I’m usually on the other side of the chef’s jacket, but not this night. This time instead of teaching a cooking class I got to take one from fantastic chef and food stylist Nancy Waldeck (TasteandSavor.com ) at COOKS WAREHOUSE Merchants Walk Nancy had great ideas about using unusual items to present your food. She told us a story about how once she and her assistant bought tons on mushrooms from the grocery store just for the cute boxes they were in ( I’m sure she did something wonderful with all those mushrooms). Her recipes were lovely, light and healthy appetizers great for any party.
Mini Potato Cakes with Kale, Broccoli and Bacon ( makes about 15 potato cakes)
1 and 1/4 cups diced Yukon gold potatoes boiled and mashed
1/4 cup finely chopped kale
1/4 cup finely chopped broccoli
1/4 cup diced cooked bacon ( save a few pieces of bacon for garnish if you like)
2 garlic cloves grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or light mayonnaise)
2 tablespoons butter or canola oil
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Mix mashed potato, kale, broccoli, bacon, garlic mayonnaise and salt together in a bowl. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a small scallop shaped disk.
Heat a skillet on medium with butter or canola oil. Brown the potato cakes on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Serve on spoons (Chinese soup spoons or regular tablespoons)
Garnish with a dollop or sour cream or Greek yogurt and top with a piece of bacon
It’s time to restock my prop closet, so I headed to Goodwill on Monday to pick up some inexpensive items. Everything on the table (except for the tablecloth and the food) is from Goodwill. These items will be great for styling my blog and great for parties.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year again. It’s the time of year when we prepare our homes to receive friends and family in the spirit of the season. It’s the time of year when we heat up our ovens and start making those favorite dishes that will become favorites of those that taste them. It’s also the time when we need to stock out pantries to be prepared for unexpected visitors.
I was invited to BJ’s Wholesale Club a few days ago to get some a peek at some of their holiday products and get some tips on entertaining.
Bj’s does require you to purchase a membership to receive the benefits of their club, but their low prices and coupon policy more than makes up for that fee.
One important difference between BJs and other membership clubs is that BJs sells many of it’s products in sizes more appropriate for families while other membership clubs have items packaged in large quantities for small businesses. This is especially important when purchasing perishable items (like produce) that can spoil before you have a chance to use them.
My oven is HOT! I’ve been baking up a storm lately developing cake and pie recipes for my clients’ holiday tables.
Here’s a link to the Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe just in case you’re in the mood for a little baking. If you’re in the Atlanta area you can order one of these delicious cakes from me. Here’s the rest of the menu:
mmmm, this brown sugar pound cake is a lightly sweet moist cake has a hint of lemon and a whole lot of DELICIOUS! Here’s the recipe so you can make it yourself OR if you live in the Atlanta, GA area you can get one from me.
Brown sugar pound cake; serves 8-10 people
|1 cup (2 sticks) soft unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups cake flour, sifted (not self-rising)
1- 9 by 5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick baking spray
or 1 Wilton Cascade pan (pictured above) sprayed with Pam for baking
|Pre heat oven to 325°.
Beat softened butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add brown sugar and lemon zest, beat for 5 minutes.
Mix eggs, yolks, lemon juice and vanilla together in a separate bowl. Pour this mix into the bowl of the mixer while the mixer is running. Stir in the flour and mix gently until combined
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove cake from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.
Berry cupcakes (makes 24)
|2 cups white sugar1 (3 ounce) package raspberry gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup strawberry jam
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
SIMPLE VANILLA FROSTING
2 1/2 Cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 cup soft unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, depending on the consistency you want
|Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line cupcake tins with cupcake papersIn a large bowl, cream together the butter, jam, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin for 3 minutes.Beat in eggs one at a time.
Add vanilla to milk, combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl; stir flour mixture into the batter alternately with the milk and vanilla.
Scoop into lined cupcake tinsBake for 18 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Place sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 4 minutes or until smooth.
Add vanilla and cream. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. I needed, beat in more cream 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the consistency that you like.
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