20080530

ROASTED GARLIC - Great taste and good for you!

I picked up a bug of some sort this weekend at my art show - I rarely catch anything floating around but I could feel the sore throat and that little tickle coming at me. So, just in case my immune system needed a little help I decided to "garlic-ify" myself!

I really believe in the antibiotic properties of garlic. Whenever I feel some germ getting a foothold in my body I eat as much garlic as possible. They say you're supposed to eat it raw but that's just beyond me - truly fresh garlic burns my mouth far too much. So I roast it! I get to eat an appetizer that also fights off nasty little germs! Truly a tiny food and with medicinal properties!

Now, mind you, since I deal with the public at my art shows I never eat a ton of roasted garlic before a show. If I don't have a few days to get the garlic out of my system I will wait until I do before foisting myself on some poor unsuspecting client!

Anyhoo, I love roasted garlic. I'll eat it hot right out of the pan just after roasting. I'll spread it on a nice toasted slice of baguette and I'll toss it in just about anything for flavor but my favorite is to eat it slathered on a nicely buttered and toasted baguette slice. Here's what I do:
  • I smash my hand on the garlic bulb to loosen the cloves
  • I lightly smash (do not crush!) the bulbs which helps loosen them for peeling
  • I cut the ends off
  • Then I coat the individual garlic cloves in olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt
  • I turn the oven up to about 450 degrees and roast the cloves for about 20 minutes to forty minutes, depending on the size of the cloves (I want to get a slight caramelized color).
  • After the first 20 minutes I check the pan and pull out any cloves that are done, - they'll be brown and toasty and soft. Then I recheck every ten minutes or so after that and pull any pieces that are nice and brown until all the cloves are finished.
  • I salt the garlic cloves and spread what's left (because I'll end up eating half of them before they cool down!) on some buttered and toasted baguette slices. Yum!
If - and that's a big "if" - there's anything left I wrap them up in foil and save them for munching on later.

BTW, I just went shopping this afternoon - bulbs of garlic have gone sky-high like everything else, but I spied a jar of already peeled cloves for about 2 bucks! It was the equivalent of 2 decent sized bulbs and the work was already done so I bought a couple of jars. These have to be used quickly - no problemo with that for me - and I love the ease of just tossing the cloves in olive oil and roasting without the work. They were pretty darn fresh and very firm so I was happy with them and their cost!

COOKING TIP: To get the smell of garlic off your hands rub them in salt - I use a salt my friend Dennis gave me as a foot soak. It comes from the Dead Sea and has eucalyptus oil in it. I grab a few granules and wet my hands with warm water and rub the salt in. Works great! Some say you can use stainless steel but it never worked for me whereas the salt does.

20080524

NEED SOME QUICK APPETIZER RECIPES FOR MEMORIAL DAY?

I was interviewed this week by Growing Bolder Radio about all my websites and blogs (check for the links to the right under "My Other Web Spots") and one of the things the hosts got a kick out of was my name for this blog "Tiny Foods".

What else would you call appetizers? That's what they are - tiny food! I suppose I could have been boring and called it the Diva of Appetizers, but what a snooze that would have been!

Anyway, here's a great little recipe for some quick and easy appetizers that you can whip up quickly for the holiday weekend:
  • Go to the store/deli and get some frozen mini filo dough shells and an assortment of deli salads - tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, and even the dessert salads like ambrosia.
  • Defrost the shells, fill them with the assorted salads.
  • Arrange them on some cool platters or even those oriental soup spoons individually (for smaller parties).
  • Garnish them with some Parmesan cheese and parsley for the savories and a mint leave for the sweets and - voila - you've got an entire mini meal with some pizazz in a wink!
You can make your own salads too if you have time but that's not so quick! Now, click over to my MARTINI DIVA BLOG for some great martini recipes for the holiday weekend!

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY & HAPPY MUNCHING!

Buy Great Products with this design at The DIVA of TINY FOODS Shoppe!

20080516

VISIT MY NEW SHOPPE!

I have designed this fun image for all you foodies and culinary fans and it's available on great products like APRONS, CUPS, TEES, CAPS, CARDS & OTHER FUN GOODIES!

Tell the world to APRON UP! Get some stuff for yourself or for a gift - join the crusade for better Tiny Foods and edible cuisine.

Click here to browse my new store The DIVA of TINY FOODS Shoppe!

20080508

BACON BRUSCHETTA with a Funny Top Chef Twist

I was catching up on my "Top Chef" episodes late last night, watching the "Improv" episode that aired April 23rd. This one was interesting because they took the contestants to a comedy club and set them up for their next challenge.

The comics on stage started asking the audience for colors, emotions and foods. Whatever the audience yelled out was fated to become one of the beleaguered contestant's food challenge. Here's some of the combos the audience fed the comics, the comics fed the chefs and finally what the chefs fed the judging panel:

Orange Turned On Asparagus
Green Perplexed Tofu
Yellow Love Vanilla
Purple Depressed Bacon
Magenta Drunk Polish Sausage (since when is drunk an emotion?)

Now, "Orange Turned On Asparagus" sounds pretty appetizing to me and "Magenta Drunk Polish Sausage" seems the easiest dish of the bunch (toss a couple of pickled beets and a grilled brat on a bun!) but the one that really got me revved up was "Purple Depressed Bacon"

Here's my recipe, the Tiny Food way!

PURPLE DEPRESSED BACON BRUSCHETTA
Inspired by "Top Chef" episode "Improv Series"

Salad
1 head of purple cabbage, shredded
3 large carrots, julienned thin
1 Gala apple, cored and cut into thin strips
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/3 to 1/2 jar of Marie Callendar's Hot Bacon Dressing, slightly heated
Toss this all in a mixing bowl and put aside.

1 pound of applewood smoked bacon, cut in half and cooked crisp, put a bacon iron on to keep bacon flat.
8 - 16 ozs of Brie - depends on how much cheese you want.
1 baguette, sliced into bruschetta style slices then brushed with olive oil and toasted/broiled in the oven.

Spread the Brie on the baguette slices, top with 2 of the half slices of bacon, then spoon on a tablespoon or so of the slaw mixture. Serve with my recipe for The Classic Martini.

Now, what's the depressing part of this recipe? Well, I like cabbage but it doesn't like me so everyone around me will get really depressed within half an hour of eating these with me - if you know what I mean! I could clear a room! That's pretty depressing!

Hey, maybe this would also have fit into the episode where they had recipes relating to the elements! This one could have been "air", hot air that is, teehee!

20080506

GARDEN FRESH SPRING ROLLS

These are one of the easiest and healthiest appetizers around - and you can play with the ingredients based on what you have in your fridge!

They're crunchy, fresh and perfect for this time of year so enjoy and feel good about yourself while you do!

Ingredients:
12 (8 inch) round sheets rice paper
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped small
1 carrot, Julienne cut - thin
1 cucumber, Julienne cut -thin
1 green bell pepper, julienne cut - thin
1 package of cooked shrimp, cubed
1/2 of a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jar of sweet and sour sauce for dipping
Directions:
Soften the rice paper sheets by emerging them in warm water until softened - about half a minute.
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except the dipping sauce.
Place one sheet of the rice paper on a hard surface and fill with about 2 tablespoons of the filling - be sure to leave room to roll and seal the rice paper!
Fold the sides of the rice sheet over the filling and roll up then re-moisten the rice paper edges and press them down to seal the roll.
Place the finished spring roll seam side down on a serving platter.
Garnish with a few sprigs of the cilantro and serve with a small bowl of the sweet and sour sauce.

These go great with some of my tropical martinis from The Martini Diva™ - feel free to use the search bar on the right sidebar and search for orange juice and pineapple juice and most of the tropical martinis will pop up on one page! You can also check the blog archives!

20080501

HONEY GLAZED CHICKEN WINGS!

I love chicken wings in just about any form. This recipe I found originally used maple syrup instead of honey. Egad, I can't stand maple syrup! So, I used honey instead and added some garlic - I'll put garlic in anything!

Ingredients:
3 pounds of chicken wings
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup of Jack Daniels (doesn't booze make everything taste better?)
1 teaspoon of hot sauce
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
Directions:
To create the sauce:
In a medium sized saucepan heat the oil and then saute the onion and garlic until the garlic is a light golden color.
Add the honey, ketchup, Jack Daniels and hot sauce and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens - about 5 - 7 minutes.
Turn off the heat or remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mayonnaise until the sauce is smooth.

Coat the chicken wings with the sauce and grill until cooked, about 15 minutes. Be sure to turn the wings often and recoat with your sauce. Serve with celery sticks, carrot slices and a nice Ranch dressing.

Try this with one of my martini recipes from The Martini Diva and just snack away!
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