Feature Friday RP

Rowena-man alive I met you when I was a scrawny middle schooler with a crush on a boy named Anthony. Here are your answers to my five questions. If you were a dessert, I think you would be a strawberry shortcake

1. We met in the sixth grade at Wagner Middle School…my favorite memory of you: potato chips and pretzel twists! To this day, I think they are still a great snack combination…GENIUS!

2. Favorite comfort food: anything that involves homemade mashed potatoes made with real butter and cream/whole milk. Reminds me of Thanksgiving food comas, when you have the right to eat and be lazy all day and be thankful to be blessed with such a right that you can either stay home or shop the day after!

3. Favorite meal to cook for my family: baked mostaccioli with red wine meat sauce, garlic-rosemary focaccia, and roasted broccoli with Parmesan.

4. I’m doing exactly what I thought I thought I’d be doing in life which is finally acting like a real grown up, being someone people look up to, and making my family and friends proud of me (:

5. Time and distance may have kept us apart, but I am so grateful to have met you and have you as a part of my wonderful childhood…many of my favorite memories include the time spent at Clark Air Base


MV and a new weekly feature

So I had the bright idea to ask my family and friends five questions. I want to feature at least one a week, to show you the crazy, lovely, awesome, diverse people I am lucky enough to have in my life. First is Melanie V, my co-worker and partner in crime. I have only known this chica for a year, but she has gotten me to do more things in that short time than people who have known me forever could do! Valdez you are like a sister/homie to me, and if I have to take my cardigan off to get in a fight to protect ourselves, I am there. 

Here are Melanie’s answers to my questions. And if she was a food, I think she would be a maple bacon cupcake. 

1. Favorite memory of/with me or how we met:

My favorite memory is teaching you how to properly prepare a taco and of course getting you up to do karaoke!

2. What food is your comfort/go to food? What does it mean to you? 

My comfort food is and will always be pizza! Pizza is easy and versatile. It is never boring, anything goes.

3. Favorite meal to make for family/friends

I love to make green chicken enchiladas and rice

4. Are you doing the thing you thought you would be doing in life? If not, what would you like to do? 

No. Honestly, I thought that I would be traveling abroad digging up ancient ruins and artifacts. I love archeology.

5. Say anything

That is a great movie!

Summer can be about soup

My co-worker (and friend for life) and I joined the summer CSA at work. Last week we got a lot of broccoli. I am going to tell you, I am not a broccoli fan. But I wanted to cook with it, because I am a complicated soul like that. So I browsed the interwebs for broccoli soup recipes. So many. Creams, and cheese and what have you. So I made this one up for you, and while the official work taste testers haven’t added their input yet, I would never steer you wrong. So it might be hot out, but soup is for any time of the year. And in some places it’s winter, so enjoy it now on a cold night. Add some sour cream, have a crusty slice of bread and a bowl of soup, and remember that broccoli makes your eyes shine (or so my gran told me about any vegetable as a kid)

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/4 (half a stick) of butter

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/4 dried) 

1/3 cup flour

3 cups milk (I used whole) 

2 1/4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer)

1/2 cup cream

4 cups of broccoli florets, chopped

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar (I used sharp, but any kind you like is fine)

1/3 cup parmesan or italian grated cheese

salt and pepper to taste (I seasoned halfway through and at the end)


In a heavy saucepan or soup pot melt butter over medium heat

Add onions and garlic to butter, cooking until soft, 3-5 minutes

Season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each)

Add thyme and flour, stirring frequently for about a minute

Whisk in chicken broth, milk and cream until mixture is thick and bubbly

Reduce heat to medium low, add broccoli and cook until soft, about 10 minutes

*At this point I turned off heat and puree mixture with a hand held blender. If you want chunky soup, omit this step

Add cheese and stir until mixed together, seasoning again with salt and pepper

Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature and store in fridge for one week, freezer for up to three months. 



Baking truth

Sometimes we don’t have time to make everything from scratch. And that is ok, no one is judging. Unless you unwrap a bunch of store bought Rice Krispie bars and put them on a fancy plate, then I am judging you. But I am getting off point. Cake mixes-use them. They are quick, cheap, and tasty. I use them, and I went to grueling school to learn how to make from scratch cake. But if I am in a hurry I will buy a buck cake box in a hot second. Stick with name brand, let’s have some standards here. Even when using a box mix, I always use homemade frosting, a tub of frosting is literally my line. This cake was made tonight for dessert/work tomorrow. It’s a chocolate fudge cake, with homemade whipped cream in the middle, and I frosted it with Smitten Kitchen’s fudge frosting. I have some glazed strawberries in strawberry balsamic vinegar that will go on top at the last minute (pictures of that tomorrow) 

In conclusion (as if I am writing a book report) don’t be ashamed of cake mixes, just always tell the truth if asked. I will post a homemade cake recipe soon, which is just as easy, just a few more steps. Happy baking

Frosting I used (recipe about halfway down)


Cake is Duncan Hines chocolate fudge 

Homemade whip cream

Cup of heavy whipping cream

teaspoon vanilla

1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or until it’s sweet enough for you)

Combine all ingredients, whisk by hand, or combine in standing mixer until medium peaks 


Why thank you

I don’t have a new recipe today, just a thank you. Thank you for taking the time to reply, like, tweet, comment, and share your thoughts on my little blog. Means a lot. I have some great things coming up in the upcoming weeks. Hot summer days/nights, and life have gotten me away from the computer and the kitchen, but I am back in full force. Thank you all, I enjoy your blogs and pictures as well. 


Hamburgers, and food hang-ups

Anyone watching ‘Next Food Network Star’? I always watch this during the summer when all the other shows are on hiatus. They did a burger bash, and I was hooked. I kept daydreaming about burgers, pictures of burgers, and ways to dress them up. I will share my madness below.

I am not going to go into crazy detail on my food hang-ups, but let’s just say I have to have a burger a certain way, with an OCD meat/bun ratio. Hey it’s my thing, I own it, but some people find it odd (i will just say no meat can hang over the bun) So this burger has a big bun, to cover all the meat. I garnished it with a combo slaw, stone ground yellow mustard, red onions, and tomatoes. The meat is seasoned with just salt and pepper, and cooked on the stove in a grill pan. I got a pound of ground chuck for two burgers, the butcher told me a half pound per burger. And make sure your meat has some fat in it, so it will stay juicy and tasty. Some people mix meats, but I am a ground meat purist. 

My informal recipe-make your patties, thick and round. Heat up your grill pan pretty hot, and go to town. Flip once the meat has had a few minutes to brown on one side. I also used a pot top to cover the burger, let the steam stay in to cook through. Once it’s to your doneness (i am a well done girl, i know, i know) add your cheese (I used fresh deli sliced provolone) and let melt. Garnish with any toppings you like, and enjoy with a beer, lemonade, fries, chips, pickles, or solo. It’s summer people. Let’s do this.