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Super Bowl Sunday Foods — January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday Foods

Unfortunately  I won’t be able to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.I will be attempting to pull off a How I Met Your Mother and watch it on Monday. If only I had a Sensory Deprivator 5000. I’m home for a wedding this weekend and I will be flying back to Albuquerque during the big game. I might get myself into a little trouble by wearing my Steelers jersey through the Denver airport. I’ll take my chances.

I have made many delicious appetizers over the years and I’m picking a few of my favorites today. If you are still looking for a recipe for your parties these are sure to be a big hit. Happy eating!

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The Greatest Queso That Ever Lived

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Rockin Guacamole

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Chili’s Copycat Salsa

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Southwestern Bruschetta Bites

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Chicken Wings in BBQ Sauce

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Baked Buffalo Wings

 

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Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats — January 27, 2014

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I love tacos, especially stuffed full inside a large burrito sized flour tortilla. However, on my mission to cut calories, burrito sized tortillas are not on the list. With this recipe, tacos can still be on my list. What a clever little idea to stuff a green veggie with all the fixings I love in a taco. I didn’t feel one ounce of guilt as I chowed down on these since zucchini count as zero points on weight watchers plus. These boats have my vote. Happy Eating!

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Recipe thanks to Skinny Taste

Ingredients:

4 medium (32 ounces) zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup mild salsa
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey (I used 96/4 ground beef)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
4 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place 1/4 cup of salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish.
Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 3/4 of a cup to add to the taco filling, (squeeze excess water with a paper towel) discarding the rest or save to use in another recipe. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
Brown turkey in a large skillet, breaking up while it cooks. When no longer pink add the spices and mix well. Add the onion, bell pepper, reserved zucchini, tomato sauce and water. Stir and cover, simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the taco meat equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. Top with scallions and serve with salsa on the side.
1/4 cup chopped scallions or cilantro, for topping

Utensils Used:

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Chinese Chicken Salad — January 26, 2014

Chinese Chicken Salad

While figuring out lunch today I was trying to keep in mind our plans for dinner. We had plans to meet some friends of my parents on their way home from Arizona. Now if you are like me, you don’t ever leave a Mexican restaurant still hungry. In New Mexico it’s even worse because every restaurant serves sopapillas with honey at the end of your meal. I feel like I gain 5 pounds just even thinking about eating Mexican food.

Any way, back on topic, I knew I needed to find something on the lighter side. I had this salad saved in my treasure box of recipes and decided to pull it out. It was so yummy and I will for sure be making it again. My favorite part was the toasted almonds and the dressing. Happy Eating!

Chinese Chicken Salad

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Chinese Chicken Salad

Recipe thanks to Heather Likes Food

Yield: 4 entree-sized salads

Ingredients:

Salad:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 head napa cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, shredded

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped if desired

1 (10 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained and chopped if desired

1/3 C sliced almonds

1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

Dressing:

1/4 C canola oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

1/4 C sweet chili sauce

1 tbsp water (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine soy sauce and sesame oil and brush entire contents over chicken breasts. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and juices run clear. In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, peppers, and onion. Toss in the water chestnuts and oranges. Spread almonds and sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6-7 minutes or until they are golden. Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Slice cooked chicken and assemble salads by first placing the cabbage mixture on the plate followed by the sliced chicken, almonds, sesame seeds and dressing.

Utensils Used:

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Giant Rainbow Cookies —

Giant Rainbow Cookies

This week’s dessert is for my class. One of my students bought treats for the class from our class store. I’m actually surprised they don’t do this more, but they just love to buy the coupon that allows them to have lunch in the classroom. They don’t get to talk in the lunchroom so they take any chance they can get to eat in my room. I think it’s sad they don’t get to talk in the lunch room. One of my favorite times of the school day was getting to talk to my classmates about something other than school work.

These cookies didn’t require too many ingredients and I just used some leftover m&ms I had in my classroom from making gingerbread houses at our Christmas party. I chose to make the 18 giant cookies as opposed to the 36 small so that I would have the perfect amount of cookies for my students and no leftovers for me to munch on throughout the week. I of course had to sneak in one little cookie for Scotty and I to have a taste. Happy Eating!

Giant Rainbow Cookies

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Giant Rainbow Cookies

Recipe thanks to How Sweet Eats

makes 18 large or 36 small cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mini m&m’s (or something else that you love)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugars until they are combined (and look like the first picture above). Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to help at one point. Fold in the m&m’s.

Divide the dough how you choose (1/4 cup portions for 18 large cookies or 2 tablespoon portions for 36 smaller cookies). Shape each portion into a ball with your hands then pull each ball into two equal pieces. Turn each half so that the rough side of the half (what used to be the inside of the ball) faces upwards and then squish both halves together. Place the dough rough-side up on a baking sheets. If you’re doing large cookies, I’d leave about 2 inches in between each.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (large cookies) or 8-12 minutes (small cookies) or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be
soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Let cool completely then dig in!

Utensils Used:

 

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Best of the City — January 25, 2014

Best of the City

We are always trying to find new restaurants to try, but end up going to the ones we know are good. I saw this magazine and thought it would be a great way to try all the yummy foods of Albuquerque. We are going through the magazine and marking off the restaurants as we try them. We will be doing a little bit at a time and I’ll be updating this as we try them. If you are ever in the “Land of Enchantment” I suggest you try these places. Happy Eating!

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Third Best Pizza (Marios)

Today was our first stop on the Best of the City Tour. We went to a pizza place called Marios Pizza. There were so many different types of pizza on the menu, it was hard to choose just one. We ordered a Greek Salad to share for a starter and then shared a supreme pizza. It was delicious with a little taste of New Mexico, green chiles. We reminisced about our trip to Italy while enjoying a long lunch. Marios Pizza was number 3 on the list for Best Pizza.image-99

Best Ice Cream (Coldstone)

We also knocked out the best ice cream of the city. If you have never been to Coldstone Creamery before get in your car right now and drive to one. It is amazing! There are so many different combinations and the ice cream is so creamy. I always get the Founders Favorite and Scotty always gets the Birthday Cake Remix.

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Second Best Gourmet Pizza (Il Vicino)

Last Wednesday we tried Il Vicino which received second place for the best gourmet pizza. This restaurant brews their own beer and makes their pizza on a wood fired grill right there in the restaurant. My favorite thing there was the chili oil. It was delicious to dip my pizza in it. Everyone else that was with us ordered a calzone which was about a foot long! Here is a recipe I found to try and make your own chili oil.

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Homemade Chili Oil

Recipe thanks to Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

2 cups olive oil
4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Combine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the oil and pepper flakes to a 4-ounce bottle. Seal the lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Best Frozen Yogurt (Menchies)

Right after we ate at Il Vicino we walked over to Menchies which is the best frozen yogurt in ABQ. It wasn’t until I walked over to the toppings table that I realized I couldn’t put any candy on top since I gave it up for New Years. That didn’t stop me from finding plenty of other toppings to fill my cup with. My favorite part about Menchies is the sample cups that allow you to try the yogurt before filling your cup to the brim.

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Best Indian Restaurant (Taj Mahal)

Wednesday night we ventured out into the ‘snow.’ It was snow for Albuquerque which meant it was snowing, but not sticking. We weren’t worried about it, but we were still hoping for a snow day on Thursday. We have never had Indian food before, but we went out of our comfort zones and met some friends to try it. We were very pleasantly surprised. I tried the Shrimp Curry and Scotty got the Murg Shaan-E-Delhi (a chicken dish in almond cream sauce). We also tried the Garlic Naan (a delicious bread covered in roasted garlic which we dipped in our sauce). My favorite part of the meal was called a Mango Lassi. It was a yogurt based drink that we got before the meal, but you could have it as a dessert also. I found a recipe on the Food Network if you would like to try it.

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Mango Lassi
Recipe thanks to Jamie Oliver
Ingredients:9 fluid ounces (255 milliliters) plain yogurt
4 1/2 fluid ounces (130 milliliters) milk
4 1/2 fluid ounces (130 milliliters) canned mango pulp or 7 ounces (200 grams) from 3 fresh mango, stoned and sliced
4 teaspoons sugar, to taste, or feel free to try salt and cardamom seedsDirections:

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. Feel free to try salt and cardamom seeds. The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours

Best Nachos and Fourth Best Patio Dining (Kelly’s Brew Pub)

After having a successful day of working out and running errands we decided to ruin our fitness by eating at Kelly’s. It was so worth it! We were having a beautiful day in Albuquerque and sitting outside on a patio sounded amazing. We both got one of their 14 house brewed beers. Side note, you can brew your own beer at Kelly’s. We shared their Creamy Green Chile and Chicken Soup which is amazing!! I found a recipe online that will hopefully be similar. For my meal I got the nachos. The menu doesn’t say, but the waiter let me in on a secret that you can order a small version of the nachos instead of chowing down on the whole huge one yourself.

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Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup
Recipe thanks to Tortillas and Honey

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. canola oil
1/2 large onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 c. chicken, cooked and shredded (store-bought rotisserie works here)
1 c. green chile, diced
1 Tbs. flour
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. half and half
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4. tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions:

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Add chicken stock, raise heat and bring to a boil.

When stock is boiling, remove 1/2 c. of broth and let it cool. To the boiling broth, add shredded chicken and green chile.

After reserved broth is cool, add 1 Tbs. of flour to it and whisk until well blended. Add the flour mixture back into the boiling broth and mix well. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a small bowl, add the cream cheese. Gradually add the half and half, whisking constantly. This is so the mixture won’t be as clumpy when you add it to the soup; if it’s a little clumpy, don’t worry because it will end up melting into the soup.

Add the cream cheese mixture gradually into the soup, whisking constantly. When cream cheese mixture is added, reduce the heat to a simmer then add in the rest of your powdered spices (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper).

Simmer the soup for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the soup thickens. Do not boil.

Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy!

Third Best Italian Restaurant (Paisano’s Italian Restaurant)

Driving up on Paisano’s you wouldn’t imagine a cute little Italian restaurant would be sitting inside. When we walked inside it felt like we were back in Italy. The waitstaff was very nice and accommodating to our large party. Scotty and I arrived at the restaurant an hour earlier than our party so we had some wine and appetizers. Bread was provided and we also had calamari. What makes this Italian restaurant stand out is the homemade pasta noodles and gluten free options. The recipe below is one for the entree Scotty had.

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Classic Fettuccine alla Carbonara

Recipe thanks to Better Homes and Garden

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and crisp-cooked
3 ounces prosciutto, sliced 1/8-inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup milk
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
1 9 ounce package refrigerated fettuccine
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cracked black pepper (optional)
Directions:
In a medium saucepan, cook onion in hot butter about 5 minutes or just until tender. Stir in bacon and prosciutto. Cook and stir for 3 minutes more. Carefully add white wine. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add whipping cream and milk. Bring to a gentle boil.
Gradually add 1 cup of the hot cream mixture to egg yolk, stirring constantly. Add egg yolk mixture to cream mixture in saucepan. Return to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and the parsley, stirring just until cheese melts.
Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine according to package directions; drain well. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl. Pour sauce over hot pasta; toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle pasta with additional Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Third Best Late Night Eats (The Last Call)

My drunk food in college consisted of Jimmy Johns, Smigs (Amigos), or as a last resort Papa Johns. The first two were yummy and did the trick, but it was nothing like what the college kids of UNM get every weekend. We stumbled upon this place when we were out with friends one time and we have gone back three times now. What is bringing us back? TRUFFLE Grilled Cheese!!!!! Marble Rye Bread + Dill Aioli + Sharp Cheddar + Swiss + Smoked Gouda + White Truffle Oil= Amazing After the Bar Food. I found the following recipe for truffle grilled cheese, you have to try it!

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Grilled Cheese with Truffle Oil
Recipe thanks to Galley Kitchen
Servings: 1
Ingredients:

Challah bread
Butter
4-cheese Italian blend
Provolone
Italian parsley
White truffle oil

Directions:

Cut a slice of provolone in half and place one half-slice on top of each piece of challah.
Top the provolone with a small mound of shredded Italian cheeses, parsley, and a drizzle of truffle oil.
Close up the sandwich, and butter the outsides of the bread.
Griddle on medium heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.

Best Locally Made Product and Best Local Farm (Los Poblanos)

This little hidden gem was made aware to us by a friend visiting Albuquerque. He had found this place on the Top Ten Hotel For Food Lovers list. Driving up to the hotel started off the experience with a bang. Huge trees line the drive as you get closer to the beautiful property. The menu is seasonally driven based off of the food available on the farm. There were only two options for breakfast, apple pancakes and eggs benedict. Scotty and I got one of each so we could try them both. After a delicious brunch we took a walk around the farm as we were followed by a couple chickens. The farm store provided a way to take a little of our experience home with us. The lavender farm is what gave this unique hotel its award for Best Locally Made Product. I bought their Lavender Hand Soap which was only $12!

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Eggs Benedict

Recipe thanks to The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

3 whole English Muffins
3 slices Canadian Bacon
3 whole Eggs (plus 3 Egg Yolks)
2 sticks Butter
1 whole Lemon, Juiced
Cayenne Pepper To Taste

Directions:

First, bring a pot of water to a boil. While the water’s boiling, place a few English muffins halves and an equal number of Canadian bacon slices on a cookie sheet. Lightly butter the English muffins and place them under the broiler for just a few minutes, or until the English muffins are very lightly golden. Be careful not to dry out the Canadian bacon.

Now if you do not have an egg poacher you can poach your eggs by doing the following: With a spoon, begin stirring the boiling water in a large, circular motion. When the tornado’s really twisting crack in an egg. Or two. Or three. The reason for the swirling is so the egg will wrap around itself as it cook, keeping it together. Cook for about 2 ½ to 3 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt 2 sticks of butter until sizzling. But don’t let it burn! Separate three eggs and place the yolks into a blender. Turn the blender on low to allow the yolks to combine, then begin pouring the very hot butter in a then stream into the blender. The blender should remain on the whole time, and you should be careful to pour in the butter very slowly. Keep pouring butter until it’s all gone, then immediately begin squeezing lemon juice into the blender. If you are going to add Cayenne pepper this is the point at which you would do that.

Place the English muffins on the plate, face up. Next, place a slice of Canadian bacon on each half. Vegetarian variation: you can omit the Canadian bacon altogether, or you can wilt fresh spinach and place it on the muffins for Eggs Florentine, which is divine in its own right. Place the egg on top of the bacon and then top with a generous helping of Hollandaise sauce.

Note: To ensure that everything is hot at the time when it’s ready to serve plunge the poached eggs back into the hot water just before serving, and make the Hollandaise at the very last minute.

Best Local Wine (Casa Rondena Winery)

On our way to brunch at Los Poblanos, our friend spotted a sign for the Casa Rondena Winery. We said, “Yolo!” and decided to try it out. The area was surrounded by beautiful buildings resembling Italy. We started off by doing a tasting of all the wines available at the winery. The staff was extremely nice and made the experience even better. One of the staff members even showed us around the property. We chose a bottle and a table outside to sit and enjoy the beautiful weather. We ended up staying until 6:00 and left as members of the winery. With the membership we get benefits including two bottles of wine a month and the privilege to have picnics on the property.

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Best Grilled Cheese and Third Best Brunch (The Grove Cafe and Market)

#BreakingBadSpoilerAlert

I have wanted to try this place ever since I saw Walter White frequent it on Breaking Bad. Walter didn’t have the time to try the Three Cheese Sandwich in between poisoning Lydia, but he sure missed out. We arrived at The Grove at a good time, right before the crowd came rushing in and formed a half hour line. We drank fresh squeezed orange juice with our meal. We plan on going back to this place to try many more items.

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Chili and Cheese Macaroni —

Chili and Cheese Macaroni

There is something pretty great about comfort food after a long day. Out of all the recipes I planned for dinners this week I was most excited for this one. The only problem about this comfort food was the cooking time was soooo long. Instead of putting the mac and cheese in the baking dish and covering it with gobs of cheese I just served it straight from the skillet. I also didn’t have elbow mac so I switched it for penne. Happy Eating!

Chili and Cheese Macaroni

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Chili and Cheese Macaroni

Recipe thanks to What’s Cookin’ Chicago

Ingredients:

table salt

1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked pasta)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)

2 medium onions, chopped

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

12 oz Colby Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and add dry macaroni; cook until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Using the same large pot, wipe dry and heat over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering. Add ground beef and break it up in pieces to brown. Once browned, remove from pot and discard drippings. Set beef aside.

Add remaining oil to the same large pot and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, red pepper, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and begin to brown.

Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, reserved 3/4 cup pasta water and beef to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until flavors have blended.

Stir in the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and smooth over with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the top of the dish with the remaining shredded cheese. Return the dish once again in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese begins to melt and brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Utensils Used:

 

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Grilled Chicken, Pesto, and Pineapple Pizza —

Grilled Chicken, Pesto, and Pineapple Pizza

Pizza is such a cool thing. It’s a piece of dough that you can cover with an endless amount of toppings. Think of any type of food you like and you can make that into a pizza. Do you love Philly Cheese steak Sandwiches? Make it into a pizza! Heck, you can even make a dessert pizza!

This pizza has the garlicky flavor from the pesto and the sweet flavor from the basil and pineapple. It’s a unique pizza, but oh so yummy. Happy Eating!

Grilled Chicken, Pesto, and Pineapple Pizza

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Grilled Chicken, Pesto, and Pineapple Pizza

Recipe thanks to Semi Homemade

4 servings

Ingredients:

1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough, Pillsbury®

1 (6.7-ounce) jar pesto

1 (8-ounce) bag shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup chopped cooked chicken

1⁄2 cup pineapple tidbits

1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers

1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions:

Spray grill rack with nonstick nonflammable cooking spray. Preheat grill to high heat (400° to 450°).

On a work surface, place a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Unroll dough, and place in center of foil. Using hands, press dough out from center to form a rectangle. Invert dough onto grill rack; peel off and discard foil. Grill, covered with grill lid, for 2 to 3 minutes. Using grill tongs and a large spatula, carefully remove crust from grill to a baking sheet, grilled side up.

Spread pesto evenly over crust. Top evenly with cheese, chicken, pineapple, and peppers. Return pizza to grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crust is done and cheese melts. Remove from grill; sprinkle with basil leaves and, if desired, crushed red pepper.

Utensils Used:

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Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail —

Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail

Mojitos are one of me and Scotty’s favorite cocktails. There is this place in Albuquerque that has a great happy hour and a wide variety of flavored mojitos that we love to go to. We have made many types of mojitos including pineapple and strawberry. This reminded me of a mojito with vodka instead of rum. Happy Drinking!

Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail

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Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail

Recipe thanks to Fitness Magazine

Ingredients:

2 strawberries
1 sprig of mint
3/4 ounce light agave nectar, such as Wholesome Sweeteners
1 3/4 ounces citrus vodka
3/4 ounce lemon juice

Directions:

In a shaker, muddle together mint and strawberries, then add the remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously with ice for 20 seconds. Pour entire contents of shaker into a tall glass. (Include all of the mint and strawberry pulp.)

Utensils Used:

 

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pudding Cookies —

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pudding Cookies

I take any opportunity I can get to make desserts. I wish I could make a new dessert every day, but then I might just have a back side the size of Texas. So instead of a dessert every day it has turned out that I’ve had the opportunity to make one a week the past few weeks. Here’s my latest one. It looked cute with half the cookie dipped in chocolate, but you just go ahead and dip the whole thing!! Happy Eating!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pudding Cookies

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pudding Cookies

Recipe thanks to Something Swanky

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy)

1/2 cup butter, softened but still chilled

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp hot water

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

3.4 oz package cheesecake instant pudding mix

2-3 cups melting chocolate for dipping

Directions:

Beat together the peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition.

Add the vanilla.

Dissolve the baking soda into the hot water and mix into the dough.

Add the flour and pudding mix. Mix well.

Scoop by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment or silcon lined baking sheet. Use a fork to press a criss-cross into the cookie dough.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes, until the bottoms are golden and the middle is set.

Let cool on the baking sheet. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, let cool on wax paper to harden.

Utensils Used:

 

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Grilled Italian Chicken Bruschetta —

Grilled Italian Chicken Bruschetta

I have been very absent on the blog the past couple of weeks. Due to working out more I am so tired by the time I get home I just want to crash on the couch. Tonight we sort of switched our Saturday plans around to accommodate our old selves. We went out for beers and pizza for lunch and then came home to spend the evening. We really are getting old 🙂

Bruschetta is such a yummy appetizer I was so excited when I saw it as a meal. I wasn’t very optimistic that Scotty would like this, but he said, “I’m really surprised, but I actually really like it.” The chicken was perfectly done and the crunchy bread was delicious with it. Happy Eating!

Grilled Italian Chicken Bruschetta

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Grilled Italian Chicken Bruschetta

Recipe thanks to Sandra Lee

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken breast cutlets

1 cup Italian dressing, divided

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon

olive oil

4 (1⁄2-inch-thick) slices Italian or French bread

4 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 (8-ounce) package fresh mozzarella cheese, evenly cut into 4 slices

1 (5-ounce) bag baby arugula

Directions:

In a large zip-top plastic bag, combine chicken and 3⁄4 cup dressing; seal, and chill for 2 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Spray grill rack with nonstick grilling spray. Preheat grill to high heat (400° to 450°).

Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over both sides of bread slices. Grill bread, covered with grill lid, over high heat for 1 to 11⁄2 minutes on each side, or until toasted.

Reduce grill temperature to medium-high heat (350° to 400°). Drizzle cut sides of tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill tomatoes, covered with grill lid, for 3 minutes on each side, or until soft.

Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, for 3 minutes. Turn chicken over, and top with mozzarella cheese. Grill, covered with grill lid, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until chicken is done and cheese melts.

In a large bowl, toss arugula with remaining 1⁄4 cup Italian dressing. Arrange arugula and chicken on toasted bread. Serve immediately with tomatoes.

Utensils Used:

 

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