Hostesses With The Mostest > Recipe Requests

Your best discoveries from 2012, recipes or ingredients

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Some of you may be like me in that there are recipes and ingredients I learn of and love, but if for any reason they don't go into the roster of frequent rotation, I am apt to forget them.  I mean to be more mindful of that, but lest new acquaintance be forgot, I have a few "keepers" from the year past, and would love to hear of other's discoveries over the past year.

Leading my list with a couple of items I learned of through this forum:

1.  Roasting asparagus with some olive oil and sea salt.  It never occurred to me to do this till it was mentioned in a thread here.  This one is definitely in heavy rotation at our house now, I doubt we will ever steam it again, though still sometimes sautée.
2.  Lemon powder from King Arthur for "jooshing" up the lemon flavor in baked goods.  This was suggested in a thread I had started looking for the most lemony possible lemon cake.  It may have been PastryGoddess, who I know had some excellent suggestions, and whoever it was, soooooo many big thanks!

Not from this forum, but from a newspaper article boyfriend saw: Baked fennel and cheese with herbs.  This one now sees heavy rotation for us, and we sometimes add some sausage and have it as a meal by itself.

Ingredients (which can be easily tweaked to be healthier with less cheese, more veg, etc.)

Two or more fennel bulbs
1 cup Mozzarella, grated (while we love fresh, we actually prefer the firmer packaged stuff for this for meltiness in this dish)
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup bread crumbs (even better if Italian seasoned; can use more if wanted)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Garlic cloves (suggest at least 2, we use 4)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
Some oregano (could be up to a tablespoon, less if bread crumbs are seasoned)
Red pepper flakes (not essential, but they add a lot to the flavors, we use about 1/2 teaspoon)

Slice the fennel bulbs cross wise about 1/2 inch thick, and boil for 5 to 10 minutes, or steam (they need to be well on the way to "soft" - we used to boil, now just steam in the microwave)
While fennel is boiling/steaming, mash up fennel seeds with garlic and salt (we use a mortar and pestle, but could be done in small food processor, or chopped together), then mix this with the oil and pepper flakes.
Lay fennel bulb slices in a casserole dish, no need to be fastidiously neat, let them overlap.
Sprinkle grated mozzarella over fennel slices.
Sprinkle half of the bread crumbs over mozzarella
Drizzle about 2/3s of the oil/garlic/spice mix over bread crumbs.
Sprinkle grated parmesan and remaining breadcrumbs, then drizzle remaining oil mix.
Bake at 350f for 20 minutes.

I admit, I am hoping to pick up some more good new ideas from those of you inclined to share!

Recipe from the NYEs party that was a huge hit:

2 ritz crackers
Add a layer of smooth peanut butter between them, about 1 crackers thickness
Dip in white chocolate and leave to cool on a baking tray
Eat in rapture :)

Pulled Pork with Asian Slaw which I found, tweaked, fell in love with and now rotate for parties for myself and for friends ( if you are interested)

Chilli Threads - found them in a herb market in Munich, and they now go on and in most salads I make

Japanese Toasted Sesame Dressing- for when I am being lazy and cant be bothered making my own dressing

Arehucas Honey Rum from Gran Canaria - had it on holiday and fell in love

Its been a quiet year due to trying different diet/eating styles to find what works for me weight loss wise...but my aim this year is to be blogging my own healthy versions of recipes more often, sso I cant live without using for tracking my workouts and breaking down the nutrional value of recipes.

In 2012, this forum introduced me to Biscoff Spread. 

Curse you, eHell!!!!


From this forum, it was my own shout-outs for creative brownies and also sauces for squash pasta.  I've been playing around with ideas ever since!  Also, the thread in this section about ricotta - a substance I love but never know what to do with.

In the real world, now that I'm a meat eater, I've seriously gotten into rumaki.  Basically, it's a main ingredient like dates, scallops or water chestnuts, that get marinated and wrapped in bacon.  I have some great recipes if anyone wants them.


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