Tagged: spicy

A Little Bit Sweet & A Little Bit Spicy

No, no, no.

We’re not talking about me…though my husband might beg to differ…(HEYO!)

What we are talking about are these deliciously, fantastically, awesomely, wonderfully (I could do this all day) spectacular recipes I’m about to share with you. (YES! I did say RECIPES – You’ve got a twofer today!)

Personally, I LOVE sweet and spicy things! I also love that according to  Women’s Health that makes me trendy (at least my food anyway…). Give me a nice fruit salsa with an extra dose of  jalapeños or some chocolate and chili peppers, like this old gem of mine – White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Chile De Arbol Bread Pudding – and I’ll be happy as a clam.

(Note to self…make that bread pudding again ASAP! )

I’ve even tried Tabasco Ice Cream, and let me tell you, it was awesome!  I just find something so pleasurable about indulging in flavors that compliment and contrast each other at the same time. I can never say no to something sweet and spicy. Can you?

(Second note to self…you gave up bread for Lent, fool, make it for Easter!)

You can enjoy this recipe hot or cold, and with or without the Spicy Lime Tilapia (below) I served it with!

Sweet & Spicy Pineapple
& Black Bean Quinoa

  •  1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water/chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed (I use the canned stuff  until summer time. Still super delicious!)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Cilantro, chopped, to taste (I use SO MUCH! Because I love it. But if you’re not a fan go ahead and leave it out or sub in parsley.)
  • 1 juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Season with cumin, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Add the water and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer – covered – for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the black beans, pineapple, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir gently to combine and cover five minute more until the beans and pineapple are heated through. Serve topped with more cilantro if you’re a freak, like me!

sweetandspicypineapplequinoa

 

Spicy Lime Tilapia

  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • The juice and zest of 1 lime

Combine the spices and lime zest in a small dish. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of the tilapia filets.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over high heat. Add the seasoned tilapia filets and let cook for about 5 minutes.

Carefully flip with a spatula and continue cooking for about 2 minutes more.

Add the lime juice to the pan and cover. Reduce heat to low and let cook 2 to 4 minutes more or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with sweet & spicy pineapple & black bean quinoa!!

spicylimetilapia

This is one BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY, SWEET & SPICY  meal you don’t want to miss out on.

Monday Morning Munchies

Happy Monday!!

I hope everyone got to enjoy their weekend as much as I did. Do anything exciting??

Mine was pretty casual and super relaxing. That’s the best kind of weekend in my opinion!

I got to my Zumba class on Saturday morning which was awesome! Johnny and I went out a bit and I bought a new workout top at Target for $12 which I’m super excited about. It’s just a simple short sleeved top but anytime I find a nice workout top for under $15 I always take advantage. I LOVE certain brands and lines of workout attire but I can NOT justify ever spending $60 on a tank top. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. *sigh* When you work out, do you prefer tank tops or short sleeved tops? I totally prefer short sleeves. No idea why. 

We also went to a local Mexican place to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday for dinner Saturday night. I got tamales and they were ridic! Ya know, in a good way. I was so hungry I forgot to snap a picture though. *OOPS!*

Sunday was delightful, too! I got to my yoga class and we had a substitute instructor who teaches in the Kirpala style, rather than the standard Vinyasa style most folks (including myself) are accustomed to. It was different and refreshing to try something new! Kirpala yoga focuses more on holding poses for longer periods of time, or “surrendering” to the poses. Vinyasa – which means “flow” – is much more intense and you flow from pose to pose moving with the breath. I love my Vinyasa yoga, but Kirpala was a nice change of pace. I also felt super energized after the Kirpala class so I hopped on the treadmill and ran for a solid 20 minutes. This, for me, is quite an accomplishment! We hung out for most of Sunday after the gym. Johnny was super sweet and made dinner with me!! That’s a rare occurrence that I was thrilled to take advantage of. We made mini turkey pesto meatloaves with mac &  cheese and peas. They weren’t particularly photogenic, but I may post the recipe on here soon if I make them again!

Anywho,  onto the morning munchies!!

I was up early enough over the weekend to take a little longer to prepare my breakfast. The recipe I’m sharing with you is one of my absolute favoritessssssss. I used to make it all the time when I was in college and I’ve recently revamped it a little bit – nutritionally and flavorly (because this is my blog and I can make up words if I want to). No butter, just 1 teaspoon of oil, and loadssss of flavor…and Frank’s Red Hot!

*Please be advised the amount of hot sauce in this recipe is to taste. I use a BOATLOAD of it…but you could even omit it if you don’t care for spicy and this will still be a hella cool (or hot 🙂 ) way to start your day*

Red Hot Breakfast Hash & Eggs

serves 2

  • 1 large russet potato, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow (or green, or orange, or whatever) bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 green onion, sliced (for garnish)
  • 4 eggs (cooked to your liking)

Add the olive oil to a small skillet and heat on medium heat. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Toss the potatoes to coat with oil and then let them sit, untouched for abour 5 minutes. They will start to form a delicious, crispy, brown crust!

Add the peppers and onions to the pan, stir, and let sit for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more. Add the garlic powder and Frank’s Red Hot, stirring everything to coat and combine. (You may want to stand back when you add the hot sauce…or you may suffer a coughing attack from all of the spicy goodness hitting the heat.)

Once everything is coated, turn the heat to low to keep warm. Sprinkle with cheese.

If you’re like me and you like an egg with a runny yolk – here’s how I make my eggs.

In a separate pan, spray with nonstick spray to coat and set over medium-low heat. Crack in your eggs and let cook until the white is mostly set. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the pan, cover, and crank the heat. Let cook until the yolk is set to your desired doneness. (This technique is called Steam Basting the egg…though some restaurants may do this butter or oil…the water will create steam which will cook the top of the egg. KNOWLEDGE!)

Serve your hash and eggs topped with more green onions and – you guessed it – more hot sauce!

redhothash&eggs

 

 

Super Snacks

Hey ya’ll!

I hope you got to enjoy the Beyonce concert over the weekend.  I know I did!

Clearly the Super Dome was NOT ready for her jelly.

I understand what that’s like. Heh. Seriously though… I’ve caused a power outage by being too bootylicious….

JK ALL DAY!

That never really happened…

*Sigh*

But I do I love Beyonce.

She’s my friend Adrienne’s spirit animal.

You think I’m joking about that…but I’m not.

Alright, alright that’s enough crazy talk for one day. Let’s move on to what’s actually import at here now, shall we?

SUPER BOWL SNACKSSSSS!!!!!!

Now of course, snacks like the recipe I intend to share with you can be enjoyed whenever you see fit. There are certain ones that I save for special occasions and gatherings – like the Super Bowl for example! This is the case for several reasons:

  1. These snacks would be less super and special if you served them all the time.
  2. These snacks will make you super popular among all of your friends, family, and consumers of said snacks. You don’t want people knocking down your door for them all the time.
  3. These snacks are not all that healthy and, as such, should be enjoyed in moderation. (If – ya know – you’re into the healthy sorta thing.)

Two of my personal favorite snacks for special occasion/sporting event and the like are pigs in a blanket and jalapeño poppers.

Pigs in a blanket, because, well, they’re adorable! The crispy-flaky-pastry-crust wrapped around the savory little hotdog is such fun! I have a hard time resisting mini things in general and pigs in a blanket are no exception!

Jalapeño poppers are another one of my most favorite things. I love spicy things. I love cheesy things. Together – ugh – haha – I start to have a hard time with the whole “moderation” thing. Personally I prefer cheddar poppers to cream cheese ones…but I wouldn’t say no to either!

What I’m about to present to you is one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made ever ever ever.  It’s the love child of the pig in a blanket and the jalapeño popper…and it’s totally flippin delicious. I call them…

PUDGY PIGGY POPPERS

  • 1 pack of your favorite hot dogs (8 dogs – big guys! DO NOT use mini dogs for this recipe unless you have LOADS of patience. I don’t.)
  • 2 tubes of crescent roll dough (I always use the Pillsbury Reduced fat ones – because why not reduce the fat where ya can…ya know?)
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened (Again…I use reduced fat…do whatever makes ya happy!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup picked jalapeños, chopped (Jarred or canned. Whichever you can find. I’ve used fresh peppers before, too. It’s delicious either way. I’d only use about 3 fresh peppers.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the cheddar, jalapeños, and garlic until everything is thoroughly combined.
It will look something like this.

popperfilling

Take your hot dogs and cut a deep slit from one end of the dog to the other, being careful not to slice it completely in half.

hotdogs

Using a spoon (or your hands…or both) fill each slit with the cream cheese mixture.
It’s kind of messy, and it’s okay if they’re overflowing a bit!

stuffeddogs(That photo…not all that appetizing looking…but I urge you to proceed!)

Pop open your crescent roll dough (1 tube at a time) and separate your triangles and slice each in half (You should get 16 out of each tube).
Cut each hot dog into quarters, being careful not to squeeze out too much filling!

To construct your piggy poppers, take one quarter of a dog and place it – cheesy side down – onto on of your crescent wrappers.
Try to stretch the dough around as much of the dog as possible and roll it up.
Place seam side down on a baking sheet and repeat until all of your dogs are wrapped.

Place in the preheated oven at and cook until golden brown – about 12 minutes.

FRESHFROMTHEOVEN

PATIENCE now, my friends, as the cheesy filling is super hot right now.
Let cool for about 10 (okay, who am I kidding, more like 5) minutes before
DEVOURINGGGG!!!

 PUDGYPIGGYPOPPERS

 These guys right here…they’ll change your life. One delicious bite at a time.

 

Fufu and Light Soup: A Taste of Ghana

So here’s a fun fact…

Tomorrow is my one year BLOGIVERSARY!

(you should send me presents to celebrate… you know you want to…)

Anywho, I may have mentioned this in previous posts, but I started this blog for my Online Journalism class. My assignment was to pick something I was passionate about and blog about it. Obviously the first thing that came to mind was my one and only obsession: FOOD! Who knew that I’d still be sharing my obsession with you a whole year later!!!

My original blog title was Twenty-Something and Starving: An American Girl’s Quest for World Cuisine. Throughout the semester I dabbled in all sorts of different cuisines. I made French food for the first time, I was heavy-handed with the chilis in my first Indian curry, and I probably made the least photogenic sheapards pie of all time. Heh. Seriously, not a pretty sight.

For my final project, I was required to make a video about something that I was unfamiliar with. Outside my comforot zone, if you will, just like this second challenge. With the help of my friend Manfred, native to Ghana, I decided to make African food for the first time ever!!! What I made that time around was Jollof Rice, a slightly sweet, salty and very spicy rice dish that is traditional to west African and Ghanaian culture. So for this project food blog challenge, I decided to give Manfred a call so I could take a chance with another, more challenging Ghanian dish.

Fufu.

Fufu to Ghanaians is like croissants to the French or biscuits to Americans. It accompanies just about everything they eat, particularly soups and stews. I made light soup for this fufu, but I’ll get to that in a few!

Fufu is typically made from a combination of boiled cassava, plantains or yams and then pounded into a giant mass using a mortar and pestle until it reaches a doughy consistency. When it’s finished, it looks something like this…
Now, I do not have access to a mortar and pestle but I was told not to fret. Typically in America, when fufu is desired it can be made using easily accessible ingredients in a short manner of time.

Here is what you need and how to make it.
(Recipe Courtesy of Ghanaweb.com)

  • 2 1/2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 1/2 cups instant potato flakes
  • 6 cups water

Bring 6 cups of water to a rapid boil in a large, heavy pot. combine the two ingredients and add to the water.

Stir constantly for 10-15 minutes — a process that needs two people for best results: one to hold the pot while the other stirs vigorously with a strong implement. (They’re not lying when they say you may need two people! I had to call for help in the kitchen for someone to hold the pot while I stirred!!) The mixture will become very thick and difficult to stir, but unless you are both vigilant and energetic, you’ll get a lumpy mess.

When the fufu is ready (or you’ve stirred to the limits of your endurance!), dump about a cup of the mixture into a wet bowl and shake until it forms itself into a smooth ball. Serve on a large platter alongside a soup or stew.

Here is my fufu.

It was a weeeeeeeeeeeeeee bit lumpy, but it’s all good. It usually takes a lot of practice to get it just right! I was pleased with my results for being a first time fufu maker, and it went along great with the light soup that I made!

Manfred was kind enough to share with me his simple recipe and directions for the light soup he enjoys at home!

Light Soup

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 habanero pepper
    ( my grocery store didn’t have any, so I used two serranos instead!)
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 2 large tilapia filets, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, and peppers and place them all in a blender. Pulse until liquified.

Pour the contents of the blender into a large pot. Add the water salt and pepper and bring to a rapid boil.

When a boil is reached and a slight foam begins to form on top, add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook ten minutes.

After ten minutes, add the cubed tilapia. Let cook for about ten minutes more or until the fish is opaque and cooked through.

Serve with fufu!!

There is a traditional way to eat fufu, too, of course.

With your hands.

Reach on into that soup.
Pull off a piece of fufu.
Scoop up whatever tastiness you can from the bowl… and swallow it.
Chewing fufu is for fufu noobs.
That’s right. Noobs.

*Disclaimer: You may notice a spoon in my bowl. I only made a small amount of fufu so as to not have to clean up a gigantic mess if it didn’t turn out right. The fufu WAS eaten the proper way with my hands. The remaning soup was consumed using the spoon. Thus, NOT a fufu noob. That is all.*

Game day dips

It’s Sunday.
For some people, Sunday means church.
For others, it’s simply a day of rest.
For most men I know – it means football.

Currently, there is football on in the bedroom, football on in the living room  AND football on the two other computers in my apartment.

Me, personally, I don’t really even like football.

What I do like, and I’m sure this doesn’t come
as a shock to you, is the food associated with it.
Who doesn’t love spicy buffalo wings and cheesy chili con queso??
Oh goodness, it’s really the only reasonI get excited for football season.
*girly giggle* 🙂

My favorite game day treat though, dip. What kind of dip, you ask.
Details. Ha. Who cares what kind of dip??!?
Give me some tortilla chips or carrot sticks and I’ll go to town.
This may or may not be a good thing – depending on the dip of course.
Here are some delectable dip recipes worthy of drooling over.

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