Hi, I'm Torrey. Welcome to Left Field, where creativity runs amok and imagination is ALWAYS more important than knowledge. Shoes are not allowed but ties are optional. This is a repository of snippets from my life out here in Left Field. One never knows what shiny bits of creativity will be found here... cards, scrapbook layouts, photography, poetry, recipes, ponderings, rantings and musings. It could be anything! Life in Left Field is always changing, always real, always ...interesting.

August 25, 2015

High Tea, Texas Style--Part 8...Baker's Dozen

Hidy Ho, crafty peeps!

I tell ya, this Tea Party series seems like it's never gonna end, doesn't it? I assure you, it will. I think there will be just one more post after this one. Maybe 2, depending on how much I squeeze into this post.

For those of you who are just joining this Conga line, here are links to the first 7 parts.
The Sweet Stuff
    Today's post is mainly about the baked goods. As you may have noticed so far, I haven't exactly made anything that is diet-friendly. I realized that, and in my defense, I did substitute non-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream, and Neufchatel for cream cheese in several recipes. But, I decided to make at least ONE offering that was TOTALLY non-fat, dairy-free, with no added sugar. THREE, if you count the tea and mixed nuts.  

    Rainbow Fruit Kebabs. I made one as an example, and dear Jonathan assembled the rest of them. Each skewer has a red grape, 2 blueberries, green grape, pineapple, cantaloupe, and a strawberry on top. They're very artistic--all rainbowy and what not.
    Rainbow Fruit Kebabs
    Ok, enough of the healthy stuff...let's move on to the baked goods. We served 4 different baked confections (well 5, if you count the lemon tarts). I'll start things off with the "easiest"...Brownie Bark.

    It goes by many different names--Brownie Brittle, Brownie Crisps, Brownie Chips, Brownie Snaps, Brownie Crunchies... I chose to call mine "Brownie Bark", but I think "Brownie Crack" would have been more appropriate because this stuff is so ADDICTIVE.

    Whatever you call it, it's yummy, crispy, crunchy, chocolaty confectionary goodness. I think Willy Wonka probably fed this to the Oompa Loompas. There is a commercial version of these available in stores called "Brownie Brittle" by Sheila G. and you can visit her website HERE. Mom and I discovered her version and man-o-man is it good. I think we ate 10 bags of it. 

    What?

    They are VERY small bags

    Anyway, here is my version of this tasty treat. 
    Brownie Crack, er, um... Bark
    Ingredients:
    • Your favorite boxed brownie mix (which will probably take oil, eggs, and water)
    • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips 
    Directions:
    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C)
    • Mix up brownie batter--according to its package directions
    • Pour about a third to half the batter onto either a silicone baking mat in a cookie sheet or one that has been lined with parchment paper. I used my silicone baking mat.  
    • With an offset spatula or butter knife, spread the batter out THIN...like to a thinness of 1/8-1/4 of an inch (~1/2 cm) thick. It needs to be UNIFORM thickness to its edges. Try to fill the bottom of your cookie sheet as much as you can.
    • Sprinkle chocolate chips all over surface.
    • Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until it's completely done all the way through. It may seem burnt along the edges...that's ok.
    • Remove from oven and immediately cut into squares with a pizza cutter or knife...though the pizza cutter is MUCH easier. 
    • Move cut pieces, immediately, to wire rack to cool.  
    • Store in airtight container once they're completely cooled. They'll hold a week or more when stored properly. 
    The next sweet sensation in the lineup is my Pecan Shortbread. I've posted my recipe on this blog before (though it's been a couple of years). This is, hands down, the best Pecan Shortbread you will EVER eat. I promise. It's the holy grail of shortbread cookies.

    It's...Nirvana.
     Torrey's World Famous Pecan Shortbread
    Yield: a ton (3-4 dozen depending on diameter of dough log)
    Ingredients:
    • 3/4 lb. (3 sticks) regular, salted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 cups chopped pecans (reserve 1/2 cup for dipping)
    • half of a 12-oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (for dipping)
    • 1 tsp vegetable shortening (Crisco)
    OPTIONAL/ALTERNATIVE:
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
    • 1/2 cup crushed toffee candy (like Heath bars)
    Directions:
    • Cream together sugar and butter--until light and fluffy.
    • Add vanilla and stir into butter/sugar mixture. 
    • In separate bowl, whisk flour and salt together.
    • Add flour/salt mix to butter/sugar mix, a little at a time.
    • Add 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (I chopped them by hand) to dough and THOROUGHLY incorporate them.
    • The dough can either be very stiff or very crumbly and you won't think it will hold together...but it will when you press it with your hands. Trust me.
    • Place reserved 1/2 cup of pecans in separate bowl and set aside.
    • Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. 
    • By hand, form each piece into a log (about 2 inches in diameter). Wrap each log, snugly, with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
    • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
    • Remove plastic wrap from dough log and slice into 3/8-inch - 1/2-inch thick slices.
    • Place sliced dough onto UNGREASED parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (or foil-lined, or silicone mat-lined) about 1/2 inch apart...they don't spread.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden brown and center is cooked but NOT browned (see photo above).
    • After baking, gently transfer to cooling rack (they're very fragile at this stage), and cool completely. Once cooled, they're sturdy.
    • You can leave them plain, OR...dip them in chocolate.
    For CHOCOLATE DIPPING:
    • Spread reserved, chopped pecans onto cookie sheet and return to oven for 5-10 min. until toasted. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. Then, place them back in a bowl.
    • In microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips. 
    • Stir in shortening.
    • Coat cooled cookies 1/2-way with melted chocolate (front, back, and sides)--scraping off excess.
    • Immediately roll chocolate-dipped cookies in toasted pecan pieces. Alternately, you can use sliced almonds, or crushed toffee pieces (or leave them plain chocolate if you like) and return cookies to cooling rack.
    • Chill chocolate-dipped cookies for 20-30 min. in fridge to set chocolate.
    • Store in tightly-sealed container (if you have any left). 
    Ok...this post is long enough, so I'll conclude the baked goods in the next post. Tune in for Apricot Scones and Spiced Chai Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting. 

    Thanks, as always, for trodding out here to Left Field...where the grass is ALWAYS greener.


     

    August 15, 2015

    High Tea, Texas Style...Part 7--Lemony Goodness

    Hidy ho, crafty peeps!!

    If you just joined me, I'm regaling everyone with the coverage of the High Tea, that my mom and I hosted a few days ago.

    Here is what you've missed so far:
    Today, we continue on the Sugar Express with LEMON CURD (and, their partner in crime--Lemon Tarts).

    For those of you who have never heard of Lemon Curd...I'm sorry. Truly I am. You've missed out on something...amazing. Lemon curd is WONDERFUL (when it's done right). 

    It's a velvety, tangy, bright, lemony, rich concoction that is suited for LOTS of things!
    • scrumptious filling for tarts or thumbprint cookies
    • as a delicious spread for...well...just about anything like cake, toast, croissants, scones, biscuits, muffins, pancakes, waffles, gingerbread, French toast, crepes, cookies, roofing shingles, patio tiles, Frisbees...anything!
    • mix it with whipped cream and freeze it for an AWESOME summery dessert!
    • as a topping for fresh berries!
    • as a topping for ice cream!
    • mix it in your favorite cheesecake recipe for a Lemon cheesecake that is to die for!
    • layer it with prepared pudding for a pretty parfait or trifle!
    • mix it in yogurt for a breakfast treat!
    • How about making Lemon Chicken?? Here is a recipe for Rachel Ray's Lemon Chicken.
    As you can see, it's VERY versatile. 

    Even though it's yummy, to buy (good) lemon curd is EXPENSIVE. I've seen little 8 oz. jars of the stuff go for $10-$25 in fancy epicurean/culinary stores. And prepared (aka "canned") lemon curd is nowhere NEAR as good as fresh, homemade lemon curd. Homemade curd costs less than $2 to make about 16 oz of it.

    But, it has a nasty reputation when it comes to making it. It tends to be... temperamental (heavy on the MENTAL part). And, like its cousin Hollandaise Sauce, it can turn on you in an instant and end up a HOT MESS if you don't know the secret.

    Trust me, there is a secret...

    to making PERFECT Lemon Curd. 

    Every. 

    Time.

    Guess what? I know the secret, and I'm gonna share it with you.

    Traditional methods of making lemon curd call for combining everything BUT  the eggs...then slowly adding the eggs as it cooks. This pretty much guarantees that your curd will seize up-- and you will get bits of cooked egg in your curd requiring you to have to (painstakingly) strain it through a sieve at the end. But my FOOLPROOF method takes care of that annoyance once and for good.

    The science behind the secret has to do with the egg proteins getting little coats of armor from the butterfat. This bullet-proof fat vest protects the proteins from the effects of the acid in the juice...which normally makes the protein molecules agglutinate (clump up). So, now you know. (I totally just felt like Alton Brown).

    You can completely ELIMINATE this agglutination, altogether, simply by combining the ingredients in a different order. Follow my steps below, and you will get perfect results, every time.
    Foolproof Lemon Curd
     Ingredients:
    • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (~4-5 small lemons)
    • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
     Directions:
    • Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Use a mixer, it makes life easier.
    • Add eggs, ONE AT A TIME, mixing well after each addition.
    • Add yolks, ONE AT A TIME, mixing well after each addition.
    • Remove zest from lemons, chop finely, and set aside.
    • Juice lemons and strain juice. 
    • Add strained lemon juice to butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix well. At this point it WILL curdle and look disgusting (see image below). But fear not! As soon as it heats up a bit, it completely smooths out...MAGICALLY! (Remember our little bullet-proof butterfat vests?)
    • Transfer to heavy saucepan and cook, over LOW HEAT, until it does its magic smooth-out thing. Make sure you keep stirring it until it's all smoothed out. See? I told you it magically smooths out! Look how velvety it is!
    • After it becomes smooth, increase heat to MEDIUM. Using a heat-proof silicone spatula...CONSTANTLY STIR IT while it's cooking--paying close attention to the corners and bottom of pan. KEEP IT MOVING. This is IMPORTANT. If you fail to stir it, you'll get overcooked parts that will cause lumps.

    • As it cooks, it will thicken. DO NOT let it boil. Repeat after me: "Keep it moving. Don't let it boil. Keep it moving. Don't let it boil. Keep it moving. Don't let it boil".
    • It's ready when you drag your finger down the back of the spatula and it leaves a solid trail. The cooking takes about 10-15 minutes.
    • It will continue to thicken as it cools.
    • Add chopped lemon zest NOW. Stir it in.
    • Pour hot lemon curd into clean, heat-proof jars and let sit for a few minutes (like 10) to cool a bit
    • Cover surface with plastic wrap (so it's touching the surface)...this will prevent a skin from forming.

    • Put the jar lid on, tightly, and pop it in the refrigerator.
    • It will keep, in your fridge, for about a week or so (yeah, like it will last that long).
    • Some people say you can freeze it for up to 2 months...but I haven't tried that, so if you do freeze it, you do so at your own risk. Let me know how it fares. I suspect that it will mess up the texture...but ya never know!
    Okee dokee...now for the Lemon Tarts. These tarts are absolutely divine! They have a shortbread crust that only takes 3 ingredients to make. The crust is a wonderful shortbread cookie on its own, by the way.

    Torrey's Lemon Tartlets
    Ingredients:
    For Crust:
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 cups flour
    • extra powdered sugar for garnish
    For filling:
    • Lemon curd
    • fresh mint leaves (optional for garnish) 
    Directions:
    • Preheat oven to 350 (175 C)
    • In bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar.
    • Add flour, a half cup at a time, and mix until it forms a soft dough. Note: dough will probably be crumbly at first, but keep mixing it and it will come together. 
    • Form dough into ball with your hands, then roll it out onto surface that is dusted with POWDERED SUGAR to a thickness of a little less than 1/4 inch thick. 
    • Use large flower cookie cutter to cut out dough.
    • Press dough flowers into mini tart pan (or mini muffin pan) as shown.
    • Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly brown around edges.
    • Remove from pan and cool on wire rack
    • Place lemon curd in ziplock bag, cut off corner of bag, and pipe lemon curd into each cooled crust.
    • Dust tarts with powdered sugar and (if desired) garnish with fresh mint leaf.

    Thanks, again, for playing in the kitchen with me! Stay tuned tomorrow for more Tea Party  SWEET STUFF! Tomorrow I'll feature Pecan Shortbread, Spiced Chai cupcakes, Brownie Bark, and Apricot Scones!


    August 14, 2015

    High Tea, Texas Style--Part 6...Mint Mania

    Hidy ho, crafty peeps!

    We're nearing the end of our TEA-rrific journey. Today starts what is probably the MOST-anticipated part of the Tea Party coverage...The Sweets.

    Savory foods have their place...but the headliner is ALWAYS the sweet stuff. If you're just now joining me on this tea-laden adventure, you've missed out on the first 5 chapters! Here are links to all of them so you can get caught up.
    Without further filibustering, I bring you...SUGAR (and its partner in crime, cream cheese).

    The first character in our sacchariferous lineup (how's that for a $20 word?) is all thanks to my BFF, Jodi. I wanted to serve those fancy butter mints alongside the salted nuts, and then it came to me...JODI'S WEDDING MINTS. Jodi has been making THE MOST AWESOME wedding mints for as long as I've known her. So, I called her up and asked her for the recipe. I was SHOCKED at how simple it is. I mean REALLY simple.  OH MY, are they SOooooooooo delicious! Before I move on to the recipe, I have to tell you a hilarious story about one particular batch of these delectable morsels

    Jodi had made like 400 mints for a wedding and they were spread out on cookie sheets all over her kitchen to dry. She left the house for awhile and when she returned...the mints were GONE. 

    ALL 400 of them. 

    GONE. 

    Turns out, her dog (Dakota--a VERY smart, and as a result, very sick Border Collie) thought they were yummy too. He had eaten the mints, right off the cookie sheets...and left the cookie sheets on the counter. He devoured them ALL. Let's just say, I'm glad I didn't have to clean up after that dog...if you know what I mean. 

    That also reminds me that Dakota also once ate half a Pineapple Upside Down Cake and a whole package of donuts that had been in their plastic "clamshell" bakery box...which he somehow opened and left, unmangled, on the counter. Smart dog. Smart dog with a sweet tooth.

    So, here are those infamous mints--considered absolutely yummy by both humans and, apparently, dogs.
    Jodi's Infamous Cream Cheese Wedding Mints
    (I shortened the name so it would fit on the placard)
     
    Ingredients: (for 150 mints)
    • 4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 5-10 drops Flavoring....IF DESIRED. I used pure Peppermint oil (don't use cheapy extract--it will ruin the consistency of the dough)
    • Food coloring (paste type) if desired--I didn't use any
    • 1/2 cup of sugar (in separate bowl) 
    • Candy moulds --the flexible silicon/rubber kind--you want small, simple form shapes (about 1-inch big). Stars, hearts, roses, leaves...those work well.
    Directions:
    • First off...notice the ratio of powdered sugar to cream cheese is ALWAYS 1 cup to 1 oz. Makes it easy to increase your amount.
    • In bowl, mix cream cheese until light and fluffy.
    • Add flavoring and food coloring now.  Mix thoroughly. NOTE: you want to use high-quality flavorings...the concentrated stuff. I used Peppermint oil that I bought at my health food store in their "essential oils" section.
    • Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. This will form a VERY stiff dough. I did this by hand and it wasn't too bad. It doesn't seem like it will be enough for 150 mints...but it totally is.
    • Pinch off tiny bit of dough and roll into SMALL ball (I mean SMALL...like penny/nickel size) 


    • Roll dough ball in sugar (this will allow it to release from mould)
    • Press sugar-coated dough ball into mould...make sure it JUST fills the mould


    • Turn mould over and and gently pop out mints onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
    • Allow mints to THOROUGHLY dry for 2-3 days (flipping them over after a day or so)
    • Once dry, mints will store BEAUTIFULLY in an airtight container (or ziplock bag) in the freezer
    • Even when dry, these mints stay SOFT! Oh my they're good.
     
    Thank you, as always, for finding your way out to Left Field. Tune in tomorrow as I continue the sweet stuff with...."Lemon Curd". You won't want to miss it! 

    August 13, 2015

    High Tea, Texas Style--Part 5...The Savory Food

    Wow, will this series of posts EVER end? 

    If y'all have missed any previous chapters, or if you'd like to revisit them...just click on the links below. So far I've covered:
    Today is the day. Today I blog about FOOD!

    I know many of you have been patiently waiting for this part. So, without further tarrying...may I present: THE SAVORY FOOD! (The sweet stuff will be covered in tomorrow's post). And yes, I really did make little signs for all the food. I love Photoshop.
    The March of the Finger Sandwiches 
    We made a total of 6 different types of savory noshes--4 true finger sandwiches, 1 rolled sandwich, and 1, um...sort of a hand-held salad.

    I'll start with the salad:
    Ladybug Caprese Bites
    I found these on Pinterest and thought they were totally adorable! To the right is the original pic of the Pinterest version, I think mine came out pretty darn close. I had baby grape (Roma) tomatoes to work with, so my ladybugs were enlongated. That's OK...they still look like ladybugs. The original recipe said to insert bits of chopped black olives into little holes in the tomatoes for the spots. Easy peasy, right? Well, NO... it was a LOT harder than I thought it would be (Ok, OK...IMPOSSIBLE). I thought there must be an easier way...Thank goodness for black sesame seeds! They worked FINE. The first ladybug I made had 7 spots...but it took so blasted long to insert those tiny sesame seeds into the holes... that I decided 3-spot ladybugs would do just as well. 

    Ingredients:
    • Fresh Mozzarella (I used the big, baseball-size balls, but smaller balls would have been better)
    • Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes/baby Romas)
    • Black olives
    • Fresh Basil leaves
    • ~1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar reduction (see below for instructions)
    • Black sesame seeds for the spots
    Directions:
    • In small saucepan, on medium heat, bring 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar just to boil, reduce heat and simmer until it thickens and reduces its volume by about half. Turn the vent hood on while cooking as the fumes are potent. Chill in fridge before use.
    • Cut tomatoes in half. Then cut V shape out of bottom edge of tomato (to simulate wings). Poke holes in the tomatoes with a toothpick and push a black sesame seed into each hole (use tweezers, your life will be easier). Set face-down on paper towel to drain.
    •  Cut black olives into quarters...1/4 of one olive = 1 ladybug head.
    • Cut mozzarella into 1/4-1/2 inch-thick slices. Mine ended up being about 1 cm thick. If using large mozzarella balls, cut the slice in half.
    •  On plate, arrange mozzarella slices on serving plate. Spread a small dollop of Balsamic reduction over cheese. Place single basil leaf on top of cheese, then add prepared tomato half. Place 1/4 of a black olive at uncut end of tomato for head.
    • Yield: how ever many you end up making (hee hee hee).
    Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich
    and
    Cucumber Sandwich
    Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich
    Ingredients:
    • 1 whole, boneless chicken breast (or 2 halves)--I used the breast off a roasted chicken
    • 1 cup Green and/or Red seedless grapes (cut in quarters)
    • 3 stalks of celery (diced)
    • 1/2-1 cup sliced almonds OR chopped pecans (which I actually prefer)
    • ~1/3 cup Mayonnaise
    • ~1/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
    • salt and pepper (to taste)
    • Curry powder (I used a LOT--like a tablespoon or two)
    • Fresh spinach leaves
    • mini croissants
    Directions:
    •  If using raw chicken...boil until cooked through. Cut cooked chicken into small (1/2-inch cubes)
    • In separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, salt, pepper, and curry powder. The amounts of mayo and yogurt kind of depend on how "wet" you want your salad...so these amounts are approximate. As for the spices...it's TOTALLY to taste. Start with small amounts...add more if you need.
    • Cut grapes into quarters (or smaller if they're big grapes) 
    • Spread nuts on cookie sheet and toast in 350 degree (175 C) oven. Watch them like a hawk as they burn easily (ask me how I know). When you start smelling them...they're probably done.
    • In large mixing bowl, combine chicken, celery, and grapes. Stir in curry yogurt mix to coat. Add nuts last and gently stir to coat.
    • Cut croissants in half (may toast lightly under broiler if desired). 
    • Place spinach leaf on bottom half of croissant, add dollop of chicken salad on top. Place top of croissant over chicken salad blop...and VOILA! You're done.
    Cucumber Sandwich
    Ingredients:
    • 1 cucumber, skin and seeds removed, diced
    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (or Neufchatel--fewer calories), softened
    • 5-8 fresh chives, diced
    • 1/4 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (or Mayonnaise)
    • Thin-sliced white bread (Pepperidge Farm makes a nice one)
    • salt to taste 
    Directions:
    • In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and Miracle whip until well blended. 
    • Add cucumber and chives. If you want more cucumber, add more...
    • Salt to taste.
    • Spread on white bread to make a sandwich--cut crusts off! This is a MUST for high tea
    • Cut sandwiches in half diagonally to make triangles, or into whatever shape you want using a cookie cutter.
    Salmon Roll-Ups 
     Ingredients: 
    • 4-6 oz. salmon filet
    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (of Neufchatel), softened
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • Herbs (I used a Penzeys Spice blend called "Mural of Flavor"...it probably has dill, oregano, basil, shallots, lemon peel, orange peel, garlic, onion, thyme)
    • 1 Tbs. Fresh Dill - chopped
    • Smoked paprika
    • salt and pepper to taste 
    • Fresh spinach leaves 
    • Whole-grain tortillas or wraps
    Directions:
    • Bake salmon (skin side down if it has skin) until just done... 350 degree (175 C) oven. It will only take a few minutes. Remove skin. 
    • In bowl, thoroughly mix cream cheese, herbs/spices, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper until smooth.
    • Add cooked salmon and mix with fork until salmon is completely broken down. Spread will still be slightly lumpy.
    • With rubber spatula, spread thin layer of cream cheese/salmon mix onto tortilla...make sure you get to the edges.
    • place a couple of spinach leaves along bottom edge of prepared tortilla and roll it up, TIGHTLY, into a log...
    • Cut each log into ~ 1-inch pieces. I cut the ends off first (they're not as uniform, so I don't put them on the plate...but they're still yummy.) Arrange on plate. Chill if not serving immediately. These will store, NICELY, in the fridge for several days if in air-tight container.
    Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
    and
    Cream Cheese, Black Olive, and Pecan Sandwich
    Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
    Ingredients:
    • Ok...I TOTALLY cheated on this one and bought prepared Pimiento Cheese spread from my local market. If you would like to make it yourself...may I suggest Paula Deen's recipe which can be found in the link below:
    • Hearty whole-grain bread (We used a very hearty, thin-sliced vegan sunflower bread from our local health food store)
    Directions:
    • Spread Pimiento cheese on bread
    • Cut into triangles
    • Serve open face
    • May garnish with sliced green olives if desired
    Cream Cheese, Black Olive, and Pecan Sandwich
    Note: I grew up with these. My mom would serve these favorites at Christmas Eve with a bowl of soup. These sandwiches will always seem fancy to me.
    Ingredients:
    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (or Neufchatel), softened
    • 1/3 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (or mayonnaise if you MUST)
    • 1 small can chopped black olives (about 1/4 cup)
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    • Thin-sliced white bread (Pepperidge Farms makes a nice one)
    • extra Miracle whip to spread on bread
    Directions:
    • In bowl, mix softened cream cheese and Miracle Whip until well blended
    • Stir in chopped olives and nuts and stir until incorporated 
    • Spread a slice of bread with a little (or a lot) of Miracle whip
    • Spread on Cheese/Olive mixture (a little or a lot...I prefer a LOT)
    • Cut off crusts (but only if serving at High Tea)
    • Cut into desired shape...triangles are easy...or rectangles.        
    Thanks for playing in the Left Field Kitchen with me! Tune in tomorrow for Food, part 2: The Sweet Stuff...oh yeah!