Iced Tea Day

This is a great twist on the mojito.  Enjoy this Basil & Tea Mojito on National Iced Tea Day.

1 lg. Lime, quartered (approx 4 tbsp. juice)
6 lg. Fresh basil leaves
4 green tea bags
2 c. boiling wate
3 tbsp. honey
1 c. rum
1 c. tonic water or seltzer, chilled

In a glass pitcher, squeeze lime juice and basil leaves. With a wooden spoon, thoroughly crush against side of pitcher, add lime rinds. Let tea bags steep in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes. Stir in honey until it dissolves. Pour honey tea and rum into pitcher and stir. Just before serving add tonic water and pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, if desired, with additional basil leaves.

Summer Squash

2 med. Zucchini squash
2 med. Pattypan squash
2 med. Yellow crookneck squash
¼ c. olive oil
4 green onions, white part, sliced
¼ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. thyme leaves
¼ tsp. Rosemary
2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse and scrub squash. Slice evenly.

On a cookie sheet place squashes, onions and seasonings. Toss with oil and place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Before serving toss with vinegar. Salt and pepper as needed.

You can also do this on the stove top if desired.

Steak & Shrimp Fajitas

Have you ever had a craving for something? That’s what happened this weekend. For some reason I wanted fajitas. Even though we don’t eat tortillas, the meat & vegetables in the fajitas will suffice. So I picked up some top sirloin that was on sale, and red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. I was going to get a fajita seasoning packet but decided that I already had the main seasonings (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano) at the house. I had purchased a small package of shrimp a couple of days before so I included them in this meal.

When it was time to eat, I cut the top sirloin, peppers and an onion into strips. Using the same amount of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano I seasoned the meat and placed a skillet. Then seasoned the peppers and onions and added them to the skillet with the steak. I threw the shrimp in just a minute before the veggies were tender-crisp, . The fajitas were served over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro.

It was delicious. Next time you get a craving, I strongly suggest you act upon it and enjoy!

Chili Cheese Pie

With today being National Cheese Day, I will share this recipe that I whip up once in a while: Chili Cheese Pie. This is something I make when I want something cheesy and greasy.  Combine an equal amount of ground beef and chirizo, brown it, add green pepper and onion. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne for a kick. Add diced chilis and cilantro. Place in a baking dish

and cover with a thick layer of cheddar cheese.  

Then make a batter from flour, baking powder, just a little sugar, milk, egg, salt & pepper and pour on top of cheese.  

Bake until crust is brown and it is warmed through. I usually bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  These pictures are the first time I used coconut flour in this recipe. Obviously I wasn’t paying attention as it got a little browner than it should have.  But it was still delicious.

Rotisserie Chicken Day

We have a rotisserie on our grill. This is the best way to cook a whole chicken or even a small turkey. I usually rub Montreal Chicken by McCormick Grill Mates all over the bird after attaching it to the spit. You would think all the juice would drain out of the bird but surprisingly it actually stays very moist. Even the breast. If you do not have a rotisserie, I think it would be a great attachment for your grill. Click here for a delicious video.

Fennel-Roasted Olives

I do like stuffed olives. We have found a double stuffed olive at Costco. The garlic and jalapeno go very well together. I’ve been trying some recipes that I can use as gifts. This recipe is for Fennel-Roasted Olives. They are easy to make and can be colorful depending on the olives you choose. I used the regular black olives and Manzanilla. If you have a favorite olive that would work as well.  Before serving, your may want to let the olives sit on the counter to warm up a bit.  Otherwise the oil is almost solid like a vinaigrette and it gives the olives a weird texture.

3 c. assorted olives
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. Orange zest
1 tsp. Lemon zest
1 Tbsp. Olive oil plus more to fill the jars
¼ tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp. Fennel seeds
sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a rimmed baking dish  toss olive, garlic, zests, black pepper and 1 tablespoon oil. Spread evenly and roast 30 minutes, stirring once. Divide olives into jars, add 1 teaspoon of fennel to each then pour even amounts of sherry vinegar and oil over olives to cover. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

 

Vegetable Lasagna

This recipe is is relatively easy to make and much lighter than regular lasagna with pasta noodles.

3 zucchini, washed, ends cut
Oil
2 Tbsp. Pork rinds, crumbled
15 oz. Can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Italian seasonings
1 egg
½ tsp. Garlic salt
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
¼ c. chopped green pepper
¼ c. chopped green onions
2 ½ oz. Can sliced mushrooms, drained
15 oz. Can artichoke hearts, drained, sliced
1 Tbsp. Chopped basil or 1 tsp. Dry
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 c. Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut each zucchini lengthwise into ¼: slices. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Beat egg with garlic salt. Add Ricotta cheese.

 

 

Oil a 7 x 11” baking dish, then sprinkle with pork rinds. Arrange zucchini in dish. Spoon half of sauce on zucchini. Spread half the Ricotta mixture over sauce, half the green pepper, green onions, mushrooms, artichokes and basil. Sprinkle with half the Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat layers ending with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F. about 30 minutes until heated through, cheese is melted and vegetables are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.