Delicious Distractions to get us through the days.

Simple recipes for those with simple chef skills.

Rosted Cauliflower June 17, 2013

Filed under: vegetables — Arika @ 9:53 pm
Tags: ,

Tari posted this recipe awhile back. Since then I have made it a few times. I didnt add any cheese and I only had powdered garlic and it was still delicious.

Preheat oven to 450F. Cut up a head (or more) of cauliflower. Drizzle with olive oil (I used Wegman’s Basting Oil with garlic and herbs). Toss to coat. Dump onto a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan (maybe 1/4-1/2 cup). Bake at 450F for 20 minutes or so.

 

Crispy Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries

Filed under: snack,vegetables — Arika @ 9:39 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Ingredients

1 (14 oz) Bag of frozen whole green beans (or about 4 cups fresh)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp Pepper (or to taste)

Method

The estimated time to make this recipe is 15-20 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

 

If using frozen green beans, pop the bag of green beans in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until just de-thawed (or you could leave them out at room temperature for a few hours). If using fresh green beans, wash and snip off the ends.

 

Place green beans on prepared baking pan, making sure they are evenly spread out, and none are laying on top of each other, (this will ensure even crispiness!) Sprinkle seasonings and parmesan cheese evenly over green beans.

 

Place green beans in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy! (To make them extra crispy, I like to broil them for an extra 1-2 minutes before pulling them out of the oven). Enjoy immediately with low sugar ketchup or dipping sauce of choice.

Originally posted at:

http://dashingdish.com/recipe/crispy-baked-parmesan-green-bean-fries/

 

Lemon Quinoa Avocado Cilantro Chickpea Salad

Filed under: Salad — Arika @ 9:08 pm
Tags: , , ,
1/2 C. dry quinoa
2 C. vegetable broth
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 c. cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 avocados diced
2 C. spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 C. onion
2 small cloves garlic
For the dressing:
Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cumin
dash of salt and pepper
Directions:
1. Make your quinoa first. Soak the quinoa in a pot in the veggie broth for about 15 minutes. After that, turn on the heat to medium high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium/low and let quinoa simmer. Stir every so often, and cook quinoa for about 20-25 minutes just until the liquid absorbs. You don’t want it completely dried out, so when there is just a TINY amount of liquid left in the pot, remove it from heat and put a lid on it. Set it aside, and make the rest of the salad.
2. In a food processor, add your spinach and cilantro.
3. Process the greens until they are finely diced. You can do this by hand as well if you don’t have a food processor.
4. Add the greens to a bowl, and set aside. Next take your onion and garlic and finely dice those (I do this in the food processor to), and add to the greens mixture. Next add your chickpeas and stir until everything is combined and coated. If the quinoa is cooled, you can add it to the chickpea mixture next.
5. Make your dressing by whisking all the ingredients together. Pour over salad, and mix until combined. Add in tomatoes and avocado and mix. Set in fridge for about 10-15 minutes before serving so the flavors set.

Posted by:

http://familyrecipeswap.blogspot.com/2012/04/lemon-quinoa-avocado-cilantro-chickpea.html

 

Frozen Fruit “Ice Cream” Cones June 28, 2011

Summertime is upon us and of course one of the best ways to cool down is with ice cream. But this isn’t your traditional ice cream cone of summers past.  Just select your favorite fruits, your favorite melon ballers and your favorite white chocolate for a quick and easy summer treat!

 

Ingredients:

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Honeydew

Mini cones

White Chocolate (quantity will depend on the number of cones and the thickness of chocolate, maybe 1 chocolate melt per 2-3 cones)

Utensils:

Melon ballers in various sizes (I used a round measuring tablespoon and regular sized melon baller)

Small Silicone brush

Medium bowl

Directions:

Melt chocolate in the microwave until smooth. Quickly brush the insides of each cones making sure no gaps are present. This will insure the cones do not become soggy from the water content of the fruit. Let set until completely hard. This step can be done ahead of time and store cones in an air tight container.

When ready, use the regular melon baller to create two balls for each cone.

Using the round tablespoon, start to cut into the fruit at about a 90’ angle, curve into the fruit creating the main body of the ball. Go deep enough into the fruit so that a small portion of the handle is hidden. Turn the handle clockwise and just before you make a full circle pull up and pop the fruit ball out.

Place the first ball deep inside followed by the second ball on top making sure enough  is above the rim so the larger ball can rest on top of it. This will help the top layer not slide off.

20-30 minutes in the freezer and it will be perfect for a hot summer day.

Frozen Fruit "Ice Cream" Cone sample

 

Seasoning Packet Dinners March 29, 2011

I never really thought of myself as an ingredient snob until my neighbor told me about her BBQ pulled pork dish. I was reluctant to believe that a pre-made seasoning packet could yield something as yummy as she claimed.  Then she had me try it. And oh my, oh my, oh my! It was one of those dishes that was so delicious I just couldn’t believe it. And it was good the next day!  So over the months I began my mission to find other easy and quick seasoning packets. These are the ones I came up with and all I completely recommend. I think I need to contact McCormick and ask to be a taste tester.

McCormick Grill Mates Garlic, Herb, & Wine

McCormick Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork*

McCormick Enchilada **

McCormick Produce Partners Great Guacamole

* This is the packet my neighbor gave me.

** This was good for a sauce but I would substitute my own meat and topping recipes.

McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Marinade

McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade

Jack Daniel’s Mesquite EZ Marinader***

McCormick Grill Mates Baja Citrus Marinade

McCormick Grill Mates Southwest Marinade

***I would like to just say “PHENOMENAL”!!!!!! I could eat this one everyday, all day long. But I do not recommend trying in the slow cooker on pulled pork. I should have just stuck to the above pulled pork recipe.

I also tried a McCormick Garlic Lime but didn’t keep the packaging.

Each one of these packets has it’s own distinct flavors and you won’t be bored with eating each one all in a row like we do sometimes.

 

Fruit Tray Skewers Cut with Cookie Cutters March 1, 2011

This was one of the simplest dishes, but most importantly the cutest, I have ever made for a potluck. I am sure it would have only taken less than 30 minutes if my 2-year-old didn’t want to cut every piece or steal all of my grapes. I accented this dish with a chocolate ganache fondue. This combination was giving many raves!

Ingredients:

  • 1 vine of circular shaped grapes
  • 1 thick in diameter and long cucumber
  • 2 large red apples
  • 4 large kiwis
  • 16 skewers

Directions:

Rinse and wash your fruit as you normally would. Start by threading one grape almost half way down the skewer. The final distance will truly depend on the size of each item.

Due to the soft nature of the centers of the kiwi, using a cookie cutter shape did not work well. Therefore, I cut the skins off and shaping them in to hexagons or heptagons for a geometric shape. Slice  the kiwis about  ¼- ½ inch thick.  Thread the kiwis just off center, this will help them to not split or become damaged (see 2nd kiwi from the right above).

Using the red skins of the apples for accent colored flowers, cut 4 to 5 slices ½ inch in diameter at the thickest part in each apple.  Using a small flower cutter (or the small gum paste blossom cutter as I used) cut as many flowers per piece as possible.

Slicing the cucumber ½ inch in diameter. Use a small star cookie cutter to shape the cucumber slices. Be careful to not cut through the cucumber skins, this will allow you to reuse the leftovers later with a small apple flower threaded inside (see picture below).

Now your fruits are ready for threading. The grapes will be placed as spacers in between each fruit piece and make for a nice jewel like feature.

Enjoy!

 

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes and cake January 28, 2011

Here in Okinawa, we have the distinct pleasure of being the first place in Japan where cherry blossom trees blossom. Thousands and thousands of delicate pink flowers are everywhere. One castle ruin has 70,000 trees to feast your eyes upon. The freeway toll booths are decorated and lined with flowered branches. Even the used car lots put huge fake cherry blossom trees out front to celebrate this time of year. It is some serious business in these parts.

So in the honor of my friend’s baby girl to-be, a coworkers birthday, and this season I made some cherry blossom cupcakes and a cake.

What you need:

  • Bake your cupcakes as you normally would do, I made 73 cupcakes and had plenty of the supplies remaining
  • I cheated this time and bought about 2 pounds of bakery butter cream frosting
  • Pink, maroon, teal, royal blue, and black coloring
  • Gum paste, mix and prep about half a tub * Mini blossom cutter for gum paste
  • Gum paste small ball tool
  • 1 small tipped paint brush
  • A small dish with about a tablespoon of water
  • Yellow pearls for the center of the flowers
  • An airtight container
  • 2 hours of uninterrupted time or about 4 hours of normal life

Directions:

You can make these blossoms several days in advance. I would recommend this because they take a few hours to make and they need time to dry completely.

Place a small amount of pink coloring in the small dish with water. I did not bother dissolving the coloring completely because I found the right shade of pink I wanted. Follow the instructions for the gum paste. Once the gum paste has set add a little pink coloring and kneed the color in. Add a small amount of color at a time because these flowers are a very faint and are a delicate pink. Working with part of the gum paste at a time, roll a very thin layer out. Use the small blossom cutter and cut out about 60 per group. The left over cut outs can be balled up and placed back in the sealed container with the rest of the gum paste until needed later. Using the small ball tool, lightly press the center of each blossom making a small indentation in the center for the pearl. Dip the paint brush in the pink water, starting at the center of the blossom brush outwards. Do not go all the way to the end of the petals but rather about 60% of the way. Do 5 to 7 brushes per blossom. At about 20 painted blossoms, add the pearls and gently press them into the flower. Be careful not to press through the gum paste. After you have finished the set of 60ish, scoop them up with a tiny spatula or frosting scissors, and place them face down in an airtight container. To help give them a more uniform 3D look, I gently pressed the blossom cutter over them again. This helped to center the pearl and slightly wrap the blossom petals around the pearl. Let a little air circulate in the container until the blossoms dry completely.

Upside down and drying.

Get the cupcakes baking and prepped for frosting. Once your cupcakes are cooled they are ready for frosting. I wanted a smooth finish for my background. Separate into two bowls, 1 cup of frosting and another ¼ cup of frosting and set aside. Tint the remaining frosting pink with the pink coloring. To start, I placed about 2 cups of pink frosting in a bowl and heated in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Stir and heat it up again for another 10 seconds. Keep stirring and heating until heated through. This should only be 2 to 4 times. Once heated through, spoon the frosting on to the cupcake and gently spread to the edges. Each cupcake should take about two spoonfuls. Do this quickly because the frosting will start to set again. Reheat as necessary.

Now to create the branches with the 1 cup of frosting. Well, you would think that brown branches would be nice, right? But brown coloring and the amount of white frosting I combined made for a color that is just not pleasant looking. I’ll just leave it at that. So I opted for black branches. Apparently, I forgot my kindergarten color wheel because I combined black coloring with white frosting thinking that would do the trick. But black coloring and white frosting makes a very dull gray. Oh ya, duh, so please don’t make this same mistake as I did (but that is why I am telling you this side of the story). Now that I had run out of all my white frosting, I needed a miracle and I needed it NOW! I did what any little sister would do, I panicked, looked at the clock, did the time change subtraction thing, thought “Ya, it’s not really that late in California for me to call with this oh-so important emergency” and so I called my big brother (aka my color expert). Who says a college Art degree doesn’t have it’s advantages? Please!

And out of some left field I had no idea existed he told me to mix red, some unknown shade of green, brown, and something else and not in equal ratio amounts either. I told him “What?!?! I don’t have have those colors! And I need specific quantities mister.” So he settled for the colors I had on hand- maroon, teal, royal blue, and black. And viola, I had a very dark midnight blue which once dried looks very black. Now I was back on track.

Pipe the branches on the set pink frosting. Add white dots (from the ¼ cup) to the branches where you are going to place the cherry blossoms. This will help anchor the blossoms and help separate the flower from the branch.

Do the exact same for the cake.

 

 
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