Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The "Smiling" Hug (huge) Pot

You may may be wondering what this crazy woman is up to...a  Hug pot?...yet alone, a smiling one?...
(this is a reflection of the corner of the white rimmed stove top...so cool!)well, actually, this is my wonderful turkey leftover resource, a hug pot of turkey broth which I made after Thanksgiving, as a thrifty, and frugal person that I am, living the good life, on the beach, in S.Florida

I could not bare the thought of throwing good leftovers out, when there are so many people in the world, even in this country who go hungry, and not enough food to eat. We have so many things to be thanking God for our everyday life's blessing, and Thanksgiving is the one most important day of them all!

I commented on Chef Dennis at More than a Mount Full post late last night about his amazing, and beautiful Thanksgiving feast, and also his gorgeous Turkey Pot Pie. Left a comment with a "typo" error which I do so often because I type too fast, and have this crazy "gift for gab"...just saying what comes to my mind, and like magic, it's all there in typewritten words, not looking back for goofy and weird mistakes, sometimes!

Just to prove to you, here's the copy and past comment posted to Dennis, but immediately I posted another one correcting it. You have to have enough sense of humor sometimes to laugh at your own self...well, in that case, no wonder I have such happy days, and not be in a "funk". When you learn to laugh at your own self, and not be so self-absorbed, I find that the world looks to me like a happier one, and people will tend to get closer to you, and understand you better. (I've been trying to explain that to my children.)

In the midst of my Smiling Hug Pot, I've decided to post my sweet friend Kavita's rules for the tagging, along with the wonderful bloggers she tagged, including me. I am so honored, once more, or should I say twice more, the first time was from my awesome same name foodie "buddy" Lizzy. As you might as well know, I am Lizzie too, only with a different spelling, which I told Lizzy, from... That Skinny Chick can Bake....you can call me Lizzie, every one else calls me that...close family, friends, and mostly my 4 precious grandchildren...to them, I am NONNA LIZZIE...sounds real nice! 
  
   Here are my sweet friend's Kavita's from... 
  Kavita's Kitchen  questions
1. What is your take on organic food , is it a big deal for you ?  
It certainly is a big deal for me. I feel more assured that it is left natural, without pesticides, that would certainly kill the bugs that attack to fruit or vegetables, but would also harm, and kill humans after a period of time. To me, any homegrown, or private farm grown fruit and vegetables are considered organic. It's so much healthier for you.  
2. Do you time your breakfast,lunch & dinner or eat when you are hungry ? 
 For breakfast, it's mostly oatmeal, and before lunch, some healthy fruit or plain yogurt w/granola, and throughout the day just small portions of healthy things, like fresh fruit, or a smoothie. and for dinner, a balanced meal. I'm not really hungry during the day, and don't nibble on junk food!
 3. What inspired you to write a food blog ? 
It's mostly, not what, but who?...the "what factor" was, that I was no longer working due to my health issues, which is under control, and had time to spare, and the main factor was that my daughter inspired me, to just post about my daily routine, and foods that I prepare. By that time, May, of this year, she already had a food blog, and encouraged me to do a blog too. I wasn't totally sold on it, I was more interested in sharing my "thrift finds"...glad that I added more foods, thanks to joining Foodbuzz!    
 4. You try a new recipe and it does not turn out good,what will you do ?      
Usually, in cooking, I don't follow the recipes, I just need to know the basic ingredients, and I always change it around to my way, adding different ingredients. Just need the idea! As for baking, it has to be more precise...the only recipes that do not turn out are yeast dough breads, or rolls, (which most of the time, I blame it on the yeast, that it wasn't fresh)...LOL..just a big "copout"...in that case, it gets thrown out! 
5. Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it ?
The 1st. one is yeast, because I would much rather prefer fresh yeast from a bakery...don't care too much for the powdered yeast. 2nd. is sugar, but I just try to cut down on it, and not avoid it. 3rd. would have to be adding too much butter, to a recipe...in most cases, it would be in desserts, or cakes. As far as food recipes are concerned, there really is not a thing I would avoid, accept in baking.      
 6. Name three things you have to use in most recipes ?  
 Again...I will refer to baking recipes, which would be 1. sugar, 2. butter, 3. eggs. Cannot bake without those three things. There really is no substitute for achieving a beautiful result without those three things.   
 7. How important is eating meals together as a family to you?     
As a kid, growing up, in Ohio, my dad worked two jobs, my mom was a seamstress... always busy sewing clothes for people in our own home, and she only had time to make 1 pot meals, or casseroles, and during the week every one ate at different times. The only day we ate together, was on Sunday. I did not want to carry on that same tradition, and it was very important to me, that with my children, we always have our meals together. This tradition has been carried on by my children and to my little grandchildren.  
 8. You do not like a particular dish at your favorite restaurant,what will you do ?  
 Somehow, that has not occurred in a favorite restaurant, but it occurred in a restaurant, where I haven't eaten before. Just tried to make the best of it, and not go back again...that's all!    
 Thank you Kavita, I will be posting my 8 questions to 8 bloggers, on my next post. Also I have 2 more Lovely Blog Awards to pay forward, and another one from Wendy, at
 Weekend Gourmet which is the Stylish Blog Award to pay forward, which is slightly different.  I already contacted a few people to let them know about awarding them, and will follow through in the next few days.    


Blogger Elisabeth said...
Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving story and showing off your feast. Everything looks so inviting, and beautiful. So funny about the crostata story...LOL I made a hug pot of turkey broth with my leftover carcass, that I strained and froze in plastic containers. I love your turkey pot pie, will work nice for chicken as well. This is the perfect recipe that I'm looking for, and the crust is Superb!
November 30, 2010 1:27 AM

Monday, November 29, 2010

Herb Biscuits, and a Giveaway Winner!

These herb biscuits were actually made yesterday morning, for Cookbook Sunday, which I did not post, since my mentor Brenda, from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen is vacationing, and celebrating her birthday, in
Las Vegas.
Brenda  is having the time of her life, in Las Vegas, and keeping us posted with such beautiful and envious photos of the places she visited, and having a glorious time.
But in the meantime, her 8 days are almost over, and she will be back continuing her drool worth cooking, and baking....moving on!


WE HAVE A WINNER for the GIVEAWAY!!!

Congratulations, Carolyn.. from. All Day I Dream About Food.  has such a beautiful light, and balanced food blog, with yummy main dishes, like this recent Lemon Tarragon Chicken  Soup and the unforgettable
Pumpkin Bourbon Cheese Cake with a Spiced Pecan Crust.
You gotta check it out, and browse through all her other delicious recipes.

Carolyn is a gracious and lovely lady, who always visits so many blogs, and leaves such upbeat, and kind comments, you can't help but notice. This is what friendship, and support is all about...and not just...me, me, and only me, and myself. I cannot tell you how it irritates me, when you have a friend request on Foodbuzz, and they answer you back, with "don't forget to visit, and follow my blog, etc. etc., or with a "you're welcome"...and nothing else, or better yet: :DITTO...well, ditto to you too, but I don't want to say it, just keep thinking, Ughhh!...OK. that's enough of that, now I sound like an old Yenta!

You are the winner of the Giveaway cookbook. I left you a comment on your blog, and also where to contact me, so I can mail the book out to you, by tomorrow. I know you will love this book or the person you will be giving it to, as a gift.

Thanks to all of you for participating...and thank you, Carolyn, enjoy the book!

I also would like to let all my friends know that I will be giving away more books, since I have such easy access to them at such a ridiculous small price, no more than $3.00 tops, for a book that is worth at least $30.00, and in new condition. Apparently in this area, either people are just buying them and recycling them, or getting them as gifts and not liking them. At any rate we're the winners for being able to acquire such great books.

Again, I bought this book at yet, another thrift store, that is a huge warehouse, and one entire large section, is loaded with all kinds of books, including great cookbooks. I have a photo of this fabulous book section in my previous post about a month or two ago.

This place is called  World Thrift, and here, you can find everything to your heart's desire. Prices are a little higher than Goodwill, but you have a lot more choices. Books range between $.95 to $3.95 for a recently published book....no kidding. Dressed to Grill, is a hard back cover book, with spiral notebook look, inside. It is inspired for single ladies wanting to please their guy. No photos, just cute drawings, and cute, and silly names for recipes.
For instance, this herb biscuits is called: Hey, I bake biscuits, too! This is a 2002 edition, retails, at $16.95, I paid $.95...now how can you not want to buy a great book for 95 cents?

Recipe, for Herb Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 Tbsp. ice cold unsalted butter cut into
small pieces
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk, or plain
yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Scatter the butter over the top. With a pastry cutter, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the pieces are no larger than peas. Add the herbs and buttermilk or yogurt, stirring just to blend. (Handle the dough as little as possible to keep the biscuits, tender and light.)

Turn the dough out unto a lightly floured work surface, then, with your fingertips, (I used a rolling pin) press, or roll into a circle about 1/2 in. thick. Cut 3 inch rounds, (I used 2 /12in.) with a biscuit cutter, or the rim of a glass.
Reshape any remaining dough and cut more biscuits. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. (If making ahead, cover, and refrigerate until ready to pop in the oven.)

Brush the biscuits with olive oil. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
Makes 10 to 12 biscuits. (Incidentally, mine turned out super golden, and flaky.)


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey, and other Goodies

Hi friends... Thanksgiving is over, but the show is not, or should I call it "show and tell?" Anyway, here's the scoop. My son-in-law, the executive chef, and his best friend/neighbor/Vet had this brilliant idea to have 4 families, and 2 sets of grandparents come together, and everyone making something. This was the first Thanksgiving to have all these families, and children eat together under one roof. It was quite an adventure, but lots of great food, and desserts, and lots of fun. (Glad I wasn't hosting it)...anyway, we had two, 20lb. turkeys, this was mine that I made to bring along, with all the trimmings. For that matter, getting up at 6 AM and have the turkey in the oven by 7...luckily all the other thing were done the day before. For that matter, I could've had it in my little condo, but how do I fit 20 adults, and 10 children in? I surely would have the "condo commandos" on patrol and be not only reported, but be "blacklisted"
So, bare with me, while I show off my "dressed bird" at both angles. Got this yummy tender Butterball turkey at Costco a couple days before, and all the other good stuff, including a huge bag of fresh cranberries. Can't beat Costco, that's for sure!

Here's the backside of my beautiful "broad breasted" turkey. It was so tender, melt in your mouth white meat, that my electric knife just would not work slicing it, because it was so moist, and tender, any knife for that matter worked. The stuffing was made from Pepperidge Farm Herb seasoned, from 3, 16ozs. bags...(4 in a huge box) plus half of a huge bag of Nonni's brand of foccacia parmesan croutons. Just simple sauteed mushroom, onions, and celery, and about 1/4 cup of my pecan pesto mixed in their for more flavor. Stuffed the bird, and made a casserole of it on the side. Yumm!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sun dried Tomatoes in Herbed Olive Oil-and a Giveaway!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, all I have to offer at this last couple days, is my sun dried tomatoes, and herbs with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh basil leaves and a teaspoon of my own mixed dry herbs for flavor, packed into a 16 oz. sterilized mason jar, and  refrigerated. Will keep fresh for up to one month, if it's going to last you that long. I always have a case of mason jars, 8 or 16 ozs. on hand, knowing that I will use them for something ie. pesto, herbed olives, jam, or even leftover soup, or sauces.

Sun dried Tomatoes in Herbed Olive Oil


1/2 lb. sun dried tomatoes, just plain-not in olive oil
(can be purchased in your supermarket, or specialty market)
3 cloves garlic cut in half
extra virgin olive oil to fill the jar
1 teaspoon of mixed dry herbs
(I mixed dry pepper flakes, dried oregano, and parsley, along with black pepper,
 and a dash of garlic powder, to make a batch, or use your favorite mix herbs.)
3 large basil leaves torn in half

In a medium saucepan, place the sun dried tomatoes, and the garlic halves, fill with water, just enough to cover the tomatoes, bring to a boil, and turn it off immediately. Let it sit for about 10 minutes off heat, strain all the water, pack the jar with all the listed ingredients, fill to the top with extra virgin olive oil, and refrigerate when it cools completely. You can use it for many uses, as in pasta, pizza topping, or for any recipe that calls for sun dried tomatoes in oil. It's a lot less expensive to make your own, and will taste so exquisite. It also makes a special gourmet gift for someone for the holidays. Just cut a scrap of a holiday paper, or cloth, wrap a pretty bow or holiday string around it, and make someone "happy"...smiles guaranteed!


As I mentioned previously, I found this wonderful coffee cake book at Goodwill last week,and could not imagine anyone dropping this great book off, when it looked brand new, and such good recipes of coffee cakes with beuatiful photos of it inside. Also savory cakes as well. The paperback books at my local Goodwill store cost $.79 cents, sometimes more, as much as $2.49, regarding the type and size of a book.
This book retails at $18.95, and it's a 2006 edition.

99% of the time the books that are donated there are in "mint", new condition. Such bargains are so amazing to find. I am going to start more giveaways, because all I've been doing with some of these books by re-donating it back or forcing my daughter to take them, when she herself has so many books. As I googled about the author of this book, and found another really good recipe from one year ago....@happygomarni.com.
 http://www.happygomarni.com/2009/11/milk-chocolate-walnut-coffee-cake.html




To enter the giveaway:

1) Please follow foodandthrift on Twitter...sorry, I don't have an account on Facebook. If you already do so,  please see number 3. If you are doing so for the first time, please let me know that you are now following me on Twitter, so I could add you to the giveaway.

2) Leave a comment on this post! You are encouraged to share a comment about coffee cakes, other books or any other thoughts.

3). If you RT or post on your Twitter page this giveaway post link, you get an additional entry. Please drop me an additional comment on this post saying that you did so.

4) To get an additional chance in the giveaway, become a "follower" of  food and thrift find's  blog.

5) Drawing will be done randomly from all comments recorded by Sunday, Nov. 28, at 11 PM (EST) and one lucky winner will announced.

6) Please note: Shipping only in the US. I apologize to my International friends.

Happy Thanksgiving picture

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cookbook Sundays-Cranberry Oatmeal Walnut Cake


There's been so much going on getting ready for Thanksgiving, and this year it's going to be with two other families and their children. Glad it won't take place in my "shoe box" size beach condo. I actually did get a head start on Cookbook Sundays, thanks to my friend Brenda, from
 Brenda's Canadian Kitchen...who started it. I will link this back to her blog.

This cake is so perfect for Thanksgiving morning with coffee or tea, and it really is from a coffee cookbook, called Coffee Cakes, by Lou Seibert Pappas. it's a 2006 edition, and it's a fairly new book for me that I found about a month ago, at Goodwill for $.79. Originally listed for $18.95. Now, that's what I call a bargain. I may want to start a "giveaway"...because, really, I'm starting to feel guilty for getting all these nice books for "peanuts"...and the rule is at Goodwill, any paper back regardless of the size, is 79 cents, so therefore, I have quite a lot collected, and I've been donating them back, along with a lot of my own that I don't need. I think it would be nice to pass them along to other bloggers that can use them. I will mention about this soon.


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Cranberry Oatmeal Walnut Cake
adapted from Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas

1 1/2 cup quick cooking or old fashioned
rolled oats
2 large eggs
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, or low-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole -wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup (2 ounces chopped walnuts
pecans, or toasted and skinned hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan
(I used a bundt pan)
Spread the oats in a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until
lightly toasted. Let cool.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar, and oil together until blended and
stir in the buttermilk or yogurt, molasses, and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine flours, toasted oats, baking soda, baking powder,
salt, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Stir to blend. Add the dry ingredients to
the buttermilk mixture and beat for about 1 minute, or until smooth. Stir in the
cranberries. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Toss the nuts, and remaining 1
teaspoon cinnamon together, and sprinkle evenly on the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester
inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Cut into squares, or strips.
Serves 12.
Note: I used a bundt pan, and used the 2 teaspoon cinnamon, along with the chopped
walnuts in the batter. Also I used 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour. (did not have
whole-wheat flour on hand. Also, I used a simple sugar glaze, mad with one cup of powdered sugar, and about 1 teaspoon water, mixed to a medium thick glaze, and drizzled the cooled cake with a large spoon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baked Mahi-Mahi with Artichokes, and Capers

Yesterday was an extremely productive day, all around. I will take your on a little water ski fishing journey. What you see here is another dish that I created with Mahi-Mahi, freshly caught by a family friend surfer, who now owns a jet ski, mainly, just to use it for fishing in the ocean, having fun, catching the best, do I need to emphasize...the freshest fish, and he is so gracious to share some with us. I have never heard of jet ski fishing...although there are plenty of jet skiers, in the ocean, here in Palm Beach. I will post this recipe that I once again...seriously, just put together with whatever came into my head, and according to the ingredients and fresh herbs my daughter had at her house.

Baked Mahi-Mahi with Artichokes, and Capers

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Mahi-Mahi
1 6 oz. jar marinated artichokes
1/2 cup capers (minus 1 teaspoon)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1/2 Aranja brand or any other sour orange
marinade
1 lime cut in half-use juice of half, slice the
other half in thin slices
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
salt and pepper to taste

First line a baking or broiling pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides, like in the photo...this way, the juice will not overflow. Place the fish on the foil, pour the sour orange marinade on top of the fish, the olive oil, salt, pepper and the paprika on top of the fish. Empty the small jar of the artichokes, and pour around the fish (not on top) ...Also use the liquid from the marinade. Add the sliced garlic, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of capers around it. Bake at 375 preheated oven for about 12 minutes...any longer will turn fish dry. Check for doneness, if needed to cook longer, maybe another 3-5 minutes. It should be nice, and flaky. Top with fresh herb sauce. It's "out of this world" tasty, and unique!

Fresh Herb Sauce

A good handful of mixed fresh herbs chopped
(I used what we had available.)
fresh dill
fresh oregano
fresh basil 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup capers, drained from liquid
(minus 1 teaspoon, which was used for the fish)
salt and pepper to taste
juice of the half lime

Mix all ingredients together, set aside until fish is done, and liberally spoon on top of the fish, as shown in photo. When ready to serve, place fish portion on a large plate, and spoon the artichoke and the sauce it was baked in (topping is already on)...Ready to serve. Serves 2-4, depending on portion size. Delish!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Butternut Squash, with Organic Rainbow Chard

Today, was one of those days when I decided to make something with ingredients I already had in my frig, but instead, I ended up using ingredients that my daughter had in her frig when I went to her house. She did the same thing, but for using stuff to make her cake. We both scoured through and found the perfect things. She had roasted butternut squash the other day, and it was the perfect solution for me to create a nice dish. I certainly used my favorite Indian curry, and  favorite Hungarian paprika...a combination that is a "winner" 




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Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Beautiful Sunday, "Shout Outs" & Awards

The gorgeous blue color you're looking at, is not a screen background, but the blue sky today, here in Palm Beach...and NO, it's not a "prop" set up...you are actually seeing the Goodyear Blimp. We were sitting on the beach, which by the way, was so rough and wavy, you could not even walk along the sand because the waves were like ten feet high, hitting the beach and knocking little people down i.e. my little 4 year old grandson. More photos, later.
I have a couple of "shout outs", and 15 awards to give out!
My friend Brenda, from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen has a real fun club...of course it's associated with foods, and yummy desserts. It's called Cookbook Sundays. Last Sunday, I linked to it and picked up the widget, and I really wanted to post a nice cake very befitting for the holidays from a nice dessert book of mine. I'm a little embarrassed for not keeping my promise to do this. I joined her club...not sure if it's "exclusively" hers, or somebody else started it, still trying to straighten this out, including my widget which is still "looming" on the bottom of my page, but I did set it up. Just check out her blog, and see the beautiful Rum Cake she has on for this Sunday.
Next-my new friend Kavita, from Kavita's Kitchen awarded me with another award...which I'm overwhelmed with, and I still have 30 bloggers to post, and announce from last time...but I will start with 15, from Kavita's award to pay forward. (By the way, why do we say "pay forward"?...it doesn't sound right in my dictionary, or I may be old fashioned, but I would say "passing it on"...at any rate, please visit Kavita's blog if you want to try out some beautiful traditional Indian cuisine, and yummy desserts. You will surely be glad you did!
Thank you Brenda, for not reminding me what I started out to do, and Thank you Kavita (her name means Poem)...what a lovely name for a lovely lady!




1. Kavita's Kitchen  Kavita is a recent new friend. She is on a Hershey's "baking roll" these days, and who can blame her-check out her latest. Chocolate coconut balls. Yumm!...perfect for the holidays.

2. The Sweet Tooth Chronicles-Is another new recent friend, her blog full of beautiful desserts, and more desserts, that will amaze you. You'll probably ask yourself why you havent't found her blog yet...now you will, and I know you will want to browse through and keep coming back!

Greg's World On Plate-Greg is a professional chef by trade-another new friend. He has been blogging for a while now, but needs to get more exposure with his fabulous travels to sea, and his beautiful creative dishes. You must visit his blog, and leave some comments. Don't know where he's been hiding, but I'm glad I found him.

Bright Morning Stars Foodie-Mia is a caring and loving lady, when you first open her blog, it's like you've never seen anything like it. So unique...everything with hearts, pink and purple, even the fonts too...once you've settled int, she will tantalize you with her beautiful dishes, her desserts, and step-by-step amazing photos. Check out the latest cookies she made...to "die for"

What's Cookin Italian Style-Claudia has a blog that is loaded with family treasured recipes that she is sharing with us. So generous and kind, Check out the beautiful apple cake recipe and photo of the cake, and her beloved grandmother. Once you visit her blog...you're hooked!

Welcome to Kimba's Kitchen-Kimba is such a talented young woman, she not only is a fabulous cook, but baker, and her photography just "blows you away"...you're going to "drool" over her beautiful desserts, and dishes...I promise. She is so humble, kind, and gracious, and will comment back each time.

Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice-Reeni is a recent new friend...I'm sure no strangers to a lot of you out there. She has more followers than "stars in the skies" on a clear Florida night, which is so often here (once the hurricane season is over) She is a Foodbuzz contestant, and has completed challenge #7. (can't think of the initials of the contest at this moment...short memory) If you need any Thanksgiving side dish recipe ideas, she has them all, along with the beautiful photos. We wish you all the best in continuing on to the next challenge, Reeni!

My Kitchen in the Rockies-Kirsten is a fabulous cook and baker. She will share her creations of her German heritage beautiful dessert and dishes, along with the traditional familiar dishes that we all know. Her latest is a beautiul pear and almond muffins with fall spices. Yumm...and so pretty too!

The Church Cook-This is a lovely lady-a recent friend, we have a lot in common...she is a profesional caterer, turned church cook/caterer, devoting her precious time to the needs of the church in her community, and cooking up fabulous meals and organizing parties and events. I too have that same thing in common with her, but the only difference was, that I cooked every Weds. evininig suppers for 3yrs for our local church(which I was not a member of)...but it was very rewarding.

10 Jane Deere-Jennifer has a "green thumb" and a beautiful garden where she grows her own vegetables, and is resourceful with them. Do visit her blog, for great recipes, and photos, as well.

11 The Tiny Bento-A must visit blog, especially if you have little children it will amaze you all the wonderful ways to pack their lunch, and make it fun, and pretty too...not to mention appetizing! No kid will turn down their lunch packed into these cut little Bentos. I must recommend this to my daughter!

12 Good Food Week -Shari is a beuatiful young lady, from Australia, she is still new to her blog, I befriended her on Foodbuzz, where most of my friends are from. She made this "killer" curried egg salad sandwhich, which I love, since I love curry powder. No more plain egg salad for me. Do visit her blog, and say "hello"!

13 The Ardent Epicure-Alisha-Magic of Spice-She has the most amazing exotic blog, her latest with the most delicious and hearty mixed bean soup, with such aromatic spices...and don't forget to check out her decadent chocolate fudge cake, just previous to that. I promise you, your chocolate cravings will be cured!

14.Me My Food and I -Michael is a recent new friend, whom I hade the pleasure of befriending through being a guest post on Chef Dennis More than a Mountfull blog. He posted his latest pasta with pesto, potato, and green beans, from "Nigella"...I am not only a potato lover, but also pasta, maybe even more!

15.Mistress-of-Spices-If you want to take a nice tour around the world...let Mistress of Spices be your guide...her latest at this chic Japanese Bistro, in Paris...oh, ...and sigh...if only I could fly there...well, maybe in my "dreams" for now!
 Please do visit her blog, and all the above wonderful friends' blogs, as well!
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The white foam you see is a dangerous unpredictable body of water that came rushing out to the shore that it literally knocked you down. The temperature was so perfect at 75 degrees, and the sky a crisp bluest blue. This is your typical South Florida sunshiny day...I guess that's why they call it the "Sunshine State."
There's nothing like a grandfather's hug to his (and my) only grandson...parents in the background.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Baked Eggplant with Roasted Potatoes #3



Just when you thought I had enough potatoes...here comes more!...OK, enough of the potato "show"...or not! This dish is so classic, so easy, and the potatoes have of course, my Indian inspired spices, along with my Hungarian paprika. Simple spicy Italian dressing, right from the bottle is what I used for marinating the eggplant slices for about an hour, and just patting a thick layer of Panko crumbs on it, and bake it very nicely along with the vegetables for almost an hour, until it gets nicely brown and crispy...oh my, what a treat...tastes so rich, it's so yummy, and satisfying, if you have any leftover, the next day you can just make a sandwich with the eggplant, and eat it cold. It's that good!

Baked Eggplant with Roasted Potatoes

1 large eggplant
2-4 large baking potatoes
2 whole garlic
1 onion
1/2 cup spicy Italian dressing
or (oil, and vinegar+spices)
3Tbsp vegetable oil
cooking spray
1/2 cup plain water
a mixture of Indian inspired spices+
Hungarian hot, or sweet Paprika


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch slices.( you need it a little thick, so it can have a good bite and flavor to it.). Soak the eggplant slices in salty water for about 20 minutes. Cut potatoes into quarter wedges, and set aside in a bowl of water. Cut the onion into quarters, cut the tops of the garlic off.
In order to get the spices coating the potatoes, just put the potatoes in a large Ziploc baggie, and put the spices directly in there, give it a good shake, and it's done. Do the same thing with the eggplant and the dressing.

 Put the eggplant with the dressing in a large Ziploc baggie, let it marinade for at least 30 minutes than just dip them in Panko, or course breadcrumbs on a platter, adding more marinade as needed, because, you have to pat them on with your hands, to make sure it's adhered. Layer everything, in a single layer on an aluminum lined large baking pan, pour the oil right under the vegetables, along, with starting out with 1/4 cup of water, adding the rest after about 30 minutes. (For the garlic, drizzle extra right on top)
Spray all the veggies, and eggplant with Pam, or other cooking spray, to prevent dryness, and to assure nice even baking. Bake for about 45 minutes, adding the 1/4 cup of the reserved water, to assure even baking.
That's really how you make crispy oven baked vegetables, especially eggplant. Serves 4.

note: Hungarian Paprika source-BENDE

Truly, the best imported Hungarian Paprika, you can find. I have ordered from them for the last 10 years, they ship promptly, and surprisingly the shipping charge is very minimal. Always satisfied, with the best products, and beautifully packaged, and generous amount for a very fair price...can't get these products in a store, elsewhere, because everything is either made on their premises, or imported.
Just when you thought I had enough potatoes...here comes more! This one is Italian spices inspired. Same roasting method! OK...so maybe I'm Irish, and don't even know it. Actually, not!
Just a blend of "Heinz 57, as they say"...a nice mixture of Mediterranean, and Eastern European!...yes, that's my heritage,my dear friends.
 
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roasted Potatoes with POM

I mentioned how I love potatoes...well "lo and behold"...my sweet daughter-in-law created this beautiful combination of potatoes, which I love so much, and splashed it with POM juice. It was absolutely incredible. I myself, do not have the recipe, but all I can tell you that it had at least 1 cup of POM juice splashed on it...baked at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. There really wasn't any magic to it, but it tasted absolutely, MAGICAL!


A POM givaway from my foodie friend, Wendy, @weekend gourmet
Before I even knew that she had this givaway, I already had this photo of the POM juice to come up with an authentic recipe. 
Thank you Wendy, and thank you POM!
...and thanks to my lovely daughter-in-law Cara, who created this recipe. As I mentioned in my previous post that we love potatoes, and I really love potatoes. There are so many ways of preparing them as a main meal, vegetarian style, or a side dish that would go with any meats. Cara and my son have been vegetarian on-and-off for a few years, but they are on again. She and I prepare a lot of delicious vegetarian dishes together, at least once or twice a week. I love POM juice too, but have not cooked with it yet, although I think it would make an excellent cocktail with vodka too, or make a nice sorbet, with the juice, and the fruit.
These are just a couple ideas...the recipe, as follows, according to the way Cara prepared it. I just adjusted the seasoning, and watched it baking to a glorious crisp and yummy finish.
Roasted Potatoes with POM
purple potatoes (about 6 small)
Yukon gold potatoes (about 4)
red skinned potatoes (about 6 small)
seasoned salt (she used sea salt mixed with pepper)
a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary peeled
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup POM juice
Cut potatoes, and quarter them, put them into a large plastic sealable baggie...pour over 1/2 cup of the POM juice, the olive oil, add the seasoning, add the peel of one rosemary sprig. Shake the bag real well and place in the refrigerator, for up to an hour to overnight if you wish.
When you are ready to bake it, line a large flat baking pan with aluminum foil, and empty the potatoes from the bag, spread out evenly, and bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, adding the other 1/2 cup of POM, and the second rosemary sprig, sprinkling it over the potatoes. Adjust seasoning, and let it bake to a beautiful crispy finish. Serves 6.

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A Lovely Blog Award x 2...again!
I feel so honored again, for getting this special award, from two very special foodie friends. I would never have been able to be so fortunate to meet so many wonderful and talented people, had it not been  for joining Foodbuzz.
Livya, @EatGreek  has a very special and beautiful blog that I love so much, since I truly love Greek food, and prepare quite a few recipes. My son spent a summer in Greece while studying in Israel in his college years, in the mid nineties. He vowed, he would never leave the Greek Island. Now that I fixed my scanner, I do have some beautiful photos to post on my blog about Greece from my son.
If you like Greek food, and like to venture further than a Greek salad, or moussaka, please visit EatGreek  for some amazing trendy and delicious Greek food.
Jo @ Chic&Gorgeous is a lovely young lady, from Malaysia, with such amazing talents for baking the most beautiful cupcakes, which I could never do. She made these pretty pink dainty cupcakes last month, and I commented on it, immediately picking up on the October Breast Cancer Awareness month dedicating it to my younger sister. Jo brought such special joy, by agreeing for me to use it, since I did not have a plan. This went out to all the ladies that survived breast cancer, and to honor the ones that did not survive it.
Jo has a heart of gold, and is sweet and kind, Please visit her blog, and meet her...also do comment!...Let's make more friends.
Thank you for the honor, and I will pass this on to 30 friends, once more! Please let me know if you would like to nominate a friend for the Lovely Blog Award...and why?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Curried Potatoes with Vegetables

I just want to tell you that we love potatoes...I love potatoes. It's one of my food passions. Doesn't matter what kind, what shape. I love them all. Roasted, boiled, mashed, baked, fried. Yukon gold, is one of my favorites, but Idaho, sweet potatoes, and lately fingerling, or purple.

Mixed with various vegetables, really, what can be better than potatoes smothered with onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, with a mixture of lovely Indian spices...
inspired by my friend Sabby at Food Fun Freak- check out her recipes of the wonderful different type of mouthwatering potatoes, and other delicious vegetables. I love curry, and this is a special red curry powder blended with ginger, cumin, hot Hungarian paprika, cardamom, and a small amount of organic tomato sauce blended in. If you like spicy, and you like potatoes, this is the one you would fall in love with!
Not adapted from any recipe, it's just something I concocted, remembering the Indian spices that Sabby and my other foodies friends use in their inspired dishes.

Curried Potatoes with Vegetables

2 large potatoes
2 stalks carrots
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
2 medium zucchinis
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 bell pepper
1 teaspoon red curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cumin
dash of red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Peel and dice potatoes, (leaving them in a bowl of water, so they don't turn color)...peel, and slice carrots, diagonally, cut zucchinis and dice them, cut onion in half and chop, finely mince garlic, slice, and then dice peppers. In a large heavy skillet, (I used a large cast iron skillet)... first, start off by sauteing the onions for a few minutes in the olive oil, add minced garlic, the pepper flakes and saute until onion is clarified, and wilted.

Add the potatoes, (easier, if potatoes are pre-cooked halfway)...add the bell pepper, and zucchini, now add all the spices, including salt and pepper. Stir around real well until all the vegetables are combined...add the 1/2 cup of water, and cook for a few minutes on med. high temperature, add the tomato sauce, and cook until all the vegetables, are tender, about 30 minutes. The sauce should be nicely combined with the vegetables, not too liquidy, just about enough to coat the vegetables. You can adjust the seasoning, but it should be just the right spices...any hotter would be your choice. You can serve this just with a nice crusty bread, or even some pasta, which would be a full and hearty meal. Serves 4.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Braised Red Cabbage with Cider & Apples



I finally got around to making my foodie friend's recipe for this Braised Red Cabbage with Cider & Apples posted on her blog. She has the most amazing blog, called Angie's Recipes.Every kind of dish, weather it's comfort food, ethnic, or some fabulous dessert, you will want to stay, and explore the rest of her blog. Just when you thought you found the best recipe, there' a lot more to find....so be patient, because she has no less than about 65 comments, and more a day. But you know what?...she will respond back to you. She is totally laid back, and super nice.

Thank you Angie, like I mentioned, I even have the same lead crystal glass dish...unfortunately, I just didn't want to empty all those wonderful shells that I collected on the beach, here in Palm Beach, Florida. By the way, the glass dish was purchased at Goodwill last year, for $2.99, again, another great thrift find, and a wonderful recipe. If you want this recipe, you have to click over to Angie's blog!

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Green Market, in West Palm Beach

Have you ever seen skies so blue...not a cloud in sight, crisp, clean well manicured grass, the Intracoastal water so blue too. Well, this is the famous Flagler drive route that leads to downtown and the Saturday morning Green Market...so much fun!...Photo taken by me, from the car, (driver's side, of course.)
You can see we went to the best stands, First, the smoothie stand (daughter in the green sweater, and granddaughter all bundled up in a hoodie, at 65 degrees?)...so this is a cool temperature...later temperature went up into the 70's, about 74 degrees. Oh so perfect weather. Next stop at the Cuban stand...had to put my smoothie down to snap some photos quick! I had the yummy beef empenada on the right.
A Jerry Seinfeld new film casting, here in W.Palm Beach
...a couple sitting here, trying out for the casting.
A local entertainer singing "Simon & Garfunkel" songs. Notice something odd?... he's performing his songs under the Children's Activities stand?...What's with the little kid grabbing his pants?...huh, just noticed it. "weird"!



 OK, so much for "Show and Tell"...just another Saturday morning at the West Palm Beach Green Market, which is feautured every Saturday morning, all year long, except in extreme cold, or extrem hot weather (I think.)
Now, I'm dying to hear from bloggers, about the 2nd. Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival, in San Francisco!
That will be exciting news, and photos...lots of stories...can't wait!









Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spaghetti with Porcini Mushrooms

Now that Halloween is behind us, and taking a breather from contacting all the award participants, I can now start posting some of the dishes that I have made in the past week. You will be seeing a lot more vegetarian dishes, since my son and daughter-in-law have become vegetarians, with their on-again, off-again...OK, lets eat some meat...special occasion excuses, so now it's official once more. As for me, I make vegetarian dishes at least twice or 3 times a week and the rest of the week it's usually chicken, anyway. Once in a while beef, or pork, which is rarely. This porcini mushroom comes from Italy, in a small packet. When my daughter visits once a year, all I ask of her is to bring me Italian spices, and porcini mushrooms. All you do to reconstitute the dried mushrooms, is to put them into a small pot, fill it up with water, let it come to a boil, leave it alone to cool the water...do not use for at least one hour, or just put it into a mason jar with the liquid, which is so important, and use it within a few days, or so...all of it, or some of it. It has a nice woodsy flavor, and it is oh so rich, and oh so very expensive, if you can even buy it! The broccoli florets was an (option) which was steamed and added in there at the end.

...I forgot to include in my Halloween "show& tell" dear departed grandma Fran, and Grandpa Ronny (comment from my 4yr old granddaughter)
...OK enough of that. My recipe to follow, the way I made the porcini with the spaghetti...some of you that do not like the broccoli, just ignore it. 
Spaghetti with Porcini Mushrooms

1 small packet of dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup dried)
1 onion chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
small amount of dried red pepper flakes
1 jalapeno seeded and sliced thin (optional)
few leaves of fresh basil
1 cup liquid from porcini mushrooms
1 cup porcini mushrooms that have been boiled and soaked in water
1 lb. dry spaghetti (save 1 cup water, from the cooked pasta)

In a medium saucepan, add water about halfway, empty the dried mushrooms and let it come to a boil. Do not boil any longer, just let the mushroom soak in the liquid, let it cool down, and save in a medium mason jar with a lid, with liquid. You should end up with about 2 cups of mushroom. Do not discard the liquid, you will need it in the cooking process.
In the meantime boil the water for the spaghetti, and cook according to directions. In a large skillet, saute onions, jalapeno and garlic till onions are nicely wilted, add the mushrooms, and the liquid from the mushrooms, the salt and pepper, and the basil. Let the liquid cook down for a few minutes, until you see it thickening. Add the tomato sauce, and let it cook until the sauce thickens You can add steamed broccoli florets to fold into the sauce at this time. (optional) Serves 4.








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Monday, November 1, 2010

A Lovely Blog Award


I am so honored to have The Lovely Blog Award bestowed upon me, not once, but twice. The first one was one week ago, from Emma, at  Sunflower Days, and the second, today, from Lora,
at cake duchess. I am so excited every day to think of new things to blog about, and also checking to see what my foodie friends are blogging about
.
If it wasn't for the Foodbuzz Community, I would not have some many wonderful, and talented people from all over the world.There are so many beautiful blogs out there, and I have been fortunate to have made friends with a lot of them.
I have been so inspired by all the different cultures, and their dishes that every day is such a joy for me to be able to get into contact with all my friends.

So this is a "shout out" now to the 30 bloggers.
Thank you Emma...thank you Lora, and thanks to all of you!

I apologize for the delay...I came up with with my list, just have to link it and shout it out!


Anecdotes and Applecores-Monet
Angie's Recipes -Angie
Books, Thoughts, and a few Adventures-Patty
Brenda's Canadian Kitchen-Brenda
Cake Duchess-Lora
Cardomom Hills
Chic Gorgeous-Jo
Citrom hab
Culorile din Farfurie-Sara
Deba Roo Roo-Debbie
Dreams of Sugarplums-Alexandria 
Food Fun Freak-Sabby
Green Girl
La Kocinera-Koci
Liv Life too-Kim
Mari's Cakes-Mari
More than a Mountfull-Chef Dennis
My Kitchen in the Rockies-Kirsten 
Priya's easy n tasty recipes-Priya
Quay Po Cooks-Veronica
Shosh's yummy foods
Susi Kochen und Backen-Susi
Spoon-and-Chopsticks  
Tasty-Trials-Karen
Shepwell Kitchen -Anne
That skinny chick can bake-Lizzy
US Masala-Aipi
Weekend Gourmet-Wendy
What's for dinner-across Statelines-Gina
Yesim Style Kitchen-Yesim


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