Salsa is my go-to snack and always such a crowd pleaser when you’re entertaining. This just LOOKS like the holidays, doesn’t it?? Gorgeous cranberry red, green from cilantro and jalapeño and green onions….It combines simmered, softened cranberries with the crunch of fresh cranberries chopped in the food processor. You have to add some sugar so they’re not too bitter. The recipe is easy and you can always get creative and fold it into rice for a little cranberry flavor. I love serving it with shrimp to dip into the delish!
To order the incredible cranberries showcased in my “What’s in Season” segment on AMHQ, check out Cape Cod Select who ships cranberries all year long!
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 3 Tb water
- Juice and zest from 1/2 an orange
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 jalapeno chopped
- 3 scallions chopped
- handful of fresh cilantro chopped
- juice from 1/2 lime
- pinch of kosher salt to taste
- Combine 1 cup cranberries, water, sugar and orange juice and zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and keep on low/medium until cranberries soften and pop, about 30 minutes.
- Add jalapeño, scallions, cilantro, lime juice and salt.
- Chop the second cup of cranberries in food processor. Add fresh chopped cranberries to salsa.
- Combine and serve with chilled shrimp or chips.
I love everything pumpkin…including cocktails. Haaaaaay! In fact, I was anxiously awaiting going on set to do my live shot at The Weather Channel this morning, and I ended up
gulping down, er tasting my martini– well, cuz a girl can’t serve something she hasn’t sampled, right??? It was a hit, and it’s not overpoweringly sweet…it is strong though, y’all, so be warned! Settled my nerves down right away, LOL!
- 1 shot vanilla vodka
- 1 shot Baileys
- 1 shot pumpkin spice liquor
- heavy whipping cream
- cinnamon and cloves
- Combine vodka, baileys and pumpkin spice liquor over ice. Strain ice and serve cold in a martini glass. Pour in heavy cream to fill entire glass. Top with a pinch of cinnamon and cloves.
OK, so how cute does the mousse look stuffed into that little punkin’?? This recipe is soooo super easy. I modified it a bit from a Dave Lieberman recipe— the key is whipping the cream right before you serve it so it stays fluffy and light! If you’re using mousse cups, you can put a little ginger snap in the mousse for added “pretty” and “yummy” effect!
- 1 can pumpkin
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1 Tb vanilla
- 2 Tb pumpkin spice liquor
- Combine 1 cup cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Bring to room temperature.
- Whip 2 cups cream into soft peaks with vanilla and fold into pumpkin mixture. Serve with ginger snaps as a garnish.
By now, you guys know that I’m kinduvasnob in the kitchen. As in, there’s a little bit of groan when I have to feature “somebody else’s recipe.” But, I am in awe of another blonde culinary goddess in the kitchen….my new friend and kitchen partner, Sherry Coleman Collins.
Sherry is a registered dietician with the National Peanut Board, super Mom to an adorable 14 month old, and she joined me in the Atlanta Plugged in Kitchen to whip up some imaginative peanut butter dishes. You’ll never go ranch again once you taste this dip….it’s the shiznittabam, just sayin’. Stay tuned for more of Sherry’s showstopper recipes next week– and videos too!
I had a chance to cook up some “duck delish” with Chef Michael Deihl, to promote the Cheer for Children Gala next weekend. Duck can be super intimidating, but cooked the right way (always medium rare, y’all!) it is the perfect protein. Chef D combined it with root veggies and a yummy raspberry vinaigrette— scrumptious! And it’s all for such a great cause. For more info on the event, you can check out the site here.
Seared Duck Breast, Roasted Fall Root Vegetables, Herb Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 5 Duck breasts (remove skin)
- 4 heads Baby lettuces (washed and patted dry)
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally
- 2 golden beets, peeled and cubed after roasting
- 3 parsnips, peeled, cut diagonally
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 Tb fresh basil chopped
- 2 Tb fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 oz raspberry vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove skin from raw duck breast and render skin to clarify duck fat.
- Marinate duck breast in 2 oz olive oil with cilantro, jalapeno and garlic for 2 hours.
- Remove duck breast from marinade and sear in rendered duck fat on both sides until browned. Remove to paper towel.
- Roast duck breast in 400 degree oven for 5-7 minutes until medium rare. Let rest to room temperature.
- Toss carrots, parsnips and golden beets in olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes and roast until tender. (Beets will need a total of 1-2 hours to roast, so start earlier).
- Mix tomatoes, shallots, dijon, basil, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Strain tomato mixture and add to raspberries. Puree in a blender or food processor.
- Slice duck breast thin, on the bias.
- Taste everything and check seasoning.
- Arrange lettuce leaves, top with duck breast, add tomato and root vegetable mixture. Drizzle duck breast and lettuce with raspberry vinaigrette.
Muscadines are a southern favorite, y’all! They’re the grape of the south, most famous for being the base for sweet, muscadine wine. I had the opportunity to partner with the North Carolina Muscadine Association to learn the whole process— from vine to wine! I spent the day in Monroe, North Carolina, at Treehouse Vineyards with the Nordans who have made muscadines the family business….They are incredible people and so committed to creating not just a great product– but an entire muscadine experience at their vineyard.
More pics and recipes to come later, y’all! This salsa is to die for….combining the sweet muscadines with the spicy jalapenos and the smokiness of the corn is slam dunk delish!
Remember those grape jelly marinated meatballs your Grandma used to make? Well, lovelies, these aren’t your Grandma’s meatballs! Let me introduce you to beefy, gingery, hoisin glazed delish. Tailgating never looked (or tasted) so good! I had a chance to cook these up in the Atlanta Plugged In Kitchen with Suzanne Bentley, from the Georgia Beef Board!
Hoisin and Ginger Glazed Meatballs
For the meat
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 3-4 garlic cloves chopped
- ½ cup spring onion
- ½ cup cilantro
- 1 jalapeno chopped up
- 1 egg
- 2 Tb fresh ginger
- (1 Tb butter and 1 Tb oil for browning)
For the Sauce
- ¾ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup soy
- ¼ rice vinegar
- 2 Tb sriracha
- 1 Tb sesame oil
- 3 Tb fresh garlic
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Mix ground beef with garlic, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, egg and fresh ginger.
- Roll into golf ball sized balls and brown the outside of the meatballs in 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb oil in a large non stick pan for 2-3 minutes. (They will still be raw in the middle).
- Put browned meatballs into the crockpot, cover with sauce and set to LOW for 2-3 hours.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and more spring onions before serving.
You know by now that as Resident Bacon Babe, I normally opt for fatty pork for breakfast….BUT, my dude is sick with some sort of cold/upper respiratory thing so I decided to make him a delish smoothie to help flush out the crud. Poor guy couldn’t really taste anything, but I did, and this is pretty freaking awesome. Maybe even enough to convince me to give up my bacon a couple days a week. I added a Tb of coconut oil for the countless medicinal properties….you could also add some spinach for green effect, but I didn’t have any in the fridge.
And notice the multiple uses for the mason jar….Just this weekend I was sipping a big ‘ol margarita while painting our living room! Another reason for the uh, DETOX necessity!
Blackberry Ginger Detox Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1 heaping Tb fresh ginger (I like using the tubes of Gourmet Garden)
- 1 apple peeled and quartered
- 1 Tb coconut oil
- 1/2 cup apple or fruit juice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup ice
- Put everything in a blender and puree into a delish smoothie!
This was simply awesome. Light, spicy and packed with flavor! This is the perfect summer meal– you get the freshness of the cilantro and red pepper with the shrimp, the heat from the jalapeno and chili paste and great texture with the rice noodles. If you want to low carb it, you can sub out the rice noodles for zucchini “noodles” or daikon radish “noodles.” The other bonus, is only takes about 15 minutes to prepare, start to finish. Winner, winner, shrimp noodle dinner!
Spicy Sesame Shrimp with Chili Rice Noodles
For the sauce
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves diced
- 1-2 Tb red chili paste
- 1 jalapeno sliced into rings
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 Tb Tamari or soy sauce
- 2 Tb honey or agave
- 1 Tb sesame oil
- 1 Tb butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
- 1 package rice noodles
- handful of chopped cilantro
- handful of chopped scallions
For the shrimp
- 1 pound medium shrimp (peiled and deveined)
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 Tb sesame oil
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
For the sauce
- In 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb sesame oil, saute onion, garlic, jalapeno and red pepper until soft on medium heat, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1-2 Tb chili paste (I like it super spicy so I made this with 2 heaping Tb!)
- Stir to combine and continue stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes.
- Add 2 Tb honey, 1/4 cup cream, 2 Tb Tamari, stir to combine and turn heat to low.
- Boil water for pasta and toss rice noodles in. Let cook for 5-7 minutes until you like the texture. Watch the time on these, because they can get mushy if you leave in them in much longer than 7 minutes!
For the shrimp
- Mix together coriander, salt, pepper and cayenne and sprinkle on the shrimp.
- Heat a frying pan (I like using a cast iron skillet) with 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb sesame oil until butter is bubbling.
- Add shrimp and do not move around pan. Set your timer for 3 minutes and turn over.
- Set your timer for another 2 minutes and turn over. Take out of hot pan immediately and set aside until ready to serve. (Get these on the plate quick so they're super fresh!)
To put together your dish
- Drain rice noodles and mix with the sauce.
- Top with shrimp, cilantro and scallions.
Bacon bowls? Wha-what?? Oh yes, lovelies. This is my idea of low carb perfection! And you don’t need anything fancy to make them– just some bacon, tinfoil and a muffin tin. The caeser salad is absolutely fabulous— extra garlicky by design, but if you don’t want the kick, you can just cut down a bit on the garlic. This is major delish– and major WOW factor if you’re serving dinner to guests. Edible bacon bowls stuffed with caeser? You’re welcome.
Low Carb Bacon Bowls Stuffed With Caeser Salad
For the bacon bowls
- 3 slices of bacon for each bacon bowl
- Muffin tins
For the Caeser salad
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 anchovy filets
- 4 garlic cloves (if you don’t want it this garlicky, reduce to 2 garlic cloves)
- 1 Tb Dijon mustard
- 2 Tb water
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan (plus a little extra to top on salad)
- Fresh grated pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Romaine lettuce
For the bacon bowls
- Take large muffin tins, turn upside down and coat with tin foil.
- Cut one slice of bacon in half and lay over first muffin cup. Put the second half over the first half so it forms an "X".
- Repeat with another slice of bacon cut in half so you have covered the outside of the muffin cup with a "bacon star."
- Wrap a third piece of bacon around the outside of the muffin cup.
- Repeat with more bacon for additional bacon bowls.
- Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes (watch to see if they are getting crispy.)
- Take out of oven, slip bacon bowls off muffin cups and place INSIDE muffin tins. Bake for another 5 minutes to crisp up the inside of the bacon bowls.
For the Caeser salad
- In food processor, blend egg yolks, anchovies, mustard, water, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. While food processor is on, add 1/2 cup olive oil to emulsify.
- Toss dressing with romaine and add cracked pepper and extra parmesan.
- Fill bacon bowls with caeser salad.