Happy Memorial Day! Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad, Watermelon, Citrus & Mint Wine Spritzer

We spent Sunday poolside with dear friends and I’m very grateful for the perfect weather and company. To accompany our burgers and dogs on the grill, I made a roasted corn and black bean salad with avocado, tomatoes, and queso fresco. It worked as a salad, and as a chunky salsa with chips.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad

6 ears of corn (grilled, or I broiled mine in the oven, salt and peppered)

1 large can (29 oz.) of black beans

3 medium ripe tomatoes

3/4-1 cup crumbled queso fresco

2 avocados, diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced, seeds removed

Lime vinaigrette: juice of 3-4 limes, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, sprinkle of cumin, pinch of oregano, salt and pepper

Roast the corn, drain and rinse the beans in a colander. Add the corn and beans to a large bowl, drizzle half the lime vinaigrette over it. On the top, add a row of cheese, avocado, and tomatoes. I poured the remaining lime vinaigrette over the avocado (to keep it from turning brown) and tomatoes. Sprinkle jalapeno on top.

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Perfect burger..

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In anticipation of drinking most of the afternoon in the sun, I also made a light, refreshing drink. This was delicious and next time I will make a double batch!

Watermelon, Citrus, & Mint White Wine Spritzer

In an effort to not water down the drink with ice cubes, I made watermelon “ice cubes” to keep the drink cool. Basically, made melon balls with a melon baller and froze them overnight.

1/2 watermelon, balled (I used regular and yellow watermelon)

1 lemon, 3-4 small limes, sliced

1 large sprig of mint (or basil!)

1 bottle fruity white wine, like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon blanc

1 bottle sparkling water (I used Perrier lime flavored)

Mix everything together and enjoy (preferably in the sun, near a pool!) I bought a little cheap plastic dispenser for $3 from Big Lots. Perfect for patio gatherings.

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Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Bon appetit,

ally

 

Chicken Enchiladas

For dinner tonight I made a batch of enchiladas, something I have done many times before as my husband has a particular fondness, but this time I made my own enchilada sauce! I have always opted for a can of the delicious red sauce because I thought it was very complicated but it turns out it’s pretty to make your own, and way better!

DSC_0457.jpgInside ingredients: Shredded chicken breast (time saving tip: use a rotisserie chicken from the deli), shredded Mexican cheese blend, finely chopped onion

Outside ingredients: Homemade enchilada sauce (see recipe below), queso fresco

Fill your enchiladas, cover with sauce and cheese, and place in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and lime. Put in mouth.

DSC_0469.jpgHomemade Enchilada Sauce (from Gimme Some Oven)

2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or avocado)

2 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups chicken or veggie stock

Heat oil in pan (medium high heat) add flour and whisk. Slowly add spice mix and whisk. Then add stock gradually. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until thickened. Super easy!

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The consensus in my house: homemade enchilada sauce= fantastic! Happy enchilada-ing!

Bon appetit!

ally

Weekend-long Birthday Extravaganza

This weekend was jam packed with birthday festivities for one of my favorite humans and long-time best friend, Drew. We started Saturday afternoon at Hopleaf with a big group followed by Replay for patio dinner (the Swedish meatballs were delicious), quick stop at Elixir, and then popping in for a charity drag show.

We continued the fun on Sunday with a relaxing grill-out poolside (and more cake, of course!)

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Menu: Filet mignon, sweet potatoes, roast corn on the cob- amazing

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Ice cream cake!

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Overall, a pretty fantastic weekend to celebrate a truly fantastic person.

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Bon appetit,

ally

A Tale of Two Meats: Bourbon Baby Back Ribs and Roasted Herb Turkey Breast

It’s the first Saturday in May, which means one thing: Derby day! I am in Chicago this weekend and I felt like making a great dinner while I have use of my kitchen. But first, mint juleps..

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The market had some great baby back ribs, so I picked some up and used the bourbon in the marinade.

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I partially followed two recipes, one from Epicurious and one from the Food Network. I let the ribs marinate for a few hours in a bourbon-dark brown sugar-course ground mustard blend (below).

Bourbon Rib Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon course ground Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

After marinating, I placed the ribs in a pan tightly covered with foil in a 350 degree oven, then let them cook for about 45 min. I pulled them out, brushed some more sauce on them (below) on them and let them cook uncovered for about 10 more minutes.

Bourbon Basting Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup steak sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • two pinches red pepper flakes

I also picked up a turkey breast. This was very easy, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, dried herb blend of rosemary and thyme, and salt and pepper. Whatever is extra, I will take in my lunch this week.

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Served with roasted asparagus drizzled with hollandaise sauce. I like my hollandaise sauce extra lemon-y which is so yummy with asparagus. Also, warm, yeasty rolls right out of the oven. Fantastic!

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Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Bon appetit,

ally