These cupcakes have houseplants on them! I think they are pretty original and awesome looking. And there’s a tutorial to show you how to make them.
I have explored the reaches of frozen zucchini. Next up: what to do with all those bags of green beans in my freezer?
Usually, I sauté or blanch green beans with garlic or bacon. And of course, there’s green bean casserole. But what else can be done with them?
Here are five recipes that would work for frozen green beans:
Vietnamese Beef and Green Bean Stir-fry. This one speaks for itself. Yum!
Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans. Spicy deep-fried green beans with Chinese flavors.
Green Beans With Almond Pesto Under Egg. I am going to try this as a lunch in the near future.
Pasta With Pesto and Green Beans. I’m particularly excited about this recipe because I happen to have all these ingredients on hand.
What is your favorite thing to do with frozen green beans?
Is it pretentious to call a cookie a muse? Can a cookie be a muse?
The Thin Mint Cocktail uses chocolate syrup—I used regular old Hershey’s chocolate–baileys, vodka, and fresh mint. It’s sweet, chocolatey, minty… plus it looks like chocolate milk. Enjoy it with some cookies, and you’ve got a great grown-up dessert on your hands.
Thin Mint Cocktail
1 ounce vodka
1 1/2 ounce Baileys
2 sprigs fresh mint
1 Tablespoon chocolate syrup + garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint and vodka. Add the baileys and a tablespoon chocolate syrup (one longish squeeze). Add ice and shake. Taste. Add more chocolate, if desired, and shake again.
To garnish, add a bit of chocolate in the bottom of the cocktail glass (optional) and pour the drink over it. Enjoy!
My freezer is overflowing with produce from last year’s garden. I froze most of the zucchini from my zucchini experiment, and now I have to eat it.
But frozen zucchini isn’t as good as fresh, and there’s only so much zucchini soup and chocolate zucchini muffins a person can eat. So I went in search of new zucchini recipes what would specifically work for frozen zucchini. Here’s what I came up with:
Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger. I would probably skip the mint and cilantro, but otherwise it seems like these flavors would work well together.
Vegetarian Chili. It has been a long time since I made a vegetarian chili. (I usually make my mother-in-law’s version.) This recipe looks good, although I would substitute the yellow squash and fresh zucchini with frozen. I may make this next week!
Julia Child’s Zucchini Tian. I’m curious about this one. It’s zucchini, rice, and a Béchamel sauce made with “zucchini juices plus milk.” Hmm…
Pasta With Zucchini Sauce. I’ve made this kind of thing before, but I completely forgot about it. It’s pasta coated in a sauce of zucchini and garlic, very simple and delicious.
Savory Summer Squash Quick Bread Recipe. Hey, how about a savory zucchini bread? I bet it would go great with the chili.
The problem with corn chowder is that it’s so bland. Or so I thought until I tasted a roasted corn chowder at a restaurant. Turns out the extra step of roasting the corn gives the soup a savory flavor that’s flat-out delicious.
After some experimenting, I came up with the following soup recipe. It’s rich and creamy, with a lot of depth. If you make it with vegetable broth, it would make a nice vegetarian dinner.
Roasted Corn Chowder
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups canned corn
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 sprigs fennel
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup cream
1-2 pinches red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix 2 cups of corn with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and spread it out on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, until the corn starts to brown. Watch it to make sure the corn doesn’t burn.
In a soup pot, add the remaining olive oil and the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic begins to sizzle. Add onions and cook until soft, another 5-7 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the flour to the onions and garlic. Mix the flour so it forms a paste.
Add in all the rest of the ingredients except the cream. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft. Add the cream and season the soup.
If the soup if too watery, cook another 15-30 minutes to condense the flavors. Taste and season. Fish out the fennel before serving. Enjoy!
The first question you might have about this Valentine’s Cocktail I made with DIY Cocktails is, where is the chocolate? After all, this isn’t your typical calorie-laden drink-your-dessert chocolate martini.
Instead, this cocktail uses chocolate vodka that, along with the fresh strawberry juice, fills your mouth with a sweetness that gets more appealing as you go on–a lot like love! (See what I did there?)
To make the strawberry juice, we ran the strawberries through a juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, you can make the juice by blending the strawberries and straining it to get out the seeds.
As for the chocolate vodka, I’m particularly impressed with 360 Vodka Double Chocolate, which uses natural ingredients to infuse the vodka with chocolate flavor. But any chocolate vodka will work.
The drink isn’t syrupy, but it really does coat your mouth in chocolate-strawberry goodness that I found myself enjoying more and more as I drank it. It’s also light and balanced, which makes it the perfect romantic cocktail for Valentine’s Day.
1 1/2 ounce chocolate vodka
1/2 ounce cointreau or triple sec
2 ounces fresh strawberry juice (about 4-5 strawberries)
2 dashes bitters
Make the strawberry juice with a blender or a juicer. Put all the ingredients in the cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake the drink and strain into a cocktail glass. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Super Bowl 2014! Woo!
(I really think it should be “Superbowl,” one word, but I guess that’s incorrect.)
Here are 5 relatively easy Football-Shaped Super Bowl Snacks for your Super Bowl Party.
Football Deviled Eggs. What do you know? Deviled eggs are already football shaped! All you have to do is add some green onions for the laces.
Super Bowl Football Pepperoni Pizza. Pile the pepperoni in the center of the pizza like a football and add some cheese for the lacing.
Football Shaped Sandwiches. Cut rye bread into football shapes and make sandwiches.
Football Cheese Plate. Lay out some cheese, crackers, and salami in the form of a football.
Football Pizza Pockets. The most involved on this list, these are pizza dough cut into pockets, filled with pizza filling, and baked. Looks yummy.
There were some nice blood oranges at the grocery store, so DIY Cocktails and I decided to make cocktails with them. The Blood Orange Old Fashioned uses four ingredients: bourbon, blood orange juice, bitters, and maple syrup.
Blood oranges, which can be found in grocery stores this time of year, give off a lovely ruby-pink juice that turns orange when you mix it with bourbon. The maple syrup bridges the distance between the tartness of the citrus and the heat of the bourbon, while the bitters and twist of orange peel balances the drink out.
This is a great cocktail to have at a Super Bowl party, or while sitting in front of a fire on a Friday night–and hey, look, it’s Friday.
Blood Orange Cocktail
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce blood orange juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 dashes bitters
Twist of orange to garnish
In a glass, combine bourbon, juice, bitters, and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon or stirrer. Add ice. Garnish with orange twist. Enjoy!
Most football fans I know are happy with chips and beer, so I don’t know how worth it is to make bacon wrapped potato bites or hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries made to look like footballs for the Super Bowl, however tasty they may be.
But this Football Pepperoni Pizza looks like it would be a hit. The trick is to layer the pepperoni in the center of the pizza to look like a football, then add some cheese on top to make the lacing. Cute idea.
Happy Super Bowl!
This being the time for weight loss, I didn’t want to make a cocktail that was too heavy. On the other hand, I didn’t want to not have a cocktail. So DIY Cocktails and I came up with a compromise: a low-calorie cocktail that is light, refreshing, and sophisticated. And it has blueberries!
Most low-calorie cocktails use artificial sweeteners. This cocktail uses good old-fashioned sugar, but just a little bit for sweetness. It also uses natural ingredients like tarragon and blueberries. I’m not going to go so far as to call a cocktail healthy, but you could do much worse.
Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs, and it goes great with blueberries. In fact, if you aren’t much of a drinker, you can skip the vodka here and make a great-tasting drink all on its own (65 calories a serving).
If you can’t find tarragon, you can substitute thyme, or just skip it and add more blueberries.
All and all, the Low-Calorie Blueberry Tarragon Cocktail comes in as 160 calories. If you want to add only 1 teaspoon of sugar, it comes down to 145 calories. That’s close to a glass of wine, but stronger. The recipe:
Low-Calorie Blueberry Tarragon Cocktail
1.5 oz vodka
1/3 cup blueberries (one large handful)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp tarragon
1/4 oz lime juice
Club soda to top
In a cocktail shaker, muddle everything except the club soda. Pour into a highball or another 8 oz glass. Add ice. Top with club soda. Enjoy!