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Category Archives: entertaining

Holiday Appetizer Recipes + Fried Deviled Eggs!

Last week my bubbly friend and I attended a spectacular cooking class  at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia.   Chef Roger Light shared his favorite holiday appetizer recipes with us.

SC cornbread

Crawfish Cornbread

This cornbread is a fabulous appetizer and would also be a delicious stuffing to serve beside your Thanksgiving turkey.

1 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3  scallions, chopped

1 pound Andouille sausage, diced

2 pounds crawfish tailmeat

To taste Cajun seasoning

To taste cayenne pepper

1/2 batch (9″ x 13″) of your favorite cornbread recipe

Saute onions,  bell pepper,  celery  and scallions in a little butter, cooking until onions are transparent. Add Andouille sausage, mix together.  Add crawfish tailmeat and cornbread batter, stir to combine all ingredients.

Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes (check center of cornbread for doneness).

SC fried deviled eggsSC ME and eggs

My bubbly friend and I love to cook and her birthday was last week, so we decided a cooking class was the perfect way to celebrate her birthday!

Fried Deviled Eggs!

SC eggs

sc chef Carlos

Super Delicious!!! Chef Carlos demonstrated how to make fried deviled eggs, starting with hard boiled eggs. Cut the eggs in two and place the yolks in a mixing bowl.  Place the white halves on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Blot the egg white halves gently with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

Grind panko bread crumbs in a food processor or blender to make the crumbs more like the consistency of flour.  Place flour in one bowl, egg whites mixed with a little water in another bowl and panko bread crumbs in a third bowl. Dip the egg white halves into flour, then egg white wash, then panko bread crumbs.  Place them on the paper towel lined baking sheet (replace paper towels if the towels are moist). Press the crumb mixture into the egg so that it adheres well.

Heat canola oil in a large pot on the stove.  Fry the egg white halves in hot oil until they are light golden brown. Remove the eggs from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on the paper towel lined baking sheet.  Allow to cool.

Using the hard-boiled egg yolks, prepare a deviled egg filling the same way you prepare your favorite deviled egg filling recipe. Add mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, or balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle some crisp crumbled bacon in each fried egg half and then fill with the deviled egg filling. Garnish with smoked paprika or chopped chives.

sc mary ellen and eggs

Chef Carlos added sugar to his deviled egg filling which  was so yummy.  That got our group to talking about southern cooking traditions. Sprinkling sugar, salt and pepper over fresh garden tomato slices for instance. I shared the name of one of my favorite southern cookbooks with our group ~ “Being Dead Is No Excuse ~ The Official Southern Ladies Guide To Hosting The Perfect Funeral. ”  by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays. Here’s their recipe for “Sweet Stuffed Eggs”:

tailgate eggs

Sweet Stuffed Eggs

You’ll need a big egg plate for this recipe ~ it makes twenty-four servings.  By the way, it’s tasty but not fancy ~ notice we use plain old French’s mustard instead of some rarefied moutarde.  These are what we call peckerwood eggs. 

Ingredients:

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs

sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish (start with 2 teaspoons and continue to taste)

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons French’s (!) yellow mustard

1 teaspoon onion, finely minced

2 tablespoons Durkee Famous Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Paprika for garnish

Makes 2 dozen servings.

 

SC lots of bacon

Billionaire’s Bacon

Double or triple this recipe ~ it will be gone in a flash! The perfect combination of salty, sweet and crunchy! (Use medium to thick cut bacon for this recipe.)

http://www.thevspotblog.com/2013/07/brown-sugar-dijon-candied-bacon.html

SC Miss L

“Miss Luan” shows off her fabulous Shrimp Lettuce Wraps served with Thai Peanut Sauce.

SC peanut sauceSC spring rollssc spring roll wrapper

Ingredients for the Shrimp Lettuce Wraps/Spring Rolls:

3/4 pound shrimp, cooked

2 heads butter lettuce

1 each carrot, peeled, grated

1/4 cup basil leaves

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup peanuts chopped

1 package cellophane noodle

Spring roll wrappers

Ingredients for the Thai Peanut Sauce:

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Porchetta

SC chef rolling porkSC pork

Ingredients for Porchetta seasoning:

2 tablespoons fennel seeds ~ Chef Light showed us how to toast the fennel seeds in a saute pan on the stove, then crush the seeds to release the flavor and aroma of the toasted seeds.

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground

2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 each orange zest

The seasoning was rubbed into the pork tenderloin, then the tenderloin was wrapped in bacon and baked. Then slice and serve, delicioso!

SC smoked salmon and chefSC smoked salmon

Smoked Salmon With Cream Cheese, Capers and Red Onions

8 ounces cream cheese, softened mixed with:

2 ounces capers, roughly chopped

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 lemon, juiced, zested

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon dill, chopped

Kosher salt, fine crack of black pepper

Spread the cream cheese mixture over lightly toasted baguette.

Top the cream cheese mixture with 8 ounces smoked salmon.

Thank you and Cheers to Chef Light and the Shenandoah Club Culinary Team!

SC 2 kittens

SC kitty cat

SC kitty

SC kitty in sink

Our new kittens are so happy in their forever home!  As you can tell from the photo above, “Ziggy” never stops moving until he falls asleep. I took them to the vet to get their “well baby check” and Ziggy jumped in the sink, then jumped in the trashcan. We had to give him a bowl of baby food to slow him down enough to give him his vaccination.

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Get Your Taste Buds Ready For Tailgating + Craft Beer Tasting

Salty, Smokey, Crunchy, Spicy, and Bacon!  Those are the flavors that add up to a tasty tailgate:

Make your own snack mix. Serve in small “Chinese Food Take-Out Containers” from your local party supply store.  Mix Pistachios and Dried Cranberries or Mixed Nuts, Yogurt Covered Pretzels, Wasabi Peas and  M&M’s.

Create a candy mix featuring your favorite teams colors ~ blue and orange M&M’s for University of Virginia Wahoos (Cavaliers) or boston baked beans candy (maroon) and  orange jelly beans for Virginia Tech Hokies. (These candies are available in bulk on-line.)

Homemade Cracker Jack in clear plastic bags tied with ribbon in your favorite team colors.

Don’t forget the Nachos, Wings, Ribs, Sliders, Grilled Bratwurst with Spicy Mustard, 

“Throwback Snacks” ~ some traditional tailgate favorites:

Charles Potato Chips With Lipton Onion Soup Sour Cream Dip

Olive Poppers (delicious served hot or cold) – olives wrapped in flaky cheddar cheese pastry.  Here’s a link to the recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/sesame-cheddar-olive-poppers-109957

Deviled Eggs…Traditional, Spicy Jalapeno or Bacon Balsamic ~ here’s the link to my favorite recipe for Bacon Balsamic Deviled Eggs: https://bubblybee.net/2016/03/24/bacon-and-balsamic-deviled-eggs

Beer Candied Bacon…here’s a link to the recipe:  http://tideandthyme.com/beer-candied-bacon/

Small bottles of Coca Cola on ice (along with other libations of course!)

green chili

Chef Roger Light prepares this fabulous tailgating treat at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia… Chili and  Cornbread Mason Jars ~ I made these treats with Chicken Chili Verde…cornbread layered with chicken chili verde, sour cream, finely shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onion.  Pre-made cornbread from the grocery can be rather sweet so I prefer to make my own cornbread for this tailgating treat. Serve each guest a chilled mason jar of layered chili.

My favorite Green Chili mix ~ Cookwell and Company Green Chile Stew ~ just add cannellini beans and ground chicken.

Enough with the food…let’s talk BEER!

Football and beer always compliment each other, so this being football season we decided to pop by a couple of new Craft Beer Tasting Rooms in Roanoke, Virginia.

starr hill

The first tasting room I visited was Starr Hill Pilot Brewery at the Bridges adjacent to Dr. Pepper Park. The Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room is in Crozet, Virginia.  This pilot brewery in Roanoke will allow the  brewery to experiment with unique, small-batch beers for research, development, and limited releases. The stage located in this facility will highlight local bands and musical talent.

http://theroanokestar.com/2017/10/04/starr-hill-brings-first-satellite-brewery-to-roanoke

starr hill outside signstarr hill sign

starr hill bar

starrhill taps

starrhill sign

Kale or Ale?!!!

starr hill flight

starr hill beers

We enjoyed a craft beer flight ~ 5 (5 oz. pours) for $10. Visit http://starrhill.com for food pairings and delicious recipes to pair with your favorite Starr Hill craft beer.  I found all of the Starr Hill brews to be delicious, especially the citrusy IPA’s.

Nothern Lights ~ India Pale Ale ~ Caramel color, creamy, hoppy, balanced bitterness with refreshing citrus. Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala, Gorgonzola and Cheddar cheeses.

Basketcase Lager ~ Golden color, American Helles Lager, full-bodied lager with bready malt flavor. Serve with crabcakes and Butterkäse cheese.

Grateful Pale Ale ~ Light gold, a bit flowery, full citrusy body. Serve with Thai Green Curry and Camembert cheese.

Reviver Red India Pale Ale ~Ruby red color, refreshing citrus, medium hoppiness. Serve with Thai Drunken Noodles and Cambozola cheese.

Crozet Gold ~ Golden color, golden ale. Light and refreshing, the perfect balance of honey malt and Cascade hops. Serve with Grilled Calamari Salad and Monterey Jack cheese.

starrhill painting.jpg

Next stop Deschutes Tasting Room in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. Craft beer flight 6 (4 ounce pours) $12.

Fresh Squeezed IPA ~  this mouthwatering delicious IPA gets its flavor from a heavy helping of citra and mosaic hops.  (The IPA’s were my favorites, love the citrus hoppiness!)

dark deschutes in the windowdeshutes

Cultivateur Provision Saison ~ Rustic notes of pear and apricot blend into this bright oak-aged Saison. (The more I sipped, the better I liked it.  The pear and apricot added pleasant bright fruit flavor to this brew.)

deschutes in the window

Pacific Wonderland ~ Citrusy Tettnang Mandarina hops combine with the crisp, bright character of a traditional lager to deliver a beer that is truly refreshing and undoubtedly worth sharing. 

American Wheat ~ Tempting citrus aroma and light wheat character. 

Mirror Pond Pale Ale ~ Cascade hops and more Cascade hops give this tawny colored ale delicious hop-forward aroma and flavor. Pale malt allows the hops to linger, not overpower. 

deschutes taps

Our two biggest football fans…Ginger Rogers and Ziggy Elman…but sometimes the TV gets a little too loud for Ziggy!

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The Valencia Champagne Cocktail

I love to find Cocktail Cookbooks with cocktail recipes from the “golden age of libation”.  I found this fabulous Valencia Champagne Cocktail recipe in Cocktail Hour by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel:

naan cocktail

Valencia

This delightful champagne cocktail was an international favorite.  It cast its golden glow on Europe between the wars, and was a popular specialty of the house at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. One sip and you’ll understand why.

2 ounces Apricot Brandy

1 ounce chilled Orange Juice

4 dashes Orange Bitters

3 ounces ice cold Champagne

Pour brandy, orange juice, and orange bitters into a cocktail shaker with cracked ice.  Shake and strain into a chilled champagne flute or wineglass. Immediately top with cold champagne.

bitters

Orange bitters are a cocktail flavoring made from the peels of Seville oranges,  cardamom,  caraway seed, coriander and burnt sugar in an alcohol base. These bitters have a definite orange flavor with a bit of an evergreen taste to me. Pungent but pleasant, adds the perfect “pop” of orange to orange based cocktails.

And here’s a yummy, easy to prepare appetizer to pair with your Valencia Champagne Cocktail…I’ve fallen in love with these Naan Dippers. I call them “Baby Naan” because they are so cute.

naan bacon

Bacon, Avocado and Tomato Baby Naans

Toast the baby naans lightly and allow to cool to room temperature.  Spread mayonnaise on each baby naan. Spread each baby naan with fresh ripe avocado.  Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Top with crumbled crisp bacon and one thin slice of Roma tomato.  Cheers!

naan strawberry

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naan kitty

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Balsamic Vinegar Pearls Bruschetta ~ Flavor Bomb!

Balsamic Vinegar Pearls…Bursting with flavor!  

balsamic container

balsamic caviar

Looks like caviar!

Available on-line…black,  white, lemon (yellow), white truffle and pomegranate balsamic vinegar pearls…

balsamic brushetta

Tomato Burrata Bruschetta with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar Pearls

Burrata means “buttered” in Italian. I like to describe it as fresh cream and curd (like a fresh ricotta) wrapped in mozzarella cheese and it is fabulouso!

barrata cheese

These flavor bomb appetizers are so easy to prepare.  Spread burrata cheese on toasted French bread rounds (I purchased my toast rounds from Fresh Market).  Top the cheese with chopped fresh tomato and julienned fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Top with a few balsamic vinegar pearls.  Enjoy!

beets

Dinner this evening will include roasted fresh golden beets with baratta cheese sprinkled with  balsamic vinegar pearls.

bee

I found this little guy enjoying my pink Dragon’s Breath plant (Celosia) in the garden this morning.

dragon fruit

Speaking of dragons…we enjoyed slices of dragon fruit this morning for breakfast ~ tastes like pear and kiwi…yum!

virginiabloggersover-the-moon-link-party-600x600fiesta-friday-2016

Black Garlic And Champagne

cat

Under the watchful eye of Maxine AndrewsTHE CAT

These days we are enjoying dining al fresco on our backyard deck…in 80 degree Fahrenheit weather with a slight breeze…

“Champagne makes you feel like it’s Sunday and better days are just around the corner.” ~ Marlene Dietrich

champagne bottlechampagne top

 Pascal Lallement Champagne À Chamery Premier Cru Brut 

  This artisanal small batch farmer produced cuvee is 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay.  This vineyard sits on the mountain of Rheims where the grapes receive plenty of sunshine as they grow on the vines.
  I love the top of this bottle…Champange! Champagne! Champagne!  Notes of apple, honey and toast.  Fresh and creamy with a long mineral driven finish.   $35-$40 range.

My  brother is always discovering fun ingredients for me to try.  He and his lovely bubbly wife live near Blacksburg, Virginia where they found this black garlic.

http://www.obisone.com/

black garlic

black garlic on plate

ObisOne is a family owned business associated with the Virginia Tech Research Center.  Here’s a link to their story:  http://www.obisone.com/about-us

Some fun facts about black garlic from the ObisOne website and some of my notes:

  1.  Nothing is added when we make artisanal batches of organic black garlic. Heat, humidity and vacuum create an environment that lets the natural sugars and enzymes within the garlic do its own thing. 
  2. Black garlic adds a smokiness with just a tiny bit of sweetness and underlying notes of molasses to recipes, all the while maintaining the rich garlic flavor.
  3. The shelf life of our black garlic bulbs and cloves is a minimum of 6 months at room temperature.
  4. Twice the Antioxidants of Raw Garlic.  All natural, no additives.
  5. No Garlic Breath!

Their website includes some fabulous recipes using black garlic.  Black Garlic Recipes link:  http://www.obisone.com/Recipes

Deviled Eggs Black Garlic

Black Garlic Deviled Eggs

Makes 18 deviled eggs

9 fresh eggs (I enjoy getting my eggs from a friend who has chickens…these eggs taste so rich and delicious compared to run-of-the-mill grocery store eggs), hard-boiled, cooled and peeled.

5 cloves black garlic, minced

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Duke’s (brand) mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chunky sweet pickle relish + 1 tablespoon pickle relish juice

1 tablespoon stone ground mustard

Garnish: crumbled crispy bacon and chopped fresh chives

Here’s a link with a recipe for perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs….it works every time and the eggs are easy to peel!  http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_perfect_hard_boiled_eggs/

  1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise; place egg yolks in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork; stir in  mayonnaise, mustard, black garlic,  pickle relish and juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in a food processor or blender and blend until black garlic is incorporated into the mixture.  Add more pickle relish juice if needed to blend, being careful not to add too much juice.
  2. Arrange egg white halves on a serving platter; spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, garnish with crumbled crispy bacon and chopped chives.

 Italian Rose

Lady Lola Rosé. I admit, I bought this Italian rosé for it’s pretty bottle.   $12 range.   The Lady Lola Rose NV is a wine that’s begging to be brought to a garden party.  Inexpensive, perfectly drinkable (not remarkable) wine.  Peach, raspberry and strawberry notes. Crisp and fresh.  It’s peachy pink color told me it would be light and the grape blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Indigenous Veneto varietals promised a not too sweet wine.

cava with cheese wafers

Whisps!  Cheddar Cheese Crisps (like the parmesan crisps, but these are made with cheddar cheese). Delicious and yummy with champagne! Available at Walmart in the deli section or on-line.

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fiesta-friday-2016

 

 

 

Shishito Peppers Stuffed With Fontina And Prosciutto

Shishito Peppers ~ local Farmer’s Market, fresh from the garden or Fresh Market

15 Shishito Peppers

6 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into 5 slices and then cut each slice into 3 strips

3 ounces prosciutto, cut horizontally into 15 pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Rinse and dry Shishito Peppers. Cut a slit in the side of each pepper (lengthwise – keeping the stem end in-tact) and remove the ribs and seeds.  Wrap the cheese with prosciutto and stuff into peppers (wrapping the proscuitto around the end of the cheese will help the cheese to stay in the pepper as the cheese melts).  Arrange the stuffed peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and lightly with sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the peppers start to brown and the cheese is bubbly. Serve warm.

To stuff peppers: Rinse and dry peppers. Slice peppers lengthwise to split open (leaving stem end intact).

pepper

snack sign

Alfred champagne

Alfred Basely – Champagne Brut

  Alfred Basely is a smaller producer based near Epernay.  Ripe lemony citrus with notes of white flower, mineral and freshly baked bread. Fine bubbles with a long, clean finish.  $30 range.

corn on grillfeta mayo

Grilled corn is one of my favorite summer treats.  Here are links to two of the most yummy spreads to top grilled corn on the cob…Spicy Taco Butter and Feta Lime Mayonnaise:

https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/grilled-corn-on-the-cob-with-spicy-butter/45ecbca2-a940-441a-bcd1-9ace22a2090c

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/grilled-corn-with-feta-cheese-recipe-1918855

squash

Scenes along the Greenway…Squash Blossom

senda verde alberino wine in glass

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Lemony Herbed Fresh Ricotta Recipe + Dhondt-Grellet Brut Grand Cru Champagne

Tōgarashi is the Japanese name for chili peppers. The Nanami Tōgarashi that I purchased at a local Asian food market is a combination of chili peppers, white and black sesame seeds, ginger, orange peel and seaweed. It has a nice little kick of spiciness to it.

To serve my fresh ricotta I generously sprinkled the serving plate with freshly ground gourmet peppercorns (pink, black, white and green) and Nanami Tōgarashi so that the cheese would pick up the little bits of pepper and spice as each guest spread the cheese on toasted baguette slices.

Fresh Ricotta is super easy to make. I tried several recipes made with lemon juice (that did not have enough acidity to make the milk curdle) that failed before I found Ina Garten’s recipe (uses vinegar, not lemon juice) which works perfectly.

Here’s the link to Ina Garten’s Fresh Ricotta recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-ricotta-recipe-1923290

I like to mix into to the ricotta:

8 large fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

4 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced into tiny rounds

10 chives, chopped fine

Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon + 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Serve on toasted baguette rounds that have been brushed with melted butter. Garnish with tiny basil leaves and (if in season) chive blossoms.

 

Dhondt-Grellet Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Prestige du Moulin — N.V.

A perfect pairing for my lemony herbed fresh ricotta.  100 % of Chardonnay from two Grand Crus villages (Cramant & Chouilly).  $55 range.   Golden color with delicate consistent bubbles in the flute. Elegant with notes of white flowers, quince paste and freshly baked pastry.  A grower champagne, only a handful of cases are brought into the United States each year.

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