Monday, May 26, 2014

Confetti Salsa

I absolutely LOVE fresh vegetables. When the spring air becomes reminiscent of early summer days, all I can think about is enjoying the harvest. This salsa was a creation of my desire for something light, refreshing, and crisp. The lime juice adds a Caribbean flavor to the dish while the colors are so festive that they scream confetti. I make this salsa every weekend and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick, filling, and delicious after work snack, however, I have been known to simply eat it with a spoon for lunch. It is my new favorite go-to treat! In fact, I love this dish so much that I could not resist eating the salsa when I took the picture before finishing this post. Keep this recipe on hand for all those summer gatherings!
15 oz Canned Black Beans
15 oz Canned Yellow Corn
1 Red Bell Pepper
3 Green Onions, Chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1. Place the red bell pepper on the grill or under the broiler to roast. When the skin is blistered, remove to a bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 5 minutes before removing the skin and seeds. Dice the roasted pepper flesh into small pieces.
2. Place the beans and corn into a fine mesh strainer. Rinse with cold water. Shake dry and move to a large bowl.
3. Add the roasted pepper, onion, and parsley to the bowl.
4. In a small cup, whisk the lime juice, oil, salt and pepper to form a dressing.
5. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Stir to combine.
6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, stirring well before serving.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Baked Apple Sauce Donuts with Maple Glaze

On Sunday evening, I was in the mood for something sweet and delicious. As I searched through the cabinets, nothing really seemed to catch my interest. Then, I remembered I had applesauce in the refrigerator and maple flavoring in the cabinet; the perfect solution was to create an applesauce donut with all of the flavors and spice of the old fashioned applesauce cake my grandmother made during my childhood. Another great thing about these donut is the maple glaze. The flavors scream breakfast with a subtle caramel undertone. On top of everything else, these are baked, not fried. So, in the world of donut consumption, they are basically guilt free! (Do you like my rationalization there???) No worries; with one bite of these delicious cake donuts, you will forget about an resolutions you may have made. Enjoy!

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Cinnamon Apple Sauce
1/4 Cup Milk
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Butter, Melted

1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Maple Extract
5 teaspoons Milk

Yield:18 donuts
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
2. Combine the applesauce, milk, eggs, vanilla and butter.
3. Slowly pour into the dry ingredients. Beat until well combined and it forms a smooth batter.
4. Thoroughly grease a donut pan.
5. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of batter into each donut ring. (Your measurements may vary depending on your pan. You want to fill the rings until half full.)
6. Bake the donuts in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes.
7. Remove donuts from the oven. Carefully lift from the pans. Place on a wire rack to cool.
8. Using a wire whisk, combine the glaze ingredients, adding the milk 1 teaspoon at a time until a thick but smooth glaze forms.
9. Dip one side of the donuts into the glaze, turning them over to cool on the rack while the glaze sets.
9. Enjoy while warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chipotle Grilled Chicken Wings

It seems like when the days get longer and the sun gets warmer, the grill is the place to be. Why heat up your house cooking for hours when the grill can do all the work while you enjoy the great outdoors. These chicken wings are perfect for parties, tailgating, or just for a night on the couch watching the big game. The utilization of chipotle powder adds a nice warmth to the wings without being overly spicy. If you have the time, you can allow the wings to marinade in the rub, but it is not necessary. I could see preparing them in the rub and packing them in a cooler for a weekend camping trip. YUM!!!
36 Chicken Wings/Drummettes
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoons Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil, for oiling the grill
1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Place the chicken wings/drummettes in a large, resealable bag.
3. Sprinkle with the dry rub. Press all of the air out of the bag and seal. Use your hands to massage the rub over the chicken, completely covering every piece.
4. Heat the grill over MEDIUM heat.
5. Coat a paper towel in vegetable oil. Using a set of grilling tongs, coat the grates with the oil to help prevent sticking.
6. Place the coated wings on the grill.
7. Reduce the heat to LOW. Close the grill.
8. Allow to cook for 15 minutes without disturbing. However, if you see smoke, you know your grill is TOO HOT!
9. Turn the wings. Allow the wings to continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
10. Move the wings around on the grill to allow each wing to become completely cooked.
11. Continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes on MEDIUM LOW heat, moving often, to allow the skin to crisp.
12. Remove from the grill and enjoy!

NOTE: Depending on your grill and the size of your wings, cooking times will vary. The wings should cook slowly and not burn. Understanding your grill is key!