Spane’s Birthday – The Prep

Spane on November 15, 2010 at the camera store

Recipes in this post

Spane’s birthday is tomorrow, November 21, 2010.  He is going to be 7 years old!  So, like every birthday there is the preparation for the party.  This year will be the first one where he gave out invitations.

Originally, we were going to have the party at Carr Park, but since it is supposed to rain, Amber volunteered to host the party at her house.  That meant sending out notices to everyone to let them know about the change of venue.  I hope everyone will make it.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind and Pickled Beets – I’m in a Pickle!

Recipes in this Post Pickled Watermelon Rind

In Act 5, Scene 1, of Shakespear’s The Tempest, King Alonso asks his jester, Trinculo, “How camest thou in this pickle?” And the drunk Trinculo – who has indeed gotten into trouble – responds “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last …”

Well, I’m not in that sort of pickle. I made Watermelon Rind Pickles. Let me tell you, that was quite the journey.

Four great things about watermelons:

  1. The meat tastes great on a summer day. The redder the better, I say!
  2. The black seeds can be salted and baked in the oven for about 10 minutes to make something very similar to sunflower seeds, only you eat the whole thing. You cannot get the black seeds in a seedless watermelon, however, so you may have to go to an organic or farmer’s market to find them.
  3. The juice of the watermelon makes a fine drink when filtered through a very fine mesh. Pantyhose work very well for this, clean of course!
  4. The rinds make delicious pickles, so you can have watermelon with your roast pork in the winter time when summer is only a warm memory. The best rinds are from the larger melons, usually the ones with seeds, so if you want good pickles, you might want to get melon with seeds.

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I’m Going Crackers!

I am seriously going crackers – Cheddar Cheese Spritz crackers that is!

After rolling out and decorating dozens of cookies, I decided to purchase a cookie press. I had one when I was a teenager, and it was problematic to use. I was a little hesitant to get another one, but I watched the video on the Wilton site, I decided to give it a go.

There are some great recipes to go along with the cookie press, and I decided to make the Cheddar Crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound natural cheddar (not processed) sharp cheddar or aged Swiss cheese , finely shre
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • dash Hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon Dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion powder

Preparation

*Do not use pre-shredded cheese.

Preheat oven to 375?F. In a medium bowl, cream cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce and hot red pepper sauce until smooth. In separate bowl, mix flour and seasonings together. Gradually add to cheese mixture. Mix until dough forms smooth ball. Shape dough into small logs and place in Cookie Master Plus. Using desired disk, press shapes onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling rack. Remove from sheet and continue to cool on rack.

If you have BigOven you can import the recipe right into your software – Cheddar Cheese Spritz Crackers

Deconstructing Packaged Food – Onion Dip

Usually, when I make sauce for artichokes, I get one of the Knoor soup mixes and add it to a container of sour cream. But lately, I have been more interested in “deconstructing” whatever I usually get in a package and make it from scratch. I feel that making things from scratch I can at least know what’s going in, including the lack of rat feces and other nasties!

So the other day, I was craving chips and onion dip. I didn’t have any Lipton Onion Soup, so I had to make my own. It wasn’t difficult. The only things I needed were dehydrated onion, beef stock, and sour cream.

A word about sour cream. Don’t use anything that is more than cultured grade A cream – gelatin, gum and other ingredients make for a terrible end product.

Making the dip was easy. I mixed the ingredients together, waited about 30 minutes for the onions to absorb some of the moisture and had a ball!

Deconstructed Onion Dip

Ingredients

1 tbsp Dehydrated Chopped or Minced Onions
1 tsp Better than Bouillon Beef Base
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream

Directions

Combine all the ingredients, being especially careful to incorporate all the beef base. Put the dip in a nice serving dish, cover and refrigerate at least a half an hour before serving.

Artichoke Garlic Dip

So, when I didn’t have Knorr soup mix, my first thought was to do this again, and here’s my recipe:

Ingredients

1 Garlic glove
1/2 teaspoon Dried basil
1/2 teaspoon Smokey sweet pepper
1/8 teaspoon Mustard powder
1 pinch White pepper
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour cream

Preparation

Put the garlic and the dry ingredients into a small food processor. Process until the garlic is completely minced. Add the mayonnaise, pulse, and then add the sour cream. You can adjust the seasoning by adding more sour cream. Remove from processor to serving bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Artichoke Garlic Dip

Chicken Liver Pâté with Cornichons and Blue Cheese Butter

The award for Best Appetizer at the Fil-Am Kiwanis function went to yours truly for the Country French Pâté with Blue Cheese Butter Spread and Cornichons. I didn’t win for my Ultimate Sour Cherry Fudge Cake, but who cares, right? The Oreo truffles won, and they were truly fantastic!

 

Country French Pate with Blue Cheese Butter and Cornichons

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Chicken Liver
  • 1/2 pound Butter
  • 1 1/3 Garlic
  • 1/3 Onion
  • 2/3 tablespoon Country Style Pate Spice
  • 1/3 cup Red wine

Instructions

  1. Dry and clean chicken livers. Chop onion and garlic finely. Sweat garlic and onion in a little butter. Set aside. Saute chicken livers. Add onion mixture. Add red wine and pate spice. Let cook down until almost all liquid is reduced. Place mixture in food processor. Process and let cool. Cream butter separately. Fold in cooled liver mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  2. At this point, you can put it into a nice bowl or crock. You can also roll it in wax paper.
  3. Chill the pate over night. If you rolled it up, slice it for putting on toast. If you did not roll it up, it is advisable to let it come to just about room temperature before serving.

Quick notes

If you want a lot of pate, just increase the amount of chicken livers. This is a real crowd pleaser, even for people who do not like pate, and especially those who do not like liver.

Recipe Links

Recipe for the Country Pate Spice.

Preparation time: 24 hours

Cooking time: 1 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: French

Calories: 392

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate – Adrienne Boswell.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.

 

Country Pate Spice

Summary: This is the spice for Country Pate

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Green Pepper Corn
  • 1/3 ounce Dry Pimento
  • 1/3 ounce Mace
  • 3/4 ounce Paprika
  • 1/3 ounce Coriander
  • 1/3 ounce Thyme
  • 1/4 ounce Rosemary
  • 1/8 ounce Marjoram
  • 1/8 ounce Clove
  • 1/3 ounce Bay leaf
  • 1/3 ounce Allspice

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in clean coffee grinder and process.

Quick notes

All ingredients are dry ingredients. If you can’t find dried pimento, omit it and use a bit more paprika. You can keep put the spice into a clean glass jar, top it and use it when ever the mood strikes.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: French

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate – Adrienne Boswell.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.

 

Blue Cheese Butter

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound Sweet butter
  • 1/4 pound Blue Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process. You can roll it or put it into a container at this point. It should be chilled in the refrigerator overnight. If you are going to slice it, do not bring it to room temperature, but if you are going to serve it from a container, then leave it out for a while before serving.

Quick notes

The longer the mixture sits, the more flavorful it becomes. Use only sweet butter, as using salted butter would make the product too salty.

This is beautiful served with Melba Toasts.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: French

Calories: 120

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate – Adrienne Boswell.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.