bbq

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn

Remember that time I told you that you might get three posts in a week.  And then only got one? Blogging is hard these days.  I can’t even say I don’t have the time or energy.  I’m just lazy.  And I’d rather spend my evenings catching up reading about all of you than sharing my own boring daily haps.

We did manage to get out of the house on a week night (gasp!) with Edison to enjoy dinner with friends a couple weeks ago.  Having a kid that goes to bed at 7pm makes week night plans awfully challenging.  But, we made plans to be prepared – and though dinner didn’t start until 6:30, we managed!

It was so much fun to get out of the house and break up our routine a little bit.  Plus, Eddie got to meet three more of our friends!  I hadn’t seen them since before Eddie was born.  Yikes.  We literally had plans with two of them the week Eddie was born, but I wasn’t feeling so hot, so we canceled in hopes of doing it that weekend.  But then, Eddie had to go and be born on Friday and totally hijack our lives.  The nerve.

We then had plans with them to enjoy dinner in their new home a couple months ago and then Eddie had to go and get sick for like a month straight, so once again, we had to cancel.  I mean, the kid was literally shitting on people.  I can’t take my explosive baby into a new home!

But, we finally made it happen.  And it was so much fun.

In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo (since our dinner date was on May 5th!) we obviously had a Mexican themed evening.  As I was madly searching the interwebs for a stellar side dish to bring, I stumbled across this Mexican Street Corn recipe.  Yes, please.

I didn’t want the hassle of grilling corn, nor did I want to expect our gracious hosts to do it for me, so I decided I would just deconstruct it into a yummy side dish!

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn - mwn

Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn

2 Tbs olive oil
4 c frozen yellow corn, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 Tbs crumbled feta cheese, plus more for garnishing*
2 Tbs mayo
2 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp ancho or guajillo chili powder
Juice from two limes
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add corn and stir occasionally until toasted.  Add garlic and remove from heat to cool.

In a bowl, combine the toasted corn mixture with remaining ingredients.  Garnish with feta cheese.

You can easily adjust the amount of cheese, mayo, cilantro, chili powder, lime juice, and salt to satisfy your taste buds.  Enjoy!

*You could use cotija, but I couldn’t find it for the life of me.  Feta was a great sub!

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 I think this would be a great dish to bring to any BBQ this summer.  Lots of flavor and it can be served at room temperature!

 

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

Friday we had a potluck at work to celebrate promotions and mark the departure of two three employees.  Perhaps it’s the turnover at work that is making my life so chaotic?  I think yes.

Whenever a potluck rolls around, you better believe I’m the one volunteering to bring the dessert.  Always.  Last time around, I made an incredible homemade funfetti cake with toasted marshmallow frosting.  To die for.  I actually had a coworker request that I make it for her birthday.  I don’t know when her birthday is.  Fail.

Does anyone else with pets get anxiety when cooking or baking for acquaintances?  I mean, if a dog hair gets into a nightly dinner, no big thing.  It isn’t ideal, but I don’t have to worry about my husband thinking that I am a dirty human.  He knows how much our dogs shed!  I never thought about it much until I worked with a woman who brought baked goods in on the reg – and literally every time I indulged in a piece, I found a piece of her golden retriever’s hair.  Every time.  I’m not exaggerating.  After the third time around, I learned to opt out of her treats – they were delicious, but the dog hair just really freaked me out!  I don’t want people to get freaked out about my treats, so I’m OCD in the kitchen while preparing a dish that will be leaving our home.

This time around, I wanted something “summer-y.”  Nothing says summer like some fresh raspberries, right!?  I first had this pie when I worked at another financial – another coworker brought it to share.  After a taste, I demanded asked super sweetly for her to share the recipe.  She kindly obliged.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie - mwnRaspberry Cream Cheese Pie

10″ graham cracker pie crust

4 oz cream cheese
4 oz powdered sugar
4 oz cool whip

Cream together cheese and sugar.
Fold in cool whip and spread into pie crust.

1 c water
1/3 c corn starch
2 c fresh raspberries
2/3 c sugar
small package raspberry jello

Heat water, sugar, and cornstarch.  Stir until mix thickens.
Remove from heat; add jello.
Fold in raspberries.
Spread over cream cheese base.
Chill.

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Raspberry Cream Cheese pie - cream cheese filling - mwn

I can’t think of a better addition to a backyard barbeque or, in this case, potluck.  It’s so refreshing, delicious, and surprisingly easy!

 

 

 

Hill Country Cuisine

After I returned from Texas last month, I mentioned I would put together a post with some of my favorite venues in the Hill Country of Texas.  Some of them are local gems – some are chains – but all of them are good!  And they’re all things that I can’t track down living in the midwest.  The food is one of the biggest treats about visiting my parents.

Here are my two cents:

Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Austin – A farm to table concept.  We enjoyed Bacon Wrapped Texas Quail, Steak Tacos, Chorizo Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Medalions, Baja Style Fish Tacos, and two incredible desserts.  Every single one of us had rave reviews of our plates – that never happens in our family.  But, seriously, everyone loved their food.

salt lick - mwn

The Salt Lick

The Salt Lick, Driftwood – This was my second time here.  And honestly?  I find it underwhelming.  My parents enjoy it a lot, but I much prefer Cooper’s BBQ (see below).  I had a Pulled Pork Sandwich and it was okay.  I did not enjoy the sides much at all.  Others had Turkey and Thurman’s Choice (brisket, pork ribs, and sausage).  I think everyone else enjoyed it more than I did.  From what I know, it’s a well known destination for locals and tourists alike.  Wait times can exceed an hour and a half here (they generally don’t take reservations).  But, it’s BYOB (a concept totally foreign to this northerner) and there is live music on the weekends – which makes the waiting time much more manageable.  Though it isn’t a favorite of mine, the popularity speaks for itself.

Daddy’s Gourmet Burgers, San Antonio – Mom and I tried this on a whim when we found ourselves in San Antonio for pedicures.  We use the Yelp app quite frequently to find new places to eat.  This place had 5/5 stars. They have a small menu – my mom and I both got the special for the day which was the Daddy’s Thick and Juicy on a Jalapeno Bun.  The burgers were excellent and both were delivered exactly how we ordered them.  We had a side of fries that I didn’t love, but mom enjoyed.  We also tried  Non Venemous Rattlers (fried pickles), that were just okay.  Go for the burgers, not for the sides.

Cooper's

Cooper’s

Cooper’s, New Braunfels – They have several locations, but I’ve only been to New Braunfels.  I’m sad that I didn’t make it there this trip, but this place has my favorite BBQ, no questions asked.  The sauce is delicious – but don’t go expecting thick, rich sauce – it’s on the runnier side (as I’ve found with many places in Texas), but the flavor is phenomenal.  It’s rustic – meaning you eat at picnic tables and there are community loaves of white bread.  But, man, in my opinion, this is the bee’s knees.

moonshine - mwn

Moonshine

Moonshine, Austin – An excellent recommendation made by my parents.  When they were building their house, their builder took them there, otherwise I’m not sure they would’ve found it otherwise (as there seems to be such a large number of excellent restaurant choices in Austin).  Our table enjoyed Warm Bacon Dip, Broiled Rainbow Trout, Cedar Plank Salmon, the Cowboy Rubbed Flat Iron Steak, Molasses and Chile Cured Pork Chop, a Fudge Stout Brownie, and Peanut Butter Mousse Pie.  Yes, we ate well that night.  And again, all of us thoroughly enjoyed our choices.  Highly recommend!  They were on a wait (we went on a Monday!), so I can imagine they are pretty darn busy on the weekends.  Be prepared to wait.

Pecan Street, Johnson City – This place isn’t too far from where my parents live and they grab a bite here quite regularly.  I’ve joined them a time or two and each time, it’s been delicious.  The last time I was here I had the Fish Tacos.  They were quite tasty!  Fun fact, I’d never had a fish taco until visiting Texas.  This wasn’t the first place I had them, but they’re among the best I’ve had.  Being a brewery, they also have a good selection of beer brewed on site.  I’m not a huge beer drinker, so I haven’t tried any of it, but it can’t be too bad if they’ve stuck around for as long as they have!  This would be a great place to try between Thanksgiving and Christmas, because once you’re finished, you can head over to see the Johnson City Christmas lights!

johnson city lights - mwn

The Hula Hut, Austin – I have not personally eaten here, but my parent’s have and they enjoyed it quite a bit.  They had also recommended Moonshine to us and we thoroughly enjoyed that.  In general, I very much trust my parent’s recommendations!  It’s on Lake Austin and isn’t a far cry from downtown.  I’m hoping to make it there on my next venture south!  If anyone else has tried it, I’d love to know what you think!

Chuy’s, Austin – I know this is a chain, but it’s a chain we don’t have in Wisconsin.  I’m not a chain restaurant kind of girl, I’ll avoid them as much as I can, but I can’t help but enjoy Chuy’s!  Their chips and salsa are my fave.  I stick to Chuy’s special because there’s just somethin’ about those blue corn tortillas that make my heart pitter-patter.

There you have it – in the seven years I’ve been visiting my parents, these places have risen to the top of my list.

What are some of your favorite places in the hill country?