Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Valentine’s is coming up and we all need a few ideas of what to give to our friends, family and loved ones. My lists are always related to Food and Kitchen. Everything on my list(s) are things I truly like and can see myself getting.
Here are my top 10 gifts for Valentine’s, something for everyone in every price range.
- DIY Chocolate Dessert – $0 – Make a chocolate dessert and put it into a nice little container. Who doesn’t like home made gifts?
- J’taime Kitchen Towel – $3.95 – Adorable cute kitchen towels for your loved one from Sur la Table.
- Create your own chocolate bar from Create My Chocolate – $8.00 – How fun is this choose your chocolate, your toping, your grain, you have all kinds of choices.
- Heart-Shaped Egg Fry Rings – $8.05 – Why not make eggs in the morning in the shape of hearts. Why not do this all the time?
- Spice and Ice – $11.37 – Written by expert mixologist Kara Newman, this is a cocktail book with a kick, containing 60 tongue tingling cocktails. Favorites include the Wasabi-tinis, Peppered Poire and Sangria Scorcher. Her Hot Lips Chocotini is the perfect treat to sweeten up your evening.
- Prodyne Fruit Infusion Pitcher – $19.03 – Enjoy flavor-infused beverages made naturally at home.
- Large Chocolate Dipping Adventure – $33.50 – Have your own chocolate dipping party. Just heat the chocolate and throw yourselves into pure seduction for all the senses
- Nickname Snack Bowls – $34.50 – Adorable little bowls that you can add your own text too.
- Olive Oil gift set from Olive Oil Press – $39 – Mission Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar paired together is always a hit.
- Vosges Exotic Truffle Heart Collection – $45 – Vosges’ exotic truffles are made from the finest ingredients offered around the world. Vosges truffles have exotic influences of an “East meets West” theme. The infusions of rare spices and flowers combined with premium chocolate give a delicate balance of flavor, leaving you with a layered and lingering sensation of spice and chocolate, a true haut-chocolate experience.
Need more? Here is a link to all my Gift Ideas from previous posts.
Have other great ideas that are related to Food and Kitchen? I would love to hear about them in the comment section.
Monday, February 7, 2011
If you like Greek food you will love these lamb sliders. If you like garlic, mint, cilantro flavors you will love these. Every time I just talk about these sliders I start to droll.
Imagine a warm patty, with mint, cilantro, garlic and yogurt sauce on top. This is one of my favorite “burgers” on top of the turkey burger.
These Greek sliders are great for appetizers or main course, and just perfect for entertaining – a fun, sophisticated alternative to your standard cookout fare.
You will need ground lamb for the recipe, your regular grocery store may not carry it but you can always find it at Whole Foods or your local butcher.
I found this recipe on Once Upon A Chef and adjusted a little to my own taste. These sliders are incredible tender and juicy and that is due to the bread and milk paste that is mixed into the ground meat. You can’t taste it but it guarantees perfect burgers every time, especially if you like your meat a little more well-done or if you accidentally overcook them.
Greek Lamb Sliders “Biftekia” with Yogurt Sauce
Yields: 12 sliders enough for 4-6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 5 minutes
Greek Lamb Sliders “Biftekia”
1 slice white bread, crust removed and cut into ¼” pieces
2 tbsp milk
¼ cup finely chopped shallots (1 shallot)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ lbs ground lamb
½ cup of plain yogurt, preferable Greek style yogurt
1 tsp of dried dill
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of olive oil
1tsp of lemon juice
Be sure grill is clean and preheat to high.
Combine bread pieces and milk in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork until paste forms. Add shallots, garlic, mint, cilantro, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well. Add lamb, then use your hand to mix ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix. Form mixture into 12 patties about ½-inch thick.
Place sliders on patties and put some yogurt sauce in between.
Grease grill. Grill patties, covered, for 2 minutes. Turn, cover again, and cook for about 2 minutes more.
Other Similar Recipe:
Rack of Lamb
Bulgogi – Korean BBQ
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I don’t know about you but after a weekend of baking I always end up with a bowl of egg whites laying around. I try to find recipes that use egg whites but at the end I make my childhood favorite – Hard Meringues!
Did you know the name meringue came from a pastry chef named Gasparini in the Swiss town of Merhrinyghen. In 1720, he created a small pastry of dried egg foam and sugar from which the simplified meringue evolved.
I don’t know why but it seems really hard to find hard meringues in the stores here, only certain stores carry it and I don’t understand why. When I was a kid in Sweden hard meringues were huge. Some of my favorite desserts have hard meringue in them. When I moved to the US I was introduced to soft meringues and I don’t like it at all, and never have a baked Alaskan due to this.
The most critical factor in making meringue is humidity. Because of its high sugar content, meringue can absorb moisture from the air and become limp and sticky.
Be sure that beaters and bowls are clean and completely free of fat or oil because the least bit of fat will prevent beaten egg whites from reaching their full volume. Use only metal or glass bowls. Plastic bowls tend to absorb fat.
Meringues only take about 5 minutes to make but it has to stay in the oven at least for 2 hours to get dry and hard. Sometimes even longer, again depends on the oven and the humidity.
Some folks add cream of tartar on vinegar to get them stiffer but I usually leave that out and get the perfect consistency anyways.
What about you, are you a hard or soft meringue person, and what do you usually do with left over egg whites? Give me some ideas. And please don’t say egg white omelet.
Yields: 12 meringue | Prep: 5 minutes | Bake: About 2 hours
3 egg whites
¾ cups sugar
Set oven to 225F. In a mixer add your egg whites and the sugar. And mix about 2-3 minutes until the eggs show high peaks. Place the eggs to your desired shape onto a cookie sheet and into the middle of the oven.
It will take about 2 hours for your meringues to harden. If they are not hard keep them in the oven until they are. The longer they are in the oven the harder and dryer they get. After about two hours they should be hard on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Meringues may be stored for several months in a tightly sealed container with waxed paper between the layers.
Recipes that will leave you with leftover egg whites:
Cranberry and White Chocolate Streusel Bars
Ice Cream Petit Fours
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I love broccoli, usually I will sauté it with some bread crumbs and butter, the same way i like my cauliflower prepared. Many times I just add some broccoli to my stir fry but I don’t really like steamed broccoli by itself, it pretty boring.
I was trying this broccoli soup and when I tasted this cold, I thought it was delicious. This soup in my opinion is better cold than hot. And on top of that it makes a great and refreshing appetizer. Adding some cool refreshing and healthy shots to your party food table is always fun. While people are eating some chicken wings, having some roquamole dip, this is a great addition to your table for something different.
You can server this soup hot or cold, I prefer it cold, it is more refreshing.
Any other soups that you like to serve in shot glasse?
Yields: About 12 shot glasses | Prep: 20 minutes
7 oz broccoli chopped (about medium sized broccoli)
1 leek chopped
2 tbsp butter
½ vegetable stock
½ cup cream
1 cup milk
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp salt
In a pot sauté the leek and broccoli with the butter till everything softens, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, cream, milk, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is soft.
Using a mixer make the soup smooth. Add salt or pepper to taste.
Serve hot or cold in shot glasses.
Great Party Food:
White Bean Puree
Sunday, January 30, 2011
All of us are always looking for good dips and appetizers, for parties or, Super Bowl, or just a snack for yourself. This recipe is one of my favorites just to have as a snack in the afternoon.
Awhile ago I got addicted to this white bean puree at Whole Foods and every time I go I always pick it up but decided it was time to make it myself. I have been trying a few different versions but found a similar recipe on the William’s Sonoma site and adjusted it to my liking.
I eat this dip with vegetables, crackers or even just spread it on bread. The consistency is very similar to hummus and if you like hummus you will love this.
What is one of your favorite healthy snacks?
White Bean Puree
Yields: 24 servings | Prep: 15 minutes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or drained and rinsed canned beans
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler, for garnish
Paprika for sprinkle
In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour into a liquid measuring cup.
In a food processor, combine the white beans, rosemary and lemon juice. Pulse until the beans are partially pureed, 5 to 10 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the garlic oil and process until a smooth puree forms, 5 to 10 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve as a dip with vegetables or crackers. Or spread the puree on crackers or slices of baquette and garnish with a shaving of the cheese and sprinkle with paprika.
Great Party Food:
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I am a huge fan of no bake cookies, the first one I mentioned were the Swedish Chocolate Balls that I used to make as a kid. This batch I got from The Brown Eyed Baker who recommended this for those moments when you are desperately craving something sweet and chocolaty but don’t have a lot of patience. I can tell you that this will solve that craving and warning these are addictive.
I even had a few spoonfuls before they could set, so that is a warning to you, you will eat some out of the bowl.
And if you have kids I am sure they will love to make this with you, just like the Swedish Chocolate balls.
These could not be easier to make and the original name of these are Cow Patties, I don’t think I have to tell you why.
What kind of no-bake cookies do you make?
No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies (Cow Patties)
Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooling Time: 30 minutes
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned cooking oats
Add the first four ingredients, butter, sugar, milk and coco powder to a 4-quart saucepan.
Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.
Let cool until set.
Other Similar Recipes:
Swedish Chocolate Balls
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bars
Oatmeal Wafers “Havreflarn” with Nutella
Swedish Brownie “Kladdkaka”
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Superbowl is almost here and everyone is looking for party food. Even if you are not interested in American Football this is a great dip.
I am a huge fan of warm dips, especially warm artichoke dips. But I feel that I needed a new vegetable and I was really surprised how good this was, I enjoyed this much better than artichoke.
Hot dips are great for parties just add some crackers or baguette next to it and you will see big smiles of people’s faces.
This dip is warm, savory and creamy and the best part is it is simple to make.
This recipe can be heated in the microwave or baked in the oven.
I prefer the oven baked method because the browned top is nice and crisp with the warm runny dip below.
Either way works well so choose the method that works for you.
What are some of your warm vegetable dips that are not asparagus or artichoke, I would love to hear about it.
Serves: 4-6 people | Prep: 20 minutes
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
14 ounces of asparagus
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
First clean the end of the asparagus and then boil the asparagus in water for 3 minutes. After tree minutes, drain the asparagus and put into a cold water bath.
Using a food processor put the Parmesan cheese, garlic and cream cheese into the mixer and pulse a few times until everything is mixed. Then add the asparagus and pulse a few times again. Do you like it smooth keep mixing otherwise stop while it is chunky
Put this mixture into a microwave and oven save dish; sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top.
Microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through or in the oven for 350F for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly and the top is browned.
Great Party Food:
Sunday, January 23, 2011
For those in the US, Superbowl is coming up and we are all looking for some good finger food and some new dips. I have a perfect new dip for you.
This recipe is awesome and really simple to make, it came from Nigella Lawson. Definitely a great dip instead of just plane guacamole. This recipe bring guacamole and Rogufort, France’s premier blue cheese, together, and it is a union that really works. You are welcome to use any blue cheese you want, it is really up to you. The saltiness, the smoothness of avocado, and the hotness of jalapeños is just a great combination for a dip.
What are your plans for the superbowl?
Yields: serves 3-4 | Prep: 10 minutes
1 cup crumbled Roquefort or Saint Agur blue cheese
2 tbsp finely sliced green onions
¼ tsp paprika
¼ cup sour cream
2 ripe avocados
¼ cup sliced pickled green jalapeños from a jar
Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl. Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need. Roughly chop the sliced jalapeños and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced green onions.
Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with paprika, and surround with tortilla chips or crackers.
Great Party Food:
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
If you read my story about Swedish Chocolate Balls you know that most Swedish kids only eat candy on Saturdays, if you missed it here is the story. Because I was one of those kids (never had a cavity either). However, I always tried to get treats during the other days. My mother never gave in but what she used to give me were these Sesame Seed Snaps. Remember these?
As I kid I had them all the time. I even get these today but they are not as easy to find anymore.
I think you can find these almost everywhere, when I lived in South Korea we used to even get them there, they are also everywhere in Europe. In Italy they call them “Cubbaita di Giugiulena” and in India they are called “Tul Chikki,” and in Swedish we call these “Sesamkakor.”
Do you have a childhood memory of these or am I the only one that ate these as a kid?
If you have never tried them I highly recommend making these, they are so easy and quick. The recipe is adapted from Gourmet Traveller.
Don’t forget to sign up for the “Double Delicious! Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives” by Jessica Seinfeld giveaway right here before Friday, 1/21 at 11:59 p.m. PDT!
Sesame Seed Snaps
Yields: 25 pieces | Prep: 10 minutes
1½ cups sesame seeds
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup honey
Combine ingredients in a large heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 320F on a candy thermometer.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour mixture into sheet and smooth top. Allow to cool slightly, using a sharp knife, cut into pieces. Let cool completely, and then break into pieces. Will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Other Similar Recipes:
Oatmeal Wafers “Havreflarn” with Nutella
Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard Salad Dressing
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Today I am featuring “Double Delicious! Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives” by Jessica Seinfeld. What a great cookbook. Especially for families with kids. Jessica finds ways to make ordinary foods extraordinary by loading them up with healthy ingredients, such as pureed vegetables and fruits. She also uses healthy ingredients that you can add to make everyday food even better by adding whole grains to baked goods and boosts sweetness without a lot of sugar.
For example these Maple Spice Muffins have no sugar in them, uses whole grain and they are 198 calories per muffin. You would never have guessed. In some of her other recipes she has for example sweet potato puree in her Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Cauliflower Puree in Lemon Bars. So imaginative. I think every family should have this cookbook.
Also Jessica was recently interviewed by Gwyneth Paltrow on Goop, it is a great interveiw and also a link to a Jessica’s website and a few more recipes.
Maple Spice Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins | Prep: 20 minutes | Bake: 25 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
¼ cup trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 (6 oz) container of low-fat lemon yogurt
½ cup nonfat sour cream
1 large egg
1 large carrot, washed and grated
1 small apple, grated
½ cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
In a large bowl, stir the margarine, maple syrup, yogurt, sour cream, egg, carrot, apple, and raisins, breaking up the margarine with a spoon.
Sprinkle the 2 types of flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and salt over the margarine mixture. Stir until just combined, but do not over mix – the batter is supposed to be lumpy.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.
To enter the giveaway you need to do 3 things:
1. Subscribe to Delishhh in an RSS feed or by Email!
2. Become a fan of my Facebook page
3. Leave a comment telling me you did 1 & 2.
For additional entries:
4. Tweet about this giveaway.
5. Leave an additional comment telling me you tweeted about it.
The giveaway ends on Friday, 1/21 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Winner will be selected from Random.org.
**** UPDATE ****
And the winner is. . . .