Confessions of a Kraft American Cheese Girl!

Some days (mostly Mondays) a girl needs a little alone time. Just me. Coffee. And an egg sandwich…with Kraft American Cheese. Who’s with me?

american-cheese-egg-sandwich-2

I grew up in the suburbs just outside of Detroit – in Warren, Michigan. (That was four miles from 8 mile, yo!) My sisters & I always joke that we totally grew up white trash. Evidence? In our fridge at all times growing up: a package of Oscar Mayer Bologna & Kraft American cheese slices. Fried bologna anyone?

And I’ll tell you what, most of my adult life I kept the nostalgia going in my own fridge – although I’ve let it slide as of late. Jason & I have been trying to eat less bread & only consume real cheese 🙂 But this little lady came a calling:

american-cheese-egg-sandwich-1

Let me tell you, she didn’t disappoint. I made two eggs – sunny side up. Melted a piece of Kraft on top and plopped it onto my favorite English muffin – Bays (only found in the refrigerated section near the eggs). And voila! Perfection.

My point is. You can take the Kraft American Cheese out of the fridge but you can’t take the Kraft American Cheese out of the girl.

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production.

julie

Get a Kick Out of This Light Crock-Pot Chili!

Like a little kick in your step? Try this Light Crock-Pot Chili With Jalapeño!

light-crock-pot-chili-with-a-kick-1

light-crock-pot-chili-with-a-kick-2

What I love about this recipe is you don’t have to brown the ground chicken & ground beef before you throw it into the crock-pot – and doesn’t that make sense? That’s the whole point of a crock-pot – the idea that you just throw a bunch of stuff in it and come back 6-8 hours later to enjoy it.

The toppings really make the chili & we had this with just sour cream (which was great) but if you like goat cheese, a little on top is divine. I got the recipe from Skinny Taste (love that site) & you can download it here–> light-slow-cooker-chili-with-jalapeno

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz – a Slater/Friday Production!

Julie

Turn Up The Red Peppa – It’s Cold In Here!

I know it’s not really “winter” here in LA, but why is it I am so in winter mode and want all of this comfort food? Oh right, because it’s in the 50s and rainy and our early 1900’s apartment walls are made out of paper. So, turn up the red peppa – it’s cold in here!

red-pepper-taco-2

red-pepper-taco

I saw an infamous Tasty video for Taco-Stuffed Peppers on facebook & had to give it a shot. Here’s the recipe. There’s only two of us, so I bought just 6 peppers & had some leftover meat mixture which was OK by me.

Plus, with this dish – you can get creative with the leftovers. For lunch the next day, we made nachos. Why on earth is broiled melted cheese on taco chips so divine?!

nachos

And for dinner another night we made tacos with gas stove-top crisp tortillas.

red-pepper-taco-taco

The red pepper adds a nice little sweetness to the taco mix. This is even great chopped up over lettuce for a barely-any-carb salad.

**WARNING WARNING** This dish totally made me want margaritas —->

jason-goldies-golden-girl

I highly recommend Goldie’s on W. 3rd. They have a Happy Hour Monday through Saturday 3-6p and Sunday 3p – close! This Golden Girl cocktail (spiced tequila, passion fruit, agave, lime, egg white meringue) was $6.50. Score! It even had a little kick, which we both love.

Thanks for stopping by SweetJamz!

Julie

It Can Only Get Bettah With More Pancetta…& Crème Brûlée!

We’ve been a couple of slackers as far as SweetJamz goes. We went to Chicago & Detroit for Christmas. We ate at my brother’s restaurant in Evanston, IL, called Oceanique <— to die for. (I need to do an entire post on just that experience.) For the family gathering, I made my infamous truffle mac & cheese, which never disappoints. Before that, we made three attempts at fudge (that, mind you, I've made every year) and they were all disasters. We also made a pumpkin lasagna that was pretty bland. And then with everything else going on in the world, we kind of decided to just let 2016 hang itself. (Too brutal?) 🙂

But alas, it's 2017! A new year, a new you, right?! Let's get back to cooking!

pasta-pancetta-asparagus-peas
Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus & Pancetta – served on my Mother’s china!

creme-brulee
Crème Brûlée with blueberries.

We had our friends Laurie & Bobby over and decided to delve into this delicious bon appetit recipe for Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus & Pancetta (<– click for recipe). Although you might still be seeing snow where you live, this pasta pushes you forward to Spring – it’s so light & fresh with just a dash of cream. My only suggestion is I might double the amount of Pancetta. It can only get bettah with more Pancetta! (We won’t mention how Bobby wouldn’t eat any of the asparagus, either.) 😉 I would definitely make this many times over.

Jason & I have had a long love affair with Crème brûlée. For some reason when I made the trek from NYC to LA ten years ago, my kitchen torch got the toss. Fortunately, I did hold on to my cute lil’ heart-shaped ramekin dishes. This year, thanks to Santa, I’m back in the kitchen torch game. I used Ina Garten’s simple Crème brûlée recipe (<—click for recipe). I'm telling you – this recipe is so much easier than it looks. It's a super IMPRESS ‘EM dish & oh so delicious. And who doesn’t LOVE playing with a kitchen torch (Jason is aggressively nodding in agreement!). I recommend always adding your favorite berry on top. It's the icing on the Crème brûlée cake.

I should also mention that at the end of last year, I passed the WSET Level 2 wine certification program. It basically means I tasted 41 wines in two days & lived to talk about it. And I can now drink wine like a pro, so watch out!

Thanks for stopping by!

julie

SweetJamz Cooks! Episode #005 – Vegan (Just Kidding) Buddha Bowl…With Chicken

This IS actually a VEGAN Buddha Bowl, but we added baked chicken (which you could disregard). The spiced chickpeas are to-die-for & oh my on the red peppa sauce.

Full recipe download here: vegan-just-kidding-buddha-bowl-with-chicken

It’s healthy & yet oh so delicious!

www.sweetjamz.com – A Slater/Friday Production

(This recipe was inspired by one found on http://www.wellandfull.com)

SweetJamz Drinks! Episode #004 – Yikes Ya Bit Me: Bourbon On Ice

When your sisters buy you shark mugs & send you a recipe, well – ya gotta give it a shot, right?

 

yikes-ya-bit-me-bourbon-on-ice

Full recipe download here: yikes-ya-bit-me-bourbon-on-ice

SweetJamz Cooks! Episode #003 – Touchdown Chili!

Who’s ready for some ground turkey/sweet potato chili to cozy up with while watching the next game?

Full recipe download here: touchdown-chili

SweetJamz Cooks! Episode #002 – You’re Bacon Me Crazy!

In this episode, Slater/Friday make a Maple Bacon Grilled Cheese with Egg:

Full recipe download here —-> youre-bacon-me-crazy

SweetJamz Cooks! – Episode #001 – Baked Chicken Spin Mozzi Pepp.

Wahoo! Our first cooking episode! Check out the official SweetJamz Episode #001 – Baked Chicken Spin Mozzi Pepp! (This recipe was inspired by one on SkinnyTaste.)

Full recipe download here -> baked-chicken-spin-mozzi-pepp.

Some things are worth the wait – Jon & Vinny’s!

Ahhhh, so we’ve gone ‘n done it. Jason & I have started a blog. Well, we felt like we needed a place to put our love of food, booze, music & adventures. So why not the internets. We’re going to blog about places we go to, food we make & the drinkees we drinks, etc. I think you get the point 🙂

jon &amp; vinny's

Let me start this one by telling you about my foodie friend, Pete. (You may need to sit down for this one.) He has traveled the world eating & drinking to his heart’s content. He is also a best friend to my brother (Chef Mark Grosz at Oceanique). I have seen these two eat multiple full meals within hours (insert indigestion here).

Pete and me 2014(Pete & me 2014)

Well, Pete told me Jon & Vinny’s on Fairfax in Los Angeles is, by far, the best food in town for the money. “The best bang for your buck” was probably the actual Pete lingo. Thee “BEST” food? This is coming from a man who spares no expense on eating (I witnessed him eat at Bazaar in Beverly Hills TWICE in one night. And, btw, those tabs added up to an entire month’s rent.). Let me also assure you he’s no snob either. I believe he was once spotted at a Subway sandwich shop, but let’s not talk about that. Bottom line: he knows his stuff. J&V’s is the best? You had me at…food.

Getting a reservation wasn’t so easy, but FINALLY, Pete, Jason & I (and a few others) ventured over. I mean, I had to see for myself. And wouldn’t you know it, they were CLOSED! due to a kitchen fire. Literally, fire trucks outside. Ah, the belly sadness. (Don’t worry, I was told no one was injured in said fire. <—I’m still human. Kinda.)

We talked about going back, but you know how life can be…the same group of friends never got it together (one of those friends returning to the Congo didn’t help). And that whole booking a reservation three weeks in advance thing seemed so daunting. Almost A YEAR later, I was having a not-so-good day and Jason (what a cutie) surprised me with reservations for THAT NIGHT – Me: “No Way!” Jason: “Way!!” (He got them day-of, btw, MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! THANK YOU, SANTA.)

There was a bit of a wait (cue Tom Petty’s “The Waiting..is the hardest part…”), but after about 30 minutes we got seated and immediately HAD to order the app that had been dancing by us all night {MARINARA BRAISED MEATBALLS, RICOTTA, GARLIC BREAD $16.25} :

meatballs

 

This was TO-DIE-FOR. I don’t even care for garlic bread and this was a down right dream. Why did we have to share???!!

We also ordered the “LA Woman” pizza (when in Rome) {LOCAL BURRATA, TOMATO, BASIL, OLIVE OIL, SEA SALT $19.25 }:

pizza

When it came out, I actually was disappointed, thinking it really didn’t look that special. Note to self, another lesson learned in judging a pizza by its cover. The sauce, the crust, the basil, the BURRATA – an Olympic team to take all golds. Add more spoils with a dipping sauce – we went for Ranch {CRUST DIP – CHOICE OF – MARINARA, CREAMY ITALIAN, RANCH, E.V. OLIVE OIL 
RANCH, CREAMY ITALIAN, MARINARA $2.00 EACH}

And how about a lil pasta! {SPICY FUSILLI, VODKA, BASIL, PARMESAN $19.75}

pasta

We were told this was a bit spicy but not crazy (Jason LOOOOVES spice, I can handle a little), but this wasn’t spicy at all. It was melt in your mouth delicious, though.

And then the vino! In a very unique situation, J&V’s has a separately owned wine shop INSIDE the restaurant – Helen’s. It’s a little confusing to understand at first, but you can go in the wine room in the back of the restaurant and buy wine to go at street value to take with you or for a higher price get it to drink at the restaurant (note, corkage fees for your own wine at J&V’s is $35 per bottle).

We didn’t want to spend a crazy amount (prices in there can get pretty high) & we love full bodied reds. We were recommended this (approx. cost $55):

wine

It was tasty but a bit dry – definitely a wine better with food. And, boy, did we have food 🙂

Everything was delicious and great for two people to split. I definitely recommend going with others so that you can try more. We didn’t leave over-stuffed either. The portions were just right. (I should mention we are OBSESSED with food.)

Overall? (I guess we need to come up with a ratings system here.) Jason & I give it a whole lotta love (9 out of 10 heart black…there’s always room for easier reservations and less wait time).

— julie slater

 

 

Welcome to all things SweetJamz! We’re excited to get things started soon…

Food, booze, wine, music. It’s a problem we have. A very, very good problem. We’ve decided to blog our adventures & do some cookin’! So stay tuned and welcome to all things SweetJamz!