Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl

Another Chef Stef adventure in Australia!

Adam and I were going to hang out with our friend Chad and his lovely girlfriend, Elise, in New South Wales, Australia. We decided to spontaneously make a video! He hadn’t made his cob loaf spinach dip yet, so I said… quick! Turn on the camera! We had a blast. It was seriously creamy and delicious. Such a simple appetizer to make. Everyone will love it!

Click here to watch the video of Chad showing us how to make it here!

Ingredients:
250ml sour cream
250ml cream cheese
1 red onion
10 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup Tasty cheese (or a mild cheddar)
40g packet of French onion soup mix
300g frozen spinach, chopped
Cob loaf

  1. Saute the onions and thaw the spinach.
  2. Dice the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add the sour cream, cream cheese, and spinach.
  3. Begin to mix and add in the French onion soup mix packet.
  4. Hollow out the bread bowl. Put the mixture in. Cook at 375 F for about 20 minutes until light golden brown.
  5. Use the hollowed out bread to dip!

MMM so delicious. The 4 of us finished it off quicker than we’d probably like to admit.

Let Chad and I know if you make it! Have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Stephanie

20151216_202404IMG_2521IMG_2525 - Version 2

Spanakopita Recipe (spinach pie!)

My mom finally made an appearance in a video! Watch her make our family’s recipe for Spanakopita. Such a staple in our family for special occasions! Mmm so delicious.

You’ll need:
3 – 10 oz boxes frozen spinach
1.5 lbs feta
8 oz goat cheese
1 cup of butter
4 eggs
1 box of phyllo dough

1. Mix together the spinach, feta, goat cheese and eggs.IMG_2847

2. Melt the butter. To start the layering process, brush some butter on the bottom of a 9×13 tray. Place a single layer of phyllo. Butter every layer. Make sure you have a good brush so you don’t have to worry about any hairs coming out when you’re brushing the butter. Use 8 layers of phyllo, then add 1/3 of the spinach mixture. Spread with a spoon, or your hands, like mom!

IMG_2858

3. Add 5 more layers of phyllo and another 1/3 of the mixture. Don’t forget to brush butter between every layer. Add another 5 layers and use the rest of the spinach. Top with however many more pieces of phyllo you have left, about 5-8. Brush the top with butter. Cut in squares. Much easier to cut before you cook it. Then place in a 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is a beautiful golden brown.IMG_2881

Let mom, grandma and I know if you make it!
Stephanie

IMG_2882

Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Mmm! This is such a simple, healthy, delicious and impressive appetizer! You can make as many or as little of them as you’d like. It will take you less than 10 minutes to prepare and there is no cooking required! Check it out!

You’ll need:

Cucumber

Sea Salt

Cream Cheese

Fresh Dill

Smoked Salmon

Fresh Lemon

1. Wash the cucumber. Peel it. Cut into 1 inch slices and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with some sea salt.

2. Spread about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese onto each slice and add some fresh dill.

3. Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon into strips. Fold into thirds and place on top of the dill. If it’s not staying down, feel free to add a toothpick.

4. Splash some lemon juice on top and serve!

IMG_2765

Stuffed Mushrooms with Spinach!

These are so yummy. Quick and simple healthy appetizer. Vegetarian and can be gluten free if you leave out the breadcrumbs!

25 mushrooms
1 tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic
6 oz fresh spinach
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt/pepper
3 tbls grated cheese (parmesan, gruyere, swiss, etc)
2 tbls breadcrumbs (optional)

1. Wash the dirt off of the mushrooms and pat dry. Carefully, pull the stems off. Some are stubborn and you may have to wiggle them around! I would buy a few extra mushrooms – just in case some break. Place mushrooms with the holes facing upwards on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil for super easy clean up.

2. Finely chop the garlic and the stems of the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic and stems for 3 minutes.

3. While you wait, beat the egg, salt and pepper together.

4. Add the spinach to the saucepan. Rip up the leaves as you throw them in by the handful. Cook until the spinach has wilted, which will only take about 2 minutes. Now you have to drain the spinach because spinach and mushrooms are very watery veggies. You can put your colander in the sink, I just did it over a plate so you could see more clearly in the video! Place your mixture in a colander and using your spatula, press into the sides to squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Now mix the spinach with the egg. Add the cheese and breadcrumbs. Place into the caps of the mushrooms. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and voila! You are all set!

You can use any type of grated cheese. If you want to get fancy, break out the gruyere. If you just want parmesan, it will still be incredibly yummy!

Enjoy!
Stephanie

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

So my dad suggested I should make an appetizer recipe for the super bowl.  Instantly, I thought of buffalo chicken!  Then I thought, everyone loves wings and all of its accoutrements, so how can I put that all on a pizza?! You can either make my recipe as a pizza to cut into slices or squares, or if you want to make it into appetizer bites, simply cut into small, finger lickin’ pieces!

Wasn’t that far too easy to seem true?!  Believe me, I didn’t edit out any difficult parts… there just aren’t any!!

You’ll need:

2 tbls olive oil

3/4 cup of hot sauce, wing sauce or buffalo sauce (whatever you find, although there was quite a big selection in my Stop and Shop)

2-3 tbls of blue cheese dressing (there is a yogurt blue cheese dressing that will help you save on calories made by bolthouse farms and it’s delicious!)

1 tsp of salt

1 tbls of parsley (or oregano, italian seasonings, garlic)

2 cups of mozzarella cheese

2-3 stalks of celery for decoration

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

12 oz. pizza dough (if you want to make a round pie, you can find dough in your refrigerated section. Or, if you want to make it a rectangle, you can buy the Pillsbury “Pizza Crust Classic”.)

First, turn your oven on 400°.  Put up a pot of water to boil, enough to cover 2 chicken breasts, and add your salt.

Take out a cutting board and cut off any excess fat you see on the chicken.  It’s faster to cut it off now, rather than to cook the chicken and try to cut it off when you’re ready to shred it.  Gently drop the chicken into your bolding pot.  Put the timer on for 15 minutes.

Take out your round or rectangular pan and grease it with olive oil.  Use a brush to coat every inch.  (If you don’t have a brush, use a paper towel.)  Put the dough on the pan and gently press it with your fingers to make it fit the size of the pan.  If you are making a round pizza, be sure to give it a bit of a crust by using one hand to guide it while the other hand presses down.  (Did that make sense?)  Drizzle olive oil on your dough and again, brush.  Now add your seasoning, whether it be oregano, parsley, etc.  If you want, add crushed garlic!!  It would be a delicious addition.  Cook this dough for 8 minutes.  Everyone’s ovens are different, so when it starts to look a bit cooked and a little brown, take it out.

Once you put that in, your chicken should be close to the 15 minute mark.  Take it out, cut one down the thickest part of the breast and check for any pinkness.  If it’s still slightly pink, put it back in.  I wouldn’t leave it in for more than 20 minutes though, you don’t want to over cook!  Yucky.

Place on a cutting board, use two forks, and pull apart the meat!  This is great thing to do to stay on a healthy track throughout your work week.  I make it in the beginning of the week, then throw it on top of salads,  sandwiches, add to broth to make chicken soup, make chicken salad, use teriyaki or bbq sauces, etc.  Super healthy!… well with exception of the bbq sauce, lol.

Add your chicken to a small mixing bowl.  When both pieces are shredded, add your buffalo sauce!  *Don’t forget to be paying attention to your dough in the oven! It’s okay if it’s done before you are ready with the chicken.  It’s going back in the oven anyway.  So, no stress. 🙂

Spread the chicken all over your crust.  Add your cheese.  (Pepperjack or blue cheese is also a good choice!)  Put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

IMG_7795

Drizzle the blue cheese dressing (or ranch dressing!) all over the pizza.  Then, cut up the celery into thin pieces and sprinkle all over!

IMG_7799

SO GOOD!!! Doesn’t it look pretty? From here, cut into whatever size pieces you need!

IMG_7815

 

Seriously, you can’t go wrong with this one!

Warning: don’t eat it all at once. 🙂

Chef Stef

 

Baked Brie…to die for

AHHHH MY 20TH VIDEO!!!

My aunt has been calling Anjelika “baby steffie” since she was born! She’s the sister I never had! I always wanted a baby sister, but instead, I got a brother… (no offense, Nick, you know I love you too)

Anjelika has always loved cooking and baking but had limited knowledge since she’s only 15 and I’m thrilled that she has been learning so much with my videos !  (My aunt is thrilled too…always nice to have another cook in the house!) I’m sure she will guest star in another video soon.

So I picked her up and we got all ready to match with our white buttondowns and pearls! We blew out our hair and did our make up.  It was so much fun! Love my mini me!

IMG_6680

 

(pic from my birthday this year)

Anyyyyywaayyyyy so back to the brie..

I LOVE brie.  It’s always been my favorite cheese.  Especially the rind.  Yum, yum, yum.  I remember having baked brie at someone’s house when I was younger, loving it and thinking, “this is fancy and must be difficult.”  We don’t usually make it in my family.  For holidays, we usually just buy a wheel and put it on the table.  This past Thanksgiving, I decided we needed some baked brie.  I couldn’t believe how simple it was when I realized how to make it!  You can even prepare it earlier and bake it when you need it so it’s a time saver.

Go to the grocery and buy:

Any size brie (we used an 8 ounce wheel)

A jar or raspberry or blueberry jelly (we bought a 10 oz jar and used about half of it)

Puff pastry (you can find in the frozen food section, the package has 2, you only use 1)

1-2 tablespoons of flour

1 egg (beaten with a splash of water)

Ready?  It’s so simple.  I don’t even have to reference my video to tell you how it’s done! Set your oven to 400°.

Make sure your puff pastry is thawed before you begin.  (Leave in your fridge overnight.)  Make a light coating of flour on your counter.  If your countertops are not granite, make sure you do this on a cutting board! Put some flour on your rolling pin. Roll out your pastry slightly, you don’t want it to be too thin. Now cut the corners off to make a round shape with a pizza cutter or knife.  Spread your jelly all over the pastry, leaving an inch around the edges.  I found a spatula to be easier than a knife. (*You can even add real raspberries here.. or some toasted nuts!*)  Place your brie in the center.  Fold up two opposing edges.  Now, for your remaining two, cut off about an inch because they will be too long. Fold up and use your fingers to press it together.  Wipe any excess raspberry that may have come out.

Slightly grease a baking sheet, and place your brie upside down, so that the top is the clean side.  If you want to get fancy, use your scraps, cut out a shape and place on top!  I made a tree for ours.  Now brush the entire perimeter with the egg mixture.  Place in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.  When it’s beautiful and golden brown, take it out! Slice open and watch the joy of brie ooze out.  The two of us maaay have polished off that 8 oz wheel for lunch… haha!  I mean, who else was going to eat it?!  That would have been such a waste!  Or, it was just so delicious and we couldn’t stop eating it…

IMG_7165 IMG_7171

You all probably need to practice this before the holiday since it’s soo soo sooooo difficult. And then you’ll just have to practice eating it.  😉

Enjoy!

Chef Stef

PS – did you enjoy my little flute flourishes?!

 

2 Butternut Squash Soup Recipes: A Sweet and A Savory!

MMMM… who doesn’t love this warm, delicious soup on a crisp, fall day? Watch this 3 minute and 45 second video to see my savory recipe with an awesomely unexpected ‘twist’!

So let’s begin with, up until recently, I wasn’t too experienced with this soup.  I’ve never tasted it and thought, “OH MY GOSH THIS IS AMAZING I MUST LEARN HOW TO MAKE THIS!”  I’m more of a chicken soup kind of gal. But, I am very aware that most people love this soup!  So I sat and thought to myself, what spice could I throw in that would make me fall in love? My first thought hit me like a meteor falling out of the sky.  Rosemary. I asked my mom for her opinion and she said, “I don’t think that would work, but, try it anyway!” Obviously since it’s in my recipe, I tried it, loved it, and the rest is history.  Then I was looking in my fridge and thinking, what could set my recipe apart from the rest?  I hadn’t seen any recipes with rosemary, but that wasn’t enough.  I had to find something else.  A lime?  Nah.  No, wait… maybe…?! Tried it, loved it, and voila, video made. It really does add an interesting tangy twist.  The savory rosemary makes your tummy feel warm and its blend with the squash tastes like they should have been married a long time ago! My family loved it, and needless to say, they’ve decided it will be our Thanksgiving appetizer this year!

Ingredients:

Tablespoon of olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper

4 cups of chicken broth (you can buy the low sodium if you’d prefer)

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped

3 pounds of butternut squash

1 lime (*TWIST INGREDIENT!* … get it?)

Ready to see how simple this is?  you can also make it in a crock pot if you’d like!

When you buy the squash, you can look for the ones that are pre cut and ready to be cooked.  Or, you can buy a whole one, but if you do, keep in mind you’ll have to peel it and take the seeds out and then cut it. This is the cheaper route, but when it’s only a few cents difference, you can be the judge of if you can spare the extra few minutes to do the work.  I’m usually all about paying less and doing a bit more work, but I noticed the price isn’t much different between these two, so heck yeah I’m taking the easier route! It’s all about saving money and making cooking EASY!!! (Tip: Stop buying pre grated cheese. Buy a block of cheese, grate the entire thing and put in baggies. You’ll save a crazy amount of money.)

Cut the squash in medium sized cubes.

In a large pot, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil. Add in your onions and rosemary. Mix together and cook until the onions are translucent. You won’t believe the aroma that will fill your kitchen from the rosemary! Add in your squash and chicken broth. Unlike what I did in the video (oops), you’ll splash less if you add the squash first, then the broth.

Cook on medium heat until the squash is tender.  It should be around 10 minutes.  If you can easily stick a fork through it, they’re ready.

The next step is to turn the squash into something a bit more soupy.  So, it depends on what you have in your kitchen.  Food processor, blender, potato masher, even a magic bullet! (A magic bullet would take a while, but hey, it would work!) If you don’t have something electric, you can use a potato masher, your soup just won’t be completely pureed. Still delicious though!  Spoon out the squash and put it in whatever you’re going to use.  You can put a little bit of the juice in the blender to give it some liquid to mix up with the squash, but for the most part, drain the juices.

Put your squash back in your pot.  Mix with the chicken broth. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Now, the lime is up to you.  Of course, it’s optional, but I still think you should try it!  If you are hesitant, just throw a splash in.  If you love it, add a little more!  I wouldn’t squeeze more than a half of one though. You don’t want your guests to be squinting their eyes at you because the soup is sour! 😉 Another option, don’t add any lime at all to the soup, but garnish each bowl with a slice of lime, as I do in the picture.  Or, if you’re not being formal, just leave half the lime on a plate on the table and let everyone squeeze for themselves! I know some people are picky eaters.

If you watch the video and decide you’d like a thicker soup, add less chicken broth when you make yours!  Maybe only 3 cups instead of 4.

Garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary and you’re all set! You can let it stay warm in your pot or your crock pot for as long as you need.  If you’re cooking a bunch of different things, I would suggest making this first since it’s simple and can sit there for a few hours.

IMG_6785

———————————————–

Now for the simple, sweet version… watch the 3 minute and 26 second video first!

You’ll need:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 green apple

4 cups of chicken broth

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp of salt

1/4 cup of brown sugar

3 pounds of butternut squash

Same rules apply with the squash.  Cut up the squash in medium sized pieces, then peel the apple and cut it up as well.

In large pot, add olive oil and onions.  Cook until translucent. Add apples and squash. Pour in chicken broth.

IMG_6789

After cooking for about 10 minutes, repeat the same process of pureeing the apples and squash (refer to a few paragraphs above) either in a blender, processor, magic bullet or use a potato masher.

Add back into your pot and mix together with the chicken broth. Add salt, nutmeg and brown sugar. Mix and simmer. Sprinkle with nutmeg. All done!

IMG_6794

Keep it classy,

Chef Stef