Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Green Salad in a Cup with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

This weeks salad portion of our meal is a fun green salad. I say fun, because we are making the cup that we will put the salad in. Let's start with the vinaigrette first. We want it to chill in the fridge while we put everything else together.
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 cup Pomegranate Juice
2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoon Sugar
2 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Put all your ingredients in a bowl. Whisk after each addition.
This is what it looks like after all ingredients are in,
and they are all whisked together.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate.

Now, let's make the cups and the salad.
Lettuce, cut in strips
Red Onion, diced
Grape tomatoes
Won Ton Wrappers
Place 1 won ton wrapper in a cupcake pan for each salad cup 
you want to make. This is a regular size cupcake pan.
It is not necessary to spray the pan. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
Take each cup out, and let them cool.
Fill each cup with a little salad, a tomato, and some 
diced onion. Sprinkle each salad with vinaigrette.
Enjoy your mini salad cups!

Thanks for joining me today.
I hope you will try these mini salad cups.
They would be great to serve at a party, or a family meal, 
and they are delicious!

Please join me tomorrow when we will be cooking our entree~
Chicken Fried Chicken sliders!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red & Yellow Pepper Cilantro Relish on a Mini Cracker

Sometimes when you are cooking, stuff happens. Today was one of those days. The recipe started out fine. I made one change, and that was that instead of putting the relish on a cracker, I put it on a triangle of toasted pita bread. Minor deal. Both are good tasting, and either one works. Then I made the relish. No problems, except one~as I tasted the relish before I put it in the refrigerator ~I didn't like it. So, I covered it up, stuck it in the fridge, and thought about what to do. It was of course, my own fault. I always usually always make my recipe one time before I serve it to anyone. That way I know if timing is an issue, or if I have a problem understanding the recipe, or if I don't like the way something is tasting. Why didn't I do it today? I don't know. I am busy~Life is hectic.  But now I had a situation I needed to remedy. The brie tastes wonderful. So I cut pieces of brie, added fruit, and it tasted really good. Simple & good! But guess what? I decided to try the relish after the refrigeration period. It was pretty good. The brie really toned down the taste that I didn't like. So I had a couple more. Then I decided to present you with both recipes. Enjoy, and let me know which one you make!
1/2 Yellow Pepper
1/4 Red Pepper
Sesame Oil
Jalapeno Pepper
Handful of Fresh Cilantro
Brie Cheese
Pita Bread
Coarsely chop both peppers.
Because the recipe calls for a coarse chop, the pieces 
do not have to be the same size. 
Heat your sesame oil and cook the peppers
for 8-10 minutes.
Seed the jalapeno, and chop it into very small pieces.
Put the cooked peppers into a food processor.
Process until chopped.
Chop the cilantro. Take half of the peppers out of the 
processor, and put them in a bowl. 
So, 1/2 of the peppers are still in the food processor.
Combine the cilantro with the peppers in the processor.
Add all the peppers together.
Add 1 teaspoon salt, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
Cut the pita bread into triangles, and toast in the broiler on high.
Cut the brie into small wedges, and the cut the skin off,
and cut the cheese into small pieces.
Place the cheese pieces on top of the pita wedges. 
Broil again in the oven until cheese is melted.
Place a spoonful of relish on top of the cheese, and serve.
To make the recipe the second way, cut a strawberry
into pieces, and add a piece of strawberry and a blueberry
to each piece.

However you make it, I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for joining me today. 
I hope you will join me tomorrow when we make
Green Salad in a Cup w/ Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

See you then, & Happy 4th of July!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grocery Bound with a List in Hand!

I love everything mini, don't you? It's so cute, and tiny. This week I thought a mini menu might be just the thing to serve, just because it's fun!

Appetizer~ Red & Yellow Pepper Cilantro Relish on a Mini Cracker
Soup/Salad~Green Salad in a Cup w/Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Entree~Chicken Fried Chicken Slider
Side Dish~Mini Rebakes
Dessert~ Key Lime Mousse Shooters

 Grocery List
Yellow Pepper
Red Pepper
Sesame Oil
Mild Red Chili
Fresh Cilantro
Brie Cheese

Romaine Lettuce
Grape Tomatoes
Red Onion
Won Ton Wrappers
Olive Oil
Pomegranate Juice
Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper
Red Wine Vinegar

Chicken Breasts
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder
Plain Bread Crumbs
Small Hawaiian Rolls

Small Idaho Potatoes
Cheddar Cheese

Cream Cheese
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Key Lime Juice
Heavy Whipping Cream
Key Limes

Thanks for joining me for the menu
and grocery list today.

I will see you tomorrow when we make our appetizer~
 Red & Green Pepper Cilantro Relish on a Mini Cracker.

See you then!
Happy 4th of July!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Culinary Word of the Week-Zester

This week our culinary word is Zester. What is a Zester? It is a tool used to remove the zest from various fruits, such as oranges, limes, and lemons.  What is zest? Zest is the colored part of the outer skin of the fruits. Under the colored part is a white part. While the colored part of the skin is wonderful smelling, and adds a rich and deep flavor to your recipe, the white part is very bitter, and can ruin a recipe. You never want to use the white part when you need to add zest to a recipe.
You use a zester by lightly scraping the fruit across the 
tiny sharp pieces on the stainless part of the zester. 
The result will be very small pieces of the skin, 
ready for your recipe.  Make sure to wash the fruit first, 
and use the zest right away. It does not hold. You can also 
zest with a box cheese grater or a paring knife, 
or a vegetable peeler. If you do use one of these
to create your zest, make sure you chop it down to 
very small size. The finer the zest, the easier it 
incorporates itself into the recipe.

Thanks for joining me today!

Stop by tomorrow and get
the menu & grocery list for next week.

See you then!
Happy 4th of July Weekend!!

This Weeks Dessert-Pecan Bars!!

North Carolina is probably one of my most favorite places ever.  My family and I have lived there, it's where my son goes to school, and it is where I feel the most comfortable sense of belonging. I love the people, the natural beauty, and of course the food. When we lived there, my husband and I would go to a different BBQ house every week, attempting to try every one in the state. Ok, it probably wasn't the most realistic or practical goal, but it sure was fun!! My dessert this week is Pecan Bars. Pecans are a large and important crop in the coastal plains of North Carolina, and whenever I eat pecans~I feel warm and fuzzy, like I belong.
Pecan Bars
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon Confectioners Sugar
1 1/4 sticks Butter
1 Egg White

Pecan Filling
1/2 cup lightly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
10 tablespoon Dark Corn Syrup
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
pinch of Salt
3 tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
Place the flour in the food processor. If you don't
have a food processor, you can mix the dough in a bowl.
Add the powdered sugar.
Add the butter, and process until the dough comes 
together, about 30 seconds.
Pat the dough into a 13"X9" pan. Come up the 
sides about 1/2". 
Pour the egg white onto the crust.
Tilt the pan so that all of the egg white covers the crust.
Pour the remainder of the egg white out.
Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Take the crust out of the oven, and cool for 15 minutes,
then place in the refrigerator until totally cool.
Now, let's make our filling!
Place both the granulated sugar and the brown
sugar in a bowl.
Add the dark corn syrup.
Add the 2 eggs.
Add the vanilla, salt, and melted butter.
Add pecans and mix everything together.
Pour the topping over the cooked crust.
Once the topping is covering the crust, place in the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
Set bars on a cooling rack, and let them cool completely.
Cut and Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today!
I hope you enjoyed the All American Meal this week.

Tomorrow we will feature a Culinary Word of the Week!

See you then!!

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Southwestern Deviled Eggs

I have spent a great deal of my life living in the southwestern United States. I love it here! I love the huge vistas,  the blue, blue sky, the ever changing mountains, and of course, the delicious, party in your mouth food! That's why I love these Southwestern Deviled Eggs. They are full of flavor in every bite. I know you will love them!!

Southwestern Deviled Eggs
6 Eggs
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 teaspoon Ground Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 chopped Green Onion
Avocado and/or Fresh Cilantro
Place your 6 eggs in a pot of cold water, and place on
the stove. Bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Start
timing when it starts to boil. After 15 minutes,
put the pot under cold running water to cool the eggs,
and stop them from cooking.
After they have cooled, peel each egg, and then
cut them in half.
Put the yolks in a bowl, and put the whites to the side.
Smash the yolks with a fork.
Add the mayo, spices, and green onion. Mix together.
Stuff the filling into each egg.
Garnish each egg with cilantro or a piece of avocado.

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you enjoyed the side dish for this week.
Tomorrow we will be creating the dessert for the week,
Pecan Bars!!

See you then!!

Gourmet Burger & Dog Bar

 This weeks entree reminds me of where I grew up. We are talking Ohio, a small town, in the country, 45 minutes from a city. It was a great place to grow up. Summer days were filled with playing in the woods, swimming, and whiffle ball. Summer nights were the best. It didn't get dark until 9:30, and we spent every night that we could sleeping outside, playing hide and seek, and if we were lucky, getting dinner right from the grill. It was always hamburgers and hot dogs, with brats thrown in the mix if we were having company.  There is nothing like the smell of dinner cooking on the grill. I love when food evokes such warm, wonderful memories! Don't you?

Gourmet Burger and Dog Bar
Hot Dogs
Sliced Red Onion
 Tomato Slices
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Swiss Cheese Slices
Romaine Lettuce Leaves
Jalapeno Pepper Slices
Pico de Gallo
Yellow Mustard
Dijon Mustard
Honey Mustard
Hard Boiled Egg
BBQ Sauce
Cole Slaw
Cream Cheese
Grill your burgers and hot dogs, and then load up at the bar,
choosing everything you love to make your burger yours. 
There can be no wrong choice.

Thanks for joining me today!!
Tomorrow we will be making a side dish
to go with your burgers and dogs.
See you then!!