Amanda’s Green Drink

The Beginning

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to share my favorite GREEN drink.  I began juicing about one year ago.  For weeks I did my homework on the best juicer and felt confident in my Breville purchase.  There is nothing like making a yummy, energizing juice to start your day.  By experimenting, you will find the veggies and fruits you love the best.  There is a ton of recipes and ideas that can get you started.  I LOVE my green drink- super healthy and gets me going for the day.  On a mommy note:  William loves me to juice up an apple/grape juice.  So yummy and no yuck preservatives.  And little does he know that it has a whole head of broccoli in it too!  Mommy tricks are the best!
I encourage you to get out there and juice something delicious. -AF

Amanda’s Green Drink

1 head of broccoli
1 bunch of kale
1 cucumber
1 head of celery
1 inch size of ginger root, skin peeled
1 apple
1 lemon (remove rind)

Wash all veggies before juicing.  Combine all ingredients in a juicer. This makes approximately 24 ounces.

The Machine

Happy Birthday Meal: Starter: Caprese Skewers

I LOVE birthdays!  It is a perfect time to celebrate and of course, cook.  Today it was time to celebrate Chris.  William and I whipped up a four course meal fit for our king.  After consulting various cookbooks and notes, our menu was filled with his favorites.  I will be sharing all four courses over the next few days.

Birthday Menu

Our first course started with Caprese Skewers.  These bite size appetizers made it easy to mingle and make casual talk about the day.  Chris loves the combination of tomato, basil, and mozzarella.  The drizzle of a balsamic vinaigrette completes the taste.

Caprese Skewers

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 T + 1 t extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t ground black pepper, divided

1/8 t kosher salt

12 small mozzarella balls

24 grape tomatoes

24 small to medium leaves of fresh basil

24 toothpicks

Cut the mozzarella balls in half. In a small bowl, toss mozzarella with the 1 t of olive oil and 1/8 t of the pepper. Set aside to allow the mozzarella to absorb the flavors.

In another small bowl create a vinaigrette by whisking together balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 T of olive oil, 1/8 t pepper, and kosher salt. This vinaigrette will be brushed on the skewers, once assembled.

Create skewers:

Slide 1 grape tomato onto a toothpick. Fold 1 basil leaf in half; pierce with toothpick and slide up to the tomato. Slide 1 mozzarella piece onto the toothpick.  Continue assembling skewers laying them on serving plate.
Once all skewers are assembled, brush them with the balsamic vinaigrette.

Cover until serving.

Cauliflower Poppers

I was curious about this zero calorie snack.  Many have pinned it on their Pinterest boards claiming they will make it one day.  Well, my day came last Friday.  Simple, Easy, Delicious, and NO GUILT!  It took only ten minutes for my boys to polish the plate.  Eat your veggies!- AF

Cauliflower Poppers

1 small head of cauliflower
1 t olive oil
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Cut cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium bowl. In a small bowl combine cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Add olive to cauliflower and gently toss.  Add seasonings; toss well to coat.

Spread cauliflower on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees and bake until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy, stirring halfway through, about 10 minutes.

Oven Fried Pickles

I love Pickles! Slices, spears, and juice. Don’t knock a dill pickle snow cone.  My boys love their pickles too.  On a Friday afternoon, I whipped up this snack before they even knew I was busy in the kitchen.   It was a success complete with an empty plate.  I’m thinking this coating will work nicely with a variety of veggies.  Next up, oven fried jalapeños.   You can take the girl out of Texas, but you cannot take the spice out of the girl! -AF 

Oven Fried Pickles

1 jar dill pickle, slices

2 eggs

1/3 cup flour

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1/2 t hot sauce

1/2 t Tabasco

1 t garlic powder

1 t Cajun seasoning

1 t pepper

1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs

Ranch dressing

Here we go:

Turn oven broiler on high.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and flour. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, Tabasco, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and pepper. Mix well.

Place Panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dunk each pickle slice into the egg mixture, then coat it in the Panko bread crumbs.

Place coated pickles on a baking rack above a baking sheet and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place pan in the middle rack of the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with Ranch dressing

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo chicken wings scream Super Bowl.  Mix it up a little this year with an epic dip.  Your guests will clean the dish before Madonna starts singing.  Prepare to develop an addiction!  -AF

Buffalo Chicken Dip

4 boneless chicken breast (about 2 lb.)

2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 (16 oz) bottle of ranch salad dressing (you can use blue cheese)

1 (12 oz) bottle Frank’s hot sauce

8 oz. shredded monterey jack or combination cheese

Boil the chicken in water until cooked through.  Drain and shred.

In a 9 X 13-inch baking pan, combine chicken with hot sauce, spreading to form an even layer.  In a large saucepan over medium heat combine cream cheese and ranch dressing.  Stir until smooth and hot.  Pour mixture over the chicken.

Cook, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Then sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers, chips, and celery sticks.  If smaller crowd, divide recipe in half.

Stuffed Jalapeños

Jalapeños are a staple ingredient in my family.  We love to add spice to our lives and our food  This recipe comes directly from my mom.  Stuffed Jalapeños are always a hit in my mom’s kitchen.  Add this sidekick to your Super Bowl festivities.  Plus use it again during your cookouts this summer!  I feel it will be a GIANT Super Bowl! -AF

Stuffed Jalapeños

12 Jalapeños

8 oz cream cheese (light works great)

12 slices bacon (may substitute turkey bacon)

Toothpicks

Put the jalapeños in boiling water for about 5 minutes.  It makes the jalapeños softer and takes less time to cook.  This step can be left out if you want to punish yourself.

Cut the jalapeños in half and take the seeds out.  (Gloves are recommended for all the known reasons)  Fill each half with cream cheese.  Cut the bacon in half and wrap around the stuffed jalapeño.  Use a toothpick to keep together.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is cooked.  Or you can throw them on the grill.

My parents double the recipe and freeze half.  Easy to cook.  Take jalapeños directly out of the freezer and cook 40-45 minutes.

Tortilla Roll-ups

Just throwing out another classic nibble for your epic Super Bowl Party!  You can make these pinwheels the day before and cut them up right before the party.  I’m predicting a few tackles at the food table. -AF

Tortilla Roll-ups

2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies, drained

1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced ripe olives, drained

2/3 cup chopped green onions

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 t seasoned salt

6 (9-inch) flour tortillas

Combine all ingredients except tortillas.  Mix well.  Spread 1/2 cup mixture over each tortilla; roll up tortillas, jellyroll fashion.  Wrap each separately in plastic wrap.  Secure with toothpick if needed.  Chill for 3 to 24 hours.

Unwrap each roll.  Cut off and discard ends.  Cut each roll into 10 slices.
Feeling like avocado, add 1 ripe avocado, finely chopped to mixture.

Hot Bacon Dip

I bet I had you at BACON!  This dip screams Super Bowl.  Cook your bacon ahead of time to prep a quick fix before the game.  No one is counting calories on Super Bowl Sunday!  So PIG out! -AF

Hot Bacon Dip

8 oz. sour cream

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 green onions, chopped

1/2 c mayonnaise, use Hellmann’s on this one

8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 lb. bacon, fried, crispy, and crumbled

Mix sour cream and cream cheese together.  Add green onions, crumbled bacon, mayonnaise and 6 oz. cheese.  Mix it up.  Place in a small oven-safe serving dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.  Serve warm with crackers, vegetables, or chips.  For a large group, double recipe and cook for 25 minutes.