Thursday, January 31, 2013

N is for: Niners, New Orleans & the Super Bowl {French 75 Jello Shots}

I have a confession to make.

Sometimes I dream about jello shots.

I know. It's weird. And probably a problem. But not when it comes to my lovely and loyal blog readers...especially those who will be rooting for the 49ers on Super Bowl Sunday.

As many of my friends know, I love me a good French 75, which consists of Champagne (love my bubbles), sugar, lemon juice and gin. While I'm not normally a gin drinker, somehow the tartness and sweetness balance out the "I just ate one of those pine tree car fresheners" taste.

I've been wanting to make a jello shot version of this cocktail for quite some time...and decided the Super Bowl would be the perfect opportunity.

After all, champagne is THE drink for celebrating championships...and I think the "French" part of the drink fits in perfectly with the French influence in New Orleans. To celebrate the 49ers, I needed to make them red and gold...and that's how I dreamed up these brilliant boozy bites.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

M is for: Mango Black Rice, Chipotle Squash & Blackened Salmon

The other day, I was texting with my friend Cindy, and she says to me "How on earth do you have time to blog?"

Well, the short answer to that question is...I make blackened salmon at 11 in the morning.

Yes, my schedule is weird. But it actually works for food blogging, as I generally have lots of natural light to work with at the times when I'm actually able to cook. The only downfall is filling my apartment with smoke first thing in the morning and smelling like a campfire for the rest of the day.

We all have to make sacrifices.

But I digress. I'm super excited to share this recipe. It's one I started making five or six years ago. I don't recall where exactly I found the recipe, but I've tweaked it over the years and sort of made it my own. Also, I think it pairs perfectly with the Super Bowl taking place in New Orleans this week and all of the Cajun food being consumed in NOLA. (Go 49ers!)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

L is for: Lacinto Kale, Leek, Roasted Cauliflower & White Bean Soup

This soup is many things. It's healthy, it's hearty, it's comforting.

It's also the love child of several nearly-past-their-prime veggies that were sitting in my fridge.

This happens sometimes when I get a gigantic CSA box delivered and then don't find time to cook for a few days. I was determined to use up as many of them as possible before they went bad so I decided a hearty winter soup would fit the bill.

I'll be honest...I didn't originally plan to post this on the blog so I took only a few photos during the process. But seriously...this soup turned out so delicious that I just had to share it with the world.

It's that good.


Monday, January 21, 2013

K is for: Kimchi {quick cucumber kimchi}

I first met Cindy ten years ago while working for KRTV in my hometown of Great Falls, MT. I was just starting my career as a sports reporter, while Cindy was an aspiring weather and news anchor. While she could totally rock a green screen and a news desk with the best of them, Cindy found her true calling behind the camera as a photographer.

I could go on for days about her talents...but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so just do yourself a favor and check out some of her awesome work here and here.

One of the things I adore and admire about Cindy is her positive attitude and her infectious energy. However, those were both put to the ultimate test last year when her mom was diagnosed with cancer.

Cindy and me sporting our short haircuts in the KRTV news room circa 2003
I would venture to guess just about anyone reading this post has, in some way, been affected by this awful disease. As we know, cancer has no compassion, no boundaries, no promises. The only thing you can do is face it head on and cherish the time you have with loved ones. Like everything in her life, Cindy has done this with passion and grace. She has made a point to spend as much time in Texas with her mom, taking her to appointments, standing by her side, and as Cindy puts it...making every day count.

If you follow Cindy on instagram, you know that part of these special moments included learning some of her mom's Korean recipes. I've been wanting to make kimchi for awhile now, so I decided to take this opportunity to feature Cindy and her mom and dedicate this post to their entire family.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

J is for: Jicama Salad {or 'Slaw}

I've been eating a lot of salads lately.

Like, a lot.

To be honest, I'm a little bored of salad. (And of my January detox, but that's another story.)

I think maybe the salad boredom is because they all end up tasting very similar...greens, veggies, maybe some fruit, perhaps some cheese and dressing.

Rinse. Repeat.

But I like this salad because it's a little different. It's actually more like a slaw than a salad, but it can work either way. I love the crunch you get from the jicama...similar to a crisp apple. It's great on its own, or alongside Mexican food.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I is for: Italian Meatballs {gluten free} with Broccoli "Noodles"

Like so many things in my life right now, these meatballs are a work in progress. They aren't perfect yet, but they have potential. And I liked them well enough to still share the recipe (and maybe even solicit some help), so I decided to still post them even though they weren't a complete success.

As boring and lame as it sounds, I'm sort of doing  a January detox. (Yeah, I know, we'll see how long it lasts). For starters, I'm *attempting* to cut out alcohol for the entire month. It's a little sad that this challenge seems so difficult, but it really is hard when you're out to dinner with friends and everyone is ordering wine and you're stuck with sparkling water. I'm also trying to get back to going to the gym 3-4 times a week, which can also be difficult with my schedule, but again...I'm going to try. And finally, I'm going with a high-protein low-carb diet for at least the first couple weeks of January.
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