#SCBDEventRecap: .@HavanaCentral Empanadas for Nat’l Empanada Day

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sauce (1)

When I walked into Havana Central on West 46th street in New York, the atmosphere was loud, chaotic and busy. Well, I guess National Empanada Day had something to do with it, right? Probably. Regardless, I was assigned to try these wonderful empanadas and reveal just how fabulous they tasted.

I was greeted by Ashley, the lovely Social Media and Marketing Manager, who took me under his wing and sat with me as I tried three empanadas. Since I cannot have cheese,(Yes it’s a total buzzkill, don’t you think I know?) I chose Chicken Sofrito, Shrimp Sofrito and Beef Picadillo. All of them crunchy, had a nice texture and yummy in the tummy. I requested dipping sauce and Ashley proudly provided mojo, a garlic dipping sauce and chimichurri, a green pesto sauce. Both of them were delicious!

empp

My one-on-one with Ashley consisted of speaking about the multiple restaurants in New York, there are four total. They might soon open up in Jersey as well. He confessed that some people are skeptical of trying cuban food because they believe it’s spicy. Guess what? The empanadas I consumed weren’t spicy one bit, instead, they were scrumptious and crispy.

shrimp

If you asked me which was my absolute favorite, I’d have to go with the Shrimp Sofrito Empanada, which was filled with chunks of shrimp! I ate that puppy by cutting off the pieces with knife and fork to enjoy the taste.

Along with the empanadas, Ashley and I drank mojitos, which consisted of white rum, sugar, usually sugar cane lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. Since I’m such a light weight, I sort of felt in without the first few sips. It was my first mojito and I felt privileged to drink it in the company of Ashley.

When I searched Havana Central’s website, I found some fun and interesting facts. Did you know over 700,000 mojitos and over one million empanadas have been sold? This goes to show you how delectable and delicious this restaurant is!

http://havanacentral.com/

Every weekday they offer happy hour from 3-7pm. Times Square location is from 4-7pm

$6 Classic Mojitos and Margaritas • $4 Beers • $5 House Wine • $7 Sangria
for Times Square and Yonkers locations

Havana Central Upper West Side Offers $6 Well Drinks During Happy Hour

$1 Empanadas every Tuesday at Times Square and Yonkers locations and Wednesdays at Upper West Side locations

Happy Eating!

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for my meal. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

#SCBDRecipe: Ground Turkey Quinoa

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Ground Turkey Quinoa

I was in the mood to have ground turkey and made a dinner. So I created this meal! I call it my Ground Turkey Quinoa. This is so healthy, and really fills you up when you are hungry! With any recipe I post, you can add or remove things as needed or wanted. I tend to use things I have around my kitchen, but you can plan ahead more and go out and buy things. Either way, enjoy it!

Ground Turkey quinoa recipe ground turkey quinoa

#SCBDRecipe: Whiskey Meatballs

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Happy National Meatball Day!!
I tried out this delicious-looking recipe on some friends on Super Bowl Sunday. Good thing most of them like whiskey since I added too much. Oops. I probably added a little more than double the Jack that is called for. (It was what was left in the bottle and I thought, “it can’t hurt!”) I would not suggest following my lead with that step.  Not terrible but very overpowering.
The meatballs were really strong but once we added BBQ sauce, it diluted the liquor and the little balls of meat were soon gone.
I’m looking forward to giving it a second go sometime and following the recipe a little more closely.
 
1 Trusty Crockpot
1 bag (1 lb.) frozen meatballs
1/2 heaping c. Ketchup
1/2 c. Packed Brown Sugar
1/4 c. Whiskey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
 In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except your meatballs. Mix up really well.

Place your frozen meatballs into your crock pot, and pour the whiskey sauce in on top. Mix it up all around so each meatball is coated with the whiskey sauce.
Now turn up the heat to high. Leave it on high for about an hour, stirring a couple times.
Once it appears that the meatballs have somewhat thawed, go ahead and turn your crockpot down to low.

Recipe courtesy of My Homemade Life.

#SCBDRecipe: Overnight Oats

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What started as an Instagram-inspired experiment has become a breakfast ritual. I am quite literally motivated to get out of bed every morning by the knowledge that my bowl of overnight oats is waiting in the refrigerator. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it makes such a difference if you enjoy it to the fullest. My schedule varies on a day-to-day basis, but this one is consistent: I am busy. Thankfully I have found the solution to the struggle of not having time to cook after my morning gym session and trying to avoid the temptation of a loaded bagel.

iphone 017

The best part about overnight oats is the inherent simplicity. Two ingredients are necessary: oats (I prefer whole rolled oats or steel-cut) and milk (I use almond milk). The preparation is easy: combine equal parts oats and milk, stir, and leave in the fridge overnight. While in the fridge, the oats absorb the liquid overnight and you’re left no-cook oatmeal (overnight oats, so clever!). Because I have a huge day ahead of me each morning, other ingredients have become crucial.

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For MY oats each night I use:

  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 container (5.30z) fat-free Greek yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon chia seeds

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When I wake up in the morning, I like to stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter and top it with ¼ cup granola or cereal for some crunch, although the possibilities for toppings are endless. Flavored yogurts can also change things up. I definitely recommend trying it out and tweeting your creations to @HHRiede!

#SCBDRecipe: Brie Pastry Appetizer; a delicious and easy app

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Pic 1

I attended a family holiday party and the host prepared these delicious treats. It is a combination of a Mini fillo Shells, Brie, Jam, and almonds. It is very simple, but so tasty. These can be made for any get together and any time of the year. The Superbowl is a great way to introduce these, try them out for a classy and tasty food, that is delicious and a finger food!

I just bought prepackaged Mini Fillo Shell pastry, but these could be homemade too. I then added a tiny amount of Smuckers Red Raspberry Jam to the pastry. Then I added a spoonful of Brie and topped it off with a few sliced almonds. I then heated it in my toaster oven for about one minute to let the brie melt on top so it wasn’t just a chunk. That is it! These are so easy and fast to make, and they taste like it took forever to make. Try this next time you go to a party or host one yourself. They are full of different flavors. The good thing about this is you can personalize it by using different types of brie, different flavors of jam, and even different nuts! Enjoy! 

pic 3pic 4

This is what I used.

Ingredients:

  • Mini FIllo Shells
  • Brie
  • Jam
  • Almonds

#SCBDRecipe: Pretzel recipe from Fun Pack Foods, Homemade from a Mix and Still Delish

scbdrecipeI previously did a post on homemade pretzels, this one is a continuation. This is a pre-boxed recipe that my mom bought a few months ago from Shop-Rite. It’s a prepackaged pretzle mix kit. The kit is made by Fun Pack Foods and is called Soft Pretzel Kit. It includes: a premade pretzel mix, a yeast packet, and salt.

recipe 2 pic 1The first step, empty the yeast into a bowl and combine it with water. After doing this pour out the contents of the pretzel mix.

recipe 2 pic 2 recipe 2 pic 3 recipe 2 pic 4The yeast is the longest part of the pretzel making. The recipe said the process would be done in 45 minutes.

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After kneeding the yeast into a smooth bowl; I placed it in a bowl, covered it and put it in the dark, cool oven to rise.

recipe 2 pic 5 recipe 2 pic 6I dipped the done pretzels into the mixture of baking soda and hot water. After dipping, I placed them on a cookie sheet.

recipe 2 pic 7 recipe 2 pic 8 recipe 2 pic 9Next, I placed the cookie sheet in the oven for 10 minutes; the recipe called for longer, but they came out perfect at that amount of time.

recipe 2 pic 10Another family favorite, these pretzels were not as sweet, but tasted more like a plain pretzel. My mom’s favorite, she enjoyed them with a hot cup of tea as her evening snack.

recipe 2 pic 11This next picture is of both the ‘buttery pretzel’ and the boxed pretzel.

aa buttery n box pic

#SCBDRecipe: Sweet & Sour Shrimp Thai Noodle

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Sweet & Sour Shrimp Thai Noodle

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One evening my family had nothing for dinner, so I decided to whip together something from the freezer. I came across some frozen pre-cooked shrimp in the freezer. I grabbed that and remembered I had some fresh vegetables in the fridge, a stir fry sweet and sour sauce and these Thai Rice Noodles in my closet. So I decided to throw these together and create a dish that I am not obsessed with!

 

I used:

½ the bag (16 oz bag- 8 oz was used) ‘A Taste of Thai Rice Noodles: straight cut’

9 oz Precooked Shrimp cut in half

1 whole chopped Yellow Pepper

1 ½ cups cut broccoli

9 Oz Baby Carrots cut into thirds

8 tablespoons Kikkoman – Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 Tablesoon vegetable Oil

1 Tsp Oregano

1 Tsp Sesame Seeds

 

The first step is to follow any directions the noodles have. Mine said to soak them for 25-30 minutes in hot water. After that was done I heated the Oil with a little water in a large frying pan and cooked the raw broccoli, carrots, and yellow pepper. Once they were steamed and cooked I added the noodles and sweet and sour sauce. Once they were all heated I added the thawed shrimp, oregano, and sesame seeds. You can add more or less for taste of anything, and if it starts to get dry or stick to the pan add some more oil to the mix. I kept mixing it to be sure the sweet and sour sauce was mixed on everything. Feel free to add different vegetables, or like I did just add what you have in your fridge. Enjoy.

This is such an easy thing to make and so delicious, my whole family loved it! The calories are not bad either! I approximated that this dish served a very big helping for up to 6 people. So the calories per serving if split among 6 people (with these specific ingredients) is about 300 calories per serving (42 carbs, 3 g fat, 12 g protein, and 274 sodium)

#SCBDRecipe: BLT with Fried Eggs

scbdrecipeBacon, lettuce, tomato. BLTs. Fast, easy, little clean-up involved and, the best part: so tasty. What’s not to love?! 

Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of tomato so I like to experiment with other toppings to add to a BLT sandwich. These add-ons include sun-dried tomato spread, cheese (various types) and fried eggs. All delicious!

This BLT included toasted bread, the B, the L, the T, cheddar cheese and fried egg. Even though I am sure there is no instruction needed for this “recipe” I will explain quickly below how to put this tasty creation together.

 

1. Cook your bacon. Thick-cut peppered bacon is my bacon of choice. (I bake it in the oven at 350º for about 17-20 min. Place on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil for super easy clean-up.)

2. While bacon is cooking, fried up your egg the way you like. (I like over-medium.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. You can also slice your tomato, cheese and lettuce during this time as well.

4. When the bacon is just about done, start toasting your bread. This way everything will still be warm while you are building your sandwich.

5. Build your sandwich the the bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese and fried egg.

#SCBDFavorite: Recipe for Disaster

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I love to create new and innovative yummy treats, but my favorite part is sharing the joy with my friends and family. Every now and again someone asks me, “what’s the secret recipe”. I hand it over, of course, because I also enjoy looking up delicious recipes to add to my repertoire. Sometimes, even after following the instructions to a tee, my dish is not AS GOOD as the original. If this has happened to you, do not allow it to discourage you. Years of experience has taught me a few reasons why a dish may not turn out just like the original when following a recipe.

Photo courtesy of cookwarebase.com

1. Type of Cookware – The age and brand of cookware may seem like little details, but they greatly affect the outcome of a dish. An older oven may require more time or fancier cookware may yield crispier crust. Whatever the circumstance these are important factors in why your dish may differ from what the recipe promised.

photo courtesy of wdev-newsblog

2. Brand of Ingredients – When dealing with fresh fruits and vegetables so much of the taste is determined by how ripe it is. An ingredients list that is not very detailed may fail to mention this. Also store brought ingredients vary drastically by brand, so it is important to buy the appropriate brand if it is listed.

photo courtesy of wholefoodsmarket.com

3. Recipes are Estimates – My mother always said “a true cook never measures”. Often when preparing a dish you go with what feels right, and when writing a recipe you estimate about how much of one ingredient you used. So a recipe may not be the exact measurement of what the original cook used.

photo courtesy of society6.com

4. Cooking is an art – I have come to learn

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that recipes are just a guide on what to do, you do not have to do everything just as they say. Do not fear creativity when replicating a dish. So whether it is an extra dash of sugar or skipping the salt, use your better judgement and creative freedom to make a dish your own.

I wish you all, Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

@_msgetright

#SCBDRecipe: .@Ortega has a Bowl of Super Snacks for Sunday

Ortega, is encouraging football fans everywhere to kick off the big game with the Ortega Taco Stadium! Made from crowd pleasing favorites like Ortega Fiesta Flats, Ortega Guacamole Dip and Ortega Salsas, this edible football stadium will be the talk of the Super Bowl party.

taco stadium

 

TACO STADIUM

Food ingredients

  • 4 boxes Ortega Fiesta Flats (keep the boxes too)
  • 5 jars Ortega guacamole dip
  • or 3 packets of Ortega guacamole seasoning packets and 6 avocados
  • 4 Ortega flour tortillas
  • 1 8-ounce block cheddar cheese
  • 1 can Ortega black beans, drained
  • 1 can Ortega refried beans
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cans black olives, sliced and drained
  • 4 8-ounce bags shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 jars Ortega salsa

In addition, you’ll need:

  • 1 large 20”x 30” foam core board to act as the base
  • 5 15” x10 1/4” foil cookie sheets (they come 2 to a pack, so 3 packs) (Hefty makes them and available at most grocery stores)
  • roll of clear packing tape
  • ruler
  • 1 squeeze bottle or turkey baster

To assemble the stadium:

To create the field:

  • With a sharp knife, cut out four goal posts (you will only need two but good to have extra in case they break when installing) out of the flour tortillas. Basically, they will look like large pitch forks. Heat 1/2 cup vegetable over medium heat, in a small, swallow frying pan and crisp the tortilla goal posts in the hot oil for about 1 minutes, flipping once, being carefully not to burn or make too brown. Allow to drain on paper towels and carefully set aside.
  • About an hour before party time, spread the refried beans about two inches at either end of the foil “field,” to create end zones. Then spread the guacamole dip or homemade guacamole using the Ortega seasoning packet onto the remaining foil “field.” With a squeeze bottle or turkey baster, carefully draw lines onto the guacamole “field” with the sour cream. Cut the block of cheddar cheese in half and then cut a one-inch incision in the top of each cheese piece. Carefully pull apart the incision and place the tortilla goal post in the incision, thus creating a secure stand from the cheese blocks for the goal posts. Carefully place the cheese stand and goal post in the center of the refried beans at each end of the “football” field.
  • Place the Fiesta Flats on the three levels of the foil steps. Fill each level with lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, olives and cheese. At the each stadium corner, open and place jar of salsa for dipping.

Possible Additions:

  • Use jalapeno slices as the “players” on the field or in the seats.
  • Attach long skewers about three inches apart with the tape onto the boxes and then cut blocks of cheese to fit between the skewers to create lights above the seats.
  • Crush the Fiesta flats or Ortega hard tacos shells in the food processor and sprinkle around the outside of the “stadium,” as walkways or parking lots.

Created by Dan Macey, dantasticfood, Inc.

MINI-MEATBALL FIESTA FLATS™

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ORTEGA® Taco Shells (any variety)
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ½ package (1.25 oz.) ORTEGA® Taco Seasoning Mix or 40% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can (10 oz.) ORTEGA® Mild Red Enchilada Sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 package (1 oz.) ORTEGA® Guacamole Seasoning Mix
  • 12 ORTEGA® Fiesta Flats™ Taco Shells
  • Shredded lettuce

Directions:

  • Place taco shells in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. (Or place in a resalable plastic bag and crush.) Combine crumbs, pork, and taco seasoning in a mixing bowl.
  • Form mixture into small meatballs, about 1/2-inch in diameter. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown meatballs lightly, in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes per batch, turning frequently. Return all meatballs to skillet and add enchilada sauce and water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked.
  • Meanwhile, mash avocados and stir in guacamole seasoning mix. Let rest in the refrigerator according to package instructions.
  • To serve, spoon meatballs and sauce into Fiesta Flats™. Top each with shredded lettuce and guacamole.

Makes 4 servings.

Sticky Salsa turkey wings

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 whole turkey wings, jointed, wing tip discarded
  • 1 large bottle (16 oz.) ORTEGA® Taco Sauce
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown wings, in batches, for 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Combine taco sauce, orange juice, onion and garlic in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange wings in single layer and turn to coat.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, turning occasionally and adding water if needed, until wings are tender and sauce is thick, sticky and coats wings. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings.

 

 

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