Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Citrus Coffee Granita


     I have had an extremely long love affair with coffee. I actually can not even function
         in the morning without it. Before my feet even hit the floor...I'm dreaming of my
             first cup. There is nothing better than taking that first sip and for that very
         brief moment all is right in my world. Ha. I know that is a tad extreme but, it's
        very true. I love you coffee...always have and always will. So this dessert for me,
    is the stuff that makes dreams come true. Make it as sweet and as strong as you'd like.
             

                                                         Citrus Coffee Granita

        5 cups of strong brewed coffee
        5 tablespoons of sugar or more depending on how sweet you like it.
        1 to 2 tablespoons Kahlua, optional
        orange zest (optional)
        fresh sweetened whipped cream
        mint

      1) Place coffee in a 9 x 13 pan and mix sugar until dissolved add Kahlua.
      2) Set aside to cool , about 1 hour.
      3) Set in freezer and about every 30 minutes scrape with fork until you get
      desired ice. It takes some time but is so worth it.
      4) Serve in glasses with sweetened whipped cream and mint.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Taco Salad Sandwiches



                          It is my mission, to try and create food for YOU...that is delicious,
              and easy. I was blown away with how good this was. Try to imagine eating an
            amazing taco salad or image yourself eating great tacos. The crusty loaf of bread
             is just what a taco has always needed and just didn't know. Once you slather the
                       roll with a sour cream and chive mixture and all of the other goodies -
                                                     you will be beyond happy!

                                                            Taco Salad Sandwiches

               1 pound ground turkey meat
               1 garlic clove, minced
               cherry tomatoes
               1 cup lettuce, shredded
               1 lemon, juiced
               half of a red onion, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
               monterey jack cheese
               1/3 of a cup of sour cream
               4 or 5 chives
               green onions
               2 tablespoons olive oil
               1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
               salt and pepper
               1 packet taco seasoning
               mini bread rolls

           1) Heat skillet with olive oil. Add red onion, meat and garlic. Cook all the way
           through and then add garlic powder, salt, pepper, taco seasoning and juice of
           a lemon. Mix well.
           2) Heat rolls in oven until toasty.
           3) Mix together sour cream and chives.
           4) Take the rolls and put sour cream mixture on one side. Add your meat, cheese,
           lettuce, tomatoes, green and red onions. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Donut Hole Breakfast Skewers



                           When life gets busy and you don't have a lot of time to put out all the -
                 stops. That's when simplicity comes in and you have to get creative. I have been
                 making these for years. How perfect would these be for your house guests in the
                    morning? Or this would be a special treat for your children. I can imagine
                        their eyes all big with huge smiles...when they see donut holes on a
                              stick with fresh fruit and dips to go along. Make someones day!!
                                                               Perfect for a brunch.

                                                   Donut Hole Breakfast Skewers
 
                    Donut holes ( I used entenmanns )
                    strawberries
                    blackberries
                    skewers
                    salted caramel sauce ( Trader Joes )
                    chocolate sauce
                    coconut
                                                 



 Linking to....Tasty Tuesday

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pina Colada Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa


               With the weather being so beautiful lately...I thought I would take you on a
         taste bud vacation without actually going on a trip. Who needs the Islands when you
           have these tacos in front of you? Flavor explosion...a burst of sweet goodness in
                  every bite. I truly fell in love with these beauties and you will too.

                                   Pina Colada Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

             1 pound of shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails off
             pina colada drinking mix
             8 corn tortillas
             1 cup of pineapple
             1/2 of a jalapeno, seeds and veins removed ( optional )
             1/4 of a cup of red onion, diced
             2 green onions
             1 lime, juiced
             salt and pepper
             a dash of red pepper flakes
             garlic powder
             queso fresco or feta cheese, to top
             cilantro or parsley for garnish

           1) Place shrimp in large ziploc bag with some pina colada mix. Let soak for about
           15 minutes.
           2) Meanwhile, mix pineapple, red onion, jalapeno, green onion, lime juice. Let sit.
           3) Heat a grill pan or a hot frying pan.
           4) Remove shrimp from bag and discard marinade. Place on pan and add spices
           and cook until heated through.
           5) Assemble your tacos. Warm tortilla, shrimp, salsa and than add the cheese.

      

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mediterranean Spread


                     I could eat dips and spreads for any and every meal. I love the casualness
              of it. I love that it's not fussy and everyone just gathers around. My kind of eating.
                 No cooking involved. You deserve a easy night. Pour yourself a glass of wine
                                 or a nice cold glass of iced tea and call it a day. Enjoy.

                                                             Mediterranean Spread

                 2  ( 8 oz ) packages cream cheese, room temperature
                 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
                 8 ounces canned artichoke hearts, chopped
                 4 ounces sun dried tomatoes
                 6 chives, chopped
                 salt and pepper
                 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
                 1/4 teaspoon oregano
                 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

            1) Mix cream cheese until smooth and stir in all of the other ingredients. It's as
          simple as that. Serve with cracker, sliced bread and veggies....anything you'd like.

               
                           Today I'm guest posting at Savor Home. Please stop on by and say hello,
                                         Tiffany is amazing and her blog is one of my favorites.
                                         

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese



                     How do I describe to you, how scrumptious this mac and cheese is?
            I'm not even sure if there is a good enough word. I have an idea...how about you
       make this and let me know what your word is for it. Deal? All I do know, is that there
             is something pretty magical when you combine BBQ chicken and mac and cheese
                   together. Let this be your Sunday Dinner. Your spouse will thank you.

                                                             BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese

           3 chicken breasts ( cut into chunks )
           1/2 bottle of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce
           1/2 of a red onion
           3 tablespoons of butter
           1/3 cup all purpose flour
           salt, pepper and garlic powder
           4 cups of whole milk
           1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
           1/2 teaspoon salt
           dash of nutmeg
           1 box pasta shells
           2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
           2 cups monterey jack cheese
           1 teaspoon dijon mustard
           1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

        1) Cook onion in skillet with olive oil until tender...set side. In the same skillet, put
        chicken and BBQ sauce in pan and cook until done. Set aside.
        2) In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon
        of salt. Stirring frequently, until mixture is pale and golden. Cook about 2 minutes.
        3) Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups of milk, add 2 more cups milk and cayenne.
        and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture and stirring constantly along bottom of the
        pan until boiling 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently stirring
        occasionally, until sauce thickens. About 8 to 10 min.
        4) Meanwhile, In a large pot of boiling water. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain
        and return pasta to it's pot.
        5 ) Remove milk mixture from stove and quickly stir in cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic
        powder, dash of nutmeg, worcestershire and mustard.
        6) Mix cheese sauce into pasta and top with chicken and onions.

              Note...you can mix in the chicken and onions into the mac and cheese directly
                            but I like to put on top for a pretty presentation. Enjoy.


                                       Are you on Pinterest? Come join me. ValSoCal

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Favorites




                                                       Orange Muffins with Citrus Frosting

            It's starting to feel a lot like Spring and I thought I would post a few of my favorite
            Spring goodies... to put you in a Sunshine mood and put a little smile on your face.



                                                                  Spring Vegetable Pizza




                                                      Maraschino and Pineapple Bread




                                                                   Berry Puff Pancake




                                                                      Raspberry Salad




                                                                Avocado Feta Salsa

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Strawberry Guacamole


        I'm the kind of person that loves eating different food. I suppose it's because I cook
       a lot and get bored easy with food. The day that this recipe came to me, I immediately
       ran to the car and went to the store. I was so anxious to put these flavor combinations
       together. I knew that they would go perfectly together, and boy did they ever. It was a
       match made in heaven. An explosion of flavor and oh so good for you!!!

                                                                  Strawberry Guacamole
     
           2 Haas avocados, ripened
           5 to 6 strawberries, chopped
           1 to 2 limes, juiced
           2 or 3 tablespoons red onion
           3 basil leaves, minced
           salt and pepper
           cinnamon/sugar pita chips

            In a medium bowl mix avocado ( I like mine chunky ) and all the other ingredients.
            Serve with cinnamon pita chips or whatever you like best!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Italian Sub Salad


          In life...some things just go perfectly together. Feta cheese and Cucumbers,
          chocolate and peanut butter, Val and Italian food. Italian food is in my blood.
          It's what I crave and want more than any other food. It's been a love affair since
          childhood. There isn't a pasta dish that I won't eat and there isn't an Italian dish
          that I can ever pass on.

          When I was a little girl I remember going to Maine with my dad and he would
          always stop at his favorite Sub shop when he was a little boy....and every time he
          would always get the same thing. A large Italian Sub aka "Grinder" if your from
          New England, I never forgot that memory as a child....and to this very day if I see
          an Italian Sub on any menu...I order one. This salad is so good. Enjoy!!

                                                                  Italian Sub Salad

          2 heads of romaine - rinsed and chopped
          Half of a red onion
          4 ounces provolone cheese, cut into strips
          2 to 3 ounces prosciutto, cut into strips
          2 to 3 ounces genoa salami, cut into strips
          2 to 3 ounces capocollo, cut into strips
          1/2 cup giardiniera peppers
          1/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
          1/2 cups marinated olives - optional
          DRESSING
          3 tablespoons olive oil
          1 lemon, juiced
          1to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
          salt and pepper
          1 tablespoon Italian Herbs.
       
          Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the dressing in another bowl and
          add at the end. You can add more or less depending on taste.

          Note. I cut half a loaf of Italian bread and on the stove top in a pan with olive
          oil...I toast it until light brown and add to salad.


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