Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I've moved!

Rather than manage two blogs and a website, I'm doing it all in the same place.  Get the latest and greatest recipes and all sorts of other fun stuff on my new home on the 'net: Moxie Girl Productions.

Follow me at  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gross or Glorious?

I saw these at my local Whole Foods, and I couldn't decide whether I was repulsed or charmed by them.  There's something discordant about the earth-tone snail shells and the nearly neon green filling.  Yet, they're rather pretty and almost look like candy.  At first glance, I thought they were marzipan snails with pistachio paste slipped by accident into seafood case.

They are, in case you're wondering, White Toque Escargots.  I'd never heard of them.  I'm familiar with escargots, of course, but not White Toque Escargots, whatever that means.

Turns out, it's a brand name.  According to their website, White Toque s the leading importer of European specialty products to the food service trade in the United States.  They sell to 250 distributors and wholesalers worldwide, of which Whole Foods is apparently one.  I was a bit disappointed to learn this.  I was under the impression that Whole Foods made all of its specialty items on site.  Guess that's not the case.

The green coloring comes from parsley.  Snail meat is removed from wild Helix snail shells and mixed with the parsley, butter, garlic, salt and red pepper. The filling is then piped back into the shells.
I didn't buy any while I was there, and I'm not sure I want to go back for them.  How do you eat them once you get 'em home? Suck out the filling with a straw? Scoop it out with a tiny spoon?  Channel your inner Gene Simmons and use your tongue?

Nah, I'll just feast with my eyes, rather than my mouth.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole

This easy weeknight meal makes you feel like a kid again. Throw in some chopped pickles and onions to the casserole if you’d like. For extra nutrition, add a side salad.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 20-ounce package frozen, crinkle-cut fries
  • Ketchup, mustard, and relish
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spritz a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick olive oil spray.
  • Cook ground beef in a large skillet until brown.
  • Drain and spoon into baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine condensed soups.
  • Spread over the ground beef.
  • Sprinkle fries over the beef and soup.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until the fries are golden.
  • Serve with ketchup, mustard and relish.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Local Flavor, Vegas Edition: I ♥ Burgers

My office is located around the corner from Town Square,  a shopping, dining and entertainment center on the far south end of  Las Vegas Boulevard. There are a range of eateries there, from fancy to hip to casual.  I ♥ Burgers is one of the casual spots.  Although I'd driven past it several times on other outings to Town Square, I hadn't had a chance to try it out.  A lunchtime meeting was a great opportunity to do just that.

The place is bright and cheerful.  Staff wear t-shirts imprinted with (nom),  a hint that the food you've ordered is going to be good.

A variety of beef burgers are offered in standard or junior sizes along with natural-cut or sweet potato fries.  You can also get a vegetarian bean burger or a chicken burger.  There are salad options, too.

The appy menu features ahi tuna sliders and fried pickles, which is what I ordered.  Both were delish.  There's some sort of slaw on the sliders.  It's tangy and crunchy, providing a nice counterpoint to the tuna and the creamy avocado slices.  I loved the pickles.  They're cut in long strips, rather than coins, and coated in a tempura-style batter, so they're light and crispy.  There aren't too many of them, so I didn't feel terribly guily about making full use of the side of ranch dipping sauce.

Next time I go, I want to try the fried mac-n-cheese appetizer and the raw Tuscan kale salad.  I know; opposite ends of the spectrum, right?  But, being able to choose between bad stuff and healthy fare, depending on your mood, and knowing both will be good: well, that's what keeps you coming back.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Loaded Mexican Pizza

This is not your mother's pizza.

Don't let the simplicity of the ingredients fool you.  This is serious business, and you're gonna need a fork to get through it.  Be prepared to dig in and go deep when you sit down to this dish.


  • 1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (You can also use prepared whole wheat dough, like that found at Trader Joe's.)
  • 1 can black refried beans
  • 1/2 cup ground beef, cooked (For a vegetarian version, skip the ground beef or go with soy crumbles like those from MorningStar Farms.)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 16-ounce jar of medium salsa
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Diced green onion and tomato for topping


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spritz baking sheet with non-stick olive oil spray.
  • Roll out pizza dough, smoothing to fit baking sheet.
  • Partial-bake dough for about 5 minutes.
  • Mix taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of salsa into the ground beef, blending thoroughly.
  • Remove pizza dough from oven.
  • Spread refried beans evenly over dough.
  • Spread remaining salsa evenly over refried beans.
  • Spread ground beef mixture over salsa.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese over ground beef mixture.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned and crust is golden.
  • Sprinkle with green onion and diced tomato as desired.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mixed Berry Pastry

This is just right for a Sunday morning breakfast in bed, served with a steaming cup of tea and the newspaper.  Refrigerated pizza dough, frozen mixed berries and pre-packaged chopped pecans make it easy.

  • 1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 bag frozen mixed berries (I used Sunrise Growers Cherry Berry Blend.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, mtelted.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll out pizza dough on a baking sheet spritzed with non-stick buttery spray.
  • Using a fork, poke a few holes in the pizza dough.
  • Partially bake for 10 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen berries in a microwave-safe bowl for about a minute, pour off excess juice, and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and chopped pecans.
  • Distribute the mixed berries evenly on top of the partially baked crust.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar nut mixture on top of the berries.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
  • Let cool slightly and cut into slices.
This posted is linked up at It's a Blog Party.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bean & Cheese Loaf

Driving home from the office this week, I was mentally cataloging what I had in the pantry, thinking about what I could make for dinner. This idea came to me at a stoplight.  It's got only five ingredients and takes only five minutes to prepare.  Add another 20 for baking, and you've got a hearty vegetarian meal the whole family will enjoy.

  • 1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 can black refried beans
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices provolone/mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spritz a baking sheet with non-stick olive oil spray.
  • Unroll dough to cover baking sheet.
  • Spread beans in an even layer on dough.
  • Sprinkle onions evenly on top of beans.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheddar evenly on top of onions.
  • Tear cheese slices into pieces and scatter evenly on top of shredded cheddar.
  • From the long edge of the dough, roll up jelly roll style.
  • Spritz top with non-stick olive oil spray.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Serves 4 on its own or 6 with a side salad.

This recipe is linked up at It's a Blog Party and Just Another Meatless Monday.