Pink Lemonade Cupcakes



Pink Lemonade Cupcake


It has been a while since I last posted. To be honest we have just been running crazy. Miles has a rare weekend off and boy are we taking advantage of it. We spent the morning at the farmers market in downtown Bentonville. I purchase the most beautiful cherry tomatoes and some fresh green beans. Really there is nothing better than a home grown tomato in the summertime. After that we went down to the splash park. Living in Bentonville never leaves you without something active to do with the family. If you are ever downtown you really should try Yeyo’s Mexican Grill. I have been wanting to try it out for months now and finally had it for lunch. Well worth the wait. I am not one for food trucks but Yeyo’s and Crepes Paulette are two worth trying out!


The weather has been unusually comfortable for it being July so we are headed over to our best friends house tonight to meet up with some couples and to let the kiddos run wild. I hate showing up empty handed so of course I immediately went to pinterest for a fun summer dessert. I will admit that I am not one for making up recipes. If it is already pretty and perfect why change it? I do sometimes adapt the decorations to fit the limited time I have to spend though.


A summer cookout deserves a pretty Pink Lemonade Cupcake. I did taste test these beauties and the cupcake itself was soft and spongy. The icing had a hint of that refreshing summertime pink lemonade which compliments the cake perfectly. I am extremely satisfied with how they turned out.




I will list the recipe below with the few tweaks I made but you can see the original  recipe and post HERE.

What you need:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ sticks, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons pink lemonade concentrate, from frozen concentrate – The powered sugar made my icing a little thick so I used  8 TBSP.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups powdered sugar
milk or half and half, as needed

How it comes to life:

For Cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 muffin/cupcake tins with paper or foil liners. Mine actually made 15 cupcakes so I had to use two pans.
Put flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. I usually use an ice cream scoop for ease. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

For buttercream:
Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and add the pink lemonade concentrate, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat on lowest speed until all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, then increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 more minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. If the icing is too thick add a bit of milk or half and half, if too thin add a bit more powdered sugar. I added a few drops of pink food coloring to make the pink a little brighter.

Sea Salt Caramel Cake

Sea Salt Caramel Cake

I can’t believe I am just now blogging about this cake. Not my most lovely attempt at a cake but keep in mind I was likely sleep deprived and completely distracted as it was coming to life. Gavin was a little over a year at this point and we were still iffy on sleep and definitely iffy on sanity as all new parents are. He NEVER slept and seemed to catch every germ that daycare would throw at him.  In an attempt to find some “ME” time, I agreed to bring a dessert to our family Christmas day lunch. Christmas with my family is always very sentimental to me. I love the tradition that comes to life year after year and love the significance of that very special day. Because of that I had to find the perfect recipe, the perfect ingredients, and the perfect entry back into the world of baking. As you can see from the photo below, apparently we had waffles that morning and I was wearing a beautiful miss match outfit accompanied by some less than perfect hair. Not to mention my child felt the need for some mom time in the middle of it all. Standard.

WARNING: this cake is WORK

What you need & how it comes to life:

Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup  sweet ground chocolate & cocoa powder (Ghirardelli)
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened – I generally use the off brand and don’t notice a difference
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Ghirardelli Powder

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Butter three 8″ round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment and butter the parchment. **I generally trace one of the pans and cut out a stencil of parchment paper to use for the other two. Lightly dust each pan with flour tapping the sides and rotating the pan until it is lightly coated. For easy clean up, I do this step over the trash can as it can get a little messy sometimes.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa, hot water and sour cream. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the butter and shortening about five minutes on medium speed until they are combined and ribbon-like.

Add the sugars and beat another five minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Finally, add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.

Next add the flour mixture alternating with the cocoa mixture starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Chocolate Cake Batter

Divide the batter between the three cake pans and smooth the tops. **I use my pampered chef spatula for smoothing. Nothing else seems to do the trick like that thing does.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

Place the three pans on a wire rack and cool for about 20 minutes. **I usually use a cutting board on top to flip the cakes and then flip them back over on the racks to cool completely. Remove the parchment paper.

Sea Salt Caramel Layer

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

In a small sauce pan combine the heavy whipping cream and the sea salt. Very slowly bring to a simmer until the salt is dissolved then remove from the heat.

In a medium sauce pan combine the water, sugar and corn syrup. Stir together carefully making sure not to splash up the sides of your pan. Cook over high heat until your candy thermometer reads 350F or until the mixture is a dark amber color. On my stove this took about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 1 minute.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel come to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.

Caramel Ganache Frosting:

  • 1 pound dark chocolate chopped (at least 60-70% cacao) – again, I used Ghirardelli squares
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 cup unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ pieces

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

Ghirardelli Chocolate

In a small sauce pan slowly bring the cream to a simmer. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn.

Meanwhile,  in a medium saucepan combine the water, sugar and corn syrup. Once again, stir to combine carefully making sure not to splash any up the sides. Cook over high heat until your candy thermometer reads 350F. It should take about 8-10 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and let it cool one minute.

Add the cream to the caramel and stir until combined, about two minutes. Pour the caramel over the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a minute or two then stir the mixture together until the chocolate is fully melted. Let the mixture cool for a while then transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with your paddle attachment. Oh how I live my Kitchenaid mixer!

Mix on low speed until the bowl is cool to touch (this could take a while). Once cool, increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the butter. Once it’s all added beat on high speed until fluffy.

Build your masterpiece (another place your sea salt will come in handy)

Sea Salt

Place one cake layer of the cake on a serving dish. **Make sure you choose wisely because once it is assembled you won’t want to move it. Spread 1/4 cup of the caramel over the first layer of cake. Let it soak in a bit and then spread 3/4 cup of the ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 tsp of your sea salt over the frosting. Repeat using the second cake layer. For the third layer you can do one of two things: ONE – spread with caramel then crumb coat the cake and put the cake in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes. This will firm up your crumb layer of frosting making it easier to have a smooth finish on your finished product. After 15 minutes, remove from the fridge and final coat with the ganache frosting. TWO (my choice) – put a little extra caramel on layer one and two and don’t put any of the caramel layer on the top. Still cover the top and sides with the ganache. Work from the top down.


raspberrychocolatecake©2013MWB-dashoflovely (11 of 13)

I decorated the base with some milk chocolate chips but you could use anything you want.

I made the cake the day before so I stored it in the refrigerator the night before. If you don’t want to serve it cool just make sure you take it out of the fridge early the next day.

Sea Salt Caramel CakeThe inspiration for this cake came from Miss Lemonie

BBQ Chicken Sliders

Pulled Chicken Sliders

Summer is that time of the year for families to get together,  play poolside, and time to put away your soup recipes.

I don’t know about you all but it seems like our friends and family use any excuse to get together during the summer months. We also start using those two lovely words POT LUCK. When it is your turn to host, I found a recipe that will feed the masses and pretty much takes the hassle away from you enjoying the fun along with your guests. One small note before you go out and buy your ingredients. The prep for this meal MUST be done 24 hours ahead of time. 

What you need: 


  • 1  1/2 qt. water (6 cups of water)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


How it comes to life: 

You start with the brine ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the water, brown sugar, salt, liquid smoke, garlic, and dried thyme until the sugar is dissolved. Reserve 1 cup of the brine and place it in the refrigerator.

Place the chicken into a large ziploc bag. Add the remaining brine to coat the chicken. Seal the bag and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. I took the bag out a few times within the course of the 24 hours and shook it up a bit so that all of the chicken was nicely marinated.

Once the 24 hours has passed take the chicken out of the bag and place it in a crock pot. Discard the remaining brine still left in the ziploc. Add the reserved cup of brine and 1/3 cup liquid smoke. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the chicken is tender.

Crock Pot Chicken

Remove the chicken and on a place shred with two forks. Discard the remaining juice from the pot. Return the chicken to the pot and add in the BBQ sauce. Feel free to add more if it is too dry.

BBQ Chicken

Serve on a kaiser bun.

In the magazine it suggests topping the meat with what they call “Freezer Slaw”. I tried it and it was delicious but probably not for everyone. If you want to try the slaw here is the recipe they gave. I made this the night before as well.


What you need:

  • 1 head of cabbage shredded OR a bag of shredded cabbage mix
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium carrot shredded (if you are not using the mixed cabbage)

How it comes to life:

Place cabbage in a bowl and toss with salt. Let stand for an hour. Drain remaining liquid.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar, celery seed, and mustard seed. Bring to a boil dissolving the sugar. Cook 1 minute. Remove from hear and cool.

Add peppers and carrots if necessary. Add dressing and toss. Place in a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator.

Adapted from Taste of Home magazine – April 2013 issue

Spicy Mint Beef

mintbeef-©2013MWB(dashoflovely) (6 of 6)

I branched out a bit on this meal. The thought of cooking beef that isn’t ground is a little intimidating. I tend to overcook my meat because I don’t like anything that is even close to rare. I know some of you are rolling your eyes at that statement but meat really can be delicious and well done.

This recipe has a lot of ingredients I love (like fresh mint) but also a lot of things I have never heard of let alone cooked with. The flavor in this beef is so unique and fresh. The mint really cools the dish and makes it the perfect combination for your taste buds.  I was honestly impressed with how it turned out and will move this to the front of the recipe box.

mintbeef-©2013MWB(dashoflovely) (4 of 6)

What you need: 

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chili (the original recipe called for more but this was plenty for my family)
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (I could not find this at the store so I made my own – in a sauce pan simmer for approximately 15 minutes 1 star anise, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium black soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1  1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • White rice

How it comes to life: 

On a cutting board slice the flank steak into thin slices. Make them as thin as you can for ease of cooking.

In a large skillet or WOK, heat the vegetable oil and add the garlic and chilies until the garlic is golden brown. Add the steak and cook, stirring frequently, approximately 4 minutes. Add in the shallots and bell pepper and cook another minute. Add the fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of the sweet soy sauce mixture, black soy sauce, and chili paste. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked all the way through.

mintbeef-©2013MWB(dashoflovely) (1 of 6)

mintbeef-©2013MWB(dashoflovely) (2 of 6)

mintbeef-©2013MWB(dashoflovely) (3 of 6)

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil and mint until they wilt.

Serve over white or brown rice. You can either use minute rice or use a rice cooker before you start the beef.

mintbeef-©2013MWB(dashoflovely) (5 of 6)

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine (May 2013 issue)

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Entertaining with kids and food can be a challenge. You spend hours and hours fixing a meal to impress. Then the kids refuse eating what you make. After thirty minutes of telling them they will eat it or they will be hungry later you finally give in and throw some chicken nuggets on so that you can enjoy your now cold meal.

Instead of the above happening I gave in and decided on a pizza night with friends. I am not against frozen pizza or take out but there is something about homemade pizza that is just irresistible no matter your audience. Having never made dough from scratch I had to do some research online. I adapted this recipe from none other than Emeril Lagasse. Although it is probably safe to say that he does it much better!

What you need:

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees – warm to touch on the wrist – if the water is too hot it can kill the yeast)
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2  3/4 cups flour for the dough + approximately 1/4 cup for the surface to knead the dough
  • Toppings

How it comes to life:

  • Combine yeast, water, olive oil, and salt into a large bowl. Stir approximately five minutes. Using a Kitchenaid mixer with a hook slowly add in the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Increase to medium speed until a ball starts to form. The dough should not be sticky or crumble. If it is sticky add a dash of flour. If it crumbles add a touch of water.
  • Place the dough ball on a lightly floured and begin to knead until the dough is smooth.

Pizza dough

  • Place the dough into a large bowl and lightly coat with oil. turn the dough over to ensure you coat the entire thing. Cover it with a damp towel and set it in a warm place to rise. I let mine rise a little over an hour.
  • While this dough was rising I did the above steps again and made a second batch.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside. My pizza stone is Pampered Chef and I love it!

Pizza Dough

  • Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into two. Roll each into a ball and place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and cover one more time with a damp towel. Let it rise for another 15 minutes.
  • You have the option of making two small pizzas or combining the dough and making one large. I chose to make the large.
  • Shape the dough on a lightly floured surface and then transfer to the hot pizza stone.
Now make it fun!
Pizza Toppings
Pizza Topping
Pizza One – our guests are a little more traditional with their ingredients
  • Pepperoni
  • Ground sausage – cooked and crumbled
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Tomato pizza sauce©2013MWBphoto-8

Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza

Pizza Two – for Miles & I

  • Fresh mozzarella balls
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Bell peppers
  • Alfredo & pesto sauce

Chicken Pizza

It ended up being a great night. Parents happy. Kids happy. SUCCESS!!

Breakfast Enchiladas

I constantly struggle to find breakfast food that is outside of the normal eggs, bacon, pancake, and omelet routine. This recipe was easy and was a hit with my family.©2013MWBphoto-4, breakfast enchiladas

What you need:

  • chorizo – I used approximately 3 links
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • diced jalapeno peppers – add to your own degree of spiciness
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups pepper jack shredded cheese (divided)
  • 6 – 9″ flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

How it comes to life:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove the casing from the sausage and brown in a skillet until fully cooked. Add the red bell pepper and jalapeno and cook until the pepper is soft. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, salt, pepper, 1 cup of cheese, and the chorizo mixture from above.

Place a tortilla on a large plate and scoop approximately 3/4 cup of the mixture into the center. You can add more or less depending on how full you want your enchiladas. Do not overfill or you will not be able to close the wrap. Fold the two ends in first and then roll up the tortilla. Place each enchilada into a greased glass dish with the seam down.

Sauce: In another bowl mix the milk, cornstarch, and cumin. Then mix in the remaining cheese. Pour the sauce evenly over the enchiladas.

If you are going to bake the next morning, cover the dish tightly and place in the refrigerator. If not, bake for 35-45 minutes. Make sure the eggs are done. The top of the enchiladas should be golden brown.

Breakfast Enchiladas

Topping: This is your chance to dress the meal up. I kept it fairly simple by adding sour cream, diced tomatoes, and fresh cilantro. You could also use salsa, bacon crumbles, onions…really anything!

Adapted from a recipe in the May 2012 issue of Oprah Magazine.

Shrimp Etouffee

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-11, shrimp etouffee

Hopefully by now you have seen my post on our trip to Wilmore, Kentucky. I mention in that post that one of the things we share with the Easley’s (Miles sister, brother-in-law, and nieces) is a love for good food. I love to cook, Meg loves to cook, and we all love to eat so when we get together that is what we do.

I mentioned to Meg that while in Natchez, Mississippi I tried Crawfish Etouffee for the very first time at a place called the Magnolia Grill. Miles ordered it and I ended up eating a good portion of his meal. Meg  just so happens to have an incredible shrimp etouffee recipe that she was willing to share. It originally came from her husband’s grandmother, MawMaw and has been passed down the line.

Instead of her cooking it for us, we decided that it would be more fun for her to teach me! I’m typically the queen of my kitchen but sharing the duties with one of my favorite people is loads of fun. It is becoming a bit of a tradition when we are together. With three kids in the house it is our “quiet time”.

Make sure you go check out the Easley Park blog. Hopefully we will see the gang again soon so we can have another guest blog recipe.

The beautiful Meg.

The beautiful Meg.

What you need:

  • 3 lb of shrimp, cleaned (we used 2 lb because that is what we had)
  • 1 cup green bell pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup green onion tops
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock/shrimp stock
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • A good sprinkling of Tony Chachere’s

How it comes to life:

Shrimp Stock – After shelling the shrimp add shrimp shells to stock pot. Add water to cover shells by one inch. Add vegetables to season. We added diced celery and onion powder.  Heat to near bowling, turn down and let simmer for half an hour.

While the stock is cooking we used this time to dice up all of the vegetables so that when the time came all we had to do was dump them in.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-1, shrimp etouffee

For the rue – Melt the butter in a thick pot and add flour. Cook until the flour mixture is the color of peanut butter.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-6, shrimp etouffee

Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and tomato paste. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until wilted. Add garlic, parsley, and green onion tops and cook a few minutes longer. **We did not set a timer but once the veggies were added it probably cooked at least 10-15 minutes in total.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-7, shrimp etouffee

Add about 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups shrimp stock.  (Increase if mixture is too thick.) Add cream of celery and cream of mushroom soup. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked. Do not overcook the shrimp. Add in the salt, red pepper, and Toni’s.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste – may need more salt or Toni’s.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-8, shrimp etouffee

Serve over hot fluffy rice with French bread buttered and warmed.

Wilmore, Kentucky

kentucky-trip©, wilmore kentucky, asbury seminaryMiles and I spent the week in Wilmore, Kentucky working on a shoot for the  Asbury Theological Seminary for some of their new promotional material. This was unlike most of our jobs in that we got to work with family. Miles sister and brother-in-law own a design company called Two Cups and they will be doing all of the post design work once the images are complete.

kentucky-trip©, wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

Since Miles family lives so far away we rarely get a chance to see them. We sure make it count when we do. I’m sure like all families there are things that really bring you together. With the Easley/Boyer bunch it is a week full of food, coffee, outdoors, love and laughter. As Gavin gets older it is extremely important that he shares that same love for the Easley’s (including his two precious cousins). Now if we could only convince them to move closer!

kentucky-trip©,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

Aside from family time, we love visiting Kentucky because of the beautiful landscape of the country side. From the second you step off the plane in Lexington until the time you pull into the Easley mini farm in Wilmore there are miles and miles of white fences, old barnes, and fields full of flowers. Really a photographers dream.

kentucky-trip©,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

kentucky-trip©,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

kentucky-trip©,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

kentucky-trip©,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

kentucky-trip©, wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

kentucky-trip©,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

If not for family, Wilmore would not be my first choice for a vacation but if you are ever in Lexington, make sure you head out of town and it least stop in. If the beauty alone isn’t worth it, stop into the local coffee shop (Solomon’s Porch) and try a 7 layer bar! They are heavenly.


kentucky-trip©,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

Check back soon for more Asbury Seminary photos from as well as a to die for Shrimp Etoufee recipe!

Black Bean & Quinoa Burger©2013MWBphoto-13

In the past I have been a bit skeptical of eating a burger that does not have meat inside. Once my little boy started eating solids we quickly learned that he was really picky. Every meal I cooked was trial and error and often ended in the faithful go to Morning Star products. As a mom I love cooking for my family and often feel guilt when I reach into the freezer so I decided why not find a Black Bean Burger that I could make myself.

Since I work all day, it just is not practical to come home and cook a meal from scratch unless we want to eat dinner at 8:00. This recipe allowed me to prepare the patties from scratch the night before so that all I had to do the next day was place them on a cookie sheet and bake them. These are truly a black bean recipe the entire family can enjoy. They have a lot of flavor and are something that I will make again in the near future.

What you need:
½ cup quinoa (for those of you that don’t know, quinoa can often be found in the rice aisle at your local retailer)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ orange bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
15 oz can of black beans (I pour these into a strainer and rinse them until the water under the strainer comes out clear)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large egg
2/3 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 chipotle in adobo, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup oat flour (If you cannot find oat flour at the store you can use additional rolled oats and place them in a food processor until you have the 1/4 cup of oat flour that you need)

How it Comes to Life

Place the dry quinoa and 1 cup of water into a sauce pan. Once this comes to a boil, reduce your heat to low, place a secure lid on the sauce pan, and let it cook for approximately 15 minutes. Just like rice, once the water is absorbed you should be good to go. Set the cooked quinoa aside (removing it from the heat).©2013MWBphoto-2

After you dice up your garlic and pepper, saute them with the olive oil and 1/4 of the salt until they are no longer crisp (approximately 5 minutes).

Black Bean Quinoa Burger, dashoflovely, Northwest Arkansas BlogNOTE: The original recipe calls for onions instead of peppers but I personally don’t care for onions.

Next I placed the sautéed veggies into my large William Sonoma mixing bowl. Add in your can of black beans and smash with a fork until you have a paste like texture. Mine wasn’t smooth by any means.©2013MWBphoto-3

Stir in the tomato paste, egg, corn, cilantro, chipotles, cumin and remaining salt until well mixed. Then add the quinoa you had set aside, oats, and oat flour until all of the ingredients are evenly mixed.©2013MWBphoto-6

From this point you treat them like a true hamburger patty (without meat of course). Divide the mixture into 6 parts. Roll each into a ball and then flatten and shape.©2013MWBphoto-8

I placed the patties onto a cookie sheet, covered them tightly with saran wrap, and put them in the refrigerator over night. I was a little worried that they would dry out over night but that was not the case.

NOTE: If you do not refrigerate overnight, still place them in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours before baking. 

Once the oven is preheated to 400, place the patties onto a cookie sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Flip them over and cook for an additional 10 minutes. The patties will be a golden color when they are done.

To compliment these bean burgers I served Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette adapted from Food Network Magazine©2013MWBphoto-15

Black Bean & Quinoa Burger adapted from The Foodie Physician

Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette

From the wonderfully organized recipe index to the beautifully shot meals I have a great sense of joy when I open up my mailbox and there is a new issue of Food Network Magazine. I am bad about looking at all of the recipes with good intention of one day serving them to my family but in reality I just ended up with stacks of magazines. As of recent I have decided that when I get inspired by something I see I rip it out and add it to the ever-growing pile of recipes. With that said, I adapted this recipe from Bobby Flay’s Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette recipe inside the April 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine.

I paired this side with the Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers for two reasons. One, you need fries with burgers. Two, I could prepare them the night before. Since they are baked they don’t have that greasy fried food taste but are full of flavor.©2013MWBphoto-15

What you need:

6 medium Yukon Golden Potatoes (you could do more or less to fit your needs)

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5  tablespoons fresh lemon juice or lemon concentrate if you don’t have fresh lemons

1/2 shallot

2 garlic cloves

4 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup fresh parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

How it comes to life:

Cut the potatoes up into wedge-shaped pieces. Don’t make them too thick so they cook through. After rinsing the potatoes I put them in a large pot of water and set them in the refrigerator over night so that when I got home from work they were ready to go. Putting them in the refrigerator is not necessary if you are going to cook them the same night. NOTE: Putting potatoes covered in water in the refrigerator keeps the potatoes from turning brown.

Preheat the oven to 425. Remove the potatoes from the refrigerator, drain the water, and dry the potatoes off. Place them in a large bowl.

Place the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, oregano and parsley into a food processor. Pulse until you have a delicious smooth sauce.

Pour half of the sauce mixture onto the potatoes and stir until the potatoes are lightly coated. Evenly spread the potatoes onto a greased cookie sheet. Roast the potatoes for approximately an hour turning a few times to get both sides golden brown. If you like crispier fries cook them longer. If you like them soft it may take less than an hour. Salt and pepper as desired. NOTE: Make sure you carefully flip the potatoes so that they do not fall apart.

Divide potatoes onto serving plates and then drizzle with the leftover sauce.

Pairing suggestion: 

Black Bean & Quinoa Burger

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