Tag Archives: cream cheese

Hawaiian Ham & Cheese Sandwiches – and – a Goat Cheese stuffed Endives

Yesterday was filled with cooking, singing, laughing, eating and drinking!  We had our annual Christmas party.  It has come to be quite the event, my good friend plays the piano and we start out by singing Christmas carols and end the night singing anything from Billy Joel, James Taylor to Queen and finally some great Show tunes.

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The day was entirely for making all the pick up and go foods for the table and also having breakfast ready to go for the next day, there is nothing worse than having to feed a ton of people; OK maybe not a ton but we had 14 for breakfast this morning; regardless; making food with such little sleep and maybe a few too many glasses of wine is not the most enjoyable task so I make sure that breakfast is super simple while still being delicious. I made 3 dishes that either set up overnight or can wait for me to cook them.  I made a strata, hash brown casserole and French toast casserole and picked up some fresh cut up fruit as well as some fresh blueberries, raspberries and a pomegranate; combining them all in a bowl of fresh fruit to lighten up all the casseroles.

I tried out a few new recipes my daughter sent me and they all were excellent, there were definitely a couple of keepers that I want to share with all of you.  The sandwiches are warm and full of delicious flavors. The endives are crazy good and I really hope you take a chance on these and test them out. They may look like something outside your comfort zone but I think you might be pleasantly surprised by how well the different flavors work so well together. I also made a simple version of chicken and waffles that was a crowd pleaser. mini waffles oven toasted, frozen chicken tenders baked and covered with warmed real maple syrup.

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Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

20 +/- small Hawaiian sweet rolls cut in half crosswise (depends on what size pan you have)

1 Pound Black forest ham, sliced – you’ll want one piece per roll

20 +/- slices provolone cheese

8 oz. cream cheese – room temperature for spreading

1 tbs yellow mustard

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 tbs dried minced onions

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbs poppy seeds (optional)

Either preheat your oven to 350’ or make ahead and bake them 30-40 minutes before you are ready to serve them.

Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with the roll bottoms, top with a slice of ham on each; then the provolone. Spread the cream cheese on the bottom half of the tops and place them on top of their bottom mates.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions and parmesan cheese.  Mix well and if baking right away pour evenly over the tops.  If making later wait to add just before baking; if using poppy seeds sprinkle on top of butter mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until warmed through and cheese melted.

Serve warm

Endives with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 tbs honey

Combine on a baking sheet either coated with cooking spray or better yet a silipat mat. Bake at 350’ for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

1 tbs honey

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbs orange juice

Combine all 3 in a small saucepan; bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 3 tbs; about 6-7 minutes.

16 endive leaves 9 about 2 heads

1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

16 small orange sections

1 tbs minced fresh chives

¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Fill each endive leaf with 1 orange section. Top each section with 1 tsp cheese and 1 tsp walnuts; arrange on a plate. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the leaves, and sprinkle evenly with chives and pepper.

Crab Rangoon

A few weeks ago I took a cooking class at a local kitchen store. I was intrigued for a few reasons; one was what they were offering Won-ton Soup, Crab Rangoon and Pot stickers; I have made Rangoon’s many times and they are really yummy and very easy, another is my guys love won-ton soup so that would be a win win; lastly I have tried and failed to make pot stickers in the past and I really wanted to know how to make them correctly. There was also a bonus; the class was being taught by Helen Chen. Her mother was the famous chef, restaurant owner and cookbook author Joyce Chen; Joyce was also one of the 5 famous chefs that the US Post office just released a stamp of.

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Crab Rangoon

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The class was pretty interesting on a few fronts.  It was less hands on than my classes that I teach in my home and we didn’t get to eat what we prepared.  Helen made up all the dumplings that we were served.  She made all the filings and we watched her make all the Rangoon’s. We did make a few won-tons and a few pot stickers so we knew how to make them which is what I wanted so I was very happy I attended.  It was also very enlightening to me that at the end of class Helen asked all of us what we would like for future classes; they had to cancel the noodle class that was supposed to be the night before as only one person signed up.

Potstickers

Potstickers

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Won-ton Soup My son brought us the chopsticks from Japan

Won-ton Soup
My son brought us the chopsticks back from Japan

I too struggle with finding things people would like to come to a class for. What I love to cook and would like to share with people may not be something anyone else is interested in making/eating. I am going to shoot for having at least one class a month and just put out there things I am excited about and hope they will come.

She did share with us that Crab Rangoon is not authentically Chinese; she said it originated from Trader Vic’s Restaurant in San Francisco – I had no idea!

I am sharing with you my recipe for the crab Rangoon, my family didn’t love the one I received from Helen and mine has less ingredients.

Crab Rangoon – fried won-ton

Package of won-ton wrappers

8 ounce brick of cream cheese

8 ounce crab meat, remove any cartilage (6 ounce cans can be used as well, drain)

2 scallions green and white chopped finely

2 tsp soy sauce

Small cup or saucer of water

1-2 inches of vegetable oil for frying

Mix last 4 ingredients well, take a nice size teaspoon of cream cheese mixture and place in the center of one won-ton at a time, using your finger dunk in the water and go around the won-ton, fold making a triangle making sure each edge is sealed and as much as the air you can remove. Fry till browned on both sides flipping once in 350’oil – be careful if they split open, it will snap crackle and pop and you will end up getting burned, not that that has ever happened to me…

My far more tech savvy daughter will be home for Christmas, if we can make it work, I will post a video on how to make the pot stickers because that was super cool – just look at the picture. I still have some in the freezer and will be making them sometime this week!!!

Happy Easter – Carrot Cake – Cream Cheese Frosting

Sorry this is a day late, we have been without internet for 4 days UGH!

 

Today like the last 30 years has started off with a pancake & sausage breakfast to support our local Rotary Club.  Let’s just say I would rather just donate money than actually attend and that is all I will say about it. My in-laws have been going to this event since they moved here in the late 70’s and we, I mean they just cannot break from tradition. I do say this lovingly.

Carrot Cake w/cream cheese frosting

Carrot Cake w/cream cheese frosting

I only added a few nuts and I was too distracted and ended up cooking it a little longer than I should have.  It was still very moist and yummy!

Later today I will be having family over for Linner, late lunch early dinner as I have called it for many years.  It is I think the first year that I didn’t hide eggs for the kids.  Which is kind of funny since they really are not “kids” anymore 21 & 23; but they always insisted that eggs be hidden.  When they were little I used to do a treasure hunt all over the house and yard for them depending on the weather.  I have a feeling if my daughter was home; she would insist on me hiding some for her and her brother to find.

Another tradition we started many years ago was we played four square in the driveway on a huge course with one of those huge plastic balls you see in those bins at the grocery stores.  We have had some crazy games over the years, not only on Easter, but I think that is when it started. We have had marathon games lasting 6-8 hours with everyone playing at some point from as young as 4-5 to as old as 70-80.  It would get pretty crazy at times but always full of laughter.  I do definitely miss playing with my brother, may he rest in peace.  Our main goal was to get him out of the servers’ box not sure how but he had a knack of always being in it.

Yesterday while out getting stuff for dinner I picked up a bag of used golf balls so that we could smackem’ down the driveway; the 3 of us sent all 48 through the woods and down the 1000’ driveway.  We do this periodically, afterwards we walk the driveway hunting for the.  Alex mentioned that we should have done this for a hunt when they were little.  Dad and I could send the balls down the driveway and then send the kids out to find them, whoever found the most would win a prize.  Excellent idea why didn’t I think of that!  This year I think we were only 14 shy of the 48 sent.  Not too shabby!

Today’s menu not unlike many others will be Ham, not the spiraled one, I’m probably on the short list who is not a fan all the ones I have ever had have been so very dry, I go for the monster shank or butt ones, always juicy. Smashed roasted baby potatoes, steamed zucchini and summer squash and I am going to make carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Have a wonderful day doing whatever it is your family does on this beautiful (this year) Spring Easter Sunday!

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Carrot Cake – Cream Cheese Frosting

4 Eggs

¾ Cup apple sauce

¾ Cup vegetable oil

2 Cups Sugar

2 Tsp vanilla extract

2 Cup AP flour

2 Tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

½ Tsp Salt

2 Tsp ground cinnamon

3 Cups grated carrots

Optional

1 Cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350’ grease and flour 9×13 pan

In a large bowl beat together eggs, sauce, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, soda, powder, salt and cinnamon.  Stir in carrots. If using nuts fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely.

½ Cup butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional

1 cup chopped pecans

Make frosting: in a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You can also stir in some chopped pecans in this if you would like.  Frost cake once cooled.