Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Food & Wine Finds

So... what do you think of the new title? I rather liked Trevor's suggestion on my last Friday post for "Friday Offal Links," but maybe you have nicer things to think about today than dining on the internal organs of animals. 

And now that I've brought it up, I'm sure you can think of nothing else.

Anyway, what do you think of "Friday Food and Wine Finds?" Leave me a comment and let me know!

On to the food and wine finds...

I'm in Atlanta this weekend, so guess where I'll be eating tonight? Oh yes... Woodfire Grill, home of the bearded one. For those of you who don't watch Top Chef, this is the restaurant of last season's Kevin Gillespie where slow cooking rules and pork belly is king.  SO excited. If I survive without blowing a coronary artery, I'll report back on the food.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recipe: Blueberry Mojito Frozen Yogurt

Last Friday was my dad's birthday, and once again I found myself headed up to Okoboji to celebrate. Because there was no elaborate surprise party involved this time, I didn't have to pull together three kinds of cupcakes. (Thank goodness!) However, my mom did get an entire dessert buffet's worth of food on her birthday; at the very least, dad deserved to have some kind of celebratory homemade dessert.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This post is not about herbicide.

I've got an idea I'd like to pitch to all 17 of my followers (as well as any lurkers who might be out there in the blogosphere reading Peas of my Heart anonymously, probably sitting in the dark while stroking a hairless cat. No? That's just in Bond movies? OK, if you say so).

I'm generally far too exhausted to type up an insightful post or a fun recipe on Fridays; besides which, it's summer and I've usually got an exciting, fulfilling weekend to start. (All right, so I'm just going to pour a glass of wine and binge on expensive cheese from Gateway Market. Don't judge; we all measure excitement differently.) Therefore, I'm starting a regular Friday feature rounding up articles, news, and thoughts from the week. To fit with the theme of my blog, I'll stick to the topic of food, drinks, and restaurants. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

I realize what I'm about to say could be offensive to some of you, but I feel like most chocolate cupcakes are just kind of... uninteresting. They can get a little too rich for me, and if they are overly sweet, I get bored and don't want to finish them. Cut that sweetness with the hot, smoky flavor of a chipotle chile, on the other hand, and I'm completely on board.

The first time I tried a Mexican chocolate cake was on my brother's birthday in Minneapolis several years ago. I was sold from the first bite. Especially if you use dark chocolate, the deep, rich sweetness helps to keep the chiles and spices from being too overpowering. Unfortunately, when I tried to replicate the cake later, I couldn't find any recipes with the deep, smoky flavor I wanted. I started playing around in the kitchen, and eventually came up with a recipe of my own.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recipe: Tres Leches Cupcakes topped with Dulce de Leche

When we started planning food for my mom's surprise birthday party, the main part of the menu was a no-brainer: Taco House. If you have never been lucky enough to visit this Okoboji staple, it's hard to describe the appeal; from the outside, it looks like a dirty, hole-in-the-wall restaurant with too little seating and far-too-long lines (or, at least, that's how Dad describes it). But the food... is... fantastic. Mom eagerly awaits the opening of Taco House every spring and mourns its closing in the fall - for her birthday, it was really the only choice.

To keep the Mexican theme going through dessert, my brother suggested tres leches cake. I'd never made it before, but it seemed like the perfect dessert for our theme. My sister-in-law got me started with a recipe from a coworker, and with minimal adaptation on my part, tres leches cupcakes were born.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Recipe: Bananas Foster Bread Pudding "Cupcakes"

Earlier this month, my dad threw my mom a huge surprise birthday party. My brother, sister and I all love food and entertaining, so we volunteered to plan the menu. Though we nailed down most of the elements pretty quickly, we were stuck on what to serve for dessert. Birthday cake was out of the question - I've never known my mom to get particularly excited for cake. In fact, she's notorious for skipping dessert altogether! None of us wanted to see her skip dessert at her own party; we wanted to come up with something she would truly love.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Recipe: Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

As I think I mentioned in this post, mint-chocolate chip ice cream was among my favorite childhood summer treats. I like my ice cream to have a little texture to it, and the crunch of the frozen chocolate is such a perfect counterpart to the cool, creamy mint. Since we frequently missed (or hid from, ahem) the Schwann's man on his weekly route, I don't remember actually having mint-chocolate chip ice cream in our freezer that often. Instead, I would order it whenever we went to dinner at Mrs. Lady's in Okoboji. It was a special treat for us to eat at Mrs. Lady's, but the most exciting part was being allowed to order ice cream cones for dessert. There was a mind-boggling variety of flavors to choose from - with particular aversion, I remember a horrifyingly pink and chewy bubble gum ice cream - but I always went for the mint chocolate chip.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Recipe: Easy Rosemary Roasted Beets

In the last couple of weeks, I've been playing with different ways to use beets from the farmer's market. Inspired by how well beets and rosemary worked together in last week's glorious beet hash browns, I decided to roast them in foil this time with rosemary, garlic, and olive oil.  The trick to roasting beets is not cooking them too long - otherwise they'll turn to mush - but just until they can be easily pierced with a knife.