This stunning, refreshing drink caught my eye on Facebook, thanks to Delish. And it promised to drown my end of summertime sadness. Doesn’t tequila help with a number of sadnesses? The end of summer is certainly one of those. I don’t know about all of you, but I wasn’t ready to face the hustle and bustle of school. My work schedule hadn’t changed and the kids being in different camps at different ends of town didn’t help matters. But it was still summer. The evenings were for playing. The weekends for enjoying the pool, having friends over for BBQs. It now, alas, was all coming to end. How do I face it? How do I accept it? What’s that? Have some tequila? Absolutely!
1 c. ice
1 1/2 oz tequila (come on, you can add some more. You know you want to. I won’t judge, promise)
4 oz orange or grapefruit juice (I used orange)
1/2 oz grenadine
Maraschino cherry or mandarin, for garnish (I didn’t do garnish, still tasted amazing)
Fill glass with ice, tequila, and juice. Add grenadine. Add garnish, if desired.
Total time: 5 minutes
This recipe was not a hit with the family. D doesn’t like meat. Berto doesn’t like cheese. The Hubs doesn’t like ground meat or cheddar cheese. Sigh. This meal, to me, was wonderful! I do believe, though, it had less to do with the actual meal than with the fact this dish is true comfort food and it’s been over 100 degrees here in Cali. Maybe dinner would have been more successful had I just served ice cream. Hmmm, things to ponder . . .
1 Lb ground beef (I Texas Longhorn beef from the farmer’s market and it cooked up similar to ground turkey, but still had a wonderful beef flavor)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups milk
2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni (or whatever you have on hand, I used penne)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I can see any number of types of cheese being used and it being wonderful)
1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
3 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
Heat a large skillet to meidum high and brown meat. Once cooked, drain any fat that remains.
While meat browns, mix together seasonings in a small bowl. When drained, return meat to skillet and add seasonings, stirring to combine. Pour in hot water, milk, and pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.
Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes until sauce thickens.
Serve immediately with melty garlic bread and a crisp salad.
Wine Pairing Suggestions (because no matter the dish, we always need wine)
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Total time: 25 minutes
My husband and daughter love sushi. Toyo Sushi is our local haunt where D always orders the salmon nigiri and The Hubs gets the Grace roll. They know us so well that, when I’m ordering and I leave something out, they ask me about it. My son and I, however, aren’t wild about sushi. For me it’s a texture thing. For my son, it’s probably that his sister enjoys it so much. I have found one dish, though, that Berto loves; the grilled beef short ribs. He enjoys them so much that on a recent trip to the market, where the butcher had them on display, I bought several pounds. I almost skipped all the way home with excitement! They were perfect! The only thing left was to find the right recipe. Thanks to Food.com, I did just that and the ribs were a huge hit at our Labor Day BBQ. Oh, and if I forgot to mention how ridiculously easy they are to make, let me say it now. Crazy easy! These were so tasty, so good, our friends were convinced we had ordered in, until I showed them the evidence of my cooking.
3 Lbs beef short ribs (Flanken style or Korean style)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup soy sauce (I always opt or low sodium)
2 Tbs sesame oil
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced (I used 1 cup diced white onion that I had from a previous meal)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (while nothing beats fresh garlic, Spice Island makes an amazing substitute of a jarred minced garlic)
In a gallon ziplock bag (or whatever you like to marinate in) combine the sugar, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, onion, and garlic. Dissolve the sugar as much as possible, though it will likely not completly dissolve.
Completely submerge the ribs and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Keep in mind, the longer you marinate the better the flavor of the meat.
On medium heat, grill the ribs 5-7 minutes on each side. Open your mind to all serving options, over rice, on skewers, with traditional BBQ sides. The options are endless!
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Serves 10 small portions
Total time: about 40 minutes
I love it when a plan comes together. Or, more appropriately in this instance, I love it when a meal comes together. Especially when I walked into the kitchen at 5:00 with no idea what was going to be dinner. Not one piece of meat defrosted. Not a clue in sight. Nothing. Nada, Zip. What I did have, however, were ingredients. Ingredients that were waiting in freezer and pantry for their rightful place on the dinner table. I’d say they found it.
8 oz Penne pasta
1 lb ground beef
1 cup frozen (or fresh) chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic (or 1 whole clove)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream (change it up and use prepared alfredo sauce, pesto, heavy cream)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or mozzarella; just about any cheese you like)
Prepare noodles according to package directions. Preheat oven to 375.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown beef with onion, garlic, oregano, and salt. Add tomato sauce, water, and sour cream. Stir to combine and allow sauce to bubble.
Drain pasta and return to pan, add meat and sauce mixture. Stir together. When completely mixed, add to a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with cheese. Bake about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Serve with warm French bread and salad.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Serves 6 to 8
Total time: 30 minutes
*Original Serves4 Recipe
You know how sometimes in life you just happen upon something and it turns out to be so amazing you are STILL talking about it? Like the “Cowie” that I bought for my niece when she was two. Cowie is a stuffed Precious Moments cow that I bought on the clearance table outside of a Hallmark store. I know I didn’t pay over $5 for him (if even that), and I had no idea the impact Cowie was going to have on Alyssa. Lys immediately started carting Cowie everywhere with her. I can’t tell you how many times my sister had to turn the car around because Lys had forgotten Cowie somewhere. How Cowie was in Lys’s backpack through each and everyday as she navigated elementary and junior high school. Well, Lys is now in high school. I don’t think Cowie is still tucked away in her backpack, and I know that’s because my sister cannot repair Cowie anymore. He’s too thread bear and been repaired too many times before. So, Cowie rests at home now, waiting for the moment Lys will get home and hold him in her hand again. This recipe, admittedly somewhat less dramatic, is like that amazing purchase you make and can’t get over. When I found this recipe, I read it, I rolled it around in my mind. Thinking of ways to make it mine. This dinner was THE dinner of the week, if not the month!
For the Sauce:
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbs soy sauce (I always opt for low sodium)
2 Tbs barbecue sauce (check out Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
For the Chicken:
1 lb boneless / skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup panko
Oil for frying
To make the Sauce:
Add all sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Set aside until the chicken is done.
To make the Chicken:
Add flour to a gallon Ziploc bag. In a small, shallow dish (I usually use a Tupperware type dish), whisk eggs together. In a second gallon Ziploc bag, add the panko. To bread chicken, first add several pieces to the flour. Shake your money-maker for all it’s worth! Then dip the chicken in whisked eggs. Finally, add chicken to panko Ziploc bag and again, shake it.
Add oil to a large, nonstick frying pan. Heat to medium high. Cook chicken in batches for 6-8 minutes or until golden and crispy. Chicken should be cooked through.
Add cooked chicken back to pan and pour sauce over, coating chicken thoroughly. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Serves 4 small portions. For lunch tomorrow, double the chicken and adjust everything else
Total time: About an hour and half