Posts tagged "Vegetables"

WINTER COMFORT FOOD – VEGETABLE SOUP

Comfort Food is Food that warms the body and the soul.  It makes you feel good and satisfied after eating it.  I think Comfort Food is different for different cultures and different people but there are variations within the dishes that we call ‘Comfort Food’.  The differences are not so much in the main ingredients but in the preparation techniques and the seasonings used.  Here is another great Comfort Food that really warms you inside – Vegetable Soup – it can be served as a complete meal with the addition of some protein and delicious fresh bread.  It can also be served as a first course and the leftovers are great for lunch.

 

I love to make Vegetable and it is one of my favorite ways of cleaning out the Vegetable in my refrigerator. If you have ever wondered what you are going to do with all those vegetables that you just can’t seem to getting around to use or even if like I do, you have little bits and little bits of that, Vegetable Soup is the perfect vehicle for using up those items.  So when I taught school, I taught my students how to make ‘Clean Out the Refrigerator’ Vegetable Soup.

 

What you will need is a large pot and some Olive Oil and whatever you can forage from your refrigerator.  If you don’t have items in your refrigerator that you can use, you can always visit your local Farmer’s Market or Grocery Store to pick up whatever you wish to put in your soup.  For the last batch I made, I used Onions, (a must), Celery, Carrots, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Tomato Paste, Frozen Peas and Corn.  For the batch before this one I used a Sweet Potato and Spinach.  Visit vegetable-soup for the complete recipe.

 

Saute your Vegetables (starting with the Onion and Mushrooms)  in Olive Oil. I always salt the Mushrooms as they do need and it helps to leech out some of the water in their pores.  Once they have cooked and started caramelizing add the remaining fresh Vegetables and dried herbs.  For the liquid I use either de-fatted Turkey, Chicken or Beef Broth, depending on what is in my freezer.  Vegetable Soup does not need to cook for a long time – you do not want really mush vegetables.  It is much better to have some texture left to bite into. About 10 minutes before serving bring the soup up to boiling and add about 1 cup uncooked Pasta.   Once the Pasta is ‘al dente’ add fresh Herbs  (in this case two kinds of Basil), and frozen Peas and/or Corn if you are going to use them.  A couple of minutes is all you need for these frozen Vegetables.

 

 

To make a complete meal out of your Vegetable Soup, add some Protein such as Tofu (for Vegans), Chicken, Sliced Hot Dogs or Sausage or Turkey.  Any one of the above make a great addition to your soup which is also delicious without it.  Just serve it with some Hot Fresh Bread.

 

                                Fresh Vegetable Soup with Pasta

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2017/01/18 at 7:59 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Farm Markets, Leftovers, Lunch Ideas, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags: , , , , , , ,

WINTER COMFORT FOODS – STUFFED CABBAGE

 

Comfort Food is Food that warms the body and the soul.  It makes you feel good and satisfied after eating it.  I think Comfort Food is different for different cultures and different people but there are variations within the dishes that we call ‘Comfort Food’.  The differences are not so much in the main ingredients but in the preparation techniques and the seasonings used.

 

There are also variations in Winter Weather throughout the world and there are not many days that we can call Winter Weather in Sunny Southern California but this year , January is definitely Winter and Cold it is! Wet and Cold that is!  Not complaining as we need the rain and cold can be fun for a little while, but all that aside, what do you eat when it is cold.  Our normal Salads and Vegies and light meals don’t work when the weather is cold.  We have to resort to old ‘Standbys from Childhood and our Mother’s favorites.  One of these in our family is Stuffed Cabbage.  Put together Green Cabbage, Seasoned Ground Beef and Tomatoes in a Sweet and Sour Sauce and serve with rice or pasta and you have a delicious bone warming meal.

 

So this is what I did the other night.  I made Stuffed Cabbage but cheated a little bit as I had preformed Meatballs in the freezer.  Having raised five sons I have a difficult time cooking small quantities of food for the 2 of us who make up our household now, so I usually make large quantities and freeze what we don’t eat  for future use.  The Meatballs were frozen in a single layer so as to make it easy to remove them and use them as needed.  If I didn’t have the Meatballs I would have made the complete recipe from scratch as per the directions in the recipe itself.  http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/stuffed-cabbage/       Here are the step by step directions and photos for preparing this delicious and ‘heart warming’ dish.

 

First of all make sure you have all the ingredients.  If you have to shop for some of them, check your staples and seasonings before going to the market.

 

In addition to Ground Beef (or Chicken or Turkey) you will also need Tomato Sauce, Lemons, Brown Sugar and Salt and Pepper.  Instead of Tomato Sauce as per the recipe, I used ground Tomatoes which have much more flavor and body.  Shown below is one of my favorite tomato products.

 

 

 

If you don’t use the whole can place the leftovers in a covered container and refrigerate until needed.  They should keep up until a week depending on how cold your refrigerator is.

           Measured Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to roll the meat in the Cabbage Leaves you will have to soften them.  The best way to do this is to:

1 – Core the Cabbage and remove any bad outer leaves.

2 – Bring a large pot of water (shown belown) to the boiling.  Add the whole head of Cabbage, turn the heat down to simmer  and leave the cabbage in the simmering water for about 5 minutes or until the outer leaves soften enough to be able to roll them.

 

 

 

Large Pot to Soften Cabbage Leaves

 

 

 

3 – Remove the Cabbage from the hot water (I use a colander for this) and remove as many leaves as have softened or as many as you will need if the whole head has softened.

4 – If need be, return the head to the simmering water and remove as needed.

5 – Place the leaves on a cutting board and cut out the hard part that was closest to the core.

6 – Place a scoop of meat on each leaf and wrap the leaf around the meat mixture.  Use clean Kitchen String to tie the rolls so they don’t fall apart in the cooking process.

 

 

Coarsely slice some of the remaining cabbage and place in the bottom of the vessel you are going to cook the Cabbage Rolls in.  This will serve as a bed for the rolls.  Next place the rolls on top of the sliced cabbage and then pour the sauce over all.

 

Cooking the Cabbage Rolls

 

 

Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then turn the heat down to medium.  Cook for about 45 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the rolls.  Use Kitchen Shears to cut and remove the string before the next step.

 

 

  String Removed

 

I like to add an additional Vegetable and in this case I added sliced Carrots.  They only need to cook for about 5 minutes or until they are barely fork tender.  The residual heat will continue to cook them once the vessel is removed from the heat.  If you use peas or corn, the cooking time will be shorter.

 

 Carrots Added

 

 

 

Serve with Rice, Pasta or Couscous.  This is a delicious heart-warming and body warming dish that is perfect for winter weather.  Vegans can also make by using a Barley or Rice in place of meat in the filling.

 

Served with Couscous and Mushrooms.

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2017/01/16 at 4:42 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Ethnic Cuisine, Leftovers   Tags: , , , , , ,

THANKSGIVING FAVORITES – DISHES TO CREATE FOR YOUR FAMILY DINNER

 

 

Thanksgiving is on the horizon and many families will be busy preparing food and enjoying it with their loved ones.  If you love to cook and even if you don’t but are going to be cooking listed below are the links to some delicious recipes that you may enjoy for your Thanksgiving Meal.  Take a look at them and then try out one or two or three or all.  When you do, please let me know how you, your family and friends enjoyed them.

 

CREAMED SPINACH  –  Spinach is one of my favorite Vegetables and this version is delicious, even for non-Spinach lovers.  It is also versatile and can be turned into a Creamed Spinach Soup just by adding some Vegetable Stock and a little more Cream or Milk.  A great recipe for Thanksgiving and the days beyond.

 

Creamed Spinach

           Creamed Spinach

 

 

CURRIED FRUIT STUFFING – a little different twist on Thanksgiving Stuffing – the Curry and Fruit give your stuffing additional flavor in a delicious way.  This recipe uses Traditional Stuffing Ingredients with the addition of Apple, Apricots and Golden Raisins or whatever you wish to use plus Curry Powder.  It is delicious and quite tasty with the addition of the fruit.

  

Juilienned Apples

Juilienned Apples

 

Dried Apricots

 

        Golden Raisins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLDEN SQUASH JUBILEE – is a simple Vegetable Dish made with only 4 ingredients:

2 lbs. Banana Squash – shredded

1 cup dried Apricots – chopped

½ Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar

¼ cup Butter

 

This dish can be cooked in the Microwave or baked in the Oven.

 

 

 

 

 

MASHED POTATOES – be sure to use Russet Potatoes (you need to use a Potato that will crumble when baked so that they will mash easily

 

 

 

Mashed Potatoes

                                                   Mashed Potatoes

 

 

ROASTED ASPARAGUS

 

Green Asparagus

Green Asparagus

 

 

 

TURKEY FRITTATA – this is a great dish to use most any kind of leftover – it is an omelet made with Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Cheese as well as the leftover Turkey.  A Frittata is good for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.

 

 

TURKEY CROQUETTES – these are made with leftover Turkey, Onions and a smattering of other Vegetables – they are breaded and then fried and served with Remoulade Sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

TURKEY POT PIE – made with leftover Turkey, Vegetables and a Rough Puff Pastry or purchased Puff Pastry if you prefer.  Great for leftover Turkey, Chicken or whatever else you have.  Serve with a Salad and you have a complete meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2016/11/09 at 9:42 PM

Categories: Culinary Makeovers, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Southern California Farmer’s Markets – Calabassas

Saturday Morning Farmer’s Markets abound in Southern California.  Within the distance of approximately 33 miles, extending from the city of Ventura to Calabassas (at the far Western end of the San Fernando Valley) there are 4 markets that I know of:  Ventura, Camarillo Old Town, Newbury Park and Calabassas.  You can go further South and find quite a few more but of course, it would be difficult to attend all of them in one day.  On my foray to Calabassas I also went to Newbury Park and could have hit Camarillo if I had so desired.  The market is across the street from the most prominent and probably well-known business in Camarillo and that would be the Sage Brush Cantina.  The Cantina opened years ago in a one store front location and soon took over the properties next to it, so that now the whole block (where there used to be a bakery and other businesses) is now all Sage Brush Cantina and their parking lot.  It has become a gathering for locals and out of towners as well.

The Calabassas Market is probably the most diverse and exciting of the one that I previously mentioned.  The time slot is from 9 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon.  You can buy produce, flowers, artisan bread products and foods ready-made to eat on the spot.

The first thing when you walk into the market is a sign for Valet Parking and an attendant to manage it.  The fee is only $3.00 which is the same that the parking lot across the street charges.  There is very little street parking in Calabassas and since the Market is well-attended the lot or Valet Parking is well worth it.  An alternative is to park in the shopping center on Valley Circle – it is about a one block walk but if you are carrying market produce it can be a little tireing.

 

There are many flower vendors and they are the ones that are most prominent in the front of the market.  This is not to say there are no produce vendors there – there are plenty but the flowers are so colorful and beautiful that they do stand out.  If you are planning on purchasing flowers as well as produce wait until you are finished and almost ready to leave – that way your flowers will have stayed fresh in water until you pick them and take them home.  If you carry them around the market there is a strong possibility that they will start to wilt, especially if it is a hot day.

 

Orchids 3

Flowers at Cal. Mkt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many produce vendors but one of my favorite has produce similar to Underwoods in Camarillo in that they have those beautiful heads of Purple and Gold Cauliflower along with Romesco which is shaped like a castle with little turrets.

 

Gold and Purple Cauliflower

    Gold and Purple Cauliflower

 

Green Cauliflower

          Green Cauliflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romanesco

              Romanesco

 

One of the ways in which I like to use the Cauliflower is to prepare it with a Cheese Sauce – the simplest Cheese Sauce that you will ever make.  Simply shred as much Medium or Sharp Cheddar Cheese and combine it with enough Mayonnaise to make a spreadable mixture.  Place the washed Cauliflower in a microwavable dish and spread the Mayo/Cheese mixture all over it.  Microwave for approximately five minutes or until the Cauliflower is fork tender.

 

Golden Cauliflower

Golden Cauliflower

2016-02-29 17.58.58

 Covered with Mayo/Cheese Mixture

             

 

 

Micro-waved - Ready for Eating

    Micro-waved – Ready for Eating

 

I love Mushrooms and one of the Vendors has a great variety of Mushrooms and they are locally (in the Conejo Valley just West of Calabassas) raised.  Mushrooms grow best in the dark and not exactly knowing I asked the Vendor where he grew them – in a Greenhouse?  The answer was no – he actually grows most of them in a warehouse building – probably in raised beds or flats.  You could purchase one type of mushroom or a variety pack of different sizes and different prices.  I couldn’t resist and did buy a $15 pack which did last me for several meals.

Mushroom Varities

   Mushroom Varieties

 

 

More Mushrooms

    More Mushrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also at the market were Citrus Vendors, Vegetable Vendors, Egg Vendors, Hot Sauce Vendors and many more.  I am pictured below at the booth of a vendor from Central California – at this point in the day (about 1 hours before closing) his products were marked down to 3 for $5.00.  An excellent and everything I purchase from his was of excellent quality.

 

 Sylvia at Calabassas Mkt

Sylvia at Calabassas Mkt

Organic Produce

Organic Produce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

This next vendor sells Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Beans at both the Calabassas Market and the Market in Thousand Oaks on Thursday afternoon.  When I visit these markets her stand is always one that I stop at.  The Cucumbers are of the Japanese variety and do not need to be peeled.  They are always sweet and crisp and delicious.

 

Wonderful Cukes

   Wonderful Cucumbers

 

One of the Vendors at the Calabassas Market was not selling produce but instead he had Pasta and Olives – the booth was called Zona de Italy.  Lots of interesting pasta and delicious Olives of various varieties.

 

So take a trip out to Calabassas and check out their produce, flowers, pasta, etc.

Olives

                      Olives

Zona Italy

   Zona Italy

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/03/16 at 10:41 PM

Categories: Dinner Ideas, Farm Markets, Fruit, Lunch Ideas, Main, Pasta, Salads   Tags: , , , , , ,

SO. CAL FARMER’S MARKETS – OLD TOWN CAMARILLO

There are numerous Farmer’s Markets in Ventura County – on Saturday alone there are four different markets all within driving distance of each other.  Starting in Ventura, you have a medium size Market on the corner of Santa Clara and Palm Streets. (See my previous post in January of this year)

Another local Saturday Market in Ventura County is the one in ‘Old Town Camarillo’.  This one is different from the other markets available in that it is sponsored by the Camarillo Hospice and a portion of all sales goes to this cause.  The Camarillo Market is a Certified Market and is probably the largest one in the County, maybe only equal in size to the Thousand Oaks Market.

At the Camarillo Market you will find produce vendors, flower vendors and food product vendors.  There is also a booth for Kettle Corn, Tamales, and Coffee.  You can buy Olive Oil, Hummus and Flat Breads, and best of all, ‘Old Boney Mountain’ Hot Sauces and Grotto Dust.  The Old Boney Products are produced by Jeff Losey who own the company and has named it for ‘Old Boney Mountain’ which can be found in the National Recreation Area in Newbury Park and which also can be seen from his property.

My favorite produce vendor is Underwood farms which also goes to the Thousand Oaks Market.  If you miss a market day and need fresh produce, you can also go straight to the Underwood Farms in Somis and/or Moorpark, both of which are in Ventura County.

 

 

Underwood Farms

                                    Underwood farms

 

Shown below are some unusual varieties of well-known Vegetables.  The Romanesco is a form of Broccoli but is certainly much more fun.  Since it almost looks like a Castle, I have used in Children’s Cooing Classes when there was a ‘Kingdom’ Theme involved.  Next is my favorite type of Cauliflower – Purple and Yellow or Golden.  It is probably just my imagination but I do think the colored Cauliflower, especially the yellow one has more flavor than the white.  This may be true because there certainly has to be more Carotene in the yellow variety and carotene does provide flavor.

Next is the Purple and Green Cabbage which is not unusual in itself, but these are so fresh and so beautiful that you cannot help purchasing them and running home to use them.

 

Romanesco

               Romanesco

 

Colorful Cauliflower

        Colorful Cauliflower

 

 

Purple and Green Cabbage

        Green and Purple Cabbage

 

Another produce vendor that you will want to stop at is the Tomato Booth from Beylik Farms.  They have Orange Tomatoes, Red Plum Tomatoes and Japanese Tomatoes.  The winter variety are grown in Green Houses, but they taste as good as if they were grown outdoors.

 

 

Orange Tomatoes

Orange Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

Red Tomatoes

              Red Tomatoes 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to Underwood  and Beylik Farms there are numerous other Produce Vendors.  There are also booths selling artisan Greens such as Kale and other Greens.  One of the offerings that I love is the booth that sells Sprouts of different varieties.  I especially like the Sunflower Sprouts which are great on sandwiches and in salads.  Then we have the fruit vendors, selling Apples, Oranges and other Citrus fruit in addition to Strawberries (fresh picked the same day as being sold from local fields.

 

One of my favorite vendors is ‘Old Boney Mountain Hot Sauce Products’.  Jeff Losey, who is the owner and CEO of the Company donates his profits to organizations such as the Camarillo Hospice, Wounded Warrior and Newbury Park High School Football Team.  Old Boney Products are named after ‘Old Boney Mountain’ in the National Recreation Area in the Santa Monica Mountains located in Newbury Park.  Jeff and his family can view Old Boney Mountain from their home where the Peppers are also grown.

 

Old Boney with Riemans

           Old Boney Products with Jeff Losey and Rieman Family Members

 

There are also at least two flower vendors – one sells live plants (this particular vendor goes both to the Camarillo Market and the Thousand Oaks Market.  Every Fall right before Thanksgiving, I buy my Pansy Plants from them.  The price is right and the plants are beautiful.  (Living in Southern California with hot summers, the Pansies do not survive beyond late Spring, so I have to replant them every year.  In addition to the Pansies, they also sell Orchid Plants and other shade plants.  *** There are other vendors selling cut flowers to take home to enjoy.

 

Last, but not least, are the prepared food vendors.  One sells freshly baked Artisan Bread Products.  Normally I will make my own Challah and other Egg Breads but this past Saturday I had not had the time to do so and wanted to make French for Breakfast on Sunday so I purchase a Brioche from this vendor.  It was very expensive ($10.00) and cost about 5 times what it would cost me to make it (not counting my time) but it was well worth it.  It was delicious and made not only great French Toast but excellent sandwiches as well.

 

 

Artisan Bread

                                  Artisan Bread

 

 

Another Vendor sells Tamales, another sells different varieties of Hummus and Flat Breads and of course Kettle Korn.  If these aren’t enough, there are also booths selling handmade crafts, such as jewelry, shell items, wood items, etc.

 

Take a trip out here next Saturday (or whenever you happen to be in town) and enjoy the wares at the Old Town Camarillo Farmer’s Market.

 

Camarillo Farm Mkt (6) Camarillo Farm Mkt (4)

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/02/09 at 8:00 PM

Categories: Farm Markets, Main, Salads   Tags: , , , ,

SO. CAL FARMER’S MARKETS

 

Unlike most of the rest of the country, Sunny Southern California offers its Farmer’s Markets all year long.

One such market is the Ventura Farmer’s Market which takes place on Saturday mornings.  I made a trip out there from Thousand Oaks (about 30 miles) because I needed to purchase Eggs from my favorite Egg supplier (Canyon Meadow Farms).  I usually purchase the eggs from them at the Thousand Oaks Farmers Market but from the week before Thanksgiving until the week after New Years, the Thousand Oaks Farmer’s Market gets displaced because of the Holiday Season.  ( The space they use is needed for parking at the Mall).

Ventura Farmers Mkt.  12.12 (2)

Canyon Meadow Farms – the best ever Eggs!

 

 

One of the  Vendors at the Ventura Market included sold  California Produced  Olive Oils which were made from olives grown in Northern California.   Their stock included sizes from pints to gallons and gift packs including cooking oils and bath and body soaps and oils.  I purchased a Gift Pack of a variety of oils which ranged from mild tasting to a very strong olive taste.  I am a lover of Olives and Olive Oil and I think the stronger the taste the better.  I think the recipient of this gift will feel the same way.  Pictured below are some of the Oils that were being sold.

 

California Produced Olive OIl

California Produced Olive Oil

 

When you have Olive Oil, you start thinking about Salads and the fresh lettuces and other produce that were available were irrestible.  They were bright green and purple and many other colors.  The lettuce was perfect for Salads and I could not resist buying several bunches.  I also purchased Chinese Spinach from Underwoods Family Farm Booth.  Underwoods  have two locations, one in Somis on the 118 and the other in Moorpark right off of Tierra Rejada.  When Ik want fresh produce, I do not have to wait for the Farmers’ Markets, however it certainly is a little bit easier for me to purchase my produce at the Oaks Farmer’s Market when it is open.  Unfortunately, it is not open during the Christmas Holiday Season.

 

 

Ventura Farmers Mkt.  12.12 (6)

Underwood Family Farms Booth

 

 

 

 

 

Ventura Farmers Mkt.  12.12 (5)

Salad Greens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some additional Vegetables that were being sold were Leeks, Onions, Garlic and a variety of fresh Herbs which I love to cook with!

 

 

Ventura Farmers Mkt.  12.12 (4)

Leeks, Onions, Garlic and Herbs

 

 

More Fresh Produce

More Fresh Produce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years now Strawberries have been grown year-round in Southern California.  The varieties differ from season to season, but the taste of our locally grown berries is delicious and sweet no matter what time of year they are grown in.  Even though I had recently purchased several boxes of Blackberries at our local market I still couldn’t resist the Strawberries that were on display.  I only bought one box however, just for eating out of hand.

 

 

Strawberries

Strawberries

 

 

All in All, it is worth a trip to your local Farm or Farmer’s Market to get fresh, delicious produce, especially if it is grown without chemical additives and pesticides!  Most of the Vendors at the local Southern California Markets have become Certified Organic Farmers which means that they do not use chemicals!

 

SO, LOOK, SHOP, COOK & EAT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/12/18 at 3:58 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Family Fun, Main, Salads   Tags: , ,

PIZZA PIE DAY

Monday, February 9th is ‘Pizza Pie Day’.  Are you going to go out and have pizza?  Or are you going to make and bake your own?  Homemade Pizza is delicious and easy to make.  I will say that it probably won’t cost you any less to make it than to buy it but the ingredients you use will be better than the ‘Take-Out Pizza’ or the Pizzeria Pizza.

 

To start with, you need good ingredients.  You could cheat a little and buy the Dough already made at Trader Joe’s or an Italian Deli.  But, if you have a Food Processor or a Sanding Mixer making the Dough is a cinch.  For the recipe see pizza-dough/

 

Shaped Pizza Dough

Shaped Pizza Dough

 

 

 

 

 

For the toppings you will need:  Crushed Tomatoes  (use a good brand – you want a thick one)

Basil, Oregano, Salt & Pepper

 

Crushed Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

Whole Milk Mozzarella (whole milk is by far better tasting than low-fat)

 

 

Shredded Mozzarella

Shredded Mozzarella

 

Other additional ingredients:  Mushrooms, Onions, Bell Peppers, Olives,

 

 

Vegetable Topped Pizza

Vegetable Topped Pizza

Pepperoni or whatever else you want on your pizza.

 

Pepperoni and Vegie Pizza

Pepperoni and Vegie Pizza

 

If you don’t want to create your own, here are some suggestions from other Posts and Pages from Sylveees Kitchen.

Sun-dried Tomato Pizza – -sun-dried-tomato/

 

Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian Pizza

Mexican Pizza                 –   mexican-pizza

Pizza Night                          pizza-time/

 

Okay everyone, get busy and make some Pizza tonight or tomorrow.  If you don’t get around to it tomorrow which is Pizza Pie Day, you can still do it anytime this week.  The second week in February is ‘American Pizza Bake Week’.

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/02/08 at 12:40 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Cheese, Dairy, Italian, Main, Mexican, National Food Days, Pizza, Tropical   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

VEGETABLE SOUP – COLD WEATHER FOOD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cold Winter Weather always makes me want something hot and hearty – today it is Vegetable Soup.  When I was teaching High School Culinary Arts, one of the things I taught my students was to make ‘Clean Out the Refrigerator Vegetable Soup.  Now, that may not sound too great, but how many times have you had small amounts of many Vegetables that you really did not know what to do with?  Making Vegetable Soup is the best way to use up these odds and ends and at the same nourish your family and keep them warm.  So, here we go with ‘CLEAN OUT THE REFRIGERATOR VEGETABLE SOUP’.

 

The Vegetables that I had on hand were  Celery, Carrots, Red Cabbage, and Onions.  Small amounts of Red Cabbage or any other color for that matter are good for Vegetable Soup.  You do not want to use too much or it will overpower the other Vegetables in your soup.

 

Celery and Carrots

Celery and Carrots

 

 

Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vegetables that I purchased for the Soup were Golden Beets and Mushrooms.

 

Golden Beets

Golden Beets

 

Mushrooms and Onions

Mushrooms and Onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Golden Beets are pictured before being peeled and the Onions are pictured with the

Mushrooms.  I also used Frozen Peas, Crushed Tomatoes and Turkey Broth.

The Turkey Broth was my hold-over from Thanksgiving.  It is a waste to just throw out the carcass because there is always some pieces of meat clinging to it and the bones themselves do provide some flavor and of course gelatin.  To make the Broth, I placed the Turkey Carcass in my largest pot along with  Onion, Celery, Carrots, Bay Leaves, Peppercorns and Parsley.  Just cover it all with water, place a lid on the pot (offset) and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, remove the lid and turn the flame down to a simmer and just let it cook until the liquid has cooked down to at least half.  Even more is better.  Shut off the flame, let it cool to room temperature and then pour through a colander into a clean container.  Refrigerate if you are going to use within a day or two or freeze until you are ready to use it.

 

Before starting to cook the Soup, wash and towel dry your Vegetables and then prep them.

 

  • Onions -peel and dice
  • Celery – remove any loose strings and then cut into 1/4 to 1/2″ thickness.
  • Mushrooms –  Cut up your cleaned and dry Mushrooms (how you cut them depends on the size and type tht you have.  Mine were small brown Crimini so I mostly quartered them. Cabbage – cut into pieces about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick and about 3/4″ long.Beets – Peel and then quarter and then slice the quarters into smaller pieces.  (The beets are actually easier to peel if they are par-boiled first or microwaved.  If you do par-boil them, Scrub them clean first and then save the water to add to the soup.
  • Carrots – either scrub or peel and then slice in half lengthwise and then cross-wise into about 1/4 to 1/2″ pieces depending on how small you want them or on how large your carrots are.  Generally, the smaller carrots have more flavor and are sweeter.  The larger ones are older and tend to lose flavor as they age – also they are less tender

 

 

To cook, start with the Onion -by sautéing in a small amount of Olive Oil. Add the Mushrooms to the Onions and add a little Salt.  The Salt not only seasons them but helps them to release their water and cook down faster.  Add the Cabbage and Celery and then the Carrots and Beets. Adding some dried Basil (fresh is best, but mince and add at the end so the flavor is not lost) After all the Vegetables are in the Pot, add your cooking liquid and a couple of Bay Leaves (dried or fresh – remove them before serving).  You can also add some garlic to the vegetables while they are sauteing, but this would be a personal choice.  Not everyone likes garlic.  After the soup has cooked for a while, taste for seasoning and add more Salt and some freshly ground Pepper.  Oregano is also good added to Vegetable Soup.  If you are using canned Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce  or Crushed Tomatoes, add it now and then thoroughly mix in.  If desired, you can add some tiny pasta at the end or cook it first and then add.  Add the frozen peas and or corn if desired at the very end.  They need only minutes to cook.

 

Vegies before Broth Added

Vegies before Broth Added

 

Tomato Sauce

Crushed Tomatoes

 

Tomato Sauce added

Crushed Tomatoes added

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soup does not need to cook for a lengthy time – one hour is more than enough – 30 minutes will probably suffice.  This soup can be eaten right away or you can cool it and refrigerate it – the flavors will intensify if held overnight in the refrigerator.

 

Serve and enjoy – this will easily make a delicious and hearty one-dish meal.  Serve with Garlic Bread or Croustades.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/01/06 at 5:06 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags: , , , , , ,

CULINARY MAKEOVERS – #17: Fried Chicken Fettucinni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for another ‘Make-over’.  When cooking for two people, it is often difficult to cook just the right amount of food.  Especially when making Fried Chicken!  Whoever heard of frying just half a Chicken?  And who gets what?  So, I always make a whole one and use the leftovers for lunches, salads, sandwiches and even a dinner.

 

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

This time I made Fettucinni with the Fried Chicken leftovers and Garden Fresh Vegetables.  Yes, from our backyard Garden.  The Vegetables that came from our yard were Tomatoes, Japanese Eggplant and Basil.   The rest of the Vegetables that I used were Onions, Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper and Garlic.

 

Start with the Chicken by boning and removing most of the skin.  Next slice the Chicken against the grain into bite-sized pieces.  Set the Chicken aside and prepare your Vegetables. Wash and dry all the Vegetables before prepping them.   Peel and crush or mince the Garlic.    Dice the Onion and clean and slice the Mushrooms.  Mince the fresh Basil and set aside.  The Eggplant I used was Japanese Eggplant and they are slender to begin with so I just sliced them into 1/4″ slices.  (Thicker if you prefer)  Dice the Tomatoes and Bell Pepper and set aside.

 

Cook the Pasta in Boiling Salted Water per package directions.  (DO NOT OVERCOOK!)  Drain in a colander and set aside.

In a saute pan, heat a small amount of Olive Oil and start sauteing the diced Onion, minced Garlic, sliced Mushrooms and sliced Eggplant.

 

Onion, Mushrooms & Eggplant

Onion, Mushrooms & Eggplant

Once the Vegetables  have softened add the Chicken Pieces along with the prepared Tomato.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

 

 

Tomatoes and Chicken Added

Tomatoes and Chicken Added

 

Just before serving combine the Cooked Vegetable/Chicken Mixture with the Cooked Pasta.  Add the diced Red Bell Pepper and Basil.  Serve immediately.

 

Pasta Added

Pasta Added

 

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/25 at 7:59 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Italian, Leftovers, Main, Pasta   Tags: , , , ,

LET’S GET COOKIN’ TEEN BASIC’S CAMP 2014

Here are the photos from Let’s Get Cookin’s Teen Basics Camp held the Week of July 7th, 2014.

 

Monday, July 7th – BREAKFAST


The Students each made an Omelet for themselves.  The rest of the items that were made were:  Waffles, Bacon & Sausage, Home Fries, Granola, Breakfast Fruit Shakes and Eggs Benedict.

Sophia with a Poached Egg

Sophia with an Egg Benedict

 

 

Breakfast

Breakfast

 

Home Fries

 

 Home Fries

 

 

Tuesday, July 8th – LUNCH

Lunch Items made were:  Clam Chowder, Vegetable Soup and Tomato Basil Soup.  Salads were Pasta Salad and Grilled Seafood Salad which was made with Grilled Salmon.  The students also made Buttermilk Biscuits and Chili Corn Bread to go with the Soups and Salads.  Sandwiches were Portobello Mushroom Sliders and Southwest Chicken Wraps.   Dessert was Chocolate Brownies.

Lunch Time

Lunch Time

 

 

 

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

 

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

 

July 10th – DINNER

 

Dinner items that were made were:  Garlic Dinner Rolls, Baby Lettuce Salad, Caesar Salad, Vegetable Chili, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Croquettes, Macaroni & Cheese Supreme, Scalloped Potatoes and Strawberry Granita for Dessert.  Iced Tea was the Beverage.

 

Miles, Esha, Lily & company

Miles, Esha, Lily & Jamee

 

 

Making Garlic  Yeast Rolls

Emily, Gia, Caitlin & Emily Making Garlic Yeast Rolls

 

Making Rolls

Making Rolls

 

 

 

Gavin, Diego & the Girls making Garlic Dinner Rolls

Gavin, Diego & the Girls making Garlic Dinner Rolls

 

 

Miles Making Granita

Miles Making Granita

 

July 11th – DESSERT DAY

 

The Dessert Recipes were chosen from a student request list.  The items made were Apple & Berry Pies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes, Coconut Snowballs, Eclairs with Pastry Cream & Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

Mary helping  Jamie,Esha & Lily make Pie Crusts

Mary helping Jamie,Esha & Lily make Pie Crusts

 

Gavin,Esha & Lily making Pies

Gavin, Lily, Esha & Jamee making Pie Crusts

 

July 12th, – MYSTERY BAG DAY

 

On the final day, each group (4 in all) were given a ‘Mystery Bag’ containing a Protein, a Starch and a Vegetable from which they were to create a meal.  The groups were allowed to use whatever they needed from the Pantry and the Refrigerator.  The resulting products were quite amazing and delicious.

 

Group A – were given Beef Steak, Potatoes and Zucchinni.  They made Seasoned Grilled Steak which they sliced thinly, Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Zucchini topped with Cheddar Cheese.

 

Mystery Day

Mystery Day

 

Beef Presentation

Beef Presentation

 

Group B was given Chicken Breast, Italian Rice, Snap Peas and Green Asparagus.  They made Chicken Parm-Asian, Risotto with Snap Peas and Roasted Asparagus.

 

 

Mystery Bag Day

Mystery Bag Day

Chicken Presentation

Chicken Presentation

 

Group C was given Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potatoes, Apricots & Apples.  They elected to make Pork Lettuce Wraps with a Fruit Salsa and Sweet Potato Fries.

 

Pork Lettuce Wraps

Pork Lettuce Wraps

 

Wrap Presentation

Wrap Presentation

 

Group D was given Bowtie Pasta, Fresh Tomatoes, Yellow Squash and Italian Sausage. Included in their Package was Romaine Lettuce, Cucumbers & Carrots.   They elected to make Pasta with a Bolognese Sauce and a Green Salad with Vinaigrette & Bruschetta with a Pesto Topping.

 

Mia with Group D

Mia with Group D

 

Pasta, Salad and Bruschetta Presentation

Pasta, Salad and Bruschetta Presentation

 

Group D Presentation

Group D Presentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/14 at 11:53 PM

Categories: COOKING CLASSES, Cooking for Kids, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

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