Delightfully Delicious Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Everyone has their family favorite.  Deviled Eggs are one of those throw-back comfort foods that remind you of your childhood.  For me, Deviled Eggs were a 4th of July treat!  For my kids, they are a staple of Easter Brunch.  Quite possibly because we always had so many eggs, between making these and Egg Salad sandwiches, we were covered!  Our version is a bit spicy, using brown mustard and Sriracha, but they’ve always disappeared every time I’ve made them!

Delightfully Delicious Deviled Eggs

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved, yolks set aside.
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 TBLS spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Sriracha Hot Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
Smoked Paprika – garnish

In the bowl of your food processor pulse hard egg yolks until they resemble yellow sand. Add mayonnaise, mustards and sriracha, blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a food processor, add the yolks, mayo, mustards and sriracha to a medium bowl and use a hand mixer to get desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fill the hollows of the egg whites with the yolk mix. Sprinkle with smoked paprika to garnish.

Enjoy my Foodie Friends!

P.S. If you want to know how to color the eggs like the picture above, that post will be coming soon!  You’ll love how easy it is to make them!

Asparagus Wraps with Limoncello!

I can’t believe I haven’t shared these delicious asparagus wraps! About a year ago, I ran across this recipe and have made them several times. It’s the one thing my daughter requested for Thanksgiving this year.

Asparagus wraps

A simple and elegant appetizer, these wraps are made with cream cheese, Limoncello and store-bought wonton wrappers. Not only are they delicious, they are easy to make and the fresh flavor is just incredible! Every time I make them, they disappeared very quickly!

Asparagus Wraps

Spring is coming, which means asparagus will soon be in season. I can’t wait to make these for Easter Brunch. Maybe if I’m lucky, someone will make them for Mothers Day too. 😉

Limoncello Asparagus Spears
From Zestuous

4 ozs. (half block) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 T. limoncello
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
1 bunch asparagus
1 package wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat pad.

In a small bowl whisk the softened cream cheese and limoncello together until smooth.

In another bowl, mix the lemon zest and kosher salt together.

Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus.

Working with one wrapper at a time, spread a little limoncello cream on the center of the wrapper, avoiding the edges.

Lay an asparagus spear (or two or three, depending on how thick the spears are) on the top edge of the wrapper.

Roll the asparagus up in the wrapper and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.

For decoration, slice three diagonal slits in the wrapper. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the lemon salt.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until the wrappers are a light golden brown.

Serve warm!
Limoncello Asparagus Spears

Double Stuffed Mini Potatoes

Double Stuffed Mini Potatoes

Our annual family Christmas party means two things. One: people will be LOUD! I married into a family of talkers. Everyone together means everyone tries to talk over the other person and occasionally (always) it can get quite loud in the house. Two: there will be tables full of amazing food. We have a few standard favorites, but for the most part, we try different types of appetizers and desserts each year. Last year I did Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers and the Santa Hat Brownies. This year, I made S’mores Brownies, Avocado Fries and these Double Stuffed Mini Red Potatoes. They are a bit time-consuming to make, but I promise they are worth every cheesy bite!

DOUBLE STUFFED MINI POTATOES

Ingredients:
Approx 2 lbs small red potatoes
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 head roasted garlic, smashed to a paste
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp fresh dill
1/2 cup finely grated extra sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1/4 cup, plus 2 TBLS Chives, diced

Directions:
Heat oven to 400 F.
Put potatoes in a large pot, cover completely with water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Boil until fork tender (about 8-10 minutes). Drain potatoes and let cool. Cut each potato in half crosswise. You may need to cut a tiny sliver off the ends of each potato so they will stand up. Carefully use a small melon baller to scoop out the center of each potato. Be sure to leave about a 1/4-inch thick shell.
Place the scooped potato pulp in a bowl and add the cream cheese, sour cream, garlic paste, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and dill. Use a potato masher and smash together until well combined. Mix in the cheeses and 1/4 cup chives and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set potato shells on the sheet and sprinkle the inside of the shells with the remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Spoon the potato mixture evenly into the potato shells and bake about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with remaining Chives!

Mini Red Potato Bites

I made these vegetarian for our daughter. However, my husband says they would be even better with bacon! What couldn’t be made better with bacon? If you add bacon, you’ll need about 6 slices, cooked till crisp and crumbled. Add them into the potato mash when you add the cheeses and chives. You could even save an extra slice to use for garnish! Either way, these disappear quickly! Enjoy!!

Follow That Chef – Michael Natkin

Meet Michael Natkin! Chef, Cookbook author and Food Blogger!

We had the pleasure of meeting Michael at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories. Normally we arrive early enough to follow the Chef around the Santa Monica Farmers Market. There was a lot of traffic this week and by the time we arrived, they had already begun their tour. Thankfully, we didn’t miss the demo and Michael’s fantastic cooking.

Michael’s cookbook is called: “Herbivoracious – A flavor revolution with 150 vibrant and original vegetarian recipes.”

The book is named after his blog “Herbivoracious” and if you want vegetarian world cuisine with a powerful punch of flavor and spices, this is the blog (and cookbook!) for you!

Michael was kind enough to autograph my copy…

Squeee! How COOL is that? I love it! Remind me, when I’m a famous cookbook author that I need to personalize everyone’s book. Hahaha! Seriously, it really does make it extra special and I am thankful to Michael for taking that extra moment to connect and personalize!

Enough of my rambling! Let’s get to the FOOD!

Michael started with Vietnamese chanterelle banh mi bites! A sliced baguette spread with spicy mayo, and topped with pickled carrots and daikon, sliced cucumbers, chanterelle mushrooms and a tiny slice of jalapeño for a zesty kick!

Here’s a close up!

I have to tell you, I know very little about Vietnamese dishes. This little bite made me want to explore the cuisine in-depth! It was spicy and tart and full of flavor.

Next, Michael made crispy Vietnamese crepes with vegetarian nuoc cham. For those of you who don’t know (don’t feel bad, see my above comment about how much I know about Vietnamese food) nuoc cham is a dipping sauce traditionally made with fish sauce, but Michael replaced it a seaweed broth that was spicy and delightfully refreshing with the addition of lime juice!

Paired with his Vietnamese crepes (called banh xeo) this was a fun new main dish I know I will be making at home!

These crepes have tofu and mushrooms in them, wrapped around mung sprouts. Michael sliced the crepes and served them on a huge bed of herbs and the nuoc cham!

The combination of flavors and textures is hard to describe. Fresh herbs. A spicy, lime dipping sauce. The crispy crunch of a crêpe with fresh mushrooms and a nice bite from the tofu… amazing.

My vegetarian daughter is excited to have a new cookbook in the house and I am looking forward to following Michael on his blog and learning more about Vietnamese food! Stay tuned for some great dishes from THIS imperfect kitchen. 😉 Thank you again Michael!

Risotto Class at Sur La Table!


My latest cooking class was at Sur La Table! I didn’t even know they had cooking classes until my niece told me she and my sister-in-law were taking a Gnocchi class. Well, you know me! I’m like the dog from the movie “Up!” Instead of “Squirrel?” my distraction is “New Cooking Class?” After going through Sur La Table’s calendar, I settled on Risotto.

Why Risotto? Well, several reasons really. I’ve only had it a few times and I’ve heard it is hard to make correctly. So many things can go wrong in the preparation. I’m always up for adding new skills to my kitchen, so that intrigued me. Also, it’s a very versatile dish. You can change the flavor profile with just a few ingredients. Plus it’s vegetarian friendly, and that means I can make it for my daughter!

The menu for class included: Wild Mushroom Risotto with White Truffle Oil, Pumpkin Risotto with Fried Sage Leaves and Chive Oil, Fennel and Sausage Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomato Jam and Balsamic Drizzle and Arugula Pesto Risotto with Shaved Pecorino Romano.

Let me tell you, everything you’ve heard about making risotto is true. You stir for a long time. You must use a wooden spoon. There are plenty of things that can go wrong that will change the flavor and ruin your dish! The good thing about taking a class is you get to see how everything goes together. Plus, Sur La Table gave us a great packet with all the recipes, basic terms and translations, Risotto rice 101, cooking tips and where to find additional resources! I love that!

Another very cool thing about taking classes in different places, is you pick up “extras.” Extra ideas, plating options, side dishes that work well with whatever you’re making and tips for changing the recipes. We fried sage leaves! That was interesting! We also made Sun-Dried Tomato Jam. I can see many different uses for that. That’s a keeper for more than just Risotto! My favorite “extra” in this class though was the Chive Oil!

Look at that gorgeous green color! It is simple to make too! Take a bunch of fresh chives and blanch them in boiling water for about 10 seconds. Scoop them out and immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. Remove them from the water and drain on paper towels. Squeeze out all the excess water and put the chives in a blender or food processor. Puree with 1/2 cup olive oil until smooth. Transfer the chive oil to a bowl and put in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Pour the oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids to release the flavor. Makes about 1/2 cup! The flavor is fresh and intense. It was so good!

Hmmm…I wonder if I can make Basil oil? That would be fantastic with a lemon garlic risotto and grilled vegetables!

I’ll be making Risotto this weekend, so I’ll share my recipes and tips with you in the next few posts. What’s your favorite way to make Risotto? Give me some ideas and share your own “extra” tips with me!

Egg Rolls


Recently, I shared my Egg Roll recipe at Bakeaholic Mama! This was the second time I’ve been blessed to share on someone else’s blog. It’s a great experience and a lot of fun! Carrie at Bakeaholic Mama is awesome! Check out her blog at: Bakeaholic Mama!

This is the same recipe I shared with Carries readers! (This just has a few more photos and descriptions!) Egg rolls date all the way back to ancient China. The dough is traditionally made with egg, hence the name! When we go out, Egg Rolls are one of my favorite appetizers. I love the crisp crunch of the wrapper, the variety of savory fillings and the salty finish of dripping them in soy sauce. It’s the perfect starter! We make ours without meat, but you can add shredded, seasoned pork or chicken if you’d like. Don’t they look good?

I started with a hot wok, some oil and a few beaten eggs! I made a simple egg pancake, let it cool and then sliced it up!


Then in the same pan, with a bit more oil, I added the cabbages and carrots.

After those cook down a bit, I added soy sauce, sugar, mushrooms, green onions and bamboo!

Now, you add those delicious egg pancake slivers and let the whole thing cool.

When this was cooking, everyone in the house wanted to eat without rolling them up! The fun part is the rolling through, so we got right to work!


Evan, our youngest, helped roll them. Here is his stack of egg rolls!

Time to deep fry! We heated four cups of oil to 350 degrees. You can use your deep fryer, but we used a pan so I could flip them easily.


Now, it’s time to eat!!

Try them yourself and see what you think!

Ingredients:

1 package egg roll wrappers
3/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/2 can (8oz) bamboo shoots, julienned
1 fairly large carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 head purple cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, finely shredded
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
4 cups, plus 4 tsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg white, beaten (to seal the wrappers)

Directions:

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tsp vegetable oil over medium flame. Put the 2 beaten eggs in the wok and cook until they are firm. Do not stir the eggs. Flip them over and cook briefly on the other side. No more than 30 seconds. Essentially you want a mini omelette pancake. Slide the egg out of the pan and let it cool completely.

Heat 3 tsp of vegetable oil in the same pan over high flame. Stir in the carrot and the cabbage and cook until just wilted (about 2 minutes) Add the green onions, bamboo, mushrooms, salt, sugar and soy sauce to the mix and continue to cook for about five minutes until the vegetables are softened.

While the cabbage mix is cooking, slice the cooled egg into julienned strips.

When the vegetable mixture is cooked, spread it out on a cookie sheet and stir in the sliced eggs. Allow the mix to cool. You can refrigerate it at this point if you’re going to assemble the egg rolls later.

To put the egg rolls together, lay a wrapper on the counter with one corner pointed towards you. Place approx 4 TBLS of the cooled filling across the bottom end of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner over the filling and roll away from you just once. Brush the remaining exposed edges of the inside of the wrapper with the egg white. Fold the left corner of the wrapper to the center of the roll, then the right corner of the wrapper to the center, then continue rolling until it’s sealed. It should look like a little envelope wrapper. While you are rolling the rest, keep your finished egg rolls covered a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
Heat the remaining 4 cups of oil in a pan or use your deep fryer and heat to 350 degrees.

Fry the egg rolls 3 or 4 at a time until they are golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with soy sauce! Enjoy!

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