Archive for Cooking

Jun
21

Summer Squash and Carrot Spiralizer Salad

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It is definitely summer and very hot in Tucson.  Temperatures have been hovering around 110 or more. Not too bad inside and in the shade.  Early mornings are still pleasant enough for breakfast on the patio. Consequently, I am thinking, “Who wants to heat up the kitchen?”

How about a new cold salad created with my “new found” Spiralizer? I stashed it after the move and just put it back into action.  Since, I have been on a Spiralizer binge.  We have had several rounds of “zoodles”, zucchini noddles, with a very tasty marinara sauce.  Here is the link to that recipe. Even my pasta loving friends asked for a repeat performance. Another recipe I found,  Spicy Thai Chicken and Sweet Potato Noodles, was another big hit.

I have used the Spiralizer in the past to prep summer squash and onions for sautéing but this time I wanted to use the squash in a cold salad.  Here is the recipe I came up with. Summer Squash and Carrot Spiralizer Salad.

spiralizer_yellow_summer_squash-carrots_onion_noodles-

Dinner was great!  Squash salad with grilled breast of chicken, healthy and oh so colorful.

spiralizer_salad_cold_summer_squash_carrots_onion_grilled_chicken_breast

I played around with plating this dish and tried this brightly colored fused glass plate I made. I most often like food served on white dishes but the color coordinated so well I thought I would give it a try.spiralizer_salad_cold_summer_squash_carrots_onion_grilled_chicken_breast-fusedglass_plateIMG_5858 2What do you think?  White or decorative glass plate?  Let me know!

Enjoy this salad and keep cool this summer!

Regards,

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

Categories : Design
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spiralizer_salad_recipe_cold_summer_squash_carrots_onion_grilled_chicken_breast-fusedglass_plate

Summer Squash & Carrot Spiralizer Salad

Veggies

2 Large Carrots

2 Med. Yellow Squash

1/2 Onion

1 medium to large chopped Tomato

Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 

(can substitute regular balsamic but it colors the noodles)

1T Olive Oil infused with Garlic (regular olive can be substituted)

1T Dijon Mustard

1T Honey (or more to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh basil and “good” tomatoes to garnish!

Directions:

Spiralized onion, squash and carrots using the small noodle blade. Keep each in separate bowls.

spiralizer_yellow_summer_squash-carrots_onion_noodles-

Saute spiralized onion until soft in a small amount of olive oil in large sauce pan.

Add yellow squash and barely cook, keeping noodles el dente.

NOTE:  Squash is mostly water and can overcook quickly. Zoodles cook down so make plenty.  I do about 2 medium zucchini per person. The zoodles can be sautéed but they can also be cooked in the microwave.  Check often for slight tenderness but do not over cook or they will become mushy.

Cool for 15 minutes in refrig.

Add spiraled carrots (keep carrots raw for the crunch)

Toss and chill before serving.

Garnish with fresh basil and tomatoes for color!

Serves 4 as a side salad.

Enjoy!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

mary@marysherwood.com

Nov
18

Where do I sit at Thanksgiving?

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Thanksgiving is a biggest family and friend event of the year.   This year we are very lucky to have our friends, Andy and Lori, open up their home and table for us, including my sister and her beau.  Have you every gotten to the dinner table and said “Where do I sit”?  Here are a few easy suggestions so everyone knows their seat.

In doing research on Pinterest I found a great site that provided several “printable” Thanksgiving place card/napkin ring ideas, Every Day Dishes by Cheryl Najafi.  Here are two helpful links:  Leaves and Turkey.

Printable by everydaydishes.com

Printables by everydaydishes.com

You can do as little as just print and cut out the patterns or you can be a little more creative with a few crafts supplies.

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

Craft supplies to make the wire napkin rings.

The printables are a great way to start.  Here I used the cut out leaves with craft wire and raffia to make napkin rings.

Wire napkin ring with leaf place card. The leaf can easily be removed and replaced for another season or holiday.

Wire napkin ring with leaf place card. The leaf can easily be removed and replaced for another season or holiday.

The turkey template is by far the easiest.   They do need to be cut out.  I liked using an exacto (craft) knife rather than scissors.  They make great place card napkin rings.

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

Turkey/guest name napkin rings.

You can also use the turkey rings as stand up labels for the buffet dishes.  The turkey ring will stand on its own.  But for more stability place a mini pumpkin or small piece of fruit in the ring.  ( I don’t think mini pumpkins exist in Tucson.  I have looked!  I know my NC friends have plenty!)

Three easy napkin/place card/food tags made from printables.

Three easy napkin/place card/food labels made from printables.

It really takes more time to find the ideas and collect the needed supplies than it takes to put these together.  I did not have card stock available for printing so I substituted photo paper.  Photo paper is usually slick and hard to write on so I used a label maker to make the name tags.  A fine point Sharpie pen will work but be careful not to smudge the ink until it dries.

I’m liking both the turkey and the leaf designs.  Still deciding what I will contribute to the Thanksgiving table.  Which one would you want at your table so no one has to ask “Where do I sit?”.

Enjoy your turkey day prep and anticipation.

Mary

Working with you to create your life style!

 

Categories : Design
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Mar
25

Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s on Its Way

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There may still be a chill in the air, but springtime IS on its way….along with one of my favorite holidays…EASTER!

Easter Chalkboard Printable (Brights)

Easter is a time to rejoice, celebrate, and decorate!  Bright combinations of pink, green, blue, and yellow are used to banish the winter blues and brighten our homes both inside and out.  Decorations can be as simple as coloring Easter eggs to designing centerpieces to making your own Easter wreath for your front door!  So whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned professional, surround yourself with the colors of Spring!

easterbanner

Another way to enjoy the holiday is through the delicious smells and tastes of festive Easter treats!  Jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and of course, whimsical Peeps adorn the Easter baskets of my two little ones, but I crave something a little different!  So this year, I’m trying this new recipe for Bunny Cookie Bark (courtesy of www.yourhomebasedmom.com).  Hope you enjoy it as well!

Bunny Cookie Bark

Ingredients

  • 14 whole Oreos, broken up
  • 1 1/2 C small pretzel sticks, broken into pieces
  • 1 lb. white chocolate, almond bark or chocolate melts
  • 1 C. pastel M & Ms
  • colored sprinkles

Instructions

  • Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper.
  • Spread broken cookies, pretzels and about 3/4 C of the M & Ms onto the waxed paper.
  • Place white chocolate in a container and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth.
  • Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with a spatula to coat evenly.
  • Sprinkle remaining M & Ms and colored sprinkles over the chocolate while it is still melted.
  • Place cookie tray into refrigerator until set.  Remove and gently break bark into small pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container.

bunny cookie bark

 

I hope the Easter bunny treats you well and please don’t forget the real reason for the Easter season!

~ Michelle

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

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Dec
17

Don’t be a Fruitcake this Christmas!

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As a special holiday treat, Chef Yvonne, Y Cook?,  is our Design Wisdom Wednesday guest contributor today for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  Her tasty recipes are demonstrated and enjoyed frequently at MSLL during her Cooking Classes! Her classes cover a huge range and brings variety to the table!

Tis the season to be jolly….and fruity!

During the holiday season, we celebrate with family and friends by enjoying numerous food and beverage traditions.  There’s eggnog, spiced cider, candy canes, gingerbread houses, and the beloved fruitcake.

fruitcake

Fruitcakes date back to Roman times when the cake was made with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins.  During the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added.  Crusaders were even known to carry fruitcake during their travels to sustain them throughout their journeys.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with fruitcake.  There are those that love the moist cake filled with delectable nuts and fruits, and then there are those that think of it as a dense “brick”.  So whether you love or strongly dislike the familiar dessert, you will surely love my spin on the well-known tradition.

I’ve transformed the generic fruitcake into a bite-size morsel that is moist and full of flavor.  My take on the traditional fruitcake is the Fruitcake Cookie.

Fruit Cake Cookies crop

Fruitcake Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 lb. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces pineapple preserves
  • 1 1/2 tbs. Half and Half cream
  • 2 1/4 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp. soda
  • 16 ounces jar red cherries drained and chopped
  • 16 ounces jar green cherries drained and chopped
  • 1 pound chopped dates
  • 6 cups chopped pecans (walnuts & almonds mixed are a nice change)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla

Directions:

Coat nuts and fruit with 1/2 cup flour.  Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs, preserves, milk, soda, vanilla and flour.  Pour over nuts and fruit mixture.  Mix with hands.  Drop in large spoonfuls on a cookie sheet.  Bake 11 minutes at 325 degrees (depending on your oven).  You can wrap uncooked dough in saran wrap.  Make into tube shape (like a slice and bake cookie).  Cover with foil and freeze.  They will keep for months.

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Believe me…I’m aware of all of the fruitcake jokes.  “Why does fruitcake make the perfect gift? Because the U.S. Postal Service hasn’t found a way to damage it.”  But please trust me, these cookies are the answer to satisfy even your toughest fruitcake critic.

Enjoy….and Happy Holidays!

Love,

Chef YvonneFruitcake-ycook

Y Cook? 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

 

Mar
27

Celebrate Easter with Style…

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happy easter, easter, egg

At Mary Sherwood Lake Living, we believe that design is not merely your surroundings, but also your lifestyle!

In honor of Easter, we’d like to present a medley of tips….

Gingerbread houses are usually thought of as a painstaking process…stir up the gingerbread batter, roll it out, cut out the shapes, bake the individual parts, erect the house, and finally, the fun part, decorate.  The ingenious moms at The Candy Cottage have done the hard part for us and created a ready-to-decorate gingerbread house.  They simply need some candy and icing along with your imagination.  They can be decorated to celebrate any occasion, but we’re highlighting the Easter house.

easter, house, gingerbread, cottage

easter, house, gingerbread, decorationThe houses come individually packaged with snap together pieces that easily fit together to form the house.  Once constructed, simply adorn the house with icing and Easter candy such as jelly beans, pastel Reese’s Pieces, tiny marshmallows, and pastel M&Ms.

candy cottage, easter, gingerbread

Another great tip is converting your everyday deviled eggs into “devilish” easter egg chicks.  Simply hard boil and cut your eggs in half crosswise.  Cut a thin sliver off the bottom half of the egg to help it stand upright.  Scoop the filling below into the bottom half of the egg, place the top on, and adorn with black peppercorns for eyes, and a triangle of carrot for the beak.  Voila!

Devilish Easter Egg Filling:

  • 12 Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 c. Wasabi Cucumber Dill Sauce (available at MSLL)
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper
deviled egg, chick, devilish, easter

Pic courtesy of Make Life Special

Lastly, why not make your easter drinks look adorable as well?  Simply push a straw lengthwise through a bunny Peep and serve with your favorite springtime beverage.  Too cute!

bunny peep, easter, drink, beverage, straw, peep

Pic courtesy of theautocrathaley

 

So however you decide to celebrate this Easter holiday, do it with style…

Michelle

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!

Feb
13

Love is in the Air!

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How can we not talk about Valentine’s Day for this week’s Design Wisdom Wednesday?

Where did the Valentine’s Day customs come from? Find the answer in this interesting article about the origin of Valentine’s Day. http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

Here are a few of my favorite tidbits taken from this article.

Valentine's Day, love, birds

It was believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Here are a few easy ways to show your loved ones how much you love them on Valentine’s Day.

Start Valentine’s Day with a special breakfast.  Serve heart shaped pancakes topped with thin slices of roasted pork tenderloin and Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Wine Jelly.  Embellish the plate with fresh strawberries.  It’s pretty and oh so tasty.

pancake, heart shaped pancake, Cherry Shiraz Jelly, strawberries

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

 

If chocolate is the way to your lover’s heart here is a simple recipe for truffles.  Make ahead, refrigerate and impress your loved ones and friends!

chocolate, truffles, recipe

Chocolate Truffles

For you die-hard chocolate lovers, here’s a treat: the recipe for to-die-for truffles. Go ahead… enjoy!

1 (8-oz.) package fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Cocoa powder (optional)

Combine cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and extract in a bowl; freeze mixture 30-60 minutes. Remove from freezer and form into 1″ balls; roll in cocoa powder, if desired. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Makes 40 truffles. Nutritional values per truffle: 60 calories and 1 gram fat.

Heart disease, Go Red, Heart, donation American Heart AssociationA wonderful way to recognize a friend or spouse on Valentine’s Day is by making a contribution to the American Heart Association.  This is the 10th year the AHA has celebrated “Wear Red Day”.  Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. It kills more women than all cancers combined.  Donations support medical research, awareness, education and community programs to help women live longer, heart-healthy lives.

What ever way you celebrate Valentine’s Day put a little romance in your life.  Finish off this special day with a Chocolate Kiss Martini!

Roses, chocolate, chocolate kiss cocktail

Flowers, chocolate and romance!

Chocolate Kiss Cocktail 

Ingredients:

3 T Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

3 T Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur

1 1/2 T Heavy Cream

Chocolate Syrup

Pink Sugar Crystals

Ice

Martini Shaker

Directions:

Fill shaker 1/2 full with ice cubes

Add first three ingredients

Shake to Chill

Rim chilled glass with chocolate followed by sugar crystals

Pour in chocolate liqueur mix

Garnish with a kiss or a strawberry on a pick

Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Dec
20

Family and My Christmas

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I am getting ready to travel to one of my favorite places, “Santa” Monica, because that is where I will share Christmas with both our sons and two daughters-in-love.  It should be a great week!  Our times together involve a lot of relaxing, eating and sharing stories with the newer members of our family.  It doesn’t matter where we are, we always find these times together so special.

Last night reminded me of what an incredible acquired family I have right here at Lake Gaston.  We had a Christmas dinner at our house for all the MSLL family.  The wonderful, talented people who surrounded me are truly amazing.  It makes it such a pleasure to come to work each and every day.

Paul, Autumn, Lu, Michelle, Peggy and Yvonne thanks so much!

The rest of my acquired family is every one of you who has supported us, shopped in our showroom, cooked in our new kitchen and asked us to help make your home a comfortable, family place.  We have gotten to know you and your family and friends.  The circle just keeps getting bigger. Thank you for enlarging our family!

Make this a holiday to remember with your family whether acquired or by nature.

Here are a few pictures of our MSLL Christmas party.

Christmas, table setting, centerpiece, place settings, napkins, greenery

The Table is Ready!

Christmas,place setting, napkins, twelve days of Christmas, napkin holiday decoration

Each place with a Twelve Days of Christmas glass so all can sing!

Christmas, place settings, napkins, snowflake ornament

Napkins embellished with snowflake ornaments for guests to take home!

Party, acquired family, cocktails

Gathering together!

Holiday dinner, candlelight, friends, family

Enjoying a fabulous meal prepared by Chef Yvonne of Y Cook!

Food, Y Cook, scallops, cured beef tenderloin

The incredible food prepared by Chef Yvonne.

Menu, Y Cook

Our menu by Chef Yvonne and topped off by Steve Hoffman’s “melt in your mouth” Cheesecake with Cherry Zabaglione Sauce. WOW!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Merry Christmas!

Mary

 

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

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Dec
04

Creative Holiday Cooking

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With the holidays quickly upon us, everyone is eager to make a meal plan that will provide their family and friends tasty dishes with minimal prep and stress.  This Saturday, December 8th, our favorite local chef Yvonne Hoffman will be having a Home for the Holidays Cooking Class at Mary Sherwood Lake Living at 10 a.m.

She will be serving a crowned pork roast with cornbread, apple, and pecan filling, brussel sprouts salad with a lemon vinaigrette, and sweet potato hash along with other ideas to accent your holiday meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, coming up on Tuesday, December 11th, Chef Yvonne will be providing seasonal breakfast and brunch ideas to warm you and your family.  Please give us a call at 252.586.2437 to reserve your space for either class and savor our variety of delectible holiday samplings.

 Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Cooking
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Nov
15

Soup’s On….

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There’s nothing better on a chilly, rainy day in fall than to enjoy a rich, hearty soup or stew, let alone enjoying three different varieties.  Tuesday turned out to be the perfect day for our Warm Up with Soups and Stews Class with Chef Yvonne.  

Everyone enjoyed  taste-testing Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo with Baked Rice, Shrimp and Crab Imperial Stew, and Potato and Leek Soup.   In honor of the unofficial taste test tally, we’re including the recipe below for the taste winner!

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless chicken (bite size pieces)
  • 1 c. finely chopped onions
  • 1 c. finely chopped green peppers
  • ¾ c. finely chopped celery
  • 1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ground red peppers
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 7 c. chicken stock
  • 1 lb. Andouille smoked sausage or smoked kielbasa (bite size pieces)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic

Rub a generous amount of garlic powder, red pepper, and salt on chicken and let stand for 30 minutes.

Combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a plastic bag. Add chicken and coat. Reserve remaining flour. In a large skillet, heat 1 ½ inches of oil until very hot. Fry chicken until browned and meat is done. Drain on paper towels. Remove all but ½ c. of oil, leaving the scraps in bottom.

Place pan over high heat. Using a metal whisk, stir in reserved flour (½ cup). Cook, whisking constantly until roux is a dark red brown to black, but be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and add vegetables, stirring until roux stops getting darker. Return pan to low heat and cook until vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile, place stock in 5 ½ quart pot and brink to a boil. Add roux by spoonfuls to boiling stock, stirring until dissolved. Reduce heat, add sausage and minced garlic. Simmer 45 minutes uncovered. Add the chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 We, at Mary Sherwood Lake Living, hope you enjoy the fall and winter months savoring a big pot of warm soup.  As quoted by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Only the true in heart can make a good soup.”  Give it a try!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Categories : Cooking, Special Events
Comments (1)

Mary Sherwood Lake Living raised salads to another level on Monday, September 10th, with the help of chef Yvonne Hoffman and Tisa Lynn, a sales representative for B.R. Cohn Winery & Olive Oil Company.

As an alternative to replacing the olive-stained carpets in his home on the Sonoma Valley estate vineyard known as “Olive Hill” for the 140-year old Picholine trees that graced the property, Bruce Cohn began pressing the unique olives, inspiring a California olive oil Renaissance. As if managing The Doobie Brothers for over 30 years and starting the B.R. Cohn Estate Winery in 1984 didn’t keep Bruce busy enough, a new family business was inadvertently born.  In agreement with our own “professional” taste test, www.consumerreports.org named B. R. Cohn as one of six highly rated oils with a “Very Good” status.

Yvonne showcased the B.R. Cohn gourmet wine vinegars in several of her recipes including a Flatbread Salad, an Asian Salad, a traditional Caesar Salad, and a refreshing Watermelon Salad.

watermelon, salad, gourmet, vinegar

Watermelon Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups watermelon cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 4 ounces feta or goat cheese (Yvonne recommends an herbed goat cheese)
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto cut into thin strips
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar (manufactured by B.R. Cohn)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil or other unflavored oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Salad greens
  • 1/4 cup roasted nuts (Yvonne recommends pistachios)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. In shaker bottle, mix Champagne vinegar, honey, oil, salt and pepper. Shake well and put aside.
  2. In salad bowl, put greens, prosciutto, salt and pepper, toss with a small amount of dressing, enough to coat, but not drip.
  3. Plate with greens first, then cheese, and then watermelon, top with the rest of dressing.
  4. Add other salad items as you like.

Recipe by Yvonne of Y Cook

Check our calendar for upcoming  cooking and community events.  Registration is required to reserve your seat!

Hope to cook with you soon!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!


Categories : Cooking, Special Events
Comments (0)
Mar
22

A 3 Pepper Blast Party

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WOW-another fun event at MSLL. The food was fabulous, the CAbi fashion was great and fun was had by all.  Thanks Peggy Howard for the fashion and Autumn for the kitchen assistance.

I have been (willfully) coerced into publishing the recipes from tonight’s Fun, Food and Fashion event  ASAP. 🙂  One of the girls is dying to recreate the party appetizers for an upcoming event.  Here is the simple, throw together, easy party menu.

It all begins with one key ingredient…3 Pepper Blast Dip

dip, pepper dip, party, food, fun, easy recipes

Menu

Toasted Flatbread Wrap Chips with Magic Unicorn Salt

3 Pepper Blast Cheese Dip

Chicken and Cheese Roll-up Wraps

Puff Pastry Peach Cobbler Tarts with Vanilla Ice Cream  (recipe not included)

 

Recipes:

Toasted Flatbread Wrap Chips with Magic Unicorn Salt

Use the flatbread wrap of your choice (available in the deli section of our local FL).

Lightly coat one side of the wrap with seasoned vegetable spray or a light brushing of olive oil

Add a light sprinkle of the flavored Magic Unicorn salt (remember it’s magic!)

If you are out of “magic”,  any salt or seasoning of your choice will work

Cut into squares with a serrated knife or pizza cutter.  The squares do not have to be perfect.

Place on parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Bake 10 – 15 min at 350 degrees.  Ovens will vary so at 10 minutes check for crispness and light browning.  Do not let them get too brown. Let cool on baking sheet.

One flatbread wrap makes approx. 36 chips.

Serve with 3 Pepper Cheese Dip.

 

3 Pepper Cheese Dip

8 oz  Cream Cheese or Reduced Fat Cream Cheese

8 oz  White Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1  12 oz jar of 3 Pepper Blast Dip

Let cream cheese soften.

Grate white cheddar cheese.

Combine the cheeses and the 3 Pepper Blast Dip.

Serve with Toasted Flatbread Wrap Chips with Magic Unicorn Salt.

Ingredients can be cut in half to reduce quantity of dip.

Full recipe serves a crowd.

 

Chicken and Cheese Mini Roll-up Wraps

Flat bread wraps

3 Pepper Blast Cheese Dip (from recipe above)

4 Chicken tenders lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed and finely chopped

½ cup grated white cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese

Optional extras:  chopped cilantro, green onions, sliced avocados

Spread one side of a flat bread wrap with 3 Pepper Blast Cheese Dip, keeping dip within about 1” of the edge of the wrap.  Layer on top of dip about 2 tablespoons of chopped chicken, sprinkle with grated cheese.  Roll the wrap and secure with 4 mini skewers or bamboo knot picks.  Trim unfilled ends, if necessary.  Carefully cut remainder into four equal pieces.

Place on parchment covered baking sheet.  Drizzle each mini roll up with 1 teaspoon salsa and a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 -15 minutes.

Garnish with more salsa, if desired.

Each wrap makes 4 mini roll-ups.  Repeat as needed.

 

Have a blast at your 3 Pepper Blast Party!

 

 

Comments (3)

In the process of using this recipe for the wedding cake I calculated how many cups of cheesecake batter there are in one recipe.

cheesecake, wedding cake, perfect cheesecake, strawberry sauce

Strawberry Wedding Cheesecake

Each recipe make 2 1/2 cups.  In a 9″ springform pan this makes a 2″ high cake including crust.

To adjust height of cake add more batter and increase cooking time.

You can calculate the different amount of batter needed for various size pans by using a ratio.

9″ pan -2 1/2 cups

8″ pan-2 1/4 cups

6″pan-1 3/4 cups

These amounts are rounded up to make it easy to measure.

There are three key elements to making a perfect cheesecake:

1.  Spray the springform pan very well with Baker’s Joy so cake slides easily off of bottom of pan

2.  Use low heat, 300 degrees, to prevent the top from browning.

3.  Cool gradually as suggested in recipe

 

Good luck with this!

 

 

Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light, May, 2006

Approximately 16 serving with sauce

 

CRUST:

1/4 cup sugar

8 graham cracker rectangles

Dash of salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons of butter or canola oil

Cooking spray w/flour (such as Baker’s Joy)

 

CHEESECAKE:

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (4 ounces) regular cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon jest

4 large eggs

2 egg whites

 

SAUCE:

4 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 cup strawberries, cut in half

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

 

Preheat oven to 350°.

 

To prepare cheesecake crust, place 1/4 cup sugar, graham crackers, cinnamon and dash salt in a food

processor; process until mixture resembles sand.  With the processor on, add 2

tablespoons melted butter through food chute, processing until blended. Generously coat pan with cooking spray with flour.   Firmly press mixture into bottom and slightly up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes until just golden brown; cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Reduce oven to 300°.

 

To prepare cheesecake, combine 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and a dash of

salt in a large bowl. Add softened cheeses; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed

until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add vanilla, 1 teaspoon juice and lemon zest;

beat just until combined. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating after each addition

just until incorporated.

 

Bake at 300° for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until center of cheesecake barely moves when pan is touched. (Oven temperatures vary.  Cooking time may need to be adjusted).  Turn oven off. Cool cheesecake in closed oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool on a wire rack. Gradual cooling is important to prevent cracks in the cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate.  Can be frozen up to 3 months in tightly sealed aluminum foil and a zip lock bag.

 

To prepare strawberry sauce, reserve 1 cup strawberries, cut in half.  Combine 4 cups sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing lightly with a spatula; discard solids. Return mixture to pan. Combine 1 tablespoon water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to a bowl; cool to room temperature. Stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice.  Embellish top of cheesecake with strawberries, cut in half.  Spoon 1/2 of strawberry sauce on top.  When serving, drizzle each slice with a little of reserved sauce.

 

 

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Just returned from the NYC wedding of my son, Aaron and Kiori.  It was such a beautiful day, beautiful setting and very beautiful wedding!  I have a lot to share about the wedding but Autumn wants a quick article to attach to our newsletter so here is the scoop about the “infamous” wedding cheesecake.

The most popular desserts in the Sherwood household are brownies and strawberry cheesecake.  Many years ago, when traveling from Lake Gaston to NYC to meet our other son’s (Jake) in-laws, I carried a frozen cheesecake by Amtrak train only to have it totally thawed and strawberry sauce dipping all over as I presented it to our host.  It’s hard to make a good first impression when your perfect cheesecake is soooo less than perfect!  When Aaron and Kiori requested a cheesecake wedding cake I began to research how to construct this cake, store until needed, transport from NC to NYC and assemble in Central Park.  It was quit a challenge.  I won’t bore you with all the details but I would like to share these pictures.

 

Cheesecake crust, graham cracker crust, spring form pan, cheesecake

Graham cracker crust made for the all the layers at one time in spring form pans

 

Cheesecake batter, cream cheese, electric mixer, Red KitchenAid Mixer

Cheesecake batter blended until very creamy

 

Cheesecake without cracks, baking, cake, wedding cheesecake

Baked cheesecakes on cooling rack. Yay...no cracks!!!

wedding wedding signs, cooler, wedding supplies

Blue rolling cooler packed with cheesecakes and dry ice waiting with other supplies to enter Central Park

 

cheesecake wedding cake assembly, cheesecake, spring form pans,

Removing spring form pans and assembling the frozen cheesecake layers

layered cheesecake, wedding cake, strawberries

Layered cheesecake starting to be embellished.

 

Cheesecake, wedding cake, strawberry sauce, strawberry sauce drizzle, pink hydrangea

Strawberries with drizzles of strawberry sauce and a perfect pink hydrangea flower on top

cheesecake, strawberry sauce, baby breath, hydrangea

The finished wedding cake complete with baby's breath!

 

Wedding cake, cake cutting

Aaron and his Japanese bride, Kiori cutting the wedding cake

wedding cake, first bite

First Bite!!!

The "after" with only the "less than perfect" bottom layer left over. Whew!

This was quite a challenge but mission accomplished!

Like us on our Facebook fan page to see the recipe

Mary Sherwood Lake Living,  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Sherwood-Lake-Living/106936857237

Please tell me your best and worst cheesecake adventures!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!

 

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Mar
17

Hey good looking what ya been cooking?

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Cooking classes may seem like an unusal offering for an interior design business. Think again!  What do interior designers do?  They create spaces in which to cook, to entertain, to play, to sleep and to be with family and friends.  To do all of this we have to eat.  (I think you can see where this is going.)  So, cooking classes seem to enhance all the other parts of interior design. 🙂 Thanks to many loyal supporters our classes have become a hit.  Here are a few of the things we had cooking at our 50’s cooking class presented by Lake Gaston’s cooking diva, Kathy Dikeman!!!

If you are as old as I am you may remember a lemon flavored, sponge cake cookie made in shell shaped molded pans called madeleines. These cookies are easy to prepare and perfect for a light luncheon dessert or an accompaniment to a raspberry sorbet. Sometimes these cookies are partially dipped in chocolate ganache for extra flare of flavor.  In the 50’s they were frequently served at department store tea rooms and at  “ladies’ luncheons”.

Cookies, sponge cake, luncheon dessert, molded pan

Madeleine's made in molded pans

Shrimp Cocktail Aspic is an updated version of the traditional tomato aspic of the 1950’s.  With V 8 juice and the right amount of spice this recipe made a tasty cold soup (similar to a gazpacho).  With the addition of more gelatin you can create a variation of this recipe which can be poured into a mold or loaf pan and congealed before serving.

Savory Shrimp Cocktail Aspic

The favorite recipe of the class was Smoked Gouda Cheese Fondue. Reflecting back to the days of the fondue pot this recipe adds a new twist. The fondue is prepared on the stove top and served in individual small boules created from whole wheat, crusty dinner rolls from the grocery bakery. Topping the fondue with bacon bits and toasted, sliced almonds made this recipe the winner.

fondue, gouda cheese, bacon, almonds, boule,

Warm and Savory Smoked Gouda Fondue Boule

Smoked Gouda Fondue

Ingredients:

8 ounces Gruyère, shredded

1/2 pound, about 6 ounces, smoked Gouda, shredded

1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 large clove garlic, smashed away from skin

2 tsp. lemon juice

3/4 cup dry white wine

6 slices thick cut bacon

1/4 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped

Individual hard rolls, the top third cup off to form a cone shape in the inside

Directions: Make the fondue: combine cheeses in a bowl with flour and set aside. Rub the inside of a small pot with smashed garlic then discard. Add wine and lemon juice to pot and bring to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. Transfer the fondue to the rolls and top with chopped bacon and smoked nuts.

50’s cooking trivia was a big hit with the class.  The Betty Crocker Cookbook was the bible of the 1950’s kitchen and the “in” way to find recipes. Do you know the first Jello flavor?  What was the most frequently prepared food?  What popular snack food was developed from a crop by Fred Mennen in 1959?  What brand of doughnuts were introduced in 1950?

Send us your answers.  Add your own 50’s trivia.

Upcoming Cooking Classes…  Mark Your Calendar!

April 16 Bruschetta is not just an Appetizer presented by Yvonne Hoffman (just back from an Italian Cooking School)

June 4 Cranking Up the Heat with Grilling Flare presented by Gene St.Clair

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!

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Feb
12

Chocolate Kiss Cocktail

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Chocolate, Valentine's, Truffles, Chocolate Cocktail

Chocolate Kiss Cocktail

Ingredients:

3 T Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

3 T Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur

1 1/2 T Heavy Cream

Chocolate Syrup

Pink Sugar Crystals

Martini Shaker

Directions:

Fill shaker 1/2 full with ice cubes

Add first three ingredients

Shake to Chill

Rim chilled glass with chocolate followed by sugar crystals

Pour in chocolate liqueur mix

Garnish with kiss or strawberry on a pick

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe compliments of Mary Sherwood Lake Living  Cooking Class, February 12, 2011

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Yesterday we had a crowd of people in and out of our store to take in the “sparkle, excitement, shopping, food and friends” at our annual Christmas Open House.  The “buzz” that circulated the showroom was amazing!  People came for all sorts of reasons. Some came for the chance to learn some quick holiday decorating ideas.  Others came for the tasty food samplings and recipes.  Others were just enjoying an annual “girl’s weekend out”.  And of course there was shopping .  Our customer’s little red shopping baskets were full to the brim.  The hottest item was a silver garland spray with multicolor ball ornaments that we used in the seminar to adorn a wreath and a tablescape.  That item was the first to sell out.  The second popular item was the “water pearls” in both clear and red.  The use of “water pearls” was shown in several glass vessels during the seminar.

Christmas, Open House, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle, mantel decor, twilight display, holiday wreaths, glass balls, shinny silver,candlesticks

Snowy mantel scape with lights that simmer in glass balls and silver candlesticks by Traci

This year, due to popular demand, we brought back the holiday decorating seminar after a five year hiatus… with a few changes.  Limited admissions assured us all would have better opportunity to see the presentation as well as a safer environment.  The seminar included tips on holiday wreaths, mail box swag, mantel scapes, table top ideas and the multiple uses for water pearls. Thanks to those who took the time to listen to our program.  We hope you learned a few new ideas to help you this holiday season.

Christmas, Open House, attendees, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle, smiles

Seminar attendees awed by the the holiday decor presentation

Our food supply dwindled fast.  We may need to increase the quantity for next year. You are a  hungry bunch!  🙂 We are glad you enjoyed the food buffet.

Red Hat Ladies, buffet, Moroccan Meatballs, Christmas, Open House, food, friends, shopping, seminar, sparkle

Red Hat Ladies enjoying the wonderful buffet samplings!

Here is one of the recipes:

Moroccan Road Infused Turkey Meatballs

Make a large batch to have on hand for unexpected holiday guests.  Prepare in advance and freeze extras.
3 lbs ground turkey
3 eggs
1 large white onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup Italian herbed or plain dried bread crumbs
8 tbsp ketchup
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
9 tsp olive oil
3 tsp salt
4 tbsp Moroccan Road Spice Blend
Chop onion & garlic finely, place all ingredients in large bowl, hand mix
Scoop turkey with small stainless steel scoop so they lay flat on pan.
Bake 350 degrees about 20 minutes until brown.  Lift off with metal spatula.
Place extras in Tupperware container and refrigerate or freeze, place back in oven to reheat.
Garnish with half grape tomato and lemon cream cheese secured with toothpick.

Compliments of Mary Sherwood Lake Living  Christmas Open House 2010

Thanks again to everyone involved in such a wonderful day!

Please give us your comments and help us make it even better next year!

Mary

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Women in Need of Sanity-W.I.N.O.S. at Lake Gaston

Right now, as I write this blog, I feel like “a women in need of sanity”.  It is very early in the morning and I am up before the sun.  I can hear the birds just waking up.  “No”, I am not going to tell you what time it is.  You go figure (it’s way too early to be typing!!!).

How did W.I.N.O.S. and Mary Sherwood Lake Living connect?  Here is the story. I had the pleasure of meeting a fun and talented women, Bonnie Jesseph, about a year ago on one of our many market trips. Autumn and I were immediately drawn to her new W.I.N.O.S. Furniture line because of the fabulous colors and designs. We knew the bright color palette would be perfect for our showroom.  We made the decision to purchase the line prior to the first production of the furniture. When I learned Bonnie was from Blowing Rock, NC I casually invited her to visit our store.  After much planning, Bonnie will be joining us for a special event Saturday, May 29, Memorial Day weekend.

Bonnie and I seemed to have a lot in common.  First, she is very talented business women (I think we have this in common?).  She is creative and has developed her brand to reflect her lifestyle.  She loves to cook, entertain and have fun!  She involves her friends and family in the development of her brand-especially as guinea pigs for her new recipes.  And, she feels it is important to give back to her community through various philanthropic causes.  She is engaged and enthusiastic about life, her business and her lifestyle. The title of her website, www.winoshavefun.com ,says it all.

I have been reading the introductions of several of her cookbooks and have found them quite entertaining.  The origin of the company name, alone, is so humorous. She gives credit to her sister, Jan, for the idea, Women in Need of Sanity.  She also writes: “My husband’s idea for the meaning of W.I.N.O.S. is Women in Need of Sex.  Good Lord, do they ever think of anything else?  Oh yeah, I forgot…golf and food! Ha-ha.”wine, winos, red wine, women, sanity, entertaing, cooking with wine

Her brand began as a cookbook with the fun logo of a woman diving into a wine glass.  She expanded her line after being flooded by requests to put the icon on napkins, aprons and T-shirts. She has once again grown her brand to include her own licensed furniture line, W.I.N.O.S. by Acacia Home and Gardenhttp://www.acaciahomeandgarden.com/winos.html

Now, I’ve just read she will be launching a new collection for Patio Living Concepts focusing on color and the use of lighting to create a casual outdoor entertainment environment. Congrats, Bonnie!

It is truly our pleasure to have Bonnie join us for a guest appearance at Mary Sherwood Lake Living on Saturday, May 29th.  Our After Hours Party begins at 4 PM. Listen to Bonnie tell her story and sign cookbooks, taste our local Rosemont Wines and sample food from  W.I.N.O.S. Go Tapas cookbook.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Be safe, have fun and find some sanity at beautiful Lake Gaston!

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