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 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 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 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 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 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 is open to all conference attendees and boy oh boy the prizes are 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!