Rules are made to be broken! Actually, I take that back, as I just unsuccessfully tried to come up with a list of breakable rules in my head. I’m not much of a rebel. However, in honor of Labor Day today, here are two rules I absolutely do not stand behind:
1. No wearing white after today. Ummm, has everyone already forgotten that less than two months ago we celebrated Independence Day? Wear whatever you want! I personally avoid white since my clothes tend to be a magnet for dirt, spilled food and/or (usually and) drinks… but to each their own.
2. Labor Day is the official end of summer and BBQ season. Eww, no way! First of all, I live in Los Angles, where it is summer pretty much year-round. (Sorry to rub it in.) And BBQ season is never over. My heart & stomach can’t handle that much pain.
So, in honor of Labor Day, here are a few of my favorite BBQ recipes from over the summer. I found them all on Pinterest. (Don’t judge me, it’s an amazing place to find recipes.) Promise me you’ll keep your grill out of hibernation until you give these a try. To add to your rebellion, wear white while you BBQ your way into Fall! Perhaps also use an apron, just in case.
1. Steak, steak, steak
Flank steak is our meat of choice for this - you can find it at any grocery store. It’s super tender and yummy. The best thing about this marinade is that you don’t have to let it sit forever. An hour or two is plenty. If you’re like me, you don’t decide 6 hours in advance what you want to grill.
The Best Steak Marinade EVER
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (optional) (Marissa tip: First of all, when is garlic EVER optional. Second, be a rebel and use fresh garlic for goodness sakes!)
Put all the ingredients in a gallon bag or large tupperware. Mix it together, then add the meat. Massage the ingredients into the meat. Steak needs love too! Leave it in the fridge for an hour or two - or as long as your stomach can wait to start BBQ-ing. BBQ the steak to your liking - about 20 minutes or so. If you’re feeling fancy (I always am) sprinkle some chopped green onions on top when serving. Better yet, have someone else BBQ it for you - you already made the marinade, it’s your turn to relax with a glass of wine.)
Original recipe can be found here: http://pinterest.com/pin/229965124693205242/
2. Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp
These shrimp perfectly compliment the steak above. Surf & Turf meals are the best!
Grilled Garlic & Herb Shrimp
2 teaspoons ground paprika
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 pounds large shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined (Marissa tip: Buy peeled and deveined shrimp. Duh, why put yourself through that.)
Whisk the paprika, garlic, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, basil, and brown sugar together in a bowl until thoroughly blended. Add shrimp and toss to evenly coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Skewer the shrimp - we found that two sticks were easier to handle because we used pretty large shrimp. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Place shrimp on preheated grill and cook, turning once, until opaque in the center, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve immediately.
Original recipe can be found here: http://pinterest.com/pin/229965124693219624/
3. Pork, pork, pork
Ok, one more. This recipe is deeeelish and perfect for those who like a little kick to their meat. The original recipe calls for this to be made in the oven, but we of course made it on the BBQ.
Asian Pork Tenderloin
2-½ pounds Whole Pork Tenderloin
⅓ cups Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
¼ cups Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chili Garlic Sauce (Marissa tip: The sauce is In the Asian section of the grocery store. Use at your own risk. :) But seriously, use sparingly if you don’t like super spicy food.)
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 cup Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth, At Room Temperature
2 whole Green Onions (green Parts Only) Diced, For Garnish
Rinse and pat dry the pork loin.
In a gallon baggie, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, brown sugar, onion powder, pepper and chili garlic sauce. Seal, squeeze and shake the baggie to combine the ingredients well. Place pork loin in baggie, squeeze out air, seal baggie and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. (Marissa tip: We only did this for a few hours and it was still amazing. Don’t stress if you don’t figure out what you want for dinner until the afternoon like a normal person.)
Empty the leftover marinade from the bag into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Combine the cornstarch with room temperature chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Add the broth to the pan and cook for a minute or two. Remove from heat.
Slice pork loin and place on serving platter. Drizzle sauce over all before serving and place any extra sauce in an extra dish on the side. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired. (Marissa tip: Desire the green onions, they’re amazing on this!)
Original recipe can be found here: http://pinterest.com/pin/229965124692617948/
I saw this and had to share. Watch out world, we’re taking over… one lumpia at a time! (Well, I’m only half Filipino, so half a lumpia at a time.)
Andrew Zimmern: Filipino food is the ‘next big thing’
Orrrrange you glad it’s Friday? Bahahaha.
p.s. I clearly drank too much coffee this AM.
Those who know me well know I’m not much of a sweets person. But John and I were feeling adventurous so went to Beverly Hills to try the new Sprinkles Ice Cream that just opened next to Sprinkles Cupcakes. I ordered a scoop of red velvet ice cream in a cup and it was deeeelish. They take vanilla ice cream and smash a Sprinkles red velvet cupcake in it - icing and all. Swoon! Plus, the cup is so cute how could you not fall head over heels? John ordered pistachio ice cream in a cone. I tried it and it was also very good. But it was brown ice cream in a brown cone, hence not as photogenic as mine.
The place itself is very Sprinkles-esque - simplistic, all white with a splash of color. An Andy Warhol quote is in bold red on the wall, “”Rodeo Drive is a giant Butterscotch Sundae.” Any ice cream place in BH not displaying this quote, shame on you - it’s so obviously perfect. Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for ice cream is scrawled in cursive on the ceiling. (U.S. President and ice cream connoisseur - I’m beyond impressed!) My only negative is the white tile floor, which by our 8pm arrival was super dirty and gross from the day. Lucky for Sprinkles, the crowd of customers left little room to actually see what was under your feet.
All in all, I’d totally go back. Which is a pretty huge compliment from a girl who’d choose a cheeseburger over sweets any day.
Hope your day is as sweet as red velvet ice cream!
P.S. Don’t take my word for it… go try for yourself!
9631 south santa monica blvd/beverly hills, california 90210
And if you’re curious, here’s a link to more info about Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream: http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson%27s_Vanilla_Ice_Cream_Recipe
Happy Memorial Day! While it’s fun to be super excited for a vacation from work (YAY!) it’s of utmost importance to remember why. So before I discuss the wonder that is peach-whiskey barbecue chicken, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all the courageous and selfless men and women who died serving our great country - in addition to those still serving around the world today. We could say thank you a million times and it’d never be close to enough!!
How is it already Memorial Day, by the way? Seems like it was just a couple weeks ago I was eating Asian Slaw on Easter. But here we are. Sorry I haven’t posted lately. I’d try to explain, but excessive DVR dates and being too tired after work don’t seem to fall under the good excuse category. At any rate, this is a perfect summer recipe and since Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of the season I can’t think of a better way to get back on your good side!
I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s website, whose recipes I am now certifiably obsessed with via Chrissy Teigen’s blog, which sidenote is hands down my favorite food blog on the planet.
This isn’t a hard recipe, but it does need about 2 hours of your time. I promise though, it’s totally worth the wait! The ingredients aren’t expensive and some of it you probably already have. For example, if your best friend is as fun as mine you keep a bottle of Jack Daniels on hand just in case she makes an impromptu visit.
So this recipe starts with melting a bunch of butter in the pan. Ummmm… I know! It was love at first melt for me, too.
Next, place your chicken thighs skin side down in the pan and let ‘em sizzle.
Once they’re nice and beautifully golden, take them out and set them aside so you can make your sauce.
Start by pouring out part of the grease, then add chopped onions and let them cook for a couple minutes. For things like chopped onions, a small food processor is your new best friend. (If you don’t have one, I’m sorry and happy chopping. Don’t cry!)
Next up, whiskey. Be careful when pouring because of the alcohol and heat combo. Setting your kitchen on fire is not good for your cooking reputation or mine.
If you’re still reading, you’re still in one piece. Good job. Once the whiskey cooks down for a couple minutes, add the BBQ sauce, peach preserves and water. I didn’t take a photo of me pouring water in the pan because it seemed boring… but oooo la la, peaches! They’re my favorite summer fruit. Sidenote: how fabulous would it be to use homemade preserves? Maybe someday. For now, I used the store brand from Ralph’s and we can just pretend.
Now you’re ready for the Worcestershire sauce. Thankfully for us both this is written as I have never been able to pronounce Worcestershire and can barely spell it. And you’ll need 4 cloves of garlic. Mmmm garlic. Once it’s all combined well, it’s time to put the chicken back in the pot. Pour in the juices from the plate it was resting on, too - it’ll make it taste better plus it feels very chef-y and profesh!
OHHHH EMMM GEEE!!! Doesn’t it look yummy?! Unfortunately, now it needs to be covered and put in the oven for an hour and a half. I know, it seems like forever. But it’s the perfect amount of time to watch a couple shows on DVR, read a book or work out. Just kidding on that last one. Wanted to make sure you were paying attention.
You put the entire pot in the oven. If you’re like me and had visions of the pot cracking under the heat or perhaps blowing up the oven and you - both bad scenarios (especially for me since I was making this at John’s house) don’t worry! I read the recipe over and over, searched “can you put a pan in the oven” on google and called my mom for reassurance. But if you need to make sure for yourself, I promise I won’t judge. Once it’s been in there for awhile, the sauce will start to caramelize. Not that I opened the oven door every 5 minutes to look at it or anything.
Between watching DVR and working out (wink, wink) chop some green onions.
And then, just when you’re about to pass out or contemplate ordering pizza, it’s done! Yay!!!!! Sprinkle some green onions on top of the chicken and serve it with whatever sides you’d like - I did roasted brussels sprouts and rice pilaf (the boxed kind from Trader Joe’s, I can’t make everything from scratch for goodness sake!)
The Pioneer Woman’s Peach & Whiskey Barbecue Chicken
12 whole Chicken Thighs, Bone-in, Skin-on
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced (Marissa tip: Use a food processor to chop these if you can get your hands on one. If you don’t have one or find that to be lazy, happy chopping.)
1-1/2 cup Whiskey (Marissa tip: If I learned anything from my best friend, the only name you need to know is Jack Daniels.)
12 ounces, fluid Barbecue Sauce (I used Trader Joe’s brand. But use whatever you want - if you want them to be smokey or spicy, choose accordingly.)
1 jar Peach Preserves
1/2 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (Try saying this ten times very quickly. But not in front of your guests.)
4 cloves Garlic, Peeled
3 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat oil and butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Place chicken thighs, four at a time, in the pot, skin side down. Brown both sides, then remove to a plate and repeat until all chicken is browned.
Pour off half the grease, then return pan to stove. Add onions to pan and stir, cooking for 2 minutes. Pour whiskey into the pot, being very careful if you’re using an open flame. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, allowing whiskey to reduce for a minute or two. Pour in barbecue sauce, peach preserves, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Throw in garlic cloves. Stir until combined, then return chicken to the pot, skin side up. Cover and put pot in oven.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours, then remove from oven.
Serve pieces of chicken over a big pile of smashed potatoes (Marissa tip: or any side you want to make! Better yet, have your guests bring a side!) Sprinkle sliced green onions over the top.
Happy summer… I hope yours is peachy!
You can find the original recipe here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/08/peach-whiskey-barbecue-chicken/
A month or so ago while in search of a good side dish for dinner, I was lucky enough to land on this little gem of a recipe from Food Network Chef Guy Fieri for Asian Slaw. I became instantly addicted to this stuff, and in fact just brought it to Easter lunch at my Aunt and Uncle’s last weekend. It’s especially great to bring to a gathering because it’s easy to prep ahead of time and doesn’t wilt since the veggies used aren’t leafy. Plus, the colorful ingredients make it very pretty. Pretty food receives extra points in my kitchen.
In essence, Asian Slaw is a bunch of chopped and julienned veggies tossed in a dressing you make yourself. I prefer to serve salad with homemade dressing. Mostly in hope of the cross-your fingers-for-moment one of your dinner guests loudly exclaims, “Wow, this dressing is fantastic, where is it from?” In which case the obviously-practiced-but-breezily-stated reply is, “Oh, that old dressing? Just something I threw together myself.” Applause may or may not follow - in the event it does, it’s only polite to do some sort of bow or curtsey.
However, I will admit the prep for this recipe can be a bit daunting. It’s listed as being “easy” on the Food Network site, which I found somewhat insulting since after making it the first time I was so exhausted from chopping that napping sounded more enticing than eating dinner. Ok, perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic. I promise once you eat it it’ll be worth every agonizing slice. Plus, you can look at it as an opportunity to perfect your knife work.
In subsequent Asian Slaw adventures, I found some ways around all the chopping. An extra set of hands or a mandoline go a long way, as does buying some of the veggies pre-shredded. Also, wine always helps.
Ta-da! See, I told you it was pretty.
In a small saucepan add 2 tablespoons olive oil, ginger and garlic, lightly saute until lightly brown. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, and mirin. Saute for 5 minutes and remove from heat. When cool whisk in olive oil, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.
Mix all vegetables in a bowl and toss with dressing. Garnish with crushed wontons and peanuts. (Marissa tip: I sprinkle toasted sesame seeds all over this when it’s done. Gives it a little extra texture and a lot of extra flavor.)
Happy chopping! And don’t forget to practice your curtsey, just in case.
You can find the original recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/asian-slaw-recipe/index.html
Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like neon green mint chocolate chip cookies!!
I found this recipe on pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/229965124692529353/
Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life. — Anthony Bourdain (tgif, everyone!)
I was supposed to go to my Cardio Barre class after work but I left too late and couldn’t make it on time. Well, I shouldn’t call it “my” class since I rarely go and it’s with 20+ other women. Details. Sooooo the point is that while my dreams of a perfect summer body are disappearing more quickly than my plate of bacon will on Easter morning (see Lent post), the silver lining is that I’m blogging instead!
I figure since this is my blog, the first recipe I post should be an original. I’m kicking things off with breakfast. It’s a take on lasagna with breakfast-y foods! We call it… drumroll please… Breakfast Lasagna. (SO CLEVER I KNOW.) Technically, this recipe was a joint creation with the bf, but since he doesn’t have a blog I call dibs.
This is seriously the easiest and most open to interpretation recipe ever - which is the best kind because you can truly make it your own. It’s not fancy by any means. But it tasted delish and we enjoyed it, which to us is a victory. And, like its dinner inspiration, it’s perfect to serve to a group. Or, in our case, 2 people + glorious leftovers.
Find a 9” x 13” pyrex or cake pan and spray it with non-stick spray. Not sure if this is necessary but I didn’t want to embarrass myself on my first cooking-ish post so I figured better safe than sorry. Start with some kind of starch on the bottom. We use white sticky rice because it’s sticky and yummy and won’t totally fall apart when served. Spread it evenly on the bottom, like so. We then sprinkled it with toasted sesame seeds. Because we are faaancy.
Next up, broccoli. We didn’t use a veggie the first time, but it was a nice edition. If you don’t like broccoli, use a different veggie! If you love veggies, use more than one kind! For this, we used one medium-sized head cut into bite-sized pieces.
MEAT MEAT MEAT! We chose pork chorizo (a spanish sausage), but really any breakfast meat would be yummy. You can find packages of chorizo at the grocery store by the breakfast meats. Kinda looks like a huge hot dog. We made half the package according to package directions - only takes a couple minutes.
It obv (obviously, for those who don’t understand my abbreviations) wouldn’t be breakfast without eggs! Five scrambled eggs seemed like a good amount, so that’s what we made. As you can see, this is very scientific.
Last time we used hash browns, but who doesn’t love a good tater tot? Half a frozen bag baked per the package directions for a few minutes less than recommended since they’re going right back into the oven.
Last but in NO WAY least, shredded cheese. Any kind will do, we used colby jack. Oooo an action shot!
Now, throw this beautiful lasagna in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 min or until the cheese is melted. Cut a piece as big as you please… it might fall apart a little, but what good lasagna doesn’t? ¡Voilà! Breakfast lasagna is served! I added soy sauce to the rice on mine, John put sriracha ALL OVER his. To each their own.
They say the most important meal of the day is breakfast. This could be true. In my opinion, the most important meal of the day is whichever one is coming next. But that goes without saying.
2 cups rice, cooked (I use medium grain calrose rice - it’s sticky)
1 medium head of broccoli, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 link of pork chorizo, cooked according to package directions
5 eggs, scrambled
1/2 bag frozen tater tots, baked according to package directions
1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
Salt, pepper & sesame seeds, to taste
Ummm… didn’t you just read the blog? ;)
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. — Luciano Pavarotti (The bf is in Seattle traveling for work and saw this quote scrawled on a chalkboard at Delicatus, where he had lunch. Had to share!)