This blog is for EVERYONE who likes to cook, but especially for BEGINNERS and INEXPERIENCED cooks. Posts happen three (3) days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Over 600 recipes so far including GLUTEN-FREE. Enjoy and spread the word.
medium-high heat after a large sauté pan is hot, add oil and bacon.Cook bacon stirring occasionally until crisp
(about 5 minutes).Drain bacon in a
stainer over a bowl.Then place bacon on
paper towels and blot grease.Reserve
the needed bacon fat for later.Place
bacon in food processor and pulse until very fine.In a large mixing bowl combine the bacon,
bacon fat, peanuts, syrup, egg whites and thyme.Pour mixture evenly into a rimmed sheet pan
with a silicone mat or parchment paper.Place pan in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.Remove and stir mixture before returning to
oven for another 15 minutes or until caramelized and syrup has reduced.Season with salt immediately after removing
from oven and let cool.Break into
clusters as it cools and store in air tight container.
Note:You could try
using other types of nuts or mixed nuts in this recipe.
a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg, milk and oil.After incorporated, stir in baking chips and
jimmies.Spread into a greased 10x15
rimmed baking sheet.Place in a
pre-heated 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out
clean.Cool on wire rack completely
before cutting 5x7 for 35 bars.
Note:These bars can
be made ahead and frozen.I freeze them
individually on a larger sheet pan and then put in freezer bags.That way you can take out just a few or all
of them as needed.
Hard to believe but "Pro Football Camps" are getting started and college ball isn't far behind. That's one the great things about "Fall." Football and "Tailgating" season get us started on the best time of the year.
I've covered a lot of the tailgating areas over the past 4 seasons in my blog here. I thought for season 5, I should address snacks and sweets.
You've maybe already filled up on burgers, brats and dogs. Or one of many other culinary delights on your tailgating menu. Not it's time to sit back and relax before kickoff. You still need something to nibble on. That's were sweets or desserts come in to play.
Remember the sky is the limit here. You can make or bring any dessert your heart desires. Many will require plates and utensils. But some of the best just need your hand.
Cookies and bars are great for finishing off that pre-game meal. On Wednesday post I have "Easy Mix Bars" for you to try. There also several other recipes that would work well for you under the "Desserts & Baking" tap up above. Be sure to check them out too.
On Thursday, my recipe for you a great snacking item. "Maple Bacon Peanuts" go great before the main food is ready or after the dust has settled but before kickoff. It goes well with many an adult beverage too.
Remember again that there are a few more recipes like this under the "Odds 'n Ends" tab above. In fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea for you to go back and check out the previous tailgating posts and recipes under the "Sandwich" and "Entrée" tabs.
Just a little reminder but to have a great tailgate event, it takes planning and execution. So stop procrastinating and get ready for a championship year for your team. "Happy Cooking" and get out there and party!
small to medium rings from Spanish Onions (see note)
medium Ripe Tomatoes
medium Ripe Avocados
cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
tbsp. Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
taste Salt & Black Pepper
cup Toasted Slivered Almonds
Black or Kalamata Olives, pitted
off top and bottom of oranges.Then
slice down sides removing peel and showing the flesh of the orange.Now slice them into nice rounds a quarter and
3/8 inch thick.Line the bottom of 4
plates with the slices.Scatter the
onion rings over the orange slices.Cut
an X into the bottom of each tomato.Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds and then remove to
ice water.Peel skins away, quarter,
remove seeds and coarsely chop.Place in
a medium bowl.Cut avocados in half,
remove seed and scoop out in one piece using a spoon.Cut each half into chunks and add to the
tomato bowl.In another medium bowl, mix
whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and parsley together.Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and
pepper.Add the tomato/avocado mix to
this and coat carefully.Scoop this
mixture over oranges and onions.Next
top salad with the toasted almonds and olives.Serve as a first course.
Note:You can use
other sweet and mild onions.Slice
onions into rings.But only use the
middle ones for this salad.Use outer
rings and small inside ones for other dishes.
lb. Raw Shrimp (26-30 ct.), peeled, deveined, tails-on
cup Flat Leaf Parsley
medium Lemons, cut into wedges
a large skillet (or paella pan) over medium heat, add the chicken after tossing
in the oil, paprika, salt and pepper.Also
add the chorizo here.Cook until all
sides of both chicken and chorizo are browned lightly.Then remove and set aside.Add the remaining 2 tbsp. of oil to pan.When heated, add onion and cook until
softened (about 5 minutes).Add the
garlic and continue until fragrant and then add bell pepper.Cook an additional 5 minutes and add the
tomato.Continue for 2 minutes before
adding the chicken broth and white wine.Stir mixture well and bring to a boil.Stir in rice and saffron and return mixture to a boil.Then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.Return chicken and chorizo to mixture and
stir well.Now add the shrimp and mix
in.Continue cooking for 15 to 20
minutes until rice is tender and shrimp are pink and done.If paella is a little dry, add a little more
hot broth.Remove from heat, sprinkle
with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Note:If you can find
paella rice, use it.If not, use a short
grain rice or a non-sticky type of rice.
is very expensive but you only need a small amount to flavor dishes.It is sold in very small packages and does
last for some time.You really do need
to use it in this dish.
you would like a little heat in your paella, add a little crushed red pepper
flakes to the dish.Remember that the
chorizo has spice to it and should be enough.
Summer is a time for people to get together and enjoy the weather, friendships and good food. This week I offer you a couple of recipes to create an enjoyable evening of family and/or friends.
I've picked a simple but slightly expensive Spanish meal. It starts with a fresh salad. "Avocado, Orange & Almond Salad" combines a with fresh ingredients with just a little olive oil, lemon juice and parsley seasoned with salt and pepper.
The entrée is a Spanish stable, "Paella." Today's version is "Shrimp & Chicken Paella." Many paella recipes will call for mussels and small squid too. This recipe does not because many of you will find it hard to get these ingredients fresh. You can find and use frozen shrimp almost anywhere. So that is the only seafood used in this dish.
Paella is originally a Spanish dish. But it was brought to the Americas during the exploration days of Spain. It is now a popular dish in many of the countries of South and Central America.
Regional influences and product availability make for many different variations of the dish. A key ingredient in all though is "Saffron." Saffron is one of the most expensive spices per pound in the world. Fortunately you don't use much of the spice in any dishes.
I hope you find an occasion to try one or both of these recipes. Sangria is a great beverage to add to the festivities too. There are many recipes for this drink but you can find one in my drinks tab that will work well.
a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed, salt and
pepper.Set aside.Prep all the other ingredients.When ready add to the mayonnaise mixture and mix
carefully.Put in appropriate serving
bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours to overnight before serving.Sprinkle with paprika just before serving.
Note:You can change
up some of the ingredients to meet your own flavor profile.You may want to try green onions instead of
Vidalia onions.Some people like to add
chopped green olives too.Use your imagination
a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients after the pork chops.Place the chops in a 9x13 baking dish and
drizzle 2 tbsp. of marinade over them.Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes remembering to turn the chops
several times.While chops are marinating,
put remaining marinade in a small sauce pan and heat to a boil.Reduce mixture to about ¼ cup which should
take a few minutes.Set aside.Pat chops dry with a paper towel before
placing on your grill.Using medium
heat, grill about 3-4 minutes per side or until they are still slightly pink
(145 degrees).Grill with lid down and
let rest 5 minutes before serving.Place
chops on a platter and drizzle remaining marinade over them and serve.
Note:You could try
this marinade with chicken as well.
Summer is the time for picnics, family reunions and backyard grilling. This doesn't have to be dreadful times for people needing a gluten-free diet. There are many dishes that are traditional type summer fare.
In first thinking of the grill (Charcoal or Gas) most meats and fish/seafood are gluten-free. You have to watch out for hot dogs and all kinds of sausages but many brands are gluten-free. Just check the labels or call the company to confirm one way or the other. Most labels now have a phone number on them for help.
Another area of the meat grilling to watch is marinades and sauces that you may use. Again, if using bottled marinades and sauces, check the label or call the company. If you are making your own, then confirm that your ingredients to be used are gluten-free. An example for everyone is "Soy Sauce" and you can find it with and without gluten. Kikkoman makes both kinds. Just be sure the label says "Gluten-Free" and for Kikkoman it is in big print.
Grilling fruits and vegetables is mostly gluten-free. It depends on if you do anything to them with sauces or marinades. You can even do pizza on the grill by using a gluten-free crust.
Your standard side dishes such as potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and even pasta salad are easily made gluten-free. It's all about watching what you put in the recipe.
After thinking about it a bit, it is probably easier to have picnics or grill out in the backyard than going to a restaurant to eat. It just takes a little planning ahead to have a fun time during the summer.
This week I'm posting a recipe for "Grilled Pork Chops in Soy Sauce Marinade (GF)" on Wednesday. Then a recipe for "Old Fashioned Potato Salad" on Thursday. I hope you try them and give me some feedback. Please enjoy the rest of the summer and "Happy Cooking" until next week.
a small sauce pan, melt half of the butter and squeeze the juice from one lemon
into it.Use this mixture to baste the
lobster while it grills.In another small
pan melt the remaining butter to have ready to use during the meal.Cook the lobster over moderate heat during
and basting until done.Start with the
claw arms as they will take longer (12-15 minutes) and the bodies only take 7-8
minutes.The shells will turn bright red
as they cook.Remove skewers and place all
the lobster on a large platter and serve with remaining melted butter and lemon
wedges from the second lemon.
split in half head to tail or do it yourself using a large sharp knife.Remove the claw arms and set aside.Put a skewer through each lobster half from
the head to the tail to keep them straight while grilling.
hot dog buns and butter both sides and grill/toast.Slice bun from top to bottom not going all
the way through if not already pre-sliced.Spread mayonnaise on inside of buns.Divide lettuce between the 4 buns and top with equal amounts of lobster
meat.Season with salt and pepper if
desired and eat.
Note:If you can’t buy
fresh cooked lobster meat, use 3-1¼ pound live whole lobsters.In a large pot of boiling water, plunge
lobsters head first into water.Cook
until 10 minutes.They will turn red
while cooking.Use tongs to remove and
place in an ice bath to cool.Twist the
bodies from the tails and set tails aside.Remove the claw arms and set with tails.The remaining body can be set aside for other use.Using a knife or scissors, cut along bottom
of tail, remove tail meat and place in a medium bowl.Repeat with remaining tails.Crack the claws and knuckles with a nut
cracker and remove meat to the bowl.Take lobster meat and cut into 1 inch pieces and return to bowl.
England-style hot dog buns come unsliced or pre-sliced top to bottom.They are more of a standup type bun compared
to the horizontal sliced hot dog buns traditional for backyard hot dogs.
will find “Lobster Roll” recipes that
add celery and combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery and some
seasoning.These however are not “true” Maine products.They don’t like all the filler others put in lobster
rolls.To them a lobster roll is all
about the lobster.Many don’t even use
the lettuce in this recipe.You will
also find them served with butter instead of the mayonnaise.That’s an option that most Maine establishments
I took a little road trip in June to the state of Maine looking for my first "Maine Lobster Roll" and recommend you give it a try too. We explored the coast from Kittery to Kennebunkport, Maine eating fresh lobster, seafood and fish. Never had a bad meal of Maine dishes and thoroughly enjoyed the ocean.
We ate lobster rolls, whole live lobster, lobster bisque, clams, oysters and haddock. A few of the restaurants to try include Capt'n Hooks in Wells, MN, Jake's Seafood in Moody, MN and Fox's Lobster House at Nubble Lighthouse. Most of the restaurants we checked out had both indoor and outdoor seating. They all offered only local fresh fish and seafood. One place offered an authentic "New England Lobster Bake" with all the trimmings.
In York, MN, we spent half a day at the "Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School" which offered daily cooking classes and you get to eat the meal at the end of class. You could also watch their production of Stonewall products from various viewing areas and shop at their store. There was a restaurant too.
For those of you who will try whole lobster sometime, I have the following etiquette on how to approach it. Start your experience by twisting off the claws. Then crack the claw with a nutcracker, remove meat and eat. Being sure to dip the meal in hot melted butter before eating it. After the claws are done, move the tail. You remove the tail by grasping the tail in one hand and the body in the other. Then arching the back until it cracks, pull the tail away from the body. Now bend back the flippers and break them off the tail. Insert a lobster fork where the flippers were and push the tail meat out. Cut into bite size pieces, dip in butter and eat. Unhinge the back (Tomale-a delicacy to many lobster eaters) and eat it or pass on it, your choice. It turns green when boiled. Open the body by cracking it sideways and pick out any meat here. The meat is good in this section too. Lastly, remove the small claws and suck the meat out one at a time. To be good at this one needs to practice. What an excuse to eat more lobster.
This week's recipes include a "Maine Lobster Roll" on Wednesday and "Grilled Lobster" in Thursday. I know these a not everyday menu items for you to cook but find that special occasion and give them a try. "Happy Cooking" until next week.
Sorry that I haven't been on since my June 4th post but there have been a few issues for me. I won't go into details but my damaged computer is back, fixed and running. Several other items are corrected too and I was on food finding trip during part of the time. More on that another day.
I'll be back to my usual Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday posts starting this Tuesday, July 7th. The topic will be my trip to the shoreline of the state of Maine in the good old USA. I went looking for lobster eats and found some great places. I'll have a couple of recipes too. One will be for the famous "Lobster Rolls" of Maine and the other for "Grilled Lobster" since we're in the summer grilling season.
So until next Tuesday, "Happy Cooking" and take this time to check out one of the more than 400 recipes here on my blog site. Thanks.