Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stuffed and Loaded Potato Skins

Last month I made these Over the Top Loaded Potato Bowls, and I just could not keep them off of my mind. 
I wanted to make them again and again, but I resisted. 
I have no idea, sometimes I'm just silly that way. 

But I had to make something for Tapas this month, and since I wasn't hosting it, I decided to have fun.   My friend Jill hosted Tapas as part of an Open House/Housewarming/Tapas Night.

As is my wont, my mind kept turning over ideas, and the memory of the Potato Bowls kept resurfacing and finally I just gave in and decided to see if I could make them into an appetizer.

Stuffed and Loaded Potato Skins
It worked.  Very nicely, if I might say so. 

I cooked 3 lbs. of small red potatoes, added some cooked chopped bacon and cheese, and well, I think I have another new favorite. 

Recipe:  Stuffed and Loaded Potato Skins

3 lbs. Small Red Potatoes, cooked and halved, insides scooped out.
1 lb. Bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1/2 lb. Colby Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes until just done.  Scoop out the insides using a melon baller or spoon, placing them into a bowl. 
Keep a decent rim on the potatoes though. 

Add some chopped Bacon
Then top that with some of the potato you scooped out.
And finally add the cheese.
Continue with all the potatoes

Placing them on Parchment covered rimmed baking sheet. 
Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and golden brown or not.
Personally I like the cheese a little browned.
Top with some shredded or chopped basil or chives or green onions to serve.  Serve immediately. 

BTW, you are allowed to sample some, cause otherwise how will you know if they're edible.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tapas for September

Another month, another Tapas and this time round I'm not the one washing the wine glasses the next morning.  
This month it's my friend Jill who's doing the heavy lifting, as it were.   She and her husband hosted Tapas last night, as a combo Tapas and housewarming.  They just moved to my neighborhood and wanted to have an open house and as it just so happens, Tapas is a great way to do so.   BTW, they have a lovely home, and it was a great evening. 
I had fun at least. 

Here's the food...
And since there's always that 'one dish', I'm going to tell you about it first.  And I'm so getting the recipe.  Even my bacon loving DH liked it.  And he's usually a purist when it comes to Bacon.
It was this, Caramelized Bacon. I snagged a piece just after I took this picture and then got a second one later on.  
Caramelized Bacon
Bacon with maple syrup and brown sugar.  So good. 
Now for the rest of the dishes.   A couple of Cheese Plates
Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate
A lovely Salmon Mousse molded Salad.  I haven't had one of these in years.  I think my mother had a copper mold like this or it could have been one of my sisters who had one.   I think I need a mold like this, it would be fun to make one of them again. 
Salmon Mold
And then there were these...
In no particular order - Pulled Pork in rolls
 Mexican Soup with meatballs, similar to the Albondigas Soup I make.
 Seafood Mac and Cheese.  I didn't get another shot of it, but did taste it.  You know I did, I do love my pasta.
Corn Salsa 
And some Pineapple, you knew that was coming, didn't you.
and...a GF free  Broccoli Casserole
as well as a Potato Salad
And a Caesar Salad
Along with this Broccoli Salad
And there was even a Waldorf Salad
Some Baked Brie
As well as Deviled Eggs
 And some Potstickers
And yet more Pasta, a Rotelli with Sauce
Some Sausage Bites 

And this Casserole, which I barely got a taste of, but it had PASTA in it, as well as Bacon on top.

I did make a couple of things.  Some Stuffed Jalapeno's, since it had been a long time since I'd made some.
 And I played with some Potatoes, I'll share that recipe later on.   Kind of a cross between twice stuffed potatoes and the Loaded Potato Bowl I made recently.
 Now for the Desserts...
And Brownies

As well as some Grapes, so pretty.
And these Oatmeal bites alongside a trifle
Last but not least this Banana Bundt Cake.

I think I got it all, this time.
 I'm going to go walk an extra mile or three this week, cause I've got another potluck coming up tomorrow to attend.
Heck with it, I'll just walk an extra mile each day this week, that way I can taste everything. 

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Over the top, Chocolicious Chocolate Crockpot Cake

I admit it.

I was lazy and didn't feel like running to the store to get stuff to make for a potluck we were attending.    I just didn't feel like driving 7 miles and then going into a grocery store.

Shocking, right?  Me, not wanting to go into a grocery store, me, who loves wandering the aisles getting ideas on stuff to make.  
But there you have it.  I just wasn't feeling the love.  
Then I looked in the pantry and got an idea and googled a little to find out a little more. 

And here it is.  My version of the ever popular Crockpot Chocolate Cake.

Crockpot Chocolate Cake

I didn't have a couple of the ingredients that most of the recipes I googled called for, but that didn't stop me.  Nope.
I made my own chocolate custard/pudding and then chopped up some dark chocolate and white chocolate bars I had in my baking cupboard and I soldiered on.

Recipe:    Over the top, Chocolicious Chocolate Crockpot Cake

1 box Devils Food Cake Mix, mixed according to directions
mine called for 3 eggs, 1 cup water and 1/3 cup oil
2 cups prepared Chocolate Custard Pudding
4 oz. Bar Dark Chocolate, chopped
4 oz. Bar White Chocolate, chopped
1 cup boiling water

Mix the cake according to directions, then fold in the chopped chocolate and the chocolate custard pudding.
  And why use just one bowl, when you can get three or more dirty? So happy for my dishwasher. 
Pour into a greased crockpot.
I had lined mine with parchment paper and then changed my mind and took it out again, and just poured the cake mixture into the greased crockpot.  Next time I will leave the parchment paper in there and take the cake out to serve it rather than leaving it in the crockpot. 
Cook on high for half an hour, then pour the 1 cup of boiling water over it, using a spoon to disperse the water evenly over the top.  You don't pour the water directly into the cake mix, basically you want to float it on top.  Put the lid back on, cook an additional 2 hours then turn it to low and cook another 1/2 hour. **  For a total of 3 to 3 1/2 hours.   Let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
 Chocolate Crockpot Cake
** Your crockpot may differ, but if you do the toothpick test, it will give you an idea of how done the cake is.  I got a little nervous at the 3 hour mark, and turned my crockpot down to Low.  
The cake was moist, chocolatey, rich and totally delicious.  I served it with some Cool Whip, but it would have been better with either some Whipped Cream or Ice Cream or a nice Custard Sauce.   I will make this again, and again.

Recipe: Chocolate Custard Pudding   serves 4 or one chocolate cake

3 tablespoons Birds Custard Powder
3 tablespoons good processed Cocoa Powder
3 tablespoons Sugar
2 cups milk

Whisk the dry ingredients together, then add a 1/4 cup of the milk to the mixture and make it into a smooth paste.   Whisk it into the milk and heat on high in the microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then heat again for an additional 2 minutes, stir and continue to cook in 1 minute increments until the mixture thickens.  Set aside to cool, placing a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to keep a skin from forming.  Let cool and add to the cake mix before cooking the cake.  

 I had a nice meal and in the interests of life, made sure I got some dessert first.

 And then enjoyed the rest of the meal.

And honestly, I'm not that fond of Chocolate Cake, but this one, well, I'll be making it again and soon.
Served warm it was nourishing and comforting and a little gooey and totally wonderful.       

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Stuffed Shrimp Pops

I'm trying to be a little better about telling everyone about Fish Friday Foodies.  I've only been participating for a few months now, and have not only made some interesting recipes, but found some killer ones along the way as well.

This month our hostess is Sneha Datar from Sneha's Recipe The theme this month is Stuffed Fish. 
I've gotten so many ideas here.

I've also kinda gotten into a rut, but I'm going to continue it.
Cause I can.
The theme this month was Stuffed Fish, and I, ummm, stuffed some shrimp.  I've actually been using shrimp as my main seafood all year long and I'm going to continue it.
It also had to be an appetizer, cause I love appetizers, and well, why not?

Stuffed Shrimp Pops
A few years back there was a restaurant here that served a shrimp appetizer.  It was a shrimp, stuffed with crab, wrapped in a Wonton wrapper and deep fried.
I loved it.
And when the restaurant ceased operations, I mourned.  Not just the loss of that appetizer, but the whole shebang.  I loved their menu.
I would make a meal out of the Shrimp and the Escargot appetizers.
But I wanted to do my own twist here.   I was going to stuff them with Crab, but WOW, the price of crab, well, gee, I decided against it.
But I had some Bok Choy in the fridge and some Baby Bella Mushrooms and some Celery so I decided to play with my food.
Sometimes that's the best part of being a food blogger, you get to play with your food and make 'grown up' mud pies, but hopefully, ones that are edible.

Recipe:  Stuffed Shrimp Pops   Serving size:  3 Shrimp per person

3 large Shrimp per person, head off (Prawn size if possible. usually they run 15 shrimp to a pound)
2 Baby Bella Mushrooms, finely diced
1 small rib Celery, finely diced
1 small Bok Choy, finely diced
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 tsp. EVOO
1/4 tsp. Sesame Oil
1/4-1/2 tsp. Sweet Soy Sauce
Egg roll wrappers, half of one per shrimp
Oil for frying
Sweet Hot Chile Sauce for dipping

Chop up or mince the mushrooms, celery and Bok Choy.  Saute in pan with the EVOO, til the celery is softened and the mushrooms are cooked. 
Add the Panko to the pan, and stir it around a little to absorb any liquid in the pan. (I actually dumped the bowlful of goodies back into the pan, and then back into the bowl.
  Place into a bowl and add the Sesame Oil and the Sweet Soy Sauce.  Mix together and set aside to cool while you prepare the shrimp.
Take the shell off of the shrimp by using a paring knife and slitting the shell by the legs,
peel off and discard.  Butterfly each shrimp by cutting lengthwise down the back almost all the way through. 
Remove the dark vein and discard.  Place a shrimp onto a half a sheet of Egg Roll wrapper and open up the shrimp a little.  Place some of the sauteed vegetable mixture into each shrimp, about a teaspoon.  Fold over the shrimp and then wrap it all up in the egg roll wrapper.
Stuffed Shrimp Pops
Moisten the ends so that it sticks.   Mine didn't look that pretty.  But after they were fried and cut, they looked a lot better.

Heat the oil until it just starts to shimmer a bit, 350 deg.  Add the egg rolls to the oil, fry until golden brown and the shrimp is cooked.  This only takes about 4 minutes or so.
Remove to a plate and let drain.
Stuffed Shrimp Pops
Serve with some Sauteed Bok Choy and the Sweet Hot Chile Sauce.  

Stuffed Shrimp Pops

Stuffed Shrimp Pops

 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.  And the recipes that are posted are great.

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