Monday, April 17

SLOW COOKER: Easy Cocktail Meatballs

Sweet and tangy cocktail meatballs are a common sight at gathering and get together. Made from three simple ingredients, these little mouth watering bites are crowd pleasing. I often get asked how to make them and every time I give someone the recipe they are shocked. The hard part about making these little bites of happiness is deciding how savory you want to make them.

Full time 6 hours
Serves 16-20

The needs-

4-5 lbs. frozen cocktail size meatballs
16 oz bottle BBQ sauce (any type)
12 oz jar grape jelly

The know-

In a mixing bowl combine BBQ sauce and jelly, whisking until even in texture.

Pour approximetly 1/3 of the mixture into your slow cooker and coat bottom.

Add in half of the meatballs.
Pour approximetly 1/2 the remaining mixture over the meatballs.

Add in remaining meatballs.

Pour in remaining sauce.

Cover with lid and cook six hours on low. If possible stir occasionally to evenly distibute sauce.


Monday, April 10

French Apple Clafoutis

A traditional French pastry, the clafoutis is part custard and part cake. Taking advantage of seasonal berries and fruits, the clafoutis is extremely simple to make. Serve dusted with a little confectionery sugar for great desserts, brunches, or breakfast!

Full time 1 1/2 hours (includes cooling time)
Serves 8

The needs-

3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 apples, any variety
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

For serving-
1/2 cup confectionery sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon 

The know- 

Preheat oven to 350' and lightly spray a pie pan with cooking spray or lightly butter it.

Core apples and slice into 16 thin slices each.

Arrange apples in the bottom of the pie pan, you will end up with two layers.

In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs and egg yolk until fluffy and airy.

Add in sugar and whisk until thickened.

Add in milk, salt and vanilla giving it a quick whisk.

Add in flour and whisk until well blended.

Gently pour batter into pie pan, apples will move around a bit, this is okay.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the center feels set when gently poked with a finger.

You will notice the sides has raised above the center, it will become a lightly golden crust.

Allow to rest on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving, the outside edge will deflate slightly during this time.

To serve just slice, dust with confectionery sugar and cinnamon.


Monday, April 3

English Banoffe

Banoffe is a traditional English pie. Rich and creamy, this pie has three major parts: toffee, bananas, and whipped cream. The pie itself is very easy to make and is full of traditional English flavors.

Full time 1 1/2 hours (unless you need to make toffee)
Makes 1 9" pie

The needs-

For Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup fine sugar

For Pie:
2 bananas, sliced
14 oz. toffee filling (store bought or homemade, see bottom for link to toffee recipe)
1 cup whipping cream

The know-

In a large bowl combine all crust ingredients and mix until well blended.

Pour mixture into a 9" pie shell and pat down, up edges, until you have a nice even crust.

Allow crust to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Pour toffee into crust and allow it to rest in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Top with sliced bananas.

Top with whipped cream and smooth out evenly.

Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving. For best texture allow pie to chill longer.


*How To Make Toffee:

Monday, March 27

Traditional Beef Stew

Growing up this was one of my favorite dishes. I would ask my mom to make it for my birthday, special occasions, or as much as I could. These days I actually cannot beef, but occasionally I do...ssshhh...Anyway, I love making a great pot of stew and serving it alongside bread. On a side note I love Lima beans in mine, but since I am the only Lima bean eater in the house, they sadly get left out.

Full time 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours
Makes 6-8 servings

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs lean stew meat
3 medium-large potatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces
3-4 stalks celery, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 large onion, diced fine
1 beef bouillon cube
2 cup beef stock
1 cup baby carrots, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 cup Cabernet or dark red wine
1 cup water
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp cold extremely cold water
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Let us begin:

In a dutch over or heavy bottom pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add in onions and cook 3-5 minutes or until they soften.

Add in stew meat brown evenly, roughly 5-8 minutes.

Once meat has been browned nicely, you may still have some red spots, it is okay. Add in the carrots and celery.

Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring once.

Add in wine and bullion cube.

Bring to a boil and then add in rosemary, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Allow to boil for 10 minutes to cook off the alcohol, stirring occasionally.

Add in stock.

Add in potatoes.

Watch, actually listen for the pot to sound like it is boiling again. You will probably not see more then small bubbles on the surface, do not let that fool you.

This takes a few minutes, while it does it's thing. Place frozen peas and corn into a microwave safe bowl. Add in the water.

Place bowl on surface next to the dutch oven. This will allow them to slowly defrost and warm without cooking them.

Once this begins to happen, lower the heat to low-simmer and cover with a lid. Set a 20 minute timer and walk away.

When the timer goes off, carefully lift the lid and poke potatoes with a fork to see how they are progressing. Give a stir and recover.

Reset the timer and walk away again.

When the timer goes off, carefully lift the lid and poke the potatoes. If you can easily pierce them with a fork, you are ready to move on. If you cannot, recover and check in 10 minute increments.

Once potatoes are fork-able, add the contents of the vegetable bowl.

Stir well and return mixture to medium-high. Bringing it back to a gentle boil.

In a small bowl combine the extremely cold water and cornstarch to a smooth and even mixture with a fork.

Stir into the dutch oven and let cook 5-8 minutes to slightly thicken the base.

Serve and cheers!

Tuesday, March 21

MUG IT: Individual Cheesecake

Ever want cheesecake? Just craving that soft cheesecake goodness? Here is a great way to get that wonderful flavor in a short amount of time.

Full time 10 minutes
Serves 1

The needs-

1 egg
2 oz. cream cheese
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

The know-

Place cream cheese in ramekin and microwave for 20 seconds to soften.

Mix in all remaining ingredients.

Microwave 30 seconds and mix everything again.

Microwave 30 seconds and mix one last time.

Microwave 30 seconds.

Place in a refrigerator to cool and firm.

If desired dust with graham cracker crumbs before eating.


Tuesday, March 14

MUG IT: Apple Crisp Mug Treat

Mug cakes are the current foodie food. Easy to make, single servings, which can be produced in very little time. This one actually is not really a cake-but rather a great dessert featuring the classic comfort of an apple crisp in an easy to eat, single serve style.

Full time 6 minutes (includes cooling time)
Serves 1

The needs-

1/2 cup canned apple pie filling
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp oats
2 tsp chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tsp butter, chilled and diced fine

The know-

In a microwavable mug place apple filling and microwave for 2 minutes.

While this cooks, in a small bow combine all remaining ingredients, and smoosh together with your fingers.

Top apples with crumble mixture and microwave 2 minutes.

Allow to cool for 2 minutes before eating.