Friday, September 30, 2011

Plum Dumplings-Szilvás Gombóc...and a Guest Post


I am so thrilled and honored that Roxana of A Little Bit of Everything asked me to guest post for her, while she is vacationing in her homeland, Romania. She has asked some of us who was born outside of the United States to guest post for her, I almost felt as if I'm not going to be able to fulfill this request, because although I was born in Hungary, I did not grow up there. I was 8 years old when we came to the United States. My maternal grandmother, and mother was also born in Romania, what was considered part of Hungary up until after WW1. They were originally from Transylvania...yes, the actual home of Count Dracula, from the 15th century, whose castle still is in existence, as a big tourist attraction. Transylvania/Romania is still in very much existence, and I still have most of my relatives living there, whom I have never met, also, in Hungary as well!

I feel as if I know Roxana in person, because of the background connection.We seem to have had this special bond instantly, since we first met through our blogs.
Thank you Roxana, for your invitation to guest post for you, and I hope I don't disappoint you with my traditional Hungarian dish, that I actually learned how to make when I was a young "mommie"...from my Hungarian aunt, right here in Florida, which was over 30 years ago!

If you would like to get the recipe, please stop over to Roxana, also know as Green Girl! You will find other delicious and amazing desserts, and yummy yeast rolls...which is her "forte."
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Israeli Couscous Salad

Even though you are not a vegetarian, and for sure not a vegan, have you wondered lately that what you are consciously cooking might be...could be vegetarian, or vegan?...well it happens to me a lot, without even thinking or planning it, do to the fact that I always have fresh veggies on hand and like to use them up with whatever I happen to think of making. Same goes for the dry beans, and for the canned beans, rice, lentils, and couscous that I like to prepare to have around as a snack, or a side dish!

Israeli couscous is made of small, round pearls of pasta. Similar to regular couscous, it resembles a grain but is made of wheat flour. Because of its large surface area, it holds sauce well and is very versatile; Israeli Couscous can go in soup, be baked, served as a pie, or made into a risotto. It is widely used in the Middle East, and in Portugal, Spain, and Italy. So delicious with cooked vegetables or used as a side dish with stews. It has a nutty flavor, and it does not get a sticky texture when it is cooked properly. I love to eat this as a cold salad, but you can eat it warm as well!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Restaurant Review, Pets...and Awards!

This is organic green iced tea, served in a glass, and a separate carafe $2.50
As you can see, I'm having a better week this week, thanks to all of your kind words of encouragement, I thought about each and every comment that you posted, and it made me feel so happy that you shared with me. I do have two posts from this week, but I'm saving it for another day to post it...instead, I thought this would be more fun and versatile!

So, I get a call from my daughter, the other day from Lora, (cake duchess) asking me if I want to go to get a "quick bite" for lunch...OK, I'm thinking, she's asking me at the last minute, not giving me time to even get ready, just to jump in the car and go with her, thinking, she wants to go to the Bagel place downtown, that is a very casual trendy breakfast and lunch place where they make the most amazing bagels, and the service is great, no waiting, and you are in-and-out in no time. She says, "we're going to Joy's Noodles"...what the heck is Joy's Noodles? Oh, it's an Asian "mom and pop" little place, for lunch and dinner...no reservation required, and it's around the corner! OK...how come I didn't know about this place when I pass by almost eerie day?...oh, it's "low key"...they never advertise, and the place is always packed, because of the great food, amazing owners, service, and great staff! Well, that explains it all!

This is the menu for Joy's Noodles
http://www.joysnoodles.com/

located at:
2200 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, Fl. 33401





A beautiful sunny Wednesday, on the right is the main street, which is S. Dixie Highway, and on the left, is the back of the building which is the parking, You can enter from either side of the building. I took this photo quickly, on the way out. We were really in a rush, and a fabulous fresh and warm lunch was served within about 25 minutes...I kid you not!






As you can see, I ordered a Sautéed Spicy Khmer
Noodles, with squid, $14.95
Udon noodles, with a mixture of spices and herbs, and let me tell you, this was the freshest, and most succulent squid I've ever had, with the most amazing spicy sauce...not overly spicy, but just right, with a mixture of vegetables of scallions, carrots, and tiny broccoli florets...yumm! oh, so delicious!




Now that I've taken a closer look, there were of course chili pepper flakes, as well, and edemame too!
I shared some of the pasta with Lora, as she shared her rice and tofu with me!



The best thing about the noodles, and the rice dishes, is that you get to choose about about 8 different sauces, vegetables, and combination of chicken, beef, and seafood with your sauce. So many choices!

Lora chose the White Rice, with Mixed Vegetables, and Tofu, in a Lemongrass Coconut Sauce...$11.95
so amazingly mellow, and absolutely divine!







Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Great Pasta, and Fish...and a Bad Week!

Amazing fresh pasta with fava beans, and mixed vegetables, topped with goat cheese...courtesy of Chef Fabrizio,
 (my son-in-law)
Do you ever get one of those days when it starts out with a series of things going wrong, and the next day it's the same, and as you go through the week your realize that nothing is going right, only because of that one thing that is tugging at your "sleeves" and you know you have to take care of it. It started exactly one week ago.

Fabulous baked Mahi-Mahi with lemon-butter sauce and veggies...courtesy of Chef Fabrizio (my son-in-law)
My central air condition, which is only about 3 years old, just gave out and water was dripping...then gushing, thinking it's my water heater, or the neighbor's that busted. It was neither but my AC. I live in an older building on the beach where we are sharing "pipes"...now don't get me wrong...not the kind of pipes that is illegal...ha, ha...but the pipes that is connected to our water system.

The AC guy came out and fixed the problem, only to last 2 days. I waited for another 2 days for him to return the call...as you see, we live in South Florida, and here independent workers run on their own schedule. When they say they will be out in an hour, you should know it will be 2 hours...maybe 3 or all day, depending where they might get stuck on another job. Well, in the meantime it's still in the upper eighty degrees here, and at night the upper seventy degrees. No sign of fall here, till about November. I could not wait for this guy to come back to fix the problem, so my son called his AC guy to come and check the problem...by that time it was towards the end of the week. He promptly came out and drained the excess water, but by that time I have used up all my towels...even the good ones to mop up all the water from the floor.

Problem fixed...oh, but NO!...still the same dripping water existed coming through my ceiling pipes in my closet where the water heater and the AC unit is. Mind you, I had to cancel all my appointments that entire week, to deal with all this...not over yet! By Friday, I had no other choice but to call my condo association and tell them perhaps it's an outside problem. Sure enough they sent their AC man, and they checked the outside pipes, drained it...and DONE!...3 AC service people...$100. service charge to each of the first 2; (son paid for the second.)
The 3rd service man didn't charge for the service call, since it's an outside problem...but the inside problem was my responsibility...No air condition for 1 whole week...so appreciating the breeze in the early morning, and evening...but no fun stuck inside not wanting to cook or bake in that heat. So grateful for at least I got to eat two truly amazing meals made by Fabrizio!

Also had a beautiful dinner at my son's. He is the "grill guy!" ...such a nice grilled fish...this time a grouper (didn't take photo, darn!) ...so all in all, I still have my loving family, regardless of all these aggravating issues that have a way of working themselves out!

I picked up rotisserie chicken from my favorite local Publix supermarket that was at least 2 dinners, and 1 lunch for me...also picked up fresh sushi from the same market that they make fresh every single day! So it wasn't so bad. Spent some quality time by myself... and sat around enjoying the breeze on the beach this weekend...have not cooked even 1 meal. I feel so bad for not having anything to post of what I made! didn't make!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Easy Frittata with Vegetables and Bacon...also an Award!

I'm not trying to cover up, or making excuses for not posting a fabulous dessert...my favorite quote..."it is what it is"..."what you see is what you get"...well, it holds true. I'm quite a frugal person, but that does not mean I'm "cheap" I like to get good quality produce, small amount of meats, seafood, and the freshest and best eggs possible.
 I have been buying the 18 carton Egg-Land's Best at Costco's and I always have more than enough. I don't bake enough, and I don't eat enough eggs, so when I have a lot left over, I end up making a frittata on top of the stove, and finish it off in the oven, to melt and brown the top with the cheese on it, but this time I didn't have any cheese...but did still have the organic bacon, so I cooked that separately, to sprinkle on the top. Leftover eggs are always nice hard boiled too, to make egg salad with it.
You probably also didn't know...which some of the 7 things about me, is that I love iced tea better than hot tea. The only time I drink hot tea, when the temperature drops below 65 degrees F. outside! Strange, but true! Also, I love Lipton fresh brewed tea. I literally make a pitcher of fresh tea for iced tea, which both my son and I love. He comes over to my place, at lunch time (works from home)...runs on the beach, and when he returns. he practically drinks the entire pitcher of ice tea with fresh lemon slices, and sweetened with "blue agave" syrup. So that's my little secret with the iced tea!
What you see on the forefront on the left, is little chunks of cooked potato, and little diced pieces of zucchini,
chopped onions, peppers, and diced fresh tomatoes, and beautiful sliced tomatoes  from that glorious bag of fresh tomatoes that I buy for $1.00 when they have it at my favorite local produce market!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes...and a special 7 Links



People tend to have addictions to all sorts of things, which I do not want to list right now, but if you would have a chocolate addiction like I do, and my granddaughter Gabby...you would understand why I on purposely do not bake a lot of things with chocolate, or even tempt my granddaughter with it.

I cannot trust myself to have chocolate around me, because I would eat the whole thing. Same thing goes for chocolate cake. So, I simply stay away from it, and have it once in a while, but honestly, if you're a "true chocolate lover" this would really satisfy your chocolate addiction. Not too sweet, not heavy, no cream added, just pure "chocolate heaven."
She must take after me, because she and I taste tested this Warm Chocolate Pudding cake, with the excuse of taking a photo of how it looks on the inside, just before my daughter served dinner...Gabby said to me "please don't tell mom I ate most of this...or she'll get so mad at me!..."and me"...I said. We not only taste tested it, but we ate the whole thing. The other spoon you see on the right is with another empty dish...and after that, we proceed to eat a nice dish of pasta, with homemade fresh tomato sauce, and a light salad.
Has any one of you done that? ...or are we just strange?

I'm linking my Warm Chocolate Putting Cakes, to Full Plate Thursday,
@Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Incidentally, I have left a comment @ Vicki's Blog At Home with Vicki Bensinger how I love to eat this pasta, with the fresh tomato sauce. She has just posted her recipe on it. Yumm!
Another delicious fresh tomato sauce recipe with Pennette, from Linda @ Vittles and Committals

Also, I wanted to share with you a special 7 Links from a wonderful blogger friend, Shabs,
@Yum and Delish whom I have tagged a couple weeks ago, if she would like to participate in rounding up her 7 links. She was so gracious and kind to keep me informed through e-mail, to let me know that she is still on vacation in her homeland, Kerala, India, and that she will post it when she comes back. Now, she has let me know on my previous post, commenting that she posted her 7 Links. She chose this gorgeous Strawberries and Cream Cake as her Most Beautiful Post...I do have to agree, and I'm sure you will too. Check out this amazing cake, and recipe, and her 7 links...you will be glad you did!
Strawberries and Cream Cake


Friday, September 9, 2011

Hungarian Cottage Cheese Noodles...and a Book Giveaway!

We have an old Hungarian tradition, that I remember from childhood, that my grandmother used to make, at least once a week called "túrós tészta (csusza)"...cottage cheese noodles! My mom used to make it, and my aunt, and sister, as well. The only difference is that my mom would make it with homemade noodles, and use fresh "farmers cottage cheese" and farmers sour cream, and real bacon, which could be considered "organic" bacon without "nitrates" added that we could actually buy these days, in Whole Foods Market.

Now, I don't have a step-by-step directions for this delicious and satisfying dish, that you can serve, with or without the crispy bacon bits, if you want it meatless...but oh, my! those organic uncured crispy bacon bits really, really add some extra flavor.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lemon-Glazed Zucchini Bread...and More Tomatoes!

I have not made zucchini bread for years, maybe since my children were little, and they actually loved it!...why not now?...I really don't know!

I used to have a fantastic recipe from Bon Appetit, but that was from the seventies, or eighties and those recipes almost, always called for at least 1 cup of vegetable oil, and 2 cups of sugar...yikes!!! there goes your cholesterol level, and killing you with sugar!...no thank you! At any rate, this recipe, I assure you has very little oil (1/4 cup) and lot less sugar (1/2 to 3/4 cup)...so, no wonder I didn't make it until now, although I've always been relying on my banana breads with excess ripe bananas always at hand. ...also having zucchini on hand, but using it in savory dishes!
Whatever you do, just don't tell your 5yr. old child that this is zucchini, the green vegetable that they are being served, tucked away, inside this wonderful lemon-sugar glazed bread. I made that mistake, and my 5yr. old granddaughter would not touch it with a 10ft pole! I posted this photo, because I wanted to show off the glaze on the top, and also the photo itself. Both was done by Sophia, my 10yr old granddaughter. She certainly loved the bread, and even had seconds. What a difference 5year makes! If you really want to camouflage the zucchini, all you have to do, is to peel it first, then grade it, the way my daughter Lora made it, with the same recipe. I, of course left the little green specks in it...which is the "beauty" of this delicious and moist zucchini bread!
See the little specks of green?...that's what real zucchini bread is all about...seeing the actual specks of the beautiful shredded fresh zucchini.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Canning Tomatoes...and missing Gina!

My friend Gina, from SPCookieQueen had just announced that she will have to take a break from blogging for a while, and may not be coming back! In the meantime, she had just posted her 7 Links that I tagged her with, and it is so beautiful with all her heartfelt posts, and favorite things that she posted, that I was so pleased to see, but not so pleased to hear the news that she may not be returning to her blog...sigh!

You see, Gina was one of the first blogger that befriended me on my blog, when I first started, and I will be forever grateful for that. She is so talented, and has come such a long way with her photo props, as she has explained in the past how she is doing it with the proper lighting...etc. All her recipes are so amazing, from soups...to desserts, and the photos are superb! I will personally miss her blog, and her, mostly. I have mentioned to blog at least once a month, because of her busy work schedule, so hopefully she will do at least that. As for the recipe for the actual Marinara Sauce...canning tomatoes. just link to her site! I only made a few jars of these, and I must say, it was truly a success...so thank you Gina for all your wonderful contributions...you are truly a beautiful friend, and a fantastic blogger...please do not leave permanently, not just yet!
Here's the recipe for How to can Marinara Sauce  from fresh tomatoes!
All I did was to saute some chopped onions, and chopped garlic in olive oil, and added the jar of canned Marinara sauce...heat it up, and I arrived at having the most wonderful Marinara Sauce I had ever tasted in my entire life...seriously!
...and to make it even better, I sauteed some frozen deveined, and cleaned shrimp to add to the sauce! Yumm! ...just can't have any other sauce better, than your own canned sauce!