A few months ago, I discovered that I have a fried-rice-obsessed kindred spirit in my neighbor, John.
This guy may be the first person I’ve met who loves fried rice as I do, and also loves judging sampling it at local restaurants as much as I do. I still hold that my homemade fried rice recipe is my favorite. But it turns out that John and I agree on the fact that a local Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood makes the best fried rice that you can order on a menu.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of traveling to Roanoke to gather with a bunch of food bloggers for the first-annual Mixed conference. I will be posting more photos and stories of the event soon. It was a total blast!
One of the highlights of the weekend came as a total surprise to me. My Roasted Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese ended up winning a midnight mac ‘n’ cheese contest sponsored by Dreamfields Pasta! I was more than a little shocked, and have no doubt that my face turned beet red as I walked up to receive the prize. But they were awesome, and even gave me a red sash, black feather boa and a little tiara. So fun! :)
Ok, I’ve been itching to try the whole hasselback potatoes trend ever since they blew up on the blogosphere awhile back. So today I decided to whip out some hot sauce and try making some Buffalo Hasselback Potatoes!
I admit. As much as I like playing with food, I’ve always been iffy about all of the slicing involved in hasselback potatoes. But seriously, people, it took less than a minute per potato. WAY easier than expected!!! Then baked them up and topped them with some cheddar and blue cheese (you can choose one or both), some green onions, and lots of buffalo sauce, and holy moly. The experiment worked. These were fantastic!!!
When I was a kid, our extended family used to love meeting up for big dinners regularly at our neighborhood Italian restaurant, DeFazio’s. Everyone would order these huge steaming plates of delicious pastas, salads, sides and more. And Yours Truly would order…”plain spaghetti”. Oh yes. I was the token picky eater in the family. And no thank you, I did not want to “just try it”. ;)
Luckily, though, everyone at DeFazio’s always received a steaming bowl of minestrone soup as an appetizer. And over the years, I began to grow more and more fond of this yummy pasta soup, even though I would have had a small heart attack at age 10 if anyone had told me that there was zucchini snuck in there!
Any of you Instagram followers will know that I had the pleasure of spending last week in Iowa with a bunch of stellar farmers and bloggers learning all about…CORN! Lots and lots and lots of corn! It was a fabulous experience (which I will be telling you about soon in another post!). But ever since then, I have been craving this salad I adore from one of my favorite local KC restaurants, Urban Table, that it sprinkled with the most delicious roasted corn. They call it the “Shrimp Buena Terra Salad”. I call it…one of my favorite salads EVER.
Seriously. I know that food bloggers are supposed to be all adventurous and everything, but this salad was the first dish I ever ordered there and I love it so much that I may have ordered it every time since. SO GOOD. So after a year, I finally decided I should try making it at home. And I must say, my little homemade rendition seemed to be pretty spot on!
I am beyond excited to share a recipe today from one of my favorite food bloggers, Jenna Weber. But the even more exciting news is that this recipe is actually from her brand new book that was released this week — White Jacket Required.
I have long adored Jenna’s beautiful site, Eat Live Run, and the charming, honest, faithful, stylish, and inspiring life she leads. So it was wonderful to follow along in this “culinary coming-of-age story” to hear even more of the journey behind the scenes that has led her to today. From the entertaining and brave stories of venturing through culinary school, to finding and losing love, to pressing on in some of life’s darkest moments, and to finding hope and new adventures again, Jenna invites us along on the amazing journey that it has been. And of course, the charming conversational style of writing we all know and love from her blog carries you through, making this a page-turner I happily flew through.
For the 4th of July this year, I packed up my bags and drove down south to….Ooooooooooo-kla-ho-ma! Yep, the state where the wind comes sweeping down the plains is also home to my good friend Megan who I’ve known since high school. We all imagined she was destined for city life as a talented graphic designer, but she happened to fall in love with a boy from the Oklahoma country. (Sound like another famous blogger?) So now they live in this super adorable little farmhouse about a half hour outside of Oklahoma City that — between a graphic designer and a modern architect — is a Pinterester’s dream come true. :)
But in addition to being a wonderful friend, blogger, designer, musician, and 8-months-pregnant-soon-to-be-new-mama, Meg is also a fabulous cook. And since taking up life in the farmhouse, she has become a fabulous canner! So while I was down there on a 100+ degree day, she graciously offered to teach this canning novice how to make jam. Somehow in all my 29 years, I have never ever canned, and was more than a little intimidated by the process.
Hey hey! The Tomato Love Recipe Exchange continues this week with all sorts of delicious recipes for tomato salsa and dips. And Cassie and I are excited to announce that we are also going to be giving away a gorgeous Cuisinart 12-Cup Food Processor to celebrate! Read below to learn how to enter the contest, and also how to share in the #tomatolove!
It would come as no surprise to my friends that, if given the option between just about anything and chips and salsa, I always choose the latter…especially in the summer! Whenever I walk by those beautiful fresh tomatoes at the market, a few almost inevitably end up in my bag to make a fresh batch of salsa for the week. Love me some good chips and salsa.