Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Goat Cheese

 

With Christmas just one week away, I couldn't wait to share this festive holiday side dish with you all! The perfect red, green, and white combination that even Santa would approve of! Yep! I still believe in Santa (wink wink!). My mom says that as long as you believe, Santa will keep bringing you presents. At 27 years old I still receive gifts from Santa under the tree. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Anyways, these sweet and creamy sprouts are then drizzled with a little bit of balsamic vinegar, which adds a little acidity to the dish and really makes the flavors pop!

Holiday Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Goat Cheese

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, stemmed, outside leaves removed, and then halved
  • 1 tbsp. bacon fat (or oil)
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
Heat bacon fat over medium heat and add in the brussels. Cook, turning occasionally for 5 minutes. Add in the cranberries and cook for another 3 minutes, until the brussels have softened and the cranberries are beginning to burst.

Add in the pecan halves and the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute more, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, top with the crumbled goat cheese.

Creamy Spiced Chickpea and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


We've been trying to eat extra healthy as of late since we are back from Hawaii and can't keep living on our eat-every-hour-stuff-our-faces-at-the-buffet diet. After flipping through Seriously Delish for the thousandth time, I decided to make my twist on these baked sweet potatoes filled with hearty chickpeas and greens. I took a tip from my instagram/virtual friend @whatallisonate and made a creamy tahini sauce to go on top. This is a perfect entree for meatless Monday, or use smaller sweet potatoes and make these for a side dish! I don't think we can get much healthier than this before we stuff our faces with Christmas cookies next week!



Creamy Spiced Chickpea and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 14.5-oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Bake in the oven until soft, about 50 minutes to an hour. Flip them over half-way through the cooking time.

Once the sweet potatoes have cooked, set them aside to cool slightly while you make the filling.

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Add in the chickpeas and season them with the cayenne and nutmeg. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, then add in the spinach. Continue to stir often, allowing the spinach to wilt, another 5-8 minutes.Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk, tahini, sriracha, salt, and pepper together. Whisk until combined.

To serve, split the sweet potatoes open, then fill with the chickpea spinach mixture and drizzle with the tahini sauce.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Apple Bacon French Toast Bake


This was the recipe that I was going to share with you yesterday, but I decided a Hawaii recap was more fun. But the procrastinating is over, and here it is! My dad loves his cast iron skillet. His collection started with a 12-inch skillet, then came along the bread pan (which makes a mean meatloaf), and next up, well, we will just have to see at Christmas, won't we. We made this recipe for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. That's right. We ate a massive bacon filled french toast bake, smothered in maple syrup before turkey and all of it's delicious side dish friends. And while, it may not be the prettiest thing to photograph, it tastes like a million bucks. I thought there was no way that 5 people could eat the entire thing, but I forgot how much food my little brother can put away. That thing got devoured quicker than I can spell devoured. Poof. Gone. Next time you are preparing breakfast for a small group, say Christmas morning, this is should be what you make. Salty. Sweet. French Toast. All wins. 




Apple Bacon French Toast Bake

Ingredients:
  • 10 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered, then thinly slice the quarters into 3 or 4 slices
  •  5 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 5 cups cubed sourdough bread

Cook the bacon on medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Once the bacon is cooked and crispy, place the bacon on a paper towel lined plate to rest, and pour out all but 1 tbsp. of the bacon fat. Lower the heat to medium and add in the butter and the maple syrup, letting them melt into the bacon grease.

Place the sliced apples in the hot skillet, tossing them, allowing them to get coasted all over with the hot butter-bacon-syrup (mmmmmmm). Once they are coated, spread them out into an even layer and let them cook, without touching them, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour the milk over the cubed bread in a large bowl. Stir well, until the bread is coated in the milk mixture.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

HDFB Vacation Recap : Kauai Engagement Edition

If you couldn't tell by my week long absence of my over posting of beach and food photos on Instagram, I've been in Hawaii for the past week with my boyfriend fiancĂ©. That's right.  HDFB IS GETTING MARRIED! While I was planning on sharing with you a bacon apple french toast recipe today,  I thought some photos recapping our trip sounded much better.  Not quite ready to get back into routines quite yet! Andrew popped the question on the first full day of our trip, and we spent the rest of the week in sun kissed beach bliss! If you ever get the chance to travel to the Hwaiian islands, I highly recommend the island of Kauai. We spent 6 days there, which was the perfect amount of time to venture out on 3 excursions, but also the perfect amount of laziness by the beach. Check it out!

Kilauea Lighthouse

Devine roasted beet and crispy goat cheese at Sunday Mimosa Brunch at the St. Regis Princeville.  

Our view from brunch. Pictures will never do it justice. 

Walked along the beach to work off our brunch food comas.

Scooped up this little crab. All unbeknownst to me that I would be engaged in a few hours!

Hiking the Na' Pali coast on the Kalalau Trail.  

Made it to Hanakapi'ai Beach and drafted this little photo. Only for our secret to be washed away with the tide!

Just lounging at the Smith Family Garden Luau.

Uncovering a 160 pound pig that had been roasting in this Imu (Hawaiian cooking pit) for 9 hours. 

Nice day for a helicopter tour of Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle. 

My favorite sight of the week (besides my engagement ring, of course) was Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. 

Drove down to Poipu Beach and walked along the water. 

Found a botanical garden in Poipu and saw hundreds of hibiscus, orchids, lotus flowers, lily ponds, and a cactus garden. 

Andrew's 1st time ziplining!

Not my first time ziplining! 

One last beach shot for good measure!

Friday, December 5, 2014

On Beach Time until December 15th


The time has come my friends! Consider this my virtual out of office reply. After 10 months of booking, planning, and counting down, we are off to Hawaii for the next 7 days. Tomorrow we fly from PHX-->LIH, and will be staying in Princeville on the island of Kauai. We are staying at the beautiful Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas and looking forward to a week of sun and fun. This will be Andrew's first time in Hawaii, and my first time in Kauai. I will have lots to report back to you pertaining to all things food and drink, as well as some excursion fun along the way (get me on that helicopter!). Be sure to follow me on instagram where I'll be sure to share some of our explorations! I'll be back to our regularly scheduled program on Monday, December 15th. Aloha!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BBQ Short Rib Pizza with Caramelized Shallots & a Fried Egg


I actually had leftover short ribs. Like how is that even possible? Usually when short ribs are served in my house, we will finish them to the very last fork tender bite. But I recently hosted taco night at my house and made enough food for 8 people, instead of the more reasonable 4 person serving. That being said I had to make something worthy of the all mighty short rib. This. Pizza. Is. Worthy. I would actually make short ribs just to have this pizza again. And as if the short rib wasn't rich enough in flavor I added a couple of runny eggs on top. Your taste buds will thank you.


BBQ Short Rib Pizza with Caramelized Shallots & a Fried Egg

Ingredients:
  • 1 ball pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup bbq sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded short ribs (recipe below)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 fried eggs
  • 2 green onion, sliced

Start by caramelizing your shallots. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the shallots, seasoning with salt and pepper. Lower heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes until they are fragrant and a deep golden color. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle corn meal onto pizza stone or large baking sheet. Roll out dough into the largest circle that will fit onto your baking surface. Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the bbq sauce, shredded mozzarella, caramelized shallots, and short rib. Bake in the oven for another 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is a deep golden brown. 

Meanwhile, fry up 2 or 3 eggs to place on top once the pizza is done cooking. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve hot.

Short Ribs
  • 1 lb. short ribs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup beer of your choice
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper. Sear on each side for about 1 minute and then add to your crock pot. Sprinkle in the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. Then add the beer. Cook on low for 6 hours until the meat is fork tender and falls apart very easily. Shred and reserve in an airtight container. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Green Chile Chicken Corn Chowder


With the holidays fast approaching, it seems like everyone is in a rush to get everything done. After work, there's barely enough time for the gym and gift shopping, let alone cooking a gourmet meal each night. This chowder is the answer to your schedule-packed prayers. From preparation to on the dinner table in just under 30 minutes, you can make sure that you are eating good, healthy, homemade meals, but in a fraction of the time. You can even make a batch of this and freeze it for future consumption! Hassle free and delicious. My kinda meal right there. 


Green Chile Chicken Corn Chowder

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large jalapeno, minced (remove ribs and seeds for less heat)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 hatch green chiles, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-oz. can corn, drained
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • whole milk greek yogurt for topping

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic, jalapeno, green bell pepper, green chiles and cook again until soft, another 3 minutes or so. 

Add in the chicken broth, the diced chicken, beans, and corn. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Just before serving add in the chopped cilantro and half of the shredded cheese. Stir well until the cheese melts into the chowder.

Serve the chowder in bowls, topped with more shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

 

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