Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rosemary Honey Vinaigrette

I was in the mood for a simple mixed green salad with an oil and vinegar dressing. Instead of using vinegar, I decided to use the lemon we had in the fruit bowl. But then I got to thinking, oil and vinegar - sounds so boring and not mouth-watering at all. I wanted to add more flavor to the healthy option. Then I remembered my herb garden that I just started growing. When I saw the rosemary I thought that would be different and interesting. I decided to cut a sprig and try it. Rosemary can be overbearing so I wanted to balance it out with something. What better to pair it with than some honey from the farmer's market. This dressing turned out amazing! There was so much flavor and the honey and rosemary worked so well together. I hope you try this quick and healthy twist and enjoy it as much as I did!

Rosemary Honey Vinaigrette
1 sprig of rosemary finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp of honey
1/4 to 1/2 c of olive oil
 salt to taste

Whisk first 3 ingredients together. When well mixed, slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil, adding more as needed. Add salt to your liking. Enjoy!  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter cupcakes

Aren't they cute?! They turned out so good. I got the decorating idea from FN. For the egg cutouts I used Airheads! I cut one of the of Airheads in half. Then shaped each half into an oval. Your hands are perfect for this job. The heat from your hands helps flatten and mold it. (I tried a rolling pin before that and it didn't work quite as well.) Then I used a paring knife to cut the eggs into shape. If you have time, place the egg cutouts on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and stick it in the fridge for a little bit - to help the eggs harden back up. I needed to get to bed and didn't do that, so I came back downstairs this morning to find some of the edges pointing down a little. Plus it's because my house is so hot right now with no AC on. :P They are still cute though! I thought about melting some white chocolate and letting that harden and then cutting out egg shapes that way instead, but I didn't have time. I love how cute they turned out and hope everyone enjoys them. Happy Easter!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Grilled BBQ Ribs

We had a ton of sides leftover but nothing to go with it. I saw we had a rack of ribs and decided to throw it on the grill since it was nice out. First I let it sit at room temperature, while the grill was warming up, marinading in the spice rub I threw together with some pantry items: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, red chili powder. I made sure to keep the grill around 300-400 degrees F. Grilled it for 30 mins total (covered) making sure to turn it constantly. You can adjust the time for smaller racks, mine was thick. (Note: When the top of the ribs where the fat is was grilled, I avoided having it contact the grill again - so it wouldn't burn.) During the last 10 mins I brushed some of my BBQ sauce I had made on all sides, reserving some for dipping. It turned out really good! The best part about it was that it was an impromptu dish with pantry items, and took less than 30 mins. You gotta love that!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Giada's Pomegranate and Mint Sorbet

Picture of Pomegranate and Mint Sorbet Recipe
Pomegranate and Mint Sorbet
I love Giada - one of my favorite FN chefs. A lot of her recipes are so healthy. And this one definitely lived up to her style. When I saw her make this on tv I had to try it with the ice cream maker my mother-in-law got us. The sorbet was so light and refreshing. And extremely quick and easy to make. I'd recommend it for the upcoming summer gathering. Personally, I would use less mint, maybe half a cup. It really came out strong. So did the orange juice. To combat that, I would probably use a 3:1 ratio of pomegranate juice to orange juice. And I would recommend freezing the sorbet after it comes out of the ice cream maker before eating it. I didn't add chocolate chips to mine, personal preference. I did top it with some white chocolate chips to see, and still think the sorbet is just better alone. Other ideas I had in mixing up this recipe is adding some blueberries as a topper or in place of the mint in the simple syrup. I wonder how apple juice in place of orange juice could be too. Might try it since I have all of this in the fridge, and will let you know!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Potato Salad

I wanted to make potato salad one day. When I told my husband Matt this he immediately was like "I don't like potato salad." I knew why. He doesn't like mayo, and we all know the typical potato salad is smothered in mayo. Some of them are sweet too, which I personally don't like.

I ended up creating a red potato salad recipe that Matt loves. And have been messing around with it and trying different ingredients. I just made a potato salad with some leftover russet potatoes I had laying around. I cooked up some bacon then set it aside for later. I added some diced celery and red bell peppers to the bacon fat. I also grilled some yellow corn and cut it up and added it to the pan. Cooked the veggies until it was a little tender and added it all to the diced potatoes I had already boiled and drained. I added a teeny bit of mayo - like less than 1/4 cup for 2 lbs of potato. I also decided to try adding a couple tbsp of dijon mustard, which gave it a little kick. Combined everything with some salt, pepper, smoked paprika, chopped parsley, and crumbled bacon.

My secret is adding that bacon dripping to the potato salad. It adds so much flavor. You'd think the bacon dripping would make the salad greasy but it doesn't. It soaks into those potatoes, making them softer, and have this kind of binding-like consistency. It works really well as a substitute to all that mayo you would have used. I wonder how well olive oil would work for a more health conscious meal. And I really enjoyed the grilled corn in this particular potato salad.