Friday, August 31, 2012

Creamy Corn Dip

Snacking?  Guilty!  We are the biggest snackers at our house.  Sometimes instead of meals, it's just chip and dip.  So unhealthy I know, but who can turn down chip and dip?  AND it's a great time for Mr. DD and I to test drive recipes that we want to use for tailgating.  So Spicy Corn Dip was born and many Fritos were consumed.  And I think we have a new recipe, just in time for kick off...

Creamy Corn Dip & Fritos Scoops:
A match made in Tailgate Heaven!
The Line-Up...
One bowl, so simple.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Little Devil's Asian-Inspired Graduation Party

I know I've bragged about my "Little Devil" until I'm blue in the face and you're red in the ears, but you only graduate from high school once.  Aside from our nephew (who is like a son to us) Little Devil is our only child.  Our "baby".  The baby who is going off to college.  Please allow me to brag on her just a moment, because she truly deserves it.  Murri (AKA Little Devil) was a recipient of the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship.  The scholarship pays $250,000 over 5 years to any college in the United States.  After applying to several schools and being accepted to such prestigious universities as Pepperdine and Drake University, Murri chose the University of Denver.  She also received the Taylor Scholarship from the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business.  In addition, she received another $2,000 from a local Shelter Insurance agent.  Needless to say we are quite proud and quite fortunate.  The doors of opportunity are opened fully for her.  She has also been a life-long member of the honor roll, works 25 hours a week at Chick-Fil-A, participates in the DECA business program and a youth leadership program with our Indian tribe.  Somehow she finds the time to babysit, participate in Habitat for Humanity, donate to our local animal shelter, take cooking classes and help out around the house too!  She's a very special young lady and we wanted to celebrate her accomplishments with a party in her honor.  I've told you before that she absolutely loves sushi, and Asian food in general.  It wasn't too hard to decide on a party theme for her.  I settled on an Asian theme right away.  Good Luck and Good Fortune seemed an appropriate theme for someone with her achievements.  I borrowed any and all "Asian" decor items I could find from friends and family members, and ordered a few things to make the day extra special.  It wasn't too hard to come up with a menu.  I just needed a call to our local sushi restaurant.  I did however, make quite a few Asian-inspired appetizers to accompany the sushi!  I hope you enjoy:
I used the table in the dining rooms for gifts
and party favors.  I framed her scholarship awards,
for the world to see.  I framed a collage of some of my
favorite pictures of Little Devil growing up, as well as
her gorgeous senior picture.  The centerpiece
was a vase filled with marbles and twigs from the
backyard painted black.  Hanging from the twigs
were glass ornaments that looked like a fortune cookie and a Chinese food take out box.
For party favors I ordered graduation-themed
fortune cookies from Oriental Trading Company.
I also ordered graduation and Chinese-themed
rubber ducks.  Little Devil has a massive
rubber duck collection and I thought all of the party
go-ers would appreciate having a little duck too!
Here's my beautiful girl...
A platter of ducks, and some Chinese Zodiac placemats,
rounding out the decor...
From our chandelier I hung Asian lanterns.  I even found
lanterns that looked like graduation caps too!
The kitchen table was used to serve the food...
For sauces, I provided a little tray of Sriracha sauce, soy sauce
sweet chile sauce and wasabi...
We ordered LOTS of sushi to go.  I would have
preferred serving it on a pretty platter, but the sushi chef
made such fabulous designs, I was afraid to remove it
from the foil pan.  You don't even want
to know how much sushi was ordered
and eaten!  (Oh well, we aren't having
to pay for college!)

My mom and aunt had some cute Bento boxes that made
great serving pieces for Wasabi Peas and Sriracha Peas.
You just snack on
them like peanuts or chips.  Beware, they are SPIC-EY!)
Pictured here is:   Ramen Noodle Coleslaw,
Asian Green Beans and Thai Celery Sticks.
I used Little Devil's Good Luck Cat, as the
place card theme to label all of the foods.  So cute!
You can find the recipe for the Ramen Noodle Coleslaw HERE,
the recipe for the Asian Green Beans HERE,

and the recipe for the Thai Celery Sticks HERE.
No Asian-themed party would be complete without a
bamboo plant for a centerpiece.   And a few
Deli Sushi Sandwiches for those too shy for the real thing!
You can find the recipe for the Deli Sushi
Sandwiches HERE.

Chicken Satay...
You can find the recipe HERE.

Asian Meatballs with Dipping Sauce...
Be sure to try that recipe HERE.

Almond Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting
Recipe can be found HERE.

I made the cake stand from a candle holder and a
Chinese Checker game board.
Candy Sushi was a big hit!
The directions for making candy sushi
can be found HERE.

Who doesn't love Pocky?
(Little Japanese biscuit sticks dipped in chocolate!)
Chow Mein Cookies for dessert...
Topped with Maldon sea salt
These were a sweet, salty delicious hit!
You must try these!  The recipe can
be found HERE.

Chow Mein Cookies

Remember the butterscotch "Haystacks" that your mom used to make?  Well these are the gourmet, grown-up version of those.  When I decided on an Asian-themed menu for Little Devil's grad party, I racked my brain for recipes with Asian ingredients, but things that weren't too wacky for our guests.  (Some of which are not as adventurous when it comes to Asian dining!)  Haystacks, using chow-mein noodles immediately came to mind, but I needed something a little more updated.  I saw this recipe on Food Gawker.  When I read that the blogger created this cookie inspired by a dessert enjoyed at David Chang's Momofuku Milk Bar, I knew I had to try it.  Please visit the Bob Vivant Blog for some incredible recipes!
Chow Mein Noodle Cookies...
Not Your Mama's Butterscotch Haystacks!

The Cookie Line-Up
Cream together butter and sugars.
Add egg and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients and add to wet mixture.
Stir in butterscotch chips.
Stir in chow mein noodles.
Roll into balls and place on ungreased baking sheet.
Flatten tops slightly with a glass.
Sprinkle lightly with Maldon sea salt.
Cool on wire racks completely, after baking.

Almond Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

When I created the menu for Little Devil's Asian-inspired graduation party, I tossed around the idea of cupcakes using truly Asian ingredients.  I toyed with the idea of everything from green tea to sake to Japanese plum wine.  I thought those flavors might be a little too out there for some of the guests, so I settled on something a little more mainstream.  Almond Cupcakes with a Cherry Buttercream Frosting.  They had the gorgeous look of a delicate Cherry Blossom that I was going for, and the addition of coconut milk gave an exotic flavor as well as creating a moist, delicious cupcake.
My pastry bag and tip exploded right before the party.
So I did things the old-fashioned way and used a spatula.
Not my prettiest cupcakes, but they tasted wonderful!
(Please observe the cake stand I made out of an old
Chinese Checkers game board!)

Ramen Noodle Coleslaw

This is one of my favorite salad recipes.  I've made it for years, and it's always well-received at potlucks and parties.  I knew it would be a safe choice for Little Devil's Asian-themed graduation party.  I knew not all of the guests would appreciate sushi, but I knew all of them would appreciate this cool, crisp slaw.  It's a great accompaniment to any grill or barbecue dish, certainly don't save it only for Asian-inspired meals.  It goes great with everything!
One of my favorite Summer Salads!
Don't save it for just Asian meals, it's
super with everything!

Deli Sushi Sandwiches

I've told you before Little Devil loves sushi.  She eats it weekly and would eat it daily if we let her.  I knew right away for her graduation party, that we would be serving sushi.  And I knew right away that her grandparents would not eat it.  Nor would some of the other guests in attendance. I wanted to have a variety of appetizers and desserts with Asian inspiration, but things that would appeal to a wide variety of palates.  I saw a picture online of "sushi" that was really made out of bread, cheese, deli meats and pickles.  What a fantastic idea.  It had the look of sushi, but the generic innocence of white bread sandwiches.  (And besides, it's wayyyy cheaper than raw fish!) 
For the Non-Sushi eaters in your life....

Candy Sushi

Several years ago, for Little Devil's birthday we took her and a group of friends to the local hibachi/sushi restaurant for dinner.  Instead of a birthday cake, I decided to make "Candy Sushi" instead.  A combination of Hostess HoHos snack cakes, Rice Krispie Treats, fruit roll-ups and Swedish Fish.  It's a sweet treat, perfect for any sushi lover!

This is my kind of sushi!

Chicken Satay

I come from a long-line of NON sushi eaters.  In fact, my family would consider sushi something they would use for bait.  Little Devil on the other hand, may have been mixed up with a baby from Japan.  She LOVES the stuff.  When her graduation party rolled around, and I ordered several large platters of sushi, I knew I had also better come up with some innocent-enough chicken or beef dishes for the rest of the family.  I figured meat-on-a-stick is meat-on-a-stick no matter it's country of origin.  From the state fair to Indonesia, it's still chicken on a stick.  The marinade for these satays was wonderfully flavorful, and super simple to put together.  The perfect appetizer for any occasion, especially if my family is coming over!

Also known as Chicken On A Stick!

Thai Celery Sticks

These flavorful veggies make a great, crisp appetizer.  A nice change from the usual peanut butter-filled celery!
Thai Celery Sticks--
not your Mama's peanut butter filled celery!

Asian Green Beans

My mother-in-law brought these yummy green beans to our house for Easter.  They taste like something straight off the Pei Wei menu.  Both Little Devil and my nephew went nuts for them.  My friend Barb suggested that I make them again for Little Devil's graduation party, as she knew I was leaning toward an Asian-inspired menu.  She was right, they were a hit at the party.  I served them hot, but they withstood sitting around on the table a bit, and were just as delicious when eaten at room temperature.  A perfect side dish if you're looking for something a little different than the standard green beans!
A unique side dish, or in Little Devil's case
a unique appetizer for her party!

Asian Meatballs

I've told you before, that Little Devil loves all things Asian.  She would eat Sushi for every meal if possible.  So when the time rolled around for her high school graduation party, I knew I wanted to do an Asian theme.  We ordered lots and lots of Sushi, but I wanted to have a variety of Asian-themed appetizers for our not-so-adventurous guests.  (Think Grandparents.  My dad is more likely to put a piece of sushi on a fishhook and drop it into the lake than put it in his mouth.)  Beef meatballs with a Asian-style dipping sauce seemed safe enough.  Safe and tasty!  These were a gigantic hit.  I quadrupled the recipe.  I think I wound up with 98 meatballs and they were literally gone the first ten minutes of the party.  They were simple to make.  I rolled them the day before and refrigerated them.  Popped as many as I could get on a jelly-roll pan and baked them off.  I will definitely be adding these meatballs to my regular appetizer recipe rotation.  I hope you will too!
These were a HUGE HIT at Little Devil's graduation party.
I quadrupled the recipe (5 pounds of ground beef) and
honestly could have made more, they were that popular!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mexican Casserole

I got this recipe many years ago from a dear friend of my great-aunt.  I was putting together little recipe books for my cousins that included recipes from some of our family and close friends.  This casserole has been one of my go-to recipes for years.  I've served it for company, with a salad and chips and salsa alongside.  Sadly, I've taken this casserole when friends have lost a loved one.  And happily I've shared it when friends have added a new addition to their family.  It freezes well, and it's well-liked by everyone.  I usually prepare it in a throw-away foil pan, cover it with foil, and write the baking directions on top.  Add a bag of chips, some salsa and a batch of homemade cookies and you've got a great meal for anyone who needs a help with dinner. 
The Line-Up!
Brown ground beef and onion together.
Line a 9x13-inch pan with a layer of flour tortillas.
Pour browned beef mixture over tortillas.
Top with beans, cheese and another layer of tortillas.

Combine soup and tomatoes.  Pour over tortilla layer.
Sprinkle with remaning cheese.
Cover with foil and bake

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Little King's Salad

A long time ago, Mr. Devilish Dish and I lived in Omaha, Nebraska for 4 years.  With the exception of the cold and snow we like it there very much.  The people were friendly, we shared a mutual respect for college football tradition, and you could get an amazing steak anywhere.  The very best thing to come out of my time in the Cornhusker State was meeting my friend, Michaela.  It's been over 10 years since we moved from Nebraska, and she remains one of my dearest friends to this day.  We met over scrapbooking, bonded over being stay at home moms to our kids, and realized we had so much more in common.  Both of us love to cook and entertain, and whenever I need a new recipe, I can count on Michaela to come through with something tried, true and delicious.  She shared this recipe with me many years ago.  It's named for the Little King's Sub Shop in Omaha.  It's basically a sub salad in a bowl.  It's one of the few "main dish" salads that I can get the men in my family to eat.  Serve it with some chips and brownies, and you've got an outstanding, casual summer meal.  Thanks Michaela for sharing yet another winning recipe!
A Sub Salad in a Bowl!

The Line-Up...Feel free to try deli meats or
cheeses of your choice!
Combine dressing ingredients and
set aside until ready to serve.
Place Romaine pieces in a bowl.
Add meats and cheeses!
(It's a hearty salad with lots of ham and turkey)
Add tomatoes just prior to serving.
Shake dressing well and pour over salad.
Add bread pieces, toss and serve immediately.
Be sure and visit Michaela's Blog at:
for more fabulous recipes!
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