Miso-Ginger Dressing

(⬆️ image is the recipe tripled)

I’d always been a fan of ginger dressing growing up but since we’ve moved a few times I’ve had a difficult time finding the brand I love (even on Amazon!). After going to multiple grocery stores I gave up my search and decided it would be more fresh and probably cheaper to make my own. I originally found this recipe in The NY Times but have since tweaked it here and there based off of what I have available around the kitchen. If you make it let me know what you think, enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

• ¼ cup grapeseed oil

• ¼ cup rice vinegar

• 3 tablespoons miso

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil

• 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

• 1 inch long piece fresh ginger, cut into coins

At the end:

• Salt

• freshly ground black pepper

1 Put all ingredients except salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse a few times to mince carrots. Then let machine run for a minute or so, until mixture is chunky-smooth. (If you want it smoother, use a blender.) Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

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New Favorite Appetizer Alert

I went to a party yesterday and the hostess with the mostest had this phenomenal spread out 😋I LOVE entertaining and will definitely be copying some of these apps!

My most favorite dish here was a baked feta, recipe as follows. (Derived from Michael Symon)

BAKED FETA:

• 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

• 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)

• 1 clove garlic (minced)

• 2-3 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (divided)

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 pound block Greek feta

• 4 scallions (sliced)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, garlic, 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper.

Place the block of feta in the middle of an 8″x8″ baking dish. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has softened and melted.

Remove from the oven and garnish with the remaining parsley and scallions and serve immediately while still warm. This can be placed back in the oven to melt if the cheese starts to firm up again.

CARBONARA WITH PAN SEARED SCALLOPS

Recipe from: Art and the Kitchen

Last night I made this delicious meal from Art and the Kitchen. It’s an extremely simple meal to make and is full of flavor so it brightened up our gloomy, rainy WA winter night. Enjoy!

COURSE: DINNER PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES SERVINGS: 4 AUTHOR: LAUREEN KING

Perfectly seared scallops served with a quick and simple carbonara pasta.

INGREDIENTS

• Ingredients for Scallops

• 1 Lb scallops

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 2 tbsp butter

• Salt and Pepper

• Ingredients for Carbonara

• 8 slices of thick cut bacon diced I try to find bacon with less fat, or cut away excess fat

• 1 shallot finely sliced

• 1 clove garlic leave whole

• 4 green onions

• 2 egg yolks

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• 2 cup parmigiano reggiano grated

• fresh ground pepper

• 14 oz pasta of your choice -I used Spaghetti

INSTRUCTIONS

1 Pasta Carbonara

2 Start cooking pasta in large stainless steel pot.

3 In small bowl mix together cream, egg yolks and 3/4 of cheese.

4 In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, add shallots and 1/2 green onions.

5 Smash down garlic clove a bit, add to bacon. (remove prior to adding pasta)

6 When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet of bacon.

7 Toss well, then transfer to large bowl.

8 Add cream mixture to pasta and combined well. Make sure pasta is still hot in order to cook the eggs and melt the cheese.

9 Arrange pasta on plate, top with seared scallops, add some fresh ground pepper, grated parmesan, and green onions.

10 Perfect Pan Seared Scallops

11 Blot scallops with paper towel to remove any water. Salt and pepper.

12 Heat large non-stick frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.

13 Make sure frying pan is hot before adding scallops but not smoking.

14 Add scallops leaving plenty of space between. Overcrowding the pan will drop the pan temperature and cause scallops to steam rather than sear. (may have to do in batches)

15 Sear for about 2-4 minutes or when bottom is a nice golden brown. Don’t move them around in the pan or you will prevent them from forming that nice brown crust. After a couple of minutes have peek under to see if golden brown.

16 Turn to sear other side. (about 1-3 more minutes)

17 Add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan now.

18 Spoon the melted butter over the scallops as the other side finishes cooking.

19 Transfer to paper towel covered plate.

20 Keep warm in oven, if making in batches

Italy at Home

We decided to go vegetarian a couple days a week for a handful of reasons. Day one was successful and this recipe helped tremendously! The recipe says it serves 4-6 people… it served 2 in our house 🙈. I highly suggest making his for your next gathering. This bruschetta is slathered with a rich layer of goat cheese, topped with mouth-watering roasted tomatoes, and drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic reduction. If you’ve never had bruschetta like this before, your life will instantly be changed after trying one bite.

Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 carton of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 loaf of French bread, sliced

4 oz. goat cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Basil, fresh or dried

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice tomatoes and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.

3. Lay sliced French bread pieces on a baking sheet and spread with olive oil.

4. Bake tomatoes for 20 minutes or until well roasted. Halfway through baking the tomatoes, place sliced French bread in for 10 minutes.

5. In the meantime, place goat cheese and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix with a hand-held mixer until well blended and creamy.

6. To make balsamic reduction, place vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high until boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Vinegar is done once it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

7. Spread a thick layer of cheese on bread. Top with tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Sprinkle basil on top.

8. Serve immediately.

NOTES

Adapted from Joyful Healthy Eats.

Thai Lettuce Wraps

After my husband got back from Thailand he could NOT stop raving about the food.  I never thought much about Thai food but he insisted that it was delicious and that I should A. Learn how to make his favorites and B. Find an authentic Thai restaurant to go to. We went to a Thai restaurant and I very much enjoyed it!

In high school I used to enjoy lettuce wraps so I figured I’d recreate them!

Ingredients for wraps:

  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Cucumber
  • Lime
  • Carrots
  • 1 package Ground Chicken
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
  • Rice paper

Directions:

  • Chop scallions, chop mint, chop cilantro, chop cucumbers and carrots into small pieces.
  • Add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder to the ground chicken, sauté.
  • Towards the end of the sauté, zest the lime over the chicken.
  • Soak each sheet of rice paper in a shallow container of water for a minute or two, I used a 9×9 baking dish. It is ok if they are still wet after taking out of the water as the water is absorbed quickly as the roll is made and becomes easier to fold.
  • Fill the rice paper with the ingredients and wrap it like a burrito! My rice paper wrapping skills are NOT stellar… but it was delicious nonetheless. You can dip it into the peanut sauce or line the wrap with peanut sauce before you add the ingredients to it…or do both because its yummy.

Ingredients for peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 drops of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Directions: Mix all together thoroughly until there is a creamy consistency.

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Summer Salad

If you’re looking for a DELICIOUS, refreshing, light salad  — see below!! This salad is full of color and full of flavor.

(Image is a different variation of this salad)

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR DRESSING:

1 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves

1 clove Fresh Garlic

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Sour Cream

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil

FOR THE SALAD:

Spinach

a handful of grape tomatoes, quartered

Any color bell pepper, diced

2 cups grilled yellow Corn (about 2 ears)

2 Avocados, diced

1 medium Red Onion, diced

1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos

Smoky Adobo Chicken Tacos with Mango Slaw & Lime Crema

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This meal is delicious — it is not something I would’ve ever thought to make for myself because I’m generally very picky but I have to say this pleasantly surprised me!

Time: 40 minutes

Recipe makes enough for 2

*Nut Free & Spicy*

Ingredients:

– 2 chicken breast

– flour tortillas

– 1 lime

– 2 Tablespoons of sour cream

– 1 bunch cilantro

– 1 mango

– 1 avocado

-1 red onion

– jar of Chipotles in Adobo

Let’s do this:

Chop the cilantro, zest and halve the lime. Halve, peel and finely chop 1/2 of the red onion. Peel the mango, cut around the flat seed, then into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the slices into thin strips to create matchsticks.

Make the lime creme: in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the mango slaw: in a medium bowl, toss the mango, red onion,  cilantro, juice of remaining lime and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Halve, pit and scoop out the avocado flesh into a small bowl, mash with fork and season with salt and pepper.

Salt & pepper the chicken on both sides.

Rub or brush both sides of the chicken with 1 tablespoon of adobo (the sauce in the jar of chipotle peppers).

Heat olive oil in large pan, add chicken – cook until slightly charred.

Heat tortillas in the oven or microwave.

Thinly slice the chicken. Spread the mashed avocado onto tortillas and top with chicken, mango slaw and lime creme.

Serve tacos with the remaining mango slaw to the side. If you make it, let me know what you think. Enjoy! 

Bison Burger

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The last time that we were in Colorado we had Elk chili and Bison burgers. Now, if you know me you know that I’m not a huge meat eater, never mind meat that is ‘out of the norm’ but I cannot deny that both were good! Since we moved to the middle of nowhere in North Carolina without great grocery stores I have made even LESS meat… but then I found my new favorite store – Harris Teeter! Some people may think, ‘oh, just a Harris Teeter?’ but clearly you’ve never seen my other options- yuck! This place doesn’t have 19 year olds with 3 kids running around the store, you don’t find deodorant in the dairy section because someone just up and thought, ‘hmmm deodorant? who needs it’ when looking at yogurt. This place plays soothing music, has LED lit aisles to save $ and energy AND their produce is not only locally grown but SO fresh and beautiful.

Anyway, back to the Bison Burger. I found some very lean very organic bison and decided to try to reproduce the bison burgers I saw in Colorado- here it is!

1 pound Ground Bison*
4 Gluten Free Buns, split and toasted, try these: http://udisglutenfree.com/products/classic-hamburger-buns/
Salt and pepper

1. Shape Ground Bison into four 1/2 inch thick patties.

2. Heat your pan with olive oil, do not add your patties until the pan is hot.

3. Pan fry, turning once, just until the pink has disappeared.

4. Toast your buns in the oven.

**I added, two pieces of turkey bacon, a slice of tomato, provolone cheese and a small amount of chopped onion to each burger**. 

Serves 4.
Per patty: 156 calories; 9.1 g fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium.

Rachael Ray + Katie Lee

Yesterday was a rough day for me. Nearing the end of a long separation from the hubby should be exciting and happy… yet the end seems to be just as hard as the beginning. Needless to say I sat on the couch and indulged in multiple hours of The Food Network. I then decided; stop watching and start doing. I picked this delish & easy recipe that was made by Katie Lee (Joel) on the Rachel Ray show!

HOT SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 9-ounce package artichoke hearts (drained jarred, or canned, cooked fresh or frozen, but not marinated)
  • 1 cup steamed spinach – well drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 large leaves fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Use a 2 quart baking dish. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.  Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.  Top with shredded mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or toasted rustic bread.