Wednesday, July 23, 2014

National Hot Dog Day

What would National Hot Day be without a little post from me? I went back and forth on what to write about today, and then it hit me. Who doesn't want some fun-albeit-useless hot dog facts? I know I'll be enjoying a Chicago Dog (or two) today!

  • Did you know that Americans consume around 150 million hot dogs every year at the 4th of July?
  • The most popular topping among adults is mustard at 86.7% (mustard > ketchup. duh)
  • Hot dogs were the first food eaten on the moon, and is a NASA approved item on regular Apollo moon flights, Skylab missions, and space shuttle flights. 
  • The average American eats 50 hot dogs every year
  • The world's longest hot dog was 1,996 feet long, in honor of the 1996 Olympic Games





Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Simple Syrup

So many recipes these days call for simple syrup. Think lemonade, iced tea, and just about every cocktail on the planet. Now, you could easily go to the store and buy a $10+ bottle of pre-made simple syrup, or you could make your own for just pennies. All is it is water and sugar. That's it. Got 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar? You are in business my friend! Plus, once you've mastered the original simple syrup you can get creative by adding things like ginger, mint, lemon peel, or vanilla beans to create flavored simple syrups. The best part about using simple syrup over just plain sugar is that you don't get all of those sugar granules that collect in the bottom of your glass instead of sweetening your drink. For every teaspoon of granulated sugar that you would normally use to sweeten, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of the simple syrup.

Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
In a medium sauce pan add the water and the sugar. Heat over medium heat; stirring often. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cheesy Shrimp & Tortellini Bake


Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. I am a wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve-Type-A-planner-to-the-extreme-girl, and there are times when I just get so caught up in my emotions, and the fact that I cannot be in control 100% of the time, that I forget to stop and just enjoy life. Luckily I am surrounded by some pretty incredibly supportive people; that includes my co-workers, family and friends both near and far, and my boyfriend who tries with all of his might to keep me grounded, but sometimes there's just no stopping this 110 mph brain of mine. I know New Year's resolutions are usually done in January, but I've decided to make a Christmas in July resolution and try to let go of even just a fraction of control and just...be. Be happy. Be content. Be me. And being me means being in the kitchen. With such a hectic schedule lately I've been going for simple dinners that I can get to the table in under 30 minutes, and this one takes the cake. 



Cheesy Shrimp & Tortellini Bake

Ingredients:
  • 16 oz. raw jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 20 oz. package four cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups tomato basil marinara sauce
  • 3 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the tortellini and cook according to the packaged directions. Drain the tortellini and set aside. Heat up the marinara sauce in the same pot for 3 minutes, or until heated through. 

Meanwhile preheat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Cook in the hot oil on both sides until the shrimp is pink all the way through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set the shrimp aside on a plate. 

Add the tortellini in the marinara sauce into the cast iron skillet and spread into an even layer. Top with the cooked shrimp. Sprinkle the parmesan on top, then finish with the shredded mozzarella.



Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and starting to turn slightly golden brown.

Remove from the broiler and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Srirachup


Sriracha week is coming to a close, but it has been such a success! We are rounding out the week's recipes with some Srirachup. Sriracha + Kethup = Srirachup. While I'm normally not a huge ketchup fan, I made a grand exception here, because what goes better with some sweet potato tater tots, than some spicy homemade ketchup. Hence, Srirachup. I like to make anything I can homemade, because then I know exactly what goes into it, and it's not full of weird processed preservatives that have more letters in them than the alphabet and you couldn't pay me enough money to be able to pronounce them. With just 8 ingredients that you most likely already have on hand, you have an incredibly flavorful condiment that packs a punch. And don't forget to check my Q&A sesh with the beautiful Niki from Glossy Blonde here!! 


Srirachup

Ingredients:
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. water
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt to taste
Add all ingredients to a medium pot and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and whisk until smooth. Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. An old canning jar worked perfectly for me.


This recipe is in no way sponsored by Sriracha. It is based on my love for all things spicy!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Chicken


This week has been one for the record books! For starters, it's Sriracha Week. No complaints here. So what if I made up my own week like Shark Week? Sriracha Week for the win! Also, I am featured on my friend Niki's blog Glossy Blonde, so be sure to check out my Q&A with her and a chance for you to win something fabulous! 

Keeping with the spicy theme this week, I am featuring a twist on your traditional sweet & spicy chicken by kicking it up a notch with what other than, Sriracha, duh! Then I served it atop some garlicky quinoa instead of white or brown rice, because no matter what the new trend is right now, I am still obsessed with quinoa. You can easily monitor how spicy you want this dish by simply cutting down on the amount of Sriracha you use. The honey helps to cut through the spice, and leaves you with a nice sweet flavor. 


Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Chicken
Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1/4 honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • chopped green onion & cilantro for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together the Sriracha, honey, lime juice, and green onion. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the yellow onion and cook until translucent; about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped chicken and cook until cooked through and slightly browned.

Once the chicken is cooked, add in the Sriracha honey sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and reduces by half.  

To serve, split the quinoa between 2 bowls. Top with the sweet & spicy chicken then garnish with more green onions and cilantro.


This post is in no way sponsored by Sriracha. Posts are based solely on my taste buds.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sriracha Chex Mix

It appears that monsoon season has hit Phoenix a little early this year. My boyfriend and I made the mistake of going grocery shopping during what seemed like a hurricane, which resulted in Andrew running to the car barefoot because flip flops and floods do not mix. When we got to my parents house to have dinner, we found that our 25+ year old pine tree had been ripped from the ground in a sudden burst of wind. Luckily everyone was okay, and I even made my mom pose for pictures to send to our friends and family! But enough about weather. I just get excited because we actually had weather other than 110+ degree temps. On to food. 



Chex Mix. You know the stuff. It's crunchy. It's salty. It's hard to stop eating even after 25 handfuls. It's basically an addiction. But just wait until you have tried the traditional party mix with an added kick from some Sriracha hot sauce. This is it. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. And I feel comfortable saying that, because I dreamt about it just last night. Maybe it's because I ate half of the batch, or maybe because it's just that good. But try it out for yourself and see! 


Sriracha Chex Mix

Ingredients:
  • 6 cups rice chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups cheez-it crackers
  • 1 1/2 cups pretzels
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup sriracha
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the sriracha, butter, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in 15-second increments, stirring each time before cooking again. Set aside once it has all melted.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the chex cereal, cheez-its, pretzels, and peanuts. Pour the melted butter mixture over the snack mix. Mix well with a large spatula and then pour onto a large baking sheet, spreading it out into an even layer.

Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before placing in an airtight container. Will last up to 2 weeks. 


Sriracha Week is in full effect. Check out my Sriracha Hummus and how to make Sriracha Sea Salt. These posts are not sponsored by Sriracha, just thought it would be a fun segment for the week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sriracha Sea Salt


Yesterday I introduced you to Sriracha Hummus, and I replaced plain old kosher salt with Sriracha sea salt. It's Sriracha week here at HDFb and what better way to celebrate my condiment of choice then to make it into salt. It's 2 ingredients. I mean, can it get any simpler? Well, I guess 1 ingredient would be simpler, but work with me here, okay?! This is an awesome salt to have on hand to top off any dish with just a little kick. Burgers, corn on the cobb, and baked potatoes are the first things to come to mind when I think about what I want to put this on next! Plus, don't forget that Battle of the Blogs is still in full swing and you have until July 28th to enter your unlimited voted for HDFB here:

http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/battle-of-the-blogs/voting/9.html?msg=voted


Sriracha Sea Salt

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 5 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the salt and Sriracha until completely combined. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet and allow the mixture to dry out for 1-2 days. Feel free to mix once or twice. Place into an airtight container and store at room temperature. 

If you don't have a day or two to make this, feel free to cut down time by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Once it has preheated, turn off the heat completely and add the baking sheet with the salt mixture into the oven and allow it to dry out for 2-3 hours.


This post is not sponsored by Sriracha in any way. This is based solely on my opinion. 
 

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