Monday, August 31, 2009

Gourmet Cheeseburger Amuse Bouche

An amuse bouche is typically a one-bite wonder prepared by a chef to showcase his or her talents. Not listed on the menu, it's a little extra something that is not listed on the menu served before the meal to help whet the appetite. These did just that; my kids asked for far more than I had made.

These use Etorki sheeps' milk cheese, one of the delicious pressed French cheeses offered by Ile de France. The flavor is very reminiscent of a sharp white New York cheddar, but a bit milder and very creamy, not dry as sharp cheddar's tend to be. I thought the flavor was deeper than most French cheeses, which tend to be milder overall, and we really like this one.

Gourmet Cheeseburger Amuse Bouche
Makes 24
Printable Recipe

6 slices bread
1 pound ground beef (80/20 is best for burgers)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 garlic clove - minced
24 roasted red pepper strips
1/4 pound Etorki sheep's milk cheese
fresh basil chiffonade

Toast bread, remove crusts and cut each slice into 4 squares.
Combine ground beef, Worcestershire, pepper, garlic and salt and mix well. Shape beef into 24 small patties and broil or pan fry until done - this takes only a few minutes to do. Drain on paper toweling.
Place a patty on each toast square and top with red pepper and cheese. Microwave or broil for a few seconds, just until cheese melts. Top with basil chiffonade and serve.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tropical Chicken Salad with Cheddar and Tarragon Crisps

Tropical Chicken Salad with Cheddar and Tarragon Crisps
Tropical Chicken Salad with Cheddar and Tarragon Crisps
One of my favorite salads is Waldorf, but I really enjoy the addition of a protein like chicken or shrimp. This salad is close to a Waldorf, but with papaya and pineapple used instead of apple. These ingredients came from the most recent Foodie Joust - papaya, cheese and tarragon. At first sight, I was a little lost, but after some  time to mull it over, this is what I came up with.

Lara, Ian and Katie couldn't get enough of it, and with a picky audience like that, you know it's good stuff.

Tropical Chicken Salad with Cheddar and Tarragon Crisps
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

2 cups cooked chicken breast - cubed
1/2 cup red pepper - diced
1/2 cup each yellow and red papaya - cubed
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts

Combine and toss to coat well. Refrigerate for half an hour to allow flavors to blend.

Cheddar and Tarragon Crisps
Makes 1 baking sheet of crisps

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons tarragon leaves

Mix well and spread on a greased parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a 450 degree F oven until bubbly, browned and crisp - 5 - 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Let stand until cool before peeling from parchment and breaking into serving pieces.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Products to Try

Crofter's Organic Superfruit Spreads - I had no idea what a superfruit was before this, and I'm still not sure I do, but it wouldn't make a difference to me with these spreads, they're so good it doesn't matter! Chock full of real fruit (a full pound in each jar!), tons of flavor and antioxidants like you've never seen before, you won't need another jam, jelly or preserve after you taste these. They are available in four different World-Traveled flavors:
  • Crofter’s North America Superfruit: Classic Cranberry and Blueberry
  • Crofter’s South America Superfruit: Exotic blend of Maqui Berry and Passionfruit
  • Crofter’s Europe Superfruit: Old world Pomegranate and Black Currant
  • Crofter’s Asia Superfruit: Bright blend of Yumberry and Raspberry
We had these on toast and English muffins every morning and I used a jar of Asia Superfruit for these delicious Fruit and Grain Bars I made for Perfect! Find a location near you that sells these - NOW.

Gourmè Mist™ Olive Oil and Vinegar Misters are not only healthy oil and vinegar alternatives and organic to boot, they're also great for the environment. These misters work with a pump-action cap that dispenses a continuous stream of product without using aerosols.

Swanson Natural Goodness™ Chicken Broth has 1/3 less sodium and is 100% fat free but there's no way you'd know either. I've been making my own chicken stock for years and this is as close as I've come to it in a prepared product. I used it straight up as a soup base and also to cook rice and the flavor waas right on. Anything better for you that also tastes good is something I appreciate.

Le Towelé™ - Lost your towel? Not anymore! This handy little invention makes it easy to keep your towel at your side at all times. My kids like to run off with my kitchen towels at every turn and this gadget has thwarted them and kept the towel on my side. Check out Le Towelé™ and many other fine products at ARGEE Corporation.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bloggers in Caring Blog it Forward to Fight Hunger - Your Comments Will Help!

When was the last time you were hungry? Now, I'm not talking about an hour before dinner when your tummy is growling, I mean real hunger, when you are already famished and have no idea when or what your next meal will be. The name for that condition is called, 'food insecurity', and in my home state, Pennsylvania, it affects 10% of the population. That's an estimated 1.2 million people in Pennsylvania and 31 million across the United States.

Join me, along with ShopRite Partners in Caring and General Mills in the fight against hunger. Fighting hunger is nothing new to ShopRite, they've been doing it for more than 20 years through its support of the Feeding America network (formerly America’s Second Harvest) and through participation in the Checkout Hunger program.

For the last 10 years, the ShopRite Partners in Caring program has joined forces with more than 50 manufacturers to provide products marked with the ShopRite Partners in Caring shelf label. When these products are purchased at any one of the 217 ShopRite stores, a donation is made to a food bank local to that particular store.

Where do you come in? If you live in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut or Maryland, shopping at ShopRite stores and choosing products with the Partners in Caring label will help. If you don't live in one of the states mentioned, simply comment on this post and, for every comment made*, a box of General Mills cereal will be donated a local food bank; it doesn't get any easier than that!

For more information on all that ShopRite is doing in the fight against hunger, visit

*Up to 30 comments
**Update: Although PIC will provide boxes of cereal to a local food bank up to 30 comments, I am committing to making a donation for EVERY SINGLE COMMENT AFTER 30 to a food bank of my choosing - so, BRING ON THE COMMENTS!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Cooking with Anne on Frigidaire Website

Remember that delicious recipe for Tumeric Shrimp in Banana Leaves, with Banana Salsa? Now you can view it at the Frigidaire Website:

Exciting, huh? While you're there, check out the many Home & Kitchen Products available - there's a huge selection of top-quality produts from cook tops to washing machines and beyond to browse. They know their stuff; they've been around since 1916!

Don't forget to Take the Daily Dare for your chance to WIN a new Frigidaire Affinity front-load washer and dryer!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Cherry Upside-Down Cake
Cherries aren't one of my favorites, but they are for a few of the kids,  so I make cherry pies and turnovers for them. I love Bing cherries of the fresh variety, though, and I picked up some this past week.

Nobody seemed interested in them besides me, so I devised a yummy dessert in which to 'dispose' of them. Even I liked this, which is saying a lot as I really don't like cooked cherries in any form.

We like ours with a smaller cake, but the recipe doubles very easily if you'd like more cake-to-fruit ratio.

Cherry Upside-Down Cake
Makes One 10" round cake
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg - lightly beaten
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons butter - softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar - packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
35 to 45 fresh cherries - pitted and halved

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a 10" round cake pan.
Place halved and pitted cherries, cut side up, into the bottom of the cake pan. Blend brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over cherries. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and blend well. Stir together flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture. Drop evenly over top of cherries - this is a thick dough that can not be poured.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and gently invert onto a large plate.