Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Waffles: a perfect Thanksgiving breakfast!

Seriously easy, just the ticket to hold the family hunger off until the main show starts and absolutely delicious!
I serve with maple syrup and chopped pecans...but you really don't need the chopped nuts these are great with just syrup!

You can mix up the dry ingredients ahead of time, store in a baggie and have them ready to go on Thanksgiving morning.  The rest is pretty easy and YOU will be a STAR in your family’s eyes!
Dry ingredients:                                                               
1/3 C. brown sugar                                         
3 T. Cornstarch                                                 
1 ¼ cups self-rising flour                                                               
2 t. cinnamon                                                    
2 t. ground ginger                                           
¼ t. ground cloves
¼ t. ground nutmeg
Wet Ingredients:
2 eggs separated
1 C. whole milk (buttermilk if you have it)
1 T. lemon juice or vinegar (if using whole milk)
3 T. Melted Butter
1 C. Canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Directions:
Pre heat waffle iron.
Mix together all the dry ingredients.  I use a whisk to make sure the spices are distributed evenly.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the milk and lemon (not necessary if using buttermilk) and let rest while beating egg whites.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Add the egg yolks, and canned pumpkin to the milk and beat until smooth. ( I just use a whisk for this)
Drizzle in the melted butter while whisking.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just until incorporated…a few little lumps do not matter.
Fold in the egg whites.
Ladle into hot waffle iron and follow manufacturer’s directions. (No waffle iron? Make pancakes!)


Friday, October 2, 2015

Focaccia

Below is the recipe I use for the dough.  
To make Focaccia with onions just let the dough rise a little while after you have shaped it into two circles.  When the dough has risen a little use your knuckle to put dents in the dough and then spread with thinly sliced fresh onions ( or you can saute the onions which is really good also) then drizzle with olive oil and bake according to the directions. 
Alternately, if you are in a rush, you can use fresh pizza dough that you buy at the market.  Just let it rise in the plastic bag at room temperature for a couple of hours before spreading it out into one circle.  I spread the dough using my hands not a rolling pin but both work.

Here’s the recipe for the pizza dough:
500 grams flour (I prefer to use weight measurements for this because it is more exact)
1 1/4 Teaspoon dried yeast. (the original recipe calls for 15 grams fresh yeast)
300 ml lukewarm water
1 Teaspoon ground sea salt ( original recipe calls for 10 grams sea salt)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method:
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor using the dough hook and then let it knead for about 2 minutes.
3. Place dough into a bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled.  About one to one and half hours.
4. Knead the dough to get rid of bubbles and then divide into 5 equal pieces.
5. Roll into balls and cover with damp tea towel; let rise for 30 minutes.
Pre heat oven to 475
6. Flatten the balls and roll out into a 10-12 inch circle
7. Place on pizza paddle that has been sprinkles with corn flour and cover with toppings
8. Slide onto heated pizza stones and bake in 475 degree oven for 13-15 minutes.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

WICKEDLY GOOD APPLE SWIRL CAKE WITH LEMON GLAZE


Fall screams apples and cinnamon so I chose to make this cake as part of a national project of amazing people, a swirl Bundt pan named Dorothy and a cook book called Todo.  Every person Dorothy visits makes a cake and adds the recipe to Todo....They have been traveling the United States for over a year now and have many months on the road before they finally arrive back at Jenni's house.  My son thinks this is one of the best cakes I make so it seems just the right recipe to add to Todo and pass on!


·         2 Apples
·         1 ½ cups Self-rising flour
·         1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
·         2 t. cinnamon
·         4 oz Butter
·         3 eggs
·         1 cup Walnuts chopped
·         Juice and zest from 1 lemon
·         For the Glaze: mix together the juice of one lemon and 1 cup powdered sugar.
1.       Pre-heat oven to 350
2.       Peel, seed and chop the apples, coat with lemon juice and zest
3.       Melt butter
4.       Separate eggs, mix yolks & sugar together then add the melted butter, flour and nuts
5.       Fold in the apples and lemon juice
6.       Beats egg white until stiff
7.       Gently fold egg whites into batter one third at a time
8.       Spread batter in a Bundt swirl pan coated with nonstick spray
9.       Bake 45-55 minutes
10.   Let cake cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto cake platter

11.   When the cake is barely warm drizzle with lemon glaze.
This video shows you step by step instructions in just a few minutes!  It really one of the easiest cakes ever!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Thoroughly Modern Milles and updated Mille-Feuille

Mille-Feuille or Napoleons have been around since the mid-1600s.  I thought it was time to give Mille-Feuilles an update and a new name to go alone with this lighter but still totally decadent dessert!
According to my neighbors (official tastes testers), family (lifelong taste testers), friends (volunteer taste testers) and coworkers (eager yet discerning taste testers) Thoroughly Modern Millies are everything anyone could ask for in a dessert!

12 sheets filo dough
8 T. melted butter
3T sugar
Brush one filo sheet with melted butter, layer another sheet on top and brush with melted butter and a sprinkle of sugar.  Repeat until you have used 6 filo sheets brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar.  Cut filo sheets into 6 equal pieces and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat process with remaining 6 filo sheets.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown and flakey.
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
8 ounces white chocolate
Melt semisweet chocolate over simmering water then transfer to pastry bag or baggie.  Pipe a lattice pattern in squares onto parchment paper the same size as the filo pasty.  Chill.  Melt white chocolate over simmering water then transfer to pastry bag or baggie.  Pipe the white chocolate over the dark chocolate and chill until ready to build the desserts.
3 Cups Sugar
2 cups coarse chopped pecans
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
In medium sauce pan over medium low heat melt 3 cups sugar.  As sugar melts it will turn light brown, this is perfect. While sugar melts spread chopped pecans on parchment paper.  Pour melted and browned sugar over pecans and sprinkle with sea salt.  Set aside to harden. Once hardened place another sheet of parchment paper on top and smash to break up into small pieces.
1½ cups whipping cream well chilled
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Place bowl and beaters in freezer for 15 minutes.  Pour cream and vanilla into chilled bowl. Begin beating on low and increase speed to medium whipping until soft peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar and continue whipping until well incorporated and stiff peaks form.  Fold in all but 6 tablespoon of the pecan brittle and keep chilled until building the desserts.
1 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Raspberries
½ Cup sliced Strawberries
½ cup pitted and halved cherries
1 lemon, juiced and zested
4 Tablespoons sugar
Combine the fruit, lemon juice, lemon zest and 4 tablespoons sugar.  Macerate or smash fruit with a fork so that just some of the fruit breaks down and mixture get juicy.  Chill until ready to use.
Place one filo sheet on your dessert plate.  Top with one piece of chocolate, then a large spoon full of the whipped cream.  Make an indent in the whipped cream and fill with the berries, letting the juice run over and down the sides. Repeat so you have two layers of everything.  Top with 1/6 of the remaining pecan brittle.  Repeat the process for the remaining 5 Thoroughly Modern Millies.
Serve and watch your guests’ faces as they dig in to the World’s Best dessert!




Monday, September 7, 2015

Curry Eggs


Delicious, healthy and quick these Curry Eggs can be ready in 25 minutes.
Curry Egg Bake
Prep 5 minutes
Bake 15  minutes

4 large tomatoes
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch of curry
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350
Wash tomatoes, cut the top off and scoop out the centers.
Rub olive oil onto the bottom of a tart pan.
Place tomatoes in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Break one egg into each tomato.
Top each with 1 tablespoon sour cream.
Sprinkle with curry, salt and pepper.
Bake 15-17 minutes.

Need extra help on how to make Curry eggs?  Just watch the short video and it will give you step by step instructions.  I will be with you every step of the way helping you be the kitchen star you are!


Monday, August 24, 2015

#Don'tCallMeBasic Foster Farms Sandwich Contest

#Don'tCallMeBasic +Foster Farms  Sandwich Contest
General Turkey in the Dining Room with the Pepper Jelly

I LOVE contests....recipe contests and enter them all the time!  I so enjoy creating new recipes and contests give me a perfect excuse to experiment.
Anyway I found a contest from Foster Farms  celebrating their newest product...sliced turkey and I'm sharing MY entry with you today....it also won the weekly contest drawing so I am waiting for a new panini press to arrive!  How cool is that!  NOW you can understand why I LOVE contests!
General Turkey in the Dining Room with the Pepper Jelly
This is definitely not your basic chicken sammy!  It’s all grown up and ready to party!  Spicy pepper jelly bacon teams up with rich melted Provolone and Fontina cheeses with the star of the show….sliced turkey!  Then add peppery arugula and tangy baby spinach to complete the flavor festivities!
6 thick slices bread
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup arugula
6 slices bacon
1 cup sliced turkey
3 T. pepper Jelly
4 slices Provolone
4 slices Fontina
2 eggs
3 T. milk
4 T. butter

Place bacon on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in preheated 425 oven for 8 minutes.
Turn Bacon over, spread with pepper jelly and bake until crispy done; about 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the bacon. Set aside.
Lay out 2 slices of bread, top with sliced turkey, spinach and Fontina cheese.
Place one slice of bread on each sandwich then top with bacon, arugula and Provolone cheese.
Top with remaining two slices of bread.
Beat together the egg and milk then dip both sides of the sandwiches in the egg mixture.
Melt the butter over medium high heat in a large sauté pan.
Grill sandwiches on both sides until toasty brown and cheese is melted.
Cut in half, serve warm and ENJOY!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Food & Wine Conference Gems and Pear Pineapple Yogurt Cake #FWCon

Come join me for an espresso and a sweet treat!  I have something I want to share with YOU!

I came home from an absolutely amazing weekend in Orlando at the Food and Wine Conference #FWCon and headed into two incredibly busy weeks at work.  I so wanted to just relive every moment, finally meeting some of my online foodie friends, ( Jenni Field YOU are at the top of that list!) hearing food bloggers generously give tips on just how they became so good at what they do, partaking in over the moon and out of this world tasty treats and in general learning more in one weekend than I have any time in recent memory! But….as often happens….work took over and I am just now taking the time to enjoy going back over a MOST incredible weekend!
Some of my favorite sessions were the Certified Angus Beef demonstration and the Dixie Crystals Sweet Retreat reception where we actually made our own scented sugar scrubs, Florida Strawberry’s Welcome to Florida Reception and Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek
Now I want you all to know that I did receive a reduced rate for my ticket as I was lucky enough to be selected as a brand ambassador…which simply means I did some tweeting while there to highlight my sponsor.  Here’s how I feel about that…..I was the ambassador for “Out of the Weeds” a salad dressing company owned by Robin King who along with her husband also own “Three Birds Tavern” in St. Petersburg FL……. LUCKY ME! Yes LUCKY, super lucky to have been able to get to know Robin over the weekend, sample her products and to tell the truth, I would have posted, tweeted and blogged for her free of charge….as in no reduced ticket…. just because she is one of the most genuine, caring individuals I have met in a long time and I am now personally hooked on her “Roasted Beet Vinaigrette Dressing”!
My husband asked me two questions recently; 1: did I have a good time and 2. Did I learn anything?  OK NO I did  NOT have a good time….I had an unbelievably GREAT time and am already anxiously waiting to see when the next Food & Wine Conference will be held!......did I learn anything….oh hell YES…I learned my online friends transferred right over to being in person friends, I learned how to better my videos, how to pair wine and cheese, how to take selfies ( oh yes that was one of the treats we got to bring home with us courtesy of Sunday Brunch with Duda Farm Fresh Foods), I learned about beef cuts, marketing and I learned a few things about myself…..as in I need to be more organized and consistent with my posts…..no one told me that but it was easy to see after listening to our speakers share what they do!
I want to share an updated version of an OLD French country grandmother’s cake, sometimes called a yogurt cake because it contains yogurt and in France everyone used to use the yogurt jars as the measuring cup for this cake….it’s that just the sweetest idea?
Anyway I have been making this basic cake for more years than I like to admit but this time I wanted to change it up a bit….mostly because I had both fresh pears that needed to be used and fresh pineapple sliced and ready to use.


Here’s what I did and I’m definitely going to do this again!
Ingredients:
1.       ½ cup yogurt (I used non fat Greek)
2.       1 cup sugar
3.       3 eggs
4.       1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
5.       ½ cup corn oil or blended oil (you can even use olive oil and that tastes great!)
6.       1 teaspoon lemon extract
7.       2 ripe pears, peeled and chopped into thumbnail size pieces
8.       1 cup chopped fresh pineapple same size as pear chunks
9.       ¼ brown sugar
10.    ½ cup wheat germ

Mix first 6 ingredients together, stirring until any lumps are gone.
Coat 9X9 baking pan with non-stick spray and pour in ½ of the batter
Top with ½ of the pears, pineapple, brown sugar and wheat germ
Spread remaining batter across the fruit
Top with remaining fruit, sugar and wheatgerm
Bake in preheated 350 oven for about 30 minutes until tooth pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.




Saturday, July 4, 2015

Healthy Eating before #FWCon Grilled Pineapple

REALLY trying to keep to a low cal fresh fruit and veg diet until I over indulge at the Food and Wine Festival #FWCon in Orlando just a couple of weeks away! Such an #amazing  #conference I can't wait...I'm like a little kid at Christmas time...and I have no intention of holding back one tiny bit....I'm going to see everything, do everything and taste everything!
I keep going back to look at the schedule of speakers.....it's totally awe inspiring! Before you run off to make Pineapple Islands take a quick look around the web site for the conference!

As hard as I try this  is one treat I can't resist...and I bet you can't either!  BUT you DON'T need to ....YEAH
Pineapple Islands Floating in Strawberry Coulis
1 pineapple
16 ounces strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 whole strawberries

Wash, hull and chop the strawberries.
Place berries and balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat and cook until softened stirring often.  This should take about 15 minutes.
Put a strainer over a bowl and pour in the strawberries.
Smash through the strainer with the back of a soup ladle.
Chill strawberry coulis in fridge for 30 minutes minimum.
While strawberry coulis is chilling, clean the pineapple by cutting of all the peel then slice into one inch circles. 
Using a sharp knife core each slice so you have a basic doughnut shape.
Heat BBQ grill or grill pan to high.
Rub lightly with a paper towel dipped in the olive oil.
Grill pineapple until browned; 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn slices over and grill another 4 to 5 minutes.
Spoon strawberry coulis onto a plate and place a slice of pineapple in the center of the coulis.

Top with a whole strawberry and serve immediately.

If you want to go to Orlando ...just do it!!!! I promise you will not regret your decision one second AND I LOVE meeting and making new foodie friends.  With that thought in mind I have a discount code worth $50 off your ticket.....FWC15quark.  The link will take you right o how to register...Then let me know so we can meet up!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad while I'm away at #FWCon Food and Wine Conference

I get a huge smile on my face every time I think about the upcoming #FWCon Food and Wine Conference in Orlando!  It just happens to be THE most #amazing foodie experience any food blogger/#foodie could have! AND so many sponsors...I don't know how I am going to find time to get to talk with them all: St. Augustine Distillery, Wisconsin Cheese, Duda, Certified Angus Beef, Certified Idaho Potatoes, Dixie Crystals, Cabot, Sweet Georgia Peaches and so many more!
If you haven't purchased your tickets yet...I have something special just for you:  a $50 discount code so QUICK go get your tickets!  Code is FWC15quark; just hit the code and it will take you right to the registration page...BUT not before you check out the Mediterranean Pasta Salad!

Since I will be away for OMG three whole days (big sigh heard from hubby at the thought) I am making a couple of goodies to have in the fridge while I am away.  This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is one of the most versatile dishes you can have in your recipe box!  Seriously...the amounts can be eyeballed, if you don't have something substitute with something you DO have.  Don't like an ingredient...leave it out and for the dressing....grab one from your fridge if you are in a super hurry...the salad will still be fantastic!


Mediterranean Salad:
1 Package fresh Tortellini cheese filled and cooked according to directions
1 box cherry tomatoes halved
1 cup cucumber cubed
1 yellow pepper seeded and cubed
¼ cup red onion minced
¼ cup green olives
2 T. Italian Capers
¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
¼ cup basil thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Vinaigrette dressing:
4T Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 clove garlic put through the press
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T. Dijon/whole grain mustard

½ t. salt & ¼ t. fresh ground black pepper

Mix together the salad ingredient in a LARGE bowl.  Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss well, serve chilled.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Making Blue Crab Cakes while Thinking about the Food and Wine Conference #FWCon

I'm super excited that the Food and Wine Conference #FWCon is just a couple of weeks away!  I'm organizing which of the amazing speakers I'm going to be seeing, waiting anxiously to meet the sponsors and trying to figure out how I can fit everything into the weekend's schedule!

#Summer here is Florida means lots of Blue Crabs that my husband catches from the dock and cleans so that I can make his favorite #awesome #delicious Crab Cakes!

I like my crab cakes to highlight the delicate crab flavor so I steer away from red and green peppers as ingredients.  I KNOW most #foodies like crab cakes have bold flavors in the ingredients but I feel you lose the crab as the most important flavor.

8 oz crab meat (blue crab is what I used)
4 oz Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese with chives
1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) ½ cup for crab cakes and ½ cup for coating
½ Cup + 2 TBSP grated Parmesan
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
½  t. salt
¼  t. pepper
1 T. horseradish sauce Optional)
1 T. lemon rind

1/3 cup egg whites
3/8 Teaspoon cream of tartar
4 Tbsp Olive Oil for frying crab cakes

  1. Combine crab meat with:
Cream Cheese
½ cup Panko
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Salt
Pepper
Horseradish
Lemon rind

  1. Beat egg whites until foamy
  2. Add cream of tartar
  3. Beat until stiff peaks form
  4. Gently combine beaten egg whiles with crab mixture 1/3 at a time
  5. Combine ½ cup Panko with 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan and place on plate
  6. Form 6 crab cakes about ½ inch thick and coat with the Panko and Parmesan
  7. Heat Olive Oil in large frying pan
  8. Sauté crab cakes 3-4 minutes per side on medium until brown and cooked through.

These light and fluffy crab cakes will surprise you with a bit of a bite.  But not to worry, it won’t hurt and the horseradish just accentuates the crab!  They will become your favorite!

Friday, June 19, 2015

#GrillTalk Summer Sammies #FWCon


When my son Giuliano and his friends come visiting from university we traditionally have burgers for the first dinner....no matter what meals I serve, Certified Angus Beef Burgers will ALWAYS remain his favorite!  So while I was collecting my thoughts and ideas for the 2015 Certified Angus Beef Brand Recipe Contest  #GrillTalk   I got one of those calls that make you both jump for joy and scratch your head.....Giuliano was going to be driving through on his way to Tampa LATER TODAY AROUND LUNCH TIME! That was the jump for joy part.....BUT....noon today ( a mere two hours away) with 3 friends in tow was the ....OMG what am I going to feed them, I'm working on a contest entry was the tidbit that got me a little panicked!

ANGUS BEEF to the rescue!  I mean seriously...what was I worried about?  I had the best ground beef in the world on hand, I had my recipe ideas and now I had not one  but FOUR taste testers who would give me brutally honest opinions.....so it was hi ho hi ho it's off to the kitchen I go.....right after I fired up the grill!

I've been sneaking healthy veggies into my kids food since they first started eating solid foods.....if I was ever questioned I just told them anything green was simply mommies fresh herbs!  Hahaha they bought it time and time again!

Before I get to the recipe I should explain a little about the contest I was working on!  The Food and Wine Conference #FWC will be held this year in Orlando at the beautiful Rosen Shinge Creek July 17-19.  I am super excited to be going this year as a brand ambassador and can't wait to meet in person so many of my online foodie friends!  The schedule of speakers is totally amazing...you simply must check out all that is on offer!  If you are interested in attending the conference leave me a message in the comments and I will send you a special discount code for your conference tickets!

OK on to my contest entry!
First I julienned 8 slices of smokey bacon and tossed them into a large saute pan over medium high heat.
When the bacon was cooked to crisp I transferred to paper towels to drain.
While the bacon got started, I chopped a large sweet onion.
I poured off the bacon fat, but reserved about a teaspoon in the pan.  Then the chopped onions went in along with 2 cups of chopped fresh Kale.

In another pan I sauteed 6 ounces of chopped mushrooms, a finely minced clove of garlic and 2 tablespoons butter.














When the mushrooms were toasty brown I added a sprig of fresh parsley that I gave a rough chop to.

Once the onions were translucent and the kale wilted it was time to mix them together with the mushrooms and let them cool just a bit.

I got the Summer Sammie condiments ready to go: 4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese, 2 cups of mixed salad greens that included shredded carrots and cabbage (remember the sneaky veggie trick?....It strikes again!) and 1/2 cup of a refreshing balsamic vinaigrette. 

I used 2 pounds of ground Angus Beef gently mixed with the kale/mushrooms, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and  1/2 teaspoon pepper to form 6 large patties about an inch thick.  Don't overwork the mixing or forming patties,,,be gentle!  When you have your patties formed make a thumb indentation in the center of each patty.....they will grill better that way!

12 slices of bread went on half of the seasoned grill over low heat and the 6 patties went on the other half of the seasoned (rubbed with canola oil)over high heat.  The bread slices take just a couple of minutes for each side to toast and get lovely grill marks.  The patties will take about 4 minutes per side for medium rare depending on your grill.

When the patties are grilled to your desired wellness....its time to build the Summer Sammies!  Bread first, them a bit of the salad mix, topped with a patty, ( the grilled bread is perfect for soaking up all of the patty juices) crumbled blue cheese, more salad mix and a generous drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette and finally the second slice of grilled bread.

Now stand back and marvel at just how fast these Summer Sammies can be devoured!  They got RAVE reviews from all four boys, my husband and I LOVED them too!  I quickly made my last minute recipe notes and finish my Summer Sammy before just relaxing and enjoying the rest of the afternoon with my guys!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

#WildRiceCouncil Recipe Contest

Wild Ring I think I love you!
What do you do when you just can't think of a really good recipe name...get silly that's what!
Great dish...everybody loves it!  Terrible name everybody hates it!
So please, please, please forgive the silly name.....look past that and head straight on over to a really super side dish.
I experimented a lot with wild rice until I had perfected this side dish that I actually love a a light main course too.

Kudos to the Minnesota Rice Council for a great contest and by the way they have loads of fantastic recipes to check out!  Anyway I digress......here is MY entry into the contest and fingers crossed it will get me entry into the World Food Championships 2015!!!!

Wild Ring I think I love You
5 cups cooked wild rice
2 tomatoes
1/4 cup julienne basil leaves
3 T. Canola Oil
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 Pkg Green Giant Asiago Parmesan Risotto Vegetables (11 oz.) cooked according to microwave directions
1/2 cup mushrooms
8 oz. Sargento shredded mozzarella
8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon 
2 eggs
1. Peel seed and chop tomatoes.  Mix with canola oil and basil.  Set aside until time to serve wild rice.
2. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until stiff.
3. Combine wild rice, egg yolks, Asiago Parmesan Risotto Vegetables, mushrooms, mozzarella, bacon, brown rice.  Gently fold in the egg whites.

Turn rice mixture into a nonstick Bundt pan (if not nonstick coat with nonstick spray). Gently press down with back of wooden spoon. Can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated until needed. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Turn out onto serving platter and top with fresh tomato/basil mixture.

White Cheddar Bundt Dinner #FWCon #WisconsinCheese

I'm just crazy about white cheddar cheese, especially #WisconsinCheese these days!  It's become my absolute favorite go to ingredient to whip up something marvelous and easy when everyone is famished!
When easy is really important I also go to eggs as my main protein source....hey you almost always have eggs in the fridge right?  Eggs like chicken can be used a million ways...well maybe not quite a million but just about and this White Cheddar Bunt Dinner is one of my top favorites!

Anyway back to this White Cheddar Bundt Dinner recipe....my family absolute loves it and I'm thinking yours will too! 

Before we get to the recipe itself I want to give a shout out to the Food and Wine Conference July 17-19 in beautiful Orlando! This is, in my opinion, THE best of the food blogger get togethers!  There will be amazing speakers, the chance to learn how to better our blogs, market ourselves,  taste great food and get the chance to meet in person; what can be better than that! Go take a look at all the happy faces toasting the conference on the home page of the web site and while there take a look around and see all that is in store!

Feeling creative yet?  Well if you are, enter this contest too...it is open to all conference attendees and boy oh boy the prizes are fantastic....like having your conference paid for! Go for it!  I can't wait to see what you create and I look forward to meeting up at the conference!  GOOD LUCK!

PS.....IF you have any leftovers they are perfect to send for lunch or even a grab and go breakfast!  I think that makes it triple easy!




12 Eggs
2 shredded carrots (no carrots?, substitute with frozen thawed spinach or other veggies)
4 T. Butter Divided
1 C. Whole Milk
1 t. Pepper
½ t. Salt
3 T. Fresh Thyme
4 T. Chopped Chives
1 Sweet Onion Minced
8 Slices Genoa Salami julienned
2 Dozen Par Boiled Asparagus Spears
2 C. Grated white Cheddar divided
 Melt 2 T. butter in large sauté pan. Add onion & carrots. Sauté over medium high for 5 minutes.
Cover and reduce heat to low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Break eggs into large bowl and whisk until well incorporated.
Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces and add to the eggs.
Gently mix chives, thyme, flour, salami and milk into the eggs.
Add Salt & pepper, onion carrot mixture and 1 ½ cup cheddar; whisk again until blended.
Use remaining 2 T. butter to coat the inside of a bunt pan.
Pour the egg mixture into the bunt pan and top with remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Turn out onto serving platter. 
Serve hot for dinner, warm for lunch and even cool just out of the fridge for breakfast on the run!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#FWCon FOOD AND WINE CONFERENCE

Wow oh wow I have been chosen as one of the Brand Ambassadors for the Orlando Food and Wine Conference July 17th-19th!  Needless to say I am happy dancing and over the moon excited already about meeting bloggers, chef's, winemakers, public relations professionals and the many Brands who will be sharing ways to help us become more successful and of course there will be great food demos and recipe contest too!

There are going to be some amazing speakers; one I'm super excited to meet in person having been foodie friends on line for a couple of years!  Erika Kerekes is the gal I'm talking about.....click here to read little about her.  I'm already trying to figure out how I am going to cram EVERYTHING I want to do into the conference time!  Wish me luck and hey....why don't you join me!

Now something marvelous that I get to pass on to my foodie friends: if you want to join in on the Food and Wine Conference fun  I have a special promo code that will give you a $50.00 reduction on your ticket! Use promo code FWC15quark  Then let me know you are attending so we can plan on meeting up!

Here's a photo from last year.....looking forward to being photographed with YOU at this year's conference!



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Cake

This super simple cake is always perfect for Memorial Day or July 4th Celebrations....love the red white and blue colors and it's a tasty treat easy to bring to any outdoor celebration!


Ingredients:
1 ½ Cups Self Rising Flour
¼ Teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons Butter
¾ Cups Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract (almond extract can also be used but then delete the lemon zest)
Zest from ½ lemon
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons cream
1 Pint Strawberries (washed, hulled and cut in half)
1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Method:
1Pre-Heat oven to 350
2Beat butter, sugar, eggs, lemon extract and cream together.
3Combine flour and salt.
4Gently add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, do not over mix.
5Spread into a 9 inch spring form pan coated with non stick spray.
6Press strawberries into batter in a circular pattern closest to the outside edges.
Place blueberries in a circle next to the strawberries and then put four strawberries in the very center.
7Bake for 45 minutes.
8Cool 15-20 minutes and transfer to serving platter.
9Slice & serve as is or with optional toppings.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

#‎FWCon‬ ‪#‎GrillTalk‬ Certified Angus Beef recipe contest! FREE ANGUS BEEF

The Food and Wine Conference in Orlando coming this July 17th through the 19 just announced another recipe contest. The top prize on this contest is.......drum roll please!  Not only is your entire conference fee paid you will also receive ....FREE CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF FOR A YEAR!

Yes that got my attention super fast when I got the email and I wanted to pass it on to all of you ASAP.  Here is the link to register for the conference:FOOD AND WINE CONFERENCE and here is the fast link to the #GrillTalk Certified Angus Beef Contest.

Now how about a little inspiration to get those creative juices flowing! I call this the K2 Challenge Burger 'cause its as tall as a mountain and as slippery as a glacier!  Definitely a 5 napkin burger!

I'm not going to give you all the ingredients; I don't want to influence you in any way but you can pretty much see everything that's on the burger in the photo!

Good luck and check out some of the speakers while you are on the Food and Wine Conference Site!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Food and Wine Conference #FWCon Chocolate Coffee Cookies

Wow oh wow I have been chosen as one of the Brand Ambassadors for the Orlando Food and Wine Conference July 17th-19th!  Needless to say I am over the moon excited already about meeting blogger, chef's, winemakers, public relations professionals and the many Brands who will be sharing ways to help us become more successful and of course there will be great food demos and recipe contest too!

Now something marvelous that I get to pass on to my foodie friends: if you want to join in on the Food and Wine Conference fun  I have a special promo code that will give you a $50.00 reduction on your ticket! Use promo code FWC15quark  Then let me know you are attending so we can plan on meeting up!

Did I catch your attention with the words "recipe contests"......I thought maybe so! Well Dixie Crystals Sugar has a Chocolate Dessert Recipe Contest that has some amazing and great prizes....LIKE reimbursement for your full conference pass!  So to help inspire you....I thought I'd share with you one of my family's favorite treats!


Chocolate Coffee Cookies

2  1/3 Cups Self-rising Flour
½ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Sugar + 4 T. divided  
1 ½ t. instant coffee
½ t. salt
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
1 Egg
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

With an electric mixer beat butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy.
Add the egg and continue beating on medium high 1 minute.
Add the vanilla and beat another minute.
Mix together the flour, instant coffee and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar and blend well on medium low.
Mix in the chopped pecans.
Form into two logs, cover with plastic wrap and chill well; at least two hours.

Slice about 1/4 inch thick and bake in preheated 350 degree oven about 14 minutes.

Be sure to follow my blog postings and facebook page for conference updates!  And definitely follow Food and Wine Conference on facebook!

Additional Conference links you will want to follow:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fantastic Friday Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles

It just takes a few minutes yo whip up something marvelous for brunch....and then you can just reheat the leftovers (if there are any) in the toaster the next morning!
Follow along with the short video (just less than 3 minutes ) and you will have all you need to whip up PB&J waffles!
This is so easy your kids can do it for Mother's day as a surprise breakfast in bed for mom!  That and a hand made card will make her day I promise!  Hey I have EVERY hand made card my kids ever made me and now that they are in their mid-twenties I love being able to touch something they made when they were little!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mother's Day Brunch Blueberry Fritters

Mother's Day...what to do?  How about start the day with Blueberry Fritters?
They really are quite easy and that is coming from someone who doesn't really like to fry anything!  But these I will do...and quite often really 'cause the entire family loves them and so will MOM!
Don't forget a hand made card...then pile on the bed and let the whole family enjoy!
Blueberry Fritters
2 eggs beaten
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup self-rising flour
12 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon melted butter
1 ¾ cups blueberries
4 cups oil for frying
½ cup Granulated sugar for rolling the fritters
In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Whisk until incorporated and then fold in the blueberries and melted butter.
Heat 2 inches of oil in an 8 inch frying pan (or use deep fryer) over medium high until it reaches 375
Using a small cookie scoop drop fritter batter into hot oil and deep fry for 3-4 minutes turning once until browned and cooked through
Drain the fritters on paper towels
Roll in granulated sugar and serve.

Sometimes I change them up a bit by using 1 tablespoon lemon zest instead of cinnamon and switching the vanilla for lemon extract...the lemon goes great with the blueberries BUT the way I gave you the recipe just happens to by my favorite.
ENJOY

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mother's Day Brunch Ideas & More

Mother’s day is fast approaching on May 10th and let’s face it…..a happy mom makes for a happy family!

So let’s talk Mother’s Day brunch/breakfast!  YES it should be served in bed.  Not so much because Mom likes a lie-in but because the bed has room for everyone to sit and watch mom eat the wonderful gift of breakfast in bed!  My best memories are of the kids’ faces as I took those first bites of their handiwork! AND my kids usually helped me eat said breakfast. 

Waffles are really easy, the kids can do the measuring, mixing cooking with a bit of supervision and look quite amazing so check the kitchen cupboards and see if you have a waffle iron…..if you do, dust it off and get ready!

Don't forget the Mother's Day Cards!  NO not store bought cards......cards made by the kids themselves.  I still have EVERY one my kids made me and I treasure them!  Their crayon pictures with MOM barely legible instantly take me back to when they were little and I was their favorite person in the whole world!

Today it's super easy to take photos and we so the selfie thing all the time...but make sure not to forget to get a photo of the kids and mom when her brunch plate arrives...before everyone digs in!  Oh ya, and then turn the phone off...if just for a little while and make those special memories so you will have them forever in your heart!


Strawberry Whipped Cream Waffles
Basic Waffle Recipe:
2 C. Self-Rising Flour ( or regular flour + 1 T. baking powder + ½ t. baking soda + ½ t. salt)
3 T. sugar
3 Eggs
½ t. Vanilla
2 C. Buttermilk
1/4 C. melted butter
In a large bowl mix together the flour and sugar.
In another bowl blend buttermilk + vanilla + eggs + butter.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend using a wire whisk or wooden spoon just until mixed.  A few small lumps are fine.
Heat waffle iron according to directions, coat with nonstick spray.  Ladle waffle batter into hot waffle iron following manufactures directions.  Usually one ladle per waffle works out right.

Whipped Cream:
½ cup whipping cream
2 T. sugar
¼ t. vanilla
Pop whipping cream, beater and bowl into freezer for a few minutes to get really chilled…it helps with the whipping process.
I like to put all ingredients into a narrow and deep bowl or a 4 cup measuring cup. 
Beat with electric beaters until stiff peaks form.  Keep chilled until ready to use.

Strawberries:

All you have to do is wash them, cut off the stem end and slice.  That’s it….no sugar necessary!

Assembly:
Waffle on plate
A couple of spoonfuls of strawberries go on next
A heaping spoonful of whipped cream on top of the strawberries
A drizzle of maple syrup for that extra special touch and you are ready to surprise mom with the perfect Mother's Day Brunch!

A couple of my favorite quotes on motherhood:

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother. 
Lin Yutang, Chinese writer


M-O-T-H-E-R

"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.