Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oriental Chicken Salad in Wonton Cones #SundaySupper

Are you ready for some football?  I am!

I live in Maryland and so we are, of course, rooting for the Ravens to win.  Although, I will be happy with either team winning--after all, it is still in the family, right?  Wether Jim or John wins they still have an amazing story to pass on and talk about down the road.

Our culture loves football and food...dips, pizza, nacho's, sliders, chips, etc.... We love a reason to get together and to celebrate with friends and family, especially if it envolves a flat screen TV.    

My neighbor told me yesterday that he and his wife just purchased their first large flat screen TV.  His eyes lit up with pride as he talked about watching the game in his living room.  I was so happy for them.

We will also be gathered upstairs around our TV as a family enjoying the big game.  This appetizer will be served.  I enjoy Oriental Chicken Salad.  This salad is a great way to use our teams color--purple.  I used purple onion and purple cabbage.  You can use green cabbage, but for this day, we will use purple.

This is just one of many recipes being shared with Sunday Supper, please take a few minutes and browse through the recipes that are at the end of this post.  I know that their are some winners and favorites being shared today. 

If you are not a football fan, that is okay too.  This appetizer works well for baby showers, bridal parties and birthday events.  The cones can be made up in advance and assembled right before they are served.  Get creative with your filling for the cones if the Oriental Salad is not your choice--you can use cheese, a different salad, mousse or tuna tartar.  

Best of luck to the Ravens and 49er's, regardless of who wins, I just hope it is a good game to watch and I know that spending time with my family will be the highlight and instant replay that I will look forward to with each passing year.

Recipe:  Oriental Chicken Salad in Wonton Cones

Makes 3-4 cups of filling

The step by step instructions for the Wonton Cones can be found HERE.

2 large chicken breast, cooked and diced
1/2 cup pineapple, diced small
1/2 cup mandarin oranges, diced small
1/2 cup of toasted almond slivers
1 tablespoon of diced chives or red onion
1 cup of shredded red cabbage

2 tablespoons of oil
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
Pinch of salt

Serving suggestions: tiny cups with miniature forks, wonton cones or pre-made puff shells

Combine dressing ingredients and shake well. This is a basic recipe and can be adjusted to your sense of taste by adjusting the sweet/tart levels with more or less sugar or vinegar.

Combine chicken, cabbage, chives, oranges,pineapple and almonds.

Add dressing and combine.  The dressing should be tasted and enhanced to your liking. We like ours a bit tart so I tend to add a bit more vinegar than what is listed.

This can be made up to 2 days in advance.  If served in cups they can be prepared the night before.  If serving them in a wonton cone or pastry shell, prepare the day of the event.

Filling can be served cold or warm.

#SundaySupper Super Bowl Appetizers & Snacks:
#SundaySupper Super Bowl Main Dishes:
#SundaySupper Super Bowl Desserts:
#SundaySupper Super Bowl Tablescape:  10 Tips For A Winning Superbowl Buffet Table from An Appealing Plan
Now that is one feast for sure! I’m sure you found a whole bunch of recipes to make for your next party. Be sure to bookmark this post so you can reference it easily. It is a keeper list for sure.
What is your favorite party food? Is there one you always make when entertaining or to take to a party? I have several and these muffuletta skewers are in my make often list along with pimento cheese balls and stuffed mushrooms. I’m so ready for a party, how about you?
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Berger Cookie--Gluten Free Version

New York has their Black and White Cookies that are adored by many; Baltimore has their Berger Cookies that seem to have an equally enthusiastic crowd of followers. I love how we can attach our love to a city because of a simple tasty treat, a cookie. I have reviewed many comments about the Berger Cookie and how people travel to the city never knowing that they are about to be mesmerized by this cake like, shortbread tasting, fudgy topped cookie.

It is a delight to many the first time they sink their teeth through the two layers of fudge and cookie. Oh, and their are two layers. The fudge is piled high on the cookie; it is a sight to see. The cookie holds together and welcomes the teeth with that last and final have now introduced your taste buds to a new favorite.

My challenge is to try and get as close as possible to this beloved cookie only in a gluten free recipe.

Is it and would it be possible? The question of the day!

I had to try. I found a recipe from 2009 that was printed in the Washington Post which was adapted from a King Arthur recipe. The recipes were both given great reviews and seemed easy enough to follow.

I knew that in order to make an exceptional cookie, I had to start with the best ingredients. For the butter I chose to stick with my favorite, Kerry Gold. For the rice flours I purchased super fine blends because they work the best in delicate desserts. I used whole milk and eggs from our local dairy; milk was creamy white and the yolks were a nice orange.

I followed each step and I hope that you will too. The recipe is one that builds the batter from the first ingredient to the last. With out the gluten in the flour to help the cookie bind together we must add "air" and a foundation for the batter to be perfect. The batter is thick but fluffy and spongy at the same time. This is what you want.

The final key to the success of this gluten free cookie is the pan I used.  I know from experience that some gluten free cookies don't hold their shape and flatten to nothing; then there are others that don't budge...the way you scooped them is the way they bake (those are a bit disappointing to open the door and see a scoop instead of a round cookie).  To make sure that this would not be the case with these cookies, I got creative.   A few months ago at a Goodwill, I bought a whoopie pie pan.  It makes six cookies at a time.  I only paid $2.00 for it and thought what the heck.  I brought it home and threw it in to my cookie sheet drawer and there it sat...until today.

It was the perfect shape and size for the Berger Cookie.  It held an ice cream scoop of batter and allowed the batter to bake and rise without spreading into one large cookie.  The cookies ended up being about a 1/4 inch thick, cakey and buttery--oh, they are delicious! 

You will notice that the frosting on my cookies is not the suggested 3 tablespoons from the original recipe.  I knew that my family would not want to eat the cookie with that much rich and sweet frosting. I think you can add any amount that you're comfortable with and not feel guilty, unless you plan on eating the whole may just never know.

Are you ready for a cookie that is gluten free and will knock your socks off?  I thought so.

Recipe:  Baltimore's Berger Cookie, gluten free
Adapted from a recipe found in the Washington Post on 10-29-2009

NOTE:  I used a scale to weigh all of my flours and starches.  I have included estimates in cups for those that do not have a scale.  I would recommend a scale because then your measurements can match mine in the recipe. 

Cookies depend on size of scoop you use.  I was able to get 21 large cookies.

8 ounces of unslated butter, at room temperature
1 1/2  (184 g) cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups (293 g) of fine white rice flour or powder (the later can be purchased at an Oriental store)
1 cup (122 g) tapioca starch
1 cup (135 g) fine brown rice flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup  (240 g) whole milk, at room temperature


1(12 oz) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Gheridelli is what I used)
3 ounces of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of brown rice syrup (you can use corn syrup if you prefer)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

To make the cookies:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray your pan with Pam or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, starch, salt, and baking powder.  Mix well with a wire whisk.

In a large bowl add butter.  Beat for 3 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar and beat for 2 minutes, add vanilla and combine well.

Add each egg separately and blend well after each egg is added.  You should notice the batter starting to be fluffy.

You will alternate the milk and the flour mix into the butter mixture.  Mixing well after each addition.  It took me 5 sets of flour then milk, then flour again, repeat.   The batter should be increasing in volume and yet still fluffy.

You can make the cookies any size you want.  I used an ice cream scoop and did one scoop per bun circle in my bun pan.  (see note and link above).

Cook each sheet of cookies for 9-11minutes.  Do not over bake them.  You want them cake-like, not dry and crumbly.  The edges should be lighlty brown and the tops a pale yellow.

Let cookies cool on wire rack.

To make frosting:

I will tell you this is like no frosting I have ever made, its very fudgy and stiff yet shiny and moldable.

In a large sauce pan on the stove top, set your heat to medium low.

Combine the first 5 ingredients, mix well.  You do not want to burn this chocolate, so stay by the pan and keep stirring the bottom.  It takes about 5 minutes for every thing to melt together.   

Turn heat off and let cool slightly.

Add confectioner's sugar and beat for 2 minutes.

Slather each cookie with the amount of frosting your family would enjoy.

This is my husbands hand holding the cookie, it is a big cookie!

Written by Sherron Watson

Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to Make Wonton Cones

Wonton Cones are just a cute party addition to any table.  They look fun, they are easy to use and they can be made up in advance.  I like that.  I made these three days before I used them and stored them in an air tight bag.  They were still fresh and crispy as the day I made them.

The cones can be filled with any type of filling:  mousse, salads, cheese, etc....

I have filled mine with an Oriental Salad Mixture (recipe will be shared on Sunday for Sunday Supper and Super Bowl Sunday).

These Wonton Cones are easy to make.  The tricky part is making sure the oil is not too hot and that you have the right tool to work with.

What is the right tool?  Well, I have seen a carrot used, a medal cylinder and a piping nozzle used for decorating cakes.  Hmmmmm.  Well, I decided to use the end of my wooden spoon.  It was an easy decision--I already had tons of wooden spoons, they would not get too hot in th oil and burn me and it made the cones exactly the same each time.  Perfect!

I have put together a step-by-step pictorial so that you can see how they are made.  The list of ingredients needed to make these cones is easy: oil, small amount of water and wonton wrappers.

Make sure the oil is 3 inches deep and the temperature is around 350 degrees (use a thermometer to insure the temperature is correct). If the oil gets too hot, the cones will get very dark.

Please be very careful.  You will be working with hot, hot oil.  The spoon is used as a tool to help you mold and retrieve the cones from the oil, you may be tempted to use your fingers here and there--use caution. 

The cooking time for each wonton is quick.  Maybe 30-45 seconds depending on how hot your oil is and how dark you want them to be.  Once you make a few of them, you will find the timing and rythmn of making the cones and it will move along quickly.  If you have a helper, some one who can make them while you cook them, that would be even better.  I did not have that option.

Place napkins near by so that you can let them cool before transfering them to an airtight container or bag.

The pictures below all contain wrappers that are not gluten free.  I have not made the cones using a gluten free recipe.  If you would like to try a gluten free version, this seems to be the best recipe out there from, Gluten Free on a Shoestring.  You will find the recipe here.

Place each wonton wrapper on your work surface.  The wonton's are more pliable if they are at room temperature.  Let them set out on the counter an hour before you make the cones.

Dip your finger in the water and start in the left corner.
While your finger is wet with water, drag it up one side and return to the corner.
Drag your wet finger down the other side.  Two sides are now wet with water.

Fold the corner so that the tip makes a trianle ontop of the wonton wrapper.

Take the one side of the wonton wrapper and fold it over the meet the other side (you want the two wet sides to overlap and seal the cone).
This is what you should have when the steps above have been followed.

Using the end of a wooden spoon, place it inside the wonton wrapper.  Make sure your oil is hot.  

Add the wonton to the oil, pushing it under the oil and rotating the spoon in a circle in your hand.  You are twirling the handle so that the oil is able to get to all of the sides of the cone.

The cone will start to bubble and you can see that it is turning a light brown.

At some point the cone may fall off of the spoon.  This is okay.  Push it under the oil to cook the inside.  Take the spoon handle and slip it inside the cone shape and pull it out of the hot oil.  You can also use a wire mesh frying spatula to retrieve the cone.

Tip the cone slightly so that the excess oil can drain out.

Let the cone cool for a few minutes and then you can handle them.  They can be filled right away or saved for a later date.

You can see some of the cones are darker than the others.  As long as they don't taste burnt, they are still good.  I found that the cones will continue to darken and cook once they are removed from the hot oil so keep this in mind.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Purple Potato Soup #Superbowlfood #Ravens

Football has been in my blood from the time I was a kid; sitting on my grandfather's knee watching the game every Monday.  My grandmother in the kitchen and the family planted in front of the TV. It was tradition.

When I married Cory he was not a sports fan and through the years I drifted away from watching the sport.  I played a lot of tennis and so we were drawn to the Grand Slams of the tennis world.  I would read the sports page and try to stay up to date with coaches and players but I soon ran out of time once my kids came to read the paper, much less the sports page.

We have lived in some pretty awesome cities with great teams:  Seattle and the Seahawks, Denver and the Bronco's and the Dallas Cowboys in Texas…ever hear of these teams?  Sure you have.

It was not until me moved to Maryland that my husband, after 25 years of marriage, decided to watch football.  Last year our first game together was the Patriots vs. Ravens.  We were bummed they lost but since it was our first game we did not have too much invested in to their loss.

This year though was a totally different story.  We became bigger fans--face paint, purple hair and even purple food managed to get into our line up.

It was like a crazy woman was unleashed inside of me when we started watching this year;  I LOVE the game of football.  I know it's rough and not for everyone, but to me, it is exciting.  Getting to know the players and each of their weaknesses and strengths bonds a person to the team.  I missed it.  It did not take me long to jump right back into stats, coaches and team members.  The difference is that the coaches and players I watched as a child are now the sports announcers calling the play by play action for the viewers and those listening on the radio.  Names that I grew up with-- Jimmy Johnson, Mike Ditka and Dan Marino--just to name a few, are older and wiser, like myself.  I am a legend in my own mind, like the players and coaches then and now. 

It's electrifying to see how a quarter back can lob a ball and place it perfectly into the hands of the receiver, like Torrey Smith.  My favorite is watching Jones receive the ball from a kick off and run it down, yard after yard, passing the other team as they try and stop him.  I can't forget Ray Lewis and those short runs.  Flacco passes him the ball and he goes for the first down. Each time he finds himself at the bottom of the pile.  On more than one occasion I have had to even yell at the TV, thinking I was helping him run the yards down the field….run Lewis run!

I made this soup for a local magazine that is coming out in February, our wedding edition.  The soup is beautiful and looks lovely on the table; of course, this was before we beat the Patriots last weekend.

SUPER BOWL XLVII here we come!

I really wanted the 49er's to win.  I wanted these two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh,  to make history and have their teams play against each other for what may be a great family moment for their parents, spouses and kids.  Can you imagine being the parents?  To have them win on the same day, to make the cut, must have been an exhausting and thrilling Sunday afternoon for them.

When making this soup, you need to remember that the color is found through out the potato but the skin will make the soup a deeper  purple it is also where the nutrition is found.  I chose to keep the purple skins on and you can see in the pictures the pieces of dark purple.  I asked my family if it bothered them and they said no.  If this is an issue for you, then go ahead and peal them just knowing that your soup may be lighter in color.  I would also suggest using a Vitamix or Blendtec (I don't own either of these machines);  they will puree the potato and skins.  I used a regular blender.

As the big day approaches I am planning out our party for February 3, 2013.  It will consist of grape jello for the 5 year old, grape soda for the teenagers, purple potato soup for the adults and a whole table full of finger foods.  We love dips and finger foods on game day.

I will list a few of our favorites that can be found on the blog:

Purple Potato Chips

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Pizza Dip

Steak Spring Rolls

Broccoli Bites

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Mushroom Caps

Avocado Fries


Puff Pastry Buffalo Appetizer

Caprese Salad on a Stick

Reuben Dip

Maryland Blue Crab Dip

The purple potato, it turns out, is quite good for you.  I did some searching and learned that the benefits of eating them can add value to your diet by adding valuable antioxidants.  I found this article helpful in learning about them a bit more, I hope you do too.   GO HERE.

I served the soup in a set of espresso cups that I bought at an antique store. They were the perfect size for a sip or two and the little handle allowed them to be consumed without a spoon.  I also served a cold asparagus spear in each cup along with a piped sour cream heart.  You may want to consider something other than the heart on game day, maybe #1 or and "R" for Ravens.

The final note about this soup is that it can be made thick or thin.  I used the water that the potatoes were boiled in to blend the soup, added the few extra ingredients and to thin the soup,  I added cream.  The more cream you add the thinner and lighter purple the soup becomes.  We preferred ours to be creamy and thick.

Recipe: Purple Potato Soup

1 small bag of purple potatoes, washed and quartered

2 cups of water

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup of red onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic

1/2-1 cup of heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Garnish: sour cream, asparagus top, chives, parmesan cheese, bacon, etc....

In a medium pot, add water and chicken broth.

Add purple potatoes and red onion. Bring to a boil and cook until tender.

Puree potatoes/onions with garlic and water/chicken broth until smooth. If using a blender, be very careful about adding hot liquid and sealing the lid. I suggest, tilting the lid, cover the top with a kitchen towel and slowly start blender.

While blending, add enough cream to achieve the consistency you desire.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. I always find it needs more salt than you would think.

Store soup, until ready to use, in an air tight container.  To reheat, simmer on the stove until warmed through.

Asparagus spears were easy to make. I added them to a microwave safe bowl with an inch of water and laid the spears on the bottom.  Cooked on high for 4 minutes.  Ran them under cold water, cut them to the size I needed, sprinkled them with salt and stored them in the fridge until I needed them.  Do not over cook them or they won't stand tall in the serving bowl.

The sour cream was placed in a bag with the corner snipped and piped onto the hot soup right before I served them.

Written by Sherron Watson

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ambrosia Salad #SundaySupper #RetroRecipe

Ambrosia Salad was a childhood favorite.  I just never realized it.

The salad I grew up with was referred to as fruit salad with whipped cream.  Maybe amongst the adults the real title was shared but for those younger than 10 pretty much used the title already stated.

It varied from year to year.  I honestly don't recall having coconut or marshmallows too often in our fruit salad.  I am sure this was because of a personal choice made by my grandmother.  In general, we did not each much coconut.  I can only assume it was not a family favorite.

I was delighted to learn that for our Sunday Supper group we were going to explore the recipes that focused on Then and Now.

I very much remember the Then of my life and relish in the Now every day.

My own little family does not love this salad as I did whilst a youngster.  It may be the nuts or the whipped cream, who knows.  On rare occasions I do make this in a much smaller size and devour it over the course of a few days.

Can you blame me?  Nuts, mandarin oranges, pineapples, bananas, coconut, marshmallows and bananas...ooh la la.  How could I have forgotten the maraschino cherries (the best part in my opinion).

I took the liberty of using the ever coveted color scheme of the 70's--orange and avocado-- to shoot my pictures this week.  I simulated a Lazy Susan by using my pizza stone.  I have not, in my lifetime, ever owned a Lazy Susan ( I always felt bad for Susan).

We all have different idea's of what--Retro or Then and Now-- are in our own lives.  From my point of view if was the 70's and to others it could be as far back as the 40's, 50's or 60's.  Only you can decide which decade you want to revisit in terms of Then and Now and Sunday Suppers.

Below you will find the list of our group along with their selections.  I cannot wait to see which point in time they selected their dishes from, and to learn if they updated the recipe or kept it as is.

Recipe:  Ambrosia Salad

1 can of mandarin oranges, drained and diced
1 can of pineapple chunks, drained and diced
1 jar of maraschino cherries, drained and halved
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of mini-marshmallows
1/2-1 cup of heavy whipped cream
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

In a large bowl combine first 7 ingredients.

In a small bowl combine the last 3 and beat until cream is thick.

Combine the two bowls.  Store salad covered and in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

NOTE:  The size of can's I used for the mandarin oranges and pineapple were between 10-10.75 ounces.  The cherries, I purchase the smallest bottle I could find.

All of the listed amounts can be adjusted or omitted on what your family likes or does not like.  I actually enjoyed the marshmallow and coconut after years of not having it made this way.

NOTE:  If you would like to use whipped coconut milk in place of the whipped cream here is a link to how to do that:   GO HERE.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite Retro Food Memory with us!

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:
Sunday Supper Retro Salads:
Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:
SundaySupper Main Dishes:
Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:
Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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

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