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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Matcha Crepes with Nutella Granache




When you hear the word "crepe", you might think of French food.  This recipe is relevant to St. Patrick's Day to me because I actually had Nutella Crepes in Dublin, Ireland.  I added Matcha to make it the right color for the holiday!





Nutella Granache



Recipe:

1 cup Nutella
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Instructions:
Bring the cream to a boil in a small sauce pot.  This won't take long...stay nearby and add the Nutella as soon as it boils.  Whisk the cream and Nutella until it is well combined and smooth.  Set aside.


For the Crepes:
I wanted this recipe to turn out right, so I went by this one I located on Pinterest:
http://innocentdelight.com/perfect-french-crepes/
The only thing I did differently was add 1 Tbsp Matcha.  I put all ingredients in the blender and blended until smooth.  I made sure to pour the dough into the cast iron skillet in a very thin layer.

Don't have any Matcha?  Just add a drop or two of green food coloring!  But if you're interested in purchasing Matcha for yourself, here's the link to my favorite brand on Amazon:




Happy St. Patrick's Day friends!  Don't forget to wear green so you don't get pinched!  Or just make these green crepes with Nutella Granache for everyone.  That's another way to avoid the pinch!  :)



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Veggie Shepherd's Pie and Memories of Ireland




My husband and I just recently visited Ireland.  We had an amazing experience there!  First of all, it's GORGEOUS.  Every direction you look, you see a magnificent, green-hued feast for the eyes.  Pictures don't do it justice...you must go there and see it for yourself to understand what I mean.  Also, Irish people are very friendly and fun.  



Cliffs, rolling clouds, ocean and beautiful green farmland.  Ireland is full of views like this one.


Oh to be walking down that road right now!


I'm not sure that Ireland is the first place that comes to mind when you think of culinary travels.  Italy is probably the place for that.  But we ate some wonderful food in Ireland!  The Irish breakfasts we had at B&Bs were divine.  Fish and Chips and Mushy Peas were also common and delicious.  Seafood is fresh and abundant.  

I remember a pub in Donegal where we had the best Shepherd's Pie.  That is what I am making for my family and friends to celebrate this St. Patrick's Day.  I wanted to make a healthy version of it, so I stuck to a blend of veggies with sweet potato topping.




Recipe:

4 small Sweet Potatoes (peeled and chopped)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Onion (diced)
1 clove Garlic (minced)
2 Parsnips (peeled and diced)
1 Zucchini (diced)
1 Squash (diced)
3/4 cup canned Diced Tomatos (juices drained)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
a sprinkling of Nutmeg
a sprinkling of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Cottage Cheese
1 cup shredded White Cheddar Cheese
handful of fresh Oregano
Instructions:
1.  Put Sweet Potatoes in a large microwaveable bowl with a little bit of water and cover with Cling Wrap.  Microwave for 8 minutes.
2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and heat the Olive Oil in a large pan over medium heat.
3.  Add Onions, Parsnips and Garlic.  Cook until tender (about 8 minutes), stirring often.
4.  Add Zucchini and Squash and cook stirring for a couple more minutes.
5.  Add the Diced Tomatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, Nutmeg, Cayenne, and Salt and Pepper.  Stir well and cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn heat down to medium-low halfway through.
6.  Meanwhile, pour any excess water off of the Sweet Potatoes.  Add the Cottage Cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
7.  To assemble:  Grease a medium-sized casserole dish.  Add the Veggie mixture and spread evenly.  Spread the Sweet Potato mixture evenly across the veggies.  Top with the White Cheddar and place in the oven.
8.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  If the cheese does not bubble and brown, turn on low broil for about 8 minutes.
9.  Top with fresh Oregano leaves and serve.

*Note:  I used Parsnips in this recipe because I was thinking back to a roasted Parsnip bisque we had in Northern Ireland.  If you're not a parsnip fan or can't find them, use carrots instead.

Cliffs of Moher in Doolin, Ireland...Sigh!


No matter what part of the world you live in, St. Patrick's Day is the perfect time to try cooking Irish food.  It's even more fun to have some friends over and celebrate all things green and lucky!  I hope you'll try my Shepherd's Pie and have thoughts of Ireland.  Happy St. Paddy's Day, friends!







Monday, March 14, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Collaboration: The 30s Club Cocktail






I'm so excited about today's post!  I have collaborated with a friend and fellow blogger.  Meet Laurel Donahoo.



She is the owner and designer of The Lovely Bee Stationary and Paper Company.  She blogs about life and all things interesting and beautiful at The Hive.  Check her out here:  http://thehiveblog.com.  Laurel and I knew we wanted our blog collaboration to have a St. Patrick's Day theme.  Today she is serving up the perfect cocktail to make for your Shamrock celebration!






Hey everyone! I am so excited to have the opportunity to guest post over here on my friend Lauren’s blog! When thinking about what I wanted my post to be about, my mind immediately went to cocktails, since they compliment food so nicely! (And we know Lauren is a master in the kitchen when it comes to food!)

Here’s how this cocktail started: I was in a local liquor store and saw a really pretty bottle that I wanted to have on my bar at home, so I bought it. It was Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao. When I got home, I started looking for recipe ideas that involved the lovely liqueur! I found a great one that I slightly modified to fit my personal tastes, so here she is!





I’ve named this cocktail The 30s Club for several reasons! It is based on a 1930s recipe called the Pegu Club. Since I don’t know what Pegu is (do you?!) I decided to omit that word from my adaptation of the cocktail! (By the way, I once read that, when naming your own cocktails, if they are based on other recipes, you should give some sort of reference to the original name or creator of that recipe!)  Since I’m 30 and this is the best year of my life (since I just had my second child with my awesome husband!), I thought the number 30 in the title could have a dual meaning!

The recipe for this cocktail is really simple, so get your shaker and a coupe glass out, and let’s get started! 

You’ll need…

…. 2 oz. gin
…. 1/2 oz. dry curaƧao
…. juice from 1/2 lemon
…. one shake of orange bitters
…. one shake of aromatic bitters

Combine all of this with some ice in a shaker and get your arm workout on. Then strain into a pretty glass, garnish with lemon peel, and start sipping! 


I hope you enjoy your 30s Club cocktail as much as I do. Cheers to life! 

-Laurel Donahoo
The Lovely Bee




Saturday, March 12, 2016

Irish Potato Pancakes with Chive Sour Cream



Welcome to St. Patrick's Day week and my week of Irish cooking!  I'm excited about St. Paddy's Day this year because my husband and I recently visited Ireland.  This holiday is bringing back fond memories as well as the opportunity to recreate some of the lovely food we had while in the motherland. :)





Castle ruins are everywhere.  Gorgeous!


When you visit Ireland, a lot of your meals might be in public houses (pubs).  These are basically gathering places to eat a meal, socialize and maybe enjoy a Guinness.  Traditional Irish fare is available at the pubs.  Today's recipe is definitely something you might find there.


Potato Pancakes
with Chive Sour Cream

Recipe:

4 medium Yellow Potatoes
1 Tbsp Kerrygold Irish Butter (or regular Butter)
3/4 cup Flour
1 cup shredded Dubliner Cheese (or Cheddar)
1/4 cup Milk
2 Tbsp fresh Chives (chopped)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:
1.  Peel all the Potatoes.  Roughly chop 2 of them and place in a microwaveable bowl with a little water and cover with Cling Wrap.  Microwave for 8 minutes.  Grate the other 2 potatoes with a cheese grater into a large mixing bowl.
2.  When microwaved potatoes are done, drain the water and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes along with the Butter.
3.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl as you heat a pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Spray the pan with Cooking Spray.
4.  Form the batter into pancakes (about 4 inches across) and add to the pan.  Cook until browned and then flip and cook until browned on the other side (6-8 minutes on each side).
5.  Serve immediately with Chive Sour Cream (recipe follows).

Chive Sour Cream
1 cup Sour Cream
2 Tbsp chopped Fresh Chives
1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
sprinkling of Garlic Powder
Instructions:  Mix all ingredients in a small, decorative serving bowl.






Dublin Doors




Friday, March 11, 2016

BhamBurger Battle



There is an exciting event coming up in Birmingham that I want to tell you about today!  It's a foodie's dream...a Burger Battle!  Four top chefs in the metro area, are going to battle it out by making their best burgers in slider form for you to sample.  This is one party you don't want to miss!

This shindig is a fundraiser for Crestwood Day School (http://www.crestwooddayschool.org) and it just so happens that a dear friend of mine, Mrs. Virginia Brasher, is the planner.  We sat down and she gave me all the details....




For starters, it could not be at cooler venue!  Cahaba Brewing Company just relocated to the old Continental Gin Industrial Park between Avondale and Crestwood communities.  If you haven't been yet, this will be the perfect time to check it out!

There will be a silent auction, featuring contributions from: Wheelhouse Salon, The Edge Theater, A Bryan Photo,  JH Ranch, Seeds Coffee, Salon U, and more to be announced soon.

You can count on very entertaining entertainment (ha!) from the Gadsden State Community College Showband.  They play funk and other popular music.

Featured chefs will be Trevor Newberry (Urban Standard),  Roscoe Hall (Knife Party), Victor King (Feast & Forest) and Will Drake (Knife Party).  They will be making 2 oz. sliders for you to taste.
Interested in Knife Party?  Click here: http://theknifeparty.com

Time and Date: 6:00-9:00 PM on April 15th

Your ticket includes: 1 Slider from each chef (4 total), 1 Cahaba Beer, Chips and entertainment.  Check out the website for ticket purchase and more details: http://www.bhamburgerbattle.com

Hope to see you there!!






Wednesday, March 9, 2016

4 Cheese Zucchini Boats



Throughout my growing-up years, I remember my mom always made Zucchini Boats.  Now as a mom myself, I'm so thankful that my kids enjoy this simple and healthy dish.  

I decided I wanted to add something extra to my Boats this time.

 Surely there can never be enough cheese in a cheesy dish, right?  

The lovely blend of Aged White Cheddar and Gruyere cheeses makes this classic an even more mouth-watering treat.





Recipe:

4 Large Zucchinis (uniform in size)
Heaping 1/2 cup each of: Cottage Cheese
                                              Shredded Parmesan
                                              Shredded Aged White Cheddar
                                              Shredded Gruyere
2 Eggs
sprinkling of Nutmeg
sprinkling of Garlic Powder
handful of fresh Oregano
Instructions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bring water (enough to cover all zucchinis) to a boil in a large pot.
2.  Add Zucchinis to boiling water and boil for 8 minutes.
3.  Transfer Zucchinis to a cutting board and slice in half longways.
4.  Using a serrated spoon, remove the soft white insides, leaving a nice rim on the edges.
5.  Place Zucchini shells on a greased casserole dish and use a paper towels to soak up some of the moisture from them.
6.  Chop the Zucchini insides and pat with a paper towel to soak up some of the moisture.  Put into a large bowl with all the other ingredients.
7.  Stir well to combine.
8.  Fill each Zucchini shell with filling and bake for 20 minutes.
9.  Change the oven setting to Low Broil and broil for 8-10 more minutes, or until cheese gets bubbly and golden brown. 
10.  Top with fresh Oregano and serve immediately.






Monday, March 7, 2016

Matcha Muffins



My kids and I love having friends over.  Morning playdates are the best!  It's a time for imagination in the sunshine and dress-up clothes for the kids....coffee and a breakfast treat for the moms.

Today, I wanted to introduce my friends to one of my favorite things....Matcha!

 As you know, Matcha is finely ground Green Tea powder that is used in hot drinks, smoothies and baked goods.  

I decided Matcha Muffins would be the perfect breakfast treat for the moms, while the kids played.



Matcha Muffins

Recipe:

1 2/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder 
1 1/2 Tbsp Matcha
1/3 cup Butter (melted)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Tbsp Honey
1 Egg
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
Black Sesame Seeds for garnish
Instructions:  
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
3.  In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the Butter, Brown Sugar and Honey until just combined.
4.  Add the Egg and then slowly add the Milk while mixing.  Beat until just combined.
5.  Add the dry ingredients and (you guessed it) beat until just combined. Ha!
6.  Pour batter into a muffin pan that has been lined with baking cups.  Fill to about halfway.
7.  Bake for about 20 minutes.
8.  Once they are done, allow the muffins to cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
9.  Use a flour sifter or small-net strainer to lightly dust the Powdered Sugar over the top.  Garnish each muffin with a few Black Sesame Seeds.

Print this Recipe: Matcha Muffins


I served them with a small bowl of melted Kerrygold Irish Butter mixed with Honey.  I thought it was the perfect compliment to the fresh tea flavor of the muffins.


If you're interested in ordering your own Matcha,  here is the link to my favorite brand:





As is often the case, I started out using a recipe that I found on Pinterest.  At some point during the process, I veered off on my own path and changed it up some.  I don't know that I can call it entirely original...but of course, there are only so many ways you can make muffins.  I mean, how many variations of the Flour/Baking Powder/Salt measurements can there be?  Some things have to be exact in baking.  But like I've said several times before, I'm no baker...so don't take my word for it.  Ha!





I can say from experience however, that this Matcha Muffin recipe is nonbaker-friendly.  You can quote me on that.  :)  Matchalove, until next time!






Friday, March 4, 2016

Ginger Walnut Chicken



One of the many joys of being a mom to small kids is indulging in kid foods.  Gummies, Goldfish crackers, and most of all, Chicken Strips!!  I mean, could there be anything better?

I wanted to make a fancier, more grownup version of this timeless classic.  A blend of Walnuts, Garlic and Ginger Root came to mind as I was deciding what I wanted to do.


Ginger Walnut Chicken


Recipe (makes 6):

6 Chicken Tenders
Marinade:  1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Dredge:  1 Egg
       1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Breading:  1 cup Walnuts
        1/4 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
          1 node fresh Ginger Root
    1 clove Garlic
     1 Tbsp Black (or white) Sesame Seeds
      Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions:
1.  Marinate the Chicken in the Soy Sauce and Olive Oil in a Ziploc bag for at least 30 minutes.  Massage the chicken some in the bag, for tenderness.
2.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3.  For dredging, mix the Egg and Olive Oil in a small bowl with a whisk.
4.  In a food processor, blend all the breading ingredients until well combined and finely ground.  Transfer to a plate.
5.  With a greased baking sheet nearby, dredge each strip in the Egg mixture and then cover in the breading mixture.  Make sure the meat is completely covered with breading and shake off the excess. Place each strip on the baking sheet.
6.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.  So they will cook 10 minutes on each side.





Any chicken tender that's worth it's salt (literally, ha!),  has to have a yummy dip.  Nobody in my family is a big fan of Ketchup.  Even my kids enjoy something creamier.  We like dips that are similar to a Remoulade or Aioli.  To compliment the Ginger and Sesame Seeds, I put together a Sriracha Aioli.  This is not an original idea.  This is basically the Yum Yum Sauce you get at Hibachi.  But I'll share with you exactly how I do it.



Sriracha Aioli 



Recipe:

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
about 1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce (amount depends on how spicy you want it to be)
a sprinkling of Garlic Powder
Instuctions:  Mix all ingredients in a small sauce bowl and serve.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sausage, Egg and Sriracha Empanadas



I know what its like to work full-time and for each weekday morning to be a flustered rush.  Trying to think of breakfast ideas that are quick, portable and yet filling, can be challenging.  I think today's recipe will be ideal to make ahead on the weekend and grab on your way out the door on those crazy mornings!


Sausage, Egg and Sriracha
Empanadas


Recipe:

8 oz Ground Sausage
4 Eggs (3 for filling and 1 for Egg Wash)
1 Tbsp Milk
1 cup shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce
2 Pie Crusts (see note at the bottom)
Instructions: 
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Cook the Sausage over a little less than medium heat, stirring often, until cooked through.  Set aside on a paper towel.
3.  Whisk 3 Eggs and the Milk and scramble in the same pan over medium-low heat.
4.  Combine Scrambled Eggs, Cheese, Sausage and Sriracha Sauce in a medium bowl.
5.  Roll out the Pie Crusts and using a large rimmed cup or cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough (about 4 inches across).  

6.  Put about a Tbsp of filling in the center of each dough circle.  Fold in half and press the dough on the outer edges to seal.  
7.  Transfer to a greased cookie sheet and brush with the Egg wash.
8.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
*Note:  Try to find pie crust that comes in a box, rolled up.  It works better than the crust that is already in pan form.  You should be able to get 6-7 dough circles out of each crust.  Use a rolling pin to form the scraps into flat dough.




You might have some of the filling left over.  If you do, it is excellent on a grilled cheese sandwich (with extra cheese of course).  It would probably also be delicious mixed into crispy hash browns.





So happy workdays, friends!  I hope this recipe works for you as a filling, grab-and-go breakfast.





Can't find Sriracha sauce? Order it here:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sauce Verde


It hurts my heart so much when there is a surplus of fresh herbs in the fridge (leftover from other recipes) that get forgotten about and go bad.  I had a variety of herbs this week and wanted to prevent that from happening.  


Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley and Dill.


I am a fan of Donna Hay's recipes.  If you're not familiar with her, look her up.  She is the Aussie version of our Martha Stewart.  She has a recipe called "Salsa Verde" that I have made and loved before.  I was also inspired by Chimichurri Sauce, which I recently made as a marinade and dip.

To prevent sad herbal waste this week, I invented a cross between Salsa Verde and Chimichurri Sauce.  I call it Sauce Verde!  I will share the way I did it, but the recipe can vary depending on what you like or what you have on hand.


Sauce Verde

Recipe:

a heaping 1/4 cup of 3-4 fresh herbs (I used Oregano, Cilantro, Parsley and Dill)
2-3 cloves Garlic
1 heaping tsp Capers
1 Shallot (or 1/4 Red Onion)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
splash of Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions: Blend all ingredients in the food processor until smooth.



This week, I served my Sauce Verde as a dip for Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes.










Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Matcha! It's so hot right now!





As a food blogger, as well as full-time foodie,  I am connected with many others who share my creative passion.  I have several Instagram foodie friends who are often posting about Matcha.  I didn't even know what it was for a while...but it kept popping up.  So I decided to investigate.







Matcha is quite simply, finely ground Green Tea Powder.  The concept originated in China.  It is delicious just to mix with water or milk and drink, cold or hot.  But it is also used in baking and in desserts.  You've heard of Green Tea ice cream, right?  Yum yum!  

Now that I know what Matcha is and have ordered some for myself (below), I am completely hooked!  I'll share a couple recipes I've done lately.







Matcha Smoothie



Recipe:
1 frozen Banana
1/2 frozen Zucchini
1 tsp Matcha
3/4 cup Milk 
1/2 cup Orange Juice
Instructions:
Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.





Matcha Whoopie Pies
with Black Sesame Frosting



This one might take a little explaining.
The combination of Matcha and Black Sesame seeds in a dessert is popular in Japan.  I've seen my international foodie friends on Instagram post many images of Matcha Black Sesame desserts.  It made me very curious.  This is my version of this unique flavor combo.

Recipe:
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Matcha
1 stick Unsalted Butter (room temp)
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1 cup Milk
Black Sesame Frosting:
1 stick Unsalted Butter (room temp and diced into small pieces)
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp Black Sesame Seeds (crushed)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 or 3 tsp Milk
Instructions:
1.  Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a medium bowl, mix Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Matcha.
3.  In a large bowl and with an electric mixer, beat Butter and Sugar until creamy.
4.  Add the Egg and Milk and beat until just combined.
5.  Pour in the dry ingredients and mix just long enough to combine.
6.  Use a spoon or a piping bag to form (small, uniform size and shape) mounds of dough on the cookie sheets.
7.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.
8.  When they are ready, allow to cool before assembling the Whoopie Pies with the frosting.
Frosting Instructions:
1. Toast the Sesame Seeds over medium heat for 3-5 minutes...don't burn them!
2.  Transfer to a ziploc bag, seal with no air inside and crush seeds with a rolling pin until they are ground well.
3.  Beat the Butter for 2-3 minutes, slowly adding in the Powdered Sugar. (I learned the hard way that if you add all the Sugar at once, you get a cloud of it in the air and inhale it and choke. Ha!)
4.  Once the Butter/Sugar mixture is fluffy, add the other ingredients, along with the ground Black Sesame Seeds.
*Note: Use your judgment on how much Milk to add...depends on how thick or thin you like your frosting.  I like mine thicker, so I added only 2 tsp Milk.




Why this particular flavor combination?  The nutty quality of the Black Sesame goes well with the fresh herbal flavor of the Matcha.  That is why the flavors blend so beautifully.  If you try this recipe at home, get ready for a different taste.  While it is sweet, it's not quite like many desserts you've had. Consider it a fine cultural experience!


Here is an example of what I've seen on Instagram. This one is Matcha and Black Sesame Swirl Ice Cream, topped with toasted Black Sesame Seeds.



Search #matchablacksesame for more ideas. And follow mazeda_raisin for lovely images of food and just general UK beauty.  


Picnic at the Vineyard



It was a perfect day!  First of all, the weather was amazing...sunshine, cool breezes and glory!  It was a taste of Spring in the dead of Winter.  I packed a picnic for my family and we headed to Morgan Creek Vineyards in Harpersville, AL...about an hour out of Birmingham.


It was a gorgeous drive!


First, we walked into the gift shop, which also serves as the tasting room.   Here you can get a small sample of each wine.  Most are made with muscadines and have a sweet quality to the flavor.  Some have hints of other fruits as well.  We enjoy more dry wine.  So we decided on the Cahaba White for our picnic.  In our opinion, it was the driest and yummiest.  But of course, everyone has different opinions of how wine should taste.
Check them out here:  http://www.morgancreekwinery.com/wines/



Now back to my favorite subject: FOOD!
For our picnic, we had Kale Brussels Sprout Slaw, Asian Pasta Salad, Shrimp marinated in Chimichurri Sauce and a Cheese and Apple plate.



Flavors that transition between Winter and Spring.


Here are the recipes:


Asian Pasta Salad
Recipe:
1 package Asian Noodles
1 Red Bell Pepper (julienned)
about 8 Green Onions (julienned)
1 Cucumber (seeded and julienned)
1 Tbsp Black Sesame Seeds
1 cup Asian Vinaigrette
Instructions: Cook noodles by the instructions on the package.  Put all ingredients in a decorative bowl and toss to blend.  Serve immediately or prepare the night before and store in the fridge.

Recipe for Asian Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 clove minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Honey
*Whisk ingredients together to combine.



Kale and Brussels Sprout Slaw

Recipe:
1 small bunch fresh Kale (shredded and stems removed)
1 bag Cole Slaw Mix
8-10 fresh Brussels Sprouts (sliced thinly)
1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
1 cup Honey Sesame Vinaigrette
Instructions:  Combine ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.  Allow to sit covered in the fridge for a few hours to meld flavors.

Honey Sesame Vinaigrette
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Whisk ingredients together to combine.




Shrimp marinated in Chimichurri Sauce

Recipe:
1 bag frozen peeled Shrimp
wooden skewers
Chimichurri Sauce (recipe below)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Butter
Instructions:
1.  Thaw and Rinse Shrimp.
2.  Marinate in Chimichurri for about 30 minutes.
3.  Heat the Olive Oil and Butter in a grill pan (or other large pan) over medium-high heat.
4.  Place 4 or 5 Shrimp each, on the wooden skewers.
5.  Throw into the pan, along with any remaining sauce and cook for 5-7 minutes or until pink and starting to brown on each side.

Chimichurri Sauce
1/4 cup Fresh Oregano
1/4 cup Fresh Italian Parsley
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Shallot (or 1/4 a Red Onion)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions:  Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth.





Picnic season is quickly approaching.  Lovely Spring and the urge to do everything outside are just around the corner.  Our picnic day at the vineyard reminded me of that.  Make sure to eat as many meals as possible outside!  Take a picnic somewhere or just to your back yard.  And while you're at it, try my picnic recipes!



Jackson, the Morgan Creek Winery horse.