Friday 29 March 2013

Oreo Truffle Cake Balls {with Rice Paper Butterflies}

I am fairly certain that these are the best cake balls I have ever tasted! TT thinks so too and enjoys them straight from the freezer as the chocolate shell is hard and inside is moist and firm. They are rich like a truffle and so different from the usual cake and frosting mixture. It's a no bake treat, so it takes no time at all to put together!

I wanted to do a test run of these as I'm thinking about making some in the colors of my sister-in-laws nursery colors for her upcoming baby shower in May. For this batch, I just used some dark eating chocolate I had in my pantry for the coating. 

Wednesday 27 March 2013

This takes the cake! Lemon Drizzle Cake!

Take a bite into this Lemon Drizzle cake, and you'll be taken to another place. A place so wonderful that your body goes into autopilot, and 10 seconds later you come back to reality and realize that you've just taken so many bites that half of the cake is gone. And you didn't take any pictures. In fact, you only took five. Oops!

Monday 25 March 2013

Chicken breasts with Apricot-onion sauce

Just when we thought Winter had passed.....Mother Nature is having the last word. Though for some of us, Winter seems not to have been that severe.  March arrived with winds and warmth, well sort of.... and now we're turning towards April.......

Friday 22 March 2013

Fettucine with Kale Pesto- Chef Michael Stebner

I had the rare opportunity to attend this exclusive lunch class with Executive Chef Michael Stebner, who co-created (with Dr. Andrew Weil) True Food Kitchen.The focus of True Food Kitchen is to promote an anti-inflammatory diet while using seasonal, simple and pure ingredients. The menu included Chickpea Bruschetta, Baby Arugula, Frisee with goat cheese salad, Fettuccine with Kale Pesto and  Chocolate Icebox Tart. Love'n The Kitchen was so sweet and gave me free reign to take pictures and roam about the room!
Love'n the Kitchen is proud to be the only cooking school in Arizona, exclusively sponsored by SubZero-Wolf. They feature state of the art, professional equipment and a talented staff. See some of the Beautiful kitchens I photographed. Classes are taught via live demonstration, with plenty of interaction and time for questions. You leave with the recipes and inspiration to re-create the dishes for those you love. 

Wednesday 20 March 2013

March SRS...Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecakes

It's time for the next installment of SRS and I am excited that JJ let me participate in this event. It's such a great way to learn of new food bloggers and network with them. Oh, it's also a great way to gather some new recipes from others and to get our blog seen more and share our recipes and crafts with others.

My SRS partner for the month was Erika from Learning the Ropes...One Recipe at a Time 

Erika is a stay-at-home mom and lives with her family in Kansas. I had such a hard time picking a recipe of hers because she has so many good ones! I must have spent a few days looking over all the great pictures of her food creations, trying to figure out what I wanted to make. Her pictures are mouth-watering! After many hours of deliberating, I decided to go with the Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecakes. The reason being is because I just bought a mini cheesecake pan that I have been wanting to use but hadn't come across anything to use it for. When I saw her posting for these little cheesecakes, a light bulb went off in my head and I was off! I had all the ingredients except for the mini peanut butter cups so I picked those up during an errand to Target. I decided to go with the dark chocolate mini cups as TT and I really enjoy dark over milk chocolate. 

Monday 18 March 2013

Gender Reveal Party!

                                       Weddle it be?

What is this new explosion of gender reveal parties? They are CRAZY! I remember when we didn't know the sex until the baby came out the chute!! Well, okay I'm dating myself now, but, this is some serious fun!! And don't you ever think I am not going to be in on "Some Serious Fun"!! It is usually given by the expectant parents and instead of the party goers surprising the mommy-to-be with a shower, the baby's parents surprise their guests when they reveal the gender of their sweet child. I mentioned the idea to my daughter in passing, when we first knew she was expecting. A few weeks later, she said let's do it!! I was ecstatic! When the idea of "Gender Reveal" started  it was with a few photos of a small group, cutting a cake etc. Now they have developed into some serious all out events!!! Some do “Cravings” as the theme of the snacks, which is totally hilarious, as all pregnant women would agree. At the end of the party they opened a box of balloons with PINK OR BLUE balloons in it. And some do it really over the top with fireworks! There are themed parties with pink and blue shamrocks around St. Patrick's day or pink and blue costumes around Halloween. 

Friday 15 March 2013

Onesie Sugar Cookies (Gender Reveal Party)

My sister-in-law and her husband are expecting their first baby this summer and they wanted to reveal the gender with a party! I wanted to make these cookies for them as "favors" for guests to take with them and enjoy. I did a tutorial on rolled sugar cookies over the holidays with these Christmas Cookies

I used a variation of a basic rolled sugar cookie recipe from Glory over at Glorious Treats. She also has a great royal icing recipe that I like. 

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Irish Soda Bread~ St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is only 5 days away and that means that it is time to start planning your St. Patrick's Day menu. I always enjoy planning my St. Patrick's Day meal as the dishes are always interesting and "Oh so Tasty"! It is a great time to cook with some alcohol such as an Irish beer, stout or ale or an Irish whiskey or even some Irish cream. Corned Beef and Cabbage is of course a favorite for a main but there are plenty of options and lets not forget that there are some really delicious desserts...list and links below. If you do make some corned beef, be sure to make a lot because the leftovers for a Reuben sandwich can be even better than the dish that they came from.

Monday 11 March 2013

Chocolate icebox Tart-From True Food Restaurant

 To say I love chocolate is a gross understatement..........I can remember going to the corner Bartell's drugstore and going straight to the back of the store where the Fountain was, with my Mom, (who is almost 93 years old and still addicted to chocolate) ordering a two scoop Hot Fudge Sundae with whipped cream, nuts and a maraschino cherry.......... These days, I am still a self professed "Chocoholic", but now I moderate.....ugggghhh!  However, I only eat good dark chocolate, my palate sort of changed as I got older, no more milk chocolate, it just doesn't do it for me. This recipe was part of the class I was honored to be a part of in January, given by Lov'n the kitchen. Other recipes that Chef Stebner created and I have blogged about, are listed below in a link. This tart is healthy, it is easy to make and no baking! I love it and I am pretty certain, if you love dark chocolate, you'll love it too!

Chocolate Icebox Tart
Chef Michael Stebner- True Food Kitchen

1 cup Unsweetened Shredded organic Coconut
3/4 cup Ground Almonds
1 1/3 cups Unsweetened Natural cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Agave nectar
1 1/3 cups Coconut oil
1/2 cup Almond butter

In a bowl, mix together the coconut, almonds, 1/3 cup of the cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of the agave nectar and 1/3 cup of the coconut oil. Mix well to make the crust. Press the crust into the bottom and partially up the sides of an 11 by 7 by 2 inch sheet pan or baking dish. Chill for 30 minutes.

Put the almond butter and the remaining 1 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup agave nectar, and 1 cup coconut oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the filling into the chilled tart shell and shill for two hours or until firm. Cut into 1 inch squares and serve. Cover and refrigerate any left over. 

Makes 8-10 servings

You can find this at Whole Foods 
and other health food stores in your area

Chick-pea-bruschetta-chef stebner 

Chiciken Farro Salad- Chef Stebner 

Tuscan Kale Salad- Chef Stebner 

Have a great start to your week!


Friday 8 March 2013

Coconut Macaroon Nests

I can't believe Spring forward is this weekend...what!? Don't get me wrong, I look forward to the longer daylight but I just think the year is flying by and it's only March!

I am such a "bakaholic" and have been obsessed with all the cute Easter goodies and DIY crafty projects that are on the Internet. These caught my eye 1) because I love coconut and 2) because who wouldn't...they are so stinkin cute! I bought a bag of those Cadbury mini eggs just for this project in mind. I had some sweetened coconut in the pantry so it was a no brainer.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

1 year Blogaversary! Yahoo!

One year ago March 7, I made the decision to dive into the blog world. With the help of a couple of family members I chose a name, and sitting on the veranda of our Ocho Rios cottage I created the web site. Trust that the "Sew whats cooking with Joan" website has changed dramatically, since that day. But, my goal to learn about the building of a website and implementing it, stimulating my brain and getting whats in that brain out to you has been successful. Believe it or not, my memory has improved and I am thoroughly enjoying writing the blog. Photography was never of interest to me, however, once I started taking the pictures of food, I became interested in improving the photography of that food. Wee Bear bought me a new camera and I played with settings, and also took some classes from a producer while on board a cruise ship.

Monday 4 March 2013

Pork Shepard's Pie!

St. Patrick's day is around the corner~Here's a twist to the traditional Shepard's pie that I think you will enjoy using "the other white meat"! This Shepard's pie which is typically made with mutton or beef, is lighter using pork. Because the shoulder has so much flavor you can opt to braise it in water instead of stock. I like using Yukon gold potatoes because they have a medium starch make up and can better absorb butter and cream. When it comes to cooking for a crowd, you want a all in one dish. Cooking many courses becomes difficult and overwhelming. This dish is perfect for a crowd and can be made in individual casseroles or one big one. I made individuals, then froze several for quick dinners going forward.

adapted from Chef Ryan Poli 

Friday 1 March 2013

Bruleed Meyer Lemon Bars

I got my lemon fix this week and made these treats! They are delicious and the caramelized sugar on top gives it a little something special both in taste and in presentation. 

These are very simple to make. The only hard part is waiting to eat one as they have to cool a couple times between stages. I used a food torch to caramelize the sugar on top but if you don't have one, you can broil them in the oven. Just pay close attention during the broiling process as they can burn quickly.