Monday, August 31, 2015

Tailgating Reveal for SRC- Apricot Chicken Wings

I love the Secret Recipe Club.  Not only do I get a chance to 'meet' fellow bloggers but also get a chance to collect new recipes and blog about them every month and then there are the "BONUS" reveals.

Like this month.  There's an extra Monday this month, and you can't let them go to waste.  So this month, in honor of Tailgating Season we're doing a special "Reveal' day with tailgating type recipes.
Apricot Chicken Wings

I don't follow football, the only time I pay even scant attention to it is on Super Bowl Sunday, when we usually get invited somewhere for a get together.  And then I get to make something fun.

 Super Bowl Sunday is several months away right now, but tailgating parties will be coming into full swing soon.  And it doesn't hurt to have a few recipes you can play with,  to either bring with you or cook onsite.
I was assigned A Little Bit of Everything for this bonus reveal and as usual had fun looking through her blog.
Julie describes herself as a 50 something Midwesterner.  She loves to cook, travel and garden.   Woohoo, my kinda lady.  I haven't had the chance to travel much the past few years, but we used to travel and in fact were full time RV people for a few years.  Along the way, we managed to visit every single one of the lower 48 contiguous states.    And when I have time and it's not too hot out, I also like to garden.

I had a hard time picking just one recipe, but then I saw this, Apricot Chicken and knew I could adapt it a little.   I wanted to make wings, cause I like wings and gee, I had some apricot preserves in the fridge and this meant I could use them up.  I also had a couple of bags of wings in the freezer I'd scored a great deal on.  And since it was Tapas Night last week, I knew I could experiment make them for my guests.  They ate almost every single one.  I did make my own Russian dressing though.

Julie makes this in the crockpot, however I made mine in the oven.  Cause I could.

1 1/2 cups Russian dressing
1 envelope Onion Soup  
1/2 Cup Apricot Preserves
3-4 lbs Chicken Wings

Place chicken wings in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, bake for 45 minutes at 375.
  I actually used two baking sheets in the oven.  I then swapped the upper one for the lower pan and finished baking them.  I wanted to get a little brown on them.  Raise the oven temp to 400 degrees.   Brush or spoon a little of the glaze over every wing,
Apricot Chicken Wings
and put back into the oven for 20 minutes or until the glaze is bubbling and browning a little.  Turn oven down to 350 and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Apricot Chicken Wings

When I made this, I actually baked them in the oven in the morning, then put them into the fridge until later and reheated them in the oven an additional 30 minutes before serving. 

Apricot Chicken Wings

Apricot Chicken Wings


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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower

When I was a kid and my mother served me cauliflower, I would put as much cheese on it as possible to choke it down.
My mother loved her veggies and she didn't cook them to death, but she wanted us to eat a wide variety of them as well.  But I really didn't like veggies unless they were raw and freshly picked.
And since we grew vegetables for sale, there were always a lot of them around, all kinds.
From Kohlrabi to Cabbage, from Carrots to Cauliflower, Beets and Beans, Squashes and Pumpkins.   We grew them all.
But Cauliflower and Cabbage were my nemesis.

Well, that and cooked Peas and Carrots.
But I choked it all down, however, I think if Mom was still around, we'd have been fighting over cauliflower cooked this way, cause it was so darn good. 

I made some Roasted Cauliflower Steaks to serve with some Bagna Cauda for the last Tapas Night, but really, it shone so well on it's own.  It didn't need the Bagna Cauda, at all.

I had to physically restrain myself from eating the whole thing when I took the pan out of the oven.

It was so darn tasty.

And all I did was slice it into steaks, pour a little EVOO over it, sprinkle with just a teensy hit of salt and roast them for about 30 minutes in 400 degree oven.

 I just roasted them until the tops looked a little brown.

And when I took them off the pan, the underside was a lovely caramelized brown, and they tasted so good.

I'm getting another cauliflower and just cooking it for myself.  I think it would be a nice, healthy dinner and best of all I wouldn't have to share.  

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Senior Center Lunches the past two weeks.

Last weeks lunch at the Senior Center was a Fish Fry with all the fixin's.   Coleslaw, Cheese Grits and Hush Puppies. Dessert was a choice between Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Raspberry Trifle. 

Yesterday was my last day cooking at the Senior Center and I'm sad.  I've got so much other stuff going on in my life that I'm not able to continue with my volunteer work there.   Here's a picture of my last lunch.  I made a lovely Pork Roast, we had rice, gravy, apple sauce, roasted Carrots, Green Beans and I also made some Homemade rolls.   Lisa made desserts, Apple Dump cake, Peach Cobbler and I made some Snegle (danish cinnamon rolls) as well from the laminated dough I'd made a few weeks ago and that had been frozen. 

I'm sad, but I'm sure that they will continue to serve lunch every Thursday, and that people will still come in to eat there. 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Russian Dressing

I needed some Russian Dressing for a recipe recently, and went tripping down the salad dressing aisle at the grocery store to pick some up.
I know I've seen it for sale in the past, but had never bought any.
I could not find even one single, solitary bottle even in the artisanal area.
So, I looked it up in my cookbooks.
Do you have any idea how many versions there are of Russian Dressing?
Everyone agreed on a few basic points.  You needed mayonnaise, either ketchup or chili sauce, some horseradish, onion and some kind of pepper or hot sauce.   I found the ultimate discussion here.  Really, I had no idea there were so many versions out there.

Russian Dressing
I decided to add my own twist to it.  Cause I could.

1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
4 tablespoons Horseradish Sauce - I used Inglehoffer Creamstyle Horseradish Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
1/2 teaspoon Israeli Paprika

Mix together and place in fridge for an hour to let the flavors get acquainted.  
Russian Dressing

I had to stop tasting it, cause I really liked the flavor profile. 

I'm going to keep the ingredients on hand because this was lovely, and I think it would be totally awesome on a Reuben Sandwich.

I think I need to fish that Corned Beef out of the freezer and make me a sandwich, soon.  

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tapas Night for August

Just about every time we host Tapas, I look at all the wine glasses I need to wash and groan.
And then I start thinking about the party the night before and the conversations I had, the new people I met, the friends who come pretty much every month, and the people they bring.  And somehow, it's no big deal to wash those glasses.

And before you say something, I have lots of glasses and it gives me pleasure to see people using them.  I do have paper plates though as well as plastic cutlery, I'm not totally nuts about washing dishes.

We always have great food and I love seeing the incredible variety of food that our guests bring and share.

We had everything from wings to clam dip to home made bread.
We almost always have home made bread, because I bake it.  I like baking bread, and when I make a loaf for Tapas I usually get one slice, which is all I need.  Cause otherwise I could eat the whole loaf in one day.
OK, maybe a day and a half.
 Pico de Gallo  

I had to make it, just had to.  
 No-Knead Bread

This loaf turned out very well, I was pleased
 Pizza, I got a shot of the pizza this time before anyone took a slice.  
 Mushroom Rice, I know there is a correct name for this, but I cannot remember it this morning, all I know is that it tasted good.
 Cold Cuts
 Sausage and Cheese
 Bagna Cauda and Roasted Cauliflower

I will tell you all about my adventures making these in another post.
 Vegetable Platter
 Fruit Platter
 Potato Salad
Look at that pretty bowl.  The red makes it 'pop'.
 Curry Potato Salad in yet another pretty bowl. 
 Wings, these disappeared fast.
 Fusion Egg Rolls with Jalapeno's
These was so good.  Russell is a chef and he created these.  It took seconds for them to disappear.
 Sour Cream Herring and Dip
The herring was so good.  I love Herring anyway.
 Some Apple Cheese Plates
 A quick overview after the ravening hordes had descended...
Clam Dip, very tasty.
 Another fruit plate
Celery sticks

And then there were the desserts...
We had lots and lots and lots of desserts.

Key Lime Pie Bars.
 Peanut Butter Pie
 Brownie Bites
 This was a layered dessert, which I'm told was scrumptious, but I didn't get a chance to taste it.
Key Lime Pie
 Stuffed Pears.  Really unique and very tasty. 
 Pecan Pie
 Chocolate Layer Cake
And I bet you thought I'd forgotten to get a picture of the pineapple and Santa's.

I didn't.

Well, that's the roundup for this month, I washed the wine glasses, wiped it all up and except for memories, there's no trace of a party today. 

I'm going to go relax now, before I get into the next thing I need to make. 

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Senior Center Lunch the past couple of weeks

I keep meaning to sit down and tell you all about the lunches we made the past couple of weeks.   But I've been busy with other stuff, and just haven't made the time to do this.

We've had a great couple of lunches, the week before last we had some Oven Fried Chicken, Potato Salad, Stewed Tomatoes and Okra, Yeast Rolls and Dessert.  Lisa made some Raspberry Jam Cupcakes as well as an Apple Cake which we topped off with some home made caramel sauce. 

I made a really great coating for the Oven Fried Chicken and I'll share the recipe with you all later on in the week.  But we had pans full of chicken, which we served.  It's fun making so much food at once, and then to watch it get eaten and enjoyed, well, that's even more fun.

Last week we used some of the peppers we had in the freezer and made some Stuffed Peppers alongside Squash Medley and home made biscuits.   Plus some Danish's I made for dessert alongside the Pineapple Icebox Pie Lisa made. 
 These are the Vegetarian Peppers, which are stuffed with a mixture of rice, mushrooms, squash and carrots.  We then topped them with some Creole Tomato Sauce.
 You gotta move fast when you're preparing food for a crowd.

Waiting to be topped with a little Creole style tomato sauce.

Russell made the filling for the peppers, and it tasted great.

And here's the finished plate.  The batteries in my camera died just as soon as I snapped this picture.
From the top, Pineapple Icebox Pie, Danishes, two ways,  and for the meal, the Stuffed Peppers, Squash Medley, and 7 up Biscuits

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