Monthly Archives: September 2009

What are YOU doing this Saturday afternoon?

Well if you live in the Kansas City area and you like food, then you really ought to come on down to the American Royal Barbecue. We’ve got some great cooks who are going to be showing the public how to cook some award-winning dishes in their own kitchens. This is a family-friendly event, so bring  your children or borrow your neighbor’s children.

Yes, many of you will be stumbling around in the dark on Friday night. We all know that’s when the party is. But there is a softer side to the Royal that I think you may be missing out on.

At least come and feed your hangover, k?

So, once you are there, you’re going to want to find the Cooking Demo in Wagstaff Theatre. Where is that? Find the big American Royal building. Walk inside. Look for signs for “Cooking Demo” or “Wagstaff Theatre.” If you get to the “Sauce Expo,” you’ve gone too far.

Wanna know who is cooking?

  • 11 a.m. Karen Watts, caterer and food stylist sponsored by The Roasterie (Look, I hear she’s making cookies with coffee. That sounds worth getting up early to me.)
  • 12 p.m. Steve Venne, Executive Chef Director for the International Culinary Program at The Art Institutes International (Rumor has it, he’s making some side dishes that will knock your socks off.)
  • 1 p.m. Jasper of Jasper’s Italian Restaurant (Holy memories, I think I went to prom there or something, but it’s still one of KC’s favorite Italian hot spots. Word is, he’s making cheese. Yup. Cheese. mmmmmmmm.)
  • 2 p.m. KC Masterpiece (TBD what they are making, but it’s gotta be good, right?)
  • 3 p.m. Dida from Mama Dida Sauce Co. (TBD, but we are excited to see what Dida’s got cooking!)

Each of our cooks will have samples on hand. (It’s like Costco on a Sunday, but you don’t have to push a heavy cart.) Come for one, or all four. Make sure you say hello to me. And please, please spread the word.

Special thanks this year to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store which provided a kitchen for us to use year after year. We can’t thank them enough for their generosity which will allow us to continue to educate on food and agriculture for years to come.

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Bourbon, wine, cream, mushrooms & pork – need I say more?

When I returned from blogher food, I was itching to get back in the kitchen.   And with so many new food bloggy friends to inspire me, the options were endless. But the buck stopped with Elise’s of Simply Recipes Porkchop with Mushroom Bourbon Cream Sauce.

After a horrific day which involved several lenghty calls to the North Carolina DMV that won’t send me another copy of my car title without trying to get me to pass an emissions test IN North Carolina. (My car isn’t making it to North Carolina and once it gets there, it sure as heck isn’t passing any tests.) Then, come to find out there are some back taxes from 2003 that were never paid on the car (While I take full responsibility for my part in not KNOWING these taxes hadn’t been paid, I had some choice words to say about my ex-husband) in addition to a car that we used to own in 2003, but was totalled in 2006 (ish?) So that was fun.

IMG_0945Time for some bourbon, wine, cream, mushrooms and pork, eh?

The recipe is perfect. Elise Bauer  is a really talented recipe developer.

I bet she doesn’t catch things on fire in her kitchen.



IMG_0946The only modification I made was I used panko instead of homemade bread crumbs, as suggested in the comments. I may have overcooked the pork chops a tad, but I’m still getting used to my gas stove and oven.


IMG_0948The fiance wasn’t complaining as he scraped up the last bits of mushrooms in cream on his plate.

As you can see, I served it with some steamed green beans with fresh garlic, which I just tossed in a little butter with salt and pepper.

You must make this recipe. It might change your life, or at least put you back in a happy place.

Elise’s picture is far superior to mine, so go right now and check it out.

P.S. Fire & Wine night has been moved to Thursdays now – so I think I’ll try to have a regular Fire & Wine night Friday recap.


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Blogherfood 09

Even getting there was a blast – despite the long flights from Philly to Chicago and then to San Francisco. 

As you can see, I made some new friends on the flight. Mad props to my new homies Nikki and Marissa for making a long flight such a great time and setting the tone for a great 24 hours.

Ah, it’s all such a blur. But the conference was fabulous. I met tons of new friends – too many to name them all, but you can rest assured I’ll be reading and cooking from their blogs very soon. I attended an amazing party thanks in part to this lady – a newspaper gal after my own heart, whose new cookbook is coming out soon.

I attended sessions and  learned that I pretty much suck at SEO, and that no one will probably ever find my site if they are looking for a recipe for dumplings. But that’s ok. I also learned some tricks that might help that. But what do you care about that? YOU know how to make the dumplings. (Or at least how to get me to come to your house and make them for you – Kevin!)

And I guess that’s all that matters because if anything came out of blogherfood, it was having a passion for your blog. Boy do I ever. And some of the other talented bloggers I met this weekend share my enthusiasm for the craft. That’s what makes these events so much fun to attend — because suddenly you are not just the weird girl in your circle of friends who has that blog and won’t shut up about it. You are one of them.

Bottom Line: Whether you are as popular as  The Pioneer Woman (and yes, I got to meet her!) or simply aspiring to be 1/14 as popular as her, you just have to love what you are doing. After that, everything else is gravy.

Hmmmm….speaking of gravy. 


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Geeking out at the Market

Warning: this video is not for the easily-made-dizzy types. I have a long way to go in video footage/post-production skills. But the rest of you can enjoy my ultimate foodie geek out…


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30 seconds with a life hero

I met Terry Gross today. And I’m pretty sure from her perspective, the experience was not exactly the same.

Seeing myself through her eyes, the 30 second interaction probably went like:

Girl with red hair and a big smile sticking her hand out. She’s talking really fast. I can’t quite make out what she’s saying. I have three books to read tonight. Ok, the girl is saying how much she loves my show.  She’s listened to me her whole life She worked for WUNC.? Great station.   And WNIN? Never heard of it. Is that in Ohio somewhere? Ah, Indiana. Is she even in radio? She talks really fast. I’m not quite sure what she means about my voice. Is she going to be one of those weird stalker fans?  Oh, now I see. She’s not in radio anymore. Marketing. Ah. That explains it. Nice to meet you too.

Here is how I saw it:

Terry Gross is so tiny. I could put her in my purse. Ok, it’s my turn now.

“Hi Terry! I am such a fan of your work. I’ve been listening to you for almost my entire life and then I worked for WUNC in Chapel Hill. Oh, you know it? Yeah, great station! But I was also in commercial radio too. It was like this weird skitzophrenic position. Ack. Wierd, I know. Anyhow, then I went to WNIN to host Morning Edition. It’s in Evansville, IN. Some of my friends didn’t know me when I worked in radio, but I always tell them that I wanted to be just like Terry Gross. So it became like this thing when we talked about  my radio years – my Terry Gross voice. And now I’m meeting you. It’s just such an honor! I just love your work.  Thanks so much for speaking today. I’m so glad I got to hear you.”

Wow. Did that all just come out of my mouth?  I told her about my “Terry Gross Voice?”  Wow. Walk away from the tiny woman who is your radio idol. Just hope she doesn’t remember you.

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23 again

Forget that last post. I’m going with 23. At least that’s what my future sister-in-law thought. For seriousness. She thought I was turning 23.

I LOVE IT! And of course, I had a hay day out in Westport after our fabulous birthday bash dining experience at LaBodega telling people it was my 23rd birthday.

(And they believed me.) Of course, most of them were out drinking, but STILL…

Ah to be 23 again. The fiance said he’d rather me not be 23 again, even though I tried to tell him my butt was so much hotter back then.

Isn’t he sweet?

Ok, speaking of my butt. I ate like a queen this weekend. Want to hear about it?

Saturday I helped host my sister-in-law’s baby shower brunch. Did someone say eggs and mimosas? Two of my favorites. Of course, we needed to find something of the non-alcoholic variety. So I turned to some of my bloggy friends for help.

Lucky for me, Omnomicon had just written about such a drink. This could not have been any easier, but let me tell you – yum!

Nothing says brunch like a Bed & Breakfast. So I turned to my friend at Inn Cusine for some inspirations. I was on the fence between this egg casserole and thisstrata. Mmmmm, smoked gouda. So I decided to do a little bit of both. Also, since I was cooking for a larger group, I had to make some modifications. Here’s what I bought:

18 eggs

2 bunches of asparagus

8 ounces of smoked gouda

8 ounces of mushrooms

1 big shalot

2 cloves of garlic

dill and parsley (in a jar, but fresh would have been better)

Pinot Grigio

Up and at ’em on Saturday morning, I did the following:

Chopped up the asparagus and steamed it for 3 minutes. Set it aside. Diced garlic and shalots. Added to a pan with olive oil. Then added the diced mushrooms and then the steamed asparagus. sauted. Salt, pepper, dill and parsley.

Cracked all the eggs in a big bowl and whisked. Added two splashes of the wine and some salt and pepper and dill. Grated all of my cheese and added it to the eggs. Added the hot veggies. Mixed.

Poured into a Pyrex and baked for 45 minutes at 350.

I liked it and word is, so did everyone else. It served at least 20 ladies small pieces.

Speaking of serving, we served up some great tapas at LaBodega. Good friends in tow, the fiance and I ordered  chicken and chorizo skewers, ham wrapped artichoke hearts, pan cooked fresh calamari and meatballs (for the boy.) Plus I got to try goat cheese and tomatoes on crusty bread, mushrooms and a spanish omelet. Oh my.

As if that wasn’t enough food for one weekend, Mom was in town and took us to North where I pigged out on some tomato soup and the strozzapreti with parmesan cream, pine nuts, spinach, mushrooms and shrimp.

That meal sent me into a birthday nap. And then we went to go see the Informant where I dined on a HUGE bowl of popcorn.

Whew. I’m birthday fooded out.

But not for long because DD Girl got me a new cookbook. I have my eye on the turkey meatballs and linguine….

That will have to be after my whirlwind week of travel this week. Stay tuned for live from Philly, followed by Blogher Food next weekend!!!

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Pupae is a jerk

It’s like the teenage version of a flea. And it won’t die. Instead, it creates a whole new lifecycle of horny little buggars that just want to multiply and drive me nuts.

And it seems that my Dyson and I are going to be waging war on them this weekend.

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Aging gracefully?

I am relishing. RELISHING the last few days of my 31st year.  Count down:  t-minus 3 days until <gulp> 32.

That means, this year I will celebrate 10 years since my graduation from college. Yes, college. Oh, 22, you were such a sweet age. How adorable were you? Getting ready for your first big job, living in your first apartment.


And what on earth are you drinking in that wine glass? Baileys? Ew.

You’ve seen a lot of changes in the past 10 years.





(Like I would show you his picture.)






 (Way dorky, huh?)






Different hair styles – from blonde, to dark to red.

dark hair







And lots of dogs – Tally(below), Mack(above) and of course, Gertie.








Good friends.

bar friends


 (Hey, look! It’s Jay from the Lunch Bunch!)





Different jobs.



(My first P.R. job — meeting Carson Kressley for a media event.)






30th birthday


(Whatdaya know? It’s Molly!)






Gertie and Mom


(Just me and the Gertster.)





(And no, I didn’t just wear that yellow and blue shirt for a year straight. I took it off, some.)


bat couple







And today.



(Ok it’s not today, but it was in July, right after I got engaged.)





So that’s me. Turning the big 3-2. A decade of official “adulthood” behind me. I can’t imagine what the next decade has in store. But I do know who I can’t wait to see more of…



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Turns out

IMG_0937I don’t like fennel. Ew. But otherwise, the Giada recipe was quite tasty. I made some minor modifications including roasting the veggies at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and adding fresh garlic to the layers of veggies.

For the marinara sauce, I think using our local Cupinis sauce was almost as good as making my own. (And a time saver!)

I also didn’t have an orange pepper, so I just added a few more pieces of roasted eggplant. I do love eggplant. I have to say that adding olive oil to the bread crumbs on top really worked wonders on creating a nice, crisp, golden crust. Yum…. If you do make this, be sure to wait a while after you take it out of the oven. It needs to cool before it is cut.

Served with: Caesar salad (cheated and used Ken’s Ceasar dressing.) and fresh Italian bread with olive oil for dipping.

DD Girl and Roomie were sent home with leftovers and claimed to love it. I just kind of liked it, but that’s just me and the fennel issue.

The best thing about Fire & Wine night is trying new recipes. We’ll pretty much try anything. Have a recipe you’d like us to try? (Remember, no red meat please.) Let me know.

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No title

This post has no title. Why? Because I still do not have a car title.

You may remember my fiasco from last year. Well part of the red tape I spoke of was  trying to get a North Carolina title transferred to a KS title and somehow the KS DMV lost my North Carolina title. I discovered this yesterday when I went to the DMV to get a copy of my title so I could take it over to Missouri to register my car.

I did try to stay calm and collected because I had learned my lesson before. But the following slipped out of my mouth:

“You may think I’m a crazy woman. And I am a crazy woman. But it’s really only because the DMV turns me into a crazy woman.”

They are investigating it today.


Which means I’m only slightly stressed out.

<crunch, crunch, crunch.>

In the meanwhile, I recieved the agenda for Blogher Food in San Fransisco next weekend and I’m beyond excited. 

The problem is, I don’t have enough time to read all these great food bloggers who will be speaking.

I would read some tonight, but I’m going to be too busy trying to cook this recipe tonight for Fire & Wine night with Roomie and DD Girl, using the fiance’s George Foreman grill. 

Ha! Won’t that be a trip.


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