Whole Wheat Margherita Flatbread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Ok, I think I know one of the reasons I don’t like going to the grocery store. It’s the hoard of people. Perhaps it’s the small town that I live in, but seriously, my grocery store is always packed when I go. So packed that I can barely get down the aisles. WHY?! Is there nothing better to do here than go to the darn grocery store?! And let me just say that I don’t like crowds. I don’t like people being all up in my grill!! And why, oh why is that that whenever you get to where you want to be, someone is always in the freaking way of the food I want to grab. For example. I wanted to get some mozzarella cheese for this pizza. It took me at least 5 minutes to finally get to it because a couple just stood in front of all the cheese and were discussing what types of cheese they needed for the week. I stood there thinking, “DUDES, I know what cheese I want, get the heck out of my way! BLARGHHGHGHGHGHGHGH!”. I know, I have zero patience. I’m like the scrooge of the grocery store. And of course, it didn’t help that I was still pretty sick this weekend. Within 5 minutes of walking in, I was getting all sweaty. BLARGHGHGHGHGHGH! Ok, I’m done with my rant and my BLARGHGHGHing.

I hope you enjoy this pizza. It’s good…and stuff…

Whole Wheat Margherita Flatbread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Flatbread Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1 tsp. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1/4 tsp. black pepper

– 1/2 cup water

– 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing

– 3 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

– 2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced thin

– 2 tbs. fresh basil, chiffonade

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1 cup balsamic vinegar

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan, dissolve the brown sugar with the balsamic vinegar. Bring the balsamic vinegar to a light simmer. Simmer until the vinegar is reduced by half (about 15-20 mins). Let the vinegar cool and it should thicken. You can make this reduction sauce in advance if you would like.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, water, and olive oil with your hands until a dough forms. Then place the dough on a floured work surface. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. You do not have to worry about rolling the dough out into a perfect circle or square! I think the odd shape makes it look nice and rustic :). Place the dough on a baking mat or on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5-7 minutes just until the dough just slightly starts to crisp up. Remove from the oven.

3. Brush the top of the flatbread with extra olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Distribute the garlic, then the cheese, tomatoes, and the basil evenly over the flatbread. You can also sprinkle the top with another pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the balsamic reduction over the pizza. Bake for another 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining balsamic vinegar if desired.

Notes:
– You do not need to use all of the balsamic reduction if you don’t want to! Feel free to use as much or as little as you like!

Low-Carb Chocolate Shortbread Cookies


I know, I’ve been a horrible blogger lately. I haven’t been updating enough. And if you’re a fellow blogger, I haven’t been reading and commenting. First, I was traveling for the holidays, but as soon as I got back to Florida last week, I have been oh so sick with the flu which then turned into a sinus infection. Needless to say, having the flu doesn’t really make a person want to jump in the kitchen to cook and even worse, eat! My diet last week and this weekend mostly consisted of toast, applesauce, chicken soup, and tea. And forget about being on the computer! Just looking at the screen made me so nauseous! I am slowly recovering though and was able to get back in the kitchen on Sunday to make these quick and easy cookies! Baby steps, people, baby steps!

Low-Carb Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

From Kalyn’s Kitchen

Makes about 16 cookies

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

– 2 cups almond flour

– 6 tbs. Stevia or Splenda + 2 tbs. brown sugar*

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1 tsp. vanilla

– 3 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1/2 cup semi-sweet or sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, add the softened butter, almond flour, Stevia and brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix together with a hand mixer or stand mixer until well-combined. Add the cocoa powder (and chocolate chips) and mix until well-combined.

2. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. Scoop out batter about 1-2 tbs. (it really depends on how big you want your cookies to be!) at a time and roll into a ball. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet leaving enough space to smash the cookies down. Using the back side of a fork, smash the cookies down so they are about a 1/4 of an inch thick. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Notes:
– If you want to make these completely sugar-free, replace the brown sugar with two additional tablespoons of the sugar substitute of your choice.
– Be careful when handling and storing these cookies. The almond flour makes them extra crumbly!

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

Over the holidays, my youngest brother decided to pass along an illness so foul, it’s like it came from another planet entirely. It’s also totally possibly that my little brother is from another planet entirely. Don’t get me wrong, I love him so, but this is illness is so bad. It all started with him, patient zero. Then he somehow managed to pass it along to every single person in my family including aunts, uncle, cousins, grandparents, and even a dog. Yes, he gave this thing to a dog. You’re probably saying that wouldn’t happen, but it has my friends. You gotta love little brothers….and pie!

What pies are a must at your holiday parties? In my family, it’s usually apple pie and pumpkin pie, and banana cream pie. We sometimes throw in other pies like lemon meringue or my brother will make his key lime pie, but those three are always on our holiday dessert tables.

When it comes to pie, banana cream is always my stepdad’s top choice. Now banana cream pie is always on our table for special occasions. Banana cream pie is one of my faves too. I’m totally madly in love with bananas and this pie just tastes like home to me. It’s perfectly creamy and dreamy and it’s so comforting to me.

Lemon Oregano Chicken

Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Though I am back in Florida, I have been at my Mom’s house the past few days. We celebrated New Year’s Eve by having fake Christmas since we were all apart on Christmas day. I was planning on heading back up to my place today (4 hour drive), but I woke up this morning with a nice fever! My little brother, Nick, is sick too so I’m not sure if he gave me this lovely gift or if I got it while traveling. Either way, it really stinks! I spent most of the day sleeping.

Due to having the plague, I am going to share another wonderful recipe from my friend, Amanda. This recipe is light and perfect for those of you who made a resolution to eat healthier in 2012! Hopefully by the end of this week, I will be back in my own place and back to normal cooking and blogging!!

Lemon Oregano Chicken

From The Sopranos Family Cookbook

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 2 lemons

– 1 3 1/2 pound chicken, quartered (or if you would prefer, you can just use chicken breasts)

– 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

– 1 tbs. olive oil

– 1 tsp. dried oregano

– 2 garlic cloves, chopped

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Squeeze the juice from one lemon and slice the other one. Put the chicken and potatoes in a baking pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with the lemon juice, oil, oregano, garlic and salt and pepper. Turn the pieces to coat evenly, then turn the chicken skin side up. Tuck the lemon slices and potatoes in between the chicken pieces.

2 .Bake the chicken for about 45 minutes. Baste with the pan juices. Continue to bake, basting occasionally for 15 to 30 minutes longer or until the chicken is browned and the potatoes are tender. Transfer the chicken, potatoes and lemon slices to a serving platter. Tip the pan and skim off the fat. Pour the juices over the chicken and serve.

Top 10 Posts of 2011

Hi All! I’m back in the Sunshine State! Well, at least for the next 2 1/2 weeks and then it’s back out to Cali for my B.F.F.’s wedding! As we enjoy the last two days of 2011, I thought I would take a cue from my fellow bloggers and do a quick post to share some of my favorite and most popular posts from 2011. I’ve only been blogging since May, but I am getting close to celebrating 100 posts on Eat. Drink. Love.! I’m so glad that I finally started this blog and I am so thankful for each and every one of you who takes the time to read it! Though I may not always be able to answer every comment you leave, I promise you that I do read them all! I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

Ok, so let’s get this Top 10 list started. Picking just 10 recipes was tough, but I’ve made my picks based on both views and searches, and of course, your wonderful comments! And let’s just say that wow, you guys REALLY like desserts! And hey, I don’t blame you, I love them too! I just couldn’t bring myself to actually rank these so they are in no particular order! Here we go!

10. Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Who would have thought a simple biscuit recipe would be so popular? These tasty biscuits are pretty darn close to the famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster. This post was in the top 5 most popular on my blog and was also one of the most favorited recipes on TasteSpotting for the month of October!

9. Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

This was my first time making whoopie pies. Though they came out a little thicker than I had originally wanted, they were still very delicious! I loved this post not only because these were fun to make, but also because it was my first blog giveaway which was so much fun! In fact, I think another giveaway may be coming soon…

8. Homemade Manicotti

While I can’t say this was the most popular post on my blog, it will always hold a special place in my heart as it is probably one of my most favorite family recipes EVER! Once you try making your own shells and sauce from scratch, you won’t want to go back to store bought again!

7. Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers

Ah, Witch Fingers. If only you guys could have seen me and the Hubs trying to snap these shots. Me, crouched down on the floor with a cooler filled with dry ice and water and the Hubs quickly trying to snap pictures. Oh, and don’t even get me started on getting those fingers to stay in the box! Many curse words were used. Though taking these pictures was not easy, this is easily one of my favorite pictures that I have taken. Oh, and the fingers were also really tasty!

6. Low-Carb Pumpkin Muffins

Despite all the sweets included in this list, I have a passion for developing healthy recipes. As someone who REALLY loves sweets and carbs, trying to find new and healthier ways to enjoy baked goods has been a challenge, but I really enjoy experimenting! These low-carb pumpkin muffins were pretty delicious and also seem to be pretty popular with y’all!

5. Chicken Farfalle with Low-Fat Alfredo Sauce

This alfredo dish was probably one of my husband’s favorite things I have made. He is a big alfredo fan and you guys must be too! I don’t typically like alfredo sauce as it is heavy and doesn’t usually have a lot of flavor, but this sauce is both lower and fat and full of flavor! Win!

4. Apple Spice Cupcakes

These Apple Spice Cupcakes crack me up because when my friend, Amanda and I made the first batch, we totally screwed them up and we were using cake mix as a base! That’s what happens when you try to half a recipe with cake mix. Watch out people! But, we kept on and finally got them to turn out and they were perfectly yummy!

3. Olive and Cream Cheese Penguins

You all really seemed to love these little guys and I can’t say I blame you! Though they were a little tedious to make, they were definitely worth the effort! Just looking at them makes me smile!

2. Brownie Batter Dip

Who would have ever thought beans could replicate brownie batter dip?! Of the sweet dips I have posted, this is by far my favorite! It has such a delicious and rich chocolate taste! The perfect guilt-free taste!

1. Nutella Cupcakes

If I had to rank my posts according to popularity, these Nutella cupcakes would probably still come in first place. They are so easy to make and absolutely fantastic! You.must.make.them.now!

Oh, ok, I know I said this was a Top 10 list, but let’s do one more for good luck!

Cranberry Orange Bars

I gotta give these a shout out because not only were they super yummy, but they were also my first Top 9 on Foodbuzz!

Well kids, there you have it, the Top 10 (erm…11) posts on Eat. Drink. Love. according to you (oh yeah, and me too!)! I hope you all have a very happy and safe New Year’s. Here’s to 2012!

Spanish Shrimp


Wow, yes, it’s true. I AM still alive!! Sorry I haven’t posted this week, but holiday traveling has kept me quite busy! Hubs and I are still in California. As you can see, I have been taking full advantage of this little break to enjoy some time away from work and school and the blog (if you are a fellow blogger, I promise to get back to my usual reading/commenting after I get back to Florida this weekend!). I had a wonderful Christmas with my in-laws and enjoyed spending time with my cutie little nephew over the past few days. I hope you all also had a great Christmas. Did Santa bring you anything good? Santa brought me so many new food props like fun dishes and bowls. I don’t need to buy any for a very long time!

Last night, my cousin-in-law, Nellie and I headed over to Beverly Hills so that we could go check out Lisa Vanderpump’s (of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) restaurant, Villa Blanca. Lisa wasn’t there, but her daughter, Pandora, was there and she was also our waitress! Pandora’s new hubby was also there waiting tables. I thought it was super cool that they were actually working at the restaurant. Pandora was really sweet and seems totally down-to-earth. The food was also really tasty! I would definitely go again. And no, I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t want to be a total dork and it was really dark in the restaurant. I know, I suck.

Today, I am bringing you a recipe from good friend, Amanda. Although she doesn’t have her own blog, Amanda also loves to cook and take pictures of her food. And seriously, she makes some really yummy things, like this Spanish Shrimp. Amanda has been so sweet to send me some of her recipes and pictures to share with you all this week while I am still traveling. This shrimp dish would make a great appetizer for your New Year’s Eve parties!

Spanish Shrimp

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 1 lb. of shrimp (peeled with tails left on)

– 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

– 1 tsp. paprika

– 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

– 2 tbs. of sherry

– 1/4 cup of olive oil

– 1 tbs. of chopped fresh parsley

– 1 lemon, juiced

– salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes. Saute until the garlic begins to brown (garlic burns quickly- keep an eye on it). Turn the heat to high and quickly add shrimp, lemon juice from the lemon, sherry, and paprika. Gently stir until shrimp turns pink and curls (~3-4 minutes). Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to platter.