Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A side dish for snacking

While cruising around other food blogs I noticed a lot of snacks to be made for the Super Bowl. Some go all out with unbelievable food and presentation. Won't be doing that this year but we are not shy of snacks. I did come upon some ideas however. And one thing that kept popping into my mind was Pico de gallo Nothing like a good mexican condiment to go with your beverage of choice, such as maybe your favorite beer.

* 6 medium tomatoes diced ~I use the Roma
* 1 medium onion diced
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped.
* 2 to 4 fresh serrano or jalapeño seeded and minced fine***
*juice of one lime
*Salt to taste

Put all ingredients in a bowl, mix well. Let set a few minutes. You will find a lot of variations on the internet if you google pico de gallo. You can also can use the pico de gallo for cooking and a garnish.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and the very best green gold AKA guacamole. My guacamole is simple, peel avocado, mash with a bit of lime juice, serve. An if I am your guest make a lot cause I love guacamole and pico de gallo.

Now I gotta go make some more cause my sweet husband found it and had said condiment for lunch..........whoa is me!!!

***try one fresh pepper first in the pico de gallo in case you find two peppers to warm for your taste. Remember that the ribs inside the pepper is where the heat is as well as the seeds. So do what you will when chopping your peppers. I do not use garlic but some do. This does not stay too long in the fridge a day or so.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tea for three

Last month's visit with sister Moon, niece lil bird and the family was such a wonderful time. Did all the things we always do plus a few more adventures. Needless to say a good time was had.

One day we met up with Miss K, a friend of Moon's, for lunch. We dined at Mongolian BBQ which is a build-it-yourself lunch. They have a buffet line of raw ingredients so you can throw anything you wish into your stir-fry. Just hand your bowl to the cook and he fries it up on a huge flat sizzling wok. Wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't 'cause we were too busy yakking and enjoying the lunch.

After lunch, sister noticed a tea shop across the parking lot. We drink tea so let's go look see. Oh my, we could have spent hours in the shop. Owners were very helpful with their product and some of the most wonderful samples. I tried the pomegranate and ended up buying two ounces. I also got a tea that they mix themselves I do believe, that is lemon ginger.

Given the temps here and elsewhere around the country warm drinks are at the top of the list, at least for me.

Tell me do you drink tea?, what are your favorites?, do you have a tea bar in your community? Share your favorites please. Oh and some folks cook with tea - something you have done?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lentil soup

So what exactly is a heart healthy soup recipe? First, you should know that foods low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and high on fiber are good for your heart's health and ya know we all need healthy hearts. When you're searching for heart healthy recipes, look for recipes that contain low saturated fat, and low cholesterol.
Lucullian Delights has paired up with another wonderful blogger, Joanna's Food,to create Heart of the Matter The deadline for submitting is January 24th I do believe. Even if you don't enter, we all know we should be eating healthier so go take a look and see what you might enjoy preparing for your family or even just yourself.

While visiting sister Moon last month I went with her while she did her docent duties at the Getty Center. The restaurant there is quite good. I had the lentil soup and to tell you it was divine is an under statement, just the right spices and consistency.

This is my adapted version from Cooks Illustrated

Makes about 2 quarts, serving 4 to 6

3 slices bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion , chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained I used fire roasted
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 cup lentils (7 ounces), rinsed and picked over
1 teaspoon table salt

ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth I also added 1/2 cup beef broth and cut the chiken broth to 4 cups
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar Didn't have so I used sherry
5 ounces baby spinach I used kale because I just like the flavor more than spinach

1. Fry bacon in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper to taste; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, add wine, and bring to simmer. Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.

2. Puree 3 cups soup in blender until smooth, then return to pot; stir in vinegar or sherry and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach or kale and continue to heat soup, stirring frequently, until spinach or kale is wilted, about 3 minutes; serve.

Enjoy cause your heart will thank you

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Food Bloggy Pets of the Month for mid-January

Just when we thought no one was interested in Food Bloggy Pets of the Month we get an e-mail from a new friend, Ricki at Diet, Dessert and Dogs. We are going to highlight her two darling girls, Chaser and Elsie this month. Scoot over there and read about her freeloaders.

We are open to continuing this monthly if people send photos and perma links. As always, deadline the end of the month and roundup the first week of the next month.

Yes, I know, late so very late this month. Do forgive, Doodles just flew home this week and we had too much fun.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Do not make this recipe

Not unlike most couples, when my darling husband and I were first married we were young, in love, and totally broke half the time. Being a new wife meant I had to come up with some interesting meals for my new husband. I turned to a woman's magazine offer for help. For the price of postage I could have an entire month's worth of meals planned just for my budget and taste. All I had to do was fill out the questionnaire and wait for the computerized menus to fly to me. In 1970 anything remotely connected with the word "computerized" sparkled in the noon day sun and I was eager to take advantage of this new technology.

The appropriate forms were filled out, postage paid, and I sat waiting for my wonderful meal plans to help me with my budget while feeding my darling husband a tasty month of breakfasts, lunches, and romantic dinners. I added the romantic bit.

While looking through an old cookbook today I found one menu and I'm sharing this with all of you just in case you thought it was easy to be a new bride, twenty years-old and trying to stay on a budget. As I remember, these menus read like a school cafeteria with suggestions for meals that almost ruined my marriage. After serving the Tuna Noodle Rosy my husband said, "Do not fix that again, ever."

The thirty days of computerized menus went into the trash; this one must have been a survivor.

18th day of your computerized menu plan
Orange juice
Four-grain breakfast cereal with milk
Milk and coffee

Manwich hot dogs
Fresh pear half
Milk, tea

Tuna Noodle Rosy*
Green salad with citrus wedges
Rolls with margarine
Vanilla Ice Cream
Milk, coffee, tea

Tuna-Noodle Rosy
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup sliced celery
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 (80z ) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1 cup uncooked noodles
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 can drained tuna
1/2 cup cooked peas

In heavy pan with tight lid cook onion, celery and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in sauce, water and noodles. Mix until noodles are covered with liquid. Cover tightly, simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mayo, tuna and peas. Heat to blend flavors.

Please don't try this, it was horrible with the worst thing being the color, pink!