Growing a Serious Sandwich

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With spring weather (finally-maybe-is-it-really) coming to most of the country it’s about time to start talking gardening. Now, to put it nicely my cooking technique focuses on creativity and innovation at the expense of perfection and measurement, and my gardening experience, not surprisingly, has had about as much success as my baking repertoire. Which is to say…not much.

So I was excited to receive a shipment of Gro-ables, a foolproof new way to grow herbs and vegetables in your backyard, garden or kitchen. Gro-ables are ready-to-plant┬áseed pods that come with a built-in environment for your seed. Each pod contains growing materials, plant food and seeds (basil, spinach, cilantro, dill, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes and more). All you need to do is open the seed pod, drop it in some dirt and then water occasionally. Now that’s my kind of gardening.

With sunny weather on hand this week, I was inspired to get going with my Gro-ables — planting some basil, cherry tomatoes and lettuce on my windowsill. That in turn got me hungry for some fresh herbs and veggies, so while I’m waiting for those to grow, I took the basil I already had on hand, whipped up some fresh pesto and put together a new take on an ES favorite sandwich.

BLT Sandwich with Fresh Pesto, Mozzarella and Basil

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Food Porn Champion

fried chicken

 

I never really understood the fried chicken and waffles thing. Yes, they’re both delicious, but why on a plate together? Then I saw this monstrosity/brilliance. FC and W…on a sandwich. YES. See now that just works.

Recipe: The Candid Appetite

(Points if you can guess how they incorporated bacon in here.)

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Detroit Style Pizza

Detroit-Style Pizza is Your New Favorite Pizza

Detroit Style Pizza

Look at that giant brick of cheese. Just look at it. Under that dazzling layer of cheese, prosciutto, and balsamic goodness lies all sorts of delectable toppings and a thick, chewy crust. What is this? Detroit-style pizza! I’m sure some areas of the country are more familiar with this treat than I am, but allow me to gush for a few minutes.

After a particularly long day/night at SXSW, I was grabbing a beer with some friends at a beer bar called Craft Pride when a food truck in the backyard caught my eye. Via 313 has a reputation for being some of the best pizza around Austin, but I’d never checked it out before. I’m not always a huge pizza person—I have to be in a certain mood. That night, after walking miles around town to different festival events and drinking a few brews, I was definitely in that mood. I wandered up to the window and ordered the most rich, indulgent variety I saw. The Cadillac: gorgonzola cheese, fig preserves, shaved prosciutto, shaved parmesan, and balsamic glaze. “For $16, it better be as good as people say,” I thought to myself.

When the pizza was carried out to our table, I was kind of surprised by how thick and…square it was. This is deep-dish like I’ve never seen deep-dish before. Generous on the toppings with the sauce (in this case, balsamic instead of tomato) as the very top layer, this was a bit daunting to bite into but gloriously greasy and satisfying once I took the plunge.

What makes Detroit-style pizza so decadent and special? As the Via 313 menu explains:

Detroit-style pizza features a semi-thick but light and airy crust (similar in texture to focaccia bread). The pizza is baked in industrial steel pans from the Motor City that were traditionally used to hold small machine parts in automotive assembly lines. The pans allow for the cheese to be baked all the way around, creating a delicious caramelized cheese edge.

While I generally eat more thin crust pizza, I really looove me some deep-dish and this one takes the cake (or pie?) Those crispy corners with the caramelized cheese and crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside texture are probably the best part. I’m definitely a Detroit-style convert.

Detroit Style Pizza Slice

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Carillon Pansy Panna Cotta

Artsy Photo of the Day: Bleu des Basques Blossoms

Carillon Pansy Panna Cotta

How lovely! I sampled this Bleu Des Basques Panna Cotta at an event called the Official Drink of Austin here last Thursday. There were more creative cocktails and bar bites than one stomach could handle, but this flowery creation from Austin restaurant The Carillon wins my personal prize for the prettiest dish. It tasted as good as it looked, too. (You can check out the full recap of Official Drink of Austin here!)

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Artsy Photo of the Day

tater tots

 

The bacon has risen.

Tater tot casserole with green beans, cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese and bacon. Now that’s cooking.

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Bacon Spinach Onion Dip

Bacon, Spinach, Swiss & Caramelized Onion Dip

I know the Super Bowl is over (GO HAWKS OMG!) but I see no reason why I can’t share my latest dip recipe with you. I mean, DIP! Who doesn’t love it? It’s not like you can’t eat dip just because football season is over (*sob*). After all, we still have basketball, Oscars, random Saturday nights when you feel like staying on the couch with a box of wine, Costco-size bag of chips, and bucket of dip all night, etc… So here we go.

Bacon Spinach Onion Dip

This isn’t anything revolutionary, but it’s all of the best snacking kind of flavors combined into one. Salty bacon? Yep. Sweet caramelized onion? You know it. Refreshing spinach? Heck yes, you’re getting your iron, son! ┬áSavory, cheesy…cheese? YES! I tried to keep it kiiiinda light by incorporating some lowfat ingredients in my Creamy Dip Trinity (cream cheese, mayo, sour cream) but let’s be real. You’re eating bacon pulverized into a dairy base, so “light” is pretty relative in this case. But it’s worth it.

Bacon, Spinach, Swiss, & Caramelized Onion Dip

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