#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food, GIF, Video

{D}econstruction: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Can I tell you how much of a fan I am of  ‘Chopped‘- one of the many amazing culinary contest shows on the Food Network?  The premise – four contestants  *with better than mediocre culinary skills*  compete against each other by turning ‘mystery  basket ingredients’ into a three course meal.

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 The prize?  Bragging rights and ten thousand dollars! *blink. blink*  

YEP!

I did say ‘ten thousand smackeroos!

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Of course it’s not as simple as cooking whats  in the basket.  Of course not!  That wouldn’t be fun,  right?  RIGHT!  So here’s the twist…..

the ingredients have to be presented in a ‘deconstructed’ form of their original self!  Alright then!  Since I’m new to the notion that really good food involves more than opening a package and popping it into the microwave, the whole idea of deconstruction – relating to food …. and what’s that?!

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the best that I can come up with  *and this after shamelessly watching some uncalculated number of episodes! *  my safe guess is that deconstructed meals have these three ‘Musts‘:

☆ you take foods that are normally combined in the dish

☆ change their forms – use your culinary know-how

and

☆then plate them together in a different way.

‘BOO YOW’

DECONSTRUCTION! !!!!

It’s not just about taking the dish apart, but putting its elements back together.

I know that it’ll be a minute before I can do this little trick!

What food tricks do you have?

Do tell….

Next. The Letter {E}

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#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food, Hello.IAmPhat

{C}hermoula: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Since starting this, now love affair with all things food, I cannot stop buying herbs and spices!  I’ve gone from having salt,  pepper, old bay and garlic salt as the only spices on my spice rack to an impressively well-stocked spice closet!

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Finding meals that include these spices & herbs is very exciting. Replicating classic dishes that include many of these spices is fulfilling and satisfying. It makes me feel very ‘Top Chef -like’. *smiling coyly*.

Since today’s letter is C I went in a search for recipe that would rep my {spice} rack well.  I came up with Chermoula- a spicy North African sauce,  that can do  double duty as a marinade.

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Charmoula (you’ll also see it spelled Chermoula) is a spicy sauce and marinade made of a complex spice mixture containing- among other things- herbs, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, cumin,  paprika, coriander and in some cases,  lemon. This sauce is used on meat and fish and can even be adjusted to make a unique vinaigrette.

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It may be a little while before I mix up this tangy delight.  Mainly because I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy hot flavors.  But when I do,  or will definitely be blog fodder.

What herbs and spices are your favorites?

Do tell. …

Next…. the Letter {D}

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A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food

{A}romatics: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Day One of the #AtoZChallenge!Hello Luv-lies,

Before I dive right into this challenge this year (I tried two years ago but didn’t get too far…*hanging head down in shame*) but this year I am extremely excited about the challenge.  I think that two years ago, I got stalled at the Letter ‘M’  because I just plain ol’  ran out of creative ideas.  What makes this year different?  Focus.  And my love of this year’s theme!

Over the last few years my relationship with food has completely changed. Before, I had no interest in food. I was simply a consumer of food. All I wanted to know was, when it was time to eat!   What changed?  I got bitten by the all things foodie! – magazines to food- inspired television shows.  Now, I can’t seem to get my fill *cheap pun intented* of all that is food!

So now I’m here!   Day One of the #AtoZChallenge!

Without further ado, I give you the {a}wesome:

Letter {A}.  {A} is for {A}romatics

Aromatics is said to be the combination of , mostly veggies and herbs – although at times it can include meat – that are heated in some type of *good* fat at the beginning of preparing a dish.  The result – deep flavors imparted into your favorite dish! You see, it’s the heating of the fats that helps the ingredients release their addictive aromas.

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…. and all those wonderful scents are what memories are made of. ….

What’s your favorite food scent?  Where does that scent transport you to?

Do Tell…..

Next….. THE LETTER {B}

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#Yumlicious!, Farmer's Market, Food, The Weight-ing Game, They Way {Weigh) I See It, Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers ... The Way I See It

My Weight Watchers. My Way … I Know it’s Not Summer

 Good afternoon My Phat Friends

This morning I’ve done something that most of us save for the weekend…. slept in …. very late *blushing*.  Usually I’m up at the crack of dawn.  Waaaay before the dawn.  I blame a super duper looong work day yesterday.  Didn’t turn in until well past midnight … now that I’m thinking about it, it was almost dawn!

After being awakened by the warmth from a ray of sun that had found its way through the closed blinds (the idea of traipsing around in the heat of the day was soon erased by the reality of the recent snowpocalypse that loomed on the other side of those same blinds!) I decided that today would be a good… No.  A “GREAT ” day to do absolutely nothing but veg-out on my favorite foodie shows.   It was while I was watching Ina, The Barefoot Contessa, that I stumbled upon what would eventually become my meal for the afternoon.  You see, during her show, she showcased a chef friend of hers from New York- I don’t remember his name – who grew these wonderful tomatoes and made even more wonderfuller  *is that a word?… hunching my shoulders* tomatoe salads.  They made this beautiful tomato salad

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That gave me an idea.  I remembered that I had just bought a few kumatoes from the market.  At the time that I bought them, I was not really sure how I wanted to use them.  Today seemed just as good as any day.

My salad was going to  be just a little bit different than Ina and her friend’s.  I started out with arugula {can’t get enough of the smooth and subtle spicy flavor} that I seasoned lightly with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt

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Added a just a littttttle bit of shredded Asiago Cheese {I’m starting to get used to my new vegetable cutter  *smile*

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Sliced up some cherry and kumato tomatoes that I seasoned with Tarragon – instead of the usual Basil {this little tidbit I learned today from Ina and her friend}.  According to Ina, Tarragon has the flavor that is a hint of anise.

This is where my salad is a little different than Ina’s … I added carrots, chicken and this mix that I pre-make and add to most of my salads {it’s made up of chia seeds, walnuts, dried unsalted pepitas and dried cranberries}

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This is what happened when everything is all thrown together…

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… add a good read and the mandatory Cup of Jo’

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Oh yes… I didn’t use any salad dressing.  The juice and sweetness from the kumatoes and the cranberries gave it a nice taste.  And, just as Ina and her friend said, the Tarragon was definitely the star of the show!

What do you do on your ‘lazy days’?

… do tell ….

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#Yumlicious!, Food, Hello.IAmPhat, I Want to Make This!, Inspiration, My Pinterest, Pinterest

I’m in the Mood for Munchies

It’s clean up day after this past weekend’s record breaking Snowpocalyps.  Being cooped up for a couple of days is nice, but right about now cabin fever is kicking in.
Big Time!
I haven’t got as bored *or as  crazy* as this girl

… oh the naiveté of youth…*side-eye*…

No.  Snowpocalyps has not put me in the mood to strip down to my skivvies, but it has brought on a decent size car of the munchies.  If you’re like me, you have you favorite ‘go to’ munchies that always hit the spot- popcorn,  chips with dip,  s’mores, some type of fruit bowl,  anything with loads of cheese. ….you know what I mean.  Today’s munch craving is a little different.  I’m wanting something that is not sooo ‘snack like’.

So I turned to one My Pinterest Board: Hello.IAmPhat Luvs {Food Glorious Food}

…. and came up with this goodness!

Fries with Lemon Salt & Rosemary

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This deliciously savory side dish is from the sinfully tasteful blog – Alexandra Cooks.

This is her first recipe using lemon salt. I’d say it’s a home run!!!!

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Fried Mozzarella, Basil & Nectarine Stacks Fried-Mozzarella-Basil-and-Nectarine-Stacks-with-Balsamic-Glaze-12

Tieghan, blogger extraordinaire at Halfbaked Harvest, is the mastermind behind this mouthwatering stack of loveliness.  The ‘icing on the cake’?….

…. Balsamic Glaze…#Yumlicious

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Alone or with your fav fun food {I’m thinking hot dog,  hamburger,  steak hoagie} chips are always a hit.  And the Purple Gypsy Home blogger makes the unforgettable.

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts

ala Momofuku

72d5fb31-ba1b-40bd-ac26-0a748bfd856b--8161982001_3a7a79633f_b I might be in the minority with this one,  but I absolutely ❤ Brussel Sprouts!  The folks at Food 52 serves them up roasted….. be still my {heart}

I’m on my way to the kitchen…..

Tell me…. What munchies are you craving?

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#Yumlicious!, Blog Shout Outs!, Food, Recipe

It’s National Pound Cake Day!!! … Five Hyped-up Recipes You Shouldn’t Pass Up!

Happy Wednesday Luv-lies!

According to the weatherman, I’ll be stuck in the house, again, tomorrow due to another round of snowfall!

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Made sure that I picked up all of my comfort foods  today before hunkering down for tomorrow’s storm.

I’ve been trying to limit my snacking, especially while I’m snowed in.  I wonder why we snack much more when we’re stuck indoors?  Don’t you?

Well, today is National Pound Cake Day and although I won’t be celebrating it with a cake of my own, I feel compelled to give this simple, but delish dessert a #ShoutOut!

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This lip-licking version is made over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Here secret ingredient to assuring that it’s moist? … Pop!(Not sure what ‘Pop’ is? She’ll let you know when you hustle over there for the recipe)

Whenever I want to know the history of food, I always take a hop-skip and a jump over to John-Bryan Hopkins’  fun and information filled { not to mention the mouth-watering foods that are featured} Blog.

Although I know how the Pound Cake got its name, here are a few 3 Interesting  Facts from his blog:

* The British are said to be the creators of the Pound Cake

*  On your next trip to Britain, when ordering Pound Cake , you’re more apt to be understood if you ask for it by either ‘Sponge cake’ or ‘Madeira cake’

* When in Germany, order  Eischwerkuchen.  It’s very similar {in ingredients} to the Pound Cake

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 The traditional, seven ingredient Pound Cake recipe may suit you just fine.  But I have Five hyped-up Pound Cakes that you may not want to pass up.

1.  Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

 Two of my favorite things!  Cake! And. Blueberries!

‘Thank You’ *doing a perfect curtsy* to  Chef in Training – Nikki

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2. Pistachio Pound Cake

Never thought of putting pistachios in a cake, but… ohh lala

I’m Thanking  The Candid Appetite’s Jonathan Melendez for this

decadent creation!

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3. Rose Chiffon Pound Cake

I’ll take my roses any way that I can get them…

*another curtsy is order* to Kristina Gill over at DesignSponge for this beautiful slice of heaven

4. Marble Pound Cake

Okay.  I think that we can agree that ‘marbled’ anything is just plain good.

Always With Butter makes good on this one

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5. Lemon Pound Cake

Just two words.  Simple. Elegant.

via Sweetie’s Home

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So there you are.

You should be able to find at least one Pound Cake to eat with your favorite drink.

You might even want to try your hand at whipping up one of these beauties.

Although there are only seven main ingredients, take your time so that you won’t end up with a Pound Cake fail!

What’s your favorite Pound Cake?

Do Tell …..

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#ManDayMonday, #Yumlicious!, Food, Inspiration, Man-Day Monday, Recipe

{ManDay} Monday … I Like My Shots in Chocolate Chip Form

Good Monday Morning Luv-lies!!!

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Dominique Ansel Bakery is the man behind today’s ManDay Monday inspiration.

Known for such bakery delights and the ‘Cronut‘ {pictured above} – a hybrid pastry fancied out of combining the donut with the croissant.

Or

this sweet and gooey taste of nostalgia with the clever handle – ‘Fro Smo’.  Did I say that its made ‘torched to order’?

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#Yumlicious!!!!  … just add cracker… graham.  of course.

With the temperatures still in the single digits, I think that I’d like to snuggle up to one of ‘Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shot’ inspired dessert

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I’ve got to get the ingredients before the next snow storm!!

Watch the video and get the recipe.

You won’t regret it!!

What delish culinary delight is keeping you warm tonight?

Do tell …

 

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