Tex-Mex Lasagna. New Music From Summer Heart.

Tex-Mex Lasagna

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Put this Tex-Mex Lasagna on your to do list. It would be perfect for Cinco de Mayo as it feeds a crowd and can be assembled ahead of time before baking.

Fans of Tex-Mex food will love this spicy, cheesy, veggie packed, chicken studded lasagna. There are beans in there, too. Yum.

Tex-Mex Lasagna
Tex-Mex Lasagna

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 (15.25-ounce) can corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces sour cream
8 ounces package cream cheese, softened
6 oven-ready lasagna noodles
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, grated
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

1. In a Dutch oven, combine chicken and next 12 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cream cheese.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

4. Spoon one-third of sauce into prepared dish. Top with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread one-half of sour cream mixture over noodles, top with one-third sauce. Sprinkle with half of cheeses. Repeat layers.

5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 12

Recipe from Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine
Tex-Mex Lasagna
Tex-Mex Lasagna
Tex-Mex Lasagna

I usually diss songs that have U for “you” or 4 for “four” in their title like Summer Heart’s new song ‘U Got What I’m Looking 4′. (I’m that square texter who never uses those kind of abbreviations.)

I really liked this tune’s warm weather feel and the downright cheerfulness of it all. So diss turned to yass.

Check out Summer Heart on Facebook and Bandcamp where you can buy their previous releases. New songs will be available for download on April 27th.

Cheers!

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Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread. New Music From Feint Scars.

Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread
Who’s a little piggy?

Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread.

Yes, you read that right.

Wow! I saw the recipe and knew I had to make it pronto.

Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread tastes just like you think it might. Sweet cornbread packed with cheesy, creamy macaroni. Of course it was going to be delicious.

Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread
Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 box of your favorite cornbread mix (I used an 8.5 oz box of Jiffy.)
4 cups of prepared macaroni and cheese (I used Stouffer’s Family Size. It contains 5 cups.)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Lightly grease an 8 × 11 inch baking pan.

2. Prepare the cornbread batter according to the box instructions. Gently fold in the cooked macaroni and cheese.

3. Spread cornbread/mac mixture into the prepared pan. Top with cheddar.

4. Bake uncovered at 350℉ degrees for approximately 35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

5. Allow bread to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 8

Recipe from Oh Bite It!
Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread
Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread
Mac-n-Cheese Cornbread

Feint Scars, a new musical collaboration between Den Dicker and Ian Barnes, released their debut album ‘Think What You Like. Say What You Want’ on April 14th.

Opening track “Lowlight” feels so packed with emotion that it took me aback on the first listen. I love the way the guitars mimic the singing during the hook.

“I found myself, I feel that I’ve been walking, walking in a lowlight”

Check out Feint Scars on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Bread, Pasta | Tagged | 2 Comments

Short And Sweet. Gingersnap Crumble Ice Cream Tart With Pineapple Caramel Sauce.

Gingersnap Crumble Ice Cream Tart

Not a ginger roundabout, but a Blondie one.
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Spicy gingersnaps, creamy vanilla ice cream and pineapple in caramel share the plate in this super easy dessert.

You can simplify things, too, by just serving some fresh fruit alongside the tart. Also, it is a good idea to pre-slice the tart before freezing as the crust gets very hard and can be difficult to cut when frozen.
Gingersnap Crumble Ice Cream Tart
Gingersnap Crumble Ice Cream Tart With Pineapple Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 cups coarsely broken gingersnaps
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 pints good quality vanilla ice cream (I love Brigham’s)
Caramel Pineapple Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor grind gingersnaps to fine crumbs and add butter and sugar, pulsing until blended.

3. Sprinkle 1 cup of the crumb mixture over bottom of a 10- by 1-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press to cover. Sprinkle 1/2 cup crumb mixture around edge of pan and with your fingers press up side of pan. Carefully line shell with non-stick foil, folding over edge to cover crumbs completely, and add pie weights or raw rice. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture in a shallow baking pan.

4. Bake crumb mixture in lower third of oven 12 minutes and bake shell in upper third 20 minutes.

5. Cool crumb mixture in baking pan on a rack and, when crumbs are cool enough to handle, with your fingers break up any large clumps.

6. Cool shell in foil in tart pan on another rack 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and cool shell completely (shell may be soft in center but will firm as it cools).

7. Soften ice cream slightly and fold in half of cooled, baked crumb mixture.

8. Spoon ice-cream mixture into shell, smoothing top, and sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.

9. Freeze tart until ice cream is firm, about 2 hours. Tart keeps, frozen and loosely covered, 3 days.

10. Serve tart with sauce.

Serves 8
Gingersnap Crumble Ice Cream Tart
Caramel Pineapple Sauce

Ingredients:

1 ripe pineapple
1/2 cup sugar

Directions:

1. Cut rind from pineapple and quarter pineapple lengthwise. Cut off core and cut pineapple quarters crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

2. In a dry, heavy saucepan cook sugar over moderately low heat, stirring slowly to help sugar melt evenly, until melted and pale golden.

3. Cook caramel, without stirring until golden. This takes only 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Remove pan from heat and add pineapple (mixture will vigorously bubble and caramel will harden). Simmer mixture, stirring, 5 minutes, or until caramel is dissolved.

5. Cool sauce to room temperature. Chill sauce, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 5 days.

Recipes from Gourmet Magazine
Gingersnap Crumble Ice Cream Tart
Gingersnap Crumble Ice Cream Tart With Pineapple Caramel Sauce

This short song is new from Donovan Blanc, the New Jersey duo of Joseph Fekete and Raymond Schwab. I love its warm and fuzzy vibe.

Levi Weaver has a new album due out in May. ‘Borrowed Clothes’ is a supremely good and sweet song.

“Let the song begin….”

Check out Donovan Blanc on Facebook and Captured Tracks, where you will be able to buy their new album on June 24th.

Learn more about Levi Weaver on his Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and buy the music.

Cheers!

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The Simplest & Best Shrimp With Saffron Rice. New Music From Charlie Oxford.

The Simplest & Best Shrimp With Saffron Rice

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The Simplest & Best Shrimp is how Mark Bittman describes this recipe in his cookbook “How to Cook Everything”.

Is it the simplest and best?

Clocking in at less than 15 minutes and using just a few spices, these shrimp are definitely easy to prepare and quite delicious. I served the shrimp over fragrant Saffron Rice and added a touch of elegance, color and flavor with a dotting of Sriracha sauce.

The Simplest & Best Shrimp
The Simplest & Best Shrimp

Ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
300g shrimp, peeled and deveined
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:

1. Pour enough olive oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom. Set the pan over low heat, warm the oil, add the garlic, and cook until it turns golden.

2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp. Sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper; add the cumin, and the paprika. Stir and continue to cook, turning the shrimp over a couple of times, until they are pink and the mixture is bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 2 (doubles or triples easily)

Recipe from Mark Bittman via Couscous & Consciousness

The Simplest & Best Shrimp With Saffron Rice
Saffron Rice

Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch saffron, crumbled

Directions:

1. Rinse the rice and drain.

2. In a medium size saucepan, add the rice and remaining ingredients.

3. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.

4. Simmer for 15 minutes or until stock is absorbed and rice is tender.

5. Fluff with fork and serve.

Serves 4

Recipe from Food.com
The Simplest & Best Shrimp With Saffron Rice
The Simplest & Best Shrimp With Saffron Rice

Charlie Oxford’s self-titled album, released last month, is full of soulful, bluesy songs with moody, introspective lyrics.

“Waiting For” is the record’s opener and a sure sign that good things are about to happen in the next 10 tunes.

Check out Charlie Oxford on his Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and buy the music.

Cheers!

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Mini Tacos. New Music From Bridie Jackson and The Arbour.

Mini Tacos
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I saw these Mini Tacos on Pinterest, of course.

They are the easiest things to make. Just brown some beef with taco seasoning, fill tortilla scoops and top with cheese. Then add your favorite taco garnishes and pop into your mouth. The Mini Tacos are a terrific snack or a fun meal with a side of salad.

Mini Tacos
Mini Tacos

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 oz packet taco seasoning
Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar
Sour cream, chopped cilantro, taco sauce to garnish

Directions:

1. Place tortilla scoops on a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Brown the ground beef with the taco seasoning. Drain fat.

3. Use a small spoon to fill the tortilla scoops with seasoned meat. Sprinkle the cups with some grated cheese.

4. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and cups are warmed.

5. Top the scoops with the garnishes. Serve immediately.

One pound of ground beef is enough for about 4 dozen scoops.

Recipe from ShareFoodPics.com
Mini Tacos
Mini Tacos
Mini Tacos
Mini Tacos

When I heard ‘We Talked Again’, the first single to be released from UK’s Bridie Jackson And The Arbour’s forthcoming album “New Skin”, I immediately thought of a church choir. Beautiful strings are the backdrop to the melancholy vocals that slowly build up in this achingly pretty song.

Check out Bridie Jackson And The Arbour on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming UK shows and buy their music.

Cheers!

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Quadruple Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Strange Talk On The Stereo.

Quadruple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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These Quadruple Chocolate Chunk Cookies are kind of like the kitchen sink of chocolate chippers. They are chock full of fun ingredients like chocolate chunks and Oreo cookies.

The chocolate bar section in my grocery store is teeming with all sorts of delectable flavors. I decided to chop up this bar of Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate and the Crispy Chocolate bar as a substitute for the semi-sweet chocolate chips called for in the recipe.
Sea Salt Caramel Bar
Crispy Chocolate

The results were YUM! Salty, sweet, chewy and crisp all at once.

The possibilities for future cookie combinations are endless. Challenge accepted!
Quadruple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Quadruple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or substitute your favorite chocolate bars, chopped)
1 cup chopped Oreo cookies (about 10 cookies)
1 Hershey’s Cookies’n’Creme candy bar (1.55 ounces), chopped (or any flavor chocolate bar)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients.

4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 6-8 minutes or until set. Cool on pans 1 minute. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 8 dozen cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Simple & Delicious Magazine
Quadruple Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Quadruple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Strange Talk, out of Melbourne, Australia, are releasing their debut album ‘Cast Away’ on April 29th. Full of breezy, electro beats and catchy hooks, it’s one of my favorites of 2014, so far.

Check out Strange Talk on their (very cool) Website, where you can buy the music.

Happy Record Store Day!

Cheers!

Posted in Cookies | Tagged | 2 Comments

Kale Salad With Chutney Dressing. Awesome Cover By The Rebel Light.

Kale Salad With Chutney Dressing
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Kale gets all glammed up with a sweet chutney dressing, lots of dried fruit and crunchy pepita seeds. Definitely a salad that you want to try.

Kale Salad With Chutney Dressing
Kale Salad With Chutney Dressing

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup mango chutney
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 bunches kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped (I like to use baby kale for ease of prep)
2 cups cups mixed chopped dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries and apricots)
3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds (I used pepitas)

Directions:

1. In a blender, combine the oil, chutney, lemon juice and garlic. Process until smooth; season.

2. In a large bowl, toss the kale and dried fruit. Toss with the dressing and season.

3. Just before serving, garnish the salad with the sunflower seeds.

Serves 8

Recipe from Every Day With Rachael Ray Magazine

It always amazes me how kale gets transformed from tough, matte leaves:
Kale Salad With Chutney Dressing

To a rich, tender salad leaf by the addition of oil:
Kale Salad With Chutney Dressing

The Rebel Light have made my day with this awesome cover of ‘Be My Baby’. This is the stuff that sunny Fridays are made of.

I laughed when I read this, from band member Will.

“You can’t go wrong with a good cover….at least that way people might recognize one song in our set!”

Check out The Rebel Light on the band’s Website, where you can link to buy their music.

Cheers!

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