It is officially soup season. The tops of the mountains have had a dusting of snow for some time now, my windshield is frosted over each morning and I’ve busted out the crock pot. I love making soup; there is so much room for creativity and experimentation. It is also a great way to use up leftover groceries that may be going bad.
Looking back, it is surprising how many of the Thai dishes we made in the scorching heat of Chiang Mai are a much better fit for the snowy, cold winter in Colorado. Tom Yam soup is a staple in Thai cuisine. It is even easier to make than coconut curry and also extremely healthy. This is a shrimp Tom Yam, but you can easily make it with veggies or any other protein. This dish is spicy, but has a bright acidity from the lime and lemongrass.
Back to work after my two days off and guess who I get to meet when I go in?! Yep, Chef Morimoto! I am pretty nervous, I have heard he is really intense. Hopefully I won’t mess anything up too bad! It is crazy meeting someone you have seen on TV so many times, exciting. In the spirit of Food Network stars, our guest blogger, Kita, has a spicy Valentine’s Day treat for you all from Aaron Sanchez. Kita is the mind behind Pass the Sushi, which has been one of my favorite blogs since I first got into the food blogger community. She has great photography and recipes, plus has been a helpful foodie friend and I am so excited for her to be guest posting today!
Aaron Sanchez’s Mexican Brownies
Just a quick Hawaii update before I introduce our awesome guest blogger for today. I have finally moved in and (I think) got everything I need- i.e. bedding, my sweet air mattress, a bike, a surfboard, staples- after spending almost all the money I had to get me on my feet. Keep your fingers crossed for my stage at Morimoto Waikiki tomorrow night! It is so great here, everyone seems super nice and the weather WAY beats Colorado’s freezing winter! Although I will admit I’ve got quite the sunburn at the moment, that’s OK though. As for our guest blogger today, I would like to introduce you to Quynh from QlinArt whose blog is perfect for today, because much of the food here in Hawaii also has a lot of Asian influence. She has quite a cool background and not-to-mention awesome photography, so check her out:
Spicy, Creamy Green Lentil Casserole
For one of my appetizers at my Foodbuzz 24×24 party I made homemade tequila-lime salsa and tortilla chips. This salsa has a beautiful array of colors and a nice spicy kick at the end. I baked homemade tortilla chips seasoned with garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper; such a simple thing to make and so much healthier than fried chips from the store. I also like these homemade flour tortilla chips because they are softer and kind of crumble away in your mouth with the salsa. Usually salsa is hardly touched at parties, but this one got devoured by my guests along with every last chip. I think they might have liked it?
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you already know how much I love trying new exotic flavor combinations. The weirder the combination, the more interested I seem to be. I’m not sure why this is but it’s kind of funny to me now because I was such a picky eater as a kid and never was interested in trying new things. The only vegetables I ate until about high school were peas, corn and mashed potatoes… how things have changed.
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.
There are very few things that I would not put Buffalo sauce on. I love the flavor and all the varieties of it. I have made all sorts of buffalo recipes, including one of my favorites the Buffalo Chicken Mac’N’Cheese Casserole. That recipe was some serious comfort food, but this recipe is a bit fancier and not so hard on your arteries. It is a good idea to grill the chicken for this recipe, but you can also bake it if you do not have access to a grill. I baked it when I originally cooked it.