One of the perks of being a food blogger, is getting to really know my camera, and over the years my photography has steadily improved. Once you understand the basic principles of photography, you can take pictures anywhere, and of anything. I only shoot in manual mode and my favorite thing to shoot is MY KIDS. Every time the season changes, it’s like a whole new backdrop to take beautiful family photos. Here are some summer scenes for 2015.
This post may be dedicated to family but we still gotta eat, even at the beach! So, here’s a little roundup of the best BIB pack-and-go recipes, great for family trips to the beach, the park or anywhere on-the-go!
Every since I got my spiralizer, my mind is racing with spiralized recipes. I can’t get enough! From fun curly fries, to healthy zoodle (zucchini noodle) dishes, and creative rice recipes, this compact machine is a powerhouse of possibilities!
What don’t I love about the spiralizer? It’s easy to use, requires little muscle and fits easily into my small kitchen. The blades tuck right into the machine for easy storage.
Sure, I have a julienne peeler, and even the vegemagic gadget, but they don’t come close to creating authentic-looking noodles with as much ease as the Paderno spiralizer. I’ve spiralized russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beets, carrots, apples, cucumbers, and zucchini’s (my favorite!).
The great thing about spiralized veggies are the endless possiblities. Sure you can make noodles – but you can also pulse them in a food processor to make veggie “rice”. Or you can mix some noodles with spices and eggs and stuff them into ramekins to make “buns” or “latkes”. I weigh down the mixture with a can to form patties and pan-fry or bake until crispy and tender. I do the same to make a “pizza pie” or “rosti” in a frying pan. Such fun ways with veggies, right? It makes dieting SO much easier!
So enough about spiralizing in general…lets get into specifics! Would you look at these ADORABLE spud dogs??? How cute are they?!
Wrapped in spiralized potatoes, these crispy spud dogs are like french-fry-wrapped franks – two favorite BBQ dishes in one! I was SO excited when I came up with the idea – but I was equally lost by what to call them. So, I did what any blogger would do – I made a #NAMETHISRECIPE contest! My Instagram readers really pulled out all the stops on this one, with creative names like “The Tatered Dog”, Dog-Eat-Chips, “Doggie Fries”, SlinkyDog, “Twisty Frank”, FrankNFries, “Piggy In a Slinky”, “The French Dog”, DogNChips and more! But my all time favorite was “Spud Dog”, a name that both Esther Chase and Perry Wolff came up with. They both won a copy of my ebook and the title of an innovative new way to serve up an American favorite.
I think the best part of this recipe is that it’s not a recipe at all. You can make the potatoes thick or thin, or wrap them up in ribbon slices. Spice them up with your favorite french-fry seasoning, or keep them simple! Roast or pan-fry, fill or top them – any way you go, they’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Spiralized Spud Dogs
russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
hot dogs or sausages
optional spices: smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne
optional fillings/toppings: sauerkraut, pickle relish, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: spiralizer (I recommend this one)
For simple spiralized spud dogs, spiralize a potato using the smaller blade (1/8″ cuts). Take 3 long strips of potato and wrap them around the hot dog, starting an inch or two from either end. Continue wrapping the potatoes so that you wrap around the place where you started (see photo). Place the hot dog(s) on a parchment-lined baking sheet, with the ends of the potatoes tucked under (if you have any extra potato strips, just cut them off, or double wrap, if you wish). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 400 degrees, turning every 15-20 minutes, until crispy, about 40 minutes.
For spicy spiralized spud dogs, prepare the hot dogs as above. After brushing with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and a pinch of cayenne. Continue to bake, as above.
For loaded spiralized spud dogs, top the hot dogs with sauerkraut, and wrap with potatoes. Continue as above.
Garnish with toppings of choice.
TIP: if you are not using the spiralized potatoes right away, place them in a bowl of water, to keep them from browning. Pat dry before wrapping.
VARIATION: For super-crispy spud dogs, pan fry them until browned and crispy on all sides.
NOTE: Feel free to play around with the different blades to create a thicker french-fried crust.
If you’ve never tried limonana, you’re missing out on an amazing drink! The traditional thirst-quencher is made by mixing lemonade with lots of fresh mint and ice – for a refreshing summer treat.
But you know me – I can never just do classic. OK, maybe I can – but I still love putting my own twist on things. That’s how my strawberry limonana happened.
This year, I decided to try using my new herb obsession – basil! I’m putting it in salads, stuffing it into sandwiches, and now, even drinks! Strawberry-basil is a classic combination, but it works amazing with cherries too!
I love the idea of adding fresh fruit to my lemonade, but if you’re not fond of having bits of cherries in your drink – check out my variation for an infused version instead!
Cherry Basil Limonana
1/2 c lemon juice
1/4 c maple syrup
15 basil leaves
1 heaping cup pitted fresh cherries (about 20)
1 c water
2-3 cups ice
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until slushy.
VARIATION: If you don’t like having the pieces of cherries in this smoothie/slush hybrid, you can boil the cherries with maple syrup and water until the cherries are soft. Puree the mixture in the blender with basil leaves and pour through a strainer. Blend the cherry-basil infused syrup with the lemon juice and ice.
I’m so proud to be part of an amazing group of talented Jewish Bloggers for the 2nd annual “A Very Jewish Summer” week! Dena Siegel, from the blog Chai & Home, began the week-long collaboration last year, bringing leading Jewish bloggers together to celebrate Jewish life and style. Bloggers from Los Angeles, Connecticut, San Diego and Israel have been posting all week, and I’m happy to share their takes on Jewish summer living and lifestyle!
Click on the following links to get in on the Jewish summer fun!
This year, I’m sharing my mouthwatering recipe for a Paleofied burger from my Paleo eBook! Every since I hopped on the Whole30 bandwagon, I can’t get enough of eating the Paleo way and I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share for A Very Jewish Summer Week! A grilled portobello bun filled with fire-roasted balsamic tomato jam and pulled pesto chicken evokes summer on all fronts – from the chargrilled bun, to the sweet and smoky seasonal tomato jam and the fresh flavors of summer basil smothered chicken. This burger is so full of flavor, you’ll never miss a carb-laden bun again!
Don’t you just want to reach into your screen and grab that burger? Hashtag #getinmytummy all the way! Well this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the 100+ original sugar-free (no sweeteners!), grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free and alcohol-free recipes inluded in my Paleo ebook! Click here for more info and how to order!
Pulled Pesto Chicken
1 cup shredded chicken (from 1 bone-in chicken breast)
2 tbsp pesto
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice (if needed, depending how lemony your pesto is)
salt and pepper, to taste
To make the chicken, drizzle 1 large chicken breast (skin on) with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for one hour. Remove the skin from the chicken and pull the chicken apart into shreds. Add to a bowl with remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
See this post for instructions on how to make pesto. I prefer to use a basil-pine nut pesto (without the cheese) in this recipe, but you can make whatever kind you wish.
Portobello Burger Buns
Heat up your grill pan until it’s nice and hot. Lightly clean the mushrooms and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 5 minutes per side or bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Fire-Roasted Balsamic Tomato Jam
2 pints grape tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Add all the ingredients to a baking dish and broil on high for 10 minutes, until tomatoes burst open. Remove from the oven and squash the tomatoes with a fork to release the juices (be careful not to let the hot tomato juice splash on you). Return the tomatoes to the broiler for another 10 minutes, until tomatoes soften and the mixture thickens up. Remove from the oven and mash the tomatoes again into the sauce.
To assemble, place 1 portobello mushroom stem-side up and fill with pulled pesto chicken. Top with fire roasted tomato jam and another portobello mushroom cap (stem side down).
I’m sure you’ve all heard the age-old adage, “Man plans and G-d laughs.” Well, I got the last laugh (or cry, I should say) last night.
I’ve got only one sister, and lucky for me, she lives way across the world in Australia. She might as well live on mars, because who in their right mind wants to make that trip, right? Wrong. Silly me decided to put my Miss Independent hat on, and I boarded a plane with my 8 month old strapped to me in the newest Ergo 360. My husband said I looked like a suicide bomber but I didn’t care. I was determined to make it across the world in one piece.
All went well on my trip to Los Angeles, where I switched to another aircraft for a direct flight to Melbourne. Lots of wonderful strangers helped me along the way (shout out to Chana Adelist!), and I graciously accepted their offers to shlep my hand luggage. I could do this. Until…I couldn’t.
So here I am, a day later, still in Los Angeles. I’ve got time to kill in my hotel room while my baby sleeps. Poor kid is wiped out from our adventure last night, which you might have read about on the news. I set out to be Miss Independent and I ended up under an indoor rainshower on my airplane. The trusty bassinet that kept my son happy was soaked with water, and I was tired, overwhelmed and just a tad bit weepy (ok, that’s an understatement). The jokes on me.
A week or two ago, I put these cute little 4th of July stars together for an Independence day post, but as luck would have it, I had no time to actually post it before I jetsetted off to the other end of the world. But now…now I’ve got plenty of time to kill before my next flight takes off later tonight. Lets hope I stay dry this time!
4th of July Chocolate-Dipped Kettle Chips The sweet and salty flavors of these chips, combined with chocolate and sprinkles makes the perfect Independence day snack!
Popcorners Kettle Chips (or any triangle-shaped cracker/chip)
red, white & blue sprinkles
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler. Attach 2 triangle chips together in a star shape using chocolate as “glue”. Set aside to harden. Once set, dip half of the star shaped chips into chocolate and cover with sprinkles.