Tag Archive for 'sue barkett zumout'

Whet Your Appetite…it’s about to get GOOD

This weekend started out a bit differently then the last five weeks – it was work free and friend and family-focused. The pace finally drew to a screeching halt after a seemingly endless series of projects and life came back into focus. On the menu: breathing, laughter, food and fun (plus a few great new recipes – I couldn’t tease you further, as you have so patiently awaited this next post amidst my hefty work load. TY).

This post in itself was fun-filled. Conceptualized with my dear friend Sue Zumout @justforlicks, the concept was to create a shared post with a common element and put our own touches on it….enter stage right, Petite Parmesan Baskets, the adorable appetizer with numerous possibilities. We’ve developed six ideas, three you can find in this post and the remaining three can be easily found on her blog site (details to follow). Trust me, it will be well worth the click over as her creations were wonderful too!
Please note that to help keep the various recipes organized each filing as well as the basket recipe has its own ingredients and direction list.

Petite Parmesan Baskets

Petite Parmesan Basket Ingredients

6 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
1/2 tsp of either paprika, or cayenne (optional)

Note: to make the necessary basket form you will need mini-cup cake pans or another small item on which to form the basket.

Petite Parmesan Basket Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with either a silpat or parchment paper.

Pour 1 TBS increments of Parmesan cheese onto lined cookie sheet and flatten into a circular shape. If desired add optional seasoning.

Bake on middle rack of oven until golden brown, approximately 7 – 10 minutes. Immediately after removing from the oven, carefully transfer cheese discs with a spatula and place onto an upside down mini-cup cake pan. It is important to work quickly to form the basket shape around the outside of the mini-cup cake pan before the cheese begins to harden.

Baskets may be made two days in advance and placed on parchment paper in an airtight container at room temperature.

Pear, Manchego & Bacon Filling Ingredients

1 Red D’Anjou pear, cubed with skin on
3/4 portion 1 medium size red apple (like Lady Alice), grated with skin on
2 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
3 slices bacon, cooked until firm and chopped
1/2 cup Manchego cheese, finely cubed (can substitute Asiago cheese)
1 TBS orange juice
1 TBS champagne vinegar
pepper, to taste

Pear, Manchego & Bacon Filling Directions

In medium-size bowl, add pear and apple and mix well with lemon juice. Add in celery, bell pepper, bacon, cheese, orange juice, vinegar and pepper. Mix well and chill until time to assemble in baskets.

Panzanella Filling Ingredients

1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp capers
1/8 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
pepper, to taste

Panzanella Filling Directions

In small size bowl, mix together olives, tomatoes, capers and bread crumbs. Add olive oil, vinegar and pepper. Mix well and chill until time to assemble in baskets.

Prosciutto and Orange Marmalade Filling

6 slices Prosciutto, fat removed
1/2 cup orange marmalade

Prosciutto and Orange Marmalade Directions

Take a nice piece of Prosciutto that fits well into the basket and top with a dollop of orange marmalade.

For three other great basket appetizer fillings – Caprese (tomato, basil, mozzarella cheese), Crab Ceviche, Steak & Potato visit my friend Sue Zumout at Just For Licks.

What do ya love? Keys to a Successful Bowl-en-tine Meal

So much to love in the next few weeks. Do you love the Super Bowl? Do you love the romance Valentine’s Day? Do you love the one your with? Whatever it is that you love, there are some fun days to prepare for and food is key! Yes- you need to make sure that you have your food ready to go. A fun way to ring in either of those days is to go red, get fired up or go home!

I pulled together a few recipes from the blog to get your Bowl-en-tine juices flowing:

Hot Mess Spiced Nuts
(great name, easy to make, just do it!)

Savory Drumettes (a crispy juicy treat –SEE RECIPE BELOW)

Fondue Pasta
(Cuz Cheese is a Crowd Pleaser)

Red Velvet Cup Cakes (for the romantics)

or if you need to connect w/your inner chocoholic and need a serious dose of caffeine to offer your guests…..skip the mini cake and opt for these amazing brownies with a twist.

The Ultimate Cappuccino Brownie (chocolate = Good)

Lemon-aid Blur (get the party started, featured drink for party of 2 or 20)

The key here is that all of these things can be done ahead of time. For a Super Bowl you can serve the mac ‘n cheese in small ramekins for easy individual servings; for the V-day meal serve the mac ‘n cheese along side a nice salad.

Whichever event you do – make it memorable. Incorporate cool serving ideas and make 90% of it ahead of time so that you can kick-back and enjoy the meal ….and the beverage!

Sue’s Sumac Drumettes

The best part about this recipe is that there are only three ingredients besides the chicken: seasoned salt, sumac and pepper. To find other delicious dishes from Sue go to www.justforlicks.com

Photo: www.justforlicks.com

Savory Sumac Drumettes


2 pounds chicken drumettes
2 ¼ tablespoons sumac (available at any Mediterranean market)
1 ¼ tablespoons seasoned salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Flat leaf parsley for garnish


Preheat oven on broil at 500 degrees.

Rinse chicken drumettes in a colander. Set aside. Line a 12 x 18 baking sheet with aluminum foil, covering the sides. This makes for easy clean up and protects your baking sheet from scraping any stuck-on chicken.

Line up the drumettes on the baking sheet making sure they do not touch.

Using half of your ingredients, sprinkle drumettes evenly first with seasoned salt, then sumac, then pepper. For even coating, it may be easier to use your fingers. With tongs, flip them over and repeat on the other side.

Broil on the second level from the top for fifteen minutes – depending on the heat of your oven. They should look dark brown and crispy. Take out of the oven. If there are any fatty drippings on the baking sheet, drain them off in the sink. Turn the chicken over and broil for ten more minutes until dark golden brown and crispy.

These drumettes do not have the texture of buffalo wings, which are slightly gooey. These are crispy and juicy. They are so flavorful that there is no need for any dipping sauce.

>Personal Gina commentary – These drumettes are great as an appetizer or to accompany another dish, like mac ‘n cheese. Just be sure to have your napkins ready because your digits will be messy. WARNING: once you have ONE drumette, you’ll have FIVE more. Just. That. GOOD! <

Hearty Cabbage Salad & Turkey Panini al Fresco

With BlogHer Food around the corner, my mind is reeling with visions of food recipes dancing in my head. It may sound like Tech-no-geek girl has lost her other edge but in effect this is the other side of my duality- my passion for food. So to help celebrate I am doing some additional late night food posts….I’ve been DM with the Foodies that I am eager to meet and I can’t wait to talk dish!

Now, back to dinner- the weather is hot and there is no sense in turning on the stove but that doesn’t mean dinner has to be compromised. Tonight I indulged in a great Middle Eastern salad with an open faced turkey sandwich. Yes, I’ll share!

Three Recipes:
– Hearty Middle Eastern Cabbage Salad
– Salad Vinaigrette
– Turkey Panini al Fresco

The salad recipe is compliments of www.justforlicks.com with a few slight modifications. The result – RAVE REVIEWS! And if you are interested in another great recipe on Bowl Licker from Sue Barkett Zumout please take a look at Lebanese Stuffed Artichokes.

Hearty Middle Eastern Cabbage Salad


1 head red cabbage, medium chop or shredded
3 tomatoes (Shady Lady if available), diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 can (15 oz) dark kidney beans, rinsed
2 cans (4 oz) oil packed tuna, drained
1 container (5 oz) crumbled Feta


Wash and dry all vegetables.

For the onion, consider quartering and soaking it in ice water in the refrigerator for at least two hours. This will cut the sting and leave only the sweetness.

In a large salad bowl, add all of the ingredients in this order: cabbage, cucumber, beans, tomoatoes, onion, mint, tuna and cheese.

Salad Vinaigrette


2 small cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
2 tsps coarse salt
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


Add salt and garlic to a mortar. Mash them together with a pestle. (If you don’t have a mortar/pestle it’s not a problem, press the garlic, add the salt and mix together.)

In a small high sided bowl, add lemon juice, black pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Transfer garlic mixture to measuring cup and whisk until blended well.

Pour over salad and gently toss.

Turkey Panini al Fesco


1 loaf cranberry walnut bread *
1 container (4 oz) cream cheese
2 oz cranberry chutney*
8 slices honey roasted turkey


Slice bread thin. Spread cream cheese over bread and then a light layer of the cranberry chutney. Top with a think slice of honey roasted turkey.

* while I have good recipes for these items, let’s keep this post simple, after all it is hot out!

Cooking from the heart – friendship & artichokes

I think it was a chance meeting that we became friends, freshman year at college during orientation week – there were some mutual ‘friends’ involved in the introduction and there was nothing particularly poignant about our first conversation but I remember that she seemed like someone I would enjoy hanging out with – she had a great smile, perfect teeth, long dark curly hair, a contagious laugh AND she was one of the other five brunettes on the campus field that day. (Just on the merit of her undyed hair I needed to make this alliance work. If you’ve ever been to SoCal you’ll know that if you are not blond, you are an oddity.) How or when we actually became true friends happened months later, but often beginnings are simple and this one was no different except that this is our story. And of course I’ve locked many of the zesty stories in my ‘vault’ because this post is not about the lurid details of my past indiscretions with one of my dear friends (which would certainly gain a greater blog following but I refuse to sell out….just yet) but it is about how we cooked together and have shared years of food at restaurants, cafes and in our various kitchens over the years. She is an excellent cook and I treasure our weekends spent discovering what we will cook – so when I proposed that we jump into vlogging together for www.bowllicker.com she surprised me and said, “Let’s do it!”

(Sorry folks, our featured cook became a bit shy and asked to have this vlog tucked back into the vault- good news is that her amazing recipe remains here and is one of my favorites.)

Lebanese Stuffed Artichokes alla Sue Barkett Zumout


4 medium-sized artichokes
1lb. ground top sirloin 90% lean
1lb. ground top sirloin 80% lean
1 cup rice
3 large red onions, 1 quartered & 2 sliced thinly
1/8 small size sweet red pepper (seeded)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, washed/dried & loosely packed
2 Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced rounds ¼ inch thick
6 cups tomato juice
1 (8 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 TBS allspice
2 tsps cumin
1 TBS Kosher Salt
2 tsp black pepper


In a food processor, add one large quartered onion, mint and red pepper. Mix until pureed. Place meat in a large mixing bowl. Add pureed mixture, uncooked rice, allspice, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well (preferably by hand.) Place in refrigerator.

To clean artichokes, start by cutting the stem off the bottom. Remove all small or dry leaves at the base of the artichoke that may be too tough to eat. To remove the sharp thorns, snip off the tips of the leaves with a pair of scissors. Use a serrated knife to cut and flatten out the top of the artichoke. To open the artichoke and make it easier to stuff, smash the top of the artichoke, top side down, against your cutting board. Wash and dry artichokes. To be certain that the water does not remain trapped in the leaves it is best to dry the artichoke upside down on a towel.

Sautée two large onions in olive oil until translucent. Salt and pepper to taste.
When stuffing the artichoke, always start from the top and work down toward the bottom. For this recipe, start ¼ of the way down from the top, otherwise there will be too much meat. Take large gumball-sized pieces of the meat mixture and gently place behind the leaves working down until all but the top ¼ of leaves are filled.

Line a large pot with olive oil. Place ¼ inch thick slices of potato at the bottom of the pot and lightly salt. This is done so that the artichokes do not burn (and they are a tasty addition to the meal.) Place the artichokes in the pot. Because of the size of the stuffed artichokes it may be difficult to fit them along the bottom of the pot and they may need to be layered against each other. It is important to keep in mind that in order for the stuffed artichokes to cook properly the lid will need to fit securely on top. Add tomato juice, diced tomatoes, ½ tsp salt and the remaining two sautéed onions over the top of the artichokes. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting every 25 minutes. When leaves can easily be pulled from the artichokes the meal is properly cooked.

Tips and Tricks:
– For large parties, consider placing artichokes in a turkey roasting pan, cooking on the stove with two burners. One turkey roaster can fit 8-10 artichokes.
– If additional meat remains after stuffing the artichokes, consider:
a) freezing it for another time as this stuffing can be used with many different vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers and potatoes (some of these vegetables need to be slightly hollowed before filling)
b) rolling meat into small rounded balls and then adding them to boiling chicken broth for a delicious meat and rice soup.

Don’t miss out on Sue’s blog or her tweets!

Jingoistic Belligerence

So in case you think that I am using words together that don’t mean diddlysquat well you are partially correct. But jingoistic is such a wonderfully under-utilized word that I figured what the frack. Why not attempt to impress you (or not) with my insufficient grasp of the proper use of the English language.

The point? Good times with good friends don’t have to make sense. It is about fun and laughs and nonsensical moments that make you laugh until your sides hurt. And as always it is these moments that are underscored by food. Not only was my weekend away with one of my BFF’s wonderfully reminiscent but captivating when we attempted to closely examine our lives at this juncture. As conversation rambled we moved to discuss her grasp of social media and as one might imagine the conversation took off again. While she may not be queen of the hill on this topic when it comes to food she is balls to the wall. (Before you think me foul mouthed: I believe that this British expression originated with the early steam engines whose governors were a pair of spinning balls, which described a larger and larger circle as the demanded speed, and hence their rotational speed, increased to control the steam valve and hence the flow of steam from boiler to pistons. One can also say to go “balls out” which means to throw caution to the winds and charge full-steam ahead.)…A glimpse? A tavola for lunch:

The eve’s meal: gorgonzola polenta with sherry sautéed mushrooms, panko crusted pork fillets over a bed of arugula and a apple blackberry crumble. Beverage du soir: Champagne with St. Germain.

If you haven’t met @suezumout then you should check out her profile. She’s a closet #foodie (closet because she hasn’t found the power of the blog yet but I predict she will share some of her food magic soon. She also works wonders with some classic expressions that only one of your closest friends could say to you with a huge grin on her face, like, “Oh, I am way funnier than you so just wait until I really start to Twitter. I will be unstoppable and people just might love me.” It’s true, if she gets around to being a regular on the Twittersphere then you will certainly love her. She even balked at the title of this post and said, “To be honest, the only thing jingoistic about this post is the Italian menu that has prevailed this weekend. I belligerently replied, “Well, I can make this work.” (Voilà!- Jingoistic Belligerence as a title for this post is explained.) In part, I could stretch the truth and *make* this blog title work until one actually looks up the definition of jingoistic: Excessive patriotism or aggressive nationalism especially with regards to foreign policy. Hummm… perhaps it was a stretch but at least I was willing to go out on a limb with a flaming torch of silliness. Nuff said. Oh wait, did I mention she is so determined to make you like her she has spent the last three hours trying to get Twitter on her iPhone so she can “bring on the competition” which are truly fighting words for someone who had just enough of champagne to be delusional.