Showing posts with label green beans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green beans. Show all posts

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Green Beans with Garlic Vinaigrette

Steam the green beans, (1 lb)... but do not overcook; for the vinaigrette, you need 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or pressed, juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
In a small food chopper or a bowl, mix everything together, (except the olive oil)...slowly drizzle the olive oil...you can also use a wire whisk if not using a mini food chopper!
You would think that after MIA (missing in action)...I would come back to post an incredibly (WOW) post; so not happening! You see, since Mother's Day, I've been feeling so 'bummed' out...and carrying such sadness in my heart over the death of my dear friend Dianne's mother's sudden death; right on Mother's Day! She, herself is battling lung cancer (never smoked) for the last 2 years! I've been trying to be a good support for her (age 60). Anybody that says second hand smoking is not dangerous?...think again!

I've been also keeping myself busy with my private chef work...catering, as well! Just have to get my mind off of things that I cannot change. I have made some really nice dishes, and desserts, but just did not take even one photo of them...especially my N.Y. style cheesecake, my Yellow Cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting, my Caprese Ziti Pasta with the fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, just to name a few! I have not gone on any social sites at all...such as facebook, have not visited blogs, or commented;...shame on me!

Pinning on Pinterest has been my only entertainment on the web! You don't have to comment, just keep on pinning on all your favorite boards which can take up hours of your time!

Also, I've noticed how bloggers have just abandoned their blogs...some favorite follower friends stopped commenting; some have totally ignored my previous comments...but I'm sure, that has happened to most of us in the near past!

I am so thankful to you, my sweet food, and other blogger friends that are still active and keep up with your lovely blogs. We all have our private lives, our jobs, families, significant 'others'...and mostly our daily routines, sometimes health related issues to worry about! Life has its ups-and-downs but we have to keep a positive outlook...and sometimes that positive outlook can be clouded by doubts and fears which we have to overcome!
Avocado and Tomato Basil Bruschetta
Also, I have made a really healthy, and yummy bruschetta a couple months ago...I could not upload the photos during that time, and have forgotten all about it! I used the yellow cherry tomatoes, the avocado pieces were diced rather larger, or maybe I should have smashed them, but it's based on the very similar recipe that I found on Pinterest!

Smashed Avocado + Tomato Basil Bruschetta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Whole grain slices of french bread are toasted to perfection and topped with smashed avocado and a garlicky tomato basil mixture.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Lunch, Healthy
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 loaf whole grain french bread (or 1 petite loaf), sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 avocados, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus exta
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 basil leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven on broiler setting.
  2. Place slices of bread on baking sheet, spray with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt; broil slices in oven about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from oven and rub with one clove of garlic (make sure to cut it in half before rubbing).
  3. In a medium bowl, mix smashed avocado, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and ground pepper.
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Mince other garlic clove and add it into tomato mixture.
  5. Spread smashed avocado mixture onto each slice of toast, then generously spoon tomato topping on top. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.
Recipe by Ambitious Kitchen at http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/08/smashed-avocado-tomato-basil-bruschetta/

My New York Style Cheesecake...from 2 years ago, and also made it recently...original recipe can be found here; also video as well!
NEW YORK CHEESECAKE...by Joy of Baking


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Thanksgiving came...and went this year; with less family members, and less friends. Each year it is different than from the year before. Isn't it true, that during the major holidays we lose family and friends to 'death' or they just move away...move on...never to be heard from, again...or for a long time...no connection?... it does make one sad, but 'life does go on' and we have to make the best of it!
We have so much to be thankful for, and count our blessings even if its for our every day lives that we interact with other family members and friends that we see often, or once in-a-while! As far as some of our neighbors...well, in my situation where I live; that is very awkward. I hear the srong gusty winds these days, and the 'roaring ocean'. It is always
 10 or more degrees cooler here, so this week one day, I woke up to what seemed to be freezing temperature, when others further up north, or in other parts of Europe had way below freezing and snow storms...no doubt!

Families in neighborhood communities; they treat each other with respect, and care about one-another! Even with the elderly folks that live alone are invited to holiday gatherings, so they don't have to feel left out. For example; my direct next door neighbor...an elderly retired professor, does not speak to anyone...just keeps to himself. He eats every meal...out! I do worry about him, especially during holidays because he does not even have one friend...always alone! I offered several times to help in any way, but I get rejection...so sad!

...let's get on with the rest of the Thanksgiving 'feast'...and recipe for the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake!

For the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, I used the recipe from my sweet daughter Lora's blog @

note: if you don't have cake flour, it is important to substitute correctly for all-purpose flour but you have to make adjustment to it!
For the 1 1/4 cup of cake flour used in the recipe: use 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour: remove 2 Tbsp. of flour, before sifting, and then replace it with 2 Tbsp. corn starch and add it to the flour, then sift together.
The basic rule; to substitute all purpose flour for cake flour;
Remove 2 Tbsp. flour per each cup of flour used! (you can omit the cornstarch replacement, but it does make it lighter)
I use a square glass Pyrex pan, sprayed the pan with Pam baking spray, cut out parchment paper to fit the inside of the pan, and sprayed that, as well.
The baking time; 350 degrees F. for 45 min. was absolutely correct temperature.
I used a small baking pan to place the cake pan on it, so when it came out of the oven, I could just flip the cake over on it, or your can flip it over directly on a platter. It was a lot easier this way, and peeling of the parchment paper was very easy. After cooling it down for 10 minutes, I was able to slice it and place the slice on the serving platter.
So, there you have it! The best moist cake...ever! I must confess, I like to trim the edges of cake, and devour it, myself...selfish? you bet! ...not feeling guilty, at all...I do it every time, especially when I make brownies, all edges are trimmed off and if you happen to be close by, I will share the fun and yummy pieces with you, but other than that I will offer the entire cake, and not save any pieces for myself! (my rules for me.)
We share Thanksgiving feast with 20 people w/kids included...everyone pitched in. 2 huge turkeys, and lots, and lots of side dishes...and desserts! Just a few samples of the 'feast'...we all gained at least 5 lbs. each; at least!
Second huge turkey...not stuffed, stuffing on the side.
Can't have Thanksgiving or Christmas without the traditional French's Green Bean Casserole, which I make every year...(photo from last year...here's the recipe) French's Green Bean Casserole

Traditional 'super easy' to make Cranberry Sauce...and old recipe that I've made for years which now my daughter makes each year.  Here's the recipe: Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

 Lora's Classic Pumpkin Pie...(she made 2 this year)...also with homemade crust...yumm!
Here's the recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie
Hanukkah candles were lit by Dr. Eric's son, River...a 'true inter-faith' group of people, with different heritage, nationality; Italian, Sicilian, Jewish, Hungarian, Polish, Irish and English, Colombian, and Mexican...( a united nation of different backgrounds)...and various religions...Jewish, Catholic, Christian, and Southern Baptist.
Blessings were recited by Dr, Eric's father, nonno Gil...
Nonno Sal...with his prayer and blessings (he wanted to have this special prayer in case he will not be here with us next year)...sigh!
Here are some of group sitting at the dinner table...Dr. Eric on the front left, (looks like I was the only camera person taking some photos)...others took I-Phone photos for their 'Instagram' ...OK, so I'm old fashioned!

The big kids (tweens, and teens)...enjoyed their meal outside on the back patio!
...a little 'nippy' temperature, but the fire pit kept them cozy and warm!


 I am such a proud grandmother of 4...three, which are not shown. They are my greatest blessings and joy, along with their parents...my two children and their spouses! Without family to enjoy...even if you are single or a couple without children or grandchildren...you have to embrace 'life'...family members, and even if you just have one friend...do cherish that friendship!
I saved the 'best for last' our vet, and dear friend... with Lady...an abandoned beautiful Boxer, that he saved, after he was called to check this poor doggie living under a nearby highway bridge...surviving for over one year...full of scars, malnourished, and she almost had to be put down. He was able to befriend her...took her home, nourished her back to health after a couple serious surgeries...(having to deal with putting his own beloved old and sick Boxer; Charlie down)...that's what I call 'fate'...not only did the beautiful Boxer became a family member, but she was given the name 'Lady'...because she was so sweet, appreciative, with such nice 'ladylike' manners. She is with the family for one year now, and she is truly loved and cared for!
Dr. Eric does volunteer work once a week for people that cannot afford 'pet care'!
Isn't she absolutely adorable?...Lady sneaked up to me from under the dinner table, as I was sitting there, and gently rested her cute little head on my lap...looking at me with those sweet adorable and loving eyes! That's what I call a LOVE STORY! My heart simply melted, and it brought tears to my eyes!

So, I think I updated a lot this time...hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving...now it's time to go on a diet; not really a diet...diet...just cut down on extra helpings, and the desserts, until Christmas! xoxo