Posted at 10:04 am , on August 26, 2016
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!
Posted at 9:32 am , on June 24, 2016
Last fall Joe and I went to Old Settlers Day which is a local festival here in Olathe. The streets are blocked off for a few days as people gather for concerts, arts and crafts, an old car show and a parade. As we were walking through the streets checking out the arts and crafts, we saw a lot of folks eating tacos that caught our eye. I could tell that they were made with flour tortillas but they were crisp and browned on the outside. As we neared the food vendors we found a group of boy scouts selling “Pan Fried Tacos”. I watched as they prepared them with taco meat and then placed them in a skillet with a little bit of oil to crisp and brown them, first on one side, then the other. Before they handed them over they topped them with shredded lettuce, chopped onion, tomato and grated cheese. I had to try one and it was love at first bite! Flour tortillas aren’t usually my first choice for tacos however the pan fried method gives the tortillas a crisp and crunchy texture which also makes them taste so good.
Posted at 9:10 am , on June 17, 2016
Breakfast is one of our favorite meals but we rarely have it in the morning. If someone else gets up early to make breakfast I’m in . . . no question about it. I’m simply not a morning person and coffee is the only thing I crave to start my day. But with Father’s day just around the corner I may make an exception. Joe loves breakfast and I mean anything breakfast. We were introduced to buckwheat by Joe’s brother Chuck, who made us a big platter of pancakes when we visited earlier in the year. Both Joe and I were amazed at the taste and immediately wanted to make a batch when we came home. Buckwheat gives pancakes a darker color and a rich taste that is different from pancakes made solely with all purpose flour. I’ve made several batches trying mixed fresh berries, frozen berries and fresh blueberries. I can say without a doubt that buckwheat pancakes taste great on their own but adding berries will bring another dimension to the flavor that I think you will love.
Posted at 8:43 am , on March 17, 2016
If you want an easy bread to make for a crowd, Irish soda bread is hard to beat. Since it uses soda as a leavening agent instead of yeast it takes less time to make. A slice of this hearty bread tastes so good alongside a bowl of your favorite soup or stew. I enjoy that first slice fresh out of the oven, warm and crusty. Even toasted with butter and honey is a treat. While looking around other blogs I stumbled across some inspiring ideas. My favorite was a grilled cheese sandwich from justataste.com. It looked amazing and although I didn’t make Kelly’s grilled cheese, I did toast a few slices and topped them with a spinach pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomato slices and bacon bits for a tasty bruschetta.
Posted at 9:31 am , on November 16, 2015
When I need some comfort food and a quick meal I think of Chicken Parmesan. You can’t beat the taste of crispy panko breaded chicken with melted mozzarella alongside spaghetti topped with the tastiest marinara sauce. Most marinara sauces are made from canned tomatoes but I like to use fresh tomatoes when I can. There’s just something special about fresh tomato sauce with fresh herbs. This is also a frugal meal as I can make a meal for 4 using just one chicken breast. Don’t worry, no one goes away hungry. A hunk of french bread and a salad makes this a complete meal.
Posted at 11:11 am , on October 15, 2015
This year Joe and I have gone to several fall festivals around town. We’ve been to Irish Fest, the Plaza Art Fair and Old Settlers Day. It’s a great way to spend a day at any of these events. We’ve had some great festival food which got me craving a NM favorite Frito Pie. Frito Pie is a staple at most festivals in NM. We eat it straight from the bag and the chili has to be New Mexican. It’s traditionally served with grated cheese and onions upon request. When I make it for myself, I like to add some shredded lettuce and diced tomato to the mix. It’s Muy Bueno! I’d like to give a shout out to the ladies at the Desert Rose Center in downtown Tucumcari, thank you for the beautiful Route 66 swatch of material. It goes perfect with my NM Frito Pie!
Posted at 9:42 am , on October 6, 2015
Bread pudding is one of my favorite things on earth. In fact, I’ve never met a bread pudding I didn’t like. I had my boys over for dinner and made this especially for them. They showed up about the time this came out of the oven and as soon as the pictures were taken it was devoured! Normally, I would take the time to make a loaf of brioche myself, but I found this great brioche bread at Sprouts that is so good! If you have a Sprouts store, you must try this bread. It’s already sliced and perfect for french toast and easy to cube for a pan of bread pudding. Adding just a hint of lemon juice to the sweetened whipped cream turned out to be a big hit. Another reason I chose this dessert is because this is my 300th post of An Inspired Cook. I thought this would be the perfect dessert to mark the occasion!
Posted at 9:08 am , on October 2, 2015
Recently I cleaned out my freezer and found a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I had a small amount of shrimp, lagostino tails and an odd package of chicken thighs. So I decided to put it all together in a spicy gumbo which is one of my favorite one pot wonders. It makes a complete meal ladled over sticky rice with a crusty slice of french bread on the side. Traditional gumbo includes a holy trinity consisting of chopped onion, celery and green pepper, however I make mine with a duo of onion and red bell pepper. I’m just not into celery and green bells. However if you like them, throw them in too and just cut back on the onion and red bell. It’s hard to find the Southern tastes of New Orleans here in KC but having a bowl of gumbo takes me there!
Posted at 9:15 am , on September 18, 2015
This tasty Chicken Madeira is a popular dish served at the Cheesecake Factory. They have an extensive menu and I’ve tried several dishes but was unaware of this dish until my sweet friend Paula told me about it. She knows me well and thought I would find it delicious. She was right, I loved it at first bite! The chicken is smothered in melted fresh mozzarella and drips into the sauce which is flavored with Madeira wine and beef stock. The mushrooms are hearty and taste so good alongside a heaping dollop of mashed potatoes. It’s comfort at its best and very simple to make. There are many copykat recipes to choose from and I tried to take the basics and make it as close to the original as possible. I think I came pretty close. Hope you enjoy it!
Posted at 8:59 am , on July 14, 2015
It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a platter of fried green tomatoes. Every summer I can’t wait to try them in some new recipe. This year I made a salad loaded with quartered fried green tomatoes, Aussie shrimp, bits of fried bacon and the most delicious remoulade dressing I’ve tasted since the old days at the Cafe Oceano in Albuquerque. The Cafe is long gone now but I still remember the days of chalkboard seafood specials and the house remoulade dressing which was so good in my memory. This salad is like a serving of Southern hospitality with warm tomatoes, spicy shrimp and bacon on top. But don’t worry if you have any leftovers. Even chilled, this salad tastes great!