Written on February 20, 2014 at 10:00 am , by Sheena Chihak
Hi all, it’s Sheena, editor with BHG.com joining today. On day three of the Sochi Winter Olympics, I attended day one of the 3rd annual Clearwater Beach Uncorked food and wine fest on the white sand beach of Clearwater, FL. Unlike Sochi there were no extreme downhill slopes or frozen ice rinks, but temperatures in the mere 50s and 60s had weather-spoiled Floridians shaking in their boots (they were literally wearing boots in the sand!). I admit it did look strangely like snow with palm trees jutting out.
The chilly temps and wind didn’t stop hundreds of people from lining up to get into this much-anticipated food and wine fest. In the spirit of the Olympics, I broke down Uncorked into three events and scored myself against the crowd.
Event 1: The line.
My score: Gold!
Just look at all these hungry mouths salivating with thoughts of cheese, seafood, and wine. I blissfully wore my VIP badge like a gold medal and walked right in. Note to future Uncorked attendees: This is a major perk of the VIP ticket.
Event 2: Getting through the crowd.
My score: Nowhere near the podium.
As you can tell, Uncorked is a hot ticket for foodies. When the crowd became too much for my figure skater-like height (I come in below the 5’3” female figure skater average) I escaped to the VIP area where I enjoyed lobster mac and cheese from The Lobster Pot and sipped on Mount Gay Rum and Four Roses Bourbon. I learned a bit about the extensive histories of these two liquor brands. Mount Gay dates back all the way to 1703 and wow, their Extra Old rum was amazing! Four Roses was able to keep operating through prohibition because bourbon was considered medicinal. Doctors would actually prescribe a pint of bourbon every 12 days for various “illnesses,” such as having the vapors, a hurt back, etc.
Event 3: Eating!
My score: Bronze. (Much like Bode Miller in the super-G, I put forth an impressive effort that only a few could beat.)
Those who know me well know my ultimate favorite food is cheese. Thanks to Tillamook, Cabot, and Kerrygold, I indulged in some of the most delicious cheeses I’ve tasted. My personal gold-medal cheese sample was Tillamook’s Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar. YUM! The folks from Tillamook told me this product is trickier than some of their others to find, but I will definitely be on the hunt. Every few steps through the tents of the festival brought another scrumptious nibble. Crab dip with hot sauce, scallops on a creamy risotto, pasta tosses, gelato, bruschetta, smoothies, and on and on the list could go.
It was a truly delicious day sampling food products and chef creations in a setting that can’t be matched. As a parting gift for all of Uncorked’s attendees we were treated to a breathtaking sunset. Anyone who’s interested should start planning for next year’s 4th annual Uncorked event.
Written on February 20, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Erin Gleeson
Whenever I host a brunch party, I love making quiche. It’s a simple way to serve eggs to a crowd and it feels a little special. Plus, it’s easily made ahead and delicious even as it cools.
This BHG Quiche recipe is amazing because it’s so adaptable- you can literally add anything to the egg mixture!
Some filling ideas:
- sliced or grated zucchini squash
- big slices of tomato
- pesto and goat cheese
- caramelized red onions
- sausage and fresh herbs
- scallions (green onions)
The list is endless! And it’s great because you can also just use whatever you have in the fridge. I usually cook the veggies or meat before adding it to the quiche to assure it’s fully cooked when the egg mixture is set. I use a pre-made pie crust, but you could certainly make your own.
For the version above, I added ribbons of yellow zucchini squash to the egg mixture, plus grated jack cheese, and a sprinkling of thyme. I made the ribbons of squash using a potato peeler, running it lengthwise down the squash. You could also use a mandolin. Another idea is to simply add big slices of tomato and grated cheese, like below.
Click here for the recipe. Happy brunching!
Photos and illustration by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a cookbook and blog inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.
Categories: Delish Dish, Let's Party | Tags: baked, better homes and gardens, Brunch, cheese, easy, eggs, entertaining, healthy, host, onion, Party, quiche, Recipe, scallion, squash, tomato, tomatoes, vegetable, vegetarian
Written on January 16, 2014 at 8:00 am , by Erin Gleeson
I made a big batch of these Butternut Quesadillas recently for a party, and they were a hit! They’d be perfect for a Superbowl Party. I started with this BHG recipe for Avocado Quesadillas, but swapped the avocado out for roasted, mashed butternut squash. I found that with the squash, you didn’t need quite as much cheese, and it was still moist and delicious! I made them ahead of time and kept them warm in the oven, which worked great.
I use a potato peeler to remove the rind from the squash, which makes things much quicker. Then you can just slice it up and remove the seeds. I cut the squash into cubes (about 1 inch) and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a fork goes in easily and they are a bit browned. When they come out, mash them in a bowl with a fork.
Just spread about 2 tablespoons of mashed butternut squash onto a tortilla (I used corn). Then sprinkle with cheese (I used Manchego like in the BHG recipe, but anything works!), and a pinch of fresh thyme. Cover with another tortilla and heat in a skillet until the cheese melts, flipping once. Stack the quesadillas in a warm oven until it’s time to eat. I cut them right before serving, and top each with a dollop of sour cream and/or salsa.
Categories: Delish Dish, Let's Party | Tags: Appetizer, appetizers, Better Homes and Gardens recipes, BHG, butternut, cheese, entertaining, erin gleeson, feast, finger food, forest, gluten free, healthy, Party, Party recipes, squash, superbowl, Thyme, vegetable, vegetarian
Written on December 19, 2013 at 7:00 am , by Erin Gleeson
Every Christmas Eve, my parents host an open house with appetizers and cocktails. It’s one of my favorite annual gatherings- friends and family stop by all evening. Every year, we make some type of baked brie, and this year we are serving this recipe with a fig and pistachio tapenade, yum! It’s easy to make ahead and it’s so delicious that guests will devour it! I often make and serve it in a mini cast iron pan so that the cheese stays melted longer once it’s out of the oven. I sprinkle mine with Maldon sea salt for a sweet/salty kick.
This recipe and many others are in the Better Homes & Gardens “Holiday Recipes” magazine, on newsstands now. Several of my fellow Delish Dish bloggers also share some fantastic recipe ideas.
My warmest wishes to you and your families this holiday season!
Written on June 13, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
Editor’s Note: Michael is the first of a week-long Delish Dish series offering a sneak peek into our newest Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, Fresh. Check back throughout the week for more colorful, in-season recipes straight from the cookbook. Don’t wanna wait? Click here to buy Fresh today!
Nothing beats a flavorful salad on a hot summer day. But a salad that involves strawberries is even better! Today, I’m pulling recipe inspiration from one of BHG’s newest publications, Fresh. It’s a fabulous cookbook full of recipes for enjoying ingredients at their peak.
Each recipe tells you when the particular dish is best served based on the availability of ingredients. This also means that the ingredients will be at their ultimate stage of flavor and freshness. And honestly, that’s the best time to eat something.
This delightful salad features fresh strawberries so now is about the best time of year to serve it. Strawberries paired with peppery arugula, tangy balsamic, and a little cheese, and you have salad perfection.
Since I’m a huge fan of cheese, I absolutely love the manchego fricos on this dish. Fricos are cheese crisps made by heating a thin layer of cheese in a sauté pan. The high temperature draws out the oils and makes an interesting little crisp. It’s such a unique garnish for a salad as the crispiness adds great texture. To be honest, I could just snack on these all day.
You can find the recipe for the salad by clicking here.
And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Fresh for more seasonal cooking ideas.
Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm
Written on May 23, 2013 at 8:00 am , by Erin Gleeson
Hello! Erin from The Forest Feast here, with an easy appetizer idea. I have oodles of mint in my garden right now, so I whipped up some Mint Pesto inspired by this BHG Homemade Pesto recipe. I used mint instead of basil for a fresh spring taste, and pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds) instead of pine nuts because they are nutrient rich and much less expensive. This mint pesto is also great on pasta!
- 1 bunch (about 1 cup firmly packed) fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup piepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
- 5T olive oil
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set this pesto aside. Toast several slices of baguette and toast on a baking sheet in the oven until golden brown (approx 3 minutes under the broiler). While bread is still warm, spread a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese on each slice. Top that with a spoonful of the mint pesto, and garnish each with a couple pepitas. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The Forest Feast is a blog by Erin Gleeson full of simple, colorful vegetable based recipes with photos and watercolor illustration. After working for many years as a food photographer in NYC, Erin moved to a cabin in the woods where she is currently working on The Forest Feast cookbook. Follow Erin on Twitter and Instagram, @theforestfeast.