Spicy Jalapeño Margarita

I love a good margarita! I’ve gone to this local Mexican restaurant where they served up a spicy jalapeño margarita and it was to die for! If you don’t like a little spice this might not be the recipe for you! You can really adjust the level of heat. I’ll explain how in the recipe below. Yum! Cheers

Spicy Jalapeño Margarita

Ingredients:
1 oz orange liquor (Cointreau or Triple Sec)
1 oz lime juice
2 oz tequila
2-4 slices jalapeño (with seeds)
1 slice lime for garnish
coarse salt
1/2 cup ice

Directions: If making on the rocks, add in the orange liquor, lime juice, tequila and sliced jalapeño to a shaker. Shake up vigorously. Slide lime around the rim of the margaritas glass. In a shallow bowl or plate add in the salt. Flip over the glass and turn in the salt. Add ice to the glass and pour in margarita. Add a lime wedge and enjoy.

If you want to make it slightly frozen and spicier. You can add orange liquor, lime juice, tequila and jalapeño to a blender with ice. Pulse about 4-5 times. Add to salted rim glass and enjoy. Note. This will make it way spicer as the jalapeño are completely chopped.

If want to make a pitcher just multiple this recipe by how many guest you have. Great to make ahead of time with no ice. Add ice when ready to serve or put in blender.

Cheeseburger Cupcakes

These little cheeseburger cupcakes are so fun to make. This post isn’t going to be recipes for these little cute cupcakes. It’s just going to simply explain how to assemble them.  I made these for my favorite little people.  My niece and nephews a while back, when they were a few years old.  They are 12, 10 and almost 10 now.  These are very sweet, they are more for the look, but the kids didn’t eat much of them back then.

I got such a kick out of making these.  When I put them together I actually bought some of the stuff and made some of the components of this cupcake.  Take a look below how to make/assemble them!  These would be perfect for a BBQ!

Cheeseburger Cupcakes

Bun: Yellow cupcakes (unfrosted) either homemade or store bought
Burger: Brownie Bites
Cheese: Melted Marshmallows with yellow food coloring
Ketchup: Red Frosting ( Just put along the edges, so you can see it)
Lettuce: Coconut flakes with green food coloring
Seeds: Rice Cereal

Directions: To assemble these adorable cupcakes, cut the yellow cupcake in half. Add the brownie bite to the bottom half of the cupcake.  After melting the marshmallows put over top of the brownie bite.  Add a little bit of red frosting (just to the outer area so you can see it.) Next sprinkle on the coconut flakes.  Top with the other half of the cupcake and add a few pieces of rice cereal to act as the seeds on the bun.

 

Watermelon Vodka Slushie

I’m not a big at home drinker as I usually like vodka as my drink of choice! But for the first time I decided to make a drink during this quarantine! I made this super fun Watermelon Vodka Slushie!

Who doesn’t love watermelon and slushies? I know I do!!  So I put this together rather quickly.  I had just got a delicious sweet watermelon from my grocery deliveries!   Take a look if you want to enjoy a nice light, alcoholic slushie!

Watermelon Vodka Slushie

Ingredients:

1.5 cups watermelon chunks, frozen
1/2 lime, juiced
2 slices of lime
1/2 can of Sprite, 7-Up or Sierra Mist ( I used diet sprite, less sweet)
1/2 cup vodka (more or less to your taste)
1-2 cup of ice, cubes or crushed (depending on how slushie like you want it)

Direction:  Add the watermelon chunks to the freezer to let them freeze or at least get frosty.  Remove from the freezer and put in a blender.  Add in the ice, vodka, lime juice, and soda.  Blend till a slushie like consistency.  Pour into a glass, finish off with a squeeze of lime juice (optional).  Add lime wedge to the side of the glass and enjoy! Cheers!

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Italian Chicken Cutlets

I love a nice chicken cutlet.  Coming from an Italian family chicken cutlets were definitely something we ate often.  It’s a nice thin piece of chicken breaded and fried (or baked) to a nice crispy exterior.  It’s so simple but so delicious.

When I make chicken cutlets it takes me back to sitting in my grandparents house and smelling the oil and chicken cooking. Yum!

Italian Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients:

3 chicken breast, cut 1/4 inch thick (or thin chicken cutlets) (6-8 total)
3/4 cup flour, (seasoned with salt and pepper)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t Italian seasoning
2 t pepper
2 t salt
2 t garlic and herb seasoning (see Shop Items I use, on top of page)
1/2-3/4 cup oil

Direction: Make a breading station with 3 bowls. In one bowl mix together breadcrumbs with cheese, and all seasonings, in a 2nd bowl add the beaten eggs, the last bowl should have the flour with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

First put the chicken in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Covering completely.  Set aside on a plate. Continue with remaining chicken.

Heat a large saute pan on high heat.  Add in the oil and let heat up completely.  To check if oil is hot add the end of a wooden spoon and make sure it starts to bubble.  Preheat oven to 300.

Once heated completely, add a few chicken pieces at a time to the pan, maybe 3 depending on size of the pan.  Do not over crowd the pan.  (Note you may need to add more oil to the pan after cooking some pieces.

Cook chicken for 2-4 minutes on one side and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the chicken breast the temperature of the oil.

Once cooked, drain the chicken cutlet on a paper towel to remove all the excess grease. Then place on a cookie sheet and put in the oven to keep warm. Continue with remaining chicken breast.

Serve the chicken cutlet with pasta, a salad, veggies or a nice carb.  Enjoy!

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3 Fun & Easy Baking Ideas For Kids

I have 1 niece and 2 nephews who are my entire world. My niece, Gianna is 12, my nephew Anthony is 10 and my nephew Michael is 9 and will be 10 in a few months.   I love them so much. I enjoy the time I spend with them.  I’ve been cooking with them since they were young. I’ve been making pizza with them since they were in diapers.  I still remember making a pizza with my niece and nephew and my niece saying ” The more cheese the better.”  I asked her where she got that from and she said, “From you Auntie Julie!” My heart just about erupted.

I try to do fun things with them when I’m with them. I want them to have the experience and to look back when they are older and remember these times.  My niece, Gianna who is the oldest has really been into baking.  Auntie Julie is not really a baker, I can teach her how to make a beef wellington, or a killer taco but baking has never been my forte.  However, we have been trying.

I’ve kept it simple, we’ve used boxed cake mixes (hey don’t knock it, lol) we’ve just done different things.  The first cake we did was a gravity cake.  That was so much fun.  Then the 2nd one we did was a piñata cake.  You know where you stuff candy into the cake and then cut it open and candy comes out.  Most recently we did ice cream cone cupcakes, this time we made homemade buttercream. (Yes, we did make that from scratch.)

My niece loves to bake more then my nephews.  Gianna’s brother, Anthony gets involved sometimes but isn’t as into it as she is.  I’m going to show you the cakes/cupcakes we made and put how we made them below.  Next time I think we may try French macarons. My niece loves them!

Gravity Cake:

1 box cake mix, your choice on flavor
Ingredients for cake mix
2 container frosting, your choice on flavor
1 box of your favorite candy
2 heavy duty straws

Directions: Make cake according to the box, for 2 round cakes.  Let the cakes cool completely.  Stack the cakes and add some frosting in-between the cakes.  Completely frost the cake.  Add candy pieces of your chose on the top of the cake, to make it look like the candy is coming out of the box.  Next, add the straw to the side of the cake and add frosting to the straw and add some candy on the straw.  Add the box of the candy at the angle.  See picture below.

Piñata Cake:

2 boxes of cake mix,your choice on flavor
ingredients for cake mix
3-4 containers of frosting, your choice on flavor
big bag of unwrapped candy
sprinkles for decoration, optional

Directions: Make cakes according to packages. Make 2 round cakes for each box of mix. 4 layers total.  Let cakes cool completely. Using a narrow cup or glass cut a hole in the middle of each layer. Make sure the wholes match up.  Next stack the layers on top of each other making sure to add a layer of frosting to the middle of each.  Next pour the candy into the hole and make sure to fill to the top.  Add a cut out piece of cake to the top of the cake.  Next completely frost the cake.  Decorate how you’d like.

When you cut into the cake the candy will fall out like a piñata.  See picture below.

 

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes:

Ingredients:
1 box of cake mix, your choice of flavor
ingredients for cake mix
24 ice cream cones
1-2 stick butter
1-2 cups powder sugar
1-3 T milk
Food coloring, optional

Toppings: Optional
sprinkles
cherries

Directions: Mix up cake mix according to the box.  Add the cones to a muffin tin.  Fill up the cone 3/4 of the way full. About 2 T per cone.  Bake. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Make the simple buttercream with 1 stick of butter and mix with a mixer slowly adding in the powder sugar.  Add in the amount of sugar you prefer based on how sweet you like it.  Add in milk if you need to thin out the buttercream if it gets to thick.  Note, once you start to work with the buttercream it will soften.

You can separate the buttercream into different bowls to color it with food coloring.

 

 

My favorite little people and I at Christmas 2019!

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Where The Name Garlic & Olive Oil Veins Came From?

Happy October!!!  This post is  going to be about my Dad.  I have had a lot of people compliment the name of my blog and social media accounts.  I’ve been asked where the name came from.  It actually came from my Dad.  Here’s why….It all started back when I was in culinary school.  I was coming home from my cooking classes and I was preparing everything we had learned in school.  During that time my Dad, 58 had being diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He was so excited for me to be taking these classes.  I remember sitting with him at his chemo and we’d just talk about all I was learning.  As difficult as it was it was quality time with him where we just talked while he ate a cheeseburger.  He always wanted a cheeseburger from the hospital cafeteria.  I always remember that.  My Dad later passed away 9 months after he was diagnosed.  I was just 21 years old.

During that time I was in school  I use to use an excessive amount of garlic and olive oil.  Don’t get me wrong I still use a lot but I know how to use it now.  When I was going to school it was way, way, way too much for any dish.  He use to say to me that I had garlic and olive oil running through my veins.  And that’s how the name came to be.

It’s definitely a homage to my Dad, who’s no longer with us.  I wish he was still here so I could be in the kitchen with him again.  He taught me so much before he passed away.  I still remember him trying to show me as much as possible the last few months of his life.  One thing I remember was he showed me how to fully clean and prepare fresh mussels.  I can still hear him in the kitchen, telling me how the mussels that are open are bad and needed to be thrown out.  It’s funny how you remember things so well when a memory is all you have.

So, that’s how it started…The name came from him and something he use to say to me.  I miss him a lot and I know he’d love to see what I was up to now.  He’d be all about this new adventure.  I know he’s for sure watching over me and my whole family.  I miss him so much.

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My High School Graduation, 2002!