Sunday, June 30, 2013

Grilled Avocado

This recipe is from Meatless Monday.

Other avocado recipes: Baked Avocado and Avocado with Black Pepper, Olive Oil, Soy Sauce, and Lemon Juice.

-1 avocados, halved
-1/2 tablespoon lime juice
-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
-salt, to taste
-low-fat sour cream, for garnish
Coat avocado halves in olive oil and lime juice.
Grill for 5-8 minutes or until grill marks form.
I grilled mine on low heat for about 8 minutes.

Season with salt, top with salsa and sour cream.

Almost as good a guacamole, this could be eaten with tortilla chips or with a spoon. The grill makes the avocado warm and gooey. This is a delicious and easy way to switch up summer grilling with an easy side dish, appetizer or vegetarian meal. This recipe was also super easy, there's nothing I would change about it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tomato Cucumber Salad

My mom called this recipe Angie's salad, because it was something that my grandma always made when there were fresh vegetables. My grandma never measured anything when she cooked, she always just knew how much looked right and it turned out great every time. My mom and I used what looked good, and I tried to keep track of how much of each ingredient we used. 

-1/2 cucumber
-2 tomatoes
-1 Tbsp. fresh basil (or more to taste if you like)
-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
-salt and pepper.

Peel the cucumber and slice it thin.
Cut the tomato into big chunks, and make sure you get all
the juice from the tomatoes in the salad.
Add the balsamic and olive oil.
Chop the basil into pretty big slices.
Mix it all together.
Spoon some on top of some of some Italian bread.
You can eat this on a piece of bread, or just eat it with a fork if you want. The juice from the tomato mixes with the olive oil and balsamic to make a kind of sauce that is really good to dip bread it as well. This was a really good summer appetizer since it used fresh vegetables and basil.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Frito Pie

When Becky and I were in college one of the organizations we were in would host a walking taco night every semester as a mixer to help introduce new members to the current members. If you're unfamiliar with a walking taco, it's a snack size bag of fritos with taco toppings mixed into it, then you eat it with a fork. This is a walking taco in a bowl, we ate it as an appetizer, but this would also be perfect for a snack.


Taco Toppings (you can use whatever you like, these are the toppings we used)
-Sour Cream
-Diced Tomatoes
-Sliced Jalapenos
-Nacho Cheese 
The base of the Frito Pie is the fritos, then add the chili, topped with the nacho cheese  and all other toppings.
Eat with a fork.

Sometimes you just need comfort food and frito pie is a nice option. I really enjoy mac and cheese and pizza, but sometimes you want comfort food and you want it right now. Frito pie takes less than five minutes (or however long it takes to heat up your chili, mine took about four minutes). Delicious and simple. This is also perfect because you make your own individual dish so you can have as much or as little as you want.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chipotle Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

I really do like everything spicy, and mac and cheese is a classic, so this was a good combination for me. It turned out to be just the right amount of heat, it had a little bit of kick but it wasn't overpowering to the mac and cheese taste.

Recipe from OMFG So Good.

-16 oz elbow pasta
-3 tbsp unsalted butter
-3 tbsp flour
-2 chipotle peppers (seeds removed, super finely chopped)
-2 tsp adobo sauce (from the can of peppers)
-1 cup whole milk
-1 cup heavy cream
-2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese
-1 cup panko bread crumbs
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)

Melt butter and mix in flour.
Wisk in the peppers and the sauce.
Stir in milk and cream and heat for 10 minutes.
Melt in the shredded gouda.
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni. Combine the sauce and macaroni.

Mix the panko with the spices and some melted butter.

Pour the macaroni into ramekins or a casserole dish.
Spoon some panko on the macaroni.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
It should get crispy and a little brown on top.

The gouda didn't have too strong of a taste, and neither did the peppers, but both tasted good and went together well. This was a little spicy, but neither of us found it overwhelmingly spicy. It was a nice variation on traditional mac and cheese.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grilled Spicy Pepper Poppers

This recipe for Grilling Wednesday is an easy appetizer you can make quickly and easily on your grill.

When we originally tried to make this recipe, we wanted to make a vegetarian version of armadillo eggs, which are bacon wrapped pepper stuffed with cheese, but unfortunately I couldn't find vegetarian bacon. So we just made the cheese stuffed peppers, which turned out to be pretty good on their own.

-short fat peppers (we used cubanos and jalapenos)
-white cheddar cheese

I tried to get peppers that were thick enough so they could be stuffed.
Cut and clean out the peppers.
We soaked them in water to help get some of the seeds out.
First grill the peppers for a minute or two, so they can cook the whole
way without the cheese getting too runny.

Cut the cheese into small chunks and put a few in each pepper.
Grill for a few more minutes.
Top with some paprika.
These weren't as spicy as I thought they were be, which was good for an appetizer. They were pretty simple to make, so this would be something good to snack on while you grill the rest of your dinner.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Watermelon Feta Salad

This recipe comes from the Novice Chef.

-2 pounds seedless Watermelon, sliced into rounds
-1 cup crumbled feta
-2 large shallots, sliced
-Salt and Pepper, to taste
-Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling
Cut your piece of watermelon.
I cut a slab and then cut the pieces using a biscuit cutter.
Top with feta cheese and sliced shallots.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

I know this isn't much of a recipe, but it's so good! The saltiness of the feta went perfectly with the sweetness of the watermelon, the shallots were a perfect addition they added a nice layer of flavor of savory with the saltiness and sweetness. This is a nice way to dress up a traditional summer favorite.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Creamy Cheddar Asparagus

Asparagus is a good vegetable for anytime of the year, and there are a lot of options to flavor it, and this one turned out to be a pretty good flavor combination, I'll be using asparagus and white cheddar again.

I got this recipe from Seasons and Suppers.

I did half of the original recipe, it was a good side dish for 2 people.

-1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed of woody ends (about 20 spears)
-1 Tbsp. butter
-3 Tbsp. flour
-1/2 cup milk
-1 egg yolk
-3/4 cups grated white cheddar
-salt and pepper

Cut the ends off the asparagus.
Melt the butter, then add the flour.
Take off the heat, mix in the milk, add egg yolk, mustard,
and salt. Heat again for 2-3 minutes.
I poured the sauce over the asparagus then
added the cheese on top, but next time I make this I would
melt the cheese in the sauce then pour over the asparagus
to make a thicker sauce so it wouldn't run so much.

Bake at 400 for 8 minutes, then broil for 1 minute.

This didn't look as good as I had hoped, but I think if next time I melt the cheese and the sauce together it will hold together more and look better. The taste combination was good, and asparagus goes well with most main dishes.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Gouda, Caramelized Shallots and Tomatoes

I've mentioned before that J and I are back in our summer routine, which means that we make a lot of breakfast recipes together. This one was good because it didn't take too much work, you can caramelize the shallots the day before and then just heat them up to make the recipe go even faster. All you'll need to do is scramble some eggs and mix-in all of the ingredients while you brew yourself a cup of coffee.

-4 eggs,
-2-3 shallots, caramelized
-1/2 a tomato diced
-1/2 cup of smoked gouda, grated
-Oil, for the skillet
--Salt and Pepper, to taste

Mix the cheese with the eggs.
Add salt and pepper if desired.
Add the caramelized shallots and tomatoes. 

Cook over medium heat until the eggs are cooked through and then serve.

This recipe was very tasty and J really liked it. I'm glad I used shallots because they have a more subtle flavor than onions, the tomatoes added a nice pop of color. You may not need to add too much extra seasoning because the gouda and the shallots both have a decent amount of seasoning.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bloody Berry

This was a unique drink because it wasn't just mixing different liquids together, it actually used fresh strawberries in the drink. This reminded me a lot of a Strawberry Julius, it had the same flavor and consistency. This recipe was actually really tasty.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times

-4 cups hulled, chopped strawberries
-¼ cup lime juice
-1 cup sugar
-½ cup peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger
-hot sauce
-vodka if you want to make it an alcoholic drink

Cut and hull the strawberries. It took us almost 2 containers of
strawberries to get enough. 
Blend the strawberries with the lime juice.
Meanwhile, heat the sugar, water, ginger, and hot sauce until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir the 2 mixtures together.

This was the hard part for us, strain the liquid to get all the seeds out. Ours was pretty thick it took a really long time to get it all strained through a fine mesh strainer.

Pour the mixture over ice.

Stir in some vodka.
This drink was really good on its own, and also good with the vodka, and I couldn't taste the alcohol in it all. I'm not sure I would make it again though just because it was really time consuming, but Alecia's mom said that the strained we were using was too fine, you want a strainer that can trap the strawberry seeds, while letting liquid through. Since we were using a super fine mesh strainer we had a lot of trouble.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cheddar, Horseradish and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a perfect side dish for any meal, I love how versatile the mix-ins are. This recipe comes from Rachael Ray and she has a list of ten mashed potato recipe that would be perfect with any meal.

We served this with our Maple Balsamic Burger with White Cheddar

-Half a small bag of red potatoes
-1/4 cup milk
-2 tablespoons butter
-1/4 cup prepared horseradish
-1 cup cheddar, shredded
-1/4 cup chives, chopped
-Salt and Pepper
Wash, then cut the red potatoes in half.
Boil for about twenty minutes or until fork tender.
Mash with the milk and butter.

Add your mix-ins (horseradish, cheddar and chive).
Top with additional cheddar and chive if desired.

This recipe was delicious! The horseradish added a kick to the recipe, I wish I had chopped the chive more finely, but overall this recipe was a keeper. I also had all of these ingredients on hand except for the red potatoes, it's always a good thing when I don't have to run to the store to make a side dish for dinner.