Showing posts with label friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friends. Show all posts

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.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tomato, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad

When you have 4 beautiful Haas avocados, that are still fairly hard...you let it sit outside in a basket, or fruit bowl and wait for two or three days and they will be perfectly at their best, firm, yet soft to make some nice salad with it...if you let it ripen another day or longer; best to make Guacamole out of it. In my case I chose to make a beautiful and healthy salad. Same goes with the plum tomatoes. When you purchase them, and they are firm, but just getting ripe...let them sit outside for a couple days, and they will ripen to perfection.

Also, I decided to add hard boiled eggs to the salad...only because hard boiled eggs are a nice addition to any healthy salad...and because, I felt extremely guilty for having to toss out half a dozen eggs that I neglected to use up, and they were nearly one month old. I always check the dates on the egg carton and are careful not to use them more than 1 week pass the expired date. The expiration date is really just a caution to warn you but they will still be OK to use after the expiration date for a week, I'm quite sure of that! I always use organic eggs which cost a little more, but so well worth it. Same with my vegetables!

At our Latino produce market, everything is 'dirt' cheap. Just have to make an effort to stop there, and stock up on all the things I need; but it's more convenient to buy everything at the local supermarket when I do my weekly grocery shopping. Who can pass up Haas avocados...2 for $1.00 when at the supermarket they are $1.50 each! Same with the limes, at the produce market, they are always 10 for $1.00 compared to 3 for $1.00 at the supermarket. You really have a choice, but not always convenient to go out of your way when you can find all the things you need in one stop! Whole Foods Market is more expensive, but that still happens to be my very favorite market for the best quality!
Even though I live alone, but I have lovely neighbors/friends in my condo complex, and my family is just a few minutes over the 'bridge' on the other side of the Intracoastal waterway. I live on the island, which is quite a large size, and only 1 supermarket; which I recently realized, but it takes only 10 minutes to drive over the bridge and have the 'world at your feet'! I only cook about once or twice a week, and almost always have all my amazing meals at my daughter's Lora! ...and once a week at my son Joe...how fortunate can one mom be?...having loving family around me...feeling truly Blessed!
When you prepare something healthy and delicious, you really need to have the freshest ingredients, especially when you make a beautiful salad. You don't always need lettuce for your salad...just use your imagination, and create something that inspires you...no recipe needed for that. I happen to love sweet Vidalia or another brand of sweet onions. Naturally sweet; you can almost bite into it like an apple...but really, you don't want to do that; just peel, an slice, or dice it to saute it in cooking...never, ever any tears...which is the best part, as well!






Tomato, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad
created by; Elisabeth




4 Haas avocados
4 Plum (Roma) tomatoes
1 firm cucumber
2 hard boiled eggs
1/2 of a medium sweet onion
1 or 2 limes
1 bunch of Italian parsley
Extra Virgin olive oil
Sea Salt
freshly ground pepper







Cut avocados, tomatoes, in half...carefully remove the pits from the avocados, then cut them into half again, lengthwise...same with the tomatoes, and dice them into bite size pieces.

Peel cucumber partially, or all the way, cut it in half lengthwise, and dice it into bite-size pieces as well. For the hard boiled eggs, also cut in half lengthwise and dice into bite-size pieces.


For the onion, cut in half, and slice thin lengthwise, as well. For the parsley, chop a small handful, and save a few whole pieces for decoration. Combine everything in the proper order, starting with the tomatoes, and ending with the avocado, and hard boiled eggs...since they are delicate. they need to be on top.

Drizzle with about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, and juice of half of a lime...or a whole if not enough juices. Salt, and pepper to taste, and additional oil, and juice of lime
if preferred.

Serve with pita bread, flat bread, or bread of your choice. Serves 2, generously!


Thank you everyone for your kind comments, and support; and I do appreciate your friendship, even though I don't comment regularly, and often...not even checking my own blog. I must confess that I'm  Pinterest...aholic, and not even bothering with my e-mails every day! (when you receive about 200 e-mails daily, you really have to add another e-mail address...can't see the 'trees' from the forest...as they say!
Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends! xo

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!


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



Friday, April 11, 2014

#Palm Beach Love

I must admit, this is not a 'wordless Wednesday'...or a 'silent Sunday'...I tried to upload my latest photos of my amazing Avocado Bruschetta; but my upload is just not happening...something went wrong, so I'm sharing this beautiful photos of my evening walks on our beautiful location...on the island of Palm Beach...where I reside!

A quiet evening, just a few cars passing through!

I've been walking all week this week for 2 miles...and I must admit it really is quite enjoyable with the weather we've been having here...totally spring temperatures, sunshine just about every day; and instead of walking on the beach, I decided to walk on the road that is called South Ocean Boulevard...the most famous road in Palm Beach!
This is the famous Palm Beach golf course...you can see the reflection of the sunset...beautiful crisp fresh air, with the most perfect tropical breeze!
How can you not enjoy the marvel of 'mother nature' when its right in front of you?...this is the golf  course, just when the sun was setting, and I could not resist taking the photos. We all need to 'count our blessings'...there is beauty all around us; we just have to capture the moment!

A one hour walk in nature, refreshes the soul, and spirit; it gives you a new 'outlook on life'...knowing that it is helpful for your health, and makes you feel all new and refreshed. It sure is the most inexpensive exercise  in your life, to make a difference!
There is so much beauty all around us...we just miss it when we are  so occupied in our lives, and miss all the God-given nature that should put joy in our lives...we miss out so much in life that does not cost anything; just giving thanks to our Creator!
Every evening, the sky is different...giving off the most beautiful radiant, magical lights that you can imagine! This is jus 1 mile perimeter of my early evening walk; just about at sunset!
So, the evening ends...my walk is ended for this day...a new day begins, and I'm feeling blessed to have all my friends to share moments like this; wish you were here to take this lovely walk with me! Hugs,
Elisabeth