Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Recipe for Christmas Joy


1/2 C Hugs
4 tsp loving Kisses
4 C Love
1 C special Holiday Cheer
1/2 C Peace on Earth
3 tsp Christmas Spirits
2 Cups Goodwill Towards Men (and Women!)
1 Sprig Mistletoe
1 med size bag of Christmas Snowflakes
1 large bundle of Joy

Mix hugs, kisses, smiles & love until combined. 

Blend in Holiday Cheer, Peace on earth, Christmas Spirits, and Goodwill towards men.

Use the Mixture to fill a LARGE WARM HEART, where it can be Stored for a Lifetime

 **It never goes bad**

Serve as desired under Mistletoe, Sprinkled liberally with Special Christmas Snowflakes, and a Bundle of Joy.

Note: It is especially GOOD, accompanied by Christmas Carols, Music, and FAMILY GET TOGETHERS.

Serve to One and All. 



Saturday, December 22, 2012

I love cauliflower. It is my very favorite veggie. My hubby won't touch the stuff. Here is a recipe that I make for myself for lunch sometimes.

Red Thai Curry with Cauliflower

This recipe is pretty fast…for a slow cooker. It only needs 2.5 hours, so you can set it in the afternoon for dinner, or start it in the morning and it’s ready for lunchtime. The leftovers are fabulous; heat up a container of this at work and everyone will be sniffing the air at lunchtime, asking “Mmmm, what is that?” In fact, I often make it just for leftovers, I’ll start it after work when I get home, (have something else for dinner) and before bed pack it up for the next few day’s lunches.

red thai curry

If you’re not a tofu fan, don’t sweat it. Serve the curry over 1 pound of cooked shrimp instead for your protein. It is delicious either way. Sometimes I use both the tofu and the shrimp.

Notice in this recipe I used regular (not light) coconut milk, and kept the amount to 1/2 cup to keep the fat content moderate. If you choose to use light coconut milk, use 1 cup). I have no preference either way and find them equally enjoyable and creamy. :)

• 1 head cauliflower (6” diameter)
• 1 cup frozen cut green beans
• 1 cup frozen peas
• ½ cup chopped yellow onion
• 2 tablespoons minced ginger
• 2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
• ½ cup coconut milk
• ¼ cup fresh basil, shredded
• Salt to taste (or 1 Tablespoon fish sauce)
• 1 pound extra firm tofu (or cooked shrimp)

1. Chop cauliflower into large florets and place in slow cooker. Add green beans, peas, onion, and ginger.
2. In a bowl, combine vegetable broth and curry paste, and stir until smooth. Pour over vegetables in slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
4. Stir in the coconut milk and shredded basil, and season to taste with salt or fish sauce.
5. Cube the tofu and place into serving bowls. Ladle hot curry over tofu to serve.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 262 calories, 12 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 24 g total carbohydrate, 8 g dietary fiber, 17 g protein, 637 mg sodium.

Per serving (with shrimp instead): 263 calories, 8 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 218 mg cholesterol, 20 g total carbohydrate, 6 g dietary fiber, 29 g protein, 884 mg sodium.

Today's Lunch

Picture of Spinach and Ricotta Calzone Recipe

Today, I am making home made calzones for lunch.   I bought a whole wheat pizza dough from the grocery store for $.99 so it doesn't pay to make my own.  I will be splitting it into 2 and filling the calzones with fresh ricotta cheese, onions, hot peppers and pepperoni.  They will be served on a bed of tomato sauce spiced with lots of oregano and garlic.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spicy Ramen Chicken in Rice Cooker

Today in my rice cooker, I invented a new method of cooking some old favorite flavors and some cheap pantry items.

Spicy Ramen Chicken

3 bone in chicken thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons freshly ground ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
     1 tablespoon chili sauce (I use Sriracha)

http://i4.peapod.com/c/1H/1HJJW.jpg In a zip-lock bag or a bowl.  Combine all of the above ingredients and coat chicken well.  Let marinate for at least an hour or over night.

4 packages chicken flavored ramen noodles, with the seasoning packets

3 cups shredded red cabbage

In rice cooker put 6 cups of water.  Break the noodles into the water and empty in the seasoning packets as well.  Add chicken with all the marinade and top with the 3 cups of shredded cabbage.  My rice cooker has a "mix" setting, but white rice setting will do as well.  Once it has cooked for 30-45 minutes open it up to stir it around and make sure the chicken is submerged in the broth and the noodles aren't sticking together.  Close again and let finish cooking.  Be sure the chicken is done.  Serve in bowls.  Pass chopped scallions to garnish.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Northern Italian Spaghetti in Rice Cooker

My heritage is Italian.  When I tell people that, they picture pasta, lasagna, lots of meatballs, lots of seafood and spice.  Not in my family!  The truth is, I am northern Italian. 

Picture the Italian landscape and right away you might notice that there is no where in northern Italy for grazing cows; therefore there is not much beef.  The cows that exist in northern Italy are milking cows for the plethora of cheeses that come from that area. Also, with no flat lands there is little room for large farms of wheat.  Therefore, not much pasta either!

My grandmother was a great cook.  We ate lots of pork, veal and chicken.  We ate quite a bit of fresh vegetables.  Pasta, when it was served, was a side dish like potatoes or rice.  OH!  RICE!  Yes, we ate lots of risotto too!  The flavors of porcini mushrooms and spicy sausage (from the aforementioned pigs) permeated the air, along with lots of cheese.  I didn't even taste lasagna until I was 16 years old.  And, the tomato gravies that are well known in most Italian, read southern Italian, kitchens and restaurants were only an occasional gravy.   Butter and cheese sauces along with herbs like basil were the sauces of choice.

Ahh, the word sauce!  Well, in my family if it has meat in it, or flavoring it or is served with meat, it is a GRAVY!

So, this leads me to my recipe today.

1 pound bulk Italian sausage meat; hot or spicy or a mixture
1 onion, diced

6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced

handful of dried porcini mushrooms

4 cups water
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 pound spaghetti

In a skillet, or the browning setting of rice cooker, brown the sausage meat with the onion until onion is translucent and sausage is granular.

If using a skillet, pour the entire amount into the rice cooker.  Add the tomato paste, oregano and garlic and stir to coat everything with the tomato paste.  Crush the porcini mushrooms and add to the rice cooker.  Add the water and tomato sauce and stir well. 

Break up the spaghetti into three and add to the rice cooker.   Stir to separate the pasta and close cooker.  Cook on white rice setting.  Open cooker and stir to keep pasta from sticking 2-3 times during the cooking time.

Serve with plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oktoberfest Pork

Today in my rice cooker is a recipe that I made up a few years ago. I call it Oktoberfest Pork.


In rice cooker:

2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
1/2 cup apple cider
1 1/2 cups rice (I use brown rice, but any will work)
2 cups water

Mix all above to combine ingredients

Place 4-6 bone in pork chops on top. Close rice cooker and cook on brown rice or white rice setting depending on what rice you chose.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Menu 8/4 - 8/14

Sat - 8/4 - Out
Sun - 8/5 - Indian Spiced Pork Cutlets and Roast Potatoes, Spinach
Mon - 8/6 - Pizza
Tue - 8/7 -Chicken Alfredo and Pasta in Rice Cooker
Wed - 8/8 -Ravioli Bake
Thu - 8/9 - Chinese Take Out
Fri - 8/10 - Wings, Carrots, Celery
Sat - 8/11 - Hot Sausage Sandwich, Slaw
Sun - 8/12 - Lamb Burgers, Spinach Salad
Mon - 8/13 - Pizza
Tue - 8/14 - Pork Loin, Baked Sweet Potatoes

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Easy Indian Pudding

I have made Indian Pudding for years.  It is one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts and has become a specialty of mine that family and friends request often.  But, my favorite recipe for it is quite involved.  I have created a much easier recipe that nearly gets the same results and I wanted to share it.

EASY INDIAN PUDDING               

4 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
2 Scald 3 1/2 cups of milk in top of double boiler over direct heat. Remove milk from heat.
3 Mix cornmeal with remaining 1 cup of milk, and stir this mixture into the scalding milk, stirring constantly. Place the milk mixture into the top of the double boiler and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
4 Stir butter, molasses, salt, sugar and cinnamon into the mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
5 Bake in the preheated 325° F  oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Key Lime Cake Recipe - IN RICE COOKER!!

Can you believe that you can bake in a rice cooker??  YES YOU CAN!!

Key Lime Cake Recipe 

1/2 pkg yellow cake mix (Mix the whole thing and make cupcakes from the extra not used here.)
1/2 can of limeade concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 carton of Cool Whip
1 key lime (regular lime if you can't find a key lime), halved and sliced in half moons.

1.  Mix cake mix according to directions on package and place the mix into lightly oiled inner pot of the rice cooker.  Then use regular cook setting; it should take about 40 minutes.  Don't worry if it switched to Keep Warm.

2.  While cake is cooking in the rice cooker, mix up the thawed limeade concentrate and 1/4 cup powdered sugar – you may add more or less sugar to suit your taste.

3.  Once the cake is done, place it in a casserole dish with high sides and  cool for about 15 minutes, then pierce it with a tooth picks or a skewer about every 2 inches and pour the lemonade/sugar mix over it.  Place in refrigerator an hour or two to cool.

5.  Right before serving you can frost with Cool whip and line up the lime wedges along the edges.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu 7-16 - 7/23

Mon - 7/16 - Spanish pork and rice
Tue - 7/17 -  Pasta with tomato gravy
Wed - 7/18 - Asian Chicken and rice with miso BBQ sauce
Thu - 7/19 - Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese
Fri - 7/20 - Wings, celery and carrots
Sat - 7/21 - Pork cutlets and potato pancakes and salad
Sun - 7/22 - Hot Sausage Sandwiches with slaw
Mon - 7/23 - Pizza

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Menu 7/6 - 7/13/2012

Fri - 7/6 - Sausage Jambalaya
Sat - 7/7 - Pasta Alfredo
Sun - 7/8 - Spanish Rice and Pork
Mon - 7/9 - Chicken and Beans Stew
Tue  - 7/10 - Leftovers - (Clean out the Freezer)
Wed - 7/11 - Pasta fra Diavolo
Thu - 7/12 - Potato and Pork Hash
Fri - 7/13 - Wings, Carrots, Celery

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July is National Ice Cream Month!!

Ice Cream! 

Those words alone make me happy!  Ice cream is its own food group to me.   I like it all ways, but mostly I like it plain.  I don't need syrups or sprinkles.  I don't like chocolate so hot fudge is not on my list.  Just give me the ice cream, with perhaps some whipped cream on top!  After all, the whipped cream is just ice cream that hasn't been churned yet.

I have many fond family memories involving this frozen creamy concoction.  One that I will recall is going out to a Carvel ice cream stand on Oregon Road in Cortlandt Manor.  I was about 7.  Aunt Lee was with us and sitting next to me in the back seat of our 1960 green Chevy.  Now, Aunt Lee was a "special" lady.  She could tease and taunt without mercy.   So, she began by saying "I think I will have some vanilla and some chocolate and some butter pecan and some strawberry."  Her list went well beyond those four.  And then, she looked at me and said "You, can only have a small one with one flavor though!"  What a thing to tell a child!

Since that day, I have made it my mission to eat as much ice cream, as often as I can!  So, tonight, I think I will have a full pint of some exotic flavor in her honor!