RASPBERRY LEMONADE FIZZ

Make Raspberry Lemonade Fizz the “signature drink” at your next party! It only takes 3 ingredients and everything can be made ahead.

People spend a lot of time planning their menus around the holidays: Cocktail parties, get togethers with friends, Ugly Sweater Parties, and the actual holidays themselves.

With the food bound to be plentiful and varying, I love having the “drink” part of it figured out way in advance. I love the idea of serving a Mocktail that is easily spiked for those who are interested (I’m still a month out from being one of those “interested” parties…) but kid-friendly.

This easy Raspberry Lemonade Fizz is perfect for the host or hostess because it can be prepared way in advance, and adults will love its colorful appearance and fruity kick!

RASPBERRY LEMONADE FIZZ
RASPBERRY LEMONADE FIZZ

INGREDIENTS:

  • 24 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed and undrained
  • 1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (2 Liter) bottle ginger ale
  • Ice
  • Lemon slices, for garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring the raspberries to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, stir frequently, until the berries have broken apart and released their juices, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the berries to remove the seeds, pushing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. You should have about 1½ cups. Refrigerate raspberry juice until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  3. In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine raspberry juice and lemonade concentrate. Stir in ginger ale and serve immediately over ice, garnished with lemon slices if desired.

You can find complete recipes of this RASPBERRY LEMONADE FIZZ in culinaryhill.com

SPICY THAI-STYLE PUMPKIN AND BUTTERNUT RAMEN

Mornings have been rough. Really rough. I’m not a morning person at all by nature, so it’s hard enough for me to get up as is, throw in the fact that those early hours have become increasingly darker with each passing day, and I’m pretty much still in a coma come 7:30 am.

It also doesn’t help that along with darker days come colder days. Colder days where I just want to pull the covers up over my eyes and hide for the better part of the day, or better yet, pull the covers up to my chin and watch cheesy Lifetime movies for the better of the day. Of course, life doesn’t allow that, so I, like everyone else in this world, have to peel the covers off, put my feet on the cold, hardwood floor and tackle the day.

In these strange transitional days where our bodies are still adjusting to the cruel changes in Mother Nature, my body starts craving transitional foods as well. Give me a piping hot bowl of soup on a cool and rainy fall evening, and you might as well have just given me a fuzzy blanket and roaring fire to warm me from the inside out. Heck, give me a bowl of soup on a blazing summer afternoon, and I’ll still want to become your new best friend.

No matter what the season, soup is always something that’s a constant in my eating habits. Granted, it’s typically because my office is pretty much the equivalent to the North Pole when it comes to temperature, and I can’t justify pumping caffeine into my body at every meal. Sometimes, all it takes is a steaming bowl of broth to alleviate the constant state of goose bumps my body lives in.

In the summertime my soup consumption subsists solely on lighter, broth-based soups, and in the wintertime, heartier good-for-the-soul soups that will fill up my meat-loving husband.

SPICY THAI-STYLE PUMPKIN AND BUTTERNUT RAMEN
SPICY THAI-STYLE PUMPKIN AND BUTTERNUT RAMEN

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 1 fresno chile (or more depending on your spice tolerance), thinly sliced (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 small chicken breasts (about 3/4 pound)
  • 3 ounces chinese ramen noodles (not fried)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and chiles, sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add salt and butternut squash. Cook another minute.
  3. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, pumpkin puree, red curry paste and chicken. Reduce heat to a simmer until chicken is cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and shred.

You can find complete recipes of this SPICY THAI-STYLE PUMPKIN AND BUTTERNUT RAMEN in cookingforkeeps.com

MUDDY BUDDY KRISPIE TREATS

When you need a fast treat that will please everyone, make these Muddy Buddy Krispie Treats. They’re like eating muddy buddies in rice krispies treat form!

I feel like it’s been awhile since I told you what I’ve been reading. I’ve read a few books lately that were amazing, so I want to share my list with you. Let me know what you’re reading in the comments; I’m always looking for good books!

At the end of summer I let Jordan throw a pool party with her girlfriends. I always have treats on hand but I needed to make something dairy-free because a friend who is allergic to dairy was coming over. Now, if you’re thinking to yourself that Rice Krispies Treats are not dairy-free, don’t worry. They can be!

(Note: the dairy allergy we deal with is intestinal, not respiratory, and she is not affected by chocolate.)

I actually made versions of these all summer long – they’re my new favorite go-to dairy-free dessert because they’re done in just a few minutes with no baking. I simply replace the butter called for in the normal krispie treats recipe with vegetable oil. You can also use coconut oil! I add peanut butter to the mix as well, because I’ll never say no to peanut butter.

That last day of summer I was wondering what I could do to the treats to make them different and I immediately thought of muddy buddies!

Muddy Buddies are a sweet treat made with Chex cereal that’s coated with chocolate and peanut butter and then shaken in a bag of powdered sugar. It’s a messy heavenly snack that I cannot be around. Seriously, put me near a bowl of muddy buddies and they’ll be gone in 2 minutes flat.

So of course I decided to marry two iconic treats. I made my rice krispie treats with peanut butter and melted chocolate chips, and then I rolled the treats in powdered sugar before serving.

These disappeared very quickly, let me just tell you. #winner

MUDDY BUDDY KRISPIE TREATS
MUDDY BUDDY KRISPIE TREATS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag marshmallows
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) chocolate chips
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal (or any cereal)
  • Powdered sugar, for dipping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line a 9×13” pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place butter, peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate in a large bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until the mixture is melted. Quickly stir in the rice krispies.
  3. Press into prepared pan. Let them cool, then cut into squares.

You can find complete recipes of this MUDDY BUDDY KRISPIE TREATS in crazyforcrust.com

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brown Butter

I’m not one to wax poetic about soup.

Soup is soup and often quite boring soup at that.

For me, soup is usually a vehicle for eating more bread. Creamy soups at least, I have a hard time eating a bowl without at least a few slices to dip.

But this soup… this soup is worthy of poetic praise.

Be grateful I’m not an aspiring poet, otherwise you very well might find yourself cringing amidst sappy (er, soupy?) sonnets like an episode of the Bachelor gone bad (thank god there were no poets this season is all I’m saying).

What makes this soup so incredible, what takes it from limerick to lyric? Three words: crispy cauliflower florets. Ok a few more: with brown butter. And a splash of vinegar. Without them this is just another boring, albeit creamy as all get out, cauliflower soup. But with that brown butter drizzle, those crispy florets with a hint of vinegar tang… this soup makes me want to sing (luckily, I’ll spare you that too).

While the process of making this soup might seem somewhat complicated (Note to self: don’t look at the word “cauliflower” for too long or your eyes will start to go crossed) it actually comes together quite quickly. While the soup is simmering, the remaining florets are cooked to a lush golden brown in a bath of sizzling butter. Believe me that the sheer quantity of butter called for in this recipe is absolutely required, and totally justified once you taste the final product.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brown Butter
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brown Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 head (approx. 2 pounds) cauliflower
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine or sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped

Directions:

  1. Trim the cauliflower, removing any green leaves and leaf stems. Remove stem and core; trim and slice into thin pieces. Cut 1 1/2 cups of small florets and set aside for later. Coarsely cut the rest of cauliflower into thick slices and chunks.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter into a large saucepan set over medium low heat. Add onion, leek, and a pinch of salt and saute until softened, about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add water and increase heat to high. Add the half the cauliflower chunks and the stem pieces; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Let simmer gently for 15 minutes, then add other remaining cauliflower chunks and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is crumbly and tender.

You can find complete recipes of this Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brown Butter in loveandoliveoil.com

Magic Bars, 7 Layer Bars, Hello Dolly Bars

Hello! I hope you are having a great weekend! Did you watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremony? I did and I loved it!

I made these Magic Bars or to some Hello Dolly Bars or even 7 Layer bars,  to eat while watching the ceremony. They are the perfect treat warm with ice cream or completely cooled and served at a picnic.

The recipe I use is adapted from Eagle Brand Milk I am sure there are many others but this is the one I always use.

 

Magic Bars, 7 Layer Bars, Hello Dolly Bars
Magic Bars, 7 Layer Bars, Hello Dolly Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 11/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can of Borden Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Chips
  • 1 cup of Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Morsels
  • 11/2 cups of coconut

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350. Melt butter and pour into a 9×13 pan. Mix in graham cracker crumbs. Pour condensed milk over the crumbs and then layer the remaining ingredients evenly. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool.
  2. Variations: You can add walnuts, or a combination of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips, or perhaps a medley of chocolate chips, including white, milk and dark, or perhaps dried cherries or cranberries and white or dark chocolate.

You can find complete recipes of this Magic Bars, 7 Layer Bars, Hello Dolly Bars in onceuponachocolate.blogspot.co.id

Marinated Kale And Whipped Ricotta Pizza

How weird would it be if my new favorite pizza included something GREEN?

I mean, usually I wax poetic (HA) about how I am the most boring-est pizza eater on the planet, forcing any and all around me to order their delivery box completely PLAIN with just cheese because toppings are for fools.

Okay not really. Toppings are for cool people, I of which am not one.

This pizza isn’t packed with tons of toppings per se, but it is packed with two very delicious things:

Whipped ricotta. You could probably do whipped feta if you’re feeling frisky. THAT would be wild.

And marinated kale.

It’s really such a SIMPLE pizza but it tastes incredible. I use the chili garlic paste again on the kale (oh man are you so sick of that yet?) and then some fontina cheese so this is totally just a mash up of some things I adore. Truth.

But together… whoa whoa whoa. Ridiculous.

The kale also gets crispy in places which I freak over. That’s the one way that I truly love kale – like, actually LOVE it. Raw kale salad? Meh. It’s okay. Better with fried chicken.

But most raw kale salads? I’m just like… do less.

This year I’m going to resolve to try to have a FEW extra things on my pizza, if only because it gives me another vehicle to get in some veggies. And another excuse to eat pizza. Because if I’m going to have vegetables for dinner, well, then… I’ll just make pizza. See? I win.

Marinated Kale And Whipped Ricotta Pizza
Marinated Kale And Whipped Ricotta Pizza

Ingredients:

pizza dough

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

pizza

  • 1 head of kale, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano-regianno cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
  • crushed red pepper flakes for topping

Directions:

dough

  1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

You can find complete recipes of this Marinated Kale And Whipped Ricotta Pizza in howsweeteats.com

GINGERBREAD BARS WITH EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Christmas is less than two weeks away! Are you ready? I’m not. And I’m becoming okay with that. With all of the hours of driving to find a new home to rent, the packing, the actual moving, the unpacking, oh, and the sickness that just didn’t want to leave my husband and me, this holiday season has been somewhat hectic.

So, instead of being stressed about what’s not done, I’m going to be happy with what has gotten done. There just may not be as many decorations hung, cookies made, and other traditions fulfilled. (Or my family may be eating Christmas treats long after Christmas is over because I still want to make all the Christmas treats. . .)

I’ll just slowly work my way through the absolute necessary and be happy with the extra things that I’m able to slip in among the necessary. One of the extra things that I got done was a batch of these gingerbread bars with eggnog cream cheese frosting.

They weren’t on the traditional list of what needed to be made, but I am sure glad that I took the time to make them. These gingerbread cookie bars are perfectly soft and chewy.

Since gingerbread bars aren’t complete without frosting, I settled on an eggnog cream cheese frosting for these bars. The spices of the eggnog give the frosting a subtle flavor that ties the flavor of the frosting with the flavor of the gingerbread.

This recipe can easily be doubled and takes very little prep work before you can pop them in the oven. Perfect recipe to have on hand for last minute holiday gatherings, because making life less stressful is the theme of this holiday season!

GINGERBREAD BARS WITH EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
GINGERBREAD BARS WITH EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

For the Bars

  • ½ C butter, softened
  • ½ C sugar
  • ⅓ C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp salt

For the Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1¼ C powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp eggnog
  • sprinkles, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of stand mixer or with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add in egg, vanilla, and molasses and beat until creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until combined.

You can find complete recipes of this GINGERBREAD BARS WITH EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING in a-kitchen-addiction.com

Roast pumpkin, herb & walnut pasta bake

A pasta bake’s always a welcome, comforting dish.  I made a pumpkin pasta & walnut bake a few weeks ago, threw in some fresh herbs and roasted the vegies beforehand to give them that sweet, caramelised taste.  The roast pumpkin slightly breaks down into the pasta and cream, making this dish super creamy and delicious with garlic and onion flavours.

 

Roast pumpkin, herb & walnut pasta bake
Roast pumpkin, herb & walnut pasta bake

Ingredients:

  • 500g Kent pumpkin, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium onion, halved then sliced medium thickness
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, left whole in skins (to taste)
  • 1 scant tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 30mls grapeseed oil
  • 220g bow tie pasta (or any short pasta of your choice)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 24g walnuts, chopped
  • 3 heaped tblspns chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped finely
  • 60g cheddar cheese, grated coarsely
  • 250mls light cooking cream
  • 30g parmesan, grated finely
  • 30mls extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Place baking paper over a large baking tray.
  2. Place pumpkin, onion and garlic on the tray – I find it easier to set the garlic cloves aside in their own area. Sprinkle over chopped rosemary then drizzle over grapeseed oil and rub into vegetables – season with freshly ground sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until light golden brown and tender. Turn pan around half-way through if needed, to prevent burning. Remove vegetables from the oven and set aside.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 180C.
  4. Meanwhile, while vegetables are roasting, cook pasta in boiling, salted water for 11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, reserve a few tablespoonfuls of pasta water.

You can find complete recipes of this Roast pumpkin, herb & walnut pasta bake in asplashofvanilla.com

MONSTER COOKIE BARS

These monster cookie bars have all the peanut buttery, chocolatey, chewy goodness of the traditional cookie, only in super easy bar form.

I’m trying to hang onto summer, enjoying all the fresh fruit, outdoor activities, and long daylight hours. Last week even felt like fall outside, but I’m not giving in and posting pumpkin recipes yet, even though they are starting to take off on Pinterest. I’m still enjoying my peaches and berries. But start getting your tastebuds ready for fall recipes, because I have started experimenting with a couple of cans of pumpkin. For now though, I’m sticking to a summer picnic recipe: Monster Cookie Bars.

Bars are three times easier and quicker to make than cookies. Cookies can be finicky; they need perfect ratios of flour, sugar and butter or they will spread flat or won’t spread at all. Sometimes in getting the perfectly shaped cookie, it’s hard to retain a great taste and texture. With bars there is a lot more leeway. With sides on a pan, the dough can’t go anywhere, not to mention it save all the time of rolling, and chilling and baking individual cookie sheets of dough. These Monster Cookie Bars are just perfect for an afternoon snack with a cold glass of milk, and, if you are an efficient baker, they can take less than 45 minutes start to finish. One hour max, even if you have to Google how to crack an egg first. What excuse do you have for not making them?

MONSTER COOKIE BARS
MONSTER COOKIE BARS

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in peanut butter, eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, soda and salt. Add to large bowl and stir until combined. Add oats, chocolate chips and M&Ms.

You can find complete recipes of this MONSTER COOKIE BARS in chocolatewithgrace.com

EASY VEGAN RAMEN

Yes, ramen that’s (undetectably) vegan and totally doable.

Get your soup bowls, friends. It’s happening!

While I was doing some freelance work in Kansas last year, John visited Japan and ate his way through Tokyo (jealous much?). One of his favorite dishes was ramen, which he has been on the hunt for stateside ever since.

While several restaurants in Portland offer a great bowl of ramen, most of them are not vegan-friendly. So I wanted to try my hand at this somewhat complicated, soul-warming soup.

Spoiler alert? It turned out to be not that complicated at all!

This 10-ingredient recipe starts with the broth.

Ramen broth can be made many different ways, but to keep mine vegan-friendly I went with vegetable broth infused with ginger, onion, garlic and dried shiitake mushrooms (which you can find at most grocery (and all Asian) stores).

To add more depth and that “umami” flavor, I also added a bit of soy (or tamari) sauce and white miso paste.

The result was magic. Friends, I think I’m in love.

EASY VEGAN RAMEN
EASY VEGAN RAMEN

Ingredients

RAMEN

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) grape seed oil
  • 5 cloves garlic (2 1/2 Tbsp | 18 g), roughly chopped
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion (110 g), coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups (1440 ml) vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) tamari or soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 0.5 ounces (14 g) dehydrated shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp white or yellow miso paste (ensure vegan friendliness on package – I like this brand* available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (for flavor), plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces (227 g) ramen noodles* (ensure vegan friendliness on package – I like this brand available at Whole Foods)

TOPPINGS optional

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion, for garnish
  • 10 ounces extra firm tofu, flash “fried”*
  • Miso-glazed carrots*
  • Miso-glazed baby bok choy*

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Once hot, add oil, garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes, or until the onion has developed a slight sear (browned edges).
  3. Add 1 cup (240 ml) of the vegetable broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Use a whisk (or wooden spoon) to scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom to enhance the flavor of the broth.
  4. Add remaining 5 cups (1200 ml) vegetable broth, tamari or soy sauce, and dehydrated mushrooms – stir.

You can find complete recipes of this EASY VEGAN RAMEN in minimalistbaker.com