Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Toast

Grab the recipe at 1-2 Simple Cooking! 

http://onetwosimplecooking.com/blog/2014/1/13/bacon-wrapped-shrimp-toast

 

Honey Yogurt with Strawberries and Bananas

Cooking is something we all need in our lives; it's a way for us to not only connect with others, but with ourselves. 

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For three years I've thought about how to convince ones who didn't cook, to cook. Sure, not everyone will be a Giada de Laurentis or a Mario Batali in the kitchen but that's not what cooking is really about.  

Cooking is about having fun and jogging your creativity. It's about making time for yourself and nourishing your body at the same time.  And most importantly, it connects all of us, keeping us grounded and creating memories with our friends and family. 

Now the three main complaints I always hear about cooking at home (especially for singles and couples):  

1. It takes too long. After a long work day, the last thing you want to do is grocery shop, cook, eat and do dishes. All you wanna do is drink a glass of wine, sit on the couch in your underwear and watch some tube.  

2. It's too freaking hard. All those fancy kitchen gadgets and weird terms like chiffonade and misen place just gives you a  headache. Plus, add fire and sharp knives and it feels like a nightmare just waiting to happen.   

3.  Too many leftovers. You're always stuck eating the same meal, at least twice a day for 3-4 days in a row. One can handle only so much tuna casserole. 

I get it, I really do. I honestly held the same frustrations. But I think I've finally figured it out -- a solution, an answer, whatever you wanna call it, I've finally found a formula that makes cooking easy: 

 

basic techniques + simple recipes - hassle/cleanup  = a happy home cook  

 

It really is as simple as that. You don't need a million kitchen gadgets. You don't need to be stuck eating the same thing every day. And you certainly don't need to be prepping and cleaning all night.

 

All you really need to get started is a decent chef's knife, a cutting board and a little patience. 

The rest naturally comes with time and practice.  

simple recipes

This past year has been full of recipe testing, menu planning, figuring out tricks and tips to cut time in the kitchen while increasing efficiency. Surprisingly enough, I found that good food doesn't have to be fussy. With our busy lifestyles, it's important to learn wholesome recipes that are easy to execute and it all starts with the basics.  

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So if I've captured your attention to this point, I think it's safe to assume you're ready for action. And action you will have dear readers! Stay tuned for a special announcement this Friday -- YES! It will be....(wait for it)......REVOLUTIONARY.  

Because frankly, who the heck wants to look at delicious pictures of food? I'd much rather be eating it.  

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In the mean time, enjoy this 5-minute recipe. Start your mornings right with probiotics and fresh fruit. Why this recipe rocks: easy prep, minimal clean up and you feel like a bad ass because you ate healthy and stuff. 

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Ingredients for Honey Yogurt with Strawberries and Bananas 

(serving size: 1 ; prep time: 5 minutes) 

-- 2/3 cup 2% or 0% Greek Yogurt

-- 3 strawberries, cleaned, tops removed and quartered

-- 1/2 banana, sliced

-- 2 TB puffed millet (any puffed grain can work here) 

-- drizzle of honey  

In a bowl, place yogurt, strawberries and bananas together. Finish with puffed millet and a drizzle of honey. 

Feel free to freeze for a tasty snack! (Leave out millet and honey until ready to serve) 

 

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East Hampton Sandwich Co.

What makes a good sandwich? First and foremost, it starts with great bread. Add stellar house-roasted meats and sauces made from scratch and you've got East Hampton Sandwich Co. 

Lobster Roll

Located in Snider Plaza between Lovers and Hillcrest, East Hampton is packed with style and flavor. The light, airy interior is bold and modern with its soft grey and yellow color scheme.  Feel free to sit at the bar, a booth or table and enjoy local beers, wines, and for non alcoholics they have great drinks like San Pellegrino Blood Orange Soda! 

 

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Fan favorites include their Turkey Bacon Avocado which is made from house-roasted turkey breast, thick slices of peppery bacon and a generous slather of mashed avocado served on a toasty, chewy ciabatta bun with a generous helping of freshly made chips. 

Their lobster roll is also a winner -- served on a brioche-like bun and filled to the brim with lobster and finished with arugula and micro-greens with a tasty butter drizzle. It's pure heaven with every mouthful. 

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East Hampton Sandwich Co. also has kid friendly options like their Marshmallow Peanut Butter Fluff sandwich, which can be adult friendly too and healthier options like their golden pear and pacncetta salad served on a bed of spring mix with basil, bleu cheese crumble tossed with a champagne vinaigrette.  

Be sure to visit East Hampton Sandwich Co at 6912 Snider Plaza, Dallas, TX 75205 from 11-9 Monday-Saturday and 11-3 Sunday.  

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In other exciting news, I was given the honor of being featured on Octoplace this week, be sure to head on over to read my interview about food photography, blogging, tips and more! 

octoplace

Made by the talented husband and wife team of Daniel Yee and Jennifer Puno in Venice Ca, Octoplace is a website where foodies unite and share beautiful photography, helpful reviews and recommendations on restaurants from all over the World. With their seamless and modern design it makes sharing easy and visually appealing without the hassle of exhaustive searching and combing through the web. Be sure to sign up to stay up to date on exciting things to come!  

You can also follow them here:  

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook 

 

Blackberry and Sage Spritzers

blackberry cocktail

The sun sets beneath the branches of the blackberry bush, its limbs grasping towards the sky. Just a year ago this bush stood yay high, just a little pass my knee. Now it towers well over our 8-foot fence: strong, monstrous and filled with fruit.  

Yet it didn't easily get there. There were weeks of sickness stricken by mold, times when the weather would grow angry and harsh, but we tended and protected, mended when needed and this Summer we were rewarded with sweet these luscious berries.  

blackberry cocktail

This cocktail is an ode to every thing Summer -- sweet, woodsy, with just the right amount of wonder. The earthiness of the sage plays beautifully with the spices from the gin. Feel free to leave out the gin for a mocktail or even replace soda water with tonic water for a bit more sweetness. 

 

Ingredients for Blackberry Sage Spritzers:

(makes 2 cocktails) 

  • 3 oz. good quality gin 
  • handful of blackberries, washed
  • 1 bottle soda water
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 3 oz sage simple syrup (recipe below)
  • fresh sage and blackberries for garnish  

In a shaker, muddle the blackberries and add the simple syrup. Add gin and ice and shake well. Strain into two highball glasses and top off with the soda water. Garnish with fresh sage and blackberries and serve immediately. 

To make the sage simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped

Combine sugar and water in a small pot and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add sage leaves, stir until leaves are submerged. Cook for 2-3 minutes and turn off heat. Allow leaves to steep for 15-20 minutes and strain into a container and place in the fridge until ready to use. 

 

blackberry cocktails

Instagram recently came out with a video option that I've been playing around with -- here's a couple clips from the garden and the way I styled this drink. You can follow more of my adventures here

Flat Bread Pizzas with Avocado and Roasted Carrots

When I cook at home, I always try to plan out what I'll be cooking and eating for the week. That way, it helps minimize food waste and ensures that you utilize your leftovers properly.  

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I tend to keep carrots in stock at all times, they last long in the fridge, they are insanely healthy for you and very versatile. You can eat them raw, or in stir-frys and soups, maybe a quick roast with some garlic and EVOO (recipe here), steamed or boiled, fried -- they're easily one of my favorite vegetables. 

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I usually put aside a "free day" to make the more extensive recipes that require more prep time and effort but I'll make sure to make a little extra so it'll last me for a good portion of the week. Anytime I make roasted carrots, I always make extra because you can throw them on pretty much anything.  

This is a five minute recipe that's perfect for those busy nights where you don't feel like cooking. Pair it with a side salad or some fruit and you've got yourself a great lunch or dinner, you can even slice it up and serve it up as an appetizer for parties. These are so simple, a kid could make em and feel free to omit any ingredients that don't tickle your fancy.  

 

flatbread pizza

Ingredients for Flat Bread Pizzas with Avocado and Roasted Carrots  

Makes about 2 flat bread pizzas

  • 2 whole flatbreads or gyro bread (I personally prefer gyro bread)
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed  
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 spoonful habanero pepper jam (any type of pepper jam will work here)
    • 1/2 cup romaine lettuce, cleaned and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 large avocado, pitted and cubed
    • 1 cup roasted carrots  
    • 1/8 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced  

    Place flatbreads in a toaster oven and bake until warm and slightly crispy around the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile prep your dressing: in a small bowl whisk lime juice, olive oil and jam until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside. 

    Prep remaining ingredients (slice romaine, cube avocado, slice onion). Carefully remove flatbreads from oven (use a fork if needed as it will be hot) and place on a plate. In a large bowl, toss sliced romaine with dressing and place onto flat bread. Place avocado and roasted carrots and top with sliced onions and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. Finish with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil if preferred.

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