Spicy Cheesy Corn Dip!

Hope you all enjoyed the SuperBowl and got to eat lots of yummy appetizers and burgers! I am a new football fan – getting into it more and more, year after year!!! I had a lovely time laughing at how silly the Broncos were playing and was basically blown away by the Seahawks defense and skill. BOW. Also, surprisingly, I enjoyed the Bruno Mars and RHCP performance during halftime A LOT. I don’t even like Bruno, but I might have just been converted into a fan! Such a great and entertaining old school performer – classy! (Then I came home and re-watched Beyonce’s performance last year and basically she still did it best – BOW AGAIN). Anyway, I was feeling lazy, compared to Superbowl last year when I made pretzel wrapped hotdogs and kale/quinoa cakes:

Although lazy, I managed to whip up a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies, always a crowd pleaser, and an easy spicy cheesy corn dip to go with the endless amounts of tortilla chips. I have to say the dip was super delicious!!! Now that football is over, there’s still basketball so serve this dip up at the next bball party!

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Vegan Parmesan Cheese!

I don’t like 99% of cheeses out there. I only like the ones with extremely mild in taste like cheddar, mozz, muenster, and occasionally gouda. Not a brie fan or feta fan. And the other numerous stinky cheeses out there! Lately I have been interested in the vegan diet, and vegan recipes. I like to eat healthy, with lots of veggies incorporated in my diet, so naturally I was curious of vegan-ism. I have absolutely no intentions to become vegan, but some of the stuff that they create are astounding and delicious. Vegans don’t eat cheese, so I’m curious to try vegan cheeses because I know the cheeses they make have the look and feel of it, but it may not taste exactly like regular cheese. This intrigues me because I can add substance and aesthetics to things that require cheese, but the dish doesn’t have to taste like it. I ran across this Vegan Parmesan Cheese on the blog Oh She Glows and decided to give it a try. It definitely doesn’t come close to tasting or smelling like parmesan cheese, but it gives my pasta (or anything) the added fluff and great nutrition. Plus, I don’t have to feel guilty eating it!!! Vegan cheeses, and vegan dishes that require a cheesy flavor, use this thing called nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast contains B12 vitamins (which plant foods do not have) that a lot of vegans lack if they don’t take supplements for it. I buy it at the OB People’s Market where they have bins of it- I use the regular nutritional yeast and isn’t expensive.

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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese!!!

It’s already Fall, and almost October ya’ll! And Fall is my favorite food season because of all the PUMPKIN around!!! Last year, I went on a shopping spree at Trader Joe’s, buying up everything from pumpkin ice cream to pumpkin chai lattes. I have so far held off my pumpkin obsession…but it isn’t October yet…soooo….it might spark up again soon. In a few days. Wee! Anyhoo, for those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, know I love mac&cheese. Remember that delicious Lobster Mac&Cheese? Well its Fall, so I thought I would put a Pumpkin twist on it! It turned out perfectly and I can’t wait for you to all try it!!! Happy Fall everyone! Look out for many many pumpkin recipes in the next few months! 😀

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Habanero Corn Quesadillas!

You might be wondering why on earth I would use/buy habaneros. They are so friggin spicy! The story goes back to one of my fellow intern coworkers. He has no tastebuds. Zero. Well, so we thought. This guy basically would eat 2 dollops of wasabi on top of his sushi, slather sriracha all over his rice, pour any type of hot sauce over his food when available. Its nuts! You have to see it to believe it. But anyway, so my boss told him about Smokeaters Hellfire Challenge in San Jose and how she watched the guy from Man vs. Food do the challenge and cry at the end. The cooks dump 6 ounces, SIX OUNCES! of habanero powder onto those damn wings. Well we were all very intrigued, especially my 0 tastebuds coworker. We watched the video at work and sure enough the guy cried at the end. So my coworker had a month to think about it before he actually did it. The week before the day of the challenge, he read tips, practiced eating whole peppers, starting at the lower end of the Scoville scale and working his way up to habaneros. (He did actually eat 3 Ghost peppers before in his college days, which is 100x more spicy than habaneros.) But obviously fresh ones are much less ‘spicy’ than powder so he knew what he was going into. On the day of, he ate a few habaneros and gave the rest to me. That is how I have come to have habaneros in my kitchen.

The challenge: We get to Smokeaters. He signs a waiver, and drinks some milk, has some tums, to line his stomach. Then they sit him down, serves him the wings. All 12 of them (him thinking it was 10)! It REEKS. Smells soooo bad! Looks like poop! Dry as hell! He starts and is able to proudly get through 4!!!! He ended up sweating and shedding tears, but it was all so worth it. He said it wasn’t even because it was spicy- that it just tasted soooo bad and was sooo dry (chicken and sauce) that it was hard to swallow because no liquids are allowed to help wash it down. He could have continued, but whats the point if he knew he could probably get through 2 more, but not 8 to finish. Anyway, great effort and it was sure a spectacle. Sent it to the office and everyone applauded. YAY! I am just glad he lasted longer than this guy the cashier told us about: ate 1 wing, barfed in the bathroom for the next hour.

Here is an example of how HOT habaneros are on the Scoville scale compared to others:

Ghost pepper: 855k- in 2007, Guiness named it hottest chili, superceded by the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion in 2012
Habanero: 100k-350k
Thai Chili Pepper: 50k-100k
Cayenne Pepper: 30k-50k
Jalapeno, Chipotle, Tabasco sauce: 3500-8000
Poblano: 1000-2500
Banana Pepper: 100-900

I used 1 habanero pepper for my corn quesadillas and I was definitely feelin the heat already!

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Portabello Mushroom Combo Pizzas!

These no carb pizzas are amazing. The portabello mushrooms are the perfect “crust” because it is so thick. Portabello mushrooms are so fascinating!!! Its mushroom taxonomy (scientific name) is Agaricus bisporus. When cultivated white, its the common white mushroom or white button mushroom we normally see. If the brown variety, it is little brown mushrooms like creminis. When the brown variety is kept until maturity, they become Portabello Mushrooms! This breed is cultivated in 70 different countries and is one of the most common and widely consumed mushrooms in the world! Here in North America, they are grown in our grassland areas. Mushroom cultivation was started by the French, first unsuccessfully. 186 years later, the Pasteur Institute in Paris re-discovered some non-poisonous mushrooms and then proceeded to cultivate in composted horse manure…um gross! Then in Pennsylvania, a farmer discovered a clump of white mushrooms. Turns out these white mushrooms were a result of a natural mutation from the light brown ones originally cultivated. Similar to how white bread is a more attractive food item than wheat bread back then (think Wonderbread), these little white mushrooms became super popular. I wonder if brown mushrooms are more popular now because of our society’s obsession with wheat/brown foods?

Anyway, these portabello mushroom pizzas are so easy to make. You don’t get the mess and time that comes with a good, yeasty, risen dough. Also, more healthy and less carbs. Its great for a quick lunch or dinner! You could top with anything you like!

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Lobster & Shrimp Mac & Cheese!

Sorry about my weeks long hiatus on posting-just been super busy with school and finals are coming up! Along with that hectic schedule, I have a knack for craving comfort foods. I am not much of a cheese person, (I don’t like cheeseboards or even brie cheese that much), but I LOVE mac&cheese!!! I like them soupy, like Souplantation’s, or baked, like gourmet. So you ask, why did I decide to make such a fancy mac&cheese in the midst of my busy schedule? Well, I was walking around Food4Less one day, and I stumbled upon some cooked, frozen lobster tails for only $5! I am used to eating fresh ones, so I wasn’t going to bring it home to make a surf and turf, but I thought it’d be a great idea to throw the lobster meat into mac&cheese to fancy it up a bit! When I finally pounded the lobster tail open though, I realized that there probably wasn’t enough for my dish, so I decided to throw in some shrimp for some added meat and seafood! Turned out delicious!!!

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