Showing posts with label Bake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bake. Show all posts

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Unfried Chicken

Tomorrow is Independence Day...on 4th of July, and as far as I'm concerned fried, or grilled chicken cannot be left out. In my case, as much as I would love to get the gas grill going of my family's grill...it's 'not happening'...since I'll be elsewhere, enjoying my celebration with friends, while my daughter and family are still vacationing in Italy.
Chicken is a huge favorite of mine, and the entire family's...can't get tired of it since there are so many ways of preparing it. Frying the chicken is not an option these days for health reasons, so unfried, is the best way for 'fried' chicken lovers. Instead of breadcrumbs, or Panko, I used crushed corn flakes to pat on the chicken.  I got the inspiration from Bobby Deen, Paula Deen's son. Check out his recipe for the...
 Unfried Chicken
Instead of buttermilk, I used Ranch dressing from a bottle, to dip the chicken into, NO Egg whites needed, and I crushed the cornflakes to a finer grade, using a large zip-lock baggie, and just used the heel of my hand to crush it. Also added 1 cup of flour right in the bag, and added the chicken pieces right into the bag. Make sure you tap the crust so it adheres well.

Most importantly, I replaced the boneless chicken thighs like the recipe mentions, and got with the skin, and bone in. A lot cheaper with bone and skin on. I removed the skin, of course. Baked it for additional 10 minutes in the Le Creuset cast iron glazed skillet. I only baked 4 pieces, and will make an additional for the next day, or freeze it!
We have been getting rain, every day...for the month of June...I mean, heavy, heavy downpour! Also there's a Hurricane watch, which may come our way. Watching through the window on the front of the house...there's a cute papaya tree in the middle which is only less than a year old, and it has lots of papaya's...still green, but I saved a large papaya to ripen. We get sunshine every morning until about 2:00PM, then it gets cloudy and the rain starts for over one hour, sometime longer! Cools things down a little, but everything stays so green!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie...in Memory of Rosario

The most perfect and heavenly Lemon Meringue Pie...a true Southern delight!
photo, and recipe, courtesy of...What's Cooking America
Who would not love a tangy sweet, and sour perfect Lemon Meringue Pie?...certainly all of us would love this perfect Lemon Meringue Pie, including my ex-husband Rosario;

He has passed away since I wrote the last post on my blog, on New Year's Eve. It's been very painful since that time. He passed away peacefully, on Jan. 3rd. of 2013. His last wish for Christmas was to have Lemon Meringue Pie...which he has been given as a gift from a dear family friend. She made the most fabulous Lemon Meringue Pie and as a gift to Rosario, for the last 10 years.

Unfortunately, this year she was not able to make it for him, and as for me...I have not made it in decades...with Eagle Brand Condensed Milk..which worked just fine, but there is a better method of making this heavenly... all American Southern pie!

At this moment, I am in excruciating pain from Sciatica (a very painful low back nerve pain)...which has started after this weekend from Rosario's Memorial service...still not buried...will be buried overseas in Sicily (Italy),,,accompanied by our son Joe. I posted on 'facebook' ...but not have had the strength to post it on my blog, so far. I could barely walk from the pain, and nerve, shooting up and down my low-back, and leg...but it's starting to ease up a little.

I owe you, my blogger friends the explanation of why I have been absent from my blog for so long.Thank you for all your kind comments, and condolences on my facebook page. Lora has not been able to update her blog as well, since...fortunately for her, her in-laws from Italy came to the rescue to help in any way they can. They are so super sweet, and kind. We, now, can start to eat some delicious home-cooked meals for the next month!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Coconut Macaroons

To Guest Post? or not...That is the Question! Coconut Macaroons have been around for a long time; just don't confuse it with the Macarons...which is the French version of the beautiful egg whites, piped in a perfect circle, and sandwiched with another with so many different kinds of delicate and yummy fillings.
I remember well, making these easy amazing coconut cookies in the seventies, but flattening them down, and placing a bright red or green glazed cherry on each of the macaroons just for the Christmas holidays. Now, they are more fashionable, leaving them in their natural state, piled high, and just a light thin drizzle of melted down chocolate glaze.

Now, I've gotten away from the subject that I wanted to cover. I did not make these macaroons just now...not even recently. I made these just 2 days before I got my hands injured...exactly 2 weeks ago to use for a guest post...which took a different route. As you can see, this is my own guest post...and I'm the guest poster for myself!
In the nearly 2 years that I have been food blogging, I have made so many friends, through my blog, but mostly through the Foodbuzz community, which is so amazing! We all share the same mutual interest; which is FOOD!
Actually, even if it's not about food, but a different interest, we still end up celebrating an event with great food!

I do think it's a nice idea to guest post for a fellow blogger friend if the friend is in "need" ...in case of vacation, an illness, or some other reason, perhaps wanting to take a break, but whichever the reasons are, it's always an honor for both parties involved...sometimes things change, and you end up keeping your own guest post, so you might as well make the best of it...and honor "yourself"...after all, you deserve the honor!



Coconut Macaroons

adapted from Epicurious.com

1- 14 oz. package sweetened flaked coconut

2/3 cup sugar

6 Tbsp. all-purp flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 Tbsp. canola, or vegetable oil



Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together coconut, sugar, flour and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with

the vanilla extract, until soft peaks form. With a spatula, fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture, making

sure that all has been distributed into it, evenly.

With a small teaspoon drop cookies generously filling up the spoon, keeping them 2 inches apart. Mound cookies higher with your fingers so they don't look matted down.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes till edges are golden and cookies are set. Top and sided of cookies should be slightly golden, as well.



Melt chocolate chips with oil, in a medium microwavable dish, for about 60 seconds. Take it out, and stir to make it smooth. (if not smooth enough, nuke for an additional 10 seconds longer)

Drizzle over cookies. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Makes 24 cookies



Note: The best thing to use, and it's my tip a small, or medium plastic bottle with a small tip. (it's a clear plastic bottle used for sweet dessert decorations.) Use a funnel to spoon chocolate into it.

You can also use a small teaspoon to drizzle, or cut a tip on a corner of a plastic baggie (but in this case, it's a bit messy, and bag collapses)












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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

It's Sunday, and I was going to wait till tomorrow to do another post but I feel like I'm just really prolonging it, and trying to "milk" my last post to get more comment?...or maybe I should have replied on my blog to all? I just don't know which would be the right thing to do. Also...I wish I could just whip-up some cakes, cupcakes, or throw in some various different things to brighten up my blog; but honestly, I don't have the time, or the energy to be so ambitious like that. I don't know how others can do a different post just about every day, and come of with the most amazing things!
When I made my Hungarian Sour Cherry Strudel, I mentioned making Spanakopita, and I finally did make it. You can easily double up on the pastry sheets...they are so, so, thin; will not make one bit of difference to use more. Some recipes call for 6 sheets (bottom and top) with filling in the middle, as for the strudel did, but for the Spanakopita, you can easily use 12 each, bottom and top, because it needs to hold the amazing filling, which I totally adapted from the basic recipe I used.
One important advise when making the Spanakopita. DO NOT use fresh...unless you're willing to break your "food budget!" You would need at least 5 bags of it, which would cost about $3.99 each, as opposed to the chopped frozen spinach; 2- 10oz. frozen chopped spinach, less than $2.00 each, and you get a lot, and I mean, a lot of filling when mixed up with the cheeses, and eggs. If you are making the spinach triangle appetizers, then you probably would need about 2 bags of the fresh spinach, which is more affordable.

This is a classic Greek favorite pie than can be served as an appetizer, or side dish, or even a main dish with a side of salad. The main ingredients of course are; Phyllo (fillo) pastry dough, spinach, and Feta cheese. You can variate the herbs such as mint, parsley, or dill. I used a mixture of fresh mint, and fresh parsley.Also, you can add a different cheese with the Feta... as for the onions, you can use scallions, or a sweet mild onion.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
adapted from All Recipes.com
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
 I used 1 stick butter 4 ozs=113.4g (melted)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped (omitted that)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped
2- 10 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
a handful of chopped fresh mint
No salt needed, just freshly ground pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg added in to the cheeses 
2 eggs, lightly beaten
 1- 8 oz, package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
8 sheets phyllo dough...(omit this)
 24 sheets total...12 for bottom & 12 for top
1/4 cup olive oil
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9x9 inch square baking pan.I used a 9x11 or 9x13inch is OK to use.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.Bake for at least 45 minutes with the extra sheets. Before you bake the Spanakopita, with a sharp knife, score the pieces but do not cut through (only the top few layers) This makes it easier to cut, when finished baking!
Note: I can't begin to tell you how incredible flaky, and super delicious the Spanakopita was.This is an example how I adapt my recipes. Cannot always remember the ingredients, even though I remember the basic method. It would be nice to see other food bloggers mentioning at least SOME type of source where they got their recipe, or the idea from. Sometimes, when I eat out and a certain type of dish really inspires me, I even ask the chef if he would please just give me an idea of what ingredients are used, and I will create my own. Googling is the best and less troublesome way to get creative with a certain recipe, and make it your own.

Unless you have some old "hand-me-down" recipe from family, I seriously doubt that they mention any source because it's usually handed down to them by a family member, or friend, and those are the best KIND!

Also, I have to be honest with you, I practically given up on my Weight Watchers now...even though I'm still paying for the online program...have gained back 5 lbs of my 15 lbs weight loss over the last month (especially the holidays) ...too ashamed to go for a "weigh-in"...just went back to the gym in one month of absence, not counting points right now...shame, shame. I didn't just fall off the "wagon"...the wagon kind of rolled over me! All-in-all, I feel really good, my cat Prince is still alive (eating me out of house and home)...(although skin and bones)...oh, yes! He even eats from my roasted chicken, as long as it's white meat and cut up in tiny pieces. Poor old little guy, almost 20 now. Just wanted to let you in on the latest!
Have a wonderful Sunday!
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Rajma...and WW Corn Bread


Just recently, I was browsing through some food blogs of friends that I haven't visited for a while, and my eyes
got caught on a simple spicy bean dish...an Indian spicy vegetarian chili that inspired me so much...
knowing that I had all the spices, and it's a Weight Watchers approved dish, as well, plus the fact that I truly love, spicy foods!
When something really inspires me that someone makes, I usually leave a comment saying that "I would love to try this"..."I'm going to make this"..."I'm bookmarking it to print and copy the recipe"...how many of us say these over and over again?...only to just put it aside and forget about it! Nancy, and her husband Veejay are the authors of the Kitchen Gypsies, and I mentioned to my friend Nancy, that I would like to make this dish, and I actually did, in my slow cooker...a huge pot of it! So thanks for the inspiration, Nancy!

 Do visit their blog for the recipe, and browse through for some amazing authentic Indian, and American cuisine, that they have to offer.
Points per serving with rice: 10

Linking to: Cookbook Sundays @ Couscous-Consciosness

When I get inspired about a recipe...especially if I have the ingredients on hand, I could hardly wait to "jump" on it to make it, especially when it doesn't require an electric mixer, or a long time for preparation, and baking time. I can honestly say that this Weight Watchers Corn Bread recipe is the BEST by far, and guilt free light, super moist, and delicious of any corn bread or corn muffins I have made. It's pure, and simple...no butter, no fat, or oil added, just pure buttermilk!
Just look at the beautiful color, texture, and natural thickness of these healthy and delicious red kidney beans, soaked, and then cooked for several hours in the slow cooker! I served them over Thai Jasmin rice...amazing, spicy, and totally comforting and satisfying!


You can see the lines on the slow-cooker crock pot where it started to cook, cooking down and getting thicker.












The next day, I served it with my cornbread, which is a Weight Watchers recipe, that I will share with you.
I topped the Rajma with a generous spoonful of Lebni, which is a thick Middle Eastern Kefir, that can only be purchased in a Middle Eastern market, which we have here, locally, in West Palm Beach.






Recipe for the WW Cornbread...click on!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year...a New You!

Yes, this is a New Year...and a New You...if you let it happen! I've been putting it off for the last 7 years and now, I've made the crucial decision! I want to be at my best, and I want to look amazing! ...that means, I have to lose 35 lbs...actually, 45 lbs! According to my daughter Lora, "how about 50 lbs?"...well, that means if I do lose 50lbs it would be my weight since high school! How many of you can really say you are at the same weight since high school?...I bet, not too many! As the years pass, the weight keeps creeping up...sad, but true!

We toasted to the New Year with a glass of nice pink Prosseco...








Had my bowl of  Hungarian/Italian style lentils made in the slow cooker...also, Lora's fabulous lasagne with the pumpkin, and the bechamel sauce...














Tonight...a large glass of Chardonnay (6 ozs.=2points) in the Weight Watchers system, and now...the Diet begins!


















I purchased this amazing Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook...a 2006 edition, with fabulous recipes that are totally appealing, and delicious, and are perfect for today's lifestyle, if you are contiguously, thinking of healthier eating and making healthier choices...this is the best way to go about it! I actually bought this book at a favorite thrift store of ours, for $1.99 knowing that it retails for at least $32.00. Beautiful hard covered notebook, with the best, of the best light and easy recipes.

I joined Weight Watchers online, just since yesterday, and will probably have to sign up for their weekly meetings locally, in order to monitor, and maintain my weight loss! I already know my point system, and know how to figure out the points in order to lose weight, and I will be posting recipes from this book, for the next 90 days, and keep you posted of my weight loss results!
I made my own recipe, from 2 pieces of boneless chicken thighs, that I had in the freezer, to accompany with a nice dish of salad. The actual dish was 6 points, and I allowed myself 22 WW points in order to lose 35 lbs within the next 90 days!
Here's the recipe, I adapted my recipe from!


Southern Oven "Fried" Chicken

1/4 cup fat free buttermilk
1/4 cup cornflakes crushed
3 Tbsp all-purp flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 lbs. chicken parts, skinned
4 teaspoons canola oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour the buttermilk into a large shallow bowl. On a sheet of wax paper, combine the cornflake crumbs, flour, salt, and pepper. Dip the chicken in buttermilk, then dredge in the cornflake mixture, coating completely. Place the chicken on the baking sheet; drizzle with the oil. Bake 30 minutes, then turn the chicken over. Bake until cooked through, 16-20 minutes longer.
Points value: 5


My version of my Boneless Baked Chicken Thighs...based on the WW recipe, using 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, rubbed with Cajun Blackened spice, and 1 teaspoon each of extra virgin olive oil for the chicken thighs drizzled on, and dredge in 1/4 cup of Matzo Meal, also adding a dash of salt, and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven till crispy, and light brown for about 25-30 min. turning once. Serve it over a garden salad, topped with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, and white wine vinegar. Slicing the chicken, and serving it on top of the salad. Total points- 6


For my first day, I consumed 24 of my 22 allowed points, from breakfast to lunch, and dinner...not too bad for the first day! For breakfast, I had home made oatmeal with raisins, sweetened with Blue Agave organic nectar- 4 points. For lunch I had lentil soup from my huge pot of lentils, added more vegetable broth to make a nice soup- 4 points. For snack crackers, and peanut butter-3 points. Also, cashew peanuts for more snacks, another 2 points. I think I actually stayed within my point system, just have to keep a closer eye on it, and start to exercise, as well! Will keep you more informed of my progress!



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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Savory Butternut Squash Tart, the best...Ever!

Am I the only person that doesn't realize that we are in the fall season?...is it because I live in South Florida?
Well, neither are true. Living in a tropical climate doesn't mean that our temperature does not dip to a comfortable cool in the evening, and early morning. This is the best time of the year. I love fall, and I do miss the changing of the leaves to a gorgeous orange, yellow, and amber colors. I love the pumpkin patches, and the pumpkins sold in all the supermarkets, all the hearty soups, stews, and mostly pumpkin desserts, and savory squash dishes, and tarts...as this one for example!

I'm linking my Savory Butternut Squash Tart to: Full Plate Thursday , 10-27-11
@ Miz Helen's Country Cottage


I didn't want to be the last food blogger to present you with a sweet, or in this case, a savory delectable Butternut Squash Tart...but first, and most important, is the dough, which is used in pies, and for this free-form tart. Very simple, and easy to make; mix the tart ingredients in your food processor...the main thing is, as soon as the dough incorporates, you are ready to wrap it in plastic wrap, pat it down, and chill for at least 1 hour.
Without any further delay, I will let you in on a secret that is not such a secret... "best pie/tart recipe, from my daughter Lora @ Cake Duchess!  >>>> Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

Friday, October 21, 2011

Apple-Date Cobbler...and Homemade Biscuit Mix


I have been searching around in my little trusted file box from Better Homes and Gardens to pull out some "magic"...as in pulling a rabbit out of a magic hat?...well, it certainly came down to that, because I am just fresh out of ideas, for finding something out of my favorite cookbooks, ie: How To Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman, or my Southern Living collection, my Food and Wine Collections, or my Cooking Light collection of series, from the year 2000 all the way through 2010...all of which are "thrift finds," but my collections of newspaper clippings, which I have totally narrowed down, and have stopped collecting, and index cards that I have pasted or written recipes on, are now, a "thing of the past."...done, and gone!


Nowadays, you can find so many recipes on the Internet, and you don't have to go further than, your foodie buddies' blogs, to get inspired by all the amazing recipes they create, and post. I get inspired just by visiting, and commenting on all the my favorite blogs...most of, who are my friends that I like to keep in touch with! So why don't I just stay comfy-cozy, and keep getting ideas from their blog?...it's because I need to accomplish what I set out to do, is to go through my collection of recipes...or just toss them out...which most I have already done so!

Homemade Biscuit Mix
from Sun Sentinel, West Palm Beach, 1994

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking
powder, sugar, and salt. cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Store in an airtight container, and refrigerate. It will keep fresh for up to one month, or you can freeze it and keep up to 6 months. Just let it come to room temperature before using it, either way.
Makes up to 2 1//2 cups.







Apple Date Cobbler
my own recipe

1/2 cup Homemade Biscuit Mix
2 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cane sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. milk
4 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup pitted dates

In a medium mixing bowl, combine biscuit mix, flour, and 1 Tbsp. of cane sugar. Stir in the lightly beaten eggs, and the 2 Tbsp. milk, just until they are combined, and smooth. In another medium bowl, combine the sliced apples, the 2 Tbsp. brown sugar the one teaspoon cinnamon powder, juice of the one lemon. In a medium skillet, melt butter, add the apple mixture, and saute until al-dente (not quite soft)...add the 1 cup of the pitted dates, stir for a few minutes to let the dates heat up, and soften a little.

Transfer the mixture to a 1 quart oven proof casserole that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Immediately spoon biscuit mixture atop of the hot fruit mixture, into 4, or six mound (I added 6) Bake in a 400 -degree F. oven for about 15-20 minutes. Spoon out, 1 biscuit, and surround with fruit. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar, or additional cinnamon, mixed with sugar.
Serves 6.
Note: If you are using frozen fruits for the cobbler, you can mix 1 Tbsp. cornstarch into 3 Tbsp. water, to add to the fruit mix to heat up.

Enjoy!
I made this in the middle of the afternoon, and my 10 yr.old  granddaughter Gabby and I enjoyed a serving of this...just check out the biscuit, how light, and fluffy, the apples still in beautiful pieces, and the dates, slightly softened...Mmmm...let me tell you, this is a TREAT!...a great middle of the afternoon snack, with a nice cup of hot tea (which I don't drink unless it gets cool outside)...or a cup of cold glass of milk!