Sunday, June 18, 2017

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger #SundaySupper

"These Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burgers are sure to please anyone. Luscious cream cheese, mixed with spicy jalapenos and onions is an easy way to dress up any burger!"

My Manservant sure does love dinner but there aren't many things that make him as excited as the word, "chile". This man loves his chile and in every form. Be it chile chili or chile topped enchiladas or burritos, eggs or chili cheese burgers. Oh yeah-he loves chili on his hot dogs, too. Chile is one way to my man's heart and I'm still trying to figure out the others, which just might include the word chocolate!

Today's Sunday Supper is all about Father's Day menu ideas. I've not had to plan any for the last few years, so this year it's all about making Manservant happy. Actually I think he is very happy because he's home and he probably would be thrilled if I served him McDonald's. Truth is that often when he's travelling he stops in at the local Mickey D's. Never eats it at home but he thinks of it as comfort food when he's away!

It isn't often I prepare beef since I gave it up long ago. However when I crave burgers-usually of the ground chicken variety-I always buy some beef for my man. He's happy and so are the dogs because I always make sure they get their beef in the form of baby burgers. They love it when I fire up the grill.

Since chile is always a major component of Manservant's favorite foods I decided it was high time to serve him a chile burger. We used to love going downtown to our favorite dive where they make the best jalapeno cheese burger. The JCB, they call it. Though this could not possibly be as good as theirs, it still is pretty good. Well, truthfully is is killer, unless you are not a fan of jalapenos and cream cheese and onions. Call me crazy but these just make a burger so much better. I also threw some chilies into the meat and added extra chile slices on the burger. Feel free to throw more chili on top-I know Manservant would have had I made it!

Happy Father's Day to all the great dad's out there!

More Food For Dad:
    Red Chile                     Green Chile                 Chili Mac

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Sunday Supper Father’s Day Menu Ideas

Sides Dad Will Love

Mains for the Main Man

Dad's Favorite Desserts

The Best Recipes You Need Now for Father’s Day by Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Yield: 8 servings

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger

These Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burgers are sure to please anyone. Luscious cream cheese, mixed with spicy jalapenos and onions is an easy way to dress up any burger!
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 30 mins


  • 2 Jalapenos, chopped (Seed them if you don't want them to spicy.)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 c minced onion
  • 1 T mayonnaise
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t salt or to taste


  1. Using an immersion blender, cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Stir in rest of ingredients and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Prepare your burgers as you wish. Season them generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Grill to desired temperature. Feel free to throw in some extra chilies with the meat. Sometimes I also grate some jalapeno cheese and hide it in the middle.
  4. I always butter and toast my buns on the grill. Watch carefully so they don't burn. When burgers are just about cooked, place a heaping tablespoon of jalapeno cream cheese on top of burger. Close grill and let heat briefly, then top with bun.
  5. When ready to serve you may serve these with extra chile strips, some pickles, some chili and extra onion. We forego the ketchup and mustard, but that is up to you!
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

"This awesome chocolate tres leches cake is really just a chocolate buttermilk cake in disguise. It also is the best way to get your chocolate milk fix. Just sayin'!"

Manservant is home which is unusual on Father's Day. I am so not used to planning Father's Day that well-I didn't plan anything-until now. I invited another lonely couple over that we haven't seen in awhile just so I can say we made it an occasion! In fact the last time we saw them I baked this cake at Manservant's request. He loved this cake which leads me to believe that other dads will too. And so will the moms and the kids, for that matter. I'm sharing it with you, bad photos and all.

I found this recipe at How Sweet Eats and followed the recipe almost. I added some coffee syrup around the cake and some coffee crystals to the whipped cream. That's it. Delicious it is, but if you really dissect it you will find that this isn't a true tres leches cake, because most tres leches cakes are actually sponge cakes, and this one is not.This cake might be defined as a poke cake because one does poke a lot of holes in it but one also does that with a tres leches cake. Sponge cakes are used for tres leches cakes because they soak up all the milks that are poured over the top.

My previously posted coconut rum tres leches cake was a true sponge cake. It only contains flour, eggs, sugar and vanilla as the base of the cake. Not true with this one. This divine chocolate cake is really just a chocolate buttermilk cake disguised as a tres leches cake. Not that that's a bad thing because it only means that I have to keep searching or baking until I find the real thing. Whatever. This cake is awesome with or without the added milks. The added chocolate, evaporated and condensed milks, the tres leches, just add extra flavor and moistness. The whipped cream on the top well, just throws this over the top. So get our your skewer, poke away, and enjoy this disguised chocolate cake. Dad will enjoy it and so will the kids and you can serve it with chocolate milk on the side. Yes this sublime cake contains chocolate milk and I guarantee you will have some leftover. All the better to toast Dad with!

A Few More Great Cakes:
Coconut Rum Tres Leches          Cream Cheese Pound Cake           Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

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cake, tres leches cake, chocolatecake

Yield: 8 servings

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

This awesome chocolate tres leches cake is really just a chocolate buttermilk cake in disguise. It also is the best way to get your chocolate milk fix. Just sayin'!
prep time: 30 MINScook time: 45 MINStotal time: 75 mins


  • 1/2 c hot coffee
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 c evaporated milk
  • 1/2 c chocolate milk
  • 2 c heavy cream, whipped until stiff peaks form
  • 1 t instant espresso
  • Grated chocolate for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 pan with butter and set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk the hot coffee and butter until the butter melts. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda and salt.
  4. Once it is halfway mixed, pour in the coffee/butter mixture and stir until the batter is smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
  5. Pour batter into your greased pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is just set in the middle. Cool completely.
  6. When cool, poke holes all over the cake, close together. Whisk together the condensed, evaporated and chocolate milk. Pour it over the tops of the cake and let it sink in. Refrigerate cake for at least 60 minutes, but I refrigerated it overnight.
  7. After chilling and before serving mix your whipped cream with the instant espresso and spread over the top of the cake. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Store leftovers in the fridge!
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sausage Rigatoni with Plums #HestanNanoBond #TitaniumTour

"This hearty rigatoni is given a summer twist with the addition of fresh and juicy plums. You could leave them out, but for heaven's sake, why?"

It's been awhile since I posted a pasta recipe. With my favorite pasta lover out of the house, I just don't make it as often. So it was with glee that I was sent this recipe to try from the folks at Hestan. Goes without saying that I'm always happy to try pasta! I've made something similar before but never have I thought of adding plums to rigatoni. Now plum tomatoes-yes. But not sweet, juicy plums. Must admit that these are a perfect way to add summer to a steaming flavorful pot of pasta.

This isn't a heavy sauce, nor is it a light sauce. In fact there isn't much liquid in this recipe at all. Just giant chunks of sausage-I used Italian-but plain old pork sausage was what was called for. From there it contains the standards-onion, garlic and a bit of tomato. Yes there is some cheese, but just a bit to tie everything together and add a touch of saltiness. I think this pasta is not just a pretty face-but a pretty good tasting one too! Feel free to substitute pastas but it should be a hearty one. In my opinion rigatoni was the perfect receptacle for this meaty sauce.

This rigatoni recipe was created by Chef Brad Spence of  Vetri Restaurants in Philadelphia, which was another reason I had to try it. Zoe and I had the pleasure to eat at the flagship restaurant for her 22nd birthday. She has been back many times but I guess I must visit again for that to happen! It was a memorable meal and I knew this recipe would be memorable also. I have no doubt that as soon as Zoe returns from Hong Kong she will be eating pizza at Pizza Vetri and I also know that Vetri restaurants are some of her favorites. Check them out if you are in the City of Brotherly Love. You won't be disappointed.

My Hestan skillet performed perfectly. So easy to clean, I'd almost think it was non-stick, though it was still able to brown my sausage perfectly. I was even able to cook at a lower temperature because it conducts heat so well. Just one small detail and that is that 1 pound of rigatoni and sauce did not fit in my 11" skillet. So I admit to pouring it back in the skillet after I tossed all the delicious components together in my pasta pot. Perhaps they should send me the larger skillet or a pasta pot?!

After just having my lunch of reheated rigatoni, I'm off to do some errands. This week is Father's Day and though I'm not buying any gifts-wish I could buy him us a new grill as ours is at least 25 years old. That would be fun to shop for, but no, I'm off to buy a few more things to plant, and another trap for Japanese beetles, just to make sure my yard looks good when this folly is finished. Manservant thought it would be done yesterday but a swamp cooler failure on a 95 degree day held him up. It was only after buying a new pump, installing it, and then finding out it wasn't the pump but the inside switch that went bad. Luckily he's very good at replacing switches, but it took him all day to find the problem!

Yes, this is the first in many years that Manservant is home for Father's Day and I have nothing planned.  I do however anticipate the painting of an office this week and the staining of a concrete floor. I think that's present enough, don't you?

A Few More Pastas:
  Summer Tomato Lasagna      Summer Corn Pasta with Burrata   Grilled Lemon Shrimp Pasta


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Yield: 6 Servingsprint recipe

Sausage Ragu with Plums

This hearty rigatoni is given a summer twist with the addition of fresh and juicy plums. You could leave them out, but for heaven's sake, why?
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 30 mins


  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 lb fresh pork sausage (casings removed-I used Italian, but plain will do)
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 3 cloves sliced garlic
  • 8 oz San Marzano canned plum tomatoes with juice
  • 1 c grated Pecorino, or Parmigiana,
  • 1/4 c chopped Italian parsley
  • 5 thinly sliced plums


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt to taste. It should taste like the sea as this gives your pasta flavor!
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1/4 olive oil and heat for 30 seconds.
  3. Add crumbled pork and sear until well browned, stirring every now and then. You do want this to get a good sear, though!
  4. When sausage is browned, add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Do not burn garlic!
  5. Add tomatoes to mixture and lower heat to low.
  6. Start your rigatoni cooking. Cook for 1 minute less than package directions, as it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  7. Add pasta to sauce and add some pasta water if you want a thinner sauce. I also added a bit more sauce from the tomatoes.
  8. After tossing stir in other 1/4 c of olive oil, parsley, plums and half the cheese. Serve with remaining cheese!
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Date Nut Chai Bread #BhaktiBreweryBreak #Sprouts

"This date nut chai bread, studded with walnuts, dates and dark chocolate is also full of the intoxicating flavors of gingery chai. Consider yourself enlightened by this chai bread. Perfect served with your favorite cup of chai!"

It's time to sit down for a cup of tea. My life has felt so out of sorts lately. Maybe it's Manservant's office that is now empty because of the flood, and maybe it's the folly that still isn't done-though it is getting close-( I can't wait for the REVEAL); maybe it's the stress of Manservant's job that is wearing on me-in any case, I truly do need to take a break and have some chai-tea, that is. Did you know that chai is just another word for tea? Well, now you know. Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Bhakti, the creator of original fresh chai. Sustainably sourced, craft brewed, this stuff is full of ginger and other good karma.

Founded by Brook Eddy, a real Bad Ass woman, in 2006, Brook's journey began with a trip to India in 2002. Brook travelled to Northern India to study the principles of Bhakti which translates to devotion through social action. It's there she encountered masala chai and fell in love with the spicy aromatic drink. When welcomed into someone's home in India, one is often offered tea. Each home has their own version of the spicy sweet tea we call chai-which to them is still just tea! 

After leaving India Brook realized how much she missed her beloved chai and started brewing  up batches to give to her friends and family. Things quickly take off from there and Brook soon found herself selling mason jars of chai to local cafes and coffee shops. From there it is is only up for Brook, and finally in 2007 she was able to start devoting a percentage of profits to local nonprofits focusing on women, girls and the environment. 

Bhakti presses 288,000 lbs of fresh ginger each year and so when I say spicy, I mean it! Brook not only sells concentrated chai concentrate with fresh pressed ginger, which is fair trade, non GMO and vegan, she also has launched a line of sparkling teas with flavors like mango lime matcha and mint mate. Loved these and they are also perfect mixers spiked with your favorite spirit. 

In 2015 Brook launched  GITA – “Give, Inspire, Take Action- gitagiving.orga social giving platform to share her inspiring projects with fans around the world. Bhakti chai is also a certified B corp, that use the power of business as a source for good. If you are a lover of chai-which I am quickly becoming, you can even become a Bakhti ambassador. The qualities they look for are also the qualities they have in their tea. Sweet, Spicy, Strong, Fresh, Healthy, Inspiring. Come to think of it-these also describe Brook quite well. 

Thanks Sprouts for this fun field trip. Thanks Bhakti for this enlightening experience and wonderful samples. Check out Bhakti at your favorite Sprouts. Or go online and order there. Great recipes, too!  Needing some extra comfort to go with my chai, I decided to bake a date nut loaf studded with walnuts and chopped dates and dark chocolate. Flavored with chai concentrate and a chai glaze, this loaf was quickly devoured. I'll also mention that it was just this morning that Manservant saw me editing these photos and commented again that this was a really good bread. Hmm. I'll take that as a hint!

More To Try:

  Earl Grey Mandel Bread                    British Scones                              Blueberry Nut Bread


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This date nut chai bread, studded with walnuts, dates and dark chocolate is also full of the intoxicating flavors of gingery chai. Consider yourself enlightened by this chai bread. Perfect served with your favorite cup of chai!

yield: About 12print recipe

Date Nut Chai Bread

This date nut chai bread, studded with walnuts, dates and dark chocolate is also full of the intoxicating flavors of gingery chai. Consider yourself enlightened by this chai bread. Perfect served with your favorite cup of chai!
prep time: 25 MINScook time: 45 MINStotal time: 70 mins


  • 1 c coarsely chopped, pitted dates
  • 3/4 c chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 1/4 c milk (warmed)
  • 1/2 c chai concentrate from Bhakti (heated with milk, until simmering)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 c unbleached flour
  • 3/4 c dark chocolate chips
Chai Glaze
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 2 T chai concentrate


  1. Combine dates, walnuts, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and heated milk and chai. Stir once and let stand for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add vanilla, sugars, and flour and mix to combine. Stir in the date mixture and chocolate chips, mixing just until blended.
  4. Turn mixture into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. (This might not be all the way clean, because of the gooey dates and chocolate chips.) Let cool on wire rack before glazing. Remove from pan when cool and then glaze.
Chai Glaze
  1. Combine butter and chai concentrate. slowly whisk in powdered sugar until no lumps remain. Pour over cooled loaf. Let sit until glaze hardens up.
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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Baked Onion Dip with Pepper

"Everyone loves a cheesy, peppery dip. Hot from the oven, this sweet onion dip can be served with chips, bread or crackers. Then again it is also great with cut up veggies or even just a spoon!"

It seems I last left you while I was trying to decide whether to have a Memorial Day BBQ.  I was quite indecisive about what to make and who to have but I did manage to attract 7 friends to an un-American Mediterranean dinner. Manservant was still busily working on my folly, so I knew it was up to me to pull it together. All was going well until 5PM. Friends were arriving at 6. Yes, at 5PM Manservant saw the hose spigot from the house explode into his office and our basement. Yes this hose spigot had been installed just two years ago by a certified plumber, so who could imagine that it would just snap in half, inside our wall, gushing water. Not me for one. And who could imagine that this plumber is no longer in business?

It was at that point I said let's call this shindig off while Manservant was anxiously turning off the water and trying to figure out how to turn it on again, without it pouring into his office.  Let's face it, Sunday of Memorial Day weekend  is not a good time to be looking for a plumber and I didn't want to have 9 people eating on not paper plates-and then not have water-our most valuable resource- to clean up with. Well, Manservant somehow managed to pull it off and now we have water and one more water related issue to add to our broken kitchen faucet and dead water heater incidents this year. They say things happen in threes and I'm sure hoping this is #3. In this case we did have our party and even though Manservant was in the shower when everyone arrived, we all quickly forgave him.

I managed to grill some lemon oregano chicken, serve it with some tzatziki sauce and grilled pita, make an eggplant gratin and a really good salad topped with hearts of palm, artichokes and roasted peppers. Dessert was a baked skillet cherry pie that I decided on after discovering cherries from 2015 still in the freezer. No one was the wiser! All of these were a hit but it was the appetizers that just didn't seem to fly. I loved them, but I think everyone else was being somewhat polite. I kept to the theme and made a big mezze plate with sliced chorizo and cheese, some marinated white beans, some skordalia-a garlic Greek spread that I adore-and then I made (IMO) a really good hazelnut, allspice and blue cheese spread that I stuffed into celery. Other than that spread, everyone was just kind of ho hum on the appetizers. Let's admit it. People like this:

I  could have made my Mediterranean Layer Dip with hummus and tzatziki, but hummus has never been my fave! And it is so totally not my generation. I may like hummus, but I wasn't raised on it. I was raised on Lipton's onion soup dip and those plastic dip containers you buy at the grocery. And Perfect potato chips. I don't even know if those are still around. They for sure aren't in Colorado.  Don't ask me how I know. In any case we had some really good white beans and some great celery spread to munch on while we cleaned out Manservant's office. We took out the drenched carpet pad, the old disgusting carpet and two desks and two bookshelves, four chairs and filing cabinets and currently are looking at a cement floor that we are considering staining. Just one more task to add to our growing list, but one thing's for sure-at least we are still eating well! And hey! After all that moving and cleaning I'm sure our bodies can absorb some delectable cheese dip.

People love to eat calorie laden gooey cheese dips with potato chips and crackers. I know it, because I am one of those people. Had I served this dip it would have been gone in 10 minutes flat. I know this, because it has happened before. But I didn't serve this dip. I made it for Manservant and myself and we have been taking bites of it all week long. It is good hot and it is also good cold. The spiciness of the black pepper seems to shine through more when it is cold. Now when I say cold I guess I mean room temperature and I also mean baked first. Much better to meld the flavors that way. Yes, this dip is filled with onions, but they are sweet onions and honestly if I didn't tell you they were there, I'm not sure you'd know. One could also add drained green chilies or a chopped chipotle or even some grated cheddar to give this dip some extra flavor. This dip works as a template for all your favorite flavors. Add to it what you like best, but honestly it is perfection just as is.  Make a big batch and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Perfect for happy hour, you can just bake what you need and have more for the next one! It might take awhile to be happy in this house given the current state of affairs, but even I must admit that I sure wasn't unhappy to see that carpet go!

A few more great dips:
Mom's Artichoke Dip             Poblano Onion Dip               Peppadew Green Chile Cheese


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yield: Serves 6-8print recipe

Baked Onion Dip

Everyone loves a cheesy, peppery dip. Hot from the oven, this sweet onion dip can be served with chips, bread or crackers. Then again it is also great with cut up veggies or even just a spoon!
prep time: 15 MINScook time: total time: 15 mins


  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1 c fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1 c diced sweet onions (or more if you like)
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • Drained Green chilies, or a chopped chipotle, or even some Cheddar (All optional, but all good!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, using an immersion blender, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan,and black pepper. Blend well.
  3. Stir in diced onion. Spoon the mixture into a 6" baking dish. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until dip is golden brown and crusty on top. Really.
  4. Serve with your choice of dippers or just a spoon. May be served hot or at room temperature.
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