Monday, January 31, 2011

Asian Snack Mix

I just found this link on Facebook. It's Gourments Asian healthier alternative to Chex Mix.

The Asian standbys of soy sauce, hoisin, and toasted sesame oil, along with those crisp and shiny Japanese rice snacks, have become so much a part of American cuisine that’s there’s nothing “ethnic” about this truly addictive party mix. We guarantee that you won’t be able to keep from nibbling on it all evening long! In fact, we predict that you will find yourself making it often because you won’t want to run out of it.

By Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

Photo by Chris Gentile

Makes 14 cups
Active time: 15 min // Total time: 1 1/2 hr


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 cups (3 oz) popped popcorn
  • 6 cups (6 oz) rice cereal squares
  • 1 (5 oz) can chow mein noodles
  • 1 (3 oz) package Asian rice cracker snack mix
  • 2 cups salted roasted cashews or dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup wasabi peas or dried peas


  • Preheat oven to 250°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk in sugar, soy, hoisin, sesame oil, garlic powder, ginger and cayenne. Remove from heat.
  • Combine popcorn, rice cereal, chow mein noodles, Asian snack mix, cashews and wasabi peas in a very large bowl. Drizzle with butter mixture and toss well to coat. Spread evenly in 2 large (18- by 13-inch) rimmed sheet pans.
  • Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, a total of 1 hour.
  • Cool completely in pans on racks.

Cooks’ Notes: Snack mix can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. If for some reason it needs to be re-crisped, reheat it in the rimmed sheet pans in a preheated 250°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cheese Plate

Fresh fruit... aged cheese. and no cracker?
Aren't they just beautiful?

Gouda, aged 5 years, and one of the favorite cheese knives.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stay at home Ham and Bean Soup

This is what we had the ingredients for and SP just started the timer on the crock pot. Will post pics soon. We had all the ingredients in house, and used canned beans, so we skipped step one since the beans are already cooked. Today we are taking the Christmas tree down and I look forward to smelling this cook all afternoon. . From Old Fashioned Living, a Hearty Ham bone soup:

Bean Soup with Ham
1 ham bone with some meat left on
2 cups Navy, Northern beans or mixed beans
8 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash beans the beans and add to a medium to large pan on the stove. Cover with water, boil, and turn off the heat. Let these sit about a 1/2 hour.
Drain the beans, and place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or so, then switch to low and continue to cook. You want the beans to be done, but not mushy. Add more water if needed to make it a soup consistency as it cooks.
Cut the meat off the bone and put in with the beans and remove the bay leaf before serving.

Friday, January 7, 2011

HiHo's Famous Spinach Dip

This dish epitomizes Mom in terms of my favorites dishes. I also adore this picture of my mother as a young girl in Stonington. I see my oldest son in her face, they were almost doppelgangers a few years ago. Only a handful of recipes things conjure such a direct, memory filled, and long term connection to my Mom - and this is most certainly one of them. . Spinach dip sandwiches, tea sandwich sized pieces served on red and gold plates, were a Christmas tradition for my Mom.
This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for large groups. It became my staple, as the family vegetarian, for many years. It was our most frequent meal in college, so this one is for you La!

1 package frozen chopped spinach
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup mayonnaise (or less)
1 cup sour cream (or less)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (or a tablespoon of the stuff in the jar)

  1. Places frozen spinach into strainer. Thaw spinach and drain thoroughly.
  2. Press to remove extra water, ladles or potato mashers also work well.
  3. Mix all ingredients and add to drained spinach.
  4. Mix well.
Dip is better if allowed to chill a few hours or overnight. Serve with raw vegetables or make into small sandwiches.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

PW's Green Bean Casserole

I have left over green beans to use up. I am also in need of some serious comfort food. This recipe is compliments of Pioneer Woman who ALWAYS supplies rich yummy comfort food. I am going to replace the Panko with the French's onions. I've edited for what I did.

Green Bean Casserole



  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off (mine were left over)
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces (pre cooked in microwave)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ cups Whole Milk (I went heavier - heavy cream and half and half just because I had it)
  • ½ cups Half-and-half
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • ⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I of course added more)
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained (I'd have loved even more)
  • Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs - I ommitted and used French's Onions instead cause I was after comfort breading, not healthy breading! :D

Preparation Instructions

  • Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
  • Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.
  • Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.
  • Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and topping is golden.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chocolate Fondue

Compliments of William Sonoma. This, accompanied by a mimosa, made the perfect brunch today. It's important to maintain moderately low heat (no more than 120°F) under your fondue pot so the chocolate stays melted and just warm to the touch. Too much heat can ruin the chocolate. And make sure that the chafing pot is dry, as water will make your chocolate seize.


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pound cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 pints strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  1. Fill the fondue pot with 2 cups warm water and place the pot on the stand. Fill the fuel burner with oil according to the manufacturer's instructions and set it on the stand.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream until steam begins to rise, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until melted, smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and stir until blended. Pour the chocolate sauce into the porcelain insert and place the insert in the fondue pot. Set the splatter guard on the top.
  3. Set the fondue pot on the table and light the fuel burner, following the manufacturers instructions. Serve with pound cake, strawberries and individually marked fondue forks for dipping.
  • Serves 6.
    Adapted from The Fondue Cookbook, (Hamlyn, 1999).