Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cranberry Pinwheels


Earlier this month, some talented friends and I got together and hosted our own little craft show.  We called it a Sip & Shop and invited our friends and family to come out and do a little Christmas shopping.  We held it at the international pantry, which is my favorite store on the planet because I love to cook.  I had my handmade t-shirt scarves there from my own little Scarf Factory.  My childhood friend Ginger makes the most gorgeous, unique jewelry in her own little workshop called the Found Object Studio.   Our friend Courtney, who is a Make-Up Artist joined us and did touch ups and makeovers.  Since this is the same location that Mr. Devilish Dish teaches his cooking classes, it seemed only natural to stick him in the kitchen to demonstrate some appetizers and pour the wine.  He did a demonstration and tasting on Easy & Elegant Holiday Appetizers and they were a huge hit!  These pinwheels were over the top with flavor and the colors scream Christmas.  It's a simple twist on the usual pinwheels that contain cream cheese and Mexican flavors.  This time they're brought to a new level with cranberries, feta cheese and spinach tortillas.  These will make a great addition to your holiday appetizers this year and they are so simple to make ahead.  Roll them up the day before and simply slice before serving.  What could be easier than that? 
 
Easy and Elegant!
The perfect holiday appetizer.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hungarian Stuffed Peppers

We like Stuffed Peppers around our house.  From traditional stuffed peppers, to variations like Inside Out Stuffed Green Pepper SoupWhen I saw this recipe on Pinterest, the addition of the smoked paprika really intrigued me.  We love the flavor of smoked paprika, and I had a feeling we would really enjoy this recipe.  If you haven't cooked with smoked paprika before, you need to.  It's got a rich, smoky flavor that adds a lot of depth to whatever you're cooking.  The nice young lady at the Vikalinka Blog, says it's just like her mom used to make and an authentic Russian recipe.  All week long when Mr. DD asked, "What's for Sunday Supper?" I kept telling him, "Hungarian Stuffed Peppers."  I don't know why I thought they were Hungarian.  I can look at a map and tell you the difference between Hungary and Russia.  I guess the paprika reminded me of Hungarian Goulash.   She suggests serving them over mashed potatoes, which is something I wouldn't normally do.  But definitely do it!  The sauce is super yummy, and makes a delicious "gravy" over the potatoes.  (There is only 1/2 cup of rice in the entire dish so the amount of starch really isn't an issue.)  I changed things up a bit, to use what I had on hand, but please visit her blog, and check out the original recipe too.  I'm fascinated by recipes from all over the world, and really excited to find a blog with some Russian heritage.  This is definitely a recipe we will make again.  The perfect hearty Sunday Supper! 
 
This may not be the prettiest presentation,
I never planned to put this on the cover of a cookbook.
I can tell you our bellies did not complain one bit.
Seriously, give it a try!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Homemade Pain Relief Creams

My dad is quite the golfer.  For a 76-year old dude, he's very active.  He's a total handyman, has a gorgeous yard and garden and works on the car.  You'd never, ever know he was 76 because he doesn't not look or act it!  Except occasionally allergy headaches or arthritis flares up.  And an occasional sore muscle from over-doing it in the yard or at the golf course.  I suggested a soak in the tub in some Epsom Salts and his reply was, "I don't take baths." So I thought I'd come up with something a little more "manly" for his aches and pains.  I've run across quite a few homeopathic-type remedies for balms and creams, and I know several people who have had great luck using essential oils, so I thought I'd give these a try.  They don't smell too bad, and I think the little rice heating pad turned out pretty cute.  Dad will be getting all of these for Christmas along with some tasty snacks he can enjoy on the days his muscles are sore and need a rest!
All packaged up and ready for the golfer!
Complete with a rice heating pad.
(Golf ball printed of course!)
Melt almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter
and beeswax in a double boiler.

 


Add essential oils.
(Try not to photograph your hands
with alien-colored nails that look this bad.)

Here's the line-up

Here's the line-up for the Arthritis Cream.
I found the big jar of Vitamin E cream at Dollar General.
It gets combined with Eucalyptus oil.
I put the finished creams in little canning-style jars,
but any kind of container with a tight-fitting lid
should do.
 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Booze Bouquet

So I posted last week about the Merry Christmas Rein "Beer," and about the fun little Christmas party we go to each year with our baseball-loving friends.  We eat, laugh and maybe enjoy a beer or two.  And play "Dirty Santa" to exchange gifts.  Since a majority of the folks at the party were single guys, I figured there was no way I could go wrong with the gift of booze.  I was correct in my assumption because this gift got "stolen" several times during the exchange.  I love this idea, and I think it would work great any time of year, not just for Christmas.  A "valentine" of a dozen "bottles" for you guy would be really cute.  (Especially if he sends you a dozen roses!)  It went together surprisingly fast, was very simple and very well received!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mexican Hot Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats



I've been in the middle of a big sewing explosion.  Literally there is not a room in my house that does not look like a section of Santa's Workshop.  In addition to loving to cook, I also like to sew.  In particular, I make some darned cute up-cycled scarves from vintage t-shirts.  (You can see my SCARF FACTORY page HERE if you'd like to see them!)  Well some crafty, talented friends and I got together and decided to have a little Christmas shopping event so folks have a chance to check out our stuff for the holidays.  It's the first time I've really done anything like this and I've been pretty busy this month!  But life still goes on, and as you know football is a major part of my life.  Specifically Oklahoma Sooners football.  And last weekend they played our in-state rival: Oklahoma State in a game that's known as Bedlam.  It's a big game and one I was determined not to miss, in spite of the stacks of half-finished scarves screaming my name.  We were planning to watch the game with a group of friends and Mr. Devilish Dish volunteered to bring a big pot of his famous AWARD WINNING CHILI.  What I didn't know was he volunteered me to bring a dessert.  This was in addition to sewing about 60,000 scarves, making homemade cut-out sugar cookies for a friend's birthday party AND attending a Christmas party that evening.  By the time we made it home from the Christmas party I was running on fumes.  And still needed to come up with a dessert.  And he had the nerve to suggest peanut butter cookies.  Which are his favorite.  Which also require me standing in the kitchen and scooping out cookie dough all night and making that stupid criss-cross design on each one with a fork.  No thank you, not tonight.  I needed something festive since it's the holiday season, but something that filled a single pan and didn't take up too much time.  Mexican Hot Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats fit the bill!  I've made SPICY MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES before and they were very well-received.  I figured why not adapt those flavors to everyone's favorite tailgating dessert:  Rice Krispie Treats!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Merry Christmas Rein "Beer"

Each December we get invited to a fun Christmas party with our baseball tailgating friends.  There's a Dirty Santa gift exchange, and of course food, fun and fellowship.  A lot of the folks in the group are single guys, so what do you take to a gift exchange that guys will like?  BEER.  Not being one to gift wrap a 12-pack, of course I had to "cute up" my gift a little.  I've seen this idea floating around Pinterest, and decided it would be the perfect thing to take for a group of guys.  Fortunately, our local liquor store sells individual bottles of beer, so I was able to choose six different kinds of holiday-themed beers (including Shiner Cheer & Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.)  They all had cute Christmas and Winter themed flavors and labels.  I even found a six-pack carrier for Anchor Steam's Christmas beer, saving myself the effort of decorating the box (but feel free to do that too!)  All you'll need are some pipe cleaners, googly eyes, red pom pom noses and a glue gun.  Whip some up for the beer drinker on your list, they won't be disappointed if Santa leaves these Rein "Beers" under the tree!

Fun and Festive...
And thirst quenching too!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mexican Roast

I'm a sucker for a slow cooked roast.  You know, LOW & SLOW.  Throw it all together and let it go in the oven for a few hours.  You've taken an inexpensive, slightly tougher piece of meat and turned it into a thing of beauty.  I'm also a sucker for Mexican flavors.  With ANYTHING.  You could slow roast a Mexican shoe and I would probably eat it.  Especially anything with green chiles.  This roast packs a lot of flavor and is wonderful served with green chile mashed potatoes.  Be sure a spoon a little of the "jus" on top.  Ole!
Mexican Roast...Mmmmmm...
The Mexican Roast "Fiesta"
Sear roast on both sides. 
I seasoned it with salt and pepper too. 
I season everything with salt and pepper.
You should to, whether I tell you in the recipe or
not. :)
Combine the bouillon with hot water. 
Mix in remaining ingredients and pour over roast. 
Cover and cook for 1 hour.  Turn roast over and cook
an additional 1 to 2 hours.
Lookin' Good!
Serve alongside Green Chile Mashed Potatoes
and you will be very happy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Spicy Southwestern Beans and Cornbread

We love beans and cornbread around here.  It takes me back to my roots.  Except no offense to my mother's cooking, we don't have them every night.  And we don't have them with fried potatoes.  Or fried pork chops.  Or fried okra.  Or fried squash.  (Get it?  My childhood consisted of a healthy "fried" diet.  No wonder I RARELY fry anything.)  Literally I made beans and cornbread for the first time in 15 years a while back.  You could say I was kind of burnt out on it from my childhood.  Being a family that gets easily burned out on recipes, you can see why I'm always changing the recipe routine.  Trying to stay out of the recipe rut.  So I came up with a Mexican twist on beans and cornbread.  Because that's one thing we never get tired of is Mexican food.  Now you've got two delicious versions to choose from, and I'm pretty sure you won't tire of either!
These are great as a meal on their own,
or they make an outstanding side dish.
Try them with a steak!
The Spicy Southwestern Bean Party
Cover beans with 2-inches of water.

Boil, then let sit for 1 hour.
Drain well.
Return beans to the pot.
Add water and boil again.
Add green pepper, onion and garlic.
Add Worcestershire sauce.

Add chili powder.

Add dry mustard powder.
Simmer some more.
Add Ro-Tel and simmer some more!
And now for the Mexican Cornbread.
Because you can't have
Spicy Southwestern Beans
without cornbread!
The Line-Up
(Don't be scared.  It looks like lots of
stuff, but it all gets dumped in one bowl.)
Combine eggs, oil and flour.
Add yellow cornmeal.
Add salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Now add the vegetables:
Garlic...
Drained Mexicorn
Shredded cheese
(That's not a vegetable...Oh well, throw it in too!)
Diced green pepper, onion and
jalapenos.  Mr. Devilish Dish
is an outstanding dicer/chopper.

Place in a greased baking pan.
Bake until light brown.
Serve with the Spicy Southwestern Beans for
a combination that can't be beat!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oklahoma Caviar

I'm pretty sure every state, or at least every "Southern" state has their version of a black-eyed pea dip they call "caviar."  You may have heard of "Texas Caviar."  Well I'm an Oklahoma Girl through and through and we DO NOT eat Texas Caviar 'round here.  We eat Oklahoma Caviar.  I love this version because it has lots of jalapenos, but not too much kick.  It's ideal for tailgating and perfect for New Year's celebrations if you happen to follow the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year's Day.  We like to serve it like a dip with tortilla chips, but it makes a great side dish to any entrĂ©e, especially with a big piece of cornbread.  Enjoy.  Just don't call it Texas Caviar, because thems fightin' words!
OKLAHOMA Caviar...
Because around here no one eats fish eggs...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Famous Oklahoma Club Special

Visit just about any golf course in Oklahoma that has a bar, and they'll have Club Specials.  Visit just about any bar in Oklahoma and they'll have Club Specials.  Legend goes, the Club Special was invented at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club in Oklahoma City.  The course opened in 1923, so that's a lot of history, a lot of golf and a lot of  beverages.  I've sampled my fair share, and nothing beats a cold, refreshing Club Special in the golf cart on a hot, Oklahoma day.  One local golf course even serves them up frozen-style.  If I could master that technique, I'd never leave my kitchen.  They're delish, and not just for golf.  Believe me.  Obviously, I'm not a golfer.  But I do know my way around a cocktail and this one is a hole in one!
I've also heard this called a Vodka Special,
or a Country Club Special, but round' here
it's just a Club Special and that's
good enough for me...
 

Club Special

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce limeade
1 ounce Sprite
club soda
lime and lemon wedges

Combine vodka, limeade and Sprite to a glass of ice.  Fill with club soda and garnish with a lime and lemon wedges. 

Prep Time:  Approximately 5 minutes     Cook Time: 0, you drink it!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Apple-Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Bars with Browned Butter Frosting

Last Fall, my pal Michaela over at An Affair From The Heart made the most fabulous Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars on the planet.  They taste like a really yummy homemade version of those frosted sugar cookies we are all tempted by in the Wal-Mart bakery.  It's a terrific go-to recipe and one that has lots of room for variation.  We've both made them on many occasions.  Halloween sprinkles, Christmas sprinkles.  Oklahoma Sooners sprinkles.  Michaela even made an Easter version and changed up the frosting to include a White Chocolate  Cream Cheese Frosting, decorated with M&Ms.  If you haven't visited Michaela's blog by now, you should because I've told you to a million times.  And also because her recipes are always awesome, her pictures are gorgeous and her stories are inspiring.  This Halloween was the first time EVER, that Little Devil was not a trick or treater, and Mr. DD and I stayed home and handed out candy.  We made a big pot of his Award Winning Chili, and took turns answering the door for the neighborhood kiddoes.  Inspired by Michaela, I decided to make a Fall version of the Sugar Cookie Bars to celebrate Halloween and the season.  I'm in love with everything browned butter right now, and wanted to try a browned butter frosting on the bars.  You will not be disappointed with this variation!  The frosting is to die for.  Give these bars a try.  And the standard version.  And the white chocolate cream cheese version.  Heck, try your own variation and let Michaela and I know about it.  We would love to hear from you!
A great variation on an old favorite!
The frosting=TO DIE FOR!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Houdini Bars

Dessert named after the world's most famous magician?  Yes, they are that good.  MAGICALLY good.  So good they DISAPPEAR.  Believe me, they're not an ILLUSION.  A simple combination of boxed cake mix, cream cheese, coconut and a few other ingredients and ABRACADABRA!  You'll be CONJURING up all kinds of praise from your family and friends over these bars that taste part birthday cake, part cheesecake and part coconut cream pie.  A truly CHARMING combination. 
Ta-Da!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lemon Raspberry Bread

A while back, my friend Michaela over at An Affair From The Heart posted this yummy Lemon Raspberry Bread on her blog.  I didn't even have to look at the recipe.  The picture was enough for me!  Mr. Devilish Dish loves anything with raspberries, so I knew this would be an all around winner at our house too.  Last week, a friend mentioned how much she loves Eggs Benedict and Little Devil commented, "The only Eggs Benedict I like is when my dad makes it.  He makes the best hollandaise sauce."  So I decided maybe Eggs Benedict should be on the menu.  It's really hard to get our family together around the table for breakfast.  Some people are sleeping in while others are headed to the golf course.  I figure there's nothing wrong with a little breakfast for dinner, so last night we had Eggs Benedict, and of course Michaela's Lemon Raspberry Bread.  The bread was sweet and super moist, and the perfect compliment to our "breakfast for dinner" meal.  It was pretty awesome this morning with a cup of coffee too!   
Sweet & Moist...
Perfect for breakfast or dinner.
Or an afternoon snack.
Or a midnight snack...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

When I was a kid, every Sunday we went to my grandparent's house for Sunday Supper.  My Grandmother Mary made delicious, comforting meals like chicken & dumplings, pot roast, meatloaf, and of course chicken pot pie.  I love the idea of having a big, comforting family meal at my house, at least once a week.  Even if it's just Mr. DD and I.  It brings me back to my childhood and reminds me of a time when life was more simple and less stressful.  And it's a great way to relax and wind down before Monday charges at us.  Mr. DD loves Chicken Pot Pie, so when I heard of a soup version I thought it would be the perfect thing for a cloudy, chilly October day.  It's warm, soothing and ideal for a Sunday Supper!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup!
Warm, comforting and perfect for Fall Weather!
Don't you love these old-fashioned soup crocks?

Monday, October 21, 2013

White Chocolate Dipped Twinkie Ghosts

This weekend I went on my first ever Ghost Tour.  It was a "haunted tour" of the University of Oklahoma campus.  Not only was it historically informative, it was just a little spooky too!  My friends and I thought it was the perfect "Ghoul's Night Out" and an ideal way to spend a chilly, October evening.  Not only was it the first Ghost Tour that any of us had been on, I think we set the record for another first: Tailgating a Ghost Tour.  Not being one to let a night out slip by without being a festive occasion, I wanted to come up with some kind of ghost-themed treat for the girls.  You know, a little "Paranormal Party Favor."  I decided to dip some Twinkies in white chocolate to see what happened.  Success!  And I've been DYING to use those little Wilton edible candy eyes.  Delicious and slightly creepy all in one.  These eerily-edible ghosts would make a great school treat, or little Halloween gift for your family or co-workers.  Happy Halloween! 

I love them!
Packed up for a little "Ghoul's Night Out"
We had hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream,
with the option of adding peppermint schnapps
or marshmallow flavored vodka.  Our white chocolate dipped
Twinkie ghosts of course, and some Crack Corn-complete
with orange and black sprinkles.
The Crack Corn recipe is available
HERE.
The creepy-looking
gargoyles staring  down at us from
their perch atop the Bizzell Library.
White Chocolate Dipped Twinkie Ghosts...
I highly recommend them for some
Frightening Fun!
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