Showing posts with label Bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bread. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Red Clam Sauce with Linguine

I'm at the point where I feel like 'throwing in the towel'...and take a 'blogging break'...I'm totally discombobulated, disconnected, so not on the 'ball' with my blogging, and keeping up with my posts that would actually amount to something or feel I have a connection to the proper groups, blog hops, social networks. I'm probably the only food blogger that hasn't used STUMBLE! Even my Google+ is sitting there all lonely and not properly attended to. I was one of the last ones that stayed on the old Blogger format, until they finally discontinued the old format! Good thing I'm able to figure out the new Blogger format, which is really great:)

As I mentioned the last time that I don't take photos of the things I make every day...but then, if I don't have a plan for something special, than I have no other choice but sprucing up my dish to take some photos, mostly in my kitchen, for the best light at night... if I want to have a new post.

This is a classic Italian Clam Sauce with Linguine, but one rule is that, it's either 'White Clam Sauce'...not a white cream sauce, but a simple extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and lots of fresh parsley; and don't forget the lemon. In case of the 'Red Clam Sauce'...not drowning the clams in a heavy red sauce, but the same format, leaving out the lemon juice and lemon slices, and using white wine. As for the tomato sauce, it really is just Hunt's diced tomatoes in their natural juices, or you can you fresh diced tomatoes, just don't overcook them so they keep their diced shape.

My recipe is from 'scratch'...from memory of a 70's classic that I still remember, only adding the diced tomatoes to it! The best way to make this even special, is to add fresh steamed whole baby clams, to add more flavor, and for presentation.

Red Clam Sauce with Linguine
recipe by; Elisabeth

2- 7 oz. cans of chopped clams
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 or 4 cloves garlic chopped
a handful of Italian fresh parley chopped
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I used Hunt's with sweet onions)
1/2 cup white wine (real wine, not cooking wine)
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
freshly ground pepper to taste
salt (use sparingly, clams are salty enough)
1 dozen, fresh baby clams (I used 10 for two serv.)
1 lb. linguine, or spaghetti


In a medium saucepan, add the 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (don't worry about the amount, you need a lot of oil to soak up the clams and pasta)

On medium high heat, add the oil, the chopped garlic, the red pepper flakes, and heat up till the garlic sizzles, just don't let it get brown. Add the half cup wine, a good portion of chopped parsley, and the juices from the canned clams. Do not add the clams at this time.

Add the canned tomatoes with the liquid, and heat to a slow boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and at the very end, add the canned clams. Just gently stir, and simmer on low for a about another 5 minutes. Keep it on warm, while you're boiling the water for the linguine. For the fresh clams, In a skillet, add a small amount of chili red pepper and more garlic if you like, add another 1/2 cup of white, a small portion of parsley, Cover with a lid, and boil until all the clams open up, which should take no longer than a few minutes.

Important to note: Do not try to pry open any clams that do not open up by themselves. In my case, 2 clams did not open up...so I had to discard it. (discard any that do not open up)

To serve: In a serving bowl, add the linguine, and ladle the sauce with the clams, and mix gently together. Garnish with additional parsley, and carefully surround the bowl with the opened fresh clams. (As a rule, do not add grated Parmesan cheese) Serves 4.

Linking to: Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, @ Katherines Corner
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pumpkin-Banana-Cranberry Mini Bundt Cakes #BundtaMonth

Notice something different?...I figured out how to use 'text' in my photos! So thrilled to start out for the #BundtaMonth Challenge, and the theme for October is Pumpkin!

Vintage 'Vera' table cloth, (brand new $1.99) ...a 'thrift find' from Goodwill
Hi everyone! I have so much to share with you starting with this post...which is so exciting because, it is the month of October, a very favorite month of mine which spells FALL, AUTUMN...HALLOWEEN, the crisp cool fall weather...of course; I'm not talking about S. Florida, but in our northern states, and everywhere else where they celebrate the beautiful fall season. I mentioned before that this is one of my all-time favorite season with the beautiful changing of the gorgeous autumn colors of the leaves...weaving its magical bright orange, yellow, brown, burgundy colors. So mesmerizing and enchanting, that I would want to enjoy this for more than just a short time!

I've been wanting to link up with such great 'blog hops' ...but for me, the easiest ones are the ones where I can link up whatever I have on my blog for that chosen day...but as for the #BundtaMonth link, I cannot resist it not just because my daughter Lora and Anuradha are the partners in crime of this fabulous 'bundt' challenge...and I just happen to love bundt cakes. I have been baking bundt cakes since the seventies when they were so ultra-popular.

I still have my original dark orange color seventies bundt pan along with a couple newer ones, and an awesome mini heavy duty pan, a 'thrift find'...which I love to bake in. I didn't want to take time browsing for a recipe, so I just used my 'trusted' basic banana bread recipe that I have memorized, modified it, and added the pumpkin and the fresh/frozen cranberries from Whole Foods.

What is #BundtaMonth all about?

Here’s the challenge:
Anuradha (Baker's Street) and Lora (Cake Duchess) will pick an ingredient and announce it the first week of every month. All you Bundt loving bakers need to do is use your imagination on how you’d like to incorporate it and bake a Bundt – mini Bundt or large Bundt – and link it up to our blogs throughout the month. It's that simple!

They decided to bake with pumpkin in their October Bundts.

If you're out of ideas and are looking for inspiration you should check out their Pinterest board that has 100+ bundt cake recipes.

Pumpkin-Banana-Cranberry Mini Bundt Cakes
recipe by; Elisabeth

1 cup all-purpose flour
 (I used King Arthur unbleached all-purp)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (I used Libby's
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable, or canola oil
1 bag (12 oz) fresh, or frozen cranberries
(you can use dried cranberries, in place of fresh
or frozen...1 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I used a sm. amt. of fresh grated)
3 or 4 pieces crystallized ginger
(you can use 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger instead)





Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Get 3 bowls ready for your ingredients. (1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small)
On the top right photo...in the large bowl,
add the canned 15 oz. pumpkin puree, the 2 sugars,
the cinnamon, the grated nutmeg, the 2 bananas, and mash coarsely with a potato masher.

In a small bowl, add the 2 eggs, and 1/4 cup vegetable, or canola oil, and whisk with a fork.






In the medium bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix together.






Add the cranberries, and the crystallized ginger to the flours and mix gently together. The importance of this method is; so that they don't sink to the bottom of the batter when baking.









Now, you can add half of the fruit and flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, in the large bowl. Also the the egg mixture to that, and fold in gently.
Now, finish adding the second half of the fruit and flour mixture, and fold that into the large bowl, again.

Finish, by gently incorporating everything, so that you don't smash the cranberries.









Spray a a mini bundt pan, and a 6 cup muffin pan with cooking spray, and add the batter carefully, about 3/4 full  in the bundt pan, and halfway full in the muffin pan

 Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes...remove the muffin pan, which will be done...Lower temperature to 350 degrees F. and finish baking the mini bundts for another 20 to 25 minutes (total 45 minutes for the bundt cake) Cool on metal rack for about 15 minutes before inverting the bundt cakes.








As you can see, I've worked very hard on this challenge, planning, working on re-constructing the actual 'memorized' banana bread recipe from 'scratch' taking step-by-step photos...trying to capture a good natural light with a 'speck of sun'...virtually, never using 'props'...just 'thrift finds' items I have on hand.

I almost forgot the glaze recipe!

2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon light rum
1 teaspoon (maybe 2, if needed)


Mix all the ingredients with a fork, making sure there are no lumps, and to have it at a fairly thick consistency. (finger testing)...making sure it stick to your finger when you test it. Drizzle on with a teaspoon, since these are small cakes.

Just look and see how incredibly moist is the texture. Your taste buds are in for a huge surprise when you bit into the sour taste of the cranberries, and the sweet tangy taste of the crystallized ginger.

As for kids under 6...I recommend using dry cranberries, that have been soaked in boiling water for a few minutes before mixing it in the batter. (my little 6yr. granddaughter literally picked out each cranberries before she ate the cake, which she did like, but not approved of the sour taste, which actually mingles with the sweet cake and a surprise of the slightly spicy crystallized ginger!
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My 'Award' Winning Pizza for #Twelve Loaves September

Does it seem like I'm the only 'oddball?'...seriously! I do everything differently than the other fellow food bloggers. I'm so 'lame' when it comes to joining a group, or even linking up something. Not consistent, and certainly always falling behind schedule. I did try to link up last week with my Cheddar Cheese bread for Lora's #Twelve Loaves September, which required a cheesy bread, but did not know that pizza applies...and I did make my own dough this time with the most amazing yeast from RED STAR, called PLATINUM!

linking to:#Twelve Loaves September @ Cake Duchess
              Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen
              Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
              Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop @ Katherines Corner

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Palacsinta {crepes}...and a big 'flop'

Hungarian palacsinta, {crepes} filled with homemade mango jam
At the rate that I'm going...looks like I could go from 'Silent Sunday'...right into 'Silent Wednesday'. Actually, I was hoping to post a cheddar cheese bread for Lora's '#Twelve Loaves'...for the month of September, but my bread just did not rise...it refused to rise...waiting for over 2hrs (recipe called for 2hrs of rising)...waited for 3hrs, and still not much luck, but I persevered and was determined to shape the bread, and make it any way!

linking to: Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen


For Labor Day, which I hope you all had an enjoyable time with family and friends...as for me, I opted to stay home-alone, which did not happen.

I was so thrilled the my son came by with my two sweet granddaughters but then...I did not have a plan for lunch, but certainly had the right ingredients for a quick mac n' cheese (from scratch)...little burger sliders, on my grill pan, and for dessert, palacsintas filled with my mango jam.  Not so bad after all...and for the latter part of the day, I went by my daughter's neighbors' for a BBQ. Great day, after all!


Please excuse the not so great presentation of my photo but really good crepes)... and the scribbled recipe...I really wasn't going to bother posting this (I had my heart set on posting my bread, which unfortunately flopped...sigh!)

I hope you can make the chicken scribble out, I saved this recipe for the past 20 years now, tucked away in my little red box along with my other index cards, and hand written recipes. Recipe makes at least 12 crepes (pancakes is not the right term) copied it from 'word to word'...from a Hungarian cookbook written in English.



Here's the most amazing grill pan I found at Goodwill last weekend...brand new, heavy, I mean super heavy weight cast iron grill plan from IKEA for $9.99. I just had to have it, could not pass up this great grill pan. I tried it out to make my little mini burgers...of course, the pan has to be sprayed first with the vegetable cooking spray, and pre-heated, but just look at those grill marks on the burgers...a great 'thrift find' for sure!






Another amazing 'thrift find'...this awesome mini cake pan with 4 compartments to make the same banana bread recipe that you would make in one loaf pan. The time that it takes to bake, is totally half the time then the one pan makes. This was done in 35 minutes, moist delicious and yummy. Cost for the cake pan, $4.99.
 



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blueberry-Peach Bread...for "Twelve Loaves"

I decided to make some fruit filled bread, since we are in the midst of the summer season, with plenty of summer fruits available and at such cheap price. Blueberry happens to be one of my all-time favorite berries, and to combine it with juicy ripe peaches, is the first time for me...although I have seen it on other food
bloggers site.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zucchini Quiche...made easy!

A new and fresh  BISCUIT MIX...so versatile, that you can make your own homemade BISQUICK. If you live in the U.S. you must be familiar with the famous Bisquick biscuit mix that you can make pancakes, coffee cakes, biscuits, pies, and quiches with? Well there's a solution to making your own mix, without the preservatives, and you can keep the mix in you fridge for weeks...so easy to make all the familiar and delicious things...and extremely handy!
I found my original recipe made with Bisquick which I've been saving since 1992. Instead of the 1 cup of Bisquick, substitute 1 cup of your homemade Biscuit Mix.I already lightened up the recipe, even then; by reducing the oil from 1 cup, down to half a cup!

This is a crustless quiche...or pie, whichever you prefer to call it! It is so easy to make, once you have your Biscuit Mix made. Your family will love it, and thank you for it!





Recipe; for Easy Baking Mix...Mix 5 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup of baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1 cup of shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in airtight container, in your fridge, or a cool dry place. Makes 6 cups.

Linking to: Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Zucchini in Tomato Sauce...and Restaurant Review

I hope you have an extra few minutes to hang out on my blog...just wanted to share the latest...I mean the really most recent, meaning, from yesterday's event! What a wonderful day I've had yesterday, that was totally unplanned.
I'm so happy that my family is back now, from Italy, and I'm back in my own little place, with my sweet little Persian kitty, Mush, who I rarely mention. I've had her since she was a kitten, 13 years ago...and she is still the size of a kitten, has not grown much, but so cute and sweet. She was my beloved Prince kitties constant companion...and now, my little 'shadow'...always been sweet and aloof, but now that Prince is gone, she constantly wants to be around me!



I'm not starting out with the restaurant review...although that came earlier, at lunch time, but for dinner, I made this batch of zucchini for a light dinner, just enjoying it with crusty slices of bread. Still have plenty left over, which could be added over pasta of your choice! So easy to make, and so delicious.

Zucchini is in season now, and so abundant in our supermarkets, and especially in the fresh produce market. I also picked up a small batch of thyme, a bunch of Italian parsley, and decided to make a different herb version for my zucchini and tomato sauce.



Zucchini in Tomato Sauce
created by; Elisabeth

4 small zucchini sliced,(but not too thin)
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of Italian parsley chopped
few sprigs of thyme snipped, or
(you can use basil, rosemary, or your
favorite herbs)
1 cup fresh, or canned tomato sauce
(I used Flora tomato sauce)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine, or vegetable broth

In a large cast iron, or non-stick skillet, saute onion and garlic first, for about 5 minutes, add the sliced zucchini, and saute over medium high heat to get a little color on them. Add the wine, or broth, let it cook down a little...another 5 minutes longer.

Add the tomato sauce, and let it cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. The entire cooking time should not take more than 25 minutes. Serve over pasta, or just simply enjoy with crusty bread of your choice...and there's your 30 minute meal. You can also grate Parmesan cheese on top if you prefer!

Simple, and easy...guaranteed that you will love it, if you like zucchini, this is a great way for kids to enjoy their veggies...smothered in tomato sauce!



...and now, for the Restaurant Review!



Ahh, here we are Lemongrass, Asian Restaurant...haven't been here in 2yrs...food is so good, and a pleasant friendly atmosphere!
There's 2 identical section like this...2 bars, so if you have too much Saki to drink...you may think you're seeing double!...no Saki for me, it's only a little over 12: noon! (Lora in the blue shirt, walking in)
I ordered the Lemongrass soup, with mussels, squid, scallops and fish...a light lemony hot 'paprika' broth...did not know that they use Hungarian paprika in Asian cuisine...I loved it, it really 'hit the spot'. Fabrizio ordered the same thing.


We all shared these 2 rolls...the front one was called ...Volcano Rolls...some really yummy sauce, not spicy...covering the rolls...even the little guy enjoyed it, wanting to learn how to eat with chopsticks!
Gabby's Pad Thai noodles, with chicken...and some brown rice from Lora's shrimp and brown rice...on the same plate...really delicious, (but not crazy about the presentation)
Since no-one would pose for me...all you can see them is walking, and me taking photos of other restaurant buildings...such as this lovely building on the corner, next to the railroad track...for years, this building was a breakfast eatery...then, abandoned for a few years, and in the last ten years, it's been a chic eatery, and always packed on the weekend, and during season. (didn't check the name of the place, but dined there 2yrs ago)

As we were strolling down the avenue...I spotted these gorgeous expensive dogs...their masters walking them...
I don't know the breed of these beautiful dogs...just took the picture, and thanked the owner (no time to ask for permission)...but they said "you're welcome"...isn't it nice how people can be so friendly, and courteous?
Just look at the strong legs on those doggies...wonder if they are poodles...just have them groomed differently!
On this corner, is a very nice seafood restaurant...outdoor eating has a fresh mist blowing...you can even see the mist, above the entrance where it says...Lobster Roll!
 Heading on to this 'parkway' ...there is a brand new amazing restaurant...gigantic outdoor eating, and indoor, as well!...check this out!
This is all part of one restaurant...I have not seen this until now, since they've only opened a few months ago! Totally, amazing!
This was my very favorite...beautiful, and just check out the upstairs...two stories. Love the architecture of the modern building!
A whimsical gift shop, with art, as well...wonder if these cute sculptures are for sale?...love the turtles! So, that was a very nice day, well spent, and totally NOT planned. This is how my family plans events like this...sometimes at the 'spur of the moment'. Have a wonderful day, and hope you're not suffering the heat! We are having 10 degrees cooler temps. now...only about 88 degrees the highest...just lots of rain every day...and mostly grey skies!







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