Thai-Inspired Kale and Carrot Salad

Thai Kale Salad

Last week, I participated as a featured food blogger (woo!) in a kale-centric event at kor180, an indoor cycling and pilates studio in downtown Austin. It was a blast! I demo-ed one of my recipes, met a ton of awesome members of the Austin fitness and cooking community, and generally had a great time.

Obviously I was jazzed to attend a party ALL ABOUT KALE, and also unsurprisingly, I put an Asian twist on my salad recipe. What can I say? Sometimes I’m pretty predictable. In this case it was a good thing, as my recipe turned out really well, if I do say so myself. It’s crunchy, salty, sour, a little sweet, and a little spicy. Plus it’s veeeerrry easy to make and totally good for you. What’s not to love?!

Thai-Inspired Kale and Carrot Salad

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The Regrettable Edible

jello maragarita

You know what the relationship is between inspiration and perspiration? Inspiration allows you to think outside the box, which sometimes leads to magical creations. Perspiration is what happens when life bends you over the Counter of Good Intentions and pile drives your inspiration into deep regret. Case in point; I got a call from a special ‘friend’ who is a single mom with two great kids who are Cub Scouts. My friend has a demanding, full-time job and was hosting her sons’ Cub Scout meeting after work, and she asked me if I could help her out by preparing some lime Jell-o desserts for the troop before she got home. I knew that I would be compensated for this in a way that I can’t describe, so I quickly agreed and went over to her place to make the treats.

While I was looking for some pots I found her liquor stash and unopened bottles of tequila and margarita mix. Suddenly – inspiration!

What if I substituted half the Jell-o water with tequila and margarita mix? If this worked that would be a cool little treat for my friend and myself once the Cub Scout meeting was over and it was time for my compensation. I prepared the Jell-o and added my margarita substitute; then I put the sauce pan into the fridge to chill. Once it set up I’d cut a bunch of small square margarita shots for me and my favorite Den Mother to enjoy later that evening. I still had plenty of time to run out and get some more Jell-o to make for the Scouts before the meeting so I jumped into my ride and took the freeway shortcut to the store.

Uh…did I mention that I live in L.A.? Yeah, well…on the way back I was a quarter-mile from the exit when something happened to the tractor-trailer up ahead and before I knew it the rig was lying on its side across the freeway! The driver got out okay but all four lanes on my side came to a grinding halt. I was gridlocked with no way out when I made a shocking discovery; in my haste to rush out and get the additional Jell-o I had left my cell phone in the kitchen! Up to this point I wasn’t worried that I hadn’t memorized her number because I knew it was in my phone. Perspiration!

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It’s ‘National Something’ Day!!!

tequila

Nuts! I missed it again! Just like last year I woke up too hung over to remember that it was National Tequila Day. And each time this glorious day is celebrated I think back to that little neighborhood bar that I stumbled into 5 years ago. It was loud, it was packed, and it was National Tequila Day 2008 where I was taught the proper techniques for taking and giving Body Shots, a how-to course on slurping Tequila from the naval of female strangers, and the realization that just because you own a credit card that isn’t justification to scream “A shot for everybody!” multiple times in a crowed bar. It did make me a lot of friends though, none of which it turned out had bail money. But that’s a different story….

The origin of exactly why National Tequila Day is celebrated on July 24th is as fuzzy as my vision on the morning of the 25th. We celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17th because supposedly that was the day he died. And although I deeply admire the way in which the Irish celebrate the dead, I can remember many a day after a Saint Patrick’s celebration that I too wished I were dead.

But the 24th of July is set aside and solely dedicated to the celebration and appreciation of Tequila! Yaaay!!!!!

(Well… maybe not solely. It’s also National Amelia Earhart Day as well as National Drive-Thru Day which just goes to show how many national observances we have on any given day.)

So raise your shot glasses my fellow Americans and celebrate this smooth, clear, south-of-the-border nectar by licking some salt, tossing one back and sucking on a lime! Or if you prefer the amber brands you can do it like the Germans and lick some cinnamon, toss one back and suck on an orange slice. Either way, get a designated driver and stop at a drive-thru on your way home. Then do us all a favor and like Amelia, disappear into the night. You’re going to need your rest….

National Cheesecake Day is just around the corner!!!

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Cocktail O’ Clock: The Melonda

Dobel Tequila Melonda

Summertime = watermelon. I like it as a nice, plain fruit but I also like it in my dranks. Watermelon and tequila are a compatible pair, and our friends at Maestro Dobel tequila sent us a recipe truly exemplifying that. Pair your sweet melon with some pomegranate and lime for a hint of tart, plus a bit of agave to balance everything else, and you’re in summer heaven.

The Melonda

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Cocktail O’ Clock: Fusion Margaritas!

I love fusion food. You take one cuisine you like, combine it with another cuisine you like, and what do you get? A cuisine you love! One of my favorites is Korean tacos, a food truck staple from LA (and there’s lots of great ones in Austin, too). One thing I’ve never had before, though, is a Korean-Mexican drink hybrid. Until now, that is!

This cocktail recipe combines Korean gochujang seasoning with classic marg ingredients like tequila and lime juice. The result is a sweetly spicy beverage—a margarita with a slightly foreign kick to it. Enjoy with your favorite tacos… or Korean BBQ… or, of course, both.

Spicy Margarita

Spicy Gochujang Margarita

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Cocktail O’Clock: Waquila

One of the best things about summer is buying a big, ripe striped green watermelon on a scorching afternoon. While a few slices are great, the remaining bright pink interior remains, calling to you on the kitchen counter. So what do you do with it? Make it booze!

Last summer, we decided to feature the leftover fruit in a cool and refreshing cocktail, pureeing the watermelon with tequila and a splash of lime. Our friend, Kristen thought of the clever name, ‘Waquila.’ It has since become a summer staple for us, perfect for any summer fiesta.

Waquila

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Cocktail O’Clock: Mango Coconut Mojito

I am not, nor have I ever been, a bartender.  I love mixed drinks, though.  And I’m super cheap, so I would much rather make drinks at home than pay upwards of $8 a glass on a super-sugary and not-alcoholic-enough drink.

Now, I promised myself a while back that I would not buy any more coconut rum because it’s too easy to consume in mass quantities and regret it later.  Buuuttt…I guess I break promises.

So, here’s a tropical drink to rock your socks.

Coconut Mango Mojito

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