Grilled Tomatoes with Cheese, Prosciutto and Basil

Courtesy of All Day I Dream About Food ( best blog name EVER) here’s a nice recipe for grilled tomatoes with cheese, prosciutto, and basil. Check out their site and the recipe below:

4 Servings

 Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 8 slices LAND O LAKES® 4 Cheese Italian Blend
  • 8 slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half vertically from top to bottom and cut out stem. Lay tomatoes cut-side down on preheated grill and cook 3 minutes. Carefully flip tomatoes and brush cut-side with oil mixture. Cook 3 more minutes.
  3. Cover each tomato half with one piece of cheese. Cover grill and cook for 1 more minute, until cheese is melted.
  4. Remove from grill and sprinkle each with prosciutto and chopped basil. Serve immediately.
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Very Cherry Shirley Temple with Lime: Mason Jar Style

Here’s a fun easy Shirley Temple recipe from Coupon Clipping Cook. Check out their site for a step-by-step and photo instruction to this recipe and many others. Don’t forget to check out the recipe below:

Very Cherry Shirley Temple with Lime
Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces Lemon Lime Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Grenadine Syrup
  • 4 teaspoons Liquid from Jar of Maraschino Cherries
  • 22 Maraschino Cherries with Stems
  • 2 whole Limes
  • Ice Cubes
  • 2 pint size Mason Jars (optional)

Directions:

  • As an option, the mason jars can be put in the freezer about an hour before making the Shirley Temple.  Just before adding the ingredients to the jars, add about 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to a shallow bowl, turn the jars upside down, and twist the rim of the jars in the sugar.
  • Cut the limes into thin wedges.
  • Add about 6 maraschino cherries in each Mason jar (or tall glass).
  • Next fill the Mason jars about three quarters full with ice cubes.
  • Then slide the wedges of lime in between the ice cubes and the inside of the glass jar so that it looks pretty from the outside of the glass.
  • Add about 3 more maraschino cherries wherever there is room in between the ice cubes.
  • Add the lemon lime soda leaving about 2 inches of space at the top of the jar.
  • Next add 2 teaspoons of liquid from the jar of maraschino cherries to each Mason jar.
  • Then add the grenadine syrup and stir.
  • Add more ice until it reaches the top of the jar.
  • Top with a couple more cherries and lime wedges.

Enjoy! xo

Grandma Betty’s Meatballs

Pasta. Sauce. Meatballs. It’s essential. Here is a recipe I came across on The Parsley Thief‘s blog. Not only do they give you their grandma’s recipe, but a homemade sauce recipe as well. Check out their site as well as the recipe below:

Makes 16 – 2″ meatballs, and enough sauce for 1 lb. of pasta

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 3/4 cups fresh bread crumbs (3 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (about 10 grinds)

For the Sauce:

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans of whole, peeled tomatoes (I like to use San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1 large clove garlicsmashed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea saltor to taste

Directions:

  • Begin a double, modified batch of Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter {or your favorite Marinara Sauce recipe} by adding all of the ‘Sauce‘ ingredients listed above to a large, heavy saucepan, and bringing the mixture to a boil, over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Begin the meatballs by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Add the bread crumbs to a large mixing bowl, and pour in the milk. Toss to coat the bread crumbs, and let them soak for 10 minutes.
  • Add all of the remaining ‘Meatball‘ ingredients to the bread crumb mixture, and mix gently, using your hands. You want to mix just until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed, but try to avoid over-mixing.
  • Using your hands, shape the mixture into 2″ balls, and lay them out on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then use tongs to transfer the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with your choice of pasta, topped with an extra sprinkle of grated Parmesan.


Some Notes/Options [Straight from The Parsley Thief]

  • Store-bought, dry bread crumbs can be used in a pinch, but making your own is worth the effort, whenever possible.To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, process sliced bread in a food processor until evenly ground. Or, you can cube fresh, or day-old bread {crusts removed} by hand. Any type of sandwich bread will do – you can even use whole wheat, if that’s your preference. I have given the proportion of bread crumbs by dry measure, and by weight, to make this easier.
  •  For the sauce, I like to use a modified version of Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter because it’s the best tomato sauce I’ve ever tasted! I’ve modified it,  because as written I find it to be too rich for serving with meatballs {but fantastic alone with pasta}. You can also substitute your favorite Marinara Sauce recipe, or even use your favorite jarred sauce – I won’t judge, and have been known to do so myself on many a pressed-for-time, weeknight dinner occasion! My most favorite jarred sauce is ‘Michael’s of Brooklyn’ Marinara – which is expensive, but worth every penny!
  • If you use extra-lean ground beef {i.e. ground sirloin, or 90% lean} you’ll need to line your baking sheet with parchment, or give it a quick coating of non-stick cooking spray, to prevent the meatballs from sticking. 
  • Over the years, I’ve made many a ‘fried’ meatball. Your Italian grandmother may tell you this is the only way to go, and there’s no question it’s delicious! But it also creates a big mess, and requires much more time standing over a hot stove. Not to mention, baking them is healthier. However, if you’d prefer the frying method, simply follow the instructions as is, but to cook the meatballs – Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat. Add some flour to a shallow plate, or bowl, and roll each formed meatball in the flour, tapping off any excess. Fry the meatballs in batches, until evenly browned on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to a paper towel lined plate when done. Add the browned meatballs all at once to the sauce, and let them simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes for 2″ meatballs.
Enjoy! xo

Mint Julep

Mint Julep2 5 1024x1024 mint julep (perfected)

Courtesy of the FABULOUS Pixelated Crub, I’ve found the perfect recipe for a Mint Julep. Check out their site and check out the recipe below:

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients

  • Crushed ice
  • 2 tablespoons mint simple syrup (see below)
  • 2 ounces bourbon (use a good bourbon like Maker’s Mark or Basil Hayden)
  • Fresh mint
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Chill julep cup or glass in the freezer. Fill the glass halfway with shaved or crushed ice and add 2 tablespoons of mint syrup and 2 ounces of bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Insert a sprig of mint and add more crushed on top, filing the cup. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. Insert a straw cut to 1 inch above the top of the cup.

Mint Simple Syrup

Refrigerated, the syrup will last for months.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 cup, packed), preferably spearmint

Instructions

  1. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring the mixture to dissolve the sugar. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add washed mint (still on the stem, just stir it all in). Set aside for 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a jar and discard the mint.

Mint Julep2 4 1024x1024 mint julep (perfected)

Enjoy! xo

Homemade Cherry-Vanilla Liqueur

As, I continue to stumble on foodgawker I can’t help but to find wonderful recipes to stare with all of you. I don’t know how many people actually read my blog, but who cares. Here is a drink recipe from Tasty Trials. Check out their site and check out the recipe below:

8 ounces Bing cherries, stems removed and pitted
8 ounces vanilla vodka
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well. Let sit for at least a week, shaking occasionally. Strain and use in cocktails.
Enjoy! xo

Sex in a Glass (Dulce de Leche Iced Espresso)

Courtesy of Olive Oil and Lemons, I’ve found this fairly simple recipe for Dulce de Leche Iced Espresso. Check out their site and check out the recipe below:

Ingredients:

Espresso mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons instant espresso
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup melted (room temperature)  Haagen Daaz dulce de leche ice cream

Caramel-Cream mixture:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 14/ cup water
  • 1 cup cream

Assembling:

  • Dulce de Leche ice cream (or vanilla)
  • 1 cup cream whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Chocolate shavings or caramel syrup

 Directions:

  1. To make the espresso mixture bring water to a boil and then pour it over the espresso and sugar. Set aside to cool. When cooled add the melted ice cream
  2. For the caramel-cream: Place sugar and water in a 2 quart pot with a glass lid. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not remove lid or stir the sugar mixture or it will begin to crystallize. The glass lid is a convenient way of watching the sugar so you know when it changes colour as well as keeping the steam inside and preventing crystallization.
  3. When the sugar begins to look caramelized watch it carefully and remove from heat when it reaches deep amber colour. Be very careful as the sugar is extremely hot and also watch that it doesn’t burn. It can go from amber to burnt very quickly.
  4. Immediately off the heat pour the one cup cream into the caramel. The caramel will stiffen, sizzle and splatter so be careful. Return to a medium heat and cook until the caramel melts together with the cream.
  5. Pour the caramel cream into the coffee and refrigerate until cold.

To assemble:

  1. Fill a glass with ice, scoop two ice cream scoops into each glass.
  2. Pour the iced espresso cream over and top with sweetened whipped cream.
  3. Garnish with chocolate shavings and serve chilled.

Enjoy! xo

S’mores Dip

S'mores Dip

Now, I love s’mores more than anything (well, maybe not anything, but I do loooooove it). Courtesy of What Megan’s Making here is her recipe for s’mores dip. Make sure you check out her site as well as the recipe below:

Ingredients:

1 14oz can sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup marshmallow cream
Graham Crackers, for serving
Directions:

In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and condensed milk on High 1 – 2 minutes, stirring about every 30 seconds, until chips are melted. Mix well. Pour into 9-inch glass pie pan, spreading evenly. Drop marshmallow creme by tablespoonfuls randomly over chocolate mixture. Microwave on High about 30 seconds or until marshmallow creme is softened. Immediately make several swirls through marshmallow and chocolate, creating a marbled appearance. Serve immediately with graham crackers for dipping.

S'mores Dip

Enjoy! xo

Dirty Pirate Popsicle

This comes to us from Endless Simmer. The recipe is super easy and fun. It’s great for a summertime barbecue. Check out their site and check out the recipe below:

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups Coke
  • 1/3 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large glass and stir to combine. Pour mixture into popsicles mold.
  2.  Freeze for about 2 hours or until mixture starts to solidify enough to hold a popsicle stick upright. Insert popsicle sticks and finish freezing popsicles overnight. To release popsicles run hot water on the outside of popsicle molds for a 2-3 seconds.

*Slightly flat Coke will produce a popsicle that stays frozen longer. To quickly and manually flatten out the carbonation, empty out enough Coke from a 2-liter bottle to leave a 3-inch space from top of bottle to top of coke. Place cap back on and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Set aside to leave bubbles to subside.

Enjoy xo!

Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I’m on Pinterest minding my own business and BAM, I come across this suckers. Do you see how delicious those cupcakes look?! Anyways, courtesy of Something Swanky here is the recipe to remake these bad boys. Check out the site for more recipes that have step-by-step instructions (that include pictures) on fun recipes and check out the recipe below:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/4 c. Flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Milk
  • a teensy splash of vanilla
  • a small handful of Chocolate Chips

For the Cookie Dough Frosting:

  • 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Margarine or Butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 2 Tbsp. Flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Oats
  • 3/4 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Milk
  • a handful of plain M&Ms
  • a handful of Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

For the Cake
1. Melt butter in the microwave for 10 seconds.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until your batter forms.
3. Bake in cupcake liners at 350 for 19 minutes. Let cool.For the Cookie Dough Frosting:
1. Using a fork mix together the butter, peanut butter, and 1/4 c. powdered sugar.
2. Add 1 Tbsp. milk. Whisk with the fork until it’s pretty smooth.
3. Add the remaining powdered sugar (1/4 cup at a time, mixing after each addition), the brown sugar, and the flour. Add milk as needed to help with the consistency.
4. Stir in the oats (you can use more or less depending on your preferences), M&Ms, and chocolate chips.
Enjoy xo!

Happy Memorial Day!

Well, Happy Memorial Day. First I’d like to thank all of those men and women out there who have fought for my freedom as well as yours. I’m able to live my life (filled with crazy dreams) because of them.

Memorial Day Weekend is always my favorite. It’s a time we get to spend with family either enjoying the sunshine at the shore, or in your own backyard. It’s almost my favorite time to barbecue. I love love love barbecuing. In a little while I’ll be posting of my favorite BBQ foods. ❤

Nicolexo