September Tasty Tools: Bakeware!

For September’s Tasty Tools, we’re highlighting bakeware! With fall just around the corner, you may be anxious to get baking. So if you plan on using any sort of bakeware (bread pans, cake pans, casserole pans, lasagna pans, etc), submit them to the event all throughout the month of September.

All September Tasty Tool entries must be submitted by September 30th… and the round up will be posted October 5th. Here’s how to submit your Tasty Tools entry…

1) Make a recipe using any kind of bakeware and create a blog post about it from now until midnight, September 30th.

2) Add a link back to my blog within your blog post, Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

3) Send an email with the following information to itsjoelen@gmail.com:
– Title of the blogging adventure in subject line
– Your name, state/country location
– Your food blog name & link to your event entry with picture

August Tasty Tools: Whisk Round Up!

I have a hard time believing that August has already passed us by! But before we completely welcome September, let’s check out all the wonderful Tasty Tools entires for August featuring the Wonderful Whisk! Thanks to all that participated and hope you enjoy this collection of recipes to whip up with your whisks!

Carrie of Carrie in the Kitchen
Black & White Banana Cake
Carrie shares with us her whisk and her Black & White Banana Cake. For the recipe, you’ll need to be a part of the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. Check out Carrie’s blog to email her and ask for the recipe!
Karen of Loves To Eat
from Florida
Creamy Garlic Buttermilk Dressing
Have you ever tried making your own salad dressing? Well Karen shares with us a tasty dressing recipe for those summery salads. For the recipe, check out her blog!


Amy of Just 2 Good
from Florida
Blueberry Muffins
Muffins must be the perfect breakfast because they are so versatile and easy to eat on the go. Amy shares with us a recipe for blueberry muffins after having quite a bit of blueberries on hand. For the recipe, check out her blog!
Robin of Made With Love
from Rhode Island
Crustless Sausage & Potato Quiche Tarts
One of my favorite meals is brunch because it offers lots of sweet and savory dishes that serve as main entrees. Robin shares with us a great brunch recipe for quiche tarts! She made this dish when she served up breakfast for dinner. For the recipe, check out her blog!
Kira of Food alla Puttanesca
from Tennessee
Tofu with Peanut-Ginger Sauce
Kira shares with us a great meatless meal full of flavor! I’m anxious to try this recipe soon. The sauce she whips us looks so tasty as well. For the recipe and to read her thoughts on tofu, check out Kira’s blog!

Cora of Better Than Takeout
from Canada
Basic Bechamel Sauce
French sauces can be intimidating to make… but Cora makes it easy in her recipe. In fact, she also provides some variations to the basic sauce to create other ones. To find out what sauces can be made using a basic bechamel sauce and for recipes, check out Cora’s blog!
Stephanie of Steph’s Kitchen
from Michigan
Sloppy Joes
With the fall weather upon us, Stephanie shares her recipe for Sloppy Joes. It’s comforting and so easy to make! Check out her delicious recipe in her blog and start gearing up for fabulous fall foods!
Kelsey of Apple A Day
Lighter Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Many folks these days are looking to eat healthier. Kelsey shares with us a healthy recipe for Chicken Enchilada Casserole. To find out how her whisk played a role in making this dish, check out her recipe!
Carrie of Carrie’s Sweet Life
from Minnesota
Chicken Alfredo
A comforting meal to me is pasta and Carrie makes a delicious Chicken Alfredo. She used her whisk to get a perfect consistency for her alfredo sauce. Check out Carrie’s blog for the recipe she used!
Kate of Paved With Good Intentions
from California
Acai Vinaigrette
These days you’ll see “acai” pop up in menus, grocery aisles and recipes. I have yet to play with this ingredient but I hope to soon. Kate uses acai juice to make a great vinaigrette for some summer salads. For the recipe, check out her blog!
Annie of Annie’s Eats
from Indiana
Margarita Glazed Madeleines
Annie never ceases to amaze me because she has such great recipes in her blog. This month, she shares with us some delicious madeleines which she creatively glazed with hints of lime, tequila and Grand Marnier. Who wouldn’t want to try these delicate cakes?! For her recipe, check out her blog!


Amy of Tart Reform
from Washington DC
Green Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad
I’m a big fan of fresh vegetables and Amy shares a wonderful recipe for a fresh green bean & cherry tomato salad. She was inspired by another food blogger and served this as a side to a great baked ziti dinner. For the recipe, check out Amy’s blog!
Renea of Sweet, Savory, Southern
from Alabama
Asian Pork Stir Fry
Renea joins the event with a delicious recipe for pork stir fry. What I like about this recipe is the sauce she whips up using soy sauce, honey and garlic. For the full recipe, check out her blog and give it a try!
Oggi of I Can Do That!
from Washington State
Homemade Greek Style Yogurt
If you’re a fan of thick and creamy Greek style yogurt like Fage, perhaps you can try your hand at making it from scratch at home! That is exactly what Oggi did and she shares with us the recipe for Homemade Greek Style Yogurt. I’m anxious to try this out soon. Check out her blog for the recipe and how her whisk played a part!
Jill of Hey, That Tastes Good!
from Pennsylvania
Gluten-free apricot almond shortbread bars
Apricot preserves are the highlight of this sweet dessert that Jills shares with us! In fact, she used apricot preserves/jam from Hungary to make these bars extra special. For the delicious recipe, check out her blog!
Kim of Live Love Laugh Eat!
from Virginia
Marinated Canteloupe and Prosciutto
With cantelope on sale these days, I’ve been able to enjoy it in both sweet and savory dishes. Kim shares with us a great appetizer using canteloupe and proscuitto. For the recipe and to see how she used her whisk for this dish, check out her blog!

July’s Tasty Tools Roundup: BRUSHES!

My apologies for the delay in getting this posted… but we’re got a great round up this month for Tasty Tools! We’ve highlighted the brushes – pastry and brushes – and to show how versatile this tool is, check out the following Tasty Tool entries submitted by fellow bloggers!

(photo courtesy of Le Crueset)
If you weren’t able to participate in the Tasty Tool Challenge in July, hopefully you can submit a recipe for August where we’re highlighting the Wonderful Whisk! So whip up a recipe using your whisk anytime for the month of August and submit them by August 31st to be included in the round up! Now onto to the wonderful recipes using pastry and basting brushes…
Annie of Annie’s Eats
from Indiana
Phyllo Wrapped Salmon w/Goat Cheese
Annie makes an elegant dish so easy! Using her pastry brush, she works with phyllo dough easily to ensure perfectly buttered, flaky layers for her wrapped salmon. Check out her blog for the recipe, which is perfect for entertaining and guests!
Kim of Live Love Laugh Eat!
from Virginia
Grilled Dinner
Kim had a fabulous dinner that required the use of her basting brush to prevent the foods from sticking to the grill. Check out her blog and be inspired to grill your dinner!
Cate of Fresh From Cate’s Kitchen
from California
Rosemary Foccacia
Cate made a fabulous foccacia that was inspired by a pizza she enjoyed in Rome during her honeymoon. Check out her recipe which is not only great looking but easy to do!

Karen of Loves To Eat
from Florida
Classic Apple Pie
Karen makes a classic applie pie for the July 4th holiday and more importantly, her husband’s birthday! Check out her pie recipe which is extra special because it’s from her mom.

Renea of Sweet Savory Southern
BBQ Beef Kabobs
from Alabama
Renea makes some tasty kabobs using her Chef’s Silicone Basting Brush! Check out her kabob recipe that’s perfect for summer grilling.
Lore of Culinarty
from Romania
Hot Dog with a Twist
Lore made this creative take on the traditional American hot dog by wrapping a chicken hot dog in puff pastry. It’s creative and surely, very tasty! Check out her blog for the recipe and you just might prefer having hot dogs this way going forward!

August Tasty Tools: WHISKS!


For August’s Tasty Tools, we’re highlighting Whisks! So if you plan on making a dish requiring the use of a whisk, submit them to the event all throughout the month of August. All August Tasty Tool entries must be submitted by August 31st… and the round up will be posted September 5th. Some specific whisks include: balloon, french, flat, roux, gravy, twirl, ball, and even the whisk attachment on your stand mixer. There are so many whisks out there so start whipping something up! Here’s how to submit your Tasty Tools entry…

1) Make a recipe using a whisk and create a blog post about it from now until midnight, AUGUST 31st.

2) Add a link back to my blog within your blog post, Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

3) Send an email with the following information to itsjoelen@gmail.com:
– Title of the blogging adventure in subject line
– Your name, state, country location
– Your food blog name & link to your event entry with picture

Join My JULY Blogging Adventures!

We’re onto the month of July and my blogging adventures are ready for your entries! For those unfamiliar with my blogging adventures…

For over the past year, I’ve been heavily involved in hosting local culinary events for members of my social activity group, What’s Cookin Chicago. As a result of my group’s popularity, other groups were created in various cities in the country including Canada! I’ve gotten quite a few emails from random folks asking if there was some way they could participate in my events from a distance, especially if they didn’t have a similar social group in their area. The answer? Of course! I’ve decided to share my local culinary adventures with everyone via cyberspace with blogging events that are in tandem to the many types of events I host each month for fellow Chicagoans.

Click on the links below to see what Blogging Adventures are in store for July and details on how to participate… and you might even win the blogging event giveaway for each adventure you join in!

And of course, we can’t forget the monthly Tasty Tools event! For July’s Tasty Tools, we’re highlighting Pastry & Basting Brushes! So if you plan on making a dish requiring the use of a pastry or basting brush, submit them to the event all throughout the month of July. All July Tasty Tool entries must be submitted by July 31st… and the round up will be posted August 1st. Here’s how to submit your Tasty Tools: Brushes entry:
1) Make a recipe using a pastry or basting brush and create a blog post about it from now until midnight, JULY 31st.

2) Add a link back to my blog within your blog post, Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

3) Send an email with the following information to itsjoelen@gmail.com:
– Title of the blogging adventure in subject line
– Your name, state, country location
– Your food blog name & link to your event entry with picture

June Tasty Tools: Juicer Round Up!

This has been a busy month for me… and surely for many others! As a result, the June Tasty Tools: Juicer event is a little slim, but still full of lots of great entries. Thank you to all those that participated! Maybe I chose an unpopular kitchen tool – Juicer… Have folks resorted to bottled juices rather than juicing their own? (I know I’m guilty for having a bottle of lemon juice in my fridge, only because lately, the price for lemons is a bit high!)

If you weren’t able to make it to our June Tasty Tools: Juicer event, hopefully you can participate in July’s Tasty Tools… We’re highlighting Pastry & Basting Brushes! So if you plan on making a dish requiring the use of a pastry or basting brush, submit them to the event all throughout the month of July. All July Tasty Tool entries must be submitted by July 31st… and the round up will be posted August 1st. Now here are the juicy entries for the Tasty Tools: Juicer event:

Shrimp Scampi with Fresh Lemon Juice
submitted by Karen of Loves To Eat
from Tampa, FL

1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white vermouth-I used a dry white wine
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.

Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Divide the shrimp among 4 plates or arrange on a platter and serve. I served it over pasta!

Fruit Lassi
submitted by Sita of For Spicy Lovers
from Sydney, Australia

1 Mango (peeled and cut into cubes)/3 tbs Mango pulp or
1 Orange (peeled)
1 1/2 cup low fat Yogurt
1 tbs Sugar
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder (optional)

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator
for an hour ( if you want to skip this, use ice cubes. But I don’t like ice cubes).
Pour into glasses, and serve.

Pink Lemonade
submitted by Becke of Columbus Foodie
from Columbus, OH
adapted from several recipes on Recipezaar

1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. cold water
1 tsp. grenadine syrup

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Serve in a tall glass over ice.

Orange Sherbet
submitted by Annie of Annie’s Eats
from Indianapolis, IN
recipe from Source: Williams Sonoma Ice Cream

2 cups fresh orange juice (from 6-8 oranges)
¼ cup sugar
1 cup whole milk

In a bowl, stir the orange juice and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a nonaluminum bowl. Pour the milk into another bowl. Cover both bowls and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

Mix the orange juice and milk together. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the sherbet to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.

Key Lime Pie
submitted by Carrie of Carrie’s Sweet Life
from Minnesota

Carrie’s recipe comes from one of my favorite bloggers & bakers, Peabody of Culinary Concoctions of Peabody. This also happens to be my favorite fruit pie, so thanks Carrie for highlighting this for the event!

1/2 cup key lime juice, fresh if possible
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 to 2 teaspoons finely grated lime or key lime zest, divided
5 egg yolks
whipped cream, for garnish
1 coconut-pecan graham cracker pie shell (recipe follows)

Whisk sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolks. Whisk in Mascarpone cheese. Stir in whipping cream and lime juice. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest. Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Coconut-Pecan Graham Cracker Crust
1 ¾ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup pecans
7-8 TBSP melted butter

In a food processor, blend together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar and pecans. You want to make sure that none of the coconut is visible. Add about 7 TBSP melted butter. Pulse a few times. If it seems like it needs more butter add the remaining TBSP. Pour contents into a pie pan and press to form a shell. I used 4 mini pie shells.
Bake crust for 10 minutes at 400F. If you are using the mini pie pans, pre baking is not necessary.

Tasty Tools: The Mighty Blender Round Up!

sWith a new blender to play with, I’m thrilled with many others who dusted their blender off to create some amazing things for this month’s Tasty Tool Challenge! We had a total of 18 submissions, all of them just full of blending magic. So without further delay…

Here are 2 blender recipes I’ve made in the past month – Mexican Rice and an Avocado Shake. Both were so much fun to make!

With grilling season already in full gear after the Memorial Day weekend, Kelsey of Apple A Day shares with us an awesome and flavorful Chicakn with Mango BBQ Sauce recipe. I’m a fan of mangoes especially in the summertime and this is a great way to incorporate it into your favorite grilled meats. I seriously can see myself drinking up a mango margarita with this dish! Thanks Kelsey for your entry!

A blender blogging event isn’t complete with a smoothie recipe! Carrie of Carrie’s Sweet Life joins the even to share her Orange smoothie recipe. Not only is this great for the summer months, but it also doubles as a quick breakfast on the go! Thanks Carrie for a creative and sweet way to start the morning!

One of the things I enjoy most about these blogging events is learning about various cuisines and the ingredients used… especially if they aren’t common or always accessible here in the US. Thanks to Ulrike of Kuchenlatein, she has introduced me to gooseberries. For the event, she shares with us her Bananuts Smoothie that combines bananas and gooseberries (along with peanut butter, honey and ice). It’s a great addition to our event!

I’m a sucker for ethnic cuisines – all of them! With that said, I’m grateful for the entry that Kevin of Closet Cooking shares with us. Kevin hails from Toronto (woo-hoo! Another Canadian!) and he submits his mango lassi recipe, a sweet and creamy concoction of India. It’s made by blending yogurt, milk, fresh mangoes and honey (with a few spices). It’s like the ultimate mango shake that pairs well with spicy Indian cuisine. Thanks Kevin for joining in!

From across the ocean, Leo of Grand Tastes joins us from Germany! He shares with us a cool treat using one of my favorite fruits, pineapple. Leo has a great pineapple sorbet recipe he made using his blender which combines frozen cubes of fresh pineapple and sugar water. It’s ridiculously simple and fabulously refreshing! Thank you Leo for joining in the event!

Ann of Annie’s Eats has a great blog chock full of recipes I like. I’m thankful she’s joined in the Tasty Tools challenge this month to share her roasted salmon with cilantro pesto recipe. My husband loves cilantro, but isn’t quite a traditional basil pesto fan. So her cilantro pesto is one I’m looking forward to making. Thanks Ann for this great blender friendly sauce!

A lot of folks tend to think of using a blender for sweet dishes and beverages. But kudos go out to Bruce & Glennis of Cantbelieveweate’s Weblog for sharing a savory dish – Chicken in Poblano Cream. The sauce is made in a blender and I can seriously see myself using this for more than a sauce over meats (enchiladas, huevos rancheros, mexican lasagna, etc) and fear this sauce will be addictive! Thank you Bruce & Glennis for an awesome recipe!

We’re all familiar with Chocolate Mousse and the amount of time involved to make it… but Steph of CIA: Cooking In an Apron has offered to share her recipe for the World’s Fastest Strawberry Mousse. This recipe is all about the blender and there’s no need to use an ice cream machine to get a nice texture. Thanks Steph for sharing this amazing mousse recipe!

A lot of restaurants often include cold soups like gazpachos on their menus this time of year. Well no need to hit up a restaurant for a cooling soup to enjoy. Neen & Do of Post Collegiate Cooking a Deux shares with us their elegant Mint Pea Soup recipe. Amazing how a blender can turn peas and mint into something so beautiful and (I’m sure) delicious! Thanks Neen & Do for joining in the event!

So its practically summertime and one frozen treat I enjoy this time of year is a good popscicle! Kate of Paved With Good Intentions must have read my mind because she shares with us her Summer Pops recipe. Her blender was used to blend fruits so that it could be poured into her frozen pops mold. They look so darn refreshing, I’m anxious to try this recipe out very soon! Thanks Kate for a perfect summertime recipe!

Did you know you could make a fabulous bread batter in your blender? Well Karen of Loves To Eat proves how a blender can make one awesome Banana Nut Bread. Karen also mentions that using a blender is just as easy as using a stand mixer! It would be easier too in pouring the batter into the pans! Thanks Karen for showing us another useful way to put our blenders to work!

Erin of Cooking & Eating in the Windy City, joins the event from our fabulous city of Chicago (I know, I’m biased). Erin recently attended one of my cooking classes focused on Crepes. As a result, she has chosen to share her Crepe recipe and memories of Paris. The blender ensures the crepe batter is fully combined, much more so than a regular whisk. Thanks Erin for joining in!

Another fellow Chicagoland neighbor, Stefany of Proceed With Caution, joins the blog event with a sweet and creamy note. She combines 2 of my favorite summer fruits to create a Strawberry Mango Frozen Yogurt. As with most ice cream and frozen yogurt dishes, the process begins with pureeing various fruits as a base. Stefany’s creatio looks so good I want to dive a spoon into it! Thanks Stefany for sharing your recipe!

Ranjeetha of Ranji’s Kitchen Corner joins us from Massachusetts with her Palak Paneer recipe. I love Indian cuisine and this happens to be one of my favorite Indian dishes. It’s a dish blending spinach which is combined with spices and paneer (an Indian cheese). Thank you Ranjeetha for a great entry!

Remember Fruit Roll Ups? They were a fun treat I indulged in back in the 80s… and Dori of The Foodie Fashionista brought back so many fond memories. She shares with us her Homemade Fruit Roll Ups. I love the creative use of the blender for this recipe! Who knew a puree of fruit could be so much fun to make and eat? Thanks Dori for the great recipe!

Speaking of the 80s, I also remember when the Fig Newtons were all the rage. Back then I didn’t care for them. In fact, I wasn’t a fan of figs until recently after trying fresh figs with wine. With this said, Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake, has intrigued me with her Homemade Fig Bars. They are similar to Fig Newtons but I’m willing to bet they are far better! She used her blender to make a fig puree which was used for the filling. Thanks Amanda for the great recipe!

So a blender is well known for being used to make drinks. It’s no wonder why Nancy of Gaga in the Kitchen who hails from California, submitted a recipe for Strawberry Lemonade. With the summer heat coming in, this is one refreshing drink I’ll want to have on hand. Thanks Nancy fo sharing a refreshing recipe!

For those that don’t have a stand mixer, you can certainly try using your blender as a substitute. In fact, Sydney from Ohio, a non-blogger, shares with me this recipe which was made in her blender!

Wyatt Family Toffee Bars

1c Butter
1c Brown Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1tsp Vanilla
1c Flour
1tsp salt
1 Large Hershey bar (1/2 pound type size) – I totally forgot and had to substitute crushed Hershey kisses… sorry to butcher the appearance!

Cream Butter and Brown Sugar.
Mix in egg yolk and vanilla.
Mix flour and salt in another bowl and slowly add to mixer.
Mix until well blended.
Pour into 9×13 pan and bake for 20-25 min at 350 degrees.
Let cool for acouple minutes and add broken up chocolate bar to top.
Once chocolate melts spread evenly over top of bars.
Allow bars to cool completely then cut.