Archive | April 2015

Appetizers & Recipes

APPETIZERS & RECIPES

In my last post Easter Dinner 2015 with Recipes, I mentioned that my girlfriend Pam had become a Wildtree consultant and my daughter MaLinda had become a Pampered Chef consultant.  As a good friend and mother would do, I helped them both out with separate gatherings.  Below are photos and recipes for the Wildtree gathering that I had, along with links.  The one recipe not pictured is the Vegan Quinoa & Corn Taco Bites, I don’t know what I was thinking or not thinking, but I didn’t get a picture, BUT, I did make the recipe as a test run for me and the hubby for dinner one night, and added chicken to it, so it wasn’t vegan, and instead of bites I put it in gluten free tortilla shells which I formed in my pampered chef Tortilla Shell Baker Set.  I had a little trouble with that, but being my first attempt they came out pretty darn good.  I just wanted to let you know that before you see the pictures, everything was the same for my party just no chicken & I served it in the Tostitos Scoops.  That being said, here’s the menu that I served:
Wildtree Demo Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Taco Bites2 mozerella tomato n humus Guacamole Dill Deviled Eggs Chocolate Mousse 8 7
Wildtree Tasting Party Menu:

Vegan Quinoa & Corn Taco Bites, No Bake Mini Berry Cheesecakes, Beer Bread, Smoked Salmon Cucumber Dill Sandwiches, Gluten Free Bread, Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato Spread, Hot Chili Pepper & Garlic Hummus, Dilly Deviled Eggs,Guacamole and Chocolate Mousse.  (The Beer Bread & Gluten Free Bread are packaged mixes, I just followed the directions, I don’t have any photos of the breads, sorry, the gluten free bread is amazing, I can’t speak for the beer bread which I didn’t use beer, I used seltzer water instead, but it was very easy to make just the mix and the seltzer water)

Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Taco Bites Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Taco Bites1 Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Taco Bites2

VEGAN QUINOA & BLACK BEAN TACO BITES
adapted from Vegan Quinoa & Corn Tacos on Wildtree

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil
3 green onion diced, separate the green from the white
2 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cup dry quinoa, prepared according to package directions
2 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15.5 ounce) can whole kernel corn
2-3 tablespoons Wildtree Taco Seasoning (add more or less according to your taste)
1 bag Tostitos Scoops or 24 hard shell corn taco shells, or 6 Tortilla Shells
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (not everyone like cilantro so I serve it on the side)
1 skinless boneless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
Shredded lettuce (optional)
Shredded cheese (optional)

Prepare quinoa according to package directions, set aside. In large sauté pan, heat oil, add chicken (optional) cook to done (if not using chicken continue to next step)

Add in white part of the green onion, black beans, corn & tomatoes, stir, add in taco seasoning, simmer.  Add in Quinoa, stir and taste, add more taco seasoning if needed.  Simmer for a few minutes until all the flavors meld together. Add green part of the green onion.  Serve.

If your using as an appetizer, move to a heat plate or a small crockpot and place the Tostitos scoops around it, also place a small bowl with the cilantro there.  If your using in taco shells I recommend serving on shredded lettuce.  Optional, serve with shredded cheese of your choice.
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SMOKED SALMON & CUCUMBER DILL SANDWICHES
Adapted from Cucumber Dill Sandwiches on Wildtree

2 packages 8 oz. Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Wildtree Dill Dip Blend (or to taste)
2 tablespoon scallion, diced
1-2 cucumbers (depends on size), sliced thin (I sliced mine on my Pampered Chef Mandoline and only needed 1 cucumber)
1 4 oz package smoked salmon (optional)
1 2-pack Schar Gluten Free Baguettes or bread of choice

Combine the cream cheese, Dill Dip Blend, and scallions. Cut Baguette rolls length ways. Spread cream cheese mixture thickly on the bread slices. Top with smoked salmon and cucumber slices.  Close the buns, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to let the flavors meld together.  Before serving, remove from plastic wrap, insert toothpicks, cut into small slices, plate and serve.
Dill Deviled Eggs
DILLY DEVILED EGGS
my way

18 hard boiled eggs
1 cup approx, (more or less, depends on the yolks, add more if needed you don’t want a dry product) mayonnaise (good quality, I use Hellmann’s this is why: Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise: Eggs, oil and vinegar. Hellmann’s® is committed to using certified cage-free eggs in everything they make.)
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard or your choice
1 heaping teaspoon sweet pickle relish
2 1/2 teaspoon Wildtree Dill Dip Blend

Hard boil eggs, cooled & peeled (this can be done a day or two ahead of time).  Cut eggs lengthwise, put yolks in mixing bowl and set whites aside on a deviled egg serving platter.  Smash egg yolks with fork to break them up a bit, add in the mayonnaise, mustard, relish and Wildtree Dill Dip Blend, mix well with hand mixer.  If it seems dry add more mayonnaise.  Taste.  If needed add more dill dip blend.   When smooth and creamy scoop into egg whites, use a spoon or be fancy with a pastry bag and tip. Top eggs with some fresh dill. Serve.
mozerella tomato n humus
SMOKED MOZZARELLA & TOMATO SPREAD

1 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
1 Tablespoons Wildtree Smoked Mozzerella & Tomato Blend
2 tablespoons warm water

Prepare Wildtree Smoked Mozzerella & Tomato Blend according to package (Mix Wildtree Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato Blend with water. Soak for about 5 minutes.) set aside.  In a small mixing bowl, add softened cream cheese, cream with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy, add in Wildtree Smoked Mozzerella & Tomato Blend, beat until combined.  Transfer to serving bow, serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Can be made ahead of time.

HOT CHILI PEPPER & GARLIC HUMMUS
 pictured above with Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato Spread, adapted from lil’ luna homemade hummus

2 14 oz cans Chick Peas
2-3 Tablespoons Wildtree Hot Chili Pepper & Garlic Blend
2-4 Tbl Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil
1/2 cup Tahini
2 Tbl lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Use a food processor or blender, add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, Wildtree Hot Chili Pepper & Garlic Blend  and salt and pepper. Pulse until well blended. Drizzle in Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil until desired consistency is reached (hummus will firm up a little after refrigeration). Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Guacamole
GUACAMOLE
slightly adapted from Wildtree Guacamole

3 ripe avocados
4 1/2 teaspoons Wildtree Guacamole Seasoning
8 ripe grape tomatoes diced
2 green onions, diced
1 tablespoon lime juice

Cut, pit and remove avocado meat from skin, smash into a mixing bowl, then blend with hand mixer until creamy, add the lime juice & Wildtree Guacamole Seasoning, mix well.  Stir in tomatoes & green onion.  Remove to serving bowl, serve immediately.  If you want to store for a few hours, put some lime juice on top and cover with plastic wrap, laying the wrap right on the guacamole, don’t let any air bubbles remain.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Chocolate Mousse
HEAVENLY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Heavy Cream
1 Package Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Mix

Prepare according to directions: Just mix with whipped cream, chill, and serve! One bag makes 4 cups of mousse.

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NO BAKE MINI BERRY CHEESECAKES
Adapted from KetoDiet

Crust:

  • 1 cup coconut, unsweetened
  • ⅓ cup  macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 dates, (soak for 10 minutes prior to using)
  • 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Cheese filling:

  • 1 cup full fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup full-fat cream, heavy whipping
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp Wildtree Very Berry Cheesecake Blend
  • 1 package Knox Gelatin prepared according to directions
  • ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup

Place all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor.  The crust batter should be crumbly.  Transfer the mixture in the mini cake molds and press it down. Place the molds in the fridge before the cheese filling is ready.
(Note: The original recipe uses mini cheese cake pan molds with removable bottom.  I do not have those, so I cut our parchment paper to fit my bottoms, they came out fine)  

Prepare the gelatin and set aside to cool a bit.  In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling apart from the gelatin. Add in the gelatin.  Divide batter in half, place half of the mixture in another bowl and set aside.

Take the cake molds from the fridge and pour the mixture one of the bowls evenly into each of them. Place in the fridge before you prepare the last layer of cheese filling.

Spoon the Wildtree Very Berry Cheesecake Blend into the bowl with remaining cheese filling and mix well. Set aside.  As soon as the layer in the fridge starts to set up, you can add this on top.  Bottom layer MUST be set or the layers won’t be separate.

Place in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, or better overnight.  When completely set, run a knife around the edges and they should pop right out.  Place on serving tray and serve.  NOTE:  If I decide to make these again, I will prepare the Knox Gelatin with a little less water, and the berry layer I will add some sort of berry, most likely blueberries.

Yes, I made that all for one tasting party!  And yes, my guests liked it all!  Thanks to all who attended my Wildtree Tasting Party, thanks to my girlfriend Pam for trusting her product to me and thanks to all of you for reading my blogs!  I hope you try some of these recipes.  Let me know if you do and how you liked them.  These are all gluten free except for the beer batter bread.

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Easter Dinner 2015! with recipes!

HAPPY EASTER!

Easter-HeLives-small

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23: 42 & 43

Well, Happy Easter Everyone!  Today is Easter, Resurrection Sunday, the day Christ rose from the grave.  A very important day for all Christians.  That’s all I’m going to say, if you have any questions about Easter, just ask.

We had our Easter Dinner last night, Easter Eve.  That’s when the whole family was able to get together.  What ever works. As long as I can have my whole family together, I’m a happy camper.  There were 11 of us, should be 12 but our granddaughter couldn’t be with us this year.  This is my dad’s 91st Easter!  In sorting through stuff a week ago I came across my mom’s Platzgraff dish set, very old.  My mom has been with Jesus for almost 10 years now and these dishes have been packed away since then.  So, when we came across them, we brought them into the house to see exactly what was in there.  Funny thing, there were enough for 11 place settings!  So, they were our Easter dishes this year.

1 Easter Dinner 2015 3 Easter Dinner 2 Easter Dinner

Our menu: I made, Deviled Eggs & Avocado (recipe below), Cream of Asparagus Soup (recipe below), Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Mashed White Potatoes, Leg of Lamb (recipe below) and Stuffed Peep Cake (recipe below).  My daughter in law, Abby made Corn Casserole & Cherry Cheesecake and my daughter in law, Val made Ham (she’s our designated Ham person, she just makes the best ham.  It’s the Love she puts into it according to our grandson Tyler.  I’m sure he’s right) and she made some cookies also.  Both our daughter in laws are very good in the kitchen, as well our our daughter, so I know my sons & son in law are very well taken care of! 😉

Below are my ‘recipes’.  The Stuffed Peep Cake will have a video attached that I found on Facebook I believe.  I will also post my pics and my cake recipe.  I made mine gluten free, its a new recipe and its definitely a keeper!

Oh, before I forget, my daughter, MaLinda, is now a Pampered Chef consultant, so now I’m beginning to use some of their products in my food prep and baking.  Also, my girlfriend, Pam, is now a Wildtree consultant and has me testing out some of her products.  I must say, I’m thoroughly enjoying testing stuff!

Okay, here we go!

DEVILED EGGS & AVOCADO
(these would be great to have, if your having a Green Eggs & Ham meal)

8 deviled egg and avocado complete 1 avocados 2 egg and avocado 4 mayo and spices 3 add sweet relish 5 cream mixture 6 pipe the mixture 7 deviled egg and avocado

Ingredients: 2 ripe avocados, 18 hardboiled eggs, Wildtree Dill Dip Blend, Sweet Pickle Relish, Spicy Brown Mustard (which I forgot! and you do need it)

Okay, simply put.  Peel your hard boiled eggs, I hard boiled mine the day before.  Cut your hard boiled eggs in half, length wise.  Take the yolk out and put in a mixing bow, place the white part on a deviled egg tray and set aside.  Along with the egg yolk, add your avocados, sweet relish, mustard and seasonings.  Mix with mixer or food processor until smooth.  You can spoon into your eggs or use a icing bag and pipe the mixture into your egg whites.  Its entirely up to you, I do it both ways, I had time this time, so I piped them.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  And YES, they are green not yellow.

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP

5 yum 1 soup base 2 add zuchinni 3 add asparagus 4 cream of asparagus soup
Ingredients: 1 stalk of celery cut up, 1 large onion skinned & cut up, 1 pound of carrots, washed well & cut (I don’t skin them you loose too many nutrients, so I just scrub well), 4 cloves of garlic, smashed & skins removed, 2 red bell peppers, enough grape seed oil (or oil of your preference) to coat the bottom of the pot generously.  I use Mrs. Dash Garlic Blend, Salt & Pepper, for seasoning.  3 bunches of Asparagus washed well & cut (reserve 1/2 a bunch or more for the end) and 3 Green Zuchinni washed a cubed. 1 quart Heavy Cream. (If you want to omit the dairy, by all means do so, add your favorite milk, coconut, almond, whatever.  I’m sure the flavor might be a tad different but if you work with your spices, you should be okay, just take your time with spices, add a little at a time and keep tasting.  You’ll know when its right)

I use a big….huge…. soup pot, I really don’t know how much it holds, but I can feed a small army when I make soup.  What you see in the crock pot is only half of what I made.  I made this the day before and just put half in the crock pot to reheat.

So, what I did:

I put the grape seed oil in the pot, heated to almost med/high heat, a little more than medium heat.  Added the onion, garlic, celery, peppers & onion, sprinkled with a generous amount of salt, the Mrs. Dash garlic and some pepper.  Cooked till they were almost translucent. I then added water to fill about 3/4 of the pot, brought to a boil, then reduced to a simmer.  Simmer for a couple of hours.  After a few hours I added the zucchini and 2 1/2 bunches cut asparagus, possibly a little more water and more salt and spice if needed.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce to simmer again.  When the asparagus is soft, you can put the soup through a blender, or I use my immersion blender (if you don’t have one of these and you make a lot of soup, you should have one, makes life easy)  Once blended, add in heavy cream and the rest of the asparagus, taste to see if you need to add any more seasoning.  Once the asparagus is cooked the soup is ready.

LEG OF LAMB

4 leg of lamb 1 leg of lamb 2 leg of lamb 3 leg of lamb
I apologize for not having a photo of the whole cooked leg of lamb.  Everyone was here and I completely forgot.  Sorry.

Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients used: Leg of Lamb approx. 8 lbs., Garlic powder parsley spice mix, Wildtree Mediterranean Spice Mix, Brown sugar and rosemary.

Make a dry rub using brown sugar (approx. 3/4 cup), garlic powder parsley spice mix (approx 1/4 cup), Wildtree Mediterranean Spice Mix (approx. 3 TBL) & dried rosemary (approx. 1 TBL).  I don’t measure, I just add spice, until it tastes and smells right.

Place lamb in a big roaster pan on a rack, fat side up.  Cut slits in the fat.  Apply dry rub to the underside, then to the top.  Bake at 375° for approx. 2 1/2 hrs, depending on how many pounds your cooking.  Cook till the internal temperature with a cooking thermometer reads 140°.  Bring it out of the oven and let it set for about 20n minutes, cut and serve.  I actually served this with nothing more, sometimes I make a balsamic reduction or just use garlic jam or mint jam.  It’s up to you.

STUFFED PEEPS  CAKE

13 stuffed peep cake

Before getting started watch this video:

Gluten Free Yellow Cake

1 stuffed peep cake 2 stuffed peep cake 3 stuffed peep cake 4 stuffed peep cake 5 stuffed peep cake

Ingredients for cake:
This recipe make 1 9″ x 13″ cake, so you need to make the 9″ x 13″ then you need to make a cake in a bowl like in the video, so you’ll have some mix left over to fill an 8″ x 8″ pan, which you’ll use for snacking on or cake balls or something.  We snacked on it!

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups Betty Crocker Gluten Free Rice Flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup butter, melted (or DF margarine)
  • 1½ cups almond milk (milk or rice milk)
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites (or 2 eggs), I used 2 eggs
 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour and sugar.
  3. Beat the egg whites.
  4. Add milk and melted butter.
  5. Add the liquids to the flour mixture and beat for 2 –3 minutes on high.
  6. Pour batter into  9 x 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
  7. Place on a cooling rack to cool. Once cooled frost.

8 stuffed peep cake 6 stuffed peep cake 7 stuffed peep cake 9 stuffed peep cake 10 stuffed peep cake 11 stuffed peep cake 12 stuffed peep cake

To put the cake together watch the video.  It’s very easy.  I did not use the marshmallow cream icing, I used 7 minute frosting.  Worked well, of course didn’t look exactly like a peep but did taste like one!  So here’s my recipe for 7 minute frosting:

Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
 Instructions
  1. Place the sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar into a large glass bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a makeshift double boiler. Make sure that the steam has a way to vent out.
  2. Beat with a handheld mixer on high until the meringue make peaks.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and continue to whip until thicken and cooled.
  4. Frost your cake immediately with the frosting. If you leave the frosting, the top will dry out, if you have to leave the frosting, put a damp paper towel on top.

So there are my recipes! Enjoy!  Let me know if you make any!  This cake is amazing, my hubby loved it, my grandson loved the peeps inside.  I probably won’t ever make the stuffed peeps cake again, but the cake will definitely be my cake recipe from now on.