Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hot Carmelized Balsamic Sweet Onion Dip

This a good recipe for a Super Bowl party.  A little goes a long way.  Very flavorful and rich.  I got the idea from "Closet Cooking", but I changed it to make it my own.
Balsamic Onions:
  • 3 large sweet onions
  • ¼ C. olive oil
  • ¼ C. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ t. sugar
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice onions in half and then into ¼ inch slices.
  3. Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Pour into a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake for 1 hour or until caramelized.
  5. Leave oven on.
  • balsamic onions
  • ½ C. mayonnaise
  • ½ C. Parmesan Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  1. Using a kitchen scissors, cut the onions into small bite size pieces.
  2. Combine all the ingredients and place in a baking dish.
  3. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
  4. Serve with bagel chips or slices of baguette.
Tips and Tricks:
  • A mandolin is a great tool to slice the onions.
  • Line the cookie sheets with foil!  Those suckers like to stick in every little nook on the pan.  Clean up is MUCH easier if you just have to peel the foil away.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Caramel Corn

Homemade Caramel Popcorn!  Is your mouth watering, yet?  It should be.  This is so good, it is worth the effort.  Your family will love you for making this.
Mine did.
  • ¼ C. canola or peanut oil
  • 1/3 C. popcorn
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter
  • 1 C. light brown sugar
  • ¼ C. light Karo syrup
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and cover two baking sheets with aluminum foil and then spray with cooking spray.
  2. Heat the oil and 3 popcorn kernels, in a heavy bottomed pot (2 – 3 quart), over medium-high heat, until the kernels begin to sizzle.
  3. Add the rest of popcorn and cover the pot, listen carefully until the popping slows down, when 2 seconds go by without another kernel popping, cut the heat.
  4. Remove the cover and pour the popcorn into a large bowl.  Reserve.
  5. Rinse out the pot and use the same pot to make the caramel.
  6. Melt the stick of butter, over medium-low heat, when the butter is melted and stops foaming, add the brown sugar and the Karo.
  7. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil and then allow to boil for 4 minutes (not stirring).
  8. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, salt, and baking soda.
  9. Mix well and then pour over the popcorn, toss well to coat all pieces.
  10. Pour into the baking sheets and bake for 1 hour, tossing every 20 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool and then break into bite size pieces and serve.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
  • You can use microwave popcorn, but don’t use the butter flavored.  Use the homestyle or plain.  You’ll probably need 1 and ½ bags. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Herbed Cream Cheese

My NEW breakfast of choice is a thin Everything bagel (110 calories) with this wonderful herbed cream cheese and thinly sliced turkey.  I'm not a sweet eater in the morning, I like something with some substance.  This fills me up and keeps me from wanting to eat my arm by lunchtime.
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 green onions or 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 T. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  1. Combine all ingredients using a mixer.
  2. Refrigerate mixture for at least 6 hours.
  3. Serve on bagels, chips, or veggies.
Tips and Tricks:
  • You might be tempted to eat this as soon as you are finished combining the ingredients, DON’T.  The cream cheese needs time to “MARRY” with the herbs.  It will taste SO much better after several hours.
  • I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
  • If you can’t get fresh dill, you can use 2 t. of dill weed, found on the spice aisle.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Old Fashioned

Donald and I have been watching "Mad Men" and after watching many episodes I had to learn how to make my own Old Fashioned.  I asked for help from my nephew Jeff, who is a bartender.  This is how I like it, and my Mom does too.
  • 3 oz. Southern Comfort
  • 1 oz. water or club soda
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
  • 1/8 of a orange
  • maraschino cherry
  • ice
  1. Place a sugar cube in a rocks glass.
  2. Add the cherry and squeeze the orange wedge over the sugar cube.
  3. Muddle the fruit and the sugar together.
  4. Add the bitters, then the So Co.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Add ice to fill the glass.
  7. Finally, add the water or club soda.
Tips or Tricks:
  • I've made these with Makers Mark also.  They are good, but not as sweet as the Southern Comfort.
  • The water is NOT necessary, but you will most likely have to let the drinks sit awhile for the ice to melt to mellow it out if you don't use the water.