Category Archives: Contributors

Shrimp Corn Dogs

I wish I could take credit for this most excellent idea, but alas, I first heard of these from a restaurant in town called Moonshine Grill. It’s a great place and they make these amazing corndog shrimp appetizers that go really, really super-great with beer and cocktails.

Already requests have begun coming in from viewers for game-day recipes and snacks and while I’m not big on football or Superbowl or anything of that nature, I am big on entertaining and party-planning so I do look forward to football season even if I don’t give two toots about the games themselves. I think these will make a great addition to any game-day party or Superbowl thing or what-have-you.

They’re fun, they’re a little unusual, and they taste like shrimp and corn dogs, people. Come on.

The batter here is seasoned with cayenne pepper and onion powder with a little sugar, so it’s like fluffy hushpuppies. It’s so stupid-good, y’all. You can make it a few hours ahead of time if you need to; you might need to thin it out with a little extra milk right before you use it, though, because it (like all batters) will thicken as it stands.

I’ve tried it with the extra large jumbo giant colossal shrimp and with medium sized shrimp and I prefer the medium (31-40 count) shrimp because they’re cheaper and actually easier to eat. If you want to use big ‘uns, that’s fine. And if you’ve made my corn dog recipe before and want to try using that, okay! Your shrimp corn dogs will be a little lumpier due to the creamed corn in the batter but I bet they will taste great!

Shrimp Corndogs Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 20

Ingredients

1 cup white flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
1 1/4 cups milk
1 pound shrimp (31-40 count) shelled and deveined
1 quart of oil for frying
Salt for sprinkling

Instructions

Combine all dry ingredients well.Whisk in egg and one cup milk. You may need to add the additional 1/4 cup if it seems too thick. Combine well.
Thread the shrimp on skewers.
Heat the oil to 350-365º F.
Dip the shrimp into the batter to coat.
Fry for 3 minutes, turning to get both sides cooked and brown. Fry only a few at a time to avoid crowding the oil and reducing the heat too much at once.
Drain and sprinkle with a little more salt.
Serve with any sauces you like.

To make the Horseradish Honey Mustard sauce, combine:
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon grainy mustard

Source: Hilah Cooking

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Pizza a la Provenzal {Inspired Lunch}

Pizza with Cheese, Portobello Mushrooms, Garlic and Parsley

“I’m craving for pizza” I told J. on Saturday. I had just finished talking with my Mother on the phone ‘mostly’ about my Grandmother’s cooking and her passion for garlic and parsley! Yes, it was time for something “a la provenzal” {something with garlic and lots of fresh parsley}–I’m anxious already, he said. 

{me too}

After picking up some parsley from the garden , I started kneading, chopping… and finally the aromas of fresh baked pizza dough began to fill our house. And here is the picture that I’ve taken while J. was finishing setting the table. 

I leave you with this pizza  a la provenzal recipe. I will be back soon. 

I hope you’re enjoying this week!

Pizza a la ‘Provenzal‘ {Cheese + Portobello Mushrooms + Garlic + Parsley}
This Pizza does not need pizza sauce. The idea is to taste the flavors of cheese, mushrooms, garlic and parsley.

Dough:
2 1/2 C. all- purpose flour / plain flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Instant dry yeast
1 C. warm water
2 tsp. olive oil
2 C. Cheese { any cheese you like}{ I used, mozzarella, parmesan and blue cheese}
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely sliced


Provenzal Mushrooms:
250 g Portobello Mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 1/2 C. Parsley chopped
1/4 C. olive oil + about 1 Tbsp. butter
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste {optional}

Preparation: 
Dough
In a bowl add flour and salt. Set aside. Take a measuring cup and add yeast, warm water and  sugar–Mix well and cover with a plate.Wait (about 15 minutes) for bubbles to appear in the yeast.Add yeast mixture to the flour plus the oil. Mix together all the ingredients using a wooden spoon to form the dough.Now using
your hands work the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.Add a little flour while kneading.
Cover and set in warm part of the kitchen-let the dough rest for 30
minutes. 


* Preheat oven at 180C / 355F 15 minutes before baking the pizza.


When ready, just punch down the dough over a floured surface and shape into a circle.

Transfer the dough into lightly floured baking tray. Brush the dough with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with the cheese and onion slices. Bake for 15 minutes. 

Mushrooms a la Provenzal:
In the meantime, heat up a frying pan, add olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic for a couple of seconds until the garlicky aroma develops.Add mushrooms and sautee for a couple of minutes, add butter, salt and pepper.Cook mushrooms until soft, turn off. And add fresh parsley. 

Remove pizza from the oven add the mushrooms a la provenzal. Garnish with some parsley leaves.Serve immediately.

Source: Al Dente Gourmet

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I keep trying to eat healthier.  I know I should but the cakes, cookies and candies just keep screaming my name.  I’ve gotten so bad that I even put frosting on muffins and cookies half the time right now.

But I was craving something that was good for me so I wanted to make this Orzo Mediterranean Salad and bought all the ingredients to do it (sort of).  When I went to make it for my lunch I found I was out of orzo.  Coulda sworn I saw some just the other day :-( But I did find some Quinoa…

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup zucchini , cubed ( I threw it in with the quinoa to cook in the last 5 minutes of cooking)
1/2 of a red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, pick your favorite, coarsely chopped
8 pieces of sundried tomatoes, finely chopped 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil  
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (you could use white)
1/2 tsp. dried basil (or 1 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
feta cheese, crumbled, to taste (I like ALOT!!!)


Directions:

1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked. Add the zucchini in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Allow to cool.
2. Combine red, pepper, olives, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked and cooled quinoa and stir well. Stir in feta cheese and basil just before serving.

Source: No Fear Entertaining

Halloween Cakes

halloween graveyard cake

Planning a Halloween party at home or at school? These Halloween cakes are just the treat to get everyone in a ghoulish mood.

My graveyard cake is not only festive, it’s easy and fun to make with the kids, too. Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and chocolate pudding serve as the dirt – tasty and good-looking, too!

Source: About.com Cooking for Kids

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Firedome: a newer version, not a complete failure, just some notes

The Firedome project is my pride and joy. Although I can rely on it for pushing out a nice pie for friends, I still play around with ideas for changes. Here’s a newer version that didn’t quite work as I wanted, but the final cut shown in the last image reveals what may be a slightly better design than the current one.

The unsuspecting lid generously dropped off by @CMHGourmand, you will be rewarded!

The lid secured to the chopping block. I use duct tape in order to visualize where to cut.

I cut it with an angle grinder and the edges smoothed with a dremel/mini grinder wheel.

Assembled, ignition time. I use a few Matchlight briquettes and then toss in logs. Voosh!  Warmup of the stone inside takes about 30 minutes.

The other, and still functional, lid (thanks @ToKateFromKate) sitting beside the newer design. Notice the closer crop/smaller section removed.  I  also did away with the door, I’ve never cooked with it closed.  The intent was to see what the convection would be like with a closer-cropped opening. I got lots of smoke – bad! Very surprising given the size of the opening.

A sample pizza (ok four) were run through for a test (and light lunch). They were uniformly cooked, but the opening made it a pain to get them in and out and feeding wood was also tougher.

Here’s another shot where the thermocouple probe wire is visible (on the left). I placed the probe in the side away from the fire (the “cool” side) hooked up to a datalogger. I maintained ca 800-850°F with an occasional spike. The surface of the stone stayed about 800°F at the center.

The temperature profile on the cool side, the probe was placed just below the cooking stone.  It was a short cooking session, this is the hour after a 30 min warm-up.

Given the amount of smoke I saw during the burn, I ripped it open to look more like the previous design opening – only larger. I’ve opened about a full third of the perimeter. I’ll give it a shot tomorrow night.  I’m essentially back to where I started (which wasn’t a bad place), but I may have slightly more convenient access.  Incidentally, I get about an hour and a half of high temps from a $ 5 bundle of grocery store wood.

Source: weber_cam

Green Giant’s One Giant Pledge: Eat More Vegetables for a Month

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As much as we like our pulled pork and juicy steaks, we’re big veg-heads at Serious Eats. In salads and soups; roasted, grilled, and pickled. We love a plate piled high with vegetables. Which is why we were in support of Green Giant’s One Giant Pledge when we heard about it: increase your daily veg intake by at least one cup.

Easy peasy, right? Just an additional cup of carrots, kale, eggplant, or any vegetable, each day for one month. Sometimes it’s not only kids who struggle with finishing all the veggies. We liked this idea for a feel-good challenge, so we’re going to try it.

We’ll be sharing our favorite vegetable recipes soon, but in the meantime, please share any suggestions on how we can throw another cup of veg into our daily diet. Anyone else going to try the challenge?

Source: Serious Eats

Recipe for slow cooker quinoa with zucchini, mushrooms and chicken sausage

Slow cooker quinoa with zucchini, mushrooms and chicken sausage.

All summer I practiced with my slow cookers, adapting recipes from cookbooks and blogs, modifying some of my own stove top and oven favorites to the low-and-slow cooking style of these wonderful little machines. I knew the day would come when I would give zucchini a try, yet I feared turning it to complete and utter mush with hours of cooking. The solution? Add it at the end, so it stays firm and flavorful. This quinoa with zucchini, mushrooms and chicken sausage, a satisfying one-pot meal, requires just five minutes of prep, and delivers big flavor, with no mush. Practice makes perfect.

Source: The Perfect Pantry®