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Recipes

Rose Almond White Chocolate Bark

Shavise Glascoe

BrokenBark1.jpg

   Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you're single or taken, I believe we all can agree that food is number one in all of our hearts. While an amazing dinner should be a given today (whether your dining alone or with a significant other), I wanted to try something new in the sweets category.

   With the box of chocolates and bouquet of roses as the classic go to gift for most, I decided it would be fun to try a mash-up version of the pair. Not only will it be beautiful, but also delicious. Now before you jump to conclusions, no we're not going to buy roses from the local store and simply pick the petals off and eat it with the chocolate. That would be wrong on SO many levels. And NO it doesn't taste like you're eating a bowl of your mother's potpourri, lol. (There's another process to this, haha)

    In using dried culinary rose petals and buds for tea in the past, I wondered what it would be in a chocolate bark. Not only was this experiment a win, but it was also super easy and fast to put together. Talk about a major Valentine's Day win!! This is a MUST TRY.

 

Ingredients

  • 20oz white chocolate
  • ½ cup dried culinary rose petals and rose buds
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • ½ tbsp Himalayan pink salt (optional)

Flavors to Try: Dark Chocolate, Pistachios, Dried Strawberries

 

Instructions

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Gently steam dried culinary rose petals and buds. This will allow you to better remove the petals without it crumbling. Place petals in a separate container or dish for topping.

3. Using a double boiler melt the white chocolate. Be sure to not allow the water to boil during the process. While melting, add in vanilla extract and rose water to chocolate.

4. Once chocolate is completely melted, pour onto baking sheet.

5. Immediately top with rose petals, sliced almonds and pink salt (optional).

6. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for 1 hour (or freezer for 30min).

7. Break bark and enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Cactus Tacos

Shavise Glascoe

Mmmmmmm tacos. Who doesn't love a good taco? (or two or three).  Now I am all for taking my time and creating an edible masterpiece, but sometimes my little sliver of free time won't give me permission to indulge. But what if I were to tell you that you could both enjoy and amazing taco and prep time is a breeze? Sound too good to be true? Nope, not at all.

I've been eating tacos (like anyone else) for as long as I can remember. Usually the basic Americanized version of taco. Please don't judge me. It wasn't until college that I explored Mexican cuisine outside of the typical nacho-burrito-ground beef taco from a chain restaurant. One of my college buddies (who I believe I talked about before on this blog in the Ultimate Burrito Bowl recipe) did a pretty good job in exposing me to her cuisine during that 4 year period.

Although, not exactly what she prepared for me and my then boyfriend (now husband), these chicken cactus tacos were definitely inspired by Nicole.

Don't get all weird with the thought of 'cactus'. The cactus that I use is actually something you can pick up from the supermarket. Not only is it tender, but it's also what I would consider a flavor bomb! The cactus takes this chicken taco from ordinary to extraordinary. Now how about that recipe.

Ingredients (Feel free to play with the quantity. Make this recipe YOURS)

  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • canola oil (a couple of tablespoons for cooking the chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning blend (This is optional, but great to make ahead and keep on hand)
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Adobo Seasoning
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • Queso Blanco (Topping)
  • Mild Chili Tabasco Sauce
  • 1/2 cup (or more)  Dona Maria Nopalitos
  • Blue Corn Taco Shells

Flavors to Try: Steak, Chorizo, Pinto Beans, Jalapeños, Habanero Pepper, Cilantro and more....

Steps

 

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine chicken, canola oil and seasoning. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, and juices run clear. Prepare the rest of your ingredients for assembly.

2. Add sliced peppers and onions to skillet and cook. *Add cactus at very end.* Remove from heat.

3. Place mixture into Blue Corn Tortillas

4. Top with queso blanco and tabasco sauce (optional)

5. Enjoy (no it really is that insanely simple)

 

 

 

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Shavise Glascoe

The most wonderful time of the year is officially here. With that being said, let the baking begin. Now I think sugar cookies are awesome, but we can overdo it with them fairly quickly. This year, I decided to try something a little different. If you are looking to add something new to your baking list this holiday or anytime this winter, this simple Rosemary Shortbread Cookie recipe is a must try. [This recipe is from my monthly blog post for the Baltimore Chef Shop- check them out today.]

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoon of sanding sugar for topping (optional)

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
  3. In a bowl, whisk together flour, rosemary and salt.
  4. In a stand mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar on low to medium speed while slowly adding in the flour mixture. Blend until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.

5. Form the dough into two balls. Roll each dough ball flat (~1/4 inch) between two pieces of parchment paper.

6. Place the rolled dough into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

7. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter (of your choice) and transfer cut-outs to the prepared cookie sheets. Roll the scraps and repeat.

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes. [Note: Do not allow cookies to brown]. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack

9. Sprinkle sanding sugar (optional)

** Tip: There may be a rosemary leaf that will not cut with the cookie dough and a piece will be sticking out of the side of your cut-out. Simply clip the pieces that are sticking out with kitchen shears before baking.

Enjoy!

Harvest Oatmeal

Shavise Glascoe

   With chilly mornings among us, the bowl of cold cereal and fruit wasn't doing it for me anymore. I desperately needed something hearty to get me through my morning (along with nearly an entire pot of coffee, but that's a different story). So, in searching for something a little more hearty, I played around in the kitchen with ingredients that I already had on hand and came up with my own 'Harvest Oatmeal'. Not only was it yummy, but it could also be prepared ahead of time. Win, win in my book.

   So exactly what is a 'Harvest Oatmeal'?  Well to make it very simple (since the full recipe is listed below): old fashioned oatmeal mixed with a mashed sweet potato and assortment of spices, then topped with rosemary brown sugar walnuts by Kinderhook Snacks. Now if this doesn't scream autumn and Thanksgiving, I don't know what else does. If you are a lover of breakfast, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fall or good food (lol) this is a MUST TRY.

Ingredients [Serves 2]

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1-3/4 cup of  Milk (Soy, Almond, 2%) [OPTIONAL]
  • 1 sweet potato 
  • .5-1oz raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kinderhook Rosemary Brown Sugar Walnuts

Flavors To Try: Maple Syrup, Honey, Cayenne, Dates, Figs, Whatever else your heart desires

Steps:

1. Peel and cube sweet potato. Add to boiling water (lightly salted). Cook until tender.

2. In a bowl mash sweet potato with a masher.

3. In a separate pot, prepare oatmeal. Boil water or milk and stir in oats. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. (Stir occasionally).

3. Mix mashed sweet potato and cooked oatmeal. Combine with raisins, chia seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

4. Top with Kinderhook Rosemary Brown Sugar Walnuts

5. Enjoy

Cranberry-Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Shavise Glascoe

It's FALL Y'ALL! (I've been dying to say that for some odd reason). Well, it's not only fall, but it's officially November. Like November, the same November that comes before December which is the end of the year! Where did this ENTIRE year go? Last time I checked I was still adjusting to writing 2016 on everything. *Sigh*

Now that my end of the year meltdown is over, on to better news. In addition to writing this blog, I've formed a partnership with the Baltimore Chef Shop (a local teaching kitchen) as their Recipe and Tip blogger. If you are in the area and have yet to experience one of their amazing classes, I advise you to sign up for one soon (and very soon).

My very first recipe for BCS was a Cranberry-Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash. This dish was so amazing, that I had to put it on my own blog. If you are lover of fall like I am, you will LOVE this recipe, trust me.

Ingredients

·         2 large acorn squash

·         2 Gala apples

·         1 teaspoon lemon juice

·         ½  Tablespoon lemon zest

·         ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

·         1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

·         1 teaspoon ground cloves

·         2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

·         ¼  teaspoon salt

·         ¼ teaspoon ground sage

·         1 cup unsweetened applesauce

·         2 Tablespoons butter ( ½  tablespoon per squash)

·         1 cup chopped pecans (topping, ¼ cup per squash) [optional]

·         1 cup dried cranberries ( ½ cup in mix, ½ cup topping)

·         ½ Tablespoon maple flavor [optional]

Steps

1.       Preheat the oven to 425° F.

2.       Wash squash and cut in half horizontally. Scoop out seeds (and additional flesh if you want less squash and more filling). Cut off the stems and slice the ends of the squash to create a flat surface. This will ensure that the halves sit upright in the pan.

3. Place all four squash halves in a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.

4.       Peel and cube apples and place in large bowl. Cover with lemon juice and mix together.

5.       Add zest, dry ingredients, apple sauce, ½ cup of cranberries, and maple flavor to apple mixture.

6.   Divide mixture evenly between four acorn squash halves.

7.       Cut butter into four (1/2 tablespoon) pieces and place into center of each filled squash

8.       Top with leftover cranberries and pecans (1/4 cup of pecans per squash).

9.       Pour water into baking dish up to one-third of the way up.

10.   Cover pan with parchment paper and foil and bake for 45 minutes. Check for tenderness and bake for additional 10-15 minutes if needed.

11.   Remove from oven and serve.

12.   Enjoy. [Feel free to save leftovers for breakfast. Yes, this dish can go with just about any meal of the day.]

Vegan Breakfast Hash

Shavise Glascoe

Let me start this post with a disclaimer: I am not a vegan, but I have vegan tendencies from time to time. As a proud Midwest born gal, I have a deep connection with meat. Yes, I am your steak and potatoes kind of girl. Why? I don't know. Try to think of it as Marylanders and crabs, it's a part of my geographical DNA.

Moving right along to my VEGAN BREAKFAST HASH. So, I was recently asked to create a vegan dish, something other than a kale salad, green juice or tofu burger, yet something appealing to the 'meat lover'. I kindly accepted the challenge. Oh and it had to taste delicious, not the "I know it is healthy for me and I SHOULD like this" delicious, but good enough to make my fellow meat eaters rethink their commitment to the carnivore lifestyle.

Now as to the reason why I aimed for breakfast, I'm not quite sure. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals and I like to take it beyond the cereal and milk combos that I grew up on as a kid. I also wanted to make a spin on my grandfather's breakfast hash that he would bless me with from time to time. With that being said my Vegan Hash was born.

 

Ingredients

  • 14oz Extra Firm Tofu (pressed)
  • 2 small purple sweet potatoes
  • 2 white potatoes
  • Chard
  • 1/2 Onion chopped
  • 1 small tomato chopped (or grape tomatoes halved)
  • 2 Bell Peppers diced (1 yellow, 1 orange)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Lemon Juice (drizzle for grilling avocado)
  • Cooking Oil (for frying potatoes)
  • Olive Oil (to brush on avocado before grilling)
  • Seasonings: Tumeric, Adobo, Black Pepper, etc (whatever your heart desires)

Steps:

1. Press tofu (this can take a little while so be sure to account for the time this takes)

2. Crumble now dry tofu and season with selected seasonings (remember you have the freedom of choice on this one).

3. Prepare potatoes (do not peel potatoes)

4. Heat oil in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat and add onions and seasoning after 5 min. Continue to cook until potatoes are crispy

5. Add the remaining vegetables for hash (peppers, chard, tomato)

6. Combine tofu, potatoes and vegetables together and cook until done

7. Slice avocado in half and prepare avocado for grill (brush with olive oil and lemon juice)

8. Grill the avocado half and place on top of hash

9. Enjoy

**(Feel free to use this for meal prep for the work week)**

Gin & Juice Ice Pops

Shavise Glascoe

I have to completely get the fact that I can't say the name of these ice pops without completing the entire Gin & Juice song by Snoop Dogg. Although the song is a classic, it was not the inspiration for this cool 'adult' treat.

Cocktails and mixed drinks are fun and an essential part to surviving the stresses of "adulthood". Ok maybe not an essential part, but an enjoyable one. You combine that with summer heat and you get some pretty creative results.

Although, I am a flavor fanatic, flavor was not my inspiration. Gin & Juice ice pops are not only amazing, but they are also practical. During the dog days of summer, the idea of juggling plates and drinks while at a cookout wasn't my idea of fun. So why not turn that drink into an ice pop. You can get a buzz and cool off at the same time (lol).

Now there are a number of cocktails that I love, but I specifically selected Gin & Juice due to my obsession with all things local. For these ice pops, I went with Baltimore Shot Tower Gin and Gundalow Juice . And as an added bonus, I loaded these with fresh blackberries.

Ingredients

  • Baltimore Shot Tower Gin
  • Gundalow Juice (Harbor Voyage)
  • Blackberries (~1cup) (Or fruit of your choice)

Steps

1. Mix gin and juice. Not a bartender (lol)? No worries, check out this link for tips. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Gin-and-Juice-Drink

2. Add blackberries (1/2 cup) into ice pop molds.

3. Pour mixture on top of blackberries in ice pop molds. Add extra berries/fruit.

4. Insert ice pop sticks and freeze until firm (at least 8hrs or overnight)

Enjoy (Responsibly)

Elderberry & Honey Mead Ice Cream Float

Shavise Glascoe

Elderberry isn't something I see or hear about often. I'm not sure why because every recipe that I've had containing elderberry has been nothing less than amazing. If you haven't had the pleasure of eating elderberry pie, I suggest that you do so soon. My confidence in elderberry and love for mead made this ice cream float a no brainer. Yet another MUST TRY!

Ingredients

  • Charm City Mead- Elderberry
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Honey

Steps

1. After selecting the size glass or mason jar of your choice add one scoop of ice cream.

2. Pour a good amount (totally up to you) of chilled Elderberry Mead.

3. Add a second scoop of ice cream

4. Top with honey

Enjoy! (Responsibly)

Basil Lemongrass Mead Ice Cream Float

Shavise Glascoe

I have to be the first to admit that I have been drinking Charm City Mead all summer. So much so that I began growing bored of just drinking it by itself. Add that and a sweet tooth and you have yourself a sweet 'adult' treat.

My love for all things flavorful is what really led me to use the Basil Lemongrass Mead by Charm City Mead for this float. You will not regret giving this a try. You will only regret that you hadn't tried this sooner.

Ingredients

  • Charm City Mead- Basil Lemongrass
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Honey (Optional)
  • Fresh Basil (Optional)

Steps

1. After selecting the size glass or mason jar of your choice add one scoop of ice cream.

2. Pour a good amount (totally up to you) of chilled Basil Lemongrass Mead.

3. Add a second scoop of ice cream

4. OPTIONAL: Top with honey and fresh basil

Enjoy!

Boozy Strawberry Ice Cream Float

Shavise Glascoe

If you haven't fully embraced the pumpkin spice explosion that is occurring in every supermarket nationwide and would rather hold on to these last few days of summer, this recipe is for you.

Like most of my recipes, I was inspired by a new find from one of my shopping trips. However, unlike finding a new spread, seasoning or topping, it was a draft that caught my attention.

While casually strolling around the neighborhood farmer's market, I discovered Great Shoals Winery. Who can pass up the wine vendor while at a farmer's market? I sure can't. Although their wines were great, I fell in love with their Berry Draft. One sip of this strawberry draft and "boozy floats" came to mind. I grabbed two bottles, purchased a ton of strawberries from the produce stand and raced home to create a masterpiece.

Ingredients

Steps

1. After selecting the size glass or mason jar of your choice add one scoop of ice cream.

2. Pour a good amount (totally up to you) of chilled Berry Draft.

3. Add a second scoop of ice cream

4. Top with Booze Thyme Cherries

Enjoy!

 

 

Fig, Arugula and Mascarpone Crostini

Shavise Glascoe

When you're in Whole Foods and you see the last container of figs, you buy them. I repeat, you buy them. You buy those figs and figure out the rest later. Luckily for me later was during my shopping trip.

While going through the "what should I do with this" list of options in my head I thought of ice cream. I drew my recipe inspiration from an ice cream (Cool Haus -Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone) that I recently had (minus the arugula) and loved. With no time to make my own ice cream, I decided to keep things simple and put it all on crostini.

Crostini was a quick and easy option for me to enjoy those flavors. I needed quick and easy as it was a weeknight and this was impulse buy. So I quickly grabbed a baguette, bag of arugula, some mascarpone cheese, and headed home. After preparing my crostini, which I was pretty excited to devour, I realized that I had a bottle of Balsamic Ginger Reduction in the pantry unopened. With a drizzle on top, the weeknight masterpiece was complete.

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Kosher salt (optional for taste)
  • Cracked pepper (optional for taste)
  • 4oz mascarpone cheese
  • Arugula
  • Thinly sliced fresh figs
  • Balsamic Ginger Reduction (optional)

Steps

1. Slice baguette diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices

2. Brush baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle salt and pepper (optional)

3. Thinly slice fresh figs

4. In a heated skillet, toast baguette slices on both sides

5. Remove from skillet and add mascarpone cheese, arugula and fig slices

6. Optional (but recommended). Drizzle Balsamic Ginger Reduction.

7. Enjoy

Vegetable Crostini

Shavise Glascoe

I'm a mother. I'm a wife and mother. I'm a working wife and mother. I'm a two job working wife and mother. I'm a food blogging, two job working, wife and mother. To sum it up, I'm insanely busy and probably crazy for doing this much. Now by no means am I perfect nor do I always focus on the task at hand (i.e. daydreaming about food at work).

I will be the first to admit that I daydream about what I would like to make for dinner at while at work (which as I type this I realize how crazy this is). If I don't have my life (and everyone else's lives) in order by Sunday, my amazing meal prepping plans never come into fruition. This leads to a Monday morning full of frustration and regret. I will have to admit that some of my greatest dishes were prepared at 6pm after a long day at work. (I do not recommend this kind of lifestyle, lol).

The vegetable crostini came about on one of 'those' Mondays. On this particular Monday, I had my heart set on Spinach Ravioli and figured that I would go all out with dinner that night. I remembered having random ingredients at home that needed to be used and figured I should incorporate that into the meal. Forgetting to make a list, my 5pm trip to the supermarket was an interesting one. With less than a half hour to make this trip to the market before the daycare pick up, I zoomed through the store as though I was a contestant on Supermarket Sweep (remember that show?).

Let's just say that I am GLAD that I wasn't on the show. What in the hell did I buy? Exhausted and hangry (yes, hangry) I emptied my shopping slowly to see what mystery options I managed to bring home. Kale, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, a baguette, and bruschetta jack cheese by Sargento. So much for the basic garlic bread plan......

In a race against the clock (the hunger clock that my toddler runs on) I quickly began slicing, chopping and throwing things together. Not only did it work out, it was a hit (and so was that ravioli). They loved it so much that I recreated it several times and decided to add it to the blog. Along with creating a pretty awesome appetizer that day with random ingredients, I learned a very important life lesson.........Make A List Girl, Make a LIST!

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Kosher salt (optional for taste)
  • Cracked pepper (optional for taste)
  • Sliced Bruschetta Jack Cheese
  • Chopped Kale
  • 1 thinly sliced bell pepper (yellow or orange)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Parmesan (Shaved or Grated) to sprinkle on top

Steps

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. In skillet cook bell pepper (w/ olive oil) on low heat until soft 

3. Slice baguette diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices

4. Chop kale, cut grape tomatoes in half and slice bruschetta jack cheese

5. Brush baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle salt and pepper. Place in oven for 10min.

6. After 10 min, add sliced cheese and place back in oven for 5min

7. Remove the crostini from oven and top with vegetables and parmesan

8. Enjoy (get it a second or two to cool off first)

Chocolate Bacon S'mores

Shavise Glascoe

What happens when you marry bacon and chocolate together? Great things happen, but magic only occurs when you add this lovely pair to a S'MORE. Yes, a chocolate bacon s'more. Now this recipe is fairly simple, but the story behind this union is fairly complex.

I usually get inspired to make a dish when I come across THAT ingredient. 'THAT' ingredient, is the one item that sparks a rush of creative juices that eventually leads to a dish. Now that the "How does she come up with it" question is solved, time to finish up my story.  

This match made in heaven (well in my kitchen) all started with a marshmallow. No I was not at the super market and inspired by the jumbo bag marshmallows in the baking aisle, these beauties are different. Crafted by a local maker, Nikki Lewis of  Mallow Crunchies, these amazing 'Softies' (which are giant marshmallows). After driving over to her headquarters and snagging a bag of vanilla softies, I was set, for what, I had no clue.

 Vanilla Softies.....AMAZING

Vanilla Softies.....AMAZING

It was only after purchasing a bag of marshmallows that I began to think S'MORE. Well with a great marshmallow, I couldn't resort to a basic chocolate bar, that would be a CRIME. So now enters my love Vosges Haut-Chocolat created by Katrina Markoff. Vosges was the very first brand of chocolate that I tried when I began my journey of chocolate exploration (if that is even a thing). Selecting a specific bar from her collection was tough, but I eventually settled with the Mo's Milk Bar. Not only is this a high quality bar of chocolate, but the BACON takes it to a whole new level.

And as you may have figured out by now, here comes the BACON. I decided to not settle with just the amount of bacon that was provided by the chocolate bar. I wanted more bacon (who doesn't). I wanted to really be able to call this a CHOCOLATE BACON S'MORE. So it is only logical to buy bacon and candy it. Now, please keep in mind I am a regular person and when I do things for the first time I follow a recipe. So for the Candied Bacon, I turned to Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe on the Food Network website.  

IMG_7263.jpg

Now that we have all of our ingredients.....let's make a Chocolate Bacon S'more.

Ingredients (Makes about 12 S'mores)

1. Marshmallow Softies

(**Mallow-Crunchies is not longer in business, so feel free to try MitchMallows**)

2. Mo's Milk Bar (by Vosges Haut-Chocolat)

3. Graham Crackers

4. Candied Bacon (12 slices of bacon-about 1/4 inch thick, finely ground black pepper, 1/3 cup light brown sugar)

Steps:

1. Prepare the Candied Bacon. Allow to slightly cool. Cut each slice of bacon in half.

2. Heat the marshmallow over an open flame until it starts to brown and melt

3. Break the graham cracker in half and sandwich the chocolate and bacon halves between the cracker and hot marshmallow.

4. Let the marshmallow cool before eating.

Enjoy!!

 

 

Apple Pie Ice Cream Float

Shavise Glascoe

It was love at first sight. Well it was "I KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO DO WITH YOU" at first sight. The minute I saw that Dry Sparkling had an apple soda, without hesitation I thought- Apple Pie Ice Cream Float! By now you all should know that I love ice cream floats. So I would highly suggest that you get used to the occasional float creation making its way to the blog.

1504991_10204888312105241_6762094586509065655_n.jpg

After snagging a few (and I really mean a few cases) of my craft soda, the search for the perfect ice cream began. I pretty much knew that I would be looking for a flavor by Steve's Ice Cream since the quality is beyond exceptional. I eventually settled on the Burnt Sugar Vanilla pint (one of many great options to choose from).

Now how do I make an ordinary ice cream float extraordinary? Hmmm....how about baking an apple and adding that to it? Why NOT?! Best experiment ever!

Ingredients

  •  Apple Soda - Dry Sparkling
  • Burnt Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream - Steve's Ice Cream
  • Sliced Baked Apple (Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, Butter, Raisins-optional)

Flavors to Try: Ice Cream: Vanilla, Vanilla Bourbon, Salted Caramel

Steps

  •  I love how easy Wiki How went over the steps, so I figured it would be silly to reinvent the wheel. Click How to Make a Baked Apple if you need help. The raisins are optional for this recipe since this is going into a float.
  • Once apple has cooled, remove skin and slice
  • Mix apple slices into ice cream
  • Pour cold apple soda into glass
  • Add ice cream and apple slice mixture to soda
  • Enjoy

Oven-Roasted Salmon w/ Pesto

Shavise Glascoe

As a lover of food and person who gets joy from cooking, I wish I had the time to cook elaborate meals on a daily basis, but that just isn't the case for me. Before I really got into cooking, I would simply grab take-out or a frozen dinner when I was really swamped. Nowadays, I go for meals that are quick to prepare, healthy and still yummy (yes, sometimes Meal Prep Sunday doesn't happen). Enters oven-roasted salmon to save the day!

I love salmon and I want to believe that salmon loves me. I love it for it's flavor, nutrient content and the fact that I do not have to worry about sharing it with my husband (not one of his favorite fish). Yes, more for ME! So when life is hectic (which often times is the case) I either go for chicken or salmon. And PLEASE do not think that I am in the kitchen making pesto from scratch while juggling with my toddler and a mess of assignments to grade, because it is not that kind of party. Remember I did say that I was swamped, so no time for making pesto. I usually just top the salmon with Basil Pesto by Classico.

So if you are busy, exhausted or just down right in the mood for a quick delicious dish, this one my friend is for you. (Also, a good meal prep option)

Ingredients

  • 1(1 3/4 - to 2-pound) skin-on salmon fillet, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Classico Basil Pesto

Steps

  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Use sharp knife to remove any whitish fat from belly of salmon and cut fillet into 4 equal pieces. Make 4 or 5 shallow slashes about 1 inch apart along skin side of each piece of salmon, being careful not to cut into flesh.
  • Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Rub fillets evenly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees and remove baking sheet. Carefully place salmon, skin side down, on baking sheet. Roast until centers of thickest part of fillets are still translucent when cut into with pairing knife and thickest part of fillets registers 125 degrees, 9 to 13 minutes. Transfer fillets to serving platter or individual plates, top with basil pesto, and serve.

**Steps from The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook**

Grilled Pineapple Chipotle Yogurt Parfait

Shavise Glascoe

I have a love-hate relationship with heat (both weather and spice related). I love and admire what spicy foods add to a dish and hate that I can't enjoy them. I have a tongue condition (not an allergy) that doesn't allow me to eat foods that are too acidic or spicy (and Lord, definitely not together). I'm leaving the description at that since this is a food blog and I don't want to scare you all too much with my health woes.

So back to my love-hate relationship. My love for spice inspires me to use it. No these dishes do not go to waste as my husband absolutely LOVES spice and heat (yes, he loves the intense summer heat-such a weirdo). Now adding peppers, Sriracha, or cayenne to the typical lunch or dinner dish is a given. But then I was inspired to try something different. The inspiration came from a local company, Infused Spreads.

I love trying new things and flirting with heat from time to time. So when I saw the Orange Chipotle Marmalade by Infused Spreads, I instantly knew what needed to happen next. I was looking for a good excuse to grill pineapple slices, and this paired with it perfectly. Why pineapple? Well adding more orange would be just too predictable and boring. I don't do boring. After checking the Flavor Bible to make sure my dream flavor pairings were good to go, I went for it.

I figured the best way to flirt with heat and still enjoy it would be to combine it with dairy to save myself from immense pain. Not in the mood for ice cream, I turned to yogurt. If you've seen my Poached Pear recipe you know that I have a thing for adding fruit spreads, jams, and butters to plain yogurt. I love being able to control how much sweetness I add to my yogurt. So with the stars aligning, the parfait pretty much made itself.

Ingredients

Flavors to Try

  • W/ pineapple: apricot, coconut, honey, raspberries, vanilla
  • W/orange marmalade: apricot, coconut, figs, plums, peaches, passion fruit
  • Not into yogurt? Try recipe with ice cream

Steps

  • Core, slice and prepare your pineapple for grilling. Williams-Sonoma has a great video on YouTube that goes over the coring and slicing process. I personally believe having an easy slicer on hand is the way to go.
  • Grill your pineapple slices (indoors, outdoors, George Foreman Grill -whatever it takes)
  • Mix marmalade with plain yogurt. The quantity of marmalade that goes into the yogurt is up to you. I like to add about 1-2 tbsp. (no more than that)
  • In a (small) empty bowl add a grilled pineapple slice, top with yogurt and repeat steps until the yogurt is gone.
  • Top with left over grilled pineapple slices and red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Waffles

Shavise Glascoe

By now you might have realized that I have a thing for sweet potatoes. I'm pretty much down to try anything if sweet potatoes are involved. Sweet potato biscuits, sweet potato fries, twice baked sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes in oatmeal, sweet potato churros, and of course sweet potato waffles.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest while looking for new waffle recipes to try. My excitement over red velvet waffles was dying down and I needed something else (something exciting and worth the time and trouble of putting together). A few clicks into my search, I found this great recipe. I must say that this is the best recipe for sweet potato waffles (trust me, I tried a few of the others and they were not good at all, like at all). This recipe was very straight forward, easy to follow and the finished product came out GREAT!

When preparing the waffles the first few times, I followed the instructions to the T. Once I got comfortable with the dish I started to play around with the flavor and topping options. Either way this is great for breakfast or brunch (or dinner, whatever you're into). A must make in my opinion. Enjoy.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 6 eggs (2 egg yolks reserved)
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Flavors to Try: Orange Zest, Freshly Grated Ginger, Bacon Thyme, Vanilla, Anise, Allspice, Dates

Toppings to Try: Baked Apple Slices, Pecans, Walnuts, Maple Syrup, Pumpkin Seeds, Pears

Steps

  1. Clean the sweet potatoes and bake them at 400 degrees F for about an hour, until tender. You should be able to easily pierce through the potato. When the sweet potatoes are done and cooled down, scrape the potato meat from the skin into a large mixing bowl
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes until mostly smooth. It is ok if they are a little lumpy
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato, 1 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 2 egg yolks
  4. In another mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground clove, ginger and nutmeg
  5. Mix the sweet potato mixture into the flour mixture and combine
  6. Next, beat the egg whites. Beat the eggs in a stand mixer or hand mixer until they form peaks
  7. In parts, fold the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture
  8. Using a warmed waffle iron, coat all sides with cooking spray and then add a heaping cup of waffle mix onto the waffle iron. Cook the waffles per your equipment's instructions
  9. Enjoy

Note: Recipe Adapted from Jerry James Stone

 

 

Oven Fried Chicken

Shavise Glascoe

We've all seen oven fried chicken recipes out there before. Some of us have even tried it before and were disappointed due to the dryness and lack of flavor. Well after some searching, I found a basic recipe that worked and worked well.

Over the years, I've adapted that recipe into my own by playing with a number of flavor combinations. This recipe is pretty flexible, so feel free to experiment with any other flavors that you would like to try.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs of Chicken: Thighs, boneless skinless or Tenderloins
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp Lawry's Chile & Garlic Salt (also try Lawry's Seasoning Salt)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil

Dipping Sauce: olive oil mayonnaise, ketchup, and mild Tabasco sauce

  • The quantity of each depends on your specific taste preferences

Flavors to Try: Rosemary, Sage, Cumin, Fresh Thyme, Tarragon, Old Bay

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Trim off the excess fat off of the thighs, if you are using thighs
  3. In 3 separate bowls combine:
    • Bowl 1- the flour, salt and pepper
    • Bowl 2- egg, milk, Sriracha, salt and pepper
    • Bowl 3- Panko, Lawry's Chile & Garlic Salt, paprika, canola oil, salt and pepper
  4. Dip the chicken into each bowl
  5. Place on baking sheet and let it bake in the oven for about 45 minutes

Note: Recipe is adapted from Damn Delicious


Ultimate Burrito Bowl

Shavise Glascoe

I, like most people, went away to college to get a degree. Not only did I get that degree, I walked away with something else as well. Like any other college student, I binged on a lot of fast food and carryout, with "Mexican" food being one of my favorites. You know the typical taco, burrito, Tex-Mex meal from a chain restaurant. But it wasn't until a friend (shout out to Nicole Hernández) introduced me to the food of her culture that I truly began to appreciate Mexican cuisine. It's to the point now that I cringe at the memory of me using store bought, just add water,  seasoning packets when preparing Mexican dishes. I'm not a snob now I swear! My taste buds have just matured a bit.

So about this dish, since I know you do not want to hear about my journey of culinary enlightenment. I started making my own burrito bowls simply because I was not into standing in the long lines and  being over charged for something that I could make in my own kitchen. That desire, plus a little inspiration from my friend's amazing meals led me to this.

What I really like about this dish is that you can make it anyway you want. I don't even think I've made the burrito bowls the same way more than once. There is no strict recipe to this. So be free, create, explore new flavors and ENJOY! Please share with me your spin on the dish.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Rice (White or Brown)
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Kale
  • Salsa
  • Black Beans
  • Guacamole (home made or store bought)
  • Crema w/ Sriracha added
  • Queso Blanco
  • Adobo Seasoning

Flavors to Try: Steak, Chorizo, Pinto Beans, Jalapeños, Habanero Pepper, Cumin, Cilantro and more....

Steps (General)

1. Season, prepare and cook your meat, rice and beans. Prepare the rest of your ingredients for assembly

2. After you assemble the main ingredients (rice, meat and beans) add your choice of toppings.

3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Shavise Glascoe

As someone who prepares and consumes sweet potatoes on a regular basis it is rare that I find a recipe that I absolutely love. I discovered the Twice Baked Sweet Potato recipe on Pinterest a few years ago and it has been my go to ever since. I definitely think that this is a recipe that everyone should try at least once and if you love it you can eventually adapt it to your specific preferences.

Although I wish I could take credit for being the mastermind behind this recipe, I can't. I'm just a fan. So as a fan, I will simply direct you straight to the source. As a blogger, I praise and recognize other great blogs and Sugar Free Mom is a great site for recipe ideas. Please go check it out today.

Recipe

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

F&S Flavors to Try

*Here is a short list of adaptations that I made to this recipe*

  • Filling: Golden Raisins, Dates
  • Toppings: Whole Pecans, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds
 After making them a few times, I decided to add pumpkin seeds on top along with the pecans.

After making them a few times, I decided to add pumpkin seeds on top along with the pecans.

 Of course I had to try it with Purple Sweet Potatoes

Of course I had to try it with Purple Sweet Potatoes