Tag Archive: recipes

Apr 22 2014

Strawberry Mint Tequila Smash Cocktail for Earth Day #client

Disclosure: The Baddish Group provided me with a mini sampler of Casa Noble tequila and a gift card for writing this post. All opinions remain my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible.

Happy Earth Day!

Around the world, April 22nd has been set aside as a day of action in the fight for environmental protection. Your community probably planned a river or park clean-up. There are often talks about sustainability and how to move forward in a more green fashion. We’re focusing more on our footprint and the ramifications of our actions. It’s a beautiful thing.

Strawberry Mint Smash

Today is also my mother-in-law’s birthday!

Another life-giving force, my husband’s mother calls Earth Day her birthday. This year she is traveling over her birthday, so we won’t get to celebrate in person. I raise my glass in her honor–here’s to many more!

Strawberry Mint Smash

How does Casa Noble tequila fit into this?

Casa Noble Tequila obtained its organic certification from the USDA in early 2009.  According to the USDA website, organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. Casa Noble’s commitment to organic agriculture ensures that they’ll be producing tequila for many years to come. The soils are preserved by the process they use, including composting for fertilizer and avoiding environmentally-harmful pesticides altogether. They rotate crops, which helps maintain good soil health, and utilize livestock and insects as natural pest control. Heck, they even manually weed! In the end, you know you’re getting the best tequila possible because of the extra care they’re putting into their operation. It’s no wonder Casa Noble has been around for more than 200 years–and 7 generations–producing tequila. I can’t think of a better base for an Earth Day cocktail than one of their fine products!

Strawberry Mint Smash

Cheers!

Happy day, Mother Earth! Happy birthday, mother-in-law! And thank you, Casa Noble, for providing the perfect tequila for the occasion!

Strawberry Mint Smash

Strawberry Mint Tequila Smash
 
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Borrowing from the popular mojito, this cocktail combines strawberries with mint leaves and lime for a delightful tequila-based drink.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 3 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 6 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 ounce agave nectar
  • 1½ ounces lime juice (from about 1½ medium limes)
  • 2 ounces Casa Noble Crystal tequila (for more depth of flavor, you can use reposado tequila instead)
  • ice
Instructions
  1. In the bottom of a 12-ounce glass, muddle the strawberries, mint leaves, agave nectar, and lime juice, crushing the strawberries and mint well.
  2. Add the Casa Noble Crystal Tequila and stir.
  3. Add ice, stir, and garnish with mint leaves.
  4. Sip and enjoy.

You can find Casa Noble in your local package store and online:

Website: www.casanoble.com | Facebook: facebook.com/casanoble
Twitter: @casa_noble | Instagram: casanoble

Casa Noble Crystal tequila

Apr 15 2014

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe #client

Disclosure: As a Sabra Tastemaker, I was compensated for this post, as well as provided with free product. All opinions remain my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help make this blog possible.

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe

I love my job, but the work week is tough. It’s hard to find inspiration in the kitchen after a full day in the office, followed by a 40-minute drive. By the time I arrive home, all I want to do is park my butt on the couch and relax. I’m spent. Unfortunately, I can’t do this; I have a family counting on me. (Which is probably fortunate, too, because, when left to my own devices, I can be shamefully lazy.) Forge on, I must!

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe

This quesadilla came from one such night when my husband was working his winter second job and I just didn’t have it in me to prepare the typical meat, potatoes, and veggie meal. I looked at what I had in the fridge–which, thank goodness, was filled with a recent shipment from Sabra Dipping Co.–grabbed the tortillas, and got to work. In no time we had a deluxe treat–something a little more than the usual, but still meeting the fast and easy requirements for Monday-through-Friday. The best part is that you make enough filling for three quesadillas, so you have leftovers to work off of the next time around. Weeknight dinners have been solved. You’re welcome.

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe

Which meals do you turn to when the week has been long and you’re just too tired to think?

Cheeseburger Quesadilla Deluxe
 
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The filling makes enough for 3 quesadillas, but it's easier to make it and keep it in the fridge than cut it back to ⅓.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Filling
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 pinches sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
Assembly
  • 2 10-inch soft flour tortillas
  • 1 cup (roughly 4 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ¼ cup Sabra Spicy Guacamole
Serving
  • 3 Tablespoons Sabra Medium Homestyle Salsa
  • 3 Tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
Instructions
Filling
  1. Set a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and heat the olive oil in it.
  2. Add the ground beef, garlic powder, sea salt and ground pepper and brown the meat.
  3. Drain the fat and return to the heat, adding the tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Assembly
  1. Heat a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium heat.
  2. Lay out one tortilla and sprinkle ¼ cup of the cheese evenly over it. Spread the guacamole over that.
  3. Place the tortilla in the pan and sprinkle over the guacamole another ¼ cup of the cheese.
  4. Spread ⅓ of the filling over this, then sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese over the filling.
  5. Place the other tortilla on top and heat until cheese is melted and bottom tortilla is lightly browned.
  6. Flip carefully and heat the other side until lightly browned.
  7. Remove to a cutting board or dinner plate.
Serving
  1. Cut in sixths and spread over the top the salsa and yogurt.
  2. Enjoy!
Notes
The remaining filling can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

Apr 14 2014

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Side dishes don’t have to be elaborate. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things in life that are the sweetest. Today I have one of these simple things: Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts. There are only three ingredients, including the sprouts, and most of the time spent making them is passive–you’re just waiting for the oven to work its magic. While I would happily devour a bowl of these little choux and call it a meal, more realistically, this side will provide 4 generous helpings in addition to your entree. The baking time listed will provide you with baby cabbages with a little bit of bite to them still–they are softened just the right amount, without being overcooked. My son gives them a thumbs up. My daughter was so busy stuffing her face that I couldn’t get a sentence out of her. But when she was done, the plate was licked clean. I think that’s an A+.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

I have tried preparing these with more Balsamic vinegar, but prefer using less. This allows for the sprouts to still shine, while being fully enhanced for your pleasure. Feel free to tweak the ratios, though, if you’d like more Balsamic flavor.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Clean and dry the Brussels sprouts, then cut the bottoms off of them and cut in half lengthwise.
  3. Toss in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the outer leaves are browned and crispy, stirring a few times during the cooking time.
  5. Serve immediately.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

 What’s one of your favorite simple pleasures?

Apr 07 2014

Prosecco-Brown Sugar Glazed Bone-In Ham #client #giveaway

Disclosure: Jones Dairy Farm sent me a semi-boneless, fully-cooked ham for this post and will be providing the product for the giveaway, as well. No other compensation was received. All opinions and photos remain my own.

Certain foods are expected to be paired with certain times of year. Burgers always make me think of long summer days spent swimming at my grandparents’ cottage at the lake and chasing fireflies at dusk. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the turkey. Pile on the stuffing and mashed potatoes, please. And when it comes to Easter, there is no finer pairing than ham. We may not always celebrate Easter on Easter (yes, my family is weird), but you can be guaranteed that when we do, ham is what’s for dinner.

ham dinner

It’s not every day we have ham. So when Jones Dairy Farm asked me if I wanted to make one of their hams and share it with my readers, I jumped at the opportunity. I usually am visiting someone else’s house for Easter instead of playing hostess–it was my turn to spin the tables around. I’m glad I had the chance to show how foolproof it can be, especially when you’re starting with a high quality hog. Jones Dairy Farm makes it so easy!

My bone-in ham arrived in its own little ice chest, wrapped and tied like it was a special gift just for me. Did you know that you can order a Jones Dairy Farm ham to be shipped to your own door, too? In fact, I’ll be giving one away at the end of this post!

Jones Dairy Farm ham

We couldn’t believe how BIG our ham was. It weighed in somewhere around 16.5 lbs and measured nearly 14″ long. We named it–because we’re a little strange around here–Hamilton Porkington I. The kids couldn’t wait for me to cook it up. It was torture waiting until I had the time to plan a proper feast.

Jones Dairy Farm ham

Feast day came and we prepared. My wall oven is too small for my roasting pan–the downside to not having to bend over–so I actually own an electric roaster. It’s something like a huge crock pot that normally lives in the basement when it’s not being used. I unwrapped Hamilton and took him in for all his glory. Wow! Now that was a piece of meat! The aroma already was enticing without heating him up! Because the ham is fully cooked, the time it spends in the oven is just really to reheat it. You don’t want to use too high of a temperature or cook it too long or you’ll dry your ham right out, which would be a very sad thing. So let’s not do that, okay?

After preheating my roaster, I placed Hamilton fat side down on the rack, covered, and set the timer. When there were 40 minutes left of heating time, I added the glaze, brushing it on a second time with 20 minutes remaining. The leftover glaze goes on top right before removing from the roaster to ensure a little bit of sweetness remains. It’s not necessary–you certainly don’t have to glaze your ham at all–but it’s a nice little touch of specialness.

Jones Dairy Farm ham

When you’re ready to carve, put a towel on your counter and place your cutting board on top of that. This helps in two ways: it’ll stabilize your cutting board and catch any drippings. If you have a cutting board with channels in it, I highly recommend using that. My biggest cutting board does not. Let your ham rest for 5 minutes before carving for maximum moistness.

Despite my knife skills class at The Culinary Institute of America in February–including a lesson on carving ham–I’m still a novice. It’s going to take a bit more practice to get the hang of this. Luckily, there is an excellent video on Jones Dairy Farm’s website to help you when it comes time to carve. I know I referred to it several times before I pulled my knife out. The most important part is to ensure your knife is sharp. Otherwise, you run the risk of cutting yourself in the process, and nobody wants that to happen.

Ta-da! There you have it! Easy, peasy, and so darn tasty!

Jones Dairy Farm ham

4.6 from 7 reviews
Prosecco-Brown Sugar Glazed Bone-In Ham
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 semi-boneless fully cooked Jones Dairy Farm ham
Glaze
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup (preferably darker)
  • ¾ cup Prosecco
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven or roaster to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove ham from wrapping and plastic and place fat-side down on a rack in the roasting pan. (My oven is too small for a roasting pan, so I use an electric, plug-in roaster.)
  3. Cook for 12-15 minutes per pound, or until ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. About 45 minutes before ham should be done, combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium to medium-high heat until it bubbles.
  5. Simmer uncovered for a few minutes to thicken.
  6. Remove the ham from the roaster and score the surface in a criss-cross, diamond pattern.
  7. Return to roaster and brush with ⅓ of the glaze. Cover and continue cooking.
  8. When there are 20 minutes left, brush with half of the remaining glaze, cover, and continue cooking.
  9. Brush with remaining glaze, carve, and serve.
Notes
Total cooking time and servings will vary depending on size of the ham. The ham I cooked was around 16 pounds and required around 3.5 hours of cooking.

Now I know you want your own ham, too, for your Easter table! The folks at Jones Dairy Farm have graciously offered to send one to one of my readers and all you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter box below. This contest will run through Friday at 11:59PM to ensure there is enough time to get your ham to you before the holiday. Good luck! Note: contest open to residents of the United States only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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