Monday, November 30, 2015

Peanut Butter Truffles

November is a five Monday month, you know what that means?  We have a bonus Secret Recipe Club  post!  Whenever there's a five week month, we do a themed Secret Recipe Club reveal.  What could be more perfect for this time of year but Holiday Treats?  Yummy!  A reveal of nothing but holiday treats is the best!!

My assigned blogger is Cathleen of A Taste of Madness. As always I had fun browsing Cathleen's blog and had trouble choosing just one recipe.  I ended up choosing these amazing Peanut Butter Truffles.  They're delicious and easy to put together.  If you're looking for a food gift or something fun to take to a party, give these a try.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

What you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups pretzel pieces
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  1. Put the pretzels into a large resealable plastic bag and crush into small bits using a rolling pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter and brown sugar until fully combined. Add in the pretzel pieces and icing sugar, and mix until fully combined.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Scoop around 2 tablespoons worth of peanut butter mixture, and gently shape into a ball with your fingers. Place the ball on the prepared cookie sheet, and repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Place in the freezer for around 30 minutes.
  4. Boil 5 cups of water and pour into a medium bowl.
  5. Place the chocolate chips and shortening into a smaller bowl, and place it into the bowl full of water. Mix the chocolate chips and shortening until the mixture is smooth, making sure not to let the water mix in with the chocolate mixture.
  6. Take the frozen balls out of the freezer and dip them in the chocolate mixture. Place the dipped peanut butter balls back on the waxed paper. Quickly sprinkle the peanut butter balls while the chocolate is still wet with some extra broken up pretzels.
  7. In a microwave safe bowl, melt some peanut butter. Drizzle on top of truffles, and freeze until hard." title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Orleans BBQ Beer Shrimp

Tim and I have been brewing our own beer for about a year.  I regret not blogging about the process. Maybe in 2016?  It can be a little time consuming and a true test of team work.  Which in our cases is never a problem as long as Tim does it my way.   Ha!  Now that we have our system down, it's a fairly smooth process.  We've made a pumpkin ale, an IPA, a Hefeweizen a Lemon Coriander Weiss and a Holiday Ale.  Besides enjoying and sharing our beers, I love cooking with them.    This bbq beer shrimp is delicious, reminds me a little of good ole spiced shrimp with a kick.  I used our Lemon Coriander Weiss in this recipe.  Any mild or pale ale will work great.  I served this on top of rice with a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. 

New Orleans Barbecue Beer Shrimp
Recipe Courtesy of The Beeroness
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 pounds raw shrimp, deveined, shell on
  • Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (besides the shrimp), bring to a simmer.
  • Add the shrimp, cook until shrimp have turned pink. Avoid over cooking or the shrimp will be tough.
  • Serve with crust bread to mop up all that beautiful sauce. And lots of napkins.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Loaded Sweet Potato Soup - SRC

For this month's Secret Recipe Club,  I was lucky enough to be assigned Debbie of Debbie Does Dinner Healthy.  Debbie is the hostess of Group C.  Thanks for all you do to make SRC a success.  I've been following Debbie's blog since I began blogging in 2009.  She has some great healthy and low cal recipes on her site!  Stop over and check them out.

I love potato soup but never thought about making sweet potato soup.  After making this recipe, I realized I've really been missing out. This soup is so good and the great thing is, it's healthy.  I did use the bacon, not a lot, but it really adds to the flavor.  I pureed the soup with my immersion blender, next time I will be using the blender instead.  It takes a while to puree this soup and the blender would be so much easier.

I love, love, love this soup.  One of the best soups I've made in a long time.  Thanks, Debbie for an amazing recipe, one I can't wait to make again soon!!!

Loaded Sweet Potato Soup 

Recipe courtesy of Debbie Does Dinner Healthy
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp. bacon grease or oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 can broth (chicken or vegetable)
7 - 8 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Pepperjack or extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream
Bacon (if desired and not vegetarian)

Saute desired amount of bacon. Save bacon grease for sauteeing. 

Add onion, bacon grease, salt and pepper to hot large pan and saute until tender.  Add garlic, thyme, chili powder and cinnamon, cook for a couple of minutes.  Add sweet potatoes, broth, vinegar and about 3 cups of water.  Season with more salt and lots of pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.  When potatoes are tender, puree with an immersion blender or carefully add to a food processor.

Garnish with cheese, sour cream and bacon. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Beef Green Chili Cornbread Skillet

When I saw this recipe on my blogging pal Renee's blog,  I knew it was a recipe I wanted to try.  If you haven't been to Renee's blog, Cheery Kitchen, you should check it out.  She and I have been blogging buddies for four or five years.  Renee has the best recipes and beautiful photos!

I used my favorite hatch chile's for the green chili's in this recipe.  They were a delicious addition to an already terrific recipe.  I also had corn in the freezer from extra ears of corn on the cob.  My husband said "oh this is good, I'd have this again!"  A true compliment!  Renee, thanks for a great addition to my recipe box.

Beef Green Chile Cornbread Skillet
Recipe Courtesy of Cheery Kitchen

Serves: 12 servings
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups green enchilada sauce (I used red)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles (I used Hatch Chile's)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pink beans, drained (I left these out)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix, (I used Jiffy)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 8 ounces cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Over medium high heat in a large skillet, brown beef and onion together. Drain fat and return to pan.
  3. Add green chile sauce, cumin, salt and pepper, green chiles, beans, olives and corn and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix cornbread mix with egg and milk and pour over top of beef and vegetables.
  5. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and serve.
  8. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, and tomato chunks if desired.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Forever Royal!

 It's been 30 years since my home town celebrated a World Series win.  Over those 30 years, there were many where few people went to games and few watched on TV.  My how times have changed, over the past few years,  The Kansas City Royals drafted a talented group of players.  These players have determination and heart like nothing I've ever seen.  Their determination, talent and heart payed off just after midnight last night when they were crowned the 2015 World Series Champions!

Lucky enough to see these guys in Surprise this year during Spring Training, I was ready for a fun season.  From the beginning I felt they could Take The Crown!  162 regular games and 16 post season games,  I've watched all but a few!  Another come from behind victory last night, these guys never gave up!!

Can't wait for the 2016 season, how many days to opening day?!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta Bites

This recipe was originally presented on The Kitchen as an appetizer.  I decided to give it a try as a side dish.   These polenta bites begin with stove top polenta, poured into a square pan and cooled.  Mine was set and chilled in about an hour.    Once it's set, cut into squares and coat with panko.  I had trouble getting the panko to stick to the top side of the polenta.  Once I gave it a quick spray with olive oil, no problem getting the panko to stick to the top side.

I really wanted to taste the goat cheese in this recipe and neither Tim or I could find it.    Perhaps,  I should have used a bigger pan, made a smaller batch or used more goat cheese.  I love the idea of this recipe and will try again, with a smaller batch, more goat cheese and a little heavier on the spices.  Also, the original recipe says not to use quick cooking polenta.  I did and it worked just fine.  Anyone know how to prevent polenta from bubbling all over your hands and the stove when you make it? 


Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta Bites

Makes 16 Bites
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan
1 3/4 cups water, plus more if necessary
1 cup milk
3/4 cup stone-ground coarse cornmeal (not quick-cooking or instant)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup soft goat cheese
2 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 

Butter an 8x8-inch pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring water and milk to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in the cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Cook uncovered until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking or clumping. If it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add more water, 2 teaspoons at a time.

Once the polenta is very thick and creamy, fold in goat cheese, 1 tablespoon of the chives, and thyme. Stir a few times until the goat cheese has melted into the polenta. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Scoop the hot polenta into the prepared baking dish, and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, for at least one hour or overnight. Slice into 16 small squares. Spread the panko and remaining 1 tablespoon chives on a large plate and press each side of the polenta squares gently into the panko to coat completely.

In a nonstick pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pan-fry the polenta squares for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and crispy. As the polenta soaks up some of the oil, you’ll likely need to add 1 additional tablespoon to keep it from sticking. Once finished cooking, set on top of a paper towel-covered plate to soak up excess oil, and plate immediately. Serve warm.