Be sure to check out my Happy Eats Healthy site to see upcoming classes, seminars, for more information on Health Coaching, nutrition information and more!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boozy Pudding Shots

First there was the plain old shot of alcohol. Then came Jello shots. And now enters the pudding shot. Thick, creamy pudding mixed with alcohol for a tasty adult party favor.

While intrigued when we first heard about these, I struggled with a full understanding of the flavor. Then we tried a chocolate pudding shot and WOW- it was a creamy, chocolatey, boozy sensation that called for more tastes!

Two parties presented the perfect opportunities to try my hand at these punched-up pudding shots; a fundraiser and a going away party for a coworker. Sure the pudding shots may sound a bit out of place for a fundraiser, but it loosened the crowd for the live auction and turned into a super fun conversation starter.

The Irish Chocolate Pudding Shots tout Baileys and Kahlua while the Tiramisu Pudding Shots make use of Amaretto. For the Gluten Free party goer, the Limoncello pudding shots packs a serious lemon POW without the flour base

Jello shots are so old-school. When your next party calls for a shot of fun, step it up with boozy pudding shots for a Fat and Happy party boost. My good friend and fellow foodie Marianne helped create these - Thanks M.A.!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pear and Blue Cheese Quesadilla

 An old friend sent a message on the Fat and Happy Facebook Page recently asking for more recipes involving tortillas. With the fall produce making their first appearance, sandwiching a little pear and blue cheese into a crunchy and healthy snack was irresistible

If you need the extra protein, thinly sliced turkey meat from the deli would pair quite well with all the flavors and offer a slightly heartier option.

Elevate your tortillas with cool-weather fruit, then pair this gooey, cheesy, messy quesadilla with a spinach and walnut salad for a tasty Fat and Happy meal.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sweet Potato, Pancetta and Blue Cheese Grilled Beer Pizza

A box arrived the other day cradling my first fall beer of the season. Thinking about crisp autumn weather may not be on everyones mind just yet, but for the team at The Bruery, they've taken it off their minds and bottled it already.

Autumn Maple is a bold, seasonal beer made from a traditional Belgian style strain. Brewed with yams (instead of pumpkins) this beer has a serious boozy punch.

Ideas swarmed my head with potential recipes but the flavor of the beer led me down the pizza path. This easy crust recipe offers an earthy warmth to my classic Fat and Happy thin grilled flatbread. The tangy blue cheese sets off the creamy sweet potato and crisp pancetta. The whole concoction is a gorgeous fall mix with a yeasty beer overtone.

When the cool winds arrive, warm from the inside out with a glass of Autumn Maple and a Fat and Happy Beer Pizza.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Panang Beer Curry with Chicken and Rice Noodles

Did you need to read that title twice? There's a lot going on in it- especially the beer in a curry sauce. But I do like to put my own slight twist on recipes; even more so when beer is involved!

The Bruery sent me a few bottles of their Autumn Maple beer in exchange for a recipe as part of their Facebook Blogger Invitational - I was all too happy to play around with a new beer.

This beer, which is brewed with yams, is their answer to the many pumpkin beers found on the market today. I found it to be a bold beer that is reminiscent of all things fall - bold, earthy and warming with a hint of spice and happily not too sweet.

There are a lot of obvious pairings with fall beers, but I wanted to go just beyond the typical. In this dish, coconut milk and red curry paste are an obvious combination as is the chicken and rice noodles. And often a dish like this would call for a fish sauce, but using a full-bodied fall beer helps to give this sauce an earthy undertone.

The peanut butter marries well with this spiced beer and rounds out the richness of the sauce while giving a nutty crunch (if you opt for a crunchy peanut butter.)

Bring on the Autumn chill - I'm ready with a Fat and Happy warm fall dish that's slightly off the beaten path.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rabbit and Sausage Cassoulet for the Monthly Recipe Swap

It's the beginning of new month which means it's time for another Burwell General Store Recipe Swap. The recipe swaps started as a junk store book find.  This book All-Day Singin' and Dinner on the Ground  intrigued Christianna to redevelop these recipes into her own. The swap grew from there.

I was excited about this months recipe: Wild Rabbit with Vegetables. This meant I needed to go rabbit hunting. And when I say rabbit hunting, I mean I biked over to the meat packing district in the West Loop of Chicago to purchase my rabbit out of the back door of an old warehouse. I did wear my camouflage pants to be in full rabbit-hunting spirits!

With the fall season approaching I wanted to make something warm and hearty. A cassoulet is similar to classic stew or casserole even, filled with rich slow cooked beans. The perfect welcome to the approaching cool season.

If you haven't had rabbit before, it's tough to describe - it can resemble a tender yet wild chicken but so much better. When prepared in this cassoulet, the rabbit is so moist and tender it falls right off the bone. The beans become almost creamy.

Don your best hunting gear for a trip to the butchers, then get this rabbit in the oven. It's time for a delicious Fat and Happy fall casserole!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mediterranean Ground Turkey Kabobs with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Kofta is essentially a Middle Eastern name for meatballs or meat loaf. Most often you will see this in the form of a kabob (basically meat on a stick) but made from finely ground beef or lamb and often served with a classic tzatziki sauce.

Using turkey meat is not traditional but does offer a lower calorie meal. The trick with ground turkey meat is that it needs to be moistened and seasoned well, almost over-seasoned really, or it comes out dry and bland.

Using the cucumber juice, hot peppers and a few chopped olives along with the olive brine helps to stave off boring, dry meat. My scaled down cucumber sauce is simple but just the right topping for the turkey.

Put a slight twist on a traditional burger or meatloaf for your next casual barbecue, it's a Fat and Happy flavorful meal!


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