Gameday Sausage Queso

Standard

Hi, there! Happy Weekend!!!

If you were to ask my husband, I’m sure he’d tell you it’s the most wonderful time of the year… Not because it’s the end of summer… It’s still not quite Fall… And it’s most definitely not the holiday season–yet. (Don’t even get me started on the fact that I saw Halloween candy on the shelves in July…JULY!!!)

So, what’s so wonderful about this time of year?

College football came roaring back into our home last weekend and the NFL season officially kicked off last night. A few years ago, you probably wouldn’t hear me say that I’ve been looking forward to football season, but after a crazy-busy summer that included moving from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, I AM actually excited about it this year. Not because I just can’t get enough football, but because it means a return to normalcy as we settle into our new home and community.

In our house, football season means waking up early on Saturday mornings to watch College Gameday, cheering on our favorite college teams and rooting for the New Orleans Saints. But most importantly–the return of football season means the return of delicious “Man Food.” (And cool, crisp weather… I can’t wait!)

This week, I bring to you Gameday Sausage Queso.

Gameday Sausage Queso

A friend of ours introduced us to this awesome dip last season and since then, my family hasn’t been able to get enough of it. It has quickly become a favorite for our crew in the man food lineup. The best part is that there are only a few ingredients and it’s super easy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 lb freshly ground pork sausage
2 cans of diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained
2 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese
Chili Powder
Ground Red Pepper (Optional)

Begin by browning the sausage until it’s thoroughly cooked. (I like to cook the pork until just before it’s ‘almost’ crispy.) Drain excess fat if needed.

Once the sausage is ready, add in the tomatoes with chiles and the cream cheese. Stir occasionally until the cream cheese has melted completely and has combined with the tomatoes. Finally, add chili powder to taste. For a little extra heat, you can also add some ground red pepper.

Serve with tortilla chips.

That’s it! Super simple and so delicious. This recipe can easily be doubled and (if it lasts long enough) kept warm in a crock pot on low setting.

Gameday Sausage Queso is perfect for tailgating or any other gathering with your friends and family. And trust me–once they have a taste, your fans will be begging for this one all season long!

I’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite gameday appetizer? Please feel free to leave your comments below! You can also follow me on Pinterest or on Instagram @ m_is_for_mimosa.

Cheers!

Lamb & Arugula Pizza

Standard

Hi! I hope everyone is off to a great start this week! In case you’re already counting down the days until the weekend, I have this stunning late-night recipe for you…Lamb & Arugula Pizza!

Image

This pizza screams late-night meal to me.  You know, like a Friday night party in with friends or just a cozy night at home with your favorite person and a bottle of wine.

No need to wait until the weekend though, this meal is scrumptious and perfect for any night of the week.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Image

1 pizza dough (I LOVE the refrigerated, pre-made pizza dough from Publix)

1.25 lbs lamb shoulder chops

Prepared pizza sauce

4 oz crumbled feta cheese

A couple of handfuls of baby arugula

Slivered red onion

Fresh rosemary sprigs

1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic Powder

Salt & Pepper

All-Purpose Flour for rolling out dough

For the Red Wine Reduction:

Petite Syrah

Aged Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped

2 tbsp unsalted butter

Beef Stock

Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you! This really is a simple dish to pull off and once you take the first bite, you will know that it’s well worth the time!

So, turn on some music, pour yourself a glass of wine and unwind while this pizza comes together! 😉

First, you’ll need to prepare your lamb.

I used an inexpensive cut of lamb to elevate this pizza to a whole new level of deliciousness.  If you’re not a fan of lamb or can’t find it in your area, a nice piece of beef would work well for this recipe.

Image

Season the lamb on both sides with salt and pepper.

Next, finely chop some of the fresh rosemary and mix it with olive oil and fresh garlic. Brush a liberal amount of the mixture onto the lamb.

Image

Next, it’s time to grill the lamb over medium-high heat until well-seared and cooked to medium rare.

Image

I like to lay a couple of sprigs of rosemary on top of the lamb while it’s grilling to really amp up the flavor.

While your lamb is on the grill, prepare the red wine reduction.  I followed this recipe from Food Republic. I added the balsamic vinegar in with the wine. (Seriously, this reduction is perfect for drizzling over just about anything!)

Once the lamb is grilled to your liking, remove from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board for at least 5-10 minutes.

Image

Then, chop the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Image

Now, preheat your oven to 425-450 degrees and prepare your dough according to your favorite recipe or the store directions if you’re using a store-bought dough.  If you’re making your own from scratch, keep in mind that the dough will need to be started well in advance.

I really recommend making your own if you have time, or at the very least, buy the dough in a ball rather than a frozen or pre-baked crust.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

Image

Place your dough on a baking sheet or pizza stone, then brush the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a small amount of garlic powder.

Now, it’s time to assemble your pizza!

Swirl on your pizza sauce. The amount is up to you… I like a saucy pizza, so I probably used about 3/4 cup of pizza sauce on mine.

Image

Add your feta crumbles and then layer on the lamb.

Image

Finally, add your slivered red onions and a couple of handfuls of baby arugula.

Image

Bake until the dough is crusty and golden and the cheese is melty.

Remove from oven, drizzle with the red wine reduction, then cut into slices! (Sorry, I forgot the drizzle before cutting!– I was just so excited!)

Image

FINALLY! It’s time to pour another glass of the wine….

Image

 …And devour this beautiful pie!

Image

The flavors of this pizza will blow you away!  They’re bold, but nicely balanced and will leave you craving this pizza long after it’s gone.  And just like any other pizza, this one is also great cold the next day!

I really hope you enjoy this recipe! Try it out and let me know what you think!

As always, I’d love to read your thoughts and comments. You can also follow me on Pinterest or on Instagram @ M_is_for_Mimosa.

Here’s to a great rest of the week!

Cheers!

Elderflower Rosé Cocktail

Standard

Hi!  Hope you’re ready for a new spin on an old cocktail.

Image

I have been craving a glass of nice rosé and today was my lucky day.  I spotted this beautiful little bottle of Le Grand Courtâge Brut Rosé at World Market and had to have it.

Then… I saw this Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Pressé and had a revelation… I’ve been seeing the classic cocktail of champagne and St. Germain pop up everywhere lately, so I decided to make my own version.  Genius!

This rosé is exceptional, especially at such an affordable price point. Not too dry and not too sweet. Just the right balance.  And the Elderflower Pressè is light and summery tasting, which was really great paired with the bubbly.

I poured 1 oz of the Elderflower Pressé into a champagne glass and then topped it off with the Le Grand Courtâge.  It was the perfect summertime cocktail.  It was so sparkly and refreshing and it even felt a little fancy! 😉  I can definitely see myself drinking a lot more of these this summer!

Image

This cocktail would add an elegant touch to any party or a bridal or baby shower.

I hope you enjoy this new drink recipe! Let me know what you think! Feel free to comment below.  You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram @m_is_for_mimosa.

Cheers!

Throwback Thursday – Best Foods I’ve Ever Eaten

Standard

Hi, everybody! Sorry–long time, no post! I spent most of the past week visiting my hometown! It was a much-needed trip full of family time, canning and just enjoying the outdoors.

This Throwback Thursday is dedicated to one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten–BBQ Oysters from Desire Oyster Bar in New Orleans.

 Image

These oysters are fried then tossed in Desire BBQ Sauce and topped with crumbled bleu cheese.  They are seriously succulent and absolutely delicious.  I literally fantasize about these oysters.

New Orleans is one of my very favorite places and my husband and I always make it a point to stop by Desire for a half dozen of these babies and some cold Abita.

Okay, I’ll stop now before I start obsessing about another trip to NOLA! 😉

I’d love to hear from you.  What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?  Are there dishes that you just can’t get out of your head?

Let me know here in the comments section!

Cheers!

Southwest Chicken Bowls

Standard

Hey! Hope your week is going well so far.

Today, I made these delicious chicken bowls for lunch.  They are an excellent option when you’re looking for something healthy that also has a ton of flavor.

Image

Southwest chicken bowls combine light, fresh veggies and brown rice with protein-packed chicken and black beans.  This meal is light enough that you won’t need a post-lunch nap, but filling enough to help you power through the rest of your day without getting HANGRY.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground red pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried cilantro

Juice of 1/2 lime

Reduced Sodium Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

Brown Rice, prepared according to package directions

Lettuce

Tomatoes, diced

Onions, finely diced

Suggested Toppings: Salsa, Cholula Hot Sauce, Shredded Cheese

Start by cutting the chicken breast into small, bite-sized chunks.

IMG_4133

Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken.  Then add in hot sauce, lime juice and remaining spices. Mix well until all of the chicken is coated with the spices.

IMG_4139

Heat an additional tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken.  Saute for 10-12 minutes until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

IMG_4140

Meanwhile, prepare the brown rice according to package directions.

Drain and rinse the black beans.  Pour into a small saucepan along with 1 cup of water, diced red bell pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder.  Cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through.

Once chicken is done, remove from heat.  It should be a beautiful golden color.

The chicken really is the star of this dish.  I also use this spice mix/method for making some awesome chicken tacos!

IMG_4148

To Make the Bowls:

Place a small amount of rice in the bottom of a serving bowl.

Top with lettuce, tomato and onions.  Add a spoonful each of black beans and then chicken.  Finish bowl with desired toppings.  I usually add salsa, Cholula Hot Sauce and a small amount of shredded cheese.

IMG_4150

There are so many topping options you could add to customize this chicken bowl: Sour Cream, Guacamole, Queso, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, pico de gallo… The possibilities are endless! 😉

And there you have it! A delicious, healthy meal that is packed with flavor, protein and filling fiber.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe!  I’d love to know what you think.  Please feel free to leave me comment below. You can also follow me on Pintest or on Instagram @m_is_for_mimosa.

Cheers!

Green Juice

Standard

Hi! Hopefully you all had an awesome weekend.  Spring is definitely upon us here and it’s time for some spring cleaning–juice style! 

Image 

It seems like I’m always vowing to end the fat fest “on Monday.”  Then, before I know it, there’s another holiday or party or some other event that prompts a food celebration, which I’m totally down with… And all of my good intentions of eating super-healthy are out the window.

Seriously, it seems like it started in October for me and every holiday and family gathering since then seem to have come one weekend right after the other. 

So, this morning, I broke out my juicer and made my go-to green juice. It’s tasty, nutritious and very easy to throw together.  There are so many different juice combinations out there, but I usually just keep it simple and use things that I have on hand.  

Image

Here’s what I use almost every time I juice: apples, spinach, celery, cucumber and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

If you’ve never juiced, it’s very easy and is a convenient option if you’re constantly on-the-go.  Just wash up your fruits and veggies, chop them into a size that will fit into the juicer’s shoot and flip the switch.  

Have you juiced before? What’s your favorite fruit and veggie combination?

I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave me a comment below. You can also follow me on Pinterest or on Instagram @m_is_for_mimosa.  

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Raspberry Lemonade Mimosa

Standard

Mother’s Day brunch wouldn’t be complete without Mimosas!

Image

I had a lot of fun creating this raspberry lemonade mimosa with one of my favorite mommies around!  It’s light and refreshing and perfect for springtime now that raspberries are coming into season.

To make this mimosa, start by soaking some fresh raspberries in champagne.  Then drain and freeze them in a single layer.  You’ll want to do this at least an hour or two before you plan on drinking mimosas.

Once your berries are frozen, place a few in the bottom of your champagne flute or glass.

Pour about 1-2 tablespoons of Raspberry Lemonade over the frozen raspberries.

Top with champagne and enjoy!

This cocktail works best with a drier champagne–we used Korbel Extra Dry, which balanced out the sweetness of the lemonade and paired well with the tartness of the raspberries.

This drink would be great for any girls’ brunch or afternoon cocktail hour.

Image

I hope you have as much fun testing this drink out as we had creating it–I’d love to know what you think!

Feel free to leave me a comment below or you can always follow me on Instagram @m_is_for_mimosa or look me up on Pinterest.

Cheers!

The Fish House’s World-Famous Grits a Ya Ya

Standard

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you have an exciting day planned.  If you’re anything like me and wait until the last minute to make plans, this recipe is a winner for Mother’s Day brunch or dinner!

Image

The Fish House in Pensacola, FL has, without a doubt, one of the best versions of Shrimp & Grits that I’ve ever eaten.  I have tried many different takes on this traditional Southern dish, but the World-Famous Grits a Ya Ya is my absolute favorite so far.  

This award winning dish has been featured on numerous food and travel shows and has earned the praises of some pretty noteworthy people.  Thankfully, Chef Jim Shirley is generous enough to share his famous recipe!  

My first experience at The Fish House was in 2009 just after moving to the area.  I had the Grits a Ya Ya and couldn’t believe how delicious it was.  As soon as I got home that night, I looked for the recipe online and was surprised to find the actual recipe–not just a copy cat! Since then, I’ve recreated this dish many times and am always super happy with the results–this take on Shrimp & Grits is definitely a family favorite.    

I have made a few small modifications–for instance, once I accidentally ended up with instant grits and was worried that they would ruin the whole dish. Luckily, they actually worked out well and cut down on time, so I still use them for this recipe from time to time. (I know, I know–no true Southerner or serious cook uses instant grits!!!) Also, I use extra sharp white cheddar instead of smoked gouda due to a recent allergy/sensitivity to the cheese used in Chef Shirley’s original recipe.  Finally, I sometimes use half-and-half instead of heavy cream because it’s something I usually have on hand and it does lighten the dish up a little.

One important tip:  make sure you get the freshest shrimp possible in your area.  I use headless, tail-on fresh/never frozen gulf shrimp.  If you don’t have gulf shrimp in your area, try to find the freshest shrimp available to you.

Normally, I would detail each step of the recipe here, but I’ll simply leave you with the official link above and a few cooking pics.  This recipe is super easy to follow and comes together really well at home! 

Image

Image

ImageImageImageImage

I hope you enjoy this dish! It is so creamy and flavorful and pretty much perfect!  It’s truly one of my favorites.  

As always, I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below! You can also hit me up on Instagram @ m_is_for_mimosa or follow me on Pinterest!  

Whatever you do today, I hope you get to spend time with the special ladies in your life! 

Cheers!

 

Cinco de Mayo

Standard

No case of the Mondays here today! 😉

I read in an article from USA Today that said Cinco de Mayo has actually “become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one.”  I haven’t celebrated Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, but with the onslaught of Cinco de Mayo related pins that pinners (myself included) have pinned today, I’d say that’s a believable statement.

Today, I have a couple of quick and super-easy recipes to get your Cinco de Mayo celebration started.

Image

First–a confession… I haven’t always loved guacamole.  In fact, I used to be really, really grossed out by it. That’s probably because I had never had freshly made guacamole.

That all changed when some friends had guacamole made table-side at a restaurant in Oklahoma City.

The guacamole was so fresh and bright and it completely changed my hatred for guacamole into an obsession.  It also showed me just how simple and quick it is to make.

So, if you’re reading this and haven’t jumped on the guacamole bandwagon yet, I hope this recipe will inspire you to give it a try.

Ingredients:

2 fresh hass avocados

Fresh squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp red onion, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 fresh jalapeno, finely diced (use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

Salt to taste

Start by removing the pit from the avocado.  Then, scoop the avocado from the peel using a spoon. If you’ve never bought an avocado or cut one, here’s an easy tutorial from Epicurious.

Chop the avocado into large, course chunks.  Now, add remaining ingredients a little at a time, adjusting the guacamole’s flavor to your liking.

This is a super-simple recipe that is great for serving with white corn tortilla chips or slathered on a sandwich.  Trust me–you’ll love it.

If you’ve tried every guacamole out there and you just can’t get down with it–that’s okay, too.  Here’s my recipe for a fresh and delicious homemade salsa.

Ingredients:

2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes

1/2 can of stewed tomatoes, undrained

1/4 small onion, diced

1/2 jalapeno with seeds, finely diced

Fresh squeezed lime juice

Cilantro

Salt

Garlic Powder

Dash of Cumin

Start by cutting your tomatoes into quarters then place them into a blender or food processor.  Add the undrained stewed tomatoes.  Squeeze in the lime juice.  Add the remaining ingredients a little at a time, pulsing the blender or food processor in between each addition of ingredients.

The measurements here don’t have to be exact.  I always make this salsa by adding a little of each ingredient at first.  I taste the salsa and adjust how much more I add  depending on the flavor.

Serve with fresh tortilla chips or spoon some onto your favorite tacos.

This salsa is really delicious and is also perfect for canning.

I hope you enjoy both of these recipes!  Stay safe if you’re celebrating today!

Cheers!