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Here is just another sampling of the different items we put out for our wine and cheese social that we hold for our guests every Friday and Saturday evening from 5:00-6:00. Of course, it always depends how many we have that are participating on what and how much we decide to provide but this one was a huge hit last weekend. Not only is it very colorful but it provides it a little something for everyone. Lucky for me there were extra so my dinner consisted of a few of the tortellini skewers. The platter consists of summer sausage and my favorite Satori Bellavitano cheese which is a little sharp, nutty and fruity all in one bite. Great with red or white wine. Home made fresh salsa (see previous recipe), home made Roasted red pepper Hummus (see previous recipe), served with pepperjack rice crackers (great for gluten free folks and yummy with all sorts of things) and Ritz crackers for those that are not, cheese tortellini skewers and toasted salmon baguettes. See both recipes for the skewers and baguettes below.
Cheese Tortellini Skewers
1 package of cheese tortellini (in the dairy case), cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, hard salami, and fresh basil leaves. Boil tortellini as package describes. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Assemble on the skewers. I used two of everything except fresh mozzarella which I only used one, but that is up to you. I then drizzled them with a home made balsamic glaze (recipe is at bottom of page when clicking on link).
Toasted Salmon Baguettes
French bread, sliced about 1″ thickness, cream cheese(room temp) mixed with a little garlic, smoked salmon, capers, crush black pepper.
Toast bread slices at 400 degrees about 5 minutes. Spread cream cheese mixture on bread, add smoked salmon, a few capers and crushed black pepper.
Is there anyone out there that does not like turtles, the candy? These turtle bars are scrumptious and yes rich, but its hard to say no to just one. I would usually save such recipes for when it is colder outside, but mother nature has not been too consistent with us lately so these bars seemed like the perfect time to get made over the weekend. Oh, by the way, super easy to make too! Hope you enjoy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 pan. Combine crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter until moist. Spread evenly in the bottom of the pan, pressing down until firm.
Add half of chocolate chips on the crust, followed by the caramel bits and 1 1/2 C of the pecan pieces and then finally the rest of the chocolate chips and the rest of the pecans.
Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
Bake 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting or you are going to get a mess.
You can refrigerate these if you choose, but make sure you let them warm up before eating, otherwise you may break a tooth on the caramel. Still good, just not as easy to eat.
I am hoping these lemon muffins will bring on some warmer weather. Man, I got spoiled last week and now this snow, sleet and rain the last couple days has got me craving some warm sunshine so out comes what I consider summer feeling goodies.
1 lemon, 1 C sugar plus 1 TB sugar, 2 C flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 2 eggs, 1 C buttermilk, 1 TB lemon extract and 1/2 C melted butter.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Zest lemon and chop if not using a microplaner. Slice lemon in half(short way) and squeeze out juice, removing any seeds. Mix lemon juice with 1 TB sugar
In a bowl combine remaining 1 C sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs and buttermilk and lemon extract. Stir in butter and add to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Spray 8 jumbo mix tins or use cupcake liners and fill almost full. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Option 1: Brush tops of muffins with lemon juice mixture and sprinkle with additional sugar.
Option 2: Best used when using muffin liners. Let muffins cool slightly. Poke holes in tops of muffins with a toothpick and pour lemon juice mixture over muffins. Sprinkle with a course sugar.
Don’t be scared about by the word vegan. It just means healthier and you can still enjoy the flavor especially when you add peanut butter. These truffles are not made with caramel but an alternative. Since I am still somewhat new to the vegan world I am always looking for new recipes so I am really excited to share this 5 ingredient recipe, since we all need a little chocolate after dinner, in my opinion. This one came from the minimalist baker which I find myself using a lot. Hope you enjoy.
16oz. Medjool dates, pitted, 2.5 TB melted coconut oil, divided, 3/4 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 C all natural creamy, salted peanut butter, 1 C dairy free dark chocolate chips.
Add dates to food processor. Add 1 TB melted coconut oil and mix. ( do not melt coconut oil in the microwave. Heat in a bowl over a gas range or add to a saucepan for electric range). If it doesn’t look like it is forming a paste, add a little bit of warm water. Not too much though other wise it won’t stick together. Add 3/4 tsp. seal salt and mix more, scraping down the sides.
Form into ball the size of a superball or a bit larger and place on parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes.
While they are freezing, combine peanut butter and 1/2 TB melted coconut oil. Right before your 30 is up, heat peanut butter mixture in microwave for about 20 seconds. Remove truffles from the freezer and pour peanut butter mixture over the tops of the truffles. Freeze again for another 30 minutes.
About 5 minutes before you are ready to take the truffles out of the freezer, warm the chocolate chips with remaining 1 TB melted coconut oil in the microwave until melted and dip truffles into the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with more sea salt if desired and place back on the parchment paper. Put in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
I am not sure why I have never had much luck with cheesecake, but this chocolate cheesecake turns out great every time. I have always made cheesecake in a water bath but this one doesn’t call for it. If you are not a chocolate fan, this recipe may not be for you. Covered with a chocolate ganache topping is just fine with me, but it is very rich and decadent so be prepared to be overwhelmed with goodness! Also, cheesecake is always best the next day so plan on two days for this goody.
Crust- 9 oz. of finely crushed Oreo cookies and 6 TB of melted butter
Filling – 10 oz. Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips(I have used Nestle semi sweet which is fine, but better chocolate always makes a better product!), 4- 8oz. packages cream cheese at room temp, 1 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa (same goes here for brand), and 4 Large room temp eggs.
Topping – 3/4 whipping cream, 5 oz. Ghiradelli chocolate chips and 1 TB sugar
Spray a 10″ springform pan with high sides. Mix your finely crushed Oreo cookies with melted butter and press into the bottom of your springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
While your crust is cooling, melt 10oz. of chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. You should stir every 30 seconds to prevent from burning. While chocolate is cooling, blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Make sure there are not any lumps! Pour in chocolate. Add eggs one at a time until blended but do not overblend! Pour cheesecake filling over crust, smooth top and bake for 1 hour until sides are hour and center still looks a bit soft. Do not attempt to open oven door to check on cheesecake! Once done, turn oven off, open oven door and let cheesecake cook until at room temp. Once cool, run knife around the outside of cheesecake between pan to loosen. Cover tightly and chill in fridge overnight.
A few over before serving, make topping. Stir cream, 5 oz. chocolate and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Pour over center of cheesecake but leaving edges bare. Chill until topping is set. When ready to serve, remove sides of springform pan.
Hints: If cheesecake cracks in the middle, no worries it will be covered up by the ganache.
To prevent cracking, use room temp. products, do not over beat eggs, and do not open oven door. Cheesecake needs to be cooled gradually. Opening oven door or cooling to quickly are sure ways to crack cake. Of course it will still taste great, but if you are going to go through the work, be patient!
So, as many of you know, we entered the Bedandbreakfast.com breakfast recipe contest for the second year in a row. Both years we made it to the top 16 out of the hundreds of people that entered. Once it gets down to the top 16, you are then paired up with another recipe and Facebook fans vote on whose recipe they would like to see go on to the next round (very similar to the March Madness Brackets). Both years, this is as far as we have made it. Last year was the best “sweet” original breakfast recipe. This year, we had to use “regional” ingredients. I
Last year, our chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread pudding looked amazing in pictures.
This year, our breakfast grilled cheese didn’t have as nice of a picture, but I thought the recipe is one that I will not quit making. It is not real friendly to make for a full house just because its a little putzy, but for a few people its perfect. I had many requests to make this when people come back to visit, so do not be afraid to ask me to make it ahead of time. I just have to make sure I have all the specialty ingredients on hand. I don’t think you will be disappointed. It’s actually one of my favorites.
With that being said, no new recipes this week but I have included the links to both last years entry and this years.
What else is there to say? Who does not like a warm glazed donut? I have not bought a donut from a grocery story or bakery for years. I love them but know how bad they are for me so I do have some self control in the donut department, expect when it comes to making my own. I mean, they are just sitting there, staring at me. I have to cave. Now, I don’t proclaim these to be any better, or any worse for that matter than a store bought donut, in fact you may argue that these really are not donuts, but just knocks off. That’s okay, I think once you try these you won’t complain. I did pull this idea off the internet because it just seemed too good to be true, but its not. Don’t like glaze, add some cinnamon sugar. That is what I did with the holes. Yum!
1 can of Grands biscuits ( I used the honey and butter flavor), oil for frying, cinnamon sugar or a powdered sugar glaze. Recipe below.
Separate biscuits so you have 8 biscuits laying in front of you. Cut out a circle in the middle of each biscuit, so it looks like a donut. I used the top of my maple syrup bottle. Separate your holes from the donuts. The holes may look small, but trust me, they will get bigger once you fry them up.
Heat your oil in a deep frying pan, one that has a lid. I used about 2 C of oil until it came up about half way in the pan. Here is the tricky part, heating your oil. I have an electric stove so for me 2-3 was my setting, or low for most. If you oil is to hot, your donuts won’t get done in the middle and if its too cool, they won’t get crispy on the outside and moist inside so you may have to try one out first. Make sure your oil is hot before adding your biscuits. Add one to two biscuits at a time. They will grow and you don’t want them to touch. Put on your lid and watch them get brown on the bottom side. For me, it took about 45 seconds on each side. Once you see it starts getting brown in the middle, carefully flip biscuit over and brown the other side. Once done, cool on a wire rack with wax paper underneath for a minute before glazing or sugaring. Eat right away! (Like that wasn’t obvious)
Powdered Sugar Glaze – 1 1/2 C powdered sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 4-5 TB of milk. Mix well until smooth. You want this glaze to be a little thinner than usual, so don’t be afraid of the milk.
These raspberries muffins may make you think of summer but I think that is what we all need right now to take our minds off this of this dreadful cold weather. I have used both kinds of topping on the muffins so I wanted to give you both recipes depending on your preference. I also love these new parchment paper muffin liners. They are so simplistic and they don’t leave any crumbs on the paper. These were great paired with our spicy sausage casserole this past weekend. Hope you enjoy.
1 1/4 C sugar, 1 stick of butter, 2 eggs, 1 C sour cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 C flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 C fresh raspberries.
Sugar Topping- 2 TB sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (blend)
Streusel Topping – 1/2 C butter, softened, 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 Brown sugar, 2/3 C flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg. Blend butter until smooth. Gradually stir in other ingredients until crumby.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and mix until blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Place batter in muffin liners or spray a jumbo muffin pan. Sprinkle on topping mixture or streusel mixture onto each one. Bake 25-30 minutes.
*Note- You should have left over topping(which over one you decide to make). I keep my left over sugar topping in the pantry for use at another time and my left over streusel topping in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
This Bagels and Lox Benedict recipes serves one generously when served with hasbrowns or tater tots which I prefer and a side of fruit such as grapes. The key to this recipe I think is using an everything bagel with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cracked pepper, onion and garlic. It adds a lot of flavor to this great breakfast dish. If you have never poached eggs before, it does take some practice, so try a couple times, you will get it. It took me a little bit of practice too.
1 Everything Bagel, sliced in half, 2 oz. of smoked salmon, 4 thin slices of red onion, 2 poached eggs
Lemon Caper Sauce – 1/2 C vegetable broth, 3/4 TB cornstarch, 1/4 C sour cream, 3/4 TB lemon juice, 1 TB drained capers, fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk vegetable broth and cornstarch until smooth. Stir over medium heat until boiling for 2 1/2 minutes. Whisk in sour cream, lemon juice and capers. Stir often until steaming until 2 1/2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep on low until ready to serve.
Poached eggs – Recommended method, if you do not want to buy a poacher. In a sauce pan big enough for two eggs that do not touch, simmer about 2″ of water(not boil, but heavy simmer). Add a small splash of white distilled vinegar to the water. Crack one egg into a soufle cup or small bowl. Do the same with the second egg in a second bowl. Gently swirl the water as it is simmering to make a whirlpool. This helps the egg stay together(trust me). SLOWLY add 1 egg to the whirlpool water. With a slotted spoon, keep egg off the bottom of the saucepan by sliding slotted spoon underneath egg every few seconds. Do this for about 3 1/2 minutes more or less depending on you like your eggs. When done take your slotted spoon and gently lift egg out of water onto a strong paper towel that won’t stick to the egg, to absorb any water.
Cut bagels in half horizontally and toast. Put bagel halves on a plate and top each with onion and then smoked salmon. Add poached eggs on each half of the bagel. Spoon sauce over eggs and garnish with dill.
February in my opinion, is the perfect time to make these Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes. February is National Cherry Month and with Valentines Day around the corner, these sweet little desserts for perfect to show someone how much you love them. I borrowed this recipe off of the Cooking Classy website and will be making often. These miniature versions are hard to resist since you only get a few bites, which doesn’t seem like quite enough. This recipe is super easy, but you do have to have plenty of time for them to set up, so don’t expect to throw this together quickly.
Crust- Crushed Oreos and 1 1/2 TB butter melted. I bought Crush Oreos off of the shelf and figured 1 heaping TB per regular muffin cup.
Cheesecake – 3/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, melted and cooled slightly, 2/3 C sugar, 2 TB cocoa powder, pinch of salt, 12 oz. cream cheese, 2 LG eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 C heavy cream, and 1/4 C sour cream.
Topping – Canned Cherry Pie Filling, 1 1/4 C heavy cream, 2 1/2 TB sugar, and shaved chocolate(decoration)
For the crust, preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, blend Oreo cookie crumbs and butter. Divide mixture among 18 regular sized paper lined muffin tins. Bake 5 minutes and allow to cool.
For the cheesecake filling, whisk together 2/3 C sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth. Add cream cheese to sugar/cocoa mixture and whip until creamy and smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending until combined. Add vanilla. Pour in melted chocolate and mix. Add 1/4 C heavy cream and sour cream and mix again. Divide mixture among cookie lined muffins cups about 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temp for 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 more hours.
For the topping, Whip 1/4 C heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 TB sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Spread a thin later over chilled cheesecakes and then pipe a rim around the edge to hold the filling. Spoon a heaping amount of cherry pie filling in the center of the cheesecake. Sprinkle shaved chocolate over the cheesecake to dress up. Store covered until ready to enjoy.
These Apple Bites are another great vegan recipe that I wanted to share with you. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many vegan recipes at one time, but this is great for breakfast, lunch, a snack and even the kids will love it. Thanks to Rachelshultz.com, she has just given me a broader selection of healthy foods. This one though, is like dessert. Yumm!
Apple Bites – 1 apple serves 2
The serving size can be disputed, but a half of apple with all these goodness on top is about all my belly can take, but feel free to indulge.
1 Granny Smith Apple, 2 TB Peanut Butter, pecans or walnuts, and chocolate chips. Rachel suggested coconut. I opted out, but add whatever toppings you like.
Core Apple. Slice apple into thin rings. Spread peanut butter on one side. Top with nuts and chips. Enjoy!
I came across these carrot pineapple muffins the other day in my recipe box. I have not made these in years, probably because I make carrot cake so often as dessert that I forget about making them as muffins in the morning for breakfast. I am so glad that I found this recipe though since its a great and I look forward to sharing it with you.
1 C sugar, 1 1/8 C vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1 1/4 C flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 C raisins, 1/2 C walnuts, 1/2# carrots shredded, and 1/4 C crushed pineapple. ( I have used tidbits too if this is all I have and it is really good as well if you like the plumpness of the pineapple with the raisins).
Frosting – 1 stick of butter (room temp), 6 oz. cream cheese (room temp), 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 bag of powdered sugar. Blend and set aside. If its too thick, add a little milk to get to the consistency you want, but be careful not to get too thin. If it does, add more powdered sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray jumbo muffin tins or line with muffin liners.
Beat sugar, oil, and eggs until light yellow. Add vanilla. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir until well blended. Add raisin and walnuts. Stir. Fold in carrots and pineapple until well blended.
Bake 30 minutes. Add frosting when muffins are cooled.
I have been making this Potato Tomato Frittata for years. I love it, because its a great gluten free recipe without feeling like you are missing out on anything. The recipe serves six but I have it made it for just one person before in a single serve pie plate or single serve casserole dish which even works better.
1 TB butter, 2 med baking potatoes peeled and sliced, salt and pepper, 6 large eggs, beaten, 4 oz. shredded cheddar, 2 oz shredded swiss, 1 C sour cream, 2 TB chives, 1 LG Tomato, 2 TB parm cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt 1 TB butter in a skillet. Add sliced potatoes and sauté until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to a 9” greased pie pan. Sprinkle potatoes with ½ cheddar and swiss. Spread sour cream over cheese. Sprinkle chives over sour cream. In a sprayed skillet, scramble eggs leaving fairly liquid. Salt and pepper to taste. Add eggs on top of chives. Add more cheese. Slice tomatos and add on top of eggs. Sprinkle parm on tomatoes.
Bake 40 minutes until puffed and slightly brown.
I am so excited to tell you about these nutty bars. I know its been a few weeks since I posted a recipe. I feel awful, really, but the Holidays took a lot out of me. Now, its back to experimenting and creating.
Some of you know this, but about 3 months ago, my family decided to do a cleanse. My daughter has had severe back pain for the last four years. Her nutritionist mentioned that she might want to try a cleanse. Sometimes there are certain foods we eat that can trigger aches and pains, much like an allergy. We figured since she was going to do this, that we would join her to make it easier for her. It was only 3 days so we started juicing. We mixed our our vegetable and fruit smoothies and made our own nut milks. Some were better than others but after three days, we all felt great! Our daughter decided three days was enough. My husband and I decided to go on with the 7 day cleanse which introduced us to a vegan diet. We then proceeded to go onto the 21 day cleanse. We both lost some weight and felt great. Thanksgiving was a challenge, but we made it through. Christmas on the other hand, well, we both fell off the wagon but have decided to get back into the groove. This recipe make a great dessert when you need a little bit of indulgence after dinner, but without all the guilt.
One dessert that gets made a lot at the inn is peanut butter bars, so this recipe is a great healthy alternative. I didn’t know a lot about vegan cooking/baking when I started this, so this recipe along with any future recipes I share with you will probably be taken from somewhere else. This recipe is adapted from One Green Planet. I did change up the recipe though and used what ingredients I had in the pantry. I also blended the nuts longer than what they did since I like a little more creamy texture, compared to nutty, but you can do whatever your palette pleases you.
1/2 C sunflower seeds, 1/2 C raw cashews, 1/2 C raw almonds, 1.5 C walnuts, 1/2 C all natural peanut butter, 1/2 melted organic coconut oil(melted-not in microwave), 2-3 TB maple syrup, 2 TB honey(if your not 100% vegan) and 2 tsp. organic vanilla extract.
Chocolate Topping– 1/2 C organic raw cacao powder, 6 TB coconut oil(melted), and 1 TB maple syrup
For the bars, use a food processor. Combine all the nuts and the peanut butter and process until the desired consistency. Add melted coconut oil, honey and/or maple syrup and vanilla and blend again.
Put the mixture into a non greased 8×8 baking dish and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until firm.
For the topping, mix melted coconut oil, cacao and maple syrup and stir until creamy. After bars have firmed up in freezer, spread the chocolate quickly over the bars as it will firm up fast. Return the bars back to the freezer for about 30 minutes to let the chocolate harden up and the bars to set up even more. Transfer the bars to the fridge and let stand for 30 minutes before cutting into them.
Store in the fridge or freezer because they will soften up and lose their shape.
I wanted to publish this mint fudge recipe before Christmas in case anybody needed some fast, last minute ideas on what to bring to family or friends gatherings this season. Fudge has never been a big thrill for me. I grew up not far from Wisconsin Dells where I worked and visited often, so I had my share of many different flavors. I enjoy peanut butter probably the most but sometimes can be a bit cumbersome to make. This mint fudge recipe is not only easy but fast and really good. In fact, this time of year like to have it around for a little bite size piece of dessert after dinner since its kind of refreshing and I still get my chocolate kick. Our first home that we sold, our buyers brought this fudge recipe to our new home (about 14 years ago). I like it so much that she she shared the recipe with me and I have been making ever since every Christmas. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.
1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 bag of chocolate chips, 1 oz. baking chocolate and 2 tsp. of mint extract.
Melt everything BUT the mint in a saucepan over med. heat stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add mint. Pour into sprayed 8×8 pan. Chill 1 hour or more. It will seem soft but after one day, its perfect! I have never tried other flavored extracts but I have no doubt that they would be delicious. I am just partial to mint.
I have never been a big Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola fan, but I love the the pairings of sweet and salty together. A few weeks back we hosted a wine tasting gathering for a local business. Working with Gardinas we came up with some great wine and cheese pairings. They provided this wonderful Blue Cheese that wasn’t as sharp as I had sampled in the past. It almost had some sweet undertones to it. So, I tried using it again with this recipe and it really paid off. I will warn you though that these candied pecans with blue cheese are a tad bit addicting. Its hard to have just one. I am planning on serving these at our next Holiday Party.
100 large pecan halves(perfectly shaped), 2 TB butter, 1/4 C honey, 1/4 C sugar, pinch of sea salt, 1/4 tsp. cracked pepper, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 C sour cream, and 1 C crumbled blue cheese at room temp.
First, prepare the pecans. Make sure your pecan halves are perfect. Keep the broken ones for another time. Spread them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Watch carefully, so they do not burn. White pecans are baking, melt butter and honey in a saucepan. When pecans are done baking, add to honey mixture, stirring until coated. Cool completely!
Combine sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and curry powder in a large bowl. With a slotted spoon, remove pecans and place in the sugar mixture, tossing to coat.
Mix the blue cheese and sour cream until creamy. Using pastry bag(much easier), pipe the blue cheese mixture onto the flat side of one pecan. Top with another pecan and smooth out the edges. Serve right away, so you don’t eat them faster than you serve them.
Thanks ztastylife.com for the inspiration.
I have never been one to make a good potato pancake. In fact, its been a work in progress for me. However, when I saw this recipe, I had to get my hands on it and turn it into my own. It couldn’t be any easier and any more delicious! Now, the key here is to have left over mashed potatoes. No leftovers? That is okay. I made a few of these up ahead of time, put them in the freezer and set them out in the morning to thaw and fried them up an hour later. It worked like a charm. In fact, you couldn’t tell the difference between the fresh and frozen. I don’t think instant potatoes will work, but hey, you can give it a shot and let me know. You want them to be thick, yet fluffy.
First off, you need a good mashed potato recipe. I typically only share my breakfast, dessert and appetizer recipes, but since you need mashed potatoes, I don’t think my Grandma will mind if I share this family secret.
Mashed Potatoes – feeds 6 generously
5# potatoes, 1 8 oz block of cream cheese, 1 C sour cream, 2 TB butter, 1 tsp. onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
Peel potatoes. Boil. Mash potatoes. Whip Potatoes. Add rest of ingredients and whip well again until thick and creamy.
Put in a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. ( Keeps up to 2 weeks in refrigerator before baking and freezes well too)
3 C mashed potatoes, 2/3 C shredded cheddar cheese, 2 TB chopped onions, 1 egg lightly beaten, 3 TB flour, plus more for dipping, Tsp. garlic powder, vegetable oil(for frying) and sour cream(garnish)
In a large bowl, stir together the mashed potatoes, cheese, onions, egg and 3 TB flour until combined. Roll each portion into a ball and then flatten it into a 1/2″ thick pancake. I kept mine the size of a lid of a can.
In a shallow dish, add enough flour to coat 12 pancakes. Dredge each mashed potato pancake in flour.
Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. I added enough to coat the bottom of the pan plus some. Fry the pancakes, flipping only once making sure that the get nice and brown on each side. Don’t flip too soon though, otherwise they won’t heat all the way through and they may fall apart. Transfer pancakes to a paper towel lined plate.
Sprinkle with a little Sea salt, a dollop sour cream and chives.
Adapted recipe from justataste.com
This asparagus strata was inspired by these pretty singular casseroles that I found the other day. I get asked this question a lot. What is the difference between a strata and a frittata? Well a a frittata is an open faced omelet that has fillings such as cheese, meat, veggies that is blended into the egg mixture instead of being added to the top. A strata is more of a casserole type item by pouring the egg and milk over the bread, cheese, meat and/or veggies. Stratas are usually left in the refrigerator over night as well so the bread soaks up all the egg and milk goodness. I made this for one, but if you have a smaller appetite, this could easily work for two people.
3 slices prosciutto, 3 asparagus stalks(ends cut), 2 eggs, chives, any leftover artisan bread( 3 thick slices), salt, pepper, butter, Havarti, Swiss or Fontina cheese(shredded), 1/2 tsp. horseradish and half and half.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small casserole dish. Lay 1-2 slices of bread on the butter of the casserole dish. It is okay that it heaves over the sides.
Whisk together eggs, horseradish and half and half. Stir in half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, saving about 1/4 C. Layer the prosciutto over the bread and then lay the asparagus over the prosciutto or wrap the prosciutto around the asparagus (whatever you prefer). Pour the remaining egg mixture over the asparagus and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake immediately or put in the refrigerator overnight.
Bake until just set about 30 minutes. sprinkle with chives and paprika for added color.
These Fig and Blue Cheese Bites were actually an inspiration from one of our favorite restaurants here in town called Gardinas. Scott and I have changed up our diet as of about 6 weeks ago (story at another time) so we have gone out of our comfort zone and have tried some unique dishes as of recent. The other night we were out and had ordered Gardinas Fig flat bread. We were in love with the first bite and wanted to try to recreate it at home.
Of course Gardinas is a heck of a lot better, but I don’t think we did half bad. We did add some prosciutto ham but I don’t think I would again. It doesn’t really need it. If you are craving a little protein though, this would do the trick. We also used a baking stone, but if you don’t have, I think it would turn out just fine.
Ingredients: Store bough pizza dough, fig spread(found in the deli section), dried figs, Blue Cheese, and prosciutto(optional).
Fig and Blue Cheese Bites
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. I used a round pizza stone. Put it in your oven while the the oven is preheating. Once you get 450 degrees, leave pizza stone in the oven for 30 additional minutes. In the meantime, stretch your dough on a piece of parchment paper to the size you want it. It will raise in the oven, so stretch it out good. Spread on the fig jam. Here you will add prosciutto if you desire. If not, cut figs in half or in quarters and sprinkle them on your pizza. Sprinkle on Blue Cheese.
Slice the parchment paper and dough onto your pizza stone. Turn down oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Watch carefully. Once done, we added a little balsamic glaze to the top of the pizza. Cut and serve. We served ours with Hughes Chocolates and some crackers.
These mini broccoli and bacon quiches are so cute and tasty. I mean who doesn’t like anything that is mini, right? This recipe is for 2 servings, so you can share or make them both and have the other for lunch or dinner or even the following day.
I love making quiche but this time of year when we are a little slower, sometimes I only have 1 or 2 at the breakfast table, especially during the week. I had mini aluminium pie tins which were fine, but when I found these beauties about a month ago, they looked good enough to plate up. I have also tried some of my other quiche recipes in these single serve cuties and they have turned out great. Just remember to adjust your quantities on the ingredients.
1/2 C fresh broccoli, chopped, 1/2 C shredded Swiss, 2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, 2 eggs, 1/2 C half and half, pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder and horseradish.
Divide broccoli, cheese and bacon between two mini pie plates greased lightly. In a small bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, garlic and horseradish. Pour over broccoli. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Its Thanksgiving month. what do you expect? Your going to get pumpkin recipes from me. I will try not to do it all month though, because as hard as it is for me to believe, I have found some non loving pumpkin people out there. I know, absurd! I don’t understand it either. However, for all you other pumpkin lover fans like myself, here is another for you. It tastes like pumpkin pie, but without the crust and a little more crunch with the toasted pecans on top. It literally is heaven in your mouth. I got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine about 15 years ago, so you know its got to be good.
1 can(15oz) of pumpkin, 2 eggs, , 1 C half and half, 2/3 C brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. salt
Topping – 1/4 C brown sugar, 1/4 C chopped pecans, 1 T melted butter, whipped cream and cinnamon is optional but I think its a must.
In a large bowl, combine all your ingredients except the topping ingredients. Beat until smooth. Pour into four greased 8 oz. custard cups. Place filled custard cups into a 13×9″ pan. Pour hot water around the cups up to 1″. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
While the creme brule is baking, mix topping ingredients together. Sprinkle over the custard when done baking. Then, bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm if you can, otherwise room temp is great too with some whipped cream and cinnamon.
Tis the season for pumpkin. This pumpkin tiramisu sounds scary to make, but actually its pretty darn easy. Just give it 24 hours to chill and you have yourself a dessert that looks like it took hours to make. Don’t like that coffee flavor in tiramisu? You are in luck, since there isn’t in ounce of coffee in this recipe. I have played around with this recipe for years trying different fillings for seasonal tiramisus like cherry for Valentines Day, or mint for St. Patricks Day, but pumpkin is my favorite.
1 can pumpkin, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 TB, cocoa powder, 3/4 C sugar, 1 tsp, pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp. vanilla, chocolate graham crackers, 3 (8oz) cream cheese blocks, and 2 TB half an half.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin, half and half, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla until creamy.
Lay graham crackers in a oblong 4 qt. casserole pan. You may have to break pieces to get them to fit. Spread a quarter of the pumpkin mixture over crackers. Layer 3 or more graham crackers over pumpkin mixture, 2 more times, ending with pumpkin mixture. Cover and chill overnight. In the morning, cut into squares and dust with cocoa powder.
Recipes such as this blooming apple and home made caramel sauce really makes me think of fall, so I figured this would be the perfect time to post this. So, lucky for you, two recipes in one this week. The blooming apple recipe I found on Pinterest and thought that it was rather genius. They made it sound like it would just fall and be beautiful while baking, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. Also, I should add, I have been asked if I feel guilty posting recipes I find intriguing on Pinterest. My reply is absolutely not! I give credit where I find it and besides, I have said this before, but I feel it is my obligation to report back to you on the recipes you may have wondered about making yourself.
As for the caramel recipe, I have been making this for years. I used it on the blooming apple, but I have also used it as an ice cream topping, caramel bars, and a drizzle for caramel apples. With that said, it does not set up like a caramel apple would, which is why I use it as a drizzle.
2 C sugar, 3/4 C butter, 2 C whipping cream, 1 C light corn syrup, 1/2 salt and 1 tsp. vanilla
Heat all ingredients except salt and vanilla to boiling in a 2 qt. or larger double boiler over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn heat down slightly and boil for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is a dark amber color.
Stir in Vanilla and salt. Serve right away warm or store in the refrigerator and heat up when needed. Will keep a couple of months in the refrigerator.
2 large honey crisp apples or something sweet and tart at the same, 3 TB brown sugar, 4 caramels, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tb flour and 2 tb butter.
Slice 1/4 top horizontally off the top of the apple. Scoop out the core with a melon ball or small teaspoon. Then use a thin knife to make two deep circular cuts around the center of the apple. Next, turn the apple over and make narrow cuts all the way around the apple. flip it back over and add unwrapped caramel to the center.
Heat butter and brown sugar in the microwave just until melted roughly 30 seconds. Stir and heat more if necessary. Remove from microwave and stir in flour and cinnamon. Divide mixture over the top of the two sliced apples. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and use a large spoon to move the apple from the pan to a plate or bowl. You may have to help spread the apple slices out. I drizzled mine caramel sauce and added whipped cream and cinnamon but ice cream would be good too for a dessert.
I am including the website where I got the blooming apple from since they do a great job of showing how to cut the apple if you need.