Uncategorized

Frozen Key Lime Pie

This recipe could not have come at a better time. With the temperatures in the high 90’s a frozen dessert is one of the best refreshers after a long hot day of either working around the house and garden, tart and cold from the freezer. This happened to be our contribution to our dinner club last Saturday. I loved how this came out. One tip: lightly grease the pan and use a pie plate without ridges.

Easy Frozen Key Lime Pie

For the Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

For the Decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges⁹

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.

For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Note: Remove the pie from the freezer fifteen minutes before serving.

side dish

Homemade Creamed Corn

Our most recent dinner club theme was Soulful Saturday and Eric and I were assigned the vegetable dish.  With the dinner in late January we had no real options on fresh corn co I substituted 3 bags of frozen corn that I let thaw on the counter.  Because it is frozen there really wasn’t a pulp mixture so I added a bit more heavy cream to taste.  This turned out delicious so we remade it on Sunday for our dinner with our son.  Recipe is a keeper! 

Ingredients

1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 pinches kosher salt
8 ears fresh corn, or 3 bags of frozen corn
1 sprig fresh rosemary, bruised
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh ground black pepper

Directions

In a saucepan over medium heat, sweat the onion in butter and salt until translucent.
If using Fresh corn:
In a large mixing bowl, place a paper bowl in the middle of the bowl. Resting the cob
on the bowl in a vertical position remove only the tops of the kernel with a knife, using
long smooth downward strokes and rotating the cob as you go. After the cob has
been stripped, use the dull backside of your knife to scrape any remaining pulp and
milk off the cob.
Add the corn and pulp mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium high until the
juice from the corn has tightened. Add the rosemary. Sprinkle the corn with the sugar
and turmeric. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto the
corn, using a whisk to combine well. Add the heavy cream and cook until the corn
has softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the rosemary. Season with freshly
ground black pepper.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Uncategorized

Happy New Year! Prime Rib Dinner Anyone?

Our first dinner club dinner many years ago I made my favorite Marinated Prime Rib.  I think that dinner was one of our best ones.  The recipe is from a clipping I found in Better Homes and Gardens and has always been very easy to make and now a holiday standard.

 This past weekend, being the New Years Holiday, we had our daughters boyfriend visiting.  We all went out to dinner at a local steak house for New Years Eve.  The kids went to a party after, while Hubby and I stayed awake until 12:03 a.m.  Just in time to watch the ball drop and then turn out the lights and head to bed.

For our New Years Day dinner I decided I wanted to make  prime rib with a hash brown casserole out of my recipe archieves.  Our daughter topped this off with saute’d asparagus and cherry tomatoes. It was a wonderful dinner to end the holiday week.

So Happy News Year and get cooking!

Marinated Prime Rib

Ingredients

3/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 4 pound beef rib roast

Directions

For marinade, in a small bowl stir together wine or broth, onion, water, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, marjoram, and garlic salt.

Place meat in a self-sealing plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over meat. Seal bag. Marinate in refrigerator at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Drain meat, discarding marinade. Place meat, fat side up, in a large roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into center without touching bones.

Roast in a 325 degree F oven to desired doneness. [Allow 2 to 2-1/2 hours for rare (140 degrees F) or 2-1/4 to 3-1/4 hours for medium (155 degrees F.] Transfer meat to a cutting board. Cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. (The temperature of the meat will rise 5 degrees during standing.) If desired, garnish with additional fresh rosemary.

Hash Brown Casserole

Ingredients

1 cup thinly sliced green onions 
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese 
2 tablespoons stick butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes, thawed 
1 (16-ounce) carton lowfree sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted 
Cooking spray 
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; spoon into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until bubbly.
Happy New Years from my family (& Mike) to yours!

Uncategorized

Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip for Dinner Club

(I forgot to get the picture of it completed before it was devoured!)
We had dinner club last night at our neighbors across the street.  The theme was pot luck, with just the main course recipe provided.  Each couple was assigned a course and told to bring their favorite recipe.  Ours was the appetizer and we made our Blue Cheese and Artichoke Dip and served it was Kettle Chips.   This is inspired from a appetizer we got a few years back at a place called Tin Pan Galley in Sacketts Harbor.  Homemade Kettle Chips with a warm Blue Cheese dip.  
Several other restaurants now make this and when we see it on the menu we have to order it.  A few years ago I had to make an appetizer for our family Christmas dinner and I made this.  Topped it off with kettle chips and sat it down in front of my mom who just loved it.  If she liked it I knew it was a hit! As you can see from my picture, it was well received at our dinner. 

Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip with Kettle Chips

1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup Light Mayonnaise
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Light Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup crumbled  Blue Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
4 green onions, sliced

Kettle Chips

Preheat oven 350°F. Place all ingredients in food processor container; cover. Process just until blended, but not completely smooth.

Spoon into 9-inch pie plate.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Kettle Chips

Uncategorized

Dinner Club Time – Tres Leche Cake

Last weekend was our dinner club dinner at our neighbors across the street.  It was a Fajita Fiesta night that also included a little pool party time to cool down from our run of 90 degree plus days. Our assignment was dessert.  And what betther way to cool down that a Tres Leches Cake that is light and refreshing.

Now I have never made this before and was a bit puzzled on the size of the platter needed to serve it on.  The cake was baked in a 10″ pan and need to go on a platter with 1 inch sides to capture the “juices” of the 3 milks (Tres Leches) and Grand Marnier.  I could not find one and ended up using the casserole dish that was just a tad bit bigger than the cake pan.  Having now made this I know that I could use a different plate for presentation.

The recipe was also very approprate for me.  I work in the dairy industry and what better way to support it than a recipe which actually had 4 types of dairy products involved.  So, for a international flair and somthing that is refreshing and moist – give this recipe a try.

Tres Leches Cake

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray, for the cake pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the cake pan
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides and then line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.

Mix the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the whole milk in 2 additions.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake slightly, about 10 minutes, then invert onto a platter with 1-inch high sides.

Pierce the top of the cake all over with a thick skewer. Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1 cup heavy cream and orange liqueur in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture over the cake while warm. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight.

Combine the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream onto top of the cake and sprinkle with the ground cinnamon.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/tres-leches-cake-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Dinner

Corned Beef and Cabbage

March is just around the corner and for all you foodies that means green beer, Irish fries, Corned Beef and Cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.  Corned Beef to me is a unique dish to make and serve.  I remember a dinner club that was scheduled just around St. Pat’s Day where the hostess decided to cook a corned beef for the first time and was unsure when to say the meat was done.  I got a call saying ” I have been cooking this for quite awhile and the meat is still red”.  
For years we have been cooking our corned beef in the crock pot with a recipe that came from the cook book that was included with the pot.  It was simple and used an orange peel for some additional flavor.  My mom had given me a corned beef she had purchased but thought it was too big for he.  She told me when I made it save her some.  In looking for a new way to cook the beef, I found this recipe online that included the potatoes and onions right from the start and then added the cabbage and carrots at the end. 
 Hubby was coming home from an overnight business trip. He called on his way home and I told him our dinner plans.  He advised me that he would stop for the cabbage and was surprised to learn that I already taken care of it.  When I got home from work that night, he was home as well.  I checked on the meat and found a cutting board and paring knife close by.  Hubby was sure I hadn’t included the potatoes to my recipe and after adding two small potatoes  he realized that I had already done so.  I told him that the recipe was right next to the crockpot  and he could of read it to see that I was well prepared. 

This recipe turned out great and Mom enjoyed her cooked corned beef.  I think I will be making this again soon.  

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 (4 lb.) corned beef brisket with seasoning packet, rinsed, trimmed
2 whole cloves
1 small onion
24 baby carrots
1 small white cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
Arrange potatoes and garlic on bottom of slow cooker. Place corned beef on top of vegetables and sprinkle with seasoning from packet. Push cloves into onion and add to cooker. Add enough water to just cover meat; cover and cook on low until tender, 6 hours and 30 minutes to 8 hours.
Transfer meat to cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm. Transfer potatoes to bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add carrots and cabbage to cooker, turn to high, cover and cook until just tender, about 30 minutes.
Slice beef across grain and serve with potatoes, carrots and cabbage.
Uncategorized

Easy Apple Strudel

My husband dressed the part! 

When you think of fall you remember the leaves changing colors, apple picking, pumpkins, Oktoberfest and hearty meals. Well that is what we had at our last dinner club dinner a few weeks ago. Giada and hubby from across the street created an Oktoberfest menu that included some traditional German foods including  Sweet and Sour Cabbage, Jagerschnitzel (Pork Cutlets with mushroom gravy), Zwiebelkuchen (Onion Pie) and Apple Strudel.  

Our dinners are decided by the host and recipes are distributed and assigned to each couple.  Our contribution was the apple strudel.  Pretty easy recipe but I had some difficulty with the puff pastry that I decided to make a second one.  I thought the first one just didn’t look right and luckily the pasty comes in two rolls, so I was able to remake it with a little help from a video from the Pepperidge Farms website on working with the dough.  The end result was delicious topped off by my homemade vanilla ice cream. 

Apple Strudel

1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package of Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farm), thawed
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 egg beaten lightly with 1 tablespoon water
Confectioners’ sugar for serving (optional)
Ice Cream (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Add cranberries and walnuts and stir to combine. Add apples and lemon juice and toss, stirring until the apples are well coated; set aside.

Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll puff pastry out to a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, sprinkle 1/2 of pastry with apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border at the end closest to you. Roll the pastry up, jelly roll-style, and crimp to seal edges. Transfer strudel to prepared baking sheet and brush top with egg wash. Cut three slits on top of the pastry to let steam escape. Bake until top is golden, about 35 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving and serve with ice cream, if desired.

Uncategorized

Off to the races! Dinner club does the Derby

This past Saturday our dinner club met for a Kentucky Derby Day Dinner.  Hubby and I stepped up to the plate with our Derby Day attire with a new hat, Julia Roberts inspired dress and the bow tie and Seersucker Jacket to finish off the look. 

All the ladies came with their hats and their folding money for a little race time bet.

Even the guys found their Derby Day Hats!

Too bad he didn’t get a chance to ride!
But enough about the attire, our dinner was a selection of courses that would typically would be served in the Kentucky area. 
Appetizers were Kentucky Hot Browns and Paula Deen’s Benedictine sandwiches sandwiches.  This was followed with Kentucky Burgoo and spring Panzanella. 
Our dinner contribution was dessert.  A pretty easy toppings to go over coffee ice cream.  And it wouldn’t be a Derby Day party without a Mint Julep.  Too strong for me, I switched to wine.

Irish Coffee Sundaes with Caramel Whiskey Sauce

Ingredients

For coffee nut crisp:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules, crushed
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (3 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped if desired

Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. Line a rimmed sheet pan with a nonstick baking liner, or line it with foil and lightly oil foil.

Whisk egg white with sugar, coffee powder, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until blended. Stir in walnuts until coated. Spread mixture into a 10- by 8-inch rectangle in pan.

Bake until crisp is dry to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool completely.

Loosen crisp with a metal spatula and break into small pieces.

For sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 Tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 pints good-quality coffee ice cream
Make sauce:

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring, but washing down any sugar crystals with a brush dipped in cold water, until syrup begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Continue to boil, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup is a deep golden caramel.

Remove pan from heat and carefully add whiskey, cream, and salt (mixture will bubble up and steam and caramel will harden).

Return pan to heat and simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is smooth. Cool to warm.

Serve sauce over scoops of coffee ice cream then sprinkle with walnut crisp.

Cooks’ notes: •Crisp can be made 4 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. (Watch out, though; it’s so delicious, you will be hard—pressed to resist devouring all of it before your guests arrive!)
•Sauce can be made 4 days ahead and chilled, covered. Re-warm to serve. Any leftover sauce will keep, chilled, at least 1 week.

Uncategorized

Eastern European Dinner Club

Tonight is dinner club night.  Mr. & Mrs. Foodie are hosting and when they host they take turns in deciding their menu.  Tonight’s dinner was the creation of Mrs. Foodie.  She has gathered recipes from her mother’s kitchen that will feature their family’s Eastern European roots.

We have always heard the stories of the family  holiday dinners where Mrs. Foodie’s mom will make kielbasa, pierogies, pigs in a blanket.  And like any of our mother’s recipes, they make the dish the best way, that no one else can duplicate it. Our assignment was one of the appetizers, Kielbasa ala Rosalie.   Rosalie, Mrs. Foodie’s  mom say that when you make the kielbasa you have to boil it to remove the fat.  Now we all know that isn’t really happening, but we have to follow her tradition on this one.   But from what we hear she never serves appetizers, this might be part of the main entrée.

This was a pretty easy recipe to make.  I went to our local market this morning and picked up two packages of homemade kielbasa, not the prepackaged stuff.  I had to stop at another store to pick up the currant jelly, not easily found, and when I got home within 15 minutes our part of the dinner is ready to go.  The preboiling, cutting and sauce were done at home.  We took the mixture  and finished it off with the 15 minutes at a simmer at our friends house.  

Kielbasa ala Rosalie!

AKA Sweet and Sour Kielbasa
2 kielbasa
1 12 oz. Bottle tomato based chili sauce
3/4 cup red current jelly
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Place kielbasa in a skillet and cover with water.  Simmer for 8 minutes.  Drain and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Combine all ingredients in a large skillet and stir well.  Simmer for 15 minutes,  stirring to coat all ingredients.   Server on a platter with toothpicks.
soups

Dinner Club Assignment

A couple of weeks ago our dinner club got together after a long hiatus at Giada and her hubby across the street. The menu was reminiscent of their first dinner club dinner with a taste of Italy.  Our recipe was for soup that was a combination of each of their mothers recipe.  I feel honored to have been able to make this family recipe.
Our dinner club has been going on for a number of years with just one couple switch out.  We have tried a variety of recipes, cuisines and culinary explorations.  If I look back over the recipes it is hard to find just one favorite.  I guess I have to go with what our foodie friends said when I asked them to pick their favorite dinner – the first dinner each couple made.  For us it was  family favorite-marinated prime rib, for foodie friends it was their Thai dinner, Farm Boy and our southern artist friends would be the Creole Chicken and grits, and for Giada and her hubby a Spinach Lasagna with Sicilian Veal Rolls.  
This dinner featured a goat cheese and oil appetizer, homemade Ravioli from Melina’s fresh pasta, short ribs and polenta and Ricotta pie to go along with our authentic Escarole soup.  
Escarole soup with mini meatballs
(Serves 8 to 10)
For mini meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cups grated pecorino cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tblsp dried parsley or Italian seasoning
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 small bunch parsley, minced
1 egg beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
For soup:
2 heads of escarole, core removed and torn into small pieces
8 to 10 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
Small onion minced
2 cloves minced garlic
Make mini meatballs: mix all the listed ingredients in a bowl and form into s,
Mall size meatballs.  Chill for about 1 hour.
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven pot over medium heat, add garlic and onions, cook until lightly brown, taking care not to burn garlic.  Add escarole and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium/low and add meatballs.  Allow meatballs to simmer until cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes, depending upon size.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
And now scenes from our dinner……
Appetizer
Dessert
Main Course
Dressed dessert
Mrs Foodie!
My Wonderful Husband!