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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Pineapple Sangria

Pineapple Sangria

It's HOT, y'all! This girl is stuck at home in the South Mississippi 100+ heat looking at vacay photos of everybody else out doing awesome things. So the next best thing was to whip up a little something fun, like this cool, refreshing Pineapple Sangria. This would be a great candidate for a "batch" #cocktail for a #poolparty, summer #bbq or 4th of July celebration for sure! #partyfood Super easy to throw together and store in the fridge until party time. (Scale up as needed and put in a large drink dispenser for party)

Small batch -
1/8 pineapple (I used fresh chunks from the produce department)
1 large spring of basil
1 (6 oz) can pineapple juice
1 cup wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
4 oz rum (I used Malibu coconut rum)
1 can ginger beer (about 1 cup)
juice from 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
Throw everything in a pitcher. Either serve immediately for a more fizzy drink or let sit for a couple hours or longer for more fruity flavor but less fizz.
Serve over crushed ice, garnished with pineapple chunks and fresh basil.
* This would be Sooo so so good with grilled chicken kabobs or fish tacos!



Saturday, May 14, 2022

Cuban Black Bean Burgers

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#healthy #blackbeanburgers

My mom makes amazing black bean burgers.  One of the cooks in my old café made amazing black bean burgers.  Until now, however, nobody in my family was particularly interested in eating them, so I never got around to making any.  Fast forward to my daughter asking about eating more vegetarian meals.  Umm... okay.  Let's look into this a bit and ease our way into a diet with more veg but where I'm confident she's still getting the right nutrients for a growing teenager.  Whatever the recipe is, it also has to have tons of flavor... right?

So most of this recipe is from my mother.  I might have tweaked things just a bit, as should every cook.  But that's why cooking is fun!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (14oz) can black beans
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2/3 onion
  • 2/3 of (8oz) container of mushrooms
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp butter (use ghee for vegetarian/vegan)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • chili powder
  • cumin 
  • juice of 1 lime
  • about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • 1 or 2 eggs (use egg substitute like mashed sweet potatoes for vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp cream or half and half (use oat/almond milk for vegan)
  • about 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese (omit for vegan)
  • a few shakes of Worcestershire if desired (omit for vegetarian/vegan) 
  • toppings of choice - Eg.  sliced avocado, lettuce, tomato, cheese, purple onions
Method: 
Prep beans - 
Rinse and drain canned black beans.   I read that the beans needed to be dried out to avoid them being mushy, so I went with that. Spread out on sheet pan and dry out in a preheated oven (I just put mine at 250F) for about 10 minutes, shaking halfway through. I also didn't want them to be bland, so I seasoned them with chili powder and cumin during the last 5 minutes.  Allow to cool.
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Prep veggies - 
Dice bell pepper, onion and mushrooms.  Sauté in butter until soft.  
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While the vegetables are cooking, finely chop walnuts.  
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Add the nuts to the mostly cooked vegetables.  This will let the nuts toast up a bit in the butter and incorporate all these flavors.  Yumm.  Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. 
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Combine - 
To a large bowl, add cooled, dried beans and mash them about halfway.  
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To the beans, add the cooked vegetables, egg, bread crumbs, cream/milk and additional seasoning to taste (chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper).  
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Now for some real pizazz, squeeze the juice of one lime into the mixture.  Add feta and Worcestershire.  Combine this mixture.
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Form - 
Form burger patties with about 1/2 cup of mix at a time.  Stack between pieces of parchment or waxed paper and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  (Note - the ones in the photo did not have feta.  I did both.)
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Bake or Grill - 
Grill on oiled aluminum foil at around 350F for 7 -8 minutes per side until nicely browned.  This will depend on your grill.  To bake, add to a lined baking sheet and bake at 375F for 10 minutes per side.
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The burgers were satisfying, substantial and juicy.  I'm super happy I added the feta.  All those little pops of tangy cheese were just perfect! 
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