After years of sharing photos of my food, cocktails, and other fun and crazy things in my life on Instagram I decided it was time to create a space for it all. This blog was inspiration from all of you who support me. I hope you enjoy what I’m creating!
Cook. My cooking style is definitely random. I’m not a chef! Sometimes it’s completely homemade, other times I live for simplicity. If you are looking for either, it will be here! I spent nearly a decade in the food and beverage industry and picked up nothing more than silverware and dirty dishes. I had zero desire to cook, had absolutely no clue how to make anything but a sandwich, and survived on the restaurant cooks and drive-thru windows to feed me during my time in the business. But life changes, things happen, and I began to explore cooking. A lot of my food is off the cuff creating. What do I have on hand? What did I see and want to try and recreate? Not everything is a winner and not everything is completely homemade. That’s OK! It’s all what brought me excitement and confidence in the kitchen. I hope it does the same for you!
Clink. My friends and I love to gather for happy hour. When that can’t happen I enjoy being creative at home. Classic cocktails and random mixology. I applied the same approach to my cocktail experiments as I had to cooking. What do I have? What sounds good? Who can I enjoy them with? Cocktail making led to sharing what I was doing with my friends on social media to feel connected to people. Who doesn’t love a 5 o’clock cocktail after a full day of video calls? Find your inspiration with spirits too!
Chaos. Fostering dogs, playing fantasy football, watching the Shockers hoop, traveling the world, dancing to old school hip hop. Creating joy. My love of dogs expanded into fostering for a local rescue organization called Wichita Animal Action League. I had a chocolate lab named Ruxin and he was the most AMAZING dog. I knew he would be great with other dogs so I took a giant leap into fostering in 2016. That leap has led to me fostering 18 dogs and adopting 2 of them (FOSTER FAIL). Deacon the Dalmatian and Mosby the Supermutt. Chaos is the greatest part of my life!
This has surprisingly been the most enjoyable hobby I never EVER thought I would love. Of course my story has many more chapters, and this is just a very brief glimpse into how this page came to be. I hope this blog becomes a space for you to find creativity in your cooking, enjoyment in cocktails with others, and some entertainment and inspiration for more good chaos in your life.
So that’s me. Cook. Clink. Chaos. I am so very glad you are here!
Here’s a hot tip: Not everything has to be homemade! You can still get creative and make things easy on yourself. That is where this crab cake sandwich idea came from. I didn’t want to take the time to make crab cakes from scratch but was really craving them in a sandwich. I found a great quality crab cake in the freezer section at Sam’s Club, zhuzhed up some mayo, added some toppings, and a delicious easy sandwich was born.
8 Crab Cakes (The Member’s Mark brand I used has 6 in a box so you would need 2 boxes to serve 4 double deckers)
4 Brioche Buns
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
2-3 dashes of your favorite hot sauce
The longest part about this recipe is waiting for the crab cakes to cook. You will want to follow the package instructions for this depending on the brand you use. Mine called for 20-23 minutes of cook time from frozen. I lined a sheet tray with parchment and then sprayed it with cooking spray. This ensures it doesn’t stick AND gets a nice brown crust. At the halfway point of cooking pull out the cakes and flip them over to get a good crust on the 2nd side. You also will want to GENTLY smash them down to flatten them a bit for the sandwich. Be very careful doing this because they can break apart very easily. So just a gentle smoosh with the back of a metal spatula works great.
While your crab cakes are cooking you can prep the rest of your sandwich. I made a quick and easy Old Bay Mayo as the dressing for mine. Here’s how to make it:
In a bowl put 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 2-3 tsp of lemon juice, 2 tsp of Old Bay seasoning, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Stir this all together. I like mine pretty lemony so you can also add less or more on the juice and hot sauce depending on what you like. And that’s it. It’s ready for your sandwiches.
When your crab cakes are ready, it’s time to assemble. I sliced tomato, cleaned some ice burg lettuce, and grabbed pickled onions as my toppings while the cakes cooked. I also like a toasted bun so I opted to for that too.
I smeared some mayo on both sides of the bun, put tomatoes on the bottom, added my first crab cake, then some lettuce and pickled onions, then the 2nd crab cake, and topped it with the other half of the bun. I chose to serve cauliflower and cheese on the side with a little Old Bay sprinkled on top. But you could choose any side that sounds delicious like some crinkle cut fries or sweet potato tots! And there you have it… Another quick and creative meal!
I LOVE the return of football season. My weekends are automatically better. I’ve been in an all lady fantasy football league for several years and it’s the highlight of the winter months. The smack talk is next level, the woman are dope AF, and it gives me a reason to watch games I ordinarily wouldn’t watch. It also doesn’t hurt that I am a 2 time and the current reigning champ. WHOOP WHOOP!
So, with the return of game days, I thought I would whip up and show you my Game Day Guacamole that has a surprise ingredient of LEMON juice that sets it above the rest. Trust me, it’s game changer. HA!
Prep Time: 15 minutes tops
4 Avocados – pitted, peeled, and mashed
1/3 Cup onion diced fine (about 1/2 medium size onion)
2 Small or 1 large jalapeno or serrano pepper (by all means add more!)
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1.5 TBSP)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1.5 TBSP)
Handful of cilantro leaves chopped (you can omit if you are a cilantro hater…)
Salt and Pepper to taste (avocado loves salt)
In a large bowl combine together your mashed avocado, onion, jalapeno, juices of lemon and lime, salt and pepper. Mix to combine well.
When these are all combined, add in your cilantro and gently stir everything together.
Make sure you do a taste test for seasoning, and you have yourself a quick gameday dip everyone will love!
Here are some fun ideas to add in to this base recipe if you love to accessorize.
As fall begins to creep in I find myself veering away from the margaritas and leaning into more bourbon cocktails. This twist on a modern classic is the perfect transition from summer to fall. Citrus freshness, floral honey, with a dark rye bourbon. This has become my favorite bourbon cocktail, and I bet you will agree!
2 oz Basil Hayden Dark Rye
1 oz Lemon juice (I love Santa Cruz if you don’t have fresh lemons)
1 oz Honey Simple Syrup (see the Citrus Honey Margarita post for this recipe)
Fill a cocktail shaker with a little bit of ice. Not too much, you don’t want to dilute. Pour in the bourbon, lemon juice, and honey simple syrup. Shake a few times to mix.
Strain in a glass over a large ice cube. I really prefer the large cube in this cocktail to prevent dilution, but it is totally optional.
This is one of my absolute favorite quick dinners. In the time it takes to cook ground beef and chop up vegetables, you have a tasty easy dinner. Build the bowl with the toppings you like and everyone is happy.
1 lb ground beef (soy chorizo, black beans, chick peas, or sweet potato would be great to make this vegan/vegetarian!)
2 bags frozen cauliflower rice
1/2 medium onion diced
1 packet of taco seasoning OR
2 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large handful cilantro leaves chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
WHATEVER YOU LIKE!
In a large skillet add ground beef over medium-high heat. When it begins to brown and release some juice, add diced onion and garlic and continue to cook. While the beef mixture is cooking through, add your taco seasoning and the juice of half the lime. Stir to combine all together.
While your meat is browning cook your 2 bags of cauliflower rice in the microwave a couple minutes short of the package directions. When the rice is thawed, pour it into a non stick pan and continue cooking until all the water has evaporated. I like to take this extra step in the pan to make sure the rice isn’t too watery. When the water is cooked out and the cauliflower rice is hot and beginning to toast, pull off the heat and stir in the cilantro and juice of the other lime half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Time to build your bowl!
Put 1/4 of the cauliflower rice in a bowl and a 1/4 of the seasoned meat.
Then top with all the toppings you love!
Time to eat! A really easy go to dinner idea that packs in some veggies but still punches like a burrito! One of my favorites!
1.5 oz favorite tequila (I had silver Hornitos on hand)
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Salt for rim (optional)
In a cocktail shaker add ice, tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Shake until shaker is cold to the touch. Rub lime on the rim of your glass and then tap in salt. Add ice to your glass and strain contents of shaker over ice. PERFECTION!
With summer rapidly coming to an end I have found myself trying to take advantage of all the summer tomatoes, sweet corn, fresh herbs, and veggies. This spicy pasta brings my love of summer vegetables, seafood, and spice into one tasty dish. It comes together easily and has quickly become a favorite of mine.
2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
2 sprigs oregano chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves (about 30 leaves) cut in ribbons or torn
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp red pepper flake
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb shrimp
1 lb sea scallops
1 lb pasta (I used fusilli lunghi)
1/2 cup corn (I used 1 leftover grilled corn on the cob)
1 medium fennel bulb sliced (about 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup white wine
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Calabrian chilis (I used Trader Joe’s Bamba Sauce)
1-1.5 cups freshly grated parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste
Start by combining your halved tomatoes, oregano, half of the basil, garlic, red pepper flake, and olive oil into a bowl. Set this aside and let it marinate while you work on the rest of the dish.
Next, start your pasta water. When the water is at a rolling boil, salt the water and toss in your pasta. Cook till al dente. DO NOT DRAIN YOUR PASTA! In a large skillet heat a drizzle of oil into your pan and heat it up. Toss in your shrimp and scallops and cook until seared on both sides and shrimp is opaque. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, now add in your fennel and cook down until it begins to soften and caramelize. An easy hack is to add a little water as it cooks so it gets nice and brown without burning.
When your fennel is caramelized, turn the heat down to medium and add your marinated tomato mixture, corn, and Calabrian chilis.
As your tomato/corn/chili mixture begins to heat up, squeeze in your lemon juice and add the white wine. Stir all together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Next, pull your pasta directly from the pasta pot and add it to your tomato sauce skillet. You do not want to drain your pasta! As you move the pasta out of the water and into your sauce, you want the pasta water that comes with it. This is what helps bring your sauce together when you add your cheese! YUM!
Toss your pasta with your sauce gently and add in your cooked scallops and shrimp. (I like to cut my shrimp and scallops into smaller pieces. Shrimp halved, scallops quartered before adding back into the sauce.) Continue tossing gently and add your cheese a small handful at time. You’ll notice as you continue to toss the pasta mixture with the cheese the sauce will begin to thicken. When your sauce is where you like it, take the pan off the heat and toss in the remaining basil. Garnish with more shredded parmesan.
Your end result is a slightly spicy, bright tomato, basil and fennel sauce, with nuggets of sweet corn, and delicious shrimp and scallops! The perfect summer pasta!
Combine all the ingredients with ice into a shaker and shake vigorously. Rim glass with lime juice and salt. Fill glass with ice and strain contents of shaker over ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and orange zest.
Honey Simple Syrup
1 cup Honey
1 cup Water
In a small saucepan add honey and water. Simmer over medium-low heat until honey is dissolved. Pour into container and cool in the fridge. Lasts about month.
½ tbsp chopped fresh oregano (if using dried cut amt in half)
½ tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (if using dried cut amt in half)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sumac
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
6 wooden skewers soaked in water
Tzatziki sauce, tomato, cucumber, red onion for garnish
Gently mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Once all ingredients are incorporated portion into 6 even balls. Take a wooden skewer and form one of the balls around the skewer into the shape of a corn dog. Repeat for the other 5. Let these refrigerate for about an hour to set before grilling. When ready to cook, heat grill to 450. Grill the skewers until charred on all sides and middle is cooked.
Pull the kofta off the skewer and place in a warm pita and top with tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, and red onion 😊