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Category Archives: Appetizers

Easy Cranberry Chutney

No photo for this one as it is all blended together in a jar and then refrigerated. Great for using during the upcoming holidays…

Easy Cranberry Chutney

From inthekitchenwithkath.com

(Adapted from a recipe in Yumana’s Table by Yumana Devi)

Makes about 3 cups, and doubles easily if you’re serving a crowd.

1 (12-ounce) bag of cranberries

2 large apples

2 large oranges or limes

1 cup pure maple syrup (I used ½ cup)

  1. Zest the oranges.
  2. Wash and drain the cranberries and put them in a pot. (My 3 quart pot is the perfect size.)
  3. Peel, core, and chop the apples, and add them to the pot.
  4. Juice the oranges. Add the juice and the orange zest to the pot.
  5. Add the maple syrup.
  6. Bring the chutney to a boil over medium-high heat.
  7. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 – 45 minutes, until the cranberries have popped, the apples have cooked down, and the chutney has thickened a bit. Stir it occasionally while it’s cooking.
  1. Cool and transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve OR put it in an airtight jar, ready for use. Would be great over cream cheese as an appetizer or with roast beef…not just turkey!
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Slow Cooker (Crockpot) Swedish Meatballs

What to do without Costco? I have had a bag of turkey meatballs in the freezer for awhile. The truth is we didn’t really like them! Not to waste I found this slow cooker recipe for Swedish meatballs and I got the chance to use them all up, never to buy again. If you have been following for sometime you will know that I had previously made meatballs for use with pasta. This recipe called for frozen ones. Et voila! Actually they tasted awesome…great for a buffet table.

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Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 can cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup, low sodium*
1 can beef broth, low sodium*
1 packet dry onion soup mix
2 tbsp. A1 steak sauce
1 (2 lb.) bag frozen meatballs
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream (1 cup)
1 (16 oz.) package egg noodles

sliced mushrooms (optional)

Directions:
In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, mix undiluted soup with beef broth, onion soup mix and steak sauce. Stir well.

Then add in frozen meatballs.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-5 hours. (My slow cooker is always faster than the recipe calls for, in this case they were done in about 4 1/2 hours.

After meatball mixture is almost cooked, add in the sliced mushrooms and stir in sour cream.

At this time, put a pot of water on the oven to boil for your egg noodles (make according to package directions.) Drain noodles well when done.

Mix noodles and meatballs together. Or serve meatballs on top of noodles.

Note: Low sodium is my personal preference for this to keep it from being too salty. If I’m serving for a crowd, I will mix together noodles and meatballs and keep my crock pot on the ‘warm’ or ‘buffet’ setting. But when it’s just my family, everyone can serve themselves and grab as many meatballs, noodles and sauce as they like.

http://www.thecountrycook.net

Escargots in Garlic Butter, Bleu Cheese and Sambuca Liqueur

Okay, so the holidays have passed. Truth is I have never shared this recipe for some strange reason, but it is traditional for us on Christmas Eve. We never grow tired of it. Over the years we have refined it with the sambuca liqueur…LOL. Give it a try for Valentines Day with a great wine and crusty French bread.

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Snails in Garlic butter with Bleu Cheese and Sambuca Liqueur
Escargots au beurre de l’ail gratiné a l’anise y fromage bleu (FR)

(serves 4)   4 escargot dishes : 6 escargots in each

24  escargots

½ cup unsalted butter

4 large garlic cloves, more or less, finely chopped

1/3 cup bleu cheese, more or less

½ cup ground up Caesar salad croutons, plus garlic salt added to taste

1 to 2  Tbsp  black Sambuca or any anise liqueur

Salt to taste

Preparation  Preheat your oven to 475 F  (270 C)

1         Place butter in a microwavable ramekin, add the chopped garlic and some salt and melt slowly.  Let stand to develop flavor.

2         Place an escargot in each hole of the four escargot dishes.

3         Add some powder garlic to the crouton crumbs for more flavor.  Crumble in the bleu cheese. Stir with a fork to coat the cheese as much as possible.  Drizzle in the Sambuca and stir the mixture to more evenly distribute the flavours. Add more salt, too, if you wish.

4         Drizzle the garlic butter mixture evenly over all the escargots.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture over everything.

Bake in oven for approx. 10 minutes, or until crumb topping is browned.

 

Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Happy New Year Bloggers! I am going to try something different this year now that so many of you are really setting the bar high with your wonderful blogs. This old dog is not that techie…LOL…but like John Glenn I can take small steps. Hence my New Years resolution to use actual photos of the recipes when I cook them.

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I thought the cocktail looked quite nice in the ice cream dishes we got from our friends one Christmas. Here is the recipe –

Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (food.com)

Ingredients 

  • 1 (48 ounce) can V8 vegetable juice (spicy if desired)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 12 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and steamed or just buy frozen cooked and thaw
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 4 dashes Tabasco sauce

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a large nonreactive container.

Chill and serve with limes and Tabasco sauce.

Do not over-cook the shrimp, as they will become tough!

Be careful when steaming the shrimp; you do not want it tough.

AND here is a BONUS..ta dah…if you do not use all of the mixture, put it into a blender and make…GAZPACHO…refrigerate for tomorrows meal!

 

Corn and Black Bean Dip x 2

Bonus day today as I have two similar recipes, one of which originated from our “sister” Jean in Peterborough, Ontario. She served it while we were visiting for her sons wedding in August. It has a great fresh taste when served with tortilla chips.

The second I ran across while waiting for Jeans recipe to arrive. The ingredients are very similar, with the exception of the avocado and the dressing.

  1. Corn and Black Bean Dip from Jean Johnston

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup olive oil
1 tbsp water

1 can lentils
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup each celery, green pepper and green onion
Jar of pimento ( I used red pepper because I didn’t have any pimento)
I added a few fresh spices. Her daughter suggested adding fresh cilantro which makes sense.

Mix all together and soak for at least 3 hours.  Drain and serve.

2. Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Dip

Prep time: 15 minutes Yield: 20 servings Serving size: 1/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 15 oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 15 oz can yellow corn, drained + rinsed
  • 2 avocados, cut in half, pitted + cubed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Let me know if you try either of these at your next event…

 

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Shrimp

Always looking for a great appetizer and this one surely qualifies. In the case of both the oregano and basil I would use fresh in place of the dried. If you are ever caught with cocktail sauce, a simple recipe blends 1/2 cup ketchup + 2 Tablespoons horseradish!

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Shrimp (http://inspiredbycharm.com)

1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I prefer fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I prefer fresh)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Parsley leaves, chopped for garnish
Cocktail sauce (optional)

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with oil or nonstick spray.

Place the shrimp in a single layer on the baking. Evenly distribute the olive oil, parmesan, garlic, oregano, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss together with a spoon or your hands.

Place the pan of shrimp in the oven and roast the shrimp until just pink, firm, and cooked through. This should take 7-9 minutes. When done, sprinkle with lemon juice.

Raspberry Rhubarb Jalapeno Jelly

Okay, okay, I promise this is my last rhubarb recipe! Since it is very near to the season in Canada I thought some of you might want to try this one. We serve it over a block of Philly cream cheese and sometimes place a few anchovies across the top. Each bite gives you heat, sweet, salty and spicy. Just serve it with your favourite crackers. And, no need for pectin…the recipe is for a 15 oz. jar and keeps two weeks in the fridge. If you are into canning there are directions for that too.

Raspberry Rhubarb Jalapeno Jelly https://es.pinterest.com/source/chocolatemoosey.com/

Ingredients

3 cups fresh raspberries (thawed if frozen)

1 cup chopped rhubarb (roughly 1 stalk)

1-2 large jalapeno peppers*, seeds and membrane optional for heat

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Place a small dish into the freezer to use for testing the jam.
  2. In a large deep skillet, add raspberries, rhubarb, jalapeno, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat and stir until it reaches a rolling boil. Boil and stir until it thickens, 10 minutes. When it seems like it is gelling, take your plate out of the freezer. Put a small spoonful of the jam onto the plate and let sit for 30 seconds. Tilt it. If it slides too fast, keep cooking. If it moves slow, it is done. Test every minute or two and do not overcook it. Spoon into heat-proof container and cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To can jam**

  1. Wash one 8-ounce (or 6-ounce + 2-ounce) glass mason jar with a two-piece lid with soap and hot water. Dry completely.
  2. Add the jar(s) and lid pieces to a large pot of boiling water deep enough for the jar(s) to be completely submerged in water. Once the water is boiling, leave the jar(s) in there until ready to use.
  3. Remove the jar(s) and lids from water and drain out all of the water from the jar. Keep the water boiling. Spoon the jam into the jar(s). Wipe excess jam off the rim of the jar(s) so it will seal properly. Add the lid. You may want to use an oven mitt so you can hold the jar(s) still.
  4. Place sealed jar(s) back into the boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Make sure it is submerged in the water. Remove from the water and let dry on a heat-resistant surface for 18-24 hours. Once cool, press down on the lid. If it stays down, it is sealed. If it pops back up, put in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.

 

Chipotle Maple Pepper Dry Rub Ribs

While in Ontario we stopped at Coyles Country Emporium in Tillsonburg, Ontario. While browsing through the store I was intrigued about a product I had never seen – Savoury Favourites Chipotle Maple Pepper seasoning. Before I go any further, I am in no way being paid to promote this product.

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Once back home, I realized that we had one strip of pork ribs in the freezer waiting to be used. We have always enjoyed the dry ribs at Boston Pizza but they don’t seem to carry them anymore. Eureka…I had bought the chipotle maple pepper! Why not give it a shot? I thawed the ribs and cut them apart into single bones, and placed them on their sides in a Pyrex baking dish.I dusted them with the Chipotle Maple Pepper and turned them over and dusted them again before placing them in my 250 degree F preheated oven. I cooked them for about one hour and then turned them for a second hour. Depending on the size of your ribs they should be done after two hours. Of course, I had to sample one to be sure…LOL. These are awesome! Using this product is so much easier than making up your own rub! I cant wait to try it on steaks on the BBQ tomorrow… we did and they were awesome!

The next evening I used the seasoning on tuna, equally awesome. Tonight I used on our hamburgers. This stuff is a must have in your pantry! They make three other flavours – original, mild curry and garlic. Did I mention they suggest using it on popcorn? Later tonight…

For more about the seasonings and some great recipes go to their site www.maplepepper.ca

If you are unable to find this product, you ,might like this rub recipe from Guy Fieri on Food Network!

Guy Fieri Salt and Pepper Dry Rub Ingredients
Two 3 1/2-pound slabs pork spare ribs
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
4 limes, halvedRead more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/salt-and-pepper-spare-ribs-with-romesco-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Christmas Cranberry Chutney

From the folks at Food Network…a little something different for Christmas dinner or use it as a topping for cream cheese appetizer.

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 cups frozen cranberries
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, apples, and thyme; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the raisins, cranberries, lemon zest and juice, orange juice, and sugar. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Recipe courtesy of The Neelys
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Sauteed Peppers with Wine Vinegar

Too many peppers…no time to roast them. Pinterest to the rescue!

Sautéed Peppers with Wine Vinegar
Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
• Coarse salt and ground pepper
• 3 sweet bell peppers (any color), cut into thin slices (actually I used whole baby peppers with the tops cut off- didn’t worry about the seeds)
• 1 hot red chili (optional), sliced
• 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
Directions
1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion softens, 3 minutes. Add bell peppers and chili, if using, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper; add vinegar. Stir to combine, cover, and cook until peppers soften slightly, 3 minutes. Toss with oregano.