Mild Lipstick Mandarin Cocktail

Heat

 

I saw Trisha Yearwood make this Lipstick Mandarin cocktail using serrano chiles, but I wasn’t sure if my crew could handle that kind of heat so I tweaked the recipe a bit.  Even this cocktail was too spicy for my Mom, but my husband and I enjoyed the mild heat you get after each lovely sip.  You can also add more orange flavor by adding the peel of one orange to your simple syrup and let it steep for 15-20 minutes and then pull out the orange peel.

 

Ingredients:
1 lemon, cut in half
Extra fine sugar, to rim glasses
4 small slices jalapeno pepper, plus more for garnish
4 ounces mandarin or clementine vodka
4 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
2 ounces cranberry juice
2 ounces Simple Syrup
Ice

Directions:
Chill 4 martini glasses.  Rim each with a lemon half and then dip in sugar.  Squeeze into a shaker the lemon juice from the halves you used to rim the glasses.  Place the pepper pieces in the shaker and muddle.  Add to the shaker: mandarin or clementine vodka, orange juice, cranberry juice and simple syrup. Top with some ice, shake and strain into the glasses. Garnish each with a small slice of jalapeno pepper.

Simple Syrup:
Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and cool.

Ode to Elvis – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding with Bananas

Choc Peanut

This is a simple homemade pudding that even the King himself would be proud of.  I used a Hershey bar for the chopped chocolate and garnished with some fresh sliced bananas.  As you let the pudding cool in the pan before you put in serving dishes cover the pudding with plastic wrap sitting right on top of the pudding to avoid the dreaded “pudding skin” from forming.  Once it was cool enough I divided mine among four serving dishes and let it chill for about an hour. Now, Don’t Be Cruel and make yourself a batch. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Preparation

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk. Whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 1 minute or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Spoon about 1/3 cup pudding into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with 1/2 teaspoon peanuts.

 

Roasted Chickpea Salad with Barbecue Dressing

BBQ-Chickpea-Salad-2We like to do meatless meals at my house on occasion.  I found this recipe online courtesy of kitchensimplicity.com  and tried it recently.  OMG!  Both my carnivore husband and I were scarfing this down like there was no tomorrow.  This salad is packed with flavor so if you are vegetarian and want a great 4th of July option make sure you try it out.  I felt good eating this healthy meal and it was very easy to prepare.  I roasted my chickpeas a day in advance and then kept them in a sealed container and heated them for a few minutes in the oven after the salad was ready.

Ingredients:

  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped or wedged
  • 1 cup spice-roasted chickpeas (recipe below)
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ jalapeño, sliced (seeds removed)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro for garnish, optional

Barbecue Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons good quality ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Instructions

  1. Arrange lettuce in one large, or two medium, salad bowls (or plates). Top with remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing just before serving. Toss to coat.

Barbecue Dressing

  1. Place all ingredients in a small jar. Screw lid on. Shake until evenly combined. Store, covered, in the fridge. (alternatively you can mix this in a small bowl with a whisk)

Roasted Chickpeas

Makes: approximately 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 (19 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Spread the chickpeas out on a clean kitchen towel. Fold towel over and rub gently to dry. Transfer the chickpeas to a medium sized bowl, removing any skins that have been rubbed off. Add remaining ingredients to bowl and toss to coat.
  2. Spread chickpeas out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 40 minutes or until browned and crisp, stirring once in the middle. Let cool completely before covering, in a sealed container. Store at room temperature for a few days or freeze for longer storage.  If you freeze them pop them in the oven under a broiler to crisp them back up.