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Saturday, October 9

Online Radio Munchies!!

I listen to an online radio station, and many of my readers come from there.  If you would like to check it out, it's AllRequestRadio4U.  These really are wonderful people, and they are sooo friendly!!  They play what YOU ask for, and one of my roomies is a DJ for them (DJ Jabbers is her name there...here she's just Trac).  They have shown me so much support for this blog!!  A few listeners have sent me copies of recipes to use here, so I thought that I would make today's post about them.

First up, we have Bax (goes by Mr. Gigglelicious in the ARR4U chatrooms).  He has sent me 2 recipes (so far, but I know he's got tons more...don't you, Bax?)...Chili Verde and Pecan Tartlets.  Both of these recipes are delicious and flavorful!!  Let's get started, shall we?

Friday, October 8

More Halloween Goodies

A good friend's teenage daughter is having a Halloween party this year, and I promised I'd put a few more gross but yummy recipes up so that they can have LOTS of fun!!  Of course, I've included pictures...mwahahahaha!!

These really are simple to make, and make for one OUTLANDISH looking table!!  To make floating ice "hands" for the drink recipes, simply fill food grade plastic gloves with water and freeze.  Once needed, run under warm water for a few seconds, then peel the glove off.  You can also buy a package of those fake eyeballs or plastic bugs, and freeze those inside ice cubes...looks REALLY eerie staring out at you from a bowl!! 

My Grandmother's Magic!!

One of the things I vividly remember about my grandmother was her comfort in any kitchen.  Didn't matter who's...she was always able to make some of the most delicious food.  While she would allow the family to "help", she pretty well did ALL the cooking on holidays, creating feasts fit for kings!!  I'm nowhere close to her abilities, and may never reach them.  Oh, I try...ALOT...but I will probably ALWAYS compare what I do to what I remember her accomplishing.  

Take Thanksgiving, for example; our typical holiday meal (for 6 people) consisted of turkey or ham (sometimes both), dressing, giblet gravy, mac & cheese, a pot of slow-cooked green beans or turnip roots, homemade bread, asparagus cassarole, sweet potato cassarole, and desserts...apple pie, pumpkin pie, and always, ALWAYS...her sour cream pound cakeWith the exception of the desserts, she would make all those in ONE DAY (as mentioned, I take almost a week).  The desserts she made the day before ONLY due to lack of space in the oven.

Thursday, October 7

Brine Your Birds!!

If any of you are like me, you try to plan ahead for important dinners.  Many don't really plan more than a week or so ahead, but I usually start the month before...sometimes 2!!  For one, I hate leaving things til the last minute...for another, I really wasn't kidding when I said it takes me almost a full WEEK to make Thanksgiving dinner!! 

My typical run down for Thanksgiving is as follows:  On Sunday, I make things like bread crumbs/cubes, and I chop all my veggies I'll be using (celery, onion, etc).  Mondays are for making pie crusts and fillings.  Tuesday, I usually assemble and bake the pies/desserts, and bake any breads we'll be eating.  Wednesday, I assemble cassaroles, and do anything cold.  Of course, come Thursday, I cook my bird, cassaroles.....and we eat!!  This time plan works well for me...I'm not stuck doing everything all at once, and it's pretty leisurely. 

Wednesday, October 6

From Jack-O-Lantern To Pie!!

Last night, I posted on how to keep a jack-o-lantern looking good for a whole month.  I also noted how to turn those seeds (and there are soooo many) that come from just one pumpkin into a great snack!!  Well, today, I'm going to explain how to use the "meat" of a pumpkin to make one of the cornerstones of the holidays...Pumpkin Pie!!

Pumpkin pie is a simple thing to make.  Making the filling is just as easy, though typically, most of us use "canned" pumpkin when making them (or simply cheat, and buy a pre-made pie).  I freely admit...I've done it all three ways.  Basically, it comes down to time...how much I have.  But, in my humble opinion, NOTHING tastes as good as an old-fashioned, done from scratch pie.  It just oozes family and togetherness!!

Tuesday, October 5

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, EVERYWHERE!!

Halloween.  Just saying the word conjures up mental images of orange and black, kids in costume, and jack-o-lanterns.  Well...there is candy, too.  LOTS of candy!!  But, be that as it may, it's a nostalgic time for most of us, young and old alike.  Way back when (and I ain't saying just how long ago that really was), I can remember the excitement of dressing up, grabbing a pillow case, and ransacking the neighbors for what loot we could haul off!!

Of course, before we got to that point, lots of us would head over to our local "pumpkin patch", and pick up a couple of hefty ones for carving.  After all, a jack-o-lantern was all the rage, and any porch that didn't have at least one was thought of as the stingy house (haha).  Inevitably, we'd get them too early in the month, carve them up...and by Halloween, they were pretty well ruined, weren't they?  Soft...ugly...often moldy, too.  That's just how it was.  Except on our street. 

Monday, October 4

Martini Desserts

I run a group on Facebook, also called Twisted Moon's Kitchen.  It's a recent addition to my daily perusals...and makes it even easier for my friends to keep up with my blog.  My blog posts directly to it.  On the group, I welcome any and all requests for specific recipes (of course, you can always do that using comments here, as well).  Well, today I got a request from my friend Shake.  He asked me about desserts that would look really niced served in martini glasses.

I love a good challenge!!  I scoured my memory, the database on my computer, my cookbooks, and a couple of other sources, and have found three that would look absolutely DIVINE served in martini glasses.  So, Shake...here you are...Champagne Peach Sherbet, Chocolate Mousse w/Raspberry Sauce, and Slices of Sin!! 

Stuffing - Not Just For Holidays!!

Most of us, when we think of old fashioned homemade stuffing, think in terms of special occasions, holiday dinners, etc.  Stuffing seems like it can be a time-consuming process (unless you are among the "cheaters" who use things like StoveTop...you know who you are...).  It's really not, though.  Homemade stuffing can be made pretty much any time, and it's not all that difficult to do.

Today, I'm going to offer you three versions...a sort-of homemade version of StoveTop (for those who prefer straight bread taste), a cornbread version (for the traditionalists), and for those who like a blend of flavors, a dual version, which is what I make for Thanksgiving.  Each has it's own time table.  The first version takes about one hour, the second about 2, the third...actually, I'm not sure, because when I make that one, I usually do it over a couple of days (not due to work involved, but because it actually takes me a week to make a Thanksgiving dinner...I work on similar things at one time). 

Sunday, October 3

Potato Skins...Hooray!!

Yup, it's me again...haha!!  I got appetizers on the mind now, and thought I'd give another of my warm recipes, this time Potato Skins.  There is nothing like a plate full of crispy potato skins, filled with melty cheddar cheese, and topped with bacon bits, sour cream and green onions.

The first time I had these I was 22 years old, at an outdoor cafe down in Florida; I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Oh for the days of youth when one could eat potato skins with wild abandon! I could eat a whole plate back then (and drink a pitcher of beer along with it) and be none the worse. Sigh.

Pigs In Blankets, Anyone?

I love to watch certain sports.  I also like to entertain on occasion.  Of course, it's especially fun to combine the two into one event!!  So, when you think about warm appetizers that can be used for one, or both, situations, what comes to mind first?  Pigs in Blankets!! 

Now, when most think of pigs in blankets, they think a package of crescent rolls or biscuits wrapped around cocktail smokies, right?  What if I were to tell you it's almost as easy to make them homemade, and they actually taste better?  It really is, you know.  There's a fresh quality that you just can't get from pre-made dough, and those packs of cocktail weinies just have too much salt and not enough flavor for me. 

Anyone Feeling Clammy?

Have you ever woke up with a craving?  Just an all-consuming desire for a particular food?  I'm sure you have, most people do.  Well, today, I woke up with a hankerin' for some old fashioned New England Clam Chowder.  Lucky for me, I know how to make it!!

Probably the most popular of the clam chowders, New England style is only one of 6 different ways to make it.  Whoa...what?  SIX ways?  Most only know of 2...New England, which is cream based, and Manhattan, which is tomato based.  You also have Rhode Island and Outer Banks style, which are clear-broth based, and Minorcan, which is surprisingly out of Florida, and is another tomato base chowder.  Finally, you have Long Island style, which is a blend of New England AND Manhattan, making for a creamy tomato base.