Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Camp Glamp - Jenny & Lindsay - April 2016

Darling Jenny and Lindsay hosted their first gourmet night! They picked the funest theme, "Camp Glamp"! Seriously so cute!
 They had the coolest picnic table for the dinner and would you believe Jenny made it?! Amazing! It was perfect for the theme and was decorated awesome for our evening of camping.

Lanterns, candles, flowers, plaids and enamelware were all perfect picks for the tablescape!
This cute enamelware pitcher with flowers was one of my favorite details.

 The foil tins, red and white baskets were a great pick for place settings.
Their menus and place cards were hand made! The time and detail, awesome! 
And the variety of colors they used were really cheery and fun. All the napkins were different colors and had the silverware tucked inside and tied with twine.
 Each name card was a dimensional paper tree they had hand made and each had one of our initials on it for name tags.
Menus were bright and colorful with all the tasty goods listed for the evening.
Their banner was my favorite!  So cute hung from small trees over the appetizers, which were delicious! 

 We started with Cucumber & Cream Cheese Bites,
 Wedge Salad Skewer,
 Peach Lemonade
 and a Hot Chocolate Shot.
 The Cucumber bites were a huge hit! So tasty!
 The peach lemonade and chocolate shot were such fun and bold flavors to go with
 and how cute are the mini mason jugs they served them in?!  Mini spice shakers that they creatively used.

 Soup was a Chicken Tortilla in the darling enamelware mugs.
 Main course was a Maple Srirach Chicken Skewer, a Guinness Beef Skewer with Gouda Cheese Sauce and Corn Salad. Served in metal tins.
 Dessert was another hit with the take on s'mores they did. A Mixed Berry Cobbler, Chocolate Bacon S'more and Chunky Monkey S'more both served on homemade pizelles. So yummy and such a fun idea!
 The take homes were about the cutest things ever, hobo sacks! full of treats and goodies to go.
 A flashlight, rice krispy treats, homemade marshmallows and chex mix alongside the recipes.
Wonderful evening together wrapping up our season. We missed Melissa greatly though and will miss her smile, sweetness and mad baking talent next season!

Cucumber and Cream Cheese Bites
8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Baguette bread or hard crackers
1 cucumber
approx. 2 tsp. dill

Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Italian seasoning. Mix well. Slice bread into thin slices about ½ inch thick. Spread small amount of cream cheese mixture on each piece of bread. Place 1 or 2 slices of cucumbers on top. Sprinkle with dill.

Belgian Hot Chocolate
8 oz Chocolate, bittersweet or semisweet
½  tsp Cinnamon, ground
4 oz Milk chocolate
1 tiny pinch Salt
1 qt Half-and-half or whole milk

Warm about one-third of the half-and-half or milk, with the chopped chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the remaining half-and-half or milk, heating until the mixture is warmed through. Add the cinnamon. Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth. Serve very warm. (

Wedge Salad Skewers
Iceberg lettuce (cubed)
Grape tomatoes
Sharp cheddar cheese (cubed)
Thick-sliced Bacon (cooked)
Dressing (Greek yogurt and Ranch seasoning packet), add milk to thin out if necessary)
Place alternating ingredients on skewers. Drizzle dressing just before serving.

Peach Lemonade
2 cups sliced peaches [or 1 (12 oz.) bag of frozen peaches]
2 large lemons, or as needed
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup cane sugar, or to taste
4 cups cold water, or as required
Ice cubes and mint to garnish

Squeeze enough lemon juice as required. Blend everything (except the mint) together until well combined. Serve chilled with additional ice cubes and optionally garnished with mint. (

Chicken Tortilla Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 oz taco seasoning, packet
4 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can black beans
3 (15 oz) cans navy beans
1 (15 oz) can corn
3 cups chicken, cooked
1 cup heavy cream

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the onions, and cook until translucent. Next, add the green chilies, the taco seasoning packet, all the canned items, and the chicken. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for several minutes until heated through. Lastly, add the cream and heat for 5-10 more minutes.

Corn Salad
5 ears of corn, shucked (or frozen, Trader Joe’s grilled corn)
1 package (16 oz) frozen shelled edamame
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
½ cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
3 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp good olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ cup julienned fresh basil leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool. Cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob. Microwave or quickly saute edamame to unthaw. Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the edamame, tomatoes, red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

Grilled Maple Sriracha Chicken Kebobs
2 large chicken breasts, cubed
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp sriracha sauce

Place cubed chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic bag. Whisk together soy sauce, maple syrup, and sriracha sauce. Pour over the top of the chicken and massage into the chicken. Marinate for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. Once chicken is done marinating, soak wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes. Then skewer the chicken pieces on to the skewer. We had about 6 skewers with maybe 6-7 pieces of chicken on each skewer. Turn your outdoor grill on high (or you can use an indoor grill or your stovetop) and grill chicken until thoroughly cooked through. (

Guinness Steak Skewers With Smoked Gouda Dipping Sauce
1.5 lbs sirloin beef, cut into 1½" chunks
Steak seasoning
1 bottle Guinness
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
¾ cup milk
1¼ cups smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Pour the Guinness into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce until the liquid measure approximately ⅓ cup. Thread the beef onto skewers and season with steak seasoning. Heat a flat stop griddle, grill pan or large skillet over high heat. Drizzle the skewers with olive oil. Add the skewers to the pan and brush the top generously with the Guinness reduction using a basting brush. Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes before rotating the skewers ¼ turn, again brushing the reduction on the top side. Repeat until all four sides have been seared and all the reduction has been used. Turn the skewers to coat them in the boiled down Guinness sauce on the pan. Remove to a serving platter.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the milk. Once the milk has thickened to a cream-like thickness, whisk in the gouda, ⅓ a time, waiting to add the next batch until the previous one is fully incorporated. Season with freshly ground pepper and pour into a small bowl. Serve alongside the skewers.

Berry Cobbler
2 cans (21 oz each) berry pie filling (blueberry or raspberry)
1 ½ cups frozen berries
1 package yellow cake mix
1 ¼ cups water
½ cup canola oil
2 tsp sugar (for sprinkling)
1/8 tsp cinnamon (for sprinkling)
Whip Cream or Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix pie filling and frozen berries together. Divide evenly between 12 half-pint jars or 9x13 pan. Place jars on a rimmed cookie sheet (lined with foil). Bake until the filling is hot and bubbling, about 25 minutes. While the berries are in the oven. Combine the yellow cake mix, water, and oil. Mix well.
Remove the berries from the oven; decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Divide batter equally between each jar placing batter on top of the hot berries. (Heating the berries like this first helps the batter cook from both above and below.) Sprinkle each mound of batter with the cinnamon sugar. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the cake is golden brown on top and cooked through, 15-20 minutes, maybe 30 depending on your oven. Cool on a wire rack 20 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh whip cream or vanilla ice cream.
[Adapted from a Cake & Berry Campfire Cobbler recipe for the Dutch oven.]

Candied Bacon S’mores
Classic Pizzelle (recipe follows)
Any dark chocolate of choice
Marshmallow Fluff
Candied Bacon (recipe follows)
Classic Pizzelle
1 ¾ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
vegetable oil, for brushing pizzelle plates

Preheat the Pizzelle Press while preparing the batter. Place flour and baking powder in a small bowl and stir to combine; reserve. Place eggs and sugar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on medium speed for 1 minute, until thickened. On low speed, add the melted butter and vanilla in a steady stream and mix until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 10 to15 seconds; do not over mix. It may be necessary to lightly brush both the top and bottom grids with a flavorless vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening before baking. Use the spoon provided to scoop the dough, about 1-1/2 – 2 teaspoons, and drop onto one of the patterned cookie grids; repeat to make a second cookie.

Candied Bacon
Coat some strips of bacon with brown sugar, place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, and bake in a 375 – 400°F oven for about 15-25 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.  Transfer to some paper towels to cool.

Cookie Butter S’mores
Classic Pizzelle (recipe above)
Cookie Butter (available at Trader Joe’s)
Marshmallow Fluff

Rice Krispy Treats
4 tbsp butter
1 (10 oz) bag large marshmallows
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
6 cups rice cereal
1 (10 oz) bag mini marshmallows
Melting chocolate, sprinkles (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add large marshmallows and stir until melted. Add salt and vanilla. Remove from heat, then add rice cereal and mix until well coated. Add ½ bag of mini marshmallows and mix well.  Lightly spray a 9x13 or 11x14 pan with non-stick cooking spray and place marshmallow mixture in pan. Let cool. Cut into squares. Follow manufacturing instructions for melting chocolate and dip treat squares into chocolate. Place on wire rack to set up. Add sprinkles as desired.

Better than Sex Chex™ Mix
8 cups Chocolate Chex™ cereal
¾  cup packed brown sugar
6 tbsp butter or margarine
3 tbsp light corn syrup
¼  tsp baking soda
1 cup Reese's® Mini's Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup miniature marshmallows
½  cup caramel bits (by the chocolate chips in baking aisle. Or chop up regular caramels)
1 tbsp heavy cream
½  cup milk chocolate baking chips (or more if you're a huge chocolate fan)
½  cup vanilla (white) chocolate baking chips
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil. In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces. Make sure Chex™ mixture is cool to the touch (so candy doesn't melt.) Evenly sprinkle mini peanut butter cups candy and miniature marshmallows over Chex™ mixture. In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and cream uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack. Microwave the milk chocolate baking chips next, starting with 20 seconds and stirring, then at 20 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth (microwave temps vary, so watch the chocolate and stir frequently until it's of drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the snack mixture. Then microwave the vanilla (white) baking chips in 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth, and drizzle that over the snack mixture. (Note: The vanilla and milk chocolate chips should not need cream added.) Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all while candy drizzles are still wet. Refrigerate until set. Break apart and store in tightly covered container. Perfect for gift giving! (

Homemade Marshmallows by Lisa Evans
3 packages (3/4 oz) unflavored gelatin
¾ cup water
¼ cup water
2 cups sugar
1 dash salt
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Dusting Powder:
½ cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch

In a bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¾ cup water. Let it sit until all the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line a 9x13 cake pan (they turn out about an inch thick) with nonstick foil for parchment (not wax paper). Dust parchment paper with the dusting powder. For thinner marshmallows, use a jelly roll or cookie sheet. They turn out about ½ thick this way. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir the sugar, salt, and corn syrup into ¼ cup water for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, attach a candy thermometer to the pan, and boil until the mixture reaches 220F. Quickly stir in the vanilla. Immediately pour the syrup mixture over the gelatin mixture, whisking constantly until the result is light and fluffy and has tripled in size, (15-20 min). Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and let cool at room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch to make dusting powder and sprinkle it onto a cutting board. When the marshmallow mixtures cool, turn it out of the pan onto the board. Dip cookie cutters into the dusting powder and cut out shapes.
         1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough cycle, and press Start.
When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

(Optional) To give it a crispy crust, I use a specialized baguette baking pan, which can be purchased at Amazon. Here's the link to the one I bought:

2016 - 2017 Schedule

September - Lisa & Carolyn
October - Holly & ?
November - Heidi & Chandler
January - Stephanie & Annika
February - Jenny & Lindsay
March - Judith & Kristy