Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Red Wing Eats

Just back from a trip to Red Wing, MN.  An impromptu Easter/Spring break trip.
Took a few walks , took a few free museum tours, one only thru a window because it was closed , the other was a military museum free to the public, actually pretty interesting.  They had  a lot of artifacts.
This girl doesn't just like food, beer and make - up!
And the last would be Red Wing pottery, that has been around forever.

We stayed at the "haunted" St. James hotel in the heart of Red Wing, overlooking the river. And right to next to the Amtrak station.

Jimmy's bar in the hotel

It was a bit cloudy and drizzly when we were there.
So one afternoon we did pop into see a movie, I'm pretty sure we traveled back in time when we went to that movie theater haha!
We did Easter brunch at the hotel, it's a pretty well known event in the area, it was very good.

For dinner one evening we check out The Staghead, my new favorite restaurant in that area.
Hubbie and I shared a smoked salmon pate, served with baguette, amazing!

We also shared the beet salad, very good.
I ordered a grilled cheese and Marc the burger, go figure we are so predictable!
The kiddo came with & he ordered mac and cheese, it looked great & he really liked it too.
Tons of beer selections and also whiskey.

After a walk one day we popped into Red Wing Brewery to enjoy a beer.  They also have good pizza.  Walked across the street and enjoyed another beer at Kelly's Bar, the beer selection was huge, service was not that great but I think it's just because they were short handed because of that holiday weekend.
Ok enough beer talk, there is a the CUTEST tea & coffee house in a cool old building that is filled with antique shops, right across the parking lot from the pottery museum.

They do high and low teas, super cute!  Sandwiches, soups, appetizers they also make in house pastries.  Just adorable!  I was in 7th heaven, maybe not the boys so much so :)

Red Wing is an hour south of the Twin Cities, I would totally suggest going there for a weekend.

*Cannon Valley Trail, is an awesome place to ride your bike, I need a new bike otherwise that would have been on my list of things to do while there!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Red Lentil Hummus

Ok I'll admit this isn't the most appetizing looking dip I have made, but I swear it's real good.
Hummus is a great healthy snack.  I love greek food!
And tahini, have you had tahini?!  SO good!
I did a restaurant review way back, maybe my first review on a place called Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, they have the best Greek food!
I have a funny story about leftovers and this place, my aunt and cousin were bringing home leftovers from this place, my poor aunt accidently dropped her leftover box in the back of my truck. So sad cause there is always so much leftovers, they feed you well there!
Then the next morning after a night of partying my couisin was going to have her leftovers for breakfast, dumped her whole box of food on my kitchen floor!
Oh these poor girls :(
Seems as though I am babbling at this point, I guess my point was Med Cruise Cafe has awesome hummus!

So here is a variation on hummus, Red Lentil Hummus.  Hope you like it.

What you need:
1 Cup red lentils
5 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons tahini
The juice of 1 lemon
1/3 Cup Olive oil
1 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1 Teaspoon paprika

How to make it:
Cook the lentils according to package.
Boil 2 cups of water and in 1 cup of lentils, boil for 10-15 minutes.
Add all ingredients to food processor
Place in serving dish, sprinkle with paprika and if desired more olive oil
I like to serve mine chilled but straight out of the food processor is just fine!
Now you have nice healthy snack.

Serve with whatever you like to eat hummus with, vegetables, pita chips, crackers, bagel chips!


I adapted this recipe from Jo Cooks

Friday, March 18, 2016

Crab Wonton

This is one appetizer that I can not seem to control myself eating while making!
I usually make a plain cream cheese wonton, aka cream cheese puff.  Especially when I make a stir fry for dinner, but it's been awhile!
Thank God cause I would probably be 10 pounds heavier!

There is this Vietnamese place by us, Kimson.  Their cream cheese wontons used to be SO good, they are still good but they changed the recipe.
So I tried to copycat them, that would be cream cheese, scallion, a dash of garlic salt and a little soy sauce in the wrapper.
I have a funny story about eating at Kimson, we used to order delivery from them and I always got this potato, chicken and onion dish, in this amazing sauce.  I have no clue what it's called.
So one time I went there for lunch with my Mom and I think my sister or maybe it was my daughter, this was a long time ago.
You know when your so hungry you could just cry? Well I was about to that point, I didn't see the item on the menu I described the meal to the server, she finally brings the food and it was some sort of bean sprout pancake the size of my head!
I looked at my meal in horror, while my family is in hysterics laughing at me.  WWWAHHHHH!!!!
Alright back to the appetizer at hand, crab wonton.  These are really good just a bit sweeter then the original cream cheese wonton.

What you need:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz crab, shredded/chopped/drained
1 green onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Teaspoon Worchestire sauce
1 1/2 Teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of salt
Wonton wraps
1 egg, whites
Oil, for frying

Dipping Sauce:
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 Teaspoon Sriracha sauce

How to make them:
Heat your oil for frying, you can tell when it's ready by carefully placing the bottom of a wooden spoon into the oil, it should bubble around the stick.
Don't let it get to hot.
Lay out your wonton wrappers
Mix the softened cream cheese, green onion, sesame oil, worchestire sauce, garlic and salt.
Place about a teaspoon and a half into the middle of each wrap.

Fold the wrapper over so the ends are touching. Squish it down a little.

Now seal the edges shut with the egg whites.
Depending on how large your frying pan is or whatever you use for frying, you do not want to over crowd the pot.
Add the crab wontons into the hot oil, I did about 5 at a time.
Fry them up for about 1 - 2 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove with tongs and place onto a paper towel lined plate.

How to make the dipping sauce:
Mix the soy sauce, sriracha and honey (melted)

You're ready to devour!!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Spiked Chocolate Kettle Chips

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I thought I'd make a sweet treat with some of that lovely dark, rich Guinness beer!
What are you doing on St. Patrick's Day!?  Do you or your family have any traditions?
Do you magically become Irish on St. Patrick's Day?!?
I had a couples Irish themed cooking class booked but it didn't fill so they canceled it, bummer :(  Maybe next year!

What you need:
1 1/2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips, I used Ghiradelli
Lay's Kettle Cooked/ Lattice Cut Potato Chips
1 Tablespoon Guinness beer
1 Tablespoon Heavy Whipping Cream

How to make them:
Get your stuff ready, lay out a sheet of parchment paper.
Pick out the nice whole potato chips, you don't want the broken ones.
Grab a microwave safe dish, add in your chocolate chips.
In my microwave I cooked them for 1 minute , took them out stirred it quickly until there are no lumps.
Add in the heavy whipping cream and Guinness.
You're going to want to drink that beer, no need to waste it!
Start dipping the chips into the chocolate before it gets hard.
I dipped only half the chip, lay them out on the parchment paper to harden.
Or place them in them on a plate and pop them into the freezer for a couple minutes if you're in a hurry!

Hope you enjoy them!

Here are a few of my other St. Patrick's Day treats!
Reuben Roll-Up's
Reuben Dip
Mini Reuben's 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Family Reunion Cheeseball

What a goofy name for a cheeseball, right!?
But a family reunion was where I had this amazing cheeseball.
My Mom's cousin brought it, and I swear to you I had to leave the room because I was about to eat the whole dang thing! I'm not kidding you!
Where I live I can not find this seasoning in the store, so I ordered it online.  I mean that is how bad I had to make it, heck yes I will pay shipping and handling!

Cheeseballs are really one of my favorite appetizers, you can make them so many different ways and they are easy to bring to any get together!

What you need:
2 8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup, chopped green pepper
2 green onions, chopped
8oz crushed pineapple, drained
1 Tablespoon Alpine Touch Seasoning
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

How to make it:
Hopefully you bought chopped pecans if not, chop away!
Now you're going to want to toast them, you can toast nuts several ways, in the oven, microwave or cook top.
I used the cooktop, basically just warm them up, takes a few minutes.  Set the nuts aside on a plate.
Soften your cream cheese.
Once softened add in the rest of the ingredients, mixing them well.
Form into a ball shape with your hands, yup gonna get messy!
Now roll that ball of joy into the nuts, wrap in plastic wrap and pop into fridge to chill or until ready to serve!
Speaking of serving, serve this with your favorite crackers!

Hope you love this family reunion cheeseball!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Reuben Roll-Ups

You know what a taco roll-up is right?  They are a pretty common party staple around my part of the world.
These are just like them but Irish style!
With St, Patrick's day right around the corner I thought I would come up with a new appetizer to celebrate that holiday.
In the past I have made mini reubens and reuben dip.  So basically very similar things just packaged differently. 
This Irish girl loves a good reuben!  
So let's make some Reuben Roll-Ups!

What you need:
4 Tortillas, if you can find rye ones that would be awesome!  But use what you like. 
1 8oz tub whipped cream cheese
2 Tablespoons sauerkraut
1 package corned beef, I used Buddig
2 1/2 Tablespoons Thousand Island dressing
1 Cup swiss cheese, shredded

How to make it:
Pretty darn easy!
I went to 4 grocery stores looking for Rye tortilla wraps, no luck :(  I mean that would have been perfect right!  
If you do a google search, you can buy them online.
Mix the cream cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island, chop your corned beef and toss in your swiss cheese, mix that well.
Lay out a tortilla, spread a nice thick layer of the reuben mixture as evenly on your tortilla as you can.
Roll it up.
Once you used up all the reuben mix and the tortillas are all rolled up, place them on a plate, pop them into the fridge for a half hour to chill.
One by one cut the tortillas, into 1 - 2 inch rolls.
Now you have Reuben Roll-Ups!

Hope you enjoy!

Here are links to my previous St. Patrick's day appetizers & the original Taco Roll-Up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sunshine Shrimp

Don't you think the blood orange is just beautiful!?  Those deep rich colors, nature is amazing.
They are in season right now, so I thought up this wonderful appetizer.

To me shrimp are a fancier appetizer. I'm not sure why I think that, it's not like they are really spendy or anything.
My aunts used to make shrimp dip allot when I was a kid, I loved that stuff, so easy a layer of cream cheese, next cocktail sauce, topped with shrimp.  Served with crackers!  That screams 70's to me.

Ok I'm tell ya all marinade, marinade, marinade!  Take a little extra time ahead to marinate any meats you're going to cook.  Well most meats.  That allows the liquid and seasonings to penetrate the meat and become one.  Sounds like a harlequin novel or something hahaha!  KIDDING!

Ok compose yourselves ladies and gentleman, get your minds outta the gutter and follow the recipe :)

Here is what you need:
25 Large Shrimp, thawed + d'pooped!
1 Large Blood Orange
1 Lime
1 Lemon
5 Leaves of Sage, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons cumin
3 Tablespoons olive oil

How to make it:
Thaw your shrimp, depoop those shrimp, I just used my fingernail, scooped it out.  Nasty I know!
Rinse and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Place shrimp into large ziplock bag or a container with a lid.
Squeeze the juice from the orange, lime and lemon into the bag
Now add the cumin, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, sage and chopped garlic into the bag.
Seal the bag shut, try to get as much air out of there as possible.
Using your hands mix everything together.
Place bag into the fridge to marinade.
Leave that in there at least an hour.
Heat a nonstick frying pan on your stove top, with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Cook your shrimp until no longer pink.
That's approximately 5 minutes.
Don't you love the color!?!