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Bacon & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Sitting here, in almost May, looking forward through the spring, summer, and fall, is dizzying. So many special occasions coming up, so many big changes, so many day to day hurdles. It’s hard to know what to make of it when it feels like life is flying by.

A few weeks ago my sister, Lauren, got engaged. Actually, her fiancĂ© Bradley proposed during our monthly virtual ya-ya book club, which was just about the cutest thing ever. I already adored him, I know he’s going to make my sister very happy. Not to mention that because of their engagement and eventual wedding I have the perfect excuse to spend time noodling around on pinterest planning bridal showers and bachelorette parties and special surprises. Surprise to nobody, I’ve been dwelling a lot on foods to serve. Cute, delicious finger foods.

I love mushrooms stuffed with pretty much anything. There’s something about the taste and texture of a mushroom cap contrasted with sausage or cheese or rice that’s so perfect. These little ones are beyond delicious… I’m a lover of goat cheese in everything, but in this case it was especially perfect. The salty bacon, the earthy rosemary, the juicy mushroom, the tart cheese. Heaven.

Bacon & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

24 small cremini mushrooms

1/2 cup goat cheese

3 strips bacon

1 tbsp fresh rosemary

1 tbsp fresh oregano

Salt

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and clean them out. Cook the bacon. Let the goat cheese come to room temperature.

Chop up herbs and crumble bacon. Mix cheese, herbs, bacon, and salt. Fill each mushroom with stuffing. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

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Jack n’ Coke Pie

Last month a friend of ours was having a party, which means that I was left with the impossible task of deciding what kind of pie would be best to bring. We were coming off of National Pie Month, which meant that I was over cream pies; my brain was stuck. Nothing new was in season and out of desperation I asked what his favorite mixed drink was. A formula that had worked before, I hoped I could find something in his response. Chris’ favorite drink, it turns out, is a Jack and Coke. And that my friends, makes a pretty delicious pie.

This pie was pretty simple- a coca cola chess with a Jack Daniels whipped cream. The chess is simple and traditional and the cream is potent. The combination is reminiscent of the drink but not overpowering. The feedback I got from those who actually drink whiskey was enthusiastic, so I whole heartedly recommend this combination. What other cocktails would you like to see as pie?

Jack n’ Coke Pie

Pie dough:

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tbsp shortening

1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 stick butter, cold

1/4 cup water, cold

Pie filling:

1 12oz can cola

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp flour

1/2 cup butter, melted

whipped cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp sugar

1 oz Jack Daniels whiskey

Begin by making your dough. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Work the shortening in. Cube the butter and work in with your hands until the mixture is the consistency of corn meal. Slowly stir in the water, a little at a time, until a ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make your filling pour the cola into a medium sauce pan over low heat. Simmer until reduced by half– your goal is a syrup, approximately 1/3 a cup of liquid. In a mixer combine all filling dry ingredients. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add the butter, melted. Add in syrup. Add in vanilla.

Roll the dough out and press into a pie dish. Pour the filling into the center and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until mostly firm. Remove from the oven and let set.

To make your whipped cream combine cream, sugar, and whiskey in a bowl. Whip on high speed for 3-5 minutes or until it holds a peak. Serve alongside pie.

 

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Chickpea & Quinoa Cakes

I promise that my intention is not to make this blog into a quinoa fest. But this was another recipe so good I would have shared it anyway, so here it is–quinoa and chickpea cakes with chipotle and curry. Spicy, rich, filling, and stupid good for you.

It’s meals like this that make quinoa fun.

UPDATE: Last week the Capt’n sent us home with some of his famous smoked kingfish. We adapted this recipe so that it was – quinoa cake, avocado, shredded smoked kingfish, greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and chipotle, and salsa. It was insanely good.

Chickpea & Quinoa Cakes

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1 can chickpeas, drained

1/2 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 egg

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp curry

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp chipotle

1/4 corn flour

1 tbsp chia seeds

Salsa and avocado to top

Combine all ingredients but the corn flour in a food processor. Blend until all the ingredients have been broken down. Place in a bowl and stir in the flour. Heat 1/4″ oil in a heavy pan. Form the batter into 3″ round cakes. Fry on both sides for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Top with salsa and sliced avocado and serve.

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