Tequila lime pie

Margarita pie, or key lime tequila pie

I’ve got March Break on the mind. It happens to us Northerners some time in March. We’ve endured as much winter fun as one should have to, and as the days get longer, the birds start chirping a little louder and the occasional patch of muddy grass pokes through the snow piles, we start to think about warm places. March is really a mind jam – you think spring is coming, but there’s still a ways to go, and the days are frustratingly unpredictable. So many many many many of us head south for a week or so, just to give us the strength to endure the slow tease of springs unveiling.
With that in mind, I thought it might be fun this week to look for a recipe that combines the fun of a classic spring break cocktail with the sin of a sticky sweet treat. The result is a stunning dessert that will leave you feeling like you’ve indulged in a romp at a beach side restaurant without the hangover!

Ingredients

4 large egg yolks
1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 C Margarita mix (see below for homemade margarita mix)
1-2 T tequila
1-9 inch prepared graham cracker pie shell
Unsweetened whipped cream (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Position rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350. Whisk together the yolks and the condensed milk. Add the margarita mix and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the tequila. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake until filling is lightly, but evenly set and the edges of the shell are lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 2 hours. Top wedges with whipped cream (optional) to serve.

Home made Margarita mix

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients. Cook in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved, and mixture has thickened somewhat, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Will keep refrigerated about a month.

Perfect Negroni cocktail

There’s no doubt cocktails are having a real moment. And why wouldn’t they. There’s something so deliciously pleasing about taking a bit of time to prepare a perfect cocktail, whether it be a boozy one like the classic Negroni, or a mocktail with fresh and innovative ingredients. The entire ritual around preparing a cocktail is a real joy for me- I love setting the mood with the right music and lighting, getting the ingredients out, choosing the right glassware (this is very very very important in my house!) and mixing it up. That first sip just sets the mood perfectly for a relaxing evening ahead.
Maybe it’s a result of the pandemic, but I’ve definitely seen more and more personal recipe books with incredible cocktails in them, which inspired me to put up this recipe for my fave classic cocktail. Well, to be honest, it’s a toss up between the bitter and sweet gin based Negroni and the smooth bourbon Manhattan. Both are pretty easy to make.

Ingredients

1 ounce gin
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Garnish: orange peel

Instructions

Add the gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice, and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass filled with large ice cubes.

Garnish with an orange peel.

Superbowl worthy crispy chicken wings

Superbowl worthy air fryer chicken wings

I’m new to the Air Fryer trend, but ever since we got ours, I’ve been experimenting with cooking different things in it. It’s definitely a useful appliance! But its moment of glory is really when it comes to cooking things extra crispy without deep frying them. Take the humble chicken wing. It’s like it was meant for the air fryer. And with the big game coming up on the weekend, we can’t think of a better time to use this trendy appliance!

Ingredient list

2lb chicken wings
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot sauce
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredient list

Instructions
In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, paprika cayenne pepper, and salt. Sprinkle dry mix over wings, and refrigerate for 60-90 mins, uncovered.
Heat air fryer to 380. Spray the rack with non stick spray. Line chicken wings on the rack in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch one another. You may need to cook them in two batches. Cook 12 minutes, turn, cook another 12 minutes.
While they are cooking, mix butter, hot sauce and pepper in sauce pan and cook over low heat until melted.
Turn the heat up to 400 and cook an additional 5-7 minutes, until crispy.
Remove wings and toss in hot sauce mixture, or serve as a dipping sauce. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing!

Ultimate chocolate chip cookie

The very best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

If you are looking for the ultimate oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, look no further. This is the perfect family recipe. They are chewy and moist and will not last 24 hours, promise! I’ve played around with different ways to incorporate the butter, and have come up with the fastest cookie method ever by simply melting the butter. No stand mixer, no creaming, and it all gets made in one bowl. Yup, one bowl moist delicious cookies you definitely need to make. You will want to create your own cookbook of cookie recipes once you know this recipe!

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup melted salted butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions

Melt the butter completely.
In a mixing bowl, mix sugars, then pour in melted butter and whisk for a few minutes. Add the egg and mix for a few minutes. Add vanilla.
Dump flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda on top of mixture, and mix with a spatula until mixed. Add chocolate chips and mix.
Refrigerate dough 30 minutes min- I usually cool it for an hour or so.
Heat oven to 350.
Using a cookie scoop or spoons, spoon dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 1 1/2″ apart.
Bake 10 minutes. When the cookies come out, slam the sheet down onto the counter to flatten the cookies. This makes them extra chewy.
Let cool and move to a rack.

Chili spiced braised beef

Here is a warm and cozy family favorite recipe that’s been updated with a spicy twist. Enjoy it on a cool winter night with corn bread or rice.

Ingredients

8 to 10 dried ancho chilis (2 tbsp ground if you can’t find them)
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
One 4- to 5-pound chuck roast or tri-tip roast, cut into 1-inch cubes, or try short ribs for richer, but fattier version
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large onion, sliced
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves

Preparation instructions

Add the chilis and garlic to a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Pour off half the cooking liquid. Using an immersion blender, puree the peppers, garlic and remaining liquid until smooth. You can skip this step if you are using ground chilis.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the meat with the salt, pepper and spices. When the oil is hot, add the meat to the Dutch oven and brown on all side. Set aside.
Add the tomato paste and onion to the pot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock, sugar, bay leaves and pepper puree to the pot and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pot and cover. Cook in the oven until the meat is fall-apart tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Remove the bay leaves. You can serve this as is as a stew, or pull it apart and serve it in tortillas as you would carnitas. Garnish with cilantro.

Oatmeal Raspberry Muffin Recipe For Your Family Cookbook

Oatmeal raspberry muffins
I made these muffins the other morning for the family and they were a huge hit. Not only were they moist and satisfying right out of the oven, but they stayed soft the next day too.

Ingredients

1 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice)
zest of one lemon (optional)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries or raspberries are great here- cranberries would work too, but up the sugar to 1 1/2 cups)
White sugar for sprinkling on top

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375
Line muffin tin with non stick liners, or grease muffin tin
Mix milk and vinegar if you are not using buttermilk
Add egg, vanilla and oil
In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and soda
Mix in frozen berries
Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix with as few strokes as possible until just blended
Spoon into prepared muffin tin, filling 3/4 of the way
Sprinkle with sugar
Bask 20-25 minutes until just set

Cool and enjoy :)
Fresh berry muffins

Pickled Veggies Recipe For Your Custom Family Cookbook

I recently learned how to make quick refrigerator pickles from my greek friend Peggy. Now I’m obsessed! They’re so super quick and easy, deliciously crunchy and spicy. Try pickled onions on burgers, in salads, gourmet sandwiches, next to grilled meats… Or how about pickled beans in a spicy bloody mary (or Ceasar for my Canadian friends!). And pickled jalapenos on fish tacos, picked cauliflower on a cheese and charcuterie platter – well, they just make everything better!
pickled veg

Ingredients for pickled onions, beans, asparagus or cauliflower

1-2 red onions, cauliflower, green beans or asparagus
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 to 1 cup apple cider vinegar, or as needed to fill your jar (I prefer white vinegar for beans, asparagus and cauliflower)
1/2 tsp pickling spices (you can make your own with peppercorns, mustard seed, coriander seed, bay leaf, chili pepper- experiment with the tastes that you enjoy)

Ingredients for pickled jalapenos

Kalapenos
2 cloves garlic, sliced or smashed
2 tsp coarse salt
1-3 tblsp sugar (higher quantity of sugar will lessen the heat of jalapenos)
3/4 – 1 cup white vinegar
2 thai chili peppers (if you like additional spice)
1/2 tsp pickling spices (see note above)

Preparation instructions

Prepare vegetables- for onion and jalapenos, slice into thin slices
For beans, trim into lengths that will fit into your jar
For cauliflower, trim into small florets
Wash prepared vegetables with hot water from the kettle, dry on a paper towel
Add all spices to the bottom of a clean 8oz jar
Add 1/4″ of the vinegar and stir until dissolved
Pack vegetables tightly into jar.
Pour remaining vinegar over top, push veggies down father, and top up, leaving a little at the top.
Screw top on and label. Keep refrigerated. These will be ready to eat in a day or two.
Eat within two months. Don’t leave these out on the counter for long periods of time- they are not sterilized, so treat them accordingly!
Tip: don’t use metal when preparing these- it doesn’t get along well with vinegar!
Tip: Change up the flavor by adding fresh thyme, dill, ginger, turmeric- whatever you like!

easy curried lentil soup

Super quick curried lentil soup with coconut milk

This is a recipe I make when I have no food in the house! I often just throw a bunch of vegetables together with some red lentils, spices and broth, and see what happens. But I think this version turned out especially delicious with it’s simplicity and cozy warmth. It’s a breeze to make vegan or vegetarian, although, being French, I tend to go for the dairy/bone broth version!
easy curried lentil soup

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil (or other type of vegetable oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger (I used the jarred kind I had in the fridge)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups red lentils
4 cups broth
1 small 5.5oz can of coconut milk
greek yogurt or sour cream or non dairy alternative for topping
chopped cilantro

Ingredients:

Heat oil in medium saucepan
Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook over medium/low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn
Add spice. Stir and cook an additional 3 minutes or so.
Add lentils and broth, stir, cover and cook 30 minutes or so until lentils are soft and mushy.
If it gets too dry, add a bit of water. Stir every 10 minutes or so to make sure lentils don’t stick
Add coconut milk.
Heat through.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt, chopped cilantro, and hot sauce (always!)

Cheesy cheddar meatloaf

Ingredient list

2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
32 Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Beat eggs. Add milk and crackers . Stir in onion and cheese. Add ground beef. Mix well. Shape into a loaf.
3. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
4. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard to make topping. Spoon half of the topping over the meatloaf after 30 min. of baking. Return loaf to over for 10 more min. of baking. Spoon the rest of the topping over meatloaf, return to oven and bake for 5-10 min more.

Creamy chorizo and tortellini soup

Ingredient list

1 lb. chorizo sausage
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small shallot, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c. all-purpose flour
5 c. chicken broth
14 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 tsp. kosher sea salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
6 ounces chopped fresh spinach
2 c. half & half (or heavy cream)
Instructions

1. In a large pan set over medium-high, cook the sausage until browned. Drain as much grease from the pan as possible. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, add onion, shallot and carrot, sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning.

3. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add in the chicken broth, whisk to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 minutes.

4. Pat as much grease as possible off of the chorizo, then add it along with the tortellini, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, spinach, and half & half. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the tortellini is fully cooked.

5. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

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