It’s Fiesta Time!

 

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In honor of Cinco de Mayo I thought I would do a round up of a few of my favorite Mexican dishes I have made over the years.  They are easy to make and they taste delicious.  So go ahead and pick one or a few to make your Cinco de Mayo a fiesta!

Breakfast

Let’s start with these Sunny Side Up Mexican Eggs.  Are you tired of the same old eggs for breakfast? These eggs will add the pizzazz you’re looking for to start your morning off right!

Mexican Eggs

Breakfast Tacos are so simple yet so quick and delicious!

Breakfast Tacos

Main Course

No Cinco de Mayo celebration is complete with out Shredded Beef Taquitos.  They are so easy to make and they come out perfect every time.  Try them out for your self.

Shredded beef TaquitosBeef Empanadas are one of my favorites and they are so very easy to make when using store bought pie crusts.

Side Dishes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower take on a delicious Mexican twist when made with Salsa Verde.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower

You can’t have a fiesta without Refried Beans!  These homemade refried beans are so easy to make and the perfect side to any meal.

Refried Beans. Easy to make & delicious!. Give it a try.

Want to make Restaurant Style Salsa at home? It’s so simple…

Restaurant Style Salsa

Do you call this next dish Pico De Gallo or Salsa fresca?  We call it delicious!

Pico De Gallo

Looking for a fruity twist on the average salsa?  Then be sure to try this Mango Salsa!

Mango Salsa

Beverages

Need something with a little flare to quench your thirst?  This Mango Margarita will be the perfect refreshing drink to pair with any Mexican inspired dish.

Mango Margarita

Sweets

These Pound Cake Churro Bites are always a party favorite.  They also make a scrumptious sweet treat at brunch.

Pound Cake Churro Bites

Happy Cinco De Mayo!  Please, be safe and DON’T Drink & Drive!

Until Next Time…

XOXO

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The Avocado Bagel ~ The 5 minute breakfast

In honor of Cinco De Mayo I’m sharing one of my favorite breakfast of all time!  It’s simple, it’s nutritious, and it’s delicious!

I love having it for breakfast, but it also makes the perfect afternoon snack!

My friends, I am pleased to introduce

my Avocado Bagel!

The Avocado Bagel

…and this is how I make this heavenly treat for my taste buds! Once you try it you’re going to want to eat it everyday.  Thank goodness it’s avocado season!

The Avocado Bagel I mash together avocados, lime juice, a bunch of cilantro, salt, pepper, and a green onion, optional (especially if you’re having it for breakfast).

The Avocado Bagel

Simple, right?

Then, I toast my bagel and smear a large helping of avocado mixture on both halves of the bagel.

The Avocado Bagel

Then I top it all off with thin cut quartered radishes and a bit more cilantro.

Side Note: When I was young my mom would make small knife cuts in a circular pattern all over a radish and throw the all the cut radishes in ice-cold water. Within an hour or so the cut area would open up and the radish would look like a rose.  My mom would garnish all holiday dishes with these rose looking radishes.  They were so pretty and such a wonderful childhood memory of mine.  I might just start making those pretty radish roses to garnish my cinco de may table!

Have fun and be safe out there!

 

Until Next Time…

XOXO

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Make A Double Batch Of Those Brownies!

Do you have a brownie lover in your home?

If you do then you better make a double batch of these scrumptious brownies. They are so delicious in no time there will be just crumbs left in the bottom of the pan!

Make a double Batch Brownies

Everytime I make these brownies I’m always asked for the recipe and I’m always hesitant to give it out.  It’s not that I’m one of those “no you can’t have my recipe” type of people (I think those people are ridiculous).  I enjoy giving out my recipes, hence the food blog!

It’s just that…

These brownies start out with a box mix.  There, I said it!  They are crazy good and they start off with a regular grocery store bought box.  It’s what you do to that box mix that makes them so delicious! They become the most decadent, fudgy, moist, perfect bit of heaven on earth!

Make a double Batch Brownies

5.0 from 4 reviews
Make A Double Batch Of Those Brownies!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Box of any brand brownie mix (18 - 20 oz. chewy or fudge style)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ***FROSTING
  • 4 tablespoons butter, very soft
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup milk
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 with parchment paper and lightly spray with baking spray.
  2. In a mixer add brownie mix, milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix with the paddle attachment. Once full combined spoon batter into the sprayed parchment lined baking pan.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Set brownies aside to cool completely.
  5. To make the frosting:
  6. In a medium bowl whisk together the butter, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and sifter powdered sugar using a mixer or by hand. Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies.

So, if you’re a brownie lover or you know one, do yourself a favor and make a batch of these!

Make a double Batch Brownies

Until Next Time…

XOXO

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Roasted Pickled Beets

Growing up I spent every summer at my Nonnas house and it was the best.  I have so many wonderful memories from those days.  She was an amazing cook and each of my memories is always attached with what she was cooking and what we were eating.

I always loved helping her pick vegetables from her garden.  She grew up on a farm in Sicily and loved to share all her knowledge in her sweet broken english way.  I was very young back then, but I can still hear her telling me “eat the beets they are good for your blood”.  All I know is, I ate the beets because were delicious and now I know just how good they are for you.

Pickled Beets 2

This recipe is how she taught me to pickle beets.

Most people boil the beets in water before pickling them, but my Nonna always roasted them.  This preserves the nutrients inside the beets rather than have the nutrients go into the water.

Pickled Beets

I cut the beets in squares because they are easy to eat out of the jar (my favorite way) and to put on salads.

Pickled Beets
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pound beets
  • ½ of a red onion, cut into strips
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • olive oil to coat the beets
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash the beets and trim the stems t.
  3. Lightly brush the beets with olive oil and wrap each in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes (time will vary depending on the size of the beets).
  4. The beets are ready when a fork is inserted into the center and it comes out cleanly.
  5. Allow the beets to cool enough so they can be handled. Unwrap the foil and using a paper towel gently rub the beets to remove the skin.
  6. Cut the beets into the desired shape and set aside.
  7. In a sauce pan combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and water. Simmer until all the sugar is completely dissolved.
  8. In glass jars with tight fitting lids layer the cut beets and sliced onions.
  9. Pour the liquid over the beets and onions.
  10. Cover tightly with lid and place in the refrigerator for 5 day prior to eating. Pickled beets will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Pickled Beets

 

Until Next Time…

XOXO

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Spinach And Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

Spinach and Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

This delicious spinach and quinoa salad with lemon vinaigrette is the perfect weeknight side dish, or a meatless Monday dinner, it also makes a delightful vegan lunch!
Spinach and Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

I try to get as much healthy food into my family as possible and with this dish I think I have hit a home run when it comes to the healthy stuff!  There is the quinoa which is known as a superfood, not to mention the spinach, also known as a super food.  The cranberries add a bite and the almonds add a crunch, and the lemon vinaigrette add the perfect amount of zip!

Spinach and Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

One of my favorite things about this salad beside the nutritional value is just how easy this salad comes together.  It is also very forgiving, if I don’t have cranberries I can substitute raisins or dried apricots.  If I don’t have sliced almonds I can use walnuts.

Spinach and Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

Spinach And Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups spinach, very finely chopped
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • *FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from ½ a lemon
Directions
  1. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa.
  2. In a medium saucepan cook quinoa according to package directions. Drain if there is any water in the pan. Set quinoa aside and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, cranberries, almonds, and the cooled quinoa.
  4. Combine lemon vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
  5. Toss just enough of the lemon vinaigrette over the salad to coat.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

We love eating quinoa anytime of the year and Springtime is perfect for this delicious superfood salad.

If you like quinoa recipes take a look at this one or this one!

Until Next Time…

XOXO

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Easy and Delicious Zebra Caramel Popcorn

Have you ever had zebra popcorn?

For the popcorn lover it is the ultimate popcorn.  Zebra popcorn is caramel popcorn that is drizzled with white and semi-sweet chocolate.  It’s the perfect snack for binge watching your favorite show or to serve at game night with your friends.

Zebra Popcorn

It’s very addicting! I was buying it at the grocery store more times than I’d like to admit.  So I’ve come up with a homemade version that tastes just like the package stuff, my family says it better!

Zebra Popcorn

For movie night I make a cone shape out of parchment paper for everyone and let each person fill their own cone.

Zebra Popcorn

It’s a great feeling knowing you are serving something to your family that is delicious and you can actually name all the ingredients.

Zebra Caramel Popcorn

Easy and Delicious Zebra Caramel Popcorn
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup un-popped corn kernels
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 225 degrees. Place rack in the middle position.
  2. In a large heavy bottom pot add the vegetable oil and a few corn kernels. Place burner on medium high heat. Once the first corn kernel has popped careful add the remaining corn kernels. Gently shake the pan around on the burner to avoid burning any kernels. Take the pan off the heat once the sound of the kernels popping slows way down. Transfer the popcorn (making sure there are no un-popped kernels) to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet and place in the heated oven to keep warm.
  3. In a saucepan add corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and salt over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and the baking soda. The mixture with turn foamy as you stir, continue to stir until mixture becomes thickened.
  4. Place warm popcorn into a large bowl. Working quickly pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn making sure all popcorn is coated, then return the popcorn back onto the heated lined baking pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let caramel corn cool.
  6. Place white and semi-sweet chocolate into microwave safe separate bowls. Microwave at 30 second intervals stirring in between until both chocolates are completely melted.
  7. Drizzle evenly over the caramel popcorn. Let chocolate dry completely prior to breaking up the popcorn into smaller pieces.

 

 

Until next Time…

XOXO

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

How is it that bananas can be a tiny bit green when you buy them and within a matter of a day become over ripe with dark spots?  The other day I had a bunch of almost too green to eat bananas and the next time I looked at them they were overripe?  Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

That’s exactly where banana bread comes in.  It’s the perfect way to get those bananas eaten that normally my family would not touch.  I hate seeing food go to waste so I either make this delicious breakfast treat or I freeze the skinned bananas for smoothies.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This time I added heavenly delicious chocolate chips to my batter and oh what a delight it was!  I don’t know why I haven’t done that sooner.  The semi-sweet chocolate chips added the perfect amount of sweetness.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I line my loaf pan with parchment paper so it is easy to remove from the loaf pan.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I know it’s tempting to slice the banana bread before it’s completely cool, but don’t do it!  Have patients and then enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cups mashed over ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (spooned in to measuring cup and leveled off)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Using a hand held or stand mixer cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  5. Mix in the eggs one at a time making sure the first egg is totally incorporated before add the second egg. Beat in the sour cream, vanilla and the mashed bananas.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just until fully combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Gently stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on the top.
  9. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Tent with foil to prevent over browning.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.

 

Until Next Time…

XOXO

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Golden Red Lentil Soup

Golden Red Lentil Soup

Nothing tastes better on a cold day than a bowl of steamy hot soup, like this Golden Red Lentil Soup!  It keeps your insides warm and your taste buds happy.  Pair the soup with crusty bread and all I can say is YUM!

Did you know that some health experts consider lentils the single most healthiest food?  Some of the health benefits of the beautiful little lentil are; lowering cholesterol (and we could all use that), rich in dietary fiber, Iron for energy, and lowers blood sugar, just to name a few.  It’s a super food, one that is easy to make and tastes delicious!

Lentils come in a variety of colors (Brown, Green, and Red). I haven’t noticed a difference in flavor since lentils are wonderful at taking on the flavors you add to them, but I like the red ones the best (their prettier).

Golden Red Lentil Soup

The red lentils start this beautiful coral color and when cooked turn into a delicate golden color.

Golden Red Lentil Soup

I remember when I was a kid my mom would make lentil soup and when she served it to me she would always say “mangiare, it’s good for you” little did I know how right she was.  Now, I make lentils for my family.  I still make my mom’s recipe, but I’ve also added a few more recipes that I will be sharing with you!

Golden Red Lentil Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2½ cups red lentils, looked through and rinsed
  • ¼ cup long grain rice
  • 12 cups vegetable broth or water
  • ½ teaspoon tumeric
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 3 shakes of Tabasco
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • fresh parsley, optional
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, like a dutch oven
  2. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook for about 10 minutes until they become soft.
  3. Add lentils, rice, and water to veggies. Cover pan and bring to a boil, about 15 minutes.
  4. Reduce to simmer and cook for an additional 25 minutes.
  5. Add tumeric, lemon pepper, Tabasco, salt, cumin, smoked paprika, and pepper.
  6. Keep lid off and simmer for an additional 20 minutes until the soup has thickened and the flavors have melded together.
  7. *Garnish with smoked paprika and fresh parsley, optional
  8. *Stir occasionally throughout the cooking process.

 

Golden Red Lentil Soup

 

Until Next Time…

XOXO

Golden Red Lentil Soup

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Maple Glazed Bacon Carrots

I’m so excited that the official start of Spring is in a matter of a couple of weeks!  It’s such a special time of year, the flowers are blooming, we eat lighter, gone are the heavy meaty meals for dinner and happily replaced by salads and fresh Spring vegetables.

Maple Glazed Bacon Carrots

One of my favorite vegetables of all time is carrots.  Today I’m bringing you one of the most delicious ways to eat them!  These scrumptious little discs of delightfullness are glazed with maple syrup, brown sugar and butter then topped off with crispy little morsels of glorious bacon. YUMMY!

Maple Glazed Bacon CarrotsHow pretty would these shiney bites of goodness look sitting on your Easter table? They are the quintensenntial Spring side dish.  Plus, they don’t take up valuable oven space to make and they are so incredibly easy. Win Win Win!

I promise these carrots will be devoured like candy and all your guests will be asking for the recipe.

Maple Glazed Bacon Carrots

Maple Glazed Bacon Carrots
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb carrots, clean, peeled, and cut in ½" diagonal slices
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
Directions
  1. In a medium skillet heat butter, brown sugar, and water over medium heat until the butter is completely melted.
  2. Add the carrots, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes until carrots are tender and most of the liquid has dissapated.
  5. Stir in bacon and plate.
  6. Top dish off with parsley to garnish.

If you love carrots like me you are definitely going to want to try these parmesan carrot fries.  Believe me, you can’t just eat one!

Until Next Time…

XOXO

Maple Glazed Bacon Carrots.  Easy and delicious!
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Raspberry Linzer Cookies

These delicious buttery Raspberry Linzer Cookies are the perfect cookies to give to someone special.

Raspberry Linzer CookiesThese classic raspberry linzer cookies are normally seen around the Christmas holiday, but I think they are the perfect Valentine’s Day cookie!

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

The dough is a buttery delight.  If you love shortbread cookies then you will love these.

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

I love the almond flavor dough and the raspberry jam brings just the right amount of sweetness all topped off with a light dusting of powdered sugar!  Perfection!

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

I hope you give these cookies a try and when you do please share it on Instagram with the #itsallabouttheyummy

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Raspberry Linzer Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cups cornstarch
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 jar of Raspberry Jam
  • Powdered sugar for garmish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stand mixer with the flat beater attachment cream together butter and the sugar until light in color.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time to the butter mixture, then add the cornstarch, salt, and almond extract until well combined.
  4. Solwly add flour about ½ cup at a time on medium-low speed, just until the dough gathers on itself into a ball and removes itself from the side of the bowl cleanly.
  5. Cut dough in half (and shape into a disk shape) and wrap each half separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Once dough is chilled roll out to a ¼ of an inch thick between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  7. Using the larger cookie cutter cut out all the cookies, using the smaller cookie cutter cut out the middle of ½ of the cookies.
  8. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or just until the edges turn golden. Cool completely.
  9. Sprinkle the top of the cookies with powdered sugar and set aside.
  10. Cover the bottom portion of the cookie with raspberry jam.
  11. Top the jam covered cookie with the powdered sugar open center cookie.
Memos
The dough is very tender and buttery, next time I will choose a smaller cookie cutter than the heart for the top layer of the cookie. I did have a problem with the dough breaking at the thinnest parts. This could have easily been avoided if I used a smaller cookie cutter.

Until Next Time…

XOXO

Raspberry Linzer Cookies
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