Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jalapeño Hush Puppies

Well greetings from SNOWY Ohio friends!  Columbus has finally joined the rest of the Midwest region and is covered in a blanket of winter wonderland.  Thankfully my current schedule allowed me to stay in my jammies at home while the rest of the city faced the elements on Monday which was an excellent way to enjoy the first snow, making me much less bitter and angsty!  Anyways lets talk food instead, but first...I want to send a birthday shoutout to my dear Great Aunt Chookie who blogs over on Here's Another Sunday!  Hope you have a day just as special as you! 

Ok NOW we can talk food.

A couple weeks ago Chris had a homebrew beer tasting with co-workers and needed to bring a snack to share.  Of course I thought since it was a mostly male audience I couldn't go wrong with bacon or meat or some combination of bacon and meat.  Then he tells me no dice, the majority are vegetarians, whomp whomp, wind completely blown out of my bacon/carnivorous supportive sails (is that even a thing? Yes!).  So I played around with some ideas and we landed on these tasty Jalapeño Hush Puppies.  Even though I've never been this biggest corn bread fan I've been coming around to it and these golden nuggets make it very easy to do so.  

Jalapeño Hush Puppies
Ingredients:
- 1 cup all-purpose Flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 jalapeños, finely diced, (seeds and membrane removed)
- 1/2 cup sweet yellow corn (thawed and drained)
- 2ish cups vegetable oil, for frying


Instructions:
-Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture.

-In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Then add jalapeños and corn until well incorporated.

-Pour oil into a cast iron skillet, deep fryer or a deeper pan and heat to 375° (if you don't have a thermometer you may have to do some testers to see if the oil is the right temp.  You want it to sizzle and start to float when the mixture is dropped in but you don't want it to brown too fast or else the outside will be burnt and the inside will be raw.)

-Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into oil, I used a cookie scoop. Fry in batches 3ish minutes on each side or until golden brown.

-Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Fluffy inside flecked with corn and jalapeno, brings fun color to it!

I served these with a side of spicy Sriracha Mayo (about 2 to 3 tablespoons of sriracha mixed with 1/2 cup of mayo, use more or less sriracha depending on spicy preferences).  Chris said they were a hit and went well with the beer(s) they had.

So to flip things on it's side a little, next I'll be posting about my Aloha dietary supplement trial!  Stay tuned!

Cheers!
Steph

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pick of the Patch: Taupe Suede Ankle Boots


So I've come to terms that it is fall in Ohio, the pretty change in foliage has eased the hit to this girl's love of summer.  Fall can be tricky sometimes (especially in Ohio), it can be warm and sunny or cloudy and frigid or in between, it makes it rather hard to pick out proper footwear!  But for those days where it's a little in between its nice to have some ankle boots that cover your feet but don't get super hot like knee high boots.  I found these Sperry Top Sider taupe ankle boots on sale on Rue La La.  As I went to buy them they were out of my size (oh no!) but thankfully Rue La La has this great feature called "Still Want It".  If you still want the item they'll let you know as soon as they get more of that item in your size.  By picking "Still Want It" you have to agree to purchase the item so you fill out your payment info but it will not be charged unless they get the item in stock.  So lucky me they secured my size and sent it over, a happy little shoeprise waiting in my inbox!


These are very comfortable and look great with jeans over top of them or cuffed just above them.  The gold on the sides is a fun accent and adds a little glam. 


This past weekend they had a little fall photo shoot at a pumpkin farm for their blog debut.  My patient and helpful husband agreed to be their photog (thanks hunnie!).  He also put up with my picky pumpkin standards which is no easy task! 

Being outdoorsy for a few minutes

Happy Fall Y'all!  Lots of food to come now that I've been hibernating!

Cheers!
Steph

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Local Foodie Moment: The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek

Happy Hump Day friends!  What better way to start it off than with a review of Cameron Mitchell's newest restaurant concept The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek.  But first, a quick Happy Birthday to my husband Chris and best friend Coco as well as Happy Anniversary to my inlaws!  What a coincidence all these people I care about get to be celebrated on the same day!
Ok back to business, three of my gal pals (Kourt, Amy and Heathe) and I spent our evening at The Barn cocktailing, dining and catching up on some much needed girl talk.

Pretty ladies!

CM restaurants are always impeccably thought out and decorated so I couldn't wait to see how they'd make a barn concept work.  To say they made it work would be an understatement, in this case they basically nailed it.  From the time you arrive to the time you leave all of the details and aspects of service transport you to a very chic countryside.

View from the outside

Waiting area

We of course started with cocktails, I got the Barn Lemonade made with gin, fresh lemon and honey.  It was super refreshing and delightful.  My girls mixed it up!  Heathe got one of the Woodford Reserve Barn Whiskies, these are bourbons uniquely blended for The Barn only.  Amy got the Hurricane Punch: two kinds of rum, fresh passion fruit and oregat.  This packs a punch but the passion fruit flavor makes it very fresh, not syrupy.  Kourtney got the Mary Pickford: tequila, fresh pineapple juice and grenadine.  

Cocktails! (Clockwise starting in the left corner: Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Hurricane Punch, Barn Lemonade and Mary Pickford.

Then we decided to split some appetizers.  We ended up with the Spinach Artichoke dip, made with provolone and gruyere cheeses which made it rich and velvety, definitely heightening the flavors.  We also got the Baked Oysters Bingo: baked oysters with creamed spinach, lemon garlic aioli and Parmesan cheese. 

Appetizers: Spanish Artichoke Dip and Baked Oysters Bingo

Now most who know me know I'm not much of a seafood girl especially not an oyster girl!  But I was feeling adventurous and the girls promised me I wouldn't die from it (so kind).  Turns out, I liked it!  Since they were cooked and mixed with enough other cheesey, delicious things there definitely wasn't a fishyness like I expected.  Wooohoo chalk one up for Steph on the new taste sensations list!

The is me surviving the oyster experience, Chris almost didn't believe it!

Next was dinner selections.  Amy and Heathe got The Barn's BBQ Ribs which is actually an appetizer but it comes with a side of fries making it a perfect dinner option.  I snagged a bite of ribs and they were super tender and delicious.

The Barn's BBQ Ribs

Kourt got the Prime Rib served with a baked onion, au jus and horseradish cream and a side of mashed potatoes.  She loved it! 

Prime Rib with baked onion and mashed potatoes

I got the Beef Brisket served over Texas Toast with BBQ sauce and I swapped braised greens for mac and cheese.  Probably should have stuck with the braised greens as the mac and cheese was pretty disappointing, greasy and not very creamy.  As you've seen in previous posts, I like my mac and cheese to be creamy and have plenty of sauce to it, dry or greasy seems to be a crime against the dish in my mind.  BUT the brisket was pretty darn fabulous, so much so I ended up with the delectable house made BBQ sauce in quite a few spots on my white shirt (not exactly the most practical fashion choice but I digress).

Beef Brisket

Mac and Cheese

Overall we were very pleased with our meals.  Our service was pretty impeccable, which I've come to expect of CM restaurants as they set quite an industry standard.  The price point is a little higher than your typical BBQ joint but as most would agree, CM restaurants are not usually "typical" concepts.

Main dining area

The atmosphere was unique, the best way I could describe it would be: rustic elegance.  It had all the character and charm of the country without getting your boots dirty!  Definitely a fun experience worth the extra few minutes to get there. 

The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek on Urbanspoon
This review is on Urbanspoon!

With this chilly weather I have more time to cuddle up with my laptop and blog so be on the lookout for more LFM's, shoes and recipes!

Cheers!
Steph

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy 2nd Blogiversary WWSV!

Happy Monday everyone!  My blogiversary came and went over the weekend, I totally missed it because I was busy celebrating this STUNNING couple's love story at their nuptials in Detroit!  Shaina and Jeffrey are my new cousins from my husband's side of the family, lots of laughter, love and fun (and spirits) were shared on what was a perfectly sunny fall day in Michigan!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!
A family photo with my inlaws, a pretty group if I do say so myself!

So to my readers who've hung with me through the not so frequent postings lately, I want to thank all of you for your support!  A lot has happened in the last two years since starting this blog: engagements, weddings, career changes and a lot of shoes and vodka (and food) in between!  I ask you to continue to stick with me and to take a minute out of your day today to spread some positive energy.  Mondays can be rough, so do a little something to send good vibes up against the Monday blues!

Also special thanks to friends and family for their help and support; who patiently don't touch their food before eating at a new restaurant, let me snag bites of their dishes, accept the fact that no event in my life goes without a great pair of kicks and who inspire me each day! 

I look forward to plenty more blogging fun to come!

Cheers!
Steph