Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why HELLO New Garden!!!

It's been MONTHS since I mentioned anything about my garden.
Way too long if you ask me, but I have reasons.

Why's that you ask?
Well - simply because there hasn't been much of a garden sadly.

But I'm happy to say that changed recently!!!

I made a trip to Home Depot recently and came home with lots of goodies.

Flowers, Herbs, a Jalapeno plant and soil to be exact!
And after purchasing, I spent TWO HOURS getting everything planted and cleaned up.

So without saying anything more,
I'm happy to share the newly updated balcony garden!

NEW Corner Plant Stand!!!
This year - I decided to use individual pots for my fresh herbs!
I have Oregano, Sage, Lemon Thyme, Flat Leaf Parsley, Rosemary and Basil!

And the Jalapeno Plant!!

NEW Window box liners (thanks Mom and Dad!!) and flower!
I'm loving watching these change from day to day.

Some pink geraniums in the hanging planters.

And some marigolds!

Check back soon for updates and maybe even some new additions!
Any suggestions???

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Elina and Robyn Make...A BBQ Feast!

Sad news folk.
My cooking partner that lived in walking distance has moved!
No longer is it so easy to make something tasty on a whim together.
And then blog about it's tastiness for all of you to read.

We hope to keep the Elina and Robyn posts coming, but we will just have to see.

We had one last cooking hurrah together and decided to make it a BBQ feast!
So take a look below at all the delicious foods we made.

My contribution was...

Pulled Pork!

The Goods:
Pork Loin
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Onion Powder

Slice the onion and jalapenos.
Cut the pork loin in half and season with spices on both sides.

Place onions on the bottom of the slow cooker,
then the pork on top and finally the jalapeno slices.
Set it to low and cook at least 7 hours.

In addition to the Pulled Pork, I made a Veggie Tray with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
and our friend Robin brought Cheese, Italian Meat, Crackers and Olives.

Elina made Bacon/Herb infused BBQ Sauce, Cole Slaw and we all helped make Sweet Potato Fries.

Slider Rolls and The Pulled Pork.

A plate of deliciousness.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Craisin Green Bean Quinoa Salad!

Wow! That title is a mouthful.
I'm sorry, but I couldn't think of a better way 
to describe this delicious salad in fewer words.

You may or may not have figured out that I really like quinoa.
I usual use it to make tasty salads for lunches throughout the week.
You can read about one here and another here!

After eating both of those above salads many times, 
I wanted to branch out and try a NEW quinoa salad!

A local lunch place makes one with craisins and green beens. 
It is so simple and tasty, so I was looking for a recipe similar to that.
I couldn't find one exactly like I wanted, so I just sorta made up my own!

Craisin Green Bean Quinoa Salad 

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
¾ cup craisins
1 cup green beans
¼ cup sliced almond
¼ cup sliced green onion
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper

1. Rinse the quinoa in several changes of water. Combine the 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover, and allow to cool for 15 minutes. 

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, craisins, green beans, almonds,
and green onion until well mixed. 

3. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic until well blended. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Toss until well blended. 

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Elina and Robyn Make...Puffy Tacos!

A few months ago (yeah I know...posting this kinda late), Elina and Adam asked if I wanted to make Puffy Tacos with them.
I'd never heard of Puffy Tacos, but I was intrigued and wanted to give them a try!
I figured - I love regular tacos, so I'm sure I'll love these.

First, we portioned out the masa and rolled it into balls. 
Then, we flatted each ball using a tortilla press...

And one by one I fried them in Elina's deep fryer!
The tongs came in very handy when shaping the taco. 

Drain the tacos on a paper towel lined plate.
Then fill with whatever filling you desire!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Elina and Robyn Make...Ground Beef!!!

 I don't write about beef on this blog a lot.
And that's mostly because I tend to not really eat beef.

No hamburgers, no steaks, no pot roasts.
Not for the last 18 or so years a least.

Until the last year...

In 2013 I decided if I'd try some beef from time to time.
I'm a pretty big foodie and excluding beef, excludes A LOT.

So what I've learned is that I like beef if it's really tender and just melts in your mouth.
I feel in love with burnt ends at Jack Stack in Kansas City last summer.
And I couldn't get enough of of my friend's short ribs at my 30th birthday.

Recently I was invited over to Elina's for dinner 
and they were planning on making their own ground beef.
How could I not give that a try?
And why not help too??

We used chuck beef and a KitchenAid Meat Grinder.
It was SO easy.
Couldn't have been any easier.
And I will say that it was quite tasty!