Happy Birthday Gordon!
I am so glad my friend, Gordon, turned a year older in January. Why? Well, because I’ve never known anyone who likes chocolate more than he does and it gave me an excuse to try yet another chocolate recipe. On his 60th birthday (a few years ago) I gave him a chocolate party and I’m sure he had a hard time sleeping after trying all the chocolate delights we had that night.
Roaming around the chocolate section of HEB the other day I came across a bag of Kraft Caramel Bits. I had to buy them even though I didn’t know what plans I had for them. I always have chocolate chips and never without plenty of sugars, flours, butter and anything it would take to throw a dessert together so I thought why not take a chocolate cookie recipe and add nuts, caramel and chocolate chips and turn it into a turtle cookie.
What the heck is Affogato you say?
The Italians have given us so many good pasta dishes, sauces, risottos, lasagna and of course their tiramisu; BUT have you tried their Affogato. Affogato literally means drowned and what is being drowned in? Well an Affogato is ice cream, either vanilla, coffee, or chocolate, and it’s drowned in hot espresso or a very strong coffee. (All recipes call for hot espresso but I think next time I will use room temperature espresso so it doesn’t melt the ice cream so quickly.)
We spent New Year’s eve with friends and she made an Affogato for dessert. It was delicious and reminded me of one I had at a restaurant in Austin years ago. This particular recipe I’m using chocolate shavings and chopped hazelnuts and a splash of kahlula. I put the ice cream in a brandy type glass and I have some little egg cups I will put the hot espresso in and then some tiny pitchers with handle that I will put the kahlula — a little interactive dessert that’s easy, fun and of course delicious.
Spring hasn’t sprung yet!
Well, Spring hasn’t sprung yet but we can always get some pretty nice asparagus here in Texas. Ya know, Spring is just right around the corner; may not feel like it right now even here in Texas but another couple of months and the trees will be budding and flowers popping up all over the place.
I use to think of asparagus as mostly a spring vegetable since that is when it is harvested but these days (or probably last few decades) we get our vegetables from all over the world.
These little pearl red onions come from Frieda’s of southern California who produces a lot of specialty produce items. And when I saw these little purple onions I just knew I wanted to use them with asparagus. After all, purple and green are my favorite colors and this was such an easy dish to prepare for company.
Just in time for Valentine’s day.
Do you ever wonder how the first bar dessert was made? Maybe someone just got tired of making all those individual cookies and just pressed the dough into a pan and baked it and abracadabra a new dessert.
Well, this dessert came from my daughter; and the recipe came from a co-worker years ago. When I use to cater I could make this, cut into tiny little 1″-1 1/2″ squares (because it is so rich) and freeze and then pull out day of the party to thaw.
This is a great little “bite” to have in your freezer to serve to those friends that pop in for coffee or a cocktail in the afternoon.
Thanks to the Beeroness for this recipe.
What’s fun about Paul and Brooke opening a brewery in Round Top sometime this year is me helping (or not) to come up with some beer inspired recipes. I’ve made the Beer Caramel Sauce to go with my Bacon Waffle and Ice Cream and I think I need to experiment with a good beer cheese soup recipe next.
Back in November when my sister was visiting with friends from Braggadocio, MO we did a wine and chocolate tasting up at Bernhardt Winery in Plantersville, TX. It was a fun afternoon. Wonder what a beer and chocolate tasting would be like or a beer and anything pairing they can come up with will so much fun.
Green beans and ham? No, Beans, Greens and Ham
Happy New Year to everyone out there. Hope you will continue following my blog with a lot of adventure to come this year.
My friend, the other Sherry (Sheri) with an “I” was telling me one day about making kale and beans and after thinking on that all day and looking at a large ham bone in my refrigerator left from Thanksgiving, I decided to give it a try.
I really wanted to use up all that leftover ham before it went to waste. Sometimes our disposal eats pretty well. Too bad we don’t have some pigs in the back yard and then they would be eating all the food I let spoil by not paying attention to what’s in my refrigerator.
Red for the holidays!
There’s nothing better than being with family and friends over the holidays. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.
I love experimenting with cocktails and for a recent Christmas dinner party I made these Poinsettia Cocktails. Unsweetened cranberry juice was used and orange liqueur which you can go easy on if you don’t want it quite so sweet.
Recently I told a friend that I would rather cook than eat and that’s true. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have friends/family to cook for. Sometimes alll those recipes I experiment with sometimes don’t get tried before I serve to others, but the majority of the time the turn out wonderful.
The colors of Christmas.
There is nothing better than getting together with a bunch of friends and having dinner. Recently during such a dinner I made my Chicken in Phyllo (see index) which I have been making about 35 years. It’s an impressive dish but doesn’t take long to make and the results are beautiful. Layers of phyllo stuffed with chicken, celery, onion and a little nutmeg all rolled up into a bundle and covered with a Lemon Veloute Sauce is the perfect entree for your friends. I did practically everything a couple of days early so day of my party I just lounged around and watched a bunch of Hallmark Christmas movies.
Chocolate and peppermint for Christmas!
If there are two things just made for each other it has to be chocolate and peppermint; just think of peppermint bark, peppermint hot chocolate, York peppermint patties, and even those thin mint Girl Scout cookies and you will be wanting to make this dessert.
A friend, Miggie, recently told me her favorite ice cream was HEB’s Creamy Creations Mexican Hot Chocolate and it got me to thinking about my Santa Kisses cookies which are meringue cookies with thin layer of chocolate on bottoms and dipped in crushed peppermint. So, I’m immediately thinking about pavlovas (dying them pink) and making them into shells dipped in chocolate and crushed peppermint candies and topping with a big scoop of the Mexican Hot Chocolate ice cream and garnishing with some more crushed peppermint. So that is exactly what I made for a recent dinner party and everyone loved them. Thanks Miggie for the recommendation.
I love all pasta recipes.
Most of the time I don’t care if the pasta is real (gluten) or imitation (non-gluten); it’s all about the sauce and other ingredients.
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of gluten free pastas and really by the time you put a sauce on it you can’t tell a lot of difference. One thing I did once when I was trying not to eat too much pasta was I made Zucchini Pasta with Pine Nuts and most of the “pasta” was zucchini noodles and I used about a quarter size of whole wheat pasta. That turned out really good because the real pasta kept the zucchini pasta from going too limp and gave it a little more body for holding the sauce. I will do that one again.
I found this Avocado Pasta recipe at wellplated.com. Not sure how I happened upon this but I’m glad I did. I added some chopped fresh spinach to the skillet because I wanted to make sure there was plenty of vegetables and “green” color; it did the trick.
One delicious beautiful cheesecake.
Over Thanksgiving my daughter Alexis wanted to make this cheesecake to take to a family dinner. She had a great looking recipe and we decided to make two; one for her and one for us. I’m so glad we did, it was absolutely delicious; smooth, creamy and just the right amount of sweetness.
I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie. I make it almost every year and maybe one or two pieces are eaten and then the garbage disposal gets the rest. That did not happen with this dessert. It’s still around a few days later and getting eaten. I think I’m going to freeze slices for hub so he can enjoy it when he’s whining for something sweet; he doesn’t really whine though.
Grandson, Thomas was on hand to help stir. He told me when he arrived at our house that he wanted to learn to cook; music to this Grans ears. Thanks Thomas for your help and you can come cook in Grans kitchen anytime you want.
Smokin’ mushrooms! And have a smokin’ happy Thanksgiving.
On the last leg of Canadian trip this past summer we were in Burlington, VT and I had made reservations at a cool restaurant, The Hen of the Wood in Burlington. Well, I thought it was in Burlington and when we had our Uber driver drop us off there was a sign on the door saying they had had a “fire” and please visit their Waterbury location. I had made reservations at the wrong restaurant (never done that before).
After walking around downtown for a while we settled on Pascolo Ristorante and chose to eat at the bar rather than wait an hour for a table. We love eating at bars if there is something interesting going on that we want to watch. I ordered their delicious smoked mushroom pappardelle pasta with marsala cream, rosemary and truffle oil. Like many restaurant recipes it wasn’t hard to come up with a recipe.