Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Bell Peppers

Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Bell Peppers

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Make your kids scream with delight by making these spooky Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Bell Peppers.

I know what most parents know. Pasta is a quick and easy way to make the pop!TOT happy. This recipe incorporates both an activity, carving peppers and a fast meal. You can’t beat that!

Enjoy this quick, yummy and oh so spooky treat!

1Chef Baby Bear preps all of the ingredients.

2This small pumpkin carving knife is perfect for her little hands

3Chef Baby Bear was prudent in taking out all of the insides.
4Draw the face and then cut out the areas outlined.

5Peppers are more delicate so be careful when carving.

6Our Jack O’ Lanterns

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8The Pasta aka guts! EEEEWWWWW!DSC_0055She grabs pasta to stuff into the pepper.

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DSC_0121The final product!

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A close-up! Ahhhhhh!Finny Faces

pop!INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large bell peppers
  • 1 pkg. Beef Polska Kielbasa (or any sausage)
  • 1 cup Broccoli and Cabbage Slaw
  • 1 pkg. (16 ounces) uncooked spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 6 oz can Carrots and Peas
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup of pesto sauce
  • ½ cup of Spanish olives, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

pop!DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut sausage into ½” slices; set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
  3. Cut a round section on the top of the pepper and discard the seeds and scrape away the insides.
  4. Draw faces on the peppers and carve with a small pumpkin knife, be careful as peppers are more delicate than pumpkins
  5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot; add sausage. Cook for 2-4 minutes then add remaining ingredients.
  6. Cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes or until kielbasa is lightly browned.
  7. Transfer to a large bowl, add pasta and stir to coat.
  8. Divide pasta amongst prepared peppers and pull strands of pasta through the mouths or eyes of the jack-o-lanterns.
  9. Garnish the dish with a bed of broccoli and cabbage slaw.

Braised Oxtail Orecchiette

DSC_0570Braised Oxtail Orecchiette

Today is one of those days. The kind of day I want to stay at home and slip back under the warmth of my comforter. Since I can’t do that, the closest thing to that feeling for me is oxtail. Oxtail is my go-to dish for comfort and when I have it I feel like I am getting a hug from my belly. That Good! Truth be told, if I were dying it would be my last meal. It has also become a favorite dish for my LoVe and my pop!TOT as they see the amount of time and love I put into making the dish. In preparing, I literally start the night before I plan to serve it. This Oxtail Orecchiette was no different….

Inspired by a trip to LA with my LoVe, I decided to take a different approach to my dish and incorporate Orecchiette pasta into the dish. Orecchiette is a distinctive type of pasta shaped like small ears, hence the name (orecchio, ear, orecchiette, little ears). Their slightly domed shape produces an interesting combination of textures, soft in the middle and chewy on the outside. It reminded me of the dumplings I often had with the oxtail when growing up in the Bronx. The hearty pasta with the stewed flavors of the oxtail created a perfectly balanced bowl of goodness. After this dinner we all ate like Kings for days to come. The best part? The flavors just intensify with each day that passes.

Now it’s your turn to make this delectable dish. However, I will warn you… this is only meant for people who you want to keep around for a lifetime!

Bon Appétit!

Yaz

DSC_0346Braise the oxtail in large non-stick frying pan.

DSC_0356Shown so you can see the browning process.

DSC_0360That’s just beautiful… perfection!

DSC_0385You can see the meat has fallen off the bone. Be sure to remove the small pieces as well as they may sneak into the stew.

DSC_0389No bones about it! :o) The meat should be tender and resemble shredded beef.

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pop!INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds of Beef Oxtail
  • 2 teaspoon Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Adobo
  • 2 tablespoon Recaito (you can use diced cilantro, green pepper, onion and garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon browning liquid
  • 2 teaspoon flour (to make the sauce thick)
  • 1 box of Orecchiette Pasta
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

* Recaito, a unique cilantro-based seasoning made with cilantro, green pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil

pop!DIRECTIONS

Slow Cooker
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Total Time: 6.5-8.5 hours

Pressure Cooker
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2-2.5 hours
Total Time: 3-3.5 hours

Stove Top
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 hours
Total Time: 4.5-5.5 hours

  1. Set your slow cooker to low/high based on the number of hours needed (usually 6-8 hours)
  2. I prefer a slow cooker to a pressure cooker or stove top as you can leave the slow cooker on overnight and can observe the progress very passively (even sneak in a taste here and there)
  •  Pressure Cooker is best when you are lacking in cook time, however needs the most attention as things can easily go very bad if you cook for too long or too short. Let’s not forget about the possibility of an explosion if the lid is taken off prematurely which can lead to severe burns.  Also, you cannot see the progress of the cooking so this is not the best option for beginners or people who don’t typically use pressure cookers. (Typical cook time: 2 – 2.5 hours)
  • Stove Top is best for those without a pressure cooker or slow cooker; however takes the most amount of vigilance. The nature of the pots you use will determine the amount of time you need. The biggest piece is making sure there is always liquid in the pot as it tends to evaporate over time. (Typical cook time: 4 –5 hours)
  1. Wash the oxtail pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Trim off as much excess fat as possible.
  2. Season your meat and let marinate for 2 hours.
  3. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
  4. Brown the oxtail over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning every now and then, until dark brown all over.
  5. Put the browned oxtail into the slow cooker and add enough water/marinade so that it just covers the contents of the pot.
  6. Oxtail has very fatty parts so I like to create a separate sauce to make a richer sauce with less fat. To do this return the frying pan to a low heat and add the onions, garlic, flour, browning sauce and marinade ingredients. Recreate the marinade if needed.
  7. Cook gently for 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be rich and thick.
  8. After 6-8 hours, the meat should be tender and falling off the bones.
  9. Remove all bones which should be very easy at this point. If you are putting in effort then you have not cooked the meat long enough.
  10. Boil pasta until AL-dente and add olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  11. Add the oxtail to the sauce and serve over the pasta.
  12. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and a bay leaf.

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes // Caramel Walnut Sauce // Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

DSC_0541Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes with Caramel Walnut Sauce
topped with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

The first day of Autumn calls for a brunch that is sweet, savory and chock full of flavor. I must pat myself on my back because these Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes were simply divine! The warmth of the cinnamon along with the aromatic citrus notes of the cardamon will make you melt in your seat. The topper, literally, is a sweet caramel walnut sauce with a refreshing Grand Marnier whip cream. The best part? You too can indulge in this goodness!

The details are below!

DSC_0468All of the ingredients for the pancake mix.

DSC_0484Chopped Walnuts.

DSC_0530Whipping the cream… so yummy!

DSC_0538Drizzle the sauce…

DSC_0564… and enjoy!

pop!INGREDIENTS

PANCAKES

  • 1 cup Buttermilk Pancake Mix (Not the just add water variety)
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup of Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Oil
  • 1/3 cup grated or pureed Pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger

CARAMEL WALNUT SAUCE

  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lime Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Orange Juice
  • 1 cup Walnuts, toasted and chopped

GRAND MARNIER WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier

 

pop!DIRECTIONS

PANCAKES

  1. Heat skillet over medium-low heat or griddle to 375 °F.
  2. Combine ingredients for pancake and stir
  3. Pour batter for each pancake onto lightly greased griddle
  4. Turn when the pancake bubbles and bottoms are golden brown

CARAMEL WALNUT SAUCE

  1. Place butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Melt together and stir frequently until creamy and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until warm
  4. Sprinkle walnuts and spoon over warm pancake then serve!

GRAND MARNIER WHIPPED CREAM

  1. Whip all the ingredients together until the cream peaks are formed
  2. Serve on top of the pancakes and sprinkle with pumpkin shavings

Fall into Glamour // Dinner Party

Fall into Glamour

Fall into Glamour // Dinner Party

For most, the idea of Fall automatically conjures up thoughts of leaves turning colors, warm sweaters and the sweet aroma of cinnamon. As we approach this incredibly beautiful season I thought it would only be befitting to create a dinner party for my amazing girlfriends slowly luring us from the heat of the summer to the coolness of Fall.

When approaching the Fall season it’s all about texture, deliciously rich flavors, glamorous metallics, and a few elements that whisper Autumn in approaching. Get ready… Fall is here!

Fall into the season with a glamorous and chic dinner party. See the details below!

xoxo

Yaz

P.S. Recipes and additional details in posts to follow.

pop!ELEMENTS

  • Event Production: pop! by YAZ
  • Flowers: pop! by YAZ
  • Venue: Private Residence
  • Food: pop! by YAZ
  • Photography: pop! by YAZ & Sage & Sparkle
  • Cocktails : pop! by Yaz

DSC_0220The incredibly talented and beautiful women who inspired this dinner.

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DSC_0330Us toasting to a perfectly chic evening with Moet Rose

DSC_0336The warm glow from the candles

DSC_0426The centerpiece featured glorious blooms of Ranunculus, Dahlias, Hydrangea,
Sea Holly Blue Eryngo, Calla Lily, Roses, Carnations, and feathers.

DSC_0435The place settings featured gold art deco chargers, white contemporary plates, black salad plates and the most beautiful antique hammered brass bowls which were made in India.

DSC_0444White Pumpkins, Anemones and crystal votive holders were scattered on the table which was covered in this gorgeous and glam black square paillette table cloth. I know what you are thinking “Yaz isn’t that sequins?” Apparently after taking a visit to the largest sequins manufacturer in the United States I discovered that there is a difference. Sequins are sometimes referred to as spangles, paillettes, or diamantes. Paillettes themselves are commonly very large and flat. You learn something new everyday.

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DSC_0488Citrus Seared Scallops with Brocolli and Cabbage Slaw, Jalapeno Puree on Grilled Eggplant

DSC_0571Braised Oxtail Orecchiette

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DSC_0555Pumpkin Seafood Paella with Mussels

DSC_0629Cinnabon Martini

DSC_0679Pumpkin Spice Mojito

Brassica Oleracea // Purple Statice //Coxcomb

1_edited-1 2 squareBrassica Oleracea // Purple Statice //Coxcomb

I love this time of the year when Summer transitions into Fall. I still linger onto the warm days, but yearn for the cool evenings. To me, these flowers embody that feeling. The bright red roses and seductive marooon Coxcomb intermingling with crispy sweet greens in the Hydrangea and cool purples in the Brassica Oleracea (decorative cabbage) and Statice.

Alas, with everyday that passes reality is that Fall is around the corner. In the meantime I will stay in this perfect little nook of Indian Summer.

pop!BLOOMS

  • Brassica Oleracea
  • Hydrangea
  • Roses
  • Purple Statice
  • Coxcomb

xo

Yaz

Spider Mac & Cheese

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DSC_0955GASP! We’re eating gooey spiders!

Spider Mac & Cheese

ajgsghsghs

Boil PastaBoil the pasta.

DSC_0803Cut the cheese into cubes

DSC_0805Look at the skill!

DSC_0824Shred the cheese for topping

DSC_0828(Singing) Cheese… glorious cheeeessseeee!

DSC_0847Mix the Cheese with the milk, butter and flour mixture

DSC_0870Press the Mac & Cheese mixture into a lightly greased ramekin.

DSC_0881Unroll the dough.

DSC_0885If you are using perforated dough press the seams in order to create a larger piece of dough.

DSC_0891Cut out circles for the head and body. Feel free to use anything with a circular shape if you do not have any cookie cutters. We used a jigger to create the round shapes.

DSC_0893Cut long strips for the legs.

DSC_0906You can also roll the dough for the legs if it’s easier or if you prefer legs that are not flat.

DSC_0896Place the rounds for the head and body.

DSC_0910Place the allspice balls in for the eyes.

DSC_0914Our spider before he took a little trip into the oven.

DSC_0931Look at that Golden Spider! YUM!

DSC_0956Chef Baby Bear is on the look out for anyone creeping in to steal these yummy and creepy Spider Mac & Cheese bowls.

pop!INGREDIENTS

  • (1) 12oz Package of
  • (4) Blocks of Cheese (Used Mild Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar and Pepper Jack)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Stick of Butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Pillsbury Crescent Seamless Dough Sheets
  • Salt and pepper to taste

pop!DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut three blocks of cheese into 1 inch cubes and shred the last block of cheese – Sharp Cheddar is my favorite to use as the topper!
  3. Lightly grease ramekins.
  4. In a large pot of salted water, boil the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes and drain.
  5. In a large pot, melt the butter and milk and slowly add the cheese cubes. Stir until melted; keep warm.
  6. Stir in macaroni into the pot with the melted cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Press the mixture evenly around the baking dish.
  8. Top with additional shredded cheese on top.
  9. Unroll the dough and cut out circles for head and body
  10. Cut 8 long pieces for the legs, you can twist the dough for extra flair.
  11. Be mindful of overlapping too many layers of dough in the center as they won’t cook through. In order to get the round shape use macaroni and cheese balls to shape the body and head dough.
  12. Bake uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the dough is a golden brown.
  13. Use allspice balls or olives for the eyes

Hydrangea // Bear Grass // Carnations

1 square 2 squareHydrangea // Bear Grass // Carnations

pop!BLOOMS

  • Hydrangea
  • Roses
  • Carnations
  • Bear Grass

This is another bright and beautiful pop! by YAZ arrangement from The Murphathon Charity event at the Merceredes Club. This centerpiece was housed in a glass cylinder wrapped in a tropical leaf and featured two types of Hydrangea, pink Roses, carnations and bear grass. This was one of my personal favorites from the evening.

Stay tuned for the final arrangement created for The Murphathon.

xo

Yaz

#murphysdontquit
#murphathon