Bubbly Salad

Bubbly Salad

You know that champagne is my favorite drink.  I love the bubbles, the color and just the overall vibe of the drink.  So when I find recipes that use champagne I get really excited and want to share!  This champagne vinaigrette is wonderful for a dinner party or just as an everyday dressing.  I always try to make my own dressing.  It’s so much better tasting and better for you.  Enjoy! xoxo

Champagne Vinaigrette

Ingredients
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good quality olive oil

Makes enough for a salad for 6-8 people.

Sweets for the Sweetie

Sweets for the Sweetie

The Chew made a cool recipe the other day that I wanted to share,  chocolate peppermint marshmallows.  Perfect in hot chocolate!  Super easy and super fun.  xoxo

Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallows
Clinton Kelly

| Servings: 12 | easy | 15 to 30 min.

Ingredients
Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallows
1 cup candy canes (unwrapped, finely crushed, about 22)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons canola oil
12 jumbo marshmallows

Directions
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place the candy canes in a small baking dish.
Fill a saucepan with 1-inch of water and bring to a simmer.

Place a large glass bowl on top filled with chocolate chips. Be sure that the glass bowl does not touch the water. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring until smooth. Add the canola oil and stir until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat.

Dip the marshmallows into the chocolate until covered on all sides. Remove from the chocolate and place in the crushed candy canes. Scoop the crushed candy canes over the marshmallow until completely covered. Shake to remove any excess candy cane pieces.

Remove the marshmallow to the prepared baking sheet and allow to set. Repeat with remaining marshmallows

Tip: This marshmallow perfectly pairs with a whiskey hot chocolate.

Bubbly Baking

Bubbly Baking

I came across the greatest recipe the other day!  I set my DRV to tape The Chew each day.  It’s not as good as when Mario Batali was a host, but I still really like it.  Clinton Kelly is awesome and always has something fun to contribute.  So when I saw this the other day and was so excited.  This will make the perfect birthday cake for me later this month! xoxo

Champagne Cake
Clinton Kelly

| Servings: 6 – 8 | easy | 45 to 60 min

Ingredients
Champagne Cake:
3 egg whites
1 and 1/3 cup cups champagne
1 (15.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Champagne Buttercream Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons champagne

To Assemble:
silver dragees (to garnish)

Directions
For the Champagne Cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease, two, 9-inch round cake pans with butter, line with parchment paper and dust with flour, tapping excess out.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add egg whites, champagne, cake mix, and oil. Mix on medium speed until fully combined, about 1-2 minutes.

Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Transfer to oven and bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, trim the tops of the cakes using a serrated knife to make flat and even.

For the Champagne Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add butter and whip on medium speed, until smooth. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar to the butter and increase speed to high. Add vanilla and champagne and mix until fully incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.

To Assemble: Place one of the cake rounds onto a cake stand or serving platter. Top with a layer of the champagne frosting, spreading evenly across the top and around the sides. Use the remaining frosting to ice the entire cake.

SPANX

Mighty Meatballs

Mighty Meatballs

Who doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs?  The meatballs listed below are a little less traditional than the standard meatball that you may be used to.  By using chicken instead of  veal and sausage you can make the meatballs a lot healthier and still have delicious food.  Try them out and see for yourself.  Ciao bella!  xoxo

Step 1

In a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, half of the jalapeño, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. Add the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chicken, egg and milk. Using lightly moistened hands, roll the mixture into 20 meatballs, a scant 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Dust the meatballs lightly with flour, tapping off any excess.

Step 2

Wipe out the food processor and add the remaining garlic clove and jalapeño half; pulse until chopped. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the oregano and process until smooth.

Step 3

In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning, until golden but not quite cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the tomato sauce to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to the skillet and simmer, turning, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

One Serving 290 calories, 10.4 gm total fat, 1.8 gm saturated fat, 16 gm carb.  Photo and recipe by Food and Wine Magazine.

Ciao Bella

Ciao Bella

I love spaghetti!  Any type, any sauce, I love it all.  Spaghetti Pomadoro is so delicious and so easy.  It’s a fast and easy family dinner for busy people.  Ciao Bella! xoxo

Spaghetti Pomodoro

1/4 cup olive oil (plus additional, to garnish)
1 small onion (peeled, finely diced
2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes (hand crushed)
bundle fresh oregano
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup whole basil leaves (to garnish)
parmesan (to serve)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
butcher’s twine

Directions
Place a medium saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, season with salt, and stir occasionally until the vegetables soften, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the chili flakes and tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Tie the oregano with butcher’s twine and add it to the sauce. Reduce to a simmer and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package instructions. Remove the herb bundle from the sauce. Drain pasta and place in sauce. Toss pasta in sauce to coat using 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Add butter, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss pasta until fully coated and glossy. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Chew.

Minty

Minty

Do you grow mint and thyme? Spring is the time where the herbs start poking their little buds out.  I have a mint bed over on the other side of the house that I use quite a bit for recipes.  But, you have to be careful with mint because it will take over your yard!

This recipe from Food and Wine looks like an awesome spring and summer cocktail.  I can see myself on the patio now!  Cheers xoxo

Roof Garden Recipe

Ingredients
15 mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish 2 thyme sprigs 1 ounce Simple Syrup 2 ounces vodka 1 ounce fresh lemon juice Ice 1 to 2 ounces chilled club soda

How to Make It
Step
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with the thyme and Simple Syrup. Add the vodka, lemon juice and ice and shake well. Strain into a highball glass over ice, top with the club soda and garnish with the mint sprig.

photo by Tina Rupp

 

Broccoli isn’t Yucky

Broccoli isn’t Yucky

Food and Wine had a recipe for roasted broccoli recently.  I discovered roasted broccoli around a year ago when I had it at Lockbox.  You see, I had never eaten broccoli, I thought it was yucky.  Roasting it changed my world!  Add some Siracha sauce and BAM.  Eat your vegetables! xoxo

Ingredients

1 large head of broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch florets, stems peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt freshly ground pepper 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon minced shallot 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

How to Make It

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 400°. On a large baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets and stems with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the broccoli in the oven for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and tender.

Step 2
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the shallot and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season the dressing with salt and pepper. Scrape the broccoli into a bowl. Add the dressing and the grated cheese, toss well and serve.

 

Photo by Ben Dearnly

Oscar Worthy Treats

Oscar Worthy Treats

The biggest night in show business is Sunday.  Are you ready?  Have you seen all the movies and have your champagne chilling?

The Oscars are a big night at my house.  We watch the red-carpet special on E that starts around 5 or 6pm, way before the show starts.  The girls (the dogs) get all dressed up in their Oscar dresses.  I love the fashion.  In fact, we are planning a conference call between a couple of us to discuss fashion dos and don’ts.

This is an elegant and fast appetizer from Buzzfeed that is worthy of an Oscar party.  Enjoy xoxox

Pear, Ricotta and Walnut Crostini

1 1/4 cup Ricotta cheese, honey, walnut pieces, pear slices and salt and pepper.

Divide the Ricotta cheese evenly on the toast.  Add the rest of the ingredients and drizzle the honey.  Sea salt works best.

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Bubbles Please

Bubbles Please

I was watching The Chew the other day and Clinton Kelly made a fabulous champagne cocktail. Bubbles are great all year long but this Lemon Champagne Float will be perfect to celebrate spring!  Cheers xoxox

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Lemon Champagne Float
1/4 cup strawberry jam (divided)
1/4 cup lemon sorbet (divided)
1 cup champagne (divided)

Directions
To the bottom of four champagne glasses, add one tablespoon of strawberry jam. Top the jam with a 1 small scoop of lemon sorbet and top with champagne to serve.
Tip: Use your favorite combination of jam and sorbet to make this recipe your own!

Visit DylansCandyBar.com

SPANX

Sweets for the Sweetie

Sweets for the Sweetie

Valentines Day will be here soon.  I found this recipe from People magazine from one of the Chopped judges.  It looks really good and super easy.  You could add chocolate chips to make them even better. Homemade cookies are great gifts for your sweetie! xoxo

 

Maneet Chauhan’s Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground allspice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tsp. liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in food coloring, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients and beat just until combined (the dough will be soft and sticky).
3. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1½-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough into powdered sugar, rolling dough into 24 balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake until cookies are puffed and tops are cracked, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Makes: 24 cookies
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes