Tag Archive for '@suezumout'

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.

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.