Saturday, February 21, 2015

MARCH 2015 Newsletter

March 2015 Newsletter
FINAL CHAPTER Knowing you and loving you has been a beautiful part of my life... Hurting you and causing you so much pain has been a heart wrenching part of my life. The path from that first moment we saw each other has been filled with mountaintops and valleys... Forgive me that I was unable to maintain balance on that mountain and lost my footing. Falling into a ravine from which there will never be a pathway out. Should I ever reach the top of the ravine, it breaks my heart knowing, Part of me will always remain in the depths of the ravine. The part that was able to love and reveal herself to another. Destined to journey on seeking that path and living....The Final Chapter of a lifetime to never be fulfilled again.... Paula 2005
Recipes from sites & friends that I want to try!

40 mins
10 mins
50 mins
Author: Katya @
Serves: 4
Pizza Toppings
1 sheet of puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets from 17.3 oz/1.1 lbs. pkg. which has two sheets but I only used one), thawed out overnight in refrigerator
1½ firm-ripe avocados, cubed ½ inch
2 med. tomatoes, seeded, cored and diced ½ inch
½ med. red onion, thinly sliced
1⅓ cups shredded Italian Five Cheese blend
Pizza Pesto
3 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. honey
⅛ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp paprika
½ cup chopped cashews
⅔ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions, roughly chopped
½ Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ cup olive oil
Avocado Sauce
½ cup mayo
½ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. milk
1 green onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 avocado
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
Pizza Pesto
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until throughly mixed.
Avocado Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until throughly mixed. You may need to stop the food processor and scrape the sides to blend all ingredients well.
Assembling Pizza
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface ¼" thick (it does not have to be perfectly round). Pierce the puff pasty with a fork to prevent bubbling and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet or pizza stone.
Spread the pizza pesto evenly over the puff pasty and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden crisp around the edges.
Remove the puff pasty from the oven and place the prepared tomatoes, red onions, and avocado on top.
Drizzle with Avocado Sauce as much or as little as you like and enjoy!
The ingredients listed are for one pizza, except for Pizza Pesto and Avocado Sauce, which yields enough for a second pizza. Double up the pizza topping ingredients to make a second pizza and use the second sheet of puff pasty.

From alpiner
This recipe is from a very old Presbyterian Church cook book my mil gave to me when DH & I were newly weds . The plastic binding is gone , its held together with a rubber band now , very well used .
Creamy Nut Cake
2 c. cake flour
2 tsp . baking powder
1/2 c . sugar
1 c . brown sugar firmly packed
1/2 c . shortening
1 c . milk
2 eggs
1/4 tsp . maplene
1/3 c. finely chopped nuts
Sift together first four items . Add next five items and beat 3 minutes . Then fold in finely chopped nuts . Pour into lightly greased and floured pans or line pans . Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes . Makes 2--9" layers .
Creamy Nut Icing
1/2 c. shortening (half of it should be butter )
2-1/2 T . flour
1/4 tsp . salt
1/2 c . milk
1/2 c . firmly packed brown sugar
2 or more c . sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp . vanilla
1/2 c . nut meats
Boil first 4 ingredients one minute ( it might curdle but it won't matter ) . Stir in brown sugar and remove from heat . Sift and stir in powdered sugar and cool thoroughly over cold water . ( Add more powdered sugar if necessary ) . Add vanilla and beat 'til thick . Add nut meats . Frosts 2-layer cake generously .
Like Sheila G's
YIELD: 2 1/2 dozen 2" x 1 1/2" pieces
2 oz. chocolate (65% cacao)
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 egg whites
1/2 cup Diamond of California Pecans
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preparation: Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a bakesheet with parchment paper and lightly cover with non-stick spray.
Place chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30-second bursts until melted (making sure to stir in between). Once melted, stir in sugar, espresso powder and vanilla extract; set aside.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda; set aside. Place eggs in a stand mixer bowl, fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium high until eggs are frothy, about 3-4 minutes (mixture should resemble well lathered shampoo). Add in chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Turn mixture to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined.
Spread batter onto parchment, using an offset spatula to spread mixture as thin as possible. Sprinkle pecans and mini chocolate chips on top. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan. Break up brittle with hand.
****If you want the brittle to have uniform cut pieces. remove pan at 20 minutes, using a knife score to preferred size. Return pan to oven for another 5 minutes to bake. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan and break apart at scored marks.
Rustic Canyon's Honeycomb Ice Cream
Honeycomb candy:
5 tablespoons sugar, preferably organic evaporated cane sugar
2 tablespoons wildflower honey, preferably organic
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a small to medium pan, combine the sugar and honey, and cook
until the sugar is melted and the mixture has turned a caramel
Remove from heat and add the baking soda all at once, quickly
stirring to evenly distribute the soda. Be careful, as the soda
will cause the sugar mixture to bubble rapidly.
Pour the honeycomb into a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment
and set aside until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes.
Break the honeycomb into big and small pieces, and store in an
airtight container until needed.
Honeycomb ice cream:
3 cups heavy whipping cream, preferably organic
1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk, preferably organic
1 tablespoon vodka
Pinch of salt
Prepared honeycomb
In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Stir in the
condensed milk and whip again to soft peaks, then whisk in the
vodka and salt.
Gently fold in the honeycomb, careful not to overmix; you want a
swirl look to the ice cream. Transfer to a smaller container and
put in the freezer until firmed, 1 to 3 hours. This makes about
one-half gallon of ice cream.
Southwestern Chicken Salad in Avocado Bowls
Recipe courtesy George Stella’s “Real Food Real Easy” Cookbook
Prep Time 15 mins / Serves 4
Shopping List
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2⁄3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chunky salsa
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 avocados
1. Fold chicken, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, and lime juice together in a large bowl, shredding chicken with a fork until your desired consistency is reached.
2. Cover and refrigerate chicken salad for 30 minutes for the ingredients and flavors to mingle, or skip to the next step to serve immediately.
3. When you are ready to serve, slice the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Use each half as a serving bowl for 1 person, stuffing chicken salad into the empty pit cavity and then mounding heaping spoonfuls over top of the entire surface of the avocado half. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.
George’s Tips | When shopping, look for a chunky salsa without any added sugar or corn syrup in the ingredients list. I've found that Pace’s Chunky Salsa does not add sugar and they should be readily available in any grocery store.
Variation | Give the salad more texture by adding 2 tablespoons of diced green bell pepper or a few teaspoons of diced jalapeño pepper, if you like spice. You can also serve topped with shredded Cheddar jack cheese and chopped bacon for even more great flavors!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 2015 Newsletter

FEBRUARY 2015 Newsletter
Food For Thought:
I travel along the highway...early morning, Reminiscing the past couple of days spent with you. The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel along the highway.., anticipating... The next time that we spend together... The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel throughout the day...early afternoon, Anticipating the times that we will spend together... The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel into the evening, darkness arrives, Anxious to lie in your arms, your voice saying, "My Angel"... The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. I travel into the days... that lie ahead, Longing to spend my days and nights with you. The moments of laughter, the moments of passion, your love embracing me. Just the moments "together" fill my heart and mind. Paula 2010


My recipe was inspired by Paschal Manale's and Paul Prudhomme.
Creole BBQ Shrimp
Adapted from Pascale’s Manale, New Orleans
Yields: 4 servings
Here’s a dish with a big misnomer, since the shrimp don’t go anywhere near a barbecue. This very rich dish was created at Pascale’s Manale restaurant in New Orleans, made there with heads-on shrimp and baked, not barbecued, with plenty of butter. A casserole of these will go fast.
8 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. fresh snipped rosemary
2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, deveined, shell on (I use Royal Reds)
1/2 Amber beer
3 lemons (2 to squeeze and one sliced into thin rings)
Salt, to taste
1. Heat a large sauté pan (large enough to hold the shrimp in one layer) or a 9x13 baking dish. Add the butter, oil, garlic, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary and hot pepper sauce; stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the beer. Add the shrimp and toss in the sauce, and even them out in one layer. Squeeze lemons over the entire area. Sprinkle with salt, cover with sliced lemons and place in a preheated 375° oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are just done, tossing them once.
2. Serve in soup bowls with the sauce and crusty Italian bread on the side.
Made these sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday last year and they are SO good! Enjoy!
Italian Beef Sandwiches
1 (3 to 4 1/2 lbs) beef roast, trimmed
1 can (12 ounces) beer (you choose the flavor), or use 1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 12-oz. jar sliced Pepperoncini peppers, with the liquid
Spicy Mustard or Dijon Mustard
Hard Rolls, Ciabatta Rolls, French Bread, etc.
Pour beer or beef broth into crock pot. Drain liquid from pepperoncini into crockpot. Stir in the salad dressing mix until well-blended. Place about half of the peppers in the crockpot. Trim fat from the roast; place in crock pot on top of peppers. Top roast with remaining peppers. Cook Italian beef on low 8 to 10 hours Remove cooked roast from crockpot; cool slightly. While still warm, pull roast with two forks to shred. Toast split rolls, add 2 slices Provolone cheese. Spread with Dijon or Spicy Mustard. To serve, ladle small amount of warm liquid from crock over split roll or bread, top with shredded beef, then follow with more beef liquid as desired. Serve with additional peppers on the side and small bowl of the au jus for dipping your sandwich.
Serves 12 to 16
Serve with forks and a stack of napkins.
Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons
from Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup quartered button mushrooms ( I used Baby Bellas)
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves, minced)
1 1/2 cups diced red potatoes (I used, unpeeled red potatoes)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp dry sherry (I used 1/2 cup Dry Vermouth)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken ( I cut and sautéed 3 chicken breasts in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dry)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste (I didn't find it necessary to add any more salt or pepper)
Puff Pastry Croutons
Melt butter over medium high heat in the pot you will use to make the soup.
Sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, carrot and garlic for about 4 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook about 3 minutes more. Whisk in the flour and cook a couple of minutes to
get rid of the raw taste. Deglaze pan with sherry. Stir in broth, chicken,
thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
and the mixture has slightly thickened. Stir in the corn, peas, parsley and lemon juice.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.
Puff Pastry Croutons
1 ***** frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 Tbsp water
kosher salt
grated Parmesan (about 1/4 cup)
paprika (about 1 tsp., I used Smoked Paprika)
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking ***** with parchment or Silpat.
Roll pastry out on floured surface to 1/4" thick. Beat egg with water and brush over dough.
Sprinkle with salt, Parmesan and paprika. Cut in 1 1/2" squares and transfer to baking *****.
Bake 15-20 minutes or till puffed and golden brown.
A favorite at the restaurant! ENJOY!
Chicken Pomodoro Pasta w/Eggplant Parmesan!
Pomodoro Pasta and Eggplant Parmesan
This was a big hit at the Valentine's Dinner, Spirit of Athens Luncheonand our weekend dinner feature this week where I served it recently. I did also serve it with a Grilled Chicken Breast, cut on the bias, topping the Pomodoro Pasta and a Baguette for sopping up that wonderful sauce! The flavors of the sauce are SO fresh!
Paula's Pomodoro Pasta
12 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onion or shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
1-28oz. can Italian Plum tomatoes with basil (I prefer San Marzano) hand crush tomatoes before adding to sauce
1 Tbsp. chicken base
crushed red pepper to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add Balsamic and wine to deglaze. Add next 5 ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese. Reserve 1 cup of sauce for Eggplant.Toss with Angel Hair Pasta and serve. Garnish with additional basil and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
2 eggs mixed with 1/2 cup milk
Self Rising flour
2 cups Panko bread crumbs seasoned with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2" oil in skillet for frying
reserved pomodoro sauce
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Place eggplant in colander and season with salt. Let stand 20-30 minutes.
In 3 shallow flour, egg mixture and bread crumb mixture. Dredge each slice in flour, egg wash & bread crumbs. Fry in preheated oil until golden, turning once. Place on parchment lined baking pan. Top each with dollop of sauce and sprinkling of shaved Parmesan. Bake in 350 preheated oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese. Serve immediately.
I'm not Italian, nor do I claim to cook like my Italian friends...but if it's really good and pleasing to friends and family, I'm willing to share it!
I'm not much on Chocolate but this is by far the Very Best Cake and Icing "EVER" known to man. This icing is great on brownies and on top of any homemade ice cream.
Layer Yellow cake with Homemade Fudge Icing
Make the icing first~ What you'll need:
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 blocks unsweetened baking chocolate
2 5-oz. cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large, heavy 'pan' over medium-low heat add the sugar, chocolate, milk, butter, and vanilla all at one time. Cook slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Do not let this boil. It is important to make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved and no texture remains.
For the Cake layers~ What you'll need:
1 cup butter (room temp= unsalted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs (room temp)
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Now let's make and assemble this baby!!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8” cake pans with shortening and set aside.
1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl and add the eggs all at once and beat until well mixed.
2.Add the flour and water alternately, beginning and ending with flour. *Note: It is normal for the batter to appear curdled. Don't freak out!!
3. Mix in the vanilla.
Now, pour approximately 3/4 cup batter into each greased prepared pan. Smooth the batter to the edges of the pans. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until layers are barely golden on top. Remove from oven and turn out onto cooling racks.
If you don't have enough pans, clean the pans, grease them and repeat baking. When next set of layers go into the oven, begin icing the cake.
Place a still-warm layer on a cardboard round set atop a cooling rack inside a baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup icing on the layer spreading it gently to the edges. Top with the next layer and repeat.
When all layers have been stacked and iced, spread remaining icing over top and sides of the cake. If the icing becomes thick, return the pan to "very low"heat until it returns to spreading consistency.
Use 8-10 pans.