Today’s post is devoted to all things Philadelphia. Allow me to introduce to you my newest recipe experiment — Philadelphia Sushi Stacks, made with PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese!
A few years ago, my friend Mollie took me to a restaurant that had just opened up near her called Yard House. There was rock music pumped up inside, pizzas and tacos and steaks galore, but then as I was browsing the menu the words “California Roll” caught my eye. Sushi sounded better than a steak, so I decided to take a chance and order it. And lo and behold, I was served this huge stacked masterpiece! No “rolls” in sight. Instead, they just layered all of the ingredients into one huge mountain, which made my day. I still think about that meal every time I eat California rolls!
So when I was approached by PHILADELPHIA about developing a new cream cheese recipe, I took the challenge a bit literally and made some Philadelphia Sushi Stacks! I couldn’t quite decide what to call them. My awesome Facebook followers came up with a host of great names, from “sushi napoleons” to “sushi sliders” to “sushi towers” to “stack-shi” and countless others. (And my Dad’s contribution – “swushis”!)
When cooking with friends over the years, I’ve noticed most of my friends have never heard about the easy (and foolproof!) trick for how to fill cupcake liners. I didn’t learn about it myself until a few years ago when I just started blogging. But now that I do, I use it every single time I make muffins and cupcakes. The trick?
Kitchen scoops now come in 3-4 sizes, offered by countless brands. But after experimenting with a few over the years, my favorite by far is the Pampered Chef large scoop (for regular-sized cupcakes and muffins) and small scoop (for mini cupcakes and muffins). They have proven to be the sturdiest in my kitchen, and I love the sleek and clean look.
But more than anything, I love that using scoops for cake batter guarantees that your cupcakes will be nice and evenly-sized and evenly-cooked-through. For those of you into efficiency and minimal kitchen messes, they also allow you to fill a dozen cupcakes in less than 30 seconds with very little dripping. (Or if you decide to be crazy like I was a few years ago and make 624 cupcakes for a party, these scoops will literally save your life!)
I was gushing talking with Pampered Chef a few months ago about how much I adore their scoops. :) And around the holidays, they generously sent me a few more that I now keep in my food styling kit when I go on the road. Plus, they also included all sorts of other great PC goodies that I have had fun cooking and baking with over the past two months. (I’ve included a few of my favs below, including the measuring spoons my mom and I used to use all of the time when I was a kid and my favorite baking sheet.) Their products never fail to amaze me!
So if you are a cookie or muffin baker, hope this tip might help! Happy scooping! :)
Growing up, my sister and I used to get super excited when we flung open the door after school and saw that it was our favorite — Pretzel Day!! Within about 2.2 seconds, we would throw off our backpacks, hop onto our kitchen stools, and take that first delicious bite of a warm, doughy, soft pretzel. De-lish. My sister always liked her with cinnamon and sugar or dipped in cheese, but I was a purist. Just sprinkle mine with some big chunks of sea salt and I’m a happy camper.
Eventually I learned how to make pretzel dough myself, mastering the steps of kneading, rising, boiling, and cooking them to brown perfection. My friends and I would twist them into knots, cut them into little pretzel bites for dipping, or (my favorite since childhood) shape them into letters to make everyone’s initials or make pretzel “words”. Some things don’t change since childhood. ;)
What does one make with a fresh batch of Thai Peanut Sauce? Why, Thai Chicken Tacos, of course!!
Ok, ok, I admit that I was initially planning on making a Thai chicken pizza. But the idea occurred to me to skip the step of making the dough and waiting for it to rise (keyword: waiting), and instead just layer the ingredients into some tortillas and call it good!
Hands up, people. Is anyone out there as obsessed as I am with thai peanut sauce?
Oh my goodness. That little jar in the Asian food aisle forever seems to be calling out my name. It is one of my favorite last-minute dinner secrets to making a yummy stir fry, a quick Asian salad, chicken satay, or whatever other peanut-y meal sounds good. I seem to have no trouble coming up with excuses to try new recipes with peanut sauce!
I’m not usually a recipe dedicator, but I wanted to give a big shout out with this recipe to my friends Monica and Eric who just tied the knot this weekend. Their wedding gift from me was a super-cool cupcake carrier, and I’m pretty sure these would be the perfect cupcakes to fill it. ;)
But instead of talking about these yummy cupcakes today, I would really love to share with you about my friend. Can I tell you a story?
The pretzel nacho love continues! After sharing this yummy sweet version of pretzel nachos, it only seemed right to follow it up with a savory classic — Loaded Cheesy Pretzel Nachos.
These are basically all of the goodness of loaded baked nachos, with tons of ooey gooey melted cheese, tomatoes (or salsa), avocados, onions, fresh cilantro, and whatever other favorite toppings you might want to throw in. But instead of making them with tortilla chips, try subbing in these Pretzel Crisps instead. I absolutely loved how they came together!