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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Wish For You in 2014

Today, there is no new recipe to share. Instead, today being the last day of 2013, it is a day to reflect on the past year and to let you in on what's been going on in my personal life. I don't share very much here on the blog because, let's face it, it's a food blog not a documentary. But I can't tell you what I wish for in 2014 without giving you a little personal background.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 10 Appetizers

New Year's Eve is synonymous with appetizers. Well at least it is in my family. We generally forgo eating a large, formal dinner and opt for different appetizers instead. Years ago I used to make the whole formal dinner thing with filet mignon or shrimp and then later while we were watching the ball drop we would have our hors d' oeuvres. But eating all of that food, especially late at night, left us feeling EXTREMELY full and bloated.

I decided to take a peek in the CEK archives to see what appetizers were most popular here on the blog. Believe it or not, once I make a recipe, I'm so consumed with making something new to experiment with and share with all of you, that I rarely make the same thing again. Here are the Top 10 Appetizers based on the most number of views and I think I'll be making a few of these again real soon! ~Enjoy!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tabasco & Honey Chicken Wings

The next New Year's Eve appetizer idea I'd like to share with you is for these Tabasco & Honey Chicken Wings. I first posted this back in February 2012 under the 10 Must Have Foods for Superbowl

Friday, December 27, 2013

Semi-Homemade Green Goddess Dressing

Did you ever plan a last minute get together and wanted to serve something quick and easy to your guests? Look no further! All you need are three ingredients to make this Semi-Homemade Green Goddess Dressing.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pesto and Goat Cheese Crostini

I originally shared this recipe back in March under my Irish Bunco and Other Ideas for St. Patrick's Day post, but wanted to give this Pesto and Goat Crostini it's own page on the site; especially since New Year's Eve is right around the corner.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

How to Clean & Prepare Mussels

Most of you know that I don't eat seafood; especially if you've been reading my blog for a while. My family however loves most of it; especially mussels which I will be making once again on Christmas day. So I'm sharing some tips I got from my mother on how to clean and prepare mussels. I've been told that "They are the cleanest mussels I've ever eaten!" so I must be doing something right! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ZipList Partnership Announcement

I am so THRILLED to announce my new partnership with ZipList!

If you're not familiar with ZipList, the site allows you to search and save recipes from thousands of popular food websites (including those from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen!) to your personal recipe box; then allows you to add the ingredients directly to your grocery list. You can then sort your favorite recipes by source, ingredients or cook time and add them to your weekly meal planner. How cool is that!

Here is what you have to do:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Recipe ReRun: How to Make a Standing Rib Roast

The next Recipe ReRun I wanted to share with you this week is How to Make a Standing Rib Roast. I originally posted this last January, but thought it was appropriate to share before Christmas this year. Especially since I will be making one myself.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Recipe ReRun:Bacon and Havarti Quiche

This week I'll be running a few favorite recipes and I'm starting with this Bacon and Havarti Quiche. This dish not only makes a wonderful brunch menu item, it is also a fabulous dish to serve Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Cashews

Cashews are one of my favorite nuts to snack on. I just love the natural buttery flavor. So I decided to sweeten them up a bit by roasting them in honey and ground cinnamon. These cashews were delicious and made a light salty-sweet snack. ~Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pomegranate Cabernet Braised Short Ribs

Beef short ribs become extremely tender when braised and I like to use the English Cut; which is when the ribs are separated from one another along the bone and the meat sits on the top. They come in either a long slab or cut in half into 2" pieces; which is what I prefer using as I feel it's easier for portion control. I've made two other variations of short ribs including Braised Short Ribs made with two types of mustard, fresh rosemary and red wine and Beer Braised Short Ribs. Both were phenomenal and it had to do mostly with the cooking method. Low and slow = perfect every time! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Greek Yogurt Cookbook #Giveaway

My dear friend Lauren Kelly, C.N. wrote another cookbook entitled,  The Greek Yogurt Cookbook and I was honored to have three of my recipes included in this publication as well. Greek yogurt is being touted as "the next superfood" and for good reason--it's delicious, low in fat, and has about 18 grams of protein per serving! The Greek Yogurt Cookbook expands the food beyond the quick breakfast or snack with 125 delicious Greek yogurt recipes for any time of day.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blueberry Almond Crumb Cake

Are you ready for the EASIEST dessert you're ever going to make? This Blueberry Crumb Cake is it! Five (YES 5!) ingredients and less than one hour of your time are all you need to make this scrumptious dessert.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Copycat Panera Broccoli & Cheese Soup

I have my own version of Broccoli & Cheese Soup in my cookbook, but so many people asked me about Panera Bread's version that I had to seek out their recipe and try it myself. I found this version made with half and half and it was very similar to my own recipe.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Cookie Day

When I first saw it was National Cookie Day, I thought to myself,  "Self, you have so much on your plate this year, are you really going to make a ton of cookies like last year?" My first reaction was "Of course I am! I love blaring Christmas music throughout the house while baking up a storm in my kitchen. I do it every year!"

And then my chest started palpating and anxiety started to set in. When would I make these cookies? Which new ones am I going to make, photograph and share? How many commitments do I have in the next month?

And there it was in black and white. "How many commitments do I have in the next month?". 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chicken Florentina

Did you ever go to your local pizza place and look at their menu? Many places serve a lot more than just pizza. They have so many wonderful sounding chicken, veal, pasta and seafood (if you like that kind of thing!) dishes, yet I rarely try anything else on the menu. If I want pizza, I get pizza.

Monday, December 2, 2013

$600 Visa Gift Card Holiday Cheer #Giveaway

Can you believe it's December already? Thanksgiving is over and Hanukkah is under way; which also means that it's officially shopping season! In fact, today is Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year. So I rallied some of my favorite food bloggers together and we decided to give someone a little extra spending money this holiday season. A little? Heck...we decided to give away $600! After all, we truly appreciate and love all of our readers!

All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter link below and tell us what you would do with an extra $600 this holiday season. Once you comment, you will have over 50 other chances to enter. The giveaway runs from December 2-15, 2013 and one winner will be chosen and notified on December 16, 2013. Please read the complete Terms & Conditions as this giveaway is only valid for U.S residents only (Sorry, rules of the gift card company prohibit us from offering this outside of the U.S.).

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top 15 Side Dishes

I'll be taking the next couple of days off to prepare for our Thanksgiving feast and spend time with family and friends, so I compiled a list of the 15 Most Popular Side Dish recipes on the blog. Stop back on Monday for a post you won't want to miss where some of my blogging friends and I will be giving away a $600 Visa Gift Card just in time for your holiday shopping.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving from my kitchen to yours! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that is orange in color, similar to pumpkin, and has a sweet nutty flavor. It's not something I've ever made before. In fact, I don't even remember eating it growing up. The first time I had it was when my mother made Butternut Squash Soup a few years ago and I loved it. This year, I decided to try to make the squash myself and wanted to use some of my favorite flavors like garlic, sun dried tomatoes and fresh rosemary, and roasting this squash seemed like the best plan.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Winners of Carrie's Experimental Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway

Thank you all for entering, I loved reading all of your comments. Congratulations to the following 5 winners! Each will receive a signed copy of my cookbook, Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of Mediterranean Inspired Family Meals.  

If you would like to purchase a copy for yourself or give one as a gift this holiday season, you can order through the e-Store tab on my website, where I also have Downloadalble PDF's for Desserts and Under 400 Calories: Main Entrees. At this time, I can only ship signed copies to the U.S; however, you can also purchase a copy of the cookbook through AmazonBarnes and NobleIndie Bound or Tate Publishing.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

French Onion Soup {Cookbook Giveaway Week}

I hope you all enjoyed some of the recipes this week from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of Mediterranean Inspired Family Meals cookbook. The last recipe I'm going to share with you this week is French Onion Soup. This soup is the perfect treat for a cold, rainy day and being one of my early childhood favorites, it seemed fitting that this be the first soup I ever made. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Haricot Verts with Feta, Cranberries & Pistachios {Cookbook Giveaway Week}

For today's Cookbook Week recipe, I'm sharing this Haricot Vert with Feta, Cranberries & Pistachios salad. Haricot vert is French for “green beans” and are longer and thinner than the American variety of green beans. I like to use these instead of regular green beans on occasion; however, the American green bean would also work just as well in this recipe. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Garlic & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms & Giveaway

Day 3 of Cookbook Week continues with my all time favorite appetizer, Garlic & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. Do you want to impress your guests the next time you invite them over for dinner? Then these stuffed mushrooms are the perfect solution! This recipe originated about 20 years ago after sampling them at a local restaurant one evening. They were oozing with garlicky, cheesy goodness and I couldn’t wait to replicate the recipe at home. After several failed attempts, I came up with these. 

The best part about this recipe is that they are extremely simple to prepare and can even be made the night before and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake them. Because there is only one ingredient in the filling, these make the perfect last minute appetizer and your guests will think you’ve been slaving all day in the kitchen to prepare them.

Garlic & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 25 minutes      Serves: 8
  • 16 Extra Large White Mushrooms
  • 1 8-oz. container Light Garlic Herb Cheese Spread, like Alouette®
  • 1 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • Egg Wash (3 eggs with 1/4 c. milk)
  • 1/2 c. Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c. Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Gently wipe off the mushrooms using a damp cloth. 
  2. Fill each mushroom cap with the cheese until it is level with the top of the mushroom.
  3. In three separate bowls, prepare your flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs.
  4. Coat each stuffed mushroom first in the flour, next in the egg wash, and then in the breadcrumbs.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and spray the tops of the mushrooms with the cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 350°F for approximately 20-25 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
Enter for your chance to win a copy of Carrie's Experimental Kitchen cookbook using the Rafflecopter link below. Five (5) lucky winners will be selected and notified on Monday, November 25, 2013. Please read all terms and conditions as this contest is only valid in the Continental U.S. 
Good Luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Braised Short Ribs & Giveaway

Cookbook Giveaway Week continues with another of my favorite recipes from my cookbook, Braised Short Ribs. When trying to come up with some new recipes incorporating beef to add to the collection, my friend Cindy suggested I make short ribs. At the time, I had never made them at home, though I had eaten them out numerous times. I was a little skeptical about how my latest experiment was going to turn out, but needless to say we enjoyed these so much, that I’ve since made these several times and in different ways (including an upcoming version with pomegranates and Cabernet wine!). 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baked Brie with Dried Cherries & Giveaway

Did you know that I wrote a cookbook and it was published? Well, I did! It's called Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of Mediterranean Inspired Family Meals and was released December 2012. I love this early compilation of my original, family favorite recipes and the book has received many positive comments. There are over 180 easy to prepare recipes inside and all are definitely worth trying!

You can read more about the book and how to order under the eStore tab, but since this is the week before Thanksgiving and I am so GRATEFUL to each and every one of you that have helped make CEK a success, I'll be sharing a recipe and giving away a signed copy of my cookbook each day this week!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

6 Recipe Ideas for Leftover Turkey

Thanksgiving is over. You're completely stuffed and you've eaten all the turkey sandwiches you can handle. Now what? Here are 6 recipe ideas to use up some of that leftover turkey!

(you can substitute turkey)

What do you like to make with your leftover turkey? 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Believe it or not, we didn't eat many cheese balls at our family gatherings growing up. Mainly we would have an antipasto or cold shrimp with cocktail sauce or sausage bread. It wasn't until I was older that I was introduced to the cheese ball while attending parties at some of my friends' family gatherings. Still, I never even made one until recent years. They are really easy and quick to make. It's the refrigeration time that takes the longest.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Antonia's Portuguese Stuffing

My husband never knew his grandparents on his father's side of the family as my father in law was the youngest of nine siblings and was a "change of life" baby as they like to call it. His Portuguese grandmother, Antonia, was pregnant with twins at the age of 50, but the doctors thought she had a tumor. Nine months later, my father in law was born and sadly, his brother had passed in the womb. By the time my husband was born, both grandparents had passed away, but the stories lived on through his parents, aunts, uncles and older cousins.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Spiked Mini Apple Tarts with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Everyone has their favorite desserts and Thanksgiving is when we seem to make all of them...yes, at the same time. Pumpkin Pie. Apple Pie. Cheesecake. Chocolate Cream Pie. We always have a TON of desserts left over and half of the time we wind up throwing some of them away. This year, I experimented with a smaller version of one of my favorites with these Spiked Mini Apple Tarts with Cinnamon Whipped Cream. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recipe ReRun: Pumpkin & Sage Risotto

This week I've had to take it easy and stay off of my feet and out of the kitchen as I had minor surgery to remove a small cyst (that turned out to be a benign tumor!) on my right foot. I know. Always something around here! Anyway, I will have more new Thanksgiving recipe ideas to share with you next week.

So in keeping with my Thanksgiving theme,  I've decided to reintroduce this Pumpkin and Sage Risotto for Recipe ReRun. I first made this Pumpkin and Sage Risotto last November and it was deliciously creamy with the wonderful flavors of pumpkin and fresh sage. This recipe contains only 5 ingredients and serves 5 people so you may want to double it.

If you've missed any recent posts, here are some more ideas to try this holiday:

Next week, be on the lookout for Portuguese Stuffing, Pumpkin Pecan Cheese Ball and Spiked Mini Apple Tarts with Cinnamon Whipped Cream!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cranberry Pear Sauce

Let's see a show of hands. How many people use canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving? I always did. It was just what I grew up with and yes, I even liked the jellied version that had to be sliced. (No judgement please). That is until last year when I made my own version after seeing how easy it was on some of my favorite blogs.