Google Groups
Subscribe to The Culinary Creative
Visit this group

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bat Bake

Ghouled Evening and Happy Halloween!!!

Got any easy one for you because I know you'll be busy fending off mini monsters and fairy princesses with gobs of goodies this evening.  Halloween-inspired nachos, what could be better?!?  The test name for this recipe was Count Nacholar, but Bat Bake had better alliteration.

Bat Bake

Black bean salsa moosh
Blue corn tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Black olive slices

black bean salsa moosh

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup hot salsa
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp minced garlic

Mix moosh according to directions (see link).  Set aside.

Fill the bottom of a baking dish or pan with foil and cover with a layer of tortilla chips.  Sprinkle some shredded cheddar over them, then add another layer of chips on top.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and clinging to chips.

Transer to a plate, and dollop with sour cream, and cover dollops with a spoonful of moosh.

Insert two chip "wings", add olive "eyes", and you are ready to dig into some crunchy, tasty home baked-bat!  It's bat-astic!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Creature from the Black Bean Soup

I was going to save this for Halloween, but figured in case anyone wanted to make it for that special day, I would give you the recipe now.  Plus, I was really craving black bean soup...which is kind of crazy cuz I don't think I've ever had black bean soup before.  Gotta say, I love it when my experiments comes together.  Two words for you, monstrously delicious!

Creature from the Black Bean Soup

1 (10 oz) can tomato soup
2 (15 oz) cans black beans
3/4 cup veggie stock
1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
sour cream and green olives, to make eye garnish

Puree one can of black beans and mix in a pot with the tomato soup.  Whisk together and cook over medium-high heat.

Drain, but don't rinse, the second can of black beans.  In a skillet, over medium heat, cook beans with garlic, chili powder and cumin until the liquid from the beans is cooked out.  Add beans to soup pot.

Simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.


Depending on how thick you want your soup to be, you can reserve the bean juice from the drained can and use it to thin out the soup.

If you want it a little kickier, add up to another 1/2 tsp each of the spices.

Serve up in a bowl, put dollops of sour cream next to each other and use the olives to make eyes.

I ate mine with some shredded cheddar and some blue corn chips on the side.  Happy happy belly. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Brews

With Halloween party season coming up, I whipped up a couple of fun new brews to try.   

Blackbeard's Treasure

1-1/2 oz Creme de Cassis
1 oz spiced rum (like Sailor Jerry or Captain Morgan)
gold sugar

Dip the rim of your glass in a tidge of water and upsidedown it in some gold sugar.

In a shaker with ice, blend together Creme de Cassis and rum.  Pour into your shiny glass and yarrrrrr ready to enjoy.

You can buy gold sugar anywhere they sell Wilton baking/cake decorating products.

My Lady's Spectre

1 oz orange vodka
1/2 oz black raspberry liqueur (like Chambord)
12 oz Fresca

Pre-chill the orange vodka and Fresca before mixing.  Blend and serve in a tall glass.  It will send a shiver down your timbers it's so boo-tastic.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Flurf

What?!?!  More pumpkin?  Of course, because you can never have enough pumpkin.  Here's a quick-n-easy party dip you can make.  It goes great with gingersnaps, fresh apples, Pepperidge Farm gingermen, or just glopped on your finger. I think it would make a nice topping for some molassessy gingerbread too!

Pumpkin Flurf

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened to room temp
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice

Blend all together in a  mixing bowl.  Note, the cream cheese doesn't complete blend in, if there are small "lumps" that's okay.

Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Candy Corned Cupcakes

Okay so this is one of my assemblage recipes.  Basically meaning I didn't make it from scratch but rather assembled some "ready-made" things to create a tasty piece of Halloween art.

My original intent in devising this plan was to layer the cake batter -- orange on bottom, yellow butter on top -- and top with white icing so that when you bit into it, it looked like a candy corn candy.  Cool, right?

But the batter?  Not so obliging with that whole layering thing, so when it baked up the orange crept up the sides and cooked around the yellow butter batter. While the end result was not what I envisioned, it actually turned out pretty well.  Decided to add a layer of candy corn "crumble" on my icing and voila -- Candy Corned Cupcakes!  Every bit as good as the almost-real thing.

Candy Corned Cupcakes

1 box orange cake mix, prepared according to box directions
Add 2 drops yellow food coloring + 3 drops red food coloring (to deepen color)

1 box yellow butter cake mix, prepared according to box directions
Add 3 drops yellow food coloring (to brighten batter)

2 cans cream cheese icing
2 cups candy corns, rough chopped

Fill a cupcake tin with your favorite festive Halloween baking cups.

Fill the bottom half with orange cake batter.  Then fill the rest with yellow butter cake batter.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Once the cupcakes are done (tops spring back to the touch), remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature.

Generously slather with cream cheese icing, then sprinkle candy corn crumble on top.  Makes 2-1/2 dozen (or so).  Fun for the whole Halloween family!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Zombits Ice Cream Sunday

Sorry about the less than ideal post pics, still working on getting a new camera.

In honor of the season premiere of The Walking Dead and this lovely Halloween season, I whipped up a deliciously gruesome treat.  Hope you (can try to) enjoy!

Zombits Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved.

2 cups heavy cream or half-n-half, well chilled
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-4 drops green food coloring

Add cream and extracts to the mix and blend well.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes until soft serve consistency.

12 maraschino cherries, rough cut
1/4 pecans, fine chopped
2 tbsp caramel sauce
6-7 half-teaspoons for fudge sauce

Remove ice cream from ice cream maker and put in a freezer safe container.  Gently fold in the cherries, pecan pieces, caramel sauce and fudge sauce so that the sauces ribbon through, not blend in.

Set in freezer for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Dish up with some strawberry sauce, some eye candies or little bone sprinkles (both of which can be found at Michael's, AC Moore, or any place with Halloween baking goodies).

Serve with a zombie finger or two.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The No-Post Post

Howdy all!  Just a little heads up I will not being presenting a regular recipe or FYI post this evening.  I know, boooo (and not in a ghosty way).

But I have a great excuse.  Had a little B&E issue at home last night (and I'm not talking Bacon & Eggs).  On the bright side, none of my kitchen stuff was touched.  On the not so bright side, my trusty camera was one of the crime casualties.
So since I am tied up today trying to make things once again copacetic in the world of K2, I hope you will give me a pass and in return I make promises of good fun Halloween-related stuff to come.

Be good, be safe and I will post at you again this weekend!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Crispy Colcannon Cakes

So when the Guinea Pig parents went to Ireland on their anniversary trip this year, they brought me back an Irish pub cookbook as a souvenir.  wooHoo!  I was very excited to find not one, but TWO Irish Halloween dishes in it. I know, awesome!

So the basis for this post is the first one, colcannon.  Colcannon is smashed tatoes with cabbage and leeks in it.  Traditionally, the cook would hide lucky charms or trinkets (like rings, coins, or thimbles) in the dish which were said to bring luck or fortune to the person who found them.  Why is a Halloween dish?  My guess is that if you could figure out the trick of eating it without breaking a tooth, then you got to enjoy the treat.  Makes perfect sense.

So of course, I could have just made it and left it alone, but I got this idea that if I made the colcannon the night before, let is firm up in the fridge, I might be able to make it into patties, bread them and quick fry to make a fancy breakfast tato dish.  That was a good call on my part.

Crispy Colcannon Cakes

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
5 oz half-n-half
1/2 small white or green cabbaged, finely sliced
3 leek leaves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
veggie oil

Cut potatoes into large cubes and boil until fork tender in a large pot of salted water.

Drain and add butter and cream.  Mash until smooth-ish.  Set aside.

Slice and mince leek leaves, then add to potatoes.

Cut cabbage into fine strips.  To make it easier to eat once done, slice the slices in half.  This would be an after-the-fact lesson I learned.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add in cabbage strips and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened.

Drain well and add to potatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate overnight.  Or go ahead and serve as a potato side with your favorite meal.

In a deep pan or skillet, heat about 1/2" of veggie oil over medium-high heat (level 7-8 on the dial).

Scoop about a heaping tablespoon of colcannon and form into a thick patty.  I would recommend making a couple patties and then setting them in the freezer for about 1-2 minutes to firm up.

Roll in breadcrumbs and then fry 1-2 minutes per side until crispy and browned to desired color.

Remove from oil and allow to drain on paper towels until ready to serve.


The Irish use either cabbage or kale and leeks or green onions in this dish, depending on what is in season.

It's usually served up on the side with some corned beef or ham.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin "Faux de Creme" with Fall Leaf Cookies

The other night, my friend Marie and I went to an Indian Dinner Cooking Class at The Southern Season.  It was a magnificent feast followed by a really fabulous Yogurt "Cheesecake" Dessert which is the basis for this evening's post.  This is a prime example of how you can take inspiration from anywhere and with a few tweaks, make something your own.

This is not a light dessert.  The consistency is somewhere between cheesecake and custard but unlike either of those, contains neither cheese nor eggs.  I decided to accompany mine with some cute little pumpkin pie spiced fall leaf cookies.  For these I used my basic short dough cookie recipe and tweaked it a little to come up with a new variation.

Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin "Faux de Creme"

1-1/2 cups plain Greek yougurt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients.

Pour the mixture into four medium (4-1/4") ramekins.  Fill each ramekin about 2/3 full.

Place ramekins in a deep-sides baking dish and fill with water until it comes halfway up the outside of the ramekins.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Remove baking dish from oven, remove ramekins from baking dish and cool to room temperature.  You can pour the water out, or use it to clean up some dishes.

Once room temped, place the ramekins in the fridge to cool.

Serve chilled with a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a handful of Fall Leaf Cookies.

Fall Leaf Cookies

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp
1 large egg, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add in dry ingredients a bit at a time until it comes together as a dough.

Cover or wrap the dough in wax paper (or Saran Wrap) and chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Working half the dough at a time, roll out to about 1/4" thick and cut with pretty leaf cutters or whatever fall-inspired cookies cutters you have on hand.  Small gingerbread men that you can stick head first into the faux de creme would be pretty darned funny...I mean sick and twisted, so don't (nod nod) try that at home (wink wink).

Place cutouts on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or one covered with parchment paper).  You don't need to leave a ton of space between them because they puff up rather than poof out.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.

Carefully remove the cookies when done and cool on a rack until they firm up.

The cookies go great with Pumpkin "Faux de Creme", or ice cream, or a nice cup of tea.  They are also very coffee/hot chocolate dunkable.