Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arabic Style Potato Salad

I cannot believe that I have not blogged about this ever so simple recipe. This one goes way back and the joy of this is that is best a room temperature. I try not to make more than we can eat, for it does not refrigerate well...to me at least. And this is about thee only recipe I can make without a card to go by. Enjoy and feel free to adapt this to your family and home.

5-6 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2-1 onion, chopped small
1 medium-large tomato, seeded and chopped
2-3 T olive oil (play with this one)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T dried mint or 2-3 T fresh
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook your potatoes until barely fork tender. Drain and immediately put into serving bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently as not to disturb the potatoes or break them apart. Remember not to overcook them and you will be good to go. Serve hot or cooled down, either way is AOK!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why I "Don't" Eat Out!!!

I'm sitting in my TV room thee other day and on comes this advertisement for some hidden camera show. And one of the clips they show is a kid delivering a pizza. He gets to the destination, has no clue he is being filmed, opens the box of pizza, then commences to shake his head whilst scratching his head onto the pizza. Closes the box and delivers the pizza. I swear I thought I was going to lose my lunch right there.

We however have quit having pizzas delivered. We go and pick them up now, but we do it for completely different reasons. Then my husband comes to me with another story.

My husband was talking to xxxxx and xxxxx told my husband that xxxxx was in the kitchen of a local resturant where xxxxx works and xxxxx noticed that they had sweat on some customers food. That was when my husband asked xxxxx why xxxxx was not wearing a hair net. xxxxx explained why. My husband then commenced to tell xxxxx that that was why we rarely if ever ate out. I highly doubt that eating out will ever be on our calender.

We have a toddlers Birthday Party to attend this coming Saturday, and first off I don't want to eat that crap and secondly after hearing xxxxx'x story about what goes on behind the scenes in any given restaurant kitchen, I will come home and make my own food that is dandruff free and who knows what else.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yummy Risotto

I am a chicken doo doo when it comes to Risotto. I know what it is, I watch cooks and chefs do it on TV all the time, so I know the process, but it's like a child who never wants to take off that last training wheel.

Well tonight I let go of that last training wheel and made Risotto. And I am so very glad that I did. Best decision I ever made. I visit Chef Chuck's Cucina quite often. Granted, he serves of lots of meat dishes, but every now and then he makes a veggie friendly dish, or at least a dish I can vegetize.

His blog is upbeat, enjoyable, well written and he knows his stuff. He rates A+ in my book, or blog...if you will. So go and see his Risotto alla Primavera and you will be glad that you did.

I have tried to copy and paste thee ingredients and instructions, but alas, I have failed to get it to do so. So please go and visit Chuck, he has his groove on and it is in the kitchen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

There's Nothing To Eat

Yeah riiiiiiight!

I had a garage sale about 3 weeks ago and we unloaded some high ticket items. We took in a pretty penny. We could have easily payed some much needed bills in advance, but my husband was super generous and said we would take the money and put shelves in the pantry that has been jury rigged for about 6 years now. My husband works in a grocery store and when a rack that has been used for a display is no longer needed, he asks if he can take it home (that is if we truly need it) and this time we did.

Fast forward 6 years and I am busting at the seems in my kitchen. I could almost have my bed put in there, that is how much I love being in my kitchen. But with the new shelves being put in I want to get an idea on how much stuff I truly do have in my pantries. Well, let me tell you if anyone and I do mean anyone ever comes to me and says, "There's nothing to eat." I swear I am going to wallop them up side their head. So for those of you who may be curious as to what is in my pantry, I wrote it all down...minus my spice cabinet.

Powdered sugar
Raw sugar
Canola oil
Coconut oil
Thin Spaghetti
1 container of hard white wheat (Rubbermaid container)
1 container of hard red wheat (Rubbermaid container)
2 big cans chicken (For hubby)
3 small cans tuna (for hubby)
1 small jar of pimentos
1/3 box of cous cous
1 jar homemade jelly
2 cans nectar, 1 mango, and 1 apricot
Cooking wine
Apple cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar
Sub sandwich vinegar
Pancake syrup (the garbage my son buys)
Maple syrup
Can of raisins
Box of prunes
Can of cashews
Can of mixed nuts
Mojo (Spanish marinade sauce)
Mayonnaise (My one HUGE weakness)
Dijon mustard
Jelly-black cherry
1/2 bottle light olive oil
Jar of Spanish's capers
2 Lg cans of tomatoes
4 small cans of tomato sauce
3 small cans of tomato paste
2&1/2 boxes of baking soda (mostly for cleaning)
4 cans smoked oysters (for hubby)
1 box wheat gluten
1 Tub of popcorn (I order 45 pound buckets of this stuff)
1&1/4 bag of unbleached flour
1/4 tub of olive oil
I have these glass jars I have had for years that I purchased form Michael's about 15 years ago. they are to die for and I can see the grain/bean inside them. So this next bunch is inside the jars. And some are in mason jars, depending on how small amount of grain I have.

Jasmine rice
pinto beans
green split peas
black beans
pearled barley
black eyed peas
chick peas
bulgar wheat
brown rice
great northern beans
arborio rice
light red kidney beans
adzuki beans
2 packages of amaranth
1 box of falafel mix
container of nutritional yeast
Large container of peppercorns
package of sliced almonds
package of sweetened coconut
6 cans of coconut milk (I Need Help River!!)

So there you have it. It's my plan to eat this down so I can rotate my pantry with some new items we have never used or at least with items we use rarely. Since becoming a vegetarian again I am loving how my recipe door is opening and I owe many thins to all you ladies, and gentlemen that I follow and depend on for tried and true recipes. So keep 'em coming folks!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Southern Biscuits

Thank you Paula Deen, for being form the south, loving to be in the kitchen and have the best darned comfort foods form the south that I can usually veganize.

I have always wanted to make a good southern biscuit, but I know how difficult that can be. And then add giving up shortening (or at least Crisco) and not using cows milk (my grandmother used evaporated) and all that other stuff that goes with the south. In walks Cooking Lady and viola, experiment begins. This is as close to perfect as you can possible get. However, this are not super duper risers. But the taste stand alone. We got this recipe from her cookbook Paula Deen and Friends, Living it up Southern style. Some truly great recipes in there and some I cannot vegetize, but some I can and have. This woman is the poster child for the South. You either love her or cringe when you hear the 'Hey Ya'll' I find comfort in her, for she reminds me of my Nanny (grandmother on my mothers side, who was from Lyons Georgia). Take a few minutes and try these, you will not regret it.

2 cups all purpose flour (we used unbleached wheat flour), more for dusting your countertop
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1 T sugar (we used raw)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (we used coconut oil)
2/3 cup whole milk (we used almond milk)
1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray (we used coconut oil with a pastry brush).

2) Place the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, in a food processor. Pulse 4 times to combine the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and process until the shortening is completely incorporated. Add 1/3 cup of the milk and pulse 4 times. Add 1 T more milk and pulse 4 times. If the dough holds together, stop adding milk. If you need more, add a little more.

3) When the dough holds together, turn it our on to a floured board/countertop. Roll or pat out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out biscuit with a 1 & 1/2 or 2 inch cutter (I used a glass in my cabinet). Place the biscuits on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. (We did not need to cool these puppies, for they were gobbled up straight away and so will they in your home.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Does A Horse And A Radish Have In Common?

Not a darned tootin' thing, but horseradish is a great base to many a dish. I myself am a sissy in the world of heat, and I am referring to spicy foods not temperature. But horseradish I truly love...in moderation.

I found this recipe via McDougalling with Chile and Friends. If you haven't visited them, go by and take a gander. While playing catch up older posts I saw a recipe for a homemade dressing, and for those of you who know me, I have let go of bottled dressings, however, I do not have a decent repertoire of dressing to keep my shelf filled with a variety. That is not to say the ones I do have are garbage, on the contrary, they are delicious. But I am always looking for that next new flavor. Well I have found such a one. If your will follow me to THIS blog, you will find the original recipe. I did not use it on roasted veggies, but trust me when I say that I will for sure next go round.

4 T olive oil
6 T white wine vinegar (we used rice wine and it is still delicious.)
2 T Dijon mustard
2 t horseradish (we used prepared)
Salt and pepper to taste.

I cannot wait to be Thumper (Rabbit from Bambi movie) and have a salad tonight. This is so good that you might want to try it over your ice cream...OK maybe not. You can find thee original recipe HERE

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Well for those of you who may not know, I am trying to curb my coffe intake, and I am not doing half bad. I am picky about my hot teas so I pretty much stick to ginger tea (Just grated from the root in a pot of hot water). But every now and the, mostly when hubby is off from work, I will have a few cups with him.

But with him being Cuban, he is hooked on Cuban coffe, more fondly referred to as espresso to those who frequent Starbucks and the such. But do not think I have some fancy schmancy espresso machine, oh no no no. I have one that could have come from the days of the caveman. Ungowa (that is for those of you who use to watch Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan).

My husbands cousins aunt sister...you get my meaning. Was moving back to Texas and had a house full of things to get rid of. In steps the cooking lady and you instantly have a garage sale. But before we set up house (no pun intended) we rummaged through to see if there was anything that interested us, and there was plenty. But we did not keep more than we sold, so we are good to go.

What we did find was this little gem.

This was probably used in the time of my grandmother. If you look to the left, that is your reservoir (where you place the cold water), which you actually place in the receptacle all the way to the right(the thing with the handle), it is portable. You fill that with water, for the coffee will fill back up in to there, so it just makes sense. You unscrew the little black knob on the receptacle on the left, pour in your water and replace the empty receptacle where the coffee will come back into.

You will see in thee upper right hand part of this implement a handle that stick out horizontally. That is a piece of the machine that is also removable. You pull it to the left and it pops down. That is where you put your coffe. Now, if you have never seen coffe ground for espresso, then you are in for a treat. It is nearly the consistency of flour. It is nearly as fine as talc. Weird to look at when you are used to regular coffee. You spoon in enough to fill it, but you also have to pack it a bit. Not like some mad woman, but you still pat down your coffee.

You slide the apparatus back into place and THEN you add some sugar to the part where the coffee will be brewing into. 2-4 tablespoons, depending on how sweet you like it. So now you are ready for action.

Put the section that houses the water over your element. Turn the burner on to high. Oh yeah, don't forget to put back on and tighten the part that covers the water, or you will have water spewing everywhere. You will begin to hear the water boiling, but this is where the fun begins. The water goes through the tunnel (could not think of a better word) and through the coffee and down into the catcher thingy. The hot coffee melts the sugar and you will begin to hear the water slow down and Viola! You have coffee. Turn down of off the heat and slide the warming tray over to the main section of the element and you are good to go.

Stir the coffee and sugar and serve in a shot glass. Actually it's not a shot glass, but traditional coffee cups for Cuban coffee. You can get them in any store in all of South Florida, but up north may prove difficult. Serve it anywhere from half to full and go for it.

Now, many folks are under thee impression that espresso is more caffeinated than drip coffee. Oh so no. I watched a special on coffee on the history channel and drip coffee ash thee most caffeine out there...who knew.

How ever you like your coffe, enjoy it with someone, or if you need some time alone then go for it, but enjoy your beans.

Showcase Dinner

For those of you who have never been to Disney World, and never been to Epcot, their park is broken up into different countries. Do not ask me to tell which countries they are, for I cannot remember. However, some of the food there, is off the hook.

So, there is a kid (23 if I am not mistaken) that works with my son, whom we have known since he was in high-school. He comes over to dinner many times a year,(yeah he knows where the good stuff come from) and now he has a girl he is interested in. She is vegetarian and she has introduced him to PETA and he has taken to watching the videos on the site. His whole outlook about meat has changed completely. And he knew if he could take her anywhere for dinner it would be the Jalil household. She is a relaxed vegetarian yet still not consuming meat, but she still consumes eggs, dairy and the such.

So I found out if she had any allergies and what she did not like. Once we got that out of the way, the menu planning began. So here is our menu for tomorrow nights dinner.

Tabbouleh -Middle Eastern (Recipe soon to be posted)
Egg Rolls - Asian
Mac and Cheese - American Comfort Food
Southern Sweet Tea - Another American Comfort Drink
Moroccan Stew - Morocco (Duh)

I will be making chicken for my son and husband if he wants some. My husband will easily let go of meat if the table has enough options to choose from, so my son may be the only one eating meat tomorrow night. I look forward to having this young lady in our home and I hope by having her over for dinner and not serving some frozen dinner style veggie food, she will feel more relaxed, but then again we are a kooky family.