Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crabby Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I apologize.  The picture does not do this dip justice.  I would have taken more but our "Sunny Sunday" group was hungry.  And this is not a group to mess with when they are hungry!  Or, thirsty... but that is another story.

This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to Atlantic City and a dip I had at A Dam Good Sport's Bar.

Crabby Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 12-oz jar artichokes, chopped
1 10-oz package frozen spinach
8 ounces crab meat
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Put artichokes and spinach in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and heat until boiling. When spinach is completely thawed, drain the water, making sure to squeeze any extra water from the spinach and artichokes.  Return spinach and artichokes to the pan.  Add crab meat, cream cheese, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Heat, stirring, until cream cheese is melted and ingredients are heated through.  Stir in Parmesan.  Place in a 2 quart baking dish.  Top with bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My Spoiled Family

If anyone in my family says they are not spoiled, they are wrong.  I cook great meals, a lot.  My son's friends tell him that there is no food in anyone's refrigerator like there is in ours.  (Regular readers may refer to my "hoarding of ingredients"!)  This is a meal of proof of my family's spoiling...

I made ribs...First, I used a dry rub that I purchased.  Yes, I purchased it.  Sometimes, I make my own, this time, I did not.  I used the rub on the ribs two days before cooking and wrapped the ribs in plastic wrap in the frig.  Then, today, I poured one can of beer into the pan and slow cooked the ribs for 3 hours in a 250 degree oven.  I had a meeting to go to, then yoga, and when I got home, I move the ribs to the grill and basted them with my barbecue sauce.  Here is the recipe:

Barbecue Sauce

1 12 oz. bottle chili sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar (preferable dark brown sugar)
3 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons mustard (I use whatever kind I have on hand)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pepper sauce, as much as you prefer
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Mix all ingredients together.  Use on chicken, pork. or beef.

After heating and caramelizing the BBQ to the ribs, they were ready!

The extra spoiling came earlier in the day.  I made Black Pepper Biscuits with Bourbon Molasses Butter as a side.  Also, on the plate was rice with tomato butter, cole slaw, and grilled zucchini.

My plan with the extra biscuits... mesquite marinated petite tenderloin sandwiches on the biscuits with the bourbon molasses butter!  Has to be good.  I will let you know, company comes tomorrow.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream

Some people, like my friend Julie, like to work and are efficient on Mondays.  Me, not so much!  I usually like to use Mondays as an "organizing for the week" kind of day.

 I was meandering around the kitchen this morning, the usual piles of recipes I want to make staring me in the face, when my youngest wanted to make something. I let her choose.  Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream it was.  I knew I had the ingredients on hand, mostly because I am an ingredient hoarder!  The ice cream freezer came up from downstairs, and we were ready.

The best thing...as the ice cream was churning, I took a little nap!  The two youngest could not wait to have some.  I had waffle bowls, whipped topping, and sprinkles on hand (benefits of hoarding again!).  And with two happy kids...I'm like "mom of the year".  All because of a little ice cream!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From Trash to Treasure

My youngest turned 9 today and naturally, I had to make a cake.  So, last evening, I found a recipe that I wanted to try, Orange Cream Cupcakes.  It was easy enough to think I can make a layer cake from this recipe.  No problem!

My problem came...and I knew it in advance...but I did it anyway...when I used a store brand cooking spray on the cake pans.  I know better.  I know I should have been greasing and flouring, but, oh well.  No crying over spilled milk, or in this case, stuck cake!

I was not going to waste the time and effort, so I came up with plan B.  Orange Cream Trifle.  I whipped up some instant vanilla pudding, pulled out some blueberries, orange juice, and opened a container of whipped topping.

I broke up the cake, well, some of it was already broken up, in a trifle dish.  Any bowl will do.  And I brushed the cake with a bit of orange juice.

I then layered on the pudding and a few blueberries, repeating the whole process about three times.

When all the layers were complete, I topped with whipped cream. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Open Face Tenderloin Sandwich with Burbon Balsamic Tomatoes

Every once in a while, when I have a coupon and a sale, I will buy a pre-marinated petite beef tenderloin.  Then I will save it for a more special occasion or company and make it look like I spent a lot on money.  This time, I got it ready for a nice lunch before my girls' dance recital.

The tenderloin was easy...I just popped it on the grill.  When it is finished to your liking (mine was medium), let the tenderloin rest before slicing.

I wanted to top it with something special so I came up with the bourbon balsamic tomatoes.  Heat a cast iron skillet and add a bit of olive oil.  Add a pint of cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes start to burst open.  Use medium heat and be patient.  It is worth the wait.

Once the tomatoes are becoming plump, take them off the heat to add 1/4 cup bourbon and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.  Return to heat and add one half sliced onion (a sweet onion is best).  Cook until the tomatoes open then keep warm.

The bread I used was toasted sourdough, but you can use what you like.  Top the bread with the tenderloin slices.  Add the tomatoes, top with shaved Parmesan, and drizzle with a store bought balsamic glaze.  Delicious!









Sunday, June 15, 2014

Soup by the Fire

After twelve years of going to T-ball and little league games, my second son had is last little league game yesterday.  A milestone, and as many parents know, it is exciting to move to something new and at the same time, feeling sad because the time seemed to pass so quickly.

To celebrate, a few families came over and we hung around the fire pit.  Naturally, I had to make something fabulous!  And one of my most fabulous recipes is Sweet Corn Soup with Crab.  I make this recipe every year when fresh corn is available.  It always comes out perfect and the sweet corn is enhanced by the a bit of spicy jalapeno.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sausage and Prosciutto Bread

I love it when I get an idea for a recipe and it works the very first time!  It doesn't always happen, and sometimes the recipe is not even worth trying to fix, but not this time. 

As we do many Sundays during the summer, we were going to a relative's pool and I wanted to bring a food to munch on during the day, before our "real dinner".  This worked great.

Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Roll out half of a premade pizza crust.  Make sure you roll out the dough as thin as you can.  It will help if the dough is room temperature.  You can also stretch the dough by hand.  If it is too thick, the inside may not cook all the way.

I thawed a frozen whole wheat crust from my grocery store.  You can use the other half for a pizza or just double the rest of the recipe ingredients and make two Sausage and Prosciutto Breads.

Layer 3ounces of prosciutto on the pizza dough keeping a small border on the dough for rolling.

In a pan, brown 4 ounces of sausage, crumbling until cooked through.  The type of sausage is important.  If you like hot Italian sausage, use it.  If not, use sweet Italian sausage.  I used a local sweet Italian sausage...
Dice 4 ounces each of mozzarella and ricotta salata cheeses and sprinkle on top of the sausage.  Season with salt and pepper.

Roll the dough and toppings.  It will be full and that is ok.  When it is all rolled, seal the edges by pinching the excess dough together.

Carefully place the bread on a baking sheet.  Brush the dough with a little oil so that it will brown nicely in the oven.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  It will rise a bit and be browned.  If you tap the bread, it will have a hollow sound.

The bread reheated nicely.  Serve with a side of marinara or pizza sauce.