Entries from November 30th, 2010

November 30, 2010

cold weather comfort foods

Though I hate cold weather, I love cozying up with hot teas, soups and sandwiches when it’s frigid outside. Some of my favorite cold-weather comfort foods wouldn’t have such a prominent place in my diet right now if it wasn’t for freezing temperatures and gloomy days. I guess there’s always a bright side…even in (almost) winter.

peppermint tea with flower

{Invigorating peppermint tea soothes my sore throat and keeps me warm. Photo By webgrl/Courtesy Flickr}

I’ve been drinking Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Herbal Tea for years. It’s my go-to tea for soothing sore throats, calming upset stomachs and relaxing stressed emotions. The refreshing scent of peppermint makes me feel enlivened, even on the darkest days and coldest nights.

tom yum soup

{Spicy Tom Yum soup clears my sinuses and satisfies my need for spice. Photo By The Exo Guy/Courtesy Flickr}

Loaded with lime, garlic, chili peppers, basil, lemongrass and more, Tom Yum soup is one of my favorite powerhouse soups. Because Tom Yum soup packs in multiple herbs and spices, it’s said to be a natural cold- and flu-symptom fighter (and is one of my go-to soups when I’m feeling ill). One of my favorite places to hit up for Tom Yum soup is Thai Homeplace—they sell it by the pot! This is definitely a winter staple of mine—I’ll be mulling over this Tom Yum soup recipe for a while until I perfect my own version of it.

grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup and salad

{I love dipping creamy grilled cheese sandwiches into rich tomato soup. A few greens on the side remind me that warm weather is just a season away! Photo By h-bomb/Courtesy Flickr}

Creamy, gooey, melted cheese on perfectly grilled wheat bread makes my mouth water. Though I love sinking my teeth into a delicious grilled cheese sandwich, my favorite part of enjoying this cold-weather comfort food classic is dipping it into rich tomato soup. Last night, the teacher man amped up my tasty organic tomato soup with a splash of Sriracha and a dash of crushed red peppers to satisfy my craving for a spicy, throat-soothing soup. A light salad on the side added a healthy crunch (and a pop of bright color) to this simple yet delicious cold-weather dinner.

What are your favorite cold-weather comfort foods?

November 27, 2010

this makes me happy | birthday celebrations

It’s my birthday! Though I’ve been celebrating all month :) there’s nothing like the spectacle of your special day. Here’s a peek inside a few of the fun things that I’ve been celebrating with this month:

jalapeno yellowtail sashimi from kona grill

{Delicious jalapeno sashimi from Kona Grill}

bouquet of flowers

{Beautiful bouquet of flowers from my teacher man}

torchon de foie gras from bluestem

{Starting a romantic birthday dinner with torchon de foie gras at bluestem in Kansas City. Photo By ulterior epicure/Courtesy Flickr}

macarons from natasha's mulberry & mott in leawood, kansas

{Gorgeous multicolored macarons from Natasha's Mulberry & Mott}

hot pot squid

{Cooking squid and other yummies in the hot pot with my family}

November 4, 2010

macaron taste test | bloom baking co. | kansas city, missouri

While my macaron obsession has somewhat subsided over the past six months (it’s been difficult to find them in Kansas City!), Bloom Baking Co. in the City Market area has reignited my excitement for this little French cookie.

On one of my first excursions to City Market, Bloom Baking Co. caught my attention. Outside the door to the bakery, a nice older man sat with a table of samples—with everything from lemon bars to mushroom and spinach quiche—so naturally I had to get a few nibbles. Everything I tasted was delicious (and yes, I tasted almost everything he offered me), so I had to go in and see what else I could score. Inside the door, the cozy bakery is filled with fresh bread, made with flour from a Kansas mill, and a dessert display to die for. From cupcakes to whoopie pies to the ever-so-coveted macarons (and everything in between!), Bloom has something sweet for everyone. I didn’t even notice the delicate macarons until the teacher man pointed them out to me—win!

bloo baking co macarons

{Perfect for fall, these caramel apple and cranberry orange macarons from Bloom Baking Co. are both beautiful and delicious.}

I’ve had macarons from Bloom Baking Co. a couple of times, and I’m still trying to figure out how they compare to macarons from Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott in Leawood (my first macaron experience). I’ll probably have to re-visit Natasha’s and do another taste test, but from my memory, Natasha’s macarons had a more light, airy shell with a bit of a crunch to them; Bloom Baking Co.’s macarons seemed a little more chewy, yet still had a perfect, smooth filling. Regardless, I’m happy to keep stumbling upon these cute little French cookies in the Kansas City area.

What other bakeries in the Kansas City/Overland Park area have macarons? And to take it a bit farther: What bakeries in the area offer fun macaron baking classes? I’m too intimidated to try these on my own!

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