This was one of those recipes made up on the spot that ended up being a hit. I wanted to make a cheese ball but I didn't want to go to the store so I thought about the things I had on hand: cream cheese, bacon, Country Bob's ....jalapeno jelly...and that's about it but that's about all you need!
All we really need here are two words: "bacon" and "cheese".
If pushed, I could probably say a few more words: like yummy to the tummy Milton's snack crackers. I've been a fan of their gourmet line for many years but the beauty of the snack cracker line is that that crackers are smaller so you get the crunch, the whole graininess, and the slight sweet in a smaller version so you also get bacon and cheese with every bite--that's a win every way there is to win!
Out of the six flavors Gene and I, and lots of other family members, tried these were our favorite flavors: Original Multi-Grain, Honey Multi-Grain, and Honey & Corn, all yummy on their own or as a great base for chips or chicken and tuna salad.
In this area, southwest Missouri, they can be found at Wal-mart, Target, and Sam's Club.
My name is Glenna and I'm a huge Reuben addict. Love the combo of corned beef and saurkraut. There's just something deliciously sweet, salty, crunchy, cheesy wonderful about it! Imagine my pleasure when I accidentally stumbled on a recipe for reuben chowder...and then Googled for more recipes...and then took all the things I liked out of each one and made my own--in the slow cooker!
What most people I know think of when you use the generic term "cake" is technically a butter cake, typically eggs and butter or oil beaten together and the dry ingredients then added, as opposed to a chiffon cake, a lighter textured cake where the egg whites are whipped separately and folded into the batter. Pound cake is butter or chiffon cake's sweet, voluptuous cousin, with rich, velvety crumb, created from not just eggs and butter but LOTS of eggs and butter!
Originally named "pound cake" for the simplicity of its ingredients: pound of butter, pound of sugar, pound of flour... it has long since been cut down to what we think of us "regular" cake size and customized in endless variations. This buttermilk and vanilla recipe is rich and. satisfying with straight-forward, simple ingredients that showcases what, to me, is almost a religiously divine combination: butter, flour, and sugar...and an oven. .
To fancy it up, add fresh strawberries or a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce. For me, I just cut a slice, pick it up, and don't bother dirtying a fork and plate.
This is my very very favorite King Cake recipe. I've made it for several years and it's always a huge hit. It's a great combination of buttery pastry, creamy fruit filling, and just enough sugar to be a dessert but not so sugary that it's overwhelming.
Gene and I first had caviar at the Petrossian piano/martini bar inside the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. We'd walked by the little bistro several times and one day we just decided to stop in for a drink and a nosh. Neither of us had ever eaten caviar before so we decided to splurge and give this new-to-us delicacy a try. Delicious!
I think it was one of the first times we've ever tried something we didn't know how to eat that we simply asked the waitress to tell us what to do. That seems like a simple concept but it. was a learning experience for us in several ways. I don't know why I thought the waitress might be snooty, my own insecurity, I guess. As Auntie Miranda said, only a stupid server wouldn't make sure a patron had a great experience with new food or they'd be burning their own tip money up.
Since then we've been very loyal to Petrossian and splurge on caviar and fois gras every other New Year's Eve or so. We've been building up quite the tradition: a good pasta, home-made bread, and a fresh salad, followed by poker or other family games, and a midnight caviar, a good bottle of champagne, and/or dessert buffet with Auntie Miranda, James and Lynn, and Corbin and Jenn.
The Petrossian caviar is overnighted from New York inside cold packs. To serve, all you have to do is open the tin it comes in, place over crushed ice in a secondary bowl to keep it chilled, and dip it with a non-metallic (to avoid the metal giving the caviar a weird taste) spoon. Ours happens to be mother of pearl, ordered from Petrossian our first year. Caviar can be served on soft (our preference) or toasted baguette or regular bread toast points, blinis, or crackers of any kind. Toppings are a personal choice but common sides are chopped hard-boiled egg, sweet gherkins, dill gherkins, capers, minced red onion, scallions, or chives, kalamata olives, and creme fraiche--a type of sour cream with a higher fat content and less acidity.
We served this little mini buffet on a lazy Susan to keep us, lazy celebrators that we are, from having to pass everything around a million times. I made home-made baguette and bought two kinds of crackers: one light and crispy and the other more toothy and whole-grained. Along with the caviar, we also ordered a duck fois gras pate and a pheasant, fig, and cognac pate. Everybody tried many different combinations of toppings with the caviar but it seemed like the favorites were either simply the caviar on a thin slice of baguette or any of the breads topped with caviar, creme fraiche, capers, and chopped sweet gherkins. There is something about that combination that meets the magic taste combination of salty, sour, sweet, and savory. Mmmm... I'm already looking forward to next year even though this year has barely begun.
There's nothing like pasta, the ultimate comfort food, to feed a small army of company at the holidays. It's tasty, it's easy, and it can usually be made ahead, all pluses in my book so that I can serve a delicious meal to my friends and family but also be able to relax on the day of and during the party instead of running myself ragged, cooking.
Traditionally at New Year's Eve, I make a big lasagna, but this year I went to the same song, different verse, choosing to created a Baked Mostaccili dish instead.
Several of my guests plus friends on Facebook asked for the recipe, so this is it: Glenna's Baked Mostaccioli for a Crowd. Even though the recipe easily serves 8-10, it can easily be cut in half for a family dinner or can be made as a whole and split into two separate baking dishes, freezing one for later.
Our friend, Jenn, brought these to our annual New Year's Eve party and they were a huge hit: the perfect combination of crunchy, salty, sweet, nutty, and chocolate. They're a quick and easy addition to any dessert table that will disappear faster than any other treat.
While the entire rest of the food blogosphere posts nice diet recipes for at least the first week of the new year, I'm going to go radical and tempt your tummy with step-by-step photos of how to make the sublime, baklava, my favorite densely rich, sweet, and decadent treat that's a pastry I can only describe to the unititiated as a cross between a bar cookie and candy. Or as simply "the most yum in a bite I know of!" It's created from layers of paper thin pastry dough brushed with butter and filled with pistachios, walnuts, and almonds, along with warm spices and soaked in honeyed syrup.
Baklava can be traced back to the "cradle of civilization", Mesopotamia (the modern Iraq area), in the thousands B.C. but its most commonly associated with the Ottoman Turkish Empire of the 15th and 16th centuries whose capitol was Constantinople (modern day Instanbul, Turkey). I'm pretty confident you can consider that a dessert must be good if it's been around for 5,000 years, don't you?
I'll admit that I assumed baklava would be difficult, or at least complicated. to make but the truth is delightfully that it really isn't. There a lot of steps, but most of them are all about the layering of pastry and filling. For anyone experienced in working with phyllo dough I would consider this easy to make, and even for those who've never worked with phyllo before, I would still say it's only a low medium in difficulty. The key to the recipe is in the steps and preparing the work space. Some baklava makers create the pastry first and then make the syrup while baking so that it remains hot. I make the syrup first and set it aside while I make the pastry so that even though the syrup is close to room temp when poured as the final step, the baklava is so hot it quickly soaks in. Having a little counter space is the only clincher to working with phyllo dough because it's easier to lay it out, then move it in towards you to butter and stack. You'll see what I mean as you read through the recipe and see the photos.
I've made turkey and dressing in the crockpot before but this time I hit the jackpot for texture, taste, and convenience to feed a crowd. This recipe got rave reviews at work and easily fed twenty people with enough leftover for a couple of servings for Gene and I later. I served it with turkey gravy on the side and the my work-mates brought all the fixings: mashed potates, corn casserole, pumpkin pies, and appetizers.
I'll also make it again, not onThanksgiving, using rotisserie chicken or pork loin as the meat, maybe other dressing/stuffing flavors, but definitely keeping the sauteed veggies, fruit, and nuts. The recipe can easily be halved or maybe even thirded if you use the "about a" method: For example: "about" 1 1/2 cups of diced meat, "about" 1 Tbsp butter and "about" 1 Tbsp olive oil...etc.)