Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Have a Happy National Cotton Candy Day with a Cotton Candy-tini!

I had a drink like this at a restaurant in Vegas a few years ago and thought it was the coolest thing! You can play around and mix different things for this drink, but the key is the cotton candy - that's the fun part!

Cotton Candy-tini
by Rachael

1 ounce X-rated Fusion Liqueur ("A sensuous fusion of ultra premium French vodka and Sicilian blood orange mingling with mango and passion fruits")
2 ounces Ivanabitch Whipped Cream Vodka
1 ounce cranberry juice
Small handful of cotton candy (flavor of your choice)

Have a Happy National Cotton Candy Day with a Cotton Candy Extravaganza!

I picked Cotton Candy Day because it sounded fun and challenging. At first, I was going to wow you with some extravagant cotton candy delights. Then after combing Pinterest, I realized it is just cotton candy, people! So, I decided to make it fun! Which is what cotton candy is all about!

You can find cotton candy in bags and buckets at stores and, if you are lucky, you can find the big poofs at a carnival. I didn't want to buy a cotton candy machine, so I started asking around if anyone had one. Turns out my teenage daughter's friend had one. So we decided to have a cotton candy party. I have two girls at home, and the girl with the cotton candy machine has two sisters, so we went for it!

Have a Happy National Raspberry Cake Day with Raspberry-Blackberry Swirl Meyer Lemon Angel Food Cake with Crème Fraîche!

I came across this recipe for raspberry angel cake a couple of years ago. I really like the combination of raspberries and blackberries, so I adapted the recipe to use both berries along with some Meyer lemon. I've also used tangerine juice and zest in place of the Meyer lemon. The raspberry and blackberry purees create the most beautiful bright pink and purple swirls throughout the cake. It's a must have for Memorial Day and Labor Day cookouts.

Have a Happy National Raspberry Cake Day with a Chocolate Raspberry Cake!

Chocolate Raspberry Cake
by Rachael

1 box Devil's food cake mix
1 pint raspberries
Semi-sweet chocolate bar (shaved or curled for garnish)

1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups whipping cream

Have a Happy National Raspberry Cake Day with Chocolate Raspberry Upside-Down Cake!

This deep, rich cake has become my family’s favorite indulgence, not least because it comes out of the oven already frosted! It makes a 9-inch single layer cake that’s perfect for a small gathering (serves 6 to 8). You’ll want a rounded bottom (contour) cake pan for this cake – check your local baking supply store, or see this pan here

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Have a Happy National Cheesecake Day with Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars!

Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars
by Rachael
adapted from a recipe on Cookies & Cups blog 

1 (17.5 ounce) package sugar cookie mix
1 (4 serving size) box French Vanilla instant pudding
2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup toffee bits (optional)

Have a Happy National Cheesecake Day with Banana Pudding Cheesecake!

When I was trying to figure out what kind of cheesecake to make for National Cheesecake Day, I was throwing all kinds of suggestions out to my co-workers. I got instant "no way's", "um, no", and even a couple of sideward glances that told me to keep looking. When I was going toward banana cream pie, I had a taker, but then I said banana pudding cheesecake. My friend (1st), boss (2nd), Debbie, said "I can taste that." So I decided that she needed to taste it. She will tell you she is on a diet (she doesn't need to be), but she is a trooper when it comes to my food. And I appreciate all the help she is to me. So, this is for Debbie!! Enjoy, my dear friend!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Meet Carlos!

Hello, everyone. My name is Carlos, and I am thrilled to be the latest addition to 37 Cooks! I am born and raised in New York, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I live my life through various art forms - music, perfume, cooking and photography. I am of Latino descent, but my mom married an Italian man and I was raised in Bensonhurst, a VERY Italian neighborhood. As a matter of fact, I’m a childhood friend of 37 Cooks own Chiffonade and her brother Ernie. I was exposed to both Hispanic and Italian cuisine while growing up, as well as typical all-American. I am a member of the N.Y. based group "The GoodSmellas", and I also run a Facebook group called "Peace Love Perfume". For me, perfume and cooking are very closely related, especially through the sense of smell. Plating and presentation are very important. I would definitely consider myself a food stylist, particularly when taking pics of my dishes. I wasn’t professionally trained, I just have years of creating in the kitchen experience. Cooking comes easy for me, and I feel just as comfortable behind a sauté pan on the stove as I do playing the piano. I hope to bring that little extra Latino flair to 37 Cooks. 

Have a Happy Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day with Spicy Focaccia with Gorgonzola and Roasted Red Pepper!

It’s a cool, rainy day here in central New York. I noticed that all of this rain we've had has certainly been good for our trees when I took Miss Ellie for a walk this morning. The leaves on our Japanese Maples are a deep crimson and reminded me of the puya chilies I've been working with. I thought I would use some of the puya chilies that the fine folks from Marx Foods sent me to make a spicy and rich focaccia to go with dinner tonight. I love cheese in breads - comfort food - and since I had some Gorgonzola and Parm in the fridge, they went into the bread. It’s a perfect way to take care of the nip that will be in the air this evening and satisfy this crazy need of mine to bake bread.

Have a Happy Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day with White Cheddar and Pork Sausage Fondue!

If you know the origin of National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day, please let us know! In the meantime, we'll be sacrificing for you and eating lots of cheese! ~ 37 Cooks

Cheese fondue is wonderful at a party or dinner with your family. I have a fondue pot, but when we eat this for dinner it is just easier putting it in individual bowls and letting everyone do their thing!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Have a Happy National Coffee Milkshake Day with an Espresso Milkshake with Whipped Cream, Chocolate-Espresso Syrup and Pecans!

It's National Coffee Milkshake Day and a simple coffee milkshake is in order!

I decided to make some Jameson Irish Whiskey-Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate-Espresso Syrup as a special Father's Day treat for my sweet husband Carl, but any store bought ice cream, coffee flavored or vanilla, and chocolate syrup will do. I've included both recipes below should you choose to make your own.

Espresso Milkshake with Whipped Cream, Chocolate-Espresso Syrup and Pecans
by Lori

3 cups Jameson Irish Whiskey-Vanilla Ice Cream
3 shots espresso - I used Southern Pecan Flavored Blend coffee
3/4 cup 2% milk
8 ounces heavy cream for garnish (whip it good!)
Chocolate-Espresso Syrup (for garnish), recipe below
1/4 cup chopped pecans (for garnish)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Have a Happy National Hot Fudge Sundae Day with Kahlua Hot Fudge Sundae with Ferrero Rocher Chocolates!

The last time I tried to make homemade ice cream, there was rock salt, a hand-crank, and about 7 young cousins (myself included) hanging out in my grandmother's back yard. I remember fighting to see who got to sit on the tub of ice cream next and who got to crank it next. Of course, we were also fighting to see who "got" to cut the next part of her lawn with the man-powered grass cutter.  Yeah, we were a sharp bunch, weren't we?!? But those were good times, and I wouldn't trade the memories for anything.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Have a Happy National Tequila Day with Blackberry Margaritas!

To me, nothing says summer like an icy blackberry margarita!

Blackberry Margaritas 
by Judy

1 lime
kosher salt for rimming glasses
1/2 cup blackberries
4 ounces tequila
2 ounces triple sec
2 Tablespoons agave nectar

Have a Happy National Tequila Day with Hornitos Fajitas!

Hornitos Fajitas
by Willie

2 Tablespoons Penzey's Fajita Seasoning
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup corn oil
juice of 1 lime
2 ounces Hornitos Tequila
1 pound skirt steak
Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
ripe avocado
flour tortillas

Have a Happy National Tequila Day with Jalapeno Margaritas!

Here is a refreshingly different drink that is certain to be a party-starter! The longer it sits, the spicier it gets, so drink up!

Jalapeno Margaritas
by Judy

hickory smoked salt for rimming glass (or alternately, chipotle salt)
lime wedges
ice cubes
4 ounces tequila
2 ounces triple sec
juice of 2 limes
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1/3 to 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced (be sure to wear plastic baggies on your hands or gloves when doing this!!!)

Have a Happy National Tequila day with Blackberry-Mint Margaritas with Lavender Simple Syrup!

Truthfully, not only am I a big coffee lover, but I'm also a tequila lover! So when I saw this challenge, I decided to make a new twist on a traditional drink:  The Margarita. I wanted to make something a little different, not your usual margarita, and I thought this recipe using one of my favorite tequilas for National Tequila Day, the Herradura Silver, with Lavender Simple Syrup was the perfect combination.

I wanted to use fresh blackberries for the blackberry puree, it takes a bit more time and I don't mind being in the kitchen, so it was ok with me. But if you're short on time, you can use frozen blackberries and make an easy puree - no problem.  So, using fresh is not a must when your friends are staring at you waiting for a cocktail.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Have a Happy National Vanilla Ice Cream Day with Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Crunch

July 23rd is for vanilla ice cream! Granted, at my house any day could be an ice-cream holiday. I'll get to that — I promise — but first you'll have to indulge me as I wax nostalgic. (Raise your hand if ice cream makes you nostalgic!)

I owe a lot to my grandmother and I don't mean just genetically, but in terms of real, physical things. If you choose an item at random from my kitchen, there's a good chance that it was a gift from my Grandma, given for either my birthday or Christmas. She picked out her gifts months in advance of the event. In fact, she set me down at her kitchen counter and made me paw through catalogs, dog-earing the pages to mark things I wanted. By the time my birthday/Christmas rolled around, I'd forgotten what I marked and was genuinely surprised at whatever amazing present I unwrapped. Clever girl.

Have a Happy National Vanilla Ice Cream Day with Toasted Vanilla Ice Cream!

I wanted to make toasted marshmallow ice cream, but what I ended up with was a really nice vanilla ice cream with just a little bit of a toasty flavor. But that's really okay. Vanilla goes with everything, and I like a good vanilla ice cream as much as any other flavor.

I still have more marshmallows, and lots of other ideas. I'm not done yet.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Have a Happy National Baked Beans Month with Rachael's Baked Beans!

Rachael's Baked Beans
by Rachael

1 large white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1  28-ounce can diced tomatoes, keeping about half the juice
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large green apple, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 15-ounce cans navy beans (with slab bacon)

Have a Happy National Baked Beans Month with Chiffy’s Baked Beans!

These beans are short on ingredients but long on flavor. Molasses gives a deep mahogany color to the beans. Try these and you’ll never open up another can of baked beans. (What’s that little blob of stuff floating in the can anyway?) Great for everything from summer picnics to a place of honor on your Thanksgiving table.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Have a Happy National Daiquiri Day with a Daiquiri, Three Ways!

Some people know a lot about daiquiris. Some are not so sure. It's very easy to slide into the "pop culture" definition of a daiquiri and expect a large, blended, frothy concoction served to you by a kid in a uniform T-shirt and with a corporate slogan ("It's a great day at ABC...Thanks for stopping by!")

Have a Happy National Daiquiri Day with ...Well, Just Take a Look at What Jennifer Did!

This challenge was a learning experience for me. I always assumed that daiquiris were born as the brightly colored, syrupy-sweet, slushy concoctions garnished with a small paper umbrella that you drink while sitting in a lounge chair next to the ocean. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of them, but about halfway through drinking one, the sweetness gets a little overwhelming for me, and I switch to beer. So I was quite pleased when I did some research and found that the original daiquiri was nothing more than rum, lime juice, and simple syrup, shaken with ice and served in a cocktail glass. Who knew? Not me. On further investigation, I learned that there is a version called a Hemingway Daiquiri. As all things googled, you can find many variations of what it actually contained, how it was served, etc. The general consensus, however, is that the Hemingway Daiquiri contained fresh lime and grapefruit juices, white rum, and maraschino liqueur.

With the Atlanta summer starting to creep in, this version sounded like the perfect drink to me - fresh and fruity, but not too sweet. I omitted the maraschino liqueur, and added just a touch of sugar for sweetness. The result was delicious. It may be my new go-to cocktail on a hot day.

Hemingway Daiquiri
by Jennifer

Juice of one lime
Juice of ½ grapefruit
1 ounce white rum
1 teaspoon sugar

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Have a Happy National Culinary Arts Month with Tristan's Cake!

I loved making this cake and having my 18 month old son decorate it! I use this banana cake recipe for him because it is healthier and not as sugary sweet as normal cakes. 

Have a Happy National Culinary Arts Month with Diced Mango with Lime Granita, Coconut Jelly and Powdered Chile!

Diced Mango with Lime Granita, Coconut Jelly and Powdered Chile
by Sarah

Makes 4 servings

1 large semi-ripe, firm mango - peeled and diced

Lime Granita:
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar until dissolved. Let cool, then mix in lime juice. Transfer to a shallow pan and freeze until fully solid, scraping with a fork every hour or two to break up large ice pieces.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Have a Happy National Hot Dog Day with Homemade Bratwurst and a Garbage Plate!

If you had grown up in my hometown of Rochester, NY, you wouldn't flinch if I asked if you wanted to get a garbage plate for dinner.  Instead, you would likely first ask “from where?”  Would it be the original, from Nick Tahou’s?  Or would it be one of the many copy-cat versions that have popped up in nearly every burger joint and diner within 50 miles of Rochester?  The original, of course, is often purported to be the best, but a trash plate, dumpster plate, or more commonly, simply a "cheeseburger plate" or "hot dog plate", are widely available.

Have a Happy National Peach Ice Cream Day with Peach Ice Cream!

I love the idea of fresh-fruit-flavored ice creams, but they're not as easy as you think.  Fruit contains a lot of water.  If you put chunks of fruit in the ice cream, you end up with hard, icy fruit blocks in the ice cream.  And that's not nice.

Pureeing the fruit solves the problem of icy chunks, but for some fruits, the flavor is pretty darned mild.  Peaches aren't particularly strong flavored, that's for sure.  If I had a peach extract, I might have used that to enhance the flavor.  But, oddly enough, I didn't have any peach flavoring.

So instead, I chose similar flavors that I knew would enhance the peach.  First, I added a bit of pineapple extract.  Then I added just a touch of fiore di sicilia, which has a citrus-vanilla-floral flavor.  And then a little bit of rum.

Since this isn't peach season, I used canned peaches.  When fresh peaches are in season, I'm sure I'll come up with another recipe.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Have a Happy National Corn Fritters Day!

This recipe (flour, baking powder, eggs, and milk) is a basic fritter recipe - you can add any number of ingredients such as crab (which would work great with the Chesapeake Bay Rub, also from Feiny's Fine Foods), diced apples with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar instead of the salt and pepper, etc.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Have a Happy National Gummy Worm Day with Gummy Worm Infused Tequila!

This isn't really a recipe, per se, more like a how to!

Gummy Worm Infused Tequila
by Amy

gummy worms
clear tequila

Place 4-5 gummy worms into every 1/2 cup of tequila you want to make.  If you want a red liquor, use only the red & white ones, for a blue one, use only the blue & white ones, etc.  Let the tequila and gummy worms sit on the counter for a few hours.  The gummy worms should dissolve with occasional stirring, just to make sure the worms are breaking up.  If you accidentally add too many worms and some of them aren't dissolving, you can either fish them out or leave them.  They will settle to the bottom.

Have a Happy National Gummy Worm Day with Fried Gummy Worms!

When I signed up to celebrate National Gummy Worm Day, I thought that it would be a simple task.  I was planning on tweaking my Mom’s old Dirt Dessert recipe and calling it a day.  But, the more I thought about the whole situation, the more I wanted to challenge myself and try something new.  I started thinking “wormy” thoughts, and kept coming back to the old childhood book, “How to Eat Fried Worms”.  Needless to say, I decided to see if you really can fry worms.   And, happily, the answer is yes!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Have a Happy National Pecan Pie Day with Crispy Pecan Rolls with Chocolate-Espresso Syrup!

For National Pecan Pie Day I wanted to make something different and fun, but simple, and this is what I came up with. A quick and easy dessert that can be made in less than an hour, or you can purchase already prepared chocolate syrup and be finished in about 30 minutes.

Crispy Pecan Rolls with Chocolate-Espresso Syrup
by Lori

8 ounces softened low-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon molasses
1 large egg
1 package egg roll wrappers
48 ounces canola oil

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Have a Happy National Blueberry Muffin Day with Berry Cornbread Muffins!

Berry Cornbread Muffins

by Jenny

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (only if your mix does not have it already)
4 teaspoons of baking powder (make sure it is gluten-free)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
zest of one orange (reserve some to sprinkle on top after removed from the oven) – you could also use lemon zest
1/4 cup Egg Beaters (or 1 large egg)
1 cup soy milk (almond or other nut milk would work just fine)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (pure if possible)
1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries (raspberries, blackberries, or a combination of berries, etc.)

Have a Happy National July Belongs to Blueberries Month with Blueberry Scones!

Whenever I come across a great sounding recipe I want to try, I usually end up changing something within it. It's just something I've always done...I can't leave anything alone! Not with this recipe, though. These scones are perfect just as they are (although, that I think about it, substituting cranberries for the blueberries might be good, too!). This is my absolute favorite scone recipe.

Have a Happy National July Belongs to Blueberries Month with Stuffed Peppers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce!

I was very anxious to sign up for Blueberry Month and then once I did, I had no idea of what to make. To find my Thrill on Blueberry Hill, I started by reducing my fresh blueberries.

Have a Happy National July Belongs to Blueberries Month with Blueberry Waffles!

To me, blueberries and lemons go hand in hand, but if you aren't a lemon lover, just omit the lemon zest, or use a smaller amount.

Blueberry Waffles
by Sharyl

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries
zest of 2 lemons 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Have a Happy National Piña Colada Day with Piña Colada Pops!

It's National Piña Colada Day, so it's probably not going to take much convincing to get your crew to participate in such a delicious holiday.  The best Piña Coladas I ever had were in Waikiki, and they were good enough that I might want to return there just for that reason!  

Have a Happy National Piña Colada Day with Piña Colada Cupcakes!

When the list for our National Food Holiday Challenge came out and I saw National Piña Colada Day, I knew immediately I had to make a Piña Colada cake. And I did make a cake. A pretty cake. A lovely coconut cake with pineapple frosting. It was delicious, although no one in my family (including me) could really taste the rum in either the cake and frosting. I wrote the entire recipe up on my computer, my hard drive crashed, and there it went, lost on a dead hard drive forever (lesson learned...from now on, write all recipes down on paper!). 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Meet Nancy!

Hi, my name is Nancy Follwell, a transplanted Canadian living in Hawaii. My love of international cooking has developed over the years, through travelling and living all over the world: Canada, Germany, Israel, Texas, and Hawaii, as we have moved around with the Canadian Armed Forces.

I have had the pleasure of being a member of several gourmet clubs, both with my husband and by myself, and have met many cooks eager to share their love of food and friendship. I currently belong to a cooking club where we create a theme, make dishes to fit the theme and then, of course (everyone’s favorite part), we eat what we have made. It’s always interesting as we try something new, using local or native ingredients, and it’s almost always something we have never made before. Through entertaining and hosting large gatherings of military spouses and friends, I have collected a wide array of diverse recipes. However, I always try to find something new or add some new ingredient to create unique tastes.

I chose this appetizer as a reflection of my love of macadamia nuts and my time here. How better to adapt a recipe to Hawaii than use the local nuts and frankly, I find that it tastes even better this way. Whenever I make this recipe I always get requests, especially for the custard sauce. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to sharing more.

Fried Banana Ravioli with Vanilla Custard Sauce
by Nancy

1 cup finely chopped, peeled ripe banana
¼ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
30 wonton wrappers
vegetable oil for frying
Vanilla Custard Sauce (recipe below)

Have a Happy National Sugar Cookie Day with Cracked Sugar Cookies

Do you know what Boo! is?  I realize we’re months away from Halloween, but I have to mention the game of Boo! when telling you about my sugar cookies today.  This link and this link describe how to play Boo!, and if no one’s been playing this in your neighborhood, you might consider starting it in early October this year.  It’s FUN!

A few years ago, I decided to add homemade sugar cookies to my Boo! basket.  I have my step-mom’s recipe and I've been making it for years.  It’s one of the few recipes I don’t try to improve, and I never look for another one because everyone loves them.  So, with our Boo! baskets in hand one dark, clear night, Willie and I walked through the neighborhood looking for two houses that hadn’t been Boo’d yet.  We found one and made the delivery uneventfully, because we didn’t have to ring the door bell and run.  The house was dark and no one was home.  Easy!

We saw a second house.  It was brightly lit with no Boo! placard posted on the front door, so I asked Willie to go do it and he said, "no, you go do it."  This exact conversation went on for several rounds and I finally gave in.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Have a Happy Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Omelette Day with Sunny Side Up Eggs, the easy way!

Since I have learned how to make an egg with a perfectly runny yolk, but with the whites cooked all the way, this is now my favorite breakfast. 

Sunny Side Up Eggs, the Easy Way!
by Sarah G

1 egg
1 pan over medium hot heat
cooking spray
salt and pepper, other seasonings to taste
1 piece of your favorite toast or bread
hot sauce to garnish

 Spray your hot pan with a few sprays cooking spray (feel free to use a little pat of butter or even better some bacon fat…yum).  Slowly crack your egg into the pan without breaking the yolk.  I know that part is sort of a "duh!" point, but even that took me a try or two.  We ate a lot of eggs on Sundays for a while!  

Have a Happy Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Omelette Day with Everything/Anything in the Fridge Eggy Scrambles!

Pretty straightforward  right?  I love preparing individual egg scrambles and putting them in the fridge so all you need to do in the morning is make some coffee, put a frying pan over medium low heat and grab a spatula.  Follow the title!  Throw in whatever you have that sounds good to you and don't forget about those leftovers!

Have a Happy Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Omelette Day with Spicy Chorizo Omelette!

Spicy Chorizo Omelettes
by Susan W

Filling for 4 two-egg omelettes:
1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite cheese, shredded (I used spicy pepper jack...yum!)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound chorizo
1/3 cup diced jalapeno
1/2 cup diced red onion

Friday, July 5, 2013

Have a Happy National Chocolate with Almonds Day with Almond Joy Candy!

Almond Joy Candy
by Amy

5 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
14 ounces shredded coconut
24 ounces milk chocolate chips
1 cup whole almonds

Have a Happy National Chocolate with Almonds Day with Chocolate Caramel Tart!

Chocolate Caramel Tart
by Sharyl
adapted from this recipe

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 Tablespoon cold water (I used about 2 tablespoons)

Caramel Sauce:
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

The National Food Holiday Challenge!

Here we are starting a brand new challenge. You are in for a treat! It's the National Food Holiday Challenge! I know you've heard of these, right? National Donut Day, National Candy Corn Day (my favorite), National Chocolate-Covered Grasshopper Day. Some sound amazing and some don't tempt you in the least, but they are all pretty entertaining. 

When I first got on Facebook, several years ago, I thought I was supremely entertaining when I told everyone what national food holiday it was day in and day out. I am certain some of my Facebook friends didn't think the posts were so great but hey, there are more offensive Facebook statuses than that, right? And many of my friends loved those posts and they would spur me on! Tell us more! And I did.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lavender Ramp Vinaigrette

Lavender Ramp Vinaigrette
by Mary

When I picked the Sciabica's Lavender Extra Virgin Olive Oil, my original thought was to make an olive oil cake.  I think the delicate lavender flavor would translate well in a cake.  Once I got into the kitchen though, I discovered I was sorely lacking in sugar.  Since it was Mother’s Day and I had guests coming in only a few hours, I had to re-think the use of the lavender oil.  No time for a trip to the store.  I had a back up dessert, that’s a recipe for another challenge.  I needed another use that would showcase the floral-y oil.  

Wedge Salad with Lemon Blue Cheese Dressing

Wedge Salad with Lemon Blue Cheese Dressing
by Carrie

To make dressing:
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Sciabica's Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (
salt and fresh ground pepper

In a small bowl, mash together the blue cheese, lemon juice and zest to form a paste; whisk in buttermilk and dijon mustard; add olive oil in a slow drizzle while whisking constantly until thick; add salt and pepper to taste.

Tomato Salad with Capers, Anchovy and Olives

Tomato Salad with Capers, Anchovy, and Olives
by Carrie

2 pounds tomatoes, cut in to small wedges
6 anchovy filets, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
juice and zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
3 Tablespoons nonpareil capers, drained and rinsed