Monthly Archives: August 2011

Sweet and Spicy Asian Nuts

A good alternative for a bowl of peanuts are these Sweet and Spicy Asian Nuts.  The sweet comes from dark brown sugar and the spicy comes from wasabi powder.  While I like this snack, I would have preferred a little bit more spice.  I expected the wasabi powder to give it the kind of heat you get from cayenne pepper but it’s not even close.  If you like your spice more on the mellow side, you will like these.  If you like it hotter like me, add more wasabi powder (or cayenne!).

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Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Coastal Living Magazine

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Herb and Onion Wheat Biscuits

I don’t like raw onions but don’t mind cooked onions sometimes.  These Herb and Onion Wheat Biscuits celebrate the natural flavor of the onion without being obnoxious.  The onions are first cooked until soft, then blended with milk which nicely distributes the flavor in the dough.  Just be careful not to knead it too much (like I did) otherwise the biscuits could become dense.  These can be a nice complement to an evening dinner or the base for an egg-y breakfast sandwich in the morning.  Or if you prefer, just eat them warm with a touch of butter.  Tasty!

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Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Cherry Tomato Bites

If you are a fan of anything caprese like me, you’ll probably enjoy these Cherry Tomato Bites.  You can’t get much simpler or tastier than juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, vibrant basil leaves and a touch of olive oil.  To hollow out the tomatoes, I used a paring knife to cut around the top of each one, then used a 1/4 teaspoon to scoop out the insides (this size worked perfectly).  I cut mozzarella balls in half instead of cubing them and wrapped each cheese in a basil leaf before stuffing it into the tomato to capture more of that herby flavor in each bite.   For a little extra flavor, top each tomato with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Consider this appetizer for an unofficial end-of-summer party over Labor Day weekend.  They are like a goodbye kiss to summer.

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Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Apartment Therapy’s  The Kitchn

Hurricane Cocktail

In honor of (expectation of, preparation for, response to) Hurricane Irene who is twirling her wickedly wet hoola-hoop off the East Coast right now (and headed my way), I figured a Hurricane Cocktail would only be fitting for my Friday cocktail this week.  Hurricane recipes vary but this one has both light and dark rum, grenadine, fresh orange juice, fresh lime juice, and a spit of sugar.  I have plans to go to Connecticut this weekend which may get disrupted and if they do, I’m hoping I drink enough of these to sleep right through the storm.  Goodnight Irene. 

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Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Emeril Lagasse, Food Network

Risotto Primavera

I could eat risotto everyday.  If you like risotto too, this Risotto Primavera is a delicious, creamy (and crunchy) dish which mixes arborio rice with asparagus, peas and cherry tomatoes.  This dish can easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.  Just take your time with it.  No matter how much you might want to, don’t rush it.  It’s a slow and patient process that results in a warm and comforting dish that you won’t mind eating even if it’s summertime.   

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Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Chicken and Cherry Sandwich

I have my own recipe for chicken salad that I love so much, I don’t usually stray from it (I’ll share it one of these days!).  But this Chicken and Cherry Sandwich recipe was in my recipe collection and is similar to my recipe so I had to try it.  This sauce includes fresh taragon which, if you’ve never tried it (like I hadn’t), tastes slightly black licorice-y like anise or fennel.  The dried cherries add a chewiness and slight tartness while the celery and walnuts provide crunch.  To save time, I used precooked grilled chicken strips (like this) which makes this sandwich a quick and easy lunchtime bite.

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Substitutions: 

  • Precooked chicken for roasted chicken breast

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Self Magazine

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

I love the idea of adding a bit of a kick to something sweet.  These Mexican Chocolate Cookies do just that by adding cinnamon, cayenne pepper and black pepper.  The spices don’t take away from the sweetness at all.  In fact, these cookies are sweet, chocolatey, chewy and delicious.  The hint of both peppers kicks in softly at the end and complements the bittersweet chocolate well.  The recipe says to bake them for 10 minutes so even though they won’t look done, take them out anyway.  I left mine on the cookie sheet on a wire rack to cool for five minutes and they were perfectly done.  Even after two days, they were still soft and chewy so resist the temptation to leave them in the oven a few minutes longer (unless you want them crunchier).  Trust me, you’ll be happy with them!

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Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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