I've been working on another post about Miami Beach, but it has been taking longer than expected. So, in the meantime, I'd like to share another cocktail with you! I made this Sparkling Raspberry Cocktail for an Arbonne brunch party.
One Year Ago - Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs
Two Years Ago - Spanikopita Strudels
Three Years Ago - Barley Risotto with Asparagus
Four Years Ago - Spinach, Artichoke, and Chicken Casserole
Five Years Ago - Spring Shells and Cheese; Zucchini Pie
My friend made this Orange Creamsicle Cocktail for me and it was so good that I absolutely had to share it with you guys! It is super easy to make and tastes EXACTLY like an orange creamsicle. Enjoy!
Orange Creamsicle Cocktail
adapted lightly from Ann's Entitled Life
makes 1 cocktail
3oz orange soda
1oz whipped cream flavored vodka
1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
Add vodka and sweetened condensed milk to a rocks or lowball style glass, stir to combine.
Add ice and orange soda, stir again. Top with whipped cream.
One Year Ago - Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs
Two Years Ago - Spring Vegetable and Tortellini Salad
Three Years Ago - Easter Dinner 2013
Four Years Ago - Beefy Macaroni and Cheese
Five Years Ago - Couscous Dinners
The husband and I just spent a week in Miami Beach!!! He went for work training and I tagged along. The training didn't get approved until 1 week before, so we booked everything in a rush and, I have to say, I kind of loved it. I didn't have time to over-analyze everything, over-plan, or over-book. I just did a quick check on what seemed like the best restaurants, booked those, and that was it! No time to stress about anything. It also worked out that it was just after all the Spring Break madness, so it wasn't too crowded and reservations were easy to get.
We stayed at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach (which is also where Jasper's training was). It is huge, and gorgeous, and reminded us of Las Vegas (which is apparently what they are going for, so good job). On one side of the hotel is the pool complex and the beach.
The other side of the hotel is the, also beautiful, marina. There are four towers of rooms, and we stayed in the tallest one - the Tresor. This was actually a complementary upgrade given to us at check-in, because it was our first time in Miami. Check-in was super fast and easy and the employee who we dealt with was incredibly friendly and helpful. Major points to service, there.
I have talked about my growing obsession with spam in recent months. I was looking for recipes to use it in, and found suggestions for Spam Mac and Cheese - of course! That sounded awesome! But the first recipe I tried didn't turn out great. It was probably due to the fact that I used shredded Mexican cheese blend (because that's what I had on hand) to make the cheese sauce, and not the idea of a mornay type sauce itself, that caused it to fail. But I was turned off to that method.
Then I made that really delicious Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Macaroni and Cheese with Velveeta and realized this was the way to go. Of course weird processed cheese product would go well with weird processed meat product (don't judge me)!
I was right! It came out creamy and salty and just awesome in general. Again - I wouldn't recommend making this a weekly thing, but as an occasional treat, it's delicious.
It's time for April's Secret Recipe Club reveal! I was assigned Morsels of Life. The author is an engineer, and brings her desire for efficiency to her blog. She doesn't like to use any crazy complex methods, and is loose with measurements. She writes, "Generally, if you like something, use more; if you dislike something, use less, substitute something else, or just eliminate it altogether. You’ll probably be fine." I love that. Often when I'm writing recipes, and have to try and figure out how much of something I used, I just want to write - use your best judgement. She also has pretty extensive privacy and disclosure information on her blog, which I think is admirable.
CJ's blog has a lot of Asian influence, and I really like the look of this Pork Meatball Ramen, as well as this Cha Shao Chinese BBQ Pork. For sweets, I was drawn to Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes, and Spiced Date Ice Cream (made with cashew milk!). But I ended up running out of time before leaving on a last-minute trip; so when I saw this Seared Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter and Pasta, and realized that I already had all the ingredients for it - I knew that's what I needed to make!
This was incredibly easy to make - just toss hot pasta with lemon herb compound butter, spinach, and Parmesan, then top with seared salmon and more compound butter. I used frozen Alaskan salmon, frozen spinach, and store-bought garlic butter spread (I added lemon juice and zest to it) - so this was really quick and easy. Plus (with the salmon, spinach, and protein-plus pasta), it was really healthy!
It's time for another Try The World Post! Finishing up my Japan box, I used the okonomiyaki mix to make... okonomiyaki, of course! It's a savory pancake made with flour, yam, eggs, scallions, and cabbage; and topped with all kinds of things, but most commonly pork belly, bonito flakes, seaweed, okonomi sauce, and mayonnaise.
The kit came with batter mix, powdered yam, shrimp tempura crisps, and dried seaweed. Plus instructions in Japanese and English (thank goodness).
First step, chop cabbage. It really should have been finer than this, like shredded, but I was lazy. Add scallions. In a separate bowl, make the batter according to package directions. Then combine it with the veggies, tempura, and eggs.
Happy Easter, my lovelies, and enjoy these Spring recipes!
Some girlfriends and I have been taking turns making macaroni and cheese (after we got tired of soup). I had been wanting to do something chicken, bacon, and ranch flavored for a while, and found a one-pot stovetop recipe that looked easy. It used velveeta and powdered ranch mix, which I wouldn't normally use, but I knew it would be easy to make early in the morning when I was tired.
It turned out so good! It was creamy and salty, with bacon and ground chicken in every bite. This is really good as a once-in-awhile indulgence. (But now I have 3/4 of a log of velveeta to deal with, hmm... More on that later.) Next time, I would definitely try making my own ranch mix instead of using the packet; but I would keep the velveeta - it provides a totally different texture from a bechamel/mornay sauce. Enjoy!
Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Mac and Cheese
adapted from What's Cooking Love
1 lb ground chicken
3 cups water
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2/3 cup bacon, cooked and diced
2 cups of elbow macaroni (or other short pasta), uncooked
1 packet ranch dressing mix (dry)
1/2 lb (8 oz) of Velveeta Cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4-1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Brown the ground chicken in a large skillet or wide pot on medium heat, adding 1/2 tsp of garlic powder to season the meat. Once the meat is browned, drain the fat.
Then add the water, bacon, ranch dressing seasoning, and remaining garlic powder to the chicken, mixing well.
Bring to a boil, then stir in the macaroni and cover. Simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
Stir in the Velveeta and cook until melted, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is too thin, add shredded cheddar cheese until it is thick enough to your liking.
Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day, hooray! This is not just an excuse to drink green beer, in fact - don't do that, it's gross. It's actually a religious holiday that celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, so show some respect! And definitely don't call it "St Patty's Day": Patty is short for Patricia. If you want to abbreviate, use "Paddy", which is actually short for Patrick (Pádraig).
Moving on! St Paddy's is a great day to celebrate Irish culture and food, so let's take a look at some Irish recipes!
First up - Corned Beef with Potatoes and Cabbage, which can be made in either a slow cooker or a Dutch oven.
In the same post, there is a recipe for Colcannon made from the potatoes and cabbage.
Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day! I was assigned Searching for Spice, written by Corina - a mother of two (I love the nicknames she gives her kids: Little Miss Spice and Master Spice). She loves international cuisine, making food from India, Mexico, North Africa, Thailand, and China. She prefers to stick to recipes that aren't terribly time consuming - like this Italian Chicken and Lemon dish, this Lamb Meatball dish, and this Chicken Pie. But sometimes, she will go for a more complicated recipe, too - like this Chicken Biryani and this Cassoulet with Confit Duck.
I ended up choosing this Korean Bulgogi recipe, because I just recently discovered Korean BBQ, and it is awesome! Bulgogi is definitely my favorite thing to order, so I loved that Corina had a recipe I could try. She served it with rice and lettuce to make wraps, I decided (inspired by my Spam dish) to make it a rice bowl, topped with a fried egg. It turned out great!