Sunday, May 29, 2011

April Foodzie Tasting Box

Finally getting the chance to blog about this amazing little box that arrived in my mailbox. My good friend Lindsey sent me a tasting box from for my birthday (thanks again Lindsey!). The box was filled with little samples of food products from small food producers around the country. The star of the box was Cici's Italian Butterhorn Cookies. These were heavenly. It really tasted like a cinnamon toast crunch rolled up in a croissant form. It was so good that I immediately went searching online for a recipe containing its ingredients. This is the closest thing I could find: In the box there was also a Horseradish Dill Mustard from SchoolHouse Kitchen. The condiment was interesting. You could distinctively taste the horseradish and the dill separately, and it worked really well together. It is very powerful though. There was also a Thousand Layer Spice Cake from Euforia. These were yummy and super moist. The Plantain Chips from Estrellita's Snacks were good. Very simple and plain though. It was just a green plantain that had been fried and salted. I didn't really like the Ginger Snapdragon Cookies from Liz Lovely. But it could be because I'm not big on that kind of cookie. It was kinda cakey, not like your normal cookie...and huge! I was disappointed that the biggest treat ended up being the one I liked the least lol. The Cinnamon Almond Granola from Fiona's Granola was just okay. I felt like it was missing more flavor or seasoning to it. The granola you made for me Lindsey was way better ;) Overall I enjoyed the little tasting box. It was fun getting to sample different treats from smaller producers!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nutella Cheesecake Cup

Oh Nutella, what can I's just yummy. Pair it with mascarpone cheese and oh my gosh.
This dessert is a phyllo dough cup, filled with a rich nutella mascarpone filling, and topped with some homemade whipped cream. Don't be intimidated by its look. It was incredibly easy and fast to make. And did I say delicious? I really enjoyed creating this recipe. Now I wanna go make some more just thinking about it, mmmmm :)

Nutella Cheesecake Cup
makes 6 cups
cooking time: 10-12 mins

tbsp of melted butter
6 sheets phyllo dough 
1 c. nutella
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3/4 c. sugar
chocolate for shaving

To prepare the phyllo cup:
Grease a cupcake pan with the melted butter. Take one sheet of the thawed phyllo dough and fold it so it will fit in the cupcake mold. Repeat with the remaining phyllo dough. With a small pastry brush butter the phyllo cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 mins until golden brown.

To prepare the filling:
Whip the nutella and mascarpone cheese with an electric mixer until well blended.
Chill for at least an hr for the cheesecake texture. If you don't have time to chill that's fine. The dessert will be more like a pie and is still yummy (pictured). I enjoyed it chilled more because I love cheesecake more.

To prepare the whipped cream:
Whip the cream and sugar on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. About 5 mins.

 Fill each phyllo cup with the nutella filling. Then top with the whipped cream. Zest some chocolate over the dessert cups and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Burger with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

We've got some burger patties in the freezer and I've been thinking of an idea for them. I wanted to jot it down before I forgot! I was thinking a roasted red pepper sauce to top on the burgers with slices of Havarti/Manchego cheese. For the spread, maybe process some garlic, shallots, cashew, roasted red peppers, sherry/red wine vinegar, paprika, olive oil, and salt. I wonder how it'll turn out, I'll have to let you know what I end up doing!

I finally got around to making this and it turned out great! Lots of ingredients but real easy. You just process it all together and serve it on the burgers. I also served the burgers with slices of Havarti cheese and Bibb lettuce on some nice toasted wheat buns. The sauce was a little sweet from the peppers and smoky from the paprika. And the shallots added a little bite. The flavors were really nice and I hope you try it! Here's the recipe, approximately:

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1 large shallot
1 1/2 tbsp cashew
4-5 roasted red peppers from the jar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a slice of bread
salt and pepper to taste

Process all ingredients together.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Neely's at The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show

Thanks to Groupon we got to see the Neely's at The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Atlanta for $50 - a $150+ value. And we got so much more than what we paid for. Upon entering the Cobb Galleria we checked in at the VIP table where they handed us our badges, tickets, and some goodies (a recyclable bag with the Groupon logo and a cooking apron decorated for the event). We got to meet the Neely's and eat lunch provided by them. They served us sweet and spicy coleslaw, baked beans, buttermilk biscuits, grilled chicken, bbq ribs, ice cream, and some sweet tea or lemonade to wash it all down. The slaw was good, but of course had cayenne pepper, which I'm personally not a big fan of spicy. Matt, a baked bean lover, seemed to enjoy them very much. I, a chicken lover, enjoyed the chicken. It was juicy, but it was not sauced, which surprised me. I would imagine they could have glazed it with some of their famous bbq sauce. The best part of the meal was the ribs. Their bbq sauce is good and I can see why they are successful. Not only did we get to enjoy their bbq sauce but they gave us each a bottle to take home! We also got to attend their cooking and entertaining show in the Celebrity Theater. It was entertaining but kinda dirty. An example? One person asked what inspires them to change recipes. Gina's response - when they get tired of the same thing, kinda like changing positions - LOL! I wonder how some of the parents with their kids felt.

In between the Neely's events we checked out all the local vendors there to showcase and sell their products. It was basically a tasting galore and what's not to enjoy about that? We ended up buying some of the things we enjoyed sampling (Luscious Lobster dip from Sensational Dips; Cucumber Dill, Sesame Garlic, and Sundried Tomato dips from Laurie's Kitchen; Bold Blue jam from Emily G's Jam of Love; White Chocolate covered Oreos and Milk Chocolate covered oreos from Fudgemail; Artichoke Jalepeno Garlic dip from Margaritaville; and Artichoke Spinach Four Cheese dip from Garden Fresh Gourmet). The best thing I sampled was the Bold Blue jam we bought. She also had a Red Zinfandel jam that was good, but at $8 for a little jar we only splurged on one. All in all we had a lot of fun and hope Groupon will have another great deal next year!