After being in Cancun in January for our honeymoon, I felt like bringing back a bit of the sunshine we had experienced into the cold, wintry days of Dayton. I spent the past two and a half months studying for the Ohio Bar exam, which served as a crash course in Ohio law and an opportunity to stay indoors during the third-coldest winter in Dayton. Consequently (oh goodness, I’m still in Bar essay writing mode), I needed to make my breaks as effective as possible. A smoothie like this keeps you energized and…just plain happy! You can mix in protein powder to add a bit more energy into your day, but here is the basic recipe:
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 banana, sliced into chunks
2 chunks frozen pineapple
2 frozen strawberries
2 chunks frozen mango
1/4 cup water
Add the banana, kiwi and blueberries first, then the water. Puree until smooth. Then add the frozen fruit.
I like to use frozen fruit instead of ice because it makes the smoothie cold without creating too much grittiness from the ice.
So we’re no longer in Miami, and we’re not in New York, but you don’t have to live in a huge city to enjoy the Cosmopolitan! Dayton is an awesome city with great restaurants and cultural activities, and I have not seen nearly enough Cosmos on the menus. So I had to make my own!
Except it’s not really my own. It came from here. I like Drinks Mixer because of it’s search tools.
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 3/4 oz. triple sec
- 3/5 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz. lime juice (freshly squeezed)
Combine the vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker, and shake for 20 seconds. Pour into a chilled martini glass.
A lemon drop martini is one of my all-time favorite alcoholic drinks. As I searched for recipes that would call for ingredients I already had on hand, I came across many variations, so I decided to put a little twist on it. Unfortunately, I ended up using a lot more vodka than I thought I was using, but I will report the true measurements so they are completely accurate.
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (it’s not the same if you use the little yellow bottles)
- 2 tsp. simple syrup*
- Sugar to rim the glass**
Combine the vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake for at least 20 seconds. Pour into a chilled sugar-rimmed martini glass. Enjoy!
Just a friendly word: This recipe calls for a pretty strong drink, so drink plenty of water in between sips or after!
*To make simple syrup, use 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Boil the water and add the sugar. Allow the sugar to dissolve completely, stirring often. Remove from heat. You can store this in the refrigerator for future use!
**To coat a martini glass with sugar, you can either moisten the rim of the glass with lemon juice or with a light coating of the simple syrup you just made. With the glass face-down, dip the rim into a prepared plate covered with granulated sugar, making sure to coat all sides evenly.
Note: The original recipe calls for 1.5 oz vodka, 3.4 oz. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. simple syrup.
Yes, the Bar is approaching again…this time for Ohio! While studying, it is important to take breaks, so here is one: making the Rocky Road Fudge I posted earlier, with candy corns! I brought these in to work as a fun autumn treat.
Need a fast snack to prepare for surprise guests? Take a tortilla and slice it into eighths. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Place the tortilla slices in a single layer on the sheet and brush lightly with olive oil, salt, and any other toppings you would like (I stick to salt and pepper). Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so. Check them often, because ovens vary and you don’t want them too browned!
I made these for my husband as an appetizer when we celebrated our 3-month wedding anniversary, right before we sat down to spaghetti and meatballs with crusty garlic bread. As luck would have it, I spilled my glass of wine all over the table, cracking the glass all over the hummus and tabbouleh I had served…but the tortilla chips survived!
This is what it looked like BEFORE I spilled the wine:
Now that we live in Ohio, we can go pick pumpkins and enjoy the tasty treat of pumpkin seeds! Meijer has great seeds, but for when you want your own, here is a simple recipe:
Cut a hole at the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out the inside and pull off the seeds. This takes a while! Boil a pot of water and salt generously. Add the seeds and let simmer for a few minutes. Drain the seeds and lay them flat on a paper towel to dry.
Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Spread the seeds out in a single layer on the sheet. Brush seeds with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until seeds are crunchy. You can try baking at 350 for 20-25 minutes if you want. It depends on how crunchy you want them!
Our little pumpkin:
Yikes–need better lighting on this one!
I got this recipe from a friend, who got it from here: The Wannabe Chef. My husband has been requesting cookies made with something other than all-purpose flour, so I tried these. He loved them! I have modified the recipe a bit as I go through:
- 1.5 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup butter (let it sit at room temperature so it can soften)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup sugar (I use white, and I sometimes use up to 1/3 cup to make it a bit sweeter)
- 1/4 tsp. salt (I use salt if I use unsalted butter. If I use salted butter, I don’t add much salt except maybe a pinch)
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract (This is where I deviate from the original recipe–I split the vanilla extract with a 50/50 ratio of vanilla to almond)
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar (I added this ingredient)
In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter, and add the egg slowly. Add the flour, salt (if using), vanilla and almond extract, and baking soda. Mix! Add the chocolate chips and walnuts at this point. Drop the dough 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet (I press the dough down to make flattened circles). Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes. I have found that the perfect crunchy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside consistency is achieved when I bake them for 14 minutes.
Here is a brighter picture:
I’ve always wanted to try swordfish. I saw it the other day at Trader Joes and decided to get it. I had heard it kind of tastes like tuna steak or chicken. Turns out it did! This took 15 minutes to make (just preheat the oven when you get home and then get started on making the marinade).
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch of ground ginger
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. breadcrumbs
To create the marinade: Whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, and ginger.
Wash the swordfish and pat dry. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle the fish with the honey and sprinkle breadcrumbs over it. Flip the fish and do the same thing on the other side. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray (I use Pam). Pour half the marinade over the fish. Broil at 500 for 5 minutes. Turn the fish over and pour the other half of the marinade over it. Broil for another 5 minutes.
Please excuse the poor lighting in the picture:
So, it has been a while since I have posted, and I thought I’d start again with a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for years. Now, I’ve had my Cuisinart food processor for a while, but until recently I had not even taken it out of the box. This contraption is the most useful kitchen appliance I can think of! (Other than my oven) I’ve made almond butter with it (talk about having patience!), and now I love making homemade pesto sauce with it. I found this recipe online somewhere (sadly, I do not remember where), and it worked like a charm.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 cups chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Add all the ingredients except the olive oil into the food processor. Process them until they are mostly combined. Scrape down the sides and continue processing a bit more. Add the olive oil and process for 20-30 more seconds.
The other day I had a bunch of leftover stuff in my fridge: eggs that were about to expire, scallions that looked just about ready to wilt, garlic cloves, and a potato that had never made it into the oven with its companions. So, I looked up a recipe for quiche, but then realized I didn’t have the ingredients to make the crust. I went with the next best thing: frittata!
6 egg whites ( I removed 3 yolks)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup spinach
1 potato, thinly sliced
1/3 cup milk
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat in skillet. Add potatoes and cover. Cook for 10 minutes until potatoes get soft. Add the scallions, garlic, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste. Then add the milk. Cover and cook on low for about 7 minutes or until the eggs have set.