Friday, June 8, 2012

I dont know if anyone follows me on here anymore but if you do, I have moved to a new blog!

Exciting recipes, craft tutorials, wedding talk, sewing, furniture make-overs and MUCH more!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Zelko Bistro

So I have been sporadically posting restaurant experiences on my personal/lifestyle blog if you will, but I feel like it makes more sense to post them here. Sorry I have not been on my game with posting new recipes and tutorials, I am a busy girl and I HATE cooking in my apartment, I will strive to be better readers!

My roommate Stacy, now writes for the Houston Press online. I am insanely excited for her, she is so passionate about food, it's such a good fit. She asked me if I wanted to join her for dinner tonight, and I said yes of course! Stacy needed to hit up Zelko Bistro, to try out some of their dishes for her Off the Wall feature. I will link to it once its posted. I can honestly say I want to eat every dish on their menu, not in one sitting of course! This was definitely the first of many trips to Zelko.

As soon as we we sat down I noticed they had small vases with rosemary in them at the tables I loved it!

We both had rough days, and decided to start out our meal with a nice glass of chardonnay, we also ended our meal with another nice glass of chardonnay...but that's neither here nor there, am I right?!

I rarely crave pasta, however on this night 
I needed a large bowl of comfort in the form of bolognese.
This was some of the best bolognese, hit the spot.

 I talked Stacy into the fish tacos with plantains, 
because I really wanted to try them as well.
Delicious tacos and so fresh!

  She ordered a side of cheddar grits, 
it's something they are known for 
so of course we had to try them.
I dont even like grits, like at all. 
This is one of the best things I've ever had. It is a MUST.

 This Lemon Ice Box Pie is a little bit of heaven! 
A light tangy dessert perfect for the hot weather of Houston

I will be finding a similar recipe for this, and posting a tutorial ASAP.

If you are in the loop or anywhere near the heights, do yourself a favor and head to Zelko!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Homemade Almond Joys

My brilliant roommate Stacy, made my mom some homemade Almond Joy's for her birthday, using a recipe from Joy the Baker. I thought that they were so delish and fabulous so I wanted to share them with you guys! Click here to see a step by step tutorial on Stacy's blog.

Homemade Almond Joy - Click for Printable Recipe

recipe found on
makes about 30 little bars

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
30 almonds
about 20 ounces (a bag and a half) of good quality semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, spread raw almonds onto a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Stir in the unsweetened coconut.  The mixture will be thick.  Place mixture in the freezer for 3o minutes.  It's easier to work with if it's a little cold.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove the coconut mixture from the freezer.  With clean hands shape one tablespoon of coconut into a little log about 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick.  Press the logs together very well so they don't crack when dipped.    Place the log on the lined baking sheet and continue until all of the coconut mixture is gone.  Rinse hands occasionally if they get too sticky.  Press an almond on top of each coconut log.  It might not completely stick.  That's ok.  Place the baking sheet in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate.
Place a medium  pot with two inches of water over a medium flame.  Bring the water to a simmer.  Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl over the simmering water.  Stir the chocolate as it melts.  Turn off the flame once the chocolate has melted but keep the bowl of melted chocolate over the hot water.
Remove the coconut candies from the fridge.  Place one coconut almond log on a fork.  Use a spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over the almond.  This will help the almond stick to the candy and not fall off during dipping.  Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat.  Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate.  Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet.  You might need a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate.  If chocolate gets thick, just turn on the flame and heat slightly.
Let dipped candy harden in the fridge for 45 minutes.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.  If you need to layer the candy in a container, use waxed paper to separate the layers.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip Redux

I have posted this recipe before, however it was before I got my big girl camera. I made some for NYE and decided to take re-do it. Plus Casey bought me a new lens for Christmas. I am still learning photography in general, but this new lens is tricky, it doesn't have auto focus. YIKES luckily Casey also bought me a photography class.

Grab a medium sauce pan. I grabbed my moms old Duncan Hines pot. It is my very favorite and is around 25 years old. Did you know Duncan Hines made pots and pans? Me either.

Chop a medium size onion. Melt 2 tablespoons for butter. 
Then throw the onion in the buttery jaccuzi and saute those suckers.
Add a few cloves of minced garlic in there.

Add 10 oz. of prepared spinach. 
(Follow the cooking directions on the box.)

All the yummy goodness.

Add the cream cheese, and mix until combined.

Drain and add can of artichokes

 Break up the artichokes with your spoon.

Add the Parmesan and combine.

Add the 4 cheese blend. Now, you can use whatever blend 
you want I use a Mexican cheese blend, it's delicious.

Tomorrow I am putting it in a bread bowl and 
I will post post a picture of the final product. 
That's what I love about appetizers or 
really any dish, you can make it ahead of time.

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Medium Onion
2 garlic cloves minced
10 oz Frozen Spinach
1 Can of Artichokes (13 3/4 oz)
1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
3/4 c Parmesan (3 oz)
1 package (8 oz) 4 Cheese Blend (shredded)
pita chips, bruschetta chips, panini

Melt 3T butter, add onion and garlic. Saute until tender.
Add spinach and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
Add artichoke hearts, cream cheese, mayonnaise,
Parmesan cheese, 4 cheese blend, stir until blended.
Spoon into greased baking dish, that will double as a serving piece.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes stirring often.
If desired add mozzarella on top and bake for 5-10 minutes

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gaty's Pumpkin Bread

This is the best pumpkin bread of all time. I'm not just saying that because it's my boyfriend's mother's recipe! It is a holiday staple in the Blanchard family. I remember when Casey and I first started dating, his mother sent him over with a bag FULL of treats. Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like homemade goodies!

I have been getting some messages and requests for a good pumpkin bread recipe, and on a whim I decided to bake some up and share it with the world. This bread will change your life. Thank you Gaty for letting me share this family recipe.

This is my favorite thing that his mother makes. It is fabulous unadorned, or warm with some buttah (personal fave) roommate does not like the sound of these options and she will be melting some cream cheese icing and pouring it on her slice - a little too much for me but you sweet toothers out there I'm sure you can handle it.

 (of course I come home on my lunch break to take pictures only to realize my big girl camera battery is dead. So these were taken with my lowly point and shoot.)

Another reason why this bread is so great is that the ingredients are so simple. Coming from someone who hates to wait for butter to soften, and usually forgets to take the butter out to soften anyway, finding a bread recipe that doesn't call for buttah was a precious gift in its self. I added 1 1/2 teaspoons for butter extract, this is optional but I like it gave it an extra oomph. yes oomph. I wish I could make a loaf for everyone just so I know you have tried it, it's that good! MAKE THIS TODAY

Now usually I separate my dry ingredients, and I sift and blah blah but the recipe said I could just dump everything in the bowl, so I did--and the bread was still wonderful and moist, and the world didn't end. So feel free if you feel you MUST separate and sift but you definitely do not need to.

I just dumped all my ingredients in my mixer and BAM it was done. Amazing.

 We have one window with excellent light 
in our apt so this is where I go to take my photos,
look at that mischievous little baby.

I  have a mini loaf pan and I left it at my mothers house. CURSES! So I halved the batter between two regulation regular size loaf pans. Preheat for 350 and bake for one hour. 335 for mini muffins bake 12 1/2 minutes. Mini loaves bake for 30 minutes

When you pull the bread out of the oven, get yourself a slice and then do me a favor and make a slight cut into the middle and nestle a piece of butter in there...left it melt...take a bite. Your heart is singing now. You are welcome.

Easy Pumpkin Bread - Click for Printable Recipe

3 ½  cup Flour
3 cup Sugar
1 ½ teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup Chopped Nuts (optional)
4 Eggs
15 oz can pumpkin (1 pound of your own puree)
1 cup cooking oil
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F. If making mini muffins, preheat oven to 335F.
Mix all ingredients together, except the nuts. Once thoroughly mixed, stir in the nuts if you choose to add them.
Pour into two greased loaf pans (or 8 mini loaf pans). Or mini muffin pans, if using.
Bake for one hour (30 minutes if doing small loaf pans). If making mini muffins, cook for 12 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
Recipe Tips:
  1. Freezes very well
  2. Add pecans and/or cranberries to jazz things up ( I like it pure an unadorned)
  3. Makes a great gift for neighbors, teachers, family, friends and whoever else my cross your path!
Related Posts with Thumbnails