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Recipe: Garlic and Herb Cheese Bundles


This is recipe for Garlic and Herb Cheese Bundles is a quick and easy hors’dourve. I like simple things that I can throw together on a moment’s notice … and this fits the bill nicely. It’s great for unexpected guests. They will also make a great addition to a variety of snacks for a party.



They're made with Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough and miniature Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese logs.

You can use Pillsbury Creations pastry dough sheets too… I just always have crescent rolls on hand.. we like them with supper sometimes… so I used what I had.

This recipe has only two ingredients and you can make them in about twenty minutes… start to finish.

You can substitute other kinds of cheeses if you prefer.








Recipe: Garlic and Herb Cheese Bundles

All you need:

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 pkg, (5 oz.) Alouette Garlic and Herb Cheese Logs

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Open the can and unroll the crescent dough and place it on a cutting board.


Press the perforations together.

Using a sharp knife, cut along the seams to make 4 large squares.

Then cut each square in half.

Slice the cheese logs into ¼ inch thick slices.




Place 1 slice on each dough square.







Pull the corners up over the cheese and pinch the dough closed. You don't have to make them perfect, they smooth out when baking.



Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 9 minutes (or until golden brown.

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Recipe: Honey Panna Cotta


Panna Cotta …a wonderful Italian dessert… so creamy and sweet… perfect after just about any meal. I have been reminded for almost a year that I promised to make Panna Cotta… and well… other things just got in the way.. so this week I decided this was the week.

Let me explain… Warren has been to Scotland at least three times and to Spain once for work… and me? .. you might ask… nope… nada… I still have a virgin passport. Either I couldn’t afford it.. or I had a job to start… and you don’t take time off on short contracts… you don’t work.. you don’t get paid.. no paid vacations here.. and before you ask.. it does have other perks… so it’s a trade off… so bottom line … his trips are a sore point… especially when it comes to fabulous dinners and desserts…

Now back to Scotland.. Warren has had to travel there for work.. Edinburgh to be exact… and after one of his trips he came home raving about this dessert he had at an Italian restaurant there…. that’s all I heard about… so I knew I had to make it.

Deciding to make it was easy.. deciding how to make it was completely another story.

There are so many variations… using only cream, cream and whole milk… skim milk and half and half… sweeten it with confectioners sugar… or regular sugar or honey. It seems everyone has the “perfect” recipe… funny I’ve had many of them and they’re really about the same… About the only thing they all agreed on was the use of gelatin.

So I decided on Giada’s recipe… I read the reviews.. most were outstanding some were dismal… BUT… the complaints were mostly about too heavy a honey flavor. I figured we’d like it.. we really like honey. My southern man loves biscuits with honey.. and I grew up eating honey in teaspoonfuls when I had a sore throat… and warm honey and milk… brings back memories for me.

In any case, I felt the honey would be safe. I followed her directions exactly…. I know… don’t faint… I actually followed a recipe…well.. okay… I added about a ½ tablespoon more sugar after tasting it and deeming it not sweet enough…. there… I feel so much better after admitting that!... but that was it.. that’s all I changed… honest!

First of all… I do not feel the honey flavor was too heavy… in fact it was quite light. The only thing I can think of is that different kinds of honey may have a heavier taste. I used clover honey.


We both liked the dessert… we tried it with thawed strawberries in light syrup… it was good… but I feel it totally masked the flavor of the Panna Cotta… it over-powered it… if you want it with fresh fruit.. I suggest fresh sliced strawberries or mixed berries and not too many.



We also tried it with caramel syrup (the way it was served at the place he went to in Scotland)… and we tried it with a little raspberry syrup. In both cases… we agreed you can’t use too much of either or they too will over-power the flavor of the Panna Cotta. We liked them both… caramel won it by a nose… but raspberry was an excellent choice too.

So the verdict… I’m probably not going to use honey the next time… I will use vanilla… BUT… if I serve it after a special meal and garnish it with a fresh sliced strawberry or a few blueberries… I will definitely use honey… I liked the flavor it was pleasantly subtle and light. The texture was smooth and creamy but held shape.

The recipe was simple and easy.

TIPS

The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of honey… take the measure out but don’t use it… eyeball the amount using the measure as a guide.. scraping honey out of a measuring cup can be a pain… and I would suggest using slightly less… cook it a while then taste it… add more honey and/or sugar to your taste.

I put the range on the sugar because I did add more than the original recipe called for… use your judgment.

I used Knox gelatin… envelopes in the orange box. One envelope measured the required tablespoon.

Toppings are optional…

I hope you give this a try.







Recipe: Honey Panna Cotta

All you need:

1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup honey
1 – 1 ½ tablespoons sugar (see notes above)
Pinch of salt
Toppings of your choice

All you need to do:

Place milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Allow it to stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

Pour the milk into a large saucepan over medium heat… Stirring constantly until the gelatin dissolves. Do not allow it to boil. (about 5 minutes)

Add the remaining ingredients and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves. (about 5 minutes).

Remove from heat.

Pour into wine glasses, dessert glasses or custard cups. Use custard cups if you intend to invert them on a plate and drizzle syrup or sauce on them.

Cool slightly then refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Makes about 6 servings.

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Recipe: Orange Creamsicle Cake


There are some things from childhood that stick in my memory… one is the “Ice Cream Man”. I think every kid in every generation has memories of the “Ice Cream Man”. I remember hearing that jingle and running into the house to ask if I could have ice cream, wishing my Mother would move faster or I would miss him!

When my son was little we lived in an apartment… we were on the second floor but we had our own entrance… and when that jingle came around… there was my son running up the stairs as fast as his little legs could go… all the while… yelling.. “The Ice Cream Man… Mom hurry… or he’ll leave!!!”. I just smiled to myself, savoring the thought that my son was enjoying something I did when I was his age.

I grew-up in New York… a quiet, tree lined block of one-family houses in Queens. We had several different “Ice Cream Men”… there was the Good Humor Man, the Bungalow Bar Man… and then there was Mr. Softee, which sold soft serve ice cream.

As a kid… I loved the Bungalow Bar Man… he was all dressed in white and drove a cute truck with a little brown shingle roof on top…like a bungalow… I was fascinated with his coin gadget on his belt… ahh… back then ice cream cost coins not dollars… how times have changed. Unfortunately, they are no longer in business but every kid from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx my age probably still remembers the Bungalow Bar Man.

In fact, those trucks even made it into an episode of the Sopranos when Tony tells the story of when he tried to bid on a Bungalow Bar truck at an auction and lost to John Gotti, but John let him ride in the truck and ring the bells.

Each Ice Cream Man had a favorite kind of ice cream pop or cone… I rarely deviated from my favorites… I loved Toasted Almond… vanilla ice cream covered in tan colored almond flavored crumbles.. then there was Chocolate Eclair and Strawberry Shortcake… (both of these I have since found in the ice cream section of the grocery store)….

Then there was the Creamsicle… it was just so refreshing… I loved the creamy vanilla with the orange sherbet-like outer layer… just yummm… so when one of my Facebook friends posted the picture and the name of the cake.. I just had to have the recipe. I’m sure it's one that Jell-O came up with… but I got it from Heidi. The picture above is her’s too.

Thank you Heidi for sharing and bringing back a few childhood memories of the beloved “Ice Cream Man”.






Recipe: Orange Creamsicle Cake

All you need:

1 box white cake mix
Orange Extract
1 small box vanilla pudding mix
1 small box orange jello mix
1 cool whip (thawed)

All you need to do:

Mix white cake mix according to the directions on the box, using a 9x13 cake pan.

Bake and let cool for 15 minutes.

Using the other end of a wooden spoon or straw, poke holes all over the cake.

Mix orange jello with 1 cup hot water.

Spoon orange jello all over cake.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Mix vanilla pudding with 1 cup milk in large bowl.

Add cool whip and 1 tsp. orange extract to pudding.

Mix well with mixer.

Spread mixture over cake.

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Recipe: Fruit Pizza


Isn’t this Fruit Pizza fabulous looking? I know you will love it! The perfect recipe to make for the people at work… or a family gathering… just perfect! This recipe is courtesy of Marlo Linderman. The picture Marlo sent me is from here.

When I managed a phone unit a few years ago… we had food days… and one of the guys brought in a similar Fruit Pizza (he called it a Breakfast Pizza… leave it to a guy to advertise it for breakfast… just kidding guys... we did eat it for breakfast afterall). I meant to get the recipe and forgot… and regretted it.

Fast forward to this morning and lo and behold.. this scrumptious picture was on my Facebook feed … one of my Facebook friends had made this fabulous looking Fruit Pizza…. so being the enterprising person I am … I shot her a message asking if she would mind sharing the recipe and could I post it on my food blog… I was thrilled when she offered to share it! So this is all from Marlo… including the tips!

TIPS

The pie crust can be made from scratch however the store bought "Nestle" sugar cookie dough tastes the same…. and also saves a lot of time in the kitchen!!!!

Make sure the fruit is dry before adding.

Thanks Marlo for sharing!

Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share? Drop me a quick note at cookingtipoftheday at gmail.com and your name can be up in lights too!

Again .. thanks Marlo for today's fabulous recipe!







Recipe: Fruit Pizza

All you need:

Pie Crust
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 jar marshmallow cream (6 1/2 oz)

Topping
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice

All you need to do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and marshmallow cream with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust.

5. Arrange desired fruit on top of filling

NOTE: Make sure the fruit is dry before adding.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, pineapple and lemon juices. Stir and cook until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Pour over fruit. Refrigerate until serving.

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What is the Difference Between Stock and Broth?


There are some questions that come up repeatedly … and this is one of them… so just what is the difference between stock and broth?... the short answer is … not much. You really can use them interchangeably in recipes… and in fact… many chefs use the terms interchangeably too.

Meat Stocks and Broths

BUT… there is a slight difference… in a nutshell… for meat stocks and broths…the stock is made with bones and trimmings from meat… where broth is made from the some bones and mostly the actual meat itself. I have to chuckle at some celebrity chefs and some bloggers that emphasize the use of stock and not broth…. broth is actually the richer of the two and is a more finished product… and table ready.

However, stock will thicken a sauce better than broth without using butter or cream. Stock contains gelée… gelatin, if you will… from the bones that are boiled when making the stock. Stock will deglaze a pan differently than broth because of the gelée… it will combine more easily with the pan drippings and thicken the sauce as you reduce it… replacing the butter or cream needed to finish the sauce.

The best chickens to use to make broth are stewing hens. You can also use whole chickens or parts.

Vegetable Stocks and Broths

When it comes to vegetable stock… I wasn't quite sure of the difference … since no meat is used and therefore no bones….so I investigated further… and what I found is..

With vegetable stocks and broths… the difference will lie more in the finished product. If the finished product is really a soup.. then you’d probably call it a broth. If the finished product is more of an ingredient in the finished product, say a sauce or a base for another soup.. then it would be called a stock. Notice I say called a stock…. because ultimately it really doesn’t matter… you can use them interchangeably.

The bottom line here is you can use either… but in the case of meat stocks and broths… stocks are made from mostly bones and trimmings and sometimes some meat…. and broths are mostly made with meat and some bones… it’s the ratio that ultimately decides what to call it… but again… for the most part you can use them interchangeably.

I hope this clears up any confusion for you.

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