Gourmet Gift Baskets for Your College Student

gourmet gift baskets

Millions of college students are returning to campus this fall, ready to face a year of new challenges, new friends, and new experiences. Whether your student is staying local in Saint Louis or Valley Park or headed off to a school miles away, they need to know that you support them at this exciting time. We know that the sure way to pleasing a college student is providing food – and we have gourmet gift baskets for every type of college kid. As the semester begins, send a hug from home – with a delicious gift from Walter Knoll Florist.

gourmet gift baskets

If your student has always loved cookies or brownies straight from the oven, this gift may cure a bit of homesickness. All-natural, free of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, preservatives and artificial colors, these individually wrapped brownies are guaranteed to be fresh upon arrival. What a perfect way for your college student to relax with all their new friends in the dorm.

Perhaps your student is a bit more health conscious, and as such, would prefer this extravagant basket of fruit. Ideal for snacking on during a late night study session, or to grab while running out the door to class. Fruit baskets are classic because they deliver portable natural energy whenever it is needed.

gourmet gift baskets

Then again, your student may still be a big kid who craves junk food when writing a term paper. Browse our website for baskets of chips, cookies, and candy that will ensure their position as the most popular student in the dorm. And don’t forget, no matter which type of food they would prefer, we are happy to work with you to create a custom basket perfect for them. Don’t forget to add a low maintenance succulent plant for their dorm room, or a sweet plush toy to remind them every day of your love. gourmet gift baskets

They may be headed off to college, but they are still your baby. Let them know that you are thinking of them every day, with a gourmet gift from Walter Knoll Florist.

Country Bob’s Skirt Steak Salad

You like fahita meat?  I LOVE fahita meat – crazy for that chewy texture!  My local grocery had some for a change last weekend so I decided to give the Country Bob’s sauce a try out in a steak salad.  Not bad, actually quite good.  Looks good, doesn’t it?  So very pretty in my giant vintage McCoy pottery bowl!

Skirt Steak Salad

Skirt Steak Salad

First thing to do is get some salad dressing made – here’s what I used

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tbl red wine vinegar

2 tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)

1 clove of garlic, minced (of course I used my home grown!)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbl Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce ( I used “spicy” – I like it hot, more about that later in this post)

Wisk all the above ingredients together – and refrigerate until ready to use.

Now to fix up the meat:

Rub a teaspoon of salad dressing onto each side of your skirt steak (1-1/2 lbs) and liberally pepper it, let it sit at room temperature while your coals heat up.

Once those coals are hot, grab your man and give him the tongs and tell him to git to it! (Those are my poblano and habanero peppers growing over on the right)

My Q-King

My Q-King

The skirt steak won’t take long (my Q-King added a couple cube steaks when I wasn’t looking) 4 or 5 minutes on each side – put it on when the coals are really hot, get a nice sear and color to the meat.  Then let the meat rest for about 15 minutes under a foil tent.  While the meat is resting you can make a salad – use crispy lettuces, arugula, whatever veggies you like in a salad. I cut a pear up into mine as well as tossed on some feta cheese (I would have used blue cheese if it was on hand though).  Cut the skirt steak against the grain into bite sized pieces and add to the salad – finally toss with the dressing.  This amount of dressing and meat was a good amount for a large head of romaine and 1-1/2 lb skirt steak – serves 3 or 4.

Now about that hot stuff. You know I grew some peppers this year, and even though it is October 8 today, I am still picking peppers!  I have been grinding them in my handy dandy little Cuisinart mini processor and freezing the peppers in plastic bags – I make a narrow log that I can easily break when it is frozen – I just snap some off for my chili or soup or enchiladas or whatever – tastes great, still as hot as ever and tastes fresh picked!  Wear gloves though when you are messing with those little orange habaneros – I lost a couple layers of skin on part of my left hand last time I did some grinding!

Freezing Ground Peppers

Freezing Ground Peppers

Casserole of Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Harvest

Harvest

If, like me, you have an abundance of Poblano peppers right now, this is a great way to use them up!

Small Poblanos

Small Poblanos

Large Poblano

Large Poblano

We love this recipe around my house. My peppers are small – only 3 inches long – so instead of 4 large poblanos I’ll be using 8 or 10 of my small ones – enough to fill my largest casserole dish.

Some good gravy here!

Some good gravy here!

And in case you are not familiar with poblano chiles, they are not spicy – if you have an aversion to hot stuff, just leave out the jalapeno! I also decided to add some filling into boneless, skinless chicken thighs – good stuff! Made for some great gravy!

Just need to remove the crowns of seeds

Just need to remove the crowns of seeds

Stuffed Poblanos Casserole
The cornmeal takes on the texture of tamale during baking.
Serves 6

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes (in puree if you can find it!)
1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat), minced
2 small onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves (2 whole, 1 minced)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 bunch chopped cilantro (divided into ½ bunches)
1+ cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional – I HATE CUMIN & LEFT THIS OUT)
1 handful frozen corn kernels
4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise (stems left intact), ribs/seeds removed

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a 9-by-13 pan with cooking spray. In a blender, combine tomatoes in puree, jalapeno, half the onions, ½ bunch cilantro and 2 whole garlic cloves; puree. Season with salt. Pour sauce into prepared dish and set aside.

Gravy Beginnings

Gravy Beginnings

After blending

After blending

In a medium bowl, combine beans, cornmeal, ½ bunch cilantro, ½ cup cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic, optional cumin (yuck), corn kernels, and 3/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper.

Enough for 8 thighs and 8 poblano halves

Enough for 8 thighs and 8 poblano halves

Dividing evenly, stuff poblano halves with bean mixture; place on top of sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle poblanos with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil (don’t let the foil rest on the cheese or it will stick to it).

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Bake until poblanos are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes.

Serve with rice and plainly dressed fresh salad.

Garnish is Mexican Oregano blossoms from my garden

Garnish is Mexican Oregano blossoms from my garden

Ever heard of Hatch Peppers? My friend Nancy in Tempe brought me a few bags of frozen roasted Hatch Farm peppers – that’s how I came to love Poblanos and had to try my hand at growing them this year.


Stuffed Poblanos

I’M BAAAACK! With a recipe you’ll love!

Crispy Deviled Eggs Salad

This is a variation on a recipe from NPR’s Splendid Table newsletter. Fresh young herbs and fresh arugula from my garden made a wonderful deviled egg. I had never fried a deviled egg before, but I sure will again! The eggs could be stuffed a day ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to saute them.

Fresh young arugula (from my arugula patch --  it needed thinning!)

Eggs:

8 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled

1 tsps Dijon mustard

2 tsps finely minced chives

2 tsps finely minced arugula

2 tsps finely minced roasted red peppers

2 tsps finely minced capers

2 to 3 tbls milk

2-1/2 tsps mayonnaise

1-1/2 tsps caper brine

Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

2 to 3 tbls olive oil

A delicious deviled egg without the frying!

Dressing for Salad:

The leftover egg stuffing

3 tbl olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2-1/2 tbls milk

2-1/2 tsps white wine vinegar

Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

3 to 4 cups of your favorite spring salad mix, the one with arugula in it was very good.

Don't they look fun to make?  They are!

1. Cut the hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a medium bowl. Reserve the whites.

2. Add the mustard, chives, arugula, capers, roasted peppers, milk, mayonnaise, and carper brine to the yolks. With a fork, crush everything together into a thick paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Pack the mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites, so the filling is even with the surface of the egg, not mounded. You will have leftover stuffing (this becomes the salad dressing).

4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Gently place the eggs in the pan, stuffed side down. Cook until the eggs are browned and crisped, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper as they cook.

5. As the eggs saute, combine in a large bowl the leftover egg stuffing with all the dressing ingredients. Add the salad greens to the bowl, and toss. Heap them on a serving platter.

6. Gently lift the eggs from the pan, turn them filling side up, set them on the greens, and serve.

Totally great without the salad!

These were delicious deviled eggs before they were cooked, and fried without making them into a salad.

Here is a photo of Erin’s finished version of fried deviled egg salad – you can visit her blog for fun reading and more recipes at www.betterwearahelmet.blogspot.com

Erin's Salad!