So Good: Trader Joe’s Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I’m not an “ice cream” girl.  You won’t find me watching sad movies with a carton of Ben and Jerry’s and a box of tissues.  I’d much rather be bad with a bag of sour cream and onion chips.

But I want to marry this ice cream…

Maybe I like it so much because it’s not really ice cream.  It’s dairy free… soy free… gluten free and vegan friendly.  Also there are no artificial flavors, preservatives or coloring. Amazing right?

It’s as creamy as a milkshake. You get the strawberry flavor first, light and fresh, then a rich, luscious hint of coconut. Not too much though, just enough.

I don’t post products often, but I’m telling you, you have to run to Trader Joe’s and pick up a carton of their Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream. It’s a spoonful of heaven for only $2.99.

Light Huevos Rancheros

I wanted to make a fresh salsa for this post and then use it as my excuse to have a bag of chips and salsa for dinner… but I’ve promised myself (and that new little black bikini still in my top dresser drawer) no bread, chips, pasta or heavy carbs until my vacation starts.

Huevos Rancheros was where I went instead. Black beans, an egg, avocado, salsa and hot sauce, yum.  I skipped the feta cheese, sour cream and tortilla to cut the carbs and saturated fat. Isn’t it colorful?

Have I ever mentioned how much I love hot sauce?

I’m not one of those people who put it on everything, but close enough. In my previous post I mentioned green pepper sauce. For my Huevos Rancheros I used Cholula Hot Sauce. Look even the makers of Cholula think it goes well on ranch style eggs.

I have even heard that making your food spicier helps you lose weight. I’m sure it’s not true, but I like the idea. Bring on the Cholula!

Shopping List
1 tomato, diced
1 quarter large red onion, diced
1/2 garlic clove, minced
Fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 egg
Black Beans
Cholula Hot Sauce (optional, but so good)

Mix your first six ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Heat up your black beans and use them as a bed for your fried egg. Slice up your avocado for a topping and spoon your freshly made salsa on top as well. Finish with Cholula and serve immediately.

Hot Dog it’s Friday! (Gyro Dog)

Fact: I am still craving hot dogs.

Fact: Gyros are my second favorite to hot dogs.

Fact: I don’t have anymore facts but I  liked how stating “fact” sounded over and over. As I promised, here is Fridays special hot dog, the “Gyro Dog.”

What really made this hot dog work for me was the TABASCO® brand Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce on top of the tzatziki and feta cheese. The green stuff is much more mild than the red so it gives it a perfect little kick.

The lettuce gave it a little crunch and the olives some salt. The flavors work really well on a bun!

I made two and planned on eating them both until Honey (my dog) stole one when I wasn’t looking off the coffee table (!!!). Kinda funny that my dog stole my hot dog. I tried not to get too mad at her. I can only imagine how hard it was for her to resist.

Shopping List
All beef hot dogs
Hot dog buns
shredded lettuce
chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
Diced kalamata olives
Tzatziki sauce (you can buy it pre-made or follow my recipe here)
TABASCO® brand Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce

Butterfly your hot dogs and place them on a grill on grill pan until they have perfect grill markings. Toast your buns. Shred or chop your lettuce, tomatoes and olives while the dogs are on the grill.

When your hot dogs and buns are ready, mix your chopped lettuce in some on the tzatziki (wait to do this or it will get soggy) then place it on top of the hot dog, then sprinkle on your feta, tomatoes, and olives. Top with more tzatziki and a few shakes of green pepper sauce. Enjoy!

P.S. Thank you for all the congrats on making todays Foodbuzz Top 9. What an excellent way to start the weekend!

Cherry Lemon Granita

Ever since I made the Watermelon Granita and realized how easy it is,  I’ve been dying to try another flavor.  I know I promised almond would be next, but when I saw these deep red, sweet cherries in the produce isle the other day I couldn’t resist.

I added fresh lemon juice and thin curls of lemon peel to perk up the flavors.

Our summer vacation is coming up soon and I’ve been brainstorming on what would be good to make while at the beach house.

I will definitely be making this and adult and kid friendly versions of these.

But I don’t think a granita can handle the hot summer heat …

Shopping List
1 cup pitted sweet cherries
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
juice of half of a lemon
thin slices of lemon peel, about half of the lemon

After pitting your cherries (you can slice them around the pit as well) add all of your ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until you have a fine puree.

Pour the puree through a sieve/strainer, with a bowl underneath, to remove the left over cherry and lemon pieces and drain out the juices.  It helps to press a large spoon against the cherry bits to help squeeze out any additional liquid.

Pour the juice into a small casserole pan and freeze over night. Scrap your frozen liquid with a fork when it is solid and serve in a martini glass, bowl, or plate as you wish. Enjoy it quickly though before it melts!

Caprese Turkey Burgers

Sometimes life gives you lemons … and this week I got an entire mesh bag full (and not even nice Meyer lemons either, plain old bruised yellow lemons).

Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to make lemonade — or even lemon breakfast bars — but I will tell you to make Caprese Turkey Burgers.

In times of worry or stress there are four things that make me feel better; bubble baths, hugs, yoga, and cooking.

I find that when I am in the kitchen, I am paying so much attention to not over cook the chicken, or to perfectly coat  my cake pops in chocolate, that it serves as a distraction from my problems.

Last night, I relaxed while preparing a sour cherry granita (that I will post tomorrow) and this healthy burger option.

I have a trick for seasoning the turkey meat that will make you think twice about ever using ground beef again. I add half of a packet of Lipton Beefy Onion soup mix, and diced onion. The flavor is amazing.

Shopping list
1 lb. ground turkey (makes 4 burgers)
1 packet Lipton Beefy Onion Soup
½ of an onion, diced
1 tomato
Fresh buffalo mozzarella
Fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Place your ground turkey in a large bowl and add half of your Lipton soup mix and diced onion. Mix until combined but be mindful not to over mix. Form 4 burger patties and place on the grill.

Grill each side for about 5-8 minutes. Turkey grills faster than beef.

Place your patties on a clean white plate and then slice your mozzarella and place it on the burger while it’s still warm. Top the mozzarella with a slice of tomato and then fresh basil. Drizzle a tablespoon full of extra virgin olive oil on the plate around the burger and serve.