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Sunday
Aug052012

Watermelon raspberry sangria

The only word I can think of to describe the weather right now is delicious. It is absolutely perfect outside. I want to put it in a dish and eat it. I have not been able to comfortably sit on my patio often this summer, so I have much appreciation for it right now. I am drinking it in. What else am I drinking in, you ask? Well, this light and refreshing watermelon raspberry sangria, of course! I have not made much sangria in my life and as I type this I am wondering WHY. I feel like I should pause this post to write down some other sangria ideas, but my brain is about as worthwhile as a giant ball of dough right now so I dare not stop what I have begun. 

Making this delightful drink is as easy as pie! Or, actually, it is way easier than making pie. Who came up with that saying, anyway? Maybe they meant to say, It's as easy as eating pie!? 

At any rate, this sangria is easy. It is also light and refreshing, but I think I already mentioned that. I need sleep.

Place into the bottom of a large serving pitcher:

Two 6-oz. containers fresh rinsed raspberries

1/4 of a seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup raspberry liqueur 

And last but not least, add two 750ml bottles of sauvignon blanc.

Chill for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve chilled, making sure to add some of the fruit to the serving glasses.

This girl who is sitting outside in lovely weather enjoying a glass of sangria is officially shutting down her computer and her mushy brain. 

Watermelon Raspberry Sangria

The perfect drink to sip on a nice hot summer day!

Serves: 8-12

Total time: 5 min, plus chilling time

Watermelon Raspberry Sangria



Ingredients:

  • Two 6-oz. containers fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 of a seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup raspberry liqueur
  • Two 750ml bottles sauvignon blanc wine
Instructions:
  1. Place the raspberries and watermelon into the bottom of a large serving pitcher. Pour the raspberry liqueur and wine over the top. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve chilled, making sure the fruit is incorporated into the glasses.

 



Wednesday
Aug012012

Tabbouleh

I kept trying to figure out why today felt like Monday and then I realized that it was our Monday. Mondays are our Saturdays and Tuesdays are our Sundays, which would make today Monday! The boys went to daycare, so I got a ton of work done in the morning. I was tired. I desperately wanted a nap. The only thing better than a nap is what I actually ended up doing which was getting a manicure and pedicure courtesy of (and with!) my friend Emily! Awesome! I have pretty toes and fingers and I got to spend time with a sweet sweet friend.

I made a batch of Tabbouleh this morning and it was a delightful and fresh little snack to munch on throughout the day. You know, in between manicures and pedicures and everything else good in life.

Pour one 5.25-oz. box of taboule mix wheat salad (minus the enclosed spice packet) into a medium bowl. This is the same thing as bulghur wheat, and it measures out to be nearly 1 cup. The brand that is easily found in most grocery stores is called Near East.

Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over top of the bulghur wheat.

Add:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice from 2 lemons

1 teaspoon salt

Cover and let this mixture stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

In the meantime, prepare your veggies and herbs.

Slice the white and light green parts from 1 bunch of green onions.

Peel and chop 1 English seedless cucumber.

Chop 2 medium tomatoes.

Finely chop 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves.

Finely chop 1 cup flat-leaf parsley.

When the bulghur is finished soaking, it will look something like this. It will taste delicious.

Add the prepared veggies and herbs to the bowl.

Mix well. 

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve with or without crackers. Personally, I prefer a plain ol' fork and diggin' right in.

Crumble feta cheese over the top before serving, if desired.

Happy Monday, er, Wednesday!

Printable recipe: Tabbouleh

Sunday
Jul292012

Angry Birds pizza

Another great weekend down! I know it was great because of my total exhaustion. I have been trying to come up with a word lately that describes extreme exhaustion. Some days I can feel the tiredness in my bones, in my core. I can physically feel it. Is there a word for that? I looked in my thesaurus and nothing came close. 

My boys are in bed and I have about a million things to accomplish. I am way behind with posting, so here I sit outside on my patio in the gorgeous totally yummy weather, sipping on a glass of wine and writing this post about the Angry Birds pizzas we made a week or so ago. I have been limiting Elijah's playing of Angry Birds lately because it seems to make him, well, a bit angry. But when I proposed this pizza idea to him he was one excited boy. I sketched out my idea on paper, and from that we made the real thing. It was so cute! And of course it was as delicious as pizza typically is.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Divide 1 pound of frozen pizza dough (thawed) in half. Dust a flat surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll out two 12-inch circles, setting aside a small handful of dough for the bird "feathers."

Divide the dough between 2 lightly-floured pizza stones.

Form/roll the extra dough into four 2x1-inch ovals. Press 2 ovals onto the top side of each circle to create the "feathers."

Use the back of a spoon to spread 1/8 cup of olive oil onto each pizza.

Spread 1/2 cup of pizza sauce over top of each pizza.

Spread 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese over each pizza, covering completely.

You will need approximately 30 pepperoni slices for each pizza. With a scissors, cut 14 (total) of them in half. With the halved pepperoni slices, form a curved line toward the bottom two-thirds of each pizza. 

Form a rectangle for the eyes with the straight edges of the pepperoni halves.

Fill in the rest of the upper portion of the pizzas with the remaining pepperoni slices.

Cut 2 large, curved triangles out of 2 slices of cheddar cheese. Cut 2 small rectangles out of a third slice.

Place a cheese triangle below the "eyes" on each pizza and a rectangle under each of those to form the bottom "beak."

Using approximately 1/4 cup of sliced black olives, place black olives in the center of the "eyes" and line the rest above the eyes to form angry eyebrows.

Bake the pizzas in the preheated oven for 17 minutes, or until the crusts are lightly browned.

Despite the theme of these pizzas, I wish you all a happy week!

Printable recipe: Angry Birds pizza

Wednesday
Jul252012

Homemade cherry garcia ice cream

I had a fabulous birthday. My boys were kind and thoughtful and generous to me, as they always are. I was impressed that Elijah remembered that it was my birthday the first thing in the morning, with no prompting. "Mom! Today is Monday! IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!" Awww. Once my fun day was done, I was left with the realization that I am one year older. Elijah keeps asking me, "Mom, you are 37 now?" Yes, sweetie, thanks for that constant reminder.

Dan and I usually don't make cakes for each other on our birthdays. Maybe that will change as the boys get older, but I am fine with it. I was especially fine with it this year since I had a freezer full of Homemade Cherry Garcia Ice Cream to eat! This was my first time using my brand spankin' new ice cream maker, and I could not have begun my ice-cream-making hobby on a more delicious note.

I had a bag full of Bing cherries in the fridge, so it made perfect sense to try to copy one of my most favorite ice cream flavors of all time. I found the copycat recipe at Playing House, and immediately started churning. This tastes just like Ben & Jerry's version, and I'm not kidding. The only downside is that there are uncooked eggs in it, so substitute with egg beaters if this is a concern for you.

Start out by chopping a heaping 1/4 cup of fresh Bing cherries off of their pits. Place in a small bowl and refrigerate.

Place a heaping 1/4 cup of shaved dark chocolate in a separate small bowl, and refrigerate this, as well.

Add 2 large eggs to a medium mixing bowl.

Whisk for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the eggs are light and fluffy.

Gradually add in 3/4 cup sugar. Whisk until blended and for 1 additional minute after that.

Add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.

Add 1 cup of whole milk.

Whisk to blend.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the ice cream.

When ready, add the mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions for churning. My approximate churning time for this recipe was 25 minutes.

Two minutes before the ice cream is finished churning, add the chocolate shavings and the chopped cherries.

Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place it in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours.

Serve it to an unsuspecting ice cream lover, and I promise they will not believe that neither Ben nor Jerry were involved.

Printable recipe: Homemade cherry garcia ice cream

Friday
Jul202012

Fresh lemony pasta salad

The little boys are at daycare for the day, Dan is working hard in the sky and I have the entire day to get things accomplished. Chris Martin is serenading me as I edit photos and write up recipes and take pictures of ice cream. I can't wait to share my very first ice cream recipe with you! That will have to wait till early next week, though. I have a "few" things above that on my to-do list. 

Monday is my birthday. Having a birthday on a Monday would normally be a bummer, but not this year. Dan has Mondays off, and with my schedule being flexible, it is music to my ears! Dan has a fun day planned for us, and I am very much looking forward to spending time with him. Elijah keeps loudly whispering that he has a secret he needs to tell me about. Then he mouths something that he desperately wants me to hear but that I can't actually hear. Secrets are hard to keep!

As a very kind birthday gift, a friend of mine has offered to drive out to the dropzone and watch the boys tomorrow while I make a few skydives! That will make two weekends in a row! 

It's gonna be paraaa-paraaa-paradise! Paraaa-paraaa-paradise! Paraaa-paraaa-paradise! Whoa-ohh-ohh-oh-ohh-ohhh-ohh-ohh..

Sorry, Chris was distracting me. :)

What was I talking about?! Uhhm, how about the weather? It has continued to be hot, which I still refuse to complain about. The heat makes me want to be in or near water constantly and also eat nothing but salads. I LOVE this delicious little salad I threw together last week. The only downfall was that the avocados didn't last long, so I had to eat it quickly. Darn.

Start by grilling a few ears of corn. Coat them with butter, salt and pepper and wrap them up in foil.

Grill over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Rotate them every 5 minutes or so.

Once they have cooled, cut the corn off the cobs with a sharp knife. This always makes me think of my dad because it is the only way he has ever eaten corn on the cob. 

In a large bowl, combine:

2 ears of corn, grilled and cut from cobs

8-oz. package fresh mozzarella pearls

10.5-oz. package cherry tomatoes, halved

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

16-oz. package farfalle pasta, cooked to al dente

3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped

Carefully mix the ingredients together with a large spoon. Do your best not to smoosh the fragile avocados and pasta.

In a small bowl, combine:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup white wine vinegar

Juice from 1 lemon (I loved how lemony the end product tasted, but if you don't like super lemony foods just use juice from 1/2 of a lemon instead)

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Whisk the dressing and pour it over the pasta salad.

Mix well (and carefully).

Refrigerate for a bit to chill, and serve!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Printable recipe: Fresh lemony pasta salad