Favorite things: Food

Here are some of my favorite foodie escapades lately:

The sweet potato fries at The Bayou 

Portions may be bigger than the menu makes them appear. These fries were basically never ending. NEVER ENDING.

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Chip

I finally tried the infamous Chip! If you haven’t heard of them they are a chocolate chip cookie and milk DELIVERY service. They are based out of Provo, but have a Salt Lake pop up on the weekend. Their cookies are gigantic and delicious.

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Chicken burrito bowls ala buzzfeed

I’m all about meal prep lately [who am I?], but often when I try to copy trendy recipes they don’t translate. This was an exception. I loved it so much. Simple, but good. Get the recipe here.

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Feast Fest

Our friends did a series of food movie nights and it was truly the best. My favs were probably Chocolat and Ratatouille. Classics for a reason.

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Can’t watch Chocolat without mass amounts of chocolate.

Frida Bistro 

I’ve been dying to go here for ages and it did not disappoint [Thnx Mindy for making my food/birthday dreams come true].

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Carnitas de puerco and chipotle mashed potatoes. Yum.

Can you see that deliciousness? No, ok, LET ME ENHANCE THAT FOR YOU.

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Plus the ambience is great too – inside and out.

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Food & art are two of my favorite things and I loved how they decorated everything.

And last, but not least, the Birthday eating extravaganza

[FOR EXPERIENCED EATERS ONLY]

There were pancakes:

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Courtesy of Original Pancake House, duh. If you need a recommendation my go to order is banana pancakes and a side of bacon.

Practically every “bite” on the menu at Even Stevens,

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and Cheesecake Factory

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Terrible picture, but it tasted oh-so-good.

Of course all that birthday food was made better by the fact that I shared it with the best of people. Thanks for the birthday love everyone!

Bonus [non-food] favorite thing: Ziggy helping me unwrap my birthday gifts

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Currently: In love with the new Wonder Woman movie. I saw a screening last night and already can’t wait to see it again!

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Bon Appetit

I’m in the middle of a wonderful Christmas/ New Years vacation, but I thought I should take a minute to give an update or two. At the very least I wanted to share one highlight from Christmas: our cooking class! The last two Christmases we gave Mom painting classes instead of a usual wrapped gifts and it’s been a lot of fun for everyone. This year instead of painting we decided to try cooking.

For our cooking class adventure we went to Sur La Table and took a class with Chef Robert. We missed having Gabby, but two of my mom’s sisters, Annie and Jan, were able to join us which was really fun.

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Mom striking her best chef pose!

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Chef Robert preparing for our class.

First thing on the menu: Blini with smoked salmon and crème fraiche and buckwheat pancakes. This consisted of us making buckwheat pancakes, a cream, and topping it with some salmon. For the cream we mixed together crème fraiche with dill and a few other things [I think? luckily, they sent us home with the recipes]. We were a little skeptical at first, because our pancakes didn’t look that pretty, but they tasted delicious.

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Mom and Annie sampling the blini

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Annie assembling our yummy appetizer.

Next up was the main course: steak with sauce (steak diane) and truffled mashed potatoes. The potatoes we did as a group, so we didn’t do much of that individually. But the steaks we all did ourselves.

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Chef Robert taught us a trick for figuring out the temperature of your steak. Relax your left hand [or right if you are left handed] and touch your thumb to your first finger. Using your other hand touch your palm at the base of your thumb, this is how meat should feel when it’s rare. Middle finger = medium rare, ring finger = well done. He also taught us the difference between regular butter and clarified butter. Part of which I may have already forgotten, but you can also buy clarified butter at the store, so I think I’m safe regardless, haha.

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Mom cooking up some steaks!

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Dad timing how long to leave the steaks on and Jan eying the dish carefully.

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Ours came out a nice medium.

We also made a nice sauce to go with it. I don’t usually like mushrooms much, but even I enjoyed it.

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Jan getting advice on the sauce.

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Just Mom, being a professional.

For dessert we had dark chocolate soufflé. We prepped the soufflé batter together at the beginning of class so it could sit in the fridge. I had the job of pouring the batter into all the little ramekins. Later while we were prepping the rest of the dinner the assistants slipped it in the oven. They came out looking like this:

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Chef Robert mixed cocoa nibs into whipped cream to put on top of the soufflé and it was the perfect touch.

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Of course, the best part of class? Eating everything!

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These did not last long.

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Merry Christmas Mama! Thanks for liking gifts the whole family can enjoy!!

Currently: Grateful for a lovely day with my Aunt Shelly and Amy and Brett. Them + Sweet Tomatoes = perfect afternoon.

Big Dreams. Tiny Kitchen.

One day I felt inspired to do a cooking blog post.* It had been a while and it seemed like the blog could use a little foodie love. I took it easy on myself and decided to finish off my never ending sack of potatoes by making baked potato soup. I had just made this for a large group the week before. Despite time crunches and rushing about, it turned out really well and was enjoyed [and eaten] by all. So the second time would go even better. Or at least so I thought.

First, I took a few artsy, yet instructionally useless photos of ingredients to feature on the blog.

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IMG_3930Look at the lighting on these potatoes, doesn’t it just make you want to have faith in me as a chef?

IMG_3904IMG_3905Then I got to work. I was calm, cool, collected, and fabulous looking as I started cooking in my adorable, fancy apron.

I soon realized I actually had way less of the side ingredients (green onions and bacon) then I needed. I was also a little short on the milk. But I would adjust (perhaps in the form of a garnish?)! I was, after all, a chef. A chef who refused to go to the grocery store again. I mean, I would only end up buying just a little too much side ingredients for one batch and then be forced to buy more potatoes and make it all again, only to discover I had too much bacon and green onions again, and … you get the point. Endless cycle of ingredient buying mismatching a la George Banks supermarket meltdown dilemma of hot dog buns and hot dogs never matching. But I digress.

I got the potatoes going and decided to make life easy on myself by microwaving the bacon. For you see my kitchen has this circulation problem where if you fry or burn anything and don’t immediately start opening windows and wafting towels around to encourage air flow, the smoke alarm decides to have a fit. Which after a while sounds like the worst possible noise on the planet and can lead to drastic measures, like yanking said infuriating smoke alarm off the wall, wrapping it in a kitchen towel, and throwing it in a corner of the living room.

I commenced microwaving the bacon. Something I’ve done many a time. But when I went to retrieve my bacon I discovered our plates are actually not microwavable (A thing I hadn’t considered checking, because, well, it is the twenty-first century. WE HAVE PUT PEOPLE ON THE MOON.). The poor plate cracked in half and the bacon was looking a little worse for the wear.

So goodbye bacon. Unfortunately this is a pretty key ingredient, which coupled with my scarcity of onions made my baked potato soup turn into a cheese potato soup. I felt ok about this until I looked at the enormous volume of my finished product.

A girl can only eat so much soup.

Especially when the soup is also a bit thick and lumpy. This was not helped by the fact that my roommate and I were then asked to make more soup for a Church activity. Due to the large amount of pot luck participation we came home with another big pot of soup.

IMG_3933It was soup on soup on soup for days until I finally cracked and got myself a hold of a Habit burger.

And that friends, is why tonight I will be making a sandwich for dinner and baking instead. Baking and I always seem to get along.

*Thank you Jess for giving me this idea and snapping me out of my blog laziness.

Currently: In love with this Footloose tribute. Jimmy and Kevin just get me.