Coconut Creamscicle

Coconut Creamscicle This time around you’re getting a two-for-one special. This story started about 16 months ago when I decided to use the leftover basil-lime simple syrup from a fruit salad as inspiration for a cocktail. It was knock-your-socks-off fabulous and wouldn’t you know, I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. I can’t even remember the liquor. If I were someone with a drinking problem I’d suspect that I had one too many, blacked out and upon regaining consciousness the recipe had escaped along with drunken hallucinations and memories of total and utter humiliation.  But like I said, I don’t have said drinking problem. Continue reading Coconut Creamscicle

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Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Good morning everyone.  Today’s topic is enchiladas.  The type I’m going to share with you is a cross between enchiladas verdes and enchiladas suizas.  They’re the only ones I regularly make at home and are, by far, my favorite!  Because of my affinity for green chiles and tomatillos, I am generally disappointed with most restaurant enchiladas.  This saddens me, not because I feel the restaurant is doing anything wrong, but because I never developed the passion for the mole and red sauces dominating the category.  I may just have to dig in my heels and test test test some red sauce recipes until I come up with something I can truly enjoy.  So, I guess, stay tuned for that one.  But for now, let’s proceed to discuss, I believe, the reason my husband married me. Continue reading Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Greek Ceviche Shrimp Salad

This next recipe evolved out of a childhood favorite “salad” that had more refined carbohydrates and mayo than anything to be found in a garden. Aside from the white rice and mayo called for in the original recipe, it also wanted a can of tiny shrimp! As a kid I didn’t know any better and thought this salad was the absolute best. Then I made it a few years ago…and couldn’t even finish a single serving. I’m sure it had something to do with the big smell that came from the little can of tiny shrimp. – Please don’t do “can of tiny shrimp” to yourself or anyone you care about; they may never speak to you again. Continue reading Greek Ceviche Shrimp Salad

7(ish)-Layer Salad

I am a big salad lover, which may come as a surprise to most, because I almost never make salads. My problem is that I never feel like making salad, but when it’s my turn to pick the place for a working lunch, I usually opt for Panera or Wildflower Bread Company and always get a fully loaded salad.  My other problem with making salads is that I never feel as if I have enough stuff to make a proper salad.  The reason, I believe is twofold:  1)  The salad I’m about to share with you is my first memory of salad and it’s a loaded one, and 2)  I’m not a big fan of salad dressings and unless I have the ingredients to make a salad stand on its own without dressing, I probably won’t even try.   This salad, however, plays so nicely with all my salad-related faults that I can’t help but make it when I find myself with all the ingredients. Continue reading 7(ish)-Layer Salad

Cashew Chicken

Happy Thursday everyone! As suggested last week, today’s culinary treat is cashew chicken. I have a story about cashew chicken and I just know you’re dying to hear it. It all started many, many years ago, preceded by many, many years of disappointing homemade Chinese food. Then in 2005ish, my dear friend Kristi returned from her year in China and kindly accepted an invitation to cook me dinner.  My Chinese cooking had always been underwhelming and I figured after spending a year with the locals, she’d have been blessed with some of their secrets, by osmosis if nothing else. Luckily for me, and you, she did! Continue reading Cashew Chicken

German Pancake with Garlic & Thyme

Today’s little treat is buttery and garlicky and a recent divergence from a recipe I’ve loved  for decades.  German Pancake has always been a favorite breakfast of mine and I’ve never been one to overshadow its simple deliciousness with the profanity of syrup or honey or even my Grandma’s fresh strawberry jam. (I’ll be sharing that one when the summer’s sweetest bounty graces us with its presence.)  It’s always been the perfect blend of eggs, flour, milk, and butter and a curse on anyone who dare temper with this zenith of breakfast perfection. Continue reading German Pancake with Garlic & Thyme

Chicken Tikka Masala…with a little twist

I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about Indian food. But I do know this,  I love what I’ve had  and have gotten pretty darn good at cooking it.  Be that as it may, I’ve yet to delve into the inner workings of that massive country’s cuisine whose flavors just explode in your mouth and always leave me wanting more. Continue reading Chicken Tikka Masala…with a little twist

Change of focus?

So, it’s been 22 days shy of 12 months since my last post…huh, I guess the weekly thing didn’t work out so well.  I am, however, reminded of a quote by Henry David Thoreau, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”   Well, I learned that a weekly update on something that proved to be one disappointing step after another is not a thing at which I excel.  Shocker!  I also learned that my dream department wasn’t such a dream and it sent me into a bit of a funk.

I did end up meeting with the department head while I was in Minnesota last May and she was very nice.  The catch to an otherwise good meeting was learning of her team’s extensive travel.  Perhaps in 10 years, I’d be open to that life, but right now my life is being home for my family.  That’s my life and it’s the life I want.  I haven’t given up on a career in event planning, but I know I’ll have to work for a different company if I want to move to Minneapolis and not travel much.  To that end, I’ve been volunteering with the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in planning their 14th Annual Golf Classic.  It’s been fun, educational and a good step in the right direction.

Fast forward to April 7th, 2015…

Yesterday, I saw a job posting for a writer for RawSpiceBar.com and it shook me. From as far back as my memory will serve, food has been a source of great joy and yesterday, I wanted it to be more than a hobby.

Before starting school, I would go grocery shopping with my mom while my brothers learned to read and write and other such academic pursuits.  When kindergarten came for me, this could not stand and I ordered my mother to not go grocery shopping without me!  I don’t think it worked, but to this day, the grocery store is my sanctuary.  A place to lazily tick through the numbers on my pedometer, soak in the flavors and colors of the culinary landscape and await inspiration.  An awesome Saturday afternoon is perusing my cookbook library or this tremendously wonderful internet to plan my family’s meals for the week.  Food was my first love and still takes a top four spot behind my husband and daughters.

(At this point, I must impress upon you that I never wanted to be a cook/chef.  While I love to cook, I could think of no worse culinary torture than being a cook in a restaurant.  Had I known about Cooks Illustrated test kitchen 15 years ago when I was deciding the direction of my life, I may have pointed it in that direction, but I didn’t so I didn’t. )

To where this gastronomical realization will lead, we’ll see. But it’s safe to say there will be a lot more talk of food in the coming posts.  And, I may even break my record of three posts in 2015!