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Nasu Dengaku

21 May

Nasu dengaku is a Japanese dish where eggplant is baked in a miso glaze and topped with green onion. Served with rice, it is ridiculously delish. I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about eggplants, but I always have been. Maybe its the glorious purple color. I think this is a fantastic component when eating a Japanese meal. I like to eat Japanese themed happy hours. Nasu dengaku is a perfect addition to this.

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Ingredient List:
– 2 Japanese eggplants, halved
– Green onion
– Miso paste
– Sake
– Shoyu
– Rice vinegar
– Sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso paste, sake, shoyu, and rice vinegar to taste.

3. Using a basting brush, spread the mixture on the flesh of the eggplant. Cook the eggplant in the oven for about 20 minutes. About half way through, pour/baste the rest of the dressing onto the eggplant.

3. When finished cooking, top with chopped green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with rice.

The Boyfriend Rates It: 4

I happen to be one of those people that loves eggplant. Add on the super delicious miso glaze and you’ve got the a great eggplant side dish.

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Mango Salsa

26 Apr

It is officially spring and nothing screams spring/summertime eating to me like fresh, juicy mangoes. I used to eat mangoes with my dad and just remember the juices dripping down my hands and scraping the seed for any last bit of meat I could muster. One of my favorite light, summer-time meals is mango salsa served with steamed broccoli and talipa fish. Yet, mango salsa is also perfect as part of a trio of salsas or dip with chips as an appetizer or happy hour snack. It is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 mangoes (the small, champagne mangoes are my favorite)
  • 1-4 serrano peppers (this truly depends on the level of heat you are seeking)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop all your ingredients and mix!
  2. Serve with white fish as part of your dinner or as an appetizer with chips!

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P.S. Sorry for the blurry as hell pictures.

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

This salsa is amazingly good. Sweet, spicy and refreshing all at the same time. It’s a versatile side dish, but I really do enjoy it served with tilapia, broccoli and avocado like pictured above.

Happy Hour: Puff Pastry with Brie and Strawberry Jam

29 Jan

I am obsessed with puff pastry appetizers. The puff pastry is so flaky and it goes so.freaking.good with brie. Plus, I love brie cheese. Always have, always will. Boyfriend isn’t as big of a fan as I am when it’s just slices of brie with crackers (which I will eat any day for dinner) but when its melty and gooey and with a flaky crust, he’ll all over it.

These are one of the simplest happy hour appetizers I have made for us. It goes something like this – cut puff pastry into squares, top with a square of brie cheese, a dollop of strawberry jam and pop in the oven. Do I need to even write directions?

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However, if I were to make one change for this recipe, it would be this — I made this as single serving portions. But the jam has so much sugar that it started to caramelize (my nice way of saying slightly burn) on the bottom. It also got super sticky. Like, seriously sticky. In the next round of these appetizers, I think I would do the same concept as I do with the caramelized onion brie puff pastry and stuff the puff pastry with the round of brie and jam instead. It would come out as one dish and then you could just cut your own servings.

Ingredient List:
– One sheet of puff pastry, cut into squares
– Strawberry jam
– Brie cheese
– Cooking spray
– Muffin tin

Directions:
Didn’t I already explain these? 🙂

1. Defrost your puff pastry and cut into 12 squares and place in a well-greased muffin tin (or, if you read what I wrote above, just unroll).

2. Cut the brie into bite sized pieces and top each with a dollop of strawberry jam. (again, you could also slice the brie round in half, smear strawberry jam in between the two layers and then wrap up the brie in the puff pastry).

3. Put in the oven at about 350 degrees until the puff pastry is golden brown and the brie is gooey.

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4. Serve up and eat!

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The Boyfriend Rates It:4
The pastry was golden and crispy, as it has been in the past. And the strawberry jam was delicious. The only things I wold recommend would be to put the jam inside the pastry and add some kind of nut….like walnuts or hazelnuts.

Happy Hour: Buffalo Chicken Dip

28 Jan

The AKA for this dip is crack dip. It is terrible for you. You shouldn’t tell anyone the ingredient list. It will clog your intestines. But. It is so.worth.it. Hence, crack dip. You may mean to only “taste” it, but then you keep coming back for more and more. Terrible. Delicious.

Boyfriend’s sister is the one who shared this recipe with me. She made it as an appetizer for Thanksgiving and then left a bunch of ingredients in my fridge. Since boyfriend attacked this dip at Thanksgiving a few months ago, he has nagged me to make it for him for happy hour. Mistake. We demolished it. Thanks a lot, Deanna.

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The ingredient list is nothing to make you feel good about your New Year’s resolution, but it is a perfect dip for Superbowl!

Ingredient List:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s hot sauce)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.

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2. In a small bakng dish, about 8×8, pour ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.

3. Serve with chips. Done!

Wasn’t that the easiest thing ever? Now, go indulge.

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The Boyfriend Rates It:4

I don’t really understand why this is so good, even knowing the crappy ingredients that go into it. But it just is. Tangy and melted blue and cream cheese, spicy vinegary buffalo sauce with little bits of chicken…mmmmmm. Just dip away with Triscuits and you have an awesome Super Bowl snack.

Shrimp Cocktail

19 Jan

I am back!! It took us three weeks and three technicians to get our Internet at the new place, but I finally have it. I have been cooking a lot lately, but the posts will be slightly backed up and probably in a weird order since I haven’t had access to a computer except when I am at work. Those high school kids require some attention, you know, so blogging isn’t really an option while teaching algebra and five paragraph essays. Also, I am on a kick, like everyone else, to try and eat a little healthier and “cleaner” this year, so when I post something about a fatty, delicious meal….unfortunately, it might have been a few weeks ago. I need to get back into shape and I can still count on one hand how many times I’ve been running year….no bueno.

But this recipe is a delicious favorite of mine. And it is pretty healthy (except maybe the sodium content). Try it. You’ll like it. It’s even better in the summertime, but I live in San Diego. It’s almost always summertime, so this meal works for me year-round.

And here it goes…shrimp cocktail.

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This is not the shrimp cocktail that you’re thinking. This is shrimp cocktail as introduced to me from the boyfriend’s mom and it is uber delicious. You can eat it as a meal with some home made chips. It is stock full of shrimp, veggies, and the flavors are comparable to my favorite drink of all time — micheladas — clamato, tapatio, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce…goodness.

Ingredient List:
Note – This recipe will serve a lot of people. Adjust the portions as necessary.

– 1 pound shrimp (uncooked, with shells on) — keep the water you cook the shrimp in!
– 5 roma tomatoes, chopped
– 3 avocados, chopped
– 1 red onion, chopped
– 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
– 1 cucumber, chopped
– 5 jalapeno peppers, chopped (adjust for your heat preferences)
– Clamato
– Ketchup
– Cocktail sauce
– Tapatio
– Tabasco sauce
– Worcestershire sauce
– Salt and pepper
– Garlic salt

Directions:
1. Boil the shrimp while the shells are still on. Take the shells of the shrimp and save the shrimp cooking water. You can either chop the shrimp or leave it whole – totally depends on how you like to eat it.

2. Chop your veggies – cucumber, tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, jalapenos, red onion. Along with the shrimp, add all your veggies to a large dish.

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Aren’t all those veggies just a beautiful color?

3. Next add all your condiments and seasoning. The measurements are, as always, up to you. If I had to guess what I used, I think it would come out something like this…
3-4 cups Clamato
1 cup shrimp cooking water
1 cup ketchup
3/4 bottle cocktail sauce
Juice of 4-5 limes
For the Worcestershire, Tabasco, and Tapatio, that really depends on how spicy you like things because all three of these will kick up the spice.
Then, add in your salt, pepper, and garlic salt.

4. Serve up! Boyfriend likes to spread mayo on his tostadas or tortilla chips, but I like to just dip and eat almost as if it is a chunky salsa. Enjoy!

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

This is one of those dishes I grew up eating, so I definitely have a distinct flavor I look for. Personally, I enjoy a heavy hand on the lemon, ketchup, clamato, and Tabasco sauce, but other than that this was an excellent dish. And doesn’t it just look amazing with all those colors?