Archive | March, 2010

Food with a Face…

31 Mar
Sam: You don’t like raisins?
Joon: Not really.
Sam: Why?
Joon: They used to be fat and juicy and now they’re twisted. They had their lives stolen. Well, they taste sweet, but really they’re just humiliated grapes. I can’t say I am a big supporter of the raisin council.
Sam: Did you see those, those raisins on TV? The ones that sing and dance and stuff?
Joon: They scare me.
Sam: Yeah me too
Joon: It’s sick. The commercial people they make them sing and dance so people will eat them.
Sam: It’s a shame about raisins.
– Benny and Joon, 1993
Why put a face on food when it isn’t necessary?  I love mashed potatoes but saw this recipe and it made me cringe…As if the average child isn’t picky enough let’s throw eyebrows and a nose to make them even more traumatized.  Food for thought…

Spinach Dip So Many Ways

31 Mar

Fast and Fun Appetizer

Today at work I was shown a recipe of a cream spinach and brie appetizer.  I’m not sure about cream spinach but I am all about using recipes for more than one thing!

See the below recipe that I adapted from my friend with whom I once said “I share half a brain with” sent to me.  So simple and delicious.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

–Two bags of baby spinach (spinach cooks down to about nothing but if you are making it for a smaller crowd you could get away with one)
— Two scallions, chopped white part and green
— 1 TBL butter
— 2 TBL of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
— Two garlic cloves, minced

— 1 pack of 12 oz pack of cream cheese, softened (lighten it up by using neufchatel cheese)
— 1/2 cup bread crumbs (have some stale crackers? Put them in the food processor and instant crumbs!)

— 1 pinch of Chili Powder
— Salt and Pepper
— 2 Tsp. Parsley
— 1 Tsp. Paprika
— 1/4 Cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
— 8 oz Artichoke Hearts, chopped (use artichokes that are packed in olive oil for extra flavor)

Start with the extra virgin olive oil and butter.  Add garlic, don’t let it burn!  Once the garlic starts to brown, add green onions, spinach and artichokes.  Add paprika, parsley and chili powder.  Season as needed with salt and pepper.  While still warm, blend with bread crumbs Parmesan and cream cheese.  An additional step is to bake it in the oven at 375 for about 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Serving options –
One, a bread bowl!  Who doesn’t love a serving dish without clean up?  Hollow out a bread bowl and serve the dip with the bread pieces and your favorite veggies.
Two, there are some great pre-made phyllo dough shell cups.  Heat in the oven according to the directions.  Fill with the dip and enjoy!
Three, the recipe I saw at work.  Take a crusty baguette, slice and toast in the oven.  Top with a piece of sliced brie.  A really fun entertaining cheese available now is a brie log.  Slice and place a piece on the baguette.  Top the brie with a dollop of spinach dip and return to the oven.  Bake until bubbly.  Top with  Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Four, by itself in a bowl with pita chips, tortilla chips, bread, crackers.

Buffalo Sauce and Bellinis

30 Mar
Once upon a bellini-filled Sunday.  My friend and I decided order chicken fingers.  These were no Raisin Canes chicken fingers but they did come straight to my door in 10 – 15 minutes.  Below is the recipe I tipsily came up with for buffalo sauce.
1/3 Cup of Hot Sauce (I had Cholula hot sauce but I also like Goya Picante hot sauce)
1/2 a Lemon
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of butter (ode to Paula)
Salt and Pepper
Start with the extra virgin olive oil and hot sauce in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Squeeze in lemon juice, avoid seeds, and then add the BUTTER!  Flavor as needed, desired with salt and pepper and serve with chicken fingers or toss the chicken fingers in the sauce!
For the bellinis…
Make a quick fruit puree – I did orange juice, strawberries and blueberries.  Blend until smooth, you may want to put it through a strainer to eliminate seeds.  Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze!

Place a fruit cube in a champagne flute and pour prosecco over it.  Enjoy!

If you don’t have fruit puree, never fear!  Add orange juice to the prosecco and it’s practically a mimosa!

Easter Fun

26 Mar

One time I was at lunch in a restaurant and parents actually brought in Happy Meals for their kids.  I also don’t understand the concept of an “Uncrustable.”  Are we really too lazy to make a grilled cheese or PB&J?

As a member of a family that has picky eater children in it, and a host that does not want to come out and say DO NOT BRING THAT INTO MY HOUSE, I came up with a fun alternative.

Easter Shaped Grilled Cheese

You need Easter Shaped Cookie Cutters

White or Multi-grain Bread

Butter and Olive Oil

American, Swiss and Provolone

So incredibly easy.  Cook your grilled cheese (olive oil in the pan and butter the bread on both sides, be sure not to heat the oil so much that it burns) and press out with the cookie cutter.  Best part, if your kids don’t eat the crust, you can!