Monday, April 30, 2012

Roasted Pineapple "Piña Colada"

This drink saved me. I've had a little spring cold, and I wanted something that was full of good health but was not the green smoothies I've been drinking for weeks. This....was like a piña colada...but not. I mean it had the flavors I so enjoy but without the outrageous calorie count. Yes, the girl who puts butter on everything would like to shave a few cals off here and there. It's my prerogative!

I had this for lunch, and since I'm not a character on Mad Men...there's no rum. But you could totally add a little spiced rum to this for a poolside treat that will still make you feel good wearing that bikini. Or one-piece! I support the wearing of both. Personally, I have a Ralph Lauren one-piece that I love. And I would gladly sip this on a sunny day by the water.

The ingredients are simple, but they give such a punch of flavor. Fresh pineapple, coconut-almond milk, Greek yogurt, fresh ginger, and a wee touch of honey.

Lay pineapple wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle just the tiniest bit of honey on top and roast in the oven.

They'll get just a touch of caramelization.

Then everything goes in a blender. I used my microplane to grate the ginger. It keeps you from getting big chunks of ginger. I also added a few ice cubes after the first blend.

It gets nice and frothy.

A chunk of fresh pineapple garnishes the glass. Coconut, ginger, and pineapple. Make it your favorite summer drink!

Roasted Pineapple "Piña Colada" (makes 1 large drink or 2 regular)

1/2 pineapple, cut into wedges
Drizzle of honey
1 1/4 c coconut-almond milk
1/3 c Greek yogurt
Grated ginger, to taste
4-5 ice cubes

  • Preheat oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pineapple wedges on it. Drizzle with a little honey, about a teaspoon. Roast in the oven 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Let cool.
  • In a blender, combine the pineapple, milk, yogurt, and ginger. Blend until smooth. Add the ice cubes and blend again until smooth. If desired, strain to remove pineapple pulp. (I totally didn't do this) Pour into glasses and garnish with fresh pineapple chunks.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shrimp, Grape Tomato, & Artichoke Fettuccine

This one time, I was driving down the road with my windows down and Carrie Underwood on my radio. It was one of the first really pretty spring days we'd had, warm air and a little breeze. I was wearing a sundress and big sunglasses. I was also singing louder than Carrie, which I didn't realize was possible. I was at a stoplight and was just finishing up "Cowboy Casanova" when I noticed a young boy hanging out of the back of a truck cab and fervently applauding my performance. I blushed. And I laughed because I earned that applause! I...have no shame it would appear.

Get your face in this pasta. It's one of those 30 minute, weeknight-friendly dinners. It's full of things I lurve, like shrimp and artichokes and capers. Get to it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Biscoff Brownies with Candied Peanuts

When my mom was young, her family lived in Bolivia. My grand-daddy was an engineer, so they moved where the jobs took them. This included South Dakota, which my mom still counts as her least favorite state. (Sorry, South Dakotans!) So when they lived in Bolivia they had these neighbors who were alligator farmers. Um, what? They also had an ocelot as pet. When my mom and her sister would walk to school, the ocelot would stalk my Aunt Mandy. And when they were over at the neighbors' house, it would go insane if it saw her through the sliding glass door. True. Story. According to my mom. My grandmother disputes this some.

I love a good non sequitur. I've been dying to make brownies with Biscoff spread since I bought a jar. Biscoff spread is essentially...cookie butter. HOW is something like this allowed to exist?! Cookie. Butter. Like peanut butter but with cookies. Add in some candied peanuts and BOOM. Mega brownie.

Friday, April 13, 2012

We Be 'Grammin

I, Christina, am developing an unhealthy relationship with Instagram. All you Iphone-havers can zip it, they just released it for Android. I might be late to the party, but I'm gonna have fun anyway dagnabbit. I'm taking way more pictures with my phone now, so I thought I'd share some of the fun I'm having.

 Marshmallow salad at Easter lunch. This is a staple. It has no nutritional value whatsoever, it just tastes like marshmallows and joy.

 My mom and I went to lunch at the River Room in Georgetown the other day. I like their shrimp sandwich because the bread doesn't overwhelm me. Also, you get two onion rings with your fries.

 No lips! He's teething, so he's using counterpressure to make his not-quite-teeth feel better. That's what my sister tells me anyway.

 This was his Easter outfit. I know you can't see it very well, but it was precious. He looked like a little sailor.

 My first-ever Cadbury egg. Will couldn't believe I'd never had one. I told my mom, and she said I probably hadn't had one because she doesn't like them. Therefore, they didn't end up in my Easter basket as a kid.

 As if marshmallow salad wasn't enough, we have a bunny jello mold. Each holiday gets its own jello mold, and it's just not the same without one.

The grand finale. This was the most delicious strawberry milkshake I've ever had. I've been craving a good milkshake for a while now, so I decided to stop at Willard Farms on my way home from Columbia. They have all sorts of goodies that they make on-site: burgers, fries, ice cream, shakes, fudge, etc. I knew I wanted a milkshake, and one of the girls there told me they have a fresh strawberry shake with their vanilla ice cream and the strawberries they grow on the farm. Then they topped it with fresh whipped cream. It was sweet and tangy, and I probably could've had two.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Barbecue Shrimp

One of my absolute favorite dinners is this barbecue shrimp. It's perfect for eating outside on a screen porch with plenty of paper towels and cold adult beverages. In fact, this was the first meal my brother-in-law ate with my family. Which in retrospect was a little...mean. It's hard to be charming and graceful sucking juice out of a shrimp shell. That's kind of mandatory too. You can't just peel the shells and eat the shrimp. First, you suck the juice out of the shell, then you peel it, then you dip it back in the sauce and eat. The leftover sauce on the plate gets sopped up with buttery french bread.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rum Coconut Cupcakes

I don't fancy myself much of a cupcake decorator, but I was pretty darn pleased with how these turned out. My inspiration came from Pinterest some weeks ago. Don't ask me where it was pinned from because I haven't the foggiest idea. These cupcakes would be a cute Easter dessert if you don't want to make a whole coconut cake.

Speaking of Easter, it's tomorrow. If you need a last-minute dish idea, how about Brie Bites for an appetizer? Or try Deviled Egg Salad for something a little different but just as scrumptious as the classic. Pineapple Souffle makes a lovely side dish for ham, as does Green Bean Casserole.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Fried Egg & Goat Cheese

Y'all, Instagram is available for Android users now!  I can take pictures on my phone like the cool kids now.  If you don't know, Instagram is an app that lets you use fun filters on pictures and share with...the world.  You can follow me at sweetsaltysc, although I imagine most of the people who read this will find me via facebook anyhow.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vanilla Rum Cake(s)

I've eaten an ungodly amount of spinach in the last six or so days.  For breakfast mostly (one day it was lunch), I've had a green smoothie.  That means blending up a few handfuls of baby spinach leaves, almond milk or OJ, Greek yogurt, and an assortment of fruits.  The beautiful thing is that it tastes nothing like spinach.  It really just takes on the flavor of the almond milk and the fruit.  But it's not cake.  I can't have all this health going around me and no indulgences.  That's called balance, y'all.  Or at least, that's my interpretation of it.