34 posts categorized "Edibles"

October 04, 2012

Mmm...Soup...(Fall Tastes)

This week I started unpacking my winter clothes and dragging out the Halloween decorations. Fall is Lit-trally my favorite season. (I know you Parks & Rec fans are out there. You read it.) Every year I stretch it out for as long as I can and then wish it could have lasted a little bit longer as soon as it's over. To ensure that I get the most out of it, I fill the season with a long list of traditions that capture every aspect of it, covering each of my senses. The next few posts will feature a number of these traditions.

Lets kickoff this sensory road trip with tastes! So far this season I've been indulging in pumpkin pie concretes, pumpkin spice lattes and apples in pretty much everything. There are dozens of foods that I consider quintessential Fall staples but one stands out above all the rest. On a crisp Fall night there is really nothing like hot bowl of soup. I've been mixing up one batch after the other. Here are some of my Fall favorites:

1. 15 Minute Udon Noodle Soup by: Steamy Kitchen. Super quick and super satisfying! I always beef mine up with some slices of tofu and a fried egg floating on top.

 2. Curried Cauliflower and Apple Soup from Epicurious. This one didn't last long enough in my house for me to snap a pic. There isn't a photo on Epicurious either but its awe inspiring qualities lie in its taste anyway. Everyone was starting to eat it out of the pan. I served it with grilled apple and smoked cheddar sandwiches. NOM!

3. Stuffed Pepper Soup by: Leslie Fehling. Leslie's recipe was the closest I could find to my Mom's recipe. We usually toss in any extra veg we have hanging out in the fridge/freezer. This could be anything from frozen peas & corn to left over roasted carrots or potatoes making it an excellent "fridge cleaning" supper option.

4. Vegetarian Split Pea Soup by: Martha Stewarts Every Day Foods. Serve with warm buttered crusty bread to mop up your drool.

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5. Vegetarian Chili by: Me. This is a recipe I fall back on a lot. I usually have the ingredients in the house already and it requires minimal effort.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion Diced
  • 2 Carrots Sliced into Rounds
  • 1 Bell Pepper Diced
  • 1 Package Morning Star Crumbles
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Can Small Red Beans
  • 1 Can Rotel Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 T Chili Powder
  • 1 T Cumin
  • Red Pepper Flake (Optional)
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrot and saute until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for at least an hour.

You'll note that none of the cans have sizes mentioned. This is because I always just use what I have on hand. This recipe is really flexible. If you like your chili mild swap out the Rotel tomatoes for a can of diced tomatoes with their juice. If it's too thick add more tomato sauce. Too thin? Add more water. I always serve it with lots of add in options like shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions and oyster crackers.

Do you have any Fall flavor staples?

 

January 10, 2012

Cookie Marathon Madness 2011

I just realized I never published this. Oops! For those of you that are new, a few weeks before Christmas every year I host a huge cookie baking marathon with friends and family. When I say huge, I'm not exaggerating. This year we made 16 varieties of cookies and assembled 46 tins of cookies with an extra paper grocery bag filled with more cookies that we donated locally. It was intense.

Here are a few pics from instagram of the event:

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16 lbs of butter.

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A small sample of our ingredients. My grocery list read more like a supply list for traveling the oregon trail than anything else. On the plus side no one died of dysentery or snake bites. Yeah!

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Homemade oreos with mint icing.

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Gingerbread snowmen.

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Assembled tin. Unicorns as promised.

Our cookie selection this year included:

  1. War ration cookies filled with cherries (Grandma recipe)
  2. Almond Cut Out Sugar Cookies
  3. Mint Oreos
  4. White chocolate clusters
  5. Lime Shortbread
  6. Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark
  7. Bailey's Fudge
  8. Cranberry Blondies
  9. Peanut butter Blossoms
  10. Citrus Oatmeal
  11. Macaroons
  12. Cinnamon Crisps
  13. Vegan Red Velvet Beet Cookies
  14. Gingerbread Snowmen
  15. Chocolate Espresso Chip Cookies
  16. Spicy Chex Mix - Recipe Here.

We were also going to attempt some honeycomb candy, but realized we lacked a candy thermometer so we dropped it. This year we were a little better organized and prepped a lot of the dough in advance, but it was still a long process. After a solid two days of baking and 6 hrs of icing I was happy to be finished, and thankful for all of the amazing people that took part!

 

December 22, 2011

Get Your Snack On!

As previously promised... here's my recipe for chex mix. I wanted to make it from scratch this year, but wasn't impressed by the recipes on the box so I made my own. I'm not going to lie - it's addictive! I used a blend of asian and mexican flavors to spice it up and add a little heat. It's so good. Mix up a batch share with friends or bring some along as a hostess gift for the next holiday party you're attending!

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Heat oven to 250ยบ

In a large roasting pan combine:

  • 2 cups Rice Chex
  • 2 cups Wheat Chex
  • 2 cups Mixed Nuts
  • 2 cups Cheddar Bunny Crackers
  • 2 cups Bite Sized Pretzels
  • 2 cups Garlic Sesame Bites

Set mixture aside.

In a medium sauce pan combine:

  • 5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Sriracha Hot Sauce (Adjust amount to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Mexican Chili Snack Powder*

Warm over medium heat stirring constantly until butter is melted and spices are aromatic. Pour pan contents over cereal mixture and then stir until evenly coated. Bake in oven for 1 hour stirring every 15 min. Cool on paper towels & store in an airtight container.

* The Mexican Chili Snack Powder I picked up at my local bodega. It's the same powder they sprinkle over Mexican street corn, an amazing blend of salt, dried red peppers and a little sugar. I used a brand called Znax that I found in the condiment isle. I use it on everything from steamed vegetables to popcorn. It's definitely worth the effort to find it!

 

November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving in Instagram

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you living stateside! I hope you enjoyed your Holiday. Mine was pretty great and I'm loving the weekend that's following it just as much! This year I invited some friends over on Thanksgiving Eve and we watched Pushing Daisies while we prepped dishes for Thanksgiving and drank hot chocolate with Baileys - a winter favorite!

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Oh, and cake pops. There were definitely cake pops! I made soy glazed green beans with toasted sesame seeds and upside down cranberry cake to bring to my family gathering and then we made an extra cake to eat that night. It was delicious!

The next morning I loaded up the car with the food, the pups and a couple of early Christmas gifts for my nephew and then headed to my Mom's house for lunch. She always makes The most incredible meals. Everything is handmade including hand rolled egg noodles that need to be rolled out and dried days in advance. I'm the only vegetarian in my family, but she always makes me my own tiny pan of vegetarian noodles and then usually buys a tofurkey or fieldloaf to round it off. She's the sweetest!

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At the end of the night I made my brother take me to see the Muppet movie and when we got home my nephew was awake so we got to dress him in his tiny suit for a few pictures. It's sooooo cute! I LOVE it! My family is awesome. I have so much to be thankful for!

This weekend is my final craft show of the year if you're in the area, and you get the chance, you should stop by the Rock n Roll Craft Show to pick up some goodies and support local artists!

October 08, 2011

Favorite Places: Eckerts Orchards

I'm lucky enough to live close to an incredible orchard/farm. Eckert's is family owned and operated and grows everything from berries to pumpkins. Each season offers it's own selection of crops for you to go out and pick on your own. With it being fall, I of course went out to pick apples. Twenty pounds of apples to be specific, all of them Jonathan or Golden delicious.

Golden Delicious Apples

Golden Delicious Apples

Birds Nest

In addition to the orchards Eckert's also has a full grocery store, restaurant, ice cream stand, garden center and petting zoo. The grocery store features a huge selection of locally made sauces, jams, picked vegetables and bakery items. While I was there they were hand dipping caramel apples!

Reeses Caramel Apples

Reeses Caramel Apples

Reeses Caramel Apples

The apples looked really good, but after picking twenty pounds of them and knowing that I would be eating them for a while I opted for a pumpkin pie concrete over a caramel apple. Easily my favorite fall treat! It was over 80 degrees outside that day so you have to forgive the melty image and just believe me when I say that it was heaven in a cup. Come on - a slice of fresh pumpkin pie blended into homemade frozen custard - yes please!

Pumpkin Pie Concrete

I picked up all of the little pumpkins pictured to start decorating for Halloween. I'm hoping to make some serious progress on that this afternoon. Are you doing anything fun today?

September 29, 2011

Bento #22

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Contents:
- Seasoned Veggie Crumbles
- Braised Cabbage and Apples
- Egg Noodles with Peas

I just realized that this looks like toddler food. It was still good. After my trip to the orchard last week I ended up with 20 lbs of apples. What do you do with 20 lbs of apples? Cook and bake them into every food item you consume for the next month of course! I'll have to post the braised cabbage and apple recipe later. It's probably not what you'd be expecting and it's delicious. We were huddled around the pan picking little bites out while we waited for it to finish cooking. It was that good.

September 28, 2011

Soup's On!

Sorry for my recent silence. I think my internet service provider has it out for me - in that they aren't providing me with internet service. I've spent multiple hours on the phone each day for the past four days and it's still not resolved. I'm still working on it. Ugh, lets talk about nicer things...

Like cooler weather and homemade soup! I really just love everything about fall. I love fall holidays, fall fashion, trading out tank tops and shorts for sweaters and jeans, pumpkins and apples and the sound of leaves crunching under my feet. Crisp cool mornings are refreshing and I swear they make my coffee taste better. The second cooler weather sets in I instantly start craving soup. On our first cool night this year I had some friends over and made a big pot of corn chowder with cheese garlic bread to go alongside it. It was phenomenal!

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Tomorrow I'm heading out of town for the weekend. The upside to this is that I'll have a solid internet connection while I'm gone. More posts are on the way I promise! Including a new outfit and favorite places post. Hope your week is treating you well!

P.S. What's your favorite fall weather soup? I need to start stock piling ideas for the next batch!

September 03, 2011

Hour by Hour

I was a little disappointed to see that virtually all of my instagram pictures were of food the other day. Today I tried branching out a little bit and taking one photo per hour of things that I did during the day. Mind you, this was a pretty slow Saturday. There are still a number of food shots, but eh, I like food. Here is what my day looked like:

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7:00 am - Puppy face. I almost always wake up to tiny paws and cold noses gently prodding my face asking to go outside.

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8:00 am - First cup of coffee of the day. Browsing emails and recent events in the lives of my friends.

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9:00 am - Laundry. Like Whoa.

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10:00 am - I put my hair up in pin curls after I got out of the shower in preparation for an event later in the evening.

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11:00 am - Blog. Write a few posts and brainstorm some others. Also, there is more coffee - I'm on my third cup here.

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12:00 noon - Break for lunch - veggie blt. Yum.

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1:00 pm - Take another break from blogging to weave in some loose ends on the never ending french toast scarf I'm making. Not joking. I started this thing two years ago, but this is the year, THIS ENDS NOW. Or at least this season, because after about 15 min of weaving I totally went back to the internet.

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2:00 pm - Break away from the computer and start sifting through recipes for something to bring to the party.

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3:00 pm - I decided on cupcakes and cocktails. Mayan Chocolate Espresso. <3

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4:00 pm - Pin curls = Bigger hair. Awesome.

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5:00 pm - Working on a shop update for tomorrow so I take inventory of what I have and what I should make next.

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6:00 pm - Cupcakes are iced! I might have also brewed a little more coffee. Cupcakes are great with coffee!

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7:00 pm - Heading out to grab my final cocktail ingredients.

I'm heading out to my party now, hope you're enjoying your holiday weekend!

September's blog posts are looking good, be sure to check back!

August 26, 2011

Bento #20

Bento #20

Contents:
 - Broccoli & Carrot Stir fry
 - Sesame Tofu
 - Seasoned Rice w/ Corn

My cousin recently turned me on to a new way to make stir fry. She starts with a base of soy sauce, vinegar and honey and then adds a few more flavors usually based on what she has available. For mine I added ginger paste and Cheyenne. It's really good!

August 24, 2011

Favorite Places: Bodega

It's the long awaited Bodega post! I've been saying for months that I would show you around a mexican grocery store. Today is the day! I LOVE bodegas! When I was little my Ita would take me shopping with her and while she did shop at traditional American grocery stores, we would always make an extra stop at a bodega on the way home. There are a lot of things you just can't get anywhere else. Here are some of my favorites from my local bodega:

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At my local store the first thing you run into is a giant shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. To most Americans this might seem odd. It is huge, it is gaudy, it is covered in tacky silk flowers and candles with images of saints on them. To me this is home.

My Ita was fashionable. She was always dressed to the nines in an outfit following the latest trends with her hair and makeup perfect. She also carried a special place in her heart for kitsch. Her house was decorated with classic mid-century furniture nestled atop thick red plush carpet. It was peppered throughout with an incredible assortment of knick-knacks and mementos collected over the years. They ranged everywhere from elegant crystal and jade sculptures to chinese lanterns and sequined sombreros. I may have missed out on perfect hair and make up, but the kitsch lives strong within me. I keep a tiny Dia De Los Muertos shrine in my apartment now. It just looks right.

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Were you looking to create a tiny shrine of your own? Look no further friend, everything you need is right here! The selection of candles in my local bodega is staggering.

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I actually own these ones. :)

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Moving into the food category. You are bound to encounter a wide array of dried chilies. They vary immensely so it's best to head into the store with a recipe and Chile name in hand rather than try to blindly select one from the masses.

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I primarily use Chile Anchos. They are rich in flavor and color and mild in heat. I use them to make enchiladas, but they can be used in hundreds of sauces and soups.

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I addition to a meat and dairy counter my store features a fruit carving counter! How awesome is that? You can buy fresh sliced tropical fruits - On a Stick! So amazingly good.

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The back half of my store leaves the groceries behind and becomes a super store. It's pretty incredible. They carry all kinds of clothing from soccer shirts and baby clothes to quinceanera dresses and boys tuxedos. There are CD's, DVD's wedding decorations, lawn ornaments and intricately inlaid wooden tables like the one pictured above. Crazy right?!?

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Remember my embroidery find? I got it at the Bodega!

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My favorite part of the bodega is the massive pastry case as you head for the checkout. Word of warning: Mexican pastries are beautiful hands down, but they are nothing like the pastries you would find at your corner bistro. The first two pastries pictured are conchas the last are elotito. There are some noticeable differences between these pastries and the ones you're probably used to.

The first is sugar. They may be sweet rolls but they are surprisingly low in sugar. My Ita didn't like them for this reason. They look like they would be almost donut like when in reality, they're only slightly sweetened. The other most notable difference is texture. I'm not entirely sure why because I've never seen them made, but they are really dry. Even fresh out of the oven. They are not at all buttery or chewy.

I know I probably just painted a horrible picture of them but I wasn't trying to, promise! I am seriously addicted to these things! They are the perfect accompaniment to a morning cup of coffee. The perfect snack to pair with a mug of hot chocolate!  If you ever find yourself in need of a good sturdy bread to use in a bread pudding - yeah, best bread pudding I've had in my life. On your way out of the store go ahead and pick one out. You will hopefully be pleasantly surprised!

Next time I'll take pics of my staple purchases.