Cheese Twists


1 egg, beaten
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese, can be substituted with Gruyere or Swiss
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Roll the puff pastry sheets out on a floured surface to make them a little larger and thinner. Set 1 sheet aside in the refrigerator.

3. Brush the sheet of pastry that is out with the beaten egg.

4. Sprinkle with the cheeses, seeds, and seasonings evenly over the egg-washed pastry.

5. Get the other sheet out of the refrigerator and brush one side of it with the beaten egg.

6. Place the second piece of pastry, egg-wash side down, onto the cheese-covered pastry sheet. Press down gently on the top sheet of pastry to help the cheese adhere to the pastry inside.

7. With a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut 1-inch wide strips lengthwise from pastry.

8. Pick up each strip at the ends and twist several times and set on the prepared baking sheet and press down on the ends.

9. Refrigerate the straws for at least 15 minutes before baking. (They can also be frozen and baked later.)

10. Bake the straws for 15 minutes. Remove them from the sheet pan when they have cooled.

Olive Bites


1 cup chopped black olives
½ cup chopped green olives
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated Asiago cheese
4 ounces softened cream cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
½ cup flour, seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups peanut oil


1. Combine the olives with the cheddar, Asiago, and cream cheese and refrigerate for one hour.

2. Combine the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese.

3. Roll the olive mixture into 1-inch balls.

4. Roll the olive balls in flour, then eggs, and then the bread crumbs.

5. Refrigerate the coated olive balls for 30 minutes.

6. Heat the peanut oil to 365°F in a deep fryer or deep pot on the stove.

7. Deep fry the olive balls for 3 minutes, until the coating is golden brown.

8. Drain the olive bites on paper towels and serve warm.

9. They may be reheated in the oven.

Beer Boiled Peel-and-Eat Shrimp


1 bottle brown ale
3 cups water
1 large onion, quartered
2 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 pound large raw shrimp, unpeeled, tail on, deveined
1 lemon, sliced into wedges for serving
Cocktail sauce, for serving


1. In a large stock pot, combine beer, water, onion, celery, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. While coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath in large bowl near the sink. Place colander in sink for draining.

3. When beer mixture comes to a rolling boil, add shrimp. Stir once and cook, for 1 to 3 minutes or until pink and opaque.

4. Once cooked, remove from heat, and strain in colander. Dump immediately into ice bath to stop cooking.

5. Once shrimp are cold, plate, and serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.

Eggs Benedict


4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons ketchup
Pinch of salt and pepper
1½ tablespoons pickle relish
4 eggs
2 English muffins
2 tablespoons butter
8 slices smoked deli ham


1. Prepare hollandaise sauce, whisk egg yolks with lemon juice in a metal bowl on high until doubled in volume and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2. Bring pot of water to a slight simmer and place bowl with fluffy yolks on top. Whisk continuously for 30 seconds, then drizzle in melted butter. Continue to whisk until sauce is thick. Remove from heat; mix in cayenne, ketchup, salt and pepper, and relish to taste. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

3. Prepare poached eggs with egg poach pods or preferred method.

4. Meanwhile, toast English muffins. Spread with butter.

5. Top English muffins with 2 slices of ham each.

6. Top ham with poached egg and drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.

Beer-Battered Zucchini Fries


1 big zucchini or 2 medium zucchinis
1 cup flour
¾ cup beer
1 teaspoon hot sauce (or more to taste)
Coarse salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Ranch dressing for dipping, if desired


1. Heat vegetable oil in high-sided skillet.

2. Cut zucchini into 3-inch long chunks then cut each chunk into 9 fries, discard center.

3. Combine the flour, beer, and hot sauce in a large plastic zip top bag.

4. Add fries to bag and shake, coating each fry generously.

5. Add fries to hot oil, flipping to cook each side. Remove to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with coarse salt while still hot. Serve immediately with ranch dressing for dipping.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars


¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats
½ cup chopped salted peanuts
1 (12 ounce) jar grape jelly


1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture just until combined.

3. Stir in oats and peanuts (mixture will be crumbly).

4. Press half of the mixture into a greased 13x9 baking pan.

5. Spread jelly over first layer.

6. Top with remaining crumb mixture.

7. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 2 dozen bars.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Whoopie Pies


1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (½ stick) vegetable shortening
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1½ cups buttermilk

Blackberry Cream:
1 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1¾ cups heavy cream

Blackberry Sauce (optional):
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
3 cups fresh blackberries


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F.

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, brown sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, stopping the mixer to scrap down the sides of the bowl between additions.

6. Add ½ of the flour mixture, beating on medium speed, just until combined. Stop the mixer and add ½ of the buttermilk. Beat on medium speed until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, beating until thoroughly combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

7. Using a spoon or 2-tablespoon scoop, drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 18 minutes each, or until the cakes begin to brown at the edges and are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

8. While cakes are cooling prepare cream: Put the blackberries, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice into a bowl and toss to coat. Use the back of a fork to break up the berries a little. Le the mixture macerate for 10 minutes.

9. Whisk the cream until it just starts to thicken. Fold in the berries and chill for at least 10 minutes before using.

10. To make blackberry sauce (optional): Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat to dissolve sugar, but do not stir. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat.

11. Puree half the blackberries in a food processor or blender. Add the sugar syrup to the puree and strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the blackberry seeds.

12. Add the remaining whole blackberries to the sauce and stir to combine. Chill until ready to use.

13. To assemble whoopie pies: Fill two cakes with desired amount of cream and drizzle blackberry sauce on top just before eating.

Makes about 24 four-inch cakes.




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