There used to be a Cuban restaurant near our house (it closed and a Chicago deli replaced it, which was fine with us, too) and every other weekend we’d frequent the little shop to get perfect Cuban sandwiches, tostones or maduro, and if they had them croquetas de jamon. That last item was very rare – they were simply that good!
I remember the first time Stuart had croquetas. He was driving with me back home from Auburn and I don’t know where we stopped for gas and food but we found a little Cuban restaurant off the beaten path. I ordered croquetas for an appetizer and he fell in love with them, too. I would like to try making croquetas de jamon sometime.
I have a half-check on that culinary bucket list item, though! My friend Tara made a Spanish version of croquetas using Spanish chorizo. That recipe was pinned in a heartbeat (almost a year ago!) and when we finally found Spanish chorizo this appetizer was made immediately.
Well, almost immediately. I wanted to have an extra set of eyes around to watch the little man when it came time to frying the tapas so I made the recipe in batches. I made the filling on Friday and then on Saturday I formed, coated, and fried them.
I’ve seen a few recipes for baking croquetas and I was extremely tempted to alter Tara’s recipe for the cleaner, easier route, but I’m glad I didn’t. Sometimes you just need that extra grease in your life. I will try a baked version sometime though – frying foods with an almost-walker underfoot isn’t exactly the best idea…
These croquetas melt in your mouth and I’m not even ashamed to admit that I ate over half of these throughout the day. The recipe makes 15-16.
I’m really wishing I had a few (okay five) next to me right now….
Spanish Chorizo Croquetas
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 C plus 2 1/2 tbsp flour, divided use
- 1 1/2 C hot milk
- 1/2 C chicken stock
- 100 g Spanish chorizo, diced
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 C bread crumbs
- vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter and olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 C plus 2 1/2 tbsp flour and cook until golden. Slowly add in the hot milk, whisking constantly, followed by the chicken stock. Cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Season with S+P. Mix in the diced chorizo and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a shallow bowl beat the eggs. Place remaining 1 1/2 C flour on a plate and place the breadcrumbs on another plate.
- In a high sided skillet over medium-high heat, bring 1″ of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F.
- Form croqueta filling into 15-16 2″ logs.
- Coat croquetas in flour, egg, and then breadcrumbs.
- Fry croquetas for 2 minutes, flip, and fry another 2 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Do this in 3 batches, making sure the oil returns to 350 degrees F between each batch.
*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://www.tarasmulticulturaltable.com/chorizo-croquetas/*
Today is another Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.
This month I was assigned A Calculated Whisk written by Becky. Becky cooks and bakes gluten-free and mostly paleo foods. Those dietary restrictions don’t have any impact on her recipe index and I found myself pinning 7 dessert or breakfast recipes! (Maple Apple Spice Cake, Srawberry Creamsicle Sherbet, and Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes to name a few)After #BrunchWeek I really couldn’t justify making another sweet in my kitchen – I’ll be on a sugar time-out for a while. I turned instead to Sweet Potato and Roasted Garlic Hummus (Actually, if my husband knew that was an option I’d probably be in trouble right now for not picking it. Don’t worry, it’ll happen!) or Creamy Beer and Black Bean Queso.
I decided on the queso along with the idea of turning it from an appetizer into a meal. I had two chorizo links in the freezer and thought of using the queso for tostadas. Instead I decided on nachos. Tortilla chips, chorizo, black beans, and mushrooms were covered with creamy beer and black bean queso and baked for about 5 minutes then topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, and scallions.
I actually found the texture of the queso to be more of a fondue. I don’t know if that’s because I let too much of the beer evaporate or if it’s supposed to be that way. Either way it was delicious and I would happily serve it with bread, veggies, and apples in a fondue pot! (It could be the use of alcohol that made me think fondue.) I had halved the recipe as it was just the two of us, but honestly – we could have easily eaten another tray of nachos – not because we needed to but because it was that good! I will be making this queso again!
Black Bean and Beer Queso
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced (I removed half of the seeds)
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 C Mexican beer
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 6 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
- In a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat saute shallot and jalapeno in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add the black beans, beer, and cumin. Cook 5 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Stir in the cream cheese until melted, I find it’s best to do this a couple spoonfuls at a time. When cream cheese is fully incorporated melt in the shredded cheddar, again in batches. Stir until melted and creamy.
- Serve as a dip or as nachos (pictured).
*This recipe is adapted from Becky at http://www.acalculatedwhisk.com/2013/05/creamy-beer-black-bean-queso.html*
To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:
Let the grilling season begin! Tomorrow is Memorial Day and to help you celebrate the #SundaySupper crew have just the menu to get you feeling festive. Everything is red, white, blue or any combination of the three! This clever concept is thanks to our host DB aka Foodie Stuntman of Crazy Foodie Stunts.
I wanted to make a recipe from a cookbook I’ve had in my collection for a couple of years now. Southern Plate by Christy Jordan. My mother-in-law gave me an autographed copy! My MIL has quilted with Christy’s mom for over 20 years!
I figured southern food would fit in nicely with an American holiday. I don’t know why, but when I think “American” I think of southern-inspired decor and food. I picture mason jars, bandanas, burlap, and of course, the American flag. I didn’t grow up “southern” and “home-style cooking”, to me, is not southern food. Maybe Pinterest is to blame for this “country” vibe? Whatever the reason, I was determined to try one of Christy’s recipes!
I searched through the summer section of her book in search of something red, white, and blue. I found a couple salads that I could alter to fit in all three colors but then I went back and checked out the “rules” for today’s event. I didn’t have to have ALL colors in my dish – I could use just one or two. Perfect. I knew exactly what I wanted to make!
Alabama barbecue sauce. This sauce is unlike anything you’ve ever had (unless you’re from Northern Alabama). The first (and only) time I’d even seen this sauce was my senior year in college. I had a great group of friends in my major and we would study together almost daily. Once a month we’d get together for a “family dinner.” In November we put together a huge Thanksgiving spread and invited the significant others and roommates to join in the fun. One of the guys hosted the party and he made white barbecue sauce to go with a fried turkey! (I didn’t know that was a thing either!)
It’s hard to believe that was over 5 years ago. I am eternally grateful for that group of friends, for without them I never would have made it through our aerospace classes without them! Our degree program was very competitive, a quality that isn’t my strongest, and finding 4 other friends who genuinely wanted to see each of us succeed was a great comfort. For that I am ever grateful.
Alabama Barbecue Sauce
- 1/8 C sugar
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 C mayonnaise
- In a bowl whisk together sugar, pepper, salt, lemon juice, and vinegar until sugar dissolves. Whisk in the mayonnaise until smooth. Refrigerate a couple of hours before use.
- Use for dipping chicken, pork, french fries, etc.
*This recipe is adapted from Christy Jordan*
Food Using One Color
Food Using Two Colors
Red and White Food
Blue and White Food
Red, White and Blue Food
- Berry Berry Celebrations by Momma’s Meals
- Berry Filled Firecracker Cupcakes by The Crumby Cupcake
- Berry Patriotic Chia Seed Pudding by Tasting Page
- Easy Chocolate Covered Marshmallows by Palatable Pastime
- Eton Mess by Caroline’s Cooking
- Greek Yogurt Parfait Bar by Family Foodie
- Grilled Shrimp, Tomato and Bleu Cheese Flatbread by Our Good Life
- Individual Loaded Red, White, and Blue Salads by The Weekend Gourmet
- Patriotic Cocktail by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Patriotic Panna Cotta by The Freshman Cook
- Red White And Blue Coleslaw by Nik Snacks
- Red, White, and Blue Parfaits by Life Tastes Good
- Red, White and Blue Cherry Pie by Savory Experiments
- Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Red, White and Blue Sangria by Food Lust People Love
- Red White and Blue Sundae by Desserts Required
- St. Honore Cake by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Strawberry, Blueberry & Raspberry Cheesecake Crumble by Food Done Light
- Tomato Blue Cheese Crostini by Magnolia Days
- Triple Berry Coconut Chia Pudding Parfaits by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Vanilla Pound Cake with Fresh Berries by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Watermelon, Feta & Beet Appetizer by Take A Bite Out of Boca
5 Tips for Potlucks by Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Guys! Hey, guys! Guess what!?
Okay, that’s probably not that difficult a question to answer if you look at the blog post title.
But do you know what the Liebster Award is?! I didn’t. Until I was nominated for it by Valerie! Val is the blogger behind Lifestyle Food Artistry. I assume Val discovered my blog through #SundaySupper. I have enjoyed the Sunday Supper community and now I love it even more!
I am very impressed by Valerie. Valerie had the courage to re-evaluate her life and received professional culinary training. Something that I’d love to do some day. She followed her passion and is now a licensed personal chef!
My favorite thing about blogging is the amount of support I’ve received from fellow bloggers and this award highlights that aspect of this community. The idea behind this award is a “pay it forward” form of acceptance.
There are conditions behind accepting this award – and I happily accept! Not only am I to thank and link back to my nominator (check and check) I am to answer questions posed by my nominator, share 11 random facts about myself, nominate 5 other newer blogs with less than 1000 followers, and create a list of questions for my nominees (I also need to inform them personally of their nomination).
So here we go!
Answers to Valerie’s questions:
- When did you decide to start a blog and why?
- I always picked something new to make for dinner and decided to document my adventures in the kitchen as a distraction from difficulties conceiving our first child.
- What do you hope to accomplish through your blog?
- In the land of dream world – to be “discovered” by Food Network! In reality – just to have one person read my blog and enjoy it.
- Do you find it helpful to read other blogs for inspiration? If so, do you have a favorite?
- Yes! My favorite is Lauren’s Latest. (Must be her name…)
- Did you design your blog or did you hire someone to design your site?
- Neither? I use one of the free layouts on WordPress.
- What is your best dish to make?
- My coffee cake – in any flavor (Cranberry, Nutella, Pear, Raspberry)
- Have you ever attended a blogger conference or training? If so, which one(s)?
- Yes! Food Blog South. (You can see my review of it here.)
- Do you use a professional camera for your photography?
- I use a Cannon Rebel T5i.
- What is your favorite photography app?
- I use Lightroom to edit my photos.
- What is your best social media platform as far as number of followers and ease of use?
- If you could give anyone advice on starting a blog, what would you say?
- Create a separate email address for all blog related correspondence. It’s not a great piece of advice but organization is key!
- (Optional, but fun!) Name up to 5 random facts about yourself that you think are unique or unusual.
- I used a different set of rules and have 11 random facts below! :)
11 random facts about me:
- I played violin from 4th – 11th grade.
- I am a recorded artist; sure it’s a CD my high school created but hey, I’m on an iPod.
- I don’t like the color pink.
- I play Candy Crush way too much.
- I am still waiting for my letter to Hogwarts.
- I can eat a large popcorn at the movies… by myself.
- I have a very irrational fear of Palmetto roaches.
- I kinda secretly wish I could be a Victoria Secret model… but I’m only 4’11″…
- I love playing board games and cards; if I’m with family it’s a must-do!
- I didn’t experience morning sickness when I was pregnant with my son, and haven’t with this pregnancy either. (Go ahead and hate me.)
- I feel very weird that all of these started with “I”.
My 5 nominees:
- Tara of Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Emily of Emmy’s Crafty Corner
- Tux of Brooklyn Homemaker
- Rebekah of Making Miracles
- Jenn of Sweet Eats and Crafts
The questions for my nominees:
- What is your favorite holiday?
- Do you crave sweet or salty snacks?
- What is your favorite photography prop or tool?
- What software do you use to edit photos?
- Who do you cook for? (For Emily and/or Jenn: Who do you craft for?)
- Which meal of the day is your favorite (a) to eat (b) to cook?
- What recipe is on your culinary bucket list? (For Emily and/or Jenn: What craft do you want to make next?)
- What vacation destination is on your travel list?
- Where is your Happy Place?
- What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I would like to thank Valerie again for believing in my blog and congratulations to her as well! Happy blogging!
I used to not like soup. Really it’s the method of eating soup that I have a problem with. I have a condition. I do NOT like my lips touching my silverware. Just one of my many quirks (another is that I absolutely hate water on my face – I am constantly wiping the water droplets off my face in the shower – seriously, it’s a problem)!
It wasn’t until my discovery of Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup that I really gave soup a chance – but then again I ate it with practically an entire loaf of bread instead of a spoon. I’m much better with eating soups now and manage to eat them with a spoon, although I’ve found a way around my lips touching the utensil.
When we moved to Ohio I ended up making a lot of soups. Almost a soup a month! There’s just something about those cold, grey days. Soups are also a great way to introduce lots of flavor to my little man and so far he’s liked every soup he’s tried (for the record, that’s a grand total of two).
I decided to omit the heavy cream from the recipe and added in a little extra beef broth. Which is surprising. I typically put cream in everything if the option exists. My mom was visiting, though, and in an effort to lighten up the soup I kept an open mind and tasted the soup before adding the cream. We all decided it wasn’t necessary. In fact, I think it would’ve muddled the sausage, potatoes, and bacon.
- 5 slices of center cut bacon, diced
- 5 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 5 C beef broth
- 2 potatoes, chopped
- 3 C fresh spinach
- 1 C parmesan cheese, divided use
- Cook bacon in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- Cook sausage in the same dutch oven, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove to the same plate as the bacon. Drain all but 1 tbsp of the fat from the pot.
- Cook onion in the dutch oven until tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Return bacon and sausage to the pot. Add in the beef broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
- Add the spinach to the soup and 3/4 C of the cheese. Cook an additional 5 minutes over medium heat until the spinach is completely wilted and incorporated into the soup. Serve with remaining paremsan cheese.
*This recipe is adapted from Aimee at http://www.foodfanatic.com/2014/05/zuppa-toscana-italian-soups-on/*
I have been eyeing one of Tara‘s recipes ever since she posted it; I actually almost made them for #SundaySupper last week. When she posted this recipe for Strawberry Waffles I had JUST polished off a container of strawberries. But honestly, it’s very rare that we get through the entire carton before the strawberries start to go bad (unless I clean, chop, and put them in a container in the fridge when I get home from the grocery store… which is a rare occurrence). So I knew that next time I had strawberries that were starting to go I’d puree them up and make Tara’s waffles.
Turns out the next strawberries I had in my fridge were those from my Mother’s Day Edible Arrangement! So, instead of strawberry waffles, I had chocolate covered strawberry waffles! (I almost sat on this recipe until Valentine’s Day but I just couldn’t wait!)
I’ve always wanted an Edible Arrangement, I just thought they were so fun! It’s been over 5 years of me wanting one and in those 5 years I developed an allergy to melon. I thought my chances of getting an Edible Arrangement were history. But – they had one with pineapple, strawberries, and grapes. Perfect! These arrangements are HUGE though! Or at least this one was. I knew we couldn’t make it through all of that fruit before it went bad, so some of those strawberries were transformed into waffles. Win-win.
I halved the recipe because I wasn’t anywhere close to 2 C of pureed strawberries. As is I had to supplement some of the puree for milk. This amount of batter was perfect for just me – it made 5 waffles, which I enjoyed over the course of two days.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Waffles
- 3-4 very large chocolate covered strawberries
- 1/4 C milk (if needed)
- 1 tbsp agave
- 2 eggs
- 1 C flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Place strawberries in a blender and puree. If you have less than 1 C of puree use milk to reach 1 C of total liquid.
- In a bowl whisk eggs. Add the strawberry/milk mixture and the agave.
- In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Pour batter into a hot waffle iron and cook until golden. Serve with whipped cream.
*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://www.tarasmulticulturaltable.com/strawberry-waffles/*
When we first introduced food to my son we were following the “Baby Led Weaning” (BLW) method in which you skip purees. There were a lot of things I liked about this concept but in reality it proved to be a little more difficult for us than for friends of mine who’ve used this method of introducing solids to their children. The idea is that your kids eat what you eat. Sounds great! But only if you’re eating what they CAN eat, which wasn’t often the case. I’d start off thinking “Oh, my son can have some of this!” but after making it I’d realize “no, it’s too early for soy sauce” or “there’s too much sugar in here” or “there are too many new ingredients here” (as I have lots of food allergies I’ve been cautious about introducing each new food). After we introduced applesauce and yogurt we realized how much my son enjoyed eating off of a spoon. At first he’d even guide the spoon to his mouth (unfortunately that particular skill has seemed to have been lost on him now). It was then that we adopted a “hybrid” method of eating. Yes, he gets traditional baby food, but he also gets finger food and adult food off of a fork. Since we’ve adopted this style of feeding my son’s been ingesting much more food (and is therefore happier) and it’s been easier for me to introduce new ingredients to him. But, I don’t have to use baby food meats which give me the heebie-jeebies.
That crazy long introduction on how we feed our son does fit into today’s recipe, I promise. What I loved most from learning about BLW was that spices are A-OK. And my baby is no exception to wanting food with flavor. When I heated up a bowl of this slow cooker chicken tikka masala for lunch the next day, half of my serving ended up going to him! I was surprised that he enjoyed it so much. (Wow, these photos were taken almost 3 months ago!)
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 3/4 C pureed canned whole tomatoes
- 1 C plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp garam masala
- 3/4 tsp tumeric
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (or more, to taste)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 – 1 tsp lime juice
- Place chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, pureed tomatoes, yogurt, oil, spices, and bay leaf in the slow cooker. Gently toss to combine and coat chicken completely.
- Cover and cook on LOW 7-8 hours.
- In a small bowl whisk together the cream and corn starch. Add to the slow cooker and let cook another 20 minutes to thicken. Stir in lime juice.
- Serve over brown rice. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.
*This recipe is modified from Julie at http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/chicken-tikka-masala-crockpot/*