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!
Posted at 11:17 am , on May 9, 2015
With Mother’s Day just around the corner it’s the perfect occasion to make Dutch Baby pancakes. These puffy pancakes, sometimes referred to as German pancakes are traditionally served with melted butter, lemon juice and powdered sugar. I opted for raspberries and a buttermilk syrup that sounded like the perfect touch to sweeten my pancake which has very little sugar. When it comes out of the oven it is puffed up over the lip of you skillet as if it could float away at any moment. When it eventually deflates, drizzle some melted butter over the top and listen as it virtually sizzles. Then top it with your choice of lemon juice or raspberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Some like maple syrup over top but I found the buttermilk syrup to be the perfect touch. The dutch baby pancake has the slight taste and texture of custard and a drizzle of buttermilk syrup made me think of my Mom’s buttermilk pie, only sweeter. So many times when I think of food it brings me back to my Mom who inspired me to make meals special and create memories. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s who make each and every day special!
Posted at 9:08 am , on May 5, 2015
It’s no secret that Cinco de Mayo is my favorite holiday for food. It reminds me of bright and festive colors with the sounds of Mariachi’s playing in the background. And the food . . . Oh, how it makes my mouth water! This year we’re having Taquitos which are fun to dip in your favorite guacamole or salsa. I’ve found that the key to making perfect taquitos is picking the right corn tortilla. Some corn tortillas are too soft and will fall apart when you try to roll them. But if you find a good thin tortilla that has a coarser texture they will hold together when rolled, and easier to pin together with a toothpick. Another key is to pan fry the tortillas for a few seconds on each side. The small amount of oil left on the tortillas enables them to crisp up nicely in the oven so that you don’t have to fry them. I cheated and used Frontera’s Barbacoa slow cook sauce to add the wonderful flavors to my roast. I then shredded the beef along with some grated Oaxaca cheese to make a tasty filling. They turned out so good, I plan on making another batch soon, maybe trying chicken next. Happy Cinco de Mayo all!
Posted at 8:41 am , on March 17, 2015
May the luck of the Irish be with you! Here in Kansas City there are always celebrations taking place in honor of St. Patrick’s day. You might see green water flowing through our “City of Fountains” or witness the largest St. Patrick’s parade anywhere. Also one of my favorite bands,”The Elders” return home for their annual “Hoolie” concert. It’s a festive time to be sure! While others cook a more traditional Irish feast, I’m going with something fun. I’m pretty sure nachos are not something you would find on a true Irish menu but it’s something that is festive and fun to eat. It starts with thin sliced potatoes baked crisp in the oven. These chips become the foundation topped with a tangy Irish cheese sauce and loaded with anything you want. As you can see, I like a lot of toppings!
Posted at 8:38 am , on January 27, 2015
Another discovery from “Great Day Cafe” is their Cheeseburger Soup. Their daily soup menu changes day to day but you can always be sure to find a tasty bowl listed on the blackboard. My version has a few differences, however. Great Day Cafe cooked diced potatoes in their soup where as I like crisp fries on the side. Waffle fries are perfect to dunk in this soup and also as a side cruncher. To give it some New Mexican flavor add some green chile, which is purely up to you. Don’t tell Great Day Cafe, but I think I like my Cheeseburger Soup slightly better than theirs. That won’t stop me from going back, I feel inspired every time I visit their cafe!
Posted at 9:52 am , on November 25, 2014
Making anything from scratch is the way to go if you have the time and effort to do so. Mole sauce is a favorite of mine but is a bit complex to make with a long list of ingredients. When in a pinch for time, I sometimes reach for a Frontera sauce packet for a quick and easy meal. Frontera is founded by Rick Bayless and makes some of the most flavorful sauce blends you can find that is packaged and ready to go. I don’t usually promote pre-packaged anything but I will make an exception for Frontera products. This chicken mole makes fantastic nachos but is so versatile it would be yummy folded into tacos, rolled into a flour tortilla for burritos or stacked between corn tortillas for a savory enchilada with melted cheese and a fried egg. You can’t beat the flavor combinations of rich smoky mole chicken with melted Manchego cheese, jalapeno slices, fresh avocado pico, sliced black olives and verde seasoned sour cream.
Posted at 8:28 am , on November 11, 2014
Times are changing, my nest has recently become empty and I now only need to make meals for two. My boys have both tested their independence at different times but also returned for a while. This time feels more permanent somehow. While Josh moved across town to his own place, Cameron made a move across country leaving me with a range of emotions. With only having two to cook for, my habits will have to change. I’m going to try to cut down my recipes to fit two people and also try to create more simple and frugal recipes that Josh and Cam can make. This shrimp pasta is a good recipe to start with. It makes a great meal for 2 – 3 people. And if shrimp is a little pricey for your wallet, boneless chicken breast or thighs would be a good alternative. In the time it takes to boil pasta, you can make a lemon cream sauce that tastes just like you ordered it from a restaurant. Serve alongside a garden salad and a hunk of french artisan bread and you’ve got a complete and flavorful meal!
Posted at 9:07 am , on August 1, 2014
This summer I’ve been really good about grilling foods and eating healthier but I just fell off the wagon. I’ve been craving comfort food and made some Chicken Fried Chicken with some of the best cream gravy I’ve ever had. It tastes just like fried chicken but the process is a little different. Chicken fried chicken is boneless and run through an egg buttermilk bath before heading to the flour and into the fry pan. It fries up crispy brown and topped with cream gravy which makes it taste so good. If you’ve never had this Southern comfort, well . . . you just don’t know what you’ve been missing!
Posted at 8:49 am , on July 1, 2014
Did you ever have a meal that reminded you of a special event, time or place? Do you recall a special dish you had on vacation or something you picked up at a vending cart at a festival? Or maybe you shared a meal with family and friends for a special occasion, such as a birthday or Christmas. About a month ago we celebrated Josh’s graduation from college. He’s a smart kid (I should say man), way smarter than his parents and we couldn’t be more proud! So after the pomp and circumstance we took him out to dinner at the Capital Grille down on the plaza. There were a lot of families celebrating and the wait staff couldn’t have been any nicer. Their menu was set up to order entrees and side dishes separately. We were feeling adventurous and ordered the Lobster Mac and Cheese as our side which we were told was a signature dish and favorite of the staff. The entrees were delicious, but the lobster mac and cheese was the true stand out. Served in a small cast iron skillet, the lobster was perfectly cooked with a light panko crunch in every bite while the blend of cheeses were so flavorful and creamy. It made such an impression that I started searching the web to see if there was a copycat recipe anywhere out there. I found a recipe I could work with and created a mac and cheese close to what we enjoyed at the Capital Grille. From now on this mac and cheese will be a reminder of the night we celebrated Josh’s graduation.
Posted at 9:25 am , on April 22, 2014
In the mood for some meat and potatoes . . . I found a recipe for Latin Pork and Potatoes in the local paper that looked intriguing. It was an easy one pot meal but the list of ingredients seemed to be a bit on the bland side. So I changed it up subbing in chicken thighs for the pork chops and adding salsa flavors to the pot. It was an amazing blend of flavors with chicken so tender and juicy surrounded by potatoes, onions, green chiles and garlic in a brothy tomato base. It made a hearty meal with a hunk of french bread on the side to sop of any leftover juices.