Friday, June 14, 2013

Have You Ever Heard of a Food Bus?

So I was headed to a baby shower last weekend and made it across town a little early. I stopped into the nearest Target to pick up a few things I just had to get *as if the Target 5 minutes from my house didn't carry the exact same merchandise.* Once my shopping quest was complete, I decided to grab a quick bite. I was headed down the road looking for something tasty, when I spotted this!
Oh my, I had to do a quick double take as I passed by thinking my eyes were deceiving me. Yep, I had found one of Bernie's Burger Buses and I was actually going to get to try one. I have been telling C about this "food truck" for a while now, but we haven't been able to get to it together. I made the safest, quickest U-turn possible and got myself straight to that bus! The menu includes some really tasty sounding burgers, including one that has two patties sandwiched between two grilled cheese buns! What!?!? Awesome! I didn't get that one though, I opted for the Principle - your classic go-to when your taste buds are in overdrive from the delectable offerings. I decided to go no cheese, no onions, and no mustard. The Burger Bus was parked at Ooh La La Bakery, so while I waited for my burger order, I went inside to drool over the bakery displays. Cupcakes, pies, bars and more - serious deliciousness begging to go home with me! I mean look at this...pink lemonade cupcakes, tuxedo cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes and so much more. And the most amazing thing about these cupcakes was their size. These weren't you average size cakes, no, no, these were jumbo sized. More cupcake for me to eat! I didn't order any while I was there for lunch, but you bet I went back there after the shower before heading home!
After seeing all of the amazing cupcakes, my burger was ready. I could not wait to dive into this thing! Look at that beautiful buttered bun and that perfectly cooked patty peaking out from under it. 
Yum! Toasted bun, veggies, and an oh so good burger patty!
This burger was so amazing from the top down! The top bun was coated in a tasty, super pasty ketchup with a hint of sweet. The meat was so tender and seasoned perfectly. Hiding under that tasty meat was a bed of lettuce and garlic roasted tomatoes! Every detail of this burger was perfect and melt in your mouth! And those garlic roasted tomatoes were so good. 
I can say hands down this is one of the best burgers I've had...seriously! I can't wait to find the bus again and share the awesomeness with C! It's worth the time to seek out this bus...and they make it pretty easy for you. Check out the website daily to see if the bus is headed your way! Mmm...burger love!

Well, Well...Look Who's Back!

Wow...two years exactly since my last post. Something is wrong with this. I love blogging, I truly do. I love sharing recipes and fun shopping finds, and I love reading comments from readers here. So why the long break? Good question, and I wish I had a good answer for that. Life got busy and I tried to wear too many hats at once. I couldn't juggle being a great wife, loving mommy, housekeeper extraordinaire, trying new recipes all the time blogger and run a work from home party business. I have realized how much I truly miss the baking and blogging (and shopping and scrap booking and blogging). I love to be in my kitchen experimenting and playing around with new ingredients. It brings me great joy. And so does sharing that with all of you on the other side of this screen. I've put a few of my hats aside and reevaluated my priorities. My hubby and sweet boys are top of that list, followed by my need to reconnect with my crafty, baking, fashion sharing side.  So that's why I've decided (exactly two years to the date) to try again. {by the way, as much as I tried to lose the housekeeping hat, it didn't work! Someones got to do it, right!}
Don't get me wrong, I'm still juggling too many things and probably won't be able to post nearly as much as I like. C and I have added a new addition to our family. From here on out, he will be called  "Little Dude." We love our sweet new guy to pieces! And he and Little Man get along so well! But let's just say that Little Dude is not a good sleeper...at all. He doesn't give Momma and Daddy a whole lot of down time and one of us is always holding him or laying right beside him while he sleeps. Totally not what we pictured for sleeping arrangements, but at least we are sleeping some. I tell you that because I don't get a lot of time in the kitchen these days. My time in there is generally spent throwing together a quick dinner and washing what feels like a million baby bottles! Anyone else know that feeling? But, I'm tired of missing out on sharing all the great recipes and cute things I find. I miss it, so that is why I'm going to try again...starting slowly and get this thing back up and running!
I can't wait to start sharing with you all! And help me remember that it's okay to switch to my crafty hat some days, okay!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've taken my favorite chocolate chip cookie and jazzed it up with some toffee bits! I love toffee and chocolate together, especially when it's in a cookie.  I love a yummy cookie that you can just grab off the plate when you walk through the kitchen to do something, or even one that you just walk into the kitchen to get!  You know it's a good cookie when that happens.  These cookies last exactly 1.5 days at our house, if we are lucky! We just can't resist helping ourselves to one or maybe even ten when we walk by.  This is a very simple chocolate chip cookie recipe that I use ALL the time.  I used it here, when I made my M&M Christmas cookies, and you could do the same for any holiday.  Just choose whatever colors you like and make it your own.  Or add in toffee, or mint chips, or white chocolate chips, the combinations are endless!
Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (please use the real thing, it makes such a difference)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda1 (6 ounce package) chocolate chips (I usually throw in a few extra for good measure, and 99% of the time I use milk chocolate ones.  You can't really have too chocolatety chocolate chip cookies can you?)

Cream butter, add sugar and beat on low until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda.  Add to creamed mixture and beat well.  Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits. Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough on a well greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Yields: 2-3 dozen depending on the size of your "teaspoonful"  I tend to make bigger cookies, so I always end up with less that the "yield" amount!

As always, enjoy your delicious cookies with a big glass of milk!  And make sure that you leave a plate of them out in the kitchen, you will be back for more!
1/2 cup toffee bits

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Southwestern Egg Rolls

I'm in love with Mexican food.  Not as much as C, no one can love Mexican food as much as him!  Luckily for the both of us, I whipped up these tasty treats recently.  The method is so easy and you end up with restaurant quality southwestern egg rolls in a jiffy!  I've seen a lot of recipes for southwestern egg rolls recently, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and make some myself.  You should too, you will be so happy you did!
Southwestern Egg Rolls
Olive Oil
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
2/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup corn
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 package egg roll wrappers (I usually use 10-12 per batch)
Vegetable Oil for frying

Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced pepper and onion and cook until soft, a few minutes.  Add beans, corn, and chicken and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in ranch seasoning, cumin and cheddar.  Heat 1" vegetable oil over medium heat for frying.  Meanwhile, place 1/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each egg roll wrapper.  Roll into an egg roll (directions are on the inside of the egg roll wrapper if you aren't sure exactly what to do...I had to refer to them a few times).  Make sure that you seal the edges with a little brush of water! Once the oil is hot, place the egg rolls into the oil, cooking in small batches.  Fry until golden brown - a couple of minutes - and then flip and finish frying.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to cool.
Yields: 10-12 egg rolls depending on how fat you stuff them.  Serves 3 hungry people or 4 as an appetizer with sides.  We are always the hungry people...

Alternate method:
If you are short on time and have cooked chicken on hand, you can do this instead.  Omit the peppers and onions, and just stir together the beans, corn, chicken, cheese and seasonings.  Fill the egg rolls and fry them up!  This will cut your dinner making time down to nothing, but you can still serve a delicious meal. It might not be the healthiest meal I make, but it's good every once in a while! :)

We love these!  I've made them a few times in the past month, and they are a hit either way I make them.  Honestly, I completely forgot the peppers and onions the second time I made them and that's how the Alternate Method was born.  The flavors are great, and I love the crispy outside of the egg roll! Really, you can throw together just about any combo of veggies and seasonings and stuff it in an egg roll.  You can't go wrong with fried goodness!  Serve them up with some sour cream, guacamole and a bean dip and you are good to go.  For my bean dip, I took the extra black beans, heated them up and mashed them up.  I added a spoonful of sour cream, some ranch seasoning and cumin and stirred it together.  Yum, Yum!  You'll want to make these very soon!

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