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 10th, 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 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 4 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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    Monday, October 8, 2018

    Garlic Twists #BakingBloggers

    This month's theme could well be Make a Vampire Cry, or as Sue said. Vampires Beware, we're Baking with Garlic. 
    BTW, I'm talking Baking Bloggers here.    We get together the second Monday of the month and bake something that goes along with our theme of the month.

    And since it's October the theme is Baking With Garlic.   Gotta keep those vampires at bay, somehow.
    Garlic Twists

    Personally, I love garlic, whether it's roasted, or fresh or garlic powder or just a ton of garlic added into stuff.
    A few years back I kinda o'd on garlic though.  My DH doesn't really care for it, but as I said I love it.  So since he was going to be away for a few days, not only did I roast several heads of garlic, I smeared it on fresh french bread as a topping, ate the garlic as soon as it cooled off enough after roasting it, tucked some under some chicken skin and roasted  the chicken.  And basically ate garlic three meals a day for several days.  By the end of that week, I decided that maybe moderation was a good way to go with eating garlic.  Even the dog avoided me after 3 days.  I guess I was a little odorous?
    No mind.
    I'll still sneak garlic into just about anything I can.  Including these little garlic twists.

    Which used as a base my Witchy Fingers recipe but then I did a twist.  I cut the amount of butter in half and used some Cream Cheese in place of part of the butter. 
    Get it?
    I made a rough puff pastry, rolled it out, then I made some of Witchy Fingers and rolled that out.  Placed the cheese dough on top of the puff pastry, used my Microplane to zest some garlic over the cheese pastry, then folded over the puff pastry.  I let it cool for a couple of hours, then took it out of the fridge and cut it into strips using my pizza cutter.  I then twisted the strips, and baked them off.  And it totally did not work.  I'd made the puff pastry from memory and hadn't bothered checking out the correct ratio's before I did it.  And while they tasted pretty good, they resembled pie pastry with a filling more than what I had envisioned.
    Luckily I'd only baked a test batch, cause the dough didn't feel quite right.  And I had lots of  the lovely garlicky filling left.  It became an offering to the kitchen goddess.

    I might have gotten carried away a touch with the garlic.  I not only used my microplane to zest some garlic into the dough, I added granulated garlic as well as some sauteed garlic.
    Filling on the puff pastry

    Garlic Twists

    On the baking sheet ready to bake.
    Garlic Twists
    After the bake
    Garlic Twists
    And ready to eat
    Garlic Twists

    Yield: 16 servings approximately

    Garlic Twists

    prep time: 15 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 30 mins
    These little twists are a perfect accompaniment to soup or as a standalone cocktail snack.


    2 sheets prepared puff pastry
    8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, grated, with 2 oz. Roughly chopped.
    2 oz. finely shredded Parmesan Cheese
    3 Tablespoons Butter, softened
    4 oz. Cream Cheese
    1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
    1 cup all purpose flour
    3 cloves raw garlic, grated on a microplane
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    2 cloves garlic, sautéed til soft and then chopped.  


    Thaw the puff pastry by placing it in the fridge overnight.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet by placing a piece of parchment paper on it.
    By hand or using a mixer, mix together the cheeses, butter, flour, cayenne pepper and garlic until it forms a ball. 
    Divide it in half and flatten it into a disk and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to firm up. 
    Unroll the thawed puff pastry, and set aside for a minute.  Take out half of the filling and divide it into two and roll it out each piece between two sheets of parchment paper, place very carefully onto half of the puff pastry, and then fold the puff pastry over.   Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into strips and twist each piece and put on baking sheet, separating them as the puff pastry will puff out.  Continue until the baking sheet is full, bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

    The other half of the filling can be saved and make into Witchy Fingers or bake them into small rounds and serve with a good hearty soup. 
    Created using The Recipes Generator
    Baking Bloggers

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    Wednesday, October 3, 2018

    Pina Colada Cake

    I only got to taste the barest little sliver of this cake but it was enough to make me think I needed to make it again, soon, and this time I may not take it to the Legion Cake Raffle.   Since the winner of the last one took it home and didn't share.
    Which they can do, but most winners of the cake will cut up the cake and share it out, to appreciative recipients at the Legion. 
    Pina Colada Cake

    Let me share this cake with you now. I've been playing around with making cakes using various methods of mixing.  And I'll detail those in a bit.
    This cake had one of my two favorite frostings on it.  I love my Faux  or Ermine buttercream but I think that 7 Minute frosting may edge out that one by a hair, or spoonful as the case may be.

    I used a yellow cake recipe for this, then added an extra egg, and added another element to the mixing process.
    I'm not sure what this mixing process is called, and umm, it did make some bubbles in the cake, at least a few that I didn't get stirred out.
    But the flavor was good.
    Here are a few pictures of the process.  As you can see, I mixed the cake a little too much and got lots of bubble in it.
    The 'dam' of frosting around the edge of the cake.
    Pina Colada Cake
    Pina Colada Cake
    I took the cake over to the table to get this shot, and as you can see from the pencil there, I make notes as I'm baking and decorating cakes.  
    The pineapple filling, nestled into the frosting dam.  This keeps the filling from oozing out the sides when the layers are put together.
    Pina Colada Cake

     After the layers are put together and the sides have been smoothed out a little.  You can fill in the gaps by piping butter cream in and smoothing it out. 
    Pina Colada Cake
    Pina Colada Cake
    Ready for the frosting to be dumped on top.
    Pina Colada Cake
    Pina Colada Cake

     and a very poor picture of the inside of the cake with the one slice that had been purloined.
    Pina Colada Cake

    Yield: 12 servings, 2 layer cake

    Pina Colada Cake
    Pina Colada Cake

    prep time: 15 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 50 mins
    This cake is a taste of a tropical drink, but in cake form.



    1 1/2 cups butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 cups sifted self rising cake flour
    4 eggs, separated - whites beaten to a soft peak
    1 1/4 cup milk
    2 teaspoons dark rum

    1 can (15 oz.) crushed pineapple
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 3 tablespoons water

    1- 1 1/2 cup prepared  plain butter cream in a piping bag ( I keep piping bags filled with prepared butter cream in the freezer but you can also use commercial frosting for this)

    2 egg whites lightly beaten
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/3 cup water
    1/4 tsp. Cream of tarter (or 1 tablespoon corn syrup)
    1/8 tsp. Salt
    2 teaspoons Dark Rum

    1/2 cup toasted coconut


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2- 9 inch (2 inch high) cake pans or 3 8 inch cake pans, using Bakers Joy or grease and flour the pans. 
    Separate the eggs, and set the yolks aside for a minute while beat the egg whites to a soft peak.   Set aside. 
    Cream the butter and sugar together for at least 5 minutes in the bowl of a Kitchenaid.  Add the egg yolks and mix in well, then add the rum.
    As soon as it is incorporated, add 1/3 of the self rising flour, mix in, add half of the milk, mix together, add the next third of the flour, mix, then add the remainder of the milk.  As soon as it is incorporated, add the remainder of the flour.  Mix.
    Fold in the beaten egg whites with a spatula until the egg whites are incorporated and there are no more little bits of egg whites visible.   Pour the batter into two cake pans and bake for about 35 minutes.  Check at the 30 minute mark to see if it's done, either by poking a toothpick in and seeing if it comes out clean or by touching it to see if it springs back lightly when touched in the middle. 
    While the cakes are baking, mix the pineapple, sugar and cornstarch slurry together and heat  over medium high heat until the mixture has thickened, stirring constantly so that it doesn't burn.  Take off of heat and let cool.
    As soon as the cakes are baked, tip them out on a cooling rack.  
    Divide the cooked pineapple into thirds, just by drawing a spatula thru the pineapple mixture while still in the pot.  Doesn't have to be exact.
    If the cakes 'domed' up during baking, cut the dome off with a long serrated knife so that the cakes are level. 
     Split each cake in two using a serrated knife and place the first cake layer onto a cake plate with the leveled off side up.  This is where you will add the filling.  Using a piping bag, carefully pipe a 'dam' around the edge of the cake.  Then fill in with 1/3 of the cooked pineapple.  Very carefully, place another cake layer on top.  Pipe a dam of butter cream frosting around the edge of the cake and fill with some more pineapple.  Continue with the third layer and for the final cake layer, make sure that the cut side of the cake is down and you are frosting the bottom of the cake.  Less chance of crumbs in the frosting that way. 
    Take a look at the cake and fill in any gaps with the remaining butter cream frosting in the layers, smooth it out with an offset spatula and place in the fridge to rest for an hour.
    While the cake is resting, you can toast the coconut, very briefly in a hot oven.  Just spread the coconut out on a pan, let toast for 5 minutes or so, then remove from oven as soon as the coconut changes color.  If you let it get too dark, the coconut gets bitter.
    Make the 7 minute frosting.  Mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, cream of tarter and water in a heat proof bowl, or the top of a double boiler. 
    Heat the water in the bottom of a double boiler to boiling and place the top of the double boiler over it, making sure that it is not touching the water. 
    Using a hand held mixer, whisk the egg white mixture together at high speed for 7 minutes. It will become light and white and fluffing. At the end of the 7 minutes, add the vanilla extract and mix in with spatula.
     Take cake out of fridge and enrobe the cake with the 7 Minute frosting, covering up the sides and making swirls on the top.  This frosting will set up so it should be made after the cake has been filled. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and serve.

    Created using The Recipes Generator

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    Monday, October 1, 2018

    First Monday Favorites - October 2018 -23

    I'm starting to feel like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.  I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.   But here it is, First Monday Favorites for October.  Featuring my favorite recipe from last month.  
    First Monday Favorites

    September didn't just rush by, it went through at hurricane force and left no prisoners.

    I wasn't just sitting on my thumbs either.  I'm working on a new cookbook featuring shrimp recipes along with some other seafood's.  I also made a wedding cake and a groom's cake, made a couple of cakes for the Legion Cake Raffle, which I do every other week, and attended a couple of other link parties.  I used my Master Mix to make some awesome Breakfast Biscuits and participated in a food fight where I made a Banana Bundt cake. 

    I hosted a virtual online Tapas Party to celebrate and launch my newest cookbook, Nibbles and Bites and some awesome bloggers joined me and made recipes from the cookbook.  And as all good great cooks do, they made the recipes their own and added some wonderful nuances to some of the recipes.
    Shameless plug here, but this book has simple, easy recipes with ingredients that you can pull from your pantry or your fridge and have a fun appetizer ready to go within minutes.

    I do ask that you share a link to your favorite recipe from last month and I have to say my favorite recipe was this one.  Roasted Potato and Heirloom Carrot Soup. 

    Yup, it's the one I made for Soup Saturday Swappers and it's a winner.  I think one of the things that totally made it for me was my idea of  'crisping' up the pork bits and browning them in a touch of fat and then topping the soup.  I loved it and in fact I may just have to go make some more this weekend.  I ate up all the other one.

     Nibbles and Bites - A Compilation of Appetizers, Canapes and Finger Foods.  Available both in book form and as an ebook.


    if you're in the Carrabelle or Apalachicola, Florida area, you can pick up an autographed copy of the book at either Shop by the Sea in Carrabelle or Downtown Books and Purl in Apalachicola.  Nibbles and Bites is also available at the Crooked River Lighthouse gift shop. 
    My cookbook Hygge - Danish Food and Recipes would be a great gift for any foodies in your life. Available as a Kindle e book or in paperback. Autographed copies are also available at the Danish Windmill in Elk Horn, Iowa or on their website.

    All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2018, with all rights reserved thereof.  

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