Mouth Party

I had this at a new years eve party and its almost March and I am still thinking about it. I have problems I know. Anyway, I hit my buddy up and asked him how he made it and he turned me to this cool site. They have all sorts of recipe ideas so I went ahead and made these for a dinner party. Came out so yum, but two tips I have is to make sure the artichokes are properly dried (I had water squirt out when I bit into it, not cute and very hot!) My other tip is also in regards to moisture, make sure the chilies are dried from adobo sauce because the seeds have a lot of heat and you don’t want to over power the aioli, just give it a kick. Anyway, here is the party appetizer that will taste like a party in your mouth!

  • 2 (14 ounce) jar/can of whole artichoke hearts
  • 10 slices bacon, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Dipping Sauce aka Chipotle Aioli

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated (I did 2 because I’m crazy and LOVE garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 whole canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced

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*photo from Tablespoon, where this recipe idea originated from.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Then set up the bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle the bacon with Parmesan. Place the artichoke heart in the center of each bacon strip. Wrap the bacon around the artichoke and, if you are clumsy and cant wrap then feel free to secure the bacon with a toothpick. Sprinkle the bites with a little Parmesan and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Meanwhile combine the mayo, garlic, honey, minced chipotle chiles and a pinch of pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until combined and smooth. Transfer to a dipping bowl and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Happy Eating, XO

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Tricked Out Toast

We always like to keep things interesting and fresh, and toast is no exception. No longer will we settle for just butter or jelly! Here’s just one version of making toast a little more exciting (and filling!). If you have any other interesting toast toppings you use, let’s hear about it!

  • 2 pieces of health nut bread (or whichever kind you choose)
  • 1/2 of a pear, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Dash of cinnamon

I’m sure you know the drill here – toast the bread, spread on the ricotta cheese, layer on the pear, drizzle the honey, and dash on the cinnamon. Viola! A delicious and filling breakfast.

Tricked out toast
Now Sonia claims she does toast better: mashed avocado, sea salt and a boiled egg. My sweet tooth thinks, I prevail. Team #trickedouttoast

Happy Eating, XO.

Spicy Detox “Teas”

Over the holidays I got a bit of unpleasant news – I developed a stomach ulcer. Yuck. And ow. After going to the doctor they told me that I need to change my diet a bit. Cut back on spicy foods, no more tomatoes/tomato sauce (sigh, goodbye red sauce) and eat more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day. Challenge accepted.

A couple of years ago I went to an Ayurvedic cooking class with a friend, which teaches you how to incorporate healing spices in to your diet. I decided now would be a good time to really pay attention to what I learned. Turmeric helps with heartburn and an upset stomach, so what better place to start?

In your comfiest mug, fill it with hot water and these healthy ingredients:

  • 2 dashes of turmeric
  • 1-2 drops of honey or Agave
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice (or lime if you’re in a pinch)
  • 1 dash of cayenne pepper if you’re feeling frisky (although not recommended for getting over a stomach ulcer…)

After doing a little more research on spices that promote a healthy stomach, cumin, anise and nutmeg were at the top. So for a something a little sweeter:

  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 dash of nutmeg
  • 1-2 drops of honey

 

Turmeric tea

You can find more information on healthy herbs from the Huffington Post.

(PS. This your friendly reminder to go get your yearly physical!)

Happy (Healthy) Eating, XO.

Muffin Mania Part II

My ex bf used to call me the “muffin man”, I know, how sexy! LOL but seriously, I just love making muffins. I think they are so easy and filling. They can be used as breakfast, a snack, or dessert (dollop anything with whipped cream child and its a dessert!) Anyway, to impress him early on when we were dating I made my scrumptious pumpkin muffins, and you know I just tossed my leftover veggies in some muffins just last week. So clearly, there is no stopping me on my muffin mania rampage. I realized I needed to do something more traditional and since its still summer and the berries are in abundance, I wanted to do a mixed berry muffin. Watch out Dunkin Donuts low fat blueberry, you may now be my 2nd favorite. Hope you love these as much as I did!

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (honey works as well)
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature (original recipe calls for buttermilk, but I don’t have that stuff on hand so I just used the 1% I had in my fridge for cereal).
  • ½ cup canola oil (don’t skip the oil, this will make the muffins moist, you could use melted butter, but this muffin is better w the oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (340g) mixed berries**
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling on top if you wanna really be like Dunkin Donuts.

In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand. Avoid over-mixing which will make for tough, dense muffins. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy. Very gently to avoid them from leaking their color, fold in 1 and 3/4 cups mixed berries. ** For a little culinary twist I like to add some citrus zest or peel to the muffins. Lemon tends to be a good tart compliment to blueberries and orange works well with the raspberries and strawberries. You pick which one or both you want and throw in a tsp. if you feel so bold.** Then, spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Using 1/4 cup of the berries you have leftover, press a few into the tops of each muffin. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if you fancy. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes and let cool before serving.

Happy Eating, XO.

Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Before you roll your eyes and gag on the words “brussels sprouts” you need to keep reading. These little balls of bitterness are actually really sweet and tasty when roasted with some honey. Trust me, I’ve converted two non-brussels sprout eaters into sprout lovers with this combo. It’s easy to whip up for a last minute dinner date or just a night when you really don’t want any effort involved. The total prep and cook time is 15 minutes. It doesn’t get much quicker than that people.

  • Half a stalk of brussels sprouts (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (enough to coat the sprouts)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of honey (again, enough for a nice coating)
  • A dash of salt and cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the bottoms off of the sprouts and slice them in half. Toss them together with the olive oil, honey, and cinnamon until fully coated. Lay them flat side down on a baking pan and sprinkle with salt. Bake them for about 10 minutes or until browned.

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Happy Eating, XO.