New Mexico, Arizona, and San Diego.

All day Monday was spent driving through Texas (literally all the way across) from Austin through El Paso, and to Silver City, New Mexico for the night.

Before we got to our hotel, we did what we did throughout the trip: we stopped and got dinner.

We did some Googling and Yelping before getting to Silver City, and decided on The Jalisco Cafe.

IMG_6005
We got an incredible combination plate, which included chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos, rice and beans, as well as chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers). We opted for the green chile sauce, which was spicier that the other option, but we were happy since green chiles are native to New Mexico. The pictures of the food weren’t all that great, but I promise you that if you’re in or around Silver City, this place is a must. Even the locals we talked to agreed.

We then headed to our hotel, the Econolodge in Silver City. It was merely a place for us to rest our heads, but we were surprised by all of the amenities in the room and at the hotel (including a microwave and fridge, swimming pool, and full breakfast), and we would definitely stay here again.

The next day, we woke up early, and began our trip west for our last day of our trip. I was most excited about New Mexico before my trip began and I was not disappointed by its beauty.

IMG_6025 IMG_6026

 

Next stop: Arizona.

IMG_6028
Not much to write about here. By this point we were eager to get to San Diego. We did stop in Yuma for lunch and liked that city a lot. We planned on getting In-N-Out but then saw there was a Chipotle and thought that would be a healthier option after all the food we ate during our trip (and before, with Thanksgiving and various dinners/happy hours with friends and family before leaving).

More Arizona…

IMG_6038
Then we made it to California!

IMG_6055
We got into San Diego around 4:00 pm, after 9 hours of driving. As we drove towards the city and got off our exit, I made Adam put on California Love for me. It was necessary.

And so, I will leave you with that song.

Advertisements

More Louisiana and Texas.

Dinner at Morels Restaurant in New Roads, Louisiana. So, so good…

IMG_5935

Fried alligator and crawfish from Prejean’s in Lafayette, LA…

IMG_5939

Finally made it to Texas…

IMG_5943

Our beautiful hotel room at the Windgate in Round Rock, TX. This was by far our favorite hotel from our trip, and the second cheapest. Our room included a sofa bed (which we obviously didn’t use), king size bed, cable, free wifi (this was also the best wifi of all the hotels we stayed at), and a free breakfast in the morning (again, the best breakfast of all the hotels, as it included hot entrees, including biscuits and gravy).

IMG_5948

We might have had BBQ in Nashville but Texas BBQ is different. We picked up brisket, sausage, ribs, baked beans, green beans, creamed corn and tamale pie at Johnny T’s in Round Rock before stopping at the hotel for the night. It was all amazing.

IMG_5949

Maeby wanted some of our food.

IMG_5953

We stopped at Pebble Hills Dog Park in El Paso, TX on our way to New Mexico. We had a little trouble finding it (the GPS directed us to a library, and the park was a little bit past that), but once we found it, Maeby had a great time. She also got to make new friends, and the people there were really nice (just as they were in Jackson, MS).

IMG_5990

More Texas.

IMG_5969

We had to stop at Whataburger. It had to happen; we were in Texas, after all. And Adam wouldn’t stop talking about how we had to go there…so we did. I wasn’t disappointed. It was really good.

IMG_5995

On to New Mexico…

IMG_5997

Peach, Blueberry and Mango Crisp with a Coconut Flour Crumb Topping

Say that ten times fast.

After I made that delicious peach pie (I sent some home with Adam to give to his dad, and his dad ate the whole serving, a third of the pie, in one sitting), I had two peaches leftover. They’ve been sitting on my windowsill getting overly ripe and mushy.

Let’s be real here, I really didn’t want to eat them. I also had some mango I had cut up earlier in the week that needed to be eaten. And I always have blueberries so you know what I had to do.

I’ve had some leftover coconut flour I’ve wanted to use up, so this topping wasn’t as good as its flour-based counterpart that I used in the aforementioned peach pie. But, it’s a nice substitute, especially, I’d imagine, for those who are gluten-intolerant. And after it had a chance to cool, the crumb topping was even better. Also with the fruit and how healthy coconut flour is (I actually have no idea what I’m talking about anymore), it’s fairly healthy.

Finally, this isn’t overly sweet and Adam really liked it, which is saying a lot since he doesn’t usually like or eat sweets.

Oh and sorry about the photos. I kind of dug in and forgot that I should’ve taken a photo. Stop judging me.

20130608-210907.jpg

Peach, Blueberry and Mango Crisp with a Coconut Flour Crumb Topping

Ingredients:

– 2 small peaches, peeled and cut into small pieces
– 1/2 cup blueberries
– 1 cup mango, peeled and cut into small pieces
– 1/2 cup sugar
– sprinkle of cinnamon
– I also added in the smallest amount of cloves and ginger but that’s entirely optional

Preheat the oven to 350*F. In a baking dish, combine all of the ingredients. Top with crumb topping (recipe below). For me, there was a lot of the topping but I put it all on top because that’s my favorite part. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Coconut flour (gluten free) crumb topping:

– 2/3 cup coconut flour
– 5 tablespoons butter
– 1/2 cup brown sugar

Melt the butter in the microwave, then combine with dry ingredients until it reaches the desired crumbly consistency.

20130608-211039.jpg

——

Enjoy.

Peach Pie with a Crumb Topping

Back in the fall, I made pumpkin pie for the first time. I bought a pack of two frozen pie crusts and I’ve been waiting to use the second crust since then.

Perhaps it was the heat or the humidity that had me confused and disoriented, but I woke up on Sunday morning with a huge desire to make peach pie.

I went to Trader Joe’s and was disappointed to find they were out of peaches, but then ran to Target to get some in their grocery section. They weren’t entirely ripe. I was disgusted by this, but figured I could be patient and wait an extra day. So I did. And then I made pie.

peach pie with crumb topping

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen pie crust (bottom only, since we are making the crumb topping)
  • 5 cups of peaches, peeled (this was about 10 small peaches)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup-1 cup white sugar (can adjust to preference)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 recipe crumb topping (below)

Preheat oven to 450*F and place an empty cookie sheet in the oven (this will help keep the bottom of your pie from getting mushy). Chop peeled peaches into small chunks, and place in a colander. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over the peaches, then toss to coat. Transfer peaches to a bowl and mix with remaining dry ingredients. The nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon can all be adjusted according to your preference.

Coat bottom of pie crust with thin layer of beaten egg. Pour peach mixture into the crust and top with crumb topping. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and put your pie on top of it, then back in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350*F and bake for another 30-35 minutes.

Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon butter

Pour flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter in a separate bowl, then add to the flour and brown sugar mix. Mix well until the mixture gets crumbly. Using your hands, crumble it on top of your prepared pie.

——

Enjoy!

It’s quite delicious with a little whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream.

I Can’t Help That I’m So Interesting.

Saw this on a couple of other blogs and thought it would be fun. So here I go.

The ABC’s of Me.

Addictions: My dog. Adam playing guitar. Peanut butter.

pbnco

Bed size: Had a full all my life (excluding when I lived in a dorm), but bought a queen bed when I moved in November.

Chore you hate: Putting away my clothes after doing the laundry. I fold them out of the dryer but sometimes don’t put them away for weeks.

Dogs or cats: I like them both, but I love dogs. Especially Maeby.

Essential start of your day: Coffee. Imperative.

Favorite color: I’m a big fan of dark purple.

Gold or silver: Silver.

Height: My goal when I was younger was to be 5’6″ but you can’t set goals revolving around your height, because you either are or you’re not. Sadly, I’m 5’4″.

Instruments you play (or have played): I played the flute from 4-8 grade. I was pretty good at it.

Jobs titles you’ve had: Babysitter. Cashier. Waitress. Intramural Referee. Assisted Living server. Assistant to the Senior Writer. Assistant Coach at a college. Assistant Coach at a high school. Business Analyst. Marketing Assistant.

Kids: Depends on the kids…I love my niece and nephew. They’re pretty great. One day I do hope to have my own.

Live: Connecticut. Massachusetts for five years.

Mom’s name: Sue. My brother and I call her Crazy Sue.

Nickname: There’s a million of them. I won’t even begin.

Overnight hospital stays: None.

Pet peeve:  Anything involving people not being able to drive. When people leave the sponge in the sink.

Quote from a movie: One of my favorites is from Wedding Crashers. “We have no way of knowing what lays ahead for us in the future. All we can do it use the information at hand to make the best decision possible. It’s gonna be fine. Your whole life is gonna be fine.”

Christopher Walken is so wise.

Right or left handed: Righty.

Siblings: Aaron.

Time you wake up: Usually between 6:30 and 7:30. I have a hard time sleeping in and Maeby usually wakes me up by then anyway.

Underwear: My favorite pairs came from this wonderful store in London called New Look. There was one like half a mile away from me and I’d go shopping there all the time.

Vegetables you dislike: I can’t think of any. I pretty much love everything.

What makes you run late: Forgetting something. I have to go back.

X-rays you’ve had done: Broke my thumb playing field hockey in high school, got hit below the eye with a field hockey ball in college, and got into a car accident in March 2011. I got x-rays for all of those.

Yummy food you make: Everything I make is good. But I am a big fan of taco salads, which I make with this awesome chicken chili I make. I’m not sure if it counts as cooking. Adam can attest to this. It’s kind of  sad because I eat one everyday and will never tire of them. Oh, and also everything I bake.

Zoo animal: Polar bears. Always. Also, this gazelle that Adam and I saw at the San Diego Zoo.

Reese’s Brownies

I made these for someone special for Valentine’s Day. Speaking of which…hope yours is off to a great start. I know mine has been perfect so far.

I don’t think I can call this a recipe.

Maybe I can? Nah, I don’t think so.

It’s the easiest thing in the world, and it never fails to impress people and their taste buds.

Lucky for me, I didn’t have any vegetable oil on hand so I used canned pumpkin in its place, meaning these brownies are not only delicious, but they are incredibly healthy and so that justifies me taste-testing four brownies. I still recommend using the oil because if you’re gonna make Reese’s brownies, go big or go home.

Reese’s Brownies

Ingredients:
– Box of brownie mix and the things it requires to make them (eggs, oil, water)
– A bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups

Directions:
1. Follow preparation instructions on back of brownie mix box (preheat oven, mix together ingredients).

2. Chop up Reese’s peanut butter cups (or if you’re lazy like me, break them apart with your hands).

3. While chopping the Reese’s peanut butter cups, eat a few.

4. Add chopped Reese’s to brownie mix.

photo 4

5. Stir in chopped Reese’s. Batter will be very thick.

photo 5

7. Pour into brownie pan. Bake for suggested amount of time, but be prepared to leave the brownies in longer because they’re very dense.

8. Realize there is no step 6.

9. Check with toothpick to make sure the brownies are done.

10. When they are finished, remove them from the oven and allow to cool before cutting.

11. Eat some of them. Preferably with chocolate, peanut butter, or moose tracks (!!!) ice cream.

12. Maybe share.

Peanut Butter Apple Bread

A few weekends back, I was headed to my half-sister’s house for a little get-together. We didn’t have to bring anything, but I really was in the mood to do some baking.

A week prior, I had gotten one of those totes of apples from the grocery store and of course, some of the apples at the bottom of the bag were bruised and didn’t look all that appetizing, so I knew I wanted to do some baking with them. And since I love peanut butter mixed with apples (fact: 40% of my peanut butter consumption involves apples and the other 60% involves a spoon and no self-control), I figured peanut butter apple bread would be perfect.

So I did some searching on the internet but was disappointed that there weren’t very many recipes for peanut butter apple bread. So, I figured I’d just use a basic bread recipe and completely modify to meet my insatiable desire for the apple and peanut butter combo.

20121019-203744.jpg

Peanut Butter Apple Bread

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 cups flour
– 3/4 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/8 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy, but use whatever)
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup of sugar (you can use up to 1 cup if you want sweeter bread)
– 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 1 cup peeled and diced apples (approx. 1 apple)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350*F and coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate bowl, melt the peanut butter for 30 seconds, then mix in an egg. When the two are mixed, mix in sugar, and then applesauce and vanilla. Once all combined, add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and then add in apples. Mix everything together until combined (the batter will be thick, don’t worry!). Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy.