The Old Maid

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When my sister was planning to visit I knew she’d be perfect for the guest mixologist spot during my weekly episode of Cocktails with Colleen! I asked her to pick a recipe and she said she wanted to make the Old Maid, assuring me that it had nothing to do with the fact that I’ll be turning 50 in about a month!

Of course we had a great time making the video as you can see on my YouTube channel!

Not only was it fun to make together, but it was really tasty as well! I can see this becoming a staple in our house as we lounge around our pool next summer!

Old Maid
Serves 2

4 oz gin
2 oz fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz simple syrup
6 cucumber wheels (cut ¼-inch thick)
6-7 mint leaves
Cucumber spirals for garnish

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber wheels until crushed. Add the mint and just muddle but do not bruise.
  2. Add the gin, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice to the line and shake. Remove the top shaker and strain into a glass filled with one large ice cube.
  3. Garnish with spiralized cucumber.

Enjoy!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

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Salmon with Warm Garlic Potato Salad

Along my Instant Pot/Quick Cooker journey I’m finding more and more recipes that I want to try and when I came across this one for salmon, I was sure it wouldn’t work! Well, we were all blown away at the flavor and consistency of the salmon and I don’t think I’ll cook it any other way again!

When I was thinking about how to cook the salmon, I knew resting on the trivet in the bottom wouldn’t be best because I didn’t want it to fall apart. It was fine when I was making the Salmon Curry because you want it in pieces, but I knew I wanted it to stay together so off to Amazon I went in search of an Instant Pot tray for steaming.

Nothing was doing it for me because most were bowls and I wan’t really wanting to spend money on it anyway and then I came across a recipe for steamed dumplings in an IP and they used a Bamboo Steamer! Genius! And even better? I have one tucked away in the basement. Now, I’ve owned this bamboo steamer for at least 20 years and have used it exactly one time. I got it because I saw an episode of Martha Stewart Living where she made a meal in it and it looked like one of the most elegant thing I had ever seen, so of course I purchased one immediately! Clearly the inspiration to use it fizzled out soon thereafter! Now just to see if the steamer I have would fit!?!?!

I had to stop home at lunch and when I got there, I ran down to the basement hoping that’s where it was and that I didn’t give it away thinking I’d have no further need for it! Thankfully it was right where I thought it was! I placed it in the Quick Cooker and it fit PERFECTLY! And last night it worked like a charm and now I’m excited to see what else I can use it for!

To being, I placed the potatoes in the bottom of the Quick Cooker. I found this great bag of multi-colored small potatoes at Aldi.

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Then I added the water and butter. I placed a lettuce leaf in the bamboo steamer and the salmon on top. Then I sprinkled the salmon salt, pepper and paprika and then topped it with the parsley and lemon zest.

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Into the Quick Cooker it went and we were off! (Have I mentioned how much I’m loving having a pressure cooker???)

When the cooking process was complete, I removed the bamboo steamer and added in the peppers and spinach mix.

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I cut the salmon into portions… look at how evenly it cooked!

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Then we plated it up, lit the candles, poured the wine and said grace! BTW, I’m LOVING how the multi-color potatoes look in this recipe!

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If you have a bamboo steamer, pull it out and give it a try! You’ll be so happy you did!

 

Salmon CaloriesSalmon with Garlic Warm Potato Salad
Serves 4

1 1/4 pounds small potatoes (I found a bag with
purple, red and yellow potatoes)
4 teaspoons butter, divided
1 cup water
salt and pepper
16 ounces salmon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 large green leaf lettuce leaf
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cups spinach & arugula mix

  1. Put the potatoes in the bottom of the Quick Cooker. Add the water and 2 teaspoons butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top and place the trivet over the potatoes.
  2. Lay the lettuce leaf in the bottom of the bamboo steamer and place the salmon filet on top. Rub the top of the salmon with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Top with parsley and lemon zest. Place the steamer on the trivet in the Quick Cooker.
  3. Close the Lid, making sure the steam valve is in the sealing position. Press Custom, then adjust the time to 3 minutes. Press start.
  4. When finished, press the steam release button to release the pressure.
  5. Remove the bamboo steamer and trivet and press Cancel. Set the Quick Cooker to Sear and press start. When the potatoes begin to sizzle, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the potatoes are softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Smash the potatoes with the Mix ‘N Chunk to the desired consistency.
  6. Press Cancel. Add the red pepper and greens to the potatoes and stir until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Divide the salmon and potato salad among serving plates.

Enjoy!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Sweet Potato Avocado Toast

I came across this last week on Instagram and knew I had to try it! I was hesitant in the past because somehow each morning I manage to make myself run late, especially when I try to make breakfast!

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Then Leslie from Balanced-Life-Leslie shared how she makes it and I was sold! It’s so so easy so now there are no excuses!

I take two sweet potato slabs and poke a few holes in them with a fork. Then I microwave them for 2 minutes. I transfer them to a boiler-safe pan and rub the tops with ghee. Then I broil them for 3-4 minutes until browned. I top it with some avocado mash and an egg. Perfection!

To get Leslie’s recipe, click HERE!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Classic Sausage & Peppers

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A friend of mine shared this recipe with me and I made a little twist by making my own sauce (or gravy) for it. Of course, a jarred marinara would work perfectly too but I like to control my ingredients as much as possible!

This meal comes together so fast due to three kitchen tools that are a necessity! The Simple Slicer, Quick Slice and Quick Cooker. There seems to be a theme there: simple and quick!

I wanted to surprise Bill with this meal when he got home and one of my favorite things to do for him is to have him walk through our front door and smell something delicious! Mission accomplished!

As soon as I arrived home from work, I started the sauce. It’s so easy with just 5 ingredients!

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As it simmered, I got started on the onions and peppers.

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Then I seared the sausage.

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Then everything went it and the pressure was on! Bill loved it just as I knew he would and I’m confident that this recipe is going to be repeated A LOT!

Enjoy!

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-27 at 11.56.47 AMClassic Sausage & Peppers
Serves 8

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning Mix
4 bell peppers, sliced
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
32 oz sweet Italian sausage

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic and Italian Seasoning Mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and let simmer until you’re reading to put it into the Quick Cooker.
  2. Using the Simple Slicer, slice the onion. Using the Quick Slice, slice the peppers. Set both aside.
  3. Set the Quick Cooker to Sear and add the oil. When it starts to shimmer, add half of the sausages and brown for 5 minutes without moving. Turn and brown an additional five minutes. Remove the sausages from the Quick Cooker to a plate. Repeat with the remaining sausage.
  4. Reset the Quick Cooker to Sear and add the onions and peppers. Sear, tossing occasionally for 3 minutes. Press Cancel.
  5. Return the sausages to the Quick Cooker and pour the simmering sauce over the top. Stir to combine.
  6. Cover and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to “sealing.” Press Custom and adjust the time to 8 minutes.  Press Start.
  7. When the timer beeps, you can manually release the steam or let it naturally release and keep warm until ready to serve.
  8. When ready to serve, remove the sausages and slice. Return the sausages to the Quick Cooker and stir to combine.

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Guacamole Frankenstein

I was invited to a neighborhood Halloween party for the kids and was assigned “guacamole.” The host said, “You’re doing the guacamole coming out of the pumpkin.” Well, that’s been done for the last few years so I immediately hopped online and googled “Halloween Guacamole.”

A lot of pics came up and most were the usual pumpkin-vomiting guacamole. Then I came across the Guacamole Frankenstein and I was sold! Here is what I ended up with:

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As soon as I finished, I felt that he looks more like a hockey player than Frankenstein so go ahead and blame my upbringing for that one!

Instead of making the guacamole myself, I opted for store-bought for one single reason: I knew I could leave it out for several hours and it wouldn’t brown. It was a party and I didn’t want to have to babysit it. I used green olives with pimento centers and eggplant skins for his hair, eyebrows and stitches.

I mounded the guacamole on the platter and smoothed it into the shape I wanted with a spatula. I used a knife to make his mouth and then I took a large spoonful of guacamole and slid it out to make his nose, then smoothed it into place.

I wasn’t sure how the kids would feel eating his head but they dove right in and didn’t have any problems! Happy Halloween!

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Halloween Cookie Cutters

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Whether you’re having a party, making a gift, or just having fun in the kitchen, the Halloween Cookie Cutters are the cutest way ever to get little ghouls and boys cooking (see what we did there?)

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These seven darling cutters were tested and approved by kids and include a vampire, skull, mummy, owl, monster, scarecrow (which I totally thought was a witch!), and ghost.  They measure 3½” diameter and make 3″ cookies.

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The cutters snap together for easy storage and they are dishwasher-safe.

Whenever I am using a recipe that calls for cookie cutters, I always default to this recipe for a lot of reasons.  First, it works EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Second, the dough doesn’t need to be refrigerated so you are good to go as soon as you make it. Lastly, it holds the impressions of the cutters really, really well. And of course, it takes great!

Do you need these? Get them here: SHOP MY KITCHEN!

Want to see me making them?  Check out this video!

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Do you have these? Show me what you’re making!
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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!