Sunday, October 27, 2013

Appetizers make the world go round

Yes they do! Appetizers might be my favorite food group. Tonight I made three different appetizers for a get together tomorrow. Of course I had to sample each after I finished and boy O' boy are they delicious! 

The first is bacon wrapped dates. Pretty easy and so scrumptious! 

25 Pitted Dates 
25 Slices of Bacon (I cut one regular slice in thirds)

Take one date wrapped in bacon and continue until all dates are wrapped then bake at 350 until bacon is crisp!

The next was a recipe I have never tried. Sam always calls this my science experiment in the kitchen when I try out new or made up recipes. 

Pecan and blue cheese Grapes

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 18 to 20 seedless red grapes, chilled
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Directions:

Line a small baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.

Mix together the cream cheese, blue cheese, and heavy cream until smooth.  Add the grapes and stir until coated with the cheese mixture.

In another small bowl, mix together the pecans and parsley.

Using a fork, transfer the grapes, one at a time, to the pecan mixture and, using clean hands, gently roll in the mixture until coated. Place the grapes plate or cookie sheet and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours and serve.

They are really yummy! 

The last thing I made was Pecan and Almond chocolate! 


1 cup cacoa butter
1/2 cup cacoa powder
1/2 cup honey
1 t vanilla 

Melt butter add honey and powder stirring until smooth. Then add vanilla. Pour into molds or lined muffin tins. 

I put pecan halves in the bottom of one batch and sliced almonds in the other. 

These three appetizer took me about 30 minutes to whip up this evening! Love quick, easy, clean food! 



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How do you broth?

I live in a family full of great cooks! Both sides of my family has rich traditions based around food. We love food! 

 When Sam and I started dating and would go to family gatherings he would say " I have never seen so much food and all y'all do is eat and talk about what the next meal is going to be."

My mom is the queen of this! She is an outstanding cook and we love cooking together. Her two favorite flavor additives are boullion and butter. I do love and use tons of butter but the bouillon has a mile long list of ingredients that aren't at all natural. 

Anyway something that I have started doing this year is making bone broth instead of using bouillon. It is so easy and makes my house smell so good! Weird I know! 

So I mainly make beef broth but chicken would be so easy and delicious too! 

I have found a great old German meat market in Fredericksburg that sells marrow bones for fifty cents a pound!! Cheap deliciousness! Or for chicken all you need is a whole bird. 

I add bay leaf, garlic, onion, celery, and carrot to add great depth of flavor to the broth. 

So how hard could it be to fill a big pot full of bones, veggies, herbs and water and let simmer for a day or two? Easy breezy!

Here is my bone broth I started last night I will take it off in the morning. It's great to use for the base in anything you would cook in water, boil, thin etc. It's even great to just drink. The minerals found in the bones leech into the broth making it one of the most deeply nourishing foods we can make. 

Make it once, use it lots or freeze in quart measurements and use when you need it. 

2 T Vinegar 
2 - 4 pounds of bones
4 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
4 garlic cloves (I usually add a whole pod but I like garlic) 
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste 

Combine all ingredients and add water to fill the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn to lowest setting and let summer for 12-48 hours. Use immediately as a base for soup or store in the fridge for a week. To store for longer than a week store in freezer bags and freeze for up to a year.