Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Not So' Wordless Wednesday...

As you all know, we've had a very huge hurricane/storm called 'Sandy' brewing around the Atlantic Ocean...came out from nowhere, and ended up in a huge devastation on the North East coast, causing numerous deaths and damages! Here, in S. Florida, we had our share of Sandy, starting with heavy rains, winds, and huge dangerous waves up to 20 ft, a massive erosion to once that was our beautiful beaches. As you can see in this photo, we lost 90% of our beach with a dangerous 5ft drop-down from the entrance!
Non-stop pounding waves...pouring out into our parking lot with debris. It was a scary scene, this was only the beginning of the worst to happen at the end of the week. By Saturday, Oct. 27th, 'Sandy' decided to make her way up the N. East Coast, and by Monday of this week, causing more devastation to the Coastline, making her way up to New Jersey, and New York!
While we escaped the worst of Sandy's fury and she only devastated and destroyed our beaches and caused a massive erosion throughout the entire coastline...causing more decline in tourism...which is the least of the problems; Our hearts go out to the people up the entire N. East Coast, and especially New Jersey, and New York!

Here's a link to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, in Battery Park, New York...and a couple of photos, courtesy to this link!
Naples News Photo Gallery, of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy

Here's how you can help out those in need from Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy!

Info from: NBC News’ website:

The Red Cross is providing shelter, clothes, supplies, food and blood, as needed, for the victims of Sandy. You can donate blood, but in terms of items, you'll be doing more for those in need by donating money instead of physical goods.

Text message: Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. As in the case with other donations via mobile, the donation will show up on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your balance if you have a prepaid phone. You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way. (If you change your mind, text the word STOP to 90999.)

Phone: 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 800-257-7575; for TDD,  800-220-4095.
To donate blood: Visit this Red Cross Web page.
Online: American Red Cross
The Salvation Army is providing meals and shelter. "At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army," the organization said Tuesday in a press release.

Text message: Text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation. To confirm the donation, respond with the word “Yes.”

Phone: 800-SAL-ARMY (800-725-2769)
Online: Salvation Army; here's the organization's New Jersey site, and its Greater New York site.

Many pet owners were able to take their pets with them, but for those who were not, the Humane Society's Animal Rescue Team is assembling staff and equipment to help rescue pets in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Online: Humane Society of the United States
Phone: 301-258-8276

The association is helping animals that may need rescue or shelter.
Text message: Text the word HUMANE to 80888 to donate $10.
Phone: 866-242-1877.
Online: The AHA's website for donating is here.

 Habitat, an international organization, helps those in need rebuild their homes after disaster strikes.
As of Tuesday morning, Habitat's online donation system was not available. If you want to make a donation, you can call Habitat's Partner Service Center at 800-HABITAT (422-4828). Press "0" when prompted and representatives will take your donation information over the phone.
This is Habitat for Humanity's main website.

This group coordinates efforts with the state's Office of Emergency Management, as well as with state and local nonprofit organizations.
Online: Community FoodBank of New Jersey
Phone: (908) 355- FOOD (3663), ext. 243.

The organization will deliver food, water and supplies to communities in need through its network of food banks and the agencies they serve.
Phone: 800-910-5524
Online: This is Feeding America's main website.

Catholic Charities provides emergency food, shelter, direct financial assistance, counseling, and support "regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds."
Online: More information here; main website here.
Phone: 800-919-9338 

This group provides emergency medicine and supplies. Donations are accepted on its accepts donations on its website.
Phone: 800-486-4357.

The organization provides medicine and supplies to partner health centers and clinics.
Text message: Text the word RELIEF to 27722 to give $10.
Phone: 805-964-4767.
Online: Direct Relief International is the main website; go here to donate online.

Describing itself as "a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families" and communities, World Vision provides flood clean-up kits, hygiene kits, blanket and food kits.
Text message: Text the word GIVEUSA to 777444 to donate $10.
Phone: 888-511-6443.
Online: For World Vision's Hurricane Sandy relief, click here.

All of this info is from NBC News: The Daily Nightly

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Red Velvet {Birthday} Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

As you may know we've had a very stormy week, starting last Wednesday, and expecting the worst by Thursday, and having half a day of school on Thursday, and off on Friday, due to Hurricane 'Sandy' lurking around our area in S. Florida...leaving a mess behind in Cuba, and Haiti. Now, heading up to the east coast...already causing havoc in North Carolina! Luckily, we escaped a lot of what could have been really bad damage, just heavy winds, to deal with and a lot of downpour of heavy rains.
The only time you will see a frosted cake posted on my blog, when I make one for a special occasion...and this certainly was! My granddaughter Sophia just turned 11...the second oldest of the 4 grandchildren that I have. Gabriella had her 11th birthday in August. This was a special request from Sophia, she's such a 'sweetheart' and knows exactly what she wants. Red Velvet Cake is an 'all American' Southern cake...and don't let anyone convince you...otherwise:) Some like it 'ruby red'...but since there's cocoa powder used, I like to have a dark reddish/brown
version of this famous cake!
Most recipes call for cake flour, but the recipe that I adapted this from called for all-purpose flour. When using cake flour, you do not add baking powder, just baking soda, but I figured baking powder addition to the all-purpose flour would lighten it up...and it did; so moist, perfect, and yummy. Also, I cut down on the sugar, as well!
My two 'angels' Sophia on the left...and Gabby (cousins)...but more like sisters!

I don't like my Red Velvet Cake to be a
bright red I added the special dark Hershey's cocoa, instead of the regular one. When you chill the cake, you can cut a perfect slice, just like this! I will share this 'failproof' and perfect recipe with you, step-by-step, so READ on!
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
 slightly adapted from Wilton
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine , softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
    1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoons white vinegar

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray 2- 9 in. pans with vegetable pan spray.

    In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.

    Add eggs and red icing color; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir baking soda into vinegar and fold carefully into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.

    Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

    To Ice: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese icing on bottom cake layer. Top with remaining layer and spatula ice cake fluffy

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Soup...for Wordless Wednesday

Hello everyone, Welcome to Wordless Wednesday. Such a windy day here in S. Florida, with tropical storms brewing in the Atlantic, and we're getting all the strong winds, and storm, later! I made this comfy, homey, delicious Cream of Broccoli Soup while I was at my daughter Lora's for the weekend...totally from 'scratch'...using up her leftover steamed broccoli, and my chicken broth from a few days before...very easy to make...
linking to one of the best recipe that you could follow...which is quite similar to mine... 
Cream of Broccoli Soup

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spaghetti with Calamari Sauce

Being in a mostly Italian family, we seem to eat a lot of pastas and never get tired of it. In Italy, a meal without pasta every day, is unheard of...just as in Hungary, a meal without soup every day is 'not a meal' my father used to, I'm 'famous' for both! I make a lot of different pastas with different sauces, and I also make a lot of soups, as well. The most popular sauce in my family is the simple 'red sauce' that you cook up in 30 minutes. It doesn't have to be with fresh tomatoes...if you have a favorite good canned tomato puree, which is the easiest way, add some in this case calamari/squid... then you have dinner PRONTO~

I'm not going to make a big deal about this; it's one of those pastas that I rarely take photos this at the last in the evening not the best, not so great photos...been cloudy and rainy just about every day, but here in S. Florida, we can have a rainstorm and half an hour later the sun will come out, and sometimes it even rains when the sun shines...just from one single cloud...strange, but true! Family away to NYC for the weekend, and I'm staying here withe the cute little Chihuahua pups...Stella and Luigi. They are such a joy, so happy, and a delightful pair. On to the recipe...actually no recipe; mad from 'scratch' but will be jotting down the easy method!

Spaghetti with Calamari Sauce
recipe by; Elisabeth

1- 28 oz. can Tomato Puree (I used Hunt's this time)
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic mince
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil snipped
fresh oregano snipped (you can use dried)
1 cup white wine (you can use veg. broth, or fish stock in place of wine)
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (use the amount you like)
1 lb. calamari-squid cleaned and sliced (not too thin, 1 inch)

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on med. high heat. Saute chopped onions and garlic until soft, and wilted. Add the wine and let it cook down to half the amount. Add the tomato puree, and add 1/2 cup of water right into the can...swish around to clean out the leftover sauce in the can. Add that to the saucepan. Switch to high heat, let it come to a boil, and turn down the heat to med./low to simmer for at least 20 to 25 minutes longer. Add the fresh snipped herbs, and the cleaned and rinsed calamari; also the little tentacles. Cook for no longer than 5 minutes. Caution not to cook any longer, or it will turn to a 'rubbery' texture.
Serve over spaghetti, or linguine...Enjoy!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Scrambled Eggs in Pita Pocket

Looks like my 'Silent Sunday' could extend into 'Silent Wednesday'...but that's not what's going to happen, because I have a lot to say, and I can't keep silent!
On my post from recent previous; I mentioned about 'throwing in the towel'..just not ready to do that! There's so  much to enjoy with blogging...especially with 'likewise foodie friends'...I enjoy so much from visiting all the blogs, and staying in touch with 'friends'...and I don't mean 'readers' some bloggers refer to other bloggers! me, that is a little 'letdown'. As far as I'm concerned, I, and YOU, have lots, and lots of the so called 'readers' that do not comment, they just READ, and continue on to other blogs to read more!
I was cleaning out my fridge the other day, and found leftover fresh spinach, bell peppers, and always have fresh ripe tomatoes on hand, since we have tomatoes all year round in S. Florida. I have not taken any photos of my foods lately, since my Red Clam Sauce, so at the last minute, I took some pictures of my simple Scrambled Eggs. I always have wonderful pita breads in my freezer (not homemade)...but one of these days!

I had to fast since last night because I had to have my 'blood tests' for my routine checkup this morning, and I stopped at the nearest breakfast place in my 'old' neighborhood...and what a 'letdown'...just for a simple egg sandwich...sigh!...I prefer my own scrambled egg sandwich, and I'm sticking to my promise next time...'MAKE YOUR OWN!'

Scrambled Eggs in Pita Pocket
my own concoction; by, Elisabeth

2 large eggs (scrambled in a small bowl)
1 medium onion chopped (I used red onion)
1 bell pepper diced, or pepper of your choice
(I used yellow bell pepper)
A handful of fresh baby spinach
1 cup (8 oz) grated cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

In a non-stick skillet, saute the onion, pepper, and spinach, till onion is wilted...add the eggs, that was pre-scrambled.

Just let the eggs settle carefully, add the salt and pepper.

Carefully separate the eggs in the middle, add the grated cheese, and just let it cook for a few not stir, or disturb the egg mixture any longer...done!...ready to serve!...that simple:)

This was the view this morning from my balcony...overlooking on the beach... when I left for my doctors appointment! Later, there was a huge storm...heavy downpour rains, but temperatures remain in the mid to high 70's!

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Silent Sunday in my city... West Palm Beach, Florida

Saturday, October 14, 2012...a visit to City Place, West Palm Beach, Florida, and to the vicinity of the Green Market, which has opened for the season on Saturdays!
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