MIAMM: Wine Cubes

Ever run into the problem of having extra wine sitting around? I know, it’s a very rare occasion but it happened to us. After my roommate’s baby shower,we had a few of the big wine bottles open with varying amounts of wine.

Wine CubesSure, Greg and I enjoyed the wine while we relaxed from throwing the best baby shower ever but we barely put a dent in the open white wine (mostly due to us polishing off the red). I’m super picky about white wine as in I don’t like drinking it after it’s been open for a day or two.

So what’s a girl to do?

Freeze it! Grab an ice cube tray, pour in the wine, and pop it in the freezer.

Wine CubesOnce the wine ice cubes freeze, pop them out, and put them in a freezer bag.

If you’re asking– why? why? why? The reason is simple– you can use the ice cubed wine to chill other wine or add it to your cooking. Making sauteed vegetables– add a cube; crockpot stew time– throw in a few red cubes; or use as ice cubes in a sangria.

Enjoy!

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MIAMM: Crabbies

I don’t know about you but we love munching on snacks during the Eagles games. Maybe it’s a fall football thing but there’s something right about having a snack while sitting on the couch (most likely with a beer). The other week, the grocery store had an amazing deal on English muffins which got me thinking about the little crab appetizers made with English muffins.

Cheese! Crab! Carbs!

Essentially, the snacks are crack like (if you enjoy seafood). So into the freezer went the muffins and on to Internet I went for the recipe. Sure, I could have called home up for the recipe but I got lazy (calling would have involved writing down the recipe and I’d probably lose it.) Along the way, I learned this delectable snack had a name– Crabbies and Silver Linings Playbook referenced them during one of the Eagles game scenes.

Umm fate, if you ask me. We needed to munch on the Crabbies during the game especially after all the support Bradley Cooper has given the Eagles.

Crabbies Recipe

 

English Muffin Crabbies

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of English Muffins (split)
  • 1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter
  • 1 jar Old English cheese spread
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 (7 oz.) can crabmeat (drained)
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1. Soften butter and cheese in a bowl.
2. Add mayonnaise, seasonings and crabmeat and stir with a fork.
English muffin crabbies recipe
3. Have a few sips of beer, it took a bit of effort to blend everything.
4. Spread the mixture on split English muffins. I went light on the first few trying to gauge the amount of crab mixture per English muffin and then added more after all muffins had some.
English muffin crabbies recipe
5. Place on cookie sheet.
6. Freeze the English muffins for 30 minutes minutes.
7. After removing them from the freezer, cut the muffins in quarters.
English muffin crabbies recipe
Side note: At this point, you can refreeze all unused crabbies for another game.
8. Broil until bubbly and crisp (about 5-7 minutes.)
9. Enjoy!
English muffin crabbies recipe

 

 

 

 

 

MIAMM: Blueberry Lemon Zucchini Bread

One of my all time, hands down, favorite vegetables is zucchini. Growing up, we’d get the torpedo sized zucchini’s from the garden and this year was no different. For weeks of the summer, we were swimming (figuratively, not literally) in massive zucchinis from my parent’s garden and our CSA. Not wanting them to go to waste, I spent several weekends making zucchini pies, zucchini tater tots, zucchini quiches, zucchini pizza crusts, and zucchini bread. I’m not kidding when tell you this, one zucchini produced six loaves of bread and one pizza crust.blueberry lemon zucchini bread

Our freezer is jam packed with food for the winter and this Blueberry Lemon bread is amazing– moist, delicious, and easy to make. I started doubling the recipe to make two at time and sharing the other with friends and family. If you’re like us and have a few zucchinis to use, consider this bread.

Blueberry Lemon Zucchini Bread (adapted from Lil’ Luna)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 cup grated zucchini

*You can make buttermilk from regular milk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a scant cup of milk.

1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.

2. Sigh when you realize how much there will be to clean up after.

3. Beat eggs in the mixer. Feel free to hum Beat It.

4. Add oil and sugar and blend.

blueberry lemon zucchini bread-2

5. Add lemon juice and buttermilk, continue to blend.

6. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well.

blueberry lemon zucchini bread-3

7. Fold in blueberries.

8. Add all the dry ingredients to the mixer and blend.

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9. Pour batter into greased 9×5 loaf pan.

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10. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Test bread and it needs longer time, cover with fold and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

11. Enjoy!

blueberry lemon zucchini bread-7

 

MIAMM: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I’ve been with Greg for almost six years and I’ve spent just as long trying to find something his  family will eat. My family pretty much eats whatever you put in front of them with the exception of me (no mushrooms, blech) but his family is a different story.

Then you throw in the one time I make brownies with black beans and the picky eaters start fearing your delicious looking desserts.

Side note: Know your audience before bring black bean brownies to try or else you’ll have to preface all baked goods with, “There are no mystery ingredients.”

So back to my dessert, after thinking about what foods I’ve seen them enjoy, lightening struck– Pineapple Upside Down Cake! Pineapple Upside Down Cake This recipe made two cakes so I sent one off to my family with the secret ingredient of bacon and a plain one for Greg’s family. I knew we had a hit when they didn’t even suggest us taking the leftover desserts home.

This cake was easy to make and offered more taste complexity (a good thing) than making it with just a boxes cake.

The Crowd Pleaser Pineapple Upside Down Cake (from Jam Hands)

Ingredients

Topping

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 14 sliced pineapple rings (which is 1 1/2 20 oz. cans)
  • 14 maraschino cherries
  • Bacon crumbles (optional)

Cake

  • 2 cups flour (Or 1 1/2 cups flour + 6 Tbsp. cake flour + 6 Tbsp. ground almond)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
*Not this makes two cakes
1. Remove you two cake pan for storage (aka your car trunk) and clean.
2. Assure husband they haven’t been their since you moved four years ago (maybe?)
3. Start making the topping by melting the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until all melted and tasty looking.
pineapple upside down cake4. Place pineapple rings and cherries in the pans.
pineapple upside down cake-25. Top with the sugar/butter mixture.
pineapple upside down cake-36. Cream sugar and butter in your mixer.
7. Add one egg at a time while beating (crack into a separate bowl and then pour in to prevent shells getting into the cake).
8. Add the vanilla. Beat.
9. Add half your dry ingredients, half the sour cream and beat. Then incorporate the remaining dry/sour cream.
10. Pour batter over the sugar/butter/pineapples (divide batter in two to help make them even). You’ll have to spread it out a bit.
pineapple upside down cake-411. Put both cake pans on a cookie sheet to prevent anything dripping on the oven. You’ll want to do this otherwise you’ll set the goop on fire another time you use the over . . . not that it happened to me. PS- baking soda quickly puts out a fire.
12. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
13. Remove from oven and let sit on a rack for 10 minutes.
14. Turn cake on to platter and enjoy!
pineapple upside down cake-5

MIAMM: Peanut Butter Fruit Ring

Just to warn you, this isn’t a recipe for humans but our canine friends.  You see, Hazel loves to spend time with us while we work in the yard.  She’s nap on the deck, nap on the grass, talk to the dog next door, and go back to napping in the sun. We always worry about her having enough water during these long days spent sunning herself.

bacon wrapped pork loin recipe-11Well, after this we do not have to worry anymore because she loved it and it served our main goal– getting fluid into our puppy on warm summer days.  Before you say, “Just keep a water bowl outside,” we’ve tried and she just tips it over to play in the water.  This gives her something to focus on (other than our gardening) and gets water into her.  It’s easy to make and it makes her happy.

dog frozen fruit ringWarning: Don’t give it to your dog if you’re not going to be home for a while because what goes in must go out.

Peanut Butter Fruit Ring

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • Handful Fruit/Veggies you puppy likes

1. Combine the water and peanut butter in a blender.  If you don’t have a blender just stir until the peanut butter is dissolved.

dog frozen fruit ring2. Take a bundt plan (or any mold with ring shape) and add fruit/veggies.  The first time I added carrots, mangos, and strawberries.

dog frozen fruit ring3. Add the water.

dog frozen fruit ring4. Place in the freezer for a few hours.

5. Run the mold under hot water to release the peanut butter ring.

6. Give to you pet to enjoy!

dog frozen fruit ringdog frozen fruit ring

MIAMM: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

Sorry for the delay but with a weekend full of graduation festivities followed by office projecting (it’s getting done this weekend!!), I didn’t have time to make a meal for you which is why MIAMM is happening on Thursday.

20140520-142235-51755978.jpgNow you might remember this no junk food challenge I’m attempting (the soda has been my downfall) but I swapped my morning breakfast with a green monster smoothie– a chocolate covered strawberry green monster smoothie to be exact. I should add, a filling smoothie.  The first time I made one for Greg, he worried about becoming hungry an hour later but the smoothie kept him full until lunch.

Before you start freaking out about spinach in your smoothie, believe me, you can’t taste it. The smoothies are a healthy way to increase your fruit and protein intake. Give it a whirl, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
Ingredients

  • 7 frozen strawberries (if you substitute fresh strawberries in, add a few ice cubes)
  • 1 cup almond milk– unsweetened
  • 1 big handful spinach leaves
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 small banana (about 6″)

1. Put it all in the blender.

smoothie2. Blend for three minutes.

smoothie-23. Enjoy!

smoothie-3

 

MIAMM: A Toxic Twofer!

What a weekend!  Besides celebrating our anniversary, we did an incredible amount of yard work (with transformation pictures next week) and nailed down a few more aspects of our office, literally.  I don’t know about you but when I do yard work, a cocktail or beer is a delightful treat.  Maybe it’s because my dad always had a beer after mowing the lawn but a cool beverage is always desired after a day spent shoveling mulch.

Ok, fine.  Greg did most of the shovel but I did the pushing and laying of it.  Hazel laid in the mulch as her way of assisting.

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Enough of my tangent, I have a toxic twofer for you today– two beverages ideal for dinner yard work.  Maybe kick start your yard work with one and end with another.  The choice is yours.  The infusing alcohol increased this year due to two new jars from HomeGoods.  They both came with a painted chalkboard area for notes which adds a bit of pizzazz to the jar.

Now on to the recipes!

Bloody Mary Vodka

Ingredients

  • 750mL Vodka
  • Green bell pepper
  • Red bell pepper
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Optional: basil, cilantro, bacon.  My aunt didn’t like bacon in hers since it makes the vodka very cloudy looking but a few other people did.  Just pick up a bag of the premade salad bacon and add it to the jar.

1. Chop everything up.  Keep the jalapenos seeded.

2. Dump into a jar.

infused cocktails-5

 

3. Add vodka.

infused cocktails-6

4. Store in a dark place and shake every other day.

5. Enjoy with tomato juice after 21 days.

Strawberry Margaritas

Ingredients

  • 750mL silver tequila
  • 1lbs frozen strawberries (or fresh)

1. Dump strawberries into the jar.

infused cocktails-2

2. Add tequila.

infused cocktails-3

3. Store in a dark place and shake every other day.

infused cocktails-4

4. Enjoy with your favorite margarita recipe after 21 days.