Grapefruit Margaritas

April 26th, 2013

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This is so so delicious. Quite possibly the best marg I’ve made yet.   Cinco de Mayo is around the corner so feel free to work this into your fiesta-ing for cinco-el-drinko.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

3 oz. tequila
1 oz. triple sec
6 oz. grapefruit juice, best quality
6 oz. Polar grapefruit club soda
salt and sugar

Directions:

Wet the rim of each glass and press on to a 50/50 salt and sugar combo. Fill glasses with ice. Divide the above ingredients into two glasses. Stir. Serve. Enjoy!!

forever favorite:

 

 

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Ingredients:

1 tube of crescent roll dough (8 rolls)
2 oz medium brie
4 tbsp your favorite jam, I used triple berry
1 tbsp honey

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Open a tube of crescent roll dough and unroll them onto a baking pan, spacing evenly. (I’ve never bought this before and I guess the tube *pops* when you open it.  I did not see it coming and jumped like this bun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Is8cVgAE-0)

2.  Spread a half tablespoon of jam onto each triangle of dough.

3.  Slice the brie into pieces and place on the widest side of the dough. Roll dough from widest end to point. Bake in the oven for 11-13 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle honey over each roll.  Serve warm.

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Adapted from: The not so desparate chef wife

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In the midst of this slowwww (herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter)  slow pace of spring up here, I’ve been craving something both fresh and warm.

I saw a recipe for a warm butternut squash salad a few years ago that looked phenomenal.   But that gourd has dominated the winter soups, salads, and pastas and I’m officially squashed-out.  Instead, I thought sweet potato would be perfect.

Ingredients:

salad:
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1-inch coins
1 15-oz. can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 of a medium red onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper

dressing:
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder

(if you can find tahini paste, just use that, lemon juice, and garlic powder for the dressing)

Directions: 

Preheat oven 375 degrees

1.   For the dressing: place sesame seeds in food processor and grind until smooth. Add sesame oil, salt, and water. Process until fully blended. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in lemon juice and garlic powder and set aside.

2.  Coat baking sheet with olive oil. Place sweet potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Take out of the oven and carefully flip each piece and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes until both sides are slightly brown. Test with a fork. If it’s marshmallow-y and soft, it’s done. Add salt and pepper.

3. Cut up the sweet potato coins into 1 inch cubes. Combine the squash, chickpeas, and onion in a medium, microwave-safe mixing bowl.  Pop in the microwave for 30 seconds. Toss in the tahini dressing. Sprinkle parsley. Serve immediately.

 

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cookie

It’s amazing how persuasive food photography can be.  I stumbled upon this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen and after looking at maybe three pictures, my freewill had diminished.  Thereon, the rest of my day was about making a “those cookies” to “this face” connection.  I sped to the grocery store after work, grabbed all of the cookie ingredients with the same fervor as those overzealous assclowns shopping on Black Friday, ran in my house,  and turned on the oven with eight grocery bags looped around my arms and my coat and shoes still on.   All this over a photo

I guess that intense junkie reaction is part of the reason why I cook, why I do anything at all, half of the time.  It’s  “I want to eat that. Now.  Wtf is tahini? wtf is garam masala? Whatever I’ll find it and figure out how to make it”.  It’s impulsive, yes, but that’s how it gets done.

So yeah, the cookies are exactly as you imagine they might be.  Heaven.   I copied the recipe directly from Ambitious Kitchen because it is absolutely perfect the way she made it.

Here it is:

Ingredients
  • 1+1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)
 
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the softened butter and peanut butter together until thoroughly blended. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Next beat in the egg, honey, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes-1 hour, or place in freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Once ready to bake, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes (depends on size of your cookie) or until cookies begin to turn a tiny golden brown and crisp up around the edges. Do not overbake! Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes and sprinkle cookies generously with sea salt. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely or just inhale them like I do. Repeat with remaining dough.

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Happy Birthday Daddy-O

April 4th, 2013

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Today is my dad’s birthday!   Mark Boylan is smart, thoughtful guy with a dry wit and a sometimes goofy/oddball sense of humor. He loves biking, baseball, history, art, photography, and the comfort of a great meal or a nice beer.

It might be a missed opportunity to include a certain Beatles song about a certain age, but I’m sure he’d rather hear one of his fav songs instead.  Happy Birthday Dad I love you!

 

 

BLT Salad

April 1st, 2013

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A salad that tastes exactly like a BLT. I know, it seems like another one of those “salad traps” (that old chestnut..) where the salad pusher is straight-up lying to you. They say their salad is satisfying and comparable to whatever food it’s imitating, but it’s always a farce.  For the most part, the salad version of a meal you love is disappointing.  Taco salad is the worst offender- taking a glorious fiesta-in-your-mouth portable pocket and making it a cold, slimy chore to eat. Yes it has all the taco ingredients, but now it sucks.

This salad, however, provides the full BLT experience (the BLT experience. new band name. take it someone, it’s a freebie.) in that it really does taste like the sandwich. This will be your first bite reaction (at 0:20):

In this scenario, your brain is slapping your tastebuds in disbelief.

Ingredients:

3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1+1/2 cups seasoned croutons
10 slices thick-cut bacon
1/3 cup low-fat mayo
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic salt
black pepper

Directions:

1. Cook bacon however you prefer. Drain grease,  chop bacon into 1 inch crumbles, set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine mayo, milk, garlic salt, and pepper.  Whisk until blended.

3. Combine lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and croutons in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing, and serve immediately.

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It’s perfect to make for a dinner party or a large crowd. Just be wary- your friends may slap you in the face (revisit the video above) and accuse you of witchcraft.. I mean, you did just make a salad taste like the world’s most perfect sandwich.  Yep. Witch, fo sho.

 

adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blt-salad/

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Roquefort is easily one of my favorite cheeses.  It’s a medium, creamy blue that’s super soft and apparently makes you live longer.  Blue cheese as the holy grail?  Seems legit.

Roquefort and honey on Petits Toasts:

Smear blue cheese on these tiny toast crackers then drizzle honey over it.

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Have a nice weekend!

 

it’s springtime!

March 21st, 2013

springtime

Yesterday was the official first day of spring and I’m so pumped that we’re finally in the homestretch of this seemingly endless winter. 

This is my current attitude towards the snow outside:

annoyed horse

 

I think it’s time to spring forward with some fresh new food and draaank. Any Spring recipe ideas?

mango carrot smoothie

March 13th, 2013

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Ingredients:

1 cup ice
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup Bolthouse carrot juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

Directions:

Blend that shit.

—the end—

Oh and enjoy! It’s quite delicious. Lots of vitamins in this fella too. Including several hundred percents of Vitamin A and C.  Feel free to justify the hell out of whatever you eat for the rest of the day. Commence Homer Simpson bacon doughnut fiesta feast!

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Leave it to Friday Night Lights to be super dramatic about smoothies:

do you feel like you DESERVE A SMOOTHIE?

Irish Sherry Trifle

March 11th, 2013

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Sherry Trifle is a traditional Irish dessert that has become quite (in)famous in my family.  My dad had his first trifle in 1967 at a small hotel in Dingle, Ireland.  I guess he was smitten because since then, he has been on a mission to recreate that perfect trifle he had at 18.  A steadfast pursuit for the holy grail of booze-laden desserts.

The trifle combines creamy custard, liquor, berries, and ladyfingers to create a stunning, delicious dessert. Slightly different from it’s British cousin, it involves fresh berries and ladyfingers rather than jelly, berries, and spongecake.  They tend to get mixed up, but THIS is the one my Dad so fondly recalls:

Traditional Irish Sherry Trifle

Prep time: 6+ hours (don’t let this deter you- it’s mostly down time!)
Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

CUSTARD*:
3 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

TRIFLE:
1+1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water
20 ladyfingers
1/4 cup sherry

WHIPPED CREAM:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar

DISH:  Glass bowl, circular dish, or shallow vase

*You can absolutely use instant vanilla custard or pudding instead- that’s a route I most often take for something like this. Although if there is still room to sway you,  this custard is SO worth the extra effort. Seriously great stuff.

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Custard: Whisk yolks, milk, sugar, cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl and transfer to a large saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly but gently for 15 minutes or until mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate.  DO AHEAD. Can be made a day before , otherwise custard needs to chill for at least 2 hours.

2. Combine raspberries, sugar, and water in a small bowl.  Stir with a spoon. Coarsely mash half of the raspberries but leave the rest whole/in tact-  this makes a sauce similar to that of strawberry shortcake topping- whole pieces but with a bit of a sweet fruit syrup!  Stir. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more.

3.  Whipped Cream: In a large bowl, beat cream and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy- about 2-3 minutes.

4. Trifle time!  Add 2 layers of  5 ladyfingers-10 total, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sherry, spoon half of the raspberries, vanilla custard. Repeat! Let’s say it again: 10 ladyfingers, sherry, raspberries, vanilla custard.  Top with a generous heap of whipped cream.  FYI You will definitely have some vanilla custard and whipped cream left over- so don’t fret if you didn’t use it all. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours- gotta let the booze soak in.

5. Serve with a large spoon or serving wedge. For nerdy extra-credit, top with a candy clover

Enjoy!

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Lady fingers on ladyfingers. Prob not ladylike.

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