Big Easy, Big Belly

Before I start this post I’d like to ask that we declare it an official “judgement free” zone. I realize that the amount of food and drinks that are about to be described could feed a family of four for probably a week, and we did it in two days with just two of us. I’m not proud of it. Well, maybe I am. Anyway, everyone have their beads ready? Let’s head to New Orleans.

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Traveling + Food (or, Traveling for Food)

I’ve been a little busy lately, and then on a long vacation, so I haven’t had as much time to cook and take pretty pictures lately. I still want to write, though, so I decided to do what I’ve been meaning to do for a while now, and that is to document the food that my husband and I ate on our honeymoon. For our honeymoon we rented an RV and did a road trip across the southern half of the US. Part of this will also describ our RV experience, but I promise there will be a lot of food talk. I don’t want to say that food was our main focus of the honeymoon, but I also don’t want to not say it…since it pretty much was. Sometimes in life you need to just embrace your inner fat kid and roll with it, and that’s literally what we did.

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Cookie Butter (Speculoos) Pie

If you haven’t heard of speculoos, also known as cookies that make cookie butter butter, you may be living under a rock. It’s everywhere. Namely, Trader Joe’s. Good ole’ TJs sells not only the cookies, but three cookie butter varieties. What more could a girl want?¬†Once I discovered that they sold the actual cookies, I decided I had to make something with them. What’s better than cookie butter on top of more cookie butter? Putting it in the shape of a pie and adding a dark chocolate layer.

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Vodka Penne Bake with Spinach and Broccoli

As you all know by now, I really like recipes that are easily adaptable to fit your individual likes/dislikes, and this pasta bake is no exception. You can sub out the type of sauce, noodle, cheese, or veggies easily and get a totally new taste. For this one I stuck with pretty basic ingredients since I was making it for book club and couldn’t remember if anyone had particular vegetables that they liked or didn’t like. The one major change I made was using gluten-free pasta. If I were making this for myself, I would likely switch out the broccoli for some mushrooms and sub half of the mozzarella cheese with feta cheese, and use marina instead of vodka sauce. Or, keep the broccoli, add mushrooms, and add gorgonzola. Or, asparagus and goat cheese. Really, the list could go on. Let’s at least start somewhere though, okay?

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Cream Cheese Ice Cream with Red Velvet Cake Swirl

This ice cream is GOOD. And, the base can be used for so many flavors. You can add any type of cake (carrot cake, regular chocolate cake, brown butter, etc.), or go with the classic graham cracker swirl, with or without fruit. For this one I wanted to add red velvet cake because it is purty. I use the word swirl loosely, since it’s sounds nicer than “Cream Cheese Ice Cream with a ton of Red Velvet Cake dumped in.” Anyway, the other great thing about this recipe, other than the versatility, is that the base does not have to chill the whole night. So, if you’re like me and always have your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer at all times, you can easily decide to make AND eat this ice cream in the same day. Continue reading

Brunch Time!

I’m not sure I could love brunch more than I do. I’m not sure if it’s because I went to school in DC, and then stayed in DC, where there is a prominent brunch culture. I think it the end it just speaks to my food soul. It’s the best of both worlds. You don’t have to chose between breakfast or lunch food, or sweet or savory, and it’s completely appropriate to drink mid-day. I could easily write a dissertation on brunch and why it is so amazing, but I will spare you. I’m sure I don’t have to convince you of the wonders of brunch, so I’ll just move on to the post. Continue reading

Pesto Bread with Shrimp, Olive Tapanade and Smoked Mozzarella

It took me a while to figure out what to name this post. I almost went with “Shrimp Bread, etc.” but thought that wouldn’t go over as well. This bread is one of my favorite things to make for dinner for a myriad of reasons, including, but not limited to:
1. It tastes amazing.
2. It’s versatile. I can change ingredients based on what’s in my fridge.
3. You can typically find most things in your fridge, although see point #2.
4. It freezes really well.
5. If you make extra of the pesto or olive tapanade, they can be carried over (or the pesto frozen) for other meals.
5. My husband is allergic to shrimp which means I can load it on and not have to share. He can eat meat and I don’t, so don’t feel too bad for him. I also make him a veg option, below. Continue reading