Twist old treats into new holiday fun – Olive penguins with Santa hats
Now I’ve done the cheeseball igloo thing before.
But seeing Smockity Frocks update the little penguins with Christmas hats makes me want to try my hand at it again. They’re somehow even cuter all dressed up. I can picture the igloo with garland or a string of decorative lights. Maybe some rice krispy reindeer for dessert?
Stuffed Baguette – Mmm, cheesy goodness
Here’s another one of those fun, delicious things I made, that I don’t really have a recipe for.
If you want a recipe, check out Baking Obsession for a really cool looking stuffed baguette and a full recipe so you can mimic it exactly.
See? Awesome. And delicious, I’m sure.
I had every intention of getting a cool looking picture of mine, too, but uh, as you can see, half the platter was gone before I could even snap a picture. Yum.
My filling had the same basic idea as Baking Obsession’s and plenty of others, I’m sure: Cream cheese with olives and peppers with some spices to make it delicious. In my case, I used a jar of roasted red peppers and artichokes, I believe, and pulled the green olives from a jar I already had in the fridge. I don’t even remember adding any spices because it tasted good as is, so why tweak it?
And to get it from this:
I used an extra long sundae spoon so the middle got completely filled, working from both ends of the baguette until it was stuffed. If you have the time to wait and aren’t anxious to eat the whole thing immediately, refrigerate it before slicing so it’s more firm instead of sloppy.
No matter how you do it or what you end up adding to your filling, it definitely looks cool and is worth the extra bit of time to make it. Who can resist a nice baguette with a cheesy spread?
How to freeze olives – Yes, you can!
I didn’t think you could freeze olives. Ew, wouldn’t they come out dehydrated, limp, spongy, or some other form of grossness?
Looking around the internet, I found recounts of exactly that. They’re too water-based, and therefore, when thawed and reheated, all the water in them that previously froze, would come oozing out, leaving them quite disgusting.
That’s also the same thing that makes them so awesome for freezing.
So how do you do it?
Cover them in water! Yep, put them in a muffin tin or small bowl or ice cube trays even – whatever portion size you want for later. I like the muffin tin because it was easy to gauge 1/2 cup portions and between two tins, I could freeze a bunch at once. Then, cover them in a shallow layer of water.
Once frozen, you can pop out your little olive ice cakes and toss them into a Ziploc plastic bag. Later, when you’re making tostadas or Mexican casserole or just feel like snacking, pull out a cup, toss it in a bowl, and microwave until just thawed. Don’t overdo it…some ice crystals are fine and will pop apart easily.
Or if you’re a little more patient, you can run the block under water, but still put a bowl under because the ice doesn’t take long to melt and olives will crumble out everywhere.
When I first bought the 3 pound can of lives, I agreed to only use them in baked dishes where any funky texture wouldn’t be noticed anyway, but even my mom was fine eating them after they’d been previously frozen, straight out of the bowl. Success!
And yes, that’s a lot of freakin’ olives. And yes, I had to slice them all because they came whole. At least they were already pitted! Well worth the few bucks to have a freezer stocked with olives for months for any ol’ random dish I wanted.