Other Sweet Treats

We Could Really Use a Vacation

chocolate-hazelnut-banana-bread-pudding-The Duo Dishes

There’s no witty anecdote behind this post.  What we’ve got here is a creation of necessity with the need being a free trip to Chicago…STAT!  Many Foodbuzzers know that the deadline is today to submit an entry to win a trip for two to Outstanding in the Field.  We love Chicago, we love to cook, there are two of us…it only makes sense that we should give it the old college (*ahem* post-grad) try.  The challenge:  Use at least one of these ingredients in a recipe–bananas, cashews, cranberries, macadamia nuts, raspberries, almonds, chocolate, coconut or cherries.  This is the first time we’ve entered a foodie competition that requires the use of specific ingredients, and it’s safe to say it won’t be the last. Here’s hoping we are winners of course, but in the end, the fun and games of it all is the best part.

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Other Sweet Treats

Testing a New Ingredient

Lyle's Golden Syrup

Disclaimer:  Health nuts and dentists, you will not be pleased with what you’re about to read.  Maybe you’ll even find yourself saying ‘Those hypocrites!  Didn’t they just do a granola recipe praising a creation without funky, crazy sugars???’

But the show must go on.  Even if you do not find yourself running to the nearest shop to pick up this item, you can at least say you learned something new.  And so we continue.
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Breads & Muffins

A Craving for Crunchy

lemon-dill-flatbread-hummus1Surely you’ve been to a restaurant where you were served some sort of amazing nibble that you just had to have again but felt it would only be possible if you returned to said restaurant? Or perhaps you’ve picked up an expensive box of ‘whateveryouwanttocallits’ from an overseas gourmet shop. For us, it’s usually a bread, cracker, crouton or otherwise carby treat. If you take a little time and do a bit of research, most of these things can be made at home, which is comforting. One example would be flatbreads! They’re are some amazing flatbreads on the market, and we’ve had some really great ones with soup and salads from high end restaurants, but today’s just a day when we want crunchy crunch without paying for a pricey lunch. And so the at home flatbread test begins!

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Third Time’s a Charm

Sweet Potato Apple Cotija Quesadilla

Maybe you’re tired of cotija cheese popping up around these parts. We’re sorry. We really are. But it’s just so good, we keep pairing it with everything. Maybe three times in just over a month is too much, but you can’t fault us for working with what the good Lord gave us. And He gave us cotija cheese.  That’s why we keep playing with other ingredients that really complement its flavor. A little knowledge for you: Did you know there are two types of cotija? The first is the grain cheese that crumbles upon cutting due to higher salt content and softer texture. The second is the tajo cheese that maintains its shape upon cutting due to lower salt content and higher fat content. Here in Southern California, Cacique seems to be the best brand of U.S. produced cotija cheese, so that’s what we’ve been using as of late. But enough of that, it’s quesadilla time!

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Treading the Fine Line Part 2

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad

A couple of days ago, we proposed the idea of recipe adaptations and just how far we can stretch the word.  Looks like many people find recipes as a means to an end, and however you interpret that recipe doesn’t matter.  It’s what you end up with that can be your own, although giving credit where credit is due remains key and important.  In the end, recipes are meant to be adopted and then adapted!

Well we said there would be a part two to that post, so here it is.  We first saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen less than a month ago, and knew we just had to give it a try.  It was colorful, fresh and chock full of the staples we normally keep in the kitchen.  But of course we made a few changes and additions!  Like swapping a main star for one of our favorite vegetables, adding another layer of crunch, pumping up the color green, using a thicker dressing and sprinkling in additional seasonings. Who’s to say if it was any better or worse than the original, but what we did create was hands down delish.   And when it comes to cooking, that’s all that matters.

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Treading the Fine Line Part 1

Shrimp with Maifun

Where do inspiration and copy catting meet? For the sake of ‘debate’, how original are most recipes? We see a lot of recipes that have been adapted by so and so and such and such. Of course, many folks are literally creating new ingredient combinations as we write this, but a lot of our recipes are inspired-occasionally based on-something awesome we had somewhere else. Then we play with it, make it our own. The delicious bowl above is similar to a meal we had recently and changed up a bit based on what we had on hand. Should it be called an adaptation? An inspiration? An amended replica? We’re curious to hear your thoughts. And we encourage you to do your own adaptation…or just play copy cat!

You’re good if you noticed this post will be followed by another in the same vein.  Look forward to Part 2 on Friday!
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