Chocolate Easter Peeps

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Easter is rapidly approaching!  In need of a “Cheap, Cheap” sweet treat to bring to an Easter celebration?  These chocolate dipped Peeps are a fast, easy and affordable treat to bring a festive spring themed party!  They are very delicious!  You can even use them as cupcake toppers!

Peeps are such a classic treat during Easter time!  I love seeing all the different colors offered each year!  The teal ones were call Party Peeps and already had color sprinkles on them in the package.  The purple Peep is just a traditional Peep.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of marshmallow peeps
  • 1/2 lb of Almond Bark Vanilla Flavored Coating
  • Sugar crystal sprinkles

Directions:

  • Break up a 1/2 lb chunk of Almond Bark and place in a glass bowl.
  • Heat the Almond Bark in the microwave in 30 sec. intervals stirring after each turn.  Do this until the Almond Bark is completely melted.  Do not overheat or it will dry up.
  • Line a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Dip each Peep into the Almond Bark to coat the bottom and tail feathers of the Peep.
  • Sprinkle with color sugar.
  • Let set for at least 15 minutes before removing Peeps from the parchment pape

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Edible Book Festival- The Hobbit

11096403_10101749637125315_6508357075143775726_nThe past few days I’ve been working on an entry for an Edible Book Festival.  For my entry I chose to do a scene from The Hobbit!  The scene features Smaug the dragon and Bilbo the hobbit in a massive gold hoard.  The rules require that only food be used in the construction of a scene.  That means no plastic, wood, etc.  I decided to go the cake/fondant route.

The dragon’s wings have been quite challenging for me as I am very new to fondant modeling.  In the photo you can see clean makeup sponges propped underneath the wings to shape and dry the wings in place.  Using makeup sponges has been one of the greatest tips I have ever read for modeling fondant.  The sponges don’t leave indention marks but keep fondant pieces in place.

I’ll post a finished picture soon!  The competition is tomorrow morning!  Wish me luck!  🙂

Shrimp Scampi

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Last night I made some fresh Shrimp Scampi to enjoy on our back patio!  Such a classic pasta treat!  Anyone else love eating outside?  It seems like it’s been months since we’ve been able to enjoy outdoor feasting!  Texas weather is super hormonal.  There was one day I started out in shorts and ended up bundled up in my warmest hunting coat by noon!  Come on Spring Time!

Shrimp Scampi is admittedly quite unhealthy but it is a treat that I eat about twice a year!  You do not have to go pay $18 at a restaurant to have a great plate of scampi.  Ladies and gentlemen please, you can do this on your own!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large scallion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup Pinot Grigio
  • 1 lb fresh shrimp, peeled
  • 4 tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh lemon zest
  • 2-3 fresh lemon juice to taste
  • linguine

Directions:

  • Cook pasta as directed in a large pot with salted water.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  • Toss in the garlic and scallions, cook until translucent.  (about 4 minutes)
  • Add in 2 tbs butter, stir until melted.
  • Toss in shrimp and cook them until they are halfway done.
  • Scoop shrimp out into a separate bowl.
  • Add the wine to the skillet along with 3 tbs of butter and let ingredients combine.  (about 3 minutes) This will really sweeten up the scallions and garlic.
  • Return the shrimp back to the skillet.
  • Using tongs scoop pasta out and add to the skillet.
  • Add lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Stir to combine then serve!

Kenny & Ziggy’s Delicatessen- Houston, Texas

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I’d like to share one of my most recent restaurant experiences in Houston, Texas.  I’ve mentioned my love for sandwiches multiple times on my blog.  Well, Kenny & Ziggy’s Delicatessen is the Mount Olympus of sandwich places.  It is a palace of deli meats and traditional deli fare.  The entire building, along with every detail pays homage to the classic New York delis of old.

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The walls are lined with old Play Bills and celebrity caricatures.  There are plenty of glass counters to peruse while your tummy growls.

One thing that impressed me right off the bat was the extensive and mammoth menus.  Not only are the menus the size of a small road map, it is filled with a vast array of options!  Everything from sandwiches, burgers, breakfasts, cakes, soups, etc!  This list was never ending!  The burger and sandwich names were entertaining to read as they were named after movies and old catchphrases from show biz.

Make sure you walk into this place hungry!  $18 might sound steep for a turkey club sandwich but here’s the deal.  This sandwich will be the size of a small hubcap and it will be served with a pitchfork size pile of sweet potato fries or whatever side item you choose.  When they brought out my club sandwich I couldn’t believe how big it was.  It was big enough to share with 3 moderately hungry people.

The hubby’s burger was just as big as my sandwich!  He had no trouble knocking the entire thing out though! lol

The food was amazing!  The burger was juicy and hand made.  The club was made with premium thick cut bacon and the turkey was freshly carved!  We ordered both onion rings and sweet potato fries.  Hands down, order those dang sweet potato fries, they are delicious!  They are thin cut and crispy as can be!

You could easily share any of the plates in this place.  I think the next time we go we will end up sharing an order to make room for one of the fabulous desserts.

Even though we were stuffed like firm pillows, we still ordered a piece of carrot cake to go.  It was a great decision.  The carrot cake was perfect in every way.  #marypoppins  🙂

In Houston but you only want dessert?  This would also be a great “dessert only” stop!  As I mentioned earlier there are tons of glass counters to peruse.  Most of these house decadent cheesecakes, pastries, and cakes!

Below are some of the photos I took in between bites! 🙂

If y’all ever find yourself in Houston, Texas, you’ve got to make time for this stop.

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The above photo shows the owner, Ziggy.  He is featured in a documentary about classic deli life called, Deli Man.

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Heavenly Homemade Breakfast Pizza

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Bacon, feta, spinach, red pepper, egg and mozzarella with a Tabasco glazed crust.  Delicious!  Make fresh pizza dough in about 10 minutes, let it sit for an hour and you’ve got yourself fresh dough!

If you split the dough you can make two, 14 inch pizzas!  The one pictured is one of two that I made!  🙂  Sprinkle the crust with extra garlic powder and then brush Tabasco sauce and olive oil on the crust before baking.

This is basically a flat bread breakfast pizza.  The left overs tasted just as good as the night before!

Breakfast pizza with Spinach and Feta

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Print

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Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Topping Ingredients:

  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Olive Oil for brushing
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • 3 eggs
  • Fresh spinach
  • Bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions:

Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, yeast, and brown sugar and stir briefly with a spatula, then allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

In a different bowl, combine the flour, salt, olive oil, and garlic powder. Slowly add in the flour mixture into the yeast water while the mixer is on the knead function level 3.

Add 1/2 of a cup at a time.  You might have to use a spatula to push down flour from the edges of the bowl that the dough hook isn’t picking up.

Knead the dough until it has a sticky texture, but not sticking to the bowl.  For example, when you turn the bowl upside down, the majority of the dough falls out easily.

Prepare another large bowl by spraying the inside of it with PAM or olive oil.

Shape the dough into a ball with floured hands then place in the well oiled bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap.  Let dough rise for 1 hour in a warm, draft free area.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Line a large pizza pan with parchment paper.

Lightly flour the parchment paper.

Roll out the dough with floured hands and a rolling pin onto the pan.

Use a fork to poke the dough to get rid of any bubbles in the crust.

Bake the crust for about 5 minutes.

Take the crust out and lower the temperature to 400*F

Brush Tabasco sauce and olive oil all over the crust.

Next, sprinkle the crust with garlic powder. Then quickly top the pizza with all ingredients except the eggs.  You will add the eggs halfway through the baking process.

Brush the crust with olive oil.

Bake the pizza for 8 minutes.  Pull the pizza out and add the eggs on top then put back into the oven for another 8-12 minutes.

Definitely start checking it at 17 minutes to see where your pizza is at.  You want a golden, bubbly crust.

All photos are property of Katy from http://www.redbirdrecipes.com

 

 

Four Cheese Grilled Cheese

IMG_2143tFour Cheese Grilled Cheese, YES PLEASE!  I made these for lunch this week and boy were they scrumptious!  Creamy, ooey, gooey cheese and savory peppers!!  If you like fancy grilled cheese sandwiches you gotta give this one a try!!! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Crumbed Feta
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • Cream Cheese Spread
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Sliced French Bread
  • Low Fat Butter Spread
  • Garlic Powder
  • Italian Seasoning

Directions:

Butter the top and bottom slices of bread.

Spread cream cheese on the bottom half of the bread.

Add the other three cheeses on top of the cream cheese.

Lay a few roasted red peppers on top of the cheese layers.

Place the top piece of bread on the sandwich.

Sprinkle a small dash of garlic powder and Italian seasoning on the buttered top piece of bread.

Heat a skillet to medium heat.

Cook grilled cheese on both sides until golden and crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

*Caution, Feta likes to pop when it hits a hot skillet be careful not to drop crumbs of Feta on the skillet.  This was fun to discover.  🙂

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