Get Your Game Day Menu On!

I’m all excited about going to a Super Bowl Party at someone else’s house, which means I can concentrate on a dish or two instead of ten.

Score!

What are you going to do for Game Day food? From the archives of the Glover Gardens Cookbook, here are a few recommendations for your thoughtful consideration.  Here are a few great versions of obvious football party food choices, plus a couple you might not have contemplated.

A Creamy Dip is Pretty Much Required

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Creamy Jalapeno Dip, AKA Stephanie’s Green Dip – you just won’t believe how good this dip is.  Creamy, spicy, compliments a crisp, fresh, healthy veggie just as well as it does a satisfyingly salty chip – YUM!

Gotta Have Salsa

Glover Gardens Salsa

Glover Gardens Salsa, a perfect companion for Stephanie’s Green Dip – fresh, uncooked and spicy with a tang of vinegar.

What About a Shrimp or Three?

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Boiled shrimp with tangy remoulade – a break from all the saltiness and pork you’ll be consuming (if you’re anything like me!).

A Different Kind of Slider

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Chipotle Chicken Salad, which is great on rolls for a slider experience, on crackers, or even in a pita.  This is one of the dishes I’ll be bringing to my friend’s party, a repeat performance by request.

How About Grilling a Turkey Cevap?

Turkey Cevap Plated

If you’re firing up the grill and want to do something different, how about this Turkey Cevap on a pita?  With its bright and flavorful garnishes of mint, cilantro, jalapeño, onion, tomato and creamy avocado yogurt sauce, the cevap is almost one-a dish meal – all four major food groups are represented.

What About a Spicy Casserole?

Serrano Ham and Corn Pudding photo from Epicurious.

Serrano Ham and Corn Pudding is a spicy comfort food that serves as a terrific side dish and travels well. It is just as good at room temperature as it is hot, and can actually be finger food if you cut it into squares.  It can be served as-is, or with a variety of condiments:  sour cream, guacamole, queso, or even the green dip and salsa pictured above.  This is a great dish to bring to a party.

Gosh, That Looks Good!

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No recipes here, just gorgeous plating – I always need a reminder that we eat with our eyes.  My son and I were in Seattle during last year’s Super Bowl and did the pub food thing  for the game – yum!  I wonder how many pounds of chicken wings are consumed during the Super Bowl each year?

Our Plan

Our party contributions are going to be the Chipotle Chicken Salad shown above, and the Grill-Meister’s special sub sandwich  with German deli meats that he calls the U-Boat.  I’ll be sure to capture the recipe and share it here.  And you know, we made ourselves hungry digging through the Glover Gardens Cookbook archives, and have decided that we MUST HAVE the Turkey Cevap pictured above for dinner tonight.

If you are celebrating tomorrow’s great American sporting event, what are YOU making?

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Decadent Chocolate Orange Pots

We had a tiny dinner party last night and I took a chance by making a new dessert for the first time.  If you’ve stumbled onto my About page, you’ll know that I’m just not much of a sweets enthusiast.  But my risk-taking paid off and the Chocolate Orange Pots delighted the Grill-Meister and our guests, who gushed their appreciation:

This is the best thing I’ve tasted in a long, long time.

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Banner from Recipe Reminiscing blog

The recipe came to me by way of the Recipe Reminiscing blog.  The author, whose moniker is TidiousTed, is doing a public service by resurrecting the ghosts of culinary classics.  I found the recipe he posted for “Chocolate Orange Pots” when I was searching for interesting things to do with our just-harvested Glover Gardens orange crop.

I adjusted the recipe and made it my own, most notably using semi-sweet instead of plain chocolate and Cointreau instead of Curacao.  I had tasted the Curacao before using it – thank goodness! – and found it to be cloyingly sweet and not very orange-y.  The Cointreau has more of the slightly bitter tang of orange peel.

The recipe serves between 4 and 8 people, depending on how large you want the portions to be.  It is very rich, but the orange zest provides a great balance to the mouthfeel of the chocolate and cream.  We served shots of freshly squeezed orange juice alongside the dessert, and it was heavenly.  If you have a need for an impressive, decadent, and yet relatively easy dessert for a dinner party, this one will not disappoint.  Be sure and make it a few hours ahead of time so it can chill nicely.

Decadent Chocolate Orange Pots

Ingredients (serves 4 – 8)

  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces, plus 1 tsp. grated semi-sweet chocolate
  • rind of 1 small orange, finely grated
  • 3 eggs, separated and whisked lightly with a fork
  • 3 tbsp. Cointreau
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 orange
  • orange rind spirals

Cooking Instructions

Melt the chocolate, either by stirring in a metal bowl over a pan of hot water, or by following the instructions on the package to melt in the microwave.  Let cool slightly (removing from the pan of water if you used that method).

Stir in the orange rind, egg yolks and Cointreau. Stir well and set aside.  Using a mixer, whip 1 cup of the cream until thick, then in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold the cream and egg whítes into the chocolate mixture.  Pour into custard cups and chill.

Beat the other cup of cream with vanilla and sugar until it forms soft peaks and spoon it onto the chocolate pots after they are well chilled.  Garnish with orange rind spirals and grated chocolate.

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Assembling the ingredients first makes it go so much quicker.  That’s the recipe from Recipe Reminiscing on my screen.
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I love how glossy chocolate looks when it is melted
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These were generous servings, but we were glad when we realized how good this is!
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Serving the shot of freshly squeezed orange juice with the chocolate was a hit.  Plus, it just looks cool, doesn’t it?

References:

 

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Tiny Dinner Party with International Guests

Diversity Hands - the World I Want to Live InThe Grill-Meister and I are both blessed to work in international environments, which fosters great relationships with colleagues from all over the world.  Sometimes we are able to lure them to Glover Gardens, such as tonight, when we are having a tiny dinner party with a couple from far across the globe.  It is so rewarding to learn about different cultures as we share our own.  One of our two guests tonight has never been to Texas, so we’re having a very traditional steak dinner.  The menu:

It is mid-morning right now and the table is set, so I’m about to get to work on the dessert.  I’m breaking Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) rule of never making anything for the first time for a dinner party, but it is early enough in the day that I can do something different if I make a mess of it.

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The table is set – now we just need food, wine, music, flowers and our guests

We’re really looking forward to it!  And for a look at an entirely different type of international party here at Glover Gardens and a couple of cool wintertime recipes, check out Pot Luck Perfect: In-the-Moment Lentil Soup.  We had a houseful of colleagues this time last year and a rollicking good time when everyone brought a dish or drink to share.

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My European colleagues in the outdoor kitchen at Glover Gardens; they whipped up a marvelous vegetarian lentil soup

I’ll share the results of tonight’s meal, and wish you all a happy Saturday evening.

UPDATE:   the tiny dinner party was super-successful, and the dessert was rockin’!  Read about it here.  And I made a new friend!  Read the haiku about that here.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Happy New Year!

It’s New Year’s Eve!  I’m looking forward to 2017 and all of the opportunities, challenges, connections and blessings it will bring.  And I have to acknowledge that one of the big opportunities and blessings for me in 2016 was sharing a few thoughts, recipes and haikus with you in this blog – and the interactions and connections that spawned.  Thank you!

There’s no time to create a compelling post at the moment – the Christmas tree’s undoing beckons!- so I will wish everyone a safe and happy celebration tonight, and simply repost a New Year’s Day Brunch menu from last year.

Pampas Grass Cocktail
The Pampas Grass is a very light sparkler to brighten up your New Year’s Eve or brunch

My recommended New Year’s Brunch Menu (which can also be a lovely New Year’s Eve menu if you’re having a party):

I got all into New Year’s traditions last year and wrote about the traditions that accompany it – click here if you’d like to read the full post.

Happy New Year!  And don’t forget to be safe.

 

Copyright 2016, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

 

Rosemary Wreath Appetizer Platter

I was inspired to make a rosemary wreath by another blogger (see yesterday’s post) and it worked!  It is a lovely way to dress up the old standby party dish of cheese, salami and olives.  I decorated the wreath with marinated piquant Peppadew peppers, but cherry or grape tomatoes would work just as well.

Here’s how to do it.  You’ll need to have access to a large a rosemary plant.

Snip about 30 sprigs of rosemary, one inch long or less.  Remove the side sprigs so that each length of rosemary is only one stem.  Lay the longer sprigs in a circle on a round platter and secure with florist’s wire.  Tuck the shorter ones in around the circle to even out the wreath.

Ingredients

  • Rosemary wreath (see above)
  • 9 marinated cherry peppers, cut in half sideways
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 8 oz. of your favorite white cheese, cut into cubes (I used Havarti dill)
  • 8 oz. sliced salami

Place a small container with toothpicks in the middle of the platter, then surround it with salami slices inside the wreath area.  Arrange the peppers in groups of three on the wreath to resemble holly berries, then add the cheese cubes to the wreath.  Scatter the Kalamata olives across the whole platter.

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Below is the original wreath from Home is Where the Boat is, shared by Sara from Last Night’s Feast.

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Did You Know…?

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Photo By Biozinc (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Sweet piquant peppers called Peppadew are originally from South Africa and were discovered in the early 1990s.  Peppadew is a trademarked name and the peppers can be a little hard to find.  Bon Appetite published a recipe with them a few years ago and got loads of letters from disgruntled readers looking to make their Pimento Mac & Cheese, so they followed up with the article Where to Buy the Elusive Peppadew.

Peppadew peppers resemble (but are not the same as) cherry peppers, which is another name for pimento peppers.  Pimentos resemble (but are not the same as) red bell peppers.

Any of these wonderful peppers can be used in this recipe.

 

Rosemary Wreath

This blogging thing is fun, especially the connections with other bloggers and the ideas they share and inspire.

One of the blogs I subscribe to is Last Night’s Feast, where blogger Sara occasionally makes a post called Pretty Things, a collection of unrelated links and pictures of, well, pretty things.  A rosemary wreath caught my eye on her November Pretty Things post.  The wreath is from a blog called Home is Where the Boat Is (doesn’t that sound inviting???)

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Rosemary Wreath photo from Home is Where the Boat Is, reposted in Last Night’s Feast

The herb section of Glover Gardens includes a gigantic rosemary bush and more of this lovely savory than we could use in a decade, so of course I have to try this wreath.  It’s on the menu for a party with our wine club tonight.  I’ll share some photos of the Glover Gardens version, with thanks to Sara from Last Night’s Feast for sharing this very pretty thing.


Update:  I tried this, and it worked!  Read all about it and get the recipe here.

Creamy Jalapeño Dip, AKA Stephanie’s Green Dip – Great for Game Day

My colleague and friend Stephanie makes the most marvelous dip, and we pester her to bring a batch to us at least monthly.  It’s ‘formal’ name is Creamy Jalapeño Dip, but we mostly refer to it as Green Dip.  And sometimes, Crack Dip (because it’s addictive).  It’s that good!

Stephanie brings a big ol’ batch of Green Dip to work with a couple of giant bags of tortilla chips and some veggie dippers, puts it all out in a common area, and backs away slowly: then we attack it like we’ve been starved for months.

Stephanie makes the Green Dip / Crack Dip with her son Josh, and together, they won the dip category of our Halloween Dips and Desserts competition at work, a bit of team-building fun we had together last month.  Our contest was patterned after the Food Network’s show Chopped, and yours truly was a judge.  Fun!

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The award-winning Green Dip in our Halloween Chopped-style competition

A self-described “Team Mom, Stephanie is generous with her time and her Green Dip, and has provided the recipe so that I can share it with all of you.  It is PERFECT for a post-Thanksgiving football weekend (add it to your tailgate party!), and great on a turkey sandwich.  In fact, there are tons of ways you can use this dip – see the list at the end of the post.

Stephanie was the food stylist for this post, providing the photo below.  I think she might need to be a guest blogger in the Glover Gardens Cookbook!

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The “official” photo for the Green Dip

Creamy Jalapeno Dip, AKA Stephanie’s Green Dip

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1-oz. packet of ranch dressing mix
  • 1 small can diced green chilies (mild or hot, depending on your taste)
  • 2-4 fresh jalapenos (depends on pepper size and desired heat), cut into pieces; remove and save seeds and spines
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, pulled off of stems
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 pinches cumin

Cooking Instructions

Throw all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.  Add jalapeno seeds and spines to increase heat as desired. Serve as an appetizer with chips or fresh veggies.

And there’s more…

The best thing about the Green Dip is using the leftovers.  It will keep for about 10 days in the fridge, which is good, because this recipe makes a large batch.  Since Stephanie started gifting us with this dip (including once as a get-well gift after a hospitalization), I have used it in various and delightful ways:

  • As a spread for a turkey sandwich, chicken breast sandwich, or just about any sandwich (think Green Dip BLT)
  • Whipped into leftover mashed potatoes for a whole new take on them
  • In scrambled eggs, before scrambling – a couple of tablespoons provides a creamy richness, and just the right bit of spice
  • Swirled into creamed corn
  • As a condiment on fish tacos, shrimp tacos, any tacos, fajitas
  • Tossed with chopped chicken breast and minced red onions for a quick chicken salad
  • As a dip for boiled shrimp in place of – or addition to – cocktail sauce or remoulade
  • As a salad dressing – it’s great with romaine and crisp, brightly colored bell peppers
  • As a base for a Southwest-style white pizza
  • In potato salad, as the creamy base
  • Swirled into or dolloped on top of a vegetable soup like my Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with a Hint of Cumin
  • As a spread for my Tuna or Salmon Burgers
  • In place of mayo, plain yogurt or sour cream in a variety of other uses

The final say…

There are tons of recipes for dips like this out there on the internet, but Stephanie’s is The BOMB.  It’s the only version of a creamy jalapeño dip I need, because she and her son Josh have fine-tuned this recipe over the years they’ve been making it.  Trust me on this.

Thank you, Stephanie!

Copyright 2016, Glover Gardens Cookbook