Archives for January 2012

Superbowl Snackers – Deli Swirlz

I came across these roll-ups from Taste of Home and modified them a bit by adding my favorite vegetable – asparagus.

Superbowl Snackers - Deli Swirlz

1/4 pound of turkey (about 6 slices)
1/4 pound of ham (about 6 slices)
1/4 roast beef (about 6 slices)
1 package of cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons of dill weed
9 spears of asparagus
1-1/2 avocados

Trim and steam asparagus spears for approximately 6 minutes.  Mix cream cheese and dill weed together in a small bowl; set aside.  In another bowl, smash-up the avocado. Take two pieces of roast beef and lay on cutting board and overlap a small section to make one large piece.  Gently spread cream cheese mixture over the meat, then spread the avocado over that.  Place asparagus at the edge of the meat and gently roll the meat over the asparagus.  Repeat with the other meats.  Cut into bit sizes pieces and serve.

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Superbowl Snackers – Candied Meatballs

Everyone knows that Superbowl is about the food and the commercials. Right?  Ok, well that’s what Superbowl is to me. But I’m somewhat tired of the same old, same old when it comes to SB food.  I have a few recipes that are super simple to make and will break you free from the boring chicken wing streak you’ve been in for years.  Hey, no offense to the chicken wing lovers out there, just thought it was time for a change in the line up.

My personal favorite of this series is my Candied Meatballs.  These tasty little nuggets are probably the most labor intensive of the group here, but so well worth it in the taste.

Candied Meatballs

1-1/2 pounds of ground beef
1 pound of ground pork
2 bottles (12 oz each) Chili Sauce
1/2 cup cherry preserves (but you can use grape or raspberry)
1 cup coca cola (do not use diet)
1/4 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)
2 tablespoons of garlic and herb seasoning (McCormick Seasonings)
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Mix ground beef and pork together in large mixing bowl and mix by hand.  Add gluten-free bread crumbs, seasoning and egg; mix thoroughly by hand until all blended. Set aside.

In a slow cooker, mix chili sauce, cherry preserves, coca cola, brown sugar and Dijon mustard together until blended.  Set on warm for the time being.

Go back to your meat mixture and make 1 inch size balls (approximately 60-65 depending on how you roll them).  Sear meatballs in a lightly greased pan just until browned all over. Transfer meatballs to sauce mixture.  Turn temperature up to low and let cook for approximately 3 hours, stirring occasionally.  Be careful when stirring as meat will be tender and will fall apart if mixed too much.  Put in a bowl for serving or leave in pot and let them serve themselves.

These are so good you’ll want to make them for all your pot lucks!

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Celiac Disease Clinical Trial

Hey everyone, I came across this today and I ended up signing up to participate in this trial.  I go next Friday for my screening and then I guess they will let me know if I 100% qualify for the trial.

They told me that it of course is NOT a cure for Celiac Disease, but that it would help with the cross contamination that happens when we eat at a restuarant, for example, and the “unknown” happens.  I figured “what the heck”, the worst that could happen is nothing, but if something really great happens then I can say “I WAS PART OF THAT”.  Check it out for yourself.

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Vanilla Cognac Cheesecake Cups

Last night I was in the mood for something sweet but I wasn’t sure what I wanted. So I went to the grocery store and started searching the GF section and found these little 90 calorie packs of Chocolate Graham Cookies with Marshmallows and I was inspired. Cheesecake, I said to myself, but not a whole one, but nice bite size cupcake style. Now mind you it took all five packs in the box of the graham cookies to make the crust for these little morsels, but hey, you don’t have to eat all the cupcakes at one time. Plus as an added bonus, I added a little boozy-oozy to them to give them just a hint of something special without making them a drunken cupcake.

Vanilla Cognac Cheesecake Cups

For the Crust
1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs ( I used MI-DEL All Natural S ‘mores 90 calorie packs)
¼ cup sugar
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling
1 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup Vanilla Cognac (but you can use Amaretto or Irish Cream)
2 large eggs
¼ cup Greek Yogurt (you can also use sour cream)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

To Make The Crust. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and the melted butter. Toss with a fork until well blended. Drop a heaping tablespoon full of graham cracker mixture in each muffin cup and pack it down gently with your fingers. Bake 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the crusts to cool while you prepare the filling. Do not turn the oven off as you will need it shortly to bake your cheesecakes.

To Make The Filling, using an electric or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Add the vanilla cognac, eggs and yogurt and beat until smooth.

Fill muffin cups with cream cheese mixture until almost to the top. Place the muffin pan in a large, shallow roasting pan with enough hot water to come about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until the cakes are puffy and barely set in the center, about 35 minutes. When done, allow to cool for 2 hours and then transfer the cheesecakes, still in the pan, to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, remove each one from the paper wrapper and place a dollop of fresh whipped cream on the top and garnish with a crystal-sugar coated raspberry.

 **recipe inspired and adapted from The Boozy Baker**

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Chocolate-Bacon Cupcakes

My friend at work Robb loves, loves, loves Bacon and for Christmas his granddaughter got him a book called I Love Bacon.  It’s a collection of recipes from some of America’s favorite chefs all having bacon in them.  It’s amazing that so many things can have bacon in them. Yay for bacon!

This is a pretty labor intensive recipe, but I think you will really enjoy its complex tastes that come through with each bit.  Make sure that you use a real maple syrup and not that kind that you use for your pancakes on Sunday morning – it will make a difference.  Also, watch your brown butter cooking, it can quickly turn to “burnt” butter – which I think mine might have gone a bit to far.

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Maple-Brown Butter-Bacon Frosting
8 slices 1/4-inch thick bacon, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (I used greek yogurt instead)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioner’s sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup GF all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

To make the frosting:
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 10 minutes.  Using a mesh sieve, drain the bacon bits by pouring the rendered bacon fat into the bowl of a mixer.  Set the bacon pieces aside.

In the same sauté pan:
Melt the butter and cook until it turns brown and gives off a nutty fragrance, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally so the butter doesn’t burn.  When the butter is dark and begins to burn, immediately remove the pan from the heat, scrape all of the browned bits loose, and transfer the contents to the mixing bowl with the bacon fat. Refrigerate the bowl until the butter is cold. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix together the milk, cream, crème fraîche or yogurt, vanilla and maple syrup; set aside.

Attach your mixer with the paddle attachment.  When the browned butter is cold, cream it on medium speed with the salt until blended. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to cream at medium speed until fluffy, about 8 minutes. Slowly add the milk mixture and continue mixing until smooth and homogeneous. Refrigerate until cold.

Preheat over to 350 degree F. Lightly butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line it with cupcake lines, and set aside.

To make the cupcakes:
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Put the 1/2 cup of butter, the sugars, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn the speed to low, and add one-quarter of the dry ingredient mixture. When no trace of flour remains, add one-third of the buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Continue evenly alternating the flour mixture and the buttermilk, ending the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix in the chopped chocolate and oatmeal. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups; each cup should be three-quarters full. Bake until a tester stick comes out clean – approximately 25 minutes.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, fluff the cold frosting until soft and spreadable but not runny. Place about 3 tablespoons of frosting on top of each cupcake, then sprinkle on about 1/2 teaspoon of bacon bits. Serve immediately or refrigerate the cupcake until the frosting is firm.

**recipe was adapted/copied from I LOVE BACON by Jayne Rockmill**

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