Monthly Archives: August 2013

Zucchini Nachos

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Zucchini Nachos

It’s no secret that I have a major obsession with Mexican food.  I’m always trying to think up new ways to make Mexican food so when I saw this recipe for Grilled Zucchini Nachos from one of my favorite food blogs, Two Peas and Their Pod, I knew I had to try to make my own version.  They were cheesy, spicy, delicious, and even healthy!  I highly recommend you pick up some zucchini (from your garden, your local farm stand, the grocery store, anywhere will do!) and make these zucchini nachos this weekend!

zucchini nachoStart by slicing the zucchini.

zuchhini slices

Then grill it!  I used a George Foreman Grill but any old grill will do.

Grilled zucchini

Spread them on baking sheet and cover with cheese.  I used some spicy pepper jack but you can use anything you have on hand.

zucchini and pepper jack

Add some shredded chicken, corn, and more cheese (after all, nachos without cheese are an oxymoron, I used Monterey Jack for the top layer).  If I had had any black beans when I made these I would have thrown them on too.

zucchini nachos pre oven

Bake them in the oven until the cheese is melted.

baked zucchini nachos

Top with lots of fresh salsa and cilantro and squeeze some lime juice over the top (the flavor kind of reminds me of hint of lime chips, which are some of my favorite).

zucchini nachos with toppings

Serve up with some sour cream and guacamole as desired.

Zucchini Nachos

Enjoy!

Zucchini Nachos 2

 

 

Recipe

Zucchini Nachos

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 zucchinis – sliced 1/4″ thick

8 oz pepper jack cheese (or a mix of pepper jack and monterey jack) – shredded

1 chicken breast – shredded (I used this recipe)

1 ear of corn – cut off the cob

1 cup fresh salsa

fresh cilantro – for serving

sour cream (optional for serving)

guacamole (optional for serving – try this recipe)

– Grill the zucchini until tender then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet

– Sprinkle with shredded cheese, chicken, and corn

– Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted

– Top with fresh salsa and serve with sour cream and guacamole as desired

Eggplant Parmesan

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Eggplant Parmesan

Last weekend I discovered an eggplant in my fridge that I completely forgot about, not wanting it to go to waste I decided to make some eggplant parm.  I figured I could easily modify my chicken parm recipe for eggplant parm.  The problem with this was that I didn’t have any bread crumbs but I wasn’t about to let that stop me, I wanted cheesy, saucy, eggplant goodness so I scoured the cupboards and fridge looking for an acceptable substitute.  To my delight I found some wheat germ that I knew would do the trick.

eggplant parm bite

To prepare the eggplant (which I don’t have pictures of because I’m a dork) slice it into 1/4″ slices, salt both sides and let it sit for 30 minutes to draw out the water, then rinse off the salt and pat dry.  Whisk an egg, dip the eggplant slices in the egg and then into seasoned wheat germ and place on a broiler sheet, toss them in the oven and bake.

baked eggplant slices

Spread a thin layer of sauce in a foil lined baking dish (if you really enjoy scrubbing baking dishes feel free to skip the foil) and top with a layer of eggplant.  Sprinkle the eggplant with Parmesan cheese and top with mozzarella cheese (confession, I didn’t have mozzarella so I used monterey jack, it was still delicious but if you want to be more authentic use mozzarella).

cheese layer

Add a layer of sauce to the top of the cheese.

Sauce layer

Top with another slice of eggplant.

Eggplant toper

Add another layer of the cheeses.

Top cheese layer

Put the baking dish in the oven and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

baked eggplant parm

Serve with extra sauce and fresh basil if you so desire.

Eggplant Parmesan

Enjoy the deliciousness that you just made!

eggplant parm bite

 

Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 small eggplant

1 egg

1 cup wheat germ (or bread crumbs)

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, parsley)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup tomato sauce (plus more for serving)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

8 oz mozzarella cheese

fresh basil (optional for serving)

– Slice the eggplant into 1/4″ thick slices and salt both sides and let sit in a colander or on a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet for 30 minutes then rinse off the slices with cold water and pat dry

– Whisk the egg in a bowl

– Combine the wheat germ and spices in a bowl

– Dip the eggplant slices in the egg then dredge in the wheat germ mixture and place on a cookie sheet or broiler pan

– Bake at 375 °F for 30 minutes

– Spoon a thing layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a foil lined baking dish, add a layer of eggplant, top with half of the cheeses, add a layer of spaghetti sauce, top with another layer of eggplant and the remaining cheeses

– Bake at 375 °F for 30 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly

– Serve with extra sauce and fresh basil as desired

 

 

Huevos Rancheros

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Huevos Rancheros

Two of my favorite food genres (yes I describe food in genres) are Mexican food and breakfast food, so Mexican breakfast food is pretty much the perfect food combination in my mind.  A few months ago I had a craving for Mexican breakfast food so I looked around the cupboards and my house to see what I could make.  I came up with these super easy huevos rancheros that turned out to be a delicious combination of slightly crispy tortilla chips, tangy salsa, melty cheese, and hot eggs, they’re now a regular on my breakfast menu!

Huevos Rancheros

I started by making some microwave nachos, I used to make these all the time as an after school snack.  Spread some tortilla chips on a plate, top with salsa and shredded cheese, and pop them in the microwave.  You can use any kind of salsa you want, I like to use jarred southwest salsa since it has black beans in and and the jarred salsa tends to have more juice than fresh salsa.

microwave nachos

Then you fry some eggs to your liking, I usually go with over easy to over medium.  Place the eggs on top of the nachos.

nachos with eggs

Top the eggs with more salsa, then shred some cheese on top, cover with a pan lid and let sit until the cheese melts.

huevos rancheros melted

Serve with guacamole as you like.

Huevos Rancheros

Enjoy a delicious breakfast!

Huevos Rancheros bite

 

 

Recipe

Huevos Rancheros

Serves 2

Ingredients

corn tortilla chips  (about 20)

1 cup southwest salsa

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 eggs

salt & pepper

guacamole (optional for serving – try this recipe)

– Place a layer of tortilla chips (about 10) on a plate, cover with salsa and shredded cheese, microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese is melted, repeat with another plate

– Fry the eggs with a little salt & pepper according to your preference (I like mine over easy to over medium)

– Place 2 eggs on each plate on top of the nachos, top with more salsa and shredded cheese, cover the plate with a pan lid and let the cheese melt

– Top the eggs with guacamole as desired and serve

 

 

Truckeroo Part 2

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You may remember my last post about Truckeroo, a monthly food truck festival held right outside the National’s stadium in DC.  Well, it was so delicious I decided I had to go again, so Friday night my roommate and I headed to Truckeroo for dinner and dessert.  As we always do, we decided to split everything so we could try even more food!

 

First we went to The Big Cheese for a delicious Thrilled Cheese, which was chipotle cheddar, jalapenos, and guacamole on sourdough bread.  Now, if you know me at all, you know I love guacamole so this was the natural choice!

The Big Cheese

Big Cheese Menu

I’m not exaggerating when I say this was the absolute best grilled cheese I’ve ever head, the bread was thick and crisp, and the creamy guacamole went perfectly with the slight spice of the cheese and jalapenos.

Thrilled Cheese

Next we got in the monstrous line for TaKorean, the Korean BBQ taco truck.

TaKorean

TaKorean menu

We ordered one Bulgogi steak taco, which was beef in a sweet, spicy, soy based sauce with Napa-Romaine slaw, and two tangy chicken tacos (chicken in a sweet chili, ginger, soy sauce with spicy kimchi style slaw.  All of the tacos came with Sriarcha, lime crema, cilantro, and sesame seeds.  After I bit into the tacos I understood why the line was so long!

TaKorean tacos

For our last dinner course we went to Feelin’ Crabby for some absolutely amazing crab sliders that we’d seen when we were in line for the tacos.

Feelin' Crabby

The sliders consisted of soft rolls with a delicious crab salad.  The salad consisted of very large lumps of crab with a very light mayonnaise dressing with lemon and a healthy sprinkling of old bay.

crab sliders

Right next to the Feelin’ Crabby truck was the Sinplicity ice cream truck.

sinplicity

Sinplicity menu

We ordered the Tipsy Strawberry Sinwich and it was absolutely sinfully delicious!

tipsy strawberry sinwichStrawberry Ice Cream with chocolate chunks with layer of margarita custard, all sandwiched between two berry macaroons.

sinwich

Our last stop was That Cheesecake Truck for a slice of key lime cheesecake dipped in dark chocolate.

that cheesecake truck

It was the perfect combination of creamy, tangy, and sweet.

chocolate dipped key lime

cheesecake pop

The musical entertainment for the night was The Morrison Brothers Band, a really awesome band that you should all become fans of!

The Morrison Brothers Band

It was another great night at Truckeroo and I highly suggest you go to the next one on September 6th if you’re in the DC area, I definitely plan on being there!

Mixed Herb Pesto

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Mixed Herb Pesto

When we moved into our apartment one of the things my roommate and I discovered was that plants and curtains make things feel homey and look completely decorated so I bought a lot of houseplants and herb plants.  After awhile we had an abundance of herbs so I decided to make pesto using a mix of basil, mint, and parsley.  The combination of the three herbs with garlic, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and lemon turned out really well, all the flavors complemented each other nicely.   As a bonus, pesto is super simple to make from scratch and it takes almost no time at all, and it’s incredibly versatile.

chicken and squash pesto

First mince your garlic cloves.

mince garlic

Throw all of your herbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, lemon juice and zest, some fresh cracked black pepper, and the garlic into a blender (yes, pesto is normally made with nuts but my blender can’t handle crushing them, if you have a food processor or a good blender feel free to throw in some pine nuts or any other nut you think would be good).

pesto blender

Stream in some extra virgin olive oil until you reach the desired consistency and then presto, you have pesto!  As I said pesto is super versatile and you can eat it with a bunch of delicious things.  For example, the first night I made the pesto we had it with some chicken and squash we grilled with olive oil and salt & pepper.

pesto chicken and squash

Then I had leftovers with some store bought tortellini with sauteed peppers and mushrooms.

pesto tortellini

It also makes a delicious condiment for sandwiches and subs, or a delicious dressing for salads.  The possibilities are endless so use your imagination!  As an added bonus pesto freezes really well so you can make a big batch and freeze the extra!

 

What’s your favorite way to use pesto?

 

Recipe

Mixed Herb Pesto

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/3 cup basil

1/3 cup mint

1/3 cup parsley

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 lemon – juice and zest

fresh cracked black pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic – minced

extra virgin olive oil (about 1/3 cup)

– Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor

– Turn on low and stream in olive oil until you’ve reached your desired consistency

– Serve as desired or freeze in an air tight container

 

Salmon Avocado BLTs

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Salmon Avocado BLTs

One of my all time favorite summer meals is a BLT, you can’t really beat fresh tomatoes and bacon so when I saw a recipe for a Grilled Salmon BLT Club Sandwich with Avocado in the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine I knew I had to try it.  My roommate Alyssa actually made these when I was late getting home from work, they were delicious!  We didn’t make ours club sandwiches, they were plenty big enough without the extra layer of bread.

sablt

These sandwiches also have a delicious garlic lime mayo, to make it you combine mayo, garlic, lime zest and juice, and parsley.

Mayo

Add some lettuce and tomato.

lettuce and tomato

And a hearty layer of bacon.

bacon

And salmon.

salmon

And avocado.

avocado

Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy!

salmon avocado blt

The salmon and the avocado really add something special to the sandwich, the creamy avocado off sets the salty crunch from the bacon and salmon makes the whole sandwich more substantial.

sablt in hand

 

 

Recipe

Salmon Avocado BLTs  (adapted from Food Network Magazine)

Serves 6

Ingredients

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic – grated

2 limes – juice and zest

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 pound salmon filet

extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper

12 slices bread – toasted

6 leaves lettuce

2 tomatoes -sliced

12 slices bacon

1 avocado – thinly sliced

– Mix together the mayo, garlic, 1 lime, and herbs, set aside

– Cook the bacon

– Season the salmon with the extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, and remaining lime, cook on a grill pan or George Foreman grill until cooked through

– Spread mayo on 6 slices of toast

– Top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, salmon, and bacon

– Top with remaining slice of toast

Cut sandwiches in half and serve


 

 

1st Blogiversary

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It’s hard for me to believe, but today marks the one year anniversary of my blog!  A year ago today I posted this family recipe for Zucchini Bread.

Piece of bread

Since then I’ve had the pleasure of sharing quite a few posts with you.  Keeping with the tradition of my review blogs I decided to give you the top ten most viewed posts of the past year!
The Top 10 Posts for the 1st Year of Once in a Blue Spoon

 

  1. Blueberry Sugar Cookies – I absolutely LOVE these cookies and I 100% understand why they’re number 1, tangy blueberries, sweet sugar, creamy cream cheese, delicious! blueberry sugar cookie bite
  2. Chili and Cornbread – Such a classic, hearty, and comforting meal.  chili and cornbread
  3. Penne with Vodka Sauce – One of my favorite pastas, a creamy tomato sauce with a kick!  penne with vodka sauce
  4. Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Greek Yogurt-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce – Hot crunchy sweet potatoes with creamy cool dipping dippers.  sweet potato fries and sauce
  5. Wing Night – What do you prefer Buffalo or Garlic Parmesan?  How about both!  Wings in PanGarlic Parm Wings
  6. Mountain Pies – A camping classic you can make at home, pizza grilled cheese!  Mountain Pies
  7. Spice Cake and Nanny’s 90th Birthday Party – My grandma’s favorite cake, Spice Cake with Caramel Icing, I also made Maple Cream Cheese Icing for good measure.caramel icing and spice cake
  8. Dutch Oven Strawberry Cobbler – Sooo simple yet so yummy! strawberry cobbler with ice cream
  9. Banana Bread with Yogurt – A spongy, moist, flavorful banana bread made with Greek yogurt and blueberry kefir.bbkbananabread
  10. Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole – My favorite breakfast, bacon, eggs, potatoes, peppers, onions, cheese! in dutch oven

Thank you so much for reading!

July 2013: A Review

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I cannot believe July is over already, this summer is absolutely flying by!  Since it’s the first day of August that means it’s time for my monthly review blog, so here are the my top 3 most viewed posts for the month of July and 10 links I found incredibly appealing, enjoy!

My Top 3 Most Viewed Posts

  1. Sweet Potato Fries with Greek Yogurt-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce – Sweet, crispy, delicious! sweet potato fries and sauce
  2. Blueberry Sugar Cookies – After eating these you’ll understand why they were on the list last month too.blueberry sugar cookie bite
  3. Mountain Pies – Gooey cheesy awesomeness! Mountain Pies

My Top 10 Favorite Links

  1. In my mind anything with triple chocolate in the name has got to be delicious so this Triple Chocolate Cookie Cake (from Life, Love, and Sugar) caught my eye!

    Triple Chocolate Cookie Cake

    From Life, Love, and Sugar

  2.  Sangria is pretty much the perfect summer beverage and I really want to try this Watermelon Basil Sangria (from JJ Begonia).

    Water13

    From JJ Begonia

  3. I love salmon and I love cilantro hence I think I will love this Seared Salmon with Cilantro-Cucumber Salsa (from Ranting Chef).

    Photo Mar 15, 5 37 16 PM

    From Ranting Chef

  4. Warm Cookie Dough & Ice Cream (from The Cosy Kitchen), I’m not sure how dessert could get any more perfect.

    cookie

    From The Cosy Kitchen

  5. Who doesn’t love Chinese food?  This Crispy Sweet Chili Beef (from Homemade with Mess) is a perfect homemade version of traditional takeout.

    k 008

    From Homemade with Mess

  6. This Blueberry Ricotta Tart (from Mastering the Art of Pigging Out) looks divine!

    b10

    From Mastering the Art of Pigging Out

  7. King Cone Ice Cream Cake (from Zim on a Whim) – the cake version of one of my favorite childhood treats.

    King Cone Ice Cream Cake | Zim on a Whim

    From Zim on a Whim

  8. I don’t think it’s possible for me to mention favorites without including at least one Mexican food recipe, so here you have it, Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa (from The Thankful Heart)

    IMG_2355

    From The Thankful Heart

  9. Peach Moscato Sangria (from BB A La Carte), yes, yes please.

    IMG_7290

    From BB A La Carte

  10. Adding fruit to desserts means it’s healthy, right???  Which means I can eat this entire Raspberry Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust (from Spontaneous Tomato).

    Raspberry Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust

    From Spontaneous Tomato

What were your favorite links this month?