Jorge’s Bacon Cheeseburgers

Ok so I have a fun little treat for you all today.

Jorge's Bacon Cheeseburger If you weren’t already aware, my sweet, adorable boyfriend is Jorge.  One might think that because I am a food blogger, I do all the cooking in the relationship; however, that is not the case here.  Jorge loves to cook as well, and today, I’m sharing one of his best recipes for Bacon Cheeseburgers.

His burgers start with a mix of freshly ground beef chuck, short rib and bacon.  Sharp cheddar cheese is then worked directly into the burger blend, allowing the cheesy tang to permeate the burger.  These handcrafted patties are then thrown on a hot charcoal grill where they get wonderfully charred.  As the burgers cook, the bits of cheese throughout get all melty and gooey.  Stacked between a toasted brioche bun, this bacon cheeseburger is finished with our favorite toppings: butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, red onion, pickles, mayo, mustard and ketchup.  Let.  me.  tell.  you.  This burger is ridiculously delicious.  Each bite is incredibly juicy with big, bold flavors that can easily stand up to all of the toppings.  This is your burger for summer 2014.  Continue reading for the recipe plus some comments from Jorge!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Cups

And the chia pudding obsession continues.

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Cups

In this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Cups, creamy lemon chia pudding is layered with sweet-tart rhubarb, and chopped strawberries infused with lemon and vanilla.  As you are eating this sweet treat, you can either mix everything together all at once, or you can leave the layers intact, allowing for a variety of tastes with each bite.  I prefer the second option.

Chia pudding is something I eat for breakfast or dessert several times a week, so I am always looking to switch up my flavor combinations.  If you are unfamiliar with chia pudding, check out my explanation here.  Often, I top chia pudding with nuts and dried fruit; however, I also like to make fresh fruit toppings with seasonal produce.  Here, I’ve chosen the classic combination of strawberry and rhubarb.  Both blushing beauties undergo a quick cooking process to amp up sweet-tart flavors (stewing for the rhubarb and maceration for the strawberries).  The finished pudding is so rich and delicious.  You’d hardly guess it was actually healthy for you!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Deviled Eggs Three Ways

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for…

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways Not one.  Not two.  But three deviled egg recipes.  With Easter just around the corner, I’ve come up with a game plan in advance to use up all of those leftover hard-boiled, dyed eggs.  Step 1:  Make deviled eggs.  Step 2:  Throw a Deviled Egg Party.

Let’s dive right into Step 1.  Below, I’ve provided recipes for a variety of deviled eggs: Chile Garlic, Avocado Bacon and Pickled Beet.  My Chile Garlic Deviled Eggs are made with fiery Sambal Oelek, chopped cilantro, and plenty of fresh lime juice.  These flavors are big and bold.  Next, my Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs are prepared with crispy bacon bits, rich avocado, chopped green onion, hot sauce and lime juice.  Guacamole in deviled egg form, this variation is highly addictive.  Finally, Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs are made by pickling whole hard-boiled eggs with sliced red beet in a liquid flavored with red wine vinegar, black pepper and bay leaf.  The egg whites soak up both the flavor and the color of the pickling liquid.  The yolks are then mashed with mayo, chopped pickled beet, pickling liquid, prepared horseradish, and chopped fresh chive.  All three eggs are so. yum.

Use these three recipes as a guide to make your own variations.  You’ll need three tablespoons of mayo for every six eggs.  Then, add spicy (kimchi, pickled jalapeños, Sriracha) and fresh (cilantro, parsley, chive, mint) elements to cut through the richness of the yolk and mayo.  Salt is a must.  If you find that the yolk mixture needs a little lift, add acid (lemon, lime, vinegar).  Continue reading for Step 2, plus my three recipes for deviled eggs.

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Breakfast Quinoa

Eat this Breakfast Quinoa for… breakfast, and you’ll have all the energy you need to punch any early morning right in the face.

Breakfast Quinoa Like earthen red confetti, tender quinoa is tossed with jewel-toned beets and tangerine.  Honey is added for sweetness, and toasted almond for crunch.  This bowl full of superfoods is finished with a rich cloud of whole milk ricotta, and a final flurry of grated tangerine zest.  Healthy?  Check.  Hearty?  Check.  Delicious?  Double check.

In addition to becoming the newest recipe in my healthy breakfast repertoire, this Breakfast Qunioa is also my contribution to the Melissa’s Produce Challenge currently going on between a number of San Diego Food Bloggers.  We were challenged to come up with a tasty recipe using a mixture of items provided by Melissa’s Produce, and items in our own pantry.  Continue reading for the recipe plus a collection of links from the Melissa’s Produce Challenge.

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Rye Pecan Pie

Did you know that tomorrow is Pi Day?

Rye Pecan Pie with Plate For those of you who are not fully dialed into the geek world, Pi Day is an annual celebration of the never-ending number, π.  This special occasion falls on March 14 each year, because this date represents the first 3 digits of π (3.14).  In celebration of Pi Day this year, I’ve prepared a tasty Rye Pecan Pie.  Sweet and smokey with just a hint of spice, this Rye Pecan Pie is to. die. for.  Let me explain.

First, this is a deep dish pie.  That means each slice has almost double the amount of crust and filling compared to a regular slice of pecan pie.  And as we all know, more is better.  Second, the filling is spiked with several tablespoons of rye whisky.  This alcoholic addition balances out the cloying sweetness typically associated with pecan pies.  Finally, beneath that beautiful array of pecan halves lies a thin layer of finely chopped pecans.  This delicious duo of pecans provides a wonderful contrast in both texture and flavor.

So today I’m letting my geeky side (I studied Math and Economics in college. Whaaat?) fly free, wishing that, like π, this Rye Pecan Pie was never-ending.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Raw Kale Salad

Raw Kale Salad Jorge and I just got back from a spectacular trip to Charleston, South Carolina.  Thanks again for all of the recommendations.  Throughout the trip, we had a number of crazy delicious meals including dinner at FIG and Husk, and some damn good soul food at Martha Lou’s Kitchen.  I’ve got a gallery below featuring most of the food Jorge and I ate during our trip (poorly lit dinners not included).

After a vacation where I practically ate my weight in butter and fried chicken, the first thing I was craving when I get back home to California was this Raw Kale Salad.  Gnarled shreds of lacinato kale are tossed in a bright dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese.  The salad then sits for 20 minutes, so the dressing can break down the fibrous texture of the kale.  Finished with a drizzle of EVOO, a dusting of Parmesan, and several grinds of black pepper, this simple salad is healthy, hearty, and packed with incredible flavor.  The first bite will literally smack your taste buds.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Parchment Roasted Potatoes

Jorge and I are in Charleston, South Carolina right now!!  So I’m going to keep this short today.

Parchment Roasted Potatoes My recipe for Parchment Roasted Potatoes is super easy and super tasty.  Petite fingerling potatoes are tossed with whole garlic cloves, rich olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and several sprigs of rosemary, thyme and sage.  This flavorful mix is then wrapped up in a parchment packet, and roasted until tender, creamy and just golden.  Roasting potatoes in parchment locks in the aromas of the garlic and herbs, infusing more flavor into the small spuds.  The dish is finished with a fresh scattering of chopped flat leaf parsley.

I first made these potatoes back in 2012, and I’ve been making them at least once a month ever since.  On a busy weeknight, I can prep the parchment packet by the time the oven preheats.  I can prepare the rest of the meal while the potatoes cook.  So simple!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Roasted Carrot, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

I love it when a salad is as beautiful as it is delicious.  And this salad is a stunner.

Roasted Carrot, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad Ruby red and glistening, slices of blood orange cozy up with spiced carrot and fennel, salty olive bits, and wispy fennel fronds in a tangle of peppery arugula.  Before reaching the salad, the carrots and fennel are dusted with crushed cumin, coriander, fennel seed and cayenne pepper, then roasted until tender and caramelized.  The dressing here is a lemon vinaigrette spiked with garlic and blood orange zest.  My Roasted Carrot, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad is bold, spicy and incredibly satisfying.  This sophisticated salad would be perfect for a special occasion (Mother’s Day or Easter brunch), or any evening you just want to treat yourself.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Easy Homemade Hollandaise [video]

I’ve got a super easy recipe for you today.  Homemade Hollandaise.

Easy Hollandaise Sauce Normally, when one thinks of hollandaise (the sauce on eggs Benedict), easy is not the first word that comes to mind.  To make traditional hollandaise, you need to whisk egg yolks with lemon juice until thick.  You then place the bowl of yolks over simmering water, and stream in hot butter, whisking all the while.  The butter will eventually emulsify with the egg, forming a silky, rich sauce.  If the mixture gets too hot, the eggs will scramble, and the sauce will break.  If the butter is not hot enough, the sauce will never thicken up.  What I’m getting at here, is that the traditional way of making hollandaise is both tedious and prone to failure.

So how do we make this process easier and more foolproof?  First, forget the whisk and double boiler.  Second, get yourself and immersion blender, and a tall, narrow container. Similar to my recipe for Homemade Olive Mayonnaise, this process uses an immersion blender to emulsify the sauce in a matter of moments. The resulting hollandaise is just as creamy as one made using the traditional method. Without all the hassle of course. Continue reading for the recipe plus a video!

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Beet and Turnip Gratin

Beets and turnips for Valentine’s Day?  Who would have thought?

Beet and Turnip Gratin To be honest, not me.  I had originally tested this recipe out as a new side dish for my Thanksgiving extravaganza.  It didn’t make the cut, because I already had so many other side dishes in the works, and there wasn’t enough space in the oven to prepare this blushing beauty.

My Beet and Turnip Gratin sat dormant in my photo archives until this past weekend when I was menu planning for Valentine’s Day.  Sitting at my computer struggling to find a VDay side dish, I suddenly remembered.  A vibrant mix of red, pink and yellow, this Beet and Turnip Gratin is equally tasty and beautiful.  Rich and earthy, the gratin is made with a variety of beets, turnips, shallots, garlic, thyme and chicken stock.  The skillet cooks covered until the vegetables start to soften, then uncovered until the top is just crisp and golden.  Finished with a flurry of chopped chive, my Beet and Turnip Gratin would pair nicely with beef, chicken, pork or fish.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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