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July 2012 Archives

Honey Nut Cereal Milk Ice Cream


Cereal milk is my favorite way to make ice cream lately. This Cheerios version I made for Tablespoon was actually the best ice cream I've made in awhile! It's easy too - no custard involved. Omar comin!

"Burger and Fries" Sliders


It's always burgers and fries, so why not just combine them into one thing? I made these sliders that use fried potato wedges as buns and was pretty happy with the results. I initially set out to make this as just one normal sized burger, but switched to sliders at the last minute when I realized that; A. potatoes aren't really big enough to make rounds large enough to hold a whole burger, B. I wanted some sweet potato action in the mix, and C. eating a whole huge burger that had a french fry bun might be a little excessive even for my tastes.

Continue reading "Burger and Fries" Sliders.

Avocado Habanero Hot Sauce


In a continuing effort to press the limits of what defines guacamole, I present to you this hot sauce. Based on the Venezuelan sauce known by the silly name "guasacaca", this condiment is loaded with avocado, habanero peppers, and red wine vinegar. There is lots of acid in the recipe, so unlike a traditional guac, it won't go brown 5 minutes after you make it. In fact, I made this on Thursday, and it's still a vibrant green today!  I had it on tacos the day I made it (as pictured) but since then I've eaten it on burgers, in a salad, and on grilled chicken and skirt steak, and it has been fantastic on everything.

Continue reading Avocado Habanero Hot Sauce.

Mustard Kielbasa Mac and Cheese


When I was leaving my parents house this Fourth of July, they handed me a huge package of kielbasa. I love kielbasa, but generally it's just eaten as-is; thrown on the grill and dipped in mustard. As a food blogger, these are the foods that annoy me most. I absolutely love it, but it's boring to blog cause there is no real recipe involved. I brainstormed for awhile to try and come up with a recipe using kielbasa and it's best friend mustard, and this amazing mac and cheese is what I came up with.

Guava Cocktails

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I love the plethora of exotic fruits I can find in my neighborhood. I also love turning them into cocktails one by one. Here are some Guava Daiquiris I made for Tablespoon recently.

Rice Avocado Salad


This past weekend I was lucky enough to be a guest judge at a fun guacamole competition. This event really got me thinking about the constraints of the term "guacamole". Obviously purists will say that all you need for a good guac is perfectly ripe avocados, some lime juice, garlic, and salt. But where's the line? Tomatoes, onions, and cilantro are all pretty common. If you add mango is it still a guacamole? How about bananas? Anchovy? It was this sort of thinking that prompted me to make this salad. I would call this a fresh, fast, tasty summer weeknight lunch or dinner, but I would NOT call it a guacamole. These are the kinds of things I eat when I am not cooking for the blog.

Continue reading Rice Avocado Salad.

Choco Tacos


After making the homemade strawberry shortcake bars, I thought to myself, what other things can I make that you would get from an ice cream truck? I've been a fan of Choco Tacos for a long time, but never really craved them. That's cause they were so hard to find, you wouldn't even hear about them for a long time. Well I guess the company decided to finally start selling them in grocery stores, because I now see commercials for them all the time. Queue the cravings! I decided to make some of these choco tacos at home so that I could customize them any way I wanted.

Continue reading Choco Tacos.

Duck Cheesesteaks


The sole reason I was inspired to cook a duck cheesesteak was because I saw shaved duck breast at H-Mart. It's intended to be used shabu shabu style (dipped in a hot pot to cook), but all I could think of when I saw it was cheeseducks! I didn't just want your normal caramelized onions and American cheese to go with this guy, so I added a bit of orange and gruyere to the party.

Continue reading Duck Cheesesteaks.

Cereal Donut Holes


Catching up on some Tablespoon posts (since I didn't post one during sellout week), today we have delicious Cereal Donuts flavored with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, and Cocoa Puffs. The flavor isn't only on top, but throughout the donut, cause I used ground cereal instead of flour. As you could probably imagine, these tasted amazing fresh from the fryer. I ate like 10 no joke.

Manchego Biscuits with Prosciutto and Almond Butter


Biscuits have never really been my thing. I mean, they are good, but nothing to write blog about as the saying goes (that's a saying right?)  So I didn't. But recently, two Top Chefs have caused me to rethink my indifference toward biscuits. The first time was at Sweet Cheeks Q in Boston. Tiffani Faison is the chef there, and the biscuits are amazing. Possibly the best in the world according to Forbes. The second time was across the country at ink. in Los Angeles. ink. is Michael Voltaggio's place, and while most things I ate there used modern techniques in crazy and awesome ways, the dish that really blew me away was a simple pairing of berkshire ham, manchego biscuits, almond butter, and just a dab of honey. Everything was just high quality ingredients allowed to shine and the flavors bounced perfectly off one another in my mouth. I took inspiration from both these biscuits, and made a manchego biscuit recipe that closer emulated the texture of Tiffani's, but paired it with the ingredients from Micheal's, and presented it in a way that was totally my own.

Pork Belly Tacos

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I've been eating tacos non-stop lately, putting the final touches on the menu at Cafe Burrito. These Pork Belly Tacos I posted on Tablespoon aren't on the menu, but they were so damn delicious that I will probably make them a special once in awhile.

Summer Celsius Mussels


Baxter Brewing Company's Summer Celsius has been my beer of choice for the past two months. When I can get it! I can always get their Pamola Pale ale(which is also great), but when I am looking for the summer Celsius, I am lucky if I find it. Since the first time I tried the beer, I wanted to make a recipe to pair with it, because the beer is brewed with two of my favorite ingredients ever, lemongrass and lime leaf. Just to be clear: the other three companies of "sellout week" contacted me about writing a recipe for them. I did this one on my own.

Continue reading Summer Celsius Mussels.

Pad Thai Pasta Salad


There are a lot of "Pad Thai inspired noodle salad"s on the Internet, but as far as I can see they are pretty much just cold pad thai. For my take on the marriage of these two classics, I really tried to meld pad thai flavors into an american style pasta salad. At the center of the dish was Mara's Pasta, a tasty whole wheat penne that complemented the sweet/sour flavors nicely.

Continue reading Pad Thai Pasta Salad.

Cherry Rice with Cinnamon Bourbon Beef


I really enjoy me some bourbon, so you could imagine my delight when Jim Beam offered to send me a couple bottles in exchange for a delicious recipe. They must have seen booze week! Normally I like my bourbon plain, so I was a bit hesitant to try the Red Stag flavors like Spiced, Cherry, and Honey Tea. I found the tea variety to be an odd flavor match for the bourbon, but really enjoyed the cherry and spiced flavors. I ended up using both bourbons in this Persian influenced recipe.

Summer and Fall Ravioli

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Believe it or not, even I take shortcuts cooking. I know it might seem like I always make everything from super scratch, but when I am not cooking for the blog I definitely go an easier route sometimes. When Buitoni came to me asking to make simple yet delicious recipes for their new ravioli varieties, I was happy to join in the fun. I was honestly a little confused as to why they were marketing a squash ravioli in July, but I went with it and made a summery pasta salad with their chicken marsala ravioli, and a fall brussel sprout dish with their squash variety. While the chicken ravioli was just "ok" in my personal opinion, I was surprised at how much I really loved the squash ravioli. They have little crumbles of amaretti cookies mixed in to the filling that added the perfect sweet and salty flavor to the creamy brussel sprout and chorizo sauce.

Continue reading Summer and Fall Ravioli.

Sellout Week


The food company gonna give me lots of money and everythings gonna be allllllllright!

You guys hopefully notice that I don't do a ton of promotional stuff on here. I do write recipes for a large food company that I repost here weekly. I occasionally may mention a restaurant where I happened to get a comped meal, cook with ingredients that were shipped to me, or even review some celebrity chefs knives and get burned in the comments, but for the most part, the recipes that are posted on this website don't mention or feature products.

That's not because people don't want me to. Every few weeks an email comes in like "hey Dan, loooove the title of your website, you should totally make a recipe with this pancake mix we make!" To which I reply "Have you seen my website? Most of my readers can mix flour and baking soda themselves!"

Recently however, I received three nice offers from fun companies that I felt like I could get behind. Free food combined with an inspiration starting point is always an exciting offer to me. I decided to add a fourth product that didn't give me anything free, but I have been loving lately, and make a whole week out of it. You guys know how much I love theme weeks!

So sellout with me all week starting tomorrow.

Continue reading Sellout Week.

Summer Veggie Mac and Cheese


Hope everyone had a nice 4th! I spent the day at my parents annual 4th of July party which has been a thing since as long as I can remember. This year was the biggest it's ever been despite the oppressive heat, drawing upwards of 40 people, enduring temperatures upwards of 90 degrees. I am proud to report that I won the water balloon toss, so I'll see you suckers next year to defend that title. I also brought this tasty mac and cheese, loaded with summer veggies, that actually tasted fairly light for a mac and cheese dish.

Continue reading Summer Veggie Mac and Cheese.

Hot-Burg takes the decision making out of grilling

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Tomorrow when you are at your Fourth of July BBQ and someone asks you if you want a burger or hot dog, tell them you want a hot-burg, and if they don't have it, you should probably just leave.

Chorizo Grit Tart


Cravings for cornbread caused me to create this recipe, though it actually has more of a tamale texture. This tart is filled with things that I love about summer eating, and it tasted great on a hot afternoon last week. I think it would go over well at your Fourth of July party as an alternative side dish. As usual, I had trouble naming this. I wanted to call it a grit cake, but that name is already in use. It's sort of a cross between a cheesecake, tamale, and cornbread.

Continue reading Chorizo Grit Tart.