Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cake pops

So ever since these cute little guys have come out I see them everywhere and they are so cute!! So I thought I could use these for my skewer week, so rather than buying sticks if you cut the tips off of your skewers and then cut them in half you have the perfect little bamboo cake pop sticks. Now I must also let you know that baking is not my fortay.....I enjoy cooking a lot more than baking because of the freedom of cooking. Baking requires more precise work and that just isn't me as much. I changed up what is normally used for icing these treats and used royal icing, you can fid a link below for the recipe although I would't say it is necessarily an improvement from the melting chocolate. Play with them and let me know what you think!!!


Loves, SMK

boxed cake mix of your choice
container of frosting
30-40 sticks
royal frosting
chocolate to drizzle, sprinkles and any other decorations

Check out some other great Black and White photos at B & W Wednesdays.....
Once your skewers are cut you will have these lovely little sticks that work wonderfully as pop sticks
Now start by preparing your cake per directions on the package, let the cake fully cool and then start breaking it up into tiny pieces in a large bowl.......

Next you want to add in about 3/4 of your container of frosting into the cake mixture and continue mixing until very well combined.....

Using an ice cream scoop take equal size amounts of batter and roll between your hands to form into round balls of cake.....once you have them spread out you can skewer them with your bamboo sticks. Now throw the whole amount into the freezer for an hour for the cake pops to firm up.

While in the freezer prepare your icing that you want to use to decorate the cake pops, here I made royal icing for these cake balls.

Now comes the fun part.....decorate decorate decorate......whatever you like whatever works for you!!


Royal Icing

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I love when my husband does the work :)

First things first I have to confess that I did not make these kabobs, I can thank my wonderful husband for preparing and grilling this delicious treat! This has to be my favorite summer can experiment so much with the marinades that you use and also with the ingredients that you actually put on your skewers.
We like to let the ingredients marinade for at least 2 hours before getting them onto the grill.....when my husband is really ambitious he really likes to play with different flavors.....this time we used two marinades but he has done more....yum yum yum!
Loves, SMK

Grilled Steak Chicken and Veg Kabobs


1/2 pineapple
2 peppers of assorted colors
2 zucchini
1/2 red onion
head broccoli
we used Trader Joes sweet chili sauce
and the honey ginger soy dressing made last week

Start out by soaking bamboo skewers in small amount of warm water for about 20 minutes. While they are soaking cut up all veggies fruit and meat into bite size pieces, put them into corresponding freezer bags......add in 1 cup of whatever sauce you plan to use and marinade for at least 1 hour.

After ingredients are finished marinading take your skewers and start slowly alternating different meats and veggies onto skewers leaving space in between for cooking. Finish with all remaining ingredients....take skewers out to your grill and grill flipping repeatedly until chicken is fully cooked.

Remove from grill and enjoy!

Here is a link to another great recipe from my friends at Braswells, they make those great carafes we used last week but also so many other great sauces and other great ingredients :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

My first Milestone :)

Wow, so I made it through my first week....I have to say that I am having so much fun with this blog. I have always enjoyed cooking and it is so great to see something you create that normally is gone as quick as you create it become immortalized.....I mean once its out there its always out there. So I have been racking my brain.....what to do next, I have just so many things rolling around in my head....the days don't pass fast enough but this week we are feature something so simple and fun;

Bamboo Skewers

Such a simple product, so easily used, so much room for creativity and so affordable. This week is going to be so fun, kabobs, and satay, and fruit, and veggies, and cake, and carnival treats oh my :)

The greatest part is that you don't have to use bamboo there is such a wide variety of reusable options out there today, but I just love the novelty of these skewers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Bloody Sunday!!

Whats better on a Sunday afternoon than a delicious fully garnished Bloody Mary!! My girlfriend Jenny is the queen of Bloodies so she will be my guest for this post!! I have a lot to live up to as she has her favorite places to get one already. I think it is hard for me to get this right because I am more of a mimosa kind of gal :)
The great thing about this weekend treat is that there is no right or wrong, add subtract what you like and or don't, garnish as you like as well......pickles, olives, pearl onions, asparagus, celery, slim jims, lemons, pretty much anything pickled. Just be careful so you don't get pickled yourself ;)

Enjoy!! Please Drink responsible......Jenny
Lover,  SMK

Sunday Bloody

2 oz vodka
small can tomato juice
1 tbsp beer, rest for chaser
1 tbsp worcestire sauce
1 tsp horseradish
1 tbsp pickle juice
slice fresh lemon
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp pepper
1 stalk celery
1 pickle

Into a shaker combine vodka, beer, pickle juice, squeeze of lemon, worcestire, horseradish, celery salt, and pepper. Close shaker and vigourasly shake, add in can tomato juice, close and shake again. With a slice of lemon rub on rim of carafe, roll lip through small layer of celery salt to coat lip, pour mixture over ice in carafe and garnish with lemon, pickle, celery and anything else you would like!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cognac syrup.....who knew

I am not one to sit down after a long day and sip on a scotch or cognac.....I can't even remember the last time I might have tried some, so when I came across this recipe from Gourmet magazine I was intrigued. Tomorrow I am using it to feed my husband and his best friend who is staying with us while he is visiting from Utah. Cognac Syrup over orange infused pancakes and sugared orange slices:) I will post pictures!
Let me know what you think and try try could use any type of strong sipping liquor to make a syrup just like this.

Loves, SMK

Cognac Syrup

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
strips of one fresh orange zest
2/3 cup cognac

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a 1 quart saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes before pouring into carafe. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Keeps for up to one month in refrigerator.

P.S. Make sure not to walk away for too long and get distracted while boiling or you might end up with cognac candy ;) Not that this happened to me and not that I had to start all over but if you go to your pot and it looks like this:
you now have candy.....not syrup!!
Just a word to the wise...

P.P.S Not that it happened to me 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Catch up....if you can

I started my first garden this year and have had an accumulation of tomatoes.......They are so beautiful and sometimes I like looking at them more than eating them. I have always wanted to try making a homemade ketchup and I think it is the perfect filler for our carafes. I have some beautiful little baby red onions also from my garden that I am using....with such a special flavor this dressing is not just for dipping your french fries in.
Find a great use and share it with me!!

Loves, SMK

Garden Fresh catsup
8 medium garden fresh tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
one medium red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp balsamic
1/2 tbsp worcestire
1 can tomato paste
1/8 cup vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Start out by cutting meat off tomatoes and discarding seeds, put all tomatoes into blender and blend. In a small saute pan add in oil, diced garlic and onions. Saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in seasonings and saute 1 min, pour in tomatoes and tomato paste, stir and simmer for a few minutes. Finally add in sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, balsamic, and worcestire. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until thick.

Take the cooked mixture and return to blender and blend until smooth, with funnel transfer to carafe.

Keeps for up to one month in refrigerator!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Love Sangria

Its true, I do LOVE Sangria!! First off I want to apologize to anyone who is a true wine lover.....Sorry.
I think of riesling as about the only drinkable wine, but while working at this great little wine bar and bistro I was intoduced to a treat; Sangria :) So began my love....since then I have altered and added and changed a few things and come up with what I think is the greatest recipe. I don't use any special wine, usually a merlot or cabernet and a chardonney or pinot grigio. Theres my trick, maybe you caught it (and maybe true wine lovers are apalled by it) I like to use one bottle red and one bottle of white wine....I feel like it allows for a balanced flavor!
I know that whenever I make this there is never enough to go around, so try it and share it....or don't I totally understand :)

Loves, SMK

Sara's Sassy Sangria

3 oranges
1 lemon
1 lime
3 apples
1 brandy shooter
1 peach schnapps shooter
1 bottle red wine
1 bottle white wine
1/3 cup sugar

Start out by uncorking both bottles of wine and emptying them into your pitcher, mix in sugar.
Next empty both shooters into pitcher.

Now halve 2 oranges, lemon, and lime, squeeze juice into pitchers and drop in all fruit halves to soak over night, dice up one apple and add into the mix. Now cover and refrigerate over night to let all the flavors blend.

Before serving dice up remaining apples and split between carafes, slice last orange to use as a garnish on pitcher and all the carafes.....when you are ready just fill each glass and Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I love bruschette

Sometimes I wish I were Italian, I mean always I wish I were italian. Alas I am not, but at heart I always will be......breads, pastas, tomatoes, basil, garlic, mozzarella, lasagna, gelato, pizza the list goes on and on. So I have come up with another dressing to fill our carafes with inspired by these things......For dinner I grilled some haddock and smothered it in this dressing......yummmy.

Try it any way you like, on a salad, dip some bread in it, over chicken or fish whatever you like!!
Loves, SMK

Bruschette Dressing

full stem basil
2 cloves garlic
two fresh tomatoes
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup balsamic
1/3 cup olive oil

Who knew food pictures would look just as tantalizing in B & W, well Susan at The Well Seasoned Cook has really taken an interest check out her Black and White wednesdays!! Thank you Susan for putting this together!

Start out by adding balsamic into food processor, finely dice garlic, basil. halve tomatoes and remove all seeds and liquid then finely dice. In food processor pulse first 6 ingredients for about 2 minutes, add in olive oil and pulse 1 minute, using a kitchen funnel transfer dressing into carafe.

Dressing will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Its Tea Time

Everyone knows that there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a cool glass of fresh iced tea. Luckily there is also nothing better on a dreary winter day than a cool glass of fresh iced tea!! There used to be this great little grocer and deli in downtown appleton called Live Oak where I loved to go for the best BLT's I have ever had and every once in a while they served a fresh made blueberry basil iced tea. It became my new obsession I would go and buy glass after glass :) Sadly they have closed so I have had to try and make my own version of this refreshing treat.....So here is what I have come up with, so lets fill our little carafes and Enjoy!

Loves, SMK

Blueberry Basil Iced Tea

One full stem basil
1/2 cup bluberries
1 tbsp cane sugar(or agave nectar)
any type of black or green tea
water and ice

Start out by brewing your tea bag in 1/2 cup of boiling water

while it steeps slice up 4 basil leaves and add in, mash up all but a few of the blueberries and add them as well. Let everything steep for 10 minutes.
 Take a small amount of cheese cloth and cover the top of a glass, strain through the tea mixture, toss aside tea bag and mashed basil and berries.

Fill the glass full of ice and mix vigourosly, until ice is half melted (this will help it fit through neck of carafe).
Now just pour the liquid into the carafe and fill with cold water and ice!
Garnish with a few berries, straw, and the remaining stem of basil!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I love My Carafe

Here we are.....our first Monday together :) 
Our first week we are going to use those nifty carafes as our inspiration.
They are so versatile and can be used for any number of things.
We are going to fill our carafe with the most delicious dressing ever. This recipe came to me while "Joining the Reboot" a website and movement for a healthy raw lifestyle.
 I used this to saute some broccoli up for dinner, so simple and delicious.

Loves, SMK

Ginger Honey Soy Dressing
2 cloves garlic
One inch square piece fresh ginger
4 tbsp Raw Honey
8 tbsp Tamari
8 tbsp Olive Oil

Blend first four ingredients together in blender or food processor, while still blending slowly add in olive oil until well blended. Use a kitchen funnel to transfer dressing into your trusty carafe, put on lid and refrigerate, keeps up to one week.

This dressing is so versatile, I have used it on salad, as a marinade, to saute vegetables, as a stir fry sauce, you don't need much as the flavor is exquisite!!!!
Enjoy!Loves, SMK
P.S. On a side note my husband wasn't too keen on smothering me with kisses after I had eaten this on a salad, "you smell like a garlic factory" Oh well......I love Garlic!!