Strawberry Basil Lemonade

I realize that this is probably a beverage that I should have posted in the summer, so my apologies for just getting around to it. The good news is, I live in Texas, where it is almost always hot enough to make this refreshing beverage.

To spice things up, try this lemonade with vodka. This last time I made it, my friend Natalie mixed it with a little bit of white wine and it tasted very similar to Sangria. Both great ideas, if you feel that this beverage is a little too virgin for you.

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SBL Recipe

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Model Citizen-don’t leave home without it. Another way to devirginize your lemonade.

Asian Green Beans

These green beans are pretty awesome, if I can say so myself. My apologies to the ladies that have been asking for this recipe. I am so glad that I finally got around to posting it.

Not only are these green beans tasty, but they are super simple to make. I would say that the most laborious part of making these are cutting and cleaning the fresh green beans. This is definitely a recipe that you will enjoy, crave, and do more than once. [Just ask Emily. ;)]

I hope the fried garlic is not hard for you to find. I usually get mine at the Asian market. Also, if you don’t have a wok, just use a non-stick pan that has a lid. Consider getting a wok, you will love it! Happy cooking!

Asian Green Beans

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Liz’s Righteous Cabbage

Liz’s Righteous Cabbage: The Mind Changer

Years ago (when I was a teen) my mother did some part-time work at a convent. She helped all of the nuns with cleaning, organizing and cooking. One day, Mom came home with a head of cabbage and told me that we were going to do it the way the nuns did it. She was so excited to show me how to do it and claimed that it was just so delicious. She gave me the directions and we served it as a side for dinner. It was a huge hit among all of the family members and became something that we did more often.

To this day, I have changed many minds about their feelings toward cabbage with this simple recipe. I get it; cabbage is just one of those things. Up until we discovered this recipe, cabbage was just another ingredient in caldo  and was definitely underutilized in our household.

As most of you know, I am not one to give out really top secret family recipes (i.e. tamales – Grandma would kill me), but I figured – this is a recipe that came from nuns and nuns are very sharing (or should be). I can’t argue that it is actually something that my family came up with; therefore, it is fair game.

Without a doubt in my mind, this is one of my easiest, healthiest, and tastiest recipes; just ask my friends. Other than all of the chopping involved, it requires very little effort. The original recipe (from the nuns) called for butter, but once I discovered that this recipe is just as tasty with olive oil, it became protocol to save the butter for other decadent little things.

I have finally decided to put this recipe up on its own, because so many of my friends continue to ask for it. Now I can refer them to the site. This recipe calls for some Dutch Oven Lovin’. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, just use a pot with a secure lid.

Cabbage Post-Its Recipe
IMG_0720This is what it looks like before it cooks down all the way.

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This is how it should look when it’s done. I don’t think I added tomatoes to this batch.

Sometimes, I like to do this cabbage with bell peppers, jalapenos, hatch chiles or poblanos; if you would like to do this too, just add the peppers in when you start the onions.

Fruit Bouquets and Where the Hell Has DL been?

Sorry to say it, but I do not regret the hiatus that I have taken from blogging. My life has been filled with a beautiful mess. My boyfriend, Kyle, and I rescued a dog from a terrible living condition in November, just before Thanksgiving. On December 10th, she popped out puppies, six to be exact. It was very crazy and the timing was not so convenient, since we left for NYC on the 14th.

Needless to say, with surprise puppies, a trip to New York, and starting a new (and awesome) job, life has kept me insanely busy. Our time has been completely consumed with many great life experiences, but has left us wondering where all the time has gone. Don’t get me wrong, I still cook on daily basis, however, there has just been no room for blogging. Now that we have found homes for all of the puppies, we are going to have a little bit of extra time on our hands.

Our trip to New York was pretty awesome. We were hosted around by the best, we saw so many cool things, we ate a lot of good food, and the competition went pretty well too. We didn’t actually place, but Dutch Lovin’ was one of the Food Republic’s Top 5 Picks. Other articles with coverage from the competition can be found herehere, and here. We made a lot of good contacts and had a lot of positive feedback on our dish. All in all, it was great fun and a huge success.

In other news, The Food Experiments are making their way back to Austin and the theme this year is smoke. As Texans, we are all very thrilled. I know I am at least! Unfortunately, I will be doing this competition without Kyle, but his replacement is going to do great. Kyle decided that he didn’t want to do it this year, as his birthday is March 12th and always very close to the competition. Kyle makes a good point, “I don’t think I should have to work so hard before my birthday.”

My new partner this year will be Pat, a very good friend of mine. Pat and I met years ago when we worked at Which Wich? together. Hands down, he was one of the hardest workers I have ever met. When I got a job at the Wine Cellar as a gourmet chef, I eventually got Pat a job there too. We were both professionally trained by Master Chef John Lopez. I have no doubt that he and I are going to do really well. We are looking forward to great food and a lot of fun. The experimenting has already begun and the creative juices are definitely flowing.

Now that we are semi-caught up, I made this pretty cool fruit bouquet for my boss’ birthday yesterday. I thought I would share it with you. I find that it is very easy to do and much less expensive than an edible arrangement. Plus, it’s more meaningful when you put the work in yourself.

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I built them starting at the bottom and in this order:

1. 5 Blueberries

2. 1 Kiwi Half Moon

3. 1 Cantaloupe Triangle

4. 1 Pineapple Chunk

5. 1 Strawberry, Cut Like a Rose

Valentine’s Day is just 2 days away, there is still time to make your own chocolate covered strawberries. I will be posting a recipe for that later today from the old website…stay tuned.

Pumpkin Basics

So, I do realize that it has been (almost) a month since I have last posted. As you can imagine, I have been super busy. To make up for lost time, I am giving myself until next Friday to catch you up on several pumpkin goodies that I have been making. I hope this is a deadline that I can meet without excuses!

Today, I will only feature the seeds. Over the course of the week, I will be posting my pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake and pumpkin empanadas. I would like to post the pumpkin cheesecake, but I never took photos of it.

As an avid fan and believer of pumpkins, I cooked a total of six this season; three were Fairytale pumpkins, one was a Cinderella pumpkin, and the other two were pie pumpkins. This year, I realized that the Fairytale pumpkin is my absolute favorite.

If you happen to be like me and have a stash of cooked pumpkin stored in the freezer, then try some of these recipes. If you happen to still be a canned pumpkin user, then I hope these recipes will change your cooking method for the better. Cooking your own pumpkin is super simple and well worth the (small amount of) extra work.

Boiling, steaming, roasting and baking are all effective and common methods of cooking pumpkins. Choosing your method is entirely up to you. I usually boil my pumpkins and it’s quite easy to do.

I attempted to do pumpkin seeds about four times this season and the following recipe was by far the best batch.

Vegan Spanish Chorizo

We used this Vegan Spanish Chorizo in the Paella we made for my birthday this past week. Now that I have attempted [and succeeded] in making a Vegan sausage, I plan to play with more flavors and ideas revolving around this concept. I have had several people ask about this recipe, so here it is. I hope you like it just as much as we did at the party!

You can unwrap and enjoy them immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. I prefer to slice the sausage and sauté for a couple of minutes before consuming.