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Showing posts from July, 2016

Quote of The Day

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Quotes of The Day

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Open Skies, Bright Stars, and Awareness

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I was on a vacation with my kids and husband last week and came home with so much gratitude and a different outlook on daily life. We went to visit our cousins who live in a beautiful rural area surrounded by grape vineyards. They recently built a new house on their property as they’re preparing for their retirement. The house is a two bedroom home with two bathrooms and very beautifully crafted by his woodworking and iron-work skills. Our cousins currently live on a temporary home on their property until their new home is completely finished, but allowed us to stay in the new home so we could have our space and not be crammed in their small temporary home. We loved staying in such a beautiful home but were nervous because we didn’t want to have our kids slam the beautiful hand-crafted doors, or sit on their new couch with dirty clothes, or mess up the newly laid out wood flooring, or break something in their new kitchen that’s yet to be completed. In that aspect, it was a bit nerve-w…

Peach-Oat Breakfast Ice Pops

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Recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com
These peach pops taste just like a frozen smoothie - only better, thanks to nutty-tasting oats. At only 80 calories per pop, they're the perfect addition to your regular breakfast routine.

Total Time: 8 hr 5 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive: 8 hr
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 large ripe peach, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (refrigerated, not shelf stable)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon peach preserves
Kosher salt

Directions
Special equipment: four 3- to 4-ounce ice pop molds. Combine the peach, almond milk, lemon juice, honey, oats, preserves and a pinch of salt in a blender and puree until smooth.

Divide the mixture evenly among four 3- to 4-ounce ice pop molds. Freeze until solid, at least 8 hours and preferably overnight. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before unfolding.

The pops will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

For more recipes visit…

Watermelon-Raspberry Breakfast Pops

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You don't always have to drink your breakfast when there's a morning time crunch. Try one of these super-refreshing frozen pops instead. At just 110 calories each, they are the perfect partner for your favorite energy bar. Or roll one in toasted coconut or cocoa nibs and enjoy it solo.

Total Time: 8 hr 5 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive: 8 hr
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 cup raspberries
1 cup cubed seedless watermelon
1/3 cup coconut milk (shake well before opening)
3 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt
Toasted coconut or cocoa nibs, for serving, optional

Directions
Special equipment: four 3- to 4-ounce ice pop molds

Combine the raspberries, watermelon, coconut milk, honey, lime juice and salt in a blender and puree until smooth.

Divide the mixture evenly among four 3- to 4-ounce ice pop molds and freeze until solid, at least 8 hours and preferably overnight. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before unmolding. Roll in toasted coconut or cocoa nibs if desired.

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Hot Buttered Rum Chicken

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Recipe courtesy of Jernard Wells
Total Time: 1 hr
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 1/4 cups rum
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup chipotles in adobo sauce
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
Oil, for oiling grill grates

Directions
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Add the chicken thighs to a large bowl and pour over 1/4 cup of the rum. Add the basil, rosemary, thyme, seafood seasoning, cayenne and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir to coat. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, chipotles, butter and the remaining 1 cup rum. Simmer over low heat until the chipotles have dissolved. Remove from the heat; reserve half of the sauce in a separate bowl.

Lightly oil the grill grates. Grill the chicken until …

Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Directions
For each sandwich, spread a scoop of neapolitan ice cream on a thin slice of pound cake, then top with another slice of cake. Smooth the edges so the ice cream is flush with the cake. Place on a plate and pour 2 tablespoons melted dark chocolate on top, letting it drip down the sides. Freeze until hard. Top with whipped cream and chopped pistachios.

Photograph by Antonis Achilleos
For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com




Homemade Soft Pretzels

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Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Total Time:1 hr 55 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 8 pretzels
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Directions
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and …

Honeyed Lemon-Berry Snack Cake

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Recipe courtesy of Shauna Sever
Honey not only pairs beautifully with citrus and berries, but it also is hygroscopic, which means that it pulls moisture from the air. This property helps create the cake's moist, dense, almost-pound-cake-like texture and will continue to improve the texture in the days after baking.

Total Time: 1 hr 45 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 30 min
Cook: 55 min
Yield: 12 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Lemon-Berry Snack Cake:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 1/4 cups (10 1/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup (8 7/8 ounces) orange blossom or clover honey
2/3 cup (6 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup (3 ounces) grapeseed, canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) frozen raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or a combination

Honey-Lemon Glaze:2 tablespoons (1 1/2 …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Finding Light When Darkness Tries To Overshadow

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In the midst of so many tragedies happening around the world -- some are plastered all over the media and others will never come to light, I found myself once again questioning the direction of humanity. Every week there’s one national headline of tragedies that have struck communities and inflicted so much pain on many others watching. Some people sympathize and others wholeheartedly empathize with the victims and the community impacted. I’m an empathizer and always find myself feeling the limited heartache that I can only feel without really knowing what it’s like for those suffering – and that limited heartache hurts as hell, it stings, it makes me cry, it makes lose faith and hope, it gives me nightmares, but with a small spurt of a light, hope shows up in the people around the world that help to embrace the victims. It helps me see the good in people and my faith is restored by those who step up and show how much they care by helping people heal with a small embrace, or by donati…

Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

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Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 30 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 16 skewers
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 whole garlic cloves
1 lemon, juiced
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 fresh pineapple
16 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the ketchup, soy sauce, honey, mustard, sugar, garlic, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Heat an outdoor grill or a grill pan. Cut each chicken thigh into 2 pieces. Peel the pineapple and cut it into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Alternating between the chicken and pineapple, thread the pieces onto the skewers. Brush them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic cloves from the barbecue sauce…

Zucchini With Peanut Sauce

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Recipe courtesy of doctoroz.com 
Yield: 4 Servings
Calories: 176

Zucchini is packed with a lot of nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber to help your body function. Load up shredded zucchini with beneficial spices and peanut butter for extra protein to make a delicious lunch or dinner.

Ingredients
2 large zucchini, shredded without seeds
3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 large red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 oz white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
2 oz coriander, chopped
6 oz cooked shrimp (optional)
1 oz spring onions, chopped
2 oz sprouts
1 chili, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. In a large pan under medium heat sauté onions, garlic, and ginger in olive oil.

2. Add the zucchini and toss for about one minute. Then deglaze with white wine.

3. Then, add the peanut butter, stir, and let everything come to a boil.

4. Turn the heat down and add the remaining ingredients.

5. Adjust seasonings, cover, and let simmer for an additional minute.

6. Serve …

Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler

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Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Total Time: 15 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 5 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Three 12-ounce bottles chilled beer, light or mild, such as Modelo Especial (not dark beer)
3 cups (24 ounces) chilled peach nectar, such as bottled R.W. Knudsen brand or canned peach nectar
2 fresh peaches, pitted and cut into wedges or 5-ounces frozen peach slices, thawed
3/4 cup Ginger Simple Syrup, recipe follows
Ginger Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
One 4-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Directions
Combine the beer, peach nectar, peaches and syrup in a large pitcher; stir to blend. Serve immediately.

Ginger Simple Syrup:
Place 1/2 cup water, the sugar and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool completely, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Reconciling with Reality

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I recently watched a video on TED Talks by Joshua Prager who expressed so powerfully how he searched out a stranger who had changed his life twenty-one years ago. He traveled a world away to a city outside of Jerusalem to search for this man, Abed, who had been driving recklessly and struck the mini-bus Joshua and others were riding in -- as a result, one person died, he and another person had broken necks and another had a brain injury. After being thrown around the bus, Joshua was a quadriplegic but after many surgeries and physical therapy, he ended up a hemiplegic. Twenty-one years was a lifetime ago but Joshua needed to hear, “I’m sorry” from Abed, so he searched him out and found him. They met and talked about the day of the accident, Joshua wasn’t looking to recap the details, he was hoping to hear words of remorse and an apology, but all he got was a twisted story Abed had re-written, whether it was for his peace of mind or for the ability to live an unchanged life, never havi…

Cucumber and Green Grape Gazpacho

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Recipe courtesy of doctoroz.com
Yield: 8 servings
Calories: 80

This healthy and delicious cucumber gazpacho recipe is from Camila Alves' favorite restaurant, Clark's in Austin, Texas. Camila likes to feed her family with this dish in the summertime because it is refreshing, seasonal, and fresh. Plus, since everything is being thrown into a blender, it only takes minutes to make!

Ingredients
2 1/2 lbs cucumbers (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1/2 lb green grapes
1/4 lb jalapeno (seeded and chopped)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 lb spring onions, chopped
1 oz canola oil
1 tbsp fresh dill, minced
salt, to taste
lime, to taste

Directions
1. For soup base, combine all ingredients except oil in blender and blend until rustic (not smooth, but no chunks).

2. Add ice into a bowl. Put another bowl on top of the ice and pour the mixture into that bowl. Whisk in the oil slowly until well combined.

3. Chill for at least two hours until ready to serve.

Note: You can serve this dish with homemade croutons by s…

Jumbo Shrimp Stuffed with Cilantro and Chiles

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 30 min
Cook: 5 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
8 jumbo shrimp, in the shell (about 1 1/4 pounds)
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 large jalapeno, with seeds
2 scallions (white and green parts)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions
Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-high fire. Without removing the shells, slit about 3/4 of the way through the shrimp down the ridged back and remove the vein that runs down the center. Rinse and pat the shrimp dry. Whisk thyme leaves, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper, to taste, in a shallow nonreactive bowl or dish. Lay the shrimp cut side down in the lime mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse the …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of The Day

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Crab Cake Sliders

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 1 hr 50 min
Prep: 1 hr 20 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 15 sliders
Level: Easy

Ingredients
18 mini potato buns
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Kosher salt
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through
10 strips bacon
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Freshly ground pepper
Diced red onion, sliced tomatoes and lettuce leaves, for topping
Pickles, for serving (optional)

Directions
Prepare the crab cakes: Tear 3 buns into small pieces to make about 3/4 cup; put in a medium bowl. Whisk 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, the melted butter, egg, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another bowl. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the bun pieces and stir to combine; let sit 10 minutes, then gently fold in the crabmeat. Brush a baking sheet with butter. Tightly pack the crab mixture in…