Posts from the ‘Tasty Juls’ category

Sweet Peaches On My Mind.
Warm afternoons on the patio, Madeleine Peyroux playing on the Jambox, a crisp glass of pinot gris and this wonderfully wonderful peach mozzerella salad with fresh basil from my windowsill garden. This sweet, savory summer salad is simply sublime (yes, that is 6 S’s – that’s how yummy this salad is!). Found on Real Simple via MWM (My Wonderful Mom who adores peaches) and shared with you here on julsjuls. I’m pretty sure you’ll thank me for passing this along…

PeachSalad_Bowl

What Goes In

  • 3 ripe peaches
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces or chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Put It All Together

Cut each peach into 6 to 8 wedges, then cut each wedge in half crosswise. You can either peel them (my preference) or keep the skin on.

PeachSalad_Peaches

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, basil, and mozzarella. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss. You can cover and refrigerate the salad for up to several hours and it’s still quite yummy. Serve cold or at room temperature (I prefer it cold!).

PeachSalad_BowlCloseup

Add extra savory with some shaved Italian prosciutto, then serve over baby arugula – an entire meal!

PeachSalad_Prosciutto

Or, you can even serve it with a drizzle of balsamic, caprese style. The sour of the balsamic with the sweet peach juice is awfully tasty and crusty-bread-sop-up worthy!

PeachSalad_Caprese

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Creamsicle Taste in a Cupcake? Well that *is* Dreamy!
Remember those orange and vanilla creamsicles from when we were kids? I’d hear that music a mile away and chase the ice cream truck down the street, a quarter clenched in my hand. He’d pull over to the curb to a throng of screaming kids, and we’d binge on frozen treats in the hot sun while they dripped down our elbow. These divine orange cupcakes are nostalgic to those  ice cream truck treats – a wonderfully creamy combo of orange and vanilla.

OrangeCupcake2

I discovered the original recipe on All Recipes, but I adapted it a bit for a less processed flavor – I’m not a fan of Miracle Whip (ew). Your family will flip for these sweets – be sure to set a couple aside for you, they’ll disappear as fast as that ice cream truck does each Summer!

What you’ll need for the Cupcakes:

  • 1 package orange cake mix – OR – 1 package vanilla cake mix + 2 tsp orange extract (my preference)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I know – sounds good, but makes them creamy!)
  • 1 envelope (1.3 oz) dry whipped topping mix (like Dream Whip®)
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated orange zest

For the White Cream Topping:

  • 1 jar marshmallow creme (13 oz)
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortning, softened

For the Orange Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 drops orange food coloring – OR – one 2 drops red + 5 drops yellow
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • White sugar pearls

What You’ll Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Beat together the orange cake mix (or vanilla + orange extract), mayo, whipped topping mix, 3/4 cup orange juice, eggs, and 2 tablespoons orange zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is moist, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then increase speed to medium and continue beating until well blended, about 2 minutes more. Fill the  cupcake cups about 2/3 full. You’ll probably have some left over batter – make a couple more if you have enough (can never have too many of these tidbits!)
  3. Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool on a wire rack. Be sure to cool the cupcakes completely before frosting, or the frosting will slip off.
  4. To make white cream topping: Beat the marshmallow creme, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/2 cup shortening in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  5. Transfer the topping into a pastry bag, fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe a single layer of cream topping onto each cupcake – about 1/2 inch thick – letting about half of the orange cupcake show below the while cream for a layered look.
  6. To make orange frosting: Beat 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in 1/4 cup orange juice, zest of 1 orange, vanilla extract, and food coloring until well combined. Gradually sift in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
  7. Transfer the frosting to another pastry bag, fitted with a large star tip, and pipe a swirled layer of orange butter cream, ending in a peak, over the cream topping on the cupcakes.
  8. Sprinkle each cupcakes with the sugar pearls for a final touch.
  9. Hide a cupcake in the pantry for yourself.
  10. Serve to your family / friends and enjoy!

OrangeCupcake

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Breakfast, Lunch … Banana!
Simple, healthy and very yummy. I prefer toasting the bread first so it’s not so mushy. Let the toast cool a bit before smearing on the peanut butter – chunky or smooth, your choice. Try adding a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon for a twist. Good healthy you!

image

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5 and 5 = Simple Guacamole.

GuacNaked

I prefer my guacamole naked. No chunky additions or leafy bits wedged between your teeth for an embarrassing smile. I keep it simple and unfettered, ready to jump into any Mexican meal and be the star of the show. Every time I make my guacamole, I’m treated by lots of yummy noises and requests for the recipe. It’s actually quite easy … 5 ingredients, 5 steps. Ready to steal my glory? Okay, here we go…

What you’ll need:

GuacSetup

  1. 2 large, ripe avocados
  2. Lemon
  3. Sour cream
  4. Garlic powder
  5. Salt

What you’ll do:

  1. SCOOP
    Scoop the avocado into a bowl. No worries if it gets smashed or gnarled, just make sure to get all that good fruit.
  2. SMOOSH
    Use a large fork to smoosh all the avocado until there are no big chunks. It doesn’t need to be liquified, just smooshed so it’s fairly smooth.
  3. SQUEEZE
    Squeeze in a good dose of lemon juice. Let’s say 2 teaspoons to a tablespoon, or whatever juice you can get out of a 1/2 fresh lemon.
  4. SEASON
    Add 2 shakes of garlic powder (not too much!) and a healthy dose of salt. For those of you who into precision, about 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. STIR
    Grab a spoon and add a dollop of sour cream. Or, for laymen, a good size spoonful. This is what makes it creamy.

Yep, it’s that easy and super tasty! Sometimes I do add a small splash of Pico Pica if it’s a grown-up only affair. You should feel free to add your favorite extras too (I won’t be offended), but remember the whole point is to keep it straight forward and simple. Let the avocados shine and not be overwhelmed by other ingredients  Case in point: Think about that marginal guacamole you had at that chain restaurant in the mall – you know, the one with big chunks of onion and tomatoes. Ick.

Try it naked – if it’s too bland, add a bit more salt and a tiny bit more lemon juice. Then grab a chip and dig in!

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Give your Pasta a Punch!
I discovered this recipe on Pinterest — uh huh, I know you’re shocked to hear that — from delish.com. It’s quick, simple to make and is fantastically tasty. Over noodles, smeared on a pizza, or even to dress a grilled chicken breast, this one is a keeper. Grab your food processor and jump in…

Pesto

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Garlic Parm Knots to Lust Over.
How can I help but post one of the top pins on Pinterest? Popular vote – oh yes. But the the mass of Pinners don’t lie! These super easy to make garlic parmesan twists from Real Mom Kitchen are a big, big winner! I’ve made them multiple times with lots of yummy sounds from the hungry crowd. Now it’s your turn…

GarlicParmKnot

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Grilled steak, fresh cilantro and homemade pico de gallo – what could be better? Not much, friend. I discovered this recipe on Pinterest (oh how I love Pinterest) from Feasting At Home, and made it that very night for the hub and I. Can I just say, in a word… YUM! I mean really YUM. So good, my hub says:

This could be a signature dish on Master Chef!

We had restaurant left-over tenderloin and little interest in cooking, but with a food processor and fresh ingredients, we had a healthy dinner in a heartbeat. Below is the recipe for your pleasure – slightly adapted for JulsJuls.

grilled steak taco

Grilled Steak Taco with Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce
Feeds 4 easily
Steak and Marinade:
2 lbs Flank Steak or pounded skirt steak (though I prefer a better cut – leftover tenderloin was perfect)
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 sweet yellow onion, sliced
1/3 C soy sauce
1/3 C olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
4 smashed, chopped garlic cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
In a bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade. Place steak and onions in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, sealing and turning several times to coat well. Let sit at room temp for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. (Or marinate for up to 3 hours in fridge, bringing to room temp before grilling.) Remove steak from marinade (you can toss the marinade, but you may want to keep the onions to grill them as a side) and grill on med-high until medium rare. Let the steak rest for 5-10 mins, then slice against the grain (think diagonal) into thin strips and add to warm tortillas.
grilled steak
 

Cilantro Chimichurri:
1 bunch Cilantro or about 1 cup packed
1 bunch Italian Parsley- about 1 cup packed
1/4 C fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp ground cumin
2 ground coriander
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded, chopped

In a food processor, add jalapeno, garlic, onion, and pulse several times until chopped. Add cilantro (stems are fine) and Italian parsley, pulse again. Add oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until combined. Set aside in small serving bowl.

Pico De Gallo:
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
1 Serrano chili, minced (remove the seeds)
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 1/2  limes, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Finely dice tomato, onion, jalapeño and cilantro. Season with salt, pepper and fresh lime juice. Place all in a bowl, mix and let sit for 15 min to 1 hour.

chimichurri and pico

Final Assembly:

Sliced steak in a fresh warm tortilla, then slop some of that yummy chimichurri and fresh pico de gallo over the meat. Go ahead, garnish with a squeeze of lime, crumbed cotija cheese, a shake of Pico Pica hot sauce, and some sliced avocado. Delish, my friends, delish!

final assembly

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