Thursday, February 4, 2016

A taste of cheese....

This recipe has been in my files for many years - maybe since the late-seventies.  It was printed in the local newspaper and has become a favorite of City Girl through the years.

Go ahead and use those heart-shaped dishes!  This is Heart Month, plus Valentine's Day comes along soon!  Use any kind of cracker you like for spreading.  If you choose to try shaping a cheese ball, I would advise that it be very well-chilled before the shaping process, as this has a softer result.

Something else that looks good - even tastes good - is this:

Peeled, hard-boiled eggs are good to add to that pickled beet juice!  Isn't this one pretty?  They would look great in a bowl on the party table!

If you are planning a Super Bowl party, perhaps some of the recipes from the blog this week might be good to include on your serving table.  Enjoy!

Keep those toothpicks handy....

They will be good to put to use for enjoying these:

We have never been fans of barbecue sauce/ grape jelly/etc. on meatballs and much prefer the traditional marinara for dipping these.  While the recipe specifies ground beef, I haven't used ground beef in a very long time.  Instead, these are made with ground white chicken.  Ground white turkey could also be used, depending on your budget.  When making these this time, I used Pecorino cheese.  With no seasoned bread crumbs, I simply added dried basil and dried oregano to the mix.

Of course, "leftovers" are always good this way:

If there are any leftovers from this, Munchkin the Elder loves Meatball Subs!:-)

Oh!  While you have those toothpicks handy, try them with these:

Lovely cubed potatoes, just perfect for a side dish - or a party table!  Munchkin the Younger finds that these are just what she needs!:-)

Both these recipes actually came from the Rookie Cookie page of our newspaper. 

Happy cooking!

A healthy one....

Everyone seems to want a "healthy snack."  Does this one qualify?

1/2 pound raw cashews
1/2 pound pecans
1/2 pound almonds
1 cup chopped dried Apple
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup carob chips, optional (but why leave them out?)
- Mix all together.  Store covered.

Well, it is fruit and nuts!  They're healthy, right?:-)  The problem comes with limiting oneself to 1/4 cup!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Versatile Rice Chex....

This is the savory side of that versatile Rice Chex.  This one comes from Gooseberry Patch via my  friend, BWWeavers, who posted it on Twitter before Christmas.  It, just like the sweet one yesterday, is good at anytime!

5 cups crispy cereal squares
1 cup round toasted oat cereal
1 cup pretzel sticks
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size cheese crackers
1 stick butter
1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon hot sauce (adjust this amount per your preference)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
-Mix cereals, pretzels, nuts, and crackers together.  Melt butter; add other ingredients.  Pour over cereal mix and toss well to cover.  Spread on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

For our preferences, I actually omitted the hot sauce from this one.  As I had pretzel twists on hand, that is what I used in this one.  Also, this isn't a gluten-free snack.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snack time....

Happy Groundhog Day!  According to reports this morning, that groundhog didn't see his shadow!  Do you think he's certain we will have an early spring, or is he just playing with us?:-)

Are there times when you want to have special snacks around?  For many, this coming Sunday - Super Bowl time - there will be a lot of snacking.  The following recipe is one I cut out of the newspaper a number of months ago featuring that pumpkin spice flavor, but it is good at any time.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups cinnamon Chex cereal
2 cups wheat Chex cereal
2 cups honey nut Chex
8 oz. pecans
1 cup pretzels (optional)
- In small bowl, mix brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice, set aside.  In small microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 30 seconds.  Stir in vanilla.  In large microwave bowl, mix all cereal, pecans, and pretzels.  Pour butter mixture over cereal mix, stir until evenly distributed.  Add sugar and spice mix and stir until coated.  Microwave uncovered 5 minutes or until mix begins to brown, stirring every minute.  Spread on wax paper or a cookie sheet to cool.  Store in airtight container.

I will say that I used the more traditional method of making this Chex mix.  I placed the cereal mix on a parchment lined baking sheet, then baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Also, in an effort to make this gluten-free, I used 3 cups of the cinnamon Chex and the honey nut Chex, omitting the wheat Chex completely.  I found gluten-free pretzel twists, as well as sticks.  I think I will try walnuts the next time!

There is something "magical" about Chex cereals.  They seem to be ready to absorb any flavor one wishes to use with them. 

This will certainly be a hit at any gathering!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Before it's gone....

January is quickly speeding past us!  Before it is time to change the table decor, I'd like to share a  picture of a very simple January dining table.

January seems to call for blue to me, and I enjoy seeing the blue, white, and silver during the month that follows the red and green of Christmas.  This table will soon give way to another month and another decor.  Are you ready for February?  The red returns!:-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

That ham bone....

....was especially tasty in Split Pea Soup!

It had been a long time since we enjoyed this soup!  Great mileage from that Thanksgiving ham!  I had stored the ham bone in the freezer along with a few more nice pieces, already chopped and ready to add to the soup!

8 cups water
1 pound dried split peas (about 2 1/4 cups)
1 ham bone
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 medium stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- Heat water and peas to boiling in Dutch oven.  Boil 2 minutes; remove from heat.  Cover and let stand 1 hour.
- Stir onion, salt, and pepper into peas; add ham bone.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until peas are tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove ham bone; trim ham, cutting into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups). Stir ham, carrots, and celery into soup.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.  8 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each).

This recipe is once again from Betty Crocker, the same 1986 issue as my previous post.