Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

I love Trisha's Southern Kitchen, on the Food Network.  LOVE.  She is a riot.  Have you seen the Steel Magnolias episode?  It is absolutely priceless and, someday, I will make my own armadillo cake.  In the meantime, I'm content to watch Trisha be hilarious, although the H and I suspect that her sister Beth is actually the genius cook in the family, given the fact that she's on "assisting" Trisha in every other episode.  Regardless, I love them both (and I love when Garth makes an appearance.  It takes me back to my childhood).

ANYWAY, Trisha makes a Cold Oven Poundcake (a favorite of one of Beth's kids!  Beth is EVERYWHERE) and I always thought it looked delish.

I changed Trisha's episode ever-so-slightly by adding the seeds from two vanilla beans and a little more vanilla extract, and using about 1/3 cup less sugar.  Otherwise I left it exactly as is.

And it. Is. FABULOUS.  Moist and delicious.  And since I love vanilla SO much, the beans added a little extra oomph.

I enjoyed this poundcake with chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.  Nightly.  Because that's how I roll.

For some reason, I saw these and thought man, they kind of look like my strawberry and chocolate-laden poundcake.

 Christian Louboutin via Neiman Marcus

Just me?  Whatever.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Big 3-0

Today's the day, peeps.  I'm 30.  3-0.  Dirty thirty.  And I'm PUMPED.

I'm also currently scooting back to Florida from Toronto.  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you'll know I'm traveling all over the place, but I'm doing my best to keep up the posts.

Have a happy Cookin' in Heels birthday, everyone!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cookie Swap Time!

I am thrilled to announce that, this year, I am going to be participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  I can't wait to get started and share my cookies with you!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

Stay tuned!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Quickie Friday: Baked Tortellini and Spinach

Here's an easy one for you all on a Friday:  baked tortellini.  Throw in some frozen, chopped spinach (thawed, of course) and you've got a meal made in heaven.

I'm a big fan of Buitoni pastas, and they make my lazy meals so much easier.  Here's the recipe:

1 package Buitoni three cheese, whole wheat tortellini
1 package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 jar low sodium marinara
1 red onion, finely chopped
olive oil

Prepare the tortellini according to the package directions and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  While the pasta is boiling, saute the onion in some olive oil until translucent, then add the spinach and pasta sauce.  Add the tortellini and top with mozzarella, then throw the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Couldn't be any easier.  Seriously, this whole meal takes less than 10 minutes to prep.  I have been known to walk in the door, throw it together while still in my work gear, and to use the 20 minutes while it's baking to make myself more comfortable (i.e. throw on my jammies and pour myself a glass of wine).  Life is hard sometimes.

The fact that these are at H&M for less than $60 is also hard.

All I'm saying is that a world with these booties and meals that fast doesn't suck.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Favorite Things Thursday: Smokin'

I want to tell you about my new favorite weekend past time.

But first, a confession.

Sometimes blogging is a bit of a drag.  I love this blog.  I started it for me, but there is a LOT of pressure to get a million hits a month and make money off of this damn thing.  And I think you can tell from my last few whiny posts, I don't have time or energy for that!  I would love to hear from some of you who blog for fun about how you deal with the stress, or whether you care about statistics and/or pleasing the masses at all!

Alright, enough of that.

New favorite thing:

No, not fire (per se) but using the hell out of the grill.  But not grilling, either!

Smoking!  That's right, I'm a smoker.  And I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Smoking meat is my new favorite thing to do on the weekends, and the rewards are sweet.

This is my grill/smoker/everything:

And I love it.  I can toss some veggies on the left, and smoke meat on the right.  And, keep in mind, I lay in the pool and read a book when I'm not tending the food.  It doesn't suck.

I have now smoked and shredded multiple pork picnics (after rubbing them with a combination of cayenne, salt, and pepper), and then doused them with barbeque sauce.  It's a feast for the senses.  Really.

Rest-assured more smoking recipes will be coming.  And for those of you who like details - it takes about 12 hours, at 250 degrees, to smoke a 12 pound pork picnic (bone-in) with applewood chips.  You can thank me later.