Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Dried Apricots/Honey Yogurt Dressing

Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Dried Apricots
Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 23-27 minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 cups butter lettuce, torn
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan bring broth and salt to a boil.  Add quinoa.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken.  Cook 8-12 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees (F), turning once halfway through cooking.  Slice chicken; cover and keep warm.
3. In a large bowl combine quinoa, apricots and onion.  Add Honey Yogurt Dressing.  Toss to combine.
4.  To serve, line a large serving platter with lettuce.  Top with quinoa mixture and sliced chicken.  Sprinkle with almonds.

Honey Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plain yougurt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl whisk together.  Cover and chill up to 24 hours

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Clementine Delights

On my weekly shopping visits to Publix (southern grocery store), I always pick up the ‘Publix Family Style’ magazine.  It’s right in the front by the sales ad and the best part is that it is 100% free.  In this magazine there are always great cooking tips and tricks and of course the best part, new recipes to try.  New recipes are either a hit or a miss between my boyfriend and I.  There are two specific recipes that I am going to share for my fellow bloggers who may not be able to access a Publix in their hometown.  Clementines are a big hit in the south during winter, I’m not quite sure what it is but they are juicy and delicious.  These two recipes have to do with, you guessed it, Clementines.

Clementine-And-Honey-Glazed Pork Chops

Makes: 4 Servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Marinate: 2 to 24 hours
Broil: 9 to 11 minutes

Ingredients:
6 Clementines, divided
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
4 8-ounce bone-in pork chops cut 1 inch thick

Directions:
1. Zest, then juice 3 clementines. (You should have 1 tablespoon zest and 6 tablespoons juice.)  In a medium bowl combine clementine zest, juice, honey, vinegar, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.2. Place pork chops in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour honey mixture over pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 24 hours.
3. Preheat broiler. Remove pork from marinade. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan; set aside. Quarter the remaining 3 clementines.
4. Place the pork chops on the rack of an unheated broiler pan. Season both sides of the pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
5. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 4 minutes or until the glaze darkens and any exposed parts of the pork chops turn brown. Turn over pork chops and add the clementine quarters to the pan. Broil 5 to 7 minutes more or until pork registers 145 degrees F on an instant-read themselves.
6. Meanwhile, heat reserved marinade over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until reduced by half.
7. To serve, spoon honey reduction over pork chops and broiled clementines.

A meal is not complete without dessert.

Dark-Chocolate-Dipped Clementines

Makes: 54 segments
Start to Finish: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
6 clementines
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon shortening
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

Directions:
1. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Peel and segment clementines.
2. In a small heavy saucepan heat and stir chocolate and shortening over low heat until melted and smooth. Dip clementine pieces halfway into chocolate, letting excess drip off. Place on the prepared baking sheet. While still warm, sprinkle with ginger. Let stand until set. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

Don’t forget to comment with how you like these recipes and to tell me your favorite recipes.
XOXO, H

54 Crazy Thoughts A Girl Has When A Guy Isn’t Texting Her Back

We, as girls, have all had some crazy thoughts to why her man is not texting them back.  Don’t deny it, it happens to the best of us.

1. He’s definitely ignoring me on purpose.
2. Who is he f*cking?!
3. Maybe he didn’t get my message?4. Maybe he lost his phone?
5. Nope, he just like a picture on Instagram – he definitely has his phone.
6. Is it because I’m ugly?
7. I’m better looking than he is, WTF!
8. Maybe he’s playing hard to get?
9. Maybe I should?
10. Nah, where’s the fun in that?
11. What about a Snapchat to get his attention?
12. Why are his three best friends on Snapchat girls?!
13. He’s definitely seeing other people.
14. I wonder which one of these girls he’s slept with.
15. Maybe he’s taking a nap?
16. Should I take a nap?
17. Maybe if I do then I will wake up to a response.
18. Did I come on too strong?
19. …Or not strong enough?
20. He hates me.
21. Why does this always happen?
22. Most people have their phones in their hands 24/7.
23. I know he saw it.
24. It’s 2014 – my message clearly got delivered, it even says it!!!
25. Am I too intimidating?
26. Again – who else is he sleeping with?!
27. Maybe he’s in the shower?
28. Who takes this long to shower?
29. I guess I do… but I’m a girl!
30. Maybe he’s jerking off?
31. But I could be doing that for him.
32. I wonder if he’s thinking of me naked.
33. Doubt it, then he’d definitely be responding.
34. Assh*le!
35. Maybe he’s on the phone?
36. What bitch is he calling?
37. Probably that girl who just wrote on his Facebook.
38. She’s not even that pretty.
39. OK, fine, she’s actually really hot.
40. He could be at the gym.
41. Sh*t, should I go to the gym?
42. Why couldn’t we just work each other out? It’s so much more fun…
43. Who exercises when it’s 28 degrees outside?!
44. Maybe he’s just doing work?
45. Should I call him?
46. Maybe I should do a casual walk-by-his-place-to-see-if-he’s-home?
47. Damn it, it’s raining; screw that.
48. Wow, I sound crazy.
49. Oh well, it happens to the best of us, doesn’t it?
50. WTF is going on?
51. I thought we had a great time the other night?
52. I guess I was the only one who thought so?
53. Whatever, he lost his chance; I’m over it.
54. OMG!! HE JUST RESPONDED!!!

Yes, ladies we all have this thought process.  We can’t deny it for one second.  We’re human though so it is natural.

Strawberry Lemonade Moonshine

Strawberry

Yields: 6 quarts plus a half pint (if you use 5 cups of Everclear)

Ingredients:
4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
12 cup Water
4 cups Sugar
1 liter Strawberry Puree
1 Daiquiri/Margarita mix for the Strawberry Puree
5 cup Everclear

Directions:
1. Low heat mix water and sugar till dissolved
2. Cool to room temp
3. Add lemon juice and strawberry puree
4. Add Everclear
5. Stir well
6. Strain out the pulp
7. Jar it, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks (the longer it sits, the better it becomes).

You can use 3-5 cups of Everclear, up to you and how much alcohol content you want.

Shirley Temple Cocktail Cupcakes

Shirley_Temple_Cocktail_Cupcake

The non-alcoholic Shirley Temple cocktail has a reputation for being super sweet, so it’s no surprise that it translates well into cupcake form. I also really like the grown-up Shirley Temple Black cocktail, which has all the ingredients of the original version, but with a shot of Kahlua (or Campari. Or dark rum, some would argue). So, I decided to make these cupcakes both ways.

The cute little bows on top of the cupcakes are plastic ring birthday party favors. I think they make adorable toppers for Shirley Temple cupcakes. To differentiate the two cupcake flavors, I gave the non-alcoholic cupcakes a pink bow and the Kahlua-flavored cupcakes a black bow.

Alcoholic_Nonalcoholic

Yield: 15 cupcakes
Prep: 40 minutes, total time about 1 hour 30 minutes

This recipe is written assuming that you want to make both Shirley Temple and Shirley Temple Black cupcakes. If you want to make an entire batch of original cocktail Shirley Temple cupcakes, just replace the Kahlua with grenadine, and for an entire batch of Shirley Temple Black cupcakes, vice-versa. I like to give my cupcakes a stately crown of frosting but not everybody is into that much on one cupcake. Feel free to half the Grenadine Buttercream recipe.

Cake:
1/2 cup/113g butter softened
1 cup/200g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups/ 223g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup/122g sour cream
1/2 cup/ 4 oz. Sprite soft drink or ginger-ale
1/4 cup grenadine
1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Line one cupcake pan with 12 paper liners and another cupcake pan with three liners. I used 8 pink liners for the regular Shirley Temple cupcakes and 7 black liners for the Shirley Temple Black cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup Sprite soda and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).  Add flour and Sprite mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.  Bake for 17-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely. When cupcakes are cool, fill a flavor injecting syringe with roughly 1 teaspoon of grenadine. Place the needle in the center of a cupcake and push the plunger as you gently pull the needle up and out of the cupcake.  Repeat with 7 more cupcakes. Wash the syringe and repeat process with Kahlua and remaining cupcakes. Set cupcakes aside while you make the frosting.

Grenadine butter-cream:
 1 lb/452g of unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs (one 32 oz. bags/ 453g) confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tablespoons grenadine, or more to taste
Milk or heavy cream, if needed
15 maraschino cherries
White nonpareils for sprinkling

  1. Mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly and then increase to high and beat for 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the grenadine 1 tablespoon at a time; add more grenadine to taste if desired. Beat frosting again for another 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and mix again on the highest setting for 3 minutes.
  2. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is piping consistency.  Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake in two large swirls and top each with a maraschino cherry. Sprinkle over the white nonpareils.
  3. Store cupcakes loosely covered in plastic wrap or in a plastic cupcake-keeper.

Shirley Temple cocktail recipe with variation
Yield: 1 serving

6 oz. lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite (can use ginger-ale)
1 1/2 tablespoons grenadine
Maraschino cherry for garnish

  1. Pour the lemon-lime soda into a Collins glass filled with ice.
  2. Add grenadine. Garnish with a cherry and a fancy straw.  Stir drink just before sipping.

Shirley Temple Black variation: Add  1 to 2 oz. Kahlua and an additional cherry.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Pumpkin_GingerBread_Trifle

Ingredients:
  • 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • ½ cup gingersnaps, optional
Instructions:
  1. Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool.
  3. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.
  4. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl.
  5. Pour ½ of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping.
  6. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping.
  7. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps or gingerbread crumbs if desired.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.

Apple Cider Sangria

Apple_Sangria

Yield: serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 bottle (standard size) of Pinot Grigio
2 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup ginger brandy
3 honey crisp apples, chopped
3 pears, chopped

Directions:
Combine all ingredients together and stir, stir, stir. Refrigerate for an hour or so (or longer!) before serving.

[Regular brandy can also be used, I simply used ginger brandy to give it more autumn flavor.]

AppleSangria