Cookbooks

cookbook

Hey hey! I hope that everyone had a great weekend! I was feeling a little under the weather last week so we’ve been taking it easy on the cooking. I do not have a “It Came From the Internet” post for you today seeing as we stuck to a lot of crockpot meals. We’re back with some great cooking posts this week for everyone. I had 4 cooking sessions between Saturday and Tuesday so I needed to be in tip top shape to soak in all of the goodness that was going on.

Since I spent lots of time laying on the couch resting I had plenty of time to pour over some of my favorite cooking blogs. I realized that everyone is releasing a cookbook this fall, I assume to gear up for Christmas gift giving…yay, it’s almost Christmas!!! I absolutely adore cookbooks but I have a pretty strict criteria that I follow before purchasing them. So I actually own very few of them.

  • Is the book too specific?- “1000 cookie recipes” or “Chicken Chicken Chicken”  are fictional examples of books that I wouldn’t even consider. Of course I love cookies and chicken but I don’t need to know how to make every possible chicken or cookie dish. Ideally I’m going to get knowledgeable enough to come up with combinations that would work with what we have on hand or craving.
  • Are the recipes easy to locate on the internet…for free?- Who doesn’t like fried chicken but a quick Google search will provide me with 100’s of recipes.
  • Are there large, detailed pictures to go with every recipe?- If not, suck it. I can’t handle not having pictures. Why do I want to spend my time and money making a dish that I think turned out how the recipe states but I don’t have a picture?
  • Is the book put out by a specific company (Campbell’s, Kraft, etc)?- We try not to eat too many processed foods and these books are just an elaborate way to make me feel like I need to buy their product.
  • Will I ever actually make these dishes?- I adore Julia Child but I do not own any of her cookbooks for exactly this reason. Shirred eggs with black butter sauce and Mousse de saumon (Salmon mousse, whatever that is) will not be hitting my table anytime soon. For every recipe that is actually something that we’d like to make in our house there are about 5 more that we’d never actually make or would even want to eat.
  • Is this a beautiful book that I want to own?- With the popularity of Pinterest and the zillion cooking blogs on the internet, it’s much more convenient to run a search than pull out your cookbooks to see if they contain a specific recipe that you’re looking for. I find that I flip through some of my cookbooks about once a week to get inspiration of what to cook for the week but I do not use that as a primary resource. These books need to be lovely on display and make me happy just reading them.

With all of this said I present to you 3 cookbooks that I would happily add to my collection, 1 that I already own, and 1 that breaks many of the above rules but I MUST OWN:

  • Thug Kitchen: Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck– This is not for the easily offended. I’ve been following these guys online for awhile and my spirit animal Scott and I are planning on making a few dishes from the cookbook…we’re also not so secretly mad that we didn’t think of creating a site like Thug Kitchen first. It’s pretty much exactly how we speak and what we like to do! If you can look past the “sentence enhancers” Thug Kitchen is full of recipes made with whole ingredients and encourage people to back away from the microwaves and actually cook for themselves. That’s a message I can get on board with and I love “sentence enhancers”.
  • Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond from New York’s Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant– I bought this cookbook for my brother and his fiance for Christmas last year. I had it on good authority that Santa was bringing them a KitchenAid so when I came across this book I thought it would be perfect. It met all of my qualifications and it seemed like they could use their KitchenAid to make some of these dishes. Brunch is my all time favorite meal and I’d eat brunch foods for every meal for the rest of my life if I could so a book that is dedicated to brunch is almost always a homerun for me. Clinton St. Baking Company is a very popular breakfast joint in New York City. They typically have a few hours wait for Saturday and Sunday brunch but they offer their breakfast menu all day so I’m planning on having some “brinner” there in December when TJ and I are in town next.
  • The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld– Full disclosure, I first heard that Jerry Seinfeld’s wife wrote a cookbook and I immediately looked into it. If you don’t know me in real life I’m fanatical about all things related to Seinfeld so that is what peaked my interest. Her first book, Deceptively Delicious was very pretty and had what seemed to be well written recipes but all of the dishes were “kid’s food”. I don’t really believe in “kids food”. Kids will eat what the parents are eating if they are not given a bunch of options. (Sidebar-I’m fully aware that as a childless person, you’re thinking that I’m totally talking out my ass but this is definitely something I stand by until proven otherwise.) I was very excited when I recently discovered that Jessica has written another book and it is not geared towards kids or families. It is for people who think that they can’t cook and I am definitely in that boat. Throughout her book she teaches technique along with the recipes and why certain ingredients are necessary for specific dishes. This is so important to me so I can actual learn what the heck I’m doing and why!
  • B.O.A.T.S.2# Metime by 2 Chainz– Which is not a cookbook at all, it’s a CD that rapper 2 Chainz released in 2013 that came with a free 2 Chainz cookbook. Unfortunately that may have been a limited time offer because many of the more recent reviews on Amazon claim that their copy did not come with the cookbook. I’ll just share a few of the gems that are in the cookbook. If you can get your hands on this let’s have a reading party. It will be amazing!
  • Put on your Versace apron.”
  • “If wearing a four-finger ring, carefully place it on a side table before starting to cook.”
  • “KEEP IN MIND, ALL MEASUREMENTS ARE AT THE DISCRETION OF YOUR PALETTE. AS WE ALL KNOW, SOME PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF FLAVOR, WHILE OTHERS ENJOY THEIR FOOD AND THEIR LIFESTYLE A LITTLE MORE SUBTLE (BORING). ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE RECIPES ARE INTENDED TO BE MADE AT 70 MPH WHEN YOURE ON A TOUR BUS, SO EXACT MEASUREMENTS CANT ALWAYS BE ACCOMMODATED.”
2-chainz-cookbook-album

MUST.FIND.THIS.BOOK!

Do you have any cookbooks that you’ve really enjoyed? Why? Does anybody even still buy cookbooks anymore?

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#fangirlFriday- Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean

joythebaker podcast

Tracy & her maj (Joy) are a hoot on their podcast!

Good Morning and Happy #fangirlFriday! This week we’re throwing some Sweet Tea Cooking love at Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean! She is also the co host of the Joy the Baker podcast (who was our first #fangirlFriday feature). Do yourself a favor and grab a cuppa and check out Shutterbean. The primary focus is food and new recipes but Shutterbean also dabbles in the lifestyle website genre as well as providing links to so many articles and websites that I had never previously heard of but now can’t live without (like this one). I tend to check out Shutterbean when I know I have more than a few minutes on my hand because I’ve yet to stay for only just one article!

I truly admire Tracy Benjamin and suspect that there are a few extra hours in her day. Blogging is not her full time job yet she maintains a very popular and content heavy blog which she provides all of the stunning photography, stays active in her kitchen to come up and adapt new recipes, has a full time job, and is a wife and mom. I don’t even have a kid and I’m really struggling with how to keep up with the content of Sweet Tea Cooking, staying active in the kitchen, attempting to keep some semblance of a social life, keeping up with housework, and all of that taking place outside of office hours. Tracy please be my Yoda!! Like Tracy I have a great husband who is super supportive so that definitely helps. I just really need to get into a rhythm that works for us. Tracy mentions on her website that she only makes 2 new recipes a week and the rest are reliable standards that help keep the time in the kitchen reasonable. Her family is also not above a cereal dinner, which I love because neither are we!! I will have to try to cut myself a few breaks and keep a reasonable schedule.

I absolutely adore and appreciate the point of view that Shutterbean brings to the food blogging/podcast world. So many food blogs are extremely family (aka mommy) centric, which is great but that also can alienate an audience. I relate so much to Shutterbean because she has a family but they do not seem to be the whole of her identity. She very much so has her own voice that merges all of the parts of her identity together in a wonderful way. She brings a unique perspective to the blogging community and Sweet Tea Cooking loves her for it! Thank you for being fabulously you, Tracy!

cinnamon-buns

from an interview that Tracy did with Best Friends for Frosting

Small Biz Shout Out- Treat Yo Self Edition

I have to apologize for not posting as much this week. I’ve been feeling super run down and have had a migraine most of the week. I don’t know if it’s just the changing of the seasons or if I’m fighting off a cold. Resting up has been a top priority so I can in tip top shape for the full schedule of cooking sessions that I have scheduled this weekend. We have not spent very much time in the kitchen at all this week and I miss it. Yesterday I did throw some chicken in the crockpot with some Kaldi Plaki Cooking Sauce as soon as I came home then previously laid down on the couch to continue my Sex and the City marathon until TJ came home. By the time he came home dinner was almost done and all we needed to do was throw a bag of Basmati rice in the microwave. It was about all I had the energy for but it tastes so good and takes virtually no effort. I try to always have a bag of microwave rice and a jar of Kaldi Cooking Sauce in the pantry for these types of days.

Once I crawled back to the sofa I realized that tomorrow is Small Biz Shout Out and I need to buy some more Kaldi. This week’s Small Biz Shout Out theme is “Treat Yo Self”! All of these places are little splurges but hey, if we’ve learned anything from Tom Haverford it’s…

Tom HaverfordNeopol Savory, Smokery– I have had the absolute luck and pleasure of eating Neopol Salmon and only having to pay for it once! I used to work at Blue Moon Cafe and for Easter and Mother’s Day the owner would get a huge smoked salmon and we’d have a salmon, bacon, and cream cheese omelet on special. Well we of course had to do some quality control and make sure that it tasted good enough to serve…mother of pearl it always did! Neopol is hands down the best smoked salmon that I’ve ever had. I am getting hungry now just writing about it. Now that my luck has run out I purchased the smoked salmon tacos when I was at Belvedere Square last. Fry knows what I’m talking about

fry take my money

Seriously, I’m ready for a field trip out to Belvedere Square. Who’s coming with me?!

Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. – I first found out about Gunpowder Bison when I received a pack of the ground bison in my CSA box from Mill Valley General Store a few years back. My brother around the same time started making drives directly to the store located on the Gunpowder Bison farm in Monkton, MD. He loves it! You can also purchase their products at a variety of farmer’s markets across the state. Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. sells locally-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free, dry-aged bison meat. Many people strongly feel as though bison has more health benefits than beef and have begun swapping that into their diet. We very rarely purchase any beef in our house. We’ve made the switch over to turkey but I do like to occasionally pick up a pack of Gunpowder Bison when I’m making Chili. Who’s ready for a field trip up the the store?

Choux: Ma Petite Shoe Cafe– Choux is located right next door to Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden. On the first Saturday of every month I have “Terrific Lady Day” that would Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would definately be proud of. I start the morning with a massage at Missi Kibelbek Bodywork Studios (who I’ve been seeing for about 4 years. Make an appointment now!!), then I head out to breakfast so I can drink copious amounts of coffee and read before I head into my usual spots for some (mostly window) shopping. More often than not this means heading a few stores down to Choux for a dark chocolate croissant and a slice of quiche. Choux is also one of the few places on The Avenue with outdoor seating so that’s what first drew me in. Once I saw that all of the food was made in house, I was completely sold. You have not truly lived until you ate quiche for breakfast while people watching in Hampden and had someone deliver you a fresh out of the oven chocolate croissant! Choux also has amazing coffee with baristas that actual care about what they are doing. If you’ve had enough bad drinks at Starbucks you understand why this is such a big deal! In addition to a variety of homemade treats you can also purchase some hard to find products such as Kaldi Cooking Sauces. Even if I’m not eating my breakfast at Choux (they do not have any tables inside) I always stop in for a jar of Kaldi and a sweet treat to take home to TJ.

Have you tried any of these places? Do you have any little splurges that you indulge in? I wanna know!

It Came From the Internet- Baked Peaches

 

Happy Monday from Sweet Tea Cooking! I hope that everyone had a great weekend! It Came From the Internet is a post where I actually attempt one of the many dishes that I have Pinned or have coveted from other blogger sites. I vow to be completely honest and post any “Pinterest Fails” that I create also. I’ve made many of my Pins but they are always within my comfort zone. I haven’t really branched out very much so this is where things should get interesting.

Last week while we ate our Plated dinner I had peaches baking for dessert. I almost never baked a dessert the same evening that we were going to eat it. While it was so exciting it was almost a distraction for dinner. I just wanted to get right to dessert! However, I ate all of my dinner before digging in to dessert.

We have been on a huge peach kick this summer. They were so sweet and delicious. TJ commented that the last few that we purchased were not as good as they had been and with apple season in high gear it just made sense to stop buying them. I needed a way for us to get through our peaches besides throwing them in with our crockpot oatmeal. I came across a recipe for baked peaches on a website but it seemed a tad too fancy for our purposes. I know that our peaches were still pretty good and did not need a complex syrup, I searched for a recipe that just needed a few simple ingredients that we had on hand. I found the perfect recipe on Entwine Wine, a website for Food Network’s wine company…which was news to me. I still improvised the measurements seeing as I only baked one peach which makes two servings and did not feel like making brown butter. Overall, this recipe could not be any easier and it is so versatile. We’ll certainly be using this with other fruit!

  • All you need to do is halve and pit the peaches
  • Nuke two tablespoons of butter and mixed it with the cinnamon and brown sugar
  • Brush the mixture on top of the peaches allowing it to run down the sides so the whole peach carmelizes
Peaches

Oh yeah! Looking good!

  • Bake at 375 until tender, about 35 minutes
  • While the peaches are baking, mix plain yogurt with honey and a few shakes of cinnamon
  • Once the peaches are baked top with the yogurt mix and top with some granola…obviously Michele’s Granola
Baked Peaches

Putting that Michele’s Granola to good use!

This is a really great dessert that is relatively healthy. You can really customize it to fit your tastes and dietary needs. The butter and sugar can be cut down or swap the yogurt for some ice cream, it’s your dessert so do your thing! We’ll be making this dessert plenty in the future! Do you have any go to weeknight desserts?

Fastest Way to Cut a Watermelon

So you may have noticed that the large majority of our kitchen photos on this blog have a watermelon in the background. That thing isn’t a cool prop for staging the photos. That is a real deal watermelon. From about June to September TJ and I always have a watermelon on our counter or in the fridge…mostly on the counter. Despite receiving this awesome watermelon knife that works like a champ at our wedding shower, I hate cutting watermelon. It takes such a long time and is so messy!

TJ shared this video with me and my mind was officially blown! This guy cuts a whole watermelon and bags it up in 2 minutes. I may actually cut the watermelon this weekend!  That will be the final nail in the Summer 2014 coffin. I’m totally ready for fall though. Bring on sweater weather and all food and drinks having cinnamon in it!

Have you ever seen this method of cutting a watermelon? How have I never heard of this before?

#fangirlFriday- Alie & Georgia

Alie & Georgia

pic lovingly borrowed from A&G’s Tumbler

Good Morning and Happy #fangirlFriday! This week Sweet Tea Cooking’s internet crush is on two ever so lovely and sassy mouthed broads that I’ve mentally deemed my BFFs. I discovered Alie & Georgia when I was randomly looking for funny podcasts to listen to during my commute to work. From the first explicative they dropped I knew I was in love. I love a smart, funny, talented person that does not underestimate the value of a well timed curse word. They also dropped a bit of life truth that I would love to put into action, “monetize your friendship”. Alie & Georgia are two best friends that basically built a career out of being BFFs with similar interests. In my opinion, they’re living the freaking dream! They started out making short how to videos for their unique cocktails and posting them to YouTube. The McNuggetini went viral and things just got crazy from there.

They are the hosts of one of my favorite podcasts, Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia, stars of the webseries Classy Ladies with Alie & Georgia where they get lessons in a variety of culinary topics by experts in the field then they create a themed cocktail or appetizer and Drinks with Alie & Georgia which features their cocktail videos on the Cooking Channel’s website, and now have a travel-food show (basically my two loves in one show) called Tripping out with Alie & Georgia and are contributors on Unique Sweets, both of which air on the Cooking Channel. Since we are knee deep in all things pumpkin flavored here is a link to their Spiced Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshake recipe…you’re welcome!

The ladies have done a wide variety of guest hosting on other podcasts and shows both together and separately. Alie will be a correspondent on the upcoming show STEM focused show on CBS titled, Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca which premiers on September 27. Alie started out as a Biology major in college and still carries a passion for all things science related particularly bugs. Just listen to a few episodes of Slumber Party and the “What Did You Learn This Week” game will quickly reveal what she reads about for fun. You may recognize the girls from the insanely popular Comedy Central show Drunk History as the narrators of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. (video NSFW, throw on those headphones)

I am so in love with these ladies! I’m really trying to time a vacation out to LA so TJ and I can go to a live taping of both How Did This Get Made and Slumber Party. If only I could get them to coordinate their shows with our personal schedules…

Well Alie & Georgia, Sweet Tea Cooking loves everything that you do and will be long time fans. I have you to thank for really boosting up my small talk game. In honor of the ladies and their podcast, Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia, what’s your no guilt, nobody around to judge, “I do what I want” snack? Share in the comments section below!

Based on what’s actually in my house that’s a spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate chips on top or an unhealthy amount of Saltine crackers. If I pre-planned, cupcakes or donuts with pink icing…it’s been scientifically proven (by my stomach) that all baked goods with pink icing taste 63% better than goods with non-pink icing.

Small Biz Shout Out!

Good Afternoon and Happy Thursday from Sweet Tea Cooking! It is time for another Small Biz Shoutout! Every Thursday we feature 3 small businesses that we’re crushing on. It could range from restaurants to independently owned companies creating wonderful products out of a sheer passion. Please show some Sweet Tea love by checking out their website or giving them a visit. If you have any product suggestions let me know. I love discovering new stuff!

I am only featuring products that I personally buy, use, and love. IF I happened to get gifted any goodies I’d let you know up front. Until that happens, which would be rad, this is the stuff that I’m spending my (and my husband’s) hard earned cash on!

This week I’m sticking with brunch theme. If you know me personally then you know that I could talk about brunch and breakfast all day, everyday. All of the items below were served at a brunch at our house last month so not only do I enjoy these products I happily serve them to others!

Michele's Granola

Love that logo!!

Michele’s Granola is the exclusive granola purchased in our house for about the past 2 years. We’ve tried plenty of other granolas but I never really liked any of them. Most of them were made by big cereal companies and the list of ingredients was way longer than I thought necessary for granola. We make a very strong effort to not purchase items that have more than 5 ingredients in them and if it does have more than 5 the majority of the ingredients have to be “whole foods” and not a litany list of artificial flavors and food coloring. From the moment that I discovered Michele’s Granola which is made right here in Maryland, Timonium to be exact, I was hooked and never looked back. We tend to stick to the Original but have been known to mix things up with Pumpkin Spice or the winter Cranberry flavor. Greek yogurt parfaits are a regular breakfast in our house really our respective offices.

Michele’s Granola is a company that cares not only about providing a high quality product but also about giving back to the community. Their baking facility is very environmentally friendly, they donate 1% of their sales to Baltimore-based nonprofit organizations, and they take two employer paid days to volunteer directly at the organizations that they support. This is definitely a company that I’m happy to shill my pennies over to! {pic of Fry “take my money”}

I have been able to find them in most Wegman’s and Whole Foods in the Baltimore metro area as well as Richardson’s Farm in White Marsh. They also have an online store that sells all of their available flavors as well as 5 pound bags that are a great savings. Currently the coupon code FRESH10 will get you 10% off of your online order. A 5lb bag will be showing up at our house soon…it was only $29.69! That would only buy 4 12oz bags in the stores so it’s basically like getting 2 bags for free.

Dirty Don Hot Sauce

Find them and buy a few bottles!

Dirty Don’s Hot Sauce is a tad more difficult to come by. You can get it at Union Graze Farmers Market (next one is tomorrow, 9/19), Hampden Farmers Market (every Saturday), and at Baltimore Free Farm . I happened to be in Hampden the day before I was hosting a brunch and sampled the Appaloosa Hot Sauce, it was pretty mild with a sweet aftertaste (there are 7 flavors of varying heat available) and just knew that this would be a great addition to the egg bakes that we were serving!  It’s only $5 a bottle and the bottle that I purchased was so fresh that it had just been bottled two hours prior to purchasing. I pretty much eat it on everything now! Dirty Don’s is working on getting larger distribution but until then I’ll just pretend it’s my little secret ingredient.

Atwater's In House Jam

Return the Weck jar for a return on your deposit when you purchase more

Atwater’s is a restaurant that uses mostly organic and seasonal, local ingredients, many of which they sell for you to take home. They specialize in bread, pastries, jam, ice cream, and soups…all right up my alley!  My personal favorite is the Orange & Earl Grey jam, which is made in the French preserve style. Atwater’s is the type of place that if they do not make something in their own kitchen they will source from like minded businesses and they’re happy to share with you the names of these companies so show them some love too! There are five locations throughout the Baltimore metro area, the newest one being in Canton. So much good stuff has opened up since I left! Shockingly, I still have not made it out for brunch yet but hopefully TJ and I will change that soon so we can take advantage of their outdoor seating.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Plated Review- Beef & Chorizo Tacos with Sauteed Chard

Happy Wednesday! We interrupt our regularly scheduled installment of “Y’all Come Eat” to bring you this review of Plated. Plated is a service that delivers pre-portioned, responsibly sourced ingredients for a foodie experience directly to your front door. We’ve been racking our brains for ideas on how to have a homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner while not spending all of our free time in the kitchen. Check out this video to see exactly what Plated is and why I was so interested in this concept.

The idea of trying recipes that were out of my comfort zone is really what intrigued me about Plated. A huge added bonus was not having to purchase all of the necessary ingredients on my own and having a bunch of partially used sauces, spices, and condiments lying around. Once I found the coupon code GETPLATED I knew that now was the time to go for it! This code gives you 4 Plates plus 1 month of membership for free (if you order more than 4 plates they will be at the member price of $12 vs retail $15) and all you have to pay is $20.00 for shipping. For $5.00 per Plate this is definitely a great value! $20.00 seemed steep to me just for shipping but they are sending the package overnight and they take great precautions to ensure that your food remains cold throughout delivery. Everything is packed nice and tight with two very large ice packs and in the box is a cube shaped insulated liner. Things were very cold when I opened the box. I live in an indoor apartment building so the box sat in an air conditioned hallway. I don’t know if it would have fared so well on my stoop in a typical Maryland summer day but I hope so.

Plated Delivery

Dinner direct to your doorstep!

For our four free Plates I chose the Beef and Chorizo Tacos with Sautéed Chard and Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Bulgur, Raisins, and Pine Nuts. Last night we made the Beef and Chorizo Tacos and tonight we’ll be making the Chicken Thighs. My first observation was that everything was very clearly labeled individually and bagged based on what recipe it was to be used for. It is pretty much impossible to mess this up. What wasn’t impossible was making a damn mess! I have never made such a mess in the kitchen. I solely blame the Swiss chard which I have never worked with before though I regularly work with spinach and not always prewashed in a bag so I have no idea what that was all about. With all of that said though actually cooking the meal made me feel like I was on an episode of “Chopped”. There was a very visceral feeling while cooking this dinner. Maybe not having to pull and prep the ingredients allows you to just zone right into the fun part. Since I was mentally auditioning for “Chopped” and was feeling creative, I threw together impromptu faux Mexican rice. We keep cooked quinoa in the freezer so I nuked that with some taco seasoning and stirred in some salsa once it was heated up. I was really happy with how delicious that was considering it was an afterthought.

Plated 3 Plated 4 Plated 2 Plated Dinner

Plated Dinner

Someone’s been sketching for the Sweet Tea Cooking logo!!!

Our two biggest complaints were that despite going right from the stove to the table everything got very cold, very quickly and that there was WAY too much Swiss Chard. That was even after I omitted about a ¼ of what they sent us. I really liked the taste of the meal overall. You can pretty much add chorizo to anything and I’m a fan. This was very high quality chorizo too so I was super stoked. TJ was not as impressed as I was. He actually did not even eat all of his tacos and left a bunch of chorizo, which I was happy to take care of.

While we ate I had dessert in the oven which was a delicious way to end this meal. I teased the dish on Instagram yesterday…any guesses? All will be revealed on Monday in “It Came from the Internet”.

Overall I like the idea of Plated more than I actually liked this dish. I feel like there is a lot riding on tonight’s dinner. If we’re not impressed then I’m sure we will not be ordering again. I am glad that we tried it for the intro rate. It was worth the experience. I know that I will definitely continue to troll their menu offerings and add those dishes to my weekly menu. Many of them I’m certain that I can buy from Wegman’s for cheaper than $24.00 and get more food for my buck! With Plated my freezer will never get any love because while I did not think that it was a small portion, there certainly are not any leftovers.

Have you tried any of these types of subscription services or have any tips to ensure homemade meals throughout the week?

It Came from the Internet- Quinoa con Pollo

It Came From the Internet

Don’t worry lady, I think you’re going to like this

Happy Monday from Sweet Tea Cooking! I hope that everyone had a great weekend! This Monday I’m premiering a post that has been aptly named by my brother, “It Came from the Internet”. Every time that I say or write it I picture the letters written in green oozing letters and a woman screaming like a 50’ sci-fi film. I may have to get my in house designer (aka my husband) on that!

Basically, it will be a post where I actually attempt one of the many dishes that I have Pinned or have coveted from another bloggers site. Hopefully the finished product will not result in screaming women. I vow to be completely honest and post any “Pinterest Fails” that I create also. I’ve made many of my Pins but they are always within my comfort zone. I haven’t really branched out very much so this is where things should get interesting.

For the 1st installment of “It Came from the Internet” I made Quinoa con Pollo from Weird and Ravenous. You may remember it from #fangirlFriday a few weeks ago. I was so in love with the video that I just had to try this dish!

This dish wasn’t too far from my comfort zone but it did involve me using the blender when there wasn’t any ice cream in the house so it was a baby step. I was wildly impressed with the power of our cheap Walmart blender. I thought for sure jamming it this full of actual food would just blow the motor. All of the ingredients were completely blended in about 40 seconds…what else can I start blending?!

Quinoa con Pollo

This blender means business!

This dish did take about a full 30 minutes to pull together but it made so much food that we each ate two tortillas full and had a ton leftover that went immediately into the freezer. I thought this dish had a really lovely, fresh flavor that I would not have gotten from a jar of salsa or tomato sauce. I’m very interested in seeing what other things my blender can do! I also made a cilantro Greek yogurt to go on top which was a nice touch. We use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream so it’s just a matter of preference. This dish will definitely work its way into our rotation. It’s a great dish for a group of people or “eat some now, freeze the rest for later” (which I’m a huge fan of).

Quinoa con Pollo

I’m newly obsessed with peas

Who else has tried any new recipes lately? What did you make? Was it a keeper?

#fangirlFriday-Nerdy Nummies

Nerdy Nummies

#fangirlFriday welcomes Nerdy Nummies to Sweet Tea Cooking!

Good Morning and Happy #fangirlFriday! This week we’re throwing some Sweet Tea Cooking love at Rosanna Pansino, the brilliant baker from Nerdy Nummies! My brother introduced me to Nerdy Nummies a few weeks ago, he knew that this was right up my alley. She basically took two of my favorite things; baked goods and all things nerd and created a fun video series on YouTube. All of her baked creations are inspired by video games, movies, and comic books. This girl is going for intricate detail too! Her final products are always so beautiful and almost too pretty to eat! These types of sweet treats are what birthday parties are made of! She currently sits in the food porn category for me because I lack the patience to make such desserts. She has made a Sims inspired Key Lime Pie recently that I wouldn’t mind giving a go! My brother on the other hand is exactly the type of person that attempts these types of fun desserts…I’ll have to see if I can scare up a picture of the Witch Fingers (crazy looking Lady Fingers) that he made for Halloweenieroast 2013. **found the pic! see below for Matt’s Witch Finger cookies!

NN Fan Art

shout out to @Tentaclef00 for this adorbz fan art

Nerdy Nummies is a super cute show, she makes baking fun, and hopefully is encouraging plenty of people to get in the kitchen and make some of their own creations. On top of doing awesome things in the kitchen, she is a legit YouTube celeb! She was recently nominated for a Streamy in the Audience Choice- Series of the Year. Nerdy Nummies received a shout out in the September 2014 issue of Fast Company and receives some of the most adorable fanart ever!! I’m totally jealous of the picture drawn by her fan.

In case all of that didn’t make her a BFD for you just peep the video below where she actually got in the kitchen with THE SWEDISH CHEF AND MISS PIGGY to make some cookies for Muppets Most Wanted!!! How freaking cool is that?!

Thank you to Rosanna Pansino for creating Nerdy Nummies and showing us how to have some fun in the kitchen!!

What are some nerd inspire dishes that you’d like to make? Let us know in the comments section. I’m thinking of something along the lines of a “Gizmo’s Not After Midnight Dark Chocolate Cupcakes” with some Gizmo faces.

**Matt’s Halloweenie 2013 treat

witches fingers

so gross!!