Displaying 1 - 10 of 110 entries.

Summer Drinks Are A Happy Tradition

  • Posted on May 10, 2014 at 8:29 am

We talk a lot about food, but what would Christmas be without cider and eggnog, and what would a summer day be without lemonade?  This summer, find some new family favorites with great drink recipes, both with and without alcohol.

Here are some great warm-weather drink recipes to get you started:

Watermelon Margaritas

A great way to combine a favorite summer drink with in-season fruit, the Watermelon Margarita is sure to be an instant favorite at your next pool party or barbecue.

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

Orange zest (grated orange rind) to taste

4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon

1 ½ cups tequila

½ cup lime juice

2 limes, cut in wedges

4 cups crushed ice

Boil water, sugar and orange zest; allow to simmer three minutes, stirring constantly, to make simple syrup.

Food process watermelon to puree.

Stir watermelon, tequila, lime juice and syrup together in pitcher.

Coat the rim of margarita glasses with lime juice and rub in sugar or salt, depending on your preference.  Fill with crushed ice and pour mixture over ice.  Garnish with lime wedges.  Makes 8 servings.

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

The way your grandmother made it is still the best way.  Kids love this mixture poured over tall glasses of frosty ice on a hot day.

5 lemons

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 ¼ quarts water

Peel lemons and cover rinds with sugar.  Set aside for one hour.

Bring water to boil and pour over sugared rinds in a bowl or pitcher.  Cool 20 minutes and remove rinds.

Squeeze lemons through strainer into mixture and stir well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mock Champagne

Perfect for a summer party or shower, mock champagne has no alcohol so it can be served to any group.

Two 2-liter bottles of chilled ginger ale

One 46-ounce can of chilled pineapple juice

One 64-ounce can bottle of chilled white grape juice

If you choose, make an ice ring by freezing a ring-shaped pan half-full of ginger ale.  Add edible flowers, fruit or other garnishes and top off with ginger ale; continue freezing until solid.

Mix all other ingredients in punch bowl and add ice ring to chill before serving.

These summer drink recipes are sure to be a hit at home and at parties.  Grab a glass, chill out and enjoy your summer!

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What Do You Do With Leftover Easter Eggs?

  • Posted on April 29, 2014 at 6:22 am

If you have children, you probably have leftover Easter eggs on the Monday after the big day.  Here are a few recipes to help you quickly use those leftover eggs wisely and offer your family some great options for the week after Easter!

Buffalo-Blue Deviled Eggs

Blair Stover1 dozen hard-boiled eggs

2 Tbsp. hot sauce/buffalo wing sauce

2 Tbsp. spicy mustard

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut eggs in half and take out yolks.  Mash yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce and blue cheese.  Refill eggs and garnish as desired.  Makes 24 deviled eggs.

Egg Salad

6 hardboiled eggs

½ cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. spicy mustard

¼ cup dill or sweet pickle relish

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop eggs and mix with remaining ingredients.  Serve over toast or crackers with a sprinkle of paprika for extra flavor, or make sandwiches with your choice of garnish.  Makes four sandwiches.

Cobb Salad

Six hardboiled eggs

2 Grilled Chicken breasts (see instructions below)

Six cups lettuce or salad mix

Two tomatoes

Six slices of bacon, fried crispy

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Poppyseed Dressing (see recipe below)

Wash salad greens, drain and place in large bowl. Set aside.  Grill chicken on stovetop, grill or oven using salt, pepper and other spices to taste.  Allow chicken to cool then shred or chop into bite-sized pieces.  Layer into salad greens.

Slice tomatoes and add to salad.  Crumble bacon into salad and toss thoroughly.

Slice hardboiled eggs into disks.  Layer over top of salad.  Drizzle with Poppyseed Dressing.

Poppyseed Dressing:  In blender, mix 1/3 cup white sugar, ½ cup white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1 teaspoon grated onion, 1 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon poppy seed.  Pulse together until smooth.

Country Potato Salad

2 dozen small red potatoes

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. dill pickle relish

1 Tbsp. mustard

1 cup mayonnaise

Salt, pepper and paprika

6-8 hard-boiled eggs

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender but firm.  Cool, drain and chop into quarters.  Mix dill pickle relish, mustard and mayonnaise into a sauce and mix into potatoes gently.  Sprinkle in salt, pepper and paprika to taste.  Slowly add and mix in chopped hard boiled eggs.  Allow to chill overnight before serving, or serve warm for a different taste experience.  Makes 8 servings.

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Valentine’s Day Can Be Sweet Without the Sugar!

  • Posted on February 14, 2014 at 1:53 am

Blair StoverQuick!  Think of one thing you eat at Valentine’s Day that is not loaded with sugar.  Time’s up!  If you could not immediately think of anything, you are not alone.  Most of the food we associate with Valentine’s Day is sugary, including candy, cookies and cupcakes.

However, if you are watching your weight or cannot eat sugar due to diabetes, you do not have to give up all your “treats.”  There are plenty of ways to enjoy delicious foods without all the sugar.

Here are some ideas for no-sugar or reduced-sugar snacks that will make your Valentine’s Day sweet and memorable.

  • Think fruit vs. candy.  If you have cut out sugar, you probably already know that fruit now tastes much sweeter.  There is nothing wrong with giving fruit instead of candy, and mothers or those watching their weight will probably thank you!  If you want to make it really special, spend some time and pick out exotic fruits like kiwis or pomegranates that do not often make it into fruit baskets.
  • Eat dark chocolate.  If you like the taste of dark chocolate, here is great news: this type of chocolate has the lowest sugar and highest anti-oxidant count of any type!  Indulge in four delicious squares of dark chocolate for only 8 grams of sugar.
  • Look to gluten-free recipes.  Gluten-free recipes also tend to limit sugar, so they can be a great place to start looking for low-sugar options.  Here is just one:

Low-Sugar, Gluten-Free Chocolate Drops

3 cups Stevia

¾ cup cocoa powder

½ tsp. fine sea salt

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 cup toasted slivered almonds

¾ cup shredded unsweeted coconut

4 egg whites, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325.  Toast the almonds for three to four minutes, then coarsely chop.  Combine all ingredients except the egg whites and stir until well blended.  Add the egg whites at room temperature and stir until moistened.

Using a melon scoop, scoop out rounded balls of dough and place two inches apart on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Bake 8 minutes, turn cookie sheet, and bake 8 to 10 more minutes until tops of drops look dry.  Cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

It is not hard to enjoy some sweetness on Valentine’s Day without blowing your “sugar budget” when you search for the right alternatives to sugary candy!

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Christmas Pudding Recipe

  • Posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Blair StoverIf you’re one to celebrate Christmas, you may be one of those who celebrates the season with more baked goods than most people know what to do with. With treats and delicacies abound everywhere during the holidays, it can be hard to stand out. Here is a great Christmas pudding recipe that will have your guests talking for days.

Ingredients

  • 150 grams sultanas
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150 grams currants
  • 100 grams of plain flour
  • 150 grams suet
  • 125 grams breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 150 grams chopped prunes
  • 1 lemon grated zest
  • 175 ml Pedro Ximenez Sherry
  • 150 grams of dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 125 ml vodka
  • 1 medium-sized apple (peeled/grated)

Directions

Before you begin, you’ll need a 1 and ½ qt plastic pudding basin (heatproof, with lid). Also, have a holly sprig to throw on for decoration.

  1. Stick the prunes, sultanas and currants into the bowl along with Pedro. Stir a bit and cover with plastic thin wrap, leaving overnight and up to one week.
  2. The next morning, boil a large pot of water and butter the plastic pudding basin. Also grease the lid, as well.
  3. Take a large mixing bowl and combine all other ingredients and stir in any manner you see fit.
  4. Add the fruits and ensure you scrape every little drop, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Scrape and press into your pudding basin, squishing it down. Put the lid on and put the basin in the boiling water (the water should come about halfway up to the basin). Steam it for five hours, ensuring the water never dissipates.
  6. When time is up, put the basin somewhere out of the way and let it sit until Christmas Day.
  7. On Christmas Day, steam it again. However, do it this time for three hours.
  8. When serving, remove it from the pot and take off the lid. Put the pudding on a plate and then turn it upside down.
  9. Have your sprig of holly on tap to put on the pudding. Heat your vodka in a small pot. The second it is hot, light a match and set the pot on fire! Pour the flaming liquor on the pudding and hurry it to your guests.
  10. Watch them be amazed. Happy Holidays from Blair Stover!
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5 Alternatives to Turkey

  • Posted on November 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

If the thought of preparing and cooking a turkey ruins your whole Thanksgiving, then it is time to come up with a Plan B. Blair Stover has some turkey alternatives for you to consider this holiday season.

The first dish to consider is duck. Duck can be served with an orange sauce, as well as a variety of complimentary side dishes. Some suggestions are wild rice, a potato dish, and a mildly flavored vegetable. With these accompaniments, you won’t lose out on taste or that right touch of special for the occasion.

Third Course: Veal Cheek

Third Course: Veal Cheek (Photo credit: ulterior epicure)

Another tasty dish you could serve is lamb. Lamb is just not served in homes very frequently nowadays. For this reason, it can be considered a special dish for the Thanksgiving holiday. Lamb can be served as a rib roast, rack roast, or loin roast. Or, if you are not in the mood for a roast, you could prepare a leg of lamb, lamb chops, etc. Side dishes that make fabulous additions to lamb include lentils, couscous, flavored risotto, or some sort of rice.

Thirdly, veal makes an excellent turkey alternative. Veal can be incorporated into a whole dish, such as Wiener Schnitzel, Veal Marsala, stuffed breast, Veal Parmegiana, or Veal Scallopini. If you are not into making a full dish, veal can be served on its own as cutlets. Recommended side dishes for Veal are potato croquettes, hot buttered noodles or risotto, any variety of rice, or pasta. To add some greens, a fresh spinach salad with pine nuts and mandarin oranges or a shiitake mushroom salad pair well with veal. Other vegetables that go well are braised endives or asparagus.

If you are a seafood lover at heart, consider a nice, thick roasted salmon fillet. Roasted salmon is simple to make. Vegetables with a lime wedge or roasted red potatoes make nice pairings for salmon.

Our list covers some great choices for all those meat lovers out there, though how about for those vegetarians? Share some great veggie alternatives to the main turkey event with us in the comments below.

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Tips to Deep Fry a Turkey Safely

  • Posted on November 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm
A deep-fried turkey.

A deep-fried turkey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In recent years, deep-frying turkeys for the holidays has become extremely popular. But there are also dangers when frying a turkey. Many people report “splash burns” when standing to close to the boiling oil. In other cases, dropping the turkey in an unsafe manner in the container can cause the oil to overturn and cause a fire.

So how do you deep-fry your turkey for that delicious taste without ending up in the emergency room? Here on Blair Stover Cooking, we’ve outlined a few tips to help you deep fry your turkey safely this year:

  1. Never use your own “homemade” fryer. Buy a commercial one and always follow the directions.
  2. Always keep your fryer clear of combustible materials and on a flat surfaces.
  3. Before cooking your turkey, all wrapping, pop timers and innards must be removed. Cut off the tail and wingtips, as well. The turkey should never weigh more than 12 pounds either.
  4. Always use the right amount of oil.
  5. Heat your oil to the appropriate temperature.
  6. Always have a fire extinguisher handy and never use water if a grease fire breaks out.
  7. Make sure that the turkey is placed in the fryer the correct way and wear the right attire so you are not splashed by any oil.
  8. Make sure no children or pets are around the fryer when cooking. Never leave the fryer unattended.
  9. When the turkey is finished cooking, remove it carefully and promptly.
  10. Let the oil cool down before disposing of it. Never place oil down the drain.

No place is perfect for deep-frying a turkey. Remember to play it safe if you decide to go this route. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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The Perfect Halloween Cake

  • Posted on October 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Wanting to whip up something spooky and scrumptious? This cake is a hit with younger and older partygoers alike and we here at Blair Stover Cooking think it’s perfect for the season! Here’s what you’ll need.

 

Ingredients:

Photo credit to cookingchanneltv.com

Vanilla Cake

3 c. cake flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tbsp. baking powder

3 sticks (1 ½ c.) unsalted, melted butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 room temperature, large eggs

2/3 c. milk

1 ¼ c. sugar

Chocolate Ganache:

4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

4 c. heavy cream

2 tbsp. rum (optional)

½ stick (4 tbsp.) unsalted butter

 

Vanilla and Raspberry Frostings

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ c. room temperature, unsalted butter

2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream (additional amount if you would like frosting soft enough to pipe)

2 c. confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp. raspberry preserves

 

Directions

For the cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease, and then line a 13×18 baking sheet with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk salt, baking powder and flour. Set aside. Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Continue beating about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, scraping sides of bowl down after each egg, continue beating at medium speed until combined well. Mix in flour mixture, vanilla and milk on medium speed until well-combined. Scrape sides of bowl down, and mix for 30 seconds longer.

Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake in center of the oven for about 20 minutes, test using a cake tester. Cool the cake on a rack. After cake is cool, cut using a coffin –shaped cookie cutter. Reserve ½ c. of cake scraps for the raspberry frosting.

Make the ganache in a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat heavy cream just to simmer, remove from heat, add chocolate chips and butter. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, then stir in rum (optional).  With the cut cakes on a cooling rack, pour the ganache over the cakes, ensuring that you cover the sides. Blair Stover recommends you allow cakes to sit until ganache sets firm.

For the frosting, mix vanilla, butter, confectioners’ sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add heavy whipping cream to desired constancy for piping. Divide frosting into two bowls. In one of the bowls, add the raspberry preserves. Stir in ½ c. of cake scraps until frosting is smooth. With a pastry tip, pipe the outline of a mummy atop the ganache. Then, apply the mummy’s wrapping using a small straight tip.

Pumpkin Waffles And Maple Walnut Apples

  • Posted on October 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Nothing brings in the fall months like pumpkin waffles and maple walnut apples. This outlines one of the tastiest recipes you’ll eat this year, brought to you by Blair Stover.

 

electric Waffle iron

electric Waffle iron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prep time: 20 minutes

 

Cook time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes

Yields: 8 (4”) waffles, 4 servings

Level: Easy

 

Ingredients:

 

Waffles:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup of wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg white, large1/2 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of melted shortening

 

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts
  • 2 peeled, thinly crisp apples
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup

 

Directions:

You will need a 4×4” standard waffle iron in order to make this recipe work!

  1. Preheat the waffle iron until it reaches medium heat. While it is preheating, whisk the wheat germ, spice, salt, sugar, flour and baking powder together using a large bowl.
  2. Take a large measuring cup and beat together the pumpkin, shortening, butter, egg and egg white and milk. Making a well in the dry ingredients, pour this mixture into the center of the bowl and whisk away until you have a light, lumpy batter.

 

Topping:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add apples and lightly brown them until crisp, which takes about 4 minutes. Then add the walnuts and maple syrup as a coating.
  2. Pour a cup of batter onto the waffle iron. Shut the iron until you have a golden crisp waffle (takes about 6 – 8 minutes). Repeat until batter is depleted. Serve with the apples.

 

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Chicken Mushroom Quesadillas

  • Posted on September 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Blair StoverStill feeling like summer? Or even something warm for a cool autumn night? We love this healthy and delicious recipe here at Blair Stover Cooking, especially as it can be completed in 28 minutes.

It will require about twelve minutes to prepare and sixteen minutes to cook for a yield of four servings.

Ingredients:

2 c. of sliced baby spinach leaves

1 tbsp. canola oil

½ tsp. salt

8 oz. white button mushrooms (about 3 cups)

1 large, chopped onion (2 cups)

¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

3 minced garlic cloves

4 whole-grain flour tortillas (10-inch)

2 c. skinless boneless chicken breast (one breast half), chopped

1 c. shredded Mexican or Cheddar cheese mix

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ c. salsa

1 tsp. chili powder

¼ c. reduced-fat sour cream

1 tsp. dried oregano

 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions, cooking until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown (about 5-7 minutes).

Mix in the garlic and continue cooking for one minute. Next, add chicken, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir ingredients to incorporate spices throughout. Stir in salt, pepper, and spinach. Cook about 2 minutes until spinach is wilted.

Lay out one tortilla, cover with ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Spoon ½ of the vegetable chicken mixture on top of the cheese. Next top with another ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Lay another tortilla on top of that.

Using a large non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray, heat over medium heat. Place the quesadilla in the pan and cook for three minutes. With a large spatula, flip carefully and cook another three minutes, until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Slice into quarters. Repeat with second quesadilla. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

  • Posted on September 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Summer is winding down and that means autumn is right around the corner. The chilly October and November air will have you craving pumpkin pies left and right. As Blair Stover describes below, having pumpkin pies with a twist may be exactly what you need.

Pumpkin Pie from a *real* pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie from a *real* pumpkin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanksgiving is a huge time for baking pies and this recipe for pumpkin cream cheese pie may sound a little off, but it is a delight to taste. It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and another 70 to bake but it will feed about six to eight people, making it a perfect addition to any meal.

Here is the simple and easy to follow recipe, starting with these:

 

Main ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 pastry shell, unbaked (9 inches)
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), softened

 

Filling ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups of canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1-2/3 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs

 

Directions

  1. Using a small bowl, take the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and cream cheese and beat it until it smoothes out. Then spread it into the pastry shell.
  2. Take another small bowl and whisk the ingredients until they are smooth. Pour it over the cream cheese layer and cover the edges loosely with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake your pie at 350 degree for 75 minutes or so. Make sure you can stick a knife into the center of the pie and it comes out clean. Afterwards, stick the pie to cool on a wire rack and store it in a cool place.
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