Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Y is for: YUMMMMMMM {Caramel Apple Pie Pudding Shots}

Sometimes you just have to throw the rule book completely out the window.

Is there anything at all in these amazing treats that starts with the letter "Y"? Nope. But do you think for one second that I was going to keep these delicious creations from you just because it didn't fit with my alphabet theme? Absolutely not!

This is another "Spike Your Sweets" concoction over on Brit.co. As you know, I've become somewhat an expert in the subject. Brit wanted some sort of boozy treat that inspired by fall, apples and cinnamon. My creation was half miniature pie, half caramel apple and 100% YUMMMM.

I used pre-made pie crusts and a mini muffin pan to create the miniature pie shells. For the filling, it's a pretty standard pudding shot (see my White Russian Pudding Shots in Brownie Bites).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

X is for: Xacuti

So remember my first time through the alphabet I sampled the Xacuti at a Viva Goa in San Francisco? Well this time I was determined to tackle it in my own kitchen and I'm delighted to tell you it was a success!

However, I will say this was without a doubt, one of the most labor-intensive things I've made for the blog. For starters, I've never cooked Indian food before so I was learning a lot as I went along. Also, between figuring out how to open a coconut to roasting spices and making the masala, it consumed most of my afternoon.

Thankfully, my friend Sachi is Indian and consulted her mum, Shree, on the most accurate and authentic techniques for recreating this Goan dish (pronounced "Sha-koo-tee"). Like any recipe, there were dozens of variations online, but I mostly followed the one on The Curry Secret, with a few modifications per Shree's advice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

W is for: White Russian Pudding Shots, Pumpkintinis & Rainbows


This post is somewhat of a sensory overload of delicious alcoholic treats. I am also well aware that "W" week has spilled into a second week. I blame it on all of the traveling I've been doing lately. Plus, it's baseball season during a playoff push, which is a crazy time for me. Besides, my blog, my rules.

But before I get to my ode to the Big Lebowski, let's talk about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. People go crazy for these things. The first day they were available, I saw no less than 12 photos of this delightful fall beverage in varying filters jamming my Instagram feed. But you know what's better than a pumpkin latte? A pumpkin *martini.* I've been making these for a couple of years now, but when Brit.co asked me to come up with a creative twist on the Starbucks craze, I decided to add a little Kahlua for some coffee flavor. Thank me later. Click here to get the step by step instructions, otherwise keep reading.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

W is for: Wild Boar Ragu with Whole Wheat Pappardelle

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

When I saw Snow White and the Huntsman on the list for On Demand movies in September, I knew I just had to create something dark and sinister to go along with the dark twist on the classic fairy tale. I recalled the story line from the original, in which the evil queen sends a huntsman on a quest to bring back Snow White's heart, and instead brings her one from a wild boar. Naturally, I thought of wild boar ragu.

Soon after, I found out that this part of the story didn't actually happen in the movie. Wah. Wah. Oh well, the spirit of the dish is there, right? Also, this was a trial run for an upcoming celebrity pasta competition I'm competing in later this month...so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, click here to head over to On Demand Weekly to get the recipe (and to enter for a chance to win some swag)!

UPDATE! The pasta contest is coming up on Monday, September 24th. Among my competitors: Brian Murphy from KNBR and former Giant Dave Dravecky. I'll let you know how I do, but if you're interested in buying tickets, click here for more information.

UPDATE, PART II: My pasta won second place!! I was extremely proud...and everyone seemed to really like it. I was the only competitor without Italian blood, so I think I did pretty well! :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

W is for: Wisconsin Cheese {& Winning!}

So....I actually won something!!

Bronze prize in the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest gets you a box filled with $100 worth of Wisconsin cheese. I don't know about you, but in my book, that's pretty damn awesome. Sure, a grand prize trip to New York would've been cool, but I'm perfectly happy with my bounty of cheese.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

W is for: Windy City {Arun's, Spice House & La Fournette}

Just like the first part of this Chicago post, Kasey and I picked up right where we left off. Sometimes we can go weeks (or even months) without talking, but we always seem to be able to flow seamlessly into our conversations which inevitably include stories about food, traveling and life's funny moments.

After our afternoon at Big Star, it was time to get ready for our big dinner out. When arranging the few plans we made for my trip, Kasey asked if I was up for trying something a little different. I'm always game for most anything, so a 12-course Thai tasting menu sounded right up our alley. Sure, there were several places she could've picked that she knows are slam dunks, but I was excited to try something she hadn't experienced either.

That is how we ended up at Arun's for dinner on Saturday night.

W is for: Windy City {Wrigley, Big Star & Perfect Scrambled Eggs}

When I told my friends I was going to Chicago for four days to visit my chef friend Kasey, the immediate response was: "Oh, you guys must have some amazing restaurants planned."

Yes and no.

See, the thing I love about Kasey and our friendship is we are sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants gals. We were roommates in Barcelona during our study abroad program more than 10 years ago and traveled together through Europe as well. We learned a lot on those travels, and we've carried them throughout our subsequent adventures since:

1.) Go with the flow
2.) Don't overplan
3.) Be prepared for epic, random nights

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