Showing posts with label cook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cook. Show all posts

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Do you ever...or have you ever felt like there's a 'cloud' over your head and it just does not seem to want to leave?...no! I'm not talking about the Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage commercial with the actual dressed up person as a 'cloud' but a cloud that just does not seem to lift?...even if you live in S. Florida as I do.

For the last four months, one thing after another. My eye surgery, death, sciatica, the flu...and back again, feeling
'gloomy'! Not enough energy...not eating right, just plain tired, on-and-on. Valentine's Day did not help either...although I did get a beautiful bouquet of red roses from my precious and beloved children and grandchildren, so that really cheered me up. As for cooking and baking, I haven't done much...isn't it nice to have a wonderful daughter that cooks and bakes every day and shares, the 'love'?

Talk about sharing! My dear friend Marina, @Picnic at Marina offered to treat me to a nice bowl of her famous Chicken Broth, but of course she lives much too far. I did make a huge pot of almost the same identical broth, but I like to put more carrots and a sweet potato as well...it's just me. You can make such awesome recipes with your fresh broth; all you have to do is just freeze them in ice cube trays, or portion sized plastic containers and pop them out of the freezer to have it ready when you need it for a recipe that calls for chicken broth.

For the actual recipe, click on Marina's beautiful blog for the Hot Water Soup...a.k.a. Chicken Broth and you can variate this amazing broth to make Easy Chicken Noodle Soup if you would like more vegetables and noodles, or as in my case, I added leftover broken up thin spaghetti pieces right into the boiling broth.
 Never under estimate the power of a great homemade chicken soup...so many different ways of making it from just by making a huge pot of chicken broth. I actually used up half of the entire large pot of the broth to make my simple Chicken Noodle Soup with my simple favorite vegetables.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
inspired by Marina's Chicken Broth

2 1/2 quarts (80ozs.) (2 1/2 L.) homemade chicken broth, (for recipe click on the link at Marina's)
3 peeled sliced, or diced carrots
1/2 large onion or 1 small chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 large, or 2 small bay leaves
Leftover pieces of chicken from the broth
2 med. red skinned potatoes (don't peel) diced
handful of fresh parsley chopped
2 Tbsp. canola, or vegetable oil
Leftover thin spaghetti about less then 1/4 lb. broken up in bite size pieces, or use noodles of course
adjust flavor by adding spices of your choice...I added
freshly ground pepper, and hot sauce, or red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. (optional)

You can use canned broth, or water, adding bullion cube if you're not using homemade broth.

Saute onion, carrots, and celery in the canola or vegetable oil, until onion gets glossy, and wilted. Add the potatoes, the chopped parsley, bay leaves, your seasonings, and add about 2 cups of the broth. Cover, and slowly simmer until all the vegetables are almost done. Add the rest of the broth the torn up chicken pieces, let the broth come to a boil, add the broken up spaghetti pieces or small amount of noodles right into the broth and boil gently until it's cooked completely. You can cook the broken up spaghetti pieces or as much noodles as you want separately, and add as you go along. You can sprinkle extra chopped parsley on top, and adjust seasoning
 Noodles or pasta tend to get soggy in the broth so do not cook a large amount in the broth itself.
Serves an entire family of 4-6 with this generous delicious soup...fit for the GODS!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie...in Memory of Rosario

The most perfect and heavenly Lemon Meringue Pie...a true Southern delight!
photo, and recipe, courtesy of...What's Cooking America
Who would not love a tangy sweet, and sour perfect Lemon Meringue Pie?...certainly all of us would love this perfect Lemon Meringue Pie, including my ex-husband Rosario;

He has passed away since I wrote the last post on my blog, on New Year's Eve. It's been very painful since that time. He passed away peacefully, on Jan. 3rd. of 2013. His last wish for Christmas was to have Lemon Meringue Pie...which he has been given as a gift from a dear family friend. She made the most fabulous Lemon Meringue Pie and as a gift to Rosario, for the last 10 years.

Unfortunately, this year she was not able to make it for him, and as for me...I have not made it in decades...with Eagle Brand Condensed Milk..which worked just fine, but there is a better method of making this heavenly... all American Southern pie!

At this moment, I am in excruciating pain from Sciatica (a very painful low back nerve pain)...which has started after this weekend from Rosario's Memorial service...still not buried...will be buried overseas in Sicily (Italy),,,accompanied by our son Joe. I posted on 'facebook' ...but not have had the strength to post it on my blog, so far. I could barely walk from the pain, and nerve, shooting up and down my low-back, and leg...but it's starting to ease up a little.

I owe you, my blogger friends the explanation of why I have been absent from my blog for so long.Thank you for all your kind comments, and condolences on my facebook page. Lora has not been able to update her blog as well, since...fortunately for her, her in-laws from Italy came to the rescue to help in any way they can. They are so super sweet, and kind. We, now, can start to eat some delicious home-cooked meals for the next month!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nutella and Banana Panini

This may seem like a strange post, but this morning I was craving something sweet, ans why not  make something 'comforting' fun, and sinfully delicious without a lot of calories. I love Nutella, just like everyone else, but hardly ever use it to make a dessert... even though I have the jar sitting in my cupboard, next to the jar of peanut butter. I also had a whole Challah bread in my freezer, I had it sitting there for over one month. Such a perfect grilled panini with Nutella, and the banana pairing!
I must warn you, this Nutella Panini is not elegant...there's no other way to present it to make it look fancy; it's 'what you see is what you get' kind of a droolworthy awesome grilled sweet sandwich, made exclusively in a Panini Grill that is only for grilled sandwiches. I only ate one small portion, and wrapped up the rest to take over to my little grandson as a great snack when he came out of kindergarten. My daughter also enjoyed it as well!
Notice the perfect grill marks?... can't get better than that!

I'm sure, there must be an actual recipe out there, by I got my inspiration from one of my other favorite sandwich, which is the peanut butter banana sandwich, which I'm sure will taste as yummy, as a grilled panini.


 Nutella and Banana Panini
 recipe by; Elisabeth

Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread
1 or 2 ripe bananas, sliced
4 (1-inch thick) slices of Challah bread
or white sandwich bread






Spread 1 tablespoon of Nutella on one side of each slice of bread. If you're using a small, or med. banana, you can fill the entire bread slice with the banana slices.Top with the remaining bread slice, spread side down.










Preheat your panini grill, on med. high. This is a 'thrift find' panini grill, which I purchased about a year ago, for $9.99...a real bargain, and it works great!












 Place the panini (sandwich) on the hot grid, close the lid down and grill for about 5 or 6 minutes.














 When you see the grill marks appear, your sandwich is done.








While it's still warm, with a serrated knife, cut into half, or thirds...just watch it disappear... Yumm













 Some pre-Christmas visit at Macy's with my grandchildren!

 Last Saturday, at Macy's at City Place, in West Palm Beach...letter to Santa Claus!
Beautiful Christmas tree, at Macy's
I just had to snap this photo...so cool, so Christmasy...this car parked in front of Publix supermarket, after we left Macy's and stopped to buy a few items, at the supermarket. Imagine, the person cramming the Christmas tree into the car...also leaving the windows down and totally leaving down, and all open.
When we came out of the supermarket after 30 minutes, the car with the Christmas tree inside was still parked...isn't this a cute car?...a brand new FIAT! (not mine, of course)...wouldn't mind to own this little beauty:)








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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Oven Baked Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

One potato...two potato...well, you know the rest of this little 'nursery rhyme'...not trying to put you to sleep, but it seems I have done so. Not one single comment since yesterday, on my Sweet Potato Bread... so movin' on! I purchased 2 large beautiful sweet potatoes at Walmart Super Store this week, and instead of making the usual baked sweet potatoes, I tried something different! You've seen the first version, now here's the second!

I have a confession to make: I am a Pinterest 'junkie' ...I love Pinterest! so there, I said it again! Every time I pin one of your fabulous dishes or desserts, sorry to say, I get stuck pinning, and pinning, and more pinning. You find so many awesome things on Pinterest, and so many ideas, and recipes for things that catches your eyes. You just click on the source, and it brings you to the site, or to the blog and you are very pleasantly surprised. I actually got the idea for the Oven Baked Chipotle Chile Sweet Baked Potato Fries from one of the pins that I pinned a while back, and discovered it again, when I made my Sweet Potato Bread, to go back to the pin, again!

Here's some of my burgers, and a collection from various sources for my Burgers and Sides board on Pinterest for 'foodandthrift'...you will see a few sources for fries, and of course sweet potato fries. At this time I cannot reveal the actual source where it came from...for you will also be 'sidetracked' but I'm sure you'll figure it out! Click, to check out all the mouthwatering burgers and fries!
Burgers and Sides
Yeahh, I did it! Yes, I'm totally featuring my yummy spicy, crispy Sweet Potato Chipotle Fries...stole the simple 'prop' idea from Pinterest...to stand it upright! I found one of my 'latte' mugs, 'thrift find' ...of course, and cut a piece of parchment paper to wrap it around with, and it worked. I wasn't happy with my 'night photo' shot and my counter background, so I figured out a way to block out on my photo shop setting for my Canon camera browser...just want to show you how amazing these fries were...sorry, did not share this...only ONE POTATO!
I also made the Mayo Sriracha Dip...(not shown) but you will find it on my Pinterest  board!

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




ONE POTATO...

I will take you step-by-step to show you how easy it is to make these yummy fries. If you want to use regular baking potatoes...well, that's fine too!




First, you must peel the potato



Wash it, and first cut it in half lengthwise, trim the little tip off from the end...do not cut them in half across, or they will be too short. keep cutting them into strips, but not too thin. (its OK if some are shorter)










I used 4 ingredients...fine ground Kosher salt, multi-color freshly ground pepper, Chipotle Chile
Powder, and hot Hungarian Paprika...use about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the rest just sprinkled on the amount I needed. Mixed it all in a small bowl or jar, with the addition of 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Put the potatoes in a large Zip-Loc bag...pour the oil and spices on them and shake...shake...shake...'baby'! Fold the bag over, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes...or longer; even overnight!








On a parchment lined baking sheet, bake in a preheat 425 degrees F. oven 15 minutes on one side, flip them over carefully with a flat spatula, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes longer until they are golden brown, and crispy...serves 2.

Last, but not least...I wanted to share my awesome little 'thrift find' with you; a little scale that you can weigh for baking to get the exact grams. No more converting, just pop it on the little plastic scale, weighs up to 2 kilos which is all I need for easier instant conversion. It even has a nice convenient lid. Cost: $1.99

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sweet Potato Bread with Chocolate Chips

If you love sweet potatoes like I do, you would certainly love this moist and delicious bread...more like cake texture. This would probably fall into the category of 'eat your veggies'...as in dessert? First it was carrot, then zucchini, so why not sweet potatoes in a sweet bread...but not too sweet, so you will enjoy the outstanding natural flavor of the grated sweet potatoes in the bread.

Linking to: Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen
                Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop @ Katherines Corner
 
With all my cookbooks, magazines, Internet, and favorite food blog recipes, I could not resist this recipe that inspired me from the October 2012 issue of Cooking Light. This is how it happens for me with certain recipes. As long as I don't have to go out of my way to get the ingredients I'm ready to get started. I don't like to make a huge project of it most of the time, so it's a lot more enjoyable to make something. I, of course changed this a little, simply because I had to substitute a couple ingredients...other than that I followed the recipe quite close.

Since this was my daughter's magazine, I copied the page, and photographed it to upload the actual recipe, with my adaptation to follow.

Sweet Potato Bread with Chocolate Chips
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

I followed the ingredients on the above list, the change I made was (1 cup of grated sweet potato)

I used 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, and 1/2 cup sour cream

omitted the nuts and raisins, and used 1 cup Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips. Folded in 3/4 of it, and sprinkled 1/4 on the top before baking.

For the Spread on top: did not use the cream cheese and the powdered sugar. I added the grated lemon rind in the batter

Combine the flour and your dry ingredients
Combine the wet ingredients...stir, just until smooth (do not use and electric mixer)
Add your wet ingredients to the flour mixture...then add the grated potatoes
Fold in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips on the top (you still have another cup left over from the large bag of chocolate chips...save for another use) Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 25 minutes...lower the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes...and remove
I waited another 10 minutes and started to slice it while still warm. Use a serrated knife, and be sure to clean after each slice.
I tried a slice while it still was warm...you cannot imagine the intense flavor of the sweet potato; just the right amount of sweetness from the 1/2 cup of sugar...the lovely flavor and aroma of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and the moistness of the sour cream and yogurt...and only 1/4 cup of canola oil. Super moist, delicate in indescribably delicious!










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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Grilled Chipotle Pork Loin with Chipotle Black Beans


I don't know about you, but I like to eat a nice piece of pork loin, pork chops, pork ribs, pork roast, and of course...pork bacon every now-and-then! I'm not going to 'beat around the bush' about this...guilty; if that's the case. Most of the time, I just don't mention, or post about 'pork'...but this is the kind of pork that they call 'the other white meat:)

This one happens to be 100% natural...no hormones...organic?...that I assume it would be! I purchased a package of this 'beauty' at Walmart Super Store...3 double thick pieces...one, which I grilled for myself, and the 2 other pieces, I  tenderized, and pounded it 'paper thin'...breaded it, to make Wiener Schnitzel' (no photo) out of it to make it for my son, and my two granddaughters. One thought it was chicken...my son thought it was veal...and for me...'mums the word'....guilty? ...nahhh!...don't think so!...Cost was a mere $6.17 and I had a fabulous dinner one night for myself, and another dinner the next day for the 4 of us! Bought 4 beautiful plantains, for 25 cents each, to fry along with the chops, as well!...and the black beans were amazing! Had 2 meals out of 2 cans...with rice!


Very simple to make...just marinade your pork loin, or chop by using a dry rub of your choice...in my case, I used chipotle powder, chili powder, Hungarian hot paprika, cumin powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, rub it in real well, pierce fork and let it marinade at room temperature for about 30 minutes. 

Being that your pork loin is so lean, just before grilling it on your electric grill...in my case; a small George Foreman that you pre-heat, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on it, and grill for about 5 min. on each side..criss-crossing it to make a pretty pattern. With the George Foreman, you cut your grilling time in half, because it grills you meat on both sides with the top and bottom at the same time...that's the beauty of a George Foreman, which I love so much...you can buy a 'dime a dozen' at any of the Goodwill Thrift stores for $5.99...practically NEW!


As for the Chipotle Black Beans, I used 2-oz. can of Walmart brand black beans (excellent quality)...1-15oz. can of Red Gold diced tomatoes. I sauteed some onion, garlic, and added my tomatoes, cooked it for about 20 minutes...adding the same spices as in the rub for the pork chops...added 1 bay leaf, and a few dashes of hot sauce. At the very end, as you can see, I drizzled some more olive oil, to give it a pretty shine, and added 1 teaspoon white vinegar to 'kick it up' a little. Served it over white rice, and the pork loin chops...So amazingly delicious meal for 1 person, with plenty leftover for the next meal!



I have something else to share with you...linking this super yummy chicken wings...I did not cut between the joints, because this way you get more meat out of it!  Check this out....and no slow cooker either...could not wait for it to get done, so I made it in my electric skillet!
Last but not 'least' is my delicious 'Honey-Garlic Wings'...slightly adapted from my dear Floridian friend Claudia, who has the wonderful What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine. She called it Sweet Wings, and she cooked it in the Crock Pot/Slow Cooker...but I could not wait that long, and made it in my electric skillet. Also did not split the wings in two, to get more meat out of them this way. For more tips on sauces for wings...do check out Claudia's amazing blog, and I promise that you will love each and every recipe and tips from Claudia, who is a Store Manager by day, and food blogger by night...with 2 successful blogs, and a third which she is also the administration of! Her handsome son Curt @ Curt's Delectable Vlog, after his beautiful mom in his talented cooking skills!

Instead of the 1 cup honey, I used 1/2 cup, increased the garlic cloves to 3, and added 2 more Tbsp. of the ketchup instead of (2)...added 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, and juice of 1/2 lemon. I fried the wings first, in a heavy duty ...cast iron skillet, and then I made the sauce separately, cooking all the sauce ingredients together...poured it over the wings set up in my electric skillet, and just let them simmer...and kept them warm...I made this for 'Sophia's birthday'...and let me tell you, it was gone within a few minutes...that good!...so thank you Claudia for your inspiration, and countless more of your easy, and delicious recipes that brings back so many wonderful memories from our Italian kitchen, as well!

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