Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fourth of July Festiveness!

If you've been reading my blog for awhile,
you'll know how much I love decorating for holidays!
You can see some past holiday posts here, here, here and here!!

And since it's ALMOST the Fourth of July,
I figured it was about time I shared my patriotic decorations.
Some are homemade, but most are store bought.
Michael's recently had some deals I just couldn't pass us!

Like usual, my front door is festive with a homemade wreath!

What you see shortly after walking in!

Decorations around the living room.

My mantle with a homemade ribbon garland!

How cute are these lil guys?!?
I just couldn't pass 'em up when I saw them!

I hope you all have a fun and safe holiday with family and friends!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quinoa Apple Salad

A few weeks ago, I met up with some friends for lunch and 
we went to one of the newly opened locations for Lemonade!
If you live in LA and haven't tried Lemonade yet, you're missing out.
Find one close to you and try it ASAP!

I've been to a few different Lemonade locations and have been a fan from day one.
A friend even gave me their cookbook for Christmas this year!
I have yet to make anything out of the cookbook, 
but after my most recent visit I knew I needed to try to recreate one of the dishes I had.

So what was the dish you ask?
Red Quinoa Salad with Apples, Arugula, Sunflower Seeds and Pistachios!
If you don't know already - I love love love me some quinoa salad.
(You can check out some past posts about it here, here and here!)

Just a few hours after lunch, I decided I didn't want to wait long and 
got to work searching for a copycat recipe online. 
To my surprise, it wasn't very hard and I had a recipe in no time!

Now that I'm done rambling, let me show you how easy it is to make!!!

The Goods:
Water (Not Pictured)
Fuji Apples
Sunflower Kernels
Juice from an Orange
Olive Oil

Cook your qunioa according to package directions.
Since I'm using this in a salad - I always like to cool my qunioa before adding it.
Pour/scoop the quinoa onto a chilled baking sheet and spread it out to cool.

While the qunioa is cooking, get your other goods ready!
Add the apples, pistachios and sunflower kernels to the bowl and toss to combine.
Fold in the arugula, orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
That's it! Now it's time to dig in and ENJOY!!!

Hope you like this quinoa salad as much as I do!
I've already made it twice since having it at Lemonade.
Oh and don't forget - go try Lemonade if you haven't already!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chicken Piccata and Homemade Pasta

I recently had a hankering for some for some homemade pasta, 
so I quickly started to think about what I wanted to enjoy with said pasta.
After a little thought, I couldn't get my mind off:

I found this recipe and couldn't wait to get to work.
And sadly, was so into making it I don't have any step by step pictures.
I know - HUGE blog fail.
The meal was so good I couldn't not post about it.
And as the recipe states, it really is easy!!

Piccata Goods:
Olive Oil
Chicken Broth
Flat Leaf Parsley

For my step by step homemade pasta instructions,
see this blog post!!!

The finished product!!
So good and I can't wait to make it again.
Maybe the next time I'll be a better blogger, 
and remember to take more pics to update this post.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Homemade Hummus & Pita Chips

I've made homemade hummus multiple times before,
but I recently discovered a recipe and I doubt I will make it another way again.

It's better than so many other hummus I've tasted.
No more store bought hummus for me!!!

This hummus is creamy and SO SO SO easy to make!
Take a look below at the process.

Hummus Goods:
Olive Oil
Garbanzo Beans
Sea Salt
Lemon Juice

Mix the tahini and the lemon juice in the food processor for about a minute.
Scrape the sides, and process for about 30 more seconds.

Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and cumin to the tahini/lemon juice mixture.
Process until combined.

Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans.

Add half the beans and process for about a minute.
Scrape the sides and add the rest of the beans.
Process for a minute or two - until hummus is smooth.

The hummus will most likely be too thick,
so slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons water until the consistency is to your liking.

What's homemade hummus without some homemade pita chips though?

I Googled and found this recipe from one of my old time favorites!
Again - this is SO easy and SO much better than store bought.

I don't think you'll want any other pita chip after trying these.
Check out how easy they are to make below.

Pita Chip Goods:
Pita (I use Whole Wheat)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Cut the pita into wedges.
Toss in olive oil and sea salt.

Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes, flip and bake 5 to 10 more minutes.
Pita chips should be toasted and crisp!

Ta da!!

Now go make some homemade hummus and pita chips.
It's a great snack and I THINK you'll thank me! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Homemade BBQ Sauce & Spice Rub

I recently made ribs for a couple girlfriends.
When planning, I went to this post where I made ribs with Elina.

While it looks good, it isn't entirely helpful.
Yes, it has some useful information,
but not measurements or anything for the rub and sauce.
I apologize. Really - I do.

Because I wasn't 100% happy with the other ribs post,
I decided I needed to share the sauce and rub recipe that I recently used.
I've made the sauce twice and don't think I'll ever made any other sauce again!!!
It's THAT good!

Now - let me share the delicious sauce and rub I recently made for ribs.

For the sauce, I used this recipe and made little changes to make it my own!

The Goods:
1 1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Tobasco sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 sprigs fresh oregano

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
That's IT!
Super easy and super tasty.

When making the sauce - it smelled so much like McDonald's BBQ Sauce.
AND it tasted a little like it too, but with a kick!
I don't know about you, but that's for sure a winner in my book!!!

Now that the sauce is made, let's talk about the rib rub.

I used this recipe (rub only, not sauce) as a starting point, 
and again made little changes to make it my own.

The Goods:
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne peper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix everything together and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

The above recipe will make enough for  between 2 and 3 racks of ribs.

Now go, go make yourself some delicious ribs!
I followed the cooking instructions from my previous rib post.
I'm sure the sauce and rub would be great on grilled or smoked ribs as well.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Inez's Turkey Burgers

Now that summer is basically here, 
I'm sure there will be lots of grilling going on.
So now is the perfect time to talk about some yummy burgers!

A few weeks ago, my friend Inez, who's a foodie like me, 
told me about a Turkey Burger she made that was amazing.
She said she wasn't going to make them any other way again!

After hearing that, I KNEW I had to give these burgers a try.
I got the recipe from her and made the burgers shortly after.
And she was right - they are amazing!!!

Since they were so good, I asked her permission to share the recipe on my blog.
And lucky you - she said yes!
Take a look below at how you make these simple, yet delicious burgers.

The Goods:
1 Package Ground Turkey
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
4 Teaspoons Cholula Hot Sauce
1  Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper to your liking

In a large bowl, combine turkey, cilantro, garlic, 
lemon juice, hot sauce, cumin, salt and pepper.

Divide mixture into six and make into burgers.

From here - you can either cook them right up, or with in a day.
OR you can do what I did - cooked one to eat now and froze the rest for future use!
I froze mine with wax paper between and in freezer zipper bags.

Cook the burgers FULLY. This is turkey, so it can't be raw!
If you want, be a lil naughty and add cheese like I did!!

Then make you delicious burger, serve it with a side and enjoy!!!
Confession - I not only added cheese, 
but there's a tomato on the final product too!

Now go make these super tasty turkey burgers yourself. 
I'm pretty sure you'll thank me, but really you should thank Inez!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Homemade Soup: Vegetable Soup!

Now that it's practically Summer, it's pretty warm out
so I doubt many of you are in the mood for some soup.

That's a shame because I recently made an AMAZING Vegetable Soup.
I researched recipes online for awhile and I didn't find anything I loved.
So, I combined two recipes (here and here) and sorta just did my own thing!

So take a look below at how I made my Homemade Vegetable Soup.

The Goods:
Frozen Lima Beans 
Frozen Corn 
Frozen Peas 
Green Bean 
Vegetable Broth

Chop and measure everything out.

Cook the leeks, onion and garlic.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the potatoes, carrots, green beans and broccoli.
Season with salt and pepper again!
Cook for three or so minutes.

Add the broth.
Season with salt and pepper.

Add the tomatoes, corn, peas and lima beans.
Stir and then add the spinach and stir again!
Season with salt and pepper once more!!!

It made A LOT!!

It was so light and delicious.
And I cannot wait to make it again!!

If soup isn't your thing during the Spring and Summer, 
remember this recipe and make it when you are in the mood for soup!