Friday, June 29, 2012

FBF: 4th July Strawberries

This is a good one--and perfect timing for 4th July! These were a big hit and not to mention they are SOOOO easy to make! ENJOY!

Click on image to see full post from 6/2011

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tomato Carpaccio Crab Salad

This recipe is from Cajunlicious and I fell in love--I HAD to try this!!


1 Heirloom Tomato (or just a "regular" tomato)
1/4 cup Jumbo Lump Crabmeat (it comes in a can)
1/2 avocado, smashed
salt & pepper, to taste
1-1/2 tblsp Greek yogurt (plain)
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
Zest & Juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp parsley
[I did not add capers...yuk]
1 tsp red onion, diced really small
1 small Roma tomato, seeded and diced really small

  • Dill for garnish
  • In a medium bowl, combine avocado, yogurt, vinegar, zest & lemon juice, parsley, onion, diced tomatoes and mix well. 
  • Gently fold in the crab and season with salt & pepper. 
  • Place in refrigerator, tossing every hour for 2 hours or until ready to serve.
  • To serve: Slice the heirloom tomato paper-thin and arrange them around the center of the plate. Place the crab mixture in a circle-mold. 
  • Squeeze the other half of lemon over top and top it off with some dill.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {{linky}}

Last week, my daughter had a sleep study done. It took 6 months to get this appointment, so it was pretty important. She has large tonsils, snores, restless and low evergy for the most part during the day. Not sure what's going on, but a sleep study is part of figuring it out.

We are both artists, so COLOR is everywhere for us. One all the colorful wires were hooked up, she asked me if she was going to dream of rainbows. LOL too sweet!

As some of ya'll are aware, I've been doing some re-wiring with my blog and facebook, trying to really figure things out. One of those things is figuring out why my FB page is only reaching "20%" of people who have liked my page. SOOOO, head over to my FB Page  HERE and follow these instructions:
Maybe then I'll reach more News Feeds. =)

Lastly, take this little poll by just clicking a dot, thats it, no signing in needed. Ya'll as awesome!


Blackberry Cabernet Roast


  • 5 pounds eye of round beef roast
  • 1-1/2 cups wild blackberries
  • 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cracked pepper 
Au Jus Sauce
  • 1 -1/3 cups wild blackberries
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pierce all sides of meat using a meat fork every 1 in and place in a large resealable plastic bad.
  • Puree blackberries in a blender or food processor. Press through a sieve to remove seeds. Discard solids.
  • Combine blackberry puree with Cabernet, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour mixture over roast and seal bag.
  • Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight, turning roast occasionally.
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Drain meat from marinade.
  • Sprinkle cracked pepper evenly over meat and place in large roasting pan.
  • Pour 2 cups marinade from plastic bag into roasting pan. Discard remaining marinade.
  • Roast 15 minutes, reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Continue to roast 1-11/2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
  • Remove meat from pan. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.
  • Puree 1/2 cup blackberries in a blender or food processor. Press through a sieve to remove seeds. Discard solids.
  • In a saucepan, combine blackberry puree, beef broth and Cabernet, and heat over medium and bring to a simmer, constantly stirring. Boil for about 10 minutes.
  • Combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, then add to saucepan. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  • Remove from heat and serve with roast.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Over the Rainbow Smoothie


1-1/2 cups fruit punch
1/3 cup rainbow sherbet
1/2 cup club soda
additional rainbow sherbet for garnish

  • Combine fruit punch and sherbet in blender. Process until smooth. Pour into glasses; add club soda. 
  • Top with additional sherbet!

For the colorful rims on the glasses, wet edges of glasses then turn them upside down and dip them into colorful sprinkles.

Friday, June 22, 2012

FBF: Chicken You Won't Believe


Click on image to see full post from 6/2011

Wild Blackberry Bread

Oh yes, you read that right. I was given the pleasure to visit a friend's property and pick all the wild blackberries that I wanted. So at the end, I ended up with a little over 6 pounds. And I just L.O.V.E. it!


1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter,
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Gently toss in the blackberries.
  • In a different medium bowl, combine sugar and next 5 ingredients and mix until all combined.
  • Add the sugar mixture to the blackberry mixture and gently stir until evenly blended.
  • Pour into a greased loaf pan (8.5"x 4.5"/ normal sized) and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes still in the loaf pan, then remove it from the pan and let cool for about an hour.
  • Drizzle icing (recipe below) over top. Slice and serve!
In a wire mesh, crush blackberries through the strainer to get the juice without the seeds. You only need about 2 tablespoons of juice, so about 1 cup of blackberries should do the trick. In a small bowl, put about 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Little at a time, add the blackberry juice until its a the right consistency to drizzle over the bread. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blackberry Mojitos

My hubby loves making himself regular mojitos fairly often, so ME making a mojito was very intimidating. But I did it anyway. He tried it, turned to me and said he loved it so much more than any mojito he has ever had. *huge grin*


  • 3/4 cups blackberries
  • 5-6 large mint leaves
  • 4 teaspoons sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cups seltzer water
  • 1/4 cups white rum (or you can use vodka)
  • ice cubes

  • Muddle blackberries, mint leaves, sugar, lemon and lime juice in a tall glass until berries are mostly crushed.
  • Add seltzer, rum and add ice to reach edge of glass. 
  • Garnish with a blackberry, lime slice and/or mint leaves. Stir and serve!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {{linky}}

I had the pleasure of going to a friends property to pick all the wild blackberries I could handle. It was amazing! Beautiful evening it was too. I got about 6 pounds worth. There was a recipe today with the wild blackberries, but keep watching the rest of the week is full of blackberry dishes!

If you would like your webpage to be added to my blogroll, leave a comment telling me so after linking up!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

O Olive Oil Recipe Review

eRecipeCards has given me an opportunity to compete in a contest from O Olive Oil. Dave, creator of eRecipeCards, designed a website where you can upload recipes, share, like other recipes, and keep it organized just like you would on your own recipe book. I'm a "blue ribbon" contributor from being there from almost the beginning, and consistently adding my recipes. The photos do not have to be professional or magazine quality either! Check them out:

I also want to thank O Olive Oil for the contest! There were so many submissions, they are going to have a hard time deciding the winners. They are giving away almost $1000 in prizes, and I'm really crossing my fingers that I would be one of them.

Here is a run-down on the recipes I've posted for O Olive Oil and their competition. Click on image to see the full recipe!

I hope you have enjoyed these recipes as much as I enjoyed making them! O Olive Oil now has a permanent place in my pantry. You can find them in Whole Foods, which I will be visiting next time I'm in a big city. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Cupcakes

Happy Father's Day!

I'm going to spoil my hubby today with the kids, so much planned!
Last year, I made these cupcakes--they were a HUGE hit!

Click on the image to see full post from 6/2011

Friday, June 15, 2012

O Olive Oil: Recipes that Shine!

O Olive Oil company has asked to take the products they sent and create a dish that will make the oils shine in all their glory. In cooking, I find myself hesitant and shy about trying a dish that doesn't come with a recipe, its difficult for me to make one up. The ones I usually do are simple, nothing elaborate, easy to follow. That's just how I roll.

Here are a few dishes using the O Clementine Olive Oil:

Citrus Salmon with Baby Green Salad
This salmon recipe has got to be one of my favorites to date. It is extremely moist and the flavors mold together in harmony. The salad was a great addition that completed the plate. There wasn't any flavor conflicts or bad tastes, you can tell these oils and vinegars have been made to compliment each other!
4 salmon fillets
1 tablespoon creole seasoning (recipe below)
3 tablespoons O Clementine Olive Oil
4 cups baby greens
1 tablespoon O Clementine Olive Oil (for dressing)
1 tablespoon O California White Balsalmic
small can of mandarin oranges

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cover a large cookie sheet in aluminum oil and light spray with cooking spray. 
  • Place salmon fillets on prepared sheet and drizzle oil over top. Sprinkle with seasoning and lightly rub it in to cover entire fillet.
  • Place in oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful to not over cook.
  • After finished cooking, gently brush tops of fillets with a little more O Clementine olive oil.
  • For the salad, place a small cup of baby greens on the plate.
  • Put olive oil and basalmic in a small covered container and shake for 30 seconds. Drizzle over salad and top with mandarin oranges.
Creole Seasoning
I made my own creole seasoning last year, and it was the perfect blend of spices to compliment the salmon. 
Click here to see the recipe

O Clementine Olive Oil Bruschetta
This recipe is a very simple one that you can really appreciate the olive oil.

1 french load, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons O Clementine Olive Oil, divided
1 can mardarin oranges
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp chili powder
  • Brush the tops of bread slices with the O Clementine Olive Oil and broil for a few minutes until lightly browned. 
  • In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of mandarin oranges, drained and coarsely chopped, the salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Top the toasted bread slices with a little orange mixture and lightly sprinkle with chili powder.
  • Serve immediately.
O Clementine Olive Oil Bread Dip
If you want an even simpler dish, pour some of the flavored olive oil in a small bowl and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and crackled pepper. Serve with fresh bread slices, can even been lightly toasted.

I hope that gives you some ideas on how to handle and prepare dishes that have a light citrus flavored oil to it!
Again, thanks Dave with eRecipeCards for the opportunity to experiment! 

You can find out more information about O Olive Oil on their website or on Facebook.
Find eRecipeCards on FaceBook or their webpage.

Please see disclaimer for more details on a sponsored post.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

O Clementine Pound Cake

We reached 300 on the Facebook page--so here is what I promised--an amazing recipe that I have been raving about the past few days!
Oh man, oh man. I thought the salmon was my favorite from these series of recipes for O Olive Oil. That was before I made this. This recipe make 2 loafs, and one of them was practically gone before it had a chance to cool off. I'm just saying, if you are going to make this for a coffee group or bible study, make several batches because it won't last long!

O Clementine Pound Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 tblsp O Clementine Olive Oil
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1-3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cardamom
zest of 2 clementines (about 1 tablespoon)
juice of 2 clementines (about 4 tablespoons)
1/4 cup milk
for icing:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tablespoon O Clementine Olive Oil
few drops of milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 loafs pan, set aside.
  • With a mixer, beat butter, oil and sugars until smooth.
  • Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until completely blended. Stir in 1 cup of flour, as well as the salt, vanilla, cardamom, zest and clementine juice.
  • Add the milk and rest of the flour. Beat until the consistency is smooth and completely blended.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the 2 loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out smooth.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • For the Icing: In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and oil. Stir together until the oil is incorporated as much as possible [it will still be powder-y until the milk is added].
  • Add the milk, a few drops at a time until the icing is at the desired consistency. [I used about 1 tablespoon, but it will differ from person to person]
  • Drizzle over cake and lightly sprinkle some cardamom on top.
Its just DRIPPING with deliciousness!! Have I mentioned the smell? Its divine!

O Olive Oil Products and Review

eRecipeCards has provided a wonderful opportunity to explore the flavors the O Olive Oil company provides through their wide variety of products. Thanks to Dave at eRecipeCards for selecting me and my blog for this experience!

O Olive Oil is a company that prides themselves in the industry with their citrus pressed olive oils and wine vinegars since 1995. O Olive Oil uses the finest ingredients like fresh California Mission olives and organic citruses to create their signature line. The wine vinegars are made with a different technique than most other brands. O Olive Oil is one of the few remaining companys that ages the vinegars in wood barrels instead of force-aging them mechanically. The results are clear, and the quality and company is set apart from the rest.

O Olive Oils and Vinegars now come in a variety of flavors and combinations. The citrus oils come in flavors like meyer lemon, blood orange, clementine, jalapeno lime, ruby grapefruit and tahitian lime as well as other oils like extra virgin and roasted garlic.  The wine vinegars have a wide variety which include: champagne, cabernet, pinot noir, zinfandel, sherry and many more. The rice vinegar comes in ginger, yuzu and sudachi. O Olive Oil also creates hand-crafted, and aged in oak wood, balsamic vinegars including: white, port and even the newest addition of fig balsalmic.

I have the pleasure to enjoy the combination of my choice to share with all my readers and fans. I choose the Clementine Olive Oil and the White Balsalmic Vinegar. I have used a few ideas and flavor combinations that O Olive Oil suggests on their web page, as well as adding my own creativeness to create a personal take on the amazing flavors.

O Clementine Olive Oil
The O Clementine Olive Oil has been combine with the flavors of mandarins crushed together with Mission olives to create a sweet,smooth and richly unique flavor. As suggested by O Olive Oil, it is perfectly paired the the white balsalmic vinegar.

O California White Balsalmic Vinegar
The white balsalmic vinegar has a flavor that combines almonds, pears and green apples. The flavor is light and crisp and absolutely delightful for your taste buds, especially over Spring-time dishes. 
O Olive Oil suggest splashing over fresh fruit, or combining it with the clementine olive to make a dressing for a Spring mix salad.

Asian Pear and Baby Greens Salad with Blue Cheese and O Clementine Oil and I California White Balsalmic

A recipe suggested by O Olive Oil that lets the flavors of the Oils shine in the perfectly blended combination.
Click here for their recipe.
Watermelon and Feta Salad
Another recipe suggested by O Olive Oil is this perfect-for-summer dish that will touch every taste bud in your mouth! The unusual combination of watermelon, basil, feta, salt and the signature oils will definitely surprise anyone your serving.
Click here for the recipe. 

This has got to be one of my favorite dishes in this whole experiment!

Watermelon and Feta Bruschetta
Since I loved the recipe above, I took it a little further. I toasted the bread using extra virgin olive oil and then topping it with the watermelon salad (chopped).  This added a wonderful crunch to the scrumptious salad and it would be a perfect appetizer to any meal or BBQ.

You can find out more information about O Olive Oil on their website or on Facebook.
Find eRecipeCards on FaceBook or their webpage.

Please see disclaimer for more details on a sponsored post.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {{linky}}


Another activity we've already done this summer....camping on the lake! We went to Kentucky Lake, stayed in cabins, rented a boat and had so much fun for the WHOLE [extended] Family! Great memories were made!
Me & my Dad

Kids waiting their turn to go tubing

No, thats NOT the sunset--that's my really white legs. =)

~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
~Leave a comment if you're a new follower, so I can return the follow!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
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Chinese Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is one that I have used for years. Its a win-win for everyone and there is never leftovers! I've recently given a friend of mine the recipe and she now cooks it once a week because all her boys love it (picky eaters!). Even better, there is no "measurements."...."whaaaa?" you say? Trust me!


Soy sauce
1 pork tenderloin
Sesame seeds

  • In a large ziplock bag, combine the pork tenderloin, about 1/4 cup honey and about 1/8th cup soy sauce. 
    • There is nothing special about these measurements. You don't keep the marinade for later, so you want just enough to make sure the tenderloin is well covered. I like making sure there is more honey than soy sauce because of the crispy edges the honey produces when on the grill. Make this your own and experiment on what you like!
  • Let the mixture marinade for a few hours in the fridge. 
    • If you don't have much time to marinade, just make sure you let it sit until the soy sauce has broken down the honey in the bag. You will know this when the marinade is "watery" and there is no thick spots of honey.
  • Wrap in aluminum foil, sealing the edges all the way around.
  • Grill over medium heat, constantly turning. (about 15 minutes)
    • I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to check if the pork is done. Pork is done when it reaches 165 degrees F.
  • When the thermometer reads 145 degrees F, remove the aluminum foil and continue to cook, rotating a few more time to make sure the edges are evenly "charred"
  • Pull off the grill when temperature reaches 160 degrees F, wrapping it in a foil tent and let it sit a few minutes, continue cooking. Check temp again and make sure it reads at least 165 degrees F.
  • Slice into rings and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve while warm!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Banana Yogurt Shake


1-1/2 cups milk
2 ripe bananas, frozen (if not frozen, add a few ice cubes)
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg

  • Combine ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Makes 4 servings.

Friday, June 8, 2012

FBF: Wine & Mint Lamb Chops

Lamb and mint go together like 2 peas in a pod. It just happens to be another lamb recipe that I cooked at this time last year!

Click on image to see full post from 6/2011

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mint-Honey Lamb Skewers


I added potatoes to my skewers, this recipe is for the lamb pieces only.

1 cup chopped fresh mint
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsp honey
3 lbs cubed lamb stew meat
1 tblsp apricot preserves
2 tblsp cornstarch
1 tblsp water
  • In a small bowl combine mint, wine, lemon juice and honey. Stir to combine.
  • In a large bowl place the lamb and add the wine mixture and toss until combined. Cover and refridgerate 4 hours to overnight.
  • Place lamb on skewers and reserve remaining marinade and set aside.
  • Grill skewers until lamb is cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  • In small saucepan, bring reserved marinade to a simmer. Whisk in apricot preserves until dissolved and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, adding water as needed,
  • Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tblsp of water and whisk into sauce to thicken; simmer for 1 minute longer and baste over the lamb skewers, then serve.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday {{linky}}


I'm BAAAAACK! Well, almost. Still working on a few kinks in this transfer and blog internal makeover. But I'm ready for more "W/W"s!

One of the things that has kept me from my regular posts is my husbands Change of Command. He took command of the engineer dog's (K-9 Company) company. So cool--love it so far!


~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
~Leave a comment if you're a new follower, so I can return the follow!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
...and add your "Wordless Wednesdays" up below!

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