Monday, January 05, 2015

2015 52 Recipe Challenge

The 52 recipe challenge is a way of bringing together our friends far and wide who love to cook and share their successes and failures in the kitchen. The challenge; to make 52 new recipes in a single year. This is our fourth year of sharing food, recipes, kitchen catastrophes, and culinary creativity with friends far and wide.

2015 Top 5
52. Beef Wellington
52. Beef Wellington: Impressive visually and tastes even better. Great special occasion dish.
37. Arugula, Strawberry, and Blue Cheese Salad: Amazing flavor combination. Became a summer go-to salad.
44. Short Rib Ragu: Comfort food. 
45. Hot Fudge: Tastes like it came from the ice cream parlor.
40. Kale and Sausage Soup: The best Italian restaurants in the world couldn't do this dish better.

Honorable Mention
15. Samoa Cheesecake: Visually impressive, 
15. Samoa Cheesecake
20. Chicken Tortilla Soup: My quest to find the perfect Chicken Tortilla soup came not at a restaurant, but this recipe.
51. Julia Child Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Don't let the number of cloves scare you, this is a beautiful side, and the garlic is mellow.
33. Key Lime Pie in a Jar: First attempt at dessert in a jar, very tasty, and cute idea for a party.
43. Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad: If you like beets, you will love this salad.
  1. Grilled Cheese Bar
  2. Parker House Rolls 
  3. Steak Tartare
  4. Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs +
  5. Oatmeal-Bacon Waffle Cookies
  6. S'mores Cheesecake +
  7. Spicy Asparagus Spears
  8. Louisiana Cajun Deviled Crab Cakes
  9. Tartar Sauce
  10. Kung Pao Drumsticks +
  11. No Fry Italian Fried Chicken -
  12. Nacho Cheese Sauce -
  13. Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes+
  14. Rustic Chicken with Garlic Gravy+
  15. Samoa Cheesecake ++
  16. Caramelized Banana French Toast
  17. Maple Doughnut Waffle Cookies
  18. Kentucky Bourbon and Bacon Cookies -
  19. Chicken Flautas
  20. Chicken Tortilla Soup ++
  21. Slow Cooker Crock Pot Sausage and Egg Casserole
  22. Shrimp Ceviche +
  23. Pork Carnitas
  24. Jalapeno Poppers
  25. Creamed Spinach 
  26. Honey Mustard Chicken +
  27. Flourless Chocolate Cake +
  28. Summer Squash and Corn Chowder -
  29. Snickerdoodle Waffles +
  30. Jack Daniels Whiskey Grilled Chicken Wings
  31. Honey BBQ Pork Riblets +
  32. Strawberry Shortcake +
  33. Key Lime Pie in a Mason Jar +
  34. Chicken Scaloppine
  35. Asparagus Mozzarella Salad -
  36. Grilled Maple Mustard Pork Chops +
  37. Arugula, Strawberry, and Blue Cheese Salad +++
  38. Paleo Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken +
  39. Peach-Mustard Pork Chops +
  40. Kale and Sausage Soup +++
  41. Pane Con Tomate +
  42. Spinach Salad with Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes -
  43. Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad +
  44. Short Rib Ragu ++
  45. Hot Fudge ++
  46. Braised Pork with Red Wine
  47. Julia Child's Potato Leek Soup +
  48. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies +
  49. Swiss Hash Browns
  50. Crab Risotto -
  51. Julia Child Garlic Mashed Potatoes +
  52. Beef Wellington ++
+ denotes a dish we'll make again
- denotes a dish we didn't like or wouldn't make again

Friday, January 02, 2015

Make Your Own Grilled Cheese Bar

Who says grilled cheese is just for kids? A group of our friends gathered for a New Year's Day recovery brunch complete with a Bloody Mary Bar, Mimosa Bar, and a new party idea for us; a Grilled Cheese Bar. Everyone got to make their own gourmet creations with dozens of different cheeses, meats, and toppings. We broke out a cutting board and pizza wheel so everyone could cut their sandwiches in quarters and get the opportunity to try all the different flavors. We did provide some recipes and suggestions, but most people just had fun using their imaginations to create their own grilled cheese masterpiece.

  • Provide cutting boards, cheese graters, and shredders so everyone could choose how they want the cheese on their sandwiches (and to cut down on your work)

  • We chose to have braised short rib meat and prime rib since we had it in the house from the holidays. We also included sliced turkey, bacon, and pepperoni. 

  • Set the griddle to 350F degrees and provide spatulas so everyone can flip their own sandwiches.

  • We provided everyone the following recipes for inspiration:
Short Rib Grilled Cheese
BLAT Grilled Cheese
Grilled Cheese Party Recipe Cheat Sheet

Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese: A Pinterest Fail