Food / Recipes

Countdown

picnic spread

It is the 31st of July, which means tomorrow is August. August! How/Where did this summer go! We’re more than half way over and I have so much more I want to do! And the as much as I’m loving the new fall styles popping up in stores, I’m putting a stop to my sweater, long sleeve, and anything but sum mer wear buys! Luckily it stays pretty warm through September but I’m going to cramp as much as I can into this final summer month! Here’s my “I absolutely have to do these” to-do list…

1. Have a picnic
2. Cheer on the Washington Nationals (again)
3. Road trip to a local little town… Middleburg, Annapolis, or Gainesville
4. Take a sunset walk down by the monuments
5. Watch an outdoor movie

What’s left on your to-do list before Autumn arrives?

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Quinoa for Breakfast

You guys. I’m sick. Like days in bed, looks like a truck ran over me, after I was trampled by a heard of antelope. That kind of sick. Which is no bueno, especially mid-summer!  BUT what is making me feel a little bit better is this yummy oatmeal & quinoa breakfast.

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  • 2 cups whole or low-fat milk, plus more for serving or as desired
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup steel oats
  • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon or maple syrup

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until three-quarters of the milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Cook, covered, until almost all the milk has been absorbed, about 8 minutes. Garnish with berries, nuts, more brown sugar or whatever you want!

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Watermelon & Mint

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Usually I’m a “I’ll just have water” type of girl but after standing in line for what seemed like forever, and staring at the two fresh juice options Cava Mezze Grill had, I decided to opt for the watermelon & mint. Welp, that changed everything. I couldn’t suck that baby down fast enough, and I even debated turning around and going back for seconds. Yes it is that good!

I tried my hand at a watermelon refresher and it wasn’t half bad! Super simple to make, really delicious and hydrating, and the best part about it… if you’re feeling a little spicy, just throw in some alcohol. Rum or a mojito type vibe, tequila for a semi-margarita!

1 cup cubed watermelon, 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves, 1 cup of water. Blend together watermelon and water to a puree. Add in mint leaves, leave a few to garnish.

Happy sipping!

 

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P.S. Anyone in the DC area attending the RewardStyle back to school night tomorrow?! If so, I’ll see you there!! xo

 

 

{Pepper Jelly}

pepperjelly

{via}

Happy Monday! Is it just me or is every weekend going by faster and faster? Maybe because they’ve been filled recently with fun, but I feel like its a whirlwind until my alarm starts going off Monday morning! (Today was one of those days!)

Last night I ventured in Del Ray, Alexandria and had dinner at the cutest little restaurant, Evening Star. It’s located right on Mt. Vernon which is seriously just little a small town’s Main Street! We ordered fried brie and pepper jelly to start… My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Which also got me thinking that I want to try to make pepper jelly and thanks to Pinterest, I’m going to try this recipe! It doesn’t seem too hard!

Makes 5 to 6 half pints:

1/2 cup finely minced hot red pepper
1 cup finely minced green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 1/2 cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin

Combine the peppers, vinegar, and sugar in large saucepot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and boil gently for 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the pectin and ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps, and process ten minutes in a boiling-water canner.

 

 

Put the Lime in the Coconut

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  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Stalks Lemongrass
  • 1 Small Piece Ginger
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Scallion
  • 1/2 Cup Jasmine Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
  • 1 13.5-Ounce Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Palm Sugar
  • 10 Ounces Shrimp

Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger. Roughly chop the cilantro. Cut the ends off of both lemongrass stalks, then peel away the fibrous outer layers until you reach the white, pliable cores. Mince one of the lemongrass stalks. Cut the remaining stalk in half, then using the back of your knife, smash the lemongrass stalk on both sides. With a pairing knife or peeler, remove the peel of the lime. Finely chop the peel to make about 2 teaspoons of zest. Cut the lime into quarters. Cut the red pepper into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the scallion, keeping the white and green parts separate.

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Cook the rice:

In a small pot, combine the rice, 1 cup of water and a generous pinch of salt. Heat to a boiling on high, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and uncover.

Cook the aromatics:

In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of oil until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, minced lemongrass and white parts of the scallion. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add the red bell pepper and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Toast the curry:

Add some of the red curry paste, depending on how spicy you’d like the soup to be. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant, stirring frequently.

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Add the liquids:

Add the coconut milk, palm sugar, lime zest, smashed lemongrass and 1 cup of water, then season with a little salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly combined, stirring occasionally. (Be careful not to boil the soup as coconut milk may separate.)

Cook the shrimp:

Season the shrimp with salt and add to the soup. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or just until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque, stirring occasionally; season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and stir in half of the cilantro and the juice from 2 lime wedges. To plate your dish, discard the smashed lemongrass, then divide the soup and rice between 2 bowls. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions and the remaining cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Recipe from Blue Apron

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S’mores {Cupcakes}

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Sorry for the late[r] post today, but this one is a good one especially for the holidays! Everyone makes sugar cookies and pies for the holidays so if you’re looking to switch things up a little bit try this super easy, delicious cupcake! I went the super easy route and just bought a cake mix but if you want to be an over achiever and make the cupcakes from scratch, I’ve used this recipe in the past and it was great! Hope you enjoy these as much as my roommates, coworkers and I did!

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Layer:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 pinch salt
Cupcakes:
1 (16.5 ounce) package Duncan Hines® Devil’s Food Cake Mix or any other cupcake mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups water
2 cups marshmallow fluff

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in muffin pans.

Mix 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in small bowl.
Place 2 tsp. of the graham cracker mixture in bottom of each cupcake liner. Use your fingers or the bottom of small juice glass to pack and flatten graham crust in liners.
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until graham cracker layer is golden. Let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare cake batter as directed on package. Scoop cake batter on top of graham cracker crust, filling cupcake liner no more than two-thirds full.
Put marshmallow fluff in a piping bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off and squeeze fluff into the middle of the cupcake.

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{Spiced} Sangria

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TGIF!! This week was a long one, and when I woke up today I almost didn’t believe that it was really Friday! So since it’s Friday, and the season of cocktail parties, I wanted to share with you my winter sangria recipe. It’s my go-to for all holiday dinners and always a crowd pleaser!

 I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s so when I saw their Spiced Pear Cider, I opted to go for a lighter sangria instead of a red. I made this batch for my Friendsgiving that I had awhile ago (hence the pumpkin on the table) and the flavors were great for a cozy night in with friends!

Sangria isn’t as hard to make as you’d think, and really it’s pretty fool proof. Wine, juice, rum, and fruit are what you’ll need. I used Pear Cider, Spiced Rum, a Berry Medley (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and pomegranate), a dash of nutmeg, pinch of cinnamon, and two bottles of white wine. I always go with a semi-sweet white, like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc to balance out the flavors of the rum and cider.

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{Slow Cooker} Beef Stew

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Happy Friday!! This week was a long one and I am definitely ready for a relaxing weekend before we enter the holiday season! I’m beyond excited for Thanksgiving next Thursday, hello expandable pants, but in the meantime a great meal to last you a few days is this Beef Stew. It’s hearty, delicious and the perfect meal after a long week of work when the weather’s dropping!

Ingredients:

3 to 4 pounds top sirloin roast
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 large potatoes, cut in 1 to 2-inch cubes
A large handful of carrots, sliced or whole
1 large onion, chopped, 1 1/2 to 2 cups
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Merlot

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Pear & Gorgonzola Flatbread

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I’m a big fan of fruit and cheese together (and of course I’m a fan of pizza) so when all of them are combined in this deliciousness… oh my goodness! Get ready to seriously fall in love!

2 Bosc pears, thinly sliced
2 1/2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 sweet onion, caramelized
Pizza Crust (I used Trader Joe’s crust but here’s a great recipe!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place crust dough on a medium baking sheet. Layer the pear slices and sprinkle the cheese and onions over. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.

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Pumpkin Bars

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You can’t go through fall without making some sort of Pumpkin dessert, and I definitely didn’t hold out too long this year! Pretty much as soon as there was that chill in the air I grabbed all the ingredients to make Pumpkin bars and I’m sure glad I did!

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

*I added chocolate chips to mine as well since I’m a chocolate & pumpkin fan!

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool completely before cutting.

These moist fall treat will be a hit and fill your house with goodness!

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