Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • Tropical Rice Bowls

Tropical Rice Bowls

Posted on March 25, 2015

There are a few truths to life that I’ve gathered over the years.

One: dark chocolate trumps white chocolate.

Two: summer is better than winter.

And three: food in a bowl is way tastier than food on a plate.

It’s this third point that really gets me. Like WHY is it SO MUCH BETTER? I can’t explain it. But it’s true. In fact, I think I’m going to throw away all my plates. I want bowl food all day, every day. More specifically, I want THIS Tropical Rice Bowl.


Every component of this Tropical Rice Bowl is like it’s own mini flavor explosion. It’s hard for me to pick out my favorite part. We’ve got coconut-lime rice (you’ll never want to make plain rice again!), curried plantains, spiced sweet potatoes, black pepper pineapple, zesty guacamole and a couple extra toppings for good measure. Because you always gotta have some extra toppings (= fourth truth in life).

I can’t even deal. This bowl has got it going on.

OK, now I bet you’re eyeballing the ingredient list and thinking that this recipe seems a bit involved. But trust me. It isn’t. It just looks long because of the way I’ve compartmentalized the ingredients. In fact, all we are really doing is cooking up some rice, roasting up some vegetables and fruits and smashing an avocado. Easy peasy. You got this!



Tropical Rice Bowls

Serves 2

Tropical Rice Bowls


  • For the Coconut-Lime Rice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime

  • For the Plantains
  • 1 plantain, green to light yellow in color
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar (you can substitute maple syrup)
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder

  • For the Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder

  • For the Pineapple
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • For the Guacamole
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  • The Extras
  • Roasted cashews
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges


  1. Make the coconut-lime rice. In a medium saucepan bring the coconut milk, water, salt and olive oil to a low boil. Stir in the rice and turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. I find that I have to keep the heat a bit lower than I normally would, as the coconut milk has a greater tendency to over boil or scorch on the bottom. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, keep the lid on and let the rice sit for 5-7 minutes. Then remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Gently stir in the lime juice and zest. Cover to keep warm.
  2. While the rice is cooking, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Peel the plantain by making a long, vertical slice along the peel and removing it with your fingers. Slice the plantain into 1/2-inch thick disks. Toss in a medium bowl with the olive oil, agave and curry powder. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Using the same bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Add them to the same large baking sheet, keeping the sweet potatoes separate from the plantains.
  5. Using the same bowl, toss the pineapple with the olive oil and pepper. Add the pineapple to the same baking sheet, keeping it separate from the other ingredients.
  6. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven and roast for 10 minutes. Stir the sweet potatoes and pineapple. Use a pair of tongs to flip the plantains. Then roast everything for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  7. Make the guacamole. Cut the avocado in half and remove and discard the pit. Scoop the flesh from the avocado and add it to a small bowl along with the lime juice, salt and cilantro leaves. Mash with a fork.
  8. Assemble the bowls. Divide the rice evenly between two bowls. Then top with the plantains, sweet potatoes, pineapple and guacamole, dividing everything evenly. Garnish with some cashews, extra cilantro and lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.
  • Vanilla-Pear Spiced Bourbon Lemonade Fizz
  • Vanilla-Pear Spiced Bourbon Lemonade Fizz

Vanilla-Pear Spiced Bourbon Lemonade Fizz

Posted on March 20, 2015

Disclosure: I received Rodelle products for review. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that I love and trust. It’s opportunities like these which allow me to continue to create and share unique content with you.

We made it through another week!

And THIS week. Well, it was particularly long for me. So I’m ready to celebrate the arrival of Friday with a cocktail! Are you with me? Good. Let’s do this.

Until this past year, cocktail making wasn’t something I did particularly often. I guess I was kind of intimidated by the whole endeavor. So I always saved my cocktail drinking for nights out on the town. But now I’ve learned how to shake things up at home. And it’s a lot of fun!

One of the most important things I’ve learned for achieving cocktail success at home is to use really high quality ingredients. While I always strive to cook and bake with the best stuff I can get my hands, I think it’s even more important when it comes to cocktail making. Why? Because there are so few components that go into your glass. You definitely don’t want some less-than-stellar ingredients muddling things up.

Unless of course you are making a mojito, then muddle away. Or something like that.

So for this fizz, I grabbed the plumpest looking lemons I could find, a couple perfectly ripe pears, some fragrant thyme and an intoxicatingly fragrant Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean. If you haven’t tried Rodelle vanilla beans yet, I urge you to change that ASAP. There is nothing in this world quite like slicing into a fresh, richly aromatic vanilla bean. It’s life altering.

Oh and do yourself a favor and make up some fresh ice too. That stuff that’s been sitting in your freezer for months = no bueno.

This Vanilla-Pear Spiced Bourbon Lemonade Fizz is like a little teaser for the warm weather that’s on the horizon. The lemonade part of it just screams summer. But the pears, vanilla, thyme and brown sugar give it a warming quality and some real depth of flavor. It’s how we transition through the seasons in style.

And while I’m not one to ever leave out the bourbon (ahem), you can totally skip it for a great virgin cocktail.



Vanilla-Pear Spiced Bourbon Lemonade Fizz

Serves 6-8

Vanilla-Pear Spiced Bourbon Lemonade Fizz


  • For the Lemonade Base
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 pears, cored and chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Rodelle Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, split

  • For the Cocktails
  • Crushed ice
  • Club soda or seltzer water
  • Bourbon


  1. Make the lemonade base. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients for the lemonade base. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the lemonade base cool to room temperature. Then transfer it to your refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. The longer the lemonade base sits, the more the flavors will develop.
  2. Strain the lemonade base through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container, discarding the solids. The lemonade base can be store in your refrigerator for several days.
  3. Make the cocktails. Pour about 3/4 cups of the lemonade base over some crushed ice in a glass. Add about 1/4 cup of the club soda or seltzer water and 1 1/2 ounces (about one shot) of bourbon. Stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.

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