Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Cosmopolitan

A Christmas Cosmopolitan

1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Blueberry Pomegranate Juice
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Sugar rim
Lemon Wedge
Candy Cane

Mix vodka, juice, triple sec and lime juice in glass w/ ice
Shake well
Rub lemon wedge on rim of glass
Dip rim in sugar
Strain liquid into martini glass
Garnish w/ lemon and candy cane

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Holiday Menu

I go a little outside the "traditional" every holiday for my family dinners. I guess i have just never been fond of the standard menu. I always love to put a little twist on everything. Not that there is anything wrong with the standard fare, but if you are looking to add a little fun to your holiday dinner, i have managed to put together my non-traditional, traditional Winter Solstice Santa Fest menu! Recipes below & Happy Holidays!

- Fresh Mozzerella and Tomato with Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Main Course:
- Teriyaki Standing Rib Beef Roast
- Roasted Garlic & Vegetables w/ carrots, turnips, parsnips, shallots, Sage, Rosemary and Bay Leaf
- Roasted Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus
- Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
- Grand Marnier Sweet Potatoes w/ marshmallows

- Chocolate Fondue w/ strawberries, rasberries and bananas
- Creme Filled Pirouettes - vanilla and chocolate
- Candy Cane Sticks in Lemon Halves
- Kona Blend Coffee w/ Baileys

- Cambria 2008  Pinot Noir - Caifornia
- Louis Jadot  2009 Beaujolais  Villages - France

{Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato with Balsamic Vinaigrette}

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

-Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. 
-Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly {Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine}
Taste and adjust the seasonings.

{Teriyaki Standing Rib Beef Roast Roasted Vegetables}

Standing Rib Beef Roast
  • Soy Vay's Veri Veri Teriyaki
  • 2 whole heads of Garlic 
  • 6-8 Carrots {halved}
  • 3 Turnips {quartered}
  • 6-8 Parsnips {halved}
  • 4-6 Whole Shallots
  • Sprig of Rosemary & Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
 RIB ROAST Directions:

For a perfect Standing Rib Roast recipe, this is an absolutely perfect way to cook it - from Simply I personally marinate it in the most amazing teriyaki sauce in the world - Soy Vay's Veri Veri Teriyaki. So if you are inclined to do the same, and i highly suggest you do, just follow Simply Recipe's directions in addition to the teriyaki.
    {Cook time: 45 mins to an hour}
-Heat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut carrots and parsnips in halves
-Cut turnips into quarters
- Peel outer layers of garlic, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch off the top of the cloves.
- Cut very top portion of shallot, leaving shell intact. 
-Combine vegetables into baking pan or casserole dish
-Add sprigs of herbs
- Drizzle olive oil all over vegetables, coating well
- Sprinkle rock salt, freshly ground pepper
- Stir once or twice while roasting

Serve together on large serving tray.

{Roasted Prosciutto & Asparagus}

1 bunch fresh asparagus {trimmed}
1/2 pound proscuitto {sliced}
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash of rock salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Wrap slices around 2-3 asparagus spears
-Drizzle olive oil on tips and ends of asparagus
- Sprinkle salt
- Roast in oven 15-20 minutes or until tender

{Wasabi Mashed Potatoes}
6-8 Red Potatoes {quartered}
4-6 Tablespoons of butter
1-2 Tablespoons of Wasabi Paste
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
-Rinse Potatoes, cut into quarters
-Boil potatoes in large stock pot until tender
- Drain and return to pot
- Add butter, salt & sour cream
- Mash with hand mixer, leaving lumpy
- Add Wasabi to taste, stir
{Grand Marnier Sweet Potatoes w/ Marshmallows}
5-6 Yams {peeled and quartered}
4-6 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
30-35 large marshmallows
1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Rinse yams, peel and cut 
- Boil in large stock pot until tender
- Drain and return to pot
- Add butter, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, vanilla & Grand Marnier
- Stir or mash. Add sugar or salt to taste if needed
- Transfer to oven safe casserole dish
- Top with marshmallows & sprinkle with cinnamon
- Bake 15 minutes or until marshmallows are brown
{Chocolate Fondue w/ Strawberries, Raspberries, Bananas}
This is really, quite an easy dessert and quite a beautiful table setting. Granted, you will need a fondue pot and fondue chocolate {which are both widely available at any major grocery store}. I did this for my family last year and they have now requested it to be an annual tradition. It was heavenly! 
Fondue Pot
Chocolate Fondue
Fresh strawberries
Fresh raspberries
Fresh Bananas
Dessert Pastries such as Cream-filled Pirouettes
Whipped Cream {optional}
Warm fondue in fondue pot {following fondue pot directions}
Place fruit pieces on skewers, dip and devour!
Serve with your favorite coffee and don't forget to add a little Baileys!
The kids might need assistance, but this is a winner for any child!
{Candy Canes in Lemon Halves}
And last but not least, this is one of my favorite childhood memories. All you need are candy canes and lemons. Cut lemons in half, stick candy cane in center and enjoy instant minty lemony happiness. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sauteed & Breaded LEMON garlic CHICKEN - A Recipe!

If there is ever a meal i will cook till i die, it is this. A simple, quick, inexpensive & DELICIOUS go to meal. I have never had a guest over who didn't absolutely LOVE this chicken. Serve it with your favorite sides. Eat the leftovers. Eat it all in one sitting. Whatever. I promise you though, once you make it, you will make it every week, forever. This recipe is for 4 people. 
{Prep time: 5 minutes}
{Cook time: 10-15 minutes}

8-12 Boneless, skinless Chicken tenderloins 
2 eggs
1 cup of Italian Bread Crumbs {use half Panko Crumbs for extra crunch and extra YUM}
2 teaspoons of garlic {minced}
2 tablespoons of olive oil
lemon juice 
mushrooms {optional}
applesauce {optional}
salt {optional}

1. Rinse chicken and set aside
2. Heat olive oil and garlic on medium-high heat in frying pan {preferably cast iron or nonstick}
3.Coat chicken strips (one by one) in egg and then breadcrumbs with a generous coating.
4. Place in pre-heated oil and let saute for a few minutes.
5. Using fork or tongs, turn over to fry other side. 
6. Squirt lemon juice generously all over the cooked chicken side and  into pan to create more juice. 
NOTE: I prefer pure lemon juice over actual lemons because the seeds can get into the pan and are not pleasant to bite into if a few get away. 
7. Keep an eye on the chicken at all times and add oil or lemon to keep pan well coated and chicken juicy.
8. turn chicken again and squirt with more lemon.
9.The chicken strips should be browned to perfection. You may turn them a few times to get maximum browning and maximum lemon squirting!
10. Add salt if desired. I am not much of a salt person, but i can tell you, this is full of flavor from the garlic, breadcrumbs and lemon. Salt is not needed!
OPTIONAL SAUTEED MUSHROOMS - I love sauteed mushrooms. Once chicken is done, set aside and keep the bread/drippings in pan, add a teaspoon of oil and the sliced mushrooms and cook for few minutes till soft and browned. This combination of breaded chicken drippings and mushrooms adds a wonderful flavor to a topping you put directly on the chicken tenders upon serving. I also LOVE dipping my chicken in applesauce. If you don't like mushrooms or applesauce, continue to serving with your favorite side items.
My favorite sides are long grain and wild rice and steamed ARTICHOKES. Never had an artichoke? Click on my ARTICHOKE link to see how to cook and eat an artichoke. They are truly, the most wonderful food on the planet. 

The STEAMED ARTICHOKE - A Recipe Tutorial!

If you are an artichoke fan like myself, then you are fully aware of the beauty and awesomeness of the artichoke. If i could only have one food to eat forever, it would be this one. For those who have never had one and are curious as to how exactly to cook and eat it, i am here to show you. The artichoke is about the experience. You eat the leaves, one by one, on a mission to the heart. The glorious wonderful heart. In my family, the only time you ever give someone a bite of your artichoke heart, is if you really really LOVE them. It means a lot to give away a piece of your artichoke heart. So make sure you think this through.

Before i explain how to cook an artichoke, first you must know how to pick one.  Their season is Spring & Summer with another peak in mid Autumn. The best places for them are Wholefoods and other high quality grocers. I go to the store ALL the time and find totally worthless artichokes. Maybe people buy them for their hearts only? But if the leaves are worthless, then the heart is typically not that great. Find large, FIRM, HEAVY artichokes with bright green or purple tinged leaves and not much browning. Brown or white streaks indicate frost bite. They are edible, but look for ones with the least browning. The leaves should be thick and squeaky! Yes squeaky. If they are thin and look brittle, don't bother.
This is the best one i could find for the month of November. As you can see, it has a little bit of brown streaks, but to me, this is an average artichoke, worthy of eating. As long as it has weight and thick squeaky leaves, i am happy.
Cook time: 45 minutes on average

Artichokes (1 per person)
Mrs Dash
Sea Salt
Stock Pot
Steamer basket
You will need one of these things -  a steamer basket {preferably one in better shape than my own}

Rinse artichokes
Cut 3/4 of stem off and discard
Cut the very top off and discard trimmings. This is optional really, but allows for faster cooking.
Boil water. Water level should be just above steamer basket. Place artichokes in pot and cover. Keep an eye on water levels. Sometimes, if cooking too hot, the water can evaporate and burn, leaving a terrible taste to your chokes. Always keep water in pot. 
I served my artichoke as a vegetable with LEMON Breaded Sauteed Garlic CHICKEN and long grain & wild rice.
The cooked leaf. 
To eat the leaves, you scrape the leaf with your teeth, eating its "meat" basically. While eating, always have a discard bowl for the leaves. Above, is the amount of leaf you physically eat. Discard the rest.

BUTTER DIP: I personally dip my artichoke in a lemon butter sauce. Some people dip them in a variety of sauces, but lemon butter is most common and MOST delicious! I like to melt half a stick of butter, squirt lemon juice in, add rock salt and my favorite - Mrs Dash for a combination of the perfect spice. Add seasoning to taste.

NOTE: The inner leaves get softer and smaller as you make your way to the center. I find eating a handful at a time is fun and scrumptious. Just be careful because the tips are sharp!

Once you are done eating your way to the magical center of the artichoke, you will find yourself in this bizarre hairy place. Yes, hairy. The HEART, is protected by hairs as this amazing food is actually a FLOWER. A wonderful beautiful flower. 
Using a fork, scrape away the fuzzyness and discard. 
Cut into sections, dip into butter and devour for a mind boggling yummy experience. If anyone tries to eat one of your heart pieces, you may stab them with your fork, or if you really really love them, you may share. 
{But that requires a LOT of LOVE.}