Showing posts with label Children and Youth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Children and Youth. Show all posts

Monday, December 20, 2010

Goat Cheese with Pistachios, and Cranberries

We had such an eerie week...so glad it's Monday, and in 4 days, Christmas Eve will be here. All last week, my daughter and I were involved with the last of the Christmas presents for our close friends' children, and last of ours, as well. We're still trying to go on with our lives missing Sheryl, knowing how we spent quite a few Christmases together. Her horrific accidental death left such a toll on my daughter-in-law, and son, that it will be such a long healing process. On Saturday, we hosted a memorial for her, at my son's house. Out of respect I only took a few pictures of 2 of my appetizers, and some of the fabulous sweets from Costco.I will share the recipe with you for this awesome cheese ball-which really supposed to be a cheese log, but as usual, I want to adapt it my way.
So, my daughter-in-law requested to make a baked brie, and suggested that I serve it with pepper jelly, which is a great combo with the brie...I suggested to wrap the brie in puff pastry, and just spread the jelly on the top. Not knowing, that there's an actual recipe for it, I proceeded to make it my way, the first thing of course; scraping off the rind from the cheese which comes off so easily, and let the puff pastry thaw out for easier rolling. Also, unfortunately I did not bake it in a high 400 degree temp. I baked it at 350, which is a med. temp. for 35 minutes. Also, I brushed the entire finished crust, before baking it, with an egg wash. Same result, just from memory, of baking with puff pastry. Recipes, to follow!

Goat Cheese with Pistachio, and Cranberries
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine, Nov. 2010

2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, chopped
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
1 8- to 10-ounce log fresh goat cheese
crackers or bread, for serving

On a large plate, combine the pistachios and cranberries.
Roll the goat cheese in the fruit-and-nut mixture to coat. Serve with the crackers or bread.
note: I rolled the cheese into a ball, and then rolled it in the fruit, and nut mixtures. Serves 8

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Baked Brie with Pepper Jelly
adapted from Best Bites

Puff pastry comes with two sheets per box, so remove one sheet and allow it to stand at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Place the remaining sheet in a freezer-safe bag and save it for another use.
When the pastry has thawed, gently unfold it on a very lightly floured surface. If there are any cracks, lightly moisten them and gently press them back together.

Carefully cut the wheel of brie in half lengthwise (it helps if it's cold). Place one half, rind side-down, on the pastry. Spread a layer of pepper jelly over the cheese. Place the other half, rind side-up on the jelly, almost like a brie sandwich (let's not even go there).

If you want, you can spread another layer of jelly on top of the rind.
You'll want 2-3 inches of pastry surrounding the cheese, but any more than that will get bulky, so you may need to trim about 1" of pastry on one or more sides (reserve the scraps for decorations). Carefully wrap the pastry around the cheese, sealing the edges shut so the melted cheese and jelly won't leak out when it's baked.
note:
If you want, you can have a jar of pepper jelly handy so if there isn't enough of that flavor in the baked brie (it actually ends up coming out pretty subtle), you can add a little more. Because it's awesome.

Ingredients, and directions

1 8-oz. wheel of baby Brie
1/2 package puff pastry, thawed for about 40 minutes at room temperature
About 2-4 tablespoons pepper jelly (try to find some without onions, garlic, or other spices; fruit juice is okay; Tabasco is a great, widely available, reliable choice.
1 egg white mixed with about 2 teaspoons cold water
Preheat oven to 400.
Gently unfold the puff pastry sheet, mending any broken spots. Cut the brie in half lengthwise and place one half, rind down, on the pastry. Spread with jelly and then place the other half of the brie, rind up, on the cheese. If necessary, trim the excess pastry and then fold it over the cheese, sealing the edges. If desired, decorate the brie with decorative shapes cut from the excess dough and brush it with the egg white/water mixture
Place the bundle, seam-down, on a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with crackers, bread, and fresh fruit (like strawberries, apples, pears, and grapes) if desired. This is perfect as an easy, elegant holiday appetizer.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The "Smiling" Hug (huge) Pot

You may may be wondering what this crazy woman is up to...a  Hug pot?...yet alone, a smiling one?...
(this is a reflection of the corner of the white rimmed stove top...so cool!)well, actually, this is my wonderful turkey leftover resource, a hug pot of turkey broth which I made after Thanksgiving, as a thrifty, and frugal person that I am, living the good life, on the beach, in S.Florida

I could not bare the thought of throwing good leftovers out, when there are so many people in the world, even in this country who go hungry, and not enough food to eat. We have so many things to be thanking God for our everyday life's blessing, and Thanksgiving is the one most important day of them all!

I commented on Chef Dennis at More than a Mount Full post late last night about his amazing, and beautiful Thanksgiving feast, and also his gorgeous Turkey Pot Pie. Left a comment with a "typo" error which I do so often because I type too fast, and have this crazy "gift for gab"...just saying what comes to my mind, and like magic, it's all there in typewritten words, not looking back for goofy and weird mistakes, sometimes!

Just to prove to you, here's the copy and past comment posted to Dennis, but immediately I posted another one correcting it. You have to have enough sense of humor sometimes to laugh at your own self...well, in that case, no wonder I have such happy days, and not be in a "funk". When you learn to laugh at your own self, and not be so self-absorbed, I find that the world looks to me like a happier one, and people will tend to get closer to you, and understand you better. (I've been trying to explain that to my children.)

In the midst of my Smiling Hug Pot, I've decided to post my sweet friend Kavita's rules for the tagging, along with the wonderful bloggers she tagged, including me. I am so honored, once more, or should I say twice more, the first time was from my awesome same name foodie "buddy" Lizzy. As you might as well know, I am Lizzie too, only with a different spelling, which I told Lizzy, from... That Skinny Chick can Bake....you can call me Lizzie, every one else calls me that...close family, friends, and mostly my 4 precious grandchildren...to them, I am NONNA LIZZIE...sounds real nice! 
  
   Here are my sweet friend's Kavita's from... 
  Kavita's Kitchen  questions
1. What is your take on organic food , is it a big deal for you ?  
It certainly is a big deal for me. I feel more assured that it is left natural, without pesticides, that would certainly kill the bugs that attack to fruit or vegetables, but would also harm, and kill humans after a period of time. To me, any homegrown, or private farm grown fruit and vegetables are considered organic. It's so much healthier for you.  
2. Do you time your breakfast,lunch & dinner or eat when you are hungry ? 
 For breakfast, it's mostly oatmeal, and before lunch, some healthy fruit or plain yogurt w/granola, and throughout the day just small portions of healthy things, like fresh fruit, or a smoothie. and for dinner, a balanced meal. I'm not really hungry during the day, and don't nibble on junk food!
 3. What inspired you to write a food blog ? 
It's mostly, not what, but who?...the "what factor" was, that I was no longer working due to my health issues, which is under control, and had time to spare, and the main factor was that my daughter inspired me, to just post about my daily routine, and foods that I prepare. By that time, May, of this year, she already had a food blog, and encouraged me to do a blog too. I wasn't totally sold on it, I was more interested in sharing my "thrift finds"...glad that I added more foods, thanks to joining Foodbuzz!    
 4. You try a new recipe and it does not turn out good,what will you do ?      
Usually, in cooking, I don't follow the recipes, I just need to know the basic ingredients, and I always change it around to my way, adding different ingredients. Just need the idea! As for baking, it has to be more precise...the only recipes that do not turn out are yeast dough breads, or rolls, (which most of the time, I blame it on the yeast, that it wasn't fresh)...LOL..just a big "copout"...in that case, it gets thrown out! 
5. Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it ?
The 1st. one is yeast, because I would much rather prefer fresh yeast from a bakery...don't care too much for the powdered yeast. 2nd. is sugar, but I just try to cut down on it, and not avoid it. 3rd. would have to be adding too much butter, to a recipe...in most cases, it would be in desserts, or cakes. As far as food recipes are concerned, there really is not a thing I would avoid, accept in baking.      
 6. Name three things you have to use in most recipes ?  
 Again...I will refer to baking recipes, which would be 1. sugar, 2. butter, 3. eggs. Cannot bake without those three things. There really is no substitute for achieving a beautiful result without those three things.   
 7. How important is eating meals together as a family to you?     
As a kid, growing up, in Ohio, my dad worked two jobs, my mom was a seamstress... always busy sewing clothes for people in our own home, and she only had time to make 1 pot meals, or casseroles, and during the week every one ate at different times. The only day we ate together, was on Sunday. I did not want to carry on that same tradition, and it was very important to me, that with my children, we always have our meals together. This tradition has been carried on by my children and to my little grandchildren.  
 8. You do not like a particular dish at your favorite restaurant,what will you do ?  
 Somehow, that has not occurred in a favorite restaurant, but it occurred in a restaurant, where I haven't eaten before. Just tried to make the best of it, and not go back again...that's all!    
 Thank you Kavita, I will be posting my 8 questions to 8 bloggers, on my next post. Also I have 2 more Lovely Blog Awards to pay forward, and another one from Wendy, at
 Weekend Gourmet which is the Stylish Blog Award to pay forward, which is slightly different.  I already contacted a few people to let them know about awarding them, and will follow through in the next few days.    


Blogger Elisabeth said...
Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving story and showing off your feast. Everything looks so inviting, and beautiful. So funny about the crostata story...LOL I made a hug pot of turkey broth with my leftover carcass, that I strained and froze in plastic containers. I love your turkey pot pie, will work nice for chicken as well. This is the perfect recipe that I'm looking for, and the crust is Superb!
November 30, 2010 1:27 AM

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cookbook Sundays-Cranberry Oatmeal Walnut Cake


There's been so much going on getting ready for Thanksgiving, and this year it's going to be with two other families and their children. Glad it won't take place in my "shoe box" size beach condo. I actually did get a head start on Cookbook Sundays, thanks to my friend Brenda, from
 Brenda's Canadian Kitchen...who started it. I will link this back to her blog.

This cake is so perfect for Thanksgiving morning with coffee or tea, and it really is from a coffee cookbook, called Coffee Cakes, by Lou Seibert Pappas. it's a 2006 edition, and it's a fairly new book for me that I found about a month ago, at Goodwill for $.79. Originally listed for $18.95. Now, that's what I call a bargain. I may want to start a "giveaway"...because, really, I'm starting to feel guilty for getting all these nice books for "peanuts"...and the rule is at Goodwill, any paper back regardless of the size, is 79 cents, so therefore, I have quite a lot collected, and I've been donating them back, along with a lot of my own that I don't need. I think it would be nice to pass them along to other bloggers that can use them. I will mention about this soon.


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Cranberry Oatmeal Walnut Cake
adapted from Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas

1 1/2 cup quick cooking or old fashioned
rolled oats
2 large eggs
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, or low-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole -wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup (2 ounces chopped walnuts
pecans, or toasted and skinned hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan
(I used a bundt pan)
Spread the oats in a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until
lightly toasted. Let cool.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar, and oil together until blended and
stir in the buttermilk or yogurt, molasses, and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine flours, toasted oats, baking soda, baking powder,
salt, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Stir to blend. Add the dry ingredients to
the buttermilk mixture and beat for about 1 minute, or until smooth. Stir in the
cranberries. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Toss the nuts, and remaining 1
teaspoon cinnamon together, and sprinkle evenly on the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester
inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Cut into squares, or strips.
Serves 12.
Note: I used a bundt pan, and used the 2 teaspoon cinnamon, along with the chopped
walnuts in the batter. Also I used 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour. (did not have
whole-wheat flour on hand. Also, I used a simple sugar glaze, mad with one cup of powdered sugar, and about 1 teaspoon water, mixed to a medium thick glaze, and drizzled the cooled cake with a large spoon.