Monday, July 31, 2017

Strawberry Fruit Dip


To try to explain the mach speed we are running right now would be futile!

There is something everyday . . .

and we're trying to cram in great activities before my boy cherub heads off to his first year of college.

There's more about that later, but ultimately, it is such a fun time of life!

Tonight, we are heading over to my mom's house to have dinner.

To make it easier on her, I offered to bring a picnic supper,

which would hopefully make it easier on me.

I'm not too certain that I was successful with that part!

However, when I asked the cherubs and the Mr. what they would like for dessert,

it was clear they had forgotten that time was not readily available!

You should have heard their suggestions!

Needless to say, I made a mental note of what sounded good to them,

and went out on my own!

Since we are deep in the heat of summer, I opted for light and fruit.

There are rare times that my family thinks fruit is a "dessert."

Tonight, though, I force the idea upon them! 

Hee!  Hee!

Along with the pretty bowl of strawberries, I have made a delicious fruit dip.

Super easy.

Super cool.

Super tasty!

Yes, I know there are tons of fruit dips out there.

The problem is this:  I rarely have the "one" ingredient that most call for,

and that's marshmallow fluff.

This dip is absent of the fluff stuff, but isn't absent of the fluff that the fluff stuff fluffs!

OK -- so it's obvious that I didn't do well in poetry OR creative writ
ing in school!

Here's the recipe!

Strawberry Fruit Dip

1, 8oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/8 tsp. fiori de sicilia OR 1 TBSP grated orange rind
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1, 8oz container cool whip, thawed

In a mixing bowl, place the soft cream cheese and beat until creamy.  Add the fiori de sicilia or the orange rind and the powdered sugar and continue beating until fluffy and well incorporated.

Fold in the cool whip until mixed, being careful not to over-mix the dip.

Place the dip in the refrigerator until ready to serve with fresh strawberries.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Corncake Pancakes



It kind of sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it?

Corncakes pancakes?

When I think of pancakes, I think of soft, fluffy,  . . .and yummy.

While the texture may be a little different with the corncake, the end result is still the same!

Yummy!

My boy cherub was up and out of the house early,

and my girl cherub was sleeping in on Saturday morning.

The Mr. and I had enjoyed a morning with a hot cup of coffee and a long rock on the patio.

When the Mr. said pancakes sounded good, I went to gather the ingredients,

which we didn't have what we needed.

But I did have cornmeal!

Sweet corncakes became a real option!

Making my mix, and using my castiron griddle, we ended up with a great Saturday breakfast treat

When I make pancakes, I normally make extra for a quick reheat breakfast later in the week.

These tasty treats, I did not really prefer them reheated. 


Corncake Pancakes

1/2 cup potato starch
3/4 cup cornmeal
3 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum, optional
2 large eggs
3 TBSP oil
3/4 cup milk
1 TBSP grated lemon rind, optional

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the liquid ingredients.  Mix well and allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes to tighten up.

On a greased hot griddle, scoop batter by 1/4 cup full.  Allow to cook until edges appear dry and tops begin to bubble.  Flip and cook on the other side until done.

Serve warm, with butter, fresh fruit, and drizzled with honey.



Friday, May 5, 2017

Radishes



As a kid, I totally remember my dad eating radishes.

Gross.

He would wash them, maybe cut them . . .maybe not.

Sometimes he would sprinkle some salt on them . . .or maybe not.

But he always said they were so good.

I thought, "well, maybe not!"

I remember, as a kid, trying a radish.

YUCK!

It was hot.

That's about all I remember about a radish.

And that I knew enough to say I didn't like them!

Well, that . . . and my dad would always put cut up radish in our salad if he was making the salad.

And he normally did.

Which means that I had to normally pick them out!

As an adult, I have always steered clear of radishes.

That was until about a year ago.

The cherubs and I stopped at a taco truck.

This wasn't a fancy, "all-the-rage," food truck.

Let me try that again . . .it is all the rage, in that the food is ah-maz-ing!

But it's not one of the popular-kind-of-food-trucks that you see these days.

This is one of those food trucks that was a food truck loooong before it was popular to be a food truck.

We ordered our tacos and on each taco were very thin "toothpick" radish sticks.

Ugh!!  What to do! 

I knew the cherubs hadn't ever tried radishes.

Why would they?

I didn't like them, so there is no need to buy them!

So together, we ate our tacos, along with the radish match sticks, that were beautifully cut, I might say!

What do you know, but it was delicious!

Like, seriously delicious!

The radish; a little crunch, a little peppery, but not hot, and just the right addition to the taco.

Or a salad.

I now buy a bunch of radishes when I'm at the store.

Not only are they beautiful,

with the leafy green tops and gorgeous red bulb with bright white flesh, when cut,

but they are understated in taste.

They add a great crunch, without detracting from the dish.

They add beautiful color, without begging for center stage.

Radish; they're just about perfect!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Quinoa



"Over rated."

That was my thought about quinoa.

I had tried it once, in a recipe, and I didn't like it.

I had no need to try it again.

Despite the fact that I had a decent supply of uncooked quinoa in my pantry.

"Understated."

"Under estimated."

That's my new thoughts about quinoa.

My boy cherub really likes quinoa.

The other day, I was making a dinner the girl cherub had asked for and I thought,

"I'll make pasta for those who want it and quinoa for my boy cherub."

But when I told everyone of the plan, they all wanted quinoa.

Except me.

But I wasn't willing to mess up to pots just to make me pasta.

So I made the quinoa and had every intention of just "dealing with it."

I placed all the ingredients on the counter for everyone to make their own quinoa bowl.

I was excited.

Not.

Quinoa.

Roasted tomatoes.

Roasted peppers and zucchini.

Smoked chicken.

Caramelized onions.

Wilted spinach.

Oh. My. Word!

I loved it!

As in legitimately loved it!

The boy cherub asked if we could have that meal at least once a week.

Sure -- that sounded good at the time.

But by week three, everyone would be tired of it, no doubt!

After cleaning up from dinner, I began to research quinoa recipes.

Holy Cow! 

It's endless!

Needless to say, I became inspired!

The next morning, I made a breakfast quinoa!

Truth be told -- I made a simple quinoa bowl for dinner the same night.

I was by myself, so it just made sense!

Quinoa is a grain and is naturally gluten free.  It also packs a punch of protein and versatility.

Quinoa takes on the flavor profile of ingredients that you place with it. 

Quinoa is a helper!

To cook quinoa:

1 cup quinoa
water
2 cups liquid:  water, broth, juice

With a fine mesh strainer, place 1 cup of quinoa in the strainer and run under cold water for 2 minutes.  This will remove the bitter flavor that can sometimes accompany quinoa.

In a medium sized sauce pan with a lid, place 2 cups of liquid and 1 cup of quinoa over medium heat.
I used 2 cups chicken stock for dinner.
I used 3/4 cup pineapple juice, 1/4 cup coconut milk, and 1 cup water for the breakfast quinoa.

Bring the mixture to a hard boil.  Place a lid on the pan and reduce heat to low.

Cook for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.  Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator to cool.

To make a dinner bowl, use the above suggestions in the post.

To make a breakfast bowl, top with a smidge of maple syrup, chopped bananas, and warmed peanut butter for a delicious breakfast with real staying power.




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes



By the blog posts, one might think it is a dry spell of cooking around our house.

That isn't really the case.

However, it is the case of "new" recipes.

Sometimes, those "tried and true" recipes,

where you don't even have to really think about it,

and no one at the table asks, "so, what is this?"

are sometimes just easier when everything is feeling like it's spinning 100 miles an hour!

Oh, we've been trying new things.

And I have the pictures to prove post about it . . .

but the "new" recipes are just a little less frequent these days!

Unless it was this dinner where I put together 2 new recipes for us to try!

Everything was a hit,

especially these roasted potatoes.

As you know, we adore roasted veggies.

In my opinion, they're easier to cook

and tastes simply delicious!

I paired these potatoes with roasted Brussel  Sprouts and a Greek lemon chicken.

It was a winner!

I used Yukon gold potatoes.  I counted 2 per person, knowing that we might have left-overs, but thinking the left-overs would be great for lunch the next day.

You can use any potato you prefer, you just might have to adjust your seasonings if you are using more potatoes.

One of the spices you will want to use, is this spice mix that I posted not too long ago.
http://karen-proverbs31.blogspot.com/2017/03/jens-spice-mix.html

Of course, you are free to ad-lib and make a substitution for this teaspoon of flavor.

Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes

8 Yukon gold potatoes, washed and quartered
1 TBSP oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. crushed dry oregano
1 tsp. Jen's spice mix
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp. minced garlic

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Lightly spray the foil with a non-stick cooking spray or very lightly rub with oil.

In a large bowl, place the quartered potatoes and all of the remaining ingredients.  Toss to coat well.

Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and done.

Serve warm.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Jen's Spice Mix

Yes!  The picture is sideways!  I can NOT get it right!

 

Waaaay back in 2015, we were moving from Dallas, Texas.

Some sweet friends of mine made a "going away" basket for me.

It was filled with darling things, that I still enjoy . . . including the cute basket!

One of the things in the moving basking was a very yummy and versatile spice mix.

One of the girls made it.

I've used it on so many things and I'm continually impressed with how it tastes.

Of course, I couldn't go without the recipe!

So when I asked, she willingly gave!

Which means I am willingly sharing with you too!

I don't know the name of the mix and I do know she found the recipe somewhere.

I've never seen a recipe just like this one . . . and I really dig this one!

I didn't know the name, so I named it after my friend.

I'm creative that way.

This mix does take several ingredients, but would be so good to share with friends.

You could give it a Christmas time with a little label, "'Tis the Season."

Get it?

 . . . Christmas season . . .and a season-ing.

Cute!

Anyways --

here's the recipe!

You'll want to use it on the Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes that I'll be posting about!

Jen's Spice Mix

1 TBSP dried oregano
2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 TBSP dried basil
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. crushed red pepper (you could omit this if you desire)
1 tsp. thyme
1 TBSP dehydrated onion
1 1/2 tsp. dehydrated garlic (NOT garlic powder or garlic salt . . .little dehydrated garlics)

Place everything in a bowl and mix well.

Place in a container and use as desired.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pickled Red Onions



How many times have you read that my family loves Mexican food?

Honestly, I am not underestimating the power of the love!

It is our go-to, quick-fix meal at home.

When we go out to eat, we usually choose something with a Mexican flair.

And when we say we're craving something, it usually involves chips and salsa.

What I have noticed at these newer, "fusion" taco restaurants, and the like, are the simple toppings.


Where we are eating, at least, there is less about smothered cheese and gooey sauces.

There's more focus on "less is more."

Simple flavors.

Simple ingredients.

Big impact of deliciousness!

Which then inspires me to duplicate it at home so that we don't have to digest the high price tag, too!

For a school field trip, my boy cherub had to eat at a local restaurant.

Not real sure what that had to do with learning Spanish, as everything is in English.

But whatever!

We did it.

After all, it was apart of his grade.

While dining, we had some wonderfully tasty menu items, including these onions.

I've been noticing that these onions are becoming ever popular for the "simple" tacos.

I am not complaining!

I asked our kind waitress what the onions were marinated in.

She told me.

I'm sure her chef would have been real proud of her!

Since then, I have made these 1,000 times.

OK -- maybe not a thousand.

But lots!

We really like them,

and on more than just Mexican stuff.

Although, you definitely won't go wrong when you put these on top of our taco!

Pickled Red Onions

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar if that's all you have)
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 medium sized red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

In a bowl, place the sliced red onion.  Pour the vinegar over the top of the onions, and stir in the sugar, salt, and pepper.

You will want the majority of the onions covered with the liquid.  Allow to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to 2 weeks.

Drain the onions before serving.