Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Torta Soffice di Mele {Light Apple Cake}

Hello everyone! Just when I thought I was returning to my blog...my world have seemed to have fallen off a large cliff, and it was not so easy to climb back. Since the first week of last October of 2015, everything have seemed to change...sudden death of my beloved older sister Anna (Aniko) in Cleveland...who I have blogged about one year ago...my weird and bizarre (at home) accident, ripping my upper arm open...(due to falling over my simple little Pilates chair in the middle of the night...goes to show you that if you can't see to go to the bathroom...have a 'night light'...which I do have but did not turn on! (some of those exercise equipment do have sharp edges that can actually, certainly injure you. Got rid of it after having it next to my bed for six years!
Spending two weeks in the hospital, due to allergies to 3 different antibiotics did not help either for the wound to heal, instead...making it worst for infections. I ended up having to be hooked up to a wound vacuum machine, at the hospital, and using a smaller version of it at home...having a nurse come out every day to change bandage! So, October and November of last year was the worst 2 months of my life...I must admit honestly. December was slightly better, and I went back to my beloved home town re-visiting my family and painfully missing my dear sister Aniko who has left this world but her presence is forever there at the house, and in our hearts!
It seems like I have abandoned my blog...which actually I did, in a sense that I did not even want to peak in to see what's going on; not just with my blog, but with others' as well! I owe all of you friends, and followers a huge apology...not visiting, and commenting on your beautiful blogs. To make things worst...I have lost nearly 100 followers, not blaming them for leaving because I was a 'no show'...simple as that! Since then, my photos have show up regularly and 'thrift' blogs...yet, another 'food and thrift' blog...taking away from entering into my blog...which is totally different. I tried to change the name, but will have to really start all over, perhaps and have my own domain?! which will co-host it, not worth the hassle! Besides the familiar name I decided to chose close to the 'food' name is taken by another blogger some time ago...so I will remain with the same title that I chose close to 6 years ago, and that's ...that!
I made this Italian apple cake last September, and was going to post it, and I did not get a chance. Photos are not the best, taken with my cell phone camera, but then again...I was not anticipating to want to post about it, so I did not bother taking better pictures with my camera...and of course, cloudy and dreary day did not help either...although, the sun does peak out just about every day here in S. Florida, even if for an hour or less which is really nice! The cake is light, buttery, and so very moist and delicious!
Since the last few months, I have been quite active on Facebook, keeping up with some of my food blogger friends, and old and new friends, as well. As for family, not so active...for some reason, they don't want to associate with their own...due to 'exposure', I guess, not wanting the world to know 'who belongs to whom'?! My daughter never, ever posts anything about me, and has told me, she wants to keep her Facebook page, and friends private...knowing that her friends know who her family, i.e. (mom) is...I suppose it's better this way!

Now, I have totally gotten off the subject about the Light Apple Cake! I made this amazing cake withe the fresh apples, at my sister's house when I was there last October, and I was so thrilled that she absolutely loved it, and wrote down the recipe...but sadly she passed away one week later!

Torta Soffice Di Mele{Light Apple Cake}
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 sugar
3 eggs
2/3 melted, unsalted butter
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 cup milk
3 apples (golden delicious or granny smith work well)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the apples. Mix until smooth batter is formed.
Butter and flour a 9″ spring form pan. Pour in the batter. Peal and core apples, then slice thinly and arrange in a circle pattern on top of batter. Apples may sink slightly into the batter.
Bake the cake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove room oven and let cake cool slightly on wire rack. Remove the pan sides and slip the cake onto a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.
The only addition I made, I added 1 teaspoon baking soda, juice of 1 lemon as well, 1 tteaspoon cinnamon powder ( for me, cinnamon goes well with apples, and it's a must have. I also changed it to 1/2 cup of cup of milk, for softer texture!


Our last 'selfie'...together, one week later
on Oct. 7th, 2015
she collapsed and 'died'!
I made the Torta Soffice di Mele the second time a month later in Cleveland, for my sister, and I do think it turned out better than the first time. I added the sliced apples in half of the batter, and added the remaining sliced apples on the top, and also sprinkled it with a mixture of cinnamon, and sugar. The additional added ingredients made it lighter, and not like a pound cake batter, which is also good, but I prefer a light cake. Pound cake is...pound cake, but this recipe is supposed to be a (Light) version, which the title says so, therefore I had to adjust it. Not every recipe is 'true'...so you have to make it 'tried and true'

I did miss all of you dear blogger friends, and I will try my best to keep blogging, which is a good 'therapy'...and NOT to be occupied with thoughts of sadness...life has to continue, which is proper to say, and most importantly we all have families and loved ones that need us here, right now. Everything in it's earthly, and heavenly order must be decided and done to the best to our ability, and... capability. Heavenly matters are, and will be decided by a 'higher power' at the right time when it is decided by God!
Love, and Peace,
Elisabeth

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Cleveland visit...Part 2.

Here we are in the middle of summer, and I'm showing you winter photos...how silly is that!?
The reason for that is because I need to catch up over the last six months that I have missed posting.
Thank you so much for your sweet and kind comments that you left on my blog, and I truly appreciate that you care and have missed me...as I certainly have missed you!

So here we are, on our way to visit my parents' grave near by...me taking the beautiful scenery winter photos which I rarely get to experience since I moved away from Ohio decades ago to sunny S. Florida! One thing for sure, I don't miss the terribly cold winters, but I do love the snow when it's just like this, with a bit of sunshine, clear skies -minus- the snow storms.

We arrived at the cemetery, all the graves are covered with blankets of crisp fresh snow, glistening in the sun. It's about 27 degrees F. way too cold for me, but I decided to take a 'selfie' of us and my sister actually was happy to pose for the photo!
Now comes the good part...she thinks she recognized our parents' grave which is near that tree in the background (turns out it was actually in the next row) also near the tree!
In the meantime...she decides to say a prayer and have a conversation with our parents standing on the wrong grave...to say the least!
I must share this most amazing, super moist and sooo delicious Apple cake that Susan, (my nephew's wife) made for us, after a scrumptious Bolognese sauce with homemade gnocchi!
You probably recognize this famous Jewish Apple cake...a recipe which I also had from the seventies and eighties that is still very popular!
This apple cake is super moist, with all these wonderful apple chunks half of them in the middle of the batter, and the other half on the top which makes it so attractive...so pretty!

Mom’s Apple Cake
by: Smitten Kitchen 

6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Cleveland visit...part 1

Hello Everyone...all my dear {food} blogger friends!

You may, or may not welcome me back to the 'food blogging' world, but as for me it's been quite a journey staying away from my blog that I've built over the past 5 years; actually almost to the exact 5 years next month (I think)...just can't remember exact dates on important events.

I've missed you all, and I truly am sorry for not visited and commented on your blogs all these months...6 months to be exact. I have not looked into my very own blog and have begun to think that I had 'squatters' taking over, just like in abandoned houses...as in, abandoned blog is what 'food and thrift' has become...sad, but true!

I'm gonna start from the beginning, where I left off, although I have been somewhat active on facebook and have kept in touch with some of you, and of course, on Pinterest which have kept me busy pinning all the yummy foods, and pretty things. This has been an up-and-down emotional 6 months for me and I came up with every excuse in the 'book' why I should not return to my blog...now, I must admit to myself the real reason...other than...my blog isn't 'good enough' to continue.

Some of you may know that I took a short 10 day trip to my hometown Cleveland, (suburb outside of the city) to visit my older sister and family. The worst time of the year, in January, the coldest month of the winter time. My sister Aniko has been ill for some time with various problems...mostly back problems for the last decade or so, but she has always been active in her beautiful home...a proud wife, mother, grandmother...an amazing cook, baker, and so proud of her beautiful home that she kept in perfect and beautiful style...mostly gorgeous Hungarian art and paintings and mostly the world famous Herendi ceramic sculptures, and figurines.
I call it the... Bordó...Bordeaux...formal living room at my sister's house

 Unfortunately, she has given up all interest in her home, and recently in her life...her memory is slipping, quite rapidly these last few months...could be Alzheimer's...not so sure, I'm so skeptical about approaching that 'subject' from family members...all I know, our conversations are getting less and less via phone, to almost a 'yes' and 'no' replies from her. This beautiful vibrant happy woman has diminished into a stranger I do not know any more. We have always been close throughout the years...growing up, and as adults.

On the left, is the formal dining room.
As in most Northern homes...this is where the family spends 99% to hang out...chill out, in the family room
a split level type house, downstairs, 
I love their back yard, it's like a 'national park'...so large and huge trees; the deck is so great in the summer time.
such a pretty winter scene in the back yard
This is the front of the house...typical Northern home


Life has taken a sharp turn and now we just have to prepare for what the future will hold next!
Cilu, their beloved Siamese mix...rescue cat, so beautiful and wise!

The famous West Side Market, in Cleveland...a 'food lover's dream' come true!
A 'selfie'...me, and Susan...(nephew Denes' wife)...she is more
like a niece to me an amazing cook and baker, getting her
culinary degree!

While my short stay in Cleveland, I enjoyed every minute of my stay with my family, and shopping in my beloved city...especially the West Side Market that's been around for decades, maybe a century...will have to 'google' that!


Hungarian sausages, better known as... kolbász...stocked up on it to take back to Florida; sooo good!
Most amazing Artisan breads
Susan...(my nephew's wife)...and nephew Denes buying fresh produce


Thursday, November 27, 2014

GIVE...THANKS...

Ahh...the famous American Green Bean Casserole! Who can forget this classic side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas from the famous Campbell's Soup company...originated way back in 1955, when it was made with canned green beans; yikes! Graduating to frozen green beans in the seventies...and now, made with fresh green beans, but still the same recipe! Can't leave out the 'cream of mushroom' soup, or the French's fried onions, otherwise you will lose the original concept!
I have such fond memories of past Thanksgiving, growing up in midwest, Ohio...remembering the super cold weather; most years on Thanksgiving without snow...unlike what they are having at this time of the year with so much snow all over the country. Also, at this time of year we must remember our 'homeless' and 'hungry' people that live right here in the 'country of plenty'; we are all responsible to give...and 'Give Thanks' if we have our health, family, a 'roof' over our heads...and enough food to eat!

This year...as of the last few years, we've been sharing Thanksgiving with 3 other families...the 'more, the merrier'! Do you see the little 'red' magic button on the breast of the turkey?...well, that's what makes it perfect...no under cooking...no over cooking the turkey! The stuffing is just the plain and simple herb stuffing!

Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole
from the Campbell's Soup Kitchen

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell’s® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 dash black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions  
                                                                                                                                                       
Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.                                                    
Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions.                                           
Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Bread

I'm so excited about my Pumpkin Bread, which I rarely make...my daughter is the Pumpkin Bread 'queen' and also makes the best Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, with her amazing homemade crust.
When I was  a 'kid' I hated pumpkins, and squash...how absurd was that! Even now, it's still not my favorites; but I've learned to adapt a liking to all of these wonderful fall treasures!
I normally would not have even made it, but my daughter and family were away for a long weekend last week, kids were out of school the following Monday. I was happy to  'dog sit' for my favorite little guys that I have spoiled since the last few years and they were so excited to have me around to give them treats and take them for walks. In the meantime, I was treated royally by my son and family to invite me over for dinner each evening, so I didn't even have to cook, and just bring dessert which happens to be my 8yr. old granddaughter's favorite...Pumpkin Bread!...my, how times have changed...tastes have changed since I was their age. Kids are so much more adventurous with their foods and are offered a lot more healthier choices!
Instead of googling for a Pumpkin Bread recipe, I decided to look for one in Martha Stewart's cookbook, which was of course a 'thrift find'...a 1995 edition that has so many great recipes...even if the book does not have any photos...you gotta love anything from Martha Stewart! Instead of making one loaf of bread spending precious time to make it, why not make 2 or 3 loaves? I can't even find this recipe online so I will have to type it out, and the modifications I had to make, that even gave it a nicer and much more flavorful, moist bread!
I was totally looking forward to making the Pumpkin Bread, and have an extra loaf to keep. I love these cute little loaf pans, and they're so perfect and handy being attached instead of separated.

Pumpkin Bread
source; Martha Stewart, from the Martha Stewart
cookbook...1995 edition

my modifications in blue

12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
I used 1 stick of butter
3 Tbsp. molasses
I omitted the molasses
2 cups sugar
I used 1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup orange juice or water
I used 1 cup fresh orange juice from 2 oranges
also grated the zest from one of the oranges
2 cups pumpkin or squash puree
I used 1 can (15 oz. 425g.) Libby's pumpkin puree
3 1/3 cups flour
I use 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
I used 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
I used 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
I used 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins or currants
I omitted raisins and currants

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 3- 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.
I sprayed cooking spray (for baking that has flour mixed in) Used 1 used 4 attached mini loaf pans, and 1- 9x5x3 loaf pan.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter, molasses,and sugar until light and fluffy.
I used a metal whisk to cream the butter,eggs and sugar until light and fluffy
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
I added the 4 eggs to the butter, and sugar, the vanilla extract, and whisked it until a light lemony color.
Add orange juice and pumpkin puree and mix well.
Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
No need to sift...just mix them all together without sifting. 
Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, stirring well incorporated.
Add the raisins at this time. I omitted the raisins.
Spoon into prepared pans. Bake for 1 hr. or until toothpick inserted comes  out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out unto racks to cool.
I baked the mini pans for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. along with the larger loaf pans...took the mini pans out of the oven, leaving the 9x5 loaf pan in the oven...lowered temperature to 325 degrees F. and bake for an additional 20 minutes...tested with toothpick and it was done in 55 minutes.

For Orange Glaze; 2 cups of powdered (icing) sugar, and 1 Tbsp. orange juice...mix it well together, until smooth (you should have a thick paste) ...drizzle on the bread with a soup spoon, or omit the drizzle.

Note: This was the best Pumpkin Bread that turned out so moist, the orange zest and the extra orange juice gave it such a pretty color, and flavor with the vanilla extract addition. The glaze is optional, but you don't have to use it on all the Pumpkin Breads...leave some without it if you prefer!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Wishing all the Mothers, Mothers 'to be'...Grandmothers, Stepmothers (who rarely get the honor)...Mothers who passed on; such beautiful memories to cherish!

We love you, and honor you, on this special day!
I wish you all, my dear blogger friends a...
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Enjoy this beautiful day with your loved ones!
May you be Blessed with health, wealth, and all the happiness, for many days to come!
Hugs,
Elisabeth
 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shrimp Ceviche...and Easter Sunday!


Hi everyone...in order to keep this staggering food blog of mine going, I must be honest with you, and mostly with myself; that I'm never gonna make the Top 9 on Foodbuzz!...Foodbuzz?...oh, how sad!...there is no more Foobuzz, so I don't have to worry about the Top 9!

Although we all remember how nice it was to be part of that 'fun' circle, meeting each other way back about 4 years ago, buzzing each others' posts...and actually even meet each other in person, at the Foodbuzz Festival events, in San Francisco! Great memories...but that's all in the past!


This post may seem out of place...or I'm out of touch; but this amazing and refreshing...all fresh veggies, and the most delicious fresh Florida shrimp marinated in fresh Florida lime juice, and the freshest chopped cilantro, also Florida product, like everything else fresh Florida grown products.
As for every holiday you may well know that not only in our immediate family do we celebrate both holidays...for Passover (no photo)...and Easter, but we always celebrate with our wonderful and best friends, who also celebrate both holidays!...so you see; we all get along, and still believe in one GOD!


I watched both the Ten Commandments movies...the Hollywood fancy version with Charleston Heston, and the most recent one on the UP channel, and the recent one was quite intriguing...realistic, and more accurate. Unlike in the old one where Charleston Heston came down from Mt. Sinai with totally white hair and beard; in the more recent one...he still had the brown hair and beard!
Also, with the Passover movie...I was very shocked to see the 1960's version of Jesus with a short straight hair...only covering his ears; and the 'blue eyes'...that was a shocker to me with the Middle Eastern Jew...could not understand the part at the Last Supper...only 8 disciples?...what happened to the other 4?...guess they didn't fit into the picture screen?...also I watched the Book of Ruth movie...that was another Hollywood glamorous festive movie...among some of the others. So, I spent an entire week of 'reconnecting' with the biblical people!

I feel bad for having to post these quick photos that I took...just didn't have a chance to take time to stage my photos; but I must admit that this shrimp ceviche...which I cam up with at the last hour of desperate attempt, to bring something to the Eastern celebration!
Maria's beautiful home...we started out with my Shrimp Ceviche...
A few of us started out early, as usual, it's always a 'feast' at holiday; Easter is one of the biggest holiday for Italians and it is such a joyous tradition!
Such a sweet and gracious lovely hostess...Maria


Nonno Sal, (Maria's husband...carving the lamb roast, which was specially purchased from an Italian meat market. It was perfectly done...medium, rare, to medium. Lamb is a very traditional Easter treat especially in Italy and Greece!
A typical festive Italian holiday table setting; can't leave out the kids' table!
Great company, fantastic foods, we are so blessed to have great friends who are like 'family' to us!
My daughter Lora's traditional Easter wreath that she makes every year! Isn't it gorgeous?...almost too pretty to eat!
Lora's Italian Ricotta Pie...so flaky and delicious with the ricotta, and chocolate chunks filling...yumm!
Thank you for all your good wishes; Hope all of you had a blessed and Happy Easter!
Shrimp Ceviche
recipe by; Elisabeth

2 cups grape, or cherry tomatoes diced
2 cups English seedless cucumbers diced
1 cup scallions sliced thin, including the green part
1/2 cup tomato juice
about 1 or 2 Serrano chili, sliced thin (optional)
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup tomato juice
a handful of finely chopped scallion

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, add sea salt and pepper to taste.

For the Shrimp ingredients
2 lbs of large shrimp peeled, deveined, and chopped
juice of 4 fresh limes

Marinate shrimp and lime juice for 30 minutes. Add shrimp to the ceviche, and serve with fresh tortilla chips.
Serves 12



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chocolate Crinkles

Happy New Year, to all my blogger friends...(not excluding readers who may not comment)...equal time to all!
Hope you all had a wonderful, and safe New Year's celebration...as we also did! This post may seem like a 'forgotten' or an 'after thought' post of my Chocolate Crinkles...but let me assure you that it is not a forgotten post of these lovely cookies that everyone loves around the Christmas holidays!

Chocolate Crinkles
recipe source: Gold Medal Flour
  • 1/2cup vegetable oil
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled
  • 2cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4eggs
  • 2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2cup powdered sugar

Directions

  • 1
    In large bowl, mix oil, chocolate, granulated sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • 2
    Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray.
  • 3
    Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar; roll around to coat and shape into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
  • 4
    Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.


I find it a little odd to be posting a Christmas cookie (now, that Christmas is over) Chocolate Crinkles are so popular here in the U.S. and all over the world by now, I assume. They are so attractive with the light and dark contrast, and most certainly perfect for an interesting addition to a cookie tray or for serving by themselves, any time of the year!

I did not have a Christmas tree at my small beach condo apartment; but at my daughter Lora's they have a beautiful live and tall tree every year, and I spent time just about every day there to enjoy the holiday festivities, especially at City Place!



Christmas @ City Place...West Palm Beach, Florida
Friends, and Family, on Christmas Day Celebration!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Photo; courtesy of PINTEREST



The Blessings of Peace
The Beauty of Hope
The Spirit of Love
The Comfort of Faith
May these be your gifts...this Christmas Season.
 
 
 
Good will, Success and happiness be with you,
this Christmas!
 
Wishing you all, a very Merry Christmas!
Hugs,
Elisabeth