Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter E

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! Now you have no reason to sneak a teaspoon of cookie dough when that sweet craving strikes. Since this recipe eliminates the need for a raw egg, it removes the worry of allergic reactions. Whip up a batch in minutes. I like the idea of spooning half the dough into a canning jar to keep in the refrigerator. Makes snacking unbelievably yummy! The remaining dough can be formed into truffle-size portions and stored in the freezer for later. Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough makes a great gift from your kitchen as well, that is if you have any left to share. 
EDIBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH 
Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

1 cup flour 

2 tablespoons light cream

1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips 
Instructions:

In a food processor, combine butter and brown sugar. Cream together. Add vanilla extract and sea salt. Pulse to blend. Gradually add flour. Dough will be slightly crumbly. Add light cream. Pulse to mix well. By hand gentle fold in semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. Transfer dough to a jar and store in the refrigerator. For snack size portions, use a small cookie scoop to keep them uniform. 

Dining Outside the Home: Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 

Dining Outside the Home: Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina!  Nestled along the waterfront, on the banks of Skull Creek bordering the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, sits a landmark restaurant known for its ultimate Seafood Extravaganza! You name it, it’s there: snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, and shellfish. But that’s not all. Fresh seafood is featured daily. Don’t take my word for it. You may have already recognized Skull Creek Boathouse from its exposure on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, or National Geographic’s televised programming. Magnificent oak trees dripping in Spanish moss along the marina create a charming backdrop for casual outdoor dining and live music. Whether it’s a sunset dinner or midday meal, one visit and you’ll understand this “Boathouse State of Mind.”

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter D

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Dirty Breakfast Rice! What do you get when you blend Hawaiian culture with Louisiana spice? You get a savory breakfast that will rev your engine all day long. Too often we think a cold breakfast will give us the energy needed until time allows for the next meal. Sometimes that isn’t until after the workday is almost finished. At least with Dirty Breakfast Rice you get a running start on a busy schedule. Its healthy carb is easily digestible and nutty taste is simply satisfying. Be good to yourself.
DIRTY BREAKFAST RICE
Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

1 cup instant brown rice

7-ounce vegetable broth

1/2 pound smoked sausage link, cut-up in chunks

4 green onions, chopped

2 eggs, scrambled

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/4 cup soybean sauce
Instructions:

Melt butter in a deep skillet. Do not burn. Add brown rice. Coat well. Cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes, turning often until golden brown. Stir in vegetable broth and smoked sausage chunks. Cover. Simmer 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Scramble the eggs on the side of the pan. Once the eggs are almost cooked, combine the rice and eggs together. Add chopped green onion with tops, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, and soybean sauce. Mix well and serve immediately.

Dining Outside the Home: Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 

Dining Outside the Home: Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina!  Now we’re talking, a place for every food craving. Here is a restaurant that serves up the traditional Tex-Mex fare as well as Lowcountry favorites and All-you-can-eat Crab Legs. In addition, Aunt Chilada’s eatery hosts a daily Happy Hour and food specials to tide you over for a night out on the town. A covered patio makes outdoor seating a popular choice when live music “gets the party started”. Ask the wait staff about the Kennedy Half Dollar. It’s just another way they have of rewarding your visit for choosing to stop at Aunt Chilada’s Easy Street Café. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Cocktail Shrimp Minis! Being a “grazer” can reap advantageous health benefits, in my opinion. Not only are the portions much smaller, but you get to eat every few hours which keeps hunger pangs under control. The rule of thumb is to choose foods high in nutrients and low in sugar, salt, and fat. The key to successful grazing is to prepare things ahead of time. That way when you open the refrigerator, you are drawn to easy choices. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?
COCKTAIL SHRIMP MINIS
Ingredients:

1 dozen fresh shrimp, precooked

1 cup fresh salad greens

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce

1 tablespoon horseradish 
Instructions:

Place salad greens in the bottom of a single serving glass. Divide the block of Neufchâtel cheese into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Place one cheese ball in each glass. Combine seafood cocktail sauce with horseradish. Drizzle sauce evenly over each cheese ball. Skewer one shrimp and insert into each glass, piercing the cheese ball. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Lowcountry is Whole Other World

Take a seat on the balcony to greet the indescribable sunrise as joggers leave footprints in the sand on an invigorating morning run. Catch a bird’s eye view of yoga enthusiasts communing with nature, enriching body and soul. Meticulous gardeners groom ornamental flower beds with flawless precision for an impeccable stroll on the way to the pool. Marvel at rich island history, native culture, local artwork, Lowcountry cuisine, and beachfront recreation pressed into twelve miles of nonstop beauty along the Atlantic Ocean. This million dollar view is as pristine as a tropical paradise. Welcome to Hilton Head Island, a South Carolina resort town and coastal haven for the travel enthusiast. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter B

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Beet Bacon Bleu Salad! Remember when you were a kid and your mother made you eat beets? And you hated them? Well, thank goodness as we age, our taste buds change. Perhaps it’s time to give them a second chance. I did and the results made me wonder why I waited so long. 
BEET BACON BLEU SALAD
Ingredients:

15-ounce can sliced beets, drained

3 tablespoons lemon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence 

2 cups mixed salad greens

1 egg, hard-cooked and sliced

3 slices applewood bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

1/4 cup bleu cheese, crumbled 

2 tablespoons balsamic reduction 

Garnish with croutons
Instructions:

In a shallow dish, combine lemon olive oil, seasoned salt, and Herbes de Provence. Add sliced beets. Marinate 10 minutes, turn and marinate 10 minutes longer. Arrange salad greens in a bowl. Add beets, reserving marinade. Arrange egg slices on greens. Top with bacon pieces. Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles. Drizzle all with reserve marinade plus balsamic reduction. Garnish with croutons. 

Go Irish: Corned Beef Tonight!

Eating corned beef brisket isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day anymore, but when you have a good thing, go for the gold. This is the best time to stock up when it’s popular and readily available at the nearby market. Go from the traditional favorite dinner one day to corned beef hash and eggs the next morning and Reuben sliders for a late night snack. Are you getting the idea? Be creative and tell me yours!
CORNED BEEF BRISKET 
Ingredients:

3-pound corned beef brisket, boneless

1/8 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon peppercorns 

1 tablespoon bay leaves

1 cup ginger beer or water

1-pound baby carrots, peeled

4 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon paprika 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300°. Place corned beef brisket, fat side up, in a covered roaster. Sprinkle spices on top. Add 1 cup of ginger beer or water. Cover and roast for three hours. The guideline is one hour per pound. After 2 hours add carrots to roaster. Cover and cook for 1 hour. At that time, the contents should be fork tender. Let the brisket rest for 15 minutes before slicing across the grain. Remove carrots and place in a bowl. Add butter to coat. Sprinkle with paprika. 
BOILED CABBAGE 

Ingredients:

1 head of cabbage

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

Instructions:

In a deep pan, add 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add cabbage quarters and salt. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Turn cabbage with tongs. Simmer 5 minutes longer until tender. Drain well. Add butter to coat cabbage thoroughly. 
PARSLEY BOILED POTATOES 

Ingredients:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into sections

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon parsley

Instructions:

Place potatoes in 2 quart saucepan. Pour in enough water to cover. Add salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook potatoes 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Add butter to coat. Garnish with parsley.