Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan

It was another hot one in Kansas City, so the hubs and I headed to the grocery store early this morning before temps hit above 100 degrees once again. Recently, a Trader Joe's opened close to our house so we stopped by there and picked up some of our favorite things before heading over to our neighborhood market. This week's menu features some recipes that have been around for a bit, a few new ones that we're trying and some goodies from TJs that I'll be sharing with you. Stay tuned for those posts over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday: Stuffed Artichoke and Chicken Picatta
Monday: Mahi-mahi tacos with pickled onions
Tuesday: Apple Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash
Wednesday: Fattoush Salad with Chicken
Thursday: BLTs
Friday: Raclette
Saturday: To be determined...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Great Summer Recipe: Ceviche

I’m always looking for great recipes that are light and healthy during the summertime that are easy to make and won’t heat up the kitchen. Ceviche is the perfect dish for that and can be altered to act as a main dish, appetizer or a great party dish. The hubs and I were craving seafood last weekend and made this version alongside our Basil Mojitos. The spin on this version is the addition of a little bit of spice—specifically by adding a bit of Sriracha and red pepper flakes.

½ cup orange juice
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes total)
1 T Sriracha
½ t. red pepper flakes
1 T extra virgin olive oil
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 cup roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
½ pound cleaned squid, cut into ¼ inch rings (bodies only)
½ pound bay scallops
½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 whole avocado, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 cup cilantro, chopped

Combine orange juice, lime juice, Sriracha, red pepper flakes, EVOO and salt into a large, non-reactive bowl and stir to combine. Add chopped onion, tomatoes, cucumber, squid, scallops and shrimp to marinade. Marinate, uncovered and chilled, for at least 3 hours. Add cilantro and avocado to mixture and chill for another 30 minutes. Serve in wonton cups.

Wonton Cups
Nonstick cooking spray
24 wonton wrappers
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Add each wrapper into a section within the muffin tin and brush with EVOO. Bake for 8-10 minutes until browned and crisp.


Monday, July 25, 2011

A twist on the traditional mojito

Three words for you. I.HATE.SUMMER. Or at least right now I do. In Kansas City, I believe the heat index has been above 100 degrees for the past 16 or so days. I feel like people have finally gotten to the point where they’ve gone crazy as I have heard many say that it was a beautiful day yesterday. People, the high yesterday was 93 degrees. I’m pretty sure the heat index was over 100—it was not cool outside nor was it beautiful out.

One thing that can bring relief is an ice cold cocktail. I heard of a twist on a traditional mojito , using basil instead of mint, and decided to try it over the weekend on what could have been the hottest day of the summer. And it was delish.

Basil Mojito
2 ounces light rum (I used Bacardi)
6-8 basil leaves
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
Fresh squeezed juice from 1/2 Lime
Club soda
Add rum, basil leaves, powdered sugar and lime juice to highball glass. Muddle to combine ingredients. Fill glass with ice, top off with soda water and stir to mix. Garnish with lime and enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Crispy Onion Straws

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer: please look away if you are on a on a diet, trying to watch what you’re eating, or just don’t like very delicious but not so good for you things. For those of you still reading (which I’m assuming is the majority—who doesn’t like a little indulgence every once in a while?), I’m excited to share this recipe with you. Being the foodies that we are, the hubs and I often try things in restaurants that we love but know that we can make at home. This is definitely the case for these onion straws. About a month ago, we were dining at one of our favorite Kansas City burger joints, BRGR, and ordered onion straws as a side to our burgers. And we fell in love. They were the perfect amount of salty and crispy goodness.

The next time we were making burgers at home I was determined to recreate those onion straws knowing, that it couldn’t be that hard. I remembered seeing The Pioneer Woman post her version and decided to try it out—specifically because the recipe included a touch of cayenne. And let me tell you, these were perfect.

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 whole Large Onion
2 cups Buttermilk
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, divided in half
1 quart (to 2 Quarts) Canola Oil
Black Pepper

Slice onion into thin half circles (almost transparent). Add buttermilk and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper in a baking dish. Add onions and soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Combine dry ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and add to hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown. Sprinkle cooked onions with salt and pepper. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm back...and an easy weeknight dinner!

Okay, so I’ve decided to get back into this blogging thing. I think one of the reasons why it was so hard to keep up on it before is because I put too much pressure on myself for it to be perfect—the perfect length of posts, the perfect pictures, perfect humor, etc. Blogging is something that I really miss doing, so I’m attacking it head on but with a different attitude. This time around, I’m focusing on making it easy. So to get back into things, I’m posting a very easy weeknight dinner that has tons of flavor but is very quick to create.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Archer Farms Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce (from Target)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and bring to temperature. Add chicken to pan and cook on each side for 2 minutes, or until browned. Add ¼ cup of Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce and simmer for 2-3 more minutes to fully develop flavors. Remove from heat and serve alongside curry roasted cauliflower and rice.

Curry Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Curry powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove cauliflower florets from stems and chop into small pieces. Add to large bowl and toss with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper (to your taste). Spread evenly over roasting pan covered with foil and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Serves 2 (plus extra cauliflower!)