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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

May 27, 2013

Jerk Chicken Wings Grilled in A Foil Packet

Happy Memorial Day!

Yay to the official arrival of grilling season!

I've talked about my love of grilling season before.... I love the smell AND taste of grilled foods. It's one of the best parts of summer.

And did you know that you can pretty much grill everything in a foil packet right on your grill? 

Could grilling get anymore simpler?

These wings had the perfect amount of spicy balanced out by the sweet from the lime juice. And though they aren't grilled directly on the grill grates, they still have that 'fresh-off-the-grill' taste that I so desire, with nice grill marks and all.

Jerk Chicken Wings Grilled in A Foil Packet
ever-so-slightly adapted from Food Network 
  • 8 chicken wings, split
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning
  • juice from 1 lime (or half a lime)
  • nonstick foil
Toss 8 split chicken wings, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning on a sheet of foil. Form a packet around the wings. Grill over high heat, turning once or twice to prevent burning, for 25 minutes. Top with cilantro and lime juice.

All photos were taken with my Samsung Galaxy SII phone because I didn't have a memory card for the dslr.

What's on your Memorial Day menu this year? Looking for more ideas? Well, here's some.

Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad (need to get an updated picture!)

(These photos got deleted from my posts so I need to update these posts with photos, sorry! But the recipes are still da bomb!)

Cherry Limeade Slushies

Patriotic Taco Salad

4th of July Toast

Sauteed Corn, Bacon, and Green Onions

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day. I'm enjoying mine with a day off work, time with family, and some grilling fun! Maybe even some cornhole :) And of course being grateful for those who've served our country, especially those who gave their lives. Brave, brave honorable souls.

Linking up here.

Peace, and bacon grease!

May 21, 2013

Bruegger's Blogger Event!

So a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being invited to a local blogger event at Bruegger's Bagels, a local bakery and restaurant where their bagels are baked fresh all day, every day. We got to meet with Executive Chef Phillip Smith and learn all about his secrets to making the best bagels ever. He was very passionate about his bagels, the ingredients, and the bagel-making process. These bagels are the best - crisp on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, with all kinds of different flavors.

Now for the photos from that day:

Chef showing us their special cream cheeses. They tend to be more stiff than say other brand cream cheeses because they leave the whey in. Their cream cheeses are made in Vermont with pure, fresh milk and real ingredients like veggies and walnuts kept crisp without preservatives through their direct set process. We got to sample the smoked salmon (which wasn't as fishy as I was expecting and was actually pretty good!), garden veggie, and honey walnut.

Regular ingredients vs Bruegger's Bagels ingredients:

Piles of bagels! I want them all! Plus the basic ingredients that are in Bruegger's Bagels: water, barley malt, salt, flour, and yeast.

We also were the first to try their new Morning Glory Bagel, which has raisins, apple butter, carrots, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon sticks all baked into this glorious bagel. It was perfection served fresh and warm with some honey walnut cream cheese on it!

After a presentation and bagel+cream cheese taste testing, we headed back to the kitchen area to get the behind the scenes scoop. It was so cool to see how it all comes together and to learn their method for top notch bagels, which is to start by kettle-boiling the bagels, and then baking them in the oven. Boiling is the key to that perfect crisp shell, they say. 

Blueberry bagels ready for boiling. The large boiling pot and stirrer. Bagels about to meet their fate.

These bagels were about to become sesame bagels.

Baking away in the oven; the baker pulling them outta the oven; and the beautiful finished product.

Only the perfect survive. Any bagels that have misshapen holes, aren't the right color, or any other flaws won't be sold. Here's Heather from The Food Hussy showing us what a sad bagel looks like, with her sad face  :(

We also got to try a strata using their day old bagels, or "Last Night's Bagels" as they call them. Day-old bagels work well in this kinda strata. This Sriracha Egg Strata was delicious as well (it may be the same as this Spicy Ham, Red Pepper & Sriracha Strata recipe on their site).

Another perk of this blogger event was meeting fellow Cincinnati bloggers!  I was already a follower of Erin's blog, A Bird and a Bean, and just didn't know she was a local blogger! So cool! And OF COURSE I've been following Heather's blog, The Food Hussy, for quite some time now. I mean come on, she's only #1 on Urbanspoon in Cincinnati. No big deal :) We've been running into each other lately at these blogger events, as I met her for the first time at the Firehouse Subs blogger event. I LOVE to meet fellow foodies. Some people just don't understand my passion for food and this blog, but these people get me :) Proof? This photo below of fellow bloggers getting shots of bagels and cream cheese and ingredients and stratas, you know, only things that bloggers do :)

Here's their bagel line-up (not all of them, I couldn't get them all in one shot). I have tried a majority of them and my faves are the Rosemary Olive Oil, Jalapeno Cheddar, Cheddar Pesto, and Asiago Parmesan (which is good topped with a sweet cream cheese like the honey walnut... love the contrast of the cheeses with the honey flavor!).

The fabulous Bruegger's Bagels team. So friendly and seems like they love their job! I mean, I would love to be surrounded by hot, fresh bagels everyday too!

Here's all of us bloggers - some foodie blogs, some mommy blogs. Left to right: Nedra of Adventure Mom Blog, Executive Chef Phillip Smith, Erin of A Bird and A Bean, Courtney of Optimistic Mommy, Kristin of It's Free At Last, me, and Heather of The Food Hussy.

They were gracious enough to let us take home a goodie bag with tons of goodies in it! We got some tubs of cream cheese (I chose bacon and scallion *MY FAVE!!*, salmon, and honey walnut). If I could put that bacon and scallion cream cheese on everything, I would. We also took home a half dozen bagels of our chose (really 7 bagels). I got a couple Rosemary Olive Oils, a Jalapeno Cheddar, a Cinnamon Sugar, a Cinnamon Raisin, an Asiago Parmesan, and an Onion bagel. Plus some coupons for future visits. Plus we got to take home their new Sriracha Egg Sandwich, freshly made. We were the first to try that as well. They are too good to us!

My goodie bag + the new Sriracha Egg Sandwich. Yes, please!

This was an amazing blogging experience and I hope to be invited back for more! I have been in love with Bruegger's Bagels for quite some time so it was an honor to be invited to this event. I even reviewed it two years ago (need to update the photos though, I lost them along with many other photos from old posts). See, even back then I was ranting and raving over their bagels and cream cheese.

This must be love.

Peace, and 'bacon scallion' grease!

Bruegger's Bagels on Urbanspoon

May 20, 2013

Key Lime Parfait

Two posts in one day!

I'm also back for the Surprise Recipe Swap challenge.

I was assigned to Marlys' blog, This and That. I have also had the pleasure of being paired with her for Foodie Penpal before... she sent me some really awesome African spices along with some other fun foodie stuff! So cool!

This time around I had the pleasure of browsing through her recipe archive for the perfect recipe to make. Turns out, I had some key limes in the fridge, and some condensed milk and graham crackers in the pantry, so I was all over this parfait

Key Lime Parfaits
adapted from This and That

  • 1 and 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 14 cup melted butter 
  • 1 (14-oz) can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
Topping :
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
For crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture over paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

For Filling: In medium bowl, combine condensed milk and lime juice. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.

For topping: In a large bowl, beat heavy whipping cream to soft peaks. This can also be done in an electric mixer bowl. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine well. 

Assembly: Alternate crust and filling in parfait glasses. Add topping and sprinkle with a bit of the crust. 

*Note: The amount of parfaits yielded will depend on the size of glasses and amount of crust-to-filling ratio you want to use.

Printable Recipe

Just look at that.... layers upon layers of undeniable goodness.

I love a good key lime pie, and this is the simpler version in parfait form! I also love any chance to make buttery graham cracker crumbs. This parfait did NOT disappoint.

Click on the logo below to join yourself!  




And check out this month's round up :)

Linking up here.  

Peace, and bacon grease!

Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

It's that time again... time for the Secret Recipe Club!

This month I was assigned to India's blog, A Vegan Obsession. I'm not at all familiar with the vegan lifestyle so it was cool to peruse through her blog and see how she cooks and eats.

I chose her frittata to make, but adapted it to my likings a bit, and used eggs.

Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
adapted from A Vegan Obsession
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 5 eggs
  • salt to taste 
  • sour cream, for topping
Preheat broiler.

Rinse mushrooms to remove dirt. In a large oven-proof skillet, saute mushrooms on high and stir, until water has drained from mushrooms and formed in skillet; drain. Add 2 tablespoons butter and continue to saute and stir. Season with salt and stir. 

Reduce to low heat, add onion and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes. 

Add spinach and saute until wilted. 

Beat eggs in a bowl; add eggs to skillet. Cover skillet with lid and cook for about 15 minutes, or until eggs are nearly set.

Remove lid and put skillet under the broiler for 2-5 minutes until the top is nicely browned and eggs are set, watching so that it doesn't brown too much.

Slice and serve hot.

Top with sour cream, if desired.   

Printable Recipe

This hearty breakfast or brunch is filling and tasty. And if you don't eat it all, just refrigerate and reheat for breakfast before work or school and you've got yourself an easy breakfast.

Check out what the other Group C members brought to the table!!

Linking up here.  

Peace, and bacon grease!


May 17, 2013

Southern Greens

My mama is from Hazard, KY and grew up in Harlan, KY. Yep, Harlan from the show Justified. It gets kindof a bad rep on there though. So we're all about good ole southern food. You know, things like cornbread, chitlins - don't judge us!, and collard greens. I grew up loving my mama's greens.

So when it came time to pick a recipe that started with G or H for the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, I knew I'd go with greens. As in collard, kale, mustard, or even Swiss chard. I found a recipe online that used all of them so I was drawn to it. Plus the reviews were pretty good. 

Don't let the amount of greens fool you. They shrink down when cooked.

Southern Greens
adapted from Michael Symon
  • 1 lb bacon, diced
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs collard greens
  • 1 lb kale
  • 1 lb mustard greens
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • sriracha hot sauce, optional 
In a large pot, add bacon and cook over medium heat until fat begins to render. When the bacon is almost crisp, add sliced onions and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Remove the tough stems of the greens and discard. Rinse greens. Roughly chop the greens and add them to the pot with the red pepper flakes and a large pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over low heat.

Remove the lid and add the vinegar and sugar. Put the lid back on and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add sriracha hot sauce if desired.

Printable Recipe

I sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on top. Just cuz.

Most recipes I've known for making greens involve a hamhock, but this one didn't so I was intrigued to see if it would have the same flavor.

And it did! PJ really liked them too. I think he said these were the best he's had. I dunno if that's an insult to my mama or a compliment to me (and Michael Symon). I'll pretend I didn't hear that.

Love me some greens. It's a southern thang.

P.S. It's so hard to make greens look good. But the taste.... the taste....  just make them and see for yourself.

Oh, and there's bacon :)

Check out my past Eating the Alphabet posts!

And check out the other posts in the blog hop below: 

Peace, and bacon grease!