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Cucumber Cups Stuffed With Goat Cheese Caprese


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

On Friday I fought a culinary chicken battle that ended with a giant foam core check with my name on it. This was my second attempt to win the Semi-Finals of the Foster Farms Chicken Cook Off, last year wasn’t my year. But this year, I won a giant check, a trip to Napa, the opportunity to cook at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (my favorite prize so far) and the chance to grab another Giant Check worth ten grand.

I’m so excited. Not just because the other dishes I was competing against were incredible and each worthy of their own Big Check, but because, in a way, this Big Check (that currently sits on my bar, in all it’s 4 foot long splendor) serves as a validation for what I do. I’m good at this! See, look, other people picked my recipe out of thousands of other ones!

Maybe that seems silly, I create 3 to 5 recipes a week, post them for you and you seem to like them. You send me emails and post comments telling me that you liked my little creations. That should be enough, right?

But for some reason, that Big Check gave me tangible evidence that my recipes are good. Other people, who don’t even know who wrote that recipe, liked it.

Maybe I have a future here.

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For this, I’m resurrecting and re-creating one of my most popular posts.

I love these little cucumber cups, so easy, so versatile, the perfect thing to throw together for a party. They take about 5 minutes, and they look so fancy. I used persian cucumber for these, smaller than your standard English cucumbers and the skin is so thin, there is no need to peel them.

Just use a small melon baller to scoop out a good portion of the middle, or use a paring knife to cut a wedge out of the middle and you can fill them with just about anything.

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Beer & Bacon Pecan Bars

Ingredients

    For The Crust:
  • 1 stick plus 2 tbs (10 tbs) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs water
  • For the Filling
  • 1 cup stout
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a food processor add the flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and salt, pulse to combine. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the food processor. Process until butter is incorporated into the flour mixture. Add the water and process to combine. Add additional water, 1 tsp at a time if there is flour that still hasn't been dampened.
  3. line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper (this will make it easier to remove from the pan) and dump the shortbread into the pan. Press into the bottom of the baking pan in one even layer.
  4. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes of until a light golden brown.
  5. In a pot over medium high heat, add the stout, cook until reduced by half. Add the butter and stir until melted, remove from heat. Add the sugar, corn syrup and stir until melted. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the eggs and stir until combined.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust, sprinkle with cooked bacon and bake at 350 until the filling no longer jiggles when you gently shake the pan, about 25-30 minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/cucumber-cups-stuffed-with-goat-cheese-caprese/

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Crab Guacamole

I try to eat a healthy balanced diet. Most days, my daily meal planner looks like this:

Breakfast: 2 slices of high fiber wheat toast with 1 tbs of peanut butter each and coffee. Lots of coffee.

Lunch: Quinoa salad or leftover dinner from the night before.

Dinner: Some arrangement of lean protien (mostly chicken or fish), vegetables, and either rice or quinoa

But sometimes I just want to use the gorgeous avocados that were delivered to my door from a local produce delivery service. I want to mix it up with crab and sour cream and eat it over the sink while Tater plays in the back yard. So that’s what I did.

I added fresh jalapenos, and removing the seeds removes most of the heat so you get the flavor, a little crunch and just a bit of heat.

Crab Guacamole

 3 large ripe avocados

1 tbs chopped shallots

2 tbs chopped fresh jalapeno, stem and seeds removed

1/2 cup full fat sour cream

3 ounces crab meat

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and smash it all together until well combined, but some chunks of avocado still remain.

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