Monday, May 30, 2011
Happy Memorial Day Everyone! If you have overindulged on grilled meats, baked beans, sweet desserts, and other Memorial Day fare, I definitely recommend you try out this light bright pasta dish from The Kitchn. It is wonderfully fresh with healthy flavors: spinach, pesto, toasted almonds, pops of edamame and lemon juice. It can be made hours ahead and left at room temp, and it also is excellent as leftovers. A perfect lightened up dish for your next summer picnic.
Lemony Pesto Pasta with Spinach, Edamame, and Toasted Almonds
From The Kitchn
8 ounces spaghetti
1/2 cup pesto
8 ounces spinach
2 cups edamame (shelled and shucked)
Juice from 2 lemons (plus lemon wedges for serving, if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cups slivered almond, lightly toasted
Heat a large pot of boiling water to boiling and cook pasta until al dente. Remove from water and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl stir the pasta, pesto, and spinach until combined. Stir in the edamame and squirt the lemon all over the finished dish.
Reserve a few lemon juices for people to add more if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish pasta with toasted almonds and serve.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend grill outs and barbecues, I have to share with you these unique, juicy burgers I made after drooling over them on Strawberry Cake. These burgers reminded me of the best burger I've had. While visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Oahu they took us to an amazing burger joint Kua 'Ania. The burgers at Kua Ania can be ordered with sliced pineapples, fresh avocados, grilled onions, and of course melted cheese. Here is a Pineapple Burger from Kua 'Aina:
So now that you see how incredible these burgers look, you can imagine how eager I was to make Sheila's Hawaiian Burgers and try to relive the burger memories from Kua 'Aina! The best part of creating these burgers was having my hubby cut up a whole pineapple. It was a learning experience for both of us, and while our pineapple slices weren't the prettiest slices you'll ever see, they turned out really well for our first time!
These burgers were very, very good and took me right back to Oahu! The patties are made with diced onion and teriyaki, making them moist and flavorful. My favorite part was of course the grilled pineapples and onions. We also made a wasabi mayonnaise, a simplified version of a wasabi mayo Sheila recommends with her burgers. It was a fantastic addition and I definitely recommend you try it to add a little zing to your next burger.
Modified from Strawberry Cake
1 pound ground turkey
6 ounces pineapple rings (reserve the juice if possible)
1 1/2 tablespoon Teriyaki Marinade
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
salt and pepper to taste
Toasted buns, if desired
Provolone cheese, if desired
Grilled onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and wasabi mayonnaise (recipe below)
In a mixing bowl combine ground turkey, teriyaki sauce, garlic salt, onions, and 1/4 cup of reserved pineapple juice.
Use your fingers to combine throughly. Form into patties (I was able to make 5). Gently press pineapple rings into the tops of the burgers. Season with salt and pepper.
Place burgers pineapple side down on the grill. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side for medium doneness.
Grill onion slices and extra pineapple if desired.
For the Wasabi Mayo:
Mix 3 tablespoons wasabi paste with 3 tablespoons mayo.
Add provolone cheese to burgers and serve with wasabi mayo, tomato slices, lettuce, and any other condiments of your choice.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Fresh strawberries are in full swing here in Virginia and one morning I woke up with a huge yearning for strawberry pancakes. I found this recipe on Every Day with Rachael Ray and was super excited that it called for vanilla extract because I'm always looking for ways to use my homemade vanilla extract.
My husband, poor guy, does not like strawberries. I feel sorry for him, don't you? He's missing out, but because I love him and because I can't have him going hungry, I made the first batch without strawberries. He took one bite and announced that these were the best pancakes I've ever made. I've made quite a few pancakes, so this declaration was a big deal. I think it was because I tripled the amount of vanilla, making these pancakes actually taste like cake. Thus, I changed the name of the recipe to include vanilla because the vanilla definitely comes through in every bite.
These pancakes are extremely delicious. They are moist, fluffy, and juicy from the strawberries. If you're feeling really naughty, they'd be even better with a dollop of whipped cream. They're quick and perfect for a Memorial Weekend breakfast!
Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes
Modified from Every Day with Rachael Ray
Makes 8 large pancakes
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Maple syrup and butter for serving
In a medium bow whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small owl whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla. Preheat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir in the melted butter.
The batter should be thick and smooth. Fold in the strawberries.
Spoon the batter onto the griddle 1/4 cup at a time. Cook the pancakes until set and thoroughly bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Flip them with a spatula and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Serve with butter and maple syrup.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
My hubby is one smart and inventive man. I really really wanted to make Portobello Mushroom Fries that I spied on How Sweet It Is, but when I got ready to make them and looked in the pantry, I realized I was running very low on bread crumbs. The recipe calls for just about 2 cups of bread crumbs and I had no where near 2 cups. So I whined and complained to my husband and told him how much I was hoping to make the Mushroom Fries for dinner and do you know what he suggested? That I crunch up some seasoned croutons to make up for the breadcrumbs I was missing! It was genius I tell you, genius! Not only did it work great, but the croutons added a little extra flavor to the breading. I loved these mushrooms. Jessica posted an amazing looking smoky cheese sauce to accompany the fries, but do you think I had any of the ingredients on hand when I didn't even have breadcrumbs? Um yea, that's a big fat NO! I just drizzled a little extra balsamic on and still really loved these fries.
Portobello Mushroom Fries
From How Sweet It Is
4 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (I didn't have smoked, so used regular)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Add bread crumbs, flour, salt, pepper, and paprika to a bowl and mix. In a smaller, shallow bowl, lightly beat 2 egg whites.
Dip each mushroom slice in the egg white and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
Lay the covered slices on the wire rack and repeat until done. Spray each slice with cooking pray before placing in oven. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip and spray the other side with cooking spray. Bake for another 7 minutes.
While the mushrooms are cooking heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to simmer then reduce to low hear, cooking until syrupy and thick, about 5-7 minutes. Let sit at room temperature to thicken a bit more. Drizzle the balsamic over mushrooms.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Val So Cal. The instant I saw it I fell in love. But then I made it and had a bite and I was done for. These flavors are just perfect together - juicy, crisp cherry tomatoes, soft creamy mozzarella, rich avocado, fresh parsley and basil, lemon juice and olive oil. Serve it with a warm, toasted baguette and you'll be done for too!
Mozzarella, Tomato and Avocado Salad
From Val So Cal
1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 carton fresh mozzarella cheese pearls, drained
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/3 cup basil, julienned (I used my frozen basil I had on hand, it was perfection)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Baguette - optional
Saturday, May 21, 2011
I love when people share a new recipe with me and when Aunt Becky shares a recipe with me I know it's going to be good - she gave me the recipe for Pasta Florentine, which is an absolute favorite of mine. So when she told me she had a recipe for a Layered Greek Dip I needed to try, I was very excited. This dip is just bursting with yummy greek flavors: hummus, feta, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers. It makes a huge batch, perfect for parties or get togethers. Thanks Aunt Becky for another great recipe!
Layered Greek Dip
Makes about 2 1/2 cups (16 servings)
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups prepared original hummus
1 cup chopped cucumbers
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes - get rid of extra juice
1/2 cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
Pita chips or multi-grain tortilla chips
In a medium bowl beat cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined.
Spread the cream cheese mixture into a deep 9 inch pie pan or shallow serving dish. Evenly spread the hummus on top of the cream cheese.
Top the hummus with the remaining ingredients, in order. Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 24 hours. Serve with pita chips or multi-grain tortilla chips.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
If this dessert from How Sweet It Is doesn't knock your socks off, then I truly don't know what will. Let's see: brownies covered in cream cheese frosting and topped with fresh strawberries, bananas, toasted coconut, Snickers pieces, and then drizzled with caramel. Are you drooling yet?
I brought this amazing concoction to one of my school's end of the year meeting as a dish to pass because I have been wanting to make it for a while but needed an occasion to make it for. Also because I didn't want to die from sugar overload.
This dessert is extremely decadent. Make them for a large crowd, as they are just begging to be shared...and photographed for that matter. I really could not stop taking pictures of these beauties.
From How Sweet It Is
1 box brownie mix
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup coconut
Caramel sauce for drizzling
12 fun sized candy bars, chopped (Snickers is the best)
2 cups cream cheese frosting
Prepare brownie mix according to directions. Spread batter on a round pizza pan or on a long baking sheet with edges. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the brownie is baked through. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Toss frequently until browned.
Let the brownie cool completely (you can stick it in the refrigerator to speed things up). Spread cream cheese frosting on brownies in a thin layer.
Add toppings and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Make sure to serve within 24 hours or the bananas will start to brown.