Appetizer

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leek, soup, leak, boat, cloudy with a chance of meatballs, 2, trailer, funny, yummy, potato, alton brown, spoon, chives, buttermilkThis is another recipe in my "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" series. I also made a Roasted Chicken Brent, but I've already posted several roast chicken recipes, so I'll probably skip that one. And besides, I didn't get to tape a picture of Brent's face to the final chicken, which would have made it that much cooler.

So instead, I will share with you one of my favorite soups. I'm not kidding you. This was possibly the best soup I've ever made, and I ate it for four consecutive days. Thats how you tell I like something: I'll actually eat the leftovers.

It was inspired by possibly the greatest part of the preview for CWaCoM2 (and probably the entire movie). If you don't know what I'm referring to, check out the video below. Even if you do know, watch it anyway. Cuz it's funny.

Oh food puns, you are hilarious. ...continue reading

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Breaking, Bad, AMC, Walter White, Bryan Cranston, Jesse, Gus, Recipe, party, salsa, Saul, Saul Goodman, Better call saul, lawyer, slimy, money, meth

**I'm hoping to do one or two more BB recipes before the season is over, but it entirely depends on my ability to come up with stupid food puns. I bet I will, I've got a few more ideas kicking around in the ol' noggin. So stayed tuned for more recipes celebrating the best show on television!

mainheader_nosaul

This one is a little obvious, but it's goofy and fun. And if you have a Breaking Bad party, it's the perfect appetizer. Or for any party, really. You can totally taste the difference from salsa in a jar.

 You will need:

Breaking, Bad, AMC, Walter White, Bryan Cranston, Jesse, Gus, Recipe, party, salsa, Saul, Saul Goodman, Better call saul, lawyer, slimy, money, meth ...continue reading

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Calamari, squid, octopus, tentacles, rings, seafood, fried, baked, batter, flavor, garlic, Wegmans, fresh, frozen, aoili, dipping sauce, marinara, homemade, restaurant, delicious, simple, quick

If you're a seafood lover like me, fried calamari is one of your favorite appetizers. I always order it at restaurants, and as I bite into each awesome morsel I wonder how hard it would be to make them at home.

Turns out, it's pretty freaking easy. I found a package of frozen calamari at Wegmans and sliced them up, fried them, and served them with some homemade garlic aoili (also surprisingly simple to make!)

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...continue reading

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Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

Oh hey everyone, it's been awhile. Hope you all had wonderful thanksgivings, I know I did! Before I get into these too-cute-for-words painted shot glasses that I made for an Avengers party, a few announcements.

1. My book was free for five days on Amazon (I hope you all got your free copies!), and I sold a mind-boggling 16,000 copies. Yeah. That's insane. The promotion ended, but it's still only $2.99, so definitely affordable. And though I made zero dollars from the promotions (bye bye, imaginary $33 grand), the reviews are starting to roll in. For a self-published first time author, there is no greater buzz than reading another 5 star review!

2. I successfully "won" NanoWrimo this year, meaning that I wrote 50,000 words in the month of November. While my second book isn't finished yet, I've gotten more than half of it done already! I won't go into details, but I will leave you with this tantalizing hint: there is a lot of cooking involved, and maybe even a few recipes :)

3. I bought a new lens...it's glorious and I cannot wait to play with it! How did a rash decision to make a blog turn into an obsession with photography and cooking?!

But back to the Avengers!!! When I heard that my friend Beth (Whom I've known since 6th grade!!!) hadn't seen the Avengers or Thor yet, I was in shock. I mean...

Yum.

Being the cooking nerds that we are, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to make some awesome themed food for our (small) party. Here is what we came up with:

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

  • Thor's Hammer appetizers
  • Hulk Jello Shots
  • Captain America Cupcakes
  • Iron Man Pizza (not shown because it fell off the pizza stone and got all smushed)

These aren't really recipes as much as a bunch of ideas for your own Avengers party.

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To make Thor's hammers, we cubed pepperoni, summer sausage, and cheese. We wanted to use sharp cheddar, but found that the softer monterey jack worked better with the pretzel rods and cracked less often.

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For the adorable Captain America cupcakes, Beth brought simple vanilla cupcakes swirled with red and blue food coloring, and we topped them with circles of colored fondant. Three cheers for her engineering degree and her makeshift star fondant cutter!

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

Ok, these are probably the cutest things I've made. And yes, I did spend an hour painting shotglasses for a three person party. And I don't even like jello shots!

But what I did was take a dozen or so clean, plain shot glasses. Then I traced this adorable angry hulk face (template from CuteasaFox.com) and made a stencil out of cardboard. Then, using a small brush and black acrylic paint, I colored in the stencil.

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And the best part about the painted shot glasses? You throw them in the dishwasher and the paint comes right off, leaving me with a dozen blank canvasses for my next party. I'm sure you could seal the design on there permanently if you wanted to, but I love the re-useability (that isn't a word, is it?) of them. Hell, I might start painting all of my glasses!

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The recipe itself is simple: I followed the directions on the box of lime jello (dissolve in hot water, add cold water, etc) and then added about a half cup of Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade and a dash of plain UV vodka for an extra kick.

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Then you slip them into the fridge for a few hours, and voila! Look how cute his little angry face is! Haha.

To be honest though, I would have preferred to just have regular shots instead of jello shots. I ended up eating them out of the glasses with a spoon, because the slimy feeling of a huge cube of jello slowly moving down my esophagus makes me gag.

But anyway, there you have it! Adorable Avengers party food for your next Marvel party. Now if you'll excuse me, I have another 50,000 words to write so I can finish my second book! :)

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I've mentioned my nephew, Charlie, a few times already.

You know, the cutest damn kid in the world? And I'm not just saying that because I'm related to him, in fact, I consider many people I'm related to to be quite un-cute! 

You know who you are.

(Anna, I'm just kidding. You know you're beautiful.)

P.S. for clarity, I will be supplementing this recipe with toddler speak, so that Charlie may understand this post and appreciate the love I have for him. 

Fsh in a haT

But anyway, one of Charlie's favorite things (probably his favorite word, too!) is Goldfish ("Fsh") crackers. I don't think I've ever seen him more than five feet away from a cup full of them, and he's munching on them all day, every day ("more, peas!").

So when I found this idea in my Dinner Express (better homes and gardens) book, I knew I would have to adapt it for my favorite little guy! ...continue reading

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corn, chowder, soup, summer, corn cob, sweet corn, bacon, cream, milk, roux, onions, paprika, cayenne, parsley, stew, fall, indian summer, thick, creamy, potatoes, clam

Holy cow, how is it almost September?!

I had so many plans for this summer, and I was well on my way to accomplishing them in June. Then July rolled around, and brought with it that horrible heat wave that drove all motivation from me. Then work picked up, and I've been busy designing a logo, a website, business cards, and operating manuals for work. Which means a lot of time spent on the Adobe help website, looking up answers to all of my problems.

I have also been working like a dog on my novel, so that I can get it on Amazon by September (back to school presents for everyone you know? Just sayin').

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So basically my summer has turned into an eyes glued to a computer screen and butt falling asleep in my chair kinda summer. Boo.

I did set aside time to make some fabulous corn chowder though, because it's the best time to find these guys at your local farm stand (try Knickerbocker Farms in Pittsford, NY for the best sweet corn ever!) ...continue reading

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When I made that first meal for the blog last summer, I was embarrassed at how ugly everything looked, and how terrible it tasted. What was I doing wrong?

Well, the answer to that my friends, was everything. 

I've come a monumental way since that ill-fated, barely edible, I-cant-believe-I'm-posting-this-online post, and I've picked up a few tricks along the way.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mainly, I've become a pretty decent photographer/food stylist (I hope!). This mixed green salad with strawberries and goat cheese is basically identical to the one I made one year ago, but with a nicer camera, better lens, no camera flash, better props, better lighting (THIS is the big one here), and a newfound knowledge of photography.

Here's the original shot:

And now the same salad, but with a year's worth of experience behind the shot:

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mmm....moody. How about another?

Now you might be asking yourself, ok, I get how the lighting, camera, and props make a big difference, but the salad itself just looks so much nicer! What's the secret, Sarah?

Brace yourselves, readers, because I am going to offer you a glance into the world of food styling, and peek at the obsessive compulsivity that must accompany it:

This is nuts. Halfway through washing and sorting through the spinach for the prettiest pieces, in 95 degree heat, I asked my mother if I had lost my mind. She said yes. I accepted this fact and continued to build a beautiful salad.

For the curious, here's the book I've been using as a basic guide to getting my food to look nicer: Food Styling for Photographers.

So that's it, I guess. I could lie and tell you I made a delicious vinaigrette to go with this salad, but I used up my last lemons making the citrus salsa verde for the salmon.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

All in all, I'm pretty excited about where I've come in the past year, and looking forward to where the next one will take me. And I'm still waiting for the fame and fortune that I just know is right around the corner.

Original salad

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chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

The warm weather and high humidity is proof that summer is finally here. Time to refill my grill gas tank, set up my hammock (I don't actually have a hammock, but I can dream!), and most importantly, start buying in-season fruits and veggies.

As a person with an insatiable sweet tooth, I am disappointed with myself as a child for not embracing the natural sweetness of berries. It's only been within the past two or so years that I've been able to get over my hang-ups about texture, and now I simply cannot get enough of them (Though, admittedly, the hairs on the raspberries still creep me out if I think too hard about them). I love berries dipped in chocolate, eaten plain, baked into pies and cakes, and made into smoothies. Any way I can get my fill of these mouthwateringly juicy flavors.

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chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

And when it's just too hot outside to even imagine turning on your oven or grill, this cool, sweet soup completely hits the spot.

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Though calling it a soup might be a bit of a stretch, this creamy pink smoothie in a bowl will delight everyone, and it's so simple to make! Eat it as a dessert, a snack, or with a large salad for a perfect and easy summer meal. ...continue reading

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nachos, chorizo, cheese, cheddar, pepper jack, beans, pinto beans, refried beans, Mexican, cinco de mayo, easy, sausage, Spanish, lime, jalapeños, jalapenos, spicy, onions, tortillas, homemade tortillas

While I was perusing my friend Bee's blog, over at a Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine (congrats on the new domain name, chica!), I noticed her most recent post was a Cinco de Mayo recipe. Panicking slightly, I looked at my calendar and realized it was, in fact, almost May 5th. Where has this spring gone!? With the strange weather we've been getting in Rochester, my brain has not really wrapped around the fact it'll soon be summer.

But it's true, and I must forge ahead. So being inspired by Bee, I frantically searched for a fun Mexican dish to make to celebrate this fun holiday. Five minutes before I left work to go grocery shopping I stumbled upon this recipe for chorizo, bean, and cheese nachos from Emeril, over at FoodNetwork.com. It is layered like a lasagna and baked, and the rings of onions on top gave it a cool polka dot effect that I thought was cute :)

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Polka dots!

Despite my mother not liking sausage, I tend to use it in quite a few of my recipes. I love how versatile it can be! You can cook it whole and shove it in a bun, you can slice it and saute it, or you can crumble it and use like ground beef. Chorizo is different from regular sausage, and it has a distinctive taste that comes from the vinegar and paprika. There are many varieties, so for this Cinco de Mayo dish, make sure you purchase a Mexican chorizo (Spanish chorizo is very different).  ...continue reading