Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Joe's Game Day Stromboli and Winner Announced

Planning your menu for the big game? Gear up with Joe's Stromboli that is a big hit here in town. This stromboli goes to every event.   


One package of refrigerated pizza dough (Multi-grain pizza dough from Hannaford's is the best if you can get it)

6 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese (5 large slices)

6 ounces thinly sliced hard salami (15 slices)
6 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni (completely cover the salami)
1 large roasted red pepper cut lengthwise into six pieces  (we use the roasted red peppers in the jar)

Directions Preheat oven to 375°. On a greased baking sheet (we use olive oil), pat dough into a 16x13-in. rectangle. Layer the cheese, salami, pepperoni and roasted pepper over entire dough, leaving a 1/2-in. border at each end. Fold up long sides of crust over filling, pinching seam and ends to seal. Flip over so seam is on the bottom. Cut slits in top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Yield: 1 large stromboli

Congratulations to Lynn @ Happier Than A Pig in Mud who is the winner of the Celtic Salt.  Lynn, please send me your address and I'll get your package shipped out this week.

I enjoyed reading all the comments! 

Friday, January 12, 2018

It was a "balmy" 64 degrees here today and for some reason I thought of this Key West themed dinner I hosted a few years ago.  I chose several menu items from the cookbook "My Key West Kitchen". In the picture below, that is what our backyard typically looks like in January.
The menu consisted of several dishes from the cookbook I picked up in Key West and others I found on the internet after doing some extensive research and reading reviews. I love reviews and they were spot on.
Key Lime Pie Martinis
Skip and Go Naked Drinks (Susan Branch)
Coconut Shrimp
Tuna Cakes
Candied Bacon Pineapple Wraps
Pork Havana Key West Style*
Oven Roasted Mojo Chicken*
Dinosaur BBQ Honey Corn Bread
Yellow rice*
Black beans*
Sunshine's Key Lime Pie*
Cuban Coffee

* = menu items from "My Key West Kitchen" by Chef Norman Van Aken

I used a recipe from one of the establishments in Key West for the Key Lime Pie martinis and they  taste just like key lime pie in a glass. I'd love to pour one for you.

Key Lime Pie Martini
Graham cracker crumbs, for rimming the glass
2 lime wedges
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) vanilla flavored vodka
1/4 cup (2 ounces) key lime liqueur (recommended: Ke Ke Beach Key Lime Cream Liqueur)
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Ice cubes

Pour the graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of a martini glass and roll the edge in the graham cracker crumbs. Chill the glass for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Combine the vanilla vodka, key lime liqueur, pineapple juice, and cream in a shaker. Fill the shaker half full with ice and shake until well blended. Pour into prepared martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge and serve immediately.
What’s so special about Key West?
The weather, architecture, food, music and flowers blooming in the full moon light, especially in February for me. And for anybody else that wants it ;-) Key West lies 150 miles south of Miami and 90 miles north of Cuba. This little spit of land, four miles long by two miles wide, hosts weather that is consistently beautiful thanks to its subtropical climate, with temperatures of seventy-five to eighty degrees year round.
“Over the years, what used to be a funky little out-of-the-way, stuck-in-time place, has evolved into a sophisticated island resort. The little Conch houses have been bought up, remodeled, and often resold. And although the gentrification of Key West is celebrated by some residents and opposed by others, the fact remains that people who have the means to go anywhere in the world keep coming back to this place, just as my husband and I have returned again and again.”
Leslie Linsley "A Tropical Lifestyle"
A Tommy Bahama tablecloth from the Christmas Tree Shoppe, margarita glasses, tea light candles in blue mason jars with a label I printed from the computer, star fish, sea shells, mini palm trees from Hobby Lobby and bottles of Fiji water. 
Several items on our menu were gluten free including these tasty crispy coconut shrimp. They were a bit hit served with homemade pineapple salsa.
One of our entrees was an eight-bone rack of pork prepared Key West Style. The rub was made with olive oil, black peppercorns (bruised), Old Bay seasoning, garlic and red onion. The glaze was olive oil, butter, garlic, sweet onion, orange, toasted cumin seeds, sherry wine vinegar and orange marmalade.  
Our second entree was Oven-Roasted Mojo Chicken that was marinated overnight in Sour Orange Mojo (a class Latin-American sauce) which consisted of garlic, Scotch bonnet chiles, kosher salt, toasted cumin seeds, EVOO, fresh sour orange juice, sherry wine vinegar and pepper. I couldn't find sour oranges, so the recipe said to use equal portions of lime and orange juice.

Some Key West Table Ideas:
Cuban bread
Fiji Island Water
Shell dishes
Crushed shells from Michaels
Jimmy Buffet music
Beachy cocktail napkins
Mile Marker 0 sign
Key West Motto is "Come As You Are"
Don't we all look like we are in the tropics?  We felt it was still too chilly to wear tank tops and flip flops.
I have been wanting to do another Key West dinner as we truly had a blast. Maybe next year after returning from Key West. This February are will ski instead of going to the Keys, and that I am looking forward to also. 
Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Celtic Salt - A Giveaway

Before I dart into the Celtic Salt, just wanted you to see how pretty snow can be. LOL
I can refer back to this picture in July to cool me off! This is our zoo which is a lot of fun for the kiddos. 
I have been using sea salt flakes for over ten years. Shortly before remodeling my kitchen, I joined the "Garden Web" and they had several informational groups including the Cooking Forum. On the Cooking Forum, you could ask questions, share recipes, etc. and several of us became friends (long distance). One very experienced cook introduced me to sea salt flakes.

Fast forward to 2018, I was delighted to review Selina Naturally® Products and celebrate the taste and experience of natural gourmet Salts from around the world. I've included a picture of the items I received, from the Naturally harvested Celtic Pink Sea Salt® , to the FOSSIL Salt Line.

I loved this quote that was included in the email they sent to me -- 

“There's a simple magic trick to bring out the best flavor in my food... and it's as simple as using the right salt. I've been a huge fan of Celtic Sea Salt® for years now. Their dynamic flavors, mineral-rich blends and exotic varietals help to take my cuisine to the next level. It's my #1 salt of choice for all of my culinary endeavors..” - Jason Wrobel 

Selina Naturally Products from Spain comes in a variety of three different categories of salt. To make this salt, with its ultra-fine, diamond-like crystals, it is extracted from underground rivers and then deposited in saline pools where the water is gradually evaporated, leaving all the minerals intact. A first to the market low sodium liquid spray salt. 

I reviewed three of the products so far, and would like to offer a jar of salt to one of my readers so they can also see how wonderful this salt is. GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  In the comments section, just leave a comment letting me know if you have used sea salt flakes. I will choose a winner on January 15.

I agree with Chef Charlie Trotter - “The coarse Celtic Sea Salt® is truly stunning. It adds a clean, refined, elegant note to the food, and helps to enhance natural flavor. I’ve had a love affair with this product for over 10 years!” 

Below is a picture of the Flocons De Sel rose-seasoned salt for salads. It is not only a beautiful color, but is amazing on buttercup lettuce with a spray of olive oil and balsamic. Ooh la ha, thank you La Table de Nana for letting me know about the sprays that you loved in Provence. I found them on Amazon, and they are wonderful. 
 The second of these River Salts is a Flaked Flavored River Salt, Salt Flakes®, a range of spice-infused salts that enhance the flavors and textures of every dish. Available in five flavors, Balsamic Vinegar, a detoxing Charcoal, Grilled Meat, Aromatic Herbs (all purpose), and 5 Peppers. 

The last but not least are the gourmet flavors, Flocons De Sel®, these salts make any cook look like a chef, with their exotic flavors. Available in Nutty Smoked, Seaweed, Sesame Wasabi, Szechuan Pepper, and a Rose and Wine that looks like fireworks on the grill.

I will pick a winner for one jar of salt on January 15!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

I Wish You A Brave New Year

"I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get we deserve"

 Fresh snow is the prettiest sight! Our camp is in the "winter wonderland" area of New York, and  snow lovers flock to the area to snowmobile, ski, snowboard and snowshoe. If you are a business owner, you pray for lots of snow and the tourists will come!  The photos above were taken at the hardware store near my camp of their winter windows. The ski mountain is open, and I love seeing the signs for the trails. We hike the mountain in the summer, and it's one of our favorite hikes with a view. 

I would rather be in Key West in February LOL, but this year we booked a winter vacation to enjoy some winter activities.   

Happy Almost New Year! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Is Coming

Our big tree is a MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check themed tree that I change a little each year.  I mix in other ornaments that I have been given as gifts over the years, some from our travels and a few favorites from when the children were babies. When I receive ornaments as gifts, I document who I received them from and the year.  The small tree is Xavier's tree. Christmas through a child's eyes is best. 

I've been working a lot of overtime, and trying to balance Christmas preparation with work. It's all good, I think I will meet Santa's deadline.   

Thank you for your sweet comments and friendship over the year. Wishing you much love and laughter as you prepare for your holiday celebration. 

I hope your holiday is fabulous in every way! May all the magic and beauty of the season fill your home and heart with much happiness.



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