Friday, September 29, 2017

Hearty Soups for Your Soul - Bacon Corn Chowder


Do these pictures look familiar? This post originally appeared on my old blog, Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, which I unfortunately let expire. I'm posting some of my favorites on this blog so that I don't lose them forever.

I needed to put this recipe up before the weekend hit, because it's officially fall and fall is soup season! And I realized I have no soups on this blog at this time. Crazy!

While it certainly doesn't feel like fall in Texas, it's always frigid in my office. So, this soup is perfect. I've literally had a bowl each day for lunch this week.

Cory and me, atop Poet's Seat back in Massachusetts

Also, I'm visiting Massachusetts next weekend for a friend's wedding! I hope some of those colors up there are ready for me :)

Anyway, I've made a few adjustments to this recipe since I posted it on my last blog. The big addition is a bit of creole seasoning. I am obsessed with that stuff and it really brings out the flavors of the rest of the soup! The cream goes great with the hit of spice, and the sweet corn makes it even better.

Corn Chowder
(I watched the chef at our last Reenactment make this, so the recipe is hers but the measurements are mine)

  • 2 large ears of corn, corn removed from cob
  • 2 large red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 package bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbs corn starch + 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbsp creole seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

-Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until desired consistency is reached. (If you like it crispy, remove from pan and set aside so it doesn't burn. I like it chewy, so I cooked it until just done and left it in the pan).

-Add onions and garlic, and cook in the bacon fat until translucent. Add the potato, creole seasoning, and chicken broth.

-Gently simmer until potato is fork-tender but not falling apart. Stirring gently, add the heavy cream. Simmer until cream has thickened, then add corn starch to thicken further.

-Serve hot, with bread for dunking. Also a great addition: chopped roasted red pepper.

Monday, September 25, 2017

MONSTER MASH MONDAY - Eerie Alien Eggs Halloween Recipe

Do these pictures look familiar? This post originally appeared on my old blog, Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, which I unfortunately let expire. I'm posting some of my favorites on this blog so that I don't lose them forever.

Hey guys, and welcome to Monster Mash Monday! It's 5 weeks until Halloween and I am re-posting my favorite Halloween recipes from my old blog! From now until my favorite holiday arrives, check back every Monday for a new Halloween recipe. Missed last week? Check it out here: Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats.

These might look a bit familiar... I do a similar Easter Recipe. They look sliiiightly less gross with their natural yellow yolks. But, what sort of Halloweeny fun is that? Hehe...

These are basically just deviled eggs, with a twist. The twist is that they're slightly pickled with beet juice, making for a super-tasty and funky looking egg. A bit of food coloring in the yolk, and you've got a Halloween hors d'ovre that everyone will love to look at... AND eat!

This year, I think I'll add a little guacamole instead of the mayo. What do you think?

Eerie Alien Eggs

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 can beet liquid
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Sriacha sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • smoked paprika
  • 3 drops green food coloring
-Arrange whole eggs in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Cover with beet juice, water, and vinegar, making sure they are completely covered. Let soak in the fridge overnight or for a few hours until eggs are purple.

-Carefully slice eggs in half and scoop yolks out into a small bowl. Mix with remaining ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Add food coloring until egg yolks are desired color. Pipe or spoon mixture into eggs and chill until ready to serve.

Friday, September 22, 2017

GIVEAWAY Coldbrew Gourmet Coffee Station with Torani Syrups #sponsored #ToraniColdBrew


Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary product for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own, and I would never post about a product I did not support or use myself.

Hello everyone! Scroll down to the bottom of this post if you want to WIN A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF TORANI SYRUPS!

I've always loved Torani, and have a few recipes on my blog that use them. I've put them in cocktails, baked goods, and even just in some sparkling water to make Italian soda. But my favorite way to use Torani Syrups? Coffee. You get all the flavor of a coffee house--most of your favorites are already using them!--right in your own kitchen. Really, what could be better?

I've been meaning to share a coldbrew coffee recipe with you guys, but it just seemed too... easy? Seriously, I don't know why people pay top dollar for coldbrew, it is the simplest thing to make at home. That's why I was thrilled when Torani Syrups reached out to me to do a coldbrew post, using their Coffeehouse line. Finally, a reason to share this recipe with you, and jazz it up with some amazing flavor!

My office has a "Treat Yourself" corner, where my team secretly shares goodies away from the rest of the moochers--seriously, leave ANYTHING in the kitchen and it's snatched up in seconds--so that we can indulge a bit if our client workload is a bit too stressful. I decided this was the perfect project to treat my coworkers to some delicious gourmet coffee!

All of the pieces you need to make this adorable little Cold Brew Treat Yourself Station can be found at your local craft store. The syrup pumps are actually soap dispenser tops you can get for mason jars. Putting it all in a little crate just amps up the cute factor, and give you room to store the Torani Sauces and some straws, too!

Do you love Torani? They're also offering my readers A YEAR'S SUPPLY (12 750ml Bottles) of syrups! Make your coworkers happy, or your family, by setting up your very own little Coffee Station.

And now, onto the recipe.

The Perfect Coldbrew

  • 1 cup of your favorite coffee grounds
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 shots of your favorite Torani Coffeehouse Syrup (I used pumpkin spice)
  • Coffee Ecoutrements (creamer, sugar, Torani Sauces)

...that's it!

-Mix together the coffee grounds, water, and Torani syrup in a large pitcher. Let sit in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.

-Strain into a second pitcher, using a cheesecloth or a paper towel or coffee filter in a colander.

-Serve cold, over ice, with your favorite coffee ecoutrements: I use a bit of coconut milk, and a little bit of Torani sauce drizzled around the edge of the glass. Perfecto!

-Protip: Want to make less coffee? Use one part coffee to five parts water, and let the mixture sit overnight in a small French press.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Tale of These Leftovers - Braised Coconut Curry Chicken


Y'all, I apologize for these pictures. But not really because the recipe is pretty legit.

My plan was to do my typical photoshoot, with these lovely braised chicken parts nestled prettily in my red Le Crueset braiser I got for my wedding. Perfect lighting, a bit of a messy in-process shot that gives you that feel of being artfully realistic, with some posed photos after in my makeshift studio, as shot by my former photographer husband.

In reality, this is my lunch, and I snapped some phone pics during my lunch break. That is my sweater and plastic cultery, do not let your eyes deceive you. Because last night we were in a rush, and hungry, so we ate half the chicken, and they were so good we ate the rest of lunch. Yes, this recipe is SO good that two people consumed almost an entire chicken's worth of food in two days.

So, I knew I'd have to snap a pic quickly if there was any hope of sharing this recipe with you.

Last night, I searched "chicken pieces recipe" on Pinterest (follow me?). I saw a coconut braised chicken recipe and was inspired. I didn't have fresh thyme, so I made some adjustments.

The result? A dish inspired by my favorite Thai flavors. Deliciously flavorful chicken atop a low carb riced cauliflower.

Braised Coconut Curry Chicken with Cauliflower Rice

  • 2 lbs chicken pieces, patted dry and sprinkled with salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 can coconut cream (unsweetened)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used a combination of both)
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 minced chili pepper (I used a jalapeno)
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp green onion
  • 1 head cauliflower, riced

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

-In a sauce pot over medium heat, combine the coconut cream and broth, stirring until well mixed. Add the garlic and ginger.

-While the mixture is heating, prep the chicken. In a Dutch oven or braiser, heat the oil and brown the chicken on both sides.

-Add about half of the chicken broth mixture to the chicken, and cover. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads at least 165 degrees F.

-While the chicken is baking, add the chili pepper, parsely, and green onion to the sauce. Pour in the riced cauliflower, and cook until tender.

-When the chicken is done, remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Spoon off as much fat from the liquid in the braiser as possible, then add a cornstarch slurry of one tablespoon water to one tablespoon cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Coat the chicken with it and serve on top of the rice.

Protip: This actually tastes even better the next day, when the flavors have time to enhance in the fridge.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monster Mash Monday - Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats

Do these pictures look familiar? This post originally appeared on my old blog, Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, which I unfortunately let expire. I'm posting some of my favorites on this blog so that I don't lose them forever.

Hey guys, and welcome to Monster Mash Monday! It's 6 weeks until Halloween and I am re-posting my favorite Halloween recipes from my old blog! From now until my favorite holiday arrives, check back every Monday for a new Halloween recipe. We're starting off with a classic: Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats.

Yes, Halloween is and has always been my favorite holiday. When else can you become someone else and get free candy for your efforts? And, as an adult, throw an awesome party with ample booze and costumed friends? --well, I guess that's EVERY college party, but what do us old folks have to look forward to?

Each year I throw a Halloween party, where the main attraction is a buffet of halloweeny food. From gross to festive and back again, it's my yearly masterpiece. This year I want to start early. I just made the Facebook event. My costume has been ordered. It's on.

The first thing on my table will be these classic little treats--my Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats. Marshmallow treats are such a versatile little dessert. There's one for every palate, every holiday, and this was my first go at trying to make a custom flavor. I came across some candy corn flavored marshmallows, but honestly they didn't add too too much extra flavor so don't worry if you can't track them down. Just throw a few more candy corns on top.

Candy Corn Treats

  • 2/3 bag candy corn flavored marshmallows (or regular mini marshmallows with a drop of orange food coloring, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 cups rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup candy corn
  • 3 tbsp to 1/4 assorted Halloween sprinkles
-Line a 9x13 baking sheet with tin foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

-In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter by heating in 30 second increments.

-Pour marshmallows into the bowl and toss with the butter (add orange food coloring, if needed). Microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring in between, until smooth.

-Add rice cereal and mix well. Press into baking sheet with oiled fingers. Sprinkle candy corn on top and press lightly. Let set for 30 minutes before slicing and eating.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fall Is In the Air... Sort Of. - Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Do these pictures look familiar? This post originally appeared on my old blog, Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, which I unfortunately let expire. I'm posting some of my favorites on this blog so that I don't lose them forever.

Okay so, for the first time in my four years of living in Austin, it feels like fall outside. I need a light jacket when I step outside in the morning. On my newsfeed, my Massachusetts friends are starting to look all cozy in their fall-wear as they attend the fairs and begin enjoying New England's best season.

I almost expect to turn a corner and see an apple tree heavy with fruit, or a pile of crisp leaves pushed to the center of a neighbor's yard. I can almost smell that cool, autumnal air...

But then I remember that I'm in Texas, and it is not to be. By noon, it's hit 80 degrees and I remember the perpetual summer I live in. But, that's okay with me, because while fall is lovely and wonderful and magical in my old home, it basically just means that winter is right around the corner. And winter in New England is the. worst. Losing fall is a small price to pay to skip the harshest part of the year.

Still, there's nothing better than an Apple Cider Donuts, the official New England Food of Fall. I loved getting them fresh from Atkin's Farm, but now I must make do with making my own.

And I don't do too badly of a job. These are pretty damn good.

Texans just don't know. The last time I made these, my coworker said "these are kind of like churros..." eek! Tracking down apple cider in and of itself is a feat, and forget about finding fresh pressed. But I make do with the over-priced plastic jugs I can find.

These baked apple cider donuts are baked, so they're slightly better than fried varieties but by no means a low cal snack. 

Baked Apple Cider Donuts
(Adapted from Foodie MisAdventures)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray or butter a donut pan, or line two muffin tins with cups.

-Over high heat, reduce the apple cider to 1/2 cup*.

-In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt. 

-Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients about a cup deep. Crack the eggs into this well and gently whisk them. Add in the cider reduction, milk, vanilla, and melted butter.

-Gently fold the dry into the wet ingredients until just mixed.

-Fill donut cups or muffin cups 3/4ths full. Bake for ten minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the donut comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature.

-In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cider, and cinnamon for the topping.

-Dip each donut in the butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar until well coated.

*Alternatively, you can use a half cup of cider and skip this step, but your donuts will not be quite as apple cider-y.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sourdough Peanutbutter Brownie Bites for #OXOgoodcookies #Sponsored

 I received free products for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own, and I would never post about a product or service I didn't agree with.

It's fall, and that means our favorite kitchen product company, OXO, is baking up some good for Cookies for Kids' Cancer! I'm contributing these deeelicious Sourdough Peanutbutter Brownie Bites. What's Cookies for Kids' Cancer? From their website, here's what it's all about:

Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a national 501(c)3 non-profit, is committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved treatments for pediatric cancer, the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S. We provide inspiration and support for individuals, businesses and organizations to raise funds by hosting grassroots bake sales and other fundraising events. 

How can you get involved?

Join the Cookies for Kids' Cancer 4th Annual 50 State Challenge in support of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September. The goal is simple: inspire Cookies for Kids' Cancer events to take place in all 50 states to promote childhood cancer awareness and raise funds to help develop new, and less toxic pediatric cancer treatments.

Each year, OXO participates in part by identifying a handful of bloggers and sending along some of their products to help bake up some special recipes for the event. Here is what I received:

  • Muffin Pan - The Non-Stick Pro Muffin Pan features a unique micro-textured pattern that ensures even baking and adds structural rigidity. It's made with a ceramic-reinforced, two-layer, commercial-grade coating that provides ultimate non-stick release and is scratch-, stain-, corrosion- and abrasion-resistant.
  • Baking Cups - The BPA-free Baking Cups have handy tabs to help remove them from muffin tins without making a thumbprint, and the inside of each Cup is smooth and non-stick to release your treat easily. With a fill line, your cupcakes will be consistent every time.
  • Baker's Decorating Tool - Our easy-to-use, easy-to-fill Tool is designed to give you complete control while decorating. The unique trigger provides a smooth stream of icing for clean lines, and the comfortable handles ensure a steady grip and protect icing from warm hands.

I was honored to be chosen and decided to make every kid's favorite combination: peanut butter and chocolate! And thus, these Sourdough Peanutbutter Brownie Bites  were born. I amped up this recipe by adding some of my sourdough starter. If you don't have a sourdough starter, you can substitute in 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sour cream or yogurt to get a similar flavor.

Not to mention, these cool OXO products made it super easy! I am going to be using those silicone liners allll the time, I hate when muffin residue gets stuck on the paper! And the Decorator's Tool will be great for the holidays, as me and piping bags have a bit of a love-hate relationship. The gripped handle and gun-like dispenser made frosting these a breeze. I loved how easy these were to throw together, thanks to the OXO products!

Sourdough Brownie Bites with Peanutbutter Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
PB Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup peanutbutter
  • 2-5 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-3 tbsp water or milk, as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.

Combine all the ingredients for the brownie and with a hand or stand mixer (except the chips), beat until smooth. Fold in the chips.

Fill the muffin liners 1/2 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crispy on the edges and springy in the middle. Let cool completely.

With a stand or hand mixer on high, beat together the peanutbutter and butter. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar until the frosting holds its shape but is still soft--about 2 cups. If too much sugar is added, slowly add the water or milk until it softens up. Likewise, if it gets too wet, add more sugar.

Fill your frosting device with the mixture and frost your cooled brownies.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - August 2017


Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links. Rest assured opinions are my own and I would never post about a product/service that I don't agree with.

Hey y'all, I'm trying to get into the habit of doing these at LEAST monthly. If nothing else there's always an Austin Food Blogger Alliance Happy Hour to review, a handful of restaurants I spent too much money at to mention, and some random assortment of things I've bought I'd like to tell you about.

But first...

Decidedly NOT a Favorite Thing: Hurricane Harvey

Thank you, friends, for checking in. Austin was extremely lucky--aside from a few friends getting a bit of flooding in certain parts of town and all of us dealing with some excess traffic, we avoided the worst of it. This past weekend there was a gas hysteria that meant we were counting our MPGs a little closely and waiting in long lines to fill up... it was dumb. But we're trying our damnedest to help our friends in Houston!

-My favorite supermarket, HEB, has been doing amazing things to help with relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. I am so happy Texas has such a dedicated company that loves this state so much. We were actually out of bottled water at our local store because they sent their Austin supplies to those who needed it in affected areas. Read More here.

-The need to help is sometimes overwhelming--what can I do? What will ACTUALLY help and not hinder efforts? What can I do if I'm low on $$ and big on heart? I started to compile a list, but then I came across local Austin blogger Hipstercrite's list of ways to help and felt like it really couldn't be improved upon. Check it out if you want to lend a hand.

-THIS RECIPE from Full of Plants!! I saw this, made it, and wanted to eat the whole thing in a single sitting. I did make a few swaps, however: I used chicken instead of tempeh (making it decidedly NOT vegetarian/vegan), kelp noodles instead of traditional (cuts down on carbs/calories), and pickle juice instead of seaweed since it was the closest thing I could find to something briny. It was one of the best things ever to come out of my kitchen. Go, try this recipe, and thank me later. Want to get some delish kelp noodles? Buy them here: Sea Tangle Noodle Company Sea Tangle Kelp Noodle 12 Oz

-My Sourdough Starter is finally ready to start making delicious bread! I bought mine via Amazon from Cultures for Health and after two weeks of regular feeding it's finally ready. You can make your own from scratch, but I definitely recommend starting with cultures. I made some quick biscuits with the discards, and they turned out delish. Can't wait to do more with it! Buy it here: Cultures for Health San Francisco Sourdough Starter, Organic non-GMO, Natural Yeast, Makes Sourdough Bread, Pizza, Pancakes, Includes 1 Packet Of Starter

-Chicon Happy Hour. As part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, I get to try one restaurant a month gratis for a food blogger happy hour. This month the location of the happy hour was at Chicon. They won points immediately by passing out complimentary cocktails, and this [Purple] People Eater was refreshingly amazing. They then gave us a sample of nibbles from their happy hour menu (pictured: Roasted Avocado, Smoked Trout Dip, and spicy Asian wings) and everything was perfect. Not to mention the decor was the gorgeous modern minimalism I've come to expect from new places in town. I'll definitely be back!

Still Austin - A few months back, I wrote an article for Paste about Austin's first whiskey distillery since prohibition AND IT'S FINALLY HERE! The Distillery is open and producing. Look at how pretty it is, have you ever seen clear whiskey before? Since the distillery is brand new, and brown whiskey needs time to age in a barrel, this is what they have for now. I'll be going to a media opening next week, but yesterday I found this adorable little box on my doorstep. Keep an eye out on my Facebook Live and Youtube for a live first-tasting of this New Make style whiskey.

I was pretty impressed with this Sour German Wheat beer I found at NXNW. It's PINK! Not only that, it's tasty. I'm no beer expert, and I do enjoy a good fruity, girly beer, but I think anyone who appreciates a good sour will be into this. They describe it as his unfiltered gose is hazy, tart and sour, but with the addition of 168 pounds of blackberry puree, it’s aperfectly refreshing summer brew." It's tart, not syrupy, and has a nice balance. Pair it with the excellent happy hour, and I'm a happy lady.

As I've been growing my own channel (please subscribe?) I've been studying popular Youtubers to see how it's done. I haven't had cable in about 4 years, but binge-watching Youtube is pretty much my new channel surfing. Here are the ones I love most lately:
-Good Mythical Morning: A daily talk show by two best friends who have a habit of trying disgusting food and talking about it.
-EmmyMadeInJapan: An adorable mom talks us through unique recipes (like prison food and MREs!) and reviews with so much grace and humor.
-Redcow Entertainment (the creators of BoxMac): My friends, who I also wrote a Paste article about, have a Youtube show where they review boxed mac and cheese. But look beyond this popular series and see all the cool stuff they're up to--these guys are expert content creators.
-Sorel Fly - My husband's fishing channel! It's still new, but if you have any interest in fishing, specifically in the Austin area, check it out.

Stay tuned to my channel for more reviews and some upcoming recipes!
Let me know in the comments:Do you have any tips for growing your channel? 

-I just got married. In a modern wedding, you now get your photos digitally. After a lot of poking around, I decided on Shutterfly for my prints. And I am obsessed. For one, the prints were great! I've noticed local box stores have been lacking in their print quality, so I am so glad I went this route. Not only did I get all of my prints for free plus shipping using their app, but I made a gorgeous photo book and used a coupon to snag 40% off this unique keepsake. They ALWAYS have some sort of promotion going, so be sure to keep checking in if you have pictures you want to get printed.

-The Skimm is a pretty nonpartisan overview of what's going on in the world. It's an easy to read daily email. I like that it keeps me informed while not really pushing one agenda or another--though I'm sure there is probably some sort of left-ish tilt to it that I'm just not picking up--and covers a variety of issues. And, regardless of the content, it always ends up being not only an informative but fun read.

-Next on my list of local Austin places to try? Flyrite, to see if it'll measure up to a certain chain. Wu Chow, because somehow I still haven't been here and I love their other restaurant
-Anticipating opening of Fairground, a foodie paradise in downtown Austin.
-Upcoming campaigns: Torani syrups! I'll be making cold brew coffee (and possibly more?) in an upcoming post.