Egg Nog

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Homemade Christmas egg nog - delicious spiked or plain!

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Egg Nog
SO much better than store-bought!
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine eggs, sugar, milk and salt in the top of a double boiler with simmering water.
  2. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the spoon.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the cream, vanilla and nutmeg.
  4. Chill overnight and serve cold. Garnish each cup with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Spike with brandy or whiskey, if desired.
Recipe Notes

If you overcook the egg nog and it isn't completely smooth, just use a stick blender to smooth it out. It won't affect the taste.

It's important to chill the egg nog for several hours before serving it. The flavors really come together and taste like the real deal. It's good right off the stove, but so much better after a few hours in the fridge.

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Sriracha Aoli Dip Sauce Recipe

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A quick, spicy sriracha dip to whip up for crispy roasted brussels sprouts, wings, fries, onion straws or other snacks and appetizers.

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Sriracha Aoli Dip Sauce Recipe
A spicy, creamy hot-yet-cool quick dip for topping roasted brussels sprouts, fries, onion straws and other appetizers and side dishes.
Course Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine American, Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine American, Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine mayo and sriracha. Stir til creamy and well mixed. Serve over fries, brussels sprouts, onion straws, wings or anything you want to add a creamy zing to.
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Deviled Egg “Devil Chix” Recipe

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These devilish chicks will delight your crowd, whether for Easter, buffet table or game day. Traditional deviled egg recipe with a cute presentation.

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Deviled Egg "Devil Chix" Recipe
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Hard boil the eggs and let cool quickly in ice water. Change out the ice water when it gets warm. If you cool the eggs slowly, a greenish skin forms around the yolks inside.
  2. Peel the eggs and rinse. Pat dry.
  3. With a sharp paring knife, cut about 25% off the smaller end of each egg, revealing the cooked yolk.
  4. Carefully remove the yolks from the whites and put them in a separate bowl.
  5. Rinse and pat dry the whites. With your paring knife, cut around the edge of the small end of each egg in a zigzag pattern. Cut a small slice off the other end of each egg to make them flat so they will stand up on their own.
  6. To the egg yolks, add the mustard, mayo, relish, sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and ground pepper. Mash the yolks with a fork and mix all ingredients well.
  7. Spoon 1/6 of the egg yolk mixture into each of the larger, upright white parts. Cap each with a jagged small piece, leaving part of the yolk mixture visible. Push two whole peppercorns into each visible yolk part for eyes and a small piece of carrot into each for a beak.
  8. Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce.
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Pecan Stilton Crackers Recipe

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Recipe for homemade Stilton pecan crackers from scratch. These crackers taste better than anything you can buy! The dough and the baked crackers can be made ahead and frozen for several weeks in advance of any party or gathering.

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Crackers, Pecan Stilton, Recipe
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine butter and flour in food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds or to the consistency of cornmeal.
  2. Add Stilton and pulse until dough forms a ball.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Divide in half and roll each half into cylinder about 7 inches long. Dough will be sticky but easy to handle.
  4. Line a sheet pan with parchment and scatter chopped pecans evenly over it. Roll dough cylinders in turn in the pecans until coated.
  5. Wrap the dough in parchment or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Unwrap chilled dough, trim ends and cut into ¼-inch slices.
  8. Line a sheet pan with parchment and place slices about 1 inch apart on pan.
  9. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful not to overbake.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan. Crackers will firm up as they cool.
Recipe Notes

Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Substitute Maytag or Gorgonzola in place of the Stilton for a similar taste.

Serve with roasted peaches, nectarines or plums and some crème fraiche. Garnish with chopped chives.

Pair with your favorite wine.

Keep some dough in the freezer for unexpected guests.

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No-Bake Seasoned Saltine Crackers

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Fast, cheap and easy crackers for appetizers like cheese, pickles, olives and deli meats; great for holiday tables or snack trays any time of year. Requires no baking or cooking.

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Crackers, No-Bake Seasoned Saltine Recipe
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put crackers in large bowl with tight-fitting lid.
  2. In smaller, separate bowl, whisk oil, garlic powder, pepper flakes and dressing mix together.
  3. Drizzle dressing over crackers and gently stir them with large spoon.
  4. Seal the bowl and turn every 15 to 30 minutes until dressing is absorbed, about 5 or 6 turns.
  5. Serve with cheese, deli meat or other toppings as appetizers.
Recipe Notes

Use saltines without the salt on top; these crackers turn out pretty salty, so don't make it worse! You might even want to cut the amount of ranch dressing mix in half if you are watching your salt intake.

Serve these with my mozzarella/rosemary cubes cheese appetizer.

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Grilled Sesame Asparagus and White Onions Recipe

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One of my original recipes: grilled asparagus and white onions flavored with sesame oil. A great vegetarian side dish that also works well with green beans.

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Asparagus, Grilled Sesame, and White Onions Recipe
Course Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and trim the asparagus.
  2. Peel and french cut the onion.
  3. Marinate asparagus and onions in a zipper bag with sesame oil and salt for at least an hour, turning several times.
  4. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Start grilling asparagus first.
  5. After 5 minutes, add onions to the pan.
  6. Once everything is crisp-tender, remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds or toasted pine nuts for garnish, if desired.
  7. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

This recipe works equally well with white asparagus or green beans instead of green asparagus.

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Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins Recipe

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Light and sweet with the tang of lemon, these muffins make a great breakfast, brunch or dessert treat. Use Greek yogurt or buttermilk to enhance the flavor. No need to frost.

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Muffins, Lemon-Poppy Seed, Recipe
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20-25 minutes
Passive Time 20-25 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20-25 minutes
Passive Time 20-25 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175 C). Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or use paper cupcake cups.
  2. Add lemon zest to sugar and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers. Set aside about 1 tablespoon (9-19 g) of this mixture for later.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well after each.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, including poppy seeds.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the yogurt or buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla. Beat just until smooth.
  7. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full. Sprinkle the top with reserved sugar and lemon zest.
  9. Bake at 350°F (175 C) for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Recipe Notes

There is no need to frost these muffins.

This recipe can also be baked in a large pan as a cake.

If you don’t have baking soda, which can be hard to find in Europe, just use more baking powder

Greek yogurt has the best flavor for this recipe.

If you don’t have vanilla extract, use a packet of vanilla sugar instead.

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Spicy Cajun New Orleans Shrimp Recipe

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This spicy Cajun shrimp recipe is easy to prepare and quick to cook. Use over rice, grits or even a salad for a fresh seafood treat. Don't like hot food? I give options to make them milder.

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Shrimp, Spicy Cajun New Orleans Recipe
Marinate shrimp in a spicy Cajun seasoning mix then quickly fry it up with onions and garlic for a wonderful New Orleans treat.
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fry bacon until crisp. Alternatively, place strips on rack on baking sheet and bake in preheated 375 F oven for about 30 minutes til crisp. Drain on paper towels, crumble and set aside.
  2. Mix shrimp with seasoning in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to marinate.
  3. Heat skillet on medium heat. Melt butter in 1/4 cup olive oil. Add onions. Saute for about 5 minutes until onions are tender and translucent. Add garlic and saute an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add marinated shrimp to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp begin to become firm and slightly pink, about 4 minutes. Add remainder of olive oil and saute for about 1 minute more to infuse the oil with the seasoning. Immediately remove from heat.
  5. Serve in a bowl over rice, grits or salad greens, drizzling the extra, infused oil around sides. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and sliced scallions on top.
Recipe Notes

I use Emeril Lagasse's Essence spice mixture. Use less seasoning for less spicy shrimp. For more spice, add cayenne pepper to taste. For no spice at all, use a seasoning mix without cayenne.

Do not overcook the shrimp. They turn hard and rubbery if overcooked.

Serve over rice or Asiago cheese grits. These shrimp are great over a green salad, too, even chilled.

 

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Asiago Cheese Grits Recipe

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Rich and decadent Asiago cheese grits, perfect for a breakfast buffet side dish or as part of Cajun shrimp and grits combination. I like Better than Bouillon organic chicken base, but you can use any brand you prefer. Substitute cheddar for the Asiago for an amazing taste variation.

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Grits, Asiago Cheese Recipe
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a rolling boil. Whisk in chicken base. Work quickly so the milk does not burn.
  2. Whisk in the grits in a slow stream, whisking rapidly and constantly to avoid lumps.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until the mixture thickens and is al dente. The time depends on the type of grits you are using; consult the package label for cooking time.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add butter and the cream and stir well to loosen the mixture. Add more cream if necessary to get a thick yet flowing consistency.
  5. Add the cheese and pepper. Mix them into the grits, stirring until fully incorporated.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and cover until serving time.
  7. Add more cream if the mixture is too thick at serving time.
Recipe Notes

Always grate your own cheese for richer flavor, plus the ready-grated cheese in the supermarket dairy section has talcum or other agents added to keep the cheese from sticking together.

Substitute cheddar cheese for the Asiago in this recipe for a tasty switch.

These grits make great leftovers and will store in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. They are very fast to heat up in the microwave because of all the dairy. Be careful when handling the freshly-prepared or reheated grits; they are HOT!

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Cajun Seasoning by Emeril Lagasse Recipe

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This is my latest mix-up of Emeril's Essence Cajun seasoning. Love this stuff! It makes great crab cakes, New Orleans-style shrimp and mountains of other spicy, Cajun food. Although you can buy it, I think it's always better to mix your own.

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Cajun Seasoning by Emeril Lagasse Recipe
Emeril Lagasse's well-publicized Essence recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
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