Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chocolate Covered Snickers Strawberries

It's finally time for our Winter Edition of Freaky Friday.  And as I'm typing this, boy is it Winter here in Oklahoma.  Little Devil just came home early and even our local taco joint just posted a closing.  Ice and sleet are serious stuff, making this the ideal time to stay in perusing new recipes.  There's no better place for finding new recipes and fellow food lovers than our Freaky Friday group.  If you aren't familiar with Freaky Friday, once a quarter we get together and re-create recipes from one another's blogs.  It's a secret for everyone, including you all!  The most fun is seeing who was assigned your blog and what they chose to make.  Learning about fellow bloggers and getting to know their cooking style is always great fun.  This time, I had the pleasure of getting to know Deanna, or "Dee" from Seduction in the Kitchen.  Dee is a native Pittsburgh girl, living in Ohio.  I really enjoyed perusing her blog because she has wonderful sampling of foods from her home state.  Being an Okie girl stuck here in the middle of America, I'm always anxious to sample flavors from around our glorious country.  I was really intrigued by Dee's "Pitts" Burger with Iron City Beer Braised Onions.  In fact, I was tempted to make them for Super Bowl Sunday because it sounds like exactly what every guy I know wants to eat.  When tailgate time rolls around again, I can't wait to make her Tailgate Crock Pot Pierogies with Kielbasa, Bacon and Onions.  Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING on Dee's blog is truly tempting and seductive, but in the end I chose her Chocolate Covered Snickers Strawberries for our Valentine's Day meal. These strawberries truly sum up Dee's motto, "Everyone has a love affair with food."  Nothing is more seductive than a chocolate covered strawberry, but Dee has taken it to the next level by adding caramel sauce and chopped peanuts.  Fresh strawberries with hints of Snicker Bar flavor?  I'm definitely seduced!   

From Seduction in the Kitchen...
Truly Seductive!
A juicy red berry,
cored and filled with caramel sauce.
Dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped peanuts.

Check out my chocolate "schmear"
I was trying to be fancy.
I made these for our Valentine's Day Dinner Dessert.
The perfect valentine!
I used my Pepper Corer to hollow out the berries.
It works great on jalapenos too!

The chocolate chips were a breeze to melt
in the microwave using my silicone bowls.
Chocolate Covered Snickers Strawberries
Freaky Friday Winter 2018
Thanks Dee!

Chocolate Covered Snickers Strawberries

by: Seduction in the Kitchen
1 pint of large red strawberries, washed and cored
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I cheated and used milk chocolate)
1/4 cup caramel sauce (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Fill the center of your hollowed out strawberry with caramel sauce. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, and cook in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each until the chips are melted and smooth.  Dip the strawberry in to the chocolate, making sure to cover the top, to keep the chocolate sauce in.  Shake off excess chocolate.  Dip the chocolate coated strawberry into the chopped peanuts.  You can cover the entire berry or just partially dip in peanuts, that's up to you.  Place the berries on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.  Refrigerate, allowing the chocolate to harden. 

Prep Time:  Approximately 25 minutes  Cook Time: Needs to chill slightly

Monday, February 12, 2018

Red Hot Applesauce + FREE Valentine You're Awesome Sauce Printables

I love Valentine's Day.  Not so much the sappy roses and romance part, but the part where really corny puns are an acceptable way to tell someone you like them.  I especially like the vintage food Valentines.  You know the really corny ones that depict an ear of corn saying "It's CORNY, but SHUCKS I'd like to EAR you say you'll be my Valentine."  Those were the days when you could be silly, trade Valentines with your friends and there were no strings or connotations attached. It's easy to come up with a simple little treat paired with a silly saying as a gesture of your affection or friendship.  In the past I've done String Cheese Valentines, with tags that say things like, "Don't STRING me along, be my Valentine" and Strawberry Brownies with  "Shooting for BROWNIE points Valentine" tags.  This year I had "Valentine You're Awesome Sauce" stuck in my head.  I thought about all of the kinds of sauces I could make.  My Aunt Louise's Homemade BBQ Sauce came to mind, or some kind of homemade ketchup or hot sauce.  Which could be awesome sauce treats for adults or co-workers, but elementary school friends may not think a homemade chutney ketchup is all that awesome sauce.  Then I remembered a childhood favorite: Red Hot Applesauce!  It's a very simple homemade treat.  Apples slow cooked with a little water and brown sugar and seasoned with Red Hots candies.  It's radiantly red with a cinnamon flavor.  Comforting and a little corny too.  The ideal Valentine treat!
Aren't these the cutest?!?
The color is so vibrant
Flavored with Red Hots Cinnamon Candies
A great gift with a cute little tag!
Only 4 ingredients and a few hours in the slow cooker.

Puree to desired consistency.
Here are FREE Printable tags
(without the To/From)
Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.
Here are tags, perfect for classmates,
with the To/From added.
These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables 
and remember they are for personal use only.
A really fun gift, and a great alternative to
the typical chocolate or other candy.
Speaking of corny vintage Valentines:
Here is a small sampling of my collection.

Please don't be offended by this cute little girl.
These Valentines are many years old.
Little Devil and I are Native American and
we think she looks like us.

I even have some "spooky" Valentines.
The puns are just too much!
Whether you're giving this applesauce to someone who
is Awesome Sauce or not, definitely whip up a batch.
Not only is it delicious, but your house will smell wonderful.
And you'll have a tasty snack worthy of sharing with
someone you love.

Homemade Red Hot Applesauce

20 apples, peeled and sliced (I used Granny Smiths that were about baseball-sized)
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Red Hots candies

Peel and core the apples and cut into thin slices.  Place in a large slow cooker and add the water and brown sugar.  Cook on high heat approximately 5 hours stirring occasionally.  The apples are done when they are soft enough to be mashed with a fork or potato masher.  Adjust the slow cooker to low and add the red hots.  Cook approximately 15-30 minutes, or until the candies are fully dissolved.  You will need to stir often to keep them from sticking to the slow cooker.  Allow the applesauce to cool enough to place in a food processor or blender.  Puree the applesauce until smooth (or the consistency you prefer.) Ladle into jars and refrigerate up to two weeks.

Prep Time:  Approximately 25 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 5.5 hours

Yield: 8 (8 ounce) jars

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Old-Fashioned Orange Muffins

I made this recipe back at the end of January, when things were really cold and boring.  Everything including the weather had been kind of blah.  I decided we needed some color, flavor and fun in our lives.  So I put the Valentine decorations up early.  Nothing like a giant red glittery heart on the front door to bring a little cheer to the neighborhood.  And nothing makes the house more homey than the smell of something yummy baking in the oven.  These Old-Fashioned Orange Muffins have a sweet, cake-like texture and they are chock full of orange zest, for a fresh orange flavor.  Citrus fruit is in season right now, and the oranges are bright, juicy and beautiful.  Perfect for bringing some sunshine inside on a dreary cold day! 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Border Crossing Green Chile Stew

For years the Border Crossing restaurant was a local favorite in Norman, Oklahoma.  It featured southwest-style New Mexican food.  Their salsa was the freshest, chunkiest salsa in town.  My mom would go there and buy it by the quart for every family get together.  The queso featuring their green chile stew was a dream.  It was a dark, quaint location with the coldest beer and fruitiest sangria.  Patterned after The Shed restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico the menu featured blue corn stacked enchiladas and of course their famous green chile stew, which I'm sure they sold in gallons.  It was by far my husband's favorite dish on their menu and like many in our city, he was broken hearted when the restaurant closed.  For years he has tried to replicate that stew.  I cannot even count how many versions we have tried.  After many years of trial and error we finally settled on a variation we love.  It's different than the original from the Border Crossing, but equally delicious.  Greg's Famous Green Chile Stew has become a family favorite, but we've never forgotten the original inspiration from the Border Crossing.  When my aunt passed away a couple of years ago, I gratefully received her collection of cookbooks and recipes.  You would not believe the surprise when I found one labeled "Border Crossing Stew."  Greg was shocked and amazed and we made it that very night.  I have no idea how she came about the recipe, but as much as we could remember it tasted very similar to that steaming bowl of green chile stew from the Border Crossing.  Chock full of tender beef, fresh corn and of course the signature roasted green chile flavor.  We enjoy this often, and fondly reminisce about our old favorite restaurant.  
A taste of Santa Fe
Very simple to prepare.
Everything goes into the slow cooker.

Full of roasted green chile flavor

Like the old Border Crossing restaurant!

Enjoy with tortillas, cornbread or some
Homemade Indian Fry Bread.
( I even have a gluten-free version!)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bacon Blue Cheese "Potatchos"

The gluten allergy thing has been pretty easy to tackle when we eat at home.  When we leave the house is when I run into issues.  We celebrated our last tailgate of the season at the end of November and Mr. Devilish Dish made his famous Green Chile Stew.  Since beer is one of the ingredients I could not eat any.  Normally I make sure to pack my own gluten-free treats for these occasions, but we had out of town guests and had just celebrated Thanksgiving.  I totally dropped the ball.  My Devilish Nephew was wandering around the OU campus, so I texted him to find bring me some sort of gluten free option from one of the local restaurants.  He showed up with a to-go box with the yummiest potato chip nachos I've ever tasted.  They featured freshly fried chips, topped with bacon, blue cheese, scallions and sour cream.  A really delicious treat, that I decided to re-create at home.  We opted to create a creamy blue cheese sauce, which really complimented the salty bacon crumbled and freshly chopped green onions. All of this goodness atop a pile of crispy homemade potato chips.  A really clever alternative to traditional nachos, and a great gluten free option too! 
Move over traditional nachos.
Make room for "Potatchos"
Soak the thinly sliced potatoes in cold, salted water.

Fry in small batches until crisp and golden.

Season the chips lightly with sea salt.
Is there anything better than a homemade
potato chip? So good!
Melt the cream cheese and milk,
adding the blue cheese crumbles.
Drizzle the blue cheese sauce over the chips.
Sprinkle with bacon pieces, green onions,
and blue cheese crumbles.
A wonderful savory snack.
And gluten free too!

Bacon Blue Cheese "Potatchos" 
featuring homemade potato chips:

3 large russet potatoes
3 tablespoons iodized salt
5 cups cold water
oil for frying
sea salt 
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
1 (4 ounce) package blue cheese crumbles, divided
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 green onions, chopped

To prepare the potato chips, scrub the potatoes and thinly slice. (I used a mandolin-style slicer.) Dissolve the 3 tablespoons of iodized salt in 5 cups of cold water in a large bowl.  Soak the potato slices in the water for 30 minutes.  Drain and rinse, then fry the potatoes in small batches in hot oil at 375 degrees F until crisp.  Drain onto a platter lined with paper towels and lightly season with sea salt.  In a saucepan over medium heat, add the cream cheese and milk, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted an smooth.  Add half of the blue cheese crumbles, and continue heating until blue cheese has melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly.  To assemble the "potatchos", place the potato chips on a large platter.  Drizzle the blue cheese sauce evenly over the potato chips.  Sprinkle with the crumbled bacon, chopped green onions and the other half of the blue cheese crumbles.  Serve and enjoy.

Prep Time:  Approximately 40 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 15 minutes

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Soup

So an "Arctic Airmass" moved into Oklahoma today.  I didn't see it, but boy can you feel it.  One of the local weathermen shared a crazy picture of the grey, freezing doom coming in.  Of course it's the perfect day to stay on the couch with the dog and make a hearty soup for dinner!  A while back I participated in our quarterly Freaky Friday Recipe Swap.  I made Reese's Pretzel Basketball Cookies, copied from the Take Two Tapas blog.  Well my friend Brandi over at Aunt Bee's Recipes was tasked with choosing a recipe from Bowl Me Over.  She chose to make this Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Soup and WOW is it good.  I was a little skeptical when I looked at the recipe.  I'm not a huge fan of ground beef in soups.  And then the toppings?  Chopped pickles IN A SOUP?  Are you kidding me?  As I told Brandi, "Never in ten thousand years would I think about putting a pickle in a bowl of soup and liking it."  But I'm serious.  It's just like a cheeseburger in a bowl.  You may be skeptical like I was, but trust me.  It's amazing.  And don't skip the toppings.  The chopped tomato, chopped onion, bacon, cheese, and chopped pickle really do make the dish.  One of the purposes of the Freaky Friday Blog Swaps is to meet new bloggers and try new recipes.  I'm so glad that Brandi from Aunt Bee's Recipes and Debra from Bowl Me Over decided to participate in this round.  Otherwise I might never have known that such a thing as a bacon cheeseburger in a bowl existed! 
Perfect on a freezing cold day!
It's just like a cheeseburger in a bowl!

Don't skip the toppings, you need all of the
usual cheeseburger ingredients!

Pickles in soup?  Don't knock it til you try it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Champagne Mousse

Every New Year's Eve for as long as I can remember, we have stayed home and had a crab boil.  This past year we decided to change things up and prepare a meal that was a little more elegant.  We had prime rib, potato gratin and a wonderful salad with goat cheese.  I was looking for a sophisticated dessert and nothing screams, "Happy New Year" more than champagne.  Nothing screams, "Get me a spoon" more than champagne mousse.  It's rich and creamy and really yummy served with freshly whipped cream and fresh berries.  If you want to impress your guests at your next celebration, end the meal with champagne mousse.  It's the perfect way to celebrate!

An elegant ending to any meal...
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