Friday, January 28, 2011

Recipes- Cream Cheese Coodle

Fellow Hungry Housewife Tari made this for a brunch when we got together to watch a football playoff game.  She has made it before when we've had potlucks, and I think that it is SO DElicious!  It's creamy and the raisins just pop in your mouth.  Thanks for sharing!
Cream Cheese Coodle- Tari said "This recipe came with me from Pueblo, Co. from my Italian Friends...they use noodles in everything!"
1 8oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. parkay (butter)
4 eggs (beaten)
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp.salt
4 c. or 8oz. flat noodles cooked
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Combine softened cream cheese, parkay, eggs, milk, sugar, salt and raisins in glass baking dish. Pour in "cooked" noodles. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 375' for 35 min, or microwave on high for 8 min. turning after 4 and then on medium for 9 min. or until set. (I haven't tried the microwave method.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipes- Baked Brie Two Ways: Crescent Rolls for FOODball and Phyllo Dough for Brunch at my house

When we ate at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, I fell. in. love. with their Baked Brie!  During a recent Housewives Brunch, I attempted to make this using phyllo dough.  Hmmm....let's just say THANK YOU to my friend Jody haha.  It was yummy...just looked a little funky.  Then, while watching football playoffs, my friend Moira brought another version- this one made with crescent rolls.  Here are both recipes- both yummy though I MUST SAY that Moira's is prettier!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did (and remember to take a walk after to burn off some of those calories!).

Baked Brie (with Crescents) by Moira
You will need Brie, raspberry jam (any brand), candied nuts and crescent rolls.  Cut the Brie in half, spread the jam and cover with LOTS of the nuts.  Put other half of Brie on the top (like a Brie Oreo!).  Spread out the crescent roll dough and put Brie in the middle- bringing the edges up to cover the sides and top.  If you are creative, use the extra dough to make a pretty decorative top (can make by hand or use small cookie cutters).  Brush an egg wash over the top and seams.  Cook 350* for 18-20 minutes.  Was super good- I ate mine just like pie ;)
The POOR Housewives!  I don't always pre-try the things I foist on them so I did my experimental Brie during one of our brunches.  Along with the trial dish, I also served Carr Crackers with spread topped with shrimp, a veggie tray with Ranch dip, edemame (in the pods with rock salt), pickled garlic (SOSOSO good even right out of the jar!) and brownies for dessert made in an 8x8 pan so they were nice and thick!

Baked Brie with Phyllo Dough
Phyllo Dough (buy GOOD QUALITY!  I had boxes in my freezer from the batch that ruined my Baklava but I used it anyway since I didn't want to waste it.  It was good- just very flaky!)
Olive Oil
Apricot preserves
Supplies for candied nuts- almond slivers, brown sugar and butter
The night before, defrost your phyllo dough in the refrigerator (or as Alton Brown does it, microwave it briefly right before using).  The next day, cook diced onions in olive oil on low until it is carmelized.  As it is cooking, bring out your Brie (in this case, I used a large size from Costco so cut it into fourths and put what I didn't use back in the fridge).  For me, I sometimes like my Brie without the outer white casting so lightly scrap it off with a knife.  
PREPARE THE ALMONDS:  melt a small amount of butter, toss in about a cup or two of almonds and stir to coat.  Add some brown sugar (start with less then add to your preference) and coat.  Put into the toaster oven to toast.  Top with a generous layer of the apricot preserves, your onions, and A LOT of the candied almonds.  
Add WAY more toppings than shown here!
Following the directions with the phyllo dough, unroll and cover loosely with a dampened towel to prevent from drying out.  Using a large cooking sheet, lay out a single layer of dough and then brush with oil- repeat 5 times (my cookie sheet was large enough that I made TWO Baked Bries at the same time).  Place the Brie layer in the center of the dough (shown above) and then fold as tightly as you can- using olive oil as a "glue" to help it stick (THANK YOU JODY for help in that part).
Then bake in a 350* oven until phyllo dough is a nice golden brown and the cheese has a "give" (so it's melted inside).  Keep an eye on it!!!  Serve with crackers and grapes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Eatin' Out 'N' About at Zato's (again) ~ Bonney Lake, WA

Zato Grill & on FB
20609 SR 410E  Bonney Lake, WA

This is my third visit at Zato's since they opened.  The first time was for my 34th birthday Dec '09 where we ran into a few snags- 1/2 our drinks came...then the other 1/2 twenty minutes later, waitresses were super slow, and we had problems using our coupon but it seems that they have smoothed things out since then! (***scroll down for pics from that day). 

Our second visit (see link here) was for a late night dessert after the biggest DISASTER MEAL I've ever had at a dueling bar in Tacoma for our friend Dani's BDay in Oct 2010.  But this time (Jan 5, '11), instead of being out with the girls, I brought my hubby and we had a little mini date while out making holiday returns.

Recently I have fallen in love with a new wine from Sip City Wines but they didn't carry it here (OH, you should SO put in on your menu!) so I opted for just a water and then got California Rolls.  I should have asked if I could get them in a 1/2 order since hubby won't touch them but I finished off all but two on my own.  They were good but didn't hold together as well as they should- most fell apart in my chopsticks.

Hubby ordered an Immortal IPA to drink which he hadn't had before.  He said it tasted like his beloved Mac & Jacks but it had a different...smell(?) making it not quit up to par with M&J.  He then started with a cup of the Soup Of The Day...which I so wish that I had ordered, too!  It was a Chicken Pot Pie Soup which we decided was superb (and he's lucky he got what he did cause I kept sneakin' bites...I WAS hungry!).  I like how the "crust" was in pieces instead of covering the top and the veggies were super good!  I'm going to have to call and see when they are serving this again...
He also ordered the special for that night (they have something each day) which happened to be the Prime Rib Dinner for $15.99.  Personally, I can't stand Prime Rib (reminds me of flesh straight off the cow!) but it's something he orders often.  He says it was good but he's not sure if he'd order it again because he forgets how much "cooler" Prime Rib is, and he's now starting to lean towards a hotter temperature steak. For sides, it came with mashed potatoes and veggies (string beans are his favorite).  
For my main dish, I ordered the Fish Tacos.  So many of my friends rave about fish tacos so I had ordered them once at Hop Jacks's (link to HJ is not when I had the tacos though) but they were breaded so were not as healthy tasting to me.  At Zato's, it came breaded or grilled so I thought I would give the fish tacos another chance.
Very nice (definitly healthier "tasting" than breaded) but was suuuper messy!  It seemed fresh but needed a lot more salt.  The fries were really tasty by the way and even good the next day (I couldn't finish all my rolls or fries so took a box home).  
As for the service, I HAVE TO SAY that our server (Sami?) was SUPER nice and very attentive.  In fact, "somebody" (he didn't introduce himself so owner/manager?) came over to make sure we were enjoying our meal, too.  Our food arrived promptly and we didn't have to wait for our bill or the to-go-box. On FB, we see specials all of the time so now we can't wait to come in again- THANK YOU!

***OUR FIRST VISIT here for my birthday last year Dec 2009 (was before we started blogging)
Pretty Drinks!
...But those were gone before the rest of us got our drinks so missed our toast!
Sushi Sampler (top right is what I got recently- looks even better now)
Aren't these CUTE?
Potstickers I believe...
And ME.  I added because I WAS my birthday ;)
Probably seems gross adding this in with the food but
I HAD to add a photo of their cool black toilets!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Recipes- Crepes Jenettes for my Birthday Breakfast!

The day after Christmas, we were packing up to leave my parents' home in California for an 11 hour drive back to our house.  The FOLLOWING day is my birthday so my Mom Karen prepared me a special breakfast of sausage, bacon, crepes, French toast and juice.  YUM.

Crepes Jenettes

3 eggs beaten
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp orange rind (I didn't put this in..but should have)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
Mix together and cook crepes
I used my electric grill at 350 with a little olive oil. And ladled (using my small gravy ladle) two spoonfuls on and spread around with the back of the laddle, so it is thin.

Orange Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1/3 -1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1 cup powdered sugar
Cook on stove until hot and starts to thicken

When first batch of crepes are cooked, spoon small amount of sauce on crepe and roll add a little sauce on top, put in 9x6 pan and keep in warm oven until all are done before serving pour on more sauce and sprinkle with powdered sugar,serve warm. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recipes- Hands down...BEST Chile Verde Dip

A bunch of us got together to watch the Seahawks in the playoffs, and our friend Linda brought this YUM.MEE chip dip!  (It also tasted really good with the veggies).  Sorry the photo is not the best, but my hubby -who is the pickiest eater- said it's the best chile verde he's ever had! 
See our other Playoff foods here:  Linda's Organic and Sugar Free Cacao Coconut Balls and FOODball at the Baker's

Chile Verde Dip
Saute one large onion
3 cloves garlic
3 poblano peppers
5-8 tomatillos
add salt and pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Turn down heat and simmer until tender.  Transfer to a food processor and blend into a sauce.

Recipes- for Football Playoffs (or is that FOODball?): Wings, Skins and more

Though I'm not that much into Football (adore those pants, though), OF COURSE I'm going to root for our Seahawks when they are in the playoffs ...and it was a GREAT game!!  Our friends the Bakers were gracious enough to offer their home, provide some YUMmy food, and Dawn even took most of these pics!  Thank you- can't wait for Sunday's game!

Chicken Wings
Purchase frozen chicken wings from Costco, and Franks Hot Wing Sauce (recipe is also on back of bottle).  Some of these were made in the crockpot (Dawn says she doesn't recommend- makes it more soggy and not as flavorful).  You can also bake in the oven but they tasted AMAZING in the deep fryer!  They also cooked some just plain.  You can serve with Blue Cheese Dressing or Ranch.
Seth's Potato Skins
Lightly oil clean potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake until done.  Once cooled, slice lengthwise and scoop out the middle (can use insides for another day).
Add a dab of butter, crispy bacon (REAL BACON ONLY) that was cooked earlier, green onions and pepper-jack cheese.
Place in back over until warm and cheese is melted.  Dip in sour cream.  These were some of THE. BEST. skins I've had!
Our friend Moira and Seth both had the good idea to bring the pork with hot mustard.  That mustard was soooo hot- it was wonderful!  Moira's was from QFC (all nice and presliced) and Seth got his from Costco (you have to cut yourself).  Either way it's good!

We also had a veggie platter (I bought one from Costco but we didn't open it so saved it for a brunch a few days later).  Nothing beats FRESH vegetables, though- washed all nice and hand cut ;)
Chips and Dips are always yummy- they used Miss Grass Onion Soup mixed with sour cream (yum).  Also bought from Costco was their Spinach Dip to serve over crackers.  This is one of the best dips they have there!
And what's a Football Game without BEER?  Course Dawn shared the wine we purchased at Sip City Wines this past week (such a good friend!).  Dessert was Linda's Organic Cacoa Coconut Balls, Tari brought Carolyn's Won-Ton Chips, and Linda also made a Verde Chip Sauce (recipes to come soon...can't get EVERYthing in here!).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recipes- Organic and Sugar Free Cacao Coconut Balls. SO GOOD!

How is your New Year's Resolutions coming so far???  Here is an AWESOME dessert recipe that's organic AND sugar-free!  Our friend Linda brought these to share during the playoff game for the Seahawks last Saturday and they were a hit.  Thanks for sharing!
Cacao coconut balls
2 cups raw walnuts or pecans (blended into flour consistency in food processor)
Add 8-10 pitted natural unsweetened dates, blend
Add 1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon agave
1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
blend until gathers into a ball in food processor.
roll into 1" ball and roll in more coconut
Chill for 1 hour

All ingredients can be found at Fred Meyer's natural section/Marlene's Market/PCC Food Market.
You can find more recipes like this at  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Recipes- Pina Colada Salad

My Mom Karen made this to go along with our Christmas Dinner.  I kept calling it a dessert (it's NOT) but it's as good as one!  Great to have as any side dish!
Di's Pina Colada Salad

1 small box peach jello

1 cup Pina Colada Mix

1 Pina Colada yogurt

1 can Mandrin oranges - drained

1 can pineapple tidbits - drained

1 banana - sliced

Dissolve jello in 1 cup boiling water, add rest of ingrediants and refrigerate to set..overnight is good..use a pretty glass dish or pan


1 box vanilla instant pudding, make as directed

1 8 oz. Cool whip

Fold together and put on top of jello...garnish with extra fruit or nuts or just leave as-is, it's pretty.  If you are not serving it right away, poke toothpicks into the top (to keep plastic from touching the topping) and cover with saran wrap.  Before serving, remove picks, plastic wrap and top with nuts to garnish (0pt)
Dish is in waaaaaay back- sorry not a close up photo

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shopping- Sip City Wines ~ Enumclaw, WA

In early December, my friend Dawn and I were in Seattle for a theater show and had dinner at the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar.  While there (see our REVIEW), we tasted this DElicious wine: McKinley Springs 2008 Chenin Blanc Horse Heaven Hills
A couple weeks later, while out shopping for my Birthday, a group of us went to Purple and ordered it again....yep, still good- it wasn't our imagination!  I checked with our local wine store (Sip City Wines in Enumclaw, WA) and they special ordered a case.  The price is about $13 a bottle not including tax (it's $12 at the winery itself {not counting shipping} and it was $8.50 a glass or $36 a bottle at the restaurant so GREAT price!).  You can pop in to Sip City Wines to purchase or give them a call to order- see their website at 
BY THE WAY....I have a group of gals who just adore going to Sip City Wines for tastings (double check for days and times).  Though I go in there to shop, so far I have only attended one actual tasting which happened to be a French Wine Night.  I found a few bottles that I really liked so I purchased a Chateau Lestrille Rouge 2006 Bordeaux Superieur*, and a Chateau Calabre Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Montravel** which went to a very good home with our friend Val as a thank you gift (guess that means I'll have to get another bottle!). 

As I was there for the tasting, I also picked up another bottle of Northwest Totem Cellars 2008 Salish.  I had first tasted this during a Fashion Show Fundraiser that The Hungry Housewives put on to raise money for Relay For Life of Buckley for The American Cancer Society.  
Suburban Soul in Enumclaw hosted the event for us, and this was one of the wines they served in the beautiful drink area upstairs of their clothing and gift boutique. 

Serving beer and wine at Suburban Soul in Enumclaw
I look forward to many more tastings at Sip City Wines (will let you know what new treasures I find), and I'm excited to drink our wine while we watch the Seahawks in the Divisional Playoffs this Saturday!

*Chateau Lestrille Rouge 2006 Bordeaux Superieur- "94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The nose is powerful and beautifully complex.  The palate is filled with perfectly ripe fruit, round and cream with spice and dark fruit noes- charming"
**Chateau Calabre Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Montravel- "Try this with oysters, mussels and other shellfish.  Crabcakes and seafood dishes are gorgeous with this wine"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Recipes- French Style Croissants Made In The Country

One of my long-standing food memories is of my Mom Karen making croissants.  These are THE. BEST.
I can clearly see in my mind her making them so I was glad that this Christmas I got a chance to photograph her at least at the tail end so that the grandkids will have the memories (and recipe), too!
Quick Butter Croissants
Pulled from an old cookbook
"We have discovered a remarkably simple method of making croissants that closely resemble the traditional ones the French serve for breakfast.  You cut firm butter into flour (as you would when making baking powder biscuits), then blend this mixture with a yeast batter.  The resulting dough is marbled with pockets of butter that form flaky layers when the croissants are baked.  You can store the dough in the refrigerator up to 4 days, until you're ready to shape and bake the rolls."

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (about 110*)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup (1/2 lb) firm butter or margarine, at refrigerator temperature
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.  Add milk, salt, sugar, egg and 1 cup of the flour.  Beat to make a smooth batter, then blend in melted butter; set aside
In a large bowl, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the 1 cup firm butter into 4 cups of the remaining flour until butter particles are the size of peas.  Pour yeast batter over top and carefully turn mixture over with a spatula to blend just until all flour is moistened.  Cover with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
Turn dough out onto a floured board, press into a compact ball, and knead briefly on a lightly floured board to release air.  Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Shape 1 part at a time, leaving remaining dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, in refrigerator.  
On a floured board, roll 1 part of dough at a time into a circle, 17" diameter.  Using a sharp knife, cut circle into 8 equal wedges.
For each croissant, loosely roll wedges toward point.  Shape each roll into a crescent and place on an ungreased baking sheet with point down, 1 1/2" apart all around.  

Cover lightly and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free place.  (Do NOT speed rising of rolls by placing them in a warm spot.) 
When almost doubled (about 2 hours), brush with egg-water mixture.
Bake in a 325* oven for about 35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Serve warm, or let cool on racks.  Makes 32 croissants.
To reheat, arrange rolls (thawed, if frozen) in single layer on baking sheet; place, uncovered, in a 350* oven for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recipes- Baked Potato Soup and Waste-Not-Potato Skins

My mother Karen (like her mother AND grandmother before her) belongs to an S.O. (serving others) Circle at her church.  If they host a large luncheon or dinner, they will send duplicate recipes home to their members, and bring the smaller batches all made so that way they can feed a whole bunch of people the same meal.
This Baked Potato Soup from her S.O. Circle is what my mom served us for part of our Christmas Eve dinner (see the Trinidad Slaw recipe here).
Baked Potato Soup
Can be doubled
4 large baking potatoes or 8 small ones (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups milk
1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided (we used leeks...cause we had them)
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled.
Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400* for one hour or until tender.  This step can be done in advance or you can even you can even use leftover baked potatoes.  Allow to cool.  Slice in half and then scoop insides into bowl (there will be some potato still inside the skins).  Discard the skins (OR see our Potato skin recipe below) and break any large potato chunks into bite-sized or smaller pieces.
Place flour into a large pot and gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended.  Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly but do NOT bring to a full boil!!!!  Boiling will lead TO CURDLED SOUP, and hey, no one likes curdled soup!  (direct quote from recipe)

Add potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until cheese melts and remove from heat.  Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions.
Cook over low heat until soup is heated thoroughly.  Again, this is a reicpe where you have to be vigilant!! Don't let it boil and don't let it burn the bottom of the running off to check you email (once again, another actual quote LOL).
Serve warm- garnish with rest of cheese, rest of onions and top with bacon.

Using the skins leftover from making the soup, melt some butter and brush onto the potatoes in the skins.  Top with cheese, bacon (we used a reserve from the soup recipe above), and salt and pepper.
Broil for 2-4 depending on distance of shelf in oven.
Serve with sour cream (optional) or dip into your soup, or ranch dressing.
We wanted something nice & cozy and this was perfect after sitting around the bonfire singing Christmas carols!  Thanks Mom!