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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dressed Up Fall Table with Elegant Haagen-Dazs Pomegranate Swirl

It is time to set a dressier 
table for the season since we
have one of the new flavors of Haagen-Dazs
as a guest tonight!

Aren't these new containers so elegant?

I was lucky enough to have the
wonderful people at Haagen-Dazs
send me some of their new flavors
and their Pomegranate Swirl Gelato
just seemed to go with our fall
tablescape today.  It might be
a little early to find pomegranates
in the grocery section of your
store, but not in the freezer section.

Let's get the table set.

The table's inspiration came
from these inexpensive beauties
that I found at Home Goods 
this year.  I added the blingy
(leftover from Amanda's wedding)
and it took them to a whole new level.

They center the table along with a rich
beaded and fringed table topper.

We couldn't get too serious so I
added my home made grapevine
wreaths under a chocolate brown
plate to bring in more of the fall season.

I am loving this in the dining 
room so I moved two of my chairs
to the wall with the sideboard.
It is fun to leave tablescapes up
for the seasons and holidays
as part of your interior design.

I made eight of these grapevine wreaths
 two years
ago with the grapevines that grow
in the backyard just for tablescaping.

The plate stack consists of a chocolate
brown plate topped by a taupe textured
plate and finished off with the leafy
green and cream plate.
I just love the huge soup bowls.
Wouldn't they be great with a fall soup?

Don't you find that you change your
cooking once the weather changes.  My
first thing is I begin baking breads again
and then soups to go with the breads.

The rich wood of the napkin rings
brings some more rustic elegance
to the table.  

This tablescape is one that goes
beautifully with the uncovered wood
of the table so that it can be a star itself.

The green bubble goblets are my
favorite for fall.

I always find myself turning
to this green flatware year round.

These are just yummy all
dressed up in their finery.

This gives you a nice view of
the beaded topper.  I love to
scrunch up a topper for the center
of the table to give it texture and depth.

Are you craving candles with
the days shorter?  I know I am.  I
love soft candlelight as it gets cooler.

I can't wait for the candlelight
to shine through this hurricane.

Now that the table is set,
it is time to enjoy our dessert
inspired by one of nature's fall fruits
the beautiful pomegranate.

The Pomegranate Swirl Gelato
is another smooth and creamy dessert.
The flavor is really subtle and refreshing.

You wouldn't want to overpower
this flavor so I decided to just
accent it with some home made
pomegranate syrup and some
chocolate covered pomegranates.

Serve it up in a pretty dish
and squirt a little syrup over
the top and garnish with some more
chocolate covered pomegranates
and you have an elegant yet simple dessert.

Don't you just love their new packaging
for these flavors.  You know you are
serving up something elegant and
wonderful just with the packaging.

Pomegranate Syrup Recipe

1 C. pomegranate juice
2 C. sugar
2 T. cornstarch mixed in 1/4 C. cold water.
Red food coloring (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring the juice and sugar to a boil.  
Mix in the cornstarch mix slowly until
the desired thickness.  Add a little red
food coloring if desired.  Stir in the
lemon juice.  Let cool then refrigerate.

This shot shows you how pretty the swirls
are in the Gelato.

A big thank you to the people at
Haagen-Dazs who have given me
the opportunity to sample and then 
highlight three of their new flavors.

We have one more to go.  If you 
missed the first one
click here.  It was by far the
best Pistachio I have had.  You
could actually taste the salty pistachios!

The final one is
Midnight Cookies and Cream Ice Cream!!
Did I save the best one for last?  Who
knows!!??  I haven't cheated, yet!

Thanks for visiting today!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Haagen-Dazs Has New Flavors And I Get To Try Them! Pistachio Gelato Cookie Cups with Pistachio Brittle

Talk about indulgence!!
Haagen-Dazs is THE
superior ice cream and I 
get to try out these three new
flavors and tell you all about them!!

I know, I know, talk about Heaven!!

Which flavor to start with, 
and how to keep the kids out 
of them until I have a chance
to test them first??!!

Oh, the trials!

They arrived on my porch
while I was out of town and
fortunately my daughter
dropped by and called me to
tell me I had packages.

"Quick!! Open any packages!
It could be ice cream and melt!!"

Sure enough the highly anticipated
Haagen-Dazs had arrived.

Isn't the packaging just beautiful?

I am such a Europhile,
(Definition: a person who is fond of,
admires, or even loves European culture)
so I am going to start with
Pistachio Gelato.

Yes, I could have just dug into
it with a spoon and you probably
think I did, but I promise I gave
this gelato its due respect and
waited to taste until it was 
properly presented befitting
its gloriousness.

It is so smooth and creamy!
Probably the best pistachio gelato
I have ever tasted and we have 
tried a lot of them.

Wow!!  You are going to love its
smooth creaminess with just the subtle
saltiness of the pistachios.  The flavor
of the pistachios comes out perfectly.

I had to have a base fitting
Haagen-Dazs ice cream so
I created  Pistachio Cookie Cups,
a cookie baked on a non-stick griddle
that is shaped when hot to create a
crisp cookie bowl.

Then I garnished it with 
Pistachio Brittle.

I could have stopped with 
one scoop (hubby is my official scooper)
but I grew up in Wisconsin where
we ate our ice cream in cereal bowls
so who could stop at one scoop!

This beats allPistachio gelato 
I have had in Europe or the
United States.  

I don't know about you, but
pistachios are something we
always indulge in around the holidays
and this would make such a great
company dessert, or go ahead and
grab a spoon and dig in!

(Confession time:  hubby and I like
to eat a container of Haagen-Dazs while
watching a movie in bed.  How did
Haagen-Dazs know how much I 
love their product?!!)

Yes, I am going to torture you and
review one yummy creation at a time.
Which one will I do next???

Pistachio Cookie Cup Recipe

1 egg
1/3 C. melted butter
1/2 C. sugar
2/3 C. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 T. chopped pistachios
1/3 C. milk
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

In a medium size bowl, lightly whisk the egg,
then whisk in the butter and sugar.  Add the flour,
pistachios, and salt and mix in, 
then stir in the milk and flavoring.  

Heat a non-stick electric griddle to 300 degrees.
Spoon a scant 1/4 C. batter onto hot griddle
(spray with a little Pam or butter it lightly
if desired).  Spread out the batter as
thinly as you can until it reaches about
6 inches in diameter.  Bake on the griddle
until the top is dry - about 7-8 minutes for 
one this size and then gently flip it over
for another minute just to brown it a little
and crisp it up.  Remove with a spatula and
immediately shape in a custard cup.  Let cool
until crisp.  

Pistachio Brittle
(made in the microwave)

1 C. white sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
pinch salt
1 C. pistachios, lightly chopped
1 T. butter
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
1 tsp. baking soda

Prepare a Silpat pan on a baking sheet or
butter the baking sheet well.  Set aside.
Place the sugar, corn syrup and salt into a microwave safe large bowl.  
Glass is preferable as the mix
gets so hot.  Heat for 3 minutes on high, then
remove it and stir.  Heat for another 1 minute
then add pistachios and butter and 
heat for an additional
minute.  Remove and stir in the 
flavoring and soda.
It will foam up rapidly.  Quickly pour it onto the
prepared pan and spread out as thin as possible.
Let cool and break into pieces.  

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Many thanks to Haagen-Dazs who so honored 
me with this opportunity to try some of 
their new fabulous flavors!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Baked Jalapeno Poppers And A Garden Party

Baked Jalapeno Poppers!!

What a yummy appetizer and
a great way to use lots of those
fresh jalapenos you have grown
in your garden this year
(or bought from a Farmers' Market).

We were having a Garden Party.
Our Relief Society 
(the women's organization at our church)
this great garden party
Life Began In A Garden.

In the empty lot right next to my home
one of our neighbor girls, Paige,
who is my youngest daughter's age,
decided to plant a garden.

She and her friend Sam, asked permission
to grow this garden on the empty lot and
used water from our house to water it.

Starting by digging weeds and picking up
tons of rock, they tilled it and added compost
and created such an amazing garden 

that our Relief Society decided to host a 
garden party and Enrichment class there.

Paige and Sam came that evening
to tell us about their garden
and to share their produce.
Awnings were set up over the serving
table and a light dinner was served.

I volunteered to make 
the Baked Jalapeno Poppers

and a couple of 
Chocolate Zucchini Cakes
using ingredients from their

There were displays on canning
and drying and people were
available to answer questions.

It turned out to be an amazing
garden and a wonderful evening.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

(Always make sure you use  gloves when working with 
these peppers.)

20 fresh jalapeno peppers
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C. Monterey Jack cheese
Cheddar cheese
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped cilantro 

Clean and seed 20 fresh jalapeno peppers.
Mix the cream cheese and Monterey Jack
cheese together in a small bowl.

Grease a baking dish.  Fill the peppers with
the cream cheese mix and arrange the peppers
in the baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake
for 20 minutes at 350.  

Uncover and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
Lightly cover with the foil and return
to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the

Remove foil and garnish with the
chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 40 poppers.

Baking the jalapenos tempers the heat.

Be sure to remove the seeds and veins
and even the top end for less heat.

Get together with your neighbors
and have your own 
Garden Party.  

Share your produce through a light
dinner and teach each other about
gardening and preserving.

I promise you it will be a fun time!

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