lemon thyme chicken kabobs

grilled lemon thyme kabobs

Kabobs are the ultimate in traveling meals. You have your veggies and protein all in one convenient skewer, and you can eat it with one hand. I guess the only danger involved is that stick. Kabobs should have a warning label: Not intended for children under the age of 5.
Because those sticks can quickly become swords when you’re a little kid.
Just sayin’
lemon thyme chicken kabobs

Continue reading

Caprese bites with rioja wione reduction sauce

mini caprese bites with rioja wine reduction

Note: This is a sponsored post for RIOJA wine, however opinions expressed are my own.

Caprese bites with rioja wione reduction sauce  The steamy days of summer are just beginning to ease their way into our memory, and the lure off Fall is beginning to beckon me with its rich flavors again, spiced coffees and latte’s , buttery squash and crisp apples, warm apple cider and crisp leaves underfoot….the sun seeming to shine just a little more amber, and the evenings appearance  an hour earlier.

Wait.

I live in Florida.

We don’t have Fall.

But, I am able to grasp the small little compounds in my life that equate to fall. And, all of the above noted happen to me in the fall. Even the crisp leaves … of course they aren’t everywhere, and there is no showcase of colors before the drop- there is, however, a gum maple tree next door, and, every year mid September it will shed it’s leaves in small painted patches of orange, yellow and green.. that is my tiny Florida fall.

Right now, it’s still slightly summer and with the kids back in school I am keenly aware of what’s next.  Until the temperatures tell me it’s time to warm things up I will still be making cool, refreshing tidbits to nibble. Like these:

caprese salad bitesThese are light, refreshing.. yet also have that hint of richness from a wine reduction sauce drizzled over, the same way the seasons bid adieu to one another in time passing.caprese bites with rioja glaze

The juicy tomatoes nestled with fresh mozzarella cheese and rich pungent basil, glazed with a savory  wine reduction-it’s the perfect appetizer between summer and fall…
Rioja wine is a classic choice for the ensemble, it’s rich flavor permeates the sauce and complements the sweet tomatoes, peppery basil and creamy cheese beautifully.

 

mini caprese bites with rioja wine reduction
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup Rioja wine (any dry red)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • dash pepper
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium high heat, reduce the chicken broth to ⅓ cup, add the wine and remaining ingredients and continue to cook until reduce to ½ cup
  2. Drizzle over fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella that has been skewered on small picks.
  3. This sauce is also wonderful on meats

 

 

14rioja_960x200_HC_1

Stay connected to your favorite wine region by joining the Rioja Wine mailing list. It’s fast and simple! Just click on the banner above and fill out the form. You’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a festive wine dinner. Good luck! #riojabuzz

 

 

summer stuff

(sponsored post)

Here we are full force into summer… in all it’s sweaty glory. This summer has been a lot different than previous summers in the fact that despite the heat and humidity, my daughter wants to go outside (YAY!)

Yep, we have had bike rides to water parks…which meant sunblock and sweat: This is the before pic:

IMG_1590You know that sunblock/sweaty feeling?

Yep… and it was only 10:30am.

We were supposed to go out to lunch to a small sandwich shop, but they were closed for vacation- so we ended up going to a Thai/Sushi restaurant.

Remember: sunblock & sweaty and no time to spare… Like this: (you can almost smell us, huh?)

IMG_1614Normally… I have baby wipes around, especially in the summer. But, since my kid has been off diapers for years, they really aren’t a staple anymore, so I forget to buy them.

I did, however… happen to have these:

_DSC1339Normally, I wouldn’t have bought these. (To be totally honest) You see, they weren’t  appealing to me, especially since I live in an old house with very temperamental plumbing- as in, the toilet gets backed up whenever it wants, and- we have to have it snaked every four months, so I am extremely cautious  about what goes down it. I’m total potty police with my girls…

These just got me worried about clogs.

But, I was selected to review them for a sponsored campaign (I even got $1.50 off coupon at CVS) ~ you can get yours here:
http://ooh.li/e50caf6
http://ooh.li/70ce260

 

 

So… with no baby wipes on hand  these worked perfect to get the sweaty sunblock off me and my daughter, and the best part: they smell. so.good. Fresh, and clean… and I didn’t get all sentimental like I do when I smell certain baby wipes. Yay for these not setting off my biological clock.

So, I didn’t really use them as they are marketed. I probably won’t because of plumbing issues…. but, with such a cute (refillable) container that just needs a little washi tape decoration (craft project!!!)… I’ll  keep these nearby. Especially this summer.http://ooh.li/70ce260

 

spinach burgers with feta and mushrooms

Sometimes, you feel like you just “need” to get your green on.

No, I’m not talking about your trusty green T shirt that you pull out of the drawer every St Patrick’s Day, I’m talking about getting your “eating green” on.

You know those days, the ones that hit you generally after a wild feast, be it the local fair, a holiday or birthday or the chocolate fountain at your cousins wedding. Those days when even your sweat pants are tight, and you swear that your dryer must have gone through a hot flash during it’s last cycle… Those are the  days when you feel like you have consumed a vast amount of unnatural foods, and you feel like you need greens like a deer stuck in the Sahara.

But… maybe you’re like me, too… and salads just don’t “do it” for you.

I mean, I LOVE a good salad with dinner. FOR dinner is another story…

(unless it’s bacon ranch buffalo chicken)

But, let’s face it: the bacon-ranch-buffalo-chicken with a side of chocolate fondue is what got us into this mess anyway.

So, let’s get our “greens on”- the tastiest way possible.

Years ago, when I launched this blog, I shared a spinach burger recipe. And, to date it has been shared, stolen and pinned close to a ga-zillion times. (Yes, I said ga-zillion.)

Today, (actually a few weeks ago) it has been revisited, and matured a bit with the addition of caramelized onions, baby portabello mushrooms and feta cheese. (Not too much, though… remember we are trying to get out green on, not our cheese on)

I promise you, … we will be getting our cheese on- that’s an entirely different post, though.

spinach burgers II

There you have it. You can get your green on in a hearty, manly way.

Because I still haven’t been able to create a manly salad that doesn’t involve bacon.

And, I’m a girl who likes her greens manly. :)

IMG_0668These can’t be any easier, either- especially with summer coming!  It’s not heavy, but still feels hearty… and I promise you… those sweat pants will be comfy once more.

spinach burgers II

For the origianl Spinach Burger recipe click here: SPINACH BURGERS

spinach burgers with feta and mushrooms
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bag (16ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 egg
  • 4 TBS crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 ounces chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • crushed red pepper (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash salt
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the mushrooms and onions until tender and golden
  2. Place the drained spinach in a bowl and add the mushrooms, onions and remaining ingredients.
  3. Shape into patties
  4. Cook on a non stick skillet (over med/high heat) that has been coated with cooking spray,
  5. Cook 4-5 minutes per side.
  6. Serve on pita bread, with lettuce and tomato, or eat plain.

 

A little food, a little fun, and a little laugh in between, enjoy!