Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Years Eve: A Resolution to Eat Hor D'oeuvres

I've been avoiding writing this post because the thought of figuring out to spell hor d'oeuvres was too much for my post Christmas lethargy. 2009 is almost upon us, so I had to get my butt in gear and I think I've transcribed the proper letters in all the appropriate places. Since our traditional New Years eve snacking is filled with an endless list of tried and true finger foods here are some suggestions which I hope will help out any of you last minute party planners suffering from the same yule end sluggishness.

New Years Eve Snackies and Treats:

Click here for links to my dip recipes including:
  • 7 layer Taco Dip
  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • Mushroom Walnut Pate
  • Hummus
Here are more suggestions for your menu.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Like Shrimp Cocktail? You'll Love Shrimp Cocktail Dip!

I love this shrimp dip because it gives you shrimp cocktail plus cream cheese. Say no more. Plus, this dip is as easy to make as it is to eat! Great for you last minute party planners!

Shrimp Cocktail Dip

  • 1-2 packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. salad shrimp
  • 1 c. of cocktail sauce -or- 1 c. ketchup and 2 Tbl shredded horseradish (drained)
Using a hand mixer, blend cream cheese (packages depending on the size of your dish) and sour cream. Your looking for a constancy which will be less stiff and be easily scooped by a cracker without cracking it.

Spread cream cheese on bottom of your chosen dish. I always use a glass pie pan.

Spread cocktail sauce over cream cheese.

Place shrimp in a strainer and allow all excess shrimp juice to drip out.

Scatter shrimp over cocktail sauce and you are done.

Presto: Shrimp Dip!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Food

I just got back from my parents, who live in dial-up land. I had a great time on my vacation from the internet, but now I'm back to let you know I can really shake 'em down.

After all that fish last year, we decided to go back to our tried and true traditional Christmas eve dinner. Check it out:

Emily and Alger are in a holiday mood!

Appetizer: Shrimp Cocktail

Spinach Salad with hard boiled eggs, bacon, sweet tomaot vinaigrette (ok also known as French dressing)

The soup was my course. My mom asked to make a shrimp bisque. The above was made with a champagne reduction steeped with tarragon, lemon shrimp stock made from boiling the shrimp for the appetizer, a couple strands of saffron and garnished with fresh chives. Delic! I also added a secret ingredient but I won't tell you what it was. (Ok, fine twist my arm. Canada Dry).

Our entree of Roasted Prime Rib, Yorkshire pudding, Madeira Gravy and steamed asparagus. Sorry the picture is blurry. Champagne went into more then just the soup.

I love Yorkshire pudding. Its so light and fluffy. Wonderful with Gravy. Be careful no one steals it!

More blurry holiday pics. Drink up.

Hope you all had a warm and fuzzy holiday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Candles image by flicker user Neato Coolville

Hope your stockings are filled with goodies and toys. Although in this day and energy conscious age, coal would be OK too, as long as its the clean burning type. Does that really exist? Whatever...

Ho HO Ho!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Although Christmas day is exciting, Christmas Eve is always my family's favorite time. My Mom likes to make a multi-course meal which generally includes prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, and other delicious treats.

Feast of the Seven Fishes by Jason Santa Maria

Last year, my Mom decided to be adventurous for our Christmas Eve meal and suggested trying the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Southern Italian Christmas eve dinner meant to represent the 7 Catholic sacraments. My Mom thought it would be an exciting challenge for us to try something different and a little more complex. Here was our menu:
  1. Bagnacauda a Garlic and Anchovy spread, served with Baguette
  2. Fried Calamari
  3. Baccala Vesuvio a soup made with salted cod and tomatoes.
  4. Salmon Scallop Terrine
  5. Poached Halibut served with a Champagne Butter sauce w Lemon Barley Pilaf
  6. Lobster Salad
  7. Crab w/ Angel Hair Pasta
Our meal was delicious, although I have to admit, we did not do the best job of serving small enough portions to get through all the courses. We had to quit in the middle of the Lobster salad. If we ever do this again, we have to keep in mind the Gourmet portions!

Check out these sites for more info and sample menus:
Mario Batali

I wish you all a wonderfully delicious Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Am Proud To Say...

Still from EricShiveley.net

I would never have guessed the tickets for the Inauguration Bash would go this quickly. Thank you so much for all the interest! I am excited. I think its going to be a lot of fun!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sick of Christmas Music?

I love Christmas time, but even I get sick of hearing the same Christmas songs over and over again. By this time of year, I want to kill Paul McCartney for every writing, "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time". However, there is one Christmas CD I can NEVER get sick of listening to. I wanted to share with you my favorite Christmas mix, made by my friend Marcus, which makes for the best baking music ever. Every mix tape Marcus ever made I cherished like gold and listened to over and over until the tape warped. I love digital files because they can be listened to infinitely without damage and shared easily. I hope you enjoy. Thanks Marcus!

Why Gary Coleman? Why not?

Marcus's Christmas Mix

  1. Christmas in Compton Eazy-E
  2. Blues for Christmas John Lee Hooker
  3. Christmas Time, Yo La Tengo
  4. Christmas Bop T Rex
  5. the way back home Drugstore
  6. Making Christmas Danny Elfman
  7. Please Come Home for Christmas Charles Brown
  8. Have Yourself a Merry Christmas Diana Krall
  9. God Only Knows Beach Boys
  10. Fairy Tale New York Shane MacGowan
  11. Santa Baby Eartha Kitt
  12. Santa Claus is Coming to Town Diana Ross
  13. Merry Christmas, Baby Otis Reddig
  14. Christmas Song Jackson Five
  15. Drummer Boy Johnny Cash
  16. Presents For Christmas Solomon Burke
  17. Dreaming of a White Christmas Otis Redding
  18. Christmas Blues Sonny Boy Williamson
  19. Christmas Time in Canada Wilf Carter
  20. Winter Wonderland Dolly Parton

If you want more zany Christmas songs, check out Andy Cirzan's mix featured on Yesterday's Sound Opinions.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Are Supper Clubs the New Restaurants?

Best of 2008 lists are all hot this week, and New Year predictions not far behind. Forkable was lucky enough to be mentioned in one prediction, stated by Time Out Chicago grouping us with Supper clubs such as Clandestino, Sunday Dinner, and Lush as a popular alternatives for adventurous diners on a budget for the upcoming year.

Well adventurous diners, there are still seats available for our next Inauguration Bash scheduled for Sunday, January 18. If you are interested in reserving a seat, please send me an email.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tweeting Out in Style!

Blogging can be a lot of work. Of course its fun to write about things you are excited about, but it can also be time consuming and its easy to fall into the blog hole. Yesterday, I temporarily emerged from the deep to experience one of the many awesome perks, blog networking and free stuff!! Dan of TweatingOut.com, a relatively new dining review microblog, invited me to join in on this month's Chef's Table, hosted at the D.O.C. Wine Bar on Clark and Wrightwood.

D.O.C. Wine Bar Image by Flickr user DiscoverDupage

As I walked through the posh darkly lit bar area to join our group in the party room, D.O.C. did not seem like a place I would generally find myself as it has all the appearances of a yuppie watering hole. However, whatever my initial opinions may have been, they were immediately washed away with the appearance of a most welcome glass of sparkling rose given to me by our smiling host in greeting. As soon as the courses began to arrive, my opinion continued to rise, and each new wine tasting did the same to my enthusiasm. The food was all delicious (with the exception of the salad, though stated as their most popular item, left me far underwhelmed). The roasted pork loin was my personal favorite. Prepped for 24 hours in an apple cider brine and served with a deliciously light BBQ sauce, the supple and juicy texture of this meat, left me feeling quite smug and self assured in my belief that a brining is the ultimate secret to a perfect roasted meat.

The oversize chocolate chip cookie served in a skillet all hot and gooey with a large dollop of ice cream may be totally gimmicky, but was a hands down success in making a room full of Foodies attempting sophistication squealing through cookie stuffed mouths like 5 year olds. I was no better as I battled Jen spoon in hand for the biggest bite.

For only $25, guests of the Chef's Table events enjoy a prefix of food selected by the chef, a round table discussion with the chef and restaurant manager, as well an intimate and totally un-intimidating dining experience. I would totally go again, and I encourage all of my readers to check them out. You can find out about the next event by following TweatingOut on Twitter. While you are at it, you can add me too. I, mean only if you want to. No pressure (DO IT!).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thaw Your Aching Bones With A Hot Buttery Rum

Its snowing buckets in Chicago tonight. It was a knuckle clencher riding home today. Yes, I am that crazy to ride my bike home through Chicago traffic on roads buried in snow. It would have taken me at least 2 hours to get home on the bus, where it only took an hour on my bike. Everyone was going so slow, I could weave in and out of traffic, fish tailing the whole way. When I finally got home, every muscle ached from the tension. What I needed was a nice hot stiff drink. Luckily, I had some Buttery Rum mix left over from our party. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Hot Buttery Rum Drink
enough for 8-10 mugs
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Boiling water
  • All the Rum you can handle
Cream butter and sugar together and mix in spices and cream. Boil water. Fill a mug 1/2 of the way with boiling water and top off with as much rum as you like. Add 2 generous tablespoons of the mixture and stir until melted. Drink up while its hot and relax those bones!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Candy Land Became The Wasted Land

A platter of Russian Teacakes surrounded with a mix of Almond Rolls and Raspberry Jam Kolaches.

Saturday night, our Forkable Christmas Cookie Extravaganza was a great hit. We all ate many cookies and drank many drinks. We got some great responses from people enjoying reading the recipes all week and then getting to finally sample to goods. Yum yum yum.

Here is the table just set as the first guests arrive. Among all the cookies we served you can see front and center in the basket (from left) Double Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies, Classic Ginger Snaps, and then Nut Clusters. To the right on the double tiered tray, we have a mixture of the Raspberry Jam Kolaches, the Palmiers, some Rosehip Thumbprints and Almond Rolls. Behind that we put out a display of the cute Kissable Mice on my Great Aunt's Cake Platter. Don't you like the stag centerpiece!

Palmiers set out in my Great Aunt Sis's vintage candy dish. Behind you can see the platter of the Peppermint Fudge.

I'm sorry, I wish I had better pictures of the party. Its so funny how these events go. I spend hours and hours working on them, and then when they arrive, I just want to have fun and experience them and not be stuck behind a camera. I never end up with any good shots of the final product. I've got these few pictures of the party as it was starting and I have pictures of the aftermath. Although I have no pictures to show who and how many came, I can prove something happened by the mess left behind. By these images and the five stuffed garbage bags full of recycled bottles and cans, you can tell we had a great time!

No party is complete without Shrimp Dip!

My friend Stacy used to be our party photographer, but now she has moved. So I've got an opening. Anyone who wants to be assigned to this role, I'll give free admission, free booze and all the food you can eat to our next party. So, just let me know if you're interested.

Anyhow, Thanks again for all of you who came and celebrated this holiday season with us. So from all of us here at Forkable, Ho Ho Ho, Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Quick Easy: Palmiers

Also known as elephant ears, palmiers, made with sheets of sheets of puff pastry, are perfect for those who are afraid of making pastry or just want a quick cookie.

I always get the Pepperidge Farm puff pastry because its the most readily available and relatively inexpensive at around $4.00 a box. Each box comes with two sheets.

Roll out defrosted dough on a floured surface. The more you roll your dough out, the smaller your cookies will be. Traditionally these cookies are bigger, but I like to add more sugar to create a really caramelized cookie, which is also very rich. I roll the dough out pretty thin, to make a smaller cookie. Using a knife, trim irregular edges to make a rectangle.

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Divide sugar in half and one half per sheet. Pat the sugar to embed into the dough. Using a knife, score the middle of the dough on two parallel sides. With an unmarked edge, begin rolling and roll dough to score mark. Roll opposite side to central score mark until two rolls are together. Using a pastry brush, brush some milk between where two rolls come together and press so they stick together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour.

Remove from fridge, and using a knife, cut into slices into approx. 1/2" slices. Lay slices out on a tray a couple inches apart. Pour 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp of sugar on each cookie. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place trays in freezer while oven preheats. Bake cookies for about 8 minutes. Remove trays from oven and flip over. Bake for another 8 minutes or until cookies are nice and caramelized.

These are cookies are easy to make, rich in flavor and look gorgeous. I love them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cutest Christmas Candy: Kissable Mice!

These little cuties are really simple to make. Holding on to the stem, maraschino cherries are dipped into melted chocolate and pressed while wet against a Hershey's kiss with almond slices placed for the ears. I used red cooking jell for the eyes. I love how the stem becomes a cute little curly tail!

These guys love climbing around their ginger snap hills.

This is one of the few times where the more mice you have in the kitchen, the better.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Forkable Inauguration Bash

Floating down from our post election high, the past six weeks have been an interesting and difficult time as we grapple with the realities of our nations tentative economic stability in the hands of a lame duck president. Hopefully the inauguration of President Elect Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 20 will bring on a new day of change and possibilities. To celebrate this historic event, we at Forkable are excited to announce our next food event:

The Forkable Inauguration Bash
3 course prefix
Sunday, January 18th at 6 p.m.

The suggested donation for a seat is $35 for preregistration and $40 at the door. BYOB. Thanks to Time Out Chicago for including a shout out to us, we've received a lot of interest in this event. Seats are very limited and are reserved on a first come first served basis. If interested in reserving seats, please email me and I will reply with instructions on donation payment, location, and any other important details.

If you are interested in purchasing a seat as a Christmas present, I can arrange for a gift invitation to be sent via email or I can email you a "gift ticket" which can be printed and wrapped to go under the tree.

These events are always a great way meet like minded food enthusiasts in a private and comfortable environment. I hope our inaugural bash will be as much a hit as our previous events. More info on the menu to follow.

Favorite New Holiday Treat: LIme Glazed Cornmeal Cookies

Every year I like to try out new recipes along with the tried and true. This is my favorite from this year's batch. I found this recipe while perusing my Aunt Anne's Martha Stewart Christmas Cookbook. I think I'm going to be making these every year from now on.

Lime Cornmeal Glazed Cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes total)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (2 medium oranges)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, plus more for coating glass
  • lime glaze
I made a few slight adjustments to her directions, so here are my suggestions.

Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg mixing into creamed butter. Add citrus zests, lime juice, and almond extract. Mix until blended.

Mix together flour and cornmeal and slowly add to your batter while mixing, continue until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Roll dough into 1" balls. In a bowl, mix 3 parts cornmeal to 1 part sugar. Roll balls in cornmeal and sugar and lay out on a tray lined with parchment or a silicon mat a couple inches apart.

Using a glass press cookies into thin disks. Dip cup in milk and then in cornmeal/sugar mixture before pressing each cookie. Bake at 350 for 8 to 12 minutes or until cookies are light golden around the edges. Remove cookies from oven and place cookies on a wire rack to cool.

Mix together lime glaze. Line surface under wire racks with newspaper. Spoon about a teaspoon of glaze on each cookie and place cookie back on wire rack to dry. Before glaze is hard, zest a lime above cookies so zest hardens into glaze. Store in a sealed container.

These cookies have a caramelized crispy texture and the sweet of the glaze contrasting with the tart citrus flavors is so wonderful, I could eat these all day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Leftover Remix: Ghost of Halloween Past Becomes Peppermint Fudge

There must be a reason why every Tourist destination's historical downtown has at least 18 Fudge and Toffy stores. Everyone loves fudge, so I usually make a batch of fudge or two at Christmas time and this year can be no different. This year I made Peppermint fudge.

I have a lot of white chocolate left over from my Halloween treats I wanted to use for the fudge. Having chunks of unused white chocolate doesn't really count as a left over remix you say. I agree. So where are the leftovers. Well, do remember the marshmallow ghosts I made? Although a party favorite, I made way too many of them and had a bunch of leftovers.

So I've had them stored in an air tight container until I could melt them down and use them instead of marshmallow fluff to make my fudge. The white chocolate coating of the marshmallows would just blend right in with the rest of the melted chocolate.

Here is my Mom's traditional fudge recipe:

Fantasy Fudge
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 7 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
  • 5 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
In a sauce pan, bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to a boil. Once boiling, start a timer and continue to boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly. After 5 minutes remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until melted. Add vanilla and marshmallow fluff and stir until thickened. Pour into a greased 9" x 13" pan and chill in refrigerator until hard. Remove from pan, cut into desired size and store in an air tight container in refrigerator.

For my Peppermint fudge, I followed my Mom's recipe but
  • used white chocolate instead of semi sweet chocolate
  • substituted an equal amount of my melted ghosts for the marshmallow fluff
  • substituted peppermint schnapps for the vanilla
  • mixed in 6 candy canes, chopped into fine pieces.
  • 1/4 tsp of red food dye

It turned out really well. I think I used more marshmallow then the original recipe called for yet this was my most successful fudge ever. I've had trouble in the past with my fudge not solidifying, in fact one year, I served a tray of fudge with spoons (I didn't pull it out until everyone at the party was well fed with drinks). However, this fudge hardened quickly and did not stick in the pan. It was very well behaved, so I think using old marshmallows instead of the fluff maybe a great way to clean out the pantry and make successful fudge.

(OK, this post is over and I am not going to write the word fudge again; that word just sort of grosses me out).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Margie's Russian Tea Cakes

People love this crunchy almond cookie covered in layers of soft sugar. Also known as snowballs, and Mexican wedding cookies, these scrumptious treats have many names to suit every occasion. Last year, my Mom gave me my Aunt Margie's recipe so I could fill a request for our Christmas party, during which these were the first to go. Since they were such a hit, I'm making them again this year.

Margie's Russian Tea Cakes
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped nuts (I usually use almonds, but pecans or walnuts also work)
Using a mixer, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix.

Add the dry ingredients and nuts. Mix using your hands until you have a solid dough. It is important to mix with your hands for the dough to get the right consistency of crumbly yet compact. Chill dough for 1 hour.

Roll into 1" balls and bake for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees.

When you take them out of the oven, roll immediately in a bowl of confectioners sugar. The sugar may appear to melt a bit, which is fine. Allow to cool on a wire rack. After the cookies are cool, roll again in confectioners sugar. This double rolling technique gives a soft fluffy exterior to compliment the hard crunchy interior.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Double Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Chocolate cookies, maraschino cherries, chocolate ganache. Can you think of anything we're missing. Whiskey? Oh, its got that too.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies.
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp whiskey**
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 10 oz. jar of marachino cherries
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 c. sweet condensed milk
Using a mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and whiskey, beat well. In a large bowl stir dry ingredients together. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beat until well blended.

**Of course, I like to add whiskey to all things. If you don't have any just add 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla.

Shape dough into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet. Press down in the center of the ball with your thumb.

Drain cherries and save the juice. Place a cherry in the center of the cookies. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

In a small sauce pan, combine chocolate and milk. Heat until chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 c. cherry juice. After 8 minutes, remove tray from oven, spoon 1 tsp of ganache over cookies and place back in oven for 2-3 minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Raspberry Jam Kolaches

Jam Kolaches have to be one of my all time favorite Christmas cookies. Biting through the delicate savory cream cheese pastry helps set off the sweetness of the jam interior which almost pops in your mouth as you enjoy this rich little treat. I have to admit, because each cookie has to be filled with jam and folded over individually, its a little high on the putzy meter, which is why this is always one of the first batches I make (before I am too sick of baking to be bothered). Its worth the time though. I make them every year with NO REGRETS!

Jam Kolaches
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • Jam of your taste. I always use raspberry, because, come on, raspberry is the best.
  • approx. 1/4 c. milk
  • approx. 1/4 c. sifted confectioners sugar.
Using a mixer, cream butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add flour slowly and mix until a dough forms. Chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes (you can skip this if you are in a hurry).

Roll dough out on a floured surface to approx 1/4" thickness. Using a 2" round cookie cutter cut out as many circles as you can. If you don't have a round cookie cutter (I don't) you can use a drinking glass or a tin can.

Just dip glass or tin can in flour to coat edges before cutting.

Place dough circles on a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon lining. You can also just grease it if you don't use those things, but I suggest parchment at least (helps to keep your dough from burning).

Brush one side of dough circle with milk. Spoon 1/4 tsp jam on each cookie. Fold opposite sides together, slightly overlapping edges and gently pinch closed to form little half circle pockets around jam.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove to cool and sift confectioners sugar over cookies.

So delicate. So delicious.
These cookies are truly precious.
Eat the whole batch in one sitting
and you'll find your pants not fitting.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas= Cookie Time!

Christmas Cookies 4 by Flickr User Dano

Christmas time, its Christmas time, lets all have good cheer to all our friends and neighbors.

This weekend you'll find me completely covered in flour and chocolatebaking in the kitchen to prepare for our annual Cookie Party next Saturday. Every year I make about 10 different kinds or so. So pull out a big glass a milk because for the next week, expect only cookie posts.

Pinwheel Log by Flickr User PugnoM

Here's a list of the cookies I plan on making. I'll be picking my favorites to share as recipes, but let me know if you want any specific ones and I'll try to provide.
  • Classic Gingersnaps
  • Chocolate Cherry Ganache Cookies
  • Jam Kolaches
  • Margie's Russian Tea Cakes
  • Thumbprints
  • Christmas Tree Sandwiches
  • Mudballs
  • Lime Glazed Cornmeal cookies
  • Palmiers
  • Nutballs
  • Fantasy Fudge
  • Kissable Mice
  • Spice Spritzes
  • Almond Crescents (unfortunately this is my Mom's secret recipe which I had to beg her just to give to me, so I can't share, unless you beg her too.)
Ugh. I just realized, I've listed 14 different kinds. Hopefully I'll have time for all of them. Well lets shoot high!

If this isn't enough, there are lots of blogs running a different cookie recipe everyday, and they have newsletters you can sign up for which will send the recipes straight to your email! So lets get baking!

Friday, December 5, 2008


A million years ago, when Ira gave me that incredible Le Creuset casserole pan, I asked for submissions for your favorite casserole recipes. I sort of got caught up in so many different food projects, time got away from me. Paltry as this excuse sounds, please be rest assured, casseroles remain at the top of my list of fav foods to eat on a busy night. We got a lot of great submissions, and I want to thank everyone who participated. One submission however stuck out not only because of its great recipe but by is sensational headline grabbing name. May I present you with Wendy Petrosky's submission;

The Kick-Asserole!
  • 1 container(7oz) of pesto
  • 14 oz raditore(or rotini) pasta cooked and drained (I like whole wheat)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast (pre-cooked in package)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 14.5oz can Hunt's diced tomatoes w/roasted garlic
  • 2/3 cup feta cheese
  • 14oz can quartered artichoke hearts (rinse)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan for top

Combine all ingredients (except parmesan) in large bowl,leaving artichokes last and lightly tossed in. Spoon mixture into lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake @ 350 for 35-40 minutes.

All measurements are approximate, and sometimes I add a couple of cloves of chopped garlic, extra tomatoes, etc. As with all casseroles, it tastes even better the next day after you re-heat it.

Thanks Wendy! I made this and it was soooo awesome! It was tasty, easy and so quick, it went from zero to kick ass in less then 15 minutes prep time!

My notes: I had some raw chicken breast in the freezer so I cooked up to substitute for the pre-cooked package. I also added some bread crumbs to the top to give some added crunchiness. To finish the meal off, I made a quick garlic bread and we were ready to go. This casserole is kickassa-rolin into my cookbook!