Friday, June 28, 2013

Sonic's Grape Limeade

 John really liked this drink.  I thought the grape/lime syrup was too intense and would add more sprite for me.  My boys loved it!  I may play around with some different koolaid flavors this summer. 

1 {12 oz.} can limeade concentrate, thawed
2 pkgs. grape kool-aid
1 {2 liter} bottle sprite (I used sprite zero)
Fresh limes {optional} 
Ice, Sonic's Pebble Ice preferably

Combine limeade and koolaid until no koolaid lumps exist.  In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the limeade/grape mixture and the sprite until well combined. {Don't stir too vigorously, or the carbonation in the Sprite will all go away.}Slice your limes and add it to the mix.  Serve over lots of ice. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo with Bacon

A nice twist on Alfredo, esp. since I love red peppers.  The bacon pairs great with this pasta, so don't leave it out.

John's rating: 8

Recipe adapted from: Bakeaholic Mama

1/2 lb of fettuccine, cooked to package directions 1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk 4 oz of room temperature cream cheese 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup cheddar cheese 1 clove of garlic 1 1/2 roasted red peppers diced (I roast my own) 
4 strips of crispy cooked bacon

In VitaMix, blend cream, milk, garlic and roasted red peppers until smooth, pour in a med. sauce pan and add cream cheese.. 

Cook over medium heat until cream cheese has melted into the cream and is smooth.
Mix in Parmesan and cheddar cheese until smooth. Continue to simmer over low heat until smooth.

Pour over your cooked pasta. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Miami Vice Frozen Limeade

John told me he wanted a Miami vice, Brazilian limeade drink, so did some mixing in my VitaMix and made what he claims is his "favorite drink".  My boys all loved it, too.  It is super refreshing and he claims better than any drinks we had down in the Caribbean.

John's Rating: 10

1/2 bottle of Cream of Coconut (I buy the Coco Real 21 oz squeeze bottle)
Juice of 4 limes
4 large strawberries
2 trays of ice cubes
Enough water to fill 1/2 cup below the max line on the blender, yeah real precise, huh?

Blend until smooth.  Drink slowly to savor...and to avoid a 'brain (or chest) freeze'

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crispy Chicken Tortilla Rollups & Spicy Avocado Creme

What a perfect blend of flavors! The garlic oil added a fantastic flavor and helped make them nice and crisp on the outside and then there was this great creamy chicken filling.  The Avocado Creme has a little kick to it and compliments the sweetness from the corn in the roll ups.  Then top it off with the fact that this meal that can be assembled quickly on a busy night (or a lazy night, I have those, too)

 John's Rating: 10

Recipe adapted from: The Weekend Gourmet

Preheat oven to 400. 
Make the chicken filling by combining the following ingredients in a bowl: 

2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
1 cup colby jack cheese
1/2 cup corn kernels
1-2 sliced green onions (I used fresh chives instead this time)
2 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup salsa
1 tsp. cumin
the juice of  half a lime
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup light sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt

Heat 1/4 cup canola oil and two grated garlic cloves in a small saucepan over med heat. When the oil is hot, turn off the heat and let the garlic infuse into the oil for 5-10 minutes. 

Assemble the tortillas by adding about 3 Tbs. of the filling down the center and sprinkle with cheese.    Roll up and place seam-side-down on a baking sheet lined with foil.
**I filled 8 flour tortillas  

Brush the tortilla rollups with the garlic oil and sprinkle with dried cilantro and chili powder. Bake for 8-10 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking so both sides are able to brown and crisp. 

While the rollups bake, make the avocado creme. 
Add one large ripe avocado to a bowl and mash until creamy. 
3/4 cup light sour cream or plain greek yogurt
the juice of half a lime
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder

Stir well to thoroughly combine and scoop into a pretty serving bowl.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strawberry and Cream Pie

I made this pie for Father's Day.  It was a hot day, so I tried this one since there was no baking required.  John really liked it.  It has a really creamy texture and it not overly sweet.  

Recipe adapted from:  Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve or about 9 full/long cracker, crushed in my VitaMix)
4 Tbsp butter, melted

8oz block of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
Strawberries, sliced into thirds or halves
Melting chocolate (enough to drizzle on top)


In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until a crumbly, moist mixture forms.  Gently but firmly press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom/sides of a pie dish. Place in freezer.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixture to beat your cream until it holds firm peaks. Set aside.

In a separate, larger bowl, mix cream cheese, almond extract, and sugar until smooth and creamy.Gently fold in whipped cream until incorporated and smooth.

Spoon filling into your cooled pie crust, and spread it out in an even layer.  Layer sliced strawberries in an overlapping rows around the top of the cream.  Drizzle melted chocolate over the top of the strawberries.

Stick the pie in the fridge for a few hours to allow the creamy filling to firm up.  Slice and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Frozen Coconut Limeade

Super refreshing for a hot day! 

Recipe from:  Dessert Now, Dinner Later
  • 5 cups ice
  • 3/4 cup Lite Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut (found in the alcoholic mixers aisle at the grocery store)
  • 4-6 Tbsp frozen Limeade concentrate (more or less depending on desired level of tartness)
  • 3 Tbsp water
Place all ingredients into a blender & blend on high until smooth.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

My banana-loving boys enjoyed this pancake recipe!  It's also a perfect way to use up some ripe bananas :)

Recipe from: Minimalist Baker

  • 1 very ripe medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup whole wheat or unbleached flour
  • 3 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat a skillet to medium heat or about 300-325 degrees.
  2. Mash your very ripe banana with baking powder.
  3. Add egg, oil, salt, vanilla, butter, milk and stir.
  4. Stir in oats and flour until just combined.
  5. Sprinkle in chocolate chips and fold gently.
  6. Scoop scant ¼ cup measurements onto lightly greased griddle.
  7. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side – until golden brown.
  8. Serve plain or with a small drizzle of maple syrup.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

My new favorite dressing...It's been so long since I've eaten at an Olive Garden, that I'm not sure if this is a perfect match, but it is REALLY good!! 

Recipe from:  The Country Cook
1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing
(Ingredients needed to make dressing; oil*, water, vinegar)
½ tsp. dried Italian Seasoning
½ tsp. table salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ tbsp. mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip, please)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbs. white vinegar
1 ½ tbsp. water
*I used half canola and half olive oil

Prepare Good Seasonings Italian Seasonings Dressing as it states on back of packet. Add remaining ingredients. Whisk all together, let sit 30-45 minutes, then shake to stir it again and serve.

Store unused dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. 
Be sure to give the bottle a good shake before using.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

John reminded me that it has now been a year since we were basking in the sun and walking on white sandy beaches on a resort in the Caribbean.  So I figured I'd make him this fantastic fruit dip with a pina colada flavor.  Although it is a great dip, esp. with fresh pineapple and stawberries, a trip back to the Caribbean would have been way better, but this little bit of summery tropical goodness is much easier on the budget :)
Recipe from:   Dessert Now, Dinner Later!

*This recipe makes a lot, could easily be cut in half 

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (15oz) can Cream of Coconut (Not coconut milk! Find this in the aisle with the margarita mix & other mixers.)
1 (8oz) tub Cool Whip

Whip the cream cheese with the cream of coconut in a stand mixer until all lumps are gone.
 Remove paddle, & fold in cool whip.  Serve with fruit or graham crackers.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Grilled Chipotle-Rubbed Steaks with Lime Butter

Loved the flavor of this steak:

Recipe from:  Serious Eats

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • Two thick, boneless steaks, such as ribeye or hanger, 10- to 12-ounces each

Combine the butter, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, and a salt to taste. Set aside. Combine the paprika, cumin, and chipotle powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle the steaks with plenty of kosher salt, then evenly sprinkle the spice mixture over them and rub into the meat.

Grill Steak until center of steaks register 125°F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, or 145°F for well done. Transfer to a platter and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes, adding the lime butter after a few minutes to melt from the residual heat.

Slice the steaks and serve immediately.