Smoked Salmon Pâté. Rocking Into Monday With Duke Evers.

Smoked Salmon Pâté
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Especially this particular Monday morning.

I went to bed on the early side last night only to be woken up (as per usual) by the husband’s snoring. Off to the couch where the cat (as per usual) thinks it is playtime. Finally got to sleep, exhausted, but made the mistake of looking at the clock to see how much longer I had to sleep.

It was 1 minute before the alarm was set to go off. Ugh! I hate that.

So, I head out for my usual morning run, which this time of year is in complete darkness. No problem since I have my nifty headlamp.

Except there was a problem: Thick fog.

Every freakin’ thing outside looked like it was custom made for a horror movie. Spooky shadows, leaves falling that did not look like leaves, white cloaked God knows whats, and a poor, fuzzy line of vision from all that fog so sometimes I couldn’t see at all. Even the music on my current running playlist seemed Freddy approved.

Let’s just say my pounding heart got a workout of its own that had nothing to do with the running.

All of which has absolutely nothing at all to do with Smoked Salmon Pâté.

This elegant and super quick creamy starter is rich with salmon flavor. The lemon juice adds brightness while the parsley gives it a fresh-tasting edge. Peppery slices of radish are the perfect accompaniment.

Smoked Salmon Pâté
Smoked Salmon Pâté

Ingredients:

1 Tbs horseradish
300g smoked salmon
200g light cream cheese
Bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 lemons
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small bunch of radishes, sliced
Loaf of crusty bread

Directions:

1. Put horseradish into food processor with salmon, cream cheese, parsley and pinch of black pepper. Finely grate in the zest of a lemon and squeeze in the juice of 1 ½ lemons. Process for 1 to 2 minutes until very smooth.

2. Spoon salmon pâté into a serving bowl. Drizzle with some oil. Serve with bread, radishes and the remaining lemon half for squeezing over.

Serves 6

Recipe adapted from Meals In Minutes by Jamie Oliver
Smoked Salmon Pâté

A rough start to Monday morning begs for some restorative music.

‘Lions’ by Seattle-based duo Duke Evers has the energy and quick beat that perfectly fits the bill. Plus, how could one go wrong with a band billed as “f*cking phenomz”?

Check out Duke Evers on Facebook. You can buy their new EP, just out last week, here.

Cheers!

Posted in Seafood, Starters | Tagged | Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Pie. New Music From Girl Friend.

Peanut Butter Pie
HumblePie

If peanut butter is not your thing, then you might want to just walk on by today’s recipe.

But if you DO love peanut butter, I’ve got a pie for you. The PB flavor is strong, but the texture of this pie is light and fluffy from whipped cream folded into the peanut butter-cream cheese base. Honey-roasted peanuts add a sweet crunch and a topping of whipped cream is the crowning touch.

Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

9 whole graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (about 1 1/4 cups of crumbs)
1 Tbs light brown sugar
5 Tbs melted butter
1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts, chopped (or use the candied peanuts here)
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, divided
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream, plus whipped cream, for garnish, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Grease a 9-inch pie plate.

2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well blended. Press the mixture into the sides and bottom of prepared plate. Bake for 12 minutes, until beginning to brown. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

3. Spread 1/3 cup peanuts over cooled crust.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter and 3 tablespoons cream until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

5. In a separate bowl, whip 3/4 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon filling into crust in an even layer.

6. Whip the remaining cream with the 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract, until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream evenly over filling. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

7. Sprinkle pie with remaining peanuts and serve.

Serves 8

Recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine
Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut Butter Pie

‘Stop’ is tagged as “dark pop”. For me it’s a bright spot in my day. I love the loping beat and the singer’s falsetto-ish delivery.

Check out Girl Friend on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming UK tour dates. You can listen to their music on Soundcloud.

Cheers!

Posted in Pie | Tagged | 2 Comments

Morning Glory Granola. Starting My Day With The Scottish Enlightenment.

Morning Glory Granola

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Getting out of bed is way easier when you know you have something mighty fine to dig into for breakfast. Like this Morning Glory Granola. It’s crunchy, not too sweet and packed with nuts and dried fruit. It’s lovely with a bit of milk or as a topping for yogurt, but so good it can be eaten all by its lonesome.

Morning Glory Granola
Morning Glory Granola

Ingredients:

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup nuts (cashews, almonds and/or pecans)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cherries, dates and/or cranberries)
Optional add-ins: chocolate baking pieces, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300℉. Line a 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Microwave for about 1 minute until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla.

3. Add oatmeal and nuts to bowl and stir until well coated.

4. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown.

5. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Cool completely.

6. Stir in desired add-ins. Store granola in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Makes 7 1/2 cups

Recipe from Better Homes And Gardens Magazine
Morning Glory Granola
Morning Glory Granola

Little Sleep? No problem. We’ve got you covered between the granola and this awesome tune to wake up to. I LOVE The Scottish Enlightenment!

And this is my favorite song by them.

Check out The Scottish Enlightenment on the band’s Website, where you can link to buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Breakfast | Tagged | 5 Comments

Polenta Chili With Italian Sausage. New Music From Chirping.

Polenta Chili With Italian Sausage

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I love chili and make it frequently. I’ve tried all kinds of chili such as classic red, white chicken, in biscuit bowls, super loaded with beef, sausage and beans, out of the can in a yummy chili corn dog pie, easy with pork and beans, and pepperoni pizza, to name a few.

But, I have never tried anything like this recipe for Polenta Chili With Italian Sausage. It is a cross between a chili and a stew. There is sausage, bacon, beans, carrots and potatoes all cooked together in a cumin scented broth. Finally, sour cream and polenta thicken and add richness to the dish. The sun-dried tomato garnish is brilliant for the contrast in flavor and color that it brings.

Okay winter…we’re ready for you…at least in the kitchen!
Polenta Chili With Italian Sausage
Polenta Chili With Italian Sausage

Ingredients:

6 Italian sausage links
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1 medium onion, diced
3 cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
8 cups chicken broth or stock
1 Tbs cumin
1 cup sour cream
1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded mozzarella, chopped sun dried tomatoes

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, cook sausage until browned, slice, then set aside.

2. In a Dutch oven, sauté the onion, potatoes and carrots until tender. Add the chicken broth, cooked sausage, bacon, and cumin. Bring to a boil, decrease heat then simmer for about 1 hour.

3. Add 1 cup sour cream then gradually stir in the polenta. Cook, stirring often, until the polenta is tender and the mixture is thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Garnish with sour cream, cheese, and sun dried tomatoes.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe from Oh, Bite It!
Polenta Chili With Italian Sausage
Polenta Chili With Italian Sausage
Sweden knows its indie pop. Chirping continues its country’s knack for creating catchy, toe tappingly good music. ‘Ambitions’ is the band’s fun new single set for release next month.

Check out Chirping on the band’s Website, where you can learn of an upcoming gig in Stockholm. You can buy their music here.

Cheers!

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Meatball Sandwich With Red Cabbage Slaw, Cheese, And Pancetta. Cool New Music From Jonnie Common.

Meatball Sandwich With Red Cabbage Slaw, Cheese, And Pancetta
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If you think of meatball sandwiches as a tomato sauce laden and mozzarella cheese affair, today’s recipe for Meatball Sandwich With Red Cabbage Slaw, Cheese, And Pancetta couldn’t be more different. Mustard and basil flavored meatballs are tucked into toasted ciabatta along with crispy pancetta, nutty Jarslberg and a crisp, minty red cabbage slaw. Not only is the sandwich a delight in its flavors and texture contrasts, but the bright purple slaw makes it visually striking as well.

Meatball Sandwich With Red Cabbage Slaw, Cheese, And Pancetta

Meatball Sandwich With Red Cabbage Slaw, Cheese, And Pancetta

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard, divided
½ lemon
Olive oil
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
8 slices smoked pancetta
2 ciabatta loaves (or just one if the loaves are very large)
4 slices Jarlsberg cheese
Cabbage Slaw (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F.

2. In a large bowl combine the beef, 1 tablespoon mustard, zest of ½ lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, egg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Form into 8 meatballs.

3. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook for about 12 minutes, until browned all over.

4. Lay pancetta slices around the meatballs and put skillet into the oven. Place the ciabatta loaves on another shelf in the oven to heat through, about 5 minutes.

5. Remove meatballs and ciabatta from the oven. Slice ciabatta and drizzle with olive oil. Spread 1 tablespoon of mustard over each loaf of bread. Place 2 slices of cheese on each loaf, top with some cabbage slaw, then top with meatballs and the crispy pancetta.

Serves 4

Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients:

½ small red cabbage head
1 red onion
1/4 cup mint
1 red chili
2 lemons, juiced
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Slice the cabbage in a food processor fitted with the slicer disk. Slice the red onion also using the food processor disk.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, red onion, mint, and chili. Toss with olive oil, the lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Recipes from Meals In Minutes by Jamie Oliver
Meatball Sandwich With Red Cabbage Slaw, Cheese, And Pancetta
Disjointed, bizarre, unsettling, alt-rap. These are elements that make “Shark”, the new song from Jonnie Common, so good but not unexpected. Then there’s that sick electro riff that sounds a bit like ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’ theme. Brilliant.

“It’s a secret”

Check out Jonnie Common on Facebook, where you can sign up to be on his mailing list for all the latest news. You can buy his music over at Song, By Toad Records. The new album, ‘Trapped In Amber’, is due out on Halloween. Boo!

Cheers!

Posted in Beef, Sandwiches | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short And Sweet. Coconut Brownies.

Coconut Brownies
coconut-dreams

These ultra moist, rich and decadent brownies are also some of the easiest ever to make. Brownie mix gets doctored up with some canned coconut-pecan frosting and sour cream. The baked brownies are then crowned with a coating of chocolate chips which harden and give a delectable crispness to the tops.

The brownies are homey and yummy as is, or you can elevate them by plating with a bit of caramel then topping with some whipped cream and a raspberry. If you want to make homemade caramel sauce, the salted caramel version here is particularly good and simple to do.

Coconut Brownies
Coconut Brownies

Ingredients:

1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup canned coconut-pecan frosting
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, sour cream, frosting, eggs and water just until moistened.

3. Pour batter into a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake 30-35 minutes or until center is set (do not overbake). Sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand 5 minutes. Spread chips over brownies.

Makes 2 dozen squares

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine
Coconut Brownies
Coconut Brownies

Here’s a short song.

And a sweet song.

Check out Lame Drives on the band’s Website, where you can learn of an upcoming gig in Brooklyn and buy their music.

Learn more about Love In Stockholm on the band’s Website, where you can learn of an upcoming show in NYC and buy their music.

Cheers!

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Champagne Lillet Cocktail. Listening To Levee Drivers.

Champagne Lillet Cocktail
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My daughter got her driver’s license this morning!

Woo Hoo!

Time to celebrate this huge milestone.

An elegant cocktail of Champagne mixed with the crisp and slightly fruity Lillet Blanc sounds perfect for a toast.

Let the worrying begin.

Champagne Lillet Cocktail

Champagne Lillet Cocktail

Ingredients:

4 oz dry Champagne
2 oz Lillet Blanc
Orange slice

Directions:

1. Make sure both beverages are chilled, mix together and serve garnished with an orange slice.

Serves 1
Champagne Lillet Cocktail

I think some Levee Drivers will go quite nicely with my drink. It would be a good song to crank up while driving, too.

Check out Levee Drivers on the band’s Website. You can learn of upcoming gigs in Pennsylvania and buy their music on Bandcamp.

Cheers!

Posted in Beverages | Tagged | 2 Comments