Nikki’s Summer Rosé Sangria

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It was a dark and stormy summer night, literally when my friends arrived for a Rosé Wine Tasting at my home. It was raining cats and dogs, but they showed up and the last guests left a little after 1 a.m. The Rosé Sangria was a hit, the Rosés required an acquired taste which is nothing new in the world of wine. I cared more about the vibe and company. So, I decided to share the recipe for my made up on the spot Summer Rosé Sangria. I improvised and used what I had.

1 bottle of moscato rosé

1 bottle of Ocean Spray Sangria mix

1 1/2 cup of brandy

1 1/2 cup of Barefoot Merlot (any merlot)

2 cups of Simply Lemonade

2 tablespoons of triple sec

2 tablespoons of raspberry liquor

16 dark cherries (you can pit if you want but I did not)

16 raspberries

16 strawberries (8, they were halved into 16)

Add all of the liquids in a gallon container, stir and then add the fruit. Let it sit overnight or you can drink right away. I like for it to sit overnight anytime I make a sangria. The alcohol and the fruit marinate and intensifies the flavor. I think this one is great for all summer long. I will making it at cookouts and to take with me to share with friends at summer concerts in the park.

Here are a few more pictures from the wine tasting. Next up is Reds this fall/winter.

~Nikki

Food Confetti: Sweet Potato Baby: Memphis Black Restaurant Week

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This week is Memphis Black Restaurant Week 2017. I chose Sweet Potato Baby to start my week off. Sweet Potato Baby is owned and operated by executive Chef Aryen Moore-Alston, former 2014 competitor on Food Network Star. I ordered the Uptown Grill Cheese which consisted of bacon and a sweet onion relish. The combination of that with cheese was so delicious I savored every bite and I wish it never ended. There were three different type of fries and I chose the garlic parmesan fries. Included in this weeks lunch special (each restaurant participating has a two course lunch special and a three course dinner special for $25 this week) was the choice of a salad, soup, or dessert. I chose the Whipped Vanilla Dream Cake and it was a dream! You know it was the perfect sweet. What I mean by that is, it was not too sweet but right on the edge, just enough, perfect! It did not go over board. What I like about Memphis Black Restaurant you get the diversity of African American owned restaurants and they get the exposure they deserve. It’s a real economic boost that helps the city and the restaurants.

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~Nikki

My Very Red Berry Kale Smoothie

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Private Select pitted cherries (use half the package)

1 cup of fresh strawberries

1 cup -1 1/2 cup of Kale

1 cup of Cranberry juice

Blend.

I add the juice first, then the kale. I blend a little. Then I add the cherries and I blend a little. I add the strawberries and  I blend for about a minute. You cannot taste the bitterness of the Kale! This is what I like about this smoothie.

~Nikki

 

 

Food Confetti: Easy Mini Beefy Mac Bake

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1 lb ground chuck (turkey, lean ground beef)

macaroni pasta (about 2 cups dry for four mini dishes)

pepper

Dried oregano

Dried basil

Garlic salt

Onion (1/2 cup or to your liking. My daughter doesn’t care for onions and manage to not get complaints with a 1/2 cup lol)

Casserole cheese (fine)

Jar of Chunky Garden Spaghetti sauce (now you see why it’s easy!) Plus veggies are in this sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put your pasta on per directions on the bag.

Brown ground chuck, add in pepper to your desire, 1 tbsp of oregano and basil (depending on how much you like…a little of these two go a long way), 1 tsp of garlic or garlic salt. Drain. Remove from burner/ire.

Add sauce. Stir.

Add in macaroni. Stir.

Portion it out into mini back dishes. Top with cheese. Place the individual dishes on a baking sheet (I used my pizza pan). Bake for 20-25 minutes. Done!

You can a green veggie on the side or a salad and garlic toast.

~Nikki

 

 

 

Easy White Bean Chicken Chili

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This was suppose to be a recipe from Food Network, but I looked at everything that needed to go in there and I was thinking “Nope! I do not have time for all of that so I changed it. I have RA and Fibromyalgia for starters, and I was just not in the mood to do too much. So here is what I did. It looks nothing like the original recipe. I really went out on the fly.

1lb of dry navy beans

6 cups of chicken broth

2 boneless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cup of fresh spinach or however much you would like! (frozen spinach-note it will add more water to your chili and dilute your chicken broth)

1 tsp of white pepper

1 1/2 cup of red bell peppers chopped (I already had some frozen in my fridge plus I thought it would bring color along with the spinach)

1/2 tsp of garlic salt

one package of chili seasoning ( I think I should have used two packs or at least a half of another pack)

The first thing I do is read the reviews of a recipes. I knew right away the problem with the way some people did their recipe. If you have dry beans soak them over night! They soak up liquid/water. If you try to soak then a few hours or not at all they will soak up your chicken broth and you will need to add so much more broth. And more than likely, people added water which dilute the seasoning and the chicken broth. Therefore, rendering their chili bland!

I seasoned and baked the chicken instead of pan searing it. I used 5 cups of chicken broth and beans to a pot and brought them to a boil and let them simmer for 45 minutes. I then added the chicken, the sixth cup of broth and packet of chilli seasoning. I simmered for another hour. I then added the spinach, red bell peppers and simmered another 20. ( you will warm it up over the next few days or freeze). It tastes delicious with shredded pepper jack cheese or mozzarella or whatever you like. We had garlic toast with ours. This was easy and you can take your time.It’s a good recipe for those of us who may not be able to use our hands to do so much cutting or standing for long periods of time. We ate it the first day, the second day and then gave some away. I had it for lunch after a few days later. I was thinking you could add other types of white beans, vegetables, but don’t forget to soak them and to add more broth. Letting it simmer down more because you don’t want it as a soup….or do you?  I do have a plan to kick this recipe up a notch next time.

~Nikki