Monday, May 26, 2014

Back to Basics: Roasting Garlic

Roasting garlic is one of the most effortless skills in the kitchen. In this recipe, I only used two heads but I would recommend roasting 6 or so at a time. Once you make this, it will become a staple in your household.  This simple technique can result outstanding flavor profiles.

Roasting garlic highlights the sweetness garlic has within. The caramelization that occurs makes it perfect for a variety of uses or magnificent on its own.  It keeps a week or so in the fridge. You can add it to:

  • pizza
  • sauces 
  • spread it on bread
  • hummus
  • mix into salad dressing
  • mashed potatoes
  • soups
  • compound butter
  • mayo
  • favorite dip

Roasted Garlic

Cook Time: 30-60 min      Prep Time: 2 min

  • 2 heads garlic
  • olive oil
Garlic wrapped in aluminum foil
Garlic bulb drizzled with olive oil


Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the tops off the heads of garlic. Enough to expose the cloves. Place in aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook approximately 30-60 minutes or until tender! Enjoy!

Finished garlic!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A spring sangria!

Sangria hails from Spain. It typically was created using red wine, fruit, and brandy. This punch was produced because water was not safe yet to drink. It originally had spices, red wine and possibly water.

Nowadays, sangria can have any variety of wine, juices, sweeteners, liquor and fruit. It's basically an adult fruit punch. Any variety you can think of is out there. Of course, you can buy it pre-made at the supermarket, but its not nearly as delicious as homemade. When you make it yourself, you can customize it to the sweetness and alcohol content to your liking.

For spring, I wanted to make a sangria that screamed SPRING. If you can't find pink lemons, regular will do just fine. This delightfully pink sangria looks gorgeous and taste amazing! You make need to make a couple of pitchers for company.

Rhubarb Sangria

Serves: 6-8      Cook Time: 15 min      Prep Time: 5 min

  • 4 stalks rhubarb, cut in to 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine or presecco (either rose or white)
  • 1 cup selzter water
  • 1 pink lemon, sliced

Rhubarb, sugar and water

Simmering rhubarb

Straining out rhubarb to
reveal pink simple syrup


Combine rhubarb sugar and water. Cook until tender. Strain out rhubarb and reserve syrup. Save the cooked rhubarb to top ice cream, use in a tart, or to eat with yogurt! Place syrup in fridge. When syrup is cold, place in pitcher. Add sparkling wine, strawberries, lemon slices and top off with water.

A beautiful sangria for any occasion!

Monday, May 19, 2014

12 ways to use fresh herbs

1. Sprinkle fresh herbs on veggies such as potatoes, mushrooms, peas, peppers, and broccoli
2. Make a flavorful pesto to use on sandwiches, add to hummus, in pasta or tossed with your favorite veggies.
3. Add to beverages such as lemonade, tea, cocktails or to flavor your water. Some of my favorites are mint with tea/water, and basil with lemonade.
Basil and mint make great additions to cocktails or iced tea!
4. Toss parsley, chives and/or cilantro into your salad.
5. Incorporate a mixture of herbs into your salad dressing. Give your dressing an extra kick of flavor and freshness for the spring. My favorite is a mixture of parsley, chives, and basil.
Chives are wonderful addition to compound butter!
6. Use them to make a delicious herbed compound butter.  This sauce can be used on fish, steak, chicken or lobster!
7. Add them to your omelet, scrambled eggs, quiche or frittata.
8. Use fresh herbs like parsley, basil and cilantro to garnish some of your favorite dishes!
9. Simmer stems or chop stems to use in sauces.  Basil stems are great simmered in a tomato sauce.  Use cilantro stems to make a pesto or flavorful dressing/marinade!
10. Use harder stems such as rosemary as skewers for grilling items such as scallops or shrimp.
11. Add herbs such as parsley, thyme, and tarragon to give your stock a boost of flavor!
12. Fry leaves for a flavorful and delicious garnish! This works great with sage and basil!

Add tarragon to your favorite sauce, such as hollandaise.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A B.V.I specialty cocktail!

The view on Tortolla
I recently went to the British Virgin Islands. The water was a brilliant turquoise and you could smell the salty ocean in the air. The mountainous region was covered in tropical plants and large cactus. The locals were always greeting you with a smile. In this wonderful paradise, the drinks were abundant and magnificent! One of the signature drinks of the B.V.I. was the painkiller. This drink lives up to its name! Its a lighter take on the popular Pina colada. The grated nutmeg may seem strange, but brings this drink to another level of flavor. The inventor of this drink is said to be the bartender at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jose Van Dyke, but it is still debated. This was my favorite drink of choice while in the islands. If made with the local rum from Tortola, it can almost take you back to paradise. Take a trip to paradise and make this amazing drink!

BVI Specialty Rum

Ingredients for the cocktail


Serves: 1   Cook Time: 0 min      Prep Time: 2 min

  • 3 oz. dark rum
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz oj
  • 11/2 oz cream of coconut
  • garnish with fresh nutmeg and pineapple wedge


Place all ingredients except for nutmeg and pineapple wedge in shaker with ice. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh grated nutmeg and pineapple. Enjoy!

Grated nutmeg is the final touch

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