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Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Cranberries & Pistachios

INGREDIENTS
  • 1- 500 g bag fresh brussel sprouts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Toss the brussel sprouts in olive oil and roast for 30-35 minutes
  • Combine the brussel sprouts with the pistachios and dried cranberries.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or room temperature
  • ENJOY!

Recipe adapted from http://www.fridaycakenight.com

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Jamaican Jerk and Citrus Pineapple Roasted Chicken

Jamaican me hungry! We stumbled upon this recipe from one of our favorite foodie bloggers and recreated it for lunch one day. If you’re looking to spice up the dinner table, this one’s for you!

15 minute prep + 30 minute cook time = 45 mins total. Makes 4-6 servings.prep time:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (or regular molasses)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut rum (optional)
  • 2 habanero chilies, seeded
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (or 1/2 teaspoon cardamon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons all-spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 3-4 pounds chicken breast, thighs or legs (I used mostly breasts with a few thighs + legs interspersed)
  • half a small pineapple, cored and sliced thin
  • 1/2 of a blood orange, sliced thin with the peel on
  • 1/2 of a grapefruit, sliced thin with the peel on
  • 1/2 of a cara cara orange, sliced thin with the peel on
  • 1 lime, sliced thin with the peel on

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To a blender, add the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, coconut rum (if using), habanero chilies, ginger, garlic, green onions, cilantro, thyme, all-spice, cinnamon salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add in more olive oil if the sauce seems a little too thick.

Now grab the oranges, grapefruit and limes and very thinly slice them. Lay the slices along with the pineapple slices on the prepared baking sheet. Place the chicken pieces over the citrus. Brush each chicken piece with the sauce.

Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked throughout. I brushed my chicken with the remaining sauce half way through roasting. Serve the chicken with the roasted citrus slices.

[Recipe from Half Baked Harvest]

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Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ummmmm… HELLO! Sweet Potatoes stuffed with pulled pork? Say no more, we’re into it.
We made these bad boys for a lunch event last week, but the great news is they are perfect to make at home for your friends and family!!

 

15 minute prep times, 1 hour cook time, & recipe serves 4 peeps

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups Apple and Onion Pulled Pork
  • 1/2 cup apple, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup stock (I used beef but you can use chicken or vegetables)
  • 1/2 shredded cheese of your choice (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and bake them for about 45 minutes. Turn over potatoes halfway through baking. If you prefer to use the microwave, cook them on high for 6-8 minutes. Turn over potatoes halfway through cooking.
  3. Let them cool enough to be able to handle them. Cut them lengthwise and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch thick skin.
  4. In a bowl, combine flesh, pulled pork, apple and stock. Mix well to combine.
  5. Fill sweet potatoes with pulled pork mixture and top with shredded cheese.
  6. Arrange potato skins on a lined baking sheet or baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and serve.
  7. ENJOY!!!
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Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

For all our veggie lovers out there, this ones for you! These quinoa stuffed peppers are loaded with protein and deliciousness AKA the PERFECT combo!

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded
    Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Spoon the filling in each bell pepper & place on baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately and ENJOY!

[Recipe from damndelicious.net!]

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Roast Carrot, Ginger & Miso Dip

We love to DIP! Make this roast carrot, ginger and miso dip for a party or if you are just hanging at home. Either way it’s a good idea. We used tortilla chips and veggies to dip in our dip. And then used leftovers as a sandwich spread!

[Recipe makes 12 oz.]

Ingredients 

  • 10 1/2 oz.  carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 oz grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • sesame seeds, to garnish

 

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350* F
  • Put the carrots in a roasting pan and roast in the preheated over for 20-25 minutes until softened. Set aside until cool.
  • Blitz the cooled carrots in a food processor or blender together with the ginger, miso and tahini.
  • Serve in bowl with sesame seeds sprinkled on top
  • ENJOY!

[Recipe from Mili Taylor’s Party-Perfect Bites]

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Two Great Light Summer Recipes and One Not So Light Dessert!

As we approach the middle of summer, I want to share with you 2 delicious light summer recipes and 1 pretty amazing not so light dessert.

Summer Squash Tacos with Avocado Chimichurri

Summery tacos stuffed with zucchini, yellow squash, corn, tomatoes and black-eyed peas. Top with a dollop of avocado chimichurri sauce for a sublime summer meal. This recipe happens to be vegan and gluten free, too. You could add any meat of your choice, but as a meat eater, I find these Tacos very satisfying just the way they are.

Ingredients

  • Tacos
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ear of corn, husked and kernels sliced off from the cob
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 small zucchinis, ribboned or chopped
  • 1 small yellow squash, ribboned or chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • big handful cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas or black beans (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
  • about 6 small corn tortillas
  • 3 radishes, sliced super thin using a mandoline, vegetable peeler or knife
  • Avocado Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 cup parsley, lightly packed (mostly leaves, some small stems are ok)
  • small handful cilantro
  • 1 avocado, pitted, sliced into chunks and skin removed
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small lime, juiced or 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. First, make the chimichurri sauce. In a food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, avocado, garlic and lime juice or vinegar. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container once or twice. With the machine running, slowly stream in the olive oil and water. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and process again to blend well. Use a spatula to transfer the sauce to a small bowl and cover it.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the red onion and corn for about 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the jalapeño, zucchini, yellow squash and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or longer, stirring often, until the squash has lost a substantial amount of water. Reduce the heat to low and add the cherry tomatoes and black-eyed peas, stirring until the mixture is heated through. Remove the taco filling from heat and set aside.
  3. In a small pan over medium heat, heat each tortilla on both sides for a few seconds until warmed. Or, stack the tortillas on a plate, cover and microwave for a few seconds, until warmed through. Spoon taco filling into the middle of each tortilla. Top with ample chimichurri sauce (don’t skimp) and sliced radish. Serve immediately

Author: Cookie and Kate

 

My 2nd recipe is one of my favorite cold side dishes. Cold Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Chicken. Since it is served with Chicken  it could be served as a side dish or an entree lunch salad. You could serve it without the protein to make it a vegetarian meal.

Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Chicken

Serves 4 generously, 6 moderately

Dipping sauce
6 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
6 tablespoons brown sugar
12 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
Small Thai or Serrano chiles, thinly sliced, to taste

Peanut dressing
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
9 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 one-and-a-half inch chunk ginger, peeled and sliced
6 tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Pinch of cayenne

Chicken and noodle salad
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
8 ounces dried rice vermicelli or other rice noodles
2 small cucumbers, cut in 1/4-inch half moons
2 medium carrots, cut in thin julienne
Additional vegetables, as suggested above
Small handful basil or mint or cilantro sprigs, or your favorite of the three (torn or roughly chopped)
4 or more scallions, slivered
1/4 cup crushed or chopped roasted peanuts
Lime wedges (to serve)

Make the dipping sauce: Whisk ingredients in a small serving bowl, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Leave to ripen for 15 minutes. Refrigerate any extra and use within a few days.

Make the peanut dressing: In a blender or small food processor, puree all ingredients to a smooth sauce, about the thickness of heavy cream. Pour into a serving bowl.

Marinate the chicken: Stir together 1/2 the dipping sauce and 1/3 the peanut dressing (you can eyeball this) in the bottom of a low-sided bowl or dish. Add the chicken to the mixture and toss to coat. Let marinate at least 15 minutes.

Cook the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then turn off the heat. Add the rice vermicelli and soak for 7 to 8 minutes. (Package directions may vary; check for doneness by tasting.) Drain when noodles are al dente, and cool under running water. Fluff and leave in strainer to drain well.

Cook the chicken: Grill the chicken on an outdoor grill, a stove-top grill pan, or run under the broiler until nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes a side. Let cool slightly, then chop roughly into 3/4-inch pieces.

To serve: At this point, you can place everything on a large serving platter, with piles or small bowls for noodles, vegetables, chicken, the dressing and marinade and toppings (peanuts, herbs) and let your family and friends put it together in their own bowls as they wish. Or, you can assemble it for everyone as suggested:

Toss vegetables with 1 tablespoon dipping sauce in a small bowl. Divide the cooked noodles among 4 to 6 bowls. Top each bowl equally with vegetable mixture and chopped chicken. Toss each bowl with 2 teaspoons of each the dipping sauce and dressing, or more to taste (we wanted more). Add the herbs, peanuts and scallions to each bowl and serve with additional dressing and dipping sauce on the side.

Adapted from David Tanis by Smitten Kitchen

Last but not least is this tangy, moist cake made with thawed Lemonade. It gives the cake so much flavor, you will WOW your guests with this cake.

Lemonade Layer Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • Cooking spray
  • Frosting:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons thawed lemonade concentrate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare cake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.
  3. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
  4. To prepare frosting, place 2 tablespoons butter and the next 4 ingredients (2 tablespoons butter through cream cheese) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat). Chill 1 hour.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.
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Entertain your friends with a fantastic Brunch!

Brunch is my very favorite way of entertaining my friends and family. It has such flexibility. You can be as simple as to make fresh fruit and eggs or step it up and serve pastries or seafood. Since brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, your ideas are endless. I am going to give you recipes for 2 of my very favorite brunch items. Explore, test, prepare and then entertain your guests with a beautiful array of the best foods brunch has to offer.

Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

cornmeal ricotta pancakes with strawberry rhubarb compote

naked pancakes! quick, put some compote on it!
Pancakes adapted from MJ’s Kitchen

This recipe makes more compote than you’ll have pancakes.

This is okay, in my book, because you can always use the

remaining compote as spread in toasted bread –

never a bad thing. Or you can top shortcake with it, put a

dollop of whipped cream, and voila – perfect summer

dessert ready in minutes! I used buttermilk instead of milk

and doubled the amount of lemon zest,  otherwise,

I stayed true to the recipe as written.

Yield:
The compote makes about 2 cups
The batter makes about 8 to 10 pancakes

For the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces strawberries ( about 1 cup), hulled and quartered
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in half
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoo baking soda
Zest from 1 lemon
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup  fresh ricotta

Make the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
1. In a nonreactive pot set over medium heat, combine

the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and vanilla. Bring

everything to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and simmer

until the rhubarb is soft, and is about to fall apart, about

15 minutes.

Remove the compote from heat and allow it to cool to room

temperature.

Refrigerate until needed. Can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Make the Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes:

1. When ready to make the pancakes, remove the Strawberry

Rhubarb Compote from the refrigerator and set it aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, gently warm the

buttermilk. It will try to separate but just stir it a few times,

especially at the end, it’ll be fine. Do not let it come to a boil –

just warm it until you see tiny bubbles at the surface.

Remove the pot from heat and slowly whisk in the cornmeal so

that it doesn’t clump. Add the pieces of the butter and set it

on top of the cornmeal-buttermilk mixture to melt. Let it rest

until ready to add to the batter.
2. Start to warm a pan or a pancake griddle on medium-

low heat. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F; position the rack

in the middle.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder,

salt, baking soda, and the lemon zest. Whisk together for

1 minute to ensure that the ingredients are well combined.

In another bowl, combine the eggs and the ricotta until

well-mixed. Add the cornmeal-buttermilk mixture and the

eggs-ricotta mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients

and either whisk or stir gently until the batter is just combined.

Do not over-stir. The batter will look thick and slightly lumpy –

it will give you the fluffiest pancakes imaginable.
4. Lightly brush the griddle with the melted butter. Using a

1/4-cup scoop, gently place the batter onto the griddle.

Cook until the bubbles on the surface of the pancakes

will start to pop and not close up, about 3 minutes.

Flip the pancakes and cook until the bottom is golden

brown and the top of the pancake is firm to the touch,

about 3 minutes longer.
5. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a shallow baking sheet

and keep in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes.

Serve the pancakes with the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote,

or warm maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice.

The Best Huevos Ranchero Recipe Ever!

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Black Beans

First, let me get my “semi-homemade” moment out of the way and I start by opening a can of beans, but by “beans” I mean Goya’s black bean soup, and no, I don’t feel bad about it. This is my favorite-est shortcut–these guys are so perfect right out of the can–with just the right amount of liquid–I see no reason to trouble myself with cooking and seasoning my own. Or at least not when I have a quick meal in mind.

Salsa Fresca

Next I make a quick salsa fresca with diced tomatoes, some red onion, a minced jalapeno, salt and a good squeeze or two of lime juice. If you’re the cilantro type, you can mix that in as well. With tomatoes in high season right now, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

Corn Tortilla

First you heat a 6-inch corn tortilla in an oiled pan.

When it is golden brown underneath, flip it over. (Don’t worry, you’ll brown it a bit more in a moment.)

Shredded Cheese

Sprinkle some shredded cheddar over the browned side and let it melt a bit. I like to use about half an ounce per tortilla.

The Egg

Break a single egg over the melting cheese.

Don’t worry if it rolls over the edges, that’s all part of the tasty mess of it. Season it with salt and pepper.

When the white is about halfway set (i.e., the edges and some of the egg on the tortilla), flip the whole thing over. For me, this is when the mess always strikes as the yolk is just itching to run off the spatula as I flip it.

Cook it for a few minutes on the other side, flip it back onto a plate and you’re done. All there is left to do is decorate.

Add the good stuff

If you’re Alex, that means a tidy arrangement of salsa fresca, beans, cilantro when we have it, salsa from a jar, extra and several shakes of Tabasco. For me, this means a scattered mess of salsa fresca, beans and sour cream, everything muddling together in a glorious tangle of things that are delicious.

Basic recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Bon Appetit!
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Why We Do What We Do

“IF I’VE BEEN ASKED ONCE, I’ve been asked a thousand times, ‘Why do you love catering so much? Is it the money? Is it the notoriety? Or are you just a workaholic?’ I say ‘None of the above.’ I cater because I love people. I love to see people smile. I love knowing that I made someone’s hopes and dreams come true, even for just one evening.

Most people think that we sell wonderful food. We don’t sell food, we sell peace of mind. We sell met expectations. We sell special moments shared between friends and loved ones. The food just ties it all together.” – Stan Vail, President & Co-Owner

Follow along to get a glimpse of what we do… FOOD AND PARTIES!!