Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zucchini Quiche...made easy!

A new and fresh  BISCUIT MIX...so versatile, that you can make your own homemade BISQUICK. If you live in the U.S. you must be familiar with the famous Bisquick biscuit mix that you can make pancakes, coffee cakes, biscuits, pies, and quiches with? Well there's a solution to making your own mix, without the preservatives, and you can keep the mix in you fridge for weeks...so easy to make all the familiar and delicious things...and extremely handy!
I found my original recipe made with Bisquick which I've been saving since 1992. Instead of the 1 cup of Bisquick, substitute 1 cup of your homemade Biscuit Mix.I already lightened up the recipe, even then; by reducing the oil from 1 cup, down to half a cup!

This is a crustless quiche...or pie, whichever you prefer to call it! It is so easy to make, once you have your Biscuit Mix made. Your family will love it, and thank you for it!





Recipe; for Easy Baking Mix...Mix 5 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup of baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1 cup of shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in airtight container, in your fridge, or a cool dry place. Makes 6 cups.

Linking to: Hearth and Soul Blog Hop @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mango Jam... Sweet Mango Chutney

With all the cloudy days we've been having, I haven't been able to take a descent outdoor/indoor 'natural light' photo in all last week. Don't you agree that this is a nice outdoor 'last minute'...photo of my amazing mango jam, and sweet mango chutney?
If I want to take descent natural light photos, I have to take them at my daughter Lora's house in her lovely kitchen with plenty of natural lights or on the patio. As for my little condo, I have only one spot for photos, but I DO have GREAT lighting in my tiny kitchen, 3 different types which are very helpful for photos!

Enough of the photos...still up to our 'eyeballs' with the mangoes, as you can see in Lora's recent post as well!

Since she came back from Italy, we've been busy making all kinds of things with mangoes...but she's the one that made the majority of the jams.

See what I mean? ...natural lighting is 'everything'...same mango chutney inside, by the glass door...can't even correct the color...and the same one, in the jar.

BTW-this pretty dish is an American antique from the 1930's 'thrift find' for $2.99 that I gave to Lora. I just love the ruffled details and the 18 carat gold...if that's not an amazing treasure, than I don't know what is!

Although Lora brought back with her Italian pectin and has used the metric system measure with her little scale to weigh the fruit, the sugar, and use the pectin accordingly, I am satisfied with our 'good old' American made by KRAFT FOODS, which I'm happy to say, I also used for the Sweet Mango Chutney, which I will give you a full recipe for the 'spicy' version, but you can eliminate the spicy peppers, onion, and garlic for the sweet version that I used, because the little ones love this even as a thick jam!
Just to let you know how much I love this product, I did buy a double VALUE PACK just the other day, to use it for a GIVEAWAY gift for any one, that would be interested of using that great pectin, made in the U.S. by KRAFT FOODS!
It is a double pack, sealed in plastic, with instructions on the box, and inside with a packing slip, as well for other suggestions of uses. It is 100% natural, and no 'animal' products added. If you are interested in receiving this amazing product, which takes the place of AGAR...that is a lot more expensive...than by all means let me know, and mention what you wold like to use it for! I will use the RANDOM.org calculation, to determine the winner, by Friday @ 11:00PM Eastern Standard time.

On another serious note:
Did you know that on Aug. 1, 2012, Foodbuzz will no longer exist?...or is it joining Daily Buzz Food? As a Foodbuzz Publisher, I don't recall getting any notice in my e-mail...but I do know that for several months now, I have not been getting paid for ads into my Pay Pal account. I have close to 3,000 friends on Foodbuzz that I have been so fortunate to befriend in the nearly last two years on Foodbuzz, among them my dear friend Lizzy, Gina, Chef Dennis, and Jo...from day #1 we've been supporting one-another all this time, and I've had the pleasure of meeting them (except Lizzy)...at last year's fantastic Foodbuzz Food Festival, in San Francisco...another question?
What is happening this year with the Food Festival? I've gotten the invite, but have not responded...and now, THIS?...I am totally perplexed!

I've submitted an application to be a content contributor for DailyBuzz Food, and given you my RSS feed. Why don't I see my content yet?


Diane
posted this on Jul 23 12:16
Our system soon will push your RSS content onto appropriate channels automatically, but for the time being we're manually processing posts. They'll show up as soon as we can mark them active. Thanks for your patience!

This was just one of the questions posted re: the new Daily Buzz Food...if anyone knows more info regarding the change on Foodbuzz, please let us hear about it...I'm in the 'dark'...and have no answers other than what you may all know!

For the Mango recipe:
Follow the instructions of the Sure-Jell, or other pectin of your choice, package instructions. You can make any kind of jam easy, as long as you have a sterilized jar, and lid...make sure you refrigerate it, otherwise you would have immerse the jars with the jams in boiling water for 10 minutes, and let it cool completely. before storing it in a cool place in your cupboard. (Personally, I prefer the fridge method)

Mango Chutney
adapted from Cooking Light

2 medium ripe mangoes
peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 sweet onion chopped
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1 jalapeno pepper diced
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of pectin
(you can use powdered instead)
dash of salt
dash of black pepper
1 garlic clove minced

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan Cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until thick. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat, Cool completely. If too chunky, mash with potato masher. Spoon carefully into sterilized jars with sterilized lids, and refrigerate. It will keep fresh for up to 3 weeks (if it stays that long)

For the sweet version:
Just omit the hot peppers, including the black pepper, and also the onion and garlic...otherwise, follow as in the original method. (the original version did not use pectin; but it really does make a great difference in texture and flavor, so I added it)

note: either one is great as a condiment on burgers, fish tacos, or as a side sauce, heated up and thinned out a little, or even as a jam on toast!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Pizza Margherita...{semi- homemade}

No matter what I try to do to this photo, to make it look better, its just not working! Its one of those photos that you have no choice at night, under a light that is just not gonna do justice to the photo. I made this semi-homemade pizza for myself, just the day before my family arrived back from their vacation, in Italy.

It was the easiest pizza...ever, and I must admit; the TASTIEST!...you know why?...because all you have to do is buy a fresh pizza dough from your local favorite supermarket, that's already in a plastic bag, and it weight 1 lb. and the dough is already risen. Costs about $2.50...and you don't have to do anything else, just spread the dough out on a pizza pan, and I will show you how I made it...and devoured almost the entire pizza by myself.

For the last time...alone in my daughter's house, I decided to go out on the patio with my glass, or two of my favorite Chardonnay wine, and just enjoyed the beautiful night...not exactly standing in this spot...where I took the photo of my son-in-law's creative 'trellis' design, where the beautiful bougainvilleas grow, but no flower at this time!

I am not having much luck with my computer today...or is it with Blogger? Thanks to my dear friend Angie...she wrote me an e-mail, just about an hour ago, which showed that she could not open my blog..."by invitation only"...what's up with that? I corrected it right away...so now its working, again.

Also, I cannot open my new photos that I intended to post for today's post. Lora took the photos at her house yesterday; of the Zucchini Quiche that I made, since I didn't have my camera with me, and I cannot upload it!
Will post it next week! ...so here's my super easy pizza with the 'ready dough'...BTW, I learned this method of actually getting a 'hands on' tutoring from a friend from Naples who was an expert 'pizza guy'...at my workplace at the famous caffe Luna Rosa, on the beach in Delray Beach, Florida. Now, its a chic and trendy caffe, but back in the late mid to late nineties, it was more of a small pizza, and panini place!

Pizza Margherita  
 recipe by; Elisabeth

1 lb.fresh, (not frozen) bread/pizza dough
or your favorite homemade dough
3 or 4 ripe plum (Roma) tomatoes sliced fairly thin
Kosher, or sea salt, freshly ground pepper,
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
crushed red pepper flakes
dried oregano, dried basil
fresh basil leaves for garnish

1/2 to 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

First step: get your pizza pan ready, spray with cooking spray, take dough out of the plastic bag, and place it on the pizza pan...punch the dough down, and spread as much as it allows, leaving a border at the edge of the dough. In a small bowl, add the oil, garlic, the salt, pepper, the dry spices, and brush the dough lightly, with a pastry brush! Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes, and stretch again, leaving a border.

Preheat the oven to 525 degrees F. Also, brush the top of the tomato slices with additional oil, mixed with herbs, or if you prefer, just drizzle plain extra virgin olive oil on top. Place the pizza with the baking rim on a 'pizza stone'...if you have it, if not; it will still work fine. Bake for about 5 minutes...just to get the rawness out of the dough. Take the pizza out carefully; just don't burn your hands. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the dough, carefully put the fresh tomatoes on top of the cheese topped pizza, put back in the oven...lower the temp. to 450 degrees F. and bake for an additional 15 minutes longer, until the tomato gets slightly wilted, and cheese bubbles. The rim will get nicely golden brown, and crunchy!
Slice with a pizza cutter, and enjoy!...perfect pizza...and it really is homemade, because you made the entire pizza by yourself, and just used a 'little shortcut' dough, which saves you time, and waiting for the dough to rise!

You can top your pizza with whatever you have on hand, just a suggestion: which will help you each and every time. Brush your dough with the herb-based olive oil, and pre-bake for about 5 to even 10 minutes, depending on the topping you will use. You will never get a slimey, soggy top, underneath the topping, and will be sure to get a nice crunchy bottom, as well!
Mangia, mangia...Buon Appetito! xo


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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Zucchini in Tomato Sauce...and Restaurant Review

I hope you have an extra few minutes to hang out on my blog...just wanted to share the latest...I mean the really most recent, meaning, from yesterday's event! What a wonderful day I've had yesterday, that was totally unplanned.
I'm so happy that my family is back now, from Italy, and I'm back in my own little place, with my sweet little Persian kitty, Mush, who I rarely mention. I've had her since she was a kitten, 13 years ago...and she is still the size of a kitten, has not grown much, but so cute and sweet. She was my beloved Prince kitties constant companion...and now, my little 'shadow'...always been sweet and aloof, but now that Prince is gone, she constantly wants to be around me!



I'm not starting out with the restaurant review...although that came earlier, at lunch time, but for dinner, I made this batch of zucchini for a light dinner, just enjoying it with crusty slices of bread. Still have plenty left over, which could be added over pasta of your choice! So easy to make, and so delicious.

Zucchini is in season now, and so abundant in our supermarkets, and especially in the fresh produce market. I also picked up a small batch of thyme, a bunch of Italian parsley, and decided to make a different herb version for my zucchini and tomato sauce.



Zucchini in Tomato Sauce
created by; Elisabeth

4 small zucchini sliced,(but not too thin)
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of Italian parsley chopped
few sprigs of thyme snipped, or
(you can use basil, rosemary, or your
favorite herbs)
1 cup fresh, or canned tomato sauce
(I used Flora tomato sauce)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine, or vegetable broth

In a large cast iron, or non-stick skillet, saute onion and garlic first, for about 5 minutes, add the sliced zucchini, and saute over medium high heat to get a little color on them. Add the wine, or broth, let it cook down a little...another 5 minutes longer.

Add the tomato sauce, and let it cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. The entire cooking time should not take more than 25 minutes. Serve over pasta, or just simply enjoy with crusty bread of your choice...and there's your 30 minute meal. You can also grate Parmesan cheese on top if you prefer!

Simple, and easy...guaranteed that you will love it, if you like zucchini, this is a great way for kids to enjoy their veggies...smothered in tomato sauce!



...and now, for the Restaurant Review!



Ahh, here we are Lemongrass, Asian Restaurant...haven't been here in 2yrs...food is so good, and a pleasant friendly atmosphere!
There's 2 identical section like this...2 bars, so if you have too much Saki to drink...you may think you're seeing double!...no Saki for me, it's only a little over 12: noon! (Lora in the blue shirt, walking in)
I ordered the Lemongrass soup, with mussels, squid, scallops and fish...a light lemony hot 'paprika' broth...did not know that they use Hungarian paprika in Asian cuisine...I loved it, it really 'hit the spot'. Fabrizio ordered the same thing.


We all shared these 2 rolls...the front one was called ...Volcano Rolls...some really yummy sauce, not spicy...covering the rolls...even the little guy enjoyed it, wanting to learn how to eat with chopsticks!
Gabby's Pad Thai noodles, with chicken...and some brown rice from Lora's shrimp and brown rice...on the same plate...really delicious, (but not crazy about the presentation)
Since no-one would pose for me...all you can see them is walking, and me taking photos of other restaurant buildings...such as this lovely building on the corner, next to the railroad track...for years, this building was a breakfast eatery...then, abandoned for a few years, and in the last ten years, it's been a chic eatery, and always packed on the weekend, and during season. (didn't check the name of the place, but dined there 2yrs ago)

As we were strolling down the avenue...I spotted these gorgeous expensive dogs...their masters walking them...
I don't know the breed of these beautiful dogs...just took the picture, and thanked the owner (no time to ask for permission)...but they said "you're welcome"...isn't it nice how people can be so friendly, and courteous?
Just look at the strong legs on those doggies...wonder if they are poodles...just have them groomed differently!
On this corner, is a very nice seafood restaurant...outdoor eating has a fresh mist blowing...you can even see the mist, above the entrance where it says...Lobster Roll!
 Heading on to this 'parkway' ...there is a brand new amazing restaurant...gigantic outdoor eating, and indoor, as well!...check this out!
This is all part of one restaurant...I have not seen this until now, since they've only opened a few months ago! Totally, amazing!
This was my very favorite...beautiful, and just check out the upstairs...two stories. Love the architecture of the modern building!
A whimsical gift shop, with art, as well...wonder if these cute sculptures are for sale?...love the turtles! So, that was a very nice day, well spent, and totally NOT planned. This is how my family plans events like this...sometimes at the 'spur of the moment'. Have a wonderful day, and hope you're not suffering the heat! We are having 10 degrees cooler temps. now...only about 88 degrees the highest...just lots of rain every day...and mostly grey skies!







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Saturday, July 14, 2012

White Beans and Tuna Salad

I hope you are all enjoying your summer months...hopefully not suffering the horrible heat wave. For us, in South Florida, we've gone through some scorching temperatures, and when the humidity level hits the 100%...don't even try to stay dry, and comfortable in your best attire...because the minute you step outside from your air conditioned comfortable homes, you will be drenched with 'sweat'...within minutes. The best thing do do is just dress comfortably in your shorts and T-shirts...although, that may not apply if you're going someplace that requires appropriate dress code!
A couple weeks ago, I happen to notice a favorite easy and light salad on a food blogger friend's blog... that I have not made for a while....and immediately wanted to make it, so the perfect opportunity was, while my family vacationed in Italy, to have a light and easy lunch, just for myself...I did even find a can of the lovely Italian tuna in olive oil, and the cannelini beans.The vegetables, I purchased at our favorite local produce market!
Isn't it nice to just grab a recipe from a fellow food blogger, who happens to inspire you with their creation?...actually, this simple salad does not really need a recipe, but if you would like to follow the recipe, I have a great suggestion for you!

On the left side of this page, is the photo of the refreshing and light salad, that my new food blogger friend, Anna shared on her blog...@ Una Semplice Passione...meaning: A Simple Passion!...doesn't the title sound romantic?
I was so happy to find this lost and forgotten simple, yet so healthy and delicious salad.

The only difference was, in addition to Anna's recipe, was that I just had to have my favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette...this time with fresh snipped dill added to the balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil! Enjoy it with a couple pieces of nice crusty bread, and you got yourself a fabulous light lunch!

Do check out the fabulous  Una Semplice Passione ...and say hello to Anna, and let her know I sent you!




FEAST your eyes...people! Who says, you can't eat healthy foods?...Just look at this other creation of mine, that I made from all the veggies and fresh fruits in season: Preparation may take a little time, but it's so well worth it
I call this creation of mine:...PAPAYA, KIWI SALSA....just happen to make it up. Nothing exotic, no spicy additions, but you can add your favorite hot chilli or jalapeno peppers to it.

All it is: Diced papaya...cucumbers, peeled, pulp scooped out cut in half, and slice into moon shape...red onion diced, kiwi peeled, cut in half and diced, and a good squeeze of fresh lime over it, sea salt, freshly ground pepper...and the most important herb...chopped cilantro! If you don't like cilantro, you can use chopped parsley, or basil; your preference. You can use dill, too, of course. You do not need olive oil, or any other oils...leave it natural, and let it marinade for about 20 minutes before serving
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mango Mousse



I received so many ideas, suggestions,and recipes, for mangoes...plus researched some new ones online. I thank each and every one of you, and appreciate all of them so much . With all the mangoes still on the tree, there will be plenty of time this month to try out new recipes.

One recipe recipe and single perfect photo that I wanted to try out was my dear friend Ping's, @ping's pickings  in Malaysia... that called for agar powder, a replacement for gelatin, (which is animal based powder)...compared to agar that is pure vegetarian-vegan. I also had a small portion of agar powder, sent to me, as a gift...among a lot of other useful baking gifts, from my other dear friend, Amelia, @Amelia's De-ssert...also, from Malaysia. I'm so fortunate to have such amazing friends from all over the globe.

 Well, since I apparently have used up the agar powder from before, I did discover another powder, which will surprise my American friends. It is the ever so commonly used; PECTIN...which is also a vegetarian-vegan based thickening agent, mostly used for jams, and jellies. Let me tell you, it worked perfect. I did my homework, once again researching the Internet for replacing agar powder, and came up with pectin. It is really very nice, a light white powder; very affordable, and you only need to use a teaspoonful to slightly thicken your pudding, or mousse. Also, I created my own mango mousse, using the simple method, without the use of eggs, and just simple basic ingredients...it worked, and turned out amazing.

 Now, I have 2 amazing simple recipes for you, one is mine, and the second one is Ping's, which she featured in her June 25, 2012 post. Please visit her beautiful blog, and you will find other wonderful recipes from her, which are all her creative ideas (no source mentioned)...so I do believe they are all her secret recipes...sharing with you!

Mango Mousse
created by; Elisabeth

4 cups of  mango pulp
from 4 medium peeled, and diced mangoes
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoon pectin powder
2 Tbsp. cane sugar
1 pint heavy cream

In a blender, add the peeled, and cut up pieces of mangoes, along with the juice of 1 lemon, puree the  mangoes with the 2 Tbsp. sugar, and the  1 1/2 teaspoon pectin. In a medium saucepan, pour the mango pulp mixture and heat on medium-high, stirring, but not frequently; let it come to a slow bubble, take off the heat, to slightly cool. In the meantime whip up the heavy cream, and halfway through, add 1 or 2 Tbsp powdered sugar. Whip to a consistency, by testing with you finger to make sure that it has a "peak"...do NOT whip any further than that point, or it will become whipped butter!

Pour the cooled mango pulp into a large bow, and carefully fold the whipped cream incorporating it. Pour into dessert bowls, and place in fridge to cool, and set...about 2hrs, or overnight if you can wait that long. I will be very light, fluffy, not too "jelled"...but just the right consistency to enjoy as a beautiful and perfect summer dessert. Decorate according the way you like to, with pieces of mango, or whipped cream on top.

 
MANGO COCONUT CREAM AGAR

INGREDIENTS

200 ml milk
200 ml coconut milk
4 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp agar powder
1 medium-sized ripe mango (about 250 g uncut weight)

METHOD

Remove peel and seed of mango. Puree 3/4 of the flesh in a food processor with a little milk until smooth. (I had about 1/2 cup pureed flesh). Cut remaining flesh into slivers or cubes ... your preference. Set that aside.

Place milk, coconut milk, sugar and agar powder into a pot.
Stir over medium heat until sugar and agar have dissolved.
Stir in pureed mango and turn the heat off. Mix well.
Pour into moulds or cups.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 - 2 hours, depending on how big your moulds are.
Serve with mango slivers or cubes.








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Venison Stew with Potato Balls

After a long absence from my blog, I decided to return or just leave thing the way they are...which is the wrong choice. Eight years have...