Thursday, May 28, 2015

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Sausage and Tomatoes inspired by The Jesus Cow

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Sausage and Tomatoes
On Christmas Eve itself, the bachelor Harley Jackson stepped into his barn and beheld there illuminated in the straw a smallish newborn bull calf upon whose flank was borne the very image of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

"Well," said Harley, "that's trouble."

You've heard of people seeing the image of Jesus in a tortilla or a screen door, right? And you've heard the hub-bub that ensued, right? Well, so had Harley Jackson. So, when he saw the the image on the hide of his calf, the only things that ran through his mind were how he could hide him or get rid of him. This confirmed bachelor slash sort-of farmer didn't need to deal with throngs of religious pilgrims trampling his land in the small town of Swivel, Wisconsin.

Fast forward a couple weeks and a new love interest threatening that confirmed bachelor status. Harley wakes up to a commotion, the calf wandering around alone outside of the barn, and a swift realization that his life is never going to be quite the same again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Strawberry Atole + Strawberry Atole Paletas #SheMadeEllaHace

Strawberry Atole Paletas
Did you know that May is National Strawberry Month? That only seems natural since this is the month that the sweetest, juiciest strawberries are grown in my neck of the woods. As a nod to this delicious month, my friend Leslie from La Cocina de Leslie and I are sharing strawberry recipes for our May edition of she made, ella hace!

If you know me, you know the first place my mind went was to popsicles, followed very closely by a cocktail. Since Leslie and I usually lean towards a Mexican-inspired twist during our time together in the kitchen, I decided to make an early morning pot of atole de fresa, or strawberry atole.

If you've never tried atole before, it's a warm drink that's thickened lightly with masa. It can be made in pretty much any flavor you can imagine, but it's that earthy corn undertone that makes it so recognizable...and loved.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bloody Beer w/ Antipasto Kebab garnish

Bloody Beer with Antipasto Kebab Garnish
Don't you think a kebab party sounds like fun? I'm thinking outdoors, sunny but mild, and a grill that's hot and ready. I see a table lined up with dishes that are piled high with cubes of all sorts of raw meat and fish...baked tofu...bowls filled to the brim with chunks of fresh vegetables and fruit...and jars upon jars of skewers in bamboo, wood, and metal just waiting to be threaded.

I'm thinking there's a stack of baggies at the end of the table with bottles of marinades in all sorts of fun flavor profiles sitting next to them. People thread their skewers, slide them into baggies, then cover them with their marinade(s) of choice. Seal the bag, write their name on it, and set it in a cooler for half an hour or so. When they're ready, they can mosey on over to the grill.

Of course, there would also be a table filled with fruit and pound cake, and other things you might slide on to a skewer to eat raw or as a dessert. Oh, and plenty of fun sauce and dipping options, as well. Probably some sort of chocolate fountain; it doesn't have to be big.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunrise Rum Punch #SunsOutRumsOut

This post is sponsored by CAPTAIN MORGAN®.
Sunrise Rum Punch
I've been fantasizing about a tropical vacation for as long as I can remember. In my mind, it's white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, and palm trees. It's brilliant sunshine, fresh fish and seafood, tropical fruit out the wazoo, and cocktails from dusk 'til dawn...'til dusk again. It's not worrying about bills or schedules or deadlines. Who's with me?

So, when the Captain Morgan team challenged me to create an original Rum Punch recipe using one of the three new Captain Morgan Flavors – Grapefruit, Pineapple and Coconut, as part of their #SunsOutRumsOut campaign, I'll bet you can guess which direction I headed. Mmm hmm—to those white sand beaches.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

No-Churn Baby Ruth Chunk Ice Cream inspired by The Goonies #FoodnFlix

No-Churn Baby Ruth Chunk Ice Cream
Like most other children of the 80's, I hold The Goonies in cult classic status. I've worn out a couple of VHS tapes in my day, and even a DVD. I can spout off one-liners and amuse (annoy) my kids by reciting every line of every character while they're trying to watch it. Unlike Andy, I most definitely am a Goonie. This month I'm going into it with a nod to the food of The Goonies.

Obviously Chunk lends the most fodder to the flick. The 80's thrived on anti-PC characters. Of course, the chubby kid gets to have all the fun. From pizza and milkshakes to twinkies (deleted scene) and candy bars to potato chips and ice cream—it revolves around Chunk. But the thing is, he doesn't just eat it to eat it—he's passionate about it. I mean, he can wax poetic about the glories of ice cream when there's "a stiff" mere inches from the cartons. How can you not love Chunk?

Is there other food inspiration to be found? Yes, there definitely is. You need only look to the Fratellis (Italian), Steph (fresh crab), Brand (muscle building food), Data (Chinese), or perhaps a little Octopus (the deleted scene that Data alludes to towards the end). And I was so very close to using one of the best Mouth (slash Mama Fratelli) scenes for inspiration; not Veal Scallopini, not Fettucini Alfredo, but—you guessed it—TONGUE!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sunshine Smoothie

Sunshine Smoothie
Do you need a recipe to make a smoothie? Probably not. Am I going to give you one anyway? You betcha!

Most of my smoothies are the result of needing to use up some fruits, veggies, yogurt, get my drift...that might otherwise go bad. No real measuring, just piling everything into the blender and adjusting until I have a good consistency. My guess is that a lot of people probably do the same. Every once in a while, I come across a perfect combination, and promptly scold myself for not measuring what I put in.

What I'm trying to say is that it amazes me when people create brilliant smoothie recipes. On purpose.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Luna's Larder: Homemade Chicken & Cranberry Cat Treats

Homemade Chicken & Cranberry Cat Treats
It's that time again! Time to delve into the food stuffs of our furry family member, otherwise known as Luna's Larder. Last month we introduced Rachael Ray's Nutrish Zero Grain Cat Food, which is still Luna's preferred food. We also tried the Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe food, which isn't grain-free, but she liked it, as well. This month I decided to share something that I've been meaning to share for years (I know, I know) now—homemade cat treats.

I used a combination of light and dark meat chicken, that I poached gently (bone-in, skin-on) until it was just done, and then let cool. Really, you could use any type of meat your cat likes; beef, turkey, white fish, tuna, salmon, duck—they're all good options. I like to use meat that I've cooked myself, so that there is no added salt or seasoning. Too much salt can be poisonous to cats, as can onion and garlic. Better to play it safe than sorry.

Originally I was going to add a little spinach to the mix, but in typical form, I forgot to set some aside when I made spinach for dinner a couple nights before I made the treats (even though I originally bought it with the treats in mind). So, I'll have to put it in a future batch.

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