Tonight is another night when my husband will be working late, and I have a bunch of leftover guacamole and peppers from last night, so I'll be nibbling on that again. I wondered what I could blog about today, because just telling you that I'll be enjoying my leftovers is pretty boring, right?
Well I'm also taking my kids over to the grandparents' house for a visit, and it's going to be a small cookout. At the request of my mother in law, I'm bringing an appetizer. My first choice when I need something I can throw together quick is always stuffed celery sticks. This extremely simple yet also very flavorful appetizer is something that I learned from my father. He's been making this for holiday get togethers since the dawn of time. All you have to do is cut some celery hearts into sticks, and fill them with Kraft roka blue cheese spread. Delicious. It's a crowd pleaser every time.
The only problem is that Kraft roka blue cheese spread is not always available at the supermarket. In the past when I've been planning to make stuffed celery sticks but haven't been able to find the roka blue cheese spread, I've given up and made something else. But today I put my foot down. Why should I let the absence of a pre-made, convenience item on the supermarket shelf deter me from making what I want to make? I grabbed a few quick ingredients to make my own blue cheese filling.
Easy, homemade blue cheese filling:
In a medium bowl, combine 16oz of cream cheese with 1 tbsp of butter and microwave for 1 minute. Mix together well. Add in about 3 tbsp of lemon juice and half a cup of blue cheese crumbles. Mix well again. If you want a chunkier filling, you're done. If you want a smoother filling, microwave again for one more minute, then mix well again. This will better incorporate some of the blue cheese crumbles. Chill for two hours before using.
I just did this this afternoon, and in just five minutes, and with only one dirty dish to show for my effort, I had a blue cheese filling that was less expensive and much more delicious than the store bought kind I typically use.
The other interesting thing that went down in my kitchen this afternoon was the christening of my Kitchenaid stand mixer. We've had this thing for over a year because my husband, who never, ever cooks, really wanted one. Why he wanted one, I'll never know. Anyway, I'm not much of a baker and the things I typically whisk or beat are small and easy enough that I have never felt the need to dirty a whole big mixer.
Well today I had some bananas that were very close to the end of their useful life, so I decided to attempt to make some banana bread. The recipe I used was not my own so I won't post it here, but I used my Kitchenaid mixer for the first time and . . . I was bowled over. It was so easy to use and it made such quick work of the exhausting hand mixing that I would have had to do otherwise. I'm still not sure if I'm much of a baker, but at least now I know that when I want some home made shortbread (the guiltiest of all guilty pleasures, as far as I'm concerned), I can just throw some butter, sugar and flour into the Kitchenaid mixer and let it do all the work.
Also . . . now I have a delightful loaf of banana bread to come home to tonight :)