Jersey Tomato Salad

It’s hot, I’m hungry, and I definitely do not want to cook anything.  There’s nothing like a ripe Jersey tomato for this Jersey girl.  Here’s how I made this light & refreshing summer lunch:

1. slice 1 juicy ripe Jersey Beefsteak tomato

2. add 1/2 of a creamy ripe Hass avocado cut into chunks ( I prefer 1 per each tomato bite of course)

3. go outside to the garden & pick some fresh basil to shred onto the plate

4. sprinkle on a nice amount of Murray River Australian Pink Salt

5. crack some fresh ground black pepper over the plate

6. then drizzle some Meyer Lemon Olive Oil over the whole thing

and last:  eat away with a big fat smile on your face!

Mozzarella Avocado Quesadillas (for my little one)

My little guy is one adventurous eater.   For lunch today I made a simple quesadilla for him.  He’s a BIG fan of avocado (it was one of his first foods) so I wanted to work it into a quesadilla for him.  I took one medium Mission flour tortilla

Medium/Soft Taco Flour Tortillas

and placed it on a skillet on medium high.  On one half of the tortilla I  put  some shredded mozzarella cheese and on the other half I spread a bit of ripe Hass avocado.  I sprinkled the whole thing with a bit of ground cumin (for that southwest taste).  I also cut of some shelled edamame into a real small dice and put that on top of the cheese once it was melted.  Then I folded the tortilla in half and cooked until the tortilla was a little bit browned and crisp.  I cut into 4 triangles, just the right size for my toddler’s lil fingers🙂  He gobbled it up!  And since he only ate 3 of the pieces this mama enjoyed one as well.  Simple lunch or snack for grown ups too!

Mango Fruit Smoothie

It’s dreary outside and I needed a little punch of color & fruit.  Creamy, sweet, & tangy Mango Fruit Smoothie seemed perfect.  Here’s the recipe for those that want to try.  Waring Bar Blender here I come:

1 container (6 oz) Chobani mango Greek yogurt

Mango 2% Greek Yogurt

@ 10 chunks of frozen fruit (I used a Dole mix that’s in the freezer for just this purpose.  I picked out some mango, strawberries, and peaches)

1 heaping Tablespoon of honey (I am a honey addict and have MANY in my cabinet…. choose the kind you love)

4-6 ice cubes (makes it nice & frothy)

2-4 ounces of fruit juice (how much depends on how thick you want your smoothie)

Add the yogurt, fruit, honey, and ice to the blender, buzz on high.  Drizzle in juice to taste and to control the consistency.  I happened to have some leftover Fruit Punch in the refrigerator and that gave it a great color, but any juice will work.

Enjoy this healthy summer treat!

BBQ Pork Boneless “Ribs”

This is an easy crock pot recipe! Although I was craving ribs, when I went to the grocery store I found something that looked tastier. I purchased a 3 lb package of Boneless Pork Butt Southern Style BBQ pieces. They looked like 4 big tasty rib pieces, and no bones this time. For the glaze I mixed the following together in the crock pot before adding the meat:
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I chose Nathan’s Coney Island BBQ Sauce)
3 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard (I also used Nathan’s for this)
1 Tablespoon of sweet orange marmalade
3/4 cup of root beer (to thin the sauce & add a smoky sweetness)
1 teaspoon of ground chili powder (add more for your spice tolerance)

Then I salted the pork and placed into the crock pot making sure to coat all sides with the tangy sweet BBQ sauce. I am cooking it on high so it gets done a little faster…. but that’s the glory of the crock pot. It let’s you cook it depending on your time frame. Perfect dish to cook low & slow while you’re at work, etc.

1st ice cream of the season

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

We’re planning a Memorial Day BBQ on Monday and I wanted to have ice cream for dessert.  I love my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker!  I put the core in the freezer a couple of days ago since it needs a good 24 hours to thoroughly chill up.  It stays in the freezer all summer for endless ice cream making experiments.  My big plan was to make a red, white, and blue dessert so I was thinking strawberry, coconut, and blueberry ice creams would be fun.  I started with the Toasted Coconut Ice Cream.   I toasted 1/2 a bag of sweetened coconut flakes in a pan on the stove while constantly stirring until golden and crispy.  Watch it carefully at the end because it can go from tasty to nasty in no time if it gets burnt.  You could also do this on a sheet pan in an oven, but I prefer the stove top method.  Since my ice cream maker can handle about 3 cups of liquid plus mix ins, I tweaked a couple of recipes and came up with this one.   My ice cream maker yields 1 1/2 quarts of frozen goodness….. the key is to NOT overfill the bowl because as it freezer it expands *elementary science class anyone?*

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

1 can (15 oz) cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez or Goya

2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup of heavy cream (just because I wanted it a little richer)… but you can use light cream, or leave it out if you want it dairy free!

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup of white sugar

1 cup toasted coconut flakes

*Blend the cream of coconut, coconut milk, heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar in a food processor or blender until sugar is dissolved and cream of coconut is incorporated.   Chill this mixture for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.  When fully chilled you are set to use your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instruction.  A few minutes before it’s done slowly add in the toasted coconut until fully incorporated.  You can enjoy as is (more like soft serve) or transfer to a freezer safe container for a few hours to fully freeze.  Then scoop & ENJOY!!

Cuisinart ice cream maker

I’m Hungry… I’m gonna Go Play In The Kitchen

With some fresh striped bass in the fridge, it was screaming to become fish tacos.  I love the texture of warm crispy beer battered fish rolled up in a soft flour tortilla.  I made a beer batter with flour, adobo, cracked black pepper, some chili powder, and a nice crisp cold beer all whisked up waiting for fish to be bathed in it.  I popped a pan of oil on the stove to get hot while I prepped the toppings.  Roma tomatoes seeded & chopped;  Hass avocado sliced with lime juice on it; shredded cabbage; and a dressing made from sour cream, juice of 1/2 lime, and chopped fresh cilantro.  Layer it up any way you like *make your own tacos are always fun*.  This time I rolled them up burrito style to contain the juiciness.

Beer Battered Fish Tacos