Archives for January 2012

Project Chicken Meatball

Happy Tuesday all!

In yesterday’s post, you may have noticed that I mentioned something about Project Chicken Meatball happening this week. Well, it happened. It happened yesterday, to be exact. 
You all know how I love me some meatballs. I’m Italian, it’s only natural. Now, I have had meatballs made with every kind of meat under the sun, turkey, beef, lamb, and even pork. Surprisingly enough, I had not yet experimented using chicken in a meatball. This is shocking, seeing as I love me some poultry. My first time trying a chicken meatball on Saturday night changed everything. Not only did I try it at the best restaurant that I could have possibly tried it at, but it was sooooo great, that it inspired me to get in the kitchen immediately and experiment. So, like I said…things went down yesterday. 
This isn’t your average meatball. It’s all poultry. And that’s fine by me. 
I wanted to create a savory and sweet combo with the meatball, something totally out of my comfort zone with meatballs. I am pretty biased to a savory meatball. Again, revert back to Saturday night. Life Changing! Anyway, I added some chopped spicy jalapeno for a kick of heat, honey crisp apple for sweetness, garlic (because what is a meatball without garlic?), fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (because I needed something green), a dash of salt and pepper, and BAM! Project Chicken Meatball COMPLETE! 
And pretty darn tasty if I may say so myself.

Jalapeno Apple Chicken Meatballs:

1 1b. ground chicken
2 jalapenos, split in half, seeds discarded, and roughly chopped
1 small Honey Crisp Apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped 
1/2 c. Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Drizzle a baking dish with olive oil.
2. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with hands until distributed evenly. 
3. Roll into tablespoon size balls.
4. Place meatballs in baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Serve.

Makes 22 small meatballs.

Note: I would suggest sprinkling these babies with a bit of freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. My fave.


The Perfect End to the Week

Happy Monday all!

I hope everyone has had their coffee and/or is enjoying it at this very moment like I am. So, this weekend was definitely one for the books. My parents and I drove to north of these here parts to celebrate my baby seester’s 22nd birthday! We arrived at our state’s capital city around lunch time and checked into one of my fave hotels, Hotel San Jose. I have mentioned my previous stay there before. This was my Dad’s first stay at the Hotel San Jose, and let’s just say that he is convinced to one day build a family compound on a couple acres of land round’ these here parts that replicates the architecture and layout of the hotel. Fine by me. Anyway, back to what I was saying…we arrived around lunch, and because I am always hungry I needed to grab a bite to eat, A.S.A.P. So, we walked next door to one of my fave Austin lunch spots, Snack Bar. Dad wasn’t very hungry so he sat out side and smoked his lunch, a Cuban cigar. In the meantime, Mom and I enjoyed a delicious light and healthy feast!

For the Momma: Cauliflower Soup, Fruit, and Gluten-Free Millet Bread

For yours truly: Garden Salad with arugula, kale, orange segments, and shaved beets, served with a fruity vinaigrette and Gluten-Free Millet Bread 
Allow me to pause for a moment and really highlight this Gluten-Free Millet Bread. I am sure they make it in house. Oh my bee-jee-zus, it was delicious. It was so rustic, you would have never known that it was gluten-free! Momma and I spread it with fresh strawberry preserves and never looked back.

 I also ordered a side of Steamed Brussel Sprouts with a Homemade Aioli…this little piggy went to town!
Good thing I like to share, momma fell in love with the brussels. They were seasoned with salt and pepper and steamed to perfection! Seriously, every bite was so tender, and buttery. Very rich, without being rich at all. The aioli was the real treat. It was both our first for aioli. Thank goodness we went to the right place for this “french mayo.” Any dipping sauce has my name written all over it. Did I mention aioli is made with garlic? Sold. So was Momma. She said that it was dangerous, even put a little smear on her bread, and said it was “bleeping” ah-mazing. Aioli=Win! All in all, perfect lunch at Snack Bar. Kudos to our waitress and the entire staff who were light-hearted and entertaining, and who provided the best hospitality that can only be expected round’ these here parts. 

After lunch, I got a photo of the parents chilling outside the restaurant. Dad is loving himself the ipad. He is addicted to Craigslist. Seriously. 

The afternoon festivities included the whole fam and was pretty casual, with some light shopping, Whole Foods bar juicing, and more shopping (this time for music).

We headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening’s festivities. Seester picked a restaurant none of us had ever been to, Parkside. Let me tell you, she picked a winner. 

Good thing we were all starving!

For appetizer’s, Mom had the Caesar Salad. I am not much of a fan of Caesar Salad, but this one was dressed lightly, something you rarely see at your average restaurant. Good thing Parkside isn’t average. It was perfect. 
 Then came the next appetizer: Chicken Meatballs with Jalapeno and Pineapple. This was my favorite appetizer. I love me some meatballs but seriously, these were epic. You could actually taste the meat, which was perfectly tender and well seasoned…so flavorful. The meatballs also came with a dollop of avocado cream which was the perfect accompaniment. Very California-ish if I may add. Let’s just say Project Chicken Meatball is happening in my kitchen this week. 
 Round three of Appetizer’s: Crab Fritters with Sauce Ravigote (basically a term for sauce that is ah-maze-balls). 
With each bite, you could taste the fresh crab, that was encased in the perfect crunchy shell. Winner, winner, crab fritter dinner!
 For lack of faulty lighting and other camera issues I was unable to get a photo-op of the rest of the dishes. Dad and Mom shared the Grilled Angus Steak with Sunchoke Potato Gratin, Mustard Greens, and Shallot Brown Butter. Seester ordered the same thing, only with a side of veggies for the gluten-free, birthday girl wasn’t feeling the potatoes. Also, it had been 4 years since her last steak. She was very pleased. So proud of my little carnivore! I had the best dish ever! Let me just say if I died today, this would be my last meal. Pan Roasted Farm Chicken with Parsnip Mustard Puree and Petite Glazed Turnips. I have no idea how to describe this meal. I can only say that it was a crispy, tender goodness, and from now on I will only pan roast my chicken. Heaven! Seester’s boyfriend ordered the Pan Roasted Salmon with Bacon Almond Streusel, which he enjoyed very much! For dessert, mom, dad, and I had coffee, seester enjoyed a trio of fruity sorbet. Mom, Dad, and I snuck out after dinner for fro-yo before heading back to the hotel. 

Photo-op: Seester and Boyfriend…so adorable.

Before heading out Sunday, we enjoyed a family breakfast that ended with lots of hugs and kisses. It was the perfect end to a weekend filled with good food and family fun!




Happy Birthday Seester!

Thanks for having food allergies, you inspire my blog and my cooking skills every day

Thanks for being the family sports star 
 You always know how to make me smile
 And help me avoid the paparazzi…sheesh, stalkers.
 Thanks for being the Bon to my Jovi…such a superstar
Thanks for teaching me how to turn on the drama
Thanks for playing 
 dress up with me…Mickey
 Thanks for always looking up to me
 It really helps keep me on my game
 You are the sun 
 to my shine
The peanut butter to my jelly
 Thanks for being the 
 best sister ever
Happy Birthday Seester! I love you boo!

Friday Link Love: So you want to be on reality t.v.?

Happy Friday all,

Seriously, I am ecstatic that it is Friday. Most importantly, because it is this awesome chick-ster’s birthday tomorrow. 
I am road tripping it to up north of these here parts with the fam to visit seester for her birthday. It is going to be totally rad, like “oh my gosh I just found $20 on the floor and no one has claimed it so I think I will fill up my gas tank rad.” Yes, filling up my gas tank is pretty much the highlight of my week when I have some extra cash. 

Last night was pretty epic, I went out with the bff, my grandma, my aunt, and my mother for my mom’s belated birthday girl’s night out celebration. I hadn’t seen my bff since her freakin’ wedding so it was about time we got together to catch up. We went to this restaurant for dinner. O my lanta I love Mexican food. I don’t doubt that I could live off of salsa and green sauce for the rest of my life. Before dinner we did a little shopping where I purchased the cutest dress ever! The bff also purchased a shirt that she claimed was the “type of shirt all the girl’s on the Bachelor wear.” 
Basically, it was a blouse similar to this, but a peach color. 
Anyway, this got me thinking…do those girls on the Bachelor supply their own wardrobe, or do they have a stylist who dresses them? Either way, I’m single, and if I get to wear pretty outfits like this
… I am so in. 

I should totally apply to be on the Bachelor, right? Um, yes, I think so. Plus, you get to travel to awesome places like 

 And stay at amazing resorts like this…yes, please. 
The best part is that you get to eat fresh food like this. All day long…
Because calories never count when you are on vacation. Never. That is everyday for me. Vacation, 365.
Excuse me while I go sign up to be on the next Bachelor. 

Back to reality.

I have been eating my body weight in these. All day. Every day. Because I am a baller. 

Today I told myself that I was going to sign-up for the Enjoy Subscription from Joy the Baker. Because, seriously how cool is it to get gifts in the mail every month from one of my culinary idols?
(Sigh) If only I had the money. $25 is like a full tank of gas now-a-days. Maybe. That is cutting it pretty close. Maybe next time. 

Totally off topic: I am not much of a Super bowl Fan unless the Dallas Cowboys are playing in it. However…Jess has once again, changed my mind. Holy Parmesan Party Dip! How does she come up with this stuff? Genius, sure genius.

It’s been real people. I am about to get in my pajama’s and call it a Friday, just me, the couch, and the Jersey Shore re-run. Because I NEVER watch that. One more thing.



My New Obsession

I have a confession.

I am obsessed with vanilla bean. But you already knew that now, didn’t you? Its becoming a pretty awesome friendship to say the least. I am just waiting for Ms. Vanilla Bean to step on my toes or tell me that she doesn’t have time to hang out, you know like friends sometimes do. Anyway, friendship update: me and Ms. Vanilla Bean are still best buds. So, how many of you have noticed the trend this week? No, it’s not the whole vanilla bean thing. If you haven’t noticed, this past week has been filled with sweets. We all know that I have a sweet tooth. I just can’t kick it. All I want are sweets, morning, noon, and night. I have even gone to the extreme of making cinnamon roasted butternut squash and sprinkling a good heaping palmful of Truvia on the top. Soooo good. Back to what I was saying. Sweets. Morning, noon, and night. That includes breakfast which leads me to explain my reasoning for these…

Lavender Vanilla Bean Scones 

They are gluten free. 
That’s what’s up. 

When I was a child, I used to get severe chronic headaches to the point where I would be on bed rest for an entire day. It was miserable. Good thing my mom was a fragrance witch and she knew the remedy for headaches: lavender oil. Genius. She would rub the oil on the temples of my face and bam…within an hour I was up eating mac n’ cheese and playing tag in the back yard with my sister. I love lavender and I still use it whenever I get headaches. I have been wanting to use lavender in a recipe forever. That’s when I decided that lavender and vanilla bean would make great friends. They compliment each other beautifully. 

Especially in these scones.

The scone has a floral essence to it, is slightly crisp on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside. What are you waiting for?

Get in the kitchen and make these…NOW! 

Lavender Vanilla Bean Scones (GF)

2 c. almond flour
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 T. lavender buds
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped of seeds
1 large egg
2 T. agave nectar

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and lavender buds.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and agave nectar. Add the vanilla bean and whisk again.
3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
4. Chill dough briefly in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
5. Pat the dough into a slab about an inch and a half onto a parchment lined counter top.
6. Cut dough into desired shapes using a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife (I used a 3 1/16 in. biscuit cutter)
7. Bake at 350 F on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Let scones cool and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze. 

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. water

1. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and water with a spoon until fully incorporated. Drizzle scones.

Makes 8 scones (depending on how big or small you like them)

Note: Garnish scones with extra lavender if desired. 

Do you have any food obsessions? What is you favorite ingredient to use? I am all ears.