Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday Talks

It has been a crazy month since we have moved into the new digs.  I feel like I have barely had time to connect with all of my guests here on the blog.  I barely have found time to post the recipes I was sharing for the different events and groups to which I belong.  But things are finally calming down around here.  The light at the end of the tunnel is very bright right now.



So we locked up our babies and found a few minutes to shoot some photos of the (mostly) finished project.



The flooring is nearly complete.  It is only missing the trim between the carpet and wood flooring that had not been sent with the order.  Hopefully it will be in soon and the installer will come back out to finish the project.  The window treatments in the great room are scheduled for installation on Thursday.



The master bedroom is entirely complete.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with my tropical oasis. It is like we are going on vacation every time we walk into the room.


Tomorrow starts the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies event.  I am travelling the world for the next 12 days and sharing cookies from a different Country each day.  This is just a sampling of some of my cookies that I took with me to our Alpha meeting last night at the church.



Mel, for her part, is very comfortable in the new home.  She no longer calls it the new house just Grammy and Grampy's house.  She loves coming to visit and we adore having her.  It is going to be a perfect Holiday Season!!!




-

Monday, November 28, 2016

Savory Sage Muffins #MuffinMonday

Happy Muffin Monday everyone.  Thanks to Stacy of Food Lust People Love, we celebrate the  last Monday of every month by baking and sharing muffins.


I almost didn't join in this month because I got busy and forgot I had put my muffins in the oven until I started smelling them.  I was afraid that they had overcooked and was going to feed them to the chickens but I decided to try one first.


I broke one open, took a bite and...oh my word....it was delicious.  Crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with a cheesy hint of sage in every bite.  I am so glad that I decided to try them before they became chicken food.

I adapted a recipe that I found online from Cabot Creamery.  I reduced the recipe to only make a dozen muffins and I served them up alongside Turkey Pot Pie.  One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is using the leftovers for Turkey Pot Pie the next day.  YUMMMOOOOO.  

Please stop by and visit my friends who are sharing muffins today.  You are sure to find the perfect match, whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  I love that muffins are so versatile and they travel so well. They only take minutes to make and can easily be baked and handed out to your loved one's as they leave the house in the morning or taken to work and enjoyed by colleagues. 


Start with mixing together your dry ingredients.  Then whisk together your wet ingredients and fold it into the dry.  Stir in any add ins, scoop into your tins and bake for 15-20 minutes. Everyone will be impressed with your homemade muffins and you can just sit back and enjoy the glory.


You can flavor your muffins with any add ins that you like.  You can make them sweet or savory.  I had some fresh sage left from my Thanksgiving recipes and knew that it would be delicious in a muffin and would pair beautifully with my dinner made of leftovers.

Savory Sage Muffins
adapted from Cabot Creamery

1 3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. corn meal
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 c. sour cream
1/2 t. baking soda
1 lg. egg
1/3 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar jack cheese blend
2 T. chopped fresh sage

Combine the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk together the sour cream, baking soda, egg and milk in another bowl.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and fill it with the wet ingredients.  Stir just until combined.  Add the cheese and sage to the muffin batter.  Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins that have been treated with cooking spray or lined with paper cups. Bake in a preheated 425* oven for 18-22 minutes, until nicely browned.  Print Recipe

More Monday Muffins


#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekly Menu for after the Thanksgiving Feast

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving and we hope that you all did as well.  Yesterday, I used up some of the leftovers making up Turkey Pot Pies that we shared with my brother, Dick, his wife, Jackie, daughter, Jen, and her husband, Mike.  They wanted to spend some time with Chuck while he was in town.  We had a wonderful visit but I drank way too much wine and was pretty useless all day today as a result.

The painters finished up today and the entire house has a face lift.  It is so much brighter and cleaner than it was.  I just love it.  I will be posting photos very soon.

Tomorrow we will sing at Mass and then we get to spend the day with our Angel Face while her mama works. Chuck is spending the day with friends.  Monday evening is our last Alpha meeting at the church.  I am taking Sloppy Joes and dessert to share, Frank and Chuck will be on their own.  

On Wednesday we are going up to Houghton Lake to attend a wine tasting dinner with our friends, Bob and Cathy, we will be spending the night and coming home on Thursday. Friday we are attending a Memorial dinner for a friend of ours that passed away a couple of months ago.
Chuck leaves already on Saturday.  Two weeks isn't very long when you haven't seen your son for a couple of months.

I figured I should pop in and post my Weekly Menu.  Please stop by each day as I will be sharing house updates, recipes and photos.  

Saturday
Hot Turkey Sandwiches
Mashed Potatoes (leftover)
Corn (leftover)

Sunday
Turkey Tetrazzini (this should take care of the remainder of the turkey)
Salad

Monday
Sloppy Joes for Church
Frank and Chuck on their own

Taco Tuesday

Wednesday
Wine Tasting Dinner

Thursday
Dinner out on way home from Up North

Friday
Memorial Dinner

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pumpkin Dump Cake with Cranberries for the Final Day of #CranberryWeek

I hope that you have all enjoyed this week as much as I.  I am overwhelmed by all the great cranberry recipes that have been shared and cannot wait to try so many of them.  I don't know which recipe to try first...that is a good problem to face.

I am serving up dessert today.  A perfect ending to a perfect Cranberry Feast.  This recipe was sent to me by my friend, Linda, and I adapted it to fit in with our Cranberry theme.  I made this quite a while back and took it to a church function for which I provided dinner.  It was a huge hit and not a bite was left.  This easy and tasty cake would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert menu.


The tartness of the cranberries complement the rich spiciness of this pumpkin cake perfectly.  It is moist with a tender crumb.  It contains all the wonderful Fall flavors that you associate with Thanksgiving and this time of year.


It takes less time to throw this cake together than it does to preheat the oven.  Within an hour your cake is cooling and awaiting dinner to be served.


Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration. But first, see all the other cranberry recipes being shared today, following below mine.


Pumpkin Dump Cake with Cranberries
adapted from Linda Tye

1 (29 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 t. salt
3 t. cinnamon
1 boxed yellow cake mix
1 c. fresh cranberries
3/4 c. butter, melted

Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon and cake mix in a large bowl.  Stir in fresh cranberries.  Pour into a 9x13" baking pan that has been treated with baking spray.  Drizzle with the melted butter and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center, removes cleanly.  Print Recipe

Thank you for joining us this week.  It was fun. Now let's see what the others brought today!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mixed Berry Sorbet #CranberryWeek

This is my second offering in this celebration that we call #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline's Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures.   We have folks blogging each day this week about the amazing cranberry and recipes that feature this tart little gem. You can search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

Monday, I shared a recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries that would be a great side for your Turkey dinner.  I love hosting Thanksgiving and gathering around the table with family and friends. I spend a lot of time on my menu, desiring the dinner to be a relaxed and happy time for everyone present.


We will have fruit, nut and cheese platters set out for our guests to enjoy with cocktails before dinner is served.  When we are seated and have thanked God for all the many blessings we have enjoyed throughout the year, dinner will start with soup and salad, followed by this wonderful sorbet that I am sharing with you today.  When serving a formal dinner, I like to offer a sorbet before the entree to cleanse the palate and prepare the guests for the main event...in this case...Roast Turkey with all the trimmings.

This sorbet is easy and quick enough that you can serve it up tomorrow at your own Thanksgiving Feast.  Whatever your Holiday plans, I hope that you have a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing you on Friday when I return with my final #CranberryWeek recipe.

Don't forget to stop by and see the other great cranberry inspired recipes that the group is sharing. You will find the links following this recipe.

Mixed Berry Sorbet

1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and quartered
3/4 c. sugar
1 (12 oz) pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries
3 c. frozen mixed berries with kale, partially thawed
1/2 c mint leaves
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 c. ice cubes

Place all ingredients in into a heavy duty blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Transfer to a freezer container and place in freezer.  Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.  Print Recipe

More Cranberry Inspired Recipes

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What's New???

What's new with you as you go into the holiday season?  There is a lot new here.  I shared the photos of the wood flooring that we had installed with you last week.  This past weekend they finished installing the tile flooring through the kitchen, laundry room and hallway.


The kitchen had been recently remodeled.  I love the cupboards and I didn't mind the floor except that it was wood which I worry about in case there would be dishwasher leak.  The previous owners didn't have that concern as they didn't have a dishwasher.  We added one nearly immediately losing the cupboard next to the stove. You can see this in the two photos on the left of this collage.  I loved many things about this house.  The layout and the open floor plan is amazing.  My one complaint was that it was a dark house.  I felt as if I couldn't get enough light into it.  Frank changed all the lighting to LED's and amped up the wattage but I was constantly turning on every light in the house because it felt dank to me. 

Changing the flooring has made all the difference in the world.  This house had deep wine colored carpet throughout.  The only rooms that were not carpeted in this dark color were the kitchen which had dark flooring and the bathrooms. Removing this carpet from the dining area and hallway has made world of difference.  The new flooring in these areas make the house much more airy and bright.  I am one happy camper.  

The painters were here yesterday and are back today and tomorrow.  The entire house is being painted before Thanksgiving except for our bedroom area which will be painted on Friday.  The carpet installers will be here tomorrow to remove the remaining carpet from the living area and master suite. It is being replaced with a lighter carpet in neutral tones.  I am very excited.


I am also very excited to introduce you to the newest member of the family.  Meet Cocoa.  She is 10 weeks old and is fitting into the pack very well.  Our Bella girl immediately became maternal and took Cocoa under her wing.  The boys want to play all the time, but being boys, they try to let others know they want to play by growling at them.  It took Cocoa a few days to realize that it was a friendly, fun growl.  Now she jumps right into the mix.

Okay, I'm off to go get my food for the Thanksgiving feast.  Stop by tomorrow when I will be sharing another great #CranberryWeek recipe for your Thanksgiving table. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries #Cranberry Week

Welcome to #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline of  Caroline's Cooking and Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures. We are sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of National Cranberry Day.

Did you even know that National Cranberry Day was a thing??  There are National holidays for nearly everything you can imagine, including tart, delicious cranberries.  I am a huge cranberry fan using them in desserts like this Cranberry Cocoa Tart, for breakfast as in these Banana Cranberry Muffins and in dinners.  Try this amazing one pot Braised Chicken with Cranberries.

So, needless to say, I was very excited when Caroline and Christie invited me to join in the fun this week.  I am sharing a new recipe with you each day that you can combine to make one huge cranberry feast or that you can spread out over the holidays to impress your family and guests.


This easy peasy and delicious vegetable dish is the perfect accompaniment for your holiday dinner. Roasting tones down the brussels sprouts and sweetens up the cranberries making them the perfect pairing.



What could be easier than tossing them with some good olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and placing them in the oven along with whatever protein you are serving?  Easily adaptable, whether you are feeding 2 or 22. These "little cabbages" as my kids used to call them are sure to please whoever is sitting at your table.

Don't forget to scroll down after my recipe to see the other amazing Cranberry Creations!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries

Brussels Sprouts, allow 5-6 per person, halved if large so all pieces are uniform
Cranberries, an equal amount to brussels sprouts
Good Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

Place brussels sprouts and cranberries in an appropriately sized baking dish so that they are able to lay flat without crowding.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated 400* oven for 20-30 minutes, until brussels sprouts are starting to brown and caramelize and the cranberries soften and start to burst.  

You can roast at lower temperature if you have other items roasting in your oven, just simply adjust the cooking time.




Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration. But first, see all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Drunken Pork Chops for #CrazyIngredientChallenge

Welcome to this month's edition of #CIC where we vote to choose which 2 items we will be using to create a dish each month.  This month the vote was tallied and the winners were Beer and Cornflakes! I don't think pouring a bowl of cereal and topping it with beer counts as a recipe but.....whatever makes you happy LOL.


I decided to focus on dinner rather than breakfast.
Our friend, Steve, had brought over this Dragon's Milk brew.
It is a dark, malty beer that is aged in Bourbon Barrels.


I put the chops into the beer to marinate.
Put the chops into the refrigerator, planning to bake them that evening.
But the best laid plans......


They marinated for two days because my kitchen looked like this.


And my oven was here.
Then the installers did not show up at all yesterday.
So much for baking my chops.


Then I remembered that Frank's brother had given us a toaster oven that he no longer needed.
I had never owned a toaster oven and it was put aside into the barn during the move.
I pulled it out and decided to give it a go.


It worked amazing well and the pork chops cooked beautifully in a short amount of time.
Now, as for the pork chops....that marinated in the beer for nearly 3 full days.
If you like the taste of beer, you will like these pork chops.
If not, then I would suggest only marinating them for a couple of hours, as was my original plan.
I also added some of the marinating liquid to the egg portion of my breading station.
Omit that and use milk unless you LOVE the taste of beer.


I don't mind the taste of beer so I enjoyed these moist, tender chops.
Frank, on the other hand, was not impressed at all.
I guess the verdict on whether I would be "chopped" is dependant on the judge's tastes.


Drunken Pork Chops 

4 pork chops
1 bottle Dragon's Milk beer (or beer of choice)
1/2 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1/2 c. cornflake crumbs

Place the pork chops and beer into a heavy duty zip lock bag and refrigerate for an hour or longer to marinate.  Remove the pork chops from the beer, reserving the liquid, and pat dry.  

Place the flour in a shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper,   Place the egg and 2 T. of the reserved beer in a second shallow bowl.  Beat with a fork to combine.  Place the cornflake crumbs in a third shallow bowl.

Dredge the chops in the flour. Shake off any excess and dip into the egg/beer mixture.  Coat both sides with the cornflakes and place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.  Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 45-55 minutes.  Chops should reach an internal temperature of 145*.  Print Recipe

Let's see what the others created with Cornflakes and Beer













Saturday, November 19, 2016

Look what I'm bringing to the #TastyParTEA! and sharing with #Winophiles

Last week I invited you to join us for a Tasty ParTEA and enter into a great giveaway.  The giveaway is still going on and you can enter right here.  There is a great gift being offered by Charles Viancin who is sponsoring this event along with the Republic of Tea.  I was generously given a gorgeous teapot and cup from Charles Vianin as well as an adorable infuser.  Republic of Tea provided me with a wonderful lean green tea that helps to supress your appetite while adding nutritious antioxidants to your diet.



I did not use any of these products in my post today but I do want to thank the sponsors for their support and for our ability to offer the giveaway to you, our readers.  I have enjoyed these wonderful gifts very much.

My friend, Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, invited 12 of us, along with her, to spend a week posting recipes that use tea.  Today is the second to last day and the day I was assigned to post. I have shared a few recipes that use tea in the past, like this Lapsong Souchong Smoked Beef Roast.

I had been given another gift of a cookbook called Soup Swap a while back.  I remembered that, while perusing that great cookbook, I had noticed a soup recipe that called for using tea.  I dug out the cookbook....no easy feat, since it was packed in one of 6 boxes labeled cookbooks that are still out in the pole barn.  Actually, I had given up on it but Frank kept looking and walked in about an hour later and presented me with it.  He is such a great guy!!


I adapted a recipe for Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup to share with you today.  I fell in love with carrot soup last month when I shared this Curry Kissed Carrot Soup so I was very excited to make another version.  


You start out with vegetable stock infused with Lemon Ginger Tea mixed with roasted vegetables that include carrots, onions and ginger.


When the stock is infused with the ginger and the roasted vegetables are simmered in the stock until tender.  Puree the soup in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth.


Return the pureed soup to the pan, taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Rewarm gently until ready to serve.

Today also happens to be the day that we post for our French Winophiles group.  We have been working our way through France.  We have made our way all around the Country and are now returning to different areas for a more in depth visit.  This month we were invited to visit Beaujolais wines by Jill and Jason Barth of L'Occasion, you can see their invitation post here.


Beaujolais has a reputation of pairing well with almost any type of food.  I was running short of time and wasn't sure when I would have an opportunity to cook a meal especially for the pairing with my bottle of 2015 Georges DuBoeuf so I grabbed the iron while it was hot.


Beaujolais is meant to be enjoyed young so the 2015 vintage did not scare me.  The wine, itself, was light and fruity.  We enjoyed it very much and the bottle was empty before we realized it.  The first sip of wine after the soup was a bit bitter and I wasn't sure that it was going to work.  The soup was very fragrant, sweet and spicy.  The second sip was better than the first and as Frank so eloquently put it...."it's drinkable".  So we did.  We drank, we ate and we enjoyed.

Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup
adapted from Soup Swap by Kathy Gunst

1/2 lg. sweet onion. thickly sliced
4-5 med carrots, peeled and chunked
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1" piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
1 ginger lemon green tea bag
1 (32 oz) box of vegetable stock or 4 c. homemade vegetable stock
grated fresh ginger root for garnish, if desired
heavy cream for garnish, if desired 

Place the onion and pepper in a roaster or oven safe skillet.  Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated 425* oven for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, add the chopped ginger to the veggies, toss and roast for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile place the stock and teabag in a soup pot and bring to a boil. reduce to low and allow to simmer while veggies roast.  Remove the teabag, squeezing it to release all liquid into the stock, and discard.  Add the roasted veggies to the stock and continue to simmer until very tender, another 15 minutes or so.

Puree the soup, in batches if necessary, until smooth.  I used my vitamix but you could use a food processor, immersion blender or kitchen blender.  Return pureed soup to the pot, taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.  Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with grated ginger root and drizzle with heavy cream. Print Recipea

Take a look at what the others paired with Beaujolais this month








Friday, November 18, 2016

What's Happening in the Klik Household......

What a week this has been.  So much has been going on that I had to look back at my posts to see what I have shared with you.  The last update shared on the house was the Four Season Room but since then we have added a rug and some shelving to the room.  Now, it is complete except for new windows which will be replaced as soon as funds are available.


In other big news....We went shopping on Veteran's day and Frank took advantage of his discount from Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase 2 stools for the kitchen counter and an IRobot vacuuming system.  Guys...this vacuum is the bomb!!!!  It is very expensive and worth every single darn penny. There's an app for that!  You can set the IRobot to clean according to your schedule.  It starts itself up and systematically goes through your whole house, adjusting automatically to floor type.  When the battery is exhausted the IRobot takes itself home, recharges and then finishes where it left off. There is a little brush that goes around the baseboards and furniture legs to make sure the whole house is spotless.  I will take a video and share with you soon but I can't right now because......



Speaking of floors.....the installation has begun!!  So far all the flooring from the kitchen, hallway, utility room and dining area has been removed.  The wood flooring is in place in the dining area of the great room.  We chose a eucalyptus wood that is sustainable and durable.  Not to be biased or anything but....It is the most BEAUTIFUL floor I have ever seen!!!

I cannot wait for the tile to be completed and for the carpeting guys to arrive.  This should all be done by Monday and then the painters are coming on Tuesday to try to get at least the great room completed before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving. Our son, Chuck, who is stationed in Virginia is coming home for a couple of weeks.  I am very excited, not only because I miss him but also because he is bringing a new member of our family with him.  Yep, call us crazy but we have adopted another 4 legged daughter. Stay tuned for more information on that little bit of news!!  We're also excited because once the painters are done we move our bedroom furniture from the barn into the house.  Our furniture is HEAVY and big so Chuck will be a huge help.

I was going to share some Christmas projects that I had been working on but this post is getting rather lengthy so let's get right to the upcoming week and the Weekly Menu.

Chuck arrives home sometime Saturday evening so Sunday we are having a family Sunday Supper. Three of the five kids can attend.  Anthony had a previous commitment and Nicole has to work so we will work on getting together with them at a later date.

Monday I will be picking up Turkeys for the Thanksgiving Basket distribution for the Food Pantry and putting them into the cooler to start defrosting.  Distribution is on Wednesday.  In the evening, on Monday, we will be helping John and Kirsten unload a trailer.  They are heading to Alabama to be with Kirsie's mom and bringing back some of her furniture as she is moving to our neck of the woods.

Tuesday will be spent shopping for our Thanksgiving feast and Thursday we will share this feast with family and friends.

So, without further ado, here is the Weekly Menu.  Enjoy!!

Saturday
Cornflake Breaded Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes
Broccoli

Sunday Supper
Spinach Salad
Prime Rib Roast
Loaded Stuffed Potatoes
Green Beans Almondine

Meatless Monday
Baked Mac and Cheese

Tuesday
French Dip Sandwiches (using leftover Prime Rib)

Wednesday 
Beef Vegetable Soup (using Meaty Prime Rib Bones)

Thanksgiving
See large Menu

Friday
Leftovers, of course

Thanksgiving Menu 2016

File:Thanksgiving 1900.JPG

The Menu 2016


Silky Fennel Soup with Crab
Fall Harvest Salad

Mixed Berry Sorbet

Roast Turkey
Fresh Kielbasa
Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans Almondine
Buttered Corn
Cranberry Sauce
Herb and Cheese Rolls

Pumpkin Pie
Whipped Cream
Dessert by Sue

We will be having ten gathered around our dinner table this year. That is smaller than in years past. A lot of empty seats will surround us this Holiday Season but the spirits of those we have love and lost will be filling the room with love, laughter and good cheer.

Here is what I served in 2014 and 2015 for our Thanksgiving Feast. Hoping you all have a very Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving this year.




Oysters Casino; celebrating #FishFridayFoodies and #FoodnFlix

I am allowing my recipe today to serve double duty.  It is Fish Friday Foodies time, celebrated on the third Friday of each month.  I started this group at the beginning of the year in an effort to gather more fish and seafood recipes for my repertoire.  I was immediately joined by a great group of bloggers who not only make this the go to site for great recipes but they also make the party each month, tons of fun.


This graphic was made for us by our very own, Heather, of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen.  Heather also is our leader for Food n Flix but we will talk about that in a moment.  

Our theme for this month was chosen by yours truly...yep, I got to choose the theme for this month. Here is how wonderful this group is....I went to our facebook page to see who was hosting this month.  I had actually forgotten that I was hosting.  True story.  That is how smoothly this group runs. Once I had invited people to join in, I was off the hook...they just step in and take care of business. They suggested doing themes each month, they offered to take turns hosting each month, they developed the graphic and every 3rd Friday they post awesome recipes.  This is the best group ever!!
I chose the theme Fish and Seafood as Appetizers or First Courses just in time for your holiday menu planning.

Food 'n Flix
Now let's talk about FoodnFlix.  This club is so much fun.  Each month one of us chooses a film for us to watch.  We watch it at our leisure during the month and then create any dish we want that was inspired by the movie.  There is no set date for posting the recipe, at the end of the month the host posts a roundup where we learn what everyone else thought of the movie and get to see their recipe.

This month our host is Caroline of Caroline Makes.  Caroline chose the movie Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper, that was released on DVD earlier this year.  You can see Caroline's invitation post here and it is still early enough for you to go out, grab this movie, create your own recipe and join us. Submissions are not due until November 30th and this is a great movie so it is a perfect time for you to join us.  Everything you need to do so can be found in that invitation by Caroline.

Image result for burnt

Frank and I went out on a date night and saw Burnt while it was on the big screen and reviewed it for you here.  I loved this movie so much that I also purchased it so I was ecstatic when Caroline chose it for this month's film.

Bradley Cooper plays a 2 star Michelin chef in France who went rogue...getting involved with drugs, running rampant with women and casting aside friends until he finally had to flee to the States to avoid the law, a fiancee and a drug cartel to whom he owed money.  He ended up in New Orleans where he gave up women and alcohol.  He spent his time doing penance shucking oysters. One million oysters, to be exact.  On the day he shucked his millionth oyster he was ready to return to Europe to seek out the coveted 3rd Michelin star.  Unfortunately, the penance did not teach him kindness or humility...those things her learned upon his return and his quest.

There is so much beautiful food from which to choose.  There is exotic food, plain food, fast food, savory food, sweet food, comfort food.....food everywhere you turn...but I took my inspiration from the very beginning of the movie. I was struck by the dedication and strength needed to free one's self from addictions.  Every addict has a way of coping; a way of getting through each day.  For this chef that way was shucking oysters....One Million Oysters.


I can't imagine shucking 1 million oysters.  Heck, I can't imagine shucking the eight that I served as an appetizer.  I went to my fishmonger and asked for eight blue point oysters.  "Shucked, please" I requested.  "Oh, I'm sorry", he replied, "we are no longer allowed to shuck them".  He went on to explain that one of the employees got cut so now they don't shuck the oysters any longer.  I told him that was exactly why I wanted them shucked....so I didn't cut myself.  Policy is policy, I guess.  I took the oysters unshucked.



I was originally going to make an oyster cocktail for today's recipe but, since the oysters weren't shucked, I changed my mind.  You see, I am a bad oyster shucker so I found a trick....if you steam the oysters, as you would clams, they don't pop open but they do open much, much more easily.  This only works, though, if you are going to serve the oysters cooked.


I decided to do a play on Clams Casino, using oysters. Once I steamed the oysters and got them opened the rest of the recipe was a piece of cake.  Saute the green pepper and scallions in some butter, mix them with additional butter and pour over the oysters.  Sprinkle with some bacon bits and bake until warmed through.  A squeeze of half a lemon and you are ready to serve.


I served this as an appetizer so I only made 2 per person.  They were mouthwateringly delicious. Buttery with the brine of the oyster and the smokiness of the bacon.  We were left wanting one or two more but, alas, this was only meant to whet the appetite.



Oysters Casino

8 Blue Point Oysters
3/4 c. white wine
1/4 c butter, divided
1 T. green pepper, small dice
3 scallions, white and light green sections, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. cooked and crumbled bacon
juice of 1/2 lemon

Scrub the oysters and place them in a large skillet.  Add the white wine and bring to a boil over med high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let steam for 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and pry the oysters open with an oyster knife.  They should open easily.  Place the deepest half of each shell onto a cookie sheet with the oyster in the well of each one.  Discard the remaining shells.

In a small skillet melt 2 T. of  the butter over medium high heat.  Add the green pepper and scallions.  Season with salt and pepper and saute until softened.  Place the other 2 T. of butter in a small bowl, stir in the softened vegetables and place a dollop over each of the oysters.  Sprinkle with the bacon and place in a preheated 450* oven for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly and heated through.  Remove to a serving plate and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over all.  Print Recipe

More Great Appetizers and First Courses

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Spiced Pear Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers

This is the perfect Fall desssert.  Chock full of pieces of pear, spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg then covered with a caramel glaze.  Perfect for your dessert table on Thanksgiving or at your next dinner party during the holiday season.

Welcome to this month's edition of #BundtBakers.  Each month we get together with like-minded bloggers and bring you lovely bundts that were created based on a theme chosen by one of the members.  This month's theme was pears, chosen by our host, Lauren, of Sew You Think You Can Cook.

I was very excited about this theme because I LOVE pears and was the proud owner of two glorious pear trees until we moved last month.  Those pear trees, along with my cherry and peach tree, are one of the things I will miss about my old home.  We will put in some fruit trees here in the Spring but it will take a few years to reap the benefits of our labor.

Each year I would have such an abundance of pears that we couldn't possibly eat them all.  So I would preserve them making jams, and pear halves in syrup and pear butter.  I had one quart of pear butter left in my pantry, so I pulled it out to use in this wonderful cake.

My pear butter is spiced with wonderful Fall flavors.  If you are not lucky enough to have pear butter in your cupboard simply puree a couple ripe pears with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. You will have more than you need for this recipe but you can enjoy it on your toast for breakfast during the week.


I would average about 4 sink loads of pears every other year and 2 sink loads on opposite years.
That is a lot of pear butter!!!


I adapted this recipe from Betty Crocker for this month's event.  I used my pear butter instead of pureed pears and pumpkin pie spice.  I served it up for dessert at an engagement party that I hosted.


It was a huge success and is it any wonder? Look at those lovely chunks of pear enfolded by that beautifully spiced cake and topped with a creamy, decadent caramel.  Who could resist?

Spiced Pear Bundt Cake
adapted from Betty Crocker

3 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 c. pear butter
2 lg. ripe pears, cored, peeled and diced
3/4 c. canola oil
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
dash of salt
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 c. powdered sugar

In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the pear butter, canola oil and sugar at medium speed until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat in vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat until combined.  Return the speed to low and stir in diced pear.

Pour the batter into a bundt pan that has been treated with baking spray.  The batter will be thick, spread evenly in the pan.  Place bundt in a preheated 350* oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center removes cleanly.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Allow cake to cool completely.

Combine butter, brown sugar, dash of salt and heavy cream in a medium sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes before whisking in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Pour over cooled cake immediately before it hardens.  Print Recipe

More Wonderful Bundts with Pears



  • Almond Pear Bread Pudding from Food Lust People Love
  • Bundt Cake de Pera y Almendras from La Mejor Manera de Hacer
  • Fresh Pear Bundt Cake with Vanilla Glaze from The Queen of Scones
  • Honey and Walnut Pear Bundt Cake from Sew You Think You Can Cook
  • London Fog & Pear Bundt Cake from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
  • Orange Pear Bundt Cake from Basic N Delicious
  • Pear and Date Bundt Cake with Caramel Mascarpone Sauce from kidsandchic
  • Pear and Hazelnut Bundt from Jane's Adventures in Dinner
  • Pear and Port Bundt Cake from Palatable Pasttime
  • "Pear"fect Rum Raisin Cake from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
  • Pear Pecan Coffee Bundt Cake from Patty's Cake
  • Pear Spiced Bundt Cake from I Love Bundt Cakes
  • Pear Streusel Crunch Cake from Noshing with the Nolands
  • Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake from Making Miracles
  • Roasted Pear & Walnut Spice Cake Bundt from Brooklyn Homemaker
  • Salted Caramel Pear Bundt Cake from Tartacadabra
  • Spiced Pear Bundt from A Day in the Life on the Farm