August 28, 2015

Zucchini Fritters with a Honey Dipping Sauce

This is my final recipe in the #TABASCO10 third annual 10 Ingredient Challenge - creating 5 different recipes in 5 days with the following 10 ingredients: TABASCO® Original Red, Green Jalapeño or Chipotle Sauce, Chicken, Eggs, Mozzarella, Fennel Bulb, Zucchini , Rice (Brown, Basmati, Jasmine or Wild), Rigatoni, Ciabatta, and Honey (Salt, pepper, oil are 'free' ingredients).

Last night, I grabbed the bag of grass seed that had been sitting on the shelf since early June. All summer, I've been waiting for an appropriate time to amend the burnt patches in our backyard, but grass seed needs rain, and that we have been lacking. Fortunately, the forecast calls for rain for the next 6 days in a row, so yesterday seemed like a perfect opportunity. The weather has cooled slightly, and I think mother nature has decided to give us a break from the intense heat. Last night, as I rest on my knee pads, slowly raking away at the burnt patches of grass (trying not to pass out cause this baby is all up in my lungs), filling holes with new soil and grass seed, it dawned on me (in an intensely panicked kind of way) that my life is about to change in such a way that I'm really not prepared for, and really, who is ever prepared for children? I keep trying to imagine what things are going to be like with a baby. I try to imagine what it will be like trying bake a cake with a baby. Messy? Fun? Miserable? Cooking, sleeping, showering, shopping, and socializing. How are these things done with a baby? Do you hope that your baby is really cute and then everyone will want to hold him and look after him? Do you hope that your baby is really well behaved so you can bring him to all your favorite swanky restaurants or parties? Or do you just accept the fact that there may not be any fancy late night dining or parties? I have so many questions and seeing as there are so many unknowns, and no good answers, I'm trying to spend these last few weeks in pure relaxation mode not thinking about it. There may even be a cake or two in the near future. Although let's be honest, I'm just hoping that this baby comes out really soon, because let me tell you, I could really use a glass of wine right about now.

One thing that I'm certain will not change in my life, is my love for zucchini, fritters, and quick and easy food. Fritters are so easy to make, albeit, frying them in oil can get pretty messy, but if you're not in the mood to deal with the mess then you can just bake them instead. Frankly, I love any type of fritter. The idea of combining a whole heap of nutrient dense veggies with spices and garlic, and then serving with some insanely delicious and tangy dipping sauce really pleases the 10-year-old, and the healthy adult in me. For this recipe, I grated the zucchini and then combined it with homemade bread crumbs. The fritters are held together with egg and flavored with TABASCO, salt, and pepper. I served them with a side of honey for dipping which really compliments the spiciness of the fritters. For the challenge, I was limited to only a few ingredients, but I imagine that these fritters would be delicious with some grated potato, corn, carrots, and onion. They are the perfect appetizer for a dinner party, summer BBQ, or just to enjoy for dinner with maybe a salad on the side.

If you want to check out what other bloggers have created during the challenge, you can follow the hashtag #TABASCO10.

Thanks to the folks over at TABASCO for sponsoring this post.





CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE

August 27, 2015

Zucchini and Fennel Salad with a Spicy Honey Dressing


This is recipe #4 in the #TABASCO10 third annual 10 Ingredient Challenge - creating 5 different recipes in 5 days with the following 10 ingredients: TABASCO® Original Red, Green Jalapeño or Chipotle Sauce, Chicken, Eggs, Mozzarella, Fennel Bulb, Zucchini , Rice (Brown, Basmati, Jasmine or Wild), Rigatoni, Ciabatta, and Honey (Salt, pepper, oil are 'free' ingredients).

I think that this week I have eaten the most amount of zucchini that I have eaten in a whole life (except that time in college I made 5 zucchini loaves and ate them over a 4-month span). This challenge has definitely pushed my creative level, forcing me to come up with meal ideas that I wouldn't normally. Half of me wishes that I ate chicken so that I could have a little more flexibility with the recipes, because so far, there have been some pretty fantastic looking chicken dishes from other bloggers. But the other half of me (the competitive side) is pretty stoked that I was able to come up with some pretty decent vegetarian dishes out of the 9 ingredients. 

The dish that I am sharing today is a shaved zucchini and fennel salad, with a spicy honey dressing. Normally, I like to eat shaved fennel in an apple/sharp cheddar salad concoction, or a farro, grape, and spinach type dish. I would have never thought to pair fennel with zucchini, and it actually works. Top it off with an olive oil, TABASCO, honey dressing with a few fennel fronds for garnish, and you've got yourself a tasty little salad. I grilled up some ciabatta slices, brushed with olive oil, to serve on the side. A nice and lite summer salad with loads of flavor.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to check out recipe #5, and if you want to check out what other bloggers have created during the challenge, you can follow the hashtag #TABASCO10.

Thanks to the folks over at TABASCO for sponsoring this post.




CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE

August 26, 2015

Cheesy Mozzarella French Toast with Honey

This is recipe #3 in the #TABASCO10 third annual 10 Ingredient Challenge - creating 5 different recipes in 5 days with the following 10 ingredients: TABASCO® Original Red, Green Jalapeño or Chipotle Sauce, Chicken, Eggs, Mozzarella, Fennel Bulb, Zucchini , Rice (Brown, Basmati, Jasmine or Wild), Rigatoni, Ciabatta, and Honey (Salt, pepper, oil are 'free' ingredients).

A few weeks ago I was testing a recipe for a caramelized cinnamon apple French toast casserole (recipe to be shared soon), and then, with the leftover brioche, I experimented with a few other combinations, one of which is a recreation from School in Toronto, my favorite brunch spot. The recreation begins with the tastiest brioche you can find. Then you dip it in Rice Krispies,  fry it in brown sugar butter, sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar, and drizzle with orange flavored maple syrup. I know right? incredible. Every Christmas I go back to Toronto to visit family, I always make at least a trip to this spot, and now that I think about it, I probably should be sharing a recipe for this Rice Krispie French toast, shouldn't I?

While I'm on the subject of French toast, for my third recipe challenge I chose to make a slightly spicy, slightly cheesy, savory French toast with a side of honey. If you've never tried a savory French toast with some sort of cheese, you must. The combination of salty cheesy toast with a sweet syrup is one of the best things I've ever eaten. Ciabatta is a perfect medium for the French toast, being an airy sponging bread that soaks up liquid easily. My favorite part of the cheesy French toast is when the beautiful Maillard reaction happens and you are left with that crispy perfect cheesy flavor that can only be created with the perfect amount of heat. Hip hip for cheese and bread!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to check out recipe #4, and if you want to check out what other bloggers have created during the challenge, you can follow the hashtag #TABASCO10.

Thanks to the folks over at TABASCO for sponsoring this post.





CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE

August 25, 2015

Mini Baked ZucchinI and Mozzarella Rigatoni

This is recipe #2 in the #TABASCO10 third annual 10 Ingredient Challenge - creating 5 different recipes in 5 days with the following 10 ingredients: TABASCO® Original Red, Green Jalapeño or Chipotle Sauce, Chicken, Eggs, Mozzarella, Fennel Bulb, Zucchini , Rice (Brown, Basmati, Jasmine or Wild), Rigatoni, Ciabatta, and Honey (Salt, pepper, oil are 'free' ingredients).

If you know me, then you know that I LOVE PASTA. So it should be no surprise that I chose to make my second recipe pasta based. I usually cook with spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne, because I am a creature of habit. A few months ago my local grocery store had this crazy sale on dry pasta ($1 per box), so naturally I bought as much as my cupboards could hold. This means that I have all sorts of dried pasta that I never use - the tiny bow ties, the elbow macaroni, the ones the look like honeycombs. I'm pretty excited that I actually have a chance to use one of the 7 boxes of rigatoni I have stored in the cupboard, because I am seriously running out of room in there.

Usually, if I'm making a casserole or a pasta dish, I'll make it in tiny ramekins, so that Brent and I can reheat them for leftovers. It is so much easier to store small ramekins in the fridge versus a giant casserole dish. By using ramekins, it also avoids the chance for an unnecessary argument like - who forgot to completely cover the casserole with Saran wrap? or who is going to wash this crusty casserole dish?

For this recipe, I decided to fry some chopped zucchini in oil. I then added some cooked rigatoni pasta, salt, pepper, and a generous serving of TABASCO green jalapeno sauce. I mixed in some grated mozzarella and baked until the cheese was nice and melted. I then turned the oven to broil to get a nice crispy top. It's just a shame that I only made four, because these were seriously tasty.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to check out recipe #3, and if you want to check out what other bloggers have created during the challenge, you can follow the hashtag #TABASCO10.

Thanks to the folks over at TABASCO for sponsoring this post.






CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE

August 24, 2015

Smokey Chipotle Scrambled Eggs with Zucchini and Mozzarella


This week I am super excited to be participating in the #TABASCO10 third annual 10 Ingredient Challenge. The challenge involves creating 5 different recipes in 5 days with the following 10 ingredients: TABASCO® Original Red, Green Jalapeño or Chipotle Sauce, Chicken, Eggs, Mozzarella, Fennel Bulb, Zucchini , Rice (Brown, Basmati, Jasmine or Wild), Rigatoni, Ciabatta, and Honey (Salt, pepper, oil are 'free' ingredients). Crazy, I know.

When I first received the email asking if I wanted to be in the challenge, I was a bit trepidatious. I thought to myself - how could I possibly come up with 5 different recipes using such few ingredients, and ingredients that I hardly ever use? Brent reassured me that it would be awesome, and then I was pointed in the direction of my pal Stephanie's blog - I Am A Food Blog. Last year she took the challenge and this year she actually picked the 10 ingredients! After going through the fun creations that she came up with, I was immediately convinced that indeed this looked liked something that I could get behind. And besides, who doesn't secretly want to be a contestant on the Iron Chef? (without all the judgment, of course)

I already had the following ingredients in my cupboard/fridge: TABASCO® Original Red, Green Jalapeño and Chipotle Sauce, eggs, mozzarella, rice (brown, basmati, jasmine and wild), rigatoni, honey, salt, pepper, and oil. I went out to the market and picked up some zucchini, fennel, and ciabatta to complete my recipes. I really felt myself gravitating towards a few favorite ingredients: the eggs, mozzarella, and zucchini combo, but figured that you guys would probably get sick of 5 variations on eggs, and really, how creative would that be? So I stuck to one egg-centric recipe, smokey chipotle scrambled eggs with fried zucchini and mozzarella, with some olive oil toasted ciabatta on the side. It was a pretty easy meal to come up with, as it is one that I eat often. Although, I rarely use zucchini in cooking, so it was fun to experiment with that.

I have a bottle of TABASCO Chipotle Sauce in the fridge that I mostly use for breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros, so I was quite confident that it would work well in this dish, and for the other ingredients I used eggs, mozzarella, zucchini, ciabatta, oil, salt, and pepper. I am quite pleased with how it turned out and is probably one of my favorites from this challenge. Smoky chipotle eggs are amazing. Be sure to stop by tomorrow to check out recipe #2, and if you want to check out what other bloggers have created during the challenge, you can follow the hashtag #TABASCO10.

Thanks to the folks over at TABASCO for sponsoring this post.





CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE