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Archive for the ‘drinks’ Category

The Curtis Rum and Sprite

I promise this drink has a yellow hue to it once you make it.  Good rum is golden yellow, right?

Mount Gay Rum + Sprite + Fresh Mint + Lime +Ice = A celebration.

Take a tall glass and fill with ice.  Add 2-3 oz of Mount Gay Rum (brand not negotiable).  Fill the rest of the glass with sprite.  Squeeze in 1 lime wedge.  Stir.  Take 3-4 fresh mint leaves and rub them with your fingers to release the aroma, and stir into the mix.   Wha-la.

A Taste of Yellow is a food blogger event hosted by winosandfoodies to mark LiveSTRONG day 2008 on May 13th.  Everyone is now or will eventually be touched by cancer.   Cancer came into my life early, when my older brother battled and beat Hodgkin’s disease. Twenty years later it has come to wage war with my Mother-in-law.  One day we will put an end to this horrid disease. The best we can do in the meantime is to support each other through the roller coaster that is cancer and celebrate every day.

For the Curtis family, we try our best to continue with the life we knew before the cancer came.  The best way I can describe that life is that it is filled with smiles and laughter and celebrations of life.   I think it is truly a gift from God that not only did I get to marry my husband, but I got my in-laws in the deal.  So this drink is for them. We have shared many of them over the past few years.

I don’t know if my post necessarily fits the criteria for the Taste of Yellow event.  Either way, make sure to check out all of the great photos and recipes at winosandfoodies on May 13th.  I was going to post a pork chops and mustard sauce recipe. But Friday night rolled around;  Buffett came on the stereo and the Curtis special got rolled out to toast the end of the week.   This post just felt right.

Let’s raise a toast to the memory of those we have lost and those who keep on keepin’ on.  

Stay strong everybody.

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Easy Asian Chicken and Noodles

I think I mentioned in the last post that I am trying to reduce the amount of red meat that we eat this year.  This is hard for me, because beef is always my safety net. When I don’t know what to have for dinner, I always know I can make some sort of beef dish and it will turn out pretty well; hamburgers, meatballs, lasagna, baked ziti, london broil, shepherd’s pie, french dips, pot roast, filets.   I know that I can replace the beef with ground turkey for some of those recipes, but let’s be honest… it is not the same.  I don’t ususally cook with pork, but I guess that is something I am going to have to explore.  I think I am going to need some help from all of you out there in internetland!

For this recipe, I have taken a dish that I normally make with beef, and replaced it with chicken.  My trick to get the chicken really thin was to slice the breasts while they were still partially frozen.  Note: You MUST have a good, sharp nice to do this.

The original recipe is  adapted from Cooking Light’s Easy Asian Beef and Noodles.   I love this recipe because it is so fast to put together, and it isn’t too expensive either.  The original recipe is said to serve 2 people, but I always have just enough left over to take in for lunch the next day.  When calculating the ww points for this recipe, I used 3 servings instead of 2.  I also add whatever veggies I have hanging around.  We enjoyed it with a nice pinot noir. 

 Easy Asian Chicken and Noodles

  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1 cup green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces 
  • 2 breast uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced very thin.
  • 2 cup packaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 2 ramen noodle soup packages, chicken flavor
  • Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onions; stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken mixture from pan; keep warm. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil until hot. Add slaw, zucchini and broccoli; stir-fry 30 seconds. Remove slaw from pan; keep warm.

    Remove noodles from packages; reserve 1 seasoning packet for another use. Add the water and remaining seasoning packet to pan; bring to a boil. Break noodles in half; add noodles to water mixture. Cook noodles 2 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Stir in steak mixture, slaw, and soy sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.

    ww points: 8-9

    I add more soy sauce on my serving when we get to the table, but that is just me. 

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    Great Pino Noir

    Tonight was the first night in a little while that we both got home from work at a decent hour and could sit down and enjoy a nice dinner together. Plus, it was one of my favorite nights of the week… Thursday!  To me, Thursday night is as good as Friday, the weekend is so close you can feel it.

    We had grilled salmon with parboiled/grilled new potatoes and a salad. I picked the fixin’s up at the grocery store during lunch,  and wandered through the wine aisle of the grocery store on my way to the check out. Lots of people automatically think white wine with fish, but I think that salmon stands up to red wine pretty well.  This pinot noir that I got at the grocery store was really smooth and went really well with the horseradish in the salmon marinade.

     We have never had a bad Pinot Noir from the Willamette valley of Oregon. 

     Happy Thursday from me to you!  Hope you have a good weekend.  Eagles and Giants play on Sunday night, I am trying to think of something good for dinner to get the Philly mojo’ goin.  I can’t do justice to cheese steaks, so I will have to think of something else.

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    sleepin’ in

    One could make one’s own Bloody Mary from scratch, but  who feels like going to so much trouble before noon on a Saturday?  Even our dog isn’t a morning person!   I don’t feel so bad using a mix to make my Bloody Mary when I know I can make it better with the proper accoutrements.

     Last year we went to Savannah, GA and had Bloody Marys  at Huey’s on the Riverwalk that we still talk about today.  When we saw the same mix that they used in our local Harris Teeter, we set about creating the same drink here at home.  After some trial and error, here is our recipe.  The brands here are important, we cannot gaurantee what might occur if you use anything other than what is in this picture. 

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    Baked Ziti

     Sorry to be away for a while, things have been hectic!  This is the blog I meant to post on Monday of this week 🙂

    I was catching some flack around the house lately because we hadn’t had a pasta night the past few weeks.  I know that will disappoint my Dad, who must have pasta once a week, preferrably on Wednesdays.  Sorry Dad.

    Anyway, so I thought I would suprise Jason when he came home from his trip last weekend with something involving homemade tomato gravy.  Meatballs seemed like lots of work to someone in such a lazy mood, so I looked online for a basic baked ziti recipe.  A quick stop at www.allrecipes.com and I had found a few recipes containing an ingredient I had never seen in baked ziti… sour cream!

     I LOVE sour cream, and this was a chance to combine it with another ingredient I love – CHEESE!  I can hear my italian mother right now “Maria – step away from the sour cream, it doesn’t belong in baked ziti!”

    Here was my doctored version of the allrecipes.com recipe:

    • olive oil to coat a heavy pot

    • 1lb ground sirloin

    • 1 large onion, diced

    • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

    • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced eggplant

    • 2 26oz cans crushed san marzano tomatoes

    • dried italian herb mix

    • 1/4 -1/2 cup good italian red wine (see below)

    • 3/4 cup light sour cream

    • 3/4 cup light ricotta cheese

    • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

    • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

    • 1lb cooked ziti or rigatoni

    Brown the ground beef, onion, garlic and eggplant in the pan with the olive oil. When beef is browned, drain the oil out of the pan. Add the tomatoes to the mixture, bring to a simmer with the italian herb mix to taste.  Cover and let cook for a long time (I let it go for about an hour). 

    While the pasta is cooking,  mix the ricotta, sour cream, parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella in a large bowl.   This is the time to add the wine to your slowly simmering meat sauce.

    After draining the pasta, add it to the ricotta cheese mixture with over half of the meat sauce.  Tranfer this to a buttered glass baking dish, top with the rest of the sauce and then the rest of the mozzarella cheese.   Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and you can see the liquid in the dish starting to bubble.  Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

    I have to tell you, this was some kick-a@@ baked ziti.  Jason agreed, and he got his fix of italian food for a welcome back home treat, plus lunch the next day!

     All of those reviews on allrecipes.com were right. Sour cream does belong in baked ziti, at least in my world it does.

    This was the wine we used in the sauce and finished with dinner.  The picture I took wasn’t very pretty, but it was good, so click the link to learn more about it.

     Talk to you soon! 

    Edited to add:  This is my most popular post!  If you try this and love it or hate I would love to hear about it! (more…)

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    Bring out the bubbles!

    champagne-and-turkey-012.jpg

     Did you ever have one of those days where it starts out with nothing going right, then at some point during the day the powers-that-be come along and hit you upside the head with some news that will put everything back into its proper perspective?  That was my day yesterday, and it was definately a good thing. 

    Celebration was in order.  Lucky for us we were prepared.  Some good friends had given us this bottle of Asotoria 2006  prosecco  for our anniversary,  knowing our fondness for italian bubbles.  I know the picture isn’t the best, but this prosecco was very nice.   I only wish a certain cancer-defying family member lived closer so she could try some with us.

    We did have dinner while the celebratory bottle cooled off on ice.  I don’t know what I was thinking actually using the oven in 100 degree heat, but lets just say the dinner was not as nice as the liquid dessert.  Turkey cutlets pounded thin and lightly coated with flour and parmesan cheese.  I browned them in the skillet and finished with a white wine pan sauce.  It sounded better than it was.  Maybe if the weather was a bit cooler outside and I had gone a little lighter on the salt.   Jason said he thought it tried too hard (?).  What’s done is done, I was too happy to worry about a salty dinner!  The picture was nice, so I will throw it in for good measure. Talk to you soon!

    turkey culets

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    White Sangria

    sangria picture

    This past weekend, we celebrated my parents’ 75th birthdays.  The party was in Pennsylvania, so we had to fly up there on Friday night.  Our contribution to the menu was this nice bowl of white sangria, it was easy to throw together the night before.  I like both types of sangria, but I thought this was great since it was so nice and light.  My sister seemed especially fond of the fruit that had been soaking all night! 😉

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