It's Secret Recipe Club time again! This month, I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme. I enjoyed the story she tells about her grandmother and the pies, and how she talks about mealtime being an important bonding time. I can tell that family is very important to her!
I went in this month with a mission, because I was hosting a game night and needed an appetizer or snack. I considered this Zahtar Flatbread and these Bar Eggs, and was even distracted by a couple of desserts - Coconut Cream Bars and Poached Figs. But in the end it could only be the recipe that hooked me immediately - Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread. I'd seen this floating around the internet and hadn't tried it yet; this was the perfect opportunity!
I ended up going shopping at 1:00 AM (long story) and there was no working the bread counter. So when I saw that all of the crusty breads were pre-sliced, I ended up having to go with a baguette. It worked out okay, but I would have preferred a regular loaf. Anyway, cut the bread in a crisscross pattern (but not all the way through the bottom) and stuff with cheese slices. This is a bit of a process, but I found it relaxing - kind of like meditation.
Last month, I signed up to bring pasta salad to a potluck. In typical me fashion, I decided that I had to make it myself. After cruising the internet for a bit, I came across a recipe with smoked gouda, which was all I needed to be sold. Roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts? Total bonus.
I choose to use gemelli for my pasta because it is my favorite and it is really structurally sound - it holds up to anything. While that was boiling, I diced up my roasted peppers and artichoke hearts (I was lucky to find grilled ones at the store). I had a couple of tomatoes hanging around, so I chopped those up and threw them in too. After I rinsed the pasta in cold water (normally a big no-no, but good for pasta salads), I tossed it with the veggies and the cubed gouda.
Then came the dressing, where I inexplicably decided to take the opposite route and go quick and easy. I used mayonnaise and bottled Italian dressing and it came out just right - light and flavorful. You are of course welcome to make your own dressing from scratch. Top with fresh herbs and go! This is hearty and fresh and super yummy - it was very popular at the potluck, thank goodness!
As I stated in my Announcement Post, I am hosting this month's Food 'n Flix with inspiration from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I wanted to get a little wacky and fun and colorful (and a little naughty) so I made this beautiful stained glass jello and boozed it up a little.
The process starts out with setting a few different colors of jello - you can use less colors (red and green for Christmas, for example) but I wanted to be pretty colorful. I also added alcohol, which you can leave out.
Once the jello is fully set, cut it into cubes and toss together gently in a 9x13 glass pan. Put it back into the fridge to make sure it stays cold.
It's a little late, I know. But I did some cool things for the holiday that I thought would be worth sharing.
First up, burgers:
I thought that mixing shredded cheddar and diced bacon into the burgers themselves instead of using them as a topping would be pretty tasty, and I was right! I also added in pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, and paprika (no salt b/c I figured the bacon would be enough). I didn't really measure, but you can get an idea for the proportions here.
Next up - jello shots!
I am kind of obsessed with jello shots right now. Not the kind you made in college in the little cups that tasted like Everclear, but the fun, creative, tasty kinds found on Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. These are solid enough to stand on their own in little cubes (or whatever shape you cut them into). I haven't gotten too fancy with cutouts and shapes yet, but I am getting pretty good at doing layers.