Next week we’ll be celebrating Ireland’s patron saint by the wearing of the green, the drinking of the green beer and in this case, the eating of the green! I wonder if St. Patrick would love this incredible spinach dip which is, in itself, a celebration of flavors! This recipe, with its ring of bread rolls around the edges and a yummy dip in the middle is made easy by buying frozen dinner rolls rather than making the bread from scratch. Once baked, the bread easily pulls part to be dipped and dunked into a delectable blend of spinach, cheeses and spices. No Irish luck needed here. Just a straight -forward recipe that will most certainly get your St. Patty’s Day Irish on!
It was on this day, decades ago, that my Momma and I celebrated my birthday in Madrid, Spain.
She took me on a magnificent trip to six European countries on our way to her hometown of Treviso, Italy. It was in Madrid where we both fell in love….with Paella. The place was Restaurante Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world, according the Guinness Book of World Records, and to this day, one of the most charming establishments I’ve ever visited. We bought our Paella pan there and have loved making this authentic Spanish dish ever since. If you’re in the mood to party, a Paella Party (with plenty of Sangria to wash it down!) can be a very tasteful get-together!
Chilled Southwestern Veggie Medley
Picnics, parties, salads and sides. If you’re looking for a new dish that fits in all of those categories, this Chilled Southwestern Veggie Medley is the answer! This tasty, colorful plate of veggies is loaded with Southwest flavors and lots of crunch. It’s perfect for a make-ahead dish, it transports beautifully and couldn’t be easier to make. What makes the flavor? Fresh ears of corn that are grilled in a skillet or on the BBQ, then sliced into niblets of charred goodness. Charring the red peppers before dicing them also adds a great taste. Also, I’ve always cooked with shallots, but these days I’m realizing how much they bring to a dish. (They may be one of the most misunderstood vegetables out there—do they replace onions? Garlic? Can they be used with onions and garlic?) While some folks replace onions with shallots, a shallot has its own flavor profile, and can add so much to a dish! (Try slicing them very thin and frying them to a deep golden brown, then sprinkle them over a salad or potato dish. Wow!! Over the top goodness!) The flavors of the Southwest permeate this salad with the addition of black beans, jicama, avocados and cilantro. The dressing is lively, with the perfect combination of lime juice and zest, Dijon Mustard and a little sweetness to cut the tang. Over all, it’s a great main meal salad for the vegetarian, a tasty side for your grilled burger lover or just spooned into little tortilla cups for a terrific appetizer! Tortilla cups are simple. Just cut 2-3 inch circles out of flour tortillas, tuck them into a greased cupcake tin and bake for about 15 minutes. Done! I love recipes that give you all the flavor and nutrition you need and are pretty darn effortless to create! Here’s to another hat tip to our wonderful flavors of the Southwest!
Julia Child made it fancy. Boeuf Bourguignon. But there’s something I’d like you to know. It’s just stew. Delicious, delectable, savory and oh, so satisfying. But, it’s still just stew. So please don’t let fancy French words intimidate you. Get your Dutch oven out and make this classic comfort food while the weather is still a little cool. Oh, and Bon Appétit!
Cinnamon Laced Beef Chili
This week the word is Brrrrr! That means it’s time to pull out your favorite chili recipe, grab a Dutch oven and get cookin! This yummy dish makes the cold weather almost welcome, and there isn’t a finer bowl of winter comfort food than homemade chili! This particular recipe has a fabulous twist—cinnamon sticks, which adds a subtle earthiness to the dish.(You’ll find many award-winning chili recipes have added cinnamon to the mix!) I’ve partnered with La Mesa RV to travel our great state, looking for fun adventures and cooking delicious dishes in all sorts of RV’s, and this week, it was time for a hot bowl of spicy beef and chiles! Grab a bowl full and devour!