Category Archives: Dinner

Avocado Spring Rolls with Sweet Chile Garlic & Ponzu Sauce

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Happy Wednesday!

I made the most amazing spring rolls – it was my first time to make them and I totally impressed myself!

Soft, crunchy, creamy, herb-y & just that je ne sais quoi that I TOTALLY LOVE!

Here are the rock star ingredients:

  • rice paper wrappers
  • seedless cucumber
  • avocado
  • pickled ginger
  • butter lettuce
  • cilantro
  • shredded carrot
  • chives

Pickled ginger has become my new favorite ingredient!  It is spicy and sweet and vinegar-y.  It’s close to the top of the list of perfect foods for you to eat so it’s a win-win!  I have found myself asking for extra anytime I go eat sushi- who am I??

The funny thing is that I have never liked the taste of ginger- when I was little we would go eat at Uncle Tai’s in the Galleria and I would pick out the ginger piece by piece- if I accidentally got a bite, the face I made was horrid. I guess my palate is changing but don’ t think that means you will find blue cheese or olives on my plate any time soon- I have limits my friends!

The prep time on this is going to take some time but the pay off is so awesome!

Cut the cucumber in half and then cut the bottom off so you can stand it straight up and cut vertical slices

Once that is done you can cut the pretty matchstick pieces

Then you want to cut that GORGEOUS avocado in thin strips…..it’s like my favorite food EVER

I just need some salt and fork – YUM!

OK seriously- we need to wet the rice paper wrapper in a shallow dish of water.

Speaking of rice paper- you should be able to get it at your local market but mine was out so I went to the sushi bar and asked if they had any and he gave me several sheets for $$FREE$$ – which again makes the great point of talking to the people at your store and ask questions- they are there to help!!

The rice paper looks crazy when you get it- thin and crackly with a weird texture but when you submerge it in the water it magically transforms like shrinky-dinks in a hot oven

Just submerge it for a few minutes and then lay it on a big dry plate and get ready to fill that baby up

First- lay the avocado slices across so they are the superstar of the roll!

*disclaimer- please make sure to put lemon/lime juice on your avocado after slicing it so it doesn’t get brown spots like mine

Add the rest of the ingredients too

And then you start rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

The tighter- the better – it won’t rip- it’s super strong and you don’t want all your glorious veg pouring out when you bite into it!

Time to make the dipping sauce while that hangs out for a minute

  • Taste of Asia Sweet Chili Garlic sauce (best depth of flavor of all I have tried)
  • Kikkoman Ponzu sauce

If you haven’t tried Ponzu it rocks- it is a citrus soy sauce – soy sauce alone doesn’t work for me anymore

I am dedicated to new flavors like that

TAAADDDDAAAAA

Now go out and make these- they are awesome and you could even throw some shredded chicken or tofu in there if you need more protein!

Have a great day!

Seared Scallop Salad

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I was at the market yesterday and I saw some beautiful Sea Scallops and knew that a salad was in order for dinner but I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together…..I think it came out pretty well

It was so super simple!  The hardest part is chopping up all the veggies for the salad and making the buttermilk dressing!

I don’t have any step-by-step pictures of this process because it all happened so fast and I wasn’t planning :/  But there is always next time and that is when I add more veggies like charred corn and avocado;)

Seared Scallop Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Serves 2

10 Sea Scallops, patted dry

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp butter

1/2 tablespoon Penzey’s Trinidad lemon seasoning

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 – 1 1/2 cups baby romaine

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 stalk of celery, finely diced

1 vine tomato, diced

4 white mushrooms, wiped with a dry cloth and sliced

5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped (stems & all)

1 1/2 tablespoons Garlic Pepper Crispy Onions (Fresh Gourmet)

1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk

1 tablespoon Hellman’s mayonnaise

2 tsp Old Bay

1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Chop up all your veggies for your salad first and make your dressing as this will take much longer than the scallops.

In a small bowl add baby romaine, scallions, tomato, celery, shrooms, cilantro & crispy onions, set aside

In a smaller bowl mix the buttermilk, mayo, cider vinegar & old bay and whisk, set aside

In a non-stick skillet, over medium high heat, add olive oil & butter.  Let it get hot without burning the butter  (the olive oil should help but keep your eye on it) and season the PATTED DRY scallops (this is crucial to get the color you want) with the Trinidad seasoning and cracked pepper.  Put the scallops in and set timer for 2 minutes and turn down the burner to medium.  Turn over the scallops- you should have a beautiful caramel color sear on them and you will cook them another 2 minutes

Toss the dressing with the salad and place the scallops on top with a squirt of lemon

Your plate will look like this after you inhale this salad.  BTW a nice Pinot Grigio is the perfect wine choice for this!

Enjoy!

Baked Bison Wontons

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So I have been a little obsessed with finding uses for wonton wrappers lately on FoodGawker and Pinterest.  I mean not only are the options endless but you can really enjoy volume because it is a healthy option, when baked!

I was trolling the freezer and came across some ground bison and the light bulb went off!  Bison ravioli, bison tacos, bison wontons…..the canvas was blank!

Here is what I made~ Baked Bison Wontons

Crispy pockets of cheesy bison-y goodness ~ GLORIOUS

Here are the players:

Bison Wontons

Makes 48 wontons

  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • wonton wrappers
  • addt’l spices (not pictured here but separate picture below) 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning, 1 tsp Penzeys 4S Smoky Seasoned Salt & 2 squirts of Worcestershire

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Then finely chop and mince your onion & garlic and you want to caramelize them in the olive oil/butter mixture on medium heat for about 20 minutes….until they look like this

My mouth watered just looking at this picture!  I love love love caramelized onions & garlic!

Remove them from the pan and add your ground bison and get it browning

Add in the following seasonings to make it really stand out!

Penzey’s Special Seasoned Sea Salt is GOLD!  I picked up the Smoky version not too long ago and it is such a great addition to any dish…giving the right amount of smoky, salty goodness!

Go ahead and add the onions back in the mixture, once browned.  Mix it up and then move to a bowl so you can cool and add in cream cheese

Mix that well and let is come together while you prepare your wonton wrappers

You will need to lay out your wrappers on a foiled cookie sheet and get a couple of instruments to make this process a little easier~

  • small ramekin of water
  • small pastry brush
  • melon baller

The melon baller is perfect because you only need 2 teaspoons of mixture in each wrapper and this controls that

Add the mixture to the wrapper and then paint 2 sides with water

Then fold the diagonal corners to make a triangle…make sure you get ALL the air bubbles out from around the pocket

You want to spray them with cooking spray….mine went a little crazy here but it worked out fine

Pop them in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because they get brown quickly!  I also did these in several batches because I am not going to lie- its a labor intensive job so I took breaks in between batches 🙂

Look at these beauties!

Enjoy these with a garden salad or as a popable appetizer!

I am off to search for more wonton wrapper ideas!

Happy Monday!!

Welcome back with a little ravioli love!

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Well after a small hiatus…..it is GREAT to be back!  I have gotten so much positive feedback about my blog and was told by several people it was greatly missed and to get back to it!

What better way to kick it off than….

SPINACH.PROSCUITTO.CREAM CHEESE = L.O.V.E.

These pillows are filled with plenty of love I tell you!  The richness and flavor just explodes in your mouth

Let’s get going on the line-up of what you need for the ravioli:

recipe adapted from iowa girl eats because I heart her blog and would love for you to read it!

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 small cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped finely
  • 1 box frozen spinach, defrosted, drained & squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup of chive cream cheese
  • 1 package of won ton wrappers
  • 4 ounces prosciutto
  • salt & peppa
  • Penzey’s Italian Dressing Base Mix

The first thing I did was chop the garlic and the onion so that I could caramelize them…..

DROOL~ I love the smell of onions & garlic cooking in a pan……it’s one of my true loves…..I would marry it if I could

While these are caramelizing….I popped the frozen spinach in the microwave for 7 minutes and once it was done…I put in a strainer and got all the water out cause you don’t want watery ravioli….blech….gross

Then throw that in a bowl with the prosciutto, onions, garlic, egg yolk, cream cheese + a little s & p and italian dressing base mix

Mix it all up and take out your won ton wrappers

These are so easy to use…they don’t dry out like puff pastry so you don’t have to keep them covered while you work with them.

Get a melon baller as this will help you control the amount of filling you use.  If you use too much it will all come out and you will have a bunch of spinach flavored water…..it will be gross.  Use control people!

then you just have to use a little glue aka water to keep them together….

now those look nice and pretty; however, it’s not good enough for me….no sir-ee!

Let’s make these more purty!

Take a glass or biscuit cutter and they go from totally square to radically round!

Et voila!  BEAUTTTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUULLLLL

Make sure that you get all the air bubbles again by pressing around the filling and moving any air bubbles out….no air bubbles here!

I placed them on top of wax paper on a baking sheet while I made them all.

This is in the freezes beautifully section of my cookbook, and I wanted to bring something that freezes beautifully in a major southern drawl….quick what movie is that from?

I love that these babies freeze beautifully because for 3 people I made about 12 fresh raviolis…and I threw the rest in a bag in the freezer and should be good for about 6 months 🙂

Throw into salted water for about 4 minutes

Then line a plate with paper towels and pull them out and drain

Now these are so good….you really don’t need a sauce but you can take 2 different routes….

Bella is a tomato/red sauce girl all the way so here is her plate

UM YUM! that looks phenom!  Just a little diced tomatoes with roasted garlic & buttah warmed up in a sauce pan….yes it’s that easy!

For the grown up sauce I made a beurre blanc….

well kind of

I used 8 ounces of white wine and pretend you see a shallot and DO NOT USE a red onion like me because it was WAY to sweet and it was not the flavor I wanted…juice a lemon.

Reduce in a sauce pan until there are about 2 tablespoons left

Once the mixture has reduced then you will add about 8 tablespoons of buttah….cold buttah and turn it on low while you are doing this

it will all come together and you will have a fabulous ravioli dish with a luscious sauce and the best part???!!!

RAVIOLI IN THE FREEZER!

SCORE!

and very soon it will look like this

yummy in my tummy….

Have a great Thursday night!

What is your favorite pasta sauce?  Are you an Alfredo fan?  Red Sauce? 

Bison sliders – to die for

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It’s Thursday night and we are all dragging a little bit.  The first week of school is almost over and we are all feeling the effects of the early mornings, shuttling to and from activities, and of course the relentless heat.  Is it winter yet?

Seriously, I promise you, I will NOT complain if we get snow for 3 months straight!  Who am I kidding….this is Texas and even with extreme weather- we wouldn’t get that kind of weather…I think 😉

Tonight I wanted to make something sensational and sensationally easy so I settled on Bison sliders

These were seriously the best sliders I have ever had!  And I am not saying that to brag…ok maybe I impressed myself a little 😉

In my experiences, anytime that I have ordered sliders from restaurants they are always dry and tasteless.  The juice was running down my arm with these babies and since bison/buffalo is like 98% lean- NO GUILT!

Here is how I made them:

  • 1 lb of quality bison (get from your butcher at your local market)
  • Lea & Perrin’s worcestershire (no other will do)
  • slider rolls
  • Penzey’s Smoky Seasoned Salt

Turn on or light your grill – get it super duper HOT!  Because the meat is so lean- this is going to be a very fast grilling experience or they will get overcooked-EWWWW

I put the meat balls on the platter and sprinkled the salt over them and the worcestershire and then formed the patties

I then split the rolls and took all my loot out to the super hot grill.  I put the burgers on first and lined the rolls right next to them to get them nice and toasty…..mmmmmm

I am a cheese-y kinda girl so I chose provolone but the beauty of the burger is you can choose ANYTHING you want or NOTHING at all…..yes they are that good

Look at how juicy those are!

I promptly got them off the grill after 3 minutes per side for medium-rare and into the kitchen to rest for a few minutes

Again, I am not going into detail about toppings as we didn’t get exotic this go around but I have some super big ideas and will be doing another post soon!

I simply made a mayo (please promise me you won’t use that Miracle Whip stuff…your buffalo deserves more from you after sacrificing its life for your dinner- thank you) ketchup spread and slathered it on the buns with a little romaine lettuce and then I did a cute tomato/pickle topper

Please make these this weekend- you will love me forever if you do!

Please don’t lick your screen….at least not with anyone in the room 😉

Have a great Thursday night 🙂

What are your favorite burger toppers?

Look Rocky- I pulled an avocado out of my hat!

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Today has been a ca-razy busy day…I have been going from the moment the sun came up.  I had about 1001 errands to run and I have one more….I have to go to the store 😦

Bella has her end-of-the-summer party at camp tomorrow and they have to take a sack lunch.  She wants a sandwich, cheetos along with grapes & strawberries-  I think I will exchange the Cheetos for Popchips- they are my new obsession.

Please run out and try them- they are on sale at Target right now 2 variety packs for $4

They aren’t baked or fried and they taste GOOD!

So because I ran into a wall about 3:30 and have been dragging ever since- I pulled an avocado & egg out of my hat and created a super simple dinner.

It is a simple egg salad stuffed avocado with sliced tomatoes and my child approved because she is part of the clean plate club tonight!

It is rather a sinful dinner with the lucious avocado and egg salad with a touch of shallot so we had watermelon for dessert:)

Here are the players~

And you know I have a Penzey’s spice that I am going to use- this is an all-purpose seasoning that is good on everything!

How can you not love a spice blend that has it all?!

So let’s get down to business!

I know everyone has their own method to boiling eggs and I have tried them all……but the method that has been the most  successful 100% of the time has been the following:

Fill pan up with water and put eggs in immediately.  Eggs should not be covered completely:

I bring the water up to a boil and then cover immediately and turn off the heat.  I let them hang out about 15 minutes and then throw them into an ice water bath (this makes them easier to peel)

While they are hanging out in an ice bath go ahead and chop your shallot & scoop out your avocado:

and then peel your eggs, chop ’em up

throw in the shallot & mayo and mix ’em up and try not to eat it all right then and there….

It is very hard but I promise you will love it even more if you wait for the creamy & decadent avocado:)

Dust the avocado with the Sandwich Sprinkle and then spoon the egg salad mixture into the middle.

I used a small scooper to make it look pretty…..

Then I sliced up a couple of grape tomatoes for color 😉

That sure was yummy, not to mention, quick & easy!

OK I have got to get to the store for grapes, strawberries & goldfish for her class tomorrow or I might be put in timeout…

What is your favorite thing to do with avocados?

A cool 95 degrees

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Happy PRE-Friday everyone!  We are soooooo close to the weekend!

As many of you know the weather here in Dallas as been iNsAnElY H-O-T  H-O-T  H-OT!!  We were 1 day away from breaking our 1980 streak of 40+ days with over 100 degree temps.

But today we got a break~  the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up and the temp dropped to 89 degrees with a quickness…but then *poof* it went away 😦  But on the bright side of things we ended up topping out at a cool 95 degrees:

Pretty crazy when the mid 90’s brings us a sigh of relief from the heat….we don’t look so lucky for the rest of the week!

Look at this easy breezy dinner I made tonight~  Chicken Mozzarella Popovers

Here is what you need:

  • rotisserie chicken
  • store bought crescent rolls
  • shallot
  • fresh mozzarella (bocconcini)
  • Penzey’s Country French Vinaigrette Base mix
  • melted butter

Roll out the crescent roll dough into four squares and pinch the creases so that they don’t split.  Add a piece of mozzarella & the shallots on top of the dough

shred up some chicken and add it to the mix

now it’s time to fold ’em up!

 

pull up one side and then the other and pinch all the sides together

then brush them with some melted butter and sprinkle the Penzey’s seasoning on them

Then follow the directions on the store bought dough on cooking temp & time and then come out brown and yummy!

Definitely 4 year old approved and it only took about 20 minutes from start to finish.  I served with carrots and ranch dressing 🙂

I have an ice cream run to make…because I promised

What is your favorite go-to meal to make?