thursday things

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This gorgeous wall is located at The Windsor in Phoenix. I went there for the first time for dinner last night. I would definitely recommend it if you are ever in the Phoenix area.

I found these amazing ice cream sandwiches at our local Smart & Final and was actually surprised by how good they are. You can find your own here!

coolhaus

Mr. Eats and I had a “Pei-Nut Butter” sandwich, which consisted of two chocolate cookies with perfect peanut butter ice cream. We also had a “Rems Coolhaus” which was salted chocolate ice cream sandwiched between the world’s softest snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookies. I highly recommend both.

GAME OF THRONES IS BACK! And the hole in my heart is finally filled again.

Epicurious has compiled a list of the best cookbook recipes.

HuffPo compiled a list of 9 genius kitchen hacks with everything from how to soften brown sugar to how to keep your tomatoes fresh.

Wendy’s now has ghost pepper fries and a jalapeno chicken sandwich. Which means I’m going to Wendy’s soon…

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And TheKitchn gave us the 411 on how to clean burn stains off of your enameled cookware (to be fair, I have my own tip – Bar Keepers Friend. I use it on my stainless steel pans, sink, and our glass-top range too!)

Science has finally answered the age-old question of why food tastes so bad after you brush your teeth.

Apparently ‘KIND’ bars are not as healthy as they claim (according to the FDA, at least).

This video of Jennifer Hudson singing in the drive thru is downright amazing.

slow-cooker carnitas tacos with quick-pickled onions

taco 2

We skipped a season here and, although I’d like to say we went from Winter to Summer, I think we actually skipped Winter… which means All of “Winter” was actually Spring and now that the calendar claims that Spring has sprung, it’s actually Summer here.

Are you confused yet? Me too.

Either way, we have been breaking high temp records consistently throughout the months of March and April and I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit!  Some of you, I know, are still buried in snow. Or perhaps you had the sweet respite of a few days of sunshine, which was then followed by more snow (or possibly rain… or violent tornadoes). Through all of this, one thing is for sure. The weather gods are giving us a big figurative middle-finger.

Thanks weather gods.

taco 1

So, whether it’s warm outside or you just want to remember what it was like to be warm once, these carnitas will cure what ales you. They’re made in the slow-cooker, which means you can even make them when you’re barricaded in your house because it’s too cold (or too hot, or too wet) to go outside.

They are then adorned with pickled red onions which I personally love to put on top of literally everything – tacos, sandwiches, even salads. Seriously. If you don’t have pickled red onions in your life you are missing out. A couple cilantro sprigs and a light dusting of queso fresco give these tacos the perfect finish. However, if you wanted to go the more traditional route and top them with some shredded cheese and lettuce, they’re delicious that way too.

Feel free to round out your meal with a healthy dose of salty tortilla chips, homemade salsa, and an ice cold watermelon margarita and put yourself on your way to your own personal fiesta.

slow-cooker carnitas tacos with quick-pickled onions

Ingredients

    For the pork:
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • For pickled onions
  • 1 small or 1/2 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For tacos
  • Tortillas
  • Cotija cheese
  • Cilantro

Instructions

    Cook the pork
  1. Place the pork, juices, salsa, and chipotle into a crock pot. Sprinkle pork with salt and spices. Cook on low for 10 hours, until the pork falls apart when poked with a fork.
  2. Remove pork from cooking liquid and chop or shred. If desired, transfer cooking liquid to a saucepan on the stovetop. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering until the liquid is reduced by half.
  3. Toss shredded pork with sauce and set aside.
  4. Make the onions
  5. While the pork is cooking, mix the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar together. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
  6. Add onions and cover, let sit for at least 1 hour.
  7. To serve
  8. Top warm tortilla with shredded pork, onions, cilantro, and queso fresco. Enjoy!
http://wee-eats.com/2015/04/14/slow-cooker-carnitas-tacos-with-quick-pickled-onions/

[ Recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking ]

thursday things – an easter recipe round up

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Easter is almost upon us. If you’re not sure how much food you’ll need, berries.com has created a super handy Easter Brunch menu calculator! Whether you’re making brunch, lunch, dinner, or brinner (that’s a thing, right?) this calculator has your back!

If, on the other hand, you’re still not sure what you want to make, that’s a whole different sort of pickle to be in. I’m a ham girl myself, which works equally well in breakfast, lunch, and dinner applications. But I always seem to get hung up on the accouterments, don’t you? Well fear not, because I’ve got some ideas for you.

Feeling brunchy? How about these donut muffins with cherry jam from The Sugar Hit.

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These waffles, because who doesn’t love waffles? (Plus you can make them ahead of time and reheat them for your guests!)

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Or some of Playing with Flour’s egg and toast cups that are just as easy to put together as they are adorable.

toast cup

And I Am A Food Blog’s fancy new twist on a classic deviled egg.

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Salad is always necessary, and A Periodic Table’s bitter greens salad with grape molasses is out of this world.

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Crumb took everything you know about Easter’s classic hot cross buns and blew it away with a savory version stuffed with bacon and green onions. Yes please.

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Or stuff your Easter ham (or lamb, or beef, whatever) into some delicious croissants.

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And who needs colored eggs when you could have these bright color block cookies from Love & Olive Oil?

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And turn those macaroons into candy vessels with SkinnyTaste’s macaroon nests!

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Or make some super easy last-minute Easter bark!

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Or homemade peanut butter eggs (hint: sub almond butter if you have peanut allergies!)

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Or hit it out of the park with this fancypants chocolate-orange macaroon cake from My Name is Yeh

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peep eggs

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You’ve still got a whole week (plus one day!( til Easter comes and if you haven’t prepared yet, it’s time!

My idea? Adorable Peeps “eggs” – made of chocolate. They are basically the easiest thing in the whole world to make, will take about 30 seconds each (plus drying time), and are too cute not to love. I mean, JUST LOOK AT THEM!

I filled my eggs with peeps and M&Ms, but you could fill them with whatever candy you deemed fit. If you don’t have any Easter candies, feel free to use leftover Valentine’s M&Ms… I’m sure no one will notice…

… Right?

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The process is easy, you blow up a balloon (just a little bit) and tie off the end. Then, you melt some chocolate (I used leftover Chocoley from my chocolate bark)- you will need about 1 oz of chocolate per balloon, depending on the size. Insert balloon into chocolate, twirl to coat, and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet to harden.

You will want to do this twice, if you can, to make the shells sturdier. I only dipped mine once and the shells were a bit more brittle than I’d have liked. But, hindsight is 20/20, am I right?

So, once the second dip has hardened, you pop the balloon, pull it out of the chocolate shell, et voila! Eggs! Then, all that’s left is to put a Peep in it (or two!).

peep eggs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Partially inflate balloons to about the size of a small orange - I inflated mine until it just filled my palm but I don't know how big your hands are... :) Big enough to fit a peep into, that's how big you want it.
  2. In a double boiler (or a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water) gently melt your chocolate, stirring until it is melted.
  3. Once the chocolate is completely melted, dip the balloon into the chocolate, swirling to coat the bottom and sides of the balloon. Lift the balloon out of the chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to harden.
  4. Once all the balloons have been dipped, put the baking sheet in the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes until the chocolate is hardened. Remove the sheet from the fridge, and dip the balloons a second time, returning to the parchment-lined baking sheet to re-harden.
  5. After the chocolate is completely set, pop the balloon and gently pull the balloon out of the chocolate shell. You may use scissors or a sharp knife to remove any unwanted chocolate stragglers.
  6. Fill chocolate shells with easter candy and top candy with Peeps.
http://wee-eats.com/2015/03/28/easter-peep-eggs/

thursday things – ramen, owls, and more

ramen

During my birthday week last week, Mr. Eats and I tried a new ramen place in Tempe, AZ that was surprisingly tasty. If you find yourself in the Phoenix area craving ramen, stop by Umami in tempe and I’m pretty sure that you won’t be disappointed. It’s basically a “build-your-own” ramen bowl scenario – I chose miso broth, spicy corn, and roasted pork while Mr. Eats chose a paitan (chicken & pork) broth with chicken breast, soft-boiled egg, butter, corn, and double noodles. Both were super delicious.

Speaking of asian food, Korea apparently loves to watch people stuff their faces. I personally find few things to be more disgusting than watching someone eat, but I’m wondering if I should start moonlighting in this business, because I could make a freaking killing.

If you plan on pursuing face-stuffing as a career, scientists have found a way to cut the calories in your rice in half. And it’s super freaking easy. Continue reading