Food a·fi·ci·o·na·do

Month: January 2017

What it’s Really Like To Eat With a Food Blogger

What it’s Really Like To Eat With a Food Blogger

Let’s start by saying that as a food blogger I often get invited to media tastings and different food events. The question I typically follow up with is, “can I get a plus one?” After I get the o-k, I reach out to a friend to see if they want to join. The answer is almost always “of course, why wouldn’t I want free food?” Let me say, THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE GETTING THEMSELVES INTO. Dining with me for fun and as a food blogger are totally different experiences. Let’s take a walk through what its really like to eat with someone infatuated with food.

Ordering:

Right here my friends are already starting to hate me because I pretty much tell them what they are going to be eating. Actually, I tell them exactly what they are ordering for every single course. We all know that the plates have to be different. This way, I get the most shots with different colors, angles, and perspectives. Plus, there has to be cheese on the plate because… #cheesepull.

Waiting: 

As we wait for the food, I politely ignore my friend as managers frequent the table making sure you give them a good review by the end of the meal. After I just gave my menu to the waiter, I ask to see the menu again. This is because I have the memory of a gold fish and forgot what was in the items I ordered and have to take a photo of the menu for my review later. Finally everything starts to relax and I can enjoy a nice peaceful meal with my friend. Nevermind, here comes the food…

Feast Time:

Glorious sighting… here comes the food. Out comes the: iPhone, Canon, Tripod, 2 different lenses, and selfie stick, just for good measure. My friend now looks over and comes to the realization no way is the food going to be hot by the time they get it. I pretty much take photos of every angle imaginable. The background is super important. This is when other patrons awkwardly watch me as I parade around the restaurant with a plate in my hand looking for the best lighting and prettiest wall. I finally found it, now I must destroy the food ( #doitfortheinsta ). If there is cheese, I must pull it; if there is cookies, I must separate it; and if there is steak, I must cut it (in slo-mo of course). Now that the food is: cold, chopped, pulled, and broken… it’s time to eat!

More Waiting: 

Now that the food is gone and we are in a food coma, it’s time to relax right? No! The work has only begun. Now, I must once again ignore my friend to edit a photo, post it to all the social media channels as possible, create the perfect hashtags, and then schedule the rest of my posts. This is now complete, and the manager or owner once again walks over. Now we engage in a 30 minute conversation about how great the food was. Finally we wrap up and head out of the restaurant.

The Drive Home: 

I take this time to apologize to my friend for how long it took, and how I ignored them, and used every single thing they ordered (well, I ordered for them) for photos. I expect them to be upset and never want to join me in my work ventures ever again. Yet, unexpectedly they don’t care at all. Why? Free food that’s why! Welcome to the life of a food blogger!

Making the Perfect Charcuterie Board

Making the Perfect Charcuterie Board

As everyone knows charcuterie boards are a gift from God. I mean who doesn’t love cheese? Now just add a bunch of side items, and you have made the perfect party dish! Well… not so much. Making the perfect charcuterie board can be tricky sometimes. Below you will find all of the steps to making the showing stopping dish you have been waiting for!

Step 1: The Cheese

I have found that depending on the size of the party you are catering to, around 4 cheeses is perfect! Always choose 1 soft cheese, 1 hard cheese, a staple, and a unique item. For example, if I were creating the board, I would include a French brie, truffle cheese, Vermont cheddar, and maybe a gruyere.

Step 2: The Meat

So this is really customizable to your tastes! I say the more the merrier! When you have a bigger group, it is always good to have more choices! I am a huge truffle fan, and Whole Foods carries a black peppercorn truffle hard salami.. so this is automatically one of my picks! Other ideas include: mini meatballs, prosciutto, pate, or any thinly sliced high-quality deli meat.

Step 3: The Carbs

We all know that you can’t forget about the carbs! Go for a trio! Traditional cubed French bread is always a winner. Then don’t be afraid to switch it up with a seeded bread or a nice pumpernickel. Also, give a variety of textures with a good cracker to really support those hard cheeses!

Step 4: The Spreads

Again, the great thing about a charcuterie board is that you can make anything you want! So, the spreads are the same way. I think having a sweet and a salty spread allows flavor contrast. For the sweet, I would choose a fig jam. The figs will pair really nicely with prosciutto, cheddar, and gruyere. For the salty, I always reach for the pesto! Pesto has such great flavor notes that honestly compliments anything! If these aren’t pulling your fancy, feel free to try mustards, oils, and olive tapenade.

 

My last piece of advice is to just have fun with it! Charcuterie boards are great party trays, because people are bound to like something on there! So go wild!

 

The Soflofoodfinds Sundae

The Soflofoodfinds Sundae

For all of you who don’t know, @soflofoodfinds on Instagram is reaching its first year anniversary on February 27th. In celebration of this, I have teamed up with Cream Parlor in Miami. Cream Parlor is a craft bakery and ice cream shop located on Biscayne Boulevard. All of the ice cream, desserts, drinks, and food are made in house fresh every day! I had the opportunity to make my own menu item to be featured during the month of February. I am a huge health junkie with a sweet tooth! I can eat salads all day long, but I have to sneak in some chocolate here and there. Well… this dessert reflects my chocolate dreams! Let me present to you the Soflofoodfinds Sundae. It all starts with a fudge brownie, then it is topped with heaping scoops of coconut macadamia ice-cream, this is then all covered with chocolate and caramel drizzle. While it all sounds great, the addition of the adorable white pearls makes it even better! You can experience this beautiful creation for yourself! All you have to do is make sure to order the soflofoodfinds special when you visit Cream Parlor during the month of February! Enjoy and spoons up!

Spicy Thai Chicken Recipe

Spicy Thai Chicken Recipe

Spicy Thai Chicken with Cauliflower Fried Rice:

Total time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken breast (diced into quarter sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the “rice”:

  • 2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 slice turkey bacon (pan-fried and diced)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Instructions:

Sautee chicken on medium-high in pan until brown. Combine almond butter, honey, Sriracha, pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in with the chicken. Cook on low until it sticks to the chicken. As this is simmering, heat the sesame oil on medium-high in a cast iron pan. Once it reaches heat, add the cauliflower. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the corn, egg whites, and turkey bacon in with the cauliflower. Top with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you desire. Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 5 minutes. All that’s left to do is serve and enjoy!

Optional: Use a half-cored pineapple as a bowl to hold your delicious meal!

Personal note: This is a perfect show stopper meal. It takes very little effort for the beautiful masterpiece that it ends up as! All of the flavors come together to make the delicate sweet and spicy blend. Bonus- it is very healthy and low in carbs. Since the rice is subbed out for cauliflower, the whole meal is only around 15 grams of carbohydrates! Plus, the pineapple bowl is the perfect amount of flashy to impress your guests!

Healthy Blondie Recipe

Healthy Blondie Recipe

 

Healthy blondie recipe:

Total time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8×8 pan

  • 1/2 can white beans (drained, rinsed, and pureed)
  • 1 1/4 cups whole grain oats (pureed to a fine grain)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (solid form)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (may substitute for any milk)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (may substitute for any nut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine pureed white beans, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, coconut milk, and almond butter in a large bowl. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients (oats, almond meal, baking powder, chia  seeds). Once everything is evenly mixed, fold in the chocolate chunks. Scoop the batter into a well greased pan. Before placing into the oven make sure to sprinkle the sea salt on top. Bake for around 15 minutes. You want the blondies to be slightly underdone seeing as the heat from the pan will continue to cook them once out of the oven. All thats left to do is slice and enjoy while warm!

 

Note from the baker: These blondies are the perfect option when you don’t want to break the diet, but are craving something slightly sweet. This recipe may not be for those who are used to very sweet, decadent desserts. However, I find they make the perfect on-the-go breakfast option!