There will not be any posts this week and possibly next week due to my move. I will be back in a brand new cramped kitchen making some new delicious dishes soon. Stay tuned.



Chipotle Pork Burgers

Ingredients & Directions
(adapted from gourmet magazine)

1 pound ground pork (not lean)
2 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
2 garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press
4 slices Muenster cheese
4 hamburger buns
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large tomato, sliced
1/2 small avocado, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs (optional, I didn't want the cilantro, but I am sure it would be good)
(chives were pictured, but I forgot to include it in the mayonnaise like I was going to)

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat or use a grill pan. Gently mix pork, chipotle, garlic, and a scant teaspoon salt until just combined. Form into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Grill patties for 5 minutes. Flip patties and top with a slice of cheese. Grill until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more. Spread buns with mayonnaise and assemble burgers with tomato, avocado, and cilantro (optional).

I like to prepare all the toppings before I actually start cooking the burgers, that way everything will be ready to assemble once the cooking is done.

I can't stress enough how amazing the grill pan from circulon is to use while cooking indoors to get that grill look and imagined flavor!

I have never had muenster on a burger before and was really pleased with the flavor combination.

I served the chipotle pork burger with mini white tortillas and some salsa. This is the perfect summer burger.



Ingredients & Directions

2 T fresh lime juice

2 tsp superfine sugar

1 C crushed ice

12 fresh mint leaves, plus 5 small sprigs for garnish

1/4 C white rum

1/4 mango juice

2 T club soda

In 10oz glass, stir together lime juice and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/4 cup crushed ice. Rub mint leaves over rim of glass, then tear leaves in half and add to glass. Gently stir for 15 seconds, then add rum, remaining crushed ice, mango juice, and club soda. Gently stir for 5 seconds, then tuck mint sprigs into top of glass and insert tall straw.

You can also put your glasses in the freezer to keep your drink icy cold.

Mojitos are one of my favorite summer drinks and lately I have been craving mangos, so it only seemed right that I mix the two.


Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One of my favorite snack foods is boneless buffalo chicken fingers without blue cheese (I hate blue cheese). One day while grocery shopping I came across Ken's Steak House Marinade Buffalo Wing Sauce and I bought it hoping it would be delicious; it was more than delicious! I marinated some chicken breast in the sauce and knew I wanted to make a sandwich with it. I love caramelized onions and figured they would add a nice sweetness to this, but I was stumped as to what to put on it for a topping. I hate blue cheese and figured mayonnaise would be too boring, thus buffannaise was born. I like to think that buffannaise is an original concept, but it's probably not. I just mixed some mayonnaise and buffalo sauce with some dill (later I changed it to chives, but both are equally delicious).

I usually just serve this sandwich with french fries, but was feeling adventurous, especially since I downloaded the epicurious app to my iphone. I wanted to serve a starch with this sandwich and for some reason was craving sweet potatoes. I simply looked up sweet potatoes as an ingredient on my iphone and came across the recipe for roasted sweet potatoes with lime syrup and chives.

Ingredients & Directions

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Caramelized Onions & Buffannaise

Chicken Breast (one breast per sandwich, 1/2 breast if you want less)
Romaine Lettuce
2 Large Onions
1 T Butter
1 T Olive Oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 C Mayonnaise
Ken's Steak House Marinade Buffalo Wing Sauce (My Favorite!)
1/2 T Chives or Dill
Roll or Bread of Choice

Trim the chicken breast and then marinate with the Buffalo Sauce Marinade. Set aside in refrigerator. Peel and Chop onions. In a frying pan on low heat, place onions, olive oil, butter. Mix thoroughly, and then sprinkle sugar. Cook on low heat until golden, stirring frequently. Once the onions have started
to cook you should grill the chicken. Grill chicken on each side for 5 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Set chicken aside. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, buffalo sauce, and chives. Mix until blended. Cut Romaine Lettuce so it fits bread size. Finally, you need to put the sandwich together. I usually cut the chicken breast in half, spread buffannaise on the top side of the bread, place lettuce on top of chicken, and then finally place caramelized onions on the lettuce and eat!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime Syrup and Chives
(via epicurious)

3 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 cups)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss potatoes with butter, salt, and pepper in a bowl until coated well, then spread in 1 layer in 2 shallow baking pans (15 by 10 by 1 inch) and roast, uncovered, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until potatoes are tender and undersides are browned, 15 to 20 minutes total. While potatoes roast, bring water, sugar, and lime juice to a boil in a very small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then simmer until reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss potatoes with syrup and zest in a large bowl, then sprinkle with chives.

Making the lime syrup is fast and easy and I can imagine it going well with many other vegetables.

I love grilling chicken and usually on a med-high heat you can grill a piece of chicken in 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side).

I finally bought a zester!!! You probably don't realize how exciting this is to me.

You can serve the meal with a few pieces of lime and drizzle a little fresh lime juice over the sweet potatoes for an extra kick or just leave it on your plate as a decoration.


Blackberry Meringue Boat with Lime Curd

I went out to dinner not to long ago and then went out to dessert & drinks after at Sonsie on Newbury Street. I got a delicious tangerine mojito, which I will be attempting to recreate in the near future and for dessert I ordered the Raspberry Meringue Boat. It was a large circular meringue with fresh raspberries, a raspberry drizzle, and lime curd. Well, I kept this dessert in the back of my mind as something I would like to try someday.

I was looking for a dessert to make for Sunday dinner at my parents recently and this popped up in my mind as the perfect compliment for dinner. I ran to the store to get fresh raspberries and they weren’t many that looked good, so I decided to go with blackberries which looked really tasty.

Ingredients & Directions

Meringue Boat

3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 C sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place the rack in the center of your oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. You can form the boat with a pastry bag or I just used a spoon. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract. Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.

Lime Curd
Note: this recipe did not work for me, I will have to experiment with others and let you know what happens!

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 cup fresh lime juice
4 eggs yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, cubed

Bring sugar, zest, and juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk about one-fourth hot juice mixture into egg yolks; add egg yolk mixture to remaining hot juice mixture, whisking constantly until well blended. Place saucepan over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, at least 10 or up to 12 minutes. (Mixture will be a pudding-like thickness.). Add butter, in 6 batches, whisking constantly until butter melts and mixture is well blended after each addition. Remove from heat, and pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on warm curd (to prevent a film from forming); chill 3 hours.

When making the meringue save the egg yolks and put aside to make the curd later or vice versa.

I used a spoon to make the circular boat shape and then a cake decorating bag to build the sides.

I still do not have a zester so I used my grater to zest the limes.

I am pretty sure my lime curd was a failure, but it tasted delicious. I will be sure to try out a few different recipes before I make this again.

I drizzled the lime curd over the blackberries and served it. It was delicious and light and a perfect summertime dessert!


Blueberry Tartlets

I keep frozen blueberries in my freezer all the time because they make a great snack (I will post that simple recipe another time). I decided I wanted a dessert with my dinner the other night and of course my blueberries were in the freezer as well as some pie crust. I almost always have pre-made pie crust in my freezer too, for emergencies and this was an emergency. So with some quick thinking I whipped up these tartlets loosely based on the pie recipe on the back of the frozen blueberry bag and voila!

Ingredients and Directions:

2 C blueberries
1/4 C sugar
2 T flour
1 T corn starch (not pictured oops)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
Cinnamon Sugar
Pie crust (I used pre-made)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin pan and set aside. Roll out pie crust and use either a cookie cutter or as I used a glass to cut circles. Place the cut circles in the muffin pan. With the remaining pie crust I cut small little circles (you can cut whatever shape you want) and set aside, these will be placed on top of the blueberries later. In a medium sized bowl combine sugar, flour, corn starch, and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly. Add blueberries and lemon juice. Scoop out the blueberry mixture and fill each tart with blueberries just about to the top. Place the small shapes of pie crust on top of the blueberries and then sprinkle each tart with cinnamon sugar mix. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until pie crust turns golden.

I used a small frosting tip to cut the small circles for the tops of the tartlets.

You can see I got better at putting the pie crust circles in the muffin pan. It didn't matter in the end they all looked great.

I warmed the frozen blueberries up in the microwave just so they were not frozen anymore.

Depending on the occasion it might be fun to use different shapes for the top or you could not put any thing on top either, whatever works for you.

I bet these would be great paired with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Next time I will be sure to have that!