Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

 Ingredients

  • 12 slices thinly sliced white bread (Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sliced White Bread)
  • 2 cucumber peeled (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • Salt for cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons butter (soft)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container cream cheese
  • Franks Hot Sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • dried dill

Directions:

Peel and thinly slice cucumbers (I use a mandolin)

Mix and generously salt cucumbers. Set aside for 1 hour

After 1 hour transfer cucumbers to a strainer and rinse thoroughly

Transfer cucumbers to a bowl and cover with vinegar and sugar.

Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Mix softened cream cheese with Franks Hot Sauce

Cut the crust off the white bread (save and make croutons-saute in olive oil; sprinkle with garlic salt and cayanne pepper)

Spread each slice with butter.

Spread a soft cream cheese on top of the butter.

Cut bread slices into quarters or in 8th’s

Place marinated cucumbers on top

Sprinkle with dill.

Refrigerate.

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Something Something in December 2011

So something something about myself. I not only love to cook but I am also a Tax Professional…no tax questions please! So today I spent my time at a tax seminar…boring; OMG!

I am also preparing for catering a theater party on Friday, December 2, 2011; so no time to cook tonight and was not interested in reheating any leftovers so we went out to dinner at one of our favorite places. We live outside of Milwaukee Wisconsin and a great place for Mexican food is Arribas in Butler, WI. Great food and a friendly, professional and fun staff. Because of my limited time this evening, I have posted their website for your enjoyment. http://arribalounge.com/ I will have a review to follow soon.

I catered the after party for the InTandem Theatre in Milwaukee. The show is “Scrooge in Rouge” . Because the show is based on “Merry Old England”, the owner decided on an English theme. My menu is as follows:

Banger’s and Mash (served in a Asian Soup Spoon-trust me this will work)

Butternut Squash Soup Shooters (very British and served in a shot glass)

High Tea Cucumber Sandwiches

Mini Mince Meat Pies in Filo Dough

Here is InTandem’s website: http://www.intandemtheatre.org/

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apple peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, depending on desired consistency
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Chives

 

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season cut side of squash generously with salt and pepper and lay cut side down on a non-stick baking sheet (spray sheet with Pam or grease slightly with olive oil). Pierce skin side of squash all over with the tip of a sharp knife and rub a light coating of olive oil over the skin. Roast squash for 45 minutes.
  3. While squash is cooking, heat olive oil and butter in a skillet and sauté apple and onion over medium heat until soft (not brown), about 8 minutes.
  4. Once squash is finished cooking, set aside allow to cool enough to be handled. Remove the skin – it should peel off relatively easily. If not, then scoop the flesh out with a spoon.
  5. Combine squash, apple & onion mixture, and 2 cups of broth in a blender and puree until smooth. You may have to do this in two batches. Transfer puree to a pot and add more broth if it’s too thick for your taste. Stir in nutmeg and reheat soup over medium heat.
  6. Sprinkle chives over the top.
  7. Soup may be made ahead and reheated prior to serving.

I used this recipe for an after show cocktail party for a theater group. I purchased plastic shot glasses. Used a turkey baster to fill the shot glasses with the soup and topped with chives. Served well over 75 people with leftover soup to freeze for those cold Wisconsin nights.

 

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Bangers and Mash – Sausage and Mash Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 thick sausages (beef, pork, or flavored as you wish)  I used Hungarian

 

FOR THE MASH

  • 2 lb peeled potatoes, quartered
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 stick butter, cubed
  • Salt and ground black pepper

 

FOR THE ONION GRAVY

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pint beef stock
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 4 tsp corn starch
  • 4 tsp cold water
  • Salt and black pepper

 

Preparation:

Serves 4

  • Place sausage in a preheated 325° oven until browned. Once cooked place in an ovenproof dish and keep warm until the mash and gravy are ready.
  • Put the onions on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Place onions in the preheated 325° oven until browned. Watch so they do not burn.
  • Meanwhile start the mashed potato by boiling the potatoes in lightly salted water until soft. Drain, and keep warm until ready to mash.
  • While the potatoes are cooking make the gravy – heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the brown onion.
  • Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar to the onions and stir well. Cover with the lid and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the stock, wine and boil gently uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • In a heatproof bowl mix the corn starch with the cold water to a thin paste. Pour a little of the hot gravy into the starch mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the starch mixture back into the gravy, raise the heat to high and boil for 10 minutes or until the gravy is slightly thickened. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Finish the mash by placing the milk and butter in the pan used to boil the potatoes, return to the heat and warm gently until the butter has melted.
  • Add the potatoes and mash using a potato masher, a fork or a potato ricer. Whip the mashed potato lightly with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

To Serve: Spoon the mash onto 4 warmed dinner plates, place two fat sausages either on the top or at the side of the mash and pour the hot onion gravy over.

I used this recipe for an after show cocktail party for a theater group. I purchased plastic Asian Soup Spoons, place some mash in the spoon, small amount of the onions, and one thinly sliced sausage and using a squirt bottle, added some of the gravy mixture. I was able to serve about 75 people. I did sprinkle parsley on top for some color.

 

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7 Layer Jello Christmas Story

So let’s start with a tue Christmas Story…”krazy” style.

Back in the early 80’s, the 7-layer jello was all the rage.

It was time consuming to say the least but a fun presentation and an OK taste. My mom decided to make this for Christmas Eve dinner at my aunt and uncles.  It was our yearly get together and everyone would trade hosting the event with everyone bringing a dish to pass. My mom spent the day before Christmas Eve making this jello and was so happy when it turned out so well. Right before service of the meal on Christmas Eve, my uncle came downstairs to speak with my mom. I followed her upstairs (I was in my late teens and helped her with the jello), to hear what the problem was. It seemed that my uncle, thinking my mom’s glass dish of jello, covered in foil,  was the shredded turkey and gravy that needed to go in the oven. You guessed it; he had put the 7 layer jello in the oven which was totally cooked and melted. OMG…true story! TOO FUNNY!

Please enjoy this classic recipe

7-Layer Jello

Ingredients

    1. 1 (3 ounce) packages black cherry Jell-O
    2. 1 (3 ounce) packages cherry Jell-O
    3. 1 (3 ounce) packages lime Jell-O gelatin
    4. 1 (3 ounce) packages lemon Jell-O gelatin
    5. 1 (3 ounce) packages orange Jell-O
    6. 1 (3 ounce) packages raspberry Jell-O gelatin
    7. 1 (3 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O gelatin dessert
    8. 4 1/2 cups boiling water ( divided)
    9. 4 1/2 cups cold water ( divided)
    10. 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk ( divided)
    11. 8 ounces Cool Whip
    12. 1/2 cup crushed pecans (optional)

 

Directions

  1. 1st Layer.
  2. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add black cherry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir. Pour into dish and chill for 40 minutes.
  3. 2nd Layer.
  4. Boil 1/2 cup hot water. Add Cherry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir and gently pour over top of 1st layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. 3rd Layer.
  6. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add lime jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir and gently pour over 2nd layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  7. 4th Layer.
  8. Boil 1/2 cup hot water. Add lemon jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir and gently pour over 3rd layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  9. 5th Layer.
  10. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add orange jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir and gently pour over 4th layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  11. 6th Layer.
  12. Boil 1/2 cup hot water. Add raspberry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir and gently pour over 5th layer. Chill 30 minutes.
  13. 7th Layer
  14. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add strawberry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir and gently pour over 6th layer. Chill.
  15. Then spread with cool whip and top with pecans.

 

Posted in Pot Luck | Leave a comment

7-Layer Jello

Ingredients

    1. 1 (3 ounce) packages black cherry Jell-O
    2. 1 (3 ounce) packages cherry Jell-O
    3. 1 (3 ounce) packages lime Jell-O gelatin
    4. 1 (3 ounce) packages lemon Jell-O gelatin
    5. 1 (3 ounce) packages orange Jell-O
    6. 1 (3 ounce) packages raspberry Jell-O gelatin
    7. 1 (3 ounce) packages strawberry Jell-O gelatin dessert
    8. 4 1/2 cups boiling water ( divided)
    9. 4 1/2 cups cold water ( divided)
    10. 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk ( divided)
    11. 8 ounces Cool Whip
    12. 1/2 cup crushed pecans (optional)

 

Directions

  1. 1st Layer.
  2. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add black cherry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir. Pour into dish and chill for 40 minutes.
  3. 2nd Layer.
  4. Boil 1/2 cup hot water. Add Cherry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir and gently pour over top of 1st layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. 3rd Layer.
  6. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add lime jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir and gently pour over 2nd layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  7. 4th Layer.
  8. Boil 1/2 cup hot water. Add lemon jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir and gently pour over 3rd layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  9. 5th Layer.
  10. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add orange jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir and gently pour over 4th layer. Chill for 30 minutes.
  11. 6th Layer.
  12. Boil 1/2 cup hot water. Add raspberry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir and gently pour over 5th layer. Chill 30 minutes.
  13. 7th Layer
  14. Boil 3/4 cup hot water. Add strawberry jello and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cold water. Stir and gently pour over 6th layer. Chill.
  15. Then spread with cool whip and top with pecans.

 

 

Posted in Sides | Leave a comment

Corn Soufflé

Ingredients

2-TBS Butter

1-pkg. (8oz.) Cream Cheese, cubed

1-15 ¼ oz. can Whole Kernel Corn

1-14.75 oz. can Cream Style Corn

1-pkg. (8.5oz.) Corn Muffin Mix

2 –Eggs, lightly beaten

1-cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Microwave butter in medium bowl until melted. Add cream cheese; continue microwaving until cream cheese is softened; stir until blended. Add both corns, the muffin mix and eggs; mix well.

Pour into greased 13×9-inch baking pan; sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.

Add a few dashes of hot sauce before baking for an extra “krazy” kick.

Serves 16

Posted in Fall/Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Roasted Turkey Gravy

This is an easy recipe and well worth the time!

Ingredients

 

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large, smoked turkey wing or 2 small ones
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, split through the equator
  • 4 stems fresh sage
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 parsley stems
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the wing, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs, and cook for 5 minutes. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place over medium heat. Remove the wing and set aside. Add the flour and let cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer until it has reduced by about 1/4, about 15 minutes. Strain the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Reference: FoodNetwork

Posted in Fall/Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Classic Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

My kid’s or should I say young adults (24 and 22 years old) love this recipe. I could never get them to eat sweet potatoes and now they cook this recipe. They even bake or fry sweet potato fries. Who knew?

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (I have substituted 2 1/2 pounds of canned sweet potatoes to save time)
  • 1 lemon, sliced and seeded
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 cups marshmallows

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then lower and simmer while stirring until reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.

Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise, then again making long quarters. Cut these into 1-inch pieces ending up with pie slice-shaped wedges. Place in a separate large pot of boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Potatoes should give a bit when poked with a fork.

Drain the potatoes and arrange in a single layer in a buttered 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Pour the syrup over the potatoes; making sure it covers the potatoes. Place lemon slices on top and bake for 35 minutes, spooning syrup over potatoes twice during that time. Potatoes are done when they are tender to the fork.

Remove from the oven, remove the lemon slices, and stir in pecans. Arrange the marshmallows evenly on top. Place back in the oven turning it up to 400 degrees F and cook until marshmallows puff up and turn brown, approximately 10 more minutes.

Reference: Food Network

Posted in Fall/Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Packer Game Day Chili-HOT like Arron Rodgers

Ingredients

1-LB Ground Beef

1-LB Hot Pork Sausage

1-Large Onion, diced

1-Large Green or Red Pepper, diced

3-Stalks Celery, diced

1-Seranno Pepper, diced with seeds and membrane (great heat)

2-14 oz. Cans Hot Chili Beans

2-14.5 oz. Cans of Diced Tomatoes

7-TBS Regular Chili Powder from “The Spice House”

4-TBS Hot Chili Powder from “The Spice House”   

http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/mild-medium-or-hot-chili-powder

1-TBS Black Pepper

1-46 oz.  Tomato Juice

1-Shot of Tequila

Directions

Brown and drain the ground beef and hot pork sausage.

Add onion, peppers and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes until soft.

Add chili beans, canned tomatoes, chili powders, black pepper, tomato juice and tequila. Cover and slow simmer for at least 1 hour. Add salt to taste. Skim off any residue off the top (light red foam that rises to the top of the pot). Serve with your favorite toppings: cheese, sour cream or noodles.

I usually slow simmer my chili for up to 3 hours so all the flavors have time to blend. You can also substitute diced beef or venison roast for the ground beef and pork sausage (I use venison when I am a chili competition).

I have won 2 chili contests with this recipe and always place in the top 3.

Please check out The Spice House link listed above for all your fresh and fabulous spices!

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