Strawberry Frosé

The Best Strawberry Frosé

There are so many ways to make Frosé.  I tried out a couple of different methods, and this one is by far my favorite!  It is the simplest, tastiest and, added bonus, can be enjoyed 3 different ways:

 1. Immediately, Straight out of the Blender

2. In an Hour, after being popped in the Freezer

3. That Night, as a Granita

If you’re anything like me, you like (and need!!!) options.  This way I can prep ahead, or Wow guests as they are coming through the door.  My favorite way, and what you see in the picture above, is #2. The pop the blender back into the freezer for an hour or so method. Regardless of which way you choose, yo only need 5 simple ingredients.  Bottle of Rose, Strawberries, Sugar, Lemon and……my secret ingredient….Vodka!!!  The Vodka helps with the freezing consistency, making this Frosé perfection!

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 1 Bottle COLD Rosé
  • 1 Pint Strawberries, hulled and stemmed
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 Cup Vodka

Put all ingredients (Rosé, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and vodka in a blender. Blend until strawberries are puréed. Taste for sweetness/tartness. (Add more sugar or lemon juice if needed…depending on sweetness of strawberries and Rosé). Add 1 1/2 – 2 cups of ice and pulse until desired consistency. Serve on glass immediately, because you deserve it! But my favorite way is to pop the blender right into the freezer for 30-45 minutes (or until your guests arrive) and then you have the PERFECT FROSÉ, like you see in the pictures above. Or, you can pour onto a flat cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Then, scrape “granita” with a fork to fluff and then refreeze until you are ready for a fun, refreshing dessert! Just scrape again with a fork and serve in a little dish or pretty bowl. ENJOY!!!

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Baked Camembert Wreath

Happy Holidays!!!

Cheers!

The Tree is Trimmed…so it must be time for Prosecco, Pear Nectar, Ginger Liquor and Pomegranate Arils.…a delicious concoction….Try It IMMEDIATELY, you won’t be disappointed!

 CHRISTMAS EVE RUDOLPH PANCAKES

These Rudolph Pancakes for the kids Christmas Eve Breakfast were a hit!!!  And pretty simple to make.  Bacon Antlers, Banana and Blueberry Eyes and a cute Strawberry (or Raspberry) Nose <3

Happy New Year to You and Yours!!!

I don’t know about you, but my Holiday was a whirlwind of crazy, happy, exhausting fun.  We ate too much, we drank too much….but, lucky for you, I was constantly making cocktails, apps, food and desserts….it felt like,  24/7.  On the plus side, now I can share them with you!  First, my most requested recipe: Camembert Holiday Ring.  Not only is it stunningly gorgeous, it is simple to make and beyond delicious……..one of my biggest party hits this season!  I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we did…a few times!!!  Feast your eyes upon this, and imagine the amazing smells……

Baked Camembert Wreath with Rosemary, Garlic, Honey and Pomegranate Arils

I mean, you have absolutely no idea what a hit and a super huge crowd pleaser this is!  Give it a shot.  The prep is super easy, but the rolls take a LONG time to rise.  Make sure you give yourself 3 HOURS to let the frozen rolls rise, or 2 HOURS if the rolls are thawed.

Trust me, it is worth the wait!!!

 

Ingredients

Camembert Cheese in box
Frozen Parkerhouse Style Yeast Rolls
Garlic Slivers
Honey to drizzle over the cheese
Fresh Pomegranate Arils

Organic Rosemary sprigs
Organic Cracked Black Pepper

Maldon Sea Salt

Instructions:
Cover a large baking pan with parchment paper (or use a baking or pizza stone). Place the Camembert IN THE BOX in the center of the baking pan. Arrange frozen dough balls into 2 Circles surrounding the Cheese….be sure to leave about a little space in between the rolls and between the circles.  Remove Cheese and Refrigerate until ready to bake. Thaw Rolls in a warm, draft-free area for a hour. Then, allow rolls to rise (double in size) for another 2 hours.
When the rolls are almost ready, its time to prepare the cheese!  Cut slivers into the cheese and stud with garlic slices. Poke small Rosemary branches into the cheese. Drizzle with honey, EVOO, and Fresh Black Pepper. When the rolls have risen and you are ready to bake, brush rolls gently with melted butter. Place Prepared Camembert into the middle of the wreath of Rolls in the cheese box it came in!  Bake 375° for 13 – 15 minutes or until Camembert is melted and Rolls are golden brown. Using parchment paper, slide wreath off onto serving platter, or go for the rustic look and serve as is!  To Serve: Brush Rolls with Butter (yes, again!!!) and sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt, Pomegranate Arils, and Fresh Chopped Rosemary and a drizzle of fresh Honey (if desired).  TIP: Let Cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into the cheese….so it has time to set back up a bit and is not too runny.

 

~ Impress Your Guests, Relax, pour some Prosecco and Enjoy ~

 

I hope you make this and knock it out of the park!  This does serve a bunch of people, so if it is a small dinner party or cocktail party, you can always use half the amount of rolls and cut the baking time a bit.  Don’t be fooled by the little bitty frozen rolls….they really proof and rise and turn into a generous sized yeast roll!

 

Can’t wait to share more with you all!

                Merry Merry & Happy Everything!!!

Kari

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Eat, Drink & Be Kari

 

Sun-Dried Tomato Arugula Pesto

Sun-Dried Tomato & Arugula Pesto

SunDried Tomato Arugula Pesto

SunDried Tomato Arugula Pesto

 

Ingredients:

1 8.5 oz Jar Organic Sundried Tomatoes In Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Organic Lemon (zest and juice)
1 – 1 1/2 Cups Arugula
3 Green Onions (stems only)
Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

In a food processor, add Sun Dried Tomatoes in the Olive Oil and Garlic and pulse until roughly chopped.  Season with Salt and Pepper.   Add Arugula and blend until roughly chopped (you may have to take the top on once and scrape down the sides and maybe add a touch more arugula). Add Green Onions and mix until chopped. Season with Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Crushed Red Pepper, Salt and Pepper. Give the food processor another quick pulse to combine. TASTE FOR FLAVOR AND SEASONINGS!!! Adjust as needed.

 

let me break it down for you!

In a food processor, add Sun Dried Tomatoes in the Olive Oil and Garlic and pulse until roughly chopped.

SunDried Tomatoes & Garlic

SunDried Tomatoes, Garlic, Salt & Pepper

 

Add Arugula.

Gorgeous, Green Peppery Arugula

Gorgeous, Green Peppery Arugula

 

Blend until Roughly Chopped.

Always taste for seasoning! Not too much pepper because the arugula is naturally peppery!

Always taste for seasoning! Not too much pepper because the arugula is naturally peppery!

 

Add Green Onions and pulse until chopped.

Green Onion Stems or Scallions are perfection

Green Onion Stems or Scallions add the perfect flavor

 

Season with Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Crushed Red Pepper, Salt and Pepper. Give the food processor another quick pulse to combine.

Add Seasonings and adjust as needed

Add Seasonings and adjust as needed

 

Now, you have a simple, mouthwatering, Perfect Pesto!

A Killer Flavor Combination

A Killer Flavor Combination

 

 

ENJOY!!!

ENJOY!!!

 

Perfect with Chicken, Pork, Pasta, or as an appetizer...the possibilities are Endless!!!

Perfect with Chicken, Pork, Pasta, or as an appetizer…the possibilities are Endless!!!

 

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@eatdrinkbeKari

Eat, Drink & Be Kari

 

 

Asparagus Bundles

Asparagus Bundles

Asparagus BundlesAsparagus, Prosciutto & Honey-Dijon

Asparagus Bundles

I Bunch Asparagus
1 Package Prosciutto de Parma
3 T Dijon Mustard
1-2 T Honey
EVOO
Crushed Black Pepper

*Wash and Trim (snap) Asparagus. Mix Dijon and Honey together in a small bowl. Lay out 1 piece of Prosciutto. With a Pastry Brush, lightly coat one side of the Prosciutto (or simply spoon a small amount of HoneyMustard onto the Prosciutto and smear). Add Asparagus in a bunch at one end of the prosciutto and roll it up. (I used 7 asparagus per bundle). Place on Parchment Paper, drizzle with EVOO and Fresh Black Pepper. Bake 400° 10-15 minutes or until desired crispness.

Bundled Up and Heading for the Oven!!!

Bundled Up and Heading for the Oven!!!

The Asparagus is tender-crisp with the tops perfectly roasted.  Amazing combo with the crispy, salty Prosciutto and sweet and tangy Honey-Dijon.

The Asparagus is tender-crisp with the tops perfectly roasted. Amazing combo with the crispy, salty Prosciutto and sweet and tangy Honey-Dijon.

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@eatdrinkbeKari

Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Baked Salt & Vinegar

Kale Chips

Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

 

Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

  • 1 Bunch Organic Leafy Kale
  • 1-2 tsp Organic Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2-3 T EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Salt

Preheat Oven to 300°.  Line 1 or 2 Large Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper, depending on amount of Kale you are using.  You want to have a single layer of kale chips, and no overlapping pieces.  Wash Kale and rip into large pieces, removing the stalk.  Place into Salad Spinner and spin until dry.  In a large bowl, add kale and splash with vinegar.  Massage Kale pieces with your hands for about 30 seconds to completely coat the kale with vinegar.  Next, drizzle the EVOO and add the Salt & Pepper.  Massage again for about 15 seconds to coat.  Spread out on Baking Sheet(s) and Bake about 15-20 mins.  Slow and Low is the key.  Watch closely for tips starting to brown and crisp.  That’s when you know they are ready.  The vinegar really needs to evaporate off, so turn the pans halfway through if your oven has any hot spots.  Also, the last 3 mins, you can take a thin, flat spatula and get under the chips and flip them if the vinegar is still lingering.  Just, BE GENTLE…as these delicious chips are now light and airy and delicate!  (and be careful when opening the oven bc of the fumes from the evaporating vinegar!!! Whew!)  Even if there is still a tad of vinegar still shimmering on the chips, DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM.  The Kale Chips will “harden” a set up some more after taking them out of the oven.  If you overcook them, they will be too delicate and paper thin and crumble.  If this happens, I suggest using the Kale Crumbles on top of soup or mixed into a salad!  Happy Kale Chip Making!!!!

Fresh out of the Oven!

Fresh out of the Oven!

image image image image

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Kari’s Queso

Kari’s Queso

Gooey, Cheesy, Melted Deliciousness

Ooey, Gooey, Cheesy, Melted Deliciousness…with a Kick!!!

Queso.

queso. Queso. QUESO!

This is NOT the recipe for Mexican Cheese Dip.

This is NOT the recipe for Rotel + Velveeta.

This is NOT your average Queso.

This is Queso.  Karified.

And  its ah-mazing.

I could go on and on and on and on and on (do ya get my drift!??!?!) about the absolutely outrageously scrumptiousness of this queso….but I don’t think I could do it justice. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients (Blackberry Mint Mojito Optional!)

TIP: If you like a kick, a poblano would be absolute perfection! I only had these on hand, so that’s what I used.  Instead, I added some fresh jalapeño slices at the end to boost the heat!

First, Brown the Sausage

First, Brown Sausage & Drain.

TIP: USE CAST IRON SKILLET

Next, Saute Chopped Onion, Red Pepper & Orange Pepper in Cast Iron

Next, Sauté Onion & Peppers in the same Cast Iron Skillet in the delicious Sausage drippings!

Toss in a couple of diced garlic cloves the last 2-3 minutes of sautéing.

Shred your Cheeses of Choice

Oh, and Shred your Cheeses of Choice

You can use any cheese you’d like that melts nicely.  I think I used Mozzarella, Pepper Jack, and White Cheddar.  You don’t have to use 3 different cheeses, you can just use one!  Experiment around to find what you like! Good Options: Monterey Jack, White Cheddar, Havarti, Manchego, Fontina, Mozzarella, Queso Fresco, Asaigo.  TIP: Remember, if you go with a Stringy Cheese (mozza, queso fresco, etc) I DO recommend mixing it with another Creamier Cheese (havarti, jack, fontina) for a better melthing consistency in the end. No one wants a grainy mess at the end! To be extra safe, you could mix a few ounces of Cream Cheese in with the Veggies so the Queso will melt into creamy deliciousness. I just don’t like a cream cheese in my queso….it kinda feels like cheating! But, it will work if you’re worried about it! TIP: Also, and I can not reiterate this enough: Do NOT use Pre-Shredded Cheese!!! They contain anti-clumping agents that will prevent it from clumping, therefore ruining the texture of your queso! If you’ve had problems with melting cheese in the past, this might be your problem! Gross, right?!?!?!

Next, Layer!!!!

Next, Layer!!!!

Sausage & Veggies, Cheese, Sausage & Veggies, Cheese…..

End with a Cheese Layer

End with a Cheese Layer

Sprinkle some Aleppo Pepper on top!

Sprinkle some Crushed Aleppo Pepper on top and Bake!

TIP: You can also use Chili Powder or Smoked Paprika

Top with Fresh Jalapeños, Fresh Chopped Tomatoes & Cilantro

Top with Fresh Jalapeños, Fresh Chopped Tomatoes & Cilantro

After cooling for a few minutes, I added some more Fresh Cilantro because we love it! If you don't like it, don't add it!!!

After cooling for a few minutes, I added some more Fresh Cilantro because we love it! If you don’t like it, don’t add it!!!

DEVOUR!!!!!

Here's the Hubby going in for a dip!!!!!

Here’s the Hubby going in for a dip!!!!!

I served with Blue Corn Chips.

Kari’s Queso

  • 1 lb Sausage, Browned
  • Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • Orange Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • @ 3 Cups Grated Cheese
  • Crushed Aleppo Pepper
  • Fresh Jalapeño, Sliced
  • Handful Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

Grate about 2 1/2- 3 cups of Cheese. Set aside. In Cast Iron Skillet, Brown Sausage. When browned, remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Sauté Peppers and Onion until almost translucent, about 5 mins on Med. Add Garlic and sauté 2-3 mins more. Remove about half of the sautéed veggies.  Add layer of Sausage, then a layer of cheese.  Add another layer of veggies & sausage, then another layer of cheese.  (you can do 2 or 3 layers….it really doesn’t matter…just make sure you are using the same amounts of veggies, sausage & cheese each time!)  Be sure to finish with a layer of cheese.  (any leftover veggies, sausage or cheese make a killer omelet or scrambled eggs the next morning!!!!)  Sprinkle with Crushed Aleppo Pepper and Bake 375 for 10-15 mins.  Be sure to check your Queso and make sure its not overcooked. You just want to MELT THE CHEESES TOGETHER. If you overcook it, it will become stringy!!!! Let it cool only 1-2 mins if not adding any toppings before you dig in.  Let the cheese settle for a minute, but not cool.  If topping with jalapeños, cilantro, and tomatoes, simply top and serve!!!!! ENJOY!

 

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@eatdrinkbeKari

Southern Tomato Pie

Southern Tomato Pie

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Summ-Summertime!!!

 Absolute perfection in two words: Tomato. Pie.

Sweet, Juicy, Ripe & Plump. Little colorful bursts of heaven.

Easily grown with a HUGE variety: Heirloom, Big Boy, Chocolate Cherry, Yellow Pear… these delightful tomatoes serve up spectacular dishes from snacks and apps all the way to the main course!

Savory Sweet Southern Tomato Pie

Savory Southern Tomato Pie

 

As Elegant and Lip-Smackin’ Good as this dish is,it is surprisingly,fabulously, summertime-tasticly, super simple to make!  Thank the Summertime Gods for smiling down on us with ripe, juicy tomatoes-a-plenty!  Here’s a tasty solution for what to do with your overabundance!  Lemme Break it down for ya.

This is what it looks like right before popping into the oven.

This is what it looks like right before popping into the oven!

Now, first things first.  Slice up those juicy plump tomatoes and lay them out on a couple layers of paper towels. Sprinkle them with Salt.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!  If you do, you will have a watery pie…and NO ONE likes a watery pie!  It’s best to let them sit out for at least a half hour on the paper towels.  Then, be sure to blot the topside as well with a paper towel before layering!  I only had a few gorgeous red tomatoes, but mixing up heirloom and different varietals in this recipe is always a plus!

Salt Tomatoes to Release Excess Moisture

Salt Tomatoes to Release Excess Moisture

 

To simplify tonight, I even used a pre-made piecrust and just jazzed it up a little.  Karified it! 🙂

Savory Rosemary Crust

Savory Rosemary Crust

Press a little fresh Chopped Rosemary and Coarse Ground Black Pepper into the unthawed pre-made piecrust lightly with your fingertips.  Bake 400 10-15 mins until just brown, or per instructions.

Rosemary Black Pepper Crust

The aromatic Rosemary will make your Kitchen smell divine!

 

While this is baking in the Oven, you want to go ahead and make your Shallot/Cheese Mixture.  Here’s whatcha need:

Shallots, Garlic, Chiles

Shallots, Garlic, Chiles

Finely Chop Shallots, Garlic and a few Chiles to taste!

Kitchen is starting to smell AMAZING!!!

Kitchen is starting to smell AMAZING!!!

Cook the garlic just a minute or two until fragrant, be careful not to burn it or it will turn bitter!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

 

You can keep this super simple and just use Mayo and Cheddar Cheese, but…who are we kidding…When have I been know to do that?!?!?!  This is gonna be SO MUCH BETTER!!!

Add Ingredients to Garlic and Shallot Mixture

Add Ingredients to Garlic and Shallot Mixture

Horseradish, Duke’s Mayo, Herbed Goat Cheese, Shaved Parmesan, Lemon Zest, Salt & Pepper

Leave Mozzareall

Do NOT add Mozzarella, Chiles and Lemon Juice yet!

Fresh. Basil.

Toss is a few handfuls for Freshly Torn Basil

Next, Mix to combine cheeses.  The Shallots should still be warm, which will make this step easier.  Use Lemon Juice to thin out the mixture.  Depending on the size of your lemon, you will need about 1/2 to  the whole lemon.  I had a large lemon and only needed to use half!  You don’t want your mixture runny, just a thick but spreadable consistency.

Spread a THIN Layer onto your pie crust

Now, Let’s start assembling this Tomato Pie!

Start by spreading a THIN LAYER of the cheese and shallot mixture onto the bottom of the Pie Crust.  This extra step will help in keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy!

Layer your Delicious Tomatoes

Layer your Delicious Tomatoes

Next, add a Layer of Tomatoes

Cheese/Shallot Mixture & Fresh Mozzarella

Goat Cheese/Shallot Mixture & Fresh Mozzarella

Dollop the Goat Cheese Mixture and tear some Mozzarella on top the Tomato Layer

IMG_2443 IMG_2440

 

 Repeat if needed:

<— Tomato Layer

Cheese Layer —>

Absolutely Gorgeous!

Absolutely Gorgeous!

Finish Pie with Goat Cheese & Mozzarella.  Top with Shredded Parmesan, Fresh Basil, Chiles & EVOO.  Season with Salt & Pepper.

Oh My, now THAT'S A PIE!

Oh My, now THAT’S A PIE!

close-up

close-up

Pop in the Oven and Bake.

IMG_2458

Fresh Out of the Oven!

TIP: Do NOT serve Immediately!

TIP: Do NOT serve Immediately!

As hard as this will be…..LET THE TOMATO PIE COOL for at least 15 mins.  It needs to set!!!

Best served warm with lightly dressed mixed greens

Best served warm with lightly dressed mixed greens

For a quick, healthy side….serve with leafy greens.  I dressed mine super simple and it was perfect.  Squeeze the last half of the lemon over Greens. Drizzle 1 tsp EVOO.  Season with Salt and Pepper. Toss. Serve.

 

Southern Tomato Pie

1 PreMade Pie Crust

2 Sprigs Rosemary, chopped

Coarse Black Pepper

2-4 Ripe Tomatoes, sliced

Handful Basil, torn

2 T EVOO

2 Shallots, minced

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

Chiles or Jalapeño, minced (to taste)

1/3 Cup Duke’s Mayonnaise

2 T Horseradish

8 oz. Herbed Goat Cheese Log, crumbled

1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan, divided

4 oz. Mozzarella, torn & divided

1 Organic Lemon, juice & zest

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

*Preheat Oven 350.  Slice Tomatoes and place on paper towels.  Sprinkle with Salt and allow to drain.  Set Aside.  Next, take pre-made Pie Crust and sprinkle with Rosemary and Coarse Black Pepper.  Press lightly with fingers into crust.  Bake according to piecrust instructions until just browning.  Remove from Oven and let cool.

*Meanwhile, Add 1 T EVOO to small Sauté Pan and sweat Shallots, Chiles, s&p about 3-5 mins until translucent.  Turn down heat to Med-Low.  Add Garlic and cook 2 mins more.  Stirring some so you don’t burn the garlic! Next, add your Dukes Mayo, Horseradish, Goat Cheese, 1/3 Cup Parmesan, Lemon Zest, Torn Basil, Lemon Juice, salt & pepper.  Mix to combine.

*In Cooled Savory Pie Crust, spread a THIN LAYER of Goat Cheese Mixture on the bottom.  Add a Layer of Tomatoes.  Then a Layer of dollops of Goat Cheese Mixture and Torn Mozzarella.  Add another Layer of Tomatoes.  Top with Goat Cheese Mixture, Torn Mozzarella, Torn Basil, and a few fresh chiles.  Drizzle with 1 T EVOO and Season with Salt & Pepper.

*Bake 350 for 30 Mins or until top is brown and bubbly!

*Let cool for 15 mins before serving!

 

TIPS:

  • Substitue ANY cheese you like.  Swap the Goat Cheese for Feta.  Use Shredded Mozzarella if you need to.  Swap Parmesan for Asiago. Really, anything goes here.
  • Even if you DESPISE MAYONNAISE…..you REALLY REALLY REALLY need it for this recipe.  I cut it down to a super small amount.  I PROMISE you won’t even know it’s in there.  My hubby HATES mayo, and he LOVED this!  Trust me.
  • If you want to make your own crust….go for it!  Add the herbs in at the end as its coming together!  Using a pre-made pie crust that you roll out…no worries.  Simply add the Rosemary and Pepper on top and press it in with your fingers or a rolling pin before you lay it in the pie plate.
  • For the Love of All Things Soggy…..DON’T FORGET TO SLICE, SALT & DRAIN YOUR TOMATOES.  I can not emphasize this enough.  That’s the last I’m gonna say about that…
  • If your Crust Starts to get to brown, use a pie crust shield or some foil around the edges to prevent burning!
  • Experiment with different types of tomatoes.  The result is sure to be Gorgeously Delicious!!!

 

And that’s that.

My Version of Southern Tomato Pie, Baby.

Enjoy!

eat.drink.be Kari

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@eatdrinkbeKari

 

 

 

 

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

So, what’s for dinner???  How do you decide? Me, I check out my fresh ingredients. I’ve got Roma Tomatoes, Red Bell Pepper & Orange Bell Pepper, Onions, Garlic….looks like its time for SOUP!!!  Just perfect on a 20 degree day!  I know I always have stock around….simply in the pantry, or homemade and in the freezer.  And, of course, plenty of herbs and spices for a guilt-free flavor booster!!!  So, let’s make a Skinny Tomato Bisque…but let me karify it!

Creamy Healthy Goodness

Creamy Healthy Goodness Full of Vitamins and Flavor!

Alright, let’s get started!

Gather Ingredients

Gather Ingredients

Roma Tomatoes, Red Pepper, Orange Pepper (not pictured: Onion, Garlic & Rosemary)

Other Ingredients

Other Ingredients

Crushed Red Pepper, Bay Leaves, California Citrus Rub, Coarse Crushed Black Pepper, Thyme, Heavy Whipping Cream (not pictured: Stock, Olive Oil & Salt)

Story with the Flavored Olive Oil....My Little helper Princess

Story with the Flavored Olive Oil….My Little helper Princess

Slice Veggies and Drizzle EVOO of choice over.  Season.  Toss to Coat.

Ready To Roast

Ready To Roast

Pop in the Oven.  Roast.

Roasted Goodness

Roasted Goodness

TIP: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies flavor.  Try it on many veggies and even fruit!

TIP: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies flavor. Try it on many veggies and even fruit!

TIP: Don't leave ANY of the delightful dripping behind!!!

TIP: Don’t leave ANY of the delightful dripping behind!!!

Pour all the Roasted Veggies and juice into a large pot.

TIP: Handheld Immersion Blenders ROCK!

TIP: Handheld Immersion Blenders ROCK!

Add the Stock.  Puree.

Seasonings

Seasonings

Add Spices.  Stir.  Cook 15 Mins.

TIP: Pureeing the Onions gives the soup a natural creamy texture!

TIP: Pureeing the Onions gives the soup a natural creamy texture!

^^^Your Soup should look like this ^^^

Stir In Cream

Stir In Cream

5 mins before Serving stir in Cream.

Garnish However Desired!

Garnish However Desired!

To Garnish I used Local Feta, Organic Black Sesame Seeds, Organic Lemon Verbena & Crushed Red Pepper

Get Creative!!!

Low Fat Cheesy Tomato Croutons

Low Fat Cheesy Tomato Croutons

I also made a twist on the basic grilled cheese sandwich and kicked it up with some fancy croutons!

Turned out REALLY Good!!!

Turned out REALLY Good!!!

I used the leftover LowFat Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese from my Skinny Jalapeño Poppers.  Rustically spread on Bagel pieces and topped with various tomatoes.  Pop under the Broiler for a few minutes to melt.  yummmmm…..

The Meal is Complete!

TIP: Don’t forget to season the croutons with SeaSalt and Fresh Ground Pepper before serving!

They complement each other perfectly!

Perfectly Light and Delicious!

The Bisque is Perfectly Light and Delicious!

and…

Perfectly Light and Delicious to make

The Rustic Crouton is Simply Sensational!

Simple, yet So Satisfying!

Devour!

The Broiled Fresh Tomatoes are KILLER!

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

  • 12- 15 Organic Roma Tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Organic Red Onion, roughly chopped
  • Organic Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
  • Organic Red Pepper, roughly chopped
  • Organic Orange Pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4-6 Cloves Organic Garlic, peeled
  • 3-5 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Large Box (32 oz) Organic, Less Sodium Veggie Stock
  • just under 1/3 Cup Organic Heavy Whipping Cream, room temperature
  • 2 Organic Bay Leaves
  • 2 tsp Organic Thyme
  • 1-2 tsp Organic Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tsp California Citrus Rub
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • 3-4 TBS EVOO

*Preheat Oven 425.  Slice Tomatoes in Half and Roughly Chop Peppers & Onions.  Put in a large bowl.  Add Fresh Garlic and Rosemary Sprigs.  Drizzle Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper.  Toss to combine.  Spread Out on Roasting Pan.  Roast in Oven 40-50 mins, flipping veggies once.  Roast until brown around the edges (A.K.A. until desired caramelization occurs).

*Carefully Remove Roasted Veggies from Oven.  Remove Rosemary Sprigs.  Pour Veggies and Drippings into Large Pot.  Turn StoveTop to Med.  Add Stock.  Puree using Handheld Immersion Blender (you can use a regular blender as well. Just be careful when putting hot liquids into a blender…be sure to put a towel over the top in case of explosion!!!)  When nice and creamy, add spices and seasonings.   Bay Leaves, Thyme, Crushed Red Pepper, Ground Black Pepper, Salt and Citrus Rub.  Let simmer at least 15 mins, or until needed.  Slowly stir in cream 5 mins before serving.  Garnish as Desired.

Tips, Suggestions & Substitutions:

And, as always, these recipes are COMPLETELY ADAPTABLE!!! From your diet to ingredients…soup is one of those foods you can easily change up!

Don’t care for Rosemary (or simply don’t have it), use the typical flavoring of Basil instead or punch things up with a lemony Thyme.

Don’t have the California Citrus Rub (pepper, lemon & orange peel, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, etc) or Milanese Gremolata (notes of: garlic, lemon, parsley & hint of mint) just lying around?!?!?  Which I’m sure you do not, add 1 Organic Lemon juice and zest when adding in the spices to brighten the flavor of the soup!

Use any Tomato you like.  I prefer Roma when roasting and making Tomato Soup because they contain fewer seeds.

Use any Bell Peppers you want!  I suggest using 2…it doesn’t matter if you use Orange, Red or Yellow, which tend to be sweeter, almost fruity.  I would not suggest using Green, as they will be more bitter and change to color of the soup!

Are you watching your diet in a major way?!?!!?  I had just under 1/3 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream leftover, probably about 3 TBS.  That is not a ton of added calories in a whole pot of soup, but you can always substitute Fat Free Cream or Fat Free Half and Half.  If you don’t do dairy, use a Coconut, Nut or Soy Version!  The pureed onions add a natural creaminess, therefore you don’t need to add much cream.  *The difference between Soup and Bisque is Bisque has Heavy Cream.

Simply Peel Garlic Cloves: Lay garlic under a large chefs knife with the flat side facing down.  Smash.  Garlic will pop right out!

One of the most simple substitutions: Stock/Broth. I, personally, adore Pacific and Imagine Brands.  You can use Vegetable, Chicken, Mushroom, etc.  Just know the flavor of the broth/stock will change the outcome of the soup.  I chose Veggie…nice and light, to let the flavors of the fresh roasted veggies sing!

And last but not least, and of utmost importance: The Garnish.  You can let your imagination soar.  From Creamy (Sour Cream, Creme Fraiche, Greek Yogurt) to Cheesy (Feta,Goat, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc) to Spicy (Jalapeños, Hot Sauce, Pepperoni, etc) to Fresh (Lemon, Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Mint, Chives, etc) to Nutty (Sesame Seeds, Pistachios, Pine Nuts, etc) to Simple (a drizzle of good EVOO, flavored or not). * Always Remember: You eat with your eyes first.  Pretty food simply tastes better!  Take the time to garnish.  Adding just a smidgen of cheese at the end instead of to the entire pot of soup really helps cut fat and calories.  You tend to use less!!!

Bon Appétit!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

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Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Gather Ingredients

Gather Ingredients

Make Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese

Creamy Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese

Creamy Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese

Halve and Seed Jalapeños

Cut Jalapeños in half and remove Seeds and White Membrane

Cut Jalapeños in half and remove Seeds and White Membrane

Slice Jalapeños in Half.  TIP: Remove Seeds AND White Membrane. This is where the heat hides!!! 

Filled Jalapeños

Filled Jalapeños

 Stuff with cream cheese mixture using a small spoon or your fingers.  Be sure to press in firmly.Pop into fridge or freezer.

Toss gently to combine

Season Panko

Make Seasoned Panko.  Add Spices and Gently Toss to Combine.

Bath time!

Bath time!

Make Buttermilk/Egg Batter.  Dip Stuffed Pepper to coat.

Roll in Panko.  Tip: use a spoon

Awesome Panko Coating

Then, roll Pepper in Seasoned Panko.  One Pepper at a time.  TIP: Use a spoon to lightly spoon over pepper and roll to coat sides.   ****Now is when you can refrigerate or freeze for later.)****

Spray with Coconut Oil and Bake

Spray with Coconut Oil and Bake

Give a quick spritz of Coconut Oil and Bake.  350 for 20 mins.

Bake

Baked, not Fried!

Out come little perfect bites.  Spicy, Crispy, Gooey, Creamy….yummmmm….

Just look at that Crispy Coating!!!

Just look at that Crispy Coating!!!

TIP: Be sure not to over bake  or the cheese might explode and ooze out, or seemingly evaporate into thin air!

Plate it up with a creamy, cool dipping sauce

Plate it up with a creamy, cool dipping sauce

I served it with a Homemade Buttermilk Ranch.  Cool and creamy to combat the spiciness.

Seriously, healthy!?!?!  Wow!!!!

Seriously, healthy!?!?! Wow!!!!

Just one bite and you’ll be addicted.  And astounded in the huge amount of fat and calories you are saving!!!

Here's your new go-to recipe

Here’s your new go-to recipe

Perfect for Football Season.

The Perfect Skinny Popper

The Perfect Skinny Popper

Less Fat, Full Flavor

Less Fat, Full Flavor

The cool Ranch was the perfect compliment.

The cool Ranch was the perfect complement.

These will NOT disappoint!

These will NOT disappoint!

Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers

  • 6-12 Jalapeños, sliced and seeded

CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE:

  • 4-8 oz. Low Fat Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4-6 oz. Cabot 50% Less Fat White Cheddar, shredded
  • 4-6 Scallions, chopped white and green parts
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

SEASONED PANKO

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Panko (or regular, or gluten-free)
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Ground Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Urfa Chiles (or 1/2 tsp Chili Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Aleppo Chiles (or 1/2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder)
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Coarse Ground Pepper

BATTER

  • 1/2 Cup Egg Whites (or 3 Egg Whites, or  2 Whole Eggs)
  • 1/4 Cup ButterMilk (or at least 2% Milk)

*Preheat Oven 340.  Cover 9 x 13 Baking Sheet with Parchment.

*Slice, seed and take out membrane of each jalapeño.

*Make Cream Cheese Mixture:  Combine Cream Cheese, Grated Cheddar, Chopped Scallions in small bowl.  Mix to combine.  Season with Salt and Pepper.

*Fill each jalapeño half with Cream Cheese Mixture.  Using a small spoon or your fingers, press filling FIRMLY in the pepper.  Pop in fridge or freezer for a quick chill until ready to batter.

*Make Seasoned Panko: Mix Panko with all listed spices and seasonings.  You can omit or substitute as needed.  The listed ones are the ones I chose.  You can also make your own variations.  If you don’t have either of the crazy dried chilies I used, you can always substitute 1 tsp Chili Powder and 1/8 tsp Cumin.  Or just use a  seasoning packet of Ranch or Italian Dressing!

*Make Batter: Mix 1/2 Cup Egg Whites with 1/4 Cup Buttermilk.  Season with Salt and Pepper.

*Take one pepper half at a time.  Dip into Batter.  Then, roll into Seasoned Panko.  Use a spoon to lightly coat the top and gently roll to coat the sides.  Place on pan.  ***This is where you would freeze if using later***  Lightly Spray with Coconut Oil, or cooking spray of choice, and bake for 20 mins or until brown and crispy on top.  Let cool for 5 mins.  Plate and Serve with Ranch.

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

NO Bisquick!

No Unnecessary Fillers!

First of all: Happy 2014!!!

Let’s start the New Year off right by eliminating unnecessary CRAP from our diet.  It all starts at home with YOU and your choice of ingredients.  Some choose to take the easy way out….but little do they know how simple the healthier version is.  Healthy doesn’t always mean more difficult.  I’ll prove that to you, just wait and see….

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls with Mustard Dipping Sauce

These are super tasty and at least a little guilt free!  Adding in a bit of Whole Wheat Flour and using herbs and spices really makes the flavors POP!  And the guilt-free mustard dipping sauce is a super healthy addition and really adds some zing.  When I got these off the baking sheets, they were virtually grease free.  I was super impressed….as were all the people enjoying them!!!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

So, here is what I started with:

  • Flour (1 Cup Whole Wheat King Arthur Flour & 1 Cup Whole Wheat White King Arthur Flour)
  • Baking Powder
  • Fresh Grated Cheddar (please grate your own…this is a simple step that most people use a shortcut for….you WILL be able to tell a difference in the end result….trust me)
  • 2-3 cloves minced Garlic (can use garlic powder)
  • Dry Mustard
  • Onion Powder (not pictured)
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage (original, hot or extra sage are all delicious!)
  • Champagne with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.  This helps, I promise!!! (this is for YOU, not the recipe…in case there is any confusion)

TIP: You can also use Turkey or Chicken Sausage as well….it just needs a little extra fat, so be sure to add in a couple Tbs of melted butter or oil so your sausage balls won’t dry out.  I’m also wondering if you could use applesauce……hummm…might try that next and let you know how it turns out. Probably would be good with Chicken Sausage and maybe some apples and fontina cheese…..

Herb and Spice Additions

Herb and Spice Additions

That’s when I realized I didn’t buy the HOT sausage, so I needed to spice it up some with:

  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Dry Mustard
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Salt

*Add as much or as little of these as you’d like.  You can add anything you want to change the taste of these!

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Put all your dry ingredients into a large Mixing Bowl.  Flour, Baking Powder, Garlic,  Onion Powder, Dry Mustard, Red Pepper Flakes, Sage, Salt & Pepper.  Mix to Combine.

Add Cheese

Add Cheese

Add Grated Cheddar Cheese to Dry Mixture and toss to combine and coat the cheese.

Add Sausage

Add Sausage

Next, add the UNCOOKED sausage to the mixture. Use your hands and really get in there!!! Don’t be scared.  You need to break up the sausage and make sure it is all mixed in together.

Binder Time

Binder Time

You’ll notice it is not binding completely together. You need a little liquid to help this.  Add 2-4 TBS 2% Milk until just moist.  Add it in a little at a time so you don’t overdo it!!! I’m also going to experiment and use beer next time!  It should look like this and shape into a ball easily!

Get Ready to Bake!

Get Ready to Bake!

Roll them into Bite-sized Balls and place them on a cookie sheet.  I had enough to fill 2 full cookie sheets (24 on each) and most of a 3rd cookie sheet.  I made about 67.  So you should get anywhere from 55-70 depending on the size of your balls.

Little Bites of Heaven

Little Bites of Heaven

Pop them in the Oven on 350 for 15-20 mins or until browned and sausage is fully cooked.

Browned and Delicious

Browned and Delicious

Tasty little morsels right out of the oven!!!

Let em cool

Let em cool

So. Darn. Good

So. Darn. Good

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls

ENJOY & DEVOUR!!!

This recipe is basic and can be changed up in so many ways.  I’ll also post another flavor change up for you, but here is the Basic Cheddar Sausage Ball Recipe:

Healthy-ish Cheddar Sausage Balls

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat White Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 1/2 TBS Baking Powder
  • 4-6 oz. Freshly Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage
  • 2-4 TBS 2% Milk (2 Tbs at a time)

TIP: Above is the BASIC recipe.  You can change/add any herbs/spices from here on!

  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1-2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3 Cloves Minced Garlic (or 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch Salt

Mix all ingredients (flours, baking powder, herbs & spices) to combine EXCEPT the Cheese, Sausage & Milk.  Next add grated cheese to dry ingredients and toss to coat cheese.  Then, with your hands, crumble the sausage into the mixture…breaking it up and incorporating it into the mixture.  Do not overwork!!! Add enough milk to moisten the mixture, 2 TBS at a time.  (Tip: if you used turkey or chicken sausage, it might take a little bit more!!!)  Roll into bite sized balls.  Bake 350 for 15-20 mins until browned and sausage is cooked through.

Mustard Dipping Sauces:

* Combine equal parts, or 2-3 heaping TBS, Creole Mustard and Dijon Mustard.  Mix.

* Combine equal parts Yellow, Dijon & Whole Grain Mustard with a dash of Worcestershire. Mix.

* Combine 2 TBS Whole Grain Mustard & Dijon Mustard, 1 TBS Mayonaise, Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt.  Mix.

And there you have it, folks.  Probably one of my husband’s favs.  I hope you enjoy the sausage balls as much as my family does.  I’m also going to quickly share a flavor change up for you!  Here goes:

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

These are out of this world!!! But, careful, the pack quite a kick!!!

Basic Dry Ingredients

Basic Dry Ingredients

Here I used the same dry ingredients in my basic recipe, but added in 2 TBS dried jalapeño bits. These bad boys are SUPER spicy!!! You could also substitute fresh jalapeño.  Depending on your spice preference, one should do the trick…or even half if you don’t like heat.  I also omitted the fresh garlic and red pepper flakes.

  • 2 TBS Dried Jalapeño Bits
  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 TBS Dry Ground Mustard
  • Fresh Black Pepper & Salt
Cheddar & Scallions

Cheddar & Scallions

Next add in your freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese and 3 diced Scallions. (whites and green parts)  Toss to combine and coat in dry mixture.  Add the sausage.  Mix with hands.  Add a bit of milk until moistened.

Pop in the Oven

Pop in the Oven

Roll into Bite Sized Balls and Pop into the Oven.

350 for 15-20 mins.

Dee-damn-licious

Dee-damn-licious

These are super tasty and bursting with flavor!!!

Careful if you don't care for Spicy Sausage Balls

Careful if you don’t care for Spicy Sausage Balls

If you don’t like spice, or heat, just stick to the regular basic recipe!

So Yummy!

So Yummy!

Moist and Delicious because no one likes dry Sausage Balls!!!

Enjoy!

Happy 2014!

Cheers!!!

eat.drink.be Kari