Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something. 


1. The Most Popular Halloween Candy Cravings By State,
2. 20 Creepy Halloween Cakes, Beautiful Life
3. Batty Jelly Shots, Jelly Shot Test Kitchen
4. The 13 “most influential” Candy Bars of All Time, Time Magazine
5. Why You Should Serve Your Coffee in Ice Cream Cones, The Kitchen

Halloween – It’s all about the candy.

Halloween is upon us as of Friday…

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And that means weirdly sexualized costumes (NSFW warning on those links) and heaps of sugar high inducing candy.

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I haven’t had to deal with Trick or Treaters in a long time…

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But that doesn’t mean I don’t use Halloween as an excuse to buy as much candy as I can rationalize to myself.

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I love it all, the gummies, the lollipops, the hard candies, the chocolates, the sours, and of course the seasonal delight:

Candy Corn.

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I always immediately tear into it with gusto.

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But then I face the insta regret.

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So sugar, much belly ache, wow.

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It doesn’t stop me from doing it again next Halloween though.

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What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

Pork Fat Asparagus

Pork Fat Asparagus

When we had our pasta inception Ravioli Lasagna night, I knew that the dinner needed a little green to round things out.


I had been planning on making my Pepper Roasted Asparagus, but as soon as I was ready to get my asparagus in the pan I realized we were 100% out of olive oil! Or really, any kind of oil that would be acceptable for roasting vegetables.

bacon asparagus

Being the culinary genius that I am I decided the best approach was to fry up a couple pieces of bacon, and then pan fry the asparagus in the resulting fat.

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It was a good approach. One that I highly recommend.

Side benefit, fresh bacon appetizer.

Pork Fat Asparagus
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 pieces of raw bacon
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasonings
  1. In a large pan fry the bacon to your desired doneness and set aside reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
  2. While bacon is frying, rinse your asparagus and snap off the tough bitter bottoms.
  3. Add the asparagus to your bacon fat and turn heat to medium high.
  4. Sprinkle with your seasonings and roll around in pan to coat.
  5. Fry asparagus, and move around the the pan occasionally, until fork tender and soft. This should be about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve while warm.


Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something. 



1. Dinner in a Pumpkin? I’m there! Via The Mother Huddle.
2. It’s official. Wasabi Ginger Will Be the Next Lays Potato Chip Flavor. From Yahoo Food.
3. Easy peasy. This Graphic Shows How To Pair Ingredients for More Flavorful Salads. From LifeHacker.
4. Don’t Make the Mistakes I Made When Roasting a Pumpkin. From The Kitchn.
5. Oooooh, sounds dangerous! The Autumn Russian a la Kitchen Meets Girl.

Fast & Easy “Thai” Chicken Pasta


This is totally a cheater recipe – best for days where you’re craving something peanuty and kind of sweet, but are super rushed and not to be bothered with things like “authenticity.”

I made this last week in a last ditch effort to get something in my belly before passing out from sheer exhaustion and it totally hit the spot.

Be warned – it really is an extremely simplified version of Thai peanut sauce – so if you’ve got a specific flavor/texture in mind, you’ll want to pass this up. BUT, if you just crave something Thai peanut sauce-esque and are desperate for your fix RIGHT NOW, this is a pretty yummy substitute.


Hope you enjoy!

Fast & Easy "Thai" Chicken Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1½ Tablespoons minced Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cooked & shredded chicken breasts
  • 1 box pasta of your choice (flat noodles work great, but I used penne here)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Sliced green onions (optional)
  • Lime juice (optional)
  1. Whisk together hoisin, peanut butter, ginger, Sriracha, and water until well combined. (If sauce is too thick for your liking, whisk in more warm water OR a little heavy cream if you're feeling adventurous).
  2. Toss with pasta and chicken.
  3. Garnish with cilantro & green onions.
  4. Add a little squirt of fresh lime juice.
  5. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats

Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats

I’ve been craving Rice Crispy Treats for a while now, and honestly I don’t think I would ever turn them down.

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This week though, with Autumn upon us, I knew I wanted to add a little twist.

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I found the Pumpkin Spice marshmallows in my grocery store and thought, “Perfect!”

These treats couldn’t have been any easier or quicker.

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I highly suggest whipping these up for a snack, a dessert, or for bringing to any get-together in the Fall and Winter seasons.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9 squares
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 10 ounces Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
  • 6 cups puffed rice cereal
  1. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot over medium head.
  2. Add the marshmallows and stir continuously until completely melted and remove from heat.
  3. Add the puffed rice cereal and stir until combined.
  4. Transfer mixture into a large buttered/greased glass baking dish and spread evenly, pressing down with a greased spatula.
  5. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until chilled.
  6. Cut into squares of desired size and enjoy!



Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something. 

(Image from Yahoo Food)

(Image from Yahoo Food)

1. Oh My Bao. Field guide to Chinese Pastries. Via Serious Eats.
2. Pro-tip, don’t try and catch hot falling cake pans with your bare hands. 24 Ways to Stay Safe in the Kitchen. From Epicurious.
3. Tis the season! 16 Ways to Cook and Bake with Apple Cider. From Yahoo Food.
4. Forget those boring gourds. 5 Other Things to Carve and Light This Halloween. From Apartment Therapy.
5. The weather is FINALLY getting cooler! Cozy up with 30 Fall Soup Recipes from Cooking Classy.

Halloween Party Goodies

In need of some ideas for your impending Halloween par-tay? Look no further! Here are recipes from the Qwerty cafe crew that should work nicely for you!

Vampire Repellent (garlic devilled eggs) are a great appetizer (from Brie)


Maybe Homemade Corn Dogs are more your style? (From me, Cat)


Queso Blanco and chips make for another tasty option (from Brandie)


You’ll want to wash that all down with something. Maybe Alcohol-Free Peach Bellinis? (Handsome boyfriend not included. Recipe from Cat)


Or if you want something with a kick, how about the Brie-tini (Green Tea Mojito)? (From Cat)


And don’t forget the purrrrfect dessert - Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (a la Brandie)


There’s also always Chocolate Mousse Cake. Because Chocolate. And Mousse. And Cake.  (From Brie)


Hope these recipe ideas help. Happy planning!

Mac and Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole

Mac and Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole

I threw this quick dinner together a few nights ago without realizing just how delicious it was going to turn out.

mac and chili chesse tater tot casserole

This casserole was incredibly tasty, very filling, cheap, and above all, super easy.

I highly recommend trying this any night of the week.

Mac and Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 box Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 can chili
  • Frozen tater tots, enough to cover the casserole
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the boxes direction and mix in the can of chili.
  3. Spread the mac and chili cheese mixture into a large glass baking dish on top of which arrange the frozen tater tots in rows.
  4. Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove and sprinkle the top evenly with cheese, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm


Thursday’s Link Rodeo

Welcome to our Link Rodeo! It’s roundup of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Hope you enjoy!

Full disclosure: I am totally obsessed with pumpkin right now. Can you blame me?


(Image from

1. From our own ridiculously-talented-and-actually-trained-in-this-stuff-Brandie, we’ve got Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (and golly, are they good!)
2. Here’s a tasty-looking Apple Pumpkin Bundt cake from Julia’s Album.
3. How about some Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Smitten Kitchen?
4. Perhaps a Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookie a la The Kitchn?
5. There’s always Pumpkin Pancakes to start your morning via My Baking Addiction.