Food for thought/ The ultimate food guide

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Slow-cooker pork tacos

This recipe is great for busy moms!
I found this recipe on The Food Network .What I love about it is that you can still offer your family a home cooked meal and avoid the fast food restaurants, by simply using a slow-cooker!
You simply start in the morning before you head to work/school, and when you come home…wha-la! dinner is ready 🙂

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Photo by Tina Rupp

Ingredients
3 whole ancho chiles
3 whole pasilla chiles
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (untrimmed), cut into chunks
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
Assorted taco toppings, for garnish

*( I omitted the cinnamon stick)

Directions
Put the ancho and pasilla chiles and the garlic in a bowl; add 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Microwave on high until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Stem and seed the chiles; peel the garlic. Transfer the chiles and garlic to a blender.

Add the chipotles, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened.

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper and transfer to a large slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook on high until the meat is tender, about 5 hours. (Or cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350 degrees; uncover and cook 30 more minutes.

Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. Serve the shredded pork in the tortillas, along with toppings.
*Note: it’s better to warm up the tortillas in a skillet rather than in the microwave, since the tend to rip when filled with the hot filling.

I really hope that you give this recipe a try, and let me know if your family approved 🙂

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Happy National Tequila Day!

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To celebrate this day, I scoured for the best tequila drinks!
So,here they are:

Margarita on the rocks

Ingredients:
2 cups sweet and sour mix
1 cup of triple sec
1 1/2 cups gold tequila
1/3 cup brandy-based orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
2 limes, quartered
Directions:
Salt the rims of 8 glasses. To do so, pour salt onto a small plate, rub the rims of the glasses with lime, and press them into the salt. Fill the glasses with ice.
In a blender, combine sweet and sour mix, triple sec, tequila and Grand Marnier. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, squeeze a quarter lime into each glass.

Coco loco
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Ingredients:
1 fresh coconut
1 cup of ice
1 fluid ounce of white tequila
1 fluid ounce of melon liqueur
1 fluid ounce of coconut rum
1 fluid ounce of pineapple juice
1 fluid ounce of sugar syrup
1/2 fresh lime
Directions:
Make a tumbler out of the coconut by carefully slicing about 2 inches off the top of the coconut, keeping the coconut milk inside. Place the ice, tequila, melon liqueur, rum, pineapple juice, and sugar syrup into the cavity of the coconut. Squeeze the lime half over the mixture and drop the lime into the drink; stir.

Tequila Sunrise

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Ingredients:
1.5 oz. Don Julio® Reposado Tequila
0.5 oz. grenadine
3 oz. orange juice
Directions:
Pour tequila in a highball glass with ice, and top with orange juice. Stir. Add grenadine by tilting glass and pouring grenadine down side by flipping the bottle vertically very quickly. The grenadine should go straight to the bottom and then rise up slowly through the drink. Garnish stirrer, straw and cherry-orange.

Cherry Smash

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Ingredients:
1 part Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave
Tequila
1/3 part JDK & Sons O3 Premium Orange Liqueur
1/4 part agave nectar
2/3 part fresh lime juice
1.5 parts club soda
8 Bing cherries, pitted and stemmed
Directions:
Rim your glasses; run a lemon wedge around the rim of your glass and dip in sugar. In a shaker filled with ice, combine pomegranate juice, coconut water, Tequila, liqueurs and lemon juice. Shake and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with a lemon wedge. If you’re feeling extra ambitous, add fresh pomegranate seeds to the cocktail.

Spanish Fashion

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Ingredients:
2 Parts Maestro Dobel
.5 Parts Sweet Vermouth
Dash bitters
Maraschino cherry
Directions:
Shake and strain. Pour into an iced mixing glass, and garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

Spiced Passion

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Ingredients:
2 oz. of Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila
3 oz. Horchata
5 oz. of Finest Call Passion Fruit
Cinnamon stick (for garnish)
Directions:
Put all ingredients in shaker. Shake well. Serve in chilled cocktail glass.

Paloma

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Ingredients:
2 ounces blanco or reposado tequila
6 ounces of grapefruit soda
1/2 ounce lime juice
Salt for rimming (optional)
Directions:
Rim a Collins glass with salt. Fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and lime juice. Top it off with the grapefruit soda.

Have fun, and remember: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!

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Simple breakfast idea!

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I have to say that there are some days when I simply don’t want to eat breakfast. Yes, I know, that it’s the most important meal of the day.
But sometimes I get tired of eating the same thing.
I am trying to eat healthier and love this recipe because it is actually very filling, includes yogurt, which is excellent for digestion, plus the amount of fruits that I’m supposed to eat a day!
This breakfast yogurt is simple and versatile, since you could change the fruits or swap the honey for agave nectar, etc.

BIONIC YOGURT
ingredients :
•8 tablespoons of plain yogurt
•6 strawberries ( cut into small pieces)
•1 peach (cut into small cubes)
•1 apple (cut into small cubes)
•1 banana ( sliced and cut into smaller pieces )
•honey
•2 tablespoons of granola
•chocolate sprinkles (if desired)

Yields 2 servings

Directions:
The easiest way is to place all the ingredients in a bowl, mix and serve. However, Not everyone likes honey, or might complain that the other person got more fruit than the other. 😦
So, what I do is that I divide everything between two bowls, starting with the yogurt, the strawberries, peach, apple and the banana. After that, people decide if the want to add honey, granola, chocolate sprinkles or all three!
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I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Steak salad with crispy shallots

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Ingredients :
6 tablespoons sherry vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped thyme, plus 4 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean top round sirloin steak, trimmed
1 shallot, very thinly sliced
8 cups baby spinach
2 plums, pitted and sliced
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Directions:
1. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake to combine vinegar, 4 tablespoons oil, orange juice, garlic, honey, chopped thyme, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place steak in a large ziplock bag, add half the dressing plus the thyme sprigs, seal and marinate in refrigerator 4 to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 425* .
Toss shallot with remaining oil and salt and bake on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 13 to 15 minutes.
Transfer to a plate to cool. Remove steak from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
3. Preheat a grill or a grill pan to medium high. Grill steak 5 to 6 minutes per side.
Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice across the grain.
4. In a large bowl, toss together spinach, steak, plums, goat cheese and remaining dressing. Garnish with crispy shallots.

Source: fitnessmagazine.com

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Secret Starbucks drinks you didn’t know you could order!

Starbucks secret menu.

Starbucks secret menu is a collection of beverage creations that have been skillfully concocted by Starbucks baristas and customer enthusiasts from around the world!
There are no secret recipes that Starbucks are trying to keep a secret, just a vast array of syrups and flavorings that can be combined into different combinations.

Remember when ordering a secret menu drink, not all baristas are familiar with the drink names . Please order by recipe!

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Banana Split Frappuccino
•strawberries and creme frappuccino
•add vanilla bean powder
•add java chips
•add a whole banana (extra cost)
•top with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle

Chocolate chip brownie frappuccino
•vanilla bean frappuccino
•add java chips
•add mocha syrup
•top with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle

Horchata Frappuccino
• Tazo chai creme Frappuccino
•add 1/2 pump vanilla syrup
•add 1 pump cinnamon dolce syrup
•add chai syrup
•top with cinnamon powder

Cotton Candy Frappuccino
•vanilla bean Frappuccino
•add 1 pump raspberry syrup

Thin Mint Frappuccino
•vanilla bean Frappuccino
•add 2 pumps of peppermint
•add a scoop of Java chips

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappuccino
•strawberries and creme Frappuccino
•add java chips
•top with chocolate drizzle

Cookies and Creme Frappuccino
•double chocolate chip frappuccino
•blended with white mocha sauce instead of regular mocha
•top with your choice of chocolate or regular whipped cream

Nutella Frappuccino
•regular coffee frapuccino
•2 pumps of chocolate syrup
•1 pump of hazelnut syrup
•whipped cream blended in
•top with more whipped cream

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Mojito Refresher
•cool lime refresher
•add 1 pump classic syrup
•add 1/2 pump peppermint syrup
•add ice and blend

Pixt Stix Refresher
•half Passion tea, half Valencia orange refresher
•no water
•no orange slices
•2 pumps classic syrup
•1 pump raspberry syrup

Limeade Refresher
•Cool lime refresher
•substitute water for lemonade
•add cool lime wedges

Orange Peach Refesher
•Valencia orange refresher
•add 3 pumps peach syrup

Fruit Punch Refresher
•start with Valencia orange refresher (including orange slices), with a tad more water than orange
•add 1 pump raspberry syrup
•add 1 pump peach syrup
•shake and enjoy!

Zen Refresher
•half cool lime refresher
•half green tea concentrate (no water)
•add 2 pumps of peach syrup ( optional, to add extra sweetness and flavor)
•ice it and shake it

Lava Flow Refresher
•Iced Passion Tea Lemonade
•add strawberry juice
•add 1 pump classic syrup
•shake, shake, shake!
•add Orange Mango floating on top and enjoy!

Source: Starbuckssecretmenu.net

Note: please order when it’s not busy, have your list with the ingredients ready so you won’t hold up the line and remember that some ingredients are not available year round; plus it would be nice if you tipped your barista 🙂

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Braised Balsamic Chicken

I love cooking, but sometimes I get a little discouraged when I prepare a meal and not everyone likes it 😦

Do you like me, sometimes find yourself making the same recipes over and over and want to to try something new, but you’re afraid how it’s going to turn out?

Well, I am happy to say that I found a recipe online that had many great reviews ,so I just had to try it .
Wow ,was it a hit at my house! (everyone was asking for more )
The only thing is that I had to decrease the amount of balsamic vinegar and added some chicken stock to cut down on the acidity level (only because I have a sensitive stomach).

Braised Balsamic Chicken

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Ingredients:

• 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts halves
• 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
• ground black pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 onion thinly sliced
• 1 (14.5) ounce can of diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

Season both sides of chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook seasoned chicken breasts until chicken is browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add onion; cook and stir until onion is browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken; season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

I served this dish with mashed potatoes and green beans .
It also goes well with rice or pasta.

I hope you give this a try , it’s healthy and so easy to make !

Source: Allrecipes.com

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