Category Archives: Recipes

Whoopie Pies + Acid Spills (Alt. Title: Cooking is dangerous.)

This is a tale of whoopie pies, flaming appendages, acid spills, and calm assertive energy. What's not to love? (Basically, if you could use a laugh, you need to read this right now.)I’m perusing Pinterest one evening when I find a pin for Jalapeño Cornbread Whoopie Pies with Goat Cheese and Bacon Filling. I thank Jesus that these exist somewhere on the planet.  I dream of eating making dozens of them one day. If only an occasion worthy of such culinary brilliance would arise.

Then, a friend asks if I will bring an appetizer to her party.

My heart flutters. You know why.

It’s Whoopie Pie Time.

I channel my inner Iron Chef and gather the ingredients to begin my from-scratch-cornbread batter.

I whisk together the dry ingredients. It’s a strong start.

In a separate bowl, I measure the butter, milk, and buttermilk. (Seriously? Yes, please.)

The recipe says to combine these liquid ingredients using a stand mixer with paddle attachment. I do not own this thing. I am also not completely sure what it is.

I decide this detail is irrelevant (as is my custom when finding things in a recipe I don’t recognize). I plug in my trusty eight-dollar hand mixer and proceed to spray the butter-milk-buttermilk concoction all over myself and my kitchen.

Not to be deterred, I call my friend the baking expert and tell her I need A Stand Mixer With Paddle Attachment, stat. She graciously loans hers to me. The batter and my sanity are saved.

But whoa there, internet friends. These whoopie pies aren’t just cornbread whoopie pies. Oh no. They are JALAPEÑO cornbread whoopie pies.

So I seed. And I dice. And I throw those bits of fury into the batter with a convincing, “BAM!”

Before I start on the filling, I wash my jalapeño hands in warm water, careful to not touch my eyes at any point, as my friend-the-better-cook had adamantly stressed.

I heed my friend’s warning, but my freshly washed fingertips? They are en fuego. Mucho en fuego. Mucho muy en fuego. No amount of hand-washing seems to help, and I wonder if my fingers will still be burning when Jesus comes back.

But, I push through the pain to complete my whoopie pie journey. Like a boss.

(I don’t want to toot my own horn, you guys, but…)

savory whoopie pies

These are perhaps the most impressive food things I have ever created.

The jalapeño fires in my fingers are also quite impressive. But it’s late now, so I go upstairs to get ready for bed.

Crap. I have to remove my contact lenses. I know I still have jalapeño on my skin, as my fingertips are currently radiating the heat of a thousand suns. But I also know I can get my contacts out quickly.

You know what else you can do quickly?

Pour flesh-eating acid into your eyeballs.

Which is exactly what this feels like.

“MY EYES!” I scream-whisper. (Scream-WHISPER, either because the pitch is so high my voice cannot produce it, or because I am DYING.) “MY. EYESSSSSSSSSSS.”

Matt, ever helpful, chuckles from the bed. HE CHUCKLES. Maybe it’s a chortle. Not sure. Details are fuzzy at this point.

I wipe the flood of tears from my face and feel my way to the bed. I miraculously do not take my husband’s life. Mainly because I cannot see to find a weapon him.

Morning breaks, and Husband-of-the-Year is less than thrilled when I announce that HE needs to put my contacts back in my eyes for me. (Because, FLAMING APPENDAGES.)

“You need me to do what? No.” He says. (He doesn’t wear contacts, and still doesn’t understand how I stick my fingers in my eyes twice a day.)

“You have to. You’re going to open a fresh set of lenses, and you’re going to put them in my eyes.” I’m channeling Cesar Milan with my calm assertive tone now. AND IT WORKS.

I gingerly use my wrists to hold my left eyelid open as Matt sticks his contact-lens-laden fingertip into my eye.

He panics: “IT WON’T COME OFF MY FINGER. THE LENS WON’T COME OFF. WHAT DO I DO.”

“Pull you finger out of my eye and we’ll try again.”

He blames: “YOUR EYE ISN’T OPEN WIDE ENOUGH.”

I respond (lovingly, of course): “Maybe your FINGER IS TOO FAT.”

“The size of my finger has nothing to do with this being ridiculous.”

“JUST PUT THE LENS IN MY EYE.”

Somehow, he manages to put both contact lenses in my eyes without blinding me. All in all, I’m not blind, he’s not dead, and we’re still married. Lots of wins there.

The fail? Forty-eight more HOURS of flaming fingers. The AGONY.

Good thing those whoopie pies tasted like heaven.

Tastebud Tuesday: Cilantro-Lime Fish Tacos

cilantro-lime fish tacosThese tacos are a family favorite. They’re really light and fresh – great for eating on the back patio as the heat starts to let up on these late summer evenings!

And it’s one of the only ways my kids will HAPPILY eat fish! That’s a big win around here.

Cilantro-Lime Fish Tacos
w/ Black Bean + Corn Salsa

1 lb. tilapia (or any mild fish; could use halibut)
1/2 c. lime juice (about 4 limes if you’re squeezing fresh) – save 2 tsp. for your salsa
3 Tb. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
tortillas
Black Bean & Corn Salsa (recipe below)

1. Cut fish into 1″ cubes and place in plastic bag or container.
2. In small bowl, combine lime juice, 2 Tb olive oil, S & P to make marinade. Whisk together and pour into container, covering fish. Seal and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (But not more than a few hours.)
3. After fish has had time to marinate, heat remaining 1 Tb. olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add fish AND marinade to pan and cook 6-8 minutes, until fish is cooked through.
4. Remove cooked fish from pan and gently mix fish with Black Bean & Corn Salsa. (I recommend using a slotted spoon to remove the fish from the pan so you don’t pick up all the marinade. If you just pour the fish into the salsa with all the marinade, the lime juice tastes REALLY strong.)
5. Serve on tortillas. We like to top ours with plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), avocado slices, and a bit of shredded cheese.

Black Bean + Corn Salsa

1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
1 can corn (I used 1.5 cups frozen corn, thawed)
1/4 – 1/2 c. diced red onion
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (if you’re a dried herbs person, it’s worth it to grab FRESH cilantro for this!)
1 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. lime juice
S&P to taste

Tastebud Tuesday: No-Fail Hard Boiled Eggs

nofailhardboiledeggsHard boiled eggs are a staple in our house. I boil at least a dozen every week and store them in the fridge for a quick-and-easy breakfast or to chop up on a salad.

Here’s my tried and true, no-fail method for perfect hard boiled eggs:

No-Fail Hard Boiled Eggs

1.  Place eggs in a single layer in the bottom of a pot. (Use a stock pot if you’re boiling a larger batch.)

2. Cover eggs with cold water. (Be sure water is a couple of inches higher than the eggs.)

3. Cover and heat on high.

4. When the water comes to a boil and steam begins to escape, DO NOT UNCOVER THE POT. Turn off the burner, leave the pot covered, and leave the pot on the burner. Set your timer for 15 minutes. (The eggs will continue to cook in the hot water!)

5. After fifteen minutes, uncover, pour off most of the hot water, and add cold water and ice to start cooling off the eggs.

6. When the eggs have cooled, dry them off, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (Be sure to use an airtight container or they’ll smell up your fridge.)

**Hard boiled eggs will keep much longer if you store them with the SHELL ON. (7-10 days unpeeled vs. 3-5 days peeled)

**Ensure quick and painless peeling, and peel your hard boiled eggs under running water! No more losing your mind over sticky bits of shell on your fingers!