Friday, February 28, 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Nuggets with Comeback Sauce

Have you ever heard of Comeback Sauce?  It seems that every mention of it I come across in a cooking magazine heralds it as "The Sauce of the South," yet I had yet to try it once.

I hadn't seen it on a menu, or had it served to me by a friend.

Have I just been frequenting the wrong places?  I know it's supposedly more popular in Mississippi than Tennessee, but I don't remember seeing it during my 4+ years there, either.  Catfish, yes...lots of catfish.  :-)

I dunno.  Whatever the reason for this sauce staying under my culinary radar, after seeing it mentioned yet again- this time in Southern Living magazine- I knew I had to finally break down and try it for myself.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Muffaletta Cups

I really wanted to do a little series of Mardi Gras recipes for you guys this year, but I faced a minor problem- Remember that low carb diet I've been on?  Well there is nothing even remotely low carb about most New Orleans foods!  


I might nibble on a tiny bit of King Cake, but while I'm sticking to my low carb diet (and my husband attempts to) I really can't eat a big bowl of red beans and rice (nom nom nom...) or a roux-based gumbo.  Not saying you shouldn't, but this works for me.

:-) My body likes it, and I like making my body happy, you know?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Simple Salmon with Dill

I like Winter- I like snow, and cozy sweaters...but I'm ready for warm weather.

I'm ready for short sleeves and shorts.

I'm ready for school to be out so I can spend tons of time having adventures with my daughter.

Another thing?  I'm ready for it to stay light out long enough for me to take pictures of dinner without elaborate lighting setups.

I don't feel crazy taking a quick shot of dinner on the back porch during the Summer- I feel slightly funnier pulling out clamp lights and setting up lighting arrangements on the kitchen countertop during those Winter months when my good light is long gone by the time dinner hits the table.

Such is life for a food blogger, though!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mini Mardi Gras King Cakes

I didn't see much of the world during my time in the Air Force- though I did get to know the state of Mississippi fairly well.  I'm not complaining in the slightest- coming on the heels of 20 years spent living in California, the South felt pretty exotic to me at that point!

One of the perks of living in that part of the country was it's proximity to New Orleans...what an experience!  I'd like to go back one day for the food and sightseeing...my pursuits may have been a little less mature at that point in my life *coughhandgrenadescough*

With Mardi Gras coming up in a couple of weeks I decided to celebrate in my own way- with food of course :-)

Now, I've never actually had a REAL King Cake, but they're so festive looking I've wanted to try for awhile.  Not to mention the fact that they're yeast-based which ties in well with my penchant for bread-baking!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Pinwheel Cookies

It started snowing yesterday...and it just kept snowing.  Until about an hour ago, that is.  I'm currently looking at almost a foot of snow covering my yard. 


This California girl still gets giddy when it snows-I embrace snow days just as much as my daughter does.

I just got word that school is officially cancelled tomorrow also- no big surprise there given the amount of snow outside!  Unfortunately, tomorrow is Valentine's Day and that means my daughter will be missing out on her much-anticipated pajama day/Valentine's Day party at school.

Time to do something special at home!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thick Cut-Outs: Sugar Cookies for Little Hands

There sure are a lot of different types of sugar cookies out there- thin crispy ones, thick soft ones, crackly topped ones...the list goes on.  Me?  Well, I like them all- I've rarely met a cookie I didn't like :-)

What I have met is a cookie that can't hold up to being decorated by little hands.  They crack and crumble, unable to stand up to less-than-delicate fingers.  Thankfully, I came across this recipe for Thick Cut Outs a few years ago and it's become my go-to recipe when I know kids will be involved in the decorating process.  They're delicious, soft yet sturdy, and can hold their own against whatever frosting or sprinkles little hands throw their way.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Balsamic Reduction

I am in love with Penzey's Mexican Vanilla, truly.  All of their vanilla is high quality, but of course I had to go and fall in love with the one variety you can't buy through their website!  Every time I get within driving distance of a Penzey's retail location I make sure to stock up.

This last December, while on our road trip, my sister-in-law and I made our Penzey's pilgrimage and she introduced me to the aptly placed store next door in Arlington, TX- Bella Vita Gourmet Olive Oil and Balsamics.

I never thought a store could be as dangerous to my pocket book as Penzey's- and I was wrong.  Oh, so wrong.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Date Night Meals: Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

I've pinned a few recipes for Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce on Pinterest and I've been meaning to make it for quite a while now.  I finally got around to pulling up the recipe the other day and I noticed something- sweetened condensed milk.

Ugh.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly cook desserts with it from time to time, but WHY?  Why on God's green Earth would you choose to adulterate a delicious piece of salmon with condensed milk of all things?

Just no.

I thought for sure this was just a one-off fluke recipe, so I started googling...over and over again I saw sweetened condensed milk on the ingredient list for sriracha cream sauce!