It’s summer and the sun is shining and the humidity is disgusting here in NYC. Although I spent all winter waiting to run outdoors without boots and socks and any number of layers on, now I find myself cooped up inside wishing for it to cool down. Oh, New York…
While inside, I decided to make myself some quintessential summer eats.
Popsicles! This is the easiest, set-it-and-forget-it recipe there is.
Grab some watermelon. Cut it up into bite size chunks. Grab a lime. Cut it in half.
Throw the watermelon into your trusty Magic Bullet, squeeze in half a lime’s worth of juice and add a teaspoon or two of sugar.
Blend it all up!
Now simply pour this mix into your Popsicle molds…
Sit back and goof around with watermelon rinds…
Because you know that in a few short hours you’ll have refreshing, tart popsicles!
I dunno if you guys are as bad as me, but I’m going to guess you are since you’re reading this. But blogs are addicting. Like, really, really addicting. It’s hard to do real work. I get so sidetracked. You know what has made it even worse? Pinterest. Ugh. It’s the bane of my existence, seriously. There are so many pretty pictures! I click them all. And then I’m stuck on these dang blogs that are captivating for whatever crazy reason and I. Can’t. Stop. Reading.
So, this pesto. I found it on a blog. Cupcakes and Cashmere; have you heard of it? If you don’t want to become obsessed, I’m warning you now, don’t click on the link. It’ll suck you in. You won’t be able to stop. People, I don’t even give a flip about fashion and I. Can’t. Stop. Reading. And I think part of it is that every once in awhile, (and let’s face it, when you’re stalking food blogs, which is what I normally stalk… it’s more than just once in a while. [Hey! If you're looking for a new one to ogle... check out mine!.. shameless self promotion..]) you come across something like this pea pesto. And you try it because, well, why the heck not? You always have frozen peas in the freezer and you really don’t know what to do with them otherwise, and then you love it. And you know why you obsess over these things we call blogs. Because they’re awesome. They are a source of inspiration and a way to escape from your desk job and make yourself drool over fabulous looking food, and then maybe even go home and try it. Because hey, if they can do it, so can you, right? Right.
So let’s try this. Let’s try this pea pesto together. Tell me what you think. I think you’re gonna like it.
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated *(you know you can do this with your bullet, right? just use the flat blade!)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- A loaf or two of crusty bread; a baguette works best here, but you could really use any kind of crusty bread.
- olive oil for brushing
- A handful of cherry or grape (or other small) tomatoes; sliced into chunks
- In a tall cup, blend together peas, parmesean, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup olive oil until smooth. Boom. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary (this will depend on how salty your cheese is). Set aside.
- Cut your crusty bread into slices; about 1/2 inch or so thick, maybe a little less. Brush on both sides with olive oil and grill or toast under the broiler on both sides. (if you do it under the broiler, watch them carefully! those suckers burn quick!)
- Spread your toast slices with a hefty portion of the pea pesto, top with a slice of tomato and dig right in there! You should probably share, but I won’t judge you if you eat two or three before you bring the plate around.
I’m going to tell you a story about chimichurri. Except I don’t know anything about it at all. Never even heard of it until my boyfriend, Brett, decided he wanted to see if the bullet could make it. It can. So. Let’s have wikipedia tell us a story about chimichurri. Well, apparently it is a sauce for meat, originating in Argentina, but also found in Uruguay, Nicaragua, Columbia, and Mexico. We ate it. Here in Hawaii. So now it’s come really far. And you know what, it was delicious. So I’m going to go ahead and insist that you try it, wherever you are, in which case the humble sauce of Argentina will travel the entire world. Wouldn’t that be thrilling? I have no idea if this is actually a humble sauce. But it’s a delicious one.
You know what else is cool? It turns your meat green. Which, if you bring it to share at a BBQ, like we did, well it just might turn some people off with its hue. Which means you don’t have to share all that much at all. Not because you didn’t try or anything. Double win.
It also inspired me to try and make some kind of Green Eggs and Ham joke. But it’s green steak. So I kind of got stumped. Green steak and eggs? Eggs and green steak, I really like them.. Jake? Meh. Doesn’t work as well. But luckily, this sauce is delicious and I could easily see it used in other ways, too. Like over pasta. Or even over eggs with tortillas.. which would make for green eggs..which you could eat with ham. And tell your friend Sam how you’ve changed your mind, and really DO like green eggs and ham. Wow. I’ve gotten away from my point here. The point is: This is a meat marinade, and it will make your meat delicious. So try it.
Chimichurri (adapted from Bobby Flay of Food Network)
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (original calls for red; we didn’t have any, use whatever you got. except maybe balsamic I don’t think that would work out as well.)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 cloves garlic
- A big ol’ steak. I don’t know much about steak. Brett does the meat buying and most of the meat cooking in this house. Bobby Flay uses skirt steak. We used… Aw, crap. I can’t remember. Loin? Flank? Geez, who knows. Use whatever steak you like. Use chicken or pork if you like those better. It’s your mouth that’s gonna be eating this, after all. Sauce is enough for at least a pound and a half of meat, if not more.
- Stick everything except your steak (doy) into a magic bullet tall cup and fit with the crossblade. Pack it all in there; it’ll fit. Trust. Blend. Boom.
- Season your meat with salt and pepper and then place it in a plastic bag or a baking dish (however you prefer to marinade). Pour over your sauce and toss and turn the meat to coat. Let this marinate in the fridge for at least an hour or two, and up to overnight. (if you want, save some extra sauce on the side for dipping later..)
- Before grilling, let your meat come to room temperature. Never grill cold meat! Heat up your grill or grill pan and grill your steak until it’s as done as you like it. We usually like ours pretty rare, but went for more medium on this, as I think it’s nice to cook the sauce a bit more. So maybe shoot for medium to medium well. Cook your steak on a high heat to get the nice char marks; you can move it to a cooler part of the grill if you want it to cook through the middle more; or cover your grill.
- Let your meat rest for at least five minutes, then slice, eat and enjoy!
I have no idea why we decided to name this drink a Mojito-rito. But for some reason, it just happened. My first thought is maybe because it’s somewhere between a mojito and a blended margarita… but I’m not sure if that is really why we came up with it or not. Either way, this drink was a creation that was basically the result of bringing home a bottle of rum and realizing we had no mixers. At all.
I had bought a big ol’ bunch of mint at the farmer’s market and was dreaming of making mojitos with some of it. So, graciously, my boyfriend Brett went out and bought some white rum to bring back to me. Club soda, he forgot. So we improvised. It turned out to be the most delicious improvisation we’ve made yet.
Seriously, not only does blending mint turn your ‘mojito’ into the most fabulous shade of green, but it makes something so refreshing that it turns an ordinary Sunday afternoon into a mini vacation. It’s not too sweet, it’s just strong enough that you don’t forget what it is you’re drinking, and, people, look at how green it is! Brett even went so far as to say it was his favorite cocktail he’s ever had. So if that doesn’t convince you, well gee, I just don’t know what will.
Ingredients (for two drinks)
- 1 big handful fresh mint leaves
- 1 lime
- 3 oz white rum
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Get out two party cups (or tall cups), and fill each one about 2/3- 3/4 of the way full with ice. Pour 1 1/2 oz of rum into each cup, and then squeeze the juice of a half a lime into each. top with 1/2 handful of fresh mint and 1 tbsp of sugar.
- Pop on your cross blade and blend until you don’t hear big chunks of ice whirling around anymore. Pour into a glass (or just screw on the party cup lid if you prefer), top with a sprig of fresh mint, and enjoy!
Variation: We made these again and added a few big chunks of fresh coconut that our landlord had given us from his tree. It was delicious in flavor, but fresh coconut made the texture off. I think this would be absolutely awesome with a splash of coconut milk. You could also throw in a couple chunks of mango if you’re feeling crazy. Oooh, that sounds good.. Excuse me.. it seems I need to do some more… uh… ‘taste testing’…
Yaayy, it’s popsicle season! It’s also peach season (-ish? Right? All I know is they are everywhere and so delish!) Now, I haven’t ever made my own popsicles at home. I’m really more of an ice cream kind of girl. But I’ve seen so many pictures of delicious looking popsicles everywhere, especially floating around pinterest (biggest time waster of my life–I’m obsessed) and I just knew that this summer I’d have to give it a try.
One small issue: I don’t own a popsicle mold. And given the teeny tiny kitchen we have and the even smaller amount of storage space (and the fact that our kitchen storage already overflows into the rest of our itsy-bitsy studio) buying some is kind of not realistic. Even if they’re small. And they would stay in the freezer. Man I really want some. On my first attempt at making these, I rigged up a little something with parchment paper and a beaker. Um. Don’t try it at home, folks. Learn from my mistakes. Shot glasses + ice cube trays = perfectly awesome popsicle molds.
Peaches and Cream Popsicles
I made a half recipe of these, and I’m going to go ahead and assume that normal folks own more than one shot glass and therefore would like to make more than one larger size pop and 12 teensy-tiny ice cube size pops. The recipe I’m giving you below would make 6-8 shot glass sized popsicles (depending on how big your shot glass is) or 26-30 ice cube sized popsicles.
- 2 medium sized ripe peaches, cut up
- 1 cup plain yogurt (the thicker the better; greek would be fabulous here)
- 2-3 tbsp honey; divided.
- popsicle molds, ice cube trays, shot glasses… you get the idea.
- Sticks, such as popsicle sticks, toothpicks, or bamboo skewers, depending on size mold you choose.
- In the small cup, put both of the peaches and one tbsp of honey. As long as your peaches are ripe, they should blend right up using the cross blade. Blend until smooth and then set aside.
- In a tall cup, place one cup of yogurt and 1-2 tbsp of honey, depending on how sweet you like your yogurt. blend with the crossblade until honey is incorporated. No need to rinse the crossblade between the peaches and here. Woohoo! (P.S., you could totally use sweetened yogurt if you’d rather, we just always buy plain because it’s more delicious and you can regulate the amount and type of sweetener you use. But this would work well with vanilla yogurt, too if you like that, just skip adding honey and save yourself a cup! no need to blend!)
- In your popsicle-mold-of-choice, layer two spoonfuls of peaches, followed by a two spoonfuls of yogurt. The yogurt will be less dense than the peaches and will float on top. If you want to be adorable and make a cute pattern, stick this in the freezer for an hour or two and then repeat the layers again; peaches and then yogurt. (you could omit this and make only two layers; a bunch of peach on bottom followed by a bunch of yogurt on top, which is what you’ll do if you make ice cube size pops like me) Freeze for another hour and then stick in your sticks and freeze until solid. To unmold, run under warm water for a few seconds and pop out using the stick.
- Eat and Enjoy! P.S.: if you notice, these pops are made of basically just peaches and yogurt. Which, if you’re wondering, makes them perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast.
Magic Bullet Brothers and Sisters,
In your hour of need, I come to you with an amazing smoothie recipe! Yesterday morning, before embarking on a vigorous hike, I decided to make a fruity concoction to get myself energized and motivated. For the smoothie, I used some of my favorite fruits and even added a little raspberry sorbet, because I was feeling just that crazy.
TAKE A HIKE SMOOTHIE
Magic Bullet Parts
- Magic Bullet tall cup with cross blades
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup raspberry sorbet
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup chopped ripe strawberries
- ½ cup fresh mango
- Cut strawberries into halves and cut mango into small cubes.
*Cutting a fresh mango can be challenging. If you’re not up for the task, you can always get pre-cut mango at your local grocery store.
2. Add to tall cup, ¼ cup scoopable raspberry sorbet, ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup chopped ripe strawberries, ½ cup fresh cut mango and ¼ cup orange juice.
Another bean post?! I really have come a long way, haven’t I Mom? This spread, though. Let me tell you. It’ll make you a believer. A bean believer. A bean-liever. Yeah I just went there.
The best part about this bruschetta though is that it is absolutely perfect for summertime BBQs. It’s simple and it’s quick and when you brush bread with olive oil and then put it on the grill, something magical happens. When you top that magical bread with a lemony, fresh, white bean spread, well, you’ll just be one happy camper. So finally, instead of giving you fall recipes in July here is something that I insist you take to your next BBQ. Which, let’s be honest, ought to be this weekend. The bean spread itself takes literally twenty seconds to make. Literally. It’s a beautiful thing. So beautiful that I was finally able to make it to a BBQ on time, people. This is a huge accomplishment for me. I’m constantly late. Usually it’s because I’m baking something last minute to bring with me, so no one really complains, but.. still. I’m always late. But this time, I just brought along a loaf of bread, a jar of olive oil, and this spread, and not only was I on time, but the bruschetta I made was a hit. Mission accomplished.
Tuscan White Bean Bruschetta (from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook)
- 1 can cannelini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and rained.
- juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp (or a few grinds of the pepper mill) ground black pepper
- 1 loaf crusty bread, such as a baguette, ciabatta or other loaf
- Put all ingredients, except for bread, in your tall cup and top with the cross blade. Pulse and shake, pulse and shake a few times. All of the beans will not get mashed up. That is OK. You don’t want this to be a paste, there should be some texture left to it. Once you’re satisfied, dump it all into a bowl and stir it around to incorporate the leftover whole beans, smooshing some if you feel there are too many left whole. Set aside. Or, set in a tupperware and bring it to your neighbor’s to assemble at the BBQ.
- Slice your bread on the diagonal to get a lot of surface area out of it if you are using a baguette, or just into large slices if you are using a bigger loaf such as ciabatta. Brush slices on both sides with olive oil and set on a grill to toast. (you could do this under the broiler or in a grill pan on the stove if you absolutely cannot find a BBQ to crash. but I bet you can find one. It’s summer.) Watch carefully as the bread toasts very quickly; flip it and cook the other side.
- Once toasted on both sides, top with about 1 tbsp (or as much as you want) of the white bean spread. Munch, munch, munch! I made a double batch of this I liked it so much! Eat and Enjoy!
For my last meal in San Francisco, my mom and I made broiled salmon with Italian salsa verde. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this style of salsa verde, it’s a cold rustic sauce that can be served with any assortment of vegetables, fishes and meats. Filled with fresh herbs and other tasty ingredients, this sauce is perfection. Trust me.
Although I was sad to leave San Francisco the next day and, thus, conclude my Magic Bullet Tour, I was happy knowing that it ended with the perfect meal. Enjoy your salmon with salsa verde!
SALMON WITH SALSA VERDE
- 1 generous cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 3 flat anchovies rinsed and drained
- ½ cup capers rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon red pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
For salsa verde
- To tall cup, add half of ingredients and blend.
- Stop blender midway to stir mixture and then continue to blend.
- Once blended, transfer this portion to bowl.
- Add other half of ingredients to tall cup and follow same steps. *Your salsa verde should have the appearance of pesto.
- Salt and pepper salmon fillet. Lightly wipe baking sheet (covered with tin foil) with olive oil. *Tin foil will make your life easier!
- Place salmon on baking sheet skin side up.
- Broil salmon on high for 7 minutes. *Skin should be getting crispy.
- Open oven and flip salmon over. Broil on high for 5 minutes.
Bet’cha didn’t see this one coming, huh? I told you I was gonna give you some good recipes to use up that butternut squash puree. But I bet you thought the muffins were all you were gonna get. Surprise! Here’s another! You ate all your puree already?! It’s okay. I’m sure they have more squash at the store. You’ll want to make some more. Because this pasta, it’s awesome.
You might think I’m crazy. “Erin. The puree has sugar in it. And cinnamon. And you’re telling me you’re going to make pasta sauce with it?! You’re crazy!” Fear not, my dear friends. I may be crazy, but this pasta is delicious. The sweetness of the puree is balanced out by the shallots and the parmesan and just enough black pepper. It makes something creamy and savory and warm and cheesy and oooh.. I might have to make some more, actually.
Butternut and Parmesan Pasta (adapted from goodlifeeats)
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallots (about 1-2 shallots, depending on the size.)
- 1/2 cup packed, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 of one of those wedges)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Water or broth (as needed)
- 1/2 box (80z) penne or other pasta
- Using your bullet small cup and the flat blade, pulse to grate the parmesan cheese. Dump cheese out and set aside. In the same cup, using the cross blade, chop up the shallots. Boom. No knife skillz needed.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Cook pasta according to package directions. I never know how long pasta takes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and shallots, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the butternut squash puree, and cook for a minute. Slowly add in the half and half, stirring while you pour it in to avoid lumps. Add in the cheese and stir to melt. Salt and pepper to taste, we liked it with a hefty pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Here, if needed, you can add water or chicken/vegetable broth to thin out the sauce if it’s a little thick. I like to add in some of the pasta water leftover after the pasta has cooked; I think we added about 1/4 cup of it.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Drain pasta (if you haven’t already) and spoon the sauce all over the pasta to serve. Eat and Enjoy!!!
While I was in San Francisco visiting my parents, I made the most heavenly key lime pie with graham cracker crust. I used my Magic Bullet for both the crust and the filling. The Bullet crumbled the graham crackers, blended together all the key lime ingredients and basically made my life much easier.
This wondrous pie was quite possibly my proudest Magic Bullet creation. I was so pleased with the results that I kept asking my mom to take photos of me holding the pie. I was like, “Mom, now take a photo of me looking surprised with the pie!” The photo below is just one of (too) many pie shots.
I highly recommend making this little taste of heaven. It’s the perfect summery dessert to share with your family and friends. They will eat it up!
I hope you enjoy oh-so-much!
KEY LIME PIE
Magic Bullet Parts
- Magic Bullet tall cup with cross blades
- 13 graham crackers
- 1 stick melted butter
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons key lime
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- Break up graham crackers into smaller pieces and add to tall cup.
- Pulse until fine.
- Transfer graham cracker crumble into mixing bowl.
- Add sugar and melted butter to crumble and combine.
- Press mixture onto 9-inch pie pan. Start with bottom of pan and work your way up to sides.
- Put graham cracker crust in oven for about 13 minutes.
- For filling, combine sweetened condensed milk, eggs and key lime to mixing bowl.
- Give ingredients a light mix, transfer half to tall cup and pulse a few times.
- Pour filling into pie crust and follow same steps for other half of filling.
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes and chill for at 5hrs.