Time got the best of me this year, and damned if I live for a party, it seems that my schedule has me working for the weekend where I’ll work some more. Eddie Money is shaking his head at me right now. So what’s a girl to do? Call it quits, tune out, and plan to join in on the festivities? Hell.to.the.no. I’m going to attack every last starstruck moment out of this life of mine like Joan Crawford with a wire hanger. And I’ll look damn good doing it, even if it means haute couture pajamas as the dress code.
When my panties are in a bunch and I need culinary majesty fast, I usually turn to the glory that is the crostini. There is something so delightful about a portable snack – just a little bite of something assembled with care and made from bright, fresh ingredients. I find that of the things that I make for friends, bruschetta and crostini seem to go the quickest – people appreciate a bit of goodness. The toppings are just as important as the vehicles – crusty breads, crisp crackers, buttered toasts sprinkled with sea salt, even a potato or plantain chip all make for great bases for a crunchy bite. Continue reading Last Minute Oscar Party Action
Kicking Your Muffin Top’s Ass for America
Not that I’m one for reducing, but with the weather getting warmer and bathing suit season quickly approaching (Damn! It’s here!) my tummy starts craving veggies in a manic kind of way. And when the Memorial Day barbecue gets its flare on, I want to smother my plate with a mess of farm-fresh goodies in a salad extravaganza. I figure with enough luscious tomatoes, crisp greens and light and lovely lemony vinaigrette, my stomach will have enough wholesome veg to stave off the actions of the celebratory booze sloshing around my tummy without adding to the muffin-top. Fuck a muffin top. Regardless of any sort of dietary aims, this menu is a grand celebration of the season and a good use for any produce you’ve managed to grown on your own (or with the help of the local farmer’s market). Continue reading Lighten Up: Memorial Day BBQ Veg Out
Bend Me, Shape Me, Anyway You Want Me
If I had to name one food to serve the distinguished honor as the perfect bite, it’d be the dumpling. I’m pretty egalitarian in terms of the ingredients and format, but don’t get it twisted – my love runs deep and true and requires both quality and quantity as a means of scratching my itch for dumpling majesty. I’ve danced with dumpling making many a time in satisfying my cravings, and I’ve been able to get my method down pat to reduce the amount of time pleating and pinching so that I can get to the stone-cold munching party a little bit sooner. Whether I want thick-skinned jiao zi with gingery pork filling and crisped bottoms, or lacy shrimp har gow filled with bamboo shoots and sesame oil, I’m comforted by the fact that I know how to construct these babies for myself. And knowledge is power, bitches. Continue reading Throwback Tuesday: Dumplings, Potstickers and Ginger Limeade
Tart Lemons and Spicy Mamas
I think it’s apropos that this Tuesday following Mother’s Day (aka Dia des Las Madres), the recipe is one of my all time faves that my own resplendent mama taught me. She’s pretty majestic, and given that one day isn’t enough to honor her awesomeness, I’m extending the party to this Tuesday. My tartness is all earned honestly, but I can’t say that I didn’t get any encouragement growing up in a house with some of the sassiest fucking people to ever walk the earth. A sass factory if you will, and I was sentenced to work early on in the game. This original recipe was one of the early ones on Adesina’s Kitchen, and though it’s a clutch go-to every time I need a vinaigrette, the old picture did not sell this salad’s infinite awesomeness. I knew I had to go back and give it the glory that it deserved. Bibb lettuce. Check. Crispier croutons. Check. Snipped tarragon and chives. Check and motherfuckin’ check. Continue reading Throwback Tuesday: French Lemon Tarragon Vinagrette
Recipe for the Daring Kitchen
Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood
. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.
Like Julia, But Dirtier
Boeuf Bourguignon, particularly Julia Child’s definitive recipe, reads like poetry to me. The ingredients and process seem more a love song to an art form well-worth filing in the category of works that make my heart ache in that oh-so-good kinda way. So when it was announced by our lovely hostess Fabi that this month’s Daring Kitchen was to make Julia’s boeuf, you’d expect me to be swooning. Except I wasn’t, and all because of one little detail. I’m in Phoenix. And it’s already fucking incendiary. Continue reading Boeuf Bourguignon Crepes
Let’s Hit It Like a Goddamn Pinata
So two tidbits for you before we get to our Cinco de Mayo recipe celebration, both of which you may know already. First, the holiday we know as Cinco de Mayo, is kind of a made up holiday. Unless you are from the Puebla region of Mexico and really despise French occupation, your true celebration of Mexican independence actually occurs on September 16th. So yes (¡Claro que sí!), that nacho orgy that you hold yearly has no historical relevance to the 5th of May. Continue reading ¡Cinco de Mayo!
I admit that my cravings tend to be ADD. How is it that in the span of five minutes, I can go from wanting potstickers (the fat ones with the blubbery wrappers) to a hot dog (from Gray’s Papaya with plenty of red onions) to mac and cheese (with finely chopped onions melting into the sauce) and then right back to potstickers. I give my husband fucking fits – he can barely keep up long enough to shove my craving of choice down my throat before I’m already asking for something else. And if I’m online browsing through food porn, forget about it. In the span of an hour, I can have the foodie equivalent of multiple orgasms staring at everything I want at that very moment, only to be replaced by yet another want. It’s a hot mess. Continue reading Bolognese Recipes and Link Roundup
Recipe for the Daring Kitchen
Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking
. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!
Great Balls of Goodness
I know the name “Daring Kitchen” pretty much sets the stage for a challenge, but this month was an out-and-out “what the holy hell” bit of business. And this all coming from a girl who thinks she could make the basket on the show Chopped cry uncle under the swift work of her knife. My basket ingredients are black chicken, absinthe and air? Bring it, bitches. This challenge, however, was deceptively sneaky in its seemingly simple ingredients that dared at me to be combined. They sneered at me like the cool kids smoking behind the high school, waiting to see if I was indeed as badass as I claimed to be. I had to find a way to marry one ingredient from each of the three categories into an original, cohesive recipe. Continue reading Harissa Lamb Meatballs with Roasted Vegetable Couscous
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
The March 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, aka Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.
Love is a Thistly Warrior
Good things come to those who wait, and this month’s Daring Kitchen was proof of that fact. When I think of my two favorite braised dishes, I crave fork-tender beef short ribs with crimini mushrooms that have greedily sucked up all of the surrounding juices, and braised chicken thighs with shallots, tarragon and cream. Both are stunning and ever-so-yummy, but are wintry treats perfect for curling up to replete with the roaring fire and snifter of cognac. I wanted something appropriately light and savory for the warming weather here in Arizona, and our host of the month had a perfect suggestion.
On Carol’s list of recommended recipes, she listed Michael Chiarello (swoon!) and his Lemon Braised Artichokes. I thought that it was simple and gorgeous and would pair perfectly with a pan of chicken piccata. Turns out that the two were a match made in heaven, and I was treated to bites that sparkled with lemon, briny capers and tender chicken. You’ve gotta love it when a good plan comes together! Continue reading Chicken Piccata with Braised Artichokes
Recipe for the Daring Kitchen
This month, The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax
& Lis and they chose to present patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness. We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties.
I Want a Taste of You, Baby Cakes
This recipe was all the doing of my buddy Karen – you see, this month has been banana cakes and not in the good way. My schedule’s relentless and although I’ll never cop to biting off more than I can chew, my mouth is as full as my plate and work is looking like an endless buffet. Karen and I are cooking buddies, seeking out new techniques in the kitchen and regularly participating in the monthly challenges proffered up by the online foodie club, The Daring Kitchen.
Karen immediately dug through her mental rolodex of recipe majesty, a good thing because my brain was more fried than a bucket of chicken from the Colonel. She remembered a fabulous black bean cake recipe from Emeril Lagasse would be perfect to make. I was relieved for her quick wit and paired the cakes with a fresh pineapple salsa enlivened with piquant red jalapenos and a simple avocado crema made with greek yogurt and lime. The final result was ridiculously good – a composed plate that looked like it should be served at a fancy pants restaurant rather than the picnic table in my backyard. Plus, the time we spent cooking was a welcome respite from the piles of work in front of me. Good times! Continue reading Black Bean Cakes with Pineapple Salsa and Avocado Crema