Saturday, February 26, 2011

Garlic Shrimp with Broccoli

It's a Friday night, usually a pizza night at my daughter's...and if not, then shrimp night at my son's. We were all there together, to enjoy the easy shrimp dish that even the little ones like, including broccoli...and let's not forget the pasta, in this case it was whole wheat penne, with basil tomato sauce, which I did not photograph...(been done) so many time. The focus was on the shrimp, in a nice fresh garlicky lemon sauce-no butter, just extra virgin olive oil that it was sauteed in, and broccoli florets steamed, and added the the shrimp. Extra virgin olive oil wast drizzle on the top, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The sauce was the best part, to dip your bread into it. Yumm! No recipe required...just common sense, and pure enjoyment!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grilled-Boneless Center Pork Loin Chops

Being in the culinary industry for over 30 years...there are two important cooking equipments I learned to rely on, and the first one, is a large cast iron skillet, and/or a heavy duty stainless steel skillet, and a cast iron grill pan. or a Calphalon grill pan. Those are my "lifesaving" most important equipments, which is a "must have."  Also, there are two other important ingredients which is a "must have" is a high quality Dijon mustard and/or a high quality Stone Ground Mustard. Also, I rely on a special jam, or "preserve" which I use for glazes on my grilled meat, and also for glazing my fresh berries, melting it down, and this is my most favorite, which is sometimes hard to find. "Pure Seedless Boysenberry Preserves"...now that I gave away my "must have" secrets, I would like to share my super easy recipe for my Grilled-Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Chops, along with My Roasted Red Potatoes, and Caramelized Onions to pair with it....and of course my most favorite sweet and spicy glaze. Here's and interesting link Boneless Center Pork Loin Chops that will help you with the grilling these lovely super moist and tender pork chops, which is called "the other white meat"...so true...yes, indeed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pizza...Awards...and PGA Mall

Last Friday...as almost every Friday, Lora made this amazing pizza dough that has become a staple meal, with a side salad, or a vegetable dish. In this case she had the green beans, and leftover pancetta, to add to the pizza topping...and oh, yes caramelized onion, and homemade sauce that she always has on hand for a quick pasta dish. I keep bugging her to post the pizza photos, but she not only does not take photos of it, I always end up taking the photos. Her pizza dough is the easiest and best, made with all, or half whole wheat flour, and half bread flour. Here's Lora's homemade pizza recipe, @cake duchess
Just look at this yummy goodness...Sweet caramelized onions, crispy pancetta homemade tomato sauce, and ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese topping the thin, crispy, crunchy fresh, hot, homemade pizza dough. Trust me on this one...no comparison to take-out!...now, for the lovely blue dish of  Lora's. Long story behind this set of 12 English china set, that was a gift to daughter's hubby, from a lovely English young lady that was a mutual friend to both Lora, and Fabrizio, that he brought into the marriage 10 years ago. They still manage to have most of the set, even if a plate or two breaks, lucky me...I find the same dishes at my thrift finds, but not cheap. Each plate costs $2.99. My daughter finally told me after I replaced 4 plates..."please mom, don't get any more, I'm trying to get rid of these, so I can get a new set"...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sicilian Puttanesca Sauce...and a Winner!

It's been a trying 3 days for me...trying to scan photos on my scanner, which is a Canon, flatbed, from ten years ago. I do have another newer model, from HP, but that is at least six years old, as well. That particular one, the scanner does not work. I'm trying to be this "self help" computer tech, and it' taking a toll on my patience already, figuring things out. Well, everything is working on the old scanner...lucky for me, I saved the soft-ware to upload the program, now, just a matter of time, how to upload the scanned Sicilian precious photos that I wanted to share with you. I will probably have to resort to my daughter's scanner later, to upload them. I made this pasta the other night at my daughter's house, and it was a huge success, even with the little ones. I have never seen a 4 year old child eat anchovies, black olives, capers, at all, and here I have my little "snow white skinned" blue eyed  Mediterranean grandson, who eats just about everything you put on his plate, especially foods, such as this, and wants a second helping. Something about Puttanesca, which derives from the word "putana=whore," really does have a history behind this famous sauce, does not mean actually, that putanas, where actually cooking it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY...and a Giveaway!

If someone asks you...What does Valentine's mean to you?...how would you answer that?...As for me, I would say that to me it means a day to show your loved ones how much you care, and how much you love them. Not just gifts and cards, but in words and expressions! I'll be honest with you this cake I made with a cake mix...yes, boxed cake mix, and not my own...but, I doctored it up so well, that I was so inspired to be creative with the frosting, which really is from "scratch"...and being more creative by adding something pink or red, which happened to be a can of lite cherry pie filling that I had in my cupboard from this summer, that I did not get to use for my cheesecake. So, I decided to share my little heart shaped cake, which was baked in my heart shaped spring form pan, which was a thrift find...brand new Wilton's, for $1.99 retailing at least $16.99. I have gotten so much use out of this, that it's for sure, a keeper.
How can you not love this yummy cake filled, and frosted with real chocolaty goodness, and the oh, so yummy cherry filling, which is drained from the liquid, and save the cherry liquid to spread on top of the chocolate frosting.
Last minute dinner at my son's house...not knowing if I should go, my kitty Prince being so sick for the last couple days...not eating, just moping around, not letting me sleep at night...he was pacing up and down, I thought for sure this is it, since he is so old, but still so full of life and energy. How can you not feel sad when your pet gets ill?! I took this special little cake to my son's house, we shared it after a fabulous meal, and then off to my daughter's to share the other half of the cake...while they were in the middle of their fabulous home made sushi dinner, that Fabrizio made...even the little 4 year old grandson, the little guy, loves sushi...so much for that, I went there to pick up my beautiful roses that they gave to me.
2 dozen beautiful roses, that I received from my family...they told me they bought it at Costco, since they were shopping there on Sunday. Isn't it so thoughtful? A favorite kitty mug, and a bouquet of roses, and "I Love You, MOM" ...HAPPY VALENTINE'S...how much more would a Nonna, and a Mom want from her children, and Grandchildren. This is what Valentine's is about. Not the "Bling" or $$$...but a thoughtful simple gift, and to let your loved one know how much you care about them!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tilapia 3 ways-and I'm a Winner!

I've been on the tilapia fish kick lately, simply because it's a simple white fish, delicate and takes practically no time to prepare, and also very affordable at your local supermarket's fresh fish department. Also, in order to eat fresh spinach, I like to pair it with the tilapia, or just have the salad separately. Such an easy, comforting dish that not only tastes delicious, but it's healthy, and definitely works when you are trying to lose weight, or just want to eat light.
My friend invited me over for dinner, and for some reason, I love to use this friendly and happy platter she has...love the "inscription"...Life is what you make it!...yes, my friends, it's so true! If you decide to take charge of your life, you have to decide which direction to take.

You can't always be worrying about tomorrow...can't use the quote from the old song..."Let's forget about DOMANI=tomorrow...tomorrow may never come". That thought scares me, it really does. I do want tomorrow to come, and many tomorrows after that. Do take care of yourself, your health, exercise, eat right, and remember. Life is GOOD, it really is, what you make it. (Now, if you can figure out what the bottom line says, let me know, somehow I never paid attention to it.) It is a nice platter though!

This is the same salad...I call it Greek style, with feta cheese, crumbled, sliced scallions, garlic croutons, olives, chopped roasted red peppers, over fresh baby spinach...drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
I seasoned it with freshly ground sea salt, and fresh ground mixed peppers. The tilapia was halfway baked, and last five minutes topped with a crumbled feta cheese, and topped with a slice of fresh tomato.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Awards, and Norton Museum's 70th Birthday


I am so thrilled with all the awards given to me, and so honored, humbled, and overjoyed. This award was from Mina @Angellove's Cooking  and from Citra, @ Indonesian in Turkey. Mina is food blogging, from Bulgaria, and Citra, is blogging from Turkey, although she is originally from Indonesia. Both ladies are so, over the top amazing with their cooking, and baking talents that I just feel right now to be insignificant, and that I still have so much to learn. That is why we all gather together as a food blogging community, and have the support for each other, and give praise, where it belongs. Thank you my two lovely friends. for honoring me, with your lovely award!
This lovely award is given to me by my Hungarian blogger friend, Erzsebet, from Citromhab. You must visit her food blog. She is the most talented young bake that I have known, other than my own maternal grandmother, from Hungary. She makes the most amazing breads, and rolls, that you will only find, in the finest bakeries, here in the U.S. or in her native Hungary, and it will cost you a lot to buy something even similar to hers...but she puts her love, and her heart and soul into her baking, cooking, and the most amazing chocolate bon bons, or as we call them truffles. So mouthwatering is her latest one, that you would think it's almost impossible to make at home...but she did! Such talent can only make me feel humbled, and honored!
Thank you Erzsébet!
Köszönöm Erzsébet ezt a szép dijat...nagyon hálás vagyok érte!

Finally, I am sorting through my recent awards that have been given to me by some of the most amazing, and talented food bloggers. These two lovely awards, from Alisha, Adam, and Grely, the fabulous trio from
The Ardent Epicure. It is strictly a vegetarian blog, with the most unusual healthy and gorgeous dishes you have ever heard, or tasted, along with the most droolworthy scrumptious and beautiful mousse, cheesecake, and other exotic delights. I am so honored by these awards, and cannot thank them enough! Thank you Alisha, Adam and Grely!




We all know about this award, I have a long list of who I awarded this very special Sisterhood Award, received from Sandra @Sandra's Easy Cooking,  and from Mateja @Indulging Life. I especially love thie Sisterhood award, because it represents, all of us from so many different countries, and so many different cultures, fabulous dishes and desserts, that are truly remarkable and amazing. Thank you, Sandra, and Thank you Mateja. Both of you ladies have truly beautiful blogs, and I'm learning so much from all the different and beautiful things you both cook and baking. You are so talented, and wonderful friends!
I still have the original list of this Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award  if you haven't seen it, check for your name on the LIST


Last, but not least this award I received last year, from several bloggers, and this year from
Kathy@Bakeaway with me
I recently met Kathy who is a lovely lady, and she also has a beautiful blog. She mostly does the
French Friday's with Dorie, which I don't get involved with because my daughter...
Lora, @Cake Duchess posts about the fabulous Dorie's desserts, and dishes,
and so does my friend...
Lizzy, @That Skinny Chick can Bake, and also my sweet little friend from Goa... 
Mia@ Bright Morning Star. All these ladies are so talented, in their baking skills and cooking, as well! I am so thrilled and honored, and I love you all!

Thank you Kathy, for giving me this familiar award, that I really cherish, just like all the others.
If by any chance, I have forgotten other awards bestowed upon me...speak now...or "forever hold your peace"...I would not want to eliminate some generous blogger that might have given me an award, and I would be oh, so rude, not to thank them!

Also, I would like all of you wonderful blogger friends to please, HELP YOURSELF...GRAB any, or ALL, and pay it forward to whoever you would like to...or, JUST KEEP IT for yourself. I only ask one thing, just please mention who it came from, and link it back to ME!

Thank you all,  for the love and support you have given me. I wouldn't have this far without you!
I LOVE YOU ALL...CONSIDER THESE AWARDS AS A VALENTINE'S OFFERING!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cook Book Sundays-Crab Cakes


We're having such lovely weather here in S. Florida, I really feel bad for everyone else in the Mid West, and in other areas who are still dealing with all the snow, icy roads, and the horrible cold. Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, and I thought these crab cakes would be ideal for 4, or if you'd like to double or triple the recipe, you can serve it up to at least 12, and if you wish to make it mini crab cakes, you can feed a crowd up to 2 dozen excited, and hungry friends, who will thank you, and love you for it.

Although, crab meat is a little expensive, buying a large container of it at Costco will make plenty to pass around, as a gourmet appetizer. I don't know about you, but I love to eat it just simple, with maybe little baked sweet potato wedges, and a beautiful mixed spring salad, with home made authentic Classic French Dressing, from Lora...( and remember, you can substitute the vinegar to your choice) ....drizzled over the crab cakes, and the salad...and still have room for chicken wings, pizza, party meat balls, you name it. Games on! ...Hope your favorite team wins. Mine is the Packers!...Go Packers!!!

I'm linking this post to:
Brenda-@Brenda's Canadian Kitchen

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brown Sugar-Glazed Salmon

Is there anyone that does not like salmon?...Salmon is low in calories and fat, and high in protein. It is a power food.. It's  high in Omega 3 fats. High consumption of Omega 3's are associated with lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure....but this does not apply to your little ones, who only enjoy the salmon, as in this one, if it has a nice sweet brown sugar glaze. My daughter loves to buy all sorts of foods at Whole Foods, which I really love, as well. They carry the best of the best health foods, organic foods, and all kinds of fresh sea foods, as in fresh Alaskan wild sockeye salmon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not so-Wordless Wednesday




Egy szál fehér rózsa. A single white rose
Egy szál fehér rózsa   A single white rose
Szeretetem, szó szólója. My Love, of a word defined.
Köszönteni Téged,   
         To greet You,...

Bodor László oldala
...Single white rose..."peace offering from a friend, from Budapest, Hungary"
 
 My quiet time to myself...a peaceful walk on the beach, thinking about the unrest, and violence in the Middle East, my family and friends in the Mid west, suffering the horrible snow storms...
The evening is settling in, a few clouds form...but no rain, it is so eerily quiet, I can hear the gentle waves of the ocean, and my heartbeat...on to a new adventure, tomorrow!...as my dear departed father used to say..."God willing"...
The sea grass up close...absolute darkness, and total quietness envelopes the entire area...time to settle in, and watch CNN...or maybe not, Just pray for "PEACE"!

 collected all these gorgeous uniformed shells-one year ago, at this time...this year no shells of any significant type...sigh

 Dinner I made last night-Brown sugar glazed baked salmon, sauteed organic kale, and Basmati rice...(will post recipe tomorrow)...matching colors with the shells above-Granddaughter, Gabri took the picture!
 Set of 78 Tarot cards, book, and cloth to lay out cards-thrift find, 2yrs ago $2.99 still sealed in box. Retails $33.99...Self taught...(they say that readings are good for 6 months.) 

I have done my own readings about 3 or 4 times in the last 2 years, and they are unmistakenly correct, I have done the readings to a psychic friend, who was bewildered how correct is the situation in her life, I did the readings first, when I went to Italy by by myself...actually, my son-in-law sent me there paying my ticket with his "frequent fly miles"...did his mom's, his 2 sister readings, in Italian...boy, that was a challenge...had all three of them in tears; seriously, so, so correct! My daughter will not let me do her readings, she does not want to know what has happened, in the past 6 months, or prior...nor what will happen in the next 6 months! 

Tower card-Past influences=let go of the past!  Wheel of fortune-How others view us!

Cards laid out in Celtic Cross pattern-total of ten card you choose, from the 78 cards. you have to have the cards facing down...only turn them over when they are all laid out.


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