Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Viral Tik-Tok Green Goddess Salad Dip but BETTER



I finally took the plunge and created a TikTok account. I know, I know. I'm an old millennial, I have no right. Actually, I lied.

I made THREE TikTok accounts.

Everything I do, I do big, apparently.

Of course, RecipeTok was the first rabbit hole I went down. I'd heard of this viral TikTok Green Goddess Salad Dip before, but hadn't tried to make it.

After all, how good could it be? Do you SEE how green it is? And how much oniony things... I hate oniony things.

But reader, it was delicious. It just needed... something.

So what did I do? I added something.

A few somethings, if I'm being honest.

And I'd never lie to y'all, it's not my way.

So here's my take on the viral TikTok Green Goddess Salad Dip that was sweeping the nation. Am I behind on the times? Of course I am. But I'm an old millennial. Be happy I finally have a TikTok, okay?

This version is a lot creamier and packs even more nutritious veggies into the mix. It's perfect on its own, or with some grilled salmon or tofu, or just with chips. I prefer blue corn tortilla chips. It just looks better.

Let me know what you think!

Even Better Tik-Tok Green Goddess Salad Dip

  • 1 small cabbage finely diced (I also used some purple cabbage I had on hand)
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed and diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled/seeded/diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chives finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup green grapes, sliced into 4ths
  • 1-2 avocados, cubed
  • NON GREENS - shredded carrots, cubed tomatoes, goat cheese crumbles, sunflower seeds
Green Goddess Dressing
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast OR parm cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • salt, to taste
-Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil if it's too thick, and more spinach and basil if it's too thin.

-Combine all ingredients EXCEPT avocado in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Start with about 1/3 of the dressing and shake. Add more dressing if desired. 

-Immediately before serving, add avocado. I like to add it individually to each salad serving so that the avocado doesn't go bad in the leftovers. Serve with chips for scooping!

-This salad is even BETTER the next day if you let it sit in the fridge, and will last multiple days due to the heartiness of the base.

What's your favorite Tik Tok recipe? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

What I've Been Eating - The Best Food in Tulum, Mexico!


It's been a long pandemic. I've been big on travel for most of my life, vowing to visit at LEAST two new cities a year for the past few years. While I've mostly kept to that pandemic nonwithstanding, it was limited to where I could drive within my new home state of California.

However, with my most recent booster coupled with my light brush with the virus prior to that, I finally felt safe enough to do a bit of international travel. Mexico has been on my shortlist for YEARS, so I knew it was the perfect place to resurrect my travel bug. I figured Tulum would be the ideal adventure: not as crazy a party town as Cancun, but with beautiful beaches and rain forest for exploring. I grabbed a new friend for the journey and took the leap.

And my GOSH you guys, Tulum is GORGEOUS. We snorkeled and scuba'd in the beautiful, crystal-clear Cenotes. We lounged by the warm-water beaches. We explored the adorable town. And we ate. Oh man did we eat.

I say I'm a half-assed vegetarian because when I travel, I don't avoid meat as much as I do in my daily life. Food is so tied to culture that I feel like I'd miss out on an authentic experience if I stuck too strictly to being fully plant-based. And plus, my own internal reasons for going plant-based do allow for some flexibility outside of the US.

So tacos were definitely on the menu.

We seriously did not have a single bad meal the entire time we were in Tulum. If you're staying in Tulum Town, all of the places listed will be within walking distance of the main street. Keep reading for the best and tastiest food in Tulum, Mexico!

La Hacienda Coco Tulum - This was actually our hotel, but it included free breakfast and a reasonably priced cafe on site. The included breakfast was simple but generous: fresh fruit, yogurt, and pastries with your choice of juice or coffee. The lunch options at the cafe were only okay, so we opted to mostly explore outside the hotel for food.

La Barracuda Tulum - This was our first meal in town and we basically just picked a random storefront that didn't have a wait. And we were pleasantly surprised! We started with a mixed ceviche that was extremely fresh and flavorful, accompanied by a variety of hot sauces. I got some spicy shrimp tacos and a very large drink. We spent around $50 total for the meal and left incredibly full. Honestly, it ended up being one of the less memorable meals of the trip, but that's moreso a testament to the endless amazing food in town than the restaurant itself. Solid option if you're staying on the main street.

Potheads Tulum - We kept giggling as we passed this storefront and eventually we had to duck in for a drink and "snack" but ended up getting too intrigued by the menu to pass up some chicken and waffles. The atmosphere alone will make any wannabe influencer happy (I took about a hundred pictures) but I definitely wish we'd hit this place up more for the excellent coffee and breakfast selections. 

Los Aguachiles - One of the best meals of the trip, and the most unique tacos we had. Aguachiles is a Mexican dish, and this restaurant takes it to the next level with all sorts of sea and land options. I highly suggest splitting as many portions as you can to truly get a culinary tour of the menu. Everything was fresh, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. 

Taqueria La Riviera CosteƱa - I wish we'd found this place the first day of our trip--we would have saved SO much money! For $2 you get FIVE PASTOR TACOS that are absolutely incredible. Easily the best meal of our trip, and one of the least expensive. It's hard to find BAD food in Tulum, but the more touristy areas definitely have food that's less amazing. La Riviera Costena is right in the middle of the main street in town and does not disappoint. The one downside is there's no beer or alcohol served here--but there's a number of bars around the area to fill up at afterwards.
Av. Tulum S/N
77760 Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico

Snack Bar La Chingada - I don't have a picture of this one but we popped in for drinks on our last night and wish we'd found them sooner as they were hands-down the most reasonably priced cocktails we encountered. The menu also had a variety of snacks (we were too full from Taqueria La Riviera!) that are perfect for pairing with their extensive booze menu. A great place to start or end a night out on the town!

Taqueria El Sabor Mexicano - I wanted street tacos and somehow it didn't happen until the very last day, as we were driving to the airport. We'd passed this tiny storefront a few times but upon investigation it looks like you've walked into someone's kitchen. Big terracotta bowls full of saucy deliciousness is spooned into homemade tortillas. For six tacos we paid some ridiculously low price and they were so tasty I tried my best to savor every bite. Pro tip: the family-run taco stands are the best. If I ever go back I'd like to use them exclusively!

During Tours

We didn't REALLY have a choice for food during the tours, but I thought I'd share my experiences anyway (since the food was pretty good!)

-Frosty's at Tulum Archaeological Site: Our tour guide led us here and while I feel like he was biased or recieved a cut of profits I wasn't mad at it, because it was a ton of food for about $12. Again, super tasty, as everything is in Tulum, but not one of or more memorable dishes.

-Now Yaca Tulum at Tulum Diving Tour: Definitely the best breakfast on our tour! It was included in the price of our dive (my travel companion did SCUBA and I did snorkel) so I really don't know how much it cost, but it was so good. The standout here was the sauce--so savory and thinking about it just makes my mouth water. My travel companion got the Avocado Toast and it was everything you could hope for in an Avo Toast.... however, I was much more satisfied with the above enchiladas.

-Homemade Tacos at Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park: Another included dish that I forgot to take a picture of--oops! After a day of zip lining and Cenote diving the cafeteria-style homemade tacos were a welcome treat. We were offered as many helpings as we'd like, and a complementary beer. I was so hungry I scarfed these down while barely tasting them, but from what I remember they were just as good as any other tacos we had. 

I will admit, the majority of these can be considered "Touristy" but for our first trip, we didn't stray far from the main street. Have you visited Tulum? Do you know of any off-the-beaten-path locations we should have tried? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 14, 2022

Souped-Up Savory Butternut Squash Soup


Savory butternut squash soup

Hey folks, it's certainly been a while! I have some upcoming posts where I'll explain in a bit more detail about where I've been (cross country move and divorce in a global pandemic can get a girl distracted!), but for now I wanted to get a real recipe out there because it truly is that good!

Just because I haven't been blogging, doesn't mean I haven't been cooking. I came across this recipe on Buzzfeed for Florence Pugh's Butternut Squash Soup and was intrigued. I love butternut squash, and it's a staple on my Thanksgiving table. I've made butternut squash soup in the past, but it was simple. More of a side dish than the main event.

Let me tell you, Florence Pugh's recipe is no side dish. This soup is savory, hearty, and delicious. It includes some toppings that truly elevate the soup and compliment the traditional flavors.

And of course, being the foodie I am, I did update it with some of my own preferences. For one, I made it fully vegetarian. The other adjustments were just things I thought would work well, and you better believe they did!

For adjustments, I...

  • used a single, large squash instead of two. It yielded about 5 servings of soup with just one, which was perfect for me.
  • added boiled potato to the soup itself for creaminess without additional dairy.
  • also added an apple to the soup for sweetness.
  • totally forgot the Serrano pepper, but the chorizo brought enough spice that I didn't mind much.

I promise this isn't as difficult as the original article makes it out to be. Yes, you'll use a lot of pots and pans for this recipe, but it's pretty straightforward and not nearly as time consuming as it seems. And absolutely worth it for a hearty fall-themed dish!

Savory Butternut Squash Soup

(Adapted from Florence Pugh's recipe by way of Buzzfeed)

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (I used my veggie scraps recipe)
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and cubed
  • 2 medium sized yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tube chorizo (or soyrizo)
  • 3 handfuls kale
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Slice the butternut squash into 1.5 inch slices. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the slices over and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Finished butternut squash should be fork-tender. Let cool while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

-Roast the garlic as you wish: you can use Florence's method of roasting the cloves individually (sliced lengthwise) alongside the butternut squash, or do my method of taking the whole head of garlic, cutting the top 1/8 or so off the top, drizzling with olive oil, and lightly wrapping with aluminum foil. You'll place this in the oven when you roast the butternut squash.

-Take 1/3 of the cubed potatoes and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, checking for tenderness and flipping occasionally. You can do this alongside baking the butternut squash. Set aside.

-In a large pot, bring the remaining potatoes and apple to a boil in the broth. Boil until tender, about ten minutes.

-Peel the butternut squash and garlic, and add to the pot with the potatoes and apple. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add seasonings and adjust to taste.

-In a separate pan, caramelize the onion slices. Melt a pat of butter over high heat or use a bit of olive oil, add the onions, lightly salt them, and cook until deep brown in color, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.

-In the same pan, brown the chorizo. Remove and set aside, then add the kale with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until kale is wilted and set aside.

-Assemble: Ladle soup into bowl and top with kale, caramelized onions, roasted potatoes, and chorizo. Serve hot.


  • Cooking times for the squash and potatoes will vary. So long as they're cooked until tender, you can adjust the timing accordingly.
  • So long as your oven can fit it all, you can roast the butternut squash, garlic, and potatoes at the same time.
  • You can peel the squash before roasting, but I've found it's MUCH easier to peel once cooked and cooled. You can use a paring knife or your fingers to pull the squash away from the skin.
  • Cube the potatoes small, it will ensure a crispier potato and will work best for taking bites of soup with a little bit of everything.
  • It tastes EVEN BETTER the next day, after the flavors have had time to meld together. I also think it'd freeze well.

PROTIP: add two tablespoons of butter right at the end for extra richness.

Want regular content? Feel free to follow @forking_up and @thenewcaligal for daily updates!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Can You Be Vegetarian at Six Flags? - Vegetarian Options at Six Flags Magic Mountain



One of the best things I've done for myself in the past year is to get a Six Flags Membership. This is different than the Season Pass, as you pay monthly instead of upfront. Yes, it does come out to a bit more $$ overall, but my Millennial budget is much more able to pay the equivalent of a Netflix subscription monthly for all the benefits the pass offers.

The one wrinkle?--my newfound vegetarian lifestyle. Can you be vegetarian at Six Flags Magic Mountain? When one drives nearly two hours to the middle of nowhere to ride rollercoasters, you can't be too picky on what to eat. And who wants to interrupt their day of thrills with a looong walk to the car for a packed lunch?

So, I took a chance and got a meal plan. Now that I've been to Six Flags about 10 times (!!) I have tasted nearly every meat free option in the park. AND I HAVE OPINIONS. Read on for my tips and tricks for the best vegetarian options at Six Flags Magic Mountain (as of 2021/2022).

Click here to see a full list of dining options at Six Flags Magic Mountain


The easiest way to keep a vegetarian diet at Six Flags Magic Mountain is to make your way to a burger place, as they all offer meatless burgers.

Johnny Rockets - Johnny Rockets recently introduced an Impossible Burger option nationwide, and the Magic Mountain location is no exception. I was able to order this tasty burger on the app and pick it up no problem.

Full Throttle Sports Bar - If you prefer Beyond as your fake meat of choice, head over to Full Throttle Sports Bar. Bonus: you can grab a beer while you wait and catch up on your sports.

Big Belly Burger - Fake meat not your thing? Big Belly Burger offers a bean burger instead. I found this one a little dry, but definitely flavorful as I tasted some taco seasoning in the mix.

Pizza & Subs

Strangely not as popular as burgers in the park, but a solid option to go meatless.

Carlini's Pizza - Pretty standard amusement park fare: cheese pizza and two garlic knots. You get one slice with the meal plan, but can upgrade in-person (not on app) for a bit more. They also have salad options.

Twisted 'Wiches - This is probably my favorite option in the park: a meatless meatball sub! My omnivore friends actually ordered this too and said it tasted just like the real thing. It's not huge by any means, but a solid meal to fuel you up for more adventure.


Outside of typical amusement park food, Six Flags Magic Mountain has some other assorted options of interest.

Max'd Out Mac & Screaming Spuds - Yes, the menu shows these delicious carbs topped with a pile of meat. But you CAN get them without (hint: try the kids meal) and it's more than decent. The "holiday special" was a potato stuffed with mac and cheese. It sounds weird, but it was delicious. I hope it ends up making a comeback to the full time menu.

Tofu Veggie at Chop Six - Full disclosure: I haven't tried this yet, but the smells coming from this dining location have my interest piqued. The portions look generous and seem to be what you'd expect from a a counter service Asian-inspired restaurant. I will report back!

Cheese Quesadilla at Food Etc. - Simple, tasty, filling. So much cheese. 

Plaza Cafe - Another one I haven't tried yet, mostly because the lines are often long (it's the first food stand in the park). However, those who are gluten free will be happy to know that the menu is mostly made up of gluten free pastas! There are a variety of meatless pasta options, as well as the only place in the park to get coffee.


In the meal plan, you get a "snack" which can be anything from a bag of chips to a full on sundae. I suggest skipping the chips and getting more bang for your buck with the following.

Dole Soft Serv Float - Six Flag's response to another amusement park favorite, this decadent dessert is included as a "snack" in the meal plan and is always my go-to on a hot day. So refreshing! You can find it in Food Etc.

Giant Pretzel - If you want to maximize your food volume on your snack option, the pretzel is where it's at. Huge soft pretzel with a side of nacho cheese.

Churros - Not the most cost-effective option, but the churros are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and a delicious treat to pick up on your way out of the park.


I'm not vegan, so I haven't investigated this too much, but here is what I noticed during my many trips to the park.

Tofu Veggie and steamed rice and veggies at Chop Six - Again, I haven't been here but looking at the menu this seems like one of the best options for a vegan at Six Flags.

Burgers no cheese - Any of the burger spots that offer a meatless burger will gladly make it sans-cheese if you don't do the dairy.

Vegetable roll at Sushi in Food Etc. - Amusement park sushi? Sounds like an oxymoron. But the fish-free option of the vegetable roll is a safe bet for those staying totally animal-free.

Acai Bowl at Food Etc. - A great snack option (though the pretzel and churro are also vegan) if you want a cool treat that's vegan-friendly, this is the best one.

Things to Keep in Mind About the Meal Plan

As I mentioned before, my friends and I all purchased the meal plan that allows two meals and a snack. Here are some things we've discovered.

  • In previous years you were limited to certain times a day to get your "lunch" and "dinner" meals, but this is no longer the case. You do need to wait 1-2 hours between meals though, or your card will not process.

  • Take advantage of online ordering on the app! On a busy day, it can cut your wait time down significantly, giving you more time to ride those rides!

  • That said, while most counter-services places will let you edit your meals (for example, ordering a plain baked potato at Screamin' Spuds) the app does NOT. This is something to consider, as many counter service stations are going app-only during busy times.

  • Portions are NOT huge. While it's more than enough for me, a moderately active 30-something female, one of my Six Flags buddies is a large man with a healthy appetite and he ends up scooping up the rest of our leftovers as he's still hungry afterwards.

  • The meal plan does NOT include drinks. I suggest that you either bring your own water, or invest in a daily or season long drink cup. The cups range in price from $20-$30 but are a solid deal for people who visit often. The day cup will give you unlimited refills the day of purchase, but for the rest of the year you'll get refills for only $1 (and, if the counter staff isn't paying close enough attention, you may get some free refills regardless... it's happened to me a few times!). The season long drink cup is unlimited refills all season. Typically, we'll bring water and all share the season bottle at mealtimes. It definitely has saved us a bundle and kept us happily hydrated!

So, Is the meal plan worth it for a vegetarian? - In my opinion, yes. For a little over $20/month I can go to Six Flags and get two meals and a snack while I'm there. And as anyone who frequents amusement parks knows, meals can add up quickly. There are certainly enough meat free options to make it worth it, and the pass pays for itself with just one trip a month. I typically visit twice a month, so it's already paid for itself many times over. I would caution vegans against purchasing however, since the options are extremely limited and require a bit of configuration on the order, which is impossible in the app.

Do you frequent your local Six Flags? Do you have a meal plan? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Newly Vegetarian Survival Guide and Lentil “Beef” Recipe


The Newly Vegetarian Survival Guide and Lentil “Beef” Recipe

A few years ago I did something kind of crazy, especially for a self-described foodie and food blogger--I stopped eating land animals. Do y’all remember the Great Straw Debacle of 2017? When everyone stopped using plastic straws? I researched it a bit, and discovered individuals using straws didn’t make a huge impact on the environment, as our plastic problem is a bit more intense than that. So, what could a single person do to reduce their carbon footprint?

The answer is simple--just reduce the amount of meat you eat

I didn’t even mean to stop eating meat entirely. It started with Meatless Monday. Easy enough to accomplish, simply don’t eat meat once a week. And something cool started to happen: I got excited about cooking again. Suddenly I was looking forward to Monday all week.

A plate of steak, mashed potatoes, and green beans totally plant-based
Yes, this is all 100% animal free!

Meatless Monday soon became Meatless Weekdays, and eventually I just didn’t have an appetite for meat at all anymore. I still will have the occasional fish, and when I travel I give myself some room to try the local cuisine, but overall I don’t keep meat in my house and I opt for meat free options when at a restaurant. Is this a slow trek to being fully vegan? Maybe! But it'll be quite slow if that's the case.

Don't worry, I don't press this on anyone nor do I think it's the ideal diet for everyone. But, if you want to make some positive environmental impact, I encourage you to check it out!

However, sometimes you just need a burger. What is the best meat-free burger that actually tastes meaty? Over the past few years I’ve collected my favorite meat-free alternatives and wanted to share them with anyone who wants to help the environment (and our furry friends!) but feel like they “just can’t” give up something tasty. These truly are the best meatless alternatives for new vegetarians!

Vegetarian Tacos
Fully vegetarian tacos from Rascal's in Santa Barbara

Read on for my New Vegetarian Survival Guide and the best meat free alternatives! I’ve even included a recipe for my homemade meat-free alternative.

Please note: this is NOT SPONSORED, just simply a roundup of my favorite meatless meats!

Beef & Burgers - Impossible Burger

I don’t know how to describe the first experience with Impossible. It’s a bit weird, a bit scary, and definitely delicious. I know it’s the most common plant based burger out there right now, but trust me when I say it’s truly the best if you’re looking for a real meaty tasting burger. It even BLEEDS. And it’s not just burgers, you can use it any place you would ground beef. I’ve even made a killer meatloaf that fooled my carnivore friends. Plus, it’s gone down significantly in price since its debut. Definitely top of the list to try!

Hot Dogs - Field Roast Ballpark

Hot dogs were always my favorite cookout treat. Tofu dogs… not so much. Somehow that salty, squelchy, mystery meat-y flavor profile that hot dogs have just seemed to not be able to be replicated by plants. While Field Roast’s Ballparks aren’t perfect, they certainly scratch the itch in a way other plant based meat tubes can’t. It’s my favorite replacement so far, especially charred to the dickens on a grill.

Chicken Patty/Tenders/Nuggets - Gardein Ultimate

I know that Gardein is the entry level fake meat, but trust me when I say that you will never know you’re eating plant protein and not pink sludge (gross...) when you bite into a juicy, crispy piece of Gardein Ultimate. I keep one of each in my freezer and have made copycat chicken sandwiches with spicy mayo that do the trick when I’m craving my favorite fast food fix (Popeye’s, it’s Popeyes). I know that chicken nuggets/patties are pretty easy to do sufficiently in plant based protein, but somehow Gardein hits it out of the park with this particular line.

Hooray Foods - Bacon

This is the hardest animal product to replicate, and I’ve had my heart broken multiple times by lesser plant bacon. But in came Hooray foods and saved the day. I always liked my bacon only slightly crispy, with a bit more chew, and fake bacons always just tasted like pure carbon. Hooray Foods uses tapioca starch to get that same texture and doesn’t go overboard with the liquid smoke. It’s only found at Whole Foods (and more recently Imperfect Produce), but you better believe I make a monthly trek to pick up a package of it to get my BLT cravings on.

And now, onto the recipe! When I don’t want to use an overly processed, store-bought plant-based ground beef, I pull out some lentils and make this Lentil Ground Beef Alternative instead. It’s protein rich and packed with flavor. You won’t even miss the moo, I promise!

Lentil Ground Beef Alternative

  • 1 cup cooked lentils (pro-tip: cook them in a savory veggie stock!)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced small
  • ¼ cup diced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp butter (omit if vegan) + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke

In a saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic, and saute until the onion is translucent. 

Pour in the red wine and let reduce a bit, then add the rest of the ingredients.

Use the back of a spoon to crush the lentils a bit, mixing well into the rest of the ingredients.

Remove from heat and use anywhere you’d use ground beef--I like using it in a shepherd’s pie, or adding taco seasoning for tacos!

If you want to use it in place of a burger: add the mix to a bowl and add either breadcrumbs (about ⅓ cup) or cooked quinoa (½ cup) with an egg or egg replacement. Mix until a dough-like texture forms. Form into patties and refrigerate until ready to use. 

First ever totally meatless Thanksgiving!

Friends, what do you think? Have you tried going meatless? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Life Updates & My New Home


 Hi, Friends. Dang, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

2020 was a year that seemed like a decade. You would think all the time inside would give me ample time to develop recipes… right?

Well, to put it simply, my photographer quit both the gig and our marriage. Naturally, this led to me not having much energy for anything, and my lack of photography skills kept me from really documenting the few things I managed to eat. And a breakup wasn't even the worst thing to happen to me in 2020! A host of deaths, drama, health issues, and more piled on me. I was in a depression hole, digging itself deeper into the rocky Texas ground.

...Until I decided the best way to catapult myself out of my depression would be to totally shake up my life and create a situation where I could focus on nothing but the adventure at hand.

So, I packed up my life and moved to the place that has always called to me from across the country--California. It’s me, two cats, and my amazing dog, and so far I’ve just been adjusting to this totally new existence in Santa Barbara.

Guess what, guys: this place has incredible food and even better wine. It might be a bit harder to find the foodie hotspots than Austin, but with the backdrop of the California coastline on one side and the gorgeous mountains on the other, you can definitely find something tasty.

I’ve decided it’s time to revive this blog. It may be mostly pictures taken with my iPhone, but at least it’ll be alive again. At this time, it’ll probably be heavier on the restaurant reviews, but knowing me a recipe or two will probably find its way into the mix.

Oh, side note: I haven’t eaten a land animal since 2019! So this blog will be shifting a bit of focus to include vegetarian (and sometimes pescatarian) content. 

If you’d like more regular content, please follow my Instagram and Facebook.

See y’all real soon, and thanks for continuing to read!


Friday, November 13, 2020

Loaded Potato Waffle Bites



These waffle things are all over Pinterest. I know.

But they were too good NOT to try myself. And the pictures came out decent, so on the off chance someone hasn't tried these yet and needs some MORE convincing, here. Let me try to convince you.

Tiny, crispy potato waffles, with melted cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chives. Delicious. The perfect party app.

Then I got cocky--If I could do this with regular potatoes, IMAGINE what sweet potatoes would be like! I started fantasizing about the paleo-friendly treats I would soon create.

...Sweet potatoes = messy waffle iron, and burnt mush. Oh well. Can't win them all.

Loaded Potato Waffle Bites

  • 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes (or 1-2 cooked, mashed potatoes with added milk, butter, and salt and pepper)
  • 2 tsp smashed garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 handful cheese
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 3 tbs sour cream

-Preheat oven to 350, and warm up your waffle iron to high.

-In a small dish, mis together the mashed potatoes, garlic, and egg until well combined.

-Drop by the over-flowing spoonful (ideally, a couple tablespoons) into the waffle iron.

-Cook on high until browned on both sides.

-Place on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with cheese and bacon. Bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melty.

-Top with sour cream and chives, serve.

Note: While I was inspired by a Pinterest post I cannot find at the moment, I threw together this recipe from my own brain. Any resemblance to another recipe is totally accidental.