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...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Rosé Meringue Cookies

What's better than a Freaky Friday recipe swap?  A Freaky Friday Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange!  If you've been wondering what kind of treats to make for upcoming holiday festivities, here is your answer!  I've made the most wonderful Rosé Meringue Cookies, infused with Rosé wine, ideal for cookie trays and wine fans alike! What is Freaky Friday you ask?  It's a blog swap between myself and a lot of fabulous foodie friends.  We secretly cook and bake from one another's blogs and reveal our recipes on the same day.  This month we all chose a cookie or candy that would be delicious on a holiday cookie tray, just in time for your holiday baking... 
For this Freaky Friday swap, I chose a recipe from Mildly Meandering.  Madi is a student at Michigan State which absolutely amazes me that she has time to study English and manage a blog full of fabulous recipes at the same time.  When I was in college I could barely manage slice and bake cookies, let alone French Palmiers.  I ordered Domino's Pizza, and Madi is making Spinach Ricotta Gnudi.  So you can see she is an awesome young lady, and the rest of the bloggers in our group think she is pretty special.  She also has a hedgehog named Sir Humphrey Pricklemeister which I think is quite possibly the coolest pet name ever.  I was torn between all of the delicious baked goods on Madi's blog and then I ran across her Rosé Meringue Cookies.  Rosé wine is such a big trend right now, and it's something we always have on hand.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I make Rosé ice cubes and top them with Fresca.  We drink them on the patio and call them Porch Pounders.  
A "Porch Pounder" in my shatterproof Govino Wine Glass.
Perfect for the Patio!

So as you can see, I'm a little partial to Rosé.  The most interesting thing about this recipe is it only calls for 2 teaspoons of Rosé, but packs a true wine flavor.  If you've never had a meringue cookie, they are light, crisp and just a little sticky, similar to cotton candy.  Can you imagine Rosé flavored cotton candy?  Now imagine it in a sophisticated form, perfect for holiday gifting and entertaining.  I used just a bit of food coloring for the perfect pink color, and an icing tip that was reminiscent of a rose shape once I piped the cookie.  Only 4 ingredients to a gorgeous and delicious holiday treat.  These cookies will be the hit of any holiday cookie tray, because face it, any cookie that contains wine is the best cookie.
I love a recipe that is simple, but packs presentation.  These cookies are so cosmopolitan.  I'm excited to add them to my holiday menu.  I love the color variation from the traditional red and green.  Wouldn't these make a lovely gift with a bottle of Rosé wine?  Between Madi's wonderful recipes from Mildly Meandering, and all of the other participating bloggers, you are sure the find something tasty for your own cookie trays!          
I also have Rosé themed shoes.  I'm sensing a trend here.  Is it wrong when you enjoy wine so much you wear it on your feet?  Surely that isn't a problem is it?  We won't talk about that.  I'll just put on my favorite shoes, pour a glass of my favorite wine and bake a batch of my new favorite cookies!
Expressing the sentiments of tired bakers and holiday
shoppers every where!

Rosé Meringue Cookies

4 egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Rosé wine
pink food coloring

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they are stiff peaks.  Slowly add in sugar and continue to whip until glossy.  Slowly fold in Rosé and food coloring.  Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip and pipe 2.5-inch diameter circles.  Start from the center of the circle and pipe around until the it is the proper diameter.  Bake for 1 hour or until the cookies can easily be removed from the parchment paper.  Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside for 2-3 hours.  This will help the cookie cool slowly and avoid cracking.

Prep Time:  Approximately 15minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 2 hours Yield: 12 cookies

Notes on Rosé Meringue Cookies:

*Do Not make these on a humid or rainy day.  It is difficult to achieve a crispy, dry cookie if it is wet out.
*Make sure to have a piping bag and correct tip on hand to achieve the Rose look.
*If the cookies aren't stiff and crisp after 1 hour of baking give them an additional 20-30 minutes to help harden.
*Use a biscuit cutter, or similar round shape to trace a circle onto the back side of the parchment paper.  This will give you a guide for piping your circles.
*Use a chip clip to keep the meringue mixture from running out the tip as you fill your piping bag. 

  Make sure to visit all of the participating blogs for this round of Freaky Friday:
An Affair from the Heart - Mocha Rum Balls
A Dish of Daily Life - Cherry Pie Cookies
A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures - Black Forest Rum Balls
Bacon Fatte - Mexican Wedding Cookies
The Devilish Dish - Rosé Meringue Cookies
The Foodie Affair - No Bake Cookie ~ Copycat Samoas
Full Belly Sisters - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Hostess at Heart - Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
LeMoine Family Kitchen - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dippers
Life Currents - Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Mildly Meandering - Vanilla Bean Pizzelle Cookies
Pic Nic - Lemon and Blueberry Bars
Plattertalk - White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Take Two Tapas - Savory Pecan Cornmeal Biscotti Bites
Seduction in the Kitchen - Orange Snowball Cookies
Who Needs a Cape? - Almond Raspberry Thumbprints  



Monday, November 27, 2017

Cream of Green Chile Soup

My husband and I are what you would call Chile Heads.  We love anything with Hatch Green Chile.  We've had green chile wine, green chile peanut butter, and he's famous for his Green Chile Stew Recipe.  We try to get to New Mexico as often as we can, especially in late August and September during the Hatch Chile harvest.  Hatch, New Mexico is known as the "Chile Capitol of the World," most famous for growing New Mexico's State Vegetable: the New Mexico or green chile.  There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh green chiles turning in a chile roaster over an open flame.  We've been known to bring home garbage bags full.  I've been thinking about developing a Cream of Green Chile Soup for a long time.  I finally got around to creating it, and it was positively dreamy.  Light, but creamy in texture with the distinct flavor of roasted Hatch green chile.  I've never tasted anything quite like it.  My husband ate three bowls and exclaimed, "The only thing missing is a Monterrey Jack grilled cheese sandwich."  He's definitely onto something there.  Whether you're a Chile Head or a chile novice, this creamy, dreamy soup is a must make! 
Move over Greg's Famous Green Chile Stew,
make room for Candi's Cream of Green Chile Soup!
2 pounds of green chile deliciousness

Simmer the green chiles, onion and garlic with
chicken stock...
Puree until smooth, season with salt
and add heavy cream.

Enjoy New Mexico's most famous flavor!

Cream of Green Chile Soup

2 pounds roasted mild Hatch green chiles, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
4 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups heavy cream (depending on heat from chile)
Kosher salt to taste

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and saute one minute more.  Add the chopped green chiles and chicken broth.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook 20 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until very creamy.  Stir in cream.  Taste for seasoning and salt to taste.  Allow mixture to heat through and serve.

NOTE:  I used Hatch green chiles I had in my freezer.  I think this would be delicious with canned green chiles as well, but nothing beats that fresh roasted flavor.  If you have access to fresh green chiles in season, the definitely roast them fresh and use those.  Be sure to use the authentic Hatch green chile.  There's nothing that compares to the flavor!  I used 1.5 pounds of mild chiles and 1/2 pound of a particularly HOT batch. I wound up using the entire 2 cups of cream, but next time I will make the soup with all mild chiles, and go with 1 cup for a stronger chile flavor.

Prep Time:   Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 20 minutes

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

{Gluten-Free} Candy Corn Trash

Recently my sweet little Devilish Assistant Emily was chosen by her high school as a select group of "royalty" to raise money for a local charity.  In addition to soliciting donations from family and friends, and placing collection jars at area businesses, she baked.  And baked.  And baked.  The priest was kind enough to allow her to hold a bake sale at church.  She came over and we made Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte Blondies, Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts (featured on our recent Freaky Friday blog swap) and Candy Corn Trash.  She also sold treats at school including spicy pretzels, Crack Corn, and cookies.  On Monday, she took her church bake sale leftovers to peddle to her fellow students.  She texted me after school and said, "They want more Candy Corn Trash!"  We made several batches.  It consists of pretzels, salty peanuts, candy corn and white chocolate coating.  Of course I never tasted it because: Gluten.  But after hearing rave reviews from the high schoolers, I got curious and whipped up a batch with gluten-free pretzels for myself.  One word:  Addicting.  The combination of sweet candy corn and white chocolate coating with salty pretzels and peanuts is amazing.  I wound up bagging up an additional batch to give as little Halloween gifts.  It's the perfect fall snack, and easily converted to a gluten-free version!
The ideal combination of sweet and salty
Thanks to Gluten-Free Pretzels, it's a treat
everyone can enjoy!

Put out a bowl for a Halloween treat!

Candy Corn, Pretzels and Salty Peanuts...

With a white chocolate coating.  Yum!

{Gluten-Free} Candy Corn Trash

1 (14 ounce) package Gluten-Free Pretzel twists
1 (8 ounce) can salted peanuts
1 (17.8 ounce) package candy corn
1 (16 ounce) package white almond bark

In a large bowl combine pretzels, peanuts and candy corn.  In a microwave-safe container melt almond bark in 30-second intervals until smooth and creamy.  Pour over pretzel mixture and stir gently to combine.  Pour mixture onto waxed paper covered platter and allow to dry.  Break into pieces and store in an air-tight container.

Prep Time:  Approximately 5 minutes

Monday, October 30, 2017

CopyCat El Chico Salsa

I have a little place in my heart for the El Chico restaurant chain.  I grew up with one in our mall, and it was a big deal when you were old enough to hang out with your friends and enjoy dinner that wasn't in the food court.  Of course every obnoxious teenager in my town, including myself made a meal out of the complimentary chips, tortillas and salsa.  Mr. Devilish Dish always teases me and says he can't believe as well as I can cook from scratch, that my favorite Mexican food is from a restaurant franchise.  It may be a sentimental attachment, because as far back as I can remember El Chico has been the restaurant of choice for my mom, aunt, best friend and I.  Little Devil's first trip out of the house as a baby was to El Chico.  My BFF Barbara and I take our girls there now.  We call it the "meeting of the El Chico Chicas."  I don't care what Mr. Devilish Dish says, there will always be a place in my heart for El Chico's salsa.  If I ever wind up on death row, my last meal request will be El Chico's salsa, Mexican relish and corn tortillas.  Hopefully that will NEVER happen and I can continue celebrating there with the ladies in my life.  If you sadly don't have an El Chico near you, then you can enjoy my favorite salsa at home!
It may not be EXACTLY like the restaurant,
but it's darned close and darned good!
My childhood favorite restaurant

Serve with tortilla chips and corn tortillas
for the authentic restaurant experience.
Try my Mexican Restaurant Relish too!

Friday, October 27, 2017

{Gluten-Free} Candy Corn Crunch Snack Mix

Last week we took a little trip down to Texas to visit my Devilish Nephew and his beautiful wife.  I took him a big bag of Spicy Sriracha Snack Mix because he loves anything spicy.  It was chock full of goldfish crackers, oyster crackers and all things gluten.  I knew I couldn't stand to sit there all weekend while everyone enjoyed the Sriracha Snack Mix, so I decided to come up with something sweet to compliment to spicy, and something gluten-free so I could partake.  I'm super happy with how this snack mix turned out.  It's crisp and crunchy and sweet, with just a touch of saltiness from the pretzels and peanut M&Ms.  Whether you're gluten sensitive or not, this is a Halloween treat everyone is sure to enjoy!
A sweet treat everyone can enjoy!
Full of crunchy gluten-free pretzels
and Cheerios and Rice Chex
(Thank goodness for gluten-free cereals)

Ideal for Halloween with the candy corn,
Fall M&Ms and Halloween sprinkles!

{Gluten-Free} Candy Corn Crunch Snack Mix

2 cups gluten-free pretzel sticks
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups Rice Chex
1 (12 ounce) package candy corn
1 (11.4 ounce) package Fall Harvest Peanut M&Ms
9 squares white almond bark
1 bottle black and orange sprinkles

Combine the pretzels, cereals, candy corn and M&Ms in a large bowl.  In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the almond bark in 30-second intervals until smooth.  Pour over snack mix and stir carefully until coated.  Garnish with sprinkles and stir.  Spread mixture onto a large sheet of waxed paper and allow to dry.  Break up any large lumps and store in an air-tight container.

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes 

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