Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Nifty New Year's Nibbles!

A few years ago my husband and I decided to mix it up for the New Year's holiday and instead of cooking a big meal so soon after Christmas we make an array of appetizers and finger foods to munch on throughout the evening.

This year, after eating leftover ham what feels like 14 different ways, I decided go with something fun and a little different. Buffalo Turkey Sliders! These delightful little sandwiches are just the right size for a light lunch or a hearty appetizer and they're a cinch to make.

Buffalo Turkey Sliders


1 package (12 count) dinner rolls
1 pound ground turkey
1 stalk celery
1 medium onion
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp mayonnaise
buffalo wing sauce of your choice


In a medium bowl grate the celery and 1/2 the onion. Add the turkey, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, the remaining spices and mix well. Preheat the oven to 375c Spray a small baking sheet or glass baking dish with non stick cooking spray and spread meat mixture evenly in the pan. Bake in oven until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. While the meat is cooking I like to heat a griddle pan on the stove, slice the dinner rolls and toast them. Mince the remaining 1/2 onion and place in a small skillet on the stove with 1/2 tbsp of butter. Saute until the onions are soft but not browned. When the meat's juices run clear remove it from the oven and allow to rest before cutting into 12 pieces. Mix the remaining 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper into the mayonnaise and spread a small amount on each bun before topping them with some of the sauteed onions and a slider. Top the sandwiches off with your favorite wing sauce and serve.

These little beauties will fly off the plate and you may just have to make a resolution to add this healthy and fun food to your everyday menu instead of saving it just for special occasions!

If you don't have wind sauce on hand you can whip up your own with some Tabasco or similar hot sauce and a bit of butter. Stick to the ratio of 2:1 and you'll be golden. For example, two tablespoons of hot sauce to 1 tablespoon of melted butter, mix well and voila buffalo wing sauce.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spice up the Holidays

One of my favorite memories of Christmas is making goodies with my mother.
Cookies, Candied Citrus Peel, Hard Tack Candy, and Colorful Chocolates are just a few of the delectable treats we used to make. Then, after everything was done, we'd pile the goodies on plates and dress them up with ribbons and bows to be given to friends for the holidays.

Now that I am older I find myself nostalgic for those homespun Christmas traditions and I am keeping them alive with my own family. Friends, family, and visitors can expect tasty holiday treats made with tons of love!

This year I added a new treat to my repertoire, Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts. These will add some spice to your holidays and make a delightful gift or Hors D'Oeuvres for your holiday festivities.

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts


2 cups Roasted Mixed Nuts
1 recipe Spice Mix
1 recipe Glaze

You can roast your own nuts or purchase pre-roasted mixed nuts. I use pre-salted nuts and omit salt from the spice mixture. If you choose to use unsalted nuts you will want to add about a teaspoon of salt to the final spice mixture.

Spice Mixture:
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)

    1 tablespoon water
    1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
    1/2 tablespoon honey
    1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
      1. Heat the oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
      2. In a small bowl, stir together the spice mixture.
      3. In a saucepan, combine the glaze ingredients and bring them to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the roasted nuts and continue to stir until all the nuts are well coated with glaze, about 1 to 2 minutes. Move the glazed nuts to a mixing bowl, sprinkle on most of the spice mix (reserve about 1/2 tbsp), and toss them well to coat. Spread the coated nuts on a foil lined cookie sheet and place them in the oven for about 5 minutes; checking regularly to make sure they don't burn. Remove and let cool stirring often so they do not stick to one another or the foil. Once nuts have cooled place in a clean mixing bowl and toss with remaining spice mix.  Makes 2 cups.

      Dress these up prettily in decorated treat bags or quaint paper cones when giving as gifts.