Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini

Move over Starbucks CaliZona has just kicked the PSL up a notch or three!  Not just a Happy Halloween Cocktail but a spectacular fall/holiday drink for any occasion

PSLMartini_

Recipe:  Makes 1 Martini                                                     Profile:  Inspired/Sweet

  • *1oz Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • 1oz Four Roses Bourbon
  • 2oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2oz Coconut Cream

Glass: Martini                                                                       Garnish: Coffee Skull Ice Cube

*Pumpkin Syrup

  • 1/2 Cup Purified Water
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Peeled & Chopped Pumpkin

Instructions:

In a small saucepan on medium heat heat water, then add sugar, once completely dissolved add the pumpkin.  Turn heat to low and continue to cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally

 Then add all ingredients to a martini shaker, shake with ice for 6 seconds and pour into glass

 Other posts

Kale Radish Salad with Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper Chive Pesto Vinaigrette

This is a vibrant cheerful salad full of flavor and crunch.

Kale-Radish-Salad-with-Roasted-Yellow-Bell-Pepper-Chive-Pesto

Not only am I pesto obsessed but I am also salad obsessed!  Put the two together and you have a beautiful melding of flavors. The beauty of a kale salad is that you can eat them hot or cold.  Heat up some bread and serve it with the roasted yellow bell pepper chive pesto.

Kale is so nutrient dense, it keeps your skin and eyes healthy.  Who wouldn’t want that?  It also satisfies you, leaving you full and helps prevent overeating by reducing cravings for unhealthy foods.

Kale-Radish-Salad-with-Roasted-Yellow-Pepper-Chive-Pesto

This salad is great with a dry red wine like a Red Rioja, Pinot Noir or Merlot.  And for a white, try a Verdejo, White Rioja, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.

Kale-and-Radish-Salad-with-Roasted-Yellow-Bell-Pepper-Chive-Pesto Recipe: 4 – 6 servings

  • 1 Cup (about a half recipe) Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper Chive Pesto
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice – freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Head Kale (about 7 cups) – chopped into thin strips
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups French Breakfast Radishes - thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Carrot (about half a carrot) – shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper – diced
  • Toasted Walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

Make the pesto, (you can make a half batch or make the whole batch and have it on some toasted french bread along side of the salad!)

Mix the pesto with the vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.

Wash the kale and tear off main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding off the leaves then chop in to thin strips

In a large bowl, add the kale with the olive oil and massage the oil into the kale.

Add the radishes, carrots, cabbage and bell pepper to the kale.  Mix together then thoroughly mix in the pesto vinaigrette.

*Top with toasted walnuts right before eating or they will become soft.

Health benefits: Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)    More on kale  Other posts

Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper and Chive Pesto

 This vibrant pesto has a very mild roasted flavor with a slight spiciness from the chives.

Roasted-Yellow-Bell-Pepper-and-Chive-Pesto

There is something about creating new pesto that I really love!  The possibilities are endless.  I guess that is obvious from the ever growing list that I keep adding to.

Roasted-Yellow-Bell-Pepper-Chive-Pesto

This pesto goes best with a dry or slightly fruity white wine like a Verdejo, White Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Cava or Prosecco.

Roasted-Yellow-Pepper-and-Chive-Pesto

Recipe - Approx 2 Cups

  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 Cup Chives
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions:

Roast the Pepper

Cut the chives about 1 inch sections so you can measure it.

Finley shred the cheese and measure everything then add to a food processor or blender and puree.  Scrape the sides at least one time.

Other posts

Tequila Apple Spice

This time of year always inspires the cinnamon, clove, apple, pumpkin flavored anything!  I wanted to make a cocktail that tastes like hot apple pie with flavors of the classic old fashion and a twist of mexico in the fall.  Voila “Tequila Apple Spice”

Tequila-Apple-Spice-

 I’m not a big “let’s do shots of tequila” girl but a good anjeo or reposado tequila can be amazingly delicious

Tequila-Apple-Spice

Making the fruit syrup will inspire you to put this on anything; waffles, gelato even wonderful with brie or probably a creamy goat cheese (if you like goat cheese ;P)

Tequila-Apple-Spice__

I like the Don Julio 1942 tequila for this drink although any reposado or anjeo tequila will be good especially with the highly addictive syrup

 Recipe:  Makes 3oz Cocktail                                      Profile: Strong/Sweet ~ Original Recipe

  • 1oz *Vanilla Apple Syrup
  • 2oz Don Julio Reposado 1942 Tequila
  • Dash Angostura Bitters
  • Bruleed, Dehydrated or Fresh Apple Slice

Glass: Old Fashion                                      Garnish: Bruleed or Dehydrated Apple Slice

*Vanilla Apple Syrup

Recipe: Makes 1/4 Cup

  • 1/4 Cup Purified Water
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean or 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Peeled Red Apple Chopped
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice or 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon & Dash of Ground Nutmeg

Instructions: 

First to prepare the vanilla apple syrup; In a small saucepan on med low heat add water, heat then add sugar.  Stir sugar until dissolved then add all other ingredients. Stir and cool

Measure tequila, vanilla syrup and bitters into a mixing glass, add 3/4 full of ice, and stir with cocktail spoon for 12 seconds

Strain with Julep strainer over large cube of ice.  Add apple garnish

Other posts

Hearty Vegetable Tomato Basil Stew

This is a heartwarming comfort stew for those soup-eating days.

Vegetable-Stew

Robby asked me to make a vegetable stew, so I rose to the challenge.  I’m normally not a fan of stews.  However, I discovered how tasty it can be when you put it under the broiler with some gruyere cheese bubbling on top.  I guess you could call it a Italian style stew with the tomato and basil, which really adds a whole new dimension to it.  Stews and soups are so versatile, get creative and use whatever veggies you like to make it your own!

Hearty-Vegetable-Stew

This hearty stew goes great with a nice red wine like a Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot, Tempranillo, Red Rioja or Pinot Noir.  The follow whites would be great as well; a white; a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, White Rioja or a Rueda.

Hearty-Vegetable-Stew-with-Fresh-Basil

Recipe: 8 – 10 Servings

  • 5 Large Tomatoes  - Blanch tomatoes remove skin and puree then set aside
  • 2 1/2 lb Yukon Potatoes – cut in to bite size cubes
  • 1 Leek (about 2 1/2 Cups) - cut in half and sliced
  • 5 Carrots – thinly sliced
  • 3 Stalks Celery (about 1 Cup) – sliced length wise in 3 slices,  then thinly sliced (small piece)
  • 1 Red Onion – diced
  • 5 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Vegetable Bullion Cubes – unsalted
  • 1/3 Cup Red Wine
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme – pull leaves off stems
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil – minced + extra for garnish - chiffonade
  • Gruyere Cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Blanch and puree tomatoes (set aside)

Dice the potatoes and set aside in a bowl of water

You want to wash the leek really well.  There is always dirt on the inside.   Watch this how to video if you have never cooked with leek before. Slice and set aside

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat add garlic, onions, celery, carrots and olive oil

Heat for about 8 minutes or when the onions are soft then add leeks stir and cook for a couple more minutes then

Add the bullion cubes and wine and desolve the bullion in the wine.  Reduce the wine until syrupy.

Add the water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until carrots are fairly soft. (about 15 minutes)

Add the tomato sauce, potatoes and spices (not basil) and vinegar.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, covered for 20 – 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender

Stir occasionally while cooking, add the basil at the end, remove and discard the bay leaf.

Garnish with basil

Option: Shred gruyere cheese on top and put under broiler for a minute or two until it becomes bubbly and golden.

Hearty-Vegetable-Tomato-Basil-Stew-

 

Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold’s content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it.  They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes breaks down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zea-xanthin in them helps filtering harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.

Other posts

Tomato Quinoa topped with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Basil Sauce, Crispy Basil and Toasted Almonds

This is such a delicious dish with all of it’s varied textures from the grain, sauce, crunchy basil and almonds!

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-topped-with-Roasted-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce

This is a perfect fall side dish.  I like to serve everything separate so everyone can add as much or little of the sauce, basil and almonds.  You can also leave the basil leaves whole or crumble them up on top.

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-topped-with-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce

Try this with a nice crisp glass of white Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah or Merlot.

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-topped-with-Roasted-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce-and-Toasted-Basil-and-Almonds

Recipe: 2 – 3 Servings

Instructions:

Wash the basil, but dry them completely or they won’t get crispy.

 Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Pick the basil off the stems and only use the same size leaves or check on them early and take out the small leaves and return the others to the oven.

On a baking sheet spread out the basil leaves in a single layer and sprinkle with little olive oil and lightly salt.  Gently toss the leaves with your hands to cover them in oil.

Put in the oven and bake for 6 - 9 minutes or until leaves turn dark green and become crispy.  Make sure to keep checking on them so they don’t burn.   Remove from the oven, let cool and set aside

 Roast the peppers and start the sauce.

While the peppers are steaming pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toast almonds by spreading out on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf.

Puree the peppers and the onion mix in a food processor or blender until smooth

Pour the sauce back into the pan and simmer

While the almonds are toasting and the sauce is simmering, start the quinoa.

Assemble on individual plates or bring everything to the table separately.

*Top with almonds just before eating otherwise they will get soft

Serve with a salad and bread : )

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-with-Roasted-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce

Health benefits:

Quinoa is a super food that is extremely nutrient rich and it is a complete protein source and high in fiber, which helps digestion heart heath.   It contains more antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients than any other grain. Unlike most grains quinoa has a significant amount of gamma-tocopherol of the vitamin E family, which helps some inflammatory issues.  It is a good source of magnesium (helps metabolism, cardiovascular, and blood vessel function, which is helpful for migraine headaches). Quinoa contains the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol even more than in cranberries.  It is helpful in regulation of blood sugar and also reduces your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Red bell peppers help fight off free radical cells and help prevent inflammation in the body as well as eye disease.  It’s great for keeping the skin healthy and youthful. Red bell peppers are extremely high in the antioxidant vitamins C, A, and  beta carotene. They are also a good source of lycopene and high in fiber.  Red bell peppers contain 1.5 times more vitamin C, 8 times more vitamin A and 11 times more beta carotene than green bell peppers.

Other posts

Baked Roasted Poblano Kale Falafel

These falafels are simply outstanding!  What I really love about these and my plain falafels are that they are perfectly moist on the inside and full of flavor.

Kale-Roasted-Poblano-Falafel

 Robby and I eat a lot of falafels.  They are one of our favorite meals because it is so versatile and vegan, unless of course, you add the tzatziki or jack cheese to it.

 Robby likes it in a pita and I like it as a salad.  They are even good the next day.  I just put them in the toaster oven and add some diced tomatoes on the side of the baking sheet to heat up as well then top the falafels with them.

Kale-Falafel

Serve with a glass of white Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Cava or a Mexican beer.

Kale-Poblano-Falafel

Recipe: 10 – 12 patties

  • 1 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans (2 Cups Soaked)
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Shallot
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 2 Small Roasted Poblano Pepper – dried with paper towel
  • 1 Cup Chopped Kale
  • 1 Cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Serving options:

Instructions:

Soak the garbanzo beans over night for at least 12 hours, rinse and set aside

In a food processor mince the onion, shallot, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice and spices, scrape the edges one time and pulse a few times

Add the cilantro, kale, poblano and half the garbanzo beans and pulse about 15 times, you want it a bit chunky

Add the flour and the rest of the garbanzo beans and pulse a few more times making sure to incorporate all the flour and leaving it with small pieces of garbanzo beans

Put in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes

Put some parchment paper on a baking sheet

Pre heat oven to 375

Form into golf ball size balls and press flat to form a disc and place them on the baking sheet.  Brush each one with olive oil using a pastry brush or carefully rub on with your fingers.  Then with a spatula carefully flip them over and do the same to the other side

Bake for 15 minutes then flip over for 15 more minutes or until golden

Health Benefits:

Garbanzo beans are are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is a antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transports oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Other posts

Tomato Tahini Sauce

What a great twist on a classic tahini sauce.

Tomato-Tahini

I made kale and roasted poblano pepper falafels the other day and this lovely tomato tahini sauce to go with it.  It’s a nice addition for Mexican inspired falafels.

Tomato-Tahini-Sauce

Recipe: Approx. 1 Cup

  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1 Small Heirloom Tomato – cored and blanched (regular tomatoes are fine)
  • 1 Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions:

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil, enough to cover the tomato.  Add the tomato for about 1 minute or until the skin cracks.  Drain in a colander and when cool remove the skin

Measure all ingredients In a bowl of a food processor or blender ands the tomato and measure all the remaining ingredients.  Puree for about 1 – 2 minutes, you just want to make sure the garlic is purred.

Health Benefits:

Tahini is one of the best sources of calcium and a good source of methionine, which aids in liver detoxification. It is high in alkaline minerals helping in weight loss and high in vitamin E, which promotes healthy cell growth and maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.  It is super high in iron helping to prevent anemia.  It’s high in protein, lecithin, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.

Other posts

Sage and Toasted Walnut Pesto Mashed Potatoes

What can I say, these are extremely tasty and full of sage goodness!

_Sage-and-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto-Mashed-Potatoes-

It is officially fall and it’s time for comfort food!  Regular mashed potatoes are a perfect side dish to a fall inspired dinner, but adding the sage pesto to them gives it an extra kick.  It is exceptionally great with my shiitake mushroom gravy and some petite peas.

Mashed-Potatoes-with-Sage-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

Enjoy them with a nice glass of Rose wine, Albariño, Chenin Blanc or a Verdelho.

Mashed-Potatoes-with-Sage-and-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

Recipe: 4 – 6 servings

  • 1/2 Recipe Sage and Toasted Walnut Pesto
  • 2 Pounds Yucon Gold Potatoes – cut in small cubes
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk or Half and Half or both
  • 4 Tableblesoons Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions:

Start by cutting the potatoes into cubes, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until very tender.  Use a timer and check at 15 minutes

While the potatoes are cooking, make the pesto.  When the potatoes are ready, drain in a colander.

In a bowl, add the potatoes and butter then mash well.  When the butter is all the way melted add the pesto, milk, salt and pepper; beat until fluffy.

Mashed-Potatoes-with-Toasted-Walnut-Sage-Pesto

Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold – content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage.Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Sage helps to enhances concentration, attention span and quickens the senses.  Its effects help deal with grief and depression.  It is useful for all types of bacterial infections.  Helps detoxify and cleanse the blood.  The herb reportedly restores color to gray or white hair.  It is also high in antioxidants. Sage is exceptionally rich source of several B-complex, it contains a very good amounts of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and C It is a rich sources of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium *Those with epilepsy, high blood pressure, or kidney disease may be adversely affected by the thujone content and should avoid large doses of sage

Other posts

Sage and Toasted Walnut Pesto

 This is a very velvety, unique and earthy pesto.

Sage-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

I thought this pesto would have a strong flavor but it is in fact very mild.  I love it on artisan bread topped with tomato and cheese, toasted or cold!  Yummmm

Sage-Pesto

This goes great with an Albarino, Spanish Rueda, Spanish Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé or a light Pinot Noir.

Sage-and-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

Recipe - Approx: 3 Cups

  • 2 Cups Fresh Sage
  • 1 1/2 Cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Asiago Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Toasted Walnut Oil or to taste
  • 1 – 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste

Instructions:

Toast the walnuts.  While the walnuts are toasting, shred the cheese and pick the leaves off the sage stems then measure and add them to a food processor or blender along with the cheese, oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt.  When the walnuts are completely cool add and puree until desired texture

Health Benefits: Sage helps to enhances concentration, attention span and quickens the senses.  Its effects help deal with grief and depression.  It is useful for all types of bacterial infections.  Helps detoxify and cleanse the blood.  The herb reportedly restores color to gray or white hair.  It is also high in antioxidants. Sage is exceptionally rich source of several B-complex, it contains a very good amounts of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and C It is a rich sources of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium *Those with epilepsy, high blood pressure, or kidney disease may be adversely affected by the thujone content and should avoid large doses of sage Other posts