Monday, August 30, 2010

Belly Buttons

This is my eldest child....I had her when I was 12....no, not really.....I just can't imagine that I am the mother of someone that big...She started high school last week.....freaky I tell ya.
You know most teenagers don't really like to do what their parents say....except mine....like now, I will now ask my teenager to show you her belly button......................

TA DA! This is her belly button...that is Belly Button cookie. She found this great recipe in Better homes and Gardens magazine and has made herself quite famous. Everyone loves these cookies, they are so simple and so decadent. I have forbidden her to make them anymore, since they are solely responsible for five pounds.
They really don't look like anything much, but trust me...they are.
You are required to dip them in milk.
Almond Vanilla Dessert Sandwiches or Belly Buttons
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
printable version
cookie:
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup ground almond flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

filling:
6 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cherry extract

with an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and extracts. Beat until smooth and set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until smooth. In a bowl, whisk remaining dry ingredients together. Beat in vanilla and milk. Mix in dry ingredients.
Divide the dough in half and chill, wrapped for at least thirty minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out half of the dough until 1/8 of an inch thick. With a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles. Re roll scraps and repeat. Do the same with the second half of the dough. Place half of the circles on baking sheets. With a skewer, cut a small round hole in the center of the other half of the circles, and place on a baking sheets as well.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Spread the bottoms of the un pierced cookies with a dab of the cream and then top with a a cookie that has been pierced. Refrigerate to store.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

tangy sweet and sour meatloaf

Do you ever have leftover Chinese food? If you are like me, you make sure you do. I love to have leftovers the next morning for breakfast. Usually, even after gorging on leftovers, there are still a few items remaining. There is always white rice left and often there is sweet and sour sauce. If I happen to have these two ingredients, I make this: Sweet and sour meatloaf. Maybe I shouldn't call it meatloaf...it's really a poultry loaf,but I'm not sure that it sounds very appetizing. I think I'll stick with meatloaf. Now, I love they basic meatloaf, made with ground beef, however, this one is special. It just doesn't seem that heavy, and the flavors just pop. It serves up well, next to a fried rice and an Asian style salad. Be careful not to cook it on too high of a temperature...it will dry out the turkey as well as burn the sweet and sour sauce. Sweet & Sour Meatloaf
printable version

2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup bell pepper (red, yellow, or yellow), diced
1 cup rice, cooked and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire
1 cup sweet and sour sauce

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients, excluding 1/4 cup of the sweet and sour sauce. Smash all ingredients together well and form into a loaf on a foil lined sheet pan. Spread the remaining sweet and sour sauce over the top. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Juices should run clear. Let sit for five minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I may be poor but I have plenty of dough

Another Wordless Wednesday...well sort of



You might remember this post a few weeks back. Here is a great recipe for home made Jello playdough. I am not sure where I found this recipe, but I have been making it on rainy days for years.

Jello Playdough
Printable Recipe

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 T. cream of tartar
2 T. Vegetable oil
1 c. warm water
1 three oz. pkg. jello (any flavor)

Combine ingredients and cook over medium heat until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of pot and becomes dull. * Note: it burns easily so don't put over too high a heat and keep stirring. Mold and knead until cool enough to touch. Store in a closed plastic bag.
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Winner Winner


Last week, I was very excited to announce a great give away offered by CSN stores to one of my readers. The offer was a $40.00 gift card to be spent on Le Creuset. Le Creuset is just one of the many many (an I mean thousands and so much more)super great products CSN offers. I was so happy to have so many people participate. It was fun to visit all of your sites and get to know you better. I hope to bring another fabulous give away soon. I can't wait to see who the lucky devil is, so without further adeiu......Vanna...please roll out the Random Number Generator please.......

Number 21! Who would that be.........

LOUANNE! from
Louanne's Kitchen
Louanne said...
On my blogroll - 2nd entry!

August 19, 2010 4:48 AM

I wish you all could have won....but if you feel like skipping over there to congratulate her...you should because she has a cute little site. In the meantime, check out the recipe below, because it's just plain yummy.

Louanne, shoot me an email and let me know where to send the card. Congrats!

I used the Random Number Generator to get the winner, but I can't seem to figure out how to save the number it came up with so I can post it....do any of you geniuses know how?

Monday, August 23, 2010

thai me up and make me eat it


I have a "thing" for Asian inspired food. I know what you're thinking...Sara has a "thing" for lots of food....just last week she was waxing poetic about waffles. Well, true, true that is...I have plenty of things that tempt my tummy, but right now it's this dish.
It is perfect for this time of year,because it takes literally ten minutes to compose. While soaking the rice noodles, you can completely prepare the rest of the dish. It is bright and tempting but also light, so you can go on your mid summer run not too long after ingesting it. This little pasta dish (is it ok to call it a pasta dish?...wait , no it's a noodle dish...right?) was inspired by Thai noodle dishes I have had in the past. My family loves edamame and so anything I sneak it in has a a better chance of survival, but this dish really hit the spot.
The crunch of the water chestnuts and the rich sesame flavor is so yummy, and the lime juice finishes it off perfectly. You can pretty much add any vegetables you have, but I really enjoyed this mix. I typically use sirloin when I make stir fry. I beat it out with a mallet to tenderize it. But for this particular rendition, I had a leftover fillet Mignon and it was screaming out to me....and I am so glad it was.

Sesame Ginger Beef
1 pound sirloin, sliced very thin
1 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup carrot, julienne
1 cup red, orange or yellow, bell pepper, julienne
1 small can water chestnuts, chopped
1 cup edamame
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoons chili garlic paste
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
14 oz Thai rice noodles
juice of a lime
salt and pepper to taste
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and place the noodles in. let soak for ten minutes until noodles have softened. You want them to be soft but still have a little "bite".
In a heavy pan or wok, saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and beef together in a few tablespoons vegetable oil for four minutes. Add the yellow pepper and carrots and cook for four more minutes. Finally, stir in water chestnuts, edamame, cilantro, sesame oil, seeds, chili garlic paste, honey, and noodles. Stir fry for a few minutes to ensure all ingredients are hot. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and lightly season with salt and pepper

If you haven't entered my giveaway partnered with CSN online stores, you have a little less than 2 hours to do so. I am so exited to give the $40.00 gift card for Le Creuset away! Remember to enter, check out the details in this post,and enter on that same post. The winner will be announced tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who participated....I am so happy to meet all of my new Friends. Good Luck!


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Thursday, August 19, 2010

s'more ice cream please


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Unfortunately, I have a nut allergy. I won't end up in the hospital (I don't think), but I get ridiculous canker sores in my mouth. This proves to be a problem for me, because I do love most nuts. The good news is that peanuts don't bother me...so maybe it's just an aversion to tree nuts. There is a reason I tell you this, because this nut nuisance had ruined my love affair with rocky road ice cream. Note, that I said "had", because I discovered a tasty substitute for the nuts. Early in the summer Dryers ice cream put out a "seasonal" flavor of S'mores ice cream. I didn't hesitate purchasing it, as I have a bit of a thing for marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. Let me tell you, it is nothing short of awesome! I know this for a fact, because I think I single handedly emptied out the local market's supply.
But you know me, I'd rather make it, so I set out to create my own delight. It was kind of like Bobby Flay's "Showdown", first I researched. My research revealed the following points:
First, the right marshmallow has to be used, not marshmallow whip. Mini marshmallows work fine, but I preferred to cut a large marshmallow up for looks (but it won't affect the taste).
Second, I didn't want to use chocolate chips....I like flakes and flecks a bit more. I purchased a product called Magic Shell to achieve that texture. However, I don't love the waxy taste of that chocolate so maybe I'll try something else.
Third, graham crackers aren't super sweet and I felt they would get lost in the ice cream and maybe a bit soggy. The Dryers version had an almost cookie like graham instead of cracker like. I purchased a Keebler pre-made graham cracker pie crust and broke it into pieces. It was definitely a great idea and super yummy!
Fourth, I didn't want it to be to chocolaty. So I used just a bit of good cocoa (Callebaut)to give it just a hint. So here is the recipe:

S'more Ice Cream

2 cups 1/2 and 1/2 or
1 cup whipped cream
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup marshmallows, cut up
1/2 bottle of Magic Shell
1 prepared graham cracker crust

In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, cocoa, and salt and scald. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Temper the milk into the eggs carefully so as not to curdle the yolks. Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes the mixture will bubble and thicken. It should coat the back of a spoon and you should be able to run your finger through the custard and it will leave a clean line. Stir in the vanilla. Cool mixture completely-over night is always ideal, but at least a few hours. freeze according to your manufactures instructions. Remove the ice cream from the machine and transfer into a freezer container. Squeeze the chocolate shell in lines over the top and allow to set (it only takes seconds), Gently fold in the mix-ins and refrigerate for a few hours.

I'm pretty rough on myself, so in the end I didn't quite think it hit the mark, although it was pretty good. However, my guests loved it...and there wasn't a drip to be licked. In hind sight, I think next time I will toast the marshmallows! Sounds like just the thing to step it up.

If you haven't entered my giveaway partenered with CSN online stores, please be sure to do so before Monday....I am so ecited to give the $40.00 gift card for Le Creuset away! Remember to enter, check out the details in this post,and enter on that same post. The winner will be announced Tuesday. Good Luck!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I do's and a present for you

I know this may be the longest post in the history of this blog....but hang in till the end.....there's something in it for you!


So, there was a major lapse in postings from me a few weeks ago, and I mentioned that I had been busy with a wedding. Boy was I ever! This wedding would be the biggest that I have ever done. A sit down dinner for one hundred an hour before the reception for seven hundred! Yes, I said seven hundred! I have never taken on an event of this size or grandeur. The bride, is the daughter of well known successful entrepreneur and farmer here in Utah. I was excited to have the opportunity to showcase their beautiful produce.

The menu for the dinner was:
Sweet spinach salad with bacon, pears, blueberries and poppy seed dressing
Fresh baci rolls with herb butter
Choice of Prime rib with fresh horseradish and au jus or Baked salmon with hollandaise
Lemon parsley fingerling potatoes
Medley of corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and sweet onions
Single chocolate dipped strawberry

The menu for the reception was:
Fresh baci rolls with herb butter
Herb ham with Dijon
Turkey with cranberry apple chutney
Roast beef with fresh creamy horseradish
variety of cheeses
fresh seasonal fruits
Sweet spinach salad with bacon, pears, blueberries and poppy seed dressing
Roasted corn salad with ancho chili dressing
Farm stand pasta salad with roasted vegetables and pesto vinaigrette
Trio of salsas: Fresh Peach, traditional Tomato, and Red pepper guacamole
Trio of baby cakes: red velvet with almond cream cheese frosting, Pineapple carrot with vanilla bean sour cream frosting, and White pound with raspberry chocolate frosting
Fresh berry lemonade

When we set the plans for the menu, it was January....and I hadn't quite considered the magnitude of this event, but as the months and finally the days neared...I have to admit I was panicking a bit. But with the help of my favorite business partner (mom), we pulled it together beautifully.
To pull the event off, we had to rent a refrigerated trailer to hold all of the produce and eventually all of the finished product.


This was the trailer after I packed it to head to the event.
we had to bungee everything in, due to the fact that the event was held on a mountainside and there was a steep incline.

We hired a staff of 12 for some of the prep and service. We prepared 150 pounds of roast beef, 150 pounds of ham, 150 pounds of turkey...I went through over 40 pounds of butter!!

We had to set up a makeshift kitchen in the garage in 95 degree weather (I think I lost five pounds that day. This is me hanging out in the cool refrigerated truck. I tried to look busy, but really, I was just cooling off...lol Getting out one of the trays of hundreds of cakes....these look like the White pound baby cakes...


My mother and I with our meaty handiwork.




My mother telling me "how it is" and me shutting up 'cause you know "how it is"


This is the site where the sit down dinner took place...I have no more pictures of this moment, because I was too darn busy to take any. I can tell you it was brilliant or should I say we were! I have been promised pictures to show off in the future.
Twelve tables set perfectly for dinner to be served at 4:40 on the dot!
So here are pictures of the buffet (in no particular order).
Fresh Berry lemonade......
Made with sparkling water.........


Rolls, crackers, and trio of baby cakes.....all in one area...how weird, I wonder why did that? I will explain in a moment.....






Chips and trio of salsas Sweet spinach salad with pears, blueberries, feta, and poppy seed dressing....






Variety of cheeses


more of those salsas.........




Beautiful fresh seasonal fruits......


Cranberry apple chutney


Ham, turkey and roast beef............

trio of baby cakes........


more cakes.........




more meat......





Spinach salad, (in foreground)Roasted corn, and Farm stand pasta salad...........



have you noticed anything interesting in any of these pictures?


Perhaps, like the guests are carrying around UMBRELLAS? AAACK!!!!




Five minutes before we set down the food, the heavens opened up and began to downpour...and of course...the food table was not tented! Thus the weird placement of the crackers, rolls, and cupcakes.


The rain did eventually clear, leaving us with a substantial temperature difference. The rest of the evening was a comfortable cool 75 degrees. look how beautiful the evening sky over the valley was after the rain.....
Oh, here is a shot of the strawberries....seen them before right? Mine were served on bejeweled soup spoons...so cute!



Terrible picture but you get the idea.


here is one of the few pictures I have of the main tent....as you can see, the weather ended up just beautiful.

Cute Megan and her friends.....


This is a shot of the candy table


Each guest was invited to take a little bag of candy away as a "Thank You".....


It was pretty cute...

One last picture of the main tent....


So did you manage to make it through my long slide show....I hope in the future to have a few pictures of the stuff I missed, because I was toooooo busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off!


But since you were so very supportive, I would like to reward you..... I am so excited that the CSN online stores contacted me and wish to give one of my readers a $40.00 gift card to be spent on a piece of Le Creuset! For those who do not speak French, we had better learn how to pronounce it first....it sounds like this....."Lay-crew-say". I love this cookware, and I am so excited that you get to have a peice....yes, I mean you...you know you want it! Look at just a few of the things below that you can spend your gift card on.

And to top it off, CSN is having a huge Le Creuset close out sale!

I was amazed to find how many amazing products the CSN stores have to offer. You can get just about anything from them. So are you as excited as I am?? Do you want to know how you can win?? I am going to give you endless opportunities to win.....Listen up here are the details:


First (Mandatory), visit CSN Le Creuset and shop. Then come on back here and leave me a comment and let me know what you can't wait to get your hands on.


Second, follow me...and make sure you leave a comment to let me know you do.


Third, link this blog post back to yours....if you do, I'll give you 3 more chances to win! Just make sure you leave 3 separate comments that you did.


Fourth, add me to your blog roll...if you do, I'll give you 2 more chances to win! Just make sure you leave 2 separate comments that you did.


And finally, visit any of the following blogs, and say Hi for me....if you do, leave a comment about who you visited.







Giveaway will end Monday August 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time. I will pick the winner a week from today (August 24th), by a random generator. So get busy...I hope you win...cause I love you like that!


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