Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bacon Caramel Puff Corn

I swear if you put bacon on anything it's gonna make it better!
I mean how can you go wrong!?!?
Growing up once in a blue moon my Mom would make this delicious/addictive caramel puff corn.
And recently I was at the Red Cow restaurant in Edina with my hubbie, I read on their menu, Bacon Caramel Puff Corn, mental note to self you have to make this!!!!
So that is what I did today on National Appetizer Day!
I made one batch plain and one with bacon, just in case the kids didn't like the bacon one (ya right).

So what you need is:
1 9oz bag of Old Dutch Puff Corn
1 Cup of butter = 2 sticks
2/3 Cup Light Karo Syrup
1 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Package of Bacon

How to make this:
Pre Heat your over to 250 degrees
Cook your bacon till it's crisp, drain fat/grease and set aside (RESIST eating it all while you continue to cook)
Lay your puff corn in a large baking dish, or roasting pan
Melt together your butter, syrup and brown sugar.
Once that has melted stir in your baking soda, that will make your mixture rise and get frothy!
Now its time to pour the caramel on top of your Puff Corn, mix well.
Sprinkle on your bacon

Bake this for 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes

I know you will love this!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Won Ton Crisps

Every time I open my fridge, I'm eyeballing my left over Won Ton wrappers from when I made Cream Cheese Won Tons.
I don't know if it's just me but those seem to go bad pretty quickly, and that is a shame if I don't use them up!
So I searched on Pintrest (Awesome Site!) Won Ton ideas, and came across these beautiful Won Ton Crisps, she was using them to dip into a hummus.
You could do that or pair with a spinach or artichoke dip or perhaps just plain.

What you will need:
40 Won Ton Wraps
Seasonings of your liking, garlic salt, sesame seeds etc......
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive oil or cooking spray

How to make them:
Preheat your over to 350
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper
Lay out your Won Ton wraps onto the baking sheets
Spray or brush the wraps with your olive oil or cooking spray
Sprinkle with the seasonings and cheese( Mix those in a bowl together beforehand)
Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy

Be creative with your left overs, don't let them go to waste!  Have fun with it!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Corn Cake Appetizers

Ill start off by saying I have not made this yet, but the recipe really caught my eye as something delicious and just a little out of the ordinary for me to make.

I'm more the picky person in my family well besides my 11 year old.  I know that my husband will like everything I make, that man is a disposal!  I mean that in the nicest of ways :)

What you will need to make these cute little cakes is:
3/4 Cup chunky-style salsa
1 (11oz) can white corn drained
1 (8 1/2oz) package corn muffin mix (I think you can get that stuff for a $1!)
1 Cup sour cream
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/4 Cup diced green onions

How to make them:
Mix together in a small bowl 1/2 a cup of the salsa and a 1/4 of the corn, set aside
In another bowl combine the corn muffin mix, 1/2 cup of the sour cream, egg, the remaining 1/4 cup of salsa and the rest of the corn, mix well.
Spray a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray
Heat up your pan, once hot drop batter by spoonfuls into skillet.
Cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown
Just before serving  top each corn cake with a spoonful of the sour cream/salsa mixture sprinkle with pine diced green onions

* Really, I think there is so much more you can do with these, then what this recipe is calling for, I would chop up avocados mix with some black beans splash with a half of a limes juice and a dash of salt,  top your corn cake with that,  then add the sour cream!  Ya that would be better!

This recipe was written by Pillsbury and  improved by me :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Morgan's Tavern

Restaurant review time......
Why yes we do like to go out to eat can you tell by all the reviews???
Friday night date night, we found a great place in the bottom of a Best Western Primer Nicollet Inn, named Morgan's Tavern, great name.
I have a beautiful niece named Morgan :)
Walking up to this place you can just tell it's going to be good.
Large glass picture windows, you can see in the warm glow candles, smiling faces and everyone is having a great time.
We walk in to hear a great jazz band getting ready to play for the evening.
The atmosphere is wonderful, we we're seated in a lovely over sized leather booth.

We get our menus, the prices are awesome, so awesome I think they should raise them!
We ordered you guessed it, the Spinach Artichoke dip, SO good I had to make my self stop eating it so I had room for dinner (guess what I had for breakfast this morning!).

I ordered the Buffalo Chicken wrap with Sweet Potato Fris and Seasoned Sour Cream, it was really good.

But, I do have to say after I ordered, I noticed the special menu & it was Fish Fri Friday!  I really wish I would have ordered that ,oh well I just better go back !
Hubbie had the Corned Beef and Hash, not really his favorite, but he did like it.
There were so many wonderful items on the menu to choose from it made it a hard decision what to order, but like I said another great reason to go back!
They have allot of specials every day of the week and the happy hour wow!

 I would suggest if your ever in the area visit Morgan's Tavern!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Smoky Bean Dip

I found this recipe in my Pillsbury cook book, this cook book is packed with great appetizer recipes!
I love that this Mexican dip has a smoky flare to it, NUM!!!
So simple too!

What you need is:
2 Chipotle Chilies
2 Cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 Teaspoon liquid smoke
1 Clove of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 of a red, green and yellow bell pepper
2 Tomatoes, chopped
4 oz Shredded Mexi cheese

How to make this:
Pre Heat your oven to 375
In a food processor mix chilies, beans, liquid smoke and garlic
Once that is well mixed stir in the cilantro
Place in an ungreased shallow 9 inch glass pie pan, cover with tin foil
Bake for 20 minutes
Ok they want you to cut the bell peppers into a shape of a cactus, a coyote and a moon shape
YA right!  Good luck with that
So what I suggest doing in chopping the peppers and adding them along with your chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese to the top of your bean dip after baking 20 minutes
Place back into the oven for another 3 minutes or once the cheese is melted
Serve with tortilla chips!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Lobster Phyllo Trianges

Phyllo triangles are so light and flaky then you add the lobster filling to these they are a light and delicious appetizer to serve.

What you will need is:
A one pond package of phyllo pastry, dethawed
8 oz of flaked lobster
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Scallions, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
A pinch of, salt, pepper and  cayenne pepper

How to make these:
Saute the scallions in 2 Tablespoons of butter once softened add the lobster
Add the wine, stirring frequently
In another skillet add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, stir in the flour
Stir for 5 minutes
Add the cream
Once this starts to thicken add the lobster mixture to your pan , mix in the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
Let your mixture cool before you add to the Phyllo

Pre Heat your oven to 400 degrees
Lay your defrosted phyllo dough out on a cooking sheet, brush with butter and repeat in layers 2 more times.  Making that 3 sheets high
Cut the sheet length wise
Then again crosswise 6 more times
Spoon a teaspoon of your lobster onto the end of each strip
Form a triangle by folding the right hand corner towards the opposite corner, repeat until it is all rolled up
Brush the tops of your now finished triangles with butter again
Bake until golden brown approximately 10 minute

If you do not care for lobster there are several recipes out there that you can use this same method, such as spinach or a mushroom filled phyllo triangle

Hope you like it!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Shrimp Toast

Oh my, do you remember when Leeann Chin's used to have Shrimp Toast??
That stuff was awesome!
Here is a recipe that gets pretty close to theirs.

What you will need is:
1 Pound of peeled and deveined shrimp
2 Green scallion chopped
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 Teaspoon of ginger paste
1 White onion, finely chopped
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon of garlic powder
2 Egg whites
20 Pieces of lunch bread, crusts removed and cut into 3 strips each
1/2 Cup bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

How to make it:
First cut the crusts off your breads.
Now slices your bread in 3 pieces and set aside
Using a food processor mix the Shrimp, ginger, onion, garlic powder and salt
Once that is mixed well pour in your egg whites
Now spread the mixture over the bread strips evenly
Dip them into bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the bread helping them to stick better
Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds, again press the onions and sesame seeds into the bread
Lay them onto baking sheets, place into your refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes before frying
Start warming your oil for frying, a tip to know your oil is hot enough, carefully sprinkle a drop or two of water above the oil, if your oil bubbles it's ready!
Place as many Shrimp Toasts into your oil browning on both sides
Remove and place on paper towels to drain excess oil
Serve while warm

Hope you enjoy these tasty bites!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Red Cow Restaurant Review

I thought it was time to do another restaurant review.
Recently my brother and sister in law gave my husband and I a gift certificate to a newer restaurant located in Edina, MN called the Red Cow.

I have driven by it a few times and my daughter has a friend who works there.
I have only heard good things about this restaurant.
The parking lot for this place is really small,but there is near by street parking and a parking ramp a couple blocks away.
There was a wait for the table but it was not long maybe 15 minutes.
I enjoyed people watching here, there is a wide variety of "types" of people hanging out in the bar and eating in the restaurant.
I love the feel to the place, it had a warm industrial feel to it, if that is even possible! Well, I know what I mean :)
I tried a new beer, it is called Fulton Lonely Blonde, How do these people come up with these names?!  I love it!

The hubbie had a Crispin Original Cider, that looked really thick!  Not my cup of tea but he likes his beer thick and dark!
Both beers made here in Minneapolis, MN.
Have you all ever made or ate caramel puffcorn?  You get the recipe on the back of the bag of puffcorn you get in the chip isle at the grocery store??
On their menu they have Caramel- BACON - Puffcorn! That sounds so good to me!  I'm going to create this in my kitchen soon.
But, instead hubbie wanted to try their homemade chips with Classic French Onion Dip, to DIE for!!!
Alright that might be a stretch, I'm not willing to die for this dip but, it's really good!
So good I created it at home and we love it.  It is not quite the same but, close.
 I shared that recipe with you all recently, French Onion Dip.

Alright now to the meal.  You know by now we love our burgers!  
We both wanted to try the Manhattan Burger, angus beef, bacon confit, gruyere cheese, arugula and a dried cherry red wine reduction on a pretzel bun!  Now my mouth is watering! 
I really liked this burger, the only thing I did not like was the bottom bun was soggy.  Ewwww I can't stand that.  So maybe it should not be made with that type of bun or possible mine sat a while before it was brought to me?  
I convinced the husband to try a different burger, and in his words "he has never met a burger he did not like", he had the Barcelona Burger, Angus beef, manchego, prosciutto, piquillo pepper & smoked aioli, also a winner.

All in all we would totally return to this place.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Most Popular Appetizer's 2013

Happy New Year!  I'm so looking forward to a great 2014, trying all sorts of new recipes and adventuring to new restaurants with my husband!
I wanted to share with you the 5 most viewed appetizers on my blog!

#5 Taco Roll-Ups
I think most ladies know what taco roll-ups are, you might call them something else.  But these are so simple and a popular finger food at baby or bridal showers.
You can put so many different ingredients in them.

#4 Crockpot Chipped Beef Dip
This dip warms your belly up on a cold day, All you have to do is throw your nummy ingredient into a crockpot and wait to start dippin your crackers into this!

#3 Ree Drummond's "The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip"
You all know the county cook and my fellow red head, Ree Drummond, right?
She makes such great food, I'd love to go to her house for dinner sometime!
Well I got this fantastic dip recipe from one of her shows, you know its gonna be a winner :)

To be honest I was pretty surprised how popular this was!
I love when you order waffle fri's and they offer a seasoned sour cream for dipping, nummy!!

Drum roll please.......................

The #1 item viewed would be the Stuffed Banana Peppers!!!
These are super good and a nice change from a jalapeno popper once in a while(don't get me wrong I love those too)
I tried growing banana peppers in my garden this last year they grew but not very big, hopefully this year I will have better luck or my husbands friend loads us up with a bunch of his again!  I will be making these this summer for sure!

Hope you enjoyed the review and you try some of these tasty bites!