Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Summer Cocktail – Mai Tai’s and Chi Chi’s

So I totally flaked on last week’s Friday Cocktail. The week was crazy for some reason and Friday came and went and I totally forgot to make a drink…ooops!

So to make up for the missed cocktail I decided I would make 2 cocktails this week. These are 2 of my all time favourite cocktails!

I LOVE Maui! It is my most favorite place to go. I have been quite a few times, both my sister and my best friend got married there, it just feels good there.

I had both the Mai Tai and the Chi Chi for the first time while in Maui.
They are both tropical and delicious.

For the Mai Tai you need,
1 oz. dark rum
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. triple sec, or other orange flavoured liqueur
2 oz. orange juice
½ oz. lime juice
Dash of simple syrup

Combine all the ingredients into an old fashioned high ball glass over ice.  Stir to combine.
Garnish with a cherry and a slice of pineapple

For the Chi Chi you need,
1½ oz. vodka
2 oz. cream of coconut
2 oz. pineapple juice
1 cup ice

Combine all the ingredients into a blender, blend until all the ice is broken down and it is thick and frosty.
Garnish with a cherry and a slice of pineapple

There you have it, 2 more drinks that taste like summer!
I hope you have enjoyed this summer cocktail series as much as I have!

I can’t believe it will be September in a few days, time is flying by!
I will be going back to doing my usual Favourite Things starting next week!

I hope you all have a wonderful Labour Day Long Weekend!!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cashew Crusted Chicken

We eat a lot of chicken around here so I am always on the lookout for new quick, simple and yummy chicken recipes.

When I picked up the latest issue of the Rachel Ray Magazine there were about 5 chicken recipes I wanted to try right away. These Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches were first up.

Second on the list was the amazing Cashew Crusted Chicken.
It couldn't be easier to put together, it took under 30 minutes and it tasted great!

What you need,

2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 egg
1 tbsp. + ½ tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 1/3 cups raw cashews, finely ground
½ cup canola oil
1/3 cup oyster sauce
3 tbsp. water
4 cups steamed rice, for serving
4-5 green onions, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a shallow dish place the ground cashews. In a second dish whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoon of the 5 spice powder.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Dip the chicken into the egg then press into the cashew crumbs to coat.

Cook the chicken in the hot oil for 2 minutes per side until just starting to brown. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and finish cooking it in the oven for 8-12 minutes until fully cooked through and golden brown.

Meanwhile in a small bowl stir together the oyster sauce, water and ½ teaspoon of 5 spice powder.

When the chicken is cooked serve it alongside the rice with a drizzle of the sauce and some green onions sprinkled on top.

The chicken was crisp and flavorful. The sauce is a perfect complement for both the chicken and the rice.
The fresh green onions really finish the dish off nicely.

We both really liked this dish; I will be making it again for sure!



Recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fried Red Tomatoes on Toast

Look at these beauties! I LOVE heirloom tomatoes.

Fried red tomatoes on toast is one of my all-time favourite things to eat!

I remember eagerly waiting for the first garden tomatoes to turn red so that my Dad could fry up a big batch of them, he would pile them on warm toast with some smoky crispy bacon on the side.

Seriously to die for!

Here is what you need for 2 servings, 

4-6 slices of bacon
4-6 large tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
4 slices hot buttered toast

In a large cast iron skillet cook the bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Set the bacon aside. Drain off any excess fat, but leave about a tablespoon in the pan.

Lay the tomato slices in the pan in a single layer. Season the tomatoes liberally with salt and pepper.

Cook for 3-4 minutes then flip the tomatoes, season with more salt and pepper to taste, and cook another 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape.

Divide the cooked tomatoes onto the toast. Serve with a couple slices of the crispy bacon.

The tomatoes get sweet but still have a little acidic bite to them, combined with a hint of that bacon fat, all salty and smoky; oh man I am drooling over here!

This just might be my last meal request…LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fridge Pickles

I love these pickles! My dad used to make them in 2 gallon ice cream pails. We kept them in the basement fridge, between my mom’s box of wine and Dad’s night crawlers (fish bait). You might be a red neck if?? Anyway...

I remember going down there to fill up an old margarine container with these delisious pickles to eat with dinner.
I think I could eat a whole jar in one sitting, by myself!

They are sweet but sour, absolutely awesome.
They go perfectly with any meal, or just alone with a fork straight out of the fridge at midnight, if you are into that kind of thing!

What you need,

8-10 cups cucumbers, sliced ¼ inch thick.  I find the peels a bit tough so I peeled mine
1 or 2 large onions, sliced ¼ inch thick rounds

Combine the cucumbers and onions in a large colander. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of coarse pickling salt and let stand for 2 hours. A lot of liquid should drain out of the cucumbers, which is a good thing!

In a large pot combine,

4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups white vinegar
2 tsp. pickling salt
2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. mustard seeds

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Pack the cucumbers and onions into jars or plastic containers or if you are my Dad and a 2 gallon ice cream pail!

Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers until they are just covered.

Put a lid on the container and stash it in the fridge for 2-3 days.

After 2-3 days you have perfect sweet but sour pickles.
These pickles will keep for months in the fridge, but they won’t last that long!

I halved this recipe because I don't have enough room in my fridge for that many pickles, you could even quarter it if you wanted to make a small batch. If you have room, double the recipe… DO IT, otherwise you will be making these twice before fall comes!

I feel so domestic making pickles!
It is worth the effort, they are WAY better than anything you can buy in the store!


Recipe from my Daddio!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chili Cheese Dogs

The end of summer always reminds me of the fair. As a kid I always looked forward to all the rides, games and mostly the food. Mini donuts, candy apples and Chili Cheese Dogs!  

Chili cheese dogs are so easy to make at home. They are a great way to use up left over chili.

What you need,

1-2 cups of left over chili, this is my favourite recipe
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup finely diced onion
4 hot dogs, whichever brand you like, grilled or boiled
Mustard, ketchup, relish or any other condiment you like

Place 1 hot dog on each of the warm toasted buns, top with your preferred condiments, I like mustard on mine.
Top with ¼ cup or so of the warmed up chili. Sprinkle on the cheese and a few onions.

These dogs are super messy; you are going to need some extra napkins!
They are so tasty the mess it totally worth it!