Saturday, November 12, 2011

Black and White

Salted Pretzel Bites
Spicy Jalapeño Jelly
Citrus Cider
Harvest Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Vegetable Pot Pie
Lemon Poppyseed Scones with Lemon Glaze

Jalapeno Jelly

  • 7-8 Green Bell Peppers
  • 3-4 Jalapeno Peppers 
  • 6 C. Sugar {use exact amount} 
  • 2 C. Vinegar 
  • 2- 3 oz. pkgs. Of Liquid Pectin {1 box. Each indiv. Package contains 3 oz. }
  • 3-4 drops of green food coloring
 Wash peppers, take out seeds. Cut into piece & blend in blender with a little bit of vinegar {each time} In 6-8 Qt. pan combine sugar, remaining vinegar & pepper mixture. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil while stirring constantly. Boil hard for 10 min {stirring constantly}

Remove from hear stir in liquid pectin. Return to full boil and boil for 1 min.

Remove from heat and add green food coloring. Skim off scum and immediately fill jars to ¼ inch from the top. Wipe off jar lids and screw lids firmly.

Process in 15 min water bath or steamer.

Pretzel Bites

  • 1 ½ C. Flour 
  • 2/3 C. Milk 
  • 2 TBSP Veg. Oil
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 tsp Sugar 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 1 egg 
  Heat oven to 425.

Put the 1 ½ cu. Flour, milk, veg. oil, baking powder sugar & salt & mix together in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle flour on clean surface & place dough on the surface.  Divide dough into 2 parts & knead for about 10 minutes & then put med. Bowl upside down over dough & let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out each ball of dough into a long rope & let rest.  Make an egg wash & brush over the dough, sprinkle with salt & using a pizza cutter cut up the rope into bite size pieces. 

Place on a cookie sheet & bake for 9 to 11 minutes of until bites are golden brown.  Let pretzels cool & enjoy! 

Apple Cider Punch

  • Half Gallon Apple cider, chilled 
  • 1 Qt. white grape juice, chilled 
  • 1 {750 ml} bottle of sparkling apple cider, chilled 
  • 8 oz. orange juice 
  • 8 star anises 
  • 3 large gold delicious apples, sliced thinly 
Put all together in a large bowl or pitcher & add anises & sliced apples as garnish on top. Also chill with ice either in the bowl or in each glass or tumbler.

Harvest Salad


  • 4 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar 
  • ¾ tsp. Gound Cumin 
  • ¼ C. extra virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt 
Whisk vinegar & cumin. Gradually whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add salt and pepper.

  • 2 medium heads of Red Leaf Lettuce, torn 
  • 2 cans of Mandarin Oranges, drained 
  • 1 medium Red Onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 Medium Avocados, halved, seeded, & sliced 
  • 8 tsp. cumin-toasted pumpkin seeds, bought at the grocery store. {See recipe below} 
Wash, dry & tear lettuce & top with oranges, red onion slices, avocado slices & top with pumpkin seeds. Lightly drizzle dressing over the top of salad.

Cumin-Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 Cup raw pumpkin seeds 
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil 
  • ½ tsp. ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp. Salt 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss in oil, cumin & salt & spread on a baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes {or until toasted} stirring once or twice. Let seeds completely cool. Makes about 1 cup.

Vegetable Pot Pie


  • 12 TBSP. unsalted butter {1 ½ sticks} 
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onions {2 onions}
  • 1 fennel bulb, top & core removed, thinly sliced crosswise
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 ½ cups good chicken stock 
  • Pinch of saffron threads {you can find these in the grocery store in the spice section}
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3 TBSP heavy cream 
  • 1 ½ cups diced potatoes {1/2 lb.}
  • 1 ½ cups asparagus tips 
  • 1 ½ cups peeled, diced carrots {about 4 carrots} 
  • 1 ½ cups peeled, diced butternut squash 
  • 1 ½ cups frozen small whole onions {1/2 lb} 
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening 
  • ¼ lb. cold unsalted butter, diced 
  • ½-3/4 cup ice water 
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 TBSP water for egg wash 
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and sauté until translucent, 10-15 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, saffron, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the heavy cream and season to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out with a sieve. Add the asparagus, carrots and squash to the pot and cook in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well. Add the potatoes, mixed vegetables, onions and parsley to the sauce and mix well.

For the pastry:
Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade {or do the old fashioned way cutting in the shortening with pastry cutter} Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly together. Mix or cut in the shortening until it is about the size of peas. Slowly add the ice water & only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Divide the filling equally either in pans or use a 9x13 baking pan. Either divide the dough to cover little individual servings or roll out to cover a 9x13 pan. Brush the outside edges of the indiv. Pans or larger pan with egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim & crimp the dough to fold over the sides. Brush the dough with an egg wash and make some slits into the top. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3 TBSP sugar 
  • 2 TBSP poppy seeds 
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 TBSP baking powder 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • ½ baking soda 
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces 
  • ½ heavy cream 
  • ¼ cup plus 1 TBSP of fresh lemon juice 
  • ½ c. powdered sugar 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Using a pastry cutter cut in butter until mixture resembles very coarse meal. Pour in heavy cream, them add ¼ c. lemon juice, stirring just until dough forms.

Using your hand, gather dough together & gently press into a ball. Transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into an 8- inch disk. Cut into 8 wedges & separate so scones are about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 12 to 14 minutes.

Transfer scones to a wire rack and let cool, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix powdered sugar with remaining lemon juice and stir until smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over cooled scones.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fresh & Flavorful


Flat Bread
30 Minute Mozzarella
Rosemary Honey
Lemongrass Soup
Jicama Slaw
Ahi with Cilantro Pesto
Grandma Gardner’s Strawberry Pie
Basil Ice Cream

Rosemary Honey

  • 1 cup light-flavored honey, such as clover
  • 5 rosemary sprigs (3 inches each)
Bring honey and rosemary to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook for 5 min. Remove from heat, and let steep until cool, about 45 minuets. Remove rosemary or leave in for a stronger flavor.
*Honey can be stored in a airtight container at room temperature roe 1 week

Baked Puffed Flatbread

Makes eight 6- to 7-inch breads. 

Make sure you let the pieces of dough rest after forming them into balls and again after rolling them into 4-inch circles; otherwise, they will shrink back and not hold their shape.
  • 1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup water (warm -- 110 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil , plus extra for brushing
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt , plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour , sieved (before measuring) to remove coarse flakes of bran
  • 2 cups bread flour , plus additional as needed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
 1. In either the workbowl of a food processor fitted with stainless steel blade or, if working by hand, a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Add oil, sugar, and yogurt and pulse to mix, about four 1-second bursts, or, if working by hand, mix with wooden spoon until well combined. Add salt, sieved whole wheat flour, and 2 cups bread flour; process until smooth, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, or, if working by hand, mix with wooden spoon until flour is incorporated, about 3 minutes. Process dough (adding more flour as necessary until dough just pulls completely away from sides of bowl) until soft and satiny, about 30 seconds, or, if working by hand, turn dough out of mixing bowl onto very lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 12 to 15 minutes. Squeeze dough gently with full hand; if dough is sticky, sprinkle with flour and knead just to combine. Place dough in medium bowl or straight-sided plastic container, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm, draft-free spot until dough doubles in size, 30 to 45 minutes. (At this point, dough can be punched down, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated up to 2 days.)

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and, if it is sticky, sprinkle very lightly with flour. Following illustrations 1 through 4 below, cut, shape, and roll dough. If using sesame seeds, brush tops of circles lightly with water, sprinkle each circle with 3/4 teaspoon seeds, and gently roll over with rolling pin once or twice so seeds adhere to dough.

3. About 30 minutes prior to cooking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, line rack with unglazed baking tiles, pizza stone, or preheated baking sheet and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bake dough rounds on preheated tiles or pizza stone until bread is puffed and golden brown on bottom, 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Transfer breads to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; wrap in clean kitchen towels and serve warm or at room temperature.

30 Minute Mozzarella

For SIMPLE step-by-step photo instructions, click here...

Lemongrass Soup

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 oz stalks lemongrass
  • 1 lime zest
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 24 ounces chicken stock
  • 16 ounces clam juice
  • 27 ounces coconut milk
  • 2 tsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp sarachi chili sauce
  • ¼-1/3 cup cornstarch
Add all ingredients into stockpot expect cornstarch. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduces by a quarter.

Mix cornstarch with water. Add to soup slowly. Strain out lemongrass stocks.

Grilled Ahi With Cilantro Pesto

  • 1 ½ Lbs. of fresh Ahi tuna
Cilantro pesto

  • 1 Tb chopped garlic
  • ¼ freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 Tb olive oil
  • 3 Tbl pumpkin seeds
  • 3 Tb white wine
  • 14 tsp salt
  • ½ juice of a lime
  • Mix well in blender
Cut into 1 inch stakes, marinate in pesto sauce for 20-30 minuets
Brush grill with oil, grill on high, 6 minuets for each side
Let rest 6 minuets then slice into strips

Sweet Asian B.B.Q Sauce
  • ¼ cup dark soy sauce
  • ¼ cup distilled vinegar
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 cup plum sauce
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tb canola oil
  • 3 Tb honey
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb finely minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. minced orange zest
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
 Drizzle over the jicama slaw and the ahi tuna.

Jicama Slaw

  • 1 medium sized jicama, peeled and julienned
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 small white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • sundried tomatoes’
  • diced cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced

Grandma Gardner's Strawberry Pie

  • 3- egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder 
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 10- Saltine soda crackers 
  • 1/2 C. Pecans
Beat the 3 eggs white until stiff. Add baking powder & gradually pour in the sugar. Add the smashed soda crakers & fold in the pecans. Butter a 9 inch pie tin & bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Let completely cool & then top with cut up Strawberries.

Basil Ice Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup well-chilled heavy cream 
Heat milk, basil and ¼ cup sugar, with a pinch of salt, in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the basil leaves.

With a hand-held mixer, beat the yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a bowl until thick and pale (about 1 minute). Add the milk mixture in a slow stream and beat until combined. Pour mixture into a clean saucepan and cook over moderate heat. Be sure to stir constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken and is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon – this will take around 6 minutes of stirring. Do not let the mixture come to a boil.

Remove from the heat and poor in to a small bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stir until cold, around 12 minutes. (I recommend making the ice bath before you cook the custard over the stove – the custard will cook quickly and, if you don’t cool it down immediately, you risk curdling the mixture).

Stir in the cream and freeze in the ice cream maker. Once frozen, place the ice cream in an airtight container and put in the freezer to harden for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mardi Gras Gourmet Club

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Virgin Hurricane

(For an individual serving)
  • 3 oz. orange juice
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz sweet & sour mix
  • ½ oz. grenadine
 Mix juices and sweet & sour mix. Chill. Pour over ice. Top with grenadine. Garnish with fresh pineapple & oranges.

Crab Cakes

  • 1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells – or used canned
  • 1/3 cup crushed crackers 
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ lemon – juiced
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with flour.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with preferred sauce.

Alternative Crab Cake – without the Crab – “Zucchini Cakes”
  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning TM
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
 In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.

Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Fabulous French Bread

Dissolve together:

  • 2 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS yeast

  • 2TBS oil
  • 1 TBS salt
  • Let salt dissolve in mixture.
 Then add: ½ of 6 cups of flour. After adding the first 3 cups, the dough should be smooth before adding any additional flour. Slowly add each additional cup making the mixture as smooth as possible. It is a stiff dough.

Let rise until doubled. Punch down.
Divide dough in half, with a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle.
From the long horizontal side, roll into a loaf, pinching the ends as you go.
Let rise about ½ hour.
Cut slits in the top, wash with an egg.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Mardi Gras Salad with Creole Thousand Island Dressing

  • Yellow Bell Peppers, Cut in ¼ inch strips
  • Chopped Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Seedless Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
  • Red Cabbage, Thinly Sliced
In large bowl toss above ingredients together.
Serve with Creole Thousand Island Dressing

Creole Thousand Island Dressing
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 TBS. Creole Mustard
  • 2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • ½ tsp. Creole seasoning
In a small bowl, combine above ingredients. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Spicy Jambalaya

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 TBS Creole seasoning, divided
  • 2 pounds large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 TBS. minced garlic
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
In a medium bowl, combine chicken and 1 TBS. Creole seasoning, set aside. In another medium bowl, combine shrimp and 1 TBS Creole seasoning, set aside.

Heat 2 TBS. olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and sausage; cook for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring frequently, or until browned. Remove chicken and sausage from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, celery and 1 TBS. Creole seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add rice and garlic, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add reserved chicken, sausage, chicken broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt, hot pepper sauce and bay leaves, stirring to combine.

Reduce heat to medium low. Cook, covered for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until rice is tender.
Add reserved shrimp; cover and cook for 5 more minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm. Discard bay leaves. Serve as a main course or a side.



  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 TBS. chopped garlic
  • 2 TBS. prepared horseradish
  • 3TBS. Creole whole grain mustard
  • 3 TBS prepared yellow mustard
  • 3 TBS ketchup
  • 3 TBS. chopped parsley leaves
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Use immediately or store. Will keep for several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Buttermilk Fried Pork Chops

  • 4 center cut pork chops (about ½ inch thick)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups seasoned flour*
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS celery salt
  • Cooking oil
Place chops in a ziploc bag and pour in the buttermilk. Squeeze and mush together to make sure the chops are thouroughly covered. Let stand in the buttermilk in the fridge for several hours.

Dredge in seasoned flour. Put chops on a cooling rack and let sit for a few minutes before cooking.

Heat oil in a large heavy frying pan to medium high heat. (I put in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, but not so much that they are deep fried).

When oil is hot, add chops and let cook uncovered for about 2 minutes. Turn down heat to medium low and let cook until bottoms are browned and juices accumulate on top.

Gratin Dauphinoise

  • 3 pounds potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  • ¾ pint double cream
  • Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 ounce butter
Grease a heavy-bottomed baking dish with some of the butter.

Layer the potato slices in the dish, slightly overlapping each other, seasoning lightly with the salt and pepper, and sprinkling with cheese on each layer.
Sprinkle with cheese on the last layer.

Put the cream, garlic and sprigs of thyme in a pan and bring them gently to a boil, then remove the thyme and pour the hot cream over the potatoes.
Dot the top with remaining butter, and cheese, if desired.

Bake for about 1 -1 ½ hours at 300, or until the potatoes are soft and the top is crispy and golden brown.

Southern Green Beans & Pecans

  • 1 pound Fresh green beans
  • 4 ounces bacon
  • ¼ cup pecan halves
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 TBS. butter
Place a small pot of water over high heat to boil. Drop the trimmed green beans into the boiling water for about 5 minutes, until tender, but crisp.

While the green beans are cooking, brown the bacon and nuts in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the green beans are done, drain them and add them to the sauté pan.

Add the pepper strips, garlic powder, pepper, salt and butter. Sauté together for 2 minutes on high

White Hot Chocolate

  • 1 ½ cups cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz white chocolate
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
Warm milk and cream. Add chocolate, stir until melted. Add vanilla & almond extract.

Keep warm, but do not boil.


  • 1 pkg. Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 ½ cups Warm Water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 – 8 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup soft shortening
 In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over water; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt, eggs, and milk. Blend with blender. Add 4 cups flour, beat smooth. Add shortening and beat in remaining flour.

Cover with plastic wrap and let chill overnight. Roll out on floured surface to ¼ inch thick. Cut into squares. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned on both sides.

Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Southern Pralines

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 2 TBS. butter
  • 1 ¼ cups pecan halves
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
Grease a baking sheet.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugars and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in butter, pecans and vanilla.

Heat, without stirring, to between 234 and 240 degrees.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Beat until thickened, the drop onto prepared surface and let rest until completely cooled.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Comfort Food Gourmet

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Lemon Spritzer

  • 1 Tablespoon citric acid
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon extract
  • 2-2 ½ cups sugar (to taste)
  • 2 – 2 liters 7 up or Sprite
Mix ingedients well. Be sure to dissolve sugar. Refrigerate. Serve with Ice. Add any garnishes – raspberries, lemon slices, lime slices, cranberries.

Erika discovered this from her caterer friend about 15 years ago We’ve been using it at baby showers and weddings ever since.

Snow Man Cheese Ball!

What could be better than a ball of cheese? Have Fun!

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cartons (4 ounces each) whipped cream cheese
  • Assorted fresh vegetables or crackers
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese, bacon and onions. Shape into balls . Cover with whipped cream cheese - can wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish as desired.

This recipe started it’s life in our family a few years ago. It has appeared as a pumpkin, Frankenstein, and others. Just tint the whipped cream cheese and off you go!

Wedge Salad

  • 8 oz cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 8 wedges

  • Grape tomatoes, halved
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • Diced apples
  • Dried cranberries
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Dark chocolate chunks

Combine blue cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a bowl; blend using a hand mixer; chill until serving. (Better if made the night before!)
Build the salad by placing 1 lettuce wedge on each of 8 plates. Drizzle equal amounts of dressing over each wedge. Scatter desired toppings loosely over wedge.

Our sister Rachel’s favorite salad to bring to family functions

Rolls- Grandma’s best!

This is comfort food royalty
Start 5 hours before serving
  • 1 small potato – cooked and mashed or use potato flakes. It needs to equal 1 cup
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast dissolved in 1 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups evaporated milk (can use 2c evaporated milk-2c water)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter + extra to dip dough=yummy!
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs
  • Flour – a lot
Note: I do this in my kitchen aid with mixer and then dough hook
Boil potato, mash (or flakes). Dissolve yeast in water and sugar. Let sit 5 minutes- ish Mix together yeast mixture, warm milk, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and potato. Add just enough flour to make a soft mix (about 3 cups). Mix just until blended and let rest for 10 minutes. Add about 7 more cups of flour ( enough to make a soft dough – you can handle this dough). Turn into a large bowl sprayed with pam. Cover and let rise to double 3 times. Dip roll into melted butter and place on pan. Let rise once more in pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen + rolls.

This recipe is our Great Grandma Safrans’ (from Germany). Every important event in our lives have been accompanied by these!

Grilled Halibut

Just for the Halibut!:)
Marinade (4 steaks worth)
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Mix ingredients together and place in a Ziploc bag.
Place fish carefully in bag, coat all steaks. Let marinate for 1 hour in fridge.
Grill on medium high for 10 – 12 minutes. Flipping only one time. Fish should be flakey and opaque all the way through.

Tip: Spray the bottom of a grill basket with oil and cook fish in basket. If you don’t have a basket…buy one. Otherwise coat the grill with oil before igniting.
This is a new recipe…we couldn’t resist pairing it with cranberry relish – Hope you like it!

Cranberry Relish
Fresh and Yummacious!
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup diced red delicious apple
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

Cut unpeeled orange into 4 pieces, remove seeds.  Position knife blade in food processor bowl.  Add orange, and process until finely chopped.  Transfer to a non-aluminum bowl.
Place cranberries in processor bowl, process until coarsely ground.  Add cranberries, apple, sugar, and pineapple to chopped orange; stir well.  Cover and chill at least 8 hours.  Yield: 12 (1/4 cup) servings.

This is one of Mike’s Family recipes….try it with turkey!

Sweet Potato Delishesness!

( Is that a word?)
  • 3 large cooked (boiled) sweet potatoes – peeled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup melted butter – no substitute
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon (I use pampered chef cinnamon plus)
  • Chopped pecans
Combine and mash the first five ingredients. Pour mix into a baking dish. Top mixture with melted butter. Mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over potatoes. Top with chopped pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

A Thanksgiving Tradition for many years - Elfrieda Style (Erika’s Mom)

Fudge – tastic!

What better ingredients are there than chocolate, butter, and sugar?
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup evaporated milk
  • 4 Tablespoons butter 
  • 1 1/2 Cups mini marshmallows
  • 1(11oz) package milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
Mix sugar, evaporated milk and butter.
Cook over medium heat, stir constantly to a full rolling boil.
Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, mix in the rest. tip:(Marshmallows first then choc chips works best. Add vanilla after those two are mostly melted.)
Pour fudge into pan and let set in fridge.
You can add nuts at this point or leave plain. If you wait until it has cooled a bit you can add nuts and mini marshmallows for Rocky Road.
Prep: Line an 8x8 or 9x13 pan with Tin Foil depending on how thick you want the fudge (I spray with a little veg oil) . (A double batch works well in a 9x13)
Add peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips
Add mint chips instead of chocolate chips
This is a Lowder Family favorite…It appears during our holidays…Christmas, Thanksgiving, Wednesday’s… And any other excuse we can think of.

Peppermint Oreos

All we can say is OHH LA LA!

  • 2 cups worth of peppermint flavored chips – Kitchen Kneads brand is best
  • A spoonful of Crisco
  • A bag of double stuff oreos
Melt the chips and Crisco in a glass dish.. we use a pyrex measuring cup. Start with 30 seconds and add 30 seconds at a time. Stirring after each time. Peppermint is done when you can stir in the last remaining lumps – DON’T OVERCOOK
Place on waxed paper- decorate at will
This recipe came from an old friend…There is generally begging and bribery associated with the making of these.. Our brother in law will do just about anything to have them.




Sugar Cookies

If you eat just one- you are a better woman than me! (not that it’s hard)
  • 4 to 4 ½ Cups flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ Cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
Mix shortening and sugar til fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until smooth. Gradually mix in the rest of the ingredients. The flour depends on the day.. It should pull away from sides of bowl, soft enough to handle but not too dry. Roll to desired thickness ( I like em thick!) Cut and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.. They should just start to crack on the surface. Let rest on pan for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

This is where it gets fun!
  • Mix a cube of softened butter (no changies!!!) with a ¼ cup warm milk. 
  • Add ¾ of a bag of powdered sugar. (2 lb standard size). 
  • A dash of salt. 
  • Then use your imagination! A teaspoon of extract in any flavor! 
  • We used peppermint… I love orange, almond, vanilla, lemon.
The lady that took care of me growing up always used this recipe. Not a holiday ( or snow day) goes by without some version of these cookies appearing!

S’mores Hot Chocolate

_MG_5940Hello Happiness!!!
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 – 4 oz bar semisweet chocolate, chopped (I use Ghiradelli’s)
  • 4 cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 – 8oz container frozen whipped topping
  • 1 – 7oz jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • Garnish: crushed graham crackers, chocolate shavings
In a large saucepan, combine cream and chocolate over medium heat, whisking constantly, until chocolate is melted. Add milk, sugar, and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently: do not boil.
In a medium bowl, combine whipped topping and marshmallow crème. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add graham cracker crumbs, beating until well combined. Spoon or pipe cream mixture on top of hot chocolate. Top with garnish, if desired.
This is a new recipe that we just couldn’t pass up!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hawaiian Gourmet



Pina Coladas


  • 1 can Cream of Coconut (preferably Coco Lopez brand)
  • Pineapple Juice

  • Ice

If you have a large blender, put the whole can of cream of coconut into the blender, then fill the can with pineapple juice and add to blender. Fill the remaining blender with ice and blend until smooth. If you have a small blender then just do half batches at a time. Continue to add ice until the sweetness is just right for your taste. If you don’t add enough ice it is very sweet! Enjoy

Sugar Cane Skewered Shrimp

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Thai chili soy paste
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped Chinese parsley leaves
  • 16 shrimp
  • Sugar cane stalk, cut into skewers

Place chili pastes in bowl and add water. Mix the remaining ingredients together to make a thin mixture. Put shrimp in marinade and refrigerate overnight. Place shrimp on skewers, 4 pieces on each skewer, and grill.

Kona Lobster Bisque

  • 2 pc frozen lobster bodies, chopped (Lobster Base can be substituted) I used 1 Tbsp. lobster base
  • 2 carrots, rough chop
  • 1 onion, rough chop
  • 6 ribs celery, rough chop
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 5 pc lime leaf (can use zest of one lime)
  • 1 finger fresh ginger, rough chop
  • 2 stalk lemongrass, rough chop
  • 3 qts Coconut Milk
  • 1 qt Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 qt water
  • 1 tbl tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 oz olive oil
  • 2 tbl kosher salt (to taste)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch – 1 tbl water (for thickening slurry)

In a medium to large soup pot, bring to medium heat, add olive oil chopped lobster bodies, sauté for about 90 seconds, add garlic, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaf, sauté another minute, add tomato paste, celery, onion and carrots, sauté another minute. When all ingredients have had a chance to become translucent, add water. Reduce your new “lobster stock” by at least half, this is where you will get maximum flavor, you can choose to add a small amount of lobster base if you have some available.

Once your stock has been reduced by half, you will add your heavy cream and your coconut milk, bring to boil and turn to low and simmer 30 minutes, add basil and simmer for another 10 minutes.

To thicken your soup slightly you will want to use a cornstarch “slurry”, take about a quarter cup of cornstarch and mix it with a little bit of water until you get a nice white paste, add this to your simmering bisque, very important that the soup is still rolling or simmering when adding your starch. Mix thoroughly, season with fish sauce and salt, season to your likening, strain soup through a fine mesh strainer and serve with some chopped chives and croutons.

Maui's Pineapple Grill Kalbi Short Ribs

  • 4# or 4piece of 2.5” cut kosher short rib, bone in. (You can use boneless as well)
  • 3 ribs celery, rough chop

  • 1 onion peeled and rough chop
1 carrot, peeled and rough chops

  • 2 oz fresh ginger root, rough chop

  • 4 stalk lemongrass, rough chop
6 clove garlic, crushed

  • 8 pc kaffir lime leaf (can use zest of 1 1/2 limes)
1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1tsp whole black pepper
9 pc whole star anise (buy at chinese market)

  • 3 qt beef or veal stock (beef bouillon will do as well)

  • 2 tbl olive oil
Salt and pepper

Season ribs with a nice dusting of kosher salt and black pepper. Bring a medium to large, low sided sauce pot, (at least 6” deep) to medium heat, add olive oil, add seasoned beef, searing each side for about 30-45 seconds, or until a nice golden color. Remove meat and set to side, keeping pot on medium high heat, add carrot, celery, onion, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime leaf, and dry seasonings, coriander, black pepper and star anise, sauté all ingredients for about 1-2 minutes, until translucent, place ribs back on top of vegetables, and add 3 qt beef stock, make sure to cover beef with liquid, bring to a simmer and turn to low heat, cooking about 2 hours, or until meat is tender and falling off the bone. When finished cooking, remove meat from stock, you can save the stock for Kalbi sauce (substitute for water) or discard, you can also at this time remove bones from rib, you may want to trim and rib cartilage that may remain
Place meat on a plate at room temp to rest for about 10 mins, then place warm ribs into your warm *Kalbi sauce to and simmer on very low for about 5 mins to coat your short ribs
*see recipe below
Kalbi Glaze
  • 2 cups aloha low salt shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 2 cups water or Rib stock
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbl fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tbl sesame oil
  • 1 tbl toasted white sesame seeds
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tbl cornstarch
  • 3 tbl water

In a small sauce pot, combine sugar, shoyu, and stock/water, ginger, and sesame oil, bring to a simmer, in a separate small container, combine cornstarch with water to make a “slurry” thickening agent, slowly whisk in “slurry” while sauce is boiling, it will thicken almost instantly, add green onions and set to side. If it is too thick, use a little water to thin.
*Less sugar will give you a more robust soy flavor is you don’t like it too sweet.

Macadamia Crusted Halibut with Lime-Ginger Butter Sauce

  • 4 pieces halibut
  • 1 ½ cup Macadamia Nuts, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons Canola or Vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Rinse and pat dry 4 Halibut. Lay on clean work area. Season each piece with the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Beat eggs and water in small bowl. Dip halibut into flour, remove excess flour. Then dip halibut into egg mixture and then press halibut into macadamia nuts. Heat pan with oil to med heat. Cook 4 minutes on each side.

Lime-Ginger Butter Sauce
  • 6 Tbsp. Butter
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Grated ginger
Mix in saucepan over low heat. Drizzle sauce over Halibut. Serve immediately