Pasta Carbonara Hack That Will Change The Game

I must confess, I love to watch cooking shows of all types and sizes. Trust me, my DVR would agree as well. I often find I watch these shows for the drama, the characters, and of course, the food. I find that these shows are more entertainment than education, but once in a while you get a nugget of information that changes everything you thought about how to make a certain dish. This was one of those days.

I’ve tried making pasta carbonara before with mixed results. I have even broken the cardinal sin and added cream to the sauce because I knew my eggs had overcooked and were breaking. This was with the heat off and stirring like there was no tomorrow. I don’t make it that often because, well, my hips don’t lie for one. Secondly, as I mentioned, I have had some successes and failures in the past. So, It has been tabled for a while and just on the back burner, so to speak.

One night I am watching a cooking show where a judge is challenged to make carbonara in about 17 minutes. Say what? That is crazy! Keep in mind, this chef is big dog in the restaurant world with multiple establishments, cookbooks, and the list goes on. Still, it is no joke to make a dish like that in 17 minutes. As he deftly begins to put the dish together, he mentions that you should combine the egg and grated parmesan in a seperate bowl. He goes on to explain that once your pasta is done cooking and the bacon is rendered that you will mix the pasta in with the bacon fat. Remember, fat is flavor. Add the pasta to the bowl with the egg, cheese, black pepper, and mix quickly. Viola! Perfect carbonara! Why is this step so important? Because it ensures that your eggs don’t scramble and your sauce is perfectly smooth. I was soo excited by this that I jumped up, didn’t even finish the show, and proceeded to make carbonara. As it happened, I had some bacon around that I had chopped up previously for another recipe. The rest of my ingredients were in the fridge just waiting to be called to action.

Here is the recipe that I used. Before we do that, here are two small pieces of business that I need to address. First, this is not my recipe as it belongs to Chef Marc Murphy who was appearing as a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games, “Budget Wars” episode. Also, I eye-balled most of the amounts in order to create this recipe. However, I think the recipe foundation can be built upon to make it for any number of people.

Pasta Carbonara

3 whole eggs

1/2 cup of bacon sliced into strips

3/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh cracked pepper

pasta of your choice I used 1/4-1/2 box dried gluten free fettuccine

 

Directions

Fill large pot with water, when boiling, add salt until water tastes of the ocean.

In a skillet, start rendering bacon on medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and parmesan cheese. Mix until eggs and cheese are combined. Add cracked black pepper, stir until incorporated, and then set the bowl aside

Once bacon is rendered and cooked to desired doneness, remove with slotted spoon.

Drain pasta getting as much water out as you can. Then toss the pasta in the pan with the bacon fat and mix until pasta is well coated with bacon fat.

Add pasta into the bowl that has the egg and cheese mixture and toss with tongs for a minute.

Transfer pasta into serving bowl and top with the crispy bacon to serve.

 

That is it! You have done it!

As I have said, the technique can apply to any carbonara recipe. I wanted to share the recipe I used as a guide to help you guy understand how it works. Admittedly, I didn’t take any photos as carbonara is best served hot. Plus, I am not sure with garnishing the bowl, which appears to be a culinary sin, a bowl of carbonara is pretty simple and clean when served.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Launch of Patrick’s Table Logo!

Guys!! I am sooo excited to officially, finally, and for the first time, share the logo of Patrick’s Table with you!! As I said in my post a few days ago that I have had this design in my head for months now and was just waiting for the right time to get with my designer to make it come together. Over the past few days I have been making some final tweaks and now it is finished!! Honestly, I don’t think prepared to actually be able to share the logo, but it has come to be.

 

Alright, enough of me typing and building up the anticipation….

 

Here. We. Go!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

I mentioned that I am not very artistic when it comes to drawing. So, here was the idea that came to me late one night. Here is the original image. Yes, I drew this.

 

 

I really couldn’t be happier with how this turned out!

What do you guys think? Email me, post a comment or let me know on IG. I am looking forward to more branding with my new logo!

Enjoy,

Patrick

 

Butternut Squash Alfredo

Here I am trying to figure out what kind of recipe I should share as I dust off the ol’ blog. Do I make something new? Revisit a favorite? What to do? Well, I started looking around my kitchen and the basket of butternut squash said what about me? Alright, I said to myself. Butternut squash, you are up! The million dollar question is what should I do with it? All the usual options were there like roasting it, making ravioli, pasta, soup or something along those lines. I really wanted to do something different. After a few minutes of looking at recipes, it was decided. I was going to make butternut squash alfredo. The premise is to use the butternut squash as your sauce base that mimics a classic alfredo. I was skeptical at the start, but it didn’t last long.

Alright, let’s get it!

                               Butternut Squash Alfredo

**First, recipe credit and authorship belongs to Krista of Joyful Healthy Eats. The full and complete recipe can be found here. I have made changes according to my own interpretation, but the recipe is from Krista’s website.**

I tested a half recipe and my changes reflect that, but they will fit the constructs a of full recipe.

Changes:

Step 1) I sweated the onion and garlic over medium heat and added a pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 2)   Bring the mixture of onions, garlic, butternut squash, and thyme to a gentle simmer until the squash is fork tender. I used dried thyme, which is fine, just make sure to let it bloom in the hot oil. Also, I didn’t feel the sage was necessary, but if you want it feel free to add it. I added a few more splashes of stock as I noticed the liquid was reducing quickly. I used a little more than a half cup of stock. Don’t panic when you taste the squash and it is under-seasoned. The seasoning will be adjusted as we finish the sauce before plating.

Step 3) Krista suggests adding salt first and then pureeing the sauce until smooth. I felt like this was a mistake because if you over salt and then puree the sauce you might have a problem. Puree the sauce first in a blender or food processor and then adjust the seasoning. I also added a touch more milk to the sauce as well. It was a little thick and the milk gives better mouth feel than the stock. Keep in mind, if you plan on topping the pasta with parmesan cheese or different cured meats that will change the salt level also.

Step 4) Reuse the pan that you cooked the squash in to cook the bacon. Just wipe it out and you are ready to go. There is no reason to make more dishes for yourself. Well, unless you having someone doing the dishes for you. LOL Admittedly, I didn’t use quality bacon and the pasta suffered as I used a big box store bacon. That isn’t a knock on big box store bacon, but that I could tell the flavor profile wasn’t the same as what I normally buy from my local butcher.

Step 5) Add the sauce a little at a time until the pasta is thoroughly coated with sauce. Remember, you can always add more sauce. The sauce should be thick, like the consistency of a cheese sauce or a hollandaise.

Pasta tossed in sauce.

 

I topped my finished pasta with bacon and basil chiffonade. The basil gives the dish some freshness and that beautiful floral quality. You could also garnish with parmesan or a pinch of chili powder for a little heat.

Finished pasta!

What surprised me the most was that the sauce, even before I had tossed it with the pasta, tasted like a bechamel. It felt like I was eating a cream sauce with a hint of sweetness. It was rich, thick, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything from a classic alfredo. In addition, it took no time at all to make. It was my first attempt making this recipe and that makes the process take a little longer, but it came together so quickly at the end.

To be honest, I was looking for this recipe to not turn out. It was missing some basic things that I talked about above. Plus, I didn’t feel like there would be enough flavor that could be coaxed out of this simple sauce. I, however, was absolutely wrong and couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out.

Here a few final thoughts that I want to share. You could easily add a protein and really make this dish stand out. Also, you could reinforce the dish with mushroom or other vegetables. I will say this dish is intended to be simple so don’t add the kitchen sink. If you want make the sauce a little richer you can use half and half or a little heavy cream as your “milk” component. I am considering just making a batch of the “sauce” to freeze or have some leftover sauce in the fridge for a quick dinner. In fact, I do have a little sauce still in my fridge right now….I did use gluten free pasta, but you could use regular pasta as well. Speaking of pasta, I used gluten free penne as you may have noticed in the photo. The penne holds the sauce really well with the ridges and hollow center. However, that does impact the “saucy” factor. If more sauce is your jam then add a little extra or use a different noodle such as the classic fettuccine or linguine.

Feel free to send me an email, post a comment here or on my IG account and tell me what you think about this recipe.

Enjoy,

Patrick

P.S. Do you guys like the new super compact format? If no, what else would like or want to see? Let me know!

Big News for Patrick’s Table!

Hello! It has been a long time! How is everyone? I have amazing news that I am sharing here first……………..I am beyond excited to announce that Patrick’s Table is about to get a brand new look! That’s right! I will soon be unveiling my logo for Patrick’s Table!! This has been a long time coming as I have had the design for months. What I am most excited about is the design concept is my own!

Like life, it was really a matter of timing to make sure everything was going to come together. Late one night, while I was trying to fall asleep, the idea for the logo came into my mind. By the way, it was about 1:30am when this idea struck me. For once my difficulty sleeping was paying off. I took out my tablet and began to draw it up. What really was amazing is that I was able to put something down on paper since I can barely draw a stick figure. I am not kidding, I don’t have any drawing skills at all. If you don’t believe me you can ask my second grade elementary school teacher who I am still friends with. LOL!

I can’t wait to share this design with you! I am working to approve the last few tweaks to make the logo really stand out.

Enjoy,

Patrick

P.S. I will be sharing a new recipe that I found that I am making tonight. Keep your eyes open for that. I hope to return to bringing regular content back soon!

P.S.S. What do you guys do when you are struggling to find content or inspiration to write? Any tips to share? I will gladly check them out!

P.S.S.S. You can always send me an email at patrick@patrickstable.com or if you want to follow me on Instagram, my handle is @patricks_table.

The Importance of The Blogging Community

I thought I would take a minute a try to post something a little different, which I feel is important to share. I am not going to lie, it sure seems apropos with what is going on in our country today. However, this post isn’t intended to analyze or promote any political point of view. I will say that it is hard to look at what is happening and not feel appalled, saddened, concerned, and just plain confused. My message and story, however, are very relatable.

About 10 days ago, my blogger friend Erica shared that an airline had lost her bags while traveling to Europe.  More than that, the airline refused to help her locate her bags or have any contact with her. She asked if anyone was willing to help her to get cooperation from the airline in locating her bags. Without even a second thought, I jumped into the fray! After reading Erica’s repeated attempts to reach the airline and some of its customer reviews, I decided to take the fight to their social media page and give it everything I had. Over the following three days I hit the airline’s social media accounts with every shot I could think of in order to get their attention. I even had their attention on the first day after I was contacted to find out why I was blasting their account. Sadly it didn’t last very long and that account went radio silent when I continued to send messages.

The airline stayed quiet instead of responding to any questions regarding where in the world Erica’s bags may have been. Despite the overwhelming silence I stayed the course and unleashed a volley of messages, to show that I wouldn’t be deterred.  Actually, they were only strengthening my resolve to fight for my friend who was at the end of her rope for good reason.

Just two days before Erica was set to return home without her bags the airline finally replied. Not only did they reply, but for the first time with useful information and not the company line. Was it possible the airline had seen the light? Did the airline want to do the right thing? Was Erica going to actually to see her suitcase again? By all accounts it seemed like this couldn’t be real, however, the airline found her bags and she had them back within minutes of arriving home.

Before I get to my point, let me share a little bit of backstory on how Erica and I became friends. I started Patrick’s Table in February 2015 and within a few months I found Everything Erica. I began to follow and comment on her photos and stories. No matter what she posted about I was able to find something to comment on or share regarding those posts, which became more frequent over a period of time and Erica began to respond back. This became the normal routine and after awhile I playfully mentioned that I wanted to fly out to Chicago and meet her one day. Not only that, but I started to notice that her social media crew was beginning to follow me as well, keeping an eye on the content I continued to produce for my own blog.  Our friendship via social media was alive and well, but that visit needed to happen. In April 2016, after teasing an impending visit, I made it happen. I had a wonderful time in Chicago and enjoyed having a friendly dinner with Erica and some of her crew while in the Windy City. Our friendship is now stronger than ever and I am glad to have her as part of my life.

Why am I sharing all of this? First, because life is very unexpected and has a strange way of coming full circle. You never know how you might be able to provide support to those that you don’t see or interact with every day. Community, friends, and relationships are so much bigger than anything else we may encounter in this world. Bigger than Instagram, WordPress, Snapchat or the content we create for our individual blogs. The people we care about, the things we fight for, and the things we value are what make us who we are. That is why our medium is so powerful. We bring people together over distant continents, with likes or dislikes, opinions, fears, food, drink, faith, life lessons, shared passions or hobbies, and even through sharing our own insecurity. How? Because we have each other. We have community. Even thousands of miles away we always have each other.

What I learned while helping Erica locate her bag is that sometimes fighting for others can bring us the greatest joy in life. Let me be clear, this isn’t about ego at all. In fact, it is about truly being present and recognizing that you can always do more to help others, and sometimes in unexpected ways. It is so easy to take for granted the people and things we have in our lives — and as someone who has lost family and friends over the years, I treasure the ways many of my nearest and dearest brighten up my life, and hopefully I do the same for them! Spread more affection out there in the world and less hatred or ignorance, try to see the ways to build connections with others — even online — as community can truly bring out the best things in our lives and the lives of others.

As unexpected thank you, Erica sent me a gift she had made for me while she was in Europe. So, if you want to see what it is, then comment on this post, “surprise.” If you guys respond then I will open it, maybe even live to share it with you. Keep in mind, I haven’t opened the package yet. However, I want to be perfectly transparent, I did see a teaser video of what this gift could be. Therefore, I know what it is, but haven’t seen it completed.

So, send me an email, post a comment or find me on Instagram @patricks_table. Also, make sure you are following me dear friend, Erica, @everythingerica on Instagram. Trust me, you want to be following her! She is amazing!!

Banana Bread

If you have been following me on the blog then you know that baking is not my strong suit. I love desserts and baked goods but my creativity seems to be better suited in the savory world. However, sometimes inspiration strikes and you just have to run with it. Recently, I noticed I had some bananas that would no longer be suitable for just normal consumption. It wasn’t just one banana either. There were five or 6 bananas that needed some attention, STAT. As I stared at them I was faced with question of could I repurpose them or send them to the trash can. Before long  I was trying to calculate how many days before trash day so I could properly dispose of them. Then without warning I heard in my head, “You are going to make banana bread.” And just like that I was on my way to my first ever batch of banana bread.

I went to the web and typed in “easy banana bread” and scoured a few recipes before I settled on one. Combine ingredients, prep baking vessels, and bake. Even I could do that! My recipe was selected and it was time to begin. Before we get to anything else here is the original recipe that I used. Of course, I made some changes which we will cover shortly.

 

 Homemade Banana Bread

*This is not my recipe and full credit is given to recipe author with their recipe noted above.*

My changes reflect a double batch for this recipe.

 

Ingredients

5 or 6 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup or one stick, melted butter

3 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

 

Directions

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 9×5 bread pans by rubbing them with butter and or oil to keep bread from sticking when you remove the loaf from pan

Combines bananas, sugar, egg, and butter together in a bowl or mixer. In a different bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add flour into banana mixture until batter is just mixed and flour is combined.

Completed banana bread batter.

Pour batter into your prepared bread pans.

Prepared batter in bread pan.

Bake in oven until a toothpick or paring knife inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, this will take about an hour.

Finished Banana Bread

 

It is that easy and was no fail for a first time banana bread maker, me!

Alright, time to talk about some of the changes:

Sugar. I personally am a fan of a little less sugar in baked goods. That doesn’t mean I don’t want a sweet banana bread, but I am always going to scale back on the sugar the recipe suggests. I think it provides better balance and ensures you can enjoy it without getting a sugar high. To accomplish that I actually use brown sugar in addition to some white sugar for the recipe. The brown sugar accomplishes a few things that play in our favor. First, you get the sweetness you need in order to make the bread delicious. Next, it provides some richness, caramel notes, depth, and a really nice color to the batter. This only helps the banana bread develop a nice crust and color when the baking is complete. This allows us to back off on the white sugar a little bit and use it to fortify the sweetness factor. By the way, I don’t have an issue with white sugar being used at all. I use white sugar in a lot of other applications such as coffee, tomato sauces, and other culinary applications. If you have read my blog you know I am a big fan moderation and balance. Especially when it comes to cooking I think that is the key to everything.

Flour. Believe it or not, I used gluten free flour to make all batches of banana bread at this point. I am a big fan of Bob’s Red Mill Cup to Cup or 1 to 1 baking flour. I can’t remember exactly how it is labeled, but the packaging is blue if that helps.  This is my go-to gluten free flour option but, you can certainly use standard flour if you wish. I have family and friends with gluten issues so I try to make it that way. Honestly even the people who don’t have aversions don’t even notice what kind of flour has been used.

Baking Powder. While I was reading the reviews there were a lot of people who thought baking powder could have a greater impact on the recipe than baking soda. The powder does give the banana bread a little more lift while it settles and stays fairly flat with the baking soda. Therefore I vote for baking powder and I was happy with the bread when it came out.

Batter Distribution. The first batch I made  produced a full size loaf where the slices looked more like bread size. In pan number two the slices were about the height of a biscotti cookie about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. The difference was noticeable and a little annoying to say the least. The good news was that the flavor of both loaves wasn’t affected and it ate just the same. On my second batch I poured the batter more evenly and ended up with slices about an inch or a little more, but again, smaller than what we imagine a slice of bread.

Recipe matters. As I noted off the top, I am not a baker and as result I almost forgot to complete the process of doubling all ingredients on the recipe. I had some ingredients that were doubled as they should be but some that weren’t. Luckily, I was reminded to double check that I had the right measurements. Remember, measure and make sure your math adds up.

Nuts. In all batches of banana bread that I have made I have done one with nuts and one without. The nuts are strictly for presentation and a little texture. However, if there are food allergies or aversions to nuts, then do not use them. I know there are people who have serious allergies to nuts that can be life threatening. Please, please don’t use them if you have someone in your family or someone you know that might have that issue. In fact, on a personal note, my godson is 2 years old and his parents and I are trying to mindful of what we give him at a young age. So, when they came over and I gave them some bread I asked if nuts were a problem. I hadn’t seen him have any issues, but I made sure to check with his parents before I sent them off with some. Because, in fact, his cousin who shares the same bloodline and DNA is allergic to all kinds of nuts. So, again, do what you need to do for your family and your own well being.

A few of you have reached out while I have been teasing posting this recipe about your love for banana bread. I am hoping some of you will make it and let me know what you think. You can always leave a comment, send me an email or reach out on Instagram. I can’t wait to hear from you!!

Enjoy!

Barbecue Sauce Basics

Happy Summer! You know what that means, right?! Time to pull off those dusty grill or barbecue covers and throw some meat on the heat! There are few things that I love more than some saucy ribs in a delicious barbecue sauce. Or perhaps a topper for a pork slider for your next summer gathering. Heck, I will even pull some meat out of the fridge, a slice of bread, grab my barbecue sauce, and have my own culinary dunk party. You may also consider a beverage and a few napkins if you indulge in the latter.

Barbecue sauce, like so many things, has become a whole other animal so to speak. It can be sweet, sour, spicy, fruity, light, dark, and a million other combinations alike. The truth is you can make it at home just as easily as you can go out and buy it. Also, you might save a couple of bucks in the process. So, I just want to give you a starter recipe that will allow you build off of. In fact, this recipe is a hybrid between a recipe out of a cookbook and a recipe that my mom uses for her famous barbecued chicken. You can get the recipe there if you want, but I want this post to be solely about the sauce. Like all the recipes I post you can customize accordingly. Only your lack of imagination will limit the possibilities. If you want some proof of something else you can do, then just click here.

When it comes to my go to barbecue sauce flavor profile I tend to like something that is tomato and vinegar based. However, I like a little sweetness and heat on the back end to balance the vinegary notes. Not only is it good for your palette, but there is some flexibility for what you can use this barbecue sauce on. For example, this sauce will play well with pork, beef or chicken without any problems.

 

                                                  Barbecue Sauce

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2-4 cloves garlic, finely diced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tablespoons of paprika

1/4 cup of day old coffee

A couple of pinches of kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

A few pinches of chili powder

 

Combine all ingredients into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil and stir to make sure everything is combined. Reduce to simmer and stir occasionally until you reach your desired thickness. This could take between 25-35 minutes.

 

Finished barbecue sauce. Photo edited with VSCO.

By the time the sauce is done it is thick, rich, tangy, and full of flavor. Don’t you want to just drink it up? I do!

A couple of quick things about this recipe. After the sauce has been simmering about 20 minutes then take a spoonful and set it aside. No, not to sample exactly but to check the thickness. If the sauce is warm it will not be at its full thickness. So, check it every few minutes until you get the consistency you want. Remember, it will thicken a bit more in the fridge as it totally sets up. Be sure to adjust as you go if it needs more of anything else. Caution! Be careful when sampling while cooking!! This can burn your mouth very easily so let it cool for a few seconds first.

As I said at the top, there are no limits for what you do with your barbecue sauce. This gives you a launch pad to have some creative license to try something new. Probably my absolute favorite part about this recipe is that you already have all these ingredients in your pantry or in your house right now. No need for a special shopping trip to get this beautiful barbecue sauce on the table!

As always let me know what you think. Send me an email, leave a comment for find me on Instagram and let me know what you have come up with. I love to hear from you guys!

Enjoy!

Best Breakfast North of The Golden Gate Bridge

Hard to believe that my whirlwind trip to the Bay Area was a week ago. It was a perfect break to do some fun things which included baseball, wine, and food as usual. Since we are talking about food and travel, I find myself reminiscing about a great little breakfast place that I ate at on the way home. My best friend and I decided to leave San Francisco early as we wanted to have ample time to  do some wine tasting on the way home. If you follow my Instagram then you know we made plenty of time to sample some wine in Napa and Sonoma county. The hotel didn’t offer much for breakfast and we wanted to beat traffic on a Tuesday morning. So, we decided to head north out of the city a few miles before we started hunting for a suitable breakfast.

Let me say that my best friend and I aren’t well known for planning all of our stops on any trip. We typically just feel it out and go with what makes the most sense. I fully admit that sometimes that approach works out and sometimes not.  However, that is a story for another time. We began to look for the best breakfast places within 20 or 30 miles of where we were on the highway. Much to our surprise there were a number of places that stood out, but there was one place that stood out above the rest. This place had killer reviews from Google and was exactly what we had in mind. A little place to get some coffee and have some good food before making our long trek home. Not only that, but we couldn’t pass up the name of the place either, Bogie’s Cafe.

Just off of Highway 101 North in San Pedro, CA was Bogie’s Cafe. The building had a simple exterior with a little patio and it was tucked in behind a gas station. We opened the door to another world full of color and an homage to that quaint breakfast kitchen that you know only produces delicious food. Better than that is the owner/manager who doesn’t just seat you, but he wants to interact with you like you are part of the family. I don’t just mean, “Welcome to……., please follow me and have a seat.” We talked about jobs, travel, sports, our travels, social media, blogging, and I don’t know what else. He topped off our coffee with effort and ease and made sure that we had what needed. The menu was simple but had a variety of options to choose from. It wasn’t fussy breakfast in any way just simple and delicious food. After we received our plates, Michael, the owner, even indulged me while I took my plate outside to get more natural light in my photo.

Ohh….thats right, the food!!!!

 

2 pancakes, 2 eggs scrambled, and 2 strips of bacon.

 

Those pancakes took up almost the whole plate!! No joke. The pancakes were fluffy, hot, and beyond satisfying! The eggs were perfectly cooked silky and smooth. Finally, the bacon give a little texture and some much needed richness. Topped with some syrup this was a perfect breakfast trio and was exactly what the doctor ordered. Oh, my best friend ordered a waffle that was pretty close to the same size as my pancakes!! He again topped his off with some eggs, bacon, and went to work. Let me say, I left no pancakes behind as was my personal mission. My best friend and I, who are big eaters, found that we didn’t need any more food until we returned home. It sure took the worry out of wine tasting on a empty stomach.

Before we left, we had one last mission as I had professed that I would be blogging about this delectable culinary find. We were graced with the presence of a Bogie’s Cafe celebrity and had to have our photo taken to cement our visit. If you want to know more about this celebrity sighting then comment “sighting” in my comment, send me an email or let me know on my Instagram post.

So, if you find yourself on 101 North of San Francisco and headed towards San Pedro in Marin County, stop by Bogie’s Cafe. Better yet, just put it on your must do list next time you are in the area! You won’t be disappointed and I already can’t wait to go back and eat all over again!

My great thanks to Michael and his team at Bogie’s Cafe for their incredible service, hospitality, and delightful food! It was absolutely one of the highlights of our trip! Thank you so much!!

Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Menu Take 2

As we approach Mother’s Day, I was looking back and thinking about my original post in which I shared all the food that I made for my mom a few years ago. It was a solid post, but I failed to do one thing. I didn’t really give you the recipes to make the dishes. I gave you a menu, which was cool, but I think that post fell a wee bit short of my intended goal.  Well, that is about to change right now!

I had planned a weekend full of food while she was here, which was met with some excitement and terror about how could we possibly do all that eating in such a short period of time.  Even though I had planned about five or six home cooked meals I made sure that these meals could be made with fair ease. Either I had everything I needed in my house or I needed to grab a few staple items from my local store. What’s the point of having family visit if you are stuck in the kitchen the whole time?? Not conducive for spending a proper weekend with mom that is for sure!

Below are some great meal options for your upcoming weekend with your mom or any family that may visiting soon. I know summer is right around the corner and that means an onslaught of guests and visitors. Oh, just click on any of the links to get the complete recipe!

Breakfast:

Hash with sunny-side-up eggs will never let you down. A hash full of potatoes, onions, bell peppers, steak, and topped with some sunny side eggs will always be a winner! This is totally customizable and has unlimited combinations to please any palette.

French Toast with some fresh pineapple chunks, watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries. Don’t be fooled, this is french toast with a twist! By adding a little lemon or lime zest, which provides a perfect counterpoint to the richness of french toast. Trust me, this is a game changer!

Dinner:

Lime Marinated Sea Bass is a fresh, flavorful, easy dish that you can put on the table in about 25 minutes. The addition of lime, garlic, wine, and cilantro really helps bring a lot of flavor to a meaty fish. Doesn’t hurt to throw this on the grill and get the edges charred and crispy. If you are looking to serve up something with the fish, then may I introduce mango salsa and roasted carrots to your party.

 

Pasta Bolognese is a classic Italian meat sauce with rich, deep meaty flavors that can bring joy to any dinner. Paired with some crusty garlic bread, a fresh salad, a glass of wine, and you are set!

I didn’t cover lunch because I feel like it is a perfect opportunity for a super light dish or maybe a chance to get out of the house and head to your favorite restaurant. It can be really nice to break up the routine with a lunch out or grabbing a coffee and a beloved pastry. If you feel neglected because I didn’t include at least one lunch option, well, here you go. Now you can’t complain that I didn’t give you anything! 🙂

 

I have learned that Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be about “stuff” and slaving away so Mom knows you are paying attention. It is about taking the time to always appreciate why your family is special to you. This is something that I have personally discussed with my Mom as well. There are three hundred and sixty-four other days to appreciate her as well, but do we? I know I don’t always stop to appreciate her. But I should and more importantly, I need to show that appreciation. Life is short and a gift, so why not take five seconds and express that gratitude?

 

 

Follower Recipe Challenge Announcement

A few days ago, I posted a challenge to my social media followers. Instead of sharing a recipe with you guys, I wanted you to give me something you would like to see me make. Whether that was a something you were fearful of making, wanted to see my twist or just wanted to challenge my home cooking skills.

Here we go…..I will now announce what recipe I will be putting my twist on.

Risotto

That’s right. Risotto. It will be my own unique take on this Italian classic comfort dish. In fairness and with total transparency, I’ve never  attempted to make risotto before. This will be a completely new challenge that I have never attempted before.

Oh, if that wasn’t interesting enough, I have added a new wrinkle to this challenge. Not only am I going to attempt risotto for the first time, but I am going to attempt two or three variations that suit my culinary point of view!

Two or three versions….do you think I can do it?? Stay tuned because this should be fun!!

As usual, send me an email, comment or let me know what you think!

Special thanks to Erin @312food and LRB @chifoodpaparazzi on Instagram for the amazing feedback! On a side note, you should be following them if you aren’t doing so already!