Theresa's Mixed Nuts

Monday, February 19, 2018

What A Swell Party It Was!

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


My husband is really fascinated by American history and spends countless hours watching documentaries and reading about as much of our history as he can. One of the time periods that really intrigues him is the era right after prohibition's repeal. America was finally starting to rise back up after The Great Depression and people were ready to let loose. Since alcohol was no longer illegal to serve, the golden age of the American nightclub was born. Everyone wanted to be a part of the big-city life and a night out on the town enjoying good food, drink, and company was not just for the select few, but Average Joe could also kick back, even for one night, and enjoy a slice of the pie. Today we remember some of the most famous clubs of yesteryear for their celebrity clientele and entertainment, but the food and drink served at the clubs are also what made the nightclub experience a magical one. Now, I love learning about food as much as Jason loves learning about history, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of What A Swell Party It Was, a cookbook and cocktail book written by restaurant industry pioneer Michael Turback.    

What A Swell Party It Was

What A Swell Party It Was, Rediscovering Food & Drink From The Golden Age of the American Nightclub will take you on a journey through twenty five legendary nightclubs that thrived in the 1930s & '40s. I thought this was a book that Jason and I could both enjoy, him for the history and me for the food, and this book certainly did not disappoint either of us. We were both drawn into little snippets of history from famed clubs such as New York's The Copacabana and Chicago's Chez Paree.

What A Swell Party It Was

I admit, I knew of the clubs by name only, but after reading through the book, I got a much better sense of what the clubs were about back then. The Cotton Club's entertainment was almost entirely made up from African Americans, The Rainbow Room required heroic spending, which made it a place that socialites liked to gather to rub elbows with A-list movie stars, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were frequent guests at the Mocambo, where the club's main stage was replicated on the television series I Love Lucy as Ricky Ricardo's Tropicana Club. 

What A Swell Party It Was

After each mini history lesson on the nightclub, the book features several of the club's original menu recipes. Who wouldn't want to get their hands on The Stork Club's Walter Winchell Burger, The Latin Quarter's Pink Lady, or Ciro's Baked Alaska? With What A Swell Party It Was, you can get a taste of the nightclub golden age right in your very own home. As I flipped through the book, everything looked amazing and I wanted to make it all! Instead, I thought I'd treat my husband to a South Side Cocktail from Chicago's The Blackhawk since we do have a love affair with the city.

South Side Cocktail

 What you need for this recipe:

• 5 mint leaves + 1 for garnish
• 3/4 ounce simple syrup
• 2 ounces gin
• 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add gin and lime juice and fill with cracked ice. Shake vigorously and double-strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with mint leaf, smacked to release the oils, floating on top of the cocktail. 

For myself, since I have such a sweet tooth, I thought I'd make The Stork Club's Coconut Snowball.

Coconut Snowball

What you need for this recipe:

• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 cup water
• 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 6 scoops vanilla ice cream
• 1 can moist coconut shreds

Mix sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate, stirring constantly until fully melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 

On each of 6 chilled dessert plates, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top each with chocolate sauce and layer with the shredded coconut. 

What A Swell Party It Was

The original recipes include cocktails, entrees, main dishes, and cocktails, so you are getting over 75 delicious recipes from one of the most fascinating American eras. I'm an avid collector of cookbooks, and am thrilled to have added What A Swell Party It Was to my collection. There are many recipes in here we'll be making time and time again. You can get your own copy though most major book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 


Do you think you would you have preferred the food or entertainment in the nightclubs of yesteryear?


 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Penne for Your Thoughts?

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


I've been feeling a little tired and sluggish this week. We got slammed with snow over the weekend, and now it's raining which is making the entire outside look like a horror scene from Stephen King's "The Mist". It's been a real doom and gloom week, which is definitely contributing to my laziness. Thinking about what to make for dinner hasn't been at the top of things I feel like messing with this week, so if it isn't fast and easy, it isn't getting made. That's why we always keep a variety of pasta on hand. It's one of those dinner staples that I can always turn to for a quick meal that doesn't take a lot of effort on my part. This Penne Pasta with Grilled Vegetables recipe from Golden Blossom Honey is a great mealtime solution for when you just want to get in the kitchen and get dinner done without a lot of fanfare. 

Penne Pasta with Grilled Vegetables

It's tasty, it's filling, and best of all, it's a simple recipe to toss together. Serve it alongside a store bought crusty baguette and you've got a great lazy day meal. 

Ingredients
Vegetables:
1 large eggplant, trim off ends and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon GOLDEN BLOSSOM RAW HONEY
Pasta:
8 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Penne Pasta Grilled Vegetables

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.





If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!


What's your go to meal idea for when you just aren't feeling standing over a stove all day?


 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Roasted Berry Chia Pudding

I went a little overboard buying up berries this month and ended up with way more than I needed for the recipes I had planned to make. I was worried they were all going to go bad and I wanted to find a way to use them, but not in another smoothie and not in yet another baked dessert because I'm tapped out on both of those fronts right now. I knew I could freeze them for later use, but I did buy them in hopes of using them for a healthy Valentine's Day dessert, so I decided to put them to use right away. I'm really digging chia seeds lately, especially in my Fruit & Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding, so I though I'd make a dessert along the same lines.

Roasted Berry Chia Pudding

There's nothing quite like the deliciousness of slow roasted berries when the juices are released into a sweet puddle. You can then scoop up that berry juice and use it for a topping on ice cream, in oatmeal, over pancakes, or use it how I did in these Roasted Berry Chia Pudding cups.

Roasted Berry Chia Pudding

These berry chia pudding cups would make a great alternative to chocolate Valentine's candies because they are every bit as sweet but are much healthier for you. Plus, brownie points for serving up a homemade dessert. How can you go wrong with that!?

Roasted Berry Chia Pudding


Yield: Serves 2


Roasted Berry Chia Pudding

Roasted Berry Chia Pudding


INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 cup strawberries, tops cut off and hulled and sliced into quarters
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the milk, vanilla, and chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours, or until chia seeds have absorbed most of the milk.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Rinse the berries and pat dry. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper, then spread berries across the paper. Drizzle the maple syrup over berries. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 45-60 minutes. 
  3. Remove pan from oven. Gently scoop berries into a bowl. Carefully pour the berry juice that has pooled onto the parchment paper into a separate small bowl. 
  4. Right before serving, remove the pudding mixture from the fridge and spoon into 2 small parfait glasses, filling each about 1/2 way full. Top with the roasted berries, then drizzle with the berry juice. Finish off by topping each glass with half of the pumpkin seeds each. Serve immediately.
For those who are lactose intolerant (like myself) you can swap out the whole milk for almond milk. Try using vanilla almond milk for an extra bit of added sweetness.

Roasted Berry Chia Pudding

I won't be online tomorrow, so allow me to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day a bit early ♥




Thursday, February 8, 2018

All You Need Is Love... And Chocolate

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


I've completely slacked off on my Valentine's Day goodies this year since Jason is still dieting. Last week's chocolate cake nearly threw him over the edge since it really tested his will to just say no. We've finally narrowed down our summer vacation travel destination, heading across the pond to the city of love, Paris, and he'd like to shed a few more pounds before then so he can enjoy the French cuisine without having any guilt about it. As much as I want to be the supportive wife, I do think you have to have a little something sweet for Valentine's Day. Cookies are much smaller than cake and it's pretty easy to just eat one small one and feel satisfied, so I thought what they heck, let's find a good recipe and whip up a small batch. So, I dug around on Golden Blossom Honey earlier this week and made a batch of these Double Chocolate Walnut Dream Cookies

Double Chocolate Walnut Dream Cookies

First of all, how can you go wrong with double chocolate? You just can't. Second, give it a little more sweetness with a dip in powdered sugar. Third, top it with a yummy walnut and this is one hella good cookie. You roll them into 1 inch balls so they aren't terribly big, but they have an awesome punch of flavor in a little package. Perfect for my hubs to have a sweet treat to celebrate Valentine's Day and not have a mental breakdown from the extra calories. One cookie is plenty enough to get your sweet tooth fix. But, I'm not dieting, so I'll have two. Or three. Or however many I feel like having because I'm an adult and nobody can stop me from having all the cookies I want ;)

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
4 large egg whites
1 cup walnut pieces
non-stick cooking spray

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

 Double Chocolate Walnut Dream Cookies

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.



If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



Will you be indulging in any chocolate treats for Valentine's Day?



 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Happiness is Homemade in a Power AirFryer Oven

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


The kitchen is the heart of the home. It's where meals and memories are made. Full bellies make happy bellies and I love to be the one to cook for my family, knowing I am contributing to a little bit of their happiness each day. For me, I think that homemade is always best because I know exactly what is going into every dish that I serve. I admit though, sometimes my cooking methods aren't always the healthiest option. Why is that? Because I love fried foods! I know, shame on me. Fried foods are bad for the heart and the waistline and don't fit in with my quest to serve my family the best meals that I can. To remedy that, I have gotten a lot of use out of my Power Air Fryer XL™ that you may recall I reviewed last year. It really helped me cut down on the greasy foods by allowing me to air fry our favorite recipes without the oil. So, when I heard that they kicked it up a notch and now have a new unit, the Power AirFryer Oven, I knew it was going to be a must have for my kitchen.


Power AirFryer Oven

You can easily fulfill almost all of your cooking needs in the new Power AirFryer Oven. Not only does it offer the same amazing air fry technology as the Power Air Fryer XL, with this unit you can replace your deep fryer, dehydrator, rotisserie oven, toaster oven, pizza grill, and microwave because you can get all of that wrapped into this one amazing product. The Power AirFryer Oven features:

• LED Digital Display Panel With Automatic Shut-Off
• 8 One-Touch Pre-Set Buttons
• Extra Large Easy Grip Handle
• 17000 Watts of Turbo Cyclonic Power
• Super Heated Air That Reaches 400 Degrees
• Crystal Clear XL Visible Window 

Additionally, all of these accessories come with the Power Air Fryer Oven so you can really make the most out of the unit.


Power AirFryer Oven Accessories

You actually get 5 of the Air Flow Racks plus a rack Fetch Tool, but I forgot to include them in the photo. Also included, you receive 3 cookbooks full of delicious recipes to help get you familiar with using the Power AirFryer Oven. After trying just one recipe from each book, I already felt like I was a master Power AirFryer Oven user!


Honestly, I haven't left my kitchen all week because I've been having a blast testing out so many of the recipes that I've found in the cookbooks. Jason loves the Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill, so when I saw there was a similar recipe in one of the booklets, I decided it would be the first thing I would make with my new oven. 

Power AirFryer Oven

I coated the shrimp, lined them up on the Air Flow Racks, pressed the fry button, and in 15 minutes dinner was done.


Bang Bang Shrimp
Bang Bang Shrimp

Jason didn't eat the shrimp on a salad though. He's been trying to get me to make fish tacos for a long time, but since I don't do seafood, he's been without. He immediately loaded them into some tortilla shells and got his fish taco fix right in. Because he's not a whiz in the kitchen, and because he makes a mess every time he's in there, he relies on me to make most of his hot meals. However, this recipe was so simple to follow and the 8 one-touch presets take the guess work out meal cook times, even he can't screw it up. Now, he can now have his fish tacos whenever he wants.


I have a sweet potato fascination lately, and have been craving some sweet potato wedges. When I saw the rotisserie basket, I knew right away that air fried sweet potato wedges were in my immediate future. I sliced the potatoes into wedges, tossed them with a little bit of avocado oil, sprinkled them with a touch of salt, pepper, and garlic salt, placed them in the rotisserie basket, and in 22 minutes my craving was satisfied. Once out of the basket I also sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese for a little extra kick of flavor. End result? Perfection! 


Sweet Potato Wedges

There are so many amazing recipes you can make in the Power AirFryer Oven. I also whipped up some homemade croutons, then dehydrated some kiwi slices.

Homemade Croutons

Dehydrated Kiwi Slices

Next weekend, when Allison has some friends over for a sleep over, we are going to try making Unicorn Doo Doo Cupcakes. From breakfast to dinner to dessert, the Power AirFryer Oven does it all! Whether you are looking to eat healthier or just free up some kitchen counter space, the Power AirFryer Oven has you covered. It's never too early to start thinking about Mother's Day, and I think it would make for a really nice gift for mom. I'll definitely be adding it to my gift guide this year. 

You can get your hands on your own Power AirFryer Oven at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and at http://www.powerairfryer.com/


Power AirFryer Oven

                  Air Fry, Dehydrate, or Bake, which feature would you use first on the Power AirFryer Oven?



Friday, February 2, 2018

You've Got A Friend In Me (Heavenly Chocolate Cake)

*Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


One of my favorite things about blogging is the amazing people I have met along the way. I was telling someone once about something one of my friends did and they said, "Is that one of your real friends, or just someone you know from blogging?" That left me feeling really irritated because they were implying that because I haven't met with someone face to face they really couldn't be considered real friends. The truth is, there have been some people who have been with me through years of blogging. I've watched their kids grow up, we exchange Christmas cards, we support each other and have grieved together through emails and messaging platforms. And in every sense of the word, I consider them my friend. 

Just like in real life, people come and go, but sometimes people just click and they stay in it for the long haul. One day you get a comment on one of your posts and you stop by their blog to return the comment love because that's the nice thing to do, and before you know it you can't imagine not having that person in your life, even if you only get to interact online. Dezzy has become one of my best friends over the years. When I got really sick almost 2 years ago, he was one of my main sources of support. He would send me health story links, recipe and vitamin suggestions, and would just let me vent. I turned to him for support more than any of my real life friends and it was his encouragement that helped pushed me to get better. If that isn't a real friend, then I don't know what is. If you haven't been over to Hollywood Spy yet, you really should. Dezzy offers up a lot of information on upcoming television and movie releases so you can stay ahead of the game on upcoming attractions. Plus, he's a pretty cool fella, so pop over and say hi if you get a minute.

Now, that long winded intro does lead into today's Golden Blossom Honey offering. Dezzy and I have exchanged a few gifts over the years, and since he lives in Serbia, he always sends me some exciting local goodies that we don't have here in the States. Earlier this year I received a package with some really lovely silicone molds and I immediately knew I was going to use them to decorate this Heavenly Chocolate Cake that I had been wanting to try.

Heavenly Chocolate Cake

This cake is a chocolate lovers fantasy. You've got your chocolate cake center, your chocolate icing, and if you have some fancy molds too, you can garnish the cake with pretty chocolate candies. I thought the cake would make for an awesome Valentine's Day treat, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to use the roses on the mold or the hearts. In the end, I decided on both because what says Valentine's Day like roses AND hearts? Who needs a cheap box of chocolates when you can have this cake on the day of love instead?


Ingredients
4 eggs
Cake:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups boiling water
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting:
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup light cream
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY

Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1 teaspoon vanilla

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Heavenly Chocolate Cake


 Thank you again for the molds Dezzy. I see a lot of pretty baked goods in my future!


You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.




If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



Do you make baked goods for Valentine's Day?