Saturday Sippers: Sangria

June 7, 2014

Sangria

Summertime. Hot weather. Sunny days. Blue skies. Relaxing with friends. Fresh, juicy fruits. Sitting by the water. Sipping chilled drinks. And do I have one of the best chilled drinks for you. The classic sangria. You can whip it up by the pitcher or by the cooler, depending on how big your crowd is. Sit out glasses and an ice bucket, as well as a ladle for the fruit, and you’ve got a self-serve cocktail that packs enough of a punch to enjoy, but not so much that your friends will be teeter-tottering into the pool.

The wonderful thing about sangria is there are so many options, and you can make do with whatever you have on hand. Red, white, rosé, sparkling – all make a wonderful sangria. Pick your fruit, pick your juice, pick your liqueur, and pick your soda. Balance it out with a little pre-punchbowl taste test, adding a bit more of this or that to bring a harmony to the flavors – not too sweet, not too fruity, not too alcoholic, but Goldilock’s-approved ‘just right’.

This Goldilock’s has already found her ‘just right’ however for the classic red wine sangria, so she shall share her secrets with you forthwith. (more…)

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Quick & Easy: Curried salmon in parchment

May 9, 2014

Curried Salmon in Parchment Paper

Thai curries might be one of my favorite quick meals to pull together. While one can make their own curry paste, I find the pre-made Thai Kitchen curry pastes to be pretty good. When making a bowl of curry I will usually add some extra Thai peppers and ginger to the pan, but for a quick, weeknight meal like this salmon, I keep the extra flavors minimal. This is about being quick and easy after all!

If you haven’t baked in parchment before, it might look at first glance to be complicated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Simply make up your packets of meat, add some sort of liquid and seasoning, crimp the edges, and bake! The crimping is simply folding edges of paper over on top of each other to hold. Or in my case, not so much folding as cramming paper together quickly and hoping it holds (it always does, knock on wood!). (more…)

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Apples & cinnamon oatmeal gets a grown up makeover

April 17, 2014

Grown up apples-n-cinnamon oatmeal

I’m sure you all remember the little Quaker oatmeal packets we’d have for breakfast back in the day (or, maybe you still stock your pantry with these guys). Undoubtedly you’d be somewhere, and instead of just having a box of your favorite flavor, they’d have the dreaded flavor variety box. And you were left hoping your favorite flavor was there. Or at least, there would be a flavor you could at least stomach. My favorite flavor was Apples & Cinnamon, and everything else was just a huge disappointment or downright inedible. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had Apples & Cinnamon oatmeal, but a couple of weeks ago I happened to have a plethora of apples and decided that was exactly what I was going to make.

I call this version grown up, because not only does it have huge chunks of apples and nuts in it, but I came up with this recipe while my husband and I were doing an elimination diet. That seems like something only a crazy grown up would do (more…)

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Sunday suppers: Veal meatballs with artichokes & carrots

April 13, 2014

Veal Meatballs with Artichoke and Carrot

When I saw this recipe, it just screamed “Spring!!!” at me. Fresh artichokes, veal, carrots, citrus, and a bit of cream. Just heavy enough to break the chill of a spring evening, but light enough to not weigh you down as you’re moving into the warmer months. With Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to post this special meal that takes a little bit of time, but shines so beautifully on the dinner table and is the perfect meal to serve family style that it is worth it! (more…)

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Lamb Merguez & Strawberry Salad

April 2, 2014

Lamb Merguez & Strawberry Salad

Around the change of seasons, when the flowering trees start to shoot out their buds and bushes start show that bright green new growth, the farmer’s market becomes so overwhelmed with fresh strawberries that it becomes impossible for me to walk by stall after stall and not come home with a couple of quarts of them. And that’s how this recipe was born – a trip to my local farmer’s market, too many strawberries, and an adventurous “why not?” purchase of lamb merguez sausage.

Merguez sausage is usually made from lamb, spiced with the North African flavors of cumin and harissa. It has a very rich flavor and often a little kick from the harissa. While it is amazing wrapped in a pita, with my plethora of strawberries I decided to go a slightly different route. (more…)

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