Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quick Salsa

I love salsa and could eat it almost every day. Sometimes I make what I call a quick salsa. It is when you take a jarred salsa and add some fresh ingredients to make it come alive. Give it a try the next time you want salsa and let me know what you think. I made this for my mother and she thought it was brilliant. And she is a tough to please when it comes to salsa.

Ingredients

1/2 jar of store bought salsa of your choice. 
1-2 tomatoes diced. I like to use two so I have left overs for awhile
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons diced red onion
salt and pepper

Directions

Dice tomatoes, red onions, chop up cilantro and add to bowl. Mix in 1 cup or half a jar of your favorite jarred salsa. mix all together and let sit for at least an hour. Sometimes to make it a finner consistency I put it all in the food processor and pulse about 5 times. It all depends on how chunky you like it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Versatile Blog Award

I've been nominated for the versatile Blog award by some lovely Blogs. Cook!Bake! Share! , Oishii Treats ,  The German Foodie , and Food Lovers Club. The versatile blog award is: ”It is a great way to introduce different bloggers to each other and to promote quality blogs that awardees and their readers may not have discovered otherwise.” I have been food blogging for only 5 months and just love the community. There are all these great ways to share and recognize all the hard work they do. Thanks guys for picking me I so appreciate it.

Ok so the rules are: 
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Include the link to their blog
3. Select 15 blogs you recently discovered and follow regularly
4. List 7 random things about yourself.
5. In this post include the set of rules
6. Inform each blog you nominated by leaving them a comment on their blog.

15 Blogs that I think are just great and I just have to keep going back to check out:

Around the Table:Loving Food in RI & Beyond

The Curious Pug

The Hungry Housewife

Taste and Tell

Eat drink Luv

Hungry Harps

Twin Tough

Sweet Eat

Morning Moms

Movita Beaucoup

Vittles and Bits

Home Skillet

The Three little Piglets

Eating Well in the Northwest

Kitchen Gypsies


7 Random things about me...I always get nervous about this because I feel everyone will feel they are so boring. Here we go...

1. I moved to NYC from Seattle to be a nanny for 1 to 2 years tops and never moved back. I have now lived here over 15 years.

2. While in College I traveled through Peru for a month. Definitely one of the best experiences of my life.

3. My guilty pleasure is watching Real housewives of NYC and O.C and Atlanta and Beverly hills and D.C and Miami.

4. I once unknowing carried a mouse home in my bag and after reaching into my bag it crawled up my arm and jumped on the floor. I will never be the same again.

5. I started drinking coffee when I was 12 and have had a cup of coffee every day since.

6. My grandmother taught me to knit as a child but I found a love for it after my first son was born.

7. I got married in Vegas at the Flamingo Hilton.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bread Crumbs

I love baguette. I could eat one everyday but my thighs say no. We are a family of four and never go through  a whole baguette and by the next day it is hard as a rock. I have friends who freeze theirs but to me it is only good if it is freshly made that day. If this happens to you and you hate throwing it out and as much as me you can do what I often do and make it into homemade bread crumbs. It is very easy takes a few minutes and much better than the store bought stuff that comes in a cylinder. 

Cut up into rough slices and fill up your food processor. The pieces don't have to be real small but if you do it this way it breaks down much easier. 

Pulse it until you get your desired consistency. The crust leaves bigger pieces but I like that because it makes your breaded chicken just a bit more crispy. 

Put it in a bowl or bag and store it for up to a few weeks. Next time you have left over baguette try it and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Turkey and Swiss on a Croissant

Turkey and Swiss on a Croissant is simple and one of the best sandwiches in the world. If you live or work near a cafe or bakery that sells fresh croissants buy one and make this sandwich. I promise you will be the happiest person at lunch time. 

Ingredients

Fresh croissant
3-4 slices of honey turkey
2 slices of Swiss cheese
1 tbs mayo (not miracle whip)



Directions

Slice croissant in half and coat with a very light spread of mayo. Croissant are full of butter so they really don't need much mayo. Add turkey and then cheese. Nothing more nothing less. Best sandwich hands down. Try it for lunch or dinner today and let me know what you think. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roast Beef Sandwich

I love a roast beef sandwich and one of my fondest memories as a child was going to the Long Acres and ordering their roast beef and eating while watching the horse race. I have tried to recreate that sandwich over and over but never got it just right, close but not perfect. However this sandwich is not the one at long acres it is to me the classic roast beef and cheddar that I like to have once in awhile. To me the beef must be sliced fresh and used that day so, I only buy enough beef for just one or two sandwiches. After a day or two the meat drys out and becomes undesirable. Living in NYC for 15 years I have become a deli meat connoisseur and quite a snob about it. I've also become the sandwich queen in my family so give this one a try and let me know what you think.

Ingredients
1 french baguette
1/4 lb Roast beef sliced thin
2 tbs butter
5 thin slices of red onion
4 slices of cheddar cheese
4 thin slices of tomato
handful of mix lettuce
2 tbs mayo
1 tbs yellow mustard
salt and pepper

Directions


Slice half baguette in half. I like to butter each side lightly and toast under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes. You don't have to do it but I find baguette to be tough and very chewy. If you toast it you make it much more tender and easier to bite through. Add mayo on each side and mustard on the top. On the bottom add roast beef and salt and pepper. Dont' be shy with it because beef can be very bland. Add tomato, cheese, lettuce and onion. I like to slice mine in half and then in half again. Smaller makes it easier to handle. I don't like when you take a bit and all the insides get pushed to the end and sometimes out of the bread.

Let me know how you like to eat yours. I am always looking for new ideas.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Meatballs and Gravy


I usually only make meatballs  with spaghetti but I was having a major craving and decided to try making it with beef gravy over mashed potatoes. So I went for it and oh boy was I and the boys very happy with the results. To make it a little easier I rolled the meatballs earlier in the day so when it is time to cook They were all ready done. Every night I am usually cooking, helping with homework, getting Brody some toy he can't reach, and setting the table all at once. So I try to get prep work done before I have to go pick them up or even early in the morning.  You can double this recipe and freeze the extra meatballs uncooked and make them another day. I've done that and it is real nice.


Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 of yellow onion grated
3 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Gravy
1/2 can beef broth
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

In a large bowl add ground beef, bread crumbs, 1 egg whipped lightly, dried oregano, yellow onion, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. With your hands mix all together well.

Roll into balls. I make mine small because my boys like them that way and I find they are more fun. You can refrigerate these and make them latter even the next day. 

Once you are ready add about 2 tbs of olive oil to large skillet. Once it is piping hot add balls but don't over crowd. Make them in batches and let them sear for 3 minutes then gently roll around by shaking the pan. I like to get each side with a little crust but I don't want them to cook all the way through. I want them cook in the gravy so they are tender in the inside but crisp on the outside.

Using tongs remove balls from pan and pour out fat. Add onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. add butter and once it is melted add flour. Cook flour into butter until bubbling and slightly browned. Then add beef broth and wine. after it start boiling add heavy cream. You don't have to add the cream and by adding it I'm sure it is more like Swedish meatballs but I've never made Swedish meatballs so I'm not sure. I add the cream because I like beef gravy to be creamy.

Add your meatballs back to the pan right into the gravy and let them simmer for 10 -12 minutes. I added mine to mashed potatoes but you can serve yours over egg noodles and even rice. All of it would be delish. Try them and let me know what you think.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tostada


My new favorite dinner dish is tostada. I love tacos but I get bored of having them every week so I mix it up with making taco salads and now tostadas. When I was a kid this was one of my favorite meals at the Mexican restaurant. Instead of making tacos give this a try on your taco night.

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. shredded Romain lettuce
1/2 cup favorite salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tbs canola oil
6 corn tortillas

Directions

In a large saute pan add ground turkey and brown and cook all the way through. Add taco seasoning packet and follow instructions for how much water to add. While it simmers grate cheese and cut up lettuce. In a medium size saute pan add oil and heat on high.Wait until is is piping hot and then add tortilla and brown both sides. Set on a paper towel to dry and cover with another one so they stay warm. After you fry them all add the toppings of your choice. I like to add meat, then cheese so the cheese melt a little then lettuce, salsa and last is a dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Home fries

Where I grew up every diner had hash browns. I LOVE hash browns but here in NYC they serve with their egg breakfast home fries. However most dinners over cook the potatoes because they cook them early in the morning and they sit on the grill and get a bit soggy. I learned how to make them just right for my husband because he is a home fries guy. My way of doing it may be a little more tedious but it guarantees them to be just perfect. We like them to be crispy on the outside and like a mashed potato in the inside. Give them a try and let me know what you think. 

Ingredients
2 - 3 Russet potatoes
2 -3 tbs of Canola or Vegetable Oil
2 tsp of Lawry's seasoning salt

Directions

Peel 2 - 3 russet potatoes. Cut them into bite size pieces and into a medium pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. stick a knife through the middle of one of your bigger pieces. If it goes through easy your potatoes are done. Strain and let sit and dry. Put 2 - 3 tbs of Canola oil in a large skillet on high heat. The trick to the crispy crust is to not add the potatoes until the pan and oil are piping hot. Add the potatoes and let sit for about 5 minutes or until you see the crust forming on the bottom. Don't touch the potatoes until that happens or you end up steaming the potatoes and crust will not take place. Add about 2 tsp of Lawry's seasoning salt or whatever seasoning you like. Toss and let the other side crust up and continue until most of the sides are golden brown. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

I usually would never make blueberry muffins right now because I have never made any pastry with frozen berries. I always wait until they are in season and oh boy is it a long wait. However, I have been following a great blog called The Hungry Housewife and she introduced me to the yummy frozen wild Maine blueberries. So I bought a huge bag at Costco and decided to give them a try. Well she was absolutely right they taste just as good as the fresh ones. Next I will have to try them in pancakes. 

I chose these because I love how they are mini and to me have the best flavor


As you know from previous post, I am in love with Williams Sonoma's muffin cook book. This is where I got the recipe and I have yet to make one I don't like. Give them a try and let me know what you think. 

For the topping
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbs each granulated sugar and light brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs cold unsalted butter Cut into small pieces

For Muffins
7 Tbs unsalted room temperature butter
3/4 granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries frozen

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter flavored nonstick cooking spray

To make the topping, stir together the flour, sugars, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients just until coarse crumbs form. Alternatively, combine the dry ingredients and the butter in a food processor and pulse just until coarse crumbs form. (I did it all with pastry cutter)

To make the muffins, in a bowl using and electric mixer or medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until blended into the butter mixture. 

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in a 2 increments, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir just until evenly moistened. the batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the blueberries just until evenly distributed, no more then a few strokes. Take care not to break up the fruit. Do not over mix. 

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it level with the rim of the cup. Sprinkle each muffin with some topping. 

Bake until golden, dry and springy to the touch, 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
I'm going to make them mini size for Brody's class next week. I will let you know how they turn out. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Oatmeal Caramelita

A lot of you know about my new obsession with pinterest. It gives me the same giddy feeling that I get when I flip through food magazines. Well, I found this recipe on there and realized I had all the ingredients except evaporated milk. After, I bought the milk I immediately started putting this yummy treat together. I found the recipe on a great food blog called, Brown eyed Baker. She comes up with some delicious looking treats and now I know they don't just look good they taste just as wonderful. I forgot to butter my pan so I got a little worried but they came out without any problems. I think the only thing I would do different next time is not refrigerate them because I like them warm or room temperature better. Make these and share them with some friends I guarantee you will be happy. 

Ingredients
 2 cups all purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
14 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Add the oats and mix on low briefly to just combine.

4. Transfer approximately half of the dough mixture to the baking dish. Spread and press the dough into the baking dish until you have an even layer with no cracks or crumbles. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven.

5. While the dough is baking, combine the evaporated milk and caramels in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until all the caramels are melted and you have a thick sauce. Allow to cool until cookie base comes out of the oven.

6. Once out of the oven, sprinkle the cookie base evenly with chocolate chips and pecans, and then carefully pour the caramel sauce over the cookie base, nuts and chocolate. Use offset spatula to spread the caramel sauce into an even layer.

7. Sprinkle the remaining cookie dough over the top of the caramel-chocolate-nut mixture a handful at a time, making sure to get an even coating over the whole dish. 

8. Return the dish to the oven, baking until the topping is lightly browned about 15 minutes.

9. Once out of the oven, cool the dish to room temperature and the refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Cut into 2 inch squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. 

I love these new carmel nibs better than the individually wrapped ones because unwrapping them takes way too much time. 


At this point I am already dying to eat them. Carmel, chocolate, and pecans...what more could you want.