Showing posts with label Easy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easy. Show all posts

Monday, July 17, 2017

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies #vegan


According to my kids, I have committed a royal sin.

 I announced I made cookies.

Now you would think that Mom making cookies is a good thing, right?

I have learned that not all cookies are the same.

If, and only when, they contain chocolate will they ever be deemed "a cookie" in my home.

Finnley schooled me on exactly what constitutes a "real" cookie. Keep in mind she is three.  Her favorite saying of late is: "I'm outta here."  I haven't the slightest idea where she is learning these things but they are funny coming from such a small human being.

I explained to her when she woke up that I made cookies. Oh, she was excited!  She ran to the kitchen.  Reached her tiny hand to the top of the counter and grabbed the first one she touched. As she brought it to her mouth she stopped.  She looked at me and cried with frustration.  I had not made a proper cookie. There wasn't a single chocolate chip present.  She quickly returned the cookie and said, "I'm outta here."

Maybe this isn't a kid cookie. But, when I take these cookies to a function with adults, they love them and some kids gobble them up too. The cookies are soft on the inside and crispy on the edges.  I personally think they are a bowl of oatmeal just in a cookie form.  To be honest, sometimes I get tired of eating oatmeal.

I never get tired of eating these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 
Makes 24-36 cookies, depends on size of cookie scoop

Ingredients

2 flax meal eggs (1 Tbsp flax meal/3 Tbsp warm water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup of flour (white or wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old fashion oatmeal (uncooked)
1 cup golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Prepare flax meal eggs and let sit for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Add remaining ingredients to a medium bowl.  Stir to mix well.  Add flax eggs.  Mix together until well combined.

4.  Use a cookie scoop and space cookies 1 inch apart. The cookies do not spread.  They will puff up and outward. I can get 15 scoops on each cookie tray.

5.  Bake for 9-10 minutes. We like ours a little under cooked. If you want a crispier cookie then bake a few minutes longer. Remove cookies to a cookie rack and let cool.  Keep unused cookies in an air tight container.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Dang Good Black Beans


My family likes beans.  They always have and we eat a lot of beans.  I know some diets don't allow for beans and this recipe won't be for you.  I am going to assume that if you are reading this then you CAN eat beans and this recipe might just work.

I make this all the time when time is short and I want a dish that will fill my belly with food.  Rushing to and from school, I find myself, needing to eat before I go.  This can be made in a few short minutes.  I personally like it the next day.  With that in mind, I will make a batch the day before and have it pre-portioned in the fridge.  Labelled: MINE.  Just kidding.

One of the reasons we love Newport so much is this beautiful bridge.  When we left Annapolis a year ago we were always amazed by the Bay Bridge that went over the Chesapeake Bay.  To our delight we have an equally stunning bridge that crosses over the Yaquina Bay.  What we find on the other side of this bridge is amazing beaches, my school, the aquarium, and a fabulous little hole in the wall for Fish-n-Chips. 


Look at the picture above.  The cloud picture was taken just as I came out of the arc.  This image just blew me away at how glorious our world is.  The clouds reminded me of brush strokes on a painting.  They were placed almost too perfect.  The whole sky was filled with these wispy white clouds.



South Beach is a favorite of ours.  We will often take friends and family there.  The beach is long and great for walking.  It produces some great agates and sand dollars.  The views are breath taking. Many times we will get a chance to watch surfers tackling the rough seas. I would never have guessed that Oregon had so many surfers.  We do!  They come from all over to surf our waves.


Oh, and here we are again back at the Black Beans.  ENJOY!

  Dang Good Black Beans

1 can rinsed black beans
2 teaspoons oil (I use Ghee for everything)
1/2 bell pepper, any color, sliced
2 tablespoons red onion, diced medium
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8-1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 raw jalapeno, sliced for garnish and diced small to include (if you want it spicy)
garnish-Cilantro
lime juice, to taste

1.  Be sure to rinse your black beans.  Add at the very end!  If you don't do this, they will become mushy.

2. In a saute pan, warm oil.  Add red onion and bell pepper. Saute until soft.  Add spices.  When combined, turn off heat.  Add black beans and gently fold together. Do not over stir or you will end up with mortar paste.

3.  At this time you can add jalapeno and lime juice.  Taste and adjust.  Garnish with cilantro.

4.  Refrigerate any left overs.  Good for 3-5 days.  Reheat in the microwave.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pasta Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Avocados



As promised, a few recipes about food.  This salad is delightful.  Each bite is creamy and packed full of flavor. I love the combination of avocado, corn and tomato.  You also have a lot of freedom with this recipe.  If you need to use gluten free pasta you can.  The sauce is pretty basic but feel free to mess with the flavor profile. Use fresh herbs or dried.  I will always encourage my readers to alter any recipe to fit into their family's comfort zone.

A side note, if you will.  Typing with single space and not double space is so WEIRD!  I have been in school these past six months and everything is double spaced with size 12 font.  I feel like such a rebel typing in single space.  Honestly, I kind of like it.

Thank you friends who took the time with my last post to send me messages (public and private).  It meant so much to myself and to my husband.  I didn't know how Cory would react with me sharing such a personal story and experience with the world.  His comment to me was one of relief.  He said it felt good to finally let everyone know that we are not perfect and that our marriage is fragile at times.  We make mistakes and try to learn from them.  I had to agree.  I felt a release too.  Cory said we weren't hiding the fact that we had a dip in our relationship, we just never openly talked about it.  Twenty-eight years is a long time to be married.  If in that time we did not have a few hiccups along the way, I believe, we would never grow as a couple.



Again, thank you for the support and kind words.  I appreciate each comment. They always touch me more than you know.  The private messages tug at my heart.  I believe with all my heart that we are each living and doing our very best at any given time.  Could we be better? Absoultely.  That's not the issue though.  Now is our only reality and it's now that we must live.  Now is how we will shape our future and deal with our past.  Now is sometimes easier than others.  Staying present and living the best NOW that I know is keeping me positive and on track.  Allowing myself to have a down moment is okay too.  It's easier to work my way through those feelings or disappointments instead of harboring them.  When they say to push through your each moment, good or bad,  I really do believe this.

Living an authentic life is raw and complicated.  Living an authentic life will make you more free than anything else.  Being the real you is better than trying to be something you are not.  A lesson that took me a few decades to figure out.

Love you.  It's okay.  Give yourself permission to be okay with yourself.

Oh, and make some pasta salad.


Pasta Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Avocados

1 package of your favorite pasta, cooked according to directions
1-2 avocado, diced small
1-2 tomato, diced small
1 cup of corn (frozen or canned) 
1/2 cup cubed cheese (omit if vegan or use vegan cheese)
1/4 cup mayonnaise or Vegannaise 
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/4-1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic
salt and pepper to taste
garnish--Chow Mein Noodles (if these fit into your diet plan)
garnish--fresh curly parsley

1.  Prepare ingredients.  Toss together in a large bowl.  Taste and adjust.  You can always add more seasoning but it's hard to adjust if you add to much.  Top with garnishes.

2.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Good for 3-5 days.


Recipe and Photo's by Sherron Watson

Friday, January 8, 2016

Greek Yogurt with Oranges, Mint and Pistachios


I have officially completed my first week of college.  I have felt many emotions this week: fear, excitement, and joy.  My favorite class is choir.  Yes, I am taking choir because I never took it in high school.  I love to sing and want a chance to work with a teacher to better my skills when it comes to belting out my favorite songs at random times in my life.  I like to say that my life is a musical.  

This little bowl of deliciousness is my favorite flavor combination when enjoying yogurt in the morning.  I can't explain why this combination of flavors works so well together--but it does.  I am not usually a person who eats loudly.  I am a quiet consumer when it comes to my table manners until I eat this.  Then, it's noisy and embarrassing.

I can't help myself.  You have the creamy texture of the yogurt combined with two crunchy elements-the pistachios and chocolate chips.  The tang of the oranges is never the same experience because they all taste different and finally the mint.  The mint is fresh and unexpected.  It is the glue that holds the dish together.  One without the other does not give the same experience.  Believe me I have tried and it doesn't punch the same POW that the original 5 ingredients do.  

I use dark chocolate chips and I unshell my own pistachios. You can use the kind that are already shelled.  I use all types of oranges and have even cheated with a can of canned mandarins.  I have tried this with greek yogurt, honey flavored yogurt and soy yogurt.  

We eat a lot of greek yogurt in our house.  So much that I just bought the system to make our own yogurt.  I plan on using coconut milk for ours. I bought a vegan starter from Amazon that was highly suggested by several blogs I follow.  

Yay me!  I hope it works.



This is our second favorite way to enjoy yogurt.  I have never lived anywhere that we could buy huge bags of cherries.  Well, we can in Oregon and it is amazing!  The come frozen and combine two types.  We heat them in the microwave until warm.  The juice just pours out of them when heated.  The fun part is that your yogurt turns pink.  We add my homemade granola to the mix and ta-da--it's a bowl of desire and comfort. 

To make homemade granola you can try these recipes below.  I make all of these throughout the year.  My newest one is Pecan Pie Granola.  I am still testing it and it should be added soon.





Greek Yogurt with Oranges, Mint and Pistachios
Makes one serving

1/2 cup of your favorite yogurt--plain, honey or vanilla work best
1 orange, peeled and diced into segments
1 teaspoon fresh mint, minced
handful of pistachios-shelled
as many chocolate chips as you want

1.  Grab a bowl and start adding ingredients.  Mine looks pretty just for the picture.





Friday, January 1, 2016

Gooey Hasselback Sweet Potatoes


Sweet potatoes in January?  Yep!  We are starting our year off right, in my opinion.

We eat these all year round plus I needed a reason to make marshmallows.  I think everyone needs a reason to make marshmallows.  They are beyond amazing.  I personally don't like the texture of store bought marshmallows and was leary of making them for the kids.

Little did I know that I would be hiding said "crack" from the kids because if they touched my marshmallows--someone was going down.  They are ridiculously easy to make and WAY better than the store bought version.

Now don't go crazy--you can use the store bought marshmallows for this recipe. I still buy them on occasion BUT just in case you want to try and make them yourself--GO HERE!  I love this recipe and mine turn out great each time.



Back to the sweet potatoes.  I was curious about this thing that people are always posting titled " hasselback" this and "hasselback" that.  I dug deeper and found that it has to do with the way you cut your potatoes and there is a recipe that was originated in Sweden. If you would like to see that one--go here!  I'm not sure they would approve of using a sweet potato so don't tell them.  It's our secret.

It's fancy and different.  I wasn't too impressed with it because of the stress I put on myself of cutting the damn thing in half--then what?  I like mine just fine baked the old fashion way but for variety I would suggest trying it for company. A gourmet presentation with a simple technique.

I gussied mine up with homemade marshmallows and a pecan crumble.  After that I didn't care how they were cut.


Gooey Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes
1/4-1/3 batch fresh marshmallows or 4 large store bought marshmallows
pecan crumble--recipe below

Pecan Crumble (Make ahead--see below)
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans 

1.  Preheat oven to 400.  Wash and slice sweet potatoes into thin rows.  Do not cut through the entire potato.  To make this easy, I laid a set of chopsticks out and put the potato in the middle.  Then I held all three together while I sliced away.  The chopsticks prevented me from cutting the potato all the way through. 

2.  I baked the potatoes until soft, about 45-60 minutes in my oven.  I laid the marshmallows across the top and returned to oven until melted.  I added the premade crumble before I served them.

To make the Pecan Crumble: Mix ingredients together and spread in the bottom of a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Check and add time if needed.  Once cooled, use a metal or plastic spatula and break apart.  I would recommend parchment paper--this helps because you can lift the parchment and break it apart.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Free Form Rustic Tart with Berries



Yay, I finally found a pie I can make successfully.  What?  This isn't a pie--but, the crust is flaky and it has a fruit filling.   For me, this is pie at our house.

Confession time--I am the worst pie maker ever!  Have you ever noticed that I don't post pies during "pie season"?  It's not my thing.  It's my sister-n-law Amy's thing. She makes the best pies.

I make this instead.  Remember my blog is Simply Gourmet and I like to keep things simple.  This is simple because you roll it out flat, toss in your fruit, crimp the edges, and bake.

TA-DA--you have a Free Form Rustic Tart, a Galette or, in my case, a pseudo pie.

More than likely you will be covering it in whipped cream or ice cream anyways.

We like our version and my kids never complain except when the last piece is going out of the kitchen on someone else's plate.  Usually Dads!  HA HA HA






 

If you are hoping for a "fancy" recipe you won't find it here.  This is too simple for a formal recipe.  Here is what you do:

1.  Use your favorite pie crust recipe.  You know the one that has been handed down for generations and generations--yeah, that one.  If you don't have that recipe handy, then try this one here. It is my go to pie crust because the one I was given by my grandma... I can't make.  #terriblepiemakerremember

2.  Round up your fruit and some sugar.  I recommend trying your fruit first.  If it is sweet then only add a little bit of sugar...BUT...and this is huge, if your fruit is sour and tart and that is NOT what you are going for, THEN, just add the damn sugar.  It's a tart-pie-thingy.  A little sugar won't hurt.  I "PUCKERED" my family once with a super tart Tart and they were not happy.  Taste your fruit!

3.  Buy or make a whipped topping or ice cream.  It really does add to the experience as it melts over the fruit and down the sides of the tart to pool under each slice of deliciousness.  Trust me. 


Then make your daughter pose for a bunch of pictures on the day that she is waiting to here back about a job, her RX at the pharmacy is delayed and she has a cold from hell---promise her this pie-tart-thingy--and all is good.

The holidays are busy and can be stressful.  This dessert is simple. It looks gorgeous and whips together in no time. In fact, you can make it the day before and reheat it up in the oven.  How about that?

Let's make this thing.

Preheat your oven to 400, roll out your pie crust on parchment paper, transfer to a cookie sheet or round stone, add your fruit combined with sugar to taste (+plus 1 tablespoon corn starch), fold up the edges (see pictures) and bake.  My oven took 35-40 minutes.  I would check after 30 and then add more time as needed.

NOTE:  I used fresh fruit: raspberries, blueberries and slices of orange.  I have not made this with frozen fruit before.





Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Steak Pinwheels


Have you heard there is a football game right around the corner?  I hear it's kind of a big deal to football fans.  Okay, it's the game of all games if you are a football fan, especially if your team is on the game roster to play.

Our team is not this year.  The Ravens surprised us though by making it to the playoffs and then they really surprised us when they won the first game over the Wild Card weekend.

Win or lose we are still fans.  We knew that they would need a few years to rebuild after losing so many key players after winning the Super Bowl.  Our family channels all of our team spirit into the teams that are left.

Hey, we are Raven fans but at the end of the day we are football fans too.  We just love a good game.  We love cheering for a team.  Our hopes were dashed when Denver was chased out of town a few weekends ago but now we have moved onto Seattle.

We lived in Seattle for a few years and our families are deeply rooted in the Northwest area.  If it didn't rain so much we might still live there.

Here is a simple appetizer that can be made the day before any event.  It doesn't have to be a football game.  I recommend they sit in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours before being served.  They hold together much better this way.  The pinwheels can be filled with any type of meat, any type of cheese, and you can use any type of wrapper.  These are flour. Honestly they wrap the easiest with flour tortilla but if you have food restrictions then use what falls into your dietary needs.

Horseradish Cream is easy to make too.  I love this cream served on these pinwheels but I also like it on red meat, baked potatoes and sweet potato fries. Horseradish is one of my all time favorite condiments.

Steak Pinwheels

4 large tortilla wraps (flour, rice flour, Paleo, etc...will work)
8 slices of roast beef or turkey
8 slices of thin swiss cheese
4-6 spears of asparagus, steamed until tender
1 bunch of chives, cut into inch pieces (garnish)
horseradish cream
mayonnaise

1.  The night before, lay out tortillas and layer the cheese and meat.  Place an asparagus spear on one end and start to roll the tortilla until a tube is formed. Wrap the tortilla tube in plastic wrap and let sit for 4-6 hours. Overnight is best.

2.  When ready to serve, remove from fridge and cut into 1 inch thick slices. Spread out on a plate.

3.  In a small bowl combine the horseradish cream and mayonnaise.  This is a taste as you go condiment.  Add more or less of what you want.  In a plastic baggie or piping bag add the sauce.  Snip the corner of the baggie and zigzag the cream across the tops of the pinwheels.  Lay a chive piece across the top. See picture above.

NOTE:  If you wish to add the cream sauce to the inside of the tortilla wrapper you may but the cream sauce will need to be made before the pinwheels.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crispy Potatoes and Onions



Potatoes and Onions always reminds me of the time I spent living with my grandmother.  She loved this dish and we always baked extra potatoes so that we could eat this in the morning.  My grandma loved potatoes.  She always said it was in her English blood to eat a potato or two every week and she did.

I have kept the tradition alive.  When I bake potatoes I throw a few extra in the oven so that when the desire to have a warm breakfast hits my family, I can whip this up.  If you can't eat potatoes I have substituted baked sweet potatoes too.  The difference is that they work best if they are not too soft. They tend to get very mushy if over cooked.

I love the crispy skin of salmon or chicken that is cooked to perfection.  Well, it is no surprise then that I keep the skins on my potatoes and make sure the oil is very hot so that they come out crispy and perfect.  Almost like a potato chip.  YUM

My cast iron pan is the perfect cooking vessel for this dish. It radiates heat and provides the perfect heat source to guarantee that the potatoes come out just how we like them each and every time.

This dish is simple but it is so easy and family friendly that I knew I needed to share it with my readers.  Don't let the specs of burnt onion sway you away from making this dish. In our opinion they add flavor and texture to the dish.  If this is not how you prefer your onion, then remove them before you add the potatoes.  Reintroduce them to the dish after the potatoes are fried.  

Enjoy!


Crispy Potatoes and Onions
Serves 4

4 baked potatoes, cold and cubed (see above picture)
lard or your favorite frying oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer
salt
pepper
garlic powder
1 medium onion, sliced thin

1.  Heat oil until it starts to just bubble at the edges of your cast iron pan.  Reduce heat to medium.

2.  Add sliced onions.  Let cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add potatoes and season..  Fry together.  Watch the heat.  Cast iron will keep the heat very hot and you may want to turn it down a touch.  I like to cook my potatoes for about 10-12 minutes.  I turn them every few minutes.  Add more oil if they get dry or start to stick.

3.  Remove and serve.  You can always add cheese, sour cream or bacon as optional garnishments.

Written by Sherron Watson


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Green Bean Casserole #glutenfree


Green Bean Casserole used to be my favorite dish of all time as a kid.  I was a strange kid because I loved green beans.  I would turn my nose up at cooked carrots and little bowls of peas but gleefuly welcome a green bean with open arms.

This summer I worked on a version that my family could enjoy. I didn't need to worry about making two dishes: one for them and one for me.  I am pretty sure I succeeded and this is the resulting recipe.
First I had to find a way to make the crunchy onion topping.  I sometimes wonder if this is why I loved the Green Bean Casserole so much. Was it truly the green beans or the crispy onion topping?

I think it was both.  I succeeded in making the onion straws.  That recipe can be found here.

The next hurdle was making the creamy sauce that is usually made with canned soup. I don't use any canned soup and I haven't in almost 5 years.  I don't like the flavor, they are not gluten free and are often filled with a ton of extra ingredients that add to an odd flavor profile.

I use a basic white sauce recipe but use gluten free flours instead of the recommended all purpose flour.  I use a chicken stock paste to add a rich flavor along with a few seasonings of my choice.  It is not a heavy sauce or an "in your face" sauce.  It takes a back seat to the real star of the dish: the green beans.

With each bite you taste the green beans as they are coated in a rich white sauce and then topped with crunchy onions.  That is a perfect bite in my opinion.


I went a bit crazy with my green beans and decided to cut them all at an angle to achieve the French Style Green Bean.  UM, pretty sure it's not necessary.  Also it took up a lot of time.  I don't mind doing that once in a while but I think using whole or cut green beans will work just fine.  I won't tell you to use only fresh green beans.  I did and I thought it was great.  The flavor was amazing.  I would encourage you to use them with the hope that you have the same experience as I did.


FYI--they sell a little kitchen tool that I am know makes the French-ing (pretty sure this is not a word but I am going to use it anyways) of the bean much easier and faster.  Oh the things we find out after the fact.  LOL

This is an easy dish to make.  I know the canned and frozen version is easier and I understand that sometimes we need to cook this way but I will always encourage you to take a few extra steps and make your meals from scratch.

Enjoy!



Green Bean Casserole
4-6 side dish servings

2.5-3 cups of fresh green beans, cut anyway you want to make them
1/2 stick of grass fed butter
2 cups of dairy: use buttermilk, whole milk or coconut milk (paleo)
1 tablespoon of tapioca starch (use 1 teaspoon of arrowroot for paleo version)
1 teaspoon of chicken stock granules or paste
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt, to taste
1 batch of crispy onion straws


NOTE:  Arrowroot takes just a little bit to make a sauce thicken.  I have learned through experience to reduce the amount used and not make a 1:1 trade.  If the sauce is not thick enough after 1 teaspoon then add a little bit more.  If too much is added the sauce will be thick and gluey.


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Cut green beans according to your preferences.  Bring a large stock pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch green beans for 2-3 minutes.  They should be wilted, not too soft.

3. In a medium sauce pan melt butter. Stir in tapioca starch and then add dairy.  Stir until sauce thickens.  Add chicken stock paste and seasonings.  Stir and taste.

4.  Drain green beans and add to a baking dish.  I used an oval variation which measured about 10 inches by 7.  Add white sauce to green beans and stir.

5.  Top with crispy onion straws and bake 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Let set for a few minutes before serving.  Sauce will thicken as it cools.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Written by Sherron Watson





Sunday, August 31, 2014

Antipasto Skewers #SundaySupper




Our Sunday Supper team has you covered when it comes to Platter Food.  When I think of platter food I think party, food, family and friends.

A celebration.

A gathering.

Time together.

Whether your next gathering is small or large, in home or away, fancy or casual; our list of platter food dishes will give you a ton of great ideas, suggestions and mouth watering recipes to make it easy for finding the perfect platter and party food.

A few weeks ago we were invited to a birthday party for our neighbor's little girl.  She had a swimming party at her grandparent's home and wanted CRABS.  Not just any crabs but Maryland Blue Crabs.  We were treated with a bushel of fresh steamed crabs.  In Maryland, this is the PERFECT platter food.   



Along with the crabs we were served an assortment of finger foods and beautiful platter dishes.  I didn't want to come empty handed and brought these Antipasto Skewers.   Antipasto means "before the meal", an appetizer.  We were treated to deviled eggs and a 7 layer Mexican Dip.

For my skewers I chose to include some of our favorite antipasto items.  I love the cipollini onions that are marinated in a sweet and tangy marinade, the mushrooms that are tart and spicy with italian dressing and my all time favorite, artichoke hearts. I planned on 20 skewers so I bought enough of each of these three items to add 6 or 7 to one-third of the skewers.  This gave some variety to the skewers so they were not all the same.  (see top picture)  To this I added some salami, mozzarella balls, tomatoes, olives and italian chicken sausage.

I served the dish with my favorite pesto sauce.

We all had a great time, our bellies were filled and wonderful memories were made.


Antipasto Skewers
Makes about 20 skewers

3 large Italian chicken Sausages, cooked and sliced into 1/4 thick pieces
1 container of small round mozzarella balls (they had about 23 in one container)
20 slices of your favorite salami
20 small cherry tomatoes
20 green olives
20 black olives
6-7 Cipollini onions (Olive Bar at Whole Foods)
6-7 marinated mushrooms  (Olive Bar at Whole Foods)
6-7 marinated artichoke hearts  (Olive Bar at Whole Foods)
Dressing or dipping sauce is optional

20 skewers--Mine were 10 inch wooded skewers, if you go larger, then you will need more ingredients

1.  Gather ingredients and skewers.  Find a large platter to add skewers to.

2.  Add ingredients to skewers in any order. Stack skewers on platter.  I alternated the rows so that they would stack evenly otherwise your tower of skewers will lean to one side.

3.  When done, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.




It’s time for party food! Check out all these recipes for tantalizing trays you can make for your next celebration:

Savory Bites:
Antipasto Skewers by Simply Gourmet
Bite-Sized Meatballs by MealDiva
BLT Bites by The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
BLT Canapes by Peaceful Cooking
BLT Crostini with Basil Mayonnaise by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Blueberry Jam and Goat Cheese Crostini by Casa de Crews
Cajun Style Deviled Eggs by Peanut Better and Peppers
Charcuterie Board by Family Foodie
Cheese-Filled Apple Rounds by eating in instead
Coquilles St. Jacques by Nosh My Way
Crudites Tray with Copycat Hidden Valley Ranch Dip by Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Crunchy Tuna Salad Boats by A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Cucumber Sandwiches by Momma’s Meals
Feta Zucchini Bites by Curious Cuisiniere
Gluten Free Thai Soup Shooters by Gluten Free Crumbley
Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs by Eat, Drink and be Tracy
Heirloom Caprese Salad by Shockingly Delicious
JalapeƱo Mac ‘n Cheese Bites by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Mostarda di Frutta by Rhubarb and Honey
Pimento Cheese Stuffed Peppers by Magnolia Days
Ploughman’s Platter for a Party by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Puff Pastry Cheese Sticks by Basic N Delicious
Rye Party Puffs by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Southwestern Turkey Sliders by The Texan New Yorker
Spinach and Mushroom Pizza Bites by The Dinner-Mom
The Modern Relish Tray by An Appealing Plan
Tomato and Brie Bruschetta by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Tomato Basil Soup Shooters by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Zucchini and Summer Squash Crostini by Hip Foodie Mom

Sweet Treats:
Alice in Wonderland Sugar Cookies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Baked Lemon Glazed Mini Donuts by Killer Bunnies
Chocolate Oreo Pocky Cupcakes, Cake, and Morello Cherry Buttercream by NinjaBaking
French Silk Shooters by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
German Chocolate Brownies by Wallflour Girl
Mini Banana Nutella Cheesecake Parfaits (#glutenfree option) by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Raspberry Fools by The Foodie Army Wife
Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Shooters by The Redhead Baker
Vegan Caramel Truffles by What Smells So Good?
White Chocolate PB & Banana Bites by Take A Bite Out of Boca
Witchy Chocolate Mousse with Culinary Fairy Dust by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Written by Sherron Watson


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

S'more Trail Mix


Our first week of summer vacation is in full swing.  

Last week was a doozy!  Rye had all four wisdom teeth pulled on Monday.  She recovered much faster than I had thought she would.  I have no experience with wisdom teeth as I never got any.  I don't know how rare that is but I am so glad that I was one of the few that did not have them.  

The dentist was the last place I ever wanted to be and that fear kept with me all the way until just a few years ago.  I finally realized that it wasn't as bad as my mind made it out to be.  I can't tell you the anxiety that would build up inside of me with each visit I had to make.

I think what finally helped was that my kids were my hero's of courage.  They never bat an eye when I say it is time for a dentist appointment.  They walk in laughing and leave even happier.  How is that possible?

Their bravery has helped me to over-come any anxiety that settled into my bones the night before.  I had less fear of having a baby than I did having my tooth pulled in January.  Silly--I know.

This is not unusual for my kids to be teaching me little things about life.  I know as a parent I am the one they should look to for advice, encouragement and safety but several times in my own life I find them giving these three things to me.  

I am not really sure what S'MORE I could ask for?  

To say thanks to my kids for being my super hero's here is a yummy treat I made just for them to kick off our summer fun.

I love you--Rye, Drake, Isabella and Finnley.

ENJOY!




Smore's Trail Mix

Makes 4 cups
Prep Time:  5 minutes

2 cups cinnamon or graham cracker cereal (Gluten Free Cinnamon Chex Cereal works too)
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup coconut slices

1.  Combine all ingredients in a large zip lock bag.  Mix.

2.  Store in an airtight container of bag for up to 1 month.



Written by Sherron Watson


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing and Salad


The family and I have been doing a lot of camping this spring.  We are trying to get out and beat the heat.  Maryland summers are hot and humid and the bugs are everywhere.  Ticks and mosquitos, oh my.

Spring and Fall are fabulous times of the year to explore new trails, hike to the falls, ride our bikes and take picnics in the park.

A few months ago I was asked to write up an article for Capital Style Magazine and share some lunch ideas with our readers.  I picked two things:  a salad and a soup.  This is my favorite salad.


I have ordered a chicken caesar salad more than any other salad on the menu.  I love the tangy dressing, crisp salad leaves, grilled chicken and ripeness of parmesan cheese.

In my mind it is the perfect combination.  I went to work on a recipe for the dressing.  I know that there are lots of them out there to be copied and tried but I enjoy the challenge of coming up with my own.  My own flavor profile.  I guess in someways I like the challenge, and sometimes failure, that recipe developing gives to me.

I was specifically trying to not use raw eggs.  I felt that I could get the same great flavor and texture by trying to use other ingredients.  I have nothing against raw eggs and love all types of caesar dressings. I had my kids in mind because they also enjoy this salad.

I have made this dressing several times in a variety of ways.  It turns out a bit different depending on if you hand mix the dressing or use a high power blender, like a Vitamix.  Personally, I like the hand mixed method best because you cans see the ingredients broken down into small pieces vs. having the dressing blended smooth.  Either way they both taste great.

A note about anchovies.  I was the biggest scaredy-cat when it came to using these salty little fishy-poohs.  I avoided them like the plague in my other attempts at this dressing and you just can't get the "real" flavor without them.  The recipe calls for 3-5.  If you are hesitant, use a couple, blend, taste, and add more if it needs it.  The flavor does develop as it sits in the refrigerator.  Five anchovies will grow hair on your chest--JUST KIDDING--but,  it is a very strong addition to the salad dressing.

I found these adorable lunch boxes for salads and soups at Target.  I tell ya, school lunch boxes have come a long way since I was a kid...LOL

I bought way too many for the photoshoot but now I have an assortment of fun lunch boxes for us to take camping and hiking this spring and next fall.

ENJOY




Caesar Salad

1 chicken breast, cooked
2 cups of romaine heart lettuce, chopped
Fresh parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup croutons  I make my own gluten free croutons at home
2 tablespoons Caesar salad dressing (see below)


Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

Makes 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3-5 anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
Black pepper to taste


1.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a high power blender. Or you can use a medium bowl and a whisk.  The dressing is not smooth but just as delicious.  See my comments above.

2.  Blend until smooth. 

3.  Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.



Written by Sherron Watson


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Browned Butter Noodles





Everyone has their favorite dish and this is mine.

I love the combination of noodles, browned-butter and Mizithra cheese.

With this recipe you can use homemade noodles or packaged noodles.  Wheat noodles or gluten free noodles.  Long noodles or short noodles.

Browned-butter and Mizithra cheese work with most noodle types.  In fact, I have yet to meet a noodle I don't like drenched in browned-butter. Okay maybe drenched is a bit too much; but not really.

Making browned-butter is easy.  Take a cube of butter (salted or unsalted) and melt in a small sauce pan.  Keep your heat around medium.  You can go up to medium high if you are going to watch the butter.  Burned-butter is not our goal and if you don't watch it closely this is what you will have.  The melting and browning process takes about 7 minutes.  Every stove will be a bit different so the cooking time may vary.  

If you make it often, you will learn the stages:  melted, bubbly/ foamy, two distinct layers,and finally, browned specks at the bottom of the pan.

Use the browned-butter immediately or store the rest in the refrigerator.  It will form into a hard disk.  I usually break off with my fork a small amount and melt it in the microwave for individual lunch portions. If you are not going to use it immediately, I would suggest transferring it to a bowl.  Even with the heat turned off the butter will continue to brown.

Are you wondering why I shot this with chopsticks when it is clearly not an oriental dish?  Our family uses chopsticks for most meals.   In our drawer we have a spot for the normal utensils: forks, spoons and knives.  We also have a spot for chopsticks.  I think I might have a slight addiction to buying them too.

We go to HMart once a month and I always come home with a couple new pairs.  My latest pair are black and gold.  I haven't shown the kids yet because I want to surprise them with a fun meal first.

I wanted the picture to show how we eat our food.  I could have used a fork,  but why when chopsticks are a bit more fun and more true to how my family eats our dinners.

Serve with your favorite vegetable or side salad.

Another simply gourmet dish that will WOW your friends and family.



Browned Butter Noodles with Mizithra Cheese

1 batch of homemade noodles or prepared noodles/pasta, cooked and drained
1 stick of butter, soft
1 cup of Mizithra cheese, grated
salt, to taste


1.  Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Set aside.  If using homemade noodles then bring water to a rolling boil, add noodles, boil under done, drain and set aside.

2.  In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt butter.  Butter will start to foam and then  begin to form brown specks at the bottom of the pan.  Watch closely as not to burn the butter.  Stir until the aroma is nutty and the butter is a nice golden brown color.  Remove from heat.  See comments above.

3.  Serve noodles tossed in browned butter or have guest pour butter onto noodles themselves (I have done both).  Add cheese--lots of cheese.

4.  Serve immediately.  Store any leftover butter in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Written by Sherron Watson



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Roasted Carrots with Ginger-Honey Sauce


Carrots are a family favorite.  My kids love three vegetables: carrots, corn and peas.  

These carrots are a bit borderline as a kid friendly side dish or so I thought.  

I always make my recipes a few times before they are posted on the blog.  The first time I made these I used those fancy carrots with the pretty green tops still attached.  They usually come in a bundle of about 8 carrots and range in color from a red-orange to a yam-yellow.  
I buy them because they are pretty. I like pretty food.

Let me say that I should have bought three bundles because the kids loved them. My kids enjoy the flavor of ginger, lemon and honey together; I felt confident they would like them but, then again, getting them to actually try "just one" can sometimes prove to be more challenging.

Not this time. They swooped right in and gobbled up every single pretty carrot.

So I made them again, and again (you know for recipe testing purposes).

Just so you know, I used plain every day carrots for the other batches because Easter had passed and for some reason the cute bundles of pretty carrots were no longer available in my area.

Same result!  Kids ate them right up.  The one thing I had to do differently was cut the thicker carrots in half.  I tried to keep all of the whole carrots and pieces to about 1/2 an inch in thickness.

This recipe is simple and I like that.  Busy people sometimes need easy, delicious food. Oh, and pretty food too.


I have used these carrots as a side served with salad and chicken thighs and as an added garnishment for Carrot Peel Soup.   <-- That recipe is still being developed.  LOVE IT! Coming soon.

I would love to hear how your family enjoyed these tasty carrots.  

Drop me an email or comment on this post.

ENJOY




Roasted Carrots with Ginger-Honey Sauce

Makes 3 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes

1 small bunch of carrots, remove green tops
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Sauce:

3 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons butter, melted 
Salt and pepper



1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Toss carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.  If you don't use parchment paper be aware that the sauce may burn to a cookie sheet if left in the oven too long.

3.  While carrots are baking, combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

4.  Remove carrots from oven and, using half of the sauce, brush over the carrots. 

5.  Roast for 5 more minutes.  The sauce should be bubbly and the carrots starting to brown.

6.  Remove carrots to serving dish and pour the remaining sauce over the roasted carrots.

7.   Serve immediately.




Written by Sherron Watson

Donut Breakfast Casserole

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.  Share  this pos...

Popular Posts