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Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

Got plenty of extra citrus hanging around your kitchen,along with an abundance of fresh grown basil? Well combine lemon, limes and a hint of basil for a delicious cookie that taste like you bought them from a gourmet bakery! 

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit Summer 2012


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Ingredients:

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
2 Tbsp of sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp of finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp of freshlemon juice
1/2 tsp of finely grated lime zest
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Sanding Sugar (optional)

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Place flour, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zest, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet spacing 2 inch rounds, dusting cup with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2 inch rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Sprinkle tops of cookies with standing sugar, if using.

Bake until edges are brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire wake; let cool.

 

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Drunken Melon’s

Drunken Melon’s

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Summer is the season for many outdoor activities, from hiking, camping, boating at the river, or getting your tan on at the beach. It is also the season for smoked meats, pitchers of fresh squeezed lemonade, berries, and lots of watermelon to keep cool and refreshed. As the summer season starts to wind down some of these cool refreshing treats become a tad boring, or perhaps your tired of making yet another watermelon basket.

 

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Watermelon is the go-to fruit of the beat the heat-wave gods. So as summer is in full swing and temperatures rise higher, the only thing I crave in this world is cold booze and watermelons, and boy do they go together.

 

IMG_4166

 

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If you like booze and watermelons, here is a simple proof recipe to combine the cool, refreshing, healthy fruit, that’s been saturated with booze.
Use a variety of watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe. Use a little alcohol or a lot, use Midori, Tequila, Rum, or Vodka. With using melons the sky is the limit on how creative you want to get, just have fun, beat the heat and of course always remember to….

Please Drink Responsibly

 

Ingredients:

2 cups honeydew balls
3 cups watermelon balls
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup light rum or use a lot
1 Tbsp lemon zest
Juice of one lemon juice
1 Tbsp lime zest
Juice of half a lime

 

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Directions:

Make sure to clean the outside of your melons before you cut into them.

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Using a melon baller scoop out and place in a large bowl, one you plan to serve in. you can also make a serving bowl out of the melon you are using.

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Dissolve the sugar in the rum and add the lemon and lime juice.
Pour the liquid mixture over the melon balls and toss lightly to coat.
Sprinkle with lemon and lime zest.

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Place in the refrigerator or freezer for one hour before serving. I kept mine in the freezer and the melon balls held all the delicious alcohol.
Toss again slightly before serving.

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Pink Moscato Berry Sorbet

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As we enter the beginning of summer it’s no big surprise that people will reach for a nice cool, crisp white and/or chilled rosé during the warm summer months. what’s not to like about a cool glass of Vino? After all its easy to drink and easy to enjoy.

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What has become so popular the last couple of years is ice cream, Popsicle,  granitas and sorbet.

IMG_5094

Yep, Wine infused confections! There are no set rules, you can get as creative as you like, and you don’t need to go out and buy an ice cream maker.

 

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Alcohol does not freeze so it helps keeps the sorbet smooth and gives it a less grainy texture. You can use liqueurs that complement the taste of your fruit, or really go crazy and add vodka! But for now were going to make a sorbet of mixed berry and pink moscato wine. A sorbet is a middle-eastern dessert made of fresh fruit juice and water that has become a refreshing hot-weather treat in many parts of the world. Whereas ice cream has air whipped into it to create an airy and creamy product, sorbet is simply mixed and frozen, which results in a denser texture and a concentrated taste. Sorbet is not only used as a dessert, it is also used before the main course to cleanse the palate.

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Just remember this is alcohol based and if you consume just a wee tad too much you could wind up a bit tipsy. And I can’t really think of anything better than that. Just don’t get your sweet tooth on and then drive, remember to always

“Drink Responsibly”

beringers

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds fresh berries, washed.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups Beringers Pink Moscato Wine
1/2 lime zest and juice

 

Directions:

Combine sugar and water in a large pot or saucepan. Over low heat stir until sugar dissolves.

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Add berries and keep on low until mixture starts to slightly bubble, then shut off stove.

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Add wine, lime juice and zest, stir to merge completely, and taste. You should have a sweet and slight acidic from the lime and berries, and should balance well with the wine. If you prefer a stronger taste of wine add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more, or if not sweet enough add a little more sugar, agave, or honey.

Using a blender or food processor add entire contents and pulse/blend for about a minute or two.

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Pour sorbet through a sieve  and using a spatula scrape along the sides to extract all the liquid leaving behind the seeds from the berries.

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You can pour into popsicle molds, ice cream maker, or Place in an airtight container.

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If your sorbet mixture has too much froth on the top you can remove this with a coffee filter.

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Once frozen, unmold and serve at once, or store in plastic bags till ready to use.
If you are using an airtight container, you may want to check in about 3-4 hours and give a good stir, re seal and put back into freezer. Should be ready in 6-12 hours depending on your freezer.

 

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My Disclosure Policy

My Disclosure Policy

 

Pink Moscato Berry Sorbet

 IMG_5058

As we near the end of the summer, we are also approaching the hottest weeks, which in Southern California is the last two weeks and first two weeks of September. Well it’s no surprise that people will reach for a nice cool, crisp white and/or chilled rosé during the warm summer months. what’s not to like about a cool glass of Vino? After all its easy to drink and easy to enjoy.

IMG_5060

What has become so popular the last couple of years is ice cream, Popsicle,  granitas and sorbet.

IMG_5094

Yep, Wine infused confections! There are no set rules, you can get as creative as you like, and you don’t need to go out and buy an ice cream maker.

 

IMG_5100

Alcohol does not freeze so it helps keeps the sorbet smooth and gives it a less grainy texture. You can use liqueurs that complement the taste of your fruit, or really go crazy and add vodka! But for now were going to make a sorbet of mixed berry and pink moscato wine. A sorbet is a middle-eastern dessert made of fresh fruit juice and water that has become a refreshing hot-weather treat in many parts of the world. Whereas ice cream has air whipped into it to create an airy and creamy product, sorbet is simply mixed and frozen, which results in a denser texture and a concentrated taste. Sorbet is not only used as a dessert, it is also used before the main course to cleanse the palate.

IMG_5028

Just remember this is alcohol based and if you consume just a wee tad too much you could wind up a bit tipsy. And I can’t really think of anything better than that. Just don’t get your sweet tooth on and then drive, remember to always

“Drink Responsibly”

beringers

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds fresh berries, washed.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups Beringers Pink Moscato Wine
1/2 lime zest and juice

 

Directions:

Combine sugar and water in a large pot or saucepan. Over low heat stir until sugar dissolves.

IMG_5123

Add berries and keep on low until mixture starts to slightly bubble, then shut off stove.

IMG_5063

Add wine, lime juice and zest, stir to merge completely, and taste. You should have a sweet and slight acidic from the lime and berries, and should balance well with the wine. If you prefer a stronger taste of wine add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more, or if not sweet enough add a little more sugar, agave, or honey.

Using a blender or food processor add entire contents and pulse/blend for about a minute or two.

IMG_5066

Pour sorbet through a sieve  and using a spatula scrape along the sides to extract all the liquid leaving behind the seeds from the berries.

IMG_5067

 

 

IMG_5069

You can pour into popsicle molds, ice cream maker, or Place in an airtight container.

IMG_5126

If your sorbet mixture has too much froth on the top you can remove this with a coffee filter.

IMG_5130

Once frozen, unmold and serve at once, or store in plastic bags till ready to use.
If you are using an airtight container, you may want to check in about 3-4 hours and give a good stir, re seal and put back into freezer. Should be ready in 6-12 hours depending on your freezer.

 

IMG_5092

My Disclosure Policy

My Disclosure Policy

 

Drunken Melon’s

Drunken Melon’s

IMG_4108

 

Summer is the season for many outdoor activities, from hiking, camping, boating at the river, or getting your tan on at the beach. It is also the season for smoked meats, pitchers of fresh squeezed lemonade, berries, and lots of watermelon to keep cool and refreshed. As the summer season starts to wind down some of these cool refreshing treats become a tad boring, or perhaps your tired of making yet another watermelon basket.

 

IMG_4130

 

IMG_4111

Personally i’ve already seen my fair share of plain ole watermelon this summer.  But what the heck, watermelon is the go-to fruit of the beat the heat-wave gods. So as August is quickly approaching and temperatures rise higher, the only thing I crave in this world is cold booze and watermelons, and boy do they go together.

 

IMG_4166

 

In case you were not aware, but August 3rd is “National Watermelon Day” so why not blow it out right! 

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If you like booze and watermelons, here is a simple proof recipe to combine the cool, refreshing, healthy fruit, that’s been saturated with booze.
Use a variety of watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe. Use a little alcohol or a lot, use Midori, Tequila, Rum, or Vodka. With using melons the sky is the limit on how creative you want to get, just have fun, beat the heat and of course…………

Please Drink Responsibly

 

Ingredients:

2 cups honeydew balls
3 cups watermelon balls
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup light rum or use a lot
1 Tbsp lemon zest
Juice of one lemon juice
1 Tbsp lime zest
Juice of half a lime

 

IMG_4134

 

Directions:

Make sure to clean the outside of your melons before you cut into them.

IMG_4110

Using a melon baller scoop out and place in a large bowl, one you plan to serve in. you can also make a serving bowl out of the melon you are using.

IMG_4109

Dissolve the sugar in the rum and add the lemon and lime juice.
Pour the liquid mixture over the melon balls and toss lightly to coat.
Sprinkle with lemon and lime zest.

IMG_4157

 

Place in the refrigerator or freezer for one hour before serving. I kept mine in the freezer and the melon balls held all the delicious alcohol.
Toss again slightly before serving.

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Shredded Pork(Carnita’s) Tacos W/Cilantro-lime Dressing

If there is one thing I love it is taco’s, and I am not talking about fast food places to get my taco fix either. I love taco’s Chicken, shredded beef or carnitas, but what I don’t care for is processed taco shells, seasoning mix, or bottled taco sauce. What it comes down to is if you skip the processed ingredients and use flour or corn tortillas, make your own sauce out of a few ingredients along with your own seasoning, then your cost is relatively the same and you are eating a healthier version.

 

 

Now not everyone is a fan of carnita’s, as the main filling is typically “fried”  with  a lot of lard before being roasted or braised. Carnita’s literally means “little meats”. Pork carnitas are traditionally made using the heavily marbled, rich ‘boston butt’ or ‘picnic ham’ cuts of pork.  Don’t get me wrong carnitas are great, but it’s also made with a cut of pork that has a lot of fat and then fried, then braised. So if you want a slightly different version that is lighter but still packs a punch in flavors, then give mine a try.

 

This recipe is also “slow cooker/crock pot” friendly so you don’t have to turn the oven or broiler on. or spend all day in the kitchen. I also made a cilantro-lime dressing to go with this light and tasty taco dish.

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Ingredients for pork:

2 – 3 lbs pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
3-4 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp new mexico chili powder
1 tsp california chili powder
1 tsp pasillia chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup water
1 T. olive oil
1 T. salt & pepper

Optional toppings

Shredded red cabbage
Lime wedges
chopped cilantro-onion
queso fresco cheese
chopped tomato

Ingredients for cilantro-lime dressing:

1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp fresh lime juice
zest of one lime
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or more if you want it spicy
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground onion powder
large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions for pork:

Set slow cooker to high for 4-6 hours depending of how many pounds you are cooking.
Trim pork loin of any excess fat, some fat can stay to add flavor. Pat dry with paper towels and salt.

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Using a whisk put all dried ingredients in a bowl and mix well together. Mince or crush garlic and place aside.

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Using a large skillet heat over medium high add oil and then add pork to sear all sides 3-4 minutes, you may have to sear pork in batches.

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Remove from skillet and place in large crock pot.
Add water to skillet to de-glaze and with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula scrape up all bits of flavor.

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Pour all the juices from skillet into the bowl of dried ingredients and using whisk incorporate water and spices, add garlic and pour over pork.

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Place lid and walk away till its done.

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Once done remove pork with tongs and leave liquid in slow cooker, and using forks meat should shred easily.

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Put shredded pork back into slow cooker drop heat to low or warm till you are ready to serve.

 

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This is great with black beans or cilantro lime rice, refried beans and a cold cerveza!

 

Carnitas with corn tortillas.

Carnitas with corn tortillas.

 

 

Directions for cilantro lime dressing:

Using a blender or food processor mix mayo and sour cream until its well blended.
Add all dried ingredients and pulse for 30 seconds.
Using a micro-plane zest lime into food processor and add juice, pulse again for about 30 seconds.
Add cilantro and pulse about 5 times, remove cover and taste to add salt if needed or adjust heat or other spices to your liking.

Pour into serving boat and use on taco’s, salads, quesadillas.

Carnitas with flour tortillas.

Carnitas with flour tortillas.

 

 

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Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
2 Tbsp of sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp of finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp of finely grated lime zest
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Sanding Sugar (optional)

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Place flour, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zest, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet spacing 2 inch rounds, dusting cup with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2 inch rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Sprinkle tops of cookies with standing sugar, if using.

Bake until edges are brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire wake; let cool.

 

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