Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Berry Good Slice of Pineapple

I bought a pineapple at the store the other day and I couldn't stop wondering what I should do with it. Of course, we could all just eat it as is because fresh pineapple is so fantastic, but I'm sure you know by now that I have to do something different with it.

I thought I'd keep it simple because sometimes it's the simple things that are the best. I had sliced the pineapple up earlier in preparation for whatever I might do so the hard part was done. I thought about grilling it, but to be perfectly honest, I was just too tired after a long day to get out and set up anything grill-related. At 10 pm, the stove top sounded just as good. I decided on a simple pan-fried pineapple. I doctored it up with some sugar and spice to make it sweet and fragrant and it really added some depth to the pineapple flavor.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Potato Salad of the Warm Variety

Potato salad is one of those outdoor party staples that seems to be fading the limelight. I'm not sure if its because everyone is getting more health-conscious or if tastes are just changing. I, myself, have never been big on the classic potato salad. There are decent ones out there, but it just doesn't seem to appeal to me these days. Maybe it's the odd combination of ingredients being slathered with mayo...or maybe it's just the thought of cold potatoes that have steered me away.

I decided to try a new version that didn't have all that heavy mayo and was warm; something you don't usually see at the picnics, potlucks, or parties. I wanted the classic potato accompaniments, but done in a lighter way.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Feel Good Chips & Salsa

Chips and salsa...the perfect snack. I don't eat them very often, but when I do I use this recipe. It's definitely a good choice when you want a healthy snack and it's especially good when you use all fresh ingredients.

When it comes to making your own tortilla chips, the task is surprisingly easy. It's great because you don't have to worry about that big bag from the grocery store going stale or being loaded with grease. I almost always have tortillas in my fridge and they last a very long time so if the mood strikes, I'll just whip up a small batch and have myself a little snack.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicken Tacos

I suddenly had the urge for chicken tacos last night. I've never made them or even had them before. I decided to give them a shot, though, because it was new and I was feeling creative. I really had nothing to base them on or even compare them to but they turned out pretty good.

My husband seemed to really like them, too, so I'm definitely going to make them again. It was one of those dinners I could feel good about eating and serving because not only were they simple, but it was also a pretty healthy dish. Serve it with Spanish rice and some beans for a complete and balanced meal.

Rice with Some Spanish Spice

The first time I made this rice was for my son's Mexican food-themed 2nd birthday party. I happened to be sick at the time and I wasn't able to taste it as I cooked so I just had to wing it. I heard from many people at the party, including my husband who is one of the pickiest people I know, that it was some of the best Spanish rice they've ever had. Needless to say, that made one sick girl very happy.

A Meaty Sweet and Sour

I have been so incredibly busy this past week. Between creating new websites and brochures, working on a few wedding invitations, playing trains with a 2 year old, and taking care of daily errands, I haven't had much time to blog. It's been over a week since my last post and I'm going through withdrawal! It's time to end the streak of internet silence and write.

What to write about? Oh, how about the sweet and sour meatballs I made last week? This was the second time I've made them in the past few weeks and they're pretty darn good. I even got the 'Mom Seal of Approval' on these when I made them for my folks. The right amount of sweetness with the right amount of tang makes for a quick weeknight meal that should please even the pickiest eater.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Put the Lime in the Coconut Rum

I whipped up another drink the other night. I was feeling coconut again (surprised?) so I tried a new route with coconut milk, lime juice, and a simple syrup instead of my standard pina colada-inspired beverage of choice. This new drink was quite tasty and might just become my new favorite. It can easily be tweaked to fit your mood of the moment, too. Want it super strong? Leave out the club soda. Want it weaker? Cut out some of the rum. The wonderful thing about pretty much any drink out there is the ability to tailor it to fit your specific tastes. This one screams coconut with a hint of lime and, in my opinion, it doesn't get much better than that!

Turkey in a Tortilla

I was at Costco the other day and saw some turkey roll-ups in their pre-made refrigerated section. They were calling to me. I had them once before, and it was awhile ago, but I remember they were pretty good. I thought I'd make up my own version instead of buying them this time though. I stopped at the grocery store on my way back home to pick up some essentials for the roll-ups. I already had the cream cheese, tortillas and turkey, so I just needed lettuce, tomato and cranberry sauce. I got home, went to work and I'm glad I did. It was a nice change of pace and it's perfect finger food for those times when you want something different than the standard meat and cheese roll-ups. I bet it will also be a great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A is for Apricot (and Chicken)

We're big chicken eaters at my house. It's very healthy and I buy in bulk at the ever-so-awesome Costco so it's pretty budget friendly. I love doing interesting things with chicken to make yummy meals and the other night was no exception. My husband was working and since he hates anything having to do with apricots, I took advantage of the opportunity to make an apricot glaze for some chicken. It was very easy to make the glaze and the chicken so this dish is definitely going into rotation.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fresh and Spicy Mango Salsa

Salsa with tilapia fillets
I love creating fresh and good for you salsas. They're so tasty and they can pretty much go with anything from fish to chicken. I first created this mango salsa as an accompaniment to pork chops but now I use it for so much more. 
I was cooking some simple pan-fried chops one day and was looking for something to go with them. My first instinct was to make a sauce, but nothing really sounded appealing and I was looking for a lighter option. A lot of sauces tend to be too heavy and they can bog down a good piece of meat, taking away from the main attraction.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Katie & Ryan's Invitations

I designed and assembled these invitation for my friends' upcoming wedding. They will be having an amazing wedding (which I'm thrilled to be part of as a bridesmaid!) and these invitations served as the first glimpse of the big day. The main colors of the wedding are champagne, wine, and forest green (to match the Groom's uniform). It's going to be a formal affair so the invitations needed to reflect the look and attitude so the guests know what to expect.

I loved designing these custom, handmade wedding invitations and accessories (which will be posted soon). Creating invitations is one of my biggest passions because it's something that is so personal in so many ways. Having the opportunity to be involved in something for such a special day is amazing and I'm grateful for that every time I get one of these projects.