Patron Punch

First thing I need to say is that this is not my recipe. I don’t know where it originally came from, but after a brief googling session I realized that it is a more commonly known drink than I had thought.

I first had this drink on the island with my girlfriends and we loved it. So one evening after a grueling 20 minutes of deciding what we were drinking that night, we decided to call our bartender friend (who turned us on to this delish cocktail) and asked her for the recipe. You can find variations of the recipe all over the internet, so by all means play with the ingredients as you like and see what works best for you.

Now, it is called Patron Punch but let’s be honest, Patron costs near a weekend rental in the Bahamas (ok, so I exaggerate) and while the drink is at its prime if you use Patron, I promise a lesser tequila such as Quervo will still be tasty indeed.

patron punch

Patron Punch

2 oz. tequila

1/2 oz. citron

1 oz. cranberry juice

splash of Roses sweet lime juice

pineapple juice

In a shaker put ice and measure out your ingredients. The pineapple juice is the filler so for two servings, which this recipe is, I’d venture approximately 10 oz. of pineapple juice. I say this because some people like a juicier drink while others want to really taste the alcohol. I’m a big fan of putting some of the filler into the shaker with the ice and then adding more as needed once you get the drink poured into a glass. Make sure you have ice in your glass as well and strain the drink from the ice in the shaker.

Garnish with citrus rind(s) and fake cherries on a plastic sword 🙂

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20 Recipes for Summer

Summer is here! Okay, well maybe not “officially” but I think all the moms out there can agree that summer starts when school lets out. Now that it’s hotter outside and the days are longer we want to avoid turning on the oven as much as possible and either grill or eat light, refreshing meals.  I don’t know about you but my kitchen gets really hot when I use the oven so I will definitely be planning any baking for very early in the day and relying more on the grill and other summertime fare.

Here is a roundup of 20 recipes that are summer worthy from appetizers to desserts, and not a one requires an oven.

summer recipes

Appetizers: Bruschetta, Cherry Caprese

bruschetta

cherry caprese

Salads: Deviled Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Cheeseburger Salad, Chopped Thai Chicken Salad, Chili Lime Chicken Salad, Greek Chicken Salad with Grapes & Pecans

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cheeseburger salad

thai salad

fiesta salad

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On the Grill: Grilled Balsamic Chicken, Bourbon BBQ Sliders with Garlic Aioli, Honey-Lime Chicken Kabobs

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bourbon sliders2

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In the Crock Pot: Honey Sesame Chicken, Sweet Chicken Rio, Cashew Chicken, Chicken Teriyaki

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Cool Desserts: Chocolate Banana Pudding Pie, Mud Pie, Watermelon Petit Fours, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Ribbon Dessert, Easy Eclair Dessert

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watermelon

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Marvelous Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays,

Shredded Beef Tacos with Lime Cabbage & Queso Blanco

Yay for a new Mexican-inspired meal! This was a hit mostly because it was quite different from the usual chicken or ground beef Tex-Mex dishes I usually make. I used a 2.5 pound chuck roast with plenty of fat to tenderize the meat, though you could use a leaner piece if you want. Also I let this baby slow cook for at least 12 hours. If you have the time I suggest it- it’s worth it.

shred beef taco

Shredded Beef Tacos with Lime Cabbage & Queso Blanco

2.5 lb. chuck roast

1 T EVOO

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1.2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

8 oz.beer

flour or corn tortillas (makes 6-8)

1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced

1 lime, zested & juiced

1/2 wheel of fresco queso cheese, chopped

shred taco

1. Heat oil in skillet and sear meat on all sides. I cut the roast up into 5 thick 1-inch slices to get a good sear on as much of it as possible. Place seared meat in crock pot.

2. Combine together salt, pepper, paprika, onion & garlic powders, and cumin. Sprinkle over the meat and then pour the beer over it all. Set to low for at least 8 solid hours.

3. Thinly slice the cabbage and toss well with zest and juice of one lime and a pinch of salt.

4. Chop up or crumble the mexican cheese.

5. Additional sides for tacos are tomato, avocado, red and/or green onion, and salsa. Simply assemble tacos and enjoy.

Marvelous Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays, In & Out of the Kitchen, Tuesdays Table, Simple Supper Tuesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Cast Party Wednesday, What’s in Your Kitchen, Two Girls and a Party, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Treasures, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Fidlers Friday, TGIF

Chili Lime Chicken Fiesta Salad with Chili Lime Ranch

There’s so much goodness in this salad that I think the title could have gone on, such as the Crunchy Chili Lime Chicken Fiesta Salad with Pico de Gallo and Chili Lime Ranch and Avocado.

Whew! Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t do that, too, but rest assured that is exactly what you will find in this salad. It’s awesome! It only takes a little bit of prep work and then you’ve got a fantastic one-dish meal that will blow your socks off and everyone else’s at the table as well.

This salad is very filling but not heavy. Perfect. Oh, and BTW this chili lime dressing/marinade is great for your chicken any time, so keep the recipe for a day you want to grill a bird with a little pizzaz.

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Chili Lime Chicken Fiesta Salad

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

1 recipe chili lime dressing, divided (following)

Pico de Gallo (recipe following)

Salad greens, as much as you want (I used a green leaf and iceburg mix)

Shredded cheese, Mexican blend, to taste

Tortilla chips or strips, to taste

2 large limes, juice divided

1/2 cup ranch dressing

1 avocado

 Chili Lime Dressing/Marinade

1 1/2 T lime juice

1 tsp lime zest

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cumin

1/3 cup EVOO

Pico de Gallo

1/2 red onion, diced

4 large roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 cup frozen corn

1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp salt

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1. Mix together ingredients for the dressing/marinade and chill in refrigerator until chilled.

2. Make Pico de Gallo with all ingredients listed and chill in refrigerator until ready to use. Taste and add salt & pepper as needed.

3. You will divided the dressing into 3 parts: 1/2 to marinate the meat, 1/4 for the ranch, and the last 1/4 reserve for brushing onto the chicken. Take the 1/2 measurement of dressing and marinade your chicken breasts for at about 30 minutes. This does not have to be in the refrigerator.

4. While things are chilling and marinating make your ranch dressing by combining  it with one of the 1/4 measurements (this comes out to 2 or 3 T.) Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.

5. You can either grill or pan fry the chicken. If using a pan, heat up some EVOO over medium heat and use the remaining bit of dressing/marinade on the meat while it’s cooking. Meat should be tender and juicy. Slice or cube.

6. Mash your avocado. Take the remaining bit of lemon juice and mix it with the avocado and a pinch of salt, to taste.

7. Chop up your greens and arrange on a plate. Scoop some pico de gallo, top with shredded cheese and chicken. Top that with some crushed tortilla chips and avocado, then drizzle the chili lime ranch over it all. *Use extra ranch if needed.

*You could even go ahead and combine the chili lime ranch with the avocado mixture to make a heavenly dressing, but for those who don’t like avocado I left it separate for this recipe.

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Sweet Chicken Rio & Rice

This was AMAZING! I mean it- I LOVE THIS DISH! and I’m pretty sure you will, too 🙂 Both of these recipes can be found on Jamie Cooks It Up! You can link to her blog from the button on the right blogroll of this screen.

Since Jamie’s original recipe called for pork, I changed it slightly. Otherwise everything else was pretty much the same. Instead of using chicken breasts, however, I threw a small whole chicken into the Crockpot with about 3 1/2 cups water, and let it cook slowly over night. This yielded a ton of fall-0ff-the-bone meat and about 4 cups thick, luscious chicken stock.

After picking through the meat, which was plenty, I saved the bones, skin, and gunk to boil down for another stock. There really was enough meat for me to make another meal from had I been feeling particularly savvy. I was not. Instead I used all the meat in this recipe, which gave me a HUGE amount of sweet chicken rio. It would not go to waste I was to find out 🙂

I love Crock-potting whole chickens. It just makes life so easy 🙂

After the meat was cooked, picked through and shredded, I placed it back into the (clean) Crockpot and added the necessary ingredients. At this point it only had to crock for about 4 hours on low.

Here is the original recipe (remember you can use pork or even turkey if you want.

SWEET CHICKEN RIO

3 lb. chicken meat, cooked and shredded

1 (16 oz.) jar salsa (2 cups)

1 can green chilies

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 can black beans, undrained

1. Combine all ingredients into Crockpot and cook on low to medium heat for 4 – 5  hours.

2. Serve with warm corn tortillas, cheese, lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes, and any other condiment such as avocado, black olives, & taco sauce.

**NOTE: If starting this recipe with raw meat do as follows: In the bottom of the Crockpot mix salsa, green chilies, brown sugar, and black beans. Add the chicken and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours. Take the meat out of the Crockpot and shred it up with a fork. Return the meat and cook 1 more hour.

I am a BIG lover of corn tortillas. Seriously, I think I can eat just about any meal in a corn tortilla. Something about them just makes me happy. I’m also a big fan of Mexican/TexMex, so this meal was right up my alley.

A perfect accompaniment to this was Jamie’s Cilantro Lime Rice. It was super yummy and yielded way more than her recipe said it would (I am sure this has more to do with me and the kind of rice I used than anything else. Short grain brown rice FYI.) But it gave me plenty of leftovers for another meal.

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 cups uncooked rice

1 tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 chicken bullion cubes

1 tsp. lime zest

4 cups water

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large skillet combine rice, butter, garlic, lime zest, bullion, and water. Bring to a boil and stir well.

2. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

3. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar, and cilantro (I used dried and let it sit in the mixture for about 30 minutes). Pour over the top of hot, cooked rice, and stir to incorporate.

This rice was fantastic. The flavors are subtle yet they compliment the chicken dish so well. I was very glad I tried these recipes and they will definitely be repeated at some time. Enjoy!

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