6.29.2015

{Recipe Update} Guacamole with Pomegranate

This post is about a year & a half overdue. But with the 4th coming, I thought now would finally be a good time to share this unique & deliciously amazing dish with you all. PLEASE make this for your 4th of July!


Last "winter" J & I went to this AMAZING Mexican restaurant downtown called,  Mas Malo. The interior of this restaurant was amazing. The building used to be an old jewelry store circa 1923  & just had such a different vibe than most Mexican restaurants.


As usual, J & I ordered guacamole because...well, it's guac. Why WOULDN'T you order it?  When it came, I noticed there was something on top, but because we were seated upstairs, it was dark & I couldn't tell what it was. Being the chicken that I am, I made Joey try it first. After one bite he looked at me & told me to just try it. OK FINE. I placed a tiny tiny scoop onto a chip, bit in...& my life CHANGED. No I don't think I'm being dramatic. The suspicious addition was actually pomegranate arils! It was such a welcomed & unexpected change.  Now, I ALWAYS want to put poms in my guac! No, I don't care how that sounds. ANYWAYS, I absolutely love my recipe for Classic Guacamole (oh the pics are terrible, please no judgment), so I used that recipe & just added about a 3/4 of a cup of arils into the mix & serve!



6.17.2015

{Recipe} Stacked Chicken Enchiladas


I love enchiladas...if you don't I don't know if we can be friends & I'm not kidding.  My absolute favorite enchilada dish is Enchilada Lasagna. It is SUPER rich & AMAZINGLY indulgent but because of that, I try to save the recipe for special occasions. When I came across this recipe from a blog I love, Gimme Some Oven, it screamed MAKE ME! What's so great about these enchiladas is you get all the tasty flavors of an enchilada but is filled with more veggies that you wouldn't typically find in an enchilada.  This recipe was awesome & I didn't feel like I needed to be rolled out of the room when dinner was over.  The other great thing is the ability to make this a vegetarian dinner by removing the chicken. Still plenty of veggies to make this filling!  The only thing I would change is not sprinkling avocado over the entire dish when it was done. If you aren't serving this for a crowd, keep in mind you will have to reheat the next night.  Baked 2nd day avocado isn't good. Next time, I will top my enchiladas only when plated. Hmm next time..that next time might be real soon!

Serves: 8
Cook time acc to me: 1 Hour
How difficult was this for me? Not bad at all!






*Note, I did modify the amount of ingredients compared to the original recipe. I found I had leftover veggies because I was only able to do 2 complete layers instead of 3)

3 cups red enchilada sauce
10 corn tortillas
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
4 scallions, thinly sliced (green part only)
1 lb shredded cooked chicken (I find boiling chicken the easiest/quickest way)
2.5 cups shredded low-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 avocado, peeled, pitted & diced
1/2 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro






Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray

Pour 3/4 cup enchilada sauce in baking dish & spread until the bottom is evenly coated.  

Top with a layer of tortillas. You can get creative in your placement. I cut some in half so the entire bottom was covered.


Sprinkle evenly: 1 cup black beans, 1 cup corn, 1/4 of the green onion & 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (I forgot to photograph the chicken)


Cover the layer with about 3/4 cup shredded cheese


 Repeat with a 2nd layer of tortillas, THEN sauce, beans, corn, green onions, chicken & cheese


By this point, I ran out of chicken/beans/corn/space...if you have leftover ingredients by all means make another layer.  If not, after the cheese layer, add another layer of tortillas.  

Then cover with all remaining sauce


Cover with aluminum foil, then bake for 20 mins. You should have some cheese leftover.

Remove pan, remove foil & cover with remaining cheese.  

Bake for an additional 10-12 mins until cheese is golden brown.


Top with avocado & cilantro.  Slice & serve!



6.15.2015

{Recipe} Slow Cooker Turkey, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili


OK, I know what you're thinking. It's summer, it's hot outside & I'm making chili. Well yes, yes I am & I'm not ashamed!  You know I love my slow cooker & when I found this recipe, I really wanted to try it now & not wait until a more typical chili time like the fall. Except, I live in LA & we're in the midst of some serious June Gloom, so with no shame I made this chili & IT WAS FANTASTIC.  It is SUPER healthy & tastes incredible. It was easy to make & the house smelled amazing as the chili cooked all day.  I'd be lying if I said I went the entire day without doing a little tasting.


Yes, this dish is quite filling, but it didn't feel too heavy for summer since it was full of veggies.  Plus, it uses ground turkey! Whatever,  I don't need to defend my actions against the haters. Save this dish for the fall if you must, but you're going to be kicking yourself when you do eventually make it.  Thank you Iowa Girl Eats for the recipe!






Serves: 6-8
Cook time: 6 hours
How difficult was this for me? EASY!






1 lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth, plus a little extra for re-heating (I used low-sodium)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
15 oz baked beans (I used maple baked beans)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 large sweet potato, peeled & chopped (hardest part for me)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt (plus some to taste)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional Toppings: shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream (I used a pinch of cheese & avocado)


In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground turkey & onion.  Season with salt & pepper


Meanwhile dump everything (except toppings) into a greased slow cooker.  Add ground turkey once browned. Mix thoroughly.


Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. I did stir occasionally but you shouldn't need to.


Top with whatever toppings you prefer & enjoy!






Shrimp Tacos



Let me introduce you to my new favorite taco with the longest possible name.  The full name is: Honey Lime Tequila Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Purple Slaw & Chipotle Creme. Yep, it's a mouthful, but an absolutely delicious mouthful!  These were such a light & refreshing change from our typical tacos. The shrimp flavoring was awesome & surprisingly, the purple slaw was so crisp & fresh…I contemplated just eating it straight from the bowl!  This recipe comes from Tartin and Apron Springs & I couldn't be happier that I stumbled upon it.  I will say, the process is a bit intensive, BUT SO WORTH the work! I will definitely make these again!

Honey Lime Tequila Shrimp Tacos
Serves: 8
Cook time acc to me: 45 mins
How difficult was this? Not too bad, just a lot of steps & ingredients (BUT WORTH IT!)

Ingredients
For the Shrimp:
2 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled & deveined (or you can buy the pre-cooked shrimp cocktail like I did…lazy!)
1 tsp coarse sea salt
2 tbsp raw honey
Juice from 2 limes
1/2 cup tequila
1 medium onion, finely minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground chipotle (optional)
2 avocados, diced
1/2 head red cabbage. thinly sliced
For the Slaw Dressing (my favorite part!)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2-3 limes)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup light neutral oil, such as grape seed
Sea salt & pepper to taste
For the Chipotle Crema
1 cup low fat sour cream
1-2 pieces chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (canned)
For Assembly
8 tortillas 

Directions:
Wash, peel, devein, & dry raw shrimps. Season with salt

In a bowl, combine honey, lime juice, tequila, onion, cumin, & chipotle powder (if using). 

Mix well & toss shrimps in marinade. Chill 1 hour up to 3 hours in the refrigerator.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add shrimp but not marinade to pan.  Sauté until shrimps turn pink & are thoroughly cooked.


Dice the avocados and squeeze juice from the remaining 1 lime.


To make the dressing for the red cabbage slaw, put the lime juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt, pepper & oil in a jar or bowl. Whisk vigorously until it emulsifies.

Toss the red cabbage with the lime vinaigrette. Set aside.


Meanwhile, to make the chipotle crema, place the chipotles in the bowl of the food processor and give it a good whirl until it is smooth.

Stir in the sour cream , mixing well until the color is even. 

Assemble tacos as you wish. Serve immediately. Enjoy!



6.11.2015

{Recipe} Cowboy Quiche


OK, so one time I saw on Pinterest a super easy way to make hard boiled eggs was in the oven.  I bought a carton of eggs & fully intended on trying this magic...& then I didn't get around to doing it.  I was about to go out of town to Miami (check it out here) & the eggs were about to go bad, so I figured I'd make something that required a lot of eggs. Bring on my first attempt at a quiche! I asked one of my egg experts if she had any suggestions, & she sent me to The Pioneer Woman.  This chick...is LEGIT.  My eggspert said the recipe was pretty fool proof...yet it still seemed a tad intense to me.  Plus, her recipe required a deep dish pan & I didn't have one of those (Note to self, register for one!) So, after a little investigating, I found another recipe from A Family Feast & sort of combined the two.  Overall, this dish was a definite success!  I did modify the ingredients/directions below a tad because the dish was just a little liquid-y on day one.  But the flavoring was INSANE.  I also cheated & bought a pre-made crust. So be it. I don't own a rolling pin...another thing to register for.  If you want a recipe for pie crust, both blogs provide one. Luckily, the crust I bought comes in a pair so I can make a 2nd quiche soon!






Serves: 6 slices
Cook time acc to me: 1 hour 25 mins
How difficult was this acc to me? Not TOO bad!






1 pre-made pie crust
6 large eggs
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup turkey sausage, cooked & crumbled (I cheated & bought pre-cooked crumbles)
2 cups grated low-fat cheddar cheese (I know I know, but gotta do it)
1 cup of light cream or half & half
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
Black pepper to taste






Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add in onions & cook for 15-20 mins until fully caramelized. I did struggle a bit with this & just kinda gave up after 20 mins. 


While the onions are cooking, in a large mixing bowl beat eggs. Add in cream, salt, nutmeg, cayenne pepper & black pepper. Mix well.


When the onions are done, remove from skillet & mix in to the egg mixture.  

Add cheese into the mix.

Using the same skillet, brown the turkey sausage. If you bought the pre-cooked crumbles like I did, toss them in the skillet for a few minutes to warm them up.


Once sausage is cooked (or warmed up) add to egg/onion mix.

In a lightly greased pie dish, place pie crust then pour egg mix in. 


Cover with foil & bake for 45-50 mins.  Then remove foil & bake another 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Insert a knife into the middle to check if it's done. It should come out clean.


Let the quiche sit for a few minutes then slice & serve!



















6.10.2015

Reading Challenge Book #12 Review!


Well I jumped on the bandwagon for book #12 of the PopSugar Reading Challenge.  The category: a book published this year.  I'd heard really good things about Girl on the Train, so I decided to go with it. It was an EXCELLENT choice! I found myself unable to put this book down. My partner in the reading challenge previously read this book & she said by the end she couldn't cheer for any of the characters because they were all so flawed. Well, maybe I have a soft spot for people who share my name, but I did find myself rooting for the main character, Rachel, even though I wanted to constantly scream at her for making some really frustrating & questionable choices. I don't always go for super trendy books (that don't have pink covers) like I've never read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games (I actually might for the trilogy category, we'll see) but I'm really glad I read this mystery-thriller, especially since I tend to stick to one mystery writer, Mary Higgins Clark.  (Mary, you're still my girl!) So with that, if you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. It's a quick & fun read! As per the last 11 posts, thanks goodreads for the summary!

Summary
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone GirlThe Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.


Catch up on other book challenge books here:




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6.09.2015

{Lately Loving} Oversized Mirrors

I love mirrors. I think they really provide a fun decorative accent to any space & if it was up to me, I'd have mirrors in almost every room. NO, it's not because I like looking in them. I actually don't. BUT J isn't such a fan, so remembering our house is actually OURS & not just mine, I try to take his design feelings into consideration (sometimes). They are also extremely versatile & go with just about everything. They brighten up a room, plus, there are so many different ways to use them! Was the exclamation point too much? Sorry, home decor excites me sometimes. Perhaps in our next place J will have to just deal. But for now, here are some awesome oversized mirrors plus a few smaller mirrors used in big ways.