Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ejotes con Huevo {she made, ella hace}

Ejotes con Huevo {she made, ella hace} |
It was TWO YEARS ago this month that Leslie and I decided to head into our kitchens/cocinas together (yet separately) on a regular basis for she made, ella hace!   Our very first endeavor was baking up Conchas.  We've chosen so many different ingredients and dishes since then, and when trying to decide what was worthy of an anniversary, Leslie came up with a brilliant idea.  She suggested that we each make something from the other one's blog!

So yes, genius.  But then came the hard part - narrowing the list of delicious food of Leslie's that I've bookmarked, pinned, and pined after over the years!   Can I just tell you, it was not an easy task.

But I did manage to decide on one certain dish.  My favorite kind of fueled by fueled by love.  I don't care if it's the simplest dish in the world, or one with days-worth of steps, those recipes always turn out to be the best.  I chose Leslie's Ejotes con Huevo.
Ejotes con Huevo {she made, ella hace} |
Now, having a full-blooded Mexican for a husband, I couldn't believe that I'd never tried Ejotes con Huevo before.  I mean, I am always asking him to tell me stories of the food he ate as a kid.  But even the tiniest whisper of this dish has never passed through his lips.

He was home from work the morning that I decided to make them for a late breakfast.  When I told him what I was making, he nodded.  I asked him if he'd ever eaten Ejotes con Huevo before.  He said yes. 

 "Well, why haven't you ever told me about them!?" 
 "I haven't thought of them in a long time; I'd forgotten about them, really."

I think he gets exasperated with me sometimes.  He's all "just because I'm Mexican doesn't mean that I've tried everything you can pronounce in Spanish".  Or you know, he tells me that with his eyes.

So making this dish sparked a little nostalgia for him, and lit a full-blown raging fire for me.  I mean, it's a simple dish.  And while I never would have thought that green beans and eggs went so well together - they totally do!
Ejotes con Huevo {she made, ella hace} |
Through heaping tortillas-full, I declared that these were officially being made at least once a month.  Maybe more.

Are you wondering which dish of mine that Leslie chose?  I knew you were.  She went with my Tortas con Chile Colorado...and oh, how I wish that I could scoot my butt on down to Mexico and enjoy one with her!  We'd have two of the days meals covered...

Ejotes con Huevo (Green Bean Scramble)

by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: breakfast vegetarian nut-free soy-free sugar-free eggs green beans Mexican

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole green beans, beans cut in half
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
to serve (optional)
  • warm tortillas
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • salsa
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium cast-iron (or other non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeño, tomato, a pinch of salt, and a few grates of pepper; cook until just soft, 3-4 minutes.

Add green beans and cook, stirring, until heated through, another minute or so. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the beaten eggs; cook, stirring constantly, until the eggs are done to your liking.

Serve immediately topped with queso fresco and salsa, if you wish - preferably scooped up with warm tortillas.

You could use ~2 cups of fresh, blanched green beans that have been cut into 2" pieces in place of the canned green beans, if you'd rather.  And yes, I use (and prefer) fresh ones in most applications...but in this dish, there's just something so delicious about using the canned variety.  Entirely up to personal preference.

slightly adapted from La Cocina de Leslie
Ejotes con Huevo {she made, ella hace} |
What happens when two American girls who are both married to Mexican guys find out that although one of them lives in the U.S. and one of them lives in Mexico, they both love eating the same food?  Well, naturally they decide to get "together" the only way they can and cook up the same dishes.  Or perhaps take the same ingredients and talking about them in their own voice or using them in their own way. 

Leslie and I have teamed up to occasionally cook/bake/make a our own versions of the same food.  We want to see how similar (or how different) they turn out.  Other times we will pick an ingredient and use it however we choose...or maybe just talk about it.  Good food knows no borders and we hope to share the food we love with you.  It's not a competition, it's a showcase.  We will post on the same day as each other and would love to hear your thoughts on what we've made and how you make it. 

Join me (here at girlichef) and Leslie in her kitchen (at La Cocina de Leslie) for some delicious food.
She Made, Ella Hace Banner- and

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Turtle Cheesecake Popsicles {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Barefeet In The Kitchen}

Who's Holding the Stick:'s Wednesday!  My favorite day of the week all summer long, because I invite one of my talented blogging friends to take over my space...and they come in full-force.  Bearing popsicles!  So today, please help me welcome Mary from Barefeet In The Kitchen!
Turtle Cheesecake Popsicles {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Barefeet In The Kitchen} |
When Heather from girlichef invited me to guest post for her Summer of the Popsicle series, I immediately had visions of popsicles running through my head. I couldn't resist the chance to come up with a truly indulgent treat.
Turtle Cheesecake Popsicles {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Barefeet In The Kitchen} |
I started with creamy cheesecake ice cream, swirled caramel into it and then froze the mixture into popsicles. Once frozen, they are dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts. I loved this combination and the kids have already requested that I make these again.
Turtle Cheesecake Popsicles {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Barefeet In The Kitchen} |
If you don't happen to have a popsicle mold lying around the house, grab some dixie cups next time you are at the store. A small square of foil over the top will help support your sticks. Of course, if your kids have used every popsicle stick in the house, you'll need to be a bit more creative. Find some plastic spoons and break off the spoon portion. The handles will work just fine on their own.

Turtle Cheesecake Popsicles

by a guest post from Mary Younkin of Barefeet In The Kitchen
Prep Time: 10 minutes (+ time to freeze)
Cook Time: 2-3 minutes (to melt chocolate)
Keywords: dessert snack vegetarian soy-free chocolate cream cheese sour cream frozen popsicles summer

Ingredients (varies)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup caramel sauce, cooled (I'm sure store-bought would be fine as well)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • Optional: 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Combine the cream, sour cream, cream cheese sugar, lemon zest and salt in the blender. Puree until completely smooth. Add the caramel and pulse to combine. Adjust the caramel amount to taste, depending on how rich you would like the popsicles to be.

Pour into your popsicle molds and freeze 6-8 hours until firm. In a small, wide mouth jar or glass bowl, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Warm the chocolate and the coconut oil in a glass bowl in the microwave at 50% power. Start with 1 minute and then add 30 second intervals, stirring to combine. It should take 2-3 minutes for the chocolate to soften. Stir to combine. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature.)

Let the chocolate cool and place the chopped pecans in a shallow dish. Line a small tray or baking dish with wax paper or parchment and set next to the chocolate and nuts. Remove the popsicles one or two at a time from the freezer. Carefully peel the cup off of the popsicle. (If you are working with a full mold of popsicles, I'd recommend removing all the popsicles from the tray. Then set them on the prepared lined tray and put them back in the freezer while you dip each one.)

Dip the popsicles into the chocolate as much or as little as you like. I made all of mine different, just because I could. Place each coated popsicle on the lined tray and keep the tray in the freezer as you are dipping the rest of the popsicles. Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

I prefer refined coconut oil for this recipe, because there is no coconut flavor or aroma at all. However, refined or unrefined will work equally well.
Turtle Cheesecake Popsicles {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Barefeet In The Kitchen} |
Summer of the Popsicle 2As usual on heart feels full, but my hands feel empty!  Yes, much like Garth Brooks, I want "one for each hand"!

So, while I go check my fridge and pantry for the ingredients, why not visit Mary at her blog, Barefeet In The Kitchen.  You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+!

Thanks so much for being here today, Mary! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bless This Food {book review}

Bless This FoodAncient & Contemporary Graces from Around the World
author: Adrian Butash
publisher: New World Library
"foodie" elements: yes
soft cover: 189 pages

random excerpt:   For individuals whose intellectual interest is in what Paul Verlain called "mere literature," the compelling beauty of these thanks-giving food prayers reveals the noble spirituality of humanity.  Prayer is how human beings relate to God, nature, and their place in the divine order of things.

     Prayer is the principal channel we use in our search for ultimate meaning.  Thanks-giving food prayers embody religious and social contexts, encompassing myth, sacred doctrine, rituals, and social and cultural practices.* (p.7 - Introduction)

summary/synopsis (from back cover of book):  Grace before meals is the prayer said most often in homes around the world, an act of worship common to every known society.  The universal experience of sharing food fundamentally connects people to one another, to nature, and to the infinite.  Expressing thanks for food represents a wonderful tradition that acknowledges bounty and our daily sustenance as gifts from the divine.

Bless this Food presents 160 timeless mealtime blessings in an easy-to-use format.  The eloquent prayers and poems have been carefully selected from the world's major religions, ancient traditions, and the world of great poets and thinkers, with sources ranging from Shakespeare to Starhawk, Tecumseh to the Tamil tradition, the North American plains to Pakistan.  Each grace is introduced with cultural context and details about its history and evolution.  Also included are two prayers in American Sign Language and the short prayer "bless this food" in nineteen languages.  The result is a unique kind of soul food - and a recipe for gratitude at any mealtime gathering.

my thoughts/review:  I knew from the moment that I heard the concept of this book that I wanted to read it.  And really, for me at least, it's not so much a reading book as it is a devotional or reference-style (though that sounds way too stuffy) book.  It begins with a 21-page Introduction, but from that point on, it's all blessings, graces, and prayers.

Some of the graces shared in the book are surprising (and don't sound a whole lot like saying grace), but I think that's the beauty of them - there's something for everybody.  I enjoy Butash's perspective, coming at this having studied philosophy and cultures of the world and combining it with faith.

Whether you're giving thanks to God (whoever that may be for you), or to the earth for its bounty, or to the animal who gave its life so that you may eat - I believe in the message that Bless This Food sets forth.  It has earned a place near my table, and I will share its message with my family.

a few of my favorite blessings from the book:  I have quite a few pages dog-eared, but I wanted to share a couple of the (shorter) blessings that I enjoyed...and will be offering as thanks-giving for my food from now on*.
                          Prayer 26
                          The smel of new breade is comfortable to the heade
                          and to the herte.
                           — Middle English prayer (circa 1400)

                         Prayer 67
                         Some hae meat and canna eat,
                         And some wad eat that want it;
                         But we hae meat and we can eat,
                         And sae the Lord be thankit.
                          — Robert Burns (1759–1796),
                              “The Selkirk Grace”

    a few of my own additions:  Like most households, I'm sure, we have a few regular prayers or blessings that we've been saying for generations.  I was surprised that the first two (okay, even the third one...I think they're pretty universal) weren't included in the book.  So, I decided to share some of ours right along with those that I liked from the book...

                             Said at my family holidays meals since I was a little girl. 
                             God is great,  
                             God is good,
                             Let us thank Him for our food.  
                             By His hands we all are fed, 
                             give us Lord our daily bread. Amen.

                             Johnny Appleseed: This blessing is a song.  
                                     It's been a favorite since I was in preschool.
                             ♫♪ Oh, the Lord is good to me, 
                             and so I thank the Lord 
                             for giving me, the things I need 
                             the sun and the rain and the apple seed.
                             The Lord is good to me. ♪♫

                             Short and sweet...and always a favorite with the kids.
                             Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub.

    about the author: Adrian Butash is a well-known creative and marketing professional and a producer of significant fine arts, television, and film projects.  Butash has produced award-winning advertising campaigns and corporate marketing successes for Fortune 500 clients.  He is an acknowledged color expert in beauty products and fashion.  A graduate of Fordham University, he studied philosophy and cultures of the world.  He is also an Independent Holocaust scholar who has designed a memorial for the Mauthausen concentration camp.  He and his family live in Santa Barbara, California.

    *Excerpted from the book Bless this Food: Ancient & Contemporary Graces from Around the World © 2013 Adrian Butash. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

    Monday, August 26, 2013

    Artisan Chocolate Bars + @SucreNewOrleans Giveaway!

    Artisan Chocolate Bars + @SucreNewOrleans Giveaway! |
    When I was a teenager, I had a poster on my bedroom wall with the title "Life's Lessons".  It had phrases listed on it like:  Always buy lemonade from a child's lemonade stand and Never refuse homemade brownies.   Okay, it was one of those taller, thinner-style, thick-papered posters with a ton of the same type of sayings all over it.  And for some reason, those are the only two that I can still remember.  And, of course, they both concern food.  Go figure.

    Basically, the poster just reinforced the lesson of being a good person.  Being Kind.  Live like you were dying.  Dance like no one's watching.  That sort of thing.  And yes, I also had a Mean People Suck sticker on my dorm-fridge.  I'm that girl.  I believe in doing unto others, and karma and sh*t.
    Artisan Chocolate Bars + @SucreNewOrleans Giveaway! |
    Now, while I don't think that the phrase Never refuse an offering of Artisan Chocolates was on that poster - it totally belonged there.  Because I am a firm believer in that notion.  If somebody offers you seven beautiful bars of chocolate, ranging from creamy white to smooth milk to crispy bittersweet?  Welcome it into your life with open arms.  Accepting that gift will make you a happier person.  And I know this from experience.

    Yes, when the fine people at Sucré asked me if I'd be interested in trying their Seven Artisan Chocolate Bar collection, I did accept.  And I tasted each and every single bar.  It's hard to choose a favorite.  If forced, I'd probably go with the Nibs & Brittle or the Sicilian Pistachio & Rose Petal.  But each and every one was ridiculous.  Fortunately, there was more than enough chocolate for me to share - which should definitely be another one of life's lessons, by the way:  Always share your chocolate with others.
    Artisan Chocolate Bars + @SucreNewOrleans Giveaway! |
    So, just as Sucré is sharing their chocolate (they also shared their Macarons, if you remember) with me - they are also sharing it with one of YOU!  That's right, they've offered to send a pack of Seven Artisan Chocolate Bars to one of my readers, as well.

    This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.  Submissions are due by 11:59 pm (ET) on Sunday, September 1, 2013.  The winner will be contacted within 48 hours of the close of this contest, and given 24 hours to respond.  If they have not responded within that time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

    Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know which variety of these Artisan Chocolate Bars from Sucré that you are most excited to try.  Once you've left a comment, be sure to click the appropriate box on the Rafflecopter widget within this post (below).

    Extra (optional) Entries can be earned after you've completed this first entry.  Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    I received one Seven Chocolate Bar Collection at no cost from Sucré; Sucré is providing the same thing for one giveaway winner.  I received no compensation for this post, and all opinions stated within are 100% my own.

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    Currywurst Mit Pommes #SundaySupper

    Currywurst mit Pommes {#SundaySupper: Global Street Food} |
    The first time I tried Currywurst was just over six years ago on the streets of Germany in my teensy-tinsy kitchen.  I was in the throws of a lounge-chair-vacation (tell me lounge chair doesn't sound better than lawn chair), issue 101 of Saveur in my hands.  If I remember right, it was just a small article, probably only a one-pager.  But that small article was my introduction to the most popular German fast food, Currywurst.

    The thought of sausage sitting in a pool of curried tomato sauce, alongside french fries, would haunt me for days.  Until I finally made it.  It continues to haunt me.  I will get random cravings for Currywurst a few times a year.  And no, they don't just go away.  I have to actually make a batch.

    I've tweaked that original recipe here and there over the years to find one that is perfect (in my mind).  But the thing is, I've never tried any Currywurst but my own.   But I know in my heart of (German) hearts that it's the real deal.
    Currywurst mit Pommes {#SundaySupper: Global Street Food} |
    However, that doesn't stop me from dreaming of a trip to Germany, where 17 million orders of Currywurst are sold every year.  Many (most? all?) Germans think that Currywurst basically defines Germany.  It is a rustic, no-frills, everyman's dish.  And while I love it washed down with a good, cold beer - there is even a restaurant in Berlin that serves small bottles of champagne alongside their Currywurst.

    While there are arguments of where Currywurst got its humble start, the most popular (and most widely accepted) tale is that of one Herta Heuwer.  Heuwer was a German housewife who served wursts to construction workers back in 1949, after the end of the war.  Getting bored of the regular old sauce, she decided to add some curry powder that was left behind by British soldiers, to tomato paste, worcestershire, and some other ingredients.  10 years later, she registered a trademark for her popular sauce, calling it Chillup.  Supposedly Kraft tried to buy it from her, and she refused.  There is a plaque honoring her on a wall in Berlin where her original Imbißstand (food stall/snack stand) once stood.

    Now, in Hamburg, they claim that Lena Brücker (an invented name from a book) developed Currywurst two years earlier.  But that's one of those stories...ketchup in one arm, curry powder in the other...trip and fall down, mixing the two.

    Whoever the true inventor was - thank you.  17 millions Berliners and I can't be wrong.  There is even a whole museum dedicated to Currywurst in Berlin.  And you know it's good when people sing songs about it!
    Currywurst mit Pommes {#SundaySupper: Global Street Food} |
    So, until I can actually take the Currywurst Trail vacation of my dreams, I will continue to make it in my own kitchen.  You can use Weisswurst (a veal sausage), Frankfurters, or Bratwurst...heck, I suppose its really up to you which type of wurst you like best.  Boiled or steamed and then sliced into 1-inch pieces and served alongside French Fries or Brötchen.  And always smothered in the sauce that lends it its name.

    Hmmmm...  On further thought, maybe I should open my own Currywurst Stand.  Park it right near campus on weekends and during home games...

    Currywurst mit Pommes

    Currywurst mit Pommes {#SundaySupper: Global Street Food} |
    by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 40 minutes
    Keywords: entree sauce dairy-free nut-free soy-free potatoes spice sausage tomatoes German

    Ingredients (varies)
    • Weisswurst (veal sausage), Frankfurters, or Bratwurst
    • French Fries (hand-cut or frozen)
    for the Currywurst Sauce:
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 small yellow onions, peeled & sliced
    • 1 heaping tablespoon curry powder, storebought or homemade (recipe follows)
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 pound (~2 cups) whole, peeled tomatoes (w/ their juices if using canned)
    • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
    to finish:
    • extra curry powder
    Start by making the Currywurst Sauce. You can move on to the rest when it has just about finished, or after it is done.

    making the sauce (yield: ~2 c.):
    Heat the oil in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until they are soft and beginning to turn golden, 10-12 minutes. Scatter the curry powder and smoked paprika over the top, and cook for another minute, stirring.

    In your hands, crush the tomatoes into the pot. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, and smoked sea salt; stir well.  
    Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat so that the liquid is at a gently simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or so, stirring and mashing a bit with a wooden spoon from time to time, until thickened.

    Transfer to a blender and (carefully) blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, once cooled.

    Putting it all together:
    Plan on using about one sausage and one big handful of fries per person (adjust according to appetite).
    Steam your sausages until they are cooked through. Cut them into thick slices, then fry/saute them up so that they are a little golden on the outsides.

    In the meantime, fry or bake your french fries until crispy on the outside.

    Place the sliced sausage and the french fries on a plate (or something) and slather with Currywurst Sauce. Finish by sprinkling with another good smattering of curry powder. Enjoy!

    Easy Homemade Curry Powder (yield: ~ 1/4 cup):
    I like to grind whole spices in batches and store them in airtight jars. Most of the spices (everything except the turmeric) were toasted and cooled before being ground.
    • 1 heaping tablespoon ground turmeric
    • 1 tablespoons ground coriander
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
    Combine all of the ground spices into a zippered baggie, and shake well. Pour into a jar with a lid and store in a cool, dark spot.
    Currywurst mit Pommes {#SundaySupper: Global Street Food} |
    I am so excited to be co-hosting #SundaySupper this week with my friend Bea from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen.  This week is all about Global Street Food, and you need look no further than this amazing menu brought to you by the Sunday Supper crew to find a plethora of amazing eats!

    Bread on the Boulevard
    Hand-Held Savory Eats
    To-Go Containers
    Sweets on the Streets
    Grab a Thermos 

    Sunday Supper MovementSo tell me, what are your favorite (GLOBAL) STREET FOODS?  Do you seek out food trucks, carts, and vendors? Feel free to leave me any links or stories that you may have about Street Food experiences in the comments section.  Also, please join us for our live twitter chat tonight at 7pm (Eastern) using the #SundaySupper hashtag, and check out the Sunday Supper board on Pinterest.

    Saturday, August 24, 2013

    "Big House" Cherry Bourbon Sour

    "Big House" Cherry Bourbon Sour |
    Did you know that tomorrow (August 25th) is National Whiskey Sour Day?  True story.  But since I already have a delicious post coming your way, I decided that I needed to start celebrating a day in advance.  Yes, needed.  Ah, the things I'll do to honor a day for honoring booze...

    And not just that.  I'm shaking things up a bit in the process {pun intended}.  In the form of cherries.  Mmm-hmm, the #10lbCherryChallenge wages on!
    "Big House" Cherry Bourbon Sour |
    I had a bunch of cherries that I knew were just begging for a Bourbon bath.  Psssh.  You can hardly blame them.  I know several people who wouldn't mind a Bourbon bath.  So I pitted enough cherries to fill a jar, and then I added enough Big House Bourbon to cover.

    There's not really a specific recipe, or even ratio.  Basically, just be sure your cherries are completely submerged.  Put on the lid and refrigerate for a week.  At this point, you can pop a drunken cherry in your mouth.  IF you like being slapped in the face, that is.  Because they do that.  They slap you in the face.  And they're really strong.

    So really, just strain your cherries out.  Go ahead and keep them in a separate jar.  Store your Cherry Bourbon in the fridge.  Take it out to make cherry-tinged Bourbon cocktails.  Or add simple syrup, to taste, and turn it into a liqueur.  That's good stuff, baby.
    "Big House" Cherry Bourbon Sour |
    As for the cherries, I'd go ahead and cover those in:

              a) the aforementioned Cherry Liqueur
              b) simple syrup

    Store them in the fridge and eat them with a spoon every time you pass by over ice cream, with crepes, on a flourless chocolate cake.  Or something like that.  If you're going to make the liqueur, pull out 2 ounces of cherry-tinged Bourbon to make one of these cocktails first.

    Cherry Bourbon Sour

    yield: 1 cocktail

    2 ounces Cherry-tinged Big House Bourbon (see above)
    1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 ounce simple syrup, or to taste

    Fill a glass with ice and pour in the bourbon, then the lemon juice, then the simple syrup.  Throw a couple of extra drunken cherries in as garnish.

    Enjoy National Whiskey Sour Day!
    "Big House" Cherry Bourbon Sour |
    I received a bottle of Big House Bourbon at no charge.  I received no monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions stated within are my own.

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    Smoky Chicken Paprikash Soup inspired by When Harry Met Sally {food 'n flix}

    Smoky Chicken Paprikash Soup {inspired by When Harry Met Sally for Food 'n Flix} |
    When Harry Met Sally.  You know you love it!  As far as chick-flicks or rom-coms go, this is one of the classics.  And one of my personal favorites since it has a riduculous amount of food references strewn throughout.  But, if you know that it was written by Nora Ephron, that probably doesn't come as a surprise to you.  Ephron was a foodie (whether that's a term she used or made jokes about, I can't be sure).  Have you read Heartburn?  I Feel Bad About My Neck?  Crazy Salad?  Food played a prominent role in Ephron's life.  Must be one of the reasons that I can relate to her words so well.

    So, back to When Harry Met Sally.  From Chef's Salad and Apple Pie a la Mode (special order or off-the-menu) at the diner that Harry and Sally stop at shortly after they first meet to Bloody Mary's on a plane to hot dog carts and Chinese Restaurants..from dinner parties to wedding appetizers to grilled radicchio and chocolate mousse pie.  From Coconut Cake with Chocolate Sauce on the side to the infamous diner scene ("I'll have what she's having").  And from Salmon with Mustard Sauce ("Well, I just want it the way I want it.") to goofy talk of Chicken Paprikash and Pecan Pie.  There is no shortage of inspiration to glean from this flick!
    Smoky Chicken Paprikash Soup {inspired by When Harry Met Sally for Food 'n Flix} |
    I went back and forth on what I wanted to make, but in the end, I went with a spin on Chicken Paprikash.  In the form of soup.  I used smoked paprika and smoked sea salt, which lent a deep...well...smoky (duh)....flavor to the dish.  I found it utterly addictive.  And I ate it for every meal that followed until it was all gone.

    Here's a quick look at the scene that inspired my dish...

    Smoky Chicken Paprikash Soup

    Smoky Chicken Paprikash Soup {inspired by When Harry Met Sally for Food 'n Flix} |
    by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Keywords: simmer soup/stew chicken tomatoes
    Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 heaping tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
    • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
    • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
    • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used 3/4 of a rotisserie chicken)
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • smoked sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • chopped, fresh parsley
    Melt the butter in a medium-sized Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add smoked paprika and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour in and continue to cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a simmer, ~2 minutes.

    Add broth, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Whisk in the sour cream, a little bit at a time until it is all incorporated, and then stir in the chicken; cook for a couple of minutes until everything is heated through. Add a teaspoon of smoked sea salt and a few good grates of black pepper; taste, and adjust as needed.

    Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

    adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine
    Smoky Chicken Paprikash Soup {inspired by When Harry Met Sally for Food 'n Flix} |
    Food‘nFlix This month's edition of Food 'n Flix is being hosted by Caroline of Caroline Makes, with her pick, When Harry Met Sally.  Submissions are due on August 28th, so you still have time to join us this month, if you want to (and why wouldn't you!?)...take a little time to (re-)watch this flick and find your inspiration before heading into the kitchen.  We'd love to have you join us!

    Souper_Sundays2 And if you'd like to join us next month, we'll be heading over to This Mama Cooks! to watch her pick, Toast.

    I'm also sending this bowl of soup over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for this week's Souper Sunday roundup!

    This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    Global Street Food - a #SundaySupper PREVIEW

    #SundaySupper Global Street Food Preview |
    I think that one of the absolute best ways to immerse yourself in the culture of a certain city, country, or region is through food.  The good stuff.  The food that people make in their own kitchens from scratch handed down through generations.  The food that you can buy from small street vendors or carts.  The food that you can order from the window of an obscure food truck.  Food is the heart of most any culture!

    So, I am incredibly excited to be co-hosting a #SundaySupper all about Global Street Food this week with my friend Bea from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen!  We'll be diving into memories of our favorite street food experiences, as well as trying the street foods of places we have yet to travel to.
    #SundaySupper Global Street Food Preview |
    Check out what is in store for you this Sunday!  Do you see any of your favorite street foods on the list?  What are some of your personal favorites that you don't see?  I absolutely cannot wait for Sunday....

    Bread on the Boulevard
    Hand-Held Savory Eats
    To-Go Containers
    Sweets on the Streets
    Grab a Thermos 
    Sunday Supper Movement Let's hit the pavement this Sunday in search of the best street food from around the globe!  Join us for a #SundaySupper event featuring Global Street Food that we've made in our own kitchens, in honor of our favorites and/or those we would love to try!

    We'll also be holding our live #SundaySupper twitter chat at 7pm (ET) on Sunday evening.  We'd love to have you join us as we discuss the best and the worst of Global Street Food!

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Triple Berry Ice Pops {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Everyday Maven}

    Who's Holding the Stick: First of all, I am so relieved to have somebody take over for me today since I'm busy getting the kids off for their first day back to school.  I mean, come on school corporation - it's still summer!  Popsicles are still lining the freezer...  So, hooray for Wednesday!  I'm very excited to welcome my friend Alyssa from Everyday Maven back (she was also here during the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash)!  Take a gander at these beautiful frozen treats on a stick!  

    Deciding which popsicle to share with you was extremely difficult. As a mom to a 3.5 year old, we seem to have an endless supply and variety of popsicles in our freezer. As you can imagine, they range from creamy, rich and fruity to icy and refreshing. Then there are the adults only pops spiked with booze and/or coffee.

    Throw in the fierce competition that has graced these pages every Wednesday since #SummerOfThePopsicle returned and you have one hard decision!

    As I was wrestling with which recipe to share, it became obvious when my son asked me for an ice pop the other day. He asked me for one of the Triple Berry Ice Pops that have been a summer staple regardless of what other concoctions have come and gone, we always have these.
    Triple Berry Ice Pops {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Everyday Maven} |
    These Ice Pops are refreshing, light and beyond easy to make. All you need is a blender, some berries, a splash of coconut milk, coconut water, a touch of honey (or maple syrup) and a pinch of salt.

    I like to make these in Dixie cups as they are the perfect size for little hands and not so big that they ruin my son’s dinner appetite when he wants an afternoon snack.

    Enjoy and thanks for having me Heather!

    Alyssa, Everyday Maven

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    P.S. These Ice Pops are Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo and Vegan Friendly (if you swap Maple Syrup for the Honey).  1 Points Plus Each.

    Triple Berry Ice Pops

    by guest post by Alyssa Brantley of Everyday Maven
    Prep Time: 5 minutes (+ time to freeze)
    Cook Time: n/a
    Keywords: dessert snack vegetarian dairy-free nut-free soy-free frozen popsicles summer

    Ingredients (15 (3 ounce) Pops)
    • 28 ounces coconut water
    • 4 ounces full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
    • pinch sea salt
    • 2 Tablespoons raw honey
    • 10 ounces organic mixed berries
    • 15 (3-ounce) Dixie Cups
    • wood popsicle sticks
    Grab a small baking sheet or large flat plate. Line up the Dixie Cups and set aside.

    Combine coconut water, coconut milk, sea salt, honey and mixed berries in a blender jar or bowl of a food processor. Process until completely liquefied.

    Pour berry mixture into Dixie Cups.

    You have two options for when to add in the wooden popsicle sticks. You can wait about 30 to 45 minutes when the popsicles will be slushy and not yet frozen but sturdy enough to hold up the sticks and insert them OR cover each Dixie Cup with a small piece of tinfoil and place the stick through the center prior to placing in the freezer. Personally, I usually do the first method unless I am running out of the house and won't be around 45 minutes later to place the wood sticks.

    Allow the pops to set for a couple of hours (4 to 6). When ready to eat, use a scissors to snip the Dixie Cup and then just unpeel it off and discard.

    • These Ice Pops are only as good as the fruit you make them with so make sure your fruit is naturally sweet and super ripe. Taste the mixture before pouring into the cups and adjust sweetness at that point as the frozen version will be very close to that.
    • I used a combination of blackberries (2 ounces), blueberries (4 ounces) and strawberries (4 ounces). Any berry combo will work but if you use blackberries, strawberries or raspberries and want a smoother popsicle, strain blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer before pouring into the cups.
    Triple Berry Ice Pops {#SummerOfThePopsicle Guest Post: Everyday Maven} |
    Summer of the Popsicle 2Thanks for being here today, Alyssa! These look like the perfect treat to have ready for the kiddos when they trudge in after their first day back to school...when it's still 91° outside!  I should have time to mix up a batch and get them frozen...

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Go Beyond the Beef w/ @Arbys #GrandTurkeyClub!

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arby's. All opinions are 100% mine.
    Go Beyond the Beef w/ @Arby's #GrandTurkeyClub |
    I did it!  I went out of my comfort zone and ordered a turkey sandwich at Arby's!  You may not know this about me, but I cannot go into an Arby's without ordering a regular Roast Beef Sandwich, curly fries, and a Jamocha shake.  I take the the top bun off of the roast beef and pour three even lines of Horsey Sauce, Arby's Sauce, and Three-Pepper Sauce over the top of my roast beef before putting the top back on.  And I've always been (more than) content with my ritual.  It's the perfect flavor combination.

    Forgive me if you've heard me mention my little ritual before, I just wanted to throw out a point of reference.  A point of reference for what, you ask?  Well, a point of reference for me walking into an Arby's and ordering a Grand Turkey Club!  Waaaaaay out of my comfort zone.  A regular roast beef, it is not.
    Go Beyond the Beef w/ @Arby's #GrandTurkeyClub |
    But what it IS, is freshly sliced hot roast turkey, melted Swiss, pepper bacon, leaf lettuce, tomato, and mayo - all piled high on a Harvest Wheat Bun!  Now, I could have pushed myself even further and ordered an Arby's Grand Turkey Ham Club (which contains all of those glorious things that I mentioned were in the club - with the addition guessed it...ham).  But I didn't.   Not this time.  Baby steps, people.

    I should also mention that I did also forgo my Jamocha shake and have a Dr. Pepper instead.  It was pure madness.  But I was sure to order a side of curly fries.  Just to keep me from going completely over the edge.
    Go Beyond the Beef w/ @Arby's #GrandTurkeyClub |
    Guess what?  Trying new things pays off!  Though nothing will ever take the place of my favorite Arby's meal - the Turkey Grand Club gave it a run for its money.  It all starts with that gorgeous Harvest Wheat Bun.  It may have been this bread-addict's favorite part of the sandwich.  But the thin slices of REAL turkey (you can tell when it comes from an actual breast, or from a "pressed and formed" loaf).

    I enjoyed every last bite, and went home show off the evidence to my husband (yes, this was a little "me time") in the form of photographs.  He was jealous.  Until I pulled an Arby's bag from behind my back and handed him his very own Grand Turkey Club.  And then, he was just grateful.  Have you tried the new Grand Turkey Club or Grand Turkey Ham Club from Arby's yet? Find an Arby’s near you, and go beyond the beef!  At least once...
    Go Beyond the Beef w/ @Arby's #GrandTurkeyClub |
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