Fritters had been on my list of things to make for a while before this, but I just never seemed to be able to find the time to make them. When I was invited to my first stage at SALT, the restaurant I now work at!, I was freaking out about it. I had never done a stage before; for those of you who do not know what that is, it is a working interview in a kitchen. The day before my stage, I looked over the SALT lunch menu and decided I would make anything that I hadn’t made before or thought I could use work on. I ended up making fritters and risotto and decided I could cook the rest of the things on the menu without practice. The funny part about this was that my stage did not involve hardly any cooking! I just made salads, made po’ boys and prepped food. I was so nervous for nothing!
I recently saw the idea for Southwestern egg rolls on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and was instantly interested. For one, I have never made egg rolls; they are still on my list to make. Secondly, I love Mexican food. I was surprised to see that they were inside tortillas instead, but figured that is probably a better idea anyway. I decided to make my own combination of ingredients for the filling, because I wasn’t a huge fan of the black beans in the recipe I saw.
This spring I worked at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage for a few months before heading to Africa. After being in restaurants for so long, this job seemed unbearably slow at times. In order to pass the time, I would read through all of the cooking magazines at the registers for recipe ideas; probably not what I was supposed to be doing in my down time, but nobody ever said anything. Over these few months I accumulated a giant stack of torn out magazine pages and recipe notes. I am still trying to work my way through them without adding too much to the stack.
I know the title of this post may sound like a handful, but the recipe is actually really simple. My mom recently had a little get together for all of the women she used to work at IBM with. Lucky for me I was crashing at her house this night, which meant all the Sangria and appetizers I could ask for in exchange for playing with an adorable three-month year old puppy all night (rough I know).
I have stuck to my resolution to bake more bread. I have decided to start with a very easy bread that doesn’t take long to rise or bake- flatbread. I loved eating the flatbreads while working at Noodles and Company, if I had known they were this easy to make I would have made them at home earlier!
I am moving to a new house at the end of the month and it has so many great new things to offer. I have a huge garden. We just planted around 30 different plants, including peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuces, peas and strawberries. We also have about 7 pots of herbs. If things go as planned I will be cooking with my own home-grown veggies all summer long! My new house also has something that many young foodies’ kitchens don’t- counter space! I cannot explain how great it is to finally have room to cook! One thing on my list of things to make in my new kitchen is bread, lots of bread.
This week’s throwback recipe is the only time I have made my own bread, other than the two years I spent working at Subway, which I wouldn’t really call making bread anyway. 😉 This was some of the most delicious bread I have ever had. The recipe gives it a delicious salty kick that makes you want to eat a huge piece all by itself. Plan your day if you are going to make this bread, because it takes a long time to let the dough rise properly. If you have never made your own bread, I encourage you to try this recipe; you won’t be disappointed!
The main reason for my trip to Cape Town was to volunteer in a surf/swim outreach program with underprivileged kids from the local townships. In the mornings, we taught computer classes at a local school. Then, in the afternoons, we taught the kids how to swim so that they can eventually go to the beach and learn to surf with future volunteers. On our days off we got surf lessons and had time to site-see.
I don’t know if I ever mentioned that my most recent job was at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (don’t ask me why they decided to make their name so much longer and more annoying to say). After working at restaurants for so long, this job was so slow some days that I would read the cooking magazines at the register and write down recipe ideas; my boss probably wouldn’t have been too stoked, but what can you do!? I am getting off topic though, being a cashier is pretty cool as a foodie for one reason- seeing what everybody is buying and spending all day thinking what you want to make for dinner that night. The other day at work, a lady bought taquitos and reminded me how much I loved them, and how long it had been since I had had them!
I went home that night on a mission to make my own, healthier, taquitos. I added roasted red peppers and green onions to give them some extra flavor. I also baked them, instead of frying them, which makes these tasty things much healthier. I would highly recommend making your own taquitos so that you can add your own twist like I did, it is much more rewarding! I also need to warn you that this recipe makes pretty big taquitos, three were plenty for me and I usually eat like ten!
The finalists were announced finally for the Ritz recipe contest, unfortunately I didn’t make finals. It’s okay though, there were over 1,400 entries… that is a lot of competition. Looks like I have to find another way to fund my culinary school. If anybody knows of any good scholarships or ways to get money for culinary school PLEASE let me know!
Here is my entry for the Ritz recipe challenge. I used crushed Ritz crackers in the tartlet dough to give it some extra flavor. These little bites will have your guests drooling over the appetizer table. I ended up eating the entire batch over a few days!