Monday, August 31, 2015

HEB Primo Picks for August: It's Tailgate Time! #sponsored #primopicks

I received promotional product and compensation for the purpose of this post. As usual, though this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own, and I would never endorse a product/service I didn't love and use myself.

It's been almost two years since I moved to Austin, Texas, from New England, and can you believe I've never been tailgating? It's true. I'm not big on sports, but I AM big on food, and drinking... so I need to get on this. Thank goodness HEB is here to help!

Another Texan thing I'd yet to make (before this round of HEB's Primo Picks, of course!) were corn chip pies. I put my own spin on these and decided that they'd be even better in mini form. Because everything is better in mini form.

Portable corn chip pies. Tiny perfection. Tailgaters, get on this.

Take a gander at all the awesome Primo Picks this month!

Mini Corn Chip Tailgate Pies
Makes 24 mini "pies"

  • 1 bag HEB corn chips
  • 1 can HEB borracha beans
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 lb ground hamburger
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 green onion stalks, sliced

-Line 24 muffin cups with wrappers. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set aside.

-In a large skillet, brown hamburger. Drain off fat and stir in beans, sauce, and half of the cheese.

-Spoon into muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Top with corn chips and remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese has just melted.

-Spoon sour cream on top of pies, and top with green onions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ugly, Yet Savory-Delicious Pumpkin Gnocchi

 This gnocchi... well, let's just say it isn't winning any beauty pageants. If food beauty pageants were actually a thing. They're wrinkly. I compared them to goat testicles on Instagram.

But. BUT. They're fluffy. And spicy. And delicious. In my past I've made gnocchi that are gummy pieces of grossness. But these are definitely not that. So, disregard the ugly. These suckers are good.

My little blogging tribe, the Fucking Fab Food Bloggers, decided to get our pumpkin recipes out in the blog-o-sphere early this year. And I decided to forget about this plan until the last minute, and we took these pictures at 10pm with no natural light, this is what we have. Ugly gnocchi in yellow light. Oh well!

I do promise they're tasty.

Check out the other pumpkin recipes!

Pumpkin Spice Late Ice Cream - NY Foodgasm
Pumpkin Pie "Stuffed" Challah French Toast - Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes - Sweet Remedy

And now, for mine.

Savory-Spicy Pumpkin Gnocchi

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp peanutbutter (I used almond butter because it's what I had)
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp habanero salt (or 1 tsp salt if you don't have this on hand)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (plus more for dusting surfaces)
  • 2 sweet italian sausages, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup milk (more to thin, if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp parm cheese

-Set a large pot of salted water to boil.

-In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, ricotta, peanutbutter, egg, and spices. Slowly add the flour until the dough just barely comes together. The dough will be fluffy, but slightly sticky.

-On a well-floured surface, flatten the dough and divide into 6 sections. Roll the sections into "snakes" and shape the gnocchi into 1-inch beans or squares (I like when they look like pillows).

-Drop gnocchi into boiling water, and boil until they just begin to float. Transfer to a paper towel lined dish and set aside.

-Brown the 1/2 stick butter in a small saucepan with the sage leaves. Add the flour and whisk until a paste is formed. Slowly add the cream and milk. Temper in the egg, and cook until thick. Add the cheese and set aside.

-In a skillet over high heat, melt 1 tbsp butter. Cook the sausage until cooked through, and add the gnocchi to sear. Once gnocchi is seared, add the spinach and cook until just wilted.

-Serve gnocchi drizzled with sauce.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Columbia Crest Crowd Sourced Cabernet #sponsored

This is a sponsored post with Influence Central and Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet. I received compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own, and I would never back a product I do not believe in. Images via Columbia Crest Facebook Page, unless stated otherwise, used with permission

I remember being small and sneaking a sip of wine from my mom's glass and thinking "wow, how can adults like this stuff??" Today, I know just why adults like that stuff--wine is pretty great! I've had a blast learning about wine pairing and tasting over the years (since turning 21 of course).

This image courtesy of my own instagram

It seems like there's always something new and exciting in the wine world, and Columbia Crest is breaking the mold with its new crowd-sourced wine! What's crowd-sourced wine? It's a wine created based entirely on the public voting for how its made. Anyone (whether you're an expert sommelier or a casual drinker) can vote at on how the grapes were tendered, irrigated harvested and blended. Voters had access to weather stats, season-by-season data, past data and time-lapse camera shots down to the individual grape along with advice from Columbia Crest head winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca. What results is a one-of-a-kind wine that Columbia Crest puts out for us all to enjoy!

Does this sound like fun? Want to join in, beyond just voting? Columbia Crest is looking for an Executive Crowdsourcing Officer to not only manage the crowdsourcing community, but also travel to the winery and work alongside  Juan Muñoz-Oca. They've asked us food bloggers to spread the word, since they know we know wine! The position is open to any wine lover, and as this is a crowdsourcing company, the public will be able to weigh in on the candidates.

The winner will be awarded the title of ECO, an all-expensed trip to Columbia Crest Winery during the 2015 harvest season in September, a $2,500 prize and more. Also, their journey will be filmed and put online so we all can follow along! Make sure you vote on, 8/10 through 8/24.

I, for one, am excited to get my hands on this unique wine, how about you?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lavazza Passionista: Santa Marta Sweet Cream Ice Cream #sponsored #LavazzaPassionista

This post is brought to you in partnership with Lavazza. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I would never promote a product I didn't believe in!

Hey guys, it's that time again! I'm here bringing you a tasty recipe courtesy of Lavazza Coffee! Since I'm a Lavazza Passionista, they've entrusted me this month with highlighting the fantastic flavors of their single-origin coffees: Kilimenjaro and Santa Marta! It's tennis season, and I got this awesome book of tennis style in my Passionista box. Pretty neat!

August just must be ice cream month for me. I always seem to be making homemade batches of the creamy goodness. Though I typically slave over a hot stove to make a custard based deliciousness, it's just been too hot here in Texas. So, I did the easy thing and made a sweet cream base, and poured in a concentrated cup of sweetened Santa Marta single-origin coffee. Check out the Lavazza online store for all of their amazing coffees and products!

The beans that make up the Santa Marta blend are harvested once a year in Colombia’s Santa Marta region. This 100% Arabica coffee is flavorful and has hints of pralines. So it was the perfect coffee to include in this recipe! I topped it with a simple homemade "magic" shell.

Santa Marta Sweet Cream Ice Cream
  • 6 tablespoons coffee
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the shell:
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

-Brew 1 cup of coffee using 6 tablespoons of Santa Marta blend. Add sugar, and stir until sugar is melted. Let cool to room temperature.

-Once cool, stir in cream, milk, and vanilla. Let chill two hours or overnight.

-Process in an ice cream mixer until thick, then freeze for two hours. 

-For the shell: microwave the chips and coconut oil for 30 seconds, stir until chocolate has dissolved. Drizzle over ice cream.

Monday, August 10, 2015

HEB's Pepperific Extravaganza! #sponsored #HEB

"If you say you're allergic, they can't put them in your food." -- this was a random early memory of pepper avoidance at a restaurant that my mom swears didn't happen. Because a pepper allergy apparently runs in our family. This means that until I was 18, I didn't fully know the magic of peppers... until I was out on my own (spoiler alert: I fell in love pretty damn quickly). And I DEFINITELY didn't know the magic of Hatch Chile Peppers until I was a full time resident of Texas, and Hatch Chile Pepper season was in full swing.

These spicy little peppers are full of flavor and perfect in just about anything. The secret, in my opinion, is to add something creamy to the mix. The spicy peppers pair well with all sorts of cheeses and cream bases.

For HEB's Pepperific Extravaganza,  to celebrate the store's Chilefest, they asked bloggers to throw a pepper party! Here's what was on my menu, in order of appearance:

  • Beer bread muffins with a queso core
  • Cold hatch gazpacho
  • Brie en croute with roasted hatch chile peppers and blackberry jam
  • Ricotta Tarte with roasted hatch chiles, caramelized onions, and bacon jam (veg version: no bacon jam, subbed in fresh tomatoes)
  • Stuffed jalapenos (from HEB, no hatches actually--oops!)
  • Gnocchi mac and cheese with hatch chiles and caramelized onions
  • Street corn with roasted hatch chiles
  • Glazed carrots with chiles
  • Raspberry chile sorbet

I had a handful of friends over, old and new, and it was a great time! The chiles were hot in some dishes, but subdued in others. Every recipe was 100% made using products you can find at HEB, and the majority of them were HEB brand products.

I know this is a sponsored post, but "off the record" let me tell you--I love HEB with all my heart. Their store brand is amazing and their prices can't be beat. If you're ever in Texas, definitely check them out.

Check back and I'll be posting choice recipes from the party! And remember, Pepper Mania goes until August 18th at HEB! Check your local store for fun events, demos, samples, and more!