Welcome to HowDoYouCook.com

By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Caribbean Blue Iced Tea

One of the best things about going on vacation is getting to try a few new cocktails.  Especially those that are served with a juicy piece of pineapple on the rim and a cute little umbrella to add a festive touch.

While on our cruise, we discovered a little pub serving these Caribbean Blue Iced Teas, and they were just as tasty as they were beautiful.  With coconut flavor from the rum and citrus from the blue curacao, the final touch was pineapple juice and a splash of Sprite.  Be warned, the vodka and gin do add a sneaky punch to this innocent looking drink and my warning is... limit 2! lol

Since we forgot to ask the bartender for the exact recipe, we did a little experimenting with the measurements and our first attempt was perfect!  If you happen to have a fancy cocktail shaker feel free to use that, but a measuring cup worked just fine for us.  Now let's make some Blue Iced Tea!

Fill 2 large glasses with ice and set aside.

In a large measuring cup, combine the following, except the Sprite:

1 cup  Ice Cubes
1 oz  Blue Curacao
1 oz  Bombay Gin (or your favorite quality Gin)
1 oz  Malibu Coconut Rum
1 oz  Skyy Vodka
5 oz  Pineapple Juice, chilled
Sprite, chilled

Mix well and pour into the 2 glasses.  Top each with a splash of Sprite and serve, with or without pineapple slices or cute umbrellas.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Rosemary

Since I've always loved lemon and rosemary together, this dish was an immediate favorite for me and it came together as a bit of an experiment.  I love to cook with chicken thighs because they have so much more flavor than chicken breasts, and they are also much less expensive.  For a quick weeknight meal, tossing a few ingredients together became a very delicious meal.

With a package of chicken thighs, a bit of leftover white wine, some fresh rosemary from the garden and one lemon, this dish was ready to serve in about 45 minutes.

The trick to this dish is to get a really nice seared exterior on the chicken before you turn it over.  (Of course, I had one chicken thighs that lost its skin, so he was the lonely skinless thigh in the middle of the pan..lol)  Once that skin is seared, all of the juices are locked in, the skin gets nice and crispy, and you're ready to build the flavors around the chicken.

8 - 10  Bone-In and Skin-On Chicken Thighs
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 TB  Olive Oil
1/2 cup  White Wine, divided
Several Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
1  Large Lemon, cut in half, one half sliced the other half for juicing

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Lightly season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then place the chicken in the pan, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes, without turning.

Reduce heat to medium.  Using a spatula, carefully loosen the chicken without turning and continue to cook until the skin is golden, about 10 minutes.  Pour 1/4 cup white wine over the chicken along with the juice from 1/2 of the lemon, and tuck 2 or 3 springs of rosemary under the chicken.  Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and turn the chicken over, pour the remaining 1/4 cup of wine over chicken and cook about 5 minutes longer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  (If you are using larger chicken thighs you might need an extra 5 - 10 minutes of cooking time.)

Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the rosemary sprigs and discard.  Scatter the lemon slices on top of the chicken, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.  Serve with steamed brown rice and roasted asparagus.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Back to Blogging and a Garden Update

After a crazy couple of months, I am so glad to finally get back to working on the web site.  After working from home for 6 years, in March I went back to working in the real world.  Although I'm super excited to be back at work, it has been a bit of an adjustment.

Although only part time hours, I quickly realized that I would have to reschedule the whole family.  From dropping the kids off at school, to arranging their after school activities, to simply finding time to grocery shop, it has been incredibly busy.  But even with all of the changes, we did have time to make some tasty new recipes and those will be popping up here in the next few days, so stay tuned!

To make things even more crazy, the day after school was out we went on our first cruise to the Caribbean.  Like I said, crazy busy.

The Caribbean is a beautiful place and we were able to visit Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, Belize and Mahogony Bay, Roatan, which is a small island off the coast of Honduras.  Of the sites we visited, Roatan was by far my favorite and I'm hoping we can make a return trip in the future.  Here are a few pictures from the trip.


Roatan Rum Company - Cocoa Infused Rum and Spiced Rum found there way into my suitcase! Delicious!

On our return trip, I was a little worried about the garden I had left behind.  Although daily afternoon rain showers in Florida are pretty common, I was hoping all of our springtime plantings had enough water to keep them happy.  We were very pleasantly surprised.

I was excited to find yellow, orange, and juicy grape tomatoes all waiting to be picked along with green and purple peppers.  We even had a few early blueberries that were ripe and ready to eat. Yummy!

To begin enjoying this summer harvest we decided to start with something quick and simple, but delicious. Sliced yellow tomatoes layered with fresh basil leaves and slices of mozzarella cheese with a little salt and cracked pepper, topped off with a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar was the perfect side dish for our grilled burgers.  Ahh..let the summer begin!