Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Everything Bagel Oven Fries

Fries are my weakness. I can pass on dessert any day with no problem, but if there are fries in front of me, my self control is lost. It doesn't matter what kind they are either, my love has no bounds.
My kids know this about me and will find the really crispy almost burnt ones and pick them out to give to me before they even begin to eat their meal if we're out. Maybe it's their way of keeping my hands off their plate, I'm not sure, but I'm secretly happy they're so well trained. Since I would be the size of a rhino if I ate fries every day the way I'd like, I thought I'd come up with a healthy alternative to curb my cravings. Crispy baked oven fries coated in an Everything Bagel seasoning blend! I served them with a dill and green onion dip that is divine. I hope you love these as much as my family did!
 
Everything Bagel Oven Fries
1 ½ pounds russet potatoes
 
Scrub the potatoes under running water and slice into wedges. Place in a bowl with cold water and allow them to soak for 20 minutes. While the potatoes are soaking, pre-heat the oven to 450 and make the dipping sauce:
 
2 Tablespoons mayo
2 Tablespoons sliced green onion
¼ teaspoon dill
½ cup sour cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
 
Stir mayo, sliced green onion, dill, sour cream, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and place in the fridge to chill.
 
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons Poppy Seeds
1 ½ teaspoons Sesame Seeds
1 ½ teaspoon minced dried garlic
1 ½ teaspoon minced dried onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Once the potatoes have soaked, remove them from the water and pat them dry with a clean dish towel. Wipe the bowl dry, and place the potato wedges in the bowl with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil, Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, minced dried garlic, minced dried onion and kosher salt. Brush a large cookie sheet with the remaining oil and lay the potato wedges out evenly across the pan.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 20 minutes. Flip the potato wedges over, return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until they are browned and crisp.
Serve warm with the dipping sauce
 What is your food weakness? Do tell so I can feel better about stealing food from my kid's plates!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Little's Lunches 12

Good morning! I don't know about you, but I am SO glad it's Monday! My son was sick last week and ALL weekend and I am so glad he's back to school today! It's like my kids have a sensor and whenever my husband is away for the weekend, that's when they get sick. I feel like I should have received a medal just for holding it all together this weekend. While I wait for that, let me show you what was in the little's lunchboxes last week:
Monday: BLT on a whole wheat bun, baby carrots, cucumber and red bell pepper slices with blackberries and mini shortbread cookies
Tuesday: Pasta Salad, bacon, cucumber sticks and baby spinach with ranch, blackberries and strawberry yogurt in the yumbox
 Wednesday: Chicken Bacon Egg Salad on baby spinach, pretzels, blackberries and yogurt
 Thursday: Chicken Bacon Egg Salad, crackers, asparagus, blackberries, dried cranberries and key lime yogurt in the yumbox
Friday: Tomato and Havarti cheese sandwich, baby carrots, blackberries and chocolate Belvita cookie sticks
I sent this lunch on Friday with B and knew that M wouldn't be at school so I didn't pack him a lunch. Since it takes a year and a half to see the doctor, and the only appointment they could squeeze us in for was right at lunch time we were both starving once we got out. Knowing that it takes the same amount of time to get a prescription filled and taking into account that the prescription that they were giving my already ravenous 8 year old was for a steroid which has made him a hyped up bottomless pit, we stopped at our favorite taco shop for lunch. He got a bean and cheese taco the size of his head and I got the Skallywag:
Coconut-battered shrimp, bacon, green chiles, shredded Monterey Jack cheese & pickled onions, topped with homemade Habanero Peach Jam and cilantro. Holy mother of delicious taconess this was so amazingly good! I will definitely be re-creating this in my kitchen soon!
Tell me what fun things you did this weekend!
 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Uchi

For the past 2 1/2 months every single week or weekend we have either been out of town, had visitors staying with us or had at least one person sick in our house.
That's exhausting.
Somehow, miraculously, on Saturday night the stars aligned and we had no plans and our babysitter was available! Well, Louis and I jumped on the chance, hopped in the car and drove off before we really had settled on where we were going. After driving for a while he looked at me and said
"Want to go to Uchi?"
Ummmm......hell yes I do! There was no hesitation.
Uchi is, by far, one of my favorite places to eat EVER and it is totally not kid friendly so it's rare that we make it over there.
So we headed to South Lamar and put our name on the list. Because it was last minute for us, and they don't take reservations, the wait was 2 hours long. We stood in the bar area, and then we scored one chair (I sat and Louis stood while I felt guilty), then we got 2 stools in the corner and finally moved to the bar to sit for the remainder of our wait. The walls of the small bar area we waited in is covered in framed awards, foodie articles and accolades from al over, and once you're finally seated and start eating you totally realize why. Their food is mind blowing!  
While waiting I had a few of their special cocktail for the night- a Blueberry Green Tea Champagne Cocktail. I love anything bubbly so this was right up my alley, and the "blueberry" floating in the glass is actually a gummy bubble filled with the delicious Blueberry Green Tea syrup
While you're waiting for your table there are hosts that bring around little snacks every 30 minutes or so. While waiting, we tried Persian cucumber sticks dusted with togradashi, apple slices sautéed in ginger and thai basil, a sushi roll with avocado, cucumber and thai basil and sautéed apple slices in a yuzu chili pepper marmalade (these were by far my favorite)
Not knowing how long I would last on 2 apple slices and a cucumber stick, when we finally got seats at the bar we ordered the blistered shishito peppers. I love these little things! If you haven't tried them before I highly recommend them!
I was so excited when we finally got a spot at the sushi bar and we sat there mesmerize while watching them work!
 
 We started with something I insist on getting every visit to Uchi. The hama chili- baby yellow­tail, ponzu, thai chili, orange supreme. It's so light and fresh, the citrus and heat from the thai chili are amazing with the delicate fish. I could probably eat five plates of this and be perfectly happy.
Crispy Brussels sprouts with lemon and chili. I don't' know what it is about this sauce, but these fried Brussels sprouts soak it up and they become so freaking delicious you will want to order another bowl before you're done with these!
 
akami (tuna)
If Louis could live off one thing for the rest of his life, this would be it. I let him have it all and he loved every second of it!
 avobake-  krab, avocado, bonito, shrimp
I had never tried this before, but I'm so glad we did! It comes to your table and the bonito flakes are moving and curling up from the heat of the broiler so it looks wild.
Then you dig your spoon in and scoop out the creamy, molten hot seafood and fresh avocado. It's really rich, really decadent and totally worth every calorie!
 brie ringo tempura-fried brie, apple chutney, sweet potato crisp
Do I really need to say much more than tempura fried brie?!
foie nigiri - foie gras٠quinoa
Now, I know I had 2 hours of cocktails before dinner, but I also know that didn't change the fact that there was no quinoa on this dish like it claimed. This was one of the nightly specials and if there is foie gras on a menu, Louis has to get it, but I'm a little disappointed they didn't tell us there had been a change to the dish when we ordered it. The foie gras was perfectly seared and seasoned but since it's so silky and rich it could have used the texture that quinoa has to offer. 
For dessert we had the
jizake crème caramel with brown butter sorbet and ginger
The sorbet needs to be sold in stores, the ginger syrup on the plate totally made the dish and the crème caramel was dreamy creamy perfection.
If you ever have a chance to go, you must try Uchi!
A few dishes I highly recommend that we were too full to get are the Bond Roll, the Biendo Roll and the peanut butter semifreddo with apple-miso sorbet

Monday, February 23, 2015

Little's Lunches 11

Happy Monday y'all!
Last week my kids were off of school on Monday, so no lunchbox was needed. We had family in town visiting and stuffed ourselves at The Salt Lick! It was delicious, as usual. I got the turkey lunch plate (sliced smoked turkey breast, coleslaw, potato salad and beans) and the leftovers made awesome sandwiches! I was so hungry by the time we got our plates I didn't get a pic but I promise you it's delicious!

 Tuesday: Black bean and cheese tortilla rolls, key lime yogurt, mushrooms and carrots with Ranch and frozen blueberries in the yumbox
 Wednesday: Mozzarella, Tomato and Fresh Spinach on a whole wheat bun, slice of King Cake, potato salad and baby carrots
Thursday: Pretzels with Black Bean dip, shredded cheese, coleslaw, blackberries and jelly beans in the yumbox
Friday: my kids BEGGED for the Mozzarella, Tomato and Fresh Spinach on a whole wheat bun sandwich again, so that's what they got. Along with baby carrots, ranch and apple wedges
I am also super excited to have won a juicer!! Once the Fed Ex guy dropped it off it was thoroughly inspected by Beignet and I can't wait to use it! I don't even know where to begin, so I think I'll be scouring pinterest to get some ideas. Do you juice? If so, I'd love some recipe ideas!
 
 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Little's Lunches 10

Happy Monday! I hope y'all had a great weekend! We spent most of ours outside! Here in Texas we've been enjoying the gorgeous 70's and the pups have been finding any patch of sun to lay in and soak it up. Beignet was pretty miffed that we didn't share our cheese plate with her at happy hour
Here's what was in the kiddo's lunchboxes this week:
Monday: Pepperoni, kidney beans, veggie flavored pita crackers, baby carrots and red bell pepper slices, Mexican corn salad and trail mix I made with Peanut butter Puffins, peanuts, and dried cherries
Tuesday: Raisin Bread Peanut Butter Sandwiches, baby lettuce cups, cucumber and red bell pepper slices, cheese sticks and a graham cracker
Wednesday: Pepperoni, Mozzarella Prosciutto Roll slices, pretzel squares, baby artichokes and olives, strawberries, yogurt and jelly bellys
Thursday: Salads! Baby butter lettuce, red cabbage, carrot, artichoke, shredded cheese, pepperoni, kidney beans and baby roma tomatoes, B wanted Ranch and M wanted garlic Italian, Hawaiian rolls and raisins
 
Friday: Egg Salad on English Muffins with pretzels, cucumbers, black olives, kidney beans and Ranch dressing to dip

Friday, February 13, 2015

Spicy Asian Lentil Lettuce Wraps


I really love a challenge in the kitchen, so when I saw the Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge I was all in! I love coming up with new and inventive ways to prepare ingredients that I already love and lentils have always been a favorite of mine. They're delicious, versatile and quick cooking and they're the perfect option for a meat free meal.
 I created a twist on the popular Asian Lettuce Cups and swapped the ground meat out for lentils. They're spicy, crunchy and a little sweet from the hoisin sauce. I hope you like them as much as my family does!
 
Spicy Asian Lentil Lettuce Wraps
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
3 ½ cups chicken broth
2 cups green rinsed lentils
¾ cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons chili garlic paste
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 head of butter lettuce

In a large sauce pot, sauté the olive oil, garlic and ginger over medium low heat for 3 minutes, or until the garlic and ginger are fragrant and softened. Add the broth and lentils and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the lentils and broth are boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili garlic paste and sesame oil. Let the mixture simmer, uncovered, for another 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Once the lentils are soft, stir in the water chestnuts, green onions and cilantro. Spoon the mixture into lettuce leaves and serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Greek Style Baked Turkey Taquitos with Tzatziki Drizzle

Since flying through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, my daughter's and husband’s birthdays, the Super Bowl and now with Valentine’s Day being in a few days, indulging has become the norm around here lately.
Every weekend was a different party or event that was filled with delicious snacks, desserts and cocktails. While I have never been one to jump on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon, I do enjoy feeding my family healthy meals that we don’t have to feel guilty about, so when I saw that Healthy Solutions Spice Blends was putting on a blogger contest looking for healthy and delicious recipes using their spices, I couldn’t wait to try my hand at it! I think I’ve come up with a pretty delicious entry too! Greek Style Baked Turkey Taquitos with Tzatziki Drizzle
 I LOVE taquitos- they’re crunchy, cheesy and are perfectly dippable with queso or Jalapeno Ranch dip. As delicious as they are, when made traditionally, they are not figure friendly….. but I fixed that! These taquitos are still crunchy and cheesy, but are baked and not fried, and served with a low fat but full flavored tzatziki sauce on the side.  I used the Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Pork & Poultry Rub to season my ground turkey and I loved how flavorful it was and knowing that it was free of MSG, fillers and preservatives made it even better!
Greek Style Baked Turkey Taquitos with Tzatziki Drizzle
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 20 ounce package lean ground turkey (85% lean)
1 shallot, minced
½ cup diced sun dried tomatoes
2 cups low fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
15 flour tortillas
 
For the tzatziki drizzle:
1 5.3 oz container plain fat free Greek yogurt
1 shallot, minced
½ cup shredded cucumber
½ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon salt
5 cups shredded lettuce or salad greens
2/3 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup sliced Kalamata olives
 
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
In a large skillet, over medium high heat cook the oil, turkey, shallot and spice blend until the meat is browned and cooked through. Set the meat mixture aside to cool slightly. Once the meat has cooled, combine it in a large mixing bowl with the diced sun dried tomatoes and shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Place about 1/3 cup of filling in the middle of each tortilla and roll them up tightly. Place them seam side down on the cookie sheet. Once all the taquitos are rolled, spray the tops with the olive oil cooking spray and place in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the taquitos over and bake on the other side for 10 minutes or until crisp and browned.
While the taquitos are baking, make the tzatziki drizzle. Stir together in a small mixing bowl, the Greek yogurt, minced shallot, shredded cucumber, dill, salt and spice blend.
I serve mine over shredded butter lettuce and purple cabbage, but any salad greens would be delicious here. When I’m ready to serve, I top them with the diced tomato and olives. You can drizzle the tzatziki sauce over them, or serve the dip in small cups on the side- that’s how my kids like it! Anything they can dip gets a thumbs up in their eyes!
These freeze beautifully in a zip top bag, so I love making a double batch on the weekends and then when those busy weeknights roll around, all I have to do is heat them up in the toaster oven!