I have a three teens in my home and I am looking forward to this event. I plan to bring my son whom is about to be 16 and my daughter that is 13 along to listen in. Plus, who could beat winning some gas cards especially when it is almost summer and the gas always goes up this time of year. I got lucky with my oldest that’s almost 18 as he really does not want to drive. However, my 16 year old is all but ready to be a NASCAR driver. I think this little endeavor might help! If your coming to the Drive It Home event let me know in the comments that way I may have the chance to meet you.
Hey friends and local readers, if you live in the DFW area I’d love for you to join me at the Drive it Home Show, presented by the National Safety Council and Allstate Foundation, Thursday, May 23, If you have tween, teen, or are concerned about teen driving safety, it will be an informative (and entertaining!) event. Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might like to attend. Details are as follows:
What: Drive it Home Show, presented by the National Safety Council and Allstate Foundation
When: Thursday, May 23 from 7pm – 8:15pm
Where: Plano Courtyard Theater (1509 H Ave, Plano, TX 75074)
Price: FREE!; no tickets required
BONUS: You can enter in the sweepstakes at the event for a chance to win gas cards and a brand new car!
If you’d like to attend, click here to register and when checking in, let them know that Clever Girls Collective sent you. Hope to see you there!
You can follow along on Twitter at #DriveitHome #CGC
Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
This plnena paprika polevka also know as stuffed pepper soup has been lurking in my folder for about two weeks now. I held off on it to finish the boards to photograph it on and once I finally photographed it I realized I left thick soup all along the edge and it looks horrible; well to me it looks horrible. The plan to remake the soup continued to be put off since the weather is considerably hot here for this time of year. It probably just best to go ahead and share it. If we end up with another cold and rainy day I can always remake the soup and get some gorgeous shots.
Czechs generally make stuffed bell peppers a bit different then Italians do. My other half and I figured that out the first time we decided to make stuffed peppers together. He is full blooded Czech and well I’m Italian with other heritage but more prone to the Italian as I was raised with that cuisine and values. Czech stuffed peppers are simmered on a stove with paprika, rice, and ground beef while Italian stuffed pepper are baked in the oven without paprika and a small amount of tomato sauce. This stuffed pepper soup is a rendition of Czech stuffed peppers turned inside out to make a soup. Love Czech stuffed peppers with dumplings also known as knedliky. We just had garlic bread at the time but it would have been nice to pair them with this soup.
The board turned out nice in the photograph. I am working on several others and thinking about a DIY post. Anyone that would be interested? The boards I am working on are going to be chalkboard, crackled, and stained. Most of them will be painted with basic cheap acrylic paints you can pick up at any hobby store. Hoping to get the rest of them cut tonight so I can work on them over the next few days. Also in some serious need for heavy poster board. Looks like another run to the Dollar Tree.
And now I am off to cut those boards… well make the other half do it while I eat fresh tortillas with salsa and butter. Guilty pleasure!
Today, I am happy to be a part of Food Bloggers Against Hunger and share with you a simple less then $4 recipe for roasted tomato rotini. Before I pass you on to the recipe I would like to share a story with you below.
Here is a bit more on Food Bloggers Against Hunger:
Food Bloggers Against Hunger was created by Nicole from The Giving Table in response to the new documentary, A Place at the Table. Today, April 8, 2013, food bloggers will donate their posts to raise awareness about the film, issues of hunger, and ask their readers to send letters to Congress to protect SNAP funding and make anti-hunger legislation a priority.
A Place at the Table premiered on March 1st, 2013. This documentary from Participant Media—the same studio that brought you Food Inc.—follows three families struggling with food insecurity, and sheds light on the very real problem of hunger in America.
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My first child was born when I was 16, two weeks away from my 17th birthday. He was my perfect birthday gift. With plenty of help from my grandmother, I moved on to get my GED and got a decent job alternating schedules with my grandmother; so my son would never have to go to a daycare. I was a single mom.
Then a few months after giving birth to my son I met Mike. This brilliant full of life individual that I fell passionately in love with at first sight. Another few months pass and with great surprise I find out I am expecting my second child. Mike was immediately excited and got a job at a local ice cream joint. After the baby was born I went to work as a photographer. We eventually got our own apartment. We had two incomes but we still didn’t have enough to afford to pay for the food. We decided to go out and look for help, something that most people fear. We got SNAP which then was called Lone Star and we received WIC. Both programs helped with baby food and formula but still did not cover all food costs for the four of us.
At least we both had creative imaginations and a love for food. We shopped sparingly by buying in bulk such as: rice, pasta, and flour. We bought cheap packages of meat at the meat market, in which, we broke down in to small amounts to last the entire month. Ramen was a necessity in our home. The cheapest pasta you could buy and add a tad of chicken and small handful of spring onions creating a delicious dinner to us. We eventually made enough money to support ourselves.
In 2000, he passed away while I was pregnant with our daughter. I once again needed help with food. Only this time I learned how to make food stretch. That scrapes made great stocks and lemons, grapefruits, and orange peels were easy to make candy out of for the kids. Luckily, three years later I would meet another man, my V, that would step in to help me with the kids and to follow my dreams. The kids are all now beautiful teenagers and the middle one works in a restaurant. Not everyone can be this lucky. More then 50 million people are food insecure (no means to have a constant nutritious meal).
To this day I still make some of the recipes we created to save on food costs. Continuously buying bulk foods to stock in the pantry never knowing when we could end up with out money for food. Always playing it safe I bought a deep freeze and I over stock it just like my pantry. These are not bad practices to always make sure if you lose a job or become short on money that you will still have food to last; even in a natural disaster or power outage the food that is needed will be there.
So, how can YOU (and all of us) help?
- Find a screening of A Place at the Table in your city.
- Watch A Place at the Table on iTunes or Amazon.
- Tell Congress to change their priorities and fund Federal nutrition programs that are crucial for hungry children. (sign the petition in the previous link)
My recipe that will feed 5 people for under $4 total.
My daughter is a HUGE fan of the Just Dance games. When she heard this was on it’s way in the mail she bugged me daily until we received it.
This is Top Chef Restaurant Wars Recap for episode 11, season 10. Since Bart has been eliminated I am forced to choose someone to vote for temporally. Stefan has an interesting ego, though I do like the fact that he is from Finland; my heritage I would like to see him execute some Finnish recipes. Fish is a huge part of the cuisine in Finland and that I think he shows those skills when he is working with fish. There are other flavors though that I would like to see him introduce in the upcoming episodes.
Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Bravo.
Come on judges it is definitely time for Josie to go home! She lacks major time management skills. On top of that, she never takes the blame in situations when she obviously the one that does not stay on task for the team. Besides, she never seems to execute dishes with great flavor while always staying in her comfort zone. Just not impressed by her all the way around. Who really makes a raw turkey? Deep fry that beast if you think you don’t have enough time to cook it! It would have worked wonderfully with the Cajun themed meal they were trying to prepare in that episode.
As a former server and bartender, the Restaurant Wars has to be tough. Setting up the front of the house and back in a day along with trying to serve 100 guests and be hospitable at the same time, WOW! Not something I think I would be able to accomplish. The set up both restaurants at the Georgetown Ballroom which is absolutely gorgeous for a restaurant setting. Going in I was voting for the boys as I thought the concept was something that has never been accomplished before. Urbano is a restaurant concept, if it was executed, that I would definitely go out of my way to try.
Here is the menu for both teams:
Kristen’s Atelier Kwan menu:
First course – Charcuterie: Rabbit, Pickled Turnips & Yellow Beets in Chicken & Rabbit Broth (Lizzie)
Second course – Bouillabaisse: Halibut, Dungeness Crab, Bay Scallops with Shellfish Broth (Josie)
Third course – Beef Bourguignon: Braised Short Rib, Garlic Puree, Mushrooms & Carrots (Kristen)
Fourth course – Baked Bouberes, St. Agur Blue Cheese, Roasted Radish & Stone Fruit Compote (Brook)
Dessert course – Almond Cake Macaron with Coconut Custard & Caramel Buttercream (Kristen)
Sheldon’s Urbano menu:
First course – Kilawen: Yellowtail with Cilantro, Spicy Chili & White Soy Sauces (Stefan)
Second course – Balut: Poached Egg, Duck Confit & Foie Gras Mousse (Josh)
Third course – Miki: Prawns, Tapioca Roll with Achiote (Sheldon)
Fourth course – Adobo: Pork Belly with Mung Bean Puree & Pea Shoots Salad (Sheldon)
Dessert course – Halo-Halo: Coconut Sorbet, Avocado Mousse, Banana & Shredded Coconut (Josh)
Dessert course - Dark Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts, Ginger & Peppermint Oil (Stefan)
Stefan needs to work on his front of house manners. Even if he is not a server being polite to guests is the difference between a person coming to one restaurant or another. The judges need to also understand what he was dealing with when the other guest refused to leave, in which, is completely rude to other guests waiting to be seated.
Josie fails Kristen massively when she again cannot work in a team setting. Josie is suppose to roast the bones for the bouillabaisse but her evil time management skills kick in and she puts it off to the next day. The next day it becomes an issue when Kristen asks Josie when she plans on putting in the gelatin for the bouillabaisse. Kristen’s vision is to insert the broth in a charger and foam up the broth. Josie did not prepare the gelatin forcing Kristen to scratch the idea and make a last minute decision to add cream to the sauce.
Kristen acted with grace while Josie threw yet another chef to the wolves for her mistakes. When is this going to end?
Don’t forget to take a moment and vote in the Last Chance Kitchen to #savechefkuniko or #savechefcj.
It’s carnival time again and I am counting the days till Fat Tuesday when I get to celebrate with fried gator tail and plenty of drinks. Until that time I plan on cooking everything Cajun in my book of secrets. Hence the Mardi Gras cupcake recipe.
Last year, I bought some doubloons from the dollar store to decorate my cupcakes with. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to use them. Though I am glad because I did not know my way around my new camera then. Now my abilities have grown and well I hope you can see that in the pictures below.
One of the many questions I get asked is how do you swirl icing. It’s pretty simple! I just add a tad of each color to different spots in the pastry piping bag and then squeeze. I only add a little at a time of each or the colors tend to blend too much. You can see my bag below
The tip I used is 1M by Wilton. I like this shape a lot for cupcakes as it gives a nice ice cream swirl effect. The Mardi Gras beads are a part of the collection of beads I have started to get ready for all the Fat Tuesday fun. I picked them up at the local Dollar Tree if you are interested in getting some of your own.
Now, I cannot take full credit on this recipe as my daughter, whom is 12, took the fun of baking these cupcakes. With a recipe from me she had fun with the colors and the endless licking of all the bowls. That is her favorite part of baking sweets. In fact, I generally have to continue to tell her the licking belongs at the end of baking not while we are trying to mix everything. She’s hilarious!
Last year I made these cupcakes and the icing was poop! So tomorrow I will make new and pretty cupcakes to use your left over champagne in! These are the champagne pop rock cupcakes I made last year.
As long as I can find the pop rocks. See last years cupcakes.
When I reduced the wine it really made it sour in the cupcakes and the frosting. After redoing them time and again I found that no reduction is needed.
Happy New Years Eve!
This is my a recap of Top Chef Episode 7. Recently, I have become addicted to this show. First off I have to say that Bart is my favorite and whom I am routing for. The amazing dishes he comes up with give a sense of home and spunk. I can not imagine being in his head. If I ever have the chance to come close to one of his restaurants I have made a promise to myself that I will stop in and enjoy the strangest combination on the menu.
This is Bart Picture from Bravo
With that being said, I do not like Josie because I feel like she isn’t taking the opportunity seriously. It is not fair for her to still be there this far in the show when there is others that really show a concern in winning and trying with every inspiration in them. Many do not like Stefan, though I think he is hilarious and just abrupt. He knows what he wants and he makes pretty fabulous food. A bit arrogant but I feel he has the talents to be a bit arrogant.
While I will not give away whom won the quickfire or the elimination rounds I will say I like whom went and who won. I would like to see Bart in the contention but that is probably cause I favor every items he makes even if the judges do not approve. In the quickfire round they have to cook only with Reynolds aluminum foil and absolutely no cooking utensils or vessels. I was pretty impressed that Bart even made a strainer. In the elimination round, the chefs are whisked off to Remlinger Farms to cook with berries. Some of the combination were non-edible and others were fantastic! Kristen with the tayberry was a brilliant exposition of the berry. Bart’s Blackberry Soup with Salmon and Rhubarb Yogurt sounds amazing and like he says it would definitely pair better with crab in my mind then the salmon. If you have not had a chance to watch the show you must! My family and I have become addicted to this show. The show Top Chef Seattle is on Bravo on Wednesdays 10/9c (November 7th 2012 to March 6th 2013).
And… I get to offer you a chance to win a 12 month subscription to Food and Wine magazine! All you have to do is comment on this post and share either your favorite Holiday recipe or Top Chef challenge or moment. Winner will be selected on 12/26/2012.
Also, take a moment and visit to vote to Save a Chef on Last Chance Kitchen.
And a preview of next weeks episode!
Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Bravo.
Here is my review of Panera Baked Potato Soup.
Before heading out to my mom’s to have her join me for lunch at Panera, I took a look around the site to see what soups they offer. Of course I had too much fun with the Soup Scrambler game they have on the website. The site is great for looking up what you might like to eat before you arrive. See more here at Panera Bread. I am not a fan of being the one person holding up the line saying “Hmm… is this or that any good?” or “I am not sure what I want, what do you want?” to my guest whom is with me. I just try to avoid that all together; which makes me super happy when a website is well made and informative. Love the idea of walking in and just knowing what I would like to order.
In this case, I decided to try Panera Baked Potato soup which is generally one of my favorite soups. The Roasted Turkey and Cranberry panini also got my attention, so I picked up a Pick 2; which includes a bowl of soup and half of a sandwich. The soup was rich in flavor and all I needed to add was a hint of pepper. The soup had a good creamy texture with small pieces of soft potato. The carrots were tiny and barely noticeable which is a good thing when your talking potato soup. The bread that accompanied the soup was amazing! Here is a picture of my meal.
And my mother had the Broccoli Cheddar soup and a Tuna sandwich. She said the soup was delicious! Here is a picture of her meal.
This was my first trip to Panera and I would definitely visit again! Hopefully, they will consider building one in Flower Mound/Highland Village area a bit closer to me.
FTC Disclosure: I was compensated for my meal and for my time to write this post by the DailyBuzz Food Tastemakers program; however, all opinions expressed above are my own.