Cute Little Devils – Quail Eggs with Caviar

My first attempt at Deviled Quail Eggs was definitely a learning experience. First off, the recipe I found online said to boil the eggs for 1 1/2 minutes. I wasn’t comfortable with such a short boil. Sure, quail eggs are tiny and should cook quickly. A minute and a half just didn’t feel right. So I boiled the eggs for 3 minutes. A quick plunge into the ice water bath and I checked one of the “extra” eggs. Soft boiled. Great for eating, not so great for deviling. Back to the boiling water for two more minutes. Just to be safe, I allowed a few minutes extra off-heat. With fingers crossed, I carefully peeled a second egg and checked the yolk. Perfect. Firm, with a nice bright color. Cooking time down.

Next lesson – quail eggs are hard to peel. These are tough little dudes. Gently roll the egg between the palms of your hand while applying a little pressure to create small cracks in the outer shell. Return quail eggs to the water bath and let the water help loosen the outer peel. Roll again between the   palms of your hands and find a spot either in the center or at one end that the outer shell has risen enough to get a “peel” started. Peel as you would any other egg.

Third lesson – the yolks. Those little devils will not give up their yolks easily. A very small spoon such as a demi-spoon or salt spoon works well to break up the yolk a little and spoon it out. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and other ingredients slowly. While the recipe may call for two tablespoons of mayonnaise, depending upon the amount of yolk, one tablespoon might be all you need to create a paste. Remember, you want the yolk filling to be of piping consistency.

Final lesson – the platter. Obviously, quail eggs are too small to serve in a deviled egg platter. Lining a large dinner plate or small serving platter with shredded lettuce creates the perfect deviled egg tray if you will. By nestling the eggs into the shredded lettuce, it will cradle the eggs in place while hiding any strangely shaped whites (wait – you will see for yourself).

Deviled Quail Eggs with Caviar
2 large chicken eggs
Kosher salt
18 quail eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Sour Cream
1/8 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 head green leaf lettuce, shredded
1 tablespoon American caviar

Place chicken eggs in a pot fitted with a lid. Cover eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 14 minutes.

Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water..

Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken eggs to the ice bath to cool. DO NOT EMPTY PAN.

Carefully add the quail eggs to the hot water. Using chop sticks, roll eggs around as water comes to a boil to help center the yolks. Sprinkle water with salt and return to a boil. Boil quail eggs for about 5. Remove from heat and let eggs steep for an additional 2 or 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove chicken eggs from ice bath and set aside. Dump water and refill with more ice water. Using a slotted spoon, remove quail eggs from boiling water and plunge into the ice bath to chill.

Line a plate or serving platter with shredded lettuce. Set aside until ready to use.

Once quail eggs have cooled, carefully peel the all eggs and cut each in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks from the egg halves and transfer to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, reserving the whites of the quail eggs and discarding the whites of the chicken eggs (or saving them for another use). Arrange quail whites on top of shredded lettuce. Set aside until ready to fill.

Process yolks into fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbled yolks to a mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon zest, stir mixture to create a fine, smooth paste.

Spoon the deviled yolks to a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and pipe the filling into the quail egg white halves. Top each deviled with a scant amount of caviar.


Halloween Fun with Everyday Snack Foods

Happy Halloween everyone! As I sip my first cup of coffee on this beautiful morning, I am surveying what was once my kitchen table, now buried beneath a mound of candy. As always, Hubby has gone overboard in the candy department. You want to have enough candy to pass out to all the little gobbles that come knocking at your door, but when is enough enough? It’s so hard to gauge. I don’t know what is worse – running out or having too much left at the end of the night. Worse yet, having candy left over that no one wants in the first place – which is why we always spring for the “good” stuff.

This year for Halloween we had a pot luck at work. There was food galore. Two large banquet tables overflowed with all sorts of goodies – appetizers, main dishes and of course sweets. I love pot lucks because you get to sample other peoples dishes and pick up a few good recipes along the way. Sheena’s potato salad was awesome – and so easy. But that’s a recipe blog for another day.

Kiddo, Hubby and I brought appetizers to share. We had Barbecued Bat Wings (aka chicken wings), Deviled Spider Eggs and Witches Brooms. These were easy to make and traveled well – all important for pot luck parties.


Barbecued Bat Wings
1 Large Bag Frozen Chicken Wings, defrosted
1 cup Honey
1/2 Bottle Favorite Barbecue Sauce

Thaw chicken wings in the refrigerator. This may take a day or two.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. This will prevent chicken from sticking and make clean up a snap.

Spread wings on pan in a single layer. Depending upon the size of your pan, you may need to work in batches. Brush wings with honey for a light glaze, turn and brush other side. Place into the oven and bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Transfer wings to a crock pot. Pour barbecue sauce over wings, toss to blend and coat well. Cook on low for about 2 hours, then turn pot to warm until ready to serve.

Baking the wings first give them that lovely “roasted” flavor, continuing to cook in the crock pot will give you wings that are falling of the bone tender.

Deviled Spider EggsDeviled Spider Eggs
18 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Can Jumbo Black Olives

To Boil eggs, place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 12-14 minutes. Drain, then plunge eggs into ice-cold water to cease the cooking process. The results will be a perfectly cooked egg with a sunny yellow yolk.

Place eggs in a bowl of cold water and refrigerate for at least an hour, until eggs are fully cool. Remove from water and gently roll eggs on counter to “crack” the shells. Return eggs to the bowl of water and let “steep” for about 20 minutes. The water will work its way into the cracks and peeling your eggs is super easy.

Split eggs, placing yolks into a food processor, the whites onto serving platter.

Mix/chop yolks until fluffy and are fine grade resembling bread crumbs. Add red wine vinegar one tablespoon at a time until mixture is moist. Add mayonnaise and sour cream and mix until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. For these eggs, you’ll want to keep the filling smooth and only slightly rounded to make it easier for the “spiders” to sit on their eggs.

Drain olives. Cut an olive lengthwise. This is the spider’s body. From the other half, slice spider legs. Place legs on a deviled egg, and place the body over the legs, allowing most of the leg to be exposed. Press gently to secure. Repeat until you have as many eggs with spiders as you desire (all or a few, depending upon the look you desire). Any remaining olives can be placed in the center of your platter.

Witches Brooms Platter (1)Witches Brooms Platter
1 Package String cheese
1 bag Mini pretzel sticks
1 bunch Chives
1 package Salami

Cut the string cheese half. Each string cheese stick will make two brooms.

Carefully cut slits into lower half of the string cheese stick to form the “broom”.  Insert a pretzel stick into the opposite end for the handle. Repeat until all the brooms are formed.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and blanch chives until they are limp. This will make tying the chives easier and lead to less breakage and frustration. Once the chives have cooled enough to handle, tie toward top of broom for a nice finish.

Layer salami down the center of serving platter, leaving about an inch or so around the rim for the brooms to lay. Place brooms on platter and serve. If desired, crackers can be served alongside the platter.

2014 Has Been A Hoot! Thank You One and All

On January 13, 2014 I stared at the glowing, blank page of my laptop. Do I dare? My fingers began to type, as if by magic. Without a clue as to what I was doing, or what would become of it, Rosemarie’s Kitchen was born. By the blogging world standards, it’s not a huge, runaway hit. But then, I didn’t create Rosemarie’s Kitchen to become “famous”. I simply wanted a place to share my recipe collection and perhaps a few memories along the way. I yearned for an outlet beyond Facebook, and blogging, although a little scary, seemed the right fit for me. What I hadn’t anticipated at the start of this journey was that I would discover a more personal view into the world around me. Blogging connects people who might otherwise never meet in an exchange of ideas, customs and traditions – be it faith, family or nationality. The people I have “met” along the way are wonderful – creative, delightful and insightful. I have learned much from them.  Thank you all for this wonderful experience. It’s been a hoot. One that I hope will continue.

Since mine is a cooking blog, as 2014 draws to a close, I thought it would be nice to post a few links to recipes I’ve shared with you this past year. Of all the recipes I’ve shared; these have been the “tops” among readers in their respective categories. Hope you enjoy a second look . . .

***** APPETIZERS *****

The Importance of Sunny Pepperoni Pie

This was an original creation, inspired by Sunny Spinach Pie. I created the Sunny Pepperoni Pie for my dear, sweet brother. I’m glad to see it was well received.

The Deviled Egg You Say!

jan 2013 024

A collection of Deviled Egg Recipes and ideas to inspire you. Sometime I make these just because . . .

Christmas Party Potato Platter with Fresh Dill and Red Caviar

Christmas Potato Platter

Perfect for Christmas Time with their Red and Green thing going on. Gold Caviar could be used at other times of the year, as well as Black Caviar. These are yummy delicious.

Filipino Egg Rolls – Lumpia


Serve as an appetizer, as part of the “main” event for an Asian Inspired meal or on their own – these meat and veggie packed rolls are awesome.



French Beef and Red Wine Stew on Garlic Mashed Potatoes

french beef stew mashed potatoes

This stew is more along the lines of a French Beef Burgundy dish. It fills the kitchen with an intoxicating aroma of wine and the potatoes that accompany this stew are heavenly.

Country Ribs with Golden Eagle Barbecue Sauce

Pork - Country Ribs Golden Eagle Barbecue Sauce

Another “original” recipe from my kitchen to yours, adapted from an old family recipe on Hubby’s side. The peppery-smoked flavor is perfect for summertime barbecued ribs.

Southern “Fried” Oven Chicken – No Lie!!

Fried chicken

This “fried” chicken is cooked in the oven. It’s crispy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside. Perfect for Sunday Dinner. We like it with mashed potatoes, corn and fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits. Nothin’ like Southern Cookin’.

Filet Mignon in Red Wine Reduction Sauce with Tarragon-Garlic Butter

Filet Mignon in Red Wine Reduction Sauce with Garlic Butter

All I can say is Oh My Good! The reduction sauce is sensational, the garlic butter an added kiss of flavor. These grilled steaks are beyond delicious. Serve with a baked potato or garlic mashed and a vegetable such as asparagus in a tarragon cream sauce, you’d swear you’re dining at a 5-Star restaurant without the 5-Star price tag.



Smokey Pan Seared Asparagus

Asparagus - pan seared

These smokey, pan-seared asparagus need no sauce. Kiddo wasn’t a fan of asparagus, until he sampled these yummy tips. The flavor is wonderful. I promise!

Haricots verts à l’étouffée (Stewed Green Beans)

Stewed Green Beans

These green beans are “stewed” in a little butter, with garlic and thin slices of shallots. Like all things French, they are beyond delicious.

Filipino Pancit with Chicken, Pork & Shrimp


Another Filipino favorite. Pancit can be a meal all on its own, or the perfect side to just about any Asian/Pacific Island dish. Every family has their own take on Pancit, and this is mine.

Roasted Red Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted - Rosemary Red Blist Potatoes (2)

My all-time favorite to serve with Chicken Marsala or other Italian inspired dishes as well as most American favorites such as roast chicken for Sunday Supper.


***** SWEET ENDINGS *****

Best Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake that Ever Came out of a Box


The beauty of Pineapple Up-Side-Down cake is that it is the perfect “finish” for a picnic, great for outdoor entertaining on a warm spring day. Try using a mixture of red and green cherries for a holiday “touch” with your Christmas Ham. It is bursting with flavor, yet moist beyond belief.

Maria Luisa’s Leche Flan


My mom’s Lecha Flan was always in demand at family gatherings. I can’t remember an Easter Table without it. This Spanish Dessert is popular with Filipinos. I’m proud to carry on the tradition.

Fresh Berry Trifle – A colorful Summertime Dessert

Berry Trifle

This dessert is so creamy, so refreshing and oh so pretty. While I made mine with blueberries and strawberries, any mixture of berries would go well. When in season, we like to pick some wild blackberries to add to this summertime treat.

French Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Filling and Fresh Berry Basket

French Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Filling and Fresh Fruit Basket

This yummy, sweet cake is filled with a slightly tart blueberry filling, both complimenting and offsetting the sweetness of the cake and Almond-Butter Cream frosting. This is a cake with the grownups in mind.


As 2014 draws to a close and we turn our attentions to the coming New Year, I leave you now with one more Irish blessing, in honor of my dear, sweet Dad.

May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

The Deviled Egg You Say!

What is it about Deviled Eggs that makes them so popular? I have yet to attend a gathering (office  pot luck, family gatherings, parties that include food) that the Deviled Egg in some form doesn’t make an appearance. Perhaps it’s the versatility of the Deviled Egg – the personal touches that makes each platter as individual as the creator. Even store-bought deviled eggs, with a few touches, are transformed from ordinary to extraordinary. Just as there are countless ways to make the deviled egg, there are a multitude of platters whose sole purpose is to serve those eggs in style.

I was about ten the first time I made Deviled Eggs. It was a New Year’s Eve party my parents were hosting. While I was too young to attend the midnight gathering of their friends and neighbors, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t there, lurking in the hallway, listening to conversations I didn’t fully understand, hoping against hope that someone would mention my Deviled Eggs. Some did, some didn’t. All I knew was that when the party was over, not an egg was left. I felt so proud of myself. From that day on, I was the official Deviled Egg maker in our house.

Over the years, my original recipe evolved, as recipes do. The key to deviled egg success is to develop a base egg, a blank canvas from which colors, textures and flavors spring forth. There are two different bases for deviled eggs – one is truly “deviled” using dill pickle juice or wine vinegar at its core; the other is a sweeter mixture, with sugar or sweet pickle juice. While it’s strictly a personal preference, my “core” is of the devilish variety. To deepen the yellow of the yolk, a little mustard may also be added. Different mustards will impart different color and texture. A basic yellow will give a little kick with a deep yellow color. Dijon will bring more bite with a paler yellow. Stone ground mustards bring more texture to the palate. The yolk filling can also be colored with the simple use of yellow food coloring without changing the basic texture or flavor.

Superbowl 2014 (4)Ingredients – Basic
16 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoons mustard (yellow, stoned or Dijon-Style Mustard – it’s a matter of personal tastes – try each to see which flavor suits you)
4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Tip: Boil 2 eggs more than required to fill serving tray. The extra eggs give more yolk filling, the extra whites allow for tasting and adjusting seasonings if necessary.

To Boil eggs, place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 12-14 minutes. Drain, then plunge eggs into ice-cold water to cease the cooking process. The results will be a perfectly cooked egg with a sunny yellow yolk.

Tips for Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs: Once eggs are cool enough to handle, roll gently on counter to crack shells. Place into cold water, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from water and peel. Water will work its way into shell, the result is an easily peeled egg.

Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks and place yolks in food processor with mixing/chopping blade. Place 12 white halves on serving dish or egg platter. Select best of the halves.

Mix/chop yolks until fluffy and are fine grade resembling bread crumbs. Add mayonnaise and mustard and mix until creamy. Mix in red wine vinegar one tablespoon at a time and season to taste.

Fill the egg white halves with yolk mixture. For “fancy” eggs, place yolk mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe mixture into egg halves. Chill for several hours before serving.

Ingredients Ideas – Beyond Basic
Capers, 2-4 Teaspoons, finely chopped
Dill Relish,3 tablespoons
1 Cup Ham, ground fine
Bacon, 10 slices cooked crisp

  • Basic Deviled Eggs with Capers: Add capers with yolks and chop to a fine meal. (If piping filling, use a large tip, smaller tips will clog). Additional whole capers may be used as a garnish.
  • Basic Deviled Eggs with Dill Relish: Add dill pickle relish to mixture. To fill whites, use a small scoop to form rounds on top of egg whites. Small sprigs of dill may be used as a garnish.
  • Basic Deviled Eggs with Ham or Bacon: Add finely chopped ham or bacon bits (This mixture will not pipe well. If you want to pipe filling, place ham in the food processor first, grind to a fine meal, then add egg yolks and continue to process for the basic recipe. More mayonnaise may be needed to create a creamy filling. Add 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. When using ham, remember that the ham will add salt.  Before seasoning the mix, be sure to taste. Additional salt may not be necessary.

Ingredients – Garnish
Paprika, sweet or smoked
Chives, chopped
Domestic Caviar
Olives, finely chopped
Dill Sprigs
Whole Capers
Corn Salsa
Cooked Shrimp, tails removed
Asparagus Tips
Salmon, thinly sliced

To add more color, texture and flavor, garnish is always a nice touch. The most basic garnish is paprika. While most people prefer the sweet Hungarian Paprika, for fillings that include bacon or ham, a smoked paprika is a nice alternative. When it comes to garnish, there are no rules, no limitations. If you can visualize it, you can use it. Think color and texture, then go for it.

For a Mexican influence, use taco seasoning in place of the onion and garlic powders and add a garnish of chopped Jalapeno.

For an Italian flair, try adding a few fresh or dried herbs to the mix such as oregano or rosemary. You could even use a few tablespoons of dry Italian Dressing mix. Garnish with a little Prosciutto.

For Bacon-Ranch deviled eggs, add dry Ranch Dressing mix to the yolk. Garnish with bits of bacon.

12-20-2013 (6)I could go on and on . . . you get the idea. When it comes to casual entertaining, Deviled Eggs just naturally yearn to be on the table invite list.

The best part of Deviled Eggs is that they look great all dressed up, so don’t hesitate to invite them along to more formal affairs, too.

Better still, with the right “touches” Deviled Eggs lend themselves to the season. Easter Deviled Eggsfootball deviled egg


Easter Sunday Dinner

A few weeks ago, I shared with you an Elegant Easter Supper.  While I love that menu dearly, it’s “elegant” . . . sometimes we don’t feel like elegant, elaborate productions.  This menu is more down to earth, with the little ones in mind.  There’s plenty of goodies to choose from, but the presentation is more whimsical and fun.  There are appetizers, a full Easter dinner and two choices for dessert – one for the kids (and the kids at heart) and one for the grownups.  Some of the work can be done a day ahead of time, so that ‘s a big help.  Another idea would be to ask friends and family to fix a dish or two.  After all, who said you need to do everything?

In our family, I’m usually in charge of the appetizers (simply because I love making little bites of pretty or cute foods) and the desserts (another of my “specialities”).  For Easter, I always make the potatoes, too.  Whether people come to our house or we go to theirs, my Au Gratin Potatoes are always requested as part of the feast.  The main course is usually my youngest sister’s department. Jacquie and Marty always make an awesome ham.

Needless to say, nothing is ever carved in stone – from this menu do as much or as little as you like.  Add to this your own Easter favorites and family traditions.  Or ignore everything all together. If all I manage to do today is to inspire you, to get the creative juices flowing, then that’s enough.

Pax vobiscum et cum spiritu tuo.

  • Starters
    • Easter “Chick” Deviled Eggs
    • Ladybug Crackers
    • Sunny Spinach Pie
    • Calla Lily Tea Sandwiches
  • The Easter Table
    • Lamb of God Rosemary Bread
    • Easter Ham
    • Au Gratin Potatoes
    • Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
  • Sweet Ending
    • Easter Egg Flan
    • Easter Basket Cupcakes

The Starters:

03-31-2013 Easter (1)Easter “Chick” Deviled Eggs
16 Hard Boiled Eggs
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon-Style Mustard
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
Carrot Sticks for Beaks
Chopped Olives for Eyes

To Boil Eggs: Place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 12-14 minutes. Drain, then plunge eggs into ice-cold water to cease the cooking process. The results will be a perfectly cooked egg with a sunny yellow yolk.

To Peel Eggs: Gently roll eggs on counter. Plunge into hot water for about 1 minutes, then return to cold water to cool. CAREFULLY peel eggs. If not easy to peel, repeat. Set aside peeled eggs until ready to use.

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Taste mixture, adjust seasonings as needed. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Cut top (larger) ends of peeled eggs to expose yolks, reserve tops. With the tip of knife, carefully lift out yolks; place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Place egg whites into deviled egg tray, trim “bottom” if necessary to allow eggs to sit flat.

In food processor, pulse yolks until smooth. Add mayonnaise mixture, blend well.
Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg white shells. Use chopped olives for eyes, carrot slivers for beaks. Top with reserved whites, angled back to expose “faces”

Note: Filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance, store in refrigerator. Pipe or spoon into egg shells up to a few hours before serving. Keep Deviled Eggs refrigerated until ready to serve.

ladybugsLadybug Crackers (A Taste Of Home)
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
Black paste food coloring
1/2 teaspoon minced chives
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
36 butter-flavored crackers
18 cherry tomatoes, quartered
18 large pitted ripe olives
72 fresh chive pieces (about 1-1/2 inches long)

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Remove 1 tablespoon to a small bowl and tint black. Place tinted cream cheese mixture in a small plastic bag; set aside.

Add the chives, garlic salt and parsley to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Spread over crackers. Arrange two tomato quarters on each for the ladybug wings.

For heads, half the olives width-wise; place one half on each cracker. Insert two chives into olives for antennae. Use tinted cream cheese mixture to pipe spots onto wings.

sunnyspinachpieSunny Spinach Pie (
17 oz of flour
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt

Place all dough ingredients in a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead until the dough is smooth and combined. Wrap in plastic while you make the filling.

12 oz  of boiled spinach
12 oz ricotta
1 egg
3 oz  of grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Bread crumbs

To create the filling, mix the spinach with the ricotta.
Next, add your egg, Parmesan, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Set aside briefly.
Unwrap your dough from the plastic and divide it into two equal parts.

To Create the Sunny Spinach Pie: Using a rolling-pin, roll out each dough ball to create two circles 12 inches in diameter each.

On your first circle, sprinkle breadcrumbs over-top to help absorb the moisture of the filling and to keep the dough dry.

Next, on the breadcrumb dough, make two circles with the filling – an outer circle and an inner circle “mound”. Leave room between the circles and along the edge to seal the dough. Sprinkle the filling with grated Parmesan Cheese.

Place the second dough circle over the top of the filling. Seal the edges with our hands, then press with a fork. Place a small bowl in the middle of the pie over the center mound, and press lightly to make an indentation in the dough. Use your fork to press LIGHTLY around the bowl.

With the bowl still in place, cut the dough into pieces approximately just under an inch. Twist each slice and continue until each outer slice is twisted. Remove bowl and place on a cooking pan such as a clay pizza pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the spinach pie into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, transfer to a round serving platter and garnish the center with roasted sunflower seeds before serving.

Calla Lily SandwichesCalla Lily Tea Sandwiches: (from
1 (5.2-ounce) package garlic and herbs cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
48 slices white bread
2 carrots, peeled
Green Onions for Garnish

In a small bowl, combine cheese, cream cheese, walnuts, red pepper, and black pepper. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Using a 2 1/2-inch cutter, cut 48 rounds from bread. With a rolling-pin, roll each bread round to 1/8-inch thickness.

Spread about 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture on each bread round. Sprinkle center with paprika, and fold bottom of prepared bread round over, pinching end to seal. Cut small pieces of carrot, and place in center of each sandwich for flower stamen. Garnish with green onion tops to form stems, if desired.

The Easter Table:

03-31-2013 Easter (5)Lamb of God Rosemary Bread
1 package of frozen Bread Dough
Flour for kneading
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Rosemary
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
Olive oil for pan
Wilton’s Lamb Pan

Place frozen bread dough in a pan, cover with plastic wrap and let thaw according to package directions, about 16 hours in the refrigerator.

Lightly flour a flat work surface, add savory flavors such as rosemary and oregano onto the floured board to incorporate the herbs into the whole loaf.  Kneed dough lightly.

Use olive oil to grease a bowl, place the dough in the bowl and flip the dough over so it is coated on top and bottom with oil.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise until double in bulk, about 1-2 hours.

Punch dough down, form into desired shape or place in a pan of desired shape such as Wilton’s Lamb pan.  Let dough rise for about fifteen minutes. While bread is rising, preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Place bread in the center of the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden grown, with an internal temperature of 190-degrees. Check the bread about mid-way through if using a mold pan – the bread may rise up out of the pan.  Should that happen, don’t panic.  Simply remove bread from oven, press top mold down and place a weight (such as a small cast-iron pan) on top, then continue baking.  For those wondering – that little tip came from experience.

Allow bread to cool, then wrap baked bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.  The bread can be made the day before, and warmed just before serving if desired.

Place bread on a serving platter.  If desired, garnish with fresh Rosemary and tomato rosettes or egg-shaped pats of butter.

easterhamEaster Ham:
1 Turkey Size Oven Bag
1 Tablespoon Flour
12-16 lb Fully Cooked Smoked Ham
1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke

Preheat oven to 325-degrees
Shake flour in roasting bag, place bag in roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Trim skin and fat from ham, leaving a thin layer of fat. Lightly score surface of ham in a diamond pattern; insert cloves.
Place ham in oven bag. Close oven bag with nylon tie; cut six 1/2-inch slits in top of bag to vent. Insert meat thermometer through slit in bag into thickest part of ham, not touching bone. Tuck ends of bag in pan. Place in oven to bake.
After 1 hour, check juices in the bottom of the bag. Using baster, remove some of the juices. Mix with liquid smoke and return juices to bag using baster.
Bake additional 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hours or until meat thermometer reads 140-degrees.
Let stand in oven bag 15 minutes.

augratinpotatoAu Gratin Potatoes
6 Medium Russet Potatoes (about 2 lbs) peeled and thinly sliced
¼ Cup Butter
1 Medium White onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 Tablespoon Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (½ cup reserved)
½ Cup Fine Dry Bread Crumbs
1-2 Pinches of Paprika for color

Peel potatoes and slice into thin disks using a food processor or vegetable slicer. Cut enough potatoes to measure 4 cups. Place sliced potatoes into cold water until ready to use, then drain.
Peel and finely chop onions. Grate cheese.
Heat butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions in hot butter until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly; remove from heat.
Stir in milk and 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese. Return to heat and cook until boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Drain potatoes in a colander and shake to remove excess water. Spread potatoes in an ungreased 1 ½-quart casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour.
Mix remaining cheese, bread crumbs and paprika (just enough for a nice color). Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over top of potatoes and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until top is brown and bubbly.

Asparagus-with-HollandaiseAsparagus with Hollandaise Sauce:
1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 lb)
10 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 Tbsp)
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 Pinch of cayenne

Prep the asparagus. Break off the tough ends with your fingers. Bend the asparagus spears near the end and they will break naturally where the spear is no longer tough. For an elegant presentation of the spears, use a vegetable peeler to peel off a very thin layer of the outer skin of the lower two to three inches of the asparagus spears. Prepare a large, shallow pan (with a cover) with a half-inch of water and a steamer rack.

Prepare the Hollandaise sauce. Melt the butter in a small pot. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, and cayenne into a blender. Blend the eggs for 20-30 seconds at medium to medium high-speed until lighter in color. Turn blender down to lowest setting and slowly drizzle in the hot melted butter while the blender is going. Continue to blend for a few seconds after all of the butter is incorporated. Taste the sauce and add more salt or lemon juice if needed. Keep warm while you are steaming the asparagus.

Bring the water in your steaming pan to a boil. Place the asparagus on the steaming rack. Cover. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender, but still a little crisp, definitely not mushy. The timing depends on how thick the asparagus spears are. Plate the asparagus. Pour Hollandaise sauce over them.

Steamed asparagus spears may be wrapped in a thin slice of deli ham to add additional depth and flavor. This is a nice touch to an Easter table.

Sweet Ending:

P1010215Easter Egg Flan:
Ingredients – Caramel Sauce:
1 Cup Sugar
3 tablespoons water

Melt 1 cup of sugar with water  over medium-high heat while stirring constantly to prevent sugar from burning. Continue to cook until all the sugar has melted and is a nice golden-amber color. Pour caramel sauce into the bottom of a large baking tin. (For best results, use a tin canned ham container.) Allow sugar to cool slightly before proceeding.

Ingredients – Custard Flan
20 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
2 Large Cans Evaporated Milk
1 Cup Half & Half

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat Egg yolks slightly with a fork in a medium size bowl. Add vanilla and sugar, set aside.

Scald evaporated milk and half & half in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Pour in egg mixture. Mix slowly while stirring constantly. Once mixed; remove from heat and set aside. Should only remain on heat for about 1 ½ minutes – DO NOT allow eggs to cook.

Using a strainer, CAREFULLY ladle the custard mixture over the caramel sauce. Don’t allow sauce to bubble up into the custard.

Cover with foil and bake in a bath for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes or until firmly set and done in the middle.

Let custard cool in the pan for 1 hour. Invert onto oven-proof serving dish. Pour any remaining caramel from pan onto custard.

Ingredients – Meringue Topping
3 Egg Whites
½ Cup Sugar
½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Beat together ingredients for meringue topping with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
Top custard with meringue.  Sprinkle with pastel colored sugar and lightly brown under broiler. Allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

03-31-2013 Easter (20)Easter Basket Cupcakes:
24 Pipe Cleansers
Assorted Egg Shaped Candies such as jelly beans or Chocolate Malt Robin Eggs
2 Cupcake Tins
24 Cupcake Liners
Green Food Coloring Gel

Ingredients – Cup Cakes
1 Box French Vanilla Cake Mix
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Water

Place eggs and oil in mixing bowl. Mix until frothy and well blended. Add water, mix until blended.

Add cake mix, blend for 30 seconds on low, 2 minutes longer on medium-high.

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line 2 cupcake tins with liners.

Divide batter into tins, filling about 2/3 full using a small ladle.

Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Let cool in tins for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

While cupcakes cool, make frosting. See below.

Buttercream Frosting
1/4 Cup Solid Butter-Flavored Vegetable Shortening
3/4 Cup Butter, Softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
4 Cups sifted powdered Sugar
3-4 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl between additions and after the last of the sugar has been added. When all sugar has been mixed in, the frosting will appear to be dry. Add corn syrup one tablespoon at a time and beat a medium speed until light and fluffy. Color with green food coloring gel to desired color. Keep frosting covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

To Assemble: Bend pip cleaners into a U shape to fit just inside cupcake. Make sure cleaners are bent in such a way as to hold their shape. Set aside.

Spread a small amount of frosting as a base over each cupcake. Place remaining frosting into a pastry bag fitted with desired tip such as a leaf a star or small strait hole to “pipe” grass.

Place a few egg-shaped candies onto the center of each cupcake, press down lightly to secure in place. Insert U-shaped pipe cleaners to form handles for baskets.

Place on a large serving platter and set aside until ready to serve.

Note: Cup Cakes can be made up to 1 day in advance to the point of frosting. Place candied eggs and pipe cleaners on cup cakes just before serving to avoid damage.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a blessed Easter Sunday filled with much joy and spiritual renewal.

Super Bowl Munch Fest

I am a crazy person when it comes to schedules and knowing what’s ahead.  Years ago, in a prior life; we traveled quit a bit – often for quick get-away trips down the road.  I would spend hours mapping out our route, calculating miles; travel time; roadside attractions and so on.  I knew before we ever pulled out of the driveway how far we would go before stopping for gas; food; rest breaks or what have you.  Not only did I calculate it in miles; but hours and minutes.  What can I say?  I like schedules.

This same obsession holds true when I entertain.  Not only do I plan out a menu; but I also calculate how long each dish will take to prepare and work out a timetable accordingly.  This is especially true when pulling together a variety of dishes that all must hit the buffet table at the same time.  (Let me interject here – I am NOT a sports fan, but I do love Super Bowl because it’s a great excuse to have people over and nibble all day).  The last thing I want to be doing is rushing around the kitchen when my guests arrive.  When the doorbell rings, it’s show-time.  Curtain up – everything perfect.

I have two menus that I created for Super Bowl Sunday.  The one I’m posting today is designed to entertain at home.  It’s complete with timetables and recipes.  If you have your own “game plan” I’d love to hear about it . . .

The Menu
Basic Deviled Eggs*
Buffalo Chicken Puffs*
Chips & Dip (purchased)
Deli Potato Salad (purchased)
Deli Macaroni Salad (purchased)
Garlicky Horseradish Roast Beef Canapés*
Jerk Chicken Wings with Dipping Sauce*
Mini Burger Bites*
Smoked Cocktail Wieners in Barbecue Sauce*
Vegetable Spinach Dip in Sour Dough Bread Bowl*
Warm Chili-Cheese Dip with Corn Tortilla Chips

1 Day in Advance:

Basic Deviled Eggs: Make Deviled Eggs, cover and refrigerate. (Or boil eggs; refrigerate and make filling, fill in morning)

Chips & Dip: Make dip – Packaged dry mix with sour cream (garnish day of)

Garlicky Horseradish Roast Beef Canapés: Make Garlic Butter & Canapé bases (assemble day of)

Jerk Chicken Wings: Make Dip (make wings day of)

Mini Burger Bites: Form Patties (cook & assemble day of)

Spinach Dip: Make Spinach Dip for Bread Bowls (transfer to bread bowls day of)

Macaroni & Potato Salad: If desired, transfer to nice serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to place on table.

 Game Day Timetable:

2 hours 30 Minutes to Game Time:

Make marinade for Jerk Chicken Wings, marinate wings.

While chicken wings are marinating, hollow out sour dough bread bowl for dip. Assemble dipping baguettes around bowl. DO NOT FILL BOWL. Cover serving tray and bread with plastic wrap, set aside.

Set table buffet style, leaving room for food trays.

1 hour 45 minutes to Game Time:

Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, lightly spray with cooking spray. Spread wings on prepared baking sheet.

1 hour 15 minutes to Game Time:

Place wings in oven and bake.

While chicken is cooking, make Smoked Cocktail Wieners and place over low heat to warm.

1 hour to Game Time:

Make Buffalo Puffs. Set aside until ready to bake.

30 Minutes to Game Time – It’s Crunch Time!

Remove wings from oven. Place on serving tray, cover with foil until serving time. (A lazy Susan with a bowl in the middle works well for this. It’s perfect for the dip. If not, make sure you have room on your serving tray for the dip).

Reduce oven to 375-degrees.

Place hamburger patties in oven to bake.

Place Buffalo Chicken Puffs in oven to bake.

Assemble canapés

 15 Minutes to Game Time:

Remove burgers from oven, assemble on buns and cover to keep warm.

Fill bread bowl with Spinach dip.

Transfer cocktail wieners to warming dish. (A small crock-pot works well).

Make Warm Chili-Cheese Dip

 10 Minutes to Game Time:

Remove Buffalo Chicken Puffs from oven. Transfer to serving platter.

Arrange food on buffet table as desired or place around room.

It’s Game Time – Relax and Enjoy!

Basic Deviled Eggs

14 Hard Boiled Eggs12-20-2013 (6)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon-Style Mustard
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish, if desired

Day Before:

To Boil Eggs: Place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for 12-14 minutes. Drain, then plunge eggs into ice cold water to cease the cooking process. The results will be a perfectly cooked egg with a sunny yellow yolk.

To Peel Eggs: Gently roll eggs on counter. Plunge into hot water for about 1 minutes, then return to cold water to cool. CAREFULLY peel eggs. If not easy to peel, repeat. Set aside peeled eggs until ready to use.

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Taste mixture, adjust seasonings as needed. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Cut peeled eggs in half lengthwise. With the tip of knife, carefully lift out yolks; place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Pulse until smooth. Add mayonnaise mixture, blend well. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika.

Refrigerate at lease 30 minutes prior to serving.

Note: Filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance, store in refrigerator. Pipe or spoon into egg shells up to a few hours before serving. Keep Deviled Eggs refrigerated until ready to serve.

For “fancy” eggs, place yolk mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe mixture into egg halves. Garnish with chives or domestic caviar for a special treat.  For a more “sporty” look, garnish with chives made to look like football lacing.

Garlicky Horseradish Roast Beef Canapés

Garlic Horseradish Roast Beef Canapes4 tablespoons butter, softened
3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Baguettes, sliced into 24 slices
¼ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 slices (about ¼ lb) roast beef from deli, cut into 6 strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Day Before:

Place softened butter in a small bowl. Press garlic over butter, mix well. Allow mixture to set for about 1 hour for flavors to blend or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Slice baguettes. Butter each slice lightly with butter mixture. Place on baking sheet and toast lightly under broiler. Remove and allow to cool. Can be made 1 day ahead of time.

Cool and store in air-tight container or zipped plastic bag at room temperature until ready to use.

The Day of:

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish and Dijon mustard; blend well. Place 1 roast beef strip on each baguette slice. Top each with about ½ teaspoon sour cream mixture. Sprinkle each with parsley. Arrange on serving platter.

Jerk Chicken Wings with Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons dried thyme leavesJerk Chicken
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (3 to 4 medium cloves)
3 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red pepper sauce
1 package (3 lb) frozen chicken wing drumettes, thawed
1/2 cup chopped green onions (8 medium)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix together chopped green onions, sour cream and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In large nonmetal bowl, mix thyme, brown sugar, garlic, allspice, salt, vinegar and pepper sauce. Add chicken drumettes; toss to coat evenly. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour to marinate.

Heat oven to 425-degrees. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with foil; spray foil with cooking spray. Place chicken drumettes in pans; discard any remaining marinade.

Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink next to bone.

Note: This recipe is very simple to make and very tasty.  It’s my grandson’s “specialty” that he has been making for parties since he was about 11 years old.  We picked up the recipe in one of those grocery store check out lines, and haven’t changed a thing.

Vegetable Spinach Dip with Sour Dough Bread Bowl

Spinach Dip Bread Bowl1 package Knorr vegetable soup mix (dry)
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained
1 can water chestnuts, chopped coarsely
3 green onions, chopped
1 large sour dough bread bowl, hollowed out.
1 Sour Dough baguette, sliced Or Sour Dough Cocktail bread

Day Before:

Mix soup with sour cream and mayonnaise. Add spinach, green onions and water chestnuts. Blend well. Cover and chill overnight.

Day of:

Cut the top from a sour dough round. Hollow out bread, saving soft bread for dipping. Fill sour dough bowl with vegetable spinach dip. Serve with sour dough bread for dipping.

Mini Burger Bites

Mini PattiesMini Burger Bites
1 egg
3 tablespoons dried mince onion
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup plain bread crumbs
1 lb lean ground beef
24 Mini Burger Buns
Condiments for Dipping

Condiments for Dipping
Ketchup, plain
Mayonnaise mixed with Chipotle seasoning to taste
Mayonnaise, mustard, Ketchup and garlic powder mixed to taste
Barbecue Sauce

The Day Before:

Beat egg in medium bowl. Add onion, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir in bread crumbs. Add ground beef; mix well.

Press ground beef mixture into a thin layer cutting board. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter round, cut little burgers from the meat. Gather excess and repeat until all the meat has been cut.

Stack prepared patties between pieces of waxed paper. Store in airtight container until ready to cook.

The Day of:

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes or until cooked through. Fill buns with miniature burgers. Serve with dipping sauces.

Little Cocktail Smokies in Barbecue SauceCocktail Smokies
1 (18 oz) Bottle of Barbecue Sauce
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
2 (16 oz) Packages Cocktail Smokies

Mix barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and onions in a crock-pot. Stir well until brown sugar dissolves. Add Cocktail Smokies, stir to combine.

Warm on LOW heat 2 hours or until ready to serve. These little Smokies can be served directly from crock-pot. Fondue forks are great for snatching the Smokies from the pot.

For an easier shortcut method, simply smother Cocktail Smokies in your favorite barbecue sauce and let it simmer in a crock pot for a few hours. No fuss, no muss.


Buffalo Chicken Puffs

1 Package Puff Pastry Sheets, thawedBuffalo Chicken Puffs
1 Package Fully-Cooked Buffalo Chicken Strips
Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing for Dip
Celery Sticks

Heat the oven to 375-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14×12-inch rectangle. Cut into 3 (14×4-inch) strips. Cut each strip in half to make 6 (7×4-inch) pieces.

Repeat with remaining pastry sheet.

Cut the chicken strips into 3-inch pieces. Place 1 chicken piece on each pastry strip. Fold the short sides of the pastry to the center over the chicken and roll up like a jelly roll. Press the ends to seal. Place the filled pastries, seam-side down, onto the baking sheet. Reserve the remaining chicken for another use.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and “puffed”. Place chicken on a serving platter with dressing and celery sticks. Serve hot.

Warm Chili-Cheese Dip with Tortilla Chips

warm chili cheese dip2 Cups Chili with Beans (such as Dennison’s)
1 Cup Salsa
1 Package (16 oz) Velvetta Cheese, cubed
Tortilla Chips for dipping

In a microwave safe bowl, mix chili, salsa and cheese. Microwave on HIGH 3-4 Minutes or until cheese is melted. Stir to blend. Serve with chips for dipping.

Note: Dip can be made ahead and refrigerated. When ready to serve, microwave until warm.

Have a wonderful Game Day!