Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Blackberry Mint Juleps

Party time!

I made us a cocktail! I don't make very many cocktails on this here bloggy. I'm not very clever with my beverage consumption plus...I just love wine so much. It makes sense to me. It's safe.

But this space is about trying new things! Stepping outside our comfort zone! (Do I sound like a really tacky corporate training video? I'm sorry. Please bring me a Blackberry Mint Julep and I'll be quiet).

These cocktails are simple but fun. I absolutely love blackberry and mint together, so adding a homemade blackberry simple syrup and some muddled fresh blackberries into an already wonderfully delicious mint julep just made sense!

I am using a lot of exclamation points in this post, but I do hope you'll take me seriously. This drink is really too good to pass up. Sweet blackberries, fresh mint, spicy bourbon and a little seltzer for effervescence...perfectly composed and interesting on the palette.

P.S. Should I be worried about my cat? He LOVES watching me make adult beverages. I hope he isn't sneaking sips from my bar cart while I'm at work...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Broccoli Mozzarella Pinwheels

My friend called these "savory cinnamon buns of deliciousness." That's really all you need to know.

But, you know me. I can't leave well enough alone. I need to gush on and on and on. And these golden brown, ooey gooey beauties are worth gushing about.

So here's the thing. I've made many homemade pizzas before. And that includes homemade pizza dough, plain // whole wheat // honey whole wheat, I can do it. But trust me when I say, for pinwheels, a store-bought dough is the way to go. Yes, it's in a can, yes, you pop it open with a spoon, and YES your pinwheels will be perfect every time!

My Broccoli Mozzarella Pinwheels are loaded with finely chopped, garlicky broccoli and melty mozzarella cheese. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes adds the perfect amount of heat and keeps your taste buds happy with every bite.

But I promised you next-level pinwheels, and that means they need some extra-special lovin'. Just before we bake these beauties, we melt a whole bunch of butter in a saucepan with chopped garlic and parsley. The butter is brushed on top of the pinwheels, then they get sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese. Golden brown glory.

This recipe can easily be doubled for a party, or served for dinner with a light salad. I always put out some marinara sauce for dipping. You can cut the rolls as big or as small as you want, I can usually get between 6 and 10 rolls depending on how much I roll out the pizza dough. No matter how you cut em, you're going to l.o.v.e. em!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Green Grain Bowls

One of my favorite segments on late night TV is when Jimmy Fallon writes his Thank You notes. He has a way of saying everything I believe but never knew I was thinking.

In my never-ending quest to be "hip" and "cool," I came upon the idea of grain bowls. Grain Bowls can be whatever you want them to be. The best way to sum up this mysteriously tasty but good for you concoction, is through a Jimmy Fallon-style thank you:

Thank you, Grain Bowls, for being a salad without the lettuce. 

After all, that's what they are. Every element of a really good // tasty // filling salad is right here, in one bowl, and it is not weighed down by just a bunch of soggy leafy greens. Oh no, quite the opposite.

In my grain bowl research (very official blogging business, don't worry about it), I learned there are some essential elements to a perfectly composed grain bowl. I also learned that the grain bowl is yours and yours alone, so you should make it and change it in a way that will make your taste buds sing. 

First, you need a grain. Or a grain mix. I, personally, detest quinoa (see above: reasons I am actually not "hip" despite my quest), so my ideal grain bowl tends to begin with brown and wild rice, barley, or farro. A protein is also recommended, as this will keep you full for hours. Rotisserie chicken, albacore tuna, or chickpeas tend to have priority at my grain bowl party. Robust veggies fill out our bowl, and leave just a little room for a handful of fresh leafy greens (though, remember, no salads here). We are almost there. A sauce or dressing cannot be forgotten, as it will bring everything together in a flavorful marriage good for your body and your soul. Toppings, too, because we need texture, interest, and salt. I'm thinking nuts, cheese (<3), seeds, avocado and a snipped herb or two.

So there you have it. That's how it's done. And that's how I created these Green Grain Bowls last week. I LOVE this recipe and re-made it a few days later in bulk for a week of delicious work lunches. What isn't to love about a brown and wild rice blend + roasted broccoli and brussel sprouts + rotisserie chicken + fresh spinach + a pistachio parsley pesto + diced avocado and pistachios and feta cheese? *insert prayer hands emoji here*

Now we can finally get excited about what's hanging out in our lunchbox!