Saturday, July 31, 2010

Brownie Bread Pudding

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Bread pudding is one of those comfort foods that I’ll always cherish.  It’s so homey and welcoming.  The aroma is enticing and the texture rich and creamy.  What’s not to love?

I’ve made bread pudding with croissants, doughnuts, and muffins, and today I made it using day old brownies!  All divine.  I’m not sure which is my favorite… The muffins and brownie mixes are very rich, the doughnut is quite sugary but in the oh-so-good way, and the croissants are just butter perfection.

I always switch up bread pudding mixes, and this time I tried a lower fat version.  It was pretty good!

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I sometimes use do half white sugar, half brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 cups bread cubes (for this recipe, I used half day old French bread and half brownie)
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries (you can also use raisins or cranberries)

HOW TO MAKE:

  1. Beat ingredients 1-6 together in bowl.  Toss together with bread crumbs and cherries in a 2 quart bowl.
  2. Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
  3. I like to top this with a caramel, rum, or whiskey sauce, then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream… (so much for the lower fat notion…) mmmm! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Tacos

I’m a big fan of tacos and a big fan of pulled pork, so this recipe was made for me!  It takes a bit of time to pull together, so I’d suggest (for all busy people like myself) making it on the weekend.  It’s worth the time investment.

Prep: 10 min / Cook: 4–5 hrs / Amount: 10 tacos

  • 1 boneless pork sirloin roast (2 pounds) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1.5 cups salsa verde (I bought pre-made, but you can make it yourself if you have the energy!)
  • 1 medium red pepper chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Dash hot pepper sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook for 4-5 on high until meat is super tender.  How easy is that?!?!?  Shred the pork and wrap in soft warm tortillas with favorite toppings (I like sour cream, avocado, and tomato).

Eat well my friends.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Diversity of Pancakes

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Pancakes are a fabulous food item because you can have them for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.  They’re kind of like crepes to me, in that you can also have them sweet or savory.

Last night for my dinner, I had some of each!

For my sweet pancake I had chocolate chips, almonds, and almond extract mixed into the batter.

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For my fruity pancake, I had Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries mixed in.

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And for my savory pancake, I added blue cheese and ham.  It was definitely different than the normal pancake, but it was oh so good!

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Here they are on the griddle…

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And here they are just before being devoured…!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fresh healthy breakfast!

What’s your favorite fruit?  I swear, I love them all!  I actually like the more unique fruit than the basic strawberry, banana, orange, and apple mix.  Mango, papaya, cherries, berries, kiwi, etc… are even more my style.  Because I enjoy trying new foods, I googled “tropical fruit” and came upon a tropical fruit website that has so many kinds of fruit that I’ve never tried!  Now, if only the grocery store carried all these items!

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This morning I mixed my fruit bowl with some veggie scrambled eggs and a side of avocado for an easy healthy breakfast.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Chicago Eats

I recently wrote about my Chicago trip on my fashion blog and figured I should post about some of the delicious food on my food blog as well!

One of our first dining experiences was at Cafe Ba Ba Rebba.  It was phenomenal!  They serve mainly tapas and the food was so unique and fresh that I could honestly eat there everyday and not get bored.

The dishes we tried:

  • mixed greens, beets, oranges & goat cheese
  • local tomato salad with arugula & migas
  • roast eggplant salad with goat cheese
  • spinach & manchego stuffed mushrooms
  • mushroom empanada with porcini alioli
  • fried green peppers & coarse salt
  • shrimp with garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes 
  • vegetable paella
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Can you tell we were totally stuffed when this picture was taken!?!

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For breakfast, we ate at our hotel restaurant, Sable Kitchen & Bar.  Seriously, they have me forever hooked on Greek yogurt.  I’ve already eaten a tub of it since being back home…  LOL

It is such a simple dish (i.e. easy to make at home too!) but the simplicity made it so divine.  Just Greek yogurt, fruit, granola, and drizzled honey.  Greek goddess of goodness – where have you been all my life?

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Another great Sable breakfast I tried was the flatbread breakfast pizza with sausage, cheese, arugula, and poached egg.  It was a hearty meal for a long day of walking downtown streets of Chicago!

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***

The Bleeding Heart Bakery was a place near and dear to my friend Allia’s heart - see pic below  :) 

This bakery uses local, organic, sustainable ingredients and has many vegan delicacies. 

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Oh so many creative inspiring cupcakes…  There are so many to choose from I spent at least 5 – 10 minutes just staring at the cases!

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I also tried a quiche, but unfortunately not near as good as the cake balls (seriously – you have to try the chocolate gouache cake balls) or cupcakes.  My suggestion – stick with the sweet stuff!

***

Finally, we tried Adobo Grill.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures at the moment (waiting on girlfriends to send them to me!!), but let me tell you it was amazing.

Their guacamole should be a staple item in everyone’s lives because it is so good.  They make it right there at your table and you get to experience the freshness of the products and love that is put into making the dish.  We had to order a second dish it was so good…

They are also famous for their margaritas, and yes, we tried a few.  Our hotel concierge recommended “the smoky floater”.  It wasn’t my favorite, but it was very unique!  If you like a smoky drink then you’ll adore it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chicken & Rice Casserole

This is a similar recipe that I’ve used on tuna casserole, but I gave it a twist and added chicken and rice instead.  It was scrumptious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup (or as desired) shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine cooked rice
  • salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook noodles; drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan cook celery and onion in butter until tender. 
  3. Stir in flour to thicken sauce.
  4. Add mild and broth until desired consistency.
  5. Stir in chicken and rice.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. EAT!