Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mid Week Update: Girls Trip to Iowa

Well, it's Wednesday. And my whole week has been thrown off, because today is my "Monday" at work, since I spent the past 3 days visiting one of my best friends in Iowa. Cooler temperatures, changing leaves, wedding accessory shopping, girl talk, and a lot of snuggles with her newborn baby, kept us quite occupied. While I wish we could have stayed a few more days, I am counting down the days until she stands by my side at my wedding in a few months! And since I'm not quite ready for a "Monday" recipe, I'm dumping a whole lot of photos here for your to live vicariously through our trip. Like all good Iowans say, "Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa".  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Slow Cooker Venison Chili

Life is good when your realtor is also a hunting expedition guide. Anytime their freezer starts to get a little full, we get dibs on some amazing wild game. If you do not have access to venison meat, or just oppose it and would rather use chicken, pork, or beef, please be my guest. I'm all about diversity and making recipes fit in to your lifestyle, so long as your bellies and hearts are full. Make a big pot of this for this weekend's games and feed a crowd, or have leftovers for a couple of days. The choice is yours! That's what I love about chili, simplicity. Also, the toppings. I'm a onion, cilantro, sour cream, tortilla chip girl myself. Is it just me, or do the toppings make or break a dish?

Speaking of comfort food, I am headed to the land of endless corn fields, you guessed it, Iowa. I'm taking a little break to visit one of my bridesmaids who just had an adorable little daughter, and to get some much needed girl {read: wine} time. We will be back to our regularly scheduled program on Wednesday!Catch out my adventures on insta

Slow Cooker Venison Chili

  • 1 1/2 lb. venison backstrap, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ornage bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1.2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 12-oz. bottle beer (I used an amber ale)
Garnish Ideas:
  • minced jalapeno
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced red onion
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • shredded cheese
  • Crumbled cornbread
Add the venison, bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and beer to the crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, until the venison is extremely tender.

Serve hot with garnish. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Restaurant Opening: Citrine in Tempe, AZ

I recently had the pleasure of attending the media grand opening for Citrine in the heart of downtown Tempe, right in the heart of Arizona State University's campus. We dined on everything from classic Italian dishes like charcuterie boards and meatballs, to innovative focaccia filled with mascarpone and drizzled with honey and salt, as well a fresh oyster bar and seafood forbidden. Take a look at my experience over on AZFoodie today.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches

Remember when I basically promised you a new pumpkin recipe every week until your can't stand me anymore? Well I'm keeping good on that promise, keeping you basic bitches happy, and slowly making the rest of you resent this post. Ahh, but I'll win you back. I promise. I was recently tagged in a photo on Instagram of a French macaron ice cream sandwich, so obviously I immediately got to work creating my own version from (almost) scratch. Unless you have time to make homemade pumpkin ice cream (which you definitely should do, and then bring me some), feel free to buy a pint to use for these sandwiches, and devour the rest on the couch watching Netflix reruns of Friends (my favorite past time). Okay, enough with the run on sentence about ice cream. Basically, these are the epitome of fall dessert, and if you have any leftovers, call me. I'll be right over!   

Pumpkin Spice Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • orange gel food coloring (optional)

Prepare 2 baking sheets with silpat, parchment paper, or macaron specific baking liners. Also, place a piping bag or gallon ziplock bag in a large cup with the top folded over the outsides. This will make it easier when you transfer the batter.

Whisk the almond flour, powdered sugar, and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl. Run the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a larger bowl. You may have a little bit of almond flour that is too large to fit through the sieve. Discard. This is a very important step if you want the macarons to be smooth.

In a stand mixer or bowl with a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and add in the superfine sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy, about 5-8 minutes more. When you remove the whisk, the whipped mixture should stand up off of the whisk. Add in the orange food coloring and mix until combined.

Fold the egg white and sugar mixture into the almond flour mixture until well combined. The batter should be very fluid and when you lift the batter up with a spatula, it should fold back into itself within a matter of seconds. Lastly, add in the almond extract and mix until combined.

Place the batter into a piping bag or large ziplock bag that you prepared earlier. Cut the tip off, about 1/4-inch. Pipe 1-inch circles about an inch from each other. They should not spread too much, so you can pipe them fairly close together. Once all of the batter has been piped, tap each tray 2-3 times against the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter. Then let the macarons dry out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour until they are set and firm to the touch. The length of drying time will vary depending on how humid it is where you are.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place the 1st tray in the oven on the middle to bottom part of the oven (farthest from the heat source) and cook for 10 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cookies will be just beginning to turn golden. Remove and set on the counter to cool for 2-3 minutes until transferring onto a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining trays of cookies.

Once the cookies are cooled, add a small scoop of pumpkin ice cream onto a cookie, and carefully top with another cookie. Keep in an airtight container in the freezer until serving. Best when served the same day.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Traditional Chicken Enchiladas

This weekend was one for the books. So much so, that I barely took any photos, just the memories to remember it by. I celebrated 3 years since I met Andrew, with dinner at the exact place we met, dined on pozole matzah ball soup (like, what?!), lamb, and pumpkin cheesecake. I met up with my best guy friend from college whom I hadn't seen in over a year. Celebrated one of my bridesmaid's birthday with a grown up pizza party and cocktails. Went new car shopping (uh oh), and even ordered our wedding rings! Yes! See, weekend for the books. Since the weekend was filled with so much love, I wanted to share with you Andrew's second love (behind me, of course), enchiladas. He always requests my spicy chicken avocado enchis, but this time I wanted to go a little more traditional. 

Traditional Chicken Enchiladas

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked, then shredded (or can use a rotisserie chicken if short on time)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 8 8-inch tortillas
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • crumbled cotija cheese
  • freshly chopped cilantro
  • serrano pepper, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 7 minutes. 

Add in the chicken, broth, and diced tomatoes. Simmer until the liquid reduces, another 8-10 minutes. Pour 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch dish. Dip both sides of each of the tortillas in the sauce, then fill each one with the chicken filling down the center. Roll up and place into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the enchiladas and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and garnish with cotija, cilantro, and sliced peppers. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli over Butternut Squash "Rice"

I met up with my good friend/blog designer/engagement photographer/basically winner at all things in life, for happy hour to discuss the future of this here blog. It's been a few years now, and while I've just been doing it for fun {fun fact, I make zero income doing this}, I wanted to take the next step towards really making HDFB all that it can be (did that sound like an Army ad? sorry). So be on the lookout for some changes coming your way in the future. I'm not ready to share the details just yet, but you'll know when it happens! Sorry for the inconspicuous post, but I was just too excited to hide it. One thing I am not hiding from you is the secret to making "rice" out of veggies. We are always trying to sneak more greens into our meals. It's all about balance. One day, you eat an entire pint of gelato, and the next day you eat rice made out of butternut squash. Like I said, balance.

Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli over Butternut Squash "Rice"

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled
  • 1/4 cup + tbsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 heads broccoli, crowns only
  • 2 tbsp. oil, separated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup broth
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • sesame seeds for garnish
Place the chicken 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce in a sealable bag. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. 

Meanwhile, cut the butternut squash in half, separating the bottom round part from the top. Scoop out the seeds from the inside of the flesh. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch matchsticks. Run the squash through a food processor with the grater attachment. Ta-da! "Rice"!

Preheat grill to high heat. Grill chicken for 8-10 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from the heat. Allow to rest.

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the "rice" to the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of the broth and cook until absorbed. Check the rice to see if it is tender, if not, add in the remaining broth and cook longer. Once softened, add in the soy sauce and cook for another minute. 

At the same time that the "rice" is cooking, heat the other tbsp. of oil in another pan and add the broccoli to the hot oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked, but still crisp, about 8 minutes. . Slice the cooked chicken into 1-inch pieces and add to the broccoli. Add in the soy sauce, stir to combine, and turn off the heat.

To serve, plate the "rice" into bowls, top with the chicken and broccoli, then garnish with sesame seeds. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Okra Corn Cakes with Lime Cilantro Yogurt Dip

Hi, my name is Rhea, and I am brand new to the okra scene. I have been seeing it for weeks now at the farmer's market, and slowly popping up in the grocery stores. But I had yet to get my hands on it, nor did I really know what to do with it? Until now. Next time I will be brave enough to cook it on it's own and let the flavor really come out, but I had to start out with something safe. Breaded and pan-fried is usually safe in this house. I have to say, I really enjoyed these corn cakes, but I felt that they were a little low on salt, so I upped the salt in the recipe, just fyi. Plus, anything with a yogurt dipping sauce is a winner to me. So next time you see a new ingredients, don't be afraid to try something new, you might really enjoy it! 

Okra Corn Cakes:
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced okra rounds
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. high-heat oil for frying
Lime Cilantro Yogurt Dip:
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
In a medium bowl, add the garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper, and okra. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the corn meal, baking powder, egg, and water. Add to the bowl with the veggies, and mix well. Add more water, a tbsp. at a time as needed if they aren't wet enough. 

Heat up the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Form the batter into small- or medium-sized patties. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through and crispy on the outsides. Remove form the oil and drain on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil.

Whisk together the yogurt, lime juice, and cilantro. Serve the cakes hot with the dipping sauce. 


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