THINKING OUTSIDE THE MAC&CHEESE BOX

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Caramelized Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies and my Guest Post on A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis


Hey guys! I'm so proud and  excited to announce that I was invited to do  a guest post for another of my favorite food blogs,  A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis.  This blog is packed with tons of great information and awesome recipes.  Chef Dennis has been super nice and generous with help, but he is a pro, so I was a bit nervous about what to make. 

Finally, I decided on a classic, the Chocolate Chip Cookie, but with a twist...the addition of caramelized bacon!  Oh yeah!! 

The result is a heavenly salty-sweet-chocolaty masterpiece! 

Make sure to check out the recipe and my guest post at Chef Dennis' blog  TODAY! You won't be disappointed!





Summer Vacation and My New Breakfast Spot


Hey guys! Missed y'all! Well I've been working my little tooshie off trying to get all last minute projects done for 6th grade and I managed to finish school strong (can you say Honor Roll)!

I am so excited for summer! Swimming, San Francisco, and more free time!Next year, I'll be in 7th grade and officially begin Jr. High!!!! YAYY!  And one of the best parts: NO MORE UNIFORMS!!  I have been wearing school uniforms all of the years I've been in school.  So let's add something else to be excited for this Summer: Clothes Shopping!!!

 Well as my first order of business this summer, the fam and I made sure to go check out a local restaurant that has been getting a ton of buzz for their awesome food. The restaurant is called BLD (short for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and it's in South Chandler.

 Now, I love myself a good breakfast, so I just had to go in and check it out for myself. I ordered a delish biscuits and gravy that came in such a huge portion, I had to split it with my litttle bro who has a huge appetite! But even HE couldnt finish it! It was sooo scrumptious! Tall, pillowy tender biscuits covered in rich savory sausage gravy alongside eggs and a stack of bacon--makes me wish I was from the south where they eat this kind of food all the time!

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy-GINORMOUS PORTION!!

It's meant to share!

My mom loves Eggs Benedict, and she had heard raves about their SHORT RIB EGGS BENEDICT, so she had to give it a try.  It is an Eggs Benedict, but with tender delicious short rib meat instead of Canadian bacon, and it is topped off with a uber rich red wine hollandaise sauce.  She is hooked for life!!!

Short Ribs Eggs Benedict-  the Red Wine Hollandaise MAKES IT!

BLD has so much great food to offer! Their menu features tried and true traditional breakfasts and many dishes with a twist:  Hawaiian French Toast, Fried Chicken and Bacon-studded Waffles, Shrimp and Chorizo Hash --YUM!  My family and I cannot wait to try them all!  Even better, they have a drive-tru in case you're in a rush.  AND they're not only for breakfast!  We'll let you know when we try out their Lunch and Dinner.  If you're local, or visiting the Phoenix area, check out their menu and definitely get over there for a yummy breakfast, lunch or dinner!

I give this restaurant 5 stars and highly recommend it to everyone!!





Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Baked Churros


Happy Cinco DeMayo!  I must say, WEEE LUVVV CHURRRROS!! Therefore we decided to make some.  Of course, we wanted to add a little Bella twist to them, so since we also love Mexican Chocolate, we decided to  add it into the batter to make it even more yummy.  To make them a little leaner, we decided to bake the churros instead of frying them. Toss the churros into some cinnamon, and VOILA! Perfect churros for your Cinco DeMayo party!!!  Just in case you're short on ideas for dinner tonight, you can't go wrong with my Simply Roasted Shrimp Tacos .


Using Vanilla from Mexico and Mexican Chocolate

A disk of Mexican Chocolate

Grate half of the chocolate disk in with the butter, salt and water before cooking

Bring it to a low boil

Remove from heat and stir in the flour until dough is smooth.  Put some muscle into it!

After mixing in eggs and vanilla, piping it onto a prepared pan.

After 15 minutes in the oven
While they are still warm, toss the churros into your bag of cinnamon sugar, a few at a time, and shake it up to coat them thoroughly.

YUMMMM!

Mexican Chocolate Baked Churros

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 Disc Mexican Chocolate (can be found in the Latin food section of your grocery store)
1 cup all- purpose flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt,  water, and Mexican chocolate (I grated it, but you can chop it if you prefer). Over medium high heat, bring the mixture to a low boil. 

Remove from heat, then add flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated into dough. 

Transfer dough into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, add eggs, one at a time, while running the mixer at medium speed. Be sure each egg has been fully incorporated into dough before adding the next egg. Add the vanilla, once all eggs are incorporated.

Transfer dough into a pastry bag (or you can use a large freezer bag) fitted with a large star tip (or if you don't have one, like me, just snip off the end of the bag to pipe, and after piping the churros out, press lightly with the tines of a fork to make the traditional churro ridges).

Lightly coat cookie sheet with non-stick spray and pipe out your churros.  You can make churro bits, or long churros.  It's up to you, just make sure they have a good inch of spacing in between them. Give a quick spray of non-stick spray on top of the churros and pop them in the oven.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While they're baking, make your cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup granulated sugar mixed with about 1tsp of ground cinnamon), and pour it into a  paper bag.  When the churros come out of the oven, let them cool just enough so you can handle them.  Put  a couple at a time into the bag and shake to coat with cinnamon sugar.  Enjoy them while they're warm with a glass of milk!!

MOM's NOTE :  These were really yummy and crispy the evening we made them, and we stored our leftovers in an airtight container to enjoy the next day, but they just weren't the same.  So we recommend that you enjoy these FRESH.
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