Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Watermelon Knife...and Awards!

If you've never seen, or used a Watermeon Knife, neither did I, until I won the amazing giveaway from 
 She was hosting this amazing giveaway on her blog. The KUHN RIKON Watermelon Knife is made in Switzerland, and its a high quality Japanese carbon steel, with an 11-inch serrated blade. The safety sheath is more desirable to bring along on picnics or camping trips, and for easy storage at home. Thank you Vicki for the fabulous giveaway gift, and thanks to the KUHN RIKON team for such an amazing giveaway gift that I won!
Just look how it glides through with ease...although this watermelon is not as large as the ones I usually buy, but I wanted to make sure that this does not have seeds, and is perfectly ripe, which it was, and oh, so sweet! I'm not quite done demonstrating, because I wanted to do more special cutting with this beautiful Watermelon Knife...love the color of bright red, and green as well...just like the color of the watermelon.
I turned the knife over to the opposite side so you could see the high quality Japanese carbon. Just don't put this knife if the dishwasher, to dull the carbon, or fade the pretty red color...although I did not read it in the instruction, I never put my good knifes in the dishwasher.
Well, I decided to get a little fancy with the cutting. I cut the watermelon in half, then, I cut a small piece off the bottom of one half, to make it stand even. Also, I hollowed out the watermelon and cut the chunks into smaller pieces, and I put them back inside. With the other half of the watermelon, I cut them across into slices, and then into wedges, and linted them back into the watermelon half. Also, I sliced some starfruit...which by the way is not done right, I was supposed to peel them...then slice them.
So, check out the cute picnic table cloth...it was a "thrift find" fabric, brand new, but it appears that it's from the seventies, I made it into a picnic table cloth, so much fun for the little grandchildren.
I also receive a bundle of star fruit, also known as Carambola from my ex-hubby...here's a basket full of starfruit at his house (our house) where my children grew up...he has all kinds of fruit trees, including star fruit, and various herbs, including the Sicilian rosemary.
My two precious grandchildren posing for the watermelon...both 5yrs old, two months apart. First cousins...we've been told that they look like twins! Mattia on the left (son Joe's) Luca (male) on the right (daughter (LORA'S)...they get along so well together, as long as Luca lets Mattia boss him around. She's a little "spit fire" and he is so "laid" back, and "yesses" everything to her. He worships the ground she walks on...seriously! When he gets tired of her bossing him around...that's it...fun and games are over, and she wants to go home...playtime is over!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas...and Vegetarian Burritos!

I have not made chicken enchiladas in such a long time that I have almost forgotten about it...not really how to make it, just not thinking about making it. There are so many choices to make for dinner, but I really like to try new and healthy dishes out, instead of the "humdrum" basic things.
Now that I'm feeling a lot better and get the full use of my arm back, I feel so relieved that I can go about my daily routine.
We were worrying about hurricane Irene coming to us in South Florida, but it decided to go towards the East Coast which does not look too good. Reaching all the way up to New York, and Maine.
We are experiencing the heavy winds, and storm, but nothing compared to what tha Bahamas is going through, and now the Carolinas.
Just peeking through my balcony to check the pouring rain on Thursday afternoon, in a matter of minutes you would thing the hurricane was coming through. This poor palm tree lost a few branches from the heavy wind, and for an hour we were getting pummeled with the heavy rainstorm. I was not about to go outside to venture out anywhere! Now it's calm again, but it will start up all over.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Farm Fresh Eggs...or Egg-Land's Best!

If in doubt...as to make a perfect omelet...simple or filled with your favorite vegetable, ham, or bacon, mine is just a simple sliced sweet onion omelet, for 2 servings, with 4 eggs. Farm fresh eggs?...Well, daughter Lora, her friend, Lauren and her 3 girls, and my grandchildren Gabby and Luca went on a real egg farm...or correctly, chicken farm, to get fresh eggs! To be perfectly honest, Egg-Land's Best is fresh farm eggs. There is no doubt in my mind that they are the best, as far as I'm concerned, and that goes for my family. I want nothing, but the best for them!

I sauteed thick sliced sweet onion, which I love so much, in 2 Tbsp olive oil, and just added salt and pepper right into the skillet, over the onions for more intense flavor.








Scramble the 4 eggs lightly, and just pour over the sauteed...actually caramelized onions. Do not stir, just lift the pan from side to side, and jiggle the eggs, so they spread evenly. With a spatula, you can lift the bottom around the edge a little, after a few minutes.





At this point, you can flip it over to the other side, and just fold over, as it's shown in the top photo!











For an additional delicious version omelet...check out my friend Michael's @Me, My Food and I
also linking this to my friend Linda, @Vittles and Commitals
...and also to Akheela, @ Torviewtoronto
I'm also a fan of Egg-Land's Best on Foodbuzz, and have been cooking and baking with it for a few years now. Every time my daughter and I go to Costco, we buy the 18 carton of these beautiful eggs. I prefer the Extra Large eggs, although there's not too much between the two sizes.
These are the farm fresh eggs that my daughter purchased, all different colors...price? Triple the cost for the dozen farm fresh eggs, compared to a dozen Egg-Land's Best! Mind you...I did not eat even one egg...just wanted them to enjoy it, but come to think of it, I did take one or two from Lora, and it's still in the carton.

I would like to thank all of you for your kind and caring comments and mostly for your advice for helping ease the pain.
This happened to me last Tuesday, and it has gotten worst after a few days. Not fun, having a pinched nerve, anywhere on your body. I am so glad to have read about some of your similar problems, and thanking you for sharing your experiences with me. Finally, after my most amazing chiropractor, Dr Keith, who is also a Physical Therapist as well, and travels around the globe treating sport stars! Also, I had a massage on the shoulder which did help, but the most therapy that helped was stripping the knot with a gadget (that was so very painful but really helped)...he even suggested that I get it x-rayed and see and orthopedic doctor, but by Saturday, I was starting to be able to actually lift my arm slowly! Now, it is so much better, and I'm getting the use of my right arm back!
Still have not cooked or baked anything, accept my simple easy omelet, and I thought I would share the photos of the egg farm with you. It was so much fun for the kids, and a nice little morning outing on Saturday!
Have a wonderful week!
xoxo

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pan Seared Salmon...and Pinched Nerve!

I seem to have been MIA for the last two days...and actually I was. Did any of you experience a pinched nerve in the neck, back, shoulders? Well, I do not wish the excruciating pain on my worse enemy. (don't have one, luckily)
I woke up two days ago with tingling, numbness on my shoulder, only to find out later in the day that my arm, hurts so bad, and my shoulder feels, like someone punched me in the arm. a stabbing pain, that went down to my forearm, on the right side. I immediately went to my chiropractor, who is also a physical therapist, and he said the it is cause by a pinched nerve on my neck that went down to my shoulder. I could not move my arm, or lift it, could barely drive my car, just with the left hand, which was not the problem, but putting the car into park, or taking the key out of the ignition was even painful.
Here's a little bit of info I found online about pinched nerve, which does make a lot of sense. This afternoon I'm at least able to use my hand...arm is still "frozen"...numb...good thing I have my son, and family near by, granddaughter helping with the seared salmon. I can't wait to go back home to recuperate!...pretty weird, and scary...never had this happen to me before!

Pinched Nerve In Shoulder

Typically, pinched nerve in shoulder occurs when too much pressure is applied to the shoulder nerve by the surrounding tissue, such as cartilage, tendons, bones and muscles.Symptoms include muscle weakness, numbness, pain and a tingling sensation that radiates along the shoulders and into the neck or spine. While pinched nerves may occur anywhere in the body, they most commonly affect the neck, shoulder and lower back.
A pinched nerve in shoulder can cause debilitating pain. It can seemingly come from out of nowhere, waking you up from a night's sleep, or it can be the result of an accident or sports injury. In many cases, a pinched nerve results in severe pain and disability in the shoulder and upper arm. After treating the pain with moist heat, consult your physician. Exercise therapy is one of the first courses of treatment.

I am so sorry if I haven't commented back on your blogs...it's just that I even went to bed last night at 9:00PM taking 2 Ibuprofen, which knocked me right out for 10 straight hours. Just could not get myself to the computer until now, and will comment back as soon as I'm able to. I do appreciate your kind comments, and I thank you for accepting the 7 Link challenge, to round up your favorites.
Hugs,
Elisabeth

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I've been Tagged...Seven Links!

I am so happy to have been tagged by three wonderful and talented blogger friends to participate in the
SEVEN LINKS game. I love it!
Thank you, my beautiful, talented friends...
Ping, @ Ping's Pickings, Lizzy, @That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!! and Tina, @Pinay of Texas Cooking Corner
As a rule: Tag 5 bloggers, but since I've been tagged three times. I will be tagging 15 bloggers to continue this fun tagging game.
I will tag 15 bloggers, 5 for each tagging. I will contact you on your blog to tag you!
Have a beautiful Sunday!


1.THE MOST BEAUTIFUL POST
 I don't do much baking for the simple reason that my daughter does most of the baking in the family, and I have been slacking off in the last few years with my cake baking. I like to come up with easy-breezy stuff, as this No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake that I literally took the recipe from the back  of the box of the graham crackers, and adapted it my way! This was back in April of this year, and I received 50 comments on it! For a simple cake, I thought this was really pretty and light for Spring! (photo was taken with my old camera, and this was the best I could do)

2.THE MOST POPULAR POST
3. THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL POST
# 3-My Homemade Garlic Rolls has to be the most controversial post. I have never made garlic rolls like these. They are like the cinnamon rolls, only with a different twist, filled with herbs and garlic. I was so excited when I first saw this on another blogger's blog. Instead of commenting on the blog that was linked to (which I did later) ...as usual, me...like a little "kid" all happy and excited, commenting, and complimenting how much I love the rolls..."thank you for sharing"...so on, and so forth, just drooling all over their post. Not a word back on their blog, not a "peep" to mine; Do you know how bad, that feels?...the rejection?...the vulnerability, to put yourself out there to a stranger's blog and open up with your feelings, and the "let down" is so sad...but your learn from it! I simply went to the "source" where it was linked from, and not only got a gracious comment, but a "gift" of the yeast she used to send to me from Singapore! So,  as you see...when "one door closes, another door opens up for you!"....a happy ending!

4. THE MOST HELPFUL POST

The most helpful post by far, has to be my Chocolate Chip Biscotti that I baked for the online bake sale for the American Cancer Society, hosted by Becky, @Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves. I have never done an online baking before...did not know the firs rule about it, but there I was participating in the baking to have my biscotti bid on, bake it, and ship it out for the blogger that won the bid. It was quite challenging, for a great cause! I also bid on 2 amazing desserts and had it shipped to me. Totally fun, and a great way to support cancer research for our loved ones, friends, and all the people who are battling this disease, and for the ones that have been cured!
Such a great and rewarding feeling. I cannot go into it any further, because there would be tears of sadness, but mostly tears of joy for the cure!


5. POST THAT WAS SURPRISINGLY SUCCESSFUL
My "Perfect Brownie Pan" Brownie (One Bowl Brownies,) made in the famous brownie pan with the individual dividers. By mistake, I poured the brownie filling into the pan while the dividers were in, instead, before, and it created little collars around the sides when it was done...not intending to make this design.

6. POST THAT DID NOT GET ATTENTION IT DESERVED
I was so proud of my Mushrooms in Adobo Sauce, a true authentic appetizer tapas from Spain, with caramelized onions and homemade adobo...not the powdered seasoning that you buy commercially, but your own.
It really was professionally done, and plated. Could be, that not that many people like mushrooms.

7. POST YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF
The post that I'm most proud of is the simple, yet amazing Carrot Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese frosting, that I made for my son Joe's birthday, this March. He just published his first novel, and also launched his surfboard art career. We celebrated at a Vegan restaurant since both son wife were both vegetarian at the time (now, my son is not, after one year)
It didn't take long to make this delicious cake, but you must make it the day, or several hours before (I made it the day before) to assure it's flavors combining with all the goodness added. All ingredients are so fresh, and the frosting totally amazing!

Here are the 15 food blogger friends that I'm inviting to join the 7 Links Tag Game!

Joanna-Chic & Gorgeous Treats
Kathy-Bakeaway With Me
Brenda-Brenda's Canadian Kitchen
Junia-Mis Pensamientos
Becky-Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves
Gina-SPCookie Queen
Parsley Sage (Carsley)-Deep Dish
Lora-Cake Duchess
Lindsey-Tiny Skillet
Veronica-Quay Po Cooks
Alisha-The Ardent Epicure
Sandra-Sandra's Easy Cooking
Wendy-The Weekend Gourmet
Shabs-Yum and Delish
Michael-Me, My Food and I
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Thrift Finds

It's been raining practically all day yesterday, and I have not had the desire to go outside in the rain, to do any errands, except just to chill out inside my condo apartment, open the windows in my living room and listen to the rain. I just love watching summer rain, and listen to the rain drops. Sounds corny, but it's one of the sounds of nature that I love so much. In the early morning, I love to open my back windows in the bedroom, just to hear the cricket sounds, and watch the lush greenery of the enormous grape leave trees. The clean fresh air, even if it's 79 to 81 degrees F. in the morning, I love to open my windows and get the nice cross breeze from the ocean, which is only about 100 ft. away.

I'm linking this to:
I decided to bake cookies last night, and I always refer to the Original Nestle Toll House Cookies recipe.
The only adaptation I use for the full recipe, is instead of 2 sticks of butter, I substitute 1 cup of Crisco all vegetable shortening, which equals to the 1 stick of butter. The reason for that is...my cookies always come out so perfect and just the right amount of crispiness. It never flattens down, as it would with the full amount of the butter. So that's my little secret "tip!"
Now, do you see what I mean?...Perfect cookies every time! Later, I plan to make enchiladas, which I have not made in ages...one filled with leftover rotisserie chicken, and the other vegetarian.
In the meantime, here's the link to the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. Yeayy!!! saves me from typing it all out! Trust me on this one. Perfect cookies every time!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Strawberry Ice Box Cake

 I rarely try recipes from cooking magazines these days because I have so many selections from cookboos that I own, also from previous old recipe collections of mine, the Internet, and even better, recipes from my foodie friends' blogs which I could be trying out every single day. I also have the newest issues of Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, and Food and Wine, but for now, those are just reading materials for now until I can catch up with all the others.
For the tutorial video, with the proper round wafers...click: Strawberry Ice Box Cake
I'm linking the Strawberry Ice Box Cake to: 
 Hearth and Soul Hop #60 @Zesty South Indian Kitchen
So what's wrong with this dessert?...the wafer cookies!...the directions!
I bought the August, 2011 issue of Woman's Day, at the checkout isle, from my local Publix supermarket, and I was so thrilled with all the light summer recipes, as in my previous post with the Watermelon Feta salad. I still want to try a few more recipes in this issue, but I have to resolve this wafer, and directions problem first. I was looking for a good quality of chocolate wafer cookies...the ones I remember, from 20 or 30 years ago, that were such high quality for ice-box cakes. No Luck!
I had no other choice than to buy a much less quality wafers, that turned out to be a dry, tasteless, soggy tasting mess, that totally ruined my yummy, tasty, and healthy frozen delight!
I will post the recipe, as it is in the magazine, and you be the judge as to what went wrong, besides the tasteless wafer cookies. We enjoyed the frozen delight...minus the wafers. I will make this again, now that I googled the wafers, and found out that I can actually buy Nabisco wafer cookies online! While I was googling, just check this awesome recipe out on this site with Oreo Fridge Cake
This also is a must try for me!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Watermelon and Feta Salad and Giveaway Winnings!

It's summertime, and we need to spend less time in the hot kitchen as much as possible. Who wants to spend a long time cooking, and baking and heating up your kitchen when you have other options? A nice refreshing salad, or a "no bake" dessert...but then again, a simple pasta dish is always a favorite, which we have almost every day, and not worry about exctra fat and calories, if it's a light simple fresh tomato sauce. This salad has it all, watermelon, feta cheese, cucumbers, and baby watercress, red onions, and a drizzle of a refreshing, fresh lime, white wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
I'm linking this to Cookbook Sundays,  @Mom's Sunday Cafe
The recipe calls for baby arugula, but since I could not find it at my supermarket, I did find baby watercress, which is not bland, by far! It has a "kick" to it of a slight spicy-bitter flavor, as does the arugula has. You can substitute mesculon if your don't like the sharp flavor of either of the two.

I've been totally MIA all day yesterday, and came home late. All I did was heat up some leftovers and plopped down on my sofa to watch the missed season 3 of the TRUE BLOOD series which I've got hooked on, thanks to my son, and wife...LOL it's definitely "bloody" and scary at times but I love this series. They are on the 4th season now....and I don't want to miss out on any episodes!

I am so happy to win this beautiful healthy recipe cookbook by Joy Bauer...the giveaway hosted by Claudia, @Blog's Got Heart  and What's Cookin' Italian Style.  Thank you, Claudia!

I still haven't mentioned about this amazing Macaron book by the author, Jill Colonna, such a generous giveaway hosted by Marsha, @The Harried Cook  I have never made macarons, and I'm so excited to learn from the best!
Thank you, Marsha, and Jill!