Cinco de Mayo will be here in 2 hours or earlier for East Coasters. Here are a few recipes you can use for your Celebrations tomorrow.
We will start with Appetizers including Salsas and conclude with Rice, Empanadas and Lemonade.
Mango Salsa which makes use of fresh Mangoes, Limes, Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos if you wish.
Nachos – start with good quality chips, Cheese Sauce with Jalapenos (if desired) and serve with Salsa and Guacamole.
Salsa Cruda – incorporates diced fresh Tomatoes, Jalapenos or Serranos, Cilantro, Lime Juice and a little Salt.
Beef Empanadas are more traditionally an Argentine Dish but they can also be found in Mexican Cooking. The Empanada can be filled with whatever you please – diced Steak or Chicken or Ground Beef along with Tomatoes, Onions, Cheese and maybe some Chilies.
Sparkling Lemonade – we first had this in Acapulco and I have been making Lemonade this way every since. It is delicious, refreshing and a great accompaniment to any meal.
Categories: Beverages, Condiments, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Family Fun, Food Festivals, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Holiday Tidbits, Main, Mexican, Tropical, Tropical Food Tags: Appetizers, Avocadoes, Chlies, Cinco de Mayo, family dinner, holiday recipes, kids cooking, Limes, Mexican, National Food Days, Rice, Tomatoes
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and while everyone is trying to think of ways to use the turkey leftover from the Holiday Dinner how about different ways in which to use Pumpkin. Pumpkin itself, does not taste particularly good but when you add spices and sugar and cream and eggs it turns into something wonderful. Here are a list of recipes featured in this blog that you can try for your own Thanksgiving Dinner or for Breakfast or Dessert on Thanksgiving Weekend.
When cooking or baking with Pumpkin be sure to use the Sugar Pie Variety. The larger Pumpkins do not lend themselves to baked or cooked recipes.
DOUBLE DUTY PUMPKIN WAFFLES
PUMPKIN MUFFINS made from the
Easy to do, just add a little more flour.
The Ravioli can be made with Pumpkin or Butternut Squash or any Squash of your choice. The dark leaves on top of the Ravioli are Sage.
The Pumpkin Pie in Pecan Crust looks dark, but it is actually not burned. In this case, the oven was too high and it baked at a much faster pace than it should have. Luckily I took it out before it was actually burned. Everyone loved it and it was gone by the end of dessert time.
To make the Pumpkin Pie in a Pastry Crust, use the same filling recipe as the Pie in Pecan Crust. Simply substitute a pastry crust of your choosing.
For the ultimate dessert try my pumpkin-cheesecake recipe
Apple Bread & Muffins: Use the Apple Bread Recipe to make Muffins as well as Bread
Pies: Apple Pies can be made as a Double Crust Pie or as a French Apple Tart
Apple Sauce: the Apple Sauce pictured is not a true Apple Sauce. The Apples have been juliened, not pureed. This gives more texture and flavor. This version of Apple Sauce is good as a condiment with Ice Cream, Cereal or on top of cake. To make the Sauce, peel and seed the Apples and then cut into Juiien strips. If you have a food processor, use the 6 x 6 Julienne Blade to cut them. Place Julienne Apples in a saucepan that is large enough to hold them along with Brown Sugar (minimum amount), some Water or Apple Juice and cook until the Apples give up their moisture and the resulting mixture is of the viscosity that you want. If you do a large quantity pack into sterilized canning jars and seal with caps and rings. Place in a kettle and cover with water to at least 1″ over the tops of the jars and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the pot and turn upside down on a clean dish towel. Turning the jars upside down will insure that the lids will seal. If you use a pot with a rack inside that can be lifted out, this will be the safest way to remove the jars from the hot water. Let stand upside down until cool. Turn right side up and tighten the lids. Store in a cool dry place. Apple Sauce is great with Pork, Poultry and Seafood dishes.
Tarts: An easy way to make delicious, beautiful tarts is to have on hand some Puff Pastry Sheets. Peel and slice your Apples and then place on Puff Pastry that has been cut into a circle or square, whichever you prefer. Place the prepared Puff Pastry on a baking sheet – if you have Silpat, use that or just put the pastry on the ungreased baking sheet.
Layer the Apples on the Puff Pastry, being sure to leave about 1″ uncovered all the way around.
Sprinkle a little Sugar and Cinnamon on top of the Apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the edges have puffed up to form a rim and are a nice dark golden brown.
Remove from the oven and brush the Apples with Jelly that has been heated to melt it down to make it brushable.
Once the Jelly has set up, your tarts are ready to serve.
Use your Apples for eating, baking or cooking. Have fun and enjoy!
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the weather is wintry – rainy, snowy or windy! What better way to spend an indoor afternoon or morning making Valentine Lollipops with your Children. Children very often make paper Valentine’s to give to their friends, but Chocolate ones are even better. They taste good and Chocolate is good for you!
What you will need to make these treats is:
Candy (Heart-shaped Lollipop Molds) – available at your local Cake Decorating Store or Craft Shop such as Michael’s or JoAnn’s.
Pre-tempered Chocolates (Wilton’s)
A sheet of waxed paper or a flat pan to put the molds on.
A melting pot or double boiler If you don’t have either you can make a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
To make the Pops first set up your molds. Make sure they are clean and dry. Water and chocolate do not mix and your pops will not set up properly. The best thing to do is to wash and dry them 24 hours before you are going to use them. When you are finished with them, wash (DO NOT USE SOAP) just hot tap water and dry and then after 24 hours place them in a sealed plastic bag so that the next you need them they will be ready to go.
Place the molds on the waxed paper or sheet pan. Place the sticks in the molds (make sure that at least one inch of the stick is in the candy portion ) If you are using a Melting Pot place the Candy (the melting pots will hold a 12 oz. bag of candy) in the Melting Pot and set it to MELT. Once the Candy has thoroughly melted turn the setting down to WARM.
Once the Candy has melted you can then spoon it into the molds. Be sure and completely cover the Lollipop Sticks. DO NOT fill the mold to the top. Once they are about 3/4 full, stop and tap the molds to get rid of the Air Bubbles. If there is still space left in the mold slowly add additional candy until the mold is full.
Allow at least an hour for the candy to set at room temperature or about 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15-20 in the freezer.
Once the Candy has set up turn the molds over onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and gently press on the backs to un-mold. If they are not going to be eaten right away place into bags (lollipop bags can be purchased at Cake Decorating Stores, Party Stores or Craft Stores). Tie with red curling ribbon. These lollipops are a great replacement for Valentines.
For heat loving Valentine recipients you can add a little bit of Chili Flakes (Old Boney Mountain Grotto Dust) available at http://www.oldboneymountainhotsaucecorp.com/
The December Holidays are coming up very fast and what better way to help celebrate them than to build a Gingerbread House. It really help to have a little expertise, someone who has built many over the years and has overcome all the pitfalls that hinder the novice. I have been teaching people (Adults and Parent/Child Teams) how to make Gingerbread Houses for the last 26 years. This year I am going to be teaching my Gingerbread House at the Academy of Culinary Education in Woodland Hills. You will learn how to make the Dough, how to make house templates and how to cut out the house parts from the dough in an efficient manner.
After the House parts are baked and after lunch and a short demo, each team or participant will build and then decorate their house according to their own specifications. Not only will the class be fun and enjoyable, but you will learn skills that you will be able to use throughout your lifetime.
Come to our Gingerbread House Class at the Academy of Culinary Education in Woodland Hills.on December 6th – this is an all-day class starting at 10:30 and ending at 5 with a lunch break in-between.
For photos of Gingerbread houses please go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/sylveeeskitchen/sets/
The class is open to singles or pairs – parent/child or spouses or partners or an older sibling with a younger one.
To sign up for the class go to http://www.academyofculinaryeducation.com/singleclasses.html
Thanksgiving is one of those Holidays that we celebrate with food and usually with an abundance of food – more food at the table than can possibly be eaten. Ah- but those leftovers are probably some of the best leftovers of the year. Just think:
Turkey Sandwiches with Cranberry Sauce and maybe Hot Gravy.
Mashed Potatoes – are good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. For Breakfast yo can turn those Mashed Potatoes into Pancakes or Waffles. For Lunch just eat them with the leftover Turkey and Gravy and for Dinner turn them into Potato Bread or more Turkey Sandwiches.
Cranberry Sauce – Use to make Fruit Bread or Biscuits or eat them with your Mashed Potato Pancakes or Waffles.
Sweet Potatoes – Eat as is or again make Pancakes or Waffles. Sweet Potato Waffles for Dinner with Creamed Gravy on top. Yummy!
Use your imagination and come up with your own ideas to use those Thanksgiving leftovers or try my recipes below:
Turkey Frittata: turkey-frittata
Turkey Croquettes: turkey-croquettes
Turkey Pot Pie: dinner/turkey-pot-pie
Cranberry Biscuits: cranberry-sauce-biscuits
Potato Bread: breads/potato-bread/
Cranberry Cornbread: cranberry-cornbread/
December is National Fruit Cake Month and I am going to start if off by soaking my fruit for our Annual Fruitcake, something my husband loves. All the years of my Childhood and into Adulthood, my Mother made Fruitcakes every single year. She made enough so that my Father could take some to his Co-Workers and we still had more than enough for our consumption. I have actually never been a great fan of Fruitcake, but like Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, I still make Fruitcake and I still do eat it. So here goes. My Fruit Cake Making Saga!
Day One – Sunday December 1st – gather together all the Fruit that I am going to use and cut up what needs cutting – place them all together in a large bowl and pour some Wine over them. Brandy is the usual Liqueur to use but I have Marsala Wine and think I will use that. Strike that – went to the Beverage Store and purchased Gran Marnier – Brandy but Orange flavored and not too strong. For Non-Alcoholic Fruit Cake, try using Orange Juice or Sparkling Apple Cider. Both work quite well! I added just enough Gran Marnier to moisten the Fruit and then covered the Bowl and let it sit overnight.
Day 2 – I prepared the Batter and baked the Cakes.
Make sure the Fruit is in a LARGE BOWL so that you have enough room to incorporate the Batter into the Fruit. Before preparing the Batter, prepare the pans. Cut parchment paper or waxed paper to fit the bottoms of the pans. Spray the bottoms of the pans with a Vegetable Spray and then insert the prepared paper.
Next prepare the Batter and add it to the Fruit.
Once all the Batter is evenly mixed with the Fruit and the Fruit is evenly distributed throughout the Batter fill the pans about 3/4 full. As you can see from the Photo I used loaf pans. One 10″ TUBE PAN can be used instead.
Bake in a slow oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks; be sure the cakes are completely cool before removing from the pan. Turn the pans over and the cakes should come right out. If the don’t, gently loosen with a straight-edged spatula and then try again.
Wrap the Cakes tightly in plastic wrap and allow to age for several days or weeks before serving. If liquer on the cakes is desired, place the each cake on a large piece of cheesecloth placed on plastic wrap. Lightly douse with Gran Marnier, Brandy or Rum. Wrap tightly with the Cheesecloth and then the plastic wrap. Finally wrap the whole thing in Aluminum Foil.
If desired, more Liquer can occasionally be added through the Cheesecloth. JUST REMEMBER, THE MORE YOU ADD, THE STRONGER TASTING THE CAKES WILL BE. HOWEVER, THE LIQUER DOES KEEP THE CAKE MOIST AND ALLOW IT TO LAST AND TASTE GOOD THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS.
For the complete recipe go to /holiday-fruit-cake/
Thanksgiving in the United States is a family holiday that is usually celebrated with a huge Turkey Dinner. Although Thanksgiving Celebrations occurred sporadically since the Pilgrims first Thanksgiving, it wasn’t until President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be the official National Holiday.
In 1939 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday in November to be the official Thanksgiving Holiday. Before 1939, it was on the last Thursday in November and it was suggested to him, that if it was officially on the fourth Thursday there would be more time for Holiday Shopping and thus help to improve the economy which at that time was not very good due to the Great Depression.
The history of Thanksgiving in the United States goes back to the Mayflower Pilgrims, but the actual tradition goes back to ancient times to the Druids in Ireland. Societies all over the world and back into prehistoric times have always given thanks for a good harvest. In Jewish tradition, Sukkoth is celebrated shortly after the Jewish New Year.
Our tradition of Turkey dinner goes back to the first dinner that the Pilgrims celebrated with the Indians. Wild turkeys were plentiful at that time and that was one of the many protein foods that were eaten during the first Thanksgiving. Most of us have our family traditions which include not only Turkey but Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin and Cranberries. Even though most of us will probably have the traditional turkey and dressing some of you may like to make it a little different this year.
This year, for the first time in 125 years (the last event like this was in 1888) the first day of Chanukah falls on Thanksgiving. Because of this dual event, many families will be celebrating both holidays with food that may be somewhat untraditional for both holidays.
In our family, Sweet Potato Latkes (pancakes) are going to replace our usual Sweet Potato Casserole which is really very good. What I am going to do is take the flavors from our usual casserole and incorporate them into the Latkes. Other families will probably make the traditional Potato Latkes, but we do like our Mashed Potatoes and Gravy on Thanksgiving. Pictured below are Apple Latkes; the shape and texture are the same as Sweet Potato but the color is different. The method of making is the same.
Most of the recipes featured here are traditional, but with a slightly different twist from the original. The traditional Roast Turkey is on the menu but with a not so traditional Curried Fruit Dressing. Instead of candied yams try a Golden Squash Jubilee made with banana squash and dried apricots; for color contrast make fresh Creamed Spinach in minutes with the aid of your Food Processor and Microwave Oven. For the bread make Pumpkin Yeast Biscuits and instead of Pumpkin Pie, try a French Apple Tart made in a Pecan Crust.
You have all the traditional items in this menu, but made just a little differently for a surprising taste twist. The turkey is present with a traditional bread stuffing made not so traditional by the addition of dried fruit and curry powder. The orange vegetable in the form of squash (yams or pumpkin may be substituted) are present and so is the traditional pumpkin, but in the form of biscuits. The Thanksgiving pie is also present but made with apples, a fruit favored by more people than pumpkin. Add your own choice of appetizer and condiments and you will have a Thanksgiving feast that your family and guests will not only remember for years, but will request repeats of, over and over again.
Cinnamon/Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
Funny that November is recognized as the following Food Month –
- Georgia Pecan Month
- Good Nutrition Month
- National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
- National Pepper Month
- National Pomegranate Month
- Raisin Bread Month
- Vegan Month
Honoring many types of food, but not of all things the Turkey. Why not? November is Thanksgiving and Turkey is the main highlight of most families dinners on Thanksgiving. So like October which I have declared ‘The Month of the Pumpkin’ I am now declaring November as Turkey Month. Everywhere you go, there are turkeys for sale, Frozen Turkeys, Fresh Turkeys, Heritage Turkeys, already prepared Turkey Dinners, etc.
Before we go any further does anyone know why the Turkey is called the Turkey? What did the Indians call the Wild Turkey that was prevalent when the first Pilgrims came over? Does anyone know? And why did the Europeans call Turkeys, Turkeys? Well it seems that the Europeans thought the Turkeys were related to Guinea Fowl which were transported to Europe via Turkey. Therefore, they called the Wild Bird they found in the New World, Turkeys. That name has stuck to this day.
Benjamin Franklin thought that the Turkey should be the National Bird but the Bald Eagle has and probably always will be the Bird Symbol for the United States. However, three States including Massachusetts have adopted the Turkey as their State Bird.
Most of us will be making or Eating Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner. There are many ways to cook Turkey; Smoking, Frying, Barbecuing but the traditional and most ways to cook Turkey is still to roast it fully packed with Stuffing. But preparing Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner is not the problem. It’s what to do with the leftovers that presents challenges. The best and probably favorite way is the ‘Turkey Sandwich’. My preference is with Mayonnaise, Pickles and Lettuce. Some like to put Stuffing and Cranberries on their Sandwiches, but whichever way you make it, I would venture to say that the Sandwich is the favorite way to use Turkey Leftovers.
Another use, though probably not usually thought by most people is a Turkey Frittata turkey-frittata/. The Frittata can be made for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and is a good way to use up those little pieces of Turkey that fall off the bone or crumble from the slices. The Frittata is an omelet with Meat, (Turkey) Vegetables and usually some kind of Cheese. The Frittata is very tasty and a great use for leftover anything, including Turkey.
Another good use for Turkey leftovers are Turkey Croquettes. /turkey-croquettes/ Great for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner the Croquette can be varied to suit your individual taste palette. Either good old American, Italian, Mexican or even Asian. With just one or two additional ingredients the flavors can be easily varied.
One more use for leftover Turkey is the Turkey Pot Pie. turkey-pot-pie/ Delicious and warming in the cooler weather of Fall!
The above are just a few of the things that can be done with Turkey Leftovers. You can probably come up with more ideas on your own.
And don’t forget! November is ‘Turkey Month’!!
Categories: Asian, Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Holiday Tidbits, Italian, Leftovers, Lunch Ideas, Main, Mexican, National Food Days Tags: Appetizers, family dinner, holiday recipes, Leftovers, National Food Days, turkey, Turkey Leftovers, Vegetables
Today is ‘National Candy Day’. Howa about trying this tasty treat called ‘Buckeye Candy’. This recipe was developed to resemble the fruit of the Buckeye tree which is indigenous to the State of Ohio. I was just there recently but forgot to look for the Buckeye tree. The recipe below is a tasty treat and is related to ‘Rice Krispy Squares’ – there are just more tasty ingredients in them.
Buckeye Balls are great to eat and make nice gifts too. Try them for an extra treat for Thanksgiving!
1/4 cup unsalted Butter Large Saucepan
5 cups Marshmallows Wooden Spoon
1cup Peanut Butter Chips Waxed Paper
1 cup Mini-Chocolate Chips Candy Bags or Plate
4 cups Rice Krispies®
Liquid Margarine or Soft Butter
- Melt the Butter in the Saucepan over low heat.
- Add the Marshmallows and stir constantly with the wooden spoon until the Marshmallows are completely melted; stir in the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips.
- Remove from the heat and add the Rice Krispies®; mix until the Krispies are completely coated with the melted Marshmallow mixture.
- Spread the Liquid Margarine or Soft Butter on your hands and then shape the Candy into Balls about the size of Ping Pong Balls.
- Place the shaped Candy onto a sheet of waxed paper or a glass plate. When cooled, place in a plastic bag or covered plate for storage or just serve and eat right away!!
Yield: About 20 Pieces