Monthly Archives: December 2012

Gluten Free Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Red Sauce

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On Christmas Eve I decided to “gluten-free” one of my favorite childhood dinners so that my brother could enjoy the dish just like we did as kids!

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Sauce Ingredients (makes 4 cups)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 4 tomatoes (pureed)
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Enchilada Ingredients (makes 12 enchiladas)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

Start preparing the sauce by adding the olive oil to a small pan over medium heat, next add the minced garlic to the heated oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste and beef broth. Combine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Next add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cocoa powder and onion powder.

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Combine well then bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, brown the ground beef.

Now it’s time to put it all together and make the enchiladas!  First, prepare an enchilada-making-station with all of the ingredients easily accessible. This is an important factor because there is nothing like sticking a hand covered in enchilada sauce into a bag of cheese or tortillas!

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Pour one cup of enchilada sauce onto a plate. Rub each tortilla in the sauce on both sides then fill with ground beef and cheese, roll up and place into a baking dish.

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After all of the enchiladas are rolled up top with the remaining sauce and cheese then place in the oven at 350° for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly!

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Just as delicious as my childhood favorite with no gluten in site, and even more delectable served with the gluten-free version of my Black Bean Chorizo Fillo Baskets!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute soy chorizo for ground beef.

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

Mushroom Basil Polenta Cakes

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Polenta is an inexpensive, gluten-free cornmeal based Italian dish that can be prepared several ways. I chose to slice the prepared polenta and top it with sautéed mushrooms combined with fresh herbs for an appetizer.

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This recipe could also be served as a side dish with Lemon Basil Chicken or Rosemary Balsamic Pork Tenderloin.

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Ingredients (makes 15 cakes)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
  • 18 oz polenta
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet.  Add the mushrooms and sauté until brown and fragrant, 5-7 minutes.

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Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the mushrooms in a small bowl.  Mix in the basil and parsley.

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Slice the polenta into 15 “cakes”.

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Top the polenta with the mushroom mixture, then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a 350° oven for 12 minutes.

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Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve.

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

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

Fish, Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Potato Chips at Cheevers OKC

Cheevers Shrimp Pasta

I had the pleasure of dining at one of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants for lunch last week. One of my good friends (who also happens to be a Little Leopard Book super fan) wanted me to try his favorite restaurant in the city. Lucky for me, he has great taste!

Cheevers Menu

Cheevers OKC describes their menu as “contemporary comfort food”, and from the dishes we devoured at lunch, I would say they are spot on with their description.

We started with the Bleu Cheese Potato Chips.

Bleu Cheese Potato Chips

Two words: Sinfully. Delicious.

Their house cut potatoes are fried then topped with a creamy bleu cheese sauce, large chunks of blue cheese crumbles, crispy bacon and fresh green onions.

I’m lucky I was there with a friend or I probably would have eaten the entire bowl myself!

We also started with a cup of Chicken Tortilla Soup.  My friend, the “chicken tortilla soup expert” said he has tried every chicken tortilla soup south of the Mason Dixon and this is the best around!

Cheevers Chicken Tortilla Soup

It was scrumptious. Large chunks of chicken, just the right amount of spice and no watered-down broth used just to fill the bowl (some restaurants do that! I know, it should be a crime, I agree!)

Next, we moved on to the main course, my friend and LLB super fan ordered the Five Spice Tilapia. If I had to guess the five spices I would say paprika, black pepper, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. This is purely an educated palate guess so don’t quote me on it 😉

Cheevers 5 Spice Tilapia

The tilapia was served on a Sweet Corn-Sun-Dried Tomato Masa Pancake and topped with Tequila Lime Sautéed Spinach, which seemed to be a trend on the menu because I ordered the Tequila Lime Shrimp Linguine.

Cheevers Shrimp Linguine

The delicious shrimp was tossed in the linguine along with asparagus, corn and more crispy bacon (yum!)

Tequila Lime Shrimp Pasta

Overall I’d say it was one delicious lunch and I’d recommend stopping by Cheever’s if you live in or around Oklahoma City or if you happen to be passing through!

Visit Cheever’s Cafe at  2409 North Hudson Avenue  Oklahoma City, OK 73103. For other information visit their website at www.cheeverscafe.com.

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bites

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bites {Little Leopard Book}

It’s always a chore when I visit my family to find something to cook that fits everyone’s culinary preferences and dietary needs.

My Mom, as I’ve mentioned before, is the pickiest eater alive.  My brother has Celiac disease, therefore maintains a strictly gluten-free diet.

Trying to find something she will eat AND he can eat is a struggle sometimes.

Luckily, my bestie called me up and told me she was having a small last-minute get-together and needed to use the ingredients she had on hand to make a few appetizers.  I gave her the idea for Chicken Parmesan Bites, then decided to make them myself because it was something I could easily make gluten-free and something my Mom would actually like!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Appetizer

I served them at the holiday party I hosted at my parent’s house last week along side Buffalo Chicken Dip and Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostini’s.

My Mom ate a whole plate full, so I guess she approves!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bite Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • ½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 package (8 oz) fresh mozzarella pearls
  • 4 cups chunky tomato marinara

Begin by cutting the chicken breasts into small cubes.

Chicken Appetizer Bites

Next, combine the breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add the chicken cubes and roll in the mixture.

Remove the chicken from the seasoned breadcrumbs, top with one mozzarella pearl and skewer with a toothpick.

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Bites

Place into a baking dish and cover with the marinara sauce.

Chicken Parmesan Bites

Place into a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes.

Mini Chicken Parmesan Appetizer Bites

Place on a serving bowl or tray and dig in!

Mini Chicken Parmesan Appetizer

These would be great at an Italian Tapas Party with Bruschetta, Caprese Salad Wraps and Mini Cannoli’s!

Chicken Parmesan Bites

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute tofu for chicken.

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

**Gluten-free breadcrumbs can be found at most major grocery stores.  You can also use rice Chex cereal put through a food processor to form a fine crumb mixture if gluten-free breadcrumbs are not available.

Nutella Cheesecake Bites

Nutella Cheesecake Bites

The inspiration for this dessert came last week while studying for finals. I was rummaging through my cabinets looking for a sweet snack and stumbled upon the vanilla wafers I had purchased to dip in my Birthday Cake Hummus. Then I spied that little jar of hazelnut goodness sitting on the shelf above. My vanilla wafers all the sudden started screaming, “dip me in hazelnut goodness, dip me in hazelnut goodness”, and since talking cookies freak me out, I obeyed.

Pretty much the greatest combination ever.

Now I thought, I could just spread some nutella on vanilla wafers and serve them at my Christmas Cocktail Party, but that just wasn’t quite inventive enough for the little leopard book, so I whipped some cream cheese into the nutella and replaced a graham cracker crust with vanilla wafers to make mini-nutella cheesecake bites!

Mini Nutella Cheesecakes

As I prepared these little bite-sized desserts for my party, I had to make a separate plate for my roommate and I to snack on so that we didn’t eat all of the bites reserved for the guests before the party!

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Ingredients

  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup nutella
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 box vanilla wafers

Blend together the nutella and cream cheese. Next, mix in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.

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Place the Nutella cheesecake mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner.

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Pipe the cheesecake onto the vanilla wafers.

Optional: top with some chocolate shavings for a little extra “oomph!”

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Bada bing, bada boom, Nutella Cheesecake Delectable Town awaits you!

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Simple, delicious, crowd-pleasing desserts are pretty much my favorite thing ever!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Replace the vanilla wafers with this gluten-free version of the cookie to make this recipe gluten-free.

Nutella Cheesecake Bites

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8

Nutella Cheesecake Bites

Ingredients

  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup nutella
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 box vanilla wafers

Instructions

  1. Blend together the nutella and cream cheese.
  2. Mix in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.
  3. Place the Nutella cheesecake mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner.
  4. Pipe the cheesecake onto the vanilla wafers.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dessert-nutella-cheesecake-bites/

Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostini

Cranberry Rosemary Crostini's

Cranberry Rosemary Goat Cheese Crostini's

I made these beautiful winter crostini’s for a holiday party at my parent’s house. The combination of goat cheese and cranberries was delicious. The sprinkle of rosemary on top gave the dish an extra fresh, herb flavor!

Goat Cheese Cranberry Appetizer

Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostinis

This dish would be a perfect Christmas day appetizer or holiday party hors d’oeurve as they’re simple to make for 7 or 20 and are beautifully presented!

Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostini Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • 4 oz goat cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (minced)

Begin by slicing the baguette, then spreading the goat cheese on top.

Cranberry Goat Cheese Crostini Recipe

Next, top with dried cranberries and sprinkle with fresh rosemary.

Cranberry Baguette Hors D'oeuvres

Cranberry Rosemary Topped Baguette

Easy as that, this dish is ready to be served!

Goat Cheese Cranberry Crostini Appetizer

Cranberry Goat Cheese Fresh Herb Crostini's

I also made a gluten-free version for my brother by replacing the bread with red pepper slices.

Gluten Free Cranberry Goat Cheese Appetizers

Also delicious and very easy to make both versions at the same time!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Replace the baguette with red pepper slices as seen above to make this dish gluten-free.

How to Make Your Own Glitter Fortune Cookies

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I made these fancy fortune cookies for my annual Christmas Cocktail Party last weekend.  They were so much fun and a huge hit with all my friends!

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Edible glitter can be found at local cake decoration or baking supply stores.  I found mine at a great little spot in San Diego called Do It With Icing at 7240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.  They were so nice and extremely helpful, I highly recommend checking them out if you’re in the San Diego area!

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Holiday Glitter Fortune Cookies

  • 40 fortune cookies
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp edible glitter
  • small paint brush

Whisk together the corn syrup and water in a small bowl, then place into the microwave for 30 seconds. Place each color of glitter in a separate bowl and set up a “glitter fortune cookie making station”.

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Brush the warm corn syrup on the corners of each fortune cookie. Next, dip the corners into the edible glitter.

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Voila! Simple as that you have beautiful, festive fortune cookies!

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Who doesn’t love fortune cookies? It’s a fun party favor and when decorated with sparkling glitter, everyone is sure to be dazzled!

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These could be made for any holiday depending on the color of glitter used!

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Chopped Challenge Thursday: Raisins, Oats, Apple Cider and Coffee

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This weeks Chopped Challenge dish came together via three things:

  1. The ingredients in my mystery basket
  2. My brothers need for a dessert to take to a holiday party
  3. My brothers lack of tolerance for gluten

oats, raisins, apple cider, coffee

The ingredients in this weeks mystery basket consisted of Oats from Muffet Bond, Raisins from Bill Bond, Apple Cider from Cinda Garrison and Coffee from Janna Carr.

Although dessert seemed a little too easy, once the gluten-free aspect was thrown in the mix, the dish became more of a challenge.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookies

Gluten-free baking is somewhat difficult but I had done it once with his delicious gluten-free chocolate birthday cake, I knew I could do it again!

Chopped Challenge Thursday was also the perfect opportunity to make something amazingly unique for him to take to his holiday party!

Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookie with Caramel Apple Filling

After a couple of “sample cookies” to decide exactly how I wanted to incorporate the coffee and apple cider I came to the conclusion that my favorite cookie was the one that combined the ground coffee into the cookie dough and was filled with a gooey, delectable caramel apple center.

The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Seventeen:  Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookies with Caramel Apple Filling

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Ingredients (makes 15 cookies)

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground instant coffee
  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup & 1 tsp apple cider (separated)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup caramels

Begin by combining the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and coffee.

Gluten Free Cookie Recipe

Next, cream together the butter and sugar.  Then, beat in the eggs, vanilla and 1/4 cup apple cider. Add in the flour mixture and combine well.

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Next, hand mix in the oats and raisins.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough

Melt the caramels in the microwave for 1 minute, remove and immediately whisk in 1 tsp apple cider. The mixture should be a very thick caramel sauce.

Gluten Free Caramel Apple Filling

Now, to make the cookies, grab a ball of dough and make a “cave” in the middle. Then pour the caramel into its home, “the cave”.

Gluten Free Caramel Apple Filled Cookies

Wrap the dough around the caramel and place onto a cookie sheet.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes.

Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookies with Caramel Apple Filling

Scrumptious is the perfect word to describe these cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Caramel Apple Cookies

Don’t just take my word for it, my Mom was eating the crumbs off the baking sheet (true story!)

Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookies

And my brother just walked in with an empty container and said these cookies were the hit of the party!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

No gluten AND scrumptious, I’d say that’s one amazing cookie!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Caramel Cookies

Well hello melted caramel goodness! Don’t mind if I do 😉

Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookies

 

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

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

Spark Boys and Girls Club Scavenger Hunt 2012

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In addition to food, social media & blogging, I love kids! I love the open slate that a child is and how the right person, place, class, club or charity can make such a huge difference in the life of a child. That is why I recently took my social media talents to the Spark division of the Boys & Girls Club of San Diego. Spark stands for San Diego Professionals Achieving Results with Kids, long title, but basically it’s the Young Professionals division of the San Diego Boys & Girls Club. Spark just has that nice little ring to it!

I joined the Executive Committee of the club as the Communications & Social Media Chair. I am now responsible for the clubs e-mail blasts, Facebook page and Twitter account, as well as volunteering at our various social fundraising events (like the Ugly Christmas Sweater Toy Drive – see below – so fun!) and service events with the kids!

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Before joining the executive committee as a board member I was simply a “Friend of Spark” or someone who attends the events that help raise money for the club. While a friend of Spark I was asked to put my broadcasting degree to work and host the 1st Annual Spark Scavenger Hunt.

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The event was a super fun way to raise money for the club and I was honored to be a part of it!

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Check out the video which includes my hilarious interviews with the teams and a glimpse at the different fun scavenger hunt tasks the participants completed along the way!

If you live in or around San Diego and want to get involved as a Spark Friend or Ambassador, please contact me at whitney@whitneybond.com or follow us on Facebook & Twitter for information on upcoming social and service events!

Mini Cannoli’s

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Cannoli’s are a favorite Italian dessert, and since I love my Italian food, I felt the serious need to make my own!

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I decided to make “mini cannoli’s” to serve at my Christmas Cocktail Party this weekend. The little bite sized treats were perfect for a party and easily enjoyed by all of my guests!

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Ingredients

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 45 mini fillo baskets
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Use an electric mixer to whip the ricotta and goat cheeses together.  Next mix in the powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.

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Place the filling into a large Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner.

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Pipe the filling into the fillo baskets, then top with the mini chocolate chips.

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This dessert is so easy to whip up and the presentation is beautiful!

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I’ll definitely be making these all the time to take to parties!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Foodista has a recipe for gluten-free phyllo dough here. Cut into small circles and bake in a mini cupcake pan to make mini fillo baskets.

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

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Poi, Jicama, Pineapple and Kimchee

Hawaiian Pork Sliders with Jicama Salsa and Poi

This weeks Chopped Challenge sent me on a whole new adventure, one which turned out to be pretty amazing! After my old neighbor and friend, Thomas Kamakani gave me Poi, I knew an adventure was in front of me.

Not even having the slightest clue what Poi was, I set out to the great land of “google” to learn what this Hawaiian favorite was all about… and where I could possibly find it in San Diego!  Turns out, there was a japanese market, that also had a small section devoted to Hawaiian favorites which carried the ingredient and was only about 10 miles from my house.

I arrived to a rather confusing small village of stores know as Marukai Value, Marukai Market and Marukai Living. To my credit, if you were looking for food you would probably select “Marukai Market”, correct?  Well, Marukai Living actually holds the Hawaiian gem known as Poi, but I am oh so glad I first stumbled upon Marukai Market. How had I not known about Japanese markets until this point?  It’s like I opened a door to a whole new culinary world!

I have so much to say about the amazingness that was, my first Japanese market experience, that I’m going to save that for another post and get to the Chopped Challenge for this week!

Jicama, Kimchee, Pineapple, Poi

This Hawaiian style mystery basket included the aforementioned Poi from Thomas, Jicama from Krista Lombardi, Pineapple from Jackie Te and Kimchee from Cristina Dotson.

I combined this magical basket of ingredients into Hawaiian Pineapple Kimchee Pulled Pork Sliders, topped with Mango Avocado Jicama Salsa and a Sweet Chili Poi Sauce.

kimchee, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, chinese five spice, pork shoulder, garlic, ginger

Ingredients (Hawaiian Pork)

  • ½ pineapple (chopped)
  • 10 oz kimchi
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chinese five spice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (minced)
  • 4 lb pork shoulder
  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups mango avocado jicama salsa (recipe below)
  • 1 cup poi sweet chili sauce (recipe below)
  • 12 hawaiian sweet rolls

Begin by adding the pineapple and kimchi to a crock pot over low heat.

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Next, combine the paprika, chinese five spice, brown sugar, garlic and ginger in a small bowl.

Hawaiian Pork Dry Rub

Rub the pork with this mixture then place into the crock pot on top of the pineapple and kimchee.

Slow Cooked Hawaiian Pineapple Kimchee Pork

Next, pour the teriyaki sauce, white wine vinegar, honey and soy sauce into the crock pot.

Crock Pot Hawaiian Pinapple Pork

Turn to high and cook for 5-6 hours.

Half an hour before serving the pork prepare the Mango Avocado Jicama Salsa.

Mango Jicama Salsa Ingredients

Ingredients (Mango Avocado Jicama Salsa)

  • ½ jicama (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ fresh pineapple (chopped)
  • ½ red onion (chopped)
  • ½ mango (chopped)
  • 1 avocado (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chives (chopped)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Squeeze the lime juice and drizzle the avocado oil over the salsa. Toss, then sprinkle the black pepper and chives on top.

Mango Avocado Jicama Salsa

Next, mix together 1 cup of poi with 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce.

Sweet Chili Poi Sauce

Now, remove the pork from the crock pot and shred, then place on top of the hawaiian sweet rolls, drizzle with the kimchee, pineapple sauce from the crock pot.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sliders

Top with the salsa.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sliders with Mango Salsa

The flavor combination here is amazing!

Pineapple Pulled Pork Sliders with Mango Avocado Salsa

I went a little picture crazy because I was so excited to use my new light!  Look for a post about the amazingness of lighting coming soon 🙂

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sliders with Mango Jicama Salsa

Finally, place a little Poi Sweet Chili Sauce on the top of the bun.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sliders with Sweet Chili Poi

So the real question is, did I make the Hawaiian’s proud with this dish?

Hawaiian Pork and Poi Sliders

Well, according to my roommate (definitely not Hawaiian, but an avid LLB taste tester), it was delicious!

Hawaiian Pork Sliders with Sweet Chili Poi and Mango Salsa

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute jackfruit for the pork, this Indian fruit is known as “vegetable meat”.  See here for a sample recipe using jackfruit as pulled pork.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe has a lot of potential gluten hazards, sauces are always something that should be checked, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and sweet chili sauce are all available gluten-free, but be sure to check the labels first. Hawaiian sweet rolls could be replaced with gluten-free rolls or cabbage could be used instead to make the sliders into wraps.

Indian Chicken Curry Pitas

Indian Yellow Curry Sauce Pita

Between birthdays, finals and holiday parties, the last two weeks have been completely crazy and my kitchen has started to collect dust!

I spent a couple of hours tonight, dusting off the appliances and whipping up a new favorite!

I’ve had a serious infatuation with spicy Indian and Thai foods lately.  I also had 3 pounds of chicken in the fridge and a bag of pita bread, so I put them all together and  Indian Chicken Curry Pitas were born!

chicken, curry powder, red bell peppers, red onion, garlic, ginger, limes, chives

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp bay leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tomato (pureed)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 4 chicken breasts (thinly sliced)
  • 4 slices pita bread
  • 1 tsp fresh mint (garnish)
  • 1 tsp fresh chives (chopped – garnish)
  • 1 lime (sliced – garnish)

Begin by adding the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.  Next, add the bell pepper and onions.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, then add the minced garlic.

Next, combine the ginger, curry powder, bay leaves, coriander, cumin, paprika, chili powder and red pepper flakes to a small food processor or spice grinder.

ginger, curry powder, coriander, red pepper, chili powder, cumin

Blend well then add to the peppers, onions and garlic.

Curry Vegetables

Next add the pureed tomato, sour cream and coconut milk.

Now I know sour cream might sound weird but it turns out the yogurt in my fridge had gone bad and I was in “study mode” (AKA sweats, hair in bun, no make up), so I was not about to go to the grocery store for one item.

Being the little leopard I am, I knew I could find something in my fridge to replace the yogurt.  There it was in front of me, Mexican Crema (AKA Mexican Sour Cream), I thought, well let’s try this.  Turns out it was amazing, maybe I just stumbled upon the next great way to make curry sauce 😉

Vegetables in Yellow Curry Sauce

Well now that little secret is out of the bag, lets add the chicken to the curry sauce and vegetables!

Yellow Curry Chicken

Cover and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.

Spoon into pita bread and top with mint and chives.  Serve with lime wedges on the side to squeeze on top.

Indian Curry Chicken Pita

So delicious and flavorful, with just a slight kick of spice!

Want it a little spicier?  Just up the measurements on the chili powder and red pepper flakes!

Yellow Curry Chicken Pita

I got a little hungry while playing photographer and had to dig in!

Chicken Curry Pita

I feel like I say this all the time, but this is a totally new LLB favorite for me!!

Chicken Curry Pitas

♣ Vegetarian Option: Replace the chicken with extra vegetables such as zucchini, carrots and sugar snap peas to make this dish vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute the Pita Bread with gluten-free pita bread (found in specialty stores) or with this recipe  for homemade gluten-free pita bread.

Nutella Bacon French Toast Panini

Nutella Bacon French Toast Breakfast Panini

Cinnamon french toast, slathered in Nutella, topped with crispy bacon and pressed into a panini… does anything sound more heavenly than that?  I think not!!!

Ever since I purchased my panini press on Black Friday, the idea of a breakfast panini has been floating around in my mind.  I eventually decided to combine three of my favorite things into one incredible sandwich while making brunch for my roomie and his girlfriend this weekend! Let me tell you, no one was upset about this creation!

Nutella Bacon French Toast Panini Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 3 paninis)

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or your choice of milk)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 slices french bread
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp nutella

Begin by frying up the bacon.  Next, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.

How to Make French Toast

Soak the bread well in the mixture then add to a warm skillet over medium heat.

French Toast

Cook lightly for 1-2 minutes per side, then flip. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes then remove from the pan.  Allow to cool slightly then spread one side of each french toast slice with butter and the other side with nutella.

Nutella French Toast

Top each slice with one piece of bacon broken in half.

Nutella Bacon French Toast

Put the halves together to make your sandwich and place into the panini press.

Nutella Bacon French Toast Panini

Press and allow to cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the panini press and serve.

Nutella Bacon French Toast Panini

Hello breakfast from heaven! Now it’s time to dig in!

Nutella Bacon French Toast Breakfast Panini

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon altogether or replace the bacon with vegetarian bacon strips to make this dish vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Replace the french bread with a gluten-free bread to make this recipe gluten-free.

Nutella Bacon French Toast Panini

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3 paninis

Nutella Bacon French Toast Panini

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or your choice of milk)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 slices french bread
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp nutella

Instructions

  1. Begin by frying the bacon.
  2. Next, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Soak the bread well in the mixture then add to a warm skillet over medium heat.
  4. Cook lightly for 1-2 minutes per side, then flip.
  5. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes then remove from the pan.
  6. Allow to cool slightly then spread one side of each french toast slice with butter and the other side with nutella.
  7. Top each slice with one piece of bacon broken in half.
  8. Put the halves together to make your sandwich and place into the panini press.
  9. Press and allow to cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the panini press and serve.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-brunch-nutella-bacon-french-toast-panini/

Little Leopard Book Holiday Photo Shoot

Last week I had the pleasure of working with Photographer, Drew Casey, for the first time. A fellow Okie with several mutual friends it was the perfect match for the Little Leopard Book holiday shoot!

I love the holidays, decorating for them, cooking for them and most of all… throwing parties for them!

I wanted to take pictures that incorporated all of the above to show my little leopard holiday spirit across the blog and around the LLB social media universe!  Thanks to Drew for helping me accomplish just that!

*Cupcakes and Cranberry Martinis*

Girl in front of Christmas Tree

*Baking with Style*

Whitney Bond Holiday Baking in the Kitchen

*Hostess with the Mostess*

Whitney Bond Serving Christmas Cupcakes

*Little Leopard Book All Dolled Up*

Little Leopard Book Christmas

*Cupcake Beautification in Progress*

Frosting Cupcakes

*Treats for my Sweets*

Christmas Hostess Serving Cupcakes

*Happy Holidays*

Christmas Style

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Sprinkles, Hummus, Birthday Cake and Artichokes

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This weeks Chopped Challenge was very special because it  just so happened to fall on my birthday!

The ingredients I was given were very interesting, Sprinkles from Allison Davis, Hummus from Arun, Birthday Cake from Krista Lombardi and Artichokes from Angela Garner.

I decided to make a combination of sweet and spicy party dips including Birthday Cake Hummus and Spicy Buffalo Artichoke Dip. The hummus was inspired by my favorite peanut butter hummus at the local farmers market and the buffalo artichoke dip inspired by my consistent need to add buffalo sauce to anything possible!

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Ingredients (Birthday Cake Hummus)

  • 2 cups birthday cake batter
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
    • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans (or chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles
  • pita bread (for dipping)
  • vanilla wafers (for dipping)

Begin by combining the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.  In a large bowl beat together the eggs, sugars, butter, vanilla and coconut milk.  Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Place 2 cups of the birthday cake batter (recipe will make slightly more than that so you can bake up a couple little cupcakes on the side :-), garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice and sprinkles into a blender or food processor.

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Sprinkles are fun!

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Blend well, then serve topped with additional sprinkles!

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I loved the vanilla wafers dipped into this hummus for a sweet treat!

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I then prepared the spicy buffalo artichoke dip.

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Ingredients (Spicy Buffalo Artichoke Dip)

  • 1/2 cup vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (drained)
  • pita bread (for dipping)
  • wheat thins (for dipping)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine well.  Next, add the artichoke hearts and lightly blend for 10-15 seconds.  Pour into a serving bowl with a side of pita bread or wheat thins for dipping.  I topped it with parmesan cheese and chives for a little extra deliciousness and color!

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This is definitely my new favorite dip, it’s kind of like if Spinach Artichoke Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip got married, this would be their delicious little baby!

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I will definitely be serving this at my Christmas Cocktail Party next weekend!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: Both dips are vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Replace the flour in the birthday cake batter with a gluten-free flour substitute such as coconut flour and serve each dip with gluten-free cookies and crackers for a gluten-free option.

How to Make Your Own Team Holiday Ornaments

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These holiday ornaments are so simple to make, they are a great way to show your team spirit at the holidays and get a little crafty while you’re at it!

Because of the simplicity (and lack of messy products), these are perfect to make with kids of any age.  They will love having their own special ornament to put on the tree while showing off their favorite team colors!

I made two different ornaments for my two favorite teams, the Oklahoma Sooners and the OKC Thunder!

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Supplies Needed:

  1. Clear plastic ornament balls – $.49 (each)
  2. Colored pom-pom Balls – 15 for $1.69
  3. Colored small glass gems – small bag for $2.79
  4. Basketball (baseball or football) beads – small bag for $3.99
  5. Small Foam Letter Stickers – $2.99
  6. Small Foam Star Stickers – $1.49

Steps:

1. Begin to fill the ornament with the glass gems or pom-pom balls.

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2. For the pom-pom ball ornament, I layered the two different colors top/middle/bottom.

For the glass gems and basketballs, I began with one color, added the basketball beads in the middle, then added the other color on top.

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3. Place the top back onto the ornament, then add the letters and stars!

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nba ornaments, okc thunder ornaments, diy ornaments, diy team ornaments, ou sooner ornaments, diy thunder ornaments, make your own sooner ornaments, nba team ornaments

Voila!  3 simples steps and your custom team ornaments are on the tree!

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The great thing about these ornaments is the colors and letters can be completely customized to match middle school, high school or college colors, as well as NFL, NBA or MLB!

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Happy Holidays, Thunder Up and Boomer Sooner, from the Little Leopard family to yours!

Italian Crab Cakes

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I created these delicious Italian Style Crab Cakes as a starter for dinner on Saturday night.

I replaced mayonnaise with ricotta cheese and added fresh Italian herbs for a delicious twist on this seafood favorite.

ricotta, parsley, chives, garlic, crab, breadcrumbs

Ingredients (makes 12 crab cakes)

  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh italian parsley (chopped)
  • 1/8 cup red bell pepper (minced)
  • ¼ cup red onion (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups lump crab meat
  • ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh chives (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup garlic aioli
  • 2 lemon (sliced into wedges)
  • 1 cup mixed greens

Begin by whisking the ricotta cheese and egg together.  Next, mix in the fresh basil, parsley, bell pepper, onion and garlic.

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Add the crab meat, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese then form into cakes.

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Heat the olive oil in a skillet then add the crab cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove and serve on a bed of mixed greens, then top with garlic aioli and chives. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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These can be served as an entree with sides like Garlic Lemon Asparagus and Cilantro Lime Rice.

IMG_0649

Or served as an appetizer with your favorite Italian meal, such as Chicken Parmesan or Lemon Herb Salmon.

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Either way, these delectable seafood favorites will be the hit of the night!

IMG_0653

♣ Vegetarian Option: Zucchini and corn can replace the crab in this recipe for a vegetarian take on the dish.

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

December Giveaway Winner Announcement!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Little Leopard Book December Giveaway by “liking” Little Leopard Book and  Muffet Bond, Independent Longaberger Manager on Facebook, subscribing to Little Leopard Book and following Little Leopard Book on Twitter and Pinterest! And the winner is…