Thursday, July 30, 2009

empanada night....

The end of the beginning....
happily sizzling onion,garlic,cumin,cinnamon and salt....

Here's my "ugly" pepper!

nice strips of pepper... super easy to roast myself. I put it under the broiler till it got "ugly" then put it in a bowl and covered with plastic wrap...about 10 min later the skin just peeled away.

Onion n garlic cooking away...

Adding the sliced roasted poblano pepper...mmmm I wish you could have smelled this!

2 shredded chicken breasts, 1/2 can diced tomatoes, 1c chicken broth, some cinnamon, cumin,2 chopped adobe peppers in adobo,1/2onion,2cloves garlic,1roasted poblano pepper and salt n pepper

This is where I cheated... I didn't make the dough...(I have a toddler running around, remember?!)

All dressed up with somewhere to go!

I don't like to "fry" things... I used as little oil as I could.

Awaiting their fate...

All ready to go!

mmm... had to have a bite!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

two nice things....

So, I have been in one of those blah unmotivated moods the past few days, hence the super simple postings I've done... I know it's no excuse to limit the entertainment for my reader friends out there. I have just had a few blah days... but some things always make me happy. Aside from the people and animals in my life,of course. My mixer. Now, I'll admit it took me about a year to break the habit of mixing stuff by hand (I still do with some things) but, after I had my little one time became much more scarce. And this baby always helps. Especially with mashed potatoes. Beats em silly in just 3 min. Did I say silly? Ok... fluffy silly.

Has anyone seen the foodsaver infomercial? That marinade container... you know it sucks all the air out so whatever you're marinating takes in the marinade? Yep. It works. Does a great job. Saves time, too. Thanks air sucking machine. You make me very pleased. Ok, back to the blahs. I needed some inspiration so I took out my YEARS of recipe clippings and photos.. I found enough to really light my fire... and spark your intrest. (hardy har har!) As for the sauces I've mentioned before... they are yummy but the pics just aren't to my liking. So, I need to do a bit of experimenting there. I'm looking for some comments... Is there anything you'd like to see on this site? Recipe requests? How to? Or how not to? Hmmm... maybe there will be a prize.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What to do for dinner tonight? How about grilled shish ka bobs? I marinate mine with italian dressing and extra pepper... and you can use whatever veggies you like. Super simple summer meal!

Monday, July 27, 2009

soul food sunday dinner...

So I got confused about ribs this weekend. There are spare ribs, baby back ribs, country ribs, short ribs, and ribs. What's that about!? Ok, I know I could probably find out from the Publix meat man... but I decided to ask on A.R.(all recipes) I had some spare ribs.. and for the life of me I just couldn't remember if these were the type I usually buy. Apparently, they came out just as good as whatever type I "usually" buy... I made a rub with brown sugar, garlic, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a couple tbs of BBQ sauce. Then,I baked em in a pan filled 1/4 way up with water and covered tightly with foil for 2 hrs. (half rack) My hubby grilled em up for a few minutes after that. Yum. Super tender. I served them with potato salad that I ended up making with ranch dressing and mustard.. and green onions, egg, and celery.I ran out of mayo and the last thing I wanted to do was go to the store. Ugh. I'm sure y'all can relate! By the way... I have been on a "sauce" kick lately. I found a neat cookbook and I've been playing around. So.... get ready to get saucy real soon!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

coffee thoughts

Mmmm. That first sip of hot steamy coffee. In a quiet house. With a few moments to reflect upon the day ahead, and to ponder on the dreams that are still fluttering in my mind. A few moments to contemplate life, and all it's mystery. Slowly.. the day's tasks up rise in my thoughts as with the chores and the bills and the daily stresses of life. But, oh... how much I adore my coffee thoughts. As short lived as they may be...

Friday, July 24, 2009

comfort food....

There is something about comfort food. Cozy. Filling. Warm. Basic. No fancy sauces or hard to find ingredients. There is just the simpleness of the meal. Nowadays, meals like this are an indulgence. But what a nice indulgence to have once in a while.....
Above are my fried pork chops... I double batter them: dip in seasoned flour, then beaten egg and then bread crumbs. Wait 5min and repeat the process. I try to use as little oil as possible to fry them. ( I do have a health conscience side to me!) and serve them with whole grain brown rice and corn. oooo. and gravy. mmmm. I have to give a special thank you to my hubby with this photo. With the lighting problems and slow shutter speeds he suggested turning off the lights for the pic. Brilliant! This pic was taken using only natural light from the window and an fstop set at 5.6.Thank you to my hubby for putting up with photos when he's hungry and even helping me a bit along the way. What a guy. A note to my vegetarian friends: I'm sorry... veggie recipes next week!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

sneak peek and baby bluberry pies!

Sneak Peak at the latest trend for "foodies"! There are also chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins.... more will be posted very soon and they will be up for sale on Etsy....and heck, maybe I'll give some away to a lucky reader. Any comments or ideas?

baby blueberry pies!

I like this pic so much I had to start with it...
I made a basic pie crust for a 2part 9"pie crust... 2 and 3/4c flour, 3/4c shortening, 1/2tsp salt and 8 tbs cold water

Blueberries, 1c sugar, vanilla, 2tbs butter and 4tbs flour... I cooked it over med heat till it got a little saucy. (8min)

I cut out the dough with a biscuit cutter and placed it into my muffin pan, had some extra dough so I played with that a little. (so did my 2year old!) Be careful you don't overfill the little guys.

Baked at 375 for hmmm... about 35-40 min. Let em cool completely before removing. I slid a knife along the edges then gently pried them up. Yum. no.... YUM! enjoy! Feel free to comment. Y'all are too shy. (hee-hee)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

3rd day of the work week=3 things

Greetings and happy hump day. Since it's the third day of the work week I have 3 things for y'all today....But first let me explain the photo (I know you are all wondering... ) I am very anti-photo shop ESPECIALLY with food pics, part of the art of photography is in fact working with what you have....not tweaking the image after the fact. Did you know they use red lipstick on strawberries in food ads? And the "milk" in cereal is really glue?! Not too appealing. So, for every one's info... I don't tweak my food or pics. This pic was taken by my Miss Canon Powershot, a gift from my hubby when I another year older. It has a neat feature where I can chose what I want in color. If you read, "puddles" was also done with this affect. Cool, eh? I love my little Canon. She never lets me down.

What's with the blueberries? Glad you asked.
My hubby doesn't like sweets too much, and I just found out last night (after HOW many years?!) That he has a fondness for blueberry pie. I love no... I LOVE to bake pies. They are just so "homey". That's the first thing.... my 1st blueberry pie is coming up!
The 2nd thing... is a special sneak peek of some "food jewels" that I have been creating. Imagine... tiny fried eggs and bacon earrings and chocolate chip cookie necklaces. There's more, toast, pancakes, cupcakes, ice cream cones, strawberries....just to name a few. Photos will be posted at some point today. These items will be available in my Etsy shop,but they will also be given away for some future contests.
And the 3rd thing... I am planning a wedding. Not humans, but... both of my sites. I am gong to marry the two into their own page.. so that I may have more topic areas for my readers to explore. I am planning a site to contain a healthily living segment, pet keeping, housekeeping, cooking, and daily life. I am currently in the process of "shopping" for web hosts. And I will keep you all updated. The domain set currently will still work through the process... so it should be no trouble for y'all! Check back today... I'm hoping to make that pie during my 2 year old's nap.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

simple mahi mahi

This is super easy guys... and lemon buttery every time.First, I coated the fish with a mixture of lemon juice, kosher salt, pepper, paprika,parsley and garlic .Then, I melted 2 tbs butter over med-high heat, add the fish and cook just until its firm to the touch... about 4 min per side. Melts in your mouth... and great for keys-style fish sandwiches, too. mmm . enjoy! Feel free to leave a comment, they are greatly appreciated!

Monday, July 20, 2009

my almost famous spinach cheese rice bites

To make up for the lack of posting over the weekend today will have a bonus or two... the first?
my very own spinach cheese rice things! (now renamed to bites)

This was one of the first published recipes of mine... and very yummy!

you will need:

2c leftover rice
1 egg
1/2-1cup shredded cheddar or other
1/2 bag frozen (thawed and drained) chopped spinach
1/3 c ricotta cheese (optional)
various seasonings: garlic, salt, pepper, onion red pepper flakes
Combine above ingredients and spoon into nonstick muffin pans bake at 350 for 25min. These come out good with or without the ricotta....use extra cheese if you omit the ricotta. Enjoy!

a weekend update... and cupcakes

My beloved camera took the weekend off from me. Just when I needed him most. I created some neat little ice cream cone earrings and veggie magnets for my etsy store, went to grab Mr. Pentax and he went on strike. I tried to coax him with a nice lithium battery change... nothing. nada. no power. So, I looked into the issue... apparently a circuit problem perhaps. So, I was a bit blue over all this, and trying to think of what I can sell to get a new camera,or get him fixed. It dampened the weekend, as did the rain. Finally, I was at Walgreens on Sunday and saw these fancy shiny new CR-V3 batteries, that Mr. Pentax has been known to associate with. I decided to treat him... heck, if he still misbehaved I could always return them, right? He didn't. He was good. Powered right up and smiled in his own camera way. He better not pull another stunt like that again though!

and now.... cupcakes!

These were the fluffiest critters I have ever made! Check out the pics!

This recipe came from a OLD Fannie Farmer cookbook:

1 1/4 c cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

combine the above ingredients.. i blended them w/ a pastry blender cause I couldn't find my shifter.(I don't think I have one)

1 cup sugar

10 tbs softened butter

combine these in a separate bowl (I used my mixer with this part)

add 2 tsp vanilla

and add 3 egg whites

Here's what makes it fluffy... Mix very well w/ an electric mixer...till it looks fairly fluffy. Now, add a little of the flour mixture (have mixer at low speed now) and alternate adding the flour with 1/2 cup COLD water... keep doing flour/water until they're all mixed. Fluffy, huh?

put into prepared pans (greased and floured) or I used those silicone baking cups. (work great)

Bake at 325 for 20-25 min. Start checking them at 20 min and adjust time depending upon your oven's temperament. haha another pun.

I frosted mine with a made up recipe... it was 1/2 stick of salted softenned butter 1/4 c of shortening 1/2 teaspoon salt 1tbs cream 1 tsp clear vanilla and hmmm about 4cups or so of powdered sugar mix well, taste may need more salt/sugar. Add more powdered sugar if it's too thin more cream if it's too thick. mmmm Buttercream.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


These are some of the treasures I found in the collection of cookbooks I bought from an ad in the newspaper many many years ago. Stained, torn and in some cases, barely legible.. they are priceless to me. Not because of what they make but because of the potential stories behind them... these goodies were made for friends and loved ones... special occasions and ordinary days, days long gone, but that will live on with the recipes carried through the years. Each note has it's own story.. from Naomi's cream cake to Mrs. Powell's sugar cookies. These ladies live on by the food they left behind. I may not know a thing about them... but I know they could bake!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a visit to fortune cookie...and sushi-making

They have all sorts of jarred fruits. Look! Mangosteen... I know that one from my health food days!

Hello, luck Kitties...I meant to ask the owner the name of these cats, next visit I will.

These are fresh king oyster mushrooms... about the size of my forearm! (I wish my hubby liked mushrooms more!)

A special thanks to Fortune Cookie for allowing the photographs. I would have taken more but, my battery died. So, watch for part two because I still want to go back for those noodle bowls!

a visit to fortune cookie

fresh dragon fruit... where else can you find that!

they even have things for dogs!

when my daughter is past the throwing things stage, I'm getting these! I love the pig!

You can spend hours in here... the shelves are brimming with exotic things.

soy sauce, anyone? There is a fine art to brewing soy sauce and each one has a distinct flavor....

fortune cookie visit

The candy section is amazing... and it's always nice to see Hello Kitty. "hello, kitty!"
If you are a curry fan (like me) you can have your pick...tons of types

ooodles of wasabis!

Here's the rice seasonings I mentioned earlier.

They have all sorts of plates... all very reasonably priced too...(if only I had room at home for one of each!)

It begins with the rice, a few years ago for mother's day I got a rice cooker.. perfect for sushi rice!
This is a small part of the huge amount of blackfin tuna- you can also use other "filling " for your sushi, veggies are yummy... so is that fake crab meat out there.
With wet hands (I keep a bowl of water nearby) pat the rice firmly onto the rough side of the nori. Leave a half inch at bottom and about an inch at the top.

how I make sushi...part II

In this roll, I used the tuna, green onion, and cream cheese

gently roll it up and seal it with wet fingers, like an envelope
for a inside-out roll lay rice on a sheet of wax paper, pack it firmly with wet fingers
top with the nori, and repeat the rice process
roll it with the wax paper
that small amount of fish made this many rolls! The key to cutting is using a non serrated VERY sharp knife that is wet. I wipe mine between each cut with a wet paper towel. Did you know that professional sushi chef knives can cost over $1000!? Not $100- ONE THOUSAND! Wow.
There are still 2 more I need to cut!

Pickled ginger is considered a palate cleanser that you eat before each bite. It's quite yummy! That's it for now . Time to eat!