Today marks a special day for me:
Exactly 2 years ago I embarked on this blog.
I had a few reasons for creating Sockmonkey’s Kitchen:
- Creating a simple cooking resource for friends and family
- Teaching myself to write weekly
- Making and running a website
- Keeping my original recipes in one place
- Learning accountability (once a week is tough!)
- Designing my own logo/branding/wallpaper
- Pushing myself to create new dishes
- Sharing my love of food
My original goal was to keep my blog going for an entire year, or 52 weeks. Well, since today marks 2 years, I guess I’m an overachiever ;-)
My life has changed so very much, and for the better! I’m now finding myself beginning a new life as a wife, mom of 2 more, in a new home, and pursuing more activities and creative outlets all around. I’m still madly in love with food, from the growing, to the shopping, to the prepping, and to the eating. I’m still researching articles and learning all the way through it.
However, I’ve had to make the decision to put this blog on the back burner. I own this site, so I’ll keep it open for you to use as a cookbook, resource, or place to look at my silly sense of humor. Remember, there are over 100 posts here, so make sure to use the search bar to look for ingredients, dinner ideas, or….?
This has been a wonderfully fun ride, and I’m pretty sure it’s not over. I may start up again, once all the cardboard boxes from my move are gone, and I’ve settled in to life. Who knows?
But until then, please feel free to comment on the posts, and if any of you have a cooking/food/fun blog, please also feel free to post a link to it :)
Now go grab a cookie, and a cup of coffee, and remember my recipes whenever you spot a sockmonkey. <3
Hugs to all of you
I bet you thought I’d forgotten to post this week, huh?
Actually, I’m in the process of moving, so besides having my home currently decorated in the “Early American Cardboard” style, the kitchen has been without my fridge this week(!). However, I’m treating you to one of my posts that you may not have seen. Plus, it’s got Robert Downey Jr so you can’t go wrong. ;-) Enjoy and I’ll chat with you next week!
Originally posted on sockmonkeyskitchen:
What’s the first thing you think of when I say IRON?
Okay, maybe not THAT iron… I’m thinking about the mineral your body needs to stay healthy.
Growing up, I never really thought about it, until I’d moved out into my first apartment, and as often is the case with 19-year-olds, I didn’t really want to take my time attempting to cook all those balanced dinners Mom had brought me up on. So, like most young kids, I ate a lot of Taco Bell, fast food burgers, soda pop, Hamburger Helper, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and bread. Pretty much, my diet was void of anything healthy.
Fast-forward some months later, and I’m walking up the stairs to my 2nd-floor place, and I have to sit down and rest halfway through on the landing. What? I’m 19! This continues for a week…
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Summer is still in full swing, here in Southern California! As a matter of fact, we’ve got a forecasted temp of 106 on Monday. I think I may melt. But, have no fear… I’ve got a couple of ideas for you to use on those crazy hot days where you don’t want to turn on the oven, or take too much time making dinner. Plus, there’s a song you’ll tap your toes to at the end :)
The first is a seafood dish. Yes, I said seafood. I’d sworn off of the stuff since I was very young because it tasted, well, like fish. And, I really never liked it. Keep in mind I was pretty much a freak of nature with this mindset, since I grew up on one of the most popular beach cities in the state. ;-) Anyhow, I’m starting to eat it because Kenny loves it. Anyway, my new daughter Kelsie spent this past summer in Alaska and she sent us some beautiful salmon that she had caught. What a treat! Kenny grilled it up with some butter, lemon, and a spice blend we made. Then he grilled some lovely pineapple “steaks” for a side. I topped the fish with my simple Pineapple Pico, and it was delicious! Continue reading
Today I’ve got a guest blogger. I’ve followed her for quite some time, and I LOVE her cooking style! Through various chats we’ve discovered that not only do we have a common passion for food… but she also lived in my hometown of Santa Barbara for quite some time. What a small world!
This incredibly talented self-taught chef worked as a personal chef for eight years and as a caterer for ten years after that. She has the writer of a weekly newspaper column, taught cooking classes, worked as a recipe developer, was a health advocate promoting feeding children healthy food, had a cooking show, and even wrote a cookbook. And she’s my special guest today!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
may I introduce Chef Mimi!
“There nothing quite like a fresh salsa in August, when ripe tomatoes are abundant.
A simple addition of red and green onions, some cilantro and a dash of Tabasco sauce
makes a perfect salsa to serve with chips, or pico de gallo-style.
But if you’re willing to cook a salsa with summer-ripe peaches, you will swoon at the results.
Best slightly warm, with chips, and perhaps guacamole.
A perfect spread for a summer’s eve.
Margaritas optional.” – Chef Mimi
Yes, Portland has an amazing landscape, beautiful architecture, and a hip, cool vibe about it… but today I’m focusing on the sugar. Why? Um, hello…. SUGAR. Here are a couple of fabulous sugar finds that my new husband Kenny and I found while on our honeymoon in Portland, Oregon last week. PLUS… today marks the second anniversary of SockmonkeysKitchen.com!
This is an outstanding representation of what ice cream really should be. A sign inside reads: Our ice cream is handmade in small batches using only all natural dairy with the best, local, organic and sustainable ingredients Oregon has to offer, as well as imported flavors from small hand-picked farms from around the world!
With a whopping 17% butterfat in it, you’re getting the cream of the crop. ;-) We visited the NW 23rd location twice, and I was pretty sad that we didn’t go more. The line wrapped around the building, so I knew it was going to be good. Once we’d gotten inside, the servers were all walking out from behind the large counter to give samples. Mind you, these are not the tiny plastic “only one per person” spoonfuls that I’m used to. Noooo…. As many as you’d like, each on a large silver spoon. “Just bring the spoons back when you’re done and we’ll wash ‘em” the polite girl said to me. Holy cow. Alrighty then.
I tried a few, and each were beautifully flavored and wonderfully paired. I loved that there wasn’t a ton of sweetness, and some flavors were very savory. Their classic flavors range from the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache, to the Arbequina Olive Oil, to the Coconut with Petunia’s salted Caramel Bars….. and the Portland Farmer’s Market Series boasted flavors such as Tomato Water Olive Oil, Carrot Watermelon and the daring Bone Marrow & Bourbon Smoked Cherry. The Pear with Blue Cheese, Freckled Woodblock Chocolate, and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle were just a few that we tried. The strangest combo was the Bunk Hawaiian which besides pineapple (and I think coconut) had pork jelly belly in it. I let Ken taste that one on his own. ;-)
Hello from Portland, Oregon! Believe it or not, last week was the first week I ever missed a blog…in 2 years… But I have a good reason ;-) I got married two days later :-)
My new husband and I are vacationing in Portland, Oregon and are loving it! I cannot wait to tell all of you about our lovely food experiences we have had here.
From unbelievable ice cream flavors to grass fed beef to amazing locally roasted coffee, it seems that Portland has it all :-)
So please sit tight and wait until next week and I can promise you that the wait will be worth it! Until then, Ta Ta!
Today was hot! Wait, who am I kidding? It’s been hot for weeks!
I absolutely am missing the Autumn and Winter weather… the cute sweaters …. and the amazing food! But, for now while Southern California is masquerading as Florida (yep, we’ve got the humidity too! ack!), I’ll stick to warm weather meals.
Even though I talk about salads on here quite a bit, I’m doing it again for 3 reasons: Continue reading
This summer time heat has made me crave my favorite Potato Salad! (PS: it’s healthy!) I’d *really* appreciate it if you’d share this link with your friends, Thanks! =0)
Originally posted on sockmonkeyskitchen:
Summertime can be sooooo confusing. Your favorite magazines show photos of all of the warm-weather favorites, like Potato Salad, Fried Chicken, and Root Beer Floats… yet you also want to fit into that swimsuit or those cute new shorts. Plus, you have been trying to eat much better lately. It seems to be a dilemma that’s been hitting a lot of people lately.
Potato Salad, it’s time for your makeover.
When Tracieinvited me to her 3rd Annual 4th of July Beach Party, I knew I wanted to bring something tasty to go with the Tri Tips that were going to be grilled. I thought to myself, “what better than Steak and Potatoes”? yum! So I went about changing my favorite Potato Salad recipe into one that would not only taste good, but would fit into the “healthy” category too.
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Every time I walk by a Williams-Sonoma store, I am pulled in by a force that is stronger than any top-of-the-line vacuum on the market. Ever since I can remember, the store has had such a refined feel to it, and the staff is always so welcoming and willing to help. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve walked in to browse and been greeted with a snack or beverage. It’s kind of like going to a dear friend’s home. A friend who can cook. Really well. ;-)
Last weekend, Kenny, Cody, and I attended one of their free classes. Yes, folks, they will teach you some pretty amazing techniques and ideas… without charging you a thing. Oh – and you get to taste the creations at the end! Win-win! I’d always wanted to go to one of these, and when I saw this class was called “From the Garden”, and that they’d be some type of canning, I was in. You know I love to pickle beets (here’s my blog about that), but canning/pickling itself is one of those things I just don’t do enough of. So, I figured it I went, I’d get the motivation I needed. It worked. I’m dying to start up again after the wedding.
We walked in, and were immediately greeting by Chef Gina, whose caffeinated effervescence was contagious. If you’re ever able to attend one of her classes, I cannot tell you how much you’ll enjoy her super-fun, sweet style. “Welcome in, folks! We’re going to be making pickles today!” After introducing herself and her assistant, she was off and running. She talked about the importance of sterilizing jars when canning, and showed us this new item (or at least new to me!) made by the Ball company that can sterilize your jars in only 12 minutes. What?! I’ve done it either in the dishwasher, which takes a ton of time, as well as water…or by boiling it in big pots for what seems like forever. Great tip! This contraption also will help can your pickles, jams, tomatoes… whatever you’re canning…. without a worry. Now don’t get me wrong… this class wasn’t on the wonders of a product they were selling, it’s just that I am a major gadget girl and this one was extraordinary. I’ll give you a link at the bottom of the blog so you can take a look at this beauty. Continue reading
I enjoy trying new things. And, as I’m getting older, I’m wanting to branch out with my tastebuds even more. So, yesterday I was shopping at Sprouts and I found something fun: Kangaroo!
My son Chris was coming over for dinner, which prompted the need for it as well. If you’ve read any of my posts about him, you’d know he’s the biggest carnivore I know. Plus, he’s always open to tasting new meats, which is awesome. So, I knew that he’d want to try it. :)
The kangaroo is from a place called Durham Ranch in Wyoming, and I love what the website have as a mission statement: