Saturday, December 12, 2009

One down . . . two more to go! :)

Finally! The fig cake cooled in the mold and I was able to unmold it without drama! lol The pork tenderloin (for the Korean-Style Pork Tenderloin) is already marinating in the fridge . . . we'll see tomorrow! In the meantime, I'll have a piece of cake with a cup of coffee . . . that would be my dinner! :)

P.S.:  Sorry about the photos being a tad fuzzy . . . but I snapped them with my cellphone! :P


Sidetracked . . . :(

Once again, I got sidetracked from my original plans by an "unexpected" call:  My boss needed my help and had to work online and make some phone calls . . . It's 3 p.m. and I just had breakfast not so long ago!  I wonder if someone put a curse on my kitchen! lol  Well, I guess I'll just have something light later for lunch/dinner, but I will def get started with the fig cake . . . Maybe I shouldn't even say it outloud, but . . . I'll cook the other two recipes tomorrow! :P


Friday, December 11, 2009

Current status . . .

Love is missing someone whenever you're apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you're close in heart.
~Kay Knudsen

What can I say? . . . he is in Michigan . . . I'm here . . . and I miss him like crazy!  So looking forward to seeing him again in 13 more days for Xmas!  Right now he must be on his way back home from one of those Xmas gatherings that everybody hosts around these days.  In the meantime, I'm just sitting here in front of my computer, biding my time, having a glass of red wine, thinking of . . . him!  The wine is making me feel fuzzy and warm (it's only 30 degrees F outside!  Brrrrr!!!) . . . He just called . . . he is home now, safe . . . and I'm getting in bed here shortly.  No work this weekend! Yay!!!  That means I'll be able to start uploading some recipes . . . . and, yep, I still have that "hot date" with my stove tomorrow . . . night, night! :)


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I have a "hot date" . . . with my stove!

I had planned on preparing these three recipes for lunch last Saturday, but a friend convinced me to go out with her to a crafts show . . . and, to top it off,  it was snowing!  Well, didn't regret going out after all.  Bought a couple of Xmas gifts--one for me--and then we had a nice late-lunch at Red Lobster.  The next day, Sunday, had to work on documents I brought home from the office . . . so . . . all the ingredients are still waiting for me!  They said on the news this morning that it might snow again this Saturday . . . well, not planning on going anywhere other than my tiny kitchen . . . :)

Korean-Style Pork Tenderloin

1/3 cup of low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
Olive oil cooking spray

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large zip lock bag, then add the pork. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Remove pork from bag, reserving marinade. Add pork to pan, cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Place pan in oven, and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 155-160 degrees (medium) or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Cut pork into 1/4 inch thick slices and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy.

For the Love of Cooking

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Roasted Acorn Squash with Chili Vinaigrette

2 (1 1/2 - to 1 3/4-lb) acorn squash or sub any winter squash of similar size. if you use large squash, adjust your cooking time
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450F. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Running with Tweezers
Tuesday, October 8, 2009

Fig Cake

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fig preserves
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below) or
Honey-Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
Garnishes: dried figs, fresh raspberries, fresh mint sprigs

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add buttermilk and vanilla; beat well.

Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; gradually add to buttermilk mixture, beating until blended. Fold in fig preserves, applesauce, and toasted pecans. (Batter will be thin.) Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store in refrigerator. Garnish, if desired.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Braswell's Pure Fig Preserves. Coarsely chop figs, if necessary.

Yield: 1 (2-layer) cake
Southern Living, December 1999
Photo: Charles Walton; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed just until blended. (Do not overbeat, or frosting will be too thin.)

Yield: about 3 1/2 cups
Southern Living, December 1999

Honey-Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and honey at medium speed with an electric mixer just until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed just until blended.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Oxmoor House, May 2001


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Julie & Julia

Finally, the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the movie were released today!  Will def buy the standard DVD version!  Loved the movie!!! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Tomato Jam

I love, love, love everything chicken and Chicken Parmesan is on my list of favorite picks at certain restaurants (minus the pasta . . . I prefer rice and will order it if available . . . hey! I'm a latina after all!). The neat and different thing about this recipe is the tomato jam. I'm not particularly enticed by Marinara sauce! The post appeared today on my Saveur link at Facebook, but the recipe actually comes from the blog "Rock Recipes". Enjoy! :)

Low Fat Baked Panko Chicken Paremesan with Roasted Tomato Jam

From the author: "I sometimes make large batches of this jam, just to have a couple of bottles of it on hand to use in other favorite recipes. This low fat baked version of chicken parmesan is one of my favorite uses for it to make a quick workday meal that is pretty healthy too, especially if you opt for a whole grain pasta. This recipe definitely deserves a place in your weekday meal idea arsenal."
4 large boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to season
flour for dredging
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked to make an egg wash
panko crumbs
olive oil

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, dip in the egg wash and then roll in the panko crumbs. Place in a lightly oiled baking dish and lightly spray olive oil over the tops of the chicken breasts. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Turn the chicken breasts once during the cooking time. Slice cooked chicken breasts and serve on angel hair pasta , topped with Roasted Tomato Jam ( or your favorite tomato sauce) and grated parmesan cheese . You can melt mozzarella over the top along with the parmesan if you wish.
Roasted Tomato Jam
6 medium vine ripened tomatoes diced
2 cloves minced garlic
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Toss together in a shallow baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has reduced off the tomatoes are the consistency of jam.


Déjà vu?

Didn't I have this for breakfast yesterday????? :P


Aren't they cute??? :)

Munny Speakers - More DIY How To Projects

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Late Breakfast . . .

Went to bed really late . . . around 4 a.m. this morning! Woke up to the sun shining . . . wishing it would snow again though . . . tomorrow Monday! :P
Just something simple for breakfast--and one of my favorites--a good cup of coffee and croissants! Have to work on some documents I brought home from the office, but I'll try to get back here later . . . :)


My Eclectic Favorites . . .

My taste is really eclectic, specially when it comes to food. It's hard to say what's gonna appeal to my senses at any given moment. I might have a craving for something as simple as a sandwich (a Peruvian "pan con chicharrón" comes to my mind now--yum) or truly elaborated as a "Coq au vin a la Julia Child". You might ask, "Why create another food blog?" After all, there are thousands out there. Well, this is not necessarily just a food blog . . . it's intended to be a repository of all my favorite things--cooking recipes included. I've been saving clippings/notes/cookbooks for nearly 35 years and thought it could be an interesting project to keep my favorite ones somewhere else other than in boxes or bookshelves. Also, since I like writing, I thought this space could give me the opportunity to express my thoughts and reveal my passions . . . :)

"I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

Some of my favorite things? In no particular order: lemon iced-tea, the smell of the sea, the smell of grass that has just been cut, lemongrass tea with lime, kissing, certain shades of green, cooking, watching cooking shows, NCIS, cuddling, walking barefoot on the beach, fireplaces, writing, watermelons, grapefruit juice, spending a whole day on the couch reading a good book, biking, mangoes, riding in the car with no particular itinerary, flea markets, chocolate cake, road side farm stands, the Flintstones, Bewitched, fluffy snow, cats, dogs, listening to music, painting, a good red wine, certain antiques, yellow flowers, apple strudel, oranges, candles, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Fridays and Saturdays, my computer, scrapbooking, collecting recipes, Scrabble,
chirimoyas, Peruvian food, shopping online, watching tv in bed, tangerines, crisp red apples, decorating, feeling in love . . .