Just in case y’all were having a hard time with signing up for the new “Newsletter” over at Dot-Comville the other day here’s a short cut.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/tickledred

Love ya,

Tickled Red

Pack your bags we are moving our fun-filled shenanigans on over to a gorgeous new home in Dot-Comville. There’s a new kitchen with fab recipes coming real soon, a gym for the monkeys and of course a place for my baby and his stinky, yet oh so sexy wetsuits. I may even let him store a few surf boards somewhere.

Remember as with all moves you need to have your mail changed… just in case. I would hate to leave anyone behind inadvertently.

Hurry up…I miss you guys like crazy ūüôā

Red

 

I’m still here y’all and my fingers are just a twitching to post something for you guys. Unfortunately we, including me, will have to be patient for just a little while longer. I need to figure out the new format and do some final tweaks over on the new platform. If I post anything with a bazillion photos on here I’ll be the roast turkey for Thanksgiving…seriously.

I will however tease you all just a smidgen. I tried something new in the kitchen this weekend. It has apples, cinnamon a secret ingredient and involves my favorite dessert. Can you guess what it might be? Keep your fingers crossed that everyone loves it. If so I will have it up this week in all its glory. YUM! Not to mention the water temperature here has dropped so you know what that means.

Oh yeah, that’s right! The wetsuit came out. He poured himself into it. I snapped photos. It truly is the simply things in life that bring me the most joy. A few yards of neoprene and I am good to go.

I hope that you all had a spectacular weekend. My weekend totally rocked!

Love ya,

Tickled Red

The boys and I have a favorite book. A book that challenges them and even myself to think outside of the box. To reach deep down into our imaginations in the hopes of creating something new and exciting.

It’s called

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

If Chris Van Allsburg sounds familiar it’s because he has written such inventive stories as The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, Probuditi, Jumanji, The Polar Express and Zathura. Out of that list Jumanji¬†and The Polar Express both received Caldecott Medals. Needless to say the man’s talented.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is an intriguing book of 14 inspired drawings.¬† In the introduction is where the book takes a perplexing turn. Supplying you with a few small facts about¬†Harris Burdick’s identity¬†and the story behind how his drawings were published. As you browse through the pages you’re teased with only a title and a short sentence for each picture…that’s all, really.

You’re encouraged to run with the prompts and create your own fanciful story. Some well-known writers have also been inspired by these clever mysteries. Such as M2’s favorite drawing The House on Maple Street, that Stephen King penned into a short story found in Nightmares and Dreamscapes

THE HOUSE ON MAPLE STREET

____________________

It was a perfect lift-off.

The concept of this book has given me an idea for the kazillion random photos that I seem to have accumulated. I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how best to share some of my favorites with you all.¬† So from time to time I’ll post a photo with a title and a sentence. Then you my creative, brilliant friends get to come up with anything that pops into your mind. Be it a¬† short story, paragraph, poem, haiku or even your own title. You name it, just be creative and surprise me. I only have one rule. Please keep it clean since the monkeys like to read the comments from time to time.

Seeing as how this is the first time we are giving this a try, you can choose between The House on Maple Street or my creation below.

A DAY AT THE BEACH

______________

He knew the possibilities.

Have fun. I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with!

Love ya,

Tickled Red

By the way Chris Van Allburg’s website has a fun interactive area for kids of various ages, as well as a place where they can submit their own stories drawn from the mysterious 14 pictures. My guys had a blast with it tonight and are on a mission to submit one of their own stories.

You all might’ve¬†been wondering why it has¬†been so quite here the past few days. Trust me it’s not for my lack of desire to get on here and ramble endlessly about my guys, surfing and scrumptious¬†recipes. Nope, but I¬†was told¬†that I talk too much. Well let me be honest, I wasn’t told that in¬†exactly those¬†words… not really. I have been¬†asked¬†to chill on my posting for a bit though.

You see I have a dear friend working on Tickled Red now. Part of what she’s doing is transferring all of my posts onto another platform where we will be able to stretch our wings a bit more. It’s like planing a 3 month trip around the world and having your girlfriend pack for you. Great for you but not so much for her. Evidently I’m a bigger jabber jaw than I realized, boy do I owe her big time.

Then again 4 days of letting the random minutia that runs through my head build up is making me twitchy man. So I’m busting out today with an idea for some fun we can have on here over the next few days. Hopefully it won’t take up too much space or cause my girl undo stress. You’ll have to wait for it though, work comes first. Meet you back here late tonight.

Xoxo,

Tickled Red

Usually, as y’all know I’m a giant jabber-jaw. This time though I’ll let the photos tell the story of our Halloween fun in the sun. To be honest I’m so sore from being bent over double most of the day laughing, that trying to form a coherent thought is entirely out of the question. I have 2000 plus photos and a bit of color from running around capturing everyone’s shenanigans. At least my costume’s set for tomorrow. Do you think it’s too soon for Rudolph to make an appearance?

May your Halloween adventures bring you stitches in your side, wheezing lungs and deep laugh lines.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Love you guys,

Tickled Red

Shenanigans below but wait for it…wait for it.

Almost every Halloween I carve the pumpkin. It’s not because my darlin’ can’t wield a knife or has a phobia of squash or anything. It just happens to fall into what he calls the “Artsy” category. The way he thinks is Red + art(crafts)2 x cooking= Artsy Category. I’m cool with that, I have control issues so it works out well. Not to mention I have a tendency to go over the top. I adore the¬†painted and carved lantern pumpkins that¬†I found on Country Living’s website. I had planned on making a couple of those this year¬†but I love the pumpkins that my guys¬†carved¬†even better.¬†Also the memory of an afternoon full of laughter is one¬†that I will carry with me always.

This year my surfer took over and since he can’t draw he put the boys to work stretching their creative wings. I’m digging the sudo Elvis sideways growl and the mustache above the nose.

Where I would have been flinging pumpkin from the cabinets to the top of the¬†ceiling carving a pumpkin¬†in the kitchen¬†he, being the manly construction worker/coach that he is, set up a completely organized work station outside. Okay, but you’re missing all the fun of stepping in pulp darlin’.

Isn’t it simply amazing when you take a gander¬†at the insides of a pumpkin? I have¬†always marveled at how it must grow in order to get all of those strings of pulp.

My little man loves pumpkins the most. He names them, he pats them on the¬†ummm… head? And he loves to feel the different textures.

Then in the blink of an eye he¬†turns all Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on me.¬†Arrgh…I’ve got his brain pan Bwhahahaha!”

Look at my baby up to his elbows digging around in the mushy¬†entrails¬†of a pumpkin. In his own mush filled¬†paradise. Of course his macabre¬†enthusiasm sucked in his big brother who enjoys a good lobotomy as much as the next guy but won’t get as down and dirty as his little brother.

“Whatcha¬†got there M2?”

“Look I’ve nabbed his liver!!”

“Let me see that! Wait, if I go in from the front I can pull out his nasal cavity. No more sinus problems for this guy.”

“Aww man…I wanted to do that. Oh cool intestines!! I’m going for the kidneys next, move over.”

Uh oh! I know that look Mr. blue eyes. You’re not fooling¬†anyone here so¬†what are you scheming bub? Watch out M2 he’s up to no good.

SPLAT! Yep knew it. It¬†only takes once to get things going with my guys. First it’s a big ole’ glob of pulp flung on¬†an arm.

Then it’s a shoulder all¬†smeared and splattered.

Next some little toes take a hit and try to curl back in on themselves…ew, ew, ew!

Then…it’s war.

Bwhahahaha…Oh yeah! That’s gotta feel slimy sliding down your neck little man {shiver…yuck!}.

Hey M2 your hair’s looking good today. It’s all silky and shiny, what are you using Aussie products or something new?

Oh my word! Go ahead and laugh it up fuzzball because you’re doing the laundry tonight M1. Remember those pumpkin¬†seeds I needed for Pam’s delicious salad? Now you all know what happened to them.

You know what y’all, I’ll take my guys homemade shenanigans¬†filled afternoon of¬†carving pumpkins over my perfectly carved coiffed¬†jack-o-laterns¬†any ole’ day of the week. I do believe that we now¬†have a new family tradition. I’m trying to decide if we should¬†call it the Pulp Bowl or Gut’s & Gorey. I’m already scheming up ideas of how¬†I am going to nail DS and the monkeys. There might be a pulp & seed launcher in the works…sssshhh, don’t say anything.

Just curious, what is your families jack-o-lantern tradition? Who does the pumpkin carving in your house and is it safe around them when they do?

Love ya,

Tickled Red

Welcome to my little corner of bliss. Most people adore a good donut, myself included but there is something about a beignet¬†that brings out my hidden smile. You know what I mean. One of those sly devils hidden just so in the corner of your mouth, waiting for that perfect something to set it free. Beignets¬†are my little something special. This Sunday I took it up a notch and made them with pumpkin. It is fall and even though it’s still 80 degrees here I’ve had pumpkin on the brain. I may never recover from the swoon y’all. If you wish to join me on the porch, fan in hand with a platter of beignets keep reading. I warn you, they are prone to induce giddiness.

Pumpkin Beignets Adapted from Chef Jamie Shannon’s recipe for Beignets

Serves 4-6

Beignet Batter

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Chicago Spiced Sugar mix (or substitute with the following spices)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon all spice

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1 cup milk

1 medium egg, beaten

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup powdered sugar

caramel sauce

Combine and sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices in a large bowl.

Combine the milk, egg, pumpkin and vanilla in a small bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.


Combine thoroughly. Is it just me or does mixing batter make you hum as well?

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot (you don’t need a deep¬†fryer)¬†over medium high heat until approx. 325 degrees. Use a thermometer to gauge the temperature, or if you don’t have one sprinkle a tiny bit of flour into the oil. If it sizzles instantaneously you’re pretty much ready.

You will need two teaspoons. One to lift a spoonful of batter, the other to push the batter into the hot oil. Part of the reason I love beignets¬†is because they are so easy to make. They don’t have to be perfectly symmetrical and I adore the diversity that takes shape when those little beauties hit the oil.

Try not to fry more than 8 or 10 beignets at a time. Crowding them will lower the temperature of the oil and cause your beignets to be soggy. Make sure to adjust the heat of the oil while you cook to keep the temperature at 325 degrees, or at a constant slow rolling boil when you add in each batch.

Fry each batch for no more than 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides and cooked all the way through. Pull the first couple of beignets apart to see if they are cooked all the way through. This will give you a better feel of the golden color that you are looking for and the amount of time you need to leave them in the oil. Drain on a rack or paper towels.

Serve them fresh, hot and liberally dusted with powdered sugar. A little word of advice though. Make sure that you have set the table before you put the platter down, otherwise you can forget about getting a chance afterwards. These little lovelies will be gone before the napkins finds their way to the table never mind onto a lap.

I wish I could tell you that this look of glee came solely from the rapture of devouring a pumpkin beignet but that’s not the case here.

It’s actually a combination of astonishment and an Ah-Ha¬†moment. Check out what’s happening to the left. Yep, that would be my love drowning his beignet in not only caramel sauce but pancake syrup as well.

Can you say gargantuan sweet tooth and lets not forget an instigator on all levels. Who am I kidding, go for it guys.

Would you just look at those little golden nuggets of breakfast delight. Dusted and drizzled to perfection. They almost look to good to eat.

Almost my friends. Ask me if there are any left.

What brings out your hidden smile?

You so have to make these and let me know what you think. Have fun playing in the kitchen this week.

Love ya,

Tickled Red

Do y’all remember those Sunday suppers at your grandmother’s when you were growing up? I do. All of my aunts, uncles and cousins packed into the house laughing or possibly squabbling. A table so full that we actually had to eat somewhere other than the dining room. Usually supper ended up becoming a musical chair symphony but the food and family made it all worthwhile. I have to tell you those memories find me often and fill me full of warmth.

Pam Anderson and her family know all about time well spent in the kitchen.  Creating not only their own long-lasting memories full of joy but also some ingenious recipes that have evolved from their lively gatherings. Fortunately Pam, along with her incredible daughters Maggy and Sharon, share some of their culinary creations with us on their blog Three Many Cooks. Pam has also been tempting our taste buds with her sensational cookbooks for some time now. Her latest book Perfect One Dish Dinners (which is her second book to hit the NY Times best sellers list) has now become a weekly resource for my family inspiring some exquisite, yet deceptively easy meals. Especially for some of our Sundays gatherings.

Pam brilliantly planned the recipes ahead of time for you in Perfect One Dish Dinners. She grouped them into meals consisting of an entrée, an appetizer and a desert. She even went so far as to give you helpful alternatives and recommend the perfect beverage to accompany each dinner. The beauty of her new book is that you can also mix and match the recipes as you please.

Just to give you all a little taste of what awaits you in her new book here’s what we had this Sunday. The guys and I spent a wonderful afternoon with my dad, step mom and sister enjoying what is a staple dish here on the coast. We made a Low Country Boil or as Pam calls it, Frogmore Stew. It’s a  spectacular blend of shrimp, kielbasa and vegetables infused with garlic and spices.

We paired it with Pam’s  absolutely delicious salad of Greens with Apples, Dried Cherries and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Now you are probably saying to yourselves, “Where are the pumpkin seeds”? Funny story about that. It involves three guys and you’ll just have to wait for it. We replaced the missing pumpkins seeds with pecans, which worked out just as well.

I also made this. Oh yeah, read it and weep y’all.

Better yet look and weep. Can I just say drool buckets! I couldn’t help myself, I’ve a passion for cheesecake.

Here is what you will need to make this beauty straight from Pam herself.

Rum-Raisin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Serves 12 to 16

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided

24 gingersnaps, preferably Nabisco

2 pounds cream cheese (regular or light Neufchatel), softened

4 large eggs

1/3 cup dark rum

1 cup dark raisins

4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

———————————————————————————————————–

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring 1 quart water to a boil for a water bath.

Mix butter and 2 tablespoons sugar until well mixed. Coat a 9 inch springform pan with vegetable-oil cooking spray.

Place a single layer of gingersnaps, flat side down, on pan bottom (there will be spaces between them), and generously brush with butter mixture. Brush flat sides of remaining gingersnaps with remaining butter mixture, and place them, rounded side out and slightly tilted toward the outer edge, around pan sides. Bake until sugar on cookies bubbles, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Meanwhile beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixture until fluffy. Gradually add remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down sides after each addition. Beat in rum, or as Pam and her girls would say…” Perfume the cream cheese”. Toss raisins with flour and stir into batter. Cover exterior of springform pan with a double sheet of heavy-duty foil to ensure that no water can seep in; set in roasting pan. Pour batter into springform pan.

Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour in enough hot water to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until perimeter of cake is set but center jiggles when pan is tapped, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let stand in water bath for 30 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath and set on a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours. Slice and serve.

Light and creamy with a hint of rum, sweet plump raisins and a crunchy spicy crust. What else can I say but that everyone loved it.

It was so yummy that my surfer was busted by M2 sneaking seconds. “Dad!!”“What?!? I don’t have anything!”

This cheesecake  is just too bloody brilliant for words. Look at all that rum soaked creamy goodness. Now that makes any Sunday mo bettah!

I’m not the only one who has found Pam’s new book, well excuse the pun, perfect. Today you will find quite a few people posting some recipes from Pam’s Perfect One Dish Dinners. I have listed the ones that I know of below, have fun checking them out. I just wanted to say thank you so much to Pam, Maggy and Sharon for passing along the gift of this lovely cook book when I was at their Big Summer Potluck. It has a few spots on the pages now and flour in the crevices but then again it’s loved.

DadCooksDinner.com
RecipeGirl.com
ArtofGlutenFreeBaking.com
KitchenGadgetGirl.com
MyBakingAddiction.com
Wenderly.com
BluebonnetsandBrownies.com
TheSensitivePantry.com
WhatsCookingBlog.com
TwoPeasandTheirPod.com
WhatsGabyCooking.com
Bellalimento.com
SmithBites.com
MyFavoriteEverything.com
FoodForMyFamily.com
SavoringTheThyme.com
Ivoryhut.com
DineAndDish.net
GlutenFreeGirl
Picky-Palate.com
TickledRed
SheWearsManyHats.com
WhatWereEating.com
ThisWeekForDinner.com
SugarCrafter.net
GoodLifeEats.com
LaFujiMama.com
HowTo-Simplify.com
RookieMoms.com
blogs.discovery.com

Love ya,

Tickled Red

Warm, gooey, feta, sage¬†sausage stuffed mushrooms happen to be one of my biggest down falls. Now if you don’t like fungus,¬†as some people call¬†mushrooms, make a creamy dip from the same recipe and serve with baguette slices. Don’t forget the olive tapenade on top. Goodness¬†I could just swoon now…sigh.

I’m not allowed to show up at Thanksgiving or any other family event¬†without these little babies in hand. I’m kind of proud of them seeing as how when I first met my surfer I evidently couldn’t cook. At all, what so ever. He still tells everyone to this day that he’s the reason I’m such a good cook and he’s right. I came up with this recipe because I adore stuffed mushrooms. Unfortunately most of the ones that I’ve tried have been dry or bland. These have flavor baby and by not frying the sausage before hand they stay moist. Also you’ll have plenty of the stuffing batch leftover from the recipe to make some dip if you choose to¬†make both like I do. This of course appeases my love. He’s not a fan of¬†mushrooms one little bit. He thinks that they taste like dirt gasp,blasphemy. Although he does love my stuffing recipe, so voila. Two recipes from one. The tapenade¬†was¬†one of those whims that I came up with one night. It’s¬†ended up being¬†the “cherries” on top so to speak.

These mushrooms are really simple to make, even if you go to the trouble to make them with homemade bread crumbs.

MUSHROOMS

3-8 oz containers of button mushrooms

1-package of Jimmy Dean Sage sausage

2 or 3-4 oz Tomato basil feta cheese (depends on how much you love feta)

1-12 oz bottle of Cardini’s Caesar dressing

Pepperinchini to taste (1/2 tsp)

2- French baguette (or 1/3 bag of Pepperidge Farms Italian bread crumbs)

First preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Tear up 3/4 of one of the baguette into small pieces and place in a baking pan. Toast for 10 minutes or just until crisp. Pulse in a blender until the pieces are crumbs.

Clean the mushrooms, then remove the stems & hollow them out (be careful not to go to deep). Arrange the mushroom caps in two glass rectangle baking dishes.

In a large mixing bowl mix sausage, 2 1/2 packages of feta cheese, the entire bottle of Cardini’s Caesar dressing and half of¬†the toasted bread crumbs. Mix well. Add more bread crumbs as needed.¬†The stuffing¬†mix should resemble thick oatmeal.

Use a teaspoon to stuff your mushrooms, try to keep the stuffing around 1/2 an inch above the mushroom rim.

Cover the baking dishes with foil and bake the mushrooms at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake a little longer until golden and bubbly (2 to 3 minutes max)

DIP

Left over stuffing

1-8 oz package of cream cheese

1-egg

Take the left over stuffing, add the remainder of feta (if you have any), cream cheese and egg. Mix well. Place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Cut¬†the rest of your baguette into approx 1/2 in slices¬†, rub a garlic clove across the slices (this gives just enough flavor). Toast the slices under the broiler on low until lightly toasted (don’t step away, they will burn)

Olive Tapenade

1 1/2 cups mix of Kalamata, black olives,green olives, pitted (rinsed)

3  roasted red peppers out of the jar (rinsed)

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Chop olives and peppers between a fine and rough chop. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in oil and vinegar. Add to your lovely Feta Dip baguette slices.

I hope that y’all enjoy these as much as my family and I¬†do. If you happen to¬†hate them, lie to me.¬† Just kidding, you guys know that I love your honest direct comments. By the way I’ve finally caught up on my responses, I know I’ve been a bad, bad Red ūüôā

Remember to have fun in your kitchen this weekend. Go ahead and play with this recipe, tweak it with some of your favorite flavors.

Xoxo,

Tickled Red