Tomatillo Salad

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Since this past Saturday, I have used tomatillos in three different recipes. If you follow me on FB, you'll know that we enjoyed Ceviche Verde for a light dinner on a beautiful summer evening.  On Sunday, I used them in theTomatillo and Guajillo Salsa and in this lovely and easy salad. So, let's briefly talk about tomatillos.  

They are a type of tomato, right? Wrong. Even though they are referred to as the Mexican husk tomato, they are actually a close relative to a gooseberry. They are high in pectin and perfect for making jams and salsas. They can be used in recipes roasted or fresh. The only hard part is peeling off their husk and giving them a good rinse because their skins are rather sticky.  Sometimes you get lucky and the husk is bigger than the fruit and comes of easily, but other times it's like trying to remove wall paper. 

This simple raw salad and adds such a nice tart, lemony, almost green apple like flavor to balance out a rich Mexican-inspired meal. 

My other recipes using tomatillos-


Sunday Dinner

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Grilled Flank Steak 
Tomatillo and Guajillo Salsa
Brown Rice

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Bars

When you have tomatillos, jalapeños, and peaches (did you see my FB post?) in your garden, this is what your Sunday dinner menu might look like.  My inspiration for this menu comes from an old Gourmet special edition magazine.  It featured the meat, salsa, and salad all together on one page, but seeing how this is my little space in the world, I wanted to feature each component on it's own.

I call this salsa, but it is easily used as a dip or sauce for pretty much any meat, veggie and/or carbohydrate.  Again, love those multi-purpose recipes!  The guajillos add a nice smokiness and the tomatillos add a fresh and zesty lemon essence. The recipe calls for dried guajillo chiles, but pasilla chiles can be substituted.

One can never have too many salsa recipes.  Happy Sunday!


Turkey and Black Bean Taco Salad

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Who grew up with taco salad consisting of ground beef, a taco seasoning packet, lettuce, cheese, Doritos and a dressing made with mayonnaise and ketchup? It pains me to admit how much I enjoyed that taco salad. Thankfully, my taste buds have matured and moved on.

I call this Turkey and Black Bean Taco Salad because I do have other taco salad variations depending on the protein used.  Having said that, feel free to use what ever ground meat you prefer in this recipe.  And speaking of preference, add or omit any veggies of your choosing.  This is a great salad to serve with the components set out separately so everyone can construct their own.  Any way you make it or serve it, your family or guests will be love it!  Taco-bout delicious🌮🥗!! Ok, I had to write that in😉.


Creamy Chipotle-Lime Dressing (or Dip)

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Dressing or dip? I love it when recipes can be multi-purposed. I use this creamy dressing more for salads, but it quite tasty as a dip when served along side a veggie platter or with poached shrimp.

Making dressings in a blender is certainly quick and easy, but I just want to give you a couple general tips.  

1. Anything that needs to be finely minced (garlic, shallot, chipotle, etc...), add it to the blender with the creamy ingredients (mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, etc...).

2. Once the dressing is completely blended, add the herbs and blend with a few short pulses. (If you add the herbs in the beginning, your dressing will turn out green.)

3. If the dressing recipe calls for grated or crumbled cheese, add that to the blender last and give it another blend with a few short pulses. (if you add the cheese in beginning, your dressing will turn out muddled or grainy.)

4. Creamy dressings can be made and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. (Otherwise they can get a little funky smelling and tasting.)

Looking for a salad to enjoy this with this dressing?  Stay tuned...


Sunday Dinner

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Grilled Tomahawk Ribeye
(I am using THIS method.  It'll just take longer in the oven.)
Rosemary Frites
Green Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
(vinaigrette can be found HERE)

French Silk Chocolate Tart

There is no rhyme or reason to this Sunday's dinner other than-I just felt like it. With onions, bacon and a 3.82 pound cut of beef on the menu, my husband is certainly not complaining.  I can't think of a better way to end a classic steakhouse dinner other than with a classic American dessert. One cannot go wrong with a pastry shell filled with a creamy, chocolate, mousse-like filling and topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream.  

If you know me, you know that I LOVE tarts.  Pies are good, but I just feel that with some recipes, the crust to filling ratio is better in tart form and this is certainly the case with this dessert. A little bit of crust, a little bit of chocolate, and a little bit of cream sits just right on the taste buds. The only other change I made is to swap out the bittersweet chocolate for semi-sweet chocolate because I just like it that way.  I have even used half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate.  It is good anyway you make it.  Happy Sunday!

*Note-I included a link to my sweet tart dough in the recipe below*


Fruit Coffee Cake (Raspberry Version)

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The weekend is upon us and for me, that means brunch is on the brain.  And when there is brunch in my house, there is usually coffee cake.  

I made this coffee cake few weeks ago for the first time and it is definitely a keeper!  The beauty of this recipe  is that you can use almost any fruit (hence the name fruit coffee cake), but I chose to go with one of my favorites; raspberries. (Other fruit fillings will follow in the future😉.)

It is a pretty straight forward recipe with two options for preparation. What in the world do you mean, Nicole? You see, the original recipe called for "cutting" the butter into the dry ingredients, but I wanted to speed up the process first thing in the am, so I pulled out both my mini and my large food processor.  The only down side to my method is the number of dishes that I had to clean, but I am no stranger to that in my kitchen.  So please, use whichever method works best for you.

You can serve this cake warm or at room temperature, but I found that it is best if devoured within the day so that the bottom layer doesn't get too soggy from the filling. And my dear readers, that is what makes coffee cakes so wonderful. It is acceptable to eat them any time of day! Enjoy!


Lemon-Herb Goat Cheese Ball

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Remember that cheeseball from Sunday? Well, here it is in all of its cheesy-herby (that's not a word) glory.  

If you are not a big fan of goat cheese like my husband, please give this recipe a go. The addition of cream cheese to the goat cheese really helps dial back that tangy flavor and sometimes chalky texture. 

The original recipe suggested processing the cheese mixture in a food processor, but that would make the mixture to loose and difficult to shape. I've made my fair share of cheese balls, so I just break out my hand mixer or even the back of a spoon and mix away. The original recipe also called for crumbled goat cheese, but I use goat cheese in log form for a smooth texture. (I use a Montrechat style goat cheese.) Last change...the original recipe only used chives to coat the ball, but since this is an "herb" cheese ball, I added some finely chopped parsley and that added additional freshness and helped fully coat the ball with herbs. Phew.

Serve this with crackers, crostini or crudité (like Green Zebra Tomatoes😋) and you will certainly have a crowd pleaser to add to your appetizer caché.


Sunday Dinner

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with Green Zebra Tomatoes

Simple Green Salad

Lemonade Pound Cake

Summer is quickly coming to an end and I want to "squeeze" (pun intended for this post) in as many seasonal good eats as possible.  

If you follow me on FB, you'll know that I have Green Zebra Tomatoes growing in my garden and they pair so well with the goat cheese appetizer we are having tonight.  It's ittle hard to post that appetizer recipe right now because I am sure many of you do not have that variety growing, but maybe I'll just share the goat cheese ball soon. I have previously shared the recipes for the main course and side; Grilled Butterflied Brown Sugar Chicken and the Creamy Corn Pudding, so I have linked those recipes above. What I am going to share today is the cake!  

I have already told you about my Great Aunt Margaret's Southern Pound Cake and that is "kinda" like a lemon pound cake, but this here cake...is a Lemonade🍋 Pound Cake. It is sweet and just a bit tangy like a tall glass of lemonade.  

Now, you might be wondering how the "lemonade" flavor is achieved.  Wait for it...good ole fashion lemonade concentrate.  Yep, the work is already done for you. Well except for the part of making the cake😉.  

The other ingredient that makes this a wonderful cake is the addition of sour cream.  Having said that, you can also use plain yogurt (not the Greek stuff).  They both have equally good results and make for a tender and moist end product.  The last thing to finish off this cake is the glaze.  Mmm...glaze. The original recipe called for drizzling the glaze over the still warm cake, but I like to see my glaze, so I let the cake cool a bit longer before pouring on the glaze

So, pucker-up, run to the store and get that can of lemonade concentrate! Happy Sunday! 

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