Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ranch Oyster Crackers


Our aunt Donna makes these yummy snacks during the holidays. They are super easy to make and a great snack to leave out in a bowl for your guests.

Ranch Oyster Crackers
Time: 30mins

Ingredients:
- 2 packages of Oyster Crackers (Mine were 9oz bags)
- 1 package of Dry Ranch Mix (add more if desired)
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Dill Weed (Optional)
- 1/2-3/4 c Oil
  1. Mix dry spices into the crackers. Slowly drizzle in oil and stir every 5-10mins until everything is well coated. 
  2. If desired you can heat them in the oven for a few minutes prior to serving. (We typically don't)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy always bring back fond memories of Christmas morning. Dad only made this for me for a few years, but somehow it has always stuck and I ask for it EVERY year. I love the great feelings and memories that food evokes even years later. This year I decided that it was my time to take over and continue this tradition.


Biscuits & Gravy (Makes 6 biscuits)
Time: 45mins-1hr

Ingredients:
Sausage Gravy
- 4-5 oz Sausage, Removed from casing (I used a hot breakfast sausage)
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 2 1/2c Milk, plus extra if it thickens too much
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Salt and Pepper
  1. Cook sausage in large pan and crumble into small pieces.
  2. Lower the heat to medium low and add butter and milk.
  3. Add in flour and mix until smooth. It will take a few minutes for the gravy to start thickening.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour on the biscuits! If the gravy thickens too much prior to serving, just add a little more milk or cream.
Tupelo honey Cafe Biscuits
- 2c Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tbsp Sour Cream
- 1 tsp, plus 1/2tsp salt
- 3/4 c unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/2 c Buttermilk
- 1 tbsp butter melted
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and soda, sour cream, and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl.
  3. Using a cheese grater to shave butter into flour, cut the butter into flour mixture with a fork.
  4. Once mixture resembles a coarse meal, add buttermilk and stir until combined. Don't overmix!
  5. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1 inch thickness and use a biscuit cutter (I used a cup) to cut our biscuits. Place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10-12 mins. ( The cookbook states 20-25 mins, but at 17 minutes mine were already slightly over brozned)
  6. You can brush melted butter on top if you'd like or just skip that step and pour on the gravy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

10 Reasons Why I love You

On the tenth day of Christmas...I just wanted to tell you a few of the reasons why I love you so much.

1. You love me more than I even know.
2. You are one of the most caring and honest people I have ever met.
3. You are going to be an amazing father one day.
4. You work hard for our family, yourself, and for those you don't even know.
5. You are the most handsome man in the world.
6. You make me laugh.
7. You do the dishes after I spend hours in the kitchen making us a meal.
8. You make sure there are no water spots on our faucets and mirrors.
9. You're my American hero.
10. There is no one else that could've been more perfect for me.

Thank you for your unconditional love, taking care of me always, and for the life you allow me to enjoy. I'm truly thankful for the opportunity you've given me by allowing me to go back to school full time without having to worry about work. I know I don't say it enough, but thank you for making my life amazing. Though work keeps you away from home, I cherish every single minute we have together and wouldn't trade our life together for anything.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Salt Crusted Ribeye Roast

My dad has made ribeye roasts on Christmas day for as long as I can remember! Since we aren't able to travel home for Christmas this year, I had to make this for our dinner party. There's no better way to show our friends how much we love them! This roast will definitely please your guests, give this a whirl for your next dinner party!


Ribeye Roast (Serves 20)
Time: 18-20min per lb (Cook time depends on size of roast)

Ingredients:
- 11lbs Ribeye Roast
( We purchased ours at Costco, you can also use other cuts of meat for a more reasonable price)
- 1 Bunch of Celery
- 1 Bunch of Carrots
- 1 Large Onion
- 5 whole cloves of Garlic (Optional)
- 3 Sprigs of Rosemary (Optional)
- 26z Container of Salt
- Pepper

  1. Let the meat rest at room temperature for 1-2hrs prior to cooking.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add rosemary sprigs and roughly chopped vegetables to the bottom of the pan. Set aside 1-2cups to place on top of the roast.
  4. Place the meat on top of the vegetables, fat side up.
  5. Rub black pepper onto the roast. Coat the top of the roast with salt, you will use most of the salt to create a nice salt crust. When you think it's too much salt...just keep going. To keep with the holiday spirit, it will look like a snowy mound!
  6. Top with leftover vegetables and rosemary and place in oven for 3-3.5 hrs. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked to your liking.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

After years of enjoying yam and marshmallow casseroles for Thanksgiving, I decided to mix it up and make a sweet potato casserole this year. It was AWESOME...I'm now a believer of the sweet potato casserole! I'm sorry dear yam, but I will not be turning back. Hope you enjoy it! What are some of your variations?


Sweet Potato Casserole (Serves 10)
Time: 1hr

Ingredients:
- 3 Large Sweet Potatoes, Skin Removed
- 1 Egg
- 1/3c Flour
- 1/2-3/4c Brown Sugar
- 1/4c Evaporated Milk
- 1/2tsp Vanilla 
- 1tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2tsp Nutmeg
- 1c Pecans, Chopped
- 4tbsp Butter
- Pinch of Salt
- Marshmallows (Optional)
  1. Cut sweet potatoes into even pieces. Place pot on stove with water sitting about an inch above the potatoes on medium/medium high heat, cook until tender.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix together pecans, brown sugar, 1/2tsp cinnamon, and flour in a bowl.
  4.  In another bowl mash the potatoes with 2 tbsp butter, 1/2tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, milk, vanilla and egg (Add in beated egg slowly).
  5. Top the potatoes with the pecan mixture and two pats of butter. Bake in oven for 20mins. 
  6. Add in marshmallows at the last 10mins of baking or add them at the end and set oven to broil just until they brown. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baked Eggs and Spinach in Prosciutto Cups


"These are a few of my favorite things!" I had leftover La Quercia Prosciutto that was waiting to be made into a delightful brunch! I liked it so much that I've already decided to make this again on New Years Day. Hope you enjoy it too, feel free to add whatever your taste buds desire.

Baked Eggs and Spinach in Prosciutto Cups ( 4 Cups)

Time: 30mins

Ingredients:
- Handful of Spinach
- Prosciutto (2-3 slices per cup)
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
- Feta Cheese (Optional)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Oil 4 spaces of a muffin tin/ramekin and layer the prosciutto slices into into the cups.
  3. Pack each cup with chopped spinach, garlic, and top with an egg. Place back in the oven for 15-17mins until eggs are baked.
  4. Once the cups are ready, top with cheese and serve!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweet Greens Juice

After admiring juicers for the past year, I had a special delivery at my door from my parents the other day. I'm so excited to create and try new juice recipes, so please post your favorite recipes! I grew up drinking homemade juices and I've always loved the taste of celery and cucumber, so of course I had to include them in my first juice! I think this recipe is a good start for a beginner's "green" juice. Enjoy!


Sweet Greens (Makes 20oz)
- 1/2 English Cucumber
- 3 Stalks of Celery, Chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 Med or 3 Small Apples, Sliced into wedges
- 2 Handfuls of Spinach
- 1 Pear, Sliced into wedges



  1. Make sure you follow the feeding instructions for your specific juicer.
  2. In order to reduce pulp backup, I alternate the celery and spinach with the fruit and cucumber.
I know I've only used it once so far, but I really enjoy my Omega VRT350 HD. While the masticating juicers are a little slower, I didn't find it to be too tedious. I've also read some complaints about additional cleaning time, but it only took me a few minutes. Aside from the great juice and dry pulp, I absolutely love that the juicer is upright and small enough to store on my counter. Keep an eye out for Bed Bath and Beyond's 20% coupons, these juicers can get expensive and I saved $75.00 on my purchase! Happy juicing friends!

- Masticating vs. Centrifugal

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Caprese Pasta


I love caprese! The basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes are always a perfect marriage of flavors for me. This pasta is perfect if you're looking for quick and fresh meal, especially when you're short on time!


Caprese Pasta
Time: 30mins

Ingredients:
- Pasta of your choice
- Basil
- 1 Pint of Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 8-12oz Mozzarella
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Chicken (Optional)
  1. Place your sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and torn basil into a mixing bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar, chicken, and salt and pepper and mix well. Let this mixture marinate while your pasta cooks.
  2. Cook your pasta al dente, or as desired. Once your pasta is ready, pour in your caprese mixture and toss all of the ingredients together! 
That was a pretty simple recipe right? Hope you enjoy it! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Toffee-Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies by Karice Bolton

Not only did Karice take time out of her schedule for a Q and A session with me, but she was nice enough to share her Stuffed Tomatoes and Toffee-Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies with ELBM! She is a lover of good food and fantastic homemade goodies! Hope you guys enjoy the recipes, I can't wait to try them!



Toffee-Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

The toffee pieces make this oatmeal cookie over the top!

Ingredients
  •   1/2  cup plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  •   3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  •   1/2  cup granulated sugar
  •   2  eggs
  •   teaspoon vanilla
  •   1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  •   teaspoon baking soda
  •   teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •   1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
  •   1 cup Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  •   1 cup dried cranberries
  •   1 bag Heath Toffee Bits  
 
Preparation

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats, Heath Toffee Bits, and cranberries; mix well. 

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. 

Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes by Karice Bolton

Not only did Karice take time out of her schedule for a Q and A session with me, but she was nice enough to share her Stuffed Tomatoes and Toffee-Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies with ELBM! She is a lover of good food and fantastic homemade goodies! Hope you guys enjoy the recipes, I can't wait to try them!


Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients
  •  1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta,
  •   2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •   2 cloves crushed garlic
  •   Salt and freshly ground pepper
  •   5 cups chicken stock
  •   4 tablespoons butter
  •   1 diced onion
  •   2 1/2 cups arborio rice (19 ounces)
  •   1 cup dry white wine
  •   1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  •   6 large tomatoes

1.             Cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp in a large pan, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a small bowl. 

2.             In a small pan, bring the stock to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

3.             Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in skillet and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, sauté.

4.             Add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Begin adding the stock stirring, 1/2 cup at a time, until absorbed. Continue adding the stock, about 2/3 cup at a time. The risotto is done when the rice is tender and the liquid is creamy. About 20-25 minutes.

5.             Add the remaining butter and ½ cup Parmesan, and pancetta into the risotto and stir gently. Salt and Pepper to taste.

6.             Scoop out tomatoes and stuff risotto to the top of tomatoes and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes covered until heated through.

7.             Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and serve.

Q and A Session with Karice Bolton


If you haven't checked out Karice Bolton, it's about time you do. Karice is an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance writer and I absolutely love her stuff! To be honest, I haven't read much from the genre prior to The Watcher's (okay and Twilight), but since Karice is a good friend of mine I knew I had to support her and check out her first book from The Watcher's Trilogy. After I read Awakening I found myself itching for more! The trilogy was a quick and easy read, I'll admit I sad when I "turned" the last page of the series on my Kindle.

She is quickly growing her fan base and always thinking of new ideas and stories to write! I'm so thankful that she took time out of her busy schedule to do a quick Q and A session and send in some recipes (Karice also happens to be quite the foodie)! Her recipes will be coming tomorrow, stay tuned!
 



"I wanted to say thank you to Eat, Love, and Be Merry for inviting me share a fun couple of recipes with you all! I love seeing what comes over on my Facebook page from her blog from a picture she snaps or an awesome recipe she shares with us all, so I’m excited I get to be a part of it. Thank you!!"

Hope you enjoy!

1) What inspired you to write your first book?

We had just been up to Whistler, and I realized I wanted to write a story that made Whistler shine. I also wanted to attempt a paranormal romance that wasn’t over the top paranormal and thought that would be the perfect setting to do so.

2) Coffee or tea?


Coffee all day… Okay actually a Latte too (Pumpkin Spice or Gingerbread), but then I have tea at night…

3) When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?


I’ve always enjoyed writing, even if it was something super dry for college! But once I made up mind to start writing novel length stories it was really freeing and I found that I loved the process.

4) What's an interesting fact readers don't know about you?


Well, my latest series has archery in it, and I grew up doing archery with my dad. My parents had an indoor archery range at their business where I practiced a lot. I thought it would be fun to incorporate that sport since I actually grew up with it.

5) What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite Author?


Right now I would say Erik Larson and his novel, Devil in the White City. He really nails spooky, yet it is non-fiction! He’s a great writer, and he lives in the Pacific Northwest.

6) Sweet or savory?


Savory

7) If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you take with you?

My hubby and two bulldogs! Okay, I know that’s not what you meant. J Shoot! I’d say…hmmm. I better stick with that one though because everything I’d list I’d have to plug in and that wouldn’t work!


8) What is your favorite food? 

At the moment, Pierre Robert cheese and croccantini to spread it on.


9) What would your ideal fall meal consist of?

I’d say roasted chicken with crispy rosemary and thyme potatoes! But I always change my mind when it comes to food, so tomorrow I’d probably say stew and fresh rolls!!

10) Whistler plays a big role in your first series, The Watchers, is this a place that you frequent? 


We go to Whistler several times a year! I just love hanging out up there. There are so many activities to do whether it’s winter or summer, and it’s a walking village, which makes it that much more relaxing. You pull your car in and never have to look at again until you leave. There’s a ton of restaurants to always try out too. It’s just a special place!

11) Is it difficult to end a series and start a new one? I know I miss the characters from The Watchers! 


It really is! Once I finished The Watchers Trilogy and moved to The Witch Avenue Series, I began missing Athen and Ana, and then I started getting letters from readers who did too! So that’s how the novella idea came about for The Watchers. Now I can still write a little here and there about those characters and never have to completely close the door (at least for awhile).

12) Assuming you've experienced "writer's block" what do you do to get your creativity back into gear?

So far I haven’t dealt with the dreaded writer’s block, but what I always do when writing is get my iTunes going and that probably ensures that writer’s block doesn’t happen. Love my iTunes!!


13) Lastly, what advice would you share with aspiring writers?

Get the first story completed! Never give up and always keep writing. 

Thanks so much for the Q and A session Karice, I am so excited to share a little bit more about you with ELBM readers! By the way your recipes looked delicious, that post is coming tomorrow! Keep up the amazing work and thank you for your friendship! 

Want more Karice Bolton?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cilantro Butter - Shrimp and Lobster Tails

Why didn't I think of cilantro lime butter sooner? It was so much more exciting than lemon juice and clarified butter! We used this cilantro lime butter and lime juice to baste our grilled lobster tails and shrimp last weekend and absolutely loved it!



We had a wonderful and relaxing anniversary weekend and dinner! Thanks to everyone who sent us a congratulations note.

Cilantro Lime Butter - Lobster Tails and Shrimp
Time: 10mins

Ingredients:
- 1/4 Softened Butter
- 2 1/2 tbsp Cilantro, Minced
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2-3 tsp Lime Juice
- 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
- Shrimp
- Lobster Tails
- Lime Juice
  1. Mix together cilantro, seasonings, 2-3tsp of lime juice and butter.
  2. Prepare your lobster tails and shrimp and place them on your grill.
  3. Baste seafood with cilantro lime butter and extra lime juice.
  4. Shrimp will take about 2-3mins to cook and lobster tails should take about 5-6mins on the shelled side and 3mins on the meat side.
You can use this butter on other meats and seafood! Hope you enjoy the flavors as much as we did!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Quiche

My friend Erika made this delicious quiche last month when a few of us got together to paint pumpkins! It's delicious, healthy, and perfect for fall!


Fall Quiche

Pumpkin Pastry Dough
  • 1 c whole wheat flour (almond meal for gluten free alternative)
  • 1/2 c NSA applesauce
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree (substitution for 1 cup unsalted butter)
  • 1 Large Egg 
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350*F. To make the dough cream together the Butter, Egg, Honey and Salt. Once creamed add in the flour in two parts. Roll dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for one hour.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface. Place the rolled out dough into the tart pan and press to form the dough to the pan. Bake the dough for 10-12 minutes at 350*F, or until the dough is lightly browned.

Quiche filling:
  • Chop 1 beet, 2 leeks, 2 cups brussel sprouts, 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp each chopped: fresh rosemary, thyme, sage
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 8 large eggs (can sub eggbeaters)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree ( sub for 3 tablespoons of butter)
  • Sea Salt, Pepper, and Garlic EVOO

With the oven still at 350*F place the beets wrapped in foil into the oven for one hour to roast. Once the beets are done remove the skin. Cut one beet into small cubes and the other beet into four and then thinly sliced. Place beets, leeks and brussels sprout on sheet pan and sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2  herbs. Season with salt and pepper then, using hands, toss vegetables to coat. roast for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender.  Place mixture into the tart pan. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Add capers and goat cheese and stir throughout.  Sprinkle remaining herbs over the tart. Lastly sprinkle additional goat cheese evenly over the top. Place quiche in the oven and bake at 350*F for 45 minutes, or until set.


 Love these ladies!

 Caiti and her pumpkins!

Our pretty pumpkins!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

On my recent trip home I was tasked with making a vegetarian dinner for some family friends. After having stuffed acorn squash at my friend Marisol's house I knew I had to recreate it! This is a delicious, filling, and healthy meal. Be creative with your ingredients and enjoy!


Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash (Serves 6)
Time: 1hr

Ingredients:
- 3 Acorn Squash
- 1c Quinoa
- 1c Feta Cheese
- 1/2-1c Pistachios, Chopped
- 1/2c Parsley, Minced
- 1 Small Sweet Onion, Minced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 2c Chicken Broth (or salted water)
- 1tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and roast your squash cut side down on a baking sheet for 20-25mins, or until tender.
  2. Make quinoa as directed with chicken broth, I use a little less than 2c of liquid per 1c of quinoa.
  3. In a medium heated pan, sautee onion and garlic with olive oil. Add sauteed vegetables to quinoa and mix together.
  4. Lastly, add minced parsley, pistachios, feta cheese, and red wine vinegar to the quinoa mixture. Scoop mixture into squash and enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quickbread


My friend Michelle bought us this bread crock from New Orleans as a wedding gift and I finally got around to using it this past weekend. The bread was so easy and delicious, I'm almost angry that I haven't been making bread at home for years now. I just looked up the link to their website and it's not working, but the crock is from Potsalot Pottery in New Orleans. I'm sure you can make this in another bread pan just the same, but I just love this pottery! Thanks Michelle!

Quickbread 
Time: 1hr 15min

Ingredients:
- 2c Flour
- 1/4c Honey
- 1/4c Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 2tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2c Milk
- 1/2c Butter 

 * Feel free to adjust the sugar and play with the ingredients, I can't wait to use this as a base recipe and come up with more creations!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer or with a hand mixer. Next, add eggs in one at a time.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder and pour it into the batter, alternating with the milk.
  4. Once everything is combined bake for one hour in greased and floured pan.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Apple Dumplings

After several of you recommended that I make apple dumplings with my orchard apples, so I decided to give it a whirl! I've never had apple dumplings other than my own, so I'm not 100% sure that these are traditional. Luckily these turned out tasty and just sweet enough, really there isn't too much that can go wrong with baked apples!


Apple Dumplings (Serves 8)
Time: 10min Prep and 40-45min Bake



 
Ingredients:
- 3 small or 2 large apples ( I used Jonogold and Fuji)
- Cinnamon Roll Dough (Makes 8)
- 1 1/2tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1tsp Cinnamon
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- 1tsp Vanilla
- 2tbsp Butter
- 1 3/4c Apple Cider
  1. Core, peel, and slice your apples. I made them two different ways, sliced and chopped, both worked just fine.
  2. Make cinnamon mixture by adding brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Add a little flour to surface of the board and roll out each cinnamon roll. Add 2-3 slices of apples or 1-2tbsp of chopped apples and carefully pull each side over the apples and pinch them shut. Sprinkle the leftover cinnamon mixture on top of each dumpling.
  5. Oil a 9x13 baking sheet and place the dumplings with the pinched side down. Bake in oven for 10mins.
  6. While the dumplings are in the oven, add cider, butter, and vanilla to a small pot heated to medium/high heat. Keep cider on the stove for about 10-12mins until the liquid begins to reduce slightly.
  7. Pour the liquid into the baking pan and bake for another 30-35mins. Cover with foil during the last 10-15 of bake time to avoid burning the dumplings.
  8. When the dumplings are done, drizzle the cider sauce on top and serve with vanilla ice cream!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Adventures in Key West

We recently traveled to Key West, Fl to celebrate the marriage of two wonderful friends! As someone stated, "Key West is like spring break for adults!" It was a fun time spent with great friends.

Me: How do people get up there?
Husband: Those aren't real people...
Lodging:
We stayed at The Pier House on Duval St. and loved it. It had lush trees and foliage, a private beach, and comfortable rooms. This place definitely embodied the island spirit!

Eats:

Blue Heaven - Grilled Lobster with Angel Hair Pasta
It is a fun outdoor restaurant with good food. The only thing I didn't like about my dinner was the corn bread, it was too dry for my liking. The lobster and pasta were great!


Better Than Sex - Dessert Restaurant
We stopped by for takeout on our last night in Key West. It's a fun concept with some nice desserts, but I may have had too high of expectations. I've definitely had better desserts. Worth stopping by if you have time though!


Key Lime Pie (One of the best I had on the trip)
Tuna, Crab, and Avocado Stack
We also had a delicious conch ceviche, conch spring rolls (not my favorite), and fantastic mango coconut coladas. I think this place was one of my favorite spots in Key West. We didn't order any entrees, but all of our choices were great.

Louie's Backyard - Salmon Tartare Appetizer
It was pretty good, but my dinner was a tad salty for me. We had a late dinner, but the view from the deck would be amazing during the day or at sunset!

Sarabeth's - Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Cute restaurant, friendly staff, and great brunch!

Key West Wedding:




Beautiful wedding on a fun catamaran that sailed into the sunset! It was one of the most relaxed and fun weddings I've been to. Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Rooster:
If you haven't been to Key West, you may not know that the roosters roam freely around town. They didn't cause any disturbance to us and we really didn't hear them at our resort. Just remember not to bother them, because you can get fined for that!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Smoothie

I figured it was about time to make a new smoothie that was perfect for the season. My current schedule hasn't allowed me to make much of anything these days and my Vitamix has been especially lonely. Not today, today it was filled with fall goodness! Adjust the ingredients as necessary and enjoy!


Fall Smoothie (Serves 2)
Time: 5-7mins


Ingredients:
- 1 6oz Vanilla Yogurt
- 1/4c Pure Pumpkin Puree
- 1c Apple Cider (Use your favorite brand, not sparkling)
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- 2-3 Ice Cubes
- 1/2-1 Frozen Banana
- 1/2 Frozen Apple
- Pinch of Nutmeg (Optional)
- Top with Whipped Cream (Optional)
- Top with Crushed Ginger Snaps (Optional)
  1.  Add in all of your ingredients and blend until desired consistency is reached! You may need to stir it around a few times due to the frozen fruit.



Monday, October 8, 2012

Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornbread

A cold and rainy day like today called for a nice warm bowl of chili! In our house, chili also includes a warm side of cornbread. This recipe update isn't anything complicated, but I always like to add a little sparkle to a plain recipe. Sparkle in this case refers to jalapenos, cheddar cheese, and a generous drizzle of honey! Adjust the spice and sweetness to your personal liking.


Jiffy Remix (Makes about 6 servings in an 8x8 baking dish)
Time: 20mins

Ingredients:
- 1 Box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
- 1/2-1c of Cheddar
- Honey
- Butter
- 2-4tbsp of Diced Jalapenos (I use a 4oz can)
- 1 Egg
- 1/3c Milk
  1. Grease pan with oil or butter and heat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Prepare batter as directed and add in jalapeno and cheddar to the batter.
  3. Pour the batter into the dish and drizzle honey across the top.
  4. Bake for about 15-17mins and rub butter onto the top of the cornbread once you pull it out.
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes, cut, and enjoy!