Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spicy Creamed Corn

At Christmas time....I became a little bit obsessed with finding recipes that were different.  I was tired of green bean casserole and scalloped potatoes.

Once my husband had decided to splurge and make a Prime Rib...I knew that I was free and clear to find some new and exciting dishes!

I'm sooooo glad that we did.  I can honestly say that it was my most enjoyable holiday meal in a while.  In fact, I'm thinking of making the Brussels Sprouts again for Easter.

This dish was made for New Year's Eve when we smoked/grilled another Prime Rib.  I loved it so much that I ate the leftovers myself with lunch for a few days after.  That's right.  I did not share them with my family.

If you like a little spice in your will love this.  My kids...didn't like it and I went light on the jalapeno.  Next time, I'll make it really spicy and not give them any.  Again.  I don't like to share.

Spicy Creamed Corn

1 stick of salted butter, room temperature
1 brick of cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 jalapeno, seeded if you are not adventurous, diced
4 cups of corn, drained if using canned

In a medium sized bowl combine the butter and the cream cheese.  Add the cheddar, jalapeno and corn. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Stir before serving.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baked Camembert Pasta

My family LOVES cheese. And pasta. I've been trying to break my kids out of their Kraft Macaroni and Cheese shell and try some other pasta shapes. I thought this would be perfect! It was...kind of.

My picky eater wouldn't touch it.

My little chef...loved it!

We found the little box of cheese for $4 at Walmart.  They have a surprisingly wide range of cheeses now days.

The finished dish!  YUM!

Baked Camembert Pasta
adapted from Food Network Magazine November 2009

1 round of Camembert (the kind that comes in the thin wooden box)

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 sprig of fresh rosemary, with the leaves stripped off

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

8 ounces Rigatoni

1 pound baby spinach

 Cut a circle in the top of the cheese wheel (almost the whole diameter, leave a centimeter or so from the ridge) and carefully remove the skin. Add finely sliced garlic to the exposed cheese. Add a pinch of black pepper. Sprinkle with olive oil and add rosemary (sprig removed). Gently pat the top of the cheese to coat the rosemary.
Put the cheese in a 350 degree preheated oven. Bake for 30 min.

With about 10 minutes left until the cheese is done, add rigatoni to boiling salt water and cook as directed. Once rigatoni is cooked, add spinach to the pot and cook for 10 seconds (do not overcook...10 seconds is enough). Strain in colander.

Add Parmesan to to rigatoni/spinach mixture and mix. If it gets too thick, add a small ladle of the water from the pot. Season to taste. Remove cheese from oven and pour over pasta.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coconut Curry Chicken

I love curry! We don't get out to Indian or Thai restaurants much because my children don't care for it so I've had to learn to make some of my favorite dishes at home.

This is my favorite and I make it at least once a month. My husband prefers when I make it with dark meat.

Coconut Curry Chicken

1 lb skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp oil (olive, coconut, peanut)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne powder
salt to taste
1 can coconut milk

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and pepper, stir and cook until onion is soft.  Add the spices and cook for a few minutes.  Add the chicken and cook until almost cooked through.  Add the coconut milk, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve with white rice.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


And the winner is....

Jennifer Katherine from Jenny Kate's Spot.

Congrats on winning a Starbucks Gift Card...I know that you will totally appreciate it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Hole

My friend Becca in Austin gave me a gift certificate for Christmas.  I went through the list of restaurants for the Denver area and came across an interesting choice.  Beer and donuts!

I messaged my foodie friend Denise from Eat Play Love and asked her if she was in.  Without hesitation...she said Heck Yea! I may have had ulterior motives for inviting Denise to dine with me at The Hole.  She's a former vegetarian that lives in Boulder.  She's really into healthy eating and organic food.  And She's tall and skinny.

I had a secret weapon that I knew she wouldn't be able to resist. A donut sandwich.

 Just look how much she is enjoying her bacon, egg and cheese on a maple donut! She even tweeted that she's never known love like this before.  I think it was true love!

As a breakfast appetizer...we shared a Boston Cream Donut.  The filling to donut ratio was exactly how I like it.  The more filling the better! 
Boston Cream Donut
I'm a big coffee fanatic so I decided to try a cafe latte instead of just a plain ol' cup of joe.  Boy oh boy was I excited when this GIANT cup of creamy goodness arrived at our table.

Cafe Latte

I spent a good amount of time studying The Hole's menu before arriving and I'd decided on the Ham, Brie and Apricot Jam Donut Sandwich.  I was disappointed to find it was NOT on the menu when we arrived.  Our waitress made my day however, when she told us that it was on the lunch menu and they would happily make it for me.  JOY!

Ham, Brie & Apricot Jam..on a donut.
It was a delicious sandwich with a little bit of salty and a little bit of sweet!  Every bite was tasty and the flavors all melded together so they were a match made in culinary heaven. I only ate half and brought the other home for my husband.  He he doesn't eat it today...I'm taking it back.

Look how cute this place is....and look at all of those donuts on the wall!

P.S. I created a foodspotting guide called Best Breakfasts in Denver!

The Hole
3877 Tennyson Street
Denver, CO 80212
Facebook: The Hole
The Twitter: @theholedenver
Kid Friendly: YES!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post or given any free donuts. I just love eating and sharing good food with my friends.

The Hole on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shrimp Cocktail and Quesadillas

My family loves movies and I try to see as many of them as I can before the awards shows start.  This year I didn't see as many as I'd like because my in laws moved away to California and did my free babysitter.

But I love watching the Globes and the Oscars! And I love to prepare food for the events.  If I had more friends, I'd throw a watching party.  Maybe next year.

My daugther loves to help me in the kitchen and she made the 5 layer dip all by herself.  She peeled the avocados, smashed them and layered the ingredients into plastic martini glasses that I found at Party City.

I also made The Pioneer Woman's Quesadillas de Camarones and they were a huge hit...although I said a few cuss words when I tried to flip the quesadillas and the filling went flying. I think I didn't use enough cheese.  I used the left over filling in soft tacos later in the week and I think this is how we'll serve them from now on. YUM!

Quesadillas de Camarones
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Flour Tortillas
12 whole large shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces, fluid Mexican Red Sauce (Jalapeno Salsa)
1 Red Onion, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
2 jalapenos, sliced (leave seeds in if you like spicy)
2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Colby Cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Slice the veggies into strips and cook in a large skillet over high heat with olive oil.  Cook until the veggies soften and start to turn black on the edges. Remove to a plate.

Return skillet to high heat and add the shrimp and sauce.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the shrimp is pink.  Remove the shrimp to a cutting board and chop into bite sized pieces.

In a separate skillet, heat a tablespoon of butter, place tortilla in the skillet and then start adding ingredients.  Start with the cheese, then veggies and with more cheese and a second tortilla.  Cook both sides, being VERY careful and possibly using two spatulas and a crane to turn.   Remove from the skillet and cut into wedges. 


The other item I made was a Shrimp-Tomatillo Cocktail that I found in the March 2010 Food Network Magazine.  I tweaked the recipe a little bit to suit my own taste and everyone loved it.  It also made a great dip for chips and the chicken quesadillas. P.S. My kids didn't eat this one...I made it spicy.

Shrimp Tomatillo Cocktail

For the Shrimp
Kosher Salt
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 lemons, quartered
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the sauce
12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
3 jalapeno peppers
3 tbsp canola oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 cups fresh spinach
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 horseradish ( or your taste)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp honey

Prepare the shrimp: Combine 8 cups cold water, 2 tablespoons salt, the coriander and peppercorns in a large pan. Squeeze in the lemon juice and throw in the wedges. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat, add the shrimp, cover and set aside, 15 minutes. Strain and transfer the shrimp to a bowl; cover and chill at least 1 hour.

The sauce should be made in several hours in advance so that the flavors can blend: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos in a roasting pan. Toss with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until soft, tossing occasionally, 25 to 35 minutes. Warning: the smell from the oven will bring everyone to the kitchen.  Have a snack prepared!

Cook the spinach in a saucepan of boiling water, about 1 minute. Drain, squeeze dry and transfer to a food processor. Add the tomatillo mixture, vinegar, horseradish, cilantro and honey and pulse until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill at least 1 hour. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Serve the sauce and shrimp in shot glasses or martini glasses.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Streusel Topping

I'm not good at cupcakes. I can't make frosting and I can't decorate so my specialty is muffins. Plus...even if you are on a diet, you can justify a muffin. It's breakfast people...and everyone needs breakfast.

I like sending muffins to work with my husband, even though he doesn't like to draw attention to himself.

My daughter is a natural cook and she loves to watch The Rachael Ray show.  It's probably a good thing that we don't have cable so that she can't watch The Food Network because she is always finding recipes for me to make.  Did I mention that my little chef turns 4 years old in 2 weeks?

This recipe is from The Rachael Ray website.  We were looking for a recipe for waffles when we found this.  I tweaked it a little and it made 24 average sized muffins.

My son, did I mention that I'm going to have two 4 year olds in 2 weeks?  My son loved these and told me that they are the best muffins I've ever made.  I think it was the chocolate chips that swayed his vote.

We'll find out what the team at Double Encore thinks about them tomorrow.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Streusel Topping
adapted from Rachael Ray and Plan B Mom

For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup flour
5 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the muffins:
1 cup sour cream
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin cups.

To make the streusel, combine flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips until well blended. Set aside.

To make the muffins, in a large bowl, combine the bananas and sour cream. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla, egg and brown sugar. Combine until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and butter and mix until just combined, Do not over mix. Fold in the choclate chips. Add a quarter of the streusel mixture and mix until just combined.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, fill the muffin cups and top each muffin with a spoonful of streusel, pressing lightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of muffin.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Favorite Food of Utah: Deep Fried Cheese Curds

When I lived in Utah...I had a blog called What's A Utahn To Do. I started it about 6 months before I moved, not realizing that I'd be rushing back to my home state of Colorado.

I was frustrated that I couldn't find info on the internet about great restaurants and things to do so I decided to make a site that offered those things. I should have started sooner....

Of all of the places we tried in our time in Utah...these Deep Fried Cheese Curds were my favorite! If you are ever in Ogden Utah, you must find this fabulous little hole in the wall BBQ joint and have these. This gem, called Soul & Bones BBQ is located in Downtown Ogden.

Deep Fried Beehive Cheese Curds

The mac and cheese and St. Louis ribs were quite good too. Only beer. But that's Utah for you....

Family Platter...with sides