Celebrity (esque) Guacamole

Posted by Katie Cooks On Monday, March 29, 2010 0 comments

You are probably wondering what the deal is with that name. Allow me to explain.

Guacamole reminds me of the MN State Fair. Up until very recently, there was a delicious upscale Mexican restaurant by the name of Tejas located in Edina, MN. This restaurant also had a very popular spot at the state fair. My mother-in-law, who is the director of the State Fair Foundation, is friends with the owner and chef of this restaurant. Well, each day of the fair, Tejas would do a feature called Celebrity Guacamole. The way it worked is they would bring in a local "celebrity," and I am using that term extremely loosely here, and would do a sort of interview as the owner, and head chef made a batch of guacamole with the guest. One day a few years back, Kay was asked to be the guest for Celebrity Guacamole. She agreed, but then got busy, or maybe just decided she didn't want to do it, and sent Miles to do it instead (see what I mean by loosely?). So, he did. Miles got to feel like a celebrity for 10 minutes, and he also learned a few tricks to making very tasty guacamole.

This recipe is our own, but the secret ingredient, Worcestershire sauce, is from Tejas. It is that special something that sets this recipe apart.

If you are not already a local celebrity, make this guacamole to share. Don't be surprised if your popularity starts increasing!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Blondies

Posted by Katie Cooks On Friday, March 26, 2010 0 comments

There is a gal at work who teaches our 8th Grade World Language class. The class is really a culture class, and they focus on Spanish, German, and French, which happen to be the three languages our high school offers. Anyway, each day at lunch, Jen brings in her jar of Nutella and finishes off her meal with a heaping spoon of the chocolate hazelnut spread. (FYI: Nutella is to France as peanut butter is to America) I think all of the eighth grade teachers find this practice a bit odd, yet endearing and quirky. So...yes, I do have a point, when we decided to have a potluck luncheon this past week, I knew it would be the perfect occasion to try-out this Martha Stewart blondie recipe. (You can find the original here.) This recipe was quick and easy, and most importantly...Jen approved!

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Carrot Pancakes with Honey Butter Drizzle

Posted by Katie Cooks On Wednesday, March 17, 2010 0 comments

It appears, and I don't want to jinx this, but it appears that spring may have [finally] arrived in Minnesota. It has been a long, snowy winter. So, when the sun finally came out last Sunday, and it seemed that everyone on the block was out of hibernation, I decided it was time for a springtime breakfast. It was the perfect opportunity to bask in my sunny, yellow kitchen and cook-up these lovely carrot pancakes. I dug this recipe out of my January issue of Cooking Light, and knew that with a few tweaks, it would be perfect for the occasion. Carrot cake is a springtime pleaser in my family. The honey butter drizzle must have been delectable, because Miles didn't even miss the cream cheese frosting.

I about fell out of my chair, when I saw that Kristin, over at Picky Cook, also posted a carrot pancake recipe this week. I guess it is that time of year! Make sure you check-out her post. She is an awesome cook, and she takes beautiful pictures.

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Rosemary Infused Potato Gratin

Posted by Katie Cooks On Saturday, March 13, 2010 0 comments

I have been looking for an excuse to use the mandolin I bought Miles for Christmas. I know; it's March; Christmas is long past, but I thoroughly believe it was a good purchase. I just need to prove it. I think I found a recipe that makes a pretty convincing argument. These potatoes are rich, comforting, and unexpectedly simple. Don't be surprised when this side dish easily one-ups the main dish. That chicken breast doesn't stand a chance next to potatoes like these. Hope you like them!

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Katie's Perfect Margarita

Posted by Katie Cooks On Thursday, March 11, 2010 2 comments

I have unofficially sanctioned this second week of March, a Margarita Week. Why? you ask. Don't worry, I have several very good reasons.
         1. My cousin Nic and girlfriend Mel were [finally] able to come over last Sunday for our
         much discussed, highly anticipated dinner date (Mexican at our house this time, Thai at
         theirs next time). Yeah!
         2. Miles's mom and dad are returning from a nearly two week stay in Mexico this week.
         Care for a homecoming margarita?
         3. We are having a Mexican feast on Saturday. Miles and I are planning the menu; we
         need some inspiration.
         4. It's raining; it's sloppy; it's dreary. Need I say more?

Now, I feel I should tell you Miles usually makes the margaritas around our house. He uses Rick Bayless's "Margaritas for a Crowd," which can be found in one of our favorite cookbooks, Salsas that Cook. They are very simple, very authentic, and very tart. Miles loves them, and they are delicious, but I think I have made them even better (sorry, Rick). I prefer to start with the basic recipe, and add a little sugar to balance out the tartness. Sure, maybe I add a few calories in the process, but I guarantee these are much better tasting and MUCH better for you than a ready to use mix. The final product has morphed into Katie's Perfect Margaritas.

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A 90th Birthday Worth a Million Bucks!

Posted by Katie Cooks On Monday, March 8, 2010 5 comments

In honor of my grandma's 90th birthday (3/1/10), my mom arranged for the family to go back to grandma's  hometown of New Prague, MN. We all enjoyed a delicious Czechoslovakian lunch at Schumacher's Hotel and Grill 212, which was just reopened last September by the renowned MN chef, John Schumacher.

Chipotle Turkey Burgers with Carrot Slaw and Spicy Mayo

Posted by Katie Cooks On Monday, March 1, 2010 0 comments

I love burgers. In my book, burger = satisfying. There is something about picking up a burger with two hands, scoping-out the thickness of the bun, the patty, and the toppings, and then taking a big old bite. A burger worth its salt may even make you question whether or not you can actually take a bite that big. But I'm always up for the challenge, not matter what kind of burger it may be. I know what some of you are thinking.Turkey burgers? No way. Well, guess what; it is possible to cook-up a turkey burger that is juicy and delectable. Turkey can be the perfect blank slate to host a multitude of creative flavors. Start with my Mexican inspired patties, and then try creating your own perfect version.

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