Rachel Adams


What is new years without all the yummy food shared with good friends and new memories to make on the 1st of the new year?

There are so many options that one can do for finger foods that satisfy and hit all the right senses from sweet to savory and everything in between.  I like having a little of everything. I have veggies to carbs. Me and DS are carb people, hubby well he's more of the meat type and this year it's only going to be a small affair for new years. 

So with all that said and done I will be posting some recipes and links as well to super yummy New Years appetizers to be the hostess with the mostest!


Roll up Appetizers
 
  • ROAST BEEF ROLL-UPS:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced banana peppers
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked roast beef
  • HAM AND TURKEY ROLL-UPS:
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 4 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced fully cooked ham


  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked turkey
  •  
    Directions 
    In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cilantro, peppers and garlic. Spread about 2 tablespoons on each slice of beef. Roll up tightly and wrap in plastic wrap. For ham and turkey rolls, in another bowl, combine the cream cheese, carrot, zucchini and dill. Spread about 2 tablespoons on each slice of ham and turkey. Roll up tightly; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Slice the roll-ups into 1-1/2-in. pieces. Yield: 6-7 dozen.


    Now for some links:
     http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Holiday---Celebration-Recipes/New-Year-s-Recipes/New-Year-s-Appetizers
    http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/12-top-appetizers-for-new-years-eve/
    http://www.food.com/recipes/new-years-appetizers
    http://www.bhg.com/recipes/party/appetizers/new-years-party-appetizer-recipes/
    http://www.parents.com/holiday/new-years/recipes/  



    Rachel Adams
                                          

    I'm a big fan of hard candy but not so good at making them. I just don't the have the talent to make this kind of awesome sweetness. I'm sure there is someone out there that can make this. 

    The picture that is posted is what I think of around this time. This is the ultimate flavor explosion of sweetness with fruit flavors that is favorite amongst children and adults. I do hope that you all have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Hard Candy At Home
      
    5 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar 
    2 cups  Granulated Sugar 
     3/4 cup light corn syrup 
    1/2 cup water 
    1 to 2 teaspoons anise, lemon or orange extract 
    Red, yellow or orange liquid food coloring, optional
      
    Fill a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. pan with confectioners' sugar to a depth of 1/2 in. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make a continuous curved-line indentation in the sugar; set pan aside. 

    In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and continue cooking for 3 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals. 

    Uncover and cook on medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300° (hard-crack stage). Remove from the heat; stir in extract and food coloring if desired. 

    Carefully pour into a glass measuring cup. Working quickly, pour into prepared indentation in pan. Cover candy with confectioners' sugar. When candy is cool enough to handle, cut into pieces with a scissors. Store in a covered container. Yield: 3/4 pound.
     
    Editor's Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.

    Now for the links:




    Rachel Adams


    Ahh good ole bologna, and if your like me the old Oscar-Myer brand theme song popped right into your head. I personally like Mortadela which is the Italian version of bologna and it's super yummy, not as salty and I can even get it with garlic in it! So lets see them bologna sandwiches!


    Bologna Hash Brown Casserole

    8 oz. piece of bologna, cut into 1/2
    inch slices and quartered
    1 lb. hash browns, thawed
    1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup cream of chicken soup
    salt and pepper
     

    Put into an greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Top with combination of:
    3/4 cup crushed corn flakes or cracker crumbs
    1/8 cup melted butter or margarine. 


    Can be mixed ahead and baked later. Bake 50 minutes at (350F).

     
    Rachel Adams
    I will warn you they are addictive!


    So I had a Keurig party thanks to Houseparty.com and I made these for my guest. They are super moist and super yummy as well. I will say this, this recipe is not good for the jumbo muffins at all. Unless you want to bake them for an hour (which they were still moist) you could try it.

    For the Muffins:
    1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1/3 cup water
    1 cup canned pumpkin puree
    2 large eggs or egg beaters
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling:

    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    For the Streusel Topping:

    1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1 tablespoon all purpose flour
    1/3 cup light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Dash of nutmeg
    6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with paper liners or spray with cooking spray; set aside. To make the brown sugar cinnamon filling, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
     
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
     
    In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and combined. Add the flour mixture, stirring gently, until the ingredients are just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX!
     
    Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon filling over each muffin cup. Top the muffins with remaining batter so the filling is covered.
     
    For the streusel topping: in a small bowl mix together the oats, pecans, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Top each muffin with streusel topping.
     
    Bake until muffin tops are just firm and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack.
     

    Rachel Adams



    Comfort food is best utilized during cold months or when one is sad or depressed. What is it about certain foods that we have to have during certain times of the year or when the mood hits?

    Is it a sense of wanting mommy or a natural way to medicate the mood/funk that we are when it rains or something bothers us. If you read the article written by Anneli Rufus; she states that certain foods release chemicals that the brain triggers when comfort foods come into play. Such as serotonin, oxycotin, and more. They each cause a reaction in the brain that we associate with familiar smells and memories.

    We seek comfort foods to fill or fix a void that has happened and to be honest I'm a strict lover of comfort food. We all have that one dish that takes back to when we were children and the world was simpler and grand. For me the smell of my granny's sinfully delicious pound cake always lulls me back.

    The super moist taste of butter and vanilla rolled into one simple pound cake that even when I make it I think of her and the times we spent in the kitchen making the same pound cake. I have the pleasure to give that delight to my son to share in new memories being made over the same recipe.
    Rachel Adams

    Well after a surgery and another move I'm back to celebrate food. Today we celebrate the wonderful incredible edible egg. Just think eggs are in almost everything we eat. It's that key ingredient to helps our cakes and breads, yummy as an omelet and the ways to make eggs are just as diverse. 

    So here is a simple recipe that I think my own 6 year old could make. I think I might make this for us tomorrow. As always I will have many links for you to add to your cooking arsenal!

    Mexican Coffee Cup Scramble
    1/2 C. Frozen shredded hash browns
    1 Egg
    1 Tbsp. water
    Salsa of your choice
    Shredded Mexican cheese or your fave

    Directions:

    Coat a 12oz. coffee mug with cooking spray. Add hash browns. Microwave high for 1 min. Add egg and water beat until well blended ( you can also do this in another small dish such as a medium sized ramekin). Microwave for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave till egg is set another 15-30 seconds. Top with salsa and cheese.

    *Please note that each microwave is different and that when cooking with eggs it's smart to keep an eye on it while cooking.*

    Links:
     http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/favorite-egg-recipes-recipe.html
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/EggRecipes.htm
    http://www.thekitchn.com/eggs-for-dinner-144705
    http://www.kitchenparade.com/2008/08/easy-egg-recipes.php
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/eggs.htm
    Rachel Adams

    Happy National Linguine Day everyone. There are so many yummy recipes that call for linguini. It's a great substitute if you don't have spaghetti noodles. These noddles are thick and hold sauce very well. You can also get great flavors too if you know where to find it. There is sun ripped tomatoes, spinach, and more!

    I will post the standard yummy recipes for these noodles....mmmmm mushroom and linguine!

    Linguini with Mushroom Sauce
    16-oz. box linguini
    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    ¼ cup diced shallots
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 lb. portabello mushrooms, sliced
    ¼ tsp. dried thyme
    ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    ½ cup dry Marsala wine
    1 cup vegetable stock
    ½ cup heavy cream
    ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Snipped fresh chives, for garnish 


     Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil add a little salt and the pasta. Cook according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
    While pasta is cooking, heat up a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil. Cook shallots and garlic for 3-4 minutes.
    Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
    Add the wine. Simmer over medium heat until half the liquid remains.
    Add the vegetable stock. Stir. Simmer again until half the liquid remains.
    Add cream and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Once thickened add the cheese and additional salt and pepper, if needed.
    Toss the sauce with the cooked linguini and top with chives. Serve immediately.


    Tip: When you cook the mushrooms, do not add any salt or pepper until they are brown and tender. Otherwise they will not brown.

    Now for the links!
    http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/ingredient/pasta/linguine/
    http://www.myrecipes.com/t/pasta/linguine/
    http://linguinerecipes.org/
    http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/pasta_garlic_oil.htm
    http://www.justpastarecipes.com/inxplg.html


    Rachel Adams

    OK Sorry I haven't been posting much, just sadden and little miffed. Enough about politics and down to food...love food! So with that said and done it's National Cream Filled Donut Day and I for one am happy cos that's my favorite donut of all!

    I love cream filled donuts with a nice cup of coffee and good friends with great conversation. Mmmmm ok I think I need to get some donuts!

    So as usual I will give a recipe and have fun with it. And the links will follow after the recipe.

    Cream Filled Donuts
     1 package regular or quick-acting yeast
    1/8 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
    3/4 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 egg
    1/6 cup shortening
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     

    ***Vanilla Filling***
    1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
    1/4 cup butter or margarine
    1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
    2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    1 tablespoon milk


    DIRECTIONS:

    Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl. Add milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening and 1 cup of flour. Beat on low speed scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 2 minutes.

    Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, approximately 50-60 minutes. Turn dough onto floured surface. Roll dough 1/2-inch thick. Cut with round cookie cutter. Cover and let rise on floured baking sheets until double, 30-40 minutes.

    Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. Slide doughnuts into hot oil. Turn doughnuts as they turn golden brown, about one minute on each side. Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surfaces) and drain. When cool, make small hole to insert vanilla filling (recipe follows) . Take a sharp narrow knife and carefully make a large cavity inside of the doughnut to hold the filling. Fill the doughnuts generously and dust heavily with confectioners' sugar.

    Vanilla Filling:

    Cream butter and shortening, gradually add sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add milk and vanilla, beat until light and fluffy. Will keep for 2 weeks in airtight, refrigerated container.


    Now for links!
     http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Vanilla-Cream-Filled-Doughnuts-364349
    http://www.food.com/recipe/delicious-homemade-donuts-329463
    http://adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com/2012/04/homemade-donuts-with-boston-cream.html   (A fellow blogspot user...check her out!)
    http://traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com/2011/02/visit-to-flour-bakery-and-their-vanilla.html (Another fellow blogspot user!)
    Rachel Adams

    Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means
    Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

    Founder of Labor Day
    More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
    Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
    But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

    The First Labor Day
    The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
    In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

    Labor Day Legislation
    Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

    A Nationwide Holiday
    The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

    The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.
    The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.
    Rachel Adams

    Well another National food day and today we spotlight cherry popovers! If you can't get fresh cherries that's ok, just get dried cherries and let them soak in warm water and they be semi-plump again. 

    If you don't have a popover pan that's fine to just use a muffin pan or a jumbo muffin pan if you have it. No one is really gonna care because all they are gonna see is some nice hot cherry muffins/popovers and ask for the whipped cream....:)

    Now for the recipe and links at the end to follow to introduce you to more sites on the web and well different versions of the recipe!

     
    Cherry Popover
    Makes 12.
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 cups low fat milk
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    2/3 cup pitted cherries

    Beat the milk, melted butter, flour, and salt in a medium bowl until just smooth, then add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Stir in cherries. Allow batter to rest for 15 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 450F. Butter 12 muffin cups (or 6 popover cups) taking care to coat the cups as well as the area around the top as well. Fill cups 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Without opening the oven door, lower the heat to 350F and bake 10 minutes longer.
    Remove from oven, pierce tops with a knife to let the steam escape, and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and serve.

    Now for the links!
     http://www.elephantineblog.com/2012/05/popovers-with-fresh-cherries.html
    http://blog.grubhub.com/national-cherry-popover-day
    http://tastyplanner.com/recipes/dried-cherry-popover
    http://commonplacekitchen.blogspot.com/2009/07/cherry-popovers.html
    Rachel Adams

    Mmmmm chocolate in a dish and banana's today is every one's day! There are so many yummy recipes out there for the sweet combination of chocolate and banana's it's unreal!
    Now if your like me you've heard of Pots de creme and wasn't quite sure what is let alone how to make it your in luck you've stopped by! I have the answer for you.

    Pots de creme is  refers to both the custard dessert as well as the small lidded pots this dessert is served in. Pot de creme, or pot-au-creme translates from French to English as "pot of cream".

     In laymen terms yummy custard in a dish that is usually chocolate, better than pudding but creamy and sinful such is custard!


    Ingredients:
     2 1/2 cups chilled whipping creme
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    6 large eggs yolks  room temperature
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    pinch of salt

    Chocolate covered coffee bean candies

    Directions:

    Position your oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.  

    Combine 2 cups of the creme along with the espresso powder in a heavy medium saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a simmer while you whisk, dissolving the espresso powder.  Once simmering, remove from the heat and add the chocolate and stir until it is melted and smooth. Set aside.

    Select a large bowl.  Whisk in the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla, and salt until it is well blended.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Strain the mixture into a large 4-cup measuring cup. 

    Place 6 -  3/4 cup dishes (soufflĂ©, or custard cups) in a large roasting pan.  Divide the mixture evenly into the cups. Pour enough hot water in the pan to come halfway up the sides of the dishes.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Place in oven and bake until the custard is just set around the edges, approximately 25 minutes.

    Remove the pan from the oven. Remove dishes from the pan and allow them to cool.   Then, cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours and as long as overnight.

    To Serve
    Beat the remaining whipping creme until soft peaks form.  Spoon creme into a pastry bag with a star shaped tip.  Pipe one star in the middle of each dish and top with a chocolate covered coffee bean.

    Instant Espresso Powder- If you can't find this in your local grocery store you can substitute regular instant coffee but you will not get the same rich flavor  

    Now for some links and some for banana too!
    Now for the banana links!
    Rachel Adams



    I will say this I am not a big fan of whiskey, except the one that my neighbor introduced me too. I wonder how that one would taste making this...sorry a little off track. Back on track now. This is a very popular drink cos to me it looks like liquid summer in a glass.

    If you make these please be safe and don't drink and drive. Other than that bottoms up right!


    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 ounces whiskey (or bourbon, Scotch, Canadian whiskey, or Irish whiskey)
    4 ounces sour mix, recipe follows
    Crushed ice
    1 maraschino cherry


    Directions:
    Combine the whiskey and sour mix in a large old-fashioned glass with ice. Stir, garnish with cherry, and serve.

    Sour Mix:
    1-ounce lemon juice
    1-ounce sugar
    2 ounces water

    Combine lemon juice and sugar, then dilute with water and stir to dissolve sugar.
    Yield: 4 ounces

    Now for the links :)

     http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink4308.html
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/classic-whiskey-sour/
    http://www.realmendrinkwhiskey.com/2011/07/summer-drinking-whiskey-sour-recipe-2/
    http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/whiskey-sour-10000001932570/
    Rachel Adams



    So another yummy pecan day. Hubby is loving this week so far...even though he can't figure out how chocolate and pecans go together. He's so silly when it comes to food combinations. Well here we are another pecan day and this time in tort fashion! So the question is what is a torte...well foodies I will answer it for you and of course yummy recipe and links to boot!

    A torte is a cake made with many eggs and often grated nuts or dry bread crumbs and usually covered with a rich frosting....so basically a really big cake with lots of flavors and a rich frosting. Must need coffee to consume to cut the richness down. Sign me up!


    Coffee Pecan Torte Base Ingredients:
    3 egg whites... you can buy egg whites the same way as egg beaters...better than wasting egg yolks
     1 cup of superfine (not granulated) sugar or you can grind sugar in a food processor to get this
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    1 cup of finely chopped pecans
    3 teaspoons of coffee grounds, pulverized or you can use espresso powder
    14 cream crackers, finely crushed

    Topping And Filling Ingredients:

    1 ½ cups of thick (double) cream=heavy cream
    1 teaspoons of superfine (not granulated) sugar to taste
    2 tablespoons pure A or AA maple syrup to taste the better the quality the better for baking
    1 ounce of dark chocolate, about 1 teaspoon grated= 1 square

    Directions:
    Grease an 8” square or round cake pan.Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a clean copper or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Slowly add the sugar, baking powder, pecans, coffee grounds and crushed cookies.
    Spoon the mixture evenly into the cake pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool thoroughly. While the cake crust is baking, make the filling. In a large bowl, beat the cream until stiff, adding the sugar gradually, about a few tablespoons at a time. Add the maple syrup. Taste and add more sugar or maple syrup, to your taste. Place the cooled torte base on a serving plate and cover the base with the cream mixture. Grate dark chocolate generously over the cream and chill for 2 hours before serving.
    Cut into wedges and serve along with your favorite piping hot, freshly brewed coffee.

    Now for the links I think are the best part of me blogging.
    Rachel Adams

    National Chocolate Pecan Pie and Lemonade day is in full swing. Here at my house hubby would be so happy cos his fave holiday pie is pecan pie then you add chocolate into the equation and you have a very happy hubby. Me on the other hand give me some Big Girl lemonade and no one gets hurts! It goes right up there with my coffee. :)

    I have done many types of lemonade with fruit which I like to be honest, cuts back on the tartness of the lemons. I have my dear son who just loves, loves strawberry lemonade with fresh cut strawberries in his with the torani strawberry syrup to add to the flavor. I posted a picture of lemonade with mint.

    Mint Lemonade
     
    8 large lemons, divided
     20 fresh mint leaves, divided 
    1 cup granulated sugar 
    3 cups boiling water 
    4 cups cold water 
    ice cube

    Directions:
    Slice 7 lemons thinly. Seed sliced lemons and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add 12 mint leaves; sprinkle with sugar. Pour in boiling water.  Let sit for 45 minutes at room temperature, occasionally pressing lemons and mint with a wooden spoon.  Strain liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass punch bowl or a pitcher with at least a 2 1/2 quart capacity. Juice the remaining lemon; add to the strained liquid.  Add cold water; stir well. Add ice cubes; stir rapidly.  Ladle or pour lemonade and a few ice cubes into each glass; garnish each with a mint leaf.

    Chocolate Pecan Pie

    Ingredients

    1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
    2 cups pecan halves
    3 large eggs, beaten
    3 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/2 cup dark corn syrup
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
    3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
     

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    Cover bottom of pie crust with pecans.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, sugar, bourbon and the chopped chocolate. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into the pie shell over the pecans and place on a heavy-duty cookie sheet.
    Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes or until pie is set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. 

    Now for the links:
     
    Rachel Adams


    So coming back from washjam for the cub scouts I am here to continue with the National food days for everyone. Sorry I missed some days but hey washjam only happens every 4 years, and this year it was here at Fort Lewis, WA! How cool!!!!!

    So with it being potato day and hot and spicy day as well so lets combine the recipes!

    Spiced Potatoes
     
    6 red potatoes, cubed
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon onion salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    2 teaspoons dried parsley
    2 tablespoons olive oil


    Directions:
     
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and spread on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, or cup, combine paprika, cayenne, chili powder, onion salt, garlic powder and parsley. Drizzle potatoes with oil and sprinkle with spice mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until crisp, turning every 10 minutes. 

    Now for the links:

     http://www.blue-kitchen.com/2010/01/13/a-little-something-on-the-side-three-potato-recipes-spice-up-dinner/
    http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Spicy-Potato-Soup
    http://www.yummly.com/recipes/spicy-potato-curry
    http://www.yummly.com/recipes/spicy-potato-curry
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/spicy-potato-chips-recipe/index.html
    http://theallamericanchinesecookbook.com/2009/07/hot-and-spicy-potato-strips/
    Rachel Adams


    Such a tiny steak but packed with sooo much flavor. Hubby usually complains and yells not enough meat. I have to agree with him, but every now and then it's a great purchase to share when you do date night at home.

    So how did this juicy cut of choice beef get it's name? Good question. What cut is it...even better question and here we go with the answers and how to cook this juicy slice of beef.

      Filet mignon is French, of course, with filet meaning "thick slice" and mignon meaning "dainty." It first appears in American print in 1899. Filet mignon comes from the small end of the tenderloin (called the short loin) which is found on the back rib cage of the animal. This area of the animal is not weight-bearing, thus the connective tissue is not toughened by exercise resulting in extremely tender meat. 

    Now for a recipe and of course links to cook some Filet mignon, it is national Filet Mignon day after all...Steak eaters rejoice!

    Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon (Thanks to my recipe.com)  


    1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
    1/2 teaspoon
    olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon
    salt, divided
    12 ounces
    fresh asparagus, trimmed
    1 tablespoon
    cracked black pepper $
    2 teaspoons
    brandy
    1/2 teaspoon
    garlic powder
    4
    (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks (about 1 inch thick)
    Cooking spray


     Directions:

    Preheat broiler. Combine minced garlic, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and asparagus in a large bowl, tossing gently to coat. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, brandy, and garlic powder; rub evenly over steaks. Place steaks on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6 minutes. Turn steaks over; add asparagus to pan. Broil 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.




    Links:

    Rachel Adams



    Wow who knew that Julliene fries had their own day? I can think of so many ways to eat these yummy fried potatoes...chili fries, cheese fries and then of course chili cheese fries. Mmmm so yummy and salty, such a great treat.

    My only issue is all the fat and grease that accompany them, but hey it's the national day for Julliene fries so I suppose that I can splurge just for the day!

    Oven Fries
     4 medium (8-ounce) baking (russet) potatoes

    1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    3/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper


    Directions:
      
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Scrub potatoes well; pat dry with paper towels. With knife, cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut slices lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide sticks. Evenly spray two 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pans with nonstick cooking spray. In one pan, carefully toss all potato sticks with olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Transfer half of potatoes to second jelly-roll pan.Bake potatoes on two oven racks 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and crispy, rotating pans between upper and lower racks and stirring potatoes once halfway through cooking.
    And now for the links! 
     http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/american-frites-3647
    http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/articles/view/172/1/Julienne-Fries-Day.html
     http://hicookery.com/tag/national-julienne-fries-day/
    Rachel Adams

    Wow raspberry seems to be very popular this month. With that said and done it's National Raspberry Tart Day!!! To me raspberries, cream and chocolate go hand and hand. Combine them all to make this sweet dessert to celebrate National Raspberry Tart day is a no brainier!

    To make the best tarts a suggestion from Alton Brown off of the food network show use a false bottom tart pan. I watched a show where he made...that's right tarts and cheesecakes using these pans. I use them myself and have never gone back to spring form pans ever. Once you are done baking your sinfully delicious tart and it cools you just pop the bottom up and BAM you have your serving dish with your luscious raspberry tart all on one serving dish. No mush no fuss. Thank you hunny for getting them for me I love these pans!!!

    Ok now for the recipe!

     White Chocolate Cream cheese Raspberry Tart 

    Shortbread Tart Pastry
    ======================
    1 cup butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    Place the flour and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the bowl. Using the pulse function process the mixture until it forms a ball. 


    White Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
    8 ounces white chocolate melted
    (I melt in the microwave on medium low heat in 20 to 30 second intervals) Stir in between. Chocolate should not be hot.
    8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
    2 large eggs
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 white sugar
    2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    Fresh Raspberries (enough filling for two pies)

    Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare the crust first. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and place in the bottom of a tart pan with removable bottom. Using your fingers pat the dough evenly along the sides and bottom of the pan. Prick with a fork and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Prick again. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden. Check after the first 6 or 7 minutes and if the pastry is rising
    up, flatten gently with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. Lower the temperature to 350°F

    Filling
    Beat the cream cheese with sugar until soft and creamy. Add the eggs and continue to beat. Beat in melted white chocolate,cream and vanilla. Decorate tart shell with raspberries. Slowly pour the cream cheese filling
    around the berries. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Let cool on rack. May be decorated with melted chocolate. 

    And as always the links to more great recipes :) 


    Rachel Adams


    Nothing says summer like banana splits and smore's. I'm a huge fan of smore's and well hubby and DS love themselves banana splits. Since today is national banana split and smore's day we both win. Plus extra bonus is it's hubby's birthday!

    So I will have some different types of smore's and split recipes and links as usual! Enjoy!!!!

    Smore's Pops
    1 bag large marshmallows
    1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 package cinnamon or honey graham crackers (about 9 long/large crackers) – or just buy graham cracker crumbs
    lollipop sticks (available in cake decorating aisles)


    Directions
     Begin by twisting the lollipop sticks until they are securely in the middle of the marshmallows.  (Insert them on the flat, not rounded, side of the marshmallows.  Then push them in until they almost pop through.)  Then place the graham crackers in a strong ziplock bag, and use a rolling pin (or whatever you’d like) to crush them until they are finely ground.  Then place them in a small bowl.
    Then heat the chocolate chips in a double-boiler or (carefully!) in the microwave until they are melted and somewhat runny.
    While holding the stick, carefully dip a marshmallow in the chocolate mixture until completely covered.  Then gently roll the sides and top of the marshmallow in the graham cracker crumbs until they are well-coated.  Place on a plate or on wax paper to let cool and dry.  Repeat with remaining marshmallows.

    Links for smores:

    Banana Split Recipe
    1/2 cup scoop vanilla ice cream
     1/2 cup scoop chocolate ice cream 
    1/2 cup scoop strawberry ice cream
     1 large ripe banana 
    2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (or Hot Fudge) 
    2 tablespoons strawberry ice cream topping (or fresh strawberries) 
    2 tablespoons crushed pineapple 
    2 tablespoons wet walnut ice cream topping 
    whipped cream 
    cherry

    Directions
    Line up ice cream scoops next to each other in an oval deep dish or a banana boat. Cut the ends of the banana off (about 1/4 inch) while still in the peel. Slice in half longways. Pop each half of the banana out of the peel onto each side of the ice cream row, pressing down and in a little so it'll stay put. Top the vanilla ice cream with the pineapple, the chocolate with the chocolate syrup and the strawberry with the strawberry sauce.  Spoon the wet walnuts over all three scoops of ice cream. Top each scoop with some whipped cream and a cherry for each. Enjoy!

    Now for the links!