Sep
17
0

Mexican Marinade

Barbecuing this weekend? Throwing a fiesta? Then we’ve got the perfect Mexican-style marinade for you! This marinade goes perfect on lamb, pork, chicken, you name it! The strong flavors of the cilantro marry perfectly with the dried oregano and lime for the perfect kick that will have you wondering why you didn’t think to make this marinade before.
And for a real kick, add a teaspoon of cayenne or arbol chile powder to the mix. It brings the perfect amount of heat to this already flavorful mix.
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in your tall cup and blend for 7 seconds, or until you see that everything is well-blended. For best results, let the mix sit over night so that the flavor profile can develop. Pour over your meat of choice and let marinate for at least one hour.

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Sep
13
0

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Remember Gogurt? Remember when you wanted to eat it, but it was warm from sitting in your mom’s car after a long day of errands? Remember when you stuck it in the freezer to get it cold faster? And then forgot about it and discovered it the next day!?

That’s what all of those new-fangled create-your-own-yogurt places remind me of. But sometimes, I’m too lazy to walk down the five flights of stairs to the place down the street. It’s a lot easier to make this five-ingredient recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well instead, set it in your freezer, and forget it.

You won’t regret it, I promise.

Ingredients:
  • 2 c fresh or frozen blueberries1/2 c sugar
  •  1 T lemon juice
  • 1 c nonfat milk
  • 2 c nonfat plain yogurt (Greek style is preferable)

Directions:

1.  Combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a low boil and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until the berries have created their own syrup and have started to soften. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When the berry mixture has cooled to room temperature, transfer to the Magic Bullet Tall Cup and blend until smooth.

2.  Combine the yogurt and milk in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth. Gently fold in the blueberry mix and combine until completely incorporated into the yogurt mixture. Pour the mixture into a 9″ x 9″ metal pan and freeze for about 45 minutes.

3.  Remove pan from freezer and, using a whisk or fork, stir in the icy bits from the edges and mix with the softer center until completely smooth. Place in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for up to 2 hours, making sure to whip until smooth before putting it back in to freeze.

4.  Store in an airtight container and freeze until ready to use. Garnish with extra blueberries, and enjoy!

 

Sep
12
0

Piña Colada-ish

Duyen made some virgin piña coladas recently that looked delicious. And it seems we are on similar wavelengths because I made some, too. Only I like rum. Quite a lot actually. Also, I wasn’t smart enough to look up an actual piña colada recipe, so I just made it up. We had pineapple. And coconut milk. Seemed easy enough, right?

Not going to lie, it took a couple of tries. A lot of re-blends, if you will. So I don’t know if this really qualifies as a true piña colada. But it is fabulously delicious and will certainly make you forget that fall has begun to descend upon us and our days of sunning ourselves a the beach are all too rapidly coming to a close.

Piña Coladas (kind of)

Ingredients

  • 1 oz coconut milk
  • 2 oz light rum (the clear kind not the brown kind or your drink will be ugly)
  • 1/4 large or 1/2 small pineapple (we buy these adorable tiny ones from the farmer’s market so I used a half a pineapple per glass but your typical pineapples are much bigger, so I’d say 1/4 or 1/3 would be more appropriate)
  • splash of orange juice
  • whole bunch of ice

Procedure

Put your pineapple, coconut milk, orange juice and rum into a tall cup fitted with the cross blade. Blend together. Remove top and add in ice to fill up the cup. Blend again until slushy and sloshy and fabulous. Drink up!

 

Sep
11
0

Spicy Guacamole

Sometimes I buy avocados to add to sandwiches that I pack for lunch. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t pack lunch. Sometimes the bread goes bad and I have two avocados left. What do I do?

Well, when life makes it so you put off packing lunch and you have ripe avocados, you make guacamole!

Spicy guacamole to be exact.

Remember when Alton Brown’s Good Eats was new and quirky? I miss those days. But I love this easy guacamole recipe he gave us.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled (I used two avocados and I had plenty to eat.)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used half of my steroided monster tomato.)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

All of this won’t fit in your largest cup so you can either put it all in a bowl and mix, then divvy it up into your Bullet, or you can be a real pro and eyeball the amounts for each batch.

See the cumin and cayenne right on top? That’s what’s going to give your guacamole a real kick.

Blend until all ingredients are well mixed. This will be the smoothest guacamole that will ever have graced your lips.

Pair it with your favorite kind of chips and go to town!

I used Spicy Black Bean chips. Because you know what’s better than spicy? Double spicy!

Oh Summer. We loved you. We will always love you. Some things just epitomize summer in the best of ways. I love summer more than any other season by far and I love everything that goes along with summer, too. Long days, warm nights, sunscreen, sandy feet, popsicles, sticky hands. And watermelon. Is there anything more summery than a juicy watermelon dripping down your face and arms? I’m pretty sure there isn’t.

So, to celebrate the end of Summer, I give you a concoction that pretty much looks and tastes exactly like summer should. And the best part is, you can choose how you want to eat it. Here’s what you need: Watermelon, cucumber, and lime.

You could just throw in watermelon, peeled cucumber and a squeeze of lime juice into your tall cup and blend it, throw in some ice cubes and you have the most perfect porch drink. Or you could freeze some of the watermelon chunks beforehand, blend those together with un-frozen watermelon, some cucumber and lime juice and now you’ve got a watermelon slushie.

Or add in some rum, because why the heck not?

You could also freeze the whole mess into popsicle molds and enjoy it as a frozen snack instead of a beverage. It doesn’t matter how you eat it. Just do yourself a favor and blend up watermelon, cucumber, and lime, take a sip (or a lick) and enjoy these last days before fall sets in. You deserve it.

Watermelon-Cucumber-Lime drink (inspired by Yes, I Want Cake)

  • Watermelon chunks; half of them frozen, half not frozen.
  • cucumber, peeled
  • lime
  • Rum (optional)

Blend everything together! If you use frozen watermelon you don’t even need ice!

Sep
5
0

Marvelous Marinara

You guys. Do you buy pasta sauce? Like, in a jar? At the store? For like waaay too much money for a sauce that is just kind of..meh? Or even maybe good but, come on, three fifty for a jar that will only last for like one box of pasta and if you don’t use it all you’ll shove it in the back of the fridge and forget about it and it will get moldy and then you just wasted at least a dollar of jarred pasta sauce? Well, cut it out people! Don’t you know how dang easy it is to make sauce that’s at least one zillion times better than that stuff you’ve been buying? Plus it’s cheaper and you know what goes into it so you aren’t eating weird things you can’t pronounce and 12 times the daily recommended amount of sodium. Plus you can freeze it in airtight containers so you don’t end up with colonies of weird stuff growing in the back of your fridge.

So. Pasta sauce. Go make some. It takes no time at all and your mouth will be so happy with you. Promise.

 

Marinara Sauce

There are a zillion recipes out there for pasta sauce. This is one of the versions I have made, but honestly all it takes is a can of tomatoes, some fat (think olive oil or butter) and maybe an onion. Seriously. Or instead of onion, throw in basil. Or italian seasoning. Whateevvaaaaa. It’s dead simple, is what I’m trying to say, to make pasta sauce.. so you can now happily boycott

Ingredients

  • 1-2 medium carrots
  • 1-2 onions (2 if they are small like mine, one is fine if you buy the giant onions)
  • 3-4 stalks of celery
  • some glugs of olive oil
  • 1 28-oz can tomatoes (chopped, whole, it doesn’t matter. Buy whatever is on sale, just make sure it isn’t tomato sauce as that won’t have enough body)
  • splash of whatever red wine you are drinking (sure you can leave this out.. but I highly recommend putting some in.)
  • handful of fresh basil, parsley, oregano or whatever other herbs you have on hand. (You can use dried if you must, but if ever there was a reason to get a pot and grow some basil.. this would be it.)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Chop up your onions, carrots and celery all to roughly the same size; a medium dice. You want everything chopped small but don’t kill yourself chopping for hours to mince it or anything. This is called a mirepoix. You are now fancy and French; congratulations.
  2. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat with a few sizable glugs of olive oil. Once nice and hot, throw in your mirepoix and let it cook until the veggies are softened and the onion is translucent. This will take at least 5 minutes, and could take as long as 10 or 15. Have a bit of patience here. I’ll sometimes let it go a little longer until the onions start to caramelize, but that’s up to you.
  3. Splash in some red wine and stir, stir, stir to get all the yummy bits that have stuck to the bottom up. Then toss in your whole can of tomatoes, juices and all. Turn the heat down a bit to medium low, pop a lid on this and let it cook, stirring occasionally until your house smells like heaven, the tomatoes are starting to break down, and the sauce is starting to look a bit more like sauce. This will take a minimum of 20 minutes, but you can let it go for as long as you want. The longer you cook it, the deeper the flavors will become.
  4. Ladle your sauce into the bullet large pitcher/blender attachment fitted with the cross blade and blend for about 5-10 seconds. You want the sauce to still have some texture, you’re just blending out the chunks so don’t let it go too long.  [I used the blender attachment because this is a large amount of sauce.. and goodness gracious I'm pretty sure this sauce is what the bullet was made to blend. It whizzed it to the perfect consistency in literally 6 seconds and I was able to fit all the sauce in two full batches. If you are using a tall cup it will take a lot more batches and you'll need to be a lot more careful of steam/pressure buildup so I highly recommend using the big blender attachment. It's a dream].
  5. Put the blended sauce back on the heat and toss in your chopped fresh herbs [if you are using dried herbs, I would actually throw them in before you blend in order to make sure they get hydrated]. Stir, bring it back up to heat, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve over your favorite pasta, use as a dipping sauce, pizza sauce, whatever! You just made marinara! Wasn’t that easy?!
Sep
4
0

Lean Green Machine

Welcome, Magic Bullet, to my humble abode. I’m so excited for all sorts of multi-purposing in our future together.

But what to start with? Maybe something easy. And healthy. I read lifestyle blogs all day long and easy and healthy seems to be the trend nowadays so why not?

I decided to try out the Lean Green Smoothie featured on Camille Styles blog. I adapted it a little and my ingredients are listed below.

Here are the players:

Pretty healthy looking group right?

  • 1/ 2 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leaves (I was hesitant about this but I did it anyway and couldn’t taste a thing! Which means its negligible flavor-wise, but essential for the healthy ingredients quota.)
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • Crushed ice

Basically, you want to cut everything up…

So that it will comfortably fit in your bullet, like so…

Blend until you have a nice smooth… well, smoothie.

I decided on the green party cup because I intended to tote this delicious mix to work. But someone had different plans for this lean green machine.

It never even stood a chance.


There’s this whole debate in the blogosphere about the blurring of reality and fiction. In the sense, that sometimes you write what you think people want to read as opposed to what you really think or you begin omitting truths. Well, I have a truth to tell you that I don’t tell a lot of people.

You ready?

I don’t like pancakes.

There. I said it.

“Blasphemy!” you say. “Who doesn’t like pancakes?!” you ask.

Yup, that’s me—the weirdo who doesn’t like pancakes. BUT, I decided to give this old favorite another try. And since I’m trying to maintain some semblance of healthy eating, I thought I’d give Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes a go.

Now, I got a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and I halved it. But I still ended up with enough pancake mix for the entire Duggar clan. So depending on how many pancakes you eat, you might want to consider making only a third of this recipe. I ended up keeping most of it in an airtight container for another day.

You want to take the oats and grind them using the Flat Blade. Grind to your heart’s desire. Ours turned into a fine powder but next time we might try leaving it in thicker bits—just to try out the texture.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled (quick) oats
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil

Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Slowly add the olive oil. When you squeeze the pancake mix together it should stick together slightly.

Now that you have your mix, let’s make pancakes!

Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup buttermilk (I just used milk—I’m a rebel, I know.), and 1 egg.

The mix will seem really runny at first, but the oats will actually absorb the liquid. So give it a few minutes before you start adding more mix.

To make this a little less “granola” we added some berries. I threw the pancake batter and some fresh raspberries and blueberries into the Bullet.

Once you’ve added your various accoutrements, heat up that griddle!

I’m no pancake expert, but the internet seems to come to the consensus that your pan should be hot enough that when you put some water drops on it that they should dance around. Dancing water droplets, that’s the measure of a properly heated pan.

Pour your batter in and let the edges dry out and bubbles rise to the surface.

Now with great conviction, slide your spatula underneath your pancake and give it a flip. I found that the later pancakes were much better looking than the first few. So don’t be disheartened if yours look funny at first. They still taste good and the third round will look better than the first.

Don’t these look great?!

Doused in real, bonafide maple syrup. I think that might be the real secret to liking pancakes. But the pancakes alone were pretty darn good too.

I’m going to go ahead and assume you all know what Jamba Juice is. Is that a safe assumption? No? Well, it’s a smoothie joint. My little brother happens to work there, actually. Anyway, they make smoothies. Dang good ones, if I do say so myself. But honestly, five bucks for some berries in a blender? No thanks. I’d rather make it myself. And I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I make really good smoothies. But they have this one smoothie there that is ridiculous. It shouldn’t be called a smoothie, it should be called a shake, really. It’s ri-donk-ulous. It’s called the Peanut Butter Moo’d. They have it in chocolate, too. But I’m still not willing to fork out the dough for it. Not to mention it’s like  five zillion calories. Seriously. Not that I even care. But. Still.

Enter: Bullet. Also: frozen bananas. I’ve already told you guys how these suckers can make freakin ice cream, yo, and now I’m here to tell you they are clearly the secret to a creamy peanut butter shake. Which you are more than welcome to add chocolate to. I added nutella. Because, why wouldn’t you?

And you can bring it to work. And it will make you smile.

Peanut Butter Smoothie (inspired by the Moo’d. Created by yours truly.)

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, 1 non-frozen banana cut into chunks. (Here we have these little mini bananas called apple bananas. They’re the best things ever. But if you don’t have those, and are using regular ol’ cavendash which are ginormous, you could just use half one of each frozen and non frozen)
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter (ps this is one serving size. score for portion control!)
  • a few glugs of milk
  • Nutella, like, however much you want.
  • I also threw in a couple chunks of frozen papaya because a) they were severely freezer burned and needed to go and b) I thought they’d add a bit of sweet that would be nice. you could throw in whatever frozen fruit you have on hand: peaches, mango, whatevs. Maybe not berries because they are a) tart and b) red which means you’d have a nasty color smoothie. Just sayin’.

Procedure

  1. blend.
  2. drink.
  3. smile.
Aug
22
2

Virgin Piña Coladas

Do you like piña coladas? And dancing in the rain? If so, it sounds like we could be friends.

Since rum isn’t my favorite liquor, I decided to make some virgin piña coladas to try and beat the heat. These are just as good as alcoholic ones and are totally acceptable to drink at any function.

I got the recipe from Paula Deen who I still love in spite of her diabetes debacle. She has a really interesting life; I would know, I read her autobiography. You should check it out sometime when you feel up for an easy, food-related read.

ANYWAY, cut up some pineapple. This recipe calls for only a ¼ of a cup, but I added more because I like mine with a punch of pineapple.

Then add in your cream of coconut and your coconut milk. Which are indeed two different things and you shouldn’t substitute one for the other. It will taste funny.

Now, I have to warn you that these yield highly sweet, rich drinks. What else would you expect from Paula? To counteract this, I added a ton of ice to a) water it down some and b) make it ice cold—which I think is a necessity for enjoying a drink like this.

I also felt it was necessary to shake it like a Polaroid picture, too.

I swear these were non-alcoholic in spite of this last blurry picture. I wouldn’t lie to you. But feel free to alcohol it up. Just drink responsibly. And don’t email me when everything seems so loud the next morning.