Mama w her babies

Mama w her babies

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Southwestern Veggie Dip





1 lb................. Fat Free Cottage Cheese
2 Tbs............. Roasted Green Chilies
2 Tbs............. Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp.............. Ground Cumin
½ tsp.............. Oregano
½ tsp.............. Garlic Powder
1 tsp............... Onion Powder
¼ tsp.............. Tabasco
1 tsp............... Kosher salt
pinch.............. White Pepper

1.    Place ingredients in a food processor and puree until creamy.

I am not a cottage cheese person much less fat free but the vinegar gives this dip a cream cheesy flavor.  You can change the flavor profile by using different spices in place of the cumin, oregano, and green chilies.  The vinegar can also be changed.  Try balsamic vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar with fresh basil and oregano.  …Or better yet add a little blue cheese with that.  If you want a good fruit dip try fresh mint, white vinegar, some type of berry and a little sugar, leaving out the chilies cumin, oregano, and garlic.

This dip can be served with veggies, chips or as a dressing by increasing the amount of vinegar.  Cottage cheese is high in protein and has no fat as long as you use the fat free so there is no guilt.  

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crab Stuffed Avocado


As I have said before, avocados are very good for you.  They are full of vitamin A and rich in B complex vitamins.  They are very high in protein and though they are high in fat it is the fat that is good for you.  The avocado was first discovered in Mexico over 7,000 years ago and wasn't commercially grown in California until the late 1800’s and in Florida until the turn of the century.  The avocado is technically a fruit but often treated as a vegetable.  Because it is a fruit it should never be place in the fridge. 

The crab in the salad can be replaced with boiled shrimp, lobster or baked/smoked fish.  Chicken could also be used.  If you want to make this more of a meal try placing the avocado on a bed of lettuce and adding some tomato and egg wedges.  The salad could also be used on crackers or on a sandwich with some fresh sliced tomatoes and lettuce.  On the piers in San Francisco you can get yummy little sandwiches with a crab or lobster salad on a sour dough roll, always with real mayonnaise. That is always a stop I have to make while there. 


1 ea............... Avocado
3 oz............... Crab Meat
2 Tbs............. Real Mayonnaise
1 Tbs............. Finely Diced Celery
1 Tbs............. Finely Diced Onion
¼ tsp............. Garlic Powder
¼ tsp............. Onion Powder
pinch............. White Pepper

1.    Combine all ingredients except avocado and mix well.
2.    Split avocado and remove seed and skin.
3.    Divide crab salad between avocado halves and serve.

  
Be creative, have fun and enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Salad Niḉoise


This is a great summer salad.  Salad Niḉoise (knee-SWAHZ) is a traditional dish from Nice, France.  It is usually served with each ingredient arranged around the tuna on a bed of lettuce but is sometimes cut into smaller pieces and mixed together.  Grilled fresh fish or smoked fish can be used in place of the canned tuna.  Grilled chicken would also work.  If you are in the mood for some greens add some spinach or some baby greens. 

Dressing

½ c................. Olive Oil
¼ c................. Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbs............. Dijon Mustard
1 ea............... Lemon (juiced)
2 Tbs............. Chopped Fresh Basil
1 ea............... Chopped Garlic Clove
¼ c................. Capers
to taste.......... Salt & Pepper

1.    Mix together well and refrigerate until needed.

Salad

1 12 oz can... Chunk Light Tuna
3 ea............... Baby Red Potatoes
3 ea............... Roma Tomatoes
½ lb................ Green Beans (trimmed)
½ ea.............. Red Onion
3 ea............... Hard Boiled Eggs
½ c................. Kalamata Olives

1.    Boil or steam the potatoes and green beans.
2.    Cool completely.
3.    Drain tuna and place in the middle of a platter.
4.    Cut each potato and tomato into 8 wedges and place around tuna on the platter.
5.    Julienne red onions and place on platter.
6.    Cut each egg into 4 wedges and place on platter.
7.    Place green beans and olives on platter.
8.    Pour dressing over whole salad.


Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jambalaya


When In New Orleans most People think of Cajun as lots of spicy rich foods.  But, the history of the food is an interesting one.  Jambalaya comes from Paella, which comes from Spain.  Of course there weren’t the exact ingredients to make everything the same so much improvisation came into play.  Because Louisiana is on the Golf coast and at the end of the Mississippi river, seafood is bountiful with large amounts of shrimp, crawfish and other crustaceans along with fresh and salt-water fish.  Chef Folse (one of my favorite chefs of the area) calls the waters/land around New Orleans “the swamp floor pantry”, which I think explains it all.

And like paella, the meats are interchangeable.  What I mean by that is you could replace any of them with seafood or other types of sausage, pork, etc…  One of the common meats used in Jambalaya is tasso, which is a smoked pork or beef of poor quality that is heavily seasoned and spicy.  When it is smoked, it becomes very hard almost like a jerky.  I had a hard time finding it so I substituted a good quality ham.   

1 ea........... Onion (diced)
½ c............ Diced Pepper
4 ea........... Green Onions (diced)
¼ c............ Diced Celery
2 ea........... Garlic Cloves (chopped)
1 ea........... Bay Leaf
½ c............ Olive Oil
2 c............. Tomato Sauce
1 ea........... Chicken Breast
½ c............ Diced Ham
1 ea........... Andouille Sausage
½ lb........... Rice

1.   Make rice according to directions on the package.
2.   Sauté the first 6 ingredients in the oil until caramelized.
3.   Add in the chicken and sausage and sauté until done.
4.   Add in the tomato sauce and ham and simmer for about 15 minutes.
5.   Mix with cooked rice and place in a preheated oven (350°f).
6.   Bake for about 5 minutes.

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tuna Melt


Tuna melts are one of my favorite ways to eat tuna salad. I add tarragon to  give the tuna a slightly different but enjoyable flavor of licorice.  As always you can leave it out or replace it with other fresh herbs.  The amounts can also be increased or decreased.  Adding avocado, sprouts and/or lettuce can be used with or replace the tomato.  And of course, there are so many types of cheese that will work with this sandwich if Swiss is not your cup of tea. 

If you can get a hold of some fresh tuna, grilled will work in place of the canned.  Fresh grilled salmon is always a tasty alternative and you can replace the mayonnaise with olive oil for a healthier version.  Although I have heard that eating mayonnaise will reduce the chances of getting cancer.   Of course I don’t remember whom or where I had heard it from so don’t quote me on that one.  I love mayonnaise so I am always looking for an excuse to eat it on something. 

1 can......... Tuna
2 Tbs........ Mayonnaise
1 Tbs........ Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbs........ Chopped Red Onion
1 Tbs........ Chopped Celery
1 Tbs........ Chopped Fresh Tarragon
1 pinch...... White Pepper
2 slices..... Sourdough Bread
3 slices..... Swiss Cheese
4 slices..... Tomato
Butter

1.   Drain tuna and add the first seven ingredients, mixing will.
2.   Build sandwich from the bottom piece of bread up with tuna, tomato and then Swiss cheese.
3.   Butter each side and grill until golden and cheese is melted. 



Be creative, have fun and enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Old Fashioned Deviled Eggs


Summer time is here and it is time for cookouts and picnics.  Deviled eggs are always a popular item on the list of accompaniments.  I am a big fan of the flavor of the mustard with a good garlicky dill pickle so the flavor is strong.  Feel free to cut back on mustard or pickle.  I always use real mayonnaise but using a salad dressing that is sweet will cut the tartness.  Using a spicy mustard will add some zing to the eggs.   I like to garnish them with a sprig of fresh dill but the top of the celery works well to with a little chopped dill. 

If you add a little more mayo and chop egg whites you can use the mixture for an egg salad sandwich.  Place on some good whole wheat bread and add some sprouts and sliced tomatoes.  Yum, one of my favorites!

Eggs are one of those perfect foods.  They are full of protein and other great nutrients.  …But be careful because the yolks also have fat and cholesterol, which are not so healthy.   For hard-boiled eggs place in a saucepan with enough water to cover eggs and boil for about 40 minutes.

8 ea............... Hard Boiled Eggs
¼ c................. Mayonnaise
¼ c................. Yellow Prepared Mustard
¼ c................. Fine Diced Dill Pickle
1/8 c............... Fine Diced Celery

1.    Peel eggs and cut in half.
2.    Remove the yolks from each half and place in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
3.    Mix until smooth and fill each egg white half with the mixture.


Be creative, have fun and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coconut Chapatis




While on safari in Tanzania, dinner at many of the lodges, bush homes and camps that we visited there was a somewhat traditional meal option. Very often we were served pumpkin soup to start with.   However, while we were camping in the Serengeti NP we had the opportunity to eat a traditional East African meal of curried plantains, curried chicken (which were probably really guinea-fowl), and some pork (probably wart hogs) in a sauce. Most of the dinner meals had rice or Ugali, which is a corn mush, for the starch. I wish I had taken more notes on all of the food but I was more into the animals. For breakfast each morning we were served a typical English breakfast buffet of bacon/sausage, grilled tomato, scrambled eggs and not so typical on an English breakfast buffet but typical in Africa, fruit galore. Because we spent most of the day in the bush we had box lunches with chicken, a hard-boiled egg, chips, and something for dissert like a candy bar/chocolate.




The one thing that was consistent with all of our meals no matter where we were was the Chapatis (Indian flat bread), which I could never get enough of. I’ve attempted other recipes but adding the coconut milk gave them a tenderness and a little bit of sweetness without giving them a strong coconut flavor. Chapatis are used to sop up sauces and to pick up bits of food in place of a fork.


4 c............. Flour
1 tsp.......... Salt
1 can......... Coconut Milk
as needed Ghee


1. Place flour and salt in a bowl and stir in coconut milk.
2. Divide dough into 9 equal balls and thinly roll out each one on a floured board.
3. Brush each with ghee and fry.

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cheese Fondue


Fondue is a Swiss dish and was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s and has resurfaced in the last several years.  So if you run across your mom’s old fondue pot, drag it out and use it.  You could also pick one up at Good Will or another second hand store for pretty cheep.  Of course they will probably be a nice bright orange or avocado green.  You can also find one at a kitchen store for a pretty reasonable price.  If you don’t have one and you don’t want to go hunting for one you can always use a heavy bowl made of pottery raised with a candle under it or a small crock-pot. 

The traditional way to eat fondue is with boiled potatoes and bread. I like to add some steamed veggies. Feel free to use chunks of cooked chicken too. You can use other cheeses but the Gouda and Râclette are more traditional. Another combination could be cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese and add some green chilies while omitting the wine. You would need to cut back on the roux if you left out the wine.

Cheese Sauce

2 c.................. Milk
1 c.................. Dry White Wine
½ lb................ Gouda Cheese
½ lb................ Râclette Cheese
½ tsp.............. Garlic Powder
½ tsp.............. Onion Powder
to taste........... Salt
as needed...... Roux 

Roux

1 c.................. Flour
1 c.................. Clarified Butter (also called Ghee)

1.    Shred cheese.
2.    Place the milk and wine in a saucepan and heat while stirring.
3.    When hot whisk in enough roux to thicken, about 3 heaping tbs.
4.    Whisk in the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until all of the cheese is melted while whisking.



Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Masala Chai (Spiced Tea)


Here in the US when we hear chai we think it is a spiced tea but in India chai is just sweetened tea with milk.  Masala Chai is the spiced tea we are somewhat familiar with.  I enjoy a cup almost every morning instead of coffee.  It is a good way to get the body started because of the warming spices used.  

It is hard to find a set recipe for Masala chai because it is all based on personal taste.  However, there are 4 constants in every cup of Masala Chai.  They are: Tea, Sweetener, Milk and Spices.  The tea is usually a dark, strong black tea but can be a gunpowder tea or a rooibos, or a yerba mate.  As for sweetener any will do but honey is most often used and always in heavy amounts.  Milk is usually whole milk for it’s richness but I will use low fat because I don’t need all of the fat.  Soy or rice milk will do as well.  As for the spices, the ones that I use in this recipe are most popular but you will find nutmeg, vanilla, licorice, cocoa and almond in some versions.  Oregon Chai has a strong vanilla flavor with the listed spices weaker in flavor.  Just remember, when making your Masala Chai it is really a personal taste so if you don’t like one or more of the spices either go lighter or leave it out.  And if you do like one of the spices go heavy on it. 

½ c................. Milk
½ c................. Water
1 tsp............... Black Tea
1 ea............... Crushed Cardamom Pod
2 ea............... Black Pepper Corns
½ inch............ Chopped Fresh Ginger
1 inch............. Broken Cinnamon Stick
¼ tsp.............. Star Anise
2 ea............... Cloves
to taste.......... Honey


1.    Place all spices and tea in a tea strainer.
2.    Heat the water and milk then let the spices steep for about 10 or 15 minutes depending on how strong you like it.
3.    Remove spices and add honey.
4.    Pour into a cup and enjoy.



Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hawaiian Fruit Salad


My Brother-in-law, Rich, Kite Surfing on Kauai

It’s mango season right now so they are juicy, ripe and cheep.   Papaya will also work on this salad as a replacement of one of the other fruits or as an addition.  If you want to add a little meat try some grilled chicken.  I used a fresh coconut and toasted it myself because there is no sugar added but it was hard to get into. 

4 oz.............. Chopped Lettuce
½ c............... Diced Mango
½ c............... Diced Pineapple
½ c............... Sliced Banana
½ c............... Quartered Strawberries
2 ea.............. Lime Wedges
1 Tbs.............Chopped & Toasted Macadamia Nuts
1 Tbs........... Toasted Coconut
2 ozs............ Dressing

Dressing

1 c.................. Oil
½ c................. White Vinegar
2 Tbs............. Sugar
¼ tsp.............. Salt

1.    Mix dressing and refrigerate until needed.
2.    Place lettuce in a bowl.
3.    Arrange fruit over lettuce.
4.    Sprinkle with coconut and macadamia nuts.
5.    Ladle dressing over the top and serve with lime wedges.


Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Creamy Peanut Soup



I made this soup for my Mexican cooking class & it turned out yummy. One of my students was lactose intolerant so I replaced the heavy whipping cream with coconut milk which gave it more of a Thai taste but very, very yummy. I didn't have to thicken it because it was thick enough because of the peanuts so as long as you don't add a chicken stock with gluten it is gluten free. If you want it thinner you can add more chicken stock. If you want it lower in fat replace the cream with low fat milk. 

1 ea .......... Onion
1 lb............ Peanuts, skinless
2 to 3 ea... Chipotle Chilies
4 c............. Chicken stock
3 drp......... Tabasco
1 Tbs........ Onion Powder
1 Tbs........ Garlic Powder
1 tsp.......... Thyme
1 tsp.......... Oregano
3 ea........... Bay Leaves
1 c............. Heavy Whipping Cream
To taste.... Salt 
1.   Dice onion.
2.   Sautee onions, peanuts and chilies.
3.   Add stock with the remaining ingredients except bay leaves & cream.
4.   Puree and add bay leaves & cream. 
5.   Salt to taste. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thai Chicken & Lemongrass Soup


For those of you that have never had Thai food it tends to be on the very spicy hot side. I am a wimp though so I leave out most of the chilies. In this recipe I’ve used some very traditional ingredients but if you have trouble finding them they can be replaced with others. The lemon grass can be replaced with additional limejuice, the cilantro roots can be replaced with cilantro leaves, fish sauce can be replaced with chicken base. This will change the flavor slightly but will work.


1 ea........... Onion
½ lb........... Chicken Breast
2 Tbs........ Oil
2 c............. Water

1 stick....... Lemon Grass
4 ea........... Cilantro Roots
5 Tbs........ Fresh Limejuice
1 inch........ Fresh Ginger
1 can......... Coconut Milk
to taste...... Chili Paste
2 oz .......... Mushrooms
to taste...... Fish Sauce
to taste...... Crushed Red Peppers


1. Julienne the onions and chicken then sauté in oil until onions are caramelized.
2. Add the water and bring to a boil.
3. Smash the lemon grass and chop. Add to soup.
4. Peel and chop the ginger. Add to soup.
5. Add the coconut milk, chili paste, limejuice, salt and mushrooms.
6. Add the crushed red peppers and serve.
7. Garnish with fresh cilantro.


Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cobb Salad




The Cobb salad was developed in the 1920’s at the Brown Derby in Hollywood, CA. Sense then there have been other ingredients added or subtracted. The blue cheese is sometimes replaced with cheddar but will never be right in my opinion. I do love blue cheese but if you don’t try going light on some Gorgonzola cheese. This is a milder type of blue-veined cheese. The flavors and textures are all perfectly balanced. If you just can’t do the blue cheese then try another strong cheese like feta.

It would seem that this wouldn't be the healthiest of salads because yes it is high in fat but the fat in this is the really good kind. The dressing made with olive oil and the olives and avocado are all polyunsaturated fats that help control cholesterol.


1 head...... Romaine Lettuce
1 ea........... Avocado
2 ea........... Tomato
¼ c............ Green Onions
½ c............ Sliced Black Olives
½ lb........... Bacon
2 ea........... Boneless Chicken Breasts
4 ea........... Hard Boiled Egg
½ c............ Bleu Cheese Crumbles

Dressing
4 Tbs........ Red Wine Vinegar
½ c............ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbs........ Dijon Mustard
1 ea........... Garlic Cloves
to taste...... Salt and Pepper


1. Mix dressing ingredients together and chill.
2. Grill Chicken then cool and dice.
3. Cut cleaned and chilled lettuce into 1” pieces and place in a bowl.
4. Chop bacon into ½” pieces and cook until crispy.
5. Dice avocado, tomato and egg into ½” pieces.
6. Chop green onions into ¼” pieces.
7. Place everything in a bowl with dressing and toss thoroughly.


Be creative, have fun and enjoy!

Spanakopita


Most often you will see spanakopita as an appetizer as little triangle wrapped with filo dough but here I have done it as a pie which takes less time to make and works well as a vegetarian meal or a side vegetable with meat such as grilled salmon.  This is a traditional Greek dish that is served at all times of the day, ether served hot or cold. I love this dish in the summer time because it is light. 

½ c................. Olive oil
1 lb................. Cleaned Fresh Spinach
1 c.................. Crumbled Feta Cheese
½ ea.............. Onion
5 ea............... Garlic Cloves
1 ea............... Large Egg
1 tsp............... Dill
to taste.......... White pepper
6 sheets........ Filo Dough (thawed)

1.    Dice onion and chop garlic then sauté in about 3 Tbs of the olive oil.
2.    Chop spinach into large pieces and add to onions and garlic.
3.    Sauté until onions are golden and spinach is just wilted.
4.    Let cool in a bowl then add remaining ingredients except for the filo dough and mix well.
5.    Carefully unroll the sheets of filo dough making sure that they don’t dry out with a damp towel covering them and place one sheet at a time layering them with a thin layer of the remaining olive oil leaving flaps out to fold over the top in a small oiled casserole dish.
6.    Place the spinach mixture in the filo dough and cover with the flaps of dough to incase the mixture.
7.    Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes until golden on top. 


Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fried Fish w/ Coconut

A baby elephant that acted like it was going to charge us in
Tarangire National Park
A few years back my husband a parents had the privilege to go to Africa on safari. It was a dream of mine from when I was a very small girl. And it was more then I could have ever had imagined. We saw everything & lots of everything. We stayed in bush homes which are like Bed & Breakfasts, lodges, & we camped in the Serengeti for 5 nights.


At each place the food was wonderful. One night in particular while camping in the Serengeti we had a very traditional meal. It was so good. This fish dish is one of those things I have tried to match from memory. I will also be doing a cooking class with some of the other items that we had there. If interested it is on July 31. For my cooking class schedule of all my classes it is on the top left of this page.


Fish 
1 lb................. White Fish 
1 Tbs.............. Lime Juice
½ tsp.............. Garlic Powder
1 tsp............... Cinnamon
½ tsp.............. Thyme
½ tsp.............. Paprika
to taste........... Salt & Pepper
as needed...... Flour
as needed...... Peanut Oil

Sauce
2 Tbs............ Ghee
1 ea.............. Onion
1 ea.............. Garlic Cloves
1 can............ Coconut Milk
½ bu............. Spinach
½ lb.............. Shrimp

1. Sprinkle fish with lime juice.
2. Mix dry spices together and sprinkle over fish.
3. Let set in refrigerator for a few hours.
4. Meanwhile, heat ghee in large pan and add diced onion and chopped garlic.
5. Sauté until golden.
6. Place spinach and coconut milk in a pot and bring to a boil then puree.
7. Add to the onions with the shrimp and cook until shrimp are done.
8. Coat fish in flour and fry in oil. 
9. Place on a dish and cover with sauce.


Be creative, have fun & enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mussels

This is a great quick and easy appetizer but can be used as a main dish served with some pasta.  If you over cook the mussels they can become very chewy so it is very important that you only cook them just until they open.  When buying mussels, make sure they are all closed or when touched they close right away.  Mussels are a living creature when fresh but if they get old they will start to die.


Most mussels are cultured/farmed and are  safe to eat but wild ones can be dangerous at certain times of the year.  There are times of the year when red tide occurs which is a plankton type of organism that will be in abundance and visible as a red mass.  It is typically when the ocean is warmer.  Other shellfish would also be infected and should never be eaten.   



2 Tbs............. Olive Oil
2 ea............... Tomatoes
½ ea.............. Onion
6 ea............... Garlic Cloves
½ c................ Dry White Wine
2 Tbs............. Butter
1 lb................ Mussels
2 ea............... Lemons
to taste.......... Salt
¼ c................ Julienne Fresh Basil


1. Dice the tomatoes and onion.
2. Slice the garlic.
3. Heat the olive oil and a sauté the tomatoes, onion and garlic until caramelized.
4. Add in the wine and bring to a boil.
5. Add in the mussels and cook until they open. Be careful not to over cook them.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and serve.


  


Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Almond Cake



This cake is completely gluten free.  …And it’s good.  ...And, almonds are really good for you.  Traditionally almonds are used in Spain but you could use any type of nuts such as walnuts or hazel nuts.  If you were to use hazel nuts try making a syrup with coffee in place of the orange juice.


 Cake 

5 ea............... Eggs
½ c................. Sugar
2 ea............... Orange
1 c.................. Finely ground almonds

1.    Grate orange rinds of the oranges.
2.    Separate yolks from whites and cream yolks with sugar and orange rind. 
3.    Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into the batter with the ground almonds.
4.    Pour into a greased 9”x9” pan.
5.    Bake for 35 minutes in a preheated oven (350ºF)
6.    Let cool.

Syrup

2 ea............... Juice of oranges
1/3 c............... Sugar
5 ea............... Whole cloves
¼ tsp.............. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tbs............. Rum

7.    Add all syrup ingredients, except for rum, in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
8.    Remove from heat and add rum.
9.    Let cool and pour over cake.



Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tortilla Espaňola (Potato & Onion Cake)


This is a popular Spanish tapas that is served in a bar with cocktails.  It should be served with allioli, which is basically a garlicky mayonnaise. 

It is a great appetizer for a party because you can make it up a day or two a head of time and refrigerate, then let set at room temperature before serving.   The leftovers work well for breakfast the next morning. 

 ½ c................. Olive oil
3 ea............... Medium onions
4 ea............... Medium russet potatoes
6 ea............... Large eggs, beaten
to taste.......... Salt & white pepper

1.    Peel, quarter and slice onions and potatoes 1/4 “ thick.
2.    Heat oil in a 9” nonstick or cast-iron skillet.
3.    Add onions and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
4.    Cook over medium heat until soft.
5.    Strain onions in a strainer over a bowl and return oil to pan.
6.    Cook potatoes over medium heat until golden and a little crunchy.
7.    Strain and return oil to the skillet.
8.    Mix onions, potatoes and eggs in a bowl.
9.    Reheat oil in skillet and pour 1/3 of the mixture in.
10. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is set, the top will still be runny.
11. Cover skillet with a lid and quickly invert tortilla and just as quickly slide it back into the pan.
12. Cook until set.  Tortilla should have a little give when pressed in the center and the sides should be firm.
13. Turn tortilla out onto a platter and let it rest at least 15 minutes before serving.  The Tortilla can be chilled before serving but should be brought back to room temperature. 
14. Repeat 2 additional times.

When I make allioli, I start with about a cup of mayonnaise and add about 1 somewhat heaping Tablespoon of fresh, finely, chopped garlic and the juice of 1 lemon. Then add a couple drops of Tabasco and salt to taste. The Tabasco isn't there to add heat just round out the flavors. You can cut back on the garlic if you want but it is garlic mayo...



Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Mom

My Mom with her Mom cooking a holiday turkey
Happy Mother's day Mom! I love you and am very thankful for the things you have inspired me and taught me to do. Because of you I cook. Because of you I love food. My favorite meal is still whatever you cook for me on any given day. Nothing special except that you made it with your love. Thank you. I try to always cook the same way, with love. My sisters, I believe, cook the same way, with love. It is the most nourishing way to eat.

You also taught me to cook with real food. Yes you did use canned cranberry sauce for the holidays but it was no different then anyone else of the times and it is one of Dad's favorite things on his turkey sandwich the next day. Again it was about the love. At the same time I never knew what boxed mac & cheese or Velveeta were until I became an adult. I still make mac & cheese the way you did. You taught me that food was more then nourishment for the body but also the soul and that food should be shared. You taught me that food should be eaten at the table with a connection with the people that you love.

Thank you Mom,
with love,
                    Pat

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mom’s Mac & Cheese w/ Ham


My Mom & Dad with my sisters & I

My Mom always made mac & cheese from scratch & we loved it. She would sometimes put ham in it which made it that much better. I never tasted a box mac & cheese until I was way into adulthood. Needless to say, I don't like the boxed kind and still make it form scratch like my Mom but will often add different cheeses.

Cavitopi pasta...................................... 1 lb 
Shredded Fontina cheese...................... ½ lb
Shredded Swiss cheese........................ ½ lb
Blue cheese crumbles........................... 2 oz
Diced ham........................................... ½ lb
Yellow onion........................................ ½ ea
Garlic powder....................................... 2 tsp
Onion powder....................................... 2 tsp
Kosher Salt.......................................... 2 tsp
Tabasco............................................... ¼ tsp
Heavy whipping cream........................... 1½ c 


1.    Boil pasta and strain.
2.    Add rest of ingredients and mix well.
3.    Place in a casserole dish.
4.    Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 minutes covered.
5.    Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes.

This is very decadent.  If you want to make it lower in fat you can replace the heavy whipping cream with skim or low fat milk which is what I do.  You can also replace the Swiss and Fontina cheeses with a low fat cheese.  The blue cheese gives a lot of flavor without a lot of fat so keep it. For you blue cheese haters, you don't really taste it. It just intensifies the flavor. Yes, you can leave it out if you just can't do it. And for those that love it, adding more can through off the balance so be careful. I also like to add a little extra cheese along with some Parmesan on top to give it a little extra crunch. Plus, I love cheese.

For those of you that are vegetarians try replacing the ham with roasted egg plant, artichokes, and roasted red peppers. 

Be creative.  If you want to replace the ham try some taco meat and use cheddar cheese in place of the blue or the Swiss cheese.

Have fun and enjoy!!!