Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Behind the cover: Power Plates

Written by Gena Hamshaw

This book contains 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals. To which you are probably saying, "but you're not vegan" and you're right. But so many of these meals are so delicious that I didn't even miss the meat.

Gena Hamshaw of the Full Helping Blog has written a beautiful book that offers 100 flavorful meals that you are sure to enjoy. If you are vegan you're going to love this book.

The recipes are modern and fresh yet many are twists on classic favorites. Everything from breakfast to bowls, soups, salads, skillets and baked goods she's covered it all.

Being a meat eater I find it challenging to find flavorful meals without meat. She has so many recipes that are packed with flavor and have bold textures to create an enjoyable meal.

Between the creative recipes and the beautiful pictures, this book is worth picking up. She also touches on unique ingredients and how to cook some of the interesting and unusual items as well as the health benefits of eating this way.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Pages: 256 | ISBN: 978-0399579059

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Behind the cover: the Great Big Pressure Cooker Book

Written by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

This book has great recipes for helping you utilize your pressure cooker to the fullest. I originally received this book back in 2015 just days after it was released and just now got around to reviewing it. Is this a coincidence?

With a little over 500 pages, you are bound to find a recipe that you'll enjoy. From breakfasts to soups and main dishes and desserts it has a little something for everyone.

Most recipes are well written and they are written for both stovetop and electric pressure cookers. I found this a little distracting as there are two sets of instructions in many cases.

The book also lacks photos. It has an insert in the middle of the book with a few pages of full-color photos but the individual recipes lack any photos at all. I need some help imagining and photos really help.

The meals I have prepared from the book have all been really good, like all pressure meals they seem to lack that savory flavor you get from extended cooking times. But overall the recipes work and they're easy to follow.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0804185325

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adam’s Yeti Chili


It is fitting that we celebrate National Chili Day every year on the fourth Thursday of February since there’s nothing better than enjoying fiery fare during one of winter’s coldest months. -


  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  large or 2 medium sweet onion(s), chopped
  • 8  large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3  large bell peppers, chopped (assorted colors)
  • 2  pounds ground chuck
  • 1  pounds ground turkey
  • 1  pound ground pork or pork sausage of your liking.
  • 7  tablespoons chili powder
  • 2  tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2  teaspoon dried basil
  • 1  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1  teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust accordingly)
  • 1  teaspoon Savory Spice Shop Cajun Style Blackening Seasoning, Extra Hot or Slap Ya Mama (adjust accordingly)
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  cinnamon stick
  • 2  28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1  14½-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
  • 1  6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1  15- to 16-ounce can prepared beans, I prefer organic tri-bean blend.
  • rogue_smoky_blue__64837.1407757827.1280.1280.jpg
    1 to 3 1 ounce square bittersweet chocolates



  1. First things first, pour yourself a Yeti. You bought a 4-pack and only one is needed here.
  2. Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add bell peppers until peppers become soft about 4 minutes.
  5. Add chuck, turkey and pork and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Stir 2 minutes.
  7. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste.
  8. You've made it through the technical part, and your glass is surely empty. Pour another Yeti.
  9. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  10. Mix in beans and bittersweet chocolate and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Garnish with crumbled blue cheese and serve.
  12. There’s still one more Yeti.

For even better Yeti Chili

Prepare 1-3 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover. Pick up some more Yeti, Rewarm over low heat before serving.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Adam’s Kraut Burgers

Adam’s Kraut Burgers

READY IN: 2 hours

  • 1 packet "highly active" active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast; or 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • to 1 ⅛ cups lukewarm water*
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½  cup instant mashed potato flakes
*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled. In Colorado I usually use the maximum.

  • 1 lb Ground Meat (Lean Beef, Buffalo, German Sausage, be creative!)
  • ½ of a 6” to 8” head of green cabbage
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste. Note, you will need a lot, ½ - 1 ½ tablespoons.
  • ¾ lb. Munster Cheese

1) If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
2) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.
3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature*, until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

*If you preheat your electric oven to 400°F for 1 minute and then turn it off this creates a perfect ~80°F “room temperature” rather than finding a warm spot in your home.
4) After the dough has risen begin preparing the filling. Shred the cabbage, avoid getting too much of the bitter white core. Peel and shred the onion. Peel and dice the garlic.  
5) Brown the ground meat over medium heat in a large 4 qt pot, drain and return to pot. Add the garlic and onions, cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the cabbage, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow the cabbage to wilt, 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Make sure everything is well blended, remove from heat.
6) Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice the cheese into 8 equally sized slices. They should be a little thicker than normal cheese slices.
7) Punch-down the dough and divide into 8 equally sized pieces with a bakers scrapper. With a rolling pin quickly roll out one of the small pieces of dough into a rough circle about 10” in diameter on a lightly floured surface, this does not have to be perfect. The dough should be about ⅛” thick.
8) Place a slice of cheese in the center of the dough, then a scoop of the filling. Roughly ½ cup. Then draw the corners and edges together in the center on top of the filling. The dough should stick to itself sealing the burger. Place the burger seams down on a lightly greased baking sheet.
9) Repeat for the other 7 pieces of dough. Then bake for ~20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTES: The above dough recipe is very basic and guaranteed to give you the proper results. Experiment using your favorite, more advanced bread dough recipe. The dough recipe also makes great dinner rolls,

Pictures are of a double batch (16 burgers)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Behind the cover: The Soup Club Cookbook

Written by Courtney Allison, Tina Carr, Caroline Laskow and Julie Peacock

The soup club concept is great, gather a few friends and take turn swapping soups. You cook once a month and have soup delivered to you every other week in that month.

These crafty New Yorker's have a great system that works pretty well, they detail the ins and outs of this type of club but they fail to realize that unless you live in New York or a small town many of your friends could be up to an hour away. I have thought about how I could make this work for me and I have yet to figure it out. 

Beside the club aspect of this beautiful book they spotlight over one hundred recipes. Recipes beyond broths and soups, they also include several breads, side items and snacks. Quite honestly I would have liked to see more soup recipes because I LOVE SOUP but I understand why these other recipes were necessary in this book. If you are running a soup club you can't deliver just a jar of soup.

The soups that they do list look amazing and I am planning to make their Faux Ramen this weekend. 

This is the perfect book for people that have a tight group of culinary friends that live close to one and other. But even if you can't pull together your own Soup Club you'll love the recipes. I think this will also serve as a great book for those who like to deliver a meal to those who have experienced a loss or just had a child, maybe the sick neighbor or a surprise dinner for your folks.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-7704-3462-5

Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Cupid's Undie Run

Cupid’s Undie Run is a mile(ish) run in your bedroom-best superhero underwear through Downtown Denver to benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

This year was an amazing year. Not only because on Saturday, February 7th 2015 we broke the all-time record with a high temperature of 72°F in Denver or because we had so much fun. But because we raised $4,205.00 for the Children's Tumor Foundation to help find a cure for neurofibromatosis.

Our team, NO PANTS brought it strong with clever fundraising tactics and a crazy boys against girls competition (which the girls won) and ultimately awesome superhero outfits.

Our donors are the true superheroes though. Giving your hard earned money to any charity is admirable; giving it on my/our behalf is personally touching and appreciated beyond words. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart and hope that in the future I can count on you again.

We had a great time with some incredible friends and laughed more than anyone can guess. Here are a few photos of the crazy time we had and at the very bottom is a list of every donor our team was graced by. If you need a copy of your receipt please let me know and I can generate a copy for you. Your donation is tax deductible.

Donor Name (by amount)

Orion Environmental, Inc 

Gary Wyse
Cary Ferguson
Christopher Beaver
Adam Petramala
Joe Farren
William Grant
Thomas Majors
Marty Biastoch
Christine Valerio
Jamie Keeler
Meg Ingram
Heretic Brewing Company
Barbara Swarts
Stanley Swarts
Patterson New Year's Poker Game Patterson / Moon
Brandi Young
Keith Reine
Kira Guzman
Roni Szigeti
Christy Shouey
Fred Wilson
Wendy Masek
Jason Strong
Kenneth Hedrick
Erik & Sarah Miller
Chris Krueger
Mary Ellen Heinly
Jamie Reyes
Joe Story
Michelle Moon
Jason Protzman
Tiffany Canaday
Stephen Mayo
LuAnne & Dan Petramala
Christopher Beaver
Brandi Young
Kim & Andy Wood
Vivian Miller
Jaclyn Scott
Kaylie Unrein
Stephen Ring
Scott Bowland
Sylvia Rosenbach
Alisa Miller
Elizabeth Miller
Beth Knox
Diane Moon
Timothy Hayward
Angel W
Gary S Fye
Jennifer Morrissette
Denise Drummond
Mike Kunetka
Adam Petramala
Laura Antone
Angie Yount
Denise Beaver
Dawn Escarcega
Laura vangilder
Gina meachum
Matt Uribes
Susan Hagen
Amber Hagadorn
Elsa Gipson
Heidi Patterson
Rea Kemble
Jason Figlewicz
Chris Bushman
Erica Kennedy
Jacquie Kiefer
Beverly Moore
Jamil Zainasheff
Amber Hott
Jason Figlewicz
Murray Joss
Justin Driscoll
Your Sexy Bitch
Melanie Myron
Charlie Essers
Roberta Figlewicz
Andrea Aragon
Amanda Parnitsupoun
Val Clark
Peter Finnegan
Stacey Schauer
Leslie Rathwell
Barbara Ring
Dawn Metters
Kaytie Montoya