Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Foodie Penpal REVEAL!

My Foodie Penpal package for July came from Julie. 
There were so many cool things that were out of my comfort zone....and I loved it!

The Hot Curry Sauce from The Brooklyn Salsa Company was perfect on (of all things) Turkey Burgers! I tasted one that was grilled and it just needed a little kick. This sauce was perfect! I can't wait to see what else I can add it to.

The Champagne Jelly was very nice. It was light, a tad refreshing and just overall wonderful on a toasted biscuit with a hot cup of tea.

The Ginger Honey Crystals look great as a hot beverage. But since I got three packets, I might try some in lemonade.

I haven't opened the Mango Pepper Sauce but I am envisioning it going over a marinated, grilled chicken breast or filet of fish.

The Honey Peanut Butter is new to me...I usually get Justin's Hazelnut Chocolate goodness.

And the POM...mixed with Sprite or with Vodka (hee hee), it is always a good, healthy choice.

Does this look like fun? Who wouldn't want to get cool new foods in the mail to try? Well then, head on over to The Lean Green Bean and tell Lindsey..."I'm in! Make me a Foodie PenPal!"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is not only one of my favorite smells but it makes a favorite appetizer as well! Roasting whole cloves of garlic is very easy! I cut the tops off of the bunch and place the whole thing in a baking dish. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt...then into the oven! I roast my garlic at 350 for about 45 minutes. When it is golden brown, squeeze the cloves out and mash em on some bread for a great snack! You can chop them up to put in recipes too, like mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jenn's Cupcakes!

There is a small farmer's market across the street on Saturdays. Before the really good produce starts showing up, I like to check out the bakers (and honey makers). The tent with Jenn's Cupcakes caught my eye because of the awesome antique cake tower that displayed these awesome looking cupcakes. 
I HAD to get some :)

Mint Chocolate or Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
She has had some great reviews...and rightfully so! Here is the link to Yelp to see what people are saying: http://www.yelp.com/biz/jenns-cupcakes-and-confections-blacklick    Personally, I thought the oreos and the cupcakes were amazing! The cupcakes were moist, the icing wasn't too sweet and the flavors were very distinct. I will be back this Saturday and am hoping to try the Salted Caramel or a Lemon Blueberry!

Chocolate Covered Oreo!
If you are looking for a great dessert, stop by the Jefferson Park Farmer's Market or like her FB page at https://www.facebook.com/JennsCupcakesConfections

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Roasted Beets

I have seen food blogs with wonderful pictures of beets...roasted, cooked, in salads, etc. As I have said before, I am not sure if it has something to do with me working with the elderly but I can't stand beets. The pickled ones, the canned ones or any dish related to those versions. So, I am almost too determined to find a recipe that I can use fresh beets in to try. Let's get roasting!

I was going to wrap to fresh beets in foil to roast them but behold, no foil! I found a turkey roasting bag and figured that it was worth a try.

I washed the beets and chopped off the stems and roots. In the roasting bag I topped the beets with some olive oil and kosher salt. After tying off the bag, I cut the massive excess off with some scissors.

At 375 degrees for one hour and 30 minutes, these two little beets roasted slowly. When they were done I simply sliced them into the beautiful purple slices that you see below. As I was eating them, I trimmed off the skin (didn't want my hands turning purple). Not bad...not bad at all. I think that I will make a glaze or sauce next time with orange juice. Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Florida Avocado Tomato Salad

I was in the grocery store and found these GIANT avocados! Instead of Haas, the are Florida avocados. I know that there are a hundred different kinds of avocado but have no idea what makes them all different. These avocados were more yellow than green inside and weren't as creamy as the usual Haas. Regardless...they were good.

Now, I have no real recipe for this so hand with me. I took one tomato and diced it, two avocados and scooped them out and a half of a red onion and thinly sliced it. I added some salt, pepper, red pepper and garlic right before I smashed it all with a potato masher.

I could probably eat this as a salad, maybe even over some chopped lettuce or mixed in with rice. Today, I chose to eat it with sea salt pita chips. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Koko Teas :)

I have always been a coffee in the morning and iced tea in the afternoon kind of girl. During a recent trip to Creekside, I came across a new store....because they sell CUPCAKES! Koko Tea Salon is new to the area but not to Columbus. They are in the cutest old house, painted quaint and with such inviting smells! 

I chose the Chamomile Berry because I love both flavors and think that go together great! I followed the directions on the package and added just a splash of vanilla almond milk...making this a relaxing mug of comfort.

Like their Facebook Page and you will get updates on the new tea flavor they are offering - The Peaches and Cream Tea...with real chunks of peaches is going to be the next one that I try. I can imagine that it would be fabulous hot or iced!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yep - Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies!

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup bacon, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar.
Continue to mix on low and add eggs, vanilla, powder, soda, syrup and salt.
Continue to mix and add flour.
Fold in chocolate and bacon.
Spoon dough, about 2-3 ounces, onto baking sheets. The thinner the cookie, the less likely it will hold together so make 'em thick!
Bake for 8 minutes and add 2 minutes until edges are golden brown.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cucumber Salad

Anything from Grandpa Max's garden is good - this post showcases CUCUMBERS! Grandpa Max is know for his garden, mostly his abundance of tomatoes. Since the tomatoes haven't ripened yet, I will gladly make something awesome out of the cukes. If you are looking for a cool base to your salad besides the usual greens or lettuce, try this with cucumbers. 

Take a mandolin with the french fry blade...cucumber "pasta". Slice the cucumber lengthwise down the mandolin - careful with your fingers!

This is my new favorite salad dressing and it works great with cucumbers! Use the serving size (read the label!) of any dressing and toss it with the cucumbers. Then top you salad with the usual toppings: shredded carrots, tomatoes, onions, etc. Perfect!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dairy Free Banana "Ice Cream"

I needed a few bananas for the Frozen Yogurt Banana Pie but then had all of these left over :( What to do, what to do? Yep - another frozen treat! Slice up these bananas like the picture below and place the whole plate (or in a bag) into the freezer until solid.

Once they are frozen solid, pop them into the food processor (or blender) and being pulsing the processor until creamy. If you are using a blender, you may have to add a little soy milk, milk or yogurt just to get everything moving.

Ah! Creamy, frozen, banana goodness! You can fold in dark chocolate chips or nuts and top it with caramel sauce. This stuff tastes just like ice cream without the fat...awesome :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Frozen Banana Yogurt Pie

Now that I look at the pictures, I have to say that this pie tasted a lot better than it looks! I think maybe next time I will top it with cool whip for presentations sake. The 100 degree heat must have got to me...I just needed to eat something COLD!!

Here's the recipe:

I was lazy and used a pre-made chocolate crumb crust.
3 TBSP caramel topping
1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups of low fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip (you can use reduced fat if you'd like)
2 medium bananas, chopped

Mix the pudding mix, yogurt and milk in a bowl with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Fold in the whipped topping. Stir in the bananas.

Spread the caramel evenly over the crust.

Spread the banana mixture over the crust.

Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Watermelon Salad with a KICK!

I bought a giant watermelon so that the kids could have half and I could use the rest to make a new salad. The recipes that I searched mentioned that you could grill the watermelon for more flavor. I wasn't in that crazy of a mood...I was already adding cayenne pepper to a fruit. Baby steps.

I balled up half of the watermelon and added it to:

The juice of two oranges
The juice of one lemon
1 tsp of kosher salt
A pinch of cayenne pepper
8 mint leaves chopped

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grillin' Some Pig

Since our power was out due to the crazy storms last week, we have to grill and eat frozen foods before they went bad. So, the day before the 4th of July we ate hamburgers...leaving me with nothing to grill on the 4th. I found some pork chops at the grocery store and searched for some marinade recipes that would give a nice "picnic flavor". No, I can not define "picnic flavor" for you, but I knew what I was looking for :)

This is what I came up with:

2 cups of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup yellow prepared mustard
4 TBSP brown sugar
3 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper

I heated this together on the stove, cooled it and soaked the pork in it for 4 hours. Below are some pictures of our grillin' picnic outside...YUM!