Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sweets on Sunday Morning

We woke up to dark skies and torrential downpours, and when our stomachs began to make strange hungry noises, I decided our cozy morning needed something kicked up a few notches past just bacon and eggs. And since healthy eating deserves rewards every now and then, something baked and fluffy was in order and with frosting was enough to tip me over the edge. Cinnamon rolls seemed too labor some and just plain biscuits weren't going to do the trick. I quickly typed cinnamon biscuits into Google and the treat below was on our breakfast plates in no time! Healthy? Not at all. Delicious? We went back for seconds. And thirds. And ladies, if you want fourths...hide these from your husbands!

Glazed Cinnamon Biscuits
recipe from

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter, divided
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (I added more)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
5 tsp. milk
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Cut in 4 tablespoons of butter until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs. Stir in milk until moistened and doughy. Knead 8-10 times on a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 8x11" rectangle, leaving it about 1/2" thick. Melt remaining butter and brush over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, then roll up like a jelly roll, starting from the long edge. Cut into 10-12 equal pieces and place in a greased 8 in. square baking pan. Brush with remaining butter. Bake at 450 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Combine glaze ingredients and spread over warm biscuits.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Teenybopper For Life

Just when I think I can't love Justin Timberlake any more than I did was I was 13...

This is brilliant.

Justin & Jimmy have made my week.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Camarones Enogada

Cama-what? Camarones is Spanish, for shrimp. Enogada means, well, that I am not sure of but the following recipe is the result of the deliciousness that is a family favorite inspired by our favorite local Mexican restaurant in Charlotte. Shrimp from a Mexican restaurant may sound like a rare bite but trust me on this one, it's my favorite to order in the summertime at El Valle in Matthews, NC. My genius in the kitchen dad recreated this masterpiece while on Kiawah Island at the end of June and our fresh Carolina coast shrimp were never happier on a plate. Boiled shrimp atop a bed of cilantro, onions, tomato and avocados, all swimming in a bath of lime juice. A perfect summer meal while on the water, or on land.

Camarones Enogada

Sliced tomato
Sliced avocado
Sliced jalapeno (optional)
Chopped sweet onion
Chopped cilantro
Shrimp, peeled
Old Bay Seasoning
Lime juice
Salt & pepper

This is preparation on the fly at its best. No measurements, no real directions and the dish is prepared on each individual plate- have fun with it. The appeal is all in the presentation here, so take your time to slice the fresh tomatoes and avocados, then line them around the plate. Next, take the chopped onion, jalapeno and cilantro and make a bed in the middle of each plate. Toss lightly with lime juice, salt & pepper. Boil the shrimp and season with Old Bay Seasoning. Make a home for the shrimp on the bed of cilantro and onions.

Note: to cut the jalapeno heat, remove the heat. That's where all the hot stuff is hidden.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Picture Perfect

Having a subscription to Cooking Light is like receiving a new cookbook in my mailbox each month! I got a great deal through Callie back in March and have been enjoying it ever since. Normally, I tear out magazine recipes, slip them in page protectors and file them away in my recipe binders, but Cooking Light is just too pretty to destroy. As much as I love my cookbooks, my Cooking Light magazine library has become my go to location for those uninspiring cooking slumps that creep up on me every now and then. Yes, even foodies need a kick in the pants every now and again.

I have a little bit of extra time on my hands right now and while meal planning this week, I decided to mix it up with an entire week of new recipes. Everything came out of either the July issue of Cooking Light, or my head. We are on a post vacation detox and healthy meals have been a must! (my poor skin is craving the detoxing, too) Since the produce this time of year is bright, fresh and so abundant, the cover recipe was calling my name. Grilled salmon topped with fresh peaches tossed with tomatoes, citrus, basil and mint was happiness on a plate. It also came out looking JUST like the cover. I love it when that happens.

Grilled Salmon with Tomato Peach Salsa
recipe from Cooking Light

1 chopped peach
3/4 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
3 Tbsp. chopped mint leaves
3 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly slices
1 tsp. Kosher salt

Mix all above ingredients in a small bowl. Let the flavors mingle and hang out together in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

2 wild salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each), or a fillet per person you are serving

Season salmon with kosher salt, fresh garlic and lemon juice. Grill for 15-20 minutes, or until it flakes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Breakfast Makeover

I have never really been a pancake girl. Give me a choice of pancakes, french toast or waffles, I will always choose anything but pancakes. Add omelettes, fritatas or Eggs Benedict to the mix and I'll leave the first three in the dust. The problem with any of the fluffy, more dessert like breakfasts is that I am stuffed when I leave the table but starving again in two hours. It's delicious, but just not the kind of meal to start the day with that really sticks with you. I recently found a winner of a recipe to add to the breakfast mix and the all American pancake may have just won me over. Finally.

Enter, the Protein Pancake! These protein packed flapjacks have been floating around the healthy food and fitness blogs for awhile now but after a few failed attempts, I decided this breakfast was not for me. It's fun to re-create something into a healthy bite, but not when it has a plastic like texture and would work better as a frisbee than the main attraction on a breakfast plate. I came across this recipe via Twitter and decided to give this healthy pancake one last shot and it was a morning win. The key ingredient? Bananas! Why I didn't think of this before is almost embarrassing but this is what makes the cakes sweet, gives them a nice consistency and- I can't believe I am using this word on my blog- extremely moist.

Protein Pancakes
recipe adapted from Tone it Up!

1/2 banana, mashed
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Pour into a non stick pan (I used a little bit of cooking spray) using a 1/4 cup measuring cup for each pancake. Cook until the ends start to bubble and you see bubbles in the middle, then flip over. Makes 3-4 large pancakes. I like to top mine with fresh berries. Mark uses honey. Almond butter or 100% maple syrup would do the trick, too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Raspberry Mojitos

We just spent a delightful vacation on Kiawah Island with my family and the remainder of our week and a half Southern tour was spent near Columbia, SC with Mark's family. It was a wonderful trip with lots of fun family time and if I said I was happy to be back in the Midwest, I would be lying. There is something about the South that just hugs you tightly and never lets go. Although I was born in Detroit, I lived in Charlotte for over half of my life and the South is home to me.

The heat is almost unbearable anywhere this time of year and any thoughts I ever had about the Midwest having mild summer days have just been tossed out the window. Thankfully though, the air cools off just in time for drinks on the deck as Mark and I unwind from the day and grill something fresh for dinner. The Mojito is one of my go to drinks in the summer and after enjoying a few of my dad's perfection concoctions while at the beach, I decided to get a little creative for our relaxing Sunday cocktail hour this past weekend. Not too sweet, and with just the right amount of a bubbly kick, this Raspberry Mojito is a hint of mint, a kiss of berry, lightly lime and a whole lot of happy.

Raspberry Mojitos
recipe adapted from YumSugar

4 raspberries
6 mint leaves
1 1/2 oz. white rum
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lime
3/4 oz. simple syrup
Splash of club soda

Muddle raspberries first, then mint. Add rum, lime juice, then simple syrup. Stir with a bar whisk or shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a tall cocktail glass filled with ice. Finish with a splash of club soda.