Fiesta Friday #61 @fiestafriday.net

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For those of you who didn’t come to Fiesta Friday last week, you may not know that we have acquired our very own “party hall”. The address is FiestaFriday.net. That’s where you’ll be linking your posts.

That’s also where I will be publishing my recipe or food-related posts from now on. So if you’ve been following me for the Fiesta Friday Blog Party or for my cooking, please start following FiestaFriday.net.

I haven’t decided yet what will become of thenovicegardener.wordpress.com. I’m hoping in time I’ll be able to figure out what to do. Or better yet, I’m hoping you can give me some ideas!

If not, will you at least join our weekly foodfest aka Fiesta Friday, #61 already?

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Fiesta Friday #60

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Hey, listen, guys! I have a surprise for you! It looks a little like this:

vegetable bouquet

But you won’t know exactly what it is unless and until you join Fiesta Friday. So, click that “Click to join” button already and join the fun, will you? That’s all I have to say for now. So tired after working on that surprise… See you at the party!

But first, let’s look at Features from FF59:

Blood Orange Mini Tarts from Michelle @Giraffes Can Bake.

“First of all, blood whaaa?! Okay, okay, I actually knew about blood oranges and tried them once. But I’ve never thought of eating them whole, like rind and all. And this despite loving marmalade on toasts! Yep, so many things I still need to learn. I thought these mini tarts are just so adorable! And they sound so refreshing with all that citrus flavor. My mouth is watering. Now I want oranges, or anything orange-flavored!” — Angie

Rainbow Tostadas from Julia @Swirls and Spice.

“I love how colorful these vegetable tostadas are! They make me happy just by looking at them!” — Jhuls

“I just LOVE these!! They remind me of the rainbow pizza I made for my daughter. Well, hello, Julia did mention the pizza. But I want you to know that I selected the post even before I knew she mentioned the pizza. How could you not smile at those tostadas? Such a clever idea to bring excitement to a healthy vegetarian meal. I know my daughter would love these. Will make!!” — Angie

Chicken Wellington from Jeanette @Sinfully Tempting

“Chicken Wellington! Yes, chicken! Isn’t it a great alternative to the popular Beef Wellington? Juicy chicken breasts covered with golden pastry – that sounds and looks mouth-watering! And a big plus to the budget – cheaper!” — Mila

“When I was small, I used to think Beef Wellington was fancy schmancy. Heck, I’m now big and I still think Beef Wellington is fancy schmancy! It’s a dish reserved for special occasions. But what if it was more budget-friendly? Maybe we would actually serve it more often, right?! That’s why this Chicken Wellington is such a great idea! It’s still fancy but not schmancy…you know what I mean. I look at that Chicken Wellington and I think it’s pretty even to serve at weddings! But it’s more affordable. Excellent recipe!” — Angie

Chou Farci from Nancy @Feasting With Friends

“That stuffed cabbage ‘head’ is out of the blue! It looks like a huge pie with delicious beef and vegetables layers, but instead of pastry – cabbage leaves. Even though it’s a time-consuming dish, I think it definitely worth all the hard work!” — Mila

“Leave it to Nancy to come up with such a creative recipe. This is the best and prettiest corned beef and cabbage recipe, bar none! Imagine how impressive your St. Patrick’s Day meal will be with this! But you really shouldn’t have to wait for next year’s St. Patrick’s Day to serve this. You should give it a try this weekend. I know you bought an extra piece of corned beef! Am I right, am I right? ‘Coz I did! ‘Coz it was such a bargain last week!” — Angie

Okay, ready to find out what that surprise is? Click on the button below.

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Fiesta Friday #59

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Hello, hello, good Fiesta Friday Friends! Or should I say hola, hola! It’s a fiesta, after all. Makes me want to switch to Español. Except I’m very bad with Español. Even after taking two semesters of it in college, and earning As. But you know how it is with a language. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Que quiere hablar Español conmigo? ¿Alguien aquí hablan Español? I just totally used google translate for that. Not even watching Telemundo helps me improve my Español, sigh…

Okay, that’s all the chit-chat you’re getting from me today. Besides, you didn’t come here for a chit-chat with me. You want to chit-chat with the other guests. And the co-hosts! This week they are Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook and Mila @milkandbun. This is Mila’s first time, so be gentle with her. Don’t want to scare her off. Jhuls, on the other hand, you can just go wild on her! She can take it! :D

A little housekeeping note, Fiesta Friday will now run from Friday at 8:00 am EST to 8:00 pm EST the following Tuesday. This will allow my co-hosts and me extra time to prepare for the next fiesta.

I don’t anticipate there will be a problem with this, since we hardly ever receive new entries beyond Tuesday. Plus, this is a recurring party. If you can’t make it in time one week, there’s always the following week.

It’s now time to look at these outstanding posts from last week’s party, selected by Caroline and Elaine and myself:

Savory Tomato and Rice Crepes from Indu @Indu’s International Kitchen

“These look like lace doilies rather than tasty pancakes, they are so pretty, and sound so tasty. I’ll be making these for sure :)” — Elaine

“I am always a fan of pancakes, but Indu’s instant tomato dosas sound both so easy and delicious. I definitely want to try these (in fact, I might just make some for lunch…)” — Caroline

Raspberry Charlotte from Lili @Lili’s Cakes

“Lili’s raspberry charlotte is a work of art! I think it would take me a lot of practice to aspire to such a perfect-looking outer sponge, and the filling sounds such a lovely mix of creaminess and freshness from the raspberries. Raspberries are a favorite for me anyway, but this looks and sounds so great I might even get over the scariness of making it.” — Caroline

“I have a raspberry charlotte post languishing in my draft! It wasn’t published because I wasn’t satisfied with the way it turned out. I only give you the best, my friends! :-) I was most grateful to see this post from Lili. I shall attempt one more time, following her thorough step-by-step instructions. I only hope mine will turn out as beautiful as hers!” — Angie

GF Experimental from Nell @I Need A Feed.

“This is such a useful and helpful post for those following a GF lifestyle, or those who want to learn how to bake GF treats! There’s so much to learn from Nell’s experiments. And what about that cake? I found myself mesmerized by it. There’s something so decidedly bold and art deco about it. A piece of modern art!” — Angie

Royal Chocolate Biscuit Cake from Chef Amy @Come Cook With Me

“A chocolate cake with digestives in it! That’s a first for me, but then I know virtually nothing about digestives, having only bought them once at Marks & Spencers as a gag gift, selected for its highly creative name. We ended up consuming them en route to France. Not bad, not bad at all! Never would have thought to mix them in a cake! What a creative idea! That cake looks like a million bucks, Amy! Beyootiful!” — Angie

Now, who’s ready to party with Mila and Jhuls?

Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Wontons

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chicken cordon bleu fried wontons

chicken cordon bleu wontons

The other night we were watching TV, the hubs and I. Of course we were watching sports, what else? When that man has the TV on, it gets stuck on ESPN. I wasn’t exactly watching closely; I also had my iPad with me, to check on emails and such. So I almost had a heart attack when all of a sudden, he jumped up!

“Crikey!” “It’s March Madness in a week!”

Well, he didn’t really say “Crikey!” We’re not British, that’s not part of our vernacular. But I just always wanted to say “Crikey!” myself. Especially since I have two British “blokes” co-hosting my Fiesta Friday this week. Well, they’re not “blokes” either, they’re “sheilas”. But I just always wanted to say “blokes” and “sheilas”.

And now I’m totally confusing my countries and continents. I don’t think “sheilas” are British. What are “sheilas”? And can you use “blokes” like we use “guys”? You know, kind of unisex? Questions, questions, always questions! You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.

baked wontons

Anyway, back to the husband. He most likely said something like this, “O ma gawd! I can’t believe it’s March Madness in a week!” And put his hand on his forehead like it was close to the end of the world. Not the end of the world yet, just close. If it was the end of the world, you wouldn’t be hearing him say this next.

“Can you make appetizers? And I’m rooting for your Jayhawks this year.”

Now you see what’s in that man’s mind? Sports and food all the time, apparently. (Sorry, hon, not making fun of you, just trying to get a post published, that’s all, kiss…kiss!) If you wanted to know, I happen to be married to the smartest guy on earth. He does something like rocket science stuff for work.

And what he meant to ask was for me to make some snacky foods for his March Madness Marathon, which will start next week. And no, he doesn’t have to bribe me, either. He really does like the Jayhawks. Although his heart will always bleed Bruin blue.

So, I’ve been trying out a few appetizer recipes to make sure my favorite scientist will have something good to munch on while he watches the games. These wonton appetizers are one of them.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wontons

8 oz. cream cheese
1 cooked chicken breast (about 2 cups), diced
1 cup diced ham
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced thinly
Salt & pepper
1 egg, beaten
Cooking oil
Wonton wrappers

1. Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl until combined.
2. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling on center of each wonton wrapper.

how to make wontons

3. Dip your finger into the beaten egg, then “paint” the edges of the wontons with the egg.
4. Pinch two opposite corners together.

how to fold wontons

5. Now bring the two remaining corners to the center and pinch to seal. Seal all seams to form an “x”.

how to fold wontons

how to make cheese wontons

6. Fry in hot oil for one minute, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
7. Or you can bake them. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. Line wontons evenly, and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
8. This recipe makes about 40 wontons.

cheese wonton

fried wonton appetizerWe love these dipped in homemade honey mustard sauce (just mix mayo + mustard + honey), but sweet and sour sauce would be great, too!

Although you have the option of baking these, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that they’re every bit as good as the fried version. I think you deserve my honest opinion. If you really want to enjoy these, you want them deep fried. But of course, if you’re watching your diet, try them baked.

They look prettier baked, actually.

baked cheese wontons

But they taste superior fried.

chicken and ham fried wontons

Plus I love how they puff up like balloons when they’re fried.

fried cheese wontons

Fiesta Friday #58

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The votes are in! Sugar must have been in everybody’s mind last week @Fiesta Friday #57. Just take a look at these links, selected by all of you as your Fave Five. The top four are desserts!

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