Mango, Pineapple Salsa

I prefer a fresh salsa over jarred any day. I’ve been making this one for “casual entertaining” for years. I used to make it every week when the girls would come over to my old apartment to watch “The Bachelor.” Wine, laughing, gossiping and making fun of all the women making fools of themselves on national television. I love that show! My boyfriend watches with me now, he says he hates it but I think he secretly looks forward to “Monday Bachelor night” too. (Girls come over and watch with me soon!)

*4 Tomatoes *1 Mango *3 Pineapple Spears *1 Garlic clove *1 Small onion *Cilantro *Lime juice *Salt and pepper *Teaspoon sugar

1. Chop tomatoes in quarters, removing the gooey insides (they will turn your salsa to soup). Add tomatoes, garlic, half of a small onion, and cilantro. Pulse in the food processor 6-8 times leaving a rough chop. If you turn it on for more than 15 seconds you will have tomato gazpacho. Pour contents into a separate bowl.

2. Score the mangos, removing the peel. Chop into small chunks along with the pineapple. Toss fruit in with the rest of the salsa. Season with some fresh squeezed lime juice, a sprinkle of salt and a teaspoon of sugar, stir and serve. (great with lime tostitos) 

Have Honey on the scene to catch any dropped chips 🙂 

Breakfast Pizza

This is the second “pizza” recipe I have posted. Nick made the other one, and this one is mine. I guess we just really like pizza. (Doesn’t everyone?) This dish is perfect for brunch and easy to make.
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*1 small package bacon (fried and chopped, I just threw mine in the food processor)
*1 bunch parsely
*Chopped scallions or chives
*Mozzarella cheese
*Parmesan cheese
*1 ready made pizza crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle desired amount of cheeses on pizza crust. Fry three eggs over easy on your stove top. (Just fry the bottom no need to flip them the rest will cook in the oven.) Place the eggs on top of the sprinkled cheese then salt and pepper. Place the pizza in the oven on a pizza stone for 8 to 12 minutes or until the top of the egg looks cooked and the crust is golden brown. Top with chopped parsley and scallions.Cool and serve.


Don’t be afraid to change up the ingredients. Any kind of cheese or topping will do (mushrooms for a vegetarian version would be delish).

It’s game day today and we already got started and ate the breakfast pizza with cold beers! Don’t worry it was after 12 noon 🙂  Last weekend the Steelers beat my Ravens and today the Jets better take the Steelers out.

Birthday Cake Pops

These cake pops aren’t anything new, I’ve posted the recipe before, but aren’t they pretty? I made them for Helen’s birthday today (a co-worker) . Truthfully they take less time now for me than it would for me to make cupcakes or a whole cake.

Funny Story about Helen’s Birthday: At my job when it’s someones birthday a card is circulated around the office secretly so the recipient wont see it. There is a method to this. Inside a brightly colored folder there is a post-it note that says “Return to Helen” and the initials of everyone who has to sign the card. After you sign it you cross off your name and it is passed around to whomever has not signed it yet, the last person brings it back to Helen. Helen is keeper of the cards and head of the “birthday party committee.”

My first week I was unfamiliar with the routine. Someone came into my office handed me the folder and left. I opened it, saw the card and read the post-it note quickly. I saw “Helen blah blah blah” (Obviously I am detail oriented). “Oh!” I thought, “A birthday card for Helen.”

Actually no, it was ANDY’S birthday. Not knowing this I signed the card to Helen. Then making things worse, there were cute little party monkeys all over the card. Kind of like this. I drew caption bubbles making the monkeys say “Helen is Amazing!” “We LOVE Helen.” It gets worse… I then brought the card to Andy to sign next. His own birthday card. Frown. 

After making the connection I panicked and told a couple people in the office my mistake. I was new and assumed that ruining someones birthday surprise was not a good way to start off and was practically in tears. Luckily everyone thought it was hysterical and now every time there is a birthday people crack jokes about it. I still turn bright red.

Now it really is Helen’s birthday. I wanted to make this one special for real, hence the cake pops. I’m headed to target to pray there is a card with party monkeys on it 🙂

Buffalo Chicken Wontons for my Ravens

It’s a big game day for the Baltimore Ravens. If we win we go on to one more playoff game before we are in the Super Bowl. I wore my jersey all day, even at the dog park and grocery store.

The best football snack out there is buffalo chicken dip. Period. It’s my signature party dish (those cake balls might get a few requests too). Memorial day parties, birthday parties, New Years Eve parties you name it they love it. Ladies you will win your mans heart with this dip. Why haven’t I blogged about it earlier you ask? Because it’s ugly! This pinkish creamy chicken dip does not photograph well at all, so we are going to go a different route …

We will fill wontons with the dip and fry them up! Of course feel free to skip the wontons though and just make the dip to serve with celery or chips.

3 small chicken breasts – poached (Don’t over cook them, you will taste it in your dip, yuck)
1 package of cream cheese (soft enough to combine with other ingredients)
1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing (your choice)
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot (or more if you like it really hot)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 package wonton wrappers

Cut your poached chicken in halves and shred them with your food processor (use the shedding attachment). Some recipes call for using canned chuck chicken, but that makes me want to throw up. I find that a food processor gets the chicken to a nice creamy dip with out losing the fresh chicken flavor.

Pour the processed chicken in with the cream cheese, hot sauce, dressing, and cheddar. Mix until they are incorporated.

Place a dollop of the dip, about a quarter size, in the center of your wonton wrapper. Pull one corner over to the other forming a triangle. Connect the bottom corners in the center and then the top so you have wonton envelops. (Dampen your fingers with water when closing the wontons so they will stick.) Trick: If they are kept in the freezer for about 5 minutes before you fry them they will hold up better.

Fry them in about an inch of canola oil until they are golden brown. Serve with hot sauce and ranch or blue cheese.


Brie, Apple, and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese

So this probably has to be the best sandwich I’ve ever had. No really, it was perfect. My mouth is watering and I can’t wait to make it again.

I really wanted breakfast for dinner last night. I was craving that sweet and savory combination of pancakes, runny eggs and bacon. But my practical and frugal instincts kept flashing images of all the brie cheese we have left over from our New Years party.

Then it came to me… a sweet and savory grilled cheese. YUM. The sweetness of the bread and tart apples balance the creamy brie and salty prosciutto perfectly. I took a bite and literally said “Oh wow, this is really good.” It was extremely hard to focus on taking photos, I kept thinking  that the cheese wouldn’t be as melted and gooey if I didn’t eat it immediately. 

Need

Pepperidge Farm cinnamon raisin swirl bread
Brie cheese
Butter
Green apple
Fresh prosciutto
Gruyere (optional)

Instructions
Place one tablespoon of butter on your frying pan or skillet and lightly butter the outsides of the bread. On medium heat place your bread on the pan, butter side down. The sequence of ingredients that comes next is very important. First is the gruyere layer. Just two thinly sliced small pieces is fine. I used the gruyere to give it more of a sharp cheesy flavor. Brie can be bland at times depending on where you buy it.

Next is one slice of prosciutto. On top of the prosciutto is the apple. Very important: The apple slices must be paper thin. It will be difficult to eat and too tart if not. I used a mandolin and it worked well.

The last layer is the brie, about three strips without the rind (because the cheeses are closest to the grill you get the right gooey consistency with out burning the bread). By the time you are done layering and your bread top goes on butter side up, you should be ready to flip. Check the color and crisp of the bread. It should be golden brown and just slightly crunchy. 


With all this good food lately it’s a good thing I have been running but I miss my yoga. If anyone knows of a good studio in the Northern VA area that isn’t Bikram. Please, please let me know.