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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Food Inspired by The Goonies | #FoodnFlix

Food inspired by The Goonies for Food 'n Flix
This month I hosted Food 'n Flix with my pick of movies, The Goonies. Though not your typical "foodie movie", if you're paying attention, you can find plenty of food references and inspiration from the first scene to the last. I grew up watching The Goonies. It's been one of my favorite movies since I was 10. I actually thought that everybody loved The Goonies. Apparently, I was wrong.

Is it weird that it kind of makes me sad that some people don't love The Goonies? 'Cause it does. I'm sure the non-Goonies are rolling their eyes at me right now. That's okay. I'd pick Brand over Troy any day of the week (aka I'm not ashamed to be a Goonie-lover).

That being said, deep down I know that not everybody enjoys the same things (and wouldn't it be boring if we did), and I'm just happy that even though some people can't relate to that Goonie state of mind—they can relate to food. They can also be a good sport about me choosing The Goonies this month and still play along. That's enough to make this Goonie happy.
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

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

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

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.
Friday, May 15, 2015

Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins

Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins
I'm super excited about two things today: delicious muffins (I'm super picky about muffins...weird, right?) and an amazing giveaway—both of which are related to a book that you have to get your hands on if you don't have it already, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. As you may have guessed, this comes from the same people who brought us The Flavor Bible, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.

If you're not familiar with either, they are both very useful, working books. Not so much cookbooks, because they don't contain recipes, but rather tools. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible has around 550 pages...the first 90 or so are an introduction to a proper vegetarian diet. You'll find vegetable protein sources. as well as tips on how to maximize flavor. Plus, there's an extremely cool timeline of Vegetarianism Through the Ages. Even if you do not adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, there is so much to inspire in the first 90 pages alone.

Moving on to the remaining 450+ pages, you'll find ingredients listed alphabetically from Acai to Zucchini Blossoms—this is where you'll turn to match flavors. Under each ingredient is listed most (or all) of the following things:
  • Season: peak growing season for ingredient
  • Flavor: ingredient's primary taste
  • Volume: relative flavor, or "loudness" of ingredient
  • What it is: a brief description of less common ingredients
  • What's healthful about it: nutrients, health benefits, etc
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake
Welcome to another edition of the Blogger C.L.U.E. Society, where we are (semi-) secretly assigned another member's blog to "investigate" and find a recipe that fits our theme for the month—all the while learning a little bit more about each other (more details at the bottom of this post, if you're interested). Our theme this month is Berries, and the blog I had the good fortune of spending time at Rebekah's blog, Making Miracles.

Making Miracles is a blog about food, family and making memories. Rebekah is a mom and a wife, and has also been the surrogate mom for 4 little girls—how amazing is that! You can learn more about Rebekah and her surrogacy experiences on her about page. But now, on to the food! Making Miracles is full of family-friendly recipes of all sorts, including a page of baby/toddler food recipes. But what I was on the hunt for was berries!

Can I just tell you that I love the process of searching and exploring a blog each month? I really do. I like searching a general term, then more specific terms, all the while clicking on recipes that catch my fancy. I usually wind up with about 10 tabs open, and then try to narrow things down to about 3 to choose from.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sparkling Pineapple Mojitos

Sparkling Pineapple Mojitos
Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that brunch and cocktails go hand-in-hand. I usually wind up with a full plate in one hand, a sweaty glass in the other, and all eyes peeled for a good place to lay out my bounty. I don't mind (at all) the usual brunch drink offerings. I'm all in for a Bloody Mary, several Mimosas, or a Bellini bar. But it's kind of fun to switch things up every now and again.

Last week, I shared a lovely Mother's Day brunch cocktail option that spoke to me of spring. Today I'm thinking warm and sunny with a pitcher of sparkling, grapefruit and mint-infused pitcher of mojitos! Why yes, I am in need of a vacation, thank you very much. I think I've earned a week of brunch on the beach. At least a day.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teleras (Flat Bread Rolls)

Teleras (Flat Bread Rolls)
Today we're bringing you a Cinco de Mayo edition of #TwelveLoaves, featuring Mexican breads! I immediately thought conchas, since they are my favorite of all Mexican breads, but since I've already posted two concha recipes in the past (and have another one coming up in the semi-near future), I decided to choose something else. A type of bread that I'd never made before, but had been meaning to—telera rolls.

Teleras are the base for tortas, aka fabulous Mexican sandwiches. Obviously you can stuff them with whatever you like, but my hands-down favorite kind is a torta con milanesa de pollo (chicken breast pounded thin, breaded and fried). If the hubs and I go out for lunch when the kids are at school, that's pretty much what we both order. Every. Single. Time.
Monday, May 4, 2015

Asparagus, Brie and Smoked Salmon Omelet

Asparagus, Brie and Smoked Salmon Omelet
(I think that) every good brunch has to contain at least one egg offering. The quickest and easiest of those options is a good old omelet. I've made approximately 10,573 omelets in my lifetime. As much as I love to eat brunch, I also love to serve it. Many of you probably know that I used to cook professionally in both restaurants and on a large university campus. You don't know brunch-time insanity until you've worked in a college town on the weekend of a home football game.

My favorite place to plant myself on those weekends (when I had to be at work) was behind the omelet station. People love omelets. They also seem to love seeing them made to order right before their very eyes. I had a system, and as long as my pans weren't eff'ed up (breakfast cooks, you know what I'm talking about here), I could get all 6 of my burners going at the same time. It was a blast, it made the day go by fast, and it never failed to impress. I've made them in the highest building in town, in a dining room that had floor to ceiling windows all the way around. I've made them in dining halls for hungry students and their families. I've made them in private meeting rooms that contained a room full of huge, hungry football players and coaches. Some Saturdays I made between 300 and 400 omelets all by myself.

What I'm trying to say is that I can make the heck out of an omelet.

Brunch Week 2015 Introduction

Welcome to the third annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Shaina from Take A Bite Out Of Boca. We are so excited to have you join us this year!  Celebrate Brunch with us this week as we prepare for Mother's Day. 30 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to casseroles, breakfast breads, sandwiches and salads - there is something for everyone! Our amazing Sponsors have donated some great prizes for the #BrunchWeek giveaway. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about them all and what you can possibly win!
BrunchWeek 2015 Logo
Friday, May 1, 2015

HEY YOU GUUUUUYS! All Goonies join us in the kitchen for #FoodnFlix!

May 2015 edition of Food 'n Flix hosted at, featuring The Goonies!
Raise your hand if you grew up in the 80's. Remember the movies you loved? The Karate Kid, E.T., Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Back to the Future, Heathers, Say Anything, License to Drive, The Lost Boys, and of course THE GOONIES! Our generation really brought cursing to another level. We could have a swear-down with the best of them. I wonder what our parents thought of the language coming out of the mouths of the kids in these movies we watched so often that the video tapes were worn thin. But man, they were the shit.

I've seen all of those movies I listed about countless times, but The Goonies was, and still is, one of my favorite movies (don't tell River, Ralph, or Christian). I used to stare at posters of Sean Astin ripped from BOP or Teen Beat and taped neatly to my wall. If only I'd realized how hot Brand was going to grow up to be. But hey, he was too old for me at the time. I still have a soft spot for Sean. So when my husband met, sat and talked for an entire hour with him...and casually mentioned it after the fact, I had a mini freak-out session. How rude. I expect covert texting to alert me to such occurrences. It's not like I introduced him to Samwise Gamgee or anything. Anyway, I digress. Don't worry, I'll get over it. One day. When I'm dead.