Category Archives: Food & Drink

Food & Drink

Juniper Berry Cranberry Tonic

January 18, 2018

Juniper Berry Cranberry Tonic Mocktail

It’s about time a shared a new mocktail. I know many of you are attempting a Dry January, so maybe a little treat well help you through. This Juniper Berry Cranberry Tonic is the perfect nonalcoholic drink. It’s sophisticated and full of unique flavors, you definitely won’t feel like you are missing out.

I don’t know about you, but I’m just not ready to be done with cranberries. This wintery mocktail is refreshing and earthy all at the same time and juniper berries and rosemary are perfect for this season. Mocktails really are for everyone, but tonic water give this drink a grown up taste and feels like so much more then just a spritzer.

Juniper Berry Cranberry Tonic Mocktail

You can find the full recipe for this yummy mocktail over on Bonterra’s beautiful blog. Take a minute and look around, there are some really fantastic recipes there.

Juniper Berry Cranberry Tonic Juniper Berry Cranberry Tonic Mocktail

 

 

Food & Drink

Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

January 10, 2018

Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

Happy New Year!

Usually, I start the new year with a good health and fitness plan, but this year the I’m not there yet. There has been no trips to the gym yet. I’m starting with baby steps – a few new healthy recipes to add to add to our weekly menus. As the main cook in our house, I find myself getting into ruts and struggling to find fast, healthy meals that my family will actually eat. But, these Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls, made with Foster Farms Organic Turkey are a winner. This recipe literally takes less then 30 mins to make and it’s soooo delicious. This is not a boring meal, it’s full of flavor and packs so many veggies into one bowl.

My kids aren’t really picky eaters, but having choices definitely gives them a little more control. I added the rice and turkey to their bowls and then they topped with with all their favorite vegetables.

Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

As you may know, I’m married to a Biology and Environmental Science teacher. I wrote a lot about it here, with this yummy Turkey Meatball Gyro recipe. It’s a long story, but we are always looking for ways to eat in a way that creates less of a negative impact on our environment.

That’s why Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey is great choice for our family. Ground turkey is a healthy, leaner and lower calorie alternative to ground beef and is an easy substitute for leaner meals. Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey is USDA Certified Organic and raised free-range on organic land. It’s100% natural with no antibiotics, no GMOs and no added hormones or steroids. The land on which the flocks are raised has been certified organic. This requires a 3-year transition during which time the land must be managed under organic methods (or lie fallow). The land is farmed without synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. These are all things that make the nerd I’m married to very happy.

I trust Foster Farms for their organic ground turkey, they are the leading producer of organic turkey in the Western United States. And for me, they are even local, Foster Farms turkeys are raised right here in California’s Central Valley.

Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

  • 2 lbs. Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar (brown sugar can by substituted)
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce

In a fry pan, cook the ground turkey completely. Use a spoon to break apart the meat as it cooks.

In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients listed above. Pour the mixture over the cooked ground turkey. Stir and cook another 5 mins on medium heat. You want to make sure the garlic and ginger is completely cooked.

Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

  • 3 cups of brown rice
  • carrots, shredded
  • green onions, sliced
  • radishes, thinly sliced
  • red cabbage, shredded
  • baby spinach
  • black sesame seeds
  • Spicy Cucumber Salad (see recipe below)

You can really add any of your favorite veggies. I think bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms would be super yummy with these bowls as well.

Cook the rice however you normally cook rice. I got a rice cooker for a wedding gift almost 20 years ago and it’s the only way I make rice. But, you can definitely make rice in a regular pot, the old-fashioned way.

In a small frying pan, with tbsp. of vegetable oil, saute the spinach until it is just wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

Assemble the bowls. Start with a bed of rice, add about 1/2 cup of the ground turkey and then either arrange the veggies in little piles or let every top their rice bowls with all their favorite vegetables. Garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, green onions and a little Korean Sweet and Spicy sauce.

This recipe serves a family of 4 (or 5 in our case).

Ground Turkey Korean Rice BowlsGround Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

Spicy Cucumber Salad

  • 1 cup sliced cucumber (1 small cucumber or about 1 cup when sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar (brown sugar can be substituted)
  • 1 tsp. sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp. black sesame seeds

These spicy cucumbers make the bowls. They are sweet, spicy and tangy. These can be made in the morning or up to a day before.

Slice the cucumbers in thin rounds. Place in a bowl and sprinkled with salt. Allow the cucumbers to sit for about 15 mins. Then drain off the water. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir, cover and place in the refrigerator.

Ground Turkey Korean Rice Bowls

I hope your New Year is off to a great start. Here’s to eating healthy and having dinner together as a family!

This post is sponsored by Foster Farms. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

 

Food & Drink

Curry Frittata and Chai Tea Lattes

November 30, 2017

If you know me, I really like to cook and I cook a lot. But, I’ve actually been using the same pots that I got as wedding gifts almost 20 years ago. And I can’t even count number of cheap fry pans I’ve gone through over the years. I’ve been wanting to upgrade my kitchen hardware (pots and pans) for a while now, so when Made In Cookware asked me to try our their products, I was excited.

After using their 5 quart Stock Pot and 10″ Fry Pan for the week, here’s what I love about Made In. They make premium cookware and believe great cooking experiences are for everyone. There slogan is, “Professional cookware at an amateur price.” I love when great kitchen products are attainable to the average home cook. Because, that’s me! I love how these pans heat evenly, no matter what kid of stove you have (because mine might be the worst). I have a few pans in my cupboard right now that only brown in the very center of the pan, so have to keep moving my food around to get everything evenly cooked. No more cheap non-stick pans for me. You guys, this 10″ Fry Pan came out sparkly clean with no elbow grease at all, and that was after frying potatoes and baking a frittata with cheese in it. If you know your way around the kitchen, I’m sure you are impressed. And one more thing, all this cookware is American-made!

Now, I’m sure you all are feeling the holiday stress mounting like I am. I don’t know how it happens, but December just is CRAZY. I see our calendar filling up, and every evening seems to have some sort of event, party, or activity that we have to be at. I need simple dinners that are healthy and don’t take very much time to make. A frittata is the perfect weekend breakfast, or even better, an quick and easy dinner. And it’s the perfect recipe for testing out the 10″ Fry Pan, because you start this recipe on the stove top and then finish it in the oven.

I decided to give this frittata a little taste of India. This Curry Frittata has just the right amount of spice and lots of veggies to make it a great balanced meal. I really can’t eat Indian food without having chai tea as well. So, sticking with the theme, I also made Chai Tea Lattes.

Curry Frittata

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 half and half
  • 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. each Curry Powder and Garam Masala
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 a red onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 potatoes sliced thinly
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 feta
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro

Start by heating 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a fry pan. Add the onion and garlic, cook on medium high heat until the onion is translucent.

In a bowl beat the eggs well with a whisk. Add the salt, pepper, curry, garam masala and half and half and mix well. Add the cooked onions, garlic and peas.

Add the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil and place the potatoes in a single layer. Cook on medium high heat and fry each side of the potatoes until they are golden brown.

Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes. Turn the heat to medium and cook for about 5 mins, or until the sides of the frittata start to pull away from the side of pan. Sprinkle the feta cheese over the top of the frittata and place the tomato slices on top. Place the frittata in the oven and bake for about 15 mins or until the frittata is cooked completely through (you can check by placing a knife in the center, and if it comes out clean the eggs are cooked through).

Slice into wedges and top with the fresh cilantro.

I need to give credit to my brother Ash for this recipe. He has spent a lot of time in India and even lived in Sri Lanka, so his chai is pretty dang good. This is an easy one pot recipe the will make sure everyone in the family gets a generous cup or two.

My kids love chai, and while it does have a little caffeine, I think a little tea now and then is totally ok.

Chai Tea Latte

  • 5 cups water
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 loose black tea leaves
  • 1/4 honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a 1 inch piece of ginger root, cut into this slices
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 star anise

Place the 5 cups of water in a large sauce pan. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and star anise. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 mins. Add the honey and stir until dissolved. Add the milk and bring back to a boil. once the chai boils, turn the heat of immediately. Pour the chair through a fine metal sieve to remove the loose tea leaves and spices. Serve immediately.

The 5 quart Stock Pot was perfect for this chai recipe. This is a pan I will be using all the time. It’s just the right size for cooking almost everything. It’s not too big, but also plenty big enough for a big pot of soup.

Is there someone on your Christmas list that could use some new pots and pans? Made In Cookware would make a fantastic give. Or maybe you are cooking big holiday meals, now is a good time to upgrade your cookware. Be sure to check out their full collection of cookware I’ve got me eye on the 2 quart Sauce Pan, I think it would be perfect for cooking my morning poached egg in.

This post is sponsored by Made In. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Entertain / Food & Drink

Sweet 16 Spa Sleepover Party

November 20, 2017

This post is sponsored by OLLY, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Well, I’m officially old, I have a 16 year old. Ya, that happened. I’m all about a good birthday party to celebrate another year of life on earth. I teamed up with OLLY again and Denali invited 5 of her bestie girlfriends over for a “spa” themed sleepover. Encouraging healthier hair, skin and eating seemed like a good way to kick off turning the big 16!

We set up the guesthouse, so that the girls could have a fun night all to themselves. And actually, this was one of the easiest parties I’ve ever put together. I kept the food simple and the gift bags were a cinch to throw together. We just set of them up with a projector for watching movies and I bought a pack of charade cards, which they ended up playing with for a good couple of hours.

In keeping with the spa theme, I tried to provide snack that were on the healthier side. I set of a “spa water” station with fruit, cucumbers and fresh mint for the girls to add to their water. For movie snacking, I put out a big bowl of kettle corn and a pretty platter of berries, dark chocolate and nuts.

I filled little cosmetic bags with face and hair masks, hair ties and clips, and tweezers. Then I wrapped a cute fuzzy eye mask around the outside of the bag. The girls all treated themselves to a face mask while they watched movies.

In the morning, I served the girls raspberry banana smoothies, lots of fresh fruit and little individual Creme Brulee French Toasts.

Spa Themed Sweet 16 Birthday Party

OLLY Girl Multivitamins are already a part of Denali’s daily routine. These yummy, chewables are made especially for girls 12-17 years old. OLLY Girl Multivitamins support strong bodies and bones, immune system health, and energy production. They are formulated with biotin to help with hair and nail growth and work for the inside to support clear, healthy skin. It’s really never to early to start pampering your skin and hair.

Now, who’s going to throw me a spa sleepover party? I NEED one in a bad way. Doesn’t this feel like something you’d like to do with your girlfriends, even if you turned 16 a couple decades ago?

 

Food & Drink

Host a Relaxed Friendsgiving

November 18, 2017

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

Friendsgiving is such a fun new tradition. I love it’s laid back, casual vibe. All the pressure and stress of hosting a perfect Thanksgiving dinner, is not associated with this simpler get together. This year I’m keeping it as simple as possible, so that I really can just can enjoy a few hours with friends.

I usually like to over think and complicate menus, but this year it’s as easy as can be. I’m serving a hearty Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup, yummy Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins, and Apples Fosters and buttery Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread for dessert. I’m serving double dessert because I have friends who’s diet’s require them to eat gluten free. So, Chef Sam Talbot’s Apples Foster recipe is perfect. Oh, and one more thing, who doesn’t love a pretty cheese and charcuterie board? I almost always put one out before a meal when I have company. It’s a guaranteed way to keep guests happy while you finish up the final touches of a meal. I tried to take all my favorite Thanksgiving flavors and pack them into this easy to-make menu.

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

I gave my table a little Thanksgiving, Fall Harvest touch with some really pretty pieces from Pier 1 Imports. I love adding a couple items to what I already own to freshen up the look for the season. And the star of the table setting is definitely these adorable pumpkin tureens. Soup just got so much better when you can eat it out of covered pumpkin shaped dishes. You are going to want to visit your local Pier 1 or just hop their website before Thanksgiving is here.

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

Here’s some of the pretty things I used to bring a little harvest cheer to my table:

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

I lined the inside of this pretty utensil holder with plastic zipper bags and florist oasis, then I filled it with a wild arrangement of flowers, leaves and wheat. I think it makes a really pretty center piece.

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins. Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

These gorgeous etched glass hurricanes will probably stay out all year long. And these tall smoke colored glasses really are quite elegant.

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

The Menu

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup
  • Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins
  • A Pretty Charcuterie Board
  • Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
  • Apples Foster
  • Sparkling Apple Ginger Mocktail

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup

  • 2 lb. (or about 4 cups) butternut squash (peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces)
  • 3 tbsp. each fresh sage, rosemary and thyme finely chopped (divided)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil (divided
  • salt + pepper
  • 3 lb. Turkey breast
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 quarts turkey stock
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz. cans)

Start by roasting the butternut squash and turkey breast. Toss the butternut squash with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Place them on a baking sheet. Place the turkey breast in the center butternut squash. Rub the 2 tbsp. of butter on the outside of the turkey breast. Season everything well with salt + pepper and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. each finely chopped fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. Place in a 375 F oven for 1 hour.

While the turkey is roasting, you will want to cook the wild rice. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the wild rice and water and bring to a boil. Once the rice comes to a full rolling boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until the liquid is gone and the rice is tender.

At 1 hour of roasting, remove the butternut squash. The turkey may need to roast a little longer, depending on how big it is. Turkey is done when a meat thermometer reads 165 F. Allow the turkey to rest at least 10 minutes before shredding it with two forks. Remove all the meat from the bones and discard any skin.

Now that the rice is done, add the turkey stock, fire roasted tomatoes, butternut squash, turkey and remained 2 tbsp. each finely chopped fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 mins on medium heat. Season well with salt and pepper. This makes a lot of soup, so you can be generous with the salt, there is nothing worse then flat, bland soup, don’t you agree?

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins. Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins

You will need 2 packages Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix or 1 package Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix. Follow the directions on the box but instead of using milk, substitute canned pumpkin instead.  Also, add 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice and 1/4 cup roasted pepitas. If the batter seams dry, feel free to add up to 1/4 more pumpkin puree. Mix well and place in paper liners in a muffin tin. Sprinkle with a few more pepitas and bake according to the directions on the box.

Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins.

Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • a pinch of salt

I made this recipe with my food processor, but if you don’t have one, don’t fret (see the instructions in the next paragraph). Start by chopping the rosemary and cranberries first. Then remove them from the food processor and add the butter and sugar and mix until smooth. Then add the flour and salt and pulse until the dough comes together. Finally, add the rosemary and cranberries back in and pulse until the dough is mixed completely.

And if you don’t have a food processor, follow these instructions. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on high for a minute. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the flour and salt and beat again until smooth. Add the rosemary and cranberries a mix until it is incorporated evenly.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness on a well floured surface. Cut out 1 inch by 3 inch rectangles. Prick the tops of the cookies with a fork. Place the cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Place the cookies in the freezer for at least 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 350 F, bake the cookies until just golden brown on the edges, about 12 mins.

Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Apples Foster With Coconut and Whiskey Caramel

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 firm apples, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick rings or wedges (about 2 cups)

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium. Whisk in the sugar. Remove the skillet from the heat, and add the whiskey. Carefully ignite the fumes just above the mixture with a long match or long multi-purpose lighter. Let the flames die down. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the coconut milk, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to have the viscosity of caramel, about 4 minutes. Add the apples, and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (You’ll know the sauce is done when it easily coats the back of a spoon.) Pour this over warm biscuits or some dairy-free ice cream or gelato.

Excerpted from 100% Real by Sam Talbot. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Apples Foster Apples FosterHost a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins. Host a relaxed Friendsgiving luncheon with Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup + Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins. White Pumpkin Tureen

Not only are these pumpkin tureens adorable, but they actually keep your soup piping hot. I paired them with my everyday dishes, and they look great! That’s the beauty of white pumpkins, they go with everything.

Fall Florals

I hope you feel inspired to host a friendsgiving this year. It doesn’t have to be decadent and over the top, keep is simple with soup and bread and I guarantee your friends will approve.

Harvest / Fall Table Setting Fall / Harvest Table Setting

This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Food & Drink

Peach Ginger Moscow Mule Mocktail

October 17, 2017

I was pleasantly surprised to see fresh peaches still at the grocery store this week. I love ripe, juicy nectarines and peaches in the Summer. So, when I saw them this week I bought I whole box. The last couple of weeks have been crazy with work and travel, so we needed a little Monday afternoon treat yesterday. I made these yummy Peach Ginger Mock-Moscow Mules for my family and we might have also poured this yummy Peach Ginger sauce over vanilla ice cream as well.

Peach Ginger Moscow Mule Mocktail

If it involves Ginger Beer, I’m a FAN! So, any version of a Moscow Mule is a hit with me. This is a great make-ahead mocktail. Make the Peach Ginger sauce, and then just store it in the fridge. When you are ready to serve this yummy mocktail, just mix a little syrup with your favorite ginger beer and you are done!

Peach Ginger Moscow Mule Mocktail

Peach Ginger Moscow Mule Mocktail

  • 3 ripe peaches
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ginger beer
  • ice
  • peach and lime slices for garnish

In a blender, place the peaches, ginger, lime, sugar and water. Blend of high to make a smooth puree. Pour the puree into a small pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a slow simmer. Simmer for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine metal sieve to remove any large pieces of pulp. Pour into a glass bottle and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

To make the drink, fill a glass with ice add about 2 ounces of the peach syrup (add more of less depending on how sweet you like it). Top off the glass with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with a slice of peach and lime.

And if you would like a spiked version of this drink, a splash of vodka can definitely be added.

Peach Ginger Moscow Mule Mocktail Peach Ginger Moscow Mule Mocktail

Cheers friends!

etc. / Food & Drink

Orange Cranberry Rosemary Mock-Mimosa

September 14, 2017

Orange Cranberry Rosemary Mock-Mimosa

It’s been a doozy of a week. I could definitely use a mid-week mocktail! How about you? This Orange Cranberry Rosemary Mock-Mimosa is the perfect drink to get you in the mood for some Fall weather and the those yummy familiar flavors of the holidays. Yep, I said it, holidays. Does that stress you out and get you excited? Fall always feels like the busiest time of year for us. So, I’m currently bracing myself for an even more hectic season. But, today the high is only supposed to be 86 F and that sounds AMAZING!  When I took kids to school this morning it was in the 60s, YIPPEEEEE! When we are in the dead of Summer, it feels like cooler weather will never come. I’m excited for a change in Season.

Orange Cranberry Rosemary Mock-Mimosa

I really do enjoy cooking, especially when it isn’t making dinner on a crazy busy week night. For example, making this candied orange peel for the garnish was actually a really fun process and the results are super pretty.

This drink would be great as a classic mimosa with champagne, or you can make it family friendly and use ginger ale. And if you are hosting a big party, this would be great served in a big punch bowl.

You can find the full recipe over on Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company. And if you don’t have access to their super yummy juice, equal parts 100 % cranberry juice and orange juice can be used for this recipe.

Orange Cranberry Rosemary Mock-Mimosas garnished with fresh rosemary and candied orange peel.

 

Food & Drink

Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

September 6, 2017

Anyone else a fan of the smoothie bowl? I sure am. I’m feeling some Fall vibes with this yummy Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl. And it’s perfect timing for our heatwave. Because there is no way I’m going to turn on the oven and actually bake real carrot cake.

Believe me,  you don’t have to love carrots to love this smoothie bowl. It’s sweet and creamy and really does taste like a treat even thought it’s totally healthy and packed full of goodness.

Head over to Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company for the full recipe. And if you don’t live where Natalie’s is available, any carrot juice will work. I’d just add a 1/4 of turmeric to the recipe.

I hope your week is going well.

Food & Drink

Turkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta Tzatziki

August 30, 2017

Turkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta Tzatziki

Mid-week dinner just got a lot better with these yummy Turkey Meatball Gyros. As the head cook in our home, I’m always looking for healthy meals that can be made easily in the middle of all our hectic weeknight schedules. Many nights of the week, we have a very short window where we can sit and eat together, between gymnastics, guitar, cross country practice, and church. It’s got to be quick, easy and nutritious. I’m also one of those folks that easily gets bored with the same old meals, so I’m always looking for ways to change things up and try something new. This is one of those meals that layers lots of interesting flavors and keeps a weeknight dinner interesting. Sweet, spicy, tangy and crunchy – these gyros have it all.

As you may know, I’m married to a Biology teacher, and about a year and half ago he decided to stop eating beef. It’s all to do with the draught and how much water raising beef takes. Anyways, to make a long story a little shorter, I’m always looking for other protein options. And turkey is number one. Ground turkey is a healthy, leaner and lower calorie alternative to ground beef and is an easy substitute for leaner meals. Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey is USDA Certified Organic and raised free-range on organic land. It’s100% natural with no antibiotics, no GMOs and no added hormones or steroids.

I trust Foster Farms for their organic ground turkey, they are the leading producer of organic turkey in the Western United States. And for me, they are local, Foster Farms turkeys are raised right here in California’s Central Valley. 
Turkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta Tzatziki

Let’s start with tasty, crunchy side to serve with these gyros. On a recent trip, we were served crispy chick peas as a little starter to our meal. They were so addicting, all of use couldn’t stop munching on them. Quick and easy to make, I’m sure you are also going to love these Crispy Curry Chickpeas.

Crispy Curry Chickpeas

Crispy Curry Chickpeas

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 tsp. coriander

Drain, rinse and dry the chickpeas. In a large bowl, combine the spices, olive oil and vinegar. Add the chickpeas and toss to coat them evenly.

Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 F for 35 mins. Stir the chick peas every 10 mins.

Serve warm.

Crispy Curry Chickpeas

And now for the main course. The nice thing about this meal is that you can make everything ahead of time and then just when you are ready to sit down and eat, all you have to do is warm up the meatballs.

Turkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta Tzatziki

Turkey Meatball Gyros

  • Pita bread or mediterranean flat bread
  • cucumbers, sliced
  • tomatoes, sliced
  • fresh cilantro
  • Sweet and Spicy Red Onion Pickles (see recipe below)
  • Lemon Feta Tzatziki (see recipe below)

Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb. Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. harissa paste (or Siracha is a good substitute)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

In a bowl combine all the ingredients. Using small ice cream scoop, scoop the meatballs onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 F for 17-20 mins. Be sure to check them at 17 mins., you don’t want to over cook them, remove them as soon as then are done. This will prevent them from getting tough or dry.

Turkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta Tzatziki Turkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta TzatzikiTurkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta Tzatziki

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Red Onion

  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 a red onion sliced thinly

In a jar, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper. Add the red onion, seal and place in the fridge for at least two hours.

Sweet and Spicy Quick Picked Red Onion

Lemon Feta Tzatziki

  • 1 cup whole milk greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • zest ad juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated cucumber

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Turkey Meatball Gyros with Lemon Feta Tzatziki

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Foster Farms will be conducting a Facebook drawing over the next three weeks for a FREE package of Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey; five winners will be drawn randomly each Friday. To be eligible, readers just have to comment on this post, HERE their favorite way to prepare Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey. 

This post is sponsored by Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey, thanks you for supporting the great companies that help make this blog possible. 

Food & Drink

Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler

August 21, 2017

Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler - a fun mocktail the whole family can enjoy. Sweet, smokey and just a touch of heat, this drink is far from boring.

Happy Monday and happy eclipse day friends, if you make it through the day alive, how about celebrating with a yummy sunny colored mocktail. And while is packs a little bit of heat, it’s guaranteed not to damage your eyes. I’m really excited about this latest mocktail recipe. This Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler has been in the works for a while. I love unusual flavor combinations, and pairing sweet pineapple with smokey ancho chilies really works. My son thinks this drink tastes like a pineapple grilled on the BBQ, which is super yummy and also his description might be spot on.

Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler - a fun mocktail the whole family can enjoy.

Like any good mocktail, this drink starts with a delicious simple syrup. And this chile ancho syrup is such a pretty amber color. If you aren’t familiar with chile anchos, they are just dried poblano chilis. They can be found in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.

Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler

  • Pineapple Juice
  • Sparkling Mineral Water
  • Chile Ancho Simple Syrup
  • Pineapple slices, leaves and a little piece of the chile for garnish.

Start by making the Chile Ancho Simple Syrup. In a small pot, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 2 large chile anchos crumbled into small pieces. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely. Pour through a fine metal sieve to remove the chile ancho pieces.

In a glass filled with ice, add 1 oz. of the Chile Ancho Simple Syrup. Fill the glass half full with pineapple juice and then top with sparkling water. Stir and garnish with a slice of pineapple, leaf and a little piece of the dried chile.

For a cocktail, adult version, I think a little dark rum would pair well with this drink. 

Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler - a yummy combination that is sweet, smokey and just a touch of heat. Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler - a fun mocktail the whole family can enjoy.Pineapple Chile Ancho Cooler