Recipe: Cheese Pops with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon

There must be a new trend in serving food on sucker sticks - well, not that new but they are all shaped like these pops. Forget the cake pops, these look even better and again, perfect for a party or shower. While these are essentially individual size cheese balls, I'm 900% sure you can't go wrong by making them! Maybe I'll collect enough of these recipes to have a whole party with the theme of food pops - that would be incredibly.....dorky.

Click here for recipe and instructions.

Original Collector: Me

Recipe: Cake Pops

These look like SOO much fun to make but unfortunately, I don't have an occasion for them now. They would be perfect for any sort of shower or for a birthday party (*Tony, take notes*). I'm filing these away for a later date but you better believe I'll be making them. If no special occasions come up soon, I'll be serving them to my friends at a cookout!

Click here for the recipe and instructions
Original Collector: Me

DIY: Recipe Cards

It's no secret that I love collecting recipes so what better project than DIY recipe cards? I've thought about designing my own card (that matches our handmade invitations and other wedding stationary) and including a special family recipe to give as another favor at our wedding. I've also considered having a cake bar with several different old-fashioned layer cakes instead of a traditional wedding cake - I could share those cake recipes on cards and display them on the cake table for people to pick up as they get a piece of cake. I'm not sure if I'll use these ideas but I'm definitely going to design my own recipe cards to have on hand because well, why not? They're great, I love them and they would make great gifts!

You can find recipe card templates for the ones above at Etsy and Apartment Therapy. For a small price you can download the template and customize it to your own preference but with a little creativity, card stock and printer you can make your own 100% customized card so... why not?
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recipe: White Bean Dip

I love hummus and other bean dips to the point that I could eat them almost everyday. I've never made my own hummus or bean dip but I've been dying to for the longest time. Reason why I've never made it: I don't own a food processor. Sure, I could do small batches in a blender but it would be more trouble that it's worth. Remedy: Food processor is definitely going on our wedding registry... I'll make hummus and dips and pestos until they are coming out of our ears! This recipe looks simple so it's on the list for tryouts.

Recipe from Cookbook Catchall
White bean dip
1 lb dried white beans such as cannellini beans
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt
Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish
Soak beans overnight in a generous amount of cold water. Rinse and pick out any debris. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, sauté onion and garlic with thyme in a few tablespoons of olive oil until onions are translucent. Add beans and cold water to cover beans by a few inches. Bring to a full boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until beans are tender 1-2 hours. Remove thyme.
Drain beans and place in blender with ¼ cup olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Purée, adding additional olive oil slowly to adjust texture as desired. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, sea salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Original Collector: Me
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recipe: Oatmeal Breakfast Clafoutis

I have been terrible about posting lately but I do have a good excuse: Tony and I have been super busy getting pre-approved for a home loan, looking at a dozen homes, looking at dozens more online, making an offer, counter-offering, getting out bid by just a little bit on a house that we love, and being totally bummed out. So now we're back to the beginning but I do have lots of great things to post that I've been collecting even during these busy weeks... hopefully the posts from today will make up for my major lack of posting!

This recipe looks delicious. I love oatmeal and breakfast bars so this looks like the best of both worlds. I love that you can take it with you on the run because I usually travel to work with hot oatmeal in a tupperware bowl (because I'm always running late!) I've got to make these sometime! Oh, and it's great that you can substitute for different nuts and fruits.

Original Recipe from Quaker Oats

This recipe found on Chocolate & Zucchini
Review of recipe on
The Kitchn

Oatmeal Breakfast Clafoutis
- 2-1/4 C quick cooking oats, uncooked, or 2-3/4 C old fashioned oats, uncooked
- 2/3 C brown sugar
- 3/4 C raisins and/or dried cranberries (substitute other dried fruits)
- 1 apple, peeled and sliced (substitute other fresh fruits - optional)
- 1/4 to 1/3 C nuts, chopped (walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts..., or even better a mix of all - optional)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3-1/3 C milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
(Serves 8)

Preheat your oven to 180°C (360°F). Lightly oil an 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, raisins, chopped nuts, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add this to the dry ingredients, and mix until well blended.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish, and use a wooden spoon to make sure the solids are more or less evenly spread out. Arrange the apple slices over the surface. They will sink somewhat but that's okay, they'll float right back up when the oatmeal cooks.

Put in the oven to bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the center is set and firm to the touch. Let cool slightly : it should be eaten a bit warm but not scalding hot.

Cut in 8 servings, and serve with yogurt and fruit if desired ; it is also nice with a thin spread of jam or peanut butter. Store the leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered, or wrap each serving individually and put in the freezer. You can then take a serving out the night before and leave it to thaw until the morning when a 30-second stay in the microwave will bring it to the perfect temperature.

Original Collector: Me

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recipe: Pickled Eggs and Beets

This recipe is possibly the only reason that I'm willing to try the Chinese Tea Egg recipe below. Pickled Eggs and Beets -- they too are strange looking eggs but they taste wonderful! My family has been making this recipe forever...well, since before I've been alive...and I must admit that I haven't always been a fan. It's a taste I've acquired and to admit something else, I still don't like the beets! (but you definitely need them for the flavor!) Anyway, these are super easy and great to munch on all year. I love slicing them up and eating them with crackers for lunch.

Pickled Eggs and Beets
Pickled Eggs and Beats
12 Hard Boiled Eggs, shelled
2 #303 Cans of Sliced Beets (standard size cans)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Vinegar
1 Cup Liquid from Beets*
2 Cinnamon Sticks, broken
6-8 Whole Cloves

Drain liquid from beets and set beets aside. Add Sugar, vinegar, cinnamon and cloves. Boil mixture together for 10 minutes. Place eggs and beets in glass container. Pour in liquid.

Let stand in refrigerator for several days before eating (the longer, the better!) Also, when you have eaten all of the eggs you can place more in the leftover liquid and wait a few more days for another batch!

*If liquid is less than 1 cup, add water to make full cup
Original Collector: My mother's family

Recipe: Chinese Tea Eggs


Okay, I know this recipe doesn't look appetizing in any way, shape, form or fashion but I bet that these are wonderful. I was hoping to post egg recipes on or before Easter but obviously that didn't happen. This recipe would be great to make when you have left over eggs from Easter or just to clean out the fridge when you have too many! I definitely want to try these sometime!

Recipe from Nook & Pantry

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs
6 - 8 large eggs
1/4 C soy sauce
2 Tbsp black tea leaves or 2 black tea bags
1 star anise
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Roughly 2 C water

Put the eggs in a saucepan that can fit the eggs snugly and cover with water. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 7 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse them with cold water until they have cooled off enough to handle. Use the back of a spoon gently tap the shell all over or just hit them against the counter top.

Return the eggs to the saucepan, add the soy sauce, tea leaves or tea bags, star anise, salt, and enough water to cover. You'll want to use a saucepan that can fit the number of eggs you're cooking perfectly. You don't want to use a saucepan that's too big otherwise, you'll need a lot of water to cover the eggs and it will dilute the tea brew. Simmer them in the tea soy sauce brew for 2 - 3 hours. You can even cook them for a few hours in a slow cooker. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the eggs over, add more water if necessary.

After cooking, store the eggs in the brew at least overnight so the flavors can permeate the eggs completely. I like to cut them in half and spoon a bit of the soy sauce brew onto the yolk before eating, it makes the yolk creamy and more flavorful.

Original Collector: Me

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Recipe: Crunchy Peanut Slaw

Since I've been so bad about posting these last few days you get a two-for-one today. I love the idea of this next recipe and I've been wanting to try it for awhile. I think I've had similar dishes but I haven't made anything like this. I'm posting it today because I think this one would also be a great cookout dish for springtime!

Recipe found on The Kitchn
Crunchy Peanut Slaw
1 big bowl of slaw, serves at least 8

1 medium head green cabbage, outer leaves removed
1 1/2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 bunch green onions
1 cup chopped cilantro (about two big handfuls unchopped)
Salt and pepper

1/2 cup light oil, like canola
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or more, to taste)

Shred the cabbage very finely. The fineness of the shredded cabbage is really what makes this salad; you want it in in threads, almost, and with the threads chopped into bite-size lengths. Toss with the peanuts in a large bowl. Chop the scallions, including the green and white parts. Toss the scallions and chopped cilantro with the cabbage, seasoning very lightly with salt and pepper.

Whisk the dressing until emulsified, then taste and adjust to your own preferences of sweetness and saltiness.

Toss with the cabbage. Garnish with a few more peanuts and serve.

Original Collector: me

Recipe: BBQ Chicken

I'm only one week in and I've already been slacking off on posting....oh well. I decided to post this recipe because we've been fighting off the bug to grill out since last Thursday. As luck would have it, now that we are finally ready to grill out the weather has gone back to freezing so we'll have to hold off on making this for another week or so.

This recipe for BBQ chicken is a go to favorite that's perfect to take to cookouts or any other summer party. The recipe is simple because the chicken is precooked and then marinated in the sauce. Whenever you are ready to eat all you have to do is grill the onions and heat the chicken through... it's great on its own or served as a chicken sandwich. You've gotta try this recipe - my mom was able to feed crowds with this when I was growing up!

BBQ Sauce

½ c. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ c. packed brown sugar
¼ c. ketchup
½ tsp pepper
1 ¼ tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
dash of Tabasco
½ c. thin sliced onion

· Mix above ingredients to create chicken marinade.

To Prepare Chicken:

· Simmer boneless chicken breasts in water 15-20 minutes, until cooked.
· Marinate cooked breasts in 13x9-inch pan for 8 hours or overnight.
· Place marinated chicken and onions on grill, heat thoroughly.
· Serve as is or on sandwich bun.

Original Collector: My Mom

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

DIY: Coasters

This project is fantastic - I love DIY projects that are simple but still look like you would have paid a big price in the store. I ran across this DIY coaster project because someone made these as favors for their wedding. I'm not so much interested in that as I am in just making them for myself! I could also see making larger ones for use as kitchen trivets or using ones of all different sizes and patterns as a great wall art project. These would also make great custom gifts for any occasion - you could even make monogram coasters for someone.... yup, this is a keeper.

For complete directions click here.
Side note: After reading over the directions I became even more excited at the fact that you get to use Mod Podge. I used this stuff in high school for everything - collages on storage trunks, lamps, you name it and I Mod Podged it. Sadly though, I haven't had much use for it since then so the fact that this project uses Mod Podge gives it an additional star from me! Slightly dorky, yes... the end.