Category: Food

Super Bowl Goat Cheese Balls

super bowl goat cheese balls

A number of weeks ago I was watching some mind numbing reality television in the form of Vanderpump Rules (I wasn’t really watching, I was listening), and one of the characters (I mean cast members) was raving about Sur’s goat cheese balls.

Wait. What did she say? Goat cheese balls? There is such a thing?

Being the cheese enthusiast that I am I just had to investigate this. I couldn’t believe they existed!

So, I went to Pinterest and I Pinterested for a reference recipe.

I came across a tasty sounding recipe at And They Cooked Happily Ever After. I was so excited to try this out, and now that I have, I decided it might just be a great snack for a Super Bowl Party (even though I hate football and uh, I’m not attending any parties)! Read more »

Mushroom and Black Truffle Oil Mac and Cheese

mushroom and truffle oil mac and cheese

It’s no secret that I love cheese. I mean, people began buying me cheese for Christmas last year and this year the trend continued. This Christmas I actually received 17 wedges of it! You might say I have a wee bit of an addiction. But, if that is the worst thing a person is addicted to, that isn’t a bad thing.

Before I got sick and the holiday shenanigans, I had decided to make another recipe that called for truffle oil. This time I made mushroom and black truffle oil mac and cheese. Truffle oil is literally worthy of it’s own recipe series. So, I have been sitting on the food photos for awhile and finally decided I needed to get this post put together.  Read more »

Fontina and Mushroom Pizza with Black Truffle Oil

mushroom and fontina pizza with truffle oil

My mom and I took a little trip to World Market the other day. We always get sucked in to that store because of all the international goods. My favorite aisles are the food aisles of course, because they are fully loaded with goodies. This time, the treasure that I picked up was a bottle of Sabatino Tartufi Black Truffle Oil!

I have wanted to try cooking with this for a long time–since I tried my very first truffle fry! Now I get my chance to use this gourmet ingredient!

Let me just say right now, truffle oil doesn’t come out of a truffle. I have read some information online regarding truffle oil and there are two ways it can be made: olive oil infused with real truffles, and olive oil perfumed with a chemical to make it smell like truffles. The former is better than the latter because the infused oil has the truffle flavor (and no weird chemicals). I think the fact that some brands of the oil are just basically scented with no taste value gives truffle oil a bad rap.

I got the impression there are quite a few chefs in the world who simply hate the stuff. Maybe it’s because truffle oil has been overused, or because there is a good percentage of it that isn’t the quality stuff. I don’t really know. However, in my area it hasn’t been overused so I won’t be snubbing it anytime soon!

Truffle oil has an earthy, pungent aroma. I thought it smelled slightly of garlic too, but maybe that is just my nose. It smells excellent! I knew it was going to add an extra special element to my pizza. I was definitely excited to use it.

It is also worth mentioning that there is black truffle oil or white truffle oil. The information I have read suggests that certain foods taste better with one kind of truffle oil over the other, but I think it might be something a person needs to determine for themselves.

Now, on to the pizza! Read more »

Happy Thanksgiving! Don’t Let Your Food Touch!

thanksgiving food touching

Rather than make the obligatory “Things I Am Thankful For” post (which might actually come tomorrow…haven’t decided), I thought I would post something simple and funny.

Can you relate to the above graphic? I hate it when my foods touch. It is a small peeve of mine and I don’t really like seeing it on other’s plates either. But, to each their own, as I like to say! I can handle the meat or stuffing touching the potatoes and gravy though I’d prefer it not to happen. Definitely no sweet foods should be touching savory. I also don’t like using my dinner plate for pie when dinner is over.

One more thing, keep the cranberry jelly stuff at the other end of the table please!

I know, I’m weird! Anyone else like this? Leave a comment!

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!

 

Image Credit: Here

Honey Baked Salmon Recipe for One

honey baked salmon for one

When I make food I always end up making way too much, even when I do cut the recipe in half. A easy meal to portion out is salmon. You can buy a large filet at the grocery store, take it home, and cut it into portions for freezing. That is what I ended up doing for this Honey Baked Salmon recipe.

To freeze, cut your filet into strips about 2-3 inches wide (or however wide you’d like your portions to be. Then, place each piece in the bottom of a freezer bag. Roll the bag up from the bottom to squeeze the air out, then seal the bag. It is now ready for the freezer!

Thawing is simple too. Remove a serving from the freezer and place in a bowl of luke warm water for about 30 minutes.

Read more »

Shit From the Interweb: Youtube Food Tasters

shit from the interweb youtube food tasters

I watch a lot of Youtube, or I try at least. Some of the videos I like are taste test videos where people from one part of the world taste foods from another part of the world, and you get to see the initial reactions of the Youtube Food Tasters! I would love to do something like this for fun one day. I am not too keen to be on video, but I have a curious nature when it comes to food and like trying new things.

Today, I saw a re-posted video pop up on Facebook and I watched it because it relates to a few of the foods in Minnesota that are known to this region. I confess, there are some foods we are known for that I think are not so great. However, I grew up eating some of them.

First up was Jello Salad. If I had laid eyes on it for the first time, I’d be baffled too. If you know any Minnesotans, you probably have tried it. It can be seen it at all major gatherings. This is especially true for Christmases and family reunion potlucks. There are too many versions of it to keep track of, using every different flavor of Jello. The green ones are usually the worst. The worst of the worst are comprised of green Jello, canned pineapple, and cottage cheese (I take that back. Some salads have been known to contain Jello and shredded carrot. Lord knows why anyone thought that was a great idea). The version in the video is one of the better ones. It looks like it has marshmallows and Cool Whip in it.

I can’t believe the tasters were given Lutefisk next! A lot of us might be Norwegian, but I don’t know many families who like to bust this stuff out. Think fish Jello…not to be confused with one of the Jello Salad varieties. Lutefisk is just…so wrong. Of all the things brought from Norway, this is the worst. Maybe Ylvis should write their next song about it!

Then, we have good ‘ol Tater Tot Hotdish. Again, I’m not a fan–just like I’m not a goulash enthusiast. I have never had Tater Tot Hotdish with cheese though. Usually, it’s made up of tater tots, ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Most often the vegetables are corn, green beans, and carrots. There are variants of this too. It’s similar to the Jello Salad, no two are ever alike!

Fourth is the Juicy Lucy. A cheese stuffed burger…what can I say, it’s a thing. Who wouldn’t love a cheese stuffed burger? You could stuff it with other things too. Maybe some bacon, jalapenos, or give it a twist and stuff it with some french fried onions.

Last up is the Nut Goodie Bar. I didn’t know this was something we were known for. I can’t complain about them. I think the last time I ate one was a couple decades ago. I personally liked Skor and Reese’s.

Here is the video of the taste testing! It was made by Movato Originals!

What food dishes is your area known for? Are there any that you really love or hate?

 

Russian Borscht

Russian Borscht

Russian Borscht, a soup I have never tried. I had been thinking about making borscht for awhile. I had heard the name many years ago, and the word always intrigued me. What was in borscht? It sounded like a meaty soup to me. The heavy sound of the name made me think of that. Ha…was I ever wrong!

When I was growing up on the dairy farm, my dad had hired employees who hailed from various countries. Maybe this is partially why I love international cuisine so much. Sometimes these guys or their families would cook us a meal, or introduce us to things from their cultures. I always loved that. I often was tired of basic American food, you know…meat and potatoes, burgers, hot dogs, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed those things sometimes, but when I had the chance to try something new I eagerly took that opportunity!

When I was in my last years of high school, my dad had employed some Russian interns. They had come to learn about dairy farming and agriculture so they could take what they’d learned and use it when they went home again. They joined us for holidays and shared things with us about Russia. One time, they had us over for supper. I chuckle about it a little writing this because, at the time, the two young men who were employed were only a couple years older than I was. It seemed they were really excited to have us over for a meal.

They had made some kind of dumplings (I don’t know what they were called), and they were stuffed with meat. We topped them with sour cream and some pepper. It was somewhat like eating a stroganoff stuffed pirogi. They were very good. A simple dish, but tasty. What was cute though was the guys had given us boxed wine to wash the food down with!

That memory made me want to try cooking Borscht. I am curious about Russian food since I have had so little of it. Read more »

Thai Nam Tok Beef

Thai Nam Tok Beef Recipe or Waterfall Beef

Wyoming. The home of vast ranches, robust longhorn cattle, the Big Horn Mountains, and really amazing Thai food. Wait…what? Thai food?

Yes, Thai food. I admit I don’t know that there is an abundance of Thai eateries out there on the range, but sometimes when traveling, you just stumble on something completely unexpected.

When my mom and I took a trip out to Washington in September, we had planned to spend a couple of days in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We have driven through the northern part of the state a few times before, but we wanted to see what the southern route held for us. The evening we made our way into town, we hurriedly checked into our hotel and began searching on our smartphones for a well-loved local gem. We settled on a Thai restaurant called Anong’s.

Trying international cuisine is a roll of the dice sometimes. I feel like a lot of places try to tone down flavors because the establishment thinks that’s what the local citizens want. I need a full flavored, make-my-tongue-dance experience! Take me on a tour of your country through my taste buds! Don’t dull my food please. I can get dull food at a Taco John’s or China Buffet.

A dancing tongue dish at Anong’s is Thai Nam Tok Beef. I cannot describe how mouthwatering this beef was! I must say, in Wyoming, they know how to cook their meat! It’s perfectly charred on the outside, tender and juicy inside. Nam Tok is sliced beef in a lime and chili pepper mixture and topped with red onion, cilantro, and scallions. Anong’s served it atop a few salad greens.

It’s just too…YUM! So, I decided to try it at home! Read more »

Reese’s In A Jar?!

Reese's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Spread

The things food companies come up with! Reese’s wanted to go beyond their classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups once again, and have tried to make the candy into a spread.

I haven’t tried this. I probably won’t. From what I have read, the texture of this spread is gritty like their signature peanut butter inside the cups. Reese’s used to be my favorite candy bar. Since I was a little kid, I loved the combo of the chocolate and peanut butter, I didn’t mind the grittiness and slightly salty flavor. That’s what made them special. They were so yummy…

Years later though, they aren’t the same. Many foods taste different than they used to. I blame it on using more additives and cheaper ingredients. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are pretty much dead to me now. The peanut butter is grittier, the salt overwhelms the sweet, and the chocolate…uh, you call that chocolate?

Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Sticks are better than the cups. Even the cereal is better.

Maybe if they made this spread with smooth peanut butter, I would try it. Until then, I will stick to Nutella.

 

Image Credit: Popsugar

Azure Standard Organic and Natural Food Haul

Azure Standard Organic Food Haul June/July

I am an amateur foodie…or maybe I am more like a food snob. There truly is nothing like a great tasting dish that satisfies the palate and makes a person sigh in contentment, let out a belch, and loosen the belt a notch! Okay, some people aren’t too keen on the belching part, but regardless, I think you know what I am talking about!

Taste is a sense–a thrill of a different kind. It activates memories and takes us on other kinds of adventures. Food gives us energy and life; flavor gives the food character. So, since we rely heavily on food for life, it should be the good stuff!

This is where a service called Azure Standard comes in…and my food haul!

Azure Standard is a monthly delivery service that brings organic and natural foods to a drop point in your area once a month. You will need to contact them to check whether or not there is a drop point nearby, and get the drop point number before you place an order on their website. If there isn’t a drop point location close to you, you may be able to set one up if you are on one of their many routes! Once you have set up your account, start filling your online shopping cart with the goodies!

Let me say that if you don’t have close access to shops with non-GMO food, getting these items delivered is a lifesaver.

Food quality has become a growing concern to me over the last couple of years. I have always been pretty critical about flavor quality anyway, but flavor isn’t simply due to the basic element of the food organism itself. There are multiple factors that go into the organism that affect it. Factors like environment, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, and processing all change the way our food tastes. A bigger concern is how these things can affect human (and animal) health.

I have a desire to eat healthier. While I am easing into it, I know I will likely never be perfect in converting solely to organic (unless of course the stores in my area get with the program and increase their organic offerings times a hundred or a Whole Foods opens up here). My goal would be to eat at least 90% organic. However, trust me when I say there is a lack of organic shopping resources in my rural community!

This food haul photo was from last month’s order, and unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of this month’s haul. I will get better at this the more I do it! This time, I will show you the stuff from last month and highlight a few of the amazing things I feel I just have to mention from this month!

 

Azure Standard Organic Food Haul June/July

Azure Standard Haul: June 2014

Organic Lemons – I use these for making lemon infused water and also for cooking.

Small Organic Avocados – It’s always nice to have a few avocados on hand, and these taste great!

BumbleBar JunoBar (Organic Peanut Butter Cookie) – Since I am not a huge fan of a big breakfast, I love yummy bars like these. This kind really did taste like a PB cookie.

Earth Circle Organics Coconut Oil (Organic, Cold Pressed) – Coconut oil is a staple everyone should have because of it’s long list of versatile benefits. I put it in my tea every morning, use it as a skin moisturizer, have used it as a hair treatment, as well as in cooking of course! Azure Standard offers a variety of jar sizes, as well as bulk amounts.

Knudsen Strawberry Spritzer – Ok, this spritzer was AMAZING! I had a habit of drinking one or two regular sodas a day. Awhile ago, I tried to wean myself from drinking so much soda, and began trying drinks like this one. I am now trying the Black Cherry flavor as well. These drinks do not disappoint!

Azure Farm Organic Buttermilk Pancake Mix – I don’t eat pancakes much, and I don’t like when they are made from mixes like Bisquick. I decided to see if this organic mix tasted any better, and it totally does! Personally, I would go as far to say this mix tastes homemade. I have made plain pancakes, as well as added berries. Maybe next time I will add chocolate chips.

Gardenbar Mexican Savory – A twist on granola, these savory Gardenbars are nearly a meal in themselves. I highly recommend them. I previously tried the Indian and Japanese varieties. The Mexican is tasty as well, but I think my favorite so far has been the Indian flavor.

Knudsen Organic Mango Nectar – Mango juice is one of my favorite fruit flavors, and this is organic.

Bueno Vegetarian Green Chili Zucchini Tamales – From the Buenatural line by Bueno, these tamales are pretty damn good! I do suggest eating with sour cream and salsa, guacamole, or an enchilada sauce as I feel like the tamales need a little extra something. Melting some pepperjack cheese on them also tasted good.

Azure Standard Haul: July 2014

Azure Husbandry Organic Rainier Cherries – I have never had better fruit in my life! I am not really a fruit lover, but these cherries are so juicy and sweet, they are like candy.

Organic Cantaloupe Melon – Again, not really a fruit person but I thought I’d try a cantaloupe. This is the best melon I have ever had.

Barbara’s Bakery Cheese Puffs (Original Flavor) – Throw the Cheetos away my friend! Barbara’s Bakery cranks out some rather addictive cheese puffs.

BumbleBar Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter –  I admit, it isn’t as good as the peanut butter cookie kind, but it is pretty satisfying. It has a bit of crunchiness, a slight flavor of honey, and a chewy consistency.

GreenShield Organic Laundry Detergent HE (Lavender) – I have used this detergent before. It seemed to last quite awhile and my clothes are clean–so, it does its job!

Knudsen Black Cherry Spritzer – As flavorful and delicious as the strawberry flavor, it is just too good!

I also want to say a special thanks to my friend Robin over at The Sweetest Pear (and my college BFF), for telling my mom and I about Azure Standard!

Do you have any online organic shopping websites or services you love as much as I love Azure Standard? Comment below and let us all help one another find sources for healthier food!