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Starred Recipes

3 Stars - A Family Favorite
2 Stars - Really Good, Will Make Again
1 Star - Good Recipe, Probably Won't Make Again

June 30, 2013

Texas Caviar Rice and Beans

Texas Caviar Rice and Beans
This recipe comes straight from the July 2013 Southern Living, and is a really good recipe for a Meatless Monday, or if you want leftovers for a couple of lunches.  David really liked this dish, which always helps :)
My very quick iPhone photos don't do the beauty of this dish justice, but here they are.
Start by mixing up a Texas Vinaigrette of olive oil, fresh lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro, hot sauce of your choice, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, Kosher salt, and black pepper. 
Then drain and rinse a can each of black-eyed peas and black beans.  Place in a bowl (or a saucepan like I did) and add 1/3 c finely chopped roasted red bell peppers, and 1/4 c finely chopped poblano pepper (I skipped this).  Add half of the vinaigrette and let sit for awhile (20 minutes or so).
Make up Basmati rice.  I had brown Basmati so I followed the direction, but any rice would work well in this dish.
Heat the beans on the stovetop (the recipe suggests doing it in the bowl in the microwave - either way), then serve.
Options for serving with this rice and bean caviar:
Chopped Romaine
Warmed Tortillas
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips
Remaining Vinaigrette
Halved Grape Tomatoes
Chopped Cilantro
Thinly Sliced Celery
Thinly Sliced Green Onions
Pickled  JalapeƱo  Peppers
Sour Cream
Lime Wedges
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Homemade Lemonade

Homemade Lemonade
I like to have a pitcher of fresh lemonade in the fridge for the boys, or myself, or for when friends stop by to sit by the pool and catch up.  A pitcher of lemonade and some fresh strawberries makes the perfect snack!
I use fresh lemons and juice them on a citrus juicer.  Then add sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves, before adding water and chilling the lemonade. 
5 lemons makes about 1.5 cups of lemon juice.  I add 2/3 c sugar. 
Some recipes call for equal parts lemon juice and sugar, but there is no way I'm adding 1.5 cups of sugar to a pitcher of lemonade. 
2/3 c is the right tartness/sweetness ratio for my family.
A fun thing to do is fill the juiced lemon halves with sherbet (I used pineapple sherbet below) and freeze for game night with the kids, or a pool treat.

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June 27, 2013

Sweet Pea Paula's Beer Margaritas

Sweet Pea Paula's Beer Margaritas

Paula shared her Beer Margarita recipe with me a couple of years ago, and I tucked it away with all of the other recipes that I'm attempting to get to.  Slowly, but surely. 
We had friends over to sit by the pool sit on the screened in porch and watch the thunderstorm and enjoy some tamales together this week.

I knew it would be a great time to try out Paula's recipe.

What I liked about this simple beverage, besides the fact that you can make up a pitcher ahead of time, is that it is smooth, and slightly sweet.  Without that tartness of sweet and sour that hits the back of my throat in other margaritas.  This one is almost too smooth.  Really good, and I will certainly make it again.

You mix a beer (I used a bottle of Corona), a 20 oz Sprite, frozen limeade concentrate, and then half of the limeade container filled with tequila.  Combine and refrigerate.  Stir before serving.  Run a lime wedge around a cup, dip in margarita salt and add crushed ice and Beer Margaritas.
We all loved it.  Some chose to add a couple of lime wedges to theirs to up the tartness.  I will certainly make this recipe again and again.  Perfect for out by the pool on a hot summer day!
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June 24, 2013

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce
I was very excited to see this recipe in Southern Living this month.  It's similar to the Red Pepper Dip that I made a couple of months ago, but I think I like this one a little better.
When I traveled to Nashville, TN for work, I stayed for a week at a hotel near a Whole Foods.  I usually stopped by Whole Foods to get dinner each night - and my favorite was a made-to-order vegetarian sandwich that they made in the deli area on a fresh baguette with Romesco Sauce.  I loved the sauce, but had never made it.
I love any recipe with one line of directions - process all ingredients in a food processor. 
This recipe calls for a drained jar of roasted red bell peppers, toasted pecans (8 minutes in the oven on a baking sheet), 2 garlic cloves, olive oil, red wine vinegar (I used Balsamic), and a dash of sugar, sea salt, and pepper.

After the dip set up in the refrigerator, I drained it before taking it and a bag of pita chips to Wine Club on Saturday night.
The recipe says that it is great served on all things grilled (chicken, fish, steak, etc.), as a sandwich spread, or served as a dip with vegetables or pita chips.
It was a big hit, so this goes out to all my wine club friends!

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