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Friday, December 30, 2011

Citrus Vodka

I know this is Jen Eats Food, but as many of you probably don't know, Jen Drinks Alcohol too. I am sure there are many of you trying to put back together the now shattered image you have of me, but on your way to get the broom, can you please refresh my drink?

I will say that although my love of food spans the entire culinary spectrum, my love of alcohol is pretty limited. I LOVE wine. And I mean love. You give me a food, any food, and I will tell you a wine that would complement it. Now, to clarify, I don't necessarily mean Osso Bucco and a great Syrah. I also mean Dino Nuggets and a $5 Savignon Blanc.

I think a good beer is one of the best things on earth. However, since my stomach does not at all agree with my head, I will have to step aside and allow others who have fought that good fight to give their expertise.

A margarita, done correctly, is fantastic at almost any occasion, but best served on the side table of the cabana I am sunning in.

This brings us to my other love in the world of alcohol. Vodka. Ever since I was a young (21 year old) tyke, I have enjoyed a good dirty martini or vodka soda.

However, it was not until the ripe old age of 33 23 that I found my newest alcoholic bestie. In the late summer heat of Nashville, TN, I met citrus infused vodka and I haven't looked back since. Well, I mean, I still have a strong love affair with wine, dirty martinis and margaritas, but if I was a polygamist, I would definitely have found my fourth wife.

My first time was with Skyy Blood Orange, but all others I have had since (citrus, orange, mandarin) bring the same refreshing smile to my face.

So here's to you, citrus infused vodka...and the happiness you bring to all! Except maybe for those who are allergic to citrus. To them, you suck.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Food

Now that the holiday food and/or cocktail hangover has begun to set in, it is time to reflect back on the indulgences that got us here.

Whether you relished in an elegant affair...

whooped it up hillbilly style...

Or, like most of us, celebrated somewhere in the middle, the holidays are a time for family, cheer, bright lights and most importantly, food.

I normally like to be a bit outside of the box with my dining, but during the holidays, it is all about tradition. My favorite foods are the ones that remind me of holidays past.

Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. And I would like to take a moment to congratulate my brother Jeff on one hellava bird this year. Poultry is probably at the bottom of my meat totem pole (yes, I read what I typed), but his BBQ'd version was incredible. It was smokey, tender and fell right off the bone.

And nothing complements turkey like Grandma Murillo's stuffing. Or, as some people call it dressing. (I would love to debate stuffing vs. dressing, but I don't have time to make the simple argument that it gets stuffed in the bird, therefore making it stuffing.) My grandmothers stuffing, like all of her food, is delicious, hearty and made with love.

Throw in cranberry, Paula Deen's sweet potatoe souffle, mashed potatoes and green beans and you have yourself a meal that has brought families together for years. They may be drunken and dysfunctional, but they are family.

This brings us to the most important meal of the year. The feast Jen Eats Food celebrates as the birthday dinner of our King. Christmas dinner. Although there is not a single traditional food that families serve for Christmas, it seems that each family has a tradition all their own. Growing up, we had a second turkey dinner. My husbands family has Mexican food and we have started our own tradition of prime rib. Whether it be Kung Pao chicken or chicken noodle soup, it is the meaning of the meal that reminds us of the Christmas spirit.

By far, however, the best part of Christmas celebrations are the goodies! Sugar cookies in holiday shapes, rum cake, See's chocolates, snowball cookies, pumpkin pie, fudge and many, many more! So much sugar even the Grinch gets a cavity!

So, as you begin to take down the tinsel and the tree, say goodbye to your loved ones as they travel home and pack the Dean Martin Christmas CD away for next year, take time to reflect on the magic of the season.

And for the love, go eat those leftovers before they go bad!


Thursday, December 15, 2011


One of my favorite things in the world are chicken nuggets. But let me be clear...not all nuggets are created equal. There are two that take the cake (food related pun completely intended). The only reason there are two is that one you can only get at a restaurant and one you can only make at home. So, here they are. And, in advance, you are welcome.

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets

Look. Can we just all agree that these are good? I understand if you are in a phase of being organic, or if you are currently convinced McDonalds is an evil corporation that is somehow a percentage instead of a restaurant that created a product clearly popular enough to create a clown-based empire, but let's get real for a minute. Chicken McNuggets are wonderful. The only thing better is a McNugget dipped in McDonalds BBQ Sauce. They are crispy, golden and made from mostly corn meal, so even PETA can't be that upset.

Costco Dino Nuggets

These are the only acceptable substitute for an at-home version of chicken nuggets. And, by the way are lucky you brought them back. The Mickey Mouse "replacements" almost caused a revolt.

I had these for dinner tonight. Paired with Tator Tots and a $3.99 Malbec from Argentina, it was culinary heaven. And for you Judgey McJudgers, you are not a true foodie unless you can appreciate ALL types of food.

From all of us at Jen Eats Food, We wish you a lifetime of good chicken nuggets. Cheers!