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September 25, 2013

Obsessions + Confessions

Time to share my latest obsessions and confessions. Are you ready?

Fall is officially here and I don't mind at all if it means I get to gulp down Pumpkin Frappuccinos. Healthy ones, at that! 

Speaking of... I've been stockin up on all things fall! Pumpkin spice bagels and english muffins and cream cheese and yogurt. I'm OBSESSED with the apple crisp yogurt. 

Possibly the best stuffed mushrooms ever?

All of my favorite things in one blondie 

Summer + fall all in one. Still holding on to summer as much as I can!

Tailgator Nachos for football season. 

Stacks and stacks and stacks of pork paninis

Brownies topped with peanut butter cookies. Love you long time. 

I want this Healthy Chipotle Sweet Corn Fettuccine right now for breakfast at 9:00 AM. 

Banana Cream Pie Ice Box Cake, you're the banana of my eye. Wait, what?

These Homemade Corn Dogs have me daydreaming about summer county fairs. 

This here's one long recipe name, but I'd eat these Grilled Mac N Beer Cheese Sliders with Bacon, Beer & Tomato Jam every day for the rest of my life. I do not lie.

My all-time favorite dessert is Pineapple Upside Down Cake but this Upside Down Strawberry Cake would probably be a close 2nd.

27 of the greatest moments in the history of parenting
I want at least two kids just so I can do#5
#8 sounds like a mighty fine museum
#11 is just genius
#13... luggage face plant
#16... oh, only in Walmart
#17.... BURNNNNN! good one mom
#19... creepy and hysterical all at once
#21... moths ARE scary!
#25 will most def be happening at my house very soon, minus the kids :)
#27 and #28 make me smile from ear to ear

You know you're having a good time when you stay for 4 hours eating sushi and drinking wine with grade school friends.

I led my first group counseling session this week... alone... by myself... with 6 high school students. I'm terrified and have no idea what I'm doing.

So doing this

Have a great week, friends!

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 24, 2013

Ginger Pineapple Rum Punch

Ginger beer.


How do you guys feel about it? 

I don't think I could drink it straight up, just as a normal everyday drink. But mixed with some rum and pineapple juice? I'm down.

I had bought some at Trader Joe's out of curiosity and needed a reason to use them up. This cocktail seemed like the perfect opportunity. Use some kinda rum... the recipe calls for dark rum but I used Morgan's Spiced Rum which isn't a dark rum but it's what I had on hand, and it's probably why my cocktails are lighter in color than Dara's. Oh well, rummmmmmm. 

Ginger Pineapple Rum Punch
from Cookin Canuck
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Jamaican dark rum
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • Ice
In a pitcher, combine lime juice, ginger beer, rum and pineapple juice. Stir well to combine.

Fill glasses with ice and pour in the punch.

If you prefer to make the punch in advance, mix together all of the ingredients except the ginger beer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir in the ginger beer immediately before serving. You can increase or decrease rum and/or pineapple juice as desired.

Printable Recipe

Depending how you like your drinks, you can add more or less pineapple juice or rum than the recipe calls for.


Fill er up with plenty of ice + this cocktail and you've got yourself a Friday night.

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 23, 2013

Muffin-Pan Potato Gratins

It's Secret Recipe Club time again. One of my fave times of each month!

This month I was assigned to the blog, A Couple in the Kitchen. So many good recipes like their award-winning Sweet Chili and Coconut Corn Soup, which I was so tempted to make, and their Cider Sage Gravy would be perfect for the quickly-approaching fall season. But ultimately though I chose these rich and tasty potatoes. Because if you hadn't guessed by my name, I'm a potato freak! Plus I love the idea of using muffin pans for these individual gratins.

This recipe calls for gruyere cheese, which can be a bit pricey. You can substitute comte or beaufort - A French cheese.... or a more easily-accessible Swiss cheese. I loved the gruyere cheese in this potato dish. I made the mistake of only using one jumbo sized russet potato. Go ahead and use two large russet potatoes if you can... I would have liked more potatoes in my stacks. If you have a mandolin slicer (I've seen it spelled mandolin and mandoline, not sure what's correct), then use that to thinly slice the potatoes. I just used a knife but of course there were some inconsistencies in thickness. But we still loved and devoured these cheesy, creamy, crispy stacks.

Muffin-Pan Potato Gratins
from A Couple in the Kitchen
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 6 ounces grated gruyere cheese
  • 1 and 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the cups of a 12-muffin pan. 

Layer each cup with potato slice, topped with salt and white pepper, and gruyere cheese. Continue to layer like this until each muffin cup is full. Add two tablespoons of heavy cream to each muffin cup. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. 

Remove the foil and top each stack with the parmesan cheese, dividing evenly. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan.

Printable Recipe

I'll make these again and again. They're not a lot of work, but seem so fancy. Rich, filling, indulgent... exactly what food should be. These mini gratins will make a perfect side to any meal. But maybe keep the main course light  :)

Check out my past Secret Recipe Club posts

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 13, 2013

Restaurant Review: Gordo's in Norwood

A friend and I decided to stop in Gordo's, a pub and sports bar in Norwood close to Xavier University, for our lunch break between clinicals one Saturday. It was opened by and named after Norwood-native Raymond Gordo, who was a Chef de Cuisine for the Jean-Robert Restaurant Group. 

It's pretty small, with a bar area and counters on the right as you enter, some tall tables lined up along the left side, and some larger tables a little further back once you enter. They do have a back patio area as well, but we didn't go back there. I usually am prepared to be unsatisfied with the food at most bars, so I had the same mentality when we sat down at the table. Don't get my hopes up. It's just gonna be sports bar food. But then I saw who the chef was and that he had worked at a Jean-Robert restaurant and figured the food had to be pretty good!

Our waitress wasn't the friendliest, and we felt a bit rushed to put in our order. Sandwiches, tacos, salads, and appetizers but I was immediately drawn to their gourmet burgers. I was about to find out just how gourmet they were. 


My friend ordered their Gordo Burger ($10). It looked so good! I mean, this burger has roasted poblanos, mushrooms, onions, smoked bacon, boursin cheese and mayo. She liked it... well not the bacon. It was a bit flimsy and soggy. Other than that she liked it. I'd definitely try this next time!

I ordered the Sunrise Burger ($12), mainly because I saw that it had pork belly. Along with a fried egg, bearnaise, and spring mix. These burgers are fat and plump like a true homemade patty should be. I could tell these weren't frozen, pre-made patties. I really liked the flavor of my burger with the egg and it was cooked nicely, but I wasn't a fan of the pork belly. I was expecting crispy, kinda like bacon, but it was flimsy and fatty. I took that part off! And it could have used more sauce. But I did love the burger itself. One of my fave burgers so far.

Burgers come with a side of steak fries and a pickle.

Next time, and there will be a next time, I want to try their Surf and Turf Burger, Mexican Burger, Jean-Robert Burger, and their PBJ Burger also sounds quite interesting. I'll have to muster up enough courage to order that one day. 

Only downside was that we had to wait quite a bit for our burgers, and we were on our lunch break between classes, and ended up being 15 minutes late back to class. And it wasn't really that busy. Not sure if that's a regular thing, but maybe just don't expect to get in and out.

So the quest for Cincinnati's best burger continues. Gordo's, for me, is near the top of that list.

Update: I've been back since, and I tried their Gordo Burger. Didn't like the boursin with the burger. And my burger was so burnt, I couldn't eat it :(

Peace, and bacon grease!

Gordo's Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

September 6, 2013

Obsessions + Confessions

I know, I know. I've been slacking on the recipes. Life is busy and crazy and exciting and filled with new things right now! Trying to get my counseling career started, but it means I have less time for recipe-making and blogging unfortunately. I hope to find some kind of rhythm so I can fit blogging back into my life.

But for now, I've always got my current obsessions that I wanna share with you!

Bacon crack. Lisa just may be my foodie soul mate.

Wow. Almost too pretty to eat. I said almost.

23 of the most perfect foods. Eva eva. Let's be real, I want them all, but that Mac and Cheese Bacon Lattice Pie is simply a masterpiece.

This needs to be all up in my belly

Savory s'mores? Ok I'm in. 

Don't go away, summer. I still need to make these Toasted Coconut Milkshakes

I refuse to accept that summer is almost over. I'm still all about chocolatey popsicles and tart popsicles and strawberry cheesecake popsicles and pink lemonade popsicles and margarita popsicles and frozen pies and grilled thingies and all things s'mores, even frozen s'mores ! Longest run-on sentence ever?

Ok let's talk ice cream for a minute. Before summer's gone! I'm craving burnt sugar ice cream and blueberry ice cream and s'mores ice cream and ice cream pies (with alcohol!) and ice cream sandwiches and ice cream sundaes and ice cream cups and sorbet. 2nd longest run-on sentence.

You know what else is great about summer! The fruit! Loving this peachy goodness and this gorgeous blueberry bread

Add peaches to your caprese salad. Do it!

More proof that summer shouldn't end? These homemade hot dog buns and summer corn dip. Yep, those will be made. 

Apparently I'm summer-obsessed. Summer salsa!

Betcha I could gulp this whole milkshake down in like 5 minutes.

Adorable DIY arm candy.  

Can we pretend that I'm all crafty and can make this DIY kitchen chalkboard? Cool thanks.

#13 and #17. That is all.

Cupcake ATMs? Backpack hammocks? Grilled Cheese Sandwich Buns?!?! Genius bookmarks?!? Cereal milk?!? Where in life are these things?!?!

Ladies, you're welcome

Live by this quote.

Peace, and bacon grease!


September 3, 2013

Restaurant Review: Bruster's in Western Hills

Time for more restaurant reviews.

This isn't really a restaurant, but it's worth reviewing.

Why? Because it has one of the most memorable, delicious... let's just put it this way, one of my fave ice cream flavors ever!

Ok I'm getting ahead of myself. As you can see, I'm talking about an ice cream joint called Bruster's Real Ice Cream over on the westside connected to Five Guys on Glenway.

PJ ordered a banana split. I tried a bite and it was good... can't really go wrong with a banana split, can you?

The main reason that I love this place for a perfect summertime ice cream cone?

Graham Cracker flavored ice cream.

It's called Graham Central Station, to be exact, and it's Graham Ice Cream with Graham Cracker and Chocolate Flakes.

Basically, it's perfection. I am obsessed with graham cracker crumbs in any kind of ice cream. And for this to be a graham cracker flavored ice cream + graham cracker crumbs throughout is just the icing on the cake.

Or the icing on the ice cream?

Not sure, but all I know is that this ice cream flavor keeps me coming back for more. No other place I've ever been to makes this kind of ice cream. I really need to learn how to make a homemade version! That would be ideal.

Until then, I'll be going to Bruster's throughout the summer to quench my graham cracker ice cream craving. It's so close to my house, and so worth it. Uh oh, I've only got a little bit of time left... fall is quickly approaching!

Peace, and bacon grease!

Bruster's Real Ice Cream on Urbanspoon