Sunday, January 29, 2017

Super Bowl Nibbles and Bites

Super Bowl is next week and if you haven't thought of what to make yet or bring to a party, I've got some ideas for you.
Superbowl Nibbles and Bites

Wings - Always popular and so good.
I did a round up of some of my wing recipes here, called Game Day Wings
But I also made some Cranberry Orange Chutney Wings a while ago, and they were totally awesome.
Cranberry Orange Chutney Wings
Or these Mojo Spice Wings?
Mojo Spice WIngs
Dips and Spreads -
This Dill Pickle Dip is totally yummy and a bit of a different dip.

If you're doing sliders, try some of this Blossom Dip on them.
For a healthier take, how about a Green Goddess Hummus

If you've got some Seafood lovers, how about these Shrimp and Crab Quiches
 or some Crab Cakes, which just so happened took first place in a contest.
You can even get a little crazy and make some Mini Smorgastata 

Or...
You can check out my Appetizer page for lots more ideas...

As for me, I'm not sure just what I'm making. 
Whatever it is, I'll share it here.  



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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Three Way Chocolate Cake

This Chocolate Cake was a happy accident.
Yes, it was an accident.  I'd committed to making a cake for a cake raffle and when asked what kind I was making, I said Chocolate.
Three Way Chocolate Cake with Frosting
And then when I started making it, I found out that I was shy Cocoa Powder, I only had two tablespoons left.   I know, mise en place and umm, check to make sure you have all the ingredients, plan ahead, etc.

Yup...

So I went on a search for the other container of cocoa powder I knew I had, and could not find it. And then I spotted the package of instant pudding mix I'd bought on a whim awhile ago, and grabbed it out of the pantry, added it to the flour, and spotted some hot cocoa mix and went, what the hey, and added that to the dry ingredients.   Then I finally found the elusive container of cocoa powder, hiding, right there in the middle of the baking stuff.  It was the dark chocolate powder, but hey, it was chocolate.  So I added an additional 2 tablespoons of it, and mixed the batter together and baked it off and life was good.

This cake was chocolatey, rich, moist and really really good.  

I do want to give one caveat here.   If you use cake flour, omit the potato starch or cornstarch.

And be prepared for people going mmmmm, as they eat this.  

I frosted the cake with my favorite frosting, it's an old fashioned one.  I call it Best Ever Frosting.
Three Way Chocolate Cake with Frosting

Then I made some cupcakes a few days later, and frosted them with a combo buttercream/ganache frosting.  I'll share the recipe for that one another time.   Just as soon as I make it again. 
Anyone need a cake or cupcakes or?
Three Way Chocolate Cupcakes with Frosting
These cupcakes got taken out as well, and were shared at a potluck.  I didn't have to eat them all myself.
Three Way Chocolate Cupcakes with Frosting



yield: 3 layer cake or 36 cupcakesprint recipe

Three Way Chocolate Cake

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 50 mins
This cake is triply chocolate and good, with a texture similar to a box cake.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup) at room temperature
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 packets hot chocolate drink mix
  • 2 cups AP flour (if using cake flour, omit the potato or corn starch)
  • 1/3 cup Potato or Corn Starch
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder, milk or dark
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8 inch pans, or put out 36 cupcake liners. Cream the room temperature butter and sugars together until the sugar has mostly dissolved into the butter. This takes a few minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each egg. Whisk all the dry ingredients together, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer, mix well, then add one third of the milk, alternate the dry and wet ingredients, finishing off with the dry. Pour one third of the batter into each of the three cake pans, and bake for 30 minutes, checking at the 25 minute mark to see if they're done, using a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the pans. If it comes out clean, they're done, if not, bake an additional 5 minutes or so. If making cupcakes, bake for 15-20 minutes, checking for doneness after 15 minutes. Cool and frost with your favorite frosting.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tapas Night for January

It was Tapas Night last night and as usual lots of good/great food was made, brought and devoured. 

The glasses are washed and put away, and no traces remain, other than a suspiciously clean kitchen.

I'm going to lead with a couple of the dishes I made.

It's my blog, and I can if I want to, so there.

Marinated Mushrooms and Cherry Tomatoes
 Marinated Mushrooms and Cherry tomatoes.  I use the fat free Italian Dressing for these.   So easy and tasty.
I also put out some of my Suncoast Crisps alongside some Herbed Cheese spread.
There was also a small bowl of Plantain Chips I'd made earlier in the day.

And then there was this dish.  It's a southern thang, really.  I've seen it so many places here and have to admit that the first time I tried it was I was skeptical.  Cause I really don't like canned pears.  But this is plain fun and tasty.  Canned pears with a dollop of mayonnaise, a sprinkle of cheese and topped with a cherry.  There were also some pineapple rings on here as well. 
We also had this jello salad.  I didn't get a chance to taste it, it was gone by the time I got to it.
And then there were these Taco Rollups.  Very tasty.  I've not mastered how to make them so they're not dry.  These were not dry. 
and then there were these.  Okra,, with a curry sauce and little hearts made out of red pepper.  I love stuff like this.  I think I'm turning into a southerner, cause I love Okra.   Come to think of it, I liked it before I moved to the south.
There was also this Chile Relleno Casserole, which usually disappears fast when it's brought.  I've had it before.
as well as this Pasta Casserole.   And you know me, I do love my pasta.  
Can anyone say Artichoke and spinach?  Sorry for the poor quality of the picture, but I was drooling.  TMI?
There was also this platter of Bacon Wrapped Duck, with a little Teriyaki glaze.   The Dane in me burst out and I snatched one of them right up, just after I took the picture.  I do love Duck.
There was also some Quinoa Chips with some Edamame Hummus.   I love those kinds of chips, I don't feel too guilty eating them.
There was also this quartet of fish dips.  Mullet, shrimp, crab and a mixture. 
as
I also made some sliders, which need to be perfected before I share the recipe here.  I thought they were kind of dry.  But when I get them right, they'll be called Herb'n Spicy Beef Sliders. 
Time for dessert now. 
I made a Banana Cream Pie.  Topped it with some Cool Whip and served it.
Banana Cream Pie
I noticed that these Cherry Topped Cupcakes disappeared fast,  and I was told they were yummy.
I did try one of these Lemon Curd Cake balls, and they were lovely.
There was also some Pumpkin Whip Dessert, served with some Ginger Snap cookies. 
And some brownies.
Sorry for the quality of pictures, I think my camera was having issues.  It had nothing to do with the operator, not being able to take decent pictures. 

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Spinat Suppe (Spinach Soup) #SoupSwappers

I took the challenge...
Well, not really I joined a new group on FB called Soup Saturday Swappers and this is my first foray to share a soup. This month's Theme is Healthy Soup Options. This event is hosted by Wendy Klik of A Day in the Life on the Farm.  #SoupSaturdaySwappers, if you want the hashtag. 
In the interests of full disclosure I did not like the pictures I took when I made the soup the first time, so when I reheated some of it, I redid the pictures.  You're not imagining stuff if you think you saw one picture and suddenly there was another one there.
Spinach Soup with Poached Egg
And I think this soup fits right in there.   It's light, healthy and tastes great.

I'm going back to my Danish roots on this one.  I have a cookbook called Danish Heritage Cook Book one of my sisters gave me several years ago and I used a recipe in there as a base for the soup.
Like many Danish recipes, this was probably made in the spring, when the spinach was first coming into the garden and then adding a poached egg to it, made it more substantial.     I can see this as a starter to a meal.  It's very common in Denmark to have a 'klar' or clear soup as a starter or a light soup like this one.  Then the rest of meal would probably have been some Medisterpolse (danish sausage) and some boiled potatoes.   The soup was to fill you up before the main meal.  
You know this has to be the simplest and one of the tastiest soups I've ever made.  I also made it Gluten Free. Cause I could.  And if you use some vegetable stock, this is also vegetarian.   The addition of a poached egg on the finished bowl, is a really interesting and surprisingly flavorful touch.  I have to admit to running out to the freezer and grabbing some of my rye bread out as an accompaniment to the soup.  And that completed my meal.

I think though I'm going to add more onions next time.  I had some lovely Pork stock which I used, but I think maybe some vegetable stock would have been better.
I'm also not going to poach the egg as long, cause it continued to cook when I added it to my soup. 
Spinach Soup with Poached Egg
Although that yolk made a kind of magic in the bowl. 
Just sayin...
I do like to tweak recipes, mostly to make them to my taste.  
Spinat Suppe (Spinach Soup with poached egg)
 And the magic begins when the yolk merges with the spinach soup. 
Spinat Suppe (Spinach Soup with poached egg)

And nothing goes better with it than a bite of Rye Bread.
Spinat Suppe (Spinach Soup with poached egg)
I also found out that this is a great 'drinkable' soup as well.
Spinat Suppe (Spinach Soup )
And I tried a squeeze of fresh lemon in it today, and WOW.  So, I'm adding that to the recipe as an option.

Here it is, Spinat Suppe or Spinach Soup.  



yield: 4 Servingsprint recipe

Spinat Suppe (Spinach Soup)

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 20 mins
This is a light and very flavorful soup. Adding the poached egg on top at the end is a surprising finish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 Gram Spinach cooked (I used a 10 oz frozen brick of Spinach)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, cooked with the spinach
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour (or use cornstarch to make it gluten free)
  • 1 liter (just over 4 cups) Vegetable, Chicken or Beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of lemon juice when serving.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the spinach and onions together, then puree them.(I used my immersion blender for this step) Melt the butter, add the flour or cornstarch, whisk together. Add the stock, one cup at a time, whisking well in between additions. Bring to a boil, then add the spinach and heat through. Serve with a poached egg on top of each bowlful.  You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon just just before serving or when you reheat the soup.  It add so much to the experience.
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Shrimp and Crab Quiche


This is a busy weekend.
I did the Improv Cooking Challenge (lemon and rosemary)  yesterday, tomorrow is Soup Saturday, and I have a good one to share, but today is Fish Friday Foodies.
Our hostess this month is Stacy of Food Lust People Love and here's what she suggested
"Bake us something cozy this month including your favorite seafood. Shortcrust, puff pastry, deep dish with mashed potatoes on top, hand pies, free form galettes or ornate decorated crusts, quiche, even vols-au-vent with seafood filling would qualify. Use one type of seafood or mix it up." 

So I did, mix it up that is.  I made some Shrimp and Crab Quiches for our monthly Boat Club Potluck and they were well received.  
Shrimp and Crab Quiche

The recipe is at the end, but I like pictures so here goes.
After poaching the shrimp, place it on rimmed sheet to cool quickly, then put the shrimp into the fridge while you get the rest ready.  I like to simmer the poaching liquid with the aromatics and spices for about ten minutes or so before adding the shrimp.  It seems to infuse the flavors better into the shrimp.
After placing the shrimp into the fridge, roll and cut out the pie dough.  I used my own home made for this. It's a Shortcrust pastry and is best for things like quiche and meat pies.   Still flaky, but it holds up well.
I fit the rounds into my large muffin tin (it holds 25 muffins), and let that sit while I made the filling.
Shrimp and Crab Quiche
After whisking the filling together and mixing in the cheeses, I filled the little pastry cups, but not all the way.  The filling will puff up and you don't want to chisel the little quiches out of the tin.  I, ummm also discovered that the shredded cheese I had mixed in with the eggs wasn't as manageable (it tried to escape) as I would have liked so I pulled out my immersion blender and blended that cheese into submission.  It was a lot easier to fill the cups using an ice cream scoop after that.  After placing the egg filling into the cups, I placed two shrimp into each cup.
Shrimp and Crab Quiche
Nestled them into the egg filling, then I added the crab.  And tucked them in with the shrimp.
Shrimp and Crab Quiche
baked them off, pulled them out of the oven and admired how pretty they looked.   Perfectly browned, the filling hadn't overflowed, they were perfect and I kept taking pictures, while simultaneously patting myself on the back.  (Sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader).
Shrimp and Crab Quiche
Piled them onto a serving dish and took them to the Boat club, and served them proudly.
Shrimp and Crab Quiche

Shrimp and Crab Quiche

Shrimp and Crab Quiche



yield: 24 small cupcake size Quiche or one large Quicheprint recipe

Shrimp and Crab Quiche

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 35 MINStotal time: 55 mins
These Quiche are so easy to put together and when made in cupcake size, they're the perfect handful. Easy to eat and flavorful.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 recipe Pie Dough (either Home Made or bought)
  • 1 lb. Small Shrimp, poached and cooled
  • 6-8 oz. Crab Meat, fresh, frozen or canned
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup Half and Half
  • 3-4 Tablespoons chives, minced
  • 1 cup Swiss Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
Poaching Liquid for Shrimp
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lemon, quartered, with the juice squeezed into the water
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1.   Bring the poaching liquid to a boil, turn down the heat and let simmer for a few minutes.  Add the shrimp to the poaching liquid let come to simmer then remove the shrimp as soon as they're done. This takes less than 5 minutes.  Take the shrimp out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and place on a large flat pan to cool, then refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe. 
  2. Roll out the pie dough, and cut rounds if making individual quiches, place into the muffin tin. Set aside. If making one large quiche, take half of the pie dough, roll out a circle and place into a deep dish pie pan. 
  3. Whisk the eggs, half and half and chives together. Add the cheeses and use an immersion blender to break up the cheese a little. This makes a more homogeneous mixture. (I learned that the hard way cause the Swiss Cheese I was using was a large shred and it tried escaping). 
  4. Using a small scoop or spoon, fill the pastry cups almost to the rim with the cheese mixture, leaving just a little pastry rim. 
  5. Place a couple of shrimp into the center of the cups, gently and then add a couple of pieces of crab. 6. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, then turn oven down to 325 and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot or warm. If making a large quiche, check the center after baking for 30 minutes to make sure that the egg custard is setting, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until done.
Created using The Recipes Generator


Fish Friday Foodies is hosted by Wendy Klik of A Day In the Life on the Farm.  
If you'd like to join Fish Friday Foodies, please email Wendy at wendyklik1517@gmail.com  We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month.  #FishFridayFoodies
An InLinkz Link-up

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lemon and Rosemary Crackers

This month's Improv Cooking Challenge is Lemon and Rosemary.  This event is Hosted by Nichole Little of Cookaholic Wife.
Basically it's a group of bloggers (although you don't even need a blog to do this) We're given a couple of ingredients every month that we use to create and make a recipe from.

I got this. I mean really, Rosemary and Lemon, hello!! These get along so well together.  
I made crackers.
Lemon and Rosemary Crackers
I'm kinda obsessed with crackers anyway. Got one of those I wonder what would happen if I ... moments when I looked at one of the Meyer Lemons sitting on my counter (a gift from a friend) along with the Rosemary I have growing outside, and went CRACKERS!!!

I'd actually just made a batch of plain crackers using one of my newest toys, a pasta roller, and decided that the lemon and rosemary were going to go and play together in a cracker.
They played very nicely together and I'll let them have play dates again, in the future.  Just as soon as the rest of the crackers get eaten.
I also had fun with my new Pasta Roller and used it to roll out the cracker dough.  It worked very nicely.
Lemon and Rosemary Crackers
Lemon and Rosemary Crackers
Lemon and Rosemary Crackers
I served them with my Deviled Ham Spread

yield: about 30-40 crackersprint recipe

Rosemary and Lemon Crackers

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 12 MINStotal time: 32 mins
I made this recipe up for the Improv Cooking Challenge and I think these are now going to be one of my mainstay crackers. They were light and crisp and had just the right amount of Rosemary and Lemon.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (I like using EVOO)
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely minced fresh Rosemary (go ahead and add more if you like)
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Juice from one Lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • water (up to 1/4- 1/2 cup or enough to moisten the dough)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well.(I added 1/4 cup water to begin with and then drizzled in more water until it made a nice dough).  Add more water if needed.  Let rest for 15 minutes, keeping the dough wrapped well. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time to approximately 1/8 inch thickness. Place on parchment covered baking sheet, and using a pizza cutter cut into strips and squares. (I used my new pasta roller to roll out the dough and it worked very well) Bake at 450 degrees for a total of 12 minutes or until the crackers are browned and puffed up. I turn the pan halfway through the baking time to ensure an even bake.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review and Giveaway- Canlock, Cankey and Canpop

I'm doing another Giveaway after I review these fun gadgets, well, they're actually pretty useful tools to have in the kitchen, and you can keep the Canpop and Canlock in your purse or pocket or?

I told you about the great box I received from Brix Design just before Christmas in the other post.   You can read about it here.

In that goodie box were also these.

The Canlock, Canpop and Cankey

First up: The Canpop and Canlock.
Canpop and Canlock
I don't drink a lot of soda's in cans.  I've encountered too many 'involuntary guests' in my cans after they've been opened and partially consumed.
And quite frankly I dislike opening the cans as well.  I've gotten more snags and broken fingernails trying to pry those little tabs up.
I've broken off more than my share as well.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to open a can after the tab breaks off?
You've done it too, huh?  I tell you, that screwdriver I keep in the kitchen drawer comes in pretty handy sometimes.
But it doesn't have to do double duty anymore.
Nope...
I now have my very own Canpop, and it doesn't take up hardly any room in my drawer.  And the extra one that comes in the package, now keeps my corkscrew and bottle opener company in my little 'beverage purse'. Yup, there's two in each package. 
Canpop

And the Canlock.    I can just use one of these on my open can and swivel it around to cover the opening and VOILA!!! no more visitors.
Finally I can relax and enjoy the whole can.   Which is a great thing.  Cause when I do drink soda from a can, I'll take a sip, then let it sit to get the chill off and by that time, sigh.
A bee or other critter has gone in to investigate that little opening with the great sugar smell and I get a mouthful of soda and something added. (I live in Florida and the Palmetto bugs are opportunistic little twerps) These little Canlocks are going to keep the Canpop company in my beverage purse. And there's an extra one I can keep in my regular purse cause you can also use them as an opener as well.

Last but not least, the Cankey.
This is great for leveraging the tab on a pop top can of Olives, Soup or whatever you have that you need some help with. 
Actually this ranks right up there with my list of favorite peeves.  Those cans with the little 'easy open' tabs, all you have to do is pull and the can is opened.  And if you do get it open, well, let me just say this, I've had to clean up my share of stuff that spills out over everything.  And it's never on something that you can just wipe off, nope, it's clothes or all over the freshly wiped counter or the floor or the front of the cabinet.
Yeah right.
I've pulled more tabs off of those cans and then was faced with a partially opened can or the tab just came right off.  grrrr
Not any more.  That Cankey is wonderful.  I had to open a couple of extra cans cause I couldn't believe just how easy it made it.


Anyone need beans or soup or olives?  I've got a few cans that are open...  How about some mushrooms?

Don't forget to register for the Giveaway.  I'm leaving this one open for a full week.   

Brix Design A/S  was generous enough that they sent me extras' so it became a one for me and one for some lucky person.
One of my lucky readers - US only! - can enter to win theseThe Giveaway runs from January 17th till January 24th.  The colors may vary from the picture. (and the Teacloth is not included, it's just there for staging, but you can buy them at Trader Joe's).
I received the Canlock, Canpop and Cankey from Brix Design.   I did not receive any other compensation for this post, and was not paid to publish positive comments. My opinions are my own.

Please see terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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