Category Archives: Sauce

Parsley Pesto

Parsley Pesto

Surprisingly, I still had a massive garden of fresh parsley piled up outside that had not yet frozen. Quickly snipping it all, I rushed inside to make pesto before my poor bunch decided to freeze.

Glad I did this as two days later we had a giant cold spell freeze the remainder of my kale and carrots.

I must say my carrots were a weird bunch this year as they grew and grew but never decided to sprout out of the ground, I had the looks of growing carrots, but never actually produced a single one. I was pretty bummed about this. :(

Anyway my parsley is the main topic right now as I made this delicious pesto from the fresh parsley hanging on by a thread fighting the bitter cold.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
  • 3 handfuls of fresh Italian Parsley (or basil if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Avocado olive oil (or EVOO)
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/3 cup + extra for topping, fresh Parmesan cheese

In a food processor add your parsley (I did not chop nor stem my parsley)
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Add in almonds, 1/4 cup oil, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. 

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Blend on high until fully mixed and parsley is minced. 

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Top with Parmesan cheese for an appetizer or stir in if using for a spread.

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Homemade pesto is extremely easy and not worth the $4 you would spend at the store for a tiny jar. Make your own and you can freeze batches of it as well for future use.

Spicy Spread

This spicy spread is great for anything and everything. Can be used for a dipping sauce for say, tater tots, fries, corn dogs, hot dogs, etc. Or you can use it on burgers such as “eh hem…” spicy black bean burgers perhaps.

Simple homemade sauces are the healthiest and easiest way to travel. No more wasting money at the store for a chipotle mayo, barbecue sauce or spicy mustard when you can make them all yourself with a few simple ingredients we all have.

Here’s the key to this spicy spread…

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  •  2 tbsp Hot Sauce (Franks or Sirracha)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper

Mix everything together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or use right away.

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Kale and Basil Pesto

This pesto is great for anything. It would make the best chicken or shrimp pasta, to a great appetizer or Pesto polenta shrimp bites (recipe here).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped kale or spinach
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt

Add all ingredients for the pesto into a food processor.

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IMG_4139Puree until well blended (add more oil if needed).

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Serve as an appetizer or with pasta.

Great flavors call for repeated meals. :)

 

Polenta with Shrimp and Kale Pesto

Oh- my mouth is watering just thinking about these incredible polenta shrimp bites with pesto. I made these last night and couldn’t get over how incredible they were. This is the PERFECT appetizer or pair this with a delicious smoothie for a great healthy dinner.

My husband prefers this with no avocado but I loved it with the avocado stuffed on top with the shrimp. I thought it was a perfect blend of flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tube polenta (any flavor) cut into 12 rounds
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Pesto:

  • 2 cups chopped kale or spinach
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a broiler pan with foil and lay cut polenta evenly throughout pan. Drizzle with EVOO, salt, pepper and garlic salt.

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Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the oven to broil and broil until lightly crispy (3-5 minutes) keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

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For the Shrimp- Once the polenta is cooked, transfer to a plate and keep the broiler pan lined with the same foil. Lay shrimp evenly on foil and drizzle with EVOO, salt, and garlic salt.

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Bake at 400 for 5-10 minutes or until fully pink.

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Meanwhile, to make the pesto add all ingredients for the pesto into a food processor.

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Puree until well blended (add more oil if needed).

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To assemble- spoon pesto atop polenta.

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Lay shrimp with avocado stuffed in the middle of the shrimp. If you want to add a little extra touch sprinkle with sea salt and add chopped chives.

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If you serve this for a gathering, you will be a big hit!

Prepare to be WOWWED!

Steak Marinade

My husband loves to BBQ and we take advantage of it as much as possible. We like to pull the meat of choice from the freezer TWO days before BBQ’ing as we enjoy a good 24 hours of marinating. It doesn’t always happen but when we can, it tastes significantly better when marinated longer.

We took flank steak out the other day and put it in this delicious marinade!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb flank steak, tenderized
  •  3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp Backyard BBQ
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt

In a Ziploc bag, add tenderized meat and remaining ingredients. Let it sit over night for best results.

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My husband barbequed the steak until medium rare. In our vegetable basket he tossed asparagus with Grape seed oil and minced garlic.
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Hot Dog Sauce

I made BLTA-Hot-Dogs and this sauce was too good to not make note of.

It’s easy and delicious! And you will have the ingredients on hand!

It also makes a great fry sauce. We have sweet potato fries that were delicious with this sauce. :)

Sauce:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup relish
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 ½ tbsp hot & sweet mustard (any mustard works)

In a small bowl mix together mayo…

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Relish…

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I used sweet relish.

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Ketchup…

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Mustard…

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This mustard is incredible for this sauce, but any mustard will do. A little spicy adds great flavor.

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Mix together and store in the refrigerator.

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**You can store for 30 days in an airtight container.

Smokey BBQ Rub

I made my own rub the other night and used it on Mahi and Pork loin in the past. It was fabulous. Click below for the Mahi and Pork recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tp garlic
  • 2 tsp salt/pepper
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp backyard bbq (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 4 tbsp. EVOO

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl OR If making to keep on your spice rack, mix everything together EXCEPT garlic and EVOO until time of use.

*Mahi- Recipe

**Pork- Recipe

You can get little spice containers to make your own spices and have extra on hand. I do this for taco seasoning and Johnny Seasoning because mine don’t carry the MSG ingredients! :)

Simple White Sauce

Simple White Sauce is an easy recipe for any pasta dish you make that deserves a good white creaminess.
I made this tonight and Michael acted as if I’ve never made it before. :) Even after our sweets for the night he couldn’t stop talking about the sauce.
Tonight I made Seafood Alfredo with ceaser salad. It was quite tasty and even Cooper who hasn’t been eating partook in this meal as well. Made my soul happy.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1-2 tsp Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

In a large saucepan add cream cheese and butter and begin to melt on low heat. image

Once half melted, add minced garlic.
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When fully melted add milk and simmer on low heat, whisking to get any remaining lumps.
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Add garlic salt, paprika, salt and pepper.
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Mix with any pasta dish and enjoy!
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Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict coming up! Yesterday was my husbands 35th birthday. I decided to start the morning off by cooking him eggs benedict since he absolutely loves breakfast and a good eggs beni.

Cooper was sleeping, Michael was working out and I stood in my stomping grounds whisking up a delicious breakfast right here in the kitchen. Eggs benedict, fresh fruit and asparagus with hollandaise sauce.

This breakfast was absolutely delicious. I was very happy with this meal and so was my husband. Happy Birthday Honey!

Ingredients:

  • 2 English Muffins
  • 4 slices of cheese (I used habanero pepperjack as we love spice)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 package Canadian Bacon
  • 4 eggs

Open the English Muffins and lightly butter them. Top each half with a slice of your favorite cheese. Place on a broil pan and set aside.

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Slice avocado and tomatoes, set aside.

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To crisp up the Canadian bacon, fry for a couple minutes each side.

Broil the muffins until crispy and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with Canadian bacon, avocado and tomato.

Begin the sauce now.

Meanwhile in light boiling water add one egg at a time. This will help poach the eggs. Make sure the egg whites are thoroughly cooked and the yolk becomes slightly done. I prefer a runny yolk. Remove eggs with a fork and place atop the English muffins. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce.

Sauce:

You can simply buy a packet of hollandaise sauce to alleviate the tension of making it yourself.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh tastes best
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt

Whisk egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl or kitchen aid mixer until the mixture has doubled in size. Place the bowl over a small saucepan containing 1/2 inch simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly making sure the eggs don’t get too hot resulting in scrambled eggs. Slowly add in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume once again. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt.

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Serve with asparagus and fresh fruit; mango, pear, oranges and grapes.

Biscuits and Gravy

If you have been paying attention lately, I have been on a breakfast/brunch kick the last couple weeks. I never make biscuits and gravy but this past week I have been craving them. I’ve been eating fruit and comfort food; resembles my pregnancy. ;)

Homemade gravy is super duper easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage (I used spicy)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp unbleached flour
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 3 cups milk (I used whole)
  • Garlic salt
  • Dash of salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • Buttermilk biscuits

Directions:

In a large sauce pan cook sausage until no longer pink.

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Add flour and stir well. (Adding flour prior to milk prevents lumps)

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Add half and half and milk and mix thoroughly. Add seasonings and bouillon and simmer on low heat to thicken up.

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Cook biscuits according to package instructions or make your own.

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Serve with scrambled eggs!!

This dinner fit my fancy really well tonight. It was flavored with a swift kick from the spicy sausage and was definitely filling. I learned how to make incredible scrambled eggs from my mom as she teaches me many tips and tricks that add much flavor and desire than the standard “recipes.”