8 Cocktails For Spring

College, Friends, Other Thoughts, Real World, Recipes, Uncategorized
Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Sunshine, music, patios, friends, family and the wind in your hair. What’s missing? The perfect cocktail. Lets be honest, this week is completely crawling by at a snails pace, and I need something fun to look forward to making this weekend. Here are 8 simple recipes for great spring and summer cocktails, weekend wisely!

Counting down to my all time favorite we are starting with…

08 – Kir Royale

Courtesy of Google

Courtesy of Google

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: Creme de Cassis, Chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Instructions:

  •  Pour 1 Oz of Creme de cassis in the glass
  •  Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  •  Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object
  •  If you have a cherry just throw it in your drink.

07 – Long Island Iced Tea

Courtesy of Cocktails.com

Courtesy of Cocktails.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: 1 Oz Vodka,1 Oz Gin,1 Oz White Rum,1 Oz Silver Tequila ,1 Oz Triple sec,1.5 Oz Sweet and Sour mix,Splash of Coke,8 Ice cubes of ice
Instructions:

  • Pour the vodka and gin
  • Add the rum, tequila and triple sec
  • Add the sweet and sour mix
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Shake it ! 12 times at least
  • Fill your highball glass with ice, fill it to the top.Strain the cocktail into your glass
  • Strain the cocktail into the glass over the ice
  • Save a little room for the coke, top the drink with it
  • Drink or serve it, garnish with a lemon wedge

06 – Margarita

Courtesy of Chow.com

Courtesy of Chow.com

Ingredients: 2 Oz Tequila,1 Oz Orange liqueur,Juice of 1 lime or lemon,0.5 Oz of simple syrup or Lime Cordial,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice
Instructions:

  • Pour all ingredients into the shaker.
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Add the fresh lime juice or just squeeze a whole lime inside
  • Shake it hard! 12 times at least
  • Strain the cocktail into your chilled glass or strain over ice (margarita on the rocks)
  • Place a lime peel on the rim of the glass or put salt on the rim of the glass. If you want to “salt your rim” check out our cocktail guru tip at the bottom of this page.
  • Drink or serve it, your Perfect Margarita is ready to drink!

05 – Mimosa

Courtesy of Inspired Taste

Courtesy of Inspired Taste

Ingredients: Half a glass of orange juice,Chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Instructions:

  • Fill half of your glass with orange juice, make sure it’s cold
  • Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  • Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object

04 – Apple Martini

Courtesy of Gustologist

Courtesy of Gustologist

Ingredients: 1.5 Oz Apple flavored vodka,1 Oz Sour apple liqueur or apple flavored schnapps,Dash Midori,1 Oz Pineapple juice,1 Oz Apple juice,8-10 Ice cubes
Instructions:

  • Pour the alcohol into your shaker
  • Add apple and pineapple juice
  • Add ice
  • Stir 12 times
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice a tall glass
  • Drink or serve it, your cocktail is ready to drink!>
  • Garnish with three apple pieces on a toothpick

03 – Bellini

Courtesy of Laylita

Courtesy of Laylita

Ingredients: One third of a glass of peach puree or juice,Two thirds of Chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Instructions:

  • Muddle a whole peach (or skip this step and just pour peach juice in the the glass)
  • Tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine
  • Give it a stir with you bar spoon or any long thin object

02 – Cosmopolitan

Courtesy of InspiredTaste

Courtesy of InspiredTaste

Ingredients: 2 Oz citron vodka ,1 Oz orange liqueur ,1 Oz Cranberry Juice ,Dash of Lime Cordial ,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice ,Lime peel for garnish
Instructions:

  • Chill the martini glass (click here if you want to know how)
  • Pour the liqueur and vodka to your shaker
  • Pour the cranberry and cordial to your shaker
  • Add the fresh lime juice or just squeeze a half of lime inside
  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Stir it! 12 times at least
  • Strain your cocktail into the chilled glass

01 – Mojito

Courtesy of MyRecipes

Courtesy of MyRecipes

Ingredients: 1 Spoon white sugar ,2 Oz White Rum,Hand full of Mint leaves ,Half of one lime cut into 3 wedges ,Splash of club soda ,1.5 Oz Sweet and Sour Mix ,8 Ice cubes or crushed ice
Instructions:

  • Muddle the mint, limes and sugar, muddle until you actually smell the mint.
  • Add 2 Oz of Rum
  • Add the sweet and sour mix
  • Add 8 ice cubes
  • Shake it hard! 20 times at least
  • Double Strain into the glass full of crushed ice
  • Top the drink with club soda
  • Add 5 fresh new mint leaves and a lime wedge on top and serve it, your perfect drink is ready!
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Easy Easter Dinner

Family, Recipes

easter-eggs

Like many twenty-somethings, I will not be with my family this Easter weekend, which means I’m missing out on family time, the hilarious egg hunt with my brother, and a delicious Easter meal. Now that we’re all making homes away from home, it’s time to start a few new traditions! I’m going to do a mini Easter dinner in California with my boyfriend and thought I’d share some easy and familiar recipes in case you other twenty-somethings want to do the same.

Honey-baked Ham:

I’m not going to pretend I know anything about buying and then cooking a ham. Here’s the only resource you need for your ham: HoneyBaked Ham’s Website. They’ve got these babies all over the country, and you can order any sized ham depending on how many people you’re celebrating with!

Green-Bean Casserole:

Isn’t it just assumed that this dish will always be around at a big holiday meal? Casseroles are a twenty-something’s best friend since it’s virtually impossible to mess them up. Essentially, just dump what you want into a dish and bake it for thirty minutes. Green Bean Casserole is great because it has less than five ingredients. Here’s a better explanation on how to make it on French’s website. If you can’t look online while cooking because you live in a wifi black hole or something, there are instructions on the side of the French’s onion container as well.

Mashed Potatoes:

Okay twenty-somethings, mashed potatoes may be the easiest thing on this list. They literally sell mashed potatoes already mashed and ready to go – all you have to do is microwave it. I repeat, you just have to use a simple machine and you can have delicious mashed potatoes. I recommend Bob Evans brand, you can usually find these in the back of the store next to the meat section near hot dogs and other random smorgasbord things.

Carrot Cake:

For those of you who love baking, or just those of you who love carrot cake here is an easy to follow recipe, complete with how-to video. This is the most “complicated” of all the choices here, but since it only takes about 20 minutes to prep and one hour to cook – that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot. If baking isn’t your scene, trust me, there are ready made cakes available in your local grocery store.

Have a great holiday weekend, twenty-somethings!

 

Sausage, Spinach, Wild Mushroom & Cheese Frittata

Family, Friends, Healthy Living, Recipes

Frittata

In honor of Easter Weekend I want to share the perfect frittata. So gather your friends and family around you and whip us this tasty treat.

Sausage, Spinach, Wild Mushroom & Cheese Frittata

Ingredients:

8 eggs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 oz. white cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed

3/4 lb. assorted wild mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

1 bunch Swiss chard, about 3/4 lb., stems removed and leaves cut into 1-inch strips

 

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper. Fold in the cheese. Set aside.

In the deep half of a frittata pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the sausage on paper towels, then transfer to another bowl.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage.

In the same pan over medium heat, warm 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add half of the Spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tsp. of the olive oil and the remaining Spinach.

Return the rest of Spinach, the sausage and the mushrooms to the pan and heat over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the egg mixture and cook, using a rubber spatula to lift the cooked edges and allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking until the eggs begin to set, 4 to 6 minutes more.

Lightly brush the shallow pan with the remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and heat over medium heat. Place the shallow pan upside down on top of the deep pan and flip the frittata into the shallow pan. Cook, covered, until the eggs are set, about 6 minutes. (Note: If you do not have a frittata pan heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit after the the eggs have set place the pan in the oven for 7-14 minutes until a nice brown crust over top the frittata.)

Gently shake the pan to loosen the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate. Serves 8.

What a SOLE-ful Meal

Budgeting, Family, Friends, Healthy Living, Recipes

parmesancrustedsole

We all have our favorite dishes, and those we wish we could make. Mine just happens to be the Parmesan Crusted Sole from Romanos Macaroni Grill. However, I do not enjoy paying $18.75 for one dish, so I found the secret to serving four the same delicious, and healthier meal, for the same price.

Parmesan Crusted Sole

Serves 4

4 (6-8 oz) Sole fillets
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Lemon Beurre Blanc (Don’t worry its super easy and I included the recipe at the bottom YUMMM.)

In a food processor blend panko, parmesan and parsley until fine. Transfer to a shallow pan. In a separate pan whip eggs and milk until well combined. In a third pan place the flour.

Take the sole fillets and season with salt, pepper and powdered garlic. Dredge sole in flour, then egg wash and finally in the parmesan/panko mix. Pat the parmesan and panko into the sole until the mix sticks to the fish.

In a large saute pan heat butter and olive oil until hot. Carefully place sole in the pan and shake the pan to make sure the fish doesn’t stick. When sole is golden brown, flip over and continue to cook. When sole is done (120° F internally), transfer to plate and top with lemon beurre blanc.

Lemon Beurre Blanc
Makes 1 cup
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 lb butter – unsalted, chilled, cut into cubes
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
In a sauce pan over medium high heat, combine wine, vinegar and shallots. Reduce until almost a syrup consistency. Add cream and continue to cook reducing by half. Turn the heat to low and add butter cubes 2 at a time while stirring until all the butter is added and sauce is a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: If the butter is not chilled it will not incorporate into the sauce. Also if the wine mixture is not reduced far enough the sauce will be runny.
Orzo and Spinach
4 ounces julienne-shredded fresh spinach
1/2 small julienne-cut radicchio
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato packed in oil, julienne cut
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
4 ounces orzo pasta, uncooked
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice and zest of one small lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook orzo according to directions on box, about 9 minutes or until al dente. Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and stir, making sure to not let the garlic brown. Add the zest and lemon juice. Toss in the spinach and radicchio and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat and add orzo. Mix. Sprinkle with cheese once it is on the plate.
 

Boozy Brunch: Mimosa’s and Panini’s

College, Friends, Real World, Recipes

Steak and Egg Panini orange mimosa

As we all know, there are few things that a twenty-something loves more than a boozy brunch on the weekends. Let’s be honest, if we could do boozy brunch every day of the week, we would. A lot of the fun is the bottomless drinks, and the atmosphere – but occasionally a weekend brunch in the comfort of your own home does just the trick. You can have as many mimosas as you like, you don’t have to drive, take public transport, or hail a cab, and you have full creative power over the menu.

In the spirit of boozy brunch weekends we are bringing you an easy, tasty recipe for a panini and mimosa – go forth and enjoy it!

 

BRUNCH STEAK AND EGG PANINIS AND MIMOSAS

Steak Panini Grocery List: Serves 6

  • 2 rib-eye steaks, each about 12 oz.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 12 slices sourdough bread, each about 1/2 inch thick
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese
  • Hot sauce for serving (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Preheat an electric panini press to high (400°F) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the panini press.
  • Close the lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.
  • Transfer the steaks to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Cut the steaks into strips 1/4 inch wide.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, parsley, chives, salt and pepper.
  • In a nonstick fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the melted butter.
  • Add the egg mixture and, using a silicone spatula, stir frequently until soft curds form, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove the scrambled eggs from the heat.
  • Reduce the heat on the panini press to medium (350°F).
  • Brush one side of each bread slice with the remaining 4 Tbs. melted butter.
  • Lay 6 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface, and arrange 3 or 4 steak slices on each one.
  • Top each with 1/4 cup scrambled eggs and 1 cheese slice.
  • Top with another bread slice, buttered side up.
  • Place 2 sandwiches on the panini press and close the lid. Cook until the sandwiches are nicely grill-marked and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
  • Serve with hot sauce. (optional)

 

MIMOSA

Mimosa’s are a great staple drink to have in your back pocket for brunches. They are simple, and the perfect ratio of champagne to juice can not be beaten. Especially now that spring has arrived this cocktail has taken its rightful place at my brunch table.

Ingredients:

  • Champagne
  • Fruit Juice (I prefer Orange, although feel free to choose your favorite citrus juice)
  • Frozen Berries, Slice of Orange (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Take out 6 Champagne flutes
  • Rinse them with water and place in the freezer to chill
  • Remove flutes from freezer, and drop some fresh berries of your choice
  • Fill the flutes half way with Champagne
  • Fill the rest of the glass with your juice of choice
  • Add a slice of Orange
  • Enjoy

 

Invite some friends over for a boozy brunch and get to snacking, you deserve it.

Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

Family, Healthy Living, Recipes

Dog Treats!

As you may know, I am the lucky mother of two rescue dogs, Snugs & Ruby. Like many of their four-legged brethren Snugs and Ruby love nothing more than a great snack, a good belly rub, and a nap (preferably on the people bed). We have tried out a couple different dog treat recipes, and have bought treats at what seems like millions of specialty dog stores in Portland. So in the spirit of good snacking, take a look at our recipe for Bacon dog treats.

This recipe makes about a dozen treats, bone shaped cookie cutters optional (but preferred)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (for dusting on top)
  • 3 slices of bacon, chopped

Steps

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs and peanut butter.

3. Add in the flower while whisking slowly.

4. Roll out dough, and use dog bone cookie cutter to create cute shapes.

5. Spread chopped bacon onto the top of cookies, pat down to keep them put.

6. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes

7. Take treats out, and allow to cool before serving to your pooches!

 

Not only are these treats going to be a huge hit with your dogs, but they are also healthy and home made. When you take a look at packaged treats in the store you may be surprised by some of the ingredients you see, and it stands to reason that if those ingredients aren’t good for humans, they can’t be good for our fur babies. Now you can feed your dogs treats, and feel good knowing that you were in control of the ingredients that went into them, and that your dogs can enjoy themselves while staying healthy.

Snack on my furry friends – and SIT!

treat-appearance

 

Tech Talk: Top 10 Must-Have Apps

Budgeting, Friends, Healthy Living, Real World, Recipes

apps

If you’re like me, then your smartphone is probably plastered to your hand during most waking hours. Our generation is the first of its kind in that we have access to unprecedented resources at our fingertips. In matters of money, love, friendship, networking, and healthy living, more than likely There’s an app for that. And so, without further ado, my top-ten list of must-have apps for your twentysomething life.

1) Mint
One of the sure signs of being in your twenties is that money magically disappears from your bank account at an alarming rate. Payday is on Friday, but by the time you account for rent, food, insurance and other miscellaneous bills, you’re desperately searching the couch cushions for loose change by Saturday. Luckily, Mint gives you a better way to manage your money. The app allows you to categorize and track all of your spending and shows you areas where you can save money. You never know, you might actually be able to afford to biggie-size your fries after all. You go Glen Coco.

2) iBartender
Once upon a time, there was a college undergrad who thought that the key to a good cocktail was to grab any kind of liquor and mix it with any kind of juice and ¡voila! mixology magic! It didn’t matter if you put so much alcohol in it that you could barely swallow because hey, drinks aren’t supposed to be fun, AmIRight?!

Umm…many rough mornings later, I’ve learned that the secret to avoiding that “Dear-God-If-I-Survive-This-I-Swear-I-Am-Never-Drinking-Again” feeling is to Know. What. You’re. Doing. The iBartender app provides easy drink recipes to impress your family and friends with. Plus, my favorite feature of the app is that it allows you to choose which ingredients you have available and gives you a list of drink recipes that are actually acceptable for human consumption.

3) Gas Buddy
Say it with me: paying for gas makes me want to cry. I don’t know, just something about spending almost four dollars for ONE gallon of gas just kills me a little inside. Thank GAWD all the stars aligned and somebody created the GasBuddy app. This little gem finds the cheapest gas based on your geographical location! Never underestimate the benefit of saving a few pennies at the pump. Those pennies definitely add up!

4) Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat

Do we even really need to discuss this one? Social media is, in essence, the bloodline of our young adult lives. We are a generation that needs to be connected 24 hours a day (whatever you definition of connected may be). Social media is like one-stop shopping: you can (not so) secretly stalk your exes, keep up with what your high school lab partner had for lunch today (because some things you just need to know RIGHT NOW),  and get the latest news and gossip all in one place. Downloading the app(s) on your phone ensures that you never miss a minute of the action. A few notes: 1) You are not invisible online. You never know who is watching what you like/post/tweet so keep it classy. 2) Snapchat is not an excuse for you to expose your kibbles and bits to the world. Put your clothes back on. 3) Taking selfies is, like, a thing now. I get it. However, please feel free to take pictures of something else. Thanks, Management.

5) LinkedIn

If I had to assign the most important word to the twentysomething years, it would be networking. After four years of undergraduate study, you are the proud owner of a shiny new diploma. Now the question is, what are you going to do with it? The job market is as competitive as it’s ever been and no one is going to know who the hell you are or what skills you have if you don’t market them appropriately. Every twentysomething should create a LinkedIn account, like NOW. This vast network of employers and companies is the perfect pool for you to cast your poor little unemployed net into. Use the app like a mobile resume: update your most current employment, add useful skills, and make connections with people in fields that are important to you.

6) Netflix

There is nothing – NOTHING – like being able to watch your favorite movies and TV shows while you’re dying of boredom in the waiting room of your doctor’s office. For just a few dollars a month you can have access to unlimited OMG moments wherever you are. Because sorting out that super awkward love triangle between Olivia and Fitz and Mellie all of a sudden makes sitting in that waiting room not so bad after all.

7) *insert your favorite smartphone game*

Candy Crush. Flappy Bird. That is all.

8) Pandora

This is one of my favorite apps for two reasons. For one, it saves me a ton of storage space in my phone because I can have all the music I want in one app instead of downloading my entire music library (complete with notable Miley Cyrus throwbacks before she was, you know, Miley Cyrus) to my phone. And secondly, Pandora stations are perfectly suited to whatever mood I’m in. I can switch to 2 Chainz radio when I wanna twerk somn’ giiirl, or throw on some John Mayer when I want to eat junk food and cry about why I’m not rich and famous like Beyonce. Either way, it just works.

9) Epicurious

This app is one that I just discovered recently and, let me tell you, this app was MADE for people like me. There are those of us who are…ummm…challenged in matters of culinary technique, and that’s okay! Because now, there is an app full of recipes broken down into every category imaginable. For example, the home page right now has recipes for chocolate desserts, spring cocktails, mother’s day dinners, quick breakfasts, and Easter desserts, just to name a few. Now, with just a click (tap?) you can find a list of ingredients and instructions to create actual real life meals. Because although Cinnamon Toast Crunch fulfills all the desires your twentysomething heart and stomach could ever have, I think we can do a little better.

10) My Fitness Pal

Rouding out my top ten is the My Fitness Pal app. Y’all..this thing is incredible. Some of us can remember a time when we could fold into a pretzel with no problem. Nowadays, climbing the stairs is the world’s greatest struggle and trying to bend over and touch your toes is just…not gonna happen. Luckily, this app is for all the fitness backsliders of the world. It allows you to keep a daily journal of food intake, calories consumed, and exercises performed. It also keeps you on track so that you can get healthy and lose weight in a safe and appropriate amount of time. Plus, you can add your friends and help keep each other on track. Summer is fast approaching-time to get it right, get it tight!

P.S. all of these apps are FREE! So, since you’re probably on your phone right at this moment or have it within a six inch radius of your hand, go ahead and download some useful apps! Your phone battery is going to run out too fast anyway – might as well spend it on something productive 🙂

Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad

Healthy Living, Recipes

As twenty-somethings, and as young adults, there are times during which we find ourselves craving something healthy yet filling. Salads can be so blah. But fear not, I have the perfect solution. I have taken one of my favorite Food Network recipes and added to it to create the perfect spring salad with spinach and goat cheese.

Ingredients:

6 cups loosely packed stemmed baby spinach
1/2 cup (5 ounces) fresh goat cheese (recommended: Laura Chenel)
1/3 pound thick-sliced pancetta, cut into strips about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Directions:
Put the spinach in a large bowl. Crumble the cheese over the spinach. Cook the pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pancetta in a sieve set over a heatproof measuring cup, reserving the rendered fat. You will need 1/4 cup for the dressing. If necessary, add enough olive oil to make 1/4 cup. Pour the fat back into the pan and add the pancetta. When the pancetta is warm again, add the garlic and cook until light brown, about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme and let it crackle in the fat for about 10 seconds. Add the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for about 30 seconds to lower the acidity of the vinegar. You should see tiny drops of vinegar dispersed throughout the fat. Add the dried cranberries and stir. Pour the dressing over the spinach and cheese. Toss to coat the leaves evenly and melt the cheese a little. Serve immediately.

Italian Shrimp Portofino

Budgeting, College, Healthy Living, Real World, Recipes

Are you contemplating going out for dinner tonight? Maybe Saturday night dinner on the town with friends, or maybe even a date?

Have you made your decision? Saying, “How about Italian tonight?” Picking your local Italian restaurant- it is your favorite after all. Your dish of choice just happens to be Shrimp Portofino.

What if I told your that instead of spending 17.00 bucks on that one dish, you could take that cash and buy these ingredients and making enough Shrimp Portofino at home for you and your friends, at a better price? You can – let’s try it out tonight.

Here is your grocery list- It serves between 4-6.

INGREDIENTS:
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined, cut in half
3 cups sliced mushrooms, sliced
1-½ Tbsp roasted pine nuts
6 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
6 cups cooked vermicelli pasta
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced

Lemon Butter Sauce:
1 Tbsp shallots, minced
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup lemon juice
⅛ tsp white pepper
2 sticks salted butter, cut in Tbsps

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 deg. Wash spinach and remove stems before drying leaves between paper towels. Set aside. Spread pine nuts over bottom of sheet pan and place pan in oven on top rack. Roast until golden brown, approx 2 to 4 min. Remove from oven and set aside. Prepare pasta according to pkg directions, drain and set aside.
Prepare lemon butter sauce. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in lg skillet over med-high heat. Saute shallots and garlic until translucent. Add white wine and reduce slightly more than 1/2, whisking occasionally. Add cream and reduce by 1/2. Add lemon juice and reduce by 1/2. Add white pepper. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining butter 2 Tbsp at a time, whisking continuously after each addition to completely incorporate butter.
Continue to simmer, whisking until sauce just coats spoon. In lg skillet over med-high heat melt the 4 Tbsp of butter. Add garlic and saute until garlic is translucent. Stir in mushrooms, shrimp, and pine nuts. Saute several minutes or until shrimp are done and show color. Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in spinach. Place warm pasta on plate with shrimp mixture to the side. Pour lemon sauce over pasta, permitting a bit of sauce onto shrimp.

Now – pour yourself a glass of wine, take out your best plates, set the table and dig in. Good food and socialization in your own kitchen – what is better than that?

Spiced Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Budgeting, College, Healthy Living, Real World, Recipes

It’s Saturday, and being Twenty Something you are trying to figure out what to have for dinner… and if you are like every other Twenty Something guy or gal it might be a trip through your local drive through, a frozen pizza, or a restaurant where you will wonder how the bill got so high- that was only two drinks right? Stop. This will happen no more- take that money you spend on your combo and buy the ingredients for this easy, healthy, and delicious Spiced Roasted Chicken and Vegetables.

Lets get started- I’m going to list some ingredients for you to pick up at any grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breast (Bone In or Out- Dealers Choice)
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds (already ground, or you can be a Super Chef and grind your own)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds ( same rule applies, I recommend being a Super Chef)
  • onion (finely chopped)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 11/4 lbs fingerling potatoes (or small red potatoes, halved lengthwise)
  • 2 bunches asparagus (about 1 lb. total, ends trimmed)

Directions? Don’t worry it is super easy!

Pat the chicken dry and place in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and the soy sauce and toss to coat. In a spice grinder or mortar with a pestle, grind the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Set aside 2 tsp. of the spice mixture; add the remaining mixture to the chicken. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on half of a large rimmed baking sheet.

Place the potatoes in the same bowl. Add 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and toss to coat. Add the reserved 2 tsp. spice mixture, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes, cut side down, on the other half of the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the middle oven rack and roast until the breasts and potatoes are cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the asparagus on a small rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle the spears with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. When you have ten minutes left on the timer pop the asparagus in the oven!

Congratulations! Your healthy, tasty, and easy Saturday night dinner is complete!

Keep in mind you can substitute any cut of chicken you want, you could even try it with a whole chicken. You can bring this recipe out to impress your room mates, friends, family, or dates!