It seems all my girlfriends have gone bonkers for football. Or maybe they’ve always been but I’m just starting to notice more. I don’t think they are watching the sport to please their husbands either… from my observation they usually are rooting for a different team or fancy some of the players. It’s interesting either way that more and (more…)
My Thanksgiving is gonna be a little wonky this year. My viejo is off in Europe on tour and won’t be home for a few more weeks, and my Aunt who I usually spend the holidays with is going to a friend’s house. My Momma is vegetarian and says the holiday isn’t something she really wants to celebrate. Lucky for me, my son and I are surrounded by amazing friends who have all extended invites to join them and their families for a Thanksgiving feast. I decided to spend Thanksgiving with a dear friend who lives close by. The only thing is… I am for the first time in a position where I am not cooking the main part of the meal. It is both liberating and nerve wrecking. I love that I can actually get ready this year and not be a slave to the kitchen, but it makes me nervous to try and figure out what I can bring as a simple appetizer.
While at Walmart the other day I decided to just walk the market area to see if I could find some inspiration… I knew I wanted to use goat cheese, but wasn’t sure about much of anything else. My friend’s only instruction was to bring a little something we could munch on before dinner is served. After about 10 minutes of strolling I came across some stuffing mushrooms and figured it wouldn’t be the holidays without stuffed mushrooms. Here’s to you and yours…. Happy Thanksgiving!
Ingredients for stuffed mushrooms:
- stuffing mushrooms
- goat cheese (room temperature)
- cream cheese (room temperature)
- basil (fresh, chopped)
- smoked paprika
- Wash and dry mushrooms. With a small pairing knife cut around the stem of the mushroom, then with a spoon scoop the center out. Set to the side.
- In a bowl mix goat cheese and cream cheese together.
- Mix basil into cheese mixture.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set to the side.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon into the center of each mushroom.
- Place on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the tops with paprika.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Place mushrooms under broiler for 4 to 5 minutes to brown the top.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the holidays, I think of a tribe of people coming to my house and eating all that is in sight. Yes, I have a big family and we like to eat, especially when we are celebrating.
Recently I traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas as part of the Walmart Moms program that I am proudly a part of. At a certain point in the trip we had a holiday dinner, where everything from appetizers, main course, sides and desserts were served. It definitely got me thinking what I wanted to do for the holidays. For me, Thanksgiving through New Years Day is all one big time to be with the people you love most, and pour over food. I appreciate that Walmart displayed different ways to keep the holiday season festive, and I’m sure I will be exploring more of that in the food department as we get closer to Christmas, but the one thing I craved to see was donuts, and it was missing. Considering that donuts are basically the new cupcake… as far as trends go. I thought wouldn’t it be divine to walk into a house during this holiday season and see a pile of donuts waiting for you to bite into one? I’m testing this theory starting now, I stockpiled my supplies from Walmart and baked my first batch of donuts yesterday. I figured I might as well go with the season, so I made glazed pumpkin donuts. Baked not fried….. but just as delicious. The baking adds to a certain cake-like texture with a nice moistness that helps keep the donuts irresistible for a few days…. if they last that long.
Ingredients for glazed pumpkin donuts:
- 3 – eggs
- 1/2 -cup vegetable oil
- 15 – onces pumpkin puree (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 – cups sugar
- 2 – teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 – teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 – teaspoons baking powder
- 2 – cups flour
- For the glaze: 1 1/2 – cups powdered sugar
- 4 – tablespoons milk
- 2 – teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a donut pan with a non-stick baking spray. Set to the side.
- In a mixer add eggs, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine.
- Add in the flour and mix to combine.
- Fill the donut pans 3/4 full.
- With the back of a spoon smooth out the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pan in 5 minutes before removing them.
- Allow to cool until warm on a cooling rack. In the meantime make more.
- Make the glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together. Then dip each donut into the glaze.
- Place on cooling rack for 30 minutes, then dip donut into glaze for a second time, place back on cooling rack at least an hour for glaze to set.
It’s time for me to get in touch with my southern roots. I spent some time in Nashville, Tennessee recently and everywhere I went out to eat…. I was served a basket of freshly baked biscuits. I nearly died from happiness, they reminded me of the lovely rosemary buttermilk biscuits my southern Great Grandmother Presley used to make me when I was a little girl. I always remember her with her Fiskar gardening shears out in her backyard cutting fresh rosemary from her herb garden, that would eventually end up in our supper. It was those days that I look back on so fondly and wish I talk to her and ask who she learned to make biscuits from? Or why she choose to plant rosemary, since it’s so hard to cut? Who introduced her to Fiskar for the first time? Since I no longer have the luxury of talking to her, the next best thing I can do, is make a version of her biscuits. I am no longer going to let anything keep me from my baked biscuits, and luckily I have a rosemary bush growing in my backyard, just like Great Grandma Presley. Like her, I cut my rosemary with Fiskar’s Gardener: Platinum Series™ Smooth-action Pruner and am following in her footsteps in the kitchen too.
Since I had all these questions about the lovely gardening shears my grandmother treasured, I decided to do a little research…. this is what I found out:
- Fiskars turned 365 years old on October 31st 2014 and was founded in 1649 in Fiskars, Finland. Fiskars was founded in the Fiskars Village in Finland, which still exists today!
- Nearly 100 artists and designers currently live in the Fiskars Village. The creation of Orange Handled-Scissors was purely by chance.
- To use up extra plastic in the molding machine, left over from our orange juicer production, Fiskars created the first Orange Handled-Scissors. The color orange won out by two votes.
- Ideal for cutting stems and light branches.
- Self-lubricating, maintenance-free bearing drive.
- Fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade stays sharp, even through heavy use.
- Steel construction provides excellent durability.
- Softgrip® touchpoints enhance comfort and control.
- Easy-open lock protects the blade during transport and storage.
- Bypass blade style.
- Maximum cutting capacity: 5/8″ dia.
- Lifetime warranty
Ingredients for rosemary buttermilk biscuits:
- 2 – cups bread flour
- 2 – teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 – tablespoon sugar
- 1 – teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 – teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 – cup butter (cold- cut into tablespoons)
- 1 – tablespoon rosemary (coarsely chopped)
- 3/4 – cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons for brushing the tops
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a cookie sheet with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Set to the side.
- In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, sugar, sea salt, and baking soda together. Set to the side.
- In a food processor, transfer 1 3/4 cups of dry ingredients and butter. Pulse together until crumbly.
- Mix rosemary into remaining dry ingredients, then add in the crumbly buttery mixture from the food processor. Mix well.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture, and slowly pour the buttermilk into the center.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together.
- Pour the biscuit mixture on a lightly floured surface, and knead with floured hands until the dough comes together.
- Pat the dough down as much as possible with your bare hands, then using a 3 inch circle cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can.
- Place biscuits on the baking sheet and gently brush each top with buttermilk.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve with butter and jam.
Buy a pair of amazing Fiskar gardening pruners…. by clicking here! Then make your own biscuits!
What’s with Mexicans and skulls? Usually skulls are associated with a negative connatation, but for Mexicans during Dia De Los Muertos, the skull takes on a completely different and beautiful meaning. The skull represents death and rebirth, the death of somebody leaving the world as we know it, and a rebirth of your beloved one who has passed and their soul moving on to a world of spirits and the afterlife. The skull personifies the humans we once knew, and during the Day of The Dead we take the time to honor the family and friends we have lost with offerings to their spirits in the shape of the skull, the same way our ancestors had done centuries before us. Of course there are the traditional foods associated with Dia De Los Muertos like Pan De Muerto, Tamales, Sugar Skulls, and Mole. I observe those foods as much as the next person , but I also enjoy making a skull dessert and decorating it ever year along with building my in-home alter.
Walmart has a wonderful selection of pretty artificial flowers, and I needed some for my home alter I’m building, where I will eventually present my foods. Once I grabbed the yellow silk marigolds I ran across a skeleton mold on my way to the check out, and quickly imagined what it would look like on top of a cake. I thought of my friend Rocio who I lost twenty years ago and how she loved chocolate cake. This year in addition to my family, I will make a special place for Rocio’s chocolate cake and decorate it in marshmallow flowers .
Ingredients for Dia De Los Muertos Gelatina Cake:
- 2 – packets Knox gelatin
- 1 – can La Lechera (sweetened condensed milk)
- skeleton gelatin mold
- Chocolate cake mix
- chocolate frosting
- small marshmallows
- colored sugar
- small round colored candies
- black icing.
- In a bowl mix together 2 cups of boiling hot water and Knox gelatin. Mix until completely dissolved. Add in entire can of La Lechera and mix to combine. Should make 3 cups. Pour into skull mold and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours or overnight.
- Bake cake according to box and allow it to cool completely.
- Assemble and frost cake with frosting.
- Cut marshmallows with sharp kitchen scissors diagonally.
- Then dip sticky side of cut marshmallow into a dish of colored sugar to color marshmallow petals. Set to the side until ready to use.
- Unmold gelatin skull from mold. Place it in the center of frosted cake.
- Decorate the sides of the cake with colored marshmallow petals, and place a small round candy in the center of the flowers.
- Take the black icing fitted with a piping attachment and fill the eye cavity of skull gelatin with icing.
- Also draw a straight line across the skull mouth, then stitch over from top to bottom with black icing. Let the icing mouth sit on the gelatin skull for about 10 minutes, then remove the icing to reveal a stain.
- Fill the nose cavity with colored sugar.
- Decorate the forehead of the skull with marshmallow flower petals.
PIN PICTURE BELOW FOR LATER:
Are you having a Halloween party? If you are… this is a great way to kick the festivities into high gear. You see, no Halloween party would be a complete without a graveyard bean dip to dig your bones into. Party ghouls will “ooze and aah” as they see this edible cemetery is up for grabs. The ghostly haunts is filled with 8 different layers of dipping fun, and serves as a great centerpiece until people are ready to devour. Or in my case last year, it was ZOMBIES. I went to a Zombie themed party and everybody went all out, of course they did, it was an entertainment industry party and the costumes were amazing and scary as heck. It was the funniest sight to see a dozen or so remarkably made up zombified friends of mine all corralled around this graveyard dip I made. It was as if they were real zombies and the brain appetizers had just come out from the kitchen. They all went insane for this dip, I’m not kidding when I say it’s very addicting and flavorful. I’m still kicking myself for not having a camera that night.
This year, because of how well received my graveyard bean dip was, I decided that I’m making this an annual reoccurrence. Me being who I am though, I want to make it slightly different or even try and top myself from the year before. How would I do that? A few days ago I was at my local Walmart in Rosemead walking through the massive chip aisle, as I always do because the boys in my family are chip freaks, and I happened upon a spooky treat…. Cheetos Bag Of Bones. Basically they are cheetos shaped like skeleton bones. At that moment a black lightbulb popped up over my head, and I thought “OMG, these cute little cheetos bones will add so much character to my graveyard dip.” Please check out the recipe below and the little Cheetos bones did exactly what I thought. While I was at the store I also picked up bags of candy and a cool light up pumpkin for a party table. Check out the pic at the very bottom.
- Tostitos scoops
- tomatoes (chopped)
- sour cream
- grated cheese
- sliced black olives
- chopped jalapenos
- refried beans
- wheat tortilla
- Pillsbury crescent rolls
- Cheetos ‘Bag Of Bones’
- Start with a clear pyrex baking dish.
- Crush a thin layer of tostitos scoops at the bottom. Reserve the rest of the bag to eat the bean dip with later.
- Top crushed chips with chopped tomatoes.
- Spoon enough sour cream to cover the entire layer of tomatoes.
- Layer grated cheese on top of sour cream.
- Top with black olives.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of chopped chiles over olives.
- Spread refried beans over chiles.
- Make a perfect rectangle in the center of the beans and fill with guacamole.
- Frame the guacamole with black olive slices.
- Decoration for the graveyard: I started with wheat tortillas. Using an x-acto knife I cut out a tree shape, and head stones. Then fry on each side until crisp.
- To make the floating ghosts: I unfolded the pillsbury crescent dough and carved out ghost shapes with an x-acto knife.
Making #Halloween come to life with these food friendly #ghosts. Graveyard recipe up on my blog later today! #WMTMoms @walmart
Then baked the dough ghosts until golden crisp (according to package for time and temperature), once they came out of the oven I shoved a stick into the ghost and allowed them to cool completely with the stick in.
- Assemble the tree slightly off center of rectangle. Then place the ghosts where you feel they will be the most visible. Stick the different sized head stones into the guacamole, then place a cheetos skeleton bone skull at the base of the head stone.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Happy Halloween! Enjoy!
Candy For Pumpkin:
- Snickers (fun size)
- Twizzlers (caramel apple )
Did you watch my video? If not… let me tell you what’s going on via this written post. I bought a Crock-Pot at Walmart (pisssst… they are so reasonably priced you should go get one too) and came home and wanted to use it. Something told me to look at the Crock Pot website… I did and stumbled upon this.
If you are a savvy slow cooking fan, the Crock-Pot brand is kicking off its annual Ultimate Crock-Pot CrockStar Contest. The winner will earn the title of “2014 Ultimate Crock-Pot Crock-Star,” plus $5,000 and be featured on Crock-Pot.com.
Visit CrockStars.com between now and October 31st, 2014
Submit a 1-minute “video selfie” prepping your favorite original slow cooker recipe using a Crock-Pot Slow Cooker. Then text your original recipe.
Be sure to follow these and all contest rules noted on the site for eligibility!
Can you believe $5000 for a single recipe? I’m going to enter to win now. Will you? In the meantime just to get my feet wet I tried out a brownie recipe. Here is the easy recipe.
Crock Pot Brownies:
- 12 – tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1 1/3 – cups sugar
- 2/3 – cup unsweeted coco powder
- 1/2 – cup flour
- 1 – tablespoon vanilla
- 3 – eggs (beaten)
- 3/4 – cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Line the bottom of a 7 quart crockpot with foil.
- Spray foil with a non-stick baking spray.
- In a bowl add butter, sugar, coco powder, flour, and vanilla together. Mix until combined and looks like a thick paste.
- Add in the beaten eggs and mix until completely incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the brownie batter into the foil lined crock pot, and cook on low for 3 and 1/2 to 4 hours or until just a small bit of the center is still gooey.
- Serve a la mode while still warm.