Tuesday, March 25, 2014

20 Minutes to Pasta Night: Spending March with TrailerFoodDiariesCookbook, Austin Edition, Vol. 3

Through the entire month of March, I've been trying out recipes from Trailer Food Diaries latest Cookbook,Austin Edition, Volume 3 published by The History Press & loving every bite of it.  To start our week off on a delicious note, yesterday, we made Pecan Pesto from Regal Ravioli.

Weeknight meals are  always a struggle.  Andrew & I get home from work & neither of us are ever energetic enough to pull off an intricate dinner.  Often, it's some version of a sandwich or quesadilla, or if I remembered to put meat in the fridge that morning to defrost, something grilled or roasted.  I thought that Regal Ravioli's Pecan Pesto sounded like a great quick weeknight dinner, & I was right!  It was perfectly comforting & not too heavy & was so easy to put together.  The longest step in the recipe is waiting for the water to boil!  The recipe does call for roasted garlic (which I adore in anything) which can take a few minutes, but I roasted a head on Sunday night, stored it in the fridge till we were ready to use & it came out great.    

I also love that the recipe featured one of my favorite foods as a Texan, pecans!  We used nuts from my parents trees & they added a lot to the unique flavor of this pesto.  Overall, this was everything we could ask for on a Monday.  With a pasta pot & a food processor, we had a super-fresh, tasty, satisfying & even elegant meal in 20 minutes.  And it was meatless!  Double-score for a Monday.

We are starting a herb garden in our house & I am so glad that we got basil seeds, so we can keep making this tasty sauce!    

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Cool Drink on Warm Day: Spending March with TrailerFoodDiariesCookbook, Austin Edition, Vol. 3

Through the entire month of March, I've been trying out recipes from Trailer Food Diaries latest Cookbook,Austin Edition, Volume 3 published by The History Press & loving every bite of it.  Yesterday, we celebrated St. Paddy's Day by making up some Guac N Roll Mint Limeade.

The recipe called for making your own mint simple syrup, which I had never done before, but found incredibly easy.  We had quite a bit leftover, so I see lots of Mint Limeade, Mojitos & other delectable drinks in our near future.  And you got to mix everything in a drink shaker, which was so fun & a little bit of a workout (bonus!).  We received a really nice, large drink mixer as a wedding gift & Mint Limeade, was the perfect excuse to break it in.

The combo of cool mint with the not too tart, not too sweet lime punch of this recipe was incredibly tasty.  After serving this up to my husband & his cousin, they kept repeating the word refreshing & this Mint Limeade is truly that.  It'll be an amazing thirst quencher come Summer.  

And it was just the right thing to add to a little Irish whiskey to celebrate this March holiday!  Really, I couldn't think of any liquors this yummy Mint Limeade wouldn't be right with.  Rum for mojitos & tequila for a twist on a margarita would both also be amazing.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grilling Season is Coming Early: Spending March with TrailerFoodDiaries Cookbook, Austin Edition, Vol. 3

Through the entire month of March, I've been trying out recipes from Trailer Food Diaries latest Cookbook, Austin Edition, Volume 3 published by The History Press & loving every single one.  Today's recipe from Wholly Kabob, was no different.

There is so much going on in Austin right now!  The ever-exciting SXSW is in full swing & for a lot of folks it's spring break, which means nice sunny days, afternoons at the park & trailer food meals are almost here! Surely we're nearing the end of these random chilly days...right?

To celebrate the next few months of *hopefully* gorgeous weather, we fired up the grill to try out Wholly Kabob's recipe for Chicken Kabobs.

They were just what we needed to get in the mood for spring!  The prep & process couldn't be easier, & these kabobs were infused so much flavor, making for juicy, tender pieces of chicken.  The simple, quick to throw together marinade is packed with savory goodness that truly makes the dish.  And to top it off, all of the ingredients are staples that I had sitting in my kitchen.  I LOVE it when I can skip the grocery store madness & still get a delicious & healthy (score!) dinner on the table. 

Not to mention...who doesn't love eating meat on a stick?

Friday, March 7, 2014

French Toast with a Twist: Spending March with Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, Austin Edition, Vol. 3

Most mornings, it's a granola bar or yogurt for breakfast in our house.  On weekdays, it's hard to have time for anything more.  But...on the weekends, we do breakfast right.  We'll often....ok, Andrew, will often make a full spread of bacon, eggs & yummy, yummy carbs in the form of pancakes, biscuits or the like.  Yeah, I'm a lucky girl.

Well, I wanted to turn the tables & make a special weekday breakfast for Andrew.  In keeping with my March mission of making recipes from Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, Austin Edition, Vol. 3, published by The History Press, I wanted to try out one of the many breakfast dishes.  I decided that the Slammin' Banana French Toast from  Greengo's would be the perfect weekday breakfast.  It's quick to prep & cooks up in just a few minutes.  And if that wasn't enough, it's incredibly tasty, and definitely filling enough to get you through to lunch without any hunger pains.

This french toast was legit.  It was not too sweet but filled with rich banana flavor & needed no syrup.  Really, not even a drizzle, it was that good.  A couple of things really made this recipe pop for me.  It calls for using french bread, which I was happy to do.  The smell of the fresh baked french bread in the grocery store always taunts me, & this was the best excuse to indulge in a doughy loaf.  The bread helped create a hearty, decadent breakfast treat.  The real key to this recipe, in my opinion, is the way you prep the dipping custard.  You blend all of the ingredients, including bananas(!).  Genius, right?  Including banana in the batter, infuses the sweet fruit throughout the whole thing.  Oh, so delicious.

Blending bananas into the mix? Yeah, frothy goodness!

I can't wait for the weekend....we're making this delightful breakfast again!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Sweet Coconut Treat: Spending March with Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, Austin Edition, Vol. 3

For the entire month of March, I'm making & writing about recipes from Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, Austin Edition, Volume 3 from History Press.  This cookbook features stories about & recipes from some of Austin's best food trucks.

To start my March off, I decided to try out the Big Chewy Coconut Cookies recipe from Little Big Mike's.  I have a love for baking & an even bigger love for anything sweet, so this was the perfect beginning for my Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook journey.

Big Chewy Coconut Cookies

After initially reading the recipe, I was a little skeptical that I could pull these off well.  It calls for baking the cookies for 20 minutes.  Really? I do good to watch the oven for 8 minutes...I was a little afraid these cookies were going to be toast.  It also calls for mixing the fats & sugar until smooth with a wooden spoon.  I've never heard of doing that & I wasn't sure my arm could keep stirring for that long.  For this job, I enlisted my husband Andrew to be the muscle.  And he rocked it. (Thanks honey!)  But I knew given my fondness for coconut & cookies made with shortening (you KNOW that'll be tasty!) I had to give these a shot.  

The recipe started out easy enough by measuring the dry ingredients.

And what's cookies without eggs & vanilla?

Things got interesting when it called for mixing the sugar & fats separatly with a wooden spoon.  Until smooth!
But thanks to Andrew's handy-work, that was no problem!
After mixing everything in & adding the star (coconut of course!), they were ready for some heat.

I am so glad that I didn't let my worries keep me from baking up these coconut gems.  They came out soft & chewy, but with just a little bit of crunch around the edges & enough coconut goodness to make them absolutely delicious.  They reminded me of a macaroon but without that overly sweet stickiness.  These are definitely being entered into my regular cookie baking rotation.  

Big Chewy Coconut Cookies

I can't wait to tell you about the next recipe I try from Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, Austin Edition, Volume 3 from History Press.  So far, my March has been mighty tasty!    

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy National Pancake Day!

Celebrate with a short stack!  I chose to make pecan pancakes & they were delicious!