Crispy Fish Taco Recipe + The Best Fish Taco in San Diego

You guys are in for a treat today!  Two treats really.

Crispy Fish Tacos

A few months ago, Jorge and I went on a hunt for the best battered fish taco in San Diego.  Given the massive amount of fish taco options available, we decided to start our search by polling friends, family and fellow foodies about their favorite spots for fish tacos.  This poll resulted in these top 3 restaurants/trucks (also vetted on Yelp): Mariscos Alex, TJ Oyster Bar and Oscar’s Mexican Seafood.  After we found a favorite fish taco, I then made my own Crispy Fish Taco recipe paired with a spicy Chipotle Crema.  This week, I’m sharing my pick for the best fish taco in SD plus my fish taco recipe over on Salt & Wind, a food and travel blog by Aida Mollenkamp.  Continue reading for photos from the hunt plus links to the winner and recipe.

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Peach Gingersnap Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe

It has been so HOT in San Diego recently.

Peach Gingersnap Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe

For those of you in typically warmer summer climates, you may laugh at me when I say that it’s been an uncomfortable 75 – 80 for the past week.  But those seemingly normal temps have been accompanied by a thick blanket of humidity, something that we rarely get here in San Diego.  I used to deal with humidity all the time when I lived in New Jersey, but I’m coming up on my 11th year in SD, and I’ve completely lost all tolerance.

This uncharacteristic heat has me craving cold, sweet treats nighty.  My freezer is stocked with various tubs of homemade and store-bought ice creams, including this Fresh Peach Ice Cream.  Made with both a blended peach puree and macerated bits of yellow peach, this egg-free ice cream is just packed with peach flavor.  Like scoopable summer.

When I’m feeling lazy, I’ll enjoy a scoop or two of ice cream with some fridge staples, including jam, caramel sauce, or ginger syrup.  OR I’ll make ice cream sandwiches with store-bought cookies.  When I’m feeling a bit more ambitious, I’ll whip up a fresh batch of cookies for ice cream sandwiches.  Here, I’ve paired this Fresh Peach Ice Cream with dark, glistening Gingersnaps.  These cookies are bursting with notes of ginger, star anise, brown sugar and molasses. Ginger pairs harmoniously with peach here, forming an addicting sweet treat.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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The Cucumber Lime Zinger + 5 Years [Giveaway]

Kitchen Konfidence is officially 5 years old!!  Gosh, can you believe it?!

Cucumber Lime Zinger Cocktail

I started Kitchen Konfidence back in 2010 as a way for me to express and share my passion for food through recipes and photography.  And I’m glad to say that Kitchen Konfidence continues to act as my creative happy space 5 years later.  I love cooking, I love photography and I love sharing my recipes.  I love that moment when someone tastes something I’ve made, and their eyes grow wide, the corners of their mouth turn up to a smile, and they exclaim, “YUM!”  These are the things that keep me going.

Another big part of why I still enjoy blogging is YOU!  All of the readers, bloggers, friends and family that continue to check in here, leave comments, send e-mails, tweets and all other manner of communiqué.  Connecting with other passionate foodies is what makes this FUN.  So thank you.

Finally, I’ve really grown to enjoy all of the local San Diego activities that I get to do as a result of being a food blogger.  Events with the San Diego Food Blogger group, restaurant experiences around town, product tastings, local partnerships and my monthly recipe column in Pacific Magazine.  The San Diego food scene has really come up since I first moved here back in 2004, and I love being just a small part of the big picture.

From time to time, I like to look back at my old recipes to see how I’ve grown over the years.  For example, take a look at my original post on Blueberry Ice Cream.  The photos are dark, the focus is way too tight on several photos and the recipe is in an unfriendly format.  Also, remember FoodBuzz??  I do miss that.  Last year, I reposted the same Blueberry Ice Cream recipe, reimagined with an Oat Crumble Topping.  My photos are now bright, vibrant and there’s even an animated gif thrown into the mix!  I’m not saying that these photos are perfect, but they’re definitely improved!  Week-by-week, Kitchen Konfidence allows me to hone my photography, writing, editing, styling, recipe testing/development, and teaching skills.  It’s a challenge, and I love it.

So that’s it for the love fest!!  Now, on to the cocktail.  Continue reading to hear more about this Cucumber Lime Zinger plus a cookbook giveaway.

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Fluffy Cardamom Pancakes Recipe

I met Cheryl at a conference last year.

Fluffy Cardamom Pancakes

Winner of Saveur’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Best Writing Blog award, Cheryl was one of the guest speakers at the conference.  I remember being particularly enthralled by Cheryl’s creative writing presentation, and I’m always impressed with her stories on 5 Second Rule.  I find that I pour most of my creativity into my cooking, styling and photography, and my writing often gets the short end of the stick!  It’s a skill I’m continuously trying to improve, and Cheryl’s blog is a good source of inspiration :)

In addition to being an amazing writer, Cheryl just released another cookbook called Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World’s Creamiest, Healthiest Food.  This book is a beauty!   I often find myself with a tub of yogurt (Greek or otherwise) in my fridge, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it up (besides snacking with berries and granola!).  You’ll find a collection of my yogurt recipes below, but for a real comprehensive yogurt experience (300+ pages), you need to get Yogurt Culture.  I’ve cooked several recipes from the book including Twice-Cooked Yogurt-Marinated Chicken, Yogurt Whipped Cream, Lemon Poppy Seed Mousse and these Fluffy Cardamom Pancakes.  All were delicious, but I really loved the pancakes.  Continue reading for the recipe and roundup!

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Basil Turkey Burger Recipe

Aaaaaaand I’m back.

Basil Turkey Burgers

For the past couple of weeks, Jorge and I have been adventuring around Europe, including stops in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.  A big thanks to all who provided recommendations!  I’m not going to dive into our trip just yet, because I haven’t processed all the photos; however, you can find some foodie highlights on Instagram.

Now that we’re back, I’m in full 4th of July mode.  This year, I will be grilling up a batch of Basil Turkey Burgers inspired by one of my favorites from Burger Lounge.  Flavored with tons of fresh basil, these burgers are laced with two secret ingredients: fish sauce and sugar.  Fish sauce provides some much-needed umami without imparting a fishy flavor.  The sugar balances out the fish sauce.  Stacked up with lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup, the finished burger packs a pleasant basil punch followed by an incredibly satisfying savory finish.  Continue reading for the turkey burger recipe plus 9 other recipes for 4th of July!

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St. Germain Ice Cream Float

I’m keeping things short and sweet today.

St. Germain Ice Cream Float

This ice cream float has been… floating around in the back of mind for almost two years now.  Back in August 2013, Jorge and I were exploring the Seattle food scene when we came upon Hot Cakes, a small restaurant that specializes in boozy milkshakes and molten chocolate cakes.  There were so many tasty things on the menu (including a St. Germain Float), and we wanted to order all of them!  Unfortunately, stomach space was minimal (we just had dinner), and the St. Germain Float option was trumped by an Extra-Dark Caramel Milkshake, a shake that I later recreated at home.

As we were leaving Hot Cakes that evening, I asked a waitress what was in the St. Germain Float, and she replied, “A scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of St. Germain poured over.”  Seems simple enough right?  Well I tried this at home, and it was delicious, but I don’t think I would really call it a float.  Where was the soda?  The bubbles?  With a few simple additions, I finally landed on this recipe.

Made with just 4 ingredients, my St. Germain Ice Cream Float starts with a mix of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh lemon juice and sparkling water.  A makeshift elderflower soda if you will.  The lemon balances out the sweetness of the liqueur while the bubbly provides a refreshing snap.  To finish, drop in a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy.  So simple.  SO delicious.  The pairing of elderflower and vanilla just works in all the right ways.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Cinnamon Chile de Arbol Donut Holes

National Doughtnut Day is coming up on June 5th.  Let’s celebrate.

Cinnamon Chile Donut Holes

These Cinnamon Chile de Arbol Donut Holes are inspired by my latest donut obsession in San Diego, Nomad Donuts.  If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of donut photos that feature their tasty creations.  Nomad regularly serves flavored donut holes, and my favorite is their cinnamon chile de arbol variety.  So much so, that I decided to recreate them at home.  After several wonderful rounds of recipe testing, I finally landed on a method that may just be tastier than the original :)

This recipe starts with a simple mix of freshly ground, toasted chiles de arbol, ground cinnamon and sugar.  A topping for the fried donut holes that’s got the recognizable warmth of cinnamon sugar paired with the exciting spark of dried chile.  Toasting the chiles before grinding provides another layer of flavor that works well with the cinnamon.  This spice-flecked topping is tossed with the freshly fried donut holes, creating a lip-tingling treat perfect for breakfast or dessert.  Continue reading for the recipe plus ideas for a National Doughnut Day party!

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Throw a Backyard Memorial Day Bash with these 12 Simple Recipes (and tips!)

Half Beer Can Chicken

Memorial Day is right around the corner, and it’s about that time to dust off your grill, gather friends and family, and throw a big, backyard bash.  I’ve put together a short list of simple recipes to help you get the party started.  But first, let’s talk party tips:

  1. Don’t make your whole menu from scratch.  Pair one or two (or three) of the recipes below with store-bought items to keep your event stress-free.  Just make sure everything is good-quality.
  2. If friends or family ask to bring something, tell them alcohol or ice.  I always forget to buy extra ice.
  3. Keep one or two foam coolers (or big buckets) handy to store extra ice.
  4. When grilling, make sure you’ve got enough charcoal or propane to fuel the whole party.
  5. Get your friends and family involved with the grilling process!  No need to slave over the coals in solitude.  Burger-flipping, timer-checking and temperature-taking are all good tasks for a guest.
  6. Target is a really good source for affordable disposable plates, cups, napkins and flatware.  Ditch the basic paper plates and red solo cups, and liven up your disposables!
  7. Music is important to keep the atmosphere enjoyable and energetic.  Keep the playlist out of reach (lock your laptop, hide your mobile device, etc.) to avoid drunken, hostile takeovers.  If you see someone trying to fuss with the music, kindly ask for a request, and add their song to the playlist.

Now, on to the recipes.

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Hard-Boiled Egg Toast with Chermoula

Chermoula.  Sounds crazy, but it’s super tasty.  Let me explain.

Hard-Boiled Egg Toast with Chermoula

Chermoula is a North African sauce made with herbs, spices, lemon, garlic and olive oil, similar to a chimichurri or an Italian salsa verde.  It’s bright.  It’s fresh.  And it’s just packed with flavor.  For the past few years, North African condiments and spice blends have really been coming to the forefront in home kitchens (harissa, za’atar, preserved lemon), providing big hits of flavor with minimal effort.  I think Chermoula might take the spotlight next.

Here, I’ve paired this bold North African sauce with hard-boiled eggs and toast as a satisfying lunch or snack.  But that’s not the only thing you can do with Chermoula.  Far from it actually!  Dress up some broiled white fish with several spoonfuls of Chermoula to take a weeknight fish dinner to the next level.  Rub chicken thighs with this sauce then roast until tender and golden.  Serve extra Chermoula on the side!  Drizzle over charred slices of rare flank steak.  Mix with mayo for a vibrant burger topping.  So many tasty options!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Kimchi Grilled Cheese Recipe

Did you know April is National Grilled Cheese Month?  I recently realized this, so I dedicated several delicious weeks this month to perfecting one of my favorite grilled cheese sandwiches, the Kimchi Grilled Cheese.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese

Several months ago, I discovered the amazing pairing of kimchi and cheddar one evening after work.  I often come home starving after a long day of work, and I like to eat a little snack before diving into dinner preparation.  These snacks consist of leftover bread with olive oil, bits of cheese , slices of cured meat and/or any of the various fermented or pickled things sitting in my fridge.  Kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage, makes regular appearances during evening snack time.  Here’s what my various bites looked like that evening:

Torn chunk of bread dipped in evoo.

Kerrygold cheddar.

Torn chunk of bread dipped in evoo.

Sip of Old-Fashioned.

Cheddar.

Kimchi?

… … … Cheddar.

Kimchi.

Cheddar.

Kimchi.

Cheddar.

On repeat until eventually I was completely full.  I didn’t make it to dinner that evening.  Since then, I’ve formalized this tasty snack time duo into a proper dinner, the Kimchi Grilled Cheese. Continue reading for the recipe.

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