Monday, February 29, 2016

Spring Green Risotto for SRC Bunnies and Leprechauns Reveal

It's almost Easter and St. Patrick's day and the Secret Recipe Club is doing a special 'reveal' called Bunnies and Leprechaun's.
This time round rather than sticking to our own group, in my case Group A, we get assigned a blogger from one of the other groups and have to find and make a recipe from their blog.  And it has to fit in the theme of Bunnies and Leprechauns.

My assigned blog was Sew You Think You Can Cook.   Lauren is a stay at home mom who left her other life as an aerospace engineer to focus on the equally, if not more challenging life as a MOM.   I applaud her. Going from one lifestyle to a totally different one.   And she's a Florida or former? Florida girl.  Which just so happens to be the state I currently live in.   I wonder if she grew to hate Yellow Flies as much as I do?
Got side tracked there.
I found a couple of recipes, one of which is bookmarked to be made at a later date, cause I don't have any cooked Corned Beef hanging around in my freezer.
I looked, really, in my freezer that is.  Found some other stuff that needed to be either cooked, or chucked.  The part that needed to be cooked made a great pot of chicken stock for the recipe I did make.
  
Lauren calls it Spring Green Risotto.  
Risotto

I call it delicious.   In fact, I made it for one of our many food-centric gatherings.

What can I say, we like to get together around here, and there's always some great food brought and shared.
I did change up the recipe, just a little.   I totally spaced getting a fennel bulb when I was in the 'big city' last week, but I had the rest.  And I also added some Edamame cause it was part of the goodies I found in the freezer when I was looking for some cooked corned beef.

The title is Spring Green Risotto, isn't it?

Recipe: Spring Green Risotto

5 Cups Chicken Stock (you could substitute vegetable stock here if you want to make it vegetarian)
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter (I used some Home Made butter I'd made last week)
2 Leeks, sliced  (reserve a Tablespoon of the leeks for decorating it later)
1 fennel Bulb, chopped  I didn't have one, so I left it out.
1/2 lb. Asparagus, diced  (I roasted mine for a few minutes, then chopped them up)
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
2/3 cup White Wine (I had some Moscato in the fridge so I used that)
1 1/2 cup. frozen Peas, thawed but I subbed in some Edamame because I thought that the nuttyness of the Edamame went so well with the roasted Asparagus.
Zest of one lemon
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Mascarpone Cheese
1/2 Cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.
Salt and Pepper to taste. (I don't use salt, and with the addition of the Parmesan cheese, felt that there was enough salt.)

Bring the stock to a simmer.  While that is coming to a simmer, saute the Leeks in the olive oil and butter in a large heavy pan. (add in the Asparagus here as well as the Fennel, if you are using them as well.)
 I peeled the tough part of the asparagus stems and added them in with the leeks when I sauteed them.


Add the rice, stirring it in with the leek, cook just a minute or so, then deglaze the pan with the white wine.  Once the wine has been absorbed, add the stock one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, letting the rice absorb the stock. You may not need all the stock.   At about the halfway point add the Edamame, Asparagus, and the lemon zest.
  Season with salt and pepper.  When the rice is nice and creamy, take off of the heat.  Test one of the rice kernels to make sure it is cooked all the way.  In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and mascarpone, stir it into the risotto along with the Parmesan Cheese. 
    And...
    Just cause I can, I bought some lovely Asparagus last week, and this is how I keep it in the fridge.  I put it into a tall container, add a little water at the bottom and VOILA, lovely crisp Asparagus. 


    Friday, February 26, 2016

    Scampi Bites for Healthy Solutions Spice Blends

    I had to do it, I took the challenge. Which would be Healthy Solutions Spice Blends 2016 Blogger Challenge.

    I like recipe challenges anyway, I think I'd be a natural at Chopped.

    Just sayin...  ummm, anyone know someone at Food Network?

    My challenge was to use one of Healthy Solutions Spice Blends and come up with a new, fun recipe using it.

    My choice was their Shrimp Scampi Seasoning.  Which is a perfect blend of garlic, onions and other spices.  

    And since I live on the Gulf Coast, I wanted to come up with a new and interesting recipe using the seasoning mix and Shrimp.

    We have a lot of shrimp here, and while I love shrimp, steamed and served with some Cocktail Sauce, it doesn't hurt to try something new.
    Really, it doesn't...
    I had many sleepless nights trying to come up with something fun and good, I'd wake up at 2 am with an idea and then forget it by morning. sigh      I actually came up with two recipes, but I'll tell you about the other one another time.  Cause it was a close race as to which recipe I wanted to submit. But this is the one that edged out the other one.
    Barely.

    I'm not the only one who voted on it either, I tried it out on a bunch of guinea pigs friends. Who managed to clean the plate each time I made them.

    Here is my entry for the contest. 

    I call these Scampi Bites.  

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees  Grease a couple of mini tart pans

    Recipe:  Yield  25-30 Scampi Bites, depending on the size of the shrimp. 
    Tassi Dough 
    4 oz. Cream Cheese
    4 oz. Butter
    1 cup AP flour
    1 teaspoon Shrimp Scampi Seasoning

    Step 1: Rub the cream cheese and butter into the flour and seasoning mix, until well blended.  You can also place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a soft ball.   Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up a little if you like.

    Shrimp
    1 lb. Shrimp, (25-30 size)
    1 tsp. Shrimp Scampi Seasoning
    1 tsp. Butter
    1 tsp. Olive oil
    Step 2: Sprinkle 1 tsp. Scampi Seasoning onto the shrimp and saute in the butter/olive oil until the shrimp just starts to cook, remove from heat.  Set aside for just a minute. 

    Scampi Sauce
    1 cup White Wine
    1-2 tsp. Shrimp Scampi Seasoning
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 tsp. Olive Oil

    Step 3: Place the sauce ingredients into a small sauce pan and simmer until the wine has reduced by half or more. Takes about 10 minutes.

    Step 4:  Take the Tassi Dough out of the fridge, form into marble sized balls, and flatten each one out into a thin disc and press them into each depression of a mini tart pan.  Continue until all the depressions are filled. 
    Place one of the par-cooked shrimp into each tart
    and bake at 375 -380 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove to a serving platter and serve with a spoonful of Scampi Sauce on top.  


    Serve warm or at room temp.
     

    BTW, you can see my video on Youtube here

    ***Disclaimer***
    I received a packet of Shrimp Scampi Seasoning mix to use in the creation of this recipe.










    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    No Knead Dinner Rolls

    I've been making these rolls for over a year now, and just realized I've never shared the recipe.
    Shame on me.

    Cause these are not only easy to make, but totally delicious as well.

    And when I've made them, people will go back for seconds and thirds.
    But only when I make them small, slider size in fact.
    Home Made Rolls

    Best part of these rolls, they're ready in just a couple of hours and...  taste fantastic.  Yeasty and rich and exactly what a home made roll should taste like. 

    The first time I made these, I was still doing my volunteer stint at the Senior Center, cooking.   I believe I made three batches that particular day, cause we were feeding a lot of people.   I made them a couple more times, and they were always a hit.

    And I'm made them a few more times, sigh, and keep thinking I need to share the recipe...

    So here goes.
    I'd love to give credit for the recipe, but honestly I can't remember exactly where I saw it at.  And, I did put my own twist to it as well. 


    No Knead Dinner Rolls

    1 tablespoon yeast (I like Fleischmann's Yeast the best for this)
    4 cups bread flour
    1 1/3 cups warm milk (I use 1 cup 2 % milk and 1/3 cup half and half)
    1/4 cup sugar 
    1 tsp. salt
    1 egg
    4 tablespoon butter, melted +
    4 tablespoon butter melted for brushing on top before and/or after baking.

    Mix the wet ingredients together and sprinkle the yeast on top. While the yeast is blooming, mix the rest of the ingredients together.  ( I heat the milk to 130 degrees, then whisk the egg in and add the yeast)

    Pour the wet into the dry, mixing as you go or just throw it into the stand mixer and let it mix.
    This will be a very wet dough.

    Pour into a greased bowl, cover and set aside for an hour to rise.
    After an hour, punch down, then scoop up a ball of dough using a greased ice cream scoop, form it into a ball and place into a greased baking pan. 
    Bread Rolls
    Brush with melted butter and then cover and let rise until doubled.

    Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

    ** Sometimes I brush the rolls with melted butter just after taking them out of the oven.
    This makes 12 good sized rolls, or 30 or so slider sized rolls.

    Serve with some Home Made Butter and enjoy.  And yes, I make my own butter.
    Butter
    Home Made Butter, ready to freeze.
    In fact I made some the other day and ate it on the rolls.
    So there...
    Butter


     

    Sunday, February 21, 2016

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Brussels Sprouts are one of those vegetables that are either loved or hated.

    I have to admit it, I was strongly in the "EWW! Brussels Sprouts" camp.

    For most of my life, in fact.


    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Malibu Chicken

    I've been revisiting some of my old favourites lately.

    Food wise that is.

    And one dish I used to make a lot was this, Malibu Chicken.   I know it was on the menu at Sizzlers, but I don't think I ever ate it there.  We went there for the all you can eat ribs, or as they say in the south, AUCE.    And the salad bar.  
     
    For some reason I haven't made it in a yonks age.
    What is a yonk anyway?

    Doesn't matter, what does is that it has literally been years since I made us Malibu Chicken for dinner, years and years and years.

    Way too long for something this good.

    Monday, February 15, 2016

    Pork and Bok Choy Stir Fry

    I had to do it, make a dish that was Asian in concept for the New Year on the 8th.

    And since it was our Monthly Boat Club Potluck, I also got to play with my food.

    It's very important that I get to do so.

    Really.

    I had some Bok Choy in the fridge, some mushrooms and I'd picked up a small pork tenderloin over the weekend and all that together, added up to making something Asian or Oriental in flavor.

    And I was craving something oriental as well.

    I  miss being able to just run out and get Chinese food whenever.

    Friday, February 12, 2016

    Chicken Enchilada's

    We love Chicken Enchilada's or maybe I should just say that I do.

    Since I usually have, make that almost always have, cooked chicken in the freezer along with flour tortillas, and of course my stash of enchilada sauce and green chiles in the pantry, this is a quick, easy and totally delicious meal to make.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    Boat Club for February

    We had so much good food the other night at Boat Club, and there were lots and lots and lots of people there as well.  Quite a few new faces as well, along with lots of friends.

    BTW, Boat Club is monthly potluck, sponsored by friends of ours, and they're gracious enough to host it and encourage all of us here to participate. 

    I marvel at the variety of food people make and bring, it's so much fun.  I don't know why I get amazed each month, but I do.  This is the best kind of potluck/buffet you can go to.
    Really.

    Quite frankly, if you go home hungry from our Boat Club potluck, you've got a problem.
     I didn't.  Either go home hungry or have a problem.  Other than, not enough room on my plate to taste everything?


    Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    Pancake Day Roundup

    Can you believe it's already the day before Lent?   Which means it's Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day.

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    3 tips for Planning Meals ahead of time.

    I'm not too fond of the term 'Hacks' but I do like sharing my tips and hints for meal planning.   Especially since I do plan ahead, have always done so, and will probably continue to do so.

    Up until the past few years, I've always lived within just a couple of miles of grocery stores, it was easy to just run down and pick up a couple of things.   But I still planned ahead, even then.

    It just wasn't as critical as it is now.

    I now live 7 miles out of town, and albeit a lovely drive into town, without traffic, it's still 7 miles to go.

    My habit of planning ahead has actually helped me a lot, here.   I head to the 'big city', which is 60+ miles away, once a month or so to stock up on ground beef, cause I know where to go to get it cheaper, and of course there are the specialty shops I like to wander around in.  The Oriental store, the Indian store, the store that has international foodstuffs.   Which can be a good thing or...

    I usually come back with foods I want to try playing with, some of which I'd never heard of before.
    Kinda like the Tat Soi I got in my Organic Vegetable share this week.   I'll tell you all about what I made with that in a future post.

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    Game Day Wings...

    I'm a little late here but thought I would throw a few ideas for Game Day your way.
     You know it's coming up, right?

    Sunday, Feb. 7, the day of the great and wonderful commercials, not to mention a half time show that can sometimes be very entertaining as well.

    But in between the commercials, you need to nosh a little.   So here are a few ideas.

    I'm working on a couple more Wing ideas, and when I get them right, I'll share, but in the meantime here are a few of my favorites.

    I'm just going to wing it here...

    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Dill Pickle Dip

    I'm a member of the Secret Recipe Club.  We're a bunch of bloggers who are assigned a blog every month to make a recipe from and blog about it.  We're not allowed to tell anyone until our 'reveal day' which for our group, is the first Monday of the month.   


    I was all set.  I'd researched and read and bookmarked some recipes and was all set to make my final choice, well, I still made it, but...
    I then went back to my assigned blog, Making Memories with your kids  and found this recipe that Erin posted and it bumped out the other recipe, just sat there and smacked it right out of the running.
    So...
    I made two recipes this month.  I'll tell you about the second one in a different post, later on.
    Well, gotta keep the new recipes coming up on the blog, somehow.
    But first off...
    I made the Dill Pickle Dip.