Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blueberry Marshmallow No-Bake Torte...Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is just around the corner, and with all the BBQ's planned hopefully all of you will have a beautiful and sunny day as we always have, here in South Florida. With all the preparations going on for this event, why would you want to spend hours in the kitchen baking pies, and cakes, when you can just whip up an "easy-breezy" spring/summer dessert, that will chill in 2 hours, and ready to enjoy!
Now, unless it's your mother's treasured recipes that were marked down in a handwritten book as in Claudia's @What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine from her dear departed mom's... you have got to mention that it's your own creation, or adapted from some source. As for your own creation, that really means you have memorized a recipe and are putting together by your own creativity and jotting the the instructions, and the step-by-step method, just as I have done in my last post about the Roasted peppers, which is a tried and true method from all the other failed ones I have used.
As in my case, I must confess, I steal ideas from glancing at pictures of recipes...being in the culinary profession for so many years have thought me just that...especially with request from my Private Chef experience when I literally had to plan, shop, prep, and throw together a quick gourmet meal from soup to dessert, and presented beautifully to serve for 2-4 persons (hopefully the same main course)...so, when I see a pretty photo of a dessert, I may not follow which is in most cases, the same exact recipe and will also re-name it, and will add to the ingredients, as well. Also, I do feel that most recipes require to be adapted with different spices, or ingredients to make it your way, and you should mention that when you are posting a recipe, that is copied. Adapted-literally means that you have modified, changed, and altered it for new use.
Before I take you to the step-by-step method, and recipe, I must remember to mention, that my granddaughter Gabby, age 9...decorated the entire Torte top, with the fresh blueberries, and the freshly picked mints from their next door neighbor Dr. Eric's yard....notice the bougainvillea in the background at my daughter's house, and the cute decoration by Gabby...also the sweet mint flower, and a tiny sprig of rosemary which also had purple little flowers. The flower on the platter came from Eric's yard of 2 beautiful blooming trees. Happy, Memorial Day weekend, to all!....just don't leave yet!  ...more to come. Click on read more...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Roasted Peppers, the Easy Way!

If I show you step-by-step how easy is to make the best roasted peppers in your own oven, I guarantee that you won't buy the jarred kind, which does not come remotely close to the homemade kind. I'm not going to convince you that it's cheap to buy red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, but if you can find a local produce market, chances are they always have bulk buys of whatever kind of vegetables that they have an abundance of, or they are getting a little too ripe, so they will put it on sale. Our local Cuban produce market has the freshest and such a variety of every kind of produce you can find.

I'm linking this to Full Plate 5-26-11 @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

 also...HURRY,
You don't want to miss out on this giveaway on Lora's blog @ Cake Duchess Honey Girl Organic Skincare products, from Hawaii. Be sure to check it out!

You can visit their website to learn more about their amazing products! There is even a video here on this page that shows how they get the honey from their own bees in Hawaii.

honey%20girl%20organics_2007_ed


I was so thrilled when my daughter gave me 2 large bags of peppers, and zucchini, that she bought for $1.00 each bag from the produce market. That's what I call a real thrift buy and I am truly grateful for it.
If you love peppers as much as I do, follow me through all the steps and I will show you how easy it is to make roasted peppers.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gingered Soba Noodles with Spicy Tofu...and friends!

In my previous post, I posted my Soba Noodle Salad photo and mentioned to you that I would post the recipe later.

Well, there's more to it than that. On the day I made my Noodle Salad...actually the reason it would be called a salad is because you can it it at room temperature as well. I made a lot of these noodles. Six ounces will serve 4, but if you double the amount it will serve at least up to 8-10 servings of portion with added broccoli, and the tofu, which I also doubled. Two 8ounces of water-packed extra firm tofu.
The recipe for my Soba Noodle Salad, or the proper name for this is Gingered Soba Noodles, because you just make the dressing for the noodles, or salad, and make double or triple amount and see how far it takes you to use it for something else, as a marinade for roasted chicken...or chickens...as in 3....and why?...because when you want to show your appreciation to a friend, not just what they have done for you, but because you appreciate and love them.

This is the least you can do to make them a home cooked meal knowing they too have a busy schedule and it will last a family of 4 for 2 meals at least, and lunch as well.
A triple portion of the Gingered Soba Dressing goes a long way...I used one portion for the noodles, and two extra portions, including for a third chicken which we kept for us. Leftover roasted chicken goes a long way for sandwiches, and delicious chicken salads, or for chicken soup.

Our dear friend, and neighbors to my daughter and hubby...Eric and Marisa, and their two beautiful children and their family are extended adopted family...by choice. Eric is our veterinarian as well and takes such good care of our pets as well. He also takes good care of my beautiful kitty, Prince and doing beyond what is his duty, by personally checking his progress, since he is old and his health is failing.

When you want to buy the best organic whole chicken, you can find it at Costco, or Sam's or BJ's food club whichever you are a member of. We have a membership at Costco and they have such a huge selection of the best of everything.

I'm going to show you a step-by-step direction and recipe for both the Soba noodles, and the roasted chicken...so hang on!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grilled Asparagus...and People Watching!

Asparagus is such a nice vegetable to serve so many different ways but most important that you do not over cook it, otherwise it loses it's beautiful appearance and you will also lose their benefits of their important vitamins and protein. It is an excellent source of potassium and vitamin A & C. Rich in niacin, and low in sodium.
I'm linking this to Full Plate Thursday 5-19-11 @Miz Helen's Country Cottage

If you don't want to turn on your outdoor grill for the asparagus, you can easily grill it in a cast iron skillet ...but will turn on the grill for the (ribs) skillet has been pre-greased, and preheated. All you really need to do is just wash and cut of the thick ends, season them with a little extra virgin olive oil, some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and heat on both sides for just a few minutes...
better yet, click over to Toni's blog @Boulder Locavore  and she will enlighten you with even more information on this wonderful, and beautiful vegetable. She has the most amazing blog and you will appreciate her unique and delicious things that she makes. If you would like to see another version of this beautiful vegetable, check out Kate's blog @Diethood, for her Roasted Asparagus with Bacon and Feta, and you will see how versatile asparagus can be. Also if you're craving for a really delicious and super easy tart with asparagus, you must check out Kirsten's blog @My Kitchen in the Rockies. her blog will amaze you with all the beautiful dishes she creates, and the photos, as well!

Another post of the pork spare ribs...you ask? I made this Sunday at my son's house. Spent the entire day with them, and ended up cooking, which of course is "second nature" to me. They had this huge slabs of ribs from Costco. and just as I was leaving to go home brought out the ribs and asked if I can stay for dinner as well. How can you turn down spare ribs?...My son back again, from his vegetarian ways...just can't resist certain meats!
As in my previous post of the ribs, I baked them off first for at least a good 45 minutes in a 400 degree F. oven.
Cut the ribs in 4 pieces of portions, as you see on the photo, place them in an aluminum lined rimmed large baking pan.

Drizzle some vegetable oil on them, salt, pepper, garlic powder, to taste, and also some type of vinegar. (I prefer white) but they only had balsamic, which was a new try...also they were out of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce..."no Worcestershire sauce" I asked?...that is when a good bottle of Balsamic will do the trick.
When it is ready to throw on the grill, take them out of the oven, and brush on both sides of the ribs, your favorite barbecue sauce. and literally just grill for no longer than 25 minutes. When it's ready, cut into individual pieces just as it is on the photo above...right on a large cutting board, and serve it on the board, as it is. So good, melt in your mouth amazing ribs, and so tasty, cutting and serving on a large wooden board.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies...and Awards!

Do you like to pick up a cookbook of yours or a cooking magazine, and actually studying a recipe that you happen to like and if you don't mark the page with a piece of paper or "post it" note, chances are you will not remember to go back to it, and you will forget. Since I've been taking a couple hours lately to make an effort to go on the beach, to relax and collect my thoughts, I've been taking my favorite novel, and a cookbook or two to find something new and exciting, especially remembering what ingredients I have on hand, or jotting down what I would need for what I have picked out.

I have this wonderful little cook book called "A Slice of Paradise" which is a "thrift find" of mine...a hardcover binder book, from the Junior League of the Palm Beaches...very local, right here in Palm Beach County published in 1996...I paid $.95 for the book, and it is full of Floridian style seafood and desserts, as well as yummy cookie recipes. The beautiful antique pink glass plate is a "hurricane dish" from the 1930's, also a thrift find for $1.99. Now, if you happen to to to our local antique shops you will most likely find one of these, or if you're lucky a set of 4, but then you will see a hefty price of about $29.99, simply because it's an antique, and chances are they purchased theirs in a thrift shop or in an "estate sale."

I'm linking this to: Foodie Friday's #8 All things Chilled or Grilled @Little Brick Ranch


Friday, May, 13th Steph, from Steph's Bite by Bite, is having a Bake Sale for Team in Training to benefit the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society!Check it out! You can bid on my Oatmeal Coconut Cookies, with Walnuts, and dried Cherries!
There's still time until tomorrow, May 14. There are a lot of amazing cookies, and other type of desserts, so stop by Stephs's blog, and check it out!

Saturday, May 14th is the Share Our Strength American Bake Sale Day. This isn't a virtual Bake sale.  All over the US there are various locations where baked goods can be dropped off, or purchased to benefit Ending Childhood Hunger.  You can click on this link to see where bake sales are in your area, Share our Strength.



This is a huge batch of dough, you won't be sorry you made the actual amount. As for me, this recipe was slightly adapted. I used 1 !/2 cup Crisco shortening, and 1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted softened butter, instead of the margarine, and also folded in 1 cup of dried cherries.

Use a small ice cream scooper for larger cookies, otherwise use a teaspoon for smaller size.





I also used parchment paper to line the baking pan. I baked these for 12 minutes.
I made two batches of 12 cookies, and I saved the other half portion by wrapping it up in plastic wrap, separating it in two, and rolling it into a log, Placed it in a heavy duty Ziploc large bag, and froze it for later use.


When you are ready to take them out of the freezer, all you have to do is slice the logs into about less than an inch thickness, and ready to bake for about 18 minutes.



Monday, May 9, 2011

Spicy Sautéed Vegetables...and an Amazing Weekend!

It all started Saturday, when my daughter gave me a huge bag of mixed vegetables from our favorite produce market...one of those fabulous deals that her m-in-law discovered, while she was here from Italy. $1.00 for a hug bag of vegetables, all mixed...zucchini, peppers, onions, some iceberg lettuce...a huge bag, no joking. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the veggies, except, they had a few bruises here, and there, and maybe starting to get a bit over ripe on some of the peppers that made the long green peppers turn orange. So, what to do with them?...what is not to do with them, but cook them up, and the best way, is to saute them with the onion, garlic, in some nice fruity extra virgin olive oil, and some great spices...don't forget the red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper, and some nice sea salt, and you got yourself, a FEAST!...well, I prepped up all these great veggies, and took them over to a friends house with all the yummy things that I brought from Lora's to share with her, and her brother who is visiting their mom, from out of state.

I'm linking this to Tuesday Night Supper Club # 40... Christy @Fudge Ripple
Also made some pork ribs, marinated in Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and garlic powder, and baked to perfection, in a 375 degree F. oven for about 1 1/2 hrs. till tender. (These were also the ribs my daughter gave me that were in her freezer from my son, who is the on-again, off-again vegetarian.) Lora did not want to deal with these because she said it's been in the freezer too long. Yea, right!!! ...since December?...so that makes it 5 months?...still like fresh, no freezer burns, so why not cook them up. They were so tender, fall off the bone, delicious!...So that's what you do for your friends...you share!...and you cook for them.
These sweet potatoes are my friend Dianne's creation. She cuts them in half, drizzles a little olive oil on them and sprinkles them with cinnamon, and adds bits of garlic...encloses the potatoes in aluminum foil and bakes it in the toaster oven on 350 degrees, F. till tender, which is at least 1 hr. or longer.
Saffron Risotto with Shrimp, Zucchini, and Peas....recipe, on this page

This is Lora's creation, and she makes this just about once a week. She does not post it on her blog because her blog is mostly about cakes, and desserts. She does not like leftovers, as a rule, unless it's spaghetti, and meatballs, lasagne, or pizza leftovers and I get her leftovers to share with friends...and truly this is gourmet, and yummy, even reheated. Just add a few drops of water, and heat on top of the stove. Now, on to the next fabulous things!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Brandy Crackles...and Awards


I was browsing through Konstant Kraver @ The Sweet Tooth Chronicles
blog last week, and I happened to bump into this yummy dessert...which is a "no bake"...and oh, so easy to make. With the permission of Konstant Kraver. I befriended Konstant Kraver through Foodbuzz, a while back, and have been admiring her's/his gorgeous and fun desserts, but lost touch, even though we are following each other's blogs. If you do not comment on another's blog, chances are they will not comment on yours, either.

There's way too many food blogs out there and sometimes it's hard to keep up. I'm one of those people that like to make friends easily, but as the saying goes..."it takes two to tango"...if  they don't want to continue, there's nothing you can do to force the issue. Again, I have to mention the Guest Post issue...if this is a guest post, then it's "an animal of a different breed"...because, I don't require my guests to do anything or make anything other than what catches MY EYE...and ask them if I could feature that on my blog, and mention their blog, of course. It's that easy!

They don't have to do any "write up" to be "gushing" about me, or my blog, it's my HONOR to represent them!
I bought all the ingredients to make this easy, fun, and yummy dessert...Kellog's Rice Krispies is what you need, and the rest of the ingredients, you are most likely to have on hand, except for the flaked coconut, which I had to buy. Do try this recipe out, and do visit Konstan't Kravor's The Sweet Tooth Chronicles, and mention that I sent you...and be a friend, and follow their blog, as well!

I would like to share this dessert with you, and for the recipe, click over to Konstant Kraver's blog.

Just so we're on the same page and  understanding, Konstant Kraver left me a comment on Foodbuzz, regarding the use of the fabulous photos, and link to the recipe!

« back to inbox . .. KonstantKraver has left you a comment!



Apr. 29, 2011 at 08:39 PM..


Thanks again for the lovely comments :) I would love for you to use the photo :)!! Thanks again


..
Recipe for:Coconut Chocolate Brandy Crackles




Monday, May 2, 2011

Chocolate Chip Biscotti to bid on... Becky's Bake Sale

Today is a very important day...it's the day of the Bake Sale!

Becky @ Baking and Cooking-A Tale of Two Loves 

is hosting for a very important cancer drive, for the American Cancer Society. There are at least 27 ...31 participants...including myself, to contribute some really awesome baked goods. Almost, a year ago, just about 11 months ago, when I first started my blog, I made my Chocolate Chip Biscotti and posted the recipe, as well. Becky has posted that photo of my biscotti, which really did not look as great with my old camera, not to mention the biscotti was done, quite mediocre.

Now, just look, I baked these yummy biscottis, even with my sprained ankle, which is healing very nicely...no braces, no walker, just ace bandage on it...still can't stand on it completely, but I have to start little by little. It's such an honor to do this, and I'm ready to ship the biscotti, carefully wrapped, to the person that has the highest bid on it. All 2 dozen, with Nestle's chocolate chips folded inside, and drizzled with more chocolate, of the same kind, melted down.

Actually, if I were to sell these...which I have done so, in the past, it would cost $1.50-$2.50...each, depending on the size...multiply even, $1.50 times 24 would still cost $36.00.
Becky is starting the bidding, at $15.00 on all the items...so what are you waiting for? Check out her blog, and bid on 1 or two selections, from all the talented bakers from our Foodies...and Foodbuzz Community friends. It is for a tremendous cause to save lives, and honor the ones who have lost their lives to cancer. Becky has worked so hard on this project. Please do visit her, and bid on your favorite. As for me...I'm ready to ship this out to the person who has won the bidding!
Thank you, for participating!

Good News: The Bake Sale will still be on till tomorrow...an e-mail note, from Becky!

Hi everyone!

I have decided to leave the Bake sale open for another day! There are many items that haven't received bids.  All of you were wonderful to participate and Bake for the Bake Sale.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Now, if you wouldn't mind spreading the word that the bake sale will remain open another day. and definitely close tomorrow at 9PM EST.
--
Becky Higgins

Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves


Here's the e-mail address to bid...bidding starts at $15.00
bakingandcookingataleoftwoloves.blogspot.com



I'm linking my Chocolate Chip Biscotti to: Tuesday Night Supper Club, #39 @Fudge Ripple 
 also to:  Heart and Soul Hop#46
and, to: Foodie Wednesday @Daily Organized Chaos
 and, also to: What's on the Menu Wednesday @Dining with Debbie