Monday, September 11, 2017

Driftwood Salad

DRIFTWOOD SALAD






Here's the recipe for the horseradish, pineapple and lime Jello salad from Pensacola's legendary, but long-gone, Driftwood Restaurant.



INGREDIENTS
  • Makes 15 to 20 servings.

  • THE SALAD
  • 1 packet (1/4 oz.) of Knox plain gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 small box (3 oz.) of lemon Jello
  • 1 small box (3 oz.) of lime Jello
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 3 to 6 (or more) tablespoons of horseradish
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped pimientos
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped red cherries

  • THE TOPPING
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of horseradish
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream, lightly whipped
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt



DIRECTIONS FOR THE SALAD
Using a large bowl add the 1/4 cup of water and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin into the water, let stand for 3 minutes. add the lemon Jello and the lime Jello and one cup of boiling water. Stir until all the gelatin has dissolved, three to five minutes. Add the can of undrained pineapple and chill until it starts to thicken. Meanwhile using another bowl, mix all the other ingredients and then add this mixture to the slightly thickened Jello and pineapple. Mix well and pour into a 9" by 13" baking dish or a 7- to 8-cup mold. Cover and chill three to four hours or overnight.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE TOPPING
Mix well, chill and serve this alongside the salad. Or spread it on top like frosting.
NOTES
Actually you have two sets of recipes here -- the first is my adaptation, the second is the Driftwood Restaurant's official version. The only changes I made were to add more pecans and horseradish and to make the salad itself a little less sweet.

Here's how I got the recipe. The Banakas family owned and operated the Driftwood Restaurant in downtown Pensacola for many years. Joan Daughdrill gave me this recipe. She got it from her friend, Elizabeth "Libba" Dennis. Roberta Banakas of the Driftwood gave it to Libba in 1960. It's a family favorite with roast turkey and Cajun fried turkey. I am sure it would be great with roast beef as well. It is always a hit at family dinners.

Regarding the horseradish, I personally think the best bottled horseradish is what you find refrigerated in your market's dairy case. The canned horseradish, usually near the mustard counter, that doesn't need to be in the refrigerator section can be harsh and unpleasantly bitter.

I use a lot of horseradish in this salad. You should, too.
Above is a copy of Libba's original recipe given to her in 1960 by Roberta Banakas. I don't understand the choice of "Cool Whip or sour cream." However another Pensacola version of horseradish salad includes sweetened condensed milk. So perhaps some folks enjoy more sweetness with their horseradish. I don't add any Cool Whip or condensed milk.

***preferably recipe without cool whip or condensed milk & either add some fresh lemon juice or lemon zest. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Salted Caramel Tart

 

 
 
 
 
Salted Caramel Tart
Recipetineats
Just made this recently & Tart pan should be an 11" Tart pan, or 10" springform pan with crust 1" up the sides. If using 10" springform pan, bake 20-25 minutes. 
This is made using the Australian way of making creamy caramel using condensed milk. While most recipes use golden syrup to get the caramel flavour, I find it works better to use a simple caramel – better flavour and the caramel is creamier. You don’t need a candy thermometer, and the caramel sets perfectly so it is beautifully soft and doesn’t run everywhere when you cut it. The topping is a chocolate ganache that is soft and melds into the caramel with every bite. This is decadent and luxurious, yet straight forward to make. Great show off dessert!!! Recipe VIDEO below.
Course: Sweet Baking 
Servings12
Calories562 kcal
AuthorNagi
Ingredients
Base:
  • 225 g / 8 oz plain sweet biscuits, 2 cups crushed (Arnott’s Marie Crackers, Graham Crackers, Note 1 for Digestives)
  • 150 g / 5 oz unsalted butter , melted (Note 1 for Digestives)
Caramel:
  • 100 g / 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup / 200g (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (395g / 14oz each)
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt (2 ½ - 3 tsp salt flakes)
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
  • 1/3 cup heavy/thickened cream
  • 150 g / 5 oz dark chocolate melts / chips
  • Sea salt flakes, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease and line the base only of a 23cm / 9" tart tin with a loose base. (Or a springform pan of a similar size)
  2. Roughly break up biscuits and place in a food processor, then whizz until fine crumbs form. Or do this step with a ziplock bag and rolling pin.
  3. Pour crumbs into a bowl, add melted butter, mix until it looks like wet sand and no dry crumbs remain. Pour into tin, then press firmly into base and sides – use something flat like a cup to assist (refer to video).
  4. Transfer to tray (safe handling), place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, then remove and cool slightly (5 minutes in fridge).
Caramel:
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and whisk to combine – butter may not incorporate fully. 
  2. Once it starts bubbling and the sugar is completely melted, pour in the condensed milk, whisking as you go. Whisk constantly until you see steam coming off the caramel (~ 4 minutes), then remove from heat.
  3. Add salt (adjust to taste), then pour the caramel into the tart base.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges of the caramel surface is golden and the surface has a “skin” on it, but the caramel is still soft and the centre jiggles slightly (see video for demo.)
  5. Cool on counter while you make the chocolate.
Chocolate Ganache:
  1. Place cream and chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Microwave in 2 x 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth.
  2. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken slightly, then pour over the base. Smooth top or make swirls like I did (just wait until the chocolate thickens slightly). Sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 ½ hours to allow chocolate to set. Then remove and bring to room temperature before slicing to serve. Handle carefully when sliding the tart off the base - or just leave it on to be safe and just remove the sides.

September 2017 Newsletter

September 2017 Newsletter

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Your Life Canvas
by Paula 2009 


Brushes in hand...we contemplate our palette of life...choices we will make
Each day brings added touches...some of warmth and beauty
Yet others, not so creative...day ends with a blank canvas
Contemplate carefully, making strokes of color to enhance your canvas...

Build on your canvas, adding texture and warmth...embrace beauty. 
Be creative...sensitive, inspired, preparing a masterpiece...
Unfolding the Master Artist's plan, allowing His guidance of each stroke.

And, then there's food for nourishment of the body! 

Slow Cooker Mango Chicken, my revised version follows. 
Author: Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (1/2-inch piece)
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into sixths
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • Additional chopped mango, optional
  • Sliced Thai basil, optional
  • Coconut Rice
Instructions
  1. In a slow cooker crock, combine tomatoes, coconut milk, lime zest, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, salt, turmeric, black pepper and ½ cup chopped cilantro. Add chicken thighs and onion. Turn to coat with sauce mixture.
  2. Top chicken mixture with mango, red pepper and cilantro.
  3. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or LOW for 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken to a cutting board and cut into bite-size chunks. Add back to crock.
  5. Stir in remaining ½ cup chopped cilantro. Garnish with chopped mango, toasted coconut and sliced Thai basil, if desired. Serve with Coconut Rice.
Notes
Next Time, this is my plan! 


Combine coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, turmeric, S&P, crushed red pepper & 1/2 cup cilantro. 

Place chicken thighs in large baking dish, pour sauce over & bake in 375 oven for 40-45 minutes, basting with sauce while cooking. 

On baking sheet, toss together onion strips, red bell pepper strips, halved cherry tomatoes with 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, 1/2 tsp. Each kosher salt & coarse ground pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Add 3/4 of the chopped mango & cook 10 additional minutes. 

Coconut Rice:

1 can coconut milk
Water to make 3 cups
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper
1" piece of ginger grated 
1 cup rice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup toasted almonds
Combine 1st six ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Stir in rice, reduce heat. Cover & cook 20 minutes. 
Stir in almonds & cilantro, serve. 

TO SERVE: 

Place rice on platter. Top with roasted chicken thighs, Spoon roasted veggies over & then sauce. Garnish with additional mango, Thai basil or cilantro, & toasted coconut. 

.................

Golden Mushroom Soup & Beef Stroganoff

2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Each kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper 
1 Tbsp. Tomato paste 
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup beef broth 

In oil, sauté mushrooms for 5 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper & tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add wine to deglaze pan. Add beef broth with cornstarch whisked into it. 
Bring to boil to thicken.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Golden Mushroom mixture
2 lbs. stew meat, sauté in Tbsp. EVOO 
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire
1 large diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. Fresh minced parsley 
S&P to taste

Noodles, Rice or Mashed Potatoes for serving. 

Sauté stew meat to brown. *
Mix Golden Mushroom mixture, onion, garlic  & Worcestershire in crockpot.
Add stew meat.
Cook on low for 6 hours. 
Turn to high; stir in cream cheese, sour cream, parsley, S&P...heat 10 minutes, stir
To combine & cream cheese is melted. 
Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. 

* Can also add 1/4 cup flour to coat stew meat before browning using a couple of Tablespoons of EVOO. To brown. 


...........
 This was SO good that I had to share!
Italian Joe's
adapted from Cuisine at Home
recipe shown with my changes/additions

1 lb. Mild Italian Sausage, casings removed
2-1/2 lb. ground chuck
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups diced red onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 Tbsp. tomato paste (I used sun-dreid tomato paste in the tube)
2 (15 oz.) cans tomato puree (I used Hunt's)
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes (I used Hunt's)
4 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

For serving: 
Ciabatta Bread
Sliced Provolone
Sliced Pepperocini


For serving:
Ciabatta Bread
Sliced Provolone Cheese
Deli Sliced Pepperocini

Brown sausage and beef in large pan over medium heat, breaking up any large chunks. Drain well.
Add olive oil to pan. Add onions, peppers, carrots, celery, tomato paste and garlic. Saute 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, wine, brown sugar, seasonings and browned/drained meat.
Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Heat Ciabatta bread in microwave for 15 seconds. Split. Topping each side with a slice of provolone. Top one side with
hot Italian Joe mixture and spoonful of deli sliced pepperocini. Place ciabatta top on and serve. ENJOY!



Brown sausage and beef in large pan over medium heat, breaking up any large chunks. Drain well.
Add olive oil to pan. Add onions, peppers, carrots, celery, tomato paste and garlic. Saute 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, wine, brown sugar, seasonings and browned/drained meat.
Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Heat Ciabatta bread in microwave for 15 seconds. Split. Topping each side with a slice of provolone. Top one side with
hot Italian Joe mixture and spoonful of deli sliced pepperocini. Place ciabatta top on and serve. ENJOY!

...........
Per my online friend, captainbasil 

Eggplant Parmigiana slow cooker 

 I love Eggplant. I think it's a very underrated vegetable. I tend to lean away from making Eggplant Parmigiana for two reasons. One: Everyone makes it and they think it's all you can do with Eggplant and Two: Frying Eggplant is a bit messy and making the dish makes a lot of...dishes. I stumbled upon this recipe courtesy of Delish.com.  This guy of Italian Descent was pretty skeptical but I had to try it. I was pleasantly surprised and my wife loved it. 

Make sure you use the Panko bread crumbs because they help the Eggplant crisp up without conventional frying and baking. Also, for the love of God use homemade sauce !  Preferably a light marinara. Somewhere in Heaven my Grandmother is raising her eyebrow, but try it. It works.  
 

Eggplant Parmigiana (Slow Cooker)



INGREDIENTS

• 2 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2" coins

• 2 eggs, lightly whisked

• 1 c. panko bread crumbs

• 1 tsp. garlic powder

• 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

• 2 c. marinara

• 12 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced

• 1/2 c. grated Parmesan

• Fresh basil, for garnish

• kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Place eggplant on paper-towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle each piece with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry.


2. Spread about a third of the sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker. Whisk together panko bread crumbs, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.


3. Dip each piece of eggplant in eggs then dredge in bread crumbs. Lay an even layer of slices into the slow cooker. Top with more sauce and mozzarella. Repeat layers 2 more times. Cook on high for 4-5 hours.


4. Sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with basil.
...........
From my online friend, Jane

Greek Rotini Salad

Years ago, when Gary and I were vacationing in the Pacific Northwest, I found this cookbook that was put together by The Junior League of Eugene. I am fond of Junior League books, they're fun to read, even if I don't actually cook anything from them. Well, I have cooked out of this one, and this salad has become a favorite. I have typed the recipe as written, but have customized it, which I will give you in my notes. This is too much for the two of us, so as with many recipes, I make half.



Greek Rotini Salad--"Savor The Flavor Of Oregon"

Serves 6 to 8

3 cups uncooked rotini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced green pepper
10 black or green olives
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
8 radishes, sliced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Cook pasta, drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

In a shaker jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic. Shake well to emulsify, set aside.

Combine pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, olives, feta cheese, radishes, green onions and parsley. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Serve immediately.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


My Notes: I add some red onion, and I prefer cutting my vegetables, except for the green onions and parsley, into bite-size chunks. I don't add the radishes, just a personal preference, and I have never eaten a Greek salad which has included them, so they don't go in.

We like olives, and while I haven't actually counted them out, I probably add more than 10. It's a Greek salad, so for me, it's Kalamata olives. We're also fans of feta, so that gets added to taste, which is possibly more (?) than the recipe calls for.

I usually make this ahead and stash it in the fridge for later and as the pasta tends to absorb some of the dressing, I make extra to have on hand in case it is needed or desired.

..........


Salted Caramel Tart
Recipetineats

Just made this recently & Tart pan should be an 11" Tart pan, or 10" springform pan with crust 1" up the sides. If using 10" springform pan, bake 20-25 minutes. 

This is made using the Australian way of making creamy caramel using condensed milk. While most recipes use golden syrup to get the caramel flavour, I find it works better to use a simple caramel – better flavour and the caramel is creamier. You don’t need a candy thermometer, and the caramel sets perfectly so it is beautifully soft and doesn’t run everywhere when you cut it. The topping is a chocolate ganache that is soft and melds into the caramel with every bite. This is decadent and luxurious, yet straight forward to make. Great show off dessert!!! Recipe VIDEO below.
Course: Sweet Baking 
Servings12
Calories562 kcal
AuthorNagi
Ingredients
Base:
  • 225 g / 8 oz plain sweet biscuits, 2 cups crushed (Arnott’s Marie Crackers, Graham Crackers, Note 1 for Digestives)
  • 150 g / 5 oz unsalted butter , melted (Note 1 for Digestives)
Caramel:
  • 100 g / 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup / 200g (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (395g / 14oz each)
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt (2 ½ - 3 tsp salt flakes)
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
  • 1/3 cup heavy/thickened cream
  • 150 g / 5 oz dark chocolate melts / chips
  • Sea salt flakes, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease and line the base only of a 23cm / 9" tart tin with a loose base. (Or a springform pan of a similar size)
  2. Roughly break up biscuits and place in a food processor, then whizz until fine crumbs form. Or do this step with a ziplock bag and rolling pin.
  3. Pour crumbs into a bowl, add melted butter, mix until it looks like wet sand and no dry crumbs remain. Pour into tin, then press firmly into base and sides – use something flat like a cup to assist (refer to video).
  4. Transfer to tray (safe handling), place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, then remove and cool slightly (5 minutes in fridge).
Caramel:
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and whisk to combine – butter may not incorporate fully. 
  2. Once it starts bubbling and the sugar is completely melted, pour in the condensed milk, whisking as you go. Whisk constantly until you see steam coming off the caramel (~ 4 minutes), then remove from heat.
  3. Add salt (adjust to taste), then pour the caramel into the tart base.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges of the caramel surface is golden and the surface has a “skin” on it, but the caramel is still soft and the centre jiggles slightly (see video for demo.)
  5. Cool on counter while you make the chocolate.
Chocolate Ganache:
  1. Place cream and chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Microwave in 2 x 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth.
  2. Set aside for 10 minutes to thicken slightly, then pour over the base. Smooth top or make swirls like I did (just wait until the chocolate thickens slightly). Sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 ½ hours to allow chocolate to set. Then remove and bring to room temperature before slicing to serve. Handle carefully when sliding the tart off the base - or just leave it on to be safe and just remove the sides.

Friday, August 11, 2017

August 2017 Newsletter

August 2017 Newsletter

Food for Thought...

The Year was 1684...

The year was 1684...the ship was filled with immigrants and Puritans traveling to the "New" America...passengers
seeking a new life, a land to prosper, marry and build a life for their families. Young men filled with vigorous
dreams...beautiful young women that captured the young men's fancy. Mothers and fathers, grandmothers
and grandfathers all ready to become a part of this new land, this "New" America.  English, Scottish,
Dutch, French and other descents could be found among the passengers.
The young Englishman, Richard had become captivated by the young vixen, Paula...there was an
attraction that he couldn't describe...sneaking glances, brief moments with one another...yet, the moment
they looked into one another's eyes, they knew. Fate had brought them together, this was meant
to be. They would risk all to be together...this was not infatuation, this was love.
The journey being long...people talked...as people do. What was it about this young woman? Something
they couldn't quite put their finger on...yet, they knew there was an oddity, a vixen spirit. Soon word
spread that she was a "witch"...Richard's family was devastated when they heard this...they wanted
only the best for their son. This young man that had so much ahead of him, so much to offer, any
woman would be proud to walk with him. Yet, Richard, was also a stubborn young man; he knew what
he wanted and knew this young vixen spirit would be his...it was meant to be. The captivating look she
gave him each time they met...the light sparkling in her eyes, the golden hues of her hair...Richard
was enthralled...she "must" be his!!! Stories continued to spread among the passengers, what could
they do? what should they do? Can the Captain isolate this woman to protect the other passengers?
Something has to be done. A "Witch" ...something had to be done!!!Richard had already made up his mind,
he knew his heart...he approached the Captain of his intent.
Late that night, Richard stopped by Paula's cabin and told her of the animosity stirring among the
ship's passengers. She was frightened that so many had learned her secret...surely they would seal
her fate and death would come. Richard took her into his arms, declaring his love...his protection. "You
will be safe, my Angel, you will never have to worry...I will always love and protect you."
Their lips met and sealed their future...revealing that hidden love, those hidden desires, an inkling
of what was to come. They scurried to the Captain's quarters, declaring their love and intent to
marry. The Full Moon and array of Twinkling Stars set the stage for their ceremony...on the deck
of the ship that night, the Captain performed the ceremony. Richard and Paula exchanged their
vows, becoming one...ready to continue this venture to the "New" America  as husband and wife,
One.
The next morning, the news traveled fast...the young Englishman, Richard, had taken the young vixen,
Paula,  to be his wife. His reputation, education, and worldly stature brought an abrupt end to the stories that had
surfaced regarding Paula. Surely this astute young man would not marry a witch, he was a man of
wealthy stature, education and highly admired by the majority of the passengers.  Days of sailing
passed...some still questioned the reasoning behind  Richard's decision ...yet, Richard and Paula knew...
fate had brought them together...each day brought new awakenings of their love. They were filled with
love, passion...this was what they both wanted, a love that was expressed with no remorse,
given freely and fully to one another. Nothing would match the passion they shared. They were meant
to be, this was a match made in Heaven.
Soon, they would be arriving in this "New" America...Richard and Paula anticipated a "new" chance
for happiness in this "New" America. Richard would become a great businessman...they
wanted for nothing monetarily. There was nothing lacking in their fairy tale life of romance.
His knowledge and expertise preceded him and they became one of the first affluent couples in
"New" America...they wanted for nothing. Their love, their passion, his business ethics gave them
the life many only dreamed about.
But, alas, sometimes dreams are short lived...Richard and Paula lived a full life...a successful life.
Unfortunately, Paula became ill...this magical love, fairy tale romance would only last for a short
time...yet each day overflowed with love and passion that few people ever know or realize. That
cold December morning, Richard came home from the office and found Paula snuggled under the
covers. He crawled in the bed beside her, taking her in his arms. "You're safe, My Love...just rest your head
upon my shoulder" ...Paula snuggled into his embrace, feeling the warmth and safety of his love.
Her breathing became shallow, although she was warmed by his love...she found herself struggling
for breath. She snuggled against him, felt his breath on her, his kiss that confirmed his love. Breathing
became more difficult, more shallow. "Richard", she whispered faintly, " we have shared something
many will never know in their lifetime; we have known love, we have known passion...we have been
truly loved" she whispered as she took her last dying breaths...
Richard's heart was breaking..."Don't leave me, My Angel Baby" ...."Don't leave me!"
Paula's eyes were growing weak, her breath more shallow...her last look was directly into Richard's
eyes...an all-knowing look..."YOU are my love, YOU are my life, I will never forsake you, nor leave
you. As eternity goes on, we will meet again, My Love...we will continue our love...we will know love
when we are old, we will recognize one another and Know...this is only a continuance of our love...
and once again, I will be your wife in another lifetime..."


Centuries of time passed...1950 & 1951 brings the birth of babies in different parts of America. A baby boy
named Richard comes into this world...in another part of the country a baby named Paula is born.
Their lives are blessed through the years, each of them marries...have children and go about their lives.

2001 brings sadness to both...each of them losing their respective spouse.
Richard continues with his work, he is highly respected in his profession. Children are grown and
moved away and he knows there is a part of life missing...he wants to know love and share his life with
another. Paula, who now lives in North Alabama also goes on with her life...she continues writing and
works as a chef (fulfilling her passion of cooking). Children are grown and moved away, yet, there is a
void; although she is a basically happy person...she needs more...desires more. Having known love,
she wants to fill that void and know love again...share her days and nights with another.

2008, Richard has seen a few women in the past several years...but nothing has "clicked"...he knows
what he wants in life. Paula also has seen a few men...again, nothing has "clicked". Fate is guiding
both of them, although they are unaware of what will be. Computer age opens a new chapter in
their lives. Richard comes across a profile on a dating site...e-mails a note to Paula asking would she
like to meet. Paula responds and they talk several times...making plans to meet.
2009, a couple meets...Richard and Paula "know" this is what they have been searching for...numerous
happenings and obstacles come into the picture; yet, they "know". Time has brought them to this
place, this meeting...and opportunity to renew their love, their passion, their lives.
"Years have passed, Sweetie...but once again, we have been given this opportunity to love and be
loved...a continuance of our love. We won't let this opportunity escape us, I love you, Richard."
"I know, Angel Baby, this is our second chance...we have known this love in another lifetime. Come here,
My Angel, let me hold you...You are safe, You are loved...I love you, Paula."

................................

Another Cannoli Dip

 Ingredients 

10 servings
 2 cups ricotta cheese
 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Beat ricotta cheese and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth; add sugar and vanilla. Continue to stir mixture until sugar is completely incorporated. Fold chocolate chips through the cheese mixture.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 10 minutes.

Serve with waffle cones broken into chip size pieces, Cinnamon graham 
Crackers or Pita chips. 

...........................


Brownstone's Bloody Mary Mix
Posted by CaptainBasil

Since I recently wet everyone's appetite for a Bloody Mary, I thought I would share the recipe that we use.   


Brownstone's "Bad Ass" Bloody Mary

For the Mix:
32 oz Tomato Juice
1 oz. Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 oz. A1 Steak Sauce (We just use a store brand)
1/2 TBS Jerk Seasoning (I recommend googling a recipe and making your own.)
1 tsp. Celery Salt
1 tsp. to 1 TBS Prepared Horseradish (We go heavy because we love it.)
1/2 oz. Tabasco
1/2 oz. Cholula Hot Sauce (Frank's Redhot works great too)
1 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice 

For the Bloody Mary:1 1/2 oz Vodka
5 oz. Bloody Mary Mix
Garnish as you please. 
(I suggest a tooth pick with 2 or 3 olives and a slice of Hot Italian Soppressata.)
Other garnishes... celery stalks, lemon or Lime wedges, skewered veggies.
...............................

These would be great for a Heavy Appetizer/Hors d'Oeuvres Dinner/Cocktail Party...Italian Meatball Buns, Antipasti Platter, Fruit & Cheese platter, Roasted Vegetable Skewers, Cannoli Dip with Cinnamon Pita Chips...Sparkling French  Lemonade (a new found favorite) , Wine & Beer.  

Italian Meatball Buns

  • 12 frozen bread dough dinner rolls
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce, warmed

DIRECTIONS

Let dough stand at room temperature 25-30 minutes or until softened.
Cut each roll in half. Wrap each portion around a meatball, enclosing meatball completely; pinch dough firmly to seal. Place on greased baking sheets, seam side down. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake buns 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with oil; sprinkle with cheese and basil. Serve with marinara sauce. Yield: 2 dozen.
























Commanders Palace Garlic Bread



1 14-inch loaf of French bread
1/2 pound of butter
8 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dry dill
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a small saucepan, heat the butter with the minced garlic. While the butter is melting, cut the French bread lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. When the butter has melted continue to heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the dill to the garlic butter.

Brush the garlic butter onto the bread, this is your first layer. Sprinkle the cheese onto the bread. Dot the remaining garlic butter onto the bread.

Place the bread in the oven cook the bread for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bread begins to brown. Slice the bread and serve immediately.




Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter

 EatingWell Test Kitchen
“For this recipe, convenient store-bought potato gnocchi are tossed with delicate ribbons of zucchini, shallots and cherry tomatoes that have all been sautéed in nutty browned butter.”

Ingredients

    • 1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 medium shallots, chopped
    • 1 pound zucchini, (about 3 small), very thinly sliced lengthwise (see Tip)
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  • 1Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  • 2Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add the gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
  • Tip: To make “ribbon-thin” zucchini, slice lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline slicer.