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Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops

Pineapple season is here! Although it’s still a tad colder here in the US than in the tropics, it’s still completely acceptable to soak your vacation-related produce in booze. My hard liquor consumption is fairly infrequent, but lately booze has worked it’s way into my kitchen. I’m much more of a beer and wine kind of girl, but rum has some beautiful flavors that pair nicely with pineapples.

Although this would make an excellent blended drink, there is something that feels special about eating liquor right off a stick.

Just soak

Pinneapple Rum Pops

 

Skewer

Pinneapple Rum Pops2

 

and freeze

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops2

 

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • ½ cup English peas
  • 3 cups Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the beer, cream and lemon juice; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. About a tablespoon at a time, add the Parmesan, stirring until melted before adding more.
  3. Add the dry pasta, water and peas, simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes

To make this recipe using fresh, not dried, pasta, omit the water.

https://domesticfits.com/rum-soaked-pineapple-pops/

Rum Soaked Pineapple Pops3

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings2

I have to admit, I did think about adding blood orange juice to this. I have a thing for blood oranges. But, I refrained, I was afraid I’d lose all of you who aren’t as into those guys as I am.

But I did fall back on my love of chipotle. We all have these "go to" flavors, don’t we? Even though we want to broaden our culinary horizons, we seem to be drawn back to that same section of the pantry. That’s ok, isn’t it?

I’m a chipotle, smoked paprika, roasted garlic, fresh basil,  sriracha, kinda girl. I also love with burrata cheese, masa harina and almost bitterly dark chocolate.

Just once I’d like to walk into the kitchen and have Ted Allen hand me a "basket of mystery ingredients" just so that I can figure out how to use them in a delightful way without any of my usual culinary crutches.

But for now, here are some chicken wings, beautifully balances with sweet and heat.

Adapted from Food & Wine

Mushroom, Stout and Goat Cheese Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil (plus additional as needed)
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 large leek, chopped (white and very light green potion only)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ lb assorted mushrooms (i.e. portobello, crimini, shiitake)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable or beef)
  • 12 ounces stout
  • ¼ cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 tbs melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, leeks and celery, sauté until the carrots start to soften.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and darkened, about 5 minutes (add additional olive oil if the pan starts to dry).
  4. Add the peas, broth and stout. Bring to a simmer. Sprinkle with flour, stir to combine. Stir in the oregano, pepper and salt. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes, remove from heat.
  5. Divide evenly between 6 oven safe (12 to 14 ounce) serving bowls, sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.
  6. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface, cut into 6 equal squares.
  7. Top each bowl with one square, press into shape.
  8. Brush with melted butter, slice 3 to 4 small slits in the top of each bowl.
  9. Bake at 375 until puff pastry is golden brown.
https://domesticfits.com/maple-chipotle-chicken-wings/

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings

BLT Mini Tarts With Bacon Jam

In my world, 4th of July is a lot like Thanksgiving. But with sunburns and pyrotechnics. An underlying feeling of patriotism and national gratitude, a day off work and an evening of food and celebration with friends and family. 

But unlike Thanksgiving, the food is all fair game. There are no requisite poultry centerpieces, or traditional casseroles, you are free to cook and eat whatever you like. Most people gravitate towards easy, low maintenance grill style food, or appetizers and dips that can just hang around the kitchen waiting patiently for attention. 

Here are some of my favorite foods for low key afternoon get together:

1. Brown Sugar Chili Chicken Wings

2. BLT Caprese Slider with Puff Pastry Buns


3. Jalapeno Popper Potato Bites 

4. Boozy (Or Not) Watermelon Stars  

And the Man of The Hour:

BLT Mini Tarts with Bacon Jam, Arugula & Grape Tomatoes

For the tart dough:

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 sticks of butter

1/3 cup ice cold water

For the topping:

A double batch of Bacon Jam

1 cup arugula leaves

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

In a food processor, combine 1 1/3 cup flour, salt, sugar and butter, process until well combined. Add the remaining flour and process again until combined. Transfer to a bowl and add the water with a wooden spoon (don’t add the water while the dough is in the food processor or your dough will be brittle and cracker-like). If the dough isn’t moist enough, you can add more water, a tsp at a time until the consistency is right. Form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 375.

Roll your dough out on a floured surface. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out 20-25 circles. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough circles on the bakign sheet. Prick eat circle with a fork. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Spread each mini tart circle with bacon jam, top with arugula and grape tomato halfs. 

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Roasted Jalapenos with Bacon Jam & Goat Cheese

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” – Jose Narosky

(Photo source unknown)

Thank you for all of the people who had fought, those who have died, the ones who will always nurse wounds and the mothers and fathers who had to stand back and watch it happen.

Thank you for the gift of peaceful days, Sundays with our families and the ignorance that allows us to enjoying without a full realization of the true sacrifice that was made.

To those who have died and those who were left behind, Thank You will never cover it.

Roasted Jalapenos with Bacon Jam & Goat Cheese

12 fresh jalapenos

3 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup Bacon Jam (posted last week on The Beeroness)

3 oz goat cheese

1 tbs butter

1/2 cup Panko

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the jalapenos lengthwise, removing the seeds and the inner membranes.

Place on a baking sheet and roast until soft, about 10 minutes.

Using a butter knife, smear the inside of the jalapenos with cream cheese.

Top the cream cheese with bacon jam.

Using your fingers, top the bacon jam with goat cheese.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the panko and stir until coated.

Top the jalapenos with the buttered panko and roast at 450 until the panko has browned, about 5-8 minutes.

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Herbivoracious Cookbook Review & Caramelized Apple and Blue Cheese Crostini

At a book release party for Michael Natikin’s Herbivoracious I fill my plate past capacity with the gorgeous spread laid out at a Culver City restaurant, his cookbook’s recipes incarnate. It isn’t until I’m halfway though the incredible tasty bites that I realize that it’s vegetarian. Of course it is, its Herbivoracious. This is how I like my vegetarian food, as a celebration of produce rather than and explanation for missing meat. This is what Michael has managed to do, turn out an entire book of recipes so full and beautiful that the addition of animal protein would be an imposition. Recipes that range from perfectly simple to complex and inspirational.  This isn’t a book for vegetarians, or for accepting meat eaters, it’s a book for everyone who loves food.

Cookbooks, in a real life paper and page form, are even more important to me that ever. As I pull out my Grandmothers copy of The Joy of Cooking, with her notes scrawled in the margins with a soft pencil I can feel a connection with her that would have been lost if eReaders had been invented 50 years ago. I feel her in the pages, and she is still able to teach me what I was never able to learn when she was alive. I want this for my daughter, for my future Grandkids, another piece of me to be found in an old box, when they are ready to receive it. Cookbooks should be the last thing to be digitized, you won’t pass down a kindle, make notes in the blank spaces with a number 2 pencil.

But the main reason to buy cookbooks is simple: recipe testing. Cookbook recipes are tested, over and over, to insure that the unchangeable print is perfect. Bloggers make a recipe once, giving online recipes a much higher rate of flaws, my own included. You are our testers and your feedback gives us insight in how we write the recipes and if we later make changes to what we have already posted. With bloggers cranking out up to 10 recipes a week, you can hardly blame us. But cookbook authors take much more time and care, agonizing over measurements, yields, terms and times, getting hundreds of hours of opinions and feedback because once it prints, that’s it. No updating posts, or responding to comments, the recipe has to be perfect.

That is why you should buy cookbooks.

Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, ESPECIALLY if you aren’t a vegetarian, Michael Natikns book is a must own celebration of produce. Buy it, make notes in the margins, and pass it down to endless generation of food loving humans. 

Caramelized Apple and Blue Cheese Crostini

Recipe from: Michael Natkin, Herbvoracious 
Makes 16 crostini
20 minutes

  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 16 thin slices of crusty baguette
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 small apples such as Pink Lady, cut into 16 wedges
  • Tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (Don’t be afraid of this, it put this dish over the top!)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup blue cheese (such as Blue de Causses or Gorgonzola dolce), at room temperature
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) or large crystal sea salt (such as red Hawaiian salt)
  • (I added a drizzle of raw honey)

1.Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.

2. Set aside 32 nice looking tarragon leaves. In a mortar and pestle or mini food processor, roughly puree the remaining tarragon with the olive oil.

3. Brush the baguette slices with the tarragon oil, reserving the crushed tarragon. Toast in the oven (on a baking sheet) or toaster oven until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the apples on in a single layer, working in batches if needed, until both sides are golden brown and somewhat tender, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of cayenne pepper and several grinds of black pepper.

5. To serve, arrange two slices of cooked apple on each crostini. Top with ½ teaspoon of the blue cheese, a speck of the crushed tarragon, two whole tarragon leaves, and a few grains of sea salt. (Drizzle with raw honey, if desired)



Homemade Ricotta and Prosciutto Wrapped Mangos on Toast

I’ve been re-reading Plate to Pixel this week. An attempt to push myself forward off this photography plateau I’ve been stuck on. I struggle, at times, with the balancing act that is being a mom, working full time, and maintain a blog. When my photos suck, and I know it, I see them as the crack that will bring down the wall and a panic begins to rise within me.

I know that when it comes to the blog trifecta: "Recipes-Photos-writing" I have a long way to go in all areas. The pursuit of goals isn’t about being perfect, or even about raw talent, as much as it is about struggle. Continue to fight, learn, seek objective feedback, challenge yourself, and don’t give up. 

The best thing about this recipe, is how easy it was to make homemade ricotta. Cheese making has been on my To Do list for a while and ricotta was a great intro, so easy and fast. 


Durring my research, I used three posts as guides and made two batches, all of which I consumes over the weekend. 

I used posts from these three blogs:

Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

Smitten Kitchen

The Italian Dish 

I used the milk I had on hand, and this is what I came up with:

Homemade Ricotta and Prosciutto Wrapped Mango on Toast

2 cups of whole milk

1 cup of cream

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbs lemon juice

8-10 large slices of sour dough bread

1 large mango

4-6 slices of prosciutto, sliced in half down the center to make 8-12 long skinny strips

salt and pepper to taste

To Make the Ricotta:

Put the milk, cream and salt into a sauce pan. Attach a thermometer (either candy or deep-fry is fine) to the side of the pot, making sure that the tip of the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pan but is still submerged in the milk.  Heat over medium/high heat until it reaches 190 degrees, about 6-8 minutes. You will know it has reached this temperature because it will foam up really fiercely. 

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, stir only once. you want it to distribute, but you don’t want to disrupt the curds that will be forming. Leave it alone for about 5 minutes. Don’t touch it. 

Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl, line the strainer with 3-4 layers of cheese cloth. 

It will still be pretty thin, this surprised me. I was expecting something that looked like cottage cheese, and it looked more like thick milk. Thats fine. Pour it into the strainer that you have lined with cheese cloth. 

Allow it to drain for about 20 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you allow it to drain, the thicker and stiffer it will be. Remember that once you chill it, it will continue to thicken, so place it to chill when it is a bit softer than you want the final product to be. 

I liked Julia’s tip about tying the cheese cloth to the kitchen faucet in order to speed the draining process up a bit. Worked like a charm. 

Scrape the cheese into a a container with an air tight lid. Chill for at least 20 minutes prior to use. 

Ricotta should keep in the fridge for about 5 days. 

To make the toast:

Using a biscuit cutter, cut 3 to 4 inch circles out of the bread. Place under the broiler until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. 

Peel and slice the mango, wrap with prosciutto. 

Spread each toast circle with ricotta, top with a prosciutto wrapped mango, sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

I also made these with apples slices, and that was equally as amazing. 

Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites

Everyone has guilty pleasure foods. No matter how "foodie" you think you are, there is a food that you love, but would never want to be eating if Thomas Keller decided to peek in your kitchen window. 

For me, that’s good ole American bar food. Nachos, potato skins, jalapeno poppers, onion rings. Love it. Plus, it just brings up good memories. Do you have any BAD memories of eating chicken wings and drinking a beer? 

Here are two of my great guilt pleasure loves, in one bite. The love child of Jalapeno Poppers and Potato Skins. 

Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites

12 baby red potatoes

3 tbs butter

1/2 cup chopped red onion

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 medium sized fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese 

4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped (you can leave this out if you are vegetarian)

1/2 tsp Kosher or sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

In a large pot of lightly salted water, boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 18-22 minutes. You want the potatoes to be soft enough to bite into, but firm enough to hold their shape as mini cups. 

Remove from water and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Cut each potato in half, down the middle. You want to cut the potatoes in a way that will allow them to lay as flat as possible. The best may to do this is to just place them on a flat surface and see how they naturally want to lay and cut parallel to the surface they are sitting on. If you cut them according to what looks nice, they may roll all over once they are filled. 

Once they are cut, remove most of the inside with a mellon baller, leaving enough of the walls and bottom intact to hold the filling. 

Make sure and save that potato middles you just scooped out, you will add them to the filling. 

In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until opaque. Add the jalapenos and stir, cooking until Jalapenos are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the potato middles and mash with a potato masher until combined. Return to heat and add the bacon, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Allow to cool, then fill the potatoes. Serve warm. 

Printable: Jalpeno Popper Potato Bites

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Crab Cake Mini Muffins

You always have fun when you’re eating crab cakes. Actual fact. But, here is the thing about crab cakes: Lots of work.

I made Wolfgang Pucks recipe once and it took me about an hour. They were really incredible, so if you ever get your hands on some really amazing, fresh, never touched a can, right out of the sea- kinda crabs, that would be a worthy recipe to slave over.

This time of the year, food is more about the biggest shine for your time. You have about a zillion things to cook for right now: the holidays, your office party, your kids school gathering-that-we-legally-can’t-call-a-party party, AND family type people. Here you go: 15 minute crab cakes. Looks super fancy, like you spent that hour I spent with those other crab cakes, craveably addictive, AND 15 active minutes, then bake.

 

Crab Cake Mini Muffins 

3 tbs cream cheese

2 eggs

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco, Tapatillo)

1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped

1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

½ tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbs green onions, chopped (more for garnish if desired)

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (plus ¼ cup for topping, divided)

¼ cup flour

6 oz lump crab meat, drained

Makes 16-18

Preheat oven to 350.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until softened. While the mixer is on high, add the eggs, one at a time until well combined.

Reduce speed to medium and lemon juice, mustard, and hot pepper sauce, mix until combined.

Add the Old Bay, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, green onions and mix until combined.

Add ½ cup Panko and flour and mix until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the crabmeat with a wood spoon or spatula.

Very generously grease enough mini muffin tins to hold about 18 mini crab cakes.

Add the crab mixture to the wells of the mini muffin tins until just below the top. Sprinkle the top of each mini muffin with the remaining ¼ cup of Panko.

Bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes

Questions that I think you might have:

 

If I don’t own a mini muffin pan, can I make this in a regular muffin pan?

I don’t recommend it. My guess is that by the time you get the inside cooked (about 30 minutes) the outside will be burnt and dry. But my other guess is that if you buy a mini muffin pan, you will use it all the time.

 

I like to dip things, What about a dipping sauce?

 

I like to dip things too. Easy dippin’ sauce, since I know you have a ton of other things to do: 1 cup sour cream, 1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp hot pepper sauce. Adjust depending on taste, oh and throw some of those green onions on top.

 

I don’t like hot stuff, can I leave on out the pepper sauce?

 

They will be bland. But the small amount that is called for isn’t enough to make it spicy. They sell Tabasco in supper tiny bottles, and it lasts for about a million years in the fridge.


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Party Food: Mini Galettes {Strawberry Brie & Bacon Goat Cheese}

The requirements for party food are pretty simple, but hard and fast.

  1. Yummy
  2. Must travel well
  3. Must have the ability to sit at room temperature for extended periods of time
  4. Bonus if it evokes this sentence from at least one other party goer: "Can I get that recipe from you?"
Mini galettes also have the added bonus of being adorable and fairly easy to make. If you want to make them with store bough crust, I may pound on you a little bit. The crust takes about 8 active minutes plus it’s really, really SO much better than store bought.
Feel free to make these your own and use what ever flavor combinations you love.
Miniature Galettes

CRUST

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 sticks of butter

1/3 cup ice cold water

FOR THE STRAWBERRY BRIE

4 oz brie, cut into slices

3/4 cups strawberries, chopped

1 tbs butter, melted

2 tbs sugar

FOR THE BACON GOAT CHEESE

6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

3 oz goat cheese, crummbled

1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped (don’t use frozen, too much water)

Makes 12 (6 of each)

In a food processor, combine 1 1/3 cup flour, salt, sugar and butter, process until well combined. Add the remaining flour and process again until combined. Transfer to a bowl and add the water with a wooden spoon (don’t add the water while the dough is in the food processor or your dough will be brittle and cracker-like). If the dough isn’t moist enough, you can add more water, a tsp at a time until the consistency is right. Form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You can make this up to 5 days ahead of time, just place the dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, in a large zip lock bag.

Place your chilled dough on a well floured surface. Top with more flour and roll until your dough is fairly thin and even. Cut out 12, 4 inch circles. I didn’t have a biscuit cutter that size so I used a margarita glass.

Place the dough circles on baking sheets that are either covered with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.

Strawberry Brie:

A Trader Joe’s just opened on Friday down the street from my house. I am inappropriately excited about living within walking distance from such a fabulous food source. I bought these cute mini brie wheels. These are also fantastic to make mini baked brie out of, but that is for another post.

I cut each wheel into 3-4 slices. If you don’t live by a Trader Joe’s, you can also just use regular brie and cut it into slices small enough to fit inside the circle.

Place about 1 tbs of brie in the center of 6 of the circles. Top with about 2 tbs of strawberries.

Fold the edges up over the filling, leaving the center open. Pleat and press the edges when necessary.

Brush each of the 6 Mini Galettes with melted butter, sprinkle with about 1 tsp of sugar each.

Bacon Goat Cheese:

For the remaining 6 circles, add about 1-2 tbs of goat cheese to each circle. Top with 1-2 tbs of chopped spinach, sprinkle with bacon.

Fold the edges up over the filling, leaving the center open. Pleat and press the edges when necessary.

Brush the folded edge of each of the 6 Mini Galettes with melted butter.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown.