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Showing posts from May, 2012

Mashed Cauliflower w/Garlic Herb Cheese

If you’re a carb watcher, here’s a great alternative to mashed potatoes!



We like cauliflower and eat it fairly often.A friend gave me this recipe a while back, and I just got around to making it recently.You know ~ so many recipes, so little time…
Now that I’ve made it, and know how delicious it is, it will be on our dinner table often.  The low calorie cheese is a perfect blend, and the caraway seeds add a distinctly sweet but tangy flavor. If you don’t care for caraway seeds, substitute dill, or omit it altogether.    This is our new favorite side dish now!
Mashed Cauliflower w/Garlic Herb Cheese
Ingredients:
4 cups cauliflower, fresh or frozen ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon seasoned pepper ½ teaspoon garlic, minced ½ teaspoon caraway seed 4 ounce package Alouette Light Garlic & Herb Cheese ½ teaspoon chopped chives, for garnish (I forgot)
Method:
Steam cauliflower until very tender. Add remaining ingredients, except chives. Mash with a potato masher. Sprinkle chives over top for garnish and serv…

A Pause for Memorial Day’s “National Moment of Remembrance”

To many of us Americans, Memorial Day is the kickoff to a fun-filled summer.  It means it’s time to fire the grill up; and hot dogs, baseball, and a three-day weekend.  For some, it’s an emotional time as they watch uniformed veterans marching, or riding in antique cars, along the parade route down Main Street. 





Here's wishing you all a safe, happy Memorial Day!





Crispy Spicy Jicama Chips

It’s a “Mexican potato” that is in season year-round, looks like a turnip; has either tan, brown or gray skin, with a crisp juicy, refreshing, slightly white, flesh on the inside, resembling an apple.

It’s as easy as a potato to peel and I’ve discovered, it’s just as good roasted as it is raw.It’s jicama ~ Spanish: hee-kah-mah.


Jicama is traditionally served raw, dunked in chili powder, lime and salt to boost its mild flavor; or in a salsa or salad.I’ve only had jicama raw, in a salsa, so I had a big surprise when I bit into a slice of roasted jicama!


A friend, Yvonne, gave me this recipe and I’m glad she did.   Jicama is quick and easy to roast, and retains its crispy crunch and sweetness when it comes out of the oven.  Thinly slice it, dredge with a spicy mixture and roast it to a crunchy chip-like texture.  Roasted jicama is a great substitute for potato chips!  
Here are some jicama tips:
Choose jicama with smooth, thin unblemished skins, a slight shine is an indication of freshness.
Se…

Bolivian-style Corn Pie

What is it ~~~ it’s tough and fairly cheap, doesn’t have a famous chef’s name emblazoned on it; when treated with tender loving care, it will last just about forever, and performs perfectly every time?
I’m talking about my favorite skillets, cast iron skillets!  I was lucky to “inherit” my mothers’ 12” and 10” skillets, which were passed down to her by an “aunt.”  Over the years, I’ve added to the collection with a smaller skillet, a Dutch oven and a couple of corn stick pans.   

Cast iron is heavy and holds heat well and distributes it evenly.  The skillets go smoothly from cook-top to oven and when properly seasoned and cared for, will last for generations; plus, the cookware adds iron to your diet.
You can cook a plethora of foods in cast iron ~ from breakfast to lunch to dinner.  Smokey bacon and eggs, crispy hash browns, savory cornbread, frittatas, blackened fish, smothered pork chops, pineapple upside-down cake, fried chicken like Grandma used to make, and this delicious corn pie:



Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders and “Thanks” to an Italian Cook

Isn’t miniature food the greatest? 
If you like pulled pork, you’ll really like this pulled chicken!  It’s a quick way to cook a dish that’s traditionally slow-cooked.  I especially like the fact that they’re sliders, on mini buns; the perfect size and not so messy to eat.  



Use boneless chicken breasts that have been simmered in salted water, cooled and shredded.  Or, for a simple, readily available solution, cut up a rotisserie chicken from the market to speed up the process.
I’m not big on sweet sauces, so this tangy sauce with a tablespoon of brown sugar, cider vinegar, spices, and a little ketchup, hits the spot.  Bill thinks this is the best barbecue sauce ever and I concur! 
Switching gears, I want to take time to thank Claudia @What’s Cookin’ Italian Style.  A short while ago, she had a giveaway for 2 photography books:  Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson and The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Great Photography by Shawn Frederick and Bill Gutman.





I knew I could benefit from these,…

Lemony Parmesan Broccoli

Whenever Aunt Lucy was at my house for dinner, I was sure to serve a broccoli dish.  If I didn’t serve a dark green veggie, especially broccoli, I would’ve heard, “Green veggies, Pam, green!”  With Dad’s gardens, there was an abundance of fresh vegetables when I was growing up, and Dad was also a firm believer in the power of fresh vegetables.



Here’s why broccoli on your dinner table is healthy and beneficial for you and your family: 
Broccoli provides a high amount of vitamin C, which aids iron absorption in the body, prevents the development of cataracts, and also eases the symptoms of the common cold. The potassium in broccoli aids those battling high blood pressure, while a large amount of calcium helps combat osteoporosis. The vegetable is also fiber-rich, which enhances the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, as well as aims to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which with the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the…

Black Bottoms

Vinegar in cupcakes?  You say, "why?"



Baking soda makes cupcakes rise; however, it only starts to work when it comes in contact with an acidic ingredient, such as buttermilk, lemon juice or vinegar.  Baking soda reacts with acidic ingredients to make bubbles that help the cake to rise.  It gives these cupcakes a deep flavor and you will not notice a hint of vinegar after they are baked.  


The sinful top of these cupcakes is so mouthwatering delicious that I’d actually just like to forget about the bottoms.These little gems are made of a creamy cheesecake top layer filled with chocolate chips and a bottom chocolate cake-like layer ~ nice and rich and gooey when baked together!

They lack frosting which makes them great to carry since they won’t stick to anything and become messy. Black bottoms are rich, moist and cheesy, what could taste better in a cupcake?

Black Bottoms
Ingredients for the cream cheese topping: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature 1 large egg 1/3 cup s…









Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape…

~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird






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