Dazzling Dips!

With football season in full swing we thought dips would be a great focus for Foodie Walk this month.

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip
*Gluten Free*
4oz. Cream Cheese (half of standard block)
1 C. Plain Greek Yogurt
1 C. Shredded Mozzarella
½ C. Buffalo Sauce (I use Frank’s)
½ C. Blue Cheese
1 T Ranch Spice Blend
3 C. Cooked Chicken, diced or shredded
Mix all ingredients in an oven safe dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve warm, with celery sticks and/or chips and crackers.

 

7 Layer Greek Dip
*Gluten Free* *Vegetarian*
3 C. Plain Hummus
1 C. Tzatziki Sauce
1 C. Diced Tomatoes tossed with lemon juice
1 C. Diced Cucumber tossed with Olive Oil and s/p
1/4-1/2 C. Diced Red Onion
¼ C. Finely chopped Mint
1 C. Crumbled Feta
Starting with Hummus, layer all ingredients in serving dish. Serve with pita chips

 

Dessert Dip
*Gluten Free* *Vegetarian*
½ C. Butter
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/3 C. Brown Sugar
½ C. Powdered Sugar
1tsp Vanilla
Pinch of salt
¾ C. Chocolate Chips
Blend all ingredients in a mixer of food processor. Serve with vanilla wafers or graham crackers.

Chocolate, Cookware and Class!

Each year The Cupboard has a sale on our entire cookware department, because we love cooking and encourage our customers to have the same feelings. This year the cookware sale is starting Saturday, February 22nd and ending Sunday, March 2nd . Customers can choose from top brands including: Swiss Diamond, All Clad, Cuisinart, Le Creuset, Staub, Zwilling, Kuhn Rikon, Fagor, and Lodge. Swiss Diamond is a favorite among customers and employees alike, mine works great for cooking up eggs with ease every morning. On February 22nd The Cupboard will be hosting a demo on Swiss Diamond so come in and see these wonderful pans in action. If you can’t wait that long come and see a demo on pressure cookers and chocolate piping Friday night the 21st during the Foodie Walk. The Cupboards very own events coordinator and baker extraordinaire will be making an upside down chocolate fudge cake using the Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker as well as giving a class [Read more…]

Izzybelles 1

Enjoying Izzybelle Chocolate Sauces

Thirty four years ago, the now married Jim and Karen Day had a hankering. Hot nights on the East Coast while the two were in college called for ice cream and, in their book, ice cream called for chocolate sauce.

The two started experimenting and before long, they’d created their own recipe. It became a family endeavor with the Day’s daughter being “raised on chocolate sauce” and it improved constantly for thirty years. The next chapter began while the couple was enjoying the farmer’s market near their home in Castle Rock, Colorado. They loved the fresh produce and local vendors and were suddenly struck with an idea: They could be a part of it, too! They named their new company after their beloved dog and began bottling their blend in 2007. The rest is history. [Read more…]

The Cook’s Cookies

The sun is gone by 5:00 pm and is not showing back up until 7:00 am. It is cold and snowy! What do you do to fight those blues? Sorry… the Cook forgets that there are people out there that love these conditions and the Cook was one of those…but not now. Spend one winter in north-central Russia, yet alone many, and that is a love never to return.

So what does one do to find comfort from the cold and dark? The Cook goes to baking and soup making. Comfort food is what it is now called. What is your favorite?

Cookies, (aka: biscuits, keks, biscotti, galletas) small flat baked treats, according to a few sources, where originally invented rather by accident than by design. It is claimed that [Read more…]

Ginger up your life for vitality and flavor.

The Cook loves ginger and is on the list of culinary must haves.

     Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale. That’s a mouthful of botanist lingo. Let us lay-persons just call it a root stalk and move on. My horticulturist partner informs me that ginger, cardamom, and turmeric are all related. No wonder that the Cook uses those spices regularly as well.

    Ginger is most often cultivated in China and South Asia but recently Africa and the Caribbean, Jamaica in particular, have been producing the plant as well. It is used as a perennial landscaping plant in warmer climates because of the aesthetic appeal of its yellow flowers. The culinary uses of ginger are numerous, and considered a quintessential flavouring in Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Southeast Asian cuisines.

    There have been numerous claims of medicinal uses and cures using ginger. The Cook cannot elaborate on this other than to have the readers do research into these uses. So… let us return to the tasty, but sometimes hot, Cooks culinary uses for this versatile root.

     Stir-frying with ginger first comes to mind. Fish, meats, poultry, and vegetables all lend themselves well to cooking with ginger. But… the Cook loves a more liquid state to the use of ginger and there is not a better formula for ginger syrup than Chef Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger – ginger syrup.  (See: http://www.ming.com)

     When purchasing ginger, look for young ginger. Young ginger will give you a softer and slightly less hot taste and is preferred by the Cook. Look for stalks that have nice smooth skin – no wrinkles. If you are making infused drinks with ginger, then the mature older stalks, with wrinkles usually, are just fine as they will yield a more intense flavor.

    The Cook loves ginger syrup for flavouring drinks, smoothies, frappes, and as a topping for numerous desserts. Vanilla, lemon, or berry gelato or ice cream with a drizzle of ginger syrup is both simple and elegant and will finish off any type of meal. Try it, you will love it too.

    Another great dessert is a plain custard or tapioca topped with your favorite in-season berries and a light pour of ginger syrup. If you are a fan of Tofu, try the ginger syrup on a square of tofu and garnish with a few finely chopped roasted peanuts. This a dessert found in Thailand, where the tofu is scooped out and layered with a hot ginger sauce poured over and served with roasted sesame seeds.

    Since the Cook has been instructed to keep things short, the Cook will leave you with a recipe for a mild version of ginger syrup but encourages you to check out Ming Tsai’s version. It is super!

Use your imagination with this versatile root. Ginger will reward and awaken your culinary palate.

 Thanks for reading and see you next time.

 The Cupboard Cook.

 Simple Thai Ginger Syrup

¾ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup of water
2-3 tablespoons of thin sliced or 1/8 inch diced peeled ginger

     In a medium sauce pan, bring the water, ginger, and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by one-half. The liquid should look syrupy and if drizzled onto a plate, it should hold a ribbon. Cool to room temperature or use warm if the recipe calls for it. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for a few days but it is best when used fresh.

 Ginger Lemonade

 32 ounces of your favorite lemonade mix
½ cup of ginger syrup
Sparkling water or club soda to taste

     The Cook uses fresh squeezed lemon juice (Meyer lemons preferred), but you can use your favorite ready mix and prepare as directed on the package. To this, add the ginger syrup and about 1 cup of sparkling water. You could also use your favorite ginger ale.

    For another taste, try brewing you favorite tea and mix ¼ cup of the lemonade to the tea and add ice.