Breakfast Series: Toast 2 Ways

Monday, March 31, 2014

Today I'm sharing very simple ways to turn your boring toast into something delicious. I hope you'll enjoy it! Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Toast with Peanut and Bananas
Ingredients:
Bread slice (I used Fiber One soft oatmeal)
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Few slices of banana

Directions:
Toast the bread slice, spread the creamy peanut butter evenly and add the banana slices on top.

Toast with Cream Cheese and Strawberries
Ingredients:
Bread slice (I used Fiber One soft oatmeal)
1 tablespoon cream cheese
Few slices of strawberry

Directions:
Toast the bread slice, spread cream cheese evenly and add the strawberry slices on top.

Where to Shop: Sur La Table

Friday, March 28, 2014

I feel like a kid in a candy store as soon as I step in at Sur La Table. I don't know if you feel the same way as I do, but I love the store! 

And here are my top three reasons why I love to shop at Sur La Table:
1. It's my favorite place to buy white dishes to my-ever-growing collection, I must say. 
2. I can find any utensil that I need and don't need and I still buy both.
3. I really love the products and I really don't need much of a reason to make a stop there.

Sur La Table
Beautiful and classic white dishes that I love so much.


Do you love to shop at Sur La Table too?

Chicken with Cassava

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This is a super hearty dish, the cassava is super starchy and if you don't like the taste of cassava, just feel free to substitute for potatoes, it works just fine too. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
1 lb. chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1/2 white onion, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
18 oz. bag frozen cassava (I used Goya's), thawed and chopped
Handful of chopped parsley
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups chicken stock
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
Cut chicken into bit size pieces, season with salt and black pepper. In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat. Add the chicken, cook completely. Add the turmeric and diced onions, sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and let it cook until breaks down a little bit. Add the cassava and pour the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Allow to cook until the cassava is tender. Add the parsley. Serve hot with some white rice and enjoy!


Breakfast Series: Asparagus with Poached Egg

Monday, March 24, 2014

One of my favorite series on the blog is the breakfast series and it has been a while since I made a post about it. I love this recipe and it's easy, super healthy and delicious breakfast. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
2 eggs
Butter or cooking spray
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
In a large skillet, fill 2/3 with water. Bring to a boil. Salt the water and add asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes (they should be bright green and tender crisp). Remove asparagus to a plate. Reduce heat to a simmer. Break each egg into custard cups coated with butter or cooking spray. Place custard cups in simmering water into the pan and cover, cook for about 6 minutes. Remove custard cups from water. Remove eggs carefully from each custard cup. Place egg on top of cooked asparagus, season with salt and black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Brownie Cupcakes with Mocha Glaze

Friday, March 21, 2014

A brownie cupcake, do I need to say more? I don't think it can get better than this but it does! with a rich mocha glaze over the top, take a look:



Ingredients (makes 12):
Brownie cupcakes
1/2 stick butter, melted and lightly cooled
2 egg whites
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mocha glaze
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon cocoa
1/4 teaspoon powdered instant coffee
2 teaspoons hot water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Brownie cupcakes
Pre heat oven to 350F degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups and set it aside. Beat egg whites and egg in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy; gradually add sugar, beating until slightly thickened and light in color. In another bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the bowl with egg and sugar mixture, beating until well blended. Gradually add melted butter, beating just until blended. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Drizzle mocha glaze over the top, let stand until glaze is set. Enjoy!

Mocha glaze
Stir together powdered sugar and cocoa in small bowl. Dissolve coffee in water; gradually add to sugar and cocoa mixture, stirring until well blended. Stir in vanilla.


Spanish Shrimp Rice

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

After eating this dish I can guarantee that you'll be very satisfied! I love one pot meals since it's so easy to make it. Take a look:


Recipe slightly adapted from here.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cups white rice
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
In a large pan, heat the oil over medium/high heat. Add the onions, garlic and turmeric and cook until onions are soft. Add the tomatoes and carrots, cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the shrimp and cook until they begin to turn pink. Add the rice and pour 2 cups water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low, cover and let it simmer until rice is tender and water gone (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, add the peas on the top and cover again, let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with fork to incorporate peas. Arrange hard boiled egg slices over the top. Serve hot and with some hot sauce. Enjoy!

Crispy Fish with Leek and Tomato Sauce

Monday, March 17, 2014

A perfect, super light and delicious dish to start your week in the right note! Plus, it only takes about 12 minutes to make it, pretty easy, right? Take a look:

Recipe slightly adapted from here.

Ingredients:
4 tilapia fillets
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 leek (cut into half-moons, washed and drained)
1 large roma tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, rosemary, a little salt and black pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over breadcrumb mixture and combine well. In a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the fish fillets. Using a little brush, spread the mustard on top of each fish fillet and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture to cover the fish. Bake fish for about 10-12 minutes until fish is opaque and the breadcrumbs are golden in color. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add leeks and sauté again, pour about 1/2 cup water to help soften the leeks. Cook until leeks are soft and the liquid has mostly evaporated, 4-5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with the fish. Enjoy!

Where to Shop: Anthropologie

Friday, March 14, 2014

This will be a new post tag that'll be appearing every now and then on the blog, I'll be sharing my favorite spots to where to shop, especially things for your home. I love to find unique, beautiful and fun things for my home and hopefully you'll enjoy the shops I'll share too. 

I made a quick stop at Anthropologie this week, I love going there to shop for a few dishes and things for my kitchen and love the colors they use too. Take a look

I love the pop of yellow color everywhere.

I'm loving this poppy ring rolling pin for a while now, isn't beautiful?

I loved all the dishes, they all looked gorgeous.

Sophia loved this chair and so did I.

I wouldn't mind sleeping in this dreamy bed.

Do you love to shop at Anthropologie too?

Tuna & White Bean Salad

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This is not a typical tuna salad, there's no mayo but it's still full of flavor. The tuna and cannellini beans make a perfect combination and packed with protein, the lime juice and parsley add lots of flavor too. Take a look:


Recipe adapted from Sam the Cooking Guy

Ingredients:
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna in water
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 white onion, diced
Handful of chopped parsley
Juice of one lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Directions:
In a bowl, combine tuna, beans, onion and parsley. Pour lime juice and drizzle olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine well. Serve and enjoy!

Fish en Papillote

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

This is a simple dish that just looks complicated, en papillote is technique used for cooking with steam. In this case, we're wrapping the fish to seal and keep the moisture and to infuse the fish with flavors from the lime juice, tomatoes and onions. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
4 tilapia fillets or any fish you prefer, fresh or thawed
1 white onion, thinly sliced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 lime
3 tablespoons butter, cut into little pats
Handful of chopped parsley
Sea salt and chili powder
Parchment paper

Directions:
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper big enough to place fish and fold over. To assemble: place some onion slices on the parchment paper, place a tilapia fillet on top, season with sea salt and chili powder, place some diced tomatoes on top of the fish, squeeze a little lime juice over the top, add a pat of butter on top of the tomatoes, sprinkle with chopped parsley. Fold parchment paper over fish, fold the edges of the parchment paper by making overlapping folds. Place on a baking sheet and bake it for 10 minutes. To serve, cut the packets carefully (packets will be very hot, avoid hot steam). Serve and enjoy!

Orange Aid Natural Juice

Monday, March 10, 2014

I love homemade natural juices, sometimes I need the motivation to make it since it's a bit of a hassle at times but at the end it's really worth it! Take a look:


Recipe slightly adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 apple, peeled and chopped
1 orange, peeled and chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 cup cold water

Directions:
Add all the ingredients into a blender, and blend into completely smooth. While pouring the juice into a pitcher, use a fine mesh strainer to remove all the little pieces. Serve with ice and enjoy!

*Tip*: this juice is great for kids too but just skip the ginger, it can be a little overpowering for the little ones.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered...

Hey, guys! I often get questions from readers and I though it would be fun to answer a few of them in a post today. If you have questions that you would like me to answer, just leave them in the comments below or just shoot me an email (sweet-carolinee@hotmail.com) and I'll be glad to answer them for you! Now, to the questions:

(Photo source: google.com)

What is a typical day for me?
My typical day is quite busy honestly. I usually wake up around 7 a.m. and get the kids ready (Sophia goes to school for half-day since she's in pre-k and I have to tag Ian along for the ride), we have breakfast and off we go to school. After dropping Sophia at school, I come back home and do some chores (dishes, laundry, get a jump start for lunch, organize or blog for a bit - things like that) before picking up Sophia back from school at 11:30. Around noon, I start making our lunch meals (this is usually when a recipe for a post happens), we eat and rest for a bit by watching a film or cartoons. Sometimes kids take naps or we make crafts later in the afternoon. When the kids nap that's when I get posts ready for the next day or so. Around 5-6 p.m., I give the kids a bath and later we all have dinner together, after dinner the kids play or watch TV until bedtime. By 10 p.m., I'm beyond tired and ready for bed.

Who eats the food that you cook for your posts?
My family eats the food I make for my posts, that's why I don't go too crazy with ingredients or over the top with my recipes, I like to keep it friendly and easy for my family. And my husband is the official recipe tester for my blog since he's the one who gives the thumbs up or down for my recipes.

How long does it take to you to photograph your recipes?
Not too long actually, just a couple of minutes. I usually take few photos of my final dish just before serving to my family. I don't do set ups or props like many food bloggers do simply because I don't have the time. I just look for the best lighting spot and hope for the best, and it seems to work pretty well for me.

How do I come up with recipes?
I love to cook, I'm always imagining which ingredients go perfect with each other. I would say mostly of my recipes just come from my imagination and after that I really try to make it happen. A lot of great ideas and inspiration also comes from reading great cookbooks, food magazines and food blogs.

Do I do meal plans for the week? Do I do meal preps?
I don't do meal plans for the week or meal preps, even though I should. Whenever I go grocery shopping I usually buy what looks good or vegetables that my family loves to eat or something that I would love to cook or try. I only plan ahead when it's a recipe that I want to try or something that my husband asks for me to cook specifically.

How do I manage everything? blog, kids, marriage, life in general.
It's not easy, I must say. There are days that I struggle and feel tremendously overwhelmed and there are days that everything goes great! I don't have a magic formula, I really and I really try to find a balance between everything, that's life!

If there's anything else you want to know, feel free to ask and I'll answer it for you!

♥ ♥ 

Pork Cutlets with Salsa Verde & Fried Plantains

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pork cutlets with salsa verde served with fried plantains is such a great and flavorful combination beyond words, you should definitely try this (take my word for it, people!). I made it this week along with fresh cooked beans and rice, it was a perfect plate of yumminess. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
8 boneless, thin cut  pork cutlets
2 (7 oz. each) cans salsa verde (I used Herdez brand)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Handful of chopped cilantro
3 large plantains, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:
In a large bowl, add the pork cutlets, minced garlic, lime juice and season with salt and black pepper. Toss to combine, let it marinate for at least 20 minutes. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the pork cutlets (if your pan doesn't fit all of them, it's okay. Just do it in batches), once the pork cutlets are cooked, transfer them to a dish. Add the sliced onions to the pan, sauté until translucent. Pour the salsa verde into the pan, combine with sauté onions. Add the pork cutlets back into the pan, let it cook for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine well. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the top. For plantains: in a large skillet, heat about 1-inch of vegetable oil over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the plantain slices and allow it to cook until golden in color on each side. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cauliflower can sometimes be a little bland and without flavor, that's why I've decided to kick up a notch with a little cumin and it turned up delicious. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. In a small dish, combine cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower and olive oil, toss really well. Add the spices and toss again to coat the cauliflower florets. Transfer it to a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until tender. Serve and enjoy!

Tilapia with Spicy Orange Salsa

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I usually make this dish in the Summer time and lately I've been wishing for Summer to come very soon since this week has been incredibly cold. Until then, I guess I'll be bringing Summer into my kitchen. Take a look:


Recipe by Sweet Caroline

Ingredients:
4 tilapia fillets, fresh or thawed
2 oranges, peeled and ends trimmed 
1 lime
1/2 white onion, diced
2 scallions, chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter, cut into cubes
Sea salt and chili powder

Directions:
Hold orange over a bowl, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment using a paring knife, free the segments and repeat with remaining fruit. Squeeze the membranes to extract the juice. Zest the lime, cut and squeeze juice of lime. Drizzle olive oil, add the red pepper flakes, chopped scallions and season with sea salt. Refrigerate salsa until ready to plate. Meanwhile, place the tilapia fillets in a baking sheet, season with sea salt and chili powder. Add the little pieces of butter over the top of each tilapia fillet. Bake the tilapia at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until flaky. Serve warm with spicy orange salsa along with some white rice or salad. Enjoy! 


KIND Healthy Grains Bars (Review)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

As a mom of two toddlers I'm always on the run. I'm always on the need to grab something to eat and I'm out the door. I like practical snacks but I also need something that's healthy for keeping my body happy too. I was recently introduced to KIND Healthy Grains Bars, a line of chewy with a crunch granola bars made from five super grains mixed with other super tasty and delicious ingredients. 
"There's healthy. There's tasty. Then there's healthy and tasty. At KIND, we believe you deserve both - we call it out brAND philosophy."
Each KIND Healthy Grains Bars contains 18-22 grams of whole grains sourced from a blend of 100% unique grains including quinoa, oats, amaranth, millet and buckwheat. There are all natural NON GMO and gluten free, in other words - a perfect snack! and another thing, you can actually pronounce every single ingredient in these bars. 



The flavors include: Dark Chocolate Chunk, Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut, Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Blueberry, all pretty tasty and delish. 
I liked all of them!
"So whether your snacking style is choosy or adventurous (or a little bit of both), here’s something to celebrate: we’ll always be thinking up new ways to delight your taste buds and keep your body happy."

kindbarlogo
In honor of the launch of the new super grain granola bars line, KIND Healthy Grains Bars, they're encouraging everyone to recognize their own personal super hero in their lives, who makes life #kindawesome. It could be your mom, spouse, child or a friend, just write about who makes your life #kindawesome.  
I have two super heroes - my kids: Sophia and Ian.They teach me every day how to be more patient, to be incredibly kind and the real meaning of love. Everyday is a new adventure filled with laughter and plenty of silliness, we are always learning new things together and from one another. To me they are #kindawesome!

Visit KIND Snacks online for how to purchase and follow on Facebook and Twitter 
for more information.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
 
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