Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Orange You Glad You Came...

I saw this on a post about a month ago and it has been in my mind ever since...Campfire Orange Cakes! I just thought this would be something fun to do while we sit around the fire pit with the neighbors. If anything it would be a conversation piece and a bonus of eating yummy cake at the end. I did not take any pictures of my process because if you go over to ljcfyi's blog she has detailed pictures. Also I prepared them ahead of time and was in a rush to get other stuff done.

I did find a little trick (of course at the end) on how to scoop out the insides. It is sort of hard to explain but you basically try to get your finger in between the skin and the "meat"....I will have to take pictures the next time I do this.

Review: I found this to be a fun idea and I think everyone enjoyed it as well. I think the hardest and most time consuming part of this recipe is taking the "meat" out of the oranges. I only bought 4 oranges and had probably enough cake batter left for at least 4 more oranges. I think the reason for that is I couldn't find those huge oranges that you sometimes find out there. I now find myself thinking about what else I could use in place but so far the only thing I thought of is a grapefruit. I think my next campfire cooking adventure might be the banana boats.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

This always happens to me...I am searching for a recipe (this time it was for an Oreo type cookie) and come across at least a few others I want to try. I file them into my folder of recipes I want to try and usually don't get to them. This time I was determined not to let that happen again because I found a recipe that made my heart jump a couple of beats....

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake.

You have to check out the page on where I found it because it has really nice pictures and the full recipe there. I took a couple of pictures of my cheesecake just out of the oven and once I put the ganache onto it.

Just out of the oven
With the ganache onto....yummy!

Review: For the most part this was an easy recipe to make but it is just time consuming because of all the part. I made the brownie part of it Thursday night and put it in the refrigerator. Friday I made the rest of the cheesecake parts. No part was really that complicated in fact my neighbor told me the brownies were the best brownies she ever had (Baker's One Bowl Brownie)...I brought over the extras for our Friday night get together. I don't think there is anything I would do different because it tasted really good as is and I think everyone at the party liked it. The ganache part was perfect because as you can see from my out of the oven picture I got a few cracks that those were covered right up by the ganache. The ganache recipe also makes just the perfect amount to go on top. Heidi wants me to make it bring to my Mom's house for the holidays coming up...so I think this one is a keeper!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Next Day

I just found a better picture of the Zeppole dessert on my camera that I took while eating them for breakfast with a nice cup of coffee....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Restaurant Review: Amici's in Poughkeepsie

Mike and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary last week. We were lucky enough to have my in-laws watch the kids so we can go out for a nice dinner. We live in the Hudson Valley area which has a lot wonderful restaurants to try out. It is really hard to top last years celebration of lunch at the CIA and a winery visit.

So I asked my neighbor for suggestions. She first asked me if I liked olives (YES) and then told me about an appetizer the restaurants has...to be honest I was already sold on going there for dinner. Then she told me about a dessert they have...cannoli creamed filled zeppoles...OK if I wasn't sold before I was definitely sold now.

Amici's Restaurant

For appetizer we had:

Fried Gorgonzola Stuffed Olives with Vermouth Aioli* Queen olives stuffed with creamy gorgonzola, rolled in fresh bread crumbs and lightly fried

Flash Fried Calamari with Two Sauces Fresh squid, dusted and fried, served with spicy marinara and creamy garlic horseradish dip

For Entrees we had:

Pork Shank “Osso Bucco” Slow cooked and matched with Ricotta Polenta and seasonal vegetables with red wine braising sauce.

I had a special called Unwrapped scallops with bacon that was served with pencil thin asparagus.

For Dessert we shared a plate full of Cannoli Cream stuffed Zeppoles. They were NOT on the menu but I had to ask about them since they were one of the reason we picked this place. The waitress talked to the chef and he said he would make them.

(The best picture I could get)

Review: I am in love with this place now because the food was SO good and the location is awesome. It is just about two blocks from the Hudson River which was nice for a pre-meal walk. We tried a new bottle of wine (totally forget the name) which was super yummy! The olive appetizer was hands down one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life...then came dessert and Mike said that was THE best dessert he has ever had in his life. It was really to die for and I can't get it out of my mind. I need to lose about 15 lbs before I can go back there and have it again!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Friday Night Cocktails and Fire Pit!

So this summer we have started a little thing called Friday Night Cocktail night with our neighbors. We get the fire pit going and start pouring the drinks.

This last Friday Nights featured drink were Pomegranate Margaritas using the POM Wonderful juice I received.

Pomegranate Margaritas

1 3/4 cups chilled Pomegranate juice

Kosher salt

1 1/2 cups silver Tequila

1 cup Triple Sec

2/3 cup fresh lime juice

Ice cubes

8 lime wedges, for garnish


Pour 1/4 cup of pomegranate juice in a saucer and dip rims of glasses. Then dip moistened rims of glasses in kosher salt. Stir the remaining 1 ½ cups of pomegranate juice, the tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Working in batches, shake the mixture in a large ice-filled shaker, then strain into the glasses. Garnish each margarita with a lime.

Review: OH MY wow this drink really knocks you on your butt...in a good way of course. It was super yummy and something I would make again. I did not use the salt because we drink out of plastic cups and there was no need to be fancy. I also used Cointreau instead of the triple sec because that is what I had in the house. It is a strong drink but I don't think I used enough ice and just realized that 3 of us drank it when it serves 8. Lets just say that we all had a really good time...

Pine! Pine! Pine!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

POM Wonderful

I was contacted by someone at POM Wonderful to see if I was interested in trying out some of their product. So of course my answer was YES!!! I mean who wouldn't want something for free and who wouldn't want something yummy like pomegranate juice. Let me tell you the ideas have just been flowing...

So I waited patiently (only about a week) for my case to arrive.

Since I received a case of 8 x 8oz bottles I am going to try and do at least a few different things with it. So of course that night with dinner we all shared a bottle of just straight up POM juice. I have always seen the bottle in the supermarket but never really thought about buying it before. For some odd reason I thought it would taste different from what you taste when you eat a fresh pomegranate but it did not.

Mike was making fun of me because he wanted to know why it was called POM Wonderful. Thank you to the internet and company websites I was able to just look it on and let him know:

The "Wonderful" actually refers to the variety of pomegranates we grow in our California orchards. All of the fresh pomegranates we sell are of the Wonderful variety as is the juice we press at our own facility

Taken from
POM Wonderful … More Than Just a Name article.

My Review: The juice it super yummy and taste really fresh to me. It is on the tart side and reminds me of cranberry juice. I have to say I love the shape of the bottles which I know has nothing to do with the taste but makes me happy.

Check back soon for some recipe I try out using POM Wonderful juice!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Empty Jars...Pet Peeve!

One of my pet peeves is when I go into the refrigerator and I found an empty jar. This picture make it look like there is more peanut butter in there then there really was...


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