Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Forgot the Buns!!!

Ever wander through the grocery store, list in hand and something catches your eye and you say to yourself "you know, I feel like (insert whatever here) and pick it up?
Well, you are not alone!
This weekend I passed buy the "BBQ" section and peered some good ole hot dogs.
The last time we had them was when I made the "shnazzy dog" post - January! (weird time to have a hot dog isn't it?)

So I threw them in the cart and kept on truckin.....
It was near dinner time and a fear came over me.
We aren't having hot dogs tonight family, I was misguided through the store by pretty boxes, meats and candy.
I forgot the buns!!!!

So, run to the store you say....sure, I suppose that would have also been something to do since its a whole 1/2 km from my house.
But I bake and cook right so I suppose now was the perfect excuse to just make them!

I used King Arthur's Flour recipe, halving the recipe and adding a little jazz with some garlic powder (not garlic salt) to the mix. (about 1 tsp.)  I also combined the water and milk into 1 step.  Please click the link for their recipe and DO add some of the garlic powder, it just adds a little something extra :)

I found them to be soft on the inside, a little crispy on the outside (because of the egg wash) but they didn't rise for me as I thought they would - you know, like a store bought hot dog bun - huge, puffy, almost too much bread kind.  Don't take this to mean they were flat, they weren't, not by any means.
For us this was perfect since we normally buy the flatbread style anyway....we don't like excess bun.
You judge for yourself.....

The rise time was about an hour and a half and bake time about 20 minutes.  Needless to say you'd likely want to know in advance you forgot the buns :)


I'm listening to:  Hunger Strike - Temple of the Dog

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, July 23, 2012

Savory Strawberry Post - BBQ Sauce

Who says strawberries have to be a desserty, snacky item?
Not this gal!
I have a few thousand berries sittin in the freezer and because they take up a tad bit of real estate I thought it was high time something needed to be done with them.
Ice cream, been there, smoothies, done that, jam, a few jars kickin around.....
BBQ sauce maybe?  Why not right?
So I did a google search to see what I was up against.  Yup, its been done before, no need to reinvent the wheel.
But I did.
I didn't listen, I used my own ingredients, my own measurements.
Cooking with taste buds - that's how I roll.
Pulling out all the things normally used in a BBQ sauce, ketchup (I didn't think to buy strained tomatoes earlier), mustard, dry mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, pepper, spices, I realized I have never made a BBQ sauce before, not really sure what the ratios should be so we winged it!
There were a few hundred taste tests, and a comment like "it tastes like the sauce you put on top of our meatloaf" therefore some additional things added, because its not meatloaf sauce honey, that's just ketchup and brown sugar with a touch of spices......amature bahhhh.....

I found a taste I was happy with.
Sweet with a kick of smokey heat.  Not one that burns your throat on the way down but one that dances on your taste buds a little after the sweetness subsides.
It was perfect on my grilled chicken breast!
Please pardon the approximations - as mentioned it was to taste so start with mine and adapt to suit yours!
I'm Listening to:  Chattahoochee - Alan Jackson

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Be the Change You Want to See in the World - Giveaway CLOSED

A small man with a big voice.

I try to live each day without hatred, be kind to everyone I meet whether it be at the gas station, in a grocery line, the bank, online, wherever and I like to Pay It Forward when I can.
What does paying it forward mean to you?

For me, its simple, its better to give than to receive.
It doesn't mean you need to spend a lot of money, heck, sometimes the best way to help doesn't involve monetary gifts at all!  You could mow your neighbours lawn every now and then, ask a friend if they need a lift somewhere, volunteer at a local charity/not for profit organization etc.  There are SO many ways to help someone else out without expecting something in return!

Have you ever been the recipient of a pay it forward gesture?
How great does it make you feel?
I hope the answer is awesome enough to want someone else to have that same feeling!

I received an email from a wonderful foodie friend today.  We have never met in person although I feel like I've known Robin for decades.  We bonded over food, we exist as friends because of so much more.
Today she sent me a "thanks for being supportive" gift.  A gift that was so unexpected, so sweet, and so very thoughtful!
We chatted briefly about it, she was paying it forward to me because "she appreciates me" - I love and appreciate her, and I support her because of that - this is where my post becomes my pay it forward.
Her generous gift to me I feel would be best given to someone who also does things out of the goodness of their hearts.

So this is I guess a giveaway, to you, my friends to show you how much I appreciate you.
I ask that you be upstanding, honest people in your comments.  If you say you are going to do something, do it!

Fine print and info:
You will need to post a comment below with something you will do to pay it forward in the coming 2 weeks (of course you could send a follow up message on how it turned out - we love feel good stories!) or leave us a story of how you have been a recipient of a pay it forward and how it made you feel.  THINK, come back and post if you cant come up with anything right away!

Make sure to leave us your email address in your post.
Share this with your friends, and even people you don't know!
Although the winner receives a gift certificate for igourmet.com which only ships to the US and some other areas doesn't mean you cant enter, because remember, its about giving, not receiving!

Our rules:
Submissions must be in no later than 6pm EST on August 31st 2012.
We will need to use a random number generator to be fair to everyone.
We will send the gift certificate via email to the selected winner by September 3rd 2012.

Alright guys, lets make some unknowing people happy!!!

(Sept. 2, 2012)

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kickin Up Your Green Beans - Vinaigrette Styles

I love me some green beans, but I don't know about you but I find they can be a rather boring side dish material.

Now, there's been a post about frying your beans, hiding them in a frittata, even adding merging them into a salad with potatoes and goat cheese here on the blog but I needed, no wanted something more.
Beans are a plentiful bounty at the markets lately so why not showcase them?

Enter the most amazing accompaniment, bacon, and you cant go wrong, right?
How bout double smoked bacon?  Whole grain mustard?
Catch your attention yet?
What about now.....

AHHHH yes, the crispy bacon, the tangy vinegar, the beautiful green....
I present to you the smoked bacon vinaigretted bean.
Simply prepared, amazing flavor.

Now, if you don't have double smoked bacon, its OK, I don't normally have it either - use a good quality one instead.  I used red wine vinegar, if you don't have that, use cider or maybe even balsamic would be nice!
Play with your food, and flavors!!

I`m Listening to: Walking on Broken Glass - Annie Lennox

To create this recipe:
1 lb green beans trimmed
4-5 thick slices double smoked bacon
1 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1 small onion, diced finely
1 - 2 tbsp. olive oil

Start by trimming your beans, and blanching them in a pot of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes.
Use an ice bath or run under cold water to stop the cooking and let cool.
Cut your bacon into slivers (I like mine a little thicker) and fry on medium heat until crispy.
Drain and set aside.
Save about 2 tbsp bacon grease and toss in your onion for a minute or two, until softened.
Stir in your vinegar, mustard and oil - FYI its a pungent smell, clears the nostrils quick!
Toss in your green beans and bacon, turning to coat them all.
Serve warm.

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Corn Cakes with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

Did you see the Chipotle Yogurt Sauce?
Its PERFECT for the corn cakes I'm about to share with you.

I had to make em.
My dear friends mommy turned a milestone age 2 weeks ago and I was in charge of making them for her party.  They were gobbled up quicker than free gas!  Naturally they should be shared with my family too!  Not the gas, just the cakes.

Now these ones differed slightly than the ones I made for the soiree *using Bisquick*.
I didn't have any of that nor cornmeal on hand but I did have a box of Jiffy corn bread mix.
Honestly speaking, we picked it up on our wedding road trip, never using it before for anything so I was flying blind.
The texture was wonderful, they held up very well with the frying, and as mentioned, they accompanied the chipotle sauce swimmingly!

I roasted off some ears of corn on the bbq but using canned corn would work too.

I'm Listening to:  Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chipotle Yogurt Condiment

Variety is the spice of life right?
Well, how bout a smokey, spicy sauce to accompany some onion rings or fried chicken?

That's what we did tonight.
Actually, it started out as a sauce for some corn cakes. 
But since I made fried chicken and onion rings as well, it migrated.
It made my rings happy!

Who needs ketchup?  Not this gal!
Now, if I can remember what was in it so that you can enjoy it too we'll all be happy campers!
Truth be told I didn't measure - I went by taste so please feel free to add or omit where you like, because remember, everyone has different pallets.  Amounts are approximations :)

Lets go!

I'm Listening to:  Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton

Chipotle Yogurt Condiment

1/3 c. yogurt
1/4 c. mayo
2 tsp. chipotle in adobo
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
pinch of chili powder

Chop up a little chipotle but use the adobo as your base.
Add this to your yogurt and mayo.  Mix well to combine.
Start adding in your spices, tasting as you go.
Thats it....

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Warm Balsamic Potatoes & Green Bean Salad

Potatoes are a staple in many homes.
You can boil them, mash them, fry them, saute them, bake them, BBQ them but I love a good roasted potato.
One that is caramelized out and soft on the inside, brings me to my knees!

I recently decided to use some balsamic to form a glaze before roasting, then paired it with some blanched green beans and added in some wonderful local herb infused goat cheese for a lovely side to our meal.

This could easily be a cold side too, a great accompaniment to a picnic lunch!


I'm Listening to:  Real Love - Mary J Blige

Print Friendly and PDF