One of the things you’ll usually find in my refrigerator is caramelized onions, sometimes called onion jam.
The process of cooking the onions is slow, but crucial to achieve that soft, tender, sweet caramelized taste. On the plus side, they can be made days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or even frozen.
Considered the crown jewel of dates, Medjool are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture. They were once reserved for Moroccan royalty and their guests.
Put the sweet onions together with the sweet dates, wrap them in bacon, and you have perfection! Serve these to your family and guests and thank me later.
May 7, 2013 2 Comments
The lucky students received the added bonus of Barbara Fenzl’s delicious Squash Blossom Quesadillas at the start of the class.
Once again, I was on the happy receiving end of a basket full of goodies! I brought them home and made Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms, intending to share the recipe here.
Then I discovered that I’ve already posted the recipe, nearly to the day, two years ago. CLICK HERE to see.
Of course, with that many squash blossoms, I also had to make Barb’s fabulous and super easy quesadillas!
May 6, 2013 2 Comments
These shrimp are not only perfect for Cinco de Mayo but equally so for a quick weeknight meal or a big party.
We’re looking forward to going to the James’ annual Cinco de Mayo party tonight! See you soon, Lisa! Eieieiei Ariba!
Guajillo [gwah-HEE-yoh] chiles are dried peppers with a bright tangy taste and kick of heat. Find them in the grocery store alongside the other Hispanic ingredients.
May 5, 2013 2 Comments
Are you hosting or attending a Cinco de Mayo party this weekend?
If so, I have the perfect thing for you to serve or bring.
Serve these flag inspired crudités with your favorite dip or salsa.
May 2, 2013 2 Comments
For those of you who are over, let’s say 35, do you remember way back in the 80′s when one of the most popular appetizers in just about every hip eatery was Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini?
Those were the days, weren’t they?
Wonderfully magical, I tell you!
Every weekend at happy hour, we’d waltz into Lunt Avenue Marble Club and eat a huge platter of those crunchy delights. Dipping them into a creamy white dipping sauce … and not gain a pound!
And at that heavenly happy hour, you could order 2 for 1 cocktails for three bucks and the waitress would deliver both drinks to your table at the same time. Sometimes you’d order your second round before you finished your first, and you’d have four drinks sitting in front of you. At the same time!
Honestly kids, that is not a dream! It used to happen.
The part about not gaining a pound is true too. It may have had a little tiny bit to do with my 20 something metabolism … I miss those days.
I miss Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini.
I really miss my metabolism!
I miss it all so much that I tried to bring it back for a remix.
These days, just looking at a platter of Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini would cause me to instantly gain 10, maybe 20 pounds. So, I gave the zucchini a “makeover” – just to see if I could recapture at least a little slice of the glory days.
As far as makeovers go – this was a major fail! As far as your basic low-cal, low-fat, low-cholesterol makeover – it was a fine.
These zucchini rounds are NOTHING like the glory days zucchini, but they are an OK side dish. With that ringing endorsement, I’m sure you’re going to want to run into the kitchen and whip up a batch or two.
I miss the Magical Days!
I used diet cheese puffs for the yellow zucchini and diet honey mustard pretzels for the green zucchini. The cheese puff zucchini was disgusting! I’m only mentioning it because it is shown in the photos. Otherwise I would prefer to forget it completely!
The pretzel variety was tasty … as tasty as diet baked zucchini can be when you are really wishing you were at Lunt Avenue with four cocktails in front of you.
For those of you who still own a 20 something metabolism or are willing to throw caution to the wind… the original recipe for LAMC Deep-Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini is at the end of the post. If you make it, do not let me know. It will only serve to make me feel sad.
April 23, 2013 3 Comments
For some strange reason – while making 13 different recipes in two days (eight appetizers, four recipes for the sit-down dinner, and one recipe for the dessert table) I didn’t manage to take even one cooking photo. Imagine, too busy to stop and take pictures of the process!
Oh well, I did manage to get pretty decent photos of the food on the table itself, at least for the appetizers, which is what I present to you today. Some of these are new recipes which I’ll provide here and others are recipes I’ve previously posted. For those, click on the link to take you the original post.
Here we go….
Brie with Pears and Brandy
12 to 16-ounce wheel Brie cheese, cold
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large Bosc or Red Anjou pears, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus rosemary sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
8 walnut halves
Slice cheese wheel in half crosswise; set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add diced pears, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in brandy, and cook 1 minute more. Add rosemary, and stir to combine. Remove from heat, and spread pear mixture over bottom half of cheese wheel, reserving 2 tablespoons mixture for garnish. Transfer cheese to serving plate.
Return skillet to stove, and heat balsamic vinegar and honey until simmering. Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.
Pour half the glaze over the bottom half of the cheese with the pear mixture; top with remaining half of cheese wheel and top with the 2 tablespoons reserved pears. Drizzle with remaining glaze, and garnish with walnut halves and rosemary. Serve immediately.
Blue Cheese-Apricot Bites
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 cup crumbled Roquefort, room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
32 dried apricots
Snipped fresh rosemary
In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add walnuts and sugar; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until walnuts are lightly toasted. Stir in rosemary; cook and stir for 30 seconds more. Transfer nuts to a foil-lined baking sheet; cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine Roquefort cheese and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Spoon about 3/4 teaspoon of the cheese mixture on top of each dried apricot. Sprinkle with nuts. If desired, garnish with additional fresh rosemary.
February 28, 2013 3 Comments
Here is some of the stuff I’m thinking about making for Super Bowl Sunday. It’s only going to be Dave, Connor, my dad, and me – but hey, we still need fun Super Bowl food!
February 1, 2013 8 Comments
Before I begin my recipe post for the day, I want to say thank you to all of you who have reached out to me here, through email, phone calls, texts, and on Facebook. Your care, concern, offers of help, and well wishes for my speedy recovery make me humble and grateful to my very core. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You really know how to make a girl feel very loved! For updates, check out the bottom of this post and those in the coming days. xoxo
Here is another quick, easy, and super tasty holiday appetizer for you.
Crab Rangoon Dip
16-ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup diced green onions
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pound crab meat; such as Phillips brand from Costco
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
December 12, 2012 12 Comments
This is the perfect appetizer to make for your family or take to a party this holiday season. It comes together easily. It can and should be made ahead of time. It’s pretty and makes an impressive presentation. Plus, it feeds a crowd!
3/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
11 ounce log goat cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) drained and finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Fresh dill sprigs
4 cherry tomatoes, halved and, if desired, roasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment or foil and spray the top of the paper as well. Triple wrap the spring form with heavy-duty foil, coming up the sides and nearly to the top.
Crust: Place the pecans and bread crumbs in the bowl of a food processor and blend until pecans are finely chopped, add the melted butter and turn on machine until the mixture begins to come together.
December 11, 2012 4 Comments
Maybe I should feel guilty about putting this up as a “recipe” – but honestly, I don’t.
I saw a photo of this on Pinterest several months ago and finally made it this past Saturday for our Christmas Crafts Class.
The tasty little picks disappeared right before my eyes. So yeah, I’m gonna write it up as a real recipe.
The original Pinterest post I saw used Serrano ham. I used prosciutto, salami, and other thinly sliced cured and smoked meats I had leftover from my Thanksgiving appetizer tray.
Any thinly sliced smoked or cured meat will work. Let’s see – Capocollo, Pancetta, Mortadella, Sopressata, Iberico Ham, Speck, or Calabrese … any and all would all be perfectly lovey.
December 5, 2012 3 Comments