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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spicy Savory Mini Sandwiches

The beautiful warm weather has arrived in Southern California, thus beginning the wonderful season for outdoor entertaining.  As a native Californian, I have grown up enjoying the spicy foods of friends, and over time have developed a palate that really craves that bit of KICK!  If you are planning a simple get-together, these mini sandwiches will be sure to please!


Spicy Grilled Ham and Cheese



A few days ago, we celebrated Easter, and there's nothing better than using that wonderful sweet and savory ham to make grilled ham and cheese. 

To compliment the sweet and savory flavors of my ham, I decided to make this sandwich with a lovely French brioche.  This wonderful brioche is buttery, dense, and just slightly sweet, delish!


To give my sandwiches that little spicy oomph! I used chipotle cheddar.



The result is a delightful sandwich full of smoky spicy flavor with a subtle tinge of sweetness.

 

If you would like to view the recipe for my Sweet and Savory Holiday Ham, you may do so in the archives here.



Spicy Roast Beef Brioche


For these sandwiches, I also used brioche, but in mini loaf form.


I sliced the breads,







added a bit of sriacha mayo to each side of the bread.
 

Place slices of aged Swiss on one side of each, set aside.

In a small saucepan, I sautéed fresh sliced mushrooms in a bit of white truffle oil and a pinch of garlic salt to taste.  When the mushrooms are just about done, add the sliced roast beef and cook just until warm.  Add the meat and mushroom combination on top of the cheese side of the brioches and place onto a prepared cookie sheet.


I prepared a cookie sheet by brushing it with a bit of the white truffle oil.  Place the sandwiches into a preheated 350 degree oven and toast just until the bread is golden and the cheese is completely melted.  These sandwiches are savory with just the right amount of bite!  You may eat them by themselves, or of course with au jus.  Enjoy!



If you would like to see these nummy noshes featured I my 2016 Tartan Day Tea, please visit the post on my blog Parsimonious Décor Darling here.




If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤

Friday, February 5, 2016

Easy Decadent Raspberry Dark Chocolate Lovers' Cake



Hello, friends and lovebirds!

Valentine's Day is a short time away, and if your are pressed for time, this simple and lovely cake is a sweet option.

I have noticed a trend that naked cakes are all the rage; I think they are simply gorgeous, so I wanted to try my hand at one.  The chocolate cake I am sharing today comes from the pages of Miette, a cookbook I recently picked up from a charming little bakery in Solvang.



 If you would like to read more about the trip, you may click here.



I am using their cake as a foundation, with my own variation, as stated below.  If you would like to save even more time, you may opt to use a boxed cake and add my variation afterward.

Miette Double Chocolate Cake:
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (4 1/2 ounces) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces 70 percent cacao chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups (15 ounces) sugar

Liberally butter two 6-by-3 inch regular or contour cake pans and dust with sifted cocoa powder.  Tap out the excess cocoa.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pout the boiling water over it.  Whisk until the chocolate is melted.  Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour in the oil, whisking until combined, about 30 seconds.  Raise the speed to medium and whisk until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds longer.

Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Slowly pour in the buttermilk and vanilla mixture.  Add the sugar and whisk until the batter is smooth and liquid, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer.  Remove the bowl and add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, preferably by hand, lifting and folding in from the bottom center.  Using a rubber spatula, scape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just briefly by hand.  The batter may still look a little lumpy, but stop mixing.

Pour the batter through a medium-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl to remove any lumps.  Press against the solids in the sieve with a rubber spatula to push through as much batter as possible, then discard the lumps.  Divide the batter between the prepared pans.  Bake until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes.  When the cakes are cooled enough to handle the pans but still a tad warm to the touch, carefully run an offset spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen them, then invert the cakes onto the racks and remove the pans.  Let cool for about 20 minutes longer.  Wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to ensure the interiors are completely cooled before decorating, at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.  To freeze, wrap tightly in a second layer of plastic and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.


My Variation:
You will need:
1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed
Raspberry whip
Torani Dark Chocolate Sauce
Red roses for garnish


For my cake, I used this easy layer cake pan form from Wilton.



Allow your cake to cool completely before decorating.  While the cake is cooling, prepare your raspberry whip.


Raspberry Whip
You will need:
2 cups Cool Whip or other whipped cream
2 tablespoons Torani raspberry flavoring syrup
2-3 tablespoons fresh raspberries from your pint (about 15)
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar



In a food processor, process the freshly rinsed raspberries until puréed, and push through a sieve with a rubber spatula to remove any seeds. Do this until you have approximately 2 tablespoons fresh seedless raspberry purée.



Mix together with the Cool Whip and syrup, plus powdered sugar, and cool until firm.
 



I recommend cutting a small layer off of each cake so that they are level when stacked.




Between each layer of cake, begin by drizzling the complete layer with the dark chocolate.



 

Next, using a rubber spatula, add a layer of raspberry whip.  Smooth with the back of a spoon.  Repeat until you are at your top and final layer.



Add fresh roses and more raspberries.....viola!


Rustic, lovely....



rich, and completely decadent.  The mellow flavor of the raspberry pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate, and it was truly delicious!




****Note:  All roses are edible, just be sure to remove the white portion of the petal, as it is bitter in taste.  It is important that you not eat roses that come from florists, as fertilizers and pesticides may be used in the process of their growth.  To err on the side of safety, eat roses from your own garden. 


Have a Happy and Lovely Valentine's Day!



If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤


Monday, December 28, 2015

Simple and Delicious Cheater's Bœuf Bourguignon


Now that the festivities of Christmas are over and the frenzy has dwindled down a bit, I love to take time to relax.  If you've been here before, you're keenly aware that during the winter months, my palate craves heavier food.  Yum!  For our Christmas dinner, I made a beautiful standing rib roast (à la Anne Willan via Martha Stewart), ham (recipe in my archives here), Brussels sprouts, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, and potatoes.  Here is a peek.






In today's post, I will share how I turned my leftovers into a wonderful beef stew, or a cheater's version of Boeuf Bourguignon, at least.  

First, all leftover beef was cut away from the bone, cubed, and placed into a pan along with pan drippings and approximately 1- 1 1/2 cups of red wine.  Any beef that had been sliced was cut into smaller pieces and placed in the pan as well.  I kept this overnight, allowing the flavors to mesh.  

Once I was ready to prepare my dish, in a very large stock pot, I placed any remaining ham, cubed, one whole onion, cut into large pieces, four to five cloves of garlic, sliced, beef bouillon (about 10 cubes of the low sodium version), dash Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, a pinch of onion salt, and a generous amount of garlic salt and black pepper to taste. Allow all these elements to cook until the onions have wept (are transparent).  I added all of the cubed beef and drippings along with two cans of mushroom soup.  Continue cooking.


While boiling, I peeled and cut into six pieces each approximately ten large russet potatoes, and peeled approximately 6-7 large carrots, cut them into pieces about 1 inch long.  Add the carrots to the pot and cook until almost done, then add potatoes.  Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, and your dish is ready to serve!  

I prefer this wonderful stew over egg noodles.


Delish!!  I call this a cheater's version of Boeuf Bourguignon because most recipes will call for fresh mushroom and herbs, pearl onions, bacon, but I used what I had on-hand.  It was just as lovely!


I hope you are enjoying your friends and family this lovely holiday season!  



If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤
 





Friday, November 20, 2015

Souper Easy Sopa di Albondigas

I think it's been said here on the blog, I love soup!  Just as soon as there is a nip in the air, my family and I love to begin our tradition of enjoying wonderful homemade soups.  Today's post features my super-quick-and-easy recipe for one of my absolute favorites, sopa di albondigas.

If you aren't familiar with this delicious and hearty soup, it is a Mexican soup that combines fresh veggies with the wonderful flavor of meatballs.



To prepare your soup you will need:

1 small onion
4-5 cloves garlic
4-5 large carrots
Green, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
2-3 stalks celery
Cilantro
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Black pepper
Caldo pollo bullion
Celery salt
1 can diced lime chili tomatoes 
Meatballs ( You may prepare your own in advance, or do as I've done here and use frozen)


Begin by rinsing all of your vegetables; peel and slice carrots, set aside.


In a large stock pot, combine to taste onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and celery salt.  I guesstimate approximately 2-3 teaspoons of each except for the celery salt.  I am heavy-handed with my celery salt, but you may edit to your liking.  Add your tomatoes to the water as well.  Add approximately 2 tablespoons Caldo.  


Chop onions,


slice garlic,


chop celery,


hull and slice peppers...and add all these elements to the water along with your trimmed cilantro.


Bring to a rapid boil.


When the onions are almost transparent, and the celery is firm but not yet cooked through, add your sliced carrots and meatballs.  Continue to cook approximately 5-7 minutes until the carrots are fork-tender, and your meatballs are heated through.


Isn't this lovely?  A peek at all of the wonderful elements.



Serve this wonderful soup with sliced avacado


topped with a sprig of fresh cilantro.  Enjoy with warm tortillas!  Muy delicioso!  





If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤








  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Creepy Halloween Treats

Halloween is such a fun time of year.  It's a time for children and adults alike to indulge in a bit of wicked whimsy...and that also means frightful feasts!  I am a huge fan of candy melts because they are so versatile and easy to use!  Today I am sharing three simple no-brainer candy ideas that will definitely help your Halloween festivities go off without a hitch.  I hope you enjoy the post!  For each of these treats, I used Wilton microwaveable candy melts (I have not been paid to endorse them).


Creepy Spidey Candies


To make these candies, I started with a mold I found last year at The 99¢ Store.


I loved the detail!!



Begin by filling your molds with melted candy just until the spider portion is filled.  Place in refrigerator to cool, approximately 10 minutes.  I used black candy melts, but you can really do these in any color!  Another option is to make only the bottoms of the spiders red, you would fill that portion first with red candy melts, allow to cool, then add the black.


After my spiders cooled, I filled the molds with white candy melts.  Place in refrigerator and allow to cool.
 

All set!  Just carefully remove from the molds.  Easy!


Another option to consider is adding a mini marshmallow just before adding the white chocolate.  Yum!




Spooky Skull Candies


These candies took a little more patience to make.  I began again with another mold I found at The 99¢ Store.


To make the eyes of the little skulls, I used a toothpick.  Roll the toothpick in the melted chocolate until an ample amount is on the toothpick.  Allow any excess to drip off.  Carefully spread the chocolate onto the eye areas by gently tapping the toothpick so the chocolate comes down the pic.


Allow to cool.  Once cool, pour melted white candy into the mold and again allow to cool.  For a more macabre effect, you can use red candy melts for the eyes!



Creepy Marshmallow Brain Pops


Upon the suggestion of my kiddos, I bought this mold a while ago really as a gag gift for my husband who knows a few neurosurgeons.  I believe its original intent was for ice (note the words brain freeze, ha, ha, ha), but it worked perfectly for my creepy candy melt marshmallow pops.
 

To obtain the perfect peachy-pink color, I mixed melted pink and white candy melts



and folded in a little bit of orange food coloring.


I filled the molds semi-full and a bit around the sides of each mold.


Extra-large marshmallows were cut in half


and placed sticky-side down (cleaner that way, and better handling).


I filled each mold completely up and placed into the refrigerator for just a few moments, but not long enough to completely set.


When the chocolate is semi-cool and not yet set, gently push in cake pop sticks.  Place into the refrigerator and allow to completely cool.


Voilà!


My kiddos helped me out with this project, and they gave me some great ideas.  If you would like to up the gross-out ante, serve these with red raspberry sauce....and you can also add a dollop of red raspberry right after the marshmallow before you add the final bit of chocolate (but in this case I would put the sticky side up so the raspberry adheres to the marshmallow).  I'll bet your guests will be surprised!! 

To see these featured in my spooky Halloween vignette, you may visit the post on my blog Parsimonious Décor Darling here.


Have a Happy Halloween!!


If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤