

Mmm, Delicious! This is my new favorite way to prepare cauliflower. The garlic mellowed out in the oven and was perfect with the sweet cauliflower. I'll be making this one again, definitely!

I served the cauliflower along side my Chicken Pot Pie.

Filet with a Mushroom-Marsala Sauce

Saturday was so windy that our plans to grill were ruined. We had filet mignon steaks, so decided to cook them in the pan and oven. We all know how I love sauce, so I whipped one up to top our steaks.

I served our filet with a mushroom-marsala sauce with my three garlic risotto and roasted asparagus.


  • 2 steaks (we seasoned ours with salt and pepper)
  • 1 c chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 c marsala wine
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Heat a small amount of oil in a pan until very hot
  • Cook steaks, about 2-3 minutes per side, and then transfer to a 400 degree oven until done to your likeness (about 6-8 minutes for medium)
  • Remove steaks from the oven and transfer to a dish; keep warm
  • If your pan is dry, add a touch of oil and heat over medium-high heat
  • Add mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes
  • Add marsala wine and balsamic vinegar, stir while scraping up brown bits
  • Keep at a steady simmer until the liquid has reduced/thickened slightly, about 5 minutes
  • Serve over steaks

This sauce is slightly sweet, a bit too sweet for Jon's tastes, but I loved it. The final result looks like it was a lot harder than it actually was.