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Watermelon Feta And Mint Salad!

IMG_0412OK I actually thought…..Uh Weird! cheese and watermelon but when you think of Apples and cheese or pears and cheese you’re like “move aside I need that cheesy fruit combo”, am I Right??
Well this is the now “go to bring along to anything dish ” for me, My husband is kind of over it. It couldn’t be easier to make and I’ll prove it!

WHAT YOU NEED :
1 small Watermelon, of course…. (try to make sure it is not over ripe, if it is really soft and really dark pink it may be a little on the old side so stick to bright pink and firm. If you buy it cut in half  you can see it.
8 Oz’s Feta Cheese – go crazy, buy a good one. A Greek one in water would be nice- just make sure to drain and rinse in gently.
1 fresh lime – not the ones with brown spots on them, bright green with a fresh bright scent, I actually like extra lime so you can add another if you want.
2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint chopped – sweet mint is the best there is a difference with spearmint, peppermint etc. You can tear a few extra for garnish too.
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WHAT YOU DO:
Cut the watermelon into 1 inch cubes -approximately or bite size – no need for a ruler.
Place it gently in a larg serving bowl – you know me, I like white.
Squeeze Lime over the watermelon and very gently fold them
Sprinkle over mint and crumble feta cheese but do not toss until you are serving on the plate.

This a light refreshing salad with a bite of salt and hint of mint, Your guests will love it and your husband will get sick of it!
Enjoy -T

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Party Pleasing

A friend of ours graduated from College and to help out I offered to put out food & do a little sprucing so when they all came back from a long afternoon of handing out Degrees they would have something to eat. The famous Cheese Ball that has made an appearance at many parties was front and center.
The recipe was adapted from a Martha Stewart Holiday recipe that really has no better name. Cheese Ball…..the recipe she had made a mountain of cheese and you split it into 3 different recipes. I just wanted to do the one.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 1/2 Pkgs Cream Cheese about 12 ozs
1/4 stick of butter
5 dashes hot sauce (like Franks Red Hot)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz sharp cheddar finely shredded
2 Tablespoons store bought chutney
3/4 Cup dried cranberries chopped very finely
water crackers and cucumbers sliced for serving

WHAT YOU DO:
In a Kitchen Aid or blender with paddle attachment cream everything but the cheddar and the cranberries and of course the crackers and cukes for serving. Once and a while stop and scrape down the clumped up parts on the paddle.
once it is smooth and trust me if you do not use the Kitchen Aid for this your arm will be sore of a week and you’ll get a weird clump when you least expect it.
Fold in cheddar until well incorporated and then chill for an hour.

Once it is a little hard you can form into a ball. The heat of your hands will start melting it so once you have made it nice and smooth gently put it down and wash your hands so you don’t get the cheese all over the dark cranberries. Gently lift and place into a bowl of the cranberries rolling and pressing until totally covered. I even went back to make sure I filled it all in and it was perfect.
Enjoy -T

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20130620-185212.jpgCheck out this great grab and go: slice of baguette, piece of spinach or arugula, slice of cheese, carefully place lunch meat, top with an olive and hold together with a toothpick!! These were a HUGE hit.

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So Here We Sit, My little Lemon Tree & Me

So we were out shopping and that is the first problem  with my husband… My husband and I saw a little Meyer Lemon tree and I told my husband I had to have it!…. He of course told me I don’t need one and it is not on the list. SO I spent the remainder of the trip around the garden center complaining that “they never have these, they are rare, I looked them up last summer and I was going to order one on line but I just didn’t”…. “look that lady already is getting one of them and there are only 6 there!!!!” He said “they will have them when we come back next time”. I quickly followed with “but they won’t, they didn’t last year and I really want to get one!, I will go ask” so I ran over to the sales person, “uh excuse me….there are a few Meyer Lemon Trees over there and there are only 6…well now only 5, Are you going to get more of them” and they said “No we don’t ever have those, I think it is a 1 time thing”. Ah ha! “See! They will never have them again, ever!! I will never get the lemon tree I have always wanted, I read about how to bring them in for the winter too”
Herb….”FINE, (sowered face and stern no longer happy voice) put it in the cart- then that is it, no vegetables or anything else you wanted” -Me… “Ok all I want is a lemon tree and I want to write a blog about it”

So here we sit my little Meyer Lemon Tree and me. It is late afternoon and the sun is going down over the willow but not below the hedges. The sun is finally warm……

It was an awful winter. I really cannot remember why I stay here in the cold until the Spring pops up and days like this make me feel like Ahhh the is what Newport is. The smell of the salt in the air from the Ocean breeze, the birds chirping the water fall in the koi pond splashing into the bottom, Ive got the Bridge to the left of me and the lemon tree to the right, Here I am stuck in the middle.

The flowers are now starting to bloom and I am so excited, they are pink when they are buds and then yellow when they open.

3 week old and here is what we have: I will make recipes with my Myer Lemons so do not worry I have not branched out in to just writing!

T

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An Apple a Day……

Keeps the Doctor away but 4 or 5 candy apples in one night may actually keep the Doctor in business!!

If you here at our house, gorging yourself on delicious creations is pretty much ” business as usual” and these gooey, delicious, sugar drenched apples were no exception.
We Went APPLE PICKING!! It was so much fun!  We drove out to a Apple Picking Farm in Little Compton, Not only did I pick more apples then I could actually carry,  we ate them….A Lot of them. We ate them while we were picking them and ate them on the way home and then…..Dun, Dun, Dunnnnnn… Yep, we ate them covered in Ooey Gooey caramel and chocolate  🙂

Because I had huge baskets full of them when we got back I had to come up with what to make with them so first, CANDY APPLES. YAY!!  HALLOWEEN!! CANDY APPLES!! FUN!!
This is actually easier to do with chocolate then with caramel because the caramel oozes down the apples and turns to tar and sticks them to the plates, wax paper, & the Silpat… BUT the caramel were my favorite as far as taste goes. Herb on the other hand loved the chocolate and to prove it he ate 3 regular sized ones right off the bat, followed by the 3 mini “cake pop” style ones I did and continued to eat them for the next 3 days. He got sick hahaha but it didn’t stop him. On NO, he kept on eating them. I think he over eats and then builds up a tolerance and then can just do it all over again!!  This was so much fun, from the apple picking to creating them and eating them. I love my life!

This makes me laugh because this is right after I said “Make sure you don’t pick ones with holes or bad spots” He emptied most of his basket.

(Ok I’m not loving the fact that I have decided to get my Real Estate License and it has taken up all my cooking time and I have to study for 8 hours a day to get this stuff. Its like learning a new language and I have not studied in over 20 years so I am not good at it BUT….I have a good teacher and I get to learn at my own pace so I can get a full understanding and it really is going to be a great career Plus!….I was already offered a place at at a very beautiful, upscale Broker’s office upon completion so I had better study!!- Now that you know why I have not been blogging, let me get back to it)

WHAT YOU NEED:
CARAMEL APPLES
I did them 2 different ways I did these so I will separate it so you can see how to do both the caramel & Chocolate.
10 Apples any type just be sure they are firm and pristine (easy, just don’t pick ones that have dents, holes or fruit flies make sure they look pretty)
10 Wooden Dowels (Michael’s Craft Store)
1 cup Chopped Cashews
1 Cup Chopped Macadamia Nuts
1 Cup shredded Coconut
1 Cup White Chocolate
Flaked salt of some kind, I had Hibiscus salt
(The toppings are totally optional and you can use what ever you like. My Favorite was the Caramel with a little Hibiscus Salt. But have fun use what you’ve got,,,,,,Crushed up Oreo’s would work and candy cereals & M 7M’s !!)
For the actual caramel: Its super easy
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Heavy Cream at room temperature
WHAT YOU DO:
Set up a dipping station with your selected goodies in bowls,
Put your apple sticks into your apples and have them ready for dipping.
On Medium High heat add the sugar and the light corn syrup and mix in a heavy sauce pot and cover (Although this is fun and easy this gets crazy hot and the sugar can burn so have your oven mitts handy and be sure your pot handle is turned inward, use your brain this can be really dangerous to pets and children) 🙂
Once the sugar has melted, remove the lid and let it continue to cook until it starts to turn a golden color. Carefully stir with a wooden spoon to ensure it doesn’t stick (This took about 15 minutes)
Once it is golden in color remove from the heat and drizzle in the cream while stirring. Do not pour it all in at once it will bubble up and over flow.
Mix with a whisk until smooth, transfer to a large bowl and let it sit to cool for a few before dipping about 5 minutes
Test the consistency by dipping an apple, it the caramel runs right off then let the caramel sit a few more minutes to cool. You want it to be thick enough to hold on to the apple but also able to hold the toppings.
(If it gets too thick just reheat it over pot of simmering water)
Once you have the right temp, simply dip in your apple, gently scrape the heavy dripping caramel from the bottom with a spoon or drag it on the edge of the caramel bowl and then dip into your favorite toppings!!
If you look closely at the apple photos you will see I did several different styles:
-I held the toppings in one hand and angled the apply upside down and pressed nuts into the top and then changed the nuts for the bottom.
-I did 1/2 and 1/2
-The Slated Caramel (MY FAVORITE) were easy just pinch some good quality salt (I did Hibiscus salt) and sprinkle onto top rim of caramel. Salt is to enhance the flavor so go easy with it.
Michael’s craft store had the eyeball ribbon, the dowels and the bags to put them in. The Caramel ones do not slide into the bag, you have to wrap them with cellophane, the bags won’t work…trust me!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR CHOCOLATE APPLES:

2 Cups Good Quality Chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips milk chocolate and Semi-sweet mixed)
Using a “make shift” double boiler, melt the chips over indirect heat. (You can do it in the microwave also). Once they start melting turn the heat to very low and stir until smooth. There is no need to add anything to the chocolate and it will harden beautifully.
Once it is melted and smooth dip the apples in the same way you did for the caramel. Scrape off dripping chocolate and dip into your toppings.
Get creative! Do half nuts, half coconut and other fun combinations>
WHITE CHOCOLATE TIPS!!
White chocolate does not melt the same as regular chocolate and therefor does not work as well but, it does work you just have to add a couple teaspoons of cream as it is melting. it will not dry has hard so just be aware of that when you go to make them. I used the white as a glue for my coconut and covered the apple completely.
A good way to utilize white chocolate is to chop it up finely and use like you would the other toppings

ENJOY-T

The Grill Is Gone, The Grill is Gone Away……..

But the THRILL is still here thanks to the Grill Pan!

The grill had seen its last Ribeye, although that may not be entirely true. I saw it go by in the back of someone’s truck yesterday when I was out running errands…. Apparently it was poached from the street where it was waiting for the garbage guys. Hopefully it has a little life left in it after all.
Grilled Peaches & Figs with Balsamic & Blue cheese Part 1
This is such a sophisticated dessert but totally easy and delicious.
Because it was so awesome I decided to keep on the Sweet & Savory path and make another grilled peach dish for tomorrow,  I will post that one next.
WHAT YOU NEED:
This is per person:
1/2 of a ripe peach (the more ripe the more juicy so you can do it anyway you like, mine was just ripe and still firm)
4 Mission Figs dried (what I have) or fresh
1 heaping Tablespoon crumbled Blue Cheese
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
pinch of sea salt
1 Teaspoon olive oil

WHAT YOU DO:
~Preheat your grill pan (feel free to use a real grill) on med/high heat.
~Slice the peaches in half and remove the pit.
~Slice the figs in half as well.
~Lightly brush the cut side of the peaches and figs with olive oil, just slightly you don’t want to add flavor or to make the pan smoke like crazy.
~Place peach oiled side down in the hot grill pan.
~While they are grilling add the figs placing them in the pan cut side down too. They just need to be warmed.
~It takes about 3 minutes to get the grill marks on the peaches, you can tell by looking at the edges, they will start to show a little bit of the brown right at the raised part of the pan.
~try not to move them at all because it will mess up the grill marks and that is what you are looking for.
~Once they are done carefully remove them with tongs and a spatula. Be careful lifting, you don’t want to leave the grill marks behind (they can stick so that is why you brush them with the oil first)
~Remove the figs and set aside
~Place the peach half grill marks up on a plate and place the figs in a purposeful pile so you can see their grill marks too. (I tried putting them all around the plate and it didn’t look right because they are dark)
~Crumble the tablespoon of Blue Cheese onto the peach and in the small space from the pit. Don’t over load it.Cover with a piece of foil for a couple minutes to start to melt the blue cheese (optional)
~Drizzle a tablespoon of honey over the cheese and a little on the figs and serve the Balsamic Vinegar on the side with a tiny spoon, this is for a few reasons….1-people can control the amount they put on,  2-Balsamic is brown and unless reduced and thick it doesn’t look pretty for presentation,  3- it looks nice with the little  tiny bowl and spoon,  4-it makes the Eater part of the experience 🙂
~Lastly garnish with some mint and sprinkle with a very light pinch of sea salt to really enhance the flavors!
ENJOY – T

CUP PIES & PUSHING DAISIES


My favorite show was Pushing Daises, Sadly it was too creative for mainstream television and only lasted a few seasons. They are available on Netflix though 🙂 There was Ned the Pie Maker, a girl named Chuck and a girl named Olive along with a few others. Chuck came up with the idea to make “Cup Pies” a mini pie that was about one cup in size. SO when I received the Mini Pie maker from Williams Sonoma for Christmas this year I was so excited A, because it is easy and fun and B, I can make Cup Pies like Chuck!!
Super Easy Strawberry Cup Pies (use a mini muffin tin and pinch the tops closed with a fork if you don’t have a pie maker)
WHAT YOU NEED:
Store bought pie crust (you can make your own too but is one ingredient that store bought is actually just as good)
2 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot (arrowroot is better but I do not have it)

WHAT YOU DO:
Chop the strawberries and squeeze the lemon juice over them.
Add the honey , corn starch and stir them until mixed well.
roll out the dough and cut circles for the pies. One Dough should be enough for 2 pies.
Using a 3 inch circle cookie cutter cut out 2 rounds and using a 2 inch cutter cut out 2 as well for tops.
If you are using a Breville Pie maker you just put the bottom piece in and press very gently down to set bottom.
Spoon in about 1 cup of the strawberries. They will fall a little as they cook but do not make it way over filled or they will leak.
Place top on and close pie maker for 5 to 8 minutes and then they are done!! Magic!!!
AND THAT IS MINT FROM BY HERB GARDEN GIFT!!

If you are using a mini muffin tin line the tin with parchment and press in the 3 inch piece, fill up fill strawberries and place top on, using a fork crimp the edges together so it stays closed.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 min                            By the way, this Pie Maker is wonderful. You can make everything!! I did veggie pot pies, berry pies, mini Shepard’s pies. So fun and no mess~~

I’D LIKE TO THANK THE ACADEMY……OF BLOGGERS


& MY HUSBAND FOR PUTTING ON 10 POUNDS TO SUPPORT MY WORK.
It really has been the best experience writing my Blog! I obviously like to cook and enjoy sharing food. But to be honored by Bloggers I love and respect is really something special. GLUTENVGIRL Honored me with the 7×7 Link Award. This is a really great Award because I get to revisit some of the blogs I love or have lost. I hope you enjoy it and thank you so much to GLUTENVGIRL!!
Go see her, she’s got a great Blog About glutenvygirl

For the 7 x 7 LINK AWARD, the rules are a bit different.
Be sure to link back to the Blogger that Nominated you.
You place 7 of your posts in the listed categories, and then nominate 7 peers.
Here are links to my posts that I think fit in the following 7 categories:

Most beautiful piece: DAZZLE THEM WITH FIRE I really was happy to have captured that flame!
Most helpful piece: Triple Threat Vinaigrette This one is a 3 in one and I have been asked for dressings more then anything else.
Most popular piece: If you like meat & potatoes then…… This one was by far the most loved of all the posts I have ever done and it is so simple.
Most controversial piece: WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? Controversial, I suppose…not many people Hammer a Screwdriver into a squash.
Most surprisingly successful piece:Gooey, Melty Deliciousness & Chicken Le Creuset the Artichokes were easy & I have never eaten anything so Sinful. The Chicken was a long process but worth it’s weight in GOLD. “The best dish you ever made” -Herb Williams
Most underrated piece:A pasta you won’t forget it looks boring but is one of the best pasta dishes I have had, Try it, it’s awesome!!
Most pride worthy piece: Shhhhh…..The secret’s in the sauce This was so good, I would serve it to anyone, This can make any person happy Vegetarian or not.

The 7 blogging peers that I nominate for this award are :
If you have already gotten this award I think you deserve it again!! Thess are Blogs I love and I think are awe inspiring….
First (and in no particular order)
Kolpona Cuisine This is the Blog I have been OBSESSED with the past month. The flavors of authentic Indian food with traditional flavors! I can’t keep up with all the recipes I want to duplicate.
Crash Test Vegetarian I like this one a lot! Going Vegan “Cold Turkey” is no easy task!
Paintbox Kitchen Great Ideas and easy preparation. Jasmine is the BEST and very supportive.
creative noshing……..Yum
mythineats– Eat & be thin? *#@%$ Is that possible?
Assia’s Kaleidoscope Food and Photography I covet!
sweatlikemambo Last but not least….Good stuff & Sorry about the watch they stole from your yard sale…What a JERK.

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