Last week Gus and I went to the Arizona BBQ Festival and enjoyed some great tastings.  There were BBQ tents and portable kitchens set up throughout the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.  One of the best features of the event were the chef demos held throughout the day.  I attended two demos; the first being Chef Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails.  Each chef was to demonstrate how to make some type of “road kill”.  Chef Stephen chose an appetizer of  Frog Legs and it was delicious.  Since meeting him and a short conversation, I decided to also check out the restaurants website andRead More →

My kitchen was overcome with the aroma of boiled eggs which is not always a good or bad thing unless you’re the Greek critique who just stepped in the door.  Mr. Hubby didn’t like the fragrance one bit.  I hadn’t noticed but since it was 2 dozen eggs for a Christmas party the number of eggs was far greater than ever for what had been cooked and peeled in my kitchen.  I might consider buying the pre-boiled eggs next time but need to test them on us first. The eggs were well received at the party and gobbled up quickly.  We put them out in batches ofRead More →

Who would have thought that I would still be grilling outdoors in the middle of December!  It wouldn’t surprise me as much but we are again at Ironworks and the temperature was a brisk 45 degrees outside when I put the shrimps on the grill.  I cook year round at our home in the Valley of the Sun but never dreamed it would be the same here.  I did not serve the shrimp as a surf and turf which what I first thought of doing.  Instead we enjoyed them as an appetizer before dinner along with a sun-dried tomato artichoke dip and crackers.  Hope you enjoy the shrimpRead More →

One of the best and most enjoyable gathering of my friends was a few years back for a Holiday Baking Party.  Five of my best friends were invited for a cooking party at my home.  In order to take this type of gathering you need a fairly good size kitchen, several ovens and lots of champagne and orange juice.  To begin, section off several areas of your kitchen to serve as a prep area for each of your friends.  I sectioned off five areas and at each of those was placed  a set of measuring spoons, measuring cups, a hot pad and a vintage grandma’s apron. YouRead More →

This is a much enjoyed appetizer that can be made a variety of ways.  My friend, Mariette, uses a much sharper cheese and it’s just a delicious.  It just has a different twist.  Many recipes include spinach, but somehow, someway, I’ve not acquired a taste for spinach in large doses.  Another fun addition is sun dried tomatoes but if doing that do so in small doses too.  For a sharper more flavorful taste use Asiago Cheese, Gruyere Cheese or an Italian blend. Artichoke dip is one of my regulars to take to take to a Pot Luck dinner. It’s a warm dish served with crackers, toasted baguette slices or tortillaRead More →

Recipe updated 9/22/2014: I wanted to make a fun party size Ceviche to take to a Halloween party. The picture of the Halloween version is so creepy that I hesitate to show it. But, alas here it is anyway. Don’t let it freak you out! This ceviche is made with medium size shrimp and imitation crab that makes up a 4 quart party size batch. It yields enough to serve 30 or more guests depending on how many appetizers are served along with it.  I never thought I would stop chopping and it was time consuming.  2 hours of slicing, dicing and sneaking bits and bites ofRead More →

This sweet and savory stuffed mushroom appetizer is made with ground sweet Italian sausage, goat cheese & chopped Calimyrna figs.  For a little extra eye appeal they’ve been topped them with slivered almonds. Fresh Calimyrna figs  are definitely my preference over the darker variety fig as they have a milder flavor that doesn’t over power the other ingredients.  The tastes of this stuffed mushroom will burst with variety of sweet and savory flavors that seem to crunch and pop out individually. You can easily substitute golden delicious apples and feta cheese for figs and goat cheese if not available.  Sometimes you can find dried figs packaged on the same aisle in the groceryRead More →