Friday, April 29, 2011

Teresa's Zucchini Quiche, and More!

Now that Teresa and Domenico (my daughter's in-laws) departed for Italy, it's been real quiet at my daughter's household...not that they were noisy, but a lot of cooking and baking going on, a lot of "hustle and bustle"...only Italian language heard.

I went there yesterday, to help organize all the many frozen and canned items she made to last for several months. We all miss them, and our Italian language has improved a lot...LOL

Since I attempted to make my last dish, which was the Cayman Fish, I must say I have not cooked anything, because every day my son comes over to the beach to go surfing at lunch time, before he goes to his classes at the local University, working for his Masters degree.

He brings me so much food, all ready to be re-heated, that's all I have to do...literally.
My ankle is improving tremendously, I don't even have to use the walker any more...it's folded up, and will be donated to Goodwill. My diagnosis is all good...no blood clots, no vascular problems...just had to see my chiropractor, because my back, my shoulders, my neck was all "out of line"...a few cracks of the ribs, and everything is back to normal...but I'm still just "tippy toeing" on that foot, yet...in time, all will heal!

Getting back to the Quiche, which is part of the Easter tradition, whether it's in a pie form, filled with meats, or just vegetarian, and most of the time, filled with generous amount of grated cheese of your choice. Different regions of Italy, have different traditions, but they all agree that the use of the eggs are the real purpose, for the use of the Easter Pie...Pastiera...or Quiche, even pizza is considered as part of the tradition, especially, in Naples. Teresa made this beautiful Zucchini Quiche, also 2 kinds of pastas, one vegetarian, and a mostaccioli with little meat balls, mozzarella cheese, chopped hard boiled eggs, and with her homemade tomato sauce...amazing.
I want to share my recipe to the quiche which was quite similar to this quiche...the only difference is that this quiche was made with puff pastry dough, but my recipe which I use...and "tried and true" every time, is a Mark Bittman's recipe, for both the Quiche, and the crust!





Here's the recipe that I use for the Quiche: You can add sauteed vegetables, and/or diced ham, crumbled bacon, or, crumbled cooked sausage if you like...the choice is yours.

Basic Cheese Quiche
How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman

1 Recipe Generous Pie Shell, or Rich Tart Crust, without sugar,
in a 10-inch tart pan, or 9 inch tart pan, or a 9 inch deep pie pan-chilled

6 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups grated Emmenthal, Gruyere, Cantal, Cheddar,
or other flavorful cheese
2 cups cream half-and-half, or milk, gently heated, just until warm
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Line it with tin foil
and weight the bottom with a pile of dried beans. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from the oven
and carefully remove the weights, and foil, and turn the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine eggs, cheese, liquid, and seasonings and beat until well blended.
Place the baked crust on a baking sheet. Pour the egg mixture into the crust, right to the top.
Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture
is set, but is still moist; it should still jiggle just a little in the middle. Cool on a rack and serve
warm, or at room temperature. Serves 6-8.

Not too "shabby"...this gorgeous Lamb Shank, made by son-in-lawExecutive Chef  Fabrizio... over a bed of basic Risotto...(Melt in your mouth)...Sinfully delicious, and beautiful!  He made 8 of these, and this is supposed to be a portion for 1, no way!...(enough for 4 servings)
Pasta al Forno, made by Teresa, Fabrizio (son-in-law's mom)...Baked Rigatoni, with homemade tomato sauce (from real tomatoes-not canned)...with tiny meatballs, chopped hard boiled eggs, and the most amazing combination of cheeses. Yumm!!!
Teresa's Italian Fig Cookies...proudly holding the tray... by my sweet granddaughter Sophia (requested not to take her photo)...OK, LOL, just the platter, Sop

Lora sitting on left, m-in-law Teresa, f-in-law Domenico, hubby, Fabrizio...enjoying a nice Easter Sunday "early bird" dinner...at my daughter, and son-in law's house!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Cayman Fish...and a Collage of Awards


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. Spring is hear, and so is Passover, and Easter. Actually, Passover ends tomorrow at sundown. We had a very nice and relaxing Easter Sunday at my daughter's with her in-laws who will be going back to Italy, but before they go back, on Wednesday, Teresa was cooking up a storm for Easter...but before I get into that, there's something even more exciting that I want to share with you, is this amazing fish dish, from the Grand Cayman Island, by a recently befriended blogger, by the name of Parsley Sage...sorry, I never did ask for her real first name, I figure if they want to let you know what their real name is, they would have told you so it's all right, after all it's such a cute name...maybe I should have picked Rosemary Thyme for my name on my blog,

I also like that name. Parsley Sage has such a cool and refreshing blog called The Deep Dish and she actually lives on Grand Cayman Island...and here I thought in the beginning that she is just visiting the island. When I saw her making this delicious fish with peppers, and onions, and island spices, I immediately fell in love with this colorful and yummy fish...knowing that I did have everything on hand, including fresh Salmon, but not the fish that she recommended. Also, I used scotch bonnet, and sweet peppers, shallots, and sweet onions, and I'll tell you, those scotch bonnets will set your mouth on "fire" no matter how you are trying to tone it down. Now for the recipe, you will just have to click over toThe Deep Dish blog, to find it!
Just think, you don't even have to travel to the Cayman Island, or even to West Palm Beach...on the beach, where I live, to get this authentic island recipe...I did a few minor adaptations to the dish, but over all, it was superb, over a bed of rice.

I'm linking the Cayman Fish to the gracious hosts @ Hearth and Soul #45
Thanking all of them for hosting this fun, event, to share, every Tuesday...so link up with them!

                                   The Hearth and Soul Hop Team!
The Hearth and Soul Hop Hub

...also, I have an exciting announcement to make re: my 300th follower on my
food blog (not to mention on the other 54)
Shelby, from Yum de la Yum  isn't that such an adorable, name for a blog?
You just have to check out her blog and try not to get hypnotized by her amazing decadent chocolate cake, before you bookmark, and copy her recipe!

I'm linking my Cayman Fish to Full Plate Thursday, 4-28-2011 
@ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Just a little addition to Melinda's Mom's Sunday Cafe  "What We are not Eating on Wednesday"...surprise, surprise! When was the last time you had Glazed Tongue, in Aspic?...Yumm, or Yuk...Ughhh!

Start out with a 5lb beef tongue boil it for 3hrs, peel skin, refrigerate overnight...slice thin, then proceed with the gelatine to make the aspic...does this bring back fond memories from about 30 years ago?...original McCall's recipe...I think I'll skip this one!!!
 

I'm going to show you step-by-step photo directions.
I have my salmon fillet ready to marinade, Have my
extra virgin olive oil ready, my tomatoes sauce, sweet and hot peppers, tomotes to dice, shallots, and half of a large onions to slice. The recipe did not call for olive oil, but I used half olive oil, and half butter which is how I cook fish.







This is how I started out too, marinade fish in water, in a deep glass dish, add fresh lime juice, and lime slices, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper, and marinade for 15 minutes.











In a large preheated cast iron skillet, I added the 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, and the butter that the recipe calls for, along with red pepper flakes, and the lime slices.










Add the fish first, skin side down, and cook over medium high heat, then turn over, and cook for an addition 2 to 3 minutes.












Remove the fish to a plate, and let it rest, until you're ready to add it back int the skillet when vegetables are cooking.











Add the sliced onions, peppers, and saute them together until they start to get soft, and the onions start to look golden. Takes only a few minutes










.

Add the dice tomatoes, and stir together, gently.Add sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.













Add 1/4 cup tomato sauce, and stir together.














I'm a little daring because not only did I use fresh scotch bonnet pepper, I added a few drops of the crushed scotch bonnet pepper sauce, as well...hot!












The best part, is adding a splash of the famous Key West Lime Juice...all natural, no preservative!

Also, I parted the pepper-tomato mixture to one side, and added the salmon carefully in chunks, right into the skillet. Mix gently together with the vegetables and cook for no longer than about 3-5 minutes, till heated through and gently incorporated. Serve over a white rice, or pasta if you like.
Enjoy!


Enjoy...and so I thought I did, until the phone rang, and I put the plate down on my coffee table to get my cell phone which I left in the other room...I hobbled out there without my walker, and  when I returned within a minute  or two...somebody wanted to enjoy my yummy fish, as well.
My fair "Prince" ...who is 18yrs old, and supposedly on his "deathbed" according to my Vet, lately has been wanting to eat salmon, and chicken...people food. Not just any old people food, but nice fish, salmon, white meat chicken, cooked ground sirloin, white albacore tuna, and rarely wants to eat his beloved "fancy feast"...even been buying
Paul Newman's organic, but sticks his nose up at it. Since he pulled this piece of salmon off my plate, I put it on his dish, crumbled up, so he can eat it easier. He even licked his plate.
So, I scraped off the rest of my food, changed plates, and finished my delicious Cayman Fish...and gazed out the window,  from my condo apartment, from the second floor, watching the palm trees swaying in the gentle warm April breeze!

So now, on to the awesome award I received from  Parsley Sage@Deep Dish. She is such a cool, and pretty red haired young lady, with such amazing vitality for the island life, and her love of seafood....she brings such joy, and pleasure, just browsing through her blog, I feel the energy... and her enthusiasm and  adventures with other people on the island. Must be awesome to live on Grand Cayman Island....although, I should not be complaining about my home in S. Florida.

Thank you so much for this most amazing collage of awards...8 in 1...Wow! I never received anything like this. I will pass this one on, and link it, tomorrow... it's such an honorable award to receive!



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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Bake Raspberry, Cheesecake...and Hungarian Game Plan


I've been blogging for ten months now, and I came a long way, just like all the other food bloggers did. I made a lot of friends along the way, and I truly value everyone's friendship. The best part about blogging is, that every blog is unique, every post, food, desserts, are different...but we all contribute and have something beautiful and interesting to offer. As for me, I have never done a guest post...nor did I have someone guest posting for me.

As a matter of fact, it has not even crossed my mind, probably because...I never offered, although I was asked from a couple bloggers, but since I have not guest posted, it seemed awkward to start. I have not asked either for someone to guest post for me. So, how do you even get started on guest posting for someone?...and what is the purpose of it?

Is it to promote their blog?...or are you promoting yours! As for certain bloggers, it seems to work fine. When you guest post for a popular blogger, it benefits you, to get you on your "feet" if you just started blogging, to get more followers... but then...have all these bloggers been asked?...or do they ask the popular blogger if they can guest post for them?...Well, that gets me off the "hook" because I have never asked if I could guest post...and if I did...I could not say: "I've been asked, when that's not the case!

I'm linking this to: Bianca-Foodie Friday@ Little Brick Ranch

I made this cheesecake, and originally posted it on August, 25, 2010


I decided to cut this recipe out from the back of the Nabisco Grahams, but did not use the 8x8 square pan, instead I used my  8x8 removable sides Wilton cheesecake pan. Used less raspberries and my own marshmallow creme, from scratch.


No Bake Raspberry Marshmallow Cream Cheesecake

1 pkg. (6oz.) raspberries
8 Graham crackers (1/2 box) crushed in food processor
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 pkg. (8oz). light Philadelphia creme cheese at room temp.
1 jar  (7 oz) JET PUFFED Marshmallow cream, or
1 cup of home made marshmallow frosting/cream
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of the same lemon, after grating
2 Tablespoons of seedless organic raspberry spread


Mix graham crackers sugar and melted butter. Press firmly with a back of a large spoon onto the bottom and up the sides, 1 inches in an 8x8 spring form pan. Chill, in refrigerator, until cream is assembled. In a large bowl, make marshmallow frosting, according to recipe. Take out 1 cup to use, and save the rest for frosting cup cakes, or cake, or divide recipe in half to use. Beat creme cheese and marshmallow frosting, adding zest of lemon, and juice. Beat until light and fluffy. Fold in half the raspberries, and gently swirl in the raspberry spread, Spread evenly over crust, and decorate with the remaining raspberries. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. Makes about 8 servings.

I must say, something wonderful happened...because I received and invitation from a sweet Hungarian blogger friend, Kati @Makacska Konyhája who passed this invitation on to me. It just came at the right time, because of my ankle injury, I'm off the "hook" cooking for Easter...LOL

Thank you Kati...Köszönöm hogy gondoltál rám!


I have still yet to figure out why they call it a JÁTÉK=GAME...which is literally translated, as such. I think it's  more like  a TAG or a GAME PLAN... interesting, and fun, that would involve for each person that is tagged, to come up with 5-10 suggested MENU for EASTER. You have to upload these entrees, appetizers, desserts, from your previous posts with the photos, and link them back for the recipe.

After you did that, link it to 10 bloggers for the invitation to do the same! So here's the original game plan in Hungarian, from Kati. You can click on the TRANSLATE for it in English, but this is what the game is about, the way I explained it!


Húsvéti ajánlat

A következő játékra való felkérést kaptam...
A játék lényege:
Írj egy bejegyzést Húsvéti ajánlat címmel! Az ünnepre való tekintettel javasolj 5-10 ételt bármilyen kategóriában, egy feltétel van, hogy a korábban már közzétett receptjeid közül válogass!
Ha megkapod a játékot, akkor kérlek küldd tovább 10 bloggernek! De a játékot szabadon is "elviheted" nem kell megvárni, hogy hozzád is eljusson!:)
Játékra fel!!!

Én titeket hívlak játékra:

I am inviting you to play the TAG GAME: 

Barbara-Cucina di Barbara
Brenda-Brenda's Canadian Kitchen
Citra- Indonesian in Turkey
Katerina-Culinary Flavors
Lizzy-That skinny chick can bake!!!
Ping-Ping's Pickings
Roxana-A Little bit of Everything
Sandra-Sandra's Easy Cooking
Susi-Susi's Kochen und Backen
Wendy-The Weekend Gourmet




My Suggested Easter Menu, as follows:

Unfortunately I'm not a bread or rolls baker, although "every now and then " I do bake some yeast rolls, and even attempt to bake a simple bread in the bread machine. I've been pondering about not having a nice bread or rolls on my Easter Menu...
 and when I visited my dear friend Swathi's Zesty South Indian Kitchen blog, to comment,  I simply fell in love with her Real Garlic bread. She mentioned about the national Garlic Day, which was on April 19th...knowing I missed the Garlic Festival here locally, which is such a fun event, she went on to tell the story about her sweet grandmother, and the amazing mythical story in India about the garlic. 
I asked her if I can add her delicious, and perfect bread to my 
Easter Menu, and she was so gracious to oblige.  I really do not want to wait till next year to bake this beautiful loaf of bread,  since she has the step-by-step recipe with photos, right on her blog.

Now, I said I've never done a guest post, and I never asked any blogger to guest post for me..."never say never"...to me, this is better than a guest post, any time. I am featuring someone, who is talented, and a lovely hostess @Hearth and Soul Hop, which I also participate in...so this is an honor for me to feature this gorgeous bread, and sink my teeth into...well, not just yet...maybe I can get Lora's mother in-law- to bake this before she goes back to Italy!

HAPPY EASTER to all my blogger friends...enjoy my Easter Menu...and break bread with your loved ones, and friends!!!

From appetizers, to  main course, and desserts:
Goat Cheese with Pistachios and Cranberries:
Moroccan Whole Chickpea Hummus:

 Greek Cucumber Salad: Tzatziki
 Bake Crab Cakes:
Hungarian Steaks, Smothered with Onions:...pickled beets, and mashed potatoes: Yumm! Real comfort food:D
Israeli Chopped Salad
Moroccan Spicy Shrimp:
Angel Food Cake with Fresh Strawberries, and below ...Cross-Country Oatmeal Cookies with chocolate chunks

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grilled Striped Sea Bass... and Online Bake Sale

I have to confess, I did not make the delicious and so flaky Striped Sea Bass...not even the hand chopped side veggies. It was delivered to me yesterday by my daughter Lora, and her mother-in-law Teresa. Such a sweet gesture. They stopped by just in time for lunch, bringing so much food, from my son-in-law's restaurant, and also my son Joe, and wife Cara brought more goodies, and cat food supplies...and why? you may ask.

Clumsy me, I sprained my ankle Friday afternoon, picking up my granddaughter from her elementary school, as I have been doing for the last two weeks, and running errands for Lora, until she recuperates and can drive. Well, that was cut short...thanks to me!

Sometimes, taking a short-cut walking,  after you have parked your car three blocks away because there wasn't any parking available near by is not the answer...especially with shoes that are not the most comfortable. I missed stepping off a curb, and literally "wiped out"...sigh...so embarrassing...and to top it off, it was in the school yard. Luckily, a friend gave her a ride home whose daughter is in the same class. In the meantime, my daughter called me on my cell phone and wanted to know why I was late...there I am on the ground...can't get up, people around me, and so much excitement...plus my phone went dead, so I could not explain what happened.

Long story...short, this is how I look now, badly sprained ankle...went to the walk in clinic with my daughter-in-law Cara. She left work early to take me...did not want to go to the ER and wait for hours. Tomorrow I have to go to the orthopedic, and probably be fitted for one of those cute orthopedic boots. In the meantime, Lora found a "walker" for me at a local thrift shop (takes after mom with thrifting) brand new, it cost $8.00. What a bargain! I cannot stand on the left foot now, at all...just hobbling around.

Linking this to: Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen  Hearth and Soul Hop #44  
                                   Home Sweet Farm , Delectable Tuesday Blog Hop

In the meantime...before my sprained ankle, I did agree to do the Online Bake Sale for Becky, who is hosting the event to Fight Cancer.

I am honored that she asked me, and of course I want to do this. I lost both my parents to cancer, my younger sister is in her sixth year of "cancer free"...from breast cancer, and as you know, what my own daughter went through with her cancer surgery...but she is in full recovery...thank God!
Please visit Becky's blog for more information: @Baking and Cooking...a Tale of Two Loves
 
My donation is: Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Click on the link, and you will see this is where I started my blog...actually, on June 3rd. 2010...soon I will be celebrating my one year Blog Anniversary!

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Pudin de Arroz Torta=Rice Pudding Cake, and Awards!

We live in a large Hispanic community here, in West Palm Beach Florida. We have all kinds of Hispanic cultures right here in our local area...in fact, it's advisable to speak the Spanish language, because every store you go into, especially our local Publix supermarket, you feel like you are in "little Havana"...seriously! In that particular supermarket, they have the most variety of Hispanic items, also as you check out you can just order a fabulous cup of "cafe con leche" for a lot less than in any coffee places you go to, along with the Cuban pastries with guava, and all the other amazing sweets can be found in their bakery section. As far as for the Pudin de Arroz Torta...the Rice Pudding Cake, that's my creation, derived right from the authentic Cuban Rice Pudding.

I learned how to make the authentic Cuban rice pudding from my younger sister's former Cuban m-in-law from Miami, that should have opened up a little "rice pudding"  stand, because her pudding is out of this world. They have this little secret of boiling the rice with large strips of lemon and/or lime strips, cinnamon sticks, and for more flavor, anise seeds. Also a must, is the sweetened condensed milk, and more cinnamon sprinkled on the top. The raisins are optional.


My recipe is versatile, as a cake, and I promise you so moist, and delicious, whether you choose to eat it warm, or cold, which I prefer. It is smooth, and melt in your mouth yummy! You don't really have to get fancy serving this heavenly cake because it is so, very rich. I actually made this cake for my daughter Lora, to have some nutrition since she needs to eat soft foods, and not necessary puddings. So why not a pudding cake?...just use more rice to the recipe, and less milk. No flour is needed in the recipe, but for sure, you need eggs. Four, to be exact. Again...I was preparing to guest post for Lora, but after all, she has more cakes, and sweets in her house, that she and Teresa are packing up for their friends, and neighbors to take home. As for me...I can only have a small piece, and even the rare desserts that I make, goes directly over to them. Surprisingly enough, I have a "skinny" family...LOL...go figure!


Pudin de Arroz Torta=Rice Pudding Cake
my recipe-adapted from Juanita's rice pudding recipe

2 cups of cooked long grain white rice
14 oz can  (397g.) sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1/4 cup sugar
wide strips of lemon and/or lime
juice of 1 lemon and/or lime
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Spray with cooking spray,  a 9x5 oven proof glass loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. F.Cook the rice, according to directions, which is (1 cup of raw rice to 2 cups of water, cook only for 18 min.)

In a medium bowl, combine the cooked rice, the juices of the lemon, and/or lime. Discard the rinds of the lemon
from the rice. Add the sweetened condensed milk, and stir.
In another bowl, cream the sugar with the butter, add the vanilla, and eggs, and beat lightly with a fork. Add the rice mixture to it, and mix together.

Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish and bake for 55 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven, and spread the brown sugar, and sprinkle with the cinnamon powder, and put under the broiler.


Keep oven door slightly ajar, so you can see it browning, melting, and when you see it bubbling, carefully remove from the oven, You can spread evenly the caramel on the top, with the back of a large spoon, and let it cool down to room temperature before serving, or chill in the fridge before cutting it, if you want to serve it chilled.

Serves 6. The caramel topping is my own creation. Just thought it would make it tastier, and prettier to serve.
Amazingly delicious, so easy to make!



Now, on to the awards...and I do apologize for not posting it sooner! 

I received this special award from Heather, @ Pass The Cayenne Pepper
Do visit her blog, and follow. She is very talented, and makes the most delicious and healthy dishes. You will be glad you did!


As you all know, this is the award that I passed on to my wonderful sisters who are my "angels"...also will be linking the list of the bloggers I payed it forward to. Thank you Heather for thinking of me, and honoring me with this special award that meant a lot to me, and to those I payed it forward to!



I received this beautiful award from my friend Mina, @Anegellove's Cooking.
She is an amazing baker, and cook, and her dishes are not your every day stuff you are used to. The photos will amaze you, and her talent will inspire you!
 
This award is so close to my heart, I'm so flattered and honored to have received it from her. I will pass this on to my former list of blogger friends, which is a huge list...cannot start all over again. to list some, and not include most, so if you don't see your name on the list, just let me know. I have every good intention to pass this lovely award on to you!
Here's my former link of the list of the "Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award" just feel free to link on it, and please accept Mina's beautiful award that I'm paying forward to you, from Mina. Thank you Mina...and thanks to all of you.
Please accept this Award...check your name on the list! 
Take care, have a beautiful weekend! Love to all!


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