Tag Archives: recipe

popsicles

The Dish: Cocktail Popsicles

Stay cool by the pool this summer with these adult popsicles. Of course you can make them non-alcoholic and they’ll still be delicious but that little extra kick just makes them so much more special.

This recipe for super simple strawberry margarita popsicles is amazing! Replace the alcohol with the same amount of sprite or fruit juice for the kiddos. Use different color sticks to tell the difference. For an added margarita touch, sprinkle a little course salt on the pops when you take them out of the molds.

Invest in a popsicle mold. Seriously. I bought one a few years ago and it’s one of the best purchases I ever made. They’re so cheap but a wonderful investment. Instead of buying popsicles all summer make your own in any flavor you want! They’re healthier and take no time at all to make.

Look for the original of this recipe and many more summer treats on my Pinterest page, Scottsdale Living: The Dish.

Strawberry Margarita Popsicles

yields 18-20 cocktail Popsicles (2-1/4 ounce Popsicle)

1-1/2 oranges (about 2 medium-size oranges)
12 ounces strawberries (about 12 medium strawberries)
5 ounces tequila
3 ounces triple sec

1 tsp course sea salt

*Liquid should total 8 ounces if you’re substituting alcohol for soda or juice

Instructions:

Cut and skin oranges into small pieces. Halve strawberries. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Pulse until pureed, about 30 to 40 seconds. Mixture will be slightly pulpy. Do not strain. The fruit pieces will help the alcohol to freeze.

Pour mixture into preferred Popsicle mold.

If you do not have reusable plastic molds, place foil on top of form and score edges with finger. Using the tip of a knife, gently pierce the foil in the middle of each well to create a hole for the Popsicle stick.

Insert Popsicle stick and transfer mold to freezer to set.

Remove frozen margarita Popsicles from freezer and run hot water on the outside of mold for two to three seconds to release Popsicles. Careful not to melt the popsicles.

If desired, sprinkle a little course salt on the pops for an extra margarita touch.

Photo and recipe courtesy of SheKnows.com

pesto

The Dish: Pesto

Take advantage of the last moments of spring with delicious homemade pesto. Use basil from your own garden for the best tasting pesto you’ve ever had!

Find this recipe and more summery delights on Scottsdale Living: The Dish on Pinterest.

If you want to save your pesto and use it throughout the summer and even in to fall and winter, try freezing it. Ice cube trays are perfect for portioning out pesto to use year round. Simply make your pesto up to the point where you add cheese. Leave the cheese out (it doesn’t freeze or defrost well) and portion it out in to ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can pop the pesto cubes out and place them all in a zip top bag to go in to the freezer.

*To use after freezing simply defrost however many cubes you’re using, toss in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and stir! You and your family will be enjoying fresh pesto year round!

Pesto

4 cups fresh basil, rinsed
3 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup max extra virgin olive oil
1 cup max Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Pack food-processor with basil. Pulse 3-4 times to break down leaves. Add garlic, lemon juice and zest, and pine nuts. Turn processor on and through the feed hole in top drizzle in olive oil until consistency is smooth. Pour in to bowl.

If freezing, at this point portion out pesto into ice cube trays using a tablespoon. Properly sealed pesto will be good up to 6 months in the freezer. Follow instructions above for what to do after freezing*

If using right away, stir in up to 1 cup of cheese, less if you’re freezing a portion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let flavors meld for about 15-20 minutes on the counter.

Toss with fresh pasta or spoon on the grilled meant and vegetables for a fabulous summer dinner. Try spreading some on a sandwich instead of mustard or over your salad instead of dressing.

Pesto-for-the-Freezer-The-Lemon-Bowl

peas

The Dish: Peas and Prosciutto

One of the tastiest things to come out of the garden in spring are English peas. Now, sadly in Arizona peas are hard to come by fresh from the farm. Thankfully frozen peas are picked at the peak of ripeness and available year round even here in ever warm Arizona.

Prosciutto adds a wonderful saltiness to balance the sweetness of the peas.

Fresh peas can occasionally be found in Trader Joe’s or AJ’s and need to be cooked before using in this dish.

As always, you can find the link for this recipe and many more seasonal delights on my Pinterest page, Scottsdale Living: The Dish.

Peas and Prosciutto

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) bag frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces (1/8-inch-thick slices) prosciutto, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the peas and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the prosciutto and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and remove from the heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve.

meringue

The Dish: Meringue

With Passover and Easter right around the corner entertaining is inevitable. This recipe for meringues is sure to please the Easter bunny and its Passover friendly!

Fill shells with lemon curd and/or whipped cream and top with berries for a light spring dessert.

Save leftover meringues and make a delicious British dessert called Eton Mess. Crumble a few meringues in a bowl and fold in whipped cream and macerated strawberries. It’s an amazingly light and tasty dessert with a wonderful Anglophile flare.

Merignues

Makes 8-10 small meringues or 1 large pie shell

ingredients
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
preparation

Preheat oven to 225°F.

Add the salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Gradually fold in the sugar and add the almond and vanilla extracts.

Drop the meringue on a greased baking sheet. For shells, mash out with back of a spoon and make a hollow in the middle to hold the filling. Bake for 1/2 hour until dried out. Cool before adding your favorite filling.

Courtesy of: Adventures in Cooking

The Dish: Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin

I have a small obsession with rhubarb. Whether it’s in a pie, tart or crumble I love it but that wasn’t always the case. For years I was leery of rhubarb for its similarities to celery, which I hate. I feared it would be stringy and flavorless; the bane of salads and soups alike. How wrong I was.

Rhubarb is intensely sour and when cooked breaks down in to the most luscious, soft texture. I love its tangy flavor that make you pucker. It livens up a dessert and cuts through cloying sweetness. Strawberries are the perfect companion to rhubarb for their mild sweetness without adding a ton of extra sugar.

Dessert isn’t the only place you can find rhubarb. I’ve seen recipes that use it as a substitute for lemons in savory dishes, even salsas and relishes. I’ve even seen it used in lemonade to add a pretty pink hue to the refreshing drink.

Give this herbaceous recipe a try instead of the usual strawberry rhubarb pie this spring. You won’t regret it.

If you’re not a fan or can’t find tarragon, try a bit of rosemary or mint instead. The herbs add an elegant aroma to this twist on the French classic.

As always, you can find the original to this recipe and more on my Scottsdale Living Pinterest page.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin

Crust

2 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1 cup butter, cold and hard
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
5-8 tablespoons water, cold

Strawberry Rhubarb & Tarragon Filling

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon water
12 large strawberries, halved with caps removed
1 and 1/3 generous cups rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces (frozen works as well)
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Grate the butter on the largest hole setting of your grater over the bowl, mixing to coat the butter shards in the flour mixture every 10 seconds or so. Add the cider vinegar and 5 tablespoons of water and mix the dough. If it stays in a clump when you squeeze it in your hand, it has enough water, if it falls apart, add more water until it stays together. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the filling, heat the sugar, butter, and water in a roughly 8-inch skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the mixture is bubbling. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top. Simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from the stovetop and stir in 1 teaspoon of the tarragon, then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Place the crust over the skillet, quickly tucking it down into the pan around the edges of the filling. Cut three 1-inch slits in the top to allow heat to escape before placing it in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes of until the top of the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to flip the pan over onto the serving plate. Once flipped, gently remove the pan to display the filling inside. Sprinkle with the remaining tarragon and allow the tart tartin to continue to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

raspberry vinaigrette_outlined

The Dish: Raspberry Vinaigrette

Jazz up your spring salads with this homemade raspberry vinaigrette recipe. It’s light and fresh, and super simple! Store bought dressings are full of hidden calories; making your own is much healthier and very easy.

If raspberries aren’t your thing try this recipe with strawberries or blackberries. Back in January I gave you my personal recipe for vinaigrette that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser too.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

serves 6

Ingredients
1 10 oz bag Frozen Organic Raspberries (about 2 cups), thawed
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Ground Pepper
4 Tbsp Water
2 tsp Chia Seeds (optional)
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and all ingredients are combined.
Store in a air tight container for 1 week.

porter cake 4_no line_edited

The Dish: Porter Cake

If you’re like me, you’re over the bar scene associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Skip the green beer this year and make yourself a proper Irish breakfast. Pour a nice cup of Irish Breakfast tea or better yet an Irish coffee and enjoy a slice of Porter Cake.

If you’re interested in a true Irish breakfast check out this guide to a proper fry up. For other Irish recipes and many more featured on The Dish check out the Pinterest board where I pin my inspirations for all the recipes you enjoy each week.

This cake tastes even better when its had a week or so to let the flavors meld.

Porter Cake

1 cup butter, at room temp
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pie spice
3 eggs
2 3/4 cups mixed dried fruit (golden raisins, dried cherries, cranberries, currants, chopped apricots, etc…)
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2/3 cup stout, such as Guinness

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and line the bottom of an 8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper or grease a bundt pan.

In a bowl, sieve the flour, salt, baking powder and spice. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time adding a 1/4 cup flour with each egg. Beat well after each addition. Mix well and add remaining flour. Add stout until batter is a soft consistency. Add fruit and nuts and mix well.

Scrape mixture into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 300°F and bake for another 1-1 1/2 hours until the top springs back when touched and skewer comes out clean. Cool cake in pan.

*If baking in a bundt pan cook cake for 45 minutes at 325°F, reduce temp to 300°F and cook for another 30 minutes.

When cool, turn out cake and remove paper if using a cake pan. Wrap in parchment paper and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

You can eat it right away but it tastes best when it has had up to a week to let the flavors mellow and meld. Enjoy spread with butter alongside a hot cup of Irish Breakfast tea.

Pea Puree_outlined

The Dish: Spring Pea Puree

One of my favorite things to make each spring is pea puree. It’s so fresh and light; perfect for a spring day. In truth, you can make it any time of year, but I like to make it in the spring and summer when you need a great no-cook recipe. Don’t let preconceptions about the name turn you away. This recipe resembles hummus more than baby food!

You can use a variety of herbs, but I prefer flat leaf parsley and basil. A sprig of mint or tarragon also adds wonderful fresh flavor. I highly recommend using parsley as the majority herb, though. It is light in flavor and won’t over power the rest of the ingredients. Too much basil and you’re treading in pesto territory. Too much tarragon and it’ll taste like licorice.

This would be a great use for the lemon and herb oil you made over the holidays. Replace a tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil with a flavored one for added depth.

Spring Pea Puree

1 bag defrosted frozen peas
1 handful flat leaf parsley (use curly if you can’t find flat)
2 sprigs of basil
1-2 sprigs mint or tarragon
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic (optional)
3-5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pour peas into a strainer and let sit until fully defrosted. Add peas, herbs, lemon juice and zest to a food processor. Pulse until chunky. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of processor. Replace the lid, remove cover from the top and slowly drizzle in olive oil while pulsing. Process until puree is smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Pulse again quickly to incorporate seasoning.

Scrape mixture in to a container and press plastic wrap on top. Puree tastes best when it has had a few hours to let the flavors meld together.

Serve on crusty toasted bread, spread on a sandwich, dip veggies in it or toss in warm pasta for a light and fresh sauce.

Pea Puree_outlined

linzer heart collage

Pomegranate Linzer Hearts

If there’s ever a good time to be a little hokey, I say Valentine’s Day is it.  Instead of getting your sweetheart the usual heart-shaped box of just-okay chocolates and a teddy bear holding roses why not surprise them with something homemade.

When I want something delicious and just a little bit hokey I make Linzer cookies. These delicious little sandwich cookies are typically made with almond flour and filled with raspberry jam. I’m changing it up with a jar of organic pomegranate jam I found at the store. Pomegranates will add an unexpected tang and as an aphrodisiac they’re perfect for this holiday. Cut into heart shapes these cookies are the perfect way to say “I love you.”

If cookies aren’t your think we’ve covered plenty of other recipes that would make for great V-Day gifts. Maybe those truffles you’ve been dying to try or make your own marshmallows flavored with rose water and dipped in chocolate. Check out these recipes and more from The Dish.

 

Linzer Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/3 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg

1 tsp dark rum

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp grated lemon zest (optional)

about 1/2 cup seedless jam such as raspberry, strawberry, or pomegranate. Nutella or dulce de leche can be substituted as well

1 Tbs. water or lemon juice

powdered sugar for dusting

Special equipment:

A 2″ heart cookie cutter and a 1/2″ heart cookie cutter

 

In a bowl, mix flour, almonds and salt until well combined. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, beat sugar and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until well blended. Beat in rum, vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce speed and slowly add the dry ingredients. Beat until just blended. Knead with your hands if necessary.

Divide dough in half. Place each half between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Working with 1 piece at a time, flatten dough into a disk; roll dough, occasionally lifting paper on both sides for easier rolling, until 1/8″ thick. Chill dough in paper until very firm, at least 2 hours. Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Working with 1 dough disk at a time, remove top sheet of paper and, using 2″ heart cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to baking sheets, placing 1/2″ apart; chill. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, chilling, and cutting until dough is used.

Using 1/2″ heart cookie cutter, cut out a star from the center of half the cookies. Working in batches, bake cookies until light golden brown, dry, and just firm to the touch, about 8-10 minutes. (Cookies will firm up as they cool.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Cookies can be baked 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Bring jam and 1 teaspoon water or lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan; let cool slightly.

Arrange whole cookies flat side up. Spoon 1 teaspoon cooled jam in the center of each, dabbing slightly to spread. Arrange cookies with cutouts flat side down on a wire rack; dust with powdered sugar. Set atop whole cookies, lining up points and allowing jam to push up slightly through center.

Cookeis can be assembled 8 hours ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

 

 

orange beet salad cropped

The Dish: Fresh Orange and Beet Salad

My ultimate go to salad for any occasion is this orange and beet salad. I found it in a cookbook on New Orleans cuisine years ago and I make it every chance I get. It’s great for serving a crowd or makes a light lunch during the week. This salad is perfect for the winter months when citrus and root vegetables are in abundance but canned beets and oranges can be substituted. Most importantly, it’s diet friendly without skimping on the flavor.

The Bibb lettuce is fresh and light, the spiced pecans add a great crunch and the creaminess of the farmer’s cheese works great with the sweet beets and tangy oranges. Certainly any one of the components to this salad can be substituted but I highly recommend trying it in its entirety with all the different flavors and textures working together in perfect harmony.

Farmer’s cheese is hard to come by but it is simple to make your own. However, if you’d rather not bother blending cheeses, crumbled goat cheese will be just fine.

Included with this recipe is my specialty vinaigrette. It’s perfect on any salad or spooned over grilled veggies and meat.

Fresh Orange and Beet Salad with Pecans and Farmer’s Cheese

4 small beets (whole canned beets can be substituted)

2 heads butter or bibb lettuce

8 clementine oranges (if using canned drain and rinse well)

1/2 cup chopped toasted spiced pecans (recipe follows)

 

For the Farmer’s Cheese

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup goat cheese

salt and pepper to taste

 

For Deborah’s Specialty Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons local wild honey

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 450F. Scrub and trim unpeeled beets, wrap in foil and roast until easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, unwrap, and when cool enough to handle, peel the beets, trimming off any remaining root and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside to cool completely.

While beets are roasting, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together honey, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil until it emulsifies. Taste and adjust seasoning.

To make the farmer’s cheese, in a food processor, combine the cheeses and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut and slice off the top and bottom of each orange. Stand each orange upright on cutting board. Following the curve of the orange, slice off the peep and pith without removing too much of the flesh. Cut each section free from the membrane into a bowl.

Divide the lettuce on individual plates or spread on one large platter. Arrange the beet slices and orange segments. Dollop the farmer’s cheese and sprinkle the pecans on top. Whisk the vinaigrette and drizzle it over the salad.

 

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

1/2 cup pecan halves

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

 

Preheat oven to 325F. Toss all ingredients together in a small bowl until evenly coasted. Spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.

 

 

Xmas Morning Strata.ai

The Dish: Xmas Morning Strata

The last thing you want to worry about Christmas morning is what you’re going to feed your family after they’re done tearing through presents. Strata is the perfect solution. A savory bread pudding, great hot or at room temperature and can be made ahead of time and either cooked later or reheated.

Assemble the strata the night before and let it rest in the fridge. If your oven has a timer on it, set it to preheat before you wake up. That way all you have to do Christmas morning is toss the strata in the oven and let it bake. No missing out on the kids opening presents and no ungrateful starving children demanding breakfast.

This dish is extremely versatile. Any or all of the vegetables can be substituted as well as the cheese. For an even heartier dish add some crumbled sausage or bacon.

 Xmas Morning Strata

Serves 6-8

3 Tbs. olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, diced

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

about 2 cups kale, finely torn

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 can cannellini beans, drained

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 tsp paprika

1 Tbs. fresh basil and thyme, chopped

8 cups French or Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 cups gruyere, grated

1 cup taleggio, grated

2 3/4 cup milk

9 eggs

cooking spray

 

Saute onions and garlic in oil until softened. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until lightly golden brown. Add kale and saute until wilted. Pour in tomatoes and cook until liquid is reduced and veggies aren’t too watery. Add beans and herbs. Check seasoning and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl beat eggs and milk together. Add the paprika and about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Spray a large (at least 3 quarts) baking dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Spread 1/3 of the bread in the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat until dish is full ending with cheese on top. Pour egg mixture evenly over strata. Cover with plastic wrap and chill over night or up to 8 hours for bread to absorb custard.

Preheat oven to 350°F. If you have an oven with a timer, set it to preheat before you wake up so you don’t have to wait as long in the morning. Let strata sit and come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before putting in the oven.

Cook strata in middle of the oven until golden brown, set and puffed up, about 45-60 minutes (may take longer depending on your oven). Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Great hot or at room temperature. This dish is perfect for breakfast or brunch. Slice leftovers into single servings and freeze for a quick and hearty breakfast or lunch.

Eggnog

The Dish: Kentucky Eggnog Spike

Georgia has the best peaches and everyone loves California wine but Kentucky knows its bourbon. Celebrate the holidays with a taste of the South by making this eggnog spike. One glass will be sure to have you kissing under the mistletoe in no time!

This particular concoction is best made at least a week in advance and given time to marinate. So, if you want to be drinking it by Christmas Eve get going now!

Check below the recipe for complimentary gift labels, wrapping suggestions and a tutorial on removing labels from wine bottles.

Kentucky Eggnog Spike

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • 7 whole cloves

Preparation

Pour bourbon, rum and brandy into 1-quart bottle. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into bourbon mixture; add pod to bottle.

Using mortar and pestle or bottom of heavy small skillet, crack whole nutmeg into 4 or 5 pieces. Add nutmeg pieces, cinnamon sticks and cloves to mixture. Cork bottle tightly. Let stand in cool, dark place for 1 week. (Can be prepared 3 months ahead.)

To make the eggnog

Ingredients

Makes about 6 servings

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 quarts half and half
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1+ cup spike
  • 1 cup milk or more as needed
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation

In a heavy saucepan with an electric mixer beat together half-and-half, cream, sugar, and yolks until combined well. Cook mixture over moderate heat, continuing to beat, until slightly thickened, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Continue to beat mixture until slightly cooled. Stir in vanilla and nutmeg.
Transfer eggnog to a bowl and chill, covered, at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Add 1 cup of the spike to start and adjust to taste.

Just before serving, thin eggnog with milk to desired consistency. Garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg.

 

Preparations and Gifting Suggestions

For a quick and easy way to remove labels from wine bottles, check out this tutorial at DIY Idea Time.

Once labels are removed, thoroughly wash and dry your bottle. Using a funnel, pour the eggnog spike in to the bottle followed by the vanilla and spices. Seal firmly with a cork.

Using a thin layer of glue, attach the eggnog spike label to the bottle.

To make your bottle extra special, drip red or green sealing wax around the cork to ensure no leakage and make opening it part of the fun. Finish it off by tying a Christmas ribbon with a big bow around the neck. A fresh piece of nutmeg and a grater would also be great attached to the ribbon.

Use these special touches to let your friends and family know how much you care about their buzz this Christmas.

Click on the image below for complimentary labels or try your hand at designing your own!

Eggnog Label Sheet

Movie Star

#ThirstyThursday: The Movie Star

This #ThirstyThursday is being brought to you by Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill. This favorite happy hour spot of mine recently introduced a new drink menu and on it sits The Movie Star. It’s a tasty margarita with an added twist of pineapple and ginger. It is light and crisp, and I guarantee you won’t be able to stop at just one.

If you have never been to Z’Tejas before, I highly recommend ordering some of their Movie Stardelicious food. Everything from the appetizers to their entrees are impeccable and you can’t forget about their homemade corn bread or the delightful cobbler! I have been a Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill customer for years and every experience I’ve had has been wonderful. Everything from the service you’ll receive, the food you will taste, and the drinks you will sip on will have you feeling like The Movie Star you are!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Gran Centenario Reposado Tequila
  • .75 oz Domain de Canton ginger liqueur
  • .25 oz Fresh pineapple chunks
  • .5 oz of simple syrup or margarita mix
  • 2 oz Fresh lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Muddle pineapple and lime juice
  2. Add all ingredients with ice and shake vigorously
  3. Pour into margarita glass
  4. Garnish with a pineapple leaf and a piece of candied ginger

 

If that isn’t enough to tempt your taste buds, take advantage of Z’Tejas’ new happy hour. Seven days a week at all five Valley locations, people can enjoy $5 select margaritas, $2 off varietal wines and select appetizers from $5 to $7.

Pumpkin Cocktail

Thirsty Thursday: Pumpkin Cocktail

Taste the flavors of fall! This #ThirstyThursday we’re craving the ever-popular flavor of pumpkin. This cocktail, courtesy of Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse, is sweeter than your aunt’s Thanksgiving pie. No need to thank us, but you’re welcome.

 

What you need:

1 ounce maple whisky

2 ounces vanilla vodka

1 tsp. pumpkin spice

½ ounce simple syrup

Splash hazelnut liqueur

graham cracker crumbs to rim glass

Ice

Cinnamon stick (optional garnish)

 

How to make a pumpkin cocktail:

Step 1: Rim cocktail glass with graham cracker crumbs.

Step 2: Add simple syrup, whiskey, vodka, pumpkin spice, liquer in shaker tin with ice.

Step 3: Shake vigorously and then double strain into cocktail glass.

Step 4: Add cinnamon stick for garnish

 

 

Make it yourself or enjoy while out at Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse. Regularly priced at $12.95 or $7.95 during happy hour. Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse is located at 4180 N. Drinkwater Blvd. in Scottsdale 

honey butter image

The Dish: Honey Butter Recipe

Honey and butter, sounds like a match made in heaven! This simple homemade treat adds a special touch to your morning toast and can be a great housewarming gift. Try spreading it on homemade biscuits or stop by a local bakery like Bread Basket Bakery and pick up some fresh made bread!

Honey Butter

— 1 pound butter

— 1/4 cup honey, preferably local

Optional Flavoring:

—  zest of 1 orange or lemon

— 1/2 tsp cinnamon or cardamom

— 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Soften butter to room temperature. Place butter in a stand mixer or using a wooden spoon beat butter until smooth and loose. Add honey and any additional spices, zests or extracts you like. Beat together until well combined.

Scrape butter on to sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll into a log and chill for at least two hours. The butter can also be scraped into decorative bowls and chilled.

Click on the image below to print this recipe:

Honey butter

chilies and limes

The Dish: Chili and Honey Chicken Recipe

Honey’s not just for sweetening your tea! Add depth of flavor to a dish by drizzling in a little honey or use it to compliment tangy, spicy recipes like this one.

Chili Lime Chicken with Honey

— 2 tablespoons chili powder

— 1 tablespoon mild honey, preferably local

— 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

— 1 teaspoon salt

— 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

— 4 whole chicken legs (2 lb), thighs and drumsticks separated

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line bottom of a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan with foil and set an oiled large metal rack in pan.

Stir together chili powder, honey, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then add chicken and turn to coat completely.

Transfer chicken to rack, arranging in 1 layer, then bake, turning over once, until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.

For serving suggestions and many more recipes visit Epicurious.com

Click on the image below to print this recipe:

Chili lime chicken

Cherries in Honey

The Dish: Cherries in Honey Syrup Recipe

September is the National Honey Month and we’re celebrating with some recipes featuring this liquid gold.

Even though the calendar says it’s fall, there’s still time to can and preserve for those cold (or not so cold) Arizona winters. These syrupy sweet cherries are super simple and taste incredible on almost anything!

Cherries in Honey Syrup

Makes 5 Pints

— 3 1/2 lbs picked over cherries

— 5 cups water

— 1 cup honey, preferably local

— 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar, white sugar or more honey

For the full recipe and detailed instructions visit Seasonal Eating.

Try it with:

– Some toasted bread with ricotta cheese and toasted almonds

– Warm it up and spoon over vanilla ice cream or a slice of poundcake for a quick and easy dessert

– Halve and layer over fresh cream in a tart shell for a fast and elegant dessert

– Muddle them up with your favorite adult beverage for a fun twist on your favorite cocktail!

Click on the image below to print the recipe:

Cherries in Honey

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Stay in For Dinner! Recipe: Spicy Lentil & Garbanzo Bean Crock Pot Soup

Ingredients:

Soup

1 cup dried lentils

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 inch ginger, peeled and grated

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

28 oz can of diced tomatoes (and juice)

4 cups vegetable broth

¼ cup Madison’s Original Hot Sauce

Spicy Crispy Chickpeas

1 small can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinse

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chunky sea salt

1 teaspoon garam masala



Steps:
1. Chop vegetables. Add to crock pot. Drain and rinse beans, and add to pot. Add dried lentils. Grate your ginger, and add it with dried spices. Stir in the vegetable broth, Madison’s Original Hot Sauce, and tomatoes. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
2. To prepare spicy roasted chickpeas, preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil. Spread evenly on a large cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Turn and stir every ten minutes. Take out and toss with salt and spices. Set aside.
2. Before serving, use an immersible blender and pulse, blending ingredients together. Pour into soup bowl and garnish with crispy spicy chickpeas.

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Go Home for Lunch! Recipe: Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers: yields 6

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, rinsed and strained

1 shallot

1 chopped
 garlic clove, minced

1 – 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt & pepper to taste

Zest & juice of lime

2 teaspoons Madison’s Original Hot Sauce
1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa

2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
1. To cook the quinoa, add 1 cup rinsed quinoa to 1 ¼ parts liquid. Bring to a simmer; reduce to low and cover, cooking around 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for an additional five minutes. Set aside and let cool completely.

2. To prepare the burgers, add 1 ½ black beans, shallot, garlic, spices, lime zest, juice and Madison’s Original Hot Sauce into the bowl of a food process fit with a steel blade, processing until mixture is a coarse, chunky puree and transfer to mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Add remaining beans, cooked quinoa and tomato paste and stir together. Shape the mixture into 6 patties and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer. Over medium heat, add olive oil and patties. Cook 3-5 minutes per side.

4. Serve on top a butter leaf lettuce cup, slice of beef steak tomato and garnish with micro greens and a drizzle of Madison’s Original Hot Sauce.

Sapporo Summer Fare

Summer Fare with a Refreshing Sapporo Flare

When we reach those 100-plus-degree days in Arizona, the last thing that tempts the taste buds is a heavy meal. While it may be a “trend” elsewhere, it’s been a mainstay to the eating habits of Valley residents for … ever.

According to the Meatless Monday initiative, which encourages Americans to forgo that form of protein for that particular day each week, going meatless can reduce one’s risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

For days that aren’t “meatless,” using substitutes of chicken or fish instead of beef — which are mainstays at Pacific Rim restaurants, like Sapporo — can only benefit one’s health that much more. As I mentioned in my last article, sushi can help protect the nervous system, lower cholesterol and help prevent mental illness, among many other benefits.

A light lunch also isn’t light on the good things your body needs; it just doesn’t include excess carbs that will cause that tired feeling and eventual weight gain.

With that in mind, there are a plethora of light, healthy dishes that can be made throughout the summer, which are perfect for those weekend barbecues or work lunches.

Case in point: Sapporo’s Spinach Gorgonzola Salad. We include chicken that may, of course, be left out or substituted with salmon, tofu, etc. It’s a very simple dish that can either be a great starter or the main course itself.


Spinach Gorgonzola Salad

Ingredients:

Chicken Breast 1 – 6 oz. piece
Spinach 4 oz.
Fuji Apples (julienne) 2 oz.
Gorgonzola (crumbled) 2 oz.
Candied Pecans 1 oz.
Salt/Pepper (for marinade) To season
Olive Oil (for marinade) ½ oz.
Balsamic Dressing See recipe below

Procedure:

1.    Season chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper, grill and small dice.
2.    Gently toss all ingredients together with dressing, and serve in chilled, large, white salad bowl.

Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

Balsamic vinegar 1 cup
Fresh Garlic (minced) ¼ cup
Canola Oil 3 cups
Brown sugar ½ cup
Dijon Mustard 2 oz.

Procedure:

Mix all ingredients in a blender, slowly adding oil last, on medium speed (to emulsify).


Not only is this dish light and healthy, but the preparation is minimal.

And for those mid-week workdays, when the chefs at Sapporo make this dish for you, it’s something that won’t make you feel sluggish or want to run to the nearest Circle K for a 5-hour energy drink. The best part being? (Aside from that happy, healthy feeling). Eating light at lunch can allow for a guilt-free happy hour.

For more information, menus, hours and location of Sapporo, visit sapporoscottsdale.com  or call (480) 607-1114.