I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Mexican cookbooks, Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias. It has a special place in my heart because she demystified tamales for me. I hadn’t even realized sweet tamales were a thing, and then I saw her pineapple tamales. The whole book is filled with special dishes. Tons of produce. Fresh seafood. Oozy cheese. Yeah, I love it. I’ll get to the review afterwards, so you can get a glimpse of what it offers, but first I wanted to share her recipe for Creamy Beer Shrimp–Stuffed Poblano Chiles with you. Shrimp sautéed with garlic and arbol chiles, then simmered in dark lager and heavy cream, with some cheese stirred in at the end. You need to try this! A huge thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for letting me share the recipe with you. Read More
My kids’ school has a night called mini-school when they walk the parents through the kids’ schedules, the teachers talk about the curriculum, and contact info is exchanged. It goes for a few hours right when dinner would be. That’s our excuse night to grab Little Caesars for the kids and go out for a beer and hors d’oeuvres dinner after the meeting. Nice. On the last one, we popped over to a little place down the street called the Drunken Donkey. They have a great beer selection, every sports broadcast you’d wanna see, games, and beer-based munchies. Perfect. We ordered Bacon Thingies, poppers stuffed with chicken and cheese, and wrapped in bacon over shredded iceberg lettuce with a ranch drizzle. They were fantastic.
The Final Four’s coming up. I thought this would be the perfect excuse to bust out the air fryer and try to make some bacon thingies. It worked beautifully, so I thought I’d share. My youngest doesn’t like jalapeños too much, so I stuff a few mini bell peppers for her, and she adored those. I’m rocking an extra large Philips with a shelf, so I can fit 16. You can set the peppers in yours ahead of time to see how many you can fit.
If you love them, please come find me again! 😀
I put 5 miles on my sneakers on most days. Yesterday was 9 because it was so nice out. I started in a winter coat this morning, and pretty quickly tied it around my waist because it was t-shirt comfy outside. I’m down in Texas, loving the spring blossoms everywhere, but feeling pretty guilty about all this sunshine when I see my buddies up north posting pics of snowy windows, and having one more cup of coffee before grabbing their shovels. Brrrrr! I grew up in Wisconsin, and lived most of my adult life in New York, so I remember big old banks of snow all too well. So this post is for my friends in the frozen tundra. A peace offering for all my flowery posts.
There used to be a show on Public Television called Chef. Oh, it was great! Lenny Henry played Chef Gareth Blackstock. In a few episodes, Chef sets up meetings with illegal fill-in-the-blank suppliers in the woods in the British countryside. He’s always the most wonderful blend of absolute nervousness and excitement. Awesome. When those Facebook quizzes come out asking if a friend ever saw you in the back of a police car, what would it be for, my friends would tell you it would involve cheese. My husband knows that it would be the height of romance if he could arrange a questionable cheese transaction in England for me. Holiday made.
The dolly store. My kids are way past that now, but I remember when we used to trek in to American Girl. They would pour over all the historical doll displays, oohing and aahing at all of those darling little accessories. They loved the books, too, and got a decent idea about American history from the nerdier volumes. The New York store (we used to live there) used to have a theater in it where you could watch plays. They were wonderful. I tried to steer them clear of the hairstyling area. I used to cut their hair myself, and couldn’t fathom forking over for a doll to get her style on. Then we’d go to the café. Have you been? They have little doll seats that clip on to the table so that the dolls and kids can eat together. The dolls even get served tiny cups of cocoa when the kids do. Holy adorbs! I wasn’t into the food, but didn’t really care. Then once, I ordered a parmesan crusted tilapia and it was delicious! So, I pulled together a similar dinner at home so we could have dolly night. They’re hopping off electronics or the treadmill, instead of hitching dollies to the table, when I make it now.
I hope you love it, too! If you do, please come back and find me! 😀
Valentine’s Day is approaching! Need a special dinner? I got you! Lobster Mac and Cheese. 2 ways! The real deal for those who really like to play around in the kitchen and get a kick out of the process, and a cheater version for those that would like to get to that “ta-da” finish. And then I hand it over to B for beer pairings in B’s Beer Buzz! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you love this, please come and find me again! 😀
It’s cold outside! I’ve lived in Texas for 10 years now, but I grew up in Wisconsin, and chilly air is like Pavlov’s bell to this Cheesehead. I start craving melted cheese.
My favorite fondue method is a little unorthodox. Rather than heating wine and tossing corn starch coated cheese into the pool, I love to start by making a roux and building a lovely béchamel. The resulting texture is velvety. I like to use a combination of both milk and wine, like you would in a wine cream sauce. It’s a bit less boozy which is nice for family fondue night. This uber-garlicky fondue is just as nice for roasted veggies as it is for bread. Really. I know that that’s not generally true, but you need to trust me here.
It is of utmost importance that you cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Your guests will be armed with nothing but a fondue fork, and will not be singing your praises if you make them feel like a moose, trying to navigate a ginormous piece of broccoli into their mouth. Seriously. No one feels attractive with an overstuffed broccoli mouth. My husband, the physics major – I’ll call him Nerd Boy for my purposes here – would have you scale down the size of all objects to be dipped for a different reason. It increases the surface area that cheese can adhere to, resulting in a higher cheese to bread ratio.
Hope you love it! I’ll talk about my favorite cheese books and my favorite fondue pot after the recipe…. Read More
Texas is pretty awesome. We get maybe 5 days of snow a year. Just enough to be ridiculous. When it does, kids get sent out in redneck sleds (laundry baskets). I saw an excited dad hand his beer off to his friend, and then he took his kayak down a snowy hill. And we have smoked brisket, queso, kolache, and Mediterranean geckos. It’s a good place. About that queso…. Lisa Fain, author of Homesick Texan and Homesick Texan Family Table, just put out a book of nothing but queso, and it’s fantastic!
Here’s the recipe for her Spinach Queso Blanco, so that you can taste the book. A big thanks to Lisa Fain for letting me share it with you!