Garlic Basil Mayonnaise

Take your regular mayonnaise and turn it into Garlic Basil Mayonnaise in five minutes!

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Forget about making just a regular sandwich for a minute. Sure its easy to just open up a jar of mayo and make a quick sandwich. But it’s just as easy to make that sandwich even better by making some of this Garlic Basil Mayonnaise.

I’m usually a non-condiment user. That might be a little surprising with all the recipes that are on here…but if you handed me a cheeseburger most of the time I eat it as is. No ketchup or mustard. Just the burger and the bun.

Unless it’s a cooking day and I’m eating whatever we just cooked up for lunch or dinner. Then I’m eating all the condiments, all the sauces, everything just like you see it in the picture.

And I always say the same thing after I take a bite. “Wow, the sauce really makes this.” Or the mayo we made or the topping we put on something. It always tastes so much better than having something plain.

But then I go back. Back to no condiment eating. I’m not really sure why…I just do.

Until I made this. This was the condiment that changed my condiment thinking. Turkey sandwich, grilled chicken, roast beef – anything you’d normally just put regular mayo on is now going to be a lot better.

All you have to do is toss everything into your blender or food processor and in 30 seconds you’re done.

 

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Sandwich eating just got better.

But it doesn’t have to stop at just sandwiches…making a potato salad? Blend up a batch or two of this mayo and toss it with your potatoes instead of plain mayonnaise. Garlic Basil Potato Salad.

Making chicken salad? Garlic Basil Chicken Salad.

 I could keep going but you guys get the idea. Try it out for yourself!

 

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Garlic Basil Mayonnaise
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. mayonnaise
  2. 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 c. fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  4. 1 t. salt
  5. 1/2 t. pepper
  6. 2-3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth.
Notes
  1. This will keep in your refrigerator for a week.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Charred Orange Whiskey

This Charred Orange Whiskey drink is my twist on the classic Old Fashioned.

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I’m always trying to think of ways I can take standard drinks and give them a different taste when I work on posts for Food Fanatic. I can’t just give them the same ol’ cocktail that everyone knows how to make. The oldies are definitely the good ones – not to be misunderstood – but everyone likes something new once in a while.

One of the standard cocktails that everyone knows and loves is an Old Fashioned. I know it’s a big hit with my family and friends – everyone seems to enjoy them. Muddled orange, bitters, a sugar cube and bourbon. And don’t forget the cherry for garnish.

This Charred Orange Whiskey is my spin on the flavors of an old fashioned cocktail but using some different flavors like ginger liquor and sherry instead of bitters and a sugar cube.

Although I for one am a big fan of cocktails with bitters I know that not everyone is. Bitters can be, well, bitter tasting and if you’re not into that flavor then you’re probably not going to be into an old fashioned.

The ginger liquor gives this drink a little bit of bite that it needs but not as harsh of a flavor as bitters can add and the sherry adds a slight sweetness in place of the sugar cube.

But this drink called for a certain type of garnish – and I’m all about the garnish. I took a slice of orange, dipped it in sugar on both sides and caramelized it in a cast iron pan. You don’t have to use a cast iron pan, just use a non-stick pan that you can get nice and hot.

The orange floats on top of this Charred Orange Whiskey and infuses the drink with orange flavors. You can smell the orange when you take every sip and it’s pretty rock star if I do say so myself.

Try this Charred Orange Whiskey even if you think you don’t like an Old Fashioned, or even if you think you don’t like to drink whiskey. This one is going to change your mind!

 

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Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups

These Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups are loaded with spinach, sausage and three different kinds of cheese. They’re the best way to serve spinach if you ask me!

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Here’s my version of a healthy appetizer for you. It’s got spinach – lots of spinach. That makes it healthy in my book.

We won’t worry too much about all the cheese and sausage going on in there. You have to add something to make all that spinach taste good, right?

Spinach is on the list of approved vegetables for me. We use it all the time in soups and meatballs or even in lasagna or stuffed shells. I consider it to be a pretty harmless vegetable but I know there are some spinach haters out there.

These Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups might just change their minds. Spicy sausage and three kinds of cheese all baked in a crispy phyllo dough shell…what’s not to like?

If you’re having company over you can make this recipe ahead of time and then warm them in the oven just before serving  – or you could even make them ahead and freeze them for when your party day comes if you really like to get ahead.

And of course if you’re not into spicy sausage, feel free to swap it out for regular or even turkey sausage if you like. But no swapping out the spinach – the spinach stays.

To make these Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups, start by heating up some olive oil in a large skillet.

Add in the sausage and brown breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Add the diced onion and garlic to the sausage and cook for another 5 minutes until the onion softens then set aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses together with the spinach and then stir in the cooled sausage mixture.

Spoon the filling into store bought phyllo dough cups and bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes.

 

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A huge amount of flavor all in a small, bite-sized appetizer.

Bite-sized appetizers are key…that leaves your other hand free for your beer.

 

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Spinach and Sausage Phyllo Cups
Makes approximately 45 appetizer cups
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Ingredients
  1. 3 packages of frozen phyllo dough cups (15 per pack)
  2. 2 T. olive oil
  3. 1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  4. 1/2 lb. hot italian sausage
  5. 1 small onion, diced
  6. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  7. 1/2 t. cumin
  8. 1/2 t. salt
  9. 1/2 t. pepper
  10. 1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
  11. 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  12. 1 c. ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and start browning the sausage, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add in the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl mix together all three cheeses with the spinach, cumin, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour in the cooled sausage mixture and stir well to combine.
  6. Place the phyllo cups on a baking sheet (you might need 2) and fill to the top with the filling.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set and the phyllo cups are slightly browned.
Mantitlement http://www.mantitlement.com/

Our Panda Express Dinner At Home

This post brought to you by Panda Express. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Mantitlement.

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Last weekend my family and I took a ride to Panda Express to try their new Chinese Spare Ribs…along with a list of other things on the menu that we’ve been reading about since my post last week. We placed our Order Online and drove over to pick it up.

Like I had mentioned before, I read an article about Chef Andy Kao who is the chef that actually created Orange Chicken. So I knew Orange Chicken was on the list of things we needed to try there. But it was the ribs we were going for. Panda’s new Chinese Spare Ribs are slow cooked for 5 hours and flavored with garlic, red peppers, sesame oil and red chili bean paste – making them deliciously sweet and spicy all at the same time.

We drove down, picked up our order and decided to come back home and eat.

The whole spread was set up at our kitchen table. And a spread it was, we ended up getting Panda’s Chinese Spare Ribs, Orange Chicken, Shanghai Angus Steak, fried rice and chow mein noodles. Sounds like a lot but you don’t know how my two boys eat. It still amazes me every time we sit down to a meal.

Everyone dove into something different at first. I grabbed the Orange Chicken, Christie tried the chow mein noodles, my oldest son grabbed the steak and my little guy – well, he dove right into the ribs.

This kid loves a good rib. And he also loves Chinese food so for him it was a match made in heaven.

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 After seeing how much Evan loved the ribs –  everyone switched gears and dove into the ribs before they were gone. The flavors were perfect, not to sweet and not too spicy, just the right amount of both.

The only problem with finding our new favorite rib is that Panda’s Chinese Spare Ribs are are only available for a limited time so I suggest you run out and get some before they’re gone.

And to give you some incentive, Panda Express is hosting a $25.00 gift card giveaway so you can get yourself some ribs. Leave a comment below the post telling me why you’d like to try the ribs for an entry to win!

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Cooking With Beer

It’s Friday – the weekend is finally here. Today I thought I’d do a round up of different recipes made with beer. So instead of just drinking beer we can get cooking with beer too.

I’ve got a few recipes that I made with beer…there’s Guinness Beer Nuts – that are totally addictive, so make double if you’re going to try them out. Or Spicy Drunken Shrimp that’s awesome for both dinner or appetizers, you need to serve it with a lot of bread to soak up all the sauce. It’s buttery, spicy and full of beer.

But here’s a few others that I found that are on my list of recipes to try.

The first recipe up are these Slow Cooker Ginger Beer Barbecue Baby Back Ribs from Chef Dennis.

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I’m a huge fan of ginger beer – for drinking. I can’t say that I’ve ever cooked with it though and this recipe seems like a great way to try it. Fall off the bone, slow cooked baby back ribs covered with a sweet, ginger beer barbecue sauce.

 

Next one up is this Beer Chili recipe from A Spicy Perspective.

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 What I like about this recipe is that it claims to have the perfect bean to meat ratio. I’m a big fan of things having the right ratios so already I was sold….and it was made for a friend of hers that wanted a not too spicy, but spicy enough and didn’t take too long to make. Sounds like my kind of friend.

 

I guess I’m keeping with the Tex-Mex theme here with these Turkey and Mushroom Quesadillas with beer pickled jalapeños.

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Another great recipe to use up leftovers, but I think I’d definitely cook up some shredded chicken or turkey to make these quesadillas even if I didn’t have the leftovers. And beer pickled jalapeños? That alone is worth trying out this recipe. Impressive.

 

Let’s finish this cooking with beer round-up with these Beer Soaked Chili Cheese Fries.

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French fries soaked in beer? How did I not think of that? Covered with chili and cheese make these french fries the perfect appetizer for friends or in my case…dinner with a few beers.