Stromboli Parties Are Going To Be All The Rage!

I know there’s so many people right now getting bored with dinners, or wanting to come up with new creative ways to get everyone in the house to have a blast together in the kitchen. An amazing way to accomplish that is by having a Stromboli making party! Pretty much a pizza party.. except it’s all rolled up inside it’s own dough like a little cozy blanket! Who doesn’t love a party that involves food, am I right? All you need to start with is pizza dough from your favorite local bakery and get yourself prepared for an ultimate Stromboli, or even pizza making night if Stromboli isn’t your thing. Honestly if we truly think about it who says it even has to be at night? it doesn’t matter what time of day! You wake up in the morning craving Stromboli or pizza? Make them breathtaking breakfast versions! That’s the beauty of a Stromboli, or just using dough in general. You can be as creative as you want with anything you have in your fridge, or on hand. This is our time right now to do whatever we want because who says we have rules when we’re stuck in the house all day long? 😉

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Wherever you have the most counter top space, sprinkle flour all over that entire area.. insuring that our dough will not stick while trying to stretch it out, or folding it all up at the end.

My dad and I took turns trying to stretch the dough out because when pulling/lengthening the sides you must make sure you have enough room for all the ingredients you want to add, while being careful you’re not ripping the dough. Once you create those accidental holes in dough, they’re very hard to close for good again.

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It’ll look a little like this right before it’s all completely stretched out. While working your dough out to where you want it.. if you find your dough is sticking to your hands, make sure your hands are also floured along with the table. You may also try dipping your fingers in some water.

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The first Stromboli we decided to make was a sausage and pepper one with American cheese on the bottom, Italian sausage and peppers throughout, topped with a small amount of shredded cheddar, along with a blend of shredded Italian cheeses to finish everything off!

Super yummy looking! When that cheese melts it’s going to sink down in-between every piece of sausage giving you a really creamy sausage and pepper Stromboli.

The second kind we decided to do was without a doubt the classic Italian cold cut!

  • Layer with American cheese.
  • Thin salted ham off the bone.
  • Slices of salami.
  • Slices of pepperoni.
  • Sweet peppers laid onto of all the meat.
  • Side note: if you have it in your fridge and want to use it.. you’re welcome to add on capocolla, soppressata, or mortadella.

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     I topped it with the same creamy, stringy cheeses as I did with the sausage and pepper one!

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Roll everything up.. carefully, and tuck in the sides, so that nothing falls out while baking! Think of rolling it kind of like you would if you were making homemade cinnamon rolls. Thats the idea that you want for this concept.

Cover a sheet pan with non stick foil, and curve the Stromboli’s so that they fit to the structure of the pan, then cut thin slits on the top of the dough. Do not cut through into the filling!

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These gorgeous Stromboli rings were baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, and then at 375 degrees, just until they got a little more brown and bubbly!

    You know they’re going to be mouthwatering when they look like this!

  • Diamonds.. DO NOT let that delectable, browned, gooey cheese go to waste that oozed out of the bottom of our Stromboli!

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The Italian Stromboli is always always insanely inviting to everyone. It’s a crowd pleaser! In this sense… a family pleaser. Lol

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Don’t be alarmed when cutting the sausage Stromboli.. some will fall out, but thats okay you can just put some on your plate and eat it with a fork, or better yet.. scoop it up with some chips. Really good that way! I feel like a chip is the perfect little spoon for any kind of food crumbs.

An Italian cold cut and Italian sausage and pepper Stromboli.. both so different, but so complimentary to each other. This will be the most delicious party you’ve ever thrown Diamonds. 😉

If you recreate these, or just have a Stromboli party in general..I want to see your master pieces Follow me on Instagram @therealdeepfrieddiamonds and tag me in your amazing Stromboli creations!

XOXO

 

Tangy Salami and Mozzarella Cracker Canapés.

 

I have always been the type of person to try anything together, especially piled on top of a crispy, buttery cracker. Even more so, I love doing these things with cold food. I have such a love for experimenting with flavors that I adore, and seeing if they’ll work paired along with one another! Cold food is a passion of mine since it allows you to present things in such a way that no-one really see’s on a normal basis. Usually with these mini bites I use sopressata, but salami is something that’s always kept in my fridge.  This crisp cracker topped with tangy pesto, salami & mozzarella, smothered with avocado, and finished with a light drizzle of lemon juice will just send your taste buds on a ride to Italy. I’m obsessed with little pick tray set ups like this because you can build the size of them however you want; with endless spreads, and toppings to please your household. Although.. when the world gets back to normal after all this craziness, this will be perfect to spread across your island in the middle of your kitchen to have everyone munch on while they’re having happy hour!

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You can use one specific kind of cracker that you wish, or you can use an amazing assortment like I did. It was only for three people, but I feel the options are necessary! It is always necessary for me to impress. I enjoy when I go to parties and see the presentation of all the foods that are arranged out for everyone to eat because it shows how much work someone put into throwing an event, and I know how much goes into that, so that’s really something I appreciate. I always say if you’re going to throw a party, you got to it right. Go big or go home.. or maybe just don’t throw a party Lol.

The pesto can be homemade if you have a recipe you’ve used over and over again, but there are jared ones that I absolutely love. I am a total fan of using things bought from the store if they intense good flavor. If you don’t normally like pesto.. try it out with this combination, you might change your mind!

From Top To Bottom:

  • Assortment of crackers.
  • Fatty, salty hard salami.. decorated with olives for a bit of acidity.
  • Fresh mozzarella cut into squares.
  • One ripe avocado mashed up with lemon with salt, and pepper.

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You may squeeze the lemon juice inside of the avocado for a light citrus flavor, but I like making the canapé by finishing it with a light squeeze of the lemon juice, so that it can run down everything.. even soaking into the cracker. I feel like you’ll definitely get the whole experience doing it that way! Also, I know some people who don’t love lemon on their food, but just trust me.. this snack is sensational with it!

Lately I have been realizing that many of you are finding it hard to decide what to make at home recently, since we feel like all we are doing is cooking. We truly feel like we’re spending most of the day in the kitchen! The truth is though.. our meals don’t have to be difficult, or take hours to put together. If you made some displays like this and laid them out on your counter for lunch, or even just for your family to snack on throughout the day, that’s one or two meals you won’t have to worry about! Depending on how much of a spread you put out, of course! Plus it’s super fun and nice to be eating something different thats not very heavy considering most of us are indulging in a little more comfort food than we would like to be. I hope you Diamonds try this at home, and have a good time with it! You can use a different type of meat and cheese than I did if you don’t have what I did on hand. Anything goes for a pick tray.. just remember that your eyes eat first! That’s why I always take such great pride in making things look pretty. 🙂

XOXO

A Super Simple SPRING Cheese Board!

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There’s nothing better than sitting down with a cocktail, or a glass of wine, and having yourself a relaxing happy hour; next to a delicious seasonal cheese board. I didn’t include any meat to make it into a “charcuterie” board because I wanted to strictly focus on each cheese, and the little nibbles that compliment each flavor of the smoked cheddar, Brie, and Havarti cheese wrapped around pieces of dill weed. You could even choose to make any kind of cheese board paired with different jewels of fruit for a girls night to watch a chick flick, and catch up, or for a wine tasting night at home! Being that we’re all stuck in the house for now.. it was just my mom and I enjoying this lovely spring board while doing some holiday cooking in the kitchen on a Friday afternoon. It was a super fun, and cute thing to do to stay happy, while prepping for a small Easter dinner together by ourselves.

I am in love with the pops of color from the grapes, and strawberries, along with the touch of a few olives next to all the monochromic cheeses, and crackers sitting right by each other. Of course, you could use any fruits you have on hand, but I love grapes all year round.. they’re my favorite fruit! Also, the strawberries just remind me of spring more than anything. I really hope I get to go pick them this June! (My fingers are crossed!) 🙂 While trying to use what we have only on hand at the moment.. if you don’t have any fruit at all.. thats totally fine! You are welcome to use anything seasonal that you have on hand!

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Although I love brie all year long, accompanied with anything at all.. it was my first chosen cheese to add on this spring time board! I feel like when brie is baked, it somehow becomes this yummy cold weather comfort food; adorned with rustic bread and wintery nuts, but when it’s not baked.. it’s perfect for just sitting on top of a cracker with seasonal fruit, and seeded pastry puffs,

  • If you’ve never had pastry puffs, you must! You can absolutely make them homemade with puff pastry dough, an egg wash, and whatever seeds, seasonings, or nuts you choose to put on top of them! You can also make them into any shape you want as well, but I had them on hand from a local grocery store, and let me tell you.. the herbs and seeds went amazingly with the cheeses we paired them with!

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AHH.. our creamy, delicious, soft cheesy Brie, and our juicy strawberries! The perfect pair. The perfect couple. The perfect accompaniment to a beautiful glass of Chardonnay.

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I feel like having cheese knifes, and spreaders are essential to add to a cheese board. It makes cheesy snaking much easier!

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I would agree that the least amount of cheeses you could put on a board to actually be able to officially call it a “cheese board” would be three! The second cheese I chose is a hard cheese. A simple smoked cheddar is just a must have. Everyone will love it and pairs great with any fruit, nut, and olive. If I do say so myself.. it’s the most “perfect” cheese!

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Since we have both our soft and hard cheeses picked, we need an “in-between” cheese.. which is exactly how I explain Havarti cheese. It is hard in the sense that it comes in a block and you could easily take a bite of it, but it’s soft enough that it’s extremely creamy when you break it open.

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Being that this Havarti dill is so heavy, I really enjoy pairing it with acidity, so the green olives worked perfectly! Also, the nuts and textured crackers/biscuits filled with seeds, brought out the dill flavor exceptionally.

All four corners all wrapped up together, creating the most charming cheese board of your spring time dreams!

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Cheese board making is an art, but you can paint it how ever you’d adorn! It’s all personal preference, as I always say. Although, I wanted to show you Diamonds what spring flavors I am obsessed with for creating the ultimate seasonal cheese board yet.

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    Be safe, be blessed, be happy, and build a big ole cheese board! 

                                                                        XOXO

Green Goddess Apple Sparkler!

This sparkling, bubbly glass of deliciousness is this seasons cocktail hour icon; with a sour punch from the green apple vodka, and a sweet note from a touch of vanilla vodka.. it hits all the perfections that we want in an adult beverage!  A lot of times I normally associate apples with the fall, but for some reason when you’re talking about “green apple” liquor it totally meets the guidelines for spring! The flavor combination of this drink is extremely fruity and bright with a hint of both sour, along with sweetness once you’ve swallowed a sip. 

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If you’re thinking of making this cocktail to compliment your Easter menu, serving them on a beautiful tray, over laid with decorative towels is the absolute way to go. Before adding ice half way up the glass I rinsed them both under water, and froze them in the freezer for ten minutes. It ensures that the drinks stays cooler, longer!

  • The apples cut in whole slices are for the garnish on the rim of the glass.
  • The apple “sticks” are to infuse the drink inside of the glass.

For the alcohol thats combined with the ice at the bottom of the glass, all that it is.. is one part green apple vodka, and one part vanilla vodka.

After measuring in the alcohol.. pour in some fizzy, yummy lemon-lime soda! This is what makes the drink! The green apple mixed with bright, springy citrus, makes for an awesome, awesome cocktail!

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My most favorite kind of cocktail is a bubbly, carbonated, glass of fizzy lusciousness, so this one really meets all my expectations!

After finishing putting in all your liquids, toss in the apple sticks, and let them steep for a few minutes or so.

 For the garnish: I cut four thin slices of a red delicious apple. Of course you can stick with the theme and use a golden delicious apple, but because of circumstances I’m using everything that I already have inside of my kitchen! I slit the slices starting half way down, slicing all the way through, so that it could sit comfortably on the rim of the glass.

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Look at how beautiful that color, and presentation is! No-one will be disappointed getting served this on a gorgeous sunny, holiday afternoon on the front porch while the birds are singing!

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                           Your loved-ones won’t be able to grab one quick enough!

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It would make my heart super happy if you, Diamonds recreate this green apple sparkler for Easter Sunday, or of course any beautiful spring day. There’s no doubt in my mind that you will feel even the slightest of disappointment when sipping on this mixed drink! It’s a magical mixture, and I hope very much so that your Easter holiday is filled with nothing but magic. I know we’re all really going through it right now, but nobody is alone, and nothing lasts forever.

Happy cocktail hour, Diamonds. XOXO

Easter Candy FILLED Chocolate Molded Spoons.

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These were incredibly fun to make, and you can absolutely get as creative as you desire to be with these fun filled spoons! I served these guys up with some caramel swirled vanilla ice cream. Although brewing a pot of strong vanilla roast coffee, and dropping these into the mug would also be a great way to indulge in your chocolate craving! This will be the perfect add on to your holiday dessert bar, or the kids could make these; knowing that it will be their own little, special treat after they munch on traditional Easter dishes! However you choose to make/serve these spoons, they will be just perfect! ❤

  • To be warned: if you fill them up with crushed candy like I did.. they will be extremely fragile when coming out of the molds. Of course, it’s not a big deal, but to ensure that from happening you’ll need to wait a while after pulling them from the fridge. Also, you can certainly make these without any candy at all, but what’s the excitement in that?!

Fist thing that should be on your agenda is choosing what candy you want to create the spoons with, then chopping them up.. making sure that the size you cut them will fit into each mold.

  • Easter Candy I chose: I decided on just four different types, along with both milk, and white chocolate chips. For some reason white chocolate screams spring to me, so I wanted to incorporate that within the milk chocolate spoons. 
  1. Mini chocolate cream filled eggs.
  2. Malted Milk balls shaped into robin eggs.
  3. Mini peanut butter cup eggs.
  4. Mini chocolate coated wafer candies.

The next thing you want to do is to milk your chocolate, DUH! 😉 I used a “double boiler”. If you are not familiar with that cooking technique, you need a medium sized pot filled half way with water, and put a smaller empty pot on top of it. Drop in a half a bag of chocolate chips, and a piece of gulf wax (Gulf wax can be found in the canning isle at your local super market). I used milk chocolate, but I will tell you that semi-sweet works much better for melting. It’s all presence though, for sure! 

While the chocolate melts, continue to keep stirring! Make sure you are melting over low heat. You definitely do not want the chocolate to burn… that is a distinctive horrible taste that you won’t be able to mask.

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Get your molds ready to go! Holiday mold making would even be super cute if you had bunny, and egg molds..if you don’t own spoon ones in your kitchen collection!!

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I did fill up the molds first with the candy, but I’m sure you could also do it after you pour in the melted chocolate. Either way, it will still be crushed candy filled and scrumptious. 

Don’t doubt yourself, or your skills.. the chocolate will leak out onto the sides of the individual molds! It happens to the best of us!! 🙂

  • Place the tray in the refrigerator to let everything set up, and come together. You could leave them in for two hours, or over night, as I did!

As I said earlier.. make sure you are very careful removing these spoons from their molds. If some break thats totally fine! You can chop them up to use as garnish, or use as decor around your dessert display.

As for the ice cream, you can literally choose any flavor you would like. You even adorn a sundae bar for the kids to keep busy, and put out multiple flavors along side of the spoons! In my case, I chose to use caramel swirled vanilla ice cream! The flavor combination worked immensely.

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Hopefully if you Diamonds decide to recreate these spoons.. you have so much fun with your family, and you all enjoy your Easter as much as you can due to the unfortunate circumstances we are all undergoing at the moment.

  • Much love, and prayers to everyone! Please stay safe, and be cautious when going to get essentials. If you still are out driving to work everyday my heart goes out to you, and thank you very much for working hard through this difficult time.

XOXO

 

 

A taco board for Taco Tuesday.

It’s Taco Tuesday baby, which calls for a taco board so the whole family could pig out to an epic taco night in! We’re all stuck in the house, so why not make our meals as fun, and creative as we possibly can? Instead of having tacos already made with everything the same on each one.. this gives everyone the opportunity to make the perfect taco.. or heck, even nachos! You don’t even have to put out the exact toppings, and fixings that I did, but these are my go to taco making necessities! This is the perfect game night, or party platter as well! After everything is said and done that is going on in the world right now, you can keep this idea in the back on your mind to impress guests at your summer parties by the pool! A taco board is an amazing date night creation as well. You could of course substitute not only the toppings on the board, but especially the meat. Chicken, shrimp, or marinated strip steak, cut thinly would be super unique!! No matter how many people you’re entertaining, or how inventive you want to get, this board is the most versatile!

  • We’ll start with the meat making process:

Fry your 80/20 ground beef over medium high heat. No need to add oil to the pan before cooking! The fat from the meat coming out will do all the work for you.

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Fry for ten minutes or so until the meat is thoroughly cooked through, and golden brown to color.

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You can surely make your own taco seasoning, or lightly season the meat if you’re not a fan of how insanely flavorful taco meat usually is, but honestly, thats my favorite part about tacos! I used two and a half pounds of meat, and one and a half packs of seasoning. In that case.. to get what I think is the perfect flavor profile.. add one packet of taco seasoning mix to every pound of meat that you use, whether it’s ground beef, or something else that you choose in place of it.

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After adding the seasoning packets, do not throw them away! Fill the packets up with water, and pour em in! Cook for another five minutes to let all the flavors soar together.

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  • NOW: For the fun part Diamonds.. THE TOPPINGS. Yum! 

In my book, a taco is not a taco without cheese. You need it. Cheese to me, is part of life! Even if you are vegan and making these tacos with “beyond” meat, or “impossible” meat, I would still add vegan cheese onto your board of options!

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Next to the cheese, I decided to add slices of fresh radish. Usually you’ll only see these at gourmet restaurants on top of fish tacos, but guess what, Diamonds? I live a gourmet type of life.. so I think radish is absolutely necessary to brighten up the rich meat, and cheese you’re going to pile on top of your taco. You could also see the other original fixings like the scallions, which I can’t live without.. even on nachos! I NEED them. It gives it such a zip that nothing else can rally compare. Also, a big dollop of good sour cream is so needed for anything like this. Don’t skimp and get yourself the light, or non-fat sour cream.. you’ll be disappointed in yourself, trust me!

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Spice up your life with a dash of hot sauce, and chopped up pickled jalapeños! I love jalapeños sooo much. I put them on salads, in sauces, casseroles, and on Italian hoagies. Definitely wouldn’t to live my culinary life without them in my fridge!

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You always need that crunch, and color to your taco! Thinly shred iceburg lettuce, and small dice a red ripened tomato. It’s classic for taco night!

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We decided to have a little more fun than usual to keep things exciting, and not use tortillas, or taco shells. I actually don’t prefer a taco shell to begin with.. I much prefer tortilla chips in view of the fact that a when you bite into a hard shell it falls apart on you, nine times out of ten, anyway! For a little softness, since I wasn’t using original tortilla wraps, I found these “boats” that I thought were perfect! I’ll tell you what.. they held everything together so extremely well; nothing fell out like it normally does from a classic folded up taco!

This is a gorgeous sight, wouldn’t you say? The colors and textures are awesome. Everyone in your house will love it so much. I promise you, Diamonds.

You can surely add the meat onto the board, and have it in the center to be the focal point, but I decided against that because I wanted to keep the cold food with the cold, and the hot on the side. Also, let’s be real here… I went a little overboard with my toppings, LOL. I’m an overboard kind of gal though, so not much more to say about that!

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Again, the toppings are of personal choice, so your board doesn’t have to be the same as mine! Use what you have on hand right now, and in your pantry. Things you wouldn’t even think of opening. Cans of corn, and black beans would be exceptional! Also, don’t forget about the avocado that’s about to be too ripe in your fruit bowl on the island! Whatever you have, and whatever your preference is just right!

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Happy TACO TUESDAY, Diamonds, and I’ll be back tomorrow with new!

 xoxo