Archive for the 'appetizers' Category

LOST themed menu!

i loved this post from thekitchn.com:

Mangoes and Smoke: A LOST Series Finale Menu

2010-05-21-LostMenu.jpgOh, LOST! You’ve pulled us along through six seasons of mysterious whispers in the jungle, sudden tropical rain showers followed by startling revelations and…mangoes. It’s a good thing for our intrepid survivors that mangoes are always in season on this magical island. Mangoes will definitely be on the menu at our season finale party!

But there have been more than just mangoes, of course. Jin was able to catch plenty of fish and the occasional haul of oysters. Wild boar was on the menu a few times. Oh, and don’t forget those handy Dharma food drops!

Appetizers

Cheeseburger Sliders and Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – In honor of those first meals Juliet brought to a captive Jack.
• Veggies in Ranch Dressing – Really, Hurley? The whole Dharma food closet and you hoard ranch dressing?
Smoke Monster Popcorn – Of course!

Main Course and Side Dishes

Fish Steamed in Banana Leaves – Bless Jin and his expert fisherman skillz.
Braised Summer Pork Shank – Or wild boar if you can get your hands on one.
Tomatoes Sprinkled with Balsamic – Sun’s one perfect tomato…
Dinner Rolls – We had to dig deep into LOST lore for some carbs. See: Juliet’s dinner date with Ben.

Dessert

Halfway Cookies – Half good…half evil.
Earl Grey Tea Cookies – We’re throwing these in for Charles Widmore and Eloise.
Killer Blondies – Keep an eye on Claire this Sunday.

Beverages

• Jacob’s Red Wine – Although drinking this might have unintended side-effects.
Cheap Beer – Dharma Lite brand, preferably.
Mango Lassi – Mango up!
• Water – Lots of water. In handy plastic Dharma bottles.

What foods will you be serving for the finale?

<3 kt

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Ultimate Super Bowl Snack Stadium

This weekend is the Super Bowl so of course there will be a plethora of sporting snacks to be had at every Super Bowl party. But if you really want to steal the thunder then I suggest creating this monstrosity of snacking.

The Greatest Snack Stadium Ever Built

Made by the guys over at Holy Taco this creation includes the following:
The Field:

  • 1 Pound of Guacamole
  • 15 Oz. Queso Dip For The Steelers End Zone
  • 15 Oz. Salsa For The Cardinals End Zone
  • 2 Oz. Sour Cream for the Field Lines

The Players:

  • 15 Vienna Sausages
  • Helmets – 3 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese

The Goal Posts:

  • 1 Slim Jim for Each Goal Post
  • 1 Oz. Monterey Jack Cheddar To Anchor (each)

The Stands:

  • 58 Twinkies
  • 1 Pound of Bacon
  • 1 Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
  • 1 Bag of Cheetos
  • 1 Bag of Corn Tortilla Chips
  • 1 Bag of Chex Mix


And I suppose youre wondering what this ammount of junk food will do your arteries…well the Holy Taco boys broke it down.

TOTAL CALORIES: 24,375
TOTAL GRAMS OF FAT: 1,285
TOTAL COST: $86.47
TOTAL DELICIOUSNESS: 1 Billion trillion dude.  One billion trillion.
I guess you cant put a price on awesome.  Although they probably shouldve figured in the medical bill for the triple bypass you’ll need after eating this whole stadium to yourself.

For all the juicy details to make your own Super Bowl Snack Stadium click here.

<3 seanalyn

post inauguration party pictures!

howdy folks! last night seanalyn and i got together to celebrate the historic inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama! we put together a delicious ‘American’ themed meal.

we started out with some creative appetizers made by seanalyn:

‘Red, White, and Blue’ Tomato Mozzarella appetizer:

seanalyn putting the finishing touches on the red, white, and blue tomato mozzarella appetizers.

seanalyn putting the finishing touches on the 'red, white, and blue' tomato mozzarella appetizers.

creatively, seanalyn thought of a great ‘OBAMANATION’ appetizer.  with tomato, fresh mozzarella, and a blackberry mixed with fresh basil and balsamic reduction, this appetizer was completely festive and flavorful!

seanalyn frying her salmon cakes!

seanalyn frying her salmon cakes!

seanalyn’s Salmon Cakes with a Spicy Aoli sauce sure hit the spot after the light ‘red, white, and blue’ appetizer!

Salmon Cake, with a squeeze of lemon and topping of the aoli sauce.

Salmon Cake, with a squeeze of lemon and topping of the aoli sauce.

i made the entree, which consisted of a Spicy 4 Bean Turkey Chili:

simmering to perfection!

simmering to perfection!

i

kt’s Spicy 4 Bean Turkey Chili:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small onion, diced (i used a food processor)
  • 1 orange pepper, diced (or food processor)
  • several cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (i used the food processor)
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can vegetarian baked beans
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed
  • On medium heat, using a large soup pot, saute onion, orange pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add ground turkey or beef; brown. In a small bowl, combine spices and hot sauce together into a mixture, and then add to ground turkey mixture. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Simmer on Medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with grated Cheddar cheese, onions, and sour cream.
to quench our American thirst!

to quench our American thirst!

to wash that all down, seanalyn found these incredible ‘white trash’ and ‘red neck’ wines from Bakersfield, California, while visiting her parents.  not only are they completely humerous, but they were quite tasty as well.

while enjoying the feast, we watched Independence Day on blu-ray!  it was a great, AMERICAN day!

<3 katie

Battlestar Galactica premiere party on Friday…

it’s almost here!  that’s right nerds, Battlestar Galactica (BSG) premieres on Friday!  both seanalyn and i are preparing ourselves for this epic event!  i am hosting a BSG party at my apartment and inviting lots of hungry guests.  seanalyn and i will be brainstorming ideas and recipes for our themed party.

i searched around, found some great ideas online, and added seanalyn & mine:

a frakin’ Battlestar Galactica cake

    Marisa from slashfood.com posted this amazing edible artwork by local baker/artist Zoë Lukas, who is in the process of opening up her own bakery in Philly.  The chocolate devil’s food cake is ‘filled with raspberry jam and ganache, iced with chocolate buttercream and ganache, decorated with chocolate ships and explosions, silver dragees and silver and gold space dust.’

    the Cylon Jack-O-Lantern

    Allison from seriouseats.com posted this incredible masterpiece with a working cylon laser eye.  although not edible, this would make for a great centerpiece at our party!  too bad i’m not that handy at carving pumpkins!

    seanalyn’s idea

    i love it!  she plans on taking the infamous Eye of Jupiter that Starbuck consistently obesses over and making a glorious fruit tart out of it.  (she is so clever!)

    ***pictures of her appetizer will follow after our party

    my idea

    i am thinking of taking those Pillsbury Crossiants, stuffing them with crab & cream cheese, and creating foldovers in the shape of cylon raiders.  i’ll give the illusion of their notable ‘laser eye’ with a slice of red pepper.

    um, we’ll see how this one turns out!

    lastly, the Battlestar Drinking game…

    on this nerdtastic spacecast community forum, i found an awesome thread with some very creative BSG themed drinks, here’s a few i loved:

    1. THE RED DRESS – (AN ODE TO NUMBER SIX)

    · 2 parts Gin

    · 1 part Pomegranate Juice

    · 1 part Cranberry Juice

    · a dash of Grenadine

    Stir and Serve with a touch of ice in a slender Collins glass.

    2. TWISTED MESSIAH – (THE BALTAR COMPLEX)

    · 1 part white Tequila

    · 1 part Ouzo

    · 1 part tomato juice

    · a dash of Worcestershire sauce

    Shake and serve in an old fashioned glass.

    3. SKINJOB – (CYLON LOVER)

    · 1 part Bailey’s Irish cream

    · 1 part Tequila Rose

    · a dash of Amaretto

    Shake and serve in a Shot Glass

    what i loved even more is that there is actually a Battlestar Galactica drinking game with rules and everything!

    please let us know if you have any creative ideas, thoughts, comments, suggestions, etc.  we absolutely love hearing from you!

    <3 katie

Cooking on my DS?!

No, Im not talking about Cooking Mama (although I do love that game) Im talking about cookbooks for the DS. When I was in Japan one of the things I envied in the game shops was the sheer number of cookbooks for DS. Walking down the aisles of the many electronic shops in Akihabara here were dozens and dozens of them, sadly my total lack of reading any Japanese prevented me from picking any of them up. However when I was out shopping this weekend I saw Personal Trainer: Cooking available for the DS and quickly snatched it up.

I LOVE THIS PROGRAM! There just wanted to get that out of the way before I go any further. This is seriously such an amazing program and incredible for the $19 sticker price (by the way, I’m saying program because this isn’t a game so much as a computer application). Personal Trainer: Cooking features over 240 recipes from all over the world all with step by step instructions to help you create spectacular meals.

The best part of this program is the attention to little details that they put into it. If you are making Spinach Namul and don’t know how to blanch spinach, in the middle of the recipe it will give you the option to click on a mini guide to perfectly blanching spinach. There are even videos for some preparation tips, like how to clean a trout or perfectly dice garlic. Another nice touch is the kitchen timer that will pop up in the middle of you cooking steps and it will be automatically preset with the time needed for that recipe. You can also adjust the number of servings to be either 1, 2, 4 or 6 and it will automatically adjust the recipe accordingly.

Example of cooking video….look REAL people! Not cartoons!!

However, the greatest feature of all would have to be the voice control option that lets you repeat a step, go back or move on to the next without ever touching your DS (trust me chicken grease and a touch screen don’t mix). My biggest gripe with cook books is having to constantly dry my hands so I can look up the next step. With Personal Trainer: Cooking I can just say the word and it reads off the steps too me along with photos to illustrate the task.

The step menu allows you to pick up where you left off or skip ahead.

Searching on this program is also far better than any cook book because aside from searching by region or ingredient you can get really specific. To decide Monday night’s dinner I looked up by ingredient and calorie count (after eating heavy foods over the holiday I wanted something light). We have a ton of cucumber so I put that in and the result was a Chinese dish called Bang Bang Chicken which features a spicy sesame sauce and cucumber slices. It was delicious! Tonight I decided I want to cook some gorgeous salmon steaks that we have in the fridge, so I found a nice French recipe for Salmon with Green Sauce and a side of ratatouille to accompany it.

When you are looking at a recipe it displays the ingredients and allows you to check off ones that you are missing and it creates a shopping list to take with you to the store! But, lets say you’re at the store and you don’t know what parsley looks like, well it has photos of all the ingredients to help you along. Or what if you get to the store and they are out of an ingredient? Many ingredients have substitution suggestions like using unsweetened peanut butter if you can’t find sesame paste. Another nice feature is you can set the program to exclude certain ingredients. So if you are like my friend Becky and unfortunately unable to eat onions, with a click of a button you can make sure no onion recipes ever grace your DS.


You can use the map to look around the world to find your next meal! All the meals display a picture along with calories, time needed to cook and a short description.

The only thing that Personal Trainer: Cooking doesn’t have that I would like is a meal planner where you could schedule out the recipes you want to cook for certain days. If it had this feature, it would be the most perfect program ever! I am able to somewhat simulate this by adding a note to the recipes I want to use saying “Thursday night dinner” and I can then filter the recipes by notes. Its not the best solution but it works.


Another nice section is the Homemade Ingredients which teaches you how to make basic stuff like pizza dough or Béchamel sauce.

Overall, what I like most about Personal Trainer: Cooking is that they didn’t half-ass the game. They couldve easily shat out a bunch of recipes that you just tap through, but they didn’t go that route. All the little details and perks are what make this one step above your average print cookbook. They really thought about everything that someone would want or need in the kitchen. Hopefully this will inspire more cooking programs for the DS and PSP, I would also love to see celebrity sponsored editions (ahem Alton Brown’s Cooking for DS please!). Apparently a program called Whats Cooking? With Jamie Oliver did come out recently so I am now on the hunt for a copy of that (although I’ve heard that one isn’t quite as good). Honestly I would buy just about any other DS cookbook as long as its even half as good as Personal Trainer: Cooking. If I were to score this program I would undoubtedly give it an A!

Tapas Week pt 1

So I wrote this last week but incorrectly published it….so here is my original tapas blog from last Monday! Better late than never!

I cant even type the word tapas without salivating so last night when Cesar and I had to cancel our tapas dinner my tummy was devastated. However, it did give me the opportunity to try some tapas recipes of my own. For those that are wondering “WTF are tapas?!” they are traditionally a Spanish style of food which is comprised of many small plates from which the dinner chooses a few to make their whole meal. In the US and UK they have evolved into their own style of cuisine not necessarily Spanish in style. I love tapas especially for eating with friends because everyone shares their food and you are focused more on enjoying each other and the experience as opposed to your own plate of food. Also Im a sucker for appetizer snacky type food ;)

So last night I made some tapas of my own! Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas, Garlic Roasted Mushrooms, and a Sardline Lemon Salad. All were quite excellent if I do say so myself and since Im going to two parties this weekend Im making some more…so as I try more recipes I’ll post em up! Today I’ll start off with the Empanadas and Roasted Mushrooms.

The Garlic Roasted Mushrooms are the easiest so I’ll start off with those.

Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
Ingredients

Assorted mushrooms (button, oyster, shitake)

Garlic

Olive Oil

Rosemary

Salt and pepper

Water

Preheat the oven to 450. Gently wipe the mushrooms clean (dont wash them! wipe them with a towel!) and place them in a baking pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and fresh minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. You could also add other spices like oregano, thyme, or basil! Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated and pop them into the oven. Cook until they are brown (about 20 to 25 minutes). Remove from the oven and add a little water to the pan to soften the dried brown garlic bits and stir (it creates a nice little sauce). Serve immediately!

Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas

Ingredients

2 cups Cornmeal

2 cups Water

1 cup diced eggplant

1 cup diced red peppers

1 cup diced mushrooms (oyster or button)

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 cup onions

1/2 cup goat cheese

garlic

salt and pepper

cumin

In a bowl mix 2 cups cornmeal with some salt…slowly add warm water and mix with your hands until it is elasticy and sticky. you want it to be firm and pliable but not liquid like pancake batter. cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Cover the red peppers in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt…roast in a 450 degree oven until they are soft.

For the filling, use a saute pan to heat some vegetable oil and saute the onions, garlic, eggplant and mushrooms until the eggplant is soft. Add the red peppers and spices and give it a few quick tosses. Remove from heat and mix in the goat cheese and cilantro.

Take a ball of the dough and place it on a piece of plastic wrap and place another piece on top. Using a rolling pin or cup roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 5 inch cookie cutter or a cup make circles (going thru the top layer of plastic wrap). Pull of the plastic wrap and remove the excess dough from around the circles. spoon about a tablespoon of filling on each one filling only the lower half, use the plastic wrap to help fold over the top of each empanada. pinch it with your fingers to seal it shut.

Once you have your empanadas made, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pot or fryer. Drop and few in at a time and cook until golden brown then flip. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.

I served mine with a tequila lemon hot sauce…basically take any red chili hot sauce, add some tequila and lemon juice and ketchup then mix until its a nice consistency.

Hope you enjoy! I’ll post up a few more recipes to enjoy tomorrow!

Tapas Week pt 2

As promised heres a few other tapas recipes sure to make for a delicious meal or party!

Spicy Crispy Fried Oysters

Ingredients

  • 24 Oysters
  • 2 cups cornmeal flour
  • 1 cup either spelt or white flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • chili pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • canola or vegetable oil.
  • aioli (recipe to follow)
  • green onions

Pop the oysters out of their shell and give both them and the shell a quick rinse.  Keep only the bottom half of the shell.  If you have never shucked oysters, its very easy, <a href=”http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/oysters.htm”>heres a step by step guide</a> that explains it better than I could.

In a bowl mix the two flours together.  Add all the different seasonings until it reaches a spice you like.  I prefer very spicy so I add lots of garlic, chili and cumin.

In a pan heat about 2-3 inches of oil. Thoroughly roll each oyster in the flour mixture until they are completely coated.  Drop a few at a time in the oil and cook a golden brown, flip and do the same with the other side.  Allow oil to drain on a  paper towel. Place the cooked oysters each on an oyster half and top with aioli and chopped green onion.

Lemon Aioli

To make an aioli basically whisk some mayonnaise with some lemon juice, lemon pepper and just a but of mustard.  You want it to be slightly more liquidy than the mayonaise is.  I like adding either crushed garlic or some capers, but you can experiment and add different spices to see what you like!

Sun-dried Tomato and Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes drained from oil or dry and re-hydrated in water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 10 roasted garlic
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lb of medium to small sized cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup diced sweet white onion
  • 1 cup diced cabbage
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • cilantro
  • salt and pepper

To make the roasted garlic drizzle whole garlic cloves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place them in a 450 degree oven and cook until they are soft and golden.  In a blender add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and sugar.  blend until all the tomatoes are thoroughly chopped up and liquid, add salt and pepper to taste.  Finely dice onions and cabbage and chop the cilantro.  If you like spicy add some finely diced jalepenos!  In a bow  mix the sun-dried tomato mixture and add the shrimp, cabbage, onions and juice of the oranges, lemons, and limes.  Mix it all together thoroughly and add the cilantro.

Serve with chips or use it on mini sope shells as a great appetizer! I recently served this at a ladies night and it was quite well recieved.  Its nice because its a pretty easy ceviche to make and with the precooked shrimp you dont have to worry about raw fish or anything ;)


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