Thursday, February 20, 2014

Alton Brown's Edible Inevitable Tour

I've long been a big fan of Alton Brown. Like many of you, the awesome Good Eats on Food Network is originally how I discovered him. Seriously, I wicked miss that show with all the crazy camera angles, random skits and characters, learning the science behind everything, and - obviously - the delicious recipes. Sigh. I'm now relegated to getting my fill of AB thanks to Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef America or by paging through one of his many books.

Until last Saturday anyway. That's when I got the chance to see him live at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester! And it...was...fantastic! :D

Unfortunately, photos weren't allowed and hoo boy, were the Hanover Theatre people sticklers for rules. Yeesh.

Alton is like a freakin' Renaissance man. Not only is he an accomplished chef, TV star, and author. But during the show he sand, played guitar, and busted out the sax and was talented on them all! Oh, and he's a maniacal genius inventor as well. One of the contraptions he and his team had built was an enormous Easy Bake Oven called the Mega Bake, outfitted with 54 concert stage lights and reaching up to 650*F. AB and an audience member then made a pizza and baked it up...smelled great!

The Mega Bake! This wasn't from my show so it isn't the exact same routine but, really, I just wanted you to see this thing.

I don't want to give away too much for anyone that may be going to see him. But I will say this: if you aren't already planning to hit a show, DO IT. I laughed all night long. I could tell you some of the stories he spouted off but it just wouldn't be the same. It is the way he tells a story that makes it hilarious and worthwhile.

Oh, and he pronounced Worcester* properly. Alton Brown, you rock! 

*Out of towners, take note: its "Wuhstah," not "War-chester." ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Ya know those Geico commercials that say, "So easy even a caveman could do it?" Well, this is one of those kind of recipes. Calling this a recipe is actually a stretch. These prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears may look fancy and as if you slaved away over em but it is the freakin' easiest thing to throw together.

A caveman certainly could have made these...given he had some prosciutto laying around his cave, anyway. Dang, now I feel bad that he didn't!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

A bunch of asparagus (best if stalks aren't super thin or super thick)
A package of yummy prosciutto (free of any crappy additives!)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450*F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
2. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Toss spears with some olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
3. Wrap each stalk in prosciutto. Depending on the kind you get, this may use a whole piece or half a piece of the prosciutto. (I cut mine in half lengthwise and it was the perfect amount for each asparagus spear.)
4. Spread onto your baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.
5. Eat immediately. These would be good with some balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. Or, if you're primal or just DGAF, add some cheese. Nom!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spill It Sunday: Shuffle

It is still Sunday over here in the States so I'm technically not late to the party! ;)

Arman had another music related Spill It Sundays post today...obviously I had to join in. Music is my thing. Wow, that sounds wicked lame when put like that but its kinda true.

This week, I threw my iPod on shuffle and these are the first five songs to come up & why it's on there.

1- Rob Zombie, "The Scorpion Sleeps"
Aside from just loving Mr. Zombie, his music is THE BEST to run to. Definite fact. RZ is coming to a smaller venue in May and I can't waittttt to see him again. My best friend and I haven't missed a show of his since we first saw him in 2007.

2- Linkin Park, "With You"
I haven't liked much of LP's stuff since this disc but Hybrid Theory is still awesome. I was in eighth grade when it came out - holy old! 

3- Ratt, "Back For More"
Love my 80s rock! \m/ \m/

4- Avenged Sevenfold, "This Means War"
Digging this one from the new A7X album, which is actually pretty good. Hoping that they come around on tour again this summer because they're always a show. Minus all the little emo kidlets running around...that's a bit embarrassing.

5- Crazy Lixx, "The Witching Hour"
Dying to get over to Sweden sometime and see these guys and a multitude of other great rock bands coming outta there. So much of it is reminiscent of the 80s rock - love the revival! Not necessarily this song but this is good one.

And apparently, I'm supposed to add a selfie to these posts. Here's one I kept via Snapchat a few months back...thought it would be appropriate for a music post. No lie, I woke up with my hair like this, which is why I ain't got a trace of makeup on. Yikes!

Don't forget to stop by Arman's link up and check out everyone else's Spill It Sunday posts!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Paleo Cheez Its

Cheez Its are one of my favorite crackers. Cheesy, crunchy, salty, and when you get one those ones that end up with a slightly burned edge? *drool*  So when I came across a paleo Cheez Its recipe, I was intrigued. I knew that they couldn't taste like the name brand but a cooking experiment is always fun, right? 

The nutritional yeast gives these crackers their cheesy taste, ghee adds that buttery flavor, and they certainly have crunch. All in all, a decent substitute!

Paleo Cheez Its
adapted from Fast Paleo

1 3/4 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
1 large egg
2 tablespoons ghee, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Whisk together almond flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. 
3. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, ghee, and lemon juice. Mix into the flour mixture until well combined.
4. Roll the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper. Peel off top piece of parchment and sprinkle the dough with more salt. Keeping the dough on the bottom piece, slide onto a large baking sheet.
5. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares. (Totally optional but aesthetically pleasing: poke a hole into the center of each cracker using the larger rounded end of a skewer.)
6. Bake the crackers for 12 to 15 minutes. Now comes the only "tricky" part - constant checking as the edge pieces will brown first and need to be removed to a wire rack. Slide the sheet back in for another 2 to 3 minutes then check again and remove finished crackers. Continue to do this until all your crackers are baked up. (Hope that makes sense.)
7. Let cool completely before snacking. I found that the crackers tasted even better and more cheesy on the second day, so if you can hold out, wait the extra day. :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Over- and Underrated Veggies

I came across this article about the most overrated and underrated veggies, according to chefs. Apparently they are so over kale, but whatever - kale chips are where its least until I can get my hands on a bag of Lay's. Read the article HERE.

My pick for most overrated? Mushrooms. While I've found a couple different uses that I don't mind 'shrooms in, I feel like mushrooms are just tossed into dishes too often. We're told how flavorful they are & that they pick up the dish's flavor (um, no) or that they are meaty so replace that burger patty with a mushroom cap. (NOOOO!)

A mushroom I do like

Most underrated has to be cauliflower. While it has started to pick up steam, with thanks to the paleo and low-carbers of the world, most people still claim to detest this humble veg. It is fairly neutral flavored so it picks up other flavors wonderfully. Besides holding court on the ubiquitous party veggie platter, it is great roasted, made into cauliflower "rice", used as a substitute for mashed taters, curried, form cauliflower pizza crusts, and much more.

Try me, I'm awesome

What are your overrated and underrated veggie picks?