Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

So Steven and I don't have a date for the wedding and reception yet, but we have been enjoying the perks of being engaged!  One of these perks is tasting wedding cake!  On Sunday, we headed to Sugarland Bakery for their scheduled wedding cake tasting.  I guess they do one every month or so, and it provides couples with a great opportunity to eat lots of fancy cake for free!...er, I mean try various cakes for their guests to enjoy at the wedding reception.

Before continuing, let me say this: I've had some really bad, epic fails called wedding cake.  They are usually dry like cardboard with sugary sweet icing to give you diabetic shock so that you can't recall how bad the actual cake was.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Those Aren't Bad Bananas

As some of you may know, my fiance is Puerto Rican so I'm constantly talking with his mother to make the traditional foods that he loves.  Last night I surprised him and made maduros, sweet, fried, plantains to go along with dinner since I was torturing him with chicken breast and brown rice.  He was really pleased with them so I decided to show you guys how to make maduros for a nice sweet side dish that's outside the box.

First think you need to do is pick a plantain, for maduros you want a super black plantain.  You should go eewww when you see it...yes that black.  I'm sure you've walked by them in the grocery store and wondered who in their right mind would pay for something that looked so bad.  Well, I do... and you will because maduros are delicious. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No More Ring Pops

Non-foodie boyfriend is now non-foodie fiancĂ©...yes, we're engaged!  He caught me completely off guard a couple of nights ago...

We went to the Red Room (one of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh) for dinner and were having a pretty good time.  I was finished eating and he was still eating.  I don't remember what were were talking about, but I do remember him saying I'd be "busy for a while."  The next thing I know there's a little black box on the table and he proposed! I started crying like an idiot, then saying shiny shiny, and then said yes!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Berry Patriotic Ribs

Hope everyone enjoyed the 4th of July, and I'm sure many of you enjoyed eating leftovers and  the day off yesterday!  For our fourth, we had a traditional celebration meal composed of ribs, green beans, and mac and cheese.  I made the ribs in the oven (we live in an apartment, so hiking to the grilling area is a bit of a pain) after marinating them overnight using McCormick's Grill Mates mesquite seasoning.

Although my meal was pretty simple, I decided to up the antty and make my own BBQ sauce for the ribs.   I didn't want to just recreate a sauce, I created my own using one of my favorite aspects of the summer: fresh berries.  I used raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries to add some natural sweetness and tang to my tomato based barbecue sauce. While I was in the kitchen, Steven came in and said "you have mischief face, you have no clue what you're doing...do you?" I just grinned.  "I'm sure it'll be fine..."

It was more than fine, it was amazing. The tart and tangy flavors from the berries came through and the apple juice and honey added a nice, natural sweetness.  Everyone seemed really happy with it, and it was way better than store bought! If you're interested, the recipe is at the end of the post.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bacon-Chocolate or Chocolate with Bacon?

I've always been a sucker for salty sweet, a discovery first made in kindergarten when my sausage, bacon, and syrup from my pancakes met, and I noticed how well they all got along in my mouth.  As I grew older, my salty sweet obsession made itself known: chicken nuggets dipped in McFlurries, Frosty covered french fries, Apple and Sharp Cheddar sandwiches, and...well you get the point.

Aside from my salty sweet demands, there is one other thing that I can't get enough of...bacon.  Don't get me wrong I love the healthy stuff like organic vegetables, seasonal fruit, fresh salads, lean meat, and all other things life extending, but I must admit that I am a member of the "bacon makes everything better" camp.

Given my contradictory food lusts, imagine how giddy I was when I discovered bacon studded chocolate during my weekly Whole Foods trip.  I know, a bunch of you are saying things like eww yuck, or that's a heart attack waiting to happen.  Guess what? I don't care.  Because I know someone else is salivating and wanting to know more.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A New Kitchen Toy...

I love dinner parties.  No really, I like them a lot and my boyfriend claims that it is a mild obsession.  There is a sick joy that I get from setting dining room tables, planning creative menus, pairing beer, wine, and cocktails with the various courses, and most importantly having my friends over to enjoy my cooking and a good time.
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