Tag Archives: cook with essential oils

Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric

Serves: 4 | Total Time: 8 hours 50 minutes


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Not too long ago, I had no internet for an entire week.

I know, a full-time food blogger without internet sounds pretty dismal, doesn’t it? 

I discovered that the temporary trade-off wasn’t so bad, however.

I took this time to relax. Although I could still engage on social media via my smartphone, (and I did to some extent), I was freed up from the many hours I usually spend just on blogging alone. 

Ahhh, lots of time to just sit and watch the farmers plow their fields. I can’t even tell you how relaxing this is! 

Farmer Country Recipes

I noticed that the hummingbirds are coming by the droves, and they are a hoot to watch. I learned the call of an Oriole, and saw my very first indigo bunting. This is our first spring in the country, so I had a lot of extra time to get a slew of feeders up around the yard. Now that the apple trees are beginning to blossom, the bird activity is a form of entertainment all by itself.

Apple Blossoms

Having a bunch of free time allowed me to really get creative in the kitchen, too. There is something liberating about just creating for the sake of being creative. 

I had a package of chicken drumsticks thawing in the fridge. I perused my spice cabinet in hopes of creating a dry rub for chicken and took a few long minutes to really give the flavors in there some thought. My hope was to create a recipe with turmeric and I had about 2 tablespoons in the jar, so I started there.

Crispy Chicken Drumsticks

After deciding what spices to add to the chicken, I put a little of this and some more of that in a ramekin and tasted it along the way. Starting small paid off, because my first attempt at this homemade dry rub for chicken was way too spicy and thin in its overall flavor (always my biggest flaw when trying something new!). I tried again and added some of the best herbs to season chicken in order to round things out. There was a take two (too heavy on the herbs), take three (too much salt), and by take four, it all came together.

Turmeric Chicken

By the time I had this chicken rub nearly perfected, I ran of ground turmeric. Thankfully, I had some turmeric essential oil in the house. The idea was to add ground turmeric to this homemade chicken spice rub for color, (the health benefits don’t hurt, either), but I discovered that adding turmeric essential oil to olive oil and rubbing it all over the meat not only added some golden color, but it also helps keep the meat moist inside while the skin dries out during the dry brining period.

That, folks, is the secret to crispy drumsticks with the juiciest, most tender meat beneath when you bite into them.

Dry Rub For Chicken

I will be honest, I am so happy with how these oven baked drumsticks turned out. There is a lot of flavor going on, but the balance of herbs, spices, salt and sweet is just right so it isn’t overwhelming. The night I served these, I had completely spaced on making a dipping sauce, but as it turns out, none was needed.

These chicken drumsticks are perfect all by themselves.

Crispy Drumsticks

Sauvignon Blanc Pairs Will With Goat Cheese Dishes

Wine pairings for Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric:

There is a lot going on here! Your best bet with these salty, sweet, herby flavors laced with rich spices is a medium to full-bodied Chardonnay, a spicy rosé with fresh minerality, or a dry zinfandel.

These wines have been hand picked for this dish, just click on a wine to learn more:

Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017


How to make Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric:

What you’ll need:

  • 5 pounds large chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 drops turmeric essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Pat clean chicken with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Thoroughly whisk the turmeric essential oil into the olive oil and rub onto each drumstick, making sure to coat all surfaces. Set aside.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to a gallon zip-lock bag and shake to mix well. Add half of the chicken drumsticks to the bag and shake well until the meat of coated all over. Repeat with the remaining chicken drumsticks.

3. Place the chicken drumsticks on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 8 hours, uncovered. (Letting the chicken chill while uncovered will dry out the skin slightly, causing it to crisp better when baking.)

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer the sheet pan with the chicken to the oven, wire rack and all, for 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees F. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before plating. Serve with a side of red quinoa and rice blend and chopped fresh cilantro for garnishing.

Watch me make this easy poultry rub:

Best Baked Chicken Legs In The Oven
Best Baked Chicken
Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric

Christy Boston’s Kitchen
The secret to crispy baked chicken drumsticks is easy – dry brining! A homemade poultry rub gives this turmeric chicken just the right amount of flavor, no sauce needed! An easy weeknight dinner for family. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Chilling and Resting Time 8 hrs 5 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 5 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 drops turmeric essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Pat clean chicken with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Thoroughly whisk the turmeric essential oil into the olive oil and rub onto each drumstick, making sure to coat all surfaces. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to a gallon zip-lock bag and shake to mix well. Add half of the chicken drumsticks to the bag and shake well until the meat of coated all over. Repeat with the remaining chicken drumsticks.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 8 hours, uncovered. (Letting the chicken chill while uncovered will dry out the skin slightly, causing it to crisp better when baking.)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer the sheet pan with the chicken to the oven, wire rack and all, for 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170°F. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before plating. Serve with a side of red quinoa and rice blend and chopped fresh cilantro for garnishing.

Video

Keyword best chicken dry rub recipe, chicken drumsticks, chicken rub, cook with essential oils, crispy baked chicken drumsticks, crispy drumsticks, dry brined chicken drumsticks, dry rub for chicken, easy weeknight dinner for family, good chicken recipes, homemade dry rub for chicken, poultry rub, recipes with tumeric, spices to add to chicken, turmeric chicken, turmeric essential oil
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Easy Shrimp Scampi with Kale

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Serves: 2 | Total Time: 30 Minutes



Shrimp scampi is so spring.

Yes, I know, spring has been procrastinating this year. Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and even though I refuse to wear a winter coat this time of year, the puffer vest is still, sadly, a necessity.

This shrimp scampi recipe is so full of bright flavors and healthy greens and it is so easy to make that even beginners can join in on the fun.

Homemade Shrimp Scampi with Kale

Cold, windy weather? May you become an afterthought!

Healthy meals to cook don’t have to be hard! If you don’t know how to make shrimp scampi, don’t worry. All you need is one pan and 30 minutes. 

Traditional shrimp scampi sauce involves butter, garlic, and white wine.

That’s it.

Plus, it is really easy to make homemade scampi sauce!

Not convinced? Check out this video I made for you to show you just how simple it is!

If you are a novice, the only thing you need to remember is to turn down the heat (off if you have a gas range) when you add the wine. Slowly bring it back up to a simmer to cook off the alcohol without igniting it. If it does catch fire, pull the pan away from the stove and shake it until the flames die out, then act like the pro chef you are because you now just officially mastered the art of flambéing your food.

Woo hoo!

Shrimp Scampi Recipe

You may be wondering what the best wine for shrimp scampi may be. Although white wine is the rule of thumb, I prefer to use an off-dry white. You want it to be dry, but not too dry, because a hint of sweetness will bring out the rich flavor of the shrimp instead of competing with it. Too sweet, and your seafood scampi sauce will flop miserably.

Balance, folks. It is the number one secret to culinary success.

For those of you not into alcohol, the white wine can be substituted with something booze-free. Check out the Non-Alcoholic Substitution Chart to learn what you can use in place of the white wine. Just remember, not too sweet, so if you have to tone down grape juice with a splash of vinegar, please do so.

Scampi Recipe

I added kale to my shrimp scampi to give it some color and flavor. Plus, kale is so very good for you. The trick is to wilt the leaves and brighten their color without losing too much volume. You do this by searing it in the scampi sauce for – literally – 30 seconds to a minute. Have your kitchen tongs ready, because you will need to whisk that kale out of the pan almost as soon as you’ve dropped it in there!

Lemon essential oil adds a mild brightness, but feel free to sub in lemon zest if you don’t have any essential oil. Refer to the handy Essential Oil Conversion Chart for how much zest to use.

Now all you have to do is grab that bottle of white and your tank top…. er, light parka, and get that front porch furniture out. Before you know it, we’ll be having dinner outside again!

A Healthy Meal To Cook At Home

How to make Easy Shrimp Scampi with Kale:

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces fettuccini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup good quality white wine
  • 3 ounces fresh baby kale, rinsed and spun
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil diluted in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (to use lemon zest instead, check the Essential Oil Conversion Chart
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Begin by boiling a pot of salted water for the pasta, then cook it al dente per the package instructions. When done, drain it and set it aside, reserving some of the pasta liquid.
The Best Noodles To Use For Shrimp Scampi Pasta

While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a skillet over medium until it is melted, smelling nutty, and beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the shrimp and toss occasionally for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp just begins to turn pink. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

How To Make Scampi Sauce, Begin With Browned Butter
How To Cook Shrimp Scampi
How To Make Shrimp Scampi

Add the wine to the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

Add the kale to the skillet and toss immediately until it wilts but is still bright green, about 30 seconds to a minute at most. Remove kale to a separate plate, set aside.

Shrimp Scampi Recipe With Wine
How To Cook Kale

Pour the essential oil mixture over the shrimp. Cover the bowl with a plate and toss several times to coat the shrimp with the essential oil mixture.

How Do I Make Scampi Sauce?

Turn off the heat over the skillet containing the scampi sauce. Add in the pasta, kale, and shrimp, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. If needed, add some of the pasta liquid to thicken things up a bit. Serve on plates garnished with lemon wedges.

A Healthy Dinner Meal


Shrimp Dinner Idea
Healthy Dinner Ideas
Quick and Healthy Dinner Idea
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Hygge Hot Cocoa

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Makes: 1 Mug | Total Time: 5 Minutes

hyg·ge

/ˈh(y)o͞oɡə/

(noun)

A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture): “Why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your daily life?”

Wisconsin Winter Beauty In Manitowoc County 2020

Hygge is a lifestyle that I have embraced as far back as I can remember, and that was way (waaaaaaay) before it became a ‘thing’ here in America.

I grew up in a house filled with hygge; both my parents were fond of cozy fireplaces, kerosine lanterns (even if the power wasn’t out), incense, potpourri, warm quilts and the perfect hot chocolate. Hot chocolate with milk was a favorite, especially after a day spent outside playing in the snow. (And yes, I’ve had frostbite – twice!)

I guess you can say that hygge is in my blood. I am of Danish descent (half of me is, anyway, the other half is German). My father’s ancestors came from Copenhagen – one was, in fact, a head chef for the king in the early part of the 20th century.

I guess you can see where I get the culinary gene from!

Back to the hygge thing…

We have been living in our new (old) place in the country for 4 months now, so the only season we have experienced here so far is winter. I must admit that winter is a very pretty time of year, you just gotta look for the beauty!

Birds In Wisconsin Wonderland

With that said, the high here tomorrow won’t get above zero (without the wind chill). To get an idea of the kind of winds we get around here (thank you, Lake Michigan), check out the snow blowing wildly off the trees in the video I had so much fun making for you – (Pssst! All of you southerners can live vicariously through it!)

Doing any kind of work outside when the temps drop this far down can be dangerous, so you gotta move real fast – it is the only way to keep a body’s temperature up. (Those drifts in the driveway need to be cleared every few hours when we have 40 mph gusts, you know.)

When I am out there in that blustery tundra, I can’t help but notice the colors of the sky, trees, and snow. White has many shades, as does gray. At the risk of getting hypothermia, I still do stop for a moment or two to take it all in. Being outside is part of the hygge – because it makes the inside seem so much warmer!

The best part about these long, cold Wisconsin winters? Coming in out of the cold and having a mug of Hygge Hot Cocoa. You can make your own hot chocolate recipe at home. (Why drive to the store to buy hot cocoa when the roads are covered with ice?) In fact, you probably already have the ingredients for homemade hot chocolate in your pantry. Make your hot chocolate from scratch with my Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix recipe – it’s easy and only takes 5 minutes. Then all you have to do is add hot milk (or water), brandy, the warm brightness of orange and the soothing floral of lavender. 

Now that you’ve made the perfect hot chocolate, you can go on to create your own hygge experience; warm blankets, scented candles, rich colors, incense, taxidermy… 

However you hygge, you’ll be glad to have this Hygge Hot Cocoa recipe in your arsenal.


Hygge Hot Cocoa

Total Time: 5 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-5 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup hot milk, hot water, or a combination of both (I prefer whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • whipped cream, for topping (optional)
  • chai tea latte mix, for garnish (optional)

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Add 4-5 tablespoons homemade hot cocoa mix to a heat-proof mug.

2. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. (I only use hot whole milk at night as it makes me drowsy!) Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved.

Make Hot Chocolate From Scratch

3. Add the brandy and whisk, then add the essential oils and whisk again. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai tea latte powder.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

4. Bring your Hygge Hot Cocoa to the bubble bath and relax!

How To Hygge

Hot Cocoa Ideas
Hygge Hot Cocoa With Essential Oils

Hygge Hot Cocoa

Need some hot cocoa ideas? Here is the perfect hot chocolate recipe that I guarantee you've never had before!
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1 Mug

Ingredients
  

  • 4-5 tbsp hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup hot milk hot water, or a combination of both (I prefer whole milk)
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • whipped cream for topping, optional
  • chai tea latte mix for garnish, optional

Instructions
 

  • Add 4-5 tablespoons homemade hot cocoa mix to a heat-proof mug.
  • dd 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. (I only use hot whole milk at night as it makes me drowsy!) Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved.
  • Add the brandy and whisk, then add the essential oils and whisk again. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai tea latte powder.
  • ring your Hygge Hot Cocoa to the bubble bath and relax!
Keyword creamy hot cocoa, hot chocolate, hot chocolate and, hot chocolate recipe at home, hot chocolate with, make hot chocolate from scratch, perfect hot chocolate, the perfect hot chocolate
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Ham and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

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Serves: 4 | Total Time: 1 Hour


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Things are beginning to get really blustery here in Wisconsin. Although the calendar says that it is still fall, it truly is winter here. It has been since we got our first snowfall on Halloween!

Such wintry weather calls for the greatest comfort food of all time…

Meatloaf!

The addition of classic Italian herbs ups the ante of this stuffed meatloaf recipe. When this meatloaf with cheese bakes, it makes the whole house smell like an Italian bistro. You can’t get more comforting than that! 

Serve with a generous helping of mashed potatoes oozing with melted butter, then cozy up with a bottle of red, your favorite slippers, and let it snow…


Wine Pairing Notes

Wine pairings for Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs:

Both red and white wines pair well with this meatloaf! You can thank the combination of ham, beef, herbs and cheese for that. If you prefer white, go with a dry sauvignon blanc or a medium-dry riesling. Want to crack open a bottle of red instead? Go for a cabernet sauvignon that is dry and oaky. Here are some hand picked for you:


How to Make Ham and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf:

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • egg
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 drops oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 very thin slices turkey breast
  • 4 to 6 very thin slices black forest ham
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • splash heavy cream

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Mix the 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl.

3. In a cup, whisk together the egg, evaporated milk, and Worcestershire sauce.

4. In a ramekin, vigorously whisk the 2 drops oregano essential oil and 1 drop basil essential oil into the olive oil. Pour the oil combination into the egg mixture and whisk well.

5. Place the ground beef and ground pork in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add the breadcrumb mixture into the meat, followed by the egg mixture. Turn off the mixer immediately after all ingredients are evenly combined. You don’t want to over mix the meat or it may become too dense when baked.

6. Lay out two 18-inch long sheets of parchment paper on a flat work surface. In a small cup, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, dried basil and dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Gently sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over each sheet of parchment paper.

7. Divide the meat mixture into two equal sections and place them on a flat work surface. Using your hands, form each section into a rectangle about 10 inches long by 6 inches wide, each should be about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the meat onto the parchment papers with the breadcrumbs.

8. Carefully place half of the sliced ham onto one of the meat rectangles, followed by 2 slices of the turkey and 2 slices of the Swiss cheese. Repeat with the second meat rectangle. Sprinkle each with equal amounts parmesan cheese. (I use a zester and just grate it right over the meat!) Leave about a 1/2 inch border of meat around the edges uncovered. This will allow you to seal the meat closed after you roll it.

9. Very carefully roll each meat section into a log. I use the parchment paper as a guide to get started, then I use my thumbs to bring up the middle while guiding the edges with my fingers. Carefully pinch the ends shut to keep any of the filling from leaking out during baking.

10. Place the meat loaves in small loaf pans or on a sheet pan. (For a great make-ahead meal, wrap one or both rolls in foil and freeze until ready to use, then thaw and bake!) Loosely cover the loaves with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

11. While the loaves are baking, add the tomato paste, water, brown sugar, and heavy cream to a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously until a smooth sauce results. 

12. Remove the meat loaves from the oven and brush with the tomato paste mixture. Return to the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Serve sliced with mashed potatoes and, if desired, brown gravy.


Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe Idea
Easy Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Christy Boston’s Kitchen
The addition of classic Italian herbs ups the ante of this stuffed meatloaf recipe. When this meatloaf with cheese bakes, it makes the whole house smell like an Italian bistro. You can't get more comforting than that! 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Comfort Food, Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup plain dried breadcrumbs, plus 2 tablespoons divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 drops oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 very thin slices turkey breast
  • 4 very thin slices black forest ham
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • splash of heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Mix the ¾ cup breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • In a cup, whisk together the egg, evaporated milk, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • In a ramekin, vigorously whisk the 2 drops oregano essential oil and 1 drop basil essential oil into the olive oil. Pour the oil combination into the egg mixture and whisk well.
  • Place the ground beef and ground pork in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add the breadcrumb mixture into the meat, followed by the egg mixture. Turn off the mixer immediately after all ingredients are evenly combined. You don’t want to over mix the meat or it may become too dense when baked.
  • Lay out two 18-inch long sheets of parchment paper on a flat work surface. In a small cup, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, dried basil and dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Gently sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over each sheet of parchment paper.
  • Divide the meat mixture into two equal sections and place them on a flat work surface. Using your hands, form each section into a rectangle about 10 inches long by 6 inches wide, each should be about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the meat onto the parchment papers with the breadcrumbs.
  • Carefully place half of the sliced ham onto one of the meat rectangles, followed by 2 slices of the turkey and 2 slices of the Swiss cheese. Repeat with the second meat rectangle. Sprinkle each with equal amounts parmesan cheese. (I use a zester and just grate it right over the meat!) Leave about a 1/2 inch border of meat around the edges uncovered. This will allow you to seal the meat closed after you roll it.
  • Very carefully roll each meat section into a log. I use the parchment paper as a guide to get started, then I use my thumbs to bring up the middle while guiding the edges with my fingers. Carefully pinch the ends shut to keep any of the filling from leaking out during baking.
  • Place the meat loaves in small loaf pans or on a sheet pan. (For a great make-ahead meal, wrap one or both rolls in foil and freeze until ready to use, then thaw and bake!) Loosely cover the loaves with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • While the loaves are baking, add the tomato paste, water, brown sugar, and heavy cream to a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously until a smooth sauce results.
  • Remove the meat loaves from the oven and brush with the tomato paste mixture. Return to the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Serve sliced with mashed potatoes and, if desired, brown gravy.

Notes

Don’t have essential oils? Head over to the Essential Oil Ingredient Conversion Chart to find out how much of each herb to use.
Keyword comfort food recipes, easy meatloaf recipe, freezable meatloaf recipe, gourmet meatloaf, ham and cheese stuffed meatloaf, ham and swiss meatloaf, italian meatloaf, make ahead meals, make ahead meatloaf, meatloaf ideas, stuffed meatloaf
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Gourmet Peppermint Bark

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Makes: 45 Ounces | Total Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes

Learning how to make peppermint bark is easier than you think. You can make it at home just like the gourmet candy cane bark with white and dark chocolate that you find in the store. 

The secret is in the crunch; but it takes more than putting the pieces of crushed peppermint candy on top of the chocolate, you want to mix the dust from the candy cane in the white chocolate after it has melted. This is what makes these easy homemade Christmas treats stand out!

Homemade peppermint bark makes a great gift. I love to put it into festive cookie tins lined with holiday-themed paper, or I’ll drop a handful into a bag for a neat stocking stuffer idea. 

Now, what to do with those leftover peppermint pieces?

Easy! Drop the pieces and dust from the candy cane in your morning coffee, let it melt for a minute or two, then give it all a good stir and ta dah! You now have a festive cup of joe. 

(Psst! This idea works great for hot cocoa, too!)


Gourmet Peppermint Bark

Total Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes

Prep: 10 Minutes / Cook: 20 Minutes / Rest: 4 Hours

INGREDIENTS:

  • 20 ounces dark baking chocolate (NOT milk chocolate!)
  • 20 ounces white baking chocolate
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil, divided (or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided)
  • 6 ounces mini candy canes

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare one large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Cut the parchment paper to fit along the inside of the short edges of the baking sheet with 2 extra inches overlapping each of the long edges. Press parchment to fit snugly against the bottom of the baking sheet, then pin the long edges over the sides to hold the parchment into place.

2. Crush the candy canes by putting them in a ziplock sandwich bag and hitting them with a rolling pin or a hammer. Make sure the pieces are small enough, but not too small, about 1/4 inch (largest). You will notice a fine whitish powder result when you smash the candy, this is good! Once the candy is broken up, pour the contents of the ziplock bag into a flour sifter. Separate the chunks from the powder by sifting the contents over a medium bowl until only the medium and large chunks remain in the sifter, then pour them into a second bowl. Keep both the chunks and the powder, they will both get used later.

How To Make Peppermint Bark

3. Melt about a quarter of the dark chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Once melted, add a little more of the dark chocolate and stir until the chunks disappear. Keep adding more chocolate, little by little, until all of the chocolate is melted. This will take a little while; don’t rush it by turning up the heat or adding too much chocolate at a time. Once all the chocolate is melted, remove the top of the double boiler containing chocolate and stir in 4 drops peppermint essential or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract.

Candy Cane Bark With White And Dark Chocolate

4. Pour the dark chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula until it is about 1/8 inch thick. To remove any air bubbles, tap the baking sheet vigorously against the countertop several times, keeping the sheet flat. This is necessary because it will also even out the chocolate into a smooth, consistent sheet. Allow the chocolate to cool and become solid, but not completely hard. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. You will know it is ready when it is tacky, but not coming away on your finger when you touch it.

Homemade Holiday Treats

5. Melt the white chocolate using the same method you used to melt the dark chocolate. Take out the top of the double boiler, then add 4 drops peppermint essential oil (or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract) and stir throughout the chocolate. Slowly add the powder from the peppermint candies to the white chocolate and stir until mixed through. Don’t feel like you have to add all of the powder, you just want to add enough to make the chocolate crunchy, but not so much that the chocolate is no longer smooth. (Stop if you see the chocolate become clumpy as you stir.) 

6. Spoon the white chocolate onto the dark chocolate little by little, but quickly. Don’t pour it all at once! You want to carefully and evenly spread the white chocolate over the dark chocolate without remelting the dark chocolate. Remember; spoon, then spread. Keep repeating until all of the dark chocolate is covered by the white. Again, remove the air bubbles by tapping the baking sheet against the counter until the chocolate is smooth.

Making Holiday Bark

7. Let the chocolate cool for 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle the chunks of peppermint candy over the bark, distributing evenly. Using the bottom of a glass or other flat container, gently press the candy into the chocolate to set it into place. Don’t press too hard!

8. Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature until firmly set and hard, up to 2 hours. Pop the chocolate out of the baking sheet, remove the parchment paper, and break the bark into bite-sized chunks. Serve this homemade peppermint bark on a large holiday-themed platter, fill decorative cookie tins with it and give as gifts, or just keep the bark on hand for you and yours. 


Gourmet Peppermint Bark
Gourmet Peppermint Bark Recipe

Gourmet Peppermint Bark

Learn how to make peppermint bark just like it is sold in gourmet candy stores. (The secret is in the crunch!)
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rest 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Christmas, Holiday
Servings 45 ounces
Calories 140 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 20 ounces dark baking chocolate (NOT milk chocolate!)
  • 20 ounces white baking chocolate
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil divided
  • 6 ounces mini candy canes

Instructions
 

  • Prepare one large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Cut the parchment paper to fit along the inside of the short edges of the baking sheet with 2 extra inches overlapping each of the long edges. Press parchment to fit snugly against the bottom of the baking sheet, then pin the long edges over the sides to hold the parchment into place.
  • Crush the candy canes by putting them in a ziplock sandwich bag and hitting them with a rolling pin or a hammer. Make sure the pieces are small enough, but not too small, about 1/4 inch (largest). You will notice a fine whitish powder result when you smash the candy, this is good! Once the candy is broken up, pour the contents of the ziplock bag into a flour sifter. Separate the chunks from the powder by sifting the contents over a medium bowl until only the medium and large chunks remain in the sifter, then pour them into a second bowl. Keep both the chunks and the powder, they will both get used later.
    How To Make Peppermint Bark
  • Melt about a quarter of the dark chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Once melted, add a little more of the dark chocolate and stir until the chunks disappear. Keep adding more chocolate, little by little, until all of the chocolate is melted. This will take a little while; don’t rush it by turning up the heat or adding too much chocolate at a time. Once all the chocolate is melted, remove the top of the double boiler containing chocolate and stir in 4 drops peppermint essential or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract.
    How To Melt Chocolate
  • Pour the dark chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula until it is about 1/8 inch thick. To remove any air bubbles, tap the baking sheet vigorously against the countertop several times, keeping the sheet flat. This is necessary because it will also even out the chocolate into a smooth, consistent sheet. Allow the chocolate to cool and become solid, but not completely hard. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. You will know it is ready when it is tacky, but not coming away on your finger when you touch it.
  • Melt the white chocolate using the same method you used to melt the dark chocolate. Take out the top of the double boiler, then add 4 drops peppermint essential oil (or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract) and stir throughout the chocolate. Slowly add the powder from the peppermint candies to the white chocolate and stir until mixed through. Don’t feel like you have to add all of the powder, you just want to add enough to make the chocolate crunchy, but not so much that the chocolate is no longer smooth. (Stop if you see the chocolate become clumpy as you stir.) 
  • Spoon the white chocolate onto the dark chocolate little by little, but quickly. Don’t pour it all at once! You want to carefully and evenly spread the white chocolate over the dark chocolate without remelting the dark chocolate. Remember; spoon, then spread. Keep repeating until all of the dark chocolate is covered by the white. Again, remove the air bubbles by tapping the baking sheet against the counter until the chocolate is smooth.
    Peppermint Bark Instructions
  • Let the chocolate cool for 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle the chunks of peppermint candy over the bark, distributing evenly. Using the bottom of a glass or other flat container, gently press the candy into the chocolate to set it into place. Don’t press too hard!
  • Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature until firmly set and hard, up to 2 hours. Pop the chocolate out of the baking sheet, remove the parchment paper, and break the bark into bite-sized chunks. Serve this homemade peppermint bark on a large holiday-themed platter, fill decorative cookie tins with it and give as gifts, or just keep the bark on hand for you and yours. 
Keyword best peppermint bark recipe, candy cane bark, holiday bark recipe, how to make peppermint bark, winter bark recipe
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Sweet and Spicy Shrimp

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 4 | Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes

I love sweet and spicy shrimp recipes! Especially when they come as easy to make freezer meals. 

This glazed shrimp is very similar to many of the sweet and spicy shrimp appetizers that you’ll find at popular restaurants. It can be enjoyed as an appetizer (think bang bang shrimp), or as an entree (I’ve had bang bang shrimp that way, too!)

This hot shrimp appetizer can be served with ranch for dipping, but I choose not to use it. There isn’t too much spiciness with this easy shrimp appetizer recipe, however, you can turn that up if you like by adding more chili paste to the sauce.

Using essential oils in the sauce isn’t necessary, but if you do decide to use the zest of the fruits, keep in mind that your glaze may not be as smooth.

Make it, freeze it, and forget it… until the night comes when you are just too busy to cook. You won’t need to go out and spend money when you can just grab this easy shrimp meal out of your freezer. 

Dinner will be ready in 15 minutes, folks!


Sweet and Spicy Shrimp

Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes

Prep: 10 Minutes / Cook: 15 Minutes / Freeze: 2 Hours

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs. large shrimp; rinsed, shelled, and deveined
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup good quality sweet and sour sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • canola oil, for frying
  • fresh mixed lettuces, for serving
  • chopped fresh chives, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and boil until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.

2. In one large bowl, whisk the egg with 1-2 tablespoons water. In a second large bowl, combine the flour, Chinese five spice, salt and pepper. In a third large bowl, whisk together the sweet and sour sauce, chili paste, brown sugar, mirin, and essential oils. Transfer the sauce from the third bowl to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make Ahead Freezable Sweet and Spicy Shrimp

3. Add the cooled shrimp to the bowl with the egg mixture. Gently stir the shrimp into the egg mixture until each one is fully coated. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp – a few at a time – to the bowl with the flour mixture, tapping the spoon on the side of the bowl to shake off any excess egg mixture. Use another spoon to gently toss the shrimp around in the flour to coat them. Repeat this process until all of the shrimp are coated in the flour mixture.

4. Place the shrimp in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours, then transfer the shrimp to a large ziplock bag. Return them to the freezer until ready to use.

Bang Bang Shrimp Appetizer Recipe

5. To prepare the shrimp, pour enough canola oil into a dutch oven until it is 2 inches deep. Heat the oil until it reaches 325 degrees F. Carefully add the frozen shrimp to the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. To be certain that the shrimp are evenly heated through, do not crowd them into the pot. You may have to do this step in batches. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp from the hot oil to a plate lined with paper towels. 

6. Once all of the shrimp are fried, immediately transfer them to a bowl. Pour the spicy sweet and sour sauce from step 2 over the shrimp and gently toss to coat. Serve over mixed greens and sprinkle with chopped, fresh chives.


Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Appetizer Idea
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp

Save time and money when you make this favorite restaurant appetizer at home. It's easy! Freeze these sweet and spicy shrimp ahead of time and you'll have them on the table in 15 minutes when you need them.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Freeze 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 310 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds large raw shrimp; rinsed, shelled, and deveined
  • 1 egg
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup good quality sweet and sour sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon mirin
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • canola oil for frying
  • fresh mixed lettuces for serving
  • chopped fresh chives for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and boil until pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.
  • In one large bowl, whisk the egg with 1-2 tablespoons water. In a second large bowl, combine the flour, Chinese five spice, salt and pepper. In a third large bowl, whisk together the sweet and sour sauce, chili paste, brown sugar, mirin, and essential oils. Transfer the sauce from the third bowl to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Add the cooled shrimp to the bowl with the egg mixture. Gently stir the shrimp into the egg mixture until each one is fully coated. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp – a few at a time – to the bowl with the flour mixture, tapping the spoon on the side of the bowl to shake off any excess egg mixture. Use another spoon to gently toss the shrimp around in the flour to coat them. Repeat this process until all of the shrimp are coated in the flour mixture.
  • Place the shrimp in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours, then transfer the shrimp to a large ziplock bag. Return them to the freezer until ready to use.
  • To prepare the shrimp, pour enough canola oil into a dutch oven until it is 2 inches deep. Heat the oil until it reaches 325 degrees F. Carefully add the frozen shrimp to the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. To be certain that the shrimp are evenly heated through, do not crowd them into the pot. You may have to do this step in batches. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp from the hot oil to a plate lined with paper towels. 
  • Once all of the shrimp are fried, immediately transfer them to a bowl. Pour the spicy sweet and sour sauce from step 2 over the shrimp and gently toss to coat. Serve over mixed greens and sprinkle with chopped, fresh chives.
Keyword bang bang shrimp recipe, freezer meals, how to make bang bang shrimp at home, how to make sweet and spicy shrimp at home, make ahead meals, sweet and spicy shrimp
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Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 8 | Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

This is the best rice pudding recipe for summertime, especially if you are looking for summer pudding ideas that aren’t too heavy.

A twist on old fashioned rice pudding, this lavender lemon dessert is cooked over the stove – low and slow for maximum creaminess. You can have this summer rice pudding with tea (think garden tea party), but my favorite accompaniment to have with it is a glass of good chardonnay with big, bold fruit flavor – one that isn’t too dry. 

Don’t be intimidated by the candied lemon peel. The method I use with this recipe is so easy, and the process can be done while the pudding is cooking. (The rice and the candied lemon peel will finish cooking right about the same time.)

Don’t you just love when that happens?

If you are serving this summer dessert at a dinner party, multiply the recipe and chill the pudding in a pan. Top the whole shebang with the Herbes De Provence and candied lemon peel, put your best silver serving spoon alongside it, and ta da!

You are now ready to impress your guests with this one-of-a-kind, gourmet dessert. 


Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Prep: 5 Minutes / Cook: 40 Minutes / Chill: 1 Hour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 cups whole milk
  • peel of 2 lemons
    • Use a vegetable peeler to take off large strips of the lemon peel, topmost yellow part only. Strips should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, 2 inches long and paper thin.
  • 3/4 cup medium grain rice (not instant)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 tablespoons silver rum
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • Herbes de Provence, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and lemon peel. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cook for a minute while stirring to prevent the milk from scorching, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the rice.

2. Use a slotted spoon to fish out the lemon peels. Rinse the peels under cold water, then transfer them to a small saucepan. Add about a 1/2 to 1 cup of water, just enough to cover the peels. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the water is mostly evaporated.

3. While the lemon peels are being candied, stir the vanilla and rum into the rice mixture. Return the saucepan to the stove and bring the rice to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. Stir just enough to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to prevent a film from forming on top of the milk.

Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

4. When the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.

5. Remove the saucepan with the lemon peels from the heat as soon as they begin to dry out. This will prevent the sugar from burning. They will be very sticky. Carefully transfer them to a sheet of parchment paper. When slightly cooled, use your fingers to spread them out so that they don’t stick together. Allow them to curl a bit, or you can help curl them into pretty spirals and such. 

6. Add the lavender essential oil and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar to the rice and stir well to combine. Allow to cool, then refrigerate the pudding prior to serving. 

7. When the pudding has had time to chill, serve it in small dessert dishes garnished with a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence and a couple pieces of the candied lemon peel. 

Summer Rice Pudding

Summer Dessert Idea
Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

Lavender Lemon Rice Pudding

This is the best rice pudding recipe for summertime, especially if you are looking for summer pudding ideas that aren’t too heavy. Perfect for tea parties!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Chill 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Gourmet
Servings 8 people
Calories 270 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups whole milk
  • peel of 2 lemons (see note below)
  • ¾ cup medium grain rice (not instant)
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 tablespons silver rum
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • Herbes de Provence for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, combine the milk and lemon peel. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cook for a minute while stirring to prevent the milk from scorching, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the rice.
  • Use a slotted spoon to fish out the lemon peels. Rinse the peels under cold water, then transfer them to a small saucepan. Add about a 1/2 to 1 cup of water, just enough to cover the peels. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the water is mostly evaporated.
  • While the lemon peels are being candied, stir the vanilla and rum into the rice mixture. Return the saucepan to the stove and bring the rice to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through. Stir just enough to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and to prevent a film from forming on top of the milk.
  • When the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Remove the saucepan with the lemon peels from the heat as soon as they begin to dry out. This will prevent the sugar from burning. They will be very sticky. Carefully transfer them to a sheet of parchment paper. When slightly cooled, use your fingers to spread them out so that they don't stick together. Allow them to curl a bit, or you can help curl them into pretty spirals and such. 
  • Add the lavender essential oil and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar to the rice and stir well to combine. Allow to cool, then refrigerate the pudding prior to serving. 
  • When the pudding has had time to chill, serve it in small dessert dishes garnished with a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence and a couple pieces of the candied lemon peel. 

Notes

Use a vegetable peeler to take off large strips of the lemon peel, topmost yellow part only. Strips should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, 2 inches long and paper thin.
Keyword cook with essential oils, lavender lemon desserts, rice pudding recipe for tea parties, summer dessert recipes, summer rice pudding
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Cabbage Sarma Stuffed with Laotian Lamb Larb

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 2 | Total Time: 30 Minutes

I love ground lamb recipes because they are so versatile.

Lamb larb is so easy to make – perfect if you are looking for summer dinner ideas on the fly. In addition to the juicy lamb meat, crunchy peanuts, and the hint of spice from the chilis, you’ll be surprised to know that this dinner is keto as well.

Even though ground lamb is the main ingredient, this meal is light, tasty, and oh so messy! The best part is that you can have this fast, easy dinner on the table in 30 minutes, too. 

So, grab those napkins and head on out to the front porch. This great low carb substitute for traditional hamburgers just might become your new favorite easy weeknight meal.


Cabbage Sarma Stuffed with Laotian Lamb Larb

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Prep: 15 Minutes / Cook: 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/2 tablespoon, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • kosher salt
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 dried chili d-arbol, seeds removed and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 1 drop marjoram essential oil
  • green cabbage, quartered and leaves separated
  • Roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange the peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Allow to cool slightly then chop into small pieces.

2. While the peanuts are baking, prepare the other ingredients. 

3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and using a wooden spoon, smash them down into the hot oil until they break into smaller pieces. Keep this up for about 2 minutes, continuously mashing the garlic around in the oil until it becomes golden brown, but not burnt.

4. Add the ground lamb to the skillet with a pinch of salt. Stir the lamb into the garlic, mashing it down to really infuse the flavor into the meat. Continue doing this for about 3 minutes or until no clumps remain and meat is no longer pink. Remove the skillet from the heat immediately to prevent overcooking. Do not drain off the fat.

5. With the skillet still off the heat, add the shallots, scallions, chilis, lime juice, fish sauce, mint, basil, and half of the peanuts. Whisk the essential oils into the remaining half tablespoon of olive oil, then fold it into the lamb larb. Gently stir to combine all ingredients.

6. Transfer lamb larb to a bowl with a large spoon. Arrange cabbage leaves on a platter with the remaining peanuts and the cilantro in ramekins. To serve, spoon the lamb larb into a cabbage leaf and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Roll the leaf around the meat, then eat it with your hands. 

Cabbage Sarma Stuffed With Laotian Lamb Larb
Cabbage Sarma Stuffed With Laotian Lamb Larb Recipe

Cabbage Sarma stuffed with Laotian Lamb Larb

Juicy ground lamb, crunchy peanuts, and spicy chilis are all wrapped in a cabbage roll. This keto dinner is the perfect substitute for traditional burgers, especially for hot summer weeknights because it only takes 30 minutes to make.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Laotian
Servings 2 people
Calories 1030 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus ½ tablespoon, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • kosher salt
  • 1 large shallot peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 scallions thinly sliced
  • 3 dried chili d'arbol seeds removed and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 1 drop marjoram essential oil
  • green cabbage quartered and leaves separated
  • roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange the peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Allow to cool slightly then chop into small pieces.
  • While the peanuts are baking, prepare the other ingredients. 
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and using a wooden spoon, smash them down into the hot oil until they break into smaller pieces. Keep this up for about 2 minutes, continuously mashing the garlic around in the oil until it becomes golden brown, but not burnt.
  • Add the ground lamb to the skillet with a pinch of salt. Stir the lamb into the garlic, mashing it down to really infuse the flavor into the meat. Continue doing this for about 3 minutes or until no clumps remain and meat is no longer pink. Remove the skillet from the heat immediately to prevent overcooking. Do not drain off the fat.
  • With the skillet still off the heat, add the shallots, scallions, chilis, lime juice, fish sauce, mint, basil, and half of the peanuts. Whisk the essential oils into the remaining half tablespoon of olive oil, then fold it into the lamb larb. Gently stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Transfer lamb larb to a bowl with a large spoon. Arrange cabbage leaves on a platter with the remaining peanuts and the cilantro in ramekins. To serve, spoon the lamb larb into a cabbage leaf and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Roll the leaf around the meat, then eat it with your hands. 
Keyword 30 minute meals, cabbage sarma, fast easy meals, keto lamb recipes, keto recipes, lamb larb, stuffed cabbage, summer recipes
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Savory Chilled Strawberry Soup

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 6 | Total Time: 15 Minutes

This cold strawberry soup is fully strawberry and yet fully savory. 

You may be asking, how can this be? 

It is similar to how strawberries and balsamic vinegar work nicely together, or how black pepper brings out a richness in strawberries that may otherwise be hiding.

The inspiration behind this cold strawberry soup recipe came over a decade ago when I was working at a golf club on the east coast. The chef created a strawberry gazpacho and eagerly wanted me to try it – without telling me what was all in it. 

I expected sweet – but was met with savory – which made sense because he wanted to serve this cold fruit soup as an appetizer on that week’s menu.

“Shallots!” Chef told me fervently, “Shallots are the secret!” …along with a little basil and three kinds of cream.

Like a fine wine, the first pop of savory fruit flavor melts into velvety, herby aromatics that pleasantly linger. 


Savory Chilled Strawberry Soup

Total Time: 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, stems removed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 2 ounces mascarpone
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallot
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • a pinch of salt to taste
  • fresh chives, for garnish
  • fresh ground black pepper, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Puree the strawberries in an electric blender.

2. Add all other ingredients to the blender and pulse to combine. When well mixed, taste and adjust the salt if necessary. This should be a savory soup, but too much salt will overpower the delicate flavors of the fruit. Start with a small pinch, then slowly add more, if desired. 

3. Serve chilled in small bowls with a swirl of heavy cream. Garnish with fresh chives and a grind of black pepper.

Cold Strawberry Soup
Strawberry Gazpacho
Cold Strawberry Soup

Savory Chilled Strawberry Soup

An amazing summer soup recipe idea! Try this chilled strawberry soup to serve as an appetizer with your next home-cooked, gourmet meal. It is definitely strawberry, yet delicately savory and complex… your dinner guests will never know it only takes 15 minutes to make.
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Soup
Servings 6
Calories 130 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries stems removed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 2 ounces mascarpone
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallot
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • fresh chives for garnish
  • fresh ground black pepper for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Puree the strawberries in an electric blender.
  • Add all other ingredients to the blender and pulse to combine. When well mixed, taste and adjust the salt if necessary. This should be a savory soup, but too much salt will overpower the delicate flavors of the fruit. Start with a small pinch, then slowly add more, if desired.
  • Serve chilled in small bowls with a swirl of heavy cream. Garnish with fresh chives and a grind of black pepper.
Keyword cold soup, cold strawberry soup, creamy strawberry soup, fruit gazpacho recipes, savory fruit soup, savory strawberry gazpacho
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Summer Salmon

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 2 | Total Time: 30 Minutes

This is such a summer recipe. 

It reminds me of afternoons sitting on the front porch while golden rays of sun come streaming through the leaves. 

If you live in a northern climate like I do and you are looking for ideas for supper tonight, you’ll appreciate the fresh way this keto salmon recipe (complete with pepper relish and lime cream sauce) puts summer within reach. It won’t be long now… two weeks, maybe three (or even five?) but soon the weather will be warm enough to dine outside again. 

Don’t you just relish the thought? (Yes, that pun WAS intended!) 

This wholesome, low carb salmon recipe is very easy to make. To save even more time, dice the veggies the night before and store them the refrigerator in separate containers, covered with plastic wrap. When dinnertime comes around the next day, you’ll have this 30-minute salmon meal on the table in less than a half hour. 

The days are getting longer now. I can’t help but think that this calls for easy yummy meals that take less time to make. 

Don’t you?


Summer Salmon

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Prep: 15 Minutes / Cook: 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 drop lime essential oil 
  • Relish
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
    • 2 yellow baby bell peppers, seeded and chopped
    • 2 orange baby bell peppers, seeded and chopped
    • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 sun-dried tomato, chopped
    • 4 small scallions, sliced
  • Salmon
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 12 oz. salmon filet with skin, cut in half crosswise
    • cilantro leaves, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

2. For the relish: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Drop in the onion and stir continuously until slightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Next, add the peppers and sun-dried tomato and stir for another 2-3 minutes, or until the peppers are glossy and browning slightly around the edges. Transfer relish to a separate plate and set aside to cool slightly, then toss in the scallions.

3. For the salmon: Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the hot skillet. Swirl the oil in the skillet so it covers the bottom and picks up all the char from the vegetables used to make the relish. Place salmon fillets in the infused oil, skin side up. Sear for 2 minutes, then flip them over. Lower the heat and cook for another 7 minutes or until lightly cooked through (don’t overcook them!). The skin should peel away when lifting the filets out of the pan.

4. To serve, drizzle the lime sauce onto plates in a zig-zag pattern (or you can use a spoon to swirl it onto the plates), about a tablespoon or two of the sauce per plate should do it. Carefully place the salmon fillets on top of the sauce. Top the salmon with a generous spoonful or two of the pepper relish and garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

5. Sit back and enjoy with a glass of white or your favorite citrus cocktail.


30 Minute Salmon Healthy Dinner Idea
30 Minute Healthy Salmon Recipe

Summer Salmon

Need ideas for dinner tonight? This Summer Salmon dinner can be made in 30 minutes, complete with all the trimmings! Weighing in at only 6.5 net carbs per serving, it’s a healthy meal option, too.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 660 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Sauce:
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 drop lime essential oil 
  • Relish:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ yellow onion diced
  • 2 yellow baby bell peppers seeded and chopped
  • 2 orange baby bell peppers seeded and chopped
  • ½ jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 sun-dried tomato chopped
  • 4 small scallions sliced
  • Salmon:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounce salmon filet with skin cut in half crosswise
  • cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
  • For the relish: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Drop in the onion and stir continuously until slightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Next, add the peppers and sun-dried tomato and stir for another 2-3 minutes, or until the peppers are glossy and browning slightly around the edges. Transfer relish to a separate plate and set aside to cool slightly, then toss in the scallions.
  • For the salmon: Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the hot skillet. Swirl the oil in the skillet so it covers the bottom and picks up all the char from the vegetables used to make the relish. Place salmon fillets in the infused oil, skin side up. Sear for 2 minutes, then flip them over. Lower the heat and cook for another 7 minutes or until lightly cooked through (don’t overcook them!). The skin should peel away when lifting the filets out of the pan.
  • To serve, drizzle the lime sauce onto plates in a zig-zag pattern (or you can use a spoon to swirl it onto the plates), about a tablespoon or two of the sauce per plate should do it. Carefully place the salmon fillets on top of the sauce. Top the salmon with a generous spoonful or two of the pepper relish and garnish with a sprig of cilantro.
  • Sit back and enjoy with a glass of white or your favorite citrus cocktail.
Keyword 30 minute meals, fast easy dinners, healthy salmon recipes, keto recipes for dinner, salmon recipes, seafood dinners
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