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Posts tagged as “quick and easy”

Dinner in a flash: Baked portabello mushroom caps

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The never-ending stay-at-home fatigue is very real in my household. Dave and I have had to get creative with our weeknight meals because while my commuting time has gone away, it doesn't always mean extra time at night to spend freely. A con of working from home is certainly that the morning, afternoon and evening hours can sort-of all bleed together. Before I know it (like right now), it's almost dinner time, and I'm still at the computer. And wedding planning, of course, has also eaten up time during the evenings, although in a (mostly) enjoyable way. With that said, this recipe is definitely of the variety of a 30 minute, or less, meal. In fact, it's so easy, it's hardly a recipe: if it takes more than five minutes to assemble, and longer than 20 minutes to cook, then you're overthinking it.

Whiskey Sour Day 2020

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August 25th marks Whiskey Sour Day again this year. I posted about it four years ago but this year it dawned on me: how did a day in August become Whiskey Sour Day, anyway?

I searched the internet high and low and couldn't find a suitable answer. An article from Bourbonbanter.com published in 2013, though, suggests that the day was created basically for fun, but that the drink has origins circa the 1700s when British Navy sailors would add lime juice to their rum, both to preserve the juice and to keep the sailors free from scurvy (a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.)

Yogurt-marinated chicken

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I love using yogurt as a marinade for chicken. It works because the lactose in the dairy helps tenderize the meat but more importantly is a great carrier for flavorful spiceslike cumin, turmeric, and other Indian-inspired flavors. I used 0%, non-fat but you can use 2% or even whole milk yogurt for extra richness. Either way, the yogurt chars a little when cooking and develops little, crusty bits which I think are especially delicious.

I always make sure to set aside some of the marinade at the beginning to use as a sauce for serving at the end. As a reminder, it's never a good idea to reuse marinade after it has been in contact with raw meat.

To make the recipe extra easy and mess-free, you can go the tried-and-true route of combining all of the ingredients for the marinade and the chicken in a large, gallon sized plastic bag. Zip the bag and massage to combine. You still might want to place the bag in a bowl, glass or aluminum baking dish, or on a baking sheet pan to catch any dripsjust in case the bag has tiny holes that you otherwise aren't able to see.

I like the plastic bag option if I am going to be grilling elsewherelike at a friend or a family member's house or for a BBQ at the park or beachbecause it travels better and takes up less space if I am putting it into a cooler. If I am staying at home, though, I typically like to use my largest Pyrex glass bowl that has a nice, matching lidthere's no sense in using then tossing a plastic bag if I can avoid it.

The chicken is great by itself with a side of rice, couscous, or a vegetable but I especially love it served as a sandwich or a flatbread made with naan.

Happy 4th of July: Festive recipes to celebrate Independence Day

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This is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with or paid by any of the brands or individuals mentioned here—only offering a few suggestions based on things my family and I have tried and enjoyed.

July 4th in the United States celebrates Independence Day. On that date in 1776, the 13 original colonies claimed their independence from England, forming a new nation.

If your family is like mine, years past may have been celebrated with large BBQs complete with burgers and hot dogs, pasta and potato salads, corn on the cob, and assorted sodas and beers (for those of age to drink, of course.) When I was growing up, my grandparents had an above ground pool at their home, and at my house we had a community in-ground pool. I spent a lot of time at both of them so depending on where our summer feast took place and if it wasn't raining, taking a dip in the pool was absolutely in order while dinner was being made.

For dessert, we typically took a trip to get soft-serve ice cream or ate an American flag cake—which many of you probably know and have likely made or tasted at least once, if not many times: a rectangle-shaped poundcake or a boxed vanilla cake mix covered with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries arranged in the shape of a flag. Finally, a trip to see fireworks at a local park capped off the night, where we would sit on a blanket or folding chairs, or stand near the car, to watch the magical bursts of colors in the night sky.

This year will no doubt be very different. Maybe a large gathering you may have planned with your family and friends was downsized or turned into a virtual celebration with some of them instead. I have also seen some creative ways that communities are celebrating in the absence of being able to have large, in-person gatherings: drive-through fireworks, for example, are being planned at the Iron Pigs Minor League baseball team ballpark for the holiday weekend in the Lehigh Valley, PA.

No matter how you are celebrating this year, here are some festive food ideas that you can still hopefully try.

Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)

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Updated 11/23/20 to include a variation on this recipe for when corn is not in season—making it a perfect side-dish for any season! Click here to see recipe variation at the end of this post.

This is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with or paid by any of the brands mentioned here—only offering a few suggestions based on things my family and I have tried and enjoyed.

Elotes, otherwise known as Mexican street corn, is a hot food trend right now for good reason: it's really, really good.

The topping is a perfect, creamy addition to fresh, sweet, in-season corn that gets sprinkled generously with Mexican-style seasoning blend and and cotija cheese.

It's very easy to make your own spice blend but you can also use one that's pre-made, if you don't have the time, such as from McCormick or tajin, which is chili and lime flavored.

Cotija is a firm cheese that typically comes wrapped in a small wheel and can be easily crumbled, similar to feta but much milder in flavor. If you can't find this in a store near you, substituting a shredded Mexican-style cheese blend or cheddar cheese blend works. Definitely try the cotija, if you have that option!

The recipe makes enough topping for about 6-8 medium ears of corn. You can always cut the corn in half, too, to double the number of portions—this is a nice idea for a buffet when you have multiple side dishes that people can choose from.