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My Absolute Favorite Dip – EVER!

26 Jul
Garlic-Onion Cheese Spread Garlic-Onion Cheese Spread Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and preserves until blended. Stir in the onions, bacon, garlic and pepper. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with crackers. Yield: 2-1/4 cups.
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Classy Jello Shots…Yes, classy!

1 Jul

Let’s admit it – Jello shots aren’t exactly classy – But these one’s are!

I was first introduced to these little delights when a friend brought them to my birthday party in 2011. They have been a summer staple ever since.

You can use any kind of fruit and any flavor of Jello, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of lime Jell-O
  • Limes (as many as you would like)
  • Your choice of liquor.  *Absolut Citron or tequila with the lime??

Cut the limes in half lengthwise and clear out the insides. This part can be brutal. Jeff and I spent an hour on this part. I’m sure there is an easier way, but I’m not quite sure what it is…

Prepare the Jell-O according to the instructions on the box. Reduce the water portion by ¼ cup and replace with your alcohol of choice.

You want to make sure that your limes are set onto a surface that will keep them up right. I used a muffin pan. Pour your Jell-O mix into the lime shells and then place them into the refrigerator to set over night or for however long the Jell-O box instructs

When they are ready, cut each lime in half to make the perfect bight sized lime Jell-O shot!

 

Try these variations:

Watermelon in a Lime shell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon

Strawberry Margarita

 

 

Pretty Pretzels

19 Jun
Thought these would be a nice treat to go along with beer for all the Bruins games we’ve been watching…
30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels.

makes 8 – 10 (or more) depending on size

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water (lukewarm, no need to take temperature)
  • 1 packet active yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 – 4.25 cups all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface to knead (or mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
  • 1 large egg
  • course sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain. Add salt and sugar; stir until fairly combined. Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Continue to add more flour until dough is no longer sticky. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. This measurement does not have to be exact – use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish – the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.
  4. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. My ropes were twenty inches long. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg and pour into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Dunk the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (both sides). Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F degrees. Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 4 days (will lose softness). Pretzels freeze well.
  8. *If you’d like to make cinnamon sugar pretzels, mix 1 Tablespoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar and coat pretzels instead of using salt.

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Frosting

14 Jun

Step aside, bikini…

Ingredients

Brownie Cupcakes
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Cookie Dough Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp milk (I used vanilla almond milk, but soy or regular would be fine)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave in a large microwave safe bowl. Mix in the sugar until smooth and microwave for about 1 minute. Stir the mixture until smooth again. Whisk in the vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and stir until completely combined.
  3. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake in the prepared muffin tin for about 8-10 minutes (mine took a little under 9 minutes). Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. For the frosting: With an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed. Add the vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour and salt until doughy. Stir in the milk and beat until fluffy. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Notes

*I find these cupcakes are best served cold. I kept mine in the fridge. It also helped to avoid the cookie dough frosting from melting.

*You could easily use boxed brownie mix as a shortcut, but you would need to adjust the frosting accordingly since the cookie dough frosting recipe below only makes enough for 10-12 cupcakes.

*Depending on how full you fill the muffin tins, you could get anywhere from 9-12 cupcakes. I filled mine about 2/3 full.

Funeral Potatoes (served at the funeral of a long lost Colorado girl)

13 Jun

These so-called “funeral potatoes” have been in my family for many years and they have become a staple at all our family gatherings since before I can remember…To be honest, I’m not even really sure where the name comes from but I do know that this dish has been served at a good chunk of the funerals I’ve been to over my lifetime…

The recipe is a simple one. But, truth be told, you can find a very similar one on the back of an Ore-Ida bag. Pretend I didn’t mention the previous point because I like to think this is some sort of top secret family recipe that has been passed down for generations. Wherever it came from, I know one thing- this recipe brings me home, and that’s all that really matters to me.

Obviously, these potatoes have been on my mind. When I thought about what to post today, two things kept coming up. Funeral potatoes and being homesick for Colorado. Well, perfect- the two naturally come together…

I made these infamous funeral potatoes a couple weeks back at a party we had. As I was mixing and stirring up all of the ingredients, I couldn’t help but think about CO. It’s been almost five years now since I have lived there, and I’m starting to feel like that part of me is getting lost (hence the title: funeral of a long lost Colorado girl). Don’t get me wrong, my life here in Boston is fun and it’s an experience everyone should have. But, I’m in dire need of laid back-ness. I miss home. I miss home so much  it hurts.

So, I’ve made it my mission, starting today, to remember my Colorado roots more often and start incorporating my “Colorado self” into my everyday life. I cannot forget that Colorado girl. I cannot forget the landscape that taught me about spirituality and God. I cannot forget the people who shaped me into who I am today. I cannot forget the unforgettable experiences I have had from growing up in CO.

I DO NOT want to have a funeral for the Colorado girl in me. I want her to live and live loudly (and proudly). So, I’ll start by making funeral potatoes, tonight. :)

Here’s the infamous, VERY TOP SECRET, cannot be found anywhere recipe:

2 lbs frozen hash browns (I use the diced kind)
1 stick of butter
1/2 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1/2 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced onion

1 cup corn flakes (crushed)
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:

1. Defrost potatoes, melt half of the butter, and mix together all ingredients (except corn flakes- those are for the topping).

2. Melt second half of butter and mix with corn flakes. Place on top of the casserole.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in a 9×13 baking dish

PS.- Try crumbling 1/2c bacon on the top. :)

Oh, and I just had to add this…

Summer Party Ideas

6 Jun

Summer fever is in the air and that means outdoor BBQ’S, roof deck soiree’s & get-together’s at the beach…

My husband and I just closed on our first home and we most certainly will be having a house warming party this summer (I hope). Not only do I want to share our new home with our friends and family, but I also desperately need to get rid of some of the elk meat from Jeff’s hunting trip in Colorado last October. So, an elk BBQ it is!..with the addition of some fun summer faves like these:

Frozen Grape Kabob’s. They are my favorite summertime cool-down treat, and so much better for you than a Popsicle.

Caprese Sticks. I make these at almost every party I host because they are just so easy. Drizzle with a little fig balsamic and there you have it!

A personal veggie cup? Ok, how come I haven’t thought of this before?

Strawberry Bruchetta? Yes, please! (it’s goat cheese, basil, & strawberry with a dash  of peach balsamic)

Instead of a Jello shot, try a Jello slice…(cut your fruit in half, pour in mixture & refrigerate. Once congealed, cut in half to make slices).

Prosciutto and melon skewers- to die for.

Mango salsa. Here’s the recipe I use click here

White sangria pops. oh, yessss!

Bacon Weaving…

9 May

No words needed.

Mhhhhhhh *-*

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo Pasta

7 May
Sweet roasted red peppers in a creamy and tangy goat cheese alfredo sauce served over pasta. How can you go wrong?

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo Pasta

Here’s the Recipe:

(Makes 2 servings)

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 2 Roasted Red Peppers, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful basil
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. Melt the butter in pan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the cream, goat cheese, parmesan and roasted red peppers and simmer until the cheese has melted.
  4. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, add the basil and puree with a hand blender or in a blender or food processor.
  5. Serve hot over the pasta garnished with more parmesan and basil.

Salad Jars

3 May

Look at this fancy little idea. Perfect for healthy eating and advanced planning. I’m so sick of buying lunch at work because  it’s expensive and unhealthy. These salad jars are just the thing I need.

THE ARRANGEMENT
From BOTTOM to TOP:
Dressing
Shredded carrots
Cherry tomatoes
Sunflower seeds
Hard boiled eggs
Baby spinach

DIRECTIONS
1) Arrange ingredients in a large mason jar
2) Store in fridge for up to a week
3) When ready to eat: shake jar, place on a plate, and eat!

You can make any arrangement you want… you can add red onion, cucumbers, radishes or peppers. Always remember to put the dressing at the bottom and the lettuce at the top—a MUST. As long as the dressing does not touch the greens this will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week!

****NOTE****

If your making a few salads at a time for the week, you MUST remember to vacuum seal the Mason Jars. (Mason jars can be bought at Wal-mart, and various grocery stores) They must be vacuum sealed to remain fresh and crisp Here are two different ways to vacuum seal a mason jar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhb1gfVSB9Y

Non Foodsaver vacuum seal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMDfyRjfBbc

Cherry Cheesecake

18 Apr

Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

This is my grandmother’s recipe, but I found the recipe online, too. Some of the recipes called it ‘cherry cream cheese pie’…

It is by far the easiest pie/cake I have ever made, and it’s my husbands favorite. So, that’s a win – win for me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 or 9-inch) prepared graham cracker or baked pie crust
  • 1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling, chilled

I made my own graham cracker crust:

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker
crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
2. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

Instructions:

  • BEAT cream cheese until fluffy in large bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.
  • POUR into crust; chill 4 hours or until set. Top with desired amount of cherry pie filling before serving.
  • TOPPING VARIATIONS:
  • BLUEBERRY: Omit cherry pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in medium bowl; mix well. Add 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice then 2 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries; mix well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes or until thick and clear. Cool 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool 15 minutes. Spread over pie. Chill thoroughly.
  • CRANBERRY: Omit cherry pie filling. Combine 1/3 cups sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water and 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries; mix well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Spread over pie. Chill thoroughly.
  • FRESH FRUIT: Omit cherry pie filling. Just before serving, arrange well-drained fresh strawberries, banana slices (dipped in lemon juice and well drained) and blueberries on top of chilled pie. Brush fruit with light corn syrup if desired.
  • AMBROSIA: Omit cherry pie filling. Combine 1/2 cup Smucker’s® Peach or Apricot Preserves, 1/4 cup flaked coconut, 2 tablespoons orange juice and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in small saucepan; cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Arrange fresh orange sections over top of pie; top with coconut mixture. Chill thoroughly.

Snacks for Spring: Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips

8 Apr

Ingredients:

For the fruit salsa:

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
8 oz raspberries
1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp fruit preserves, any flavor (I used strawberry; would only use 2 tbsp next time)

For the cinnamon chips:

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray
Cinnamon sugar:
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar, and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.
2. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar, cut into wedges, and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray again with cooking spray (not necessary if using melted butter).

3. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be served with cinnamon graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips. Best when made and eaten the same day otherwise the fruit gives off too much juice and it gets runny!

Enjoy!

Orecchietta with Mini Chicken Meatballs

19 Mar

This recipe is basically like a deconstructed chicken parm….mmmmm.

Orecchiette pasta can be hard to find so you may need to venture to a pasta shop… But, the rest is easy peasy.

Picture of Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients

1 pound orecchiette pasta
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 tablespoon ketchup
3/4 cup grated Romano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, hot
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 ounces bocconcini mozzarella, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken and gently stir to combine.

Using a melon baller (or a teaspoon measure), form the chicken mixture into 3/4-inch pieces. With damp hands, roll the chicken pieces into mini meatballs.

In a large (14-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes longer. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl and add the Parmesan. Toss to lightly coat orecchiette, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Add the meatball mixture, mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of the basil. Gently toss to combine. Garnish with the chopped basil.

Rainbow cake… Because there’s a pot of gold at the end of it!

20 Feb

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Ingredients

  • Vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple gel food coloring
  • Lemony Swiss Butter cream frosting *See Below

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush six 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper; brush again and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and milk in two alternating additions, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. Mix until well combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly between six medium bowls. Add enough of each color of food coloring to each bowl, whisking, until desired shade is reached. Transfer each color to an individual cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes (working in batches if necessary).
  4. Remove cakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack; re-invert and let cool completely.
  5. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the purple layer on the cake plate. Spread a scant 1 cup butter cream filling over the first layer with a small offset spatula so it extends just beyond edges. Repeat process with blue, green, yellow, and orange layers.
  6. Place the remaining red layer on top, bottom-side up. Gently sweep away any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Using an offset spatula, cover the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting (also use any of the excess frosting visible between the layers). Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  7. Using an offset spatula, cover cake again with remaining frosting.

****Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

Ingredients

  • For The Frosting

    • 5 large egg whites
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Directions

  1. Make the filling and crumb coat: Cook egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on high speed until mixture is room temperature. With the mixer on medium-low, add butter, one piece at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Remove whisk attachment and switch to paddle attachment. Increase speed to high and beat until buttercream comes together, about 5 minutes; beat in lemon extract.
  3. Make the frosting: In a clean saucepan and bowl of an electric mixer, repeat process in step 1.

 

Buffalo Mac N’ Cheese

31 Jan
In spirit of the super bowl this weekend, I thought I would share this gem. I plan on making it on Sunday for a party because it’s easy and so so tasty (nice looking, too). In my opinion, you HAVE TO have something buffalo inspired for the big game. This is perfect.
This recipe came from an e-mail chain that Jeff was attached on @ work.  Some of his co-workers had this Mac N’ Cheese served to them in one of the box suites at the TD Garden (tough job, huh?). I’m not really even sure if I’m supposed to know about this recipe, let alone, share it. But, you know me- always bending the rules.  Hope you enjoy!

2 Pounds Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless
3 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Pound Elbow macaroni
7 Tablespoons Unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
¾ cup Onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup Celery, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
¾ Cup Frank’s red hot
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Teaspoons Dry mustard
1 Pound Orange Cheddar Cheese, shredded
8 Ounces Pepper Jack Cheese Shredded
2/3 Cup s Sour cream
2 ½ Cups Heavy cream
1 Cup Panko
1 Cup Crumbled blue cheese
Chopped parsley
Kosher salt to taste

Step 1.

Preheat a convection oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the chicken thighs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a rack on a sheet try and roast in the oven until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.


Once cooled, shred into roughly 1” pieces.

Step 2.
Brush a 2” deep half hotel pan with butter.
Boil the macaroni according to the package directions, until a firm al dente. Drain.  

Step 3.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and garlic and cook until combined, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup hot sauce and cook about 1 minute more.

Step. 4
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisk in flour and dry mustard until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream. Add remaining ¼ cup hot sauce, stirring until thick, about 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, stir in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Turn off the heat and whisk in the sour cream, until smooth.

Step 5.
In a large bowl mix the macaroni, cheese mixture and chicken mixture.
Transfer the Mixture to the half hotel pan.
Step 6.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, stir in panko, blue cheese and parley until moistened. Sprinkle evenly over the mac and cheese.

Step 7.
Bake until brown and bubbly, 30-40 minutes (cover with foil if the bread crumbs begin to take on too much color). Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Shades of Green Salad

30 Jan

If you ever have the chance to check out http://www.Food52.com , do it. It’s such a fun cooking website that I heard about from my mother-in-law. She’s a fabulous cook with so many great recipes up her sleeve.

This is one of my favorites. You could eat an entire bowl just for dinner (and breakfast, and lunch and to snack on…) Yum. The tartness from the apple, the acidity from the dressing and the creaminess of the cheese  & avocado come together so nicely. It just melts in your mouth.

*Drooling just thinking about it.

Serves 2-3

for the chive dressing

  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. In a blender, add in the garlic, Champagne vinegar, creme fraiche, honey, chives, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined.
  2. With the blender still on, through the top, stream in the olive oil. Blend until combined. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.
for the salad

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 1 Hass avocado, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 english cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup green raisins
  • 1/4-1/2cup (depending on how much cheese you like in your salad) crumbled gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature
  • chive dressing (recipe above)
  • salt and black pepper, if necessary
  • chopped chives, for garnish, optional
  1. Toss the apple and avocado in the lemon juice so they don’t oxidize. Then, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the chive dressing. You may not have to use all of the dressing, it depends on how you like your salad. I don’t like mine too wet. If necessary, add extra salt and pepper. Garnish with some chopped chives. This salad can be made up to 3-4 hours in advance. If you are making the salad in advance add in the room temperature gorgonzola when you serve the salad.

Wings, Hooters Style

22 Jan

So, a couple of years ago I acquired the Hooters wings secret recipe. These wings are better than Hooters. And, they don’t require actual hooters. ha!

I served them on Sunday for the Patriots/Ravens game. They were a hit- the game on the other hand, was not.

Here’s the process for making these awesome things:

In a small bowl mix:

1/2 Cup Flour

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Tsp. Salt

1/4 Tsp. Paprika

Dip each wing into this floury mixture until well coated. Put the coated wings in the refrigerator for an hour or so. That way the flour mix will really stick to the wings.

image

For the sauce (buffalo sauce):

1/2 Stick of butter

1/4 Cup Franks Red Hot

1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 Tsp Ground Pepper

Melt these ingredients together and set aside.

image (2)

While your wings are in the refrigerator soaking up the flour mixture   get a large pot and add 3/4 gallon jug of vegetable oil (or fill your large pot about half way with oil).

Heat until oil is hot (350-375 degrees). I just eyeball it by splashing water on the oil. If it sizzles slightly, it’s ready. I doubt any professional would tell you that’s a good idea. One time Jeff and I had a sizzling explosion when the oil was too hot! Make sure to test it several times while it’s heating and you wont have that issue.

Add the wings (about 5 at a time) and fry for about 6-8 minutes. They will start to float and get a nice golden color when they are ready.

Then, take them out of the oil and transfer them to a bowl lined with paper towels. Once the oil has drained off a little, put them in a clean bowl and dribble the sauce you made earlier on the wings.

You’re done. Isn’t this an easy recipe? WHY would you ever go out any buy wings from a wing shop when you can make these?

I also make these wings “Adobo” style (plain). Instead of adding the buffalo sauce at the end, I sprinkle Lawry’s seasoning salt and regular salt on the wings. I think they are even better this way…OR, you could even do BBQ sauce.

I made all three types for the game.

AND DON’T FORGET: Serve with blue cheese and celery sticks!

image (3)Yes, those are solo cup shot glasses. Jealous? 

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

8 Jan

Spiced, Roasted Cauliflower.

Spiced, Roasted Cauliflower.

As anyone who knows their vegetables will tell you, roasted cauliflower with a touch of oil and spices is terrific, and for what it lacks in color, it more than makes up in flavor.

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Spiced, Roasted Cauliflower:

Notes Before You Start:

  • You can use any variety of cauliflower for this recipe.
  • If you don’t have cumin seeds, just add a bit more ground cumin.

What You Get: Sweet, salty, spicy and crisp cauliflower.

What You Need: No special equipment required.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4-6)

  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower, stem and green leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Scallion, chives and/or Italian parsley, for garnish.

Assemble:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the oil, salt, pepper and spices in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Cut the florets off the cauliflower and break into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. If making “steaks” cut the cauliflower cross-wise into 3/4 inch slices. Toss the florets in the oil mixture and/or brush the oil mixture on both sides of the “steaks”. Place the cauliflower pieces on a large baking sheet.
  3. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until soft in the center and golden brown on the outside. Flip the steaks or toss the florets halfway through the cooking time. When done, remove the cauliflower from the oven, taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with sliced scallions, chives or Italian parsley, if you like. Serve.

Pictures and Recipe courtesy of PutneyFarms Blog

Snowballs

21 Dec

My grandma calls these “Italian Wedding Cookies,” but I know the recipe as “snowballs,” too. Seeing that it’s the holiday season, I’m going with Snowballs. These are  simple cookies to make, and their yummy! EnjoyIMG_8248

SNOWBALLS
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
more powdered sugar (about a cup)

With an electric mixer, combine the butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla.  Then mix in the flour, salt and walnuts.  Mix on a high speed until the solid dough forms–it will take longer than you think, just keep mixing.  Roll the dough into neat little balls and bake them on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until they just begin to brown.

While the cookies are still hot, roll them in a bowl of powdered sugar and set them out to cool.  After they are cooled down, roll them in powdered sugar once more.

Christmas Jello

14 Dec

This is a really fun thing to make! It’s a Christmas version of the classic “Finger Jello” recipe, which I believe refers to any jello that is supplemented by an additional dose of plain gelatin, which renders it a little more hardy and easy to pick up with one’s fingers than regular jello would be. Rainbow Finger Jello involves layering several different colors of the gelatin-fortified jello, which results in an amazingly happy and pretty layered treat.

Christmas Finger Jello

Ingredients

  • 3 boxes Cherry Or Strawberry Jello (3 Ounces Each)
  • 2 boxes Lime Jello (3 Ounces Each)
  • 2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 Ounces Each)
  • 9 envelopes Plain Knox Gelatin
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray

Preparation Instructions

First: Get organized! Having a tea kettle full of water helps, as does having at least two or three mixing bowls and a couple of glass measuring cups. This moves faster if you have all the equipment ready!

Second: Spray a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex with cooking spray, then give it a gentle wipe with a paper towel to remove the excess.

COLORED JELLO LAYERS:

One layer at a time, mix 1 envelope Knox gelatin with 1/4 cup cold water in a small mixing bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water, followed by 1 box of either red or green jello. Stir gently to combine so bubbles won’t form. Pour into pan. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, or until set. In between each colored layer, pour a creamy layer.

CREAMY WHITE LAYERS:

***NOTE: The following mixture is enough for just under three creamy layers. You’ll need two batches before the whole thing’s done.

In a small glass measuring cup, measure 1/2 cup cold water. Stir in 2 envelopes of plain jello and stir to dissolve. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water. Pour dissolved gelatin mixture into the condensed milk mixture, then add another 1/2 cup of boiling water.

Once you’ve used all of the creamy mixture, repeat the method below to make another batch.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Begin by pouring either a red layer in the bottom of the pan. Stick the pan in the fridge for 10-15 minutes until it’s set. While it’s setting, mix up the first batch of the creamy mixture.

Remove the pan from the fridge and pour in a little more than 1/3 of the creamy mixture (or enough to coat the first colored layer.) Stick the pan in the fridge for 10-15 minutes until it’s set. While it’s setting, mix up the next colored layer.

Repeat the colored layer process with a green layer, followed by another creamy layer. When you’re finished, you should have, beginning from the bottom:

Red

White

Green

White

Red

White

Green

White

Red

Note that you’ll need to mix up the second batch of the creamy layer midway through the process to make sure you have enough for the middle layer. For the colored layers, just mix them right before you need them (when the previous layer is chilling in the fridge).

When all the layers are in the pan, chill for a good 2 hours to totally set everything. Cut into small squares and serve.

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DSC_5448

One thing you need to know, if you’ve never tried finger jello, is that it is decidedly firmer than jello made according to package directions. Of course, that’s the whole point; it needs to be firm in order to hold together and be “pick up-able.” But if you’re expecting it to have the slurp-through-your-teeth softness of normal jello, it won’t.

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Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

6 Dec

Yum.

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