National Margarita Day!

I can’t believe it’s national Margarita day and no one has made me a single cocktail in celebration! It’s tragic around here folks!

So sans cocktail I guess we’ll just talk about it because someday I’m sure it will come in handy. I’m full of random information, so what’s one more thing right!

The Margarita is a cocktail consisting of Lime juice, triple Sec, and tequila. Shaken or blended in a 2-1-2 ratio. So 2oz simple syrup (like sweetened lime juice), 1oz triple Sec, and 2 oz tequila. It can be served straight up, shaken no ice in a salt rimmed glass. Iced, shaken poured over ice (I know seems straight forward) in a salt rimmed glass, or frozen, blended with ice and the poured in a salt rimmed glass. There are thousands of variations on the Margarita recipe, some include different flavors of simple syrup, some utilize Grand Marnier instead of triple Sec, others use different types of tequila from Blanco to gold and anejo. All these factors make this a much more flexible recipe to treat everyone’s taste.

So where did the recipe come from? No one really knows. Stories range from 1943-1945 some state it was named after a women, others state that the person responsible for it’s creation left Mexico to become a milkman, and some others state that it was created as a variation of the American cocktail “the Daisy” which used Brandy instead of tequila. A reporter from the US however has the earliest know account of the drink having enjoyed it in Tijuana in 1936. So you decide only one thing seems true it,’s here now and we love it!

So if your looking for a unique twist on your next dinner party, try a margarita bar, or a margarita tasting with a taco bar! Use different simple syrups, maybe 2 types of tequila, and some fun garnishes! It’ll surely be a great hit! Happy drinking on National Margarita Day! I’ll be over here with my coffee 😒.

Tasty side dish

This weekend we enjoy a nice boneless turkey roast cooked all day in the crock pot until it was perfectly falling apart. I know you know what I’m talking about. I wanted a tasty side dish to go with it, but was looks jg for something different than the usual carrots and potatoes. I decided on oven roasted cabbage steaks!

There is nothing simpler out there to make, it’s super filling and low calorie!

Here’s what you need:

1md head of cabbage sliced into “steaks”

2-3tbsp olive oil

Salt/pepper

1/2 tap onion powder

3cloves garlic

1/2tsp of Paprika

In a small bowl mix oil salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic. Baste onto both sides of each cabbage steak. Place on a baking sheet, add paprika and bake for 20min at 350°F or until tender. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cast iron conversation

So as promised, I thought I would touch on the benefits and care of cast iron. I will admit that I am fairly new to the world of cast iron, but I love it and I’m not going back!

First of all cast iron pots and pans literally last forever! You’ll frequently find them in antique marts or buy a new one at just about any local super market. I bought mine at Target!

When choosing a cast iron piece think about the most used piece of cookware you have currently and replace it with a cast iron piece. I know it seems like you’re jumping in head first but do it! Once you discover the joys of these pieces you’ll be looking for excuses to use it all the time.

The one I bought is enameled on the outside, as far as I know this is purely aesthetic, I just thought it looked a little nicer for my kitchen. They are super affordable a large stove top cast iron skillet runs from $24.99-$35.99 depending on manufacturer and where you’re buying from.

Many new pieces come pre-seasoned. Seasoning a pan is an intimidating process for some people. But it’s actually pretty simple. If your pan is pre-seasoned there is no need to go through the process again. Seasoning consists of applying oil to the pan and heating it creating a barrier around the surfaces of the pan that will be both non-stick, and protective to the pan itself.

A well seasoned pan is a cinch to clean! Food will practically fall out of the pan and then wipe down with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly, and apply a light coating of oil to the cooking surface before putting it away. If you have a little stubborn spot that food is sticking simply apply a bit of baking soda and scrub it off, this works like a charm!

Drying your pan thoroughly is very important as cast iron pans can rust if not cared for properly. If rust develops in your pan it can be removed with a lot of elbow grease, and some steel wool but this is not a fun process, and the pan will need to be seasoned again once restored.

When cooking with cast iron always preheat the pan. Cast iron does not heat up very evenly but once hot it works like a charm. Start your pan on med-high heat for a few minutes before adding anything to the pan. To check readiness try the pop and sizzle test. Take some water and add a bit to the pan if it pops and then sizzles away the pan is ready. If it doesn’t it’s too cool, and if the water steams off immediately the pan is too hot! If the pan is too hot and you add oil you’ll have a smoky stinky mess! Just remember pop and sizzle!

Another thing to consider when cooking in your cast iron pans is that the whole pan will get hot, including the handles! So have oven mitts or hot pads ready for when you want to remove it from the heat or place it in the oven.

The ability for these pans to be used on the cook top or in the oven is another great feature! Imagine making chicken, pizza, cornbread, or casseroles all on the same one pan! It’s brilliant!

There is so much to share I may have to post more later. I’ll go into more detail on seasoning these pans too. Bottom line though try it! You will really love these pans!

Stuffed Peppers, Deconstructed

Have you ever really wanted something to eat but then you remember all of the extra work it takes to make that particular dish so you decide it’s not worth the time. I have several recipes that are like this. Lasagna for example, and in tonight’s case stuffed bell peppers. I love stuffed peppers and there are lots of different ways to make them, but they are a lot of work! Prep and cook the filling, stuff them, top them, and bake em up! It’s a lot of steps!

So tonight I made a deconstructed skillet version of stuffed peppers that are so delicious!

Here’s what you need:

1.5lb lean ground beef or venison

3 bell peppers cut into strips

1 md onion chopped

1pkg pre-cooked brown rice

1can diced tomato

1Tbsp worchestishire sauce

1tbsp onion powder

1tbsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1c. Sharp white cheddar cheese shredded

In a hot skillet cook peppers and onions until tender crisp remove and set aside. Brown your ground meat in the same skillet add seasonings, rice and tomato’s cook on med-high heat for another 2-3 minutes add peppers and onions and continue to cook for another ,3-4min. Top with cheese and bake in the oven for approximately ,5minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve hot! Enjoy!!

Introducing the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year! ~ Ultra Violet

I love when the Pantone color of the year is introduced and my style feeds start to fill up with inspiring uses of the new trend setting colors!

This years Pantone Color of the Year is Ultra- Violet and I am loving it!

Color of the Year

This color could be viewed as a seemingly difficult color to introduce but it’s actually really fun and easy! You can go for the gusto and introduce it as a primary wall or accent wall color.  I utilized a very similar color when redecorating a medical office that I worked for at one time. Needless to say it met some skepticism until it was on the wall, and wow what an impact. This color has a soothing effect, and has an unexpected appeal.

Ultra Violet Wall

Not sure about painting an entire room purple? No problem! Try adding accent pieces, a vase, a chair, maybe just a picture frame. You’ll be amazed!

Ultra Violet Furniture

Is you’re interior not ready for a splash of color try your garden! Ultra-violet is a prevalent floral color! Go for a classic Nikko Blue Hydrangea, or purple campanula in your perennial gardens and purple verbena, and night sky petunias in your patio pots and hanging baskets!

There are a ton of ways to make this year’s Ultra-violet influence part of your indoor and outdoor decor. How will you use it?

Color of the Year 2

Healthy Twist Chicken Fried Rice

I love fried rice! Who’s with me!

I enjoy everything about it. I like the subtle seasonings, tender veggies, and it’s so filling!

In Asian countries it’s not uncommon to see fried rice stands, and lots of variations on the recipes. It’s very diverse!

I am still working on my diet and exercise plan so I lightened up my recipe and it’s ready to share with you!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2-3c cooked brown rice

1c egg whites approximately 6 eggs worth

Coconut oil spray

2 Tbsp Sesame oil

1bunch green onions chopped

1c shredded carrots

1sm pkg. Frozen peas

2 cloves of garlic minced

1.5c. riced cauliflower

Salt/pepper

1/4-1/2 c. Soy sauce (I use low sodium)

1 lb chicken cut into bite sized pieces

Cook your rice according to the package directions. Set aside. Spray wok or skillet with coconut oil and add egg whites. Cook until just set remove from pan and set aside.

Add 1Tbsp of sesame oil to the pan and add all of the vegetables, salt/pepper, and 1/2 of the soy sauce. Cook until vegetables are tender. Scrape off to one side of the pan add second Tbsp of sesame oil and chicken. Cook chicken all the way through. Stir into the vegetables, add the brown rice, eggs, and remaining soy sauce. Stir well and serve hot! Enjoy!!

The riced cauliflower replaces a portion of the brown rice making this a little healthier, very filling, and packed with dietary fiber! A great healthy alternative to the original recipe. Let me know what you think!

Skillet Chicken with Cream Sauce

Time for another Sunday dinner! Today we are keeping it simple. I made this awesome skillet chicken with cream sauce it’s fast, easy, and super flavorful!

I really love meals that I can make in one dish or pan. I especially love my cast iron skillet. This thing is a kitchen beast. If you haven’t tried using cast iron for cooking it’s a must! I’ll post more on the care and benefits of using cast iron later.

You’ll love this chicken recipe though. Here’s what you need.

6Tbsp butter

2lbs chicken tenders

2Tbsp chili powder

1Tbsp onion powder

1Tbsp garlic powder

1.5 tsp salt

2tbsp paprika

1 c water or chicken broth

1/2 c heavy cream

1/2tsp xantham gum this helps to thicken the sauce, you can buy this at most health food store and large grocery chains.

Preheat your skillet and melt 3Tbsp of the butter. Mix together the seasonings, and use all of the seasonings mix to thoroughly coat the chicken. Add chicken to the skillet. Cook 6min on med-high heat turning once. Add the other 3 Tbsp of butter, water, and cream. Allow butter to melt and sauce to bubble then add the xantham gum. Mix in well and allow to cook on medium heat for an additional 10-12 minutes turning chicken occasionally. The sauce will thicken up slowly but is not meant to be a super thick sauce. Serve hot with a spoonful of the sauce on top and enjoy! It’s that easy!