You work all week looking forward to the two long lazy days off, but how often do you just get to relax and do absolutely nothing on Saturday and Sunday? If you’re like most people, there’s errands to run, kids to shuttle to one sporting or social event or another, family gatherings, and maybe even date night on one or both nights so that by Sunday you’re exhausted.
The last thing you want to do on your one day off is spend it in the kitchen. Skewers are the perfect solution to that cooking dilemma. Skewers are also great for grilling at picnics, parties, & tailgates.
No matter which recipe you are making there are some simple kebab tips:
Cut the ingredients into similar-size pieces and prepare as the recipe directs.
If marinating, refrigerate 1 hour for fish and up to overnight for meat and poultry.
Preheat a grill to high.
If using wood skewers, soak skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.
Thread the ingredients onto skewers.
Use 2 skewers per kebab, side-by-side, to keep the food from spinning and make flipping on the grill easier.
Grill the kebabs, turning, until the ingredients are charred and cooked to desired doneness, 3 to 15 minutes.
Marinate 1 pound cubed lamb leg in 1/2 cup olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, 4-6 stemsfresh rosemary (leaves stripped),3 smashed garlic cloves, and salt & pepper.
Skewer with 1 to 1+1/2 inch chunks of zucchini & grill.
Marinate 1 to 1+1/2 pounds de-boned, skinned, chunks wild-caught salmon in 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 3 minced garlic cloves,2 TBLS chopped fresh parsley, freshly ground sea salt and pepper.
Skewer with slices of lemon between the salmon. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Serve on top of grilled asparagus spears.
Mix 1 pound ground chicken, 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Form into mini burgers, skewer and grill.
Serve on whole romaine leaves with grilled crusty garlic bread and more dressing.
Boil 1 cup water, 3 TBLS each salt and brown sugar, 2 tsp pickling spices & 4 garlic cloves. Add 1 cup rum, then cool. Add 1 pound cubed pork tenderloin and marinate. Skewer with pineapple chunks. Grill, basting with bottled jerk sauce. Serve over steamed white rice. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
I love quiche. It’s one of those dishes that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or it can even be poured into mini muffin tins and made into appetizer sized servings. Quiche is also one of the rare egg-dominant recipes that can be made ahead and frozen for later use. This recipe is one I found in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook years ago, and one that is still featured on their website. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Prepare the pie dough (Cream Cheese Pie Dough link above) or remove purchased pie dough from package
Preheat oven to 400°F.
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch round tart pan and trim the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the overhang back over itself and pinch to create a sturdy edge. Pierce the dough all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Bake the pastry shell until the edges are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool briefly. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
Make the filling
In a frying pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan, add the shallot and cook just until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the spinach mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
Bake the quiche
Sprinkle the bacon and the cheese into the pastry shell. Pour in the spinach mixture. Bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool briefly. Remove the pan rim, cut the quiche into 6 wedges and serve warm. If freezing, set aside to cool (see note below). Serves 6.
Note:To freeze, let the baked quiche cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, place the unwrapped quiche on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325°F oven until heated through, about 40 minutes.
I love seafood! Cooked or raw, I love it all, so I was pissed when I developed an allergy to one of my favorites, scallops! Lobster, crab, & clams are my first choices if available, so, thankfully, that was the only shellfish that I’m affected by or it would definitely be #HoustonWeHaveAProblem!
Because I actually like to taste the clams, and don’t want to have to dig through a murky sea of potatoes in search of a few scattered slivers, there are few places, outside of Ivar’s in Seattle & Atlantic Fish Company in Boston, where I choose the cream based New England Clam Chowder that most people are familiar with. If given the choice, I much prefer the spicier, tomato, broth based, Manhattan Clam Chowder.
Because few places on the west coast offer a decent version of the chowder I prefer, I found a couple of recipes that I was able to pull parts from to create one that’s both satisfying and can be made with minimal effort.
Manhattan Inspired Clam Chowder
48 little neck clams
2 – 8 oz bottles clam juice
Quarter pound bacon, roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
7 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch dried, crushed red pepper
2 celery stalks, quartered & chopped
2 carrots, quartered & chopped
2 large white potatoes, cut into half-inch cubes
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 Cup dry white wine (Chardonnay is fine)
3 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
2 TBLS chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Wash the clams well under cold running water in colander.
Place clams in a large pot, and add enough water to cover clams by 2 inches.
Cover the pan and place over high heat.
When the water comes to a boil, give the pan a good shake.
Turn the heat to low, and cook clams another 30 seconds or so.
Remove from the heat, and take out all the clams that have opened, using a slotted spoon. If any clams remain closed, put back on the heat, with the lid on the pan, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Remove remaining clams, reserve, discard any clams that have not opened.
Pour the clam juice through a fine strainer and measure. If you have more than 4 cups, simmer to reduce to 4 cups.
Put the bacon into a large, heavy saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the bacon begins to brown. Pour off excess fat, leaving behind the bacon and about 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan.
Add the onion, celery, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up all of the brown bits
Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more.
Tie the parsley sprigs, fresh thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot.
Add the reserved clam cooking liquid, the bottled clam juice, the potatoes, and the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
While chowder is coming to a boil, remove clams from their shells and chop coarsely. Add to chowder and reduce heat to low.
Cook over low heat for another 5 minutes; check to make sure potatoes are soft and chowder is well seasoned.
Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Divide among warm soup bowls and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
For a fancy touch you can leave a few clams in the shell and float a couple in the bowl. Serve with crusty sourdough bread and butter and a salad for a hearty meal. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
You have a few wine options with this chowder:
(White) Partially-Oaked Dry California Chardonnay pairs nicely with the crushed red pepper, potatoes, thyme and onion in this dish
(White) Unoaked Medium-dry German Riesling is a nice compliment to the tomatoes, onions, peppers and potatoes in this dish
(Red) Oaked Italian Barbaresco pairs beautifully with the peppers, potatoes, onions and celery in this dish
When you’re relaxing before you’re ready to have dinner, but don’t want to sip on your wine without a little something to take the edge off of your hunger, these decidedly Southern, half moon shaped cheese biscuits are just the thing! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
It seems like every appetizer served at parties, large or small, is forbidden to those who follow the low carb lifestyles touted by the Keto, Paleo and Atkins diets, but who has the time, or patience, to spend making some of the recipes for snacks that are allowed?
I went to a couple of my favorite “regular recipe” resources, Epicurious.com and Emeril’s on Planet Green, to see if there were any easy snack recipes that were low carb friendly and was pleasantly surprised! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Aguachile de Camarón
2 Quarts Water
2 TBLS Kosher Salt
1 Pound Fresh Jumbo Shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 English Cucumber, peeled
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Cold Water
2 to 3 Fresh Serrano Chiles, sliced
1 TBLS Chopped Fresh Parsley
Combine 2 quarts water and 2 TBLS cup salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
Butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tail intact.
Add shrimp and immediately turn off the heat.
Let the shrimp sit until just cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
Place shrimp in colander, run under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain.
In a blender, combine the lime juice, olive oil, chiles, and 1/4 cup of cold water. Process until smooth then season to taste with salt.
In a non-reactive bowl combine the shrimp with the dressing. Cover and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Can be made up to 4 hours before serving)
Cut the cucumber into thin rectangular slices, about 3 inches long, and divide among 4 small plates.
Arrange the shrimp on top of the cucumber slices, season as needed, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.
**Non-Reactive Bowl:Stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor
Salami Crisps (Epicurious)
1/4 Pound (very thinly sliced) Genoa Salami, Soppressata, Pepperoni, Pancetta, Jamón Ibérico, Finocchiona, Coppa, or other charcuterie type dry cured meat
Cracked Black Pepper (if using an unspiced meat)
Parmesan Cheese (if desired)
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 325°F.
Arrange salami slices in 1 layer on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
If using Parmesan Cheese, sprinkle slices lightly.
Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are crisp and beginning to curl, 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer slices to a rack to cool. (They will crisp as they cool.)
Serving Suggestion: Small slices of cheese, olive oil marinated feta, or some herbs mixed into cream cheese are all Keto-friendly and would be good served with these crisps.
It may not feel like it, but fall really is right around the corner. When the weekends bring football, the days of sunlight begin to shorten and there’s a barest hint of a chill to the morning air, so too comes the annual assault of all things pumpkin spice.
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In medium bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, molasses and vanilla.
In large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, one at a time. Then alternately add flour and pumpkin mixture, beating until just combined.
Divide batter among muffin-pan cups (heaping 1/4 cup each) and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; let cool 5 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 TBLS butter, at room temperature
2 Cups confectioner’s (Powdered) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon (if desired)
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon (if using), and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
To serve, frost cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Makes 12 Jumbo Cupcakes. Store any uneaten cupcakes in the refrigerator.
As much as I love bourbon and wine, sometimes it is just too hot to consider anything except something cool, fruity & boozy from the blender. This timely little find from the team at Delish fits the bill perfectly!
Boozy Dole Whip
5 Cups frozen pineapple
3/4 Cup coconut milk
1/2 Cup coconut rum (Mailbu)
1/4 Cup sweetened condensed milk
Pineapple slices & Maraschino cherries for garnish
Blend frozen pineapple, coconut milk, rum, and sweetened condensed milk in a blender.
Pour into glasses and garnish each with pineapple and a maraschino cherry.