Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bang Bang Sauce

I feel like the old lady on that Franks Red Hot commercial, but really, if it wasn't mayonnaise based, we would put this stuff on everything.

I am missing one ingredient in the image below,  I add about 2 tablespoons of sugar to my bang bang sauce. I like to sweeten it up a bit but that's optional (do a taste test).



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I made this sauce first for my bang bang cauliflower, which is by far (other than my jello shots) the most popular recipe on my blog. Make this dish once and I promise that you will make it again.



But we also tried it on meatballs, grilled salmon, burgers, shrimp (duh) and chicken and it's just soooooo good.

I should bottle this stuff.  Bonefish Grill (makers of the original bang bang shrimp) should bottle this stuff.



Bang Bang Sauce
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 table spoon Siracha sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (this type is much less pungent, I wouldn't substitute regular white vinegar it's just not the same, don't worry you will use it again!)
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

It's really simple. Just mix together all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl until combined and top any dish or use it as a dipping sauce! If Siracha is too hot for you find some Franks Sweet Chili sauce (sold at most grocery stores) it has a little kick but not as much.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Red, White and Blue, Bomb Pop Jello Shots

I know these are a little late (or maybe a little early for July 4th) but after I mentioned the color combo with my watermelon babies I had to try out the red, white and blue too!

We had a couple friends over this weekend and everyone agreed they look just like little Bomb Pops, or Rocket Pops (whatever you call them).


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Since we will be celebrating in the Outer Banks for July 4th and I won't be able to blog much, I figured I would post them now. (Also I think they look awesome and just couldn't hold back from sharing them with you!)

I think these taste most like the popsicle version with cotton candy flavored vodka. The instructions are basically the same as with the watermelons with a few little changes. (For a kid friendly, non-alcoholic version just use cold water instead of vodka in each layer)

*Two important tips: Make the jello thicker and stronger than usual to keep it on the stick, also it's important to lightly spray the plate you serve these on with some cooking spray. Not enough to actually see it, but enough so when your guests pick up their shot it wont stay stuck on the plate. 

Blue Layer
1 regular sized (small) box blue raspberry jello
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup Cotton Candy Flavored Vodka

1. Boil your 2/3 cup water and then add your jello packet. When it has all dissolved add to you 2/3 cup vodka.

2. Pour your blue jello mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan and refrigerate until it's solid, about 30-45 mins.
Do not add the next layer until the blue layer is solid.

White Layer
1/2 cup coconut or regular milk
2 table spoons sugar
1 packet Knox Gelatin
1/2 cup cotton candy flavored fodka

1. Pour your milk into a sauce pan. Sprinkle your gelatin packet on top and let it sit for a minute. After it sits, stir and break up the gelatin. Next turn on medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and is combined. Add your sugar and wait until that melts as well. Add your vodka.

2. When your white jello mixture has cooled down a bit,  pour it on top of the hardened blue layer. Do not pour the next red layer on top until the white layer is solid.

Red Layer
1 regular sized (small) box cherry jello
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup cotton candy flavored vodka

1. Boil your 2/3 cup water and then add your red jello packet. When it has all dissolved add to you 2/3 cup vodka.

2. Pour all of your pink jello mixture on top of the white layer and refrigerate overnight.

Slicing and Serving Directions
1 sharp knife
1 triangle cookie or fondant cutter (optional)
Mini wooden popsicle sticks (they have them at Michael's or other craft stores)

1. Let your loaf pan sit in a small puddle of warm water, flip over your loaf pan on to a cutting board. If the jello doesn't come out (and you want to come out WHOLE) Run a butter knife around the edges of the loaf pan before you flip. 

2. Slice pieces off of the jello as if you were cutting slices of bread. Make triangles with the blue layer at the bottom.

3. Spray your serving tray with a baking or cooking oil. Stick your popsicle sticks into the bottom (blue layer) of the jello shot until it is secure and keep refrigerated until serving.


For featuring on your website please make sure to contact thatssomichelle@gmail.com

Saturday, May 26, 2012

That's so Michelle and Whitney Port

Last night I got super excited when I noticed in my traffic report that I was linked on Whitney Port's official website.

You should have heard me: "Baby! Baby! WHITNEY PORT LIKES MY JELLO SHOTS!"

I'm a dork I know, but I'm a former "Hills" fanatic.


She also linked to a bunch of other really cool Memorial Day recipes. Check them out here. I am really going to need to make avocado fries some day, I see them everywhere. 



Last year Lauren Conrad linked to my apple cider float on her blog. I mean ... They should really just ask me to hang out already ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Food Truck Friday: Hula Girl Truck

Mahalo! It's Food Truck Friday!

The minute Ericka and I saw the Hula Girl Truck we wanted to order from it. Bright blue, clean, flowers, a surfboard and a flat screen. So girly!


And because we are girly, we ordered the salad of course. We both got the Teriyaki Chicken Salad with a side of Sticky Rice.


The chicken was fantastic! Bold flavor, cooked well, I really liked the pickled diakon and edamame served in the salad but were missing our macadamia nuts and that bummed me out.


My biggest bummer though was the sticky rice. It's not the Hula Girl Trucks fault though, it's mine. My mouth was thinking of Thai sticky rice that is sweet, Hawaiian sticky rice is not.


I think the salad needed something sweet in it, Ericka suggested some mango and I think that would be awesome.

Next time I will try the sandwich, with the pickled diakon and other flavors it probably tastes a lot like bahn mi.


Overall we walked back to work with our stomachs full, feeling like we had a healthy lunch. If you're looking for a good chicken sandwich or a healthy and fresh salad, I say look for Hula Girl.

Also the ladies of the Hula Girl Truck are really, really nice.

Next week we are going to hit up the trucks on a different day to see if we have a different line up. Still want to go back to Takorean and track down the Lobster Truck. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Watermelon Jello Shots on a Popsicle Stick

Typically I spread out my posts a bit through out the week, but with Memorial Day weekend approaching quickly (maybe not fast enough for some of us!) I wanted to share this right away.

How cute are these mini watermelon slice jello shots? They worked out just as I had hoped. My only regret is that I didn't have pink jello, only red. I think pink would be cuter. Cute in a Lilly Pulitzer type of way. 

I swear I had pink jello in my stock pile, sigh ... Oh well the red is still adorbs.


I was also thinking for the Fourth of July a red, white and blue combo would look just like those rocket ship ice cream bars. Wouldn't they? I will definitely have to make those too.


So it's pretty simple actually. You just make your three different colored/flavored jellos and layer them in a loaf pan.

A little green layer first . . .



Then the a small layer of white after the green hardens (instructions on how to make white jello below) . . .



And then the pink (red in my case), which you will fill the loaf pan with since there is the most pink on a watermelon slice.



I used tequila but you could use any alcohol you want! (For a kid friendly non-alcoholic version just use cold water instead of alcohol)

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*Two important tips: One is that I made the jello thicker and stronger than usual to keep it on the stick, also it's important to lightly spray the plate you serve these cuties on with some cooking spray. Not enough to actually see it, but enough so when your guests pick up their shot it wont stay stuck on the plate. 

Green Layer
1 regular sized (small) box lime jello
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup tequila (the good stuff that doesn't make you choke when you drink it)

1. Boil your 2/3 cup water and then add your lime jello packet. When it has all dissolved add to you 2/3 cup tequila.

2. Pour about half of your green jello mixture into your loaf pan and refrigerate until it's solid, about 30-45 mins. (If you are worried about the left over, pour it in a dixie cup and serve it later, someone will want a plain old jello shot I promise)

White Layer
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup water
1 packet Knox Gelatin
I don't use alcohol in this layer because it's too small, it would be a waste.

1. Pour your water and tablespoon condensed milk into a sauce pan. Sprinkle your gelatin packet on top and let it sit for a minute. After it sits, stir and turn on medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and is combined. Pour this mixture on top of the hardened green layer. Just a SMALL LIGHT LAYER.

Pink or Red Layer
1 regular sized (small) box watermelon (or pink or red) jello
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup tequila

1. Boil your 2/3 cup water and then add your pink jello packet. When it has all dissolved add to you 2/3 cup tequila.

2. Pour all of your pink jello mixture on top of the white layer and refrigerate overnight.

Slicing and Serving Directions
1 sharp knife
1 triangle cookie or fondant cutter (optional)
Mini wooden popsicle sticks (they have them at Michael's or other craft stores)

1. Let your loaf pan sit in a small puddle of warm water, flip over your loaf pan on to a cutting board. If the jello doesnt come out (and you want to come out WHOLE) Run a butter knife around the edges of the loaf pan before you flip. 

2. Slice pieces off of the jello as if you were cutting slices of bread. Make triangles with the green layer the largest at the bottom.

3. Spray your serving tray with a baking or cooking oil. Stick your popsicle sticks into the bottom (green layer) of the jello shot until it is secure and keep refrigerated until serving.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone and welcome sweet summer time! 


For featuring on your website please make sure to contact thatssomichelle@gmail.com

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spicy Coffee Glazed Meatballs

I've been trying to make better meatballs. I figured that since my meatloaf is incredible, how much harder can it be to make a good meatball?

These were inspired by these cherry coke and jalapeño glazed meatballs from Kayotic Kitchen. But instead of cherry coke and jalapeño I made a coffee and siracha glaze.


They came out soft and salty on inside and sweet and spicy on the outside. Delicious!


Awhile back I was sent some more Starbucks K-cups to sample -- I do love my Starbucks coffee -- and it was super easy to just brew one cup of delicious french roast coffee for my glaze.


I need to cook more with coffee. I love way too much to only have it in the morning :)

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Meatballs:

1 pound ground beef
1 large egg
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Mushrooms (chopped up to crumb size in food processor)

Seasoning:

1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh parsley

Glaze:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Starbucks French Roast Coffee (set your Keurig to a teacup setting and it should make half a cup nice and strong)
1 - 2 tablespoons Siracha Sauce

1. Preheat your oven to 400F°

2. Combine spices and then mix your meat, eggs, breadcrumbs and mushrooms. When well combined mix into table spoon sized balls.

3. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

4. Add your brown sugar and Siracha and coffee to a skillet or saucepan with a thick bottom.  Cook for about 8 minutes. It will bubble, don't worry just KEEP STIRRING to avoid over flowing.

5. When you have the right consistency turn off the heat and brush or spoon your meatballs with the glaze. Place the meatballs on a separate plate and serve with toothpick sticks.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Food Truck Friday: DC Shawarma

For the rest of the Spring/Summer my plan is to post a new food truck review (from the DC area) on Fridays. This week I picked DC Shawarma.

Let me just tell you . . . it was really, really good.  Better than any Middle Eastern cuisine I've had at a restaurant.  There was a long line, but in my opinion that's how you know that's the truck you want. 


Also, they take credit cards, which is always awesome for someone like me who never has cash on hand. (This location is about a block from Union Station and about 15 trucks line up everyday at lunch time)


I ordered the Chicken Shawarma platter. Truthfully, I wanted the falafel but I thought, it's called DC Shawarma, get the Shawarma!  (I've made that mistake before)


The platter came with chicken, rice, veggies, hummus, tabbouleh and some pita bread. Way more than I needed for lunch but I was happy to eat it all!

See that white stuff in the middle of my platter, that's called Toum. I had to ask my co-worker what it was because I had never had it before. It's kind of a garlic mayonnaise. It's ridiculously good. (I mean, it's mayo, so of course it's good)

The
tabbouleh (green stuff in the corner) was really good too, it cooled down all the garlic. The hummus was some of the best hummus I've ever had.


Usually bread makes everything taste even better --  but this stuff was so good you don't even need the carbs. I highly recommend DC Shawarma. It was totally worth the bad garlic breath I had all day after lunch. You can find out where they will be each day here on the Washingtonian's Food Truck Tracker.

Next week I'm on a mission to find the Lobster Truck. If anyone has any other suggestions or requests let me know!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Crab Stuffed Grilled Cheese with Old Bay Seasoned Butter

Is there anything better than breaking into those red, salty, delicious crustaceans and digging for the largest piece of crabmeat you can find, drowning it in butter and chasing it down with a beer?

Probably not . . . but if there was it would be this grilled cheese.


Last weekend, while I was shopping in the BUSIEST Macy's I've ever been to in my life and eating brunch alfresco in Astoria Queens with my best friends,  I missed a crab feast here in DC.

Luckily my better half saved me a few little crabbies and came up with this brilliant grilled cheese idea. (Although I will take credit for the old bay butter)



This grilled cheese reminded me so much of the Crabmeat au Gratin I had in New Orleans at Galatoires on Bourbon Street. Has anyone else been there?  My stomach begs me to go back to NOLA all the time.

We will meet again Galatoires, but until then . . .  more grilled cheese!

 

Crab Stuffed Grilled Cheese with Old Bay Seasoned Butter
The meat of 2 medium sized female crabs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 pieces of bread
3 pieces of American Cheese

1. Place your butter in a food processor and pulse with the Old Bay Seasoning until it is combined. Butter the top sides of your bread with the seasoned butter.

2. Buttered side down, place one piece of bread on a frying pan with the stove top on medium heat.

3. Place 1 piece of cheese on top of the bread, then some of your crab meat then place another piece of cheese on top of that. Top with the rest of the crabmeat, cheese and then the second piece of bread butter side up.

4. Toast each side until golden brown and your cheese is melted. (About 1-2 minutes each side)

Serve right away with tomato soup! Yum.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins ... or Biscuits

Don't these look a-maz-ing?  When I saw the recipe in this April's Southern Living  I couldn't resist.

Strawberry. Lemonade. Muffins.  All of those words make me think of sweet, happy things.



Even the batter was delicious. I know it's not good to consume raw eggs but sometimes I just can't help myself. Look at that stuff!


There was a problem though. My muffins tasted more like biscuits.  Sigh . . .  Everyone else who followed the recipe online raved about these muffins. I am just not a baker I guess.  I can cook up some mean Bang Bang Cauliflower, but I am just not a baker.

Luckily they were still tasty and my better half still ate them. I wonder where I went wrong?

A little more on sweet and happy things, here are a couple of photos from our recent engagement photo shoot with Stephen at It's Over Productions Photography as promised.



We had Honey with us of course :)



Sweet and Happy Recipe here: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-lemonade-muffins-50400000120518/


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Monday, May 7, 2012

Man Food: Glazed Donut Sandwich with Prosciutto and Swiss

Clearly  this isn't part of my diet.  In fact it's not even my creation, this is the work of a man.  My man.

Donut + Salty Meat + Cheese + Grill = Man  Food  ( he even had a beer with it )


I will admit that  I tasted it.  Just one bite and it was pretty good. It tasted a lot like a Monte Cristo and if Nick and I opened our own little cafe/bistro this would be on our menu. 


But until then (and certainly not until the wedding diet is over) I won't be grilling these up on a regular basis.

More man food soon . . . because there are some things that only a man could think of.

Glazed Donut Sandwich with Prosciutto and Swiss
1 glazed donut
3 pieces prosciutto
2 slices swiss cheese

1. Lightly oil a grill pan with coconut oil and set to medium heat

2. Slice open the donut like a bagel and layer proscuitto and swiss on the inside.

3. Grill until cheese is melted and you have nice grill marks on the donut. Serve right away to someone who is not counting calories.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Lovin

Congratulations to my gorgeous and smart cousin Kyle (check our her tumblr) who just graduated Cum Laude from the Honors Program at Loyola Marymount University.  Very proud xoxo 


Took some shots of Miss Honey Bear now that I figured out how to use my new 50mm lens.


Best part of Cinco de Mayo would most definitely be this guacamole from one of my all time favorite food bloggers, Scarletta Bakes. (photo also from Scarletta Bakes, check her out!)


Bikes Bikes Bikes! Well here is one of them. We just got them (borrowed) and we will be riding down to the waterfront in Georgetown as soon as possible, so excited!


Last but not least, here is how we spent most of our afternoon. I promise to post more of our engagement shots (better late than never) when we have them back from Stephen at It's Over Productions


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Strawberry Caprese Salad and Another Wedding Dress

Tell me . . . Does it make me a bridezilla that I returned and purchased ANOTHER dress? (That makes four) I've been a pain in the butt about it, I know, but a girl has got to really like her wedding dress right?

My problem was I kept buying white gowns, trying to make them pass for wedding dresses. Don't do this ladies. Just suck it up and go to a bridal shop. It's worth it. I finally LOVE my dress.

It has an element of soft ruffles, mini polka dots and tulle and it's strapless with a sweetheart neckline. That's all you get!!!  And now for the strawberry caprese salad . . .



This recipe is adapted from last months Southern Living. The garlic, balsamic and olive oil dressing is what really makes this caprese salad drool worthy.

If you like caprese you  have  to try this, it's perfect for spring or summer and it obviously presents well. We basically ate it all ourselves after I made it. You don't have to use crostini either, it's delish on it's own.


Is it Friday yet? 

Strawberry Caprese Salad (Serves about four recipe from Southern Living) 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (8-oz.) tub fresh mozzarella balls
4 cups halved fresh strawberries
1 handful of thinly sliced fresh basil
1 French baguette to make crostini (optional)

1. Whisk together white balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, brown sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Refrigerate.

2.  Chop strawberries and mozzarella (to desired size, I halved medium sized balls)

3. Toss strawberries in chilled balsamic dressing. Add mozzarella and fresh basil before serving (I don't like the mozzarella to get to browned from the balsamic, so I choose to add it last)

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