Showing posts with label autumn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label autumn. 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

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 9, 2013

Roasted Paprika, Lemon, and Pepper Chicken

The aroma of homemade roasted chicken and the flavors, so crispy on the outside, and moist and juicy on the inside. I decided to roast two chickens...since I found the most beautiful organic young chickens in my local supermarket. They are about 5 lbs each. I have a generous and large roasting pan with a removable rack, so the chickens could easily be removed when they are done. I also added a few whole, peeled carrots, split a whole, peeled onion and stuffed it in the cavity of each chicken, along with half of 1 lemon for each chicken, and another whole lemon zest, and juice on top of chickens.

ROASTED PAPRIKA, LEMON, and PEPPER CHICKEN
recipe by: Elisabeth
 

2 roasting chickens (4 1/2-5 lbs.each)
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 medium onion peeled, and cut in half
zest of 1 whole lemon, and juice of the same lemon
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 extra lemon cut in half
stalks of 3 or 4 carrots (optional)
1 whole sweet, or hot pepper (optional)
 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set rack in pan; pour the chicken broth on the bottom of the roasting pan. Remove giblets and neck from inside chicken. Rinse chicken under running cold water and drain well, and pat dry. Tuck wings under. Place chickens breast- side up on rack, in the roasting pan; rub with the vegetable oil on both. With dry hands sprinkle with the spice mixture, and the lemon zest. Stuff the cavities with half of onion, and half of the extra lemon. Cover pan with the cover, or heavy duty aluminum foil. Roast for 25 minutes covered, and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Uncover the roasting pan, and continue to roast for and additional 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear, when pricked with a fork in the thigh area. Let rest for 5 minutes before carving. Pour pan juices into a bowl, and save to serve as sauce for the chicken.

Serve with baked, roasted, or mashed potatoes, with side of your favorite vegetables. You can use the same method for 1 whole chicken...just cut down on the amount of spices. Leftover chicken is great for making chicken salad, great for slices of chicken breasts cold...for sandwiches; it can also be reheated for leftovers...or, as I did (give one to family, or friend; which I did)








  
Thank you for all your kind comments; sorry for not keeping up with commenting back to some of you dear friends; I've had quite a rough week...it's 'breast cancer awareness month'...my dear departed mom's birthday a couple days ago... (lost her to the same disease decades ago)...also been losing sleep since last week, my remaining kitty Mush is still mourning the loss of her companion Prince, and it's been over 1 year now; she is just not so happy these days, always meowing in the middle of the night, pacing up-and-down few times... looking for Prince! I need to get answers for the way she is acting...I know one of us will need 'therapy'...and some much needed sleep! Hugs,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia

When it comes to baking breads, rolls, and other baked goods with yeast...I don't do much of that. I've been spoiled, growing up as a child with all the amazing homemade breads and and sweet pastries made by my mother, grandmother, and aunts. When my children were little, we still had my sweet Hungarian (aunt) Mariska néni who made all the wonderful treats for us, not just for the holidays, but every week something different. She is no longer with us but we still have the fond memories of all the yeasted treats she baked with so much 'pride and joy'...but seriously, we are the ones that was given so much joy and happiness. That's what home baking does; honest!
 
This is my favorite topping; paper thin sliced zucchini, and sweet-crunchy caramelized sliced onions. Focaccia and pizza dough is so easy to make, just pop the ingredients in the standing mixer with the dough hook and the machine does all the work for you. The only dry yeast I trust is RED STAR. It is fail-proof rapid-rising dry yeast...never have to worry about the dough not rising.
 
 
To make a single focaccia, you need at least 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour. I highly recommend bread flour. Some recipes do not use olive oil in the dough, but I prefer to add olive oil in the dough, and brush some on the top...as well!
 
Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia
recipe by; Elisabeth
 
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup of warm water
2 teaspoon RED STAR or your favorite rapid
rising yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
corn meal for dusting
 
Topping:
 
2 medium zucchini, sliced thin with mandolin slicer
1 medium onion, sliced into thin circles
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
 
In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand for 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve the salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in the 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine from time-to-time to scrape dough off the hook. Mix the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. (I added another 1/2 cup more.)
 
Turn the dough onto a work surface and form into a round. Place in a large oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise on a draft-free place, until doubled in size, for about 45 minutes.
 
You could coat a baking sheet pan with olive oil, or just use a large parchment paper, and directly coat the parchment paper with corn meal. When dough is doubled in size, punch down the dough and turn directly onto the cornmeal lined parchment paper. Pat the dough into an oblong shape but do not force dough to make it thin. Cover with a tea towel and let the dough rest for about 20 minutes so you can stretch it and shape it again. (In the meantime you could make the topping)
 
With your thumb, make indentations in the dough and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and pre-bake for about 10 minutes without the topping. Spoon topping over the pre-baked focaccia; don't worry about having neat slices if zucchini is paper thin. Finish baking for an additional 10 more minutes, until focaccia is light brown, and vegetables are caramelized.
 
For the topping: Use remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and in a large skillet sauté onion and garlic first... adding salt, pepper, and brown sugar. When onion mixture gets nice and caramelized add the thin zucchini slices and just mix all together...no need to cook zucchini; it will finish cooking in the last baking process.