News & Random FUN!!
It's an age old question...what do I do with turkey leftovers? Of course there are the classic ways to use them such as in soups, sandwiches etc, but I have always loved anything asian flavored and my turkey leftovers are no exception. This year it was asian style tacos! These tacos were too awesome not to share!
Hoisin Cranberry Turkey Tacos
1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce
3 tbsp of hoisin sauce
1 cucumber (peeled and julienned)
1 avocado (peeled, and thinly sliced)
3-4 tbsp scallions (chopped)
10 soft tacos (flour or corn)
10 small handfuls of shredded turkey (dark or white)
Combine cranberry sauce and hoisin sauce, set aside. Assemble taco with turkey, cucumbers and avocados. Drizzle tacos with cranberry hoisin mixture and sprinkle with scallions. Enjoy!
Creamy Maple Sweet Potato Soup
1/4 stick butter
1 cup onion, diced
1 leek, washed well and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 ground ginger
Pinch of cayenne
2 cans of coconut cream
1/2 heavy cream
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon, and all the ground spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender.
(photo courtesy of simplyrecipes.com)
Remove cinnamon stick. Puree soup in blender until smooth and return to pot. Add coconut cream, heavy cream and maple syrup and stir over medium-low heat to heat through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper to taste.
Breakfast recipes for everyone on your Valentine's List!
FOR THE ROMANTIC...
RASPBERRY DUTCH BABIES
It’s not a pancake, it’s not a crepe. What is a Dutch Baby? Answer, the perfect romantic answer to breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day! They are surprisingly simple, but super fancy!
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup of cream, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 lemon extract
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 tbsp butter, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Preheat your 10 inch cast iron skillet on center rack.
- Mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
- In separate bowl, add eggs, whisk in milk and extracts.
- Slowly whisk dry and wet ingredients until completely smooth.
- Remove hot skillet froth oven and melt butter, swirling and coating the whole skillet.
- Slowly pour batter into skillet and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are toasty
- golden and puffed.
- Remove Dutch Baby from oven and allow to deflate.
Top with berries and serve with a kiss!!
(Ladles & Linens products needed: Lodge Cast Iron skillet, 12 inch French whisk, mixing bowls, measuring cups/spoons)
FOR THE LOVED ONE ON A NEW YEARS DIET...
NAVAL ORANGE BRULEE
I love to be healthy, but Valentine’s usually isn't a day to diet. If you must (and I REALLY mean MUST!), here is a great, super simple recipe to make it happen. Even the most kitchen challenged partner can make this breakfast in bed treat!
- 2 oranges (halved crosswise)
- 3 tbsp raw sugar
- Trim 1/4 of peel from bottom of each orange half to prevent it from rocking back and forth.
- Place orange, cut side down, on paper towels to dry.
- Flip fruit and sprinkle. Invert fruit and sprinkle sugar to each orange half.
- Using a kitchen torch, heat sugar until melted and beginning to turn dark amber.
(Ladles & Linens products needed: Professional Chef’s torch, measuring spoons)
HOT CHOCOLATE BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
Chocolate for breakfast? Is it crazy or totally brilliant? Bottom line is… who cares! It’s Valentines Day, a day that chocolate, in my opinion, is totally acceptable and a downright qualification for a successful start to the day! Kick things out the right way with your lovies and try this scrumptious treat that is great for any soul, at any age.
- 2 cups Almond milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 almonds
- 1/2 cup plain, full fat (and taste) yogurt
- 1 banana
- cinnamon and cayenne (optional)
In blender combine all above ingredients. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cayenne.
(Ladles & Linens products needed: Vitamix, 12 inch French whisk, Nesting mixing bowls, Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Extract)
FOR THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS...
MINI PANCAKE MUFFINS
If you are like me with little ones, you have to get them involved in EVERYTHING going on or it'll never happen! Parents you know what I'm saying! So on Valentine’s Day, there is no exception. They want to get in on the romantic action too. Kiddos love things in miniature and of course sugar! This recipe is perfect to make your loved ones and serve in bed!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a mini muffin pan with butter
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Whisk together milks, egg, vanilla and oil.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together just until combined (lumps are acceptable).
- Place one tablespoon in each muffin cup. Top with blueberries
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and set
(Ladles & Linens products needed: Duo Ballon Whisk with ball, Nesting mixing bowls, Nielsen-Massey Madagascar, Vanilla Extract, USA Pan Non-stick muffin sheet)
If you're a perfectionist like myself you seriously need to get a cookie press. They will completely satisfy your need to create flawlessly shaped cookies, trust me! As far as I know, a cookie press is the only way to make a classic spritz cookie and the only way to make me happy when it comes to impressing my coworkers with fantastic looking cookies!
Obviously I want the cookies to taste as good as they look which is where a classic spritz cookie recipe comes in. Make sure to look for one that has cardamom in it! Or to save time, just use my favorite recipe!
Classic Spritz Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
Sprinkles and colored sugar for decorating
NOTE: for solid red and/or green cookies add food coloring to the dough
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Cream at medium-high speed until light colored and fluffy.
Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in egg, vanilla, cardamom and salt. Then add flour until well-mixed.
Grab a handful of the dough and roll it into a thick snake shape, pack into the barrel of the cookie press and fit press with desired disk design. Press trigger until dough is packed in and no air pockets exist in barrel.
To make cookies, hold cookie press perpendicular to an ungreased cookie sheet with the end of the press touching the cookie sheet. Press the trigger once, remove press and repeat for each cookie—spacing them about 1″ apart.
Decorate with sprinkles and then bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes or until edges of cookies just barely begin to brown. Let cool for 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
Check out the variety of cookies you can make with a cookie press! And because they look so pretty, they make a wonderful gift too. Just put them in a clear cello bag and tie it closed with a festive ribbon and voila!
Pick up a cookie press at any Ladles & Linens locations or purchase one here:
We all love traditional pasta, but lately we’ve noticed a whole new breed of noodles. We aren’t talking about rice, corn or quinoa “pasta” but rather spiralized vegetables. The Spiralizer is an inexpensive tool that turns fresh veggies into faux noodles or ZOODLES. They aren’t just for those avoiding carbs, everyone from home cooks to professional chefs are spiralizing. At Ladles and Linens we carry the Paderno Spiralizer and LOVE IT!
Chefs who have mountains of chopping and slicing to power through, have a lot to love in the Spiralizer. “It made boring jobs a lot quicker and easier,” one grateful chef said while another home cook praised it for it's versatility: "you can take almost any vegetable and turn it into noodles which allows me to enjoy my "pasta" by making it healthy. This product literally does all the work for you- you simply turn the wheel and watch your noodles pop out."
Bloggers all over the world are going nuts with Spiralizer recommendations and new found uses. Sweet Potatoes, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Beets, Squash, Apples, Fall Cabbage...all of these and more will make great side dishes when you use your own Paderno Spiralizer. Voted Best Spiralizer by COOKS Illustrated, the Paderno makes it easy to eat your veggies and fruits!
Priced at $29.95 it's the best kitchen gadget you can own right now!
Sweet Potatoes are so good, as well as good for you, so try this delicious new way to serve (and eat) them!
Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce
(Recipe from the Pinch of Yum Blog)
- 1 cup cashews
- ¾ cup water (more for soaking)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 large sweet potatoes, spiralized
- 2 cups baby spinach
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, chives, or other herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for drizzling
- Cover the cashews with water in a bowl and soak for 2 hours or so.
- Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place in a food processor or blender (I got better texture with the blender) and add the ¾ cup water, salt, and garlic. Puree until very smooth.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes; toss in the pan for 6-7 minutes with tongs until tender-crisp. Remove from heat and toss in the spinach - it should wilt pretty quickly.
- Add half of the herbs and half of the sauce to the pan and toss to combine. Add water if the mixture is too sticky. Season generously with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the remaining fresh herbs.
This recipe makes MORE than enough sauce - enough for at least 6 or 8 servings, if not more. I left the amounts that way because it seemed silly to make the sauce with only about ½ cup of cashews - it wouldn't even really be enough to get going around in the blender, and I promise you'll be able to find ways to use the remaining sauce. It's extremely versatile.
The biggest thing that affects how many servings you'll get in this recipe is the size of the sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that they will cook down a bit and one large sweet potato can be sometimes twice as big as a small sweet potato. Just use common sense in terms of serving size and sauce-to-noodles ratios! :)
Also, this recipe is sort of a comforting, neutral starting point for those of us who need tons of flavor in everything - so add whatever herbs or flavors you want to the sauce if you want to give it more of a punch. I love the idea of adding chipotles or sriracha, bacon, roasted garlic, caramelized onion... the list could go on and on!
The days are getting shorter, cooler, and our gardens are starting to slow down on the greens but now comes the bounty of Fall. We are fortunate that our very own Suzanne Mayerchak (District Manager of Walkabout Outfitter) uses Tina and Kirk Miller's (owners of both Walkabout and Ladles and Linens) home grown pumpkins to make her special pumpkin bread each year as gifts to friends and family.
This year, I sat down with her to get the scoop on how she preps the fresh pumpkin because so many people think it’s too hard and they just open up a can. As you will see this is easy and it's so much better for you. Tina and Kirk had a bumper crop of pumpkins this year so the prep started early for Suz. We thought you’d like to know how she does it so we asked her to document her process for us.
First, she cleans each pumpkin, slices down the center and cleans out the seeds and pulp making sure to save the seeds for roasting later.
Then she takes a USA Pan brand baking sheet, (because they are the best! Click HERE to purchase) and places the two sides of the pumpkin face down on the sheet. She bakes them slowly at 350 degrees for about an hour up to an hour and a half until soft to touch. When they are done she scoops out the cooked pumpkin and places it in her food processor.
Next she puree’s the cooked pumpkin into a nice smooth consistency and then divides the pumpkin into pre-measured amounts and puts it into zip lock bags and then into the freezer. Now when she is ready to make her famous bread she just thaws out her fresh pumpkin puree and adds it to her secret bread recipe!
Stay tuned for the secret recipe! :)
- Wash arugula and spin dry with our favorite salad spinner (see below) and place into a large salad bowl.
- Mix dressing by whisking all vinaigrette ingredients together.
- Wash asparagus, snap off woody stems and carefully peel into ribbons.
- Using our favorite vegetable peeler, (see below) create ribbons by peeling from the bottom of the stalk and moving upward toward the tip.
- Toast pine nuts in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir and toast until golden brown.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmigiano Reggiano into thin ribbons.
- Add all ingredients to salad bowl, toss with vinaigrette and marinate for 10-15 minutes before serving.