Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes with Arugula

I've always loved and enjoyed fresh salads and lately I have gotten bored with the simple 'hum-drum' salad with just cucumbers, tomatoes, and sliced or chopped onions (which I love all kinds, but mostly the red onions.) As for the dressing, just a simple extra virgin olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar.
Sometimes I just run out of ideas what type of salads I should make, and I simply grab one of my cooking magazines...especially my newest subscription; Eating Well, which I share with my daughter among our other great cooking magazines the she and I subscribe to. The best kind of inspirations you get are of course...the ones with photos, and also knowing you don't have to run out to purchase so many ingredients just for that recipe.
Here in the U.S. we tend to eat lunch 'on the run'...sometime just grabbing some 'takeout' fast food,
if you happen to eat at home; maybe leftover stuff from the night before...or if you happen to be in 'luck'...a friend might take you out to a nice restaurant or eatery place not too expensive. You can of course split the bill! Well, I don't seem to fit any of these categories, because most of the time I skip lunch (not good)...eating breakfast too late, and I would be 'starving' by dinner time, which is so unhealthy!
The only ingredient that I had to buy was the baby Arugula...also known as Roquette, or Rocket. I like to buy it in the small plastic bags, already sealed and the leaves are perfect, and tender...just love the peppery taste when you take a bite, it almost burns your tongue; but mixed with other ingredients, it blends so well!

Tomatoes, stuffed with tuna salad is a classic elegant lunch dish...now, there's a healthier twist to it, just leaving out the mayo, and adding oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. I must tell you, this was such an amazing light and enjoyable lunch for 2, or 4 people. Did not even require bread or rolls!

Hope you are all having a beautiful weekend, with most of you starting your Fall Season...oh, how I miss the beautiful fall colors of yellow, orange, red, brown, and burgundy leaves adorning the trees...only to be falling so quickly.

Before you know it, Halloween is around the corner! xo

Tuna Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes with Arugula

July/August 2014           

The tuna in this great-looking stuffed tomato recipe isn’t your typical mayo-based affair. The sherry vinaigrette does double duty: it adds fresh flavor to the tuna filling and also dresses the baby arugula and white bean salad.

My modifications are in red

Ingredients   

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar I used white balsamic vinegar...you can use your favorite
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large tomatoes  I used 2 large beefsteak tomatoes (for 2)
  • 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna in olive oil, drained I used 1 can of same tuna
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • I also added 1 Tbsp of rinsed small capers
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed Navy Beans are almost the same; I used 1/2 the amount.
  • 8 cups baby arugula  4 cups
  • You can cut down on the ingredients, or just 'eyeball' it...use your own judgement
 Preparation
  1. Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons of the dressing to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Slice enough off the top of each tomato to remove the core (1/2 to 1 inch). Chop enough of the tops to equal 1/2 cup and add to the medium bowl. Scoop out the tomato pulp using a teaspoon or melon baller. (Discard the pulp or save for another use.)
  3. Add tuna, celery, onion, olives and thyme to the medium bowl; gently toss to combine. Fill the hollowed tomatoes with the tuna mixture.
  4. Add beans and arugula to the dressing in the large bowl and toss to combine. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top each with a stuffed tomato.

Nutrition

Per serving: 353 calories; 18 g fat (2 g sat, 11 g mono); 7 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 9 g total sugars; 20 g protein; 11 g fiber; 476 mg sodium; 878 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Vitamin A (63% dv), Potassium (25% dv), Folate (21% dv), Magnesium (16% dv), Vitamin B12 (15% dv)
 

   

 

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze

Of all the recipes I would call my favorites...I still prefer, and love Cooking Light magazines, books, which now I only have only two books from 2007, and 2008 left. With all my collection from a decade of Cooking Light books that I collect from my 'thrift finds'...of course, they were practically all new, and purchased from Goodwill @ $2.49; like I mentioned, end of the book bargains. I re-donated so many books back to them, just don't want to pile them up to my collections. I have down-sized so much over the few years on just about everything.
When death occurs in the family, you have no other choice, but to give away things that you cannot keep...i.e. lack of storage, painful memories, and outdated items, so you donate, sell, or simply give it away. I can always tell someone passed away, when I walk into Goodwill...see beautiful furniture, dishes, glassware, matching coordinating sets, and think; wow! their children did not want any of these things and feel a bit of sadness...knowing we did the same things, and just keep certain items for 'rememberance' ...and ending up the same way!...now, I totally got off the subject of my most amazing, and ooey-goeey, light Cinnamon Rolls!


The best part of these yummy rolls are the addition of the (roasted, or cooked) squash. I used acorn squash. Simply bake it for 45 minutes...split in half, clean seeds out, cover with aluminum foil and bake on 400 degrees F. until soft when you prick, and test with a fork. Roasting the squash intensifies the sweet natural flavor.

In my opinion, its so much easier to get ideas from magazines...even if they are not your own...you simply copy the name of the recipe; the source, and date, and you can google it online. That's what I've been doing lately. While sitting in the waiting room at doctors' office, instead of tearing pages out...sneaking it in your purse, lol...or even worse; snagging it, knowing they have at least three more other issues...and even worse; taking it from your daughter, 'hint-hint'...who gets every cooking issue of SAVEUR (gift from me)...Bon Appetit (also a gift from me)...Cooking Light, and various other magazine, which she cannot part with...again, google online, and chances are you will find everything that you are searching for, and more!

 Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze
from: Cooking Light, Nov. 2011

Ingredients



Ingredients


  • Rolls:
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 11.9 ounces bread flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 6.47 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 1 cup mashed cooked delicata squash-(acorn squash works great)
  •  (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar or light brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar to intensify the deep dark color)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted  
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

1. To prepare rolls, combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon bread flour and 5.63 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine bread flour, 5.63 ounces all-purpose flour, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add yeast mixture, squash, and oil, and stir just until moist. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes), adding enough of the remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.










 (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes.











 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll dough into a 20 x 12-inch rectangle. Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl; spread mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle evenly with nuts.
(I actually measured with a ruler, and cut the edges to leave just the 1/4 in. border. You can re-roll the scraps and leave it for kids to practice rolling)

 Roll the dough, jelly-roll fashion, starting with long side.












 Cut roll crosswise into 16 equal slices. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.






















4. Preheat oven to 375°.
5. Bake at 375° for 33 minutes or until brown. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack.


6. To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup water and maple sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon butter, half-and-half, and vanilla. Cool 5 minutes; drizzle over rolls.

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    Sunday, October 30, 2011

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    The Haunted Chambers (photo taken with my trusty Canon Power Shot SX130 camera, in this pitch dark)
    For the last three years, we have enjoyed a fabulous Halloween celebration, usually the last weekend, before the actual Halloween evening. It is held downtown West Palm Beach at the Flagler Montessori pre-school, that has such wonderful staff, and the little children just love going there. My little 5 yr. old granddaughter just graduated from their pre-kindergarten this summer, and still loves going back there for fun events.
    Another scary scene from the "Haunted Chambers"
    Also, it's so much safer to attend a party such as this, and will cost you less money! So, for tomorrow on Halloween, the kids will be going "trick-or-treating" in the vicinity of their neighborhood escorted by adults, of course, and making sure to have all their candy examined when they bring it home!
    This particular cake was a donation from my daughter's dear friend, Ilaria, who just recently started her baking treats, such as this beautiful Italian Ricotta Cake, decorated with cute little fondant ghosts! Her little daughter, Giorgia attends the pre-school, and she named her business after her: GIORGIA'S TREATS. You can reach her by e-mail, GIORGIA'STREATS@GMAIL.COM if you are in the Palm Beach County area. She is a talented true Italian baker, who has been making the United States her permanent home, for the last 10 years, or so!
    More treats, from a local bakery!
    They have what they call a "cake walk"...which is held outside, but unfortunately we got rained out by this ongoing remnant of Hurricane Rina, which is not unusual to get in the last week of October! All we got from the hurricane is several days of heavy rain and wind, strong, and lots of it! I feel for you folks up north who are having early snow surprising you at this time of the year. No fun, while your lawns are still green, and your lovely trees with the fall color leaves, to all of a sudden go into "winter wonderland" when you are still enjoying the beauty of fall! Mother Nature sure is temperamental at certain times of the year!

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Halloween Birthday Cake...and Fun Celebration!

    It's showtime! "Theater of Horrors"...or is it "Tales from the Crypt?" In my last post, I mentioned that I was planning to make a birthday cake for my granddaughter Sophia's birthday...a very special 10th birthday. The second of 4 precious grandchildren that I was bless with. I held off till the last day...the day before the birthday party. Just could not decide how it's going to be, since I am not a cake decorator...but yes, I can bake, just not my "forte."...I would rather put ten gourmet meals together, before I would venture into a "cake decorating disaster!"
    Did I mention that the little plastic decorations were from the dollar store?...a whole fun bag for $1.
    Sophia requested for me to bake special birthday cake, 2 weeks before her birthday...she requested that it should be a Halloween cake, since her birthday is 1 week before Halloween, and decided to have a special birthday party at home for her friends, and parents included. This is her first b-party celebration, since she was born. Every year she had her party out in different fun places, including at an ice-skating rink last year.

    I'm linking my Halloween Birthday Cake to: Full Plate Thursday, 10-27-11
    @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Spaghetti with Porcini Mushrooms

    Now that Halloween is behind us, and taking a breather from contacting all the award participants, I can now start posting some of the dishes that I have made in the past week. You will be seeing a lot more vegetarian dishes, since my son and daughter-in-law have become vegetarians, with their on-again, off-again...OK, lets eat some meat...special occasion excuses, so now it's official once more. As for me, I make vegetarian dishes at least twice or 3 times a week and the rest of the week it's usually chicken, anyway. Once in a while beef, or pork, which is rarely. This porcini mushroom comes from Italy, in a small packet. When my daughter visits once a year, all I ask of her is to bring me Italian spices, and porcini mushrooms. All you do to reconstitute the dried mushrooms, is to put them into a small pot, fill it up with water, let it come to a boil, leave it alone to cool the water...do not use for at least one hour, or just put it into a mason jar with the liquid, which is so important, and use it within a few days, or so...all of it, or some of it. It has a nice woodsy flavor, and it is oh so rich, and oh so very expensive, if you can even buy it! The broccoli florets was an (option) which was steamed and added in there at the end.

    ...I forgot to include in my Halloween "show& tell" dear departed grandma Fran, and Grandpa Ronny (comment from my 4yr old granddaughter)
    ...OK enough of that. My recipe to follow, the way I made the porcini with the spaghetti...some of you that do not like the broccoli, just ignore it. 
    Spaghetti with Porcini Mushrooms

    1 small packet of dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup dried)
    1 onion chopped
    3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    3 cloves garlic minced
    1 cup tomato sauce
    salt and pepper to taste
    small amount of dried red pepper flakes
    1 jalapeno seeded and sliced thin (optional)
    few leaves of fresh basil
    1 cup liquid from porcini mushrooms
    1 cup porcini mushrooms that have been boiled and soaked in water
    1 lb. dry spaghetti (save 1 cup water, from the cooked pasta)

    In a medium saucepan, add water about halfway, empty the dried mushrooms and let it come to a boil. Do not boil any longer, just let the mushroom soak in the liquid, let it cool down, and save in a medium mason jar with a lid, with liquid. You should end up with about 2 cups of mushroom. Do not discard the liquid, you will need it in the cooking process.
    In the meantime boil the water for the spaghetti, and cook according to directions. In a large skillet, saute onions, jalapeno and garlic till onions are nicely wilted, add the mushrooms, and the liquid from the mushrooms, the salt and pepper, and the basil. Let the liquid cook down for a few minutes, until you see it thickening. Add the tomato sauce, and let it cook until the sauce thickens You can add steamed broccoli florets to fold into the sauce at this time. (optional) Serves 4.








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    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    A Halloween Weekend

    Friday evening: On our way to the little preschool Halloween party at my youngest granddaughter's school. Photo snapped from inside the car, towards downtown West Palm Beach... Let me be your guide...follow me!


    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Carrot Cake

    October is such an all time favorite month for everybody. The beautiful fall colors of the season, Halloween of course, but than there are birthdays...and not just any birthday. My granddaughter, the second oldest of my 4 grandchildren Sophia's 9th birthday. I mentioned in my "Tagged" answer that I had to learn from "Betty Crocker" to cook, and I did not mention, also, to bake, as well. At that time, a hundred years ago...(actually, in the seventies)...Betty Crocker recipes were very popular, as were Better Homes and Gardens. Seems like everybody had a cookbook from one, or the other, as I did. This recipe is really so easy, and your family will love this, especially the beautiful fall colors, even in the frosting, which is just a nice creme cheese frosting with a few drops of yellow, and red food color, to make it a pumpkin, orange color, few pieces of M&M's a fancy cake pan, or just one 9" pan, or a spring form pan, will make it fancy looking. So much nicer than a 13x9 which the recipe calls for.

    adapted from Betty Crocker
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup milk (I use 1/2 evaporated milk)
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    dash of salt
    3 cups shredded carrots (about 5 med. carrots)
    do not use pre shredded carrots-they are too thick

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9 8 inch or 9 inch round, or spring form pan, with shortening, or cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs and vegetable oil with an electric hand mixer till combined for about a minute or 2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, and add them slowly to the wet mixture. Add the milk and vanilla to it, and beat on low, till all combined. Fold in the shredded carrots, and pour batter into pan. Bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees, and lower the temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Check by inserting toothpick into middle of the cake, to see if it comes out clean. Cool completely, before frosting, at least 1 hour.

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    1 package 8 oz. creme cheese softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 Tbsp of milk
    (add about 7 drops of yellow food dye and 4 drops of red dye to the milk to make orange color)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 cups powdered sugar

    Mix all ingredients together until smooth and velvety. Frost cake, and immediately chill in freezer for about 20 minutes before decorating.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Curried Potatoes and Eggs Scramble

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    I've been so intrigued with all the beautiful and This morning was such a beautiful morning, that I decided to make a nice breakfast treat, focusing on using what I had in my frig, but intent upon using curry powder. I did not want to add curry powder or other spices in the scrambled eggs, and did not want to make them on the side, so I came up with this cute little idea to make a little "nest" in the middle of the curried potatoes, when they were completely done. Eggs only take a minute or to to scramble up, and being careful not to get it mixed up with the potatoes, just concentrating on leaving it in the inside. I must say it was quite a success...better than breakfast out, and I could go on my Saturday grocery shopping.
    There are so many different dishes out there on my foodie friends' blogs, and especially with all the wonderful spices to kick up the flavors of foods and make them colorful and healthy, at the same time. The funny thing is, that I have most of those spices, sauces, and condiment on hand. I am, what you might call a "spice freak", and "freezer happy"...99% of my dry spices are kept in the freezer...not that I would want to keep them in there forever, the longest I keep them is 1 year, and they still smell fresh. 
     Curried Potatoes, and Eggs Scramble

    1 large russet Yucon gold potato
    2 large eggs, lightly scrambled
    1 small onion diced
    10 grape, or cherry tomatoes, halved
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon red curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
    1/2 teaspoon coriander
    !/2 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

    In a large non stick skillet, saute onions, until translucent. In the meantime, cook the potato in the microwave until it's almost soft, slice them in half, and peel them, if you prefer. Dice them in small pieces, and saute them with the onions, on med, high. Sprinkle all the spices on them, and add the cherry, or grape tomatoes.(these small tomatoes keep their shape, they are better, than the diced tomato)...Just keep stirring the potato mixture till it gets nice and crunchy, and a golden color. Clear the vegetable to the side, and leave a portion of a circle to drop the eggs in. Lightly stir, but do not mix up too much, lower the temperature, and let it cook for a minute or two, till it sets. Sprinkle some lime on it to give it a nice flavor. Serves 2.
    I love Halloween decorations, it's so much fun... our local supermarket always has decorations for every holiday. Just makes it that much more enjoyable to shop. Could not resist taking a picture, and not getting escorted out of the store. Last year I took some beautiful photos at our local Green market, and was asked to delete the photos...what a "bummer" and embarrassment that was. That's when I lost my grocery cart too. While I was sneaking photos, someone took off with my cart, and realized halfway across the huge football" field size of the store, and abandoned my cart. I finally had to ask the manager to announce on the loud speaker about the lost cart with certain groceries in it...more embarrassment. My daughter refused to walk out of the store with me...kept telling me. "I don't know you"...so no more paparazzi...have to be less noticeable when taking photos out in public.