Oh just another ordinary Tuesday…

Woke up. Showered. Ate breakfast. Went to work. Worked. Went to lunch. Ate fro yo. Worked some more.  Experienced a 5.8 earthquake. Evacuated work building. Came back to work…

No big deal.  (?!?!?!)

I must say that everyone was so confused at work when our building started to shake and just wouldn’t stop.  We aren’t used to Earthquakes here in the RVA!  We do uhhh snow and hurricanes, with the occasional tornado threat mmmmkay.

Anddd it was just miles away from my office, as you can see from this here diagram —>

Useful picture if I might say so myself.  A bit too close for comfort, Steph and earthquakes do not a good mix make.  Just puttin’ that out there… 😉

Anyways, in celebration of all being okay after VAEarthquakeExtravaganza2011, I decided to make some quinoa burgers (cakes?) for dinner!

Because what says celebration like… quinoa?

Hey, to each their own.

I’ve had my eye on this idea for a while now and tonight was the night for a buffalo-themed spin on this superfood.

I mean, who doesn’t like buffalo themed ‘anything’…?  Does that person even exist?  I didn’t think so 😛

Buffalo Bleu Cheese Quinoa Cakes

Makes 8 cakes


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked like this
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup white beans, drained & mashed
  • 1/3 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1/4 cup (heaping) sliced green onion
  • 1 egg (maybe 2?)
  • S&P

Simply combine all of the ingredients, stirring to incorporate thoroughly.

Then form into cakes, placing on a platter.  This recipe will make about 8 cakes using an heaping 1/3 cup scoop.

Then pop these into the fridge to firm up for about 20 minutes before you get to cooking.

To cook the quinoa cakes, simply slide them into a hot skillet (over medium-high heat) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Cook about 4-5 minutes each side, flipping once. 

These suckers were a bit fiesty and some of them decided to fall apart a bit.  I’m thinking that next time around not 1, but 2 eggs may be necessary to bind everything better??

Whatevs.  Despite a few less than steller lookin’ cakes, the flavor was on point!!!

A perfect crust forms while the quinoa cakes sizzle in the hot pan, giving the quinoa an almost nutty flavor.

Add in the bites of sweet corn laced with tangy bleu cheese and spicy buffalo sauce and you are in for a real treat! 🙂

These quinoa cakes rated super high on the taste scale for me!!!!

And you know what, those poor broken up cakes that didn’t make it outta the pan whole?  Oh they are still goin’ down the hatch haha, perhaps piled atop a side salad in lieu of on the side 😀

Oh and by the way, while I was eating these delicious quinoa cakes we apparently had an aftershock of 4.2 and I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE.

Guess that speaks for how much I enjoyed them hahaha (who does that?!)…

Thanks to Fanatic Mom I was updated on the aftershock about 20 minutes later.  She was shocked that I was clueless… #quinoaproblems?

Crossing my fingers there aren’t any more aftershocks tonight… or it looks like I may be eating alotttt more quinoa cakes to calm my nerves lol 😉

 You think I’m kidding…

Tell me, have you ever been in an earthquake before?

Happy Monday to everyone!

And in case you were having too much fun and missed it, check out the fun & easy soup recipes that came out of the Fanatic kitchen over the weekend 🙂

Riddle me this my friends, is it cold/rainy/snowy where you are too? I guess Spring decided to take a little break this year…

So to combat said cold weather & gray skies, we decided to have a comforting Sunday dinner last night!  Take that winter-that-never-wants-to-go-away 😛

  • Roasted Turkey Thigh w/ Fig Almond & Red Wine Reduction
  • Bleu Cheese & Onion Orzo
  • Broccolini Sautéed w/ Garlic & Olive Oil <– told you I was hooked

Roasted Turkey Thigh w/ Fig Almond & Red Wine Reduction

Well I have to tell you that after this wonderful delivery from The Gracious Gourmet the other day and the amazing Vegetable Soup w/ their chile red pepper tapenade, I just couldn’t resist cracking into another jar and giving it a whirl last night!

This time:  Fig Almond Spread.

Chunks of almonds and the flavor of figs throughout, and yet again another wowza in the tastebud department!

I still can’t believe how good these products are?  They taste like someone just made them right in your own kitchen and the flavor combos are so unique!  Plus I can pronounce all of the items in the ingredients list – win 😀

And this would be a Heritage turkey thigh, which I picked up at the farmer’s market the other weekend from Empress Farm and roasted at 350F for an hour w/ just some salt & pepper.

Heritage turkeys are not quite the same as the turkey you will find at your local grocery store, but instead an ancestor of the “industrial breed”.  For more info you can read here.

They are closer to what your grandparents would probably remember as turkey.  Moister and with a richer flavor, which you can see in the sliced, cooked dark meat of the thigh below.

I’ve never had duck before, but I’m envisioning that it may taste something like this?  Correct me if I’m wrong though.

To compliment the rich, dark meat of the turkey I made a sauce with about half the jar of fig almond spread and a few glugs of red wine (a nice Malbec).

I allowed the sliced meat to cook in the sauce for a few minutes, covered, then removed the meat and brought the sauce to a boil.  After about 5-10 minutes, the sauce reduced into a gorgeous glaze, which I then spooned over the cooked turkey.

This sauce made my mouth water!  It was so fantastic 😀 

The heritage turkey thigh was a new experience for this dark-meat lover.  It was super rich and texturally not quite the same as the dark meat of a chicken thigh that I’m used to, but overall I think it paired wonderfully with the fig/wine reduction.  I just made sure to trim off the fat before serving…

This sauce would go beautifully on pork too I think.  I would definitely make it again!

You know what else pairs wonderfully with this fig almond spread?  Plain Chobani.  And fresh pear.  Had those lil’ treats today, yummmm-O 😉

Bleu Cheese & Onion Orzo

Bleu cheese just seemed like the obvious answer to pair with this lovely fig sauce, so I came up with a super simple side dish to go with our meal.

3 ingredients:  orzo, onion (chopped) and bleu cheese crumbles.

Boil the orzo per the instructions, adding the chopped onion during the last minute of cooking.

I used about 3/4 of the orzo package.  This would serve about 6.

Drain the pasta & onions, then toss with your bleu cheese crumbles while still warm.

I used half the container of bleu cheese, since a little goes a long way.

The warm pasta will slightly soften the bleu cheese and make the mixture come together nicely.

Give it some salt & pepper too!!!

Broccolini Sautéed w/ Garlic & Olive Oil

Remember when I made this ohhhhh 2 nights ago? And proceeded to go on and on about it?

It’s backkkkkkkkk!  I just couldn’t resist making it again 😀

Just. So. Good.

Sunday night dinner just got served 🙂

Perfect way to end a wonderful weekend 🙂

Glass of wine – check.  Fireplace warmth (is it really almost April?) – check.  Deliciously rich meal – check.

I’ll take it!

What is your favorite pre-made product to use for a fast n’ easy dinner?! 


Have you seen me in the new Chobani commercial????

Wow wow wow!!! I can’t even explain to you how grateful I am for all of your kind words and positive support last night & today throughout the launch of everything!!!

ALL of your amazing comments have been so incredibly wonderful and I feel so lucky to have “met” all of you out here in blog land 🙂

Let’s just say that keeping that “little secret” from you friends was definitely not easy 😉

What is pretty easy is to say that this experience was one of the most incredible and amazing things that has happened in this little CPA’s life.  I loved everything about it and couldn’t have asked for better people to go through it with, everyone was amazing!

So each day this week, in the spirit of the commercial launch, I thought I’d reveal some fun facts about the commercial shoot just to give you an idea of how incredible it was but also how real it really was!

FACT #1:  The scene where I grabbed the yogurt out of the refrigerator drawer required that I squatted down, in high heels, and then stood halfway up and the whole way up each take.  I consider myself in pretty decent shape, but after filming this scene a number of times, my thighs were feelin’ the pain! Haha like for the next 2 days it was hard to walk down stairs kinda “feelin’ the pain”…

Fake it ‘til ya make it? 😉

So last night The Man really really impressed his CookinFanatic with a home cooked Valentine’s Day dinner!

In the midst of all the excitement of the new Chobani commercial airing, he was sweet enough to get a delicious dinner on the table to celebrate <3 Day 🙂

And… he even did all the shopping at Whole Foods!  Does he know me or what?

On the menu:

NY Strip Steak, Baked Potato & Salad w/ Bleu Cheese Dressing.

I think he was set to impress! 😉

The steaks were marinated for 30 minutes at room temperature (don’t want to put an ice cold steak into a searing hot pan!) with a simple Worcestershire and black pepper mix.

Then into a stainless steel skillet with 1 tblsp each vegetable oil + butter.

The stainless steel is really necessary for cooking a steak indoors I think, it creates this glorious “crust” on the meat and really sears in the juices.

To serve, he baked up some potatoes and we each had them how we liked ’em!

See the rapidly moving knife haha!?!? The Man likes to really “slice into” his potato before adding toppings… it’s one of his cuter habits? 😉

After the master potato chop (??) add some butter & chives…

But don’t stop there… you of course need some shredded cheddar

And some unseen Ranch dressing to really finish it off.  This guy doesn’t mess around does he?!

I opted for a salsa topping… ever since I was younger I’ve always loved salsa on baked potatoes.

Check out that steak perfection!

Plus a side salad topped with bleu cheese dressing.

Bleu cheese + steak = match made in heaven.

He even purchased fresh strawberries and chocolate fondue (yes, I’m beaming with smiles here haha) for dessert!

But we were so stuffed after dinner that we decided that we would turn this Valentine’s Day into a Valentine’s Week and enjoy it tonight instead 😀

Plus with all the craziness with the commercial going on it just seemed to make sense…

It was also Lucy Dog’s birthday so we gave her a couple steak scraps as a gift… she seemed quite pleased and I think her birthday wishes came true lol.

Overall, a Valentine’s Day unlike any other, that’s for sure.  But also one of the most amazing days of my life…

Now, back to reality?

Have you ever been on tv before?!?!  If not, would you ever want to be on tv?!?!