Host The Toast http://hostthetoast.com a Kitchen Kapers blog Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:07:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Nut-Crusted Fried Brie Bites http://hostthetoast.com/nut-crusted-fried-brie-bites/ http://hostthetoast.com/nut-crusted-fried-brie-bites/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:07:20 +0000 http://hostthetoast.com/?p=3677 I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is not nearly enough cheese in the traditional Thanksgiving spread.  Cheese, in all of its variations, definitely makes my “Grateful For:” list every year. As a result, I put cheese in my mashed potatoes, cheese in my dessert, and used warm, buttery, melted cheese as... 

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I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is not nearly enough cheese in the traditional Thanksgiving spread.  Cheese, in all of its variations, definitely makes my “Grateful For:” list every year.

Nut-Crusted Fried Brie Bites.  This cheesy appetizer is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast! | hostthetoast.com
As a result, I put cheese in my mashed potatoes, cheese in my dessert, and used warm, buttery, melted cheese as an appetizer.

These Nut-Crusted Fried Brie Bites feel right at home on your Thanksgiving table, especially when you dip them in your Raspberry Cranberry Sauce.

Nut-Crusted Fried Brie Bites.  This cheesy appetizer is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast! | hostthetoast.com

Prepare these quickly as your family and friends wait for the turkey, and no one will be whining with their stomachs growling as you get all of the fixings together!

Nut-Crusted Fried Brie Bites.  This cheesy appetizer is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast! | hostthetoast.com

 

Nut-Crusted Fried Brie Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 12 oz brie cheese, chilled well and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ⅓ cup almonds
  • ⅓ cup walnuts
  • ⅓ cup pecans
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • French bread, optional
  • Cranberry sauce, optional
Directions
  1. In a food processor, combine the almonds, walnuts, and pecans. Finely chop until the nuts are about the same size as your panko breadcrumbs. Remove the nuts from the food processor and mix with the panko and sesame seeds.
  2. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the milk. Dip the brie in the milk, then the nut mixture, turning and pressing gently to coat. Transfer the nut-crusted brie to a baking sheet or platter and refrigerate for 1 hour or more (you can prep this the day before and refrigerate overnight, if preferred).
  3. Pour about an inch of oil into a heavy-bottomed, high-walled frying pan or wok. Heat over medium-high to 350 degrees F.
  4. Add a few brie bites at a time to the oil and fry until golden, turning carefully with a heatproof cooking utensil occasionally.
  5. Remove the fried brie with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  6. Serve warm with Raspberry Cranberry Sauce and French bread.

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Raspberry Cranberry Sauce http://hostthetoast.com/raspberry-cranberry-sauce/ http://hostthetoast.com/raspberry-cranberry-sauce/#respond Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:11:08 +0000 http://hostthetoast.com/?p=3666 I am no stranger to the canned cranberry enthusiasts– I have several in my own family. (Gasp!)  They like their “sauce” to be, well, not at all saucy, with thick ridges in the sides that keep their mold long after they’ve thwapped from their aluminum homes onto a serving dish.  While I’m not particularly a fan... 

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I am no stranger to the canned cranberry enthusiasts– I have several in my own family. (Gasp!)  They like their “sauce” to be, well, not at all saucy, with thick ridges in the sides that keep their mold long after they’ve thwapped from their aluminum homes onto a serving dish.  While I’m not particularly a fan of the quivering, canned kind, I can accept that people have their preferences, and that they won’t always be the same as mine.

Raspberry Cranberry Sauce.  Easy to make and so tasty for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just because.  | hostthetoast.com

Not everyone can have impeccable taste, after all.

I kid, I kid!  I think everyone should be able to get whatever kind of cranberry sauce they’ll enjoy most.  For me, that is fresh-made cranberry sauce, bursting with flavor but not overdone with expensive ingredients or labor-intensive steps.  I do, however, like a tiny twist to the traditional version– and that is the inclusion of sweet-and-sour raspberries.

Raspberry Cranberry Sauce.  Easy to make and so tasty for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just because.  | hostthetoast.comRaspberry Cranberry Sauce.  Easy to make and so tasty for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just because.  | hostthetoast.com

I absolutely love this sweet and tart sauce, especially when swirled in desserts (like Chocolate-Cranberry Oatmeal Bars) or slathered on turkey.  It also makes a great dip for brie (check out the Nut-Crusted Brie Bites), and works wonderfully as an add-in to cocktails and lemonades.  In other words, you can use it for a ton of different things and each one is utterly delicious.

Let me know how you’re going to use yours in the comments!

Raspberry Cranberry Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 12-ounce package cranberries (I prefer fresh, but frozen works fine)
  • 2 cups raspberries (again, fresh is best but frozen work well, too!)
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, and cranberries. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Allow the cranberries to pop and the mixture to thicken, continuing to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in the raspberries and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Flourless Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies http://hostthetoast.com/flourless-peanut-butter-dark-chocolate-cookies/ http://hostthetoast.com/flourless-peanut-butter-dark-chocolate-cookies/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:37:04 +0000 http://hostthetoast.com/?p=3658 They’re peanut butter.  They’re dark chocolate.  They’re peanut butter.  They’re dark chocolate.  A little naughty, a little nice, and a lot of yum. These cookies are just as tasty as they are attractive (who sees a half-and-half chocolate and peanut butter cookie and thinks, “nah“?) and they’re quick and easy to make, to boot.  BUT... 

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They’re peanut butter.  They’re dark chocolate.  They’re peanut butter.  They’re dark chocolate.  A little naughty, a little nice, and a lot of yum.

Flourless Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies.  They're surprisingly quick and easy to make, gluten-free, and an absolute hit with everyone who tries them! | hostthetoast.com

These cookies are just as tasty as they are attractive (who sees a half-and-half chocolate and peanut butter cookie and thinks, “nah“?) and they’re quick and easy to make, to boot.  BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  They’re also conveniently gluten-free, so your friends with special dietary needs can enjoy them in the cookie exchange this year.  You will not miss the flour.  Not one bit.

The hardest part of making this post wasn’t making the cookies– not even close.  It was photographing them.  Hopefully you are now looking at the cookies and thinking, “Those look really tasty, how were they hard to photograph?”  (That’s what you were thinking, right?  Right?)

It wasn’t the cookies that made it difficult.  It was the fact that I am the biggest klutz this side of the Mississippi.  See that cute little bottle of milk?  I knocked it over not once, not twice, but three times.  THREE TIMES!

Don't cry over spilled milk.

Looking at that picture makes me angry.  They tell you not to cry over spilled milk, but do they tell you what to do when you spill it three times in a twenty minute period?  No, they don’t.  I decided to sooth my soul by eating a gratuitous amount of Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies.

Good cookies make everything better.

Flourless Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies.  They're surprisingly quick and easy to make, gluten-free, and an absolute hit with everyone who tries them! | hostthetoast.com

Flourless Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies.  They're surprisingly quick and easy to make, gluten-free, and an absolute hit with everyone who tries them! | hostthetoast.com

These cookies were a hit at a party I threw recently, and my friends have been asking me for the recipe ever since.  Make them for your friends and people will be begging you to share your secrets, too!

Flourless Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 20 cookies
Ingredients
For the PB half:
  • 1 cup room temperature creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
For the Dark Chocolate half:
  • 1 cup room temperature creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Start by making the Peanut Butter dough. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugars, egg, baking soda, and salt until well-combined and no large lumps remain. Fold in the dark chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, make the Dark Chocolate dough. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, baking soda, dark cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt, mixing well until smooth. Fold in the peanut butter chips.
  4. Scoop about ½ tablespoon of each dough and smush them together. Using your hands, gently roll the doughs into a ball that is half peanut butter and half dark chocolate. Set on the lined baking sheets. Continue until all of the dough has been used.
  5. Gently press the tops of the dough balls to flatten them slightly. Make sure your cookies have plenty of room to spread-- you may need to make several batches.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, or until just slightly underbaked. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet. Then, transfer cookies to a wire rack or plate. Continue until all of the cookies have been baked and you're ready to dig in! Enjoy!

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Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy http://hostthetoast.com/walnut-crusted-pork-tenderloin-apple-cider-gravy/ http://hostthetoast.com/walnut-crusted-pork-tenderloin-apple-cider-gravy/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:11:29 +0000 http://hostthetoast.com/?p=3652 I am so obsessed with this recipe, I wrote a haiku about it. Oh, succulent hog With walnut crust and cider Is this how love feels? …Perhaps not my greatest work of poetry, but the recipe is far better than my writing, luckily. This Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy is now one of my... 

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I am so obsessed with this recipe, I wrote a haiku about it.

Oh, succulent hog
With walnut crust and cider
Is this how love feels?

Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy.  Succulent, delicious, impressive, and surprisingly easier than you'd think.  Serve it with the Goat Cheese Chive Mashed Potatoes! | hostthetoast.com

…Perhaps not my greatest work of poetry, but the recipe is far better than my writing, luckily.

This Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy is now one of my new favorite impressive dinners.  Everyone who tried it kept asking for more and commenting on how juicy and flavorful it was.  (Thus disproving James’ aforementioned theory that “the people hate walnuts.”  Boo-ya, walnut-hater!)  The walnuts add crunch to the pork, which itself is tender and dripping and all of the things you can only hope for when sinking your teeth into some tenderloin.  The sweet-and-savory Apple Cider Gravy takes it over the top.  It’s everything you’re imagining it would taste like, and more.

Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy.  Succulent, delicious, impressive, and surprisingly easier than you'd think.  Serve it with the Goat Cheese Chive Mashed Potatoes! | hostthetoast.com

I served mine with some green beans and a hefty hill of Goat Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes, which also happen to taste amazing with Apple Cider Gravy.

For the green beans, I simply sprinkled some green beans with brown sugar, salt, and a tiny bit of garlic powder and roasted them with chopped bacon in a 400 degree oven until the bacon was crispy, tossing occasionally.  I was going to make a separate post for that but my photos of the green beans were very blurry for some reason!  Sigh.  Food blogger problems.

Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy.  Succulent, delicious, impressive, and surprisingly easier than you'd think.  Serve it with the Goat Cheese Chive Mashed Potatoes! | hostthetoast.com

But anyway, I do have the recipe for the pork and cider gravy all typed up and formatted for you, so don’t hesitate to give it a try!

Walnut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Gravy
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
For the Pork:
  • 2 (8 oz each) pork tenderloins
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • ¼ cup fresh sage
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
For the Apple Cider:
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Directions
  1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, sage, thyme, and garlic. Pulse until the walnuts are coarsely ground.
  2. Spread the walnut mixture and the flour in a large baking pan and mix. Rub the pork tenderloins with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roll the tenderloins in the walnut-herb mixture and gently press the crust mixture onto the pork until it is fully covered.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Add the butter and the remaining oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and is sizzling hot, sear the pork, gently turning to to ensure it becomes golden-brown on all sides. Some of the nuts and flour will come off in the pan, which is fine.
  6. Once the pork is seared on all sides, transfer the tenderloins to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Set the pan aside but do not clean it!
  7. Put the pork in the preheated oven for 20-25 more minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 155-160°F. Keep in mind, this is for tenderloin. If you make this with pork loin instead, it will take in the neighborhood of 17 minutes per pound, but be sure to check with your meat thermometer occasionally so you don't over- or under-cook.
  8. Transfer the pork to a plate and tent with foil. Don't slice quite yet.
  9. As the pork cooks and cools, make your gravy. Take the pan you seared the pork in, and heat over medium heat. There should be some pork juices in the pan from searing. Add the chopped onion to the juices. If there aren't enough juices to cook the onion, just add in a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with ½ tablespoon of flour and mix together until thickened and the flour mixture becomes golden, about a minute.
  10. Whisk in the apple cider and chicken broth, a bit at a time, until well-combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add in the bay leaf and apple cider vinegar. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally. Adjust to taste.
  11. Use a strainer to catch the bay leaf, chopped onion, and any walnuts remaining from the pork while pouring the gravy into a bowl or gravy boat. Discard the solids. Pour the gravy over the pork and serve immediately.

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Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli http://hostthetoast.com/pumpkin-pie-cornucopia-cannoli/ http://hostthetoast.com/pumpkin-pie-cornucopia-cannoli/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:57:37 +0000 http://hostthetoast.com/?p=3640 It is 28 degrees outside right now and the only comfort I can find is in the fact that I made these insanely cute Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli and I’m sharing the recipe with you.  It warms my heart, just a little bit, to see them in all of their caramel-drizzled sugar cone glory, knowing that... 

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It is 28 degrees outside right now and the only comfort I can find is in the fact that I made these insanely cute Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli and I’m sharing the recipe with you.  It warms my heart, just a little bit, to see them in all of their caramel-drizzled sugar cone glory, knowing that you might be motivated to make them this Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cornucopia Cannoli!  These Thanksgiving treats are easy to make, and they're a tasty alternative to time-consuming pumpkin pie.  It doesn't get much cuter than this. | hostthetoast.com

Imagine all of your favorite things about pumpkin pie (the spices, the creaminess, and of course, the pumpkin) combined with all of your favorite things about cannoli (the crunchy shell, the sweet, soft cheese filling) and then try to tell me you’re not drooling over the idea of these Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli!  I dare ya!

Pumpkin Cornucopia Cannoli!  These Thanksgiving treats are easy to make, and they're a tasty alternative to time-consuming pumpkin pie.  It doesn't get much cuter than this. | hostthetoast.com

As I said before, it’s freezing today, which makes it the perfect day for my favorite activities: shuffling back and forth between watching insane amounts of Netflix and staring at an endless stream of pictures on Pinterest.  You know, pictures of things you pin and tell yourself you’ll make but probably never will.  (Ahem, unless you found this recipe via Pinterest.  Then you should make it the exception.)

And Pinterest is exactly where I found my inspiration for these cannoli, since it seems like hundreds of people have been curling the ends of their sugar cones and filling them with candies as gifts for kids.

Pumpkin Cornucopia Cannoli!  These Thanksgiving treats are easy to make, and they're a tasty alternative to time-consuming pumpkin pie.  It doesn't get much cuter than this. | hostthetoast.com

 

Pumpkin Cornucopia Cannoli!  These Thanksgiving treats are easy to make, and they're a tasty alternative to time-consuming pumpkin pie.  It doesn't get much cuter than this. | hostthetoast.com

Sure, it’s aww-worthy, but I’m 24 years old and I’m probably not getting any m&m-filled sugar cones as presents any time soon.  I’ve already been told that I’m “too old” to trick-or-treat anymore, and although I’ve argued that I probably love chocolate more than any 8 year old child, no one wants to budge on this injustice.

Pumpkin Cornucopia Cannoli!  These Thanksgiving treats are easy to make, and they're a tasty alternative to time-consuming pumpkin pie.  It doesn't get much cuter than this. | hostthetoast.com

Adults need some fun, too, people!  We want sweet treats for ourselves!  I don’t even have kids that I can “borrow” candy from yet.  I know you parents out there are skimming some chocolate off the top of your kids’ Halloween harvests, don’t even try to deny it.

So then I thought to myself, what could I put in a cornucopia sugar cone that would make them more “grown-up” than M&Ms but still cute, fun, easy, and light-hearted?  Cannoli filling, of course!  Cannoli filling, with pumpkin and pumpkin spices to make them a great alternative for time-consuming pie.  (The only kind of “consuming” I want on Thanksgiving is the kind that involves my mouth and a ton of turkey, mashed potatoes, and dessert.)

Pumpkin Cornucopia Cannoli!  These Thanksgiving treats are easy to make, and they're a tasty alternative to time-consuming pumpkin pie.  It doesn't get much cuter than this. | hostthetoast.com

I sprinkled them with chocolate chips, nuts, toffee, candy corn, and candy pumpkins to give more of the “horn of plenty” look, but you can sprinkle yours with whatever your heart desires.  Either way, you and your guests are going to love the Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli!

Pumpkin Pie Cornucopia Cannoli
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
For the filling:
  • 8 oz (1 package) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons miniature chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons toffee bits
  • ½ cup heavy cream
For the shells:
  • 12 sugar cones
To top:
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, canned pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined and no large lumps remain. Fold in the miniature chocolate chips and toffee bits.
  2. In another large bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Then, fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture, being careful not to over-mix. Transfer the filling to a large plastic freezer bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. To make the sugar cones, start by filling a small bowl with water. Take one sugar cone and dip the pointed end in the water. You want to do this quickly-- too much water will make them too soggy. Place the waffle cone on a plate and microwave for 15 seconds, or until the end is soft and easily shaped. Curl the end of the sugar cone around a pen or chopstick and hold it there for 30 seconds to help the shape set. Set the cone aside to let it dry and continue with the remaining cones.
  4. Shortly before serving, snip off one of the bottom corners of the plastic bag holding the filling and pipe it into the sugar cones. Do not do this too far ahead of time, as the cones will get soggy (just like cannoli shells do) if they are filled too long before eating. Dip the open ends in chocolate chips, toffee bits, nuts, candy corns, or other toppings of your choice. Drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

 

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