February 28, 2014 Road Trip: 2014 Oscar Show

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Spicey Corn Bites

  • 5 slices bacon chopped
  • 2 c. Frozen corn thawed
  • 1 small onion minced
  • ¼ c. Chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ c. Chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 4 oz. Cream cheese
  • ¼ c. Heavy cream
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pkg frozen pre-baked filo pastry shells (appetizer size)
  • Optional: appetizer size frozen un-baked puff pastry shells “PepperidgeFfarms”(follow directions on pkg)


Cook the bacon over medium high heat in a large skillet. When crisp, remove and set aside to drain on paper towels. Add corn, onion, and peppers and cook till onions just start to get soft. Stir in cream cheese and heavy cream and cook till it all melts together. Stir in half the bacon, salt and pepper, and remove from heat. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, spoon into pastry shells and top with remaining bacon. Can be served at room temperature.



P.s. remember! You can also buy chicken salad or anything you like to serve in pastry shells. Create a variety with little effort.



Mushroom and Mozzarella Risotto Balls

(also known as “arancini”)

Use your favorite risotto recipe or try this one.

  • 1 ½ c. Arborio rice
  • 5 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ c. Minced shallot or onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ c. Dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • 4 or 5 c. Chicken broth warmed in separate pot
  • 2 c. Fresh mushrooms of choice sliced
  • 1 c. Grated parmigiano reggiano


Melt butter with olive oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallots or onion and cook till just turning golden on a few of the edges. Toss in garlic and cook 1 minute. Add rice and stir around for about a minute.  Pour wine over rice and cook till wine evaporates. Now you start adding the broth a cup at a time. Add one cup and give the rice an occasional stir to keep it from sticking to bottom. When the rice absorbs the broth, add another cup. Repeat process until you get down to your last 2 or 3 cups of broth (about 15 minutes) then, stir in the mushrooms. Continue cooking and adding broth till rice is al dente (but not to dry), tender and moist. Take off the heat and stir in the grated cheese. This is where you would ordinarily serve the risotto, but today we’re pouring it on a shallow oven sheet and allowing to cool. It will thicken up in the refrigerator. When cool, we’re ready to make the “arancini”.


  • 1 c. Flour in a wide shallow bowl
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten in a separate wide shallow bowl
  • 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs in a third bowl (I used half panko/half fine dry bread crumbs)
  • 4 or 5 ozs of fresh mozzarella cheese cut into little ½ inch cubes
  • Oil for frying (approx. 8 c.)


I used a deep fryer set at 360. This can also be done in a pan that’s deep enough to not splash over the edges. A deep fryer thermometer helps a lot to get right temperature.

Roll the chilled risotto into 1 ½ to 2 inch balls. Poke your finger in to make a place for the cheese. Insert cheese and reshape ball around cheese. Place on sheet pan and continue till you have 12 to 15 risotto balls.

Heat oil and get ready to cook. Roll ball in flour, shake off excess, then in egg, and finally in bread crumbs. When you have 4 or five, don’t crowd pan, lower in oil and cook about 3 minutes. They should be golden. Remove from fryer and set on rack over paper towels to drain. Continue till finished.

To serve: reheat in 250 oven for 10 minutes.






Pesto Pasta with Pan Fried Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 small jar pesto sauce
  • 1 lb radiatore pasta (rotelle or fusilli is also very good)
  • 1/3 c. Olive oil
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 or 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • ½ c grated parmesan or romano


I made this dish with a pasta shape called radiatore.  Some people say they resemble radiators. I don’t know, but I love the way it holds sauce. Rotellle or fusilli also works great.

The beauty of this dish is the sauce. It starts with a small jar of ‘good Italian’ pesto sauce.  Combine 2 tablespoons of pesto with a 1/3 c. of olive oil. (per pound of pasta) if you want a little more, you mix up a little more. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. When you drain the pasta, save a cup of the cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, add 2 tbs olive oil to hot sauté pan. Add tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Rollthem around the hot pan for a few minutes til they just start to wrinkle, but not collapse.

Place drained pasta in large bowl. Toss with pesto sauce. Give it a taste. If it’s a little dry add a couple tablespoons of the pasta water. Add the tomatoes and toss again. Top with grated cheese.

This dish can be served warm or room temperature.




Grilled Shrimp in a Spicey Asian Marinade

3 large shrimp per person will be plenty.

This recipe is for 18-21 shrimp.

Soak wooded skewers in water for several hours. Put in a deep dish and hold them down under the water with a glass, bowl, can, or anything.



  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed and minced
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger minced
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1 tbs sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbs cilatro chopped
  • 2 tsp soy


Place everything, except the shrimp, in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Mix together. The best way to marinate the shrimp is before you put them on skewers. Toss them in the bowl. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 20 or 30 minutes. Thread three shrimp on each skewer. Paint a little marinade on each one. Cook on grill or in hot grill pan on stove.  2 minutes per side, 4 minutes should do it. Shrimp should be pink with some beautiful char marks. This dish can be served warm or room temperature.




Homemade ice cream sandwiches

These can be made with the following snicker doodle recipe or any cookie you like. Just make sure you let the ice cream soften for at least 10 minutes before you start. Pick a few flavors you like along with several kinds and sizes of cookies. Gently assemble with a large spoonful of ice cream placed between 2 cookies. Small cookies work great giving your guests a chance at more than one flavor. After you assemble a few, wrap in plastic and return to freezer. Continue the process until you think you have enough. Then make 2 more. Better to be safe than sorry.


Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Preheat oven 350F

  • 2 C. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • ½ lb butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ C. sugar
  • 2 eggs


Cinnamon Sugar

Combine in small bowl:

  • ¼ c sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon


Ice cream or frozen custard of choice

Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

Place butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and combine completely.

Slowly start to add the flour mixture. When dough forms, it will be a little sticky, were ready for some greased cookie sheets.

These cookies start as balls on the cookie sheet and spread while they bake. You have to be careful how big to make the balls and how far to space them apart. 1 inch balls for regular sized cookies, an inch and a half for really big cookies.

Form a ball with your hands and roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Place on cookie sheet (at least 2 ½ inches apart for 1 inch balls). Bake in 350F oven about 10-12 minutes.

Cool on sheet a couple minutes, then carefully remove from sheet with spatula and continue cooling on wire rack.

When the cookies have completely cooled, place a slice or smashed scoop of ice cream on cookie and top with another cookie. Top with a little chocolate syrup or fudge and place in freezer at least an hour.





Cosmopolitan Cocktail


  • Chill bottle of vodka in freezer overnight.
  • Cointreau or triple sec
  • Cranberry juice
  • Lime juice


A great way to make cosmos, as many people call this drink, is to mix a pitcher at a time. This drink is usually shaken, then served ‘up’ in a martini glass (no ice). When you mix 4 or more in a pitcher with a little ice, i think you get a little softer drink. This means you have a better chance of remembering who won best picture the next day.


To a pitcher filled halfway with ice add:

(Per drink or person)


  • 2 oz of chilled vodka
  • 1 oz of cointreau or triple sec (cointreau is 3 times more expensive and really not necessary)
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • ½ oz lime juice


Stir and serve over ice or up in a martini glass . Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.


Make sure to have plenty of popcorn, twizzlers, and your favorite movie theater treats.