Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tapas for October

It's been a couple of month's since our last Tapas gathering, and everyone was ready to get together and share some food, some laughter, conversation, although at the beginning of the evening much of the conversations were about the close call from Hurricane Michael. 

I didn't host it this month, my friend Jill did and I'm very appreciative of her doing so.   Her house looked so festive with all the holiday fall decorations.  

As usual, lots and lots of food was brought and shared and enjoyed.

This dip was wonderful, and I noticed a lot of munching going on. 
 One thing I've noticed over the years is that sometimes a Tapas will seem to have an unspoken theme going on. 
This month it was dips, cheeses and crackers.  This goat cheese log was so good. 
 As I said - Cheese and Crackers
 More cheeses and crackers

And the dips and spreads
 These were some fish spreads from a little place in Panacea.  They were so good.
We also had some Bacon wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
 Of course the pineapple with the Santa toothpick holder
 I love meatballs and cocktail sausages, and these were so good.   They even had some pineapple in them
 We had ham and rolls,
 and of course, mustard's and mayo and cranberry relish to top them with.

I had fun playing with my food again, I made a Forloren Hare (Danish Meatloaf) and tried to make it look like a mummy face. 
Forloren Hare Mummy
 There was some Sesame Chicken bites
 This yummy baked pasta dish.
 I swear I thought I hit the jackpot last night, there were two pasta dishes, this Mac and Cheese was presented as well.
And there were desserts...
Rice Pudding 
 Apple Crisp
 Pumpkin dip with ginger snaps
 Mini Cheesecakes
 And I threw together this cake.  I had some cake in the freezer and some leftover black frosting so I whipped up a quick Orange Curd, sliced the cakes, slapped the orange curd in between the layers, and then frosted it. 
It tasted pretty good. 
And all in all, another successful Tapas Time.  

Worth the increase on the scale this morning.  
Best of all, spending time with friends, sharing stories and visiting.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hobo Dinners

This used to be one of my favorite meals that I learned how to make back when I was a Girl Guide.  And I'm still kinda amazed at how much I liked it, mainly because back then, I really didn't care for vegetables.

I got to revisit my past a little this past week or so.  We were without power for several days following Hurricane Michael's onslaught onto the Forgotten coast.    Luckily we had a generator which we ran three times a day to keep the fridge and freezer going.   But it also meant that I had to resort to cooking my meals on either a two burner hotplate which the generator could handle just fine, or out on the grill. 

I'm so thankful for that gas grill, I cooked a couple of meals on it.  One night we had hamburgers, and they tasted wonderful but on another night I made something from my past, Hobo Dinners.  We'd invited a neighbor in and we feasted on these.

And while I'd love to say that there is a hard and fast recipe for these, in reality, you make them to your taste.

Which I did.
I had some lovely heirloom carrots and in the picture you can see a purple one, but I ate that one, raw.  I love carrots.

So here's the basics.   And the recipe.  

Yield: 4 servings

Hobo Dinners

prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins
This is a fun recipe, and it tastes great. I made it on the grill, but you can also bake these in the oven.


1 lb. Hamburger meat - divided into four patties ( I like 90/10 grind)
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2-4 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1-2 onions, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 can mushroom soup, heated or
1 cup brown gravy


To assemble

Peel and slice the potatoes, carrots and onions.  Mix the butter into the meat and form into four patties.   This provides a little fat and imparts a richness to the finished dish.  You can also use a fattier grind of meat if you like, just don't add the butter.  85/15 works well.
Take two sheets of foil about 10 inches long, out per meal if cooking these on the grill or just one sheet per meal if making in the oven. Spray the foil lightly with some cooking spray.
Place the onions, potatoes and carrots on the foil, top with the hamburger patty and season with salt and pepper.   Fold the foil over the meal and seal by folding over the top.  If making these on the grill, add another sheet of foil, sometimes the first layer can burn through. 
You can also top the meat with a dollop of mushroom soup or prepared gravy if you like, before you seal up the packets.   I got carried away and forgot to do that before cooking these and just served the mushroom soup as a topper.
Cook on the grill for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.  You can also bake them in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Serve on the foil for a truly rustic, campfire meal.  
You can also cook these in the coals of a campfire for a true campfire meal.  
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Moroccan Style Butternut Squash Stoup #SoupSaturdaySwappers

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to participate this month.  We had a bit of a hurricane last week, you might have heard about it? Hurricane Michael hit just about 50 miles from us, at one mile shy of a Category 5.  We were without power for a few days, and I just didn't think this was going to come together at all.
But here I am, and here's my take on the theme for this month, which just so happens to be a Fall Stew, Comforting Fall Stews that is, this event for Soup Saturday Swappers is hosted by Colleen of Faith, Hope, Luck and Love Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice. 
Moroccan Style Butternut Squash Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers

I'm there. Even if here in Florida, we're not exactly cold yet.  I'm told that the 90's, temperature wise that is,  are almost behind us.
I'll believe it when I see it.

I went here for my inspiration, but I did change it up.  I used some lovely pork stock, and didn't put in any zucchini, or basil or orange zest which the original recipe called for and I have to admit to upping the spices a touch.    
I didn't add any chicken either.   I used some of the pork I'd made the stock from.
Waste not, want not.  Besides which I love pork.
Sautéeing the onions with the spices actually brings out the flavor more than just dumping them into the pot.
Moroccan Style Butternut Squash Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers
 It looked good, but needed, something.
Moroccan Style Butternut Squash Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers
 So I popped outside, picked some chives, and sprinkled them on top.
Moroccan Style Butternut Squash Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers
After adding the cooked pork and some creme fraiché.  
Moroccan Style Butternut Squash Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers

And I think this could also be made totally vegetarian as well, just by subbing out the pork stock for some vegetable stock.  

Yield: 4-6 generous servings

Moroccan Style Acorn and Butternut Squash Stoup
Moroccan Style Butternut Squash Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers

prep time: 15 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 35 mins
This warm, rich soup tastes fantastic,even the weather is hot out side.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin (heaped)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (heaped)
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (heaped)
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut  
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
4 cups Pork Stock
2/3 cup uncooked couscous
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups chopped cooked pork
1 tablespoon Cremé Fraiché (totally optional)
1 teaspoon chopped chives for decoration


    Heat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add butternut squash and tomato paste, then add the cumin, cinnamon, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, cook 1 minute. Stir in Pork Stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add the butternut squash  and simmer 10-12 minutes. Stir in couscous, salt and cook 5 minutes or until squash is tender.  Add the chopped cooked pork, just to warm through a little.  Remove pan from heat.  
    Serve with some Naan, or a crusty roll and float a little creme fraiche on top and a sprinkle of chopped chives.
    Created using The Recipes Generator

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    Friday, October 19, 2018

    Thai-style Crab Cake Stuffed Mushrooms for #FishFridayFoodies

    I had fun racking my brain for what to make for this month's #FishFridayFoodies theme.  Our hostess this month is Stacy of Food Lust People Love and she suggested Seafood Fillings.

    I was actually doubtful that I would even participate in this but then got that AHA!!!! moment, and I knew what I wanted to make.  And since I was going to a potluck this past week, I decided to go ahead and make it. 

    I've been working on a new crab cake recipe and almost had it right the last time I made it, but something was missing, but I got it now.

    Boy do I got it, and I'll share the full Crab Cake recipe later on.
    But for now, it's Fish Friday Foodies time and it's time to use a seafood as a filling.
    I think my crab cakes are perfect for these little bites of YUM.

    Yield: 24 stuffed mushrooms

    Thai Style Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms

    prep time: cook time: total time:


    6 oz. Crab Meat
    6 oz. Shrimp - peeled and deveined
    1 teaspoon fish sauce
    2 teaspoons Green Curry Paste - stirred into 2 teaspoons water
    1 egg
    1 cup Panko
    24 large Mushroom Caps


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Stir the Curry Paste, water, egg and fish sauce together.   Place the shrimp into a small food processor and process to a paste, leaving a few chunks of shrimp.  Place the crab meat, shrimp and panko into a bowl and mix together.  Add the egg, fish sauce, curry paste and the water, mix together.  I like to place a glove on my hands and use my hands to toss it together, this ensures an even mix, without mooshing it together too much.   Set in the fridge for a minute while you prepare the mushroom caps. 
    Prepare  the mushrooms by taking out the stems, but don't throw them away, reserve for another use. 
    Scoop up a tablespoon or so of the crab mixture, using a small scoop and place on the inside of the mushroom cap.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the mushrooms and crab/shrimp mixture is cooked and is browned a little . (If they don't look too browned, turn the temp up to 375 degrees and bake an additional 3-5 minutes).
    Created using The Recipes Generator

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    Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Savory and some sweet Halloween Ideas

    Halloween is almost here.
    Although if you go in the stores you'd think that Christmas is just around the corner with all their decorations out, but, no, Halloween is first on the calendar. 
    And I've got a few ideas for you.

    I like the sweet stuff, but am also a big fan of savory foods. 
    Every year, I make what my DH calls 'Eyeball' Stew.   This became a tradition many years ago during a Halloween potluck.    The small pickling onions do resemble peeled eyeballs, and the bacon in stew can also be called various things, and of course, what self respecting Halloween stew wouldn't have fungus in it as well. Eyeball Stew  aka  Beef Bourignon
    All I know is, this tastes great with some crusty bread or rolls on the side.

    I call this Vampire Blood Tapanade.   It sorta looks like coagulated blood or what might happen to a vampire who eats garlic.
    Vampire Tapenade

    Everyone's up for Deviled Eggs right?  Well, how about some Tate's Hell Snake Eye Deviled Eggs.  
    These disappear fast when I make them.
    Tate's Hell Snake Eye Deviled Eggs
    Or just make some of my regular Tate's Hell Deviled Eggs
    Tate's Hell Deviled Eggs

    I admit it, I'm not into carving pumpkins.   But I like to decorate my table and these carved orange peppers work well,  Jack o' Lantern Peppers
    Carved pepper Jack o' lantern
    I also like to dip things like oh, my Spicy Witchy Fingers, Spicy Witchy Fingersbut when I dip them, I want something good to dip them in.  This Green Spider Dip Green Spider Dipworks really well.  I guess you could also dip Pita Chips in there as well.
    Or you also use these Garlic Twists for dipping purposes.   Garlic Twists

    And in the spirit of dipping, okay, so it's more like topping stuff.  How about serving a Spider Cake alongside some Spider Eggs Spider Cake
     I guarantee you'll get some second or third looks when you bring this to the party.

    And finally for the people who have a sweet tooth.   May I offer you some Mice and Crunchy Eyeballs?  Chocolate Kiss Mice and Crunchy Eyeballs

    Now I need to get busy, I've got a great idea for a new fun dish to make this year but I don't want to spoil the surprise just yet.

    Gotta save something for later.

    Anticipation is 90%.  

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    Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Community Potluck October 2018

    I really don't know how to start this.  We had our monthly Potluck last Monday, October 8th, and had a slightly lower than usual turnout as there was a hurricane in the forecast and some people had already left to go inland.
    We've been meeting at a different boat club than we used to meet at, and it was a good place to meet.
    Emphasis on was.

    We had a hurricane come through our area two days later,  and the boat club building we were meeting at, is no more.  It was decimated by the storm surge.

    But as I said before, we did have a few people, and they brought some great food as usual.

    Here's the roundup.
    This Moroccan Chicken dish made with preserved lemon, so good.
     And Meatloaf, be still my beating heart.  And it was very popular.
    we also had Cheese and crackers and spread
    as well as some pulled pork
    and one of my guilty favorites, chicken wings
    Some Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
    I made some Thai style crab and shrimp stuffed mushrooms (recipe coming on Friday) as well as some crab cakes.
    I also made some Garlic Twists and Garlic Crackers
    There were meatballs,
    And lots of desserts - these Lemon squares,
     Smore's brownies
     Icebox cake
    Another Lemon Cake
    This was the view from the Boat Club that night, the calm before the storm. Cliche, I know, but while we knew there was something out in the gulf, we had no way of knowing that the maybe Cat one or two Hurricane Michael, would blow up into a devastating Category 5 hurricane which would decimate so much of our Panhandle.   So many lost everything. 
    and here it is now.  So sad to see this, there was so much destruction after the storm in this area.  

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