what luck, a food truck!

I hope you all enjoyed Todd’s guest post yesterday, I certainly did.

Before I get started with today’s post, I want to say happy, happy birthday to my dad!  I couldn’t ask for a better one and I’m looking forward to celebrating you at dinner tonight. Love you, Dad!

Now, onto the post!

Even though we have a lot of good options as far as restaurants go, one thing that our city is lacking is food trucks.  I started hearing about the food truck scene in LA, Seattle, Austin and Portland awhile ago and I just love the idea.  Sure we have some street vendors around, hot dog carts and the occasional ice cream truck but there just aren’t any good options for fast, interesting food.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  Recently, maybe a year ago, a local restaurant started a food truck here which is great news for people like me.  It’s called What the Truck and is owned by one of my favorite local restaurants, The Winchester.

Last night, Todd was going to go out with friends and I was going to stay home.  Then he mentioned that they were going to a community event, the Local First Street Party.  I was interested but not totally sold on going.  Then I found out that What the Truck was going to be there and I immediately decided to go.  Is it sad that the promise of food is the best way to get me out of the house?  Don’t answer that.

This would be my first time eating from a food truck and I couldn’t wait.  We got to the party, met up with our friends, bought some food tickets and then I made a beeline to What the Truck.  They were offering tacos, a veggie burrito and steak satay.  I settled on the steak when I saw that it had chimichurri sauce, an Argentine favorite.

After a short wait my steak satay was ready.  The meat had great flavor, the grilled vegetables were quite delicious and I was one satisfied customer.

I will definitely be trying food from What the Truck again.  It was delicious and I love the concept of freshly cooked, delicious food to go.  And who could resist that fun, brightly colored truck?  It just looks like a good time.

After enjoying my food truck grub we had a few beers and eventually some ice cream.  Todd ordered a hot dog too and I convinced him to get a few inches of it with just ketchup so I could try it.  I’m not a huge hot dog person but these were from a new hot dog place, Jonny B’z Dog and More and rumor had it they were the best dogs around.  They’re all-beef and they grill the buns so they’re a little crispy, like a grilled cheese.

Now that was one delicious hot dog.  They offer hamburgers and sandwiches at their shop too and I wouldn’t be surprised if Todd and I grabbed a meal or two there this summer.

We also enjoyed a beer or three (or four) from Founders, a local brewery. I opted for Cerise, a cherry ale.  Delicioso.

As if the food and beer choices weren’t enough we were also treated to great entertainment.  Local hip hop band, A.B! and Coconut Brown played and they were awesome.  The whole crowd was into it and we danced the night away.  The band has a great jazz-inspired horn section with trombone, saxophone and trumpet that accompanies their keyboardist, drummer, bassist and guitarist.  The full band added a lot of depth to the music.  They had great energy and really got the crowd going.  Hands up, hands up, Coconut Brown!  I wouldn’t be surprised if they made it onto the national scene one of these days.

Needless to say, I’m glad that I decided to go out last night.  The street party was a great time.

Do you enjoy local street parties or festivals?

Are there food trucks in your area?  If so, what’s your favorite food truck treat?

hmp: chicken quesadillas

I’m borrowing Todd’s mom’s car this week because mine is in the shop and she and his dad are on a cruise anyways.  Good timing, right?  Well since we had to go pick up the car anyways, Todd and I decided to cook dinner there for a change of pace.  Not to mention their kitchen is a bit more luxurious than ours which is a bonus.  I planned to make pasta with chicken and pesto for dinner but right before we left, I got a craving for Mexican.  Todd loves Mexican food so it was an easy sell.

We dropped of my car then ran to the store to get some ingredients – cheese, peppers, avocado, whole wheat tortillas, etc. – all the makings of quesadillas.

We marinated the chicken in fajitas seasonings and got the veggies ready to go.  They were so pretty, I’m always amazed at the vibrancy of colors found naturally in foods.

While the chicken marinated I got to work on fresh guacamole.  Again, we used pre-made guacamole seasoning but fresh avocados.  This was my first time making guacamole and it turned out well.

Honestly, I didn’t even like guacamole until this past summer so making it at home never really crossed my mind before.  Next time, I’d like to make it from scratch but hey, you have to start somewhere, right?

This pic turned out a little blurry so I made it little.  Scooping on the avocados was so easy, I had no idea that the fruit would come out so cleanly, it was so easy – and I like easy.

We snacked on chips and salsa for a few more minutes then got to work on cooking the chicken and vegetables.

We had a minor incident with the marinade burning but it was quickly resolved and the chicken tasted great when it was done.  After stuffing our quesadillas full of chicken, veggies and cheese, I browned them up and it was dinner time.  A comer!

Look at all of that cheese oozing out.  Yummy!  This was definitely the best quesadilla I’ve ever made at home, it totally filled my craving for Mexican food.

After dinner Todd and I snacked on chocolate chip cookies and worked on our wedding playlist.  It was fun to look through our libraries and download songs we wanted to add to the playlist.  We’re having a band but we need to have some filler songs for when they’re taking a break.  We’re trying to fill up the breaks with those dance tunes that are harder for a band to play like Rihanna, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha – well, at least those were my contributions to the play list.  Those artists aren’t usually on my daily playlist (except Shakira, there’s always room for Shakira) but for the wedding, I want to dance!  We barely have a month left until the wedding and I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone.  Doing things like making playlists is really make it feel real, so exciting and nerve-racking!

If you’re married, what things did you and your groom do together to prepare?

What songs are a must for a wedding playlist?  What would be on your “do not play” list?


grapefruit yogurt bread

I made grapefruit yogurt bread tonight.  Todd picked up the ingredients I needed to make it a week ago but I haven’t had time to make it until today.  He’s out with a friend watching baseball which left me the house, and kitchen, to myself.  The recipe came from Picky Cook who got it from Smitten Kitchen who was inspired by one of Ina Garten’s recipes.  Phew, that was a mouthful!  With so many people making it, it has to be good right?  You’ll notice that they call it “grapefruit yogurt cake”, I didn’t notice that until I linked up the sites but still prefer to think of it as bread.  It sounds like more of a staple that way.

I’m excited about the baking adventure for several reasons.  1) It’s the first recipe on my blog made with grapefruit – which my blog is named for.  It’s about time, I’d say! 2) It’s the first recipe I’ve made that called for citrus zest since my brother gave me an awesome new zester for Christmas – we’d been struggle along with an old box grater.  I now know first hand that this zester is awesome.  Thanks for the awesome gift, Drew!  You’ve greatly improve my culinary capabilities and efficiency.  3) I really love having the house to myself.  I throw my laptop on the counter, read my recipes from the screen and jam to whatever comes up on iTunes.  Nothing like a Shakira – Damien Rice – Counting Crows – Girl Talk – Taylor Swift – Sigur Ros – Mumford and Sons – Rihanna – Sufjan Stevens medley while you’re baking!

I’ve made a grapefruit bread before, it was a Rachael Ray recipe and it turned out pretty well but a little dry so I’m excited so see how this stacks up.

I’m generally quite loyal to recipes, at least the first time I make them and this time was no different.  The only thing I changed was the fat content of the yogurt I used – the recipe called for full fat yogurt and Todd bought fat free, I don’t think it will make a huge different though.  And it’s lighter that way.  Now, on to the recipe!

Grapefruit Yogurt Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
zest of two large grapefruits
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Ingredients – check!

Look at what a great job that zester did!  The zester has a scoring tool and two garnish tools as well.  Naturally< I spent some time making grapefruit curlicues, color me impressed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8.5″ x 4.25″ x 2.5″ loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, grapefruitzest and vanilla.

Slowly whisk together the dry and wet ingredients.  With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it is incorporated (I accidentally added the vegetable oil to the other wet ingredients but it seems to have turned out okay).  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the grapefruit juice and 1 T. sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.  Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes the carefully place it on a baking rack over paper towel.  While the cake is still warm, make small holes in the top and pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake allowing it to soak in.  Cool.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and grapefruit juice and pour over the cake.

My bread took over an hour to bake.  While I was waiting for it to cook through, I prepared the glaze and made myself a little dinner of pineapple, raspberry Activia yogurt and half of an English Muffin slathered with the chipotle cream cheese I bought this morning.

Now I’m just listening to Mumford and Sons and waiting for the bread to cool enough to glaze.  I’m so ready to try it!

– 10 minutes later –

Bread is done and glazed.  Look at this beauty!

And let me tell you, this bread is moist and wonderful.  I would highly recommend making this.

I’d say that my first grapefruit recipe on the site was a success!  Thanks to Kristin at Picky Cook for posting this wonderful recipe and to Deb at Smitten Kitchen for coming up with this awesome adaptation.  And to Drew, again, for the great zester.

What’s the best recipe you’ve borrowed lately?

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?



friday fatigue

If my boss wouldn’t notice, I’d be doing this right now:

I’m so sleepy!  It has been a long week but only 2 more hours to go and it will be the weekend and that’s bound to wake me up.

In other news, I had to eat lunch at my desk today but that’s not so bad when a co-worker brings you soup from Panera.  Thanks, Ajdin! 

I love their creamy tomato soup.  It’s a bit less acidic than regular tomato soup and paired with their baguette, it’s the perfect quick lunch combo. 

This is kind of a random post, must be that Friday fatigue. 

Changing subjects once again, I currently have two musical obsessions.  1) Adele.  Love that voice, girl – not to mention the piano driving your melodies, love.  Don’t you rememmbeeeerrrrrrrrrr?  2) Elijah Bossenbroek.  All piano, all the time.  My yoga studio plays his tunes every once in awhile and I’m in love.  We’re playing his music as background music during the cocktail and dinner hours at our wedding.  Love him.  These two have been getting me through my afternoons lately.

Less than an hour left now!  Then, off to Chicago.  Yay!