Saturday, May 12, 2012

Asian Herb Marinade

Oh how I miss the week of 80 degree weather! It's been raining here for weeks I feel and I'm DYING to be outside grilling at our new place on our new grill! What a tease that week was in April! It put me in the mood for grilled corn on the cob, and other fun stuff like this recipe, and this recipe! It's also made me long for this here recipe: Grilled Chicken with Asian Herb Marinade.

This is one of my favorites! It's perfect for grilled chicken or chicken kebobs. I made this back during that beautiful week with some marinated mushrooms and couscous! It was even wonderful the next day!

Asian Herb Marinade
recipe by Sabrina W. for eat.drink.and be merry.
marinates 4 chicken breasts
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons brown sugar
black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Whisk together all ingredients and pour over chicken. Let marinate 4 hours to overnight. (Ideally, you can always marinate for a couple hours or baste your chicken with it while on the grill. I did both.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mini Stuffed Bell Peppers

 I could not resist buying a little bag of these gems this past week! How adorable are these?! I had no idea what I was going to do with them. All I could think of was maybe making a mini version of my Turkey & Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers

But then I saw a recipe using these little peppers in the most recent issue of Cooking Light that looked amazing so I scanned my fridge for the ingredients and adapted this recipe using what I had. (and some extras! like bacon!)

They came out wonderful! We ate them as a side but these could totally be an appetizer too! 


Mini Stuffed Bell Peppers
recipe by Sabrina W. for eat.drink.and be merry.
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
serves 4
8 Mini Bell Peppers
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
2 green onions, white & green parts, thinly sliced
3 slices of bacon, diced
1/4 of a red onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Prepare your mini bell peppers by slicing them lengthwise and scooping out all the seeds.

In a cast iron skillet, cook your chopped bacon until crispy. Remove your bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small dish. Add your minced onion and sauté slowly over med-low heat until translucent. Add in your minced garlic and cook for one more minute. Set aside in the dish along with your bacon and let cool.

In a separate dish, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Grill your peppers in your cast iron skillet about 4 to 5 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and let cool for 2 minutes. Mix your bacon-onion mixture into your cream cheese mixture. With a small spoon stuff your peppers and transfer them back into the skillet on low heat to warm through before serving. (about 3 minutes)








Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Recipes!

Who doesn't LOVE Mexican cuisine??!!

I mean nachos, tacos, fajitas, margaritas....
I could go on forever!

Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday and I've found 
9 FANTASTIC recipes from some of my favorite blogs (and yours truly) 
 for you to throw the perfect Fiesta!!! 


1. Skinny Beer-garitas from Eat Yourself Skinny
Start yourself off with something so delicious, refreshing, and guilt free!! Feel free to have five a couple of these without even worrying about the calories! How amazing is that?? Now you can save them up for the other yummy fiesta foods I have here!

2. Watermelon Salsa from eat.drink.and be merry.
This recipe is so fun and colorful! I have made it on several occasions and it's always a favorite. Annddd you can have fun using up the leftovers (if there are any!) You can use it over some grilled chicken, mixed in with rice and beans, or on fish tacos! oh fish tacos!

3. Beef, Pork, & Potato Empanadas with Cilantro Cream from amypersonally
 These mini pies are stuffed with potatoes, ground beef and pork, and a boat load of Mexican spices and flavors! Paired with her Cilantro Cream, these have to be heavenly!

4. Bacon & Gorgonzola Guacamole from *Simply Scratch*
Of the many kinds of guacamoles out there I could not resist passing by this one! Bacon annnnd gorgonzola!! Only 2 of my favorite things on the entire planet!! This is just another must try from Laurie that I have on my to make list!

5. Steak Fajitas with Cilantro Lime Yogurt from eat.drink.and be merry.
You will love this healthy version of steak fajitas! I slice up my seasoned flank steak with lots of peppers and onions and I top it off with my yummy cilantro lime yogurt cheese and bundle it all up in a whole wheat wrap!

6. Summer Sangria from My Life as a Mrs.
Although this really is a Spanish recipe I threw it in here for two reasons! 1. Tina makes a FABULOUS sangria and her photos are breathtaking and 2. No party is complete without sangria!

7. Mexican Brownies from eat.drink.and be merry.
You have to try Mexican Brownies or just Mexican chocolate for that matter! There is something so distinct about the flavors here it is so hard to describe it! They are warm and spicy and kind of remind me of Christmas! How comforting is that??!! Next on the list is Mexican Hot Chocolate! I'll keep you posted!!!

8. Cowboy Nachos from The Pioneer Woman
Of course these are amazing, they come from a true cowgirl who knows how to feed a cowboy! Instead of ground beef, Ree uses her leftover beef brisket, baked beans, and fresh pico de gallo! and she layers the ingredients with tortilla chips just like a lasagna and broils them until the cheese is all melty and gooey!

9. Chorizo con Queso from A Zesty Bite
Being Portuguese, I am a huge chorizo fan. So when I saw this recipe I got insanely excited! Anything made with chorizo is amazing! nuff said!

Adios mis amigos! I hope you enjoyed this round up! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mexican Brownies

Let's Celebrate!

Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday and I have quite the round up of Mexican Recipes planned for you!

But first, I'll treat you to what is the best brownie I've ever tasted! Have you ever had a Mexican Brownie? I've always heard great things, and when I researched how to make them, I read even more great things! I tried my first Mexican Brownie this afternoon when I got the urge to make them. The warm flavors of cinnamon & cloves and the heat of cayenne melt together so perfectly with the almonds it's hard to put it in words!

Because it was spur of the moment, I didn't have much on hand so I used what I had in my fridge and pantry and to my surprise it worked out beautifully.

Enjoy!

Mexican Brownies
makes 9 brownies
6 oz of almond Hershey Kisses (a little more than 1/2 a bag)
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon almond extract
salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8in pan.

In a double boiler, melt Hershey Kisses and butter. Once smooth and creamy, remove from heat, whisk in the sugars, and let cool on your counter for 5 minutes. . Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing each in well. Add in your almond extract. Stir in flour, spices, and salt.

Pour in your baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. Your brownies are ready when a knife comes out clean. (It's ok for some pieces to come out on the knife. Be careful not to overbake!)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Baked Green Bean Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli

Amazing things are happening in my new kitchen!

These have always been a favorite of mine when going out. So when I saw the big bag of green beans sitting in my fridge looking all boring I knew now was the time for me to figure out how to make these!

I wanted to make sure they didn't end up all limp and soggy so I searched through a couple recipes online and came across this one from My Kitchen Addiction. And when I saw she created a fabulous roasted garlic aioli to dip them in I was like "yes please!"

They were seasoned perfectly and nice and crispy. I added in some grated parmesan cheese (just because I wanted to get rid of it!), and the dip...well, it has a whole head of roasted garlic in it...  need I say more!

Baked Green Bean Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli
recipe by My Kitchen Addiction
serves 2-4
Fries
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Aioli
1 small head of garlic, roasted and smashed into a paste
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring your oven to 450 degrees.

Slice off the top of your head of garlic. Season it with some olive oil and salt and pepper and wrap it up in a foil pouch. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Trim up your green beans and get them ready to be submerged in a pot of boiling water. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes and then immediately transfer them to a bowl filled with ice water. This will stop the cooking process and keep them nice and tender and green. Let them bathe in the ice water for a few minutes and them lay them out on a few paper towels so they dry.

Set up three shallow bowls. One for your flour, one for your eggs, and one for your panko, parmesan cheese, and spices. Season all three with salt and pepper.

Get yourself a sheet pan ready lined with parchment paper. Dredge your green beans into first the flour, then the eggs, and lastly the panko and seasonings. Lay your bean fries evenly out on the sheet pan making sure not to crowd them. (crowding them will not allow them to crisp up as nicely)

Remove your head of garlic from your oven and lower the heat to 425 degrees.

Baked your green bean fries for about 15 minutes. Squeeze out your garlic cloves and mash them together with a fork. Combine mayo, olive oil, mustard and salt and pepper and add in your roasted garlic paste. You can also blend it up in a food processor to really distribute that garlic flavor. I personally like getting a chunk of roasted garlic so I just whisked it in.

Serve fries immediately with aioli on the side! Enjoy! I know you will!!!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Warm Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Salad

The last few months I have put my body through hell!

We have devoted every single minute to our new home which left zero time for sleep, relaxation, exercise, and eating healthy meals!

So since moving into our new place, I've decided to ( or absolutely needed to) give my body back some love!  So I started off with this delicious & healthy salad! Yes..Yes..I know! It's smothered with bacon chunks...real healthy Sabrina! But the giant serving of spinach makes up for it riiiight! Let's be honest, my taste buds need some love too! annnd It's healthier than all those slices of pizza and big macs (I know...big macs...plural...horrendous!)

I hope you enjoy this yummy Warm Spinach, Mushroom & Feta salad. I enjoyed mine topped with   a couple teriyaki steak tips and a poached egg!....amazing....

Warm Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Salad
recipe by Sabrina W. for eat.drink.and be merry.
serves 4 to 6
5 oz baby spinach
12 oz button mushrooms, quartered
3 slices of bacon, diced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
olive oil
salt & pepper
pinch of nutmeg
juice of half a lemon

Add a tiny drizzle of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add in bacon and sizzle it up until it's nice and golden and crispy. Remove the bacon bits with slotted spoon reserving the bacon oil in the skillet.

Add in the mushrooms and onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until caramelized. Add in baby spinach and sauté until just wilted. Transfer to a serving dish.

Top with feta crumbles (TIP! - My friend Aly always buys her feta in a brick instead of already crumbled. It's wayyyy more moist and less salty and you can break it off in big fat chunks!)

Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

We are officially all moved into our new home! We have spent the past week unpacking and getting settled and I also have been able to cook...FINALLY! It's been so much fun and the weather was unreal last week so we cooked on the grill almost every night! 

For this Sunday morning, I decided to try out my new Kitchen Aid Mixer (I don't know how I lived without one for so long! Thank you! Thank you! Uncle Bob and Aunt Kathy for the amazing housewarming gift!) and whip up this recipe I found on Pinch of Yum's website. The warm sweet smell of this yummy coffee cake filled up my whole house! There's nothing like the smell of something baking in the oven that truly makes your house smell like a home!

Enjoy!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake 
recipe by Pinch of Yum
serves 12 
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream (I used regular)
1 egg
8 ounces softened cream cheese (I used light)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, and butter with a pastry cutter or in a food processor to make a crumbly mixture. Reserve 1 cup of the crumbs for topping.

Combine remaining crumbs with baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, and 1 egg. Mix until mostly smooth. Spread in the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan.

Beat softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg until smooth. Pour over the batter in the pan and spread in an even layer. Spoon the jam over the cream cheese layer and swirl with a knife to make a marbled effect. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.

 

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