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Friday, October 31, 2014

Hot Onion Dip and a collection of other dips on my blog

I love Onions in any recipe. I have an entire cookbook dedicated to Onions.
Here's one more great Onion Dip.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 2 quart casserole dish,  seasoned with a vegetable non stick spray. (I use a Terra Cotta Clay Bram) There's a photograph of it at the end of this page.

Hot Onion Dip:

2 - 8oz. packages of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 package of Boursin Cheese or Goat Cheese, softened
1 1/2 C Sweet Vidalia Onions, diced.
1/4 C shredded Gruyere Cheese
An assortment of crackers for serving.

In a large Mixing Bowl, and an electric hand mixer.
Blend all ingredients well.
Spoon into the casserole dish.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with crackers.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This does not need an introduction. I love dips!
If you haven't made my Tex-Mex Corn Dips, be sure to search them on the blog. They're still our favorite dips to take to an event or to serve to the family. Check out the list at the bottom of this page for all of the dips you can search on the blog.
This dip is very easy and delicious.

Baked Onion Dip:

2 C chopped Vidalia Onions
2 C Mayonnaise
2 C grated Parmesan Cheese or Swiss Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Prepare a 2 quart baking dish with a non stick vegetable spray.
Pour the mixture in the dish and bake for 45 minutes.
The top should be slightly browned.
Serve hot with a variety of crackers, pita chips, bagel chips........ etc!

I posted  other recipes for  Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip and another Red Pepper Dip made with fresh Peppers, which I really like.  I'll repost them at the end of this one. This is my favorite Roasted Red Pepper Dip without the addition of Eggplant.
Traditionally I would serve this with Pita Chips or on Toasted Slices of French Baguette Bread. However, I'm eating healthier now so I serve this with fresh vegetables ( Celery, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower , Cucumber Slices, etc.)

This version is easy to make and packed with spices for a great flavor.

You'll need a Food Processor.

1 - (15oz.) Can of Garbanzo Beans
1 - (4oz.) Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, drained
3 TBS Tahini
1 Garlic Clove, minces
1/2 tsp Chile Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt

Combine all ingredients in a Food Processor.
Pulse until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Refrigerate before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I've been looking for a good Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
I haven't had much success finding something that impresses me.
I decided to create my own, based on several that I researched, here's what I came up with.

Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip:

3 medium eggplants, cut in half long ways
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 TBS olive oil, divided
1 C Roasted Red Peppers, (you can purchase them in a jar)
1 TBS chopped fresh oregano
2 TBS lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Arrange the eggplant, cut side up on a baking sheet pan
Make slits in the eggplant and insert pieces of garlic
Drizzle the eggplant with 2 TBS of olive oil
sprinkle with salt
Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour

Remove the eggplant from the oven , cool completely, scoop out the interior and add to a food processor.
red pepper
1 TBS olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Puree until smooth.

Serve with pita chips, toasted baguette slices...... etc!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Red Pepper Dip:

I'm fascinated with red peppers right now. I've been searching for good dips. Here's one that I like. It's flavorful, it goes together quickly, it has few ingredients and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand except the peppers.

2 red peppers, cut in half and seeded
3/4 C cream cheese, softened.
1 C sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put the peppers, cut side down in a covered microwavable dish.
Microwave the peppers for 8 - 10 minutes, they should be tender.
Remove them to a bowl of ice water and remove the skin.
Place everything in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Chill completely.

Serve with chips or toasted sliced of baguette bread.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's the other dips available on the blog:

Christmas Queso
Baked Artichoke Dip
Vegetable Dip
Artichoke - Spinach Dip
Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip
Red Pepper Dip
Queso Fundido (recipe to follow)
Ranch Vegetable Dip
Knorr Spinach Dip
Another Texas Bean - Cheese - Chiles - and Other Stuff Dip
Rosemary Baked Cheese (recipe to follow)
Beer Mustard Dipping Sauce
Tex - Mex Bean Dip (Vegetarian Version)
Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Dip from Wisconsin Cheese
Fry Sauce

Peace in the Kitchen!

Rosemary Baked Cheese:

This is baked and served with Toasted Baguette Slices, Breadsticks or Chunks of Artisan Bread.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1 large clove of Garlic, halved
3 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 C Shredded Fontina Cheese
1/2 C Grated Parmesan
2 tsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

Rub the inside of 2 Mini Cast Iron Servers with the Garlic
Gently mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl

Divide the ingredients evenly between the pans
Place the Pans on a baking sheet
Bake about 8 minutes, until the cheese

Serve warm as a dip with the breads mentioned above.

(The red cast iron dish is 6" long and the grey Calphalon pot is 4.5" across)

Peace in the Kitchen!

I experienced Queso Fundido for the first time while on a Scuba Diving trip to Mexico.
It is a traditional Mexican dish often compared to Fondue.
It's baked in a shallow Terra Cotta heat proof baking dish and traditionally served with Corn Tortillas. Texans have adapted the recipe and serve it as a dip with Tortilla Chips.
It can also be topped with Rum, Brandy or Tequila and flambeed. This is how I first had it in Mexico and I recommend it flambeed if serving at a party. The guests will be impressed with the presentation.

I make it vegetarian with Soyrizo, but it's made in Mexico with Chorizo Sausage.

Queso Fundido:

Vegetable Spray
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
6 oz. of Soyrizo or Chorizo Sausage, casing removed
1/4 C finely diced onion
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 small can ( 1.25 oz) diced Green Chiles, un-drained
2 C Queso Quesadilla or Oaxaca( Asadero ) Cheese. Not Cheddar! It should be a White Mexican Cheese.
Corn Tortillas or Tortilla Chips

Spray a shallow ( Terra Cotta, if you have one) baking dish with a vegetable spray
Heat oil in a saute pan and cook the sausage until almost crispy, well done
Remove the sausage to a bowl and set aside

Add onion and garlic to the saute pan and cook for 5 minutes
Return the Sausage to the pan with the Onion and Garlic and mix well
Add the Green Chiles and stir.

Place 1/2 of the Cheese in the baking dish and top with 1/2 of the Sausage
Repeat with remaining Cheese and Sausage

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes
Stir well before serving

Optional to Flambe as directed above.

Serve on 6" Corn Tortillas or dipped with Tortilla Chips.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is the dish that I bake mine in. It's called a Bram.
It's a Terra Cotta, clay baking dish.
I can double the recipe when I make it in this Bram.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chick Pea and Date Tagine

I have a clay Tagine Pot. I heat this recipe in the oven, in the Tagine Pot. It makes a great presentation for serving.
I simply re posted the link to this great dish.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Les Macarons! I took a class to learn how to make these amazing French Treats.

Yesterday I took a 3 hour class with our friend Jill, to learn how to make French Macarons. It was so much fun and so educational. I've always wanted to make them myself but I had heard so many stories about how difficult they are. I'd never attempted to make them but we certainly eat plenty of them while traveling in France.
They are colorful and very tasty. The combinations of different flavored cookies and different flavored fillings are endless. I left the class feeling very confident that I can successfully make them at home.

We made three different flavors:

Pumpkin with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Spiced with Apple Cider Buttercream
Hazelnut with Dark Chocolate Ganache.
They were amazing.

I don't think many people really make them so I won't post any recipes on the blog. I just wanted to share the experience with pictures.
They're not in any order. I captioned some of them.
It's all in the technique to produce a nice Macaron.

There was a Hippy in the Classroom today!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Sifting, sifting and more sifting, the first important technique.
Flour was sifted separately. If using Almond Meal, the residue was removed.
 The Confectioner's Sugar was also sifted separately.
All of the ingredients were placed in a bowl together, and in this
picture , they're sifted together for the last time.
It's sifted onto Parchment Paper so it's easy to add to
a bowl, to be folded together with the Meringue. 

The piping bags are filled with the tip on, and the end of the bag was not
cut until the bag was full.

It's all about the technique to get them piped perfectly onto the parchment circles.

The chef demonstrating the technique of piping the batter,

This is our tray!
We were very pleased with the results.

The batter was weighed so we could share it equally with the other
team in the class.

This was our second tray. We each piped half of them on the sheet pan.
I believe these are the Spiced Macarons.

This is our tray of the Hazelnut Macarons.

Preparing the Dark Chocolate Ganache filling for the Hazelnut Macarons.

Brandy was added to the Ganache.

Salted Caramel for the Buttercream filling in the Pumpkin Macarons.

This is our tray of Pumpkin with Salted Caramel Buttercream filling.
We thought they look pretty good!

This is the food coloring added to the Hazelnut Meringue.

The technique for getting the cookie batter to the perfect consistency.

Getting ready to fold the Flour and the Meringue together for the cookie batter.

The batter ingredients have to be weighed properly.

After they're baked and cooled a bit, we refrigerated them.
This makes them easier to release from the Parchment Paper.
This photograph shows the technique of releasing them by
pulling the paper away from the cookie, rather than trying to pull
the cookie from the paper.
It worked!

I realize that this may seem overwhelming, but the class was so interesting.
I knew that if I ever wanted to make really nice Macarons, I would have to take a class.
Our chef was very talented and patient.
We all felt that we sucessfully accomplished what we came to learn.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sticky Finger Squares

If I had to live with the cookbooks of just one chef, it would have to be Rebecca Rather. I'm enthusiastic about every recipe she creates. She used to have a restaurant in a nearby town and I regret having never had the opportunity to visit the restaurant before it closed. She is at the top of my list of great chefs.

Here's an adaptation of her recipe for Sticky Finger Bars.
I haven't changed the integrity of the original recipe. I only re wrote the recipe in my own words and style.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" pan, lined with foil extending over the edges and sprayed with a cooking spray. ( I cut 2 separate pieces of foil for this and layer them in the pan. One piece fits along the length and the other runs the width of the pan.


8 TBS (2sticks) Butter, room temperature
1 C granulated Sugar
1 TBS Vanilla
2 C Flour
1/2 C roughly chopped Peanuts
4 - (2.7oz.) Snickers Candy Bars, cut into 1/4" slices


3 large Eggs
1 1/4 C granulated Sugar
1/4 C Lyles Golden Syrup ( I buy Golden Syrup at our local British Emporium)
2 TBS Butter, melted
1 TBS Vanilla
A pinch of Salt

Other ingredients:
1 C Creamy Peanut Butter
1 C coarsely chopped Peanuts
3 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, roughly chopped.

Crust Directions:

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add and beat on Low Speed:
Beat just until mixed.
Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cover the Crust with the Snickers Bars. Leave about 1/4" between each piece.

Filling Directions:

In a large mixing bowl:
Whisk by hand.
Pour ove the Crust.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove pan to a rack to cool for 30 minutes.

Spread Peanut Butter evenly over the top of the filling.
Sprinkle with an even layer of Peanuts.

Melt the Chocolate in a Microwave Oven until completely melted and smooth.
Check and stir often.
Drizzle evenly over the Peanuts.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Pull the bars out of the pan using the edges of the foil.
Peel away the foil and transfer the bars to a cutting board.
Cut into squares to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chocolate and Sea Salt covered Cashews

I have so many variations of sweet, savory and spicy nut recipes. You can search additional recipes on the blog. I hesitated to post this one because it seems too simple and too obvious. However, I realize that not everyone cooks and bakes and if I can help them with an easy delicious recipe then I'll post them. This is one of those recipes.
During the holidays, I make a lot of chocolate covered, sea salted, sweet, herbed and spice coated nuts.
You can also use Hazelnuts, Pecans or Almonds.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you're roasting the Cashews yourself.
1 - Sheet Pan lined with foil.
1 - Double Boiler or a microwave safe bowl.

2 C Roasted Cashews, you can either buy them roasted or roast them yourself. (see note at the end for roasted)
8 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate
1 tsp Sea Salt

In a double boiler:
Heat and stir until melted. (you can also heat the chocolate in a microwave if you don't have a double boiler) You can create your own by placing a heat proof glass bowl over a simmering saucepan of water.
Add the Cashews and stir to coat well.
Spread them out on the Sheet Pan, in a single layer.
Immediately sprinkle the Cashews with Sea Salt.
Refrigerate until chocolate is hardened.
Break up the Cashews and transfer to a serving bowl.

Roasted Cashews:
Spread the Cashews in a single layer on a foil lined sheet pan.
Roast for 5 - 7 minutes.
Shake the pan half way through.
Remove the pan, transfer the Cashews to a bowl to cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cranberry Orange Poinsettia Coffee Cake

I reposted this recipe from a blog that I follow called Chin Deep. It would have been time consuming to re write it. I also wanted to post the picture of the finished product. I've seen this recipe made in a 9" X 13" dish, but I looked this one because of it's presentation for the holidays.

cranberry orange poinsettia coffee cake


for the coffee cake:
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
2/3 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons real butter
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon orange zest
for the filling:
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 cups fresh cranberries, halved
1/3 cup raspberry, cherry or strawberry jam
1/3 cup sugar
juice of one orange
for the icing/garnish:
1 cup powdered sugar
6 teaspoons Captain Morgan's Original Spiced Rum
zest of one orange, divided
a fresh, green herb sprig

In a large bowl, combine one cup of the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and yeast. Mix well. In a saucepan, heat the 2/3 cup whole milk and butter until warm (120 degrees F.) Add milk mixture, egg, and the orange zest to the flour mixture. Blend on low until moistened, and then beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Fold the rest of the flour by hand.
On a floured surface, knead until dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes.) Place dough in a buttered bowl, cover with buttered plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Grease a large round cookie sheet or pizza pan. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush with the melted butter. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the filling ingredients until evenly combined, and spread this mixture evenly over the dough.
Starting on a 12-inch side, roll up the dough as tightly as possible. Press edges together to seal so it doesn’t pop open. Cut into 12 slices, saving the 2 end pieces for the center of the “poinsettia.” Arrange the remaining slices in a circle on the greased pan, leaving a 2 to 3 inch space for the center. Form the end pieces into little dough balls and place the balls in the center. Cover cake with buttered plastic wrap, set it in a warm place, and allow to rise and additional 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover dough after it has risen the designated amount of time. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cake to completely cool before glazing and garnishing.
In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, spiced rum, and half of the orange zest. Transfer to a squirt bottle, and drizzle all over completely cooled cake. Place some frosted cranberries in the center, sprinkle some extra orange zest over the whole cake, and garnish with a pretty green herb sprig for a lovely contrast to the red cranberries.

Holiday Eggnog Bars

I happen to love anything that has Eggnog in it. I even love Eggnog! I out it in my coffee , I make homemade Eggnog and I love any holiday recipe made with it.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" baking pan, lined with foil extending over all 4 sides.
Spray the foil with Non Stick Cooking Spray

Holiday Eggnog Bars

1 - 17 1/2 oz. package of Sugar Cookie Mix (not prepared dough)
2 TBS Flour
8 TBS Butter, cold and cubed.
1/2 C Chopped Macadamia Nuts
5 Egg Yolks
1 - 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (not Evaporated Milk)
1/2 C Eggnog
1 TBS Rum
1 tsp Vanilla
Confectioner's Sugar for dusting.
1/4 tsp Nutmeg + additional for garnish

In large mixing bowl:
Cookie Mix
Whisk well.

Butter, a small amount at a time.
Use a Pastry Blender or 2 forks to cut in the Butter until it has the texture of fine crumbs.
Fold in half of the Nuts.
Press the dough into the pan to create a crust.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.

In a medium bowl:
Egg Yolks
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Whisk well.
Pour over the hot crust.
Bake an additional 15 - 20 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool for 30 minutes.
Cover with foil and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When completely cooled, use the foil to release the uncut bars onto a cutting surface.
Cut into squares.
Lightly sprinkle each square with Confectioner's Sugar and Nutmeg.

Peaceful Holidays!