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Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot Sauce Planet for Hot Sauce Lovers!



Hot Sauce Planet has just re-launced a great new website for all you hot sauce lovers! As you know I love to bring my readers new and exciting things. Here is one that I think almost everyone will enjoy checking out.

Their new web site offers over 700 different type of hot sauces everything from sweet and savory to very spicy.

Hot Sauce Planet also carries every brand of hot pepper sauce as well as rubs and mixes.

I love hot pepper sauce in my spaghetti sauce, nachos, taco's and bloody mary's. Check it out they will definitely have something for you!

Happy hot sauce shopping ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lucky Leaf's Patriotic Delight With Pound Cake Recipe For The Fourth Of July!


Luck Leaf's Patriotic Delight is a great EASY recipe to take to any Fourth of July BBQ or party! Here I added some pound cake because I LOVE pound cake. If your going to have cake why not have the best...... pound cake.

You can either make your own or now you can find it at the local grocery store already baked for you.

You will need a large clear glass trifle or mixing bowl, to make it pretty!

Ingredients:
  • 1 prepared Pound Cake
  • 1 (3 0z.) prepared packet of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8 oz.) tub of good whipped topping
  • 1 (21 oz.) Lucky Leaf Apple Pie filling
  • 1 (21 oz.) Lucky Leaf Blueberry Pie filling
  • 1 (21 oz.) Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie Filling - or - Strawberry ;)

Cut your pound cake into squares.

Prepare the pudding per package instructions.

In a large mixing bowl combine the whip cream, pudding and pound cake.

Layer into the "pretty" clear glass bowl a layer of 1/3 of the cake mixture, then a layer of the Apple pie filling, then 1/3 cake mixture, then the Cherry pie filling, then 1/3 Cake mixture, then the Blueberry pie filling and so on.... you will have individual layers of heaven!

Refrigerate to set.

Top with additional whip cream and garnish with some fresh mint sprigs!

For more wonderful Lucky Leaf Pie Filling recipes and products click here:


Enjoy!



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mother Nature's Sugar "Honey" Stalked By Impostors?

I read today in the Detroit News that the old fashioned honey bear is losing a long battle! My guess is that if I didn't know it either do you.

There are Honey-flavored syrups now on the store shelves and you the consumer may not even be able to tell that what you are buying is not the real thing!

The honey fakes are packaged just like the real 100% honey and unless you "read" the label you may be purchasing it with out knowing.

It will say 100% pure honey. Period.

The best way to buy pure quality honey is to get it from your local bee keeper. You need to buy it from a local keeper not one from across the country. The bee's honey is produced from the flowers right in your back yard and there for better for you and have been known to help fend off allergies.

Honey has 17 grams of carbs, and 64 calories per tablespoon. Loaded with flavonoids and phenolic acids which act as antioxidants that get rid of free radicals (as stated in the article and from several other sources). Honey is also has healing properties and has remedies to relieve sore throat, flu, sinus pressure, congestion and allergies.

I buy all my "home grown honey" from a gal out in Davisburg, MI where I grew up. Her name is Blanche Barber. Her Husband a former Bee Keeper and volunteer fireman David E. Barber has now passed away but her family still collects and bottles the honey.

You can get Jars, bears, honey sticks for hot tea or for the kids, honey comb, wax, candles and more.

The next time I'm out I will take some photo's and post. It's great to have grown up with such a wonderful piece of Mother Nature. Too bad it took me until I grew up to appreciate it ;)

If you are interested in purchasing honey from Mrs. Barber please call to order: 248-634-7017.

While your out be sure to stop and visit the Davisburg candle factory... been around for over a hundred years and is still making candles!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cooking with herbs: Bouquet Garni





French Bouquet Garni..... what is it? Basically a bundle of culinary herbs used during cooking to flavor the dish and removed prior to serving.

The Bouquet is usually made from dried bay leaves, parsley and thyme leaves.

For the dried Bouquet use 1 tablespoon each of bay leaves, parsley and thyme leaves.

For the fresh Bouquet use 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs parsley and one sprig of thyme.

You can use fresh or dried herbs either bundle the fresh together with some string or cheesecloth or the dried in the cheesecloth or a metal tea ball.

The Bouquet Garni can be used to flavor stews, soups, broths, chicken stock, beef stock, fish stock the list goes on.

If you are cooking with fish you can add a sprig of dill, lemon, pepper and some celery. With chicken you could add some sage leaves... do you see where I'm going with this?

The Bouquet is removed prior to serving to prevent stems in the dish or to produce a clean clear beautifully flavored broth or soup.

Be creative and enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day Filet Mignon In Minutes


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Click Karen B's link below to make this easy Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon in minutes, something your Husband or Father will love for Fathers Day:



Happy Fathers Day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Share Your Favorite Recipes

You can now share your favorite recipes here on Karen B's. It's simple just click the link box on the top right corner of the page and enter your URL. Simple.

Happy Cooking :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Loin Back Ribs


Slow cooked BBQ Ribs are one of the best tasting dishes you can make if you take the time to do it.

These ribs fall off the bone! You don't even have to get your fingers messy just the way my Husband likes it! We had the four of us and two additional for dinner. I put some take home containers out for them to take the leftovers home.... that never happened, we ate them all ;)

My recipe is simple but it takes most of the day to cook, well worth the wait!

You will need the following for what I made here for 4 adults and 2 children with NO leftovers:

Ingredients:
  • 5 lbs trimmed Pork Loin Back Ribs (here there are two racks)
  • One large orange
  • 6 Heads of garlic
  • 1 Large handful of fresh herbs (Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Chives, Rosemary)
  • One Large Onion or Leek
  • BBQ Sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Soaked apple wood chips for smoking
Preheat oven to 325.

In a large roaster or as I have here a full sheet deep hotel pan, zest and cut into wedges one large orange. Squeeze juice and toss all into pan.


Grate and or chop the cloves of garlic, chop onion (I used a leek) toss into pan along with the bunch of fresh herbs, I stripped some of the Rosemary and Oregano then chopped to get the flavors going.

Season heavily with salt and pepper.

Pour on about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce.

Rinse and pat dry your 5 lbs of Pork Loin Back Ribs.

Place ribs into pan and add enough water to just cover the meat.

Stir all the ingredients to combine, flipping the meat a couple of times to coat well.

Place ribs bone side up as shown here:


Place ribs into preheated oven and reduce heat to 240. I roasted the ribs uncovered for about six hours checking about three times during cooking to spoon liquid over ribs and stirring the herb liquid mixture.

The ribs are ready when you can pierce with a fork and the fork slides in easily. If the meat is still real firm cook a bit longer. You want it out before it starts to fall off the bone.

Remove and set aside until you are ready to eat.

When you are ready to eat or close to heat the grill and apple wood chips if your smoking. After the chips start to smoke reduce heat.

Place the ribs on prepared foil (non stick cooking spray and poke holes in foil with knife to let the smoke through) and place on top rack of grill. If your smoking let the ribs soak in some of the smoke for a few minutes. Coat with your favorite BBQ Sauce on both sides, shut grill lid and let the sauce heat up. Do this step two to three times until you get the coating you like.

TIP: preheat your sauce in a sauce pan prior to glazing the ribs for better results.

Ribs are done when they are heated through and the sauce is thick and yummy!

Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kitchen Nightmares from my DVR

This is a guest post by Neil Mccreight:

Chef Gordon Ramsay is one of my favorite people on TV, mostly because he tells people exactly what they need to hear. I record Kitchen Nightmares with my DVR, so I can watch it on the weekends. I love having the ability to watch the program when ever I want, by recording it, because I can't always watch it when it comes on directv Seattle.

Kitchen Nightmares is about restaurants and restaurant owners that need help to survive. Many of the restaurants have kitchens that are chaotic, have bad food and menu problems. It is Chef Ramsay's job to turn the owners, chef and restaurant around so that it is making a profit.

The restaurant will usually get some kind of a make over during the show. Sometimes it is just new equipment, while others it is a whole new look. This is usually when the show gets emotional for the owners and employees. I like seeing what the makeover team can do in just one day's time.

Now that there are so many seasons Gordon Ramsay is doing shows where he revisits the restaurants he previously helped. These shows are great because the audience is able to see the improvements to the business that the owners made on their own.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How To Make Your Own Center Piece's For Parties!

Make these easy center pieces yourself instead of going out and spending a ton of money on some from a flower shop or store. It's easy and fun ;)

Supplies:

  • A bunch/bush of flowers from the art and craft store, get a bunch with the most flower heads. Here I used a daisy type bush.
  • A glue gun
  • Flower Pot
  • Floral Foam
  • Excelsior or moss
  • Silk Ivy
  • Wire cutters or snips


First you need a pot or container. Because I had to make so many for this party I found paper garden pots at 50 cents for 10 instead of a Terra cotta pot for .89 cents each.

I needed to spray the pots gold for the 50th Anniversary party we were doing. I use Design Master Floral Spray Paint from Michael's Arts and Crafts. Design Master covers almost anything and dries in seconds! You can also leave the pots natural if you like.

The next step is to cut some foam and glue with the hot glue gun into the bottom of the pot. Make sure the foam reaches almost to the top of the pot. You don't need to have the foam fill the pot exact as shown here.

After the foam is secure, place a dab of glue on the foam and cover with your faux greenery or moss. This hides the foam.

Take your Ivy and cut into four inch pieces leaving a section of wire to use as it's stem. Place a dab of glue on the stem and push into the foam. For this small pot I used three pieces of Ivy and space them out accordingly. You want to be even on all sides ;) Bend the ivy down and around to make it look more natural as if it's growing.

Next cut your flower from the bush. Cut about 4 1/2 inches down from the Flower, leaving the leaves attached.

Put a dab of glue on the stem and push the stem into the center of the foam. Pull down the flower leaves a little bit so it is half way between the flower and the moss.

Here you have the completed pot! If you need to make a larger version you will need more Ivy, and an odd number of flowers. Make sure to add ivy evenly all the way around the pot.

We place three flower pots per round banquet table with votive candles in between for our party.

These flower pots also make a great thank you gift as your guest are leaving!

Enjoy :)

How To Arrange A Quick And Easy Cheese Board Appetizer


I think one of the easiest Appetizer's or Hourdouve' for a get together or party is the old stand by..... The Cheese Board!

You can do this 1/2 hour before your guests arrive and it really only takes five minutes to do.

You will need three types of cheese to put together your cheese board. You will need a soft cheese, a mild cheese and a sharp cheese.

Here we have taken some green Kayle and arranged around the board (I used my granite here) Then add tons and tons of grapes, red and green or just one color.

If you have large wedges of cheese cut them in 1/2 like I have here. I purchased my wedges from Costco they have larger wedges for larger parties and offer a better price than your local gourmet shops.

For my cheese board today I choose a Cheddar, Manchego and Goat Cheese. The Manchego is one of my favorites.

I put the Goat Cheese log into the freezer to firm up a few minutes and then cut the log into about two inch pieces. Then I rolled them into chopped chives and a couple in dried Italian herbs. You can also use chopped nuts, dried fruit anything be creative ;)

You might also want to add some sliced apples, pears and strawberries. Be sure to soak the slices in some lemon water to prevent the apples from turning brown.

Your cheese should sit out about 1/2 hour to reach room temp for the best flavor.

To get your board going because it looks so great, take your cheese knifes and start a couple of the wedges by slicing off a couple chunks and leave where they fall. This helps your guests get over the fear of making that first slice.

As you can see it will not take long for them to dig in! Cheese is always a big hit so skip the little one inch squares with tooth picks and create your own master piece. It will be beautiful and is a ton easier to do. You will definitely impress ;)

Enjoy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Leek What Is It And How To Clean And Store


Leeks


Allium Porrum: A mild onion-like taste, less bitter than a scallion. A member of the garlic family.

The edible portion is the white bulb area and the lighter green sections. The very dark green is usually discarded.

I love to keep Leeks on hand all the time. I use them in cooking, on salads and sandwiches. They keep a lot longer than scallions.

Leeks tend to get very very sandy. The sand collects deep inside and is hard to just rinse off.

To clean I cut them in half length wise. Cut off the very dark greens, leaving them long enough to fit into a large zip lock bag.

Take the half's and rinse under cold running water in the sink. Separating the leaves as you rinse gently to remove the unwanted sand.

I prefer this method so it keeps longer.

You can also just chop up the leek and toss into a bowl of cold water, swish around and then drain in a strainer. The sand will fall to the bottom of the bowl.

Place into plastic bag and put in the fridge. The leek is cleaned and ready to use when ever you need it.

Enjoy ;)

My Review On The New Domino's Pizza's

On the hunt for a change in our regular "Pizza Night" we decided to try the New Domino's Pizza. They have change the ingredients, created a new sauce, new cheese and from what it looks like bigger and better toppings.

The kids had the ham, black olives and cheese. I had the same with mushrooms on one side (I added the hot pepper flakes).

The results: Fabulous!!! Big thumbs up from us!

The crust is amazing, the sauce is perfect! The kids did not make one complaint regarding the sauce being too spicy or too saucy. They did not skimp on the toppings either as you can see.

So I have to say bye bye to the little Caesar's hot and ready.... if you don't call ahead to Domino's it only takes (8) minutes if you order when you walk in (if they are not slammed). I don't think that's a bad thing.

Oh yes and big pile of coupons next to the register!

I give them a thumbs up!

Happy Eating ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Visit To Frankenmuth


Thanks to my buddy Stephen Elliott for the guest post

I had been feeling a bit bored and irresolute; there was nothing, short of watering the grass, to do around the house. Because of this, I started to brainstorm on where to go that would not be too far away, and chose Frankenmuth. After setting my adt home security, I set out on my adventure. But why Frankenmuth? I'm about to tell you, so listen up.

Frankenmuth is great for people who are interested in the cultures of other countries. Once you arrive in your car you feel as if you have almost stepped into another world: almost. There are still many modern items, and you know that you are still in Michigan and America, but it still has that impact.

The first thing I did was head over to Zehnder's for something to fill the stomach. They have a lot of tasty treats to choose from, but what I love the most is their mashed potatoes. Don't ask me why; I'm guess I'm just a huge potatoes fan. I always try to hog that side dish all to myself, though it doesn't work too well. The restaurant is big, and there is always something interesting for the eyes to look at, so you never feel want for something to stimulate you.

After that, it was time to go shopping. There is always an item or place, no matter how small, that can appeal to everyone. A friend of mine, who tagged along, especially liked the old fashioned arcade. It made you feel like you were your great grandparents, almost. It was quite a pleasing time.


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