If you read a foodie’s blog and they claimed at one time that they couldn’t go a week without a cookie what would you do? You would make one of their cookie recipes of course! At least that is what I did when I got assigned the oh so cute Chelsy’s blog Mangia!
But it’s not what I thought I’d make. I was positive as soon as I got my email from our Secret Recipe Club super leader Debbi of Debbi does dinner healthy that I would be making Italian. My heart sang at the thought, just like it did when I was first assigned Manu of Manu’s Menu (love that gal).
As I cruised through her blog and started pinning recipes on my “secret board” (thanks Veronica for that idea) I ran across her little comment about being a cookie fiend. And that particular cookie caught my eye. It called for a bunch of ingredients that I really, really, no kidding really needed to use. Let’s just say my pretzels were labeled: best if used by May 2012. Yeah, I probably have had these for the last 2 years. Continue reading “Mangia! Double Chocolate Almond Joy Pretzel Cookies” »
I was so happy when I got my assignment this month for Secret Recipe Club! I was assigned Tandy from Lavender and Lime. First off I’m a fan of citrus, and she obviously is too, it’s right there in her title. Tandy is from South Africa, two years ago McGyver and I went on a Safari there and stayed to visit friends, you can read about that here and here. Naturally anything to do with South Africa brings back a flood of good memories.
Tandy has some serious cooking chops! Her recipes have been published in several venues, even before she started her blog. She’s also won a cooking competition. Tandy makes her magic in a small kitchen with the best of ingredients. And I love this quote that she has in her about page.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
When it came to choosing a recipe I went straight for her venison recipes. Lucky me, I have a freezer full of venison and I am always looking for exciting new ways to prepare it. As soon as my eyes landed on her recipe for Venison Roast with Coffee and Star Anise Rub it was love. Tandy mentioned in her intro to the recipe that she wanted to use a loin but didn’t have any so she used a leg roast instead, well Tandy, I had a loin just waiting to be used.
This would be a good time to mention that what Tandy refer’s to as venison are ‘bokkies’, as in springboks (which is also a rugby football team), blesboks, bushboks, etc. Bokkies are actually an antelope, here in the states when we use the term venison it’s in reference strictly to deer. Having ate spring and blesbok before I knew that the flavor was not dissimilar and it would be no problem using deer instead of blesbok. Of course there was zero chance that I would actually be able to get my hands on one.
Speaking of not being able to get my hands on something, I went to four stores and not one of them had juniper berries. Thank goodness I had a trip to San Francisco scheduled and I was able to pick some up. Also while I was there I bought some cabernet salt which I used in place of the regular salt. There will be more on that and the rest of my trip on Friday (are you happy Debra? She’s been asking me when I was going to share). Continue reading “Coffee, Juniper Berry, and Anise Crusted Venison Loin” »
Wow, just wow. The minute I hit Hugs and Cookies XOXO’s website I felt like I was at the fun-est and tastiest house on the block. Danielle is obviously an energetic mum, 1st grade teacher and she loooooves sweets and baking. And she’s my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this month.
If any of you know me, you know I don’t do sweets and I begrudgingly do baking. If I bake something sweet I really have to have a wild hair. I’m more savory and sassy unlike Danielle who is sweet, and well, sweet.
At first I thought about making a savory dish from her site, she does have some savory food. But I thought I wouldn’t be doing her justice if I didn’t choose one of the many, many, many, sweet options. I started browsing her categories, thinking I ‘d try a favorite of hers. Did you know that she has 166, yes I said 166 posts on decorated cookies! Since I have the patience of an ADHD kid on energy drinks I certainly wasn’t going to get myself into a decorating cooking situation.
Each month members are assigned another blog, the member selects a recipe and secretly prepares it, then posts on reveal day. Each group has a wonderful hosts that facilitates the whole thing, our host for Group C is Debbi. My assignment this month put me in a slight conundrum. I was assigned Juanita’s Cocina. Only it’s not Juanita behind the scenes, technically it’s Jen.
Jen always thought she should have a Spanish translation to her name, it sounds much more exotic than Jen (as a side note my BFF is named Jen so I LOVE the name Jen). When her Dad told her there was no true translation for Jennifer and that Juanita was the closet thing, can you believe that she hated that name? Worse yet it rhymed with fajita. Juanita fajita.
I am so excited for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal, the first one of 2013! If you haven’t heard of this great ‘secret santa’ type group, you should check out their site. Gurl, you wouldn’t believe who’s blog I got this month. That’s right it was steaknpotatoeskindagurl.
Not surprisingly, the first recipes I sought out were steak recipes. Okay, would you believe that Desiree, Desi, Des didn’t actually have any steak recipes on her site? She even joked about it, her only steak reference was a guest post that she did!
I about died laughing when I realized that! So I sought out her tag cloud and next to menu planning and restaurant reviews she had plenty of chicken recipes. Desi’s White Chicken Chili really stood out to me. It’s January, it’s cold, and chili is the perfect recipe to chase away cold snowy days in Montana.
I have a self imposed rule in my house, no Christmas anything until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time please. There is good and bad in my rule, less stress before Thanksgiving and probable more stress afterwards since I don’t do anything early…normally.
When I got my Secret Recipe Club assignment “Mom’s Crazy Cooking”, somehow Tina managed to lure me into the holidays early. I even broke my own rule of picking a heritage or family recipe from my assigned blog. What a rule breaker I am… Now there are plenty of other recipes to choose from at Mom’s Crazy Cooking. Tina’s site is chock full of amazing recipes to choose from. Honestly I don’t know how she does it all, she must be crazy! Hehe, hardee har har, I couldn’t resist.
Since I’ve become a student I eat out a lot, way more than I’m used too. Our school is located downtown historic Missoula, Montana, a really cool place. Eating lunch out often means that you get to know which places are good and fast. Lucky for me, right across the street from the school is an Argentinean Empanada restaurant.
Well shiver me timbers, an empanada joint in Montana! Quelle chance! What a treat, but an expensive one, at $4 each for small ones, the bills added up fast. It was hard to resist, they were so perfect and good and they served a variety of sauces with them. after the initial weekly gorging, I allowed myself a once a month treat of two of them with sauce(s).
The aroma would take me away to South America, the smell of chiles and cumin wafted into my olfactory, stimulating a drool response. The pastry is like no other, somewhere between a pie crust and a dough. Golden brown and shiny on the outside with just the right amount of flake and chewiness once bitten into. I pictured myself sitting at a friends table, basking in the warmth and soaking up all the goodness that South America has to offer. Of course I’ve never been to South America, but I can just imagine it.
This is the longest hiatus between posts that I’ve ever taken. As a matter of fact the last time I posted, was during Secret Recipe Club Reveal last month. At my last posting I was hot and heavy into finals for Part 1 of my school. I then took a one week break and visited family in Washington State. The next three weeks were filled with professional specific studies. I took Stock Photography, The Modern Studio and the class of my dreams Food and Product.
On to my SRC assignment, it’s Debbie, our illustrous leader of group C and of Debbie Does Dinner…Healthy & Low Calorie. What’s so great about Debbie’s site is that she has mostly healthy food (she throws in some other tempting dessert recipe that aren’t so healthy ). Debbie gives the calorie count and if it’s a side dish she gives you serving suggestions to keep your meal at about 500 calories, awesome!
I think this is my first food post since Secret Recipe Club last month! I’m delighted to say that this recipe is a great one to come back with. If you haven’t heard me talk about SRC before, it’s a bloggers club that works a lot like a Secret Santa. Each member is assigned another blog and cooks one recipe from that blog…secretly. Then on our group’s assigned day, we reveal the recipe that we chose.
Today is Group C’s reveal day and my assignment was….drum roll please….Cooking with Stilettos…applause…. Can you believe Aly had me last month? She Shepherdized my Shepherd’s Stuffed Green Peppers. So I’m super pleased to have her this month! Anywho, every blog I’ve ever been assigned too, I always find more than one recipe that I’d like to prepare, but I find myself making (more often then not) an old family recipe. Family recipes are not only tried and true and hold the test of time, they’re also laden with memories, making the dish all that more special.
So, once again it’s no surprise that I was drawn to Aly’s Bampa’s (her grandpa’s) recipes. I giggled when I read the recipe for Bampa’s Corn Fritters, one of the ingredients was Bisquick and not too long ago I posted on how Bisquick was a staple in our house while growing up. I felt a connection with Bampa right away and knew that this was the recipe for me.
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it with 11 hour school days, but if you love something enough you manage to find the time! I’m referring to Secret Recipe Club, The club where bloggers are secretly assigned another blog and cook one of their recipes and then it’s revealed on a scheduled day.
This month I was assign Josie’s Kitchen. Josie is is originally from the Dominican Republic but now lives in New York City with her blue teapot Paulie and her Irish boyfriend. Josie’s cooking has melded some of the two for some kind of fusion Latin Irish cuisine.
Irish cuisine is great comfort food but I love me some Latin food so I selected a traditional Dominican Republic dish. Josie’s says that Boca Chica is a beach right outside of the capital of Santo Domingo. Josie culled the recipe from a cook book called “Cocina Criolla Dominicana” (traditional Dominican cooking).