Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's Christmas Time in the City!

Guess what day it is?

Yes, it's New Year's Eve... BUT it's also Anthony's birthday!

Yesterday we took a birthday trip into NYC to have a special little lunch date at PJ Clarke's and do all the holiday touristy things that we normally poke fun at on a regular basis. Thought I'd share some of my favorite shots of the day...

Radio City Music Hall

The largest holiday ornaments in all the land.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chipotle Corn Chowder

Chowder always reminds me of the summers I spent in Maine as a kid, going to the beach during the day and eating warm clam chowder and chicken fingers (I wasn't enough of a foodie as a child to appreciate lobster, hah) during the cool nights. 

After having had so many bowls of clam chowder in Maine, there's absolutely no way I could ever create a recipe that would come even slightly close... So I took a step down and concocted this recipe for corn chowder.

To add a little kick, I mixed in a bit of chipotle which is... if I must say... a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Anthony even ate three bowls of it!

Hope you enjoy!

Chipotle Corn & Potato Chowder

Serves 5-7
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped into bits
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 15 oz. cans corn kernels, drained and rinsed
  • 2.5 cups heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper
  • Shredded cheddar (optional topping)
  • Scallions, thinly sliced (optional topping)


  1. Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add your bacon to the butter and cook until crisp. Then add the onion and chipotle peppers to the mixture and saute until the onions are cooked and translucent (5-7 minutes). 
  2. Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over your onion mixture and stir well until combined. Add the chicken stock and potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and allow potatoes to cook through (about 15 minutes or so). 
  3. After potatoes are cooked, add in your diced bell pepper, corn kernals, and heavy cream. Simmer  on low for another 5-10 minutes, or until bell peppers begin to soften. 
  4. Pour into bowls to serve and garnish with cheddar and scallions if desired

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goodbye 2013!

2013 has been quite the year and, I gotta say, I'm pretty sad to see it go. Many amazing things happened in 2013... Anthony and I got married, went on an amazing trip to Hawaii, got a dog and, of course, Beta's Bites got off the ground!

Anthony and I in Kaui, Hawaii

Here's a little recap of the recipes that have been posted on Beta's Bites since it kicked-off in July 2013...

1. French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Cone of Shame

Now, I haven't decided whether or not I should be laughing at this... But I am... So I need to share.

When we adopted Paisley from the shelter, we were told that she has a condition called 'cherry eye' which will probably stick around for a while. It's not a big deal - just a congenital disorder of a her third eyelid - and really doesn't bother her too much on a day-to-day basis.

Unfortunately, Miss Paisley woke up one morning this week and this particular eye was infected. We took her to the vet and the lucky little girl came home not only with some meds, but also with - what we affectionately like to call - the cone of shame.

It somehow manages to make her even cuter.

Anyway, my friend, Jamie, came over the other night for dinner and managed to snap this photo of Paisley sitting all by herself in the dark corner of our living room.

Adorable little dog or cyclops alien? I can't tell.

Hope your week is going better than hers...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Boozy Bites: Basil & Lemon Nectar Martinis

Each holiday season, a small group of my friends and I get together for a special dinner at a restaurant in NYC. We figure that - rather than putting each other through the torture stress that comes along with buying gifts - it's better to spend some quality time with each other over some great bites. Plus, it's always nice to unwind and take a minute to appreciate your girls during the whirlwind holiday season!

This year we went to a restaurant on the Lower East Side called Beauty & Essex. Although the food was delish, the drinks completely stole the show! Dare I say it... The cocktail I ordered may have been the best drink I've had in my career (yes, I just referred to it as a drinking 'career'). My drink of choice was their Emerald Gimlet, an enticing combination of Grey Goose, basil, lemon nectar and fresh lime. Thank goodness the drinks cost $14 each, otherwise the ladies would've been rolling me out the door at the end of the night.

This recipe is a 'copycat' of the Emerald Gimlet. I'm promise that it's delicious, quite strong AND it won't cost you $14 dollars to make!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tijuana Guacamole

When I was a sophomore at Loyola College, I traveled to Tijuana, Mexico on a community service trip. Among the many things I brought back from the experience - new friendships, life lessons, and many many memories - was this recipe for guacamole. I learned it from our trip leader and haven't made another guac recipe ever since! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Accidentally "Eggcellent" Scrambled Eggs

Hopefully everyone had a wonderfully wonderful Thanksgiving! I don't know about you, but I'm still in the process of recovering from the food coma that hit me post-holiday. All I want to do right now is take a nap. One very longggggg nap.