Sunday, June 10, 2018

May 20, 2018

Image may contain: drink and indoorWe met at my house and all were here except for Michelle.  Summer is proving a difficult time to get together for us busy ladies!
We began our gathering with raspberry lemonade margaritas. Yum!  These are a pitcher cocktail recipe which is my favorite kind to make.  I like to prepare a big batch and be done with it.  These were tangy and not overly sweet.

Mary made a delicious onion jam which she used on a crostini as our appetizer.  She baked french bread that was lightly coated with butter until crisp.  After cooled she spread it with goat cheese, a basil leaf and the onion jam.  This was so delicious and elegant!  The jam is sweet and the mild goat cheese and fresh basil leaf really blend together nicely. 

Tonya made a jicama salad that featured pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, and Mexican cheese.  You can use any type of greens from butter lettuce to spinach as the toppings and dressing are the highlight of the salad.

The main dish was southwestern egg rolls with homemade salsa.  I have never made egg rolls before and the thought of making them seemed to be quite intimidating.  This recipe comes with a video that demonstrates how to roll up the egg rolls and it is actually very simple.  You also bake the rolls which is so much easier than frying. Not to mention less mess and healthier. 

The salsa is out of this world good and could not be easier since it comes together in the food processor.  Each bite of egg roll was dipped in the salsa and the salsa cools down the hot egg rolls.  These were so tasty that I look forward to making other flavors.

Our dessert was prepared by Angelica and she used won ton wrappers which are very similar to egg roll wrappers.  She also baked these instead of frying.  The crispy wrapper is filled with cream cheese and covered with a fresh strawberry sauce.  The sauce has just a little amount of sugar which allows the natural sweetness of the berries to shine through.

We had a special treat - a second dessert!  Tonya brought us these delicious cupcakes from a bakery near her home after Mary requested her to bring a dozen to share.  It was an imitation of the cake from the Royal Wedding and featured lemon and elder flowers with delicious frosting.

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

March 4, 2018

We met at Tonya's and Angelica began the afternoon with a light yet slightly spicy white sangria.


I prepared two appetizers, both Martha Stewart recipes.  There was a fancy cheese sandwich with pears called Pears and Camembert and an onion tart called Provencal Onion Tart. I really liked the Camembert and it was as pretty as it was delicious. You can make the topping ahead of time and warm up and serve when needed.  


The onion tart was ok though I did not think it was very flavorful.  The recipe called for two onions and one was more than plenty.  I could not find anchovies and I used seasoned tuna instead.  Maybe that would have resulted in a better tasting dish with the salty anchovies.  Of course I found some the next time I was at Sprouts though the placement within HEB still alludes me.

 Mary put together a salad with poppy seed dressing that is perfect for Spring.  It had beets, cheese and mandarin oranges on a bed of spinach.  All the flavors are sweet and this is balanced by the spinach.

The main dish that we prepared together was Chicken Fricassee. It is a pan seared chicken dish with a creamy, mushroom sauce. It was served over rice with a side of asparagus and a tarragon garnish.  The chicken was moist having finished cooking in the sauce and it stays that way even when reheated the next day.

Our meal was concluded with Michelle's Blueberry Clafoutis. It is a French pancake like dessert full of fresh blueberries.  Michelle took us on a healthy journey with this gluten free dish that also used honey as the sweetener.  Other berries or even apples or peaches would work too.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Neely's

Angelica prepared this chopped steak recipe and really enjoyed it.  She added garlic mashed potatoes as a side dish.  The Neely's said this is a blue plate special at their restaurant. It looks like a fancy meat loaf with mushroom gravy! Yum!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekend cooking

I did some cooking this weekend, trying to start off right before the debauchery of Super Bowl Sunday happened.  I have been craving quiche.  Who doesn’t crazy quiche, right?!  It’s an egg pie with vegetables and cheese!  I followed this recipe adding about ½ a cup of chopped ham steak.  I also used frozen deep dish pie crusts and ended up having enough for 2 quiches with the addition of 2 eggs and ½ a cup of milk to make more of the custardy filling.  

For dinner, with it still being jacket weather, I made a soup in the crock pot.  This soup is a dump everything into a pot recipe and the only prep work was for the cilantro.  After cooking on high for 4 hours I shredded the chicken (2 chicken breasts) and added the cubed cream cheese.  It’s kind of crazy how much the cream cheese adds to the soup.  It gives it a body and creaminess that is very satisfying.  The calories really don’t count because 8 ounces of cream cheese is split over many servings.  I added a couple of cups of frozen corn to the soup because I was not using the entire bag in the corn bread.

With the soup I wanted a bread and I thought this is finally the time for me to make a Mexican corn bread.  I added a couple of sliced green onions that I had left over from the quiche to add some more greenery because I think that looks pretty.  I also only used half a can of chopped jalapenos because I have had Mexican corn bread before that was too spicy hot to be enjoyable.  I wanted subtle heat especially since it would be served along hot soup.

For Sunday, we smoked wings.  Or maybe we baked wings on a smoker…. Outdoor cooking isn’t my department.  I was only in charge of the rub.  This rub was perfect – not too salty, not too spicy.  I only jumped onto the wing craze in the last year and it is not because of the sauce, it is because of the crispy skin.  In a restaurant, this is accomplished by ordering the sauce on the side and then throwing it away (well, some people end up eating it.. I do not).   I figure without tossing the wings in a buttery sauce these can be diet friendly.  Other than a minor amount of skin, it is all protein.