Category: Food (Page 1 of 2)

Divine Deviled Eggs

IMG_20170531_173750435The one thing that I love more than making deviled eggs, is eating deviled eggs. This easy recipe will add a little zip to those traditional deviled eggs.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs (hardboiled)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • sugar
  • Mayonnaise
  • Paprika

Method:

First hardboil your eggs.  Once the eggs are hardboiled, peel off the shell and discard the shell.  Cut the hardboiled eggs in half.  Separate out the yolk into a separate bowl.  Mash the egg yolks.  Mix in mayonnaise (the amount that you put in will depend on your own taste and how many eggs you are making).  Sprinkle in some Old Bay seasoning and sugar.  Again, the amount depends on how much you are making.  For example, for 7 eggs add about half a teaspoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning.  The sugar will give the deviled eggs a slightly sweet taste, while the Old Bay seasoning will add the zip! Mix well.  Spoon the mixture or pipe the mixture back into the egg white.  Sprinkle with a dash of paprika.  Enjoy!!!

Relax in Bodega Bay

One of my favorite local get-a-way locations is Bodega Bay. It makes a great place for a relaxing day trip. Take a Friday off of work and drive there in the morning. Enjoy the view and make a stop at the beach! Have lunch at the Boat House restaurant. http://www.sonomacounty.com/restaurants/boat-house The BBQ oysters, clam chowder, fish and chips are the best!
After that, head to the UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine laboratory. http://bml.ucdavis.edu/ They have tours on most Fridays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. It is a wonderful experience for the whole family!

Best banana bread ever!

1491696246891-1440840386When life gives you overripe bananas, make banana bread! Here’s a recipe for quick, easy, and delicious banana bread. This will become a fast family favorite!

Ingredients:
3 or 4 ripe bananas (mashed up)
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 4x8in loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Mix melted butter into the mashed bananas. Mix in sugar, egg, and vanilla. Next, mix in the baking soda and salt. Finally, mix in the flour. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for about 1hr (check to make sure the banana bread is done by sticking a knife in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Otherwise, leave it in the oven for longer). Remove the banana bread from the pan and cool it on a rack. Slice to serve.

Weekend adventure in Monterey, CA

Monterey is a historic and scenic coastal city in California that is about a 2 hour drive from San Francisco, and a 5 hour drive from Los Angeles.
Start your morning off right with a wonderful breakfast at First Awakenings. The restaurant is located in an indoor shopping center in Pacific Grove, California. The lines can be long, so either get there early, or pack your patience. Your sacrifice will be rewarded with a fantastic breakfast. Their pancakes are huge. I had only one and it filled me up! http://www.firstawakenings.net/restaurant.html After breakfast, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is just walking distance away.

When visiting Monterey, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must see attraction! The aquarium provides a thrilling experience for the young and old alike. https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/

For an early dinner, avoid the tourist trap restaurants on Cannery Row and eat where the locals eat. Head two blocks up to Foam Street and find Sea Harvest, a fish market that doubles as a restaurant. The BBQ oysters and clam chowder are fantastic. http://www.seaharvestfish.com/

Take a walk around the city. By being adventurous and exploring any city you’re in, you’ll make long lasting memories and have unique experiences!

The easiest lemon tarts that you’ll ever make!

These lemon tarts are simple to make and delicious!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup lemon curd

1/2 cup spreadable goat cheese

Mini fillo dough shells

Method:

Mix the lemon curd and goat cheese with an electric mixer. Fill ready made fillo dough shells with lemon cheese mixture. Serve and enjoy!

The fillo dough shells that I got were in the freezer section of the grocery store and already baked. They only had to be defrosted!

Recipe courtesy of Redwood hill farm.

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Mignon Dunbar foodie blog post

New York’s Finest Food Trucks

Whether you are living in NYC or just visiting, the street food is something everyone looks forward to. A few years ago food trucks carried simple menus like burgers, fries, hot dogs and ice-cream. Not anymore. Food trucks in NYC have become elaborate feeding hungry patrons local and international cuisine. Cheesesteak, Pizza, Seafood, fresh-fried falafel accompany the traditional burger and hot dog. The food truck is simple yet elegant. You don’t have to worry about where you will sit and eat. You will find a food truck parked in all the main streets be it winter, spring, summer or fall. It gets busier in the summer months with more folks in the street and an influx of tourists.

Let us explore the city by treating our taste buds to a broad range of delicious cuisine.

Carpe Donut

Carpe Donut is a roaming truck. To get the current location you will need to check on Twitter. They make fresh, hot; handmade donuts on the streets of NYC. They are well known for using only the highest quality organic and local ingredients. In the summer they make a hand packed donut ice cream sandwich — worth a try. Their apple cider donuts were named one of 2013’s Best Donuts by New York Magazine.

The Morris Truck

Morris stands out among the fancy grilled cheese and dairy factories. The ingredients used in their signatures sandwiches are mainly sourced from local area farms. Try their classic grilled cheese with a dash of sea salt along with their unique tomato bisque.

Souvlaki GR

If you are looking for a healthy option for fast food lunch, then the two-time Vendy winner Souvlaki GR’s menu has several options out of which the vegetarian spinach and cheese pie is our favorite.

The Cinnamon Snail

If you are a vegan looking for an early breakfast, try the Snail’s breakfast platter, pastries and coffee drinks (the coffee is fair-trade). The menu is ever-changing according to the seasons.

Korilla BBQ

You will see the tiger-striped food truck from a distance. When you get closer, you see that their menu consists of burritos, tacos, rice bowls filled with Korean-style meats, spicy chicken and braised short ribs with kimchi on the top.

This is a just a sampling of the diverse cuisine of street food that you can experience in NYC. Be sure to give it a try on your next trip!

Mignon Dunbar

7 Items You Should Pack When Going on a Family Cruise

It’s that time of year again when many of us begin to plan our next big summer vacation! Whether you’re taking a trip close to home, or venturing out into open waters, there are a few things that you should pack that will make your trip more enjoyable.

For those of you who are planning on going on your first (or second) cruise this summer with family and friends, this list of 7 items to pack is for especially you!

  1. Travel Documents

Bringing your travel documents seems like a no brainer right? Well, you’d be surprised how many times the simplest documents like your driver’s license or even your passport gets lost in the packing process. Along with your passport, other travel documents that you should bring along before embarkment include:

  • Cruise confirmation info
  • Airline tickets
  • Rental car confirmation
  • Hotel reservation details
  1. Medical Cards/Medication

Many of us forget to pack important medical insurance cards or even common cold medicines. Remember that even though you’re going on a nice vacation, illness can hit you at any time and it’s always best to be safe than sorry.

  1. Casual/Formal Clothing

The amount of clothing that you bring when going on a cruise will depend on the length of your trip. For starters traveling light will always be your best bet. Packing clothes that are both appropriate for family dinners and outings is always best. If you’re traveling with children, packing their clothing along with yours will eliminate any access bags or carry-ons on board.

  1. Comfortable Shoes

If you’re into high heels and fancy shoes you might want to rethink your shoe selection when packing for a cruise. You want to keep in mind that you’ll be onshore doing many activities that involve walking. Many places that you visit when going on a cruise will not have an Uber service to get you from place to place, even on vacation.

  1. Sunscreen

Getting sunburn is not a good way to remember your summer getaway, therefore, you might not want to forget this essential item!

  1. Cabin Organizer

If you’re sharing a cabin with 3+ people then bringing along a cabin organizer will be to your benefit. This can be used to store shoes, cameras, sunglasses and much more to free up space and clutter.

  1. Camera

What would a vacation be without the ability to capture every special moment? Many of us forget to bring a camera because we think our mobile phones will do the trick. On your next cruise, invest in a sturdy camera that is preferably waterproof so that you can take pictures even in watery conditions.

 

For more related articles on travel visit my personal blog here.

 

The 5 Best Food Cities In America

The food scene in America is incredibly diverse, a true reflection of the people that inhabit this country.While there are so many cities that put a unique spin on food and have their own distinct taste, there are a few cities that stand above the rest. I bring you the five best food cities in America.

San Francisco, California

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San Francisco has a diverse food scene, complete with both established and up-and-coming restaurants. There is no other city in the United States that obsesses more about food, whether it involves buying it, cooking it, eating it, or talking about it. Some of the common trends of the restaurants here include open kitchens and communal tables. For those who enjoy cooking for themselves, San Francisco offers easy access to fresh-grown everything. If you make it to the Bay Area, you need to make the effort to check out Berkeley’s Chez Panisse.

Portland, Oregon

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Mix fresh, local ingredients with a colorful community of inventive chefs, and you will find the dynamic restaurant scene of Portland. The recipes and dishes in this one-of-a-kind city, cannot be recreated anywhere else. There are a lot of quirks to this city, in terms of both its community and food selection, making it truly an unforgettable place. From the stellar breakfasts, that draw long lines even during the week, to the first-class markets, you will not be disappointed by anywhere you go.

Los Angeles, California

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The food scene in Los Angeles is about as diverse as they come. If there is a part of the world that you would like to taste, you will definitely find it in Los Angeles. People who appreciate the food of their heritage will be pleased to find that restaurants do not have to simplify their cooking for anyone. But at the same time, restaurant goers must all be open to mash-ups of different styles, which put a unique twist on some classic favorites. Similar to Portland, fine dining here is more on the relaxed side.

New Orleans, Louisiana

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While walking throughout New Orleans, there are two things that you will not be able to avoid: Joie de vivre and tradition. The people here love their city, and those who visit can’t help but fall in love as well. The city has its own unique cuisine that is always ready to adopt fresh ideas. But the signature dish, red beans, and rice. You will also not find another city that enjoys their liquids as much as New Orleans.

Charleston, South Carolina

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This is the smallest city on the list, but it definitely packs a punch. You will find a great mix of the city’s rich past and some of the latest food fashions. Charleston is home to ace chef Sean Brock, head of the fan-favorite, Husk, who has been an advocate of the farm-to-table style for years. Although it lacks the diversity of culinary representation that is common in some larger cities, Charleston offers a unique charm, unparalleled service, and mouth-watering food.

Make Thanksgiving Great With These 8 Dishes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner; it is a special time of the year that gives you the opportunity to gather with all your friends and family, as well as enjoy a great meal. If you are still scrambling to decide what you will cook, I am here to help! Check out some of the recipes below courtesy of the Food Network. These recipes will help you turn your Thanksgiving feast into a meal that’s both traditional and tasty. Whether this is your first time cooking the Thanksgiving meal or you are looking for a new dish to please the crowd, these dishes will make sure everyone leaves the table full and satisfied.

Turkey with Stuffing

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Note: The bag is optional. Once the stuffing is made, you can place the stuffing into the bag and then place the bag into the cavity of the turkey.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the turkey into a deep, high-sided bowl on its end with the stuffing end up. Set aside.

Heat the chicken broth in the microwave in a large microwave-proof container. Place mushrooms in a glass bowl and pour heated broth over them. Cover and allow to sit for 35 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl toss the onion, celery, and green pepper with the oil and salt. Place the vegetables on a sheet pan and roast for 35 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, spread the cubed bread over the vegetables, return to the oven, and continue cooking.

Drain mushrooms, reserving 1 cup of liquid. Chop the mushrooms and place in a large microwave-proof bowl with the vegetables and bread, reserved chicken stock, cherries, pecans, eggs, sage, parsley and black pepper. Stir well in order to break up pieces of bread. Use your hands to combine, if necessary. Heat the stuffing in a microwave on high power for 6 minutes.

While the stuffing is heating, rub the bird with oil. Working quickly, place the stuffing into the cavity of the turkey to avoid losing heat. Place the turkey into a roasting pan, on a rack, and season with salt and pepper. Place the roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 45 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and cook for another 60 to 75 minutes or until the bird reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees F. Serve immediately.

For more information and the list of ingredients, please check here.

 

Squash Soup

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Total Time: 50 minutes

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the quartered squash onto a half sheet pan, brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the white pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender.

Scoop the flesh from the skin into a 6-quart pot. Add the broth, honey and ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture until smooth*. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Note: When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

For more information and the list of ingredients, please check here.

 

Green Bean Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Total Time: 1 hours 25 minutes

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a big pinch of salt and the green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, the beans should still be crisp, they will be cooked more in the oven. Drain them and set aside. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the green beans with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Tear the bread into 2-inch pieces, put them into a bowl, and add 1 tablespoon chives, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir well to coat and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake just until the bread just starts to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, add the remaining thyme and chives, and then cook for another 5 minutes. Add the green beans and stir well. Put the green bean mixture into the prepared baking dish, top with the croutons, and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan. Bake until everything is hot and bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes.

For more information and the list of ingredients, please check here.

 

Glazed Carrots

Recipe courtesy of Damaris Phillips

Total Time: 25 minutes

Cut the carrots in thirds crosswise. Then cut each piece lengthwise into halves or fourths, depending on the width of the carrots. This should create spears that have at least one flat side.

Add the oil to a cast-iron skillet and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the carrots in the oil cut-sides down and cook without turning until tender, about 6 minutes. The cut sides will be very, very dark. Some may even call it burnt.

Add the honey, togarashi and 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and stir up all the carrots. Cook, while stirring constantly, until most of the water has cooked off and the carrots are coated. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the chopped parsley. (This will add a fresh flavor and it looks really pretty.)

Serve right away to your impressed and amazed friends!

 

For more information and the list of ingredients, please check here.

Cranberry Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

In a medium pot, combine the cranberries, sugar and water. Stir to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and add the cinnamon stick, allspice and nutmeg. Stir to blend and simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst and some will remain whole. Add the orange juice and zest, stir and allow to cool be serving.

For more information and the list of ingredients, please check here.

 

Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread

Recipe courtesy of Damaris Phillips

Total Time: 40 minutes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil to a 6-inch cast-iron skillet. Put the skillet in the oven and allow to heat until very hot, 6 to 8 minutes.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a whisk. In a different bowl, combine the almond milk, applesauce, sorghum, egg and the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Fold to combine.

Carefully remove the hot cast-iron skillet from the oven and pour in the batter. Return the skillet to the oven and bake until golden with a crisp crust, 25 minutes.

Cook’s Note: Sorghum syrup is made from the sweet juice of the sorghum plant, a variety of cereal grass. It’s popular in the south as a sweetener for baked goods. You can find it at natural food stores or specialty online retailers.

For more information and the list of ingredients, please check here.

 

Pumpkin Pie

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust: Combine the gingersnaps, brown sugar, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the cookies are fine crumbs. Drizzle the butter into the crumb mixture. Pulse 8 to 10 times to combine.

Press the gingersnap mixture into the bottom, up the sides, and just over the lip of a 9-inch glass pie dish. Place on a half sheet pan and bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool crust at least 10 minutes before filling.

For the filling: Bring the pumpkin puree to a simmer over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the half-and-half, nutmeg, and salt. Stir and return the mixture to a simmer. Remove the pumpkin mixture from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk the brown sugar, eggs, and yolk until smooth in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the prepared filling into the warm pie crust and bake on the same half sheet pan until the center jiggles slightly but the sides of the filling are set, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Pie can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Pie is best the day after it is made.

For mini-pies: Evenly divide the crust mixture between five(5-inch) pie tins and bake on a half sheet pan for 5 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before evenly dividing the filling between the pans. Bake until the center juggles slightly but the sides of the filling are set (about 25 minutes). Cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours. Spread 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar on the top of each pie. Melt the sugar using a torch to form a crispy top. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

For more information and the list of ingredients, please check here.

8 Great Spicy Indian Dishes You Need To Try Right Now

It should come to no surprise that Indians love spicy food, as this love is reflected in so many great Indian dishes. Not only is spicy food delicious but it is actually good for you too! It has been shown that spicy food can improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of cancer and help you lose weight. I recently found this article, which outlines some all-time great spicy Indian dishes, which I would like to share below.

1) Pork Vindaloo

Pork-Vindaloo

While Vindaloo originates from Goa, India, its heavy use of vinegar and the traditional meat of pork is heavily influenced by the Portuguese in the area. There are many variations to this recipe; some serve vindaloo with chicken or lamb mixed with potatoes (although the traditional dish does not include potatoes). In Goa, the authentic vindaloo is a dry-sauce based dish, incorporating pork fat, garlic, vinegar, jaggery and Kashmiri chili.

2) Phaal Curry

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This dish actually originated in Indian restaurants in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Phaal is one of the hottest Indian curry dishes available. It is a tomato-based thick curry, which includes ginger and optionally fennel seeds.

3) Laal Maas

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Rajasthan, a place dominated by vegetarian cuisine, is where you will laal maas. This red hot dish is the only non-vegetarian dish to have such widespread popularity in the area. Laal maas is a thick/semi gravy mutton curry prepared in a sauce of curd and hot spices. The deep red color and the spicy flavor derives from a special chili called the Mathania red chilli from Mathania in Jodhpur.

4) Chicken Chettinad

Chettinad Chicken Masala

Chicken Chettinad is one of the spiciest and most aromatic in India. The dish is extremely hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a boiled egg that is considered an essential part of the meal. Reflecting the dry environment of the region, Chettinad uses a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables.

5) Kozi Kari

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Kozi Kari comes from Kerala and is believed to be introduced to India by early Jewish settlers. This dish is a hot chicken curry made with a combination of hot fresh green chilli peppers and dried ground red chilli peppers. The variety of spices used in this dish make it one of the spiciest curries around.

6) Piro Aloo

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Here is a vegetarian dish that everyone will enjoy, even die-hard meat lovers. While Piro Aloo actually originated in Nepal, it has become an extremely popular dish in India as well. It is essentially a Nepalese take on the Indian favorite, Dum Aloo. This dish is a little more dry than its Indian counterpart, but it is also a lot more spicy.

7) Andhra Dry Mutton

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This dish is much less spicy than the others on the list, but Andhra food is absolutely amazing. It is usually complemented by rice and vegetarian dishes, making it a very balanced meal.

8) Kolhapuri Chicken

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Kolhapur is well-known for its love of spices. This is a spicy, hot, exotic and real Kolhapuri chicken. This pairs very well with homemade light, fluffy, crispy jwarichi bhakri or naan. Seriously, this dish is extremely hot!

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