Tag Archives: recipes

Lush Slush Slushy Wine

16 May

I went to the Bernardo Winery with my sweetheart’s family for Mother’s Day on Sunday and we found a stall with a mix for wine slushies. I tried it and it tasted amazing! But…the mix they had was like $5, and it only made enough for half a bottle of wine. I told myself I could make it myself so easily, and I was right! It took maybe 5 minutes of work and I ended up with a really tasty, sweet, slightly gelled and slightly icey drink.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups wine (I used strawberry white Zinfandel)
  • 1 tbsp strawberry kiwi (or any other flavor) Jell-o mix
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  1. In a bowl, stir the gelatin in 1/4 cup wine until dissolved.
  2. In a small saucepan, allow rest of the wine to simmer, stir in the softened gelatin and sugar until dissolved and allow to cool. Transfer to a tight-sealing container.
  3. Freeze the mixture for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir thoroughly before serving.
 My honey and I both thought it was tasty! We’re not big alcohol drinkers but this was great. I could have drank the whole two cups’ worth on my own probably but I stuck with just half of it, so scale this recipe to suit your needs.
I just hope my sweetheart’s mom likes it as much as I do! :-)

Raspberry Mocha Recipe

21 Apr

Have you tried Peet’s raspberry mocha? I’ve been there a few times on road trips and I just fell in love with them! Sadly, the nearest Peet’s is hours away and I can’t justify driving that far just for coffee, so I decided to try to make some at home!

It's hard to make stuff look good just after waking up

Ok, so not as pretty as Peet’s but come on, I was trying to get this thing finished so I could drink it ;-) You wouldn’t like me before my morning coffee!

My mom (the genius she is–I got my brains from her!) actually first had the idea to make raspberry mochas at home. She got some sugar free raspberry coffee syrup and let me try it in my coffee. It was wonderful! I prefer the non-sugar free stuff though but hey, if Mom gives me coffee syrup I’m not gonna turn it down :-) The Torani syrups were a little outside my price range and I wanted something with a little more flexibility. Just a few days later I was shopping at Big Lots and found Daily’s brand raspberry daiquiri mix for $2.80! If you can find raspberry syrup made with real raspberries I’d suggest getting that but the daiquiri mix is delicious and is only lightly sweetened.

I’m sure I could use good chocolate for this but I just wouldn’t have much use for it other than for making mochas so I prefer the instant hot cocoa mixes. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s super simple, though to be honest I took pictures this morning before I’d had any coffee (hey, the mocha was gonna be my coffee!) and I very nearly forgot the cocoa mix…oops! What’s a raspberry mocha without the mocha?! That’s what I get for trying to think before my morning coffee ;-) Enough rambling, on to the recipe, shall we?

Ingredients

  • 14 oz fresh medium to strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp raspberry syrup (adjust accordingly based on your syrup and personal tastes)
  • 1/2 packet instant hot cocoa
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp creamer (optional, adjust to taste, my preference is International Delight in French Vanilla or Cold Stone’s Sweet Cream)
  • dollop whipped cream (optional)
  • a bit of extra syrup and cocoa powder to garnish

This is another of those super simple recipes: mix everything but the whipped cream and garnish together, put it into a nice tall mug, and add the whipped cream and garnish. Sit back and enjoy your little piece of chocolate and raspberry heaven :-)

Oops...whipped cream started to melt. Still yummy!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish enjoying this.

Food Porn

15 Apr

Just wanted to share my delicious lunch on Friday. I made homemade sushi (which I’ve been doing a lot of lately since I’m barring myself from going to the little sushi place near my house) and I’m having tons of fun finding new fillings!

Friday’s rolls had tempura asparagus, cream cheese, and avocado in one; the other had tempura krab (which is amazing btw), tempura asparagus, cream cheese, and avocado. So. Freaking. Good. In retrospect I should have gotten a bigger plate but it just looked so indulgent on a little one.

If you’ve ever wanted to try making your own sushi, TRY IT! I used this recipe for the rice (having short grain rice is very important, splurge and spend the $7 to get a small bag of it) and just had fun trying combinations! I’m not comfortable using raw fish yet but I love krab! First, check out my picture, then look at my list of possible fillings.

Possible sushi fillings

Veggies

  • asparagus
  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • carrot
  • Japanese radish

Proteins

  • fried tofu (which is next on my list to try; I’ll cut very thing strips and pan fry or deep fry them)
  • shrimp
  • krab
  • fish (make sure you get your fish from a reputable source–get to know your fishmonger!)
  • teriyaki beef

Misc

  • cream cheese
  • spicy mayo (mix mayo with sriracha)
  • sweet & sour sauce
  • eel sauce
  • wasabi
  • anything you can think of!! An important part of making sushi at home is just having fun and trying new things

Also, this is my 100th blog post!! Thank you to all of you who have stuck around through my hiatuses and sporadic updates. <3

Berry Oat Muffins

4 Apr

How in the world did I get so many frozen berries? I’ve had almost 2 pounds of frozen berries in my freezer for the better part of a year. Thankfully they don’t go bad but I had no idea what to use them to make. I had blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and a berry mix. I made some popsicles (strawberry banana and strawberries and “cream”) which those of you who follow my Twitter may have seen. I also made strawberry lemonade! But I still had about a pound of berries left and I was getting sick of popsicles.

I also happen to have a ton of quick oats from when I used to have oatmeal every morning. So I decided to get rid of some of the berries and some of the oats and make muffins! The end result was delicious, moist, had a great texture from the berries, and tasted healthy–in the best possible way. I didn’t feel guilty at all eating two of these when they were supposed to be cooling.

Because of the blackberries the batter turned a bit dark–they’re not burnt, I promise! First, let’s see these beauties, then we’ll get to the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (can be replaced with cow’s milk)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (up to 2) of frozen berries, thawed and mushed/chopped up (I used equal portions strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with baking cups. You could grease them but I found muffin cups worked best as these muffins can be delicate to remove.

In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, soy milk, oil and sugars. Mix in berries (and any berry juice that may have come out in thawing). Stir berry mixture into oat mixture until evenly moist–make sure it’s evenly moist or you’ll get bit chunks of flour in your finished muffins. Spoon into prepared muffin cups.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes. Or maybe just 5. Or maybe just long enough to grab a glass of milk ;-)

These would be amazing with strawberry or apple butter or perhaps a bit of honey but they taste fantastic just as they are.

Makes 12 muffins

Strawberry Soymilk Recipe

9 Mar

I love milk. I love 2%, 1%, fat-free, chocolate, strawberry milk, I love it all. But I’m trying to cut as much animal products as possible out of my diet, and milk was an easy thing to change since my honey already drinks exclusively soy milk. And so, my beloved moo juice no longer has a place in this household.

In its place is something vaguely reminiscent of moo juice but that I just can’t bring myself to drink as-is. Soy milk (and my preference, vanilla soy milk) is wonderful in cooking and on cereal or in milkshakes/smoothies but I just can’t enjoy drinking it plain like I used to with cow’s milk. And of all milk’s incarnations I’ve been missing strawberry milk the most.

This evening however, a thought struck me: what is strawberry milk, exactly? Milk, well heck I’ve got soy milk and that’s pretty darn close. Strawberries, well I have some frozen ones that I’ve been meaning to get rid of. And maybe a bit of sugar, which since I need coffee to even consider making breakfast in the morning is always available. And then something to blend them all together–I’ve got that, too!!

So off to my kitchen I went and I left mere minutes later with a wonderful, sweet, slightly creamy, strawberry-licious concoction. Now I know I normally include pictures in my recipe posts but I have a confession to make…this delicious strawberry soy milk didn’t even last the 20 feet it took to walk from my kitchen to my desk. Next time I make it I promise to take some pictures ;-) The second best part about this recipe (the first being a tie between how delicious it is and how simple it is) is that it’s vegan, so I can enjoy this with my sweetheart :-)

Ingredients

  • 4oz vanilla soy milk (I like 8th Continent’s Complete or Light Vanilla)
  • 8 large frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)

Toss everything into your blender and blend until smooth! You could strain out the seeds if you want but they didn’t bother me.

Easy Vegetarian Mexican Burritos

28 Nov

I’ve obviously been more into cooking than other crafts lately; I’ve been having so much fun making recipes, too! This recipe could have meat added to it if you like, carne or pollo asada would be excellent, but this burrito tastes fantastic without meat :-)

The cheese gets so ooey-gooey and delicious. It was too tasty to stop eating and take a picture of before ;-)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can vegetarian refried beans
  • 3 cups mixed veggies; I like 2 cups pepper strips, 3/4 onion, and 2 or 3 mushrooms
  • 2 cups Mexican rice (recipe below)
  • 1/2 avocado or guacamole
  • Sour cream and cheese (optional)
  • 2 extra large tortillas
Directions:
Put the refried beans in a  small saucepan and set over medium low heat to warm. Slice the avocado into 6 to 8 slices.
Make sure your veggies are as dry as possible and sautee over medium high to high heat with a bit of vegetable oil. Mix everything up every couple minutes until slightly browned, then take off the heat. Warm the tortillas, fill with beans, rice, veggies, sour cream and cheese, and avocado, and roll up. Grab a knife and fork and dig in! If you like you can grill the finished burrito in a large pan with a bit of oil for a crispy exterior.

Ingredients for Mexican rice:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced small
  • 1 garlic clove, minced, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.5 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (optional)
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 dash red pepper flakes
  • cilantro or parsley, for color

Directions:

This recipe couldn’t be any easier: toss everything into your rice cooker; push the cook button. Stir everything once the rice cooker is done and remove it from the cooker so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Makes about 4 cups.

Decadent Hot Cocoa and Nutella with Whipped Cream

21 Nov

One word describes this drink: amazing! So rich and chocolatey with a hint of hazelnut. This drink is great for the coming winter! Snuggle up with someone and share this delicious drink :-)

I’d have included a picture but it was far too delicious to set down long enough to set up a shot ;-) I hope you’ll forgive me!

Ingredients

Directions

In a small saucepan, slowly warm the milk over medium-low to medium heat. When the milk is warmed to about the right temperature, whisk in the hot cocoa powder and Nutella. Continue whisking and heating to ensure the Nutella is fully melted and incorporated into the drink. Pour into two mugs, top with marshmallows or whipped cream, and enjoy this rich, decadent drink!

Makes 2 servings, because delicious hot cocoa is something that should be shared.

Creamy Artichoke Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe – Vegan Friendly Version Included!

13 Nov

I went to California Pizza Kitchen recently and had their artichoke broccoli soup. Isn’t it pretty?

 

I fell in love with it; the pepperiness, the creamy texture, the pretty little speckles from the broccoli. I couldn’t justify spending $7 on a bowl every time I went there, so I knew I had to find a recipe I could make at home. I wasn’t able to find the exact recipe from CPK, but I modified a broccoli cheese soup recipe and it turned out pretty darn close! And see, mine’s pretty, too :-D And it cost $7 for a whole pot full of soup!
My honey is working on being as vegan as possible so I’ve added some notes below for vegans :-)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (you can use margarine for a more vegan-friendly version)
  • 1 cup white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, white or black
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/16 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 14 oz frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 4 to 5 large canned artichoke hearts, about a half can, chopped into thirds
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can be omitted for a less creamy/more vegan friendly version)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar, plus a little extra for garnish (can be omitted for a less creamy/more vegan friendly version)
  • Croutons for garnish
Directions

In a large pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock or vegetable broth, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and artichokes; simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, let it cool for at least 5 minutes but up to 20 would be even better, and puree with a hand-held immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Pulse carefully if you’re hungry and impatient and risk blending it all at once like I did. Vegans and those looking for a more health-conscious soup can stop here! It tastes fantastic at this point. If you want it a little creamier and cheesier, read on.

Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.

Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle extra cheese and croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately. Serve with a side of sourdough toast if desired.

Makes 5 to 6 delicious cups :-D

Possibly the Best Quiche Ever!

22 Aug

Do you like quiche? I love quiche. You know what else I love? Eggs, spinach, onion, bacon, and cheddar. How better to enjoy all these lovely ingredients than in a warm, flaky, delicious pie crust? (I did tell you I love quiche, right??)

I absolutely love making this quiche. And it’s so simple, too! But I bet you don’t want to keep hearing about how much I love the recipe, I bet you’d rather just see the recipe? Oh, fine ;-) Here it comes!

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust, thawed as directed
  • 2 ounces/.5 cup diced white onion
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
  • 3-5 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar (I prefer medium, mild or sharp will work)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • .5 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cheddar with the flour until all the cheddar is coated. Beat the salt and pepper into your eggs. Wait until the oven is fully at temperature, then mix the beaten eggs, onion, spinach, bacon, and cheddar together and pour into the pie crust.
Baked for 60 minutes, turning partway through cooking if your oven doesn’t heat evenly. To test for doneness, stick a knife into the quiche near the center; if the knife comes out clean, it’s done! Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes to cool, then cut and enjoy!

Mmm, the cheese and egg on top turned a gorgeous shade of golden brown

So pretty inside!

It took a lot of willpower to wait and take this picture ;-)

Homemade Frappuccinos

8 Aug

I am obsessed with frappuccinos. I love them. Ever since I found my favorite frappuccino (grande coffee frapp with hazelnut syrup, please!) I’ve been so in love with them. And ever since I found a recipe online I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with the original recipe and making it even better. The original recipe only showed how to make coffee frappuccinos without any flavoring but I prefer my coffee to be flavored, thank you very much.

And so, without further ado or unnecessarily long and drawn-out verbiage, here is the recipe.

Coffee Frappuccino

Ingredients: (Makes approximately 1 Venti or 2 Tall Starbucks equivalents)

  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, chilled overnight (strong or regular strength, either works)
  • 1/2 cup milk
    • Fat free is what I use but you can use any kind
  • 1/4 cup flavored liquid coffee creamer
    • My favorites are Coffee Mate Vanilla Nut, Toffee Nut, or my absolute favorite for frappuccinos: Hazelnut
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cool Whip Extra Creamy Whipped Cream made with real cream
    • This is one of my secret ingredients! Make sure you get the stuff with real cream! This really helps keep it all together, check the ingredients to make sure there’s xanthan gum in there too because it will help keep it from separating and gives it a richness that is lacking if you leave this out
    • Measure this by putting all the other liquid ingredients in a measuring cup, if you’re following this recipe it should be 1 3/4 cups’ worth of liquid, and then spooning a bit into the measuring cup and pushing it down to displace the liquid until it shows 2 cups total
    • If you don’t have cool whip, using an extra tbsp of sugar and an extra 1/4 tsp of guar gum will achieve a similar effect
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum
    • This is optional but extremely nice to have. The guar gum slightly thickens the frapp so it has a nicer “mouth feel”
  • Blender or Magic Bullet individual blender
    • If you use a Magic Bullet you’ll need to split everything in half and make it in two batches. It’ll still turn out delicious and you can share with a friend! (Or have seconds for yourself!)
Directions
These are perhaps the simplest directions for any recipe I’ve ever made: Stick everything in your blender. Mix until the ice is in tiny chunks. Top with more whipped cream if you like. And enjoy! Just look at how pretty it turns out :-)
Doesn't this just look beautiful? And it tastes even better than it looks!