Friday, July 31, 2015

Apricot Salsa

Apricot salsa your thinking?  Yes I'm serious!  I've hear of people putting pineapple or peaches in their salsa why not apricots!?!
My Mother-in-law recently gave me a TON of bite sized apricots and I need to use them up.
Besides just munching on them when you need a snack, I am dehydrating some and thought I would make some salsa.
It is so very colorful and fresh.  A nice change from your regular old run of the mill salsa.
Ok so I just bought this jalapeno deseeder, not sure I like it, maybe it will work better if I had large jalapenos, mine are pretty average sized maybe on the smaller size.  Do you have one?  Do you like it?

So here is what you are going to need:
15 mini apricots, mine are pretty tiny, chopped into bite size pieces
1 container of cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced.  I used a yellow onion
4 jalapenos, diced
1/2 juice from a lime
A good dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

How to make it:
Easy!  Mix it all together and chill until ready to serve.

Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wild Rice and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Peppers are poppin' in the garden!  Time to start creating!
All I gotta say right now is my hubbie better get home soon to share these with me or I might eat them all!
I have jalapenos and banana peppers growing in the garden as usual this summer.  I love the flavor of both, the banana peppers are more mild but I will say that they are not as firm cooked as a jalapenos texture is.
But sometimes the pinos are just to spicy on my precious little girl tongue ;)  Kidding!

What you will need is:
12 Peppers, I used jalapeno and banana peppers
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz goat cheese
4 Tablespoons bacon fried and chopped
2 Tablespoons Wild Rice, cooked but not fully
3 Tablespoons bread crumbs
1/8 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 Teaspoon onion powder
Dash salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil and butter for frying bread crumbs

How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 350, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Cook your bacon, crumble it - set aside
Cook your wild rice, but do not cook the full recommended time you want them to have a little crunch to them still.
Wash your peppers, cut them length wise.  Try leaving the stem attached it makes for a nice presentation (you won't eat that part).
Deseed the pepper, you might want to wear gloves, I have burned my hands before.  It pained for hours, if that happens to you soak your hands in milk that really helps.
Set your peppers on baking tray, until you're ready to stuff.
Add olive oil and butter to a pan, saute your bread crumbs till crisp, set aside
Mix together your cream cheese, goat cheese, bacon, wild rice and seasonings.
Stuff your peppers with your cheese mixture and top with bread crumbs.

Cook 12-15 minutes, less time if you do not want the peppers to soften much.

The smoothness of the cheese and the crunchiness of the bacon, wild rice and rich bread crumb topping is just wonderful!
I just loved them and I think you will too!

Friday, July 24, 2015

5-8 Club

I HATE saying bad things about people or restaurants, I never want to hurt anyones feelings.
Not like little old me will be driving business  away from any company.
Maybe it's my Minnesota nice :)

I have to say the last couple times I have been to the 5-8 Club in South Minneapolis, I have been a little disappointed in the food.
That pains me to say because for ages I have loved them!  It's a part of my Minneapolis background.
Minnesota is the home of the Jucy Lucy, that is a cheese filled hamburger, and they are wonderful!!!
There has been an ongoing battle between The 5-8 Club and Matt's they are two burger joints that claim to have the better Jucy Lucy, OH and people will definitely let you know who has the better burger!!!
But there are SO many wonderful burger places in the area now that serve these delicious burgers, I can no longer say that the 5-8 Club is my favorite.  Sorry 5-8 Club.
I ordered the original Lucy stuffed with American Cheese with sauteed onions, that comes with fries and coleslaw.  Not a fan of the fris, really dry.

But it looks really good, doesn't it!

Hubbie ordered a burger with a side of sweet potato fries, that he liked but the marshmallow dipping sauce - really strange.

BUT their fried mushrooms and blue cheese dipping sauce are  AWESOME!

I also like that you do not have to wait to be seated anymore, that line could go out the door, it was kinda uncomfortable lingering around people that are eating their meal.
Now it's 1st come 1st serve/seat yourself.
It's a cozy place, there is some outdoor seating.
The service is pretty good.
And people are always coming back for more, so they are doing something right.
This is just my little old opinion.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chili Lime Chicken Taquitos

UFF-DA it's Hot today!  I definitely don't feel like heating up the kitchen with turning on the oven today for dinner.
 I don't know about you all but, when it's hot out I really don't have much of an appetite.  But I have 2 fellas who will be, so I'm going to make something light.
I can't remember if I have ever made a taquito before?  But, I have made egg rolls!
Sorta the same idea but from a different region :)
And this dipping sauce that goes along with the taquito's is nice and cool, very summery!
So let's get to it and make these bad boys!

Here is what you are going to need:

1 Avocado
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 Jalapeno, diced (no seeds)
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lime
The juice from a 1/2 lime
1 Teaspoon onion, microplaned (I know crazy right?!)
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
1/2 Teaspoon cumin

3 Chicken breast
1 Teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
A good dash of pepper
The zest of a lime and the juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Can of fire roasted corn
1 Cup (or more!) pepper jack cheese, shredded
Small tortillas, your choice corn or flour
Oil for frying

How to make them:

EASY!  Throw it all into a food processor, I used my magic bullet, just the right size.  I'd rather not have to pull out and wash my big food processor!
Blend, Blend , Blend!
Chill until ready to serve.

Let's start off by marinating the chicken
Place chicken in a bowl, I use a large tupperware bowl with a lid usually or a storage ziplock bag.
Add 1 Tablespoon of oil, lime zest, juice, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic to the chicken and pop that into the fridge to marry.  For at least an hour, if you have more time great!
In a skillet cook the chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until cook through.
Let the chicken cool a bit so you can touch it, now shred the chicken.
Warm about 2 inches of oil in your pan
Have a tortilla laid out, add about 1 tablespoons of finely shredded chicken to that, top with corn and shredded cheese.
Roll tight, lay on the seam.  And continue to roll taquitos.
Once you have them rolled up, carefully lay them into the oil and fry until browned (seem side down still).
Lay out on a paper towel covered plate to drain.
Serve with the delicious avocado sauce.

Hope you enjoy!

I reinvented this dish from a recipe I got off Pinterest, similar to "The Cozy Aprons".

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Come Hang Out In My Garden

So I am patiently waiting for this garden to grow!

I think my garden last year did better then this year, but what are you gonna do!?!
I have some varmints that stole some whole plants out the garden, they even made it past my 2 scarecrow sprinklers, darn them!

We did eat the radishes, they were very good but I learned that I need to plant more.
We have also been enjoying lettuce and green beans. 
I planted more then enough lettuce so every week my son and I cut back the lettuce wash every leaf, bag them up and bring them up to our local food shelf, so hopefully some family is enjoying it besides us :) 

More notes to self on those, plant a crispier lettuce next year and beans that grow up the vine.

So here are some not so good pictures of the garden.

It's sorta hard to see what I have in these photos.
So here is a list of what is growing in case you did not my last update post.
There were radishes
Green Beans
Bell Peppers
Banana Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Carrots (purple!)
Swiss Char
Lettuce Variety
Lots of Tomatoes!

I adore the gate my husband made me with the cut out heart, made with boards that helped build our house.

I'm loving the teal chairs that I found at a garage sale last year, a set of 4 I have placed throughout the property decoratively.
Along with the cute garden sign the kiddos gave me for Mothers Day, it flips and I can change the sayings.

Last but not least the old school Maytag washing machine that my friend gave me I turned into a planter, makes a nice addition to the look of the garden.

I am super excited for everything to grow so I can start canning and making other fresh dishes! Jalapeno and banana pepper poppers.  BLTs, fried green tomatoes, cucumber salad, sandwiches, tomato salad just to name a few!

When finished gardening, this is where you will find me!  Usually early evening floating with a beer and a magazine, awh the good life :)

Also a newer item in our yard is the bunnies "castle"!  If you follow me on social media I recently posted a picture of their barn.
What are the bunnies names you wonder?  
Mamas name is Olivia and the brothers are Loki and Thor (Thor is my man back off ladies!)  

As you can tell no cooking today, hope you enjoyed my little garden/yard update!  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Roasted Bruschetta

Had a pre Fourth of July party with a few ladies at my house while the boys were out of town.
We actually got the bonfire lit! WhootWhoot!
I was not the only one having a pre 4th party, my neighbors were a bit roundy, what are you gonna do?
Using some of the ingredients from my Whole Foods party haul, I make some kick butt bruschetta, half with fresh ricotta and the other with a seasoned goat cheese. Amazing and SO simple!
The tomatoes take a bit of time but well worth it, seriously!

So what you're going to need is:
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lightly chopped basil
4 garlic cloves, minced

Ricotta or Goat Cheese
A loaf of a nice crunchy bread, I used sourdough

How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Place tomatoes on sheet, pour olive oil out on tomatoes, mix in garlic and basil
Bake for an hour and a half

Slice your bread and broil till tan in color

Spread your choice of cheese on bread and top with tomato mixture, if you have extra basil throw that on top.

I had a few other  nibbles for the ladies a nice salami diced, garlic olives, a kalamata olive & feta cheese mixture.

My sister made the cocktail, fresh lemonade with blueberries and basil (so good!!) and if you wanted a cocktail add in some Kettle One Vodka.  NUM!

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Whole Foods Party Haul

I bet you're thinking well it's about time!
I said I was going to do this Whole Foods party haul awhile back didn't I!?!  Well you know how it goes, life just gets away from you!
I went on my girls week vacation, that didn't go as planned, I got really sick and had to come home early !  :(  BooHoo!!!!
No worries I have another fun trip planned for later this summer, lets keep our fingers crossed no one gets sick this time!
I'm rambling now, oh I was saying.  Life just gets busy and before you know it, it's already July!  How did that happen!?
I am having some friends over for a little get together this weekend and decided to make a couple garden fresh appetizers.
Not from my garden though, well at least not yet.  Grow tomatoes grow!
So, today I made a trip to my local Whole Foods to snap some pictures of foods I usually pick up for party munchies.  I would say pretty similar to my Trader Joe's haul.  Just my simple go to items that you can not go wrong with.
The two appetizers I will be serving at my party will be:
Italian Skewers & a Bruschetta.  (I'll share that with you another day!)

One thing I love to pick up are one of Whole Foods Spreads! Especially the smoked fish spread!

Have you visited the cheese section at Whole Foods!?  Like I died and went to Heaven!

You're going to need to pick up some bread, nuts and olives while you are there & the choices are awesome!

The produce is always good, they have a nice variety of chips and crackers.  I picked up some hard salami and a marinated pack of mozzarella and olives that looks fabulous!  

All the people who work at the Whole Foods near me are all great people super friendly and helpful with suggestions.

Last but not least pick up some fresh flowers for your party!