Showing posts from September, 2015

Cook the Books Club

This is my first post with Cook the Books Club, a book club that reads books about food.  This month the book chosen was Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson.  The book is a memoir about the man who became the youngest chef to receive a three star rating from the New York Times.  He has an interesting story to tell, as he was born in Ethiopia and adopted by Swedish parents when he was young.  The story goes (mostly) up from there, where he has a pretty typical childhood with loving family.

When he finishes his schooling in Sweden, he travels worldwide to learn to cook in various venues.  I would say he is classically trained, given the caliber of restaurants where he's worked.  He ends up in New York City, where he owns Red Rooster Restaurant in Harlem.

My favorite quote in the book is this:…
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Candy Corn Martini

I first saw this infused vodka on Pinterest last year and really wanted to give it a try.   It is super simple.

Infused Candy Corn Vodka

1 bag candy corn
2 c vodka (I used citrus)

Pour candy corn into mason jar, or any clean jar.  Pour vodka on top, shake to get the process started  and let steep for 3-5 hours.  Filter vodka through cheesecloth to remove any remaining solids.  Chill.

I then used the infused vodka to make this delicious martini

4 oz candy corn infused vodka
1 oz orange liquor
juice of 1/2 lemon

Shake in cocktail shaker with ice.  Strain and pour into martini glass.  Garnish with candy corn.

Using the citrus vodka gives this drink a little extra punch.  Delicious.

My plans are to use the remaining infused vodka to make jello shots for the parents who are trick or treating…
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Frittata: Secret Recipe Club

I am so excited to announce that I have become a member of the Secret Recipe Club!  This is where you cook a recipe from another blogger, secretly, then announce on your blog the recipe you made and how it all turned out!  What a fun group to be involved in and I was so excited to be included.

This month I was assigned to the great blogger Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm.  She and her husband are retired police officers (I salute you!) and on retirement decided to buy a small farm.  She's a soul sister (she doesn't know that yet!) in that we both love locally sourced, slow food.  She has her own chicks, though, and I think that is super cool.  We are both big readers, too.

I checked out Wendy's recipe list, and whoa, she's done a lot of cooking!  It was hard to choo…
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Herb Disks #Harvesting

My basil was nuts this year and I wanted to take advantage of the surplus by freezing some for winter use.  I found these herb freezing trays from Pampered Chef.  I am a part of a monthly Pampered Chef Club where we each spend $35 a month.  We take turns being the hostess, so we get hostess credits and specials.

So I went out in the morning, and cut out all of the good basil that was left from the bush.  Yep, bush.  It was a banner year for basil!  I brought it in, washed it, dried it, and chopped it up in my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor.  The chopping was done in seconds.  I then placed the chopped basil in the basins of the freezing tray, put the lid on them and froze them.  I popped them out of the tray and labeled a ziplock bag and stuck them in the freezer for future use.  I …
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Chocolat Inspired Chocolate Cupcakes #Food'n'Flix

Food 'n' Flix is celebrating their fifth anniversary this month!  Five years of celebrating good films with good food!

Their very first film reviewed was Chocolat.  I saw this film when it came out, but I decided to watch it again, since that was nearly 15 years ago!

I love the cast in this film.  Johnny Depp is sexy and deep, Judi Dench is captivating, and Juliette Binoche is mesmerizing.  Such a great film, with themes of longing and temptation.  And, one of my quotes:

Père Henri: I'm not sure what the theme of my homily today ought to be. Do I want to speak of the miracle of Our Lord's divine transformation? Not really, no. I don't want to talk about His divinity. I'd rather talk about His humanity. I mean, you know, how He lived His life, here on Earth. His *kin…
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Club Peanut Butter Chocolate Layered Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

This month for #CreativeCookieExchange I wanted to make a cookie for our tailgate party.  These layered bar cookies are the perfect tailgate cookie for my Missouri Tigers!  The black (chocolate/peanut butter) and gold (graham cracker butter) layers are pretty on my tailgating table.

These layered bars are super simple to make.  There is no baking involved!  To get started you need:

1 box of club crackers.  Grease a 9 by 13 pan and lay down a row of club crackers.  Then you need...

2/3 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1/4 c milk
1 c graham cracker crumbs

Combine these ingredients and boil for 5 minutes.  Let cool a bit and then spread over crackers. Let cool some more and then lay on another layer of club crackers.

Then melt together 3/4 c peanut butter chips and 3/4 c semi swee…
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Top Ten Dinner Ideas for Halloween

It's time for the Top Ten Pumpkin/Halloween Ideas!  Check out the list below of fun activities for your children plus this wonderful post for great dinner ideas for Halloween night!

1.  These yummy looking sweet potato sliders by Barefeet on the Dashboard will keep your trick-or-treaters energized!

2.  What about this adorable Shepards Pie??  Who wouldn't want to eat a ghost before trick or treating?  From The Girl Who Ate Everything.

3.  How about Tentacle Pot Pie?  These adorable chicken pot pies come to us via Babble!

4.  This adorable plate of spaghetti and eyeballs comes to you from Kraft.  This looks eerily good!

5.  How adorable are these pepper jock-o-lanterns filled with spaghetti  pumpkin guts?  Simple to do, but so much fun to eat!  Find the whole recipe at Macaroni Ki…
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Creative S'Mores Cakes #BundtBakers

This month for our theme in Bundt Bakers, Laura from From Gate to Plate chose Creative S'Mores.  Creative S'Mores are varying combinations from the standard, chocolate-graham cracker-roasted marshmallow variety.  You will see a lot of interesting combinations from contributors below.

Let me tell you about mine.  I changed everything about a S'More in this cake.  The chocolate is replaced by peanut butter, the graham crackers to vanilla cake and the marshmallow is a topping instead of roasted.  Garnished with a little peanut butter chips and candy corn, this cake is a fun fall treat as well!

I start with a basic yellow cake mix.

Graham Cracker Crumb and Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

18.25 ounces plain yellow cake mix (1 package)1/2 c graham cracker crumbs1 cup water1/3 cup smooth pea…
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Kitchen Conservatory Cooking School: Oysters

My husband and I attended the Kitchen Conservatory Cooking School in Clayton (MO) on Sunday afternoon and the class focused on preparing oysters.  We love oysters of all kinds and this class really helped us in learning how to prepare them to our liking.

Bob made two sauces and grilled oysters in the shell.  I got to make chocolate cupcakes.  I don't know how that happened.  Something I can do with my eyes closed.  I did get to use some fancy restaurant style equipment though.  The proper technique for shucking oysters was a highlight for both of us!

The Mignonette sauce was my favorite.  On the oyster it is a fresh, clean flavor.  We also had an oyster tapenade (delish on grilled bread), a sherry mustard vinaigrette, a caper tartar sauce and an avocado cocktail sauce that was so good…
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