thursday things – how to shuck corn in the microwave, how to remove grease stains, and a hedgehog’s birthday party

pusheen ice cream

Happy Thursday~ It is extra happy for me because I’M GOING ON VACATION THIS WEEKEND!!!

We are fleeing the oppressive 100+ degree heat and suffocating 50% humidity of Phoenix’s monsoon season for the cool 70 degrees and ocean breeze of San Diego. Can’t wait.

Meanwhile, The internet…

Earned over $40k for this guy to make potato salad

Taught me how to shuck corn in the microwave

Explained why some of you hate cilantro (with science!)

Reminded me of my love for goats

TheKitchn taught me how to remove those pesky grease stains (since I refuse to wear an apron for some reason).

Food52 helps me learn how to pit stone fruit so that I can stop buying it pre-sliced (aren’t they nice?)

And remember that hamster with the burrito? Well, they just celebrated his hedgehog friend’s birthday.

 

You’re welcome.

 

 

thursday things – life after whole30, new kitchen gadgets, and a 4th of july recipe round-up

I DID IT! I SURVIVED THE WHOLE 30!

From now on my desserts will look like these “croNOTS” - made from donut-shaped apple slices and healthy toppings like almond butter and yogurt!

Just kidding.

W30 was fun, and I learned some things about myself and the food I eat, but I’m happy to be able to say ‘yes’ again to things like quinoa, and rice, and peanut butter, and cake.

And these:

reeses oreo pkg

Much to everyone’s surprise (especially my own) I haven’t actually had either chocolate OR peanut butter since I finished the diet, which means I’ve officially achieved a lifetime record of going over one month without either of them!

I haven’t cracked these beauties open yet because I’m afraid that, after all that healthy crap I’ve been eating, they will just taste like pure sugar and chemicals… So I’ve decided to give my taste-buds a week or two to adjust to the real world before I break them open.

After that, MURDER.  May god have mercy on their delicious cookie souls.

Fruit season is upon us and since we’ve been demolishing fruit like its nobody’s business (FH has a serious rainier cherry addiction, if they didn’t have such a short season I may be more concerned). We decided to enhance the speed at which we can inhale our sweet treats by making two new friends: Professor Hullsworth and his less distinguished counterpart Pitts (he likes to pit cherries).

gadgets

I’m more of a minimalist really so for the past few years I’ve been convincing myself that these were unnecessary kitchen items and a waste of money. After about a week of owning them I am happy to say that they may actually be my two favorite kitchen gadgets. Maybe I really DO need that apple-corer after all…

Meanwhile on the internet…

This guy totally wasted his free pet owl by throwing it outside.

Wit and Vinegar made the donuts of my dreams

624x867xpb-oreo-doughnutssh.png.pagespeed.ic.IAFkjsVS8z

Eater began its own cookbook review column ….

We uncovered the truth about cookie butter

Cookie-Butter-01-Pickled

TheKitchn introduced us to the future of food packaging …

Japan again shows us that they are superior in every way by creating a penguin GPS app

And my froyo dreams are finally coming true with the creation of an automatic froyo dispenser (with an awesome f*cking name – THE FROBOT!). At the low, low price of 30K I don’t know how I can NOT invest in one, really…

Finally, with our country’s day of independence just around the corner, who would I be to rob you of a RECIPE ROUNDUP?

4th of July Recipe Round-up

Appetizers

Halloumi cheese bites from A Periodic Table (via Feast Magazine)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

These itty bitty cute caprese bites (add more bits of tomato and cheese and turn them into caprese skewers!)

Pass the Sushi‘s Huli-Huli bacon chicken bites

eed25a24705ee50919331978757f43d1

Herbed cream-cheese avocado canapes from Natasha’s Kitchen

Cream-Cheese-Herb-Avocado-Canapes-8

Mains

Emma Magazine’s BBQ Meatball Sandwiches with Peach Slaw

image75-870x580

SkinnyTaste’s BBQ shrimp skewers

Quick-Grilled-BBQ-Shrimp-Recipe

 Grilled garlic-basil chicken breasts from yours truly

Slow cooker pulled pork from Kitchen Mason 

slow-cooker-pulled-pork-10

Pioneer Woman’s oven-barbecued chicken

14351022687_b125a27935_z

Or give these 5-chili turkey burgers a try

Sides

Movita Beacoup‘s potato salad

dscn7478

Herbed quinoa garden salad from Pinch of Yum

quinoa-salad-41

Foolproof Living’s watermelon, avocado, and mint salad with feta

2-Watermelon-Avocado-and-Mint-Salad-with-Feta-9223

 

Fresh sweet corn salad from Our Best Bites

Fresh-Corn-Salad-from-Our-Best-Bites

Desserts

How about a super easy s’mores icebox cake?

Or, if you’re feeling extra motivated, you can make this American Flag Cake from Food52

flag-cake_food52_mark_weinberg_29-05-14_0648

Or, slightly less taxing, are these roasted berry napoleons from My Baking Addiction

roastedberrynapoleons

How about these delectable peanut butter s’mores bars from Just a Taste?

oven-smores-bar-recipe

Drinks

Bomb Pop Shots from A Beautiful Mess

6a00d8358081ff69e201a3fd289de4970b-800wi

These super easy watermelon margaritas from yours truly

watermelon margarita 1330

This refreshing (alcohol-free) strawberry-basil soda from Striped Spatula

strawberry-soda-1024x680

 

thursday things – mystery doritos, blue tomatoes, and southwestern tabbouleh

It’s Thursday! What you are seeing above is a glorious pineapple-coconut margarita (aka: “Nectar of the Gods”) from Blanco Tacos & Tequila in Arizona. Thursdays are great margarita days, in case you didn’t know. Helps to take the edge off the week and prepare you for the weekend…

I tried all the new Doritos flavors and can confidently recommend that you save your dollars and not buy them. My notes are below – if you have tried them, please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

IMG_4457

Yellow has almost a honey-mustard flavor, but then it has lime. It is like sweet-salty-limey flavor that I am not quite sure what they are going for. The only thing I can think of that is sweet, salty, and limey is a margarita, but it doesn’t taste like a margarita. I did actually think of something else it could be the other night but I already forgot. Maybe they’re just going for “zesty lime” in which case they hit the nail on the head, I guess. If they were going for “Mountain Dew” (which the internet seems to think) then, sorry guys. You missed the target (you are slightly closer to the target if you were aiming for “salty Mountain Dew” lol). Red I would describe as “hot as f**k” with a hint of cheddar. Every flavor I would assume they were going for already exists (buffalo wing? hot sauce? tabasco? but they already have “Tapatio” Doitos so… I dunno…) I mean, it takes a LOT of heat for something to make my mouth uncomfortably hot but this one did the trick. Actually, it wasn’t so much my mouth that suffered but every bite sent the spicy powder into my sinuses which then tried to murder me from the inside. If you are into fiery murder, go for it. These are your chips. Blue is definitely a molé flavor – It’s a bit smokey, a bit spicy, and a bit chocolatey, but somehow the flavors combine and cancel each other out making them almost bland with a hint of lingering spice that builds as you continue eating them.

I also found a new favorite snack. They are crunchy and delicious and I can pretend they are good for me because they are made with lentils. I’ve also tried the wasabi ranch flavor (more wasabi than ranch) and the caesar flavor (not the best) and the “lightly salted” (which were also really good) but the tomato basil is my favorite. They are almost always on sale for super cheap at our grocery store so my curiosity finally got the better of me and I picked up a few.

lentil snaps

In other news…

All you dog people can EAT IT because this cat proves that they are just as effective as dogs are at protecting you

Dominique Ansel is at it again with nutella-filled cronut holes… because that’s necessary.

Trader Joes released their Top 25 Products from 2013 and I’ve purchased woefully few of them. Triple ginger snaps, I’m coming for you this weekend!

So apparently I can stop my search for pineberries and grow my own, along with some indigo tomatoes (did you know those were a thing?)…. if I can just conquer this awful curse of killing every plant I touch…. Seriously, I have the equivalent of a plant graveyard on the side of the house.

Confused about whether to use light or dark brown sugar? Serious Eats to the rescue (as usual) – I usually split the difference and use “Golden Brown” sugar… seems like a good choice, right ?

Arizona’s Restaurant Week is this week so if you’re local be sure to check out your options.

Also, when I made my quinoa tabbouleh the other day I also made a “southwest” version. Because I had cilantro and it sounded like fun. It’s basically the same recipe but swap cilantro for the parsley, swap lime for the lemon, and add some avocado. The “official” recipe is below but I stand by my “adjust to your own preferences” recommendation. The recipe is VERY forgiving.

southwest tabbouleh pin

southwestern tabbouleh

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

    For quinoa
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For tabbouleh
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (or substitute one small shallot for more "pico" flavor)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 4 cups cilantro, loosely packed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

    Cook quinoa
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, until gently toasted. Add water (I use a 1:1 ratio of quinoa to water) and heat to a boil. Cook according to time stated on package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Make the tabbouleh
  3. Chop tomatoes and avocado to desired size and slice green onions (or shallots); set aside
  4. In a food processor, pulse cilantro leafs until finely-chopped but stop before it reaches a paste. Add a drizzle of olive oil and lime juice (sometimes I'll add my onion and tomato here too, just to chop them up a bit more) and pulse a couple seconds more to distribute.
  5. Transfer cilantro to a large bowl, add tomato, avocado, and green onions/shallot. Toss to combine.
  6. Add desired amount of quinoa, distributing evenly throughout.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste, refrigerate 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Taste again and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Notes

You can adjust the rations of vegetables/herbs/quinoa to your liking. I usually don't use all of the quinoa but if you want to give yours more bulk, feel free!

This makes a great side or filling for taco night!

http://wee-eats.com/2014/05/15/thursday-things-mystery-doritos-blue-tomatoes-and-southwestern-tabbouleh/

thursday things – benedict cumbercat, chicks with hats, dumpster doritos, and more…

f1eaae74ce4711e3bee80002c992510a_8

Happy Thursday!

Hopefully you’ve all recovered from your Cinco de Mayo fiestas by now, just in time for Mother’s Day. Did you know that Mother’s Day is this weekend – May 11th – (in the US at least)? This is your friendly reminder!

I saw this picture yesterday and immediately saw it as what I would probably be like if I ever had kids…

ice cream

Then someone pointed out that I was a grown up and I could just go get my own ice cream and eat it whether or not my kid eats their dinner… Possibly even in a taunting manner…

Our weather is crazy out here we were in the 100s on Monday, the 70s on Wednesday and back to the high 80s today. I seriously can’t deal.

The whole thing is so unbearable that these are the only things that can help to get me through my day:

 So cute.

While they were hatting chickens, this Ohio girl made the perfect imaginary boyfriend via SnapChat…

So THAT’S what SnapChat is for… They also have an entire Instagram account devoted to their love.

My pretend boyfriend is opening an ice cream shop in Yountville (hint: IT’S THOMAS KELLER!) – Just another place I need to go…

My other boyfriend isn’t nearly as nice, but that’s probably because I would kill him without so much as a second thought. And have, on several occasions…

coffee13

You can buy David Olenick’s designs in a variety of formats (and I intend to).

You don’t have to buy the new calendar from Some Kitchen Stories, though, because those lovely ladies just give it away!! For Free!!!

In other news…

Apparently Doritos were born in a Disneyland dumpster … and Target will sell them from their refrigerated section

Hate dining alone? Now you never have to eat alone again… I know that’s in Japan, but I’m pretty sure you could take the idea wherever you please. Who is going to tell you they can’t seat you just because you’ve brought a giant stuffed animal along? I’m pretty sure that is a form of discrimination…

I can now shush you in whatever language I please

This is what your fruit would look like if you put it inside an MRI machine.

F&W gave us yet another way to poach an egg. Will it be enough for me to overcome my aversion to poaching eggs? Stay tuned! (Spoiler alert: It’s doubtful!)

The EWG gives us the latest and greatest on the “dirty dozen” (and the “clean fifteen”).

This poor girl gave up her beautiful skin for a piece of this cake, but I’m pretty sure I would give up my first born.

Seriously, someone please make this for me.

We all know there’s no crying in baseball, but apparently dinosaurs are not out of the question

And if you haven’t heard of Benedict Cumbercat – it is exactly what you think it is. And every bit as amazing as you had hoped.

Side note, did you know that they give lion cubs a swim test before releasing them into zoo habitats? And did you know that it is equal amounts of heart crushing and adorable to watch?

SWIM, LITTLE GUY, SWIM! DON’T THEY KNOW YOU DON’T LIKE WATER???

It’s hard times out there for kitties…

kitty

 

thursday things – hamsters, pizzas, and the best things I ate in April

palm trees instagram @yayitswee

Happy Thursday!

First things first, you must watch this video.

If you’re not convinced that you must watch it, here is what you will be missing:

via: FoodBeast

Now that that’s out of the way, there’s a new (alleged) “World’s Best Cake” brought to us by Sweet Paul and now I must make it.  It looks almost too simple and too easy…. but I must find out for myself.

Also, Chicago gave birth to waffle donuts and now I feel like my life is going to be incomplete until I eat one.

credit: FoodBeast

And sure I’ve heard all about the horrible lime shortage, but I wasn’t really affected by it until this week when I went to buy some limes…. 4 stores later I found some.

Seriously, people. Now don’t you think if you just shut your traps about this stupid Limeageddon people wouldn’t freak out and buy all the limes and then we could avoid this whole catastrophe?

I was super annoyed.

Anyway, if you are hit by Limepocalypse 2014 the Kitchn is here with some lime substitutes for you.

Also, it’s one of the oldest pieces of cooking lore – do not salt your eggs (esp scrambling eggs) or you will ruin them and make them tough and inedible. Well, my dears, I’m here to tell you that it’s all LIES! LIES, LIES, LIES!

Which is good, because I always salt them anyway and just try to ignore the voices in my head that are yelling at me to stop. (As I do with most things). TMI?

If anything, salting your eggs actually makes them more tender so go find whoever told you not to salt your scrambled eggs and punch them in the throat.

Or just show them that article, ya know, whichever method is preferable to you.

The best things I ate in April

I have also decided to share with you the best things I ate this month. Because sharing is caring.

This lasagna grilled cheese with parmesan-crusted garlic bread from my very own kitchen. Seriously, guys. Make this.

37e7f23ecf2311e385380002c9c70a9e_8

 The broccoli carbonara from House Brasserie in downtown Scottsdale. It’s grilled broccoli made carbonara-style tossed in an eggy sauce with salty pancetta and so much delicious. This is hands-down the best broccoli I’ve had in my entire life.

I am pretty sure my heart actually stopped when I took my first bite.

10261141_1490032694541595_1511502695_n

This banana cream pie from Zinburger at the Phoenix Biltmore. I’m usually a chocolate girl but my dining companion wanted the banana cream pie and who am I to say no? I intended to just have a bite because, really, who cares about bananas?

By the end of dessert it was all I could do to stop myself from licking the crumbs off of the plate. It was seriously that good. 10254308_226549487541342_408256559_n

I’m sure you’re expecting some sort of Cinco de Mayo round-up but it’s not happening this year, folks! I’ve got plenty of recipes on hand for you if you’re lost and I’ve got one coming for you this weekend but no round-up here guys!

If you’re really at a loss for what to do with your time, head over to Movita Beacoup’s cake-off and vote for your favorite cake. Remember the goal was for it to be CRAPPY. So don’t vote for the prettiest or tastiest cake. You want to vote for the crappiest one. Unfortunately I was unable to enter this year due to my poor time-management skills and the fact that the deadline fell right after Easter weekend.

One of these years, though…

For now, I’d much rather talk about leftovers. And these pizzas.

Well, more accurately, these pizzas made from leftovers.

diy pizzas instagram

 

I’m always trying to think of new ways to consume our leftovers and since last week we had leftover meatballs and leftover BBQ chicken… there really wasn’t any way I could think of to combine them into one meal.

Then, it hit me, we also had leftover pizza dough in the freezer!

I thawed the dough, enough to make two pizzas, et voila! Our left-overs were as good as new!

leftovers pizzas

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pizza dough, divided into two portions
  • Leftovers!
  • Our leftovers included:
  • Shredded BBQ chicken from BBQ chicken sandwiches (warmed in the microwave)
  • Leftover turkey meatballs from pasta night, silced
  • Leftover pasta sauce
  • A shallot
  • Some basil
  • Some cilantro
  • Lots of cheese

Instructions

    Heat your grill or oven
  1. You want it screamin' hot. We use the grill (with a ceramic baking stone) which we heat very slowly to avoid breaking the stone. It takes us about 30 minutes to finally get the grill up to 500+ degrees. Alternatively you can use your oven - I would place one rack in the bottom third and one rack in the top third of the oven and move the pizza to the top towards the end to finish cooking.
  2. Prepare your dough
  3. Stretch and stretch your dough portions into your desired shape/size. They will not always cooperate, in which case you can leave them to rest a bit, covered with a towel, until they are feeling more agreeable. It is easiest to work with room-temperature dough for this.
  4. Top your pizzas
  5. Pizza 1: Layer shredded BBQ chicken (w/ the sauce) on the bottom, then cheese, then shallot, then cilantro (after it's out of the oven).
  6. Pizza 2: Layer pasta sauce, then cheese, then meatballs (which we sliced for more even heating). Top with fresh basil after cooking
  7. Cook the pizza
  8. Cook on ceramic stone or baking sheet until the bottom is crisp and cheese is melted. If desired, you can place pizza under the broiler for a few minutes at the end to really brown the cheese and get it nice and toasty.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/05/01/thursday-things-hamsters-pizzas-and-the-best-things-i-ate-in-april/