Monday, December 17, 2012

In Memory of the Victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year's cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.

This year they partnered with Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

Want to get in on the cookie swapping fun next year? Visit for more information and to sign up!

Here is the cookie recipe I baked this year to share with my fellow participants... Being the Secret Ingredient, A Couple in the Kitchen and Lou & Esi. It's a favorite of my little girl, Kaia, hence it was titled as so...

Kaia's Dreamy Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: 12 cookies
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8-10 minutes
¾ c. brown sugar
½ c. unsalted butter, softened
½ egg, beaten
½ t. vanilla
1 c. all-purpose flour
½ t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
½ c. dried cranberries
1 c. dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl beat brown sugar, butter, egg and vanilla until smooth.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt then add to wet ingredients.  Stir until mixed well before stirring in dried cranberries and chocolate chips. 
Evenly spoon six cookies onto two baking sheets and baking until slightly golden about 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool on sheet a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  Continue to cool another 10 minutes or so.  Store in an airtight container for a few weeks or freezer up to two months.   
*In return I received a few different batches of delicious cookies as well and I'd like to thank all three of you for being my secret cookie pals!

A variety of macaroons from A Taste of Koko
Peppermint Chocolate Cookies from Jenny Rambles
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies from Living With a Boy
(though they did arrive a bit crumbled the flavor was still perfection)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

SactoMoFo's Truck and Mortar Throwdown

SactoMoFo's Truck and Mortar Throwdown
This was a tasty experience and awesome opportunity to support local restaurant and food truck chefs as well as kids charities. There were five teams of two each consisting of one restaurant chef and one food truck chef, who together prepared a savory and a sweet dish using the secret ingredients of the day, PORK and HONEY! Check out their creations... 
Team 1- Ella & Chando's
Savory: Pozole Rojo-traditional Mexican holiday pork and hominy soup with slow-cooked pork butt, red chilis and spices, garnished with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado, sliced radishes, line and a little TLC
Sweet: bacon churros drizzled with a honey ganache

Team 2- Ettore's & Drewski's
Savory: Cochininita Pibil- braised pork shoulder in banana leaf with citrus and achiote on white rice, with pickled red onion, micro cilantro and crispy seasoned chicharones
Sweet: "The Last Twinkie"- honey Twinkie with bacon-bourbon mascarpone filling

Team 3- Grange & Coast to Coast
Savory: British banger and Scotch eggs with charred jalapeno-honey remoulade
Sweet: bacon funnel cakes with persimmon-honey compote

Team 4- Kru & Krush Burger
Savory: mini crunchy taco with pickled red onions, micro greens, and a fire roasted tomatillo and avocado sauce
Sweet: pork belly with barley congee, sansho pepper teriyaki and crispy pork rind

Team 5- The Golden Bear & Simply Southern
Savory: ten-hour smoked pulled pork shoulder slider ith homemade Southern style honey BBQ sauce
Sweet: honey-glazed pork belly with house made sweet chevre, roasted beets and grits with chocolate mint

And the winners are...
For the SAVORY category: Team 4- Kru & Krush Burger (which I voted for)
For the SWEET category: Team 2- Ettore's & Drewski's (although I voted for Team 5- The Golden Bear & Simply Southern who prepared, in my opinion, the most upscale dessert there, the glazed pork belly with house made sweet chevre, roasted beets and grits with chocolate mint. Go figure the majority would go for "The Last Twinkie" as Honstess recently went out of business)

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