Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Tomato Paste, Dates, Pastrami and Turnip Greens

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

This weeks Chopped Challenge was made especially special because it was the first challenge that my dad contributed an ingredient to!  His contribution to the mystery basket was dates, one of our families favorite fruits! In addition to dates, Renee Vaughan added tomato paste, Cassie Vaughn added turnip greens and Thomas Kamakani Jr added pastrami!

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It just so happens that my one purchase on black friday was a Panini Press, which I was beyond excited about!  It’s been on my “want” list for a while and I was so excited to get this $50 piece of amazingness for $9.99 on friday!

So obviously this weeks Chopped Challenge had to be a panini!  I turned these 4 ingredients into a Pastrami Panini with a Sweet Tomato Spread, Turnip Greens and Blue Cheese Rosemary Stuffed Dates.

Ingredients (makes 2 paninis)

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sweet tomato spread (ingredients below)
  • 1/4 cup southern style greens (collard, turnip & kale)
  • 4 oz pastrami
  • 4 dates (pitted)
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary

Sweet Tomato Spread

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Prepare the tomato spread by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

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Next, spread the tops of each slice of bread with olive oil.  Flip then spread the sweet tomato spread on the other side.

Top each slice with the southern greens and pastrami.

Next, combine the blue cheese and rosemary, then stuff the mixture inside the dates.  Place two dates on one half of each sandwich.

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Place the other half of the sandwich on top and set the sandwiches in the panini press.

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And press!

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Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes then remove from the press and serve!

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The combination of sweet dates, the savory blue cheese rosemary combination and the herb crusted pastrami was so ridiculously delicious!

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

I’m not going to lie, I might eat this sandwich every day for the rest of the week!

Now slice it open and dig in!

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the pastrami and replace with extra veggies such as caramelized onions and roasted red peppers for a vegetarian twist to this dish.

♦ Gluten Free Option: When gluten-free bread is used, this recipe is gluten-free.

Curry Fried Quinoa

Curry Fried Quinoa {Little Leopard Book}

One of my besties and fellow blogger, Amy Black, has been requesting a curry recipe on LLB.  Since her wish is my command, I introduce to you Curry Fried Quinoa.

Curry Fried Quinoa

I decided to take traditional fried rice and simply swap the white rice with organic quinoa for a healthier dish that is vegetarian, yet still packed with protein.

I then added curry and chili powder to give the dish a little extra kick!

Curry Fried Quinoa Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (not pictured)
  • 2 eggs (whisked)
  • 2 tbsp green onions (diced)

Begin by preparing the quinoa. Boil two cups of water, then add one cup of quinoa and cover. Remove from heat and set to the side.

Next, heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the bell peppers, onions, garlic and ginger for 5-7 minutes then add the peas.

Vegetarian Fried Quinoa

Mix together and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the curry powder, chili powder, red pepper flakes and soy sauce.

Vegetarian Fried Rice with Curry Powder

In a separate skillet scramble the whisked egg. Add the scrambled egg and cooked quinoa to the vegetable mixture.

Curry Fried Rice

Top with diced green onions and serve.

Asian Curry Quinoa

This is the perfect dish to throw together on a weeknight, quick, simple and delicious!

Curry Quinoa

Shrimp or chicken would both be great additions to this dish!

Vegetarian Curry Fried Rice

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: When gluten-free soy sauce is used, this recipe is gluten-free.

Shrimp and Sausage Cajun Pasta

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I was inspired to create this recipe when I made the ultimate kitchen appliance purchase, a pasta machine!  What oh what would I make first with this amazing piece of machinery?  When I saw the Cajun Style Andouille Sausage in the fridge, I knew I had to make a Cajun pasta dish!

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No Cajun pasta dish is complete without a little shrimp, so I cooked up the sausage and shrimp in a little white wine and Cajun seasoning, then threw it on top of my homemade fettuccine tossed in a Cajun alfredo sauce!  The result was amazing, flavorful and just a tad on the spicy side!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme leaves
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 12 shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 3 links Cajun sausage (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp green onions (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 lb fresh (or purchased) fettuccine pasta

Begin preparing the Cajun alfredo sauce by adding the cream to a saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cook for  2-3 minutes, then add the butter.  Once the butter has melted add half of the red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, oregano, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and thyme.

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Mix well then add ½ cup of white wine and stir to combine.  Next, mix in the parmesan cheese.

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Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat while you prepare the sausage and shrimp.

Begin by warming the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Next, add the bell pepper and onions.  Cook for 5 minutes then add the minced garlic and the other half of the black pepper, salt, oregano, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and thyme.

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Next, add the sausage and ¼ cup white wine.

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Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add the shrimp.

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Cook for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp is pink. At the same time boil the water and cook the fettuccine pasta, then place the shrimp and sausage on top of the fettuccine tossed in the Cajun alfredo sauce. Garnish with green onions and parsley.

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So much flavor packed into this one dish!

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I love the spiciness of the sausage and seasonings mixed with the freshness of the shrimp and the creaminess of the alfredo sauce!

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Not to mention that homemade pasta, AMAZING!!

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Now it’s time… time to dig in!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the shrimp and sausage, and double up on the vegetables to make this dish vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute the fettuccine with a gluten-free pasta.

5 Leftover Thanksgiving Makeover Recipes

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Stop right there!  Remove that plate of turkey and dressing from the microwave!  It’s time to turn those Thanksgiving leftovers into something new and delicious!

These 5 dishes take your Thanksgiving leftovers from bland to fab by making them over and creating something that will delight the palate instead of bore your taste buds!

#1 Sausage Stuffing Balls

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Simply add 1 lb. of pork sausage and 1 whisked egg to leftover stuffing (or dressing) to make this delicious dish that can be served as a meal with Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Twice Baked Rosemary Blue Cheese Potatoes, or invite some friends over this weekend to watch football and serve these as a party app!

#2 Mini Turkey Meatloaves

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Grind up some of that leftover turkey to make these mini meatloaves everyone in the family is sure to love! Most of the ingredients for the dish are probably in your refrigerator from yesterdays meal, sage, celery, carrots, garlic, check, check, check, check!  Now get busy 🙂

#3 Sweet Potato Jalapeño Fritters

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Got a couple extra sweet potatoes lying around? How about an egg, some garlic and a jalapeño?  Well then you have most everything you need to make these delicious sweet potato cakes that are the perfect way to use sweet potatoes in a new and different way!

#4 Spicy Stuffing Cakes

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If sausage isn’t your thing, these vegetarian Spicy Stuffing Cakes are a great way to kick that leftover stuffing up a notch! Simply add a little curry and chili powder then form into cakes! Pair with the Mini Turkey Meatloaves for a kicked-up, bite-sized, leftover Thanksgiving dinner!

#5 Blueberry Banana Bread Pudding

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Leftover dinner rolls are perfect for this breakfast favorite!  Tear up the rolls, throw in some fruit and you’ve got a sweet, delicious treat that’s sure to be more exciting than a re-heated roll!

Now it’s time to re-purpose those leftovers and dig in to something new and delicious!  Enjoy!

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Yams, Cranberries, Pears and Habanero Peppers

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This very special Thanksgiving edition of “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” combined yams from Ashley Caretto, cranberries from Cassie Sue Vaughn, pears from Muffet “LLB Momma” Bond and serrano habanero peppers from Katie Samples.

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I created a new Thanksgiving favorite with these ingredients, Baked Yam Wedges with Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Pear Sauce.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs yams (or sweet potatoes)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pear (peeled, de-seeded and diced)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 small habanero pepper (de-seeded and diced)
  • 1 lemon (juiced – not pictured)

Begin by slicing the yams into wedges and placing in a baking dish.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle the ginger and cinnamon on top.

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Place into a 375° oven for 45 minutes.

In the mean time, prepare the Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Pear Sauce.

Begin by combining the water and sugar in a skillet.  Once the sugar has dissolved, add the diced pear.

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Cook for 5 minutes, then add the honey, cranberries and habanero.

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Cook until the cranberries begin to pop and a thick sauce forms.

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Squeeze the lemon juice into the sauce and mix well.  Pour the mixture on top of the baked yams and place back into the oven for 5-10 minutes.

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I served them along side a Turkey and Dressing Thanksgiving feast with favorites like Bacon Wrapped Dates and Garlic Lemon Green Beans!

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The yams were sweet and delicious, with a very slight kick at the end from the habanero!

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♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Italian Meatballs with Tomato Basil Marinara

 

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For Sunday “Italian Family Dinner” last week I served up these delicious beef and pork combination Italian meatballs alongside my Ricotta Filled Arancini.

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I served them as a main course with my Tomato Basil Marinara for dipping, but they could also be served with toothpicks as hors d’oeuvre’s at a holiday party, or any time of the year!

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian pork sausage
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

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Form into 1/4 cup sized balls.

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Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

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See how quick and easy that was to make homemade meatballs! No need to ever buy the frozen store-bought kind again!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute veggie crumbles for the ground beef and pork to make “veggie-balls”.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Purchase gluten-free breadcrumbs or use gluten-free rice Chex cereal put through a food processor to form a fine crumb mixture.

Ricotta Filled Arancini

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I was so excited to throw Italian Family Dinner last Sunday night!

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The menu was filled with favorites like my Chickpea Mushroom Bruschetta, Pork and Beef Meatballs and these delicious Ricotta Filled Arancini (AKA risotto balls!)

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This dish is traditionally fried, but I decided  to make it a little bit healthier by baking the dish!

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I also filled the inside with a cheesy mixture of ricotta, mozzarella and fresh basil to give them a little extra something, then served them with a side of garlic aioli for dipping!

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Ingredients (arancini – serves 8)

  • 4 cups cooked risotto
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk

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Ingredients (garlic aioli)

  • 1 cup vegenaise
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Begin by preparing the risotto, I used my recipe for Sun Dried Tomato Mozzarella Risotto, and simply eliminated the tomatoes.

Next place the risotto in the refrigerator to cool. If you have leftover risotto, this is the perfect recipe for that!

Once the risotto is cooled, prepare the arancini-making-station by combining the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and basil in one small bowl.  In another bowl mix the bread crumbs and italian seasoning, then in another bowl whisk together the eggs and milk.

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Now begin to make the arancini by grabbing a large handful of risotto, then make a crevice in the middle to fill with the cheese mixture. Next, wrap the risotto around the cheese mixture then roll into the breadcrumbs. Next, roll in the egg/milk mixture, then back into the breadcrumbs.

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Place the arancini onto a baking sheet and repeat until all of the risotto is gone. This recipe should make 16 large risotto balls.

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Place in the oven at 400° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Prepare the aioli by placing all of the ingredients in a blender and pulsing for 10-15 seconds or until all ingredients are combined well.

Serve with the arancini for a deliciously good time!

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If aioli is not your thing, try dipping these babies in my Chunky Marinara Sauce! Yum!

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A special thank you to one of my Oklahoma besties, Olivia, for driving down from LA for the day to help me roll risotto balls, drink wine and prepare a delicious dessert!

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Slice these babies open to reveal the scrumptious cheesy center!

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Now it’s time to dig in!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Purchase gluten-free breadcrumbs or use gluten-free rice Chex cereal put through a food processor to form a fine crumb mixture.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Cranberries, Spam, Serrano Chilies and Dark Chocolate

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When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.  When Dusty Duprel hands you spam, you make fancy spam tacos!

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This weeks mystery basket included Cranberries from Olivia Reyes, Serrano Chilies from Kate Ouzounian, the aforementioned Spam and Dark Chocolate from Angela Cho.

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I decided to combine the cranberries, dark chocolate and Serrano chilies into a mole sauce to top the spam which I marinated in a chili lime mixture (in my opinion you have to put some work in to make spam delicious!)

The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Twelve:  Chili Lime Marinated Spam Tacos with Cranberry Mole Sauce!

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Ingredients

  • Cranberry Mole (makes 4 cups)
  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • 3 large pasilla chilies (chopped)
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 6 small Serrano chilies (de-seeded and chopped)
  • 1 very ripe plantain (sliced)
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • Chili Lime Spam (makes 1 ½ cups)
  • 12 oz can Spam
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Tacos (makes 6 tacos)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 lime (cut into 6 wedges)
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp queso fresco

We’re going to start by marinating that spam to infuse it with the chili lime flavors and take away the canned taste.

Simply whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, chili powder lime juice, red pepper flakes and olive oil.  Then open up that can of spam and dice it up.

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Add the spam to the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the spam is marinating, prepare the mole sauce.

Begin by roasting the tomatillos.  Because my HOA busted me for having a grill on my balcony, I will now roast my tomatillos in the oven!

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Allow to roast for 15-20 minutes of until slightly charred on the outside. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Next, lightly brown the pasilla chilies in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

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Remove from the skillet and add to a medium bowl with the cranberries.  Cover with warm water then set aside.

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In the same skillet over medium heat add the almonds, ground cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and allspice.

Toast for 2-3 minutes then place in a spice grinder and ground until a powder forms. If you do not have a spice grinder a coffee grinder works well or a small food processor.

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Still using the same skillet add the olive oil, onions, garlic and serrano chilies.

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Brown in the skillet until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Now peel the cooled tomatillos and place in a blender or food processor with the ground spices.

Next add the dark chocolate and plantains to the blender.

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Then add the cooked onions and chilies, pasilla peppers, cranberries and a small amount of the soaking liquid.  Start with about 1/2 cup, then add more if the sauce is too thick.

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Blend until creamy, then pour back into the skillet over low heat.

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Simmer for 5-10 minutes while cooking the spam.

Pour the spam and marinade into a skillet over medium-high heat.

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Cook for 7-10 minutes or until no liquid exists and the spam is slightly caramelized.

To make the tacos, place the spam into warmed tortillas.

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Then top with the cranberry mole sauce.

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Finish the tacos off with cilantro, cojita cheese and avocado.

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These tacos have a great balance of sweetness, acidity and spice!

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The chocolate, chili pepper, cranberry combination in the mole sauce is divine! I’m thinking about making this for Thanksgiving to put on the turkey, Yum!

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These tacos would be delicious with a side of Grilled Pineapple Tomatillo Guacamole or Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn!

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If Spam is not your thing, you could easily substitute shrimp, chicken or beef in this dish!

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Or if you’re vegetarian, Tofu Tacos!

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Now it’s time to dig in!

spam tacos, chili lime marinated spam, cranberry mole, cranberry chocolate mole, mole sauce, tacos, avocado, cilantro, limes, corn tortillas, recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute spam with tofu.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free, just make sure the brand of soy sauce you purchase is gluten-free! (Fresh & Easy is not.)

3 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Spend this Thanksgiving filling your belly with delicious food without the heaping side of guilt! Simply replace 3 traditional Thanksgiving dishes with 3 healthier versions!

This LLB version of Thanksgiving dinner saves you more than 230 calories, 20 grams of fat,  over 100 mg of cholesterol and 600 mg of sodium, and is gluten-free!

Let’s start with those creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes everyone loves so much!

Substituting Mashed Sweet Potatoes for Traditional Mashed Potatoes will save you fat, calories, sodium and cholesterol, while also adding health benefits!

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Per Serving – ½ Cup)

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: ½ gram
  • Sodium: 40 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Traditional Mashed Potatoes (Per Serving – ½ Cup)

  • Calories:120
  • Fat: 4.5 grams
  • Sodium: 333 mg
  • Cholesterol: 23 mg

*This dish also packs a ton of Fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, BONUS!

Now on to another side dish that everyone loves, the Green Bean Casserole, filled with sodium-loaded soup and topped with deep-friend onion strings.  Substitute the delicious flavors of lemon and garlic into the green beans for a much healthier (and in my opinion tastier) version of the classic side dish!

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Garlic Lemon Green Beans (Per Serving – ½ Cup)

  • Calories: 87 calories
  • Fat: 7 grams*
  • Sodium: 340 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Green Bean Casserole (Per Serving – ½ Cup)

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Sodium: 900 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

*All of the fat in the Garlic Lemon Green Beans comes from olive oil, which is a monounsaturated fat, also known as “good fat”, that helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Now on to the main dish, the turkey of course! While cooking an entire turkey makes for a beautiful display, the portion with the least calories and fat is the white meat, so save yourself the time (and calories) and simply cook a turkey breast instead!

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Herb Crusted Turkey Breast (Per Serving – 1/2 lb.)

  • Calories: 350
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Sodium: 330 mg
  • Cholesterol: 110 mg

Herb Crusted Dark Meat Turkey (Per Serving – 1/2 lb.)

  • Calories: 504
  • Fat: 30 grams
  • Sodium: 376 mg
  • Cholesterol: 195 mg

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Garlic Lemon Green Beans

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Green beans are a great source of antioxidants, but when smothered in cream based soups and topped with fried onions, the downfalls start to outweigh the health benefits. That’s why I’ve created this healthy alternative to Green Bean Casserole.

green beans, lemon, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, kosher salt, recipe, ingredients

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1 lemon (juiced and zested)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can green beans (or 2 cups fresh green beans – cooked)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Add the lemon juice, zest and kosher salt to the pan. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then add the green beans.

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Toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes, then serve.

garlic green beans, lemon green beans, sautéed garlic green beans, healthy green beans, thanksgiving green beans, recipes, side dishThis dish has been a favorite with my family at the holidays for years. I highly recommend ditching the casserole for this simple, flavorful, healthy alternative!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian (and vegan!)

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes are combined with coconut milk, cinnamon and fresh ginger for a healthy, vegan and paleo twist on traditional mashed potatoes.

Vegan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving dinner is filled with all sorts of yumminess, generally including mashed potatoes and some sort of sweet potato dish.

I’ve combined the two in a healthy and delicious dish that contains less than 1 gram of fat per serving and packs tons of health benefits!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

This dish also happens to be easy to make for 2 people or 20 and ready in 30 minutes, bonus!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Begin by cutting the sweet potatoes into cubes.  I love the skins of sweet potatoes so I leave them on and just scrub the potatoes well before boiling. If you prefer, you can peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes before cubing.

Chopped Sweet Potatoes

Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 25 minutes or until fork tender.

Drain the water from the pot, then add the milk, cinnamon and ginger.

Mash well.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Spoon the Mashed Sweet Potatoes into a large bowl and serve with delicious main dishes like Bacon Wrapped Turkey and Rosemary Balsamic Pork Loin!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Outside of being scrumptious and easy to make, this dish is also full of health benefits!

Ginger helps with cancer prevention and treatment, pain reduction and migraine relief.

Enjoy the numerous health benefits of sweet potatoes and cinnamon as well.  This “Superfood” packs tons of fiber, vitamin a and vitamin c, while this “Super-Spice” lowers bad cholesterol and helps stabilize blood sugar, now that’s something I can dig in to!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian (and vegan!)

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

♠ Paleo Option: This recipe is paleo.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Begin by cutting the sweet potatoes into cubes.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 25 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Drain the water from the pot, then add the milk, cinnamon and ginger.
  4. Mash well.
  5. Spoon into a large bowl and serve.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-mashed-sweet-potatoes/

How to Make Your Own Hanging Wall Menu

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I had an idea to make my own hanging wall menu after seeing a similar version at a local restaurant. I tend to cook things on the “unique” side and therefore continually get asked by my guests what they’re eating.

Making a menu wall helped to alleviate repetition of the menu throughout the night, as well as give a restaurant feel to the dining area.

You can make your own with 4 items in 4 simple steps!

Supplies Needed

  1. Ikea Bygel 39 ¼” Rail – $3.99
  2. Ikea Bygel Hooks – 10 for $4.95
  3. Ikea RÄCKA 28-47″ Silver Curtain Rod – $.99
  4. Brown 30″ Paper Roll

Steps:

1. Hang the rail on the wall. (app. 6 feet from the floor)

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2. Place the roll of paper on the curtain rod and lay on to a flat surface.

menu, hanging menu, menu wall, scrolling menu, how-to, restaurant menu, menu in Italian3. Write the menu using a sharpie. (Make sure to place on a surface where the sharpie will not bleed through and ruin anything!)

4. Place the hooks on to the rail, then hang the curtain rod from the hooks.

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And voilà!  Your menu is ready to hang as the backdrop for your next dinner party!

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After each dinner party, roll that menu down and cut off with scissors, then start fresh for your next party!

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Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

 

Coffee Crusted Mushroom Gouda Burger

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I’m very fortunate to have a brother who I share so many interests with! While my focus is food, his focus is politics, but we both enjoy being involved in each, and most of all we both hope to combine the two in the future to change the health of our great nation!

We’re both passionate about nutrition, food, fitness, running and other various forms of  exercise, although he hasn’t quite gotten on board with my yoga obsession yet 🙂

While generally I’m the creator of recipes in the family, last week my brother did me proud by winning the “Create a Burger Contest” at his local Washington DC watering hole, Thunder Burger and Bar.  Being the coffee aficionado he is, he created a coffee crusted burger topped with sautéed mushrooms, gouda cheese and toasted almonds. He appropriately named it “The Bond Burger”.

bond burger, create a burger contest winner, coffee crusted burger, tyler bond, thunder burger and bar, washington dcThe combination was so intriguing I knew I had to make it for myself and share it on the blog!

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Ingredients (makes 2 –  1/2 lb. burgers)

  • 1/4 cup ground coffee
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 slices gouda cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 square focaccia buns

Begin by combining the coffee, salt and steak seasoning in a shallow bowl.

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Next, form the ground beef patties and add to the coffee crusting.

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Yes, my patties are square. It’s an ongoing joke with my family and friends because my name is frequently mistaken for “Wendy” instead of Whitney, so I posted this photo on my Instagram.

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Everyone found it so hilarious that I knew the next time I made cheeseburgers, they had to be square!

Now back to business! Coat the burgers on all sides and edges with the coffee.

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Next, prepare the sautéed mushrooms by placing them in a skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil.

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Cook until brown and fragrant.

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Bring the mushrooms, burgers, cheese and buns to your grilling area.

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Place the burgers on the grill for 7-10 minutes.

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Flip and grill for an additional 7-10 minutes. (Thank you to my “taste tester” PK for the action pics!)

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While the burgers are grilling, place the almonds on a baking sheet and into a 350° oven for 15 minutes.

almonds, toasted almonds, sliced almonds, toasted almond cheeseburger, food, recipeWhen the burgers are grilled within 1-2 minutes of your temperature choice, place the mushrooms on top.

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gouda cheeseburger, bond burger, coffee crusted cheeseburger, toasted almond burger, mushroom burger, grilled cheeseburger, gouda cheese, recipe, foodBrush the buns with the additional tbsp of olive oil and place on the grill for 1-2 minutes.

Remove the burgers and buns then top with the toasted almonds.

gouda cheeseburger, bond burger, coffee crusted cheeseburger, toasted almond burger, mushroom burger, cheeseburger with focaccia bun, toasted almonds, recipe, foodI served the burger with a spinach salad topped with almonds and tomatoes.

gouda cheeseburger, bond burger, coffee crusted cheeseburger, toasted almond burger, mushroom burger, cheeseburger with focaccia bun, spinach tomato salad, recipe, foodSuch an interesting twist on a traditional cheeseburger!

gouda cheeseburger, bond burger, coffee crusted cheeseburger, toasted almond burger, mushroom burger, cheeseburger with focaccia bun, spinach almond salad, recipe, foodMy brother definitely knows what he’s doing!

gouda cheeseburger, bond burger, toasted almond burger, mushroom burger, cheeseburger with focaccia bun, spinach salad, recipe, foodNow it’s time to dig in!

inside of cheeseburger, gouda cheeseburger, mushroom burger, coffee crusted burger, focaccia buns, recipe, foodAnd for the close up…

inside of cheeseburger, gouda cheeseburger, mushroom burger, coffee crusted burger, focaccia buns, recipe, foodThe combination of the strong coffee flavor with the smoky gouda cheese and savory sautéed mushrooms was awesome!

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Thank you to Tyler Bond for doing the family name proud and coming up with this awesome and oh-so-delicious “Bond Burger”!!!

♣ Vegetarian Option: Replace the hamburger patty with a veggie or soy patty to make this dish vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Replace the focaccia bun with a gluten-free bun or simply discard the bun and go “protein style” to make this dish gluten-free.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Cinnamon, Oranges, Apples and Brussels Sprouts

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

Welcome to Chopped Challenge Thursday, Week Eleven!  I can’t believe it has been almost 3 months since I began this little portion of the blog!  It has been a blast and this week was especially fun because my 87-year-old grandma in Houston, Texas submitted an ingredient into the mix (with a little help from my Mom to post on Facebook)!

Check out Nana this summer with my Mom and I while showing off her backyard garden!

grandma, backyard, texas, Houston, nana, mom, family

Nana submitted Cinnamon because she said that she heard it has a lot of health benefits! She’s one smart lady because cinnamon does pack a lot of health benefits including lowering bad cholesterol, relieving arthritis pain, stabilizing blood sugar and even eliminating migraine headaches!

The next three ingredients added into the mix were brussels sprouts from Allison Davis, apples from Wendi Garrison and oranges from Cynthia Mitchell.

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I already had an Apple Sausage Gorgonzola Tart on my menu for the week so I decided to use the additional ingredients from “Mystery Basket Monday” to turn the Tart into this weeks Chopped Challenge Thursday!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tartThe final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Eleven: Caramelized Apple and Onion Tart with Gorgonzola, Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

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Ingredients (makes 2 tarts – serves 4)

  • 1 cup brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/3 cup and 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 red apples (cored and sliced)
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 oranges (juiced)
  • 1 roll phyllo dough (app 20 sheets)
  • 2 sweet italian sausages (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)

Start by quartering the brussels sprouts and placing on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with the minced garlic.

brussels sprouts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, minced garlic, black pepper, kosher salt, recipe

Place into a 425° oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside while preparing the rest of the tart.

brussels sprouts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, minced garlic, black pepper, kosher salt, recipe

Now on to caramelizing the apples and onions. Melt the butter in a large skillet then add the sliced apples.

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Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the sliced onions.

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Cook until the apples and onions become tender, about 8-10 minutes, then add the brown sugar, cinnamon and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

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Combine all of the ingredients together and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Set to the side while preparing the orange vinaigrette for the tart.

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Whisk the juice of 2 oranges (app 1/3 cup) with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar.

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Now prepare the tart’s crust by brushing this mixture on each sheet of phyllo dough, while stacking the sheets on top of each other.

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Place 10 sheets in 2 separate stacks to make 2 tarts.

Fold the edges of the tart in to form the crust, then brush the edges with the orange vinaigrette.

Next begin to assemble the tarts by placing a layer of caramelized apples and onions on the crust.

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Next top with the brussels sprouts, then the sausage, gorgonzola cheese and rosemary.

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

Transfer carefully onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 425° for 10-12 minutes (depending on how crisp you want the crust!)

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

Thank you all for continuing to provide such awesome ingredients and inspiration through “Chopped Challenge Thursdays”, this is another new favorite dish for me!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

There are so many components that make up this delectable tart…

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

the creaminess of the gorgonzola cheese…

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

the sweetness of the cinnamon apples…

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

and the savory flavors of the sausage and brussels sprouts!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

Now it’s time to dig in!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian when the sausage is eliminated. Replace the butter with olive oil and eliminate the cheese  to make this recipe vegan.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Foodista has a recipe for gluten-free phyllo dough here or replace the crust completely with my cauliflower based Gluten Free Pizza Crust.

Mushroom Chickpea Bruschetta

Chickpea Mushroom Bruschetta {Little Leopard Book}

The idea for this recipe simply came from the fact that I ended up with 6 cans of Chickpeas in my pantry and needed to free up some space!

I’m so thankful for my over-purchasing of this delicious bean because the result was this delicious new bruschetta recipe which I am completely obsessed with!

Check out my video for how to make this yummy new appetizer! Warning: Taylor Swift references and something called “chunkin’ into garlic” are included!

Doesn’t that sound delicious? Check out the full recipe below!

Mushroom Chickpea Bruschetta Ingredients

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 cup “baby bella” or cremini mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas or garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 baguette (toasted and sliced)

Cook the chopped mushrooms with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until browned and fragrant.

Combine the mushrooms with the next 7 ingredients in a medium bowl then top with the parmesan cheese. Serve on a sliced baguette.

Chickpea Mushroom Bruschetta

This is a perfect hearty fall appetizer!

Mushroom Garbanzo Bean Bruschetta

A healthy way to start a meal with antioxidants from the mushrooms, protein from the chickpeas and the ability to reduce heart disease in the garlic!

Mushroom Garbanzo Bean Bruschetta

Now it’s time to dig in!

Fall Mushroom Bruschetta

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free when served on a gluten-free baguette.

Pumpkin Ale Ice Cream Float

Pumpkin Ale Ice Cream Float

My favorite time of year is the week when Pumpkin Beer hits the shelves and college football begins! I somehow managed to take this glorious week and my favorite beer and make it even better in this delicious concoction that transforms a classic dessert favorite into an adult style fall treat with a pumpkin twist!

Pumpkin Beer Float Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 1 float)

  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin ale
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Scoop the ice cream into a tall glass. Pour the pumpkin ale over the ice cream and top with a dash of cinnamon.

Pumpkin Ale Float

This dessert is perfect for the beginning of fall when it’s still warm enough outside to enjoy ice cream, but fall is in the air, so it also feels acceptable to begin drinking pumpkin beer! And you thought root beer floats couldn’t get better? Well, they just did!

Pumpkin Ale Ice Cream Float

Grab a spoon and dig in to this scrumptious Pumpkin Ale Ice Cream Float!

Pumpkin Beer Float

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

Pumpkin Ale Float

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 float

Pumpkin Ale Float

Ingredients

  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin ale
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Scoop the ice cream into a tall glass.
  2. Pour the pumpkin ale over the ice cream and top with a dash of cinnamon.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-to-drink-pumpkin-ale-float/

Pretzel Rolls

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Pretzel buns are all-the-rage at the hip, fancy burger joints popping up everywhere these days!

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The bread adds a unique twist to a burger or sandwich when used as a bun, which is why I made homemade pretzel rolls for my super unique Oyster Sliders last week.

I mean, you can’t just put a crispy oyster with spicy pumpkin aioli and pickled jalapeno mango relish on any regular old bun!

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I quartered each roll to make them into 4 little slider buns and they worked perfectly for this dish!

brown sugar, bread flour, kosher salt, baking soda, butter, yeast, olive oil cooking spray, ingredients, recipe

Ingredients (makes 8 rolls)

  • ¼ oz yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (divided)
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp butter (melted)

Begin by combing the yeast, water and sugar in a large bowl.

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Wait for the mixture to bubble, 10-15 minutes, then add 1 tsp salt and flour.

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Combine until a ball of dough forms then place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.

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Place the dough into a large bowl coated with the cooking spray.

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Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down then divide into 8 rolls and place on a baking sheet.

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Cut an X on the top of each roll then cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

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Boil 6-8 cups of water. Once boiling add the baking soda. The water will bubble up like a science experiment, fun!

Add the rolls 2-3 at a time to the water. Cook for 1 minute on each side.

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Remove from the water, drain and place on the baking sheet.

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Bake at 400° for 12-14 minutes.

pretzel bread, pretzel buns, pretzel rolls, basket, bread, homemade pretzels, homemade pretzel bunsBrush with melted butter and sprinkle with the additional salt.

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Trade up traditional dinner rolls for these pretzel goodies to add something new and different to your favorite meal!

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Slice one open and dig in!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

Pretzel Rolls

Yield: 8 rolls

Ingredients

  • ¼ oz yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (divided)
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp butter (melted)

Instructions

  1. Begin by combing the yeast, water and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Wait for the mixture to bubble, 10-15 minutes, then add 1 tsp salt and flour.
  3. Combine until a ball of dough forms then place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Place the dough into a large bowl coated with the cooking spray.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  6. Punch the dough down then divide into 8 rolls and place on a baking sheet.
  7. Cut an X on the top of each roll then cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
  8. Boil 6-8 cups of water. Once boiling add the baking soda.
  9. Add the rolls 2-3 at a time to the water. Cook for 1 minute on each side.
  10. Remove from the water, drain and place on the baking sheet.
  11. Bake at 400° for 12-14 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-pretzel-rolls/

Crisp Apple Salad

crisp apples, salad, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, recipe, gorgonzola cheese, fall saladNothing says fall more than apple chips dashed with cinnamon baking in the oven! The house smells amazing and you end up with a crisp, delicious treat that is perfect on this flavorful fall salad!

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apples, red onions, almonds, lettuce, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, sun dried tomatoes, gorgonzola cheeseIngredients (serves 2 as entrée, 4 as side dish)

  • 2 apples (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups lettuce
  • 1/2 red onion (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette

Begin by thinly slicing the apples. A mandolin would be perfect for this, but unfortunately I don’t have one.

I thought this would be the perfect time to let everyone know that my birthday is 33 days away… just saying 😉

apple slices, apples, baking apples, apple crisps, cinnamon, sugar, recipe, food, fruit, fallThey don’t have to be perfect (and if you’re using a knife to slice each one, there is pretty much no way they’re going to be!) But attempt to get them as uniform as possible so that they will bake evenly!

Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.

apple slices, apples, baking apples, apple crisps, cinnamon, sugar, recipe, food, fruit, fallBake at 200° for 2 hours, flipping half way through baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool and crisp completely.

apple slices, apples, baking apples, apple crisps, cinnamon, sugar, recipe, food, fruit, fallWhile this is happening, begin preparing the salad.

Simply toss together the lettuce, onions, tomatoes, almonds and balsamic vinaigrette.

Place on separate plates or in a large bowl for serving and top with the cheese and apple crisps.

crisp apples, salad, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, recipe, gorgonzola cheese, fall saladThis salad has the perfect balance of sweet, creamy and crunchy!

crisp apples, salad, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, recipe, gorgonzola cheese, fall saladNow dig in!

crisp apples, salad, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, recipe, gorgonzola cheese, fall saladThe salad is made even more delicious when topped with my Grilled Lemon Rosemary Basil Chicken!

crisp apples, salad, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, recipe, gorgonzola cheese, fall salad, grilled chickenOnce the apples are baked, you can place extra apple crisps in a Ziploc bag and throw this salad together any night of the week in 30 minutes with the chicken or less than 5 minutes without the chicken!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian without the grilled chicken.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Almonds, Beer, Tomatoes and Marshmallow Fluff

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This weeks Chopped Challenge Mystery Basket included beer, almonds, tomatoes and marshmallow fluff…  again!

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I combined the beer and almonds to make one of my favorite side dishes, onion rings.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

I then combined the marshmallow fluff and tomatoes to make a side of BBQ sauce for dipping.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Ten: Beer Battered Almond Crusted Onion Rings with a Sweet Marshmallow BBQ Sauce

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Ingredients (BBQ Sauce – makes 2 cups)

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

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Puree until a thick sauce forms.

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Place in the refrigerator while preparing the onion rings.

Ingredients (Onion Rings – makes app. 30)

  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Begin by slicing the onions into 1/4 inch rounds.

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Next, whisk together the egg, milk and beer. Pour the mixture over the onions.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Next, blend together the almonds and cornmeal in a food processor.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Place in a shallow dish.  Combine the flour, salt and cayenne pepper in a separate shallow dish.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Next, heat a small amount of olive or canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then pre-heat the oven to 400° and prepare a baking dish topped with cooling racks on the side of the skillet.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Now, you’re ready to go!

Begin, by moving the onions from the milk and beer mixture to the flour mixture, coat well, then toss them back into the milk and beer, then into the cornmeal almond mixture.  Coat well then place into the skillet and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes.

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Remove from the skillet and place on the baking sheet.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Bake for 6-8 minutes then remove from the oven.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Serve with the Sweet Marshmallow BBQ Sauce for dipping.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

This is the perfect way to eat your favorite crispy side dish without the guilt of eating fried foods!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free flour for traditional flour and gluten-free beer to make this recipe gluten-free.