Chocolate Chips Everywhere…

Today is “National Chocolate Chip Day”, and of course if your making cookies, chocolate chips definitely deserve it’s own holiday. The story goes that in the 30’s a woman by the name of Ruth Graves was baking cookies and decided to add some chocolate chunks to her dough, well it took off and the toll house cookie was born.

You would think I would fix that tried and true Toll House Cookie recipe but I decided to try my hand at the famous $250 Neiman Marcus cookies and there are thousands of this recipe out there, I just picked the last one I looked at (I was getting a little tired). Just as I get geared up to make those, what happens during our extended stay at home orders, but DoubleTree  hotel posted their famous cookies online, you know the ones they bake fresh and leave for guests staying in the hotel, of course I had to try these.

But it looks like I wasn’t done on my chocolate chip cookie quest because I just decided to pull up the Neiman Marcus Store  I found their cookie recipe so yep I had to put that on the list to try.

I finally started baking cookies and giving them out to my mom, my sisters and my kids, that everyone was like “NO MORE”, who knew you could get tired of cookies. But below is my take on each of the cookies I made. Continue reading

Work Family: Pasta Maker & Sauce

It has been 13 years since I started working at the Harrahs casino with my work family and over the years we have been through everything, from birthdays, weddings, deaths in the families and even babies being born. Of course as everyone knows sometimes you see your work family more than you see your own family so you can’t help but love them or yeah even hate em sometimes, but that’s family for you.

So it had to be at the start of my time at Harrahs that my work daughter gave me the best birthday present ever. I had been talking about wanting to make homemade pasta ever since the little ole Italian grandmother of the bunch had given me her recipe for homemade pasta sauce, which by the way she made me promise to never give it out to anyone (so hush, I made some modifications and now it’s my sauce). So on my birthday she hands me a pasta maker and I was thrilled to say the least, but alas I never got around to making pasta that year. I didn’t get around to making pasta at all through an ankle surgery, and two moves, until now when this pandemic had us in lock-down.

Now after 13 years, yes I pulled out that pasta maker and I learned not only how to make fresh pasta, which by the way is the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted. After figuring out how to get the contraption to actually stay on the counter and finding the perfect recipe, which I’m not even going to copy, because there are so many recipes out there it was crazy but after doing a huge search I found one at “The Spruce Eats” which was perfect for me cause it made enough for 2 and hey it’s only me.

Next up was now taking that mixture of ingredients that this grandma gave me, that didn’t even have any sort of measurements for me to use….what the heck…right! So what’s the internet for, I started doing some research just to at least get some measurements or something to help me figure out how much of everything I should use. Just like pasta recipes you got a million sauce recipes, all kinds of sauce recipes, but at least I had a starting point on how much of anything I should use. After all that I was ready to make my own tomato sauce. Continue reading

COVID-19 and Restaurants

This has been the craziest year I have ever seen in Kansas City (MO), in fact in my whole life I have never seen anything like this before. Businesses closing down even my own job closed down (casino), and of course the biggest shut down’s have been our favorite local restaurants who have had to revamp how they do business but yet a few will close because they will be unable to push through this.

That’s why I was really heartbroken when one of my favorite places closed its door over the past week. Both myself and the Mister really enjoyed Beignet owned by Chef/Owner Bryan Merker, who also had owned our favorite creole place down in the crossroads called Nica’s. This is where we would go at least once a week, celebrated our anniversary and tried turducken for the very first time (yeah I miss that place). But when Beignet’s opened in the City market we were like woohoo, we can still get some great creole dishes and for seven years Chef Bryan delivered.

I hate I never got a chance to go as often as I liked but whenever I did go and Chef was around he always remembered me and would give me a hug in greeting. I wish that I had known and tried to help out in someway.

Beignet’s may be gone but they will never be forgotten and because so many of our local places are struggling I’ve created a list not only for myself but for you guys to help also.

And as this sign said…”We’re all in this together”

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How to Support Local Restaurants

Restart!

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a long time so I’m just blowing off the dust and wiping out the cobwebs to get back in the groove of things. With all the downtime I’ve got with this pandemic it’s time for me to get back up and running with a few changes to come.

I’m looking to still work on my collection of recipes from my mom and the ones I’ve created over the years. Some things that I plan on changing will be the look and a new “tagline” working on ideas for that now. I also want to focus on my KC background.

Kansas City is definitely more than just a cowtown and at one time we were known as Paris Of The Plains. I have two awesome cookbooks of some of KC’s greatest restaurants, some of them long gone and some which are still around.KC cookbooks

I’ve got plans to cook through these two cookbooks and hopefully talking with the places that are still around when this crisis is all over.

A few other things I’ve got planed is I finally pulled out that pasta maker I’ve had for over 10 years, along with  making a tomato sauce that’s about that old, that I got from an old co-worker. Plus I’m thinking about canning since yep I’ve got the equipment for that just sitting in my closet.

This is going to become my new norm and I plan on making this my mission to cook my favorite family recipes and of course cooking and eating my way through Kansas City.

I hope you guys join me in this delightful little trip, see you soon!