Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tapas Night for April

What a night...

Not only did we have a houseful of guests, who all brought wonderful dishes to share for Tapas Night, but they all got together and signed a card wishing us a Happy Anniversary, and gave us a lovely gift as well. 

We were flabbergasted and touched and amazed and well, words fail me.   I'm getting teary just thinking about it, but as I told everyone last night, it's our pleasure and joy to host and hold Tapas Night once a month.

I think if I did more often it wouldn't be as much fun, especially when it comes time to wash all those glasses! 

Just kidding, I love the idea that the wine glasses are being used, and appreciated.   That's what they were created for.

So without further ado, here are the wonderful dishes that were brought, shared and enjoyed last night.  And a couple of dishes I made too, the how-to's I'll share at a little later date.

 Grapes and Cheese and Crackers...
 I made some Salmon Mousse which I served on some cucumber rounds...  (and the dill decorating the tops, are from my little garden).
 Brie en Croute, I had to make it again, it was so good the last time.
 Taco Salad and the Chips that accompanied them in the next picture

 Salmon Mousse, and this time I put it in some Wonton Cups I'd made.  
 Potato Salad
 Roasted Tri-Tip, I doctored up some Horseradish Mustard to go with it.  
 Pasta Dish...
 Chicken Enchilada's
 Red Beans and Rice and the Cornbread to go with it below here.
 Deviled Eggs
 Shredded Carrots and look at the lovely bowl, made by Marion Morris, one of our resident artists.
 Crudites Cheese Plate.
 Some more Deviled Eggs, only these guys had their Easter Bonnets on.   Or as someone called them last night, Boneless Chicken.

Stuffed Mushrooms
Deep fried Chicken Balls

 Cauliflower with Asiago Cheese

White Bean Dip

 Here's an overview of the table, and this isn't even all the food...

 Meatballs in BBQ sauce
Corn Fritters...

And then there were the desserts, and there were a lot of desserts too...

In no particular order.

I did try to sample as much as I could, but the dessert table was pretty popular. 
And that's it for this month, and all I can say is this, if you go home hungry from here, it's your fault.
Just kidding...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Baked Egg Skillet for SRC

 I'm a member of the Secret Recipe Club, we're a bunch of bloggers who post a recipe every month as our assignment from our leader, lol.  Just kidding about the leader, but I have fun with this.  Not only do I get to know a fellow blogger, but this gives me access to all of their recipes.  And if you read this blog on any kind of a regular basis, you know I love to make appetizers and am always trying to come up with new and different ones.
I'm in Group B which means we all get to reveal 'all' at the same time. 

My assigned blog this month was Amy's Cooking Adventures so I had fun reading her recipes.  She's  a stay at home mom to two boys and has a husband who encourages her to try new stuff with take out being an option when the experiment fails, but I don't think she has many of those.

So, because I love appetizers I looked there first and found a couple of possibilities.  I'll be making them at a later date.   I love caramelized onions in anything, so her Caramelized Onion Dip is going to be a must make soon recipe.   And then there was the White Queso Dip, hmmm, choices, choices, choices.  

And as soon as I finish the giant size Seasoning Salt I have, I'm going to be trying my hand at her Homemade Lawrys Seasoning Salt as well. 

 I love being a member of the Secret Recipe Club, I get a new blog to explore every month. 

But since it was a Sunday morning as I read her blog, and almost breakfast time and I was hungry, I found  this recipe, her  Baked Egg Skillet and I had to try it.  I have several oven safe skillets, as well as my trusty cast iron ones, so this was kind of a no brainer for me.   I did make a substitution though.  I didn't have any asparagus, but I did have some broccoli and I thought I would use that as a substitute.  I also make my own hash browns, have never bought the frozen kind.    And I made these as individual servings.  I thought it would be fun that way.

1 tsp. Butter
1 tsp. Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Hashbrowns
sprinkle of Seasoning Salt
2 Broccoli Spears, par-cooked a little
1 Egg
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup extra sharp white cheddar  (I added a little more, I do like my cheese, but don't tell anyone)

I zapped a couple of potatoes in the microwave, just until almost cooked, let them cool a little then grated them for the Hashbrown potatoes.  And I also par cooked the broccoli. 

Heat your oven safe skillet over medium high heat, and then melt the butter and olive oil in pan and place the hash browns in an even layer on top of the fat.

Let brown for a few minutes, then place a small plate or a plate that will fit evenly over top of the hash browns and flip the pan over.  This does require a little dexterity, but you should be able to get the hash browns out in one piece.  Spray with some Pam or a non stick cooking spray or add a little more fat to the pan.  Then, just slide the potatoes back into the pan in one piece, let brown just a little more, about 3-4 minutes, remove from heat.

Layer the chopped, par-cooked broccoli on top of the browned potatoes and then crack the egg/s on top, season to your taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the cheese.

Place under the broiler or salamander in your oven and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.   I took mine out at almost 6 minutes, and when I cut into it the yolk was just perfect. Take out of oven and slide them onto a plate. 

*When I took it out of the oven, the yolk was about perfect, however, it continued to cook a little, so I think next time it will get taken out earlier.

 **  And as I was eating it, I envisioned this as a kind of fun brunch item.  Make individual hash brown patties, brown on one side then place the browned side up in a greased 9x13 casserole pan.  Place your asparagus, eggs and cheese on top, then broil.  You can then serve up 8 eggs that way, I think. 


Monday, April 7, 2014

Buckwheat Pancakes

I had made some Buckwheat Blinis to go with the smoked salmon at our last Tapas Night, but ended up with leftover batter.   I'm still perfecting the blini recipe so won't tell you about that, but...

I did have fun with the leftovers.   I added another cup of flour, regular old wheat flour, another egg and some more buttermilk and then proceeded to make myself a breakfast fit for a princess  Kitchen Queen.   Gotta toot my own horn here and there. 

This isn't a one bowl recipe, sorry, but you do need to do it this way, trust me on this.


1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup whole wheat or regular flour
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt  (optional)

Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.  In a separate bowl whip up the egg whites until just stiff, and set aside.   Whisk together the egg yolks and buttermilk, add to the dry ingredients.  Stir til just combined, then add the butter, and finally, fold in the egg whites, gently.  You'll end up with some streaks and chunks of egg whites, but that's ok.  Do not overmix.

Grease a pan, and heat it  then, spoon in a 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.   Cook until bubbles form on top of pancake, then flip for another minute or so.

Serve with some syrup, I like golden corn syrup, but that's my Canadian side talking, we always had golden corn syrup with our pancakes. 

So good, and one recipe I will make again and again.  I need to, I still have a lot of buckwheat flour left.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Carne Asada Burritos

We now have a Trader Joe's just up the road from us.

Well, it's more like 60+ miles up the road, but still...

We finally have a Trader Joe's in our area, and I got so excited when they opened and made sure that during my visits to the 'big' city I got to go there and shop.   I loved the store when I lived in California, and their selection and prices were great then.  Actually their selection of fun foods got me into trouble on more than one occasion.  I'd go there and buy stuff and get carried away.  And when you live in an RV, you have to be careful of how much food stuff's you buy at any one time.  Especially the frozen stuff.  sigh. 

So where am I going with this, other than plugging the store?  They have Tri-tips there and we love Tri-tips, in fact I think I prefer them over most other cuts of meat.   But the last time I was in the store, I spotted a package of Carne Asada in with the Tri-tips, and bought it.

I usually don't buy marinated meat, it just doesn't taste good to me, but my mouth started watering when I saw the package, so I gave in and purchased it.

That mouth is so spoiled, I tell ya.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, I found the meat in the freezer again, so decided to pull it out and cook it.

Boy am I glad I did.

For starters, I took the meat out of the package and put it in a strainer, just to let the blood drain away. 
I then got the cast iron skillet out and seared the meat on each side.  If you have a BBQ grill, do it that way, but I don't have one.  If I BBQ here, the bears would just steal the grill, so it's easier to keep it all inside.

I then put the meat into a 475 degree oven, and let it cook for a couple of minutes.  I wanted the meat medium rare to medium before I sliced it.

You slice the meat very thinly and then chop it a little for Carne Asada as the meat is usually a skirt steak and tough, but the flavour, well, let me just say, I had it for lunch a couple of days running and was so glad for the leftovers.

I had made a Pico de Gallo

to serve with it, and also sauteed up some green peppers and mushrooms.   It was such a good meal.