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!
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