Saturday, October 30, 2010

Applepears or Pearapples

I was at the supermarket and I came across something interesting I have never seen this before. I don't remember if they were called pearapples or applepears but I bought 2, they are pretty big in size, the great thing it really taste like the mix of the two fruit, it is shaped like a large apple but has the grainy texture of a pear. I decided to make a crisp with it with raspberries ( I forgot to take a pic) I definitely will be buying these again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Camera Broke!

I hated that I couldn't post but my camera broke and I hate posting without any pictures. I have been a little bit busy and made a few things I never made before.

First I made Jamaican Beef Patties but I change it a little. First I used pre-made pie crust left it at room temperature them mixed in the curry powder and turmeric and I used ground turkey instead of beef and finally I used a jalapeno instead of a scotch bonnet because that would of been way to hot for me. I also made fried plantains to go with it. My son and I loved them they were so spicy and flavorful as you can see there are a lot of spices that go into it. It almost tasted like the ones I bought a couple of times before well, almost. The plantains were very easy I just cut them in 1 1/2 inch pieces fried them in a inch of canola oil for 2 minutes on each side placed them on paper towels mashed them down and fried again until golden brown. I hope you try it!

1lb ground beef
1 medium onion
4 scallion (or 1 more medium onion)
2 stalks fresh thyme or 2 tsps ground thyme
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 scotch bonnet pepper (or 1 tbsp curry powder / chilli sauce)
2 cloves garlic
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Cut onion + scallion in to fine pieces.
Fry gently – so they do not quite get time to brown.
Add meat, thyme, garlic, peppers (finely chopped), salt, pepper, paprika, sugar and nutmeg.
Fry until mixture is fairly dry, drain off excess fat if necessary.
Add water and breadcrumbs, cook until the mixture has a thick, saucy texture.
Combining the pastry with the filling:
Roll the pastry on a floured board until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Cut as many circles (about the size of a saucer) out of the dough as you can.
Place 1 tablespoon of the filling on one side of each pastry circle.
Moisten the edges of each patty with water and fold pastry over to make a crescent shape. Seal the edge of each patty by crimping with a fork.
Preheat oven to 375 deg f, 200 C or gas mark 6. Place patties on aluminium foil and cook for 35 minutes (or until golden brown).
I also had made mushroom risotto and had a lot left over so I decided to make risotto cakes, I added a little flour, egg and formed them into patties and as a treat I some mozzarella into 1 inch cubes and hid them in the middle dipped them in flour, egg and panko bread crumbs then fried them in a little olive oil, they were perfect with a side salad.

Finally I made some corn fritters, my mom use to make corn fritters all the time and I still to this day I can't get them to taste like hers. But I love how they are sweet and salty. I tweaked it a little bit by adding scallions but they can be made to your taste I think next time I may add some curry powder or even another kind of veggie!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Purchases

I was at my local supermarket doing my food shopping now I have a rule I do much because of my health so I allow myself to purchase 1 thing just for me but this time I bought 4 uh oh! I saw that they had mandolins on sale for 16.00$ so I picked it up along with some spices I never used before but see in a lot of recipes tamarind, cardamom and saffron 16.00$ for that tiny pouch!

I was going to go to Leelee's international market but I had unexpected bills hopefully I will be able to go next month for my birthday which happens to run on a Saturday!

The very next day I decided to use the mandolin, I decided to make onion rings and kind of went overboard and sliced to onions very thin and I could not believe how easily it sliced I had to look to see if it was really slicing because it was so smooth. I made the onion rings and had so many left over I stored them in plastic containers I can use them like the store bought french fried onions. I really recommend getting one! The only thing is I will never try it without the guard that blade is so sharp. The only thing is the mandolin came with a free waffle blade but without instruction on how to do it, I'm going to look on youtube I'm sure there is a video on how to use it.

I want to start making more ethnic foods so if anyone has any idea on using the new spices I bought I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beef tongue

Well I was at my supermarket in the meat department and I passed a vacuumed pack cows tongue, now I have never tried this let alone cooked it but the foodie in me was whispering in my ear " take it home, take it home!" Two days later I mustered up the courage to open in and touch it (I was kind of scared) but once I touched it I was OK about it. I wanted so bad to go up to my 20 year old son Chris and run the beef tongue up the side of his face and make a slurping noise "slurrrppppppp" but I didn't want to tell him what it was until after he tried it.
I did a lot of research online to make sure I know what I was doing. Did you know you watch a video on how to make any food on youtube? Well after reading and watching videos for about a hour I felt comfortable to get started. I took the tongue and placed it in my corning ware cooking dish preheated the oven to 350 degrees then added salt, pepper, garlic, onions covered and cooked in the oven for 3 hours.

I let the tongue rest for about 10 minutes then peeled the taste buds ( it came off very easily).Once I did that it looked just like your basic beef roast, I took 2 forks and shredded the meat which was very very tender then I closed my eyes and took a bite Wow!!!!! it was so tender it tastes just like a beef roast all that anxiety over nothing. I gave some to Chris but didn't tell him until after he was finished... he just shrugged and mumbled "It was good". Oh well, so people if you see beef tongue in your market give it a whirl you might be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Who knew that making was such a long and laboring process! I sure didn't, did you? But it was well worth it, very filling, light and fluffy. But I had to try it at least once next time I will definitely buy it fresh or frozen. It made so much I froze the rest for a few more dinners or even a dessert I think I saw Giada saute them in brown butter with cinnamon. I chose not to do the trick with the fork I just sliced them into little pillows they were still fluffy light clouds.

2 lbs whole baking potatoes
2 beaten egg yolks
1 1/2 cups flour
Pinch of salt

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Spear the potatoes with fork tines in several places around each potato to vent moisture as the potatoes cook. Bake the potatoes in their skins until tender, about an hour. Let cool on a rack, cutting them open to help cool and let more moisture escape.
2 Scoop out the potatoes from their skins. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer and into a large bowl. (If you don't have a potato rice you can mash the potatoes by hand and fluff them up a bit with a fork.) It is best to work with the potatoes when they are still warm.

3 Add the flour, egg and a pinch of salt. Mix by hand until you have a nice pliable ball of dough. Do not over mix.
4 Prepare a work area and dust it with flour. Take the dough, a piece at a time, and roll it out gently with your hands until you have rolls about 3/4 inch in diameter. It is very important to keep a light touch while you are rolling the dough. Gently roll the dough with your fingertips while while exerting the lightest pressure outwards, not down, to draw the dough out.

5 Cut the tubes of dough into pieces about one inch long. Using either the tines of a fork or your fingertip, press against a piece of the dough and roll it slightly to form an indentation (good for catching the sauce). As the gnocchi are made, place them on flat baking pan, lightly dusted with flour or lined with wax paper. At this point you can freeze the gnocchi ahead of time. Freeze them first on a floured or lined tray, then once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag for more easy storage. To cook, just put the frozen gnocchi into the simmering water for the next step.

6 Bring at least 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a shallow saucepan. Gently drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the water. As soon as they rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon, draining well. Arrange on a warm serving dish. Continue cooking the gnocchi in the same manner.
7 As soon as all the gnocchi are ready, pour heated pasta sauce over them and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spices, Spices and more Spices!

Sadly to say I'm just now getting into spices, I need to start developing my pallet so that when I eat something I can I taste all of the the different flavors. In the next few weeks I will be taking a field trip to Lee Lee's market, it is one of my favorite places to go. It is a huge international market (check my earlier posts there are pics) I never used coriander and everyone is using cardamom pods. I will set aside 100 bucks and and go on adventure and the best thing about Lee Lee's is that their meat prices are so low!

I could spend all day there. I love ethnic foods I'm so dying to to try Caribbean, Greek and other ethnicity's. There is a section in Lee Lee's that sell whole cooked duck (with the faces on) and roasted pork and i have to say that was the most delicious pork I have ever tasted, it was moist, tender and so succulent I'm looking forward to getting more.

My neighbor gave me some dried peppers if anyone can give me any ideas on what to with them, they are large and reddish black. I have a question, can a person really get into ethnic foods and have a dislike to really spicy food? I went to Indian restaurant and the food was really spicy and I really want to try Thai food and I want to enjoy the flavors and not have my mouth on fire.

Any words of advice are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hi again!

It took me while to get my groove back. I am ashamed to call myself a foodie since there is so much I haven't tried. I live in Tempe and I really do not have any friends it is quite sad, I have arthritis in my knees and shoulders and lupus and I am in pain about 87 percent of my day. My income is limited but I do what I can every time I go to the store I always pick up something special just for me like vanilla beans, anchovies etc.. My dream is to start some kind of foodie club where we can meet and have a theme like one month exotic fruits, cheeses, Greek etc and everyone brings a authentic dish or once a month go to a different restaurant like a authentic middle eastern restaurant and such. I would just settle with a good pal that has the same interest as me, no one I know wants to experience new things. I am looking forward to use different spices. I am really embarrassed to call myself a foodie because of so little things I've cooked or try but I rather spend my Sunday in a international market than in a shoe store ( Don't be shocked!!) I never even tried a jicama, I am so ashamed! You don't even want to see the pots and pans I cook with let's just say I got the used. I am saving up for one pan a month. I promise I will not disappear again I'm hoping to make life long friends here. I am 42 and I hope it is not to late for me to start over! Plus I a ton of weight to lose and next month I can rejoin my contest cooking central family again (I had to quit due to lack of funds) I will be asking for advice of recipes cooking and hopefully get words of encouragement. Thank you for listening

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Now that I am back into doing what I love, I want to try two different ethnic dishes every month. Here in Arizona we have a great international market called LeeLee's so I can get what ever I need. So I'm thinking once a month i will try to authentically ( as best I can) make a dish from the following countries.

FEB- Greece, Spain
MAR- Africa, Brazil
APR- Poland, Jamaica
MAY- France, China

Wish me luck and I would appreciate any suggestions!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm backkkkk!

Hi everyone I took sometime off because two years ago I asked my 22 daughter to move from Boston to Arizona thinking we could become great friends and she can start a new life get a job go to school etc. What happens next was something I never thought would happen, My daughter spent the next
two years of sleeping all day and staying out all night, losing my keys in and out all scaring me leaving my house in such a mess that I was embarrassed for me to have company, constant disrespect, taking things that don't belong to her , always borrowing money and hasn't worked or gone to school since coming here. I have arthritis in my knees and shoulders and all this stress caused me to be in pain 90 percent of my day which also put me in such a depression that I lost interest in everything cooking, recipe contests, going out. But i finally kicked her out on november 30th, cleaned my house and now I feel good. I cleaned the whole house after she left this is a picture of under the couch! What do you guys think?