Want something beautiful and different for your next cookie adventure? Try these recipe from Southern Living.
Part of the series of cooking and blogging entitled: #WhileIWatchHer
It was a long week. Very long. And Monday the 17th was a doozy of a beginning. After an accelerated series of outbreaks, wild tears, anger, and sleep-walking over the last 4 months, Jean, my mother-in-law, collapsed in my arms while I was bathing her and had her fourth seizure in 13 months. Coming home from only a one day hospital visit I didn't know if I was ready to face who she might be -- this time. But it was a surprise to see the next day that she had already regained a lot of her ability to function. We discovered via a very kind and astute on-call Doctor that she probably needed to have her seizure meds increased - a lot - a WHOLE heck of a lot. I have to say, it may have been a key to easing the nightmare of this disease, since Tuesday she has been a new person. And that is very good news.
As you read this blog entry you may wonder how this has anything to do with food. But since it has everything to do with me, and since I care for Jean, along with my amazing husband Ron, it is the parallel story to why I Feel Like Cooking. And always, you should know, it is cooking that helps me stay sane.
Second in a series I like to call, "While I Watch Her," #whileiwatchher I am sharing this original recipe and excited about how delicious it is. Dementia often presents itself in a kind of reverse maturity, with childlike habits returning and certainly an inability to process abstract thought. So, it seemed like creating a dish that was both at once the amalgamation of the favorite foods of a small child and something so grown up and mature that you could serve it on any occasion, would fill the space of my event-filled week with the joy it had been missing. This Grown-Up Peanut Butter Mouse with Bananas and Shaved Semi-Sweet Chocolate Dust is a delightfully creamy and grown-up, yet matches the tastes of a child, just like Jean.
Ron and I often muse about how much of her we will still discover was lost during this seizure. But for today, she's doing better, which in turn keeps us surviving with a smile and our kitchen full of experimentation, joy and fun!
Ode to scones: (Insert poetry here) Blah, blah, yum, yum, aaahhhh!!!
Well, shouldn't there be some kind of iambic pentameter being rattled off in the background when you're reading about something as delish as this? I think so, anyway. Add a little brown sugar to your scones, hide a few toasted pecan pieces inside, and then slather it with a brown butter frosting and you'll be feeling poetic, too!
I imagine these things in my sleep, you know. Battling the demons of insomnia by creating recipes in my head is one way to thwart all the worries I cannot suppress. What's even better is I'm coming up with more and more culinary chart-busters each time I experiment, so this kind of brain activity seems worthwhile. And I believe every cook out there knows that with each dish they try, they improve as well. There is no "top of the mountain," for any chef. (Although I do wish there was more REM sleep.)
I had such fantastic success with my rum raisin bread pudding that I got to thinking I should create a savory version. Knowing it is mostly bread and eggs, the start of every breakfast, I just turned every thing un-sugary, even adding a kick with a sprinkling of chili flakes, which elevated all the flavors. With the bite of feta, the tang of artichoke hearts, the fresh thyme and crusty exterior, the dish WORKS. I recommend you cover it with crumbled bacon and sour cream, or my personal naughty covering: hollandaise sauce. So what if I can't sleep. At least eating is fun!
As I write this blog entry, there's roughly two inches of ice on the windshield of my car. I say roughly because I'm not going outside when there's a 12 degree wind chill factor, to measure it. Surely you agree that this estimate provides enough detail for this editorial. You're reading a food blog, not Meteorologists Weekly. When I wake up in the morning, chances are this layer of ice will have fortified itself, and all surfaces, organic and man made, will will be encased in a transparent barrier of doom; a cocoon of rigid H20 that mocks my 98.6 degree ambient internal temperature and insures I will stay in my nice, cozy home the whole day.
It's February in Charlotte, NC. That means that even though we are in the midst of Winter's fury, next week it could be 65 and sunny. (It was 72 last week at this time so I'm not kidding.) And just to make it interesting, the week after that could be fraught with torrential rains. The point is, enjoy whatever is happening outside, because the weather will change fast. It always does.
That's one of the reason's I'm staying put for my Split Pea Soup. With all the ice, indecision, and darkness going on beyond the threshold, the deep and satisfying flavors in this mellow medley of amber and green make it easy to keep your attention focused. A little bacon on top doesn't hurt either.
Download the recipe using the link below.
From the moment I decided to come up with my own version of a lemon tart, knowing that after following lots of other recipes it was time to test my own skills, I got super nervous. The tart pan stared back at me, grinning like a tin Cheshire cat, the removable bottom holding no promise. And who am I to assume that sugar, lemon and cheese will come together and actually set when cooked, or yield the creamy, tart texture I longed for?
Let's just say that this is one of those recipes you have to make for those people who think you ain't no baker. Those who believe that a custard-like center, and a sweet, ruby red glaze are only found in the finest Patisseries in Paris. Why? 'Cause it's so dang easy and tastes amazing, that's why. I swear it is like something a Judge on "Chopped" would rave about...okay, maybe not that amazing, but if you worship lemon, like I do, love to bite into a moist crust and think this ruby red strawberry topping is regal, this recipe is for you.
A couple of tips. Use a hand mixer for this. I used a whisk and I was working hard. You can do it without a 110 outlet, but it's super easy with the hand mixer. Next, I buttered the tart pan. The removable bottom? I actually buttered it and placed a piece of custom cut parchment paper over it, just to make sure when I cut each piece to serve, nothing was going to mess up MY CREATION! I'm glad I did it because just as I was pouring the lemon mixture into the cooled crust and stopped when I thought it was full, a teensy bit of batter went inside and in-between the crust and pan. (aaaccckkk!) However, the butter and parchment saved the day.
They will be calling to dub me "Dame Culineer," any day now.
Bright and vibrant colors are always a perfect addition to a plate. And when I was searching for an accompaniment to the Sate Burgers, I knew a fruit side would stand up to the bold flavors of cumin, garlic and . Fresh, packed with flavors like coriander, mint and honey, I can't stop eating it. Get it now!
I have been clipping recipes for decades, and this one from Cooking Light is exceptional. I added some panko crumbs - about 1/3 C - and an egg to help bind it, and then used 1.5 lbs ground sirloin and .5 lb ground turkey but the rest was the same. Served it over brown rice cooked in beef broth, covered it with a mango habanero sauce, and served alongside my Melon Orange Mint Compote, and a spring salad with a sweet chili vinaigrette. TRY IT! Download my version below, or...
Click here for the recipe online.
1. Vegetable Lasagna - Deceptively decadent yet healthy.
I love good lasagna, but I truly get tired of eating so much cow. I also know that an exclusively vegetarian lasagna would never
past muster in my home. By hiding a few carrots, onions and green pepper, I succeeded in creating a lovely, cheesy, and well rounded meal that had its share of vegetables and plenty of satisfying meat flavor. It's not low calorie, but it isn't heart attack food either. It has the cheeses we love; mozzarella and Parmesan, and ricotta, but it also has a bit of low fat cottage cheese. This takes the healthy-brag factor to a new high, without sacrificing flavor or texture. It's decadent, yet healthy!
Make it for yourself and see what you think! It is pretty, authentic tasting, and although there are a few steps, its is fairly fool proof.
2. Chocolate Chip Cookies - Go inside out!
Betty Crocker rock when it comes to cookie recipes, and this one is no exception. I had a few Christmas colored chocolate chips left over that I used and substituted pecans for walnuts. The kicker here is using the white chocolate, or some other color of chips instead of plain chocolate. It makes a boat load of them, too. Freezes well. And if you're truly into ignoring common sense, dip them in some melted chocolate, too! Have fun!
Since the beginning of time, bread has marked the milestones of human existence like a billowy, sesame seed covered scepter. Each loaf, roll or baguette, every biscuit, blini, corn pone and bun is full of history, romance, tragedy, humor and drama. Worlds were conquered with it, empires were tumbled without it. And how about this trivia. Did you know that when butter was invented, even if it was only DAY ONE in the Creation, the world was at that moment, inherently complete? (Read Genesis! It says, "Let there be light!" Just because I choose to interpret this line as bright, yellow butter glowing atop a piece of warm bread is my business.)
So, with that said, enter these tasty little morsels shown in my dreamy photo. With the addition of store bought puff pastry, some butter, a few herbs, and a mountain of parmesan cheese (It's a close contest between butter and cheese as far as food importance.), you can have these light and airy, savory, and oh so buttery gems in no time! Serve them...oh heck. Serve them ANYTIME!
30 Minute Buttery Parmesan and Herb Bread Sticks
Prep time 8 to 10/Cook time 22 (This assumes the puff pastry is thawed. If not, allow another 40 minutes.)
Makes 16 to 18 bread sticks
I package puff pastry, thawed
5 T butter (unsalted or salted)
1 T olive oil
3 – 4 t Herbs de Provence dried herb mixture
1 ½ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Dusting of flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heavily butter a cookie sheet and set aside. Take each square of puff pastry out and set on parchment paper, dusted slightly with flour. On the first square, take a rubber spatula and literally cover every surface with 4 T butter, spreading to edge. Spread out the cheese over that, covering to edge. Then sprinkle with the herbs. With the other square, lightly drizzle with olive oil, and invert over the top of the bread sticks so they stick together and are even. Then cut the square in half, and then cut strips about 1 to 1 ½ inches wide. Twist, lay on cookie sheet, cook for 20 – 23 minutes until golden brown.
Photo and recipe Copyright, Camine Pappas, 2014
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.