Showing posts with label Cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cooking. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Soup...for Wordless Wednesday

Hello everyone, Welcome to Wordless Wednesday. Such a windy day here in S. Florida, with tropical storms brewing in the Atlantic, and we're getting all the strong winds, and storm, later! I made this comfy, homey, delicious Cream of Broccoli Soup while I was at my daughter Lora's for the weekend...totally from 'scratch'...using up her leftover steamed broccoli, and my chicken broth from a few days before...very easy to make...
linking to one of the best recipe that you could follow...which is quite similar to mine... 
Cream of Broccoli Soup


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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fresh Tomato Tart with Gorgonzola Cheese


As I have mentioned in my 'Silent Sunday' post, I made this beautiful rustic Tomato Tart...normally, I would have used a milder cheese, like Goat Cheese or a mild Cheddar Cheese but I had a block of sweet Gorgonzola cheese, imported from Italy that worked wonders to balance out the flavors with just a small amount of chopped parsley
and the perfectly ripe tomato slices
I may not make cupcakes...especially with 'fancy-schmancy' frosting and decorations; although I think they are gorgeous...and that reminds me of my dear sweet friend Joanna from
Chic& Gorgeous Treats...(whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person last year, in S. Francisco) she is every bit beautiful, sweet, bubbly and friendly in person...  as she is on her blog! Check out her most amazing blog that will put a smile on your face and will want to make, or wish you would/could make some of her creative desserts, cupcakes, and mini tarts.

At least Jo's tarts and cupcakes have natural fruit and fresh cream toppings, but some bloggers make cream frosting for cupcakes which are oh, so pretty and decorative, but the first thing a child would do is to lick off the extreme sugary and brightly tinted cream!
 
Just to give you an example, last week my little grandson Luca was crying at his kindergarten class at lunchtime because every child was enjoying their cupcake topped with a fancy blue frosting, and he had to tell his teacher he's not supposed to eat the cupcake. (he previously got sick from the colored butter cream before)

My daughter had to go to school to console him because he just kept saying "I'm not supposed to eat this"...the poor child is so allergic to so many buttery and synthetic products, that he already knows at such a young age what not to indulge in...even though he would like it, but his little tummy would not tolerate it!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fresh Tomato Tart...and Silent Sunday!

My amazing Fresh Tomato Tart with Gorgonzola Cheese...recipe, to follow!



...a funny sign by an owner or tenant of my complex...which wasn't as serious as they claimed!







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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Easy Chicken Salad Sandwich...and more

I have so much stuff to share with you...but first things, first. Yesterday, as I was commenting back on some of the comments (yes, I know I owe a lot more)...I came across a comment from Cathleen @ A Taste of...Madness
and as soon as I saw her yummy, and simple chicken salad sandwich, I immediately decided to use of the large roasted leftover chicken breast, from the whole roasted chicken, I made the other day.
For the recipe, just click on the link, but I also combined half of the portion for the mayo, with my homemade tartar sauce, or you can use a bottled purchase tartar sauce if you would like!
Roasted chicken is so versatile, but most of the time I purchase it ready made, fresh  rotisserie style, from my local supermarket. Just can't resist the aroma and the freshness of a roasted chicken.

The leftovers can be utilized so many different ways...if you haven't devoured all of it in one sitting, with family or company. In my case, I always have some leftovers which happen to be one of the large breast which I use for chicken sandwiches, but have not made chicken salad in a long time!


How could you not enjoy this delicious sandwich on your favorite sandwich bread or bun (I chose 100% whole wheat)

On the bottom slice of the bread, pile on the yummy chicken salad, and on the other
slice a generous chunk of your favorite lettuce, a slice of perfectly ripe tomato, and a thin slice of red onion (optional)...cut it half diagonally, and enjoy your sandwich with homemade ice tea...can't get better than that!


A 'sitting duck'...this isn't...but more like a 'squatting chicken'...which it is; 'hunch back', and all!...yikes! This image of a well roasted chicken, right out of the oven is NOT very attractive, but the chicken is perfectly roasted...except for the two bottom legs...which are squatted, and did not get golden brown, but it did get tender.

So why am I showing you this funny looking squatting chicken?...well, because of the cast iron roasting pan, and how clever and useful it is.


So, this is the famous cast iron skillet by Chef Emeril...I did not find this as a 'thrift find'...as a matter of fact, I ordered it online from HSN Home shopping...the cost was not cheap...close to $40. I must admit it really is an unusual, and different kind of roasting pan, but I am not crazy about it, and therefore,

I will want to get rid of it....probably donating it to Goodwill, or offering someone in the U.S. who will not mind paying for the shipping charge...that's all; just let me know if you're interested!








This was the original plan...roasted chicken, and baked sweet potatoes!

I'm gonna share my homemade tartar sauce recipe with you, to add to the chicken salad recipe!




So, I made my own delicious tartar sauce...which was not difficult, at all!



My homemade tartar sauce, which I featured in my previous post.










Here are the ingredients that I used...

















OK...so here you have all the ingredients to process for the tartar sauce...sweet pickle slices, caper berries, and and scallions.Give it a whirl or two, and you can add this to your favorite mayonnaise.











So, that's all to making a simple homemade tartar sauce...here's my personal recipe concoction!

Tartar Sauce

! 1/2 cups really good mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. sweet diced pickles for the relish
1 Tbsp. caper berries
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 teaspoon brown mustard
about 1/2 teaspoon of pickle juice

Mix all ingredients together, and use it for side dish, or for sandwich spreads, and dips!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Silent Sunday

Mini banana breads with white chocolate chips
I'm not sure, which is better...'Silent Wednesday'...or 'Silent Sunday!'...either way, I haven't done one, or the other! This is something all new to me...so here it goes!
Baked, Eggplant Stacks



 @ Palm Sugar Asian Grill..(Gabby and me)
Red Velvet Cupcake...(celebrating three family members' birthdays)
Super spicy mixed papaya salad
Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Tofu

Perfect and awesome Asian restaurant...Palm Sugar
My beloved city...West Palm Beach, Florida...at dusk










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Friday, August 10, 2012

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Legs

TGIF-where has the week gone by?...pretty soon, the kids will be going back to school at the end of this month, and the end of summer vacation for most people, as well! Living in South Florida most of my life, and my children, 'native Floridians'...grandchildren not even knowing what cold winter, and snow is all about...glad that we are here in the 'land of sunshine'...not so much of it for the last couple months. Although we get a 'sneak preview' of it just about every single day, even if its for an hour, S. Florida is still the SUNSHINE STATE!
Often, I have a dilemma about what to make for 1 person (myself) for dinner, when I'm not at my daughter's which is just about every day. We cook together, or I cook (she does most of the baking)...but when I eat alone, about twice a week, I just don't want to heat up my little kitchen and waste electricity, so I use my George Foreman grill, or my toaster over to make a small portion, for (2) ...yes, 2...either for one, and have another portion fore leftover lunch, or invite a friend!
Have you ever tried cooking a gourmet meal in the toaster oven?...well, you can, you know, it's as easy, if not easier than in your big conventional oven! I've been doing this for a long time now, and my best friend suggested that I write a 'toaster oven cookbook'...which of course, I haven't but then, they already have them and she gave me a cute little toaster oven cookbook!

You have to have at least a large enough tray for the toaster oven to be able to fit at least 6 pieces of chicken comfortably, or for roasting a few pieces of vegetable, fish, or even baking cookies...seriously!

I'm gonna share 3 different recipes...one for the Jerk seasoning, 1 for the Basmati rice which is a cilantro-lime scented, and a fabulous Cuban , authentic Havana based black beans, which you can mix with the rice, or serve it separately! So, are you ready?...because I will guide step-by-step for this semi-spicy delicious Caribbean dish, that will take you away to the island of Jamaica...or the Havana black beans to the 'forbidden island'...which I will not go into a long explanation but just that; it was referred to as the 'jewel of the Caribbean'...the largest of the Caribbean islands...frozen in time, from the 1950's!... see link-Caribbean, Havana!
We have a huge population of Cubans here, in S. Florida, as we also have a large population of Jamaicans, and Haitians. We have so much 'island influences' that you do not have to venture far to authentic cuisines of these colorful, tasty, spicy, Caribbean influences of their culture!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches...and a busy day!

I was so determined to make something light today for lunch, and suddenly, an idea just came to my mind...why not Cucumber Tea Sandwiches?!...after all, I had all the ingredients, including the 'soft spread' cream cheese and fresh dill, which I like to keep on hand but they go bad so quickly. I don't even like to freeze them because they taste terrible when you thaw them out!
These little open faced sandwiches are not enough to satisfy your hunger...but for an afternoon snack with 'tea'...in my case, iced tea, would have been just the right snack to 'hit the spot.'

Also, did the same thing to the cupboards to check for items, and I even made a banana bread, as well. It sure was nice to have a large piece with cold iced tea  after the little sandwiches.

In the meantime...the lawn care guys came, and of course the little doggies went crazy, barking their little heads off!
When you have ripe bananas, I mean ripe...as in little brown spots ripe; that's when its the best time to make banana bread and if you have some chocolate chips...even better...yumm

(Remind me to post the recipe on my next post)...although I do have at least two recipes on my blog for banana bread!

...and by-the-way, the loaf pan that I gave to my daughter, is a heavy-duty calphalon, so nice to bake in it, and it was actually brand new...such a treasure from Goodwill...a fabulous thrift find for $1.99.

We do get hot temperatures, but also rain, every day since last month. Doesn't rain all day long...just on-and-off, but trying to take pictures in-between the rain, and the sun...seriously; that's how it is here in S. Florida.


Getting back to my tea sandwiches!

First off: you must have one of these gadgets, the plastic mandolin...another thing, if you can't find this in a 'thrift store'...which is almost, but I should say...always new, because most people do not, or cannot use them because they don't know how! The cost:  99cents...and I have at least 3 of these, the other two have extra gadgets, for cutting different things.

For the method:
Take one, or two cucumbers, and peel partially, like in the photo, cut the ends off, and with a steady hand slice the cucumbers. (just watch the tip of your fingers, because the blade is extremely sharp.)
Set sliced cucumbers aside on a plate, and start cutting your bread.


You can cut your bread into any shape you would like to, if you want round shapes, just use a biscuit cutter, or different cookies shape cutters. Just make sure you cut the crusts of. I used a triangle cut, (they're not so even) but that's OK...it's just for myself!








The best cream cheese to use, is the Philadelphia spreadable cheese; leave outside for about 20 before spreading on your favorite bread slices. I used a really good oat bread. If you can't find the soft spread cheese, you can use the regular cream cheese, just let it come to room temperature!







Spread each slices lightly...










Line the thin slices of cucumber in a decorative style on the slices of bread, and with kitchen shears, snip a small piece off...I got a little carried away, on a couple slice of bread, with the dill; but I love dill so much, the fragrance is incredible, and so is the flavor! Such an Eastern European 'thing'...the famous DILL!

I sprinkled some freshly ground sea salt, and freshly ground multi-colored peppers on them...such light and delicious little sandwiches!




...and that's all there is to it; Enjoy!




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Monday, June 18, 2012

Strawberry Cake...for Father's Day!


Notice something different?...a pink cake...and it's for Father's Day!...just can't stop having 'Lucy' moments, since I agreed to guest post for my friend Ping, and Veronica. It just seemed to have rubbed off on me. Now, I'm enlisted in the 'Lucy Club'

Why a 'pink' cake for Father's Day?...wouldn't it be more appropriate to make a cake with perhaps 'blueberries' that would signify that it's for  a male?...actually, not really Having a strawberry cake is OK, but why go overboard for the pink frosting?...well, I have an explanation for that, as well!

Linking to:
Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @ Swathi's Zesty South Indian Kitchen

OK, I must admit that I got a little carried away with the cake. I had 2 containers of beautiful ripe strawberries, and I just had to do something with them, so I decided to make a cake (last minute)...like a few hours before we were going to eat lunch.

The cake was an absolute success to celebrate Father's Day for my son, and my ex-hubby! They never even notice that it was all PINK, but my little granddaughter sure did. Pink is her favorite color, so it was a double celebration!

Strawberry Cake
my doctored up creation

1 box of strawberry or yellow cake mix
1- 3oz. box of strawberry JELL-O
1/2 cup canola, or vegetable oil
1 cup of plain water
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups mashed strawberries
1 Tbsp sugar




It's a lot easier than you think. Just one box of strawberry cake mix, or yellow cake mix,

For the strawberries: cut the berries in 1/3 pieces, place them in a medium bowl, and add the 1 Tbsp sugar...mash with mashed potato masher, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. It will be juicy and slightly chunky.


In a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix, 1/2 of the 3-oz. JELL-O the eggs, oil, water. Beat on slow speed with electric mixer, until combined, then on high speed for about 3 minute, till creamy, and fluffy.










After mixing the ingredients, pour in the mashed strawberries.












 Gently fold in the mashed strawberries.













Pour into a sprayed and floured 9 inch spring form pan, or 2- 9 inch round pans. (my pan I used only has the bottom removable.
For spring-form pan, bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-50 minutes, for the 2 round 9 inch pans, about 30-35 minutes.








Let it cool on a wire rack, and frost with strawberry cream cheese frosting:

1- 8 oz. pkg Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temp.
1 stick=4 oz, (113.4 g,) unsalted butter, at room temp.
3 cups powder (icing) sugar
1 teaspoon of the strawberry JELL-O
1 teaspoon plain water

With an electric mixer, mix all ingredients together, till combined, and beat until light, and fluffy, on high speed. Spread it on the cake, when cake is cool, and decorate with additional strawberries if you like. Let the cake set in the fridge for about 2hrs before serving! It is yumm, and delish...and no-one will suspect that it's a "doctored-up" cake...let it be YOUR SECRET! 


I finally received the special addition of the Bon Appetit for the Giveaway, and will announce the winner for my next post!

So, for my continuing photos....just wanted to share some S. Florida photos. The mango tree has already been trimmed down...it is at least 50yrs old.

The glorious mango tree...mangoes getting nice, and ripe!

He loves bougainvilleas!


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