Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Amped Up Quesadilla

This amped up quesadilla came about one afternoon while I was in search of something more interesting than a salad or sandwich for lunch.  While this blog and my Instagram may give the appearance that my husband and I have extravagant meals all the time, we are actually quite boring when it comes to lunch.  Especially during the week.

My old faithful; kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, whatever veggies are in the fridge, pumpkin seeds and black olives don't always call my name everyday around noon.  So last week I raided our overflowing cheese drawer (yes, I have a cheese obsession) and went searching for something that would excite my palate and keep me full through the afternoon.  Well, at least until cocktail hour which is always accompanied by a snack.

The asparagus and spinach needed to be used up so in they went along with the creamy blue and brie cheeses.  Lucky for me my husband is a Mexican food fanatic so we always have tortillas on hand and usually the burrito size ones at that.  Toasted in the pan with a bit of butter I was able to sit down within 10 minutes to a lovely, non-boring lunch!

Blue and Brie Cheese Quesadilla with Asparagus and Spinach

1 large burrito size tortilla
4-6 slices double cream brie cheese
4-6 slices blue cheese (I use Castello soft blue triple creme)
4 asparagus spears (or 6 if they are thin), sliced lengthwise then cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
Butter or olive oil for the pan

In a large pan or skillet melt a small pat of butter (or a bit of olive oil) over medium heat.  Place the tortilla in the pan.  On one half of the tortilla place half of the blue cheese and brie cheese.  Place the asparagus and spinach on top and then the remaining half of the cheeses.  Fold over the other side of the tortilla covering the cheeses and vegetables.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  Flip the quesadilla and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes, until golden brown and the cheeses have melted.  Remove the quesadilla from the pan and allow to cool for a few minutes then cut into quarters and serve.  Makes 1 serving.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gin(ger) and Juice

While we are all enjoying the lovely spring weather, some of us, myself included, are trying to fight off a cold/allergies or some sort of bug due to the weather change.

I have to admit I'm not much of a medicine taker so this vitamin C packed juice really helped me kick this cold.  The fresh ginger root helps with throat and sinus congestion while the coconut water (Trader Joe's brand is my favorite) is super hydrating.

OK so now about that really pretty Soda Stream in the picture above.  I almost couldn't live without it!  After spending two weeks in Europe I found a new love for soda water and now I can make it anytime I want.  If you are a soda water lover I highly suggest you look into investing in this beauty!  The perfect amount of fizz made my "get well" juice delightful and well, not so much like a "get well" juice.

So if you are starting to feel that tickle in your throat mix up some Gin(ger) and Juice!

Note:  The title of this post was inspired by our Pandora Radio listening this week while cooking.  We've been feeling a little "gangsta" and throwing it back with some real rap/hip-hop music.  Thank you 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G. and Snoop Dogg!  Seriously, "musicians" of today please start creating your own music, tell us a story, and lastly, PLEASE bring back the girl singing the hook!

Gin(ger) and Juice

2-4 slices fresh ginger root
1/2 cup fresh squeezed mandarin juice (substitute oranges, grapefruit or lemons)
1 sprig fresh mint 
3/4 cup coconut water
Soda water

Place the ginger into an 16 ounce (1 pint) jar.  Muddle the ginger slightly.  Pour the mandarin juice into the jar. Refrigerate for about an hour or over night to marinate.  Note: You can use immediately, however the ginger flavor will not be as strong.

Once marinated add the coconut water, top with soda water and garnish with mint.  Add ice if desired.  Enjoy!

Feeling fine and ready for cocktail hour?  Add 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of your favorite spirit such as vodka, tequila or gin to turn this juice into a spring time cocktail.