Monday, May 27, 2013

Purple Lemonade


I may or may not have mentioned before that tt and I frequent a CT chain called Wood'n'Tap. Mainly, we go there because I am IN LOVE with the Cobb Salad {previously, with honey mustard dressing, although I have recently migrated to their tomato vinaigrette... um, wow}

The other reason that I go there, especially in the summer, is because of their Lemonade menu. Yes, they have a whole section of their menu dedicated to lemonade concoctions of the adult persuasion. My absolute favorite is, you guessed it, Purple..... 

The Recipe:
Purple Lemonade
Recipe adapted from Wood'n'Tap
Makes 1 beverage

Three Olives Grape Vodka
Lemonade - we used Simply Lemonade
Crushed ice

  1. Fill a tumbler glass halfway with ice.
  2. Add 2 parts vodka + 2 parts lemonade + 1 part Sprite
  3. Mix, pop in a bendy straw, and enjoy. 

xx Coleen

Laugh much,

cook often,

and always 

wear stilettos

Southern Grilled Chicken BLT

So, by now you know that me and tt just completed our annual vacation in South Carolina, which quickly became a bit more legend-dary than just the yoosh {?! how do you spell the abbreviation of usual... hmm, food for thought}. 

As I mentioned on the Skinny page, on our return trip to Charleston we had a lovely meal at High Cotton, the sister restaurant of S.N.O.B. where we initially had intended to go, for multiple reasons, including the fact that it's a-mazing. Luckily, High Cotton lived up to the sister expectation. 

I started with the seasonal Sangria,. which was a white wine with berries in it- yum. tt ordered a steak burger, and I decided on the Grilled Chicken "BLT" - which I plan to try to recreate at home because it was delightful. {add french fries and some pickles to the deal and whoa Nelly}

The Recipe:
Southern Grilled Chicken BLT
{with Fried Green Tomatoes}
Recipe recreated from High Cotton, Charleston, S.C.
Makes 1 sandwich

1 Kaiser Roll - preferably not too hard of a roll
1 grilled chicken breast
Few leaves lettuce - bibb or butter would work best
2 slices crispy bacon
Pimento Cheese {click here for Paula Deen's recipe}
1-2 slices fried green tomato {click here for The Neely's recipe}

  1. Slice roll, and spread cheese on top portion 
  2. On the bottom half, layer in this order: tomato, bacon, chicken breast, lettuce
  3. Place top on roll, cheese side down, and slice in half
  4. Serve with french fries and a side of pickles

I CAN'T WAIT to try making this sandwich!! It will have to be a special treat meal, since starting this week I am going to come up with a Bridezilla Diet/Exercise regimen for myself... eek!

xx Coleen


Laugh much,

cook often,

and always 

wear stilettos

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Broccoli + Cheese "Meat" balls

Yesterday was hair day. The glorious 2 hours when I get to walk in one person and walk out a new one. I love Aly because she lets me get crazy. I think she loves me because I let her get crazy too. She specifically said last night: "I love that you are so daring with your hair"

She is amazing number one. Somehow managed to ombré my short little hair style. Out of this world. Dark brown with a rust ombré. Gorg. But enough about my hair..the whole point of this post is the BROCCOLI BALLS- holy Hannah.

The Recipe
Broccoli + Cheese "Meat" balls

1 bag frozen broccoli {12-16 oz}
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded cheese{recipe called for mozzarella; I used cheddar jack}
1/4 cup grated Parm
3 eggs, beaten
Salt + pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Steam the broccoli until just cooked, cool a bit, and then roughly chop
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt + pepper to taste
  4. Form into balls and place on a baking sheet {I covered with foil and sprayed with cooking spray first for east clean up}
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown
  6. Serve warm {I served with pizza sauce for dipping which was the perfect compliment}

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Shake

Another blog I follow is the Detoxinista who has some wonderful tips, tricks, and recipes. The most recent of these, that I have discovered, is this delicious green shake. I have made it twice now. Attempt #1 ended up looking much more like a green smoothie. Too much green, not enough of the chocolate! Typically when I am experimenting with new smoothie/shake recipes I need a few tries to get the hang of it {plus, my tastes aren't always 100% what the recipe creator's was at the time} but I am pretty sure I got this right the second time around. I altered it slightly from the original vegan recipe, but of course it can be played with to fit your taste buds! It really tastes like a chocolate milk shake!

The Recipe:
Cherry Chocolate Shake
Recipe adapted from {The Detoxinista}
Makes 1 large serving
1 cup almond milk + a little extra
1 cup frozen, chopped cherries
1 frozen, sliced banana
1/4 avocado
1-2 handfuls spinach
1/2ish teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder {the original recipe calls for raw cacao}

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy
  2. Add a little extra liquid as needed to keep blender moving
  3. Pop a straw in that baby, and enjoy how tasty this healthy little shake is! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring Salad {with creamy orange dressing}

My sister and I make quite the cook-tastic team. We had quite the spread going on, complete with the royal mum's faves of asparagus and {key} lime.

Get a load of this menu du jour:

  • Spring Salad with creamy orange dressing
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Asparagus Risotto
  • and for dessert: Key Lime Cream Cake
  • {Yes, the girls that do.not.bake. have successfully pulled it off yet again}

I will share all of these delectable recipes in due time, however today, since I'm not working out, I will focus my fleeting energy on the salad. Specifically, the dressing. {Maybe tomorrow I can share the cake recipe, since I will work off the extra calories that even thinking about this cake will provide} 

I would say that I have no words, but then I'd be lying {and what would be the point of blogging about it in the first place?} - but it's close. I wanted something springy and bright. I came across this recipe on Whole Foods' website and thought that it just might be salad perfection. Of course, I doctored it up a bit, but the final result was the perfect combination of leafy greens, creamy dressing, tangy cheese, sweet strawberries, all finished off with a salty little crunch. Read on, lovelies. And grab a napkin for the drool.

The Recipe:
Spring Salad 
{with creamy orange dressing}
Recipe adapted from Whole Foods
Makes appx 6 servings
For the Dressing:
   1 bunch scallions, chopped
   1 ½ avocado, peeled and pitted
   1 ½ cup orange juice {I used Trop50, no pulp}
   Salt & Pepper
For the Salad:
   1 package mixed spring/mesclun greens
   1 package fresh strawberries
   1 bunch fresh asparagus
   Sprinkle of Gorgonzola cheese
   Sprinkle of roasted, salted pepitas
  1. Make the dressing first. Add scallions, avocado, orange juice, salt and pepper into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Cover tightly, and refrigerate until using. 
  2. Prepare the strawberries by slicing them, and prepare the asparagus by trimming the tough ends and slice them into strips using a vegetable peeler {I also chopped a few stalks into small rounds, for a bit of extra texture in the salad}
  3. Plate individual salads starting with the greens, adding asparagus and strawberries, drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle cheese/pepitas on top. 
  4. Serve immediately - and smile. 
  • Extra dressing will keep one day in the fridge {probably not much longer because it has avocado in it}
  • If you are making this for 1-2 people, definitely make a full batch of dressing- you will want to put this on everything you eat for the next 24 hours. 
  • I'm not kidding.

Laugh much,

cook often,

and always 

wear stilettos

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stuffed Sweet Potato {with black beans, arugula & a perfectly poached egg}

I think I might be in love, and I haven't even met you yet. 

I came across this recipe from a blog I follow, {How Sweet It Is} and clicked print almost instantaneously. There is something about a stuffed baked potato that makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. And while the Irish girl in me loves a good potato, I know that the hips on that Irish girl do not appreciate what the food of my people does to them. So, when I saw this recipe for a stuffed sweet potato, I thought "Holy Guacamole! stuffed, cheesy, AND not horrible for me?! I'm in. 

Mind you, this recipe has not been tested yet {at least, not by me} so I cannot yet make any definitive decisions about this little stuffy, but I look very much forward to trying him out next week while the boyfriend is away. I'm so excited and nervous at the same time. I feel like I'm doing something I shouldn't. 

So let's get to it, shall we? 

The Recipe
Black Bean, Arugula & Poached Egg 
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Recipe courtesy of {How Sweet It Is}

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup black beans
4 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
2 cups fresh arugula
1 teaspoon olive oil
half a lemon, juiced
4 eggs, cooked as desired
salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Poke sweet potatoes with a fork and then place on a baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 30-40 minutes more. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Carefully slice down the center of the potato, pushing the skin open. 
  • While the potatoes are cooking/cooling, poach your eggs. If you do this when the potatoes have a few minutes left, they will be ready at the same time and you won't have to wait.
  • Stuff each potato with an ounce of cheese, then top equally with black beans. (if you want the cheese melted, put back in the oven for a few minutes)
  • Season arugula with olive oil and lemon juice, then add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add it on top of the black beans, then add your cooked eggs on top of the arugula.
For information regarding poaching eggs, please click here for Alton's recipe. 

Laugh much,

cook often,

and always

wear stilettos

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

So, I am a sucker for PF Changs, despite knowing that their menu is sinful. (I am also a sucker for Cheesecake Factory, and a good old fashioned cheeseburger, but I know, no one's asking). While my absolute favorite is Mongolian Beef, my lack of portion control makes this dish a whopping 1011 calories as I polish off the entire plate of ooey, gooey, beefy goodness. 

A close second runner up, is the Chicken Lettuce Wraps. These babies are shareable (although you wouldn't necessarily want to...) and even if you don't, they only weigh in at 640 calories for the whole appetizer sized portion. And believe me, the appetizer portion is p.l.e.n.t.y. for one person's meal in terms of both size, and taste factor. YummO. 

I decided recently that Asian inspired lettuce wraps sounded like a great weeknight meal. This was prompted while eating turkey taco salad, and realizing that the turkey meat would make a delightful little mexi-lettuce wrap. And I set out to find a recipe for Chicken Lettuce Wraps... and this is what I was lucky enough to stumble upon. 

The Recipe:
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Recipe adapted from

3+2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, separated
3+2 tablespoons honey, separated
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb ground chicken
Black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained (mine were thick, I sliced in half lengthwise)
1/4 cup roasted unsalted cashews (eyeballed)
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated

  1. Combine 3 Tbl each soy sauce and honey in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown.
  4. Lower heat to medium and stir in the minced garlic and ginger. Add scallions and cook for appx 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the water chestnuts and the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the cashews.
  6. Divide the lettuce leaves among plates and spoon the chicken over the top. Mix remaining soy sauce and honey to make a sauce for drizzling.
  • The original recipe called for chicken breast, chopped up. I decided that ground chicken would work a bit better for the lettuce wraps.
  • Because of this, I also doubled the amount of sauce because the chicken mixture needed a bit more moisture.
  • You could probably use Agave Nectar instead of honey.

Laugh much,

cook often,

and always

wear stilettos