Quickie: On Vacay

So I’ve been MIA since I’ve stuck to my New Year’s resolution to travel my ass off through 2012. I’m on stop #4 visiting my mom in Hawai’i after Lancaster, Calgary, & Boston and wanted to share some ono grinds from today’s trip to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. This kailua bbq pork sammie blew my mind!

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iPhone users can follow my adventures in photos on Instagram. @SincereFoodLove

Mahalo!

@ Sunshine’s: Crawfish + Summer Corn Chowder

While my friends + fam were anticipating Hurricane Irene’s wrath in the Northeast, I was in sunny, hurricane-free Florida… oh, the beautiful irony! Sunshine, my dear friend and the amazing creative behind Blog Full of Jelly, moved to Sarasota this past spring and I was stoked to finally make a visit down to see her new home. Kelly, a baker at Whole Foods + Philly friend of Sunshine’s, was visiting at the same time so we had a killer trifecta of creative food lovers. We did our share of eating out, but Sunshine upped her wonderful hostess status by making her version of Martha Stewart’s Summer Corn Chowder. I’m glad I had my camera and the beautiful Florida sunlight to shoot our way to a delicious bowl.

And what could make a delicious corn chowder even better… crawfish!
Cornfed agreed.

I did a bit of corn kernel removal, but mostly harassed Sunshine w. my camera.

Some of the tiniest, cutest potatoes I ever did see!

Kelly (wo)manned the grill like a champ.
I can handle a gas grill, but she was definitely a pro when it came to charcoal.

BBQ Chicken + Kielbasa right off the grill – a perfect accompaniment to the chowder.

Crawfish + Summer Corn Chowder topped w. bacon + a whole lotta love!

Weekend Update: Labor… er… Memorial Day!

Whoa, summer! Slow your roll! I can’t believe it’s already Labor Day and I’m just now getting around to posting about Memorial Day. Dre + I aren’t up to much this holiday weekend so I’m happy to throwback to one of the best BBQs I attended all summer – Jenny C’s White Trash BBQ! I was sort of in “introvert mode” that day so I just laid back, shot some photos, and enjoyed the delicious food into the suburban Jersey night. Of course, I showed up with some solid BBQ staples and was thrilled they were such crowd pleasers. How can you go wrong with deviled eggs and rice krispie treats? You can’t… and I did them oh-so-right!

Chipotle Deviled Eggs FTW

Now let’s take a hot minute to talk about my rice krispie treats. I discovered a super simple way to make them Snap, Krackle, and mother-effing POP like no other rice krispie treat before it. Melt some butter in a sauce pan, melt it some more w. a few swirls of the pan, melt it until it starts to brown but careful enough that it doesn’t burn… and proceed with your usual back-of-the-cereal-box recipe. Brown butter instills a distinct nuttiness that no one can deny. Extra marshmallows are a no brainer, as well, and a sprinkle of sea salt to finish them like a salted caramel doesn’t hurt either. Steal my secrets. Do it. Everyone will love you!

Brown Butter Rice Krispie TreatsĀ 

See the rest of my Memorial Day photos on my Flickr photostream….
including Gilly Jo’s Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple and the 100ft Slip + Slide!

Family-Style: Labor Day BBQin’

I couldn’t make it thru Labor Day weekend without some BBQ action, so I dug deep into the freezer for some ground beef & turkey to make burgers. The budget was tight, so I did my best to work with what I already had, including fresh Plum Tomatoes, a variety of Bell Peppers, & Sweet Corn on the Cob from my Zern’s stop on Saturday night. I seasoned the burgers, tossed them and the corn onto a hot grill, & chopped veggies for a light, simple Pasta Salad. Friends arrived, beers were cracked, & BBQ action we had!

Labor Day BBQ

Labor Day BBQ

Labor Day BBQ:

Grilled Beef & Turkey Burgers – Topped w/ American, Triple Smoked Bacon, Ripe Plum Tomatoes, Romaine, Ketchup, Gulden’s, & Mayo

Balsamic Pasta Salad – 1lb of Mini Shells, Farm Fresh (non-waxed) Cucumbers, Yellow Peppers, Violet Hybrid Peppers, Ripe Plum Tomatoes, & Shredded Asiago – Dressing: 3T Balsamic (or any vinegar), 1T Olive Oil, S&P, Fresh & Dried Herbs, 1 tsp Hot Chili Garlic Sauce, 1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob – Finished with Butter & Salt

Labor Day BBQ Feast

Labor Day BBQ Feast

Family-Style: Spicy BBQ Slow Cooked Pulled Chicken Sammies

I couldn’t wait to cook for my mom, as she made the trek all the way from beautiful Hawaii to visit Ker & I. Nothing is more comforting after a long travel (especially 3 flights & 14+ hours later) than a home cooked meal. The night before her arrival, I decided to dig out the ol’ Crock Pot. I usually rely on it to keep me warm during the winter months, but I had 6 chicken split-breasts waiting for a simmer.

I’d estimate that I make some version of pulled chicken in my Crock Pot about 4x each year, but never the quite the same recipe. This round, I took a Spicy BBQ approach for some summery flair.I tossed all the ingredients into the pot and set in the fridge with a can of chopped tomatoes on top so I wouldn’t forget to add in the morning. At 830am, I turned the Crock Pot on ‘Lo’ and headed to work. I love coming home to the aroma of a 9-hour simmer! Ker picked the bones out (a scorching & tedious task) & pulled the chicken. It simmered for another hour so the flavors could fully infuse.

I melted sharp cheddar on Whole Foods Onion Focaccia flat-breads, topped with leftover warmed collard greens, & a healthy pile of my Spicy BBQ Slowed Cooked Pull Chicken. I paired the plate with a Summer Roasted Vegetable Salad that I quick prepared the night before and finished with Rice Vinegar & Fresh Herbs before serving.

I always make a ton of chicken when I’m working with my Crock Pot. It works well on sandwiches, tortillas, quesadillas, salads, pizzas, inside a spring roll, & over rice to serve as extended leftovers. Get creative! I freeze a portion of every batch, too, to enjoy on a lazy dinner night!

BBQ Spicy Pulled Chicken, Melted Cheddar, Collard Greens, & Onion Focaccia w/ Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad

BBQ Spicy Pulled Chicken, Melted Cheddar, Collard Greens, & Onion Focaccia w/ Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad

Spicy BBQ Chicken Sammies w/ Summer Roasted Vegetable Salad:

Spicy BBQ Slow Cooked Pulled Chicken – BBQ Sauce, Soy Sauce, Worcestershire, Shallots, Garlic, Jalapeno, Olive Oil, Chili Powder & a Can of Chopped Tomatoes, marinated overnight & slow cooked in the Crock Pot for 10 hours

Whole Foods Onion Focaccia Flat Breads

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Leftover Collard Greens from my Grilled Crab Dinner

Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad – Roasted Yellow Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, & Sweet Peppers w/ Minced Garlic & EVOO, cooled & tossed w/ S&P Lemon-Thyme, Thai Basil, Parsley, & Rice Vinegar

Only regret is forgetting to add chipotles to the chicken. It really could have used a some smokey, spicier layers. Til next time…

Weekend Update: Asian Edition – Part 3

Friday was my sister’s 27th Bday so we celebrated with a Korean BBQ dinner at the new Miga in Center City. I’ll spare you stories of the horrendous service and just skip to the fun parts! Starting with the Japanese River Crab Photo Bomb a la Greg:

Japanese River Crab Photo Bomb

Japanese River Crab Photo Bomb

More photos of the teensy-weensy Japanese River Crab & festivities after the jump…

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