Monday, January 31, 2011

Hungarian Style Cannelini Bean Soup

You can never get tired of eating home made soups...especially, nutritious bean soups of any kind. I love all kinds of  beans, you name it.This one is a childhood favorite of mine, that my mother used to make, I really don't have a set recipe for the soup, I just know the basics of this, and other ones, and follow through with either a meaty version, which would consist of smoked pork shoulder, which I tend to stay away from these days, and opt for the vegetarian version of this wonderful Cannelini Bean soup, Hungarian style, using sweet, or hot authentic Paprika. At any rate the recipe/method is quite easy, and everyone in the family loves it!

Hungarian Style Cannelini Bean Soup
my own recipe

1 14 oz, bag of dry Cannelini beans, Great Northern beans or any white beans
1 32 oz vegetable broth
1 whole onion quartered
3 whole carrots, scraped and cut into chunk size pieces
3 stalks celery cut into chunk size pieces
3 stalks parsnips, scraped and cut into chunk size pieces
3 whole cloves of garlic peeled, and left whole
2 stalks of celery cut into large chunks
salt and pepper to taste
3 dry bay leaves
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 handful of fresh parsley chopped

First thing first, fill a 3 1/2 quart size of a heavy duty pot with the washed and rinsed beans, add them to the pot with the vegetable broth, and more if needed, adding water to the pot. Add the quartered onions, the bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring the beans in the broth, and adding more water if needed to the top of the pot...bring it to a boil, At this point, you can add all the vegetable chunks, and mix a roux, consisting of the flour, oil, an paprika in a measuring cup, with about half a cup of water. Mix the flour, the oil, and the paprika together, whisking it until smooth, and add it to the broth with the beans. Bring it to a boil, and let it simmer, until the soup gets nice and thick and the beans are cooked till it gets soft, but not falling apart. Takes about 45 minutes to cook till it gets nice and thick.
In the meantime, you can cook up some spaeatzle, which I have, to add to the soup, or you can cook up some ditalini pasta, or noodles of your choice. At any rate, you will end up with an amazing vegetarian bean soup.
Serves 6.
you can do a short cut, by going through the whole process, with the broth and vegetables, eliminating the dry beans, and instead, adding canned beans at the end of the cooking process. The choice, is yours!

So sorry about the confusion, thanks to my friend,Kavita for bringing to my attention about the override of the letters...on my Firefox page it did not show it that way, but when I clicked from the Internet Explorer it was one big "mumble jumble" because my list of the Award was way too long..he, he, ...see? I'm trying to get all the ladies who follow me, in the Sisterhood Award, but I was running out of space. In the meantime, enjoy a nice slice of home made pizza, that my daughter made the same evening. You will have to get the recipe from her, for that...she is only posting cakes, and desserts these days...
after all, that's why she's the Cake Duchess!
This is a  homemade pizza, with anchovies on half side, and she used fresh organic mozzarella topping, and oh, yes, fresh tomato sauce. My granddaughter bit into the anchovy by mistake, and nearly choked on it...couldn't spit it out fast enough, gagging, coughing, running to the bathroom to spit it out and rinse out her mouth...some Italian/Calabrese/Sicilian/Hungarian/American girl she is!...but she does like Hungarian paprika, she actually liked the soup, but she hates olives...sheesh!...I'm still working on my Award list...Just track back to the previous post to check for your name on the list!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

I've been compiling my's endless, and I am not even half way linking it. Please, if you see your name on the list, just grab the award...Thank you Sandra for giving me this beautiful award!

copy and paste, and pay it forward to as few, or as many SISTERS bloggers that you feel deserve it. No rules apply...just mention who it came from: Thanking you in advance, you are all a Blessing to me, my Angels!

I am not quite finished yet with the list...too many to mention. If I left you out, please remind me,
Hugs, to all!

All day I dream about food-Carolyn
Anecdotes and apple cores-Monet
Angie's Recipes-Angie
Anna's Table-Anna
Annie's Dish-Annie
Angellove's Cooking-Mina
Attimi di Dolcezza
Bake away with Me-Kathy
Baking Without a Box-Amanda
Belly Konyhája-Molly
Books, and thoughts and a few adventures-Patty
Boulder Locavore-Toni
Brenda's Canadian Kitchen-Brenda
Bright Morning Star-Mia
Cake Duchess-Lora
Cardamom Hills-MJ
Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice-Reeni
Chow and Chatter-Rebbeca
Cucina di Barbara-Barbara


Food is Love-Laurie
Food for Every Season-Kat
Food Fun Freek-Sabby
Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker-Kristen
Gesztenye Receptjei-Zsuzsa
Greengirl-A little bit of everything-Roxana
Indulging Life-Mateja
Kavita's Kitchen-Kavita
Keep learning keep smiling-MaryMoh
Kimba's Kitchen-Kimba
Kiskhonyhám Izei-Bianka
Krisztina Konyhaja-Krisztina

La Bella Cook-Bridgett

Live Life-Kim
Mari's Cakes-Mari
Mom's Sunday Cafe-Melynda
Mother Rimmy's-Kristi 
My kitchen in the Rockies-Kirsten
Ping's Pickings-Ping
Priya's Easy and Tasty Recipes-Priya
Quay Po Cooks-Veronica
Roti n Rice-Biren
Scrambled Hen Fruit-
Shosh's Yummy Foods-Sharon
Spoon and Chopsticks
Sprigs of Rosemary-Rosemary
Sunflower Days-Emma

The Ardent Epicure-Alisha
The Country Cook-Brandie
The Church Cook-Kay
The Kitchen Maid-Lucy
That skinny chick can bake-Lizzy
The Mistress of Spices-Ramya
The Weekend Gourmet-Wendy
US Masala-Aipi
What's Cookin Italian Style Cuisine-Claudia
What's for dinner across the Statelines-Gina

Zamat és Illat-Trinity-Lilian
Zesty South Indian Kitchen-Swathi 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Angel Food Cake and an Award for Angels

While I realize this is not Spring or Summer...but after all, this is South Florida, and we cannot deny how blessed we are, not to be trying to dig ourselves out of the snow, being stuck in our homes, or even worse, stranded on the highway because of the impossible driving conditions. I feel for all of you, who are in this situation. Almost hate to say..."been there, done that"...when our last snow storm in the seventies while still a very young couple, me still in my early twenties... with a tiny toddler, less than 2yrs old... visiting my aunt and uncle for the Christmas holidays, glorious Florida sunshine, and 75 degrees in December...pure heaven! Returning back to Cleveland to the that point, we decided...
Florida, "here we come!"...and made the big move!, the rest is history!...over 35 years in the tropical climate, and would not change 1 minute of it, except for a "White Christmas."

This is all you do...1 ready made angel food cake, 1 container of sliced sweetened, frozen strawberries, 1 container of Cool Whip...we all know what Cool Whip is, sorry-but it may sound terrible, and unhealthy, but my children have grown up, and love...we all love the frozen whipped topping, that is oh, so good, and you can concoct it into so many dessert. I actually heavy whipping cream but saved it to use for another dessert, which is totally home made. I am not going to lie to you, but you will not regret making this wonderful light dessert, that will disappear within minutes. Cut the angel food cake in half, scoop out some chunks from the middle, and mix it with half of the frozen whipped topping (get the large size Cool Whip) mine is a med. size, did not have enough to spread the entire cake, but it's not too bad. Fold in the thawed out strawberries, and spread it on the bottom part of the cake.

This is the finished result...just add some fresh beautiful ripe whole strawberries...would be even nicer dipped into chocolate, which in this case does not require; like I mentioned, the cake will disappear...within minutes! Enjoy!


Cool Whip

Cool Whip logo for brand section
Cool Whip created the frozen, whipped "non dairy"
 whipped topping... category in the supermarket and many Americans can't imagine a holiday without it. While pumpkin pie wouldn't be the same without a dollop, Cool Whip is very versatile and consumers use it in desserts, sweet dips and salads.

I happened to click over to Sandra's blog, from Sandra's Easy Cooking  a few days ago, and to my surprise, I noticed the beautiful widget, Called...Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. I said to myself..."hmm, I've never seen an award like that" I scrolled down to the meticulous alphabetical list, and my heart just skipped a beat! Wow, my name was on it! I really did get a bit emotional, because I saw all this list of talented food blogger ladies, and I am so honored to be a part of the list from around the world, but mostly so proud to have been chosen by Sandra, because she has such an amazingly beautiful blog, she is so, so talented, such a beautiful "SISTER" of the food blogs, that whatever she creates, makes you drool, her recipes are so clearly defined with beautiful photos, that you cannot miss, and do want to make all the fabulous dishes, and over the top yummy desserts she posts.

Thank you so very much, Sandra certainly made my day, and I am so thrilled to pay the award forward to my favorite food blogger SISTERS around the globe, whom I would love to meet in person, to sit down...chit, chat, over a nice cup of tea, or coffee with a wonderful dessert, and just talk about whatever comes to mind, and share stories...sigh...this is such a nice dream, that could come true!


Doesn't this sound beautiful?...I really wanted to call it the ANGELS, in my book, it is the

"What a treasured gift to have a friend who knows how to empathize. She laughs with you when you're happy and cries with you when you're sad. A friend like this is a rare jewel indeed" 

Only one catch:...I'm compiling my list, so I'm really not ready with it yet, because there will be numerous SISTERS on it from all over the United States, Canada, England, Romania, Malaysia, India, Hungary, Bulgaria, Australia, Italy, France, Dominican Republic, Thailand, and several other countries (I think)...just please bear with me, and in the next two days, I will present the award, on a separate post!
Have a wonderful day my sisters, my friends!...try to stay warm...sending Florida sunshine, your way!
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cross Country- Oatmeal Cookies and Blog Award

This morning was a cloudy, and gloomy morning that turned into a half way decent looking day, here in South Florida, but temperature only at about 68 degrees F. My daughter dropped off my little grandson at my place for a couple hours so she could go take care of errands, son-in-law had his only 1 day off, and he had to take care of things, as well. My little sweetheart came all set with his "Finding Nemo" CDVD, as he calls it, and I knew I didn't have his favorite little "Goldfish" crackers snack for him, so I thought, I better start making something real quick and yummy for him. Sure enough I had Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolates, but no chocolate chips. Found some quick cooking oats, and I knew I had the rest of the why not, some chocolate chunk cookies, instead of chocolate chip cookies?

Ready to jump into action, and in less than 30 minutes, warm cookies were waiting for my little guy, with a big smile on his face. For some reason, every time I'm looking for a recipe, that I have just about all the ingredients for, is the "Best Recipes" book, the latest copyright, 1982, that have a compiled great list from backs of boxes, cans, jars, but you really have to do some adaptation to make it up to date by switching, and adding ingredients, which I love to do, and adapt it my way. Interesting, about the Mazola corn oil, which the original recipe calls for 3/4 cups? and no butter?...well, I quickly narrowed the amount down to 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, instead, and I knew it would need at least a little butter, so I added 1/2 unsalted butter, and had to confidence of knowing it will turn out better, than with all oil, which would make it too wet, as well!...The result, was a light, perfect, chocolaty goodness with healthy oats!

Cross Country Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Best Recipes by Ceil Dyer

1/4 cup=2 oz. unsalted butter
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 oz Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chopped coarse
(or 4 oz chocolate of your choice, chopped)
1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar, until well combined. Add sugar, vanilla, and mix until thick and creamy. Add flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Beat at low speed until well combined.
Stir in walnuts.

Drop by a large tablespoon 2 inches apart, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or use small teaspoon to make small ones. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Makes about 12 large, or 24 small ones.

Blog Díj

Krisztina, Igazán meghatott üzenetével hogy vár rám egy meglepetés. Megajándékozott ezzel a kitüntető blog dijjal.

Nagyon szépen köszönöm, hogy gondolt rám! 

A szabályok a következők:

- Írj egy bejegyzést, amelyben közzé teszed a Liebster-Blog képet, és másold be ezt az útmutatót.
- Linkeld be annak a személynek a blogját, akitől a díjat kaptad, és hagyj nála egy hozzászólást, hogy elfogadod a díjat, és add meg a bejegyzésed elérhetőségét.
- Ezután gondolkodj el, melyik az a 3-5 blog, amelyiknek tovább szeretnéd adni a díjat, linkeld be őket a bejegyzésedbe, és értesítsd őket egy hozzászólásban a jelölésről.
- Tehetséges kezdő blogolókat részesíts előnyben,
(ne olyanokat jelölj, akiknek több 100 követője van.)
Szeretettel továbbadom a díjat az alábbi blogger társaimnak:

Bianka-Kiskonyhám Izei 
...and now! on to an Award, received from a sweet, and talented beautiful blogger, whom I had the pleasure of befriending on Foodbuzz when I first joined, back in Sept. 2010. Her name is Krisztina from Krisztina's Kitchen,-Krisztina Konyhája from Budapest, Hungary.

She is a talented young mom, who has some really wonderful desserts, and dishes. Also she has the Google Translater, which can be converted to any language to view her recipes.

She has awarded me with this award, and I would like to pay it forward.
Thank Krisztina, I'm really honored!

Here are the rules:

Copy and paste the award to your blog... link, and mention  the blogger who gave the award to you, and thank them.
Pay it forward to 3-5 talented bloggers  Make sure you link them and contact them to let them know.

Sara-Culorile din farfurie 
Mina-Angel love's cooking 
Indonesian in Turkey
Anna-Simply Italian Style
Barbara-Cucina di Barbara 

I wanted to do a nice little restaurant review from City Cellars, at City Place in West Palm Beach, where we shared a nice lunch, thanks to Fabrizio, my sweet son-in-law, on his day off from his restaurant. All I was allowed to take actually, in "secret" was my amazing Pomegranate Green Tea, which came in a small bottle. Isn't this gorgeous?
It certainly was refreshing, and the restaurant was packed with business people, and no doubt, tourists! 
This was part of the decor, so chic, and modern...the ambiance, and the service of this place was amazing!...oh, and the food was very South Floridian. I had a blackened grilled Mahi-Mahi, on a toasted sesame bun, and share a beautiful spinach salad, with gorgonzola, toasted pine nuts...yumm! photos of it!

My daughter's friend manages this most unique and famous ice cream-gift-and chocolate shop, where we stopped after lunch. You've never seen anything like's a magical place for kids, and adults, alike!
 Mona Lisa greets you at the counter. On the right is a private "party room" for kids' parties.
 A magical ice cream place...indeed!
 What child would not want to hang out in this "Ice cream palace Wonderland?"

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

Ever wonder why they call these hot wings Buffalo wings?...well, it sure doesn't have anything to do with buffalo meat!...oh, yuck...even the thought of it! I'm going to enlighten you with a little history of these wonderful messy, but so tasty, juicy, and tender wings oozing in a special hot sauce that you make your very own, and have it medium, or extra hot.

It has been repeated so often that these wings were invented at the Anchor Bar on Main Street in Buffalo, that pretty much everyone accepted it as the truth. There has been less consensus, however, about whether the wings were created when a mistaken delivery of wings arrived at the bar and Frank Bellisimo asked his wife, Teressa, to do something with them...or, when Dom, their son, asked his mother to concoct a late-night snack for regulars at the bar. Either way, it was Teressa, who in 1964 came up with the idea of combining spicy wings with crisp celery, and blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo wings did not become famous until 1980, and the city declared July 29..."Chicken Wings Day"...and simply left it at that!
Buffalo Chicken Wings
adapted from, The Essential New York Times Cook Book

12, or 24 chicken wings (about 2 to 4 lbs)
Salt, and freshly ground pepper, and a dash of garlic powder
2 to 4 Tbsp. vegetable, or canola oil

For the Hot Sauce
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 - 5 Tbsp. Louisiana Red Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp. white vinegar

Set the chicken wings out on the counter, 30 minutes before cooking. Cut off and discard small tip of each wing. Cut the wing bone apart, at the joint. Sprinkle the wings with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Heat a large cast iron, or heavy duty skillet with the oil, until it gets quite hot. Add the wings, and cover with a lid, until it stop splattering, and starts to get golden. Do not turn too many times. Turn over and cook until it gets nice and golden. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook through. Remove from skillet, and lay them on double paper towels.
Now, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and hot sauce and add the vinegar. Set aside a small portion of the sauce in a small serving dish, for dipping. Add the chicken wings into the sauce pan, to coat nice and evenly. Serve it on a platter with celery sticks, home made blue cheese, (or store bought) dressing, and extra hot sauce, on the side. 12 wings serves 2, and 24 wings serves 4-6. Either way, make the same amount of sauce for the smaller, or larger portion.

Blue cheese dressing

1 cup good quality ( not low fat, or fat free) mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
juice from half a lemon
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/4 crumbled blue cheese
Salt, and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
small portion of chopped fresh parsley

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Add more blue cheese, if desired, and serve in a small bowl to accompany the chicken wings. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and drizzle some of the hot sauce on top (optional)
Who says: "You can't fry?"...and why not?...The original recipe for frying the wings, calls for deep frying, in 4 cups of oil, but my adaptation calls for 2-4 tablespoons of oil, and you get the same results. You can also bake the chicken wings, or broil them...I tried every method, and came to a conclusion that this is the best method. Baking, and broiling tends to shrink the chicken wings, deep frying has more fat, and cholesterol, but frying them in as little oil as possible, gives a tasty, crunchy, and tender result, which is what you are striving to do! don't be afraid, just make it the way you desire, and ENJOY!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Teriyaki Glazed Boneless Chicken Thighs

I've been debating what to make for dinner, and decided on a simple organic chicken thighs, and a side of jasmine rice with a little bit of steamed peas, and sauteed sliced mushrooms, mixed into the rice. Yumm!...simple gourmet, is always a winner! Topped off with fresh thin sliced scallions, mostly green parts, over the rice, and the chicken.
I could not decide on the chicken thighs whether to bake, broil, fry, or grill, so I opted for simple baking. I opted for a nice recipe for the chicken, from The Food, Ellie Krieger which I adapted a little.
 Teriyaki Glazed Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press or minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
Combine the soy sauce, sugar, sherry, vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and stir until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and add the chicken. Seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning once, for 1 hour. The chicken can be marinated for up to 4 hours.
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Arrange the chicken on the baking  pan skin side down and drizzle it with 1 Tbsp. vegetable, or canola oil, a little salt and pepper, and bake until tender for about, 25 -35 minutes, turning the chicken once during half way of baking.
Note: If you are cooking the chicken with the skins on... carefully, remove the skins, after baking. Drizzle with additional reserved Teriyaki sauce. Serves 4-6
As I approached my daughter's house, along their driveway, the white picket fence, I noticed the beautiful pink hibiscus plants.I immediately took my camera out of my purse, to capture the moment.
It was a partly cloudy, somewhat warm and muggy day today. I thought about complaining about the weather, but then I realized all the unfortunate people up north, so discouraged by all the snow storms, and now the icy roads, all the floods in Australia, and Brazil, with so many people losing their homes, and lives, I suddenly focused on the single flower, and meditated on what is here, what is reality, and how precious life, and nature is.

There are two ways to live your life. 

One is as though nothing is a miracle. 

The other is as though everything is a miracle. 

A human being is part of the whole called by us 'Universe', a part limited in time and space.
We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest...

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty...

Walking on the glorious beach makes you think why you are here, and to appreciate nature, your loved ones, and all that nature has to offer. These creatures of God are here for a purpose, and so are please be thankful every day of your life.

You are a blessing...and "do" count your blessings, they may be, "blessings in disguise" that you are not aware of!

"Today is a smooth white seashell, hold it close and listen to the beauty of the hours."

“I am you; you are ME.  You are the waves; I am the ocean.  Know this and be free, be divine.”

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chunky Tomato Soup, and a Winner!

I made this chunky tomato soup, on the same day that I made the sausage and the polenta, just to have a comforting soup on hand, since I had all the ingredients. I gave a huge amount to my daughter, not to mention the huge pot of chicken soup I made for them, coming back from cold, and freezing NYC. The first thing she asked me was, "did you take a photo of the tomato soup?"...and I said, no! "It's too mediocre"...on second thought, which was a day later, when I heated up the soup..."why not?"...yes, I will take a photo of it, along with my "creme fraiche" topping.
But wait!...I only have about half a portion of soup left over! Oh well! worries, still tasted so good, I would have loved a nice grilled cheese sandwich with that, but did not have sliced American, or Cheddar slices on hand, so I just enjoyed the soup with crackers!
 Creme Fraiche:

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream to 105 degrees F (40 degrees C). Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk. Transfer the cream to a large bowl and allow this mixture to stand in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until thickened but still of pouring consistency.  Stir and taste every 6 - 8 hours. This process takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours, depending on your room temperature.  The creme fraiche is ready when it is thick with a slightly nutty sour taste.  Chill cream, in the refrigerator, for several hours before using. Creme fraiche may be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Chunky Tomato Soup
my recipe

2 15 oz. cans or about 2 cups of diced canned tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
2 Tbsp  extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups of chicken, or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon paprika

In a large pot, simmer tomatoes and onion for 15 minutes. Add honey, and stir. In a medium saucepan, mix olive oil, and flour stirring until smooth. Add a small amount of broth, and paprika, stirring until thickened. Add the ingredients to the large pot, and simmer for another 30 minutes. Serves 4.
note: add a dollop of creme fraiche, when serving.

green girl-a little bit of everything
Congratulations, Roxana!
Thank you all, for participating in my giveaway, there will be more giveaways, of different items, soon! 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Italian Sausage with Grilled Cheddar Polenta, and a Giveaway

After posting my vegetarian spaghetti carbonara, now I feel so guilty...Not!...but I should be, for posting sausage of all things, but not just any sausage, this is homemade, by my favorite Italian meat market, Mario's that's been around forever...about 30 years, with the same owners, now the owner's daughter in charge. This is the sausage, hot, and mild, that I bought for New Year's and still had another 2 lbs left over. I invited a friend over for dinner last night, and she was appalled and I could tell just the sound of her voice saying..."sausage?"...and then, silence!

Oh, my! I committed the "Cardinal Sin"...yes, I said "sausage, Italian sausage" her mind, since she doesn't eat sausage, thinking I was making these "dinky little breakfast sausages"...or, as she it "Jimmy Dean sausage patties?" silly homemade Italian sausage. Enough said, just come on over, and "stop complaining, already!" I recently, or actually the other day, browsing through my followers blogs,

I found a blog, which had the most delicious Hungarian polenta, well in Hungarian, it's called "puliszka", which I thought looked so delicious, and more tempting was the amazing meat stuffed with sauer kraut, and topped with Hungarian bacon. Wow!...just looking at the photo made my cholesterol, go high, but I had to make a polenta dish which I have not made in a few years.
Lucky for me, I had everything on hand, and did not have to buy a thing.
Do check out Gesztenye
which in English mean Chestnuts she also has another blog too, all about truffles, or as she calls them bon-bons.
Another talented, and creative food blogger, from a different country, Hungary, my mother's birth country!

I had some zucchini on hand, red skinned potatoes, onions, garlic, and a couple hot cherry peppers, and fresh rosemary springs in my freezer, which I peeled, and added to the roasted vegetable, in a heavy duty iron skillet, on top of the stove. Very simple, just slice everything thin, and saute in some extra virgin olive oil, about 2Tbsp. and some canola oil, 1Tbsp. The reason I mixed the two, is because the olive oil tends to burn on high heat, so the canola, or vegetable oil tones it down. I also used the same large skillet, to roast the sausages in the oven, on about 425 degrees for about 35 minutes, and after the vegetables were done, I saved it in a casserole dish to keep warm, and added everything together to display on a large platter.
I was hesitant to post the polenta photo, because of the messiness, and unevennes of the grill marks...but just look at my pride-and-beauty, my cast iron grill pan. Would not, and will not change it for any other, except, the outdoor gas grill, of course...and no, not the charcoal grill. I take pride in my cooking and baking wares, and treat them in the cast iron grill pan, but before you grill in it, rub it well with vegetable oil, and not cooking spray, and heat it up until it starts to smoke, and lower the temperature till you're ready to grill your meats or vegetable, and in this case the polenta, not just with cheddar cheese, folded in there, but with sliced canned jalapeno peppers, as you can see the green speckles, in the pan, and in the polenta. I didn't even get a chance to chill my polenta, and it was a bit softer for not being refrigerated. Recipe, and the giveaway, which will surprise you, to follow!

Cheddar Polenta
my own recipe

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoon canned sliced jalapenos
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Bring chicken broth to a boil over high heat in a medium size saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy. Remove from heat, and stir in salt, pepper, olive oil, and fold in the cheese, and jalapenos. Spoon into a cooking sprayed loaf pan and chill in refrigerator, for a couple hours, before slicing to heat up or grilling. It is a nice vegetarian side dish, or by itself, Serves 4.

Now, on to the Giveaway!

To enter the giveaway:

1) Please follow foodandthrift on Twitter...sorry, I don't have an account on Facebook. If you already do so,  please see number 3. If you are doing so for the first time, please let me know that you are now following me on Twitter, so I could add you to the giveaway.

2) Leave a comment on this post! You are encouraged to share a comment about the Matryoshka Dolls, or any other thoughts.

3). If you RT or post on your Twitter page this giveaway post link, you get an additional entry. Please drop me an additional comment on this post saying that you did so.

4) To get an additional chance in the giveaway, become a "follower" of 
 food and thrift find's  blog.

5) Drawing will be done randomly from all comments recorded by Tuesday January 18, 2011, at 11 PM (EST) and one lucky winner will announced.

6) Please note: Shipping only in the US, and Canada. I apologize to my other International friends.

The Matryoshka Dolls are made in Russia, exclusively, they have a gloss finish, and are made of basswood, from linden tree and are hand painted, and varnished. They come in 2 pieces, as in this one, in 4, 5, and up to 8 or nine pieces, all with different hand painted fairy tale story villages, and characters. They retail from about $39.99, to $69.99, up to $89.99, which this one is, being that this is about 17 inches high, and the smaller, about 6 inches high. It is brand new, and obviously someone did not want it, and donated it. I snapped it up for $6.99...honest! I will ship it to a lucky winner, who would be interested in this beautiful set. This is certainly a collectors' item, and one of a kind!

I think you all overlooked my mention of a giveaway in my previous post, from Goodwill, where I took a picture of the beautiful bird perched upon the shoulder of it's owner, and there at the checkout  counter, sitting, waiting to pay for, and getting the "eagle eye" from other customers that distinctively knew what my purchase was...a Matryoshka Doll, otherwise known as, Babushka doll, as well. 

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vegetarian Pasta Carbonara

Last Saturday, we were all so busy with gathering up warm clothes for the kids, to wear in the snowy and cold NYC climate. Suppertime was nearing, and my sweet daughter was so concerned to make some kind of pasta for the kids... her hubby working in his restaurant as usual, so he doesn't eat at home, only on his days off. Lora decided, on Pasta Carbonara...oh, but no pancetta left over from Teresa's care package? bacon?...what is one to do!?....Alas, suddenly, I got a great idea, "how about some Carbonara without pancetta, or bacon?...A "Vegetarian, Pasta Carbonara!...So, I agreed to make it, so easy, told my daughter just go pack...she even had 3 egg yolks left over, which she saved, from a cake she was making, and handed me a bag of frozen peas....frozen peas?...."yes, she said, the kids like that"..."OK, so let's get started," I said..."just go pack, and I will take care of it. 

Vegetarian Pasta Carbonara

3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bag of frozen peas, about 12-16 ounces
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb. spaghetti (I used organic, from Whole Foods)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

The first thing you must start, is to boil the water for your pasta. In the meantime, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion starts to get a nice rosy color. Now, add the peas, and saute all together just until incorporated. In a medium bowl, add the yolks, the whole eggs half of the cheese, salt, and generous amount of freshly grou d pepper, the cream and with a wire whisk, blend it well, until nice and creamy, but just a few strokes of the whisk. (Do not over beat it.)

Strain the pasta into a colander, and save about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.(you might need it later) to thin out your pasta, if the sauce gets too thick. Put the pasta back into the pot, make sure the heat is OFF, drizzle about 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, mix it up, and pour the carbonara mixture into the pot with the pasta. Gently mix all together, just make sure you are not scrambling the eggs, heat has to be turned off. Now, take the carbonara pasta mixture and pour into a large serving pasta bowl, Add the peas and onion mixture, and gently combine.

Add  a little more (1Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil on the top of the pasta, another 1/4 cup grate Parmigiana Reggiano cheese;
(all together you will be needing 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, and 3/4 cup grated cheese)
The result of this outrageously yummy and rich pasta will be a memorable dish, that you will want to make over, and over again.
Note: you can omit the peas, and you also can use chili pepper flakes, or diced red bell pepper, or zucchini, sliced thin, instead of the peas. The choice is yours!
This was a version that I created with ingredients on hand, and I am happy to share with you!

Palm trees swaying, a beautiful 74 degree mostly sunny day, people are out walking their dogs, and most of them just plain walking or jogging, a truly, divine weather while most folks up north are stuck inside their homes, and snow and icy roads...I truly count my blessings, and wish that I could extend an invite to all my friends who are suffering the brutal winter weather...and my family enjoying the winter snowy weather in New York City, connecting with friends, and having a "blast"...Hooray, for them! I promised that I would walk the puppies, since I'm watching them while family is enjoying the snow and cold weather for 3 days in the Big Apple, NYC, we're enjoying the glorious sunshine, in a perfect S. Florida winter weather, of 74 degrees on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011. Got the little guys well trained, walking in a perfect line, like "little soldiers"..ha, cute, the both of them!

Started to get a little shady, if you look to the far left, across the Intracoastal, is where I live, on the island, of Palm Beach, an island, divided by two waters. The Intracoastal , and the Atlantic Ocean...which reminds me, that a friend, from California, just happen to tell me very casually, on the phone when we were having a conversation, BTW, you know "you're gonna be under water soon, global warming" I think he was quoting from the movie, "2012"...scary thought, hope it won't happen soon, in our "lifetime"...although a lot of strange natural disasters have been happening, all over the world. Can't deny those!...sigh! Have a wonderful day, my friends!

Monday, January 10, 2011

CSN Gift Certificate Winner, and some odds and ends

 Without wasting any more time, I will get right over to the matter of things.
I stayed up till 12:15 AM, since the winner outcome would be final after that.

I just want all of you great friends out there to know that I really appreciate for participating, it's so much fun, and even more fun to hear from so many bloggers. I am really honored that you did follow my blog...gained 15 more follower, and I thank you for that...(I followed you back)...I hope you don't decide to "un-follow" me now, since only one person can be a winner! I promise you, I will have other giveaways after this...well, maybe not $50. but who knows, what?

 ....AND THE LUCKY WINNER OF THE $50.Gift Certificate Giveaway, from CSN is:

Laurie Alves, from Journey to Sagacity- check out her incredible 5 month journey, and listen to the latest of nature, with the soothing sounds of the ocean and the glorious sounds of sea gulls, and read her amazing story. Laurie is a new friend that recently started to follow my blog, and she is also a Floridian, from Miami.
I will be personally contact you, Laurie, to inform you how to obtain your gift certificate, and will be needing your e-mail address.


Thank you,  and THANKS TO ALL who participated....and mostly,
THANK YOU CSN I STORES...for you fabulous gift certificate giveaway. I for sure, will be visiting and will be ordering from your amazing stores!
Beautiful sunset in West Palm Beach, from my former place.

My hometown in Cleveland, Sept. 2009, son Joey with his uncle Denes

A story-book garden at my sister's house, in Solon (Cleveland) Ohio...her and her husband have a "green thumb"....for sure!
My nephews...David, the Hungarian "the loyal patriotic" ...does not speak Hungarian...but has the "spirit"...Denes in the background...the "analyzer"...."thinker", with the super dry sense of humor!

The way you see these's even more beautiful in real life, and the fresh suburban air literally makes you sleepy...amazing nature!

Just look at those beautiful plants...I would love to live there part of the year!
I was house/dog watching at my son's house...guess who's walking the dog? My granddaughter. she's such a sweet girl!