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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Frangelico Squares and More

This month for Blogger C.L.U.E. Society I was assigned a lovely blog called A Spoonful of Thyme.  I did my normal reading and printing pdf's of likely candidate recipes.  Pulled out the Excel spreadsheet where I keep our menus and tried to figure out what I was going to make.  I really wanted to make the Frangelico bars for Mandy and Nick's party.  But, the split pea soup and the ham, potato and cheese soup sounded really good.  Connie was voting for the risotto with the sun-dried tomatoes.  The spicy plum chicken sounded really good as did the chicken with mushrooms and lemons.   I can't leave out the roasted carrots with bourbon.  Or the meatballs.  Hmmmm.

Well, let's just say that that Kate's blog kind of overtook this Kate's Kitchen :-)  We had a lot of fun cooking from her blog the last couple of weeks.  And, we made some tremendous dishes.  Every last one of them was a make again.  But, I've got to tell you the Frangelico bar story first...

We have this friend named Lou.  Uncle Lou is his nickname.  He used to office in the same building we're in.  Rode the elevator with him enough times that we got to know him.  He ran a Congressional campaign for a guy who also became a friend.  And, he lives across the street from some folks named Jillian and Matt.  Yes, they've become friends too.  Now, Jillian and Matt's best buds have moved to Indy and have purchased a house right behind Jillian and Matt.  So, they had a housewarming party.  Now what you need to understand is that Uncle Lou is in shape.  He's a fitness fanatic.  He eats right.  He doesn't stand around stuffing his face with sweets.  Unless they're Frangelico bars.  I didn't count the number he ate.  And, if I had I wouldn't tell you because I know he's going to read this and I really do want to stay friends with him.  Let's just say that an extra hour or two in the gym wouldn't have been enough to work off the number he ate.  LOL.  Yes, my friends, they are that good. 

We have a saying in our house.  It goes like this, "This is terrible.  You won't like it.  I will have to eat it all so you don't have to worry about it."  Yes, I know it's a bald-faced lie but I do try it on occasion.  When it came to the Frangelico bars, Connie and I both tried it on each other!

Kate doesn't go into a lot of detail about herself so I don't have a lot to share.  But, she did tell one story to tell that had me laughing out loud.  How to store recipes.  Like most of us, she's pretty much tried every method known to mankind.  Right now they seem to be in a stack.  And, that's only one of the out loud giggles I had. Suffice to say that you really need to grab a cup of coffee, sit down and spend an hour or two getting acquainted with her blog.  Not only will you wind up with a bunch of fun recipes, you'll also be entertained!

Rather than type out each recipe here, I'm going to give you links to all the ones we tried.  And, below those links you'll find links to my other Blogger Clue friends recipes this month.  They're a bunch of fabulous cooks so I hope you'll be able to visit them.

Frangelico Bars - I made these exactly like the recipe.  They were one of the best bar cookies I've ever had.  A little like pecan pie bars but better!

Chicken with Mushrooms and Lemon Sauce - to save time here I cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips.  Then, I added about 1/4 cup of chicken broth to the sauce.  I think Connie would've licked the saucepan had I let him...
Bourbon Carrots - Amazing.  Instead of cayenne we used Emeril's.  So easy and had oodles of flavor.

Split Pea Soup - the best split pea soup I've ever had.  I had to cook the second set of split peas a bit longer to get them soft.  Next time I think I'm going to try adding a can of diced tomatoes. 

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Thighs - this one I really messed with the recipe.   Our grocery doesn't sell boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  So, I used skin on and crisped the heck out of the skin.  I thought I had plum jam in the pantry but couldn't find it so used  beach plum jam.  Loved the sauce!  Yes, I plopped Connie's ear of corn on my plate to carry it to the screened porch.

Risotto with Sun--Dried Tomatoes and Shrimp - risotto is our clean up the kitchen for two dish.  Once I got the hang of making it, it became our comfort food.  I had a jar of sun-dried tomato pesto that I wanted to use up.  Connie missed the chunks of tomatoes but I loved the flavor. 
Best Basic Meatballs - the question is Emeril's or Ina's?  I've made both this year and have loved both of them.  The technique for these is interesting with beef broth on the baking sheet.  The meatballs were super tender and moist.  Emeril's has a bit more zing with the Italian sausage so next time I'm combining his recipe and Ina's technique to see how it works.  Just another excuse for spaghetti and meatballs!
Tri-tip Sandwiches - Thus far, we've just had the tri-tip and the rest of the meat hasn't made it into sandwiches...  As a pot roast this was fabulous.  I loved the gravy with the beef consommé.  Yes, I did add a good glug of red wine...  I served it over half a baked potato with some cooked carrots and onions on the side.
Italian Wedding Soup - Thus far this is only the meatballs.  They are fabulous and I'm sure the rest of the soup will be equally fabulous!
Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread - WOW.  The best gingerbread I've ever had.  I always thought my great-grandmother's recipe couldn't be beaten.  It has been.  The complexity of this is amazing.  I served it to company and shared half of what was leftover.  I think that's getting served to a lunch group today...  Along side I served my great-grandmother's lemon sauce.  Perfection on a plate. 
Ok, now here's the list of the other blogs I hope you'll check out:


Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I love your enthusiasm and ALL these recipes look worth making, but I've already printed out the Frangelico bars!!!

Unknown said...

Wow ... you're awesome; you know that? First off, those Frangelico bars are going to the top of my to-make list. It's my favorite liqueur so yeah, I have to try them. I'm so, so impressed with the list of goodies you found and made this month. Wow.

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Holy weren't kidding when you said you went to town with her recipes. Wonderful selections!!

Kathy Walker said...

Oh my goodness, Kate! Thank you so much for the wonderful You really did spend the month cooking through the blog! I am happy that you loved the recipes. Your story about the Frangelico Bars had me laughing...they are that good. After sharing a similar experience of not being about to stop eating them....I determined that they can only be made if there is a group involved.

Unknown said...

I do quite like Frangelico and the nuttiness perfectly qualifies as an Autumn recipe. Yum.

Unknown said...

You really outdid yourself and it looks like you had fun trying so many recipes from Kate's site! Those bars will be on my mind til I make them!

Sue Lau said...

You've been one busy little bee! I think I am going to have to try that gingerbread in about 6 weeks.