Welcome to HowDoYouCook.com

By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fruit Kabobs with Orange Marshmallow Dip

Oh, busy days!  The last several weeks have been super busy and even though I have managed to cook up a few new recipes, getting those recipes posted was another matter entirely!  So here is the first new recipe to get us started for the year, (even though it's almost March, lol), and it is one of my favorites.

Serving fruit is a great idea for any party as it offers your guests something a little healthy, but a little sweet, too.  Fruit kabobs, served on bamboo skewers make a simple assortment of fruit into something a bit more elegant.  These are the perfect addition to your buffet for baby or bridal showers, or even a Christmas party buffet.

I've been making this creamy Orange Marshmallow Dip for many years, but it's such a simple recipe I never bothered to write it down.  So here it is in all of its glory.  This recipe can easily be cut in half if you need a smaller batch, but it does store well in the refrigerator for several days.  Enjoy!!

14 oz Sour Cream (regular or light)
16 oz jar Marshmallow Creme
1/3 cup Orange Juice
Assorted Fresh Fruits, cut into bite-sized pieces

Heat the Marshmallow Creme in the microwave for 20 - 25 seconds until softened, then stir until smooth.

Stir the sour cream into the marshmallow creme, add 3 tablespoons of orange juice and mix well.  Add additional orange juice about 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture is the desired consistency, then chill the dip for 1 hour before serving.

Serve with a tray of mixed fresh fruits cut into bite-sized pieces or thread various fruits onto bamboo skewers as shown above and place on a serving tray.  Include fruits that hold up well when exposed to the air, such as honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries and blueberries, red and green seedless grapes, pineapple chunks, kiwi and watermelon. Avoid bananas and apples which will turn brown quickly.

 Serve the Orange Marshmallow Dip in shot glasses or in small ramekin dishes.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Baked Pepperoni Rolls

As we approach the end of this incredibly hot and humid summer, I am sooo ready for Fall.  Along with the cooler temperatures and shorter days, we can also look forward to something much more important, the start of football season!  So before the season gets into full swing, this is a great snack to serve at your next football party or as a delicious alternative to homemade pizza.

These tasty little Baked Pepperoni Rolls are like tiny finger-food sized pizzas that are as easy to make as they are to serve.  Add a spoonful of seasoned olive oil dipping sauce on the side and these will be an instant favorite, and the most requested item for future parties!

The Dough setting on my bread machine takes 90 minutes which allows the dough to rise twice.  During that time I have time to prepare the dipping sauce and a salad or other dinner items, and assembly of the rolls only takes about 15 minutes.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups Water
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 TB Olive Oil
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
4 1/2 cups Bread Machine Flour
3 tsp  Bread Machine Yeast

Combine ingredients in your bread machine as outlined in your manual, using a french dough or regular dough setting.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

When the dough is finished, place the dough on a lightly floured cutting board.  Sprinkle the dough with a little extra flour and use a pastry cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into about 14 - 16 portions, depending on how large you would like the rolls to be.

For the filling you will need
1 12 oz pkg  Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
1 6 oz pkg  Large 3-inch Pepperoni Slices

Flatten each portion of dough into a 5 inch square.  Place half of a mozzarella cheese stick in the center of a pepperoni slice and wrap the pepperoni around the cheese.  (This will keep the cheese inside of the roll, preventing the cheese from oozing out.)  Place the pepperoni and cheese bundle in the center of a dough square, wrap the edges of the dough inward and roll the dough into a bundle.  Pinch the edges slightly to create a seal and place the roll on a baking sheet, seam side down.  Continue with the remaining rolls.

Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

1/3 cups  Olive Oil
2 TB  Fresh Minced Garlic
1-1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Onion Powder
1/2 tsp  Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp  Cayenne Pepper

In a small glass bowl combine all ingredients, stirring until incorporated.  Let sit for 15 minutes before serving, or this can be prepared an hour in advance.

Brush the rolls generously with the olive oil dipping sauce, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and  bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with extra dipping sauce on the side and Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Back to Blogging and a Garden Update

After a crazy couple of months, I am so glad to finally get back to working on the web site.  After working from home for 6 years, in March I went back to working in the real world.  Although I'm super excited to be back at work, it has been a bit of an adjustment.

Although only part time hours, I quickly realized that I would have to reschedule the whole family.  From dropping the kids off at school, to arranging their after school activities, to simply finding time to grocery shop, it has been incredibly busy.  But even with all of the changes, we did have time to make some tasty new recipes and those will be popping up here in the next few days, so stay tuned!

To make things even more crazy, the day after school was out we went on our first cruise to the Caribbean.  Like I said, crazy busy.

The Caribbean is a beautiful place and we were able to visit Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, Belize and Mahogony Bay, Roatan, which is a small island off the coast of Honduras.  Of the sites we visited, Roatan was by far my favorite and I'm hoping we can make a return trip in the future.  Here are a few pictures from the trip.


Roatan Rum Company - Cocoa Infused Rum and Spiced Rum found there way into my suitcase! Delicious!

On our return trip, I was a little worried about the garden I had left behind.  Although daily afternoon rain showers in Florida are pretty common, I was hoping all of our springtime plantings had enough water to keep them happy.  We were very pleasantly surprised.

I was excited to find yellow, orange, and juicy grape tomatoes all waiting to be picked along with green and purple peppers.  We even had a few early blueberries that were ripe and ready to eat. Yummy!

To begin enjoying this summer harvest we decided to start with something quick and simple, but delicious. Sliced yellow tomatoes layered with fresh basil leaves and slices of mozzarella cheese with a little salt and cracked pepper, topped off with a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar was the perfect side dish for our grilled burgers.  Ahh..let the summer begin!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Trying to decide on a dessert for your guests can be almost as challenging as the main course.  You want to serve something a little sweet, but with everyone snacking on lots of cookies during the season, you might want to serve something that is a little less calorie-dense.  To solve that problem all you need is a little chocolate, and maybe a few pretzel rods and cookies.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries are an easy dessert to prepare and they add a nice seasonal touch of red and green to your buffet.  To make this dessert easy to serve while your guests mingle, place the strawberries and a few coated pretzels on several small decorated plates and place them throughout your living room and dining room.  Just add a stack of cocktail napkins next to each plate and your guests can serve themselves.

The strawberries only take a few minutes to prepare and, if you need a little extra help, this is a great project for kids.

Baker's German Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces
Fresh Strawberries, rinsed and patted dry
Pretzel Rods, broken in half or thirds
Shortbread Cookies or similar store-bought cookies

Place several pieces of chocolate in a small glass bowl and melt in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds, until the chocolate is smooth.  Once the chocolate is melted, allow to cool for just a few minutes, then stir again.

Use a spoon to spread the chocolate onto the strawberries, working in a circular motion.  This same method works for the pretzels, just twist the pretzels to get an even coating of chocolate, making sure not to apply the chocolate too thick.

Place the coated strawberries onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set.  The cookies or pretzels will only take about 5 minutes to chill. Enjoy!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Seafood Salad Appetizers

Today we continue with another selection of appetizers for your upcoming Holiday parties, and something that is always popular, seafood.  I love to offer guests a selection of hot and cold appetizers and this Seafood Salad can actually be served as three cold appetizers from the one salad.

Serving fresh seafood on your Holiday hors d'oeuvre buffet is always a great treat for your guests.  Unfortunately for you, this can be an expensive appetizer to serve and fresh seafood is almost always the first thing your guests will polish off, even before the party gets started.

This selection of appetizers can be prepared using the same Seafood Salad mixture and you have the option of preparing these in advance for your guests, or let them help themselves by serving the salad in a large bowl with the crackers, small sandwich rolls and an assortment of serving dishes for those who would rather skip the carbs.  With a handful of veggies on the side, this makes a very eye-appealing snack for your guests.

By using imitation crab meat, also known as surimi, you can serve seafood on your buffet while also keeping your costs under control.  If you have never used imitation crab before, it is actually the same crab used in most varieties of sushi. Made from Atlantic whitefish, surimi is quite versatile and can be used in many dishes.  At about $3 - $4 per pound, it is also quite affordable.

Along with the crab we included pre-cooked shrimp in this salad, which you can buy fresh or frozen at your local market.  If you look for the shrimp marketed as "salad shrimp" or listed as 100 - 160 count, these are small enough you can leave them whole in the salad.

The Seafood Salad has a creamy lemon and horseradish sauce which accents the crab and shrimp, and the dill and lemon pepper enhance the seafood flavors.  The salad is delicious served on a variety of crackers or as a small sandwich, but is equally good on its own, and is something your guests will greatly enjoy.

2 oz  Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 tsp  Horseradish
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Lemon Pepper
1/4 tsp  Lemon Dill Seasoning
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 TB  Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
2 TB  Sour Cream
1 tsp  Lemon Juice
1 stalk  Celery, very finely minced
1 lb  Imitation Crab (surimi), flaked into small pieces
6 oz  Small Cooked Shrimp, chopped if needed

Hawaiian Rolls or small slider rolls, sliced
Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices and other bite-sized veggies
Assortment of Crackers

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, horseradish, salt, lemon pepper, lemon dill seasoning, pepper, mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice, stirring with a fork until blended.

Add the celery, crab and shrimp to the mixture and stir gently to combine, coating the seafood evenly with the sauce.  Taste test and add more salt or pepper, if needed.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.  Serves about 20 - 25 as an appetizer, or about 12 - 15 small sandwiches.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Spicy Guacamole

Guacamole is a great item to add to your football party or holiday snack table.  Offer this dip along with a variety of white, yellow and blue tortilla chips and even some fresh cut veggies.  Many people who choose to stay away from tortilla chips will have the option of dipping veggies in the dip, and still get to enjoy this Spicy Guacamole.

When you shop for avocados, look for the ones that are dark skinned and just slightly soft to the touch.  You have to be a little careful when selecting avocados. Most grocers tend to throw new avocados in with the older ones, so you have to make sure you are not buying under ripe or over ripe  produce.  One one hand if you get a very soft avocado the flesh will probably be dark and not look very appetizing.  On the other hand, an avocado that is hard as a rock and a light greenish-yellow color inside will look nice but since it's under ripe, you won't get a creamy guacamole no matter how long you blend it.

Another handy tip when choosing an avocado is to look for the piece of stem on top.  If you can push off the stem, and it looks moist and fresh, you've got a fresh avocado.

When preparing the guacamole be sure to taste for the level of spice.  If it is too spicy for your taste, adding 1-2 teaspoons of sour cream will tone down the heat, but keep the guacamole creamy.  For a complete meal serve this Spicy Guacamole with Baked Chicken Chimichangas.

3 Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 Lime, squeezed and juice reserved
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/2 small  Red Onion, diced (optional)
1/2 small  Tomato, seeded and diced (optional)

Scoop the avocado pulp into a food processor and add the lime juice, tossing to coat.  Add the salt, cumin and cayenne to the avocados and blend until smooth, or process just briefly for a more chunky texture.

Add about 1 TB (or more) of lime juice until the guacamole is the desired consistency. Chill or let sit at room temp for 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Calzone Bites

After several days of sick kids (and parents), I'm finally getting back to adding some new appetizers for the  upcoming holidays.  Today we get into the holiday spirit with a cheesy Italian hors d'oeuvre.  A Calzone is traditionally a stuffed pizza that looks like a turnover, so we created a bite-sized turnover.

These mini Calzone Bites are a great party appetizer to serve when you want to offer something a little more substantial than veggies with dip.  The spinach, sausage and pepperoni filling gets its creaminess from a combination of three cheeses, ricotta, cheddar and mozzarella.  With these little bites, you get all the goodness of a calzone in an appetizer-sized bite.

Although this recipe utilizes a bread machine to make the dough, you could also use store bought pizza dough.  The Publix stores in our area make a tasty pizza dough that would work just fine, just be sure to buy the dough early in the day since it is usually kept frozen until needed.

This recipe makes about 24 Calzone Bites using 2 large muffin tins, and the finished calzones are about 3 inches across.  Just the right "finger-food" size for your guests.  As a dipping sauce you can use your favorite marinara sauce or buy a good quality, already seasoned tomato sauce. The sauce can be heated in a small saucepan just before serving and, instead of pouring the sauce directly on the plate, I loved serving the marinara in these vintage shot glasses that belonged to my grandmother.  I think they were the perfect little vessel for sauce and they were just the right size.  Enjoy!!

Calzone Dough in the Bread Machine
1 cup + 2 1/2 TB  Water
2 1/2 TB  Olive Oil
3 cups  Bread Machine Flour
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Sugar
2 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 1/2 tsp  Bread Machine Yeast

Combine all ingredients in the bread machine pan and set the machine to the Dough Setting.  At the end of the first kneading cycle, press the stop/clear button and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until almost double in size.

Punch the dough down and remove the dough from the bread machine pan to a lightly floured cutting board.  Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.  While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

Calzone Filling
15 oz  Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
1 cup  Grated Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup  Grated Mozzarella Cheese
2 oz  Diced Pepperoni
10 oz  Frozen Spinach, defrosted, cooled and well drained
1/2 lb  Fresh Sausage, cooked and drained
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Seasoned Olive Oil
1/4 cup  Olive Oil
2 tsp  Minced Fresh Garlic
1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp  Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

Mix the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a small glass bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spray 2 large muffin tins with olive oil spray and set aside.

Using a pastry cutter, or a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 24 equal portions.  Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll each piece of dough into a large thin circle, about 5 inches across.  Place a generous tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle, then fold the edges over and pinch the edges so the filling will not leak out.

Place each bundle into the muffin tin with the seam side down and brush the tops of each calzone with seasoned olive oil. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Serve with a shot glass of your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Shrimp Mousse Deviled Eggs

These tasty little eggs are a great addition to your holiday buffet table, especially when served with  Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs.  With a delicate shrimp flavor and just a touch of cream cheese and sour cream to add creaminess, these eggs add a touch of elegance and a little wow factor to your table.

This recipe makes 12 egg halves and it's very easy to double the recipe.  Once the egg whites are filled,  you might have extra shrimp mousse left over, especially if you double the recipe. Simply place the extra Shrimp Mousse in a glass bowl and serve with assorted crackers.  The cost of the shrimp is pretty minimal.  Using medium shrimp (about 30 - 40 per pound), which run about $7 per pound, you will need 16 pieces of shrimp to make one dozen egg halves.

6  Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled and halved
4 medium  Cooked Shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1 oz  Cream Cheese, softened
2 TB  Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
1 TB  Sour Cream
1/4 tsp  Lemon-Dill Spice
1/4 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/8 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
12 medium  Cooked Whole Shrimp, deveined and shell removed, with tails attached for garnish

Place the egg whites on a platter and set aside.  Place the egg yolks and the remaining ingredients, except the whole shrimp, in a food processor.  Puree until smooth, then spoon the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe the mixture into the egg whites using a large-opening decorator tip.

When all of the egg whites are filled, stand a whole shrimp on top of each egg half and press the shrimp gently down into the mousse so it will stand up.  You can also choose to garnish some of the eggs with fresh chives to add a little color to the arrangement. Keep the eggs chilled until ready to serve.  Makes 12 egg halves.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Can you believe it's already December?  The last few months have zipped by so quickly, and now it's time to think about the upcoming holidays.  Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve and so many other holidays are just around the corner.  It's a chance for people to come together, celebrate, and share some good food, good friends and happy times.

But planning a holiday buffet table for a big party can be a challenge. You want to include lots of tasty bites for your guests, and have everything look special, but how much will all of this cost? And, how much time will it take to put all of these appetizers together?

Well, don't worry, it can be done.  Over the next few weeks, we will be posting lots of hot and cold appetizers, snacks and drink ideas for your upcoming parties.  Several of the recipes can be made a day or two in advance, which will save you a lot of time, they are easy to prepare, and also easy on your budget. So let's get started with something everyone loves, deviled eggs.

Appetizers are a must for upcoming Christmas and Holiday parties, and deviled eggs can be found on almost any buffet, but these little bites are something special.  Adding smoked salmon to the filling, then topping each egg half with a slice of salmon, you get a snack that is both elegant and tasty.  The smoked salmon is pretty inexpensive at about $4 - $5 for a 4-ounce package, which is enough for about two batches of these deviled eggs.

Arrange the Salmon Deviled Eggs with several of the Shrimp Mousse Deviled Eggs and you have a beautiful centerpiece for your party buffet.  The deviled eggs can be made several hours before needed and kept refrigerated.  The smoky flavor of the salmon will be more pronounced if it has a few hours for the flavors to blend.  Enjoy!!

6  Hard-Boiled Eggs, peeled and halved
1/2 cup  Sour Cream
2 oz  Cream Cheese, softened
2 TB  Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
1 TB  Lemon Juice
2 TB  Chives, minced
2 oz  Smoked Salmon
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

Place the egg whites on a platter and set aside.  Place the egg yolks and the remaining ingredients in a small food processor, and blend until very smooth.

Use a pastry bag with a large-opening decorative tip to pipe the filling into the egg whites.  (You can find disposable pastry bags with the tips at most kitchen stores.  Or you can use a small spoon to fill the egg whites and smooth the tops.)

Use a sharp knife to cut small pieces of the smoked salmon, then add a slice to the top of each of the deviled eggs.  Chill until ready to serve.  Makes 12 egg halves.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crab and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms make a great party appetizer.  These are easy to make and, if you're serving them for a cocktail party, you can prepare them in advance using multiple trays and cook them one tray at a time during the party so the mushrooms will be warm and cheesy when served.  These are also great when added as a topping for Creamy Stuffed Mushroom Soup.

The filling is a simply mixture of shredded imitation crab meat, grated cheddar cheese, a little ricotta cheese and a few spices.  When making these stuffed mushrooms, try to find the largest mushroom caps possible, about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.  This will allow you to stuff a generous amount of filling into each cap.  If you can't find these on the shelf at your local market, ask someone in the produce department if they have any larger mushrooms.  These are sometimes available in limited quantities, but you have to ask.

2 oz  Imitation Crab Meat, shredded and finely chopped
4 TB  Ricotta Cheese, low-fat or regular
3 TB  Grated Cheddar Cheese
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Fresh Chopped Chives
1/4 tsp  Garlic Powder
Pinch of Ground Black Pepper
8 - 10 Large Mushroom Caps, (white or Portobello mushrooms work great) stems removed and inside lightly scooped out

Combine the crab, cheeses, salt, chives garlic powder and pepper in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine to ensure all of the mixture is moistened with the ricotta.

Using a small spoon, scoop the crab and cheese mixture into the mushroom caps, pressing the mixture into the cavity of each mushroom.  Place the filled mushrooms into a foil-lined pan and top each mushroom with a little extra grated cheddar cheese, pressing the cheese down onto the caps.

Bake the mushrooms for 8 - 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until golden.  If desired, turn the oven to BROIL for 2 to 3 minutes at the end of the cooking time so the mushrooms have a more browned top.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Roquefort Cheese Appetizers

With its creamy-rich texture and distinct, somewhat salty flavor, Roquefort Cheese is kind of the Cadillac of cheeses.  Roquefort is a type of blue cheese made from sheep's milk and it has a very unique flavor. It's also one of my husband's favorite cheeses.

So, when I came across this cheese at our local market I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a few appetizers for the upcoming holidays. 

First, we started with olives.  Big queen-sized olives.  These would be the perfect shell for the creamy Roquefort.  The best part is, this isn't really a recipe as much as just an assembly project, and a great project to get your kids involved in. 

To make the olives, remove the pimento from the center of the olive, if necessary, and use a small spoon (a baby spoon works great!) to fill the olive with the cheese.  It takes a bit of patience, but the results are delicious. 

Our second project was deviled eggs.  We started with a small batch of 6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced in half and the centers placed in a medium bowl.  Place the egg whites on a plate and set aside.

Crumble the egg yolks lightly with a fork and add a pinch of salt, (not too much is needed because the cheese is slightly salty), 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of Roquefort cheese.  Crumble the cheese into the mixture and blend with a fork until the filling is very smooth and creamy.  Use a small spoon, or a piping bag if you want to get fancy, and fill the egg whites with the yolk filling.  Place a small sliver of Roquefort cheese on top of each egg half and serve.

The best thing about appetizers like this is that they can be prepared hours before a party.  Just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mexican Layer Dip

Different variations of this recipe have been around for years and it is still a favorite for summer get-togethers.  If you like foods on the spicy side, use refried beans with jalapenos or add a layer of sliced jalapenos.  This dish can be made several hours ahead of time and chilled to allow the flavors to blend.  As an added bonus, if you have any leftover (although that doesn't happen very often..lol) a scoop of this next to scrambled eggs is delicious!

1 16 oz can  Fat Free Refried Beans (or the spicy version with jalapenos)
1 TB  Taco Seasoning Mix
2 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Garlic Salt
8 oz  Light Sour Cream
12 oz  Spicy Guacamole (or use store bought)
1 cup  Pace Salsa
1 cup  Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1  4 oz can  Sliced Black Olives

Using a 9 X 9 inch pan, combine the refried beans, taco seasoning mix, garlic powder and garlic salt, stirring with a fork and then smooth the mixture into the corners of the pan.

Now you will start to layer the dish.  Smooth the sour cream onto the bean mixture, reaching all the way to the edges of the pan.

Next smooth the guacamole over the sour cream, and follow with the layer of salsa.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the dish and top with the sliced black olives.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Crab Rumaki

As the final appetizer to be showcased before the Super Bowl parties begin, we decided to save the best for last.  This is a tasty twist on the classic Rumaki, which is made with duck or chicken liver that is wrapped in bacon and marinated in a soy and brown sugar sauce.  Back in my restaurant and catering days I do believe the number of chicken liver rumakis I made could easily number into the thousands!  Therefore, I never want to see another chicken liver..lol.  Besides, these are so yummy that we have had relatives who park themselves next to the serving tray until the last rumaki is gone.  Thank you Uncle Bob, that is the ultimate compliment!  If we still lived close by we would deliver this tray to you personally.


These do take a little time to bake so the bacon comes out crispy and the crab has a chance to soak up the marinade flavors.  If you cook these before your party guests arrive, keep them warm by pouring the marinade juices into the bottom of a slow cooker, then add the rumakis.  Turn the slow cooker to LOW and these will hold nicely for 2-3 hours, if they last that long.  Enjoy and Happy Super Bowl!!

3/4 lb  Imitation Crab Leg Sticks, each stick cut into 3 pieces
1 lb  Regular Cut Bacon, slices cut in half
1 can  Pineapple Chunks, drained with juices reserved
1/3 cup  Brown Sugar
1/4 cup  Soy Sauce 

Preheat oven to 375.  In a small bowl combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar and soy sauce, stirring to fully blend the brown sugar.  Place the pineapple chunks in a bowl and chill.  (The pineapple can be served later with the rumakis.)

Assemble the rumakis by laying the slices of bacon flat on a cutting board.  Place one piece of crab on each piece of bacon, roll them up and skewer with a toothpick.  Place the rumakis in a baking pan and continue making the rest of the rumakis.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and drain off the bacon dripping using a baster.  Turn the rumakis over and pour half of the marinade liquid over them.  Return the pan to the oven and bake 10 minutes.

Remove the baking pan from the oven, drain off about half of the marinade mixture, pour the rest of the fresh marinade over the rumakis and return to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until the bacon is browned and crispy around the edges.  Serve with the pineapple chunks on the side.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sausage and Cheese Dip

The Super Bowl is just 9 days away!!  Today we have for you an easy snack to serve in a crock pot when you have guests over for the big football game. With just 3 ingredients, this is a hearty snack that everyone will love.  Just set the crock pot on the lowest setting and stir occasionally.  Any leftovers can be reheated the next day and added to the top of scrambled eggs for a delicious and quick breakfast.

2 lb loaf Velveeta
1 lb Hot or Mild Sausage
1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (Regular or Spicy)

In a large skillet, brown and crumble sausage. Drain sausage on paper towels. Cut cheese into cubes and put in crock pot with the can of tomatoes and crumbled sausage. Turn crock-pot on low and stir occasionally until cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Grilled Tomatoes with Basil

These are a favorite with my family.  Thick sliced tomatoes with a few leaves of fresh basil are topped with mozzarella cheese and grilled until browned and bubbly.  Dried basil may be substituted, but fresh is sooo much better.  Enjoy!
1 Large Firm Tomato
3 -4 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped or whole
Mozzarella Cheese, grated or thinly sliced
Olive Oil

Using a 16" - 18" piece of foil, fold foil in half to create a "tray" for tomatoes. Fold up the sides and crimp corners and place foil on a cookie sheet. Pour a thin layer of olive oil into tray to coat evenly, and place tomatoes in olive oil. Place basil leaves on tomato slices and top with cheese. 

Slide foil tray off of cookie sheet and onto the upper grill shelf. Grill 8 - 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sarah's Super Bowl Nachos

Dinner for Super Bowl Sunday was all about building the perfect nachos.  It's so much fun to watch kids decorate and construct the perfect blend of toppings and then they get to eat it!  After heating some nacho cheese in the crock pot, and making a quick batch of taco ground beef, we had bowls of guacamole, green onions, black olives, tomatoes and sour cream ready to go. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tarragon Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs are an American favorite for any picnic. There are an endless array of recipes for these tasty little appetizers from basic to fancy and mild to spicy. Try Firecracker Deviled Eggs, Deviled Eggs with Pepper & Horseradish, or Pesto Deviled Eggs for a new twist.

This recipe uses French Tarragon, a delicate herb which has a slightly anise-type flavor. You might also find Russian Tarragon plants which have a more mild flavor.  Many grocery stores now carry fresh herbs in the produce section.
Tarragon Deviled Eggs and Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs
6-8 Large Eggs (I like the eggs generously filled, so I usually boil one or two extra for extra yolks)
1 tsp finely minced fresh Tarragon, plus a bit more for garnish
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
3 TB Mayonnaise (regular or low - fat)
2 tsp Dijon Mustard

While eggs are cooling, blend together the tarragon and vinegar. Mix in mayo and Dijon mustard, and let this mixture sit while the eggs are cooling.

When eggs are fully cooled, carefully cut in half lengthwise and remove yolks to a bowl. Mash yolks well with a fork, then mix in tarragon/mustard/mayo mixture. You can fill the eggs with a spoon, or put the mixture in a plastic bag, cut off one small corner, and squeeze the yolk mixture into the egg white halves. Garnish finished eggs with chopped fresh tarragon, if desired.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Deviled Eggs with Salmon, Caviar & Wasabi

These are not the eggs to serve at the neighborhood picnic! Save these for a special occasion and serve with a favorite wine. 

4 Large Eggs
1/4 -1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 oz Smoked Salmon, finely diced
1 1/2 TB Fresh Dill, finely snipped
1 1/2 TB Fresh Chives, finely snipped
1 small Shallot, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp Dry Wasabi
1/4 oz Sturgeon Roe

Place eggs in a medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover, add salt, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as water begins to simmer, cover pot and take off heat. Let eggs sit in pot for ten minutes, then drain the eggs and allow to cool.

Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the yolks and place in a bowl. Set aside the whites. With a fork, mash the yolks until smooth. Add the smaller amount of mayo and all remaining ingredients, except for the roe. Combine well. If mixture is too thick, add more mayo until easily spoonable. Fill egg whites with enough filling so it has a slightly rounded dome. If not serving immediately, gently cover and chill until needed.

Right before serving, add a dollop of caviar to each egg half and garnish with a tiny dill sprig or more finely minced chives.

Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs

If you are a fan of blue cheese, you are going to love these creamy Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs.  These are super easy to make and add a nice twist to the classic recipe.  Since deviled eggs are always a huge favorite at picnics, I like to serve 2 or 3 varieties, like the Tarragon Deviled Eggs pictured here with the blue cheese eggs. 

24 Large Eggs, hard-boiled 
1 cup (4 oz ) Crumbled Blue Cheese
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
2 TB minced fresh Parsley
1 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce
1/2 tsp Celery Seed
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Diced Celery

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise; remove the yolks and set whites aside. In a bowl, mash yolks with a fork. Add the blue cheese, mayonnaise, parsley, hot pepper sauce, celery seed and black pepper; stir until well blended.

Spoon mixture into the whites, or use a pastry bag to pipe the mixture into the egg halves.  Sprinkle lightly with paprika, if desired.   Refrigerate eggs until ready to serve.  

Deviled Eggs with Pepper & Horseradish

Adding just a touch of horseradish to these deviled eggs will be a real treat for your guests. 

12 Large Eggs
4 TB Mayonnaise
2 TB Dijon Mustard
3 TB (or more, to taste) Horseradish
1 TB Sweet Pickle Juice
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
Fresh Parsley for Garnish

Place eggs in large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Cover pan; bring to boil. Remove pan from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Drain. Let eggs stand in cold water until cool, about 30 minutes.

Peel eggs, then slice in half lengthwise. Transfer yolks to processor. Trim small slice off bottom of egg white halves; place on tray, cavity side up. Process yolks until smooth. Add mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons horseradish, pickle juice, pepper, and salt to yolks; process until smooth. Adjust seasonings, adding more horseradish if desired.

(Can be made up to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover whites and filling separately and chill.)

Transfer filling to pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe filling into cavities of egg whites and garnish with parsley