Homemade Veggie Cream Cheese

I know I know. Yesterday came and went and I didn’t blog.

I have to be honest with you, moving across the country and planning a 25th anniversary event have proven to be the too much in the whole “the good lord never gives you more than you can handle” caveat.  I took easter off to pack my life away in boxes and make to-do lists.

I missed you, and you should know that I much prefer to chat with you over a glass of wine than pack boxes.

To make it up to you, I’ve planned a week.  I know we don’t really do much theme-ing over here at Amuse Bouche, but it’s time we gave breakfast it’s proper glory by celebrating BREAKFAST WEEK on the blog.

Yes, from sweet to savory, quick to involved, we are covering the full spectrum of breakfast this week.

Because I am overwhelmed with my life and half drunk /medicated for the duration of this week, we are easing into this. (that’s a little joke, I start acting like my life is a padded room when I get stressed out).

But we really are easing into this, with homemade veggie cream cheese. A few fresh ingredients is all that stands between you and a kicked up bagel.

Takes 5 minutes, you can do this!

Homemade Veggie Cream Cheese

By Whitney, April 1, 2013

Homemade Veggie Cream Cheese

Ingredients:

  • cream cheese – 8 ounces
  • green onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • carrot – 1/2 cup, freshly grated
  • celery – 1/4 cup, finely diced
  • garlic – 2 cloves, finely diced
  • salt and pepper – 1/4 teaspoon each
  • radish – 1/8 cup, grated

Instructions:

mix the grated/diced vegetables in with the cream cheese, and season with salt and pepper.  Spread on a bagel, call the authorities on how easy this is.

Love,

Whit

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Restaurant Style

I am going to let you in on a secret.

It’s one I carry in my back pocket everywhere I go.  I feel even more inclined to tell you this secret after watching last night’s top chef, where it became clear that even some of the greatest minds in the culinary world don’t know it.

It’s the very best, most delicious and perfect way to cook a steak.  Leave your grill for vegetables, heaven forbid your steak should touch those grates.  (Yes, I sure do realize that men across America are either gasping or straight PISSED at me right now. Sorr, kids. Ur dad taught you wrong.)  And if you don’t believe me, come to my house and I will prove it.  I’ll go head to head with any man in America who thinks they can cook a steak on the grill better than I can in my kitchen.

You just got served.

Anyway. The best way, guys, they call it ‘Restaurant Style”.

You know when you go to Joe’s Steak and Crab, and it’s the best steak you’ve ever had?  NOT GRILLED, SON.

Restaurant Style.

It’s pan seared in butter and finished in the oven.  It’s the perfect medium rare and it’s the most flavorful, delish, heavenly dish of all time when done correctly.

Also, my apologies to any vegetarians who read this, not because it’s all about meat but I’m mostly sorry that you can’t taste excellence.

It also goes without saying that a perfectly cooked filet mignon pairs perfectly with an 08 Hill Family Estate Atlas Peak Cab Sauv.

Boom.

Restaurant Style Filet Mignon

By Whitney, December 8, 2011

Restaurant Style Filet Mignon

The best steak you’ve put anywhere near your face.

Ingredients:

  • filet mignon – 2, 8 ounce filets
  • kosher salt – 4 teaspoons
  • freshly cracked pepper – 4 teaspoons
  • butter – 1 stick
  • olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  • garlic – 2 cloves, chopped
  • parsley – 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • thyme – 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • lemon zest – 1 teaspoon

Instructions:

DISCLAIMER: The reason this dish is so amazing is due mostly in part to having the very best, most fresh ingredients possible.  That means high grade salt, it means pepper ground right in front of you by a pepper mill.  It means fresh herbs and it means REAL BUTTER.  The good news is that these are all things you should already have in your house. Take 1/2 stick of butter, softened, and mix well with the peeled, chopped garlic, the chopped herbs, and the lemon zest.  Form into a log and refrigerate.  Generously season the filet’s with salt and pepper, approximately 1 teaspoon of seasoning per side. Heat the remainder of the butter (1/2 stick) and the olive oil in a cast iron skillet to a screaming hot temperature.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.   Sear the filets in a screaming hot pan for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until a nice brown crust has formed. While the steak is searing, continue to spoon the residual butter in the pan on top of the meat while it’s cooking.  Once both sides are seared, place in the center of the oven for about 6-8 minutes, depending upon how thick your steak is.  In the last minute of cooking, take the log of compound butter and slice a nice thick piece to place on top. Your steak will be ready when it is approximately 135 degrees in the center, or when you push lightly on the top center of the steak and it gently and slowly bounces back.  (Note, this is medium rare kids. Some people don’t like to eat cows while they are mooing, so clearly you can cook longer if your afraid of the pink.)

And there you have it.  It’s as simple as can be, as most the best things in life are. And I dare you to tell me of a better way to eat filet.

Love,

Whit

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Coffee and Donuts

So, let’s have a conversation about donuts. Doughnuts. Whatever. I don’t really care what you call them.  Let’s talk about fried dough.

You’ve heard my saying, “You can’t spell friend without fried” and sweet lord is that the truth.

Sometimes, there is no alternative to a piping hot, glaze covered, cinnamon smelling ball of hot fried cake, am I right?!?

I am embarrassed to tell you, well only a little, as I imagine I am not the only one,  that I find myself in awkward silence/swoon moments when it comes to fried ‘nuts.

You know, the shortening of the word do-nuts. Fried ‘nuts. Right.

It’s all I can do to keep it together sometimes.

So what are the 2 things that make it alright to get out of bed in the morning? Clearly, coffee and donuts.

Or, coffee glazed donuts. Yes, I went there. Care to follow me?

Donut Holes with Coffee Glaze

Donuts:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 4 cups vegetable oil

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil.

Remove the pan from the heat after 10 seconds of boiling and add the flour. Using a wooded spoon, quickly stir the mixture until all the flour is fully incorporated and forms a thick dough. Return the pan to the heat and stir for 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add the eggs and egg yolk, 1 at a time until fully incorporated. Beat the mixture for 4 to 5 minutes until thick and glossy. Add the lemon zest and fridge for 15-30 minutes.

For the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together recommended: Kahluathe cream, coffee liqueur, and espresso powder until smooth. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the powdered sugar until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, stir in the water, 1/4 teaspoon at a time.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat over medium heat until a thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. Drop tablespoon sized scoops of the dough into the oil.  Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, turning occasionally, until the donuts are golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

For the glaze, dissolve the esspresso in the water.  Add the heavy cream and then the powdered sugar.  Stir until the lumps are gone, and dip the donuts in the glaze.

Try not to cry.

I know it’s hard.

Love,

Whit

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How Much Bleach For 1000-Gallon Pool

Maintaining your swimming pool clean is one of the basic things you can do to enhance its safety regarding bacterial and other wastes that have accumulated over time. Frequent cleaning of swimming pools is done using a detergent known as bleach. The bleach can form hypochlorous acid and combine with water pollutants in the water to offer you the best cleaning approach.

The second reason why you should bleach your swimming pool is to increase the concentration of chlorine in the water. Bleaching of the swimming pool can be preferably be done in evenings or early in the morning to avoid degrading the chlorine in the sun. Using bleach will help you to remove urine, micro-bacteria and other contaminations such as lotions, perfumes, and other hair products which make your swimming pool be in a good state for use without having to worry of getting sick and different types of skin irritations.

Bleaching 1000 gallon above ground pools

The accurate quantity of bleach used to shock your above ground pools is contingent upon the size of your pool. Bleaching your underground polls need one to increase the quantity of chlorine in water to at least 5 parts per million. As a result, one needs to have gallons of bleach for 10,000 gallons of water in your above ground pools.

Obtaining the needed value of bleach for your above ground pools is determined by the size of your pool by the size of your pool. To have the right capacity of bleach for your underground water and to avoid using an excess of the bleach, you are required to establish the exact capacity of your above ground pools.

For instance, you can assess the approximate amount of water that above ground pools have by multiplying its length with width. The result should then be multiplied with the average depth of your pool which is 5.9 for most common oval pools and 7.5 for square based above ground pools. To raise the level of chlorine in your above ground pools to 5 pmm, you need to use a maximum of gallon of bleach for every 10000 gallons of pool water.

However, to bleach 1000 of pool water, you will require (1000*1/2) /10000 which gives you 0.05 gallons of bleach.

Swimming Pool Cleaners

There are different cleaner that you can use in cleaning your swimming pools. The most convenience types are robotic pool cleaners. Robotic pool cleaners can be defined as the vacuum maintained bots which have a low voltage power and programmed to help in waste removal from swimming pools without using much of human intervention.

Robotic pool cleaner on the market offers you with at the quickest way through which you can clean your above ground pools with more ease and efficiency. The automation makes swimming pool cleaning faster, easier and efficient.

The most common type of robotic pool cleaner on the market that you can use to clean your swimming pools include Polaris 9550 Sports Pool Cleaner, Hayward TigerShark, Maytronics Dolphin Triton Plus and Aquabot Breeze IQ among many others.

Source: Pooldone.com

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How to Treat a Pool Filled with Well Water

Searching for the best above ground pool on the market  is not easy. More so, maintaining its cleanliness with traditional vacuum is never a pleasant task. Leaves falling from trees and all tiny bitsy dirt can cause the water to turn cloudy. Save yourself from long hours of hassle by using robotic pool cleaner for leaves and spicing up your swimming experience by adding solar pool cover to the equation.

Payback for the Short Cut

Filling up a pool with well water will save you an average of 15 hours of possibly wasted time if you use a conventional hose. Water is naturally packed with iron, but well water’s ionic state have dramatically higher iron levels. Over time, the iron level of the water increases even more, turning it into rusty brown, hue or green color. This causes stain not only on the walls, but also on the hair and nails of swimmers. Sprinkle the rusty water with dirt and leaves for a sure disaster you’ll never want to re-experience. This enables swimmers to get the best water pool with a clear vision.

The Make Over

For natural pools, the most famous and easy way to treat a pool filled with well water is through chlorine based shock. This treatment could last up to five days and requires high volumes of chlorine. Keep in mind to do this during night time to avoid exposure to UV rays which diminishes its effects. Above ground pools and in ground pools can be sanitized by using pool clarifier which collects small particles and bind them to form large chunks that can be easily filtered.

Filter Out the Mess

Follow up the process by removing all dirt using a robotic pool cleaner for leaves. Drop and relax with Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Pool Cleaner for superior cleaning, terminating large debris, leaves, and even the smallest particles along with algae.

Heat It Up!

Once the water is clean, grab a solar pool cover to heat up the water while saving your pool from further evaporation. Unwind in a warm night swimming with help from Sun2Solar Clear 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover. This will save your pockets from expensive heating cost without dropping the temperature of water during night time. It effectively collects sun heat and prevents 95% water loss due to evaporation.

Prevention is better than Cure

If well water is the only option you have to fill your above ground pool with, it is better to regularly apply metal out products to avoid any problems from recurring. By using these chemicals, any type of metal particles that enters the pool will contain and inactivated.

Keep in mind

If you’re worried that your pool has a lot of iron, consult pool professionals for water testing and proper guidance for the process of iron removal. Well water is prone to high iron levels and adding metal out products on a regular basis to keep the water fresh to help maintain your pool’s cleanliness.

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Coleman Pools Vs Intex Pools

 

Overview

Who doesn’t like to swim? Everyone, either it can be with friends as parties or with family, swimming has been one of the well-known outdoor activity for decades. But, in recent times artificial pool setup has been the alk of the town’. As much as people like to swim on their own apartments or condos or house, people would also like to take their activity while they are travelling. To fulfill that needs Coleman and Intext, two biggies of swimming pool tubs manufacturers, have come up with the above ground water pool for any season (winter or summer). Let’s see some of the things offered by these two manufacturers.

Jump into the pool

While one can see what the difference in the products is, there is a lot of variance in the style and the design of manufacturability between these two companies. These above ground pool for winter and summer seasons has been one of the best-sellers for both the manufacturers. This is much more popular among the young people who would like to enjoy and have fun during their leisure times. Families have also been shown interest on the pools for their kids. People who couldn’t afford a whole bunch of space for constructing a swimming pool, pretty much prefer getting one of the Coleman or Intext pool for their homes.

Affordability

One of the biggest concerns people have when they are trying to construct a swimming pool in their house, would be the cost. But, both Coleman and Intex have eradicated this concept. The above ground pool for winter and summer seasons is one of the most affordable pools. The Intex pools pretty much depending on their different specifications, prices range between $250 to $600. Whereas the Coleman pools lies on the same range from $300 to $550, depending on what and what type of pool one wants.

Pool Cleaning

Unlike the traditional pool cleaning, where one must spend a lot of time on using the traditional way of cleaning the pool. The Robotic pool cleaner Dolphin premier cleaners are the new age cleaning technology one should be mindful of using it. These robotic cleaning cleaners are the new technology cleaners which doesn’t allow or doesn’t give the opportunity for people to clean the hot tub. It has the automatic feature, as the name suggest and on top of that, these Robotic pool cleaner-Dolphin premier cleaners are much more energy effective.
According to the customer and consumer reviews, these take up almost 87% of the energy used, and not only gives a cleaner pool for their kids, but also makes sure that it is highly-energy efficient. The Robot has multiple filters and provided with dust bag, which cleans the whole tub or the pool within a few couple of minutes or an hour. With the top-notch engineering design and quality, the Robotic pool cleaner Dolphin premier cleaners are the new-age monsters for eradicating traditional cleaning.

Conclusion

Thus, it can whether Coleman or Intex above ground pool, make sure you have got the right space and the safety precautions before installations. Of course, don’t forget to party hard whether it is for a pool party or don’t forget to play and when it comes to kids and family.
Have fun!!

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Wallflowers.

As you all know, we moved into our new place in Denver sans practically ALL of our apartment décor, and the white walls in our apartment have slowly started to feel like padded white walls – if you catch what I’m throwin’.

I feel crazy.

The kind with stirs.

I look at every wall with an exact blue print of what I want to do. Which is so great, right? I have a vision and I know what I want.  Woohoo for being a decisive woman, except.

Sherriff Notting-I-mean-Abra-ham steals my bag of pennies every time I get the nerve to make something.

What, an apartment scrooge.

Regardless, I’ve taken to doing my less expensive projects first, just so I don’t have to stare at the pads- I mean walls.

My first project was pretty simple. I want wall vases, and I want them now.

At first the plan was to hang mason jars from decorative rustic wood dowels because you know how much this girl loves her masonry.

But then Edison came along, and I knew that mason jar vases next to a 16 mason jar might be a wee bit overboard.

So I started to rethink this plan. I knew they needed to hold small bundles of flowers, they needed to hang from something via twine, and they had to be fabulous.

And this, is what happened.

This project is great to use old frames that you aren’t already, small trinkets that have meaning to you, or just an excess of miniature things. I don’t know why you’d have an excess of miniature things, but you know, to each her own.

Wall Vases, hung via frames

  • A Cluster of different sized frames with different molding, mix matched is best
  • 1 pint of Martha Stewart’s fresh linen white paint
  • 1 pint of another desired color, to go over the white – I used Martha’s new metallic line, and I gotta say, was really disappointed at how damn purple it looked. It read brown on the swatch.
  • Sand paper
  • Twine
  • Screws and Mollys
  • A Drill
  • Screw Driver
  • Lots of little vases with a lip, or other small trinkets that will work well hanging from twine.

As previously mentioned, you can use old frames of all sizes, or simply go out a buy a bundle of frames that you think look good together.

I went to Hobby Lobby on Memorial Day and bought all of these frames on the cheap.  I wasn’t concerned with color since I knew I’d be painting them.  I was looking for a molding that I liked, with an adequate amount of space in the middle for something to hang.

I also looked for various small jars, vases and votives to fill the center of the frames.

When I got them home, I sanded the frames to allow the paint to adhere.

I then painted 2 coats of the white paint.  I knew I’d be sanding again and didn’t want the original finish showing through.

After those dried, I took a dry brush and applied the metallic color.

Now, I was not, and still am not, please about the color this reads.  It was supposed to be brown, not purple. Of all the colors in the world, I hate purple. (Sorry, Kelley…)

Anyway, dry brush your top coat on, and don’t completely cover the white, let a good amount of it shine through.

Once that dries, sand it again until you have the finish you want.  I wanted mine to look super aged, so I really went for it.

Then you want to start hanging them on the wall. First, lay it out on the floor the way you want it so you don’t mess it up too bad.

Hang the first frame by drilling holes, pushing in the molly’s, and screwing in the screws.  Then hang the frame and make sure it’s level.

Measure the distance between that frame and where you want to have your other frame start.  Add that number to the height of the frame and drill your next holes there, and so on and so on.

Once the frames are in the right place, remove them one at a time to tie the vases.

Take the twine, and create a pull through loop around the frame.  Wrap the twine around the neck of the vase 5 times, moving the twine in opposite directions around it to secure it well. Tie in a pretty bow.

Repeat with the rest of the frames and vases.

 

And fill them with the seasons freshest flowers!

How’s that for a wallflower?

Love,

Whit

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Dunkaroos, the treat from down under.

Kids,  you have less than 24 hours left to vote on Whit’s Amuse Bouche’s wedding amuse bouches. Just go there and do us all the favor!  I’ll be picking the winner at 5 pm Central time tomorrow, and you’ll be winning French Fridays with Dorie, and the baked good from this blog of your choice!

Boom-boom-boom and a zoom-zoom (just shake ya rump!)

Now, everyone probably noticed what a flashback mood I’ve been in recently, what with the old school song quotes and the fruit roll ups, but I have been saving the most awesome flashback of all.

See, I ate A LOT of junk food back in my day. When I say a lot, I mean like 99% processed, heavily marketed on television kind of junk.  No shame, it is part of what has made me, me.

But now, I don’t.  Do NOT get me wrong, when I have had 1 too many red wine spritzers and I am outside of the Wiener Circle, you bet your tail I go in an get a charburger, but for the most part, I leave the process to the past and think fondly on my chubby youth.

But something gets into me when I think about frosting in a plastic container. I don’t know. No, it’s not even that good but sweet Lord, did I love it!

And I thought I was worldly, because dunkaroos, were so CLEARLY an Australian treat.

(I had this weird Australia thing going on, you should hear about the first boy that bought me jewelry – “Genuine Australian Crystals”- Well, I almost shat my pants that day.)

Ah, young love.

Anyway, dunkaroos. I ate these things by the box.  And I’ll be darned if I am going to have a life where my kids (completely hypothetical and currently not even a blip on the ultrasound- although HAPPENING like the Duggars someday) live without them.

So, do me a solid and buy yourself a kangaroo cookie cutter, and head down under for a snack worth writing home about.


Homemade Dunkaroos

graham cracker recipe from Smitten Kitchen

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cupdark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons  milk, full-fat is best
2 tablespoons  pure vanilla extract

Topping
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the dough: Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate.

Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract.

Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together.

It will be very soft and sticky. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.

Roll out the crackers: Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary.

Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers.

Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2  cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
1 container sprinkles

Cream the butter,

slowly add the powdered sugar, add the milk and vanilla at the end to thin out. Finish with sprinkles.

I know, right? Sigh.

Also, you guys should know that in 2 days, Amuse Bouche will be participating in The Tomato Tarts online bake sale for Japan.  We are selling our oreos, remember those?  Well,  I am just saying, you should probably bid for those.

Love,

Whit

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