The Local Ladle

Mexican Corn on the Cob

Mexican Corn on the Cob 3

At culinary school I had I learned more about food than I could have ever imagined, but nothing has tested me more than starting my own food blog. Recipe testing can be one of the most exciting, rewarding, yet frustrating jobs. The most difficult challenge that I face is that the possibilities are endless! For me, it’s either making the most of what is in my pantry or casually strolling around the grocery store until an ingredient inspires a dish. From my experience so far, my favorite and most memorable dishes have simply allowed one ingredient be the star of the show.  Whether it is jazzing up that one ingredient with spices or herbs, my new moto is “The simpler the better!”

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Chorizo Jalapeño Poppers

Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers 1

Every time I open a restaurant menu and to see jalapeno poppers under the appetizers, it’s like the remainder of the menu is a blur. It’s not even an option, I have to order the addicting spicy bites! This past weekend in Chicago, I fought over the last of Old Crow Smokehouses amazing bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers! They sparked the idea of me making jalapeno poppers of my own. Instead of using a bacon, that it most commonly used, I decided to go with a Mexican chorizo. The deep smoky and spicy flavor of the chorizo could not be a better match with the cream cheese and fresh jalapeno.

Check out my notes at the bottom for some great vegan substitutions! Read more

BBQ Pulled Pork Southern Nachos

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos 3

Moving away from the south, I realized one of the dishes that I easily took for granted was the Southern Nachos. For whatever reason,  some brilliant southerner swapped out tortilla chips for potatoes and added BBQ sauce instead of salsa! My idea of nachos has forever been changed! In Georgia I ate nachos weekly made with crispy homemade potato chips and in Nashville I indulged in nachos  made with tator tots as the base.

Instead of making a weekly trip down to Nashville, I’ve decided to create my own Southern Nacho recipe made with fries. Let me tell you, they are pretty darn close to the real stuff! These nachos are also delicious with fried chicken instead of the addition of pulled pork… I mean you might as well, it’s not like your watching your figure with this unbelievable finger licking appetizer! Read more

Healthy Pizza’s on the Grill

grilled pizza

The idea of making pizza dough might be intimidating or just plain time consuming to some. The recipe below is a one that doesn’t take any pre-planning or overnight rising of the dough. It’s an awesome recipe, that is perfect for the grill!

Pizza’s on the grill are also a fantastic idea to get kids involved in cooking or for any party. All you have to do is prep the ingredients and the cooking is up to the guests, no hostess stress involved! Making individual homemade pizzas was always a wonderful memory for me growing up. Read more

Taco Cups

Taco Cup Appetizers

These Taco Cups are my “go to” party favorites! I am constantly asked to make them, but secret is they are probably the most low maintenance and quickest appetizers you could make.

The wonton wrappers might seem scary to some, but they are actually an amazing canvas for so many different ingredients! Fried or baked, these wonton wrappers are incredibly easy to work with. Read more

Homemade Soft Pretzels

soft pretzels

My love for making soft pretzels all started with the Super Bowl a year ago! We had experimented with Wisconsin beer brats with pretzel buns… and let me tell you, I will never go back to a normal bun! Being from the Midwest we love our football, but I must say I am secretly one of those people who really comes for the food and commercials! In honor of the 50th Super Bowl quickly approaching, I thought that I would share my pretzel recipe with you!

The best part about pretzels is that you can make any shape that comes to mind! Seriously, feel free to go crazy and let your artistic side break through! Read more

Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies2

In honor of the Chinese New Year, I’ve decided to test out this fortune cookie recipe and to my surprise the intimidating looking cookie is actually really simple to make!

These plain cookies are the perfect canvas to get really creative! Dip them in chocolate or even add food coloring to the batter to add color as a start!  To show up to a party with these cookies, I can tell you all your friends will now pin you as the veteran baker of the group they will be so impressed!

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