Cilantro Pesto Pizza

Still perfecting the art of food photography and I could do without the paper plates, but I think it still looks pretty delicious and my was it tasty!

Pizza Dough (recipe below)About 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheeseCilantro Pesto (recipe below)Marinated Shrimp or Chicken (recipe below)

Marinated Shrimp or chicken:

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined or chopped/sliced chicken breast ¼ cup Olive oil ¼ cup Soy sauce ½ cup Dark Beer 2 tbsp Rice wine vinegar ¼ cup chopped Green onion 2 cloves minced Garlic 1 tsp Sesame oil 1 tsp minced Ginger 1-3 tsp Sriracha to taste

In a large bowl combine ingredients, toss with chicken or shrimp and marinate for 30 minutes up to 24 hours for more flavor. Grill until cooked over medium heat, set aside until ready for topping the pizza.

Cilantro Pesto:

3/4 cup chopped cilantro 1/4 cup chopped parsley 2 cloves chopped garlic 2 tbsp pine nuts 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until well blended.

Pizza Dough:

1 (1/4 oz) pkg active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp) 3/4 cup warm water 1 3/4 to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided

In a small bowl, combine yeast and 1/4 cup of warm water. Place 1 3/4 cups of the flour in large bowl with salt. Stir in the yeast mixture, the rest of the water and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Knead dough until no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed. Grease a large bowl with the remaining oil, add dough and toss to coat. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until dough has doubled in size, approximately an hour.

Preheat your grill to medium-high. Once the dough has risen, divide and roll into thin circles. You will have enough dough to make about 6-8 {thin crust} individual sized pies or 2 large pies. Brush your dough with oil and grill on one side until golden brown. Flip dough, immediately add grated cheese to each pizza and grill the other side until the cheese is just melted. Remove from the grill and spread with cilantro pesto, top with marinated chicken or shrimp. Serve immediately.

Alternatives:

Feeling Lazy or short on time? Use store bought frozen pizza dough or Boboli style crusts. Omit the shrimp or chicken for a vegetarian version Try topping with chopped green onions , roasted garlic cloves, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, or whatever veggies your heart desires.

Complimentary Cocktails:

Try a white wine such as: Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner,Chardonnay, Prosecco or Champagne Other cocktails: Try something fresh and subtle like a basil martini or a mojito.

I should also mention this recipe was inspired by Bobby Flay, with just a few tweaks in the grilling time and our favorite homemade recipe for the for the shrimp/chicken marinade. The original recipe can be found here, and as you can see by its 5 star rating it really is quite phenomenal. Thanks Bobby!

S'mores ~ Delicious variations on a classic summertime treat

Whether its the middle of summer or the dead of winter s'mores are delicious any time of year. Marshmallow roasting kits are available nowadays to make toasting up those mallows even easier. Or if your like me a want a melted gooey marshmallow without firing up the grill just pop those babies in your microwave on high for 10-15 seconds (no more than that, trust me!)

Here are some fun ways to put a spin on this campout classic that will leave you asking for s'more!

Traditional: Graham Crackers, Marshmallow, Milk Chocolate

Dark:  Graham Crackers, Marshmallow, Extra Dark Chocolate

Chocolate Basil:  Graham Crackers, Marshmallow, Extra Dark Chocolate, basil leaf (sounds odd I know but just give it a try, you might be surprised)

Hazelnut: Graham Crackers, Marshmallow, chocolate-hazelnut spread

Hazelnut Banana: Graham Crackers, Marshmallow, chocolate-hazelnut spread, banana

Chocolate Covered Bacon:  Graham Crackers, Marshmallow, Extra Dark Chocolate, crispy bacon, crystallized ginger (another unique twist, this may not be for everyone but I assure you this flavor combo is pretty spectacular)

Dark Berry: graham crackers, marshmallow, dark chocolate, raspberry jam

Chocolate Orange: graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate, marmalade

White Chocolate: graham crackers, marshmallow, white chocolate

White Chocolate Coconut: graham Crackers, marshmallow, white chocolate, shredded sweetened coconut

Peanut Butter Cup: graham crackers, marshmallow, peanut butter Cup

Peanut Butter Banana:  graham crackers, marshmallow, peanut butter cup, banana

PB & J: graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate, peanut butter (or peanut butter cup), jam

Mint Chocolate: graham crackers, marshmallow, peppermint pattie or other mint/chocolate candy

Salted Caramel: graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate, caramel sauce (or caramel filled chocolates) & a sprinkle of sea salt

Turtles: graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate, caramel, pecans

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate, strawberries

Chocolate Covered Cherries: graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate, maraschino cherries

Of course here we've just added a few ingredients to the filling above but as you can see the possibilities are endless. Instead of traditional graham crackers try; chocolate graham crackers, cinnamon graham crackers, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, ginger snap cookies, lemon cookies, brownies or bake your ingredients into biscuits or croissants.

Don't forget about all the different flavors of marshmallows you can get now, I think I've seen strawberry, mint chocolate, chocolate & toasted coconut (a person fav) among others. Have fun, try something a little new this season and create a new summertime, or anytime, favorite!

Enjoy! 

Irish Coffee

St Patty's day is quickly approaching and while the weather is still cool this coffee classic will warm you up!

1 1/2 oz. Irish Whiskey Hot Coffee Whipped Cream

Pour whiskey into mug, fill with hot coffee and top with whipped cream. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkling of cinnamon if desired.

Apricot Canapes

This easy recipe is elegant and delicious. The sweet and salty combo is an unexpected treat thats sure to please. I love blue cheese and when you add a touch of honey it really balances the flavors nicely.

Dried apricots crumbled blue cheese chopped pistachio nuts honey Freshly ground black pepper

Sprinkle apricots with blue cheese crumbles, chopped pistachios and then drizzle with honey. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy!

Pecan Crusted Halibut & Amazing Dijon Cream Sauce

placesettinghhalibut

If your looking for a delightful dish to make for your sweetie this V-Day we've got just the recipe for you!

Pecan Crusted Halibut Fishy Fillets 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon pepper 2 teaspoons coarse grained Dijon mustard 2  eggs 1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs 8 skinless halibut fillets 1/4 cup butter

Get three small bowls or shallow casserole type dishes together and create a production line if you will. Mix up the flour, salt, and pepper in 1, whisk mustard and eggs together in another, toss the pecans and breadcrumbs in another. Easy peasy, on to step 2....

Dip each fillet in flour mixture, toss or pat to coat evenly. Then dip the fillets in the egg, drain excess. Then into the pecans they go, pat the pecans into the fish so they stick on both sides.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add a couple of your fishy fillets and cook about 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Add more butter each round. No worries about cooking them through at this point this is just to get them crispy. Put the browned fillets on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake at 350° for about 10 minutes or until done. Serve with the most amazing and easy dijon Cream Sauce, recipe below...

 

Most amazing and Easy Dijon Cream Sauce 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1/2 cup coarse grained Dijon mustard salt & black pepper

Combine cream and mustard in a small pan. Whisk constantly over low heat 3 minutes or until heated. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.

This recipe is one I've tried many times and it is one of my favs! It is also delish with codd or other types of white fish but truly, halibut is heavenly. Serve with some simple steamed veggies of your choosing. Add a glass of white wine and your sure to impress your special someone.

 

Enjoy!

 

Smoked Salmon Appetizers ~ So Easy!

Need something quick and delicious to serve your guests? Or maybe just an afternoon snack? Well here's one that's super easy and tasty to boot.

Small Rye Bread (these are the little cocktail loaves you can find in the deli isle, or crackers work great too) Cream Cheese Smoked Salmon Fresh or dried Dill Capers (optional)

Spread cream cheese on bread or crackers and top with salmon & dill and capers if desired.

Feel free to play with this one a bit. We love topping with roast beef and green onions if salmon isn't in our fridge. Vegetarian? Try it with just tomatoes or cucumbers:

 

Mmmmm. Enjoy!

~ Bobbie Socialite

Easiest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

A few years ago a friend of mine introduced me to some of the most moist and delicious pumpkin muffins. And little did I know it was a Weight Watchers recipe! Yup, these little critters are yummy AND healthful. I am a chocolate lover, so of course I added a bit of chocolate to the recipe, but you can easily omit that &/or use nuts.

1 (18oz) box of spice cake mix 1 (15oz) can of plain pumpkin 1(12oz) bag of mini chocolate chips

Mix cake mix and pumpkin together, adding the chocolate chips last. The mixture will be very thick, no need to add water or anything else. Fill miniture or regular size muffin tins and bake according to box instructions. Usually about 350 for 20 minutes or so or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Keep in mind these muffins do not rise very much, and because the mixture is thick they will look the same when baked as they do when you fill your muffin cups. Smoothing out the top of the batter with a butter knife works well to make them look "prettier." You may want to double the recipe because not only are they super easy to make, but YUM, they will disappear fast.

Enjoy!

Fruit & Herb Skewers

 

I made these a few weeks ago for a BBQ and they were an absolute hit. Everyone gobbled them up! Not only are they pretty and delicious, but they are also so simple to make and only take a few simple ingredients! Love that ; )

1.) Choose one or all of the following berries: Strawberries or Blackberries, Raspberries, Blue Berries

2.) Mozzarella Cheese, chopped or balled 

3.) Fresh Mint &/or Basil leaves

4.) Rasperry or Strawberry vinagrette if desired

Prep: If using strawberries chop or quarter them into smaller pieces. For other berries, leave whole. For cheese, chop or use a melon baller to get chunks that are about the size of your berries. I luckily found pre-chopped mozzarella at my local deli, yay! Small skewers work best for this delicate kabob so buy smaller ones if you can find them or what I did was just cut regular skewers in half using wire cutters from hubbies garage (wash them first).  For the herbs smaller leaves are better so you can tear the bigger leaves in half if needed. Now we are ready to assemble: Add one berry to skewer, followed by 1 cheese chunk, followed by 1 basil or mint leaf and repeat! Easy peasy. When all assembled place on a simple white plate if you have one, the colors really pop off the white. Drizzle with a little dressing or eat em up as is. Trust me these are delish.

Enjoy! ~ Bobbie Socialite

Custom Stickers for your special treats

What a sweet way to personalize your homemade goodies!

Blooming Chives sticker

Watermelon Salsa

As the weather gets warmer I love to tempt my palatte with lighter fresher dishes. Now is a great time to savor all those delicious fruits, veggies and fresh herbs available at your local super market! Watermelon is a favorite of mine, although its hard to figure out what to do with such a huge fruit and I don't like to waste anything. Here is a fun, off beat salsa that is light and delightful. It serves up great with some simple tortilla or pita chips and will wow your friends. No need to get to exact with your measurements, its all about what tastes good to you. Feel free to add other fruit, veggies or herbs if desired, I imagine mangos or chopped strawberries would be a nice addition to this fruity dish. Ingredients: ¼ cup lime juice 4 cups chopped watermelon ½ cup chopped red or white onion ¼ cup mint leaves chopped 2 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno or green chili 1/3 cup chopped cilantro ½ cucumber chopped Salt & pepper to taste ( I always use fresh ground pepper when possible)

Combine all ingredients, toss gently. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.

Enjoy! ~Bobbie Socialite