Food & Cocktails
A few weeks back we took a weekend trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., with our buds and feasted at the Breakfast Club & Barrista Bar, a retro resto in Old Town Scottsdale.
I’m usually not one to go bananas over breakfast (I’d rather skip to lunch), but these Jalapeño Biscuits and Gravy were pretty show-stopping. Thick, rich, a tad fiery and packed with chunks of sausage, I do believe they may have been the best B&G I’ve ever had!
…And another week of baby-baking ticks on by!
I’ve always wanted to make a trifle!
There’s something about textured layers of delicious cream, fruit, cake and whatever else taunting you through clear glass that is just mind-blowingly tantalizing…
This impossibly simple version has sponge cake, vanilla pudding, pineapple, whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.
Can’t wait to spoon into this…
Happy Independence Day!
I was inspired to make this Sweet and Hot Pineapple Salmon after reading about Italian agrodolce, a vinegar-based sauce simmered with fruit, resulting in a sweet and sour sauce perfect to top on any type of meat or fish.
The recipe I came across is for a Strawberry-Rhubarb Agrodolce. It called for soy sauce and strawberries (in addition to vinegar, sugar, ginger, rhubarb, olive oil, rosemary, and olives), but I swapped out the soy sauce in favor of sriracha—loving spicy foods these days!—and since I didn’t have strawberries I used pineapple. I also used fresh basil instead of rosemary and ditched the olives because I forgot to buy them.
That’s what I love about sauce recipes; you can modify and add your own spin to them, and as long as you don’t deviate too far from the core ingredients, it’s bound to be good.
We devoured this dish in less than a few minutes—it was stunning!
And here I am as of today, clocking another week in the pregnancy countdown…
Big milestone: A couple of weeks ago we felt the first kick! It was pretty surreal.
Up until that point, the idea of a little human growing inside me felt like a story my doctor was telling me. But now that I can feel Baby McG thumping and pushing around my innards, it’s undeniable!
And bizarrely beautiful.
Every night we lie on the couch and lay hands on my belly to feel for movements. It’s become our favorite pastime.
We’re excited to reveal the gender… next time!
These ice cream profiteroles are exactly what I want right now…
This has to be one of my all-time favorite cookies.
Wedding cookies are sweet, but not too sweet, and have the softest, friendliest crunch when bitten into.
Lucky me: It just so happens that my mama makes the best wedding cookies around!
She house/Purnie-sat for us over the weekend, and when we got home late Sunday night these cookies were waiting for us on the kitchen counter.
I’ve been eating them for breakfast with coffee, in the afternoon as a sugary treat, and even in the middle of the night when I wake up at 3 a.m. and can’t seem to get back to bed.
It makes a sleepless night not too bad at all.
My galpal Lydia, owner of 8 Sweets bakery, is an insanely creative cookie-maker. Using snazzy culinary-graphic design magic, she can plaster an image of anything onto scrumptious, pretty cookies.
For my girlfriend’s handsome little boy’s first birthday last weekend, I asked Lydia to make something special in her all-time favorite cookie flavor, orange cardamom.
She delivered the most adorbs cookies I’ve ever seen.
The design, the precious scallop around the image… perfection! People were afraid to eat them because they looked so dang good!
After the first bite, though, you just have to devour the rest of the cookie. Orange cardamom is delicious—the cookies had a touch of citrus, but mostly they’re buttery, with undertones of something complex.
Lydia even threw in some chocolate-chip-Oreo, chocolate-dipped cookies—double score!
Veggie-infused desserts lend themselves well to breakfast or lunch, don’t ya think?
Come dinnertime, I’m all about rich, creamy, moussey extravagance—think pots de creme, triple chocolate anything, hot sweet and salty concoctions, decadent sundaes…
For breakfast—if I’m craving something sweet—it can’t be too sugary.
Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, courtesy of the ever reliable Martha Stewart, fit the breakfast bill.
With just 2 cups of brown sugar, one grated zucchini, walnuts, cinnamon and the usual cast members (flour, vegetable oil, eggs, etc.), the cupcakes taste like good health. (Sugar-laced good health.) The cream cheese frosting isn’t exactly low in calories, but, hey, a girl’s gotta get her cheese fix.
You can always omit the frosting and eat the cupcakes as muffins.
To St.-Patty’s-Day these babies up, I should’ve topped ‘em with clovers or green sprinkles. But I don’t own any color of sprinkles since I don’t bake very often.
Most everyone has this basic staple in their pantry, I’ve been told.
It’s a straightforward dish with just a few ingredients. Roasting a bird should be easier than watching TV.
…Actually, it’s not!
This bird took some prep, and it was a bit uncooperative.
I spent a good deal of time rubbing butter, basil and garlic on the skin. Not just over the skin; beneath it too. Then I stuffed the belly with onion and lemon.
I thought I was home-free when, alas, I tucked her into the oven, but no…
The garlic fell off and began burning at the bottom of the roasting pan. Then her breasts started to scorch violently. I had to blanket her in foil for the last 45 minutes of baking.
In the end, she was fantastically tasty and succulent—everything you’d expect from freshly roasted chicken.
Still, I’d buy a precooked $5.99 chicken any day of the week.
Paired with healthy greens…
This explains my big thighs.
And why I’m never the DD.
For my stellar manpartner’s 31st birthday, we had a few pals come over for wine, prohibition-y cocktails and ho-hum, garden-variety apps.
We laid out the usual suspects: cheese, crackers, veggies, curried deviled eggs. But we unleashed the addition of something a little more awesome-sounding—salmon profiteroles…
So back to these salmon profiteroles. It’s just a puff pastry filled with herby cream cheese, sandwiched with salmon. Pretty cheesy, I gotta say. Next time I’d add just a smear of cream cheese, not a gargantuan dollop.
Overall, it was a B- appetizer. I was dying to suck the salmon off of each one and discard the rest of the pouf, which tells me I should probably just serve sashimi or smoked salmon with toast rounds at a party. But maybe other people liked their uber-cheesiness? Not sure.
Curried deviled eggs… perfecto.
Afterward, we walked to a restaurant a block away and stuffed ourselves with horseradish-crusted salmon, chicken-fried steak, green chile cheddar grits and apple cobbler in a skillet, from what we remember, that is! (Note to self: After seven cocktails, just eat a Big Mac, since you won’t remember the meal anyway.)
Ahh, such fun!
Happy birthday, husband.
Oceans of love, always.