Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lemon-Buttermilk Pie with Maple-Cranberry Sauce via "Homemade Decadence" - 52 Cakes and Pies at Home



"This classic Southern pie is a beautifully fragrant baked custard.  It's mostly sweet and slightly tart, and humility is it's grace.  Together the flavors taste wintery."

This is an :OH MY" Recipe.  Little bit Old School, yet deliciously presented with this sweet/savory sauce that simply SCREAMS something special!  This will become a regular on my Holiday table.  One of those pies that everyone will ask for a sliver of.  No matter how much you dream of Pumpkin, this is irresistible.

The recipe comes from the cookbook - Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats .  First, my disclaimer... I received this book FREE! courtesy of BLOGGING FOR BOOKS.  I was sent the book in exchange for this review.  The book was theirs, but the opinions are mine.  What follows is my honest impression.

And that review is five stars, two thumbs up and an equivalent number of spatulas.  How ever you measure a success, this book is now one of my favorites for desserts.  The author, Joy Wilson, is a fellow blogger so of course I have a warm spot in my heart for her work.  But that just gave me a start.  The proof is in the pudding (yep, 2 pudding pies are listed) and the proof is in the success rate.

I made three dishes from the book, plus the crust and sauce recipes that pair with this pie.  ALL of them came out spectacular.  Not only in taste, but also in appearance.  The title says it all, Homemade but also Decadent and a crowd pleasers!

The book itself is top quality.  COLOR full page photos of nearly every recipe.  The photos are not only drool inducing but also give you a great idea of how to make your presentation.  Fully indexed, each recipe also features a short commentary from the author.

This book will become a favorite!



Take a look at the Amazon book preview above (Just click the photo and you will get to the Amazon.com page that includes a preview of the book).  Several pages and recipes for you to get an idea of the quality of the book and the Decadent Eats ahead!


Below is a copy of the recipe featured in the book.  I am reprinting this to make the review complete to show the quality of the book, and the recipes within.

OK... Here's exactly what Joy Wilson says to do...


Lemon-Buttermilk Pie with
Maple-Cranberry Sauce via
"Homemade Decadence"



Ingredients
  • Your favorite unbaked Pie Shell (or, See below for Buttermilk Pie Crust recipe)
  • FOR THE PIE FILLING -
    1 Cup
    Sugar
  • 1 TBS Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • FOR THE BUTTERMILK PIE CRUST - 2-1/2 Cups Flour
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup plus 1 TBS Buttermilk
  • FOR THE MAPLE - CRANBERRY SAUCE - 1/2 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Pure Maple Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup packed Brown Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 (12 Ounce) bag Fresh Cranberries (I used Frozen)
  • 1 TBS Pure Vanilla Extract
Cooking Directions
  1. FOR THE BUTTERMILK PIE CRUST - In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, quickly work the butter into the flour mixture until some butter pieces are the size of oat flakes and some are the size of peas. Make a well in the mixture, pour in the buttermilk, and using a fork, stir until the dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. It will be moist and shaggy. Divide the dough in 2 and gently knead each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. To roll out the pie crust, on a well-floured counter, roll the bottom crust until it is 1/8th inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Occasionally move the crust around the floured counter during rolling to ensure that it's not sticking to the counter. Transfer to a pie dish and trim the edges. For a single pie crust, fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
  3. For a double-crusted pie, roll out the top crust in the same manner. Fill the pie and top with the second crust. Fold both layers of pie dough under and crimp with a fork or your fingers. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking.
  4. FOR THE PIE FILLING - Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. For the filling, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the mixture together. The sugar will become slightly moist and fragrant. Whisk in the flour, salt and nutmeg.
  6. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Whisk in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk to combine. Pour the filling into the prepared unbaked pie shell. Bake until the pie no longer jiggles in the center, 45 to 55 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, FOR THE SAUCE, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of water with the orange juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolved, about 4 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring, until the cranberries begin to pop, about 6 minutes. Continue to cook the cranberries , stirring occasionally for an additional 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken as the cranberries cook down. Once thick, remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  8. Let the pie cool completely. Top with the cranberry sauce just before serving.
  9. The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance.
  10. The pie will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.



"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad on a Stick - 52 Appetizers Recipe


This is hardly something new.  The classic Italian Caprese Salad, a combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, has been around for hundreds of years and is still just as popular and tasty.

This particular combination is perfect as an appetizer,

Anything on a stick is fun and an attention getting plate.  This also has the advantage of being able to be made at least a day ahead of time (in fact, that extra day helps the flavored oil add deeper layers of flavor to the mix).

I also like to add a simple to make flavored Garlic and Herb Oil.  No need to buy the expensive pre mixed version, just add oil to  as saute pan, set on very low heat and allow the garlic and herbs to seep into the oil.  Tastes so much better than just adding herbs to cold oil.  Really seasons the mix.

The knotted bamboo skewers/toothpicks can be ordered over the internet if you do a lot of parties or are available at a well stocked party store and are worth tracking down.  Just adds a little extra to the look.

Enjoy!


OK... Here's what I did...


Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Salad on a Stick


Ingredients
  • 50 Cherry Tomatoes (about 3 Pints)
  • 1 Pound ciliegine (cherry-sized) mozzarella
  • 20 Large Basil Leaves (sliced Chiffonade Style)
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2 TBS Italian Seasonings spice mix (Herbes de Provence)
Cooking Directions
  1. First, make the flavored Olive Oil... In a small heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat the Olive Oil over low heat. Add the Garlic and Herb spice mix and allow the Oil to steep at low temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Next, in a bowl, combine the mozzarella balls and the cherry tomatoes. Add the warm seasoned oil and stir to mix.
  3. To cut the ribbons of Basil, stack the basil together and roll (like a cigar). Tale a sharp knife and slice the ends of the "cigar". Continue slicing ribbons from the end until you have a pile of basil ribbons.
  4. Add the Basil to the bowl and again mix. Using a small skewer or specialty long appetizer toothpick, add one ball of mozzarella and one cherry tomato.
  5. Arrange attractively on a plate, serve chilled and ENJOY!

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So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Appetizers Recipes"!!!

From Dips and Salsas to everyone's favorite, Deviled Eggs; Appetizers will set the mood for something special. And make enough different ones and you have a Tapas Meal!

Links include Dips (Take a Look at the WORLD's BEST Guacamole recipe (and world's easiest to make), Salsas, Grilled Bites, Watermelon Art, and of course something with a spectacular presentation and taste... Take a look, something to match any occasion...

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I am also pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Specialty Salad Recipes"!!!

Sometimes they are the main course, sometimes a lunch and sometimes they are the side dish... And if you count Jell-o salad you can even make a dessert of a salad.  Here are a few of my favorite salads that get far more Ooohs and Aaahs than that simple chopped head of lettuce.

Links include Potato Salads, Cole Slaws, and Plenty of greens and fixins' Salads... And more than a few matching FRESH MADE Jam Jar make it yourself Salad Dressings!

****************************PINTEREST**************************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Butterscotch Pie "Old School" Style - 52 Cakes and Pies at Home


Everything old is new again as this very old "Old School" recipe has become an instant brand NEW Favorite family event recipe.

And it's all "Scratch", but it all comes together easy.  A near perfect do ahead of time dessert!

I made this for a recent holiday meal, along side an Apple Pie (always a favorite).  My taste testers (Family) went crazy wanting a piece of this.  The 9 folks at the table were all after a slice of this before they glanced at the Apple.

I love the dramatic High Top meringue dome look. MUCH easier to do than you would imagine.

My "GO TO" simple pie crust, recipe below, is as advertised, simple to make and never fails.

But it's the filling... Think Butterscotch Pudding, but sets up, firm enough to slice.  Rich full flavor with the sweet light meringue topping.  A stunning delicious New favorite, "Old School" Delicious addition to any holiday table!


OK... Here's what I did...


"OLD SCHOOL" Butterscotch Pie


Ingredients
  • FOR THE FILLING - 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Cornstarch
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 3 Large Egg YOLKS ONLY
  • 2 Cups Half and Half (can use whole milk)
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • FOR THE CRUST - 1-1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Butter (COLD), cut into 8 pieces
  • Big Pinch of Salt
  • 5 TBS Water (COLD)
  • FOR THE HIGH TOP MERINGUE - 6 Large Egg WHITES ONLY
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tarter
  • 1/2 tsp Clear Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare a pie crust (see recipe below for EASY Scratch Crust). Blind Bake the crust. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the Crust in several places. Tent the crust with aluminum foil, Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. FOR THE FILLING - Meanwhile, In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan, whisk together the Brown Sugar, Sugar, Cornstarch and Sea Salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the Egg YOLKS (only the Yolks) and the 1/2 and 1/2.
  4. Turn stove top to medium heat and gradually add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine and continue gently stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to stir for one additional minute once the mix reaches the boil stage. The pudding will thicken at this stage.
  5. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla and stir to mix until butter has melted into the pudding. Cover to keep warm.
  6. Prepare the High Top Meringue (See Recipe Below). Pour the pudding into the partially baked pie crust. Spread meringue over the top, spreading t the edges (be sure the meringue "seals" around the edges or the meringue will separate as the pie bakes. Heap the meringue like a dome. Take a fork and pull some of the topping into stiff peaks for that "Old School" Baked meringue look.
  7. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Best if cooled overnight in a fridge.
  8. FOR THE PIE CRUST - In a Food Processor, Pulse Flour and Salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until the mix becomes crumbly (like sand). Gradually add the water while processing until a dough ball forms.
  9. Dump onto floured surface and knead for a few minutes until combined. Flour the top. Cover with plastic wrap and roll out with a rolling pin just larger than the pie pan. remove plastic wrap. Fit onto a 9 inch Pie Pan. Easiest way to do this is to flour the rolling pin, roll the circle onto the pin. Put the pin over the edge of the pan and just unroll. It takes practice, but it will become easy after a half dozen pies.
  10. FOR THE HIGH TOP MERINGUE - In a stand mixer, whisk Egg WHITES ONLY at low speed for 1 minute. Then add the Cream of Tarter and Vanilla and whisk at high speed until the meringue begins to form and looks foamy. Continue to whisk at high speed, gradually add sugar until sugar has dissolved and the meringue will hold stiff peaks.
  11. Spread Meringue over hot filling. Bake at 325 for 15 to 20 minutes until the meringue has lightly browned.
  12. Serve Chilled and ENJOY!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Green beans with Craisins, Walnuts and Feta Cheese - 52 Side Dish Recipes


HAPPY THANKSGIVING (Late or eary for next year)!

Here's the first of my dishes I served at my Thanksgiving table.  Crispy crunchy green beans, Nutty Walnuts, Sweet juicy Craisins and the Earthy unique tastes of Feta Cheese all mixed and mingled with an easy to make Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing.

The whole dish, start to finish only takes 10 or 15 minutes to make.  Delicious, Quick and EASY PEASY!  A great combination for a busy Holiday Meal!

And the payoff is a delicious new twist on a holiday favorite.  Colorful (Christmas colors red and green even), Delicious combinations of flavors and a blending of textures Crunchy, squishy, and snappy (walnuts, Craisins and the snappy blanched Green beans).

Fits into any delightful Holiday Event!


OK... Here's what I did...


Green beans with Craisins, Walnuts and Feta Cheese


Ingredients
  • 2 Pounds Green beans, trimmed
  • 3 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 TBS Dijon Mustard
  • Large pinch of Sea Salt
  • Several grinds of a Fresh Pepper Grinder
  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Craisins
  • 1 Small Shallot, sliced thin, rings separated
  • 4 ounces Feta Cheese Crumbles
Cooking Directions
  1. Blanch the green beans. In a large pot of rapidly boiling water, add 1/4 cup table salt to the pot. Add the beans and allow to cook for no more than 3 minutes. Beans will be tender but still crisp. Remove from the heat and drain beans into a colander. Run cold water over the beans to stop the cooking process and lock in the bright coloring.
  2. Once the beans are cooked and blanched, allow to air dry. Meanwhile, whisk together the Mustard Vinaigrette. Whisk together the Olive Oil, Vinegar and Mustard. Stir in the salt and pepper to taste. If Vinaigrette is too tart for your taste, add a bit of Honey or sugar to sweeten the vinaigrette... to taste.
  3. Add the cooled beans to a serving dish. Mix in the shallot slices, 1/2 of the craisins, 1/2 of the walnuts and 1/2 of the Feta Cheese and mix.
  4. Drizzle all but an ounce or two of the vinaigrette over the bean mixture.
  5. Spread remaining Walnuts, Craisins and feta over the top of the beans and drizzle remaining vinaigrette.
  6. Serve room temperature (can warm for a bit in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes if you want to serve warm) and ENJOY!
I served this dish for my Thanksgiving Day meal alongside Ham, Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic Mashers and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts... Yum!


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So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook Side Dish Recipes"!!!

Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!

LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!

****************************PINTEREST**************************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Monday, December 1, 2014

EASY Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew) with Herb Dumplings and Garlic Mashers in a Slow Cooker - 52 Crock Pot Easy Dishes


Straight up... This may be my very favorite meal I have ever tasted... Certainly the best thing I have ever made in a Slow Cooker.  No exaggeration... THIS IS Dang GOOD!

And EASY (and I can't say it enough... GOOD)

The recipe below for the stew actually only has a few ingredients.  BUT I have included optional recipes for the dumplings and for Garlic Mashed Potatoes as well.  So, please do not be scared off by the seemingly long list of ingredients.  You can just as easily drop some Bisquick biscuit mix dough balls into the slow cooker as to make them from scratch.  And of course feel free to simply make your own favorite mashed potato recipe (but those garlic mashers are good).

For me, the real beauty of the recipe is the rich thick gravy.  The gravy just demands something to soak up the goo.  Pour this over the potatoes and you have that perfect combination of taste and heart warming comfort food.

I do hope we break the weather cycle of cold weather soon with a few days of Indian Summer temperatures, but until...

I would eat this everyday for the rest of my life!


OK... Here's what I did...


Boeuf Bourguignon with Herb Dumplings and Garlic Mashers
in a Slow Cooker


Ingredients
  • 4 TBS Butter
  • 3 Ribs Celery, sliced
  • 5 Medium Carrots, Cut into 2-3 inch long quarters
  • 3 Medium Onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 Pounds Top Round Steak / Roast or Lean Stew Meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 TBS Italian Seasonings spice mix
  • 1 TBS Mustard Powder Spice
  • 3/4 Cup Dry Red Wine (can substitute Beef Stock)
  • 2 Cans (14.5 Ounces) Diced Tomatoes with Juices
  • FOR THE ROUX...
    4 TBS Butter
  • 4 TBS Flour
  • FOR THE HERB DUMPLINGS... 1/2 Cup plus 1 TBS Half and Half
  • 1-1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 TBS Baking Powder
  • 1/2 TBS Powdered Sugar
  • A Large Pinch Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 TBS Canola Oil
  • 2 TBS Herbes de Provence Spice Mix, can substitute a mix of dried Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic,
  • FOR THE HERBED MASHED POTATOES... 2 pounds Russet Potatoes (rinsed, peeled and cubed 1/2 inch size)
  • 2 pounds Red potatoes (rinsed and cubed 1/2 inch size)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS Dill Spice
  • 1/4 Cup Garlic Chives
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, peeled and mashed and minced
Cooking Directions
  1. In a heavy bottomed Frying Pan (Cast iron Skillet works GREAT), melt the butter over Medium high heat. Add the Celery, Carrots and Onions and Saute for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened and onions turn translucent. Transfer vegetables to the Slow Cooker.
  2. Next, brown the Beef Cubes in batches in the same Heavy bottomed skillet, about 3 minutes per side so the beef has char marks. Transfer these cubes to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the Mustard spice, Italian Seasonings mix to the beef, stir to mix the vegetables and beef with the seasonings. Add the Red Wine and stir to coat. Top with the Diced Tomatoes (with liquid).
  4. Cover, set Slow cooker to LOW (8 hours) or HIGH (8 hours). Set and forget, the beef will become tender and the flavors infuse the vegetables as the slow cooker does it's magic!
  5. 30 minutes before you are ready to serve, Make a thickening Roux... In a small skillet, melt 4 TBS butter over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour, 1 TBS at a time. Continue to whisk for 4 minutes until the roux just starts to smell like almonds. Add to the Slow Cooker and stir to mix with the liquid. Recover and set the cooker to HIGH
  6. NEXT, for the Dumplings, Combine and whisk the dry ingredients for the Dumplings. Add the Canola Oil and stir to mix. Add the Half and Half and Herbs and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Drop Spoonfuls of the dough on to the HOT beef stew, then cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the herb dumplings comes out clean.
  8. MEANWHILE, for the Garlic Mashers, while the dumplings are cooking, Make Garlic Mashed Potatoes... Place all spud hunks in a 4 quart saucepan and add just enough cold water to cover. Add 1 tsp salt to the pot, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  9. Meanwhile, combine the buttermilk, cream and garlic to a 2 quart saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat. Watch to make sure the mixture does not boil over. Stir occasionally.
  10. When the spud water boils, ditch the lid, drop the heat to simmer and cook until the taters are easily crushed with tongs. Drain the potatoes well. The less moisture, the better.
  11. Add the final teaspoon of salt, add 1/4 of the buttermilk mixture and start smashing.
  12. As the spuds break down, add more of the buttermilk mixture. Remember these are smashed potatoes, not whipped potatoes. The red potatoes will mash well, the russet potatoes will mash slightly, but also some will remain whole, leaving a nice mixture of creamy potatoes with firm hunks floating. Mash to your desired results.
  13. Add additional Chives if desired for an herbal look.
  14. Serve Stew over the Potatoes, the Dumplings on the side and ENJOY!!!

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So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of "52 Ways to Cook SLOW COOKER-CROCK POT Easy Recipes"!!!

From meat dishes (Like an AMAZING Root Beer Pulled Pork that will feed a small army), to kitchen staples (FREE Gallon of Chicken Stock anyone?) to a slew of Soup and Stew recipes, these are the dishes that will change the way you cook.  Start in the morning, set and forget and dinner is on the table... Easy Peasy indeed!!!

****************************PINTEREST**************************

Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at Contact@eRecipeCards.com and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pineapple Dip with Jerk Spice - 52 Appetizers Recipes


Fast Easy... Open a can and a package... Spice, Mix and ENJOY!

Perfect for when you want to serve something Fresh made with a hint of the unusual...

And of course TASTY

And FAST and EASY!

I made this with a combination of Sweet Pineapple and spicy Jerk (Jamaican Island spices).  But you could adapt this with a Cajun spice mix or even something savory like an Herbes de Provance spice mix.


OK... Here's what I did...

Pineapple Dip
with Jerk Spice


Ingredients
  • 1 Brick (8 Ounces) Cream Cheese, Softened to room temperature
  • 1 Can (15 Ounces) Crushed Pineapple, drained but reserve juices
  • 1 tsp Jerk Spice mix (can use Cajun mix, Italian Mix or Herbes de Provance for a different taste)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (optional), crushed and minced
  • Dusting of Sweet Paprika for Garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer,mix together the Cream Cheese, Pineapple, Jerk Spice and Garlic until well combined and smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Dust with Sweet Paprika for color.
  4. Serve with Apple Slices or crackers and ENJOY

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Claire's Co-Worker's Sichuan Chicken Wings via The Portlandia Cookbook


OH BOY... CHICKEN WINGS!  And these are baked so they are EASY EASY EASY to make!  And comes from a FUN source, the "The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local".  Just as much fun to read as the series is to watch!

First, my disclaimer... I received this book FREE! courtesy of BLOGGING FOR BOOKS.  I was sent the book in exchange for this review.  The book was theirs, but the opinions are mine.  What follows is my honest impression.

My impression is Oh My GOSH... WHAT FUN!

If you have never had a chance to catch up with the folks in Portland, Portlandia is a sketch comedy show, produced by Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live fame and starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownsein.  Fred and Carrie play a variety of folks who live in Portland, spoofing the image that the good folks in Portland have as twenty-first century Hipsters and old hippies.

One of my favorite examples of Portlandia zaniness is on Youtube and can be reached by clicking this LINK.  There you will learn the story of COLIN, the chicken served at the Gilt Restaurant.  Colin has lived a very good life for a chicken, Free range, Local, feed a diet of Squash, Eggplant, Greek Yogurt.  Colin happens to have an allergy to Avocados.  Before ordering you are presented with Colin's photo and dossier.  You get the idea, well worth a look.

I discovered Portlandia as an option on Netflix.  But you can stream episodes on Hulu as well.  And now... The companion cookbook to the hit show Portlandia by the Emmy-nominated stars and writers Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, with 50 delicious recipes for every food lover, freegan, organic farmer, and food truck diehard.

Food plays a very special role in Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s award-winning satire, Portlandia. Here are recipes for the dishes that define the show, from cult-raised chicken and Stu’s stews to pickled veggies and foraged green salads. Complete with new full-color finished food photographs and illustrations, humorous stories and sidebars from the loveable food-obsessed Portlandia characters (such as Mr. Mayor, Peter and Nance, and Colin the chicken), and advice on how to choose a bed and breakfast and behave at a communal table, this is a funny cookbook—with serious recipes—for anyone who loves food. And yes, the chicken’s local... And named Collin
Take a look through the book.  You'll laugh, you'll cry and you will indeed probably recognize a few friends.



Take a look at the preview above (Just click the photo and you will get to the Amazon.com page that includes a preview of the book.  Several pages and recipes for you to get an idea of the quality of the book and the fun ahead!

For my review I decided to take Collin out for a stroll and give chicken wings a try.  These are baked, take very little time to get together and feature their own faux Duck Sauce!

Loved the final product.  As the name applies,certainly spicy.  I followed the recipe exactly.  You may want to consider dropping the amount of Red Pepper Flakes down if you are not in a spicy mood.  But as baked wings go, this is a terrific recipe...


OK... Here's what the book says to do...


Claire's Co-Worker's Sichuan Chicken Wings via "The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local"


Ingredients
  • 2 TBS Ground Cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 8 Large Chicken Wings, about 3 pounds, split into wingettes and drumettes
  • 1-1/2 TBS Canola Oil plus more for brushing
  • FOR THE FRESH MADE DUCK SAUCE - 2 TBS Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Apricot Preserves
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh minced peeled Ginger
  • 1/4 Cup Water
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the Cumin, Red Pepper Flakes, 5-Spice Powder, Salt and Flour.
  3. On a work surface, coat the chicken with the Canola Oil, rubbing to coat completely. Add the Chicken to the spice and flour mix and toss to coat completely. Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet and brush lightly with additional oil.
  4. Roast in the center of the oven until deeply browned and crispy, turning once or twice; about 50 minutes. If needed, blot on paper towel to remove excess fat.
  5. Meanwhile, make the duck-like sauce. In a food processor, combine the Soy Sauce, Apricot Preserves and the fresh minced Ginger. Add a quarter cup water and puree until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and simmer on low heat until reduced by about 1/2 cup... About 6 Minutes. Pour the sauce into a small dipping bowl.
  6. Arrange the wings on a platter and serve with the sauce... And ENJOY!

And wonderful accessible workable recipes!


And one last disclaimer...
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Chocolate Meringue Swirls with a Chocolate Sauce via A KITCHEN IN FRANCE - Recipe and Cookbook Review


OH BOY... Something new!

Well, for me at least.  I probably see dozens of different desserts a day and while appealing all, most are just a variation on themes.

These on the other hand... Well, a dramatic presentation, a delicious sounding name and a unique flavor all add up to a wonderful dessert experience!

They are indeed about as big as your fist, 4-5 inches wide and 2-3 inches tall!  But despite the size of the meringue, they are actually pretty light.  The basic ingredient is a single egg white in each one, packed with as much sugar as it can hold and whipped until stiff.  The taste and texture is very similar to a marshmallow.

Just BIG, DRAMATIC, DELICIOUS and... Something NEW!

This is Day six of my dinner party review...

The party was part of a review of of "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse " by Mimi Thorisson.... 6 Recipes from the book,  8 Friends and family...

First, my disclaimer... I received this book FREE! courtesy of BLOGGING FOR BOOKS.  I was sent the book in exchange for this review.  The book was theirs, but the opinions are mine.


I posted my first course for a dinner party for 8 of my family and friends; Her Onion Tart recipe... (LOVED IT!).

I served the tart as my Sandwich in a Soup and Sandwich course.  I made Mimi's
PUMPKIN SOUP as the soup course.

Next came my Appetizer course... Her title for the recipe is "Gambas Flambees with Pastis" which translates to Prawns (or Shrimp) Flamed with an Anise flavored Liquor.  Worked FANTASTIC, stunning presentation, easy, fast and no First Responders needed to help.


My next course was the "Main Course", The meat I selected was a basic Roasted Chicken... Well, much more than basic as Mimi's Roast Chicken with Creme Fraiche and Herbs was FANTASTIC ..the side dish I posted of a Butternut Squash Gratin Paired PERFECT!

The short version of my longer review of the book (see this post) is that  the book is astounding.  Stunningly beautiful photographs, wonderful descriptions of her family and life in the French countryside and of course wonderful recipes.  I made 6 dishes for my party and each came out as expected, and wonderful!

It is a bit sad, as I file Mimi's astounding book away.  I have hundreds of cookbooks.  So many that I have separate shelves for BBQ and Grilling, Italian, Restaurant and celebrity books, Southern (more of a comfort shelf with casseroles and crock pot books) and a shelf for basics (got to be able to find that "Joy of Cooking when I need it).  But  also have a shelf for books that are especially personal.  You know the ones you like to look at, the ones you use the recipes from often, the ones that inspire... The pretty ones.

Mimi.s "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse " deserves a spot on that shelf.  I have several more recipes marked to try and even more that are crying out for me to personalize with a few of my one touches.  I can not thank Mimi enough for sharing such a personal bit of her life, so many delicious dishes that I can tell she worked to perfect before going to press and, for me at least, the perfect cookbook... Could not recommend this enough.

If you follow this link you will get to the AMAZON.com page that offers a FREE preview (and a discount on the final price) of several pages from her book.  Take a look.  Wonderful accessible recipes, STUNNING photos and a sweet dreamy story you can get lost in... Maybe you will decide that this book deserves a spot on your "Special" shelf as well!




OK... Here's what I did...


Chocolate Meringue Swirls with a Chocolate Sauce


Ingredients
  • 6 Large Eggs, WHITES ONLY, at room temperature
  • a Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS Cornstarch
  • 1-2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, plus more for dusting
  • FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE... 6-1/2 TBS Water
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 TBS Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Ounce Bittersweet Chocolate, broken into several pieces
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a stand mixer, whip the egg whites in a clean bowl (make sure the bowl is free of any trace of oil) to medium peaks. Add the salt and whip for an additional 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch and whip for 30 seconds. Finally, add the sugar 2 TBS at a time and whip until the whites are stiff and glossy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the stand mixer. Add the cocoa powder and FOLD gently only 5-6 times. You want the rustic look of the cocoa ribbons.
  4. You want to make 6 Meringues, each about 4 to 5 inches wide and 2-1/2 inches tall. You want to create nice swirls. With the help of two large spoons, spoon the egg whites onto the baking sheet. Twirl one of the spoons around and finish each meringue with a spiky peak. Dust with additional cocoa powder and use a small fork to gently make a few more swirls.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Switch off the oven and leave the door closed for an additional 15 minutes. Resist the urge to open the door to take a peak. That releases all of the heat.
  6. Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce. In a small saucepan, mix the water, cocoa powder and corn syrup and heat to a gentle boil.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Let cool for an hour before serving.
  8. Place each meringue on a serving plate and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Listen to the Oohs and Aahs and ENJOY!

Here's my Menu for the night...

Pumpkin Soup
With an Onion Tart

Gambas Flambees
With Pastis

Roast Chicken With
Creme Fraiche and Herbs
Served with a
Butternut Squash

PLUS and AMAZING Spectacular
Chocolate Meringue Swirl

As I said, Each of the 6 recipes I tried from the book worked and worked spectacularly.  I have been doing a lot of non-challenging catering dishes lately.  It was fun and exciting to whip these dishes up and serve this menu to my friends.  All well received, all went as best as I could have imagined and I could not recommend this book highly enough.

Beautiful enough to be a table top book, inspiring enough to get lost in on a rainy Sunday afternoon...

And wonderful accessible workable recipes!



And one last disclaimer...
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."  But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!
*************************************************************************

So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook COOKIE, BARS and TRUFFLES"!!!

Old school like classic criss cross peanut butter to new takes on interesting recipes like a beautiful Red Velvet with the cream cheese mixed inside the cookie, accented with white chocolate chips!  Even a Pineapple Cream Cheese EASY Bar with only 5 ingredients! 
Stop on by, there's always a new cookie in the cookie jar!

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