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September 23, 2015

DIY Recipe | Yummy BLT Deviled Eggs

Best Game Day Appetizer Ever!

An appetizer staple at every party and event, deviled eggs usually disappear from my buffet table the fastest. I like to add lots of pizzazz by topping them with a few simple seasonings and garnishes.

If you have no idea how to make basic deviled eggs, watch this video: Deviled Eggs for Beginners. 

10 Tips for Perfect BLT Deviled Eggs

1. Start with large eggs so you'll have more yolk for filling the whites.

2. Don't drop the eggs into boiling water, or try to peel them while they're still hot.

3. Instead put your eggs in a pot, cover with cold water, and bring them to a boil.

4. Set a timer and cook the eggs for 8 minutes. Your cooked egg yolks will be a bright yellow color. (Overcooking produces dry, crumbly, gray, sulfur-smelling egg yolks.)

Once cooked, immediately immerse eggs in an ice water bath. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before peeling.

6. Cut the eggs in half with a sharp knife. Wiping the knife on a wet towel between each cut makes them easier to cut. Arrange the egg whites on an oblong or rectangular serving platter. (Choose black for drama.)

7. Instead of mashing with a fork, process the yolks, a little water, and some mayonnaise in a food processor. This gives a much silkier texture to the filling.

8. When the filling is ready, put all of it into a plastic baggie, and cut the corner off. Use a star tip if desired. Pipe the filling into the whites.

9. Garnish eggs with bits of finely chopped bacon, one small piece of tomato, a sprinkling of Mrs. Dash seasoning, and one leaf of Italian parsley, if desired.

10. If you follow all of these steps, you'll be left with perfectly cooked, velvety smooth delicious BLT deviled eggs.

Source: Adapted from CHOW.com

Image: teddylambec (Flickr)

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September 12, 2015

DIY Recipe | Beignets with Powdered Sugar

New Orleans Breakfast Doughnuts

My husband speaks fondly of the year he lived in New Orleans, just after graduating from high school. Traveling around the city on a ten-speed bicycle, he enjoyed jazz cafes, the slow moving bayous, and the plentiful French food and culture.

Among New Orleans' many culinary treasures is a popular restaurant called Cafe Du Monde. Established in 1862, it became famous for its coffee and "beignets" (pronounced ben-yays) ... French Acadian doughnuts sprinkled with powdered sugar. Here's a made-
from-scratch recipe to try at home.

Note: Served with ice cream and chocolate sauce, beignets make an outrageous party dessert (see below). Short on time? Purchase Cafe du Monde's famous beignet mix for a quick and easy option.


1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 scant tablespoon dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 egg
Peanut oil


1. Combine the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vegetable oil, and salt in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Remove from heat after small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. 

2. In a separate bowl, combine the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 cup warm water.  Allow mixture to stand for 10 minutes, or until it’s very bubbly.

3. Next, combine the heated milk mixture and 2 cups flour in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Blend the ingredients until smooth (about 2-3 minutes), scraping the bowl occasionally.  Add the egg and mix. Then add the yeast mixture and mix. Add remaining flour and mix (enough to make a soft dough that slightly sticks to your fingers).

4. Roll out the dough out on a lightly floured surface forming a large rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Cut the dough into 3″ x 4″ rectangles using a pizza wheel or sharp knife. Separate the dough pieces and cover them with a clean cloth. Allow to rise for half-an-hour.

5. Heat 2 to 3 inches of peanut oil in a large cast iron skillet or saucepan to 325 degrees. (Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.) Fry the beignets for approximately 2 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove beignets from the oil. Allow to drain on paper towels.

6. Liberally sprinkle the powdered sugar over the beignets using a fine-mesh strainer. Garnish with chocolate sauce if desired. Serve immediately.
Yield: 24-30 beignets.

Source: Adapted from Our Best Bites

Photos: praline3001, vxla, MVI%2528warped%2529, Viewminder, hollywoodsmile310, MandeePhoto, MrGuilt, praline3001, sarahsosiak (Flickr)

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August 27, 2015

10 Foods You Should ALWAYS Refrigerate

1. Pure Maple Syrup

Stored in a glass container, 100% maple syrup can stay fresh and mold-free for up to one year. 

2. Fresh Homemade Pasta

Since fresh pasta contains raw eggs, store your fresh pasta in the refrigerator to keep dangerous bacteria at bay.

3. Ketchup

Its high acid content will keep most bacteria at bay, while cool temperatures help maintain ketchup's flavor and freshness.

4. Salami

Some cured meats contain harmful bacteria. Therefore, it's advisable to store salami in the refrigerator up to 12 days to slow potential bacterial growth.

5. Mayonnaise

After opening, mayonnaise will lose its flavor if it's not refrigerated.

6. Leafy Greens

Any leafy green like kale and spinach can spoil quickly. Store your greens in the fridge away from fruits like apples, which emit gasses that cause them to wilt.

7. Applesauce

Once store-bought applesauce is opened and exposed to air, bacteria will begin to grow, so refrigeration is essential.

Mandoline & Salad Spinner

8. Nuts

The fragile unsaturated fats in nuts go rancid quickly—definitely bad news for maintaining good flavor.

9. Tortillas

Since some tortillas are prone to molding, the fine print on many tortilla packages recommends refrigerating after opening.

10. Fresh Eggs

It goes without saying that dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt should be stored in the refrigerator. Ditto fresh eggs, meat and fish.

Source: Adapted from Home Food Safety and The Daily Meal

Images: rellenmac11, TinyTall, FifiBanana, jaycross, Snacknieuws, kelpenhagen, MigleSeikyte, MigleSeikyte, SeoulfAdventures,  rjbradley (Flickr)

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Flickr images shared on this blog are used under a Creative Commons License.