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.