Cucumber Sandwiches [RECIPE]

Cucumber sandwiches

The next time you host a tea, shower, or other gathering, try whipping up our yummy and refreshing cucumber sandwiches. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

I’m a girl who loves her tea, and I especially love sharing it with a girlfriend or two as we catch up, laugh, and enjoy one another’s company. But what is a tête-à-tête without a little nosh? These cucumber sandwiches make the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea, but also work nicely at showers and other gatherings.  Read more of this post

Broth, Stock and Barrel – Part II: Beef Stock

Beef Stock

A long cook time, big beef bones and roasted veggies combine to create a smoky, rich stock and a marvelous flavor base for classic dishes.

The best things in life don’t come about very quickly, and that is true of our homemade beef stock too. Using big beef bones and roasted veggies, this thick, dark stock simmers for several hours to build a smoky, rich flavor base for your favorite dishes, including our Salisbury Steak.

PREP: 19 minutes
COOK: 7 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 pounds beef bones
  • 2 large carrots, quartered
  • 3 large onions, quartered
  • 2 celery ribs, quartered
  • 4 quarts cold water, divided
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 8 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place first 4 ingredients in a large roasting pan; roast, uncovered, at 500°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until well browned, turning occasionally.
  2. Transfer bones and vegetables to a stockpot. Add 2 cups water to roasting pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to loosen bits that cling to bottom of pan; pour into stockpot. Add remaining 3 1/2 quarts water and tomato paste to stockpot. Tie parsley, thyme, and remaining ingredients in a bundle. Add to stockpot.
  3. Bring to a simmer; simmer, partially covered, 6 hours. Skim fat and foam off top of stock after first 10 minutes of simmering.
  4. Line a large wire-mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth; place over a large bowl. Use a ladle to strain stock. Discard solids. (Using a ladle and avoiding sediment in bottom of pot prevents cloudiness.) Cool stock slightly.
  5. Cover and chill stock; discard solidified fat from top of stock.

TIPS: Store stock in a tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze up to 3 months.

YIELDS: 8 cups

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Spicy Baked Penne Casserole

Spicy Baked Penne Casserole

Simple enough to prepare in advance, our Spicy Baked Penne Casserole is a crowd-pleasing favorite. Packed with spicy goodness and a four-cheese blend, it will satisfy the pickiest appetites.

If you’re looking for a delicious pasta dish to satisfy picky eaters, our Spicy Baked Penne Casserole is big on flavor and cheesy enough to keep the kiddos happy. It is great for family meals, pot luck dinners or for a luncheon with friends. Simply prepare the sauce and assemble a day ahead, then bake the following day. Serve with a loaf of Bread with Herb Butter and a rustic tossed salad to complete the meal.

PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups penne pasta, uncooked
  • 2 strips thick cut bacon or 3 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 1/2 cups spaghetti pomodoro sauce or 1 28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 spring fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot, add pinch of salt to water. Cook pasta according to package directions, minus 2 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon or pancetta over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté until onion is translucent. Add ground beef, cook until brown. Add mushrooms, cook until reduced. Add sauce, seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stir. Once mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add basil during last five minutes of cooking, stir. Remove pan from heat and discard basil.
  3. Pour sauce into pot with pasta and mix well. Pour into 13- x 9-inch dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Mix cheeses in a medium bowl, then cheese mixture over top of baking dish.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

TIP: Casserole can be assembled ahead of time. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake uncovered as directed.

YIELDS: 6 – 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Mango Daiquiri Sorbet

Mango Daiquiri Sorbet

Ripe mangoes and rum create a grown-up frozen treat that is the perfect complement to Latin and Caribbean fare.


Use ripe mangoes to create this light and fruity sorbet that scoops up beautifully and is easy to make. A splash of rum turns it into a grown-up favorite that is the perfect accompaniment to Latin and Caribbean fare. Serve the sorbet in a frozen parfait glass or mango boat, made by scooping out the centers of halved mangoes and freezing the shells.

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 15 minutes
CHILL: at least 4 hours

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sliced peeled pitted mangoes
  • 7 tablespoons light rum
  • 8 hollowed-out mango halves (for serving; optional)
  • Fresh mango slices
DIRECTIONS
  1. Stir 1 1/4 cups water and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Add 2 cups sliced mangoes and return to boil. Transfer mixture to processor and puree. Pour into bowl. Refrigerate puree until cold, about 2 hours.
  2. Mix rum into puree. Stir sorbet mixture until well blended; cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep frozen.)
  3. Freeze 8 hollowed-out mango halves or parfait glasses 1 hour. Using ice cream scooper, scoop sorbet and place in mango halves or frozen glasses. Garnish with fresh mango slices and serve.

YIELDS: 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.

Belgian Waffles

Belgian waffles with sweetened whipped cream and sliced strawberries

Belgian waffles are low-calorie, kid-friendly, and perfect to prepare ahead and store in the freezer for up to a month. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Who doesn’t love waffles? They are perfect for breakfast, brunch or even dessert. If you whip up a batch on Sunday morning, eat them for breakfast and freeze leftovers in a zip-top plastic bag, separated by layers of wax paper. When you’re ready to eat them, simply pop them in the toaster until they are warm. Then serve them with butter and maple syrup or as shown here, topped with sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Yum!

PREP: 18 minutes
COOK: 4 minutes per batch

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Sliced fresh strawberries
DIRECTIONS
  1. Beat egg yolks and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Add butter and vanilla, beating until blended. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and milk to egg mixture, beating until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  2. Cook in a preheated, oiled Belgian waffle iron until golden. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and strawberries.

YIELDS: 1 dozen

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.