Category: Recipe

How-To Make a Yummy Pressed Sandwich

This is a simple recipe that you can follow. I hope you’re inspired to upgrade your regular sandwich to something warm and melty.

What you’ll need:
– George Foreman Grill (or electronic grill) OR cast iron grill pan and press tool
– chicken (sliced)
– roasted red peppers (picked red peppers)
– pesto sauce
– mozzarella cheese slices
– hummus (optional)

See below for MORE tips, not seen in the video. (more…)

How-To Make Caprese Skewers

If you’re hosting or headed to a party, here is a great no-cook option for an appetizer or starter, caprese skewers with prosciutto. I took the skewers shown at the end of the video to the birthday party of my good friend Chef Nadia and her twin sister Elon. The skewers disappeared REALLY quickly. I know your friends will enjoy them too.

ingredients:
mozzarella (balls in olive oil)
fresh whole basil leaves
cherry tomatoes
prosciutto di parma
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
black pepper

See below for MORE tips not seen in the video
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The Bitter Truth about Bitters

The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler's Set
The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s Set

I have to admit that for years I had no idea what “bitters” were. I would see the word in cocktail ingredients list and shrug it off. 

I also didn’t know that there were so many different types of bitters. I only ever saw angostura bitters and orange bitters on the shelf at the grocery store. So you can imagine my surprise when I started talking to mixologists about why they used bitters in drinks. 

So for those of you who don’t know:

What are bitters? Bitters are literally liquid extracts of herbs, seeds, barks, roots, rinds, flowers and leaves. .

What do bitters do? Bitters were historically used by apothecaries to aid in digestion among other things. Today they are used to add very specific flavors and to add amazing smells that bringing out mild, unique flavors in your cocktails.

Can I use bitters at home? If you want to upgrade your home bar, you should absolutely include at least two different types of bitters. You’ll seriously really impress your friends with your extensive home bar if you include these key ingredients.

Where do I start? Purchase The Bitter Truth Traveler. This set includes five different flavor bitters in a cool box. As an added bonus, this set is TSA regulation for in-flight carry-on bags! And from my personal experience, since you only need a few dashes per drink, this kit will last you a long time! 

For more information about the kit click here. And click below for cocktail recipes for the bitters!

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Start a Better Breakfast Routine… BistroMD

September, Better Breakfast Month, is nearly at a close– but it is never too late to improve the way you start your day. Breakfast truly is the most important meal. A good breakfast can give you more energy and help you to make better choices throughout the day. I have a horrible habit of skipping breakfast usually because I don’t leave myself enough time to make something great, but I notice a difference when I make time for myself.

Don’t let the fact that September is almost over deter you from beginning a better breakfast routine. Fall is really good time to jumpstart your health and fitness regimen– it is so much easier to roll into the new year with good habits when you do.

BistroMD shared a few simple recipes with me that I’d like to share with you! Trust me– they are pretty yummy. Have fun!

bistroMD’s Sweet Potato Pancakes:

Courtesy of BistroMD
Courtesy of BistroMD

Serves 2

Calories: 330

Protein: 24 g

NET Carbohydrate: 19 g

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cooked sweet potato
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Directions: Mix all ingredients in bowl. Mixture will be lumpy. Cook on a skillet or griddle and enjoy!

Serve topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a side of turkey sausage.

 

bistroMD’s Black Bean Omelet

Courtesy of BistroMD
Courtesy of BistroMD

Yield’s one serving

Calories: 330

Protein: 21 g

NET Carbohydrate: 44 g

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of cage free 100% egg white liquid
  • 1/8 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Directions: In a nonstick 8-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour the egg whites into a small bowl and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Whisk for 10 seconds, add in the egg mixture to the skillet to cover the bottom and cook the eggs for two minutes. Using a rubber spatula, flip the egg over and cook for another two minutes. Transfer to a plate and leave the omelet open.

More ingredients that you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of canned organic black beans
  • 1/8 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of diced green pepper (1/4″ x 1/4 “)
  • 1 tablespoon of diced red pepper (1/4″ x 1/4″)
  • 1 teaspoon of dice onions (1/4″ x1/4”)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon of fresh chopped cilantro
  • A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of Mexican shredded cheese

Directions: Drain black beans and rinse with cold water. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add in the onions. Cook until the onions are clear, add in the peppers and cook for another two minutes. Add in the black beans. Continue to cook for another minute and add in the cumin, cilantro and salt and pepper. (The cheese is for the stuffing).

This delicious breakfast staple gets kicked up a notch with a black bean filling and fresh salsa on top.

Check out BistroMD.com for more healthy recipes and information about eating to live.

TACO TUESDAY… My Simple Ground Beef Tacos Recipe

CC gnokii
CC gnokii

If you follow me on instagram, you probably know that I take Taco Tuesday seriously. Not really, but I do love tacos. My mom used to make something like this when I growing up. But a few years ago, I stopped buying taco kits and started making my own seasonings. Its so much better. And I can control the sodium content and there is no secret high fructose corn syrup, etc.

No I’m not claiming that these are authentic Mexican tacos, but I promise you that they are YUMMY! Tried and true! I intend to make a video for the guacamole– so stay tuned.

Anyway, this recipe is SUPER simple– as all of my recipes are. Enjoy!

 

Dine With Dani Tacos (serves 4)

[please read the entire recipe before you shop and again before you begin cooking]

 

Meat Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning (see large batch recipe)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ white onion diced
  • 1 minced garlic (or one tbsp from the jar)
  • 1 bell peppers diced (optional)
  • 1- 1.25 lb ground beef (90% lean or more)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)

 

Serve with:

  • corn taco shells [3 per person]
  • arugula [to taste– just a few leaves per taco]
  • shredded cheese [to taste– likely a tbsp per taco]
  • sour cream [to taste– likely a tsp per taco]
  • salsa [to tast– likely a tbsp per taco]
  • cilantro [to taste] (chopped fresh or dried)
  • guacamole [to taste– likely a tsp per taco]

 

Taco Seasoning (large batch):

  • 1-cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • ¼ cup red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • ½ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup cumin
  • ⅛ cup course sea salt (to taste)
  • ⅛ cup course black pepper grinds (to taste)
  • [dry whisp together in a bowl, store in a resealable container, will last forever!]

 

Tools:

  • bowl
  • stove
  • oven
  • pan
  • spatula
  • whisp
  • baking sheet

 

STEPS:

  1. Dice one half a white onion (and 1 garlic clove, optional: one bell pepper)
  2. In a pan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.
  3. Saute the diced onion (and optional whole bell pepper)
  4. Preheat oven on 350 degrees.
  5. Once onions are translucent (and peppers softened) add a tablespoon of minced garlic
  6. When garlic is fragrant and toasted, add 1 lb of ground beef.
  7. Salt the beef (onion, pepper, garlic mixture) to taste while still pink.
  8. Raise heat to high and brown ground beef constantly moving around with the spatula (or spoonula) .
  9. When beef is brown, turn off heat and stir in 3 tbsp of the DineWithDani taco seasoning.
  10. On a baking sheet, arrange shells in an overlapping pattern and heat in the oven for five minutes.
  11. IF your beef was less than 90% lean, drain off half of the liquid fat.
  12. SERVE!

 

Re-gram’d my own gram! Happy Taco Tuesday! #upgram #recipe #dinewithdani #foodblog #simplemeal

A video posted by Dani Styles (@dinewithdani) on

My Acai Protein Smoothie Recipe

my acai protein smoothieA few years ago, smoothies became the snack du jour. They were touted as diet food (meal replacements) and soon smoothie shops started popping up everywhere. We were paying $5 and $6 for fruit blended together. And ultimately all we did was increase our sugar intake.

After a few studies regarding the myths and facts about smoothies, we got smart! The public demanded that smoothie shops add veggies, yogurt and/or protein to the mix. Home electronic companies jumped on the bandwagon and started marketing “smoothie makers”. So now everyone has a bullet or ninja at home to make their own.

I don’t have either of those, but my blender is no slouch! And I make some amazing smoothies with it. Remember: when it comes to cooking, its not all about the tool– its about the ingredients.

Anyway, I call smoothies my frenemy because they are so yummy (friend), but so sugary (enemy). So I like all frenemies, I take them in small small doses. And what do I put in mine? Seriously only a handful of quality ingredients. And NO ice.

The DineWithDani Acai Protein Smoothie/Vitamina

1 cup plain greek yogurt (flavored yogurt has too much sugar and the texture ruins the smoothie)

1 pack of Sambazon Acai puree (it says sweetened, but its really not sweet- and if you have another brand– it’ll work)

1 frozen banana (when bananas are on the way to being overly ripe, I peel them and freeze them in a ziplock bag for smoothies at a later date)

.5 cup of almond milk (you can use cashew milk, skim milk, lactaid or whatever you have)

1tbsp of honey (i choose raw honey and honestly it isn’t just for sweetness, it also affects the texture of your smoothie as well)

optional: one serving of protein powder

optional: one large kale leaf or collard green leaf (cleaned)

 

smoothie ingredientsClick below for additonal notes…

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The Coffee Nerd… My Official Coffee Handbook/Cookbook

image001I’ve never been a morning person, but I have an unconscious routine each morning, which unfortunately includes hitting the snooze button at least once. I get up, I brush my teeth and head straight to the kitchen. Not to grab breakfast, but to begin a completely necessary ritual: My Daily Coffee.

 

I don’t start my day without a cup of joe. Whether I’m in the mood for instant (I’m a fan of Starbucks VIA) or espresso (I have a kettle for that), I start that process almost as soon as I wake up. The best is when my love is home and gets the morning going with the french press. Good times.

 

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a book that details everything I could ever need to know about something I already love! The Coffee Nerd should be call the official coffee handbook. It’s perfect for those like me who love it and even those who don’t really get the big whoop. Those people would be surprised at how many different flavor categories there are in the bean world. Not to mention all the different drinks you can make!

 

This book lays out flavor palettes and how they are affected by the various roasting techniques. It even gets into all the different ways to brew it– including all the fancy shmancy beverages you see on coffeeshop menus. There is even a glossary for quick reference in the future.

 

If you are even the least bit curious about what makes a great cup of coffee, this book would be an excellent addition to your cookbook collection. While, no, it is not technically a “cookbook”, it does offer measurements for grinds-to-water ratios (milk, cream, etc)– so you can experiment at home. Or you can read up about something and go let a barista (a professional coffee maker) do what they do best. Your choice!

 

And if you’re like me, pick up this book and find a whole new bag of reasons to love coffee. You’ll be able to confirm what you suspected about it and discover things you didn’t know.

 

Its an easy read because it gets right to the point! Much like a good cup of coffee, it will energize you to get out there.


Author Ruth Brown, an Australian-born journalist and writer, currently works as the arts and entertainment editor at The Brooklyn Paper, and previously worked as an editor and reporter at Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon—a city known for its coffee.

Super Food Kale… 10 Ways to Prepare

Heralded as a “super food,” (and featured on a sweatshirt worn by Beyonce) Kale has rich nutritional value and its role as an antioxidant make it a perfect addition to your diet. There are many different types of kale, so find the one(s) that you like best and get creative.

PS– I prefer dinosaur kale.

And in case you need thought starters, below are 10 things that you can do with Kale courtesy of my friends over at Chef Works:

from Popsugar.com
from Popsugar.com

1 Make Smoothies

Green smoothies are becoming a popular breakfast choice for the health conscious, but the green of choice is usually spinach. Kale makes a good option, as it is just as nutritious (if not more so) and it has a mild flavor that you can’t detect when blended with fruit. It goes well with just about anything from apples to pineapple, to berries, so experiment until you find your favorite. You may want to leave out thick stems, as they may not blend as well and also add a somewhat bitter flavor.

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How to Make an Yummy Salad… My 5 Rules

Salads get a bad wrap for being boring, bland rabbit food. But its a good rule of thumb for cooking that if you use good ingredients– you’ll likely end up with a good product. And I made this particular video when I got a craving for something healthy. I started thinking about what makes a good one. Watch this 30 second video for some of my favorite ingredients and below I’ve shared some tips making your own yummy salad.

HERE ARE MY RULES FOR MAKING A GREAT SALAD  (more…)

National Margarita Day… Feb 22

Mango Scotch Bonnet Margarita
Mango Scotch Bonnet Margarita (recipe below)

Cinco de Mayo is not the only day you should celebrate with Margaritas. There is actually a NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY! I’m in!!

Some people struggle with making good margaritas. Here are some tips from the good people at Herradura Tequila so you can ditch the poorly made margaritas. And remember to say goodbye to artificial lemon juice.

1.       Avoid cheap tequila – If you are going to get serious about margaritas, you’ll need to invest in high-quality tequila. The key is being 100% agave, which means no additional sugars were added during fermentation process. Casa Herradura has been crafting 100% agave tequila since 1870 using traditional production methods. Use Herradura Silver for a taste of sweet, mild cooked agave notes with a touch of oak.

2.       Use real lime –using real lime juice is just as important. Avoid the artificial lime plastic ball, or any prepackaged sour mix and buy real limes. Limes are not expensive and they last a long time.  This will make a big difference!

3.       Get the orange stuff –Triple sec is key! This orange flavored liquor is sweet and it’s made from dried orange peels. You can substitute with blue curacao to make a blue margarita if you are feeling adventurous.

4.       It’s all about the measurements – The basic ratio measurement of a margarita is 2:1:1 which means two part tequila, one part of triple sec and one part lime juice. This will always depend on how strong you like your tequila so feel free to experiment with it.

I’ve shared below a recipe below! Cheers!

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