stir-fry-veggies-and-rice-1

I have been experimenting with stir fry sauces for years trying to create a sauce that tastes authentic as well as having a ton of flavor.   I love vegetables but there’s only so many veggies my husband will eat so I have to find flavors that mixed with vegetables will appeal to him.  With this sauce I can stir fry almost any vegetable and he will eat it.  This recipe makes enough sauce for several stir fry’s, enough to last us at least a week or more.  Stir fry your favorite veggies and begin to add the sauce a spoonful at a time, tasting after each addition until you have just the right amount for your taste buds.  And it’s easy to add chicken, steak, pork or shrimp to the mix for a complete meal.
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baba-ganoush-12

Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro is a restaurant here in KC that has an extensive menu garnishing traditional meals with a European spin.  We hadn’t been there in many years but for our anniversary Joe took me to Ya Ya’s for a night out.  Before the meal was served they brought out a Baba Ganoush appetizer with soft french bread for dipping that was so tasty.  It had a hint of lemon and tasted different than anything we had ever had. We both loved it and asked the waiter what it consisted of.  He was happy to share and told us that it was made with roasted eggplant, Greek yogurt, garlic, an herbed olive oil and sprinkled with a spice called Zatar.  Most recipes use tahini in their Baba Ganoush which is why this dish tastes so different.  I found a recipe online from St. Louis Today for Ya Ya’s famous Baba Ganoush that had the exact ingredients our waiter had listed.  I made a run to Tasteful Olive for an olive oil that would give this dish the taste we had experienced at Ya Ya’s.  When I explained to them what I was making they suggested Milanese Gremolata, a flavored olive oil consisting of fresh lemon zest, minced garlic, Italian flat leaf parsley and a hint of mint.  With the olive oil in hand I walked a couple doors down to Penzey’s where I found Zatar, a spice that is a popular Middle Eastern blend consisting of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and salt.  Roasting the eggplant was a bit time consuming but I have to say my homemade Baba Ganoush came together with the consistency and flavors that we enjoyed at Ya Ya’s.  It couldn’t have turned out better!   (more…)

Loaded-Fries-3

As promised here’s another idea for any leftover Mayan pork.  While Josh enjoyed a Mayan pork sandwich from the food truck, I had a platter of Loaded Fries.  Oh boy were they good!  The fries were crispy and loaded with cheese sauce, fresh pico, cilantro lime cream and lots of Mayan pulled pork.  It was way too much for this girl to eat but I gave it my best shot!
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Mayan-Pork-Tacos-17

Recently I had my first food truck experience.  Here in KC there is an old warehouse district called the West Bottoms that’s been converted into a huge flea market that happens every first Friday/weekend of the month.  If you love all things vintage then this is the place to be.  They have anything and everything you can think of displayed in these beautiful old warehouses. People spend hours perusing through the old buildings looking for treasure.  There aren’t many places to eat down there except for a line of food trucks that are parked along the streets.  We walked the streets looking at all the food trucks each with their own artistic style and various menus, it was hard to choose.  We decided on “American Fusion” which offered a small menu but caught our attention.  Josh had their “Mayan Pork” sandwich aka Cochinita Pibil, a slow roasted Mexican pork from the Yucatan peninsula of Mayan origin.  First of all, it practically melts in your mouth, it was that tender.  And the flavor, it was amazing with a hint of smoky sweet flavors.  I was inspired!!  After researching everything I could find on how to make this delicious pulled pork I have finally created my own version.  First thing on the menu Mayan Pork Tacos . . . . with more to come!
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Hatch-2013-4

It’s been 5 years since I first posted our tradition of putting up green chile for the freezer.  Time to update and revisit my favorite time of year.  It’s the time when the big trucks drive up, the roasters come out and they start to unload those fresh Green Chiles from The Land of Enchantment.  It’s Green Chile season and I’m in heaven.  I’ve lived away from NM over 20 years and other than my family, chile season is the time I miss most with the aroma of roasted chile in the air.  There’s nothing like it and the chile is so delicious right after it’s been roasted.  Several years ago they started bringing in truckloads of Hatch Chile to one of the grocery stores here in the Kansas City area and roasting it outside on the weekends.  Always before I had to ask my family back home to please put up some chile in the freezer for me.  They always came through but it’s really special to be able to put up my own and experience the aroma and taste firsthand.  This year they were especially meaty and hot.
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Peach-Fried-Pies-30

There’s nothing better than a ripe juicy peach in the summertime, at least I think so.  The only thing better is maybe a peach pie.  This summer I made fried pies and they couldn’t have turned out better. Smelling the freshly fried pastry dough with vanilla glaze took me back in time to when my Mom used to make glazed doughnuts.  She would fry them up and while they were still warm dip them in a glaze which tasted out of this world!!  I remember stuffing my face with them as fast as she could make them.  I don’t mean to say fried pies are like doughnuts but the aroma is very similar. I found some locally grown peaches that were ripe and so sweet, perfect for a pie filling.  I can’t wait to make more, maybe try some with berries, cinnamon apples or lemon curd.
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Calypso-Cookies-13

I made these cookies for a good friend of mine.  On a recent trip to Florida she found these delectable Calypso cookies at Publix Bakery which is a popular chain in the South.  They are oatmeal based with coconut and pecans.  She wanted to recreate these cookies and asked if I would give it a try.  After researching online I found many copycat recipes with which to work with.  Now I have to say I’m not really a coconut person and usually avoid it but after trying these cookies I was pleasantly surprised.  The flavors are well balanced without the strong coconut flavor that usually overwhelms me.  I think they taste pretty close to the original Publix cookies.  Let me know what you think!
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