Mussels with Tomato/Basil Breadcrumbs

A Love Affair with Mussels….

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My love affair with mussels started exactly when my love affair started with my husband. 😉 He took me to a restaurant in the city named Spain and they brought a plate of mussels to the table that were covered with a tomato/onion vinegar mix that was so yummy and had me hooked from the moment I took my first bite. So, when I came across a recipe from my favorite 💜 The Barefoot Contessa 💜  from her cookbook ” How Easy Is That ” I just had to try it out and it has quickly become one of our new favorite ways to eat mussels. I did have to switch it up a bit to suit the fact that my husband and I are the only mussel lovers in the house, but if you want to make it for a crowd definitely go check out her recipe on foodnetwork.com.

Here is what you will need:

Breadcrumb Mix

  • 3 slices of day old bread – cut into cubes. I like to use leftover semolina or ciabatta bread.
  • ¼ cup of olive oil.
  • 2 garlic cloves – chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon basil.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts.
  • Juice of 1 lemon.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon pepper.

Mussels

  • 1 bag of mussels.
  • 1 cup white wine.
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Here is what you need to do:

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Cut bread into cubes and toast in oven at 250 degrees until dried out and toasty.

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Clean your mussels, making sure to discard any that are cracked or open and won’t close up when you touch them.

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When your bread cubes are ready, add them to a food processor with the olive oil, garlic, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, lemon, salt and pepper.

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Just wanted to share two of my favorite things to keep in the house, that not only work great in this dish, but a whole bunch of others. :)

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Grind all the ingredients together and then set aside.

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Next, bring the wine and olive oil to a boil and throw in your cleaned mussels. Give a good mix, cover and simmer until mussels are cooked and open. If there are any mussels that don’t open, pick them out and throw them away.

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Toss in your breadcrumb mixture and give it all a good toss.

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Serve it up in a big bowl with crunchy bread and a whole lot of napkins.

&…

Enjoy!!

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

 

Mini Morning Glory Muffins

My Favorite Muffin !!

:)

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Hand down 🙌  Morning Glory Muffins are my favorite. They are packed with a bunch of yummy ingredients that I just love and can’t get enough of. Making them mini size is so simple and a great way to keep your calorie count down and still feel satisfied.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour.
  • 1 cup brown sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda.
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground ginger.
  • ½ cup of sweetened coconut.
  • ½ cup of raisins.
  • ½ cup of walnuts.
  • 1 cup of crushed pineapple.
  • 1 tart apple peeled and grated.
  • 2 cups of grated carrot.
  • 3 eggs.
  • ¾ cup of vegetable oil.
  • 1½ teaspoons of vanilla

Here is what you need to do:

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

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Next, prepare the ginger, coconut, raisins, walnuts, pineapple, apple and carrot.

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Add them to the flour mixture and give it all a good mixing.

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla.

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Mix everything together, making sure that all the ingredients are nicely distributed throughout the batter.

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Spoon batter into your well buttered/floured mini muffin mold fully. I just love when they come out with the little muffin tops.  Just make sure to butter/flour the top of the pan as well, so there is no stickage. Bake 15 – 20 minutes.

If you would like to make regular size muffins, just use liners and fill them ¾ of the way up and bake 25-30 minutes. You should get about 12 muffins from this mix.

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 Pack them in an air tight container, so they are ready for you to…..

Enjoy

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

Coconut Curry Shrimp

❄️❄️❄️❄️

 Perfect Dinner on a Chilly Night…

 ❄️❄️❄️❄️

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Whenever it is really cold outside I always want a meal that is not only hardy, but has a little spice to it.  This Coconut Curry Shrimp dish has a bunch of spices that will warm you from the inside out and become a family favorite on those cold winter nights.

Here is what you will need:

  • ½ of a medium sweet onion – chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced.
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of ginger – minced.
  • 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes – juice and all.
  • 1 can of coconut milk – unsweetened.
  • 1½ lbs of large shrimp.
  • 1 bag of fresh baby spinach.
  • ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning.
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder.
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala – this can be hard to find, so if you don’t have it, substitute it with another teaspoon of curry powder and a ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Cilantro – chopped for garnish

Here is what you need to do:

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Saute your onion, garlic and ginger in a little olive oil for a few minutes.

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Add in your diced tomatoes and coconut milk.

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Give everything a good stir and bring together for a few more minutes over medium heat.

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Time for some spice. Add in the curry powder, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir and bring to a boil.

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Meanwhile, toss your shrimp in the ½ teaspoon of Cajun seasoning.

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When the sauce has come to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and add in your shrimp.

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Then add in the bag of baby spinach. Give a good stir and cook for 10 minutes.

Check to see if any more salt or pepper is needed.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro

and…..

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Enjoy :)

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

Chocolate Chip Hot Milk Cakes

Someone got fancy pans for Christmas….

😉

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Small little cakes just make me happy!! :) They make dessert easy to serve and look so cute on a pretty plate.  These decorative mini bundt molds make them ten times prettier in my book and work out  great with my favorite Chocolate Chip Hot Milk Cake recipe.

Here is what you will need:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups of sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup of mini chocolate chips

Here is what you will need to do:

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter and milk into a small pan and heat until you see a slight boil.

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Meanwhile, add the eggs and sugar to a mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk until the egg/sugar mix has doubled in size.

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Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

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When the milk/butter mixture is hot, remove from heat and add in the teaspoon of vanilla.

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With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the hot milk mixture and then spoon in the flour mix and blend until the batter is nice and smooth.

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Mix in the mini chocolate chips by hand.

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Pour batter into your well buttered/floured molds. The chocolate chips will head to the bottom, which is what you want. :)

Bake:

Mini Bundt pan – 20 -25 minutes.

Regular Bundt pan – 50-60 minutes.

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When the cakes are done, let them cool in the pan for a bit and then flip them over onto a cooling rack.

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The chocolate chips form a perfect top layer, that not only make the cake look great, but eliminates a need for frosting.

❤️Hope you love them❤️

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

Breakfast Cookies

Almond Joy Style…

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I don’t know what it is, but when I wake up in the morning and take that first sip of coffee, I immediately start to crave something sweet to go along with it.  I hate starting my day and diet off on the wrong foot, but if I’m being honest I have to admit that I have grabbed that bag of Oreos on more than one occasion.

But..

That all changed when I learned about a basic recipe for Breakfast Cookies that can be switched up with different types of healthy ingredients to keep everyone happy and on the right track each and every morning.

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of quick cooking oats
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Today I am making the cookies in honor of one of my most favorite candy –  Almond Joys – so I added…

  • ½ cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut

Here is what you will need to do:

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mash up your ripe bananas with a fork.  Mix in your oats, egg, almond milk, honey and vanilla, making sure to get everything nicely combined.

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Next add in the chocolate chips, almonds and shredded coconut (or whatever fun ingredients you have up your sleeve).  Give it all a good mix and make sure that all the extras are nicely distributed.

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Spoon batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes.

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Let them cool completely and….

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Enjoy :)

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

Tostones with Ají

Yummy…

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Green Plantains were always a little scary to me until my mother in law taught me about Tostones.  Now they are a huge favorite of mine and I love frying them up and serving them with a tangy bowl of Ají.

Here is what you will need :

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Tostones

  • green plantains – you usually get 6 tostones from 1 plantain.
  • vegetable oil
  • kosher salt

Ají

  • big bunch of cilantro chopped finely
  • 2 Roma tomatoes – diced into small pieces
  • ½ of a white onion – diced into small pieces
  • white vinegar to taste
  • tabasco sauce to taste

Here is what you need to do :

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Cut your plantain into 6 equal pieces.

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Drop them into hot oil and fry until lightly golden brown.

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Remove from oil and with an aluminum foil covered can, smoosh the plantains into a flat disk.

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Flatten them all.

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And then return the flattened disk back to the oil to fry up for a few minutes.

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Remove from oil and place on a paper towel covered dish to remove any excess oil. Give the tostones a good sprinkle of salt.

Now for the Ají.

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Chop it all to bits and then add the white vinegar and tabasco sauce to your taste. My husband’s family uses Ají as a condiment to soups and stews, but I just love it with tostones.

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Give it all a good mix and there you have it.

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Enjoy  :)

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

The Day I Met Ina….

🎉 Happy Birthday Barefoot Contessa 🎉

 

My love affair with the Barefoot Contessa started about 10 years ago, when I first saw a show of hers on the Food Network.  I just loved how she made meals that I thought were so complicated, simple and had showed me how fun it can be to cook for my family and friends without all the fuss and stress. I honestly have not missed an episode since and make sure to DVR them all.

So, one day my husband came home and told me how he heard from some people at work that Ina Garten was going to be at a Barnes & Noble close to my house selling her new cookbook and signing autographs. I quickly got a babysitter, threw dinner on the table and hightailed it over to the book store. There was already a long line when I arrived, but I didn’t care because I wanted to take the time to think of something really witty and fun to say to her, so she would just love me and we would become forever friends. 😉

What ended up happening was that when I reached her table and saw her, I became totally star struck and yelled something about how much I loved her and then my husband took a picture of me with this big goony goo smile. I was then moved along and the next person took my spot. 😳

Oh well….

Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time.

 Still Just Rolling With It  :)

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

Pepperoni Pizza Dipping Sticks

🏈 Superbowl Party Food Rocks 🏈

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I’m not really much of a football fan, but I just love me a Super Bowl party and all the yummy food that goes along with it. :)  Mixing up fun, excited people with wings, sliders, pizza, dips and chips is my thing and I so look forward to it every year. I like to keep the food simple and hand size, so it’s easy to sit on the couch and eat while you enjoy the game.

A while back a friend from Detroit told me about his favorite pizza from home. It is an upside down version of New York pizza where they put a layer of pepperoni, then top it with mozzarella, bake it and then top it off with warm sauce. I had to try it out and that’s how Pepperoni Pizza Dipping Sticks were born.

Here is what you will need:

  • Pizza Dough ball – (Recipe for pizza dough is in my food section from November 2015)
  • Pepperoni
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Marinara sauce – ( Homemade or Jar. That is totally up to you.)

Here is what you need to do:

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Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Coat a deep dish pan with olive oil, making sure to get the oil everywhere. Especially on the sides. Press your dough ball out in the pan until its butted up to the sides. Coat with olive oil.

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Layer your pepperoni.

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Top with a nice layer of mozzarella cheese. Make sure to layer the cheese all the way to the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

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Let it sit for a minute and then use a spatula to help separate and remove it from the pan.

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Transfer to a cutting board and slice into dipping sticks.

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This corner piece has my name all over it. 😉

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Serve it up with warm sauce and…..

Enjoy

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

Unchunky Salsa

A Family Favorite

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My kids loves chips and salsa as long as there are no chunks in it. When my older two were little they would ask for the salsa that had no big pieces in it and not a lot of that hot stuff. I know that its called restaurant style salsa, but the name Unchunky Salsa is just so much cuter to use.  :)

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of mild Rotel
  • 3 canned jalapeños – cut off stems and cut into pieces
  • ½ of a medium white onion – cut into chunks
  • 1 large garlic clove – cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro – cut off stems

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Here is what you will need to do:

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Toss the can of diced tomatoes into a bowl of a food processor along with the can of Rotel and cut up jalapeños. I like to use canned jalapeños in this salsa because it gives it a milder taste that my kids prefer.

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Add in onion, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, lime juice and large bunch of cilantro.

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Process until all minced up.

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Its great with tortilla chips ( especially blue corn which are my favorite ) and goes along perfectly with any mexican dish.

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I make a big batch and store it in the refrigerator, so it’s ready for my family to…..

Enjoy

 

xoxo

Jill 💜

 

 

 

Hubby’s Hot Wings

He’s Back In The Kitchen !!

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Two things bring my guy to the kitchen and that’s Thanksgiving Turkeys and Hot Wings. With turkey season behind us and the Super Bowl approaching, he has traded his baster and roasting pan in for his fryer and tongs and we are ready to eat. :)

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I just love when he wears his cute apron and gets to work. 😉

Here are the ingredients you will need:

Chicken

  • chicken wings and drumettes
  • vegetable oil

Sauce

  • 1 cup of hot sauce
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • as many dashes of siracha that you would like – 10 according to my husband, but I’m going to leave this to your taste

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup of blue cheese crumbles
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • ¼ cup of plain yogurt
  • teaspoon of white vinegar
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper

Here is what you need to do:

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Clean the wings and drumettes and pat dry.  Get your oil heated up.

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While you wait for your oil to get hot, heat up the cup of hot sauce in a small sauce pan and then melt in the stick of butter.

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Add in the honey…

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And the Siracha. Give a nice stir and simmer.

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Time to fry up your wings.

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Make sure your wings are dry and your oil is hot and drop them in. Fry until golden brown.

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Add some sauce to a bowl and toss in your cooked wings. Stir them all around in the sauce until evenly coated.

But Wait…

You will need a dipping sauce

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In a small bowl, mix your blue cheese, sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, salt and pepper. Give a good mix, making sure to break up any large pieces of blue cheese.

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Set up on a platter with celery, baby carrots and wings.

And….

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Enjoy

 

xoxo

Jill 

 

 

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