Trying to cook cover to cover through my favorite cook books and sharing my adventures with cooking along the way.
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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbookshereand here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*
Ok no more party food, back to regular food again.
Do you like curry?
Then you HAVE to make this salad.
I know it sounds weird, a cold curried rice salad.
But I'm telling you it is SO good.
I could eat it EVERY day,
but I would probably turn into a curried rice ball.
And that would just be weird.
Please try this salad, I'm telling you its delicious.
And don't skip the mint, because it really helps make the flavor profile complete.
I don't really know what a flavor profile is, but it sounded good, right?
I served it with a chicken breast for dinner and then ate it by itself for lunch one day.
And then it was gone...
I will make it again soon though, and so should you!
Curried Rice Salad
2 T olive oil
1 T curry powder
1 cup long grain brown rice, rinsed well
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup halved red seedless grapes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted unsalted cashews
In a med saucean, heat 1 T oil over med high. Add curry powder; cook stirring 30 seconds. Stir in rice and the water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover; simmer until rice is tender and has absorbed all liquid, about 1 hour. Remove from heat; let stand, covered 10 min.
Fluff with a fork; transfer to a shallow bowl. Stir in lime juice and remaining tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cool. about 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in grapes, mint, and cashews.
Thanks Mom AND Dad for throwing such an amazing day of parties.
Onto the food.
So for the evening party I wanted something SUPER simple and something that could be 100% prepped ahead of time. So I decided on a taco bar.
It was perfect, everyone loved it and it was ZERO work for me after the shower. THANK GOD!
We did beef and chicken tacos.
I seasoned the beef with this, and it was delicious.
The red pepper flakes added a great kick, don't ever buy packet seasoning again please!
For the chicken, I just made something up. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?
I'm really not that kind of cook, or a t least I never have been in the past.
I think that the 1 yr + of blogging and cooking has increased my skills...at least a little.
Anyway to the chicken (which we just pulled from already cooked rotisserie chickens from the store)
I added green chilies (from the can) along with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and S&P.
I added some chicken stock to make the meet nice a tender and juicy as well as to allow the spice mix to stick to the chicken and not just hang at the bottom.
I guessed on the ratio of the spices but I think it was something like 1 part cumin to 2 parts chili powder then 1/4 part garlic powder...hmmm does that make sense??
Well just try it!
I also made pico de gallo for people to put on their tacos and dip their chips in.
It was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.
Nice and fresh and light, not too cilantroey...oh made up words... :)
Pico De Gallo
2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2 in pieces
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 serrano chile minced
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T olive oil
2 T finely chopped cilantro
Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive bowl, adding 1 tsp salt; let stand 5 min. Season with more salt to taste.
Makes 2 cups.
So my uncle Dug made the salsa, both a medium and a hot. He makes the BEST salsa...thanks again Dug!
My mom made her famous bean dip, which I will definitely be making again in the near future. I'm telling you, this stuff is amazing, could eat it all day!
To round it all off, my sister in law, Lindsey made some grilled corn with cilantro lime butter. This was a hit! Everyone loved it! Unfortunately I didn't get to try it, but I will definitely be making it so that I can!
Pre grilled corn, so pretty!
WOAH I know this is overload!!!!
Don't worry we only have dessert left.
So for dessert I made Mexican wedding cakes (HOW FITTING) and margarita cookies.
I found the margarita cookies here and they were delicious, but kind of a pain to make, I won't lie to you.
Mexican Wedding Cakes
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temp
confectioners' sugar for coating
In a food processor, pulse pecans, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add butter and pulse until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic; refrigerate until firm, 30-60 min. Dough can be frozen up to 3 months.
Preheat oven to 325, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Scoop off level tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Space them 1 1/2 in apart on two large baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until just lightly golden around edges, 20-25 min.
Cool 5 min on sheets, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Place confectioners' sugar in a bowl and roll cookies in sugar twice to coat thoroughly, tapping off excess each time. ( be careful they are kind of fragile and can come apart easily.)
These were REALLY good!
Again no Logan ratings...he doesn't remember his ratings...largely due to the Mexican beer.
I didn't really love the frosting for this recipe.
So I made a vanilla frosting that I got from my mom's "cake lady".
Sorry can't reveal the recipe, but it was VERY simple.
And she recommended that since it was a lemon cake, instead of vanilla flavoring I add lemon juice,
it was PERFECT!
Please don't laugh at the elementary decoration,
this was my FIRST cake people! :)
To make the "sand", I crushed up vanilla wafers, then cut a heart out of cardboard and sprinkled the "sand" around the cardboard heart. When I pulled up the cardboard the pretty icing made a perfect heart!
BOTH my Mom and my Dad threw logan and I a wedding shower and engagement party.
As usual I agreed to take on the menu for both parties.
It was A LOT of work and luckily I had some helpful workerbees,
but it all got done and everything was a hit!
I must preface this post by saying that I do not have as many pics as usual.
The kitchen on Sat morning was like a crazy bee hive and it was really hard to find time to take pics of each step, while still getting everything done.
So you will just have to imagine what each step would look like. K?!
First lets go over the shower food.
This is not food you can eat in the shower,
but actual food that I served at my wedding shower...silly you.
Anyway, I wanted to have a couple of munchie things for people so I settled on roasted chickpeas and sweet and spicy almonds. It was a great choice. However I had trouble with getting the chickpeas seasoning to stick...not sure why and also don't let them sit and cool after roasting because mine got soggy and I had to roast them again.
Sweet and Spicy Almonds
2 1/2 cups whole unblanched almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T honey
1 tsp olive oil
1 T water
Preheat oven to 350. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until fragrant, tossing halfway through, about 10 min.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.
In a large skillet over med heat, cook honey, oil and water, stirring until combined, about 1 min. Add almonds; toss to coat.
Transfer almonds to sugar mixture (do not scrape extra glaze into bowl); toss to coat. Spread almonds on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and let cool. Nuts can be stored up to 2 wks at room temp in an airtight container.
Makes 2 1/2 cups
Crunchy paprika chickpeas
2 cans chickpeas
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp hot or sweet paprika
Preheat oven to 450. Drain and rinse chickpeas, pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil; toss to coat evenly. Spread in a single layer and roast until deep brown and crispy, tossing occasionally, 35-40 min.
Remove from oven. Sprinkle with salt and paprika; roast until fragrant, 2-3 min more. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and let cool completely. Chickpeas can be stored up to 2 days at room temp in an airtight container.
makes 2 cups.
Next I wanted something with a little more substance, but still a light appetizer. I decided on mozzarella/grape skewers and with the leftover mozzarella we made mozzarella/tomato/basil skewers.
Mozzarella and Grape Skewers
12 thin slices prosciutto (4oz) halved crosswise
48 seedless red and green grapes
24 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
Fold each piece of prosciutto several times, about 1 in wide. Thread 2 grapes, 1 bocconcini and 1 piece of prosciutto onto each of 24 wooden skewers.
More munchies. These were good...I heard more than once "wow, these are better than cheez-its"
Spicy Cheese Crisps
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp, cut into pieces
Whisk together flour, salt and cayenne pepper.
Add cheese and butter, mix with hands, rubbing butter into dry ingredients, until dough forms.
Transfer dough to a sheet of waxed paper. Form into a 1 1/2 in diameter log; roll up tightly in paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hrs. ( I did it overnight)
Preheat oven to 400. Trim ends of log, if desired. Slice dough into 1/4 in thick rounds. Arrange rounds 1 in apart on baking sheets. Bake rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 16-18 min. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Crisps can be stored up to 5 days at room temp in an airtight container.
Makes about 40.
Still wanting a little more substance (something that might help people to soak up the sangria) I decided on the asparagus gruyere tart. It proved to be a GREAT decision!
Asparagus Gruyere Tart
flour for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
5 1/2 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 lbs med or thick asparagus
1 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16 by 10 in rectangle. Trim uneven edges.
Place the pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife lightly score the dough 1 in in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce the dough inside the markings, at half in intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 min.
Remove the pastry shell from the oven, and sprinkle with the cheese. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over the cheese, alternating ends and tips.
Brush with the oil, and season with S&P, bake until spears are tender, 20-25 min.
And come on how could I go wrong with some goat cheese spreads?
Goat Cheese Spreads
1 log (5-6oz) fresh goat cheese, softened
In a med bowl, mash goat cheese with a fork; season with salt and pepper. Add one of the desired flavorings.
1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
4 cups basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup olive oil
Stir in 1/4 cup homemade pesto. ( you will only need about 1/4 of the recipe above).
Add 3 T chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes and 1 tsp minced fresh thyme.
add 1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios and 2 T finely snipped fresh chives.
Serve these with fresh bread or crostinis.
Lastly I thought I should throw in some seriously decadent cheese dip, without regard for any diet or waistline. WOW am I glad I did.
When I can buy perfectly good ones?
Um, because you are amazing,
and it is easy
and you want to impress your friends.
I'm not lying, I never do, you know that.
These are WAY easier than I would have ever expected
and they were quite the little crowd pleasers.
I want to share a secret with you, that made this MUCH easier in my opinion.
The recipe says to make one sheet of cake and slice it in half.
But when I made mine, I used a little bit of a larger cookie sheet and
it looked way too thin for me to even attempt to slice in half
without ending up with a pile of cake mixed with ice cream.
So I just made another one.
You should do the same, why not, who doesn't love MORE cake?
Boring people that's who...and you aren't one of them!
So don't take my word for this one, MAKE THESE!
Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 pints ice cream (any flavor) softened slightly
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 10x15 in rimmed baking sheet; line with parchment paper, leaving a 2inch overhang on the two shorter sides.
Whisk together butter and sugar.
whisk in egg, vanilla and salt until combined.
Add flour and cocoa, and mix just until smooth.
Spread in prepared pan, smoothing top.
Bake until cake is dry to the touch and edges begin to pull away from the sides, 10-12 min. Cool completely in pan.
Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface. With a serrated knife halve crosswise. (Depending on how much you spread your cake out, this may work for you).
Place on half of cake flat side down, on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread with ice cream, smoothing with an offset spatula, then top with remaining half of cake, cut side down.
(This is the hardest part, in my opinion, because the ice cream is melty but still a little hard to spread. Just do your best and don't panic)
Return assembled dessert to baking pan, and wrap tightly in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 2 hrs.
Unwrap; using a serrated knife, cut into 8 rectangles, wiping blade with a damp kitchen towel between each slice. Serve immediately or freeze wrapped in individual plastic. ( I would freeze a little, before serving, so they can set).