Kitchen Magician – back on your radar.

The weekend is almost here – as is Miss Irene.

Come on, Irene. Why must you do this to me? With Irene, comes storm prep.
With storm prep, comes:
A. Battling over bottled water like a tigress on a maimed gazelle at the grocery store
B. Less time to cook
C. Chance of losing power

Now, the last time I checked, Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel was not one of my homeboys.
And regardless of the fact that I had a hurricane tracking chart through my childhood – yes, I was that cool – I am not a huge fan of getting slammed in the face with horizontal rain.
Nor are many other folks that I am aware of.

What does all of this mindless information lead up to? The answer is STORM PARTY! I LOVE storm parties.

Typically these are snow storm parties, but this weekend we are going to have a hell-of-a-hurricaned good freaking time.

Now thinking through app choices. I wanted something easy, something that is not inundated with crazy meat or chicken or dairy in case we DO lose power for a little while, something versatile, something my little Magic Bullet Blender can whip up quick for me tonight and I can toss in the fridge til this weekend.

The final decision – HUMMUS. 2 ways.

Hummus is awesome. I am embarrassed to say I actually didn’t give hummus a fair shot until my last roommate, Marissa ‘the Garbanzo Bean’ Wheeler had me try it. And now, it is one of my favorites.

You can serve it with pita chips [try the ones I made in the Greek Dressing video last week!], it is great with veggies, fabulous on healthy wraps for lunch, crackers – shoot I would probably eat it on a shoe.

See below for the details!

HUMMUS – 2 WAYS …. Get After it GARLIC and Run This City ROASTED RED PEPPER

MAGIC BULLET PARTS:
[ 1 ] Magic Bullet tall cup
[ 1 ] Magic Bullet cross blade

INGREDIENTS:

GARLIC Hummus:
[ 1 Cup ] garbanzo beans – rinsed and drained
[ 2 Tablespoons ] lemon juice
[ 1/3 Cup ] extra virgin olive oil
[ ½ teaspoon ] salt
[ 2 ] cloves of garlic, halved
*Sometimes I will add some paprika to this as well. Gives it a good kick in the tush.

ROASTED RED PEPPER Hummus:
[ 1 Cup ] garbanzo beans – rinsed and drained
[ 2 Tablespoons ] lemon juice
[ 1/3 Cup ] extra virgin olive oil
[ ½ teaspoon ] salt
[ 1 ] large garlic clove, halved
[ ½ Cup ] roasted red peppers
[ 1 ] fresh basil leaf

RECIPE:
GARLIC Hummus
· To tall cup add: beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic
· Blend with cross blade until smooth
· You have go get your groove on hummus – already. Yes, it’s done.

ROASTED RED PEPPER Hummus
· To tall cup add: beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic
· Blend with cross blade until smooth
· Add peppers and basil
· Blend until combined and smooth
· You are DONE

Serve either of these with pita chips, veggies, crackers, whatever you dig!

ADDITIONAL IDEAS:
You really don’t have to stop with just these two.
The garlic hummus recipe is really good with some pitted kalamata olives added in.
Sometimes I will do a sundried tomato hummus – follow the same recipe as the Roasted Red – but substitute tomatoes for peppers
Toss any of these onto a wheat wrap, add sliced turkey breast, shredded carrots, whatever veggies float your boat.

Put this on tap for tonight and give it a shot.
Get creative with it!
It is tough to mess these ones up – and they are great to make ahead – just keep them sealed or covered well if you are making them a couple of days in advance!

Alrighty kids – I’ve got to go buy some bike locks for the ole roof deck furniture.
Don’t want anyone taking a chair to the windshield. That would be a blast to explain to the insurance company.

If you are in Irene’s path, STAY SAFE!
If you are not, get out of control.

I’ll be checking in next week a couple of times – and with my next video!

Clue on next video’s topic – Will you marry me………….?

Happy Blending my little Pumpkins – from my hungry heart in boston, to Yours!

Xox – Lauren D. – Your Bullet Blender Enthusiast

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Your week is back in full swing and it is time to get down to business.

I like getting down to business … with pesto.

I would exfoliate with pesto.
I would use it as the air freshener in my car.
I would wear it. But since I can’t, yes, I decided to wear the colors of the Italian flag in my photo instead.
Gotta get in that mind set, ya know? Toss some Dean Martin on the iPod, pop open a bottle of vino, get after it.

Pesto is great. Basic. Versatile. INCREDIBLY Magic Bullet friendly. A great weeknight go to.

A nice spin on your traditional pesto – sundried tomato pesto.

Toss with over pasta, add it to a panini, use it as sauce on a pizza.

Below I have listed the recipe I use for my sundried tomato pesto, as well as some additional ideas listed below. Make extra, keep it in the fridge, have it on hand, and dive in.

SUNDRIED TOMATO PESTO:
Magic Bullet Parts:
[1] Magic Bullet tall cup
[1] Magic Bullet short cup
[1] Magic Bullet cross blade
[1] Magic Bullet flat blade

Ingredients:
[3/4 lb.] penne pasta, cooked in lightly salted water
[1 cup] drained, oil packed sundried tomatoes
[3/4 cup] extra virgin olive oil
[3] garlic cloves
[2 ½ tablespoons] pignoli nuts, toasted [optional]
[1/2 cup] packed, fresh basil leaves
[1/2 cup] bulleted pecorino romano

Recipe:
– Add pasta to boiling, lightly salted water
– To short cup, add sundried tomatoes
– Pulse with flat blade until broken up, not pureed – set aside
– To tall cup add olive oil, garlic, pignoli nuts, basil, pecorino romano

TIP: Buy a wedge of good pecorino romano from the cheese section of your grocery store. Cut into 1” cubes and blend with cross blade until grated. Keep in fridge and use with shaker top!
– Blend until smooth
– Add pesto and sundried tomatoes to bowl with pasta and toss together
– Top with additional pecorino romano
– Breathe it. Live it. Love it. Eat it.

DIFFERENT SPINS ON THIS RECIPE:
This is great to make ahead, toss in the fridge and serve as a pasta salad.
Other nights I will toss it over some fresh tortellini, add some shrimp or some grilled, sliced chicken – fabulous.
Onto focaccia bread add grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, sundried tomato pesto – for panini amazingness.

Summer is ending and sadness is setting in. If you are like me, and some blended herbs, oil and cheese make you happy, then this should spice up your week.

And on that extremely chubby comment, I wish you all a very happy Tuesday.

Happy Blending my little chefs – from my big heart in Boston, to Yours.

Xox – your Kitchen Magician, Lauren.

I keep seeing all these “Back to School” sales, the number of cookouts to go to is dwindling…and, another sign that summer is coming to a close, STRAWBERRIES ARE ALMOST OUT OF SEASON!

That’s why, this week, I’m going to highlight them, because there are a ton of great recipes that you can make using strawberries in your Magic Bullet.

ALSO, the good thing about strawberries going out of season is that you can find them on sale EVERYWHERE! Pints are currently 2-for-1 at my local grocery store, so you really can’t beat that!

There are countless combinations of smoothies and desserts you can use strawberries in, but I thought I’d switch things up and do something a little unusual with this sweet little fruit.

Following is a strawberry marinade that will be a total hit at your next cookout, turning every savory dish into something that’s a little sweet, too. You can use this on steaks, sausages, and even vegetarian BBQ foods.

The best part is that this marinade can DOUBLE as a salsa for chips! It will be a little sweet and sour, so I would recommend pairing it with some lime-flavored chips.

Here ya go, y’all!

STRAWBERRY MARINADE

Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries
1 cup pineapple
1/2 cup mango
1″ of ginger
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp sugar

Chop the strawberries, pineapple, and mango and put them in your large Magic Bullet cup. Peel the ginger and chop roughly before adding it. Throw in the remaining ingredients and give this all a quick whirl in your Bullet!

Voila!

For marinating, you REALLY don’t need much AT ALL, in fact, in my picture, I used a little too much. You can just BRUSH this on your meats while they’re cooking, or soak them in it for a few hours before cooking. Just remember not to reuse any marinade that raw meats have been sitting in, unless you boil it for 3-4 minutes before to kill off any bacteria.

Have a great week everyone! I’ll be back Wednesday with a SWEET TREAT!

~Lizzie (The Swinging Single City Gal)

GREEK DRESSING [ from video ]

Magic Bullet parts:
[1] Magic Bullet tall cup
[1] Magic Bullet cross blade

Ingredients:
[1 cup] extra virgin olive oil
[1 cup] red wine vinegar
[3] cloves garlic – halved
[3] fresh basil leaves, torn
[2 teaspoons] fresh ground black pepper
[2 teaspoons] salt
[2 teaspoons] onion powder
[2 1/2 teaspoons] dried oregano
[2 teaspoons] Dijon mustard

Directions:
– Add all ingredients to tall cup
– Blend for about 15 seconds until smooth

GREEK BRUSCHETTA WITH HOMEADE PITA CHIPS [ from video ]

Magic Bullet parts:
[1] Magic Bullet short cup
[1] Magic Bullet cross blade

Ingredients:
[approx. 1/4 — ½ cup] GREEK DRESSING (recipe listed above)
[2] store bought pitas
[1/4 cup] extra virgin olive oil
[1 teaspoon] salt (to taste)
[1 teaspoon] black pepper (to taste)
[2] red peppers, finely chopped
[3/4 cup] pitted, kalamata olives
[3/4 cup] crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
PITA CHIPS
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees
– Line baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent chips from sticking
– Stack the pitas, and cut 4 times to make 8 slices per pita, shaped like pizza slices
– Cut each slice along fold again to give you 32 pita slices total
– Place slices onto parchment paper
– In small bowl add olive oil, salt, pepper [optional: garlic powder, roasted garlic]
– Brush each of the slices with the olive oil mixture
– Bake for 15 minutes, remove and set aside

While the PITA CHIPS are cooking — begin working on BRUSCHETTA topping:

– Add kalamata olives to short cup
– Pulse with cross blade until olives are broken down, NOT pureed
– Add olives, feta cheese and red peppers to bowl
o NOTE: This topping is also great with some chopped onion or diced cucumber
– Stir to combine
– Toss with GREEK DRESSING to coat — you do not want it drenched

– Put pita chips onto serving dish and spoon approximately one tablespoon of the filling onto each pita chip
o TIME SAVER: If you are running late, use the mixture as a dip instead and place the chips around it

**ADDITIONAL RECIPE: Save any extra bruschetta topping and add it to a piece of grilled chicken or fish

CHOPPED GREEK SALAD
Magic Bullet parts:
N/A

Ingredients:
[approx. 1/3 cup] GREEK DRESSING (recipe listed above)
[6 cups] chopped romaine lettuce (you could use iceberg, or hearts of romaine — I just prefer romaine)
[2] tomatoes, chopped
[1] cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
[1/2 cup] red onion, finely chopped
[1/2 cup] sliced, ripe black olives
[1/2 cup] crumbled, feta cheese

Directions:
– Add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta cheese to a large bowl
– Toss with dressing
o NOTE: Great with GRILLED CHICK WITH A KICK (recipe listed below) chopped

__________________

‘SHREEK’ it is so good PASTA SALAD — Shrimp. + Greek. Get it?
Magic Bullet parts:
[1] Magic Bullet short cup
[1] Magic Bullet cross blade

Ingredients:
[3/4 cup] GREEK DRESSING (recipe listed above)
[1 lb.] orzo pasta, cooked al dente [firm — do not overcook until it is mushy]
[1 lb.] shrimp, peeled and deveined and fully cooked
[1] cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
[2 cups] cherry tomatoes, halved
[1] red onion, chopped
[1] yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
[1] red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
[1 cup] pitted kalamata olives
[3 Tablespoons] toasted pignoli nuts [also labeled as ‘pine nuts’ — for when you are grocery shopping]

Directions:
– When orzo is finished cooking and drained, toss with a TINY bit of olive oil to keep from sticking and set aside
– Add kalamata olives to short cup
– Pulse with cross blade until olives are broken down, NOT pureed
– In a large bowl add shrimp, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, kalamata olives and GREEK DRESSING
– Toss to combine
– Add orzo and combine
– Top with toasted pignoli nuts

__________________

GRILLED CHICK WITH A KICK
Magic Bullet parts:
N/A

Ingredients:
[1/2 cup] GREEK DRESSING (recipe listed above)
[4] boneless chicken breasts

Directions:
– Add chicken breasts and GREEK DRESSING to a large, zip locked baggie in the morning
– Place in refrigerator
– If someone is home mid day, turn bag onto it’s other side
– Place onto grill, and cook until white all the way through — pink should be gone when you cut into it
– Toss onto a salad, over rice, by itself — whatever floats your boat

Hey folks!

Happy Wednesday!

Today, I’m going to show you a versatile dressing that you can make with my next featured ingredient: cucumbers!

I LOVE cucumbers, they’re super tasty and refreshing, and so is this dressing. It is a Greek-inspired yogurt dressing that can be used as a dip or dressing. Last night I even used it to drizzle over baked chicken cutlets and it was divine!

In this video, I’ll show you how to use it for a tasty cucumber salad.

So, grab your large Bullet cup, and we’ll take it for a saucy spin!

CREAMY CUCUMBER DRESSING
Ingredients:
1 cup of plain yogurt (whole milk or low-fat is fine)
1/2 a cucumber, cut into chunks
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
1-2 cloves of garlic
juice from half a lemon
1-2 tbs fresh dill (use about half as much if using dried)

Throw all of this into your large Magic Bullet cup, in the order that they’re written above. Give the bullet a spin, and voila!

This is going to yield a bit, and will thicken when refrigerated, but as I said, It’s so versatile, you will be using it for everything!

For the Cucumber Salad, cut up an entire cucumber into bite-sized chunks. You can keep the skin on, but I only recommend doing this if you are buying organic, you don’t want to eat all those nasty pesticides.

Pour about 1/4 of your pre-made dressing over the cucumbers, and serve!

Stay tuned, ladies, this Friday I’m going to show you an awesome cucumber cocktail!!!

Au revoir!

Lizzie

Terrific Tuesdays

Tuesdays are always terrific – right?

And if you are lucky enough to live in the northeast like me, this rain and extreme humidity that has made for a fabulous, high-gloss complexion for the past two days has been a fantastic added bonus……………………

Now let’s be serious for a moment.

Is any recipe with the word ‘dip’ in it ever a bad?

In my opinion, no. Are dips always the most healthy things in the world? Again, that is a big fat no.

Below is a recipe for one of my ‘go-to’ dips when I have some of my more health conscious friends over – but there is NO sacrifice made in terms of taste, I promise you that.

BLACK BEAN DIP – Don’t sell yourself short, do it.

[1] Magic Bullet tall cup
[1] Magic Bullet cross blade

[1 can] rinsed, drained black beans
[1 Tablespoon] tomato paste
[1 Tablespoon] extra virgin olive oil
[2] cloves of garlic, chopped
[2 teaspoons] lime juice
[1/2 teaspoon] ground cumin
[1/2 teaspoon] salt (to taste)
[1/2 teaspoon] cayenne pepper (to taste)
[2] green onions, chopped
[2 Tablespoons] mild green chilies, chopped

– Add all ingredients to the tall cup
– Pulse until well blended and almost all beans are broken up
– Serve with your favorite corn chips, pita chips, or for those waist watching folks, a veggie platter
– If you have had a rough day, a beer is a fantastic addition

** ADDITIONAL RECIPE – Below I have listed a recipe for BLACK BEAN BURGERS – made with your BLACK BEAN DIP –
– Take your black bean dip and add to a bowl
– Add [1] egg,
– [1/2 cup] of seasoned bread crumbs
– [1/2] green pepper finely chopped
– [1/2] vidalia onion finely chopped
– Shape into patties
– Spray frying pan on medium heat with non-stick cooking spray
– Add patties and cook on both sides for about 4 minutes, or until cooked all the way through
– These are delicious. No bread needed delicious. I like to top them with a couple of slices of avocado, couple tablespoons of salsa, amazingness.

You have to try everything AT LEAST once.

It’s the words I live by. And you should too. So give it a shot, and enjoy.

Happy Blending kiddos –

Xo – Lauren