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Always up for trying something new; I jumped when a friend shared this recipe for Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce. It is simple…and SO delicious!

 

Facebook can be exasperating but there can also be fun rewards. I’ve met some of the people I first met online ‘in real life’ and we’ve become fast friends. I’ve also had people I’ve met wait anxiously for my recipes and just as much fun, share their best recipes with me…and that was the case with this Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce.

Only known to me as MT Garcia on Facebook, we share the same political ideology so maybe that’s part of our connection but I’m sure she would agree…it’s really about the food! She is a loyal reader and then there was the French Quarter Cream Cheese Spread. Oh my. MT lauded this recipe but after she gave it to me I held onto it for a bit before I got around to it.

Let me just say this; I quickly doubled amounts for the next time. My friends expect it at my annual Christmas party and it’s pretty much devoured first. Simple too…cream cheese and onion is topped with a brown sugar sweetened sauce and pecans. Makes my mouth water just writing about it!

That experience certainly won my respect so when she suggested I try this pasta I was all in and didn’t mess around. I bought the Poblano peppers the next day and it was made and photographed shortly thereafter. I had a big bowl for dinner one night and lunch again the next day and saved a bit for my neighbor. She was simply too late in getting here. I ate it for dinner. Sorry Amy!

Now the thing is…there is nothing about this pasta that necessarily looks divine; so you have to trust me. It’s simple too…but somehow in that simplicity there is the perfect mix of Poblano peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro and cream…ahh, the cream. The recipe calls for Mexican Crema but in lieu of that suggests you can use cream; which I did. I had it so I used it; it was that simple.

I’m all for sourcing certain ingredients and for this recipe, the one thing I really wanted was the Manchego cheese for the top. The Mexican crema did not inspire me to hightail it out of here on a journey across town…and I’m suggesting you don’t have to do that either. This was so perfect!

The one thing I added to the recipe were some Green Chile Pepper Pepitas. How perfect is that? I actually picked them up from Sprouts with no intention for them to be anything but a snack but had a revelation; I wanted a garnish because photos of pasta with a green sauce were pretty boring and I needed something for a bit of contrast, but the flavor and crunch were a positive addition too. Sort of like pine nuts on pasta but with a Mexican twist!

Still not pretty so much as a plainish Jane but who cares? This new and delicious variation is in the cookbook ‘Veracruz’ by Zarela Martinez and the green tinge comes not from pesto but from Poblano chiles. Though the Mexican variation might seem strange at first, the ingredients are available at the local grocery except as mentioned, the Mexican crema.

I love Poblano chiles because they’re just slightly spicy and how I made this dish for myself and friends. I’ve included an option to add a couple of Serrano peppers to the mix if you want something with a bit of heat. I think two is probably enough; my friend tried twice that amount and thought it too much. I’ll add some next time and report…but I love them if kept in check.

Whether just the Poblano or if you also use the Serrano,  the chiles are tempered with the heavy cream and butter. Although Parmesan can be used; we did love the complexity added with the use of the Manchego; I will warn you it’s a bit pricey but I thought worth it. I started this process thinking the dish sounded great; the first taste was beyond expectations.

I had my 8 year old neighbor girl in the kitchen with me; she wanted to help. So I had her help remove the blackened skin of the peppers after they were blistered and had cooled. She waited while I finished the sauce and I gave her a bite. And another bite. Know what success is in my kitchen with a little one? Hearing ‘You MUST give this recipe to my mom!’ Will do my dear and now I give it to all of you too…seriously a must try!

PIN ‘Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce’

  

Yield: 8 Servings Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce
Print

Roasted Poblano peppers are combined with sauteed onions, garlic, cilantro, and cream for a delicous variation called Green Spaghetti.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 large poblano chiles
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large (or two small) white onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 12 sprigs cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or heavy cream
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 8 ounces Manchego cheese, shredded (substitute with Parmesan if necessary)
  • Pepitos (optional)
Instructions

    Turn the broiler to high. Rub the Poblano chiles with the vegetable oil and set them on a baking sheet covered in foil Place the sheet underneath the broiler. Broil, flipping the chiles occasionally with a pair of tongs, until blackened on all sides. Alternately, if you have a gas range, you can blacken them over the flame of a heating unit.

    Turn off the broiler, and transfer chiles to a plastic bag. Let steam for five to ten minutes. Peel the blackened skins off the chiles, and then remove stems and seeds. Chop the chiles, reserving 3 Tbsps on the side.

    Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped onion; saute for approximately 7-8 minutes until opaque; add the garlic and chopped cilantro and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

    Place all but the 3 Tbsps of chopped chiles in a blender along with the onion and garlic mixture. Puree until smooth. Add the crema or half and half and blend. Remove from the blender and add the remaining chopped chiles and stir. Return to the skillet and keep warm on low heat.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. When done, drain pasta in a colander and add it to the skillet with the sauce and toss well.

    Grate Manchego cheese on top of each serving; top with pepitas if using. Devour.

Nutrition Information Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 471 Total Fat 35g Saturated Fat 18g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 14g Cholesterol 75mg Sodium 623mg Carbohydrates 25g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 3g Sugar 4g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 18g
The nutritional information is computer-generated and only an estimate.
© Creative Culinary

The post Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce appeared first on Creative Culinary.

        
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Always up for trying something new; I jumped when a friend shared this recipe for Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce. It is simple…and SO delicious!

 

Facebook can be exasperating but there can also be fun rewards. I’ve met some of the people I first met online ‘in real life’ and we’ve become fast friends. I’ve also had people I’ve met wait anxiously for my recipes and just as much fun, share their best recipes with me…and that was the case with this Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce.

Only known to me as MT Garcia on Facebook, we share the same political ideology so maybe that’s part of our connection but I’m sure she would agree…it’s really about the food! She is a loyal reader and then there was the French Quarter Cream Cheese Spread. Oh my. MT lauded this recipe but after she gave it to me I held onto it for a bit before I got around to it.

Let me just say this; I quickly doubled amounts for the next time. My friends expect it at my annual Christmas party and it’s pretty much devoured first. Simple too…cream cheese and onion is topped with a brown sugar sweetened sauce and pecans. Makes my mouth water just writing about it!

That experience certainly won my respect so when she suggested I try this pasta I was all in and didn’t mess around. I bought the Poblano peppers the next day and it was made and photographed shortly thereafter. I had a big bowl for dinner one night and lunch again the next day and saved a bit for my neighbor. She was simply too late in getting here. I ate it for dinner. Sorry Amy!

Now the thing is…there is nothing about this pasta that necessarily looks divine; so you have to trust me. It’s simple too…but somehow in that simplicity there is the perfect mix of Poblano peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro and cream…ahh, the cream. The recipe calls for Mexican Crema but in lieu of that suggests you can use cream; which I did. I had it so I used it; it was that simple.

I’m all for sourcing certain ingredients and for this recipe, the one thing I really wanted was the Manchego cheese for the top. The Mexican crema did not inspire me to hightail it out of here on a journey across town…and I’m suggesting you don’t have to do that either. This was so perfect!

The one thing I added to the recipe were some Green Chile Pepper Pepitas. How perfect is that? I actually picked them up from Sprouts with no intention for them to be anything but a snack but had a revelation; I wanted a garnish because photos of pasta with a green sauce were pretty boring and I needed something for a bit of contrast, but the flavor and crunch were a positive addition too. Sort of like pine nuts on pasta but with a Mexican twist!

Still not pretty so much as a plainish Jane but who cares? This new and delicious variation is in the cookbook ‘Veracruz’ by Zarela Martinez and the green tinge comes not from pesto but from Poblano chiles. Though the Mexican variation might seem strange at first, the ingredients are available at the local grocery except as mentioned, the Mexican crema.

I love Poblano chiles because they’re just slightly spicy and how I made this dish for myself and friends. I’ve included an option to add a couple of Serrano peppers to the mix if you want something with a bit of heat. I think two is probably enough; my friend tried twice that amount and thought it too much. I’ll add some next time and report…but I love them if kept in check.

Whether just the Poblano or if you also use the Serrano,  the chiles are tempered with the heavy cream and butter. Although Parmesan can be used; we did love the complexity added with the use of the Manchego; I will warn you it’s a bit pricey but I thought worth it. I started this process thinking the dish sounded great; the first taste was beyond expectations.

I had my 8 year old neighbor girl in the kitchen with me; she wanted to help. So I had her help remove the blackened skin of the peppers after they were blistered and had cooled. She waited while I finished the sauce and I gave her a bite. And another bite. Know what success is in my kitchen with a little one? Hearing ‘You MUST give this recipe to my mom!’ Will do my dear and now I give it to all of you too…seriously a must try!

PIN ‘Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce’

  

Yield: 8 Servings Green Spaghetti with Poblano Cream Sauce
Print

Roasted Poblano peppers are combined with sauteed onions, garlic, cilantro, and cream for a delicous variation called Green Spaghetti.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 large poblano chiles
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large (or two small) white onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 12 sprigs cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or heavy cream
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 8 ounces Manchego cheese, shredded (substitute with Parmesan if necessary)
  • Pepitos (optional)
Instructions

    Turn the broiler to high. Rub the Poblano chiles with the vegetable oil and set them on a baking sheet covered in foil Place the sheet underneath the broiler. Broil, flipping the chiles occasionally with a pair of tongs, until blackened on all sides. Alternately, if you have a gas range, you can blacken them over the flame of a heating unit.

    Turn off the broiler, and transfer chiles to a plastic bag. Let steam for five to ten minutes. Peel the blackened skins off the chiles, and then remove stems and seeds. Chop the chiles, reserving 3 Tbsps on the side.

    Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped onion; saute for approximately 7-8 minutes until opaque; add the garlic and chopped cilantro and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

    Place all but the 3 Tbsps of chopped chiles in a blender along with the onion and garlic mixture. Puree until smooth. Add the crema or half and half and blend. Remove from the blender and add the remaining chopped chiles and stir. Return to the skillet and keep warm on low heat.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. When done, drain pasta in a colander and add it to the skillet with the sauce and toss well.

    Grate Manchego cheese on top of each serving; top with pepitas if using. Devour.

Nutrition Information Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 471 Total Fat 35g Saturated Fat 18g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 14g Cholesterol 75mg Sodium 623mg Carbohydrates 25g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 3g Sugar 4g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 18g
The nutritional information is computer-generated and only an estimate.
© Creative Culinary

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If you’re a tennis fan and watch Wimbledon then a Pimm’s Cup Cocktail is a necessity. If you’re not a tennis fan…well, it’s still a delicious drink; have one anyhow!

  

One of the things I most enjoy when doing a Classic for Friday Cocktails is discovering the history behind a well known drink. This is certainly one of those times and in this instance history is wrapped up with a grand tradition. The Pimm’s Cup Cocktail is considered the signature drink for Wimbledon…what more could you ask for this weekend?

Although Wimbledon started play a while back, I knew that I wanted to feature the Pimm’s Cup during the final round of matches. This coming weekend should include some of the most exciting tennis there is…and it seemed that it would be the perfect opportunity to quaff this thoroughly Wimbledon cocktail.

The Pimm’s Cup’s primary ingredient, Pimm’s Gin No. 1, originated at an oyster bar in London’s financial district in the 1800’s. Bartender James Pimm blended the original concoction of gin, quinine (the ingredient in tonic water that gives it a bitter taste) with a variety of herbs to make his Pimm’s No. 1 Cup tonic.

Originally served as a digestive for his clients, the original recipe remains a secret held by only a handful of people. I wish I had a hint of what is in there; it’s an aroma that is hard to define through scent or taste and everyone queried guessed at a variety of ingredients and few hit on any that were the same. So the mystery remains but the story continues!

The No 1 cup is as popular today as ever; first introduced as an English summer drink, the first Pimm’s Bar opened at the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 1971 and every year, over 80,000 pints of the combination of Pimm’s and lemonade are sold to spectators.

Though most closely associated with Wimbledon, it has a long history of appearing at events for the ‘upper class’ including cricket and polo matches, yacht regattas and an annual opera festival. I wonder if they would have been up in arms to see my motley crew sitting around a picnic table in shorts and t-shirts…and not a one of us with our pinky properly extended!

To understand the huge popularity of the Pimm’s Cup, imagine it is to Wimbledon what the Mint Julep is to the Kentucky Derby. Yes, that big!

The version I’ve made includes a recipe for lemonade by combining simple syrup with lemon juice which is then combined with Pimm’s and sparkling soda. In Britain you would most often see a call for the use of 7-up in lieu of the lemonade and soda.

I much prefer our ‘Americanized’ Pimm’s if that’s what I must call it; especially since you can sweeten the cocktail as you prefer by upping the simple syrup ante a bit for those with more of a sweet tooth. Still either way is good…as long as you get some fizz!

I first published this cocktail six years ago. I remember that day well. It was not at my home, I had little control over the light and it was so bright I needed sunglasses to look at the post. Today was close but I think these photos are a better representative and give me a chance to introduce you to the Pimm’s Cup Cocktail all over again.

When I first made this cocktail one year for the 4th of July, I actually made several but only used two for photos…when company arrived we brought the other glasses that I had put lemonade into out to the table in the backyard to finish with the other ingredients and enjoy with our dinner. Let’s just say that despite loving the bite of lemon, discovering that I had forgotten to add the simple syrup to my glass at all was a real eye opener. A little bit of sugar is a very good thing.

I found Pimm’s (no one ever actually calls it by it’s full name of Pimm’s No. 1 Cup) easily at a decent sized liquor store and it is considered a liqueur if you have to hunt for it. As for those garnishes; they have little to do with the overall taste but all of my guests agreed that the abundance of fruit and color just added a certain something that spoke loudly of summer. While some might decry their need…it’s just so damn pretty that it’s a need I will continue to have.

Get ready for this weekend…get some Pimm’s and soda, make some lemonade and start practicing now. Tennis? Heck no…drinking with the uplifted pinky; remember..we’re at Wimbledon!!

PIN ‘The Pimm’s Cup Cocktail’

Yield: One cocktail Pimm’s Cup – Drink Like You’re at Wimbledon!
Print
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 oz simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar boiled just until sugar dissolves; cool)
  • 1.5 oz of Pimm's No. 1 Cup
  • Lemon-Lime Soda, Club soda, sparkling soda water or plain seltzer water
  • Garnishes: Cucumber spear or slices, mint, lemon, orange and strawberries
Instructions
  1. Combine lemon juice and simple syrup to make lemonade (start with 4 to 1 ratio and increase to half of each if sweeter is desired)
  2. Fill a tall glass with ice; add Pimm's and lemonade and top off with your choice of soda; stir to mix.
  3. Garnish with cucumbers, citrus and strawberries.
Nutrition Information Yield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 267 Total Fat 1g Saturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 46mg Carbohydrates 54g Fiber 8g Sugar 33g Protein 4g
The nutritional information is computer-generated and only an estimate.
© Creative Culinary

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Such a colorful, fun and festive dish, this  Watermelon Salsa (Pico de Gallo) is so good you’ll pass up the burgers and chicken to eat more of it!

I made this batch of Watermelon Salsa for the first time several years ago and I think I could have eaten the whole thing…and that’s saying a LOT! Not just because of the quantity but because of the memories of days gone by when I would not try anything with ANY pepper; absolutely nothing. I am not lying.

I grew up with an aversion to green bell peppers. For years that aversion to them meant I kept my distance from ALL peppers but a move to Denver 30 years ago saw that gradually change. Oh sure, I picked out every Jalapeno I saw in anything (and it seemed they were everywhere) but one day tried an appetizer at a Super Bowl party not knowing that it included poblano peppers and I LOVED it…and that was the start.

Still, that this green pepper hater actually made a batch of something with jalapenos combined with red, yellow and orange bell peppers was a leap of faith. If you told my family they would not have believed you and I was sort of in disbelief myself! I loved the look of this when I saw it on The Pioneer Woman’s site all those years ago but I cringed a bit at that green bell pepper so I ditched it and added an orange one and a bit of honey and it was PERFECT for me…and everyone else who tried it!!

You know the type of dish where you take a sample…and then think, I’ll just eat one more chip? Well, OK, maybe just one more. OK two. Maybe I won’t eat it with chips, I’ll just use a spoon…with some chips on the side. I needed an intervention…glad you weren’t there. 🙂

This is not something that should ever grace your plate in fall, winter or spring. Don’t let those displays of watermelon fool you…they are so NOT ready if they’re available in May and June. July? Absolutely.

Find a good one. A sweet, ripe, seedless good one and you will see why I wanted to seal this with a lock and key and squirrel it away back in the far recesses of the fridge. Oh wait. Maybe I did. Oops…all mine! I was actually not over the moon with the watermelon I bought but when it was all brought together and given a night in the fridge? It sure tasted perfect.

I have a meeting here tonight…and yes I will share even if I want to squirrel it all away just for me. This fabulous sweet salsa with just a bit of heat and rich with the taste of peppers, onion, watermelon, cilantro and honey is perfection. Easy to make too although there is a lot of chopping. Give yourself the time and let it meld overnight too if you can; I think that’s when it’s absolutely perfect!

I never take photos of the process but it’s really easy to cube watermelon. Cut it in half; place the cut side down and then using a sharp knife, start at the top and curve as you slide your knife down. If you missed any of the white flesh, simply trim it off before slicing and then dicing the melon.

Have you ever wondered the difference between a salsa and pico de gallo? Well, Pico de gallo is a type of salsa. It’s a fresh, uncooked mixture of chopped veggies or fruit and when combined together; it’s a chunkier version of salsa, with each ingredient still distinct. Traditional salsa also has more liquid; although this pico de gallo salsa had plenty…the watermelon was juicy!

Don’t go through the rest of summer without trying this; your friends and family will love you, I promise!

PIN ‘Watermelon Salsa (Pico de Gallo)’

  

Yield: 8 Servings Watermelon Salsa (Pico de Gallo)
Print

Serve with tortilla chips or do as I did. Serve with a spoon. I could not stop!

Seriously, if feeding a crowd I would consider using the whole watermelon and doubling everything else...you know so others can have some too.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 whole Small Seedless Watermelon, Diced
  • 2 Jalapeños, Seeded and Diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped
  • Juice Of 1 To 2 Limes
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt; more if necessary to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in one large bowl; season with salt as needed.
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. I honestly think it was even better after being in the fridge overnight. What there was left of it.
Nutrition Information Yield 8
Amount Per Serving Calories 305.63 Total Fat 1.42g Carbohydrates 71.35g Protein 6g
The nutritional information is computer-generated and only an estimate.
© Creative Culinary
Category: Fruits

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My favorite ice cream treat as a girl, Old Fashioned Butter Brickle Ice Cream has disappeared from freezer cases all over the country so one day I decided it was time to make my own. Everyone who has made this says it’s the real deal…and the real deal is wonderful!

The push to finish some gardens in my yard is almost done and I promise some new posts soon but in the meantime I made this Old Fashioned Butter Brickle Ice Cream for a picnic this past weekend and everyone raved about it. It is simply the best ice cream so I thought it perfect for me to share again. Toffee flavored ice cream with toffee bits is simply heavenly. I thought my readers wouldn’t mind a blast from the past, especially with a recipe for my favorite ice cream of all time!

I haven’t seen it in grocer’s freezers in decades (which is a big mistake) and yet I’ve never quite let go of how much I loved that delectable treat. Buttery toffee flavored ice cream with toffee bits? It’s not just an ice cream, it’s a journey through my childhood.

From the time I entered kindergarten at the age of four until we moved to a bigger home more suited for the size of our family (5 kids) when I was ten, we lived on St. Madelaine St. in Florissant, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. All of the streets in that neighborhood had Catholic names and both the Catholic church and school were within walking distance of our home.

Did that have anything to do with the number of kids on our street? I don’t know but I have idyllic memories of those times; when walking outside meant finding a playmate and summer days meant trips to the community pool, playing ‘King of the Hill’ during the day and flashlight tag at night.

I had a brother less than a year older than I was and another 2 years younger and I did what they did so I guess you could say I was a tomboy. One of my crowning achievements EVER was beating every single one of the boys down the hill in a road race (balloon tires and all) and I might have had reservations at first but wanting to keep up with the boys saw me swan dive from the high board and cannonball with the best of them.

But I was different from them in many ways. I loved to read and play with Barbie dolls (I was so afraid of tornadoes it was pathetic but I was a good mom…I didn’t race to the basement without those dolls!). I talked sooner than my older brother too. I remember the Sunday morning when I climbed out of my crib; grabbed our Sunday morning stollen from the kitchen table, climbed into his crib and we both finished it off but I blamed him. Oops.

Quite the trek for little kids but it never seemed that long!

Still, one of the summer memories that is most ingrained in me were the trips to Bergen’s Dairy on Florissant Road. I actually took a gamble they might be there but no; seems they’re long gone. Still that trip remains so familiar in my memory that I was able to recreate it with the magic of Google maps. A nice little trek for little kids…shows we worked for our ice cream! I don’t recall that I ever walked into Bergen’s and ordered anything but Butter Brickle ice cream.

Oh, I recall perusing that board every single time but nothing ever held the same appeal and as evidence of true love; nothing ever has. Sadly it is unrequited love. Where has all the Butter Brickle ice cream gone? Really; why isn’t every dairy making it even if just for me?!!

I’ve found it in two local spots, neither close enough to walk to and sometimes an urge for an ice cream cone should not constitute having to make a 40 minute round trip by car. Maybe I wanted it all; the sense of family around me, the luxury of a warm summer night and walking lazily home, licking that amazing cone while fireflies fluttered all around us. A time when my world was at peace and seemed almost perfect.

Well, I’m grown up now…that sense of perfection is long gone and now we look for those moments of perfection to punctuate our hectic days. I thought I had found mine. One of those local shops actually agreed to provide me with their recipe and I was as excited as that schoolgirl from long ago. Until…they waffled. They thought better of it. They changed their mind. I don’t know about you but that set me on fire to make it MYSELF and I have to tell you…this is good, really, really good and in my quest to get it made I discovered some things I did not know.

Butter Brickle was the registered trademark of a toffee ice cream flavoring and of a toffee-centered chocolate-covered candy bar similar to the Heath bar. The flavor and the candy were produced by the Fenn Bros. Ice Cream and Candy CO from Sioux Falls South Dakota.

The ice cream was introduced to the world back in the 1920’s at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, NE. When the company was liquidated in the 1970’s the trademark and formula were sold to the makers of the Heath Bar whose assets were acquired by The Hershey Company in 1996.

If you look closely you’ll see that the packaging on the Heath English Toffee Bits still includes a reference to this history by referring to the content as ‘Bits ‘O Brickle Toffee Bits’. I’ve seen recipes suggest using Skor candy bits covered in chocolate and I’m sure that must taste just fine but it is so not MY Butter Brickle!

I had searched for a recipe before but all I found were egg based and MY ice cream surely was not. One recipe that I saw repeated over and over in my Internet search called for ‘butter flavoring’ and that just seemed wrong so I took my own path. Wanting the ice cream to have a rich toffee/buttery flavor, I made a small batch of a butterscotch sauce that I cooked down until thick and brown which I then added to the ice cream base to intensify that toffee flavor profile.

I had considered making my own toffee and breaking it into bits but stopped myself for a couple of reasons. First, breaking up homemade toffee into little bits seemed a disaster waiting to happen; I imagined toffee dust would ensue more than little toffee pieces. Second; without that effort at homemade candy in the mix, the ice cream was significantly easier to make and really, how much more authentic could you get then by adding the original product? This is decadent; exactly how I remember it. I’m in love.

PIN ‘Old Fashioned Butter Brickle Ice Cream’

Yield: One and a half quarts Butter Brickle Ice Cream
Print

A rich butter toffee flavored ice cream with toffee bits.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Ingredients For the Butter Toffee Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
For the Butter Brickle Ice Cream:
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp toffee sauce
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Heath toffee bits
  • Dash of salt
  • Additional bits for garnish if desired
Instructions To Make the Butter Toffee Sauce:
  1. Put the butter, brown sugar, cream and salt in a medium saucepan and stir until the butter melts.
  2. Simmer over medium low heat without stirring for three minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Allow to cool while you make the ice cream base.
To Make the Ice Cream:
  1. Warm the butter, brown sugar and half and half over medium until the butter and sugar have melted. Add the sauce and vanilla, still until thoroughly mixed and chill for a minimum of 4 hours; preferably overnight.
  2. Add the heavy cream and process the mixture in an ice cream machine.
  3. Add the toffee bits at the end of processing just to mix them in.
  4. Ripen in a container for a minimum of four hours before serving.
Notes

While this ice cream did freeze, it was never going to get as hard as some I've made but that bit of melting seemed to make it even more accurate...I also remember licking those dribbles that would find their ways down my forearm!

© Creative Culinary
Category: Ice Cream

The post Old Fashioned Butter Brickle Ice Cream appeared first on Creative Culinary.

        
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It’s lovely when you can make cocktails with fresh fruit but don’t limit yourself either; this Cherry Mint Vodka Spritzer is perfect using Cherry Preserves.

This post is a refresher…I refreshed the photos and want to share it again with you. I made this for friends last weekend and they said they had never noticed the recipe on my blog…hey, I can fix that! Hope you enjoy it the 2nd time around…isn’t love supposed to be lovelier?

I may never know what a marriage made in Heaven is like unless you count the fact that I’ve just started working with Sprouts. Yes, THE Sprouts! Just one of my favorite places to shop. I’ll be honest though, a few years ago when my favorite Albertson’s closed and the space was taken over by this place called Sprouts that I had never heard of; I was not a happy camper.

Still, like a good neighbor I gave them a chance and it’s turned into love. And I LOVE them. Their produce is the best, their meats are what fill my freezer and their personnel, no matter the store, are warm and friendly. A dream client for someone as picky as me who can only promote what I love!

And trust me, this Cherry Mint Vodka Spritzer is a dream too and one you can enjoy all year round because it uses Sprouts Organic Cherry Jam. I love me some cherries but they are both a short lived crop and let’s be honest…a pain too. I would pay double to find them pitted already, wouldn’t you?

Is it any wonder that we started working together with a cocktail? Go on chuckle if you must but I’m OK with the monikers; the Booze Queen, Queen of Cocktails and more. I take some pride in having started a revolution of sorts many years ago when I was one of the very first food bloggers to consider cocktails for my blog and did so in a big way; a weekly lovefest that is now copied by many and loved by many more.

Friday Cocktails holds a special place in my heart too; I have loved creating cocktails for friends and family for almost as many years as I have been making them food…even if I limited myself to just a chosen few recipes for a very long time. Today I’m far more inclined to create something new but some rules have always applied.

You know the KISS rule? Keep It Simple Stupid? Really the best one to remember for cocktails. I was recently at a vodka tasting and the place was filled with bartenders; many who were highly touted in their craft. One was on his way to a national mixologist championship and I felt a true kinship when he said he didn’t bother with the current trend of homemade bitters and adding multiple fancy liqueurs to his cocktail creations.

Why should you when a couple of great ingredients can do the trick? You can make a wide range of great cocktails with no more than 5 ingredients; start thinking of jam as one of them!

Today’s cocktail is a great example of how a couple of simple components can make a great cocktail and one that is SO easy to make at home. Vodka, lemon, simple syrup and mint are mainstays for many drinks with the fruit component adding the unique flavor component.

While fresh cherries would be sublime, let’s talk time. First you have to pit them. Enough said? But seriously, anytime you see a recipe for fresh fruit and you’ve got some jam on hand…try it instead; it’s why I keep a good assortment of Sprouts Organic Jams in my pantry and really how versatile can you get? Use some for breakfast in the AM and again with booze for Happy Hour!

Quite honestly this cocktail would be good with a variety of jams…pick your favorite and give it a go…and as always…Cheers!

PIN ‘Cherry Mint Vodka Spritzer’

Yield: 2 Cocktails Spiked Cherry Mint Vodka Spritzer Cocktail
Print
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Cherry Preserves
  • 4-6 mint leaves
  • 1 thin lemon slice
  • 1 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • Sparkling Lemonade – Regular or Pink
For Garnish
  • Lemon slices, mint leaves and whole un-pitted cherries (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place highball glasses in the freezer to chill about 10 minutes before constructing the cocktail.
  2. Remove the glass from the freezer and combine the cherry preserves, mint leaves, lemon slice and simple syrup in the bottom using a muddler or the back of a spoon. Crush everything together until the mint and lemon have released their flavor.
  3. Fill the glass with ice and top with the vodka and sparkling lemonade and stir gently.
  4. Garnish with mint, lemon and a fresh cherry if available.
© Creative Culinary
Category: Vodka

The post Cherry Mint Vodka Spritzer Cocktail appeared first on Creative Culinary.

        
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This Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail is so easy to make, tastes delicious and is beautiful to boot; perfect for summer!

The path to this Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail was serendipity. My daughter Emily was in town this past week and I took some time off on Tuesday to join her and her husband Chris for lunch in historic downtown Castle Rock.

She chose Sienna, a restaurant in old Castle Rock and we lucked out; we had a wonderful lunch. As we were reading menus the waiter mentioned the special of the day; a ribeye sandwich with grilled onions and Gorgonzola cheese. Yes please…for all three of us!

We also ordered some crispy fried calamari that really was perfect, the meat was tender, the coating was crispy and not greasy and the accompanying red chili lemongrass vinaigrette was light with a sweet and spicy taste. It was very reminiscent of the Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce that I keep on hand in my fridge.

I don’t typically order a cocktail with lunch but when Emily ordered a Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail, it sounded so good that I was quick to follow suit. It was served in a martini glass and I have to say that sadly it was the only disappointment of the day.

While they did garnish the drink with some blueberries, the ‘blueberry’ part of this cocktail was simply Pinnacle’s Blueberry Vodka; a clear, flavored vodka. Not exactly what I expected…and combined with a lackluster lemonade it was just OK.

Trust me, I’m always happy to have a moment to get out and have someone else prepare food and drink for me, so I appreciated the company and enjoyed it…but thought I could do better!

The Simplicity of Good Ingredients
  • Fresh blueberries for a blueberry simple syrup
  • Good vodka (I like Grey Goose)
  • Lemonade made from only lemons and sugar, no artificial ingredients
  • Fresh lemon and mint and blueberries for garnish

By George I think I’ve done it with this Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail! I upped the ante on everything too, combining blueberry simple syrup with lemonade and vodka and a splash of club soda for some fizz.

While I will often juice lemons or limes for a couple of cocktails, this time around I made it even easier, using lemonade concentrate. I wanted a cocktail that is made in quantity for summer events and the lemonade was easy and good too. Win-win!

Remembering the days when I would die trying to get a restaurant to provide me with a recipe; now I’m thinking the tables have been reversed. This was fantastic and I think they need me to share!

Too bad Emily and Chris couldn’t circle back around here for one of these; it would have been fun for all of us to compare. I already know what I’ll be making for our 4th of July picnic…it’s perfect and so perfectly delicious!

PIN ‘Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail’

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Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail
Print
This Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail is so easy to make, tastes delicious and is beautiful to boot; perfect for summer!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Ingredients For the Blueberry Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
For the Lemonade:
  • 1 12 oz can lemonade concentrate
  • 30 oz cold water
  • 10 oz ice
To Make the Cocktail:
  • 2 Tbsp Blueberry Syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 1 oz sparkling water
For Garnish:
  • Lemon slices, blueberries and mint sprigs for garnish
Instructions

To Make the Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine water, blueberries and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture through a strainer; lightly pressing the solids and then discard them; refrigerate until cool.

To Make the Lemonade:

  1. Combine the lemonade concentrate, water, and ice in a tall pitcher and stir thoroughly until ice has melted.

To Prepare the Cocktail:

  1. Pour the blueberry syrup in the bottom of a tall glass, top with ice, add the vodka, then lemonade and top with club soda.
  2. Either stir before adding garnish or serve with the layers and a straw for guests to stir
  3. Garnish with fresh blueberries, lemon slices, and mint sprigs.
Notes

You can serve this in a lowball glass that is large enough for the volume or serve it in a highball glass.

© Creative Culinary

The post Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail appeared first on Creative Culinary.

        
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Bake a round of Brie with a variety of fresh fruits; you can switch it up depending on what is available at your local market. For Spring I love fresh berries so today it’s a combination of blackberries and raspberries. Their tartness is a nice match with the sweetness of the brown sugar sauce and a nice Brie.

I love this dish so much I could eat it every day…and I proved it too! I made this Baked Brie with Berries and Walnuts for a meeting at my home last week. As I was working on putting it together, a neighbor showed up unexpectedly and I chatted with her a bit.  As a result, it meant the other committee members were arriving as she left and I was not done…uh oh.

To be honest, if it had been my neighbors coming here casually, they know the drill and would have waited if necessary. This was not that. This meeting was the new Events Committee for my neighborhood and I felt compelled to keep it on time so I served the Pineapple Margaritas I had made and set aside the Brie. Unfortunately the only photos I got were the next morning when it was half gone. No worries, I’ve taken next day photos a lot, maybe not with half the dish gone but I pushed forward and got photos and that was that.

Our theme for this month’s Progressive Eats are dishes that highlight the flavors of Spring and for me, I am so ready for really good, really fresh fruit like these raspberries and blackberries. I combined them with a brown sugar sauce, some toasted walnuts and a round of Brie. While I did simmer the blackberries in the brown sugar sauce a bit to soften then, I simply scattered the raspberries on top once everything else was combined. They are so delicate that cooking them would have seen them falling into a million little bits!

Aren’t they beautiful? I’ve been making do with a lot of frozen fruit the last couple of months and I’m in heaven when I walk into the market and see all the gorgeous fruits on display. I’m still wary of watermelon and peaches this early but all the berries? They are so good…they might not be local yet but they are coming from California and are juicy and ripe and delicious.

One thing to really love? This is SO easy. A round of Brie is warmed and topped with berries, toasted walnuts and a brown sugar sauce. Fresh raspberries are scattered on top and you’re done. Warm, soft, crispy, sweet, tart…such a great combination of textures and tastes! It’s a great appetizer but timing was off for Sherry and Sam and their kids as they were eating an early dinner. They came here to eat this Brie for dessert and it was oh so Francais…it really worked!

I have a feeling they might be dinner for me again this week if we don’t finish the dish off tonight…and I’m so not complaining! If you decide you have to have this appetizer too; don’t be afraid to mix and match the fruits. I think peaches and blueberries might be next on my agenda; um, doesn’t THAT sound good?!!

PIN ‘Baked Brie with Berries and Walnuts’

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Spring Has Sprung- Dishes that highlight ingredients and flavors associated with spring, and our host is Laura who blogs at Mother Would Know

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious spring inspired dishes!

Spring Has Sprung- Dishes that highlight ingredients and flavors associated with Spring

Beverages

Appetizers

Soup

Bread

Main Courses

Side Dish

Desserts

Yield: 8 Servings Baked Brie with Berries and Walnuts
Print
Baked Brie with Berries and Walnuts is not only pretty but it's delicious too. Easy too...the best type of appetizer!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 16 oz wheel of Brie
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple or pineapple Juice
  • 6 oz blackberries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3 oz raspberries
  • Toasted french baguette slices or crackers
  • Grapes and/or apple slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Put brie in an oven proof pan and bake for 10 minutes until just starting to melt.
  3. While brie is warming, melt butter and brown sugar in pan and stir until melted.
  4. Add juice and stir until incorporated.
  5. Add in blackberries, stir until berries are warm; mash a couple to add some color to the sauce. Add the chopped nuts to the mixture and remove from stove-top.
  6. Remove brie from oven and top with fruit and nut mixture; scatter raspberries over the top.
  7. Serve with baguette slices and grapes or apple slices.
Notes

Toasted Walnuts

  • Place walnuts on an oven proof plate in a single layer and toast in toaster oven or regular oven for 4-6 minutes, stirring halfway. Watch carefully!
  • Cool, then rough chop.


Nutrition Information: Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 546 Total Fat: 32g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 67mg Sodium: 641mg Carbohydrates: 50g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 24g Protein: 19g
The nutritional information is computer-generated and only an estimate.
© Creative Culinary
Category: All Recipes

The post Baked Brie with Berries and Walnuts appeared first on Creative Culinary.

        
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