Thursday, August 22, 2013

Basil Lime Grilled Chicken

Megan and I celebrated our birthday's together for the 4th year in a row. We had a blast with Em doing another restaurant crawl, this time in Hollywood! Here we are exchanging gifts, just before heading out on the town.
 At our first stop, The Hungry Cat. We ate crab legs and drank some yummy lemonade cocktails!
 Cheers to the 3Bs!
 At our 2nd stop, Fabiolus Cucina Italiana, for some wonderful homemade pasta dishes!
 In front of our last stop, Beso. It is Eva Longoria's restaurant. 
 We had a Fried Banana Split for dessert, YUM! I LOVE these girls, they are the best friends a girl could ask for!
 My fav drink of the night, called a Pretty Girl. Made with strawberries, basil, vodka, and sparkling wine! 

I made this chicken a few weeks ago. It has delicious flavors. I think it would be great over a salad, rice or pasta!

Basil Lime Grilled Chicken
Here it is over salad.
2 Limes juice and zest
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1.5 Tbsp Worcestershire
1.5 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3 green onions
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp chopped basil
salt and pepper
4 chicken tenders

Zest limes.
Chop green onions and garlic.
Stir together zest and juice of 1.5 limes, 1.5 tbsp olive oil, mustard, worcestershire, soy sauce, half of the green onions, 1/2 garlic, salt and pepper.

Place this marinate in a bag with the chicken and allow it marinate for 1 hour.
Chop Basil.
Mix together basil, rest of green onions, rest of garlic, 2 Tbsp olive oil, juice and zest of 1/2 lime. Set aside.
Remove chicken from marinate and grill for 5 minutes per side.
Remove chicken from grill. Slice chicken and place on a plate.
Pour basil dressing over the sliced chicken. You can serve this alone with a side dish or over lettuce as a salad.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mexican Popcorn

Sunday was my 28th birthday. It was a fantastic few days of celebrating! First my friend Brook and I celebrated with our annual pizza lunch at Mozza (her birthday is the day before mine). I have been wanting to go here FOREVER but since J is not a fan of pizza, we haven't been. Now that I have been once, I have GOT to go again!
 Then my mom and sister flew in for a last minute trip! They were here Friday through Monday. We had a blast! Now that Ivy is 21, we were able to go out to a cool bar. We went to The Edison downtown. They had aerialist each hour, it was awesome! 

 Mom, Ivy and I went to one of my fav new restaurants in LA, Son of a Gun. Mom and I LOVE oysters so we were happy. Then we had their Italian Hamburger for dessert, I dream of this dish!
 For my birthday we woke up and went to the Hollywood Farmer's market! Mom and I were in heaven!
 For dinner we went to a rustic steakhouse in Malibu called The Old Place. I love this photo of J, hilarious!
My beautiful mom and sister!

 This was the BEST baked potato I have ever tasted!
 The Cornell Winery was next door. We were late for our dinner reservation so we didn't get to have a tasting, but it was cool to look around.
 Besides all of the eating, we also shopped, went to the Taco place that has Popsicle beer, saw a real LA brush fire and went to the Arclight to see The Millers. All in all, it was a fantastic birthday! On the next blog I will share my 3B birthday celebration photos from our restaurant hopping experience in Hollywood!

 I found this popcorn recipe on a blog a frequent, Shutterbean. Popcorn is one of my favorite foods! When J left town for a business trip I was so excited to make this recipe and have popcorn for dinner. YUM! I think next time I will make it a little spicier by adding some cayenne pepper!

Mexican Popcorn

6 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
1/2 cup popcorn kernals
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
kosher salt to taste
zest of 1 lime, juice of 1/2 lime

 Zest lime and set aside.
Heat 3 Tbsp coconut oil in a heavy saucepan on medium high heat. Place 2-3 kernels in the oil and wait for the kernels pop.
 Melt 3 Tbsp of coconut oil in a small saucepan and remove from heat. Do not allow this oil to get too hot! 
 Add the 3 seasonings to the coconut oil and stir.
 Squeeze juice of 1/2 lime into the seasoning mixture.

 Once the kernels pop, the oil is ready, so pour into 1/2 cup popcorn kernels and top with a lid.
 Jiggle the pan around some to keep the kernels cooking evenly. Wait until popping slows to a a few seconds between pops then remove from heat. 
 Pour into a big mixing bowl. 
 Slowly drizzle seasoning mixture into the popcorn. Use your hands to gently toss the popcorn, mixing the seasoning into it evenly.
 Add lime zest and kosher salt to popcorn and toss to combine. Taste to see if you need more salt. (Add salt slowly, it is easier to add more but you can't remove it.)
 Yum! I think I might add chili powder to it next time for some heat!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

No Bake Summer Lasagna

I found this recipe (from Martha Stewart) around this time last year when I was so miserably hot that I could not stand to be in the kitchen, not to mention turning on my oven! I can't believe it has taken me a year to try it! I LOVED it. It was a fresh new way of eating a basic comfort food. PS we have had INCREDIBLE weather around here. It has been high of low 80s and has even been chilly in the mornings so our house is cool and I have been cooking! I am keeping my fingers crossed that we keep this up!

No Bake Summer Lasagna
4 lasagna noodles (for 2 people)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
optional: pinch of red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 zucchini
2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves

Slice zucchini and basil. Mince garlic.
Slice tomatoes in half.
Break lasagna noodles in half. Cook in salted water until al dente.
Heat 1.5 Tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add tomatoes, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are broken down.
Remove from heat and stir in sliced basil. I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes for some spice.
Transfer tomatoes into a bowl and set aside. Add 1.5 Tbsp olive oil to the same pan used for tomatoes.
 Add zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat and place in a separate bowl.
Stir together ricotta, parmesan and 2 tsp olive oil. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Gather the 3 bowls of tomatoes, zucchini and cheese.
Drain noodles and rinse under cool water to allow them to be handled. Begin assembling for each person's lasagna serving. Start with 1 noodle, spread with cheese mixture.
Spoon some tomato mixture on top of the cheese.
Top with a 2nd noodle. Spread with cheese and top with zucchini.
Repeat once more. I ended with 1 more layer of cheese and tomatoes and a sprig of basil leaves.
This dish is AWESOME, but it is a little labor intensive if you are making it for more than a few people. I think it would be perfect for a small dinner party of 4.