Sunday Summary! June 12, 2011

Well, this week just flew by thanks to some quality time with visiting friends, Skype dates with far away friends and more cover letters than I care to mention. Anyone want to give me a job? I’m, like, super well qualified and I have some amazing skills and dogs really like me. Anyone…?

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week!

Things I Made This Week:

Things I Want To Make:

Good Things To Know:

A Flay Feast! Goat Cheese Queso Fundido, Sophie’s Chopped Salad, Grilled Garlic Cilantro Shrimp

Posts have been a little slow this week. I’ve been off doing real life things that were really super important, like going to Disneyland and hanging out with Lauren who was gracing Southern California with her presence for the past week.

You are never too old for Disneyland. We loved it. We waited over an hour (the line was over 4 hours a one point in the day) to go on the new 3D Star Tours ride and it was totally worth it. I will fully admit that I am a Star Wars fan, all the cool kids are (or at least that’s what my mom tells me…). We also went to California Adventure. It was my first time there. Being the die hard Californian that I am, I loved it. It was very different than Disneyland proper, but still a lot of fun. Soaring Over California was definitely my favorite ride. I should probably say that I am beyond terrified of  not a fan of heights, but I loved Soaring Over California and California Screaming. However, I still have not fully recovered from Lauren making me go on the Tower of Terror Tears and Pure Fear. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do not see how a trip to the Haunted Mansion, justifies being tortured 13 stories in the air…

When we got home from our LA adventures yesterday we got busy catching up on gossip and our Google readers and thinking about what we wanted to cook up for dinner. We found all the inspiration we needed from one of our favorite blogs The Fitnessista. Gina and her Pilot went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in Vegas and shared some pictures of amazing looking food. I’m still miffed that in all my trips to Vegas I’ve never made it to Mesa Grill, plus I’m kind of obsessed with Bobby Flay. Have you seen Brunch at Bobby’s or Grill It!? Anyone who has shows dedicated to my two favorite activities (brunching and grilling) is amazing in my book.

Inspired by Gina’s B. Flay inspiration, Lauren and I decided to whip up some Goat Cheese Queso Fundido (I cannot adequately describe how amazing this was), Sophie’s Chopped Salada and Bobby Flay’s Grilled Shrimp with Jalapeno-Garlic Vinaigrette. This was definitely one of the best meals I’ve had in a long while. I would strongly recommend you plan on making it sometime soon. Like right meow.

Goat Cheese Queso Fundido (adapted from this recipe)
(There are no pictures of the queso because it was promptly consumed upon completion. There also might have been talk of attempting to drink it through a straw… No one will ever know for sure.) 

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1 cup pepper jack, grated
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 6+ garlic cloves, minced (I used a whole bulb, don’t you dare judge me)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Tortilla chips (for serving)
In a pan, heat a bit of oil and sauté the garlic and jalapeno until the garlic is golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
In a double broiler, bring wine to a simmer. Add mozzarella and monterey jack and stir until melted. Add garlic/jalapeno, goat cheese, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies (I bet it would make an awesome fondue).
Sophie’s Chopped Salad 
(I based mine off of this recipe)
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 3-4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • Generous handful of shredded mozzarella and pepper jack
Mix first 5 ingredients together to make dressing. Combine the remaining ingredients and serve. (I combine all the ingredients besides the lettuce and arugula and they kept overnight as their own little salad).

Grilled Shrimp with Jalapeno-Garlic Vinaigrette (adapted from this recipe)

  •  6-10 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
  • 5 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 16 jumbo shrimp, deveined
In a small pan, heat oil over low heat. Add garlic and simmer until light brown. Remove from heat, place garlic in a blender and allow oil to cool. Add jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and honey to blender. Add oil when slightly cooled. Blend.
Toss shrimp with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Cook in pan until done. Transfer to plate, drizzle with vinaigrette and serve!

Gluten-free Corn Cakes with Grilled Shrimp & Onion Salsa

I generally try to have a rough plan of the week’s dinners. It’s not really set in stone, but I like to be able to take care of groceries and prep work ahead of time. I’m still trying to get organized from my weekend trip to San Francisco, so planning tonight’s meal definitely did not happen, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise! Tonight we whipped up some gluten-free corn cakes with grilled shrimp on a bed of mixed greens topped with onion ‘salsa’. It was quick, simple and super tasty. What else do you really want from a meal?


Corn Cakes
I based my gluten-free corn cakes on this recipe with several adjustments made for food allergies and personal taste.

  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 egg yolks (or 1 large egg)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • A few generous turns fresh ground pepper
  • A few generous shakes of garlic powder
  • Oil or butter for frying

Pulse the corn kernels, egg, milk and butter together in a food processor. I like my cakes to have a few chunky kernels in them, so pulse to your own preference. In a large bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients with the corn mixture until the dry ingredients are mixed with the wet. Heat the oil in a pan and then place spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

Onion Salsa

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (I used a container of baby heirloom toms from Trader Joe’s since that’s all I had, it worked)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Garlic powder, a generous shake
  • Smoked paprika, a generous shake
  • Rice vinegar, a few generous shakes

Mix all ingredients together in a large, non-reactive bowl. Allow to mariniate together for a little bit (like 15 minutes) before serving.

Dog Baths, Potatoes and Shrimp

Sunday continued to be a completely lazy day. We took the pups out and then it was their least favorite time of the week: bath time! Now they are so clean and fluffy and don’t stink. All of which will last approximately 8 more hours. I will enjoy it while I can.

The indignity of it!


All Clean!

After the dogs were all prettified, I set about trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

Some potatoes that were about to take a turn for the worse became the most use ingredient of the evening. The potatoes were quickly taken care of with this super simple recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I used a blend of Italian cheeses and threw in some sautéed garlic and onions for good measure. So, so good.

To go with the gratin I made one of my favorite shrimp dishes. I’ll be sharing the recipe in the near future, so be on the look out!