Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spicy Queso Yo

When I first named this blog I got nervous after a few weeks. I thought to myself, my name is too long. My name is too weird, I am going to scare away people without kids and make the foodies reject me for the kid element. Then Indigo bit me (literally), and I came back to reality (seriously how old am I to be debating the name for 2 hours?!!) - the name works.

But…always a but!

Lately I have thought a few other names would work here too. Let’s see what they are.

1. The “I just potty trained my daughter now where is my trip to Hawaii blog”

2. The “OMG is it Monday again, why is it always Monday again blog” is always Monday!

3. The “Why can’t I pay someone else to work out for me blog” You could be rich if working out was your thing.

4. The “I copy everything that the Pioneer Woman Does Blog” That one fits the most today, girlfriend makes the kind of food I adore.

Delightfully borrowed from Pioneer Woman
{Printable Recipe}

• 32 ounces, weight Velveeta Cheese Loaf
• 10 ounces, weight Rotel
• 1 pound Jimmy Dean Hot Breakfast Premium Pork Sausage
• 7 ounces, weight Chopped Green Chilies
• 1 whole Yellow Onion
• 1 whole Jalapeno, or more to taste (I left this out for the little one, still plenty of heat!)


Dice the onion. Using a nonstick sprayed skillet, cook sausage and onions until brown, stirring occasionally. Once browned, drain some of the fat from the skillet.

Cube Velveeta loaf. Add cubes to browned sausage and onion mixture. Add can of Rotel (juice and all), can of green chilies (juice and all), and stir over low heat. It will take almost 10 minutes for everything to get all nice & MELTY.

Now if you please you can chop up a jalapeno and add that into the mix, I had my little ones taste buds to think about so I skipped that. The Queso was still plenty hot, and oh so tasty. We ate only 1/3rd of it and saved the rest in 2 ziplog bags. Easily Freezable.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011









Sunday, March 27, 2011

Soda Pop Pulled Pork with a Spicy Cilantro Pesto

Just in the last year I became a Christian. This is a whole new world to me, lots to learn and I am just gobbling it up. Like always my little one, Indigo is a huge influence in my life and I am really enjoying sharing my new faith with her.

Each night we pray. It is so very adorable for my daughter to stop me as I leave her room for the night and remind me that we need to pray.

Our prayers are quite simple, I let her lead.

“Dear God, Bless Daddy, Mommy, Indigo, Grandma, Grandpa, Jake (current boyfriend of hers) Praise Jesus, Amen.”

Well last night she strayed! At the part where she normally says “Praise Jesus” she was mumbling…I repeated the statement and she said :

“NO Mommy, I said praise Cheez it’s! – not Jesus!”

Oh my little heathen.

Ingredients for Pulled Pork
Delightfully borrowed from Pioneer Woman
{Printable Recipe}

• 1 whole Large Onion
• 1 whole Pork Shoulder/Butt - 5 To 7 Pounds
• Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
• 24 ounces of Dr. Pepper
• 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Directions for Pulled Pork

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour all of the Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.

Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.

Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, pour another ½ cup of cooking liquid over the pork.

Now let’s add some more spice!

Ingredients for the Cilantro/Jalapeno Pesto
{Printable Recipe}

1 ½ cup Cilantro
½ Jalapeno, chopped
¼ cup blanched almonds
¼ cup Olive Oil

Directions for the Pesto

Place it all in your food processor and blend! Easy Peasy, sinfully good! If you like super heat add the whole jalapeno.

And now the story ends, I served this pulled pork and spicy pesto on Mini Sweet Hawaiian Rolls, the were outrageously good.

Much better than Cheez it’s!

Sharing this recipe at :

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Wine, how I love thee – Let me count the ways.

I love how you make me feel better after a long day at work.

The list goes like this :

1. Indy’s smile
2. Husbands Kiss
3. Kick butt bottle of white

I love how you make Four Weddings & Say Yes to the Dress a fabulous Friday night.

I love your bottle? I love wine bottles, I love the cork – at least I think I do because I have saved at least one thousand of them!

I also love Trader Joe’s. Joe hooks me up with cheap wonders. So I have one for you!

KONO Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2010

A blend of fruits from the Awatere, Waihopai, and Lower Wairau Valleys gives this Sauvignon Blanc the classic Marlborough fruit burst with great palate weight and a clean, acid finish.

This wine is available at Trader Joe's for $7.99

Try it this weekend! It gets a standing ovation from me and two somersaults from my daughter…that means it is super good.

Have a "smashing" weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lemon & Herb Spaghetti

So, did I tell you the hilarious story about my Indigo, The one that involves her layering no less than 17 pieces of clothing on to her body? No? Well sit on back ya’ll.

Picture this. . . . .

After 32.5 minutes of book reading, toddler huggin, and general stalling…by the toddler, Indigo finally fell asleep. Mom went downstairs and began re-doing her kitchen cabinets. Dad was busying himself by exercising the remote control (if not properly utilized they can break you know!!).

Fast forward 2 hours later, and this is what went down.

Indigo woke up, girlfriend had to pee and is freshly potty trained. Indigo scurried into to her bathroom and all 3ft of her tried with all her might to climb the toilet…


Failing to a toddler is heartbreaking, they only want to please you and I assume her bottom lip protruded when she peed all over the floor. Being that she is a smart gal, she hatched a plan.

She ran into her room and disrobed, placing the wet clothes in her trash bin. She then proceeded to find a new outfit. With 3 shirts, 2 skirts (over her arms), and 4 pairs of pants (on various parts) she was ready for her debut…and that is how the husband found her.

Delightfully borrowed from Smitten Kitchen
{Printable Recipe}

1 pound spaghetti or linguine
3 lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus additional for serving
1/4 cup heavy cream
½ cup of Parmesan, plus more for the final product
Ground black pepper
1 cup chopped basil or chives…or both! Live dangerously.

PS – I tried both and preferred the basil, but chives rocked it out too. Lemon is the true star. Might I also add, I ate this no less that 5 days in a row – It re-heats well! Perfect for a nice week at work.


Cook linguine or spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. (You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.)

While pasta is cooking, zest lemons until you have a little shy of a tablespoon of zest. Juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water. Dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, cream, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat. Return pasta to pot and stir until coated. Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss everything together. Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the noodles are nice and loose.

Add remaining Lemon Juice, then toss in the basil or chives.

When serving top with more fresh herbs and some more parm, and Olive oil..and bread…and maybe some wine?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jackson Hole & Random Squawking

Please join me in a trip to Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Random #1 – It takes 17.5 minutes of typing to check for flights, how complicated can their databases be?

Random #2 – Your child will fall asleep on the plane….10 minute before landing.

Random #3 – If the view from the airport is this good, you are golden.

Random #4 – Thank god for the blessing of staying in a beautiful place like this, and the greater blessing of sharing it with family.

Random #5 – Take a picture of the kitchen for all your foodie blog friends. I cooked up Beef Bourguignon, corn, mashed potatoes with chives, and a salad of Beets & spinach for 12. It was quite the hit.

Random #6 – How much fun are family style dinners? Do it!

Random # 7 – Make snow angels for the first time

Random # 8 – Throw Snow Balls for the first time

Random # 9 – Throw your kid in the snow

Random # 10 – Throw your kid in the snow 1,234 more times..phew

Last Random – People who live in San Diego are not very good at building Snowmen.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chestnut Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

I’m back from vacation and ready to go out the airplane gates. I learned a few things on the plane rides, and being my first post back I thought I would share.

- Eating at the airport requires the payment of half a paycheck or your first born…which if she behaved like mine you will hand her right over.

- Escalators and moving sidewalks provide all the entertainment your toddler desires and all the exercise you can handle.

- Stickers and coloring books can only keep your kids attention for so long. Airplane silence except for your kids screech is mortifying, even if everyone says they understand.

- Kids think that farting is funny (your neighbors may not)…on a very silent 650am morning flight.

This is random, and so am I. On my way back from the airport there was a homeless man with a sign that read “Bet you can’t hit me with a quarter”.

I am so glad to be back and will share some great vacation pictures soon! And now on to a great cake, chestnut cake. So fabulous and a great vehicle for anything.

INGREDIENTS for Chestnut Puree
(Full Printable Recipe)

12 oz (2 cups) chestnuts, roasted and peeled
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla

INGREDIENTS for the Chestnut Cake

· 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 3/4 teaspoon salt
· 1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
· 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
· 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
· 4 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg white
· 1 cup Chestnut Puree
· 1/4 cup whole milk

- Whipped Cream and strawberries for topping..your choice!

DIRECTIONS for the Chestnut Puree

In a saucepan, combine chestnuts, sugar and water, bringing the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25-35 minutes, until the majority of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Strain chestnuts, reserving sugar syrup, and transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add in syrup slowly until desired consistency is obtained. Allow to cool before refrigerating.

DIRECTIONS for the Chestnut Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350, select a baking pan to butter and flour. I used a mini loaf pan to make lots of little cakes.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Place Vanilla Extract in a large bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add butter, and beat until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with chestnut puree after first addition and milk after second, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer batter to a large bowl.

Beat egg whites in a clean bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Whisk one-third of the egg whites into batter just until combined. Gently but thoroughly fold in remaining whites. Scrape batter into prepared pan, and smooth top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour for a full cake, mini cakes are about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Top with Whipped Cream and Strawberries, and let me have been missed.