posted by on Denver

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While cleaning out old emails this afternoon, I found this photo and immediately remembered how almost a year ago I found myself sitting in d Bar Desserts in Denver celebrating my birthday.

If you live in Denver (and now San Diego!) you have to stop by Keegan Gerhard & Lisa Bailey’s pastry shop/cafe/restaurant/wine shop. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.

I had already fallen in love with cake and shake but I am a sucker for mac and cheese. I ordered the baked mac and cheese and the waitress was kind enough to recommend I order it topped with panko-crusted lobster. Are you kidding? I said yes right away.

If you know anything about me, when it comes to actually eating food it takes a lot to impress me. This dish is what my dreams were (and still are) made of. I had many dreams about this dish and requested to go back every day until I was sick of it! I sit here salivating just thinking about.

It’s been a year since I’ve been there and another birthday is almost here for me – I know the baked mac is still on their “Things We Like to Eat” menu – I just hope, for your sake, they still offer the panko-crusted lobster.

posted by on blog, healthy

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Screen shot from NeverSeconds blog

As read on The Frisky:

“…a food blog curated by nine-year-old Martha Payne. For the past month, Martha has borrowed her father’s camera and diligently documented the lunch offerings at her Scottish primary school…”

I decided to check out her blog NeverSeconds and can honestly say I’m a fan. Don’t let her age fool you. This girl is a smart cookie writing and photographing her lunch meals at school, she’s thoroughly entertaining. Yay for the Queen’s diamond jubilee!

posted by on blog, Phoenix

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Food Snob or Not?

Thanks to the Phoenix New Times and the Chow Bella blog for sharing this flowchart – I love it!

Now, are YOU a food snob?

posted by on cooking, cooking for 2, healthy, leftovers, Phoenix, portions, quick, vegetable

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Now that it’s reaching past 100 degrees every day here in Phoenix, I’m afraid my baking will have to subside until my birthday (yes, I bake my own birthday cake – a crazy dark chocolate bundt to be exact – follow up on this after June 12!).

When I really “read” my first cookbook I remember mention of keeping staples in your kitchen – basics that are versatile and can be used in a lot of different meals.

This quick recipe uses just about every main staple I keep around. Onions, garlic, rice, canned tomatoes, beans & veggies, pasta – just to name a few. Here’s a quick dish that makes excellent leftovers that are even better on day 2.

Here’s what you’ll need:
(makes enough for 2-4 people depending on if you want leftovers)

  • 1½ cups of instant rice, cooked
  • ½  onion, chopped
  • ¼-½ lb. ground beef
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Cumin, salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Throw in the ground beef, chopped onion and seasonings as you like.
  3. Half way through the beef cooking, add the chopped garlic and mix well.
  4. Cook until beef is browned and onions have softened and are translucent.
  5. Add the frozen corn & beans and mix until well heated. Add more cumin, salt & pepper as needed.
  6. Finally, stir in the cooked rice and continue cooking 4-5 more minutes until well mixed and hot.
  7. Serve in bowls!

It may seem hard at first, but it is possible and easy to cook for 2 people when you have staples already in your kitchen, ready to use. Keep portions in mind and read the labels for serving sizes.

cooking vs baking


posted by on baking, cooking, gripes, healthy, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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The idea of spending more than 30 minutes cooking a meal is annoying to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen but I’d much rather spend 4 hours with the precision of baking. Throw “a bunch of sh*t” in a pan and cook it is my theory when it comes to dinner (which is exactly what I did last night).

I had a couple of almost empty boxes of elbow pasta, some feta cheese, frozen corn, frozen chopped spinach, and a half can of diced tomatoes leftover in the fridge. I heated up a tablespoon of butter, threw in the frozen spinach, corn, can of tomatoes with the juice, mixed it all up until it was hot and bubbling and added some finely chopped garlic at the very end. Feta cheese was sprinkled on the top after it was dished up. Bonus: it made about 4 servings so the boyfriend and I had leftovers for lunch which, in my opinion, was even better reheated the next day (you’ll have to ask him how it was cold – yuck!).

posted by on banana, Colorado, Denver, healthy, ice cream

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Let me preface this post: Little Man Ice Cream in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver is what this girl’s dreams are made of! If you’re nearby (I’m talking 30 mile radius ‘nearby’) you must stop and try their ice cream or gelato. I would walk for hours, days, miles to have their strawberry ice cream!  Anyway…

Last night I had a staring contest with 3 really ripe bananas sitting on my counter. Wondering how to prevent them from going to waste (Déjà vu), I started looking for a new way to use them up. I came upon the solution, a recipe from theKitchn, a blog I’m very fond of.

A lover of all things ice cream, I was hesitant to believe I could get the same creamy texture and taste of soft serve ice cream using only frozen banana. Boy, did this recipe prove me wrong! Check it out for yourself. One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream *they’re right about being patient and scraping down the food processor – be patient! I used my Ninja®  food blender*

Cucumber Salsa


posted by on Colorado, cooking, homemade, quick, vegetable

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If you’re in need of some dicing and chopping practice, this recipe is just what you need. An easy, non-traditional salsa that I learned from Rick while I was living in eastern Colorado.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cucumbers – cut in half lengthwise, seeded, cut into strips & diced finely
  • 1 medium red onion – diced really small
  • 1 bunch cilantro – chopped finely
  • 1 jalapeño – halved, seeded & minced
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 fresh limes – juiced
  • 2 tsp. salt
    Mix all ingredients together.  If you plan on making this in advance, cover well & drain juice before serving.
    photo credit: AJ Vicens 
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