Food Bloggers Recipe Swap: Shredded Beets with Citrus Vinaigrette

It’s my first time posting in the Food Bloggers Recipe Swap and I’m pretty excited.

I probably should have just waited until the new year to begin participating, but I was just too excited!

There’s been a lot going on here, as I’m sure in most people’s homes, the past two months. I’m now feeling the crunch to Christmas (and that is in no way a bad thing) and have been neglecting a lot of my blogging responsibilities, frantically scrambling to pull together a post the night before it’s due to go live.

I’ve been enjoying the bit of a break though, and have revived my cross stitch hobby. Christmas time always does that to me. I’ve also just begun a new friendship and have enjoyed getting out of the house and killing time at the mall talking to another adult human being during the day.

Somehow this week though, I’ve got to find time to pack for our holiday vacation, wrap the kid’s presents, send those Christmas cards, and order a few final gifts. My mother-in-law is coming into town tonight so I’m hoping I’ll be able to sneak in some of that holiday cheer while the kids are otherwise preoccupied. (hint hint, Tilly!)

What does any of that have to do with Food Bloggers Recipe Swap?

Well, nothing really. Except that by opting in for December, I committed myself to being assigned a blog, finding and recreating a recipe from that blog, and then sharing it with all of you, my dear readers. Much like the Secret Recipe Club which has sadly come to an end.

The main difference between this group and that is the posting leniency. As long as I get my post completed by the end of the month, life is peachy! I don’t think the assignments are a secret either, and should I choose, I could search through the assignment list and figure out who is digging through my recipe index, but I won’t spoil the surprise. ūüôā

For my first month, I was assigned Love and Cilantro written by Danya. Danya grew up in Jamaica and now lives in Canada where she attends culinary school. I envy her bravery to switch up her life and live out her dreams. I often think about going to culinary school, maybe after the kids are in elementary school?

Danya’s blog is relatively new, just over a year old if my calculations are correct! With a shorter recipe selection than some blogs I’ve scoured you’d think my decision would be fairly simple. Think again! I’d narrowed it down to Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast (which will still probably happen),¬†Asian Salad, and the Raw Beet Salad I ultimately picked. Oh wait! There’s this beautiful Greek Chicken she shared on Sunday, too, dang – too late!

I’m really happy with the Beet Salad, though.¬†I¬†mean, I love beets, so why wouldn’t I like this salad!? I don’t often work with beets raw and it was fun to do so. The vinaigrette the shredded beets are tossed in is perfectly balanced – the lemon mellows out the orange and the white balsamic is a fun new ingredient to my pantry. I didn’t have chives so very thinly sliced a scallion.

I think this salad would make a beautiful addition to your holiday table this month – the bright color and flavor would brighten your plate wonderfully!

Shredded Beets with Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch beets, peeled and shredded
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 C white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp agave (or honey)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 scallions, thinly sliced (or 4 chives)

Steps:

  1. Place shredded beets in a bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the citrus, vinegar, oil, mustard, and agave. Season to taste with S+P. Toss beets with as much dressing as desired. Garnish with scallion/chives.

*This recipe is adapted from Danya at http://loveandcilantro.com/orange-beet-salad/*

Shredded Beets with Citrus Vinaigrette for Food Bloggers Recipe Swap from Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

Kumquat Jam

I think my favorite thing about living in the Los Angeles area are the farmers markets. My son loves them, too! I have an adorable conversation saved on my phone of him saying “farmers market. blueberries. home. mouth.” I’m not sure what we’re going to do when berry season is over, he’s not yet two so “in season” is going to be quite a feat to explain.

While there is a farmers market across the street from our place every week, I had to take a trip to a larger one. Just to explore. There was more citrus at that location and I picked up some kumquats for my husband. Kumquats were one of the first “adventurous” items we picked up at the grocery store and he’s grown quite a fondness for them.

This particular batch was turned into jam! The resulting condiment has a bitter tartness. I think it’s the first time I’ve understood bitter as being a positive flavor component. The bitterness from the kumquat peels provides a balance with their natural sour edge.

 

Kumquat Jam

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz kumquats, sliced and seeds removed
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer over medium-low heat for 35 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.

*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at http://wonkywonderful.com/kumquat-jam-recipe/*

Kumquat Jam  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Blogger CLUE: Citrus Shrimp

blogger CLUE

After a month of endless desserts and party foods the Blogger CLUE crew and I are on the hunt for healthy foods to bring in the new year.

This month I was tasked with searching through Wendy’s blog, A Day in the Life on the Farm.¬†As her blog name suggests, Wendy lives on a farm where she and her husband are fairly self sufficient. They raise chickens, turkeys, and pigs for meat, have hens for egg laying, and have fruit trees and gardens on their 12 acres of land. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Isn’t retirement supposed to be relaxing?!

I am very familiar with Wendy’s blog as I have worked with her in many events and blogging clubs. Surprisingly though I’ve not actually cooked anything from her recipe box. (She’s ambitiously tackled my Busia’s recipe for pierogi for a Secret Recipe Club post.)

I really wanted to return the favor of celebrating Polish cuisine and make her recipe for beet soup. I was pretty excited about it, too, and I don’t tend to get excited about soup. I went to the grocery store on a Sunday (something I tend to avoid). Kroger was packed!¬†Post-holiday fridge-restocking was on everyone’s mind that afternoon¬†many¬†items were out of stock (I snagged the last carton of organic whole milk!). The missing ingredient that threw me into a tizzy was beets! How was I to make beet soup without beets!? Granted, there were some golden beets that looked pretty sad. I pushed my cart to a corner of the produce section, trying to be as out of the way as possible, and frantically searched through some of the other recipes I’d book marked from Wendy’s blog: between¬†grilled mahi mahi, cranberry chicken, and spicy citrus shrimp,¬†I decided on the shrimp.

This shopping curveball was a huge blessing in disguise. This shrimp dish is incredible! I served it over rice as dinner. It’s a perfect weeknight meal that I will be returning to. I had to swap the mango for pineapple due to allergies and the pineapple was my favorite part. I liked that the fruit wasn’t cooked with the shrimp, it was simply warmed through from the sauce, a perfect compliment to the flavors.

Citrus Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chile paste (I used Gourmet Garden)
  • 1/2 C diced pineapple
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pat shrimp dry and toss in the flour. Place in a glass baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, salt, and chili paste. Pour over the shrimp.
  4. Bake shrimp for 7 minutes. Flip the shrimp and bake another 7 minutes.
  5. Add the pineapple and scallions to the shrimp and toss to combine, thickening the sauce.
  6. Serve over rice.

*This recipe is modified from Wendy at http://adayinthelifeonthefarm.blogspot.com/2015/02/triplesbitesspicy-saucy-sexy-bites-for.html*

citrus shrimp for blogger clue from sew you think you can cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Earlier this month I hosted our monthly Po-Ke-No¬†game. Po-Ke-No is essentially bingo but instead of letter-number combinations, the board is filled with different playing cards and a standard deck of cards is used to call out the “tiles.”

Each month someone new hosts and gets to pick a theme for the night. We all bring $1 and a “Secret Santa” style $10 gift in a bag. We play through two rounds. In the first, the winner of each game picks¬†a bag and shows everyone what’s inside. In the second round, the winner of each game gets to steal a gift of their choice. Each gift can only be stolen twice, making it effectively “owned” a total of three times. (Starbucks gift cards and cash are the first to be finished.) We play one more game for “all the marbles” aka that $1 buy-in.

While it’s not a requirement, I like to make my “Secret Santa” gift match the theme of the night. For example: for the theme of flowers I brought a flower silicone bowl cover (similar to this).

I chose the theme of citrus. I made a large batch of my Fresh Lemonade, these orange rosemary roasted almonds, and my Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake. Everything was a success.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 4 C almonds
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp orange zest

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place almonds on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray and roast 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt together butter and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from  the heat and mix in the rosemary and orange zest.
  4. Toss roasted almonds and the butter mixture together in a large bowl. Spread nuts back out on baking sheet(s) to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Christie at http://akitchenhoor.blogspot.com/2015/02/src-reveal-orange-and-rosemary-roasted.html*

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds | Sew You Think You Can Cook

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Citrus Roast Chicken

I hope it feels like spring where you are. Here? Not so much.

Last week my in-laws were here to spend my sister-in-law’s spring break. Ohio isn’t quite the spring break destination that Florida used to be. On Sunday we drove down to Louisville to meet up with the entire family (my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, who live in Nashville, drove up). The weather was a little chilly, but the sun was shining. My mother-in-law and I enjoyed a long walk in a park with my son while the rest of the gang did the Mega Zips zip line tour in the Mega Cavern. They all had a blast.

But then it was back to Ohio, where the snow decided to come back down, the sun stayed behind clouds, and the weather never reached 40. Add coughs and colds all around and it was a fairly gloomy week. But, we were all together and there was a lot of good bonding time with my little man. Stuart and I don’t get to watch very many movies so we enjoyed our lazy couch time catching up on the latest favorites. (FYSA: The Imitation Game was worth all the hype.)

IMG_1957

If there’s one food that can make me forget about the dreary grey outside, it’s citrus. Slicing citrus into rings looks like sunshine in a bowl! And because my parents have lime trees in the backyard, any citrus really makes me think of Florida.

Break away from that candied ham and brighten up your Easter table this Sunday with this citrus roast chicken! Or if you can’t tear yourself from that ham might I suggest it for Mother’s Day?

Citrus Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cara cara orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tangerine
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¬†1 tsp ground allspice
  • thyme, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Thinly slice all of the citrus 1/8″ thick using a mandolin. Remove seeds. (I only used a couple slices of grapefruit, and half of the remaining fruits.)
  3. Place some citrus slices on the prepared baking sheet. Top with chicken, do not crowd the pan – use two baking sheets if necessary.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, pomegranate molasses, allspice, and S+P. Brush sauce onto the chicken.
  5. Bake 30-35 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Baste with additional sauce halfway through cook time.

*This recipe is adapted from Sue at http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2015/01/roasted-chicken-with-allspice-and-citrus.html*

citrus roast chicken | sew you think you can cook