El Guapo

You guys, summer is almost over!!  I’m not ready to let go just yet though.

El Guapo Summer Cocktail Recipe

Today, I’m sharing my last summer cocktail recipe, El Guapo, a spirited mix of white tequila, bitters, lime juice, salt and Spiced Vanilla Syrup.  I’ve been seriously drinking these on the daily since I finalized the recipe several weeks ago.  Each sip is bright and refreshing with a complex sweetness from the syrup.  A perfect libation for a weekend gathering with friends, or a post-work happy hour (that’s when I’ve been drinking them!).  In a few weeks, I’m sure I’ll be drinking a PSL while switching all of my wallflowers and hand soaps to fall fragrances, but for now, I’m going to stay right here, and enjoy the last few sips of summer.  Continue reading for the recipe plus more on the Spiced Vanilla Syrup.

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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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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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Roasted Poblano Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido, Spanish for “Melted Cheese”, is truly a thing of beauty.

Roasted Poblano Queso Fundido

In it’s most basic form, Queso Fundido is just melted stringy cheese flavored with onion and garlic, and it’s often paired with roasted poblano peppers, spicy chorizo or sautéed mushrooms.  Here, I’ve taken the classic poblano pairing to the next level.  Three fat peppers get nice and charred under the broiler, and one gets chopped and mixed into the Queso Fundido while the other two transform into a vibrant green purée flavored with garlic and lime.  The contrast of the warm, rich cheese and the bright, smokey sauce is 100% addicting.  So much so that the boyfriend and I easily consumed the entire skillet (shown above) in one sitting!! Continue reading for the recipe.

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Roasted Salsa Verde Recipe

Salsa Verde was the first salsa I attempted to make at home. Let’s just say my initial batch was a complete disaster.

Roasted Salsa Verde Recipe

It was 2008, I was living with several roommates at the time, and I was using this recipe for reference. My instincts told me that a quantity of 5 serrano chiles would make the finished salsa waaaaay too spicy, but I went ahead and made the recipe as written. Instincts were something I wasn’t listening too that much at the time, so my first batch of Salsa Verdes was fiery to say the least. Instead of throwing the salsa out, I tried to make the best of it, and my roommates and I suffered through several extremely spicy meals together.

Since then, I’ve 100% mastered this vibrant salsa. Made with roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic, scallions, cilantro and lime juice, this salsa verde recipe is bright, balanced and so, so addicting. Continue reading for the recipe.

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The Ginger Snap Cocktail

Happy Friday!!

Ginger Snap Cocktail And Happy Holidays as well.  I can’t believe there are just 13 days left until Christmas (and 15 days until my Birthday)!  This Holiday season is flying by, but at least we’ve got 2 weekends left before the big day.  Ample time for Holiday cocktail parties.  This year, I’m serving up this Ginger Snap Cocktail.  Ginger is a favorite spice of mine, so I decided to come up with an easy-to-make cocktail that’s just bursting with ginger flavor.

The Ginger Snap starts with Malahat Spirits Co. Ginger Rum.  Malahat Spirits Co. is a local San Diego distillery that makes small batch rum and flavored rums (spiced and ginger).  With their Ginger Rum, Malahat Spirits Co. infuses rum with fresh, peeled ginger.  100% natural!  You can actually see bits of ginger floating around in the rum, so you know it’s legit.  Next, the rum is balanced with homemade ginger simple syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice.  Finally, the drink is finished with ginger beer and a simple lime wedge garnish.  That’s right, we’ve got some triple ginger action here!  Crisp, light and refreshing, the Ginger Snap is the perfect libation for any festive Holiday fête.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Pumpkin Chicken Chili [Giveaway]

Today I’m giving away a gorgeous KitchenAid 4 Quart Cast Iron Pot PLUS I’m sharing an easy (and healthy!) recipe for Pumpkin Chicken Chili.

Pumpkin Chicken Chili Let’s start with the chili. Freshly ground chicken thighs, skin and all, are sautéed with onions, bell pepper and garlic until fragrant and brown. Flavor and body are added by way of chile powder, red pepper flake, cumin, pumpkin beer, pumpkin purée, red beans and fire-roasted tomatoes. The chili is finished with a dollop of rich sour cream, cilantro, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Made in just one pot, this comforting fall soup comes together in under an hour!  Rich, bold flavors.  Hearty, satisfying texture.  So.  Yum.  Continue reading for the recipe, and giveaway details.

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Avocado Toast 5 Ways

If you enjoy avocado as much as I do, then you’re going to love today’s article.  I’ve got 5 fresh avocado recipes for you below!

Avocado Toast 5 Ways In particular, Avocado Toast.  The concept is fairly simple.  Mash up half an avocado with salt, pepper and some sort of acid (lemon or lime juice) to taste.  The flavors should be bright without covering up the cool grassiness of the avocado.  Spread this mash over a lightly toasted piece of bread, and you have Avocado Toast.  It’s that easy!  I like to use whole wheat bread here, but sourdough or country bread would also work well.

Avocado Toast can be enjoyed for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.  Avocado is packed with healthy fat and nutrients, so I find that just 1 slice can keep me full and satisfied until my mid-morning meal.  I’ve also served these luscious green beauties as an appetizer (on thin slices of seedy baguette).

To take things up a notch, here are 4 variations on the basic Avocado Toast:

  • Egg + Bacon + Chive.  A dressed up version perfect for Saturday breakfast.
  • Frisée + Bacon + Lemon.   Similar to one of my favorite sandwiches (minus the tomato).
  • Tomato + Basil + Balsamic.  Italian flavors that pair well with avocado.  Serve as an afternoon snack or a simple appetizer before dinner.
  • Corn + Chile + Lime.  My Mexican spin on Avocado Toast.  Big, bold flavors.

The recipes below are more like loose guidelines.  I barely included exact measurements, because most of the toppings are to taste.  Don’t like red onion?  Leave it out.  Love bacon (like me), add more.  A scatter of this.  A sprinkle of that.  Just know that the flavors in each recipe work well together.  Quantities of toppings are up to you.  Also, each recipe uses just 1/2 an avocado.  If you don’t plan on using the other half immediately, sprinkle the cut side with acid (lemon or lime juice), press plastic wrap directly against the flesh of the avocado, and store in the refrigerator.  Continue reading for the recipes.

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Romesco’s Cucumber Martini

It’s about to get all sorts of tasty up in here.

Cucumber Martini Several weeks ago, I had an outstanding meal at Romesco in San Diego with my boyfriend Jorge.  David Nelson, a friend and food writer extraordinaire, also joined us for the afternoon.  Romesco, known for its upscale Mexican-Mediterranean cuisine, is a must-visit restaurant by Chef Javier Plascencia.  Jorge and I had a fantastic experience at Misión 19, another Chef Plascencia hotspot, just months earlier in Tijuana, so I had a feeling that Romesco would be a treat.  And let me tell you.  It was.  Continue reading for highlights from our meal at Romesco, plus a recipe for their super tasty Cucumber Martini.

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Yogurt Panna Cotta with Easy Plum Compote

I’m not ready to give up summer just yet.

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Plum Compote Apples, pears, quince and pumpkins will all have their turn.  But for now, I’m holding on to summer with this Yogurt Panna Cotta with Plum Compote.  Panna cotta is a favorite dessert of mine, because the process is easy, and the results are spectacular.  Typically made with heavy cream, panna cotta is custard-like dessert that is thickened with gelatin instead of eggs.  The texture is smooth, rich and silky.  In this recipe, tangy whole-milk yogurt is flavored with sugar, citrus zest and an entire vanilla bean, then firmed up with powdered gelatin.  After an overnight chill, the panna cotta is topped with a sweet-tart Plum Compote (made with 3-ingredients!), and fresh, fragrant mint leaves.  So simple.  So delicious.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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