10.31.2012

White Chocolate Pretzel Candy Apples




This past weekend while shopping at an estate sale I found a vintage meat cleaver buried behind a bookshelf that had at least 100 pairs of shoes lined up perfectly.. Instantly draw by the allure of a pair of vintage pumps.. I discovered a box of the most interesting items you could possible find snuggled together… a well- worn meat cleaver..and atleast 40 vintage amber apothecary bottles all labeled “5lbs Calcium Phosphate” .. 



 I didn’t buy the bottles.. I started too.. because the thought of what the person who once owned these items could of possibly been up to was floating in the back of my mind for the remainder of that day.. and truly after I’m gone… it would be helpful for people to have validation that I was just as crazy as they thought me to be.. because really who would buy an old worn meat cleaver.. 

Well, I did… and I took it home and sat it outside my door. 


To scare away the trick or treaters.. 

no I’m joking

I put it there to scare away those friends that like to stop by without calling… so far it’s been ineffective.. but it goes well with this month’s theme..it’s October which means Halloween.. which is by far my favorite holiday.. not just for the candy but because I can dress my kids up in ridiculous outfits while using them to solicit candy to give to their mama… because who would say no to this… cue the awwwws



Now give him your candy…


As tradition stands.. after scouring the neighborhood begging for snickers and jolly rachers.. we head home and watch horror movie marathons and try calling unsuccessfully for Candyman … while drinking vodka and eating candy that we hope has not been laced with LSD… 

the adults I mean… 

not the kids.. for the kids we made 

White Chocolate Pretzel Candy Apples.. 






and you can too…. 


You might need these:
Print Me

2 Granny Smith Apples
2 Sticks (I used some twig like stick that I purchased from Michael's) 
8oz (2 bars) White Chocolate 
2 teaspoons of shortening 
1/2 crushed salted pretzels

Insert sticks into apples. In a large microwave safe bowl,combine chocolate and shortening. Microwave for 2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir. (May take longer depending on your microwave). Dip apples in chocolate mixture, then place on a tray lined with wax paper. (parchment will work too)
Allow to set for about 1 minute , then sprinkle each apples with crushed pretzels.
To get that drizzle on top I just took my spatula and dipped it into the leftover chocolate then let it drip on top of each apple. 

Have A Yummy Halloween!!!! 


10.26.2012

Sage Maple Skillet Corn Bread & A Virtual Dinner Party #Keystothekitchen





That was just as good as it looks... if not better…

But before we get into the recipe,lets talk about cookbooks shall we… I’ve mentioned a few times my adoration of cookbooks… although my taste are more toward the older (vintage you could say) cookbooks, there is an array of cooking books on my shelf from those that I consider cookbook masterpieces.. to the more (as I like to call them) cooking picture books.. you know the ones with the beautifully staged food laying amongst the grass surrounded by flowers and made with ingredients you would never find anywhere.. Those are nice.. to look at..
Then there are the books that go beyond the pictures and the recipes… they are more like reference guides, to assist us home cooks in becoming masters in our own kitchens..



 (yes, Ask Aida.. I’ve always loved her) 

Y'all know how I am about my cookbooks… I have fallen in love with this one… so when I was given the opportunity to partake in a Virtual Dinner Party to spread the word.. it has taken me this long to decide what to cook..
Keys to the Kitchen is more like a cooking bible , that once read.. will show you from start to finish how to master just about every dish in your kitchen.. From the different cuts of meat to what vegetable pairs well with your dish,  when that vegetable is in season to the preparation of your meal and how to properly store it once cooked.

Seriously…

Ever  bought some herbs for a specific recipe and wondered what to do with any you had leftover… well Adia has a section in her book that breaks this all down for you.. My favorite section of the book is called “The Riff” it teaches you how to go beyond the recipes and get creative.
I’ve tried several recipes already and each is beautifully crafted with clear instructions to help you master each dish..
Like this Sage- Maple Skillet Corn Bread… It was in one word “Outstanding” and super simple… 


Purchase a copy of this amazing book here, and check out some other foodie friends joining in on the virtual dinner party fun. 


Bev Cooks   Dixie Caviar   Edible Living   Family Fresh Cooking   Girl Hunter
Heather Christo Cooks
   Hip Foodie Mom   Hola JalapeƱo    Ladles and Jellyspoons
Matt Bites
   Shutterbean   Sprouted Kitchen   Southern Girls Kitchen   Stir and Scribble
Tartlet Sweets   The Culinary Life   Three Many Cooks   Turntable Kitchen
Two Peas and Their Pod
   Vanilla Garlic   Weelicious   What’s Gaby Cooking
With Style & Grace



Sage Maple Skillet Corn Bread
recipe adapted from Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen


½ cup butter, unsalted
1 ½ cup stone ground cornmeal
1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cup whole milk, room temp
2/3 cup grade B maple syrup
20 fresh sage leaves

Heat oven to 375.
Add butter to a large cast iron skillet and cook in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until butter is melted.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.) In a separate bowl mix together milk, eggs, and syrup until smooth. Add in dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly moistened.
Once the butter has melted, retrieve skillet from oven and pour the butter into the batter, stirring until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated..
Sprinkle sage leaves across the skillet, then pour the batter on top.. (think pineapple upside down cake)
Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.. (mine took the entire 30 mins)
Invert bread onto a wire rack to cool, then slice and serve…
 So yummy!!



10.24.2012

Cajun Crab Spuds







Ever make something… and think about how good it would be mixed in with say potatoes..
No..ok



Well the other day I made some hot crab dip that I make all the time and never really thought about how well it would be if turned into a dish for dinner.. but this same day I was pressed for time.. (which seems like everyday) and there were 5 faces looking back at me wondering what was for dinner..
I had to recount because I didn’t remember inviting anyone over and 5 people don’t live in my house but there always seems to be someone extra sitting on my sofa..
But I’ll talk about that another day..

Today let me tell you how outstanding the crab dip recipe (slightly modified) was mixed in with twice baked potatoes…
Actually I’ll do even better.. I’ll give you the recipe and show you some pictures..




Cajun Crab Spuds           


You might need these:
4 Large baking potatoes

2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound lump crab meat, shell pieces removed, divided
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
½ cup of pepper jack cheese     
4 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400
Bake potatoes for 1 hour..
While potatoes are cooking..
Coat a skillet or saucepan with cooking spray. Add shallots and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in crab meat and cook for about 5 minutes…
When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and with a large spoon, scrape out the insides of each potato into a large bowl; You should leave just a little bit in there for support, but try to remove most of it (careful not to tear the shell)..
Lay the hollowed out potato shells on a cookie sheet.
Add crab-shallot-garlic mixture, and remaining ingredients into large bowl with potatoes.. except for the panko.. (that goes on last)
Using a potato masher (do you have one of those…? You’ll need it.. maybe I should add that to the ingredients list.)  smash together all ingredients until smooth.
Scoop out some of the yummy potato filling and fill each shell until filling is gone..
I like mine filled to capacity…
Now top each potato with panko crumbs
Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potato is warmed through.
I served these up with a nice juicy steak because steak and potatoes make me happy..  they could make you happy too…