Spice Up Spring with a Ginger Mango Lassi

Now that we have entered spring and are experiencing a bit of warm weather, I am always looking for cool drinks to beat the heat. I love smoothies and some of my favorite fruits, like mangoes, are coming back into season. Mangoes tend to pop up in April and peak in May and June. Using mangoes, I took a shot at making a smoothie native to India, the lassi, but with an added twist. A lassi is a cross between a smoothie and a milk shake with spices (like cumin or cardamon) that can be either sweet or savory. It is creamy, refreshing and best of all easy to make! For my lassi, I am adding pineapple, almond milk and ginger to amp up the flavors.

Ingredients: (Makes one 16oz smoothie)

  • 1 cup of mango, chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup of pineapple, chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup of yogurt (I recommend Chobani Low Fat Mango Greek Yogurt)
  • 1 tsp of ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk (or substitute with whole milk)
  • Ice cubes
  • Honey or sugar (optional depending on the sweetness of your mango)

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Directions:

  1. Add ice, mango, pineapple and almond milk to a blender and puree until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  2. Add yogurt and minced ginger (I used jarred minced ginger, but I recommend fresh ginger for a more potent kick). At this point you can add any sweetener to your smoothie.
  3. Run the blender for up to 1 minute. For a smoother consistency add more almond milk.
  4. Pour mango lassi in a glass and top with some mango pieces and ground ginger. Sit back and pretend you are relaxing in Kolkata!

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Toni’s Tip:

  • A lassi can work with any combination of fruits and using frozen fruit works just as well as fresh fruit. Just skip out on the ice if you decide to go the frozen route.
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SCBD’s Boyfriend #Budget #Friendly Recipes: Jay’s Big Deal Small Chic-ken Recipe

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My boyfriend & home chef, Jason!

Hey readers, it’s me Sara the founder of SCBD! So, I love the fact that my boyfriend Jason is a foodie like me! Weekends are always fun whether we are going out checking out a new spot or we’re cooking together. When we’re not cooking together, him and I take turns on who cooks. So every time he cooks I know I’m in for a treat and I love it, he’s my chef! He’s really good at cooking hearty, budget-friendly recipes. This weekend, along with many other delicious dishes he made this awesome chicken, better known as Jay’s Big Deal Small Chic-ken. He wanted me to share his awesome recipe with you all. I’m sure you will love it too!

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Jay’s Big Deal Small Chic-ken

–INGREDIENTS-

  • 1 chicken (halved)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 3 Tbs. Fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 lemon zest (shavings of 1 whole lemon skin)
  • 1 whole lemon (squeezed)
  • 1-3 garlic cloves (chopped) and according to taste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil

   For heat add Jalapenos or crushed red pepper according to taste

Top Pic- The finished productLeft- MarinatingRight- When it came out of the oven

Top Pic- The finished product
Left- Marinating
Right- When it came out of the oven

–STEPS–

  1. Place halved chicken open side down in pan (be sure you buy a whole chicken and have it halved but NOT separated into two different pieces).
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken. 
  3. Combine cilantro, parsley, rosemary, lemon zest, lemon, garlic, salt,  pepper, and oil to make the marinade.
  4. Once all ingredients are mixed, spread/pour marinade over top of the chicken (it is recommended that it marinate for 24-hours).

–COOKING–

(Recommended) 

  1. Turn grill on to medium-high heat.
  2. Place chicken open side down on grill for 15-20 minutes. (Do not dump marinade over top as it will cause your chicken to flame up.)
  3. GENTLY BASE THE CHICKEN WITH A BRUSH!
  4. Flip over and grill for another 15-20 minutes and your done!! 
  5. Let cool and enjoy!

OR

(Baking) “A healthier option!”

  1. Pre-heat oven to 415 degrees
  2. Place chicken in pan with marinade into oven for about 45 minutes or until a golden brown.
  3. Remove! Cool and enjoy!!!
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Our leftovers, even better the next day!

The recipe is definitely one of my new favorites and I hope he makes it again! The marinade is so delicious and compliments it so well! That’s the basic recipe but you can add cut red potatoes to the pan (in picture above) that make a great side & complete the meal! A huge plus is that you’ll definitely have leftovers to eat the next day, if they last that long!

Look out for more of Jason’s and my recipes up on the blog, as he has more to share with you and I’ll be taken pictures as always next time he cooks! 🙂

Stay tuned for more of SCBD’s Boyfriend #Budget #Friendly Recipes!

Happy Eating!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

Watergate Cupcakes: A Scandalous Green Treat for St. Patty’s Day

Hello SCBD Readers! Antoinette, your South Jersey home cook here. For St. Patrick’s Day I wanted to bring a festive cupcake recipe that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth- Watergate Cupcakes. This Watergate dessert is a classic recipe and actually started off as a sweet salad of pistachio pudding mix, pineapple, walnuts, cool whip and marshmallows. In fact, the recipe for Watergate Salad can still be found on the pistachio Jell-o box today.

Legend has it that Kraft came up with the recipe to market their pistachio pudding mix. It was formerly called Pistachio-Pineapple Delight, but once the Watergate scandal happened, Kraft changed the name to market their recipe. The name has stuck since then!  I am making these cupcakes for a St. Patty’s Day party that I am attending with some political peers and it only makes sense to have these green-tinted, political-themed cupcakes. This recipe yields a lot of batter and can easily be converted to a bundt or layer cake.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Golden Vanilla cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of lemon-lime soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped coconut flakes
  • 1 4 oz box of Instant Pistachio Jell-o Pudding Mix
  • 1 jar of Whipped Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 12-cup muffin tins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As oven preheats, line your muffin tins with baking cups, chop walnuts and coconut flakes.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, wisk cake mix with Jell-o pudding mix. Add vanilla extract, eggs, and butter. and mix for 30 seconds on low, slowly add the lemon-lime soda to the mixture,  and then 2 minutes on high.  If you don’t have a stand or hand mixer, just wisk until ingredients are well combined. If you desire a greener cupcake, feel free to add a few drops of food coloring.

3. Fold in 3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts.

4. Fill each baking cup no more than 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to completely cool before frosting.

“Cover-up” Frosting:

What better way to top a scandalous Watergate cupcake than with a cover-up frosting!

1. As the cupcakes are cooling, in a small bowl wisk together the butter cream frosting and some pistachio pudding mix until it becomes a nice pastel green. Be careful not to add too much pistachio pudding mix, or the frosting will become grainy. If you add too much pudding mix to the frosting, add water to further dissolve the pudding. Wisk until frosting is smooth and insert the bowl into the freezer to set for 10 minutes.

2. Once both the icing and cupcakes are cooled use a knife to spread icing onto the cupcakes. I recommend using a cheese spreader, as the smaller knife is easier to control.

3. Spread out walnuts and coconut flakes onto a plate and gently dip each cupcake to achieve an even coating on each cupcake. Voila! You’re done!

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Adding soda to the mixture makes the cake light and airy while the coconut and walnuts add a  crunchy texture. Warning: these cupcakes are so good it’s hard to have just one!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Homemade Vegan No-Bake “Thin Mints”

As much as I love eating out, I hate not knowing exactly what ingredients are used in a recipe.  It’s a weird quirk of mine and most likely the reason that I love making food at home.  That being said, it was only a matter of time that I made my own Thin Mints.  I can’t afford to purchase enough Thin Mints to last me until the next Girl Scout Cookie season, so I am excited to have this insanely easy recipe in my book.  If you like Thin Mints, you’ll like these!

Note: Although I am not Vegan myself, I did quite a bit of research on the ingredients to be absolutely positive that they are Vegan.  Ritz Crackers? Who knew!

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Ingredients

  • 1 box Ritz Crackers
  • 1 package Ghiradelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbsp Crisco All Vegetable Shortening
  • 1.5 tsp peppermint extract

Instructions:

  1. Put your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with the crisco and microwave until melted.  Mix well.
  2. Add in the peppermint extract.  Taste the mix to be sure it’s enough, and if you want it even more minty, add some.  Just be careful that you don’t add TOO much or your cookies will taste like mouthwash.
  3. Dunk your Ritz Crackers into the chocolate until they’re completely covered.  Lay them out on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil.  Once you have a whole tray filled up, stick them in the fridge to harden up. The Ritz Cracker turns into a cookie once it firms up! 
  4. After the chocolate is firm, I placed all the cookies into a tupperware container and threw them in the freezer for easy storage.

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For St. Patty’s day, I am planning on making some Thin Mints with green sprinkles on top for a fun addition.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Tullamore D.E.W Whiskey Bacon Pecan Pie

There’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with a boozy Irish treat! Bake It With Booze created this delicious Tullamore D.E.W. Whiskey Bacon Pecan Pie in honor of the upcoming holiday and we want to share it with you. Tullamore D.E.W. is a triple distilled, triple blend Irish whiskey – the only kind that you should be celebrating with!

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This year marks a celebration of the brand’s history and culture with the new Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre opening in Tullamore, Ireland. The brand also introduced new packaging that highlights the brands heritage and Irish spirit. So in addition to going out and toasting the luck of the Irish with a glass of Tullamore, we suggest you whip up this outstanding pie if you are really looking to impress. Cheers!

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Pie Crust (makes 2 crusts, freeze the second crust)

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter cut into a dice, keep chilled
  • 6 tbsp Crisco shortening (regular or butter flavor)
  • 4 tbsp Tullamore D.E.W Irish Whiskey
  • 4-6 tbsp ice water (water with ice cubes)

Filling

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Topping

  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp bacon drippings (reserved, see below)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 4 strips thick sliced bacon, chopped, cooked and well drained (about 1/3 pound); reserve drippings
  • 1 3/4 cups pecan halves (8 oz)

Directions
Make the Crust:
1. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter and shortening into the flour using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal (a bit smaller than peas).
2. Sprinkle in 2 tbsp whiskey, mix like you’re tossing a salad.  Then add 2 tbsp ice water and mix with a fork, just to moisten.  Repeat with the remaining whiskey and ice water, mixing with fork after each addition.
3. Add just enough of the remaining ice water in 1 tbsp increments to make a dough that just holds together.  Work quickly to keep the ingredients cold.
4. Divide into two discs, cover each with plastic wrap.  Freeze one disc for another time and refrigerate the other disc until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).

Assemble the Pie:
Remove the dough disc from the refrigerator.  On a well-floured surface, roll out the disc to 12 inches for a 9 inch pie pan.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate.  Crimp the edge.  Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Make the Filling:
1. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, whiskey, and vanilla.  Beat on medium until well combined and frothy.
2. Add the pecans and beat just to combine.
3. Pour into prepared pie shell and cover edges with foil or crust shield.
4. Bake for 35 minutes until top is just almost set but filling is still very jiggly.  Remove from the oven.

Make the Topping:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, reserved bacon drippings, and honey.  Cook on medium for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.  Add the pecans and cooked bacon.  Carefully spoon over the pie filling.  Replace foil or crust shield
  2. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the top is bubbly and golden brown.  Careful not to burn the nuts. 
  3. Remove the crust shield the last 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature before serving.

Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Curvy is Bella Tips: Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice Recipe

Hi everyone I am Fay I am owner of Curvy is Bella a fitness blog for girls and I am designated  health and fitness guru for Small Chick Big Deals! I figured it was about time I posted and shared my tips and tricks with everyone and today’s healthy lunch came out to good not to share. I would say once a week I go to Columbus Market in NJ for fresh fruits and veggies and Bottom Dollar Food for everything else. Of course, sometimes I treat myself to items from Trader Joes, Wegmans and Acme but I like to save money and eat as healthy as possible and I have found you can do that at Bottom Dollar Food as long as you know what you are looking for! The Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice recipe I am going to share is quick, easy and is great to eat after a nice workout at the gym.

Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice

Spiced Shrimp with Veggies over Jasmine Rice

Ingredients:

  • Jasmine rice (or any rice of your choice)
  • One fresh tomato
  • Half of an avocado
  • shelled shrimp
  • coconut shreds
  •  normal household spices

Instructions:

  1. To start cook rice to brand specifications, I use jasmine rice from a local asian market and it takes about 15 minutes to make. 
  2. While the rice is cooking in a small pan put a little water, 7 shelled shrimp and spice them to your taste. I put cayenne pepper, regular pepper and a dash of Mrs. Dash (salt free)
  3. During the cooking of the rice and shrimp get out your tomato and chop it as small as you’d like. While on the cutting board spice the tomatoes (again this is to your taste but I used cayenne pepper again and a little garlic salt)
  4. Once shrimp are red and cooked clean them off and peel them (if you don’t it will give an unwanted fishy taste to your meal)
  5. Rinse out your shrimp pan and put tomatoes, coconut shreds and pealed shrimp and cook for five minutes. 
  6. After that is done mix rice (there will be left over so I just put it in a container for another lunch) tomato mix and shrimp together and top with sliced fresh avocado and enjoy!

All of these things I used today were left overs from salads throughout the week! Getting creative with your meals helps save time, money and wasted food from having to be thrown away. Hope you enjoyed this quick meal once I get more comfortable I plan on submitting at least once a week to Small Chick Big Deals and feel free to check me out on Curvy is Bella  🙂

-Fay

Crocking Away…Tasty Turkey Chili

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Hello all! I am Katrina, and have been writing since I was 17, and have been interested in food since I was 15, and got my first “real” job, working in a bakery down the block from my high school. I however, like to cook and eat healthy 24/7. Yes, I will grab a slice of pizza every now and then, but why bother, when I can make my own on whole wheat dough, with low-fat cheese, low-sodium sauce, and turkey pepperoni? You catch my drift…I love food, and love to cook and bake…healthy…at home.

I am in love. With my crock pot. Not what you thought I was going to say, right? Well it’s true. I discovered this hidden gem in my kitchen cabinet not too long ago, and have been whipping up tasty turkey chili for my whole family ever since.

The machine literally is fool-proof. You prepare a meal in the morning, toss it in the slow cooker (crock pot, as I grew up calling it), and let it simmer all day until you get home from work. Because let’s be honest: who wants to cook chili after working an 8 hour day?

And that is just what I did today. I had to be at work at 9:30 so I got up a little after 7:30AM and sauteed my turkey chop meat in 2 TBS of olive oil on the stove. I broke it up with a fork, and then poured in a little bit of cumin and S+P to my liking. When that was almost all cooked, I transferred it over to the slow cooker, which I had plugged in and set to “Low for 8 Hours.”

I went back to my stove and poured another TBS of olive oil, and chopped up two small cloves of garlic, one small onion, and one green pepper and tossed those into the pan on the stove. Then I added in a can of cannelloni beans, a can of low-sodium diced tomatoes, and one can of low-sodium chicken broth. I let these ingredients simmer in the pan for about 5 minutes, before transferring it over to the crock pot.

Once I poured in the remaining ingredients, I mixed them together with the turkey chop meat. Then….that’s it! I put the lid on, and left for work, and left my trusted Hamilton Beach crock pot do the rest of the work. Now some people, (like my cousin) are convinced leaving a crock pot on all day while you go to work, is a sure way to start a fire. And yes, I was worried about this too at first. But then you realize, it will be fine. It is meant to be fine. And just for safe measure, I always clear the space around it, so it is the only appliance plugged into the wall at that particular unit, and I make sure no other appliance is rubbing up against it…give the crock some space 😉

And viola! You come home to a nice meal, that only took you 25 minutes of your morning to prepare. So dust off your cookbook, and invest in a crock pot. I guarantee soups and chili will never taste the same!