Tag Archive for 'foodily'

Start (April) Foolin’ Around – A teaseable feast

There are just so many days per year that you can play with your food, and April 1st (AKA April Fools) is certainly one of them. Over the years I’ve had my fill of fun with this holiday and I wanted to share a few of these playful foodie creations with you in hopes that it will inspire you to join in fun food foolery.

What is most loved about this meal? It is really dessert first — don’t judge the meal by its looks.

The menu:

– fish sticks

– carrots and peas

– raspberry coolers

– hearty cup cakes with healthy buttermilk frosting

Crispy Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks Ingredients

1 box rectangular shaped shortbread cookies

1 cup corn flake crumbs

1 container white frosting

Fish Stick Directions

Prepare a cookie sheet with foil and set aside. Unwrap shortbread cookies and place on plate. In a small bowl, add corn flakes. Using a knife coat each cookie with frosting on all sides. Roll the cookie in cornflake crumbs and place on the prepared cookies sheet. Repeat until desired quantity is prepared.

Sweet Veggies

Sweet Veggie Ingredients

1 3 lb package of Starburst original fruit candy chews, 1 per every 2 guests

2 boxes of Yogos Bits, in solid light and dark green colors

Sweet Veggie Directions

Take each orange Starburst candy, unwrap an cut into four pieces. Unwrap Yogos Bits and sort green colors into one bowl. The packages only contain a few greens per packet so veggie haters will be pleased with a small amount they ‘think’ they will have to consume.

Raspberry Coolers

Raspberry Cooler Ingredients

1 box of raspberry JELL-O per 8 oz glass

1 straw per person

Raspberry Cooler Directions

Prepare recipe for finger JELL-0 according to box directions. Pour into clear glass with straw inserted. Chill until dinner time.

Hearty Cup Cakes

Cup Cake Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey

1 Italian sausage, casing removed

1 cup zucchini, coarsely grated

3/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1/4 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 large egg

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

12 tsp garlic powder

cup cake foils (DO NOT use paper liners)

Cup Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Coat cup cake pan with non-stick spray and form generous mounds of meat in each one. Bake meat cakes for 35-45 minutes. Length of time will depend on how much meat is used in each portion. To be certain meat is cooked, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the center registers at 165 degrees. Continue to check every 5- 7 minutes until cooked.

While meat cooks, prepare mashed potato ‘frosting’. Once meat is cooked allow to set for 5 minutes once removing from oven. There will be a generous amount of liquid at the bottom of each cup cake. Remove meat from pan and set aside on a plate. Then place each cup cake into a cup cake foil for presentation.

Healthy Buttermilk Frosting

Frosting Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes

1/4 cup milk

4 TBS unsalted butter

1/2 cup buttermilk


food coloring

Frosting Directions

In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Add them to the boiling water. Water will stop boiling, once it returns to a full boil lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 -15 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when fork is inserted.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter on low, making sure it doesn’t boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.

As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Place potatoes in a heatproof bowl and using a hand mixer, mash until nearly smooth. Stir in the hot milk mixture until potatoes are smooth. Add enough buttermilk to make the potatoes creamy. Then add 1 teaspoon of salt and food coloring. Mix well, then cover and set aside to keep warm until cup cakes are ready.

For an added decorative touch to the cup cakes, place potatoes in a large zip lock bag and snip off 1/4 of an inch from one corner. Start from the most outer edge of the cup cake and working in a circular motion, decorate until the top of the cup cake is covered.

Set the table and leave the cup cakes plated and off to the side. Watch the looks of surprise as your guests eat their meal.

I hope you will join me in discovering Foodily.com! Check out the menus I’ve created and let me know your favorites. Fine print: It’s true, I am a compensated Foodily Brand Ambassador.

Chocolate Tart – An Ooh La La Dessert

This recipe is really exciting for me to post. Last October, while out to dinner with a friend at a locally acclaimed restaurant called The Lark Creek Tavern, (formerly the Lark Creek Inn), I had the honor of meeting the pastry chef. She had created a recipe that was so unique, utilizing so many wonderful seasonal ingredients, I eagerly awaited the next time I could connect with her. Kayci Edwards is the woman behind the divine sweets featured at the Lark Creek Tavern. She graciously invited me to The Lark, not only to talk about the recipe I had devoured that night (which unfortunately was no longer in season and on the menu), but to try out two of her latest creations. Today’s post is bursting with chocolate and amazing flavor pairings that could be an ideal dessert as we head into Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day – you name it. Guests will be ooh la la-ing it with each bite!

Since this recipe has so many ingredients it is best to compile a full shopping list. This is not a recipe that you should try to do the day of your party, while it can be done, it is best to make it at least 2 days prior so you do not feel rushed when preparing the rest of your meal.

Chef Kayci Edwards

Executive Pastry Chef The Lark Creek Tavern

Bay Area local, Pastry Chef Kayci Edwards, found her passion for pastry at an early age baking and cooking dinner with her mom and has studied with Susan Principe for about a year and Maggie Leung, Executive Pastry Chef for San Francisco’s acclaimed Masa’s Restaurant, for about two years, allowing her to hone her skills and develop a one-of-a-kind style as represented by her fantastic creations at the Lark Creek Tavern.

A graduate of The California Culinary Academy’s Baking and Pastry Arts program, Edwards excels in creativity and a passion for the freshest ingredients. She is known for her Pecan Sticky buns which she learned from baking with her mom when she was growing up.

After graduation, Edwards worked for The Lark Creek Inn Restaurant group at the former Lark Creek Inn and also when it reopened as the Tavern at Lark Creek in Larkspur, CA. As the Executive Pastry Chef at the Tavern at Lark Creek, she is responsible for creative development of the desserts as well as the morning pastries for brunch, which change weekly, and the continued quest for new product.

Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Sucre Ingredients

1/2 lb powdered sugar

1 lb unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 TBSP vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 lbs (6 oz) flour

2 oz cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

Chocolate Sucre Directions

Cream together butter, sugar and salt. Add eggs one at a time then add the vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa and salt and add to butter mixture and mix until combined. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm. Roll out and poke holes in the bottom of the tart shell to keep it from creating bubbles. Bake 350 degrees in a convection oven for 5-6 minutes, let cool then pour the ganache.

Chocolate Tart Filling

1 lb dark chocolate, chopped

6 oz butter

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 2/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

Chocolate Tart Directions

In a large-size saucepan, combine chocolate and butter and melt over medium heat.

In a bowl, combine sugar, 2/3 cup of the heavy cream and eggs, whisking to combine. Slowly add chocolate mixture to egg mixture whisking continuously. Note: the remaining 1 cup of whip cream will be used upon serving the tart.

Pour filling into pre-baked shell and bake at 350 or 20-25 minutes. Bake until the filling, one inch from the edge, is set but the center is still wobbly when gently shaken.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup water

2 cups cream

Caramel Sauce Directions

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar reaches a medium amber color. Add the cream slowly to stop the caramel. Use a long whisk because the caramel will splatter and put off harmful steam.

Candied Walnuts Ingredients

8 oz walnuts, rough chopped

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Brown sugar to coat

About 1/2 of an egg white (keep the whole white as you may need a little more then half.)

Candied Walnuts Directions

Weigh out the walnuts and give them a rough chop. Whip the egg whites until foamy, they do not need to hold a stiff peak.

Add your spices to the white, then add the walnuts, stir to coat. Add brown sugar until the nuts look like they’re dry. Initially the brown sugar will begin to moisten because of the egg white and turn dark, but as you add the sugar it will become lighter as it no longer soaks up the moisture. Bake at 350 degrees until walnuts start to turn a light amber color and they no longer look moist, they do not need to be stirred.

To Assemble

Take remaining 1 cup of whip cream and add 1 tsp vanilla. Whip until firm. Add caramel sauce to the plate, to make it more decorative you can place in a zip lock bag, snip off one small end and have fun decorating the plate with it. Place a piece of chocolate tart on top, garnish with a generous dollop of whip cream and sprinkle with candied walnuts. Then sit back and watch your guests eyes light up like fireworks on the fourth of July. It is magic.

Refrigerated cake will keep well wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.

As a Foodily Ambassador; I’ve assembled a wonderful Easter menu that I hope you will enjoy. Here’s a menu teaser….

-Green Beans With Anchovy & Soft Egg

-Lemony Prawn & Pea Pasta

-Snapshots From Italy: Roman Easter Soup

-Easter Lamb Recipe

-Potatoes Antico Modo

-Indian-spiced Mixed Nuts

-Easter Meringue Cups

I hope you will join me in discovering Foodily.com! Fine print: It’s true, I am a compensated Foodily Brand Ambassador.

Deliciously Organic Post-Super Bowl Recipe

While attending BlogHer Food ’10, I was invited to a party named La Petite Soirée. Much to my surprise, at the end of the night, there was a gift certificate to receive a copy of ‘Deliciously Organic’ by Carrie Vitt. The cover alone was a draw, well selected words ….simple dishes, vibrant flavors everyone will love. Upon receiving the book I couldn’t wait to take out a pad of Post-It notes to mark the recipes that I “must try”. The list was long, and I am still working through it, but a few nights ago, when I was trying to think of a great new recipe to bring to a Super Bowl party, this recipe caught my eye.

My finished photo of the crisps is tucked away at the very end of this post as it looks nothing like the photograph in Carrie’s book, but I don’t care one bit, because this recipe is full of delicious flavors. Enjoy it!

Brie and Walnut Crisps


4 oz double or triple cream Brie, room temperature, rind removed
1/2 cup (1 cube) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
4 dashes cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground rosemary
2 dashes paprika


In a food processor, pulse together Brie and butter until smooth. Add flour, walnuts, salt, cayenne, and rosemary and process until dough is smooth and just starts to form a ball. Dough will be very soft.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Place dough onto the parchment paper and form into a log. Wrap the remaining parchment paper around the dough and then roll dough on the counter until it stretches into a log about 2-inches thick. Refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours.

Adjust the rack in the oven to the middle position and then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Unwrap dough and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place each round on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1/2 an inch in between each because they will expand slightly when baking. Bake your crackers at 350 degrees for 22 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with paprika. Allow your crackers to cool on the cookie sheet and serve at room temperature.

Note: These crackers are delicious on their own or would be paired nicely with some fresh fruit such as a thin slice of pear with a touch of honey drizzled on top. Once cooked, the crisps are very delicate, take care when moving off of the cookie sheet.

Makes 25 crisps.

As a compensated Foodily Brand Ambassador, you can also find this recipe at www.foodily.com.