Veggie Board

I love the Bitten Word. If you haven’t visited Clay and Zach’s food blog then you’re missing out on some yummy recipes.

I had popped onto their site a few days ago and come across this amazing looking Grilled Panzanella Salad. Doesn’t it look faboosh?!!! Can’t wait to try it. And this looks like something my kids might actually eat!

Grilled Panzanella Salad / Image rights - thebittenword

While there, I clicked over to their Vegetable Board post. This is so brilliant I can’t believe I hadn’t already thought of it.

Veggie board / Image rights - thebittenword

Like them I waste so many vegetables. You have the best of intentions and buy some beautiful greens or vibrant reds and oranges, only to see them rotting away in a matter of days in a drawer somewhere in the back of your fridge. They suggest keeping a board of the veggies you have on-hand. Post it to the outside of your fridge so it’s a constant reminder of what you have that you could incorporate into your dinner or lunch that day, before it spoils.

LOVE IT!! What are you doing to not waste food?

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La King’s Confectionery, Galveston

If you’re in Galveston and don’t stop in here, you’re missing out on something special. La Kings Confectionery has homemade ice cream and candy. We had to go back a second night for their milkshakes! (And Sundaes, and fudge, rock candy, taffy …)

It’s a beautiful place.

La Kings Confectionery / Image rights - allthignsana.wordpress.com

La Kings Confectionery / Image rights - allthingsana.wordpress.com

La Kings Confectionery / Image rights - allthingsana.wordpress.com

Mmmm, I’m getting a sugar buzz just looking at these pics.

Barbecue Grub

‘Tis the season. That’s right, it’s barbecue season. We had our first this past Saturday and I had to bust out a tried-and-true and a new recipe. Both that are so darn good, I have to share.

New Potato Salad / Image rights, Food Network

New Potato Salad – yep, the old standby, potato salad. But Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, has given this little favorite a most delicious little twist. Even my kids love this recipe (except my youngest; I told  you, she’s a picky eater).

The only thing I do differently with this recipe is I don’t put as much dill in it, or red onion. Neither of which are big favorites in our house. Otherwise, still an unbelievably delicious potato salad. (The weird part about that picture above, that I grabbed from the Food Network, is it shows what appear to be carrots, or red peppers … neither of which are in the recipe. That’s annoying.)

Best Baked Beans Ever / Image rights - The Pioneer Woman

The Best Baked Beans Ever (that’s what she calls them!) – this was my first time making these. This is from one of my favorite bloggers (and photographers), The Pioneer Woman. Now, because it’s made with Pork and Beans (yes, canned beans), and bacon, I did not indulge. I don’t do meat, but my kids and Palo Alto do. For them, I wanted to try it out. This too got rave reviews from my family and friends (except tiny kiddo; she’s lucky I adore her so much). The bacon slices were especially delicious on the hamburgers, I’m told.

I want to try this out next time with home-made beans (dried beans, soaked overnight), and sans bacon. It’ll be a few tries before I get one that’s tasty, but I’m on a mission. My summer mission.

Hey, if you have a great baked beans meatless recipe, please let me know!!

Texas Snaps

Texas Snaps, Sweetish Hill / Image rights - allthingsana.wordpress.com

I love ginger snaps. I’ve tried my hand at making my own, but I’ve had little to no luck finding a recipe I like. So, I often turn to the store variety for those times that I have a craving for them.

The irony here … I hate ginger. Hate it in Chinese food, hate it in Thai, any kind of food. If I see it as a top ingredient, I’ll avoid that food. But ginger snaps. I’ve stopped overanalyzing my crazy eating habits.

I think I found my new favorite cookie, and it comes in a bite size, crunchy, delicious little number. It’s thin and crispy. I’m not a fan of the thick and moist ginger snap or gingerbread cookie. Ick. Oh, and did I mention they come in Texas themed shapes?? That’s right, shape of the state of Texas or a cowboy boot. The universe is kind of funny that way. Just in case I forget that I’m a New Yorker now living in Texas, I’ve got the cookie to remind me. I don’t care what shape they put them in as long as they’re in my belly!

What I love most about them is my youngest absolutely adores them. That kid is a fussy one when it comes to food. Surprisingly, even sweets. She doesn’t have a big sweet tooth. (I know she’s mine because she was born in my living room.) Not interested in cakes, cupcakes, or cookies. Likes hard candy and store-bought, processed, dye #5 kind of candy.

OK, she does have a sweet tooth, just of the disgusting, store-bought kind. Translation, don’t care much for your baking, Mom.

Frankly, I don’t really care. I was talking about my beloved Texas Snaps. Let’s get back to that…

It’s made by a local little sweet shop and bakery, Sweetish Hill Bakery. I found the Texas Snaps at Whole Foods and have stocked up on extra boxes before they run out.

Don’t look at the nutrition label, that’s just stupid. Because taste-bud almighty goodness should not be measured by fat or sugar content. And it’s got ginger!! Ginger’s supposed to be good for you, right?

Cupprimo Cupcakes

Cupprimo Cupcakes / Image rights - cupprimo.com

I love cupcakes. I love baking cupcakes, I love eating them, mini-cupcakes, large cupcakes, ganache glazed, butter cream, chocolate, vanilla. I especially love them when someone else makes them.

Last month I took advantage of a Groupon deal for Cupprimo Cupcakes here in Austin, Texas. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but, I adore cupcakes. Their deal was for mini-cupcakes. The teeny tiny ones. Though they may not have expected it, via this teeny little deal and mini-morsel, Cupprimo has managed to capture my heart, not to mention my love handles and thighs to boot.

The beautiful thing about the mini-cupcakes is if you’re non-committal, these little bite-size treats are the way to go.  I love them. They’re just enough to satisfy a hankering for a cupcake, and for my girls, it’s just enough sugar for their teeny tiny frames without a sugar overload (sugar rush + small child = NOT a happy mama).

My favorites:

  • Margarita – oh my
  • Vanilla – can’t go wrong with this plain Jane
  • Chocolate Sundae – mmmmm
  • Chocolate Brownie – better than a brownie
  • Italian Cream – so moist and delish
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter – I’m addicted to anything peanut butter, especially peanut butter butter cream frosting

I’m still working my way through the menu. Until then, enjoy salivating when reviewing their other flavors, but more importantly, if you’re in the Austin area, get out there and give them a try.

Did I mention they sold 1,500 Groupons that day? THAT’s how good they are!

UPDATE: they just Facebooked that they’ve added a Pina Colada; and I just noticed a Dreamsicle?? DAMN THEM!!

Mini Strawberry Pies

Mini Strawberry Pies / Image rights - thepioneerwoman.com

I love baking with my daughters. It’s a great time for us to gather round our kitchen, chat about things great and small (mostly silly, cute as heck things), bond over the finer details of measuring things accurately (or in our case, inaccurately),  and of course, make a mess of the kitchen (enough to drive Palo Alto crazy when he’s left to clean up after us while we’re eating our baked yummies).

I found these Mini Strawberry Pies on one of my favorite blogs and just had to share it. With strawberries looking really purty right now, and tasting amazing (we do love, love, LOVE strawberries!), I thought I’d go pick some up and gather  up my girlies for some baking this weekend.

I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out. Wish us luck!!

Vegetarian product reviews

I’ve been a vegetarian for about a year now and in my all food meat-less search, I’ve had my fair share of challenges finding foods that don’t taste bland or like cardboard. I’ve come across some things that have been amazingly delicious and also … pretty gross. Here are a few I’ve tried or heard of that I thought I’d share with you. Note that this is just my personal opinion and I have not been approached by any of these food manufacturing companies for a review or endorsement.

My friend Alisa mentioned these to me. Her brother-in-law ironically went vegetarian just about the same time as I did and has been faced with the same family get-together challenges, i.e. we have to pretty much bring our own food if we want to eat something other than bread and potato salad (and he’s lucky; at least his potato salad doesn’t include bacon). He had brought these Quorn Chik’n Patties to a barbecue to share with her and she could not stop raving about them. I decided to give them a try and have to absolutely agree. I love these! I used to be envious of my children and their little chicken nuggets that I bake for them — well not no mo! The wonderful thing is that Quorn has a large line-up of products and I can’t wait to try something new when I’m done with my Chik’n Patties!

Quorn Chik'n Patties / Image rights - quorn.us

My friend Allen is also a vegetarian and he and I have on several occasions talked about vegetarian protein options. He had found some Soy chorizos (aptly named SoyRizo) that he really liked and recommended. (I do miss having a nice sausage in a breakfast burrito.) My rotten luck though, I can’t find these in my local stores. I’m going to have to look for them again. Maybe someone else has requested them and they’ve now been stocked nearby. (I was just watching a recent episode of Mexican Made Easy on the Food Network and the host for that show, Marcela Valladolid, actually mentioned Soyrizo in her episode as the vegetarian chorizo option!)

Soyrizo

In my attempt to find a decent substitute I found this one… I wanted to like it, but I was sadly disappointed. Way too spicy. I tried the Mexican Chipotle. And mind you, I’m Latin and so have a pretty good tolerance for spicy. This one was just too spicy, even for me. There aren’t very many vegetarian sausages so I wouldn’t rule out trying their Smoked Chicken Apple Vegetarian Sausage or the Italian Sausage. That Italian one looks pretty darn tasty.

Field Roast Vegan Sausages

Do you have a favorite vegetarian product that you’d recommend I try? I’m always looking for something new. Please drop me a comment or email!