Comfort Foods and Indulgences
I was methodically chopping chives into 1/4 inch batons to balance on top of the mini crabcakes I would soon serve. I was lost in thought about my 4 ½ year relationship that I had ended earlier that day. 4 ½ years. Sigh. I was thinking about the love and all the amazing moments we shared over that time. images (1)I have no regrets, only appreciation for the incredible man that Shannon is and an understanding that love sometimes changes into something else. I glanced down at the cutting board and realized I had cut enough chive batons to feed a sizeable army – which this crowd was not. I slid the greens into a bowl as one of the servers walked into the kitchen.
“Do you have sugar for the coffee and tea service?” the waiter asked the house manager of the apartment on the 33rd floor of the Ritz Carlton Residences where we were catering. The manager opened the ample pantry and started off-loading sweeteners to the side table. “We’ve got Splenda. We’ve got Equal. We’ve got Truvia. We’ve got Sweet and Low.”
A small herd of boxes – yellow, blue, green, and pink - collected on the table.
“We’ve got agave. We’ve got honey. We’ve got stevia. And we’ve got gluten free sugar.” We all stopped and looked at each other. “Gluten free sugar? Huh?” the waiter said. “I thought sugar WAS gluten free.” And he turned to me because, well, because I was the one in the chef jacket.
Weeknight dinners can be daunting if you are working all day or chasing kids around after school. We have been in the middle of basketball season, which means, three nights a week it is chaos at dinnertime. Mostly because the kids are starving by the time they get home.
Everyone here loves chicken Parmesan, but I don't really have time on a weeknight to pound out chicken breasts, make red sauce and shred several kinds of cheese. As a result, I have come up with an alternative, quick method everyone in my family really enjoys. The best part, I can literally throw this together after a basketball game and it's ready in no time.
The only thing I have to remember is take out a package of tenderloins from the freezer in the morning. I buy them in bulk at Costco.
Every Mardi Gras, I have been wanting to make a King Cake for the kids. I just never seem to have the extra time. So when I came across an easy idea to make this happen, I went for it.
The King Cake is a dessert eaten all over the world in different forms and associated with the festivities of Mardi Gras, and it is no where more beloved than New Orleans.
It is normally a sweetened, yeasted bread stuffed with a cinnamon, cream cheese or praline filling and shaped into an oval ring. It is then topped with white icing and sprinkled with yellow, green and purple sprinkles. A small, plastic baby is then stuffed inside and whoever finds the trinket is declared the KING!
Anyways, this is the ultimate King Cake cheating recipe. However, if you find yourself short on time, give this a whirl. It surely tasted delicious!!
Are you looking for a little something to go with the Academy Awards? No, this dip does not emulate any of the films up for best picture. There are so many creative-Oscar food posts out there. However, if this was up for an award....OMG it would take home the trophy in every category. Yes...it is that good. It definitely falls into that "crack" dip category. This would have been amazing during football season.
Everyone's hineys will be firmly planted in front of this dip and the TV, no matter how boring the Oscars get. If you have this dip, you are set...no ball gown needed. It won't fit after you eat this dip anyway.
My favorite part of this dip is the heat that comes from the chipotle in adobo. It is the perfect amount of spice and flavor. It is what makes this dip so tasty. And addicting. It's perfecto.
Try it if you dare...but have lots of people around to share in the calorie load.
Corn muffins are so versatile, but many can turn out dry and tasteless. The sour cream in this recipe keeps them moist and tender every time.
They’re perfect in the morning with some homemade jam, or serve them at dinner with Chili Con Carne or Chicken Tortilla Soup. To get the best corn flavor, I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal. It comes in a variety of grinds. Fine will produce a tender muffin, while medium grind creates a bit more texture.
My Favorite Corn Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 cup fine or medium-ground, whole-grain yellow cornmeal (4 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
What is a guilt-free muffin anyway? I guess that means something different to everyone. Let's face it, muffins do not usually equal health food, but there are ways to make them better for you. A healthier muffin to me means, a little protein and fiber, with a lot less cholesterol causing ingredients and lower in calories.
I am literally shocked at how good this muffin tastes with just a few little ingredient changes. There is no oil or butter in these muffins! And they are satisfying and sweet; dense, but in a good way. They are also completely moist, even after four days.
I used my tips and tricks for the Best Banana Nut Muffin and applied them to this recipe. The two-cup method does work when it comes to creating a banana muffin you will love.
Consider it the perfect gateway snack in between meals, with a cup of black coffee of course.
There is nothing quite like the intoxicating smell of a bowlful of Meyer lemons. A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, the Meyer lemons have a slightly orange skin, a very thin rind and a heavily perfumed flesh. I picked up over a dozen at the market this past week to make this Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake.
I never really see these lemons around until the holidays, even though they are in season late Fall through Spring. When they do come around, I grab as many as I can. They are one of my favorite fruits to work with.
If you have never had the pleasure of cooking with these types of lemons, I highly suggest picking them up on your next trip the market.
To have success with this recipe and for the rind to soften and sweeten sufficiently during baking, the lemons must be sliced to a nearly transparent thinness. If you have a sharp knife, you will be fine. I tried it with a mandoline but couldn't get the thinness I desired.
What a treat this cake is to eat. With two layers of Meyer lemons and a lovely batter surrounding them...not to mention the very thick streusel on top...it's breakfast heaven. The lemon flavor intensifies over time, so I highly suggest making it one day and serving the next morning.
Granted, desserts aren't exactly the most fan-friendly food. Wielding a spoon while booing and cheering is a potentially dangerous (and definitely frustrating) endeavor. Which is why we've compiled a list of the best handheld desserts we could find. Classic cookies, rice krispies, blondies and brownies are all included.
Whether you're a fan of butterscotch, chocolate or peanut butter, we've got you covered. Check out our 35 dessert recipes that are perfect for football season.
Snacks are part of the American way of life. We are a nation of snackers. Because I work from home, I have no "break room" stocked with drinks and snacks, but that doesn't mean I don't help myself to a nibble now and then. I most frequently indulge in snacks when I'm traveling because it's not always easy to find a satisfying meal in between departure and arrival. In general I prefer healthier snacks, they just taste better to me. Stock up on these for the home, office or on to take the road.
When I pass through Chicago O'Hare, I sometimes buy some "Chicago mix" that wacky sounding but utterly delicious combination of caramel corn and cheese corn. Each bite is salty sweet and so crisp and buttery. I've never found anything as good as what they sell in Chicago, until I got a sample of G.H.Cretors. They offer cheese popcorn and caramel corn separately but trust me, you want to try them combined. So truth be told, these are not the healthiest, but healthier than potato chips, so that's something.
I've had these on my mind for a while now. I'm not the biggest fan of traditional enchilada sauce but I will take buffalo sauce in an enchilada anytime! I stuffed these with ricotta cheese, Monterey Jack and of course blue cheese. More Jack on top and crunchy celery...this was a TOUCHDOWN.
I'm not sure your Super Bowl party will be complete without them. I made these in individual stoneware bakers, two enchiladas in each one. I admit I love serving food in smaller portions, it's always more fun. You could also make these in a large casserole dish, you'll just have to double or triple the amount of ingredients.
Even if the corn tortillas break a little on top when you roll them, it's okay since you will be covering it with lots of cheese. And I have a question, is anyone watching the Super Bowl this year for the game? It seems every one I have come in contact with says they are not thrilled with the teams. Most will be watching for commercials and the food. Ha-ha perfect. You better make extras!