In a world of instant gratification, it may be tough to come up with new ideas for meals in a flash, let alone prepare them at home before someone in the house hits “pizza” on the speed dial. Truth is, there’s a world of fabulous options available. Let me help you, since I think about meal-planning practically all the time. If you open your mind to flavorful combinations, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Time flies on this journey of the palate. Thanks very much to all my followers on the website http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. Follow me on Facebook at Gail Dorna, on Instagram @gail_dorna and Twitter @ Snapshotsincursive. What’s cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. No matter how much we travel, I relish the thought of returning there to create something delicious. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared very easily. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: FAB FOODSTUFF!”
The Speak Easy of Marco Island, Florida
Dining Outside the Home: The Speak Easy of Marco Island, Florida! Is it any wonder this Chicago-style gin joint reflecting Prohibition of the 1930’s is located in a corner nook along the waterfront? Pssst. Follow the signs, Dollface, and lower your voice. Seating is available inside along the L-shaped bar, in a shadowy breezeway, or a few steps away on the exterior deck. Crafted cocktails are available by the glass or by the bucket. Make a mental note of the Speakeasy Sunset, Speakeasy Punch, and the Marco Wave. Then whisper into the server’s ear for one of those concoctions. Straight-shooters come pretty easy, too: Jim, Jack, and Johnnie. These guys know their options. In case you get hungry, there are plenty of appetizers for sharing, roaring sandwiches, specialty pizzas, and seafood platters. If you can’t find something to eat, it’s your own fault.
Escape the pandemic for a taste of cheerful choices that can be prepared with basic kitchen cookware and family-friendly ingredients. After all, you have enough rules to follow once you leave the house. Find your spotlight in the power of food. As your body calls out for comfort in the foods that trigger feel-good chemicals, let go of the guilty feelings society labels “taboo”. No one knows you or your family better than you do. It’s what makes you their favorite.
And speaking of favorite…Some of my posts have been noticed by the “Food Network” and Le Cordon Bleu on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures as you eat with your eyes. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Cheerful Choices!” This remarkable journey of the palate is serendipitous because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. You’re the best.
Pick or Choose
“The discontented man
finds no easy chair.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
Quick-Set Party Cheesecakes
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Quick-Set Party Cheesecakes! You’re stopping by a friend’s house later on and were asked to bring something delish. These miniature cheesecakes are super-easy and can be whipped up in a few minutes first thing in the morning. They refrigerate while you’re at work or the gym, so no worries there. Top with fresh fruit, seedless jam, chocolate bits, or candied ginger. Dust with powdered sugar for a professional finish. Another one-bite wonderful dessert can be found in the Fruit Tart recipe at the following link.
QUICK-SET PARTY CHEESECAKES
24 mini cupcake liners
24 Nilla wafers
2 8-ounce packages Neufchâtel cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh Fruit, Chocolate Chips, or Candied Ginger
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat Neufchâtel cheese and sugar. Add eggs, beating well. Fold in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Put 1 Nilla wafer in each. Fill with 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours. Garnish with assorted toppings.
Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter R
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Rainbow Cookies! Wouldn’t it be nice to tap your ruby slippers together and have a super-easy delicious dessert? You can. Even Dorothy and her friends would find these yummy morsels “no-place-like-home” irresistible. What a great kid-friendly recipe when school’s out for summer!
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
12-ounce bag of mini M&M candies
15.6-ounce can Buttercream icing
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, and oil until moistened. Reserve 1/2 cup M&M candies for decorating. Then gently fold in remaining mini morsels. Form little balls with the dough and place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Remove from cookie sheet and cool slightly on wire racks. Spread frosting over warm cookies and immediately sprinkle each cookie with remaining mini M&M candies.
Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter G
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Sunshine Eats: Goat Cheese Wonton Appetizers! If you want an amazing appetizer that can be made in a flash, look no further. We’re all pretty familiar with those tiny pastry cups located in the freezer section of the supermarket. But have you seen the price? It’s ridiculous. Back away and take a turn to the dairy aisle instead. Pick up a package of wonton wrappers, a roll of goat cheese, a block of cream cheese, and a jar of bacon jam.* In no time at all, these festive cuties will have “party” written all over them. Remember, you’re allowed one taste-test, but fight the urge to eat any more than that before the guests arrive.
GOAT CHEESE WONTON APPETIZERS
48 wonton wrappers, 12-ounce package
4-ounce goat cheese
4-ounce cream cheese
12-ounce jar bacon jam*
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat two 12-cup mini-muffin pans with nonstick oil. Cut corners off wonton wrappers to make an octagon shape. Using your fingers, gently press one wrapper into each cup. Press down without puncturing dough. Lightly spritz wrappers with cooking oil. Bake until golden brown, 8-9 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Transfer cups to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Meanwhile, combine goat cheese and cream cheese. Blend until smooth. Drop by scant spoonful in each wonton cup. Top with a dollop of bacon ham. Place the appetizers on a baking sheet. Bake filled wontons for 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve warm.
*To make your own Bacon Jam, use the following link.