Blog Archives

Thankful Thursday: Honey Bees

Ok, minions. Are you ready for this?

I’ve had the overwhelming urge to bee keep lately. And whatever look you just gave the computer, 30 people have given me in the past two or three weeks when I express interest.

But bees are awesome. And they’re crucial to the things that mean the most in my life: food. Without bees, there would be no pollinating (unless you count those NASTY creatures called flies). And I kinda, sorta love them. A lot.

Did you know a lot of farms (especially almond farmers) rent bees during February/March to pollinate their trees? They do! I wrote all about it last year on Coronado Patch. The particular farm I wrote about (Hopkins Ag) has 4,000 hives come in. 4,000.

Courtesy Hopkins Ag

These tiny, fuzzy creatures are responsible for producing yummy almonds, amongst other tasty crops. Kinda crazy. And for some reason, people fear bees? They say it’s because of the stinger, but I’ve met plenty of people who sting much worse than a tiny little bee. Um, and how can you be scared of something that produces honey? I mean, really.

If you need more convincing, go to your Netflix account (and if you don’t have Netflix…well, how else are you getting your Saved By the Bell and Dawson’s Creek fixes?!) and watch the documentary Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?

It’s a look inside the necessity of honey bees, colony collapse disorder and beekeeepers all over the world. It’s well-worth your time and I promise you you’ll fall in love with the cute black-and-yellow guys (Ok, who just started singing Wiz?). And it will definitely make you appreciate your food that much more.

Thank you, honey bees. You are magical and oh-so-necessary for us. Queen of the Sun states that every farm should bee keep on their property. Any farms out there reading this, I’m totally willing to start one up on your farm. Seriously.

Fun Fact: “Melissa” means “honey-bee” in Greek. Hello, fate.

Thankful Thursday: Immersion Blenders

This ingenious invention was posted way back in 2010 as one of my kitchen must-haves.

It still makes the list and I get giddy every time I see one in a friend’s kitchen.

Immersion Blender

I use my immersion blender mainly for soups. Before I acquired mine, I used to have to let my soup creation cool, then blend in batches in the blender. And when soup is being made, I’m a pretty impatient person.

Now, I just turn off the heat to my pot, stick this baby in and go to town. Voila! Instant creamy soup.

Seriously. It makes things creamy. Like this tomato soup I make? There is zero cream in the recipe but once I blend it with the immersion blender, it gets all thick and velvety. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

My friend, Coop, who did the color run with me, has one that she uses to whip up protein shakes. It creates less mess than a blender and you can whirl a shake up in half the time. All you have to wash is the blade of the blender and your cup!

Thanks, immersion blenders, for making our lives easier, our kitchen sinks less full and soup-making more fun.

Do you have an immersion blender? How much do you love it? What do you use it for?

Thankful Thursday: Cast Iron

I’ve voiced my love for cast iron pans on here before.

These things are awesome. And if you don’t have one, well, talk to me when you do.

I’m a huge fan of cast iron for two reasons:

  1. They are great heat conductors and retainers. If you made a dish in a cast-iron pan, you can sit it on the table and that food will stay hot, don’t ya know.
  2. They are oven-safe, making them the perfect dishes to take from stove to oven.
  3. They make good weapons

Did you notice I listed three reasons? Good, that means you’re paying attention.

Cast Iron Skillet

I love my cast iron pan. The trick to them is seasoning them well (you can buy them pre-seasoned now, or you can do it yourself with a low-heated oven and some lard. Google it!) and also to never, ever, ever wash them.

Yes, you read that right. No soap. Ever. Hot hot water, some elbow grease and that’s it. Oh, and when you’re done rinsing out your pan with hot water, stick it in the oven at a low heat or on the stove to dry it so it doesn’t rust.

What do you use cast iron skillet for?

  • Make a giant cookie in one
  • Make a pie
  • Braise/Roast a chicken with vegetables
  • Make cornbread
  • Fry chicken
  • Make peanut brittle
  • Make Lyonnaise potatoes
  • Fry an egg
  • Bake up a frittata
  • Sear steaks
  • Do whatever the heck you want to do!

Yeah, cast iron skillets are awesome. So thankful for mine, which was passed down from my old boss, so it’s seasoned real goood.

Do you have a cast iron skillet? What do you use yours for?

and because I’m slightly over-whelmed and perhaps delusional, here’s a horribly-filmed clip of something that made me laugh hysterically this week. Don’t judge…


Thankful Thursday: Keurig

My posts have been completely lack-luster this week, minions.

I’m sorry. I promise to be better prepared next week. I plan to rest, rest, rest this weekend as well as cook, cook, cook.

In the meantime, I’m thankful for my Keurig.

Well, hello there!

I was totally opposed to these things before our household acquired one, but now, I look at it with lust each morning.

Don’t tell my SO.

I can whip up a hot and fresh cup of coffee on days like today, where I felt a nap was required at 10 a.m. A 1:30 p.m. cup of joe (or is it jo?) is totally gonna push me through the rest of my day which includes:

  • work
  • working out
  • buying ingredients for dinner
  • making dinner
  • cleaning up after dinner

I’m making fish, if you’re wondering. I don’t know what kind and I don’t know what’s accompanying it. But last time I went to the gym before cooking, I ended up making Gorgonzola-and-arugula-stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in bacon. So I’m hoping my endorphins have another positive effect on the creativity my fish dish tonight.

P.S. sorry for the late-day posts. I promise to get my shit together soon. I’ve been in a funk and you all get to hear me whine about it. But at least when I whine, I don’t sound like this:

Anyone else here love their Keurig? I’m also taking suggestions for fish dishes in the comments, so leave some love.

Thankful Thursday: Leftovers

I’m having a rough week, guys.

I’ve just been busy, busy busy and I’ve had some stress lingering on my lower back and shoulders. It’s just one of those weeks. We all have them. They make the good days even better.

Anyway, I’m thankful for leftovers:

They make nights when cooking seems like just another burden bearable. I made homemade lasagna on Tuesday and had tons of leftover sauce. AND I had leftover spaghetti noodles from a random chili-on-top-of-pasta night. I’m marrying the two and calling it a night.

My SO hates them, but I’m thankful for all the fun stuff you can transform them into, like chicken into carbonara!

Anyone else here love leftovers? Maybe you hate them? Tell me if you’re thankful for them in the comments!

Thankful Thursday: Readers and Photos

Big milestone today here, dear readers.

Today’s post marks the 200th by me! Now, to you big, fancy blogs, that might seem pitiful. But for little ol’ me, it’s worth mentioning.

I’ve been successfully sticking to my regimen of 6 posts per week since November of last year and I’ve made it to 200.

So my thanks this Thursday goes out to all you readers who comment and take a look at what I have to offer. You all keep me going. Really. I LOVE when you leave me some love. It feels as good as making homemade pasta for the first time.

You all are as good as this stuff

Here’s to another 200 posts of all-things food. Sure hope you guys stick with me through it.

As a “thank you” to my “thank you,” you all can leave a comment on recipes you might like to see in the future? And then I’ll thank you back by making your suggested dish. Then you’ll thank me back by sharing the link to that dish with Pinterest or something. We’ll just keep finding ways to pay it back. ‘Cause paying it forward is sooo yesteryear.

Also, to mark my 200th post, I got some head shots taken by my lovely MIL. You can read about her here and here. She’s a professional. Really. You can see how beautimus she made me at her website. And then you can go like her on Facebook. (She’s also under my blogroll).

I still have to go through all the shots and pick one, but you get a good taste of her flava flav on her site. Hint: She’s a genius with lighting. Seriously. You’ll drool over her stuff.

See what I mean about lighting?

I’m hoping that a new, glamorous head shot will draw in more readers.

But don’t worry, my minions. You 40 will always be my favorite.

Thankful Thursday: Avocados

What would ever happen if I didn’t live in Southern California?

Another reason California is awesome

I love these things. In fact, my first post ever on this blog featured them!

They’re one of those things that just instantly enhance a dish—burritos, salads, burgers, nachos, grilled cheese, soup. You name something and add avocado to it and it’s better. Kinda like you name a harrowing situation and add Chuck Norris to it and it’s better.

I'm not shy about avocado, as evidenced here

Plus, avos (that’s what I’m calling them) are a great treatment for your hair and skin. It’s hair butter and sandwich butter.

I’ve been eating them constantly, as a new crop of fuertes are in down in San Diego (you know Fallbrook is the Avocado Capital of the World, right?) I spread them on bagels with cream cheese and tomato, we made an avocado-mango salsa last night with them. I used them in Monday’s recipe.

Dig In

These things are food gold, you guys. What would I do without them?! I get my healthy dose of monounsaturated fat from them and a satisfied palate.

Also, my BFF Pam lived in St. Louis last year and could barely find these green gems. And when she did, they were through-the-roof-expensive. Which makes me even more grateful for avos.

Anyone else here totally in love with this fruit? What’s your favorite way to use the versatile avo?

Oh haaay, lover

Thankful Thursday: Fun Foodie Sites

I’m on the internet

It’s just part of my job, so when I need a break from inputting content or writing stories, I browse the net for something interesting. I usually find something that makes me extremely hungry.

Like this site here: Food Revu.

  • It’s a guy (Shawn) who goes and eats at the best places in SD and AZ and takes AMAZING pictures of all the food and posts about it. I guarantee one glance at this site and you’ll be salivating uncontrollably. I could sift through his numerous posts for hours and scribble down all the holes in the wall I need to visit. Trust me, his site is definitely worth looking at.

Here’s another site I’m thankful for. You’ve all heard of this site. I think it’s referred to as *close your eyes moms and grandmas* “food porn:” foodgawker.

  • foodgawker is amazing and one of these days, when I learn to manually use my Canon Rebel, I WILL be featured on there. Hmph.

This one has fun recipes, hilarious writing and local eats: Serious Eats

  • You could hunt around this site all day and never get bored. It’s a one-stop shop for all of your foodie (and drinkie) needs. Visit it.

And I think we all know The Pioneer Woman.

  • She started blogging beautiful pictures and recipes and became this hit. She even got her own TV show on Food Network. This woman is a food goddess. No hyperbole there. She really is. Definitely some food envy going on here.

Here’s another one-stop shop for food blogs: Food Press

  • I’m pluggin’ WordPress, but no one minds, right? You can find some stellar recipes on here and some even cooler personal blogs. I may have been featured on the site (this recipe was). I love FoodPress. It’s constantly changing and you find some real gems on it.

Thanks foodie sites for keeping me entertained and insane during the work day! You’re all inspiring and delicious. What would I do without you?

What are some of your favorite foodie sites? Extra points if you say this one!


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