Showing posts with label Memorial-Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Memorial-Day. Show all posts

25 August 2015

Summer Food: Raspberry Almond Cheesecake Tartlets

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Instead of cheesecake, try Raspberry Almond Cream Tartlets.
       Photo by Helana Brigman



From Denny:  Do you enjoy cheesecake but want an easier way to make it?  Then this recipe is for you.  I like cheesecake too but find it too large for just two of us to eat and too time consuming to make unless I plan on entertaining a hungry crowd.  

A springform pan is an absolute must to make a proper cheesecake - and the patience of a saint to leave the oven door cracked open as it slowly cools down for hours so you can hopefully avoid it cracking straight down the middle like an ugly scar.  Usually, I've been pretty lucky over the years.  Of course, when I wasn't lucky it was evident that a wonderful fruit topping like blueberry or strawberry could hide a multitude of sins just like gravy on a screwed up dinner. :)

Well, this recipe from food writer Helana Brigman is for the cheesecake challenged and the impatient.  You make this cheesecake in mini tartlets pans that are individual portions in just bite sized pieces rather than a huge honking slice of 6,000 calories like you get served at the Cheesecake Bistro.

What's involved in this recipe is to first make a simple graham cracker crust you crush up in your food processor or blender.  If you don't have that available then resort to the manual method of crushing graham crackers between two pieces of waxed paper using a pastry rolling pin.  

If you are really desperate just use a heavy jar of applesauce or canned "something" to roll over the waxed paper.  Yes, I have been wildly creative over the years, especially when the weather was too yucky to run out and get an ingredient that was missing or the electricity went out.  During hurricanes it's easy to get bored so you start working on what you can for a meal until the electricity comes back on to finish it.

The cheese filling could not be simpler:  cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and lemon zest.

The fruit glaze is made with fresh ripe strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice that you heat up in a nonstick pan.  If you don't like nonstick pans like I don't then use a double boiler.  Just place medium high heated water in bottom pot that is turned down to a slow simmer and place a smaller pot or even a pasta bowl on top to heat your ingredients.  Just be careful as you remove the cooked fruit glaze from the bottom pot because the steam can burn you.

Assemble by lightly spraying your tartlet pans with oil or rub with a little soft butter.  Press the crushed graham cracker crumb mixture until you line the sides well.  Bake the crust.  Make your cheese filling and spread over the cooled crusts.  Make your fruit glaze, cool it, and then spread onto the tartlets.  There will be leftover fruit glaze you can enjoy on your pancakes or ice cream.  Rinse your raspberries and arrange in the center of the tartlets with sprinkles of sliced almonds all along the outside edges in a ring.

Now contain yourself and any sticky fingers in the house!  Chill the assembled tartlets for three hours before serving.  If you plan to keep them overnight - or if they survive that long at your house - then be sure to cover with plastic wrap to prevent them from losing moisture or absorbing any possible refrigerator odors.

Yes, you can enjoy making cheesecake at home with this easy recipe!  Try it with different fruits like blueberry or peaches...


Keep Calm, Really? Potholder


Unleash your funny inner emotional diva!
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Keep Calm Really? Queen Duvet


Keep Calm Really? Queen Duvet

Unleash your funny inner emotional diva!  Design also available in twin and king sizes with pillow cases, pillows, t-shirts and more products.
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new! 


23 August 2015

Breakfast: Easy Simple French Toast Casserole

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Gourmet Galley, French Toast Casserole
        The Advocate photo: HEATHER MCCLELLAND 


From Denny:  Whether it's the holidays, a busy summer when the kids are out of school or company came to visit, we all need something fast and simple to put together that's a crowd pleaser.  This simple easy to assemble breakfast casserole fits that bill!

All the ingredients required are a loaf of good French bread, a full 8 ounces of your favorite brand of cream cheese, milk, maple syrup, butter, sugar and eggs.  Add fresh fruit to serve and it's that easy!

Usually when a recipe calls for sugar I often substitute agave syrup or brown rice syrup or even molasses.  If you don't like or can enjoy cow's milk why not substitute almond milk?  When butter is in a recipe I choose to clarify it just because we love the extra boost of flavor at our house from browning and filtering out the milk solids - as well as the added health benefits.  You could use margarine in this recipe as a substitute too.  And, to gild the lily, why not add a few shakes of nutmeg and/or cinnamon, some chopped pecans or walnuts before baking?  Yeah, Flavor Town is the name at our house...



Sports Blue Soccer Queen Duvet


A blue abstract background with bold lettering declaring your love of the sport from Louisiana artist Denny Lyon.  Available in twin and king sizes and on other products too!
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Sports Blue Soccer Woven Throw Pillow


Sports Blue Soccer Woven Throw Pillow


A blue abstract background with bold lettering declaring your love of the sport from Louisiana artist Denny Lyon.  Available on other products too!
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new! 


19 August 2015

Summer Food: Cream Cheese Pastry Blueberry-Apple Cobbler and Traditional Blueberry Cobbler

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Good Blueberry Cobbler
        The Advocate photo: HEATHER MCCLELLAND 

From Denny:  Blueberries.  The awesome blue food we all love.  So, I went hunting for something interesting in the cobbler department for us this week.  The first recipe is from our local newspaper, a blueberry cobbler made with a cream cheese pastry and a filling that consists of a combination of blueberries, apple and lemon.  A cream cheese pastry always tastes great with a fruit filling, especially blueberries!  It's a simple and straightforward pastry recipe with flour, salt and butter but also with cream cheese and a bit of orange juice added to the pastry to spike up the flavor.

The filling calls for fresh blueberries, an apple and lemon juice and lemon zest.  While this recipe calls for sugar I often substitute brown rice syrup or agave syrup in its place for a lower glycemic index than refined white sugar.  Try it half sugar and half agave as an idea, whatever you like at your house, just try experimenting until you find that sweet spot Goldilocks zone for your taste buds!

The second recipe is a traditional blueberry cobbler made in a 9-inch square baking pan like you do for brownies and is from a local Louisiana blueberry grower.  When a recipe calls for margarine, well, I'm no fan of margarine, so I use clarified butter.  If you don't have the time to make your own clarified butter it's now available in grocery stores as I saw a jar in Trader Joe's just last week.

Also note that I use "Tablespoon" and "teaspoon" as an easier read so you don't get confused by small type - by writing it out instead of an abbreviation and also capitalizing Tablespoon.  There have been those moments when I was busy and scan read a recipe only to make a mistake with too much or too little of an ingredient so I changed all my recipes to reflect what I do here on my food blogs.  The whole point is to enjoy a good food experience!

Oh, and the Denny Lyon Gifts ads are from my Cafe Press store.  The profits go to my two favorite charities:  the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank that feeds half of Louisiana and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital that has helped thousands of children on the Gulf Coast.  After all, should anyone go hungry in America?  Should any parent have to emotionally stress and experience financial ruin because their child got sick?  Thank you to those of you supporting my gift store effort!...


Maggie Name Dog Tags

Human or pet Ms. Maggie deserves her own personalized jewelry too!
Loads of other products and names available so check back often as new ones added.

Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  


Maggie Name Woven Throw Pillow

Human or pet Ms. Maggie is in the house and deserves her own special pillow!
Loads of other products and names available so check back often as new ones added.

Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  


17 August 2015

Summer Food: Deliciously Easy Small Blueberry Cake

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Small Blueberry Cake
                                                                         Photo: The Advocate/HEATHER MCCLELLAND

 

From Denny:  This is an easy to assemble cake, practically a dump cake after you add together the dry ingredients and milk.  You pour the melted butter over the batter without stirring and layer loads of blueberries on top and then bake to get this marbling effect.

Make sure you are using aluminum free baking powder, an easy find at most grocery stores these days and always at health food stores like Trader Joe's.  You could also substitute agave syrup for the white sugar to lower the glycemic index.  I'm considering trying it with brown rice syrup to see how it performs so I'll let you know later how that turns out.  (First we have to finish off my experiment with a rice pudding recipe that came out quite well.)

While this recipe calls for Louisiana blueberries there are plenty of other blueberry growers with very delicious berries in Texas, Mississippi and California and other states too.  Since blueberries have grown in popularity more farmers have turned to growing them.  Get what is local to you so the berries will be fresh.  Buy USA berries which supports workers and farmers in America.

This is a small pan cake (9" x 9") so it is suitable for just a snack for a few friends or a couple of people who regularly cook for two - with leftovers.  Oh, that's too bad, you mean there might be more to enjoy for breakfast?  This would be wonderful at tea time or a coffee break snack at the office or home as this little cake will travel well for picnics and gatherings too.  It would even taste great chilled for the hot summer weather.  Blueberries are awesome and healthy!

Oh, and a big thank you to those of you supporting Denny Lyon Gifts by purchasing products like aprons, t-shirts, pillows, bedding and mugs.  My profits (paid by Cafe Press) go to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank here in Louisiana that basically feeds half of the state and also to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, two of my favorite charities that help a lot of children.  Who should go hungry in America?  Who should experience financial ruin because your child gets sick?  So, I started up my small store at Cafe Press for some creative fun of designing and to give to these charities.  So, again, thank you for your support.  You guys rock!...




Lucy Name Mug


Is your fav person, dog or cat named Lucy? Check out fun products for her! "Lucy is in the house!" Loads of other names available so check back often as new ones added.
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  



Lucy Name Canvas Lunch Tote

Lucy - whether human or beloved pet - deserves her own special tote for her yummy treats!
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  



15 August 2015

Summer Food: Easy Blueberry Heaven Trifle


Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Blueberry Heaven
Advocate photo/HEATHER MCCLELLAND

From Denny:   Could this week get any hotter?  With 100 degree highs and a 115 degree heat index this summer is turning out to be a real scorcher.  It brings to mind a Downton Abbey episode when Lord Grantham was arm-twisted by the women of the family to quit drinking for six months until his health issue was confirmed or denied: "Good God, man! Steady on!"  Any time we don't like something or want to complain at our house that's our new go-to phrase for laughs.

Cooling summer desserts come to mind when the weather is uncooperatively too hot.  In fact, before the age of air conditioning it was custom to never eat a hot meal.  The vegetables were as cold as the meats on the plate.  You still see some of that mindset in places like Greece where the concept of a hot vegetable is considered strange.  They boil their vegetables and then chill them before even considering offering them to a guest or family.  With this kind of outrageous weather the idea sounds good!  It certainly takes the stress off the body for getting too hot.

What?! You've heard enough about the ridiculous hot weather and Greek culture?  How about this easy recipe that is kid friendly too that the family could help with this one.  This one is easy to assemble as it involves a purchased angel food cake torn into chunks, cream cheese (whipped or not), sweetened condensed milk, a box of Jell-O vanilla pudding, whipping cream, toasted pecans (Louisiana pecans, if you can get them, because they sure are wonderful) and a honking huge quart of fresh blueberries.  Remember, this trifle does serve 10 to 12 people.  Enjoy!...




Lucy Name Mug


Is your fav person, dog or cat named Lucy? Check out fun products for her! "Lucy is in the house!"  Loads of other names available so check back often as new ones added.
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  



Lucy Name Canvas Lunch Tote

Lucy - whether human or beloved pet - deserves her own special tote for her yummy treats!
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  


13 August 2015

Summer Food: Blueberry Lemonade To Beat The Heat

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Grandma's Blueberry Lemonade
2TheAdvocate photo: HEATHER MCCLELLAND

From Denny:  Blue food.  It's pretty to look at and cooling in this summer heat.  Blueberries are the very essence of summer.  Did you know the silvery bloom on blueberries is a naturally protective waxy coating?  

Most people don't wash them until just when ready to eat.  Well, that doesn't work in our house so I pour a large bowl of water, add about 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar and let the entire plastic box and blueberries soak for about 5 minutes to kill bacteria.  Drain the entire box well, dry off a bit with a towel and throw back into the fridge.  Usually, a reputable grocery store - and even from the farm - they give the berries a quick vinegar wash to brush off leaves and bugs.

We all like to dine on blueberries by the handfuls as snacks, toss them on to the breakfast cereal or yogurt and make breakfast muffins. Here's a new twist: how about blueberries in your homemade lemonade?

This interesting recipe (from our local newspaper food writer) combines two fruit syrups:  a blueberry syrup and a lemon syrup.  You only use the blueberry syrup to color the lemonade to your preference.  The remaining blueberry syrup can be used on pancakes, waffles, toast or even in salad dressings.  OK, you got me, this lemonade is so doggone pretty!  Great idea for summer entertaining...



Lucy Name Mug


Is your fav person, dog or cat named Lucy? Check out fun products for her! "Lucy is in the house!"  Loads of other names available so check back often as new ones added.
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  



Lucy Name Canvas Lunch Tote

Lucy - whether human or beloved pet - deserves her own special tote for her yummy treats!
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  



11 August 2015

BBQ Grilling: 3 Tasty Compound Butters To Complement Your Recipes

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Compound Butters
AP photo/Matthew Mead -- Compound Butters

Her first recipe is for an herb butter.  Do you have some favorite herbs that you just can't cook without?  This recipe is all about your favorite combination of herbs, though she does suggest a few to get you started.  While you could substitute a Vidalia sweet onion in place of shallots, well, shallots are that much sweeter, and, oh, so wonderfully flavorful so try to find them in your area.  Shallots, a favorite of classically trained chefs, are usually in plentiful supply in the spring and summer months, often into autumn.

Are you more in the mood for a citrus butter?  Chef Moulton combines the zest and juice of lemons and limes for a sublime summer taste that everyone will enjoy.

How about something more substantial for those manly men who enjoy a great grilled steak?  Oh, this recipe is for you!  Combine this steak butter with Dijon mustard, a fresh finely minced garlic clove and Worchestershire sauce (we prefer Lea & Perrins at our house though you could use the brand you like),  

If you can't grill outside just use a grill pan on the stovetop to get those prized grill marks, turn it over and place it in the oven to finish.  When ready to plate make sure the steak plate has been heating in the oven. Place a large slice of this steak butter onto the plate and then place the steak on top of the butter.  Talk about awesome taste as the butter melts on the very hot plate, spilling out like a gravy for your steak!  That's the method all the old steakhouses of the 1940's and 1950's used before restaurants went to open charcoal or wood fired grilling.

The beauty of all these butters is that all you have to do is roll them into logs and wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze until ready to use.  Just slice off the amount you need and return it to the freezer.  How simple is that?  You can make these up way ahead of when you will need them.





Funny Friday Weekend Mug

Funny Friday Weekend Mug


Tell the world how you really feel about coming back to work.

Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  -  see what's new!  

09 August 2015

BBQ Grilling: Try Grilled Summer Cooling Puttanesca Gazpacho


Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Grilled Puttanesca Gazpacho
  AP photo/Matthew Mead


From Denny:  Fancy a cold soup to counter the ridiculous hot heat of the summer?  Gazpacho is everyone's favorite, especially when entertaining for large groups.  This version involves grilling all those delicious veggies like red bell peppers, poblano peppers, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and a head of fresh garlic.  

Let the charred peppers cool before removing the skins and the inside seeds and membranes. Squeeze the cooled soft garlic cloves out of their papery skins and into the food processor.  Add the delicious flavors of capers, Kalamata olives, anchovies, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Make the soup as chunky or as smooth as you like.  Chill well before serving.  To serve, garnish with yummy ricotta cheese and fresh torn herbs like cilantro and basil.  Then sit back and wait for the compliments to arrive!


Sophie Name Dog T-Shirt

Sophie is a sweet pup -and wise - she deserves the very best!
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07 August 2015

BBQ Grilling: Goat Cheese Stuffed Grilled Sweet Potatoes








Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Goat Cheese-Stuffed Grilled Sweet Potatoes
                    AP photo: Matthew Mead -- Goat Cheese-Stuffed Grilled Sweet Potatoes

From Denny:  This is a delicious unusual recipe twist for the popular sweet potato.  We all know that goat cheese is a low salt and low fat alternative to the regular highly salted - OK, totally yummy - cheeses.  

I've tried goat cheese as the soft melting quality cheese in my omelets and found it a bit sour in comparison to  my favorite cheddar cheese but eventually created a medley of white cheddar, fontina or mozzarella in addition to just a touch of goat cheese for my favorite blending of flavors..  

Yet that slightly tangy sour taste is the perfect healthy complement to the very sugary sticky sweet potato.  This recipe also adds fresh thyme and olive oil for aromatic delight and lots of fresh garlic and butter for robust flavor.  To sweeten it up a bit the zest of an entire orange is added for that citrus brightness that pairs so very well with sweet potato!

It's advised you slice the sweet potato in thick chunks so it is easy for the thick smear of cheese, oils, herbs and citrus zest to adhere better.  If you like your potatoes to have a bit of crispness on the skin, then open up the aluminum foil in the last 10 minutes of grilling to brown and crisp up a bit.  

Also note that you will require a microwave to partially bake the potatoes before placing on the grill.  This recipe is best done at home instead of at some remote fishing camp with no electricity - like we have so many of here on the Gulf Coast, especially Louisiana. :)

This is such an easy recipe it is kid friendly and a good choice to help teach the kids to learn how to grill by helping you with the prep work.  What creative kid would not enjoy smearing a gooey mess onto those sweet potatoes?  I rest my case. :)  Enjoy!


Let Good Times Roll Stein


Let Good Times Roll celebrates Mardi Gras all year long!
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05 August 2015

BBQ Grilling: Red Onions, Shishito Peppers with Peanut Sauce

Grilled Red Onions and Shishito Peppers With Peanut Sauce is a simple and fast dish that plays up the smoke and char.
AP photo:  Red Onions, Shishito Peppers with Peanut Sauce


From Denny:  When it comes to summer entertaining we all like to fire up the grill.  Well, here's a finger friendly recipe for those chili pepper nibblers and snackers who want to try the latest Shishito pepper sensation in the food world.

The peanut sauce is a medley of awesome flavors: smooth natural peanut butter, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce and your favorite hot sauce.  All that's left to do is add some other good recipes to your party menu like this grilled chicken dunked in that famous Alabama White Sauce!

BBQ Grilling: Butterflied Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Sauce



Just Chill Pales Mug


Whether it's cooling off from the sweltering summer heat or a heated situation it's definitely time to "Just Chill!"
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03 August 2015

BBQ Grilling: Butterflied Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Sauce



Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Butterflied Barbecue Chicken With Alabama White Sauce

AP photo: Matthew Mead -- Butterflied Barbecue Chicken With Alabama White Sauce



Why Get Involved Men's Sleeveless Tee Tank Top


Get Involved: if you don't have a seat at the table you are probably on the menu - Senator Elizabeth Warren
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27 May 2013

Poems From A Spiritual Heart: Peace Upon The Land



Poems From A Spiritual Heart: Peace Upon The Land - A Memorial Day poem to honor ourselves. All of us need to work together to pressure world governments for Peace.  It's past due time for the violence to end in modern societies.

* * *  Support Warriors Pearl Foundation - contributing to fund efforts to help homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @ CafePress.com  - see what's new!  

28 May 2011

Dennys Funny Quotes: Funny Relationship Issues Cartoons, Remember Your Special People Memorial Day

Dennys Funny Quotes: Funny Relationship Issues Cartoons, Remember Your Special People Memorial Day: "From Denny: These cartoons will really get you thinking about your current - or, uh, er, past relationships. It sure takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, doesn't it? A little light humor based off reality is just the ticket for a way to ease into a long holiday weekend...

Strange Brew

Have a great Memorial Day holiday, chill out to shed yourself of some stress, enjoying some time with family and friends. Be sure to lift your glass to toast those who came before us, sacrificing their lives for our freedom during war time or those who sacrificed as good friends to help keep us balanced in the mundane places of life. Take time to remember the best people in your life and celebrate them this special holiday."
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