Month: June 2014

H Mart Candy Haul Contest Winner!

 

First of all, thanks to all of you who entered. I picked the winner by entering all names into http://www.miniwebtool.com/random-name-picker/.

The winner is…

Felicia at Thoughtful Minds United!

Congratulations to you! Please send your mailing address to gonnacookthat@gmail.com. I’ll get everything packed up and ship it out no later than July 1st.

Keep an eye out, folks! There’s a whole summer left, and I can promise at least two more giveaways before September 1st!

P.S. I think Nikki might win a side prize for the weirdest weird thing my readers have ever eaten. Lamb brains? Kudos to you for being adventurous to go there.

So, I might be a little obsessed.

For our last week of Purchasing class, we all went on a little field trip to H Mart. I have been to Asian markets before, but never one that big. Holy cow. I could have stayed for hours. I’m not gonna lie, I came home with some odd things, simply because my curiosity got the best of me.
*coughpickledbananablossomscough*

While I was there, I decided that I wanted to share my haul with one lucky reader, as a way to celebrate the end of classes and my impending summer break.

That’s right, it’s giveaway time!

I grabbed some goodies from the candy aisle, just for you. Check it out:
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I’m not entirely sure what all of that is, but I’m told those panda cookies are delicious. I can personally vouch for the green tea KitKat and the strawberry Pocky. The rest, well, you’ll just have to join the adventure, won’t you?

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment here on this post telling me about the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.

You can get additional entries by doing any of the following:

  • Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment on this blog post letting me know your Twitter handle.
  • Tweet the following status: “I just entered the @GonnaCookThat H Mart Candy Haul #giveaway! http://wp.me/p4kgZ8-9X”
  • Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on this blog post letting me know your IG username.

Easy, yeah?

I’ll draw the winning entry on Tuesday, June 24th.

Good luck!

And we all float on…

I love summer. Well, let me back up, I know it’s not officially summer yet, but it feels like summer (June 21st, if you want to mark your calendar) so I’m going to clarify that I am  loving this summer. I’ve had so much fun already this month, so I’m absolutely giddy that there’s still really a whole summer left. My last week of classes is this week–one more written final and a kitchen practical–and then I have three glorious weeks off to really revel in this wonderful sense of freedom that comes with warmer weather and sitting on porches and balconies and decks and patios just whiling the time away with a cold beer and some delicious snacks. Oh, and the parties!

I was lucky enough to kick off my summer party season with an invite to the Great Divide Brewing Company’s 20th anniversary party.

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I had a blast! So much great beer… It was impossible to try them all, but as evidenced by all the slightly blurry photos, I sure did give it my best effort! It’s BeerGoggle-vision!

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But it didn’t stop with the beer. Oh, no! There were food trucks as far as the eye could see, all serving up some really yummy munchables. Each ticket came with the opportunity to sample from one of the trucks, and on my friend Dan’s recommendation I made a beeline for the Burger Radio truck for one of their EBS burgers. That stands for Emergency Bacon System, if you were curious.

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Let’s not forget some great music (bands outside and a DJ spinning some seriously fun Motown inside), and cute babies!

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Even when the weather went all wonky on us… no one seemed to really mind.

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Breweries really do throw some kick ass parties! The folks at Great Divide did such a wonderful job with this one. It was held at the site of what will be their 2nd location, in a growing part of Denver called River North. If you’re a Denver person, you probably already know what’s going on up there, but if you’re ever in town from somewhere else, definitely look up what’s happening in the RiNo area. It’s kind of becoming food/beer heaven up there. Speaking of food heaven, let me show you something that I believe should be on everyone’s summertime menu at some point this year– beer floats!

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Stop making that “yuck!” face!!! If you’ve never experienced this treat, I know it might sound a little weird. But, when I say beer float, I’m not talking about throwing some store brand, fake vanilla wanna-be ice cream into your Bud Light. Don’t you dare! For this dessert, it’s only the good stuff. If you’re not going to make your own vanilla (or chocolate) ice cream, get some really good quality product. If you have a local ice cream shop that makes their own, that will work. If not, just make sure you’re getting something that is made from real ingredients. No fakers here!

Now, as for the beer– there are two ways to go here. The first, and most popular, would be a dark beer like a stout or a porter. Guinness would work quite well, but if you want to expand your horizons, there are lots of other ones to choose from. At the Great Divide party, they made theirs with Yeti Classic Imperial Stout and White Whale vanilla bean ice cream. There’s also a Yeti Chocolate that would work well with this. A couple of other good options from Left Hand Brewing would be the Lugene’s Chocolate Milk Stout, or the regular Milk Stout. Kona Brewing makes a Pipeline Porter brewed with Kona coffee that would be absolutely delightful in a float. Anyway, you get the idea. Something dark, with chocolate, vanilla, or coffee flavors combined with a rich, good quality chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

A second, and equally wonderful option would be to float your vanilla ice cream in something fruity. The best one I’ve tried so far was made with vanilla bean ice cream and Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic. Lots of lush, ripe, raspberry flavour that could be punched up even more by adding some fresh raspberries on top. Twisted Pine’s Raspberry Wheat Ale, or a Cuvée René Gueuze Lambic would also pair well.

Seriously, do this. You won’t regret it. In fact, I suspect it will become one of your favorite grown-up summertime treats.

Happy Summer, ya’ll!

Avocadon’t blame me if you eat the whole thing

I am an avocado whore. I’m not even lying when I say that there are very few things in this world I wouldn’t do for something avocado related. A couple of guys in my class made avocado ice cream the other night and it took everything I had not to eat it right out of the ice cream machine. I love avocados with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. Conversely, I really don’t enjoy having to stand over a hot stove for too long during the summer. The idea of having more than one burner going at a time for longer than 15 minutes makes me a little stabby. That’s why this recipe for avocado-cucumber soup is so perfect. It’s chock full of cool, creamy avocadoey goodness, and there is no heat required at all. It’s super easy, and uses a minimum of kitchen equipment so clean-up is easy so you can get back to standing directly in front of the air conditioner.

Equipment:
Blender or food processor
Knife and a cutting board
Measuring cups/spoons (or a scale that weighs ounces)
Some sort of stainless steel container (a 9×11 cake pan would work great)
Spoon or ladle

Ingredients: blog_meez
1/2 C (4 oz) heavy cream
1 1/4 C (8 oz) Avocado, scooped out and cut into rough chunks
1 C (6 oz) Cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into rough chunks
1 T lime juice
1 C (8 oz) plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, rough chop
1/2 C (4 oz) sour cream
1 T dill, rough chopped
1 T parsley, rough chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 C (8 oz) milk

Garnish (anything you want to put on there will work, but these are just some suggestions you can play with):
Sour cream
Thinly sliced green onions
Diced avocado
Diced cucumber
Wedge of lime |
Sprig of parsley or dill

Put everything except the milk in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

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Add the milk a little at a time and blend until the desired consistency of soup is attained.

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Pour the soup into a stainless-steel container. Place a wet paper towel or two over the surface of the soup, and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap  to prevent discoloration. Chill the soup in the fridge until it’s cold. blog_chill
While you wait, maybe clean out the blender and make yourself a blender drink. A margarita would be nice right about now, yeah? When it’s all chilly, ladle it into some bowls and garnish it however you like.

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And there you go! The soup is done. By the way, this would be a wonderful soup to serve as a shooter at your next party. Add a little extra lime juice to help prevent quick oxidation so you don’t have to serve it all right away, and serve it up in those little shot glasses you can get at the dollar store or something. Enjoy!

Let’s #SaveSummer

You guys, I REALLY want to get back to a regular posting schedule this summer. I’m working on it, and I’m a little frustrated that I haven’t been able to post consistently, but Life is Life, and we just do our best, right?

I did want to take some time today to talk about something pretty important for those hundreds of thousands of kids who are starting to get out of school for the summer. For lots of kids, getting out of school means freedom, running around the neighborhood with friends, trips to the pool,  vacations, and cook-outs with family, friends, and neighbors. But, for many of the 21 million children in this country who rely on free breakfast and/or lunch at school as maybe their only meal of the day, summer might be something a little scary. They could spend their summer months without enough to eat, and that just seriously breaks my heart.

large-f398cb9d6bc79ae5 Thankfully, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is stepping up. Families in your area, and all over the country, can text FOOD to 877-877 to get information on free summer meals being served in their area. The simplest thing you can do to help this effort is to post the info to your social media accounts:

“This summer, families can find free #SummerMeals for kids in their community by texting FOOD to 877-877 #NoKidHungry http://thndr.it/1qeGQT2

However, there are lots of other ways to help, from donating funds, to reaching out to your Congressman to request their help in funding summer food programs. The folks at No Kid Hungry have made it so easy to find the way to help that works best for you. Just click the link to get started.

http://www.nokidhungry.org/summer/

This is such an easy way to help save summer for millions of kids. I hope you’ll all take some time to help spread the word!