Tag Archives: recipes

Bite Me Monday: Homemade Mounds Bars

It’s time to bite back at Monday with this week’s Bite Me Monday recipe! This week we’ve got an easy to make treat that does not require a heap of ingredients or tons of equipment; Homemade Mounds Bars from Handle the Heat with Tessa Arias.  Monday doesn’t have to be a drag, take a bite out of it and smile!

Supplies Needed: Homemade Mounds Bars

  1. 8 X 8 inch baking pan
  2. Mixing bowl
  3. Small microwave safe bowl
  4. Rubber Spatula
  5. A fork

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Instructions

Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or tin foil. Spray with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl mix together the coconut, salt, and condensed milk until combined. Press mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until slightly hardened.

In a small microwave-safe bowl melt the chocolate in 15-second bursts in the microwave, stirring between every burst, until smooth.

Remove coconut mixture from pan. Cut into 1-inch bars. Dip the coconut bars in the chocolate, turning to coat with a fork. Let excess drip before placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place mounds bars in fridge until chocolate has set. Bars can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days

Enjoy! Check back next week for another bite worthy recipe!

10 Recipes For A Top-Notch 4th of July

It’s almost that time of year again! Time to celebrate another birthday of the one and only U-S-of-A! The 4th of July is spent with family, friends, fireworks, and of course lots and lots of food. We took a vote, and we are all in favor of eating all of the desserts. All of them.

So, in the spirit of the holiday, we gathered some of the best lookin’ desserts, drinks, and snacks that we could find to help you celebrate our freedom. (Note: red, white and blue is a definite theme in these delicious recipes and we LOVE it!)

In need of some equipment and supplies for your restaurant or home to make some treats? We have you covered! From bakery equipment and supplies, and cake decorating supplies to cooking utensils and food prep bowl, Central has what you need!

  1. Red Velvet Cupcakes

2. 4th of July Firecracker Jell-O Cups

3. Red, White and Blue M&M’s Cookie Bar

4. Patriotic Oreo Pops

5. Triple Berry Frozen Smoothies

6. Patriotic Popsicles

7. 4th of July Brownie Bites

8. American Flag S’mores Dip

9. Red, White and Blue Strawberry Shortcake

10. Paula Deen’s Apple Pie

Because can you celebrate America without Apple pie? I mean really.

 

 

Featured image from Cute Food For Kids

 

Top Recipes for Peanut Butter Month

Happy Thanksgiving! Did you know that November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month? Well, if you are anything like the majority of the country, you are very excited for an entire month to celebrate your love of peanut butter! We rounded up some of the best recipes with peanut butter incorporated into them, as well as some fun facts about the delicious spread! Give one of the recipes below a try for a wonderful dessert today!

Fun Facts

  • It takes approximately 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter
  • By law in the United States, any product labeled as peanut butter must be at least 90 percent peanuts
  • Archibutyrophobia (pronounced A’-ra-kid-bu-ti-ro-pho-bi-a) is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth
  • We spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter in the United States
  • If you took all the peanut butter that Americans eat in a year, it could coat the floor of the Grand Canyon
  • There’s a jar of peanut butter in 75 percent of the homes in America

Recipes

Image: TwoTwentyOne.net

Image: TwoTwentyOne.net

Image: Wholesomelicious

Image: Wholesomelicious

Image: PopSugar.com

Image: PopSugar.com

Image: FoxValleyFoodie.com

Image: FoxValleyFoodie.com

Image: Tastemade.com

Image: Tastemade.com

Image: thebewitchinkitchen.com

Image: thebewitchinkitchen.com

Image: CrazyForCrust.com

Image: CrazyForCrust.com

Image: GalOnAMission.com

Image: GalOnAMission.com

Image: GoldLiningGirl.com

Image: GoldLiningGirl.com

Image: KevinAndAmanda.com

Image: KevinAndAmanda.com

 

Happy baking and cooking! Share with us in the comments below how your creation turned out or if you have any other favorite peanut butter recipes!

Get Ready – T-Day Countdown is On!

The countdown to T-Day has begun. Are you prepared?

Thanksgiving is arguably one of the greatest holidays of the year. It’s a time for catching up with loved ones, giving thanks, and stuffing yo’ face. For many homes and restaurants, the food is the centerpiece families flock around – a common cause to unite over. Of course, every family has their own traditions; however, we wanted to share a few suggestions for taking your Thanksgiving game to the next level.

The Main Attraction

It used to be back in the day, there was only one way to prepare turkey for Thanksgiving. Clean it, stuff it, throw it in the oven, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and voila! But modern techniques such as deep frying and smoking have added brand new dimensions to Thanksgiving’s Main Event.

Roasting your turkey takes more technique to keep the bird moist. The long hours in the oven tend to dry out the bird if you aren’t careful. Brines, marinades and injections are all wonderful tips to bring the best out of your oven-cooked bird. Better yet, you can multitask, and add veggies to the bottom of the roasting pan, and let them become concentrated flavor-bombs, as they soak up the drippings.

1. Easy Roast Turkey with No-Roux Gravy

Turkey 1

2. Sage-Butter Roasted Turkey

Turkey 2

If time is of the essence, then you can try deep frying! Deep frying drastically cuts the cooking time for turkey. There are deep fryers specifically made for turkeys. Frying your turkey keeps the juices locked in, resulting in a more moist bird. However, the list of wounded who carelessly tried to deep fry without taking the proper precautions are many. Butterball created a helpful page to help guide you on how to deep fry a turkey safely, which can be found here.

3. Deep Fried Turkey

Turkey 3

4. Basic Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe

Turkey 4

Smoking a turkey takes the longest out of the three preparation methods. However, the flavor of a turkey off of the grill or smoker is something to be savored. You have to be patient, but the results are totally worth it, as you have a bird with a beautiful skin and juicy meat. If you’re using a water or electric smoker, here is a how-to guide to get you started.

5. Smoked Turkey

Turkey 5

6. Honey Brined Smoked Turkey

Turkey 6

The Support

Some families are strictly traditional when it comes to their Thanksgiving meal, and others like to add a twist on classic favorites. No matter which way your family tends to lean, you cannot go wrong with these side dishes.

1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Balsamic Reduction

Side 1

2. Sausage Apple and Sage Stuffing Muffins

Side 2

3. Green Bean Bacon Bundles

Side 3

4. Sweet Potato Casserole

Side 4

5. Cream Corn Casserole

Side 5

Pie Time

The dessert. The feast’s conclusion. Time to put that sweet tooth to good use.

Pie is the most commonly served dessert after Thanksgiving dinner. Predominantly pumpkin or pecan. But just because they’re common doesn’t mean you can’t make them original, like this beautifully decorated fall masterpiece of a pumpkin pie. Can’t decide between pumpkin or pecan? How about this compromise: the Salted Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Pie.

Via Sally's Baking Addiction, sallysbakingaddiction.com

Via Sally’s Baking Addiction, sallysbakingaddiction.com

Try experimenting with different spices and styles. Many recipes include baking pecan pies with a chocolate filling, or garnishing with sugar coated fruits. Let your imagination run wild and see what happens! There are endless possibilities.

Looking for something different than pumpkin or pecan? How about this ingenious, out-of-the-box recipe for sweet potato pie with marshmallow meringue?

From Completely Delicious:

Spiced sweet potato pie baked into a butter crust and topped with a pillow of toasted marshmallor meringue.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • ¼ – 1/3 cup water

For the filling:

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup light of dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla abstract

For the meringue:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

To make pie crust:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and toss to coat. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until butter is the size of peas. Sprinkle water over the mixture and use a spoon or spatula and then your hands to bring it together into a ball. Add more water if necessary.
  2. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. When ready, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rough 12-inch circle. Transfer to an 8 or 9-inch pie dish, tuck the ends under and crimp as desired. Prick the bottom with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes.

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then peel and remove any dark spots.
  2. In a food processor, puree the sweet potatoes. Add the eggs, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg, cinnamon, milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.

To bake the pie:

  1. Line the pie crust with a greased foil and fill with baking weights or dried beans. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment and beans and bake for an additional 10 minutes until set but not browned.
  2. Remove the pie from the oven and pour the sweet potato filling into the crust. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and bake until filling is set, about 40 minutes.

To make the meringue:

  1. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan as it heats up to dissolve the sugar completely. Once the sugar mixture boils, insert a candy thermometer. Do not stir. Heat to 240 degrees (soft ball stage).
  2. While the sugar is cooking, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until they just begin to form soft peaks.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the sugar syrup in a small steady stream into the egg whites. Once all the syrup has been added, increase mixer speed to high and beat meringue to stiff and glossy peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Use a spatula to spread the meringue on top of the cooled pie, making sure the meringue goes all the way to the crust.
  5. Toast meringue with a kitchen torch or in a 400-degree oven for about 7-10 minutes. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  6. Let pie cool to room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing. Store pie in the fridge.

Pie

For more dessert ideas, check out these Thanksgiving pie recipes.

The Right Wine

Pair the entire event together by selecting a wine that will complement the array of flavors and keep conversation flowing. The traditional wines served at Thanksgiving are either pinot noir or chardonnay.

Pinot Noir

Light, dry red wine usually with hints of cherry and cranberry flavors, and rich spices that burst when paired with the traditional side dishes a turkey requires.

Chardonnay

A refreshing dry white wine, usually with buttery and oaky characteristics that mesh well with white meat.

Of course, these are only recommendations. Serve whatever wine your guests prefer, and when it doubt, offering a variety may be the way to go. Not everyone enjoys a dry wine, so having a sweeter option available is a good idea.

thanksgiving wine

For more information on Thanksgiving wine, check out our Thanksgiving Dinner Wine Pairings blog.

Fall Desserts

National Dessert Month: Fall Favorites and the Tools to Make Them!

National Dessert Month

Ah, October. For many of us around the country the leaves are turning to gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange and the weather isn’t unbearably hot and humid anymore. Best of all? October is National Dessert Month. Perhaps whoever created this day knew it would be the perfect time because there are so many delicious fall desserts! Check out some dessert ideas along with fun facts for your business or fall events!

pumpkin pie

Photo credit: Laura / Foter / CC BY

Pumpkin Pie

Is there a bigger staple to fall desserts than pumpkin pie? This pie actually dates back to the early 1500s. According to the History Channel, it was one of the earliest foods the first Europeans brought to the New World. Pumpkin pie had many different forms, for instance a pie filled with layers of apple, spiced rosemary, sweet marjoram and a handful of thyme. The History Channel even says crust wasn’t always necessary back then either! By the 18th century, this dessert began it’s Thanksgiving tradition on the table and gained significance in the United States in the mid-19th century.

Recipe Ideas

Suggested Kitchen Tools

apple dumpling

Photo credit: mlcbube / Foter / CC BY-SA

Apple Dumplings

Apples are a great ingredient for fall desserts. Dumplings in general date back to the 1600s, possibly sooner, and from research by the Kitchen Project, were first created to extend meat. They were often added to soups and stews where they would fill the dough. The Kitchen Project adds that cooking foods like dumplings were often in a cast iron pot that would be hung over a fireplace or in a wood stove–a technique with roots dating back to Ancient Rome!

Recipe Ideas

Suggested Kitchen Tools

tart

Photo credit: davegammon / Foter / CC BY-SA

Tarts

Apple, pumpkin, pecan… these an more are great ingredients for tarts! In an article by Joe Pastry, he explains that centuries ago, the tart was different than the pie because it was looked upon as high cuisine. Pies were a commoner’s dessert. Tarts would often be thought of as “edible art” as they used brightly colored fruits, vegetables and/or spices. Over time, the tart has become more of a sweet treat and it’s cousin, the quiche, covers the savory side.

Recipe Ideas

Suggested Kitchen Tools

 

 

 

 

Old School Foods Making a Comeback

If you walk into one of the myriad of trendy restaurants popping up around the country, you’re likely to notice some food relics appearing on their menus. Items that had long gone by the wayside are starting to creep their way back in creative new ways. Let’s take a look at a few of these retro dishes that are on the comeback trail.

Sympathy for the Deviled Egg

At Easter dinner at my mom’s house, one item sure to show up is the deviled egg. The creamy, sometimes runny combination of egg yolk, mustard, mayo and relish has been an Easter staple in my family for years. However, up until a year or two ago, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen it offered on a restaurant menu. But that is starting to change, as deviled eggs are seeing an upturn in popularity on some establishments’ bar menus. For example, at Oakley’s Bistro in Indianapolis, they offer “Deviled Eggs ‘El Pastor,'” comprised of queso, spicy pork, pineapple and an avocado tomatillo verde sauce. It’s safe to say it’s not your mom’s deviled eggs.

Sub-Terrine-Ean Homesick Blues

Photo Credit: Alpha/Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo Credit: Alpha/Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A terrine is a rustic French dish made of meat or liver, set up in a loaf pan and served cold. As organ meat dishes have started to become en vogue again, we’ve started to see terrines added to restaurant menus, usually as part of a charcuterie platter. At the aptly-named Terrine restaurant in Los Angeles, Chef Kris Morningstar serves up three terrines on his menu, comprised of pork, rabbit or fois gras. Make sure you bring some friends to share, as this is no light dish!

I Don’t Think You’re Ready for this Jelly

What could be next on the horizon as these retro foods continue to gain popularity? One idea could be the return of gelatin-based dishes. If you’ve looked at sites such as Mid Century Menu, there have been some terrifying recipes from the past featuring gelatin (Tuna and Jell-O pie, anyone?). However, with the right creativity and presentation, the use of gelatin salads, aspics and other gelatin-based dishes could easily be successful on a restaurant’s menu.

Photo Credit: citymama/Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo Credit: citymama/Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Coming Soon to the Central Blog

Have a vintage or retro recipe that you’d like for us to try for an upcoming blog? Let us know in the comments! We will be back next month to prepare and taste test a vintage recipe to see if it still holds up to today’s tastes. Stay tuned!

 

 

Celebrate Hanukkah with These Tasty Recipes

Tuesday marked the beginning of Hanukkah, which runs until Dec. 24. This Jewish holiday is steeped in traditions, and food is no exception. On Hanukkah, it is customary to eat foods fried in oil and cheese. Fried foods commemorate the Hanukkah oil, which burned for eight days and nights. Cheese represents the heroine Judith, who saved her people 2,000 years ago by slaying the Greek general Holofernes with the help of…you guessed it, cheese.

Hanukkah Foods

Image Credit: slgckgc/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Image Credit: slgckgc/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Traditional foods prepared on Hanukkah include sufganiyot, which is a jelly filled doughnut, latkes, cheese blintzes and rugelach (sweet cream cheese pastries). To help celebrate, here are eight recipes sure to please your party.

Image Credit: Rebecca Siegel/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Image Credit: Rebecca Siegel/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

 

 

Top Image Credit: Robert Couse-Baker/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)

Fall Produce to Add to Your Menu

The weather is starting to get cooler, and that means one thing: Fall is coming! That also means many restaurants will start to change their menus to incorporate produce that is now in season. Wow your customers by creating autumnal meals inspired by the upcoming harvest.

Top 6 In-Season Produce

 1. Apples

When I think of Fall, one of the first things I think about is going to the apple orchard and getting a jug of fresh apple cider. From Red Delicious to Granny Smith, this versatile fruit can be incorporated in desserts, salads, drinks and more.

2. Pumpkinspumpkin

Ah, the old Halloween staple. Pumpkins are so much more than carving material. In addition to the iconic pumpkin pie, pumpkins can be used in cakes, soups, roasted or just plain mashed. Cooking light suggests using a smaller pumpkin, as those tend to be sweeter, with a more concentrated flavor. Don’t forget to save the seeds for toasting!

3. Cauliflower

Upon first glance, cauliflower may not look like the sexiest vegetable in terms of flavor, but there is oh so much you can do with it to have customers clamoring for more. Cauliflower is great as a gratin, it can be roasted and it can even stand alone as a soup. Want to cater to those looking to eat healthier? Serve mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes for a low-carb option.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Although they are available year-round, fall is when the fresh batch of sweet potatoes come in. More and more restaurants are serving up sweet potatoes as fries. In addition, sweet potatoes can be used for soups, desserts, sides and breads. They can even be used to make pancakes!

5. Mushroomsmushroom

If you’re a fungus fan, fall is the perfect time for you. Mushrooms come in so many varieties, each offering their own flavors and benefits (I’m partial to chanterelles. Delish!). You can stuff them, serve them over steak, make a gravy, add them to salads…the list goes on! If you are really adventurous, you can go foraging yourself! Just make sure that you or someone with you is experienced enough to know which mushrooms are safe to pick and eat.

6. Winter Squash

Don’t let the name fool you: winter squash is ready to go in early fall. Butternut squash is great roasted, mashed or in soups. Acorn squash can be used for stuffing. Once cooked, the flesh of a spaghetti squash can be pulled apart in strands and served just like the pasta for which it’s named.

Fall Recipes

Need inspiration? Take a look at these tasty recipes, sure to warm the belly as the weather grows cooler.

Appetizers

Entrees

Sides

Desserts

What’s on your menu this fall? Which ingredients are you using? Let us know in the comments section!