04 November 2012

Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs

I'm not a huge fan of football, BUT I am a huge fan of getting together with friends for football games! That usually means that we have a spread of fun beverages and snacks.  I made these Hoisin-glazed turkey meatballs and they were devoured in seconds.  I suggest doubling the recipe for a large crowd!


Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs
(Adapted from Healthy Seasonal Recipes)
Yield: 2 dozen 

2 Tbsp. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, minced
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
2 Green Onions, minced (plus more for garnish)
1/2 C. Water Chestnuts, drained & finely chopped
1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
1/4 C. Hoisin Sauce
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. Lime Juice, freshly squeezed

Preheat oven to 400F degrees  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (will make for easier cleanup)!  Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes and sugar in a large bowl.  Whisk in cornstarch.  Then add the green onions and water chestnuts.  Mix in the turkey until completely combined.

Using a small trigger scoop or your hands, drop turkey mixture in rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet.  Lightly coat the meatballs with cooking spray and transfer to the oven.  Bake until meat is cooked through (15-17 minutes).

While the meatballs are in the oven, prepare the glaze.  Stir Hoisin sauce, cilantro and lime juice in a large bowl.  Add the cooked meatballs and gently stir to coat. Place on a platter or serving dish.  Sprinkle with remaining sliced scallions and sesame seeds.  Serve hot with toothpicks.

03 November 2012

Honey Crisp Hard Cider Sangria

Sangria is always a good choice when entertaining, but make sure you adjust the recipe according to the season!  I came across this recipe in the recent Food & Wine magazine and just knew that I had to make it.  It incorporates Honey Crisp apples (my fav!) and hard cider (another fall fav!).  It is refreshing and bubbly, yet quite easy to throw together.  Once you are done with your glass of sangria, you'll have some brandy-soaked apples to snack on, which makes this recipe even that much better!


Honey Crisp Hard Cider Sangria
(Adapted from Food & Wine, October 2012)
Yield: 4 Servings

1 Large Honey Crisp Apple, quartered & thinly sliced
1 Orange, quartered & thinly sliced
3/4 C. Apple Cider
2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 C. Brandy
1 (22 oz) Bottle Hard Apple Cider
Ice, for serving

In a pitcher, combine the apples, oranges, cider, lemon juice and brandy.  Store in the fridge until ready to serve.  Just before serving, add the hard apple cider.  Serve in glasses over ice.

30 October 2012

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Happy Halloween!!!  I made this little cake to celebrate with some family and friends.  It not only looks cute, but it tastes great too!!  Although I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, I do enjoy baking all things pumpkin... so naturally, a pumpkin-pumpkin bundt cake was totally worth it! Boo!


Pumpkin Bundt Cake

For the Cake:
1/2 C. Butter, softened to room temperature 
1 C. Light Brown Sugar, packed
2 Large Eggs, room temperature
1 C. Canned Pumpkin Puree 
1 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Grated Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/2 C. Buttermilk, room temperature

For the Frosting:
2 (8 oz) packages Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat works just fine), almost at room temperature
1/2 C. Butter, almost at room temperature
1 tsp. Vanilla or Almond Extract
2 C. Powdered Sugar
Orange Food Gel (optional)

Make the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease a bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.  (If you want to make this in the shape of a pumpkin, use a small bundt pan and split the batter in half; repeat process twice).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the batter blade, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides and add the eggs (one at a time), blending and scraping down the sides after each addition.  When the eggs are fully incorporated, blend in the pumpkin and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Add about 1/3 of the flour to the butter mixture and blend until incorporated.  Ad 1/2 of the buttermilk and blend in completely.  Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour and blend.  Finish mixing the batter by adding the final 1/2 of buttermilk, mixing, then adding the final 1/3 of flour.  Spoon the cake batter into the prepared bunt pan, gently smooth the top and bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on size of your bundt pan and/or if you are splitting this mixture into two smaller bundt pans to make a pumpkin).  Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes before turing out onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting:

Whip together the cream cheese, butter and extract until light and fluffy.  Add in the powdered sugar and whip until smooth and fully incorporated.

Assemble the Pumpkin:

Use a couple drops of orange food gel to get the desired color of orange. When the cake is completely cooled, use a serrated knife to make a flat surface on each small bundt cake.  Lightly spread some of the frosting between the layers (to act like glue)!  Then, use an offset knife to carefully spread the rest of the frosting over the bundt cake.  (Chef's note: I did not use all of the frosting.)  Feel free to use a cinnamon stick as the pumpkin stem.  I also reserved a little of the plain frosting and colored it with green food gel to make a few leaves - totally optional!  Enjoy!

06 October 2012

Hot + Sour Shrimp Noodle Soup

I woke up this morning to temps in the 40's!  Brrrr... Fall arrived in full force overnight!  I think we'll need to bundle up for our bike ride along Lake Michigan later today.  Doug and I have a favorite running/bike path that goes North of the city.  Once you get past harbors and parks, you can look back and see the beautiful Chicago skyline.  Love it!  I think I'll be making this soup again when we get back from our ride.  Yes.  Definitely a soup day! 


In honor of all of the marathon runners in town this weekend, I'll post a pick of the race last year:


Doug finished under 4 hours and greatly enjoyed his post-race 312 beer!  Well deserved! 

Hot & Sour Shrimp Noodle Soup
(Adapted from Verses from my Kitchen)
Yield: 2 Servings

1 Tbsp. Peanut Oil
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, finely chopped
4 C. Vegetable Stock
8 oz. Rice Noodles
1 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1 tsp. Light Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
2 Small Hot Peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
10 Large Shrimp, tails on
1 Lime, freshly juiced
Pinch of Sugar
2 Green onions, thinly sliced
Small Handful of Cilantro, roughly chopped

Add the oil to a large stock pot and add in the ginger over medium-high heat.  Fry the ginger for a few seconds, until fragrant, and then pour in the vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While the stock heats up, cook the rice noodles according to the package.  Meanwhile, add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot peppers and garlic to the stock; simmering for 5 minutes.  Add in the shrimp and continue simmering for 5 more minutes, until the shrimp is cooked.  Add the lime juice, sugar and green onions to the pot.  Season to taste.  Then, run the noodles under hot water to prevent sticking and divide among two bowls.  Remove the shrimp from the pot and set aside.  Pour the stock over the top of the noodles and arrange the shrimp on top.  Add the fresh cilantro on top as a garnish.  Eat with chopsticks and/or a spoon! 

23 September 2012

Jackson Cake

It is officially fall and I have yet to post something with pumpkin or apples... what is wrong with me?!  I've been so busy lately that my blog is seriously lacking with flavor. We are lucky because our friend, Stephanie, so graciously agreed to be a guest chef blogger!  She lives in Texas and is sharing a family recipe with us today.  I can't wait to tailgate with her and the family over Thanksgiving - hopefully she will make this cake again for us to enjoy!  After reading this post and recipe, I think we'll all agree that Stephanie needs to be a more frequent guest blogger on Thyme for Wine!


"Thanks so much for inviting me to be a guest blogger.  When trying to figure out what to make for my post, I realized most of the recipes I use these days I pull from blogs like yours, since I have a tendency to get bored making the same things over and over again.  However, the recipe for this post is a holiday staple on my mom's side of the family and came out of the family archives.  I made it this weekend for an early morning SMU tailgate - this coffee cake is yummy not only with coffee but with a few mimosas as well, and leftovers can be served as dessert since it's so rich and stays moist for a few days after baking.  Since your family has a famous poppy seed cake recipe that is restricted to the privileged few, maybe your readers can try this one out!"



Jackson Cake
(Stephanie's Family Recipe)
Yield: 1 cake

For batter, mix together:

1 C. Butter
2 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Vanilla (I used yummy vanilla from Mexico thanks to Steve - my mom swore she could taste difference, so he deserves some credit here! Edit: Steve gave Martha credit after he found out this was going on the blog!) 
16 oz. Sour Cream
6 oz. or 1 C. Chocolate Chips – fold into batter 


Separately mix together:
1/3 C. Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Cinnamon

Finally, in a greased bundt pan, layer 1/3 of the batter, then 1/3 in the cinnamon/sugar mix and lightly swirl into the batter.  Repeat this two times - making layers of batter and cinnamon/sugar mix.  Put a final layer of the cinnamon/sugar mix on the top.  Then bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until it passes the clean toothpick trick.  Serve warm.

Chef Stephanie's Note: Its not healthy but it is delicious and SO very easy!  A small slice goes a long way - and for the record, we have NO idea how it got it's name.  Thanks again for the guest post and looking forward to seeing you over Thanksgiving!!

05 September 2012

Grilled Corn on the Cob

It's not too late... you can still get some great seasonal corn at the market!  Feel free to give our latest corn on the cob recipe a whirl the next time you are feeling adventurous.  Trust me, I am a "purist" when it comes to corn and certainly enjoy the standard boiled corn on the cob with salt and pepper.  Grilling it and adding cilantro, feta and paprika was a nice treat!


Grilled Corn on the Cob
Yield: 4 servings

4 Ears of Corn
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 tsp. Paprika (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 oz. Feta, crumbled
1/4 C. Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped

Pull all the husks and silk off the corn and discard.  Parboil the corn in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Then, wrap each ear of corn individually in aluminum foil, closing it up by twisting the ends. Place the wrapped ears of corn on a pre-heated grill on medium heat. Rotate the corn every so often for 15-20 minutes, being careful to not overcook the corn. Once the corn is cooked, remove from the grill with oven mitts.  Carefully unwrap the foil and lightly brush each cob with butter; sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Roll in a mixture of crumbled feta cheese and cilantro.  Serve immediately.

26 August 2012

Watermelon Bites with Feta + Mint

Be sure to grab a seedless watermelon at the grocery store or your local market before summer ends!  These watermelon bites stuffed with feta, shallots, mint and pepper are a refreshing way to start a summer meal.  It is light, healthy and seems somewhat gourmet when it is on a platter.  Nobody will know that it only took minutes to throw together :)  Enjoy with a cold glass of sauvignon blanc!



Watermelon Bites with Feta & Mint
(Adapted from Rachel)

1 Seedless Watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp. Mint, chopped
1 Small Shallot, minced
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Using a small melon baller or a 1/4 tsp. measuring spoon, scoop out a small well in the top of each watermelon cube, keeping the walls of the cube intact.  In a small bowl, gently mix the feta, mint and shallots.  Season with pepper and stir until well combined.  Stuff the top of each watermelon cube with the feta mixture.  Serve immediately.

Chef's Note: I like to put these on a white platter with a garnish of fresh mint sprigs and a few drops of balsamic glaze.

30 July 2012

Vegetable + Quinoa Summer Salad

I recently got hooked on a quinoa salad at a restaurant in my office building.  After spending $4.00 on it a few times a week, I decided to recreate the salad at home.  It made enough for my lunch all week AND THEN SOME!  It is a healthy, refreshing and delicious alternative to sandwiches or lettuce-based salads.  Doug even enjoyed it for lunch on Sunday and said it was excellent!  Are you hosting or going to a summer barbeque sometime soon?  This would make a perfect side dish and would accommodate any dietary needs for your vegetarian or gluten-free friends!


Vegetable and Quinoa Summer Salad
Yield: 8 Servings


2 C. Dry Quinoa
4 C. Water
3 Bell Peppers (I used red, yellow and green), diced
1 Pint Baby Tomatoes (I used heirloom baby tomatoes), halved
1 Jalapeno, finely minced
1/4 C. Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3 C. Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Limes, juiced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes (for heat!), to taste
1/2 C. Soy Nuts (as a garnish)

In a medium pot, combine the quinoa and water; bring to a hard boil.  Stir and turn heat to low; cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes (or until water is absorbed).  Meanwhile, prep the peppers, tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro.  In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Add the vegetables to the bowl; toss well.  Finally, add the cooked quinoa to the bowl, strirring gently.  Add more salt, pepper, olive oil or lime juice, as needed.  Before serving, add soy nuts and red pepper flakes.  (I found that the soy nuts got a little soggy overnight in the refrigerator, so add a sprinkle of those just before serving).  Serve as is or on a bed of leafy greens.

15 July 2012

Plum + Thyme Iced Tea

This is the definition of summer in a glass!  No other words can describe it.  Enjoy!


Plum and Thyme Iced Tea
(From Real Simple)
Yield: 4 Servings

2 Tea Bags (black or herbal)
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 Plums, sliced
8 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

Heat 3 cups of water over the stove or in the microwave and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add tea bags, let steep for 10 minutes.  Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.  Next, stir in the honey, plums and thyme.  Transfer to a glass pitcher and refrigerate until cool (about 1 hour).  Serve over ice.

Make it an adult version: Stir in 1/2 C. bourbon or iced tea flavored vodka into the pitcher before serving!

14 July 2012

Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry

I think my father-in-law has been waiting for me to post this recipe... so here it goes!  Doug and I have made this Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry quite a few times now and it really hits the spot. The best part?  It really isn't that sinful!  Instead of loads of fried rice or tons of noodles, this recipe replaces that with a package of broccoli slaw.  I guess you can make your own thinly sliced broccoli slaw, but it is so easy and cheap to just buy the pre-packaged stuff!  I'm all about ease and anything that helps with the city-livin' budget!


Whenever I make stir fry, I always call my dad.  Here's how it normally goes down...
Ring-Ring...
Dad: "Hola Rebecca!"
Me: "Hey Daddio! I'm making stir fry and thought I'd give you a call."
Dad: "Oh, that's so nice!"  

Hahah Love you Dad! Thanks for the wok, for teaching me the basic techniques of your awesome stir fry recipes and for always making me smile! :)

Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry
(Adapted from the Realistic Nutritionist)
Yield: 4-5 Servings

2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
4 oz. Soba Noodles
10 oz. of Broccoli Slaw (if your bag contains a little more, that is okay too)
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tbsp. Sriracha Sauce
2 Tbsp. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp. Sesame Oil
2 tsp. Water mixed with 2 tsp. Corn Starch
Optional Garnishes: Chopped Peanuts, Lime Wedges, Fresh Cilantro

Heat 1 Tbsp. Oil in a large nonstick wok on medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes.  Next, add the chicken and red bell peppers; cook until chicken is golden brown (about 7 minutes).  Remove from pan and set aside in a medium bowl for later use. 

At this point, you will want to boil your soba noodles in a large pot of water according to the directions on the package.  Undercook them by one minute; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat second tablespoon of canola oil in the same wok over medium-high heat.  Add the broccoli slaw and garlic; cook until tender (about 5 minutes).  Add the red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce; heat for another 2 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil and corn starch/water mixture.  Add it to the wok, along with the chicken and cooked noodles.  Stir gently and heat for another 2 minutes.  Serve with chopsticks and additional Sriracha or red pepper flakes!