chocolate dipped pecan and popchips cookies

I’m running in a contest! wait, not running. heck no.

participating.

I’m participating in a contest!

Blog and Tweet Boston has organized a contest for bloggers that attended a recent event, to create a recipe that incorporates popchips.

I knew I had to make something sweet and salty, so a cookie sounded like the perfect vehicle. while at the grocery store, I had my heart set on a shortbread cookie, like a praline type thing. then I wanted chocolate chip. then I couldn’t remember what ingredients I had in my pantry. then I was exhausted.

feeling defeated, I opted for the easy route (as per my usual). AHEM, store bought cookie mix. Betty Crocker saves the day!

so yah. I made these awesome sugar cookies with toasted pecans and crushed original potato popchips.

just gently crush them. crush them with your bare hands. we want their crunchy texture to really shine in this cookie.

but don’t stop there. no sir. I dipped them in melted dark chocolate, and you should too.

like what you see? then please vote for this cookie! voting begins this Wednesday, 3/19 on Blog and Tweet Boston’s WEBSITE.

CHOCOLATE DIPPED PECAN AND POPCHIPS COOKIES
by gibblemethis

1 package (17.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1 cup (three 0.4 oz bags) original potato popchips, gently crushed
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 dark chocolate bar (about 3.5 ounces), melted

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
  2. TOAST pecans on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes. allow to cool, then roughly chop.
  3. WHIP butter in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 8 minutes.
  4. STIR in cookie mix and egg until combined with a spoon, then stir in pecans.
  5. FOLD in crushed popchips (gently, don’t pulverize them!)
  6. DROP rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes, until the edges are golden. transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
  7. MELT chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. dip each cookie to coat half, and place on parchment paper to cool.
Posted in bake, blogger events, recipe | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cooking Competition with popchips, Kitchensurfing and Workbar

A little over a week ago I attended a cooking competition. No worries, I wasn’t cooking. That should always be left to the real professionals.

Workbar is a shared office space where members can utilize all the benefits a typical corporate office has to offer, from private offices to meeting rooms and function spaces. Additionally, workshops, networking events, and lunch seminars are available. It’s the perfect place for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and remote corporate employees to “cowork”.

Well whaddya know, Workbar has a bar. Hello happy hours WITHOUT LEAVING THE OFFICE.

Polar Club Soda with Lime and Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka came together to provide us with a drink for the night: the Cran Cod. Refreshing and right up my alley.

popchips provided us with snacks, and was the highlight of the competition. Three teams of Kitchensurfing chefs were challenged with creating a recipe that incorporated a popchips flavor, and we, the people, were able to eat and vote on our favorite.

Kitchensurfing is a network of chefs that you can hire for private dinner parties. They bring everything they need from cookware to salt and pepper, you just provide the kitchen and hungry guests. They’ll even do the dishes. 

The first group I met was Mark O’Leary and Justin Hackett from Aprons Off Catering. They created “A Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich & Popchips Had A Baby”, made with BBQ popchips cured pork, salt and vinegar popchips mayo and Katy Perry’s supernatural popchips pate on an original popchips Vietnamese style baguette. Yes, even the baguette had popchips baked right in it.

Next up,  Jitti Chaithiraphant from Food is Love made a warm, dairy based “Corn & Cheddar Popchips Soup”.

And finally, Jen Rogers from Perfect Bite served up her take on chicken and waffles. “Popchips Chicken & Waffle” was accompanied with a maple-cider slaw and a Bloody Mary shooter.

Now for my vote. The bahn mi was really fun and creative. The soup was creamy, flavorful and filling. However, I went for seconds on the chicken and waffle dish, so there you have it. All winners in my book, the chefs were a delight to chat with and I enjoyed each inspiring dish!

Thanks to popchips I came home with a snack a day to last me quite some time, along with a can of Polar seltzer to wash it down with. I even got copies of the chefs popchips recipes, and bitters that I have yet to use for a delicious cocktail.

NOW FOR THE MORE FUNNER PART. yes. more funner. We’re having our very own popchips competition, organized by Blog and Tweet Boston. You’ll see my recipe in my next post, where I’ll link you to vote for me so I can win a Kitchensurfing giftcard and invite you over for dinner (NOT COOKED BY ME)! Practically a win-win situation here, people.

Workbar has locations in Boston and the metro area, with a range of memberships and pricing to fit your needs.

Kitchensurfing has chefs in and near many major cities across the US, as well as Berlin, Germany.

popchips can pretty much be purchased anywhere you buy food. So do that.

This event was provided by Blog and Tweet Boston, Workbar, Kitchensurfing, and popchips. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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MOKSA’s roasted butternut squash soup

yes folks. more soup.

this one is a real treat. remember when I joined Blog and Tweet Boston for dinner at Moksa? well, they were ever so generous to share one of their recipes with us: Oven Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. you can read about my restaurant experience HERE.

I loved it SO much at the event that I recently made it, loved it again, and felt guilty keeping the recipe to myself.

very vegan. slightly sweet. coconut milk based. curry. edamame.

oh, and butternut squash.

MOKSA’S OVEN ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
adapted from MOKSA restaurant

1-2 butternut squash (3 lbs total), halved and seeds removed (I bought 2 prepared halves that were already skinned and seeded)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup edamame, shelled and boiled (for garnish)
2 cans coconut milk (I used one regular and one light)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup hot water
2 tbsp canola oil
3 tsp Japanese curry powder (the original recipe calls for 6 oz, which I imagine is a typo?)
salt and pepper to taste

medium-large stockpot
baking sheet
aluminum foil

  1. PREHEAT oven to 400° F.
  2. LINE a baking sheet with aluminum foil. place squash halves onto baking sheet cut side up, coat with 1 tbsp canola oil and roast until fork tender, 50-60 minutes.
  3. COOL squash on a wire rack for 20 minutes. scoop out to remove from shell (unless it’s shell-less just chop it up) and set aside.
  4. MIX Japanese curry powder with 1 cup hot water in a small bowl until smooth. set aside.
  5. HEAT 1 tbsp canola oil in a stock pot. add onions and sauté until soft.
  6. ADD squash, curry mix, coconut milk, broth, and bring to a boil.
  7. SIMMER on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. REMOVE from heat and blend (carefully!) until smooth. season with salt and pepper.
  9. GARNISH with edamame.
Posted in recipe, soups, stews, chiliez, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Del Frisco’s with Blog and Tweet Boston

You’ve probably noticed that I primarily eat vegetarian, and that red meat in particular is a rarity (pun intended). You also may have noticed that I love delicious things, and I’d eat just about anything on a special occasion.

Well, this was a special occasion.

Last weekend I joined Blog and Tweet Boston for lunch at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, and am so very glad that I did. Not only did I get to fine dine on some of the best food the Seaport District has to offer, I was able to share the experience with some of my favorite foodies, family style.

DRINKS

We were greeted at the bar to sip on a few of their signature drinks while we waited for the rest of the bloggers to arrive.

THE VIP: Svedka Clementine Vodka infused with fresh Hawaiian pineapple
POMEGRANATE MARTINI: 360 Vodka, PAMA Pomegranate liquor, splash of cranberry

The VIP was my favorite; tropical, clean and crisp, and reminded me that spring is right around the corner (yes please and thank you).

After wetting our whistles we were led into the Harbor Room, one of four private dining rooms. Surrounded with nearly floor to ceiling windows, we had a spectacular view of the harbor. It’s a darn shame it was too cold for us to use the private patio.

STARTERS

The meal began with three appetizers, and let me tell you, they really set the bar high for the rest of the afternoon.

CRAB CAKE with Cajun Lobster Sauce

AHI TUNA TARTARE with Citrus, Capers, Kalamata Olive Spread & Crostinis

SHANGHAI-STYLE FRIED CALAMARI with Sweet Chili Glaze, Bean Sprouts, Cherry Peppers, Crushed Peanuts & Scallions
(photo credit: Little Miss Runshine)

The crab cake was amazing; moist and very light on filler. Nuthin’ but crab here, baby. The tuna  tarare was super fresh and the salty kalamata olive spread was an excellent accompaniment. Sesame heavy for a sesame lover like myself, the calamari was perfectly fried and not greasy.

ENTREE SALADS

SEARED AHI TUNA Shaved Napa Cabbage, Arugula, Mango, Chilled Noodles, Toasted Almonds, Tomato, Avocado, & Ginger-Sesame Dressing

STEAKHOUSE Broiled Prime Strip Steak, Deviled Egg, Baby Mixed Greens, Watercress, Avocado, Cherry Tomato, Bacon, Parmesan, Blue Cheese & Horseradish Lemon Dressing

What can I say, I’m a sucker for Ahi Tuna. This salad was crisp and fresh and bright and gorgeous. Loved every bit/bite of it. If you prefer it more on the rich and heavy side, then the Steakhouse Salad is the one for you.

ENTREES & SANDWICHES

FILET MEDALLIONS with Scallion Mashed Potatoes, Thin Green Beans & Lemon Butter Sauce

SOLE FRANCESE with Lump Crabmeat, Baby Arugula, Cherry Tomato, Lemon Chive Beurre Blanc

PRIME SHAVED STEAK SANDWICH with Au Jus & Horseradish Sauce

Unless I can call the house made chips an entree, and don’t judge me for eating chips for dinner on (frequent) occasion, the filet medallions win here.  Cooked perfectly, juicy and tender.

SIDES

ONION RINGS Harpoon Beer Battered, Thick Cut
CHATEAU POTATOES
MAQUE CHOUX CORN
SAUTEED MUSHROOMS

You guys, just look at these onion rings. Thick cut and dipped in Harpoon beer batter, if you love onion rings like I do, then you’re already drooling. I seriously had to eat them with a knife and fork and didn’t even ask for ketchup. The maque choux corn was sweet, the sauteed mushrooms delightfully seasoned, and the chateau potatoes creamy and smooth.

AAAAAND MORE STEAK

STEAK STEAK AND STEAK

We also sampled a variety of cuts including rib eye, strip, and filet.

I just.
couldn’t.
finish it.

DESSERT

Okay okay so I couldn’t finish my plate because dessert was en route. I’m pretty sure it’s bad luck not to eat dessert, you know, like every day. I read it somewhere once.

SIX LAYER LEMON CAKE with lemon buttercream icing & lemon glaze

They make this cake every morning… fresh, “light”, and dreamy… my-oh-my.

DETAILS

Del Frisco’s is participating in Boston Restaurant Week, from March 16-21/23-28, and I highly recommend taking advantage of it. They also offer a prix fixe menu every Sunday.

Del Frisco’s
250 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210

Don’t live in Boston? No worries! Del Frisco’s has locations in major cities scattered across the U.S.

This complimentary meal was provided by Del Frisco’s and Blog and Tweet Boston. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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vegan chocolate avocado cookies

I won I won! I won a giveaway! thanks to my girl Elizabeth over at Little Moments of Happiness, I’m the proud owner of a bunch of vegan chocolate. well, not really a bunch anymore, as it’s disappearing F-A-S-T.

now I’m no vegan, but have recently been dabbling with vegan recipes and was thrilled to try this chocolate. you wouldn’t even know it’s dairy free. it’s creamy and delicious and truly magical.

Chocolate Hollow (“Utterlessly Divine”) is made with love in Burlington, Vermont. I’ve nibbled and noshed on a few different bars, but thought it would be fun to bake something with them. you know, something vegan.

I’ve also been curious about baking with avocado to see what all the fuss is about. apparently you can substitute it for butter (half of the amount called for butter)… and guess what? it’s fabulous!

these vegan chocolate cookies are chewy and fudgy and so rich you’ll only need one to satisfy a craving. of course I won’t judge if you nab a handful.

quite possibly the best part about vegan baking is that you can eat all the batter you want and not have to worry about getting poisoned by raw eggs. let’s be real, we still do it, but like, you could eat the entire bowl.  just don’t blame me for your belly ache.

also how do you people measure coconut oil? it’s hard and waxy and doesn’t smoosh into a measuring cup very well. can you melt it and then let it cool? let a girl know, I just eye-balled it here.

and baking with avocado, does it matter how ripe they are?

regardless of me having no idea how to measure coconut oil or bake with avocado, these came out really good, I promise. soooooo no bigs if you’re just as ignorant as I am.

VEGAN CHOCOLATE AVOCADO COOKIES
adapted from two peas & their pod

1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup mashed avocado (about half an avocado)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond or soy milk
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or hand chopped chunks

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350° F. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. WHISK together flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl. set aside.
  3. BEAT coconut oil, avocado, and sugars in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth. add vanilla extract.
  4. ADD half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix on low. add the milk and then the rest of the dry mixture until combined. stir in chocolate chips.
  5. DROP tablespoon balls onto lined baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart. flatten slightly with fingers (these will not spread out on their own).
  6. BAKE for 10 minutes or until edges are set, and cool on a wire rack.
Posted in bake, product reviews, recipe, vegan | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Hella Hot Hot Sauce: Apricot Ghost

I didn’t get into hot sauce until just a few years ago. While growing up and watching my father put hot sauce on, well, quite possibly everything, I just didn’t understand it. Why would you want to set your mouth on fire? Why ruin those gorgeous fluffy yellow scrambled eggs? WHYYYY??

Because it’s friggin’ delicious, that’s why.

Allow me to introduce you to Hella Hot Hot Sauce. Founded in 2012, they’ve been perfecting the art of hot sauce ever since.

They sent me their Apricot Ghost recipe, and I’ve had it on everything from eggs to Santa Fe Chicken. It has a geat amount of heat, hence their (soon-to-be) trademark, and apricots go especially well with chicken. Also eggs come from chickens, so there’s that. I really enjoyed this flavor, and look forward to trying more of them.

Kyle Colson, Hella Hot Hot Sauce’s owner and mad scientist, gave me the inside scoop on the product. He and his wife, Natalie, forage 80% of all of the fruit used in their recipes, and the rest from local stores and markets.  They have been growing their own chilies and are currently in the process of gaining more land for harvest.

All natural. All real. Nope, nothing artificial here!

If you live in the San Jose area, I highly suggest that you attend their next tasting party, on April 6 at 1395 Martin Ave from 2-6 pm. They will be presenting new recipes and their artist created label!

Connect with them at www.facebook.com/HellaHotSauce

This complimentary product was provided by Hella Hot Hot Sauce. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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easy zucchini garlic soup

simply put, this is my go-to soup. easy. minimal ingredients. GARLIC.

vampires beware.

my girl Jennifer over at alrightfine.com made this zucchini garlic soup for me a year or so ago. I’ve made it 1-20 times since, leaning far, FAR towards the latter end.

vegetarian. vegan even. creamy without dairy. warm. filling. also crusty bread. dunk it.

EASY ZUCCHINI GARLIC SOUP
from theKitchn

1.5 pounds zucchini, peeled and sliced
1 white onion, sliced
8 cloves of garlic, sliced
4 cups broth, vegetable or chicken
2 tbsp olive oil or unsalted butter
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
salt and pepper to taste

  1. HEAT butter or oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. reduce to medium-low, add garlic and onions and cook until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. ADD zucchini and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
  3. ADD broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. SIMMER for 45 minutes, partially uncovered.
  5. REMOVE from heat. add spices and blend until smooth.
Posted in gluten free, recipe, soups, stews, chiliez, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment