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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

My MIL gave me one of the pumpkins from her garden, and although I know the french are not into cinammon and spice, I wanted to try pumpkin pie on them again... I tried it a few years ago (without a blender) and nobody liked it except for me. Well, this round went very differently!
1 3/4 cups cooked fresh pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used cassonnade)
1 1/4 tsp ground cinammon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 uncooked pie crust
To cook fresh pumpkin, chop in large pieces (or roast it whole) and put in an oven safe dish with 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp water, cover with foil, and cook for 20 minutes at 400°F or until tender. Drain water and blend.
1. Heat uncooked pie crust for 10 minutes in the oven at 350°F, but attack it with a fork first.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whip the eggs, spices, and cream.
3. Pour the pumpkin purée into the mixing and whip.
4. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 10 minutes at 425°F, then reduce to 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until you knife comes out clean when you poke it.

Yum.. and I'm STILL not sick of using pumpkin in like every recipe... pumpkin soup should be coming soon, and all this out of the SAME pumpkin!!

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Best Paella Ever

I've always loved paella.. but this is the best one I've ever had in my entire life! And no, it's not just because my dad made it! It was really fun sharing the cooking experience with him while he was in town. He was very impressed with me, and I was very impressed with his ability to make ANYTHING spontaneously delicious.. I'm talking strange combinations that I will soon share.
This dish served 5 with 2 getting seconds
2 cups basmati rice
3 lbs live fresh mussels or clams
3 chopped merguez sausages (sub pepperoni)
500g frozen seafood mix
1 chopped onion
3 chopped cloves garlic
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 chopped bell peppers
2 tbsp EVOO
1 cup white wine
2-3 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
for garnish:
lime slices (not lemon, but lime says the brother)
fresh chopped parsley
fresh chopped chives
1. Saute the onions, garlic, small pieces of sausage, pepper flakes, chili powder and turmeric in olive oil until golden and then put the frozen seafood in it.
2. Put in the uncooked rice, stir around for 5 minutes, and pour in the tomatoes, bell peppers, wine and herbs.
3. When liquid is absorbed, pour in 2 cups of the broth.
4. After the rice is 50-60% cooked, add fresh mussels or clams, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until most of the shellfish open and add any broth if the rice doesn't seem cooked enough.
5. Stir well and serve with parsley, lime slices, and chives on top.
I think I just drooled reminiscing

I have just been told that this is ABSOLUTELY NOT the way to make a real Paella. Apparently, it is sacrilege to use Basmati Rice and wine, and the spice combination is more "special."
Once I get the REAL recipe, I will try and compare.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The ROOTS Roast

Love the Roots! So when my dad was in town, he inspired me to use beets in different ways. This week my MIL came over for dinner and I had no idea what to do. They are the hardest since they come over most, they've had the rotation of most of my recipes, and I hate making guests eat the same thing over and over again. I looked in the freezer and found a nice pork roast (here they come bundled up in string) so I just went with the flow. I used almost all roots for this dish and everyone was impressed with the unusual flavor! I just threw in a bunch of stuff I had on hand and needed to use up.
This served 4 plus 1 leftover. It depends on how much you feel like putting in actually.
1 roast (I used pork, but use whatever)
roots: 1 beet
1 turnip
10 very small potatoes or 5 large ones
1 carrot
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
non roots: 1 cup fresh pumpkin
1 cup beer (take a few swigs and sacrifice the rest)
1 cube chicken bouillon (or beef if you're using beef roast)
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp thyme
1. Peel and chop into chunks all the vegetables.
2. Place your roast in the crock pot, and all the veggies around it... keep your beets on the bottom.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pour the beer in.
4. Wipe your tear off, you can always just grab another beer.
5. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or however long your crockpot takes to cook things.
Serve.. well, just serve.. it is a one pot meal!

Everyone loved it. It's sweet, red, earthy, but not too much, and the beer just makes excellent broth!
My FIL went in for seconds.. SECONDS!! He never does that! Especially at dinner.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spaghetti sauce Remix!

I thought it looked neat over black Penne!
I also switched out dried herbs for fresh...
Fresh thyme, basil, parsley, bay leaves.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Easy Turkey Taco Salad

A couple weeks ago I made this delicious Turkey Taco Salad. It was a big hit in our house, and I am sure it would be yours too! :) This recipe makes enough for 4.

2 pound ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 can chili beans
1 bottle of your favorite Italian Dressing
2 heads of romaine lettuce
1 small package Doritos (I used Nacho Cheese)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used Grape Tomatoes and cut them in ½)
4 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1 box of Spanish Rice (I love Rice-a-Roni)

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground turkey. Stir in the taco seasoning and chili beans. **I didn’t add the water as the taco seasoning directed me to…you can do whatever you please. :)

2. Cut the lettuce into bite size salad and the grape tomatoes in half. Crush the bag of chips, open the bag, and toss the broken chips into a large bowl with the lettuce and tomatoes. When the meat mixture is done, combine it with the lettuce, tomatoes, and chips and mix well. **It’s a good idea to let the meat cool a bit before you put it in the salad, so it doesn’t make the lettuce wilt. I put my meat in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

3. I added the Spanish rice to the bottom of the bowl, then the salad, and then Italian Dressing to your liking and top it off with cheese, salsa and sour cream. AND DEN, AND DEN, AND DEN!! (line from Dude, Where’s my Car!?)

Ok, we rarely have desert, but I was seriously craving a Root Beer Float! I also bought Orange Crush, for a half and half creamsicle flavor. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!! It was simply refreshing and OH SO YUMMY!!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Broken Spaghetti Risotto

Since i am now a stay at home mom, i watch shows like Ellen and the Rachael Ray Show =). Anyhoo, i saw this one on the Rachael Ray show and thought it looked fun and yummie... Fummie!


1 package dried mixed wild mushrooms or porcini mushrooms
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, a few handfuls
4 cups arugula
1/2 lemon, juiced


Place mushrooms, stock and water in a sauce pot and heat, keep warm on low.

Heat a medium saute pan or risotto pan with 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic to pan, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until tender 4 to 5 minutes. Add pasta and toast until deeply golden in color and very nutty in fragrance, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in wine and let it cook away, 1 minute. Ladle in stock every few minutes, stirring for a good minute with each addition of stock to develop starches. Evaporate almost all of the liquid before each addition of stock. Pasta will cook up quicker then rice. Start tasting after about 8 to 9 minutes of cooking time once you begin to add stock. When you are down to the last cup of your liquids, remove mushrooms, chop and add to pasta.

While the pasta cooks, toast hazelnuts in a skillet until fragrant. Peel nuts by rubbing the skins off in a clean kitchen towel.

When pasta is cooked to al dente, stir butter into the pan then stir in the cheese.

Dress arugula with lemon juice, a drizzle olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve risotto in shallow bowls topped with greens and nuts.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Terre et Mer (Surf n Turf)

When my sister in law once told me she was making a dish called Terre et Mer, I immediately translated Surf n Turf which equals Steak and Crab or Lobster or Shrimp or Steak and some kind of Seafood. Well, in France.. pairing steak with seafood is unheard of! Who knew?
Here, surf n turf is always Leeks paired with some kind of seafood. It works out, too because Leeks do come from the ground, and surprisingly pair very very well with seafood. This is my version or Terre et Mer. The first time I ate anything of the sort, it was Leeks and Scallops and it wasn't in a quiche, but mine is!
1 pie crust in dough form
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 leek, chopped and washed
1 handful frozen mussels (or whatever you have on hand that would count as "surf")
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp thyme
1 drizzle white wine for deglazing (I know you have an open bottle lying around)
1 good handful shredded swiss cheese
1. Heat your oil in a large pan and sautée your leeks with thyme until they are tender, stirring so they don't stick to the pan. This part is about 10 minutes.
2. While the leeks are cooking, lay your pie crust in a tin and poke it all over with a fork, then stick it in the oven at 400°F for 5-7 minutes, and take it out.
3. Add the frozen mussels to the leeks and let them heat through. Deglaze with the white wine and add salt/pepper to taste.
4. In a large bowl, wisk together the eggs and cream and shredded cheese.
5. In your pie crust, lay your leek and mussel mixture, and pour your eggs and cream mixture over it until evenly covered.
6. Pop back in the oven for 35 minutes or until golden. Let cool 10 minutes.

Serve with a fresh salad
I loved this! My favorite quiche recipe so far!

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chili-Yogurt Mushrooms

I'm always craving Indian food... This is my first "out of a book" recipe, and it turned out really mouthwateringly good! I found this easy and the only extra thing I had to buy was the mushrooms. I already had everything else on hand.
4 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
3-4 juicy tomatoes, chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
1tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish
pinch of sugar
red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet and cook the onions, stirring frequently until golden (5-8 minutes). Add garlic and cook, stirring for an additional 2 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and their juice and stir well. Add turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms, sugar and salt to taste. Adding salt with the mushrooms draws out their moisture. Cook covered for 8 minutes or until mushrooms have given off their liquid and are tender. If it seems a little dry, add the water.
4. Remove from heat, stir in yogurt viorously to prevent from curdling. Taste and adjust seasoning. I like it spicy, so I added red pepper flakes.
I served this as a side to my tandoori chicken and basmati rice with a sprig of cilantro. Oh so good!

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chicken Salad

Since I have a blog of my own, I was thinking I can't just post on there and not on our Foodie Blog!! So, since Marc and I have been back from our Newport Beach vacation we've had the house to ourselfs and when the 'rents are away, we tend to cook dinner more. I found this awesome Chicken Salad receipe on, that is super easy to make and I put my own twist on it. My favorite part of the salad is the BACON!! We had chicken salad wraps, but this salad is great with crackers, pita bread...and GREAT for the summer season because it's so light and fresh..and did I mention easy!? :)

2 cans of chicken (costco has the best canned chicken)
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (I usually add 6 strips of bacon...I love it and want it with every bite)
1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup halved green grapes
3/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 teaspoons finely minced onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

How to put it all together:
Combine chicken, bacon, water chestnuts, celery and grapes in large bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; add to salad and toss to coat. Chill until serving.

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J-Diddy's Beef and Spinach Lasagna

I know that we have tons of Lasagna recipes on our FFF Blog; but, why not another. Who can resist a Lasagna - right? ;)

1lb Ground Beef
1/4 tsp Salt
1 jar prepared Spaghetti Sauce
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1/4 tsp Ground Red Peppers
15 oz Ricotta Cheese
10 oz Spinach (you can use Fresh or Frozen)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 large Egg, beaten
10 Lasagna Noodles
1 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1. Heat oven to 375. In large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Stir in Spaghetti Sauce, tomatoes, red pepper. Set Aside.
2. Boil Lasagna Noodles - al dente
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine Ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan cheese and egg.
4. Spread 2 cups Beef Sauce over the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Arrange lasagna noodles lengthwise in a single layer. Break noodles to fit dish. Press Noddles into sauce.
5. Spread entire ricotta cheese mixture over noodles; sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese and top with 1 1/2 cups beef sauce. Arrange Noodles, press into sauce. Top with remaining beef sauce.
6. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until noodles are tender. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top; tent with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 minutes.

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