Heading to IFBC!

International Food Blogger Conference 2014 Seattle

I’m heading to Seattle tomorrow to attend 2014 The International Food Blogger Conference! I’m excited for some great eats, great drinks, and neat sessions on food photography, recipe development, social media, and everything else blogworthy. I’ll be recapping what I learn right here on Cooking Catastrophe, so if you won’t be there, you can get a “Taste” of it through my blog. But if you’re anywhere in the area, you should check it out and say “Hi” to me in person! Tickets are available at Foodista.com/IFBC and are $95 for bloggers.

Will you be at IFBC this year? Leave a comment and let me know if I’ll see you there!

This is What Happens When The Cooking Catastrophe Staff Get Together

I visited Catherine a few weeks back, and we had some grand culinary adventures, from egg tacos to fabulous pastries. But the most memorable began when we ran to the grocery store to pick up a few dinner supplies. While we were going through the checkout, Catherine noticed that the customers in front of us had some very unusual flavors of potato chips; with our curiosity piqued, we had to grab a few bags for ourselves:

Cooking Catastrophe appetizers

Why yes, those are cappuccino flavored potato chips. It sounded so disgusting that we simply had to try it; surprisingly, it wasn’t bad, tasting more like cinnamon and sugar toast than anything else. But Catherine had a brilliant idea:

Dessert nachos

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: Dessert Nachos. The recipe is simple: Layer a bowl with cappuccino chips, cover with mudslide ice cream, and top with a piece of See’s Candy. I know this sounds horrific, but it was so, so good; eating the chips with the ice cream really brought out the coffee flavor. This dish is best enjoyed with Jack Daniels on the rocks and a viewing of Johnny Mnemonic, for those with truly refined palates like myself.

Bal’s Banana Cardamom Crème Brûlée

I have a most definite sweet tooth – last week, I was in a restaurant with friends and was drooling over the delicious Crème Brûlée that one of them ordered. I ended up getting Pommes Frites instead, but only because I’ve had this obsession with dipping fries in sauce after visiting Dreamland BBQ in Montgomery. But I can make up for missing dessert that night thanks to this yummy new recipe inspired by DreamWorks Pictures’ The Hundred-Foot Journey:

Crème Brûlée

Click to view the full-size recipe card.

Patriotic Pony Recipes!

Click Communications: BLOGGER BUTTONS &emdash;

I’m loving these adorable My Little Pony holiday-themed recipes, which include Apple Jack’s Apple Pie, Rarity’s 4th of July Cupcakes, Pinkie Pie’s Pink Lemonade and more! To view the recipes, click on the button above to download a PDF file.

Recipe: Patriotic Nachos

Patriotic Nachos
The Better Chip provided me with product and/or compensation for this post, however the opinions I shared are my own.

Have you caught World Cup fever? If you’ll be cheering on Team USA this week, here’s some awesome game day grub for you to cook up: Patriotic Nachos! These nachos are unique, easy to make, and feature The Better Chip, a delicious line of chips that are gluten free, non-GMO and vegan-friendly – well, until you cover them in cheese to make nachos, but just omit that part to keep them vegan. ;)

The Better Chip
I received a fun World Cup package from The Better Chip, containing bags of their chip flavors along with a caxirola, which is the official noisemaker of the World Cup. Good thing it’s not a vuvuzela, right? ;) The flavors included Fresh Corn, a classic, tasty chip; Spinach & Kale, a different, green kind of chip that was nice; Beet Chips, which might be the best beet has ever tasted; Chipotles, a super spicy and smoky chip, and Jalapenos, which has a slightly milder spicy kick to it. I nibbled on each flavor while preparing my nachos and thought they were super yum!

Better Chips
To create my original nacho recipe, I wanted something that would work for both Team USA and the 4th of July this week: Hence, Patriotic Nachos were born! What makes them patriotic, you ask? Because they are red, white and blue!

Red: Kidney beans, salad tomatoes
White: White beans, white onion, mozzarella cheese
Blue: Blue cheese

Patriotic Nachos

Patriotic Nachos


  • 2 oz bag The Better Chip Corn Chips
  • 2 oz bag The Better Chip Jalapenos Chips
  • 2 oz bag The Better Chip Spinach & Kale Chips
  • 2 oz bag The Better Chip Beets Chips
  • 2 oz bag The Better Chip Chipotles Chips
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can white beans
  • White onion, peeled & chopped
  • Package of salad tomatoes
  • Bag of mozzarella cheese
  • Package of blue cheese


  • Layer all chips in a large, foil-lined pan, arranging in strips by color.
  • Rinse kidney & white beans, layer over chips.
  • Peel & chop a white onion, sprinkle over the chip & bean layer.
  • Rinse salad tomatoes and add to nachos.
  • Cover nachos with mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with blue cheese as the finishing touch.
  • Cook at 350 degrees until cheese begins to lightly brown around the edges - roughly 20 minutes.
  • Note: These ingredients aren't listed in specific quantities, because nachos are best made to taste - add as much of each item as you want!

I cooked up a tray of these nachos for my family tonight, and it was a big success! Everyone loved it – they thought the dish was really good, and quite different from what you usually think of when you make nachos, making it a simple recipe to prepare yet still unique. My family also noted that they really liked all the different flavors of chips.

Enter to win your own nacho kit!

TWO readers will win the following:

  • An assortment of chips from The Better Chip
  • Your very own caxirola
  • “Nachos Around the World” recipe sheet
  • A coupon for more product
  • And a chip clip!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below to get your entries in before July 1st, 2014 at 11:00 PM PST. This giveaway has a very quick turnaround, so make sure to read the rules in the Rafflecopter widget regarding how to claim the prize if you are the lucky winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What recipe would you create with The Better Chip?

Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes For Foodies

I used to think that I hated scalloped potatoes. Growing up, my mom always made the boxed kind, and I always thought they were super gross. But then a few years ago, one of my aunts made scalloped potatoes from scratch and they were delicious. I realized it wasn’t the dish, it was just those odd boxes of instant potatoes that my mom would buy because she got a good deal on them with coupons – which I completely respect, because as an adult I would do the same thing myself. ;) Also, as you grow up, you realize that those easy meals may be more bland, but they are so much easier to deal with than cooking every single thing from scratch. I find as I get older I make a lot of the same food I used to think was kind of dull as a kid because I don’t want to deal with cooking!!

So while I may not be motivated enough to make a full dish of homemade scalloped potatoes myself, I can certainly appreciate the work that went into this delicious recipe inspired by The Hundred Foot Journey. This is definitely the “Foodie” version that puts those boxed 1990s dinners to shame with its fancy cheese and dash of nutmeg. Yum! Hey…maybe I should give this to my aunt and see if she’ll make it for us again! ;)

Scalloped Potatoes

Omelette Aux Fines Herbs Recipe

Cooking Catastrophe confession time: I stink at making omelettes. Oh, sure, they taste good, but what I really end up with is just scrambled eggs with sundry fillings. I’ve given up even trying to flip them because I always just mangle it, so maybe I should take this advice about using a cloth:

Omelette aux fines herbs

Click on the image to view the full-size version. Recipe courtesy The Hundred-Foot Journey!

Quiche Lorraine Recipe

I had a lot of culinary adventures during my second trip to France in 2005, but not the kind you’d imagine. Traveling with a frugal mindset on a 21-year-old’s budget, my resourcefulness is what allowed me to finance the trip, so instead of going to 5-star French restaurants, I opted for more cost-effective dining. I’ll never forget eating le cheeseburger at a McDonald’s on the Champs-Élysées near the Arc de Triomphe, looking out of a huge glass window at the bustling traffic below.

During my time in Paris, I stayed at a hostel which had a shared kitchen area with a microwave. I stopped by a nearby grocery store to get something for dinner, and ended up with a microwavable quiche. It wasn’t the greatest-tasting meal, but the experience was all part of the adventure and something I’ll always remember! So when I got an email with this Quiche Lorraine recipe, it brought back those memories. I’m sure it tastes miles better than the quiche I ate in that dingy hostel! :D

Quiche Lorraine

Do you have any special memories of food eaten during travels?