Monday, January 31, 2011

Hungarian Style Cannelini Bean Soup

You can never get tired of eating home made soups...especially, nutritious bean soups of any kind. I love all kinds of  beans, you name it.This one is a childhood favorite of mine, that my mother used to make, I really don't have a set recipe for the soup, I just know the basics of this, and other ones, and follow through with either a meaty version, which would consist of smoked pork shoulder, which I tend to stay away from these days, and opt for the vegetarian version of this wonderful Cannelini Bean soup, Hungarian style, using sweet, or hot authentic Paprika. At any rate the recipe/method is quite easy, and everyone in the family loves it!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

I've been compiling my list...it's endless, and I am not even half way linking it. Please, if you see your name on the list, just grab the award...Thank you Sandra for giving me this beautiful award!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Angel Food Cake and an Award for Angels

While I realize this is not Spring or Summer...but after all, this is South Florida, and we cannot deny how blessed we are, not to be trying to dig ourselves out of the snow, being stuck in our homes, or even worse, stranded on the highway because of the impossible driving conditions. I feel for all of you, who are in this situation. Almost hate to say..."been there, done that"...when our last snow storm in the seventies while still a very young couple, me still in my early twenties... with a tiny toddler, less than 2yrs old... visiting my aunt and uncle for the Christmas holidays, glorious Florida sunshine, and 75 degrees in December...pure heaven! Returning back to Cleveland to the snowstorms...at that point, we decided...
Florida, "here we come!"...and made the big move!...so, the rest is history!...over 35 years in the tropical climate, and would not change 1 minute of it, except for a "White Christmas."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cross Country- Oatmeal Cookies and Blog Award

This morning was a cloudy, and gloomy morning that turned into a half way decent looking day, here in South Florida, but temperature only at about 68 degrees F. My daughter dropped off my little grandson at my place for a couple hours so she could go take care of errands, son-in-law had his only 1 day off, and he had to take care of things, as well. My little sweetheart came all set with his "Finding Nemo" CDVD, as he calls it, and I knew I didn't have his favorite little "Goldfish" crackers snack for him, so I thought, I better start making something real quick and yummy for him. Sure enough I had Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolates, but no chocolate chips. Found some quick cooking oats, and I knew I had the rest of the ingredients...so why not, some chocolate chunk cookies, instead of chocolate chip cookies?

Ready to jump into action, and in less than 30 minutes, warm cookies were waiting for my little guy, with a big smile on his face. For some reason, every time I'm looking for a recipe, that I have just about all the ingredients for, is the "Best Recipes" book, the latest copyright, 1982, that have a compiled great list from backs of boxes, cans, jars, but you really have to do some adaptation to make it up to date by switching, and adding ingredients, which I love to do, and adapt it my way. Interesting, about the Mazola corn oil, which the original recipe calls for 3/4 cups? and no butter?...well, I quickly narrowed the amount down to 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, instead, and I knew it would need at least a little butter, so I added 1/2 unsalted butter, and had to confidence of knowing it will turn out better, than with all oil, which would make it too wet, as well!...The result, was a light, perfect, chocolaty goodness with healthy oats!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

Ever wonder why they call these hot wings Buffalo wings?...well, it sure doesn't have anything to do with buffalo meat!...oh, yuck...even the thought of it! I'm going to enlighten you with a little history of these wonderful messy, but so tasty, juicy, and tender wings oozing in a special hot sauce that you make your very own, and have it medium, or extra hot.

It has been repeated so often that these wings were invented at the Anchor Bar on Main Street in Buffalo, that pretty much everyone accepted it as the truth. There has been less consensus, however, about whether the wings were created when a mistaken delivery of wings arrived at the bar and Frank Bellisimo asked his wife, Teressa, to do something with them...or, when Dom, their son, asked his mother to concoct a late-night snack for regulars at the bar. Either way, it was Teressa, who in 1964 came up with the idea of combining spicy wings with crisp celery, and blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo wings did not become famous until 1980, and the city declared July 29..."Chicken Wings Day"...and simply left it at that!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Teriyaki Glazed Boneless Chicken Thighs

I've been debating what to make for dinner, and decided on a simple organic chicken thighs, and a side of jasmine rice with a little bit of steamed peas, and sauteed sliced mushrooms, mixed into the rice. Yumm!...simple gourmet, is always a winner! Topped off with fresh thin sliced scallions, mostly green parts, over the rice, and the chicken.
I could not decide on the chicken thighs whether to bake, broil, fry, or grill, so I opted for simple baking. I opted for a nice recipe for the chicken, from The Food Network.com, Ellie Krieger which I adapted a little.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chunky Tomato Soup, and a Winner!

I made this chunky tomato soup, on the same day that I made the sausage and the polenta, just to have a comforting soup on hand, since I had all the ingredients. I gave a huge amount to my daughter, not to mention the huge pot of chicken soup I made for them, coming back from cold, and freezing NYC. The first thing she asked me was, "did you take a photo of the tomato soup?"...and I said, no! "It's too mediocre"...on second thought, which was a day later, when I heated up the soup..."why not?"...yes, I will take a photo of it, along with my "creme fraiche" topping.
But wait!...I only have about half a portion of soup left over! Oh well!...no worries, still tasted so good, I would have loved a nice grilled cheese sandwich with that, but did not have sliced American, or Cheddar slices on hand, so I just enjoyed the soup with crackers!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Italian Sausage with Grilled Cheddar Polenta, and a Giveaway

After posting my vegetarian spaghetti carbonara, now I feel so guilty...Not!...but I should be, for posting sausage of all things, but not just any sausage, this is homemade, by my favorite Italian meat market, Mario's that's been around forever...about 30 years, with the same owners, now the owner's daughter in charge. This is the sausage, hot, and mild, that I bought for New Year's and still had another 2 lbs left over. I invited a friend over for dinner last night, and she was appalled and I could tell just the sound of her voice saying..."sausage?"...and then, silence!

Oh, my! I committed the "Cardinal Sin"...yes, I said "sausage, Italian sausage"...in her mind, since she doesn't eat sausage, thinking I was making these "dinky little breakfast sausages"...or, as she said...is it "Jimmy Dean sausage patties?"...no silly homemade Italian sausage. Enough said, just come on over, and "stop complaining, already!" I recently, or actually the other day, browsing through my followers blogs,

I found a blog, which had the most delicious Hungarian polenta, well in Hungarian, it's called "puliszka", which I thought looked so delicious, and more tempting was the amazing meat stuffed with sauer kraut, and topped with Hungarian bacon. Wow!...just looking at the photo made my cholesterol, go high, but I had to make a polenta dish which I have not made in a few years.
Lucky for me, I had everything on hand, and did not have to buy a thing.
Do check out Gesztenye
which in English mean Chestnuts she also has another blog too, all about truffles, or as she calls them bon-bons.
Another talented, and creative food blogger, from a different country, Hungary, my mother's birth country!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vegetarian Pasta Carbonara

Last Saturday, we were all so busy with gathering up warm clothes for the kids, to wear in the snowy and cold NYC climate. Suppertime was nearing, and my sweet daughter was so concerned to make some kind of pasta for the kids... her hubby working in his restaurant as usual, so he doesn't eat at home, only on his days off. Lora decided, on Pasta Carbonara...oh, but no pancetta left over from Teresa's care package?...no bacon?...what is one to do!?....Alas, suddenly, I got a great idea, "how about some Carbonara without pancetta, or bacon?...A "Vegetarian, Pasta Carbonara!...So, I agreed to make it, so easy, told my daughter just go pack...she even had 3 egg yolks left over, which she saved, from a cake she was making, and handed me a bag of frozen peas....frozen peas?...."yes, she said, the kids like that"..."OK, so let's get started," I said..."just go pack, and I will take care of it. 

Vegetarian Pasta Carbonara

3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bag of frozen peas, about 12-16 ounces
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb. spaghetti (I used organic, from Whole Foods)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

The first thing you must start, is to boil the water for your pasta. In the meantime, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion starts to get a nice rosy color. Now, add the peas, and saute all together just until incorporated. In a medium bowl, add the yolks, the whole eggs half of the cheese, salt, and generous amount of freshly grou d pepper, the cream and with a wire whisk, blend it well, until nice and creamy, but just a few strokes of the whisk. (Do not over beat it.)

Strain the pasta into a colander, and save about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.(you might need it later) to thin out your pasta, if the sauce gets too thick. Put the pasta back into the pot, make sure the heat is OFF, drizzle about 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, mix it up, and pour the carbonara mixture into the pot with the pasta. Gently mix all together, just make sure you are not scrambling the eggs, heat has to be turned off. Now, take the carbonara pasta mixture and pour into a large serving pasta bowl, Add the peas and onion mixture, and gently combine.

Add  a little more (1Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil on the top of the pasta, another 1/4 cup grate Parmigiana Reggiano cheese;
(all together you will be needing 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, and 3/4 cup grated cheese)
The result of this outrageously yummy and rich pasta will be a memorable dish, that you will want to make over, and over again.
Note: you can omit the peas, and you also can use chili pepper flakes, or diced red bell pepper, or zucchini, sliced thin, instead of the peas. The choice is yours!
This was a version that I created with ingredients on hand, and I am happy to share with you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

CSN Gift Certificate Winner, and some odds and ends

 Without wasting any more time, I will get right over to the matter of things.
I stayed up till 12:15 AM, since the winner outcome would be final after that.

I just want all of you great friends out there to know that I really appreciate for participating, it's so much fun, and even more fun to hear from so many bloggers. I am really honored that you did follow my blog...gained 15 more follower, and I thank you for that...(I followed you back)...I hope you don't decide to "un-follow" me now, since only one person can be a winner! I promise you, I will have other giveaways after this...well, maybe not $50. but who knows, what?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Old-Fashioned Date and Nut Bread-Cookbook Sundays

Not again, not another banana bread?...you're probably wondering. Well it's not, it is a super wonderful Date bread, with walnuts, from another "thrift find" book of mine, which cost only $2.49, from Goodwill. This book does not have any pictures, it is, what it is! Just simple, and I love it, because these are recipes from backs of labels on cans, boxes,  jars, you name it...these are the forgotten, and tossed away recipes, compiled into one super great book.

I made this bread for my family, to have with their extremely early breakfast at about 4:00AM, for their caffe latte. They were rushing off to catch their plane to New York City...it's beyond me...why at this time for the year, would you wand to spend 3 days in snow, ice, and sleet in the city? ...the answer is...NEW YORK, NEW YORK..."the city, that never sleeps". It's a city that welcomes you 365 days a year, and 24/7. Also when you are in the restaurant business, as my son-in-law is, He likes to check out the restaurants in Miami, and the best ones, in New York.

I am staying away from the extreme cold and snow, but for them, it's an adventure. The little ones have never seen snow. My children got all bundled up in their snugly winter gear, from head to toe. For the last three days my daughter Lora was gathering stuff for them from her friend who has children their age. Her friend and little family spend every Christmas in Idaho with their family, so obviously they have all the winter clothes.
I've been away from the cold climate in Ohio for over 35 years, and that's a long time. Your blood thins out when you are not used to such cold weather, they say. We had our lowest temperature here, in South Florida, which is a record low of 29 degrees with a 12 degree wind chill, which cooled it even more into the teens. I was not about to budge and venture out that day.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Peanut Butter&Jam Crepes, and a CSN Gift Certificate

Now that the holidays are over, and all the great leftovers have been recycled into time saving meals, and we are just tired of eating so much cookies...if any left, as for me, I'm just fresh out of ideas, so I lean on my "tried and true" and easy dishes, and desserts. Crepes...or in Hungarian, (palacsinta)...in Italian (crescpelle) in English is actually the American version of pancakes, which is totally a different type, but thicker, and is consumed for breakfast.

My family loves crepes, I have at least 3 types of crepe pans, all three are only used to make crepes in. I have a 6 inch cast iron tortilla pan, which is so perfect to make the smaller size crepes, nicely seasoned pan, easy to flip the crepes over, which is the best part. The second one is actually just for crepes as well, which is an 8 inch skillet. The third, which is the most popular, and "fail proof" is an 8 inch non stick skillet that is most advisable. I do have the actual recipe, which I personally think is the best that I can share with you!
I could barely set up these little peanut butter&jam crepe pieces...within less than 5 minutes it was gone. I could barely take a picture of it, because my little grandchildren, and son-in-law just grabbed a piece. These paper thin crepes, and the peanut butter and jam not only satisfies, as a snack, but doubles as a dessert. The above presentation, is 2 pieces of crepes stacked, smooth and silky peanut butter is spread on it, and strawberry jam is spread on it. Folded in half, and into thirds, and sliced it in half, again. Just look at the thin, light as a feather crepes, you can just serve it with a fork, to cut a bite size piece.

Now, on to the recipe, and the $50. gift certificate giveaway from CSN!...isn't is marvelous?


Monday, January 3, 2011

Savory Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

On New Year's Day, it's been such a tradition in my mom's and aunt's Hungarian kitchen to have a huge casserole of stuffed cabbage, I have such fond memories from Cleveland, every New Year's Eve was a celebration of family, and friends in our house for the New Year's Eve, in our full "party basement" which most northern houses have...I sure miss that. On New Year's Day, was a huge early dinner celebration at my aunt and uncle's, with our families, siblings, and cousins. Every 1st of the year, my aunt would roast a cute "little" pig...(uggghh) the thought of it now, scares me...I could not be staring the poor innocent piglet in the face...ohh yes, the face, and the poor little mouth with an apple in it!
Anyway, these were traditions of the sixties, and since then, we had our tradition for our children, and times, have changed and we keep moving on with time, moving on to a New Year, and hopefully, a better tomorrow for all!

I have not made Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in several years, simply for the reason that my dear departed aunt
who lived next door to us made it every years, here in S. Florida, as my children were growing up, keeping up with the traditions. It's been over ten years that she's gone, and so have the Hungarian traditions.
But of course, if you live near by here, in S. Florida, and  wish to eat authentic stuffed cabbage rolls, you can visit the Hungarian/American club here, locally, in Lake Worth, where they still keep up with the authentic traditions.

Well, for some reason,  when I saw a  spicy Korean condiment of cabbage called "Kimchi" in my daughter's refrigerator, which I thought was so bizarre, because she is so sensitive to hot spices, and that is one spicy side dish! Of course, I ended up with the Kimchi, but that's another story!

I happened to have ground beef, the 1 1/2 heads of cabbage (really need 2) ...2 lbs of authentic homemade Italian sausage from our favorite Italian market, called Mario's in Delray Beach. I did not use Hungarian sausage because smoked Hungarian, or Polish sausage would be perfect for the cabbage, or use smoked ham hocks, which all have so much sodium nitrate, that again, my daughter cannot have, which unfortunately causes extreme headaches for some people.