Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Broccoli Shots

I love broccoli, usually I will sauté it with some bread crumbs and butter, the same way i like my cauliflower prepared.  Many times I just add some broccoli to my stir fry but I don’t really like steamed broccoli by itself, it pretty boring.

I was trying this broccoli soup and when I tasted this cold, I thought it was delicious.  This soup in my opinion is better cold than hot.  And on top of that it makes a great and refreshing appetizer.   Adding some cool refreshing and healthy shots to your party food table is always fun.  While people are eating some chicken wings, having some roquamole dip, this is a great addition to your table for something different.

You can server this soup hot or cold, I prefer it cold, it is more refreshing.

Any other soups that you like to serve in shot glasse?

Broccoli Shots

Yields: About 12 shot glasses | Prep: 20 minutes

7 oz broccoli chopped (about medium sized broccoli)
1 leek chopped
2 tbsp butter
½ vegetable stock
½ cup cream
1 cup milk
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp salt

In a pot sauté the leek and broccoli with the butter till everything softens, about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetable stock, cream, milk, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is soft.

Using a mixer make the soup smooth.  Add salt or pepper to taste.

Serve hot or cold in shot glasses.

Great Party Food:
Guacamole

Chicken Wings
Quiche Tartlettes
White Bean Puree

Sunday, January 30, 2011

White Bean Puree

All of us are always looking for good dips and appetizers, for parties or, Super Bowl, or just a snack for yourself.  This recipe is one of my favorites just to have as a snack in the afternoon.

Awhile ago I got addicted to this white bean puree at Whole Foods and every time I go I always pick it up but decided it was time to make it myself.  I have been trying a few different versions but found a similar recipe on the William’s Sonoma site and adjusted it to my liking.

I eat this dip with vegetables, crackers or even just spread it on bread.  The consistency is very similar to hummus and if you like hummus you will love this.

What is one of your favorite healthy snacks?

White Bean Puree

Yields: 24 servings | Prep: 15 minutes

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or drained and rinsed canned beans
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler, for garnish
Paprika for sprinkle

In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour into a liquid measuring cup.

In a food processor, combine the white beans, rosemary and lemon juice. Pulse until the beans are partially pureed, 5 to 10 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the garlic oil and process until a smooth puree forms, 5 to 10 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve as a dip with vegetables or crackers.  Or spread the puree on crackers or slices of baquette and garnish with a shaving of the cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

Great Party Food:
Guacamole
Chicken Wings
Asparagus Dip
Roquamole

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies (Cow Patties)

I am a huge fan of no bake cookies, the first one I mentioned were the Swedish Chocolate Balls that I used to make as a kid.  This batch I got from The Brown Eyed Baker who recommended this for those moments when you are desperately craving something sweet and chocolaty but don’t have a lot of patience.  I can tell you that this will solve that craving and warning these are addictive.

I even had a few spoonfuls before they could set, so that is a warning to you, you will eat some out of the bowl.

And if you have kids I am sure they will love to make this with you, just like the Swedish Chocolate balls.

These could not be easier to make and the original name of these are Cow Patties, I don’t think I have to tell you why.

What kind of no-bake cookies do you make?

Read more…

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Asparagus Dip

Superbowl is almost here and everyone is looking for party food. Even if you are not interested in American Football this is a great dip.

I am a huge fan of warm dips, especially warm artichoke dips.  But I feel that I needed a new vegetable and I was really surprised how good this was, I enjoyed this much better than artichoke.

Hot dips are great for parties just add some crackers or baguette next to it and you will see big smiles of people’s faces.

This dip is warm, savory and creamy and the best part is it is simple to make.

This recipe can be heated in the microwave or baked in the oven.

I prefer the oven baked method because the browned top is nice and crisp with the warm runny dip below.

Either way works well so choose the method that works for you.

What are some of your warm vegetable dips that are not asparagus or artichoke, I would love to hear about it.

Asparagus Dip

Serves: 4-6 people | Prep: 20 minutes

1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
14 ounces of asparagus
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

First clean the end of the asparagus and then boil the asparagus in water for 3 minutes.  After tree minutes, drain the asparagus and put into a cold water bath.

Using a food processor put the Parmesan cheese, garlic and cream cheese into the mixer and pulse a few times until everything is mixed.  Then add the asparagus and pulse a few times again.  Do you like it smooth keep mixing otherwise stop while it is chunky

Put this mixture into a microwave and oven save dish; sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top.

Microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through or in the oven for 350F for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly and the top is browned.

Great Party Food:
Guacamole
Chicken Wings
Quiche Tartlettes
Roquamole

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Roquamole

For those in the US, Superbowl is coming up and we are all looking for some good finger food and some new dips.  I have a perfect new dip for you.

This recipe is awesome and really simple to make, it came from Nigella Lawson.  Definitely a great dip instead of just plane guacamole. This recipe bring guacamole and Rogufort, France’s premier blue cheese, together, and it is a union that really works.  You are welcome to use any blue cheese you want, it is really up to you.  The saltiness, the smoothness of avocado, and the hotness of jalapeños is just a great combination for a dip.

What are your plans for the superbowl?

Roquamole

Yields: serves 3-4 | Prep: 10 minutes

1 cup crumbled Roquefort or Saint Agur blue cheese
2 tbsp finely sliced green onions
¼ tsp paprika
¼ cup sour cream
2 ripe avocados
¼ cup sliced pickled green jalapeños from a jar

Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl. Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need. Roughly chop the sliced jalapeños and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced green onions.

Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with paprika, and surround with tortilla chips or crackers.

Great Party Food:
Guacamole
Chicken Wings
Quiche Tartlettes
Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sesame Seed Snaps

If you read my story about Swedish Chocolate Balls you know that most Swedish kids only eat candy on Saturdays, if you missed it here is the story.  Because I was one of those kids (never had a cavity either).  However, I always tried to get treats during the other days.  My mother never gave in but what she used to give me were these Sesame Seed Snaps.  Remember these?

As I kid I had them all the time.  I even get these today but they are not as easy to find anymore.

I think you can find these almost everywhere, when I lived in South Korea we used to even get them there, they are also everywhere in Europe.  In Italy they call them “Cubbaita di Giugiulena” and in India they are called “Tul Chikki,” and in Swedish we call these “Sesamkakor.”

Do you have a childhood memory of these or am I the only one that ate these as a kid?

Read more…

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Maple Spice Muffins and Giveaway

Today I am featuring “Double Delicious! Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives” by Jessica Seinfeld. What a great cookbook.  Especially for families with kids.  Jessica finds ways to make ordinary foods extraordinary by loading them up with healthy ingredients, such as pureed vegetables and fruits.  She also uses healthy ingredients that you can add to make everyday food even better by adding whole grains to baked goods and boosts sweetness without a lot of sugar.

For example these Maple Spice Muffins have no sugar in them, uses whole grain and they are 198 calories per muffin.  You would never have guessed.  In some of her other recipes she has for example sweet potato puree in her Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Cauliflower Puree in Lemon Bars.  So imaginative.  I think every family should have this cookbook.

Also Jessica was recently interviewed by Gwyneth Paltrow on Goop, it is a great interveiw and also a link to a Jessica’s website and a few more recipes.

Maple Spice Muffins

Yields: 12 muffins | Prep: 20 minutes | Bake: 25 minutes

Nonstick cooking spray
¼ cup trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 (6 oz) container of low-fat lemon yogurt
½ cup nonfat sour cream
1 large egg
1 large carrot, washed and grated
1 small apple, grated
½ cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, stir the margarine, maple syrup, yogurt, sour cream, egg, carrot, apple, and raisins, breaking up the margarine with a spoon.

Sprinkle the 2 types of flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and salt over the margarine mixture. Stir until just combined, but do not over mix – the batter is supposed to be lumpy.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

To enter the giveaway you need to do 3 things:

1. Subscribe to Delishhh in an RSS feed or by Email!
2. Become a fan of my Facebook page
3. Leave a comment telling me you did 1 & 2.

For additional entries:
4. Tweet about this giveaway.
5. Leave an additional comment telling me you tweeted about it.

The giveaway ends on Friday, 1/21 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Winner will be selected from Random.org.

**** UPDATE ****

And the winner is. . . .

Tia!

Congratulations!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What’s Cooking in your Kitchen – Guilty Kitchen?

 

Today I will be going into the kitchen of Elizabeth from the Guilty Kitchen blog. I discovered Elizabeth’s blog a while ago while reading SimpleMom and Food Blog Forum, jumped over and instantly loved it.  When you enter Guilty Kitchen your first thought is, that the pictures are memorizing, but there is more.  Elizabeth has an amazing food blog where she tries to focus on seasonal ingredients that she can by locally.   She is also a great writer and you can read about her Tips and Tricks, FAQ’s or just go and look at her amazing photography.

Picture from Guilty Kitchen

How long have you been cooking and who was the person who encouraged you to come into the kitchen and learn about food?

I have been cooking since I was just a little kid. My parents both worked full time and often they didn’t get home in time to cook dinner. My Mother would leave very detailed step by step instructions on how to cook whatever was for dinner. That led to me picking recipes from her cookbooks and following those myself. Then when I became old enough to get a job, I went straight to the kitchen as a dishwasher at a fishing lodge. I took a few cook’s training classes in high school and worked my way up the kitchen ranks at the same time. My Mother and all the chefs I’ve worked with were my biggest inspirations. When I had my first child is when I really started to get into where my food came from and how it was raised.

Why did you decide to start a food blog?

I started my blog in June 2009. Mostly it was a love of good food and wanting to share that with as many people as possible. I had been wanting to buy a new dSLR camera too, and buying it prompted me to start taking pictures of my food.

Do you have a signature dish? What is it and how did you come up with it?

Picture from the Guilty Kitchen

I have two! My signature dessert is my Idle Hand Bars. They are a bar with a base of chocolate and crushed pretzels. Then the middle layer is a peanut butter frosting type layer, followed by a crown of dark chocolate and pink sea salt. They are fabulous and I get requests for them ALL the time. I also give them out at Christmas time. Some people liken them to Nanaimo Bars, but they only look like Nanaimo bars, that’s where the similarities end.

Picture from Guilty Kitchen

My other signature dish is roasted poultry. Turkey, duck or chicken. I am really good at making the bird crunchy and delicious on the outside and moist and flavourful on the inside. I make it a lot.

Since you write a lot about local and seasonal produce. What eatables do you have in your backyard?  Any advice for first time starters?

Picture from Guilty Kitchen

Winter vegetables are not my specialty, as I am a new gardener and I have a lot to learn myself! I do live in a great area that rarely goes below freezing though, so this year I plan on having a year round garden as much as possible! I do have kale growing at the moment, that’s it. What I do have going strong are my backyard chickens. We have four, two heritage breed Americaunas and two ISA browns. They produce a lot of eggs this time of year so we are eating a lot of egg based dishes. My advice to people starting out is to build the coop from as much recycled material as possible. We bought everything at a place called ReStore where building supplies are taken once being removed from old building sites. It cost less than half the price of buying a pre made coop or using brand new material.

Living in Seattle, WA I am very familiar with Vancouver Island, but I did not know about it until I came to Seattle.  Tell us about this place.


Picture from Guilty Kitchen

Vancouver Island is a little slice of paradise on the West coast of Canada. Most people have never heard of it. But the whole island is 460 km long (290 mi) and has a population of about 750,000. I live near the southern tip on a lake that houses mostly summer vacationers, though we stay year round. Much like Seattle, we live in a temperate rain forest but it doesn’t get too cold very often. Snow is a big treat for us, as we don’t see it very often. Rain on the other hand is abundant during the fall, winter and spring. There are many outdoor enthusiasts who love coming here for year round surfing, camping and hiking. Though many people think Vancouver is the capital, it is actually Victoria, which is the biggest city on the island (about 400,000 people). I love it here, and have lived on the island my whole life.

If you could sit down and have a dinner with a celebrity chef, who would it be, why and where would you take them to eat?


Picture from Getty Images

I’m not too big on celebrity chefs and I don’t watch the Food Network too often either, but if I had to choose a chef to eat with, it would be either Anthony Bourdain or Alice Waters. Tony, because he would be a great person to have a conversation with, no holds barred. If I had a choice from anywhere in the world to go to eat with him, I would go to some exotic tiny village and eat whatever the locals eat. Alice Waters because I truly respect her vision for eating local food and I think she would be interesting to speak with. I would take Alice to a local restaurant here in Victoria that uses just about everything from as close to its location as possible. Spinnakers Gastropub, it’s one of my favourites and I also used to work there.

What are three things people don’t know about you?

A lot of people don’t know that I had major spinal surgery when I was 13. I have very limited use of my flexibility in that area but I managed to have two kids naturally and continue to work out daily using the Insanity workout DVDs. It’s tough because if I don’t work out I have terrible back pain, but the workouts sometimes hurt my back too. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t I guess. I’d rather be healthy than not though.

Another thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I hate bell peppers. Even the sweet ones. I tolerate them, but mostly I just don’t like them at all. You won’t find many recipes featuring them on my site.

I’m afraid of the dark. No seriously. Don’t laugh. When I get up to pee in the middle of the night and have forgotten to turn a light on so I can see, I freak out and rush around like Freddie is waiting around the corner.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?


Picture from Microplan.com

I love, love, love my Microplane and use it almost daily, but I am also in love with my new cast iron Dutch oven. I use it a lot.

Describe your death menu. (Last meal before you die)?

Picture from Guilty Kitchen

I’ve had to think about this before, so I am prepared! There’s no worry about calories when you know you are going to die, so I go all out. Here it is:

Your photography is amazing. How did you learn?


Picture from Guilty Kitchen

It’s all about practice. I sucked when I first started out. If you look back at early recipes on Guilty Kitchen, the photos are horrendous, I just didn’t have the skills yet. I read a lot of photography blogs, study others photos and just do what feels right. Also, when you buy a camera, read the manual. All of it. There are so many wonderful tips just in the manual.

I love your Tips and Tricks question on your blog.  If you could only give one to all your readers, what would it be?

I think if I had to just give one it would be the piercing of meat before cooking. Don’t do it! Do not ever pierce any meat before cooking. Use tongs with steaks and small cuts. Piercing your meat allows all those lovely juices that keep meat moist to run out all over the place and your meat will end up drier than you want.

You are a SimpleBites.net contributor, what advice would you give to other food bloggers trying to succeed.

Networking, it’s all that matters. There is a huge community of food bloggers out there and they are all struggling to have their voice heard. Having your voice heard in as many places as possible is what is going to bring in readers. Join Twitter, get a Facebook Fan page, comment on other blogs as often as possible and just be a part of the conversation. There’s plenty of room for everybody.

I want to thank Elizabeth for letting me in her kitchen! Thank you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Peperone for your Antipasto – Marinated Baby Sweet Peppers

Do you ever make an antipasto platter as an appetizer?  I love antipasto and it is a very easy thing to do.  Usually an antipasto platter includes one of many of the following; cured meats, olives, roasted garlic, pepperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses, and peperone.

It is really easy to get the other pieces in the store or deli but very easy to do your own peperone.  Peperones are marinated bell peppers and I use baby sweet peppers for this.

First time I saw these things in the store I just used them in my salad, but thought there had to be a better way of using these. And now I get them all the time and love to marinate them.

What are some of the things that you so with the Baby Sweet Peppers for?

Marinated Baby Sweet Peppers – Peperone

Yields: 2 lbs | Prep: 20 minutes

1 (2 lbs) package of baby sweet peppers
3 tbsp of olive oil
3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Wash your peppers and then add them to a sauté pan and add the olive oil.  Heat these until they start to brown, about 10 minutes on each side.  Once these are done put them in a bowl and add the balsamic vinegar and stir.  Put them in the refrigerator until serving.  These last for a few days in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve add to your antipasto platter.

Other Similar Recipes:

Pickled Red Beets
Guacamole
Quiche Tartlettes
Croutons

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chocolate Banana Bread

I don’t know why but every time i buy bananas i always end up with a few really ripe once that i never eat.  I always make banana bread, but needed to try something different this time.  So i did a chocolate banana bread.  OK do not laugh, i tried to find something more imaginary but nothing came to mind that i wanted to make.  So if you have some good banana ideas please let me know. 

The base recipe i have is great, and you can really play around with it.   Sometimes I add dates, walnuts or other fruit to this recipe and it still comes out great. The banana bread is always better the day after, at least i think so.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Batter
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (or 1 3/4 c, the bananas have to be so ripe that they’re nearly black!)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar; mash bananas, beat egg and add to the bananas with vanilla and buttermilk; mix well and add to creamed butter and sugar; sift together flour, soda, baking powder and salt; add to banana mixture, beat well. Then add the raisins, pecans and chocolate.  Mix and pour into 1 greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; bake 45 to 50 minutes or until bread pulls away from sides of pan. 

Let cool and enjoy!  Always better the next day!

Other Similar Recipes:

Banana Bread
Swedish Cinnamon Buns
Brioche Cinnabun
Stollen Wreath

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