Lemon Curd Linzer Cookies for a Frozen Birthday Party

April 21, 2014 in Desserts, Holidays, Oh My!

A Frozen-Themed Birthday Party featuring gluten-free Lemon Curd Snowflake Cookies

Elsa & Candles on the Icy Mountain. Fabulous Frozen Cake courtesy of the very talented Amanda Hill.

For the First Time In Forever: My daughter Lily turned SIX last week, and like just about every elementary-age child, Frozen is the obsession du jour. Being me, I of course seized the opportunity for a theme party. And I will go ahead and state for the record that I deliberately avoided looking at Pinterest AT. ALL. for any of this. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest for all kinds of things, but for parties, I enjoy the process of coming up with ideas 100% from my own brain, take it or leave it. Scroll down for the cookie recipe, but first, check out a few shots of the other offerings.  Read the rest of this entry →

Sticky Sweet Balsamic Lamb Chops

April 16, 2014 in Entrees, Holidays

Sticky, sweet, tangy. The perfect lamb chops for your spring feast.

Honey Balsamic Lamb Chops

Easiest and Tastiest Lamb Chops Ever.

This is the very first time we have posted a lamb recipe on this blog. Because lamb is spendy where I live, it is a once-a-year treat at our house – usually for our Easter feast.

And so, it has to be yummy. And easy. This honey balsamic glaze is tangy and sweet and just the right amount of sticky to make you lick your fingers brazenly with every bite.

This is a version of a recipe by Jamie Oliver, whose love for cooking healthy real food is contagious. I am an avid fan of his show 15 Minute Meals, and this recipe is the kind of food he cooks – playful and flavorful food that is easy and quick.

I did make twice as much of the glaze as he calls for – and for me this is the perfect ratio of glaze to lamb chop. I also added a dash of cayenne pepper sauce – just for a little heat. I think this is the perfect mix of flavor and texture for these chops – and this will be on my table on Easter Sunday.

– posted by Donna

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Beet Deviled Eggs

April 1, 2014 in Appetizers, Holidays, Side Dishes

Double duty beets: flavor inside and color outside deviled eggs.

Beet Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs, flavored and colored with beets.

Beets add sweetness and flavor to the classic deviled egg – and a bonus: soak your peeled hard boiled eggs in beet water to add a rosy hue to the outsides of the eggs!

Once a year in early spring I become a deviled egg fanatic. I have tried all kinds of mix-ins to the yolks, and I have to say that it was a surprise how delicious the sweetness of the beets was mixed into the yolks. They are delicious mixed with a little Dijon to balance the sweetness.

There are lots of food bloggers doing naturally dyed eggs – so beautiful! I just added my beets in two places!
See How to Dye Easter Eggs the Natural Way, Simple Bites
Tea Stained Easter Eggs, Yummy Mummy
Vegetable Dyed Eggs, Weelicious

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Caulicannon: Irish Comfort Food – minus the carbs

March 16, 2014 in Gluten Free, Healthy Fare, Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Entrees

A low-carb, nutrient-packed version of the Irish comfort food classic for St. Patrick’s Day.

Caulicannon: The Irish Comfort Classic made low-carb.

This is certainly a last-minute entry for the St Patrick’s Day recipe bonanza that’s blown up the foodblogosphere all week, but the brainstorm just hit me yesterday and it would be remiss of me not to share it with you posthaste. I was hanging out on Pinterest with my morning coffee as per usual, thinking how lovely a nice bowl of creamy, starchy colcannon would be. Wait a minute, I’ve come to love cauliflower rice, why not use cauliflower mash as the foundation of a low-carb colcannon?

All on its own, I do generally prefer either ricing cauliflower or roasting it,  rather than the pureed version that can be substituted for potatoes, but in this instance, it really hits the spot. My only regret is not doubling the recipe so I’d have more leftovers.

Slainte to all! Read the rest of this entry →

Kale Hummus Cucumber Bites

March 12, 2014 in Appetizers, Holidays

 Green bites of kale hummus goodness in honor of St Pat.

Kale Hummus Cucumber Bites

St Patrick’s Day approved bites of healthy green goodness!

Lots of folks have added lots of things to hummus – including a few tweaks of our own: Asparagus Hummus; Hot Pink (Beet) Hummus;and Black Bean Hummus, to name a few. But I was searching for green hummus, in honor of the second biggest holiday of the year at the Kelly house: St Patrick’s Day.

I found lots, but none with kale, and so I gave it a whirl- literally – in my food processor and this is now my new favorite hummus! If you saute the kale in a little coconut oil first, it softens and adds flavor to the kale. This dark leafy green adds so much depth and flavor to plain hummus – your taste buds will be amazed! Then, just whirl it into your favorite hummus recipe – or use our recipe below – and you have even more healthy hummus and GREEN to boot, in honor of St Pat’s.

My Irish foodie wish I wrote for all:

May your souffles rise to meet you,
May your colcannon be first rate,
May you find joy in every Irish stew, and
May nothing but deliciousness be found on your plate!
Happy St Pat’s All ~
– posted by Donna

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Corned Beef and Cabbage Pot Pie Recipe

March 10, 2014 in Entrees, Holidays

Irish comfort food – corned beef and cabbage in little pot pies.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pot Pies

Good old American pot pies – St Patrick’s Day  edition.

These easy pot pies combine one of the greatest American dishes – pot pies – with the Irish classic – Corned beef and Cabbage. It had to happen, really. The salty flavorful bits of corned beef is perfect in a sauce with sweet veggies like onions, carrot and peas. Oh, yes, and cabbage.

You cook this dish the same way you would cook a chicken pot pie. I used corned beef I bought at the deli counter, sliced a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Then, I diced the corned beef into small cubes so that the corned beef flavor does not overwhelm the pies. I stirred in the diced cabbage after turning off the heat in the skillet, because if you cook it, the cabbage will turn to mush. This way it has the perfect texture.

You can use whatever biscuit recipe you like. James Beard’s famous cream biscuits (TWO ingredients: cream and self-rising flour!) would work well for this. Just roll the biscuit dough thin and cut into circles to top the ramekins. If you like, you can cook this in a 9 x 13 inch pan, but you will need to extend the cooking time a bit.

We at the Kellys celebrate March 17th as the second biggest holiday of the year. If you come to my house you you will meet lots of folks dressed in green – and please be prepared to eat a lot of Irish stew and colcannon. And mint chocolate chip ice cream = our neighbor insists on bringing it every year. St Pat’s Ice Cream, he calls it.

Either way, Happy St Patrick’s Day to All!

– posted by Donna

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A Very Valentine’s Roundup

February 13, 2014 in Desserts, Holidays

A round up of both sweet and savory Valentine treats!

My Heart Beets For You Salad

If you haven’t whipped up any Valentine’s treats yet – grab a pen for your shopping list. I love that every holiday brings a new chance to marvel at the ingenuity of fellow food bloggers. In that spirit, we thought we’d share a few of our own Valentine’s Day creations, and then share recipes and ideas we love from other bloggers, too.

If love be the music of food, play on.

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Chocolate Pancake Love Letters

February 5, 2014 in Breakfast, Holidays

Love messages written in pancake letters for your valentines.

Chocolate Valentine Pancakes for your Sweethearts

Chocolate Valentine Pancakes for your Sweethearts

There is no better way to write “I love you” than with pancake batter!

Do you own a pancake pen? Well, you should. You can be a kitchen skillet artist for less than $10, and that includes the pancake batter.

Once in awhile, I just have to make “cutesy food.” And on Valentine’s Day – it’s mandatory for me.

Some wise person once said “Honey comes from bees, and apples come from trees, but pancakes come from heaven.” Pancakes are so warm and comforting and the perfect way to start your Valentine’s Day, I say.

X O Means more written in pancake letters, no?

X O Means more written in pancake letters, no?

 — posted by Donna

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Superbowl Spectacular: Round-Up of Ready-to-Roll Recipes

January 31, 2014 in Appetizers, Holidays

  A round-up of easy snacks and appetizers for game day!

Savory S’mores for Superbowl Sunday 

While it may be true that neither one of your intrepid bloggers here at Apron Strings is a huge football fanatic (this accurately illustrates where Anne’s knowledge stands), we both love any excuse to get together with friends and family – especially when food is part of the celebration.  Whoever you’re rooting for, or even if you’re not rooting for anyone at all, we hope you’ll find some great snack and appetizer ideas here, starting with the Savory S’mores above.

Go Piggers!  Read the rest of this entry →

Lucky New Year Hoppin’ John Risotto

December 30, 2013 in Holidays, Side Dishes

Black eyed peas bring good luck for the New Year – stirred into risotto!

Lucky New Year Hoppin’ John Risotto

Though I’m not from the South myself, I absolutely adore many Southern food traditions, and one of my absoute favorites is the annual New Year’s Day feast, including greens for prosperity and blackeyed peas for further abundance and luck! (The Urban Luddite also informs me that you DON’T want to eat chicken on New Year’s, as it represents regret and backwards motion.)

I’ve been a little gunshy about risotto innovations ever since a first attempt left me seriously scarred. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it came down to a whole series of Don’ts. I’m reluctant to even talk about it, since I wouldn’t blame you for never trusting my cooking judgment again after hearing about this, but I feel compelled to warn you. For the record, if you’re out of white wine or even vermouth, DON’T think beer will make for a fun new flavor sensation. And if you’re also out of vegetable or chicken stock, DON’T for a minute think that leftover french onion soup will pair nicely with the beer. And when you taste the bitter, nasty heinousness that results, DON’T try to cover up the heinous with endless amounts of cheese and heavy cream. It just wastes perfectly good cheese and heavy cream.

Man, I’m still just aghast at the memory. However bad you’re imagining it was, after that description – trust me, it was worse. Easily the worst thing I’ve ever cooked in my life.

So when it came time to try this New Year’s Day risotto idea, I have to admit I was nervous, and played it pretty conservative. But I’m happy to report that it turned out beautifully after all.

– posted by Anne

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