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Culinary Tales

Culinary Tales/ Meats

Grilled Carne Asada

This post has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyMazolaMarinade

If you’re looking for authentic Carne Asada look no further! This recipe is the perfect way to make tender, flavorful Carne Asada right on your grill at home! The key to this is marinating it ahead of time! I’m using a simple marinade made with Mazola® Corn Oil as the main ingredient in the marinade – it will come out tender & perfect every time! A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit Mazola.com

In addition to Mazola Corn Oil, you’ll need to pick up a flank steak or if you can’t find that, a skirt steak will work as well.

All you need is a nice piece of meat and a few simple ingredients for the perfect marinade and you’re on your way to tender, tasty, Grilled Carne Asada!

The Perfect Marinade

Using a marinade when cooking steak is an easy way to tenderize! If you’re cooking Flank Steak it’s a must! It will help lock in all the flavors too.

Mazola Corn Oil, White Vinegar, Limes, Cilantro, Crushed Garlic, and Chopped Poblano Peppers!

Mazola Corn Oil is a heart-healthy* cooking oil and creates marinades that make great-tasting food because it has a neutral taste that lets the natural flavor of your food stand out. 

Start by opening up a plastic bag, next add your Mazola Corn Oil and Vinegar. Place the garlic, cilantro, and poblanos in the bag. Add your meat. Finally, slice your lime and squeeze it into the bag and feel free to throw it right on in. Citrus is a great help in tenderizing as well!

Once all of the ingredients are in the bag, try to squeeze out as much of the air as you can and zip the bag very, very tightly! Use your hands to mix the ingredients around from the outside, making sure your steak is covered in the marinade!

Place the bag in the fridge for at least an hour, but if you can marinate it over night, I highly recommend it! The longer it sits in the marinade the more tender and flavorful it will be!

Grilling The Carne Asada

When you’re ready to grill the steak. Start your grill at high heat. Remove the marinated steak from the fridge while you preheat your grill. Mazola has a high smoke point (450˚ F), which makes it perfect for grilling! Once your grill is heated up, remove the steak from the marinade and place it right on the grill.

Let the steak cook for about 5 minutes per side, you should be able to get some nice color on it and then flip it over and repeat! You want your steak to come out about medium to medium rare, but you also want to really seal in that flavor and get some nice grill marks on it!
After removing it from the grill, let it sit on the counter and “rest” for about 10 minutes before slicing it.

When you slice it, it’s super important to cut against the grain! When it comes to flank steak you absolutely have to cut the opposite way the grain goes and slicing as thinly as possible helps as well!

Juicy, Tender, Carne Asada

After you’ve sliced your Carne Asada, top it with some chopped onions, extra cilantro, & some extra lime.. and get ready to enjoy! This recipe is absolutely perfect for tacos!

So, I’m serving mine with black beans, tortillas, avocados, and fresh homemade salsa.



Grilled Carne Asada

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: About 20 minutes+ Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Flank Steak
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
  • 1 Cup Chopped Poblano Peppers
  • 1 1/2 Cups Mazola Corn Oil
  • 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Cup Cilantro

Instructions

1

Place Mazola Corn Oil, vinegar, cilantro, poblanos, garlic, salt, black pepper, and flank steak in plastic bag.

2

Close the bag tightly, then massage marinade all over steak to make sure it's covered and place in the fridge.

3

Marinate steak for at least an hour or overnight if possible.

4

Heat grill to a high heat.

5

Cook the steak on each side for about five minutes before flipping. You want it to be about medium to medium rare and have some nice color.

6

Once desired doneness is reached remove steak from grill.

7

Let steak rest for about 10 minutes.

8

Then, slice steak against grain and enjoy!

*see Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health.
Cocktails/ Culinary Tales

Cucumber Melon Splash Cocktail

It’s no secret that I love using fresh fruits/vegetables in cocktails and with spring upon us one of my favorites is definitely Cucumbers! So, today I’m sharing this quick recipe for a Cucumber Melon Splash! When I think refreshing, cucumbers are a definite!

I used to work at this restaurant that kept liters of water infused with cucumbers in the fridge ready for table service. Honestly, I was surprised how just simply adding a few slices of cucumbers to the water really made all the difference on a hot summer day. Ever since then I’ve loved the thought of adding them to cocktails as well!

This Cucumber Melon Spritzer pairs fresh cucumbers, cantaloupe, cucumber vodka, and sparkling water for a satisfyingly light cocktail!

Cucumber Melon Splash

The first thing you’ll want to do is make a quick Cantaloupe puree. This puree is so great because its really very subtle. To make it place 1 cup of cantaloupe in the food processor and blend. Set it aside.

This is also a good time to make the garnish: Cut a few thin slices of cantaloupe to place in your glass. You’ll also need to slice a cucumber into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 1 1/2 ounces of cucumber vodka to the glass. There are a lot of different brands that make cucumber vodka (Stoli, Effen, & Ketel 1 to name a few) but, you can absolutely use regular vodka if it’s all you have on hand – just add extra cucumber slices!

Next, pour in a few tablespoons of the Cantaloupe puree. Stir and then add your garnishes – a couple of cucumber slices and a slice of cantaloupe right on the top!

Top it all off with a large splash of sparkling water, sit back and enjoy!

Cucumber Melon Splash

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces of Cucumber Vodka
  • 1/2 of a Cucumber
  • 1/2 of a Cantaloupe
  • 1 ounce Sparkling Water

Instructions

1

Make the Cantaloupe Puree by blending 1 cup of cantaloupe in the food processor. Set it aside

2

Create your garnish by slicing some thin slices of cantaloupe - set them aside.

3

Slice a cucumber into 1/2 inch thick slices.

4

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 1 1/2 ounces of cucumber vodka to the glass.

5

Pour in a few tablespoons of the Cantaloupe puree.

6

Add the garnish - a few cucumber slices and a cantaloupe slice.

7

Top it off with some sparkling water and enjoy!

Want to make this a Mocktail? Just omit the Cucumber Vodka! This drink is just as satisfying! The combination of the cucumbers and cantaloupe, infused with the sparkling water make it oh so refreshing !

Need some more cocktail inspiration? Check out these other yummy cocktail/mocktails below from a few of my friends!

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Culinary Tales/ Sweet Things

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes anyone? I’m so excited about how these turned out! Just a few ingredients and oh so yummy.

I’ve never had or made Pineapple Upside Down Cake before. Shameful, I know.. but, better late than never right?! Bonus: These pretty much scream summer!

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

Today I’m using a box cake mix. I like to keep some on hand. I just love having them for when I decide to make something on a whim! So convenient!

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Next, mix the cake according to the box directions. Mix the eggs, corn oil (you can also use vegetable oil), water, and cake mix together in a large bowl.

Mix on low with a hand mixer or by hand with a whisk. Make sure to mix until there are no more lumps.

Spray your cupcake pan with non stick spray or use liners. Then, scoop about a tsp of crushed pineapple into the bottom of each muffin spot. Next, add a scoop of your cake batter into each cupcake spot on top of the pineapples, leaving about an inch or so from the top.


Add the graham cracker crumbs on top of that, using about a tsp on each spot. You can press them gently down if you wish.

Bake the cupcakes for about 12-14 minutes turning the pan half way through. The cupcakes are done when they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let them cool on a cookie rack.


After they’re cool frost them with vanilla frosting. Place a caramelized pineapple ring (instructions below) on top and a cherry right in the middle.

To make the Caramelized Pineapple Rings:


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place pineapple rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are about an inch apart.
Bake the Pineapple Rings for about 8 minutes on low heat, then place the broiler on high. Watch them closely so they don’t burn!

They will slowly start to brown evenly but, turn the tray to make sure – mine took about 5 minutes or so on high under the broiler.

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

Print Recipe
Serves: 24 Cupcakes Cooking Time: 30 minutes total

Ingredients

  • 1 Box of Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme Cake Mix
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1/3 Cup of Corn Oil
  • 1 Cup of Dole Crushed Pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups of Vanilla Frosting
  • 1 Cup of graham cracker crumbs
  • Garnish:
  • 24 Dole Pineapple Rings
  • 24 Maraschino Cherries

Instructions

1

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.

2

Mix the cake according to the box - Mix 3 eggs, corn oil, water, and cake mix together in a large bowl.

3

Mix on low with a hand mixer.

4

Spray your cupcake pan with non stick spray or use liners.

5

Scoop about a Tsp of crushed pineapple into the bottom of each muffin spot.

6

Then add a scoop of your cake batter on top in each muffin spot, leaving about an inch or so from the top.

7

Add the graham cracker crumbs on top, using about a tsp on each spot.

8

Bake cupcakes for about 12-14 minutes turning half way through.

9

Cupcakes are done when they're golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

10

Let cool on rack.

11

Frost with vanilla frosting. Place a caramelized pineapple ring on top and a cherry in the middle!

12

To make the Caramelized Pineapple Rings:

13

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

14

Place pineapple rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

15

Bake Pineapple Rings for about 5 minutes on low heat, then place the broiler on high. Watch them closely so they don't burn! They will slowly start to brown evenly, turn tray to make sure - mine took about 5 minutes.

Cocktails/ Culinary Tales

Orange Creamsicle Mimosas

These Orange Creamsicle Mimosas are the perfect pep up this week! Bubbly Champagne meets sweet & creamy vanilla ice cream mixed with orange sherbet, and just a touch of mint.

It’s no secret that Champagne makes everything better! And this cocktail does not dissapoint! It’s the perfect take on a “Dreamsicle” – no blender required!

To start you’ll need a bottle of your favorite champagne! When it comes to using champagne in a cocktail, it does not need to be pricey! There are plenty of affordable, high-quality champagne options out there, perfect for this! So, grab your favorite bottle. (Note – You can also use Friexenet or Prosecco!)

Orange Creamsicle Mimosas

Start by scooping vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet into your glass. There are premade creamsicle ice creams you can easily pick up or you can add them separately!

Next, pour your Champagne right on top of the ice cream. Add a sprig of mint – this is not only the perfect garnish it pairs really well with the flavors in this cocktail too!

It’s that easy to make! Just scoop & pour. The ice cream sort of melts into the champagne and the flavors just get better and better.

Orange Creamsicle Mimosas

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Scoop vanilla ice cream & orange sherbet into a champagne glass.
  • Pour Champagne over ice cream.
  • Add a mint leave!
  • Sit back and enjoy!

Instructions

1

1/2 Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream

2

1/2 Scoop Orange Sherbet

3

1 Cup Champagne

4

Mint leave (optional)

Culinary Tales/ Savory Vegetables

5 Minute Homemade Salsa

Yesterday, I made this 5 Minute Homemade Salsa! It was so easy to make & it taste just like restaurant style salsa!

I used fresh tomatoes, limes, cilantro, onions, poblanos, garlic, and a little tomato paste. I threw it all in my Ninja Food Processor and in less than 5 minutes it was ready to devour!

5 Minute Homemade Salsa

I used one large tomato as well as some cherry tomatoes, because that’s what I had on hand. Start by removing any stems (tomato & poblano) and seeds (from the poblano). Next, dice your onion. The cilantro can be left as is, the stems are fully edible and good for you too!

Now, If you have the time and supplies – I highly recommend roasting your tomatoes and peppers via the grill or oven. I had a few extra minutes so, I lined a pan with foil and sprayed it with cooking spray allowing my tomatoes and Poblanos to roast for about 10 minutes.

This step is totally optional and you can easily go straight to blending your salsa if you’d rather. Either way will yield delicious restaurant style salsa every time!

Place the tomatoes, onion slices, cilantro, poblanos, crushed garlic, and tomato paste right into the food processor! Squeeze your lime right on top of the other ingredients, getting as much juice as you can out of it and then discarding the rind. Place the lid on tight and blend away.

You can also add salt, black pepper, and white sugar to taste. I used about a dash of each.

Once your salsa is mixed thoroughly it’s ready to serve! Super simple, fresh, and delicious.

Serve immediately or place in the fridge in a sealed container for 3-4 days.

This Salsa is perfect to keep on hand as a snack and it goes perfectly with my Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos!

5 Minute Homemade Salsa

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Large Tomatoes or 15-20 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup of Cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Small Poblano Pepper
  • 1/2 White Onion (Diced)
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt, Black Pepper, Sugar (Optional/To taste)

Instructions

1

Add diced onions, poblanos, cilantro, tomatoes, tomato paste, and crushed garlic to blender. Squeeze lime juice in and discard lime.

2

(Optional) Add black pepper, salt, sugar to taste.

3

Blend on high.

4

Serve and enjoy!

Coffee/ Culinary Tales

21 Coffeehouse Recipes You Can Make At Home

This is a compilation of my favorite 21 Coffeehouse Recipes You Can Make At Home! The ones that taste like they were made in your local coffee shop but, instead you can make them right in the comfort of your own kitchen without going anywhere!

I have to admit I usually start each morning with a latte from Dunkin’, Starbucks, or my local coffeehouse.. depending on where I am and what I’m craving.

However, in light of everything going on in the world currently I will not be venturing out especially not for my daily coffee. Instead I’ll be making one here every morning (something I should’ve been doing all along). I’ll be saving my $5 + everyday and I will be able to fully customize it!

If you’re looking to do the same, here are some amazing recipes to try! I promise they will help fill the void whether you’re hunkered in at home, love making your own coffee, or just looking to save a little money!

Smore’s Latte by Le Petite Eats

Homemade Caramel Vanilla Iced Coffee by Cooking With Amber

Affogato by My Yellow Apron

Creamy Almond Coconut Cashew Coffee by Culinary Ginger

Iced Caramel Latte by A Seasoned Greeting

Sparkling Iced Coffee by Cooking with Janica

Iced Salted Caramel Coffee by Carefree Mermaid

Caramel Coffee Oreo Shake by Two Kids and A Coupon

Pistachio Coffee Latte by Zestful Kitchen

Vietnamese Iced Coffee by Delightful Plate

Iced Mocha Latte by Natalie’s Health

Cinnamon Eggnog Coffee by Carefree Mermaid

Iced Mint Mocha by Finding Zest

Frosted Hazelnut Mocha by Carefree Mermaid

Coconut Mocha Frappucino by Powered By Mom

Caramel Frappucino by Baking Beauty

Iced Maple Syrup Cardamom Coffee by Recipes From A Pantry

Iced Caramel Macchiato by Cooking with Janica

Frozen Hazelnut Mocha Coffee by Carefree Mermaid

Frosted Coffee by Dukes and Duchesses

Vietnamese Coconut Coffee by Delightful Plate

Vegan Mocha Frappe by Delightful Adventures

Culinary Tales/ Meats

Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli

I’ve had the air fryer for about 3-4 months now. I realized this weekend I had yet to make a toasted ravioli in it. So, I’ve whipped up this quick and easy recipe for Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli. You only need 4 ingredients!

Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli

To make these crisp, “fried” ravioli you’ll need frozen ravioli, Italian bread crumbs, milk, and eggs. Also, a dipping sauce is highly encouraged!

Let’s Get Started

Combine one egg and one cup of milk in a bowl. Next, add italian bread crumbs to a separate bowl. I also added some additional seasoning to the bowl – garlic powder, minced onion, and Parmesan cheese.

Line your tray with foil or parchment paper, then spray with non-stick cooking spray.

One at a time, dip a ravioli into the egg mixture – covering it. Then dip it into the bread crumb mixture make sure it is fully coated.

Place it right on to the foil. Leave a little room in between the ravioli. It doesn’t have to be too much, just enough so that they aren’t touching.

Once you’ve finished all of your ravioli or filled your tray (If you’re doing a lot.)

This is where our “secret” step comes in! This step makes the difference in breading that is soggy & falling off and breading that is crisp & perfectly coating it’s ravioli! We’re now going to take the tray of breaded ravioli and place it in the freezer for about half an hour.

At this point you can turn on the air fryer so that it starts to preheat! I set mine at 380 degrees. Once it’s done pre heating place the tray of ravioli in and set the timer for about twenty minutes turning half way through . I flipped them as well so that they would cook evenly on both sides!

Once they are golden brown and the internal temp reaches 165 degrees – they are ready to go!

Optional but, delicious : Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Serve them with marinara sauce and enjoy!

Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-4 Cooking Time: 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 1 Bag of Frozen Ravioli (Cheese or Beef)
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup of Italian Bread Crumbs
  • -Optional-
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Minced Onion
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • These are all optional, not necessary but can be added to bread crumb mixture to enhance flavor!

Instructions

1

Combine one egg and one cup of milk in a bowl.

2

Put Italian bread crumbs in a separate bowl. You can add the optional ingredients to this bowl if you wish (minced onion, garlic powder, and half of the Parmesan & parsley)

3

Line your cooking tray with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

4

Dip ravioli into the egg mixture - covering it. Then dip it in the bread crumb mixture, coating it fully.

5

Place them on to the foil lined tray as you finish. Place tray in freezer for 30 minutes.

6

Preheat Air Fryer to 380 degrees, cook for 20 minutes. Turning & flipping half way through.

7

They are done cooking when they are golden brown and the internal temp reaches 165 degrees.

8

Optional but, delicious : Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Serve them with marinara sauce and enjoy!

Culinary Tales

20 Easy Recipes You Can Make with Ingredients From Your Pantry

So you’re hungry and stuck in the house? Whether you’re quarantined, snowed in, or just don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your own house today – here’s a list of 20 Easy Recipes You Can Make With Ingredients From Your Pantry!

There are even a few recipes that made the list with an ingredient or two from the fridge or freezer, but they are staple ingredients that you may already have!

This will also give you an idea of some things you can keep on hand/ stock up on in case you ever need to cook straight from the pantry/fridge in the future as well!

Spaghetti with Garlic & Olive Oil by The Clever Meal

Instant Pot Tortilla Soup by Cardamom and Coconut

Boozy Margarita Cake Balls by Homecooking Memories

Instant Pot Chow Mein by Corrie Cooks

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup by A Mom’s Impression

Easy Roasted Buffalo Chickpeas by Marathons and Motivation

Arrabbiata Pasta by Three Olives Branch

Ice Cream Bread by Sugar and Soul

Vegan Pesto Pasta by Happy Kitchen

15 Minute Sesame Noodles by Busy Cooks

Cinnamon Apple Loaf Bread by Milk and Pop

Italian White Bean Soup by The Clever Meal

Caramelized Bacon & Green Bean Casserole by Carefree Mermaid

Chocolate Cake (that requires no eggs and no dairy!) by The Good Hearted Woman

Vegan Meatballs by The Clever Meal

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili by Happy Kitchen

Blueberry Oat Bars by A Plantiful Path

Courgette & Pea Pasta by A Mummy Too

Instant Pot Mexican Rice by Recipes From A Pantry

Coconut Chocolate Bars by Refresh My Health

Coffee/ Culinary Tales

Frozen Hazelnut Mocha Coffee

Today I’m sharing a recipe for this Frozen Hazelnut Mocha Coffee. I have a love for frozen or cold coffees even in the winter! I just can’t help it.

I find myself hitting up the drive thru whenever I can for a Frozen Coffee, I do realize though that I need to be making my own coffee at home a whole lot more often.

To make this you’ll need cold brewed coffee, ice, hazelnut creamer, and chocolate syrup.

Frozen Hazelnut Mocha Coffee

Start by pouring one cup of the Cold Brewed Coffee into your blender.

Next, add a cup of ice.

Now, add 2 Tbsp of the Hazelnut Creamer.

Finally, add about 3 Tbsp of the Chocolate Syrup (You don’t actually need to measure this, you can just guesstimate.)

Blend well. If it’s too clumpy, blend longer. If it’s too thin – add more ice or, if it’s too thick add more coffee!

Take a glass and swirl chocolate syrup straight into the glass.

Pour your Frozen Coffee right into the glass!

Enjoy the taste of Frozen Coffee at home!

Frozen Hazelnut Mocha Coffee

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Cold Brewed Coffee
  • 1 Cup of Ice
  • 2 Tbsp Hazelnut Creamer
  • 3 Tbsp Chocolate Syrup

Instructions

1

Add the ice to the blender.

2

Pour in the coffee.

3

Add the chocolate syrup and hazelnut creamer.

4

Blend well!