Brownifer Bites: May 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Chicken Wings

Smoked herb chicken wings finished on the grill with sage butter-sauteed oyster mushrooms over cous cous.  This was ... on a whim.  We had some chicken leftover from a dinner party that never got used and ... we had to do SOMETHING with it! :-) I found these amazing oyster mushrooms at the Corvallis Farmer's Market from one of my favorite booths, The Mushroomery and of course we had fresh sage in the garden!

Voila!  This is definitely one of my new favorites; the flavors blended so amazingly well together!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Lavender White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies quickly became a favorite in our house! I found the recipe HERE and used dried lavender from our garden. I substituted Fleur de Sel Salt for the sea salt for a richer flavor. Huge hit!

We had a Doterra oils dinner party for friends where everyone had to make one thing using an essential oil and I decided to alter the recipe a bit more to fit the rules. I've never looked back! When using the food processor to blend the lavender flowers and sugar, I added two or three drops of Doterra Lavender essential oil and POW! Just what the cookies needed!

Amazing fact: these are SO quick and easy to make but incredibly impressive. Try them out!

Doterra Dinner Party!

This was by far the MOST fun idea for a dinner party!  We invited friends we knew were excited about Doterra Essential Oils and everyone brought one thing that they had made using (safe to ingest) essential oils!  It was a fabulous night!  Brownie made the main course, Lamb Chops and Grilled Pearl Onions Over Mashed Parsnips, drizzled with a Rosemary Essential Oil/Pomegranate reduction:

Do I have to tell you it was to die for? was!  Our friends brought salads and salad dressings they'd made with essential oils, We had torn bread bites dipped in olive oil infused with basil essential oil and raw garlic....the night was amazing.  While everyone cooked and prepared, we had wine and snacks in the living room:

After dinner, we went back into the living room and laughed like kids while we played Cards Against Humanity and drank more wine!  Then the desserts began - we had several!  My White Chocolate Chunck Lavender Cookies, some amazing lemon cakes with frosting infused with lemon essential oil and of course, Brownie's Strawberry S'mores dipped in chocolate infused with basil essential oil, then crushed graham crackers and finally, marshmallow fluff and charred with a torch.  You know you're going to try this soon!  :-)  They were delicious!

We had a blast throwing our first dinner party and we found out that we loved having a theme!  It brought everyone together with their creativity and we got to share food and amazing conversation, priceless was perfection!  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Steak Salads!!!!

Nothing better to do with leftover steak!  Steak salads rock my world!  Can you see the difference in the tomatoes, though!?  The top picture are tomatoes from our garden, the cut tomatoes below are store-bought vine-ripened tomatoes .... you just can't beat home grown!!!!  Our favorite salad dressing, Garlic Expressions always brings the salads together ... Now I'm craving a steak salad...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Stuffed Shells and Bruschetta

I'm definitely the resident STUFFER in this house :-)  I stuff pastas, veggies ... if anything needs stuffed, I get the job!  So I used some of our canned tomatoes tonight and made a delicious sauce with basil from the garden, got some ricotta and mozzarella and ....there's just nothing like these!  Yes, I cook too.  I feel I need to remind the world of this sometimes :-)  Italian is usually left up to me, I'm good at it! :-)  Sauces are also my speciality in our kitchen.

To go with my shells, I made some bruschetta and Brownie toasted the bread because ... I'm just not a fan of the broiler.  I tend to forget about things when they're out-of-sight and that's just ... not good.  I also don't bake my bruschetta like he does.  I tend to see bruschetta as the Italian version of chips and salsa so ... that's how I like to eat it!  With plenty of onion and fresh garlic!  *SLURP!*

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

Burger and Fries

I was craving burgers ... it happens sometimes. :-)  With three kids in the house for the weekend, we decided to grill some burgers.  Now, when we grill burgers I have to tell you that we use 100% grass-fed beef from the happiest cows you'll ever find.  We buy big orders of ground beef from Bauer Natural Beef right here in Oregon.  They're amazing people and their beef is OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Once you try it, you'll never buy any other beef again.

I do have to say that burgers in this house are always topped with Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, it's an Oregon tradition.  We just don't buy any other cheddar if we have a choice.  Yes, the hippie supports a big corporation :-)

This particular weekend, we were blessed with home-canned pickles from one of my dear friends and ... they were an amazing addition to my burger!  Everything homemade and home-canned is just SO MUCH BETTER!!!  I am determined to try canning pickles this year!  She's inspired me.

Yes, you do in fact see french fries on that plate.  I have to say, my hippie heart hurt when I saw a bag of fries come into my kitchen.  But...three kids.  Brownie found organic french fries - can you believe it!?  I turned a blind eye and enjoyed my burger ;-)  This kids were shocked and amazed that a bag of fries came home and devoured them happily with their organic ketchup.  :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Blackened Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos, Family-Style (with recipe)

Mahi Mahi was on sale and we decided to take the fish taco route!  Make some sauces, put out some salsa and build tacos until you're stuffed!

I know we found a recipe online that we worked from, but I can't for the life of me find it now!  So here is what we did:


For the blackened fish tacos:

Approx. 14 oz. Mahi Mahi Fillets
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable (or olive) oil
Corn Tortillas

For the slaw:

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

For the avocado sauce:

1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat Greet yogurt)
1/2 rip avocado, pitted and skinned
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon water
salt to taste


Prepare the blackening spice mix:  in a small bowl, combine the paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and sugar

Season the fish fillets:  pat the fish fillets dry on both sides with paper towels and liberally sprinkle on the blackening spice mix.  Flip fillets over and repeat so both sides are well coated.

Prepare the avocado sauce:  blend all the ingredients in a food processor until your desired consistency is reached.  Add a little more water if needed, chill until ready to serve.

To make the cabbage slaw:  toss all ingredients together in a large bowl, chill until ready to serve.

Cook the fish:  Grill fillets 3 to 6 minutes on each side or until fish is done and flakes easily.  If you're cooking indoors:  heat oil in a large skillet or cast iron grill pan on medium-high heat.  Add the fish and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the outside is blackened and the fish flakes apart easily.  Transfer to serving dish.

Assemble the tacos, or serve family-style as we did!  Goes great with your favorite Mexican beer!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lazy Grilling Days

Sometimes, we just don't feel like cooking, but...we feel like eating.  You know the feeling.  That's when it's nice to have some bulk salad greens in the 'fridge and lots of fresh vegetables that can be thrown on the grill.  This was one of those nights.  But hey, at least there was wine!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

One of Brownie's good friends recently took a nice long trip to Alaska and fished his heart out.  We were a little jealous, I'll admit :-)  But we did manage to be gifted a nice salmon filet from his trip!  Oregonians are pretty picky about their salmon, we know what we want.  Alaskan salmon!?  We were so excited to cook that beauty!!!!

So this is Brownie's Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, caramelized leeks, asparagus, charred scallion in dill/sage/lemon clarified butter.  I could have eaten three of these plates!  The flavors were so rich and mingled so well .... it was beyond delicious.  We are so blessed!

We opened a bottle of Pine Ridge Henin Blanc & Viognier wine to have with this and they complimented one another pretty well.  I wouldn't say they were a match made in heaven, however.  I think the wine would have paired better with something a bit more spicy.