Summer Cooking Class Series!!

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Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!! 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog.  Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores 🙂

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

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Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

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Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

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Crowd pic

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Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

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Grilled pound cake and pineapple

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Grilled German Potato Salad

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Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

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crowd pics

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Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

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Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

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Mango & pineapple salsa

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Crowd Pics

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Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

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Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone 😛 

Chef Amy

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Crispy Red Pepper Jelly Chicken Tenders!!

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Braswell’s Red Pepper Jelly…Yum!!!

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I got a couple of samples of this jelly from the office and well my mind starting thinking of something to do with it.
Of course what most people do with it is pour it over cream cheese, which is good…but

When I got home I was like I want crispy chicken tenders, I thought why not use the jelly 🙂

So I added the Jelly to my eggs mixture and it worked out awesome, this Red Pepper Jelly is great you can use it on some many things, here are just few that I thought of:

Brush on Grilled Corn
Mix into your Corn Bread or Muffin Mix
Brush on Grilled Chicken or Pork
Brush over grilled peach halves or pineapple rings, serve with slices of grill pound cake
I could go on and on 🙂

Diffidently worth a try for sure!!

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whisk jelly and egg together

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Seasoned flour

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chicken tenders

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dredge the tenders in flour

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coat in egg mixture

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dredge in panko

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place on baking sheet and spray with olive oil

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Bake at 400 degrees

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microwave jelly to drizzle

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Drizzle over top the tenders and enjoy!!

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Chicken Tenders

seasoned flour
egg
Panko breadcrumbs

I keep seasoned flour in my freezer so I have it whenever I need to coat something.
Mix together egg and a couple tablespoons of the jelly and whisk together
Place panko in shallow dish or on a plate

Dredge chicken in flour to coat, then coat with egg mixture and then dredge in panko and place on baking sheet, spray chicken with an olive oil spray and bake at 400 degrees until chicken is done about 20 minutes.

Take a couple of tablespoons of the jelly and heat in microwave for 15 seconds and drizzle over the chicken.

I really enjoyed the sweet heat to the chicken tenders will make this again so sure, so hit up your local Remke Markets or your local grocery for Braswell’s Red Pepper Jelly!!

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What to do with leftover…Easter Peeps!!!

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EASTER!!!IMG_20130331_104825

PEEPS!!!!!!IMG_20130326_151040

Okay this post today is just a fun and silly…so please bare with me 🙂

They have peeps now for every holiday, hearts, pumpkins, snowmen, Christmas trees, reindeer’s, I’m sure I’m missing others…LOL

But I only remember peeps in my Easter Basket, that was my most favorite item in my basket when I was little, I still like peeps now…I just like them on the stale side…ha ha ha…I know I’m going to have haters and lovers of this, but I like the chewiness of that sugary covered bunny!!  Yes I said Bunny I do prefer the Bunny over the Chick, I like that the Bunny is thinner, this way I get more chewiness…okay this is way too much information, I’m sorry LOL!! 🙂

Anyway the the idea for this post came from my friend Joe, I had asked my friends to give me some ideas for my blog, recipes they would like to see.  And Joe said ‘Cooking with Peeps”  I thought awesome idea!!

So I’ve come up with 4 recipes ideas buy adding peeps to it or in place of where you may have used marshmallows, and of course there are many more, but these are fun and easy!!
*** Note – you can click on the pictures to make the image bigger

1. Easter Fudge, 2. Sweet Potatoes, 3. Fudge Brownies, 4. Heavenly Hash/Ambrosia Salad

 

1.  Easter Fudge    

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So this recipe is one that use at Christmas time to make for family and friends, its very close to the foolproof Eagle Brand fudge recipe.  For Christmas I added marshmallows and walnuts, and call it my Rocky Road Fudge.  

For Easter Fudge, I will add Bunny peeps and Reese’s Mini peanut butter eggs too….this one will be good!!!

Ingredients

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Chop peeps in half then in to 4’s

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in a large pot add chips, vanilla and sweet condensed milk – once melted, off the heat fold in peeps

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line dish with plastic wrap                   add half of mixture, spread out

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add peanut butter eggs

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then add rest of fudge mixture,         spread over eggs, chill over night

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then slice fudge into slices   –  then pieces

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Recipe

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag 18 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
2 tsp. vanilla
peeps 3 bunnies of each color 12 total
1 bag Reese’s mini peanut butter eggs (used 15)

Cut peeps in half then into 4’s, set aside.
In a large pot add, milk, chips and vanilla, over med high heat, stirring constantly until almost melted, remove from heat and keep stirring until all the chips have melted.
Fold in chopped peeps, pour half into line dish, then top with mini peanut butter eggs, then top with the remaining fudge mixture, spreading to cover eggs.
Fold plastic wrap over top and refrigerate over night.
Let side out for an hour before slicing fudge then cutting into pieces.
This can be store in an airtight container in a cool place or refrigerator for up to two weeks…that’s if it lasts that long.

This was a HUGE hit with my family, it really didn’t hit the table before they were eating it.

2. Sweet Potatoes topped with peeps 

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Who hasn’t had sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows, this one was a no brainier, add a little sprinkling of brown sugar, some pecans and top with a rainbow of bunny peeps.  How fun!!!

Ingredients – Simple

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toast pecans                           give a rough chop

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Drain potatoes     –                           then with a potato masher, mash potatoes

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add pecans and brown sugar, mix to combine

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pour into a baking dish and bake 20 mins

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then top with peeps and bake another 20 mins

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done

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serve it up    IMG_20130331_135141    IMG_20130331_135302

Recipe

2 large cans sweet potatoes, drained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 good cup of pecans
1/2 tsp salt

peeps

In a large bowl add potatoes, mash, add brown sugar, pecans and salt, mix to combine.  Pour into baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then add peeps to the top and bake another 20 minutes.

Serve it up!!  This was good, the peeps give a little bit of a vanilla flavoring to the potatoes which adds nicely, and I like the sugary shell of the peep…Two Thumbs Up!!!

3. Fudge Brownies   

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Okay I know its close to the fudge, but indulge me on this one…I’ll made these with some coffee and made them Mocha Fudge Brownies…yes you know I love coffee and this will be quick with a brownie mix…oh and if you love coffee and chocolate go back and check out my Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies…these were heavenly!!!

Ingredients – just used a box mix

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added the coffee & whisk                                           then  add oil & eggs

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mix, then put in baking dish and bake

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about 3/4 of the way done, top with your peeps and bake the rest of the way

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let cool

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slice and serve   IMG_20130331_100904

IMG_20130331_100843 I trimmed the edges to square them off

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Recipe

Box brownie mix, following directions on the box
1 instant coffee stick (next time I would use 2)
peeps
Pour mix into baking dish, bake as directed, but when about 3/4 of the way done, add peeps, just push done a little to nestle the peeps in the mix.

Bake the rest of the way, let cool then slice and serve.
These were a BIG hit for sure…Gooey and Sinful but Heavenly!!

Oh and speaking of Heavenly!!

4. Heavenly Hash or some call it Ambrosia Salad

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I can’t believe I thought of this last, I love “Heavenly Hash” which is what we called it, my Grandmas (my Dad’s Mom) would make this for every holiday.
Growing up it really wasn’t a holiday dinner without it, whether it was Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, there is was on the table in a big bowl, this white fluffy goodness with fruit, marshmallows and cherries!!!
Oh the memories for sure!!!
My Grandma has pasted since then, but boy I sure do miss those times that we would go to her house, me and my cousins would love to play all the way up on the 3rd floor.
Of course they were older and would tease us young ones about house being haunted (which is was not)…but it was always great times and wonderful memories that I will never forget!!!

Ingredients

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Drain pineapple & oranges                                          cut grapes in half

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drain cherries                                                           cut cherries in half

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Cut peeps                                                 set aside

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in a large bowl add whipped topping & 2 tbsp. instant vanilla pudding, combine well

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add oranges, pineapple and peeps to whipped topping, fold to combine

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fold in grapes                                                     then fold in cherries

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pour into a serving dish

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Now add a little fun touch, take coconut & green food coloring 

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mix to make green and now you have green grass

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add a few extra bunnies sitting on grass

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Recipe

2 8 oz. whipped topping
1 8 oz. can Mandarin oranges, drained
1 can (12 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 16 oz.  jar maraschino cherries, drained, halved
2 cups halved red grapes
2 tbsp. instant vanilla pudding powder
6 bunny peeps of each color, total 24 peeps, plus 3 extra for decor
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
green food coloring gel

Drain all the fruit and set a side, cut cherries in half.
Cut peeps in half then cut again into 4’s, set aside

In a large mixing bowl add whipped topping and vanilla pudding powder and mix to combine

Fold into whipped topping the pineapple, oranges and peeps, then fold in grapes, then cherries making sure everything is well mixed.
Pour into serving dish, and smooth out.
 

For Decorations –  add coconut to bowl or ziploc bag, squeeze a little food coloring gel onto coconut and mix with your fingers to color coconut. (if you use a bowl like I did, put a sandwich size baggie over your hand and mixed the coconut up, so your fingers don’t turn green)
Add your extra peeps on top of the hash add the grass around them….Chill and serve!!!

This also was a big hit,  I love how  you can see the colored peeps mixed in, but both my parents say my Dad’s sister (Mae) always made it the best…she would whip heavy cream instead of pre made whipped topping to make hers…now that’s the good stuff.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my fun whimsical post today, it was fun to do, so thank you to my friend Joe 🙂 for giving the idea in using Peeps!!!