Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Make your plate a little more colorful with this Purple Potato and Bean Salad. Great as a side or a light meatless Summer meal.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

4 cups small purple potatoes, quartered ( I left the skins on)

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c red onion, chopped

2 T olive oil

2T red wine vinegar

1 T chopped  fresh cilantro ( or basil)

1/2-1t salt

1/8 t black pepper

Boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and add to a large bowl. Add bean, tomatoes, onions,  toss with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add cilantro and stir.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Chill and serve.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Roll Out the Barrel: Oktoberfest Party

Oktoberfest Party: Photo Booth

It was one of my best friends birthday recently so we decided to throw her a birthday party with an Oktoberfest theme. Whats not to like, beer, costumes, and German food.

To start I decorated with some beer and fall things I had around the house, empty bottles, beer steins, burlap runner, dried wheat and fall leaves. I also bought a blue and white harlequin tablecloth ( the official Oktoberfest pattern) from a party store and hung it over a curtain rod in my family room to make a back drop for a ” photo booth”. I had props like steins, lederhosen, German signs and Oktoberfest bibs from the party store. I set my camera on a tripod in front of it and tried to get shots of all the party goers.

I am also very lucky that I have some home brewing friends who made a keg of beer especially for our party, delicious!  But this is a great time to taste some of the fall varieties of craft beers like Oktoberfests and Pumpkins.

For appetizers I set up a “Pretzel Stand” I had assorted flavors, shapes and sizes of pretzels and dips to go with them. I even made some homemade Pretzel Bites by following this recipe. http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/10/24/pretzel-bites-with-four-distinct-dipping-sauces/. I made the dough a day ahead of time and covered it tightly with plastic wrap. then boiled and baked the pretzels the next day. I also found that I needed to add about 3/4 c more flour than the recipe called for to get the dough to be the right consistency but I live in Florida and baking here can be weird.

Oktoberfest Party: Homemade Pretzel Bites

Oktoberfest Party: Pretzel Stand

For dips I made a Sweet and Spicy Mustard Sauce

1 c mayonnaise

3/4 c coarse mustard

2 T  jarred grated horseradish

2 T honey

Oktoberfest Party: Sweet and Spicy Mustard

a Chocolate and Toffee Dip

1 brick cream cheese softened

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1/4 c cocoa powder

1/2 c toffee chips (Heath)

1 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer on low until combined.

Oktoberfest Party: Chocolate and Toffee Dip

I also made Beer Cheese Dip using an Oktoberfest Beer instead of an IPA.

To make all of the food seem more festive I labeled them with German names on the tables.

For the main course we had Brats braised in Beer, Rouladen, Oma’s Potato Salad, Saurkraut with beer and apples, and Homemade Cucumber Salad

Oktoberfest Party: Rouladen

Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers peeled and sliced thin

1 cup sour cream

2 T sugar

2 T white vinegar

1 t dried dill

1 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

Slice cucumbers and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes, then mix all ingredients together in a large bowl

Oktoberfest Party: Cucumber Salad

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite, cupcakes. My friend made 3 different kinds for our Oktoberfest themed party. Apple Strudel, German Chocolate and Bavarian Cream. ( I will try to get the recipes to post on here)

Oktoberfest Party: Cupcakes

Fun was had by all, the food, beer and company was all delightful. Go on try some of these ideas at your next Fall party and share your tips below.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken and Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

 

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

4 chicken breasts

1 c mexican creama, found in the dairy section  ( or 3/4 c sour cream and 1/4 c mayo mixed)

2 chipotle chilis in adobo chopped

1 1/2 c queso fresco (mexican cheese found in the dairy section), crumbled

 

Preheat oven to 350, mixed chopped chipotle chilis with crema in a shallow bowl/dish. Crumble queso fresco onto a plate or shallow dish. Dredge chicken breast in creama mixture, then dredge into cheese and place in a baking pan.

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken in no longer pink ( use a meat thermometer)

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken

 

A great accompaniment to this dish is a Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad. Mix one bag cooked frozen corn with 1 c chopped cherry tomatoes and 1/2 chopped avocado. Add 1 T chopped cilantro. Squeeze the juice from half a lime over the top and add salt and pepper.

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

It’s that time of year!: Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Pumpkin Vinaigrette

I love fall and even though it’s not quite here yet I couldn’t resist making something with pumpkin. This is just the beginning, stay tuned for more pumpkin recipes or try these.

Pumpkin Vinaigrette

2T pumpkin puree

1/4 c apple cider vinegar

3 T olive oil

1 t honey

salt and pepper to taste

add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth ( you could also wisk by hand)

Pumpkin Vinaigrette

 

Food Trend: Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Burrata cheese is popping up on menus all over town. What is it? Pure indulgence, it is fresh mozzarella cheese filled with shredded mozzarella cheese that has been soaked in cream. Here is my recipe for a delicious salad using the best that summer has to offer. Make sure you use good ripe tomatoes for this recipe.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

makes 1 dinner or 2 appetizer portions

For the vinaigrette

2 T fresh Basil leaves

1 T honey

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 

Salad

1 vine ripened tomato sliced

1 c spring mix greens

2 T thinly sliced radish

2 t sliced fresh basil

1 T pepitas ( roasted pumpkin seeds)

1 ball Burrata cheese

Layer greens, and tomatoes on a plate, sprinkle sliced radishes, pepitas and chopped basil on top. drizzle with Basil Honey Vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Mexican Corn Salad

Mexican Corn Salad

A smokey, sweet, fresh and zesty side to go with steaks or grilled chicken.

Mexican Corn Salad

5 ears of fresh corn on the cob,husks and silk removed

1 T olive oil

1/4 c crema ( a mexican sour cream found in the dairy section) or 3 T sour cream and 1 T mayo

1/4 t smoked paprika

zest of 1 lime

juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco ( mexican crumbling cheese) you could substitute Parmesan or Feta but use less as they are stronger cheeses

1 T chopped parsley or cilantro

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 Drizzle olive oil over corn and rub in ensuring all sides are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast for about 20 minutes or until corn starts to char.

IMG_8771

Let corn cool so you are able to handle it and remove niblets from cob with a sharp knife. Mix together with remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

* you could grill the corn as well, that was my intention before it started pouring down rain.

Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

There is a little restaurant here in Dunedin right off the Pinellas Trail called Jolli Mon’s. They have been through some ups and downs, a couple of owners, and a few different menus, but there are a couple of items that I love that have made it through, one being the Key West Salad. It is a light and refreshing salad that I crave on warm summer days. I have recreated it to the best of my ability and topped it with a simple Mango Mustard Chicken. This is a great summer time meal.

Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

1 10 oz bag romaine hearts

1/4 c sliced toasted almonds

1/2 c shredded smoked gouda cheese

1 can mandarin oranges drained

1/4 c Nautrally Fresh Poppy Seed dressing

4 chicken breast cutlets

1/4 c mango jelly

2 T Dijon Mustard

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350, Place chicken cutlets in a shallow baking dish. Add mustard and mango jelly to a small sauce pan and heat over med until jelly is melted and combined with mustard. Pour over chicken in pan, season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes, turn on broiler and cook 5 minutes more, to add some color.

Mango Mustard Chicken

Mango Mustard Chicken\

Meanwhile put salad together, add all remaining ingredients to a large bowl and toss.

Key West Salad

Slice the chicken and top the salad, makes 2 large or 4 small servings.

Key West Salad with Mango Mustard Chicken

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Cool off this Summer with this refreshing, easy and tasty pasta salad.

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

8 oz pasta cooked, drained and rinsed

2 cucumbers peeled, quartered and cut into 1 ” pieces

1 T chopped fresh mint

1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 T chopped ginger ( I used the refrigerated pre-minced found in the produce section of my supermarket)

1/2 c sour cream

3 T rice wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste.

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to incorperate. Chill and serve.

 

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Memorial Day Weekend Menu

Looking for some new recipes to celebrate your long weekend. Here are some of my favorites.

Oma's Potato Salad

Oma’s Potato Salad

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red, White, and Blue Salad

Red White and Blue Salad

Barbecued Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Lebanese Please: My New Favorite Food

Lebanese Please:Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing and Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

On a recent trip to London I was amazed by all the great food. It is not just the land of Fish and Chips and Bangers and Mash. They are utilizing fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients creatively. Also there are many ethnic restaurants that span the globe. I was intrigued by the amount of Lebanese restaurants we found around Kensington. So being the foodie I am we had to try one. After reading about the 5 freshly squeezed lemonades on the menu I was hooked and had to try Comptoir Libanais. I think it might have even been a chain restaurant but it still was delicious. My friend and I shared a Falafel Wrap and Salad, Baba Ghanouj, and a dish called Lebanese Fries. I also had the fresh squeezed Apple, Ginger, and Mint Lemonade. (It is the glass full of green stuff) It was all delicious and so fresh and tasty. The potatoes and the salad were my favorite, though the pickled turnip on the falafel wrap was pretty darn good too. So I came back inspired and wanted my husband to be able to get a hint at the taste and feel of the food.

Comptoir Libanais in South Kensington

I gave it a try and even if it was totally wrong it had the same fresh feel with the emphasis on fresh herbs and citrus which is what I was looking for. Perfect for Summer, I will be making these again and again.

Lebanese Style Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

4-5 cups diced potatoes, I used Yukon Gold

1/2 stick butter

1 lemon juiced

1 t red pepper flakes

2 T fresh cilantro chopped

1 t salt

Melt butter in a large pan over med high heat. Add potatoes and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir and cook 15 minutes more or until golden and crunchy on the outside.

Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes and toss to coat, cook about 5 minutes more over med heat. Then toss with cilantro and serve.

Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

Tossed Salad with Herbs and Lemon Coriander Dressing

Lemon Coriander Dressing

2 T lemon Juice

1 T olive oil

1 t ground coriander

1/4 t black pepper

1/4 t salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, serve over salad.

Tossed Salad with Herbs

4-6 cups of fresh crisp torn greens ( I used hearts of romaine and spring mix)

1/2 c thinly sliced radishes ( Soak the radishes in ice water after slicing that will remove some of the bitterness and make them crisp)

1/2 c grape tomatoes

1 cucumber peeled and sliced

2 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T chopped fresh mint

 

Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately, I topped with grilled chicken and served with warm pita bread.

Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing

Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing