Boozy Spin on National Blueberry Month!

July is officially in full swing and many are celebrating National Blueberry Month by heading to blueberry fields with family and friends. If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate all your freshly picked blueberries into seasonal recipes, why not try one of these delicious cocktails featuring Pomegranate Blueberry SPARKLING ICE.
WINE SUPERCOOLER
Ingredients:
  • 1 Part Reisling
  • 1 Part Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling Ice
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • 1 Teaspoon Agave
  • Mint (to garnish)
Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients in a pitcher
  2. Pour contents into wine glasses
  3. Add mint to garnish
MONTMORENCY
Ingredients:
  • 1 Part Dry Champagne
  • 1 Part Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling Ice
  • Mint (to garnish)
  • Blueberries (to garnish)
Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients in flutes
  2. Add fresh mint and blueberries to garnish

Classic Movie Night Snacks

Grab your family’s favorite movies and curl up in the living room with these cute twists on classic theater treats from FamilyFun magazine. These simple and fun recipes are the perfect way to get kids excited about helping in the kitchen before a fun family movie night.

102704950

Image courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

BLUE RASPBERRY SLUSHIE

Little movie critics will slurp this super slushie right up.

Makes 2 servings

  • 2 cups cream soda
  • ½ tsp. Kool-Aid Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade powdered mix
  • 3 cups crushed ice
  • 2 drops blue food coloring
  • 2 Rainbow Twizzlers
  1. Help your child measure the cream soda and Kool-Aid into a blender. Add ice and food coloring, and blend until smooth.
  2. Cut the ends off Rainbow Twizzlers, stick them in the drinks as straws, and all the kiddos will have to worry about is brain freeze!
102704952

Image courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

TINY STROMBOLI

This pizza-parlor staple goes mini—turning it into the perfect food for your viewing party.

Makes 5 servings

  • 2 cans refrigerated smallbiscuit dough
  • 60 slices pepperoni (about half a 6-oz. package)
  • 20 one-inch cubes of mozzarella cheese, cut from cheese sticks
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 jar (14 oz.) pizza sauce, warmed
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  2. Help your kids roll out each biscuit to ⅛-inch thick. Place 3 slices pepperoni and 1 cube cheese on each round. Pull the edges up around the filling, and pinch dough together at the top. Place in the pan, with the seam side down.
  3. Repeat with all the dough rounds, slice two vents in the top of each, and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with dried herbs and garlic powder.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with pizza sauce.
102704951

Image courtesy of FamilyFun Magazie

POPCORN CRUNCH

Sweet! Salty! Crunchy! This pumped-up popcorn is a winner.

Makes 5 servings

  • 10 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 cup broken pecans
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 cups thin pretzel knots, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  1. Heat oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with nonstick foil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the popcorn, pecans, apricots, and pretzels.
  3. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt (an adult’s job). Cook over medium heat until it boils. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda.
  4. Pour caramel over popcorn, stirring. Spread onto baking sheets. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break into chunks and serve.

Palak Pulao (Spinach Pulao)

Thanks so much to Martine over at Robert Rose for sending me this cookbook! I’m so excited to try more recipes soon. :)

Sarafina's Kitchen | Spinach Pulao

from Complete Book of Indian Cooking – Suneeta Vaswani

  • 2 cups Indian Basmati Rice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tbsp chopped green chiles, preferably serranos
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 ½ lbs fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  1. Place rice in a large bowl with plenty of cold water and swish vigorously with fingers. Drain. Repeat 4 or 5 times until water is fairly clear. Cover with 3 to 4 inches cold water and set aside to soak for at least 15 minutes or for up to 2 hours.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, chiles, and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add spinach, cumin, and turmeric and sauté for 2 minutes. Drain rice and stir into saucepan. Pour in 3 ½ cups cold water and add salt.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat as low as possible and cook, covered with a tight-fitting lid, without peeking, for 15 minutes. Lift lid and quickly sprinkle lime juice over rice. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and set lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Let rest for 5 minutes. Gently fluff with fork and carefully spoon onto platter to serve.

Courtesy of Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

Slow Cooker Cheese Tortellini and Sausage

Thanks to the folks from Lid Pocket® for sending me a free holder. All opinions are my own.


It’s been a while since I’ve used my slow cooker, but this week is going to be hectic, so I knew planning slow cooker meals was the best thing to do.  It also gave me a chance to use the Lid Pocket® I received a few months ago.

This thing is cool.  It gives you a safe place to keep your slow cooker lid while you stir, check, and serve your food.  You don’t have to push stuff out of the way on your counter or find something to lay the lid on.

The low-down:

  • Hands-Free solution when seasoning, stirring or serving
  • Built-in Drip Catcher collects condensation
  • Keeps your counter top free and clean
  • Stores inside the crock
  • Fits 3-Quart and up – round to oval slow cookers
  • Fits the majority of slow cookers

Here’s what I cooked last night. The Lid Pocket kept the mess from the sauce off of the counter…it was a huge help!


 

Adapted from KeyIngredient.com

Slow Cooker Cheese Tortellini and Sausage | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 1 bag (19 oz.) frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 cans(14.5 oz each) Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-fat chicken broth
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Brown the sausage in a skillet on the stove top until cooked and crumbled. Drain.
  2. Add the sausage and remaining ingredients to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook, on LOW for 5 hours, stirring twice during cooking.

Book Review: The Glass Kitchen

Thank you to Staci Burt at  St. Martin’s Press  for sponsoring this review and sending me a preview copy of the book. And thank you for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible. All opinions are 100% my own and I try to only work with brands that I know you’ll love.

 

From St. Martin’s Press:

The Glass Kitchen  by Linda Francis Lee is a novel about three Texas belles who move to New York City to open a restaurant all the while discovering the basic principles about family, true love, and ultimately food.

Echoing Shakespeare’s The TempestThe Glass Kitchen follows Portia Cuthcart as she flees Texas in a storm of controversy and is washed up on the island of Manhattan with no job and no money. But what she does have are her grandmother’s magical cookbooks that have been passed down through generations of women. Portia is a talented cook born with the “knowing” – an amazing ability to know what to serve on what occasions and predict events that have not yet occurred. Even though she has suppressed this feat for years, Portia must decide whether or not to use it again when she meets her widowed neighbor, Gabriel Kane, who has his hands full with two daughters on the cusp of womanhood and a family full of secrets, rivalries, and betrayals. With the help of her sisters and an unlikely hero, will Portia be able to claim what she wants deep down inside?

Divided into a six-course meal and filled with numerous mouth-watering recipes and meal plans, The Glass Kitchen is sure to tickle your taste buds and delight your senses. Linda Francis Lee will have you hooked from cover-to-cover.


I adored this book.  I read it in less than a week, which is record time for this busy mom and full-time state employee.  I was up late last night reading the last 100 or so pages, because I couldn’t put it down.

I love all genres of novels, but any that relate to food always make it to the top of my list.  Add in some spice and romance, and I’m there.

Of course, being a Texas girl, I loved that the story centered around Texas culture and food.  It felt like parts of it could have been right out of my own life.

The recipes Lee includes in the back of the book are also amazing.  I love that I’ll be able to make the meals in the book.

This will be a perfect summer read.  I have a feeling I’ll be reading it again soon.

Luna de Miel de Café (Honeymoon Coffee)

luna de miel de café|Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 2 oz. CoolBrew Chocolate Almond Coffee
  • 1.5 oz.  Bushmills Irish Honey Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 T Wholesome Sweetners Cinnamon Agave Syrup
  • 1 T vanilla extract (preferably homemade)
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker half-full with ice.
  2. Add the coffee, whiskey, cream, agave, and vanilla to the shaker.
  3. Shake gently until well combined.
  4. Pour into a glass and add the ice from the shaker, if desired.

 

Thank you to CoolBrew for the fantastic samples they sent me.  I wish the Chocolate Almond weren’t a limited edition flavor!

Juice-Based Cocktails for the Summer (Fruit Cooler)

Whether we are ready or not, summer is quickly upon us.

Despite the heat and other things we’d rather forget about summer, it is the time for cool, refreshing, juicy cocktails.

I’ve wanted a juicer for a long time, but most of them take up too much value countertop real estate in my kitchen.

But I’ve been lusting after the Juicepresso.  It’s finally a juicer that’s compact enough to fit in any kitchen, without losing any of the power of the large juicers.

Juicepresso___High Res

I’d like you to believe that my sole purpose of getting one is for healthy drinks, but I’d really end up using it for cocktail bases.  I like you guys and can’t pull one over on you.

One of the recipes I’m dying to make for this long holiday weekend is the Fruit Cooler.  I mean, it could not be easier…and how tasty does that look?

Fruit Cooler

  • 2 handfuls of cherries (1-2 cups) pitted
  • 2 apples (cored)
  1. Juice together for a rich burgundy-red juice.
  2. Add vodka to taste. Shake and serve up. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Juicepresso___Fruit Cooler

 

Discover Austin’s Best Food at Dishcrawl

Being a foodie, I’m very proud to live in a city that embraces foodies and fantastic restaurants.  That’s why I was so excited to hear that Dishcrawl is coming to Austin.

If you’re looking for something to do this Wednesday, check out Dishcrawl.

Fox News says Dishcrawl is “the best way to explore food in your city.” With accolades from thousands of food critics, bloggers, and food lovers, Dishcrawl has won  the hearts of 250+ cities across the US & Canada, the UK, and is now popping up in Austin.

On Wednesday, May 21st, come eat with neighbors and friends in the one of the upcoming foodiest towns in the nation. With the diverse and quickly growing food scene that can be found in Austin, the  downtown area is ready to show us some culinary bravado and specifically, we want to spend some time near the Capitol and in the shadows of UT. Chefs of three restaurants invite you to explore their culinary delights in the shadows of the Capitol. Reservations are limited, but still being accepted.

The first stop will be at one of my local favorites, Scholz’s.  If you’ve never been, this is a great time to experience their homemade German and American fare.

For complete information, you can find them at:

 

10013925_281999451968835_8343195041542814078_n

 

Tasteful Selections™ Teams Up With Chef Jack!

A while back, I worked with Tasteful Selections and entered a recipe contest they sponsored.  Since them, I’ve continued to partner with them, but their latest endeavor is, by far, the one I’m most proud to be a part of.   

Chef Jack Witherspoon and Tasteful Selections™ team up to create recipes and videos featuring Tasteful Selections specialty potatoes to support Jack’s cause to find a cure for leukemia and encourage kids to eat healthy.

·        The partnership will run from April 1, 2014 to June 1 2014.

·        The inspirational 13-year-old chef began cooking to benefit research at the age of 6, during recovery from leukemia.  He was first diagnosed at 2 years old, and has relapsed twice since, but continues his passion of cooking for the cause.

WarmPotatoCornSal      _376

·        His story has been featured on multiple talk shows including Hallmark’s Home & Family, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Bonnie Hunt Show, The Queen Latifah Show, The Marie Osmond Show, and Rachael Ray Show, as well as numerous newscasts. Jack also appeared on Food Network’s mini-series Rachael vs. Guy: Kid’s Cook-Off.

·        Chef Jack will develop several recipes with Tasteful Selections specialty potatoes, and share his cooking instructions through videos. Tasteful Selections will feature these recipes on their website and promote his cause on social media.

TurkeyMeatballs_C_065

·        Giveaways on social media include Jack’s award winning cookbook, “Twist It Up,” which features 60 of his favorite original recipes.

Twist it Up_FC_HiRes

·        A portion of the cookbook’s proceeds are donated to Jack’s permanent endowment at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., and to Beckstrand Foundation, where Jack is the pediatric spokesperson.

·        Tasteful Selections™ are specialty baby potatoes with unique size and flavor profiles that are available at more than 8,000 retail stores nationwide.

Collage_24 oz_HR

·        The Tasteful Selections™ brand means convenience with its ready to cook potatoes—they are thin-skinned and pre-washed and their “bite right” sizing is popular for easy, quick and consistent cooking.

HoneyGold-28oz_HR

·        Tasteful Selections™ potatoes are grown year-round in the Bakersfield, Calif., area and are available at supermarkets nationwide.

·        Visit TastefulSelections.com for store locations, recipes and more.

%d bloggers like this: